Neck Injection Ugh!!!

Well the swelling has all went down and the pain on the left side of my neck decreased which tells me it was the pressure from the swelling that caused it to hurt. The bad news is the pain on the right side has increased and so has the pain between my shoulder blades. This is getting so old and tiresome, but I know my doctor is doing the best that he can.

The problem is my insurance and the fact that you have non-medical people making decisions about medical things. So they tell my doctor that so many nerve blocks have to fail before I can get the radio frequency ablation ( which is burning the nerves with high frequency radio waves) this kills the nerves for up to a year at a time which means less pain for me.  My doctor is also in the process of trying to get them to approve the same thing for both sides of my lower back which was done over a year ago so now it is a waiting game.

I go back to see my doctor on the 31st and hopefully he says I don’t have to have another nerve block because I feel it has been proven they are not going to work and it is getting more painful with each injection so it is also questionable as to how much more pain I can take so please pray this is the last one.

Comments welcome please be respectful no foul language please. God Bless you all!

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So There Have Been Some Changes…

Recently I made the choice I no longer wanted to really strong opiate that I had been taking for almost six years and so a week before this months appointment with my pain doctor I detoxed myself. I researched things I could do to make it a little easier which really did help more than I thought it would. The first two days were the worst and some of the symptoms of withdrawl are sneezing fits sneezing really hard up five or six times in a row so in comes Benadryl which really helped, then there is diarrhea which for me was one of the very worst so I bought Imodium and that medicine is so awesome, severe leg pain this was also one of the worst so I used Tylenol Arthritis which kept it from being totally unbearable, and profuse sweating which a fan helps to keep cool.

My doctor was very understanding about me wanting off the strong opiate I told him I felt it was making my quality of life worse instead of better, my mind was always in a fog and that I had stopped doing a lot of the things I love because I just couldn’t concentrate on anything, and I just came to hate how it makes me feel. He was impressed I detoxed myself in a week, but I told him I don’t a strong addictive personality and the only thing I have ever been strong addicted to is nicotine and he told me that is genetic. I no longer smoke, but I do vape which is better than a cigarette any day.

Now I am still on an opiate that will never change because I suffer a lot of pain otherwise that is way to much to deal with. The one he put me on yesterday is a schedule IIII which means it has a very low chance of dependency or addiction in user. Plus I can split it up into six doses in case I have break through pain or I can take two pills three times a day. So far it is working really well much better than I expected.

Friday I go for another neck injection and really hope it works this time since the last three haven’t worked at all. Hopefully this time it is the radio frequency ablation (which burning the nerve or nerves causing the pain.) because it will do the most good. Still waiting for approval from insurance to have the same done to my lower back it has been over a year since I had that done and I can tell it is definitely time again.

That is all for this entry God Bless you all!

I Have Been Thinking Lately…

I have been thinking actually a lot lately about what makes people judge some illnesses and disabilities different than others. Not that it is right, but it is one thing when a stranger judges an overweight person as someone that eats to much and lazy they don’t them and don’t know their lifestyle or history. It makes them a jerk especially if they try to shame the person, however, they don’t know them therefore there is no emotional attachment to that person so they really don’t care what the truth is.

What truly baffles me why those that are suppose to love us, take care of us, and support us are often the ones that are the most cruel. Not just unbelief that the person is sick or has been diagnosed with a disability or several illnesses that cause a person to be disabled and sometimes even when given ample medical evidence still refuse to believe. These people can be mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, as well as best friends. I have a couple of personal examples of this that has personally happened to me and the first one happened to me three years after moving to Texas I had lost my job and was living with my best that helped me to move to Texas and his wife. I had just lost my job and was in the process of finding another one and one night we were sitting on the patio eating dinner and I had a stroke I was taken to the hospital and was admitted and I barely remember anything from the first three and my other best friend and her mother came to see me which I didn’t remember, but later her and my other friends wife came to see me. She had to go back to the car to get my phone and charger cord and while she was gone my friend told me she needed to confess something to me. What she said to me hurt my heart terribly she said that when I lived with her, her then husband, and father-in-law that I was lazy because when I wasn’t working or helping around the house I was sleeping a lot. She said at night when they were in their room she would tell her husband she couldn’t believe how lazy I was. Now back then I worked a full time job, helped around the house, and had a fairly full social life. That is why her words hurt so much. She said I never thought you might be sick ( when I was admitted I didn’t know I was diabetic and my blood sugar was 800 and I had ketoacidosis.) and ask for my forgiveness which I gave her. It did damage our friendship for awhile though because I struggled with her callousness and sadly it would not be the last time she would treat me that way. I believe I told the story of her taunting and laughing at me after I had a very painful injection in the side of my thigh. She told me straight out that she did not believe my pain was as bad as I said it was that changed our relationship forever. We didn’t speak to each other for three years and even once we started talking again it is not the same. I still love her, but I feel I can no longer depend on her for support.

I have had family members treat me in a similar manner and I just don’t have an answer as to why our loved ones would treat us like we are some stranger in the check out line at the supermarket.  So I would be interested to hear if any of you have any ideas other than they are jerks (that is stating the obvious) there has to be other reasons and I am sure they differ here and there.

Remember if you comment be respectful and no profanity if you comment. God Bless!

So it is Raining…

I have a love hate relationship with rain. I love the way it makes the air smell, I love that it makes flowers bloom, and I love it refills our aquifer ( I live in South-central Texas) because we have been in drought for years and right now we are out of drought conditions for only the second time in the nearly twelve years I have lived here. I hate rain because it makes every single joint in my body hurt and all the muscles ache like a toothache you know that painful throbbing ache. It may sound terrible but I try really hard to sleep through rainy days because my pain medication is least effective on days like this. Today that strategy didn’t work so I am here writing and listening Gabriel Iglesias on Netflix might as well laugh through the pain right?

I am a big one on laughter and happiness more so than most people because I never want to be one of those people that suffer from pain and let it take over and I become bitter and angry at everyone and everything. I see far to much of that at my pain clinic every single month and it is an ugly thing and very sad. People have asked how can you be so happy and cheerful while being in pain all the time. My answer is pain is what I have it is not who I am and I will strive hard to never allow it to take over who I am and make that angry and bitter person no one wants to be around. Because in all honesty even if you have compassion for a person like that after awhile you will start avoiding them because who wants to be yelled at and punished for something that isn’t your fault and I understand that. Also I don’t want to punish people in my life for the crappy card genetics has dealt me. It isn’t their fault and I would be a bad person to take it out on them when they are doing their best to help me and make me more comfortable so if you are one of those people stop it they are doing their best for you (in most cases) and you will end up alone.

If a person is treating you bad you have the right to defend yourself of course, but do it with dignity never ever stoop to their level because once you do you become no better than they are and they win not only in their eyes, but in the eyes of anyone witnessing the interaction (if you are out in the public). The minute you become highly defensive people will automatically assume that you that you are lying ( they will not understand that you have to defend yourself to idiots way to much). I take a different approach I remain calm I might ask them if I can see their medical license which must be special since they seem to be able to assess my health while standing in line at the supermarket without any background, x-rays, MRI, CT scan, physical examine, or any other tests. Now unless they are truly special idiots that will shut them up and you did not once stoop to their level and you win. Some people are just born jerks and don’t when to shut up, but you didn’t stoop to their level and so it is more likely that others nearby will then come to your defense as well so never allow one idiot to bring you down and never give them what they want and that is for you to make a scene. Turn it and let people see them for what they are and you can walk away with your head held high and they will slink away to whatever hole they crawled out of to lick their wounds.

I have learned many things in my journey with chronic pain one is no matter what you don’t have to lose your dignity I learned this after having my tailbone injected like four times and believe me there is nothing like laying on a table with your bare bottom sticking up in the air while having a conversation with the nurses and your doctor before being knocked out. Keep your sense of humor and it is so much more important than you might think in 2009 I had a stroke in my cerebellum which controls several very important functions like balance. I had to walk with a walker for a month because I would just randomly fall. After a month I decided I no longer wanted to be tied to a walker so I stopped using it much to the dismay of my roommates, but having had children and teaching them to walk I felt that my brain had reverted to the time before learning to walk and so I figured that I was never going to learn to walk again if I kept holding onto that walker. I fell a couple of times, but eventually I learned to stay on my feet it isn’t always graceful because as my daughter puts it I walk like a drunken toddler (no we have never gotten a toddler drunk, but you can imagine what it would look like). My boyfriend calls me the klutzy ballerina because I will be walking along and suddenly lose my balance so I am dancing around on one foot trying to find something to grab onto so I can steady myself it scares other people, but we laugh about it because we know I am not going to fall. I also don’t walk in a straight line anymore I walk at an angle to the left and didn’t realize it until I kept walking into things. My boyfriend said he was going to get me a harness and leash so he can just reel me back when I wander to far. So you have to keep your sense of humor because if you can laugh at yourself it will make your life much better.

The last lesson I will share for now is throw pride out the door. Pride is a horrible thing because it keeps you accepting help you are going to need. Like there are times I need help getting up if my knees are really painful like after storms and sometimes because they love to torture me. My boyfriend takes off my shoes and socks for me when I get home from a doctors appointment because it is very hard for me to bend over especially after sitting in a doctors office for hours. So let people help you it will make your life easier and at least a little less painful.

 

 

It Has Been Awhile…

I am going to try to revive this blog because I think it helps me to deal with all the feelings and stuff that goes along with living with pain every single day of my life. It also helps me deal with things people say to me that are at times very insensitive and if it is intentional then shame on them and if it isn’t then please stop and think before you speak.  A friend of mine saw me struggling to stand up and could see that it was really hurting me and the first words out of her mouth was ” I thought you take pain medication.” and my answer was I do, but what people don’t understand is it doesn’t kill all the pain especially when trying to stand up, walking, bending over, or standing for more than a few minutes at a time. Pain medications purpose is to make me more comfortable by making it where I don’t have to feel the full force of the pain all the time. I have had people tell me I don’t look like I am in pain and annoys me because how am I suppose to look being in pain? There are a lot of invisible illnesses and ailments for that matter most are invisible. If it is something that happens inside of the body it cannot be seen, but for some reason people seem to pick on certain things like pain when the pain is just a symptom for the different things wrong with my body.

I was born missing a few discs in my lower spine and has caused me a certain amount of pain most of my life, but now the damage to nerves, tendons, muscles, etc  is so much worse and there is really not much that can be dome except to manage the inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain. Five years ago when I first started seeing my pain management doctor he said that the arthritis in my neck was so bad that if he didn’t know better he would have thought I was ninety years old the damage is that bad. It causes migraines, I can barely turn my head to the right, and lots of jaw pain. When I turn my head to the right or tip my head back it feels like someone is shoving a big butcher knife into my neck between the bottom of my ear and the top of the hinge of my jaw the pain is very sharp and often makes me wince. Then my knees in 1992 I was in a really bad car accident that slammed my right knee through the glove box door and my left knee shoved my left knee into my radio shoving it to the engines firewall and although there wasn’t much damage to the outer part of my knees there was a lot of damage inside of them. They both rub bone on bone and when bent my right knee is actually shaped different than the left one from being slammed into then through the glove box door.

I have to admit it annoys me that people some of them are people I know personally will judge me off of what they see. I look normal and I don’t look sick on the outside so they think I am faking. When I found out that I have heart problems no one questions that and no one accuses me of faking heart problems yet they question my pain. One of our friends pretty much accused me of being a drug addict. The thing is I have tons of medical proof from x-rays to MRI’s and because my spine isn’t hanging out of my body, my neck isn’t torn open, and my knees aren’t ripped wide open I must be faking it. Several times a year I go in for injections that are so painful I am put into twilight sleep. I usually end up in more pain for a day or two especially in the neck. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me, but when it comes from those that are suppose to care about you it tends to eat at you.

So try to be more compassionate and remember not every illness can be seen and some people try to have more dignity than walking around moaning and groaning all the time just so people won’t accuse them of lying and being a junky!

Injections for Occipital Neuralgia…

I had such hopes that these injections would work but they are an utter failure. I have had neck and head pain for two days now. Occipital Neuralgia is caused by the occipital nerve being damaged or pinched due to arthritis the pain is very much like that of a migraine the biggest difference is that migraine medication has no effect on the pain. I have the pain on the right side of my face it is at first a burning pain that starts at the back of my head and neck it travels up behind my ear then travels across my temple and then travels inward to the back of my right eye. To make matters worse there are also random sharp shooting pains along the same path. I have light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, and nausea.

I don’t know what my pain management doctor will do since the injections failed but I know he needs to do something to stop this pain. It is so hard to function when your head constantly hurts. All you can think about is this pain and it makes you forgetful, it makes you snap at people, it makes enjoying anything nearly impossible, and makes you just want to sleep because that is the only time you get relief.

I will write more after I see my doctor on Wednesday so that I can update and let you all know what he has decided to try. God Bless you all!