Many sufferers of chronic illness are not always in relentless pain or feeling lousy. We can go days, months, or even years feeling like doing the right things ward off feeling miserable. Sometimes, a flare-up arises with no clear reason. A virus, added stress, or major life changes can trigger a flare up which, like remission, can last days, weeks, months, or heaven forbid – years.
I am finally starting to rebound from a flare-up that kept me from traveling to my husband’s family reunion last weekend. I actually thought I was going to avoid an episode despite a series of major events but alas when my body finally had time to rest, migrating sharp pains led to flu-like symptoms, poor sleep, aches, and lower than upper back pain.
A couple of months ago, we moved to a house on 20 acres and our new family member, Amigo, joined us.
The move was not easy and exhausting but I managed fairly well. After moving the last few items and cleaning our former home, I took my time unpacking. After daily walks with the dogs, I would do some work, run errands, and occasionally drive the 45 minutes for a much-needed swim. I traded in my pickup for a Kia Sorrento SUV which I fell in love with immediately. I was never a huge fan of driving a pickup truck and SUVs are more conducive to travel with 3 dogs. And who knew that blue tooth could bring such joy! Life was great!
Then, 2 1/2 weeks ago, my husband and I were running errands in Waco and a young woman in a hurry rear-ended my beloved Sorrento at about 40 miles an hour as we waited to merge into highway traffic. Thankfully, no one was hurt and while her white car’s front end looked like an accordion, my car did not look too bad but for a busted tail light and a large piece of plastic resting on the rear tire. Then the fun began.
I insisted my car be towed to an auto body shop as I feared the tire may have been slit by the plastic. And where had that plastic part come from? My insurance company was totally useless though I wisely had rental insurance so we could eventually continue our errands and get home. I spent days on the phone with my insurance agent’s new staff until finally, my agent managed the situation directly. Surprisingly, the insurance company whose driver was at fault called before my company did anything! I count my blessings that while the driver didn’t have a license, her father did have the car insured. I was so impressed with their service that I will likely be changing insurance companies for the first time in 25 years.
Living in the country, the only internet service is via satellite. I found a new company that recently launched a new satellite and promised to faster and more effective than the service we previously used and immensely disliked. But after a couple of weeks, I was on the phone with tech support as we kept losing signal. Full power cycles worked occasionally when the modem went offline but then nothing worked. It fighting with the scheduler and whining to the company to finally get a tech out in a week compared to the two weeks initially scheduled. When the service tech finally arrived, he discovered that the installer had not secured the dish properly nor had he run all the diagnostic sweeps to make certain the dish was connecting with the satellite.
After all the phone calls about the internet and car, the back-end required complete replacement, I finally felt more relaxed. I was having periodic sharp pains in one of my right knuckles (though when I pushed the knuckle for a possible bruise it wasn’t tender) and the wrist in my left hand periodically caught my attention. I went for a swim and groaned with each stroke from tense and sore muscles. Uh oh. Denial can only go so far until a sufferer’s body says enough!
Yoga wasn’t relieving my pain and walks were a challenge. Moist heat, my beloved TENS unit, my massage-roller, and an occasional Vicodin helped some. With no internet and little energy, I accepted my fate and hoped for a speedy recovery. Yesterday, I woke up feeling slightly more energetic. I know it is a slow process but with care and slowly building my strength and endurance, I expect remission in the near future.
Surprised that I did not have many difficulties after the move and accident, I realized the other day that my brain knew that I had things that needed completion. It was not until I finished all the necessary tasks that my brain fogged and nerve center went hay wire. (Sorry about the typo in the title my last posting. I corrected it immediately after posting but the fog had already settled in.) Letting myself just be for a week or so and forsaking a fun yet overstimulating weekend with my husband’s family allowed my body time to heal.
Over the years, I have managed to learn what works for my body to feel good. But I also know that I am not cured and when necessary, I must make sacrifices (as does my family) to lower flare-up symptoms as quickly as possible.
Sufferers of chronic illness and pain must learn to give yourself permission to rest and take it easy during a flare-up and figure out what techniques can make you hurt less during this period. There is no cure-all or magic potion. When able to live life more joyfully, embrace and appreciate the periods of more energy and reduced pain.
I can work with you to manage life during the energetic and painful times. My website has launched: lbwebbcoach.com and I will periodically add resources and tips. I welcome your suggestions and comments of things that work for easing your pain.
Contact me for a free exploration/consultation session at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I CAN help you live more joyfully!