Coping With Stress and BMS

09a9aa5c07898aca806cc27863f79d20As you know, I have been dealing with Burning Mouth Syndrome for far longer than I ever thought possible.

I know there are those of you who are entering or have passed your second decade with this chronic pain and my heart goes out to you.

All of us who have dealt with BMS know that stress just makes it worse. We have seen the pattern again and again, and yet, life goes on.

I have decided to run for a local, elected office.

No stress there, right?

The urge to make a difference and be of value has trumped my hesitation to put myself out there and add stress to my life…so how will I handle it?

With coping strategies, my friends, just like we handle everything else about this mysterious malady.

I will plan ahead, make sure I am getting plenty of sleep, regular exercise, and major hydration. I will be sure I have my xylitol discs handy when talking starts to irritate, and I will also be sure I have snacks in my purse at all times that will hold me over when the appetizers or dinners are too spicy. (It is Texas, after all!) I will keep time in my schedule to take care of myself with massage, acupuncture, and anything else that will help keep stress at bay, and I will always keep up with the medication that keeps my pain as low as it has ever been.

Will I win? Who knows? But, I will know once again that I have not let this beat me or keep me from doing the things that are hard, rewarding, and ultimately good.

Keep your fingers crossed and your coping strategies in place, and hopefully, someday we will all win the ultimate prize…a pain-free life!

Update: August 21, 2016

I was ready for the stress. I was ready for the public and one-on-one speaking. I was even ready for my close-up!

I was not ready for the unusually heavy interest in a bipartisan, down-ballot, unsung and unpaid Trustee position at our local community college. The number of candidates kept climbing and so did the price tag! I now really understand why good people who just want to do the work many times don’t end up running. Think about whether you have enough friends and potential supporters to raise $10-30K for an unpaid position that you might not win. After research, reflection, and prayer, I withdrew and will go back to supporting three local nonprofits and working for my community in a less visible way.

But at least it wasn’t because of BMS. Small victory?

__________________________

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