My Research of Pain

I have been thinking a lot about pain, and trying to understand what and why I feel the things I feel. I have abnormal TN and several other very painful conditions, and during my most recent kidney stone episode last week, I was wondering why, even though the stone hurt more than the TN, it bothered me less and effected my emotional stability less. I decided to do some research on pain in general. I always feel better with a greater understanding of the things happening to me, and this was no exception. I found this lovely humorous web page that helped me feel less like I was crazy for my fluctuating, illogical pain levels. https://www.painscience.com/articles/pain-is-weird.php I hope you all enjoy it. I would love to hear your thoughts. I am in no way implying that we can "think away the pain!" I would probably punch out anyone who told me that, but understanding it helps me change the way I think about the pain and in turn I can manage it in a more healthy way.

Here is the link again: https://www.painscience.com/articles/pain-is-weird.php

I read through this website recently and found it interesting and thought-provoking. The pain of TN is real and cannot be controlled by our thoughts about it, but I still enjoyed reading the site and thinking about pain from another perspective.

Love it! I think this is so true. I was recently in Adelaide and tried to get an appointment with Moseley's team, as they also treat TN patients. Guess what? 1 year waiting list.. Thankfully, my best fried lives there and I can come back and stay for as long as necsessary.

What I have definitely noticed is that I hurt more when I come on this forum. It is true.I am going to brag a little here: I am currently doing a PhD, full-time. It involves long hours, lots of pressure. I also have bilateral, all-branches, both types TN. I av only found meds-relief for the last month, and my worst trigger is the computer. I mcurrently writing up, and am one of the very few scheduled to finish on time in 4 months. Add to that that I am NOT AT ALL superhuman. How can I do it? The simple answer is flow. I have a strict timing strategy and take breaks every 20 mins. Only when I break the flow do I really feel the pain I am in. Thisis why I want to keep working in the stressful job academics can have (funding/deadlines/unemployment/more deadlines). I know that the best for me is to be out of the TN bubble. The weirdest thing is that it helped that when I was diagnosed, I was told that there was nothing to do about it. I believed it for the next 10 years (I was only 20, so a doctor's word was very authoritative).

My best friend for the last 16 years has been distraction.

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I was thrown out of the reply, sorry. As I was saying, I firmly believe that distraction has helped me more than anything - and I hink that everyone can have that. It is not easy to find the best thing that will distract you, but once you find it, submerge yourself in it! This is one of the points that I think a mental practicioner can help with. If we get obsessed with pain, we feel the tiniest twinge, which we may no have felt so strongly if we were doing something that took our mind off it completely.

Of course, I need meds too. I want relief, becuse you also have to do other things in life than distraction things. We need to socialise, especially if we are in a relationship or have kids. We have to shop, eat, clean, pay bills etc etc. It is for those moments outside of the flow we need meds. All I am saying is that the brain is th one thing we can always ely n to help us momentarily overcome the pain. It is always there for you, although it is also the source of evil, heh heh.

I know some of you will tottally hate for making these sttements, but I am willing to take that risk. For me the TN-blessing was really that I caught it so early that I had to come up with a strategy for managing a lifetime with it.

That is great that you have found a focus to distract you! I have tried several. Before I had any clue what this was, I made work my be-all, end-all focus. If TN was my only Illness I would probably just keep on successfully doing that, but my other health problems have been made worse (hospitalization level worse) by my single minded determination to "work through the pain!" So I have made the decision to quit my wonderful fun, but demanding job, move back to my parents and find less physically stressful distractions. I am really nervous, but I believe it is the right choice, for now. Thanks for you viewpoint. I love to hear how others have found ways to live life despite this. I like to brag too, about how I have never missed a day of work in 9 months for TN, I missed days when I had a kidney stone AND TN, or was throwing up AND in pain, or had the flu on top of it, but I never gave in to "just my face" :) Keep op the good fight, and break a leg on your school work! (I'm a theater person, so I really am wishing you well, hahaha)

Tineline said:

I was thrown out of the reply, sorry. As I was saying, I firmly believe that distraction has helped me more than anything - and I hink that everyone can have that. It is not easy to find the best thing that will distract you, but once you find it, submerge yourself in it! This is one of the points that I think a mental practicioner can help with. If we get obsessed with pain, we feel the tiniest twinge, which we may no have felt so strongly if we were doing something that took our mind off it completely.

Of course, I need meds too. I want relief, becuse you also have to do other things in life than distraction things. We need to socialise, especially if we are in a relationship or have kids. We have to shop, eat, clean, pay bills etc etc. It is for those moments outside of the flow we need meds. All I am saying is that the brain is th one thing we can always ely n to help us momentarily overcome the pain. It is always there for you, although it is also the source of evil, heh heh.

I know some of you will tottally hate for making these sttements, but I am willing to take that risk. For me the TN-blessing was really that I caught it so early that I had to come up with a strategy for managing a lifetime with it.

Thanks! Iam fully aware it can only last for so long, but I am still young, and so work really becoes a lifesaver. Luckily, I don't have other health problems. Once I get a job, I will start to demand disability adjustments to stay working as long as possible. Thankfully, in European academia, that is mostly made possible through EU regulations.

But distraction does not have to have anything to do with work. That is just my way. What I meant to sayis - seek the flow! It is a blissful state to not think about pain.For me, choir practice is another thing that keeps me in the moment and forgettting about everything else. I have to change my immersion tactics, because my previously preferred distractions (video games and exciting films, and books) have become triggers. But other things are great too, and especially things that get you into a no-pain atmosphere. I had the best evening baking cupcakes with a friend's kids the other night. And tonight I talked an hour on the phone to one of my besties. I think we chronic pain sufferers do lose our motivation sometimes. I know I do. However, I have increasingly come to understand how important it is to not dig down too deep. (sorry spelling mistakes, my e-reader sucks but is the only way I get online)

Have you read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi? I did for my Education In Museums class, in college, and I really enjoyed it. With your focus on finding that flow I figured you would be familiar with his work. I love to paint, and sew to find those moments of flow in my free time. Positive social experiences can be great, I just have trouble finding them sometimes, but moving in with family and closer to many friends should help.




No, I havent read that, but am familiar with flow from music and sports.
The most important thing in my opinion, is to not juststop doing thingsas we become worse, but to find other ways to that (more or less) same end result.
Hobbies are great. Glad to hear you are moving closer to a social scene, I think even the most introvert of us are social beings! Meanwhile, painting must be a great way to have flow.