I am in no denial that my situation kind of sucks and can hurt like hell on certain days; however, watching someone you love go through chemo and radiation treatments for their cancer, makes you view things with a different perspective. I guess you can say my compass is set differently. There is never a day where I don't hurt. My pain can change in severity and vary in location every day; however, it is not going to kill me. It is helpful for me to think of dealing with pain almost like a competition. The competitive mindset I had when I played soccer is still with me. Instead of being geared towards the game, it is geared towards all the various medical issues. In my head I think, who is going to win? Am I going to take control over the pain or am I going to let the pain control me. Some days I win and some days the pain wins. Depending on what level of pain, determines what activities I will participate in that day. It's really important to listen to your body and not cause further injury. At the same time, it's important to learn how to go about your day even if you hurt. With me, it's important to do some amount of exercise every day to keep my other joints strong.
If you want to maintain any amount of independence, it's important you learn how to modify various things. I've been doing this since the day I became injured in 2005. I am very stubborn about giving up any of my independence. My mind definitely has to think outside of the box in order to get tasks done. If that fails, then I will ask for help. I've been modifying tasks for so long that I don't think of it being any different than a "normal" person. I had to sit and really think about what activities I modify. Honestly it's everything. To name a few, I use my legs and my feet a TON. If I'm sitting on the couch and the person next to me says, "Hey, set this over there" they will put it between my feet and I will set it down that way. If I want to make a smoothie, I will climb up on a chair because I can't reach the top of the appliance. I get dressed/shower dangling over at the waist because my arms can't reach my head. I use straws in water bottles to get the last bit at the bottom because I don't have enough arm motion to raise the bottle to the correct angle. When people shake hands with me I don't extend my arm out. I will bend forward at the waist. The only time these modifications become more apparent to me is in a social setting outside of my home. This is when I really notice that I do things different. My family and I don't give it another thought. It's our normal.
|My mom offered to help me make my smoothie but|
sometimes it's harder to ask for help instead of doing it myself.
|Modifying at its best. My nephew Justin is too heavy|
for me to hold with my arms. In order to hold him, I sit on
the floor and bend my knee to support him. There is zero
stress/strain on my arms.
|I'm happy to have found a decent comfortable|
position to draw even if it is for short intervals
at a time. It's better than nothing.
Get a pet! Pets are great companions. I'm personally a dog lover. Growing up, we always had a dog. I can't imagine life without one. They accept you no matter what physical ailment you have. They are happy to play one minute and lay by you the next to keep you company.
|Daisy is happy to play|
|Daisy is also happy just keeping me company|
|My niece Lizzy got this outfit as a gift. I told her I bet|
I could fit in it. Surprisingly, I fit into her clothes.
|Here's Lizzy in her outfit. She had my sister sew|
the pants smaller so I wouldn't fit into them haha.
Everything I have written on this post I do all the time. You have to live life with a purpose. I never said it was easy but I refuse to give in. Every day, I have to chill out at some point in the day. It's just the way it is. If your body isn't working well one day, do something that only requires your mind. I hope some of you have found this post helpful. It doesn't cover everything I do to deal with pain but I think I've covered the most important ones that I do.