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Chronic Pain and Fatigue – Managing Special Events

11 Nov 13
Megan
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Photo (c) Megan S, November 2013

Photo (c) Megan S, November 2013

So this past weekend I had 2 major events in a row…

We had a friends wedding on Saturday and my father-in-law’s 60th on Sunday.

To enjoy both events and not increase my symptoms I had to carefully manage how I engaged with these events and the days surrounding them.

I have to say I didn’t do a perfect job at it, but it was my first try at this since being sick and over all I think I’ve come out fairly well.

Below are my tips for managing major events like these with chronic pain and fatigue…

  1. Decide whether it’s necessary to attend the event.
    I had several people telling me I should reconsider going to 2 events on the same weekend. However, I used the following questions to assess whether I thought the events were necessary (obviously the outcome was that both were):
    Are you, or someone very close to you, the reason for the event? (The wedding was for very close friends and obviously my FIL is a close relative)
    Would you be upset if you missed out on the event? Yes
    Are there any extra reasons for attending the event (other than the main one)? I hadn’t seen many of my close friends in the last 6 months, the wedding was a good opportunity to catch up with a large group of them at once.
    Is there some other way to celebrate without attending? Although I could have just sent E to both events with my well wishes, I felt it was important for me to be there.
  2. Have a plan and stick to it
    I did have a plan for both events, however I didn’t stick to my plan at the wedding and as a result I wasn’t as rested as I could be for the 60th.
    I had two days off from appointments before the weekend and planned to take it fairly slowly (spending time with my sister T on Friday but other than that just resting). I also had today (Monday) off to rest before my next appointments this week.
    I planned to rest between the ceremony and the reception (which I did) and leave around the time I would normally get ready for bed (8.30 pm) from the reception (this didn’t happen, I didn’t end up getting home and to bed until around midnight because I decided at the last minute I wanted to stay until dessert at least).
  3. Ensure you have time to rest BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the event.
    I didn’t do so well on resting up before the events on the weekend. Although I had Thursday and Friday free of appointments and I did fairly well at resting up on Thursday, I ended up going out to lunch on Friday with T and dad. This ended up being a longer outing than I’d anticipated and so I didn’t get as much rest Friday as I should have had.
    During the wedding I did reasonably well, resting in the morning before the ceremony and heading to a friends house for a rest before the reception. However, plans didn’t go to plan (as mentioned above) and by the time we left the reception I knew I had definitely pushed past my limits for the day.
    I spent all of the following morning resting before the 60th and even went for a rest between the afternoon tea and the dinner. This seemed to help keep my energy levels stable and then I went to bed early that night.
    Today I’m planning to rest and do low level activities for most of the day.
  4. Ensure you have everything you need with you.
    Although I got comments from E, I made sure I’d packed everything I could think of needing into my bag for the wedding. I took a hot/cold pack, a blanket, cardigan, gloves, medicines, water, snacks, money, phone and tablet, lip balm, and meditation tracks. Apart from the hot/cold pack, the blanket and the money, I used all of these during the day.
  5. Relax and Have Fun!
    It’s a celebration, so enjoy yourself and participate to the best of your ability. Take the opportunity to talk to friends you don’t see very often and try to forget about your illness for the day.

No Comments

  1. Resistance November 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Great plan ! So did you enjoy yourself? Or did it feel overwhelming at times?

    • Megan S November 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Both events were great and pretty relaxed. I had to go into the reception room early and just sit down when I got there because my legs got tired really quickly, but the staff were really friendly and just finished setting up around me. I also got very overwhelmed towards the end because I got over tired. Bit overall both events were fun.

  2. Life Beyond My Window November 11, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I agree, the most important thing is to have a plan and try and stick to it. Also, of course, to enjoy yourself. With the holidays coming up, this post is a good reminder how we have to plan alot of rest days around the end of the year, so we can enjoy some time with family and friends.

    • Megan S November 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Exactly! This will be my first Christmas sick, so I’m trying to plan in advance and space out events so I can rest.

  3. Jumping_Jenny_444 November 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

    That’s a big accomplishment–two actually–that you made all in one weekend! Well done, and be sure to rest up for the next few days! 😉

    • Megan S November 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Definitely wwill I have a couple of appointments but other than that I’m taking it easy.

  4. dawnhosking November 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    An excellent resource, I have an event coming up soon and I have everything crossed that all will go well 😉

    • Megan S November 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Good luck with your event. I’m surprised how well I’ve come through this weekend.

      • dawnhosking November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm

        Thank you, lets hope I do as well as you have done 😉

  5. Just Another F-Bomb November 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Great tips! Especially numbers 3 and 5. I’m sure you’re tired but I’ll bet you had a great time. Hopefully your recovery will be quick. 🙂

    • Megan S November 12, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Thanks, I’m hoping for a quick recovery too. Although I rested all yesterday the Pain Gang kept me awake most the night last night 🙁

  6. someonesideaofluxury November 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Good work! Seeing it all written down, you see how much preparation it takes to go to an event.

    • Megan S November 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks I didn’t really realise how much I was doing until I wrote it all down!

  7. NaBloPoMo Wrap Up | my chronic life journey November 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

    […] series of posts on Living with Chronic Pain and Illness focussed on special events, managing personal expectations, maintaining relationships, resting, a healthy diet for me, […]

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