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THINGS I HAVE MADE DURING THE PANDEMIC TO HELP TAKE MY MIND OFF MY PAIN…

Apart from my usual blogging which I find very therapeutic I started a few projects at the beginning of lock-down.

My first project was my shed ( which I’ve written about before). With the help of my husband we totally transformed it. We were so pleased we did as it has given us a lot of pleasure this summer.

I then decided to change all the cushions from my outside dining chairs, settee and arm chairs as I didn’t find them very comfortable. We bought a much thicker foam for all of them but with them not being the bog-standard size it meant I had to make new cushion covers for each of them. Ten in total. 

I bought a midi sewing machine ( a bit better than a mini but just as light) and I followed a YouTube video on how to make box cushion covers. You can see from my photos I managed them quite well. I then made my first envelope cushions to finish the outside look.

My next project was for my granddaughter. I wanted to make her a felt book for her first birthday. This took me a while but as you can see from then end product it turned out ok with lots of touchy feely things in it for her to play with.

My next project was to make the family some face masks. I used an old shirt of my husbands and lined them with some of my granddaughters muslin squares which she had as a baby.

Something I have always done is make my own cards but I was getting bored with my own designs and decided to give pressed flowers a go. I make all my own cards for family and friends and I am often told that I should sell them but I have lots of friends and family so I don’t have many left over. I love the new look with the pressed flowers and really enjoy making them.

I’ve recently started to knit a patchwork throw for when my granddaughter can come and stay. It’s such a great way to use up old wool and I love the way it grows so quickly as it’s so easy to knit. It also makes me feel closer to her although she’s not with me much.

I have also promised my family that I will write my Dads life story. Funnily enough I had an email from the Publishing Parrot Company asking me if I would be interested in publishing my life story on coping with back pain. It’s not something I have thought of doing before but I guess I could add it to my project list.

The next big thing of course is the ‘C’ word. I noticed at a craft shop yesterday the amount of Christmas bits out already so I will never be short of something to do.

I still pace myself with everything I do as sitting for long periods gives me awful low back pain and I have to be careful with my neck but I have all the right equipment and lumber supports etc to hand and as long as I make sure I have a rest every afternoon I can usually do a couple of hours relatively pain free.

What have you been making during the pandemic, I would love to hear from you?

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HOW DO YOU COPE WITH CHRONIC PAIN?…

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How do you cope with chronic pain? I think everyone in chronic pain has there own way of managing it but help from your GP and hospital pain services can lessen the pain, improve your independence and help you cope in general.

Often, chronic pain is an illness in its own right, due to a fault or malfunction in the body’s pain system.

My first episode of real pain was in my late 20’s when I just simply slipped while cleaning the bath. and my back went out. An easy thing to do and a common enough occurrence for people with back problems. I was treated at first with pain killers then physiotherapy but ended up needing to see an Orthopaedic consultant.

At that time I was quite bent with the pain, looking 20 years older than my age. Pain at the end of the day is introspective; it doesn’t give a dam about the rest of the world. Fortunately after my stunt in hospital on traction for a week it seemed to cure the disc problem for the short term. However I was left with another problem which was that part of my left calf was completely numb, which they said was from the traction.

That was over 30 years ago, and I must admit that when I look back I am amazed at how I managed to cope with the pain I was in and also look after a young child. I guess we all go through some form of pain at some point in our lives so nature must play a big part in the coping mechanism.

‘Thinking happy thoughts’ and ‘Being positive’ is part of cognitive therapy which is supposed to help our brains turn on the endorphins to help us cope with pain. However back in the 70’s none of this was available to us which does make you wonder sometimes about how we managed to deal with it.
Pain management programmes are a series of sessions, for groups of 6-8 people, aimed at teaching you how to live with your pain. Instead of treating your pain, you learn to cope with it and, research shows, can expect to enjoy a better quality of life, sleep and mobility afterwards. There are also around 300 pain clinics available in the UK.

But, at the end of the day its up to each individual who is suffering from chronic pain to manage it the best they can.

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