I received my cluster of diagnoses during the early 2000s. During that time not one doctor urged, nudged, or hinted to me that I needed to make changes to how I lived my life. Not ONE!!! Instead, I left each visit with the idea that my life would not have to change despite being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis.
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Instead of issuing warnings or advice to improve the quality of my life, my doctors insisted that they would be able to find the right pill(s) to offset my symptoms and pain.
Of course everything they tried failed.
Click here if you would like to take a peek at the pain management plan that finally helped reduce the pain I experience from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and abdominal adhesions from endometriosis and surgical scarring.
Between the false hope, my doctors issued and the pressure from friends and family to get better, making changes to how I lived never crossed my mind.
But it should have and here is why:
When I live my old life:
- I ignore the needs of my body/chronic illnesses
- I injure myself more often
- I spend more time in bed than actually living my life
- My family loses precious time with me
- I spend more time and money seeing doctors and visiting emergency rooms
- I took no responsibility towards reducing my pain. I trusted and followed everything my doctors said.
Why changes had to be made
- The longer I ignored the needs of my body/illnesses, the sicker I became and more damage was done to my body
- Refusing to accept the need to use a mobility aid created more opportunities to fall, which I did often. Each fall resulted in either a broken bone or a blood clot.
- I was killing myself
- My family needed me
- I would rather take my family to Disneyland, then to spend money and time in the emergency room over an injury that could have been prevented had I listened to my body, done things differently, or utilized a mobility aid.
- I had to take responsibility and to accept that my doctor may never be able to help me.
What changed my chronic life
- I made friends with my diseases. I got to know them and my body so well that I after a while I could feel the beginning stages of a flare coming on. In the past, I just pushed until I collapsed.
- Using mobility aids may have been hard to accept on an emotional level, but when I look back and see how little I have fallen since I began using them, I know I made the right decision.
- By recognizing and addressing signs of a flare or physical distress I am able to avoid complications like my body mimicking a stroke or muscles freezing to the point of feeling rock hard for months on end.
- Spending the amount of time that I do in caring for my body, doing things differently, accepting what I can’t do, and letting go of unrealistic expectations has gifted me with less time in bed and more out making memories with my family.
- I took responsibility and charge over my care. I researched and tried alternative treatments. While I may spend more money on those treatments than any pill that my insurance would cover, I save by not having to visit my doctor for a refill every month and not visiting the emergency room throughout the year. Click here to read about my pain management plan.
All of these changes, plus others that you can read about in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, have restored my independence. Going grocery shopping no longer makes me anxious, because I can finally do it without needing a day or two to recuperate. I can drive and clean my house again.
Now, I am not saying that everyone who reads my book and follows my pain management plan will have the same results.
The changes you need to make may differ, but no matter what, any change that involves listening to and respecting your body/disease is going to improve your life.
Don’t make the mistake I did by waiting 12 years before even accepting that there was no way I could go on living like I used to.
Living our old lives doesn’t make us strong, instead, it makes us weaker.
Living our old lives does more than increase our physical pain, it hurts us and our loved ones emotionally too.
Are you still living your old life?
Whether you are or not, I challenge you to examine your day to day life and pick one area/task that could be done differently, in a way that won’t increase your pain level.
Then make that change.
You don’t have to change every aspect of your life immediately, take your time, and make your changes one step at a time.Tweet