Chronic Pain and the Flu Posted January 17, 2013 by Jen


Chronic Pain and the Flu - tea, fruit, medicineQuestion for all the Pain Campers out there: flu shot or not? For the past several years I’ve decided against the flu shot. I made this decision long before my chronic pain related diagnoses. With all of the information out there, it is hard to know the real “truth”. Regardless of a 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?

Pain Camper Plan of Action

Acquire some knowledge 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). There is some new information out there and some pain docs are recommending that their fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients do NOT get the shot because of the risk for a severe flare. Did you know you can look up scholarly articles on Google Scholar?
Rest What is one of the first things that us Pain Campers 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 Sneaky Serenity Suckers, “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.
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. 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.

Pain Camp is a safe place to share your thoughts, experience, strength and hope.What is you decision about getting the flu shot? If you’ve get the flu shot, have you had any pain flare ups associated with it? How do you cope when you have chronic pain AND are sick?


  • Shannon January 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    No flu shot! I’ve got so many meds in my system as is, I don’t want more crap that shouldn’t be in there to add to the mix. What I mean by that is, none of this stuff is supposed to be in my body already. Sure, some of it helps me keep functioning and stay (mostly) coherent lol. However, the older I get, the more concerned I am about using natural products and methods to cure what ails me. Except the pain meds, it’ll be a frosty day in hell before I give up the help they give me. Even knowing that there may be very negative long term issues later in life. Chronic pain is something I should not have to suffer and I’ll take all the help I can get!


    • camperjen January 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Dear Pain Camper Shannon, thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope! I too have been looking for natural and alternative products and methods to help with my symptoms. Over time I’ve come to realize there has to be a balance (between Western medicine and Alternative and Complementary Medicine) and that is what is right for me and my body may not be right for everyone else with the same pain issues. Thanks again for your visit to Pain Camp today! We wish you health and serenity on your journey! Peace & Blessings (& Flowers!), Camper Jen


Leave a Comment