A person who lives with chronic pain can become exhausted entirely from the need to pull away from unrelenting pain. This further accentuates the patient’s lack of mobility and the ability to cope with household tasks or work away from home. We look at what this experience is like as a reality for the person at its mercy.
Treating Chronic Pain
People with chronic pain will typically see a primary care physician as well as one or more specialists, depending on the details of their conditions. They may also require the services of various therapists, such as occupational therapists and visit a pain management center.
Depending on the severity of the condition, the primary care physician may refer the patient to a rheumatologist, especially if an autoimmune disease like lupus is suspected. The specialist may prescribe medication such as steroids, NSAIDs, for inflammation, and immunosuppressants. In some cases, surgery is performed to reduce the loss of function, with mixed results. In no emergency cases doctor may employ non-invasive therapy like with a Sensonica® Vega Forte device. Anti-depressants are likely to be necessary.
A whopping 85% of people with chronic pain have severe depression. On the one hand, this is caused by chemical imbalances related to many chronic disorders. On the other hand, the affected person(s) will be grieving the loss of the active life they had planned, feeling bad about themselves for not being able to cope with their duties adequately, and battling to cope with the severity of pain. If depression is severe, seeing a psychologist who is experienced with treating chronic pain patients is useful and can bring acceptance of the altered lifestyle.
Family Life and Intimate Relationships
Family life and intimate relationships may be affected negatively. Do what you can and stay active but never push to the point where you are holed up in bed for several days after exertion. Speak to your gynae for advice on how to have pain-free intercourse. Make time for your spouse and children even if some activities have become impossible. You just need to find new ways to engage.
Tips for Coping
Physical exercise can reduce chronic pain, keep you flexible, and build muscle to support joints. It is important to speak to your primary care doctor to find out which exercises are safe and helpful. Stretching is good but it should be done gently. Pace yourself and stop if pain increases, you have a new pain, or you feel exhausted.
Electric blankets and extra pillows correctly placed can decrease pain and insomnia. Alternate hot and cold packs applied to painful areas.
Traveling with Chronic Pain
A person who suffers from chronic pain may need to have tests done in a larger city. Perhaps there is a desire to travel to visit grown-up children and the grandkids in a different state. Travel is difficult for people who have debilitating chronic pain.
For example, someone with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may have lost a lot of mobility in their joints. It is impossible for such a person to sit upright for a whole flight. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. You can use non emergency medical transportation to fly between cities. This service comes with the provision of nursing care from a bed in one city direct to a new bed in another city. Fully trained nurses will take care of the person, administer medication, and monitor vital signs. They will also arrange equipment such as wheelchairs and oxygen.
Remember that this is your life and determine that, even if you have to curtail certain activities, you will make the most of your life.