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Article by Kelly (Cont.)

The idea of pain “for the rest of my life” didn’t sink in right away. I dove into a cocktail of different prescribed medications to mask the pain, and tried to live my life as I always had. I walked a Half-Marathons, traveled, and pursued my career in public relations.

The drugs slowly drove me into an eternal and irritable fog; I was in a constant state of fatigue and despite the drugs, my body still hurt. Functioning daily became a chore, not second nature.

This is when looking ahead is more important than looking to the past.

Today, I am putting together pieces of the puzzle to create a healthy foundation to live my life. My acupuncturist helps maintain my overall health through acupuncture and herbs, but she also treats my pain. My neurologist who is both a board-certified MD and certified in holistic medicine believes in treating the body as a whole. I use medication and a handful of doctors from spinal surgeons to physical therapists. I also believe the food I eat affects how I feel overall. I am very conscious about what I eat, and I drink water like it is going out of style!

I try to maintain an active workout schedule. Most important to my overall wellness is my time spent at  Pilates Central. Chronic pain not only affects the area of damage, but the wellness and stability of the rest of your body. Pilates helps me keep my body strong! There are days that I feel like that 80-year old woman, but through Pilates, I am able to return to my 30-year old body after a reformer session or mat class.  I also do water aerobics and use the exercise bike and treadmill as my body allows.

None of this is easy, nor do I follow all of “my rules” every day, but my hope is that all of this will help me create a healthy foundation for living with chronic pain. I know my pain will never completely go away, but if I can keep the pieces of my puzzle together I know I will go a long way.