emotional health

Touch, Pain and RA

Lene Andersen Health Guide February 06, 2013
  • Touch. We know it's important to babies and children, but once we are grown, we pay less attention to it. Nonetheless, it's still important to our daily lives and mental health. The skin is our largest sense organ and touch has evolved as a medium of communication for humans. Your skin tells you if i...

12 Comments
  • Carrie Beth Brown
    Health Guide
    Feb. 07, 2013
    Touching is so important, particularly in a relationship. There are so many things that my husband and I can't do together because of my illnesses and pain, but we work extra hard at making sure we are touching as much as possible. The hand or kiss on top of the head when we move behind the couch, touching hands while watching TV, the casual hug...everything...
    RHMLucky777
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    Touching is so important, particularly in a relationship. There are so many things that my husband and I can't do together because of my illnesses and pain, but we work extra hard at making sure we are touching as much as possible. The hand or kiss on top of the head when we move behind the couch, touching hands while watching TV, the casual hug...everything makes a difference and yet it's so easy to get out of the habit when you hurt, or in my case when we both hurt as my husband has chronic back and knee problems that complicate things even more. I miss being able to lay on my side and spoon with my husband, but we've found other ways to touch and cuddle in bed...they're some of our happiest moments of the day. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful article on how important touch is...we can easily lose it when we're in pain, but that is also a time when it means the most, whether from a loved one or a just gentle hug from a friend.
    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Feb. 07, 2013

      thanks for your lovely comment, Carrie Beth. It's good to hear an example of how it is indeed possible to keep loving each other in different ways.

  • V
    V
    Health Guide
    Feb. 12, 2013

    This article made me think...a lot.  I realized that neither my husband's family, nor mine, are "touchers".  They are not openly affectionate.  Kind of strange because my DH and I are the opposite.  Always have been.  When we are walking somewhere, we just naturally hold hands. When Lloyd comes home from work, the first thing he does...

    RHMLucky777

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    This article made me think...a lot.  I realized that neither my husband's family, nor mine, are "touchers".  They are not openly affectionate.  Kind of strange because my DH and I are the opposite.  Always have been.  When we are walking somewhere, we just naturally hold hands. When Lloyd comes home from work, the first thing he does after laying down his day planner is to give me a hug.  I should say, we give each other a hug.  When he walks by me on the way to the kitchen for a snack he will ruffle my hair or kiss me on the forehead.  We are always touching in some way.  It is comforting.  I just never thought of people not having that kind of a relationship until now.  Thanks for the great article, Lene.

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Feb. 12, 2013

      I love making people think. Wink

       

      The Boy and I are the same. We try not to be nauseating around others, but sometimes, ya just gotta.

    • V
      V
      Health Guide
      Feb. 12, 2013

      LOL  I do know what you mean.  We are just naturally that way with each other.  My best friend told me the other day that we are sweethearts still, not just husband and wife.  That made me smile. Smile

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Feb. 12, 2013

      that's lovely, V.

  • Leslie
    Feb. 07, 2013

    I had friends who put a hand on my shoulder that caused me to cry out in pain, so they now try to avoid touching me at all. It's hard for them to know what will hurt and what will not. I think I need to tell them how to be gentle and what joints to avoid alltogether (that dang shoulder!). That shoulder has made hugs painful too - they need to be more gentle...

    RHMLucky777

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    I had friends who put a hand on my shoulder that caused me to cry out in pain, so they now try to avoid touching me at all. It's hard for them to know what will hurt and what will not. I think I need to tell them how to be gentle and what joints to avoid alltogether (that dang shoulder!). That shoulder has made hugs painful too - they need to be more gentle and I have to admit that at my worst I just tried to avoid contact. At least since the humira has kicked in I can shake hands without tears! I couldn't believe how painful that was or how difficult it was to avoid in a business setting. I still try to minimize the hand shake to minimize my infection risk though!

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Feb. 07, 2013

      I can do handshakes most of the time — or rather, my hand just sort of lies there like  a dead fish.most people get it, but some still do the crushing handshake. After one too many of those, I've learned to sort of wave at people instead.

       

      Isn't it amazing that little changes that happen every day when a medication works? Would you be willing...

      RHMLucky777

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      I can do handshakes most of the time — or rather, my hand just sort of lies there like  a dead fish.most people get it, but some still do the crushing handshake. After one too many of those, I've learned to sort of wave at people instead.

       

      Isn't it amazing that little changes that happen every day when a medication works? Would you be willing at some point to write a post about how things have changed in your life after Humira? We get a lot of posts about problems and having a success story would be a really hopeful thing for our community.

    • Leslie
      Feb. 09, 2013

      I could do that - you're right, I tend to write when I have problems and lots of what anyone reads here or on any participation site is a LOT of problems. But improvement and help and hope is out there - things CAN get better. I don't think that even with the best results this is a disease to be sneezed at, ;-), but I know in my case the meds have certainly...

      RHMLucky777

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      I could do that - you're right, I tend to write when I have problems and lots of what anyone reads here or on any participation site is a LOT of problems. But improvement and help and hope is out there - things CAN get better. I don't think that even with the best results this is a disease to be sneezed at, ;-), but I know in my case the meds have certainly improved my life. Even if you can't get remission, at 50% reduction in disease activity is huge. I'll give it some thought and make a list; I'm sure I can accomodate.

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Feb. 12, 2013

      you're awesome! I loove forward to reading it.

  • Rena
    Feb. 06, 2013

         Great reminder Lene.  It is so easy for me to withdraw into my own little world of pain, build my wall and tell everyone I am fine so they won't worry or pitty me.  Touch is such an important thing and feels so, so nice, why deprive ourselves from it.  You are so right about those nerve ends being able to feel other things...

    RHMLucky777

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         Great reminder Lene.  It is so easy for me to withdraw into my own little world of pain, build my wall and tell everyone I am fine so they won't worry or pitty me.  Touch is such an important thing and feels so, so nice, why deprive ourselves from it.  You are so right about those nerve ends being able to feel other things besides pain.  Intimacy requires trust and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.  I need to work on that.

         Other ways to enjoy touch.  How about going for a massage.  I could sure use one of those.  :)

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Feb. 07, 2013

      massages are good. I haven't had one in the long time — my fibro doesn't like it. My partner sometimes puts his hands on my shoulders and leaves them there. It means instant relaxation for me.

       

      thanks for your comment!