My Lupus Diagnosis Does Not Define Me!

My lupus diagnosis and my pain defined me.

I allowed my Lupus diagnosis to define me. Take Courage Coaching helped me discover how to manage my chronic pain! With the help of my pain coach I learned essential tools and resources that worked to set me free from the grip of pain. Today, my Lupus diagnosis does not define me!

My first alarm goes off at 4 am, and the second one is at 5. Of course, to some people, it might seem crazy to wake up this early, but that is the time I use to center myself and prepare for my day. I drink my coffee, shower, and take care of myself with this scheduled quiet time. Life hasn’t always been this structured. Thus, I have found, that structure helps me a great deal when it comes to managing my pain. Continue reading…My Lupus Diagnosis Does Not Define Me!

To illustrate, I used to define myself by my illness, which is Lupus. My diagnosis DID define me. My body was attacking itself and it seemed that my mind was under siege too. As a result, I was wracked with fatigue, brain fog, skin problems, back problems, and I was taking so many medications that I could barely function. Moreover, I never knew when my body would react, so I decided it was safer to stay home. At least at home I wouldn’t injure myself. In fact, much of the time I just stayed in bed. In short, I felt trapped in my own body, unable to live my life.

On too many medications…I felt like a zombie.

It’s no fun trying to function when you don’t have any stamina. I rarely felt good. I had gone to clinics, done treatments, and was on too many medications. Nothing seemed to work for me. Doctors couldn’t figure out why I was so tired, so sick. So, I disabled myself. Most of my days were sick days, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t know how to use the tools I had learned in other programs. Most importantly, I didn’t have anyone to help me manage my physical and emotional pain!

This is my story about living with chronic pain and Lupus. My journey with Take Courage Coaching started out as a client. I sought relief for the intense pain I had experienced for many years. As a result of taking opioids for many years, I developed hyperalgesia, or over-sensitivity to pain. It is common when opioids are taken long term to treat pain. Despite my debilitating experience with pain, I’m now a pain coach, using my knowledge to help guide others to find ways to better manage their own pain experience. Take Courage Coaching’s NBHWC -accredited Health and Wellness Coach Training program focuses on pain coaching, click here to read more success stories.

Coach Delica Shares 3 Life Hacks to Overcome Pain

When I participated in Take Courage Coaching’s unique pain coaching program it changed my life.  Finally, I was able to grasp and understand all the tools better and was no longer overwhelmed by all the information. With the help of my pain coach and my group members, I found the support I needed and learned how to use the tools in my everyday life. Consequently, they helped me find relief by taking control of my stress, making healthy eating choices, and taking care of myself the best that I can.

As a result, over time I have managed to get off most of my pain medications.  Equally important, with the new coping skills I learned, I was better able to manage my pain. NOW my diagnosis does NOT define me. Here are some of the tools that have helped me:

Image shows tennis shoe clad feet walking along rain cleansed suburban sidewalk - illustrating that walking and moving helps reduce pain.

  1. Pacing. I know how much energy I get to spend in a day, depending on the activity. It is like I have an internal meter. I listen to my body to know when I should take a break and I also utilize the energy that I have.
  2. Self-care and self-compassion. I’m not devastated by my injury or diagnosis anymore. I take care of myself the best that I can and speak to myself kindly. When I take the time to take care of my body and mind I find that I’m better able to deal with the problems that are in front of me.
  3. Planning. I make sure I wake up at the same time every morning and that I use that quiet time to take care of myself and plan out my day. This helps me structure my time, manage my energy and allows me to better cope with my pain and life’s problems.

My Best Self  is NOW in Focus

Now, I don’t think twice about taking a trip. My fear surrounding traveling is gone. My Lupus diagnosis does not define me! I’m no longer afraid of injuring myself. Take Courage Coaching helped me learn how to manage my pain! This week I get to go see my oldest daughter, who is having her first baby and my sixth grandbaby. I’ve visited the Lewis and Clark Caverns and enjoyed spending time with my family and seeing the beauty there.

Learning to Succeed With Lupus and Chronic Pain

Most importantly, I learned to be proud of myself because I was able to do it. That confidence just kept building and building. In addition, I’ve also been able to go back to work. I have built up the energy to work and take care of myself. This is something I didn’t think that I could do before. I started to take care of my brain and body. So, I discovered along the way that my diagnosis doesn’t matter! I don’t focus on the diagnosis and the symptoms; I focus on my best self. Me. Today. Best of all, My Lupus diagnosis does not define me!

For more information about our pain coaching program, click here.

Pain Coaching Helps You Rediscover A Life You Love

In conclusion, my story is just one example of what we’ve discovered at Take Courage Coaching…a medical diagnosis doesn’t define you. You do not have to become the diagnosis, losing yourself in chronic pain or the process. I got ME back. It’s not that pain doesn’t happen. Don’t allow your illness or injury to define you. Recovery is easier, pain management comes naturally, a life worth living is more valuable. Quite simply Take Courage Coaching helps you learn to better manage your pain.

Learn how to get more value out of life like Delica: Click to read more client stories:
For more information about hyperalgesia, read:  “A comprehensive review of opioid-induced hyperalgesia” Lee M, Silverman SM, Hansen H, Patel VB, Manchikanti L. A comprehensive review of opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Pain Physician. 2011;14(2):145-161.

About the Author: Becky Curtis

After a horrific car accident nearly took her life and her own long and complex recovery journey, Becky has assembled a vibrant team of specially-trained coaches—healthcare professionals who have gained proficiency in teaching and coaching, many who live successfully with chronic pain. Becky travels extensively to speak about the role of health coaching in pain management and has been a regular speaker at PAINWeek®, and many other conferences, in addition to coaching and managing TCC’s program. She lives in Utah with her husband and dog, Quigley.

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