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The Chronic Pain Couch User Group
Chronic Pain Couch
About This Group:

This is a great site for anyone suffering from Chronic Pain or has a Family member or Friend who suffers. A place where you can tell your story, find others with similar conditions or pain, help someone in need, read up on the latest Chronic Pain treatments or simply sit for a while. Chronic Pain as we all know can be debilitating and relentless. It is not prejudice in any way, shape, or form. It can strike without warning and stay for life. The Chronic Pain Couch is a place designed for your comfort, and please note.. You don't have to suffer from chronic Pain to be a part of this community, we offer a variety of other topics as well. I truly hope that you will come and join us. And remember, there is never a need to worry whether or not your post has been read, a member or myself (Molly) are generally available to read and respond to all posts that come our way...... We are always here for you. Together We CAN Make A Difference in each others lives and how we manage day to day in coping with our relentless pain. Warmest regards, Mollyrae, founder of The Chronic Pain Couch.

Founded by Mollyrae on September 22, 2009
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Chronic Pain Couch

I am reminded of our purpose here by the founder Molly who states...

This is a group site for anyone suffering from Chronic Pain or has a family member who suffers.  
A place where you can tell your story, come for comfort or just want to sit a while.
Chronic Pain is debillating and relentless, it is not prejudice in any way, shape or form.  
The Chronic Pain couch is a place designed for comfort.
I truly hope that you will come and join us.  
And there is never a need to worry whether or not your post is heard, we always hear and respond…we are always her for you.
No pain is our aim and together we can make a difference in each others lives and how we manage to cope from day to day.
Warmest regards Molly founder of forum.

As I look up the word 'support group', in the Merriam Webster dictionary is see the definition is...
A group of people with common experiences and concerns who provide emotional and moral support for one another.

Then I look up the definition of 'chronic pain'...
Pain that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable.
Chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.

I view this site daily as I wake to look for support in the chronic pain I experience.
The rough part is getting through the nights when my pain reaches its highest level.
I still wait for a direction to get through the night.
31 Comments
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I too do not sleep all night, and your question is a very good one...I went to a few online Medical Boards and found some answers that I will insert here.
I have not used all of these but have used a few now and then...

____________________________

Aches and pains give everyone a sleepless night now and then. It doesn't take much -- a pulled muscle from an overenthusiastic workout or an afternoon spent helping a friend move furniture. Next thing you know, you're lying in bed at 3 a.m., staring at the ceiling above your bed, aching, and praying for unconsciousness.

While most aches fade pretty quickly, painful and sleepless nights are the norm for people living with chronic pain. "Between 50%-90% of people with chronic pain say that they don't sleep well," says Gilles Lavigne, an expert on the connection between sleep and pain and a professor of dentistry, physiology and psychiatry at the University of Montreal. "They wake up feeling like they never went to bed."

Not getting enough sleep can have a poisonous effect on your whole life, says Penney Cowan, executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association. It makes you feel rundown and depressed. Your job and family life can suffer.  And that's not all.

"There's very good data that suggests that disturbed sleep can worsen your pain," says Thomas Roth, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. It's a vicious cycle: pain prevents you from sleeping, and not sleeping makes the pain worse

_____________________


I for one can no longer sleep in a bed.  I bought a new recliner and sleep in that...The shape of the recliner takes the pressure off my back that I had surgery on and the pain is less now in the night.  I have tried buying pillows and bolsters for my bed to no avail, the only "bed" that allows me any sleep is my recliner...

_________________________

Experts strongly recommend that people with chronic pain and insomnia practice good "sleep hygiene," a medical term for good sleep habits. These suggestions aren't specific to people with chronic pain -- they can help anyone with sleep problems.

Cut back -- or cut out -- the caffeine. If you're overtired, coffee, tea, and caffeinated sodas may help you get through the day. But in all likelihood, they're just worsening your problem, since they disturb your sleep at night. So struggle through a few days without your dose of caffeine and see how you do.

Avoid naps. "Napping during the day just reduces the amount you can sleep at night," says Roth.

Exercise, but not too late. While physical activity is good for everyone, intense exercise -- especially in the late afternoon and evening -- can rev your body up and make sleeping at night difficult. So try a more moderate exercise routine and make sure to do it before the evening.

Cut out the alcohol in the evening. A nightcap might seem like the perfect way to put yourself to sleep. But the problem is that alcohol can interfere with your sleep cycles and wake you up later.

Don't overeat in the evening. A stuffed stomach may make it harder to sleep, says Lavigne.

Make your bedroom a calming place. It's very easy to have your bedroom become a multipurpose dumping ground. It might be filled with baskets of laundry, your kids' toys, and a blaring TV. But experts say that you should make your bedroom a more neutral, soothing place. In fact, they recommend that you reserve you bedroom only for sleeping and sex. Get rid of the distractions.

Relax before bed. Don't do anything before bed that could get you anxious or excited. Avoid doing work in the evening or even getting into serious discussions with your spouse. Instead, try focused relaxation or breathing exercises.

If you can't sleep, don't lie awake in bed. Willing yourself to sleep won't work -- you'll probably just make yourself anxious. So if you're not asleep within 15 minutes of lying down, get out of bed and do something else. Read a book. Take a bath. Listen to soft music. Once you feel yourself getting tired, get back into bed.

Get up at the same time every day regardless of when you went to sleep. It's one way of getting yourself onto a schedule.

__________________________

I follow the last 2 suggestions on a daily basis.  If I do wake up in the middle of the night I get out of my recliner and either watch the moon cross the sky, or watch the woods for animals who may be out there eating, or I work on a photo that I had taken that day.

When I find myself sleepy again I go back to bed and get up at my normal time of 6 am.  Yes sometimes I drag through the day but then I sleep better that night.

I don't nap at all.  Napping during the day is a big sign of depression for me.
It allows me to hide from my feelings and not deal with the depression if I am daytime sleeping...I open all the shades and curtains at 6 am and let the light pour in, and if I feel like a daytime nap I ask myself what is really going on and then have a nice cup of green tea, no sugar....

I do hope Madman that some of this might help.....Let me know what you think and I can find more suggestions for you if these are not to your liking..

M


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Appreciate the suggestions. I am familiar with all of them. I take muscle relaxers which help me with my sleep BUT hip pain is constant and I will be returning to the pain management doctor for a diagnosis AGAIN. This seems to be an on going issue with me.
The other issue I have is with scar tissue from my former surgeries that does not heal. There is not much I can do about that.
Mentally I do everything I can to shut off the pain. Naturally when the body relaxes at night, the pain increases. My question is:
How does one find a way to slow down the pain at night? What more can I do mentally?
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thought of some mental exercises
washing your self with milky white light.
can you use all vibgyor color-one by one. start with red and end wit violet.
consider mentor combing your aura, with his fingers and throwing the pain in burning hearth.
Some one massaging you.
Do you use fomenting, Hot water bag or Ice bag?
To give rest to spine one sleeps on floor, keeping lower leg on the seat of a chair, spinal column(Torso) and had on the floor(This depends on condition of your spinal column.)
Thought on yoga for pain relief; It may work, but it has to be learned and practiced before that is when you are OK. then it would work as a preventive or the pain is manageable we will miss Om who was always ready with answers..how is your care taker.
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Oh the thoughts of wishing...
I have done yoga in the past but due to the damage to my lower spinal column, yoga at present is out of the question. I have done Pilates in the morning but need to watch my condition at present.
My issue is with the piriformis syndrome muscles that are a constant pain issue. I have done all the exercises I can tolerate at present. Apparently I am due for more shots to calm down the pain.
I practice relaxing techniques. Water flowing, the beach, the movement of the waves, the thoughts of sunshine. I learned some of these techniques from OM. The help relax me for sleeping but during the night when I move or get up, all that I have focused on to get me to sleep and relax, go out the window with the OW syndrome.
How do you tell you mind that the pain does not hurt?
My caregiver is constantly aware or what I go through and has provide all the mental support and rub downs, along with a machine that helps break up the tension in my muscles. I cannot fault him for everything that he has done.
I am looking for more mental techniques to add to my list of mental relaxing and what to tell these muscles that do not want to respond. I know the mind can work through this and that is why I am on this support board.
I sincerely appreciate all the comments. I just wanted to know of any new ideas that would help focus my attention at nights when the pain is awake and I want to put it to sleep.
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I am looking for more mental techniques to add to my list of mental relaxing and what to tell these muscles that do not want to respond. I know the mind can work through this and that is why I am on this support board.
I sincerely appreciate all the comments. I just wanted to know of any new ideas that would help focus my attention at nights when the pain is awake and I want to put it to sleep.
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Have you used a recliner designed according to your ailment? Search for CD for yog nidra. It means divine sleep. When you get up in the mid night of at odd time you may play this CD.There may be many type of CDs. may be drum beats, or om, or waves. Think your self as ocean.and waves are moving in. visualise your skeleton. each bone.By this your consciousness goes deeper.yog nidra CDs work in four stages. It may differ according to the person who made it.Goal is same. relaxation,Imagery, determination(affirmation) scanning,Hearing, smelling etc.Counting backward is another imagery. Seeing the hands of a clock at 12,,3,6,9 12.may go anticlockwise, may go to all no. from 1 to 12.I usually got up at 4am.To pass time I do some exercise and all imagery. till 8am.I sleep at 11 pm. I had two problems one was smoking and other was sleeping pills. smoking is gone. pills are here to stay.
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I understand the sound of music or what you are suggesting but wonder what I am doing wrong with the techniques I use. I love the water and the beauty it brings in different forms. The light that is reflected, the motion of fluidity, the creation of the sounds it makes, and the direction of unpredictability.
I have listen to tapes of water and rain falling. Very relaxing. I enjoy this technique but why do the muscles respond to pain in this cycle? The stages of sleep create different forms of relaxation. Muscles spasms happen to me in the middle of the night waking me up from a deep sleep. They have been severe at times. No cramps, but severe muscle spasms. (twitching and the like)
Is there no way to shut off that muscle stimulation mentally?
The brain controls the body, I have learned this.
Would you suggest a lobotomy...just a thought? (joking)
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Maybe I am asking for too much information here. I will consult with my doctor for a more realistic answer to my pain issues. I apologize for any comments taken in the wrong direction. Thank you all for your help.
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You do not need to apologize. Your pain is real. Our suggestions are not strong enough to stop your agony and disturbance to your routine life. You have a good doctor and you have good expression power to narrate your problems. I wish you best of luck.
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Much of the brain is still mysterious to modern science, possibly because modern science itself is using brains to analyze it. There are probably secrets the brain simply doesn't want us to know.

When you sleep normally, your body gets only about an hour and a half of REM sleep, the kind of sleep that is thought to be the most important to keeping your brain sharp. While other stages of sleep help your body to heal and grow, the REM sleep is what makes you feel rested.

I found some videos on YouTube for White Noise.  White noise offers  many benefits, with some white noise sounds working better than others for specific uses. In addition, you may find some white noise sounds more pleasing than others.

At night when you are asleep your brain is super attentive to outside stimuli, be that pain or rumbling trucks going by your window...The white noise plays a soothing background that your brain hears while you are asleep. It does not stop the pain in your body, in your case especially, the muscle spasms are very painful and disruptive.  

I do wish I had an answer for you but the brain is so multi faceted and complex  when I go on Google and look up Pain Relief and Your Brain,
all the professionals suggest  what has been written here yesterday and today....

If I do come across anything new, I will come back and post it for you

M

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Hi I know about sleepless nights too from the constant pain.
As you know I smoke marijauna before bed, it really helps me to relax and helps the pain.
Before I had that, I took sleeping pills. We all need sleep if we are going to enjoy anything the next day. So don't feel bad if you need sleeping pills, I took zopiclone 7.5mg. They worked well for me too.

And then when I go to bed, I practice breathing exercises or put in a relaxation cd. Years ago when I had insomnia, I started using the CDs in the middle of the night.

Good luck, I hope you get a goodnight soon.
Take care Sue
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CDs of Yog NIDRA(divine sleep) covers four states of the body and the mind
1st.Watching the breath; when you watch your breath, it automatically slows down.
2nd. scanning the body;You may feel each part of the body, each system of the body, even your own skeleton. By imaging skeleton, you augomatically go deep inside you.
3rd By this time your mind is in alpha state. You may repeat a positive affirmation three times. Only one affirmation is recommended.
4th. visulize ordinary objects, like A running dog, a car, clouds, sky, ocean any objects you like. This imagery connects us to subconscious mind which is energise. Here you do not concentrate on the objects. just think about it and let go. Now you can repeat your affirmation and end your practice. You may rub your hands till they are warm and plam your eyes.
This is a brief, explanation on Yog nidra.There may be different type of CDs. Objective of all, is same.(we usually ignore the muscles of face.One can concentrate(relax) eye brows, lower Jaw,chin, cheeks.)
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One of the ignored segment is Finger postures called yog mudra. Mudra means posture, stance,Pose. etc. Usually you find Budha's idol with gyan mudra. There are 5 or 6 mudra for meditation and all others are for therapeutic use.
Basic elements, according to yoga, are 5, earth, water, space, air, fire. Each finger represent these elements.Aim of finger mudra is balance of the elements. For a beginning, you may try a cluster mudra: Each finger tip is touched by the top of the thumb-one by one. you may keep it for a count of 10(secibds)This can be done anytime even when you are hearing your cD or doing breathing. Give a try.You may see photo of myoungatheart in her profile. There are photos of 10 mudras. You may google Finger mudra. or hand mudra. you may pick up any mudra applicable to your problem. You can do breathing exercise along with these mudra.
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We had a wonderful noisy thunderstorm at 3 am this morning, the lightning, the rain, the wind was spectacular....I woke up and sat straight up and then just sat back and enjoyed being awake during this beautiful weather occurence.  I stayed up and made the kitties breakfast, checked email, worked on a few photos, did meditation , opened all the windows and made lunch....The storms passed and it is a beautiful day out today.

If I think about it, waking in the middle of the night to a raging storm ,
or waking up because of body pain is still waking up in the middle of the night.  I learned something this morning that the next time pain calls me out of my sleep, I will greet it with perhaps a " Hello Friend" rather then calling it a "dirty old dog"....Just something I have been thinking of off and on during the day today and will let you know how that is working for me.

Thank you

M
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Accepting pain as a friend, will be equivalent to becoming ready to tolerate or enjoy the sensation of pain. Osho has said, the science has started on the wrong foot. It should have evolve devices to accept nature's all types of activity. For heat. in stead of Air conditioner, it should have devises something which makes strong enough to tolerate and enjoy heat. Spence would have developed in an altogether in a different way.It is a philosopher's point of view.What type of world we could have if that philosophy was adopted by science.
Major component of agony of pain is tension and worry. If tension is reduced pain has to come down as well.Probable this requires a lot of practice.
King of varanasi-Indian state, was expert meditation.He was to be operated. He said I will meditate and disconnect my body from my mind, yo go ahead with operation. Doctors were not ready to ooperate without anesthesia. The king suggested that you do some small operation as a trial and if it is seccessful, you do the major operation.Major operation was done without anesthesia. this is an authentic story-may be 60 or 80 years old. Anesthesia produced by acupunture is also quite recent happenings.Ease of delivery is also possible with acupuncture.I think, themadman may be treated wit acupuncture.  
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Well it is 3:30 am here and I am still up with pain. My back, ribs, neck, legs and my feet hurt.  Every single day for me a struggle and I never get anything done. Madman, I agree it is hard if you have spinal pain to do yoga or stretching.  Twisting or bending of any kind is torture for me.  Even walking...I barely walk anymore, sitting is horrible too.  I am getting swelling, esp. my right knee and foot--always something.

I am trying meditation, and therapy, sort of a tension releasing technique.  I still say that I would not be tense at all if I didn't have the paiin---I would be the happpiest person,.  the doctors have it backwards in my opinion.

I just had a birthday and could not even do anything, but I keep trying and praying and hoping... My computer is on the fritz so I'm not always on but I catch up.

Only things I can offer is that I watch TV, try to read, listen to music (happy songs) and play a lot of games on the computer.  I like word games.  I try to get out and sit in the yard for as long as I can.   I use ice packs.  I take tylenol, which really doesn't do anything and a low dose xanax.  I use a fan at night for the white noise and to circulate the air, but I am often up all nite anyway. If I can't sleep I put the TV back on because I get so stressed if I'm just trying to sleep and can't.



Love to everyone.
Cindee
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Hi Cindee

I don't know your story and for one, would love to hear how you came to this life of pain you are living.  I am so sorry to hear that you are having so much difficulty with your body and your pain.  Many times we sit here with members here on the Pain Couch and if I could, I would reach over and just give you a big hug or at the least squeeze your hands to let you know that I can feel your pain in your post.

If you are still awake at 3 am, when is the best time for you to sleep.
Are you napping during the day and is the pain less for you if you try to sleep in the daytime...

You say that you are trying meditation and therapy, the type of tension release...Do you continue the meditation while you are in bed at night
or before you go to bed.  

I am also sorry to hear that your computer is on the Fritz, there is so
much info on the internet that people with pain can access that to
not be able to do that gives you a bit more difficulty...

The following is from PsycheCentral:Chronic Pain and the research is not mine but Professionals who put that site together...
___________________________


Experts used to think that the amount of pain a person felt was equal to the amount of damage in their body, Thorn said. Today, however, we know that our thoughts and emotions can influence the perception of pain, making it much worse or less intense, she said. Psychotherapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), harness this concept “by re-teaching your brain.”

Research has found that CBT is highly effective for managing both pain and depression. (“Some of the strongest evidence supports CBT,” Kerns said. But he also noted that other therapies such as behavioral activation and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy show promise.)

For instance, CBT teaches individuals to pay attention to their thought processes, which can maximize or minimize pain. Thoughts like “This pain has ruined my life, and there’s nothing left to be done,” negatively affect your emotions and behaviors, said Thorn, author of Cognitive Therapy for Chronic Pain: A Step-by-Step Guide. They also make you more likely to get depressed and withdraw. Plus, “If you feel like there’s nothing you can do, you won’t do anything,” which is “really dangerous for someone with chronic pain.”

_________________________

The American Medical Association now says that sitting for more then one hour at a time is a dangerous habit and lists on their website the ways to get moving even very slowly....

You also say that you are in therapy, does your therapist address any of the problems you are having at night with your pain and sleeplessness...

I do think that your doctor should be brought up to date with what you are going through...There might be an adjustment in your medicine that is needed or maybe a new medicine that you could try....

I do wish you the very best.....I hope I haven't bombarded you with info overload, or asked too many questions as I am prone to doing.....

Best Wishes

M

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I wish we could all give you a real hug Cindee---i wish i had some "magic"--some amazing yoga "cure" for you but i have only my compassion and love to send to you.
    Thank you cindee for reminding me of what this couch is about---the comfort we give and receive here and the sharing of the "tricks" of the "pain game"---if only it were a game!
    And thank you madman for bringing the purpose of our couch back to our minds.
    It is a time to re-gather and re-focus on that purpose and re-energize our group---we must not let it fade away.
   And thank you so much sue and madman and dalubaba for your thoughts of me in  my absence---they are appreciated.......
     Love is what we all came here for --- we are learning through our inter-actions with others just how to do that.  Be kind to all earth's creatures.

Let those tears water the garden of your inmost Heart.
omhome
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WELCOME BACK! You were missed, especially with your powerful message which gives purpose to what The Chronic Pain couch is all about. Thank you for reminding me.
Wish I could add more but you said a mouthful.
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thank you madman---and thank you for reminding us with this thread---hello mollyrae?-------we are trying here!.   I appreciate the welcome my pain-friend.

om
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hey hon---i will have some more for you but will e-mail it to you instead of putting it here.  I am so sorry you have to go thru this.  
don
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Sometimes even presence of some one and kind words of some one who is compassionate, empathetic, loving and pious  can reduce the agony of pain.I hope cumulative good will of our group members will enhance peace and pain free atmosphere for our members.
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I would HOPE the focus here is to be mentally pain free for starters. The more people tell of their experiences, the more we can all learn. Look forward to some positive answers.
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thank you and here is perhaps a great "Mission Statement" for the group from Dalubaba-----
"I would hope cumulative good will of our group members will enhance peace and pain free atmosphere for our members."   Wow!  I join you in that hope dalubaba  thank you.    
Along with this from madman-----"The more people tell of their experiences, the more we can all learn. Look forward to some positive answers."
Looking forward---
Learning

om
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Pereformis muscle is deep inside not easily assessable. In some person scatic nerve goes through the periformis muscle and in other it goes by the side of the muscles.What is the significance of this difference, i do not know. Doctor may clarify this anamoly. I think I did talk about fomantationn of painful part. Fomaentation with cold and hot water bag  might help in reducing pain.
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thanks madman---you point right to the issue we all have and that of course is pain. I have a question for you guys:   what is the opposite of pain? Well---is it pleasure? Is it just "being out of pain----pain free"---more a neutral state ?
If we can define and then Practice the opposite we may discover the truth to the saying that "Positive overcomes the negative"---kinda reminds me of that song about   "accentuate the positive---eliminate the negative " (ok--pretty old song i know) but it is not just positive thinking i am talking about.
    So let's get a working definition of what exactly is the opposite of Pain and we can go from there. Ya think?
om
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what i am thinking is suppose we decide that pleasure is the opposite and now we begin to practice pleasure.  Kinda like we keep adding more pleasure to one side of our see-saw until it at least gets even and maybe goes all the way to the ground---grounded in pleasure. HA!
    I bet we can find more and more ways to create a little bit of pleasure (and the endorphins that releases) and the simplest pleasures are so easy and Free. Maybe we could list a few?  Like taking a moment to Smell the Morning? Pet the dog/cat/iguana? Feel the touch of water on the skin----hot/cold/......takes just a moment to notice today how many "pleasures" we can put on our side of that eternal see-saw.
om
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My morning are composed of CAT PRIORITY...!
When I wake up in the morning, top priority is to give the cat attention. She howls until I pet her and then give her food. One she had her fill, I am ignored. She returns to her sleeping pattern and I am somewhat grateful because I cannot get my morning work done until she gets her priorities.
It is rather amazing how animals control our lives. They depend on us for so many things and all it takes is a little attention in return. We give out children, husbands, wives and partners more than the animals require.
After I complete my morning work, I get the toys the cat loves to play with and I wear her out with them. By the end of the day, she curls up around my feet and goes into a deep sleep.
Do our children, husbands, wives and mates do the same?
Amazing animals...!
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playing with your cat is probably more pain-relieving than taking a pill! Science is showing more and more how our pets are important to our health. Older folks who have 'em live longer.
     Now that is probably not true for me. Just the opposite! I have a turtle. You try having big 'ol Speedy curl up at your feet. And talk about frustration! You try teaching a turtle to play fetch.
om
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i am thinking what fun to introduce my turtle "Speedy" to your can madman. I can just visualize them playing together. Would make a great morning meditation.
om
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Thanks MadMan... Nice Thread. You totally get the picture.

Molly
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