Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get Distracted & Help Your Pain Tips from The Healing Redhead

Dealing with the trials of chronic pain can get old ... FAST! Those of us dealing with the effects of tumor pain, migraines, arthritis, fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain can lead difficult lives. No doubt about that!

Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.  
--Barbara Kingsolver
@Modern Dog Magazine via Pinterest

(Remember when you see a * GO to the bottom of the blog for more text/added details. The Healing Redhead: Sorry about the text, y'all. I think an evil gremlin lives under there. I tried every trick I know... except getting off Blogger. :( It wasn't intentional.) 

When your pain is on HIGH and your patience is finally on "E," you need ways to work the mind & body so that it feels even more energized when the pills kick in! If you don't take pills, distractions are even MORE IMPORTANT!  There's gotta be unusual, different and fun ways to distract yourself from the pain and we don't all have airline tickets to beautiful islands like every star and reality star on the planet! I've come up with The Healing Redhead's List of Distractions! But first, a quick interlude...below. 

A story. 

With our pain it's not like a cold or flu somebody gets once or twice a year. This is a continual cycle on-and-off through the week or it rides an unknowable flare schedule month to month or it's all about Al as in Roker & his weather patterns! I'm serious! 

A cold front came in last night and this morning I was contorted in my bed, heating pad on warm, and tried not to scare my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy cuddled next to me. My body, like so many times before, felt like metal, not muscle. My hands, especially my left, felt as though they were burning, metal bending into different shapes. An early morning art installation and the artist is Pain.

 My knee, an entire other formation, was a raging fire. Where's a handsome fireman when you need one? Wait, he would have to be especially skilled to get that fire out! Maybe a hot neurosurgeon/firefighter... Do those exist? LOL! I should look that up! {wink!} 

My ears hurt and have for months and months. I still don't understand their language.  Consider the ears the teenagers of this unit, this mysterious unit of my aging body. Misbehaving, lawless. Oh, don't even get me started. 

Luckily, most everything got under control by mid-morning that day. Except the ears. It's all day-long, all night-long trying to understand what is wrong. Just when I think I got it -- like that elusive mathematics problem - another eruption, problem begins. Talk about perseverance. Ears don't quit. 

Days later I'm editing & they're hurting and not a 1 or 2 on the pain scale. A four at least. Then when I think I have a break from it all, calm and even not a bark or snore from the pooches, the symphony of aggravation erupts: tinnitus. I guess it is too much to ask to be the conductor of my own body.


Sometimes when we have pain and/or when we are waiting for pills to work, we need a distraction. Or 10. A little something to take our mind off the sizzling pain, the grueling headache, or the numbing body aches, right? It might help. Why not try, right? 

If we have something say, in the vault, ready to go, then when this happens tomorrow, the next day, or even next week you AND I will be ready. 

(Sidebar: This won't take away the pain itself. It merely distracts you while the pain pill(s) work(s) or the pain itself subsides. I am not a doctor, I am a suggestor-logist! Keep that in mind. I make suggestions to help my readers, that's it.*)

OK, are you ready?

Lip service
Next time you are at the store, indulge. Get a fun gloss or a retro-fun one, i.e. Bonnie Bell. Think about getting a nourishing body lotion, too. When the pain strikes do a mini makeover. Add gloss & lotion. Be easy on yourself. Add slowly, perhaps close your eyes, and say comforting healing thoughts/mantras: "It feels good to be well." "Beauty starts on the inside." "Wellness is an act of love." Perhaps you can follow up with a glass of water. Sip slowly. Add gloss when complete.

Sports fever
For guys & gals who love the action-packed field, there are plenty of live and best-loved games of the past ESPN plays and don't forget sports-related movies are always worth the popcorn and couch-potato time even when just hanging out and pain is level. What about: Hoosiers, Rudy, The Natural & The Sandlot, huh? Have a few queued on your phone or TV when The Pain hits. Coaches and players have great inspirational books, too.

After-school Special
I'm a TV child of the '80s-'90s and I spent many fun-filled hours watching clever, often silly shows like Punky Brewster, Cheers, Family Matters & Mel's Diner. Anyone, remember these oldies, but goodies? HA! OK, OK they're not THAT old! It's interesting to watch the childhood shows from an adult context and see if these oldies but goodies could make it today given scripts and jokes. Are they timeless or tacky or just plain wacky? Given the number of cable channels, YouTube, Netflix,, etc. there's no reason not to check out M.A.S.H., Magnum P.I., The Mary Tyler Moore Show or Ally McBeal.* Saved By the Bell is still syndicated on some channels...But of course I haven't watched in... awhile! Nervous giggle. No really. It has been awhile. Oldie shows not only makes you smile but they bring back memories from a lighter, sillier time. Oh, youth. How I miss thee. Grab it back in 30-minute segments. The pain may or may not go away but you got a guaranteed blast from the past!*

Focus on Flowers 
My mom was sweet to surprise me with Valentine's Day/Birthday flowers. I am a February baby. I just loved looking at the bouquet. It sounds cheesy to say but the tulips were like a burst of cheeriness. Since I am unable to get out much this blast of color and vibrancy just filled me up each time I passed 'em. Ideas: You can post a photo of wildflowers on your computer, treat yourself to a potted plant or small bouquet, or think about gardening plans for spring and summer. Get this... I ended up buying a small bouquet of purple flowers after my birthday that have nearly lasted two weeks. I go near the flowers to get my pills AKA pain control. I try to remind myself to take a deep breath and soak in the view of the flowers. Each time I can remember this is like a mini-meditation. 

Be a Kid Again 
It can be as easy as rolling a few dice, spinning a plastic wheel or choosing a few playing cards. Sometimes distractions do involve a little effort but in the end the winner may be you! You can play Words with Friends on your iPad. You also can watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and/or Family Feud and get a fun bet going among those watching nearby. If you have the energy and pain is not too much, Dominoes and Checkers are worth a round. Both were popular during my childhood and still fun today. I have fabulous memories playing those games. There's always GoFish and yet another goodie, the always fun, always exciting... MASH!* Gals, come on! You know it was "Mansion Apartment Shack House!" I know that will get a laugh!

Other Options

Dark chocolate Mmm... Sinful dark chocolate! Why NOT?
Walkin' - YOU better know how the song goes... or you better get off my blog! HA! Just kidding! A slow walk in the neighborhood or at a park might spark a funny story or let you be able to reflect in nature. It might certainly get your mind off PAIN!
CALM ohm... Tunes - Put some smooth tunes on your iPod or whatever current playlist technology you use. Sometimes it might not be calm tunes that allow you ease and comfort! Maybe it's rowdy '70s tunes or loud heavy-metal bands because it reflects how you feel on the inside. Whatever it is, cue it up for your next flare up and see if it helps!

What Would YOU PUT Here? Please keep it G/PG, PLEASE. Thank you. 

 ©The Healing Redhead

*Please read my "Disclaimer." There's a tab directly above this post.
*Even episodes of Punky are available online and at stores! ;)
*OMG, remember Charles in Charge? Ha! That theme song! 
*You  thought I was going to say Old Maid. I wouldn't... DARE. Not at my age & predicament! ;) Ha! 

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