1 Peter 4:12 - Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
In my previous post, I discussed the physical and emotional warning signs of a flare-up. This post will discuss how to be prepared ahead of time so that you can quench the flames before the fire gets out of control.
Below are some suggestions. Chose something from each category so that you’ll be ready in any situation:
Relaxation Breathing Use pillows
Lay down Change your position
Relaxation Heat or ice
Take a bath Medications
Massage Tens Unit
Isolate yourself Go to a comfortable place
Cognitive or thinking
Distraction Stay busy
Setting limits Humor
Someone to be with you Coach
Have someone hold you Call someone
Put together a plan using the above situations. The plan will allow you to feel more confident as you go throughout your day. You’re free now to live your life to the fullest in spite of the flare-ups.
Just remember the Bible verses above. Don’t be surprised by the fiery trials which you go through. It’s not something strange or new. You’re not the only one who’s going through this right now, and there are many more that have already made it successfully through the pain.
Draw strength from those around you, and be ready to share what works for you with those who are weaker and just beginning the journey through their valley of pain.
If you’ve found some tips that have helped you through past flare-ups, share it with us now. I look forward to hearing from you.
Job 34:4 - Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.
Whether it’s chronic pain or illness, a flare-up can be brought on by any number of reasons - overextending yourself, experiencing emotional trauma, or environmental factors, just to name a few.
Once a flare-up is heading your way, it’s important to recognize it as soon as possible so you can figure out ways to stop it in its tracks.
Here’s a list of some early physical warning signals:
Emotional warning signs that may come to the surface:
It’s important during a flare-up to change what you’re thinking. What you’re thinking will affect what you say to yourself and others. If you want to change your mood, you need to change what you’re thinking.
If the loud speaker inside your mind says, “I can’t take this!”
Try saying, “Don’t panic. It’s going to hurt, but I’m going to be okay.”
Just as the Bible verse above describes, we have to learn to be students of our bodies. To discern the right way to help ourselves and develop a plan to deal with flare-ups before they happen.
In my next post, I will discuss some ideas that can help you develop a plan for flare-ups and ways to stop one should it happen anyway.
In the meantime, find a link below to learn more about flare-ups. What are your warning signs that a flare-up is on the horizon? I look forward to hearing from you.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 - Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
When you are stressed or in severe physical pain, adrenalin floods your system. It takes your kidneys at least 20 minutes to filter the adrenalin out of your blood stream. You have to allow your body time to catch up.
One way to get rid of all that adrenaline is to exercise. There are many positives to exercising and staying fit:
You don’t even think about it if you need to take care of your car when it breaks down, yet we often neglect our own body. You may think that not working out helps you avoid pain, but the opposite is true. The more time you take off, between exercise sessions, the more it will hurt the next time.
Okay, motivation. How do I get myself to work out? You may be thinking that you already have enough exercise in your day, but hard work and exercise aren’t the same.
If it was your child that had to exercise to get better, what would you motivate them with? Here’s a way that may at least get you out the door to the gym or start exercising if you work out at home.
On a really down day, try doing only a modified work-out. Some exercise is better than no exercise. Usually though, once you get started working out you’ll keep going.
Reward yourself for working out, whether it’s buying that new shirt you’ve wanted, going to a movie, or even getting a little frozen yogurt on the way home. (You noticed, I didn’t say ice cream! Though, hey, that’s what I’d want!) Anyway, seriously, think about what motivates you to do other things and apply it to working out.
Being committed to working out is important to God, also. In the verses above the author was encouraging believers to run in such a way to win. This was primarily about our spiritual walk with God, but it can also be applied to exercising. You can’t just exercise every once in a while and expect to see results. Exercise for your body’s sake, but also exercise for God. He will in the end reward your efforts.
Select the blue “comments” below and let me know if you exercise regularly and what motivates you to do so. I look forward to hearing from you.
*** Please note: Do not attempt any exercises before you consult with your doctor.
Ezekiel 34:16a - I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.
Sit up straight. Isn’t that what your mother or your teacher told you all your life? Though they didn’t worry about work-related accidents or chronic pain when they said it, little did they know just how good that advice was.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), in their article, “OSHA Technical Manual,” reported that every year more than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.
Back and neck problems are seldom caused by a single injury. An activity is done the same way over and over, and then one event happens and you can’t bounce back from it.
That’s why, you’ve heard of stories of people rupturing a disc just by slipping on the bathroom floor or tripping over the sidewalk. The disc was already being slowly injured by doing things incorrectly. And then one more thing hit, the straw in the proverbial camel’s back, and the disc herniated.
Find some tips from American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website in their article, “Tips to Prevent Back Pain,” to help reduce your risk of back pain and injury such as positioning the person or object your are lifting close to your body before lifting.
Even if an injury happens and it becomes chronic pain, as it did in my case, remember the verse above. God pursues us in our injuries. He will bind up your injury and strengthen the weak areas of your life including your body. Don’t lose hope and don’t forget to be wise and careful as you walk through your week.
Have you suffered an injury and thought to yourself, “If only I’d been paying more attention to what I was doing?” We’re here to support you. Just click on the blue “comments” below and let us know what you’re struggling with. Maybe we can shed some new light on it.
Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
As the Bible verse above says, there are things that can hinder us from finishing the race set out for us. Some of these things aren’t bad, but good. We should still be diligent in making sure that we don’t have too many eggs in our basket.
These things can make it seem like we have to push ourselves all of the time and move too quickly into more “good” projects. Sometimes the good has to go and the “best” stay. We need to break the over activity cycle.
People with Type A personalities find this difficult. They are used to pushing themselves all of the time. We’ve been taught in this culture to push ourselves and not listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.
If we don’t pace ourselves, and take a break sometimes, we’ll burn out. Your body is shouting at you from the sidelines, “Look out! You’re heading towards danger. Don’t you feel that increased pain, exhaustion, muscles tensing and acid rising inside.” However, we just continue to limp along and ignore the signs.
What you’re doing now is like making bank deposits for five to ten years down the road. People who do well handling pain will have changed the pace of their life.
So here’s what can help – spread your work out. What you would normally get done in four hours, take six hours to do. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “But I have so much to do. There’s no way I can take longer to do things.” But if you burn out, you’ll get nothing done.
Slowing down, means a less stressful lifestyle, and what you get done in a day will actually increase. Haven’t you noticed sometimes that when you’re in a hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes and then have to back track?
Here’s what else can help – take a time out. When you’re working at your desk take a break every thirty minutes. Get out of your chair and walk around for a few minutes. When you return to working, you’re head will feel clearer and you’ll have re-energized your body.
The next tip may be a little harder to do – learn to say “no”. For me this is the hardest. I’m a people pleaser and that’s just what I want to do. Please everyone. But at what cost does my saying “yes” bring when being asked to do something? With chronic pain part of the reason why I’ve gotten there is because I have a hard time saying no. It doesn’t make you a bad person to say “no” sometimes.
And lastly, even on our “good” days we need to exercise self-control and make sure we don’t overdo. This way we will be keeping our energy bank account full so that we have something in it to withdraw from on a really taxing day.
Choose the “learn more” button below to watch a short video on pacing yourself at work and home. After viewing it, let me know what you got out of the clip and what you plan to implement into your life from the post above or the video. To make a comment, click on the blue “comments” below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.