WEIGHING THE RISKS OF MEDICAL TREATMENT 🏥 (9.13.18)
Weighing options in a life of chronic pain
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Everyone who lives with chronic pain and illness gets discouraged at one time or another. How can you not? When is the worse time of day for you? For me, it is the early mornings, when I awaken and haven’t yet had my daily dose of pills; and I must say it is often late at night, depending on what I have done that day.
There is always a price to pay for activity when your body is in pain. The anathema of it is that exercise and movement is necessary for those of us with all forms of arthritis in order to keep limber, active and functioning. Eventually, you decide what works for you and what does not. Stretches are usually a good idea as well as some strength training whether or not you use light weights. Consistency is the key, of course, so your body knows what’s coming. You don’t want to shock those sore joints by assaulting them with a once a week exercise. Stretch bands are great as are the large balance balls to keep one’s stability.
This doesn’t mean you stop doing the painful daily actions, it just means you’re more prepared. For instance, when I am going out to dinner, the first question I ask is what kind of seating is there at the restaurant? I prefer a booth to a hard wooden chair but it’s not always my decision to make. Did you know that cheap plastic chairs are actually more comfortable than a lovely wooden one? It is considerate when a restaurant puts pads into chairs, but it’s rare. I like to think I’ve mastered the art of ignoring my aching backside over an excellent dinner but I always know the pain will come later that night. This way of life is a series of weighing options, each and every day.
There are many decisions one has to make in living this life. A decision which has helped me is to watch my weight. I figured out a long time ago, if I have trouble carrying a twenty- pound bag of dog food up the stairs and into the house; then it’s going to be easier for my body to carry “me” around if I am not overweight. Because of many of my problems with irritable bowel syndrome and a sore tush, I have to be very careful what I eat and continue to be a sincere proponent for the importance of a well-balanced diet for all of us. It’s been my experience that it’s important to begin this early for a child because of the example of my dear husband. He eats what he likes and is very opinionated about that which he doesn’t like. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like very many foods that are good for you. I’m pleased that my grandchildren have parents who have exposed them to a variety of foods from a very early age. I realize that’s a difficult decision in this day of “fast food.” It takes great planning, effort and special shopping to give one a healthy plate.
Every day of my life, I have to decide to trudge on. Giving up and giving in has never been an option for me. Certainly, there are days I take a “time out” and settle down with a good movie, a book or a piece of needlework, but most days are full of life. Life usually ends up just dragging me along as I fulfill the duties life demands such as cleaning house, caring for our dogs and paying bills. Laundry piles up here, for me, just as it does for you. Our laundry facilities are in the basement, so I have learned to throw down a pillow case full of laundry as well as any football player. My husband arrives home from work tired and hungry five days a week. Meals get a more spontaneous treatment on the weekends. Life goes on, as I said, pushing or perhaps pulling me along with it.
This way of life is not a walk through the daisies but thankfully, it isn’t about pushing up daisies either. Sometimes, along the way, if you’re lucky, you can pick a few.
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