All posts filed under: healing

Accepting Limitations Caused by Chronic Pain & Illness

Yesterday, after much deliberation (far too much deliberation), I finally accepted the fact that I can no longer work a full-time job because of my chronic pain. My bosses did everything they could to work with me on a solution, but I cannot fundamentally perform the tasks required by my job. Driving to the office, sitting in a chair every day, and traveling to meetings was chipping away at me, little by little, breaking down any resilience I had left… which sounds absurd, doesn’t it? A sedentary job being too much for me? But it was, and it is. Even mitigating devices put in place (like a kneeling chair at my desk or taking breaks in a recliner in my office) wasn’t enough. Husband has been begging me for ages to put my health first, finances be damned, but I kept dwelling on the decision and driving him out of his mind with my constant “What if?”s (again, I am sorry, Husband). The reason for my very extended delay in making this transition was that it …

Maladaptive Memories (Or, How Your Body Just Won’t Let Go)

Is your memory just too good? I’m not talking about recalling what you ate for breakfast six Sundays ago or always knowing where you dropped your car keys. I’m referring to the body’s ability to remember everything that happened to it — for your entire life. We hear terms like “muscle memory,” but most of us have no reason to contemplate what that means. Well, let me enlighten you. Muscles remember a strength training routine far easier the second time around; say you start training, have a few weeks of vacation, and then start again because your clothes don’t fit after the annual Holiday Food Gauntlet. It is far easier to get back on the saddle the second time, and it takes less time to reach the same goals. This idea of the body remembering things has always stuck with me. Let’s say I took a tire iron to your knees on Thanksgiving, Nancy Kerrigan-style (stay with me). Once you get over the initial shock, pain, casts, surgery, rehab, soft casts, physical therapy, aqua therapy, and more — let’s say that …

Inflammatory Foods and Chronic Pain, Part II

Sorry for my lengthy absence; it’s been another one of those flares. Back to business as usual! I have discussed before how food can have a direct effect on what happens in the body. Use any cliched vehicle for this idea that you like — our bodies are temples, our bodies have engines that need pure fuel, our bodies don’t like toxins that gunk up the system. Basically, we are what we eat. Those suffering from chronic pain and illness already got the short stick, but 99 times out of 100, we are also told by doctors that we should follow some form of an “anti-inflammatory diet.” Now, I was tested for inflammation by a rheumatologist, and while it was higher than normal, it wasn’t stratospheric. That was how he ruled out arthritis (well, duh). So while my joints aren’t inflamed in a rheumatoid arthritis sort of way, I can definitely tell the days when my body as a whole is just… blegh. Like this morning, for instance! I spent last night pigging out. I’d had …

Word War Won: “Being Careful” vs. “Being Mindful”

Husband offered up the topic for this edition of Word War Won (which, sadly, has not been on the radar for quite some time). To refresh your collective memory, WWW is when I delve into the meanings of words that we use and how some words are better than others for those working through chronic pain. It helps to re-frame negative thought patterns into positive ones (like the techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy). Careful: adjective. [kare-full] The state of avoiding potential danger or mishaps. Mindful: adjective. [myend-full] To be fully aware and present in the moment. I was reading through some of my medical records when I came across a shrink’s blurb who’d made a point of noting that I am afraid of interacting with the world. To paraphrase: “She is scared to go out in crowds, and in the wintertime she thinks that if she is not careful, she will slip on ice and injure herself further.” I might as well live in bubble wrap. For the record, I have tried. Please refer to Exhibit A below. Husband framed the idea …

Yoga for Chronic Illness

Just thought you might like to know that this online yoga class from Aroga Yoga is available soon and is specifically tailored to those suffering from chronic pain and illness! There are also a couple of free videos to try. The course itself is $97 USD, which I think is great for six one-hour yoga classes, one-on-one chats with the instructor, and two group chats. As the site says: The Course: -6 one-hour videos of yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. All you need to access the videos is an internet connection and computer or mobile device! -One to one unlimited email support for the duration of the course and 3 months afterward. -2 group chat sessions where you can talk to me and other students in the course. These will happen twice throughout the duration of the course and you are able to ask questions and connect with others living with chronic illnesses. Dates: The course runs 3 times a year. The next session starts July 6! Cost: Huge beta discount on right now! The full course …