Eight-Week Mindfulness and Meditation Journey
Today, my space opens up to a new venture; and, I want to thank imaniking for her blogging platform, Freedom Friday, to launch this 8-week journey to control and manage my chronic pain condition through mindfulness and meditation.
After reading both the paperback and listening to the audio of the book, “You Are Not Your Pain,” by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penma, I made a personal commitment to give their 8-week program a try; and, to hold myself accountable I pledge to journal about this experience weekly on Freedom Friday.
Prescribed medications and physician care will always be a part of my chronic pain treatment plan; but, I am anxious to find out if adding these new mindfulness and meditation practices will make a difference..
My Chronic Pain History
Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1993, the severe pain I experienced forced me to leave my career of twenty years. In 1996, I returned to the workforce; and, until 2008, with the exception of rare flare-ups, I managed my pain levels with prescribed medications and an exercise routine.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, I was told it was likely related to side-effects of the prescribed medication which had managed my Rheumatoid Arthritis for many years. The medication was discontinued, but the oncologist assured me that the RA pain would be managed with chemotherapy treatment.
While I no longer experienced RA pain, I did have a side-effect to the chemotherapy and ended up with a new pain diagnosis, Peripheral Neuropathy.
After I completed breast cancer treatment, my oncologist and rheumatologist conferred, searched, identified and agreed on a new drug to treat my RA pain. Within days after the first infusion of this drug, I was:
- diagnosed with epiglottis;
- hospitalized for weeks;
- intubated for five days;
- released from hospital; and,
- diagnosed with a new condition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
With COPD, nebulizers and inhalers entered my space but they never adequately controlled the coughing and breathing problems. Following two hospitalizations (2012 and 2013) because of severe bronchitis, it was determined that another RA medication I had taken for more than twenty years was attacking my lungs and the drug was discontinued.
My track record with medication hasn’t been great. While I will continue my current medications, I am not open to new ones. And, my rheumatologist hasn’t suggested or prescribed anything new since the epiglottis diagnosis.
Let the Journey Begin
Over the next week, I will complete:
- Two 10-minute program meditations, daily;
- Spend a little time with nature, daily; and
- Spend 1 Hour with nature, on one day.
To better control pain levels as well as improve the quality of my life, I am committed to:
- strengthening my current mindfulness and meditation practices through this 8-week program;
- continuing my current prescribed medications and health care regime; and,
- following my own Chronic Pain Self-Management Program
- Nutrition and Diet
- Healthy Sleep Habits
- Spiritual Uplifting