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Simplifying Life with Chronic Pain


“Sometimes the questions are complicated but the answers are simple”

Dr. Seuss

Most people look at me today as the girl who has it all: health, fitness, an education, a beautiful daughter, a great home she grew up in that sits on a lake, family, friends, and a genuine smile most of the time.  No one would look at me who does not know me and think I have chronic pain.  No one would look at me and think this thirty four year old woman came close to ending her own life over a decade ago because of her accident that resulted in a lifetime of physical pain.  Nobody has any idea why I live the life I live or am the way I am except all of you of course.  I was doing some spring cleaning yesterday and came across paperwork I had when I left the Pain Rehab Center in Minnesota.  My last post explained the techniques I use to manage chronic pain naturally and how I am so alive despite my invisible illness.  I found  my time management schedule that I used the first few weeks once I left the Pain Rehab Center.  This is how simple I had to make my life in the beginning stages of managing pain without medication or  treatment.  When I write that it took me a long time to get where I am today I am not joking.  The things we want most in life never come easy and nothing worth having, even our health at times happens over night.  I will share with you what I wrote down for weeks at a time when I first left the Mayo Clinic.


7AM: wake up/stretches

8AM: gym

9AM: shower/get dressed

10AM: breathing/relaxation CD

10:20AM: coffee

11 AM: Food shopping

12PM: spend hour job hunting/limit to one hour

1PM: relaxation CD/stretch

2Pm: take a walk around the lake

3PM: spend thirty minutes to one hour looking for job

4PM: Start making dinner

5PM: dinner/TV: reality show

7PM: bath with Epsom salts

8PM: read/sleep

YUP, every day I wrote my day out like this for a long time.  I have three weeks worth of the time management sheets I used but I know I did this for a few months.  Obviously as time went on, I had to change the routine as life rarely stays the same: thank God.  How boring would that be?! I still made sure to incorporate two major things: exercise and relaxation CD’s.  I even made sure the job I got in social work allotted me time to incorporate those two major components.  My life is different now.  I no longer need to write every little thing down because it is so engrained in me that I not only would never forget them but I truly love the things that help me with chronic pain.  I really just wanted to show you all how simple I made my life in the beginning stages of my transformation from pain ruling my life to me ruling my life.  I did not beat myself up for not living as my peers were and writing down such silly things to the person without chronic pain.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  I was proud of myself and each day I got stronger: mentally, emotionally, and physically and you can too.

We make things way too complicated.  Sometimes the answers are in the questions.





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