Tag Archive | workout

Things not to say to Chronic Pain sufferers…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As someone who deals with chronic pain daily there are just some things, I
wish people would stop saying to me and to others who suffer from chronic pain
due to illnesses such as Spinal Cord Injury, Chiari Malformation, Fibromyalgia,
MS, and Lupus to name a few. Me and my fellow suffers realize that people just
want to be helpful and offer their opinions and/or advice to try to lessen the
pain or help us find other ways to cope and deal with the pain. Rest assured
that most of us that deal with chronic illness and pain daily want nothing more
for the pain, fatigue, and other symptoms to just go away even if it is just
for the moment.

So here are some things that others would not say to me or to my fellow
suffers:

1) Your pain really is not that bad. Well, let
me say for all of us who suffer from any chronic painful illness, IT IS REAL!
The pain and fatigue are real. The sleepless nights are real. The intensity may
vary during the day, but if we were not taking medication on a regular basis
most of us would become non-functional and have pain of 10+.

2) We all get aches and pains as we get older. Yes, we all
to get more aches and pains, but the pain most of us battling chronic illness
have is intensified. And for a great many of us we begin to experience pain at
an age when we should not hurt.

3) If you sleep more you will feel better. Well, sleep is
important, but unfortunately the ability stay asleep is a challenge. Often even
after a full night of sleep for people with SCI, nerve damage, Lupus, and
Fibromyalgia we still do not awake refreshed because the body does not get into
the deepest stage of sleep. Therefore, even if you manage to stay asleep for
several hours, you are most likely not going to awaken feeling refreshed. This
is the reason that sleep aids are often prescribed. And even then, they do not
always help.

4) You need to get more exercise. Most suffers
have treatment plans which include exercise, but it must be approached slowly
and carefully to avoid triggering a flare. Currently, I exercise at least 1 hr.
at least 4 times per week. When my pain remains low, I take advantage of it and
exercise more. But we must also listen to our bodies and allow for down time
even if it takes more than one day to recuperate. Some days just rolling over
hurts.

5) You do not look sick.  If we let ourselves go and
really showed how bad we feel, then people would not want to be around us. Yet,
when we try to focus on feeling better and put on a “brave face” then we do not
look sick. I know that for me personally when I do my hair and make-up I tend
to feel better even if I must rest afterwards. Remember, sickness has many
different levels and faces.

People mean well. Most often the comment comes from a place of genuine caring
and they just want to help. This note is for them. Please be considerate and
think before you speak. It is not easy for those of us with living with
illnesses that cause chronic pain. It can also prevent an extremely negative
response for the person with the illness. People tend to be a bit grumpy when
they do not feel at their best. May God bless us all as we go on this journey
together.

His promise is unchanging

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.
Psalm 119:50 (NLT)

Some days are great and it easy to feel the energy and build on it. Those day are when we do things like get outside and do a little gardening or step up our workouts. Yet on the days when our body hurts and feels sluggish it becomes difficult to see the positives. But God’s promise to walk with us, to love us and to get us through brings life and hope back to us even when our pain is at an 7+ and our legs feel like they have weights on them as we walk through mud. Regardless of what is going on His promise remains unchanging.
Lately, I have had some tough days where all I can do is take my meds and rest. I have always been an active person who would much rather be outside doing something rather than to be a couch/bed potato. But I have had to learn that with an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury and Chiari Malformation that it is okay to take time to let my body rest and heal. So, on those day I read, draw or binge watch something on Netflix or Hulu. Often it is a combination of all those things. All the while remembering that God is with me and not let the negative thoughts creep in.
Once the negative thoughts start running through it makes it much harder to remain hopeful. Then the pain becomes overwhelming and causes many of us to fall into the “what if” stage. For example, what if there is a major earthquake, how am I going to get out, or what if this time I do not improve, and my symptoms just keep getting worse? Silly thoughts that the enemy loves to put into our head. Of course, we have a choice, we can keep going down this negative and dark path or we can STOP, say a prayer and ask God to help us control our thoughts and then begin thinking about all the good things that tomorrow will bring. Now, there are times when tomorrow repeats the same pain, but if we keep looking forward and stay hopeful most of the time the pain gets better and we are off to our next project or adventure.
If we stay hopeful, we will keep moving forward even if we take little steps. In time we will look back and realize how far we have really come. God’s promise gives us comfort in those times of difficulty and gives us hope to hold on and let Him carry us through. Stay strong and allow the good thoughts power you instead of letting the bad ones drain you. God will never break His promise. He will always comfort us and bring us through.

A day of firsts

When I arrived at the gym Tuesday, I did not think I would be able to do much. Unfortunately, I had a rough night. My pain was at a 7-8 on the pain scale. The skin on my back felt like it was stretched to capacity and ripping open. I used my VR for about 30 mins. My pain was still fairly high so I also took extra meds and prayed. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep. When I woke up on Tuesday, my body was weak and tired. I got myself ready and headed to the gym any ways. I do my best to never miss a session because I know the only way can improve my balance and coordination is by continuing to work hard.

I was able to do 3 sets of 15.The first was I did not need my trainers assistance.

Another first-no assistance needed. My form is improving as well.

I was pleasantly surprised as I went through my workout. I am thankful for the strength God continues to give me each day. The hard work is beginning to pay off. My proprioception, balance, and feeling in my legs have all improved. This means that new neuropathways have been created. My motto “Keep moving forward.” helps to keep me focused on the prize, walking with a cane or no assistive devices.