My current chronic abdominal pain flare is responsible for this week’s word of the week: LIMITED!
Whether your chronic pain is from a botched surgery, fibromyalgia, autoimmune arthritis, or any number of other chronic illnesses, it all has the ability to limit every aspect of our lives.
Here are a few limitations that my current flare has initiated in my life.
My Word of the Week is LIMITED #WoTW How my current #chronicpain flare has limited my time, energy, ability, and patience.Tweet
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Chronic Pain has Limited My Time
As I described in last week’s linkup, the pain I experience from the fallout of my botched hysterectomy is the worst that I have ever had to deal with. It’s worse than any pain that fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, and psoriasis have ever caused. The only thing that rates closely is the pain I experienced after breaking my tailbone.
Something people who do not suffer from severe chronic pain will never understand is how this type of pain has the ability to turn our lives upside down. In addition to causing physical pain, it is a time thief.
When I am experiencing high and long-lasting levels of pain, my time is limited. I have less time for leisurely outings that will deplete the energy I need to care for my family and myself. Severe chronic pain requires that I sleep in later, go to bed earlier, and nap often.
It never fails, when flaring my mind goes into creative overdrive, so while I am limited to how much I am physically capable of, I am able to work and create more. Thankfully, my work brings joy to my life as well as my family, so that’s a plus! High pain required that I take two days off this week, which means that if my body allows I will spend the weekend working. To be honest, I do not mind, just as The Mandalorian describes his ways, I do the same, “It is the way!” Wondering what I am talking about? Read The Mandalorian Approach to Explaining What it is Like to Live with Chronic Pain/Illness.
The most complicated part of these flares is figuring out how many hours a day and which hours of the day my body will allow for activity. Unfortunately, there are many days when there is no time for anything but bed rest.
My Energy has been Zapped
There is nothing more exhausting than enduring high and long-lasting levels of #chronicpain * #fibromyalgia #botchedsurgery #autoimmunearthritisTweet
Severe chronic pain is an energy zapper. On any given day throughout this type of flare, I run out of energy faster than usual.
My physical energy is pretty much non-existent, with the exception of short bursts that if lucky last an hour or two after days of rest. Mental energy is a different story. Some days I have the mental clarity and energy to write all day. Other days I am lucky if I can write one paragraph before calling it a day. To avoid the latter, it is imperative that I am careful to not to increase my physical pain level.
I save energy by not washing or styling my hair as often as I normally do. Remaining in my pajamas or changing into lounge-wear is as fancy as I get. Mealtime becomes whatever is easiest. Take-out, pizza, and anything that can just be thrown on a plate with little preparation is how dinner is done during extended flares.
Pushing past the fatigue this type of flare creates is NOT an option. I learned this lesson a long time ago when doing so caused my body to mimic stroke symptoms. If my body wants a nap, I give it one. Even while at Disneyland!
There is a time for pushing limits and a time for respecting the boundaries my #chronicillness sets. #WoTW #limited #chronicpainTweet
Chronic Pain has Limited My Abilities
Chronic pain limits my abilities. It dictates what I am capable of whether I like it or not.
It limits how long I am able to stand, walk, sit up, drive, and more. My ability to focus is limited when I push my body farther than it was ready to be pushed.
Chronic pain limits how often my body is able and willing to run to the grocery store. So instead of going out as often as I normally do for fresh food, I stock up on items that won’t perish quickly.
My ability to converse becomes a game of risk. I either blurt out blunt advice (usually the kind no one wants to hear) or I don’t respond at all. Although I have no issues crafting a blog post, conversations are far more difficult. This goes for verbal and text communications. So if you don’t hear from me, you know why!
My Patience is Thin
As my post from when I broke my ribs last year reminds me, Healing Takes Time, Don’t Rush It! Unfortunately, this requires patience that I am quickly running out of.
What makes this flare harder to have patience with is that there is no time frame. I may be down until summer, fall, or even the entire year. But one thing is for sure and that is if I do not practice patience, I will only increase my downtime.
With having to increase my patience in regards to riding out this flare, I am left with even less for other things. On the plus side, flares like this one have taught me the importance of avoiding unnecessary drama, stress, and things that aren’t really important in life. I have learned to relax and enjoy outings with my husband when he has to push me in a wheelchair, rather than become annoyed by my inability to walk.
Putting This Week To Bed
Based on prior flares, it is safe to assume that I am at the peak stage. This is the worst and most painful stage that requires a boatload of patience to get through. How long it will last is anybody’s guess. Abdominal adhesions may choose to hold my body hostage for the next few days, weeks, or months. My hope is obviously for the shortest amount of time. However, seeing how long it took to build up to this point leads me to believe I am in for a long and uncomfortable ride!
Be sure to visit Anne’s linkup through her blog RAISIE BAY to see what word summed up her week!