Oh boy, I’d like to say I laughed when I got this question. And I sort of did, except for my heart breaking in a million pieces for the Reader who emailed me this question.
Because the pain is not funny, living every single second, of every single day, with no reprieve from it, ever, isn’t entertaining. It sucks the life out of you and leaves very little left within the shell of the human you once were.
So, the less articulate answer to that: I don’t. At least not well.
So here’s a few things I do:
- I cry
- I whine
- I whimper
- I beg God to let me die or kill me; whichever is easier for Him and He can accommodate more quickly
- I swear, ALOT
- I give up and resort to self pity
- I throw temper tantrums
- I get angry over how sad and pathetic my life is
- I get jealous and resentful of people who aren’t forced to live this way
- I cry over all my life is not and all it could have been
- I contemplate not being able to live five more minutes in this much pain (or one more minute, depending)
- I decide I cannot live the rest of my life this way
And then, I get a (slight) grip. Because, as I said in the introduction, there are very few moments in an hour, day, week or year that I actually feel well. And if it isn’t pain I’m contending with, then it’s any number of symptoms, from all the other ailments I’ve been Blessed with. (I’d have preferred collecting anything else, like crystals, instead of diseases, but clearly that wasn’t my path)
So. Here’s some actual suggestions of how I get through:
- I rock, back and forth, with my head between my knees (before you laugh, try it, it works)
- I pray and/or use Reiki
- I watch television, because I’ve found that somehow, it disturbs some of the pathways and can distract me just enough to not want to sacrifice myself to vampire zombies
- I try heat or ice (for migraines, I’ve just recently found that Koldtec Halos help [not a plug, just a statement])
- I use Essential Oils. Again, which oil I use, depends on what I’m struggling with. I use Young Living’s MGrain as an initial attempt to quiet a migraine. Young Living’s Digize or DoTerra’s Ginger, for stomach issues. Roman Chamomile or Lavender (Young Living, DoTerra or Ancient Apothecary) to try to calm my nervous system. If it’s PMS or Adenomyosis/Endometriosis related, I use a special Hormones for Women blend, from Ancient Apothecary.
- I use Frida’s Botanicals Magnesium Cream for RLS or electricity symptoms (it’s greasy, so I always change into pjs before slathering this on AND never sit on my couch without being covered)
- I drink a 16 oz glass of water
- I use topical Lidocaine patches
- I summon the fuzznuts to comfort me. The more fur, drool and snuggles, the better.
- I use healing crystals and Malas
Now before I go any further, please remember that I am NOT a Doctor. I have NO medical training. I am NOT suggesting you use any of these medications, ESPECIALLY without speaking with your Doctor……..(now let’s proceed)
- I use drugs. Yep, I just said it and I am NOT ashamed. Depending on which symptoms, from which illness, I use a few different medications:
- Flexeril, a muscle relaxer
- Fioricet, a migraine abortive drug
- Tramadol, an opioid derived pain med
- Oxycodone, an opioid and YES, I said it. I use opioids and they work! And I am NOT ashamed of using pharmaceuticals (responsibly) to treat the very thing they were designed to do; fight pain.
- Klonopin, an anti-anxiety, which sometimes decreases the violent stomach pains or the electricity
- Meclizine, a motion sickness med, to stop the dizzy/vertigo spells and severe nausea
And lately, thanks to a SUPER generous gift, from one of my most favorite people, Jayne at SeeJayneRun.com, I have just recently begun using a (heavily) weighted blanket. What’s ironic about this whole thing, is that Jayne was struggling tremendously with RLS, electricity and painsomnia. After 7 horrid, sleepless nights, I suggested trying a weighted blanket to her. And, IT WORKED!! The funny thing is, she asked me why I didn’t use one myself and I told her it didn’t work for me, when I tried my Daughter’s, a couple of years ago. Jayne, in all her generosity, sent me one and IT WORKS for me too!!! The only down side is I think it weighs more than me, so it’s a little challenging for me to drag it across the room. Although it does thoroughly entertain my Son, to watch me wrestle with it.
Here’s an article I previously wrote on 8 Effective Pain Relievers for Living With Chronis Pain, which goes into slightly more detail about some of the medications I use: https://fightingwithfibro.com/2019/05/29/8-effective-pain-relievers-for-living-with-chronic-pain/
There is no easy way to “handle” living in constant pain. It fundamentally changes us, down to our very cores. No approach works consistently and what works today for one thing, may not work again for months or ever. Like everything else in our constant illness lives, it’s a matter of trial and error.
And sometimes, the only thing that truly gets us through is the persistence of our unbreakable human spirits.
To anyone struggling today or on the given day that you read this. I send you strength and love. You will get through this. Even if it feels like you cannot survive one more second.
<3 With Love, Stace <3