Let’s Talk

Coping With Physical Pain

Q. Would you please share some thoughts about facing chronic physical pain?

A. Let’s Talk! We’ve talked a lot about emotional pain this past year, and now we’ll begin conversations about physical pain. It matters that you hurt. It matters that someone you love is in pain. There is help.

One of my dear friends has had nonstop, excruciating pain for a long season of time, and I wanted you to hear from her. Brenda Hauser has weighed in on this post before and I asked her to tell us about her journey:

I suffer with chronic pain but I am not my pain! I want things to be different – the way
they used to be – but they are not and I have come to grips with that. I have learned
to live above my circumstances. Satan has tempted me to despair andI have prayed to die,
but God has said, not yet, so I know there is something left for me to do in this life.
Augustine once said, “Nothing, therefore, happens unless the Omnipotent wills it to
happen. He either permits it to happen or He brings it about Himself.” So, every day
I get out of bed and get dressed like I’m going somewhere, even if I’m not. When
someone says to you, “You don’t look like you feel bad,” inside yourself shout a big,
“YES” with a fist pump!

I have attended a pain rehabilitation clinic and they helped me to change my thoughts,
emotions, and behaviors in relating to my pain. I am not capable of changing the pain,
but I can change my attitude about it. I don’t allow pain to be the center of my world
I don’t make/cancel plans based on how I think I might feel; I make plans! Medications,
a TENS unit, and a back brace have been prescribed, however, I also exercise (yes, even
when I hurt) and use distraction, humor, music, reading, Scripture memorization,
relaxation techniques, and deep abdominal breathing to deal with the pain. I also use
moderation and modification in how much I do at one time and how I do it. I pray and
ask others to pray for me because prayer changes things!

We all have a journey with pain on some level, so we truly invite your comments and reflections on your own pain experience. What helps you cope well with pain? We will continue to dialogue about physical pain next week.

For Deeper Reflection (also from Brenda)

Hebrews 12:1 “So, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus because this momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison.”

2 Corinthians 4:8 “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not despairing, struck down but not destroyed.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Therefore, be anxious for nothing, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:11 May we be like the apostle Paul and quickly move towards being able to say “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.