In the midst of a busy week but I’ve found enough time to put together another post. Life right now seems really busy. It seems as though I’m always going to a doctors appointment to another. Add kids into the mix and everything that revolves around them, and it makes for a busy scheduale. However I’m happy that so much is going on because it keeps my mind off the CRPS! If all I was doing was sitting around thinking about the way that things are, it would probably drive me crazy.
So the other day I was at my physio section and we were talking about acceptence of what has hapened, and how people adapt to the CRPS. Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept this disease for what it is! Not only does a person have to accept things from a physical standpoint, but from a mental aspect as well. Often people dealing with this think that as long as they understand one of these, that they will be fine and life can continue on. When this all happened to me and I was unable to do all the physical things that I wanted to do, in my brain I still thought I could. I figured all I had to do was adapt or change the way that I did things. What I didn’t want to see or understand was that my limitations were very real.
In my mind I’d tell myself as long as I can find a way to do certain things that I could do them. That might sound good in principle however I wasn’t listening to what my body was trying to say. I would push myself until the pain was so intense that I couldn’t stand it anymore. Sure I felt the pain but I’m stubborn, and I would tell myself that I had to keep going. Call it male pride or whatever you want but I had to do things to prove to myself that I could still do them. I wasn’t really thinking about the fact that it was only making things worse. However I continued to push myself to do things that I shouldn’t have, making the pain worse at times. Something had to give!
There had to be a breaking point where I said to myself I can’t keep doing this. I had to understand that things were different now, and that it wasn’t just a matter of changing how I did things. Now I needed to accept that there were things I could no longer do. In my head I needed to tell myself to stop pushing so hard. Stop trying to do things the way I used to do them. Easier said than done I’ll tell you that! All of a sudden the very person that you know yourself to be is under attack. I had to learn to allow people to help me to do certain things, and that’s not so easy when your so used to doing so much for yourself. The mental game isn’t always easy to accept or adapt to.
What I am trying to say is that you need to give yourself a break. It’s ok that you can’t take on the same work load! You don’t need to feel guilty about living up to a standard you used to set for yourself. I used to beat myself up because there were certain physical expectations I had of myself. I wanted things to be the same, I didn’t really want to accept that my physically capabilities had changed! It was a matter of putting my pride aside and understanding that there had to be a change. It meant working within those limitations and being ok with it. Now I might be making this sound very easy to change but it’s not. There isn’t one day where I don’t have a battle going on inside my head, where I don’t have to tell myself to slow down and take it easy. I’m hopeful that a day will come that I can do more but I have to take small steps.
So my advice to anyone dealing with CRPS is to understand and accept things for what they are. It doesn’t mean that you’ve changed as a person, it just means that you have physical limitations. You need to tell yourself to relax and slow down and stop feeding this illness, because in reality that’s what your really doing. Your CRPS isn’t going to go away over night so work with it instead of against it. The toughest part of all this in my opinion is not only the physical side of things but it’s the day in day out mental game that you are dealing with. If you deal with the mental aspect then it’s going to without a doubt in my mind help you to win this fight. Every day I ask God to help me in winning that battle.