Today we have a awesome guest post which talks about Mary’s experience living with chronic illness and what she has done when her medical team has failed her. She has some great tips to help you if you are in the same situation (which I hope you are not)! You can learn more about Mary but checking out her blog Charmed Chicken and you can also learn about her virtual assistant services!
Let’s turn it over to Mary!
Handling Chronic Pain When Your Medical Team Fails You
I would never advise dealing with chronic pain, or any medical condition, without a medical team. But as someone with Fibromyalgia, I can attest to the fact that there are times when your doctors don’t help. I ran into this because of the very rural area in which I live. My doctor—one of the few who even would treat fibromyalgia—simply reached the end of what she could try. There was nothing else and since my lab work was fine, she told me my pain was “all in my head”. My doctor had failed me.
True, I could travel to the next largest town (about 2 hours away) and try to find another doctor, but I also knew that there were things that I could do as well. This is how I handle my chronic pain without medical intervention.
How I Handle My Chronic Pain Without Medical Intervention
First, I listen to my body, completely and totally. When I am hurting, I stop and ask what’s happening at the moment. Generally I can pinpoint either a source of stress or another factor that is causing the pain. I don’t have an official pain journal, but rather catalog the pain causes in my mind. I do recommend writing down the pain or keeping a diary or journal if you’re just getting to know your body and how it feels.
Next, I vigorously work to eliminate those things that cause me pain. If I feel myself getting stressed or frustrated, I stop. This may mean walking away from a place or a task to do something else. I also protect my personal time and my space. My health—staying pain free—is my utmost priority.
I take joy in the things I can do. I don’t give up, and I do move forward with the tasks that I can do. Even when I need to postpone or change the way I work on big projects, I do. Because the biggest way to ease my chronic pain is to stay focused on what I can do, and more importantly on what brings me joy.
In the end, there is acceptance for surrender to the moment is what eases the pain. Not giving up—not far from it—choosing to save my energy for those things that bring me joy. I seek joy and when I do, the pain decreases. The key to managing chronic pain without a doctor isn’t to fight it, but instead to know the pain like a friend, to be able to dialogue with it, and to work with it—not against.
Should things change, I will no doubt need to return to modern medicine. For now, I am doing better with than I have with the pain meds, and I am looking forward to the plans I have.
What has been your experience with chronic pain and the medical system?
Mary lives on her Ozark homestead with her husband, her mom, and a menagerie of animals including horses, cats, and her mixed flock of chickens, ducks, and geese. She loves the idea of growing and raising her own food and when she’s not tending her livestock or enjoying the beautiful scenery, she’s in her office cabin working as a virtual assistant to authors and entrepreneurs. Learn about her homestead on her blog called Charmed Chicken and her virtual assistant work!