You want your big day to be perfect, but when you have chronic pain, health woes pose a threat to perfection. You can use every trick in your arsenal to prevent flares and still get hit by a whopper at zero-hour.
However, as they say in the industry, the show must go on — and determined brides will find a way. Here are eight tips for managing chronic pain on your wedding day.
1. Take Pain Relievers Early
Migraine patients know the problem well — abortive meds work best while taken at the first sign of pain, but you can’t always tell if things will get bad enough to warrant using one of a limited pill supply to stave off an attack. When it comes to your big day, please don’t hesitate. Take it.
If your insurer doesn’t limit your monthly pill supply, launch a preemptive strike. Take your prescriptions as directed, but consider adding an “as needed” pain medicine if your sciatica often shoots pains down your legs while you stand for too long — such as during the ceremony.
While it is far from a cure, you can ease many chronic aches and pains through flexibility training. If you don’t already engage in a regular yoga practice, now is the time to start.
If you don’t have any mobility issues and become bored easily, styles like ashtanga and vinyasa keep you moving the entire class. However, if you want an ooey-gooey, melt-into-your-mat experience, opt for yin. This practice incorporates mindfulness by putting you in touch with your physical sensations and interpreting various signals.
3. Choose Your Time Wisely
Chronic pain affects every patient differently. If you have a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis might wake up to the worst pain you’ll feel all day. Conversely, if you have fibromyalgia or a degenerative disease, your agony might build as the day progresses, and your body experiences more stressors.
Use your body as a guide when planning your ceremony. If you tend to wake up stiff but loosen up over time, an evening soiree makes more sense. However, if your pain levels increase with each passing hour, opt for an early ceremony.
4. Cool It on the Pregame
Some brides do everything from pedicures with their party to hosting a mini-tailgate party before their wedding. While such events are fun, don’t schedule so much that you end up exhausted before the ceremony.
Chronic illness warriors often start the day with fewer spoons than their nondisabled peers. When you don’t have an unlimited adrenaline train to ride — or when your engine tends to crash under too much strain — keep the pregame show short. Take care of nail appointments and whatnot the day before so that you’re fresher.
5. Bring Sensible Shoes
Pain is cumulative. You might be able to ignore that nagging sciatica pain amid all the excitement, but when you pair it with signals from your feet, your nervous system flies into agony overdrive.
Brides, rejoice — there’s no need to stuff your feet into foot coverings designed by Torquemada. You can find stylish wedding sneakers these days that look fab even with short gowns.
6. Get Creative With Mobility Aids
What if your pain causes mobility issues, but you don’t necessarily want to use your chair in the ceremony? See what your creative mind can design. One bride who broke her leg before the ceremony used a special crutch to walk the aisle nevertheless.
If you do use a walker or chair, make them a part of the ceremony. Include some floral decorations when you place your order and use ribbons and colors that match your party.
7. Make Your Menu Anti-Inflammatory
If you have chronic pain, you know that eating the wrong thing can be a one-way ticket to flare-city. When planning your wedding menu, make it anti-inflammatory.
This tip doesn’t mean making your guests choke down a green drink. Dishes like lemon chicken with asparagus or salmon with wild rice and broccoli don’t raise any eyebrows — or inflammatory markers.
8. Keep Things Short and Sweet
Even if you always dreamed of becoming a princess, rejoice that you aren’t on your wedding day if you have chronic pain. The pomp and circumstance of a royal affair may make for fascinating television viewing, but it can burn through your spoon supply like a match to a fuel tank.
You don’t need an hour-long ceremony or all-night party — the latter can leave you holding a huge open-bar tab. Talk to your administering official about your need for brevity and set a reasonable time limit for revelers. You can discuss the protocol for “last call” with your venue or hire a party bus for safe partier transportation. When the driver calls the last shuttle, it’s time to go home.
Manage Chronic Pain on Your Wedding Day With These 8 Tips
You don’t want your medical conditions to mar your big day. Learn to manage chronic pain on your wedding day with these eight tips.