chronic pain, depression, Exercise, Gratitude, Motivation

Challenging A Life With Chronic Pain


This time last week I was feeling full of optimism and strength. People who live with chronic pain know that life is a constant Rollercoaster and that no matter how hard you may try, it is a ride that you are unable to get off nor predict what may be coming around the corner. The ride may give you periods in life where the pain monster stays lurking in the background or it may rear it’s ugly head, full force, as you turn the next bend. There will be experiences where you feel you have no effort left to fight the uphill climb to get to the top of the ride, but just like the Rollercoaster, putting in some hard work, may give you the thrill and exhiliration of arriving at the top of the ride and experience the joy of feeling intense freedom, with hands in the air, plummeting downhill, adrenaline filling your body. This is how it feels when pain levels fall below a five out of ten. These are the days that are made of gold. Getting your body moving and freeing up some of the tense and dormant muscles, can result in some pain relief.

Last Friday, I was experiencing a ‘golden day’ and I decided to take action. I researched my local area in order to find some kind of exercise class that I thought I might be able to manage. Before my illness I had been raised to be very involved in sport and outdoor recreation activities. I had experienced or played all of the following: netball, tennis, gymnastics, dancing, athletics, swimming, waterskiing, wake boarding, snow skiing, squash, mini-marathons. Basically, I loved being active. To this day I could still swim up and down a pool following that black line and enjoy every second of it, if my body would only allow it. Ironically, exercise that is beneficial for the injuries from a serious car accident are somewhat contradictory for my current chronic pain condition. But sometimes to my own detriment, I live by the saying, “No Pain, No Gain”! Unfortunately I have quite a high pain threshold so I can sometimes take the opportunity to exercise a little too far 🙂

I’m hoping I may have found a compromise. I’m looking at attending an Aquarobics class for Seniors. While I may not qualify in age, I’m sure my enthusiasm and medical limitations will assist in gaining permission to attend. I have an Aquatic Centre close to where I reside and I always receive a discount to attend the centre as part of our Council’s provision for those with disabilities. My only hold up is the injuries I received after being electrocuted while baking last Saturday. I don’t think I have ever had my body feel so broken . When teaching at a Catholic school I had a wonderful Principal who said to me that “God will never give you more than you can handle”, well enough is enough now, thank you, I have enough to handle for the present moment.

I have been hiding myself away, feeling imperfect, broken, sad, lacking in strength & motivation and this needs to change. While recuperating from last weeks events I am planning upcoming weeks where I can slowly begin introducing activity back into my world. I would also love to do some more Post Grad studies but at certain times of my medication cycles during the day, I can forget what day it is or where I’ve just placed my cup of coffee. So my compromise will be visits to the library, where I can travel by ferry on the beautiful Sydney Harbour directly there. I’m going to continue meditation classes to help maintain a positive and relaxed demeanor. With the assistance and guidance of my fantastic Pain Psychologist I hope to forge a new life. Wish me luck and please feel free to post any other activities that do not require sitting for lengths at a time.

Health & Happiness 🙂


15 thoughts on “Challenging A Life With Chronic Pain”

  1. Aquarobics is great for helping with chronic pain. It has no impact on the joints and I found it really helpful after a hip replacement in February this year. Tai Chi can also be helpful as the exercises are very gentle and slow and it is a form of moving meditation, and meditation itself is also terrific because it helps the brain focus on something else. I have tried acupuncture in the past and found it helps some conditions as well. The best thing is to try to remain positive although I know it is hard. I could hardly walk earlier this year, but after a hip replacement I now have a lease of life. I wish you well with your efforts.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I too believe it is about remaining positive and trying alternatives to traditional medicine in order to assist in managing the ChronicPain. I am so glad to hear your hip is improving, I can hear the relief in your writing. Stay well!

  2. Exercise is one of the best things we can do to help manage our chronic pain. Lots of days I’m too tired to exercise, but I make myself. I’ve come to think of it as paying my dues to the exercise gods. Meditation is fantastic too. It’s one of the best ways for me to reach the calm center inside of me that makes the pain recede. I can’t always achieve that, but when I do, it’s amazing.

    I am like you. If I have a day where my pain drops below a 5, it’s a great day. I want to do some fun and exciting that I can’t do on normal days. Sometimes I push myself too far on my good days and pay for it with days of worse pain afterwards. I try to be careful on my good days and do just enough to really enjoy it but not enough that I’m going to make myself regret it. It’s a hard line to walk. Keep pushing yourself and stay optimistic! Optimism is a powerful medicine.

  3. I did receive a long post from you, I hope you received my reply. It is extremely rewarding to meet people who are walk similar paths. I look forward to sharing more of our journey together.
    Health & Happiness 🙂

  4. This reminded me of an article I read on Cracked once: The Joys that Healthy People will Never Experience. One was “feeling better.” It went something like this:

    When you’re chronically ill, you feel sick all the time. So when you find medicine/and activity/random luck that makes you feel better – it’s like having SUPER POWERS.


  5. I’m panicking now as I have just sent a really long reply to this and it hasn’t appeared! I am wondering if it will 🙂


  6. I love this post! It is full of acceptance, frustration, optimism, determination, fact, humour etc etc etc all in equal measure and I can relate to it all. You sound very strong and posts like this inspire and encourage me 🙂

    Although my condition doesn’t give me chronic pain as a primary symptom (I do have permanent secondary severe pain in my good hand with overusing it in compensation for my very weak right hand) I can rarely even open an envelope or pick up a cup – (hooray for straws!:)) But I suffer from the chronic fatigue that accompanies MS which has taken up residence and is here to stay. I have just had 2 steroid injections this week in my hand but so far no change – surgery is “out there” but I really want to avoid it if possible so I attend the hospital regularly for reviews on my splint (which is an ugly thing! And restricts me even more) wax baths, and physio, all an ongoing process which I didn’t expect would accompany the MS and all its primary difficulties.

    But I remain positive most of the time! 🙂 However I do get days where I either scream or sob when I am alone in the house; it is a release which sometimes just feels necessary.

    Five weeks ago I had an MS flare up which has affected my vision and I am now recovering from an intensive high dose course of steroids which always messes with me both physically and mentally. I think (but hardly dare presume) that my vision has improved slightly. (I have an eye check up on Monday at the hospital)

    My poetry is helping me a great deal to handle everything and I am meeting some lovely new people I would otherwise never have encountered and I include this as one of my many blessings, and I do have many.:):)

    Sorry if I have rambled! 🙂


    PS I really look forward to reading more from you :):)

    1. Hi Christine,
      I found your message in my spam box, thankfully it was not lost altogether. I am so pleased that you have enjoyed my blogging, I find it a real outlet, especially when unable to sleep. I’m so pleased the Olympics are on TV, Ive been awake since 3am. I don’t mind being awake at this time, it is so peaceful.
      Thank you for kind words, they really lift my spirits. I’m finding blogging such a wonderful use of social media, and provides amazing opportunities to reach out to others globally. Please keep in touch as I look forward to,sharing our life’s journey together.

      Health & Happiness


      1. Thank you Narelle, I’m glad you found my comment! In future when I send a long one I will type it in word then copy and paste! 🙂

        I will definitely keep in touch 🙂

        Christine xx

      2. My eye check up today confirmed that there has been some improvement so now it’s official! 🙂 And the brain MRI scan confirmed that it has definitely been optic neuritis, a common, but really horrible symptom of MS. But improvement will do for me for today 🙂

        Christyine x

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