When Fun is Painful
Updated: May 21, 2021
Pain. There's almost always the pain. Or the fear of pain. Or the anticipation of pain. Most women with lipedema live with pain on a daily basis. It can be stabbing pain, or throbbing pain, or some sort of underlying dull pain. It may be a general achiness or in the joints when activity levels increase or only when there is a huge amount of pressure...like a 6 pound cat putting its paw on your leg (sarcasm). Sometimes it's severe enough to put us in bed and other times we are able to fight through it and act normal...whatever that means.
Yesterday was a fantastic, rare day in our part of Texas and we had several inches of snowfall. Last time it snowed like this was before my lipedema and EDS spiraled to the point of affecting my life much. Back then, I was able to play outside with my teenagers and make memories. This time, those kids are all grown and moved out of the house but I have a 6-year-old who has never experienced this much snow. What's a mama to do? A mama who is battling pain and who knows it will get worse tomorrow if today she joins in some fun?
Chronic pain is incredibly difficult, but the pain of always missing important moments or knowing that your loved ones are missing them because they're accommodating you is just as bad as the physical pain. Do you push through today's pain, knowing that you will have to spend the next few days recovering and sacrificing other things? It's a question so many women like me ask themselves regularly because if we waited to participate in life until we "feel good", we would miss everything.
The first part of my answer is to know your body. Learn it. Understand the nuances that others rarely notice. Think about exactly what that pain means, and what it will mean tomorrow. Secondly, research and study and ask questions and try things until you know what helps you recover. Find out what types of supplements, foods, therapies, hobbies, activities, and routines give your body what it needs to bounce back.
Yesterday, there were steps I took that were so painful in places I don't usually have pain that they took my breath away and other steps that caused me to cry out when I'm usually silent. That's sometimes the reality of living with lipedema and deciding to embrace life. However, I contemplated and then deliberately chose those painful steps and knew what they would demand of me today. Rest, calm, reading, Dead Sea mineral foot spa, CBD cream, extra water, more electrolytes, selenium, magnesium, and extra B vitamins, and some unflavored bone broth/collagen powder in my coffee. I'll eat to reduce inflammation that always creeps in with increased activity. If I'm not overly exhausted (vs the exhaustion that is always present), I'll use my massage gun or do some extra cupping.
Today I have to take care of myself more than usual, but that's okay. Because yesterday, when I chose the extra pain, I was also choosing the magic in the moment.