Chronic Pain

I have been ill for over a decade now and can't remember a single day where I haven't been in pain. Pain is a huge part of my life now and accepting this has been a difficult journey. 

Photo - Hannah Todd photography & Beauty By Belinda Make-Up for Invisible Illness Campaign

Pain And It's Impact On My Body
Pain batters my body. It batters me mentally, physically and emotionally. My pain levels can peak to around a 9/10 daily, which often leaves me curled up and unable to do anything at all. I lose days, I miss events and my quality of life significantly deteriorates because of these levels. Having complex conditions, I get a range of pain which makes it even harder to treat. I can't type for long without getting shooting pains down my fingers, I can't sit and enjoy a coffee on a normal chair for more than 10 minutes without my back causing agonising issues and having multiple dislocations a day strains your body tremendously. Some days, I can't even put clothes on my legs because of the pain where as others I have to put a weighted blanket on them to stop the spasms; there is no continuity in this complex illness. From the simplest of tasks such as just being awake, to more complex things like exercising, pain impacts every part of my life.

The Search For A Cure
 I have tried an incredible amount of things to try help my pain levels. From strong pain killers & botox injections to burying crystals in the garden... I honestly feel like I have tried every avenue clinging onto the smallest bit of hope to give me some relief. After having my first appointment with the pain clinic today, it became apparent there was nothing else they can do, which I knew but equally broke my heart. I sat, tears rolling down my face, as it hit me that there really was no magic cure. So what do you do in this situation?

Managing Pain
It's clear that pain is always going to be a substantial part of my life, but now I'm looking at how I'm going to manage this the best I can. I recently got fitted for a sleep pod (which I'll be writing about soon!) which should hopefully help lessen dislocations in my sleep and allow me a safe place to rest when needed. I'm looking at more supportive seating, building up a timetable of my work and using the tools I do have to the best of my ability. It's not a cure, and it's definitely not perfect, but we will work with what we've got.

Having a chronic illness is a life-long grieving process. It's something I say to everyone and I completely believe. It's totally okay to have days when things are tough, and you grieve the life you had pre-illness, and today is one of those days for me. But, it doesn't mean I won't keep going and hope you will too.

Do you have chronic pain? Do you have any tips to manage it?

Kate x

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