Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Archive for February, 2015

Doctor Follow Up

Since I have been experiencing so many symptoms and having a lot of pain, my doctor had me come in today…..rather than wait for my next appointment.

I printed off the daily log I have been keeping so that I could give that to her for her review. So glad I did! It expressed better than I could how I was feeling and have been feeling!

We reviewed, again, my test results…….all other tests showing normal or negative…..all good news. It helped to have that reassurance!

It also helped so much speaking with her about the burning, the stiffness, the difficulty walking, the extreme weakness, the muscle spasms, the pain and aches in every joint, the fatigue, the “Fibro fog”, etc.

My meds have been adjusted…..we discussed the possibility of adding another med in a couple of weeks if my symptoms don’t settle down. I have the prescription in the medicine cabinet if I need it.

Then we discussed the next med she would have me try if the above steps don’t work.

She also reinforced the positive….the fact that the current med even at the lower dose has had some impact……it has allowed me to sleep! Huge yes!

And, as she wisely pointed out……”It is important to focus on the little things when the body is flaring so badly”. Yes! I am thankful for the sleep! I am thankful for an awesome husband and son who are so supportive and helpful during this time!

I must breathe deeply and summon the strength to continue to tackle the days ahead…..pacing myself as best as possible…….to meet my work obligations…..and then maximize the chance to rest in the evenings….and the coming weekend.

“This Too Shall Pass”…..yes……it will!

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Pain

Since my latest diagnosis of Polyarthralgia and Fibromyalgia, I have been doing a lot of reading. I have viewed several Fibromyalgia specific websites as well as the Mayo Clinic to better understand this condition…..or in my case, combination of conditions.

I know that most of us with Fibro have other conditions or have a history of chronic pain, PTSD or the like that have brought us to this point. Pain is not unfamiliar. We know pain. We have been living with it….dealing with it.

What I am finding from experience is that Fibro pain is a total BEAST UNTO ITSELF! It is absolutely NOT “just” in our heads! It is incredibly had to describe!

So….I want to try to describe the combination of feelings…..this Fibro/Polyarthralgia pain!

Imagine your body…….

You stand to walk…..your lower limbs….from waist to feet….are enclosed in cement…..your brain pushes…..it forces your legs to move….slowly….heavily…..forward. You push….MUST PUSH to make those legs move….down the hall so you can use the restroom.

You force achy arms…..with stabbing pain to blow dry and fix your hair. You have to go to work! By the time this ordeal is over, you feel like you have been lifting heavy bar bells for the last hour!

Going through the day you experience intense burning! Today it was neck, arms, and back on fire! Imagine the worst sunburn you ever had……then multiply it by a conservative 10!

Now you have to ad the intense, constant aching in the arms, hands, wrists, fingers, back, neck, shoulders! Do not forget to add sharp knife pains…..and muscle spasms! Both of which are not predictable!

The pain of Fibro is not in our heads. It is in our bodies! Our nervous system may be “overreactive, overly sensitive”………however, ultimately, it is we…..those with this unique condition…..that must find a way to deal with this struggle…….our struggle with pain!

Tough Day

Well the very busy last two weeks have been catching up with me this week…..today…..well….you guessed it! Body was in full, complete revolt!

I do not regret pushing myself like I needed to in order to participate in the important weekend family events. I knew it would ultimately catch me.

I do regret that it means my hubby has to travel to attend a funeral tomorrow morning alone. He is fine with it. He knows that I have to focus on the Blue and Gold Banquet tomorrow night. (Our son will be crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts!)

I am under a blanket….relaxing tonight. I will rest as much as possible tomorrow. Then….I get to be Mom!

I get to meet another Mom at 4 pm tomorrow to decorate the tables for our Den. I am so excited to see our son enjoy this day! That is the focus of my energy….

Haha! I will have enough energy tomorrow! Sunday may find me unable to meet any obligations. That will be fine. God knows what I am dealing with at this time!

Results!

It has been confirmed! I have Polyarthralgia and Fibromyalgia! The final tests for Parathyroid and other muscle disorders proved negative! Yeah!

Now I know my newest companions! I understand that I have a long-term…..yes….life, ailment…or rather, combination of ailments! In my case, my joints as well as the tendons/ligaments/muscles are involved!

Deep breath! I am thankful that another surgery is not in the works. I am thankful that I do not have a “true” degenerative illness…simply put…I am glad that my joints and muscles are truly not at risk…..(it just feels that way!!!).

Yikes! Yes, I have a nasty condition…….I am trapped in a body that usually dictates my options.

I am learning to make the make the best of each day! I am doing all I can….the best that I can….every day!

Keep A Log

I think of the most helpful things I started after my doctor appointment was to take advantage of the “Note” app on my cell phone! I am adding to this note each day…..I record the date and then hit the highlights…….”Arms burning, hips ache, stabbing pains in the back, hands hurt..” I also make a note as to how well I slept the night before….

In scrolling through my “little book”, I am able to get a good sense of what I have been dealing with! It helps to anchor me….to realize that I am struggling. However, I know this will be a huge help when I call my doctor for the verbal check up….and, of course, it will be invaluable for my next actual appointment. I will be able to print it out and take it. I will be able to show her….”see…this is how I feel when I go out of town for a weekend…..this is how a typical work week affects my body”……

The biggest insight has been confirmation that stress is a HUGE player in exacerbating my symptoms. Stress magnifies the sensations….the aches….the pain. It makes it harder to breathe!

Why Me?

I find myself wondering this! I do not understand why I have been chosen for this path….nor do I understand why I have been “blessed” with the ailments that I have battled.

I continue to move forward….to trudge ahead…..day by day…..step by step! I cannot hide my grimaces…..my stumblings! My hubby and son are too bright! They can see through my attempt to cover the pain!

The smile and face that I show the world is not accepted by them! They see through the guise….they do not accept the “face” that I portray to the world. No matter how I try to hide the “truth”…..they see through it.

My hubby and son catch that sigh……that hesitation……..that slight hiccup…..when I try to move…..to shift……

I want to be strong for them! I want to feel that I am strong….that there is a reason for this additional trial…..this latest test. However, I am at a loss! I do not understand!

Pain is coursing throughout my body! It makes no sense….it shifts…..attempting to go about my obligations just exacerbates the symptoms! I struggle….and continue to struggle!

What am I to do? What is this illness….this condition that is trying to dictate my life?

I am researching….reading…..I am undergoing additional tests……

And the answer?

All I can say…is that….somehow…..God has selected this new path for me. Why? I guess I will know at some time in the future…..for now….I know….all I can do is to move forward. To put on a fresh face and move ahead!

Give And Take

My son and I were blessed with an awesome weekend! (My hubby had to stay home due to chores, etc. that required one person to be home at all times!)

We were able to go to my parents home yesterday, then ride with them to Portland, OR, where we were able to see my sister’s house for the first time! Yeah!

Then we were able to head to Vancouver, WA where we were able to celebrate my niece’s birthday! Steven had such an awesome day with his cousin helping her to celebrate her birthday!

We enjoyed a great dinner at The Magabite! Great pizza ( and in my case, chicken strips and fries)! So much fun watching them interact! So awesome the connection he and his cousin share!

We then spent the night with my parents. Yeah! My body had to have that break. No way could I have driven us home. Needed the rest to be able to then come home.

I so wanted our son to spend time with his cousin and his grandparents! it just sucks to struggle so hard in order to make it happen! I am just thankful that we could coordinate our efforts in order to make it happen!

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