Friday Favourites: March 16th 2012

Dear Audy,

I turned off my air conditioner for about fifteen minutes this morning. It was a big mistake! Excess pain came over me like an internal rash, tingling and burning under the skin and through my joints. Naturally, I turned the a/c right back on, however a couple of hours later I am still working at releasing the flare and getting the pain back down again.

Them’s the breaks, for me, when there is too much water in the air. It’s no use getting upset about it, I just have to manage what is. That’s not to say I’m a zen master who didn’t get upset at all, I shook my fist at the sky a little before I remembered that doing that won’t help.

I will work through today and do I what I can to lower the pain, a long Feldenkrais session is most certainly in order, as well as some meditation. My anxiety has been raging around in its cage this week and I would very much like to set it free. It gets a little tiresome letting go of silly worry after stupid concern, when I’d much rather be focusing on other things. I can recognise the patterns of thought these days, I see anxiety for what it is, however I still do have to actively deal with it from time to time.

Go away, clouds, you’re hurting me!

And now for the weekly collection of inspiration from the interwebs!

Friends and Other Forms Of Support
on Life, CRPS & Everything

Friends are a wonderful thing. This fact becomes extremely clear when something like chronic pain or illness strips away so much of a person’s existence. Friends that take the time to understand the needs of others and to even offer help and support are the people to cherish the most. I enjoyed this post thanks to the celebration and appreciation of friendship.

On Technology and the Patient with Chronic Illness
on A Chronic Dose

I consider myself pretty lucky to be chronically ill in the modern world, as opposed to being chronically ill in the world before technology came so far in its ability to connect and assist us. Blogging throughout my journey with CRPS has introduced me to some wonderful fellow travellers, as well as providing me with much inspiration that has helped me see new perspectives. Social media gives me a way to stay in touch with friends and even make new ones despite being stuck at home so often. Not to mention, it’s pretty handy to have a calendar that beeps important things at me, a camera to capture oddities in my limbs and an up to the minute weather evaluation/forecast all at my fingertips. Go, technology!

The Multiple Losses of Disease
on Going Down Swinging

There are a lot of new feelings to deal with when a person receives a diagnosis of CRPS, which Maria points out is often described as a “progressive and incurable neurological disease”. That’s pretty heavy stuff right there. Chronic pain reaches every part of a person’s life and changes some more drastically than others. People often experience a lot of grief; for themselves, for their future selves, for the relationships that don’t survive, for the dreams that no longer thrive.

Maria has put together some helpful information to help guide those currently experiencing that overwhelming sense of loss. It took a long time for me to even recognise that what I was feeling was grief (rather than misery). I recommend this blog post to those looking to help make sense of their emotions and begin the process of overcoming.

Finding the energy and being kind to yourself in an indifferent world…
on Paining Jane

Living with CRPS, or any chronic pain condition, turns everyday situations into dangerous places, wrought with the possibility of causing further pain. Being bumped by an inconsiderate member of the public can be the trigger of a flare that could last for days or weeks. For me, the hardest part of coming to terms with this was recognising that the world is not going to soften its edges for me. I take precautions such as not putting myself in crowded situations, or attending in my wheelchair so that it can act like an all around bumper bar. I do what I can, but there are still a lot of places that I’ll avoid because of crowds.

Jane’s post gives some insight into what a bump in public is like for somebody with chronic pain. It’s not just physical pain, we also cop a lot of mockery from healthy people who just don’t believe that it could hurt that bad. I don’t have glamorous ideas about this attitude changing quickly, but I do hope that through sharing stories and raising awareness we can slowly and steadily make an impact on the childish jokes.

The Art of Nothingness: Why Balance Matters
on Pick The Brain

Doing stuff is totally overrated. In coming to terms with my chronic pain, I have had to let go of a lot of old ideals about achievement. I have had to learn to appreciate life in ways that aren’t reliant on being productive. That’s not to say I do nothing and love it, I just have a new appreciation for down time and I’ve experienced the benefits of slowing down in both mind and movement.

That wraps up the highlights from my Google Reader this week. Enjoy!

I shall now go back to being ridiculously excited about Elmo’s World Tour for the rest of the day. I am going tomorrow. Puppets! Colours! Songs! Hurrah!

What are you planning for this weekend?

Love & Doggy Cuddles (from Sammy and Lucy, they wanted to say Hi)

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