Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity

I wanted to spend a little time telling you about something that has really helped improve my life. I used to spend a big part of my day dwelling on pain. I had lived with pain so long that it was a part of my life. I didn’t know how to overcome it. No matter what I did or took, the pain would seep through. I found that I was no longer living, but rather existing.

Last year one of my doctors told me about a program called PRC. It stands for the Pain Rehab Clinic. Its at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. They told me if I went I would have to be very dedicated and be willing to work hard to get my life back. I was in a place that I was ready to give up. That I couldn’t live my life like I was. No pain med worked anymore. I needed to do something if I wanted to find any joy in life again.

PRC is a 30 day program. Last November I went to the one for teenagers. The kids there were like me. Dwelling in pain. They had lived a big part of their lives trying to figure out how to survive with pain. We all needed help learning how to manage it.

We all learned how to have a productive day. We learned to focus on other things. Our day included working out for an hour everyday. Recreational therapy, art therapy, group therapy and learning other ways to heal our bodies without pain medications. We learned that we may have to accept that we would never be pain free, but we could still live a good life. It’s not easy to accept that you’re never going to be like everyone else and live without pain. But learning that we could better control it was key. Did you know that pain meds only work for 5-7 days and then they really don’t work anymore? You just keep needing more and more and then they cause more pain because you get hyperalgesia. They were never meant to be used for more than that many days.

PRC kept us really busy. We started at 7am and weren’t done til 5pm. Then we were required as a group to go out and socialize. We went rock climbing, ice skating, did archery, laser tag. We went to the mall and did anything that kept us busy. We built some cool friendships too.

We learned to be productive and were taught not to think or talk about pain. By thinking and talking about pain we build neuropathways to it. By keeping busy and being productive we basically trick our minds to not dwell on it and build new neuropathways. You basically work on healing your brain this way so its not so sensitive to pain and it can’t rule your life.

I learned that pain had become so much of my life. I missed out on so many good things to dwell on the bad pain. I learned to stand up to pain. I think that was the main point of the program.

We learned to deep breathe too. Deep breathing makes your body more relaxed. It helps you break through from the stress pain causes and helps get rid of symptoms. I’m not completely sure about this, but they told us it prevents you from regurgitating. Deep breathing helps manage the pain at the moment and puts you in a much better mood.

I’m really glad I went to PRC. I learned how to better manage pain. I learned how to build new pathways in my brain so I won’t hurt as much which is what neuroplasticity is. Did it take away my pain? No of course not, but I can better deal with it with the tools they taught me.

Through this experience I’ve met a lot of new people. Some of the teens I still keep in contact with and they’ve become friends. I’ve also learned how to be more responsible and organized.

So, if you have pain and dwell on it, and you have $50,000 or really good insurance, I would recommend you check it out. It helped me and it will help you to if you’re open to it. You have to have an open mind and be willing to work hard. It builds character and teaches you useful tools.

The program will exhaust you and you’ll most likely want to quit a few times, but just persevere and pick up your chin and grin and say……I can do this (and the sun will come out tomorrow). You’ve got this. Take your life back.

I would like to thank you so much for reading my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and would like to encourage you to comment below what you think. Have a great rest of you day. Hope this wasn’t too “painful” to read. God bless.

Pain

Pain is all incompassing.  It touches every part of your life and makes everything a chore.  You struggle to find enjoyment and search for relief.

There are two different kinds of pain.  One called acute pain which is something that comes on quickly and then disappears.  The other is called chronic pain.  It comes and like a bad guest, never wants to leave.  I struggle daily with chronic pain.

Pain is by far the worst feeling in the world, it steals all enjoyment from you and even little tasks are overwhelming.  I would rather be paralized than to live with pain.  Although pain can protect your body by warning you when something is wrong, it can also tear your body apart.

Pain is like the devil’s way to create hell on earth.  I never knew how depressed you can get with pain, especially when it’s so bad you don’t know what to do with yourself.  It can become a never-ending hell hole that you feel you can’t escape from.

Pain obviously is an unseen sensation for which only the patient experiencing it can understand.  When you go to a doctor, they honestly don’t do much of anything except prescribe pain meds, which bring temporary relief for an hour or so after taking it.  Sometimes I wish pain was a deadly disease in which case doctors would try harder to fix it and find an answer.  Maybe then they would do more research on it.  I see it become deadly when people feel they can no longer handle it and no one can help and they lose hope.  They then choose the cowards way out.  That’s so wrong because you need to fight on and you need to keep your hope.  Sometimes it’s all you have.  If it were a deadly disease, I think I would have been dead years ago.

I know it is maybe not right to say, but I sort of envy my grandpa who died a month ago.  Only because he is no longer in pain.  When he was alive, me and him would always complain about pain and how it affects your life.  How it devours and ruins it at times.  It is practically impossible to understand someone in such bad pain unless you your self have endured it.

Pain is like a barrier it keeps you from doing anything in life, literally.  You can’t enjoy anything.   It is easy for other people to say, “think about something else, distract yourself.”  So easy to say for them, but hard to do for someone in pain.

Because of the pain, it’s literally impossible to sleep.  I am not exaggerating.  I try my best to distract myself, even if it means taking a bath at 1am, 2am and 4am.  Just to try to hopefully get rid of the pain at the time.  It gets me nowhere because after I’m done and get out, it gets horrible again.  Pain is horrible at all times, but for some reason is even worse at night.  Probably because I’m just sitting there focusing more on the pain and there is nothing else to think of.

Life is pretty hard to even exist in when you have as much pain as I do.  I’m trying really hard to find ways to handle it.  I have tried hypnosis, acupuncture, I listen to binary beats all the time.  I google a lot to find if there are any other suggestions of things to try.  It seems pain meds don’t work well for me.  The work for such a short time and then wear off and I sit in agony so I need to try new ideas.  I have tried essential oils and yes I tried cannabis.  Everyone told me that it would help.  I get really excited for something new, and then get let down.  I even tried something called a celiac block.  That didn’t work either.

So my question of the day is: Who created pain?  Did God, or did the devil to create hell on earth for people?  Ultimately making you question your faith and question why Jesus would put us through this?  I’d love for you to comment to me what you think.

That’s the problem, when everything goes wrong, we ask Jesus why he let that happen.  Why would he allow pain?  How could such an amazing God let you endure such pain?  In reality God doesn’t do everything of course He has a greater plan for all of us.  I think he feels the pain we feel too and shares it with us.  If I didn’t know him, I’m sure my pain would be worse because I wouldn’t have him to bear it with me.

I was watching Dr Phil the other day and there was a girl who was a “sugar baby” who was only 19.  She would meet random guys and take a lot of risks.  She was in a dangerous “business”.  Her sister had died two years before from an overdose and this girl was now taking drugs too.  Her family was really angry and asked her how she could do this?  Her response was “God has a plan for everyone, and if its in his plan to die in a week, then let his will be done.”  This kind of thinking just makes me really mad. They are basically saying God is in their bad choices.  Doesn’t she know about free will?  That’s not part of Gods plan for her life.  Dr Phil made a good comment back.  He asked her “do you think God is the one sending you sugar daddys and making you prostitute yourself?”

The point is, yes God does do miracles and I’m praying for one of those, but there is free will, we aren’t puppets, and there are things that happen we can’t control and won’t understand.  That doesn’t mean that everything is from God. We can’t blame everything on God.  We need to trust and turn to him for strength and he will get us through it.  My mom said if God brings us to it, he will bring us through it.  We just need to trust.  I choose to trust and to fight on, even when I feel like giving up.  He will get me through.

What do you think?  I’d love to here your comments and thoughts on this.  Thank you