Pain and Copingness

Pain is probably my main symptom of M.E, though it’s not the most obvious. I don’t show it most of the time, but I’m in constant, severe pain. Lots of things can make it worse, and painkillers and other stuff tend to only help a little bit. Most of the time, I cope. Not very well, as it makes other things harder to deal with, but I can normally get around it and maybe even distract myself from it occasionally.

I can cope with different types of pain differently, even if they’re the same severity. I’m not sure why this is. I can deal with pain in my muscles and joints pretty well now. So long as I’m not moving them too much, and I’m not overstimulated, I can manage the pain with some tramadol and the occasional wheat bag/penguin. If I can cope with it, a hot bath also can help (normally it’s other symptoms that prevent me from having one, such as muscle weakness and dizziness). Headaches I can also manage okay, though if it’s a migraine I’ll need to cut off as much sensory input as possible. I have a constant sore throat but the pain isn’t normally too severe so that’s not too bad.

There are two types of pain that I really struggle to cope with. One is toothache/earache (I normally get them together). Even though the level of pain may be less than that elsewhere in my body, I can’t cope with it. Tramadol doesn’t help at all, though ibuprofen does a little bit. This pain is distracting, and I can’t do anything. It stops me sleeping and makes me want to scream. I would do pretty much anything to stop it. It’s mostly caused by one tooth that’s been bothering me for a year now, and hopefully it will be removed next month. Because of my other problems, I need it done under a general anaesthetic, but I’m desperate.

The other pain I don’t cope well with is abdominal pain, especially if it’s on the left hand side. Again, the pain may not be that bad compared to that in my limbs, but I have much less ability to cope with it. I’ll be curled up in a ball, preferably with a wheat bag/penguin, and I’m unable to distract myself from it. Luckily I don’t get it that much now (I was getting it from taking codeine or morphine) but when I do, I know about it. Luckily tramadol does tend to help this sort of pain, as does buscopan.

Now, how to explain this to my doctors…

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