Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Most Powerful Pain Reliever

by Christina Lasich, MD

What is the most powerful pain reliever? Morphine? Oxycontin? Fentanyl? Oxymorphone? Methadone? Hydrocodone? Cymbalta? Lyrica? Lidocaine?

The answer is none of the above. None of these chemicals have enough power to top this weapon against pain. The most powerful pain reliever is not a chemical, a machine, or a potion. I will give you a hint. It starts with a "D" and ends with an "N". Give up?

Distraction. Yes, that's right; distraction is the most powerful pain reliever in the world according the David Butler, author of Explain Pain and world renowned expert. At the time, he was speaking to a group of manual therapists and doctors. No one in this audience could guess the answer. But, when he said, "Distraction is the most powerful pain reliever", everyone else said, "Of course, brilliant!" Now, before you react to this eye-opening information, imagine this:

Your house is on fire, flames shooting from most windows. All you can think about is poor, precious Mr. Kitty in the house. So, you heroically run into the inferno to save your best friend in the world, Mr. Kitty. Thankfully, you found him under the bed. Tucked under your arm, Mr. Kitty is saved. As you run to safety, you fail to notice that you are covered in 2nd degree burns until a firefighter comes to your aid. You do not even notice the pain because all that matters at that moment is that Mr. Kitty was saved from certain death. You are too distracted to notice the pain.

Maybe you have heard about other amazing pain stories that reveal the power of distraction. Did you hear about the man who was alone and pinned by a boulder in Utah a few years back? This man cut off his own arm with a Leatherman tool to save his own life. Wow, that is some serious pain control. Shark bite survivors also tell about their failure to notice any pain when they were trying to get away. Distraction is the most powerful pain reliever because you have an incredible drug cabinet in your brain. This drug cabinet is 60 times more powerful than anything manmade (much to the dismay of the pharmaceutical companies). You have a powerful built-in pain relieving system. That is something to be proud of!

Now, the question is: How can you use this knowledge to deconstruct your pain? You do not have to be in a life-threatening situation to unleash the power of distraction. Some relieve pain by participating in hobbies. Others help those in need or volunteer to distract themselves. Some people love new challenges and love to learn new things.

With enough distraction, you too may find the road to recovery, or at least pain relief. Be brave because distraction truly can be the most powerful pain reliever.

Tell us how you like to distract yourself away from the pain in a comment below. Sharing creates solutions!

15 things you can do for someone with endometriosis

Talking with my fiancĂ© and other loved ones has shown me that Endometriosis is extraordinarily hard for family and friends.  It is miserable looking at your wife, or girlfriend, sister, or friend… and not knowing what to do.  There is no cure for Endometriosis; surgeries can alleviate pain, pain medications can make daily life semi-bearable.  But for those of you who aren’t doctors–what can you do?  Trust me, there’s a lot.

1 Run her a hot bath and add epsom salts or lavender soak.

2 Do her grocery shopping.

3 Clean her house. (We always need help with this one)

4 Offer to give her a shoulder & back massage.

5 Tell her you are so proud of her, she is brave and tough, and you are amazed at her strength.

6 Cook meals for her.

7 Drive her to doctor appointments and surgeries!

Buy her a heating pad.  If she already has one, get it ready for her and let her know.

Simply ask her if there’s anything you can do.
Pick up her medication at the pharmacy.  Argue with the doctor and pharmacist if necessary (this may get you extra points).
Understand if she has to cancel plans.  Endometriosis does not care about plans or movie dates.  She does, but she cannot help it.
Let her know you are thinking about her, praying for her, etc.  It will mean the world to her!
Hugs, hugs, hugs!

Bring home/buy/download a comedy film for her.  Laughter will be her saving grace, I promise.
Come to her doctor appointment with her, ask questions, and listen.  It’s one of the best ways you can show your support.
Above all, remember to be patient.  We do not choose our illness.  Plans will be cancelled, tantrums may be thrown.  It is difficult for everyone involved.  If you can tell she’s have a particularly hard day, give her a hug and let her know you’re proud of her.  Let her know that you understand.  Tell her you are amazed by her strength.  It will make a difference–you’ll be surprised.

If you or someone you know has Endometriosis, feel free to leave a comment with more ideas on how to help those who are suffering.  The more we communicate, the easier our fight becomes.  I hope everyone is having a great evening.  Remember to breathe, and you are not alone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stats on Child Sexual Abuse

1 out of 3-4 girls and 1 out of 7-10 boys will experience unconsenting sexual assault before their 18th birthday.

75% of all reported sexual assault on children are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts

87% of all sexual assault victims are female

97% of all offenders are male

These facts based on the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Phychiatry

10 Ways to Avoid Getting Stress in Your Holiday Stocking this Season for fellow Endometriosis sufferers

(Note: this article originally appeared in an ERC newsletter in 2002. It has been updated for 2010.)

The holiday season is upon us! We all know that stress levels can run high during this time of year, and with stress comes an exacerbation of symptoms - affecting both your mind and your body. Living with endometriosis is stressful enough...so how can we avoid extra stressors during this time when our daily routine is fraught with pressures and pitfalls? Read on...

First, let's examine what “stress” actually means. Stress is any factor, be it physical or emotional in nature, which threatens the health of the body or has an adverse affect on its functioning. Disease, injury and worry are three common stressors. Stress can cause both physical and emotional reactions, from changes in the balance of your hormones to sweaty palms; heart palpitations to nausea; fatigue to headaches; tightness in your throat to depression; anxiety to anger. Simply put, nothing good can come of being stressed out!

If you can't respond to this fight-or-flight response from your body in a way that removes the stress, it can take its toll on you. The longer stress continues unabated, the worse the symptoms will be and the harder a toll it takes on your body. Worse still, experiencing one form of stress can actually decrease your resistance to other forms.

Not only do we need to cope with existing factors that stress us out, we need to learn how to avoid stress factors that are within our control. During the holidays, there are a few things that we can do to ensure we keep stress out of our holiday stocking. No matter how nicely it's wrapped, it's never a pretty gift.

Number one, and most important of all: Thou shalt remember that thou art the most important priority! If you are no good to yourself, you won't be any good to anyone else.

Number two: Thou shalt make a list - and check it twice. Planning and organizing is a sure-fire way to avoid adding extra stress to your day - if you need to go shopping for gifts this season, make a list of all those you are buying for, what you plan to get, and what locations you might be able to purchase the items at. Also - allow yourself plenty of shopping days! Don’t wait till the last minute.

Number three: Thou shalt remember that thou art not superwoman. This calls to mind a dear endosister, whom we'll call "J"....J. has a superwoman cape that she wears daily. As superwoman, she is mom, wife, businesswoman and world problem solver every day. The holidays make it worse. Many of us have our very own superwoman cape hanging in our closets...we have to learn that sometimes, it's ok to take them off. Do what you need to do for yourself and your family; don't take on extra tasks and responsibilities that someone else can - and should - be doing. For further reference, please see number one.

Number four: Thou shalt learn how to relax - and make it a priority. Relaxing offers so many benefits! First, it gives your body an opportunity to heal from the day's events. Rest makes for a stronger body, and a stronger body makes for a higher resistance to stressors. Meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, massages, hot baths, imagery and good old-fashioned sleep are just a few ways to relax. Put it on your schedule if you need to!

Number Five: Thou shalt not drag thyself to the mall if thou cannot rise up off the couch. If you are healing from surgery, having an especially hard time with your endometriosis, or are feeling just altogether horrible, remember the true spirit of the holidays...giving. "Giving" does not mean purchasing, wrapping and then giving; it means giving of yourself and your time. If you are unable to get out and about, invite your loved ones over for some quality time (if you feel up to it!). If you have children, spend time with them doing one of their favorite (low impact!) projects. They will appreciate it more than any gift Santa can bring. If you're feeling well enough, make and wrap up something homemade...cookies or other baked goods, collages or other artwork, a heartfelt homemade card or poem. And - there is always internet shopping!

Number Six: Thou shalt grieve if thou needs to. The holidays can be really devastating to someone going through infertility, who has lost a loved one, or who has suffered through any traumatic event. Remember that it is ok to give yourself time to be sad if you need to be. Don't be afraid to seek professional assistance to help you cope.

Number Seven: Thou shalt watch thy diet. We’re not talking about waistlines; we’re talking about the food and drinks so many of us strive year round to avoid because we know our symptoms will be "kicked up a notch," as Emeril says. During the holidays it seems that everywhere we go, we are handed foods and drinks – literally on a silver platter - and encouraged to eat to excess and drink to elevation. Ask yourself if the pain you know you will experience as a result of ingesting foods and drinks you don’t normally tolerate well is worth it.

Number Eight: Thou shalt not sweat the small stuff. And, as a very wise person once said, "it's all small stuff." So what if you didn't get that angora sweater you promised your sister for a gift? Give her something else she'd value even more - another gift choice and your subsequent good health for not having worried yourself sick about it!

Number Nine: Thou shalt call thy healthcare practitioner if thou feels thou needs some extra medical care this time of year. Don't put off getting or keeping an appointment with your doctor because you think you have to go cut down a Christmas tree by yourself...the tree will still be standing there an hour later, after your appointment.

Number Ten: Thou shalt refer to Number One at all times! While we are making light of this subject a little bit (laughter is also a great stress reliever, by the way), the serious fact of the matter is that this time of year can make us feel worse than we did the in the previous months.

Remember that you can make a difference in how you handle stress by a.) avoiding it altogether whenever possible; and b.) coping with it effectively before it debilitates you.

You have the right to say “no” and you have the right to make choices about how and where you spend your time this holiday season!

Happy Holidays and remember, be kind to yourself. Some days, we’re the only ones who are.

"Is there a church in your house?"

5 points on how to make your home a church:

1. Prayer (Pray with each other and for each other)

2. Read Scripture (have a quiet time daily)

3. Worship together (sing or listen to christian music)

4. Ministry (serve others in your church/community)

5. Missions Trips

But as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord! Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

9 weeks Open Bowel resectioning-Post Op

So much has happen since I last wrote. I turned 29 and had a small relaxing birthday party with all the people that love me. I got so many presents. My sis even ordered gluten free cupcskes for me! They were dee-licious!

Well it's been about 9 weeks post op and endometriosis wise I feel so much better! My past two periods were pretty painful but nothing like before. I can actually feel less pain with each subsequent period.

Now on the other side of all this is my digestive system. Having had two section of my bowels removed has proven the hardest part of all this. I had a complication with the resectioning surgery that has lengthened my recovery. Dont get me wrong I'm so much better than 9 weeks ago. My period pain is diminishing and I hope it will be non existent soon. My digestive system is another story. The pain, bloating, the being tethered to the bathroom has been hard.

I am trying so hard to stay positive but pain has this funny thing it does to you where you pretty much become hopeless and desperate.

I am trying to look up towards God and since this week is Thanksgiving I am focusing my time on being thankfill for all the many blessing I already have.

Our church, Trinity has been an amazing support system!