In one of the many books I read on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Symptom there was a chapter on relearning. I thought it a strange concept but probably very necessary, as I may very well have to live with this pain for the rest of my life; I had to learn to relearn.
I thought about the concept for many days, I paid close attention to the chairs that I sat in, the way I held my hands on my laptop when I typed or used the touchpad. The way I sat on the sofa. The way I walked. The way I bent when I took the trash bag out of the trash can. The way I picked up things off of the floor. The way I brushed my teeth. The way I lied still.
Extreme? Yes, I thought so too.
I started putting sticky notes places that I would notice I was doing things improperly or hurting from doing it repetitiously. I put one on the cabinet in front of the sink to remind me to stand tall and not slouch, it will cause pain later. It also reminded me to stretch my back by standing as far away from the sink as my arms would let me and bend over and stretch my lower back. It makes it throb less when I sit down later to relax. I put one by my bed to remind me to take my melatonin and do some stretches that will help my muscles relax so I can sleep (youtube has a plethora of these). I put one on my laptop to remind myself to stop every few minutes and stretch my fingers and to NOT crack my knuckles, it’s a horrible habit I picked up as a teen and now my fingers hurt so so very badly. I put notes by my bed to remind myself every night that it’s ok to say no..then it listed all of the things that I had a hard time saying no to before, I read it every night and any other time I was in bed. My house looked like a sticky note factory and the notes and sayings and things that I had on the wall next to my bed looked like a kindergarten art class! But it helped. I don’t need the notes anymore for regular household tasks, but I always, always, always have to be thinking about what I am doing and how I am doing it and whether it’s gonna hurt later because of it. And we wonder why anxiety usually associates itself with us?!