Sometimes it is a Guessing Game…

Most people would not believe you could find humor in chronic pain, but is there if you look for it. For instance I play a game with my pain doctor on what part of me will start hurting when he fixes something. The last time I had injections it was from the base of my skull to my tailbone. This gave me relief mostly in my lower lumbar  which is great, however now both of my shoulder joints hurt causing to not be able to lift my right arm over my head, and then both knees are being a pain literally. The pain is not so much funny but the fact that when one thing is fixed my body feels the need to make something else hurt. It is like my body does it on purpose and maybe it does it already tried to kill me with a stroke once lol.

The whole purpose of this blog is to find the funny, and good in life it is there you just have to lift your head and find it. The more negatively you think and feel the more you feel your pain. You also need hope and so long as you draw breath there is the possibility that something will be found that will ease your pain enough that you can more mobile than you are now. Some people won’t use the corticosteroids because it wears off after awhile, but sometimes you need to do what you can until something better can be found. Also it is time that you can cherish because it is good until it wears off and that is time for you to be more productive and be able to take less opiates than you do now. Your mind can be clearer and you can take a deep breath of relief for awhile and it is so much better than just opiates. I remember when I had my neck, back, and tailbone done after I got home and slept off the rest of the drugs from the twilight sleep I nearly cried and not from sadness or pain but from pure joy. For the very first time that I can remember in my life there was no pain in my lower lumbar, there were no muscle spasms there anymore my muscles were soft and pliable I could even arch my back by bending backwards and I have not been able to do that in at least 4 to 5 years. I know eventually it is going to come crashing back, but I am determined to enjoy any time I have before it wears off.

As I said before always dwelling on the negative only makes it hurt more. Always telling yourself “I can’t” limits you to misery. Now I don’t mean do things that you know that you definitely can’t or anything your pain doctor prohibits you from doing. Other than those things try and I mean really give whatever it is a good healthy try you might actually be able to do it. Another thing is do not stay indoors moping all that does is to make you sink into a deep depression and believe me that I know that is not a place you want to go. Even if it is just sitting on a chair for 20 to 30 minutes a day. If it is cold outside bundle up be go out it is so good for you to have sunshine and fresh air every day. If you are unable to go out without help then have your care giver to help you outside and sit with you 20 to 30 minutes will be good for you both.

Maybe I am just stubborn but I refuse to give up and I don’t care if my body says no I say yes and I win a good deal of the time. It is true that I am disabled however it doesn’t mean I have to crawl in my bed and lay there just waiting to die. I live my life and not simply exist from pain killer dose to the next. Be positive and do your best to laugh every single day no matter how bad your pain is. Go outside and get some of that free mood booster called sunshine and fresh air. Now I know it takes time to change but never give up not ever because as long as you draw breath there is hope.

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There Are Ups and There Are Downs…

No one likes to talk about constipation and stool softeners but when you are on opiate pain killers every day they must be discussed. One of the most annoying side effect (other than itching all over your body) is constipation and it can become very serious if you don’t dump every couple of days. It can cause a blockage which if not caught that can literally kill a part of your colon. It also can cause that nasty stuff to back up into your stomach and then you know what you will be vomiting. So if you are on an opiate every day for pain and are having problems with constipation don’t be embarrassed ask your doctor for a stool softener a little embarrassment is better than becoming seriously ill or losing your life.

Now that we got the hard stuff out there now we can talk about the itching. Sometimes it is so bad I feel like I am losing my mind. I have one of those big bamboo back scratchers and believe me I put it to use. You can also try lotion and not taking really hot showers because that can dry your skin and make it even worse. If it gets really bad you can also ask your doctor to prescribe a non drowsy antihistamine which should take care of it. Also drinking a lot of water in a day will help with both problems discussed so far.

As much as I fought the idea of taking opiates to control my pain (because of it being highly addictive) I finally gave in when I realized that it would dull the pain enough that I can do my house work with less help, I can sleep better at night which makes me feel better having more rest, and I am happier being able to do my chores myself and sleeping at least close to eight hours.

Corticosteroid injections and before you think I am crazy this steroid takes care of inflammations in muscles and nerves surrounding joints or around the neck and spine. The one that makes people go off the deep end is anabolic steroids and no one should ever take those for any reason they are dangerous not only to you but anyone around you if you go into “roid rage”. The thing with corticosteroids is you don’t know if they are going to work or not until you are injected and if they do work there is no telling for how long and different parts can react differently. For instance I had both of my knees injected and it barely worked on one and not at all on the other. It only lasted for a few weeks one the one knee and then I was back into some pretty bad pain. A few months ago I was injected from my tailbone to the base of my skull and on my lumbar spine it has worked amazingly well on my neck not so much and the same with my tailbone. It is worth a try though because everyone is different and if you can get a few months relief it is worth it.

Doctors to me at least it is very important to have a doctor that will put me in a heavy twilight sleep. These injections are very painful and since I feel a lot of pain daily I want a doctor that is compassionate and not want to inflict even more pain on me. My doctor is just like that and I am so thankful for him. Now there have been a few times I have woken up before he was done and he always apologizes for me not stay out the entire time.

Remember to weigh all options I am not a doctor so I cannot advise you I can only tell you what has worked for me. I am open to discussions however about what you are going through or what you and your doctor has tried, what has worked for you and what hasn’t.

Sometimes it Works…Sometimes it Doesn’t

When dealing with chronic pain doctors will use many different things to help control the pain and make it easier to live with. As the title says sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but you never know unless you try. Last Friday I had my back from the base of my skull to my tailbone injected it was very successful in my lower back and it has been pain free since the day of the injections, my neck was semi successful it is better than it was but there is still pain and stiffness, and my tailbone  was only pain free for a few days so that is not successful at all. I am not surprised though because each time my tailbone has been injected it wore off faster and faster each time.  I am thinking it is time to look into other options for that at least.

One thing I want to clear up (because I have had to explain this numerous times) the steroid that is used for pain is not the kind that makes a person get huge muscles and go crazy. For injections for pain it is corticosteroids they relieve inflammation which in turn relieves pain. It can last from three to twelve months so it is a temporary treatment and has to be repeated once it starts wearing off. The steroids that cheating athletes use is anabolic steroids they are growth hormones so it allows  them to be able to bulk up with little work. This might sound like a good idea until it starts to effect your mind and you start having episodes called “roid rage” which could cause you to kill someone or get you killed. Finally they will do permanent damage to your mind if you use them for a long period of time.

Other things that pain doctors use are pain medications and no two patients are the same when it comes to what works. Also when narcotics are used for long periods of time the body becomes accustom and they stop working as well. For awhile the dosage can be adjusted, however in time they become useless for  controlling the pain and another drug has to be found to help. Some people take more than one narcotic some take a muscle relaxer along with their pain medication. The muscle relaxer helps those that have muscle spasms relaxing the muscles also helps whatever pain medication work better. Once the body is relaxed and the spasms calmed the medication can give you greater relief.

There are also devices they can implant that blocks the nerve impulses to the brain that relays that you are in pain. These are also a hit and miss thing so many doctors will place a temporary one on the back to see how much it helps if at all. If it does work then they can implant a permanent one under the skin and then you have control over how much it blocks the pain. The last resort is surgery depending on what is causing the pain.

The bottom line is most of the time if you have chronic pain you will more than likely feel some level of pain the rest of your life so the key is to get it to a point that can be lived with. Thank you for reading and God Bless!

A Fresh Out Look..

Many people look at me and find it hard to believe that I suffer from chronic pain to the point I am disabled. Part of the reason is I am stubborn and I will force my body to do what it doesn’t want to do. I laugh often and cry seldom it is because believe it or not the more you mope, whine, and complain the worse you will feel. My pain has gotten better in the past year or so mostly due to an awesome pain doctor who listens to my concerns and what does or doesn’t work. I would probably be easier if all my pain was in one place but it isn’t. I have pain from the base of my skull to my tail bone. I was born without discs in my lower spine so it has been bone on bone all of my life and at nearly 52 years old it has become to much to bear without pain medication and trigger point injections. When I was in my 30’s I was in a car accident where my right knee went through the glove box door and the left one went through the dash. This happened coming to a sudden crashing stop from 55 mph so internally my knees were wrecked.  I have had both knees injected with corticosteroids and the fluid replaced in the left knee.

Since I became disabled I have had varying responses from people that I know some positive and some very negative. Believe me if you become disabled for things like pain that are not visible you will find out who your friends really are. At first when I got negativity from people it hurt and I took it personally to the point of depression. Then one day a light bulb went off and I came to the conclusion that it was foolish to become upset and depressed over people that evidently don’t care about you and are willing to judge you based on their own selfish conclusions.

You see I don’t walk all bent over I force myself to to walk tall I don’t sit around moping because I am in pain as I said earlier it only makes you feel worse. Not only that but I want no ones pity, pity is a negative thing and implies I so bad off that I deserve to be pitied and I do not want that not now not ever. I keep a positive and bright attitude towards my health problems and I feel better for it. I had a stroke 5 years ago and let me tell you the after effects of a stroke in the cerebellum can be quite entertaining. I walk like I am drunk, I get stuck saying words sometimes and it will come out something like this teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeentacles lol. I walked with a walker for a month then folded it up and put it away never to be used by me again. Then the game was on as to how many times I could catch myself before I fell. I did finally learn to walk all on my own again. Talking however is still up for debate sometimes  lol.

So now for the reason for this blog and what I want it to be. I want to be able to give positive encouragement to others that suffer from chronic pain with no pity or other negativity.