5 Things I Can't Live Without - Life with Chronic Illness



If you follow me on Twitter or have read my past health diary posts, you'll know I have a Chronic Illness called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The condition (of which there is more than 1 type) causes extreme joint pain, chronic fatigue and is often linked with many other health conditions and complications. Although my condition cannot be cured, there are aids that help with everyday life that I now just simply couldn't live without. I thought it would be great to share my tips with other Chronic Illness warriors or anyone struggling with their health.

TENS Machine A TENS machine is a small electronic device which emits electrical impulses through electrodes and into the body. It works by sending pulses along the nerve strands which help prevent pain signals reaching the brain. You're likely to experience a tingly sensation which can feel strange for first time, newbie users.

I use a TENS machine regularly on my back, shoulders and lower abdomen and it really helps to lessen muscle pain around the joints and ease period cramping. You're able to adjust the machine from 1 to 10 depending on your level of pain. The machine I purchased has variable pulse rates and pulse widths so you're able to adjust to your specific needs. Most come with different modes including constant & modulation which gives you even more control. The machine can be clipped to your clothing and worn throughout the day, under clothes discreetly. I rely on my TENS so much as it helps keep me away from taking prescribed painkillers everyday. I purchased mine here.

Electric Heat Pad Heat helps ease my joint pain more than anything else and before I discovered heat pads, I was getting fed up of having to refill a hot water bottle every 15 minutes. A heat pad presents the same comfort and warmth of a hot water bottle with the benefit of lasting heat. They're usually rectangle in shape although there are others on the market targeted to specific areas of the body. Often quilted, they are super comfortable to hold close, lay on or wrap around you. 

I've worked my way through a couple of brands over the last couple of years and because of the great amount of use, they last no longer than 2/3 months.

I'm currently using this Heat Pad and I love how comfortable the outer fleece cover is. The control panel is large in size making it incredibly user friendly for anyone who suffers finger joint pain or Arthritis. I honestly cannot recommend Heat Pads enough, they are magical!

Tisserand Aromatherapy Roller Balls I received a set of roller balls as a gift last Christmas and I've made good use of them in the last 6 months. I received De-Stress, Pause and Harmony. As the names suggest, they all have a unique blend that is suited to the bodies specific "need". Due to anxiety and joint pain, I often find it difficult to fall asleep and the De-Stress blend helps me to relax and to forget about the days woes. I apply this to my temples, wrists and behind my ears just before going to bed.

Tisserand have many other blends on the market, you won't struggle to find a blend that suits your needs.

Magnesium Bath Flakes It's no secret that over 90% of us have some sort of Magnesium deficiency and a quick online search will show you the many symptoms related to low levels. It's crazy to think that one mineral can affect the body in so many ways. As someone who lives with Chronic Illness, Magnesium plays a big part in my life and basically, keeps me going. I add a handful of flakes with a few drops of essential oils (whatever I fancy!) to a hot bath and relax. For me, it works wonders with joint pain, chronic fatigue and headaches. You can buy flakes from most online health shops and if you're quick, you can sometimes pick them up in TK Maxx for a really reasonable price.

Memory Foam Pillow This may be an obvious one but I'm still going to shout about it. Neck and back pain is a real struggle for me when I'm trying to fall asleep. I often found myself waking up with an incredibly stiff neck, unable to move freely which then caused tension headaches. Since I switched over to a memory foam pillow, I've seen a significant improvement and I feel a lot more supported. I think sometimes we get "attached" to our old, limp pillows but the reality is, they offer little or no support to our neck and shoulders. Nowadays, memory foam is a lot more affordable and I picked mine up from Matalan for a very reasonable price. It's time to let go of that old pillow!

I would love to hear what works for you, please leave a comment below!


18 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this post! I suffer from beck and back problems and that memory foam pillow sounds like heaven. Need to get one myself!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I'm glad it's useful to you! X

      Delete
  2. I don't suffer with a chronic illness, but I definitely use a few of the things mentioned in this post for a number of things! Somebody actually suggested using a tens machine as I'm currently suffering from a fairly bad trapped nerve!
    Lots of Love, Debra-Bow xxx
    www.debrabow.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment Debra and I'm sorry to hear you're suffering. I hope you get some relief from a tens machine, they are great things! X

      Delete
  3. I don't suffer from a chronic illness but I do use a memory foam pillow they're so comfy and just great! I love the sound of the bath flakes too x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are the best! Let me know if you try the bath salts x

      Delete
  4. This was a really interesting read - I often get back and neck pain so I'm going to need to invest in some magnesium flakes next time :)
    ♥ Fran - frannymac.com xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Hopefully they will bring you some relief x

      Delete
  5. this was such a nice read and I'm proud of you for sharing. xx
    http://www.lifeascaitlin.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caitlin, that's very kind of you! x

      Delete
  6. I don't suffer from chronic illness, in fact I barely ever get any pains in my body, so it breaks my heart to hear that some people have to go through that </3 my husband has problems with his sciatic nerve which causes his lower back to hurt most of the time and he is often in so much pain that he can't walk :( i think i will get him the tens machine soon as he is allergic to most painkillers

    www.agnesehadebe.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Agnese and your kind comments. A Tens machine should work wonder for the sciatic nerve, let me know how it goes! X

      Delete
  7. I'm so happy that you are open about topics like this. It's so helpful for people who are too scared to talk about it and need some advice.

    Chloe, MySecondAttempt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chloe, there is definitely a stigma with Chronic Illness that needs to be broken! X

      Delete
  8. Such an interesting post Kerry. I don't suffer from an illness like this, but it's so interesting to see what works for you. I'm glad that you've managed to find ways that help you :)

    Kayleigh x
    http://hazelnutmusings.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks lovely, I'm glad you enjoyed reading! X

      Delete
  9. Such an interesting post Kerry. I don't suffer from an illness like this, but it's so interesting to see what works for you. I'm glad that you've managed to find ways that help you :)

    Kayleigh x
    http://hazelnutmusings.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Kerry, I have EDS as well which affects most of my systems and causes terrible back pain that doesn't respond to anything unfortunately. I am glad you have found products that help you. I find hydrotherapy helps for a short time while in the water but then pain returns. x
    My blog is https://edsjour.blogspot.com if you are interested

    ReplyDelete