Chronic Christmas Gift Ideas: Wishlist

I’m going to share a list of gift ideas – they are guaranteed to be a hit for that beloved friend or family member who has a chronic illness!

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Season’s Greetings Everyone!

Christmas carols, festive movies, eating masses of food and spending time with your family – what isn’t there to love about Christmas?

As the most cherished season fastly approaches, people find themselves going round in circles or even procrastinating on buying presents. We all know that one person who is an absolute NIGHTMARE to buy for! (My mum. Shh, you didn’t read that!🤫).

Buying presents for any individual can be tricky; essentially, you want to get them something that will be appreciated and utilised. So, I’m going to share a list of gift ideas – they are guaranteed to be a hit for that beloved friend or family member who has a chronic illness!


1)Electric Blanket or Heat Pad

A much appreciated gift that can help to alleviate the pain. This can be particularly helpful if the recipient deals with muscle/joint pains or a condition that alters their body temperature. 

2) Cold Compress Bag or Cold Compress Holder

This will be useful for people who suffer with pains like migraines. When it comes to chronic pain – both extremes can work depending on the sufferer. Either we apply something cold or something hot to the area that is in pain. Consider buying one and even customising it for your recipient!

3) Planner or Diary

One of the many struggles of somebody with a chronic illness – appointments, appointments, appointments! Family outings, meetings, checkups you name it! From neurologists to ophthalmologists, we have dates that we are likely to forget (especially if we have a chronic illness that affects our cognitive abilities/memory!) 

4) Comfortable Pyjamas

Unfortunately, some spoonies are bed or home bound for most of the day. If this is the case for that person you have in mind, then I can guarantee you, they will APPRECIATE bed/home clothing more than the average person! Make an effort to find a set that is plush and comfortable to wear. They will put this to good use – whether at home or at hospital during a flare up!

5) Something Inspirational

Living with a chronic illness comes with its struggles. Most people are aware of the physical adversity that a sufferer faces. Unfortunately,  many are unaware of the toll it takes on a person mentally. Dealing with an illness can wear down at a person’s spirit; they need something that will encourage them to keep fighting. Something that will empower them to live life to the fullest. So if you want to take this route, you can get them a movie, album or even a book. Maybe even a piece of art that is inspirational. There are no limits when it comes to inspiration. 

6) Essential Oils / Diffuser or Oil Burner

What a blessing it is to have oils that can be therapeutic and helpful to those with chronic pain. This can be done either by applying it to one’s body, or even by burning it through a diffuser/oil burner.  Do some research  on which essential oil would be useful according to what illness or symptoms the recipient has.

7) Netflix

One thing that I have seen is the consensus is that Netflix is KING to people with chronic illnesses – whether it’s a sick day or a low energy day, Netflix is guaranteed to be put to use!

8) Gift Vouchers (useable online)

For that warrior who is unable to leave their house, this will always be accepted without any argument. This allows your recipient to have their shopping come to them!

9) Water Colours / Water Colour Book

There is something about painting that is therapeutic to the soul. Many people with chronic illnesses have picked up a paint brush and found a fondness for it!

10) Your Time

Someone with a chronic illness can easily feel isolated and like they are missing out on life. Especially if they rarely get to go out with friends or family, or have to cancel plans frequently. Try to visit your loved one or maybe even take them out for the day. Make plans and make them happen. Your presence is the best present you can give!

So I hope these ideas have helped or at least sparked off the right gift idea for you. To those who have a chronic illness, I encourage you to share and repost this post so that your loved ones have ideas of what to buy for you! Is there anything else you would add to this list? Comment and let us know!

Wishing you all a fantastic, festive Christmas and keep an eye out for the next Blogmas post to come!

Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode


To Those Who Feel Like Giving Up…

If you’ve been going through a strenuous time lately and feel like you want to call everything quits, this is for you…

Hey Warriors, 

If you’ve been going through a strenuous time lately and feel like you want to call everything quits, this is for you. If you’ve had thoughts like you’re useless, your life is pointless and purposeless – this is definitely for you. If you have recently decided you’re tired of fighting and you just want to end it all, I want you to read this….

I know you’ve been going through a tough time, but please keep going. I understand exactly how you feel. Although your pain or illness might be different from mine, the impact that constant pain has on a human always conform to the same blueprint. I have been urged to remind you of this message; you are here for a reason, there is something greater on the other side of the struggles you’re currently facing. I say this because I too have had all of those feelings that I highlighted at the beginning of this post. However, we can’t always operate by our feelings. Why? Because feelings are fickle.feel like giving up 4.png They can also be manipulated. Sometimes our judgement of a situation isn’t accurate. We get so caught up in our feelings to the extent that we let them control us, instead of taking control of them. 

You have the power to push past all of those emotions right now. This doesn’t always seem possible when we feel so low, but it can be done. 

You are loved and your presence can enrich another person’s life. Maybe you’re the reason somebody else is able to make it through a difficult time. You could be somebody’s muse or inspiration. 

If you are feeling like you are losing grip of yourself and of life right now, pray. Pray to God for help and he will catch you. That is the only reason I am still here, able to type this message to you. Because I rely on God to supply me with what I need when I am running on empty. This is not blind faith, this is trusting and knowing that God is keeping me company in the midst of my dark times; giving me the strength to keep going. God loves you and is waiting in the sidelines – hoping you will turn to him so he can be invited into your life. You don’t have to carry the burden of what you are enduring by yourself. Give it over to God to carry it for you. 

 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest.”, Matthew 11:28 ISV

 

When you come to God and pass all of your troubles on to him, he makes everything much more bearable for you. Have you ever heard of the saying “a problem shared is a problem halved?” The concept is quite similar here in the spiritual realm. You will find the peace that you have been looking for when you pass your sorrow and struggle on to God. 

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Some of you may have seen my posts or tweets last week, encouraging people to know that their pain is linked to their purpose. I wholeheartedly believe this. Frustratingly enough, this can be incomprehensible and crazy to accept. But let me use myself as an example…

A little while after I got sick, I became full of sorrow, anger and hopelessness. I couldn’t understand why on earth I was experiencing chronic migraine. I was convinced that I was going to face this problem for the rest of my life; which set me on a downward spiral. I began to question God about why he would allow me to go through this. I couldn’t see how this struggle would even be useful at all. From my perspective, it seemed like I was being made to suffer for no reason at all. Until that day – when I had hit rock bottom and prayed to God to take me because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life suffering like this. God came to me alright, but not with the answer that I was expecting. Instead, he told me to create the pain warrior code and use it to be the light to those who are struggling the same way as I. To encourage people and let them know that they are not alone in this war. It was at that moment that I finally saw a purpose in my pain.

This is why I wrote that message last week, telling you all to find a way to use your experience to the benefit of somebody else. Let’s be clear though – by no means is this an easy task. You will get discouraged and yes, you will feel exhausted beyond belief physically, emotionally and mentally. On the contrary, you will also feel rewarded in knowing that you have reached out to somebody else who was in need.

Last week, I wrote in one of my tweets “there is strength in numbers”. In order to become stronger, we must encourage one another and stick together. Look at the bigger picture warriors; every time we help one person, that person goes on to help another; who then goes on to reach out to another and so on…

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Warriors, you have a purpose and you have work to do. You can’t give up on yourself. If you give up on your life, then you’re cutting off the lifeline to somebody else who is yet to be inspired and encouraged by you! Your life is so much bigger and deeper than just yourself. Your life is also about those who are around you and impacted by you. This is why you need to continue existing. But I don’t just want to encourage you to exist, I want to encourage you to live life. I’m not saying you’re going to find full contentment right NOW. I don’t promise that you will stumble upon contentment right at this current moment. But you will get there, one step at a time. It first starts with you taking the opportunity to say yes. Then you work towards it one day at a time. Slowly but surely, you will develop into a warrior who is not only enduring but is also empowered and ultimately, elevated. 

So tell me, do you still feel like giving up?

Let me know if this has encouraged you, warriors. Share your thoughts and opinions below. 

Until next time, 

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

My Thoughts During An MRI Scan

Disclaimer: I actually had these thoughts. Yes I’m weird like that…pray for me!

Hey Warriors,

Some of you may be aware that I have had a few MRI scans in the past. Those of you who have had the same, know that the first can be daunting because you don’t know what to expect! Overall, my experiences turned out to be humorous to me! So I’m going to share some of the thoughts I recall of having during my scans. If you have never had a scan before and you’ve got one coming up, I hope this post will bring you some comedic relief and put you at ease.

Disclaimer: I actually had these thoughts. Yes I’m weird like that…pray for me!

1) Wow this machine is pretty cool

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2) What if I’m uncomfortable I can’t move huh?

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3)I hope they find something

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4) …actually, I hope they DON’T find something!

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 5) They said I could listen to music – why aren’t they playing anything?

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 6) I hope I won’t need to go toilet in the middle of the scan200w-1.gif

7) I feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie or something. Is this machine a pod that’ll bring me away from earth?

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8) WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE?

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9) OH GOD…LIGHTS! (If you have a sensitivity to lights, this is a MAJOR problem!)

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 10) So…how long are they gonna keep me in here for?

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11) *Insert humming*

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12) Uh oh…I have an itch!

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12) Is it over already? That was quick.

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So those were some of my thoughts. I can’t say having a scan is a boring experience! So what about you Warriors? If you’ve had an MRI scan, comment below about what your experience was like, and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already!

Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

5 tips for when you feel overwhelmed with pain.

I am going to share these mood-elevating, perspective-altering tips that are guaranteed to make a difference to your day…

Dealing with chronic pain is like going on the most gut-wrenching ride within a theme park; it throws you through some hoops and drags you through some dark tunnels. Sometimes you feel supercharged for whatever comes. Other times, you find yourself deflated; with little or no hope that things will improve. Have you found yourself feeling the latter?

If so, then you have come to the right place. I’m going to share these mood-elevating, perspective-altering tips that are guaranteed to make a difference to your day. I usually do these things whenever I feel depleted; they have worked for me every time.

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1)   Acknowledge & Vent It Out:

That’s right warriors. Name and shame what is dragging you down. Acknowledge your feelings – call them out. This may seem random, but it is vital to highlight your feelings. I say this because you can’t address or tackle something that you haven’t acknowledged. Acknowledgement triggers off the process of getting past your feelings. Once you have done this, you can now continue the rest of the process. Let us personify ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ for a minute. People can easily find themselves trapped by their emotions – especially when they choose to ignore the elephant in the room that is their feelings. This can cause your feelings to remain as guests that have overstayed their welcome; which can eventually end up controlling you rather than you controlling THEM. Some feelings aren’t meant to be entertained or accommodated for such a long time. I speak this from my own personal experience. Get them out, so you can finally KICK THEM OUT.

2)  Encourage Yourself:

This is an area where people struggle. Terribly. Although that is understandable, this is a necessity for anybody’s survival. This is where our resilience needs to kick in. I find that the more you do this, the more it will become a reflex for you. Naturally, you can be the most positive person in the world and you will still have those days where you cannot encourage yourself.

So how can
you achieve this? By reminding yourself of the trials you have overcome in the past. Warrior, don’t neglect the fact that you are a warrior; that means you’ve been fighting and surviving! If you cannot recall anything you have survived, I am reminding you right now that you have survived life. You have survived everything that has been thrown at you – yet you’re still here. Hold on to that. Another major part of encouraging yourself also includes highlighting the fact that things will change. Life guarantees change. It WILL come. But it can be hard to believe this when your circumstances have looked the same for so long. It gets really easy to lose hope and doubt this. So I challenge you to do the complicated thing; believe it will change. Because they will. Reading this will help;

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 

 

3)  Rest Yourself:

This is a subject I recently highlighted in my last post Take Time Out! I cannot stress enough to you just how vital it is for you to rest. TAKE A NAP! I am so serious…the human race has the tendency to behave erratically when they are tired. Ever been really hacked off about something, but found that same thing didn’t bother you much once slept on it? That’s because sleeping/resting can act as a natural reset button for your brain. Lack of rest can cause us to judge things irrationally. Take a rest and see how you feel when you get up. It won’t solve all of your problems, but it’ll clear your mind. Having a clear mind will help you with the next step.

4)  Surround Yourself With Optimism:

When you have a clear mind, the materials, media, and company you expose yourself to can determine how you feel for the rest of the day. Now would be the perfect time to watch something that is ideally inspirational or encouraging. I urge you to be aware of what kind of messages you choose to digest at this time. If you fill your mind with negative or unsubstantial resources – guess what will circulate in your mind? Think of it this way – just like they always say “you are what you eat”…you also are what you read, watch, listen to and converse about. Feed your soul with something good which will impact the way you think warriors.

Warrior, don't neglect the fact that you are a warrior; that means you've been fighting and surviving!

5)  Redirect Your Thoughts:

Now, this where the work begins. It is likely that the thoughts you had before will attempt to return. They usually sound something like “it won’t be long before you have another emotional slump”, or maybe “I’m still in pain and that’ll never change”. I urge you to either push them away, negate them or redirect your thoughts altogether. There’s that saying; “you can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest”. Take this example & don’t be hard on yourself – because you can’t control those initial thoughts from entering your mind. However, you can control what you choose to do with them. I often find it easy to negate these thoughts by pulling on gratitude; what things I am grateful for in my life that are going well. Sometimes it’s hard to think of things per se, but then I just take a moment to acknowledge that I am alive and able to function. It might not be to the same degree of others. Heck, it might not even be to the degree that I used to – but I’m still functioning, regardless.

So now that I’ve shared these tips with you – put them to good use! I am hoping they will aid you during those down, difficult days. Put these points up somewhere in your house where you can see them. They will serve as a great reminder for when those days come.

Are there any tips you would add to this? Comment below and let us know! Don’t forget to share this article so it can help others who need it!

If you haven’t subscribed already, make sure you do to stay up to date on new posts and tips to follow.

Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

 

Take Time Out! #PainWarriorPepTalk

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

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

It’s your life, live it!

It’s your life warriors. Try to live it to the best of your abilities. Nobody can live it for you!

So for this week’s #PainWarriorPepTalk, remember that your life is yours to live warriors. Try to live it to the best of your abilities. Nobody can live it for you! We don’t know how long we have left so let’s try to make the most of it. Don’t let your struggles manipulate you to believe that you are not allowed to have a life that you can enjoy.

I will be posting an article in the coming days to share tips with you on how to live your life to the fullest. After all warriors, we’re learning to live our best life yet! Keep an eye out!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

The struggle seems endless. Keep going anyway!

Keep going. Remember that you are a warrior. That means you are a fighter.

Hey Warriors,

I think this week’s Pain Warrior Pep Talk is needed!

I know some of you have been struggling and feeling like things just won’t ease up. Like the weight of your problems are crushing you. Life can become frustrating when it seems like one issue with your health has backed off, but another has now reared it’s ugly head. Keep going. Remember that you are a warrior. That means you are a fighter. You were built to endure this war. Trust that a season will come where things will ease up for you  – whether it be a remission, a cure, or one of your problems passes. IT. WILL. COME.

There is a scripture that I often hold on to during my toughest days or weeks;

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

This scipture came from a letter that was written by a man named Paul. He was an apostle who had faced many trials, tribulations, abuse – physical and verbal due to his faith in God. This quote in itself highlights the facts that as a believer, we WILL encounter situations and pains that will feel like we are being broken down, but we won’t be crushed. We won’t be destroyed by it. I have found this has helped me because I turn to God for strength when I feel like chronic migraine is weighing me down. Like everybody else, I also struggle. But I cannot rely on my own strength. If I did, I would have ran out of strength and given up on my life eventually. But it is God who continues to renew mine when I feel like quitting. Now I share this not to preach at people and convince you to get baptised tomorrow, but to be one hudred percent transparent about how I get through my tough times, and HOW it is that I manage to stay afloat and have the energy to encourage people. If I was to exclude my faith from this to suit people’s feelings – then that, quite frankly, would make me a fraud and a liar.

This is what keeps me going, I hope it will encourage you warriors. You can have an amazing future lying ahead of you. However, you’ll only get to see it if you keep on pushing and don’t give up. I’m in right in the middle of this struggle with you. Keep your head up warriors.

Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode