Living With Chronic Pain

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Living With Chronic Pain is not easy. Here a few tips on navigating the world when you aren't feeling great.

I spent about 15 years of my life (from 15-30) living with chronic pain. I had severe endometriosis (where the lining inside of the uterus shows up outside, sitting on nerves and inflaming tissue) and interstitial cystitis (where you feel like you have a urinary tract infection all the time, with no infection present), along with crazy PMS.

Weeks when I had my period were the worst, but no time was really pain-free.

I was routinely seeing specialists, getting tested, and taking a lot of painkillers. Basically, all of my non-working life was defined by my pain.

So I know how difficult it is to stay out of the abyss.

I have been pretty much free of chronic pain since my hysterectomy in 1996, and now am able to define myself in other ways.

Here are some tips that really helped me get through that time:
  • Make sure you eat well and drink enough water, especially if you are on a lot of medication.
  • Exercise and move regularly, even if you don't feel like it. Movement will ultimately help a lot. There are plenty of mellower things you can do, such as walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, and Pilates.
  • Get out of the house often.
  • See a therapist. Seriously. If your pain is due to a bad accident or trauma, then you will need a professional to help you move away from that and navigate the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that will inevitably result.
  • Find others with your condition. A support network of people going through the same thing will help.