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I thought I'd talk about some things which I find really help my chronic pain/illness on my blog today and hopefully, if you also suffer from chronic pain or a chronic illness then this might be helpful for you. Obviously, everyone is different and some things that work for me might not work for you or be your cup of tea and vice versa. 

Also if you are a new reader then I have had chronic lower back pain and chronic pelvic pain since the beginning of 2018 and I have suspected endometriosis (I've actually had symptoms since I was a teen but didn't realise). Unfortunately, I can't have a laparoscopy because of my weight and I can't lose weight easily because of the pain and discomfort I'm in each day and on my better pain days, I want to just enjoy the fact that I'm in less pain and not do anything to make it potentially flare up bad if that makes sense. It's a vicious cycle.

The first thing that I found useful is a Tens Machine, I bought it when I realised that the pain I was dealing with wasn't going away anytime soon and also when the doctors started to describe my pain as chronic pain after they had ruled out certain things like an infection, IBS/IBD, cancer etc. I think it was around £30 from Argos at the time and then you have to buy the replacement pads as and when you need them. I just buy mine from Amazon for around £8 per pack. You can use it with just two pads or all four pads depending on what you prefer and it also has different pattern settings, intensity levels as well as timer settings. I find that the Tens Machine works better for my back pain personally, sometimes I find that my pelvic pain gets worse after using the Tens Machine on the area so I tend to avoid using it for my pelvic pain. However, I do find that it's good for period or endo cramps. The only thing I wish my Tens Machine had is a clip to clip it onto your clothing because not everything has pockets but I would still recommend a Tens Machine if you're yet to try one. 

I pretty much always have a hot water bottle on me, whether it's on my back or on my stomach. I have two standard hot water bottles which are both from George at Asda and also a YuYu hot water bottle which is basically a long hot water bottle that you can wrap around you. The YuYu Bottle is particularly good for my pelvic pain because I can place it right on the pain, whereas trying to get a standard hot water bottle on my pelvic pain is awkward when you have a tum in the way lol. 

I finally caved and bought a weighted blanket at the beginning of this year (review here) and it's definitely one of the best things I bought in 2020. I decided on a Mela Comfort 7kg  Weighted Blanket because I thought it looked quite aesthetically pleasing and I also liked the fact that they donate a portion of every sale to charity. I find that it really helps with my anxiety most of the time (sometimes I can feel a little suffocated but this doesn't happen often), it feels cosy and warm to sleep under and I find that its helped reduce my upper leg pain (which I think is endo and nerve-related) as well as my restless legs. 

 I've been using what I call a "Grabby" since I first became unwell, it just makes life so much easier when you drop something on the floor or if you can't reach something without causing more pain etc. It's so simple but so handy. It's a must if you don't already own one!

I recently bought a Nappy Caddy Organiser from Amazon to put on my bed to put things that I need at hand in when I'm having a bad pain day. I did use to have a standard storage box on the bed but it just wasn't very organised. I've got medication, BeYou monthly patches, an eye mask, my Tens machine, notebooks and pens for work and also some face wipes, a hairbrush and deodorant and my Xbox controller. I know it might sound a little OTT but if I'm having a bad pain day then it's super useful and I can just fully rest if needed and it doesn't take up tons of space either.

CBD has definitely been game-changing for me personally. Ever since I had a severe allergic reaction to Mefenamic Acid, I've become allergic to all NSAIDs which is really annoying because Ibuprofen used to really help with my pain. Because of my allergic reaction and how scary it was (I literally couldn't breathe properly without being in severe pain), I've now become quite anxious about any new prescription medication. I tried CBD not long after my allergic reaction and it really does help both my pain and my anxiety. I know it's not for everyone but if you're open to trying CBD then I would recommend at least trying it. My go-to CBD is the 600mg Oral Drops from BeYou in the Berry Flavour which are £19.99 for a 30ml bottle. Also please note that you do have to build CBD up in your system a little before you start noticing a difference, I think this is why people are so quick to say "it didn't work for me!" because they expect it to work straight away. I think it took like a week of taking it every day before I started noticing a difference. I also use BeYou's CBD 300mg Muscle Balm pretty much daily and I also like Our Remedy's Moon Swings CBD for period pain or in my case "phantom period pain" as it contains Peppermint and Clary Sage which I think really helps with my bloating.

 I've also been trying out a few CBD bath products recently from BeYou and I find that they are a nice CBD booster for me personally and a nice extra self-care step when I'm having a rubbish pain day or struggling with my anxiety. They sell CBD bath bombs in four different scents: Chamomile & Jasmine, Orange Leaf & Grapefruit, Lemon & Neroli and Peppermint & Eucalyptus as well as their Rose CBD Bath Salts* which smell gorgeous!

If you're interested in trying CBD products from BeYou (or any other products by them such as their Sleep Pillow Mist and Anti-Chafing Cream) then you can use my code ATBK10 to get 10% off your first order! (affiliate code).

Because I can no longer use anything like Ibuleve or Voltorol because they obviously contain Ibuprofen, I've had to look for other alternatives. I discovered Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel last year and it really works well on my back pain and upper leg pain in particular and it's also a useful pain relief product to use in the Summer with it obviously being cooling, although I do still find myself attached to my hot water bottle even in the Summer anyway. It's become a firm fave in our household when it comes to pain relief gels. 

Another product that I've found has worked well for me is Sanctuary Spa's De-Stress Warming Body Balm*, I was sent some Sanctuary products including this a few months ago and I'm already on my second tube because I really find that it not only helps my chronic back pain but it also helps when I get an achy, sore neck or shoulders. However, it does get quite hot, so less is definitely more with this product because it doesn't work straight away and then suddenly it's like bam! It almost reaches the point of being too hot on my skin and then it stays at that temperature so if you're quite sensitive when it comes to heat then it might not be for you. I really like the calming scent of Ginger and Rosemary, I've even put one of the Sanctuary gift sets that contain the Wellness range on my Christmas Wishlist because I'm such a big fan!

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