Pain Awareness Month and 1mPerfect Moms

Have you ever experienced pain that you weren't able to accurately describe?

Have you ever thought, I hope they don't think I'm making this up?

You are not alone! 

September recognizes a few awareness' during the month. This month is also dedicated to pain awareness and we want to talk about it. You may have experienced pain from chronic migraine (like myself), pain from side effects of hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, etc. during your pregnancy, or pain during your recovery after pregnancy. The Healthline describes chronic pain as your body continuing to send pain signals to your brain, even after an injury heals, lasting up to 12 weeks. 

Can you imagine?

Some of you can. Pregnancy and delivery is the most sacred time of you and your little one's life but what if you've been in pain the whole time? What if post delivery, you've experienced chronic pain? What if your child is a toddler or a little older and you have still had to fight through chronic pain?

Mental Health America, states that research shows that those with chronic pain are four times more likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free. Whether you were diagnosed with postpartum depression/anxiety or have general/major depression or anxiety, your chronic pain can be adding to your symptoms or triggering it. 

If you haven't noticed already, we are full of resources and want to share them. The American Chronic Pain Association has provided some resources that we think will be helpful to you, if you are experiencing chronic pain. 

  • FAQs: do you want to know more about chronic pain? Click the FAQs

  • Communication Tools: having pain consistently can sometimes cause confusion when trying to describe your pain to others. Sometimes you may be so focused on the current pain that it's hard to describe what caused it, triggered it, or what you've tried to treat it. These communication tools can help you with providing information to your physicians and/or others.

  • Pain Management Programs: the ACPA believes that management programs consist of the group of people you choose to support you with your pain management. These people may consist of physicians, specialists, therapists, and/or counselors. 

  • Medication Safety Video: your doctors may prescribe you with medication to treat your chronic pain. Most common pain medications can be opioids or even anti-depressants because it can relieve both pain and depression because of shared chemical messengers in the brain. Either way, you should make sure you are practicing and/or creating a safety plan with your doctor. 

  • Mental Health Questionnaires - as mentioned above, chronic pain can lead to mental health conditions like depression and/or anxiety. If you think your chronic pain has effected your mental health, you can head back to the Postpartum Depression/Anxiety Symptom Check post to use those questionnaires to include with your communication tools to your doctor

A lot of us have returned back to work, whether full-time, part-time, completely remote, or through a hybrid model. The American Disabilities Act ensures that you are able to advocate for yourself at work if you are experiencing chronic pain. At Pain Doctor, you can view ways to request reasonable accommodations for chronic pain at work. 

Please share this post with anyone you think will be able to benefit from this. Have you experienced chronic pain? What has it been like for you? How have you coped? Share below. 

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