Following diagnosis, the initial angry phase, the questioning phase and then the acceptance phase you soon realise that your daily routine must change. Illness changes the person you are so whether you like it or not establishing a new way of life, a “rut” is the only way.
The term rut often comes with negative connotations but for many with an illness, it helps achieve a balance for daily living.
You need to throw away old routines and start to listen to your body.
Scheduled medication for pain relief and scheduled rests are a useful part of pacing, a strategy of gaining control over chronic illness by living according to a plan rather than in response to symptoms. Having a chronic pain and fatigue illness requires you to balance every area of life. One slip can have you laid up in bed with a flare.
If you live daily with chronic pain, certain days may seem unbearable at times. Being constantly in pain can affect many areas of life, including work, family life, loving relationships and happiness. If you are experiencing chronic pain, finding ways to manage it may be essential to your wellbeing.
This all seems very radical and unnecessary to someone who does not share the same illness.
“You need to get out of the rut”
“You need to get out more”
They have never experienced the cycle of push and crash, swinging from too much activity to periods of rest.
Why be more active than your body can tolerate?
Why experience intense symptoms and then use a rest to recover?
Many who live with constant pain develop isolation and agoraphobia as they prefer the safety of their own home, their own bed, couch and find comfort there. The severity of agoraphobia varies enormously between sufferers from those who are housebound, even room-bound, to those who can travel specific distances within a defined boundary. It is not a fear of open spaces as many people think.
Agoraphobia often progresses without realising it, as the individual always feels too tired and in too much pain to do much of anything. It is easy to become a hermit and preferring being alone when you feel people do not understand your pain.
Scheduled management may ease Hypersensitivity as your body is better equipped in a rested emotional state.
Rather than developing OCD and ritualistic with coping mechanisms simple changes in a planned daily format can have a profound effect on your condition.
Scheduled rests daily:
Coping mechanisms such as resting every day according to a fixed schedule can ease the severity of anxiety and pain. Doing this daily rather than just when you fell sick or tired is one part of a shift from living in response to symptoms to living a planned and balanced life.
Scheduled Meditation daily:
15-minute meditation or complete rest away from telephones, computers and noise is essential. Often people wait until their body demands relaxation and it is a form of recovery. Stress can lead to muscle spasms, which are common with chronic pain sufferers, so practising meditation can train your body and mind, helping them to reduce that stress. Relaxation techniques could be used for more than recovering from doing too much. It could be employed as a preventive measure as well
Scheduled Aromatherapy massage and inhalation:
Aromatherapy is used to treat chronic pain and fatigue illness because of the ability of essential oils to bring about desired changes in one’s physical and mental states. Specifically, some essential oils appear to increase tolerance of pain, improve general overall emotional state, improve circulation, and, in general, elevate mood. These changes appear to relieve the pain, sensitivity to outside stimuli, and fatigue that are associated with many invisible illnesses. When used as a preventative rather than cure they bring about a more balanced well-being.
Chronic pain issues are made worse by dehydration. In order to make sure dehydration is not an issue for you drink lots of water at regular intervals. Try and steer clear of coffee. Alcohol is best reduced or avoided. Stick with beverages that help to hydrate and re-hydrate you.
Having to attend endless hospital, physiotherapy, and pain management appointment to make the illness more controlled often result in flares rather than being beneficial to you. Managing medical appointments is a must in pain management. Never be afraid to cancel, rearrange, and refuse an appointment or referral if you are feeling overloaded and overwhelmed. Balance and schedule to suit your needs as you are the one who suffers the discomfort of too many appointments in one week.
Many of us need to organise our day, week, and month better.
No time like the present so starts charting your management.