Those suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are #InvisiblePainWarriors too.
Very few realized how true these words were to Robin Williams when he spoke them.
I couldn’t possibly explain it better myself …
Few people are aware of how much is lost in the face of chronic pain and illness. The all-encompassing nature of chronic pain, the way it takes hold of every single part of life, makes it unique among many life struggles. A friend and I were talking about life, and she shared how God had…
Article by WNDU
More than six million American women and girls struggle with endometriosis, a chronic condition that causes pain before and after their periods. It can also cause infertility. In some cases, endometriosis is difficult to diagnose, but a new imaging method may shed light on difficult to detect cases.
Twenty-eight year old Susie Veech has spent more than half her life in the kitchen. She’s a food service consultant and a budding caterer.
Susie also spent more than half her life trying to figure out the source of the monthly, searing pain in her side. Veech told Ivanhoe, “Eleven, on a scale of one to 10, the pain.”
Veech had endometriosis. The tissue normally lining the inside of her uterus was also growing on the outside and blocking other organs.
Gynecologist and co-director of the Endometriosis Center and the Minimally Invasive Surgical fellowship program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Kevin Audlin, MD, is studying a new imaging technique designed to help gynecologists detect endometriosis. Traditionally, doctors use a minimally-invasive tool called a laparoscope to look for tissue.
“Full spectrum light looks just as if we would see. If you’re looking into a belly, you’ll see organs, most everything is either a yellowish or a pink,” Dr. Audlin explained.
In addition, Dr. Audlin is testing special lighting called narrow band imaging. When he presses a button on the laparoscope, the light changes, making endometriosis stand out.
Dr. Audlin said, “The red hue tends to be the endometriosis, the green we see tends to be the actual vasculature.”
For Veech, finally a diagnosis followed by a procedure to keep the endometriosis at bay. She said, “When everyday pain goes away, you have tons of energy. You don’t realize how much it’s weighing you down.”
In a study of 150 women undergoing the laparoscopic procedure for endometriosis, researchers found the addition of narrow band imaging improved detection by 20 percent. Dr. Audlin says the narrow band imaging offers another avenue for women who have had chronic pain but are not showing signs of endometriosis with traditional screening.
To read the research summary, click here.
By Pauline Anderson via Medscape
September 11, 2015
LAS VEGAS — More than a third of patients with chronic pain may have attention-deficit disorder (ADD), a small pilot study suggests.
The findings should encourage more doctors to have a high degree of suspicion of ADD in nonadherent patients with central pain, said author Forest Tennant, MD, Intractable Pain Management, West Covina, California.
“I think this is a nice new little advance in how to take care of people with pain.” He presented the findings here during PAINWeek 2015.
For the study, 45 consecutive patients with chronic pain attending a treatment clinic completed a 16-item questionnaire. The questions were directed at whether the patient had deficiencies in concentration, attention, distractibility, impulsivity, reading and retention, coordination, temper, and short-term memory.
A positive answer to five or more questions was considered to indicate the presence of ADD.
Results showed that 37.8% of the patients met these criteria for ADD.
Most patients with centralized pain have hyperarousal of the autonomic nervous system. “First off, they become deficient in catecholamine, which is one of the compounds that relieve pain,” explained Dr Tennant.
The pain causes a change in the sympathetic nervous system, which causes the ADD, he added. “So it puts you into this hyperactive state and at times it will also deplete dopamine both in the central nervous system and in the adrenal gland.”
The finding might help explain why some patients with pain have poor function in activities of daily living, said Dr Tennant.
“For years, I’ve seen the same kind of ADD in these patients that you see in children; they can’t remember half the time, they can’t concentrate,” he said. “It’s amazing how many of these patients actually quit reading or doing things, but they won’t tell you.”
A big problem for patients with pain is adherence issues, said Dr Tennant. “They don’t do what you tell them; they walk out of there and don’t follow instructions, and part of that is ADD.”
But once they start taking drugs for ADD, such as methylphenidate (eg, Ritalin), “their pain gets better and they can remember and concentrate.”
Dr Tennant stressed that this applies only to patients with centralized pain, who have inflammation in the nervous system, not those with arthritis or neuropathic pain. “These are the patients who have constant pain, pain that never goes away.”
He noted that the connection between pain and ADD is not new. “Physicians back in 1895 at hospitals in London said that if you have severe pain patients who need morphine, they also need a stimulant.”
Commenting on the study for Medscape Medical News, Jack LeFrock, MD, a pain specialist at Above and Beyond Pain Management and Laser Center, Clearwater, Florida, said the finding “makes sense.”
“I agree with him; I think he’s right on,” he said.
In his own practice, a “high percentage” of patients have ADD and are anxious, he added.
Dr LeFrock said he’s keen to study the topic further.
PAINWeek 2015. Poster 133. Presented September 10, 2015.
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Happy belated 7th wedding anniversary to my love, best friend, soul mate, and husband Billy.
Our official anniversary was yesterday, but we BOTH forgot until today. LOL! Anyone who knows me personally will know that I NEVER forget holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. so this is a perfect example of what chronic pain and the subsequent stress, anxiety, and depression that it causes, will do to someone. Continue reading
This is SPOT ON! I have horrific fatigue, which I have always had a tendency to blame on Endometriosis but I am starting to realize that chronic pain in general can cause it. I have pushed myself beyond the reasonable limits of my chronic illness and pain for a very long time. I have slowly been learning to adapt and adjust but I can feel the effects of over-doing it for so long and I seem to be going downhill quickly. Stress worsens both the chronic pain and fatigue so much that I have been nearly incapacitated as of late. My anxiety and depression are out of control and I feel like I am on the verge of or possibly in the early stages of a nervous breakdown. Thank you for this post. I believe that our health depends on recognizing the fatigue that comes with chronic pain and accepting whatever adjustments are necessary to allow for adequate rest. Rest certainly won’t cure the chronic fatigue but it may help to avoid doing additional damage to our already compromised bodies and minds. 💜
And because of this, I am a completely different person now. Being in constant pain is difficult yes, but no one mentions the extreme fatigue that comes along with it. I can no longer do the things I used to. I used to work full time, keep the house clean, run errands, have a social life, get things done – do things a normal person would do with ease, but I am different now. Along with the pain, fatigue consumes my whole being and it’s very difficult to say the least.
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This infuriates me on so many levels!!! 😡
My husband’s pharmacy was robbed several months ago, but luckily the pharmacist had a gun, so he successfully defended himself and his business. Now another pharmacy was robbed in my hometown! It is only a mile or two from my place of employment.
WTF is wrong with people???
I’m sure the suspects are likely addicts or dealers, who don’t realize or care that commiting foolish acts like this, just helps to “confirm” the public’s inaccurate beliefs about pain medications and the increasing inhumane discrimination against chronic pain patients.
It creates even more reasons for the government to continue the never-ending, FAILED, “war on drugs” which creates endless problems for those who truly NEED narcotics and find that obtaining adequate pain relief is becoming more and more difficult (or impossible) for legitimate chronic pain patients.
If the robbers were not addicts or dealers, it could be someone in desperate pain without access to the treatment that they need. Either way, the situation is tragic and everyone loses.
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