Train the Brain
Many of you may know that I battled internal shingles in 2019. It was beyond any pain I could have ever imagined and took several months to really figure out the diagnosis. All of you were what kept me going. You may not have realized that you were what motivated me each and every day to push through the pain, but you did. You all needed me and that kept my focus keen. I learned several lessons from this journey and one of the most important was that of meditation because I could not will the pain away despite medications. I have for years counselled my tinnitus patients on the role of relaxation and mindfulness as one of several additional solutions to hearing devices and noise generators that help make the tinnitus less noticeable. My neuropathy, like the tinnitus for many of you, could have been my only focus and that would not have generated any relief. I refused to have it take control of me and I had to learn how to manage it. I researched mindfulness and dealing with chronic pain and gained much valuable information. Additionally, I was loaned an excellent book from a patient and friend titled “Living Beyond Your Pain—Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to Ease Chronic Pain” by Dahl et.al which was priceless. I also began to use the app headspace. Now, there are many different apps on meditation out there, but this one works for me. I am also quite impressed that Headspace is offering free memberships to healthcare workers with an active NPI during this global pandemic.
I think it is absolutely about finding resources that work for each of us. We have choices. Meditation to me is really about learning to view my thoughts and feelings with perspective so that I can arrive at a place of peace and calm despite the storm. The storm could be battling chronic pain. The storm could be battling tinnitus despite using hearing devices to help mask it. The storm could be COVID-19. Whatever your current storm, may you find resources that help.