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Showing posts from October, 2015

Thinking of myself beyond the pain. #Positive traits and #Gratitude

Let's play a game in positive reinforcement. Name ten characteristics about yourself that you value. We think to often about the negative facet of our health. Lets for a moment think about our awesomeness.

Here is mine:

Intelligentloyaltrustworthylaid-backpoliteopen-mindedreasonablelow-maintenancegoofy sense of humourcreative
Reflect on situations linked to those words and who you are as a person. A whole person beyond your pain and illness. Sometimes we feel worthless because we are not 'functional' enough. But look at that list and see all those worthy traits you have there that are part of who you are. Traits that other very likely value in you.

Also consider the gratitude journal to help with mood. Picking three things a day you are grateful for.

Mine today looks like this:

Thankful for the time to edit a novel I am writing. To have that time to work on something that is enjoyable and destressing for me.I was really stressed to day and so very thankful for some serious snu…

Exceeding our limits

The tragedy in chronic pain is often that we learn to understand our limits and that we need to moderate our lives but due issues with insurance companies, issues with disability or issues with accommodation in the workplace we are unable to moderate our work. This means we always exceed our limits. This can lead to more chronic pain. More chronic pain can lead to more difficulties with sleep. It can lead to depression and anxiety. In other words, exceeding our limits does not work for us.

Yet we are forced to push through the pain without any options. Having no options for me has led to depression and suicidal ideation. I understand the pain clinic and every psychologist I have ever seen says I cannot work full time and when I cannot work at all. I also understand when it comes to insurance companies I am utterly powerless. I have a keen understanding of this lack of power. People say you have to fight the insurance companies. Easy to say. Hard to do when you are in a lot of pain an…

Reframing the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Pain: Toward a New Mode...

Don't make a fuss

I once had an ovarian cyst that ruptured. I had no idea what it was at the time of course. It was just this brutally painful abdominal pain. Could have been appendicitis or even something worse. A normal person would have gone to the ER with such severe, acute pain. I didn't want to make a fuss.

I once had chest pains that mimicked a heart attack so closely I wouldn't be able to tell you any different. They radiated down my arm, through to my back. Were quite painful. Affected my breathing. I had been having erratic heart rhythms that previous week. I had to lie down from the pain. After it was down blood rushed through my body in a whooshing tingle and gave me a headache. And my heart went all wonky. During and after a normal person would call 911. I didn't want to make a fuss.

I could give more examples but do I really need to? Where did this come from? Well I know already. I have been chronically ill and with chronic pain most of my life. And for many of those years I …

Self-Care

Self-care is vital to living well with chronic illness. And I suck at it. Instead I push myself. I crash. I push myself. I crash. Over and over again. Knowing what you Should do, does not help me DO it.

Self-Care is "Self-care is a process of adaptation in response to learning about oneself and about ways to live well with illness. Developing capacity to self care impacted significantly on the way participants experienced illness, their view of themselves and of their future."

So what stops us from our self-care?

A study Annals of Family Medicine looked at the barriers to self-care and found:

RESULTS Participants’ responses revealed barriers to self-care, including physical limitations, lack of knowledge, financial constraints, logistics of obtaining care, a need for social and emotional support, aggravation of one condition by symptoms of or treatment of another, multiple problems with medications, and overwhelming effects of…

Nauseated beyond belief

Since my last status migraine last month I have had a very intense persistent migraine aura. It is this warping effect in the air. When overlaid over reality what happens is that it makes every object look like it is shimmering and moving side to side. And it makes solid colors look covered in twisting warping light. This is in addition to my other persistent migraine aura. What I have noticed is this one is significantly worse in all types of light and calms down with very, very little light... like outside at night. But it is making it very hard to see well. Making it hard to read on the computer. Even when I increase the size of the text, still shimmering.

The problem, aside from decreasing my capacity to see detail and stationary objects, is that all this constant Motion is giving me insane nausea. To the point of vomiting. I can't seem to manage to eat much. My anti-nausea med zofran isn't working. I have been trying gravol instead and if I take enough it seems to stop t…

Light of meaning in the darkness of mere being

I think chronic illness has made me struggle with meaning for a very, very long time. Just when I think I have something meaningful it is something I have to compromise away. It is very hard for the center to hold. To have this sense of self that is stable. In a sense our health can frequently change and this can cause havoc in our lives. Stresses and changes. Financial strains. Complications. Obstacles. We have to re-create our identity when we have to make massive life changes like things that affect our capacity to work. And sometimes we resist this. Sometimes we struggle with it.

I certainly struggle with it. To the point it all feels meaningless at times. It is rather all or nothing thinking we are supposed to avoid. If I cannot do this, then I am worth nothing. Well, bull. Meaning is created in many different ways. If I cannot do one thing I have to replace it with other meaningful things. I have to re-create my identity.

That 'darkness of mere being' is to be really av…

My #InvisibleFight #iiwk15

 My invisible fight is migraines. I have more than one chronic illness, but for the sake of simplicity I will focus on one.

The fight begins when people say 'It is just a headache' because they do not know how intense a migraine is. They diminish it by called it that.

The fight continues when people claim 'It is impossible to have so many migraines. You just can't get them every day like that.' Well it is possible. Chronic migraines are more than 15 a month, and yes, even up to daily.

 Then there is the 'you smiled and laughed so you must not be in pain'. But happiness does not mean I am not in fact in pain. To someone with temporary pain maybe they would not smile and laugh with the level of pain I endure. But over time, pain is a constant ordeal... we still feel things. Our mood still fluctuates. We may have more stress. Be more likely to have depression and/or anxiety. But we can smile and be in pain. We have facades, to hide the pain from the normals o…