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Safety Plan for Chronic Pain 2

Part Two

Gradual Pain Increase
This pain is different and it's going to last for awhile and I know it. Immediately I'm angry because I'm about to hit a 9 and stay for a long time, hours to days. It's going to be a very long time. This safety plan is a bit different. For one thing, my attitude is different, I'm angry! I'm about to do this AGAIN! This is crap. I'm slamming stuff, just mad....but I realize I have to act faster than the pain level rises or I'm in real trouble.

I first locate the written safety plan print out which outlines what I need to get through this time. The list is altered a bit right here. It looks long but keep in mind this is primarily a check list, because most of these things are already in the same area.

  1. Get your purple pack out - hat, compression socks, arm compressions, wrist braces, neck brace, hat, small heating pads, aromatherapy items, etc
  2. Telephone - get the phone and the charger. You need to look at the numbers in the Purple category, these are the people you can call 24 hours a day when you're in this state.
  3. Start up heated blanket set to low with gradual heat increase. The blanket automatically goes off after 10 hours.
  4. Locate smaller pillows to help elevate pressure point pain.
  5. Get drinking water and get hot tea in your spill proof cups.
  6. Pull the small trash can over.
  7. Tablet -  get tablet with charger and readily available music videos and movies
  8. Locate your sand bag which goes over your legs to decrease pain.
  9. Grabber - get the grabber, you're gonna drop something and it's gonna roll.
  10. Art supplies - these supplies are smaller but work well for my bed desk.

Hardly ever are these items scattered about where I can't find them. It takes a matter of minutes to get to these. When the pain is gradual I have a few minutes. I put on the compressions which really help decrease the pain. I put the sand bag on my legs for pressure, which helps relieve the pain. By the time the pain is at a 9 I'm in position to take the blow. I know I need something to focus on so I use my videos. I keep looking at the screen. I don't look around the room, I focus on one thing so as not to get lost in the pain.

I may scream. I no longer try to silently endure spasms as bad as child birth. I spasm from the waste to mid thigh, EVERYTHING spasms, lets go, spasms, lets go. It's torture. I don't prevent myself from expressing that pain.

I'm going to be exhausted. I don't fight it.  I'm going to cry. I don't deny myself tears. I may need to talk to myself again for reassurance. I do it.

Whether the pain is immediate or gradual, being ready means getting through it better.

Noteworthy
I used to have a safety plan for anxiety. It listed off what to do in the instance of rising anxiety or an anxiety attack. At a different time, I had a poster board in my room with a list of things I was willing to try for 20 min each in order to stop cutting myself or other forms of self harm. A therapist I had in 2003 encouraged written safety plans. At one point I had a photo copy of things to do if I became anxious in public. I needed to be prepared and I wasn't about to try to remember it all.

Being ready works. If people keep emergency kits, have emergency fire plans or any kind of natural disaster plan then why would a mental health or physical health safety plan be ignored? Don't fail to plan, especially when there are things you can do to help you through the battle.

No need to feel nervous, comment if you'd like.

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