The pursuit of pleasure and happiness and avoidance of pain and strife has been a factor which has driven us as a species to evolve so that we may adapt to our environments and reap its many benefits. Even back in prehistoric times where daily life was filled to the brim with agents which could bring our ancestors’ lives to premature ends, our forebears would craft tools and structures which allowed them to adapt and bring about the survival of mankind. This leads us to today, where our race has evolved to the point where we have modern technology and perks to avoid disease while simultaneously allowing us to experience longer, fuller lives alongside our loved ones. Regardless, there are still people to this day that suffer from incurable diseases which, while some may not actually lead to their premature expiration, will make every day of their waking lives into very painful experiences full of anxiety and strife.
That being said, odds are that anyone who is reading this article is suffering from one of such diseases, has a loved one that is struggling with them, or are simply researching to try and improve their understanding of these individuals’ plight. The thing is, these people often become overwhelmed by their health issues, letting these affect most areas of their lives until they become isolated and bitter over time. Truth be told, the pain caused by these conditions is often more than physical, as these symptoms and their consequences regularly transcend into other areas of the patient’s daily life, also causing emotional turmoil in the process. Regardless, for many patients, pain is often seen as a motivator which drives them to better themselves and search for remedies to their ailments. Moreover, pain and its consequences are also commonly regarded as obstacles which are meant to be surpassed in order to enjoy a full, healthy life.
Pain is Relative
Given the fact that no two individuals are alike, so too do their perception of pain vary. Consequently, its severity will often vary according to the person itself as well as the nature of the condition. Nevertheless, whether we’re sick or healthy, no one is actually a stranger to pain: we’ve all had limb pains; fallen down and hurt our body, or may have, at times, gotten roughed up during our early school years. Moreover, some people are more prone to suffering random headaches or toothaches with seemingly no explanation other than chance. Despite being one of the most bothersome symptoms, pain itself is a completely natural reaction to external or internal stimuli and often acts as a signal for us to stop what we’re doing since it’s causing physical harm to our body. The problem with pain is that is often hard to ignore and, what’s more, shouldn’t ever be ignored since it’s the body’s way of telling that something’s wrong.
That being said, everyone experiences pain on a daily basis and in a varying degree of forms and levels. This fact often makes checkups with the physicians a complicated task, since it’s difficult to accurately gauge the pain that a person is feeling and, in the same vein, if the person is actually feeling pain at all or if it’s an entirely different symptom. However, the fact remains that, in such cases where the pain is actually true, it’s important to know that it’s not in the patient’s head, it’s not being made up, and it can be truly debilitating in some cases.
Finding the Right Doctor for the Job
Due to complications in gauging pain, finding a doctor who can provide the appropriate treatment for the ailment that affects the patient can be a really complicated task. Nevertheless, there is a special branch of medicine which focuses on the management of pain and that can provide valuable insight and methods to reduce or even prevent it altogether. The objective of these specialists is to provide succor and respite to patients so that they can regain functionality and reduce the horrible pain which affects them on a daily basis. Through these treatments, individuals that suffer from debilitating diseases such as fibromyalgia may recover their productivity and even live a normal, painless life. A regular physician — not certified in pain management — may also be able to help by prescribing medication. However, for those looking for a more permanent solution which doesn’t require constant medication to keep the pain in check, pain specialists are the way to go.
The problem with constant medication — besides the obvious side effects of the substances — is that they require constant attention and upkeep which, to the average busy person’s life, may cause significant stress. Furthermore, few people enjoy constantly taking pills, while others are content only taking the absolute minimum which, in turn, puts treatments which depend on multiple medications out of the equation.
Luckily, the fact that some don’t enjoy constantly taking medication doesn’t necessarily mean that they should completely write them off of their lives. There exist certain medicinal alternatives which, when used properly, can offer the patient all the benefits of a multidimensional treatment, without the pesky uptime and side-effects. Case in point, the fentanyl patch is a good alternative for those who live in constant pain due to debilitating and degenerative diseases. The way they work is that, upon being applied to the skin, the patch releases a steady stream of medication at all times, day and night, for up to 72 hours, after which it must be removed and replaced.
For many patients, these fentanyl patches are a godsend and have reported reduced levels of pains as soon as a couple of hours after it is first applied. Furthermore, fibromyalgia patients also claim that they are better to get around and function better because the pain is no longer their primary concern. Keep in mind that the relief is not absolute but, compared to the pain experienced without the patch, the rest is but a mere tickle. The only drawback experienced by some users of the patch is tiredness in the beginning before the body adjusts to the constant flow of medication it is being subjected to. After a few days using the patch, users experience no tiredness at all.
In the beginning, the treatment should start with low dose patches, which increase at the physician’s discretion, until the pain is mostly gone and the user is satisfied with his or her current situation.
Bottom line, the best way most patients can make peace with their condition is by controlling it. With conditions like fibromyalgia, there is usually little that the user can do other than adopting a good diet and following a symptomatic medical treatment to reduce the discomfort. However, when medication and lifestyle choices fail to provide peace body and mind to the patient, additional measures must be taken. When the pain gets out of control and can’t be reduced by any traditional methods, it is highly recommended to visit a pain specialist, as these professionals are best certified to treat any condition which entails chronic, debilitating pain.
No one should have to live with pain; living in constant duress is tiring not only for the body but for the mind as well. Pain is not only hurtful but emotionally exhausting as well. These clinicians are well aware of the above statement and remain committed to reducing the pain of patients with debilitating disease, so that they may recover their functionality and live fulfilling lives.