“A year from now you will wish you started today”
Wow! I look at this picture and cannot believe Kayci was once this small. I used to not allow myself to look at pictures of my Kayci when she was a baby because it made me sad: I had this crazy belief in my mind I would never be able to have another child: makes no sense but proves how powerful our minds are. Now I look at this picture and I not only get excited about having another child, I am proud of how amazing Kayci is at the age of three and to think there was a time in my life that I thought my biggest dream: motherhood would not come true because of chronic pain. Wow, what a difference my choice to accept and manage chronic pain naturally has made in my life.
Just yesterday I received an email from a girl named Alison whom has been reading my blog for quite some time. She has made a choice to begin managing chronic pain without medication and is both excited and scared. She no longer wants her life defined by her invisible illness and the stress that comes along with taking medication for pain. She asked me for some advice and I rapidly wrote back as I am beyond proud of her but I only gave her a little bit of what helped me when I decided to manage pain chronic pain naturally and decided to write a post with her very simple yet distict question: did I (Jessica) ever keep a journal or something where I wrote down the pros to managing chronic pain without treatment or medications. No, I never did but I am going to now with all of you. There are benefits to taking pain medications and again I do not judge anyone who does use any form of medicine for chronic pain: I just write what has worked for me in my twenty year journey with chronic pain. And trust me there are moments I still wish I was on Percocet and could just take a pill and carry on with my day but I know I have come too far and the following list should explain my reasoning for not taking pain medications for chronic pain.
PROS TO NOT USING PAIN MEDICATION:
1. My whole philosophy changed regarding chronic pain once I accepted it and stopped looking to doctors etc for a cure. My main tool to be happy despite pain is to not think about pain. If I am on a pain medication that means that every time I take a pill, I think about pain. One needs a doctor in most cases to write a prescription for pain medications; therefore I would be going to the doctor for pain monthly if not more. Well, we all know how fun that is. Not only does waiting in the waiting room ruin an hour out of my day but I am then forced to talk about brain surgery, pain, chronic pain and my favorite part rate my pain on a scale from one to ten. Then the doctor writes me a script and I get to come back in two to three weeks. If that does not bring my attention to pain, I am not sure what will. I now am not only thinking about pain, making the pain worse but I am beginning the cycle of self-hate as I know from years of experience taking pain medications (not OTC medications) will only make my pain worse and I will begin to lose everything I worked towards. Yes, taking one Percocet will work for a day or two and will relieve my pain a lot. I will be happier, able to do more. stress less but this will not even last a week until my body needs two or three Percocet pills to get the same effect. Two weeks later, I will need four or five and the cycle continues until I am in panic mode realizing I am going to run out of medication before my next appointment or before insurance will allow a re-fill. My anxiety increases and I become a mess: scared, lost, and all my focus is directly on pain. Then self hate kicks in and the cycle of pain gets worse and worse.
3. Self love. I truly hated myself when I was taking pain medication, especially once I knew I was able to manage chronic pain naturally. I think less about pain now that I am not searching for a cure and taking pain medicine. I did not like relying on medication to get me through the day. It has taken me months/years to develop a practice and style of living where I am able to put my invisible illness on the back burner and live a happy, healthy life I am proud of. I never knew what self-love felt like and I know that I never want to go back to being dependent on doctors and/or pain medication to help me survive. I am now living: pain medications just kept me alive.
The route I take to manage chronic pain is not easy and I am not going to pretend it is. I may appear to people to be this happy, healthy, in shape, lucky woman who beat all the odds but I have chronic pain and although I have accepted it and for the most part manage it very well without treatment, I have some bad days or hours. I still have nights where pain is so bad that I want to crawl out of my skin but then I awake the next day and I am able to work out and hardly remember the pain I had felt the night before.
This post is dedicated to you Alison: You are so strong! The hardest roads in life are usually the most beneficial and the quote that got me started and going on my journey with managing chronic pain naturally was: A Year From Now You Will Wish YOU Started Today.