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Eating the Pain Away

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Old 11-06-2005, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default Eating the Pain Away

I'm just curious if other people eat to dull the pain from a medical condition. I can tell when my quarterly injections are wearing off because I start "eating the pain away." After losing about 80 lbs., with another 20 to go, you'd think I would have solved this problem, but it seems worse now that I don't have as much to lose. Any suggestions on how to avoid eating more when I'm in pain? OTC pain medication doesn't touch the pain, and the medications I'm offered all have side effects I don't like. So I'm stuck with the pain, but need to learn how to avoid eating because of the pain.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:43 PM   #2
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can you loose yourself in a book, or movie? Just a thought. If OTC pain meds dont work then I would try to find something maybe a CD player with headphones to "loose" yourself in the music to keep your mind from thinking about the pain? Just some thoughts, GOOD LUCK! And congrats on the huge weight lodd so far! YOU CAN DO IT
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Old 11-06-2005, 10:43 PM   #3
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Bear with me here, I'm going to try an analogy. When I was a smoker, I felt like there was never a good time to quit smoking...there was too much stress. When I would try to quit, something stressful would just send me back to smoking. I finally realized that smoking did not change anything and certainly didn't take away any stress. It simply gave me a momentary escape or release. I suspect it's the same with eating and pain. Eating doesn't take the pain away, does it? It simply makes us feel like we are comforting ourselves or giving ourselves something else to think about.

So, to carry the analogy further, when I quit smoking, I had to find substitutes for the cigarettes. I started listening to deep relaxation CDs, and learned how to do deep breathing and meditation. I started walking whenever I had a craving for a cigarette. I found some new hobbies, bought some new books, generally just changed my routines.

I think the same kinds of techniques might work for you as well. I too have a lot of pain from arthritis, and I hope some of these ideas might work for you. Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:43 AM   #4
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The book or music idea is good... I try that...
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:23 PM   #5
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I know all too well what you are talking about- using food to distract yourself from chronic pain. I'm on long acting narcotics for chronic knee pain and it can almost be a trade off- do I take a medication or do I eat something to distract myself? Add in having a GI disorder that makes eating difficult at times, and sometimes it hard not to 'eat to feel better' because we hurt/don't feel good/are depressed/etc. A lot of other distractions people recomend don't work as well because they require our full attention, were food doesn't. Most bosses won't want us to read a book or watch a movie when we need to distract ourselves from the pain, but eating we can do just about any time & any where. Its finding something that is as portable, convinent, & acceptable to replace the food distraction. I don't know what the answer is- it is something I struggle with myself. Maybe having a low cal munchy you can snack on? Something that you save for 'emergency situations'? Making sure you take time to pamper yourself when the pain gets worse might help.

Have you seen a pain management doctor? They may be able to offer a treatment plan that meets your needs for controling pain without too bad of side effects. They have a lot of options, though some are better at being creative then others. I happen to be lucky to have a really good pain management doctor who understands that I want to take as little medications as possible. He has prescribed a couple topical creams that are custom made by a compouding pharmacist that I've found very helpful.

Sometimes just making sure you have an awareness of what is happening & why can make a difference. I found for me that when I took medications that are prescribed as needed, that its easy to start taking them when I probably really didn't need them- sometimes it was pre-emptive; other times I'm not real sure why. I started using my PDA to record when I take any extra med & why I'm taking it. Something really simple- but it makes me accountable and I can see any trends as they develop, which I can address because I'm more aware. Its also nice to have the information for doctors appointments so they can see what is going on and I don't end up relying on my memory.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:57 AM   #6
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Default I can relate!

I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, and disc problems in my back (among other fun conditions) so I completely understand. For pain and inflamation, I take relafen (like a strong ibuprofen) and tramadol (a non-narcotic pain medication that works like a relatively mild narcotic like tylenol-3 or darvocet). I also take a low dose of lexapro before bed (it is normally prescribed as an antidepressant, but in lower doses antidepressants are helpful in improving sleep and reducing pain in fibromyalgia and other chronic pain problems.

If you haven't tried tramadol, you may want to consider it. It can make you a little drowsy (but not usually as bad as other pain meds), but this usually goes away after a few days to a week, and for me, it actually gave me more energy (I think because I was sleeping better).

A non-drug help for me is hot showers (I miss long soaks in the tub, but while I could get down into the tub, I wouldn't be able to get up again). I dream of the day my husband and I buy a house and a hot tub with a hand rail (on cold, rainy days I will be soaking in the hot water all day!).

For sinus pain or other headache (or just when I want a spa-style luxury), I will also microwave a damp face towel for a minute or two (until hot, but not too hot to touch). If it's a little too hot, wave it around for a few seconds and it will cool off quickly. Or just run the towel under hot water and wring out (I did this before I tried the microwave, but I liked that I didn't have to wring the towel while it was hot, and it held the heat better from the microwave). Then I lay down on the bed with soft music playing (I love irish ballads) and place the towel over my forhead until the towel is cool. If I want to put the towel over my whole face, I wear my glasses under the towel because I like the towel really steamy and it's too hot to lay directly on my eyelids. I will reheat the towel until my headache is gone (usually only one or two reheats does the trick even for a really bad headache).

If you absolutely need comfort food, try lower calorie soups. I buy chicken stock powder (a good brand is as low caloried as boillon, but tastes much better). I make about four cups of broth and add only about 50 to 100 calories of noodles.

Diet hot cocoa is good in moderation, and when my throat hurts nothing is better than sugar free icepops (Aldi's the discount store has one of the best sugar free popsicles).


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Old 11-11-2005, 04:00 PM   #7
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Hey there everyone!

My name is Dana and I have some suggestions for you Sheila: When I was in hospital recovering from bone cancer in my left leg (they had to remove my femur, tibia and fibula then replace those with a titainum knee joint) I learn to use imagery to take away the pain- as the meds they gave did not work for me- here is what i did:

1) Close your eyes
2)picture and open window or garbage can
3)take a deep breath in while visualizing a big hand grabbing the pain
4)now picture that hand throwing the pain away (ou the window or in the Garbage can) while you exhale sharply

do this along with saying to yourself, "take the pain throw it away"

I found that when I did this the pain got a lot better

hope that helps!
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