#122 Go slow and Steady

I'm sure you've heard the old fable about the race between the hare and the tortoise? Sometimes I wonder if there isn't something to that when it comes to living with chronic pain...

When I am having a low pain day, I try to get as much done as possible. This is a natural reaction after having had to stay indoors for long periods of time because of strong chronic pain, once you get a good day you're going; "Yiihaw!!!" Time to catch up on those 101 things you missed out on ... right?

Earlier, when I had low pain days, I tended to become really intensely active, because I knew they were just a temporary relief and I wanted to get the most out of them. So I´d buzz around like a busy bee trying to fix all those chores and commitments that had been on the back burner, and then, surprise surprise, afterwards I'd have several really bad pain days where I was flat out and couldn't do anything. Come next week I'd be a little weaker, a little more depressed and my pain treshold was a little lower.

This is called the "crash and burn" strategy, and though very normal among pain patients, it is not very helpful in the long run.

Today I'm practicing the "slow and steady" approach instead, kind of like the tortoise, except... the only one I'm racing is myself.


  1. Ouch! (No pun intended) You really stomped all over my toes with this one. This is exactly what I do. One doctor refused to give me stronger meds than Tylenol for pain after surgery because he didn't want me to feel well enough to overdo. He knew me well. I am trying to follow your advice, but this one is difficult.

  2. Ouch indeed... yes Gigi, I struggle with this one every day myself! That was very insightful of your doctor actually:) I think that in order for us action loving people to break "the crash and burn" pattern, we may need some time to gradually learn to find enjoyment doing things at a slower pace. Like everything else, this is a process of change that doesn't have to work overnight either, but can be a slow and gradual shift:)