PainSupport logo and link to PainSupport website
Welcome to the PainSupport Newsletter
Editor: Jan Sadler, MBE No.239 February 2015
Appearances can be deceptive
by Jan Sadler
swan floating on tide
Every day I take a short walk from my home to the nearby creek. The creek broadens into an estuary and so attracts many different breeds of birds. I love to spend time there, quietly, by myself. I see how the tides and seasons vary and the changes they bring. There is always something happening, in a small but enjoyable way.

There's a swan family which floats serenely on the tide up and down the creek. They always look beautifully calm but I know that with the strong currents in the creek they are often paddling like crazy underneath the water just to hold their position. Most people don't know how hard the swans are having to work to sail on their way.

Rather like us.

When people see us they have no idea what's going on under the surface or how hard we are working to appear 'normal'.

Appearances can be deceptive.

When, for instance, friends say, 'Let's meet in the pub for lunch', it requires no particular planning for them, they just turn up, order their lunch and sit down somewhere to await the arrival of their food.

For me, it takes a lot of careful thought and planning. First of all I need to make sure the pub serves food quickly as I can't sit and wait for very long. I need to remember to take my seat wedge. When I arrive, my first thought is, 'Where can I sit with reasonable comfort?' I've been known to try six different seats in a country pub in an effort to find somewhere comfortable!

These sort of plans and decisions take energy and thought. This is something we often need to explain to people in order to achieve what we want.

An 'invisible' condition such as chronic pain makes it difficult for other people to understand us. They tend to judge us at face value, even when they know we have pain.

People don't understand that we can go out, look well and appear 'normal' one day - and then have to decline invitations another. They don't appreciate how our activity levels can vary from day to day, even from hour to hour.
two women talking
This means that it's down to us to explain the situation as many times as we need to. It's really important we let people know how we are, using as much or little information as appropriate in each situation.

If we don't, misunderstandings may arise and, more importantly, our needs may not be met, especially where it really matters, such as at home, with family and close friends, at work and with our medical team.

So, remember the swan. As you paddle furiously under the water in order to keep going, keep in mind that outward appearances are deceptive and others won't necessarily know what is really going on under the surface - unless we tell them.

Find out more about how to explain your pain:

New friends waiting for you
woman using computer
If you’re not already a member, why not join our highly successful and popular Confidential Contact Club? At no charge, of course! There are lots of lovely people out there who just happen to have pain in their lives but who are determined to make the most of things despite it all.

You have much to offer them, and they have much to offer you. Ease the pain by sharing life's ups and downs with those who understand.

Here is a message recently received from E, a UK member of the PainSupport Contact Club,

I felt very isolated with my pain and I'm pleased to say I've now made some lovely new friends on the contact club and I no longer feel so alone. We share pain tips with each other.

Register for the Contact Club at the end of this page: Contact Club page

Explaining pain and treatments - a video worth watching
Michigan university logo
Dr. Dan Clauw, the Director of the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Center at the University of Michigan, presents an overview of what is currently known about what the underlying causes of chronic pain are and discusses the rationale behind a variety of different treatments for chronic pain and fibromyalgia. See video here.

You can fast forward to listen to him talking about why certain types of antidepressants are best for pain and why he thinks opioids may cause more pain!

He explains the difference between what he calls brain pain (fibro type/multifocal pain) and other pain (single focus eg knee) and centralisation of pain.


Review the day
cartoon of woman thinking

Sometimes, especially if you've had a tough day, it can be useful to review the day's events and see where you could perhaps make some helpful adjustments. The review will also help you to put things in perspective.

Towards the end of each day ask yourself some questions about the day, such as:
  • What worked?
  • Where did you get distracted?
  • What went wrong in your day?
  • Did you overdo an activity?
  • What did you learn that will help you be more effective tomorrow?
  • What did you enjoy during the day? Note at least three things that gave you pleasure.
  • Will you do more of these enjoyable things tomorrow?

Use this downloadable worksheet to help you keep track of how to be as well as possible.
Your download

Use our printable Pain Logs to keep track of your pain.
Log 1: Diary of your pain levels
Log 2: How feelings & activities affect your pain

Deep Relaxation for pain and stress relief
When you listen to Jan's soothing voice you will experience the quiet, calm rest of deep relaxation. The healing energy of deep relaxation is the recognised way to gain pain relief and to give your body the best chance of repairing itself.

Choose from any of the wonderfully relaxing recordings below. You can buy either CDs or cheaper and instant Download versions. Find out more and listen to a voice sample before you buy: Downloads here or CDs here.

Click the images below to go to our Shop to find more about each CD or Download and Jan's books. Choose from:
Pain Relief Without Drugs
'Highly recommended' by Dr Chris Wells, Consultant, Liverpool Pain Management
Pain Relief Without Drugs
A Good Night's Sleep
Voted top sleep CD by Holland and Barrett and Woman's Weekly
Perfect Relaxation
Voted top relaxation CD by Woman's Weekly
Perfect Relaxation
Relax and Release your Pain
'Excellent. Best CD for relaxation' say
Relax and Release your Pain

Just for You - worksheets and downloads all at no charge

We have lots of goodies for you.

Click the links below for your really useful downloadables.

NB Print the above two Pain Logs to keep track of your pain and find out what affects it. Use your Logs to show your doctor how your pain affects you.

Discussion Forum
Some of the latest forum topics - join in and have your say!

PIP assessment
Zomorph 30mg and 10mg
New law on driving and drugs
IBS and stomach pains
BLOG - spinal fusion surgery

Links to some of our regular popular topics
Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS)
Our members recommend the latest good books
Laughter is the best medicine
Ideas for easy meals
Join our hobbies/crafts topic & photo album
Join our garden topic & photo album
PainSupport logo

Visit our Discussion Forum
If you haven't yet been to our forum, take a look and bookmark it. There may well be a question you can answer for someone, or you may want to post a question of your own - or just read the entries, they are always interesting.
Discussion Forum

If you haven't done so already,
sign up here
for our monthly email Newsletter & and your Toolkit for Pain Relief download.

Forward this newsletter to a friend

Words of Wisdom...

'The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about.'
-- Author Unknown

Laughter is the best medicine

smiling girl cartoon
I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday...
I'll tell you what - never again.

I decided to sell my Hoover...
Well, it was just collecting dust.

My friend had his neck brace fitted years ago -
and since then he's never looked back.

I'm learning the hokey cokey. Not all of it.
But I've got the ins and outs.

We have thousands of jokes in our Laughter is the best medicine series on the Forum, here's a link to all the latest:
Visit our Joke Bank

You are welcome to add some jokes too - as long as they are nice and clean, of course!

Editor's Note

We hope you've enjoyed the PainSupport newsletter and find the information useful. Send us your comments and items for the newsletter, we love to hear from you.

Email PainSupport here
or use our online Contact Us form here
Jan Sadler, MBE

All best wishes - keep smiling - and keep moving!
Jan at PainSupport

More about pain relief here

Forward this email to a friend

You may print the above Newsletter for your own personal and private use but if you wish to use all or part of it for any other reason, please ask first. Copyright belongs to Jan Sadler.

Many of the tips, treatments, herbs and supplements mentioned in this newsletter are not from medical sources. Check with your doctor and use your own discretion before trying any of the suggestions to ensure they are suitable for your condition and to avoid interaction with any medication you are taking. Always have any undiagnosed pain checked out by a doctor.

PainSupport is not responsible for the content of any other website mentioned. PainSupport NEVER passes on your email address to anyone else without your prior permission.

facebook logo and link

© Jan Sadler 2015