My life has changed in so many ways since living with chronic pain! To be honest I crave the life I had before I started having constant pain because the life I have now is not even remotely similar. I don’t have the drive to do a lot of things I used to so there are things I have had to completely give up or modify severely so I can do them with minimal pain. I am always in pain and whether or not I am smiling and have you fooled that I am better I assure those are the good days! Pain changes a person here are a few ways that it has changed me!
Exercise was fun– I used to be very consistent to with my exercise routine working out six days a week and loving it! Now I am lucky to get in a workout three to four days week if I convince myself that I should probably do some sort of physical activity. Physical activity is not the same for me anymore because even very low-intensity workouts can trigger a migraine and put me out for a week! Exercise has a lot of benefits but forcing it down my throat may do more harm than good. Some days my body cannot tolerate physical activity and although I may be able to push through a workout at that moment it is never a good idea because I will regret it later when I can barely move!
Insomnia- It is very rare I don’t wake up at 7 a.m( yes even on weekends) because I am in excruciating pain and most of the time I cannot fall back asleep. I just have to get up and move around and hope the pain lessens! Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn’t, either way, I am always exhausted from sleep deprivation! I am on a new headache medication that seems to help a little bit with making my migraine pain less severe and helping me to sleep a little bit longer but insomnia is still a major problem for me because although the medication helps I still get a lot of pretty significant headaches!
Everyday tasks are harder- I never used to have muscle pain but now I have muscle pain daily which makes everyday day tasks that I normally would struggle with twice as hard! Something as simple as lifting my arms over my head for ten seconds feels like I am lifting weights so you can only imagine what it’s like to take a shower. You can never truly understand chronic pain until you have to rest after taking a shower!
It’s not just physical- When I started having pain I gave up a lot of activities that I used to enjoy only not to realize how much it was affecting my mental health. I had a very negative attitude towards life because I had convinced myself what’s the point? The pain is still there and I still won’t find the same amount of enjoyment in activities as I used to so why am I even trying? This was not like your kids I don’t care attitude (when they really do care) I legitimately didn’t care and it was making me a very bitter person. Then I realized one thing, yes your life may never be the same and you may never be able to keep up with your friends and family but feeling sorry for yourself is only going to make you unhappy. You may have to give up some things now that you are living with pain but you can live a happy life!
Appetite changes- Before I started having pain I worked out very hard so I was very conscious of what I ate because I wanted all my hard work to pay off but now I don’t even really care! When I am having a migraine attack I want carbs, not vegetables it gives me comfort for the pain I am experiencing. I may not be able to control the pain but the foods I eat is something I can control.
If I told you my life was even in the same ballpark as to what it was before I started having pain, I’d be lying because, to be honest, my life now is nothing like it was before I had chronic pain. My life now is significantly harder regardless of how many modifications I make to my lifestyle because everything I do makes me completely exhausted and a lot of the time I don’t even get a chance to do everything I want to because I’m too tired.
A simple low-impact Pilates workout will wipeout for the day so unless I have nothing planned for the rest of the day I don’t usually like to work out and write blog posts on the same day. Overexerting myself and pushing myself to do extra is not usually a good idea because it may work at that moment but it is never a long term solution. If you have any questions about how my life has changed with chronic pain please leave them in the comments below! If you live with chronic pain sometimes you may have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but always remember:
YOU ARE A WARRIOR!
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