Chronic Pain Changed how I Plan and it Helps 

I plan differently than others because there are things I didn’t ever consider before my injuries and illness that I must consider now, such as; recovery time, stamina, energy levels, pain levels, other obligations coming up, medication, stretching, rest periods and a partridge in pear tree. 

To give a recent example, I planned to attend a close friend’s wedding in Invermere BC a couple weeks ago. I frequently visit the nearby town of Radium and have an idea of how I generally feel after the 3 hour drive.

So, cotton to patterns past, I booked two nights instead of one. This way we could spend a little more time with friends and I would have more time to rest and recover.

During the two and a half days we were there I socialized more, did more, and had more fun than in a very long time.  I also paid a steep price pain-wise. Recovery for two and a half days was a little over a week.

Please do not misunderstand, I absolutely wanted to be at that wedding and support a longtime gap-pal in every way I possibly could. It was a lovely event and I enjoyed every moment of it. 

In fact,  I managed to help my close friend with a bit of wedding decor, I hot tubbed, ate out at a few restaurants, attended the wedding, and even attempted to dance for one song. I was so thrilled with how I held up and proud for doing something outside my comfort zone.

I didn’t go into the event blindly though. I took the following measures to make sure I was giving myself my best chance to enjoy myself and not be overwhelmed emotionally and/or physically;

1.I scheduled three stops along the drive to stretch and walk and stand a bit as I have great difficulty sitting for any period much beyond 20 minutes. 

 I made sure I did not suffer the whole 3 hour drive without breaks because, from experience, I know it leaves me in an immense amount of physical pain. Choosing to plan breaks set me up for a more energetic start once we arrived. 

2. I stretched. A lot.

3. The bride was kind enough to assign me a few tasks I felt confident doing as I desperately wanted to help but also know I can’t always be relied upon for time-sensitive tasks, or physical labour. 

Being included in the details made me feel as though I had contributed in some way to such a major and happy event in her life – also I owe her big time from my wedding. Let’s just say she literally worked so hard she bled for me and I only paid her with wine😉

4. I scheduled breaks into the wedding day. The event was all held at the same resort so I knew ahead of time I could go lie down in our room during the photography session and some of the pre-dinner mingling. 

I also lay down after the speeches and watching the first few dances. This made such a difference in that I was able to go back to the reception for another hour or two before leaving after getting to see a lot of great friends and check in on their lives❤

5. Most importantly I gave myself permission to take the breaks I needed whenever I needed them without guilt or feeling like a failure for not lasting longer.

Yes, as I mentioned, it took about a week to fully regain pain control and get the extra rest my body wouldn’t let me go without but I’m still calling this a huge win! 

I’m hoping the more I implement planning and reasonable limits into my life the more I can enjoy myself and share enjoyment in the lives of others.


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