What do you do for those Epic pain days? Those days that exceed your pain tolerance? How do you cope with that exceptional level of pain that defies all reason?
I generally call these 'lost days' because they are lost to all productive activities and all other activities as well. They are just lost to pain. We can do nothing but manage our pain as best we can and ride it out.
Yet it is not as easy as all that. The pain is intense and digs right into your very soul. It is at these times I am at the highest risk of depressive thoughts. Of even suicidal ideation. The pain just circles around the brain as it does and you lose your sense of past and future. Locked into this moment that seems stretched on to eternity. And you believe there is just no end to the pain. In general. To this pain, yes, eventually, to all pain... no, never. And that haunts you during these most intense moments. So I must find ways to distract my thoughts at all costs because this being consumed by the pain is a very bad state for me to be in. Either distraction of some sort, that I am capable of. Or sleep, if I am in fact capable of that. Those are often my only solutions.
How to distract your brain in intense moments of pain varies from person to person. What one person can do another just cannot. And other times what you can do during one episode becomes impossible during another. For example, often I like to read to distract myself. Even when I cannot handle doing on the internet or watching TV I can read. Even with poor vision in dim light, I can read. Prefer dim light to be honest. But a lot of people have problems with this. Some people prefer watching a movie for example, but often the light and sound aggravates me. So we have to pick and choose what we can when we can.
Sleep is often tricky at the best of times with pain. However when pain is very high sometimes sleep is literally the best solution. So if you can attain it I often aim for it.
I also like anything that soothes. I like menthol creams on my neck. I have a migraine balm I use on my temples, forehead, cheek and jaw. I like ice on the back of my head. It usually hurts more to lay down completely but resting upright against something works quite well for me. Some people like to take baths. I cannot due to blood pressure drops, but I would if I could. And we can do things like mindful meditation or relaxation breathing or listening to really soft mellow music. Absolutely none of this will stop the pain, it just helps with the mindset while in pain. Anything to keep distress down is what I aim for. Being calm and relaxed and in pain sort of seems like a contradiction, but I aim to be as calm as possible, and as relaxed as possible. Keep my mind off stressful thoughts. And away from its depressive negative spiral.
Some days... it all seems to work better than others. But no one likes lost days. They are lost no matter what you do to manage the pain and that is exceptionally frustrating. Yet we do have to take care of ourselves during these times of increased pain so that it does not, well, continue.