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  1. #1
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    Default pregnancy & parenting with chronic pain

    Has anyone here been pregnant & raised their baby when they had chronic pain?

    I'm after some tips for coping as at the moment I'm not coping very well. I'm 15 weeks & not on any medication (paracetamol doesn't do anything at all). Physio, osteo, massage, chiro do not help with the pain for longer than a day or two. Accupuncture has helped, but has also made it worse & I'm reluctant to try again as I don't think I could deal with any worse pain at the moment.

    Prior to pregnancy I used to rely pretty heavily on ibruprofen just to get through the day (it didn't completely get rid of the pain but at least I could function better than I can now). I stopped taking that when we were TTC.

    I'm angry & depressed every day because of the pain & taking this anger out on people around me (mostly DH). I just have to suffer through every single day in pain as I haven't been able to figure out any way of managing it successfully.

    I'm really worried about how I'm going to get through the rest of this pregnancy, I don't know if I'm strong enough to suffer through every day for the next 5 months. I'm also really worried about how I'm going to raise my baby (DH works full time & so do other family members) when I'm in so much pain every day.

    To be honest at this point I just can't wait till after the baby is born so I can go on whatever strong pain meds they will give me. If I have to formula feed the baby because of it then so be it. At least I'll have a chance of being a good mum.

    I'm not sure where to turn for support, GP's are a complete waste of time. They don't even believe that I have a problem just because they can't find the cause or any reason for it. They just tell me to go home & take a paracetamol. I've tried numerous doctors over the years & they all just want to take my money & not listen to me or try & help. And they wouldn't even give me a referal to a pain specialist when I asked because aparantly 'I don't need that'.

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    Hi heartstringz, sorry to hear you are having a bad time atm. Can I ask what kind of pain you are in? Or what condition?
    I have IBD which causes chronic pain a lot of the time, along with some other issues that also cause me pain. I can no longer take ibuprofen so I just take panadol when it gets bad (even though it doesn't do much occasionally it can take the edge of for an hour or so). I think there are pain killers out there that are perfectly safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding and it may be worth a visit to another GP to get a referral to a pain specialist if your current one is not helpful.
    I am not currently pregnant and I don't have any children so I can't give you any help regarding that area. I only know that for me what works is sitting through the pain and reminding myself that this pain cycle ends eventually. It may take a day, or only a few hours but I do get some relief. I am not sure if you are in constant pain or not as mine can come and go, but it can be debilitating at times. I remind myself too that I need to live my life so I do my best to ignore it so I can get on with my day, even if it is hard sometimes. I do find that focusing on other things helps.
    If your current GP is not helping find someone else to go and see and be pushy about a referral to a pain specialist. It will be the specialists job to determine what to do for you, so it should be in their hands, not the GP. I hope you can find some relief.

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    Thanks! The pain is in my neck which also causes daily headaches. Often it's so bad that I can hardly move my neck & my head feels like it's going to explode. I've never been given a diagnosis or cause, no-one seems to know what the problem is. I suspect it's muscular but not totally sure. The pain does come & go, but it's variable. Sometimes I'll wake up with a sore neck & headache & it will worsen throughout the day. Sometimes I'm fine in the morning & end up with a bad headache in the afternoon. Needless to say this makes it extremely difficult to do my job as well as living my life.

    Ok I will try & find a different GP - my current one said that there are no safe meds during pregnancy except for paracetamol.

    I do try to remind myself that this pain does end eventually & that I have to live my life but sometimes it just gets on top of me & it's too hard.

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    Heartstringz, as a baseline, if you have chronic pain, trial 2 tablets Panadol 4 times a day. Just taking Panadol as required may not be helpful, but if you take it as a regular daily dose, that may help take the edge off things and at least help you function while being safe. Try it for a week, and if it works you should continue as long as the pain is a problem.

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    ((((Hugs)))) heartstringz - I know where you are coming from. Dealt with chronic neck pain and headaches without a viable cause since I was 11.

    Paracetamol/codeine combinations are deemed safe in pregnancy at the prescribed dosages. I alternate between panadol, panadeine, panadeine extra and panadeine forte depending on the level of pain and what activities I'm doing or need to do.
    Codeine should be avoided in the later stages of third trimester though because if you go into labour bubs may come out affected by it (ie sleepy).

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    I completely understand, I know what it can be like! I also get terrible neck pain and headaches/migraines which sounds very similar to you, but it seems to be muscular so I have never really done anything about it with dr's. Yours sounds much worse than mine and I have to say that I find these headaches/migraines completely intolerable so it can be hard to ignore.
    Try a cold pack on your neck for headaches/migraines/neck pain. They help me enormously when I get them. Make sure you wrap it in a tea towel or something so you don't freeze your skin, and lay down somewhere dark for a little while. Buy a gel eye-mask and keep it in the fridge as this can help alleviate pain as well.
    Taking caffeine with paracetamol or ibuprofen can improve its effectiveness and give you relief faster so have a coffee with it (within pregnancy guidelines of course). There are stacks of migraine medications available which may also help but I do not know which ones are safe for pregnancy. You can get some OTC as well so you can always go and chat to the pharmacist and see what they recommend. Failing that go to the GP and ask for migraine medication, it could help alleviate some of the neck pain too? I'm not sure.
    Also remember that there are some medications which are unproven to be safe in pregnancy so are not "recommended," however dr's look at the benefit/risk ratio for you to determine if its worth it. Always talk to your dr about this as sometimes it is recommended not to take certain meds but it can be fairly safe, its just that the manufacturer cant say for certain for fear of being sued. I may need to take meds which are a huge "no-no" for pg/bf however 3 of my treating dr's say its given to pregnant women all the time as the benefit outweighs any small risk. Go back to your GP or find another one who will be a bit more helpful for helping you treat the cause and hopefully find you some relief!

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    It might be worth getting some scans or a referral to a specialist eg. Ortho or neurosurgeon.

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    I agree about seeimg a different gp and def get a referral to a pain specialist. Have u had an MRI done? I think they r safe in pregnancy. Ill pm u some numbers to call to ask about medicines in pregnancy. They specialise in the area so they might have some ideas

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    Thanks everyone!

    I had an mri done years ago which came back clear & I saw a neurosurgeon then too - he had no clue what was wrong with me.

    Ill have to try & find a new gp who is going to listen. Not sure how though, over the years ive tried multiple gps at multiple practices with no success. I want to see a pain specialist, its just a matter of finding a gp who will agree to refer me to one.

    Im going to call Queensland Pain Clinic & see if there is anything they can do for me while im pregnant (not sure, given the nature of their treaatments). Hopefully I can at least go after the baby is born.

    Not sure if I'll be able to take panadine forte every day but will ask my midwife when I see her on wednesday.

    Sent from my SM-T210 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    I know it's a month since the last post on here... But I was wondering if you had considered seeing a Physio who is expert in chronic pain? Noi group do lots of training in pain management for all health professionals, including (and especially) physios. You could call them and see if there is someone they would recommend near you? They are really helpful! (I'm a Physio and I would recommend this approach for my friends.) www.noigroup.com goodluck!


 

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