Tag Archives: pain management

Pain Management while Pregnant: Living with Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS

06 Jul 17
Megan
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One of the issues I considered before we decided to even try to start a family was dealing with pain during pregnancy. Pain management while pregnant is a tricky topic. Many of the drugs available for pain management are either unsafe or untested for use during pregnancy. This was particularly true for the drugs I have found to be useful over the last few years.

There are some drugs that are safe to use but I made the personal decision to avoid taking drugs unless needed while I was pregnant.

PLEASE NOTE: I’m writing this post during my third trimester and publishing on my due date. By the time you are reading it, I may have had the baby.

Pain Management while Pregnant – drugs

The only prescription drugs I’ve continued using are my asthma medications (the benefit definitely outweighs the risks) and a very low dose cortisone cream for the rashes I’ve had on and off throughout the pregnancy. The doctor says these rashes are probably caused by hormonal changes.

When pain levels have been really bad I’ve been talked into using Panadol (paracetamol). However, because I know it doesn’t really do anything for most of my pains, I don’t take it often.

I also have a diazepam suppository sitting in my fridge for if the pelvic pain gets to a completely unbearable level. I haven’t tried this drug yet. It was recommended by my pelvic pain specialist as one that would be safe to use while pregnant if needed.

Avoiding drugs is a personal decision and one that I recommend you discuss with your health practitioner. I know of others with Fibromyalgia who have remained on some form of medication throughout their pregnancy as the benefits outweighed the risks for them. My main reason for deciding to take this approach is my tendency to react badly to many different medications.

Pain Management while Pregnant – physical therapies

– Acupuncture/Bowen Therapy

The pain management technique that has been beneficial for me during this pregnancy has been maintaining regular acupuncture/bowen therapy sessions throughout pregnancy. This maintained my ‘normal’ low pain levels throughout the first and second trimester.

In the third trimester my back, hip and pelvic pain increased. To deal with this, for the last month or so of the pregnancy I have increased my sessions to weekly from my usual 3 weekly schedule. I’m also hoping the acupuncture will help me to go into labour naturally before the hospital wants to induce me.

– Physiotherapy and Physical Supports

In addition to the acupuncture sessions, I have had support from several physiotherapists. The techniques they have suggested include a combination of massage, exercise and physical supports.

The physical supports they provided include a pregnancy support belt and a tubigrip. Both of these are meant to help with SPD pain. The belt I wore until I got so big that putting it on was uncomfortable. The tubigrip I wear almost daily to support my belly and hips. The only reason it isn’t daily is it makes the rashes worse so I balance pain and rash management on a daily basis. I also use my walking stick when needed to maintain my balance and reduce pain levels.

– Exercise for Pain Management

During the first trimester (and most of the second trimester) I maintained my pre-pregnancy exercise routine. This routine included maintaining a reasonable step count (I’d built up to 7,000 but cut back to around 4,000 by the second trimester), and regular yoga and gentle stretching classes at my local gym.

As this became more difficult I cut back to mainly water based exercises. The hospital I’m giving birth at runs hydrotherapy classes twice a week that I attend when I can. If I can’t, I do some of the exercises from these classes at my local pool at least once a week.

At home, I have focused on my pelvic floor strength and basic stretching.

Pain Management while Pregnant – other techniques

On top of the physical management techniques outlined above I have maintained my other pre-pregnancy pain management techniques.

These include:

Overall, pain management during pregnancy can be difficult. Especially if you live with a chronic illness and are trying to avoid medications as much as possible. Personally, I have found using a combination of physical therapies, meditation and relaxation allowed me to maintain my pain levels throughout most of my pregnancy.


Remembering to say NO…

30 Aug 16
Megan
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4 comments

Hello, yes I’m still here and still alive. Today I want to talk to you about remembering to Say No.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now but have struggled to find time when Foggy Frog isn’t being a pain!

With so much going on, writing this post has been a good reminder to me that I need to remember to pace myself and listen to my body. Although physically I’ve been able to do so much more, I’ve found mentally I’ve been struggling the last few weeks.

This means it’s time to reevaluate again and find what I can step back from to achieve balance again.

Pacing is such an important part of my management strategy for the pain and other debilitating symptoms, such as the fog and fatigue. With the changes in my medications over the last few months my pain levels have been lower and, as I said above, I’ve been able to do more than I have in over 3 years.

I’ve joined a gym and have found that doing something most days (generally a stretching based class or a swim) has been beneficial for my pain levels as well. My step count is back to an average of 7,000; a level I haven’t managed since December 2014.

I’m still working on the Australian Association of Environmental Education Biennial Conference occurring in October, and my upcoming book launch on 24 September… less than a month to go! This has meant meetings almost every day about one thing or another.

As you can probably tell there’s a lot going on at the moment. In fact, it’s a little too much so I’ve been slowly stepping back from the conference planning and trying to work out what the essential things are for me to get done for the book launch to be a success.

I want to keep up my physical activity, as I’m trying to make sure I’m as healthy and strong as possible for when we start trying for a family (something we’re seriously talking about at the moment). So that means saying No to some of the other activities in my life.

Right now I’m saying NO to:

  • taking on any more for the AAEE Conference planning
  • to other volunteer opportunities that don’t have any connection to possible paid work in the future
  • meetings I can postpone until later

I’m saying YES to:

  • time with family and friends
  • actions that will progress the book launch
  • actions that will help me be healthier and stronger (exercise, diet, rest)

What do you say No to in order to say YES to the things that matter?

I’ve joined a Gym! Exercising with Chronic Illness

26 Jul 16
Megan
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4 comments

A lot’s been happening around here lately! Preparations are underway for the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Book Launch and the AAEE 2016 Conference.

I’ve also added a bit more variety to my exercise routine by joining the new local gym (Council owned and operated).

The main reason I’ve joined is so that I could add swimming into my exercise routine but I’m also going to try out some of the classes they run.

Obviously, I’m going to focus on pacing and aim to not overdo it by adding too much too quickly but I’m very excited to have a bit more variety in what I’m able to do.

To date, my exercise routine has consisted of walks and riding my electric bike (or the stationary bike if it’s raining). I was doing some stretching and yoga, but this was very random (I wanted to do it but got bored of the same stretches over and over).

At the new gym I have access to an internal pool, aqua aerobic classes, body balance and mobilise (low impact stretching and weights) classes, and other gym equipment if I need it.

My plan is to use the pool twice a week, and try out the various low impact classes. In fact, I’ve already started…

After my swim on Monday...

After my swim on Monday…

I swam (8 laps of slow breast stroke) yesterday and today I tried out the Mobilise class. The class is stretching and light weights. I paced myself during the class; doing less repetitions, not using any weights and taking breaks when I felt I needed it. We’ll see tomorrow whether or not the class was too much for me but I think it was ok.

Outside of the gym, I’ll still ride at least once a week and go for walks with E (we’ve actually started playing that Pokemon Go game which has got us out of the house together more often).

The view from halfway through our walk on the weekend

The view from halfway through our walk on the weekend

Thanks to my current medication routine I’ve had less pain and slightly more energy than usual lately which has been great for allowing me to be more active.

What exercise do you do on a regular basis?

P.S. You may have noticed I didn’t post last week, because of everything going on at the moment I’m likely to be posting either once a week or fortnightly for the foreseeable future.

Share Your World – Week 5

04 Feb 16
Megan
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The questions this week have been very thought provoking and I’ve struggled with a few of them but here we go… Let’s Share Your World!

If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronic devices and things stored on them, people or animals), what would you put on it?

I don’t really focus much on ‘stuff’ and ‘possessions’ any more so I’ve struggled to think of 3 things that would go on the shelf.

I would definitely include my childhood teddy. He’s been through everything with me and he’s not going anywhere…

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The second thing I’d put on it is the old cigar box that currently holds my yearly letters to E. Starting from our wedding day I’ve written a letter to him each year as part of his anniversary gift.

The third thing I’d add would be my special jewellery… My engagement ring (was my great grandmothers) and wedding ring, my heart necklace (6-month dating anniversary gift from E) and my crystal necklace (also a family heirloom).

If you had a box labelled ‘happiness’, what would you put in it?

NOTHING, or a note that just says ‘Be Present’. I would use it as a reminder that happiness comes from within, not from external sources.

What do you want more of in your life?

I’m very happy (or as happy as I can be) with my life at the moment but I’d be happy if I was able to have more family time and less pain/health issues.

Daily Life List: What do you do on an average day? Make a list of your usual activities you do each day.

An average day… I was planning to do a day in my life style post like my friend Joy and Toni Bernhard anyway so I guess I’ll describe it here.

Wake Up time… Generally between 8 and 9 am (although the last few days I’ve woken earlier then fallen back to sleep). At this time I take a moment to scan my body and see what parts are hurting the most and the least (there’s never no pain so it’s more an assessment of how well the day is going to start).

While still lying in bed I do at least a 5 minute meditation before stretching and slowly sitting up. Most days I’ll take a shower (sitting on the floor to avoid falling over or making pains worse) and get dressed.

Breakfast is the next task to address. I make a cup of tea and see how much energy I have. Most days I just have a piece of fruit or something premade that’s easy to eat. When I have the energy I’ll make a cooked breakfast with veggies and eggs.

While the kettles boiling (and breakfast is cooking) I’ll do a short sun salutation. Just 5 minutes is enough to stretch out my muscles but it also wears me out again.

After eating breakfast it’s time for another rest so I’ll sit on the couch drinking my tea. I may browse Facebook on my phone.

After 10-15 minutes rest, I’ll read through some blogs for up to 30 minutes (usually closer to 15 minutes) then push the button that sends the robot vacuum on a round of the kitchen/family room and laundry.

I’ll clean the litter trays and then assess how I’m feeling.

If it’s a good day I’ll do an hour or two of work (writing blogs, working on consulting jobs) or spend some time cleaning up around the house with regular short rest breaks in between. If it’s a bad day I’ll put the tv on or listen to an audio book.

At around 11:30 I’ll start thinking about lunch. Generally this will either be left overs or a sweet potato which I throw in the oven with salt, pepper and oil and leave to bake for an hour.

After lunch I have a nap before either doing a bit more work/housework or putting the tv/audiobook back on.

Around 5 I start considering dinner. I slowly make dinner taking lots of rests and by the time E is home (generally between 6 and 7pm) dinner is ready to eat.

We eat and watch tv until around 9-9:30 when I take my medicines, floss and brush my teeth, shower and bed.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I’m able to live a slow life. Over the weekend E and I were able to slow down and just relax. I spent a whole morning listening to audiobooks while E was on the computer and doing things around the house, we visited family and we went for a slow walk in the local national park.

This week I’m looking forward to continue living slowly. Taking the time to enjoy the simple things like the warmth of the sun and the sound of the rain. I’m also looking forward to afternoon tea with Rach as a special mid-challenge catch up as part of our 20 week no-buy challenge.

Week 7 No Buy Challenge: Celebrations, side effects and PEM

19 Jan 16
Megan
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Another successful week for the No Buy Challenge. I’ve been so busy dealing with health related activities and issues that I haven’t had a chance to do any shopping at all. 🙂

There were a few things I was tempted by, but I managed to either find alternatives or get past the temptation.

On Sunday we spent the afternoon down at the beach. We went for a swim, I floated in the water, and then went to a friends birthday/promotion party in the surf club. It was a wonderful afternoon, but as you’d expect it was way too much for me in one day. I’m still dealing with PEM (Post Exertional Malaise) today and it’ll probably take another day or two at least to get back to my ‘normal’.

Warning: The rest of this post may be TMI (Too much information) for those who know me closely, read on at your own discretion….

Set up for a day on the couch... Water and tea, tablet and headphones, tv controller...

Set up for a day on the couch… Water and tea, tablet and headphones, tv controller…

As I mentioned last week I’ve been trialling Cymbalta (only at 10 mg a day) at the recommendation of my Pelvic Pain Specialist. It’s now been just over a week since I started it and I’ve been struggling with quite a few side effects even though I’m on such a low dose!

Of the common side effects I’ve been dealing with dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, low energy, and nausea (to the point of feeling like throwing up).

In addition to that:

  • I’ve felt like there are little electric shocks going all the way through my body and causing me to be very light headed and shaky.
  • High levels of pain down the inside of my limbs (especially my left leg).
  • Painful, tingly breasts with milky discharge from both. This is listed as a RARE side effect on WebMD but it came as a big surprise to me.

I’ve got an appointment with my GP on Thursday to get the results to the blood tests taken last week and will be asking his opinion. At this point I’m going to give the drug at least another week but I’m not sure if it’s worth continuing long term with this drug, it has reduced the general aching but there are so many other pains and side effects that I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Have you had any strange or rare side effects from any medications you’ve tried?

How long do you give drugs before you decide if they’re working or not?

Share your World: Week 2

13 Jan 16
Megan
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Balance… My word for 2016… is difficult to achieve. I’ve got many ideas for posts but, in an attempt to maintain my balance, you’ll find for the next few weeks at least you will only be getting 2 posts a week from me… My No Buy Challenge update and this, my Share Your World post (although I will probably add a bit of commentary to each like this).

Although I have been keeping it in mind each day I still managed to do too much last week and crashing again on the weekend.

This week I’ve begun trialling yet another drug (Cymbalta this time) to see if it helps me with pain and fatigue. Thankfully my doctor recognises that I’m sensitive to drugs so we’re starting at a very low 10 mg a day.

Share Your World: Week 2

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? 

I don’t believe in extraterrestrials in the sense of the aliens you see in many movies but I do believe that the chances of life (in some form) on another planet are quite high. Given how large the universe is I don’t see how this can be the only planet on which life has grown.

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

I’ve only ever lived in South Australia, but given that my parent’s divorced when I was young and we moved around a bit I’d say I’ve lived in at least 8 different residences (this doesn’t count any housesitting that we’ve done.

If you given $22 million tax free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do?

The first thing I would do is pay off the rest of our mortgage and any other debts we may have. After that I’d look at how to invest the remaining money so that it could provide us with an adequate annual income and we can make our own choices about where and how we live, work and play.

The Never List: What are things you’ve never done? Or things you know you never will do?

I have never been sky diving, bungee jumping or probably any other extreme activity you can think of.

I will never stop striving towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life in which I can make a difference and help others.

I have never

I will never give up on my dreams. Chronic illness may have taken away a lot of my options but I will always find a way around it.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the understanding and support of my husband when I was unable to do everything I wanted because of my health and for the opportunity to discuss options and trial new medications with one of the leading pelvic pain specialists in town.

In the next week I’m looking forward to continuing my daily meditation practice (something I’ve taken up in the new year).

The Difficulty of Pacing: Work

03 Dec 15
Megan
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one comments

I’ve been so excited to hear from you all about your thoughts on the most recent A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. One of the questions I’ve been asked to share more about is how work fits in to pacing with a chronic illness.

One reader in particular approached me with her current situation and I could see a lot of similarities so I wanted to talk about the issue in more detail.

This lady has ME/CFS like me. I’ll let her share her experience in her own words (modified for privacy):

I’ve been working on trying to get my activity level up for a while now but have only been keeping track of my daily steps for about a month. At the moment I seem to be averaging about 4000-5000 steps a day which I’m really happy with. I think a couple of years ago I would’ve been lucky to average 1500-2000. My main problem at the moment is that my step count is very inconsistent. It can vary anywhere from 2000 steps a day to over 8000 a day depending on the activities I have on.
I’ve now been back at work for just over 3 months… I’ve only been doing short shifts (3 or 4 hours) but these shifts involve being on my feet and walking around for most of the time. This makes it hard for me to pace myself and on a work day I don’t think it would be possible for me to keep my step count below 8000. I then find that the day after I have worked I’m exhausted and my step count is very low.
The issue here is the inconsistency. It’s something I can relate to strongly, on the days I need to go out of the house I tend to find myself doing double or more steps than on the days I’m home and can pace myself. I’ve also found it harder to avoid crashes since I’ve started working regularly.
My exercise physio has made it clear to me that the most important thing in order to avoid crashes is to be consistent. As the reader above stated, this isn’t always possible. It’s difficult to maintain a consistent level of activity when you have to do more on certain days due to engagements you can’t (or don’t want to) avoid, things like doctor’s appointments, work, important social events.
One thing I’ve done to try and help with consistency, is to consider it more on a week or monthly basis (rather than a day by day basis). That is, like the reader above, some days I do a lot more but I balance that out by doing a less on the other days.
I’m not completely happy with that approach though because some days I’m doing less because (like today) I literally have no energy left. What I’d like to do is find a way to pace so that even though I do more some days and less on others, I’m not doing the less because of crashes. I want to be doing it because I want to.
Pacing is about setting base levels and sticking to them for as long as necessary before slowly increasing them.
Since I’ve started working again, I aim to do a minimum of 5-8 hours a week. I break this down into smaller time slots. Some days this may be an hour at a time, other times (like today) it’s in 5-10 minute blocks…
I’m lucky in that most the work I’m doing I’m able to do from home and sitting down, but I still need to pace myself. I need to find the right balance of mental and physical activity to maintain my health.
In an ideal world, we’d be able to only work what fits with our health but in some roles (as with our reader) there are minimum shifts that you can do so if you’re going to work at all it’s likely to be too much to start with.
In response to the reader’s concerns I’d like to offer some advice…
If it’s possible to take short breaks, or even just ask for a stool at the counter (if you’re in customer service), that would give you a chance to pace yourself even within your shifts. However, knowing the area you are working in I know that the workplace isn’t always willing to be that flexible.
From what you’ve said to me it does sound like you are doing the best you can in your situation. It’s great that you’re tracking your activity levels and maybe you could look at working out what your baseline is.
How do you pace?
If you work, how do you manage the difficulties this can raise?

The Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway

28 Nov 15
Megan
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I’ve teamed up with Julie from Counting My Spoons, Donna from February Stars and Fed Up With Fatigue, AshleyJane from Living Incurably and Alisha from The Invisible F to run a Rafflecopter giveaway just in time for Christmas.

It’s not just any giveaway, it’s the Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway!

What can you win?

There will be five lucky winners:

1 Ultimate Spoonie Gift Package includes the following prizes:

  • One Sootheze Pal
  • Maui Excellent Volcano Oil products
  • Serenitea & Fibrocane Daily from Premier Bioceuticals
  • The Fay Farm’s lotion and muscle rub
  • Wheat bag and hand-warmer set from us here at LiveKen
  • La Vie en Rose slippers & soothing socks
  • Living Incurably by Ashley Jane Kneeland
  • The Patient’s Playbook by Leslie Michelson
  • Suffered Long Enough by Dr. Bill Rawls
  • Return of the Key e-book by Alisha Nurse
  • Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia by Dr. Rodger Murphree
  • Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine subscription.

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1 Fibro Recovery package includes:

  • The Vital Plan RESTORE Program including 1 Month of Vital Plan Supplements
  • Suffered Long Enough by Dr. Bill Rawls
  • Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine subscription
  • Return of the Key e-book
  • Wheat hand-warmers from us here at LiveKen

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3 runners up will each receive a copy of the book “Suffered Long Enough” by Dr. William Rawls MD.

The wheat bags have all been sustainably made using upcycled material. I find having one or more of these as being a crucial tool in my arsenal for coping with the pain I have from Fibromyalgia and Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. They’re great to use hot or cold. For heat, just stick in the microwave for up to 2 minutes and apply. For cold, store in a sealed waterproof layer (like a ziplock bag) in the freezer for at least 4 hours and remove when needed.

To enter the contest simply go to the Rafflecopter giveaway page and follow the links to join the social media pages or mailing lists for one or more of the participating pages. You have the opportunity of entering up to 21 times. Full terms & conditions are available on the Rafflecopter page.

The contest opens today and will run from midnight (EST) on Nov. 27 to midnight (EST) Dec. 4. Winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter software.

Winners will then have 7 days to reply with their mailing info once contacted to claim their prize.

GOOD LUCK!

The Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway!

28 Nov 15
Megan
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No Comments

THE ULTIMATE SPOONIE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED

I’m taking a break today from our A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life to share with you an exciting opportunity to win some amazing prizes in time for Christmas. I’ve teamed up with Julie from Counting My Spoons, Donna from February Stars and Fed Up With Fatigue, AshleyJane from Living Incurably, Alisha from The Invisible F, and Dr Rodger Murphree from The Fibro Doctor to run a Rafflecopter giveaway  (the Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway) just in time for Christmas.

What can you win?

There will be five lucky winners:

1 Ultimate Spoonie Gift Package includes the following prizes:

2015-06-01 14.29.26

1 Fibro Recovery package includes:

2015-06-01 14.28.45

3 runners up will each receive a copy of the book “Suffered Long Enough” by Dr. William Rawls MD.

The wheat bags have all been sustainably made using upcycled material. I find having one or more of these as being a crucial tool in my arsenal for coping with the pain I have from Fibromyalgia and Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. They’re great to use hot or cold. For heat, just stick in the microwave for up to 2 minutes and apply. For cold, store in a sealed waterproof layer (like a ziplock bag) in the freezer for at least 4 hours and remove when needed.

To enter the contest simply go to the Rafflecopter giveaway page and follow the links to join the social media pages or mailing lists for one or more of the participating pages. You have the opportunity of entering up to 21 times. Full terms & conditions are available on the Rafflecopter page.

The contest opens today and will run from midnight (EST) on Nov. 27 to midnight (EST) Dec. 4. Winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter software.

Winners will then have 7 days to reply with their mailing info once contacted to claim their prize.

GOOD LUCK!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Life with chronic illness: Dealing with Emotions

27 Oct 15
Megan
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Imagine waking up one day and finding that your whole life has changed. Just like that you couldn’t be who you thought you were.

One day you are happily working full time in a job that makes you feel like you’re making a difference. You’re keeping healthy by visiting the gym most days of the week, walking whenever and where ever you can, and working on your diet (eliminating foods that you react to). It’s important to you that you’re keeping your brain active so, on top of all those other things, you’re studying to improve your skills in a field you want to expand into.

The next day you’re curled up in a ball on the couch, struggling to stay awake and living with pain 24/7. You can no longer do any of the things you could do the day before. Dreams you thought were certain to come true in your future are now uncertain, possibly even gone.

Over time, and with the help of a large team of medical professionals and other support people, you’re able to slowly build up your ability to do some of the physical and mental activities you were able to do before but you’re still not 100%.

This whole process is bound to stir up emotions. Lots of them! Both in yourself and in those who love you and care for you. How do you deal with these emotions?

Life with chronic illness is an emotional rollercoaster and you tend to cycle through the various stages of grief and acceptance throughout your life including denial, anger, fear, and acceptance.

There are several different models outlining the stages of grief and how to deal with them. To find out more about the stages of grief and acceptance specifically related to living with chronic illness, check out this free e-book from Katherine T Owen from Healing CFS/ME and this post from Rev Liz.

Today I don’t want to focus on what the stages are but on how to deal with our emotions in general.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with feelings of anxiety, fear and depression as I try and reconcile my preconceived notions and dreams (those I had before I got sick) with my reality. I had at least a week of feeling overly emotional and struggling with bursting into tears for no apparent reason at times.

Now that I’m starting to feel better, I’d like to share some tips about how to cope with these emotions. These tips are suitable for dealing with any extreme emotions (not just negative ones). This is important because if you are living with ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia any stresses and extreme emotions can impact on your health.

  1. Control what you can, accept what you can’t. This is a statement that’s easy to say but hard to implement. It seems pretty clear that you can’t control everything in life. When you live with a chronic illness this is doubly true. You loose control of any predictability in your day to day life in terms of pain and fatigue levels and what you’ll reliably be able to do. You find yourself unable to commit to activities or events, and when you do you may find yourself cancelling them often. What you can control is how you deal with these issues. Accepting that your life needs to be flexible helps you to reduce your stress levels. Determining your baseline and attempting to develop a routine that keeps you close to that baseline most days enables you to slowly build up what you can do.
  2. Be Mindful. This links in closely with the tip above. By living a mindful life and trying to stay in the moment, you can focus on the things you can do and be grateful for what you have in life rather than focusing on those things you can’t control.
  3. Have someone to talk to. This would preferably be someone outside of your immediate family. Why? The people around you are going through their own struggles learning to accept and adjust to the major changes to their lives that your illness has been responsible for. Having someone outside that you can talk or vent to is important for maintaining mental health. It’s important not to bottle everything up inside until it explodes.
  4. Be as active as possible. I’m not saying go running, or even go for a walk around the block. What I am saying is do what you can to keep your body as healthy as possible. This may be as little as a few stretches in bed. I find when I’m able to be more active I’m able to clear my mind more and deal with the emotions that are there.
  5. Sit with your emotions. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s important not to bottle up your emotions. I’ve found if I allow myself to cry if I need to and just sit focusing on my breathing and not trying to suppress my feelings it can help me work through them. You could also try journalling to get everything out.

These tips are specifically focused on dealing with the emotions that arise because of chronic illness in your life. They are not the be all and end all, and I’m sure you can add some more of your own, but they are a starting point. We have previously done a post on being mentally strong which also holds some helpful tips.

Do you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share?

How do you cope when your emotions are running high?