One of the unexpected side effects of starting this blog has been a renewed sense of drive and motivation to start taking charge of my health and try new strategies for recovery. I started this blog as a means to emotionally and mentally process my pain and find new acceptance and meaning in my current life. However, the more I write about my pain and consciously think through what I am experiencing, the more my mind starts turning and thinking of ways to actually beat this in a physical sense.
Of course hope ebbs and flows. Some days I wake up incredibly hopeful that one day this chronic pain will leave my life. Other days are all gloom and doom that my life will be this way forever. But today I find myself hardcore researching my condition and coming up with a new plan. A good plan always makes me happy!
So, the new plan is as follows….
- Dietary changes – As discussed in my previous post, I am planning to take on a strict anti-inflammatory diet, and this means ABSOLUTELY NO CHEATING. The changes I will need to make from my current diet are to cut out all sugar and all oils except olive and coconut oil. No meat, dairy, or refined carbs. Adding in anti-inflammatory foods in a daily shake.
- Write out my Routine and Follow it – Almost every setback I have ever had occurred because I went outside my normal routine. In the moment, I often feel well enough to do an activity, but I am learning that I cannot trust how my body feels. On a rational, intellectual level, I know what my body can handle on any given day. But, my body will lie to me and I will physically feel as though I can handle more activity when in reality this has led to horrible setbacks on multiple occasions. So, I have begun charting out my whole week ahead of time and the activities I am allowed to do in a given day. I am going to try to follow this schedule as closely as I possibly can without going outside of what I have written and see how this goes.
- Move Forward Slowly but Steadily – I am going to try and take a slightly slower approach to adding walking and exercises, which I am hoping will be faster in the long run. When I try to add time to my walks too quickly, I almost always have a setback and have to start from the bottom again. Hopefully slow and steady will win the race. Practically, this will mean I have to walk a distance at least 5 times before adding any time to it. I usually add a minute or two of time when I increase, so progress will likely be excruciatingly slow. But hopefully I will be able to keep my progress if I take this approach.
- Change my Exercise Plan – I recently told my physical therapist that I need a new plan – the exercises I am doing now are not working. I can barely tolerate a high enough level of my current exercises to lead to any changes in muscle strength. So, she suggested that I start focusing more on upper body and arm strengthening exercises that also work to strengthen my core. On top of this, I have done my own research and will be adding a few new exercises that my PT has not suggested yet.
- Solomon’s Seal Herb – I am considering giving this herb/supplement a try. In my research, I saw it recommended for SIJD, as it can work to tighten and heal ligaments. Has anyone used this before, and if so what brand and how did it go for you?
Also, just curious… do I have any readers with SIJD?