Is it Still working for you?

I’m a pretty tough customer in physical therapy. But, the other day my physical therapist said something very poignant that gave me pause. I’d like to share it with you.

He said, because I’ve had chronic illness for so long, I’ve adopted so many coping strategies to help me through. So many techniques and methods I call my own to get me from one day to the next. (And here he is teaching this old dog new tricks.) However, he was right when he asked me, “Is all of this still working for you?”

Is it still working for you

You start collecting techniques from the very first moment you hear the word, “permanent” or “chronic.” Our doctors don’t help as quickly as our own shifts and wriggles take effect. Soon enough, you’ve built a pattern for yourself that is keeping you going. Over so many years, and multiple conditions, you better believe I have some modalities and some definite patterns! Are they still working for me?

Could they be holding me back?

Adaptation is paramount with chronic illness. You have to be able to rebuild in order to find purpose again, to find yourself again amid your ever-changing body. But as your body changes, does the structure that you built change with it?

For instance, if all you were once able to do is use the computer or your smart phone, maybe you grew a strong online network which gave you purpose. You could have done nothing instead, but you were brave and reached out to others online. It was incredible how much your work online distracted from your illness and impacted your life and the lives of others! It may have even saved your life. But as your body changes, you realize you can do more tactile work like crafting. Is spending as much time on the computer still working for you? Or, could it even be holding you back from moving more?

I have to go over so many of the coping tools I use- all of the amazing methods which have helped me to this point and ask this question. It’s spring after all; time for a spring cleaning of sorts. Is it STILL working? It may have saved my life last year, but will it take me to my next goal this year?

About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 15 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has had a powerful effect on my life through meeting so many remarkable teens, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Eight years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of secondary chronic illnesses. A procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. Over the years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces about spiritual wellness and finding quality of life inside of ongoing illness, I also share health research, awareness information, poetry, memes, art, and this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibro, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard ;)

Posted on March 28, 2016, in Chronic Illness, Recovery, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Interesting question! I think I found that I had to scale back my activity because being more active was no longer working for me. I was doing alot of crafting and promoting despite that my condition had gotten worse. For awhile I just tried to power through it but that got me sicker even faster. I also had to vary my activities as things began getting worse so that I didn’t pay for it later. I now focus more on supplies than my finished jewelry now as a way to pace myself. Motor skills don’t work as well as they used to and I found I was wasting alot of wire when doing wire wrapping and getting really frustrated. It was really upsetting for awhile but I think it was more upsetting to force myself and fail over and over. Cutting back reduced that stress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing how you worked through and found another level that is working better for you now in your jewelry business. I’m trying to power through currently when I know I have some things that are making me worse, and I need to find a way to let them go.

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  2. I have grown my business on my computer, as I’m absolutely terrible at things like crafting. However, I’ve realized that I can do a lot more now- I have started integrating “real world” activities into my online business. I think everyone, whether chronically ill or perfectly healthy, needs to evaluate their life every so often and see what just isn’t working for them anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    That is a very interesting observation, there may be something to it. As we grow (emotionally) things do change. So perhaps you don’t need to change everything up but perhaps critically evaluate what isn’t working any more and focus on a couple of specific things?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a good point! It is not an easy task. I have been trying to see what works or not. Lately I’ve been finding what isn’t working but because I’m getting worse. So that also leads to reevaluate how to adjust for the new issues while enjoying the one new thing that has kept me going, my writing. But your post reminded me that maybe what wasn’t helpful in past may now work. Thank you for giving me a new direction 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry you are getting worse, Kathleen. That hurts my heart to hear… I know we can run out of options rather quickly, so I hope maybe something from the past maybe in conjunction with something new could make a change for you.
      I always try to remember, especially with RSD/CRPS that it only takes one thing- even something seemingly “small” to shift the body into a positive direction. I pray your shift is around the corner. God be with you, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your kind and uplifting words. Means more than you know. After reading your post I am going to revisit the DragonSpeak program to ease the pain in my hands when typing. Thank you for your inspiring friendship ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t know if your ears were ringing this week but I was talking about you being an author to look out for with your exciting book around the corner! 😉 Hopefully a couple new friends will find you.
          What is DragonSpeak? I hope it’s a help to you! ❤ ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • You are so sweet! Thank you. DragonSpeak is a program that types as you talk, taking pressure off using my fingers to type. I’m hopeful 🙂 sending a gentle hug ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            • That’s a great idea. Thank you for explaining it to me. I know so many who only like to use their phones for type to text, so I’ll have to remember that! I hope it is a great resource that allows you to gain more independence.

              Liked by 1 person

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