Perception of pain

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I was just thinking today that my perception of pain has changed. When I was younger, if I was ill or in pain, I'd have no qualms about playing on it and looked at it as an opportunity to have a bit of a rest.

Now that I'm older I seem to be going out of my way to hide it. I have worsening osteoarthritis and try to hide the extent of it from

1) my son because I don't want to worry him and have him feel that he should do more for me

2) my boss because I'm worried he may reconsider my employment

3) acquaintances because I don't want pity

4) complete strangers because I don't want them to think that I am old and knackered.

Life is strange :o
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  • ancientofdays
    ancientofdays Posts: 2,913 Forumite
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    Me too, you are not alone in this. I try to hide the fact that I am stiff and achy at work especially. Sometimes I get up from my desk and just keep still for a moment, knowing that if I walk across the office, the pain will be obvious.
    I was jumping to conclusions and one of them jumped back
  • PlutoinCapricorn
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    I am the exact opposite: I never got any sympathy or care as a child, so ignored everything and pushed on for much of my life, never ever taking any time off work.

    Now, I am not afraid to mention various ailments and my slowing down etc.
    Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

    Rudyard Kipling


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 12,492 Forumite
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    I have lots of aches these days and sometimes pain, from overwork now that I am on my own, Garden, allotment, house maintenance, downsizing etc. It has to be done and I do it gladly though knowing that the pain will keep me awake at night. So I have learnt how to handle it, to break the pain cycle. There was a lot of work this week, some, for me, heavy lifting and a day later I took a painkiller twice, used my chair massager and inverter and the next day my pain was down to just aches, which I can cope with.

    Last night I slept with splints on both hands, to support both wrists and my thumbs and I slept better, the hands were supported so the pain went. For me it is all about `what can I do to prevent pain and what can I do to alleviate pain?` I use my gadgets when I can these days, making a large sourdough boule today and no hand kneading, just using a dough hook and stretch and fold. I have a super super cleaning robot, I pick him up and put him down, shut the doors and he does the back and forth work in every room in my house.

    Aches happened when I was younger too, all that work but I had my inverter even then and I knew how to minimise the after effects of overwork. I never moaned about my aches, never and don`t do now, They come with old age, like it or not and how they are dealt with is most important, firstly by breaking the pain cycle and then by investigating various ways of stretching, support and prevention
  • lessonlearned
    lessonlearned Posts: 13,337 Forumite
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    edited 8 October 2015 at 8:52AM
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    I echo what kittie says.

    There is a lot you can do to both alleviate and avoid pain but just ignoring is not the best way.

    Pain is the body's way of telling you that something is wrong. Ignoring pain can be dangerous.

    And even if the reason is age related or chronic then there's no need to be a hero and just put up with it.

    No one is going to pin a medal on your chest and you are the only one who will pay the price.

    Pain can be managed, you can take measures to avoid pain through overwork, sometimes if you are lucky you can stop the pain at source by addressing the underlying issues.

    For example my BIL suffers from gout, which is a form of arthritis but. Fortunately much more treatable. But, he refuses to acknowledge the problem because he mistakenly thinks it's an old man's disease.

    He has this daft notion that admitting it makes him an old man so he ignores it, meantime his condition gets worse. A couple of weeks ago he paid the price with a massive flare up which left him unable to weight bear.

    If he carries on at this rate he will soon be in a wheelchair. He is just 50. I just hope that this time he treats this episode as a warning and actually does something about it - for my sisters sake

    Don't ignore pain. Yes you do need to sometimes "work through the pain" but usually this means movement and gentle exercise not just ignoring it or pumping yourself with painkillers to mask the symptoms.
  • lessonlearned
    lessonlearned Posts: 13,337 Forumite
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    Me too, you are not alone in this. I try to hide the fact that I am stiff and achy at work especially. Sometimes I get up from my desk and just keep still for a moment, knowing that if I walk across the office, the pain will be obvious.

    Have you ever watched a cat.

    Whenever they move, they always stretch first before attempting any movement.

    If you are stiff and achy then stretch, even at work. make like a cat, no one is going to mind, they might make a couple of comments or jokes, but you cancope with that. Andyou can always tell the truth, sitting makes you stiff. It's normal.

    When you remain in a static position for any length of time the synovial fluid - the stuff which lunricates the joints and facilitates movement, "pools". If when you stand up you sfretch it allows the synovial fluid to start flowing before you attempt to walk.

    You are half way there by standing still for a few seconds, you just need to add the stretch. You could do the stretch Iin the chair, it might not draw so much attention.

    But don't worry, stretching isn't a sacking offence.
  • DigForVictory
    DigForVictory Posts: 11,906 Forumite
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    Payless wrote: »
    1) my son because I don't want to worry him and have him feel that he should do more for me

    2) my boss because I'm worried he may reconsider my employment

    3) acquaintances because I don't want pity

    4) complete strangers because I don't want them to think that I am old and knackered.

    1 - Within reason, your son needs to know.
    2 - There may be a bunch of adjustments possible, but have a quiet word with your union first?
    3 - If they've the discourtesy to respond with pity, you can abandon them or remind them of manners.
    4 - There is a time & place for vanity. Just consider when you're going to have the extra time resting & doing whatever helps to recover afterwards.

    I regret the pain, but as I've seen it, a lot of the aging process includes learning where the new limits are & working around them, and developing the best recovering strategies. Stretches sound like a blinking good idea & myself, I've a special affection for steam rooms.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 12,492 Forumite
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    standing is much better than sitting all day. My son has been trying to get a standing desk for work. Last week I did a full day carving wood in a group, I made a stand that I could use to raise the height of my work and it was held in the bench vice. The time before I had to sit and crouch all day, to reach my work and my back and shoulder joints were killing me. Standing all day enabled me to move without thinking and I went home at the end of 7 hours, ache and pain free.

    You must move, only movement makes the lymph flow, it has no pump of its own and needs to move in order to get rid of impurities that build up all the time. My son gets up and walks around every half an hour

    So there different reasons for `ordinary` aches and pains. Staying still. which causes aches and also, simplistically, too much stress on joints, which causes pain and the pain is worsened by the strong supporting muscles which go into spasm. Stretching lengthens the muscle fibres and gives them a chance to get back to normal. The first thing though is to remove the cause, this was a precept when I did my training. Remove the causation and break the pain cycle
  • Payless_2
    Payless_2 Posts: 3,123 Forumite
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    I have a job that involves walking and being on my feet all day. I have recently cut my hours but my feet and legs are still killing me by the end of the day. I have asked for work that allows me to sit more often (it is available) but they agree, do it for a couple of weeks and then everything goes back to how it was. My union rep is useles!

    I don't ignore it. My GP has given me painkillers but they make me whoozy and I'm allergic to NSAIDS. I also have steroid njections into my feet but can only have them every 6 months and the next ones are due in 4 weeks. I find them to be very good but the effect of the last ones has worn off and I'm feeling very sorry for myself. If I tell my biomechanic that the pain is bad now he will refer me to a surgeon and I am scared of having a big op. I hate just sitting around and the recuperation will involve a lot of that. Mind, that is assuming that the surgeon is willing to operate as I am told that I am young for bone fusion.

    I think that I'm probably going too far with the idea that thinking positively will help me cope.

    Stretching sounds good but, as far as I'm aware, the only way to get rid of my pain is not to walk.
  • lessonlearned
    lessonlearned Posts: 13,337 Forumite
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    edited 9 October 2015 at 6:20AM
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    I can't take NSAIDs either. Have you tried any of the gels. I use Voltarol 12 hour gel on my knees - it contains diclofenic. I also get good relief with ibulieve Max strength - the 10 per cent one. You canget them from pharmacies but you have to ask for them from the pharmacist.

    Have you tried support bandages during the day, orthopaedic insoles for your shoes. Have you had any advice about what kind of shoes suit you best. Do you do any foot exercises.

    I have also started using magnesium oil and I am finding that very helpful.

    I have also radically overhauled my diet, taking care to avoid foods which increase inflamation and trying to eat foods which can help reduces it.

    Like you I just cannot tolerate the various meds used to control arthritic pain so I have had to go down the more traditional non drug routes, taking extra vitamins, supplements and using complementary medicine. I have had steroid injections in the past but don't bother now because of the long term problems associated with them.

    One thing I have to admit to is that I was - and still am - carrying too much weight so I'm doing myself no favours.

    I have recently lost 10lbs and I am starting to feel better. I still have a way to go, at least another 2 stones, preferably 3. I am determined to do it, I am 64. i realised it was up to me, sort this now or end up in a wheelchair.

    Did you know that for every 1lb of extra weight we carry its the equivalent of 4 lbs of pressure on the joints. No wonder I have foot and knee pain. ........

    I'm sorry that working is such a struggle for you. Hope you can sort something out with your employers.
  • ancientofdays
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    I do know, LessonLearned, and I do unobtrusive physio at my desk. I have to be aware of reasonable adjustments for staff, but there are times when I just don't want it to be too obvious for myself.
    I was jumping to conclusions and one of them jumped back
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