Nerve Pain…

I talk often about the other forms of pain I have in my spine, my knees, neck, and migraines, but I haven’t talked much about my diabetic nerve pain. I have it in both of my feet and both thighs and it feels very different in my feet than it does in my thighs.

Most people understand that it means that the nerves are dying and they are, however they do not go quietly by any means and I am happy when a section goes completely numb because it is one less area to hurt. My toes feel like they are being shocked at times other times they feel like they are ice cold, but when I feel they are warm. The tops of my feet burn like someone is putting out a big fat cigar on my foot over and over. The bottoms of my feet just under my toes back to about mid foot is pretty much numb except deep into my foot, but it has to be a really hard press for me to feel it.

My thighs from just below my hip to my knee on the outer part of my thighs feels like someone is pouring boiling water down them and I cannot stand for them to be touched because it sets the pain off. There are times when it just happens and it sucks because I have to resist the urge to rub it because that will just make it worse. Also none of it has ever went numb like parts of my feet have and I am not sure if that is because it is relatively new or because of the nerve pain medication I take called Lyrica which I now take the maximum dose of 400mg at bedtime so if it stops working I am not sure where it go to from here.

One thing is for certain nerves do not go down quickly or quietly.

Comments always welcome be nice and no foul language. God Bless!

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Update on New Med and Neck Injection…

First thing the new pain med it has been about six days since I started taking it and I have to say I am impressed with it. It deals with my pain without my head feeling like it is in a fog. I am way more alert and don’t have the desire to sleep all the time and I have so much more energy way more than I have had in the past two years for sure. So I feel I made the right choice for myself and the fact that my doctor was supportive was really great, but I felt he would be because he is one of the best doctors I have ever had.

Now to the neck injection I am still in considerable pain at times which concerns me and now it hurts on both sides of my neck and that worries me as well. The swelling is considerably more than the other three times. Hopefully when the swelling goes down the pain will stop because right now when I am sitting up my head feels to heavy for my neck I know that is a weird description, but that is what it feels like lol.  So basically the jury is still out on the neck injection. I will update again once the swelling goes away please pray this works because I am really tired of being in so much pain I have a literal pain in the neck.

Comments are always welcome please be polite and no foul language! God Bless you all!

The Pain of Being in Pain…

I think sometimes my body is sadistic because it is not bad enough that I am in pain 24/7 every now and then it decides I need to be in more pain and for no apparent reason. For the past two days I have been having wicked muscle spasms from the base of my neck to just above my tailbone and my muscle relaxers and pain medication was barely working. I must admit those forty-eight hours were pretty rough and there were a few tears over it. For me it was just another reminder that no matter how bad I feel on a daily basis it can definitely be much worse.

Luckily for me it went away in just a couple of days and I pray it is not a sign of things to come because my spine already has enough problems as it is. It is something I will need to report this to my pain management doctor to see if I need another MRI to make sure things haven’t changed as far as nerve damaged plus I am due for another radio frequency ablation this is where they use a probe inserted into my lower back to burn and kill off certain sympathetic ganglion nerves. What this does is help block the pain signal from that area from reaching my brain. The great thing is if it goes well it can last over a year and it means I don’t have to take more medication which is always a good thing.

Every few months I also get corticosteroid injections in my knees to help with that pain and I have in them because of damaged caused by a car accident in 1992, we are working me towards a radio frequency ablation for my neck they have to try all other avenues first, and then approval for my next radio frequency ablation for my back. I have also had corticosteroid injections in my tailbone (once you have that done all modesty goes out the window lol). Luckily my doctor puts me in twilight sleep to have these done and though it doesn’t always kill all the pain it does help make it bearable because I doubt I could do it wide awake because those are really big needles. I am not afraid of needles, but there is a limit to what is a bit scary and what isn’t and all of those are.

Some people have asked why I go through all of that and it is a simple answer really it is another level of pain control plus if I didn’t get injections I would need more pain medication than I now take and I definitely don’t want that. I remember when I first met my pain management doctor and one of the very first things we discussed. I told him I wanted the smallest possible dose to make my pain bearable because I was never under any illusion that my pain would ever go completely  away and so bearable was and is my goal. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes it goes where it wasn’t suppose to spread to and makes the pain worse for up to a week and a week and half which frankly sucks. Truth is though most of the time it helps to some degree and that is better than more medication any day.

Remember a few years ago close friend ours made a flippant remark about how lucky I was to be able to legally take the medications that I do and it struck me like a blow both to my integrity and his evident disbelief of the severity of my pain. It made me emotional and made me very upset. I had to ask him if he thought it was a picnic to feel like someone was ripping your spine out of your back, if he thought it was a walk in the park to feel like your knees have been beat with a sledge hammer had to cry just trying to stand up, or to have neck pain so bad that you have back to back migraines and feel like someone was stabbing  you between the shoulder blades with a red hot knife? I also let him know truly offensive that statement was to me not to mention disrespectful. I told him that if they found a way to control all my different types pain I would destroy every single pain pill I had go through withdraw and never touch one again.

I told him I could not imagine why anyone would willing want to take something like that just for the fun of it. The risk of addiction and overdose taking it just for the hell of it just baffled me. I wish every single day that it hadn’t come to taking this stuff. He ended up apologizing and admitted that he never thought about it like that before (sadly very few do). At first I felt a little bad about jumping all over him the way I did, but then I thought about it later and I really didn’t because if he learned something like compassion, the dangers of taking prescription painkillers recreationally, or even think before they speak would be worth giving someone a tongue lashing over.

Comments are welcome be respectful and no profanity and God Bless!

Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover…

I was reminded of something that happened to me in an emergency room a couple years before I was legally deemed disabled. I had always had a certain amount of pain associated with my lower back certain tasks like sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming always have caused me somewhat painful stitch in my side that radiated to my lower back so I just got used to doing them a little at a time. After I moved to Texas in 2006 I was trying to exercise more and to lose weight and it was the day after one of my long walks that I had the first really bad episode with my back.

I had bent over to pick something up off the floor and as soon as I grabbed whatever it was and started to stand upright again it was like someone had taken a red hot butcher knife sliced deep into my lower back from one side to the other. It literally took my breath it hurt so bad, but I managed to stand back up. My friend that I lived with at the time took me to the emergency room. I waited what seemed like forever to be called back. When I got back to the room I got up on the end of the bed and waited to be seen. After a few minutes the doctor came in and looked at the chart and says “I see here you came in with a complaint of severe lower back pain.” I confirmed that was indeed why I was there. So then he says “I saw you walking down the hall when they called you back and you had excellent posture which is not indicative of a person having severe back pain.” I am guessing the tears streaming down my face didn’t count as an indication of severe pain.

Instead of getting angry and saying things I would have regretted I simply told him to feel my lower back. So he moved behind me and started feeling along my lower back and he was like “How on earth can you stand so straight your lower back is like a brick wall all your muscles are in full spasm.” My answer was simply stubbornness I knew if I stooped over it would just make the pain that much worse and growing up I was never allowed to have bad posture. My Grandmother would smack us hard between the shoulder blades if she caught us slouching or stooping. She always asked us ” Do you want to grow up having a hump on your back?” So the diagnoses after some painful x-rays was a torn muscle and I was laid up for about two weeks on muscles relaxers and pain medication. I was okay after that for a few months after the second episode it started happening more frequently and each time it was more painful than the last. It wasn’t until much later that I found out it had little to do with the muscles themselves it was that my sympathetic ganglion nerves had been over the years damaged because of the missing discs in my spine.

My point here is that even doctors will judge you unfairly based on nothing more than how you look or act.  I think it is a lesson to us all to be very careful of what we say to others because things very often are not what they seem to be. Use love and compassion with all that you meet and think about how you would feel in their place. Everyone is different and it is actually one of the beautiful things in life and the good and positive things should be celebrated while the bad and ugly should be avoided. Always remember that you will also reap what you sow.

Cold Fronts go Away…

I don’t care if you are weak, medium, or strong just go away I hate you! I am sitting here nursing two sore knees, but the right one is really painful and if I touch it feels like I have been kicked with a steel toed boot.

I am due for corticosteroid injections in both of them, but I have to wait for the insurance company to approve the injections. If they would approve the Synvisc ( knee fluid replacement. It is pretty much the same as the fluid that should be in your knee naturally, but much thicker) and it takes three weeks to do the three injections because of it being thicker. If they would just approve those again they wouldn’t have to worry about it injections for my knees for up to a year. They of course don’t seem to be able to see the logic in that and evidently would rather pay for the steroid injections every six months.

In the mean time I have to deal with the pain, limping which eventually makes other thinks hurt, and did I mention pain? The thing is they know I am going to need them because at the most they only last a few weeks (compared with a a year with the Synvisc). It is the same with my back and neck so why they cannot having a standing approval for them when they are needed it would really help to manage my pain better. I go weeks sometimes months before some injections get approved. Because of the damage to my nerves in my neck including the Occipital nerve I get headaches much like migraines. I had a headache once that lasted for about five months and it felt like someone was shoving a red hot poker through the back of my head and out my right eye. It is called Occipital neuralgia and if you would like to read about it go here http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/occipital-neuralgia-symptoms-causes-treatments

Seriously no one should have to suffer that long from a headache like that for five months which literally feels like forever. All i wanted to do was sleep because at least for a short time I could escape the pain, but it would usually wake me back up after and hour or two. Cold fronts actually make all my pain issues worse, but since I have to walk I feel the pain in my knees more especially when a cold front passes through. Arthritis does not like cold of any kind. So please spring get here before i am tempted to cut off a leg above the knee!

God bless you all and thank you for reading my ramblings! Prayers and comments welcome and acting like the adults you are is appreciated!

Results of my Doctors Appointment…

First I must apologize for this being late I had forgotten that I had neck injections the very next day and they always knock me for a loop.

So I spoke to my doctor about the pain in my neck even though I was due for injections there was more pain on the right side where the arthritis is worse and there is a catching over there to the point that sometimes it catches and I have to work my neck to make it let go and many times there is an audible pop when it does let go along with pain. So he decided to do some trigger point injections along with the deep injections to help with the pain the catching is something I am going to have to live with at least for the time being. He doesn’t want me going under general anesthesia anytime in the near future because I have had pneumonia twice in 6 months. The trigger points will at least help with the pain although I had them on Friday I still cannot tip my head to far to the right, but there is still a lot of swelling back there and I am starting to feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

We also talked about my back and the last injections he did back there and that not only did they not work all that well, but they caused another really annoying pain. It goes from my lower back and shoots around the front of my hip into my pelvic area and it is quite sharp at times. So he wants to try it again and fix the pain going into my pelvis at the same time. Now some might wonder why I would let him do it again if it didn’t work and caused another problem. Well it is pretty simple nerves don’t always behave as expected and he also has to find the right sympathetic ganglion nerves to deaden and sometimes it takes me more than once to deaden them completely. When you are in pain all the time two things you need to learn is patience and the other is to trust your doctor because if you don’t trust your doctor then you have no business wasting their time. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask question or have a say in what happens to your body, but they did go to school for a lot of years and train to do what they do.

Next was my knees they have been so painful lately and I told my doctor it feels like there are sharp marbles under my kneecaps and if you can imagine that you will have an inkling of how painful it has been for me to walk. Part of the problem is these stupid cold fronts that keep coming through I no more than start healing from one and another one is on it’s way here and then the pain cycle gets ramped up once again. The other problem is the damage my knees sustained in 1992 during a car accident. We hit another car doing 55mph and the guy sitting behind me in the backseat did not have his seat belt on and so on impact he hit the back of my seat ripping the bolts through the floor of the car. My right knee slammed through the glove box door shattering the door and damaging the meniscus in my knee ( the meniscus is the thin layer of cartilage on the ends of your bones that help your knee joints to move smoothly and protect the ends of the bones from damage.) my left knee didn’t fair as well because it slammed into the dash shoving my radio all the way to the firewall and the meniscus on the ends of each bone exploded and I no longer have a meniscus in that knee on either bone. So that knee has been rubbing bone on bone since 1992 and it has taken a toll I have bone spurs and a ton of inflammation and inflammation translates to lots of pain. The bad thing is I am unable to take oral anti-inflammatory drugs because they make my body swell so I go between corticosteroid injections and Synvisc injections (Synvisc is a fluid like what a healthy knee produces for lubrication but much thicker so it is done once a week for three weeks.) I have had great results with the synvisc the last time being pain free for a whole year, but the state doesn’t want to pay for it again even though it works better than the steroids and doesn’t mess with my diabetes like the steroids do.

He also let me keep the muscle relaxer Soma even though it is habit forming it is the only thing right now that is working on these hellish back spasms because no one should cry while doing a few dishes or folding clothes. So until next time God’s blessings to you all! Prayers and comments are always welcome just please behave like the adults you are!

Doctors Appointment Tomorrow…

I go for my monthly visit tomorrow which I do every 28 days whether anything has changed or not and that is because I take an opiod pain killer which most call narcotics and I don’t like it, but then if I want to function at all it is a must. I take the lowest possible dose because I don’t want to be a zombie because that would be just as bad as the pain because I would be so out of it I wouldn’t be able to function anyway. So I feel pain everyday all day long so it is more of keeping the pain to a tolerable level opposed to killing it completely.

I have to tell my doctor that my knees are acting up again and making it a real pain to stand up and walk because it hurts so bad under my knee caps they don’t want to bend. Also the nerve block he tried in my back did not work either and actually it seems worse now that it was and now I have pain in my pelvic area now that is radiating from my back (sigh) it just never seems to end. I know I am usually much more upbeat than this and I do apologize, but sometimes it just gets downright depressing when nothing works and even at times makes things worse and even adds new pain to deal with.

I am very careful though to never take it out on those around me especially my boyfriend who is always so helpful and understands enough that he never pushes me to do more than I say I can do at the time. As a matter of fact whenever I want to do more than I normally do like walk with him to take out the trash or to go get the mail he always asks if I am sure I want to do that and if I really feel I can without making me hurt more. There has been a time or two it has backfired and I did end up in more pain, but he never said “I told you so.” instead he helps me until I feel better.

Tomorrow God willing I will be back to let you know what has been decided on as the next steps to combat this pain. Prayers and comments are welcome! Be nice and behave like the adults you are! God’s blessing for you all! Be well and treat others as you would like to be treated!

It Has Been Awhile…

I know it has been quite awhile since the last time I have updated this blog. Partly from frustration and partly because my pain would not allow me to sit here long enough to write down my thoughts.

Since the last time I posted I have had my knees injected twice and it isn’t working very well right now because Texas is having bi-polar weather and it will get warm then a huge cold front will blow through and there I go into severe pain. The last time I had to practically drag my right leg because it hurt to put any pressure on it and it did not want to bend either. They just got to where they were starting to feel better and now here comes another cold front.

I also recently had the nerves in my neck burned and I am still not convinced it was actually worth it other than the fact that it got rid of my 5 month long headache. I do still have pain in parts of my neck, across my shoulders, and down between my shoulder blades. My doctor said to give it time because it can take a couple weeks for it to take full effect so we will see. Then yesterday I went and have nerve blocks done in my lower lumbar and  other than some sharp pain the day of it seems to be more of a success than the nerve burning in my neck was.

Medication wise I am pretty much taking the same with the exception of muscle relaxer and that was changed to a stronger one since the other one stopped working. I do have some advice for anyone out there suffering chronic pain. When choosing your pain management doctor do not sign a contract with any doctor that will not listen to you about your pain, about how you want to treat it, and who will not put you in twilight for injections. These injections that are deep hurt like bloody hell and you may still feel it in twilight but it isn’t as bad in twilight because it takes the edge off by relaxing your entire body. Never go with a doctor that wants only to push pills. Now I do take pain medication but dose is low by my choice as I am willing to suffer some pain to keep from being a zombie. You cannot enjoy life if you are constantly in a stupor from tons of medication. I take one for my general body pain, one for nerve pain from my diabetes, and then a muscle relaxer that helps my pain medication work better ( if you have muscle spasms then your pain medications effectiveness is cut in half at the least. Address both pain and spasms and you get much better relief.)

Some more advice here for those in pain I know it hurts but never stop moving. Once you give in to the pain and stop moving your joints will stiffen and then when you do have to move it is going to hurt you even more. Have good posture do not stoop over because it will increase your pain and eventually your back will lock into that position and you will never be able to stand straight again. I force myself to have good posture it doesn’t matter how much it hurts because I know this hurts less than being all stooped over. Do not dwell on your pain because your mind is a powerful thing and if all you do is concentrate on the pain it will amplify it so find things to help take your mind off of it even for short periods will help. It may sound crazy but keep a positive outlook it helps tremendously in managing your pain because if you are always all doom and gloom then your pain is going to feel so much worse. I laugh and smile as much as possible every single day. It also has the added benefit of people wanting to be around you and even help you because face it who wants to be around someone that is always bitter, complaining, and grouchy. You should never ever take out your pain on those around you because it is not their fault you are in pain simple as that and taking it out on them will only drive them from your life.

 

Peace and God’s blessings for you all! If you have questions by all means please do ask. Be kind and use your manners or your comment will never appear…thank you!

Oh the Frustration…

It is not bad enough that lately the pain in my knees has been through the roof, but then once I get all of my appointments set ( or so I thought) medicaid transportation fails to pick me up for two out of three of my appointments. I could call and make a complaint, however it would go in one ear and out there other and nothing would change and I know this because I filed complaints before. I tried being a responsible adult and gave up driving because I take strong pain killers and so felt it was not safe for me to drive and gave up my drivers license because I would have to decide if I wanted to skip a dose in order to drive or not drive.

Pain is partly kept in control by keeping pain medication at an even level within the body. If I skip a dose then my pain will spike and depending how long it takes me to take that dose I could be in considerable pain. It will then take it longer for me to get into control again and I literally suffer for it. So I decided it was not worth it in order to drive. Most of the time it is not a problem.

I now have an appointment to have my knees done on the 23rd, my neck on the 30th we will see if they pick me up or not. This not only frustrates me but my doctor as well. He is doing his level best to keep as pain free as possible, but cannot give me the procedures if I cannot get to him.

I will post an update and please pray they get their act together so that I can get these procedures done.

God bless!

When it Doesn’t Work it Really Doesn’t Work…

I went the 14th of last month like a good little girl and had my neck injections and once the numbness wore off it was hell. It hurt so bad I was nearly in tears. The days that followed were not the greatest the pain has now calmed to what it was before the injections so I gained nothing from I don’t know when or if he will want to do them again. It would be one thing if it was just my neck that hurt, but that isn’t at all the case. It causes my head to hurt, my upper back, my shoulders, and around my right shoulder blade.

So I throw up my arms (well if I could I would) because I do not know what to do. Do I do it again or not. The last time it took three different sessions to get it right. Well I will let you know when I know!