Cats: Cinnamon and me

Pain & Perspective

I've had a bit of a revelation about pain that I want to share with you all. This is what I jotted down at the time:

Practice awareness of NON-PAIN when pain hits. Don't ignore the pain, but don't ignore the non-pain either. Becoming aware of both is the only true way of dealing with pain.

Basically, when pain hits, perspective narrows and the pain eclipses awareness of the rest of the body. It feels like there's nothing BUT pain. It feels all encompassing. But it isn't. There's at least one part of the body that isn't in pain (or chances are high that you'd be unconscious). Find it and become aware of it. Be aware of both the pain and the rest of the body as well. This puts the pain in perspective and makes it easier to deal with.

For example, if my skin is hurting, maybe my stomach/intestines aren't. If my jaw is hurting, maybe my elbows aren't. Becoming aware of the rest of my body makes the pain easier to accept.

I want to make it clear that I'm not talking about ignoring the pain or using distraction. It's about being aware of all of my bodily sensations, including the pain, instead of letting the pain dominate my awareness.

This may sound simplistic, but it's really helped me deal with pain. And this idea of enlarging one's perspective can be applied to pretty much any kind of suffering, too. I'm trying to use this idea to help me stop picking my skin, for example.

[EDIT: You can also find this here: ]
DL white dragon

question about a pain relief product


I was at Walgreens today picking up some refills on meds and I noticed an interested product being sold at the register. It's called "Neuragen", website here:

I've requested a sample to try, even after reading it has eucalyptus oil in it (triggers my migraines) - but I wanted to know if anyone in the community had tried it? Would you say you get relief?

Cross-posting this to fibromyalgia, neuro_pagans, and chronic_pain - many apologies if you see this more than once.
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[House] Dr. House

Rash - connected to autoimmune disease?

 I recently developed a symmetrical rash on my elbows - large clusters of red spots that itch, but not uncontrollably so.  These areas definitely are not bug bites or a response to poison plants, so I'm trying to figure out what's going on.  I know it could just be run-of-the-mill eczema, but I've never had any sort of skin rash before.   I have rheumatoid arthritis, which has been mildly flared up recently.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  Could it be related to the RA?

(cross-posted to autoimmune)

Skin splitting on fingertips

I'm wondering if anyone else is has a problem with the skin on their fingertips splitting open. My cocktail of medications has helped with all my aches and pains except for my hands.  I am currently using Enbrel, MTX, Plaguenil, and prednisone. My hands are still stiff and sore and the slightest bump to my fingertips results in the skin splitting open. I may also have psoriasis or something I have scaling on my thumb and first finger of both hands and was given Elidel cream but it hasn't cleared it up. I'm also wondering if my combanation of drugs is common. I'm not sure exactly what my condition is I was told that I had inflammatory arthritis but that was changed to rheumatoid just before I was put on the Enbrel but I wounder if I might have Lupus instead. I have a rash across my face that resembles the butterfly rash and I will go several months of feeling fine and than everything will hurt.  I'm not sure if the meds are working giving me the times of feeling fine and than my condition worsens when I'm in pain or maybe I would feel the same without. Any input is appreciated thanks

Swelling in my knee


I had surgery on my knee like four months ago and about a month ago I just started to become really active with it.  But now I just got back from walking in the woods for an hour.  I go to take a show and my knee is swollen like a balloon.  It doesn't hurt it just seems to be swollen with water.  I wonder if I need water pills or if it is retaining fluid. This surgery was a major surgery they need to do reconstruction and it wasn't arthroscopic, it was cut you open four inches and arthroscopic.  He did such a good job that I almost have ful range from it.  There are some activities that I'm limited too like probably swimming, running and jumping and kneeling.  But now I guess I have to cut down the exercise because I'm retaining water.  My knee looked huge compared to my other knee.

(no subject)

Hi. I have a friend who just went to a rheumy appointment, after waiting three months (!) to get in, which is ridiculous in and of itself. Anyway, she brought a condensed version of her pain journal and described the pain she has, and the doctor basically dismissed her with the equivalent of a pat on the head, "oh how cute she thinks she knows something" attitude, and told her to take what seems to me to be an excessively large dosage of ibuprofen (800mg 3x/day), and scoffed at her when she asked if that would give her stomach problems.

Now she's hurting and frustrated and angry and untrusting, which I don't blame her for! Any suggestions? He did order x-rays and bloodwork, but then he called her and said it all came back normal. She has a toddler and a husband with chronic pain/health issues of his own, so she has to be functional. Trying for another appointment will mean another 3 month wait and it's pure chance who she gets at any given appointment (her husband works in the hospital, and apparently the rheumies are on a rotation, so she could see a different doctor each time, which seems ridiculous but that's their policy).

I hate to see her hurting, but I can't think of anything besides "try again", which she's understandably reluctant to do. What have you had success with?