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Everybody's darling is everybody's fool

Jul 07, 2015 6:03 PM

I just wrote a long reply in a different topic about why teachers, nurses, housewives/housemen (and other professions) are more likely to suffer from chronic pain. I'd like to share it with you in this separate thread because I think it might apply to many of you. Ok, let's go:

Some time ago, one of the pain experts in our team told me that teachers and nurses are more likely to develop chronic pain (including fibromyalgia). The theory behind it is the following: As a nurse and teacher there is a huge pressure to be there for your pupils/patients everyday. This means whenever you are tired or you are having a bad day you are not supposed to show it - you can't lean back, you still have to perform on a high level. You will probably make sacrifices for others on a regular basis. This is very exhausting for your body and your mind. At some point in time your body will develop symptoms to prevent you from "harming" yourself (which means performing your job). There are other jobs like taking care of your family where the same theory applies. This doesn't mean that those who don't develop chronic pain do not care about their family or others. Several other factors (e.g. genetic predisposition) need to be present and then your type of job can be the trigger which starts and nurtures your chronic pain condition.

Well, the big question is, what can you do except for quitting your job? ;-)
The pain expert gave me the following pieces of advice:
- Your usage of the word "no" needs to increase significantly. You are heroes on a daily basis. You take care of patients and the future of this planet (pupils, family). You have the right to say no and protect yourself. It's not that easy, I know. But your co-workers, your family, your patients/pupils, your friends and even your boss need to hear the word "no" more often. There's that saying "everybody's darling is everybody's fool"... it applies to chronic pain too.
- Treat yourself well. Be the king/queen of your world for at least a couple of hours each week. Think about the last month, how many times have you had a couple of hours in which you did something just for the sake of your personal wellbeing and joy (e.g. a relaxing bath, listening to you favourite music while nobody is disturbing you)? If there have been no or only very few and short such moments, that's yummy nurture for your pain condition.
- Reduce the amount of work if necessary but don't stop working entirely (of course there are exceptions to this advice - talk to your doctor about it). Pain experts say that waiting for your body to heal and then going back and doing the same workload is not likely to work because your brain/body will remember the harmful work and it will try to protect you as soon as you start working again. This warning mechanism is the reason why mankind still exists after thousands of years: Fire hurts, avoid it. A lion's teeth hurt, avoid it. Your job or lifestyle hurts, avoid it. Simple but effective. You can't trick this mechanism. But you can teach your body/mind that your job is no longer harmful. For this to happen you need to apply significant changes: reduce workload, say "no" more often, make adaptions to your work place (comfortable chair, go for short walks during breaks, etc.). This takes time, creativity and patience. Once your pain goes away, you can slowly increase your workload. I've personally gone through all of this. I stopped working entirely for a couple of weeks and even months, but every time I tried working again, the pain came back almost instantly. My doctor convinced me to talk to my employer at that time being and to ask him whether I could work part time. Luckily I was allowed to do that. I still suffered from pain during work but it wasn't that bad and I was able to rest in between. Slowly but steadily my pain decreased and I was able to increase my workload. I am not pain free today but it is much better than before. I have to add that I changed a lot of other things in my life (e.g. regular exercise, healthy diet, therapy and meds). The combination of all those things probably helped me to get out of the vicious circle called chronic pain.

Does that make any sense? Let me know what you think about it and if any of this applies to you.

I would also like to know what you've done today which made you feel like the king/queen of your world for a couple of minutes or even hours.

The floor is yours ;-)

Kind regards,

Jul 08, 2015 10:48 AM

Saying "yes" too often is something I am struggling with. I will try to follow your advice. Many thanks for sharing, Daniel.

Jul 08, 2015 11:40 AM

Thankyou for sharing! I know you've asked for something from today, but yesterday I came in from work and for the first time, talked to my partner and said I needed alone time. He had my two children, and put them to bed, while I went in the bedroom. I ate my food, had a lovely hot drink, but most importantly, I put my feet up and rested. It felt lovely. We are only in a small flat, so they were only across the hall from me, and came in to cuddle and say goodnight :) My partner now thinks I should do it more often!

Jul 08, 2015 11:45 AM

Thank you so much for sharing. I've been in chronic pain for 22 years and it's to the point I'm non functional at times. In the beginning of June, my neighbor went away and I went over to take care of my 98 year old Godfather to make sure he ate, took his mess, had some company, etc. I felt good about doing it but it wiped me flat. I always say yes and then make myself sick with panic that I'm not going to be able to do it. I understand that rest is very important and it's hard to obtain when you can't shut your brain or you hurt as soon as you move in your sleep. Definite food for thought there. Thanks for the post.. It was really a good point.

Jul 08, 2015 3:48 PM

I am glad to hear the post is appreciated :)

@SarahJane87 wow that's wonderful! It sounds like you have a great husband.

@Alwayzinpain: taking care of a 98 year old person sounds like a lot of work. I admire that you are willing to do that despite the pain. That's the biggest proof that we - the pain patients - are NOT lazy. Nobody knows what we have to endure.

Jul 08, 2015 4:18 PM

Interesting. I know I'm already kind of worn out but after meeting other people I'm considering going to medical school, which is never wanted to do before. I'm just going to have to figure out if I have allergies to anything before hand.

Jul 13, 2015 3:13 PM

I thought I would never work in the healthcare sector, because I thought it was boring. Chronic pain told me a different story ;)

Jul 13, 2015 3:34 PM

Daniel thank you for the post, it made me think, I was in the health care field from 1974-2002 off and on. I stopped working after my first child from 1985-1987,after we lost our second child. I worked in nursing homes, privet duty in home care, hospital aide was my last job. I hurt my back, I twisted my neck and TS,herniated disk in L S., I have a Syrinx inside my spinal cord I need io have a shunt put in to keep the fluid drained,since it keeps coming back ,causing muscle and nerve damage. That's what I am fighting now. Wow I didn't mean to go off on a rant now sorry about that.

Jul 13, 2015 3:45 PM

Good post. Ditto to that. Now I just need to find time for myself....

Jul 13, 2015 3:59 PM

Daniel - He certainly is my better half!! He's amazing, even though he obviously can't understand what I'm going through, he helps so much

Jul 15, 2015 11:22 AM

I was diagnosed 6 months after starting my career (xray tech). I actually had a Neurologist tell me that my body just can't handle that type of work. Crazy, right?! Well, 15 yrs later I've learned to deal w/it. I do say no unless I have help. My job is very physical. My main problem, though is endurance. I do try a lititle repetitive exercise and yoga. It seems to help slightly. Plus, I take Lyrica which helps limit the flare ups.

Jul 17, 2015 12:12 PM

Daniel, this is a good topic with food for thought. I use to never say no to anyone, no matter how tired I was or whether it meant changing my own plans. Then last summer my health worsened. I felt so guilty, like a failure, because at a time my dad needed me most (he asked for me to help) I had to say no. I was barely able to take care of myself and started saying no to many as months passed. In the process I've got new diagnoses and meds that are helping me. But the biggest blessing is knowing 1) saying no doesn't make me a failure as a daughter, wife, mother, or grandmother, 2) by taking care of myself first, I am able to help out others more often than I did last year. It IS OK to say no! 🙏🌼

Jul 17, 2015 9:08 PM

My grandma wanted to become a doctor, but she was allergic to a chemical used during labs and had to quit. Still, she has done a lot of volunteer work and takes care of her younger brother and daughter. They're both disabled, and then she also does work with La Leche League and Donate Life so. ... .She's busy.

Jul 18, 2015 2:34 AM

Ironically, even though I know about my grandma I think I'd be interested in becoming a nurse/doctor, but I had never considered it before my illness.

Aug 17, 2015 4:36 PM

Hi I'm new, a nurse, mammy to 2 young children, work full time, no family, lost my mum to cancer 5 years ago. I would always.. and still do say yes. This desperate need to be liked? This post has struck a chord, I am signed off sick for 2 weeks... I'm worried about returning to work.

Aug 17, 2015 9:51 PM

Very good point Daniel. I with in cardiac care st hospital so this really fits me. I've always been a care taker, for every one. Over the last few years I am learning to say no. It's difficult habit to break.

I really noticed a decline in my health when I began caring for my Alzheimer's mother, who passed a few years ago. Sadly, the cycle of pain is un-relenting. What you say is true.

Sep 21, 2015 3:59 AM

Thanks Daniel, you described my life to a tee.

Sep 21, 2015 6:59 AM

This makes so much sense!! I am a nurse and the only breadwinner in my family and i work 12 hour nights while struggling to recover from an achillles tendon repair earlier this year. I have had chronic foot pain for close to 20 years now and yet I still always find myself saying yes, sure, no problem i can do that... i am going to have to make a bigger effort to say no and take time out for me. Thank you for this post

Sep 21, 2015 7:39 AM

Daniel, you make several good point's and I would be smart to say no but unfortunately I take care of my sick and disabled Aunt and my step daughter who is special needs. Sometimes I have a hard time finding balance between taking care of thoses 2 then trying to spend time with my 2 teenage kids and then finding time for myself. It's not simple and I still have to find time for the hubby somewhere in their. Man it's exhausting just thinking about it.. But I still go to my son's football game's every Thursday and when my aunt is settled some while hubby work's in garage my daughter and I have "Disney Shows" TV time together. Now if I can figure out hubby and me time before I end up passing out at the end of the night lol.

Sep 25, 2015 10:27 PM

Yes, I absolutely agree, & I'm no expert by any means-hhowever- I wasn't a teacher or a nurse & ended up with more than 1 chronic pain conditions, diseases, and other disorders. Probably around 5 yrs ago I actually read a research study done by WHO & where they found that 90% of fibro patients actually had type A personalities, including me. So, I actually think it's more to do with that rather than what your occupation is or was. Whst you described is mostly type A personality along with anxiety etc.. Daniel

Jul 23, 2016 9:58 AM

Huuuuuuhhh....(sigh of relief) finally, I do believe, I have heard ,what I have tried to telll myself, let alone explain so elegantly to my family and friends what I physically felt as well as mentally.
Thank you!!, today you were my care taker and gave me one less stressor to carry on my all ready tired shoulders.

Jul 23, 2016 9:05 PM

Thank you for a very thoughtful post that hit several nerves. Yes, I have change my life completely from before. Except same man Lol. I worked, ran the child wherever he must go, did everything in the home, including repairs, did everything outside of a large piece of land and I was always asking what everyone needed. I was not a nurse or teacher. But I was the go-to girl. I can never be her again. Pain opens your eyes, opens your heart as we see every day on this app. Today I worked outside for a while in the sun, and then had a long slow shower where I sat down massaged & scrubbed my feet with cool mint spray & just lived the moment. Thanks Daniel,🌹

Jul 24, 2016 8:14 AM

Heĺlo everyone... great post Daniel, very thought provoking thanQ.🌷

I was working nights on a geriatric mentally ill unit...with 4 children and a husband... 🐫running the house 🐫and caring for his mum 🌹whom had demetia and blindness and lived with us (my best friend 🌼brenda bless her soul)... school runs, 🐪after school clubs. I was that girl who could never say " no"!🐪 But no one ever did it as good as me! 🐪I know why... i was running myself into the ground! 🐫

🤐So i gave up work... and soon mum had to go into a nursing home and then passed.🤐 So i concentrated on bringing up my 4 children (and husband...🤐 my 5th child) for ten years ...🤐 as i have declined with Multiple Sclerosis🤐 and DDD = 3x spinal surgeries 🤐& many many pain relieving injections🤐 & dernervations. 🤐
😚My kids are all grown form 24 thru to 16 (starts college in Sept). No grandbabies yet.😙

🐪i am 44 yet i have never had a propper massage🐪, never been to a spa🐪, in fact...we never went on holiday🐫, i never read a book! 🤐I diddnt take bubble baths..🐪. i havent done any of the usual things😶 to recharge ones battery so to speak...😶 omgosh...😭 and i went up to 376lbs😭 because i ate on the fly..😢. fed everyone else propper home cooked meals...😢 so i ballooned because i thought i was helping... but really... i was killing🤒 myself by not caring for me! I🙄 was only happy when everyone else was happy..😙. seriously...🤔. i was lower than my dog, cat, reptiles... and even the fish... lower than the housework!🤔
I was great at caring for everyone but me!🤔 I got so bad...i slowly could not look after anyone... or myself... or the house... or the dog!🤔 Something had to give!

So i looked within... 🤔and started to change...😐 at first i hated 😣what i had become... my body was toxic😩 and i did not know how this had happened!😦 But i needed to heal 😮and try to love myself😶 like my family loves me. 🤗My children are beautiful young people...😍 i worked hard holding them all together😙 and showing them how to love 💑💑eachother... but it was time for me to learn to love me!😓

🤔Dont get me wrong..🤔 its a struggle 😶every single day... but each day that passes,😊 and i do something for🙄 me... is a small victory,😚 in the battle to win the war!🤗

I now have lost just over 200lbs (14stones)😊learning to look after me...👟 i exercise daily...👟which makes me 😄😆😁very happpy (I got a fitbit for xmas... it makes me 👣👣👣push my step count... even if its walking round the bedroom at 10o'clock at night to get my count for the day)
🏊I swim... i relax in 🛀a bath for hours because i can now... i wear make-up💄... i get my nails done & 💅painted toes... i dress👗 to impress... omg i read game of thrones...📖 all of it!

Ive learned all about 😊😊😊meditation, yoga, pilates, my tens machine... 🙄and how to conserve those spoons 😁(i didnt know about spoons... but its how i trade 😓off certain things so i guess i have spoons too!) 😚I do physio... ❤acupuncture when i can afford it...
oh and i have my own room to escape to...❤ my workshop...❤ where i make ❤all kinds of things ❤out of everything recycled broken or collected❤. Craftroom❤ of my dreams..❤. full of junk but a pandoras treasure chest! ❤(I loose hours in there with my music)!
🎧🎧🎧🎧i love my music!

And to top it off i now have a fantastic 💑 💑 💑 💑 group...
I found you guys! So important to me❤ these past months. Such a great community... 🌹🌹🌹
💔i had lost most of my friends when i kept putting everything before me so many years ago. I now feel validation rather than being afraid... i feel love rather than being alone. 🌹

🐴So im really learning to be comfortable 🐫🐫in my own skin... 🐪even tho i am the last person in MY 🐴world i ever thought i would end up looking after!🐴

Jul 25, 2016 4:26 PM

WOW Lulabel... That was intense, very deep and brutally honest. With the exception of children I was the same as you. Now at the age of 51, I haves laundry list of diagnosis, meds and I had to have my thyroid out due to Grave's Disease and I'm menopausal. I have ballooned up over 300 pounds and have no idea where in hell to start to try to lose the weight as I just don't have the physicality to exercise. If I am out for a few hours and more than twice in the week, I suffer for it for a week with swollen and painful knees (that both need to be replaced) and also my feet will swell. I've had my annual physical and I have no high BP, no diabetic, no heart/lung issues, but there is tremendous inflammation showing in my blood test and my SED rate is high. They are doing further blood work at the moment to get accurate ANA results and also checking for RA, Lupus, MS, etc... I'm so happy that you're life has turned around for the better. I know you're in pain but all the other positives make it more livable. Enjoy and congrats!! You should love you... We should ALL love ourselves. How can anyone else love us if we don't? {{{{Hugs}}}}💕🙏🏻🌻😊

Jul 26, 2016 6:28 AM

Hi sweetie... i too can only manage one maybe two outings a week... and so i try to fit it all in in those few hours... course that wipes me out for a week or so... but im happy cos i achieve at least half the stuff on my list! So i make a new list and do my best... each day is a new list and i move on... down days are down... good days are good and move on...

Regret and guilt are not constructive feelings...so let them go! Bollox to it and move on! (Pardon my french)... forgive urself... i forgive u hunni 🌹

I have to say pregabalin/lyrica made me gain at least 3 stones of my weight... im still on it but less dose now... but thats a battle in itself lol!

I lost weight by learning to say "no" to my husband... hes a feeder, and was popping in candy, cakes, rich puddings... omg chips n crisps... omg ben&jerry had allot to answer for... he would feed me because he thought he was comforting me! I was a captive audience... it was 6yrs till i realised and just said "no!" But it has almost finished my marriage off (he takes it so personally bless him...) but i cant have just one biscuit... i have no self control once ive crossed that line... so i stay away from it... i have to!

I started to loose lbs/kgs... then i started to move... just walking my dog... one lamp post at a time... then one more & one more each day till we got to the park! I was in a wheelchair... then on two crutches... i built it up slowly... and my butt shrank from a size 28-32(uksizes)... im now a size 12 (uk)! Its crazy... i dont know who that is in the mirror sometimes lol!

i cannot walk far atm... but i have a recumbant bike i got off ebay for £40... and i put on the bike channel and i chase those little lycra butts... i can do 15k a day... but im sat back and i built it up over time! (6months)

Simple arithmetic...put less calories in... and expend more!
Easy to say i know... just be aware thats all... i started by doing little things... they all add up in the end!

Jul 26, 2016 6:30 AM

That picture was taken at about 1/2 way to what i am now... i have very few picture of me when i was at my biggest lol x

Jul 26, 2016 9:55 AM

Lulabel, thank you so much for your support. This picture was taken on July 9th when we had a BBQ for my Dad, little Brother and Little Sister (87, 45, 37 respectively) their b'day are all July 11th. I was out with family and friends for 10 hours, most of it on my feet, and it did me in for a week.. The pic is me and my niece. I appreciate all the info and although I don't eat like that, I don't move a lot. Like you said, small changes and build from there. {{{Hugs}}}💕🙏🏻🌻😊

Jul 26, 2016 10:07 AM

Wow thats a great picture sweetie... so happy ⚘ ur niece is a darling 🌷 i remember u posting when u went to see ur dad. I have had a similar experience... so 🤗 i am there for u sweetheart 💕...sending gentle hugs x

Jul 26, 2016 10:13 AM

Thanks Lulabel, that's very kind. It's what I love most about this community family. We're all here to support one another. Sending gentle hugs back.💕😊

Jul 26, 2016 6:27 PM

You guys are awesome! I love coming home after a trying day at work and reading inspiring notes back and forth from you! Such great caring people :)

Jul 27, 2016 5:55 AM

Hugs n kisses

Jul 27, 2016 12:47 PM

Lulabel, my hubby is a feeder too, and for awhile he took it personal when I'd say no to sweets. After my stomach surgery and having to cut my portions to less than half, both of us are losing weight. And it's hard for either of us to eat real sweet things. I also can't stop once i cross the barrier.

AlwayZ, that is a great pic! Just remember, none of us got where we are overnight. So no matter what changes were choose/have to make, slow & steady wins the race! Hugs love & prayers for all! 🙂💕🙏🌸

Jul 27, 2016 1:58 PM

Oh flappers my hubby still takes it so personally... but for him, food is the ultimate prize! I bought him over £200 worth of nice clothes for our holiday... they are still hung with their tags on in the wardrobe! I will have to bribe him with sweets just to try anything on! Lol ...i however have lost another 6lbs and my holiday clòthes feel great! Hubby looks pregnant lol 🌷

Aug 15, 2016 1:39 PM

*sigh* I was a total bad ass before my nervous system got glitchy. I worked at a daycare teaching Spanish and art, while working at a pet store and attending college to be a cop. so @Daniel I believe your theory is correct.

Aug 16, 2016 1:45 AM

@GemStoneStrong I love that picture you posted! Thanks a lot for that.

Oct 13, 2016 10:57 PM

I have to agree with you about the picture that @GemStoneSrong wrote! It brings the the exact truth of this subject. It is an energy draining, depressing condition and needs to be managed properly and without that it can result in tragedy and that's is reality as what bullies do in school they cause tragic casualties each year and so does pain!!!

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