Updated: Sep 1, 2022
There's nothing like going to the doctor and getting "negative" test results when you're in pain, right? I mean this pain has lasted longer than three months, introduced a new level of fear into your world, and negatively affects your self-esteem, relationships, and career. The list can go on and on, yet you keep getting this "negative" test result.
In the moment, and hours after that doctor's appointment, you are now battling this inner fight to stay positive. Another "negative" test result seems like you're back at step one. Like none of your problems have been answered, and that there is no finish line in sight to end this chronic pain journey that you've endured.
You've realized that today won't be the day that you are granted this magical reason why you've been in so much pain for so long. So, what's next? Frustration? Being fed up and crying? Or maybe there's a different way we can handle this unwanted and unexpected outcome.
Keep reading to learn three coping methods to deal with "negative" test results and underwhelming news for chronic pain.
1. Look Through A Different Lens.
A "negative" test result doesn't have to be the worst thing in your world. It might mean that you haven't found a specific answer to the reasoning of your pain that you wanted to hear, but it is still an answer.
You might be rolling your eyes at that last sentence, but keep reading. Healthcare providers suggest certain tests to rule out specific illnesses or physical injuries. So, if your test results come back "negative" it does not mean that your pain isn't validated. It just means you can cross out one of the possible reasons for what is causing your pain. Think of it like you are getting closer to the solution!
2. Don't lose hope!
I know you want an answer and it seems like you haven't taken big enough steps to move you closer to being healed. But, losing hope right now doesn't do you any justice.
Your mind needs to believe that your body can, will, and deserves to heal. Keeping hope and looking towards the future is essential, even though it might seem hard at this moment.
Surround yourself with a team of loved ones and healthcare providers that want to see you get better and will help uplift you along the way. Just because your healthcare provider couldn't give you a definite answer, doesn't mean that all health professionals are useless to your situation.
Continue to log your chronic pain experiences, ask questions, and if needed, look for holistic healthcare professionals that can work together with you and your doctors.
3. Some pain can be undetectable.
So, you've gone through every assessment and test possible, and still no luck. At this point you are worried about a few things: will I live in pain forever, will I ever get to do the things I once did, will I be able to accomplish anything in the future, are these pain medications healthy long-term, does my healthcare provider believe me? The list can go on and on.
There's one final assessment that you can approach with your doctor, which is having an overactive pain system. Overactive pain systems are nondetectable, although the pain it causes is real.
In your next doctor's visit, ask your doctor what they know about overactive pain systems and if this is something to consider for your particular chronic pain experience. Doctors are trained to know about pain science, so they should be able to provide you with more information, such as what the symptoms may look like and how to treat them.
As a life coach that specializes in chronic pain, pain science goes hand-in-hand with my program. In my personal chronic pain journey, it took four years for me to come across "overactive pain systems" and I did not learn it while studying Kinesiology at university or in any of my doctor's visits. So, don't beat yourself up if this concept is new to you.
If your pain has affected your self-esteem, ability to take care of yourself, relationships, career, and so on, then click this button to get a free 45- minute clarity call with me. As a fellow Chronic Pain Warrior, I am dedicated to helping other Warriors get pointed in the right direction towards healing. That's right, the first call is free of charge!
If you're not ready for a one-on-one call just yet, then download my free guide to Successfully Managing Chronic Pain by clicking here! Get to know more about Body Amor Wellness here.