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Thread: Dealing with pain in public

  1. #1

    Dealing with pain in public

    I posted this in my SCS thread but I think it was sort of buried there!! I'm not sure what I'm asking really or even what I'm looking for other than some better coping strategy when I'm out in public and having a bad day.

    How do the rest of you cope in public when your pain is bad? I have a bad habit of squeezing myself (wrapping my arms around myself like you do when you're cold). People always think I'm freezing when in fact I'm shivering from pain. I wish I could stop doing it but it seems to help somehow.
    Does anyone have any advice? Just yesterday, in a meeting at work, one of the senior executives told me that my "wriggling and grimacing" were very distracting to him. He wasn't very nice about it and so today I feel like I really need a better coping strategy. Other than hiding in the bathroom that is! Thanks.

  2. #2
    I'm sorry. No real advice though. People just don't get it. I had a great day yesterday, pain-wise until it hit suddenly. Quickly my mood changed & I just needed a break to stretch & gather myself, esp. catch my breath, which it steals. The person I was with was less than empathetic or patient & looked at me like I was insane. I then just wanted to get home quick, pop a pill, cry, rest & then gather enough strength to punch them in their face.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Olympia, WA
    For years after my accident I would kind of grab my head and pull down, like I was bracing for a plane crash or something, when the pain hit. For whatever reason it seemed to help, or at least helped me cope. I got many comments in public because it looked so weird. Some time in my early 20's I decided I had to stop doing that or my social life would forever be harmed.

    Took me a long time to break the habit, and I still seem compelled once in a while when it really hurts, but now I focus on breathing normally. People can tell something is up because my attention span goes to zero, but I can sit still for the most part.

    I just concentrate on each breath, make every inhale and exhale completely intentional, force every bit of my body that I can to relax. I then let the pain just flow over my legs, rather than pushing it back. Hurts like hell, but it seems to go away sooner when I do it that way, rather than fighting it off. Fighting it off just kinda postpones 'the wave' and keeps me in pain longer.

  4. #4
    In a work situation, when you can't retreat and retire to your bedroom,climb in bed, throw the covers over your head, and cry, I think having breakthrough meds like oxycodone and really learning how to anticipate when things are going south and proactively treat it is the best thing for me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    I am sorry that you are experiencing such pain levels, and it does sound like you need better pain management, at least for work hours. I use to have a boss very much like the one you described, who understood (or chose to understand) nothing. It was not easy, and you have my sympathy.

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone. I have Norco as my breakthrough medicine but I find that it takes a good 30 minutes to work. And even then I'm squirming around a lot. Taziar--you sound just like me! Since reading your post, I've been trying to stop the automatic clenching up with the pain. Not too successful yet but maybe it will work in time. I wonder why the squeezing/pushing against the pain seems to help so much? It's like a reflex with me now which is the problem. Arndog-I never really know when a big wave will hit. In the meeting the other day it was of all things a loud shrill cackle of laughter that did it. Or at least drew the attention of my boss to my behavior. Neuro pain is just so difficult to deal with!! I feel like I never have good days anymore and I hate that. I'm definitely losing the battle lately!! Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. It helps to talk about it anyway.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    The rare times I manage to get out, I fidget and squirm as much as I do at home. I'm sure I grimace a lot as well.

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  8. #8
    Hi Phillis ;

    Yea I hear you about the 30 mins for your pain med to kick in omgosh yesterday in a store the 3 stooges got on my nerves as my pain was kicking in lmao

    I tend to grind my teeth

    You are not losing the battle it just feels so frustrating we feel like crap and most people couldnt understand how badly we feel Right ?

    What advice I can offer is what I do I ignore mean peoples remarks and usually right in their face like at the meeting go take your pain meds drink water at the confrence table
    Sometimes visual actions say more than anything
    I had to do this yesterday while I was having a bad pain problem in the store and 3 people got on my nerves after they seen me take my meds they got off my back
    I just wheeleled ignoring the 3 stooges ..

  9. #9
    I stay at a hotel regularly for work, they try to keep the rooms next to me empty and if not, know my neighbors will ring down when I scream in my sleep. the call me and wake me up.

    In my office i go t the men's room.

    This is for the screamers otherwise grimace groan moan curse and swear and cry.

    The Ketamine Kitty

    All the tears, all the pain, all the rage through the night (apolgies to the rewrite) RR

    Next time I die make sure I'm gone,
    don't leave 'em nothing to work on JT

    And I ain't nothin but a dream JM

  10. #10
    Thanks GL for a laugh! The guy at my job is definitely one of the 3 stooges as well. Unfortunately I have to see him often. Now I'll think of him completely differently. So thanks! Where are you in Texas? I'm in Fort Worth. If you live close we could talk in real life! Compare stooges!!

    Bollefen I'm sorry your pain is so bad too. I only recently started screaming in my sleep. It's horrible. It's actually what drove me to see my neurosurgeon and had me start the SCS thread. There must be something that can help us!! It's all so frustrating. Thanks for your input. Keep fighting.

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