Life with chronic pain is being a stranger in a strange land whether you have the pain, live with someone who experiences chronic pain, or treat people with chronic pain. You all have much in common and little in common. The more we can speak the same language, use the same descriptors, and shortcuts, and understand each other’s dreams and pressures, the better we function as a team. Penney Cowan’s American Chronic Pain Association is for the whole team.
Try massive numbers of solutions to get you below the threshold to function. Most won’t work. Some will. Try for 2 weeks. Doesn’t work? Try something else. Inspiration about chronic pain from Dr. CJ Rhoads
Before her auto accident that caused chronic pain and subsequent surgeries, Barby Ingle was no stranger to pain. After her accident, Barby felt overtreated, untreated, and mistreated. She took control of her medical management and replaced drug pain solutions with physical pain solutions. She repurposed her media savvy to heal herself and engage others.
You’re in for a treat. Amy Baxter, pediatric emergency physician, pain researcher, and device manufacturer, is the CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs. We talked about:
Pain is inevitable, it’s life. Unnecessary pain is wasteful and it sucks.
Doctors’ superpower is writing prescriptions. While lots of research has been done about non-pharm pain, doctors aren’t familiar with it.
Public policy doesn’t support non-drug solutions. It funnels people to doctors and medication.
Attitude and attention impact pain. If you focus on life rather than pain, the pain can be more manageable. We’re in control.
The 1-10 pain scale has limited value unless you’re evaluating what’s not working for acute pain.
We could teach our kids about pain differently. Think, dancers and other athletes.
While cannabis may be helpful for chronic pain, it’s not a panacea, especially for young brains.
We learned about TENS units, Buzzy, the Meissner Corpusle, the thalamus (the brains CPU/microprocessor), the Schmidt Sting Pain Scale, the IKEA bias, beta nerves and mechanoreceptors, and more. My head spins.
I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from Amy is that it’s not about the pain, it’s about what we want to do with our lives and how we manage the challenges we face that get in the way, including pain. Let’s take control. It’s the most powerful tool we have.