Living with pain is a full-time job. Sometimes it's difficult to remember what "healthy" actually means... for me the healing process had to start with hope and dreams of a healthy life. I feed my dream continuously, and try to do all the little things I can do to get better.
Relationships suffer when one of the partners is dealing with chronic disease. Learning to communicate about disease and pain in a constructive way can help alleviate some of these challenges. Sometimes you need to show how you feel and set boundaries, sometimes you don't want to talk about it. Either way it may be good to create your own pain scale and teach your friends and family how pain at different levels affects you.
Taking care of yourself is vital if one wants to have good quality of life even when living with chronic illness. I needed to work on all different aspects of my life, from sleep, diet and excercise - to having good routines, overcoming perfectionism and working actively to stay positive - while still allowing myself to grieve and have pity parties now and again... because it affects my pain preception.
Being a Professional Patient was maybe never on your wish list when you grew up but it sure improves life with chronic illness to see it as your job to take care of your health. Learn about your condition - because the more you know, the better. Build a healing team, have a contact list and a health folder to keep track of everyone who is part of your treatment and healing journey.
The wonderful thing is that there is so much you can do to relieve pain and have a better life, even if your situation is chronic and incurable. These are just some examples of what I've written about so far. Once you've checked out some of my 365 pain-free tips, I hope you feel encouraged to start listing your own best pain management advice and put it to use to see just how well you can get. Maybe you'll be surprised to find out how much you already know?!