Pain management is a really tricky thing. It’s a like trying to walk through a whirlwind to find the middle of the storm, a place of sanctuary and peace. Once you climb up the opioid ladder there aren’t many places left to go, and it becomes less about medications and more about exploring alternative avenues of pain relief.
Acupuncture is highly recommended to help with neuropathic pain (nerve pain from broken or damaged nerves) and also to help with the hot flashes from the menopause. But it IS hard to find an acupuncturist who has the relevant experience of dealing with a cancer patient with damaged nerves, but I’m still looking!
Massage to get blood circulating and to reduce the tension in my muscles after two years of being tense due to pain and everything.
Heat is another one that helps – sometimes. Heat helps most of the time but sometimes my nerves can’t handle the heat and it’s a no go. But I have a wonderful electric blanket to cover my legs with, an electric heat pad for my pelvis and a good hot bath helps too!
A weighted blanket is also great, the weight can help nerves calm down and reduce nerve pain overall. It’s also like having a great big hug 🤗
Mindfulness and meditation also are on my list. I’ve worked with an amazing psychologist who has recorded guided meditations for me to work with in certain situation and if I get in before the pain takes a hold – I’ve got to admit, there comes a point where no amount of imagining a gold light is healing me can solve my problem – but if I can focus then they can help me hugely, which I won’t lie, I found surprising!
Aromatherapy is another avenue I am exploring, to help me stay calm, relax and focus my mind to help with the above but also for pain itself. I’m looking into steam diffusers and essential oil mixes at the moment – I may even need to order a book on the subject!
Distraction is key. Keeping my mind occupied on something else can help prevent a pain flare from taking hold, this is the time I use for crafting and lettering. Doing anything that is focus intensive that forces my brain to switch it’s focus from the pain and onto the project at hand.
CBD oil has also been recommended and we have tried it only to discover it tastes foul and leaves it there all day long and taints anything I brave eating, so we’ve decided to buy the capsules instead!
But honestly, it gets me down. Everything medical wise feels like a fight at the moment. My much needed pain clinic appointment has been delayed from January until April. I am completely at a loss with it all at the minute. I feel like I’m working my butt off trying to help myself with very little support from the people I was promised were the experts. My GP and Sue Ryder team are doing all they can but I am not really within their remit and both of them are strapped for ideas. It all hinges on a consultant who doesn’t seem to have time for me.