Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Health & Wellness In Spite of the Pain.

Hey Friends, I wanted to share some information and get some input on some information that I just got from my team of doctors working with my chronic pain. First off, I'm a 14-year breast cancer survivor and a strong advocate for my own health. Yes, I have a "team" of doctors (They don't know that they're a team, but I call them that anyways.) I've seen an Oncologist, Rheumatologist, Orthopedic, Chiropractor/Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, Cardiologist, Physical Therapist and my Primary Care Physician all trying to help me figure this all over aches and pains. I have chosen them all very carefully because most of them have had chronic myofacial pain or FM or some other unexplained pain themselves. I find it very interesting that my diagnosis has come in the form of puzzle pieces that now are starting to make sense and give me the bigger picture of what is happening to me. Please feel free to comment on this post. We are all different and the reasons for our pain are different, but tell me if any of these ring a bell. By the way....this applies to just the women in this group, because well...I'm a woman.

I'm halfway through my 50's... okay, I'm 55. It just sounded better saying halfway! 
I've experience menopause symptoms since 2003. My poor husband is SO understanding and knows when to clear the room. 
Never smoked or drank, or done illegal drugs....really! 
I've had at least 1 surgery for something once a year now for the past 10 years. Some for pain or cancer. Some corrective. 

So my doctors have all agreed that I have systemic (all over) Chronic Myofacil Pain. (Duh!) But.... hot flashes, cellulite on body parts, fatigue, and flashes of mystery pain crop up out of nowhere, mood swings are all a symptom WITH this Chronic pain. Read that again..."Symptoms." My body has been through such emotional & physical stress almost all of my life and then you add in eating processed foods and drinking carbonated drinks, surgeries, bad relationships and deaths in my family for all those years, my body is SCREAMING for help before it's too late. Having any kind of surgery adds stress to your body and if you don't take the time to heal it is STRESS. If you've suffered loss and have not truly grieved and ENDED YOUR GRIEF, it is STRESS. If you have bad relationships without resolve it is STRESS So, my team and I have come up with a plan to reverse this cycle of damage to my body, mind and soul. Now granted, this damage has been ongoing for a LONG time, so to undo it all will take a long time as well, but I have seen significant results in just 5 weeks thus far. What have I done? No secret weapon to sell, or gimmick to try. Here is what I have done so far. 

Clean eating - Look it up if you don't know what that is. It's not hippy food or drinking tons of green yuck, but it is eating real healthy food. 
De-stress - Do the things that relax you and get rid of the things that stress you out. Okay...well maybe not your spouse!
WATER - only drink water. Preferably filtered water like in one of those pitcher thingy's. Your body is made up of mostly water, not soda, alcohol or coffee. Water is needed to wash the toxins away and keep your body healthy. 
Clean air - Did you know that your home contains stale germ filled air after 1 week of it being closed up? Pet and people gas alone could be toxic! 
Remove chemicals in your home - This is a huge one. Think of all the cleaning products under your sink. Now think of all the personal products that you use that have chemicals in them! Try to get rid of as many as possible and replace them with non-cancer causing products.
NO Caffeine PERIOD! - Break the habit - it's worth it for your health and your sleep. 
Nothing Artificial, not one morsel ever again! Yes, really.
Gentle Movement - I have found Tai Chi to be the best for me, but find what works for you. My Physical Therapist has been wonderful in helping me find what works for stretching tight and tense muscles. If you don't stretch your muscles they will be weak. 
Closure - As humans we need closure on death, ended relationships, or people who bring us down. 
Time - Learn to say "NO" but nicely when others try to take your time away from you. Get over the guilt of not being available. When you're healthy again, then you can say "yes" to small things. 
Let go - You know what that means, so do it. If you can't, see a Therapist who can help you through the process. Holding on to bitterness, anger or hurts will only add to your stress. 
Forgiveness - For yourself. Give yourself permission to be forgiven of all the crap of your past. It will make it easier for the next one. 
Forgive others. Even if they don't reciprocate, don't expect it. When you forgive others, you just un-tied the noose around your neck and now you're free. If they can't forgive, that's their problem, not yours.
And the last one... 
Love yourself enough to do all of these things. You're worth it and you deserve a better life. My pain isn't completely gone, but it's improved enough to keep going and believe that this process is working. I've taken on one new thing a week and the results are amazing. Soft hugs to you all!