Take Time Out! #PainWarriorPepTalk

You are entitled to have a rest, don’t deprive yourself of something that is
detrimental to your wellbeing…

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Greetings Warriors!

I haven’t posted a #PainWarriorPepTalk in a while! I am hoping you have recently had some better days (emotionally mentally) & some pain-free days also!

I haven’t posted much lately as I had the summer holidays away from work. Unfortunately, the new school year has commenced. Alas, I am classroom-bound again for this academic year *cue sad violin music*.

Before the holidays started, I had originally planned to get a lot of work done. Truth be told, I didn’t get much done at all! I was regretful once the end of the holidays approached. I felt like I had failed myself. However, my perspective changed once I reflected on what I did get to do over the summer; I spent quality time with my family and close friends. I don’t usually get to spend much time with my people during the academic year. This is usually because I am pressed for time, or don’t always feel well enough whenever it’s the weekend or a holiday from work. When I realised this, it had hit me that maybe I was being too hard on myself: as a person who deals with a chronic illness, I juggle two jobs (most of us spoonies struggle to deal with one!). Before the holidays, my body was already acting up and I felt run down. I needed the summer holidays to rest, recuperate and regenerate my energy. It was ludicrous to plan to use my time on holiday FROM work, to DO work! I’m not a newbie warrior – I know better than that.

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So why am I sharing this with you? To remind you that it is OKAY to rest. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. There needs to be time for everything;  including a time for working AND a time to rest. But make sure you don’t neglect the latter. Resting enables you to regenerate the energy you will need to get your next task or goal completed.

Now one can easily think “I already know this…”, but don’t consider this pep talk to be a new lesson – consider it to be a revision session.

We already know spoonie life entails our bodies constantly being under attack. You can’t control every aspect of what your illness does to you. However, you can control how much rest you allow yourself to have.

If we take the Spoon Theory into account, it is essential for us to recuperate and regain our spoons. We stifle our chances of having four/five spoons if we are always pushing ourselves on one spoon. This will result in us crashing in a way that is so disastrous, it will take longer to recuperate. Longer than it would have if we had just rested prior to our bodies feeling run down.

For those of you aren’t sure what the Spoon Theory is, the best way I can explain it follows;

The Spoon Theory is usually used by those who suffer from chronic illnesses or have disabilities. This theory was originally penned by Christine Miserandino: it uses metaphorical spoons in a way that can be likened to a meter. This meter measures how much energy an individual has to engage in tasks for that day. The quantity of spoons the individual has (0-5) indicates how much energy they possess. 0 spoons mean the individual has absolutely no strength to function: it’s a dreadful day. 5 spoons mean the individual is feeling quite powered & able to function to the best of their ability. Keep in mind that a person having 5 spoons doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t experiencing any pain at all. I have had many 5 spoons days where I am able to go to work and function to the best of my abilities – with the pain still present.

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Which brings me back to the point: You are entitled to have a rest. Don’t deprive yourself of something that is detrimental to your wellbeing. Also, stop making yourself feel guilty or stressed whenever you do take time out to rest. If you spend the whole time doing this, you won’t even feel rested when it is over. Thus you will only be returning, feeling just as rubbish – if not worse than you already felt before you had your break.

Take time out and make every effort to enjoy it. Do whatever makes you feel peaceful & tranquil. Whether that is sleeping, reading, watching television, rolling on the floor (providing that it doesn’t use up your spoons) whatever works for you! When you do, own it. Be good to yourself. Your body is already fighting you on everything else as it is. Your work, job or family aren’t going anywhere and they’ll be there when you have finished your break!

When was the last time you took time out for a break? Leave a comment and talk to me!

Wishing you well warriors! Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

The Liebster Award!

Hey Warriors!

I am pleased to write that the Pain Warrior Code blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award! I would love to start off by thanking the lovely Alyssa – the lovely lady who is being the ‘Fight MS Daily’ blog. She is very inspirational and posts fantastic articles that really reach out to people – hence why she has such a large following! I encourage you all to check out her blog and give it a read. My favourite article of hers is…

This version of the Liebster Award comes with 6 rules, they are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Share 11 facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gave you
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers who deserve the award
  5. Create 11 original questions for the nominees to answer
  6. Let them know they’ve been nominated

11 FACTS ABOUT ME!

  1. I’m a devout christian, I believe in having a personal relationship with God and following his will for my life. I’m a not a religious person. Neither was Jesus.
  2. I can play 3 instruments WELL: guitar, piano and ukulele. I play more but…I’m not so great at them!
  3. I can speak Turkish, I grew up with a lot of Turkish friends and took interest in the language.
  4. I LOOVEEE cultures; which is why I have a degree in anthropology.
  5. I like K-pop music, and Korean dramas. I got into them last year and have been addicted since.
  6. I have three cats but I’m a dog person. Thats a long story…
  7. I’m British, my heritage is Jamaican. Both sides of my family are from there.
  8. I enjoy reading chick lit, but I hate chick flicks! lol
  9. It’s on my bucket list to travel to each continent across the world. I have intense wanderlust that is waiting to be fulfilled.

Answers to Alyssa’s Questions

  1. Do you prefer cats or dogs? I grew up with dogs first. So I would say I’m a dog person. I love that they rely heavily on their relationships with humans, compared to cats. They’re too independent!
  2. What is your favorite color? Blue!
  3. What is the most amazing place you have been able to visit? So far, it was the ruins in Side, Turkey. Particularly the Antique Theatre. I was in awe of the place!
  4. If you could go anywhere in the entire world, where would you go? It would either have to be Miami in Florida or Brazil.
  5. What has been the best day of your life? It would have to be the day I got baptised. It is the best decision I have ever made.
  6. Even though I already think you are amazing, if you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be? Probably my stubbornness. I know being stubborn can be a blessing sometimes. But other times, it’s not.
  7. Who is your biggest inspiration in life? It would have to be my mum, she made so many sacrifices for me and my family. She is a hard worker and determined. She has a hustler’s spirit (a law abiding one of course). She is solid. But she still has a big heart for people and is always fair.
  8. We all have bad days in life, how do you make it through those days? Sometimes it takes me a while to gather my thoughts. I ALWAYS take it to God. Sometimes I cry, lament or pray for strength. Other times I just listen to what God has to say to me. He always renews my strength and my mindset that I can get up and fight another day.
  9. What is your biggest pet peeve? People who chow down on food loudly. I shouldn’t be able to hear your mouth clapping. I shouldn’t hear sucking noises. Cut that nonsense out!
  10. What type of book do you prefer to read and who is your favorite author, if you have one? I LOVEEE music literature/fiction. I don’t know if that’s the right terminology but thats what I call it. Fictional stories that are based around characters who are musicians. I really enjoy them.
  11. What was your absolute favorite movie that you can never get enough of? It would have to be Bad Boys and Beverly Hills Cop 2…notice the pattern here? lol

My 11 Nominees:

Inside the Rainbow – https://insidetherainbow.blog/about/

Pain Pals Blog – https://painpalsblog.com

Romans 535 blog – https://romans535blog.wordpress.com

A Chronic Voice – https://www.achronicvoice.com

The Frozen Mind – https://thefrozenmind.com

Highway To Healing – https://highwaytohealingblog.wordpress.com

Gail Loves God – https://gaillovesgod.blog

Musings Of A Wounded Healer – https://thewoundedhealer.blog

Chronic Pain With A Higher Perspective – https://validatingchronicpain.com

Brainless Blogger – https://brainlessblogger.net

Life With An Illness – http://lifewithanillness.com

Undeniably Sara – https://undeniablysara.com

My questions for my nominees:

  1. Where are you from? (heritage/where you grew up)
  2. What does your name mean?
  3. What inspires you?
  4. What is your funniest memory/experience that you can recall of?
  5. What is your favourite quote from a film?
  6. What gift or talent do you wish you had?
  7. Which countries have you travelled to?
  8. Would you ever consider living abroad?
  9. Do you have a particular food that you can’t stand?
  10. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned recently?
  11. What made you want to start blogging?

I would like to thank everybody who has read and supported the Pain Warrior Code! I really appreciate all that you have done to help fulfil the purpose of this blog – which is ultimately to empower, educate and elevate people who suffer with chronic pain and illnesses. Please go ahead and check out the other blogs that I have nominated and tagged into this award post. Don’t forget to check out the lovely Alyssa’s blog as well!

Have a great weekend warriors!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

If you’re going through hell, keep going! #PainWarriorPepTalk

I decided to use this quote for this week’s #PainWarriorPepTalk; “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. It is a common misconception that Winston Churchill said this, however it has never been recorded that he actually did say this.

Warriors, I pray that you will be encouraged by this short message. Sometimes a short sentence with a few words can carry a connotation of an essay. 

The only way you are going to make it out of your hell is to continue pushing your way through it. If we were to look at the semantics of this quote, the key word used here is ‘through’. When you go through something, there is an entry point, and also an exit point. Like when you go through a tunnel. You WILL come out on the other side. This is something I have heard my pastor (Pastor Mike White) say before pertaining to the word ‘through’. So warriors be reminded and encouraged; walk THROUGH your pain and keep your head up. You will make it out alive. You might still have your pain at the end of the tunnel, but the most important thing to have is your peace of mind so you will continue to live your life to the fullest. 

Hope you have a great week warriors,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

MRI tomorrow…this should be fun!

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So tomorrow is the day I finally have another MRI…will be posting about this. Pray for me warriors!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

My Fight With Hemiplegic Migraines…And Anchors

I experienced a hemiplegic migraine attack for the first time. I wanted to share my experience with you and hopefully encourage you in the process.

Good Afternoon Warriors, I hope you are all having a decent weekend so far.

I wanted to share my experience with you and encourage you in the process.

Some of you may have seen that I posted a message on twitter, facebook and instagram, highlighting that I experienced a hemiplegic migraine attack for the first time on Friday.

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SO what happened?

Well I had been fighting off a migraine that had been lurking since the beginning of the week. I was quite successful in praying it away until Wednesday evening. It felt like an annoying – but normal headache. I figured it would have softened to a manageable level by the time I woke up on Thursday. However, that wasn’t the case…

I first woke up about 2 hours before my usual time. I felt EXTREMELY hot! I assumed it was because of the weather and attributed it to that. Thus, I spritzed myself with water and went back to sleep. When it was time to get up, I had woken up in a nightmare; the whole left side of my body was dead. My face, arm and torso couldn’t move. I felt an excruciating pain in my arm, as well as an intense throbbing in the left side of my head. This was extremely out of the ordinary for me because most of my migraine attacks usually take place on the RIGHT side of my head, or across the whole of my frontal lobe. My breath was also short and I was struggling to breathe.

Was I having a stroke? No I couldn’t be…I remember reading something about migraines being closely linked to strokes. About people having migraines that felt like a stroke…or people having a stroke that felt like a migraine…or was it about people having what they THOUGHT was a migraine, when really they were having a stroke? GOSH I COULDN’T REMEMBER!

So I panicked.

All rational thought had dispersed and I knew I wasn’t thinking clearly, so I dragged myself to my sister’s room next door. God is good because he used my sister. She helped me to calm down. She praised God and prayed to him for me when I couldn’t catch enough breath to do it myself. Once I calmed down, I was able to focus on putting my trust in God to sort the situation out.

By the end of the day, the feeling in my hand returned. But that was about it. In my head I wondered if I should go to the hospital, but I decided there was no point – I was already in enough pain and struggling to do anything. How on earth was I going to get dressed, go to the hospital and sit underneath blinding lights and crazy noise (remember I’m hypersensitive to BOTH) for countless hours, only to be given paracetamol? PARACETAMOL DOESN’T EVEN WORK FOR ME ANYWAY!!

The following day I was still in a lot of pain, and my arm/torso still felt like it was being tormented with pins and needles. The only description I could give at the time was “my arm felt like it wasn’t a part of my body anymore, like it was a separate body of it’s own”. It has been three days since it started and my arm still feels a bit disconnected sometimes, like it’s an add on.

After doing loads of research, I came to find out what I had experienced was a hemiplegic migraine: which are more rare than other types of migraines (according to the medical sites I’ve read). They differ greatly from the migraines I usually experience. The articles I read highlighted that they usually happen as a result of a mutated gene. They also pointed out that it sometimes takes people days for their body to fully recover and feel normal again after such attacks. So I’m keeping my head up and trusting God that it will pass. That I won’t have to experience this again. But I am reminded that if I was to experience such an attack again, God will be with me just the same. After all, he promised in the bible that he would never leave me nor forsake me. He also promised that he will be with me during the difficult times;

“…listen to the Lord who created you…I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2

Warriors, what I experienced was frightening and made it very easy for me to panic. However after some time of reflection, I realised something; it’s important to have an anchor. That anchor is what pulls you down. It helps you to regain your senses and to think clearly when you are panicking. That anchor is the person you can trust to be 100% honest with you because they only ever have your best interest at heart. Now God essentially is the one who keeps you sane, upright and enables you to bounce back during situations that wreak havoc on your life. That being said, he will also place people around you to anchor you down and talk sense into you. Those people for me are essentially my sister and my mum.

Pain warriors, I encourage you to figure out who your anchors are – the people who you run to in times of need when you aren’t thinking clearly. They don’t always have to be people who are around you physically. For some of you, they might be people who you contact straight away online or via the phone. They might be friends or even colleagues who you work with. Once you have that individual in mind, take a moment to give thanks for those people. They have your back. If you feel like you don’t have one, trust that you will get one eventually, even if its through the spoonie communities online – that’s absolutely okay. Because that anchor will understand your struggle better than anybody else!

We all need someone to anchor us down when we are losing grip of everything. I urge you to hold on to your anchors, because they hold on to you.

Have a great weekend warriors. I’ll be sharing my update about my chronic life journey in the next few days!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

 

Don’t Let Your Pain Diminish Your Spirit #PainWarriorPepTalk

Most of us pain warriors can’t control how our illness affects our bodies, but ALL of us can control how it affects our minds.

Hey Warriors,

I originally intended to write this as a short pain warrior pep talk, but I found the message kept developing further as I was typing it up. I believe there are many people whose spirit has been deflated by the constant internal battle they’ve had to face. I hope this helps…

This is a reminder to hold on to who you are. I have often written to you guys that you are more than your pain. There is more to you than your illness. Your illness is a part of who you are, of course. However don’t be deceived into believing that is ALL you are. 

Amongst other factors, your personality, character and experiences all play a part in shaping your identity. Your pain has also played a part without a doubt. However we must take the time to be reflective of ourselves & our illness. If not, our pain can dominate everything and cause us to be shaped into a person that is no longer even close to who we truly are. Pain IS hard. Pain DOES change you. But the one thing you must not allow your illness to do is diminish your spirit. Being ill will inevitably pull you down for a while, but choose to rise up again and fight back warriors. You deserve to have a good life. A good life doesn’t exclude hard times, unfortunately those are guaranteed. But you are allowed to have a life that is beautiful despite your struggles. I keep fighting because God has always been faithful and I’m reminded that he came so I could have life abundantly. An abundant life is not one that is solely consumed by my sickness, but one that is focused on having peace, love towards others, contentment and gratitude for the blessings that I have in my life. Now these things don’t come overnight – but through actively seeking God, they come over time. 

I’m sharing this because I want you to understand that my identity hardly comes from my sickness, but more from my relationship with God and my faith. That’s what has anchored me & pulled me back when I felt like my sickness was changing me for the worst. 

I encourage you all to remember who you are. Who you were before you got sick. That person is still in there, but has been buried under the rubble of your pain. Now I’m not talking about the immature or less aware parts of who you were. I’m focusing on those good parts of you that your illness has suppressed; maybe you used to be outgoing, patient, forgiving or even courageous. Those traits are essentially who you are. Allow them to rise to the surface again. Your illness has attacked your body and your mind, but you have the power to take your mind back again. Most of us pain warriors can’t control how our illness affects our bodies, but ALL of us can control how it affects our minds. Many of us just don’t realise this. I urge you to take some time out to reflect on where you are right now emotionally and mentally, and ask yourself where do you want to be. Everything starts with a choice being made. Then you fight to go and get it. Go and get yourself & your life back warriors. It’s YOURS for the taking! Remember that you are powerful and awesome! You rule! 

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

Hold on to your dreams!

Warriors, I encourage you to hold onto your dreams. Be the first to do what nobody else has done before…

Hey Warriors!

As you know, I was planing to post this the other day. But of course, having a chronic illness blog as somebody WITH a chronic illness – means you have those days that delay you because you’re in too much pain! 🙄😄🤦🏾‍♀️

I wanted to share this piece of encouragement with you via the image above. I felt it was important to share this because chronic illness turns your life upside down. At some point, this can render you hopeless. Nobody plans to have a chronic illness. So when it does show up, everything you HAD planned & dreamed of is threatened. It almost takes away the possibility of you achieving whatever you wanted. ALMOST. However it doesn’t have to. For some, your illness will force you in the direction that brings about the change of your dreams. Trust and believe that this change will work out for your good.

On the other hand, some of you may be in circumstances where your dream can be achieved, but you might have to go through some unconventional things to make it happen. Just trust that you will get there.

Warriors, I encourage you to hold onto your dreams. Sometimes your circumstances are forcing you to believe your dream is impossible, but I dare you to challenge that. Be the first to do what nobody else has done before. It’s okay to walk the path that nobody else has before – that’s what makes you a trailblazer. If anybody can be a trailblazer – it’s you warriors!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode