Here’s the first part of our interview with author and life coach Danea Horn she discussed some of the issues facing chronic pain sufferers. Her 2013 book, entitled Chronic Resilience–10 Sanity Saving Strategies for Women Coping with Chronic Illness offers techniques and ways to address the pressures of physical illness, including as she has said, “letting yourself be pissed”.
In one part of our interview, we asked if she had some tips for persons who are not feeling successful in their battle against chronic pain. She said that what works for one person doesn’t always work for the other. Here’s what else she told us:
- Make a list of what is in your control. Our minds tend to wander to all of the stressful things about pain & illness that we can do very little about. Having a list of things you can do that make a difference in your care & well-being has proven very helpful. If you’re feeling stress or notice that you are worrying about something that is out of your control, grab your list and place your attention on something there. My list includes:
- Staying committed to the diet that supports my body the best
- Taking my medications consistently on time
- Using pain medication as appropriate
- Distracting myself with a walk, book, indulgent TV program hobby, coffee with a friend and sometimes a cupcake
- Having the right medical team & working in partnership with them
- Saying no to responsibilities and commitments that are not priorities for me
- Learning what I can about my diagnosis so that I can participate in my care
- Taking a nap if I need it
- And much more
(Your list may look different from mine. It is something personal and immensely supportive.)
- Find a group of supportive people that you can connect with. Often friends and family do not have personal experience with what it is like to live in a body with the challenges our body has. Having a group of people who “get it” is HUGE! Right before my kidney transplant, I started volunteering for Donate Life and met three incredible women in my age group who all had transplants of their own. They served as cherished friends & mentors during my transplant procedure and healing as well as in the years afterward. With the internet, it is easy to find online (or offline) support groups who can connect you with others who share your experience – the hard stuff, the painful stuff and the really funny stuff that all comes with pain and illness. Honestly, I’ve never laughed so hard as when I’m with my transplant friends!
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