The Pain Game: A Personal Experience Of How To Succeed When Living With Pain.
On Dec. 28th, 2019 I was knocked down by a fellow snowboarder and sustained 4mm cerebral hematoma (brain bleed), concussion and bruised tail bone. I was in denial and shock when the next day I was admitted into the ICU and told that I would most likely remain for a min of 5 days up to a couple of weeks. So many of the patients appeared to be worse off than I and were adorned with anti-viral face-masks. Plus, I had been hoping to recover at home and had been hungry for pizza the evening I was admitted, informed I’d need to fast until tomorrow anyway. UGH!!!
As soon as I was admitted they hooked me up to an IV and morphine drip. I thought this was a bit extreme, yet I’d been informed I’ll need this once my brain swells. Fast forward to the next day and me watching the clock and lamenting that I had another couple of hours until my next dose of morphine. I was in so much pain and discomfort. At that point my head and tail bone pain on avg were a 7 – 10 when the morphine wore off. The pain was so bad I was unable to sleep or sit up for longer than 30 minutes.
One night as I lay there, I had an epiphany that I wasn’t using meditation to help manage the pain. A coping skill I practiced regularly when I was well. I was experiencing what I frequently warn my clients about. That when you feel discomfort in your body your mind will automatically go to a more negative, less motivated, forgetful place. Let’s face it, in that mindset it’s a hell of a lot easier to take a pill and to forget about your other coping skills.
However, as Hippocrates stated: “The natural healing force in each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”
I connected with this healing force within and so can you. Identify the positive coping skills that have been left in the dust or find ones that you believe in and create your plan. For me that was maintaining my hygiene, getting in 5 – 6 servings or more of fruits and vegetables, avoiding foods that weren’t good for healing hematomas, taking Tylenol/muscle relaxers as needed, CBD oil regularly, listening to guided meditations and prayer.
Once I returned home the pain management plan included getting out in nature, spending time with loved ones and pets, having an accountability partner and moving around more. By regularly and mindfully practicing your pain management plan you will experience a more positive attitude and increased ability to manage the pain.
I return to work this week after three months of healing. I’ve continued to get better daily and I no longer have a hematoma or bruised tailbone. Thankfully, the extreme pain I went through is a distant memory. I’m still getting headaches, yet the pain on avg is a 5/6 out of 10 or lower. However, my confidence and my ability to manage the pain has improved significantly with regularly practicing my self-care plan and so will yours.