June 22, 2012
Image courtesy of Lorenzo González.
Pain is greedy. It hogs your attention, robbing you of sleep, time, energy and joy. When you live with a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, pain can take the spotlight, clamouring for your attention.
You end up focusing on the pain, rather than the things you want and need to do. You may feel like you can’t get a break; that no matter how hard you try to get out of that cycle, pain reaches up, grabs hold and pulls you right back in.
I’m no stranger to pain. Whether it be the flare-up that never seemed to end, the bone-on-bone grind pre-hip replacement, two hip dislocations (you don’t want to do this!), dislocated fingers and toes, numerous surgeries, various broken bones and most recently, a lower-back injury.
How do you send pain to the back-seat?
- Seek medical attention.
- Exercise, within moderation. Your physiotherapist is able to provide you with some joint-friendly and joint-preserving exercises.
- Ice. Heat.
- Massage therapy. (Have you entered my giveaway for one-hour of massage therapy?)
- Undress your stress.
There are a number of other strategies that you can employ. What do you do?
November 12, 2011
Those of you who live with a chronic disease know that a lot of time is spent waiting – in doctor’s offices, at labs, at the hospital, at physiotherapy and even waiting of a different type – for appointments with specialists and/or for the results of tests, biopsies, procedures and surgeries.
The big question here is: How do you spend your time waiting? Are you tapping your foot, sighing or silently – or not so silently – fuming? Engaging in these types of behaviours does nothing to hasten the appointment. In fact, that sort of behaviour ends up making an already stressful situation worse. Negative thoughts and emotions release a cascade of fourteen-hundred chemicals, complete with side-effects, which further contribute to ill-health.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis for thirty-four years has meant that I’ve spent a fair amount of time “waiting”. Early on, I learned to always have something to read. Then, I learned about the emotional management techniques – that I now teach – which take me further down the road to feeling better emotionally, mentally and physically. By implementing on-the-spot moments and minutes of heart-based techniques, I balance my nervous system, which results in things like sounder sleep, fewer flare-ups, better pain management and an increased sense of calm.
What would it mean to you if you could add these techniques to your ever-expanding “tool-box” of tips and tricks?
Image courtesy of Ramasamy Chidambaram.