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The Crazy Things we do to Distract from Pain

On Saturday Greta was in a lot of pain. She doesn’t have too many days lately where she needs my help to manage her pain. She has become pretty good at distracting herself when her pain flares. However, not on Saturday. She wanted to lay down in a dark room with ice, watch tv, and eat comfort food. And I did NOT want things to start spiraling down.

So I gave her $20 and said she could go out and buy something. (Shopping is very motivating for her). Now I wouldn’t usually give her money to distract her from a pain flare (that could be very costly!) but since this is a rare occurrence lately, I thought I could splurge.

Her brother went with her (he had a gift card he wanted to spend) and they had a lovely couple hours looking for what to buy. I feared that if she laid in bed all day, the next day might be equally as painful and then we would start to get into bad habits again. It is such a slippery slope.

Anyhow, while they were out shopping Saturday, I reflected on all the crazy things I have done to distract her during pain flares during the past 5 years. Here are some of the more notable ones…

Blind taste test – I did this regularly when things were really bad – I would put little bits and bites of things from the fridge and pantry on a plate and she would have to close her eyes and try each and guess what it was.

Blind touch test – I would put many small things from around the house in a bag and she would have to reach her hand in and guess what each thing was.

Who is it? – I would go through my fb feed and find photos of people she knew, zoom in on them (like on their nose and eye), text her the zoomed in photo, and then she would have to guess who it was.

Sometimes when I had to leave her at home in pain and go to the pharmacy for meds I would also try to distract her by zooming in on someone famous on a magazine, text the photo to her and see if she could guess who it was.

Online gifts – one time when things were really bad I decided that I would spend money to get us through that day. I told her that I would give her $20 and she could buy each person in our family (my husband, myself, her brother and herself) a $5 gift off of Amazon.

Other, more regular distractions have been art, baking, tv, pets, etc.

We have had many desperate days over the years. Thankfully, as Greta has become more functional again she realizes that resting too much usually amplifies her pain so she tries to keep a slow, consistent pace during a pain flare. But sometimes, we still need to manage a doozy.

Hopefully as your child becomes more functional they are able to manage their own pain more and more; however, there are still times when we just need to pool all our resources to get through the day.

~ Carla

The general contents of this website are provided solely for educational and informational purposes and are not meant to provide professional medical or psychiatric advice, counselling or therapeutic services.


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