My fiancé is a DIDO worker. He’s currently working a 4 1/2 hour drive from home. Gone for 8 days, home for 3 (2 full days and a half day either side). When we first started dating, my fiancé told me that the partners of the men he works with send them photos – you know, those kinds of photos – while they are away. I immediately said I would never do such a thing and haven’t looked back.
Fast forward to last Wednesday morning. I sent my fiancé a photo of myself in bed. Less than a minute later, he called. “How bad is it? Just the knee or from the hips down? Have you taken your meds? What about your cream stuff, I forgot to ask you that last night. Have you put that on? Smother it all over. Can you get into town for a massage? What about a bath. Run yourself a bath.”
You see the photo I sent my fiancé was of myself, lying in bed, one pyjama leg rolled up to reveal a couple of tens pads working away on my knee. Sexy, yes? Okay, maybe not. But my fiancé’s response. Extremely sexy. I wasn’t expecting the call. In fact, as he’s not allowed his phone on him while he’s working, I didn’t expect him to see the photo for a few hours. Turns out, I caught him on smoko and, like the brilliant man he is, he whipped straight into action ensuring I had everything I needed to help reduce my pain. One thing my fiancé knows about me is that, when it comes to my pain, I forget things. I’m not just taking fibro fog here. Whether I’m at the beginning, middle or end of a particularly bad flare, I forget things that could actually help. It always doesn’t cross my mind to get out the tens machine or the heat pad. More often than not, the thought of taking extra meds completely skips my mind. And so, knowing this about me, my wonderful fiancé is there listing off all of the things I hide away in my pain toolkit for times just like this.
While it’s great to know that my fiancé is on top of things even when I’m not. I also don’t want to rely on him all of the time. I like being able to manage certain things myself. Let’s face it, I rely on him a lot already. So, what can I do when my memory fails me? Well, it’s funny you should ask. During my time in a pain clinic last year, the OT had each of us make a pain chart. Not a ‘on a scale of 1 to 10’ kind of chart. An actual useful tool that helped me to think about how I manage my pain at varying degrees and what I do when times are particularly difficult.
Having made the chart nearly 18 months ago now, I thought it was time for an update so have dusted it off, deleted some things (great techniques but one’s I don’t use) and added in a few new ones I have picked up over the last year and a bit. Having said that, it’s 5.30am in the morning and I have been awake since 2am (thanks, painsomnia!) so I have probably forgotten a lot!
Anyway, I have a laminated copy of this on my fridge so it’s always visible. It helps me when times are hard (I often even forget I have the chart but I very rarely forget to eat so keeping it on the fridge is a must), I hope it helps you.