Regardless of whether or not you get the flu shot, people with chronic pain are still getting the flu. What can we do when we have chronic pain AND are sick with an acute illness on top of it?
Plan of Action
|Acquire some knowledge||Flu shot, yes or no? Do your diligent research! Don’t just leave it up to the news and doctors to tell you what you should do. Getting a flu shot is an independent choice. If you’re not sure, hold off and do some more research until you’re comfortable with your decision. Yes, there is the public health side, but make sure you’re reviewing your facts based on actual studies (not fear). Did you know you can look up scholarly articles on Google Scholar?|
|Prevention||How do we keep our bodies at their best? When we pay attention to nutrition, exercise, fresh air, drinking enough water, and making sure we get enough rest, that goes a long way. Some people even take additional herbs and supplements during the cold and flu season (like fire cider or elderberry syrup). We recommend that you always consult with a holistic professional before you use herbs, essential oils, or supplements (naturopath, herbalist, clinical aromatherapist).|
|Rest||What is one of the first things that those of us with chronic pain do when we notice a pain flare up coming on? REST! Yes, if you feel like you’re coming down with something, maybe think twice about going into work or running that extra errand. If we’re spacing out our activities because of our chronic pain, it is a good idea to continue doing that but slow down even more. Beware of negative thoughts that creep in like “I will never get anything done!” or “I might get fired because I’ve already missed too much time from work!”. When we continue to ignore our body, we’re of no help to ourselves or others. Especially if we’re sick with the flu and struggling with a big pain flare on top of it. Plus, nobody wants us spreading sick germs! So if you’re sick, stay home!|
|Stretch||If you’re sick, continue to do regular stretches and physical therapy exercises (unless otherwise instructed by a doctor). I know that when my body is totally inactive, my soreness and aching comes back with a vengeance.|
|Have fun||This may sound crazy, because, who is going to have fun when they’re lying in bed with a fever of 102, right? If you get the flu, you can’t do much anyway. Why not embrace the moment with some reading, journaling, puzzles, or knitting. Catch up on some movies or TV shows that you have been dying to see and binge on guilt free.|
What other ideas do you have for managing influenza and chronic pain symptoms at the same time?