The crowded me out of the brain. Making no room for anything else. Distraction was impossible. You feel almost frantic with the pain but must be still.
What do you do? To get through it when you have no distraction?
I ask me this as I am really in the depths of a 9 level frantic level of pain right now. Hoping maybe some writing will be a distraction, but it isn’t. As I said, the pain crowds the brain. I have to focus really hard to write and my head isn’t clear. Too much pain to focus well. Things become quite difficult to do.
I will say this: We cannot function. We have to just cope with the pain.
But we are Immersed in the pain, we what do we do?
We can and should rest and get through it the best we can. Here are some of the things I do to get through it.
Relaxation breathing: I can’t meditate when in high levels of pain. It just makes me think about how much pain I am in. Just not a good idea. But I do relaxation breathing. I close my eyes. I focus on my breathing. I even my breathing out. Take deep breaths in, hold for a second and then slowly release it. And I just repeat until I feel calmer. Because when I am in a lot of pain I am antsy and feel uncomfortable in my skin and often breath differently, more shallow or faster. So these calm everything down.
Mantra: Lay down with your eyes closed and repeat a mantra. Like ‘This too will pass;, which is the one I use because high pain intensities never last forever, it will pass… I just need to get through it.
Sleep: Sleep through it if you can get yourself to sleep. Sleep is a fine way to break a bad pain peak. And if the pain has exhausted you, it is possible you can drift off by doing the first two I mentioned.
Veg: After you have relaxed, get comfortable and watch Netflix or put a movie in. Movies and TV require nothing from us. We don’t need to focus or think or act. We can just lay there and watch. Maybe half pay attention.
Ice packs/heat pads: Get out the heat and ice pads to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Balms and creams: use any menthol creams and pain balms you have to help give you temporary relief. I use a Japanese mint oil for migraines. Blue ice menthol gel for my migraine related neck pain. And Capsaicin creams for my FM pains. Man I slather that migraine balm all over. And an hour later, again. And then again. And I use ice. After the ice, I slather on the menthol neck gel.
There is only so much medication we can take. And medication just doesn’t always cut it. And we can be left with these flare-ups of severe pain that there is nothing we can do about. We just have to get through. We just have to make ourselves as comfortable as humanly possible. Use whatever alternative products that help soothe us.
Then get through it moment by moment. Keeping calm as possible. Keeping as comfortable as possible.
This is a time when emotions can be most turbulent. High pain messes with my moods and they can plummet as a result. I have to avoid thinking about certain things when the pain is high; anything stressful, the future, the pain itself. I can feel the mood since it is triggered by the pain and often the prodrome of the migraine itself but avoid making it worse by spiraling my thoughts out of control. In other words, avoiding thinking about those trigger thoughts. Best way to avoid those thoughts is with distraction. My most common distraction is writing, but it is difficult in this amount of pain. It is also why I am writing this post at this moment. My mood is low, my pain is epic intensity. I don’t want to dwell on thoughts that make me mood worse, so I am engaging in my best distraction. But it is difficult due to the pain levels. It is better to engage in something less brain power-like… such as watching a movie. Which I shall movie onto, as it still is something that will, hopefully, stop me from thinking.
If you find your mood is also an issue and you find a hard time distracting from the mood issues that arise with high pain, like me. One trick I have learned is that writing things down helps with getting the emotions out in a productive fashion. It is, in other words, cathartic. Once it is written, it doesn’t have the same emotional impact. So take a notebook and free-write into it all the thought that boil into your mind when you are in pain. Just rant them all out on paper. Get them out of your system. It does tend to make me feel better. But if you do so make sure you don’t spiral into a deeper depression. In other words, don’t go Deeper into those thoughts. Write them down. Then think about them. Whether they are rational thoughts. What thought would be more reasonable. Why you are feeling that thought. Work it all out on paper. It is two methods; 1) free flow your thoughts to just get them down so you have them emotions expressed and 2) think and dissect your thoughts if you are spirally into a depression. Analyzing them. Then 3) if you feel your thoughts are taking a slippery slope downward, stop, mentally tell yourself to just stop thinking about them at that time, when you are in high pain and distract yourself with something to stop you thinking about it.( I done this when my thoughts get out of hand, rationalizing doesn’t work… and just need to tell myself to stop thinking that path).