Tag Archives: chronic pain management

Health Update : July/Aug 2017

15 Aug

It’s interesting to go through the past few health updates each time I write a new one to see how I’ve progressed/regressed. It is so easy to just see the mountain you’re climbing that you forget how far you’ve already climbed! The struggle with this battle is that there’s dips and valleys and straight-up peaks that I’ve got to get through and over. Some days I don’t feel up for the challenge but right now, I’m ready for it. I will one day be healthy enough to have the homestead I dream of. I will.

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Overall Health: I have had some LOW lows and some pretty good highs this past four weeks. But, the lows don’t seem to be lasting quite as long as they used to. I even have gotten out for some fun a few weekends.

Notes: 7-7 teeth are aching. migraine. Fatigue all day. Need to take a bath but it’s just too much. Fibropain is kicking up late in evening
7-8 fibropain is in arms, not severe just.. There. Migraine trying to kick in. Tired but can’t sleep
7-9 fatigue and migraine all day. fibromyalgia flaring bad this evening can’t sleep
7-13 fatigue not quite as intense. Fibropain flared in left hand and in calves. Migraine came in evening. 
7-18 slight pain over heart. Fatigue. Migraine trying to kick up -able to be out and about for @6hrs. Back and feet hurt after
7-19 started liver ‘pill’ trial. Went out for a few hrs, migraine kicking up early afternoon. Fatigue and migraine even after 2hr nap. 
7-21 woke up with bad fatigue and migraine. Had to stay home all day. Took two naps, over an HR each, didn’t help with fatigue. Going to bed with level 8 migraine and exhausted. Some fibropain today too. Days away from monthly
7-23 (yesterday i felt pretty good) migraine, nausea and fatigue today. Took a 2 hr nap. Woke up dehydrated, as usual. Brain foggy. 
7-24 afternoon/evening severe (level 9?) migraine. Fibropain flared but not severe. 
7-26 level 10 migraine. Vision was funny off and on all day. Got sparkles in left eye around 4pm. 
7-27 starting fibronol again
8-1 IV today. Woke up shaky, weak and migraine. Severe migraine in evening
8-2 woke up with migraine. Got it calmed enough to sand chair for half an hour
8-3 upped fibronol to 2a day
8-5 another vision loss migraine. Pain didn’t stay severe as long. Nausea. (had gone to see movie in a theatre)
8-7 started Lightning Pearls. Felt pretty good today, migraine kicked up early aft.

8-12/13 felt good overall. so days 21/22 of cycle. still took a few clonidine each day

8-14 worked out for half an hr. upped lighting pearls to 2 a day.

We added glutathione to the end of my IV this last time. The IV’s help so much in reducing my symptoms that I’m excited to add more helps to them.

Sleep: I ran out of Theanine so I was taking melatonin almost every night to help me get to sleep and boy, oh boy, that’s never a good idea. I finally figured that even with how poorly I sleep on my own, at least I wouldn’t be having the nightmares that regular melatonin brings. Thankfully my new bottle of Theanine arrived the other day

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my ‘you don’t always have to be thankful it’s not worse’ face

Memory/Disassociation : These are both unchanged I believe. Although this past Sunday we were out and about all morning and I did very well.

Vision: Along with getting level 10 migraines more frequently, my vision has been ….funky. When those severe ones hit, I’ll lose the sight in my left eye. Thankfully, we have figured out the treatment to get the pain down quickly (or even avoid the severity altogether) as I used to lose sight for half an hr. And then the pain would swoop in about 20 minutes later and last HOURS. So I’m glad we’ve figured out part of it. But now I’m noticing just… irregularities with my sight sometimes. Trying to read – computer or printed page – can be nauseating and the light/words seem to move.

Dizziness:  This has only been present a few times

Fibromyalgia: While I will feel discomfort/tenseness in my calves and writsts/arms, and occasionally shooting pains, the drive-me-insane levels haven’t come back this month. I am curious if this is the fibronol doing its thing. Ice and advil and heat are still my friends for this

Fatigue: This has been back and forth. It will knock me out flat for days at a time and then be on the back burner. I’ve noticed that sometimes getting up and doing something for a few minutes helps ease it

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I now need this shirt

Weight Loss: I haven’t been as consistently strict on my eating this past four weeks which means I haven’t done as well at losing weight.

Mood: Still no major mood swings but it’s still been a struggle. Getting frustrated easily, or just having negative thoughts a lot would throw me all off balance. It has been better the past several days though

Bladder: This had been marginally better but not anymore.

~In an effort to focus on the things that I can do, here’s a few things that I’m currently thankful for : I’m able to make dinner almost every night. I’m now able to drive myself to my doctor appointments. I’m also able to run errands on my own. My attention span has been a little bit better.

~On the flip side, little irritants : the floaters in my eyes lately are driving me crazy. my hands instinctively curl up/tense, which hurts. If I sleep at all without my night guard, I pay for it. severely.

I feel like we’ve made a few strides forward this month and I’m just praying it continues

How have you been this month? 

~Laura

 

 

 

Encouragement for living with Chronic Pain Part 4

10 Aug

Hello friends! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I’ve been sharing a series of posts filled with articles on living with – and being a supporter and encourager  of someone with – chronic pain.

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Facebook posts we all want to share but don’t  by themighty.com

 

Why is Pacing Important? by My Eds Journey

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How Chronic Illness makes you awesome by Chronic Mom

Coping Skills to Manage the Emotional Stress by Life in Slow Motion

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Facing Suffering that lasts longer than a Season by Life in Slow Motion

Symptoms of my Lyme Disease by SGL

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~Laura

Do you have any encouraging posts to share? 

The Dark before the Dawn

13 Apr

I’m sitting up at 1:30 am exhausted, knees bouncing and eyes blurry. I’m exhausted. Yet unable to sleep because of the nerve pain throughout my body. This is a relatively new symptom and I’m sick of it already. It seems to be present when my migraine is minimal/absent. And while I am so very thankful that the migraines seemed to have eased slightly, I’m not too crazy about what’s replacing them. Do I want the migraine back to what it was before? no. no thank you and good night. But, that’s not really a choice I get to make anyway. So. Here I sit, the house silent and dark but for the diffuser I set to going and the one light on behind me.

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I’ve been thinking about pain a lot lately. It is, after all, my one constant companion  – aside from Abby who wants to follow my every movement – so these are some of my thoughts:

Pain is isolating, my friends. No matter how hard I try to not let it – it does. It pulls you from the world that’s spinning and moving and progressing and puts you in a sort of vortex. Where time speeds up and then seems to stop. Where one breath is agony yet days disappear in a haze.

Pain is deceptive. It doesn’t have to show itself on people’s faces or in their limbs to be felt – to be excruciating. I look as healthy as the next person but ask me to walk up a flight of stairs, carry something heavy or just walk around for several hours and …. well, it’s not gonna happen easily.

Pain is….hidden. The constant refrain of ‘i don’t feel well’ , ‘I have a migraine’ , ‘i’m exhausted’ , gets wearying after a while. So. You stop saying it. But then you find that you’re covering how you really feel. And ignoring new – and painful – symptoms. And then one day your doctor mentions that you seem to be doing better and you have to stop a moment and admit the truth – you’re hiding it. From your doctor. The very last person you should be hiding it from.

Pain messes with your brain. Do you really have a new symptom or are you just tired? Is the difficulty in typing stem from the fact that  you impaled your thumb or that some of your brain-to-fingers skills are dulling? Are your eyes blurry because you’re tired or something more malicious? What about these aches/nerves on fire – are you on the road to more neurological problems or is it just some herxing going on?

~Seriously, you can’t decide what’s legitimate or not. ~

 

~glorious day, I just realized I’m no longer having to bounce my legs to ease the pain. I think I’m gonna go crawl back in bed under my electric throw (the only thing that truly eases these) and see if I can sleep. To be continued….~

I’m actually going to end this here. It’s been a few days since I wrote the above and I just want to add that one day, however far or near, this pain will end. jer3017

~Laura

Health Update – March 2017

29 Mar

 

What a month! Spring is starting to show up here and we are so very ready for it. I’m dreaming of a small container garden and getting the landlord here to spruce up this yard of ours (he’s also a landscaper.) This time last year I had roses on my bush, it’s definitely a delayed spring!

Well, on to the topic of fighting this Lyme disease.

fightinglymemigraines

Migraine app notes – I’ve had 7 attacks, lasting in average of 72 hours. So, while they’ve absolutely been lasting longer, I’ve had 6 attack-free days. Which I believe is a record! I’ve been getting an average of 7 hrs of sleep each night – this doesn’t typically account for the getting up a few times and tossing and turning. I’ve taken 38 Clonidine. They happen 80% of the time between 12pm and 12am (ha! so helpful,that). Average level is 7.9. Top three auras/prodrome are fatigue/achiness, headache and weakness. Top three triggers are neck pain, interrupted sleep and lack of sleep. Top three symptoms are jaw pain, neck pain and throbbing pain. Frequent start positions are the same as usual, temples, eyes, jaw and base of neck.

( Comparing to last month, I added one attack-free day and the pain increased slightly while the duration rocketed up.)

Overall Health/ Treatment: Some days I feel like I’m starting to do better – and then the little evil bugs laugh and do a stealth attack. I’ve had a few symptoms ease/disappear which is wonderful. I’m going to keep my notes from this month instead of re-typing them. =)

3/18 note  – started taking iron again today – at 5 ml 2x a day to get used to it. am continuing taking antibiotic (doxycycline) for another 2-4 weeks to see if it helps or not. started a probiotic ( sacro-b) what with taking the antibiotic longer.  went off of: garlic, ehb, epo. Finishing my bottle of Silver, then going off it too. dr suggested i start having bone broth. she also wants me to do a metal toxicity test, i’ll do it after i get back from bend next week. since we aren’t making any headway with what we’ve been trying, she wants to go a different track. Dr also wants me to start taking butterbur. need to start taking the xiao chai hu tang again.  –pain has been awful these past two weeks, plus i got sick and then started my cycle a few days after getting over the cold. migraines hit hard in evening and sometimes i wake up with them in am. have lost 1.6 lbs last two weeks.

3-24 – started back up on doxycycline on the 20th. As well as the sacro-b. Upped my iron to 15ml a day on the 22nd. Taking phosphorus 1-2x a day. Needing melatonin to sleep still. Pain is definitely worse in evenings. Still daily migraines, tmj and calf/feet tenseness and a bit of cramping. Migraine seems to ease a bit more quickly the past few days. Skin is clearing up again, hopeful it’s the antibiotics and it’ll stay clear. Able to focus again, have even been writing.

3-29- ceanothus – trying 3 drops am, 2 drops aft, 1 drop  eve to see if it helps with the evening migraine and fatigue. have gained back the weight I’d lost.

Migraines: They have increased in intensity without hitting 10 at all, I don’t think! that’s cause for celebration, folks. This past week-ish they seem to respond to treatments a bit better. The rest of the month, they were resistant to everything.

Digestion/TMJ: Once again, my digestion is off. Looking forward to stocking the house with healthy options and see if I can get it to calm down again. TMJ… I’ve been clenching/grinding so much lately that my teeth hurt most of the time. The jaw pain is normal now. Finally rescheduled my appointment with the ‘jaw doctor’ as I’ve labeled her, since I had to cancel my last  appt when I was sick. (anyone else find that statement ironic, ‘when I was sick’?)

Sleep: I’ve been needing Theanine or Melatonin to get to – and stay – asleep. It’s frustrating since I was able to get off of it for a while. BUT! The night sweats have gone away.

Memory/Brain Fog: Brain fuzziness (a step down from fog??) reappeared while I was in Bend. Over-stimulation perhaps? It was strongest on my birthday, sadly. Gives one the sense of not being present. I’m hoping this eases soon.

Vision: My eyes still frequently get blurry, or just take a bit longer to focus than they should. It hasn’t progressed though.

Feet/Leg cramps: The cramps are random and maybe once a week now. Typically it’s just tenseness – which can be distracting and painful on their own. Sometimes soaking them in epsom salt helps.

Dizziness: This got worse recently, but I haven’t been watching my salt intake.

Joint Pain: This has mostly shifted to my knees/ankles. I’m so thankful that it has left my fingers – that was the worst for me.

Fatigue: This is still a struggle. Like I said above, I’m gonna try taking 1 drop of Ceanothus  to see if it helps.

~I have started following some fellow lyme disease sufferers/warriors on Instagram and in talking with one of them the other day, I learned that ‘they’ have recently learned that you can get Lyme, not just from ticks, but from other nasties like mosquitos, fleas and spiders. SPIDERS, people. I’ve been thinking back on my symptoms lately and kept getting stuck on the timeline of when I was in Culinary school and got a rather awful spider bite on my cheekbone. It swelled up so bad that it impaired my vision. Now, I grew up in an older house and got bit all the time so I didn’t think anything of it. But now…. It doesn’t really help much, other than to mentally be able to put more of a year on it. By then, I’d had migraines for a few years but after that… everything started to crash. Literally.

That’s all for today folks, I’m gonna rest and then – hopefully – get out to go grocery shopping!

Happy Wednesday,

Laura

 

Health Update – 9/23/2016

23 Sep

How in the world can September already be almost over?! Although, the coming of all things pumpkin and fall does help ease the shock of it 😉

 

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Overall Health: since getting back on the majority of my vitamins/supplements I’ve been better – comparably. For about a week I was stuck on the couch due to unbelievable weakness and exhaustion. I haven’t been quite so negative. I haven’t had to nap so often lately, but sleeping at night has been really rough. I’ve been able to walk the dogs a few times a week, which benefits all 3 of us.

Treatment: I went in to my doctor the beginning of this week and we changed up what I’ve been taking, and she sent me home with several new things to start! I am currently off the Xiao Chai Hu Tang (possibly the cause of my extreme exhaustion last week) and have started taking Silver. (yes, silver! apparently while it’s very gentle on you, it kills things, who knew?) Tomorrow I start taking EHB, then if I don’t react negatively to that, 3 days later I start Garlic pills (oh joy). 3 days later, Vitamin E and then, you guessed it, 3 days after that, Copper pills. She’s also told me to start drinking 1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings.

Migraines: Killer. They have been going from a 5 to an 8 (or higher) in the blink of an eye, making thinking (and anything else really) incredibly difficult.

Digestion and TMJ: Neither have changed here-which means they aren’t that good… but while my jaw has been hurting a lot, it doesn’t pop as much as it used to! Silver lining right there!

Mood: It’s been better overall this past month, thank goodness. I feel like I mostly am back to myself although I do still feel a tad anti-social

Sleep: Except for the past few nights, it’s been atrocious. Of course, the nights I do sleep better I have nightmares..sigh.

Memory: Once again, it hasn’t improved but aside from freaking out late one night because I couldn’t remember words to songs that I’ve known for ages, I haven’t noticed any worsening.

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine – for most of this month I was taking 3 a day but since Sunday it’s backed off to 1 or 2 !!!!!

off the Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Pulsatilla and Belladonna – finally got some more of these amazing tinctures!!!

Here’s a full list  – although I will have to update this next month!

Stick around and check out my other health updates!

8/23/16

Symptoms of my Lyme

7/27/16

Fighting Lyme and Migraines

The Big Health Update

 

Next week is the monthly Book Review, come back and check it out!

Have a fabulous Fall weekend,

Laura

 

 

 

Fighting Lyme and Chronic Migraines

8 Jul

well, these two weeks have FLOWN by and now it’s time to update on how fabulously I’ve been feeling. Ha! Not fabulous, let me tell you that first off. Oy. But we were able to have a lot of fun over the 4th of July weekend! Thank you to everyone that came to our first BBQ! It was SO much fun and we had such a great turnout! OH (other half) and I look forward to hosting another one. We also got down to Bend to see family and friends for a few days and had an absolute blast. Family barbeque where the kids just couldn’t get any cuter. Abby learning to swim in the pond. Holding a sweet little baby. Line dancing at midnight. Dinner with my parents and Auntie and Uncle.  The fun continued right until we left!

 

Ok, I’ll quit playing with pictures and get to the update…. if you missed the first update, check it out!!

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Overall Health: I seem to feel either really good or really awful, there hasn’t been much of an in between these last few weeks. My memory hasn’t improved, which makes remembering to take the treatment hard! Sleep hasn’t improved either. My skin has slowly started to clear up, thank heavens! The house is staying in pretty good shape , now I’m dreaming of working in the yard and cleaning my car!

Treatment: I’ve been back on the Samento for 10 days now and good grief, it’d be nice if I could remember to take all 3 drops each day. I’m doing good if I take 2. I’m thinking I’m gonna have to set alarms on my phone… Remember, I have to wait half an hr after taking it , to eat. AHEM. Not cool, because I tend to remember when I’m sitting down to eat. sigh. I Will get the hang of this because I’m not reacting near as strong as before. I have run out of Riboflavin though, so I’ve Got to get some today, remind me of that will you? hehe.

Migraines: This might be TMI for some of you reading this and I’m sorry… Due to it being that wonderful time of the month, my migraines have been predictably severe. This morning I don’t have one but that hasn’t been the norm the past week and a half. The pain has been severe, and stayed so most of the day this past week especially.

Digestion: This past week I seem to have gotten past my stomach freaking out at almost every meal I eat. Which is a wonderful change.

TMJ: I don’t seem to be clenching my jaw during the day as much – at least I haven’t caught myself doing it like I was. It’s been popping more the last few days, and is super tender in the mornings. Hard to chew harder foods sometimes.

Mood: I feel more myself although I still tend to overreact to the littlest things.

Sleep: hasn’t changed at all – still have to take Melatonin or Theanine every night. Still wake up at least twice. I’ve been taking a  lot more naps since I got back on the Samento.

Brain Fog/Memory : Fog hasn’t been as bad as in the past but memory is deplorable. I’m still struggling to remember things I’ve always known, and to find the right word. Still haven’t been able to write much on my novel. Focus has been a little better in some situations, (able to watch movies now)

Daily Vitamins :

Still averaging 2 Clonidine a day (it’s been 3 a day these past several days though)

I’ve been trying to up my intake of Fish oil to 2 a day without reaction.

I’ve run out of Riboflavin, getting more today! Need to up my intake though

Seem to be doing fine off the Cordyceps

And that’s it! I’m gonna start working on the list of symptoms, I want to get it up before I go on vacation next week. This blog has wonderful info on Lyme disease, I’ve been following her for a few years now.

Do you have any tips on remembering to take the Samento? Or do you have direct experience with Samento? I’d love any advice!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Laura

When Chronic Pain Steals Your Joy

23 Jan

Pain.

We’ve all felt it in one degree or another throughout our lifetimes. Stubbing a toe. Smashing a finger. Or one that I am constantly doing -running my hip into the corner of our washing machine (i’m convinced the thing moves every now and then…)

But chronic pain is another thing entirely. This is an excerpt from webmd.com –

                  “Tens of millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain — pain that lasts longer than six months.

Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous,

merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating.

                      With chronic pain, signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or even years.

This can take both a physical and emotional toll on a person.”

Over the last almost nine years of dealing with migraines and other health problems,  I have felt my share of the ’emotional toll’ that this pain causes. I am glad to say that I have been able to keep a positive attitude and outlook on life overall but the days when it feels like the world is about to crash and I can’t do anything to stop it? Yeah, those days aren’t fun.

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Take today for instance, I just got back from an impromptu lunch date with my OH but feel like I could just curl up in bed and not move until he comes home. Not only does the sleep sound divine (!) but there’s something about. . . sigh. Chronic pain sucks the life out of you at times. What do you do about it? Let it take you under and hold you there? Not a good choice, as appealing as that can sound sometimes. Here’s some of what I do to get me out of the black-vortex-life-sucking-negativity-thinking:

1 – get involved in an interesting story – be it a book, tv show, movie – getting your thoughts off the pain and the question “when will it end?’ is key.

2 – surf Pinterest for fun crafts or recipes or whatever interests you – but don’t go to the ‘exercise’ area…that might just make it worse.

3 – have your friend (or mom or relative! – anyone who you feel comfortable being in pain in front of) come over and just sit and talk. About what books you’re reading. What you want to do this summer.What the kiddos are up to. Whatever comes up. just relax.

4 – Take a nap! -This one is huge. Whether it’s a short one or a long one – whatever you can fit in. Take one. Sleep improves attitude ( have you been around young kids late in the afternoon recently? yeah. it’s a fact. sleep helps mood)

5 – Tell your spouse – this is one that I don’t do quiiiite as well at as I should. I can tell him I’m in pain but admitting my optimism is wavering? For some reason, that one’s harder. But it makes all the difference! Once they know, they know. You feel better for having told someone and they know not to say-that-one-thing-that-just-might-make-you-bawl-all-night. Just saying.

6 – This one should have been at the top honestly, but PRAY about it. God knows what we each are going through. And what better comforter could we have than the One who created us and loves us unconditionally?

7- Treat yourself – a hot bath, a special cup of tea/hot chocolate/coffee, pedi/mani. Whatever makes you smile, do it.

8- Remember it’s just how you’re feeling. Not reality. Honestly, this is a big one. It can be so easy to let our emotions take us wherever they lead, but they are often (read: quite often) wrong. Remind yourself that this is just a moment of doubt and frustration.

9 – Count Your Blessings. I love this one. I do it a lot when I’m in pain and am relegated to the couch once again. I have a wonderful husband. I am part of a crazy and big family. I have a warm and dry – and cute!- place to live. I have a cute puppy (all 80odd lbs of her) that takes naps with me. etc…etc…

10 – Do what you can to get rid of the pain – Again, this one should have been higher on the list…. You know what you can do to at least ease the pain. Do it! Even if it seems too much of an effort – it’s worth it. I drink tea, use essential oils, have eye/forehead pillows that all help alleviate the migraine.

It is a fact that long-term pain affects all aspects of the body. the mind/body link can actually make the pain worse. In my case, as one who suffers with migraines, sometimes the dreaded anticipation of one coming on can actually bring a migraine on. It’s a horrible cycle but it’s true. Another excerpt from webmd:

“Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue interact in complex ways with chronic pain

and may decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers;

moreover, such negative feelings may increase the level of substances that amplify sensations of pain,

causing a vicious cycle of pain for the person. Even the body’s most basic defenses may be compromised:

There is considerable evidence that unrelenting pain can suppress the immune system.”

All this to say – don’t give in to the emotions that drag you down. It will, really, only make it all a whole lot worse. Stay positive, stay focused on what you’ve been blessed with – and please, eat a bit of chocolate for me?

I hope this helps friends. I know that chronic pain is something that affects a lot of us – and if you ever need a listening ear, I’m just a click away.

~Laura

* here is where I got the info from webmd : http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/understanding-pain-management-chronic-pain

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