Friday, April 5, 2013

Living Well with Chronic Pain

I have no way of knowing how many of you live with chronic pain. I have no way of knowing what it might be caused from. I have no way of knowing how long you have dealt with it.
I can, however, share my experience! And perhaps provide some encouragement. Some commaderie. Some ideas.
As many of you know, I have a birth defect in my right hip. It's called Congenital Hip Displaysia. Yes, that picture is an x-ray of my right hip. I'm totally open and authentic with you here! I'm not making this stuff up. The joint is not the right shape, and doesn't fit together correctly. All of my life this has slowed me down, but not stopped me from doing what I wanted to do ... mostly.
I have never been able to run well (learned as an adult that my hip does not camber properly, so no wonder I've never even walked like other people nor been able to run!). I've never been able to do the splits, or most other full leg stretches. But there is much that I can do, and that has always been my focus ... I love to hike and I used to lift weights when I was in school and it was the season for spending the entire PE period out on the track running (uh ... ya, not gonna work for me). As an adult, I just uncontiously adjusted ... I've never really thought about it, it's just how I was made. Even so, I swing dance with my husband, and can even twist allthe way to the floor and back up again!

In recent years, however, the wear and tear has really started to take more effort, more energy to manage. Most of the time I get to stay in control. Most of the time, people don't even notice that I have a limp. It is very important for me to maintain symmetry in my posture so as not to injure the other hip, or my back, or my knees! But every year or so, it catches up with me, and the last month or so has been one of those times. My energy level has been low, and my pain level has been high. I've had a difficult time sleeping.

A friend of mine brought it to light for me this way: She is a runner, and sometimes she gets hurt. When this happens, not only is she dealing with healing, which takes energy, but with pain, which takes energy, and every move has to be calculated, which also takes energy. She made the "uh, duh" very obvious statement (that I was too close to to see) that I have to do all of those things all day every day of my entire life! HOW EXHAUSTING! And that is so true!

Every couple of years, it just gets to me, it wears me down. I'm tired, I'm emotional, I hurt. And this has been the case for the last month or so.

I've done some research on anti inflammatory foods, and fish oil came back on my radar screen! Now, why was it that I stopped taking it a couple of years ago?? Hmmm ... So, I'm back on the fish oil now, 1400 mg three times a day, in addition to all of my other vitamins! I notice a difference! So I'll keep doing it! Highly concentrated fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid which are crucial elements in fighting inflammation ... which arthritis is.

I know that I can control so much with my diet and exercise, and I know that I really have to have a more disciplined routine and stick with it ... it is as important as taking blood pressure medication everyday!  So I'm refocused, and adjusting. and So thankfult hat my husband is so supportive and thoughtful about my care!

Being in charge of how I feel and knowing that I have that power, and dare I say responsibility is yet another very important part of ...

Living Well,

P.S. Your thoughts and comments are important, please share them with us here! Love SQ