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If they call me a Repeat Offender one more time..

Back from Norman, my two new splints and bitter attitude in tow. I'm looking thru the materials that are much the same as they were 5 years ago when I see that all too familiar list of do's & don'ts. I won't bore you with all of that so I've copy/pasted just a little from the website. My favorite, most memorable part I've highlighted below.

  1. Avoid or reduce perfumes and scented products. These chemicals aggravate sensitive muscles.
  2. Don't sit or sleep directly under ceiling fans or vents.
  3. Watch head / neck position (cradling phone between head and shoulder).
  4. If you are able to tolerate aspirin products, take two tablets of Advil (or equivalent), an anti-inflammatory medication, four times daily. This is taken to reduce swelling and inflammation within the joint. If you are not sure of your tolerance to aspirin-like products or if you are taking any other medication, check with our office or your physician first.
  5. Prioritize your activities. Be ruthless. Eliminate those things that are least important. This involves learning to say "no" to tasks that can be put off, so you can carefully parcel out your available energy among those things that need to be done.
  6. Spare your family and friends. Pointing every detail of your illness out to close relatives can backfire. Family members and friends are not equipped to deal with the devastating nature of chronic pain over the long haul. It is okay to educate those close to you about it, but be careful to monitor the amount of personal details you burden them with. You don't want to drive your most important network of social support away.
  7. Get help. Patient support groups can be a great source of comfort for many on how to deal emotionally and functionally with the disease. Others have found counseling, massage therapy and physical therapy to be beneficial.
  8. Continue living. If you can't walk a mile, walk a block. If you can't work full-time, work part-time. In other words, try to do the same things you use to do, even if you can only handle a fraction of the activity. It is important that you occupy yourself, both mentally and physically.
  9. Maintain a positive attitude. Those who do seem to cope and recover the best.
Okay, so anyone who gets to this point has long figured out that this is something they will be dealing with on their own. Why point out the painfully obvious? So now, on top of everything else, I get to second guess myself and wonder if I'm talking about it too much or sharing too many details or should come up with shorter answers for when people ask. Now I get to stress about if I've "burdened" my important network of social support and might be driving them away. Seriously?!?


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