Pain

pain

When I sat down to do the research I wanted to do for this article, I typed in the words “Chronic pain” to a journal database and up popped a list of articles on training patients in mindfulness training, meditation, and coping with the pain. As the right side of my head throbbed in pain, this translated to me: “this pain will never stop, learn to live with it” and tears rolled down my cheeks for the 3rd time today. I didn’t want to learn to live with it, I wanted it to fucking go away.

But with all of our medical advances, with how far we’ve come in so many things, pain – especially chronic pain –  is still something we’ve yet to quite grasp.

I have been suffering with migraines for 2-3 years now, and seeing a neurologist for 1. I have learned “mind-fullness” over the years, you have to at some point in order to function, and mine aren’t as bad as some migraine sufferers are. I don’t vomit, I haven’t since was 5, I just don’t have the reflex I guess. Most days I can eat, some I can’t. I used to have to go into clinics to get the butt shots (as I like to call them) for the pain, I haven’t for 8 months now. I can get a migraine anywhere from once a week, to 3 or 5, and they can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days depending if the Imitrex I’m prescribed decides to work (hint: it doesn’t always). Bonus factoid for readers: Insurance only allows for 9 pills a month, you can only take 2 a day. Do the math, and here’s how much it costs without insurance.

One gets pretty desperate when one is in pain, and good-intending people like to offer “advice.” I’ve tried nearly all of it. Hot showers, cold compresses, massages, trigger/pressure point massages, lavender oil and tea, caffeine, orgasms, inflicted pain as a distraction. Riboflavin is the new hip scientific thing my doctors are raving about, so I’m trying that. And well-intending people are always suggesting to me to try marijuana, but the research has yet to be done  and I have bipolar disorder and multiple, albeit insufficient, studies here and here support my personal experience that cannabis can exacerbate mental health symptoms. Shit – today I even when out and got a daith piercing cause why the fuck not? A lot of this, like many things, has little scientific support, just anecdotal evidence. The daith piercing, for example, I put off for a long time because,the Atheistic skeptic that I am said there’s real reason to believe it works. But people say it works, and today I was in crying fucking pain, and my pills didn’t work, so I was ready to give shoving a needle through the cartilage of my ear a go if a handful of people said it worked for them. There isn’t enough research and funding into researching for migraines, so what else is a gal to do? Well, next up for me is the botox shot treatment which, at least from the attached study of 106 patients (more research please….?), 51% reported complete reversal, and 38% partial so here’s hoping.

Putting my personal tale aside, there is something more universal that can be drawn from the reality of experience of pain. I could for selfish reasons encourage you to give to migraine research, , but the issue of pain so much bigger.
As a medical field, we as a species do not have a sufficient, even border-lining on the humane, grasp on pain management. When it comes to end-stage pain, we haven’t a clue what to do. Our patients often end up suffering needlessly for far too long. In a study on the management of pain in elderly patients with cancer, of 4003 patients reporting daily pain 16% received a class 1 pain medication, 32% a class 2, only 26% received morphine. 26% did not receive anything to relieve their pain. The report states that those over 85 were significantly less likely to receive assistance for their pain.

Let that sink in, and put yourself in that hospital bed for a moment.

Now, hopefully you are a person of action so I will end this this some ways to make a change. What can you do about it?

Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice

Linked to another blog mainly for consistency because the rest of my list had links….. but yes!! Please don’t… If someone has a disease, or is in pain, we knooooow (kinda) that you mean well with the “have you tried….” but we’ve also probably already heard it, and tried it, many times before, and you are not their Dr. Please just save it and skip to the bottom of this list.
Support Cannabis Research

Despite my personal experience with it, it does help many people with chronic pain – especially those in terminal situations. I support that, and I think you should too. We need more research, for sure, to know what it does help and does not, to divide the anecdotal from the scientific. But if it helps someone, why the hell is it still illegal?

Support Death With Dignity

Also see here for more useful information on if it’s not legal in your state. It can be a hard topic, but we all die, and no one wants to suffer needlessly. Know your options.

Be Compassionate

The link has some lovely ways to do this, but basically, show some love to those you know who are in pain. Hugs are always nice. Educate yourself, be compassionate and understanding. Listen. Love, love love.

 

What would you do to make a change [this IS solicited ; ) ]? Comment below!

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Labels, Lifestyles, and the Like

People-Too-Complicated-for-Labels

While on the road to self-actualization and introspection, one will quickly find stories of finding an identity within a community under a word.

Spritual, pantheist, asexual, gay, bi, dom, femme, male, teacher, mother, Christian, Atheist, joker, trans, black, crazy cat lady, republican, bipolar………………..

The amount of words we use to identify ourselves are immensely vast and varying in type and category.

They serve a purpose. Community, fellowship, rapid ability to identify with another. But does it serve to help, or hurt the individual?

Oftentimes, it helps. For a while. They research, ask around, and eventually find self-meaning. Immediately a feeling of “finally!” comes, and joy in finding people to relate and connect with.

The problem comes when you are known as that, and not as you. If the bond is created because of the shared affiliation, when change comes, and it will as life would have it, the community once shared and feeling of belonging falls. A depressed state often follows.

Some labels we do not choose. Our race and our gender are easy examples. These two can be harmful as genitalia do not define gender identification, and race is not often helpful (a black English, a white African, etc).

None of these thoughts are ultimate, as I’m sure they vary. My thoughts, presently, are that in the least labeling leads to decreased introspection. By accepting “I am this”, although it may be true, it can hinder how the individual actualizes that identity. We all know of the varying denominations of Christianity, yet they are all under that umbrella. Digging deeper, within the denomination, almost every individual has at least 1 theological point they differ on. So do we keep creating names? Everyone fleshes out themselves in their own, extremely unique way.

But, I’m curious. Personally, I see the benefits and frustrations with accepting a lifestyle identity or label, but I also see the impossibility of it.

What are your thoughts?

Perhaps, if you will, what are your identities and how do you personally flesh them out that not necessarily everyone under the umbrella term do?

Radical Change

change

My muse is gone. I typed up this shit only to have it dissapear into a void once I clicked “publish” and only the image go through.

Radical Change. Rosa Parks, Ghandi, the like. I can not remember much more.

All I know is I desire in the deepest of my being to be the one to cry “The Earth is Round!” in an era where doing so is insane. Something so drastic and shattering.

I can not settle for less. I will not be The Simple Man.

Help. A Penny for Your Radical Thoughts? What must be done in today’s era that one person can do, and which everyone fears doing?

Separation

Violence

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/ and Popular Philosophy Today

Fascinating idea. I find terming separation as “violence” to be a harsh misuse of the word, though.

What I would call it is creating an “in-group, out-group” type of elitism. Creating a social construct of “us and them.”

Granted, it is usually not the conscious intention of people with such labels to create such a division between them and their fellow man. But could it be possible that this is, truly, what we are doing by accepting such labels that divide us as “other” from our fellow man?

Or is it necessary for us to feel commonality with a small group of humans. Is it not possible to feel connected with everyone because of differences?

Sticky. Discuss. What are your thoughts? Are there labels you choose to carry? Why?

Ethical Mandate

don't be a dick

As I walk through the path of seeking wisdom, I recite this mandate as one of my core ethical truths. To me, it transcends issues of religion, politics, sexuality, and just about anything. All I care about is whether one is an asshole, or not.

The further I travel down life’s paths, the more I see instances where I broke my own mandate. Due to one of my other ethical mandate against willful ignorance, it causes me such emotional turmoil that I feel physically ill.

Side point, I can not fathom how someone can be willfully ignorant enough to cause someone pain (thus, be a dick) and not wish to remedy the pain with at least an apology and inner acceptance of their evil done onto another.

I know of few ethical mandates to which I hold as closely as this.

Your thoughts? Is it a justified ethical mandate?

Transgender, Sexuality, and Cruelty

You are beautiful, no matter who you are or become or was or will be. You are human, and part of us.

You are beautiful, no matter who you are or become or was or will be. You are human, and part of us.


**I wrote this without a lot of awareness of terms and uses of pronouns. This is new to me. Please forgive them before I get to a full edit.**

Today, I met and spoke as an equal with a transgendered individual who identified as “queer,” so in this post I will use “she” to identify “her” due to it being the gender “she” identifies most with and seeks to be. It was humbling, frightening, sickening, and saddening. The pain she has been through in her search for complete alteration (operation) shot a dagger of pain into my heart. I had to vent it out after our discussion lest I carry my sorrow over her pain all day.

She had been raped, faced with the rapist on the bus on her way home because she was afraid to prosecute him. She’s been called horrible things. Treated horribly. Shown almost no support due to their being so few people who identify as transgendered in our city. And yet still, had the strength to be alive today. As she unleashed her pain and suicidal thoughts and intentions (could not keep living pre-op, hated herself), I tried my hardest to understand, try to understand, and show support and complete non-judgement.

She was a wonderful person. I talked to her for the first time about by own monogamous polyamory (perhaps I will share at a later time, here, on that), and she understood and listened. We talked, and my heart lightened.

I hope to see her again, I hope she carries the strength to keep going. I hope humanity can rise above judging their fellow man for such things. I have hope that we can.

I can type no more on this, so please: your thoughts, feelings, reactions, advise, and stories for a penny or more.