We have covered a bit of this ground before, and again I urge you to communicate, take the rest (and medicines) you need, and use your coping strategies to get through the stress of the holidays.
But this year is different.
Due to COVID-19, you may be experiencing different stresses, some that are caused by the upturning of all of your carefully laid plans and traditions. No extended family visits, hugs from people you haven’t seen for a long time, and no shared meals for many.
Stress. We know it makes our chronic neuropathic pain worse. Our pain increases as stress rises, which increases pain, which increases stress…and well, you know the rest.
It’s an automated answering system from Hell, with no readily visible pound sign to hit to get a live person on the line. Or is it?
Stress is coming at us from all sides now, from the worries and complications of the pandemic to the feelings and actions we are experiencing about racial equality and equity. We are not alone in our stress by any means, but chronic pain sufferers can be triggered in more than one way by it.
I admit that I resisted counseling at the beginning of my Burning Mouth Syndrome journey. I had an instinctively negative reaction to the assumption that this pain was “all in my head,” or that therapy could or would help. It also felt suspiciously like I was getting shuffled off into the “menopausal female” box where any aches or pains or issues were part of the incredibly mysterious malady that seemed to be menopause. As a strong and independent female, I rejected this categorization and marginalization and started fighting back.
The holidays are here and you are rushing around picking out gifts for those you love, preparing for travel or for travelers, and many of you may be under more stress than usual. As all of us who suffer from Burning Mouth Syndrome or other chronic pain conditions know, stress is not our friend.
What can you do to cope with the gulf that may exist between what you want to do and what you can do?
As I described in a previous post (Weighty Decisions-Life with BMS), Burning Mouth Syndrome has added weight to my body, mostly from stress, but also because eating feels good. The pain stops momentarily, and after a meal, for even up to thirty minutes or so. Unfortunately, that means that we are tempted to eat too often and too much. Continue reading →
It was a dream proposal (at the highest lookout of Kauai’s Waimea Canyon) and it will be a dream wedding next fall. They are wonderful young people who have loved each other for nearly seven years, and the next stage of their lives together is right around the corner!
I, like many of my fellow Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) sufferers, have put on weight from the stress of chronic pain and the transient relief of eating. I have resolved to change that trend, both for my health and to feel better about myself. Continue reading →