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Saturday, April 23, 2011

A bad weather day...a bad pain day?

A discussion was started at a support website ( about the weather and the effect it has on those of us with chronic pain.

The joking stereotype tends to be true. The old lady sitting in the rocker "It's gonna rain. My rheumatis' is starting to hurt." is one of the best barometers there is for those with chronic pain.

I no longer have the face pain that is trigeminal neuralgia, only the eye usage and movement pain, but when I did I knew when the weather would get worse. The pain changed and became more insistent and pushing against my face.

I had a neurosurgeon hold his hand up towards the pained part of my face. He told me to close my eyes so I would not know when the touch was coming. Because one of the procedures made that area of my face numb as well (it is a strange amalgam, pain and numbness superimposed) I might not, in his mind, even know when I was being touched there.

Eyes closed I waited, afraid of when he would touch. I started to feel the pain intensify. "Your hand is making the pain worse. I don't know if you're touching me or not but I know you are very close."

"You just expected the pain. That's why you are feeling it." This doctor had another agenda. It was related to my lawsuit against the doctor who numbed my face and the one who had paralyzed it. The last thing he wanted was for me to really have the pain. He preferred if he could call me a liar or, at the least, an exaggerator.

"It has nothing to do with expectations." I tried to explain to him. "When you brought your hand up and it was close to the area the temperature and pressure changed. That caused the pain to get worse."

I told him to put his hand up to his own face. "Do you feel the difference?" He just walked out of the room. No answer from him. He did not want to see the truth of it but it was the perfect example of why we are so sensitive to the weather and so affected by it.

Pressure, changes in temperature, cold, all of these claim our pain.

Weatherman take heed, as someone I know said. We are better at predicting the coming rain than many a computer printout.

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