Stress and Chronic Pain

This week we talk about stress and how it has been manifesting itself as pain. Hitting the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundations website, we review a Patient Education Sheet on Chronic Pain and what we have been doing to treat these new and persistent problems.

This week we talk about stress and how it has been manifesting itself as pain. Hitting the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundations website, we review a Patient Education Sheet on Chronic Pain and what we have been doing to treat these new and persistent problems.

Lupe & Brian:     Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.

Lupe:     This is Lupe.

Brian:    And this is Brian.

Brian:    This is your weekly show discussing how to live an active and healthy lifestyle despite a diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Brian:    And today we want to start off by saying thank you to everybody who’s entered the Sjogren’s Strong Sjogren’s Syndrome Awareness Month Giveaway.


Brian:    So, so far we have had 73 contestants join and when you joined you were given the opportunity to earn more entries by sharing and following us. And there was even an email link and a couple of you appears, you’ve emailed this out to your circle of friends.

Brian:    So, we want to thank you for help spreading the word of a Sjogren’s Strong. And yes, 73 contestants so far you still have time to enter the entries close Friday evening. So be sure to hit the link in the show notes below and sign up. It is completely free and we will be shipping the winners out, a copy of the Sjogren’s Syndrome Survival Guide and a Sjogren’s Strong mug.

Lupe:     And so it ends next Friday. Is it, next Friday?

Brian:    It’ll be this Friday when they hear that this.

Lupe:     This Friday. And uh, as a reminder, the mug and the book, they’re coming from two different places, so you won’t get him in one box.

Brian:    So, yeah, be sure to uh, hit the link in the show notes below and then share it and tweet it or share it on LinkedIn. You can earn some entries, there’s an email link, just read the instructions once you’ve entered. It’s pretty easy to do.

Lupe:     The analytics are pretty amazing. I’m really impressed.

Brian:    Yeah. And thank you to all of you who have signed up and, or spread the word. We appreciate yaa.

Lupe:     Yeah. And there still time, so do it.

Brian:    On to the vegetarian meat and potatoes of this episode.

Lupe:     I still haven’t had meat.

Brian:    She’s meatless.

Lupe:     When do we start? Like in February, right? I don’t know, but you know what I have no, absolutely, no desire to have it. Nor do I crave it.

Brian:    And how are you feeling, energy wise?

Lupe:     Okay. So that’s like a trick question right now because I’ve been feeling really good, but it seems that these couple of weeks, I’ve had so much stress, in particular last week and today I just feel like my stress level is through the roof.

Lupe:     So, I had been feeling good, but right now I am just a mess. My body aches, my shirt hurts, hugs hurt. I’m just in pain and it’s being caused by stress right now.

Brian:    So, why don’t we talk about some of the things you’re going through before we get into ah…

Lupe:     So, I’ve been in school for about four months now and I think that’s kind of taxing on me lately. Because, okay, so we’re almost done. And I think finals and quizzes and it’s just a little bit of everything. Trying to be school.

Brian:    Well yeah. And I think the, the added load, workload on you is catching up as well. You’re in school four hours a night, two nights a week. School’s a cool 25 minutes away. So if you get out when you’re supposed to your home at 10:30 and yeah, the next morning’s hard for you. And I think it’s just catching up and then you’re spending weekends and evenings studying and all of that.

Lupe:     And it’s not like I could come home straight to bed, you know. I have to wind down a little bit, you know. Sometimes I’m hungry, I got get something to eat. So there’s that.

Lupe:     So, that’s part of my stress, I think. You know, even though I love it and I’m having fun, I think all these quizzes and tests that are coming up, they’re stressing me out.

Lupe:     And last week I mentioned that I’m starting a new job soon and I think cleaning up my desk and you know, just leaving it ready for the next person to pick up. And getting ready for the new job. That’s kind of stressing me out. And I don’t know why it’s stressing me out because I’m excited about it, but maybe it’s the unknown.

Lupe:     Maybe, you know, sometimes when you give notice, there’s a weird vibe, something changes, you know? So that’s stressing me out a little bit.

Brian:    Everything’s stressing her out right now.

Lupe:     Everything! The way you talk to me. I mean, I can’t explain it. But my body aches, my eyelids are swollen, my arms feel like cinder blocks. I’m just not a happy camper right now. It’s just a little bit of everything. There’s nothing that I could pinpoint. I’m just saying it’s a little bit of everything.

Brian:    And one of the ways that stress has been manifesting with her is physical pain. We started applying the tiger balm a few days ago and that helped a little bit. Heating pad rolling out, like we learned in Autoimmune Strong has helped stretch out the body and relieve some of this a little bit. So today we wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market and find a CBD Sav or balm and talk to the people and see if we thought we would want to give that a try.

Lupe:     So you know what stressed me out a little bit? So we go to the Farmer’s Market and they rearranged it. And I’m like, where’s everything? I can’t find it. And then we go to this place because we’ve been there before and we bought the CBD dropper and it came up across Instagram that they’re at the Farmer’s Market. And we go to the Farmer’s Market and they’re not there. And I’m like, what the heck is going on. This is stressful! Oh my God!

Brian:    So, I reminded her to take a deep breath. It’s okay. It’s just a Farmer’s Market.

Lupe:     Ugh, it’s so funny. Um, but lucky, were lucky that we came across ah different, uh, what do you call it?

Brian:    Another vendor. And this vendor is called Jezebel’s Apothecary and really cool branding and labeling. And I kind of dug it. It was old school 50’s look and feel to everything, they’re doing. So we struck up a conversation and they had four different sav or balms and she was kind enough to offer a sample.

Brian:    And for those of you who have been listening, you know, I have a shoulder injury. So I took the sample and I rubbed it on my shoulder and we were probably talking with her for 20-25 minutes.

Lupe:     Yeah, it was a minute.

Brian:    And before we were done, my shoulder felt really good. And today I happen to be in a little bit of pain. So it was a cool test to do. So we ended up walking away with a jar and Lupe tried some on her shoulders and back.

Lupe:     So for me, when I stress out, it’s my back, this area right here that I’m pointing too Brian.

Brian:    That would be her upper back beneath the head.

Lupe:     That one. Cause I know you or make you fun. But that’s how I describe my body part. It’s my upper elbow or you know, my upper knee. But uh, yeah, anyways, back here. What do you call it?

Brian:    In between her shoulders?

Lupe:     Yeah. So um, that’s where I feel stress and it’s just a big knot that won’t go away. And I’ve been using the heating pad and the roller and Tiger Balm and it is not going away. And Brian applied it while we were talking to the lady and it was kind of magic and it went away, and it hasn’t come back. So it’s been several hours now.

Brian:    Yeah. Now, just to give you guys a legitimate timeline because we are 100% brand new to Jezebel’s Apothecary. 100% brand new to this type of CBD and application. So, it is Sunday while we are recording this, when we purchased the product from her. So when you’re listening to this, it will be Wednesday.

Brian:    And I’m expecting my shoulder to be really sore tomorrow because I don’t know if this is just masking the pain and allowing me to put my hands over my head all the way up. That it’s usually very painful. I’m doing it now, while we record. My wife’s looking at me like, why are you waving at me? So I’m expecting a level of soreness tomorrow. So we’ll see. But in the show notes I’ll put a little update to my shoulder and how this product’s affected it, after a few days

Lupe:     We’ve tried CBD oil in the past, the dropper. And I mean that relaxed me. Um, so that’s why I wanted to try this balm. That’s why I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market and try that. And I mean it seems to be working really well. And so I’m excited about it because I’ve heard really good things about CBD creams and lotions and I wanted to try it with all my stress going on. And I wish there was like a big jar that I could just dunk myself in cause…

Brian:    Cause her shirt’s heavy.

Lupe:     Ugh, it is. I’m sorry, you know what, you, I don’t think you probably understand but my Sjogi’s will.

Brian:    They will.

Lupe:     They’ll understand.

Brian:    I tease a little bit.

Lupe:     When you’d go like that to me it hurts.

Brian:    She’s going to have a bruise on her inner elbow.

Lupe:     He grabbed me, just barely and I’m like, please don’t, I’m a delicate flower right now, everything hurts.

Brian:    Oh! So, enough about all of this and not to minimize it. When things are happening and we’re not quite sure why. Even though we’ve been dealing with Sjogren’s Syndrome and it’s issues for as long as we have, we revert back to books we’ve purchased or websites that have been helpful in understanding what’s going on and how to manage what’s going on.

Brian:    So, today we visited the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation and there will be a link in the show notes below. They have a series of patient education sheets and we happened to download the one for chronic pain and we just kind of want to go over it with you. Again, we’re not affiliated with the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, but it is a great resource for information.

Lupe:     So, because I’m under so much stress right now, which I believe is what’s causing the pain, there’s a few bullets here and it says, continue caring for the condition causing your pain. Um, I’ve, I mean, I’ve had Sjogren’s for a long time and I feel I know how to take care of myself, but I’m human, I revert to things. It says, continue caring for the condition, causing your pain. Right now, I do not know what’s causing my pain. I think it’s a compilation of several things.

Brian:    I think it has a lot to do with stress that you’re under. And I think it’s manifesting with this physical pain. But to this first bullet point, continue caring. Um, you have. You’ve continued doing your best to hydrate. You’ve continued your prescribed medication routine. You’re doing everything you should be doing it. It’s just not really being effective right now.

Lupe:     Because of the stress?

Brian:    Right?

Lupe:     I think stress is the thing to me. It’s never affected me this way, but.

Brian:    So, the second bullet on this is pay attention to any new pain problems. And like we’ve discussed this stress or what we believe is the cause of these new physical pains being stressed. She’s increased the amount of stretching she’s done. She’s working with the roller on the floor, she’s applying tiger balm. We’re now trying this CBD Sav or balm. So we are giving these new pain problems, um, attention and a different course of treatment than we normally would.

Lupe:     It also says here, don’t be a couch potato, which I usually am not. But if I’m being honest…

Brian:    Oh, I think the combination of schoolwork and catching up sleep on the weekends because of the lack of during the week has slowed our physical activity down quite a bit.

Lupe:     And especially this week with all this stress going on, I really don’t want to do anything. I just wanted to do nothing.

Brian:    And one of the bullets on here is avoid pain triggers, which sometimes in life you can’t avoid stress. Life happens, stress happens. In addition to everything going on, parents get sick, family drama with siblings and their families and extended families. This stuff happens and it does apply stress. Friends, loved ones, you know, you name it and you carry some of that stress with you because you love and care about these people.

Lupe:     Okay, so look, next weekend’s going to be a busy weekend for me. I have this school function on Saturday that I want to get to. It’s about four hours long and after my school function, we have a little gathering to go to. And then Sunday, there’s this thing called CicLavia. And basically they just close down the streets for miles and miles and you could dance, run, ride your bike. And I really wanted to do that. But I think it’s going to be too much in one weekend. Plus, then on Monday I start my new job and I don’t want to be… ah my Gosh.

Brian:    And I think wanting to do all this is adding more stress.

Lupe:     That’s stressing me out. And I can’t believe it, but anyways it is.

Brian:    And these CicLAvia’s they’re happening around the country more and more. So if you like if you have a bike and like bike riding, check them out. And out here, if you like the idea but don’t have a bike, they even have bikes you can grab or rent.

Lupe:     And it’s really cool because they shut down the streets in every direction for hours and people are walking and pulling their boom boxes. Is it the big party. It’s really fun.

Brian:    And there’s usually vendor booths and things like that towards the end and a mid-break and food trucks and all that good stuff.

Lupe:     And I really want to go and I don’t think I’ll be able to, and that’s stressing me out a little bit.

Brian:    Yeah, I know. Which brings us to the next point. Don’t let stress compound you’re pain. That’s the part we’re having a hard time managing, right now.

Lupe:     Brian’s like, why are you stressing out? You’re going to go to a better place, you know, my job. You’re going to go to a better place, more chill. And I’m like, but how do I know that? That’s what they told me, but I don’t know that, you know what I mean? It’s the unknown I think probably for me, I don’t know.

Lupe:     Getting Enough Sleep is the next one. I mean, I never get eight hours sleep, it’s rare. Um, specially stressing out right now, I wake up every so often and I find myself grinding my teeth.

Lupe:     So, I haven’t been getting a restful sleep. Sometimes even though I sleep 4 hours, I wake up, uh, you know, more or less rested, to me. What to me is a normal rest. And lately I haven’t been waking up like that, so I haven’t been getting enough sleep.

Brian:    Which brings us to the last one we want to talk about from this patient education sheet from the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation is, Don’t Let Depression Persists. So, not saying stress is depression. I think everybody understands what depression is and that not everybody understands when they’re slipping into a level of depression. But I think for those of you with Sjogren’s that have been dealing with it long enough, you understand that there’s good days and bad days and can manage that a little better. But that is something to be very mindful of when you are feeling the funk. Do what you can to get out of it as soon as you can.

Lupe:     So, for example, me today, I don’t think I’ve been depressed, but Brian was talking to me. I just started crying for no reason. I’m like, why am I crying? Could it be depression? Maybe? I don’t know.

Brian:    And then the baby fit you threw when they rearrange the Farmer’s Market.

Lupe:     Yes, I did throw baby fit. And then we went to Trader Joe’s to buy groceries and our local Trader Joe’s, which we love going to because we know where everything is. Guess what they did? They rearranged the entire store. The entire store, except for produce, but everything else, I don’t even want to get into it. Go ahead and talk about it.

Brian:    So this is what I’ve been dealing with folks. It’ll be okay,

Lupe:     But it’s almost over. I think the stress, it’s affecting every part of my life right now. Things that wouldn’t usually bother me. I really bothering me. So I did throw a fit. Sorry Brian. Sorry you’ve been having to put up with me.

Brian:    I got your back. I got your back.

Lupe:     What I did want to bring up, I want to go back because you were a little bit faster with me, Brian, staying active. So, a listener and follower, Heather, I’m talking about you, Heather, hi. I made a post and it was the Fitbit application where it shows how much I sleep or don’t sleep and one post was three hours, I believe. And the other post was 10 hours. And she asked me is that a Fitbit? And I said, yes it is.

Lupe:     So, we connected on Fitbit and she’s been challenging me to a stepping challenge or a daily challenge or a weekly challenge and it keeps you active, a little bit cause, you know sometimes it’s just her and I, sometimes it’s like five people and you look at it and you’re like, oh my God, I’m in last place. So you have to get up and start walking. You know, it’s been really helpful, especially this week for me.

Brian:    So yeah, it’s kind of funny. She’ll like look at her, watch your app on the phone and be like, oh my gosh, we got to go do something, let’s get up.

Lupe:     And he’s like, oh, why do I have to do it? I’m like, cause you’re my…

Brian:    I didn’t accept this challenge.

Lupe:     You might as well have. So I want to invite everyone. If you want to be part of the Fitbit challenge and if you have a Fitbit, my email address to connect with me on Fitbit is Lupe, that’s l-u-p-e So, if you have a Fitbit APP and you go, friend somebody just type that in and I’ll get a notification, accept you, and then we could all add each other. It should be fun.

Speaker 2:           So that about wraps for the week. Uh, again, all of these links to the things we’ve discussed will be in the show notes below. If you’re listening to this on your mobile device while you were driving, don’t worry. Visit and you’ll easily be able to find this episode. Again, the links will be in the show note.

Brian:    Thank you to everybody who’s entered the challenge. And again you have until Friday evening and it tells you when it does end. There’s a countdown to when it ends. So, don’t delay. Get there today and uh, enter the contest. Again, free to enter, all you’ve got to do is give us your email address if you like, share, follow across social media platforms. You get some extra entries. But uh, we’d love to have you in the running to win the Sjogren’s Strong mug and a copy of the Sjogren’s Syndrome Survival Guide.

Lupe:     Listen, we need to remember we’re not alone. We all have good days and bad days and sometimes good weeks and bad weeks. It’s nice to know that the Sjogren’s Strong community is here to help each other during the good and the bad. But I’m not going to sit back and let this disease beat me. I’m going to get up every day and live my best life. And encourage you to do the same.

Lupe:     Until next time, sip constantly and stay hydrated.

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