Recently I felt the best I had in several months. I had a smile on your face without forcing it and was laughing with ease. I could concentrate on others conversations without constantly monitoring my pain levels. Etc. etc. etc.
I started thinking about what do we do with those moments where you have decreased pain and less symptoms? A life with chronic pain can be an endless roller coaster with climbs, dives, loop-da-loops, and of course corkscrews. We rarely have breathers. Then, when they come, how do we respond? Fear the pain returning? Hurry up and do everything on our “to do” list? Or…
ENJOY THE MOMENT!!!
It’s not worth our time or effort to worry about the pain returning. We can’t know how long the reprieve will last: a few hours, a couple days, or maybe it’s a remission of weeks or even months. We can do our part by being active, changing unhealthy habits, figuring out triggers, etc. But there is still an element of the unknown. Somethings are just out of our control: emergencies, other people’s actions, weather, etc. So just relax and allow yourself to embrace the relief.
And please fight the urge to rush off to do all the errands and projects on you’ve been putting off. (Maybe it’s my A-type personality, but I tend to do this a lot.) Having less pain and more energy feels awesome, right?! But it’s not an invitation to do everything RIGHT NOW. Do what has to be done and then save the rest for a later time. If you push yourself, I guarantee that you’ll end up tired, frustrated, and sometimes in another flare. It’s not worth it!
So, I encourage you to treat those times of relief (no matter how short) as a gift. Appreciate and enjoy them. Don’t fear the future or overdo on tasks. Be in the present and appreciate the moment!