For many with FMS, pain management is a moment by moment issue. It frequently seems as if there’s a very broomy person running the show inside my body. But she only comes out for a little while these days, she does not run the entire show. What keeps the broomies away?
Having a therapeutic bag of tricks is beneficial to anyone in chronic pain. When the going gets tough, this happy little kit is a great thing to dip into. When times of stress exacerbate existing pain levels, it’s time to get that bag out and work up every trick inside of it.
What do I mean by this? Well……
Did you know that an Epsom Salts bath does more than feel good, it actually takes lactic acid from your tired achy muscles out through your skin. So a 20 minute soak in the tub can literally make all the difference in the world. Add some lavender and jasmine essential oils and you have a wonderful opportunity to relax. During the worst of my FMS days, there would be days when I’d be in the tub 3 times a day. Sometimes I’d call friends while I was in the tub – especially if I needed help redirecting my thoughts about pain. Thinking about pain only brings more pain, so I’d talk to friends and ask them to save up their funny stories and jokes for me in times like these. There were a few that I could call at any time, day or night. There was one time that no one was answering the phone. It was 3 am, and I felt desperate to redirect my thoughts from the avalanche of pain that was under my skin. I did everything I could to close my eyes, meditate and relax. That’s when the epiphany hit me. My Spirit Guide spoke in a very quiet male voice, “Your body is miraculous. The same nerves that transmit pain, also transmit pleasure.”
Wow. First of all, I looked around to see who was standing in my bathroom at 3 am. Then I realized there wasn’t anyone there. I immediately began focusing on anything that gave me the slightest joy. I closed my eyes and let the things that bring joy for me come into view in my mind. The first thought that came to mind was a tiny square of rich, dark chocolate. I pictured savoring it, tasting it, and feeling good about it. I pictured a cup of hot tea – and the soothing ritual of preparing it. I pictured sipping my tea out on the deck. I really put my imagination into gear then, because I could see a cardinal in the tree in the back yard of my mind’s eye. The brilliance of the cardinal in the dappled light was stunning. I got groovy with the colors and the light, savoring and enjoying it.
Then I tapped into the fun of playing with my art stuff – not because I had to, but because it was fun. I got out of the tub that morning a different person than I was just an hour before. I have learned to focus on joy and pleasure so much that on most days, it totally eclipses the pain. Pain is still there, but I don’t notice it so much. “Miss Broomy” does not rule every day. That’s the beauty of the bag of happy tricks – collect enough of them and keep using them until you truly forget about the pain. Even if it’s just in your imagination. It’s the most powerful tool you have for healing. If you can imagine it, you can do it. I’m living proof.