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Showing posts from October, 2011

When in pain do what you can not what you think you should

Here's the thing: we all struggle to cope with chronic pain while trying to live a functional life to some extent.  No one said it would be easy or fair and man I wish we all could get a break one in awhile, but it is what it is.  However sometimes we get lost in the struggle to do what we need to do.  It is taxing and draining and there is never anything left over to do something just for ourselves.  As I said in the past I think we need distractions and hobbies to just do something we enjoy doing for the sake of the enjoyment.  Not what we need to do.  Not what he have to do.  Not just for pure survival.

For me that is writing.  I write novels and self-publish them.  I write articles and post them on my hub page.  I enjoy both imensely and it gets me out of the pain a bit.  No matter how 'distracting' work may be it is always fighting to work through the pain, because I need to, because I have to.  Writing is about absorbing myself in an activity I take pleasure in, that…

I hope my doc can schedule a bit better than Friday...

So I got a call Friday morning at about ten after 8, when I need to be at work at 8:30.  So this lady asks me if I'm going to be making my 8AM appointment that day at the inpatient hospital thing my doc arranged.  I said no of course.  I mean, yeah I wanted to go because anything with the slightest bit of potential to decrease the frequent migraines lately would be awesome.  But I had to be at work in less than half an hour and I'd already called in sick Monday and once more this month (or more? It is a little hazy) so obviously I could not call in sick for a migraine or migraine related treatment or an ER visit for that matter.  Work is always touch and go about such things.  Legally they have to permit me to go to the ER or likely in this case a schedualed treatment... but they most certainly don't have to be pleased about it.  I am trying my hardest not to strain their good will because I don't like adding stress to my stress.  So I told them I had to go to work and…

Disibility insurance on my mortgage

I was just told my disability insurance on my mortgage has been declined once again because I have Fibromyalgia.  Which I find ironic because any time I have been disabled it is from chronic migraines.  Although FMS certainly does not help, I have never taken off work for it.  But I knew I would be declined.

My spouse likewise was turned down.  Two and a half years ago he had kidney cancer, in the first stage, they chopped it out and that is that.  Recently he had surgery on his toe for arthritis.  And I suspected not enough time had passed since his cancer for them to sign off on that, so he was declined for that.  he was also declined because of arthitis.... his toe arthritis.  Insane.  And he is the one I would want insurance on because he is the high income earner.  And therefore insurance on such a large amount is something I want coverage for. 

I do put coverage on everything else though because when I do go on leaves from work it is not a 100% coverage for long, so having some…

November Blog Carnival: One Word... Hermit

"Migraine Disease & Friendship: How has living with migraine disease or a headache disorder impacted your friendships? Has it shown you who your true friends are? Have you made friends or become closer to people because of your life with this disease? Please share your thoughts on friendship & chronic illness."

Chronic migraines have impacted my friendships completely and utterly.  Friendships require a certain amount of maintenance, some give and take and effort.  I have always considered myself to be a very loyal friend and I still am.  However, I have become increasingly isolated from the world.  The only way I actually interact with the world is through two venues: work and the internet.  Work is a source of pride and also the main source of stress and guilt.  However, it does get me out of the house and I do interact with customers and co-workers.  Therefore on the rare occasions I leave the house for social reasons I tend to socialize with co-workers o…

Sort of saw the unpleasant stigma on the other side today

Everyone knows there is a stigma associated with chronic pain.  It sucks but we have to deal with it.  For example my employer told me that other staff members had been complaining about my sick days, which in the particular case she sited that staff member was not.  I was understandably hurt when my boss said this and I said 'not to me'.  But she said there had been complaints.  Which made me feel like shit.  Because at the time I assumed her to be telling the truth which meant that co-workers who I thought understood the battle I go through and expressed sympathy were in fact lying to my face and complaining to the boss.  It devastated me.  Because I really appreciate that they have my back when I need them, because trust me, my employer never does.  Now whether there was numerous complaints or not, the stigma in this example is on the boss not the staff, although in some workplaces it can be both.  In my case, although I am told she sympathizes with my situation somehow, it…

For once I sure would like to not perplex my doctor

All my life I've had odd health concerns and symptoms but it was not till I was in my twenties that most of those were shoved under the FMS umbrella.  So I got a lot of blood tests and had a lot of doctors and a few specialists confused as to what was going on.  I have some FMS symptoms since early childhood, and joint pain due to hypermobility and a high ANA blood count and some other weird things that led to blood tests every six months and a few specialists.  And they always had a name for whatever it was, but not a reason why they were all coinciding together and some reasons were 'sometimes a high ANA is normal for 1% of the population'.  So you sort of get used to not knowing and then ignoring symptoms yourself.  Which is never a good idea but with FMS it is hard not to, I mean, literally any random symptom you can think of its under that syndrome.  And just because you get a diagnosis, which is its own relief, does not mean it is treatable, so you have to ignore all…

I don't feel Well

There is the normally don't feel well that I would use if a migraine is bothering me or if FMS is flaring in some way.  And then there is Not Well At All.  Which is this whole numb hand situation, which I am going to the doctor about tomorrow.  But also just Not Well.  Extremely tired, bit of a cold I think and for some reason these sharp pains in my chest which feels like either chest wall pain or lung pain, but since my cold is not that bad not certain where that is coming from.  All in all just rotten.  I missed work yesterday because I also felt rotten, I had a nasty migraine, was so confused by what time it was I was even late calling in sick late and my bloody hands were swollen.  I hope my doc can figure out this hands puzzler.

This is what I'm thinking...

Yep.  I got the Sunday blues cause I know tomorrow is Monday.  Mondays are particularly loathsome because it is the first day of the workweek and migraine hell.  Although I also dislike Wednesdays because after two days of migraine hell I'm totally drained and Wednesday as a result takes a lot of will to get through, or if Monday and Tuesday have been particularly painful, then Wednesday is extremely hard to get through knowing I have two days to go.  But Mondays... definately my least favorite day of the week.

*Sigh*

Okay numb hand syndrome is starting to freak me out.  So my right hand is still numb, except for this oversensitive sharp tingle I feel when I apply pressure to my fingertips.  And left hand is now numb on three fingertips and part of the palm... progressing slowly but consistently.  It is only a matter of time when it becomes as numb and clumsy as the right, which will further restrict my mobility.  Obviously since I have not heard from my doctor my blood work was fine, which means not from hypothyroidism or a vitamin deficiency.  So it could be neurological.  When it was one hand there were some possibilities that made sense, now that it is both, not so much.  I feel like I should go to the doctor again but what is the point?  The CAT scan will either reveal something or eliminate some other possibilities, so I think why not wait till that is over... but then I think maybe I should go back and mention the fact it is getting worse.  I thought it might be the Reynold Syndrome thing th…

Guilt: Pervasive, horrific and sometimes deadly affliction

Somebody Heal Me:guilt-two-steps-forward-one-step-back is a blog post I can really relate to.  Guilt is the plague of my existence.  The one thing of value I learned when I had to endure a therapist last year was when she questioned why my self-worth was tired up in how productive I believed myself to be.  In other words, I felt pretty damn worthless when I am unable to work.  And damned guilty when I dared to call in sick to work.  And often agreed with any claim my employer made about my absences because I felt guilty for being sick, even though obviously that is one thing that is not in my control.  It is a big deal for me.  I feel like I am not contributing enough.  That I have no purpose beyond my pain filled existence... and who wouldn't want to be more than just 'that chick with horrific migraines'?  I don't want to be defined by my illness, so when the one thing I try so damn desperately to hold onto, a job and one I have compromised a great deal on to have and…

Comfortably numb

Well, not so comfortably, but still very numb.  Numb right hand is still very numb, completely.  Left hand now numb on three fingertips and getting noticeably worse.  I Googled the symptom and that is never a good idea and gave me no insights except a lot of things can cause this.  Lovely.  My CAT scan is set up for early November thankfully, but since this is getting worse I am not sure how long I am going to wait before I cave and go back to the doctor.  Because already I am starting to think of unpleasant things that could be causing this and would rather not get freaked out.  Hopefully he gets my blood work in soon.  I told a co-worker if it comes back clear he won't be giving me a call and she said 'So no news is good news then' and usually that would be the case... except I want to know what is causing this so potentially it can be taken care of.... Not one of those elusive symptoms doctors cannot find a reason to so just add it to the insanely large file for future …

Medicine is the best medicine- laughter only goes so far. I never laugh at peoples remarks about opiate use for chronic migraines

The Scary New Migraine Mistake is an article about migraines.  Guess what the scary migraine mistake is?  The surprising amount of people undertreated? Nope.  The fact that man chronic migraine sufferers feel so let down by their doctors that they have no hope of achieving pain management? Nope.  That some of these people kill themselves?  Definately not, because obviously those people no longer have to manage their pain and are no longer included in the discussion. 

Most of us know for a fact that doctors are extremely reluctant to provide pain killers for unmanaged chronic pain conditions, but will rain a shower of painkillers down on those people with temporary moderate pain.  No it makes not sense.  I did not make the rules.  So this article, is rather the opposite of that fact.... " While no one knows for sure how many migraine sufferers go on to overuse addictive painkillers, the problem is “epidemic,” says Joel Saper, MD, director of the Michigan Headache and Neurologic…

Bad pain day ending a bad pain week

You know I sort of lose track of how much time I lose when I am in a bad pain cycle... but I know it has been for a bit now.  Just violent long lasting migraines.  They are making me mind numbingly tired.  For one thing they are all acute, so acute migraine + work = take a triptan ASAP.  Unfortunately, the environment ensures that triptan cannot do its job all that well and in order to survive the rest of the day I rely on barely sufficient pain killers.  Anyway, triptans can only be used three out of seven days in the week, so that leaves two really sucky work days where I have little to no treatment.  Just plain bad.  Not the sort of pain I would wish on my worst enemy, unless that enemy is making it harder for me to endure the pain in which case, yeah, they would benifit a hard lesson in compassion via feeling the same pain themselves.  Being in this much pain is so draining on me physically and mentally it is probably a good thing I don't have the energy to form any sort of em…

Just couldn't be easy could it?

My right hand is still numb and uncooperative and clumsy. Although having an actual physical manifestation of how brutal that migraine is sort of interesting. Maybe it will give those morons who think chronic pain is not a disability something visible and tangible to grasp the illusive concept. Because of course 'just pain' no matter how severe is apparently not sufficient to be classified as a disability, even though migraines and/or FMS are certainly not 'just pain' anyway. Migraines have caused me to lose my vision, severely limit my vision, lose my hearing, severely limit my hearing, caused angina, made me pass out, throw up, tremble, speak in tongues and to be about as close to brain dead as possible... but still, not considered a disability. I would like to take those people for a long drive on a bright sunny day when I can only sort of see out of one eye and kinda hear out of one ear and have no depth perception while the objects around me warp and shift...…

Thanksgiving day... for us Canadians anyways

So things to be thankful for....

1) Being alive is always a good one.

2) That my family is doing well is definately number one.

3) That it was a long weekened which was a nice breather and I got rid of that uber intense migraine

4) That whatever the hell is causing the numbness in my hand is not affecting my entire right hand, given I am right handed.  So I can still type with my thumb and one finger, which is how I type anyway, that I can still write, or at least not any worse than I usually do, and I can still point, which comes in handy and when i forget the word of an object.  My pinkie is the worst affected and really how often do I need that one anyway?  Until this goes away I might not be able to pinkie swear but I can still do a good game of thumb wars.

5) That it is not snowing here yet and the weather is just that right state of gloomy to be nice on the eyes.

6) That it is very near the end of the fiscal year at work and I made it through with only two days over what they al…

Fibromyalgia and migraine medications

Always nice to have a combo medication... considering we are on a boatload for chronic migraines.  Used to be FMS was just not treated.  Sort of the 'suck it up, buttercup' approach, which I for one did not appreciate.  For some reason when you are in loads of pain whenever you do anything you tend not to do anything which then increases the pain... and those of us with FMS just have to muddle through it and find our own treatment plan.  Now there are three meds that can be beneficial for FMS and can be used, off label, for migraines.  Kind of nice when you figure in how many  migraine 'preventatives' we are on, we might as well take one that helps with our other chronic pain.

1) Lyrica- the one I am on now.  And it actually works for FMS, as in I can walk more than fifteen minutes without increasing crippling pain, and pain does not endure as long.  So I like this one.  Whether it has helped me with migraines is debatable but my neuro left me on it because it is good …

Weird symptoms... how I loath them

So after my wicked Thursday/Friday migraine of which I remember little of... I have this persistent numbness in my right hand, or specifically three fingers and half my palm.  Like it fell asleep and won't wake up, but not completely numb.  Since it did not go away with the migraine it is hard to blame the migraine for it, although we do sometimes get numbness and tingling in the hands, feet or face.  I used to get that bad as a side effect from Topamax.  Anyway it is a concern.  Could be a pinched nerve... all that pain does a number on my neck, which then migrates to my shoulders and down my arm.  That can get serious enough to restrict mobility, as I can attest to after having six months of physio therapy to correct that compounding problem a few years back.  What concerns me is that it could be a symptom of a TIA.  I always said I'd be the last person to know if I had a stroke, because all those symptoms are what you tend to get with a migraine, especially the wicked ones.…

Phew, broke the migraine

Broke that migraine from hell last night, finally.  Although three of my fingers on my right hand remain numb... I rather hope that goes away.  I did get another migraine today, but it was a different migraine and so far a manageable one so that is a big difference.  It has been a long, rather bad season of migraines lately.  Maybe they will get a bit better now that it is cooler.  Sure would be nice to predict these things.

I lost another day

I did not misplace it but nonetheless it was another lost day.  Statistically I do wonder how much of the year we lose to just surviving pain. I'm sure I actually really don't want to know the answer to that.  Facts make me sad.  Today was spent suffering the same intense migraine as yesterday, so it was a waste of a day and I did call in sick to work.  But I don't feel as guilty as I usually would because the pain was that bad, such that no sane person would think about moving.  We just lose days sometimes.  We lose hours and minutes quite often.  We miss parties and events.

Funny how when we are in intense pain time is infinitely slow but when you look back you have to wonder where did the day go?  The year?  The decade?  Because the normal things that would define time passing are either not there or blurred by the pain.  It can be depressing but I don't feel like being depressed right now.  My head aches too much for the effort to morn another lost day.

Off the chart migraine pain at work...

These days I usually develop a migraine right around 1 pm and I am already at work so I treat it as best I can and carry on.  Sometimes I get full blown acute migraines in the morning, of which I am far more likely to call in sick from because the motivation to move is really not there.  Today I woke up groggy and stupid, running late for work with a slight ache in my head.  I had an acute migraine yesterday, but well into the evening and it responded quite well to my triptan.  But my lungs and heart did not respond so well to that triptan, so I have those achy chest pains and naggy breathing issues that likely compramised my sleep.  But I got to work fine.  I got through the first hour or two fine.  Then one of those horrific monster migraines hit.  So intense I could barely take it.  When I drove back to work after lunch it was so insanely painful, the slowing down and speeding up.  I should not have been driving but I took my triptan and I could not exactly not go back to work... t…

I feel positively proactive...

or desperate.  Or desperately proactive.  You know, when you decide to do something completely random on the off chance there might be a benefit to it?  That sort of proactive.  Like I said earlier I am being regular with my magnesium supplements, plus the vit D my neuro recommended, and really that is something right there.  However, I also decided to tweak my dietary habits, as in develop some good habits.  When my migraines get severely chronic as they have been for too long to ponder, I tend to have the exact opposite of an appetite.  Plus since chronic migraines can cause some severe symptoms, digestion wise, it was better to not eat all day than to eat, feel extremely bad and possibly need some pepto bismal that I have stashed in my office.  Food had a way of making me feel way, way worse in an environment where I simply could not feel worse than I already was.  But of course that meant I was only eating supper, which was fine by me, but health wise it is not a good thing and po…

It's all about semantics

We often apply words to ourselves that define our battle against chronic pain.  There is a lot of power in words and it can define how we react to our chronic pain experience.  I mean, sometimes I react quite well and other times, not so much.  I bet if I asked right now for one word to describe your existence with chronic pain one would occur to you right off the bat.

  For example this post on migraine. com cursed: migraine in a word.  I can relate to that, as most of us likely can.  We do feel cursed with the burdan of constant pain.  I myself often feel guilty about being ill, as though somewhere the fault is mine... or the inability to always suffer with a smile is my weakness.

Sometimes I am a little sensative about the words applied to me as well.  A family member recently said, with good intentions I expect, 'You can decide to be a victim or you can decide to be happy'.  This irked me.  First of all, I think we are all aware that pain does not neccesarily mean miserabl…

October Blog Carnival

Scary Migraine Episodes: What is the scariest migraine attack you've ever suffered or witnessed?" Well, I've suffered a few sacry ones worth mentioning, for different reasons. Some might think it was the migraine that drove me to suicide, but no, that status migraine was just as bad as every other one I get in a month.  The ones I think are the scariest are the ones that are out of the ordinary, such that I think something must be wrong.

1) Silient migraine: Oddly enough one of my scariest migraines was a silient migraine and that is what scared me.  I had intense aura symptoms, including tingles on the left side of my body and some numbness.  I thought it was possible I was having a stroke.  So that was freaky.

2) Chest pains: I've had some migraines that come with chest pains, mostly due to the triptan use.  Once though it started with chest pains that were severe, left me feeling dizzy when they stopped and gave me a killer migraine.  I was told it was angina pain…

Dr OZ Chronic pain Part 1

Is your doctor taking your pain seriously? New discoveries in the field of pain management suggest that chronic pain is an actual disease. Dr. Oz ...

Dr OZ Chronic pain Part 3

Is your doctor taking your pain seriously? New discoveries in the field of pain management suggest that chronic pain is an actual disease. Dr. Oz ...

Dr OZ on chronic pain Part 2

Is your doctor taking your pain seriously? New discoveries in the field of pain management suggest that chronic pain is an actual disease. Dr. Oz ...