A DOZEN AND ONE BAND-AIDS FOR A LIFE WITH CHRONIC PAIN

Some days, I know there are not enough Band-Aids in the world to cover all my areas of pain. Colored, striped or Snoopy designs, they dont matter when your everyday needs are so great. The following arent real bandages of course, but metaphorical ones to aid, to soothe and hopefully to inspire each of you who also have daily pain. These are just a few remedies and assists I have found to make this life with pain not only bearable but doable and often enjoyable in spite of the pain and many times, actually blessed.

1. Don’t get sucked into the “failing health” way of thinking. Between you and I, that might be true but you dont have to tell the whole world. Each year brings new drugs, new remedies and new approaches. Your mindset has a significant influence on your health each day of your life. Never underestimate the power of your mind. There are no rules, therefore, you don’t have to sit down on your backside and slide into the slime pit of despair. I know that would appear to be the easy thing to do but it falls short of reward, joy and peace. Are those possible? Yes, they are.
2. You should avoid, as if they were lit firecrackers, all individuals who want to dump on you, compare sad stories with you as in “mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the sickest one of all”, or talk excessively and obsessively about their own health…or yours. There is sharing and there is competitive comparing. If you share, do it for your benefit or anothers not to roll in, be maudlin about or compete with someone who obsesses about the ill way of life. There are neurotics in this worldwho enjoy misfortune and wallow like pigs drawn to a big puddle of mud. If they dont have enough problems of their own, they are waiting to tell you how to handle yours or to tell you theirs are worse than yours. What is this, some sick contest, and I mean sicko in the mental sense of the word. If they do not have edification or your best, most fruitful life as their intentions, move on. Its difficult because sometimes these are old friends, even family members. Be frank, be honest and be kind as you must put yourself first in many destructive relationships in this way of life, in order to survive.
3. Try to fight against every part of your malady, injury or disease that is trying to suck you under. Remember sometimes life physically hurts but that’s doable; just keep moving, planning ahead and breathing in air as you take one step after another. Move what can be moved, stretch any part of you that can be stretched and keep on truckin’. You may have to use a cane, a walker, a crane, a hoist, a wheelchair or a loving arm; just move. Lethargy is no friend of yours. I know, there are days you’ll be certain your rear is attached to the bed with Velcro, just remember there are two parts to Velcro and it is meant to be taken apart.
4. Don’t let yourself fall apart. The chances are, if you used to be a cute, pretty or handsome individual, you still can be. Sick, older and infirmed does not equal ugly so don’t help it happen. Take pride in your appearance, think about hygiene and when it becomes difficult, remember any exercise is good exercise. Brushing your teeth counts. Rubbing lotion onto your arms, feet and legs counts; especially if you literally count to forty while you massage it in forty times. That’s forty times your arms will be exercised each day. Climbing stairs counts as does all daily functions. Keep counting on your body to come through for you. If you give up on it, it might retaliate and give up on you.
5. Think about what you eat. Read a book on nutrition frequently or even a good, beautifully photographed cookbook. Food is fuel but it is so much more than that. If you don’t eat a well-balanced diet, take your vitamins and minerals each day. Become aware of what you are putting into your body. Try to include all of the major food groups when you eat each day. In other words, get protein, via meats or cheese, etc; carbs via breads, desserts or pastas and rice; sugars via fruits or obviously sweet treats. Some of us have learned we get along better without meat products in our lives and stick with the vegie groups. We each are so different, be sure eating is pleasurable and not a punishment. Drink plenty of liquids but do try to avoid the chemically filled drinks such as soda and overly sweetened juices. This isnt a dietary treatise, just be aware because many of us who live with diseases and pain do not prepare many meals and have to eat frozen food straight out of the microwave on pain filled days. Just watch the fast foods with all its bad fats and fillers. Unfortunately, the delivery services and food of the cook your own variety are very expensive.
6. Read a daily newspaper or a weekly news magazine. Get your head outside of yourself. There is a huge world out there full of healthy, some sick, innovative and wonderful human beings. It will remind you that you are not alone. Keeping up with the outside world will also help you to keep your perspective and find numerous individuals who also must face life as a challenge. You are a member of a vast array of humanity. Some days, if the news is too heavy, and there is nothing you personally can do to improve it, don’t be afraid to turn the TV off.
7. Give a portion of what you have to charity of some kind. There are so many who need help in today’s world. There are children’s hospitals, veteran’s organizations, food banks, etc. Even if you only give one dollar it will come back to enrich your soul as well as helping another fellow human who needs you. Remember we are part of a human chain or brotherhoodbe a link.
8. If you don’t like your doctor or are not getting relief, help or hope from him/her then look for a new doctor. Most people forget doctors are a professional group. If you didnt like the job your plumbing was doing, well, get another one. Why do we consider doctors differently? Those of us with chronic pain succumb more easily than most to depression and discouragement. Reach out toward any source of inspiration whether it is your faith in God, the beauty of a sunset or the awesome sight of a bird in flight. Let your mind give you strength when your body has little of it.
9. Don’t be an idiot. Be wise. Its okay to be an independent thinker but you are paying this doctor, or your insurance company is. If your physician gives you a medication, take it. Take all meds exactly as they are ordered to be taken. Keep them in their original bottle or another container that is labeled. One of my sistersused to carry her medications in a plastic bag when she traveled, loosely mixed together. Dont fall into the bad habit of doing that. You may find yourself in the Emergency room one night trying to explain to an ER nurse or doctor you take two of the red ones, one of the little round yellow ones at night and I dont knowwhat all the white ones are. Another good idea is to put your meds into those weekly compartment plastic containers so you dont have to count them out when you are half asleep in the morning or half way to bed at night. I keep a running list of my pain meds and muscle relaxants because I do sometimes forget what time I took one of them. My oncologist had a big laugh when I told her I do that. She said, Oh my, thats the nurse in you. I still think its a good idea. If you’re given advice to exercise or stretch, then do it. Reach with your heart full of hope, believe in tomorrow and look up, never look down except when you’re afraid you’re going to trip. I know this is scary, this whole endangered health experience. You can still fight when youre afraid and perhaps, you might fight a little better. Courage my dears, courage.
10. Remember, each day, the fleeting quantity of life. We are not going to live forever so try to truly LIVE your life, don’t just exist. Try to find joy in your spouses, your children, your pets and your friends. I know it sucks when you also lose quality in life but there is always a way to adapt, to change, to grieve for what once was and move on. Dont get stuck.
11. Bring, buy or cut out something from a newspaper or magazine that will makeyou laugh. Put it where you can see it every day. Rent or buy a DVD that’s humorous, read humor or even the comics; just smile or laugh each and every day. That’s a medical modality. It’s good for your health, your heart and your mind. You can’t find better medicine than that. Flee from TV shows that only deal with blood, guts or the occult. I know they are popular but they do not lead to a positive way of looking at life.
12. Be fanciful, believe in magic and look for the fairy dust in life. Refuse to embrace invalidism or those who encourage you to do so. This includes moaning, sighing and self-pity. Crying is allowed as a release valve or preferably if you are crying on behalf of someone else its a powerful connection to others. If you must behave in a bitchy manner, make it quick, get it over with and get on with the business of living. If you need to cry, cry; then dry it up and get back to life. The same goes for irascible behavior.
13. This last one I like to call the X Factor. Find your own personal dwelling place for peace and fulfillment. You will never find it by being bitter, whining and complaining constantly. Remember, martyrs all end badly. Be true to your own better safe and be your best by being just that. You and I owe it to those around us, who probably love us, to be your best and not your worst. God loves you and created you for the best life possible and will see you through and help you find that person within yourself. Trust, have faith and always have hope. Keep that pain in its place and dont let it dictate your life. Leave that kind of power to the greatest Power there is. I will try. Will you?

 

20 thoughts on “A DOZEN AND ONE BAND-AIDS FOR A LIFE WITH CHRONIC PAIN

  1. WOW, just when I though I had already seen your best posts, along you come with this one. I appreciated this entire post, but the last two paragraphs were dynamite. Thanks, Sue.

  2. Uplifting sue
    Having been thru this weekend it’s what was needed
    My daughters ex ,my grandsons father fell off his scooter coming home from work
    The first I heard was my grandson saying he was coming here ,he works near us
    He was in bits…he’d been told no hope
    Apparently he had had a brain bleed and he had died then before he fell..they got him breathing after 20 mins tho
    He had broke ribs and also punctured his lungs as he could not protect himself as he had gone then
    They transferred him by helicopter to one of the major centre hospitals but they had to switch off the machine’s Sunday morning
    my grandson has been looking after and driving around his stepmother.everyone is shocked
    apparently he’d been having throbbing heads for a couple of months..he runs and did a big marathon for charity a few weeks ago and was considered fit and in good time for the run
    I haven’t seen my grandson since only spoke as he is staying with that side of the family..we will go to the funeral

    I have had cystitis and on meds
    DH had to go to hospital with his eye bleeding after the op and sore ..but was put on a cream and is better.but now has a bad cold
    My DD had a steroid shot in her knee which made it worse but is now hopefully getting better
    So I didn’t think I was going to read the whole blog with how I am..but I did and glad and here I am writing when I thought I could do nowt!
    Hope all is ok with all this month if not then bearable and sorry for the downbeat post
    Chris

    • Oh Chris, how awful for all of you but especially your dear grandson. How very sad. Having had headaches for awhile was certainly a red flag but like most guys, he probably thought was “alright.” I am truly so very sorry for the whole family. Life is so very uncertain, isn’t it?
      I hope your DH is healing in spite of this one setback. What a time he has had with his eyes. Are his ears healed now after the infection?
      Don’t ever feel you need to apologize for being in a sad, anxious or grieving frame of mind. We understand because we face life and death all the time. Life’s challenges are rough sometimes but they usually turn around. Give it all time and live for and appreciate today my dear girl. Much love and hugs, Sue

    • Chris
      So sorry for your gs’s loss. I know he will be needing your support going forward. Hey on here is the best place to rant. I do so pray for you all in these trying times.
      Love ya
      Tonie

  3. Excellent advice Sue. I have our 93 year old Dad living with us now and he cannot help or do things the way he did in the past and feels like a burden. I told him that we are all aging and have losses, but to accept and embrace what we can do. Hanks for reminding us the important things to remember about life.

    • Thanks Brenda S., Wow having your parent there with you is probably a challenge for all of you but I do know how he feels as I often feel a burden to my Jim. As always I express what I think is important and hope some of it sticks in the hearts and heads of some others who read my words. Hope all is well with you besides the everyday annoyances…Fondly, Sue

  4. Excellent advice as always, Sue! I am off and running into a full week that undoubtedly has too much packed into it. Here’s to positive thinking overriding anything negative! Take care, dear friend!

    Chris, I am so, so sorry to hear the news you shared. Your family will be in my thoughts and in my prayers.

    • Lyn, thanks my friend, take time for yourself and get some reading and rest time in this coming week and hope it’s a good one. Love ya, Sue

  5. Sue
    Very much needed blog for the majority of us, I feel. The Lord will truly keep us as He wishes and help us through the worst of times. I have been sick for about a week from some unknown virus. Today I feel utterly crappy ! Judy also has this and we can’t seem to shake it. Cough, sinusitis, just blah feeling. I want to be out doing things, but can’t muster the energy to do so. Started on antibiotics yesterday, hopefully it will get rid of this ugly stuff.
    Still working on repairing the blog in the numerical spacing. Hopefully get it fixed today.
    I try to follow these rules as best I can….for me ! Like now it is almost 11, and I am still in pj’s. I will get dressed soon, even if I lay back down. And make up my bed, lol.
    Life here is good, if a bit hectic. Time is flying by, and I have much todo yet to winterize things. And I must clean my ceiling fans. They are no longer running 24/7 and look like moss has attached to the blades.
    So prayers for you all, and myself, that we get through these times with as few bruises as possible (mental and physical).
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Yes, thanks so much my dear tech wizard for getting this paragraph phrasing straightened out. It looks good just the way it is. I hope the antibiotics do it for you very soon. Is Judy taking any? At her age she really should, also. Did all the grands come down with it also? My DD had that same crud all last week and weekend before that. Her sinuses were the biggest problem and loss of energy, etc.
      I know what you mean about winterizing and dust..ugh. I for one will be glad when the spiders all go home to spider heaven. Oncology appt. today so we’ll see how the cancer numbers are looking for me. A bit anxious but the month has passed rather quickly. More chemo today, so tonight will be a long one. Prayers for you and your dear sis. Love to you both, Sue

    • We seem to all be heavy with problems
      However I like the way you say life is good…yea it bl..dy is
      My gs is helping his stepmother and he is thinking about going to his own home now and I think that’s a good idea for him.then he can sort how he feels and there is work to consider .but they have been very good asking does he want anything and gave him a week off
      Ceiling fans …be careful there
      Chris

  6. Oh that’s odd the post was meant to be under Tonie’s
    Sue
    Thinking of you and that all is well
    Yes dh ears seem ok now just trouble with the aid….too loud …too something….has to get it checked again
    I’m feeling yuk after the amoxicillin ..the runs,nausea hope it goes soon…..and yes …I’m on the right yogurts….I heard you!
    tired also
    Wet wet weather and more to come it seems
    Chris

    • Chris, we just went through a solid week of rain, sunny now for a couple says. Big storms here with waves up to twenty feet at the sea. So good to hear your Grandson is healing. What a good guy he is to be with his stepmom. Time will help so much as we older folk know after so many losses in this life.
      I need to share with you my good news that my tumor markers are back down where they were for the last five years. So many prayers for a positive result from all of my many FB friends, my family and all of you blog friends. Love to you my dear girl, and continue to get better. Yeah, Yogurt. Sue

  7. Oh well done I’m so pleased sue…yipeeeee
    I bet all your family are so so happy as is your wide circle of friends
    What great news to hear

  8. Greetings earthlings !
    Hope this finds one and all feeling better. For me, yes. Finally. Still tired easily, but that could just be me. I did get a swim in today and a little work done outside. It was a beautiful day. Shorts and T-shirt. But those are going to be few going forward now.
    Sue, so glad to hear your good news. He is good ! No, the grands didn’t get it. Only Judy and I. Still coughing some, but not much. Taking Vit C now that it is the season. Speaking of which, i can’t believe the stores and restaurants are already putting up Christmas decorations! It isn’t even Halloween yet , ugh !
    So resting here with my buddy Ceasar. Time for some crocheting. Dark earlier and earlier.
    Chris, hope this finds you better. Still praying for your gs and the family.
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, pleased you are finally among the living. What a virus it is this year. My son who is an RN has business related to hospitals in his work and said the CDC is warning the flu this year is severe but should burn itself out after December. So many saying they’ve been so much more ill than usual viruses. Flu shots mixture got about 50% right on the viruses they used this year. So difficult to have to guess ahead a year to know what formulas to use. If only folks with the flu would stay home but unfortunately we all have to go doctor’s offices and supermarkets.
      Hope things are working out for your DD and the grands up there with you and Judy. Cold winter ahead. Hope they have a jolly Halloween today…Love to all with you, Sue

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