Escaping Chronic Pain

I have a long history of running away from my problems. It took my crazy escape from New Jersey all the way to Colorado to truly teach me that my problems would come with me wherever I ran to. I had been to every doctor around New Jersey and Philadelphia to know that nothing was helping relieve my chronic pain. I was in the middle of college going for my teaching degree and I was at a point in my life where drinking every night to numb the pain and crying during the day had literally become my daily routine. Logically, I knew that getting in my car and driving across the country to a state where I barely knew anyone was not going to take away my chronic pain. However, the pain and suffering had become so awful that at that moment it felt like run away or die. That may sound dramatic or extreme but that where my mind was at after over a decade of my life living in hell. I thought that maybe there was this tiny chance that Colorado would have different forms of medicine then were available on the East Coast. I also knew that I had to get away.

I dropped my entire life (which wasn’t much) and drove to Colorado. I continued to search for a cure to my pain but was seeing a different side of medicine. I went to natropaths, nutritionists, acupuncturists, hypnotists, herb specialists, and even one woman who swore her crystals would take all my pain away. I am sure some of these methods may have helped dampen the pain I was feeling but at the same time as seeing all of these specialists I was partying my ass off with my friends. If you have been reading my blog, you know that my rock bottom happened in Colorado. I was through with finding a cure and the self medication of alcohol was starting to ruin my life inside and out. Sometimes things do really happen for a reason and things are revealed to us as Louise Hay points out, at the perfect time and space. For if it had not been for Colorado, I may have never discovered the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. An angel in my life at the time took me there and he refused to let me leave without answers. He believed in me. He knew my pain was real. He knew I had had brain surgery and had seen me fall apart from the life of chronic pain. Although I did not find a cure to my chronic pain in Minnesota, I did find a way to live with my pain naturally and happily. I did not return to New Jersey for a very long time. Following my stay at the Mayo Clinic, I returned to Denver, Colorado and got my Bachelors degree in Social Work.

New Jersey held so many awful memories for me and my life with chronic pain. I enjoyed visiting but it was always scary. I wanted to stay in my healthy chronic pain routine and New Jersey was a frightening place for me. Once I did return to New Jersey I was shocked. I was seeing things I had never really seen before. I had no idea there was a gym a few blocks from my house. I lived on a lake and never really took the time to walk around and enjoy it. Nothing about New Jersey or the town that I lived in had changed. However, everything about myself had. I can never come close to imagining the pain and suffering Nelson Mandela endured during his time spent in prison, which took up one third of his life. I am no where near wise enough to comprehend his love and acceptance for man kind and would never come close to comparing any part of my life story with that of his. However, he has taught man kind so many lessons and I can relate so much of myself with his lessons. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you, yourself have altered. I still live in New Jersey and the area in which I live has not changed, never did. The taxes may have gone up and gas prices are extremely high but aside from small changes New Jersey has remained pretty much the same. I have completely changed from the inside out on how I manage chronic pain and my acceptance to chronic pain has made me a happy, healthy woman who is trying to fulfill her dreams and goals one day at a time. I do not regret my escape to Colorado because I do not believe I would be in the happy place I am now. It truly is amazing to see how much changes on the outside of your world once you change how you feel on the inside.

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Escaping Chronic Pain

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4 thoughts on “Escaping Chronic Pain

  1. Lisa Cooper says:

    If you don’t mind me asking: When you decided to manage the pain naturally, was there an adjustment period where you couldn’t function? What about now, are there times when you need to park your daughter in front of the TV because you can barely walk?
    We took my son with chronic headache disorder off all meds but he is doing neurofeedback and physical therapy and I guess only time will tell why, but he’s functioning better at moderate levels of pain than he was before, but he still can only concentrate in bits and pieces unless the pain is gone or low. He has such a hard time exercising now that he has a headache of differing degrees 24/7. I wish I knew if p̶u̶s̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ strongly encouraging him to do more will do more harm than good.

    • I definitely do not mind you asking. The first time I decided to manage the pain naturally I was helped by the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Center which teaches you to manage the pain naturally. You do not sleep there but you go for eight hours a day. It was my own mistake that I went back to doctors and pain medication years later once I put too much on my plate and took my “easy way out.” When I decided to not take any medicine again I did do it on my own which was one of the hardest things I have ever done but my anxiety medicine helped a little and I did have the tools I needed to manage the pain naturally. It was just extremely hard. Always managed with Kayci though. Would be awesome if she liked TV even a little bit, but I always managed to pull through each day. I am very fortunate that I have never had any difficulty walking even when the pain is horrendous. There are things I can do with Kayci that do not require much movement but at the time that I decided to go natural all the way she was barely walking herself. That is why I always remember the day I decided to go without medicine. I kept reading the quote: “A year from now you will wish you started today.” And, wow so true.

      That is really commendable he is off all meds and doing neurofeedback and physical therapy. I totally understand having a hard time exercising because of the pain. Does the physical therapist have any suggestions? As an adult now, it is easier for me to gage how much I can and cannot do. The teen years are so difficult and that was probably my toughest time. Some way there just has to be balance. It takes a long time to find that balance and your son is WAY ahead of the game for managing chronic pain. YOU really deserve a lot of credit because I know it is hard as a mother and caregiver. You really are doing everything right. I’m always here for questions etc.

  2. Lisa Cooper says:

    Thanks, Jess. It stinks not knowing what is the best course of action. There are various opinions among the professionals about what should be done about the exercise intolerance. The physical therapist wants my son to do a few exercises at the very least and seems to agree that Stephen is pushing himself as much as he can when the pain level is high. Stephen really is a conscientious kid and I should stop worrying when he falls behind with schoolwork. He will eventually learn what he needs to learn. I’m no longer sure what that is any more, anyway. Much as I love “Pride and Prejudice” I have my doubts about whether eventually making him study English Literature will be all that beneficial for him. I want so much for him to be able to manage the pain so he can live a fulfilling life and it seems that you and many others with chronic pain have found that managing your emotions is a big part of that, so I’m really trying to help him with that as well as trying to make getting a good education as “painless” and enjoyable as I can.

    • I promise you….the answers will come to you when you least expect it. Sometimes we just have to let go and take each day as it comes and you are doing the best any Mother could do. Your son as well!!!!!! Major kudos to both of you. You need to give yourself more credit. It isn’t easy for either of you. He is going to be okay. He is on a great path with a supportive mother. So many teens do not have either!!! Keep your head up.

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