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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BACK PAIN SUFFER, MOVING DAY. 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BACK PAIN SUFFERER 

Monday, Moving day…

 

A Day in the Life of a Back Pain Suffer, Moving Day.

We’ve lived in our lovely happy home for the last 33 years and have too many memories to mention but now its time to leave, it’s moving day today. I’ve been sleeping restlessly lately with so much on my mind. Having not moved home in such a long time you forget how stressful it really is, from packing, to agreeing dates, to signing the hundredth piece of paper how can your mind and body rest?

 

However, the day is finally here! After a fitful night’s sleep thinking about my children’s first steps down our hallway and waving them off when they finally left home. I must admit I was a little emotional about saying goodbye to our beloved home and physically tired at the thought of yet more packing, those last few essentials that are far more than a ‘few’ items to carefully put into boxes.

 

Since having chronic back pain, I have always struggled with even packing my suitcases to go on holiday. So, when we finally took the plunge to move, I was practically giddy at the thought of packing up my entire home. My husband and I had discussed this and as his back is also not in the best way, we decided we would get some help for packing the house up, although deep down the nerves did kick in at the thought of my wedding china being packed up by someone else!

 

On the day of the move I decided that a long hot shower would help relax my back, as I have already mentioned I have been a little sleep deprived lately, which can often aggravate my back. However, I do find the heat from a long hot shower somewhat eases this pain and also gives you that time to mentally prepare yourself. With that done, a very strong coffee and a quick glance at the weather (no rain!!) some excitement creeping through I felt far more ready for moving day!

 

The email I had had from the removal guys said they would be with us between 9.30 and 10am. So, after an early breakfast I put everything away except some tea, coffee and biscuits to keep the removal guys topped up. Now as with anything that you want to run on time there is always a slight hiccup, the guys arrived late and the removal process did not start until about 10.45, which for someone who runs her life approximately an hour early for everything this was not quite as relaxed as I had hoped for!

 

Both myself and hubby were sitting on pins waiting for a phone call from our solicitors as contracts should be exchanging at any minute as they had assured us it would all be sorted first thing Monday morning, still nothing at 11:30am…… I was getting a little nervous now!

 

After making numerous cups of tea and sitting on camping chairs my back was starting to ache as it was not being supported properly and unfortunately, I was getting rapidly more stressed! I had now seen my coccyx cushion disappear into the abyss of boxes and genuinely felt a pang of missing it, as a fairly new addition to my back-care routine I have found it very helpful and now it was missing it was all I needed! However, I had remembered to keep aside my heat pad which as all you fellow back pain suffers know.. heat soothes! 

 

A Day in the Life of a Back Pain Suffer, Moving Day.

Now with my heat pad firmly attached, I wandered into the conservatory which had always been mine and my husbands’ favourite room, where we could sit and watch the birds and squirrels play in the garden, surrounded by beautiful blooming flowers. I must admit at this point I did question why we were leaving and then I remember we were moving to be closer to our family, there really was no contest. 

 

It quickly became 2 o’clock my house was packed I could not believe the removal guys had done an amazing job and finally the solicitors had called, “it would all be complete in the next half an hour.” Well I was delighted and did a somewhat stiff dance, if you have ever suffered with back pain you will know that even a little twirl can sometimes be too much. I heard my husband laughing as he came in mimicking my robotic dance move, he had over heard the conversation and he was just as excited as I was. We decided to take a cup of tea and one final walk in our garden to loosen our backs ahead of a long journey to our new home. We really didn’t want think our new neighbours had robots moving in!

 

2.35pm 

Then it came the phone call that you dread on moving day… ‘“ I am so sorry to say”, said our solicitor, “ but the contracts have still not been exchanged due to one of the solicitors down our chain not being available.” Heart sinking I didn’t know what to say and passed my phone over to my husband who normally has a few harsher words to say than I do but this time he just listened and accepted it. We looked at each other, and after a quick chat where he explained that the solicitors had assured him tomorrow would be the day we decided that in our hearts we had already moved so we would leave today anyway. We left the keys with the removal team and set off to our favourite hotel near to where we were moving to treat ourselves to a much deserved glass of wine.

FIBROMYALGIA FLARES – WE ALL HAVE THEM…

Fibromyalgia flares are something most Fibromyalgia sufferers go through and is a dreaded part of Fibro. They can make your life very miserable.

One thing I found helped me with a flare-up was by writing it in my diary when it happened and what I did to help with it and if it helped.

I also have a list of all the things I enjoy that take me away from my pain like one of my hobbies (making cards) and baking but maybe for you it’s Tai Chi or Yoga that helps. Just knowing something that works will help get through the flare-up.

Make a note in your diary of a particular treatment that helped or a medication or piece of equipment like a tens machine that helped.

Knowing that there is something you can do, use or otherwise for your flare-up, will get you through the worst days and back to controlling it as you normally do.

6 PLEASANT THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU ARE IN PAIN…

It’s very hard to do much when you are in pain but something simple could help you get through a bad patch. Maybe give one a go…

  1. Write a letter to a friend. We used to write so much more years ago and although we hardly write letters now it doesn’t mean we can’t send one to a friend or family member. I only have a few from my children when they were on their travels but I treasure them all.
  2. Write a short story or a poem. A short story can be written in no time and there are plenty of magazines and papers who having short story writing competitions to inspire you with. I wrote a poem about Fibromyalgia which I put on this blog. If you missed seeing it this is a link to it here.
  3. Buy a colouring book. Colouring books are not just for the kids nowadays. The adult ones are beautiful and can take you away from your pain to another place. Just the front of some of the books makes you feel better. This one, in particular, The Flower Fairies has 45 illustrations to colour, or The Secret Garden, which is perfect for someone who loves flowers.  
  4. Do a jigsaw puzzle. A company called Jigsaw Puzzles Direct have lots to choose from for all ages and a massive choice to choose from. My favourite is the Changing Seasons Jigsaw which reminds me of the Lake District. 
  5. Read a good novel. With everyone having access to Amazon for books now and most of us owning Kindle’s it’s so easy to buy FREE books to read. I use a couple of companies and can honestly say that I cannot remember the last time I paid for a book as there are so many to choose from. The two companies I use are FREEBOOKSY and AMAZON
  6. Look through all your old photo albums. I keep looking at a very popular hobby called Scrapbooking where you turn your pictures into works of art for your family to keep. You can buy books on the hobby where you will learn how to preserve newspaper clippings that you can use in your scrapbook that will stay for years, learn how to create titles that are catchy and witty that is sure to entice the viewers, it will guide you through proper layout of photos by using grids, collage or pockets to accommodate all your photos and mementos in a single page. By the time you finish reading this book, you are going to be able to realize that making an awesome scrapbook doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive and frustrating. You can use old buttons, loose ribbons, excess card stocks and patterned papers and other reusable embellishments to make your scrapbook unique and fabulous.  

5 WAYS TO BEAT PAIN…

According to an article in Daily Mail experts recommend five of the best products for chronic pain…

  1. Trigger Point Massage Ball – Physix Massage Balls from Amazon – these spikey trigger point balls are supposed to help release tight painful muscles. You simply place the ball under the area where the pain is and roll on top of it until you find the sore spot. You then keep rolling on and off until the pain eases.
  2. Gopo Joint Health Capsules–  Studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis have found that taking galactollpid (GOPO) which is an extract of rose hips, can quickly reduce joint pain and stiffness. Rose hip extract is thought to be an anti-inflammatory. You can buy GOPO capsules from Boots.  
  3. Headspace App – It’s a well-known fact that stress can exacerbate chronic pain. Following Headspaces mindfulness and meditation techniques is thought to help. The website also explains in great detail on how to meditate.  
  4. Chronic Pain Diary –  I have written about this before and so I was pleased to see it on their top five list. Noting down what level your pain is on, what triggers it, and how long it lasts on a daily basis has been shown to help you see your pattern which will then help you anticipate and treat pain more effectively as well as giving your pain clinic how you are coping with your pain. You can buy a Chronic Pain Diary from Amazon. 
  5. Vibrating Massage Pillow – this is another pain relief that I have recently written about. This one they highly recommend for back pain. You pop the cushion over the area of pain and the vibrations are said to really help if you need to sit for a long period, so ideal for a long car journey. The nerve stimulation from the vibrations may also help distract you from your pain. Its available from a company called Sensory Direct. 

TOP 3 PAIN DIARIES/JOURNALS FOR CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS…

Anyone who suffers from chronic pain will find one of these diaries helpful. Most of them include the usual daily assessment pages, treatment history, doctors appointments, monitor pain location etc but some have a few more inserts that will help you monitor your pain.

I also prefer looking at the pretty patterned journals/diaries as I do tend to think it’s a girly thing.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia quite a few years ago through keeping a journal. I was seeing a spinal consultant at the time and I was taken to the hospital for an epidural injection and manipulation of the coccyx for low back pain. However I had quite a few other pains going on and the consultant asked me to write a diary of how and where my pain was, how many painkillers I needed to take and if there were any triggers to my pain.

When I went back for my post-op appointment he looked through my diary and immediately said that he thought I was also suffering from a condition called Fibromyalgia and said he would send me to see a Rheumatologist who would be able to advise me on pain relief.  Ever since then I always made a note of my flare-ups and/or what may have caused it and what medication I am taking on a daily basis as this really helps your specialist to understand what you need.

My top three choice is –

  1. The “Chronic Pain Journal: Portable Notebook Journal. Helps Pain Management. Track Pain Daily, 2 Pages per day layout, log pain location, symptoms, triggers, relief measures, notes and more by Journals for All ” is a great little book and some great reviews on it and is only £4.99
  2.  “Pain Journal : A daily record of chronic pain symptoms ” – ‘ Communication between patient and healthcare provider can be challenging, especially when it comes to describing one’s pain. We think we’ll remember and, when put on the spot, we draw a blank. This journal provides the patient with the opportunity to keep a daily, detailed account of pain symptoms, medications, situational changes, moods, hydration, and medical visits. Created by a massage practitioner who specializes in severe chronic pain, this journal is designed to be as easy to use as possible. Each page contains an anatomical figure. You simply circle the area of your pain and rate it 1 – 10. You can include more detailed information, if necessary, in the provided areas. Because this journal is designed in the same fashion as your healthcare provider’s charts, you can give the journal to your healthcare provider to look over at the beginning of your appointments and, at a glance, they can understand you. Now you can make the most of your healthcare visits and get on with your pain-free life! £9.93
  3.  “Chronic Pain and Fatigue Diary by CS Casey”  “3-month pocket-sized journal to help those with (diagnosed and undiagnosed) invisible illness conditions. Easily track your daily: * Pain locations and severity * Fatigue levels * Mood changes * Sleeping pattern * Food and Beverage intake * Passive and Active Activities * Medication changes With bonus Appointments section to help you remember important health-related appointments. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue / ME / and Chronic Pain from Injury or Health Condition Sufferers: use the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Diary to work collaboratively with your treating health professionals (GPs, Specialists and complimentary care-givers), so you can cover all the symptoms you’ve been experiencing – but often forget to mention during appointments – and or work out whether specific foods, medications, treatments and activities impact (negatively or positively) on your ability to function on a day-to-day basis.” £12.89