chronic illness

5 Ways to Cope with Chronic Pain

I first wrote this in May 2020 for my Instagram. I updated it a bit to post on my blog.

Before I give a few tips that help me,  I want to give a little background on how my journey with chronic pain started. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at age 19. I had been dealing with symptoms of Endometriosis for years,  but it wasn’t until I had a very painful ruptured ovarian cyst when I was deployed in the Middle East and subsequently was medically evacuated home that I got my official diagnosis.  I was fortunate to have birth control regulate a lot of my symptoms for about 2 years until I experienced ruptured ovarian cysts again and was hospitalized for about 4 days and has surgery to remove the free floating fluid from the ruptured cysts in my belly. This was only just the beginning of having an actual name for what was happening to me,  chronic pain and chronic illness.I was subsequently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis,  Hashimotos Thyroiditis,  Insomnia, migraines and most recently, Fibromyalgia.

1) Know your limitations.  Seriously.  I know in the moment you may feel good, but don’t push yourself to the point where you need to spend the next day or two (or three) resting because you over did it.

2) Pay attention to your triggers and also to what types of environments and situations may make you flare up. For example,  if you know eating a certain type of food or doing a certain exercise will cause pain for days after,  skip it! Find an alternative, seriously, I promise you, there’s something just as good out there that won’t leave you in agony.

3) Give your body the rest and support it needs. Literally rest. Try to get a good night’s sleep every night, nap if you need to. Sit in a comfy chair and just relax. Supporting your body sometimes means not doing anything at all, and that’s okay. Just remember,  sometimes resting is exactly what you need to do to cope with chronic pain.

4) Find out what support aids help you the most. Does CBD oil work well for you? A heating pad?  Epsom salt bath? Find out what provides a little relief, and try to implement it as often as needed.

5) If you don’t feel your current medication regiment is working, advocate for yourself and discuss with your doctor. There are so many medications out there, it may just be trial and error initially.

What tips do you have to add?

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