Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.
My constant companion. I struggle to remember a time in my life without pain?
Pain is a symptom of being hurt or sick. It is a negative sensation that is both physical and emotional.
We only hurt when the brain actually assigns meaning to the raw data coming from the tissues. If the brain decides the data mean trouble, then (and only then) do the tissues seem to “hurt.”
It’s really the brain that does the hurting.
I have several conditions that cause consistent pain.
Damaged Rotator Cuffs (shoulders)
Compressed Discs (worn-damaged lower back)
Deupree’s Contracture (Shrinking Tendons in Hands)
What is my pain?
Dull, aching pain, a constant dull discomfort (Nociceptive Pain) at a low level over a long period of time. Constant Dull pain. This will intensify at night (during sleep) when I put pressure on the affected body part, transferring body weight to sensitive areas (Inflammatory Pain), my hands, arms, upper arms, shoulders, back, chest/breast bone and ribcage.
When my psoriasis is rampant, additional painful areas will include, legs, buttocks, lower back, back and most of my legs. This is a more Deep ‘hot’ Pain. Internal aches that seem to be fighting to get to the surface, my skin seems extremely sore and tender, at its worse covering 70-80% of my body and even internally, ears, nose and inside my anus.
The third unwelcome guest at my pain party is nerve pain (Neuropathic Pain) – sciatica, peripheral neuropathy, when diabetes causes damage to your nerves. This pain can be, instant, catastrophic, extreme and totally unpredictable.
Why Does Pain Seem to Get Worse at Night? There are different opinions, however, the answer is likely due to a few different factors.
It could be that levels of the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol are naturally lower at night; plus, staying still in one position might cause (worn and damaged) joints to stiffen up even more.
As temperatures drop at night, your peripheral nerves can begin to tingle more, and you’ll feel more burning or sharp pains. Your heart rate also slows when you’re colder, slowing your blood and increasing painful sensations.
After a night of pain
I tend to wake up still tired. A lack of ‘good’ sleep caused by ‘pain’ and Sleep Apnoea a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. When tested it was revealed that, during sleeping, I stop breathing thirty-two times per hour. Six times an hour is categorized as chronic.
I start the day feeling feel stiff, sore, fatigued. It is hard to move my joints especially my arms, shoulders and hands. This will subside a little (throughout a ‘busy’ day). Around late afternoon I become even more fatigued. By 8.00pm I am often exhausted.
After ‘T’ (dinner for the non scousers) I have a noticeable dip in energy, feeling tired, often sleepy, I can easily fall asleep whilst watching TV.
Evenings – Feeling stiff, uneasy moving (standing up), sitting down.
Difficulties getting into and out of bed and into a comfortable sleep position. Sleep. Disturbed sleep. I would normally wake 5-6 times per night. It’s then just about how many times I can get straight back to sleep or wether I need to give in and get up.
My Pain feels much worse at night, at the very worse the micro-second before I wake. Is it? Is it any worse than it is of a day time ‘all of the time’?
At night it is as if it is on overdrive, amplified somehow? To the point that sometimes I am convinced that I might need medical attention? Once fully awake, the ‘urgency subsides’ to a normal ‘livable’ pain level.
Sleep, lack of sleep, disturbed sleep, pain can make you feel worse mentally, your mind is weakened and can help to cause pain without a physical source, or make pre-existing pain increase or linger. This phenomenon is called psychogenic pain, and it occurs when your pain is related to underlying psychological, emotional, or behavioural factors.
Sleep apnoea causes anxiety, panic attacks. The brain will not allow us to die in our sleep. When I stop breathing my brain will ‘eventually’ intervene and save my life by wakening me, usually with a start that may trigger a minor panic attack. A vicious cycle of anxiety triggered by pain, in turn triggering additional ‘phycological’ pain?
What Causes Chronic Pain Syndrome?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes CPS. There is usually a start or trigger point, it often starts with an injury or painful condition. The roots of CPS are both physical and mental.
Some experts think that people with the condition have a problem with the system of nerves and glands that the body uses to handle stress. That makes them feel pain differently. Some are more susceptible to pain, others simply have a higher pain threshold, tolerance to pain?
Other experts say CPS is a learned response.
When you’re in pain, you may start to repeat certain bad behaviours even after the pain is gone or has lessened.
Part of the problem is, pain (your pain) is often hard for anybody else to see?
Whereas a symptom is subjective, that is, apparent only to the patient (for example back pain or fatigue), with my pain there isn’t any objective evidence of a disease that can be observed by others other than my psoriasis, skin rash ….. and how can a rash possibly hurt that much?
Living with pain
I have to pinch myself ‘check’ myself from wincing, groaning, grimacing and sighing at the simplest, routine movements. I have become that ‘old’ person on the bus ‘the what is the matter with him’ person!
Thanks for reading