Pain resistance for long term sufferers

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Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:02 am

Do you think your resistance to bearing pain has weakened over the years, or you can bear pain more than you use to.

In my own experince I can defintely say, that I cannot bear pain any more. Any kind of pain, not just head pain. My resistance to pain is now practically non existent, I hate it, I rebell against even low levels of pain, which in the past would be nothing to me; with this kind of pain I was working all, day, then taking care of my family, cooking and ironing and doing all the normal famlily things.

But, thanks to Gabapentin and triptans my pain is mostly controlled very effectively, and so it ever reaches the past high levels that I have suffered, before these lifesavers were available to me.It changed my life for better, there is no doubt about it.
But these days, I can honestly say that I become most impatient and annoyed even at the slightest sign of pain: I cannot concentrate, I cannot function, I am distracted and irritable, and anything above level 5 sends me into a total panic.

I suppose after decades of living with pain, my body is telling me that enough is enough and that "it" wants some rest and peace from the stress of it.

So, I was wondering, if my experience is something other people share.
Or, maybe you are better at handling pain now then in the past, because you are more use to it?
It would be helpful to know.


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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:00 pm

I think the migraines leave us less tolerant. I know that even small things, getting too hot or dropping a can on my toes can start the migraine going. It's like the body amplifies moderate stressors rather than dampens them as it should do. Our wiring is screwed up.
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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:55 am

Our wiring is screwed up.
Good description Migrainegirl. Yes, our wiring is ultra sensive, responding with panic to any sensory stimulous with inappropriate force and this results in pain. I also think that our resistance both to triggers, and to pain gets worse and worse over the years. Our poor bodies are just worn out from constant stress of fighting back.


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Pain tolerance

Post  doximom on Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:59 am

As I get older, I get less tolerant and more fearful of the pain. I'm just so sick and tired of it.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  sailingmuffin on Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:53 pm

Hi All,

In my case, the migraine pain has probably made me more tolerant of other pain. I am not sure if this is because the migraine pain is worse than the other pain or if I have just gotten more tolerant over the years.

For example- I once badly broke my toe (it was my little toe and was at a right angle to my foot) and I literally debated if I should get the bone set or go into the neuro's for an IV for a migraine. I figured that I should get the bone set. Still, I think the migraine blocked the other pain. On one occasion, when I had some autonomic nerve testing done- they attempted to check my pain tolerance. They checked the pain tolerance by having me put my hand in ice water for up to five minutes. When I lasted the entire time, the staff seemed baffled and my mother said- "Well, she has slept with ice packs on her head during bad migraines for years."

Also, I think the fact that acute pain and chronic pain are different. acute pain goes away- chronic pain doesn't. And I know that our wiring is just messed up.

Pain free days,
sailingm
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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:09 am

You raise and interesting point Sailingmuffin. Yes, I also find that even now my resistance to other kinds of pain is better then to the head pain.

At times I even find it difficult to describe how much I hurt in cases of "other" pain. I once stubbed my little toe very badly so it swelled and all went blue and hurt a lot, but I just kept ignoring it saying it is nothing and wearing sandals, until I got tires of sandals and decided to have it X-rayed. It showed that I have damaged the bone near my joint and the Dr was surprised I could live with the pain for so long. It took a long time to heal.

Yes, like you said, I can easily bear bad pain when I know that it is temporary in nature.
BUt I also have fibromyalgia and lots of body pain and discomfort connected with the condition and this kind of pain, although it is not very severe it is much more difficult to bear, since I know that it can drag on and on, and that it will return again.

So, I suppose our reaction to pain is never exactly the same.
But I have noticed that with years my resitance to any head pain is wearing out. It just gets me down more quickly. I have no resiliance needed to keep fighting it. I am so tired, tired, tired of it.

And no, I do not suffer from chronic head pain, I don't have head pain every day. I don't have it today for exmaple, but I know it will come back again, and this makes all the difference. I know what to expect and it makes it more difficult to bear.
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Re: pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Indyjanie on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:50 pm

I can identify with you Mini, I have had migraines since I was 8 and am now 62. Over the years I had kept hoping better control of my M was just around the corner. That someday I would have these evil things less & less. But that has never happened long term. I will get short term remiss ions only to find the drug has quit working. As of late I have been so depressed as again a drug that I took worked better than anything ever has(trazadone.) you get to the point of thinking you may actually have found something that works. Now my resistance to any annoyance, pain or otherwise has me down & hopeless. This is not me. Feel like the lights have gone out. Always have been a very happy, positive, strong girl who could beat this fierce thing. Migraines now every 3 days then free of HA 2-3 days & it just repeats! Sick of this. Way over dealing w it anymore! Anyone find a way to get your " groove back" when you are in this state of mind under such circumstances?

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Seaine on Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:25 pm

I find that my tolerance of pain is much higher, including head pain. I noticed that after I stopped eating artificial food colorings, my headaches were much less painful. Now that I don't deal with the extreme pain anymore, my pain tolerance has gone down. It seems to adjust to the average level of my pain.

My ability to handle situations emotionally has decreased as a response to always being in pain, though. I get mad or sad at the drop of a hat now.
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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Cindy*W on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:58 pm

I'm with you guys.

Seems like my pain tolerance is much less than it used to be.

I tolerate migraine pain better because I have to, but when it comes to other types of pain, now that is a different story.

Indyjanie, I was just discussing with the pain doc Tuesday how people don't get that when you have even 2 migs a week it is hell becauses you have the day or two as the pain builds up and then after it breaks you have the following day to recover.

That's why my doctor decided that daily pain meds were best instead of constantly trying to chase the pain.

You know I have noticed that in the midst of a mig even a bp cuff is totally irritating to me.

Sometimes I just want to rip the darn thing off.

Anyway, definitely I am more sensitive to pain other than migraine pain.

Interesting subject.

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Lower resistance

Post  Mini on Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:55 am

You touched on something that is really important Cindy: that ultra sensitivity to so many things not just pain. With me nowadays it is not just during M but at othe times.
Everything irritates me, sometimes to the point of inner hysteria.

I cannot have anything close to my neck, so roll neck jumpers (which is in past I loved to wear for sheer convenience); necklaces, buttoned shirt collars, but most of all, something totally insignificant to other people, those labels they keep attaching to all garments, and which are so difficult to remove without damaging your clothes.Also some hard stiching, or studs on jeans drives me mad. Many other such things keep irritating me so much, that I have a compulsion to rip my top off, no matter what, no matter where I am. Not very convenient.

Alsdo some fabrics unless they are "giving" and completely silky and smooth to touch. These usually means expensive fabrics, but not always. Some synthetics are fine, provided they feel silky or soft like fleece and they can "breathe".

I had some of these sensitivities in the past, even as a child, but after decades and decades of pain it is all worse, even over the last. So, recently I had to clear my wardobes of many things that suddenly I can no longer wear, which I was still wearing last year.

I do not loger share this particular problem with other people, even people who know my long list of sensitvites to light, smells etc. I do not want to burden them with all that, or seem totally insane.
I am sure that some people think of us, with all our various triggers are mad, or unstable or crazy.

Yet, just like Indyjanie all my life I have been strong and positive, even when it was very, very difficult I always think of that day after the bout of M stops, and what I am going to do. But it all gets harder, and harder, and I am now not as strong as I was in the past, at fighting pain and all these other strange discomforts.
Thank you very much for all your contributions, I found it very helpful.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:18 pm


I cannot have anything close to my neck, so roll neck jumpers (which is in past I loved to wear for sheer convenience); necklaces, buttoned shirt collars, but most of all, something totally insignificant to other people, those labels they keep attaching to all garments, and which are so difficult to remove without damaging your clothes.Also some hard stiching, or studs on jeans drives me mad. Many other such things keep irritating me so much, that I have a compulsion to rip my top off, no matter what, no matter where I am. Not very convenient.

Mini, I found that really interesting. My brother has the exact same problem. He cannot wear any shirt with a collar and has to have all labels removed. If anyone touches his neck or shoulder it is instant migraine. The same with his feet, one touch and he is into an immediate migraine. He has occipital neuralgia from a car accident over 20 years ago that has lead to these problems. Do you have a similar injury?
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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:47 pm

IT is interesting what you say about your brother. No one understands that I can be so sensitive, this is why I don't dare to mention it to many people. But I totally empathise with your brother in his predicament, I totally understand how he feels.
No, I've never had any significant injuries (except a torn caritiledge in my knee, which I was told was quite gradual process).

BTW this sense of irritation is not actually causing me M, but I think it gets much worse around the predrome phase, when I also become more sensitive to any noise, smells and bright light as well.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Sara79 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:18 am

I have times I do the uber sensitive thing too. When I'm struggling with a bad migraine, one with Alice in Wonderland syndrome, I have to put clothes on inside out, because the seams drive me bananas. I'm careful with what I wear, and I've been cutting tags out or refusing to buy certain outfits if they tried on too uncomfortable. I almost had to make them take the crinoline out of my wedding gown, but we were able to find a really long slip so I could tolerate it.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:01 pm

Sara, what you say here: I have to put clothes on inside out, because the seams drive me bananas. is exactly what I do. For example I did it last night with my pyjamas top, so I am not wearing it tonigh.
I managed to find some lovely pure cotton vests which are very soft and have no side seems. I love them and often wear them under my warm tops and sweaters this winter.


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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Sara79 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:44 am

I hate that either of us have to deal with it, but I'm glad I'm not alone. I've done similar things since childhood. My mother would put me to bed in footie pj's as a tot, and the insides itched so badly I'd wake up having peeled out of them every time in my sleep.

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Sensory issues

Post  doximom on Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:48 am

Ah, so we're not alone! It seems we migraineurs are more prone to sensory issues. I cannot stand to wear anything binding. At work I am required to wear an ID badge and it drives me nuts. Luckily it does not trigger a migraine, but it sure makes it worse when I do have one.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  lowbrainpower on Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:59 pm

My tolerance to pain is now so high that any physical pain to any other part of my body besides my head is laughable. I often tell myself that I would rather be paralyzed but still able to use my brain, pain free, and think straight, than to live in this hell. I'm sure I would be saying the opposite if I was in that situation, however at the moment I would give both my legs to be able to have a clear head and be a human being again.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:13 pm

I use to be like you when I was younger, I was so use to those high levels of head pain, that nothing else mattered, and I often surprised doctors who apologised that this or other procedure will hurt, but not even blinking because my pain tolerance was so high.

But living with M (migraines) since childhood and after of decades of living with pain, I am at long last having some relief from extreme head pain with painless periods in between thanks to combination of preventative (Gabapentin), triptan (Imitrex) and occitipal injections of steroid and lidocaine.

Now, I find that instead of being more resistant to pain, I now resent it bitterly. Not only any head pain, but any other pain ( I have fibromyalgia as well) and I protest when I can. I am just sooooo tired of pain, I have had enough.
Still I must admit that I still deeply appreciate those painless days and it makes me happy to be "me" again.
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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  lowbrainpower on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:26 pm

Hi Mini,

Do you mind if I ask what dose of Gabapentin you are on? I tried 900mg for a week and flushed it down the toilet because I was tired of the waiting game.

Also, how does the Imitrex work for you? Do you have injections or do you take it orally?

And where is the occipital steroid injection? Is that near/in your eye?

I have noticed that the only thing that allows me to not focus on my head pain is Opiates (hydrocodone, tramadol, etc.). The pressure/pain is still there, but it gives me a 'whatever' attitude and allows me to ignore it. The problem is these effects diminish as I build tolerance to it, and I hate being on that crap 24/7, so it's a lose lose no matter what.

Maybe opiates will work for you; it's worth a shot, especially if you're having less pain than usual and can get by on a fewer doses of these opiates.

I heard marijuana works well too, but have never tried it.

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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  Mini on Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:28 am

Lowbfrainpower, I take 1800 Gabapenting sometimes over stressful time I take 2100mg, but not very often.

I find that Imitrex works for me best of all, and I take only during my bouts of M which often take about 5 days to burn out. I take 100mg orally, I found that 50mg is not effective.
IN between these bouts I am usually M free, even if through lack of sleep I do get some low level headache. Then I only use OTC medicine like tylanol or tylenol with caffeine mix.

Occipital nerve injection are at the base of my skull, not far from the centre of my spine. I usually have it on one side (left) since my M pain is usually on my left side. But you can have it on both sides.
I do not find them vary painful BTW and I can have them repated if I need to, every 3 months.

I must say I was told by my neuro that all opiates get you very quickly into a rebound situation, so I do not use them except very, very ocassionaly I use codeine tylenol tablets, when I run out of IMitrex which here in UK you can get OTW without prescription.

I hope that this is of some help.
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Re: Pain resistance for long term sufferers

Post  lowbrainpower on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:38 am

Yes it has, thank you for your reply.

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