Living with chronic pain

Caitlin M<sup>c</sup>Ginnis

Caitlin McGinnis

I do yoga to stretch and strengthen my muscles. I’ve started using essential oils as there is a lot of research behind oils helping with chronic pain and gastrointestinal issues.

Living with chronic pain can be debilitating. I hope many of you don’t experience this. I had 8 abdominal surgeries within a year and a half period. I wish I could go back to try and correct my posture and work on my physical status right afterwards. Here I am 7 years later with (sometimes) excruciating neck and back pain. I can only attribute the pain to my poor posture and muscle weakness despite my days at the gym and doing yoga.

Dealing with chronic pain is exhausting physically and mentally. My neck and upper back pain have been so bad lately that it’s starting to impact my quality of life and my daily activities. Self-care is so important. I take a lot of pain medication (Tylenol, Advil) to alleviate the pain but it’s still there. I do yoga to stretch and strengthen my muscles. I’ve started using essential oils as there is a lot of research behind oils helping with chronic pain and gastrointestinal issues. It doesn’t heal these but causes the body to go into homeostasis and will hopefully improve symptoms.

I also see a therapist who happens to have an ostomy as well. I am trying to do all the “right” things to take care of myself. All those things can be hard when you are living with constant pain. Having an ostomy cured my UC but brought on a number of other health issues. I keep reminding myself that I am so grateful to be alive and healthy but I also remind myself that it’s okay to feel bad for yourself and to cry or be angry/sad.

Meet Caitlin

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