deepwater wrote:I don't think anyone with FM taking any kind of drug will feel whole,,Weather natural or man made we are introducing something unnatural into our bodies to achieve an unnatural reaction or a loss of feeling pain,,Pain is natural as is pleasure and we almost all prefer one over the other,,Your mind is a most powerful organ and you can achieve some reduction in pain using that power along with quiet places gentle massage will help
You will never be free of drugs but you are free to choose when you use them
Deepwater, I agree that there are levels of pain that can be managed through other means. In fact, I spend several hours of EVERY day using yoga, pilates band stretching, hot/cold showers, ice packs, a heating blanket, and light massage as tolerable to deal with pain. That said, there are negative long term effects on the body from pain and not everyone can work from home, as I do, and thus manage pain this way.
Pain is not a state of mind, it is a physical, chemical state that is reflected in the amount of things like Substance P found in the spinal fluid. Being in constant pain alters the body and the brain.
There are vast changes that occur in the brain over time with chronic pain which include:
In addition to the changes in gray matter, the constant nerve activity and firing of these nerves also causes the nerves involved in communication to rewire in ways that are very different than in a normal brain. These nerve cells are the brain’s white matter or “cabling” and they tend to form more complex wiring patterns for chronic pain sufferers. In particular, they form more links between the parts of the brain that process pain, stress and emotions.
Read more about this study, from 2008 at http://wellescent.com/health_blog/the-damaging-effects-of-chronic-pain-on-the-brain
So it is important, as you say to choose times to take pain medications and to develop an array of resources to manage chronic pain. It changes and varies so widely. If we are experiencing chronic pain it's important to develop strategies to find out our base line of tolerance and manage it from there.
Finally, to the point of whether or not we will feel whole on a drug. Yes. We can and that's where the interesting study of the brain and plants comes into play. Our brain has receptors for different compounds like opioids, which are derived from plants. Although their synthetic form is made in a lab, it is based on the same principles. I try to use Passionflower, then aspirin and then move up depending on a pain day. I still feel whole, as whole as I feel when in pain because even when I'm in pain my brain is being flooded with too many chemicals; even if they are made in my body, they are not my natural state. That wholeness comes from something else, however, and that's where, I think, our spirituality comes into play as a great resource to keep everything centered and together.
Thanks to a genetic autoimmune disease, I've been on the path of chronic pain for over four and a half years. It's taught me a lot and I've worked gently to find ways to care for myself and manage the pain. It takes time, but I hope anyone in chronic pain can find a place inside of themselves to manage.