Getting A Handle On Pain Before It Gets A Handle On Me
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Yesterday, I saw my neurologist for migraines and chronic nerve pain. She stressed to me that when I'm starting to get a migraine or nerve pain, I should take my medicine instead of trying to "tough it out" and letting it get out of control. Apparently pain that is out of control is very bad for my overall health and I'm still not paying enough attention to it. I have a large tolerance for pain and when I start to get really uncomfortable with it, that means it will shortly be out of control. Pain that is out of control is bad for your body in so many ways. It is especially hard on the blood pressure and the heart.
It must be karma because today I had my MRI and I was in a moderate amount of pain after it was over. The pain comes from the position that I was in for the MRI and from the fact that I didn't move for an hour while the test was in progress. My shoulder muscles went into spasms so badly that the MRI technician had to re-do one part of the test. He initially thought that it was do to me moving my arm but I told him about the severe spasms after it was over. I was surprised that he didn't have to re-do the very last sequence too because the shoulder blade and back part of the shoulder were positively jumping. I guess it didn't affect the actual part of the shoulder being tested.
I drove from Tampa to the Y on my way home. At the Y, I did 80 minutes on the recumbent cycle. Today I did machine intervals as opposed to the manual intervals that I did yesterday. The intervals that I did today were 2 minutes high and 2 minutes slightly lower in difficulty. It was a good workout and I was sopping wet when I finished. I also felt exceptionally tired, which wasn't a good thing. Now back to my reference to karma. I felt okay all the way up until I got into the shower. Then it hit me! The pain that I experienced earlier in the morning came back along with the start of a headache. Since my doctor and I had covered exactly what I should do when I saw her yesterday, I put my plan into action.
First, I turned down the temperature of the water in my shower. I cut my shower time to as little as possible. I sat down as I dressed and re-packed my gym bag slowly as I breathed slowly and evenly. Then, I walked out to my car and slowly put my things in the back. I carefully drove home.
Next, I headed for the refrigerator and had some yogurt and drank some water with my medicine. I told hubby that I was working on a bad headache. I had a pile of mail, which I placed on the bed and read while I lay down and rested. Hubby came in and lay on the bed next to me to check on my progress. Once the medicine kicked in, I put hot packs on my spasming muscles and lay back down. Ahhhh, the combination of medication and hot packs on my shoulder and neck got the migraine and spasms under control within 3-4 hours. I still had a pounding in my head so a took a couple tylenol and the pain lessened even more. I could still feel the throbbing along the side of my neck but it was under control.
I honestly didn't think that the pain was that bad after the MRI or I would never have gone to the gym to do a vigorous workout. Some types of pain are hard for me to feel until they get out of control (My doctor says that this is very common for people who suffer from chronic pain). I am so glad that I went over my new procedure yesterday with my doctor. Who would have thought that I'd be using what I learned today. My time as the computer needs to be shorter so I will stop typing now and go take the second dose of my medicine and go to bed. Tomorrow, I will be very careful because I'm sure I will have residual pain. I will not do vigorous exercise tomorrow in order to let my body recover. Exercise in itself is good for me to do after a bout with pain but it has to be gentle. So, gentle it will be. I got a handle on pain before it got a handle on me. I feel better already!