|Leaning on my cane for support|
|This is me sitting on my cane. I know it looks like I have a stick up my butt.|
4) Traction. Traction is when someone pulls on my leg to give it space in the hip socket. My physical therapist does this for me. I can also do this myself at home. I tie a rope to a pole and then to my ankle and hold on to a doorway and pull.
5) Chiropractor. Okay, I know some people think chiropractors are quacks, however, I am now a 95% believer in chiropracty.
|This is called side posture.|
6) Acupuncture. I love, love, love acupuncture. It makes my muscles so relaxed. My acupuncturist also uses elctro-stim. Every time I have a treatment I have to take a long nap afterward. It is so relaxing. However, it is not for everyone. Gavin HATES it and thinks it is pure torture.
7) Drugs. I have completely stopped taking anti-inflammatories because, frankly, they don't work for me. I have been taking these since 13. I don't think it is good for my liver either. I have also stopped my vicodin (I did use it for a week following my wedding). I totally support vicodin as a pain management tool, but it is just not for me. The risk of addiction is too great, I cant drive while taking it, it makes me feel loopy, and it only last for 4 hours. Now I am taking an anti-depressant, Lexapro. The thing is, I am not taking it for depression. I couldn't be happier. I am taking it for pain and anxiety. Anti-depressants are suppose to block pain signals to the brain so I can manage my pain better. Being in pain causes a lot of anxiety as well. Going out of the house is a big event. I am always worrying, "will this cause more pain?", or, "who will be mean to me today?". It is really stressful, but Lexapro is really helping me. Also, even though I am happy, I do have down days. I think, "when will this pain ever end? Will I be in a wheelchair someday? Can I ever go for a walk on the beach, go to Disney Land, walk around a big city?" Lexapro helps me cope with these worries.
8) A support system. Having a support systems is so crucial. Gavin is mynumber one cheerleader. He is so kind
and understanding. He pushes me to get better, but makes sure I am not pushing myself too hard. No one can understand what someone with FAI is
going through unless you walk a mile in their shoes, but Gavin sure acts like he
understands my pain. That means a lot to me. Gavin never asks me to lift a finger around the house. He never complains when the house is messy because he knows some days I can barely get out of bed. Gavin always drops me off at the front door when we go out shopping or to dinner. He always finds me a place to sit down when we are out of the house. If I complain about my hip he will bring me ice and cater to me. I know some people with disabilities dont have friends or family that understand how they feel, so I feel truly fortunate.
9) Distraction. Distraction is key. You need to escape your pain. I like to watch movies or read a book. I can escape into the storyline and forget about how much pain I am in for a couple of hours. Right before falling asleep is always the worst time for me because I dont have any distractions. Im concentrating on falling asleep and sometimes I cant. I usually read before I go to bed to distract from my pain, then when I am dead beat tired, I turn of my reading lamp and fall right to sleep.
10) A good mood. Being in so much pain puts a frown on my face and makes me grouchy. Staying in a good mood one is probably the hardest for me because sometimes I just want to punch people. When some lady says "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?" I just want to say, "beeeahhhtch, what the fricken hell is wrong with you?" But I have to remember to have a positive attitude about the situation. It is a perfect opportunity to get on my soapbox and advocate rights for people with disabilities. So I say "beeeahhhhtchhhh, I want to speak to your manager. Right now!!!" But the point is, just try to be in a good mood, have fun, and do what you can do within your limitations. I know I cant go snowboarding, but I CAN go for a romantic drive in the mountains with my Sweetheart. I know I can't go for a long walk on the beach, but I can sit on the beach and read a book. I'm so lucky.
11) Eat healthy. Not only will your body function better, but you will be at a healthy weight. For some people with chronic pain losing weight can help. If I carried around an extra 5 pound weight with me, that would mean my hip would start hurting sooner than without that weight. So because of this, I make it a point to maintain a low weight.
12) Wear comfy shoes and clothes. I only wear the most comfortable shoes. I dont care if Uggs are ugly, they are comfortable. Of course in my case, shoes can make a big difference. High heels would kill my poor hip. Also, I usually wear work out clothes. I like to be comfy.
13) Don't do too much. I know for people with chronic pain, you like to test yourself. Can I still clean the whole house in 3 hours? Can I still walk around the shopping mall without a break? Well even if you can do these things, you will pay for it later. It is better to take it easy. When I clean my house I take breaks in between each chore. When I am at the mall I sit down in between stores. Who cares if it takes 30 Xs as long as the average person to do something.
14) Sit down. In my case sitting down really helps. Sitting doesnt increse my pain much as long as I sit correctly, sit on a comfy chair and stretch every 30 minutes or so. Standing up and walking is what kills me.
Well that is all I am doing to manage my pain for now. What does everyone else do for pain management?