I’m fluffy today. And floppy. I had lots of drugs…

I have pain. I feel like I have chronic pain, but compared to people who actually have chronic pain, I don’t. I do however, have some back issues (facet joint hypertrophy between L3-4 and L4-5), tendinopathy in my left hamstring, and a rotation and shift in my pelvis. Mostly (but not entirely) caused by my hypermobility. I think…

I have physio exercises to do, and one day (theoretically) the pain should go away. In the meantime, I have nerve pain running from my left hip to ankle, and a hamstring on the same leg that feels permanently torn, and a butt cheek that is always really tender, and when the hip is not corrected (it’s much better than it was) I have a big clunk every now and then with extra nerve pain running along. It’s a bundle of laughs.

To add to all this excitement, since starting my new job, I have more than doubled the amount of time spent working at the computer, and consequently developed really bad pain in my neck and shoulders. It got so bad on the weekend I could no longer move my head – at all. This makes driving problematic… And it really fucking hurts, so that’s no fun.

I had a fabulous massage yesterday, with a remedial massage therapist. She did an awesome job but unfortunately could not make me completely pain free in the space of an hour. It was better – but not fixed. When I woke this morning, I had a sinus headache to add to my woes (I’ve been home sick for a few days with a cold, and I think it’s turning into some other kind of infection – kinda dizzy and wheezy now.)

I was  sick of all this pain so this morning I took: prescription anti-inflammatories, sudafed, paracetamol, aspirin, doxylamine sulfate, and codeine. I didn’t take everything at once… I just kept trying things until I either a) felt better or b) fell asleep. Eventually both things happened 😀

I’m not pain free now, but I care a whole lot less.

Anyway – the point of all of this was to talk about self-care. I realise this was a long-winded way of getting to self-care, but I’m having a long windy day.

Self-care is so important. And I suck at it. I’m good at self-pity – but not self-care. Self-care might not be in the least bit fun, but is about recognising the importance of doing what needs to be done to nurture and nourish the body and soul. And physio exercises are a huge part of that for me. I go back to the physiotherapist in another week and she’ll be asking how the exercises went. For a while I was fantastic – doing them every day, making progress, pain diminishing. Then I got slack and stopped bothering. Then the pain got really, really bad and all of a sudden I remembered the exercises. Now of course, the pain is worse than before because of the added neck and shoulder stuff. I did my exercises today – a lot – have done them the past few days as well, and will do them daily until I see her next week. They really help.

I don’t know how to prioritise my self-care. I know when the pain gets bad enough, the exercises become a priority, but that is foolish. I need self-care as preventative medicine, not as a means to patch myself up until everything falls apart again.

So – illusions. The illusion of good health and well being gets in the way of my self-care. I must see through that. Prevention is better than cure every day of the week. Every single day. By investing my time and energy into caring for my body, I will be preventing myself from going through preventable illnesses. I can’t prevent accidents or unpreventable illnesses… But the main stuff I can work with. So even when I’m suffering under the illusion of good health, I need to do the following self-care activities – daily!

  1. Physio exercises
  2. Real exercises (usually at the gym)
  3. Eat well three times a day
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Get adequate sleep
  6. Do mindfulness and/or meditation
  7. Spend quiet time without a screen in front of me
  8. Connect with humans – real humans
  9. Plan my day in the mornings and reflect in the evenings
  10. Forgive myself

The last one there? That’s because I’m never good enough. I’m always doing something I feel is wrong, or not doing something I feel I should have. But I’m not perfect, and I don’t need to be, and if I stuff up I can just learn, accept, forgive, move on. That would be an awesome idea.

I’ve been deluding myself with the illusion of good health and it needs to stop. My recovery is my most important goal right now, and a huge component of that is self-care – physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. Nurturing my body, mind and spirit every single day. No more illusions – see the realities and do the work woman.