Friday, January 28, 2011

Tips for Dealing with Chronic Pain

Thank you for caring... you who genuinely want to know how I'm doing. A concerned, yet puzzled look in your eyes asks, "What in the world is wrong with you, girl? I really, truly want to understand this health thing you are going through!"

I know, I know. I'm sorry for not explaining better... fuller... and leaving you with more questions than you had in the first place. Part of it is, there's just been so much, and each snarl is tangled up with others. It takes so long to explain – untangle everything with words. Chances are, if I'm able to spend time with you, I am probably in one of the few, precious decent hours and I'd rather just forget for a while. Just enjoy your company.

But I do want you to understand. I like when you ask.

So, here it is. A thorough answer to your question. For you special ones who really care to know. A mixture of what fills my time, physical maladies, decisions I make, emotions, what my relationships look like, spiritual journey... and that should about do it. A silly little way of wrapping it all into one summary: A list of Tips for Dealing with Chronic Pain... most I've tried... a few I've only considered... Maybe it will help you understand the nature of the battle a little more.

*If you have rheumatism, lupus, cancer, chemotherapy, allergies, asthma, diabetes, migraine, environmental illness, MS, fibromyalgia, or any other "syndrome," we have some things in common. You may be able to relate to the following. Like y'all, I have an autoimmune disorder with chronic pain, adrenal fatigue, and chemical sensitivity. Mine just doesn't have a name. Doctors call it an "unidentified autoimmune disorder."

  • Drink saltwater every morning to raise your blood pressure and decrease the risk of blacking out, passing out, and nausea.
  • Drink one glass of probiotic (which tastes like the smell of horse pee) every morning to strengthen your immune system.
  • Get pregnant so it will go away for 9-10 months.
  • Don't get pregnant as it will come back much worse and more debilitating after the pregnancy. Besides, pregnancy will cause you to develop peripartum cardiomyopathy.
  • Don't have a 24-hour labor and C-section if you are hypotensive or hypoglycemic.
  • Eat six small meals a day to help stabilize your blood sugar and blood pressure.
  • Don't nurse a 100th percentile baby for six months as it will dehydrate your already too-weak body, putting you at risk for orthostatic hypotension, passing out, kidney stones, and a myriad of other problems.
  • Nurse your baby. It's best for him.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Look at your child. It will help you persevere.
  • Get any immunization the doctor suggests. You have a compromised immune system and it would be very dangerous for you to catch something.
  • Don't get immunizations in late pregnancy or after delivery; it will compromise your immune system further.
  • Don't get childhood immunizations; they will compromise your immune system and 27 years later you will end up with chronic pain, and unable to sufficiently care for your own child, whom you will choose not to immunize.
  • Don't get immunizations at all. Getting one will worsen your immune problem.
  • Don't catch colds, flu, or any virus. It will be almost impossible to manage yourself and your child short of having a live-in nurse.
  • Have surgery to prevent infections.
  • Don't have surgery, to prevent months of excruciating pain, months in bed, months of inability to care for your infant, reactions to anesthesia and other drugs, weight loss, vomiting large amounts of blood, and more time in the hospital.
  • Don't get in a car accident.
  • Don't sprain your ankle. That pain is no competition and it won't work as a distraction.
  • Experience one kidney stone. That pain will distract you temporarily, and you will at least know that a sharper pain exists.
  • Don't get your wisdom teeth out. Especially not with all those other surgeries, anesthesias, and powerful drugs around the same time. Who knows what all that did to your system.
  • Pray for a sense of humor.
  • Miraculous healing.
  • No miraculous healing. Every prayer for healing with no results is an attack on your faith. If you insist on praying, find something else to pray about.
  • Elimination and rotation diets to address food/chemical allergies.
  • Control and cleanse your environment. Eliminate anything toxic you might breathe, eat, hear, smell, touch, and drink. You most likely have environmental illness and are allergic to basically everything.
  • Don't control your environment. Control is a product of fear, which is an evil spiritual root.
  • Vitamins and supplements.
  • No vitamins and supplements. They only help for six months and then become a waste of money.
  • Take hormones.
  • No hormones. They will make you bleed frequently and cause fatigue.
  • Drugs for temporary pain relief.
  • Take antidepressants that double as pain-relief.
  • No drugs. Drugs are really a form of sorcery ("pharmakeia") in the Bible. They also compromise your liver and heart. They don't work well with a sensitive stomach. They cause you to have anxiety attacks. And don't forget that withdrawal from pain drugs will cause you to break out in itchy hives all over your body. But go ahead and try them if you're desperate.
  • Emotional freedom technique (tapping).
  • Hypnosis.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Homeopathy.
  • Herbs.
  • Essential oils.
  • Yoga.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Chiropractic.
  • No EFT, hypnosis, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, essential oils, yoga, relaxation techniques, or chiropractic. Their spiritual roots are evil. Also you will lose a lot of money because most are not quick fixes.
  • Get rich or pray for money.
  • Don't waste energy making homemade baby food and homemade meals.
  • Use any energy to cook nutritious, homemade meals. Let your husband buy groceries, do the dishes, clean, vacuum, get up at night with your child, get up in the morning with your child, make breakfast, bathe the child, and any other housework. Even when he is sick.
  • Do the laundry since you can do a lot of that sitting down.
  • Don't get any exercise. It'll make you feel worse.
  • Do everything extremely slowly.
  • Do no more than three sedentary activities everyday. Pace yourself.
  • Read inspirational books.
  • Don't read. You won't be able to concentrate, and the mental exertion will increase fatigue.
  • Watch TV. It doesn't require concentration so it's pretty much the only thing you can do to get your mind off the pain.
  • Don't watch TV. It will give your child ADHD.
  • Sleep: uninterrupted, regular, routine, a lot.
  • Lose plenty of sleep trying to figure out which sins are blocking your healing.
  • Lose plenty of sleep trying to figure out what you are supposed to be learning, because everything has a purpose.
  • Accept it as your thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). A gift from God to keep you humble.
  • Do not accept it. Pain and suffering only come from the pit of hell. Only good and perfect gifts are from God (James 1:17). If anyone tells you your pain is from God, just say, "Get behind me, Satan!"
  • Address the spiritual roots of your disease: Stop sinning, cast out demons, and be delivered.
  • Don't have children.
  • Have children and pray that God will fill in many, many gaps.
  • Enjoy every possible moment with your child, and learn to show love when you feel pain and misery.
  • Get over guilt for being "lazy." As long as you are being the best mom you can with what you have, you are still a hard worker. No matter how lazy you look or feel.
  • Talk about it with loved ones.
  • Don't talk about it; you will be misunderstood and feel worse.
  • Just say "thank you" when people tell you how good you look. Or, that you have much more color in your face today. They can't see a broken leg or chicken pox, therefore they may suggest it's all in your head. Try not to punch anyone. You know too well this vicious monster that periodically tries to eat you and then goes in to remission, however invisible it may be to acquaintances.
  • Don't buy into the fad of saying how you really are when asked. Just respond, "Good" – even if it's a lie. People will think you're in denial and that you should "open up," but those people don't have to spend the majority of their time thinking about pain and misery. The more you have to talk about it, the less time you can spend in the positive moments of life. If you are able to be around friends and family, don't talk too much about illness. Just enjoy.
  • Get counseling.
  • Don't get counseling, unless the counselor has chronic pain herself.
  • Support groups.
  • No support groups, which focus on and thereby glorify the disease. Only join groups which make faith in Jesus the common theme.
  • Despair, looking forward only to death while keeping the faith (Job 6:10, Revelation 21:4).
  • Do not despair; find hope.
  • Go to healing conferences.
  • Read healing books.
  • Watch healing DVDs.
  • Read healing verses.
  • Read Mercola articles.
  • Try several doctors who order several tests.
  • Take everyone's advice. And always give it 100 percent because you have a small child depending on you for happiness.
  • Repent over and over for handling it the wrong way.
  • Don't listen to anyone. Instead, close your eyes, plug your ears, and try to hear God's voice in the silence.
  • Miss all birthdays, holidays, funerals, weddings, baptisms, vacations, and family gatherings.
  • Attend all birthdays, holidays, funerals, weddings, baptisms, vacations, and family gatherings – and pay for it together with your husband and child.
  • Marry a strong man who can sacrifice everything and learn to become sensitive.
  • Marry a man who will work seven days a week and evenings so you can afford to have chronic pain.
  • Don't marry a man who will work seven days a week and evenings because you'll need him at home to take care of you and the baby.
  • Put your child in day care so he doesn't have to go through it with you.
  • Don't put your child in day care. You know it's best for a child to be with his mommy.
  • Avoid guilt and self-conflict at all costs. These are the spiritual roots of your disease.
  • Pray a lot, whenever you are coherent.
  • Find people to pray for you when you can't.
  • Pray for good friends, and ask them for help constantly.
  • Find people to show love to your child when you can't.
  • Live near your mom.
  • Don't have any other problems.
  • See not the inevitable failure of your life in general, or the ever-obvious hopelessness that is our fallen world. Instead, look for fleeting hidden moments of love, kindness, and beauty. Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).


Rebecca said...

Wow, Kati...this is powerful and heartbreaking and courageous. Thank you for writing this. The big picture of it all, the contradictory messages you receive...the enormity of it all is unbelievable. My heart breaks over all that you have been through and I am in awe of your sheer survival.

I have so wanted to be there for you through all of this and have so not known how...please forgive me for the times I said dumb things or didn't understand.

Kati Potratz said...

Thank you so much for reading this. Looking back, still alive, I am in awe as well, and I think that is a testimony of God's faithfulness. You have been there for me in every way you could, and it's meant so much! :)