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Dear gosiatracz6,

Your willingness to share and reach out shows to me that you are a great caregiver. Each of us who lives with pain has to acknowledge and understand the uniqueness of our own pain. We also have to take into account how our own pain affects the people around us. My experience since my teen years is that my pain will never fully go away. Once I came to that realization, like Shadowbox, I was able to move forward and participate in life by finding lots of little things to whittle away the pain.

Exercise and nutrition are so much a part of my life that I sometimes forget that they are part of my pain management plan. Every step I take is a step towards overall health. A few years ago someone gave me one of those little drugstore pedometers that you can find for under $10 and challenged me to wear it for a month. Every day I recorded the number of steps taken that day on the wall calendar and saw that on a good day I’d take about 3,000 just moving around the house. The second month I challenged myself to add 50 steps every week. It has worked out great for me and I now know that if I take too many steps in a single day I’m going to be in pain and do less the next couple of days. I also learned that if I have a lower number of steps than I will be stiff and be aware of more pain. So now I know what my average steps should be per day and by checking the pedometer I am able to meter my activity to be enough to help and less than the harmful amount.

Maybe you could do a similar challenge with your husband. Maybe you could challenge yourself.