You may very well know the feeling. You’re in bed, at work or walking out and about and it hits you. That pain is completely personal. For me it feel like some sod has hold of my left ovary and is twisting it to high heaven. Whatever that feeling is, you will know it as the inkling of a flare up. For me flare ups happen one to two times a month, where my daily chronic pain is replaced by pain that I would describe as at least an 8 on my own pain scale. I’m usually confined to my bed, off my tits on pain killers and usually don’t surface for at least a few days. This sucks, but is (unfortunately) a reality of my illness. I thought I would share with you all some things I’ve found, help me cope.
1.Stop what you’re doing.
I find this one of the hardest things to do, but it’s so important. Whether you have endo or not, if you suffer from a chronic pain condition and a flare up hits you, it’s important to allow yourself to to stop. We are so good at carrying on, pushing through and often doing ourselves more harm. My advice to you (and let’s be real to myself an awful lot of the time) is cancel those plans, call in sick to work and get yourself to bed. This is often this biggest battle but my view is this flare ship is coming all cannons blazing either way, you matters well whether the storm somewhere comfy.
That’s all for the ships and sea analogies I promise.
2. Surround yourself with allies and helpers
Whether that’s your partner, your friends, your family or your cat. Let someone know things aren’t great. This might not be someone who lives with you, it might not even be someone who lives close by, but it might be someone who can help. If you live with a partner or family member they may know the signs quite well by now, but still let them know whats going on, allow them to help you if you can.
3. Don’t be afraid to use the treatments that YOU know work for YOU
Whether that be prescription painkillers, acupuncture, complementary treatments or just your trusty heating pad, no one has the tight to tell you you shouldn’t use something that works. It can take quite a long time to find a treatment for your symptoms, and sure none of these will stop a flare up BUT they may help. Personally I find strong pain killers and bed are my only saviours, and I try my best to explore other treatments for my chronic pain when I’m able to.
4. Eat well (whatever that means)
When i’m marooned in bed (I’m sorry last sea pun i promise), making a meal is the last thing i think i can achieve. Also eating a meal seems pretty impossible at these times too. You may want to eat, you may not. You may want to eat snacks and junk food, you might want to nibble on a carrot but either way try and stay fuelled. Whatever that means for you. Try making self care packages when you’re doing okay, with some snacks and pre-prepped meals for when times aren’t so good.
5. Don’t forget to take care of your mental well being too
When you have a chronic pain condition it sometimes can become all about your physical health, but keep in mind your mental health is important too. When i come out of a flare up i often feel mentally and emotionally drained, so even if my body has recovered i usually try and give my mind some time to heal too. This can include something tiny like having a bath, having a friend over to visit or watching a movie with my boyfriend. These things sound insignificant but there’s very little room for small things that bring joy when you’re in the midst of a flare up, and its important to make time for them when there is.
6. Lastly and by no means least, be fair to yourself
Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Those plans can wait, work will carry on without you and the important people in your life will still be there when you return.
If you lovely lot have any of your own chronic pain coping tips and tricks comment down below!