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

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 Stop Believin’

So what’s the update on my story? Well…I wasn’t made to be a quitter. Neither were you

Hey Pain Warriors!

It has been a while since I posted an article – a lot has happened since then. We’ve had the holidays and welcomed in a new year. I hope you all welcomed 2018 in a way that was great for you personally. I’m hoping that you all have made some plans and goals that you will achieve, or at least be en-route to achieving!

That being said, I set some goals for myself this year also – one of them being to post more frequently on the Pain Warrior Code blog. I’m excited for the things I have planned for the Pain Warrior Code so make sure you keep an eye out. I also have decided to share more about my own journey with chronic migraine, so you guys can get more of an understanding of my story.

So what’s the update on my story? Well… Continue reading “Don’t Stop Believin’”

Your Pain is Not in Vain!

Your pain has a purpose.
Your pain is NOT in vain!

Hey Warriors!

I know it has been an extremely long time since I’ve written a post- please forgive me! I will make sure to post more frequently because there are a lot of subjects & topics I want to address!

So those of you who follow Pain Warrior Code on twitter would have seen a tweet that I posted recently;

“Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and to help somebody else. Your pain is NOT in vain!

I was inspired to tweet this because we can easily get stuck in a rut with all the pain we experience on a daily basis. We can become consumed by a dark, isolated world where all we feel is pain, but don’t take into consideration that it can be used for a purpose. Continue reading “Your Pain is Not in Vain!”

The Covert Warrior

I was suddenly struck with the thought that I have been talking to a secret pain warrior all along and never knew. She was a covert pain warrior…

Hey Warriors,

So I know it has been a while indeed…forgive me. Bear with me. You guys know the struggle better than anybody else.

I decided to write this post because I found myself astounded by a fellow colleague. I bumped into her in the photocopying room as you do, especially when you work in a school! We started talking and she mentioned my sunglasses. I always wear them at work. The LED lights cause way too many migraine problems for me so I prefer to keep them on. Nobody has time for extra pain and eye strain.

So, I explained to my colleague that I have been dealing with chronic migraine – in which she expressed her sympathy and then revealed that she had recently been experiencing migraines as well. As we got into the conversation, the she started listing all of the health issues she has been dealing with simultaneously since her teenage years. Continue reading “The Covert Warrior”