5 Essentials to Coping with the Pain of RA

September is Pain Awareness Month in the US and HealthCentral writers are covering topics related to living with pain. This week, my contribution is about my go-to tricks to cope:

"Last week, I cried in the shower again.

It's been a long time since the pain was so bad that my only response upon waking was to cry. Between Humira beating down my RA and having learned well the intricate balance of the right blend of painkillers, my pain is usually pretty manageable. Sometimes high, sometimes less so, but rarely blinding anymore. But here we were again, the pain and I, dancing that old familiar dance. It took a few days before I came out on the other side of it, feeling bruised and fragile, but better. And when I did, I realized that I had automatically clicked into a well-established routine of coping with a high spike of pain. This routine has five essential components"

You can read the rest of the post here.


Diana Troldahl said…
I guess my main tool beyond many you mentioned (especially the drugs taken on time) is to try and lose myself in a book or television. When it is too high that doesn't happen very readily, my focus is shattered, but if I can somehow tip over into the 'getting lost' into the book or show it can help distance the pain somehow.
Repetitive motion (within reason, or it causes an entirely new problem) sometimes helps too. just rubbing my hand on a texture over and over seems to help distract the pain firing off.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for your cogent, calm perspective. It helped me today as I was dealing with surgery recovery. Andrew
AlisonH said…
Two thoughts: should the Humira ever fail you, there is now a next-generation drug approved, at least in the US, for both RA and Crohn's. Second thought: I have a paraffin wax bath, and when my disease began and it was trying to decide whether it wanted to be RA or lupus when it grew up, that thing was wonderful for my hands. When the immune system morphed into clearcut lupus, adding heat added pain--I had to quit using it. The physical therapist, when I told her what was going on, nodded her head and admitted she'd wondered if that was going to happen and said it's common for heat to induce pain in lupus.

Just something to know.