I want to be social, but my body wants to stay home. I want to go hang out with my friends, but my pain levels are too high. I want to go to the movies, but I know I’ll fall asleep. I want to go out to lunch, but by the time I get ready I am too exhausted. Those are all comments I hear frequently from chronic pain sufferers. There is this balance between what you want to do and what your body will allow you to do. Taking a shower is exhausting for many, and then you have to get dressed and by the time you’ve done that you still have to eat! Often just the normal morning routine makes you want to take a nap!
When I was having issues with my heart rate taking a shower would push my heart rate into exercise levels, so by the time I took my short short shower I was completely exhausted and ready for a nap! However I had to get dressed and getting dressed is its own can of worms. I never knew what. a pain getting dressed could be until I had spinal issues.
Here is an experiment for you try to get dressed without bending, twisting and without placing your hands behind your hips. Any time your arms/hands go behind your hips you twist your spine, now try to get dressed…pain right? When everything first happened it took me FOREVER to get dressed. I had to do everything very slowly, and calculated to make sure I was reminding myself not to bend and not to twist. I would get something almost on and then I would drop it and have to start over, that was “fun”! There were times I just cried out of frustration.
Now I can get dressed in a more normal amount of time, Mom says I still take longer than I used to, which I’m sure is true. I am better because I have learned how to put everything on, which order is most time efficient, etc. There are still times that I get out of the shower and think can I nap now? Can I just go back to bed? The temperature in the shower has to be just right or else that becomes an issue for me. Here again there is a delicate balance in things I would have never thought about before I hurt myself.
Life is good even if it is a constant balancing act. I just have to remember that slow and steady wins the race and to watch which direction my feet are pointed in!