Dealing with Chronic Pain

I am currently going through a flare up of my lupus, and one of the worst ones I have had in a while.

During the day I feel pain, especially with bending down or doing anything that raises my heart rate. But at night, it gets really bad. I can’t breathe without feeling the pain in my chest and shoulders and laughing hurts so bad I don’t let myself laugh naturally and I physically hold it in. Laying down in bed hurts the most. I haven’t been getting much sleep because the pain keeps me awake. I wanted to share things that help me when I’m dealing with this pain that comes with some illnesses, and maybe some of these steps could help you too.

Number one thing I do when I’m getting this pain is either take a hot shower or a hot bath. Usually shower for me because getting in and out of the tub can hurt, plus laying there can put pressure on my chest which is a main area of pain for me. Also the pressure of the water hitting the areas I get pain the most seems to help. Taking deep breaths is hard when I’m experiencing pain, so I try to take the best breaths I can while I’m in the water. Usually I try to open up my chest by holding my shoulders back and straightening up my posture. Trying to massage the areas while the water is hitting it helps to loosen up the muscles as well. While I’m in the shower, I have noticed that the pain is noticeably subsided, but I also notice once the hot water is gone some of it tends to return, but not all if it.

Another thing I can say is do not push yourself. Something I struggle with is feeling guilty about doing nothing when I feel like this, even though the best thing to do is take it easy. Sometimes pushing yourself can lead to more pain. Of course I am not saying definitely do nothing. If you can, taking a nice walk and getting fresh air might make you feel more alive and awake. Perhaps do some light stretching, just not over extending anything. Try not to stop anything you do regularly, just maybe don’t go running or lift heavy weights.

When you feel like crap it can definitely lead to some depression. You feel like you can’t do anything, so you don’t. Pain makes you feel tired and completely unmotivated. It can feel very weighing and like its controlling your life. I’m here to tell you you don’t have to let it. Try to keep as busy as you can through these times so your mind doesn’t focus on the discomfort. Ask your doctor if they could prescribe something for the pain and get help if you haven’t already. Learn what you can and can’t do, and whats right for your situation. There are steps you can take to help manage it better, like the ones I have learned over time.

Living a fully functioning life is completely possible with chronic pain. It doesn’t mean you can do things you’ve always wanted to do, even some days it can be crippling. I hope these things can help you manage your symptoms better, and remember to always consult your doctor for any questions or concerns you might have.

Thanks for reading.

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My name is Kelsey and I am a 22 year old artist who loves video games, art and occasionally life itself.

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