Guest Post: Living Life One Day at a Time with Chronic Pain and Illness

6:00:00 PM

I have been living with chronic pain and illness now for 20 years. First diagnosed with pancreatitis in my 20's and had a hard few years, in and out of the hospital many times. Doctors removed my gallbladder in hope that it would help with the chronic pain and chronic vomiting. It helped for a bit. But then it returned with a vengeance. About the time that I was dealing with the pancreatitis, I began to have symptoms that had nothing to do with the pancreas.

Not soon later, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I began to deal with two different but similar issues that caused me to spend more time in the hospital and in bathrooms, due to the diarrhea and vomiting. I tried every new medication that came out. Trying medical studies of medications before they were released to the public. I tried anything. Nothing worked, or if it did, it worked for a small amount of time.

About 5 years later, I started to watch what I ate and my pancreatitis went into remission. I haven’t had a bout with it in 7 years. I am listed as acute pancreatitis and not chronic any more but I still need to be careful and watch what I eat and drink. The Ulcerative Colitis has been an ongoing issue that I can, for the most part, control with my diet. I try not to take the steroids, and other medications too much but there are times that I don’t have a choice.

Things started to calm down for me till 11 years ago when the back pain began. I was pregnant and thought it was a normal symptom. Little did I know that there is more to it than that. Four major back surgeries later and a diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease and Osteoarthritis, my day in my life became very different.

Morning, again?
Morning, ugh, already? Seems just like I laid my head on the pillow to go to sleep. Bedtime gets harder and harder to deal with the older I get and the worse the pain gets. Sleep has always been difficult for me. Now with the pain in my lower back, the cramping in my gut, and the aches from arthritis. Sleep seems to disappear more than ever and barely shows its face to me. Mr. Sandman has skipped me over many a night and I lie awake begging for just one hour to rest my bones. But then when sleep finally comes to me, I wake to a sore and stiff body that is hard to move. Some mornings I need assistance from my husband to help me to even sit up. Then I move slowly throughout the day.

Either way, bed time is difficult and hard for me. I try to tell myself that its ok I don’t sleep that much. That sleep is over-rated and I don’t need that much. Most mornings I am taking it easy and trying to wake my body up. I work on easy things, most mornings, like writing, and catching up on emails. Getting myself prepared for the next part of the day.

Good afternoon...
The body is more awake now, feeling a little better than it was a few hours ago. I can handle more now, moving a little faster and steadier than I was this morning. I need to be more productive in the afternoons, being more a mom than was needed in the AM. Running errands and cleaning, will usually happen in this part of my day. It is almost like the bones have been greased for me so I can move a little quicker.

Not all days are this good, sometimes I just beg for a nap or a chance to lie down to watch YouTube or read a book. Unfortunately, it’s time to push those needs aside and not focus on the pain that I have in my lower back. I try to catch a few minutes of rest when I can and I always keep a smile on the face. If people believe I feel good, then surely, deep inside I am.

Evening, gentlemen!
Going full force, is how I can be found most evenings. Homework is due, dinner is needed, and working part-time is done now. This is my favorite part of the day. I have always been an evening person, it fits me. Getting things done during this time, is almost enjoyable. I still have the aches and pains, but I can hide them a little better during this time. Writing flows a little better, productivity to the house is handled with greater ease. And all in all, I am happier during this time of my day. Unfortunately, I don’t get to spend many a night with my significant other but he knows how much I miss him.

Now that things are handled and taken care of, it’s time for me to do things that I enjoy. I can be found many a night working on crafts, reading a book, writing, or anything else that drives my creative side. I have always enjoyed bringing out my creative side. Sometimes, I can also be found working at my part-time job. All in all, the evening is my favorite time of the day.

What keeps me going?
I am very blessed and adore my family. I have a wonderful husband that takes care of me, and many a day can be found doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning. How many girls out there can say they are that lucky? He has always been there for me during surgeries and taking time off afterwards to make sure I have the best caregiver around. I’m very lucky with him.

We have two wonderful children that are the light in my days. My kids are so caring and helpful. My 10-year-old son has been known to help cook dinner on those bad nights when I’m in bed and daddy is at work. Not only is he good at it, but he enjoys it. My adorable 13-year-old daughter is always checking on me to make sure that I am ok or if I need anything. She is always right on top of it. The best part is they both like to take care of mom and that makes them immensely caring and thoughtful.

Every day is a different challenge and my body doesn't act the same way two days in a row. It seems to have a mind of its own and chooses the days it wants to work and the days it doesn't. Some days I don’t get done as much as I want to or I have to cancel things because it’s a bad day. I believe that is ok and I try not to let it get me down. It does some times, but there are more days that are good than bad and as long as I have my family behind me, I can get through anything.

Author Bio

Lisa is a wife of a police officer and a mother of two children, one being autistic. She is a blogger, a writer, and a full time patient with chronic pain. She deals with many illnesses on a daily basis and so this is what she has dedicated to writing about and her blog is also about. She writes about her experiences in hopes to help others that have gone through similar diagnosis and experiences too. Lisa believes that life can still be great, despite living with chronic pain and illnesses.

Currently Lisa and her family live in the beautiful state of Colorado. Lisa’s other part-time job is refereeing volleyball for a local high school's girls teams. She loves to be creative and most days can be found working on some sort of a project.

Check out her blog and all her social media listed below.

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