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living with chronic pain

(4 Posts)
TeamDamon Thu 15-Sep-11 20:34:11

I don't want to go into too much detail but basically since the beginning of August I have been experiencing chronic vulval soreness. I have had all the routine swabs, etc, done - all negative. The docs cannot find any reason for it thus far. I have the next appt next week to see where to go from here.

I know a condition exists called vulvodynia and I am wondering whether it will turn out to be that. What scares me is that it is a chronic condition which cannot be cured, only managed. Does anyone have any experience of living with chronic discomfort/pain? How do you cope with it emotionally? How do you continue to function in day to day life and present an air of normality to your DC?

Any advice would be so much appreciated. I feel so small and hopeless at the moment.

sad

TeamDamon Thu 15-Sep-11 20:49:59

pathetic bump

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 15-Sep-11 20:58:23

Well, first things first, you're neither small nor hopeless - you're in pain.

Er, chronic pain is obv shit. But you're not 'there' yet, you need to push with docs for a proper diagnosis, and treatment/management. Sometimes it is tough, but you need to be strong to advocate for yourself.

My pain is in a different department, as it were - I have pain in my side from some surgery. There are painkillers, there are devices like TENS machines, there are meds to try to effect the way that your nerves expect and feel the pain, so it is not all doom and gloom! There are also pain clinics, full of nice helpful experts.

In terms of how I cope with it emotionally - perhaps not so well at first. It was tough for me as it was so invisible - previously I was ill and looked it, hence others knew. But now I am better but still in pain. Although I do not want pity, and not really sympathy, it did bug me that no one could see the extent of my pain - I guess I just wanted it acknowledged!

But I am doing well now, I find ways of managing - eg I have a new sleep habit so i don't wake myself up in the night in pain; I am much better at knowing what clothes will hurt me the least - and no longer care about things I can't really wear now), and I take regular exercise, which helps a lot.

It will get better, you're very probably at a low ebb now, so onwards and upwards!

OddBoots Thu 15-Sep-11 21:03:52

I have a spinal cord problem that leaves me with chronic pain from the waist down. I won't lie, it is exhausting, I have painkillers I use sometimes but I hate the side effects. My methods are plenty of sleep, some meditation and visualisation (things I've nicked from hypnobirthing), heat pads, TENS and music.

Sometimes the children know I am having a bad time, they understand that but they are older (12 and 8) and I don't think that does them any harm.

There are pain clinics that teach ways to cope, I've not been as I feel I am managing (and I've cost the NHS enough already) but a friend has and found it very helpful, maybe you could ask your GP?

I hope your pain goes soon.

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