Sunday, September 21, 2014


It's Pain Awareness month. 
One question?
When aren't we aware of it?

September has been designated as Pain Awareness Month. This is the time that various organizations and groups help the general public become aware of pain and pain management. I personally think I have a better way for people to really understand what this is like. Beat the crap out of them with a baseball bat and tell them that this is what they're going to feel like every single day. For the rest of their lives. (Alright...maybe that's a tad extreme...)

It's been a rough summer. It's been humid; more than usual it seems. You know what it seems? It seems that I say that every summer and how often have I mentioned that I don't do well when humidity sets in?  A lot. The pain hasn't let up much and sometimes my "wonderful attitude" goes in the toilet.

There are so many things that affect our bodies and weather is just one of those things. Science is divided on this but I'm not. Barometric pressure definitely has an effect on me and I'm not nuts. I can feel when the rain is coming and my hands start hurting.

And my smiley face becomes a snarl.
But, back to the pain.

Lyrica has been FDA approved for the treatment of Fibromyalgia and I can't take it. Actually, for me, it didn't help the pain all that much and it wouldn't matter to me if it did. The worst side effect is the weight gain. Weight gain puts more pressure on your body so while it may help the pain the weight gain will bring it back. Chronic pain brings its own set of issues and with the weight gain....just add a tiara.  For me, the weight gain is worse than death. I cannot handle it at all. 

Yes, I have food issues.
And right now food isn't my friend.

Growing up I was always thin. Really thin. I was the person you hated. I could, and did, eat noodles and butter and midnight and I never gained an ounce. I hovered between a size 4 and 6. I didn't matter how much or when I ate. The weight was NEVER an issue. Then, with the onset of thyroid issues and the fibromyalgia...........well.......(snarl).

Again, back to pain.
Ok, ok......I'm getting to it.

I've tried all the approved medications. Lyrica, for me, just won't happen. I'm terrified to try Cymbalta and Savella. Why? Because I am notorious for stopping medications if I don't like how I feel or the side effects get too icky. The doctor has told me, in no uncertain terms, that I'm not to stop them cold turkey and need to be weaned off slowly. Well....that did it for me. I know myself and I know I won't do it. I think I need to write a post about all the medications that have been used for our tricky little symptoms.

So....back to the pain.

Now, I try to compartmentalize my treatment and see if it spills over to all the other issues. I have muscle spasms that can be from my back injury or the fibromyalgia. I take tizanidine for that. I take it at night and it seems to help my sleep and my jumpy legs. 

For my back injury I also take a VERY low dose oxycodone. It's just enough (barely) to take the edge off the pain and allow me to function somewhat normally. (Who am I kidding? I've never been normal).

If the pain gets real bad I head for the tub. Swirling water tends to help me the most. I don't know if I just forget about it or it actually relieves the pain. All I know is that for most ailments the tub helps. If it's a cold, steam up the bathroom and just sit in there. No matter what.....head for the bath. If it's just joint stiffness I can start moving and distract myself. Moving helps the most when it's the fibro pain. If it's the back ......all bets are off.

I know I'm rambling......

It's Pain Awareness month. I guess the title says it all. I have been intensely aware of the pain lately and so I just hide. I know that isn't good but I just don't want to be the buzz kill and I don't want to answer questions about it. It isn't a good state in which to exist but I'm entrenched in it and trying to claw my way back up to the surface.

I've become the Shell answer man (for those of you old enough to remember that one!)

"Hey, mom!"

"It's real cloudy."

"How bad do you hurt today?"

"Oh, ok....should I go to the car wash?"

Yep, I'm better than a barometer.


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