11. Figure out the best ways to relax so you can keep your stress levels down.
“I’ve tried many things, and I’ve found that relaxation and meditation are KEY. When you’re in times of stress, it’s SO easy to tense and make pain worse. Relaxation can be reached in the easiest ways — playing a game, taking a nap, watching a show, reading a book. Basically anything that makes you feel good and takes your mind off of things. Also, I find that meditations are quite calming and make your awareness of your body keen. I agree it takes some time and effort for meditations to work, but in my opinion, it’s worth it.”
12. See a doctor who specializes in pain management.
“A pain doctor ended up being my saving grace. Physical therapy wasn’t working, my chiropractor wasn’t doing it, biweekly massages weren’t cutting it, and I was so ready to give up. Then I went to a pain doctor, did a DNA test to find the right painkillers for me, got Botox injections at the pain sites (chronic back pain), and touched up in between with trigger point injections. My quality of life changed so much by seeing a pain doctor.”
13. Stock up on all the heated things — pads, mattress toppers, jackets, car seats, whatever.
“[My mattress pad] has a set in timer that lasts 10 hours. It’s also a good way for me to know if I’ve been sleeping too long.”
14. And invest in a blanket that will be your new best friend.
“This might sound weird but having a big fluffy blanket, like a down comforter, is so helpful. It helps cushion my joints when I can’t lay regularly, especially my arms. It’s also provides a good cozy feeling that helps me emotionally, too. When I’m having a really bad flare up, sometimes I just need some extra time in bed and it helps to be comfortable. Sometimes that extra hour or two of sleep makes a huge difference with a flare up.”
15. Utilize wheelchairs and other mobility aids when you need them.
“Do not be afraid to use mobility aids. I’ve had quite a few experiences where I wouldn’t have been able to go out or participate in an event, but using a wheelchair made it possible. A lot of Spoonies are afraid to use mobility aids because many abled people out there can get pretty judgmental (it sucks, I know), but they aren’t the ones who are living your life, and you can guarantee they’d use mobility aids in a heartbeat if they had even a fraction of your pain.”