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.
- Get your purple pack out - hat, compression socks, arm compressions, wrist braces, neck brace, hat, small heating pads, aromatherapy items, etc
- 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.
- Start up heated blanket set to low with gradual heat increase. The blanket automatically goes off after 10 hours.
- Locate smaller pillows to help elevate pressure point pain.
- Get drinking water and get hot tea in your spill proof cups.
- Pull the small trash can over.
- Tablet - get tablet with charger and readily available music videos and movies
- Locate your sand bag which goes over your legs to decrease pain.
- Grabber - get the grabber, you're gonna drop something and it's gonna roll.
- 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.
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.