Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness

Stretching for your Mental Health

As a sufferer of psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis and fibromyalgia, getting through my day can be challenging. Add a double fracture to my Coccyx, and the day becomes overwhelming.

I (might have) had the Arthritis part down before my fall; my morning routine consisted of stiff and sore me (feeling like I’d been run over already) brushing my teeth, drinking water, eating half a protein bar and slowly getting on work-out clothes and feet bands and making my way to the work-out room where I proceeded to stretch, use weights and do aerobic-type exercises conducive for arthritic conditions (a 20-60 minute endeavor, depending on the level of pain and how I was feeling). I would then make my way to the shower and begin my day in the hopes that my pain would stay away at least an hour.

The exercising was great… once I’d get going (or willing myself to do it, which was the key to my success)… and I would feel better for most of the morning before all those nasty pains began to creep upon me like Spiderman’s symbiote self, hanging on like an uninvited guest.

Enter my fall…and now I have a sore, fractured bum to contend with on top of my normal pain issues.

The fall also caused a 2 week Fibro flare, which plagued my mental state, as some days it was all I could do to get through it…and my exercising came to an abrupt hault, causing me to go back to my pre- exercise days of hurting all day long with no relief from the pain, no mental stress relief, nothing.

For those of you who know anything about me, or follow my FB page, you know I’m all about not using medicine for these conditions, i.e., prescription pain medication or micro-dosing or using any type of plant-based methods for pain. I rely solely on self-pacing methods throughout the day (I will use Ibuprofen for those Fibro migraines). But rest and positive mental self-reinforcement are my preferred methods; surrounding myself with people who support those decisions and are willing to help me during the bad days. I don’t want to become dependent on meds or stimulants; I want to maintain control of these conditions I’ve been (blessed) to live with.

I came to realize that my daily exercise routine had become a positive part of my life, and I needed it! It helped with the mental stress of living with a chronic pain condition, helped with cognative disfunction as well as offered toning of my muscles. It also helped with my cardio and gave me something to look forward to each day. Albeit was a challenge some mornings, but once I was into the groove, it became an outlet for my soul, a natural drug of happiness, knowing I was helping my whole body be better, even though the pain was still there. I mean, let’s be honest here…the pain never goes away, so why not exercise through it and help keep the rest of you from falling a part? At least, that was my justification, and it was working for me… until the fall.

I’ve been down for 3 weeks, and if I bend the wrong way, sit down too fast, forget to use my cushion seat, lift anything, (begin to feel better and forget that I’m still broke and healing), etc., I revert back like it’s week one, down to icing my bum several times a day.

I have begun some light stretches again, slowly helping my bummy to get better, and that has been good. I lay over a balance ball and use it to help me sit and stretch. I admit these past 3 weeks have been hard mentally, and I didn’t realize how dependent I’d become on my exercise routine until I was robbed of it with the fall.

Some mornings, I’d literally have tears sliding down my cheeks from those stretches, (the joint pain was the worst), but deep down I knew they were helping, so I’d keep persevering and make a better me for my future self.

All-in-all, if you haven’t started exercising, please do! It truly does help physically and mentally. Fibromyalgia is difficult. NO ONE understands this except those who have it. Please know that here, you will find understanding.

Start exercising slowly and maintain a steady routine that works for you. Also, be sure to speak to your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.

When you suffer daily with chronic pain symptoms, some days are harder than others, and some times in the day are harder than others. It’s like a game of Russian Roulette. You NEVER know what body part is going to cause you grief today.

Happy stretching for a better tomorrow. God Bless-

The Fibro Momma of Ten

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