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What I Really Want for the Holidays as a Chronic Pain Warrior

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Have y’all ever been in a place where you want something you can’t have? Well, that’s where I am at. I want my body to be at rest, to have some peace, some stillness. I would love to be able to sleep, at least more than two hours. I want to be able to go Christmas shopping with my mom without feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck after being awake for 48 hours. I want to enjoy the holiday without assistance, medication or devices but I can’t have that.

Instead, I get to be exhausted in more ways than one, sleepy and in more pain every day. On top of that I’m starting to drop stuff. Twice I have spilled my ice cold water all over Shane and across the table out to dinner. Even when I am sitting still I feel like my body is trembling, and at night all I do is lay in darkness. I don’t know if it’s the ringing and swooshing in my ears that keeps me awake or the never-ending pain or the caffeine supplements I have to take religiously – but either way I am just up. If I am upright for too long my appetite decreases. It seems like the closer we get to this next surgery the worse the pain gets.

I think I cope pretty well though, on the bad days I push through it and you would never know, on the really bad days I listen to my playlist so that emotionally I can handle it and on the terrible days when I have stuff to do I have started doing pain meditation. There are some guidance videos on YouTube. Using those helps me focus and block out the pain to get through everything I need to. On the unbearable days I just stay in bed. Although I won’t get the one thing I want for the holidays, it will still be a great one in spite of all I am going through.

If you have a loved one who struggles with chronic illness or pain, remember them this holiday season. Keep their illness in mind when buying gifts for them, remember that what is easy for you to do is probably 10 times harder for them. Be courteous and keep any accommodations they may need in mind. Also, keep others from talking negatively about anything your loved one needs to do for them to be OK.

You chronic pain warriors put up the fight this holiday season and let’s not let our illnesses win. Also, although your family and friends may know, they may also have no idea what you need to make it through the day, so tell them. Lastly, and I’m still learning this myself, only do what you can – everything else will be there later!!

Merry Christmas to everyone and happy holidays. I hope it is beautiful,  pain-free and filled with love.

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Photo via guruXOOX on Getty Images

Originally published: December 20, 2017
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