Tag Archives: dealing with chronic pain

It all matters. Our life right now. And Richard’s smile on Thorin.

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(Sorry, this post isn’t the most upbeat I have ever shared, but it’s honest. And there’s some hope sprinkled in, because I am essentially an optimist. ūüėČ )

We are about to go into the season of giving. I have already started seeing the charities popping up on the caller ID. I don’t answer the phone because I know I will have to decline.

My sister paid our mortgage for last month. She is an angel, but I have known that forever. ¬†We probably won’t be able to pay this month’s installment until next month.

Ever heard of robbing Peter to pay Paul? Yeah, it’s like that. Who absolutely HAS to be paid, and who will just have to wait their turn.¬† I’ve been picking up more work with the newspaper (thank you, Tracy)¬†and also sold more of my jewelry and collectibles, and that’s brought in a few hundred dollars, but it all seems like just a drop in the bucket.

On one hand, I am so pleased to finally see progress being made with this arm and wrist of mine. I got an¬†injection in my wrist¬†yesterday and go back in two weeks. Dr. Chavan is happy to see improvement, but neither of us believes I am where I need to be yet.¬† I WILL get there, even if it takes being¬†sent to the “wrist man” for surgery.¬† I’ve been fighting with this since May, close to six months, and I am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. For that, I am deeply grateful.

On the other hand, the co-pays are eating us alive. And I feel guilty about it. Guilty that my husband is falling asleep at his desk at work because he can’t sleep at night. I hate seeing him looking so tired. Normally a stoic kind of guy, Benny actually¬†admitting how bushed he is indicates to me he really is¬†desperately in need of a break, and¬†in more ways than one.

And I am desperately tired myself; the Chronic Fatigue is hammering me, on top of the FMS, all exacerbated by the tendon and ligament damage on my left side.¬† It’s one day, one hour, sometimes one minute at a time. I do pretty well putting on a game face for local friends and acquaintances, but underneath it all . . . sometimes I want to curl up with my blue fleece throw and have a good old cry.

 

So I really needed this quote I found on Pinterest today, a¬†reminder that the small and seemingly insignificant things I can actually¬†do, that any of us can do,¬†make a difference. They count; they matter. I may not be able to donate to worthy causes or participate in some events because of my lack of funds and/or my physical limitations, but I can still find enjoyment and purpose and do good for others in my own way. I don’t know, maybe some of you need to be reminded, too . . .

 

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And seeing all the beauty and humor and sweet humanity in this face doesn’t hurt either.

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Sometimes it all comes back to haunt you; or, getting on my last nerve

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Back in my college days, I decided to commute one summer session and just live at home (only 37 miles from campus) to save some money. Heading back to the farmhouse one day after classes I got caught in one of those sudden, heavy monsoon-like downpours we tend to get in the summer.

The next thing I knew, I was gradually coming to in the Buick, blood pouring down my face onto my pledge shirt, the windshield shattered, steam mixing with the slowing rain as it drummed against the crumpled hood.

 

I don’t remember the accident itself (the huge goose egg on my forehead indicated I’d taken a hard lick against the steering wheel. Apparently it joggled my brain enough to block out the crash).¬†¬†The vehicle was now sitting crossways on the bridge, the front end crushed against the buttress. I thought someone might round that bend in the road and smack right into me, and had the presence of mind to stumble my way out of the vehicle.

 

God bless the good Samaritan who found me slowly limping down the side of the road, looking like something from a John Carpenter movie, and the proprietress of the nearest country store, who took me in, cleaned my face of¬†all that blood and gave me a blouse to wear before her husband drove me to the farm,”’cause your mama would have a pure and tee heart attack if she saw you like this, honey.”

 

My parents’ car was, as it turned out, totaled; my poor dad crawled around and tried to find all my Add-a-Bead cloisonn√© and gold beads from my broken necklace.

 

Eventually my gold chain was soldered and reassembled with the remaining intact beads; the raw red scars on my forehead slowly faded and my knee, which had taken out the under-dash tape player and sent it into the back seat, stopped aching so much (alas, we didn’t realize just how much damage my kneecap had sustained until more than a decade later). I recovered, but I was never quite the same.

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One of the last pics taken of me pre the accident. Note the Add-a-Beads and the absence of facial scars.

 

For years, I’ve endured debilitating headaches that affected my neck and left¬†shoulder along with TMJ issues in my jaw. They go back to my early 20s, years before my FMS diagnosis. I thought the sinus surgery in ’84 might cure them; it certainly helped in other ways, but the head/neck/shoulder pain continued intermittently.¬† I tried hot and cold therapy, PT exercises, pain pills, muscle relaxers, therapeutic massage, chiropractic treatments, trigger point injections–some were more effective than others in giving me a degree of relief, but nothing “fixed” me.

 

Then three years ago this November I unexpectedly went off-roading on the Crown Victoria and apparently cracked my tailbone. I say “apparently” because I was unemployed, uninsured and simply could not afford to go to the doctor. I suffered–and not in silence–for months afterward. It’s never been the same either.

And now there’s the new trouble in my left wrist and hand.

It appears I have cervical radiculopathy . . .

cervical radiculopathy: disease of the cervical nerve roots, often manifesting as neck or shoulder pain.
Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. ¬© 2009, Elsevier

cervical radiculopathy:Irritation of nerve roots of the neck due to a herniation or prolapse of a intervertebral disk from its normal position, which impinge on nearby nerves resulting in pain and neurologic Sx. medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/cervical+disk+syndrome”>Cervical disk syndrome, Prolapsed disk

 

Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. I go to see a neurologist to have a Nerve Conductivity Velocity test (to determine how quickly electrical impulses move down a peripheral pathway) and a¬†needle electromyography (to test the health of the muscles and nerves that control the muscles) done on my neck and left arm, returning to Pirofsky for the results on Friday. From there–well, we shall see. Possibly injections, possibly surgery.

Here’s hoping for answers and not too much pain and discomfort from the tests on Wednesday.

But most of all, I hope for answers. I will keep you posted.