Do you sometimes wonder how you got here, how it happened? What may have initially seemed like a temporary pain or symptom, now seems permanent. It may have started rather innocently, an injury, a stressful time and now you can’t seem to get back to the level of function you previously had no matter how good you take care of yourself. Often times symptoms can come on at a moment’s notice with a fierceness that can literally take your breath away. Sometimes it feels like a bad dream. You may now be dependent on medication to get through your days and nights. For some this means looking at each and every task you need to do through the day and making sure you are scheduling your medications and tasks together so that your pain is reduced to be able to accomplish those tasks.
Often, it’s the people you are closest to whose judgement feels the most discouraging. You know that they care but they often offer unhelpful suggestions, or solutions that you may have tried a hundred different ways with little help or relief. Sometimes it is self judgement that can be so hard to deal with. You may find yourself saying, “If I just try harder…” or “If I ignore it…” or “I must be a weak person…” Sometimes we say these things to ourselves not to discourage ourselves, but more in an ill attempt to motivate ourselves. Unfortunately, these statements only tend to increase the symptoms, not reduce them. Sometimes, we can feel great for a few days and get much accomplished only to crash later on. It’s common for family and friends to not understand what has happened and blame us for only feeling good and functioning when it suits us. We end up feeling misunderstood, and have a difficult time talking about it, because the truth is we don’t completely understand why some days are better than others.
Often, it’s from our healthcare professionals that we can feel so much judgement and hopelessness, as test after test shows nothing to be wrong or shows that after all of the lifestyle changes we have made that the test numbers barely improve or even get worse. I have worked with many patients whose symptoms increase to unbearable amounts directly after meeting with their healthcare professionals. It’s not that our healthcare providers want to discourage us but, perhaps the research into our condition, our situation hasn’t advanced enough to truly give us relief from our symptom or better yet a cure.
I have worked with Chronic conditions and Chronic pain my entire career. I have learned so much through people like you that I have written a self-help course on Chronic Pain. I also have learned a great deal from my own journey with both Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness and the management of it. Some of it has been trial and error, but a great deal has come from being in community with others sharing similar experiences and education. I know from experience that what works for some, may not work for others. Sometimes it takes putting together a plan of 12 different things to really positively affect our situation. Because of this I have done training in Integrative Medicine, or as it’s sometimes called Functional Medicine. That’s working with your body, not against it to heal from a cellular level.
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