Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

Does your Pain define you?

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A triple rollover on south 5 downtown San Diego landed me in a chronic pain group.

Mostly spinal injuries from accidents, I was shocked , these were my peers.

My chronic pain therapist, a PhD pain psychologist told me, it is like you entered a third world country.

Doctors, surgeries, physical therapy, therapists, work comp and pain become your waking companions.

No one understands your limitations, unless you have a cane or walker, pain is invisible.

Living with a serious chronic pain person is not easy.

14 of the 15 mates in that chronic pain group left their spouses, divorced.

You end up by yourself, hurting, alone, confused with severe depression.

15 out of 15 said, I just want to be like I was before the accident. That thought will bring you suffering forever, we were never going to be like we were.

Chronic pain takes much more of a toll than others realize.

Took me a few years to compress my chronic pain and get some of my life back.

Now I hike five days a week, 4 miles uphill 60 stories briskly.

It takes time and effort to learn how to adjust and adapt.

Conclusion: No one could see my pain, my suffering.

If I needed others to understand or give me sympathy, suffering would never leave me.

I learned to keep my pain limitations to myself.

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I learned Triggers were an Opportunity to heal!……. The door to the other side

Color Inspiration – 25 Magical Doors

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When my trauma exploded later in life, my fight or flight mechanism erupted, brought enormous fear and anxiety.

A lethal threat seemed to follow me, my adrenal stress response firing throughout the day filling me up with cortisol and adrenaline.

Fight, flight or freeze always ends with freeze for PTSD sufferers.

Fight or flight may happen the first couple of triggers, however repeated triggers firing causes us to freeze.

We try to avoid our triggers firing as a coping mechanism.

One day an epiphany hit me, I was terrified of my fight or flight going off.

I feared a body mechanism because it was linked to a traumatic childhood memory.

It took many hours of meditating and practice to realize a trigger was an opportunity to heal.

Instead of fearing my adrenal stress response I welcomed the opportunity to integrate the traumatic memory.

My triggers were the door to the other side.

When a trigger erupted, my PTSD was at its apex of power, PTSD was also at its most vulnerable.

I found out if you stayed present, focused on the breath and body sensations Ptsd lost power.

Ptsd has a glaring weakness, it was a bully bluffing of real harm.

I analyzed a trigger erupting.

Cortisol and adrenaline are secreted, bp, respiration and heart rate climb, opioids and coagulants are added into the blood stream, tunnel vision and loss of fine motor skills lead to mental confusion.

In ten or maybe twenty long minutes, all the chemicals dissipate and the nervous system calm back down.

In the aftermath no harm is permanently done but we feel great emotional loss.

I had to know there was no danger, PTSD just had access to my fight or flight mechanism.

Our fight or flight firing gives PTSD it’s powerful aversion.

That imminent danger does not exist, adrenaline and especially cortisol strengthen traumas bluff.

I did not heal by avoiding triggers.

I healed by confronting the bully and his bluff.

Ask yourself, after a trigger erupts, and things calm back down. where is the permanent danger?

There is none.

Ptsd is a mirage of fear.

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I have absorbed the body trauma meditating yesterday

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Yesterday, I meditated five hours total in one hour increments. A past Trauma popped up with all its emotional terror, being trapped inside my body.

Trauma is stored at the time it occurs and with the ability at that age. My 19 year old self is much different than this 68 year old self.

The power, the intensity, the sheer anger and hurt shocked me.

All my skills had not stopped this trauma from taking over for a week.

Yesterday during my meditative sets, I brought the event to the surface, then observed all the fear, shame, anger and confusion without reaction.

I learned this as titration, you bring your trauma up for a couple minutes of thought, then meditate. The goal is to settle the nervous system back to normal.

Yes, I triggered myself, so I could integrate the fear. It is the road less travelled for sure.

That’s how healing happened originally. Triggers always caused me to avoid until I realized healing goes directly through the center of our fear (trauma).

The goal is not to squash the danger, it is to do nothing, accept and surrender from a distance.

This process integrates the stored trauma from the body and amygdala.

It is a very simple process, however it takes a strong ability to focus and courage to face our fears.

As long as our trauma has these strong negative emotions to reinforce its storyline, we lose.

For a couple of days, I was a victim, experiencing the tragedy in its full power.

It takes me a while for the mind to grapple with the demon.

Today, my system has absorbed most of the stored trauma, settled closer to my normal existence. I have separation of my 19 year old ego and my 68 year old ego again.

I forgot the intensity, the confusion and the outright terror PTSD wields when aroused. It’s been five years since anything like this has happened.

What seemed overwhelming last week, has shrunk to very unpleasant.

Settling the nervous system makes PTSD much easier to handle.

Thoughts?

Writing a few post with me suffering with PTSD, was difficult sharing the last couple of days. I knew everyone would be watching to see how I would handle it.

Do I just talk the talk or walk the walk. I have an added responsibility to not feel sorry for myself or be a victim. That actually adds to my motivation to never give in, never give up.

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Hidden trauma resurfaces, opening up the deepest cut of my life

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My healing journey always followed my inner guide. I trusted this guide would bring forth trauma that needed integrated when I was ready.

Access to my inner guide needed meditation as the vehicle to enter into my subconscious world.

At times even following the inner guide PTSD was still overwhelming when it exploded.

I believed total healing was possible. For a two year period, I was free of doubt and worry, triggers never fired and intrusive thoughts had subsided.

This was a euphoric time for me. The cessation of suffering felt miraculous.

Then one day my symptoms reignited from a side effect of a prescribed blood pressure medicine.

No new trauma had surface with this event, it was all nervous system exploding. It took a while but I settled my nervous system down.

Stunned this week, a powerful and shameful trauma exploded into my consciousness.

No way did I think any incident in my life could be stronger that a whole childhood of abuse.

Hidden below my childhood, the event that emotionally killed my trust popped forward.

This event keeps presenting itself in vivid color without any input from me. It runs on its own with an emotionally charged storyline.

I am bombarded with horrible images of public betrayal when I was 19. The imagined scene is so embarrassing and demeaning, it takes my breath away.

It has haunted me this week and stole my sense of value in life.

Without my fight or flight firing, this event brings ridicule and shame in force.

Emotionally it has numbed me, I feel the hurt like I was 19 again.

There is no danger of ptsd gaining power again, however it has brought a great sadness from it’s deep grave.

My “Ego” was emotionally scarred for life from this event. My childhood gave me trust issues and this event extinguished what was left.

I did not know this was the source of my lost trust until this week. This event never entered my consciousness, never had this trauma memory see the light of day until this week.

PTSD has been much more complex, more secretive than I ever thought possible.

Hard to believe anything is below this disaster.

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Chronic Pain group and Suffering

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After my triple rollover on I-5 south, after the fusions, many doctors and therapies I was left with serious chronic pain.

Along with 14 other unfortunate souls, I joined a real chronic pain group. It was depressing knowing this was my peer group.

Group was stressful at first, so many medications and fear of the unknown. You find out quickly that you share five or six different traits.

I ranked myself in the middle of the group, and damn glad I was not hurt as bad as some. Mostly spinal injuries for all 15 of us.

We all just wanted to go back to our life as it was. Hold on to that desire and suffering will be your partner.

After six months my inner guide knew it was time to change.

I threw out my pills and started to hike. My pain increased and desperately wanted me to stop.

As a jock, this was a battle I knew well. After a month of hiking everyday, my chronic pain began to compress.

I learned my thoughts and emotions could increase or decrease my pain.

I challenged another in group to follow me.

His name is Rick and this is a response from this post:

https://ptsdawayout.com/chronic-pain/

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“Everything in this article is true! I personally witnessed Marty go through this. My name is Rick and I was in the same pain management group when I met Marty and he can a test to the fact that I was close to death! A lot closer then I am today. Let me explain…

I have had 5 back surgery’s. I have a Med. Pump implanted in me which was maxed out feeding me Dilotded 24 hours a day and a spinal cord stimulator implanted in me and at the time I was taking Morphine,Percocet pulse Soma nothing helped the pain! I wanted to die! I thought my life was over.

I was only 34 when I got hurt at work and after 8 years of uncertainty and the thought of not being able to provide for my family I was at my end!

I met Marty in my pain management group and I saw someone who had a way out! I started to walk more and stop feeling sorry for myself and realized there is more to life and I cant give up! Now I’m 51 years old, Marty and I still keep in touch even though I live in TX. now. I visit with him every time I get back home. I am now doing some Acting in films and enjoying life with out all the drugs.”

Thanks Marty

Rick

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Pain: Part Three, 3

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“For many patients, what’s worse is the invisible nature of their condition.

‘You can’t see pain, and this is a very big thing for these people,’ says Gustin.

‘With my work, I can educate people that it’s a physical pain that results from subtle changes in the brain.’

According to Gustin, the research demonstrates that interaction between brain cells is damaged in the brains of people with chronic pain.

‘It’s in an unhealthy way, and we can change that.

The border, the thalamus, can actually close, and we can do that with neuro-feedback.

‘We can change the way the cells talk to each other and we can actually rewrite the painful memories.’

What chronic pain does to your brain: part 2

A model brain bisected IMAGE: THE THALAMUS HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE ‘BORDER IN THE BRAIN’ (FLICKR/DJ NEIGHT/CC BY NC ND 2.0)

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Researchers also found people with chronic pain experienced a reduction in the volume of their prefrontal cortex—the region of the brain that is understood to regulate emotions, personality expression and social behaviour.

This results in a further decline in the neurotransmitter GABA.

‘Every emotion and every cognition is amplified. People with ongoing pain, they anticipate pain with a lot of fear and they worry a lot of the time, and they can’t dampen down these feelings because the prefrontal cortex has lost its ability to dampen down these thoughts.’

Anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts can be big problems for those living with chronic pain, says Gustin.

Twenty per cent try to suicide.

A lot of clients who I see, they can’t stop their worrying, they can’t stop their anxiety, and they ask me why.

‘I think showing them that there are subtle changes in the brain—and because of these subtle brain changes, they have these thoughts and they can’t stop it—it helps them to cope with that, because a lot of times they are stigmatised.

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Part one: THE PAIN PARADOX from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”.

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IMAGE: NEUROSCIENCE IS CLOSER THAN EVER TO UNDERSTANDING HOW CHRONIC PAIN AFFECTS THE BRAIN (MEDIA FOR MEDICAL/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES)
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At least one in five Australians lives with chronic pain, and often the cause is unknown.

 

Scientists are just now discovering the crucial role the brain plays in how pain is experienced, and how it might pave the way for innovative treatment, write Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis.

 

The economic and social burden of chronic pain is enormous.

 

While analgesic drugs can provide pain relief for many, their side-effects, tolerance issues and addictiveness mean that scientists are on the hunt for alternative treatments.

 

Every emotion and every cognition is amplified. People with ongoing pain, they anticipate pain with a lot of fear and they worry a lot of the time.

 

DR SYLVIA GUSTIN, NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH AUSTRALIA

 

The challenge of developing such treatments has led to more research on the brain’s role in chronic pain.

 

‘At the moment we have focused our work to two areas in the brain,’ says Dr Sylvia Gustin from Neuroscience Research Australia. ‘One is called the thalamus—the other is the prefrontal cortex.’

 

Described as the ‘border in the brain’, the thalamus acts as the gateway between the spinal cord and higher brain

 

When you sustain an acute injury there is an opening in the thalamus for information to pass through from the affected body part to the brain.

 

‘This is very important because then we need to heal, we need to relax, we need to look after ourselves. After an acute injury is healed, we know that this border should actually close.’

 

When researching people who experience chronic pain, Gustin identified a key neurological difference: the opening in the thalamus remains open long after acute pain is gone.

 

Gustin’s team found a decrease in the volume of the thalamus, resulting in a decrease of a specific neurotransmitter: gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA.

 

‘What this means,’ Gustin says, ‘is that in people with ongoing pain, this border is always open. Every signal gets amplified and it results in the experience of pain.’

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Healed, a word I refrain from using!

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To many connotations around healed, healing, to use that word. I thought I was completely healed at one time and then PTSD erupted around a stressful situation.

Healing is different for each of us, I will never be happy go lucky with all the healing in the world. My abuse during childhood damaged me, isolated me from attachments with others.

A loner was the only thing my father allowed me to be. Crowds have never felt safe for me.

Trust, not something I am very familiar with. My happiness is not carved out of the things, normal people think constitutes happiness.

My needs are much different than others. Now, they are minimal and that solves many issues.

It was mandatory for me to know my inner world if I wanted to heal.

PTSD has led me down a path, a spiritual journey, a daily meditation practice, a life with gratitude, giving and kindness.

Changes abound.

Approval is needed in small amounts now.

Negative thoughts die from a lack of attention.

I can stay neutral, focused, for days while my trauma wants an audience to power up.

I just do not spend time worrying about my worthiness or unworthiness, anymore.

My life has 90% less worry, doubt and fear. There must be some happiness in so much alleviation of suffering.

However you classify me, healed, still messed up or better, I have taken my life back.

The past finally is the past and my feeling is, I have gained strengths from surviving.

I have wasted enough time on trauma and refuse to waste another breath.

It takes a daily practice to change a 24/7 disorder like Complex PTSD.

The biggest change, I am not a victim, my father has no power over me, I am free and content with me.

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Politics have always been a battle between _______

Jaws” released by Universal Studios in 1975 directed by Steven Spielberg

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The year 1975, the place Amity Island, the battle is the same as now, profit (economy) versus safety. Who wins?

 

Indecision or greed costs lives then and now.

 

The masses rarely have insight into the real danger, the scope of their privileged decisions at our expense..

 

Maybe, why some think used car salesman have more integrity than politicians.

 

Hard to think a spiritual leader like the 14th Dalai Lama in Washington politics.

 

A human being who has devoted his life to having less “Ego” and more equanimity, would not waste his life in politics.

 

Greed, status and power have no foundation in his life.

 

Even my humble spiritual journey sees politics as a cesspool of ultimate power!

 

Politics attracts huge “Egos” competing for status, power and legacy.

 

Happiness seems rare in this backstabbing environment.

 

Mard Gras this year is an example:   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/us/coronavirus-new-orleans-mardi-gras.html

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