Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chronic Babe Bloggers' Blog Carnival (Favorite and Most-Useful Coping Mechanisms)

I'm hosting the Chronic Babe Bloggers' Blog Carnival on a topic very near and dear to those of us with chronic illness - how to cope when things get too painful/overwhelming.  Here are the ideas that were sent to me!

Diana Lee at Somebody Heal Me: The Musings of a Chronic Migraineur posts about her love of the NCAA March Madness, and how getting swept up in something that isn't daily life can help distract from the daily challenges at http://somebodyhealme.dianalee.net/2010/03/tournament-time-helps-my-sad-sack-guilt.html.

Assiya at For A Fairer Today writes about how studying disability has empowered her to embrace her illness and stand up for her rights at http://fairertoday.blogspot.com/2010/03/studying-disability-my-coping-skill.html.

Selena at Oh My Aches and Pains writes about how she has learned to make various parts of her life fibro-friendly (especially gardening!) at http://www.ohmyachesandpains.info/2010/03/my-favorite-fibromyalgia-coping.html

Vladimir at Wellbook Blog writes about his four favorite coping mechanisms for chronic illness at http://wellbook.org/Note/325/My_Coping_Mechanisms.

Maureen at Mo Is Blogging...I Think writes her list of things she has accepted will never be the same and how she deals with this change at http://moisbloggingithink.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/love-me-the-way-i-am/.

Elisabeth at Redefining Good has a wonderful list of her guaranteed cheer up practices!  I'll have to try some of these out!  Read the post at http://redefininggood.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/coping/.

As for my own personal favorite and most-useful coping mechanisms:
  • Taking a hot bath.  I find harsh temperature changes too much to deal with though, so I start by plugging the bathtub and then sit in the shower for awhile.  Once my body gets used to the heat, I fill the rest of the bathtub with warmer water :)
(If only I looked this good doing it!)
  • Watching good movies/bad tv/reading.  Unfortunately, the more sick I feel and the more pain I am in, the less attention I can commit to this endeavor.  I'm thinking I might start trying to get my hands on some audiobooks soon.
  • I have a very restricted diet.  I have Celiac Disease and something that is resembling gastroparesis.  Since I eat only soft food, I will try to have a special treat of dark chocolate and a nice cheese throughout the course of the day so it feels a little more special.
  • Trying to daydream my way through the pain.  Or dreaming of eating some of the foods I can't eat.  Or taking vacations.  Anything to help me cope with my limitations.  
(Images from WeHeartIt)
  • When REALLY sick, I plug in my iPod and just try to lay still and let the music distract my brain from the pain.
  • Pills.  I know this is a bad coping skill (habit), but I often see no other options.  When everything else has failed and you are too uncomfortable to consider that continuing living is a reasonable option, you take some pills.  I do what I have to do to survive.
Now I want suggestions people!!!  If you have any good coping mechanisms that you want to share, please do so in the comments - I always need new ideas!



Vladimir Levin said...

I would love to find out what you think about my question for Duncan's PFAM20 Carnival (http://wellbook.org/Note/334/Patients_for_a_Moment._The_question_for_next_week.). I think they pair up great, because your question is about coping, and mine is about longer-term adapting your goals and what you do in life. It would be so cool if you could write something separate about that!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a tub of my own.



Annie said...

I would love to write something Vladimir :)

Happy said...

I wish I had a shower... ^.^

Coping mechanisms:

1. Snuggling with my dog. She is my anchor. I have to pay someone else to take her on walks, since I'm no longer able, but she loves me anyway.

2. Going through my 'favorites' list on youtube. There's a kitty on a roomba that never fails to make me giggle.

3. Reading books, when I can, or listening to audiobooks when I can't read. My local library has a home delivery service run by volunteers, and they bring me a mix of both types. Also librivox.org has hundreds of audiobooks available for free.

4. Playing Civilization for a while. Computer games aren't a vice, they're good brain exercise!

5. Laughing at the brain fog. Really, there's just no other way to deal with it.

Happyturtle (CFS/ME patient)

Shelli said...

I ran across this yesterday and thought of you. Maybe you've already tried it, or maybe not -- it could be helpful?


Forgetful Girl said...

I completely forgot about the blog carnival. Damn it! I've had a few busy days and it went out of my head. Got a few new ideas now- thanks for hosting all the linkys.

Vladimir Levin said...

Thanks Annie! Yay!

Dana Marton said...

I got mixed up with the dates and forgot to submit my blog. I had my rough draft written and everything. I guess it's the fibro fog, chemo brain, etc. IDK, pick one. You can still read it if you'd like. Thanks for hosting. Dana


KD said...

Thanks for hosting this.

I enjoyed reading the submissions.

My coping ideas include heat therapy, Epsom Salts, my honey, my cat, fresh air and sunshine,


Selena said...

Hi Annie,

Thanks for hosting the blog carnival and including my post. Also thanks for adding me to the list of Chronic Babe bloggers over at the Chronic Babe forum. Thanks sweetie! :-)

I can't wait to read all the posts you have featured.

Hope you are doing O.K. too.

Sherrie Sisk said...

Great job at this! I found you via an earlier CB carnival iteration, and have added your site to my own Google Reader feeds, and will also be adding you to the Tramadol Diaries Resources page.

Hayzell said...

Great selection of blogs and beautiful website by the way. I just wanted to say that you don't need to feel guilty about using medication for pain. Especially if you're using it appropriately. Having pain is no fun and having as many options as possible can be a good thing.

Many (gentle) hugs to you.