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How I Cope With Chronic Pain and Cerebral Palsy

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I never imagined I would be living a life dependent on medicine at only 33 years old. I realize life is unpredictable; none of us know what is going to occur from day to day. If we did, I think life would be boring and slightly less worthy of living with such zeal. The unknown brings out both the beauty and the frustrations in life. Since 2015, I have been living with chronic pain conditions. Most of it is from the residual effects of my cerebral palsy. That is expected. Frustrating, but expected.

When you live so many years having to put the added stress on your body, it is bound to wear out. It happens to the best of us. It is highly unlikely that none of us ever feel pain, but if your pain is not chronic, count your blessings. Let me make it clear that I am not writing this passage for the sake of pity. I detest pity. I am writing it to explain how I feel about living with difficulties, and to help others in the same situation cope as well.

When you have a disability, everything you tend to do, whether it is simplistic or intricate, takes a ton of work. Therefore, our organs must work harder than the average person. I recently found out I have an abnormally high heart rate from all the stress of moving around and being able to semi-function daily. I never guessed I would be on four-plus medications at my relatively young age. I don’t know why, but I tend to associate medicines with a more elderly group. Even though they came as an unexpected part of my life, I am thankful for them. I am thankful because without them, there is no way I would be up to typing this passage on the computer. They do not eliminate the pain altogether, but they do make it more tolerable so I can get out of bed and do what I love to do. Most of the time anyway.

Living with chronic pain conditions is about as unpredictable as the weather outside on any given day. Just like everyone else in this world, my life delivers better and bad days. On the bad days, I may be required to rest up a little more than originally planned because the pain makes moving very difficult. Those kinds of days are the most frustrating, but living with these conditions have made me even more thankful for the manageable days!

I try my best to live with a positive and bubbly attitude. Pain can certainly make this a challenge. I can’t lie, there are some days when the devil on my shoulder takes over and I just cannot help being angry and agitated. However, most days, I make it a genuine goal to smile and be grateful for the things I do have, no matter how bad I am feeling. Life is about finding a healthy balance between the positive and the negative. When you live with a disability that also carries chronic pain, I would say the key is to find the balance between the beautiful things we are given in life and the chaotic moments. It is extremely difficult to remain strong, but I truly believe that when I was born, God added an extra bit of steel to my body, because it is extremely hard to break me down, no matter what the circumstance.

You may be a person who is in the same situation as me, and if you are, the one piece of advice I will give to you is no matter how hard it is, try your absolute best to hold your head above water. Don’t let the storms drown you. The storms are temporary. The sun always shines again! Hang in there!

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Getty image by Zozzzzo.

Originally published: December 27, 2017
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