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Money, Productivity and Chronic Pain: Staying Alive and Out in the Real World!!

coyotewildwomanccoyotewildwoman Posts: 130
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi, Fellow Pain Survivors:

Here are some of my thoughts... what do you think, and how do you survive, how do you thrive as a person and in your relationships?

Here are some my ideas and ways of coping that I thought I would share with the forum.

Perhaps some of you are blessed with a trust fund and fund a wing of the local hospital, if so, this blog may not be for you. If you are like me, there has to some money to pay the every increasing monthly nut. So how does one work when dealing with chronic pain, which not only hurts like hell, and for many people involves the use of some pretty heavy duty drugs?

I don't personally qualify for social security disability ( an option you should check on to see if is a possibility for you) because I was and am self employed and paid myself a draw so the only government option for me is welfare and food stamps.I have not gone there because I am fortunate enough to have assets from real estate pre my injury.

If you are a veteran, do your research about services can be provided there, including your health care. Medical insurance can be a huge expense, and who knows what is going to happen to rates with the new pending laws.

So what about work? It is unlikely you can work full-time, even if you could find such a job, you may find that you can't do the standard 9-5 job physically. I know I can't. I can sit for about 30 minutes at most and then need to move around or lie down. Most bosses are not keen on seeing their employee asleep on the floor!

Being a productive, creative person is important from a mental perspective, not just monetarily. It is part of being alive, so even if you are not in need of a salary, I strongly urge you to find something that is productive and gets you engaged in society. It is crucial to your positive self-esteem, which is a big part of creating a great life.

Give back where you can, and in areas that interest you. Be creative, make a list of what you love to do, and what would get you up jazzed in the morning.

We all have our own interests and gifts- explore them! Write them down and don't throw anyway, even if absurd. This is the brain-storming stage, do this with a friend or family member if you get stuck. The possibilities are unlimited.

Here are some Action Plan options and some suggestions that have worked for me.

1) Work in chunks. I often work at 3 am- 4 am. The pain is bad, I have to turn on my stimulator and get out of bed. I can't be in one position for too long. So instead of lying in bed, I get up and enjoy the quiet time to be productive.

I also chunk the hours I work in the day, and know when I get the most done. Are you a morning person, who fatigues in the afternoon? Plan your day around that, and get things done in the morning. Work with , not against your challenges.

2) Delegate and let others help you. Ask your kids and family for help, and come up with a regular family plan of who does the laundry, the shopping etc. Know what hurts you, don't do it, and accept it. Find someone else to do it.

3) Give up on getting it all done. As my mom used to say, we will all die with dirty laundry in the basket. So what if the shelves are dust? Hate to tell you but the world will not end. Do the triage items that need to get done and LET GO OF THE REST. Admit you have to live your life differently and be kind to yourself around it. Letting go of your own harsh, unattainable self expectations can be some of the biggest challenges, and you are not alone if you struggle with this. I know I have and still do, as do many of my clients.

4) Find work that fits your ability and challenges and need for flexibility. Make up a list of what you are trying to achieve on paper or on your computer. This is part of your ACTION plan. Is it money, to eliminate boredom, to give back or what? All are good reasons, and it will be personal for you. Let your friends and family know about your "Action Plan" and ask for help creating it if you need to.

Some jobs that are in need to name a few, with flexibility are:

Virtual assistants, people who help others deal with medical claims ie fighting the insurance companies when claims are denied, at home call center services, computer advice ie how to use your new mac computer- a much needed service by us, baby boomers, who are just learning how to use their computer or fancy new phone.

Go back to school online, lots more options now than ever before. Get your masters degree, take a few courses, whatever might help you be more desirable in the work force or is of interest to you.

Consulting work, if you have a talent or work history in an area of demand. Much of my coaching and consulting work is done by phone, which I can do lying on the floor, walking around the house etc, with ear phones. Be creative about your options.

Go to the local library or on the internet and see what jobs are in demand, and make up a list that might fit your interests and abilities. Brainstorm with someone and throw everything on the proverbial wall that is an option. Don't hold back!

Then go do something. USE your ACTION Plan, create real tangible deadlines when you will get your goals completed, and have someone, could be your spouse, a coach or friend hold you accountable to meeting these goals. This is called an accountability check point.

Meeting with resistance, internally, is common and normal but work through it. This is what we call in the coaching trade, your gremlins, that nasty self talk we hear in our head that may tell us this is not going work, why bother etc.

I have a great set of these clever fiends, that have some very creative and interesting things to say to make me feel pretty miserable at times.

Ask yourself if these gremlins are serving you in creating your happy, productive life. In my opinion, it is my job to figure out how to live with the **** chronic pain. I won't let it beat me.

If your gremlin negative talk voices aren't helping you, tell them to shut up!

BTW, laying on the couch ALL day watching I Love Lucy re runs all day does not count as a job!

However, it may be part of your rest and break time, if you enjoy it and helps you cope with the pain do it! It is all shades of grey!!!

Hope this was helpful... anyone else have any good tips around this topic?

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