This time of year can be pretty difficult for a lot of us. The weather becomes colder and damper. That alone can cause flare ups in those of us who's pain worsens and gets better like the tides of the ocean. As you can see, I am no stranger to pain. In fact, if you were to live daily with me, you would know the bad days simply by how I rattle like a pharmacist's tote bag when I move. Before you get the wrong idea, you should know that I try very hard to keep the narcotics usage way down, simply because I don't want to waste the hours and days of my life in a drug haze. Don't get me wrong, there are times when these prescriptions are necessary and warranted, I call these days pachyderm days.

On a pachyderm day, it feels like wild elephants have stampeded over my body, stepping on my feet, twisting my knees and doing things to my spine and ribs that should never be done to a human being. I say this because it is true and also because understanding, especially from family members is hard to come by. It isn't that they don't care, it is because it is mentally painful for them to believe it. It means that life is a fragile thing that is meant to be cherished at all times and nobody wants to entertain the idea that their loved one's life span might be too short. I have every intention of living as long as I possibly can, life is just too interesting to check out too soon.

Stress makes pain worse and last longer. I won't give you scientific research quotes, you can google it if you've a mind to. I am here to say that it is true and the stress of making Christmas can make normal pain into pachyderm pain very fast if you let it take hold. Know this and believe it. Christmas comes every year on the same day no matter what happens. Children may ask for things that are way out of budget but on Christmas morning are just happy that Santa remembered them. Don't worry if you can't provide all of the gifts that they want. They won't notice in the excitement of the day and later if they mention that they didn't get this or that, will be a good time to get together to brainstorm ways that the child can earn and save to get that item for themselves.

Back real fast to pain issues. The biggest thing is to take care of yourself first.  Heat can really help, heating pads, rice bags zapped in the microwave, hot water bottles, a warm bath or a small space heater set low blowing warm air on your feet can help for awhile. If you've a mind for holistic medicine by all means, go for it, some of it does work, just make sure your doctor knows because some herbs can cause not so good interactions with pharmaceuticals.  Get out of bed every day that you can possibly manage it even if it is just for a little bit at a time, and even if it is hard. Staying in bed gives you too much time to continue the stress circles, thinking about the pain and the things that you want to do and feeling helpless because you can't do them that day ect. Remind yourself that this is only a flare up and it will subside with time and treatment. Above all remember that you are not alone.

Whats for dinner? Leftover turkey of course! :-)