I am learning that there really is no such thing as can't.

Its funny analyzing your thought process, thinking through the possible whys and reasons behind your actions and emotions...why did I react like that, why did I say that, why did I decide to do this over the other choices? "Why?" is such an open question and sometimes its scary finding out the truth.

My initial thoughts on coming off tramadol and decreasing gabapentin were almost of panic as much as I am ashamed, its the truth. Why? It was a lot of fear and catastrophizing. In my head all I could think of was my upcoming big exams (feeling I'm going to fail), the pain last year that meant I got put on the tramadol in the first place. And that I had turned the meds into my validation and justify that I have pain. I'm not proud of my thought process in relation to the drugs but at the same time this is real, this is my life and this blog is my place to be real to you. I never felt like I just NEEDED the drugs, and I had no trouble stopping them despite the withdrawal symptoms but I still felt like without them life would just suck in general (and I didnt want that after 9 months of what I felt was reasonable pharmaceutical managemtent).

Do I really need drugs to validate pain? This is a hard question to answer but simple too, NO I dont need drugs to prove I am in pain and really why do I need to prove I am in pain anymore? I should be working towards it becoming just another part of my life like having to arms and needing to wear glassing to see properly. People dont make a big deal about those and I think what I want to work towards is CRPS becoming just like my slight vision impairment, something of no greater importance (I dont want to say it is not important because I think it still is, just as it is a part of my life now but it is no more important than anything else), I dont want to be known because I have pain, rather known because I know how to help people get to the same point I am working towards.

I am now in more pain than I was when I was taking tramadol, but now I have an opportunity to use all the the tools I have been shown or learnt over the last year or so of searching for information and also the little that has been presented to my class.
I had a long email conversation with an amazing lady in Canada who has such an understanding of pain science that I wish that oneday I will understand some things like her. She asked some thoughtful questions and made me really think about my faulty coping mechanisms. And that maybe some of the things I'm doing might not being treating my nervous system in the best way.

The one I let go first of all is being calm, as soon as things happen out of my control I lose control of me and also loose any sense of being cool calm and collected. I need to change the way I react in order to control my physiological and psychological body reactions.

I feel like I have an advantage in a sense; I have access to many resources due to my studies, I am in contact with people who have such a great understanding and who work with people in chronic pain. I am human and I make mistakes but I also have some baseline knowledge so I can see what I'm doing and how it is affecting me physically but more importantly emotionally because afterall, pain has such an emotional component.

In the last few days I have had time to reflect while sitting on the bus (I've turned a negative into a positve :), its about half an hour of time in the morning and then the evening, to think; about either whats going to happen through the day or how I think the day went. It also gives me a chance to day dream, relax and notice that this 'reflective' time is something I have missed out of my day for a long time. I'm consciously telling myself to slow down, to relax, to not worry about exams, to breathe and you know what I think in time this 'mind regulation' will be just as good as drugs (and better because it doesnt include toxins) and that is my goal...

I have proved I can still get out of bed in the morning with less drugs in my system, ok so the first few were harder than I thought, but the point is I did it.

The next step is learning to stay calmer and not get frustrated with my body, I'm going to try the whole 'go with the flow' thing and see, and if my feet say "take those shoes off now" you know what? I think I will listen...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this post, I know it's not easy to share these kinds of thoughts. I'm glad you did share them, they are making me think about my experiences too.