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  1. #1
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    Default Any mums who have chronic pain? - how do you do it?

    I have chronic neck pain which causes daily headaches.

    I just wanted to know how you ladies deal with your pain when looking after your children. I mean, some days I can barely walk around the house cause my head is pounding so much - I don't know how I could look after a baby. We are currently waiting on our PGD workup but now I'm considering putting the whole thing on hold indefinitely as I just really don't have a clue how I would be able to look after a baby when I can barely function some days. I'm devestated at the thought that this pain might have destroyed something else I wanted to do with my life (be a mum) cause it has ruined so many other things. I just really don't know what to do anymore.

    I've had chronic neck pain (which leads to daily headaches) for the last ten years of so. I've never really had a diagnosis, most doctors just think I should go home & take a panadol .

    My headaches vary in intensity, some days they are so bad that I wish someone would just knock me out. I find it hard to do my job often, especially on days they are really bad. The headaches generally get worse as the day progresses because my neck gets tighter & tighter.

    I've spent hundreds & hundreds of dollars going to doctors & specialists and got no answers. I've also tried physio, massage, chiro & osteo with no success. I have had some success with accupuncture and this did seem to work for a while, at least initially. However, last time my neck was really bad and I went back for a maintanence session, it made my neck/headaches worse for about six weeks until they finally got better. So now I'm not really keen to do that again, so I'm out of options.

    I spent about four years literally living on nurofen so that I could function, but when I read about the effects of long-term use I decided I didn't want to take it anymore. Plus we were thinking about starting a family and I wanted to learn to manage it without it. So now I basically live on panadol - I usually have to take two with breakfast, two with lunch & two with dinner every day. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.

    I'm out of ideas as to how to get rid of my pain and it doesn't seem like I have a choice but to learn how to live with it. However, I find it really had to function when I have a blinding headache and I'm not really sure how I can work though it. Especially if I'm listening to a screaming baby at the same time.

    I really really want to be a mum...........

  2. #2
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    Sorry, I can't answer your question about chronic pain and managing children... but just wanted to see if you'd considered seeing a pain specialist? They often see people to come up with ideas of how to cope with/manage ongoing chronic pain.

    I had chronic pain for years in my early 20s (pre-children). It was causing brutal headaches and I just felt so debilitated. I saw a pain specialist and ended up having cortisone injections and they helped immensely.

    I hope you find some relief soon.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks! How would I find a pain specialist? I've looked on google but not had much luck. Last time I went to the gp I asked for a referral to a pain specialist but he refused to give me one because he said "all they do is give you opiates, which you can't take when you are pregnant anyway so there is no point".

    From my research I don't think that is all pain specialists do, but if the doc won't write me a referral then I don't know what more I can do. And no, there's no point going to a different doc - I've been to about fifteen different docs about my neck, spaced over about five different practices & they've all done nothing.

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    I just want to give you a big hug : ( I'm sorry you have to live with these headaches day by day. I second seeing a pain specialist. I hope you find some relief soon xx

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    heartstringz, I feel for you. My neck and headaches are not quite in the same league as yours, but I have been wandering in a fog of intense headache for weeks at a time previous, and for as long as I can remember (even as a kid). I also went to every doctor, specialist, physio, OT, chiro, everything you name it for years, I shudder to think how much I've spent over the years with no resolution. I also shudder to think how much pain medication I've taken, all sorts of varying strength, I had a wakeup call when a friend took lots of nurofen for a persistent headache over the period of two months and is now waiting for a kidney transplant. I went cold turkey and my god that was hard but there is a school of thought that certain types of pain meds actually give you withdrawl headaches (I think paracetamol/codeine combo type). I cant remember the details but to be honest it did break the daily multiple doses I was on.

    I about to have my first child. TBH, I just decided to jump on in without thinking too much more about it. I was petrified of not being able to take the strong painkillers I usually would to help me cope. What ended up happening is really bizarre. I have not really had a headache since 1st trimester, and I dont know why! Maybe the relaxin hormones make my neck problems ease up, giving me a break from the headaches. It's been actually amazing relief so much so that the other pregnancy symptoms seem like a walk in the park and I will gladly suffer them, if only I could harness this benefit of being pregnant all the time (but not have heaps of kids to look after).

    The other thing I did find out in the 1st trimester (when I had a two week headache that left me on the couch bawling my eyes out I was in such agony, even slight movement from breathing made it stab with pain) was that the no-go drugs might actually be ok if you use them carefully.

    Under obs direction, I took one mersyndol (codeine, i.e. opiates plus muscle relaxants) and the headache finally abated. As he put it, the stress I was putting myself and the baby under hoping panadol would work and struggling with such pain for two weeks non stop is far worse than a once off very occasional dose of something stronger that stops it in it's tracks. His concern with opiates was if I was slamming mersyndols every single day, then the baby would be born dependant on opiates and go through withdrawl upon birth. I have taken a grand total of 2 full mersyndols in the entire pregnancy so that is definitely not a problem.

    I also am pretty confident that I have a high pain threshold because of the headaches and neck pain so feel less scared of labour.

    As for after birth, well, I figured I would forever be more upset if the pain and problems stopped me from having kids, so am just going to have to deal with it if/when it happens. There is a chance that maybe it wont be as bad as I had pictured it to be, so then why jeopardise the chance at starting a family for a maybe outcome. Especially seeing how much it has already affected other aspects of my life, I did not want to let it affect yet another if you know what I mean.

    I think that sometimes, you just need to dive on in, well thats the theory I'm working with.

    And as a side note that GP sounds like a moron. There are lots of things you can do to manage pain that dont just involve strong drugs. I would try yet another GP, I know how frustrating it is, I remember crying and crying in the rooms of one GP because they just didnt seem to listen at all, and told me take some panadol. Another one told me I needed to buy an iPod and "bop around" (no sh!t) for at least 30 mins a day and that would fix me. It can be incredibly disheartening, but I would keep trying and trying new GPs, but go in expecting that they will not help and be surprised when one does, that way it does not get so disappointing.

    Good luck, and remember, it may just happen to pan out better than you expected.

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    I've just done a google search and seen that there is website called Pain Australia (it is a .org.au website) - it has lots of info there. If you look up the "consumers" tab you should see there is a Pain Link helpline and a list of pain clinics for each state. If you cannot find a GP to refer you, I'd suggest ringing the helpline or trying one or more of the clinics to see what you can do to get in to see a specialist.

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    I live with chronic pain down one side of my body from strokes as a child. I stopped all meds whilst pregnant and bfing and just live with the pain. There are days where lifting my children or even holding a fork or spoon is excruciating. I see my children though and it makes it all worth it- I was in opiates for 23 years before falling pregnant so it's not easy not having them but as most mums I try to do the best for my kids. When the pain becomes severe (10/10) and I am completely unable to function I have low dose opiods but I tolerate as much as I can before doing that

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    Subbing

  12. #9
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    Heartstringz, firstly, big hugs.

    I pretty much lived your life for 18 years. I took codeine 4 hourly to get through the day. I could go on and on but I'll cut to the chase. Over 5 years ago I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. I was having terrible gut issues at the time. So I eliminated wheat from my life (completely). Within 3 months my headaches reduced by 90%. No joke. My neck and head pain were virtually gone. 5 years later and all is still well. I only get a headache when I'm stressed.

    I'm not saying this could be your issue, but maybe consider foods as something to explore. my headaches started when I was a teenager and my parents spent a small fortune on every therapy you could imagine trying to get to the bottom of it. Turns out it was something I was eating every single day.

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    heartstringz  (16-04-2013)

  14. #10
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    I have rheumatoid Arthritis...i have good and bad days.

    Just after i had my dd i got really sick (they thought it would happen that way) and tbh I don't know how i coped. I wasn't able to have my normal meds as they are toxic through breast milk and i was determined to feed her till 12 months.

    I saw my specialist...she sorted out some steroids and they reduced my pain to about a 6/10 and I found that doable.

    For years my DS knew I could only cuddle him when sitting down...it makes me sad to remember those days. It makes me sad remembering that. Where other kids would be running to a parent saying "pick me up", DS always came running saying "sit down mummy, i want a cuddle"

    It changes when you have kids...things you could never cope with just for yourself, you find a way to do.


 

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