Chronic Pain – The Day After…

painWhen I am moderately to overly active one day, I can pretty much write off the next one as a pain day where I am taking extra meds and being totally uncomfortable in any position.

Chronic pain wasn’t new to me as I had been dealing with a bad knee since I was 15 and my lumbar fractures for 15 or so years after that. But the bottom fell out when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia (1998) and then osteoarthritis (2006). In 2008 I had a full knee replacement that ended up with complications and another level of pain.

When I first started dealing with excess amounts of pain I had the habit of avoiding anything that made it worse (or not better). This was not productive (literally and figuratively) but I would find out in one of the many pain clinics I have attended that it is a knee-jerk reaction…pun intended!

After years of coping, attending clinics and just getting tired of doing nothing, I decided it was time to become proactive. As many chronic pain sufferers will probably tell you, doing so is no easy task.

Originally Hubby and I were just going to take Christmas Day as an “us” day with no extra special meal and no real plans. When we had his family dinner a couple of weeks ago we realized his Mom and Dad were not going anywhere so we decided to invite them over for dinner. Mom was concerned that it might be too much for me and I assured her I wasn’t going to do anything fancy; we just would like to have them over.

I caught a cold a week ago and we were unsure if we should continue with the plans. Also, because hubby wasn’t working on Christmas Eve, which rarely happens, we wanted to attend the Candlelight service at our church. But I realized that even though I did feel better, I could only handle the service or the dinner, not both.

For most people, attending a service that is 20 minutes away and an hour long, is of no comparison to cooking a meal for four. However, when you factor in that the getting ready is exhausting and the car ride means sitting in one position and dealing with bumps and turns, plus the exhaustion of just visiting with people, the task is daunting. Add on to that I am an asthmatic with a head/chest cold. The service’s main feature is lighting candles for the singing of “Silent Night” and all the smoke when they are blown out would not be good.

Plus, our family is everything to me and we don’t have much opportunity to have anyone over. So, the decision was made.

Saturday night I baked a sponge cake to use for a Yule Log cake and let it cool rolled up in a towel. In the morning I made pastry for an onion tart (it takes 2 and 1-hour chilling times). I finished off the cake, prepped items for the tart filling and au gratin potatoes and finished the dessert. All during this time I was trying to keep the kitchen clean and tidying up the dining and living rooms. I also got the ham ready and juggled all of the oven items. In the meantime, Hubby was hard at work tidying up – I couldn’t have done it without him.

Now, I want to say that I realized what I was doing would come back to haunt me but I was in my element. I mean going to culinary school was a highlight of my life and my catering was cut short when my mental and physical health decided to take a turn for the worse.

You get to the point where you are willing to take the consequences to do something you are looking forward to. I will prepare things in advance like taking a nap the day before, plotting out rest stops on a longer drive, etc. I will also plan the time after I will need to lay low.

I stated in a group I belong to, “My Fibro Team”, that I knew I would be very sore today but it was worth every moment. One of my team members hoped that the pain would be good to me “just this once”. Well, her prayers were answered because I have been sore today but nothing like what I would have expected. Even my fatigue levels weren’t bad. Once I got to sleep last night I had a very good one – or should I say three good ones with some up time in between.

I am taking this as a very good sign and the best Christmas present I could ever get. Like my team member said, I am not counting on this being more than a one-time thing, but it doesn’t matter. It made the preparing, the meal and the visit so much more meaningful.

Now we will see what tonight and tomorrow bring!




18 Replies to “Chronic Pain – The Day After…”

  1. Sending you my warmest thoughts, so the pain gives you a break the upcomming days also… I am so glad things were better than expected today! Must be a little Christmas magic powder, Someone sprinkled on your bed while you were sleeping!

    What stands out, when I read this is that your good attitude, and will to have your family over to celebrate no matter the pain you’d suffer the next days paid off. Can you imagine how many people would have given up the idea, thinking they would go through hell the next morning…. Missing on good times, and the surprise not to feel all “that” bad afterwards….

    You are very inspiring, Lydia…. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Muuuah! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe, thank you, Cyranny. Your kind words mean a lot. The world of chronic illness (all types) is, unfortunately, full of strong courageous people who brave through more than me to carve out some semblance of life. I consider myself one of the luckier ones. Sending you big {{{hugs}}} of thanks for being my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is so sad to think that nowadays, we can send a man in space, but there are still so many people suffering a great deal on a daily basis…. Sad, sad, sad…

        I hope you’re having a fairly good day today…. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lydia, I know where you are coming from totally as I experience the same for the past few years. Therefore i wish for you that these days may go easy on you. For two years I had so much pain 24/7 day and night, and then we went on a vacation to Portugal, to the sun and heat, and lo and behold, after one week the pains all stopped and have only come back when I overdo it. I have learnt to pace myself and the fibro has become manageable. I share this with you because I am always hoping that there might be something that works for other sufferers too.
    Wishing you a very Happy and Blessed 2017.
    Kind regards

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Agnes! Because I have fibro and other conditions I don’t find being in a hot environment helps any more than a cold one – I retain fluids in the heat which can make pain worse. I am so glad the trip to Portugal helped you…Maybe I SHOULD give it a try! :-). I wish you a blessed and happy New Year as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Lydia. It is lovely to hear that you were able to enjoy Christmas despite the pain. Sometimes I feel the need to push through just to feel normal for a few hours, even though we know that the pain will catch up to us no matter how much we try to ignore it. The Christmas period has well and truly worn me out but, I have been determined to enjoy it.
    I hope that that the new year brings you love and happiness and I look forward to reading your future posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Lydia, I just want to ask if you ever tried using cannabis for pain management?
    I’ve been suffering with back pain for almost 7 months now and can’t sleep properly at night. I already have a prescription meds but I refrain on using them coz it only take the pain for a minute or so and back again. Then one of my friends gave me a joint to try if it makes me feel better and it does! I try asking him what it is but he has no idea also. So I started doing my own research about medical marijuana and strains that would be effective against pain and came across this
    I’m not sure if that’s the strain that I’ve tried but it has the highest pain management effect. Cbd and thc are all new to me. I also read that drinking it as tea or as a muffin/cake is an option, but is relief effects the same? Why can’t they simply make pills out of marijuana – or maybe there are that I am not aware of. If it’s true, then I would very much appreciate any ideas and advice on what strain is good and how to use it medically. Thanks in advance to those who’ll answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Daniel, doctors have said I would qualify for medical marijuana as pain treatment; however, this is not a path I have chosen to go down. I tried it recreationally as a college student and was never comfortable with how it made me feel. I appreciate your comments and hope they may help someone else.


  6. Thanks for answering Lydia. Maybe you just need the right strain that suits you. Until now I’m still experimenting on different strain coz smoking it only makes me stoned. I haven’t tried using edibles though

    Liked by 1 person

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