Parenting Tips When You Have Chronic Pain

If you’re living with chronic pain, you probably have some days that are fairly normal while other days, it might be hard to get out of bed. If you have kids, coping with chronic pain makes it hard to be the best parent you can be. The good news, it isn’t impossible.

Consider Using Medical Marijuana

While more evidence is needed to confirm the effectiveness and safety of cannabis, some people believe that its components may help relieve chronic pain, especially the kind that results from inflammation and nerve damage. It’s becoming a popular alternative to opioids and other medications. You can get a medical marijuana card in New York online so you can legally try cannabis for yourself. There are lots of strains available, and each one can have different effects.

Talk to Your Child

When you have chronic pain, the family dynamic can be reversed. If your child is old enough, it might seem like they’re the one taking care of you, especially if you can’t get out of bed some days. It can make the relationship very stressful. The best way to fight stress is to talk to your child about how you feel. It’s hard on kids to see you in pain, and they want reassurance and information. Don’t try to hide your condition. Have an honest, age-appropriate conversation. You’ll probably have to talk to them several times to reinforce your messages. Explain that you can’t do everything that other parents can do and let them know what it means. Your child needs reassurance that you won’t die and that your condition isn’t contagious. While letting them help can make them feel important, don’t let them turn into your caregiver. They aren't nurses or doctors.

Parent Through Your Pain

You don’t want to push yourself so hard that the pain debilitates you, but you still want to be as active as a parent as possible. Remember that your attention and time are more important to your child than what you can or can’t do. Even if you can’t greet them downstairs, they can still come into your room and talk about their day at school. Try planning ahead of time. For example, if you want to do an important activity with your child, take it easy for several days before the event. If needed, pre-medicate before being more active on a given day. That can keep the pain under control before it gets worse.

Focus more on what you can do than what you can’t. For example, you might not be able to go rock-climbing, but you can still watch your child do it. You might be able to handle a short swim or walk around the neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community, church, or family. If you know other parents dealing with chronic pain, that’s even better. Trade days. When you’re feeling bad, the other parent can take the kids, and when they don’t feel great, you can take them for the day.


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