Skip to main content

8 things we try to do with Chronic Pain

I began to think of the things we do along the way with chronic pain. That process we go through on the way to coping. There are a few things that passed my mind that we try to do, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not, but always aware of them.



  • - Compare to others or self- We often have this ideal self. This self that was never chronically ill and has not pain. This person that would have achieved Great Things and be Much More Productive. And we compare ourselves to this fictional character that in no way refects our actual self in our reality. We learn to accept this real person is the one that needs to cope, adapt, chage and deal with this reality. Comparing to others also happens because we all strive to impove and then we compare our improvement or lack there of to others. When we should compare to our own Recent past performance.
  • - Accept limitations- In the beginning I had a hard to finding my limits. I would find a summer job to work and it would be simply one I could not do. So I would literally suffer through it. Each summer job teaching me what not to do and my limits. We know them by pushing them. Go for a walk? And then find that limit by when the pain starts going up exponentially. We figure them out and accept them. 
  • - Learn to moderate- I learned this one the hard way. Every time I would push myself too far and then pay the price. Then learning to do less housework at a time each day and spreading it through the week. Learning work days are nothing but work, because my reserves are empty after. Days off are moderately doing things I can paced throughout the day. We pace, we rest and moderate. And thus avoid that boom and bust; of doing too much, increase in pain, can't do anything, have to recover, then feel a little better so do a lot... and all over again.  
  • -Manage sleep issues- We all know our sleep issues and disorders affect our health negatively. So we all know we have to address our sleep. And we all know it isn't easy. Meditation, biofeedback, medications... on and on.
  • - Accept this life- Never compare to our past self. Our past self is often seen as better than it likely was for one thing. But we are looking back like if only this never happened. Think of what I could have done and achieved... if not for this. We can't compare ourselves to illness free past self. That person doesn't exist and you have changed a great deal since then. But past self could whip through and clean the house in a day. So then I look at the fact I did a load of laundry and swept, and I feel guilty because I Used to be able to do more. We have to accept this life with its current abilities and limitations.
  • - Challenge negative thoughts- Over time it is really easy to get cynical, dark and even depressed about the constant pain. It leads to some pretty repetitive negative thinking. Like 'If I don't work then I am a drain on society and worthless' but we know we have more intrinsic value than what we do for a living. So we don't have to be overtly positive but when our thinking is beginning to have an impact on us they we have to help inspect our thoughts to make them more Realistic. Just write down the thought and reason out what is unrealistic about thinking that way. It is one way to help maintain our moods which I have discovered is as important as anything else with my coping.
  • - Treat any comorbid mental health issues- If we develop mental illness like anxiety and depression it is important we have it effectively treated. They are always saying need to maintain our mood with chronic pain because it can lag. With mental illness it is a whole area itself that needs to be paid attention to. It is part of our wellbeing. 
  • -Don't stop doing- Sometimes the pain intimidates us from doing things. We know a certain level will cause us pain. So it stops us from going out, from socializing, from exercising and more. But the most important thing about chronic pain is don't stop doing and living. Always be prepared, but have that social life ... in moderation. Go out, just be prepared and stay within your limits. We need to do the things that bring us happiness and joy, as these help us cope. And other things, like exercise are often important to treatment. And we learn we cannot let the fear of pain stop of from living our lives.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Signs the pain is getting the best of you

100 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

There was a site that had this and I had linked to it on Tumblr but it is gone. So I had to hunt down someone who found my post and posted the whole thing in a forum. Anyway it is around but I'm posting it here so I will not have to hunt it down to reference it. Now we all know the major symptoms are the wide-spread pain, but our pain isn't just muscle pain... it can be nerve types of pain as well, and the fatigue and the insomnia. And even among symptoms there are some far more frequent than others, but it should be said we have categories... like the cognitive dysfunction, which is a broad one that has more than one symptom and we often just say fibrofog. The insomnia... more than one sleeping disorder. So the list is interesting.




GENERAL
__ Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress
__ Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level
__ Recurrent flu-like illness
__ Sore throat
__ Hoarseness
__ Tender or swollen lymph nodes (glands), especiall…

When I say I am good

When people ask me how I am feeling 99% of the time I am lying. I often say 'not bad', because I feel it is slightly more honest than 'good' or 'fine'. Got sick of fine. Anyway, I lie for many reasons. 



I'm having a good pain day: They happen and I'll say that I'm good, fine, not bad. I even feel like I can accomplish great things... in moderation. In which case, relatively speaking, for Me I am not actually lying. This is a Good pain day, it is Not Bad for me and I am Fine with it. I just don't want to explain: I just don't want to explain how crappy I feel and in which way I mean. Because I am tired of it. I just want to deal with it, without having to discuss it, mention it or have any sympathy expressed about it. Because it can be complicated. It may be a migraine with specific symptoms. Maybe it is a FM flare though. Or both. And then I have to explain what it is because most people think my migraines are the main issue but I could be FM…