Collagen? Stress? Figuring Out This Chronic Pain Thing

The chronic pain that lingers a year and a half after a traumatic injury can be confusing at the very least. In the acute stages right after my injury, there was no guessing around the question “why am I in so much pain right now?” There was an answer: the ankle (leg, too) was recently broken and swollen so large that it looked like something that should be floating down the streets of Manhattan during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Fast forward to today. The pain comes, but the answers do not.

For a few weeks, I was doing a scoop of collagen in my morning coffee with the high hopes that it would help my foot in some way (as well as make my skin, hair and nails positively radiant for the upcoming wedding, but that’s a post for another day!). After much frequent use, I ran out, and kept forgetting to buy some more. And over the past few days now, I’ve ended my days hobbling or with a bag of frozen vegetables (sorry, Mitch) atop my ankle. Is it the collagen?

I’ve also been more stressed, which they (you know, all those people I listen to on podcasts and books about healthy living and the 390812038 ways to eat a sweet potato) say can trigger inflammation. Is it the stress?

But I’ve also been through this before with my injury. I’ll go through a few weeks where I feel quasi-OK with just a little pain and generally no limping. And then I’ll hit a week or so wall, where I’m modifying CrossFit and yoga and leaving Mitch in front of the stove to finish dinner so I can put the puppies up. Am I just moving in inflammation cycles now?

Considering I’m less than two years out from the whole she-bang, I’m pretty new to this chronic pain thing. Any and all advice is welcome, as well as suggestions to make it better.

My ultimate question is this: is this the pattern of the rest of my life?

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