Resilience during pain, injury & illness
Injuries. Pain. Sickness. Chronic health conditions. These are all challenges many of us face on a daily basis. Some people may have had recent surgery, be unwell with a chronic illness or have pain in their body that limits and inhibits their regular exercise and quality of life.
I know how this feels. In fact, I cannot remember a time since my teenage years where I have not had pain in my body. Pain can make us frustrated, it can cause fatigue and for some people, it can cause anxiety and depression. Pain and suffering from illness can cause us to feel hopeless. We think we will never achieve the goals we desire, whether we want to run a marathon, to lose weight or to represent our country in the Olympics. Whatever the goal, pain can cause people to give up. The plague of injuries can do the same, like it did with me. I chose to give up my sport so I could pursue a medical career. On reflection, I don't regret stopping the sport I loved. I would not have studied Physiotherapy and had the opportunity to help so many people if I hadn’t stopped.
Amongst all the pain and illness you may experience, there is HOPE and a purpose, for every situation. I met many incredible doctors, surgeons, physiotherapists and nurses. These people gave me insight into the human body and through this, I gained knowledge that has helped me in my Physiotherapy career. The human body is SO resilient.
There are always other areas of growth in your life too.
My mum and I grew closer through these injuries. I can remember MANY times we sat in doctors’ waiting rooms laughing and laughing uncontrollably, in the silent, sterile environment that these waiting rooms can impose on us. Always the most inappropriate times, we laughed.
Even in the unknown, I felt a sense of comfort knowing my Mum was right beside me laughing. I can remember one day I sat with the doctor who was discussing my injury. I had two stress fractures in both femurs at the same time. In the medical world and amongst athletes, this is relatively significant. The doctor had a dictator in his hand, methodically recording information regarding my injury and plan. Mum noticed his odd looking shoes at the same time I did and we caught each other’s eyes. He didn't smile, just continued to speak into his recording device. We laughed for the rest of the session.
I laughed more than I ever have in my life, in medical waiting rooms.
You will go through experiences in life that at the time make you feel helpless, hopeless and asking why me? Injuries, surgeries and health conditions can steal the joy from a person’s life. I encourage you girls, don’t lose hope. Know in your heart that the challenges and pain will serve their purpose. The blessing in my life is I can now empathise and help those who are in pain. I can walk confidently, into many situations, equipped with confidence and courage.
See the light in every circumstance and never lose faith in the dreams you have. Pain should make you stronger, challenge your thoughts and set you apart from the rest. Remember, you will have weapons to fight any battle. You will be able to take ANYTHING on.
Nothing is more powerful than the mind.
"Pain is DEFINITELY gain".
7 Ways to Overcome Pain in your Life:
Get the professional advice you need- find a doctor, Physiotherapist or healthcare professional you can trust and put a management plan into place.
Always get a second opinion, never settle for one, especially when making a big decision about surgery, medication or a change in your health plan.
LAUGH- find the humor in every situation, no matter how dark or difficult a situation is.
Put preventative actions into place- how can I prevent this from happening to me again? Do I need a coach or someone who has had experience in this area? Think about what the solutions are and put them into action.
Eliminate stresses in your life- stress INCREASES pain.
Eat healthy food. Try to minimise the intake of sugar. Sugar fuels inflammation which can inhibit the healing process.
Relax, breathe, find other ways to exercise that you enjoy. Try something new. Everything you learn in this situation will ultimately contribute to how you handle challenges in the future. It will only ADD to your life.