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Patient Handbook: Manage Life

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

In today’s society, keeping up the pace of managing a job and a family is difficult even for those who are healthy. More and more is expected of us with less time to rest. Even without accounting for the chaos of modern society, life with chronic pain is a daily challenge. Just getting out of bed when one is in severe pain can be an exhausting experience. So how is it possible for those with pain to participate in their lives?

Accept the fact that you will not be able to do everything that you could before you were ill. In fact, you probably will not be able to do all the things that seem important. You can, however, decide what activities are the most important and what to skip. Resting all day to be able to attend a child’s graduation is reasonable, even if it means avoiding chores. Similarly, spending two days in bed after volunteering at your church’s annual festival is a good tradeoff. Sometimes just going out to dinner or doing chores can make you feel more normal.

Having increased pain, or a “bad day,” is unpleasant but it is not dangerous. No permanent harm will come from occasionally doing too much.

Use your resources. Renting a scooter at the amusement park to be able to keep up with the grandkids is a good decision. If you qualify for handicapped parking, use it. Parking closer means being able to do more wherever you are visiting. Make sure to prioritize in terms of timing of activities as well. You are likely to be able to do more earlier in the day- so focus on important activities.

In short, you can decide what you do, where you do it, how and why.


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