Truth is, all of us have dealt with pain at some point in our lives. But when your pain lasts for days on end and keeps you from doing things you enjoy, it can get isolating, overwhelming, and even (let’s call a spade a spade) depressing.
We’re here to tell you, you’re not alone. Today we’re rounding up some of our favorite bloggers’ stories about living with chronic pain.
When You’re Not Sure What to Do
Tanya, wife, mom, and blogger of Mom’s Small Victories’, is battling Rheumatoid Arthritis and struggles with chronic pain. Looking back on her diagnosis, Tanya reflects on the things she wishes she’d known or done ahead of time and proposes 5 steps for anyone who’s battling chronic pain.
One step that really resonated with us is to track, track. Tanya began to track her medication, the weather, morning pain, and daily steps, in her planner, in addition to the symptoms she experienced. In doing this, she was able to identify triggers in her life and develop strategies to prepare herself for flares.
To read more about Tanya and her remaining tips, click here.
When the Pain is Really That Bad
Arthritic Chick has a great post on Creaky Joints where she reflects on how she struggled with self-doubt after others in her life compared her to people they thought were dealing with pain in a better way.
She reflects on nights when she tried to sleep without the help of pain meds: I wind up staying awake for nights on end due to severe pain. The lack of sleep compounds the fatigue and exhaustion and pain, which makes it even less likely that I can sleep the next night. And the next night. And the night after that.
Sleep is so important, y’all. But also, note how she starts to wonder if she’s simply weak, and tries to push through it alone. A lot of us have this impulse, especially when naysayers tell us to buck up or power though, but if you’re going through a painful and unsustainable cycle like this, listen to your body!
Your Health Advisor can coach you through alternative pain management strategies and help you initiate important conversations with your doctor about what medications you’re on and what medications you need.
When you Need a New Set of Guidelines
Writer Toni Bernhard put together a not-to-do list on Kevin MD based on her experience with chronic pain. First on the list is listening to your body (or, as Toni put it: Do NOT say yes to an activity if your body is saying no).
This is so important and maybe easier (also more enjoyable) if you have a backup plan in place for what you’ll do if the original plan doesn’t work out. Consider making a list of activities that you can do even if you’re in pain podcasts you’d like to listen to, books you want to read, show’s you want to watch, that kind of thing. Then if your body’s saying no to plan A, you’ll have a menu of options for your plan B!
Toni has also authored a few books on how to live well that can be found here.
When you Just Need to Talk
If you’re dealing with chronic pain related to rheumatoid arthritis, consider connecting with one of our Health Advisors for personalized tips and support on your schedule. They’ll become your accountability partner and advocate, calling you weekly to help you with anything and everything related to your health.
The best part: we have the grant funding to offer you our 3-month program at no cost, no credit card info required. Click here to learn more and sign up.