I've been living with chronic back pain for nearly 4 years now.
Some days are better than others.....
Some days I can't feel my right leg below the knee - other days I can.
Some days I can't think straight for the headaches - other days I'm a clear as a bell.
Some days I have to take pain meds every 4 hours - other days I don't have to take them for days at a stretch (I really like those days).
My love - designing jewellery - requires that I sit down for periods of time. Whether it be while I'm creating a piece, doing associated paperwork or working online - I tend to spend quite a deal of my day at my bench.
For me this isn't so good - it adds to the compression on my nerve, which adds to my pain and loss of sensation.
I love my work, so how do I deal with my chronic back pain?
My kitchen timer reminds me to get up and stretch. This is a habit that anyone working and sitting for long periods at a desk should adopt.
Depending on my day and pain levels, my timer is set for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Every now and again (I'll be honest here) I ignore that confounded thing and work past my time limit. I always regret it, as I'm then very sore and wish I had of gotten up. I've found the best way of getting around this is to place the timer on the other side of the room. That way, when it goes off I have to get up, otherwise it just keeps on beeping and annoys the cr@p out of me!!
My family (bless their boots) gave me a kneeling chair for my birthday last year. The kneeling chair helps to reduce some of the pressure on my lower back. And it's not hard on your knees at all!
When the buzzer goes off, I get up and do some of my stretches that the physiotherapist has given me for my back. Prior to my injury (and in the months after) I couldn't manage a single sit-up. Now I average between 30 to 50 a day - I love having a core!
And then there is giving myself a break.
Not, as in the time break, but the break that if my pain is too great and I can't concentrate on what I would like to be doing, I give myself permission to have the day off.
I tell myself that there are others in the world far worse off than I am, and that I am blessed to have such a supportive husband and children - and I have the opportunity to do what I love.
Please share your story here. It is always inspiring to know that other creative individuals can make pieces of beauty, despite sometimes difficult circumstances.