Saturday, December 13, 2014

THE WEATHER AND THE VERY ICKY DAY











It's been cloudy,
it's been humid.
Yippee.


I continue to run my usual errands although with less frequency. To the casual observer I look like anyone else picking out vegetables at the grocery store. You will see me smile and engage in conversation. Only someone who knows me well or has a relationship with chronic pain will notice the stiffness of my shoulders as I walk or sees the slight grimace that I really try to hide as I bend over to pick up something that I will invariably drop. 

Usually, it's my keys.

It's there when I get out of bed in the morning. It tries to give me some hope that the day won't be one spent in a great deal of pain, however, by the time it's evening I know that was just a dream. It's been biding it's time, laying in wait and quietly staying in the background building to an agonizing crescendo that will prevent another night of sleep.

I know that "the experts" say weather does not impact chronic pain but I don't believe them. Not for one single minute. I knew the storm was coming a few days before it got here and with it came its best friend; the black hole. I've gotten pretty good at living with a fair amount of pain. I know it isn't going away anytime soon so on some small level I've accepted it. I do what I need to do and unless you touch me in one of the worst places on my body, my hip, I can manage.

It's when the pain progresses from voodoo pain to the OMG-make-it-stop pain that I have trouble.

Voodoo pain is the pain that I live with. I know that at any point in time someone is going to stab that little voodoo doll with a pin and I will feel a stabbing pain somewhere. If they hug and squeeze that little voodoo doll I'm going to have a dull ache all over my body. Again, this pain I've learned to handle. It's when the pain increases to whole other level; my whole body feels likes it's being compressed like a junk car that is being compressed to the size of a box of cornflakes. That voodoo doll? It's being stabbed all over....over and over again with a ferocious intensity. 

It is that pain that makes me crawl into bed.
It's that pain that turns suffering into isolation.

I'm glad I have people around me that understand and love me through it. I have to say there are times that the pain makes me wonder if this is worth it. Thank goodness it is a momentary thought that immediately goes away but it was enough to bring understanding and compassion for what others feel. Lyrica brought those thoughts and I had to stop taking it. Because of other pain issues I have to take opioids but I don't take enough pain medication to ease the pain. I only take enough to take the edge off. I'm too afraid of the power and control medication can bring and its power to destroy. I don't want to be seduced by the feeling that a pill can make it all go away. I've had a doctor give me medication that truly scared me and that was enough for me to get rid of it. I'd rather have pain than be a zombie.

So how should I spend my day? 

It's one of those cloudy, gloomy days that tends to make me introspective. I tend to think about the person I was before my introduction to chronic pain. I shouldn't go there. At all.
That's probably not the best use of my time. I can't change it so why dwell upon it? As the saying goes, "yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future and live for today, it's a gift, that's why they call it the present."  I know this but I don't understand it and I don't think I believe it. For me,  there has to be a balance between all of them. The past brought pain. It influenced the future. Which is the present. See what I mean?

Maybe I shouldn't think too much today.

Let's find something good about the weather.

Hmmmm.....

Well, at least it's good for your skin.....

Nope.

Didn't work.






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

THE MAGICAL TIN FOIL CURE FOR PAIN











I'll admit.
I can be a tad gullible.
But this?
No way.


For those of us who have been lucky enough to have been inducted in the Chronic Pain Hall of Fame, I have stumbled upon a treatment that is easy, inexpensive and "WORKS!"

Can't you just feel the sarcasm?

This treatment involves isolating the painful point on your body and then covering it with tin foil. You should cover the painful point and keep it there all day and night for 12 days. Then take a break for ten days and repeat as necessary.

The tin foil has an anti-inflammatory effect. 
Really?

Now, I didn't find a lot of information about this and I'm not surprised. Let's look at this logically. We would have to make ourselves into the modern day mummy and totally wrap our entire bodies in foil. Most of us can't isolate a few spots that have pain. That fact alone makes this "treatment" unrealistic. Can't you just see wrapping yourself in foil from head to toe??

When I was sixteen someone told me that I could evade radar if I put tin foil in my hubcaps. So, what did I do?  I stuffed my hubcaps with the stuff and took off down the street. Speed limit? What speed limit?

Everything went well until I heard the sirens and saw flashing lights do a u-turn in my rear view mirror. Well, I did what any sixteen year old would do. I took off down the streets. To my credit, I lost the cops. I was lucky enough to find a detached garage with the door open. My niece and I hid in there until we were sure the danger had passed. 

Very slowly, I made my way home.

I just forgot ONE, TEENSY-WEENSIE little fact. My father had put my name on a personalized license plate. Fortunately, back then, Las Vegas was kind of like the wild west. By the time I got home the cops had already filled in my dad. Trust me, I would have preferred dealing with the police than my father.

I lost my keys and got grounded.

Last time I believed that tin foil could be the answer to my problems.

I can't believe I fell for it the first time.

So when I saw this.....

ask me if I believed it.

NOT A CHANCE.





Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THE THANKSGIVING CONUNDRUM 2014











Well, I've done it again.
Just when I thought I wouldn't.
I just couldn't help myself.


Every year I say the same thing. I promise myself that I will NOT overdo it. Funny part is that I really believe it when I tell myself that I will take things slow and easy.

Right.

It's Thanksgiving Eve and I've spent the last two days getting my portion of the dinner prepared. 

And I hurt.
Like holy you-know-what.

I hesitate to say that the cold weather has set in. Cold......in the 50's. I know....I know....the rest of the country would love this weather! Still, it makes me hurt. I've been the tin man in search of an oil can. I know that I shouldn't say anything about the weather. Those in the midwest and the east would gladly trade places with me. 

I still say that a comfy bed is the way to go. You can do all sorts of things from there and I can attest to that! Grocery lists, ordering the delivery service, and hey, they can even cook the turkey. (You still have to have someone pick it up.) 

If you are of the I-can-do-it-myself persuasion try to keep the food prep reasonable. Just because it seems like it's not enough, trust me....it is. We will end up having enough food to feel a small country. Buster has been hanging around the kitchen waiting for the scraps to fall. He took off with one of the sweet potatoes! No! It is NOT A TOY!!! Well...that potato goes in the trash. The running around the house trying to get the sweet potato away from him didn't help and it certainly didn't help when I had to reach under the bed with a bacon strip to get him to relinquish the potato.

Great. 
I've started sucking down pain medication already......

Even though all of this is in fun, we should be thankful for what we do have. It truly could be a lot worse. This year I lost a fibro friend to multiple myeloma. It brought home how fragile this life is. As I stop for a moment to give thanks for my many blessings I will also remember to ask for comfort for those who have lost loved ones. 

So tomorrow it's off to the outlaws for our Thanksgiving dinner. I'm especially thankful that a comfy chair is waiting for me. Since it is a football day, I can wear those wonderful sweats. I had to remember to wear a team sweatshirt to feel legit. 

Last year I said that I had practiced my exhausted-from-cooking look?

This year?

I won't have to practice.

Still, we should be thankful for something. 

I'm thankful for my family and friends.

I'm thankful for all the blessings in my life.

And I'm thankful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT KRATOM?









What is it?
How is it used?
Is it safe?
I don't know.


I was reading about the latest thing to pop up about painkillers. People on forums and Facebook have been talking about it.

And they've been trying it.

Ok....first things first. What is it? Kratom is from a tree or, more specifically, the leaves from the mitragyna speciosa tree. The trees are indigenous to Southeast Asia and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Thailand has banned its use and there are several states where Kratom is also banned. It's been used in the management of chronic pain and it behaves like morphine. 

The DEA lists Kratom as a drug of concern.

One thing they did find was that Kratom helped the withdrawal symptoms of opioid dependence. When Kratom was quit suddenly the side effect was diarrhea and a runny nose. Considering what the withdrawal symptoms of narcotics can be I would think that Kratom would be studied. 

The other thing is that Kratom doesn't have the respiratory depression that opioid have. When you have a medication that helps pain without the risk of overdose it sounds like it should be studied. Why haven't the pharmaceutical companies looked at it?

Or have they? GlaxoSmithKline looked at it in the 60's but nothing came of it. Let's face it, something must be off either in the delivery or the drug itself. They could make a ton considering the opioid problem in this country. 

It can cause drowsiness, fatigue, nausea and stomach discomfort and constipation. It has the potential for abuse when you exceed the recommended dosage. If you decide to use this be very sure that it won't interact with medications that you are taking or have taken. Be very careful. Just make sure you research it very carefully before you make your decision. 

Is it addictive?

I don't think anyone knows.

There are animal studies that show that a tolerance can be built up over time.

And the directions state it can be habit forming.

That kind of signals addictive to me.

But what do I know?


DEA INFORMATION ON KRATOM




Sunday, November 9, 2014

DR. SEAN MACKEY ......AN UPDATE ON FIBRO






There are times that we feel left behind.
Some doctors don't believe us.
Some people don't believe us.
Sometimes we don't believe us.
Go here.







I only wish I could go to Stanford. 

But it does give one hope.

There really are physicians that "get it."