Many parents struggle to keep up with their children, but this becomes a whole new ball game when you are diagnosed with a condition that causes chronic pain. Chronic pain can affect several parts of your life and being a parent is one of these. Ensuring your children understand your condition and why you are in pain is just one way to feel supported as a parent with chronic pain. If you are about to be a parent, or perhaps already are one, and you are suffering from chronic pain, here is how you can prevent it from taking over your life as a parent.
Talk to Your Children
You should never hide how you are feeling from your child. Even from an early age, children know when their parents are not right. If they are aware of your condition from infancy, even if they do not fully understand it, they are more likely to help out and understand as they get older. Most children just want to understand what is wrong and be reassured.
Explaining your diagnosis and pain in an age-appropriate manner is one way to begin to deal with the issue. Give them information about the condition and be open and honest. Although it can feel like the roles are reversed as a parent with chronic pain, if your child wants to help, let them.
There is a difference between your child doing little things and them becoming your primary caregiver. Allowing them to help out can promote their independence. It is also a good idea to reassure your child. Knowing that your condition isn’t going to make you die is incredibly important for young children to understand to prevent them from getting unnecessarily worried.
Parenting with Chronic Pain
Many parents who suffer from chronic pain can feel guilty and attempt to do activities even if it means they are worsening their pain. Inevitably this is no good for anyone, as you may cause more harm and leave yourself in more pain than you can manage. Planning activities that are suitable in advance will allow you to rest and prepare beforehand. Having a backup plan or another adult with you in case you become too ill to stay is always a good idea too.
Medicating before you are in pain rather than after you are already experiencing it makes it easier to control your pain. If you are going to be participating in any form of activity which you know will be hard for you, pre-medicate ahead of time. It is very important as a parent suffering from chronic pain to focus on the good, rather than the bad.
Overthinking all of the things you cannot do with your children will only make you upset. Instead, find compromises and think about things you can do together. For example, you may not be able to go ice skating with your child, but you can take them along with a friend and watch whilst they still get to have fun. Children may be a little upset that mummy cannot join in, but they are never going to resent you for something that cannot be controlled. If you are a single parent, ask for help from friends, family or other parents.
Treatments for Chronic Pain
If you have been diagnosed with a condition that can cause chronic pain, your doctor may have discussed some treatments with you. One of the biggest treatments for chronic pain is pain medications. These can limit the amount of pain you can feel from your condition, but there are many other ways in which to help limit your pain and improve your quality of life with your children.
Exercise is really important for those with chronic pain, even if it is just minimal movements. The longer we stay still to avoid pain, the more our muscles and joints stiffen up, meaning it becomes a vicious cycle for those with chronic pain. There are many alternative therapies out there that can be used alongside medical treatments.
If you are suffering from a condition such as osteoarthritis which can cause chronic pain, you may want to consider seeing a chiropractor. London Back Pain Clinic are one of the most recommended and they offer chiropractic therapy to alleviate the pains and improve mobility for many ailments and conditions. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, you can get more information on their website. The specialists here get to know you and your diagnosis to ensure they give the best treatment necessary to help alleviate your pain and allow you to focus on being a parent.
One of the main things you should remember as a parent is to never feel guilty about missing out. Your chronic pain is something that cannot be helped. Therefore, doing what you can and being there for your child is the most important thing you can do.