*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and I am NOT issuing medical advice. I am just sharing how I treat my chronic pain. This post contains affiliate links, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the companies.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you have surely noticed the improvements that I have experienced in the past year. I have been receiving a lot of messages from followers asking about my pain management plan, so today I am sharing it with you. There is no ONE thing that has taken my pain levels back to what they were before my chronic illnesses took over my body 24/7, it’s a combination of natural and alternative therapies that work together.
For those of you who don’t know me, I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2001, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis in 2003, endometriosis in 2004, reoccurring abdominal adhesions in 2005 due to endo and surgical scarring, and degenerative disc disease in 2011. I followed pharmaceutical protocols until 2012 when my health deteriorated to the point of not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than 5 minutes without experiencing excruciating pain. I was also in the emergency room several times a year for extremely painful urinary tract infections. By 2012 most of my life was spent in bed. That fall I tried medical marijuana, liked the relief it gave me, decided that I wanted to go that route, but not until I rid my body from all its pharmaceutical toxins. A funny thing happened after my detox, I experienced a reduction of nerve pain and never again experienced another urinary tract infection.
Once I had detoxed from all my prescriptions I began creating my own pain management program. To be clear, I am not suggesting you do the same, only you can decide what is best for your body.
Medical Marijuana (MMJ)
I began by using marijuana infused edibles. While they took longer to take effect than smoking, vaping, or using tinctures, it stayed in my system longer which provided longer lasting periods of relief. Finally after years of not being able to sleep for more than 4-6 hours a night, that was if I was lucky, I began sleeping a full 8-10 hours every night. The only exception was when pressure from an incoming heatwave or storm increased my pain. After a few weeks of using MMJ, I regained use of my left thumb and pointer finger. Those joints had been so swollen that I hadn’t been able to bend them for years. After a few months I was able to make a loose fist and a year later I could finally make a tight fist. Nerve pain was no longer a daily issue, instead it only occurred when experiencing an extreme heatwave or storm.
MMJ did something else that was pretty amazing. Unlike opioids, MMJ didn’t mask my pain. Instead it eliminated the reactionary and widespread pain I had experienced since the beginning and reduced the pain felt from my pain sources to a tingle. This made it possible for me to recognize the sources of my pain, know what areas needed to be addressed, and what I should avoid doing to not aggravate those areas.
By the fall of 2015 I was able to drive myself to the grocery store, shop at one store without using a wheelchair, and occasionally walk short distances at Disneyland. By the end of 2016 I could walk through two stores without needing weeks to recover. The only condition that I didn’t experience any relief with was with my abdominal adhesions.
I continue to use MMJ to this day. However, unlike the early years I no longer need it during the day and only use it before bed. While I still like how easy it is to micro dose with edibles, vaping has become my favorite way to medicate. I do however use various CBD products occasionally during the day to combat anxiety and depression. I also use topical CBD oils and lotions.
I review various MMJ and CBD products in The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum on Facebook. My favorite CBD vape, topical oil, and capsules are from BioCBD+.
In 2016 I began recognizing how certain foods were increasing my pain and inflammation levels and began making changes. The changes I made at first were minor, but helpful. Last year I began tracking everything I consumed and noted how I felt. This made it possible for me to recognize even more foods that were causing harm. I started 2018 determined to get serious about what I ate. My diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, smoothie bowls, and granola. I still eat out occasionally, but try to make the best choices when I do. Funny thing is that by recognizing how certain foods were causing more pain and making sicker, I lost my craving for them. What I ate was never the cause of my chronic illnesses, but my former diet did make them worse. I no longer comfort myself with the foods that I used to crave, because there is no comfort in knowing that I am creating more pain and inflammation. Losing weight is another benefit, again while not the cause of my diseases, losing weight has helped reduce pain and gives my doctors one less thing to blame.
I was introduced to PEMF therapy in November of 2016. I was skeptical at first, but even though I only used it a few times a week I still experienced pain relief and increased stamina. It wasn’t until I heard that my device may be able to reduce the pain and symptoms from abdominal adhesions (they were strangling my bowels) that I began using it daily. Since the end of March 2017 I have used my device daily and when I say daily I mean that I use it from the moment I wake up and until I go to bed. PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse immediately loosened the hold that adhesions had on my bowels. Within four months the pain that I experienced in my feet, spine, hips, and sacrum were no longer a daily issue. In fact, those areas only hurt when I push too far or from high pressure pushing in a heatwave or storm. After 6 months I was able to walk farther than I had since the fall of 2003. By January of 2018 I began walking .75 miles a day, then increased to 1.65 miles a day, to now where I am walking 4-6 miles every day!! I haven’t had to use my wheelchair since January and only use my walker when I am at Disneyland and am going to be on my feet for more than several hours. Click here to follow my journey from the beginning. Click here to visit Oska Wellness. Promo code DIVA will save you $55 at checkout. Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of Oska Wellness, but only because the product truly delivers on its promise of pain relief and reduction of inflammation. This device is what has pushed my pain management to another level. My daily pain level is between 0-4. I experience less flares and the ones I do experience are less painful than before, don’t last as long, and I recover from them faster.
Because of the improvements I have experienced from MMJ, dietary changes, and PEMF therapy I have been able to exercise every day. I begin each morning with a 3-5 mile walk and end each day walking another 2-3 miles. I am slowly adding other exercises to my routine and have begun to notice significant weight loss. I am down a pants size and am well on my way to reach my goal to become the weight I was before my illnesses took over my life. My physical abilities didn’t occur overnight. It has taken a full year to reach this level of physical activity. I keep myself accountable and offer support, encouragement, and motivation to others in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies.
Other helpful treatments
In addition to the four major aspects of my pain relief plan, I also use heat, ice, and massage. I am always open to trying new things that are holistic, natural, or out of the norm. I have learned to listen to my body and to work with it instead of against it. My pain management plan has made it possible to know which areas need addressing on a daily basis.
I have not been healed. My conditions are not curable. However, I rarely spend an entire day in bed anymore and I am doing things that my doctors said I would never be able to do again.
I am happy to address any questions you may have. No matter how you choose to combat your chronic pain, know that there is hope! Don’t give up! Keep searching and trying new things.