I thought that today I would turn the focus towards something that I feel is a vital part of coping with our CRPS. Learning to focus on things other than our pain can be hard because it almost consumes us, and at the best of times can be hard not to think about. I have to be the first to admit that when I can take my focus away from the pain, then I go for longer periods of time with reduced pain. That is if nothing happens to cause an increase in the pain. It’s the combination of trying to stay relaxed, and focused on something other than the pain that is so hard.
I sometimes feel as if all of my time is spent talking about my pain and CRPS itself to others around us as well as those closest to us. No! Let me rephrase that and say that I am always talking about my pain. I think it’s important to think carefully about how we talk about our pain, because if we don’t then it can feed into our symptoms and make our condition worse. However on the flip side we want to make others aware of what this disease is all about and raise an awareness to others. On those rare days that I don’t talk about pain or about the pain I’m in, it’s almost refreshing and to some degree you feel as if things in your life are normal.
When your in constant pain it can be hard to just forget about the pain. I’m not saying this is what you have to do, however I am saying that you have to look for ways to distract yourself from it. If you suffer from CRPS then I’m sure you understand when I say that you are surrounded in a world of pain. The way I see it there are two parts to this world that now surround us. There is the physical pain that we suffer from and then there is the way in which we deal with the pain. The physical pain from day to day can be really hard to control and to some extent be out of our control. The way in which we deal with it is within your control. So this being said you might think that the two parts aren’t related but they are. The way in which you deal with it can directly reflect on the physical pain that you feel.
I’m no doctor and am not giving any medical advice, but what I’ve found is that by listening and applying what my therapists tell me to do can help me with the physical pain. The more you think about your pain can make it worse so I have found that if I can manage to shift my thoughts away from the pain then I can sometimes be successful in reducing the pain. So how do you do this? There isn’t an easy answer. Not talking about it all the time as I’ve already mentioned can help. Another thing that works is taking on a project. It gets me excited about the project and getting ready for it. Right now we are doing a small reno in our kitchen. It’s something that has my mind occupied at the moment, but even more important helps me forget about the pain for just a minute. Even if it’s for just that minute that I have some relief then you take it!
The reality is that if you live with CRPS then you live in a world surrounded in pain. What do you do to take your mind off of it! Do you allow it to control you or do you try to take back what it has taken piece by piece?