Coronavirus and Chronic Pain

Coming Home to the Coronavirus Virus (Covid-19)

My husband and I were at the Oregon Coast for our yearly vacation March 7th – March 14th. We decided during that trip to stay off the Internet while we in our room and only briefly checked emails when out.

We enjoyed the lazy slow pace we set mostly staring at the ocean, the sunsets, the moon, playing ping pong, walking nature trails, taking naps, and cooking luscious meals.

We headed home and as we pulled off the freeway onto the main street in our town, we saw snow on the sidewalks. We felt fortunate that our drive was clear and beautiful.

As we unloaded the van, our son got home from running errands and we thought he was going to talk to us about the snow. Instead, he filled us in on the Coronavirus and the possibility of bars, restaurants, stores, and schools closing.


We still had two more vacation days. We spent the next one at home unpacking, reading emails, catching up on Facebook posts, and a little news. We also reminded ourselves that we were still on vacation, so we watched a movie, took a nap, and ate leftover gluten-free pizza.

Upon noticing our slow vacation pace, our son said, “You better get out and shop. They are talking about self-isolation starting tomorrow.” So that’s what we did on our last day and I have been sheltering-in-place except for the occasional trip to pick up pre-ordered groceries since then.

Photo by Mehrad Vosoughi 

As I’ve talked with others, I have heard how fears during this time of the Coronavirus, are filling the airwaves.

Are you asking some of the following questions?

  • How will I pay my bills?
  • Where can I buy toilet paper, brown rice, and dried beans? Do I need to stock up on canned foods?
  • Will my senior graduate or my children go back to school this year? What happens next year?
  • When will I be able to return to work? Will my company be viable?
  • When will I see my elderly parents, adult children, grandchildren, partners, or friends?
  • When will my unemployment benefits run out? How long will my savings last?
  • What if I have to go to the hospital?
  • Will I ever have deep restorative sleep again?

The questions you ask are pervasive. They hang in the background of your thoughts no matter what you are doing. So even though you all have different stories, you are all living through the same pandemic. You do not know what the future holds.

Photo by Alexandra Gorn 

Fear grows.

Stress grows.

Anxiety grows.

Depression grows.

Pain grows.

In the time of this great unknowing, have you found that your chronic pain is worse? Do you have more flares? Why?  “The human brain… is an ‘anticipation machine, and ‘making future’ is the most important thing it does.’ …Uncertainty diminishes how efficiently and effectively we can prepare for the future, and thus contributes to anxiety.” US Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI)


Increased stress, anxiety, and/or depression feels physically painful and if you already have chronic pain, you need to be even more aware.

“The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain…. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise, major depression may feel physically painful.”   The pain-anxiety-depression connection by Harvard Health Publishing.


In the deep dark depths of your feelings, don’t expect to say, “I’ll just be happy. If I fake it ‘til I make it all will be well.”

You may be lonely. Sad. Feel guilt when you feel happy. Your feelings are valid. AND you have those deeper thoughts while having daily persistent pain in the time of the Coronavirus.

This is why creating a list of Transformative Tools is so important. Create one for yourself and DO at least one every day.

Here is something you can do right now!

It takes no special tools. You don’t even have to move from where you are. You can have your family join in or start all your online meetings with this.

  • Take a deep breath in. Breathe out and drop your shoulders.
  • Take a deep breath in. Breathe out and shift your hips.
  • Take a deep breath in. Breath out and drop your shoulders even deeper.

How do you feel? More relaxed?


I use many ACTION ITEMS daily to DISTRACT myself because I live with Trigeminal, Occipital, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia, Fibromyalgia, Migraines many times a month, Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Ulcerative Pancolitis to name a few. Without taking action to distract me I would be lost.

I have a large list of Transformative Tools on my website because I want to help reduce your pain. Now it is even more important than ever to take extra care. You will need many choices to honor that you feel differently each day. Keep adding to your list and please feel free to use these as a starting place for your personal care.

If ever there was a time to share our knowledge on how to thrive with chronic pain, it is now. Please feel free to forward this information to not only those in need but those who live with others who have chronic pain.

Hugs!


I am a Master Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, and Certified Nutritional Consultant who shares information on how to reduce your chronic persistent pain. I live with this discomfort and even though our pain may feel different I know what you are going through.

I mix words and magic as I write about chronic pain. I stir the souls of those who hurt and I share transformative tools to help manage your pain.

I want to share this information and tools with women living with chronic pain. 

We refuse to let pain be in charge of our lives.

If you need help or have questions, email me at gail@thrivewithchronicpain.com or go to my Contact page.

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