Saturday, 25 January 2014

TENS Machine

Why has nobody made me aware of these things before? Well, correction, I know of people who have used TENS units before, but why has no one ever recommended I try one before?

I've blogged before about how I was diagnosed with endometriosis and how hard I've found it to manage the pain associated with it. Each month I have the option of taking nothing and suffering pain which makes me want to throw up, taking painkillers that do nothing for the pain and still wanting to throw up, painkillers that make me cry about cheese, or painkillers that dull the pain a bit and make me so spaced out that I can spend a good ten minutes staring at something and thinking about absolutely nothing.

As you can see, there's not really a winner there.

Knowing someone who swears by their TENS machine when they're in pain, I did a little bit of research into them. Basically they use little electrical impulses to break up the pain messages. You have the little machine itself that clips onto your clothes, and these little sticky electrode things that you put in different places depending on where you're feeling the pain.

After crying to Mr Click about how horrible I felt, he picked one up for me. £19.99 from Lloyds, plus some AAA batteries.

It is incredible!

It feels a bit weird, kind of like being stabbed by little needles wherever you've got the gel pads positioned. It's not a bad feeling though.

What was telling was that the first time I used it I was unable to sleep because of the lack of pain! I'm so used to getting into a position and not being able to move because if I do things hurt. And I didn't! It was quite novel being able to roll from one side to the other perfectly comfortably.

There was also the bonus of not having to go to work with a foggy head from the painkillers. I feel perfectly alert and if the pain starts coming back I just press a couple of buttons and dial it up to a point where I can't feel it anymore. I love it.

I've been positioning the gel pads on my lower abdomen and lower back (though if I put the ones on the front in the wrong place I get the needle sensation in my thigh when I'm sitting in a certain position). Generally I set it on the 'Continuous & Burst' mode around about an intensity of 4 at the front and 2 at the back. The first time it switches to Burst always gives me a bit of a shock but that soon settles down.

I'll need to get two more gel pads before I can use it again because the ones on my back ended up sticking to my clothes and themselves after being on all day, but they're relatively inexpensive and definitely worth it.

I know the TENS machines don't work for everyone, but I'm so glad it's working for me!

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Let me know what you think. :-)