Mixed Signals


When a person with severe chronic pain is at their worst, rather when the PAIN is at it’s worst….a strange phenomenon happens.  Brain  The brain starts getting all scrambled up.  Especially if the person has more than one source or illness that causes pain.  When all these pain signals are trying to shoot messages up to the brain, almost like a circuit board, the brain sort of “shorts out” and is only able to process so many pain signals at once…..thus, some of the weaker pain signals do not get processed.  Which means that person may not necessarily perceive all the pain in the body….but rather just the “loudest” pain signals.

In other words, the brain gets confused and jumbled up….something like a primitive “computer crash”….and it has trouble keeping things in order and retaining it’s clarity.  When there is an overabundance of pain signals firing off every second for hours, or days, or weeks…..the overworked brain is taxed and begins to cause it’s own signals, such as confusion, or inability to concentrate or even function in a very basic capacity.  The person may notice the sensation of being “stuck” in a place where they are unable to carry on a conversation with ease, or be able to read a book and retain anything (like reading the same paragraph over and over many times without any comprehension of what they have read).  woman-with-head-in-hands  It can be quite disconcerting, when the person not only is trying to deal with severe pain, but then their brains start shorting out and not functioning at their optimal capacity.

During times like this, sleep is extremely important….it almost acts as a “reboot” for the poor, overworked brain.  But unfortunately many times chronic pain does not allow the person to get any sleep at all, or if they do sleep, it is not deep, restorative sleep but disrupted, choppy and not enough to receive all the benefits of a good eight hours.

So there is another quandry added to the mix.  Severe chronic pain, a confused, blurry brain and not enough sleep to help “re-set” the brain and help the body heal and be restored.

The only way to fix this, if that’s even possible, is to make every effort to get the pain under control as quickly as possible.  Eliminate any of the unnecessary activities, delegate chores to other members of the family or friends willing to help you….in other words, do anything it takes to bring the pain down to a manageable level as quickly as possible.  Don’t keep pushing yourself beyond your limit.  priorities  Don’t keep trying to ignore the pain and keep going.  Just stop.  Take a look around and recognize what is happening.  If your brain is starting to feel scrambled, you know you have to take any means necessary to get what you need.  You must use your common sense and take care of yourself.  You need to get off your feet and cancel meetings and re-schedule appointments (unless they are doctor appointments of course)…..re-arrange your priorities and take care of yourself first and foremost.

I am learning this as we speak.  I am in so much pain right now, I cannot read, I cannot sleep….I’m a mess.  I have been rebelling against the pain for months now and I have ended up in a very bad place.  So I am taking the bull by the horns and I’m getting serious about my priorities.  I have to.  I am going to make sleep a priority.  I am going to learn how to rest my body and my brain several times a day and not feel guilty about it.  I am going to choose to stop pushing myself beyond the limits my physical ailments have set for me (instead of trying to speed right by them without a glance).  It’s time to get real, and stop acting like I am Superwoman.  My job is no longer going to rule my life.  (I am a self employed antique dealer – 17 years now)  I will not break my neck to fill orders faster than a speeding bullet.  An extra day or two to get an order shipped will not cause the earth to slip off it’s axis.  I am more important, my health is more important and everything else is going to have to take a back seat from now on.

I have been faced once again with another strong lesson from my greatest teacher, my chronic body.  Either do it right or you will be sorry.  Respect the pain and the illness instead of mock it and rebel against it and fight it and struggle against it, because you can’t possibly win.  its-all-about-me You can’t win….unless you choose to cooperate and do whatever it takes to help your self be as well as you can be.

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About teeks55

I'm a sleep deprived antique dealer with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, diabetes & more. Love hubby, cats, books & humor! Avid tea drinker. Poker player. Pain fighter.
This entry was posted in antiques, Best Self, Challenges, Changes, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clear Mind, courage, Emotions, Empowerment, Endurance, Escape, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Focus, Health, Hope, Individualism, Inner Strength, Insomnia, Life Journey, Life Path, Medication, Memory Loss, Osteoarthritis, Pain Medication, Pain Scale, Peace, Plantar Fasciitis, Sadness, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Short Term Memory Loss, Sleep Disorder, Tendinitis. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mixed Signals

  1. Michelle says:

    what a great epiphany! i have learned the same thing, only after going to a pain class. If you are interested, here is what I learned from that pain class. I have found it just the “slap in the face” i needed to hep me start to control my pain, rather than letting it control me.
    http://trynabpainfreemomma.wordpress.com/lets-get-movin/

  2. juliasarahelizabeth says:

    Ok, you are absolutely right. I really need to make a promise to myself to turn off electronics at 9:30 so my brain can get to sleep. I really need to start retraining my body.

  3. tlohuis says:

    I can relate to everything you just said, however, I have been in my bed, taking it easy, for the better part of the past 4 years. I’ve had some short periods of time where I felt “somewhat” better and was able to visit a few friends, made it to one movie, then the fibro started with another flare, I did some cleaning and that’s all it took to cause the fibro to quickly go into a downward spiral, of which I’ve been struggling with, now, for 7 weeks. I’m taking it easy. I know I can’t do anything other than go to doctor appointments and I just cannot get any relief and it’s driving me mad. I hope you can get yours under control and get back up on your feet and feeling better soon.
    Peace and HUGS,
    Tammy:)

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