Every person will experience physical pain of some type in their life. However, chronic pain is different and can last many weeks, into months and even years. You can imagine how these symptoms could begin to negatively affect an individual’s day-to-day life. The constant discomfort may cause someone to lose sleep, decrease their ability to enjoy exercise and reap its benefits, be the root of irritability, and much more. A few examples of common chronic pain conditions include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, bursitis, and migraine headaches. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a news report in 2018 stating that over 20% of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from chronic pain.
Ellen Lenox Smith has emerged as the face of chronic pain—she wrote a book called It Hurts Like Hell! I Live with Pain– And Have a Good Life, Anyway! She lives with both Ehlers-Danlos and Sarcoidosis and was wheelchair bound for about 4 years. Despite not being able to lift even 5lbs and undergoing about 24 different surgeries, she still manages to find joy in the life that is in front of her. Over time, Ellen wrote her book in hopes that she could pass on what she has learned from her personal experience with chronic pain to others who also suffer.
Here are some tips for maximizing your quality of life with chronic pain, from Ellen:
1. Remember you have to move forward—give yourself time to understand and cope with what you have lost, but eventually, you must continue living with what you have.
2. Find a good medical team that is there for you and helps you to improve your quality of life in any way they can.
3. Seek medication and therapies to help you deal with the pain—you must put in the work.
4. Do your best to stay engaged with friends, family and loved ones in the ways that you can, but do not be unrealistic. There may be changes in some of your relationships over time.
5. Attempt to obtain a positive outlook on your altered lifestyle, even if you need to find a support group that can truly relate to your situation.
6. Try to find new activities you enjoy doing, and assist others with similar challenges. You will most likely find that you are not alone.
7. Don’t forget you have only one life to live, so choose to have hope and meaning in your life, in spite of the frustration, struggles and pain.
Besides psychotherapy, talk therapy, and pain medications, ketamine infusions are a highly effective chronic pain management solution. Ketamine is a drug that has been around for many decades, but continues to surprise the public with its high treatment potential for various disorders. Ketamine works by blocking a receptor in the nervous system that modulates pain. Here, at Elysian MD we have personally seen ketamine help patients cope better with pain and show lasting, positive results.
To learn if you are a candidate for ketamine infusions, please call our office for your free consultation. Our experienced and compassionate staff are here to answer any questions you may have about ketamine treatments. We want to see you, once again, find joy in your life—despite the many obstacles you may face.