Invisible no more #InvisibleIllness

Invisible illness... are invisible. Therefore doubted.

  • Could be that doctor that doubted the pain you were in, so didn't treat it
  • Could be the ER that doubted your pain
  • Could be stigma by a doctor from your mental illness
  • Could be because you have mental illness a doctor assumed your pain was 'all in your head too'
  • Could be a family member thought your illness was fake or not that severe as you 'made it sound'.
  • Could be that friend that didn't think it was that serious and you were just lazy
Could be anyone diminishes your experience. Could be anyone that stigmatizes you due to your illness. Diminishes the suffering you have. Minimizes what you go through.

All of which? Makes us less likely to talk about it. More likely to minimize our suffering to a doctor because they won't believe us, might think we are complaining, exaggerating, drug seeking or a hypochondriac. More likely to mask our suffering from people because of the stigma we have faced and because you cannot See it, we can fake being well. Creating a lot of isolation for us. Making us more invisible. Avoiding stigma and labels, hiding our suffering and no one ever understanding our true experience.

Our illness is invisible but we are not. We are important. Our treatment is important. Awareness is important. We have the right to be heard, understood and treated.

We have the right to...
  • Find a doctor who listens to what you say. Look for those non-verbal cues that he/she is actually paying attention, not disinterested and not judging you. Watch out for signs of gender, mental illness and pain stigma. If they don't seem particularly interested in a treatment plan, then look for another. We should not waste our time on ineffective doctors. We have a chronic condition that needs to be maintained. That requires constant due care and attention by a doctor.
  • Avoid friends that are overtly negative about your health. Sick shaming you into believing you are not doing 'enough' to treat, or cure, yourself. 
  • Be explicit with friends about friends about your condition if they doubt you. Tell them what your condition is. What the treatment is. What you do for it. If they still diminish your experience you might want to limit your exposure to that friend. You want healthy, supportive networks of people. Who understand, for example, when you can't socialize or when you have to cancel plans.
  • Educate family members on your condition and treatment. Knowledge is power. Your loved ones and significant other are the ones that should know the most about how well you are coping. Know about your treatments and how effective or non-effective they are. Some family members will never be as supportive as we want, perhaps because they do not even know what to say. It is up to you how much you disclose to certain people. If some people cannot be beneficial for support you don't need to keep them informed or discuss anything with them.
  • To disclose as much or as little about our health to people in our sphere of life as we want. Some people are important to us and we want them in our support network. People that will help us cope by being there for us. And those people we disclose more. But we do not have to validate our illness to people. We have the right to disclose little to people we do not know. Or nothing at all, if we desire. 
  • Educate ourselves and our doctors if need be. We have the right to learn about our illness. To keep up on research. To learn about new treatments. And we have the right to approach our doctor, politely of course, with information we learn to see if it would help in our care. Sometimes we have to be our own advocates. Sometimes we end up knowing more than our doctors because we have the disease for so long and they only learn a little about it. 
  • To proper pain management. This is important these days. And will become more and more important. If opiates are on the outs, then something has to replace them... like a damn fine pain management strategy for every single chronic pain patient. And it better be successful as well. We have the right to pain management. We have the right to pain treatment. I just don't know if that right will be easy to accomplish these days.

The world breaks everyone...

 ... and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

This is one of my favorite quotes. The world breaks everyone, in some way or another. And some are strong at the broken places.

Pain is an experience. Chronic pain is an extended experience. As a result re react to it, learn from it and develop ideas about it. We learn by trying to adapt to it or cope as best we can. In the beginning we just react and deal. And it is difficult. It doesn't break us, but it can. Then we get stronger as we pick up out coping skills; negative or positive ones and become stronger.

Pain had broken me from time to time. Just flat out broken me. I would like to think I am stronger in those broken places. I knew I acted on it and did the best I could to improve the situation. Maybe some of us always have broken pieces. I hope not.

Anyway, it is this idea that we can be in this pain and suffer, We can be depressed. We can almost lose that battle to the pain. And we can rebuild and be stronger from those lessons we learned about our pain and how to handle it.

It is a useful fiction. Something I want to believe because it is useful to me. I am strong at the broken places. I am and will be.

Truth or an illusion they could bear to live with.

Communicating about our pain is important. They say. I'm told I should do it more. Due to the fact the higher my pain gets the more silent I get. And at more 'moderate' pain levels I try to essentially use humor to minimize the pain. You get how this can be confusing to others.

Here is a quote that sums it up for me when it comes to people in general "When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with."

Because it was not just the pain, even if that person could comprehend the pain. And it is a stretch to think most people could. Unless they had their own chronic pain. It was the intensity for sure.The different types of pain. But it was also the years and decades of it that I had lived through that had taken a toll. The years and decades to come. The immense fatigue that weighted me down. The brainfog that took my concentration.

Then there was the suffering. I can't talk about the suffering. It is that response to pain, ongoing, endless pain that has gone on for a couple decades and is never going away suffering. Suffering that adjusted into depression. Suffering that was deep and difficult. And words failed me. If I even tried to express it... the real weight of it, I would feel that heavy pit in my stomach and a surge of emotion to the point of tears brimming and overwhelming suffering would surge in me. Obviously the suffering has been what I have been working on. Nevertheless I never feel the need to share all that.

I like sharing the top level. The facts. Because that is the level I am comfortable with.

It is also that I think people do not want to know the true depths or even how it really is going. They want the illusion. They want things are going well. Treatment is working. I am doing well. Handling the migraines well. The pain well. They want the story. Not the truth. They can't handle the truth!

While others can but my own reluctance to talk about emotions limits my capacity to discuss them. I am not comfortable with it. Of course I am doing better than I was at coping with the suffering caused by pain. And my medications are helping with that.

We just are aware of the people that just do not want the truth. They want the illusion. And in my case I am fine with providing it. I am that reserved about my health and private in nature it suits me.

It hurts me when it comes to doctors though. They have their preconceived notions about women and pain and there I am underestimating my pain.

Switching from Full-time to Part-time... good choice, hard choice

I am returning to work after having been on leave since August 2015. Starting next Monday. Normally this would cause me a great deal of worry. How can I cope when I have not been able to cope with the pain of full time in the past? And how can I handle it mentally and emotionally long term when I am just pushing through the pain every day? What happens to the exercise routine I am supposed to be doing? What happens to the little bit of a social life I have? As per usual all that disappears. It is just work and the pain and nothing else is possible. It is more status migraines. It is missed work. It is guilt. And stress.

I know this.

I have experienced it over and over again.

Not this time my friends. This migraineur with chronic pain has finally learned her lesson. Learned her limits. The limit, the Wall, is below full-time. It is a threshold I cannot cross right now and maybe never will be able to again. We never can know what treatments will come in the future and my response to them. All we can do is act on the facts right now.

So a part time roll it is. Stepping back from my career, which clearly I was having issues with and instead doing a job I should be able to maintain. A one day on, day off alternating cycle.

This is not an easy choice. My brain tells me constantly that I am more than capable of working my old job. That I am more than capable of working some of the jobs I found when I was looking. And I am. Intellectually. I simply am not physically. Not pain wise. Fatigue wise. Brainfog wise, even that complicates things for us. So there is this discord. I feel like I can. I want to. But I can't.

Secondly, I have little ambition any more but I wanted that career. I wanted some career goals and to hold onto that progression. To have at least some ambition left to me. It is hard to just accept I need to just to a job. Do something I am capable of, but won't make me much money and will not get me anywhere fast.

Third, satisfaction. I want a job I can sink my teeth into and is going to be interesting. The job I had was at least in some sense interesting on a daily basis. By no means hard. But it was what I settled for when my pain got worse. And I liked it. I enjoyed it enough that it kept me interested. The job I will have is not interesting in the least bit. Reminds me of a job I would have had as a summer job. Once I am trained there will be no more interesting facets to it.

Forth, money. I will not be making. It means compromises financially for my health that I have had to make in order for it to even be the least bit feasible I could work part time. That is tricky. By no means easy.

So there is difficulty.

What you gain though?

  • Less stress
  • more down time to recover
  • not pushing through the pain
  • staying within my limits
Let the experiment begin!

#Migraine World Summit

I have been contacted by the Migraine World Summit to be an affiliate to talk about the upcoming event and I jumped right it. This is news the migraineur community should know about. These online events don't come along every day.

There is a Migraine World Summit coming soon on April 15-20th. At the Summit we can all register for free and listen to over 30 leading migraine experts, doctors and specialists. You can check out the site HERE  and register for free. It will be a great opportunity for us to hear from some of the experts about migraines and current research and treatment.

I'll post again when it is closer but I am giving people a heads up for the event and time to sign up, block the time off, set an alert and mark it down... all the things I do to remember these online events.

We can also order any of that talks after or even before on the site from HERE.

Hobbies and activities to help with self-care

These are two poems I wrote.

One thing that helps me get through the pain and the suffering is my creative pursuits. Poetry, novel writing, blogging, designing memes for my Facebook Pages. I lose myself in these pursuits. They are important to me for the sheer sake of my desire to do them. Important to me for consuming me so I don't have to think about the pain. Lets me think about something else for a bit. Something just for me. Not that I do not share my creations, but the creating itself is just for me. I also color in adult coloring books. I love to read.

And they are important to my self-care. To:
  1. decrease stress
  2. help with mood regulation
  3. keep me mentally active

 I have my thing. That thing that helps me deal with pain by absorbing me into something else. Something that is mine, not an obligation and also no one elses.

So what is your thing?

What do you do to escape from the pain?

To get beyond the pain?

To consume you and absorb you such that for a moment the pain isn't your focus?

Is it: 

  • golfing

  • reading

  • writing

  • blogging

  • journalling/gratitude journal 

  • exercise ( know that is some people zens zone... personally not mine. Scream zone maybe)

  • meditation

  • adult coloring

  • music-listening and/or playing

  • painting

  • taking walks

  • photography

  • knitting/crochet

  • video games 

    I could probably think of more if I needed to. The thing is it is personal. We all enjoy different things. One thing I am clear on. These passions, hobbies or leisure activities are vital to our wellbeing. We think they are a pleasure and not necessary. However chronic illness and pain are this Constant stressor on our bodies and lives. It takes a lot out of us, just dealing with it. To cope we have to find things that relax us. De-stress us. And often those are things we enjoy doing. Things we choose to do. So every hobby we have, no matter what it is, is helping combat the stress of living with the pain every day. Not to mention it helps with mood regulation.  

     Consider it part of your treatment. Self-care is very much part of your treatment. The most important part in fact. The part we have control over. Part of that is handling our stress and mood regulation. 

      Hobbies have physical health benefits. Research has found that engaging in enjoyable activities during down time were associated with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index. Engaging in these activities also correlated to higher levels of positive psychosocial states and lower levels of depression and negative affect. Hobbies are good for your mind and your body.  positively present

Here are 16 Hobbies That Will Improve Your Quality of Life

Just recognize hobby is a flexible term. People seem to think playing video games isn't a hobby, but it is and studies say the same thing about video games... unless you play excessively, then mood goes down. I assume that would be the case with all things. Too much of a good thing is, well, obsessive. Exercise can be a hobby; such as regularly taking a walk every day to enjoy the walk and scenery itself as well as the improved health. Some of us have one hobby and are really into that. Some of us have a few and we spread out the time between them. Some of us have one and it is seasonal, like golfing. Or have one we spend about 2 hours a week on. Whatever it is it is important to you. It is something you choose to value and do.

Sometimes people feel guilty about spending time on their hobby or activity rather than something productive like a household chore. Remember, Self-care is important. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We need to moderate our around the house work. Our work. This is for our self-care. Mental and emotional wellbeing. Stress relieve. While it is not Necessary, it does help us feel better about everything and that counts for so much. Thinking about suffering all the time, in that headspace, is not where we want to be stuck.

CDC painkiller regulations

C.D.C. Painkiller Guidelines Aim to Reduce Addiction Risk

Yes the CDC Guidelines are out in the States. Aiming to reduce addiction by reducing prescriptions. Unfortunate for those who have a pain problem.

In an effort to curb what many consider the worst public health drug crisis in decades, the federal government on Tuesday published the first national standards for prescription painkillers, recommending that doctors try pain relievers like ibuprofen before prescribing the highly addictive pills, and that they give most patients only a few days’ supply.
Because pain patients have not already tried very OTC med they could to try and help with it before they went to the doctor already. Damn. Like ibuprofen will do anything. Not to mention the adverse affects of NSAIDs... that kill more people every year than pain killers do.

5 things chronically ill hear about appearences

Things we hear when we are chronically ill:

You're too young to be sick
You don't look sick/in pain
If you lost weight/exercised you would feel better
You look so great! Are you feeling better?

This is not to say we can't handle compliments. Just normal compliments. But we do have issues with our body.

You don't look sick. I know. I am just that... series of images #ChronicIllness #ButYouDontLookSick

I made this original image that went over really well.

'You don't look sick'

I know.

I am just that awesome that I can look this way and be chronically ill.

I made it as the best response for people to have to that 'You don't look ill/sick/in pain' So they comprehend appearances are deceiving and that illnesses can be invisible.

Anyway then I put it on a different image I found and liked.

No Matter what I do, it hurts.

This is the thought process I go through with migraines. Not my other chronic pain, because I have limits, pacing and moderation to consider there. But migraines are a different type of beast. No matter what I do, it hurts.

No matter what I do it hurts... therefore I should do nothing. I could go this way. I know I will have a migraine every day. So why should I plan anything? Why should I want to go out and torture myself with noise and people and scents and light. Then there is the drive there and back. The fatigue. Just trying to focus. I'd be miserable the whole time. At home I control the noise, the light and the scents. I am comfortable. I can minimize the pain at least.

Is it fear? Is it that fear factor that prevents us from pushing where those limits exactly are? Maybe it is a little. When migraines becomes so predictable we don't always want to deal with those consequences AND something else. It seems like overloading the senses. Maybe my migraines intimidate me sometimes. Maybe that pain just wins before it starts sometimes.

No matter what I do it hurts... therefore it does not matter if I go do something, it will hurt regardless. But I then think, if I never go out with a migraine, I literally will never go out. I am going to get the migraine whether I stay home... or go out, so why not go out. As long as a) it will not be an excessively noisy enviroment b) it will not be an excessively bright or flickery or eye torture enviroment and c) not a massive amount of people for they are noisy and the scents all comingle. I am allowing myself to go out, have fun even though I will be in pain. I plan on that pain and prepare for it. If the migraine starts early I treat it aggressively and maybe in fact that time out window will be free of it. I relax and even meditate before I go out. Keep the brain calm. I take meds with me if the migraine gets to a high pain point. And I leave early if it gets intolerable. No harm no foul. Either I enjoy a mellow night with friends or I have to leave early. That migraine would have been there anyway. Like exercise. People say exercise will trigger a migraine. It does for me. But, I will get a migraine anyway and I need to exercise for chronic pain. It doesn't do it every time. Sometimes I have a migraine, lower level pain, and exercise, for a short duration. Not saying that is fun, but it is necessary for the FM.

It is the same thing with work. I have to work with migraines. And I consider that to be necessary. I do it. I persevere. Bravo me. But Why not with things I enjoy? Yes, there will be a migraine... but that is predictable. I have a life to live as well.

I feel a lot better thinking the second way. I socialize more. This makes me happier. I get out of the house. I feel less isolated.

The hard part is that migraine pain is very unique. It is not like the rest of my chronic pain. I cannot pace myself and not make the pain worse. It is what it is. Gets worse on its own. Obviously I could do things like shake my head and make it worse, but pacing will not help. Moderating my activities will do nothing at all either. Do or not, it will be there. Any activity is a horrific bad choice. Therefore choices for socialization are limited and mellow. The only thing that is the same is limits, because it is chronic pain and we have a limit to the pain we can handle.

It is also different because with fibromyalgia for example I can move more slowly. Change positions a lot. And just help minimize the pain. It would not stop me form going to a BBQ. Even a flare up as long as I had someplace to sit. A Migraine is this constant, high pain, in the head. It makes every movement painful. Makes it hard to think through. Makes all the senses acute. Migraines take over your mind and take a lot of your focus and concentration. Due to location I suspect. It is harder to ignore. Therefore harder to want to do anything at all to aggravate it or move.

I think the key for me is I don't know what intensity of a migraine I will have. I know 99.9% of migraine will happen. Likely will already have one. But I do not know intensity. And I can have a good time at a 6 or 7. 8 is difficult and I will consider leaving if what I have on me does nothing. Generally once it reaches an 8 I will try to treat, but will leave if it doesn't work. So a 9, is moot. I'm at home with a 9.

So there are these very severe limitations. But I choose to go out there anyway. Because it makes me mentally and emotionally feel better. I am not always successful and just can't go as planned on some days. Other days I have to leave real early. But I do get out.

So I will not fear the pain. I have to learn to live with it. Understand its signals. When is enough. When is too much. Play by the rules. But live with it.

5 reason people give you advice about your illness

When you are chronically ill people will offer you advice and tell you things they have heard. I know we get that a lot. I know it can be frustrating. I know it can make us angry sometimes.

What we have to remember is the perspective of the other person.

  • They care for you. They want to help and have no idea how to do so. So when they hear about something they share it, in hopes you find it beneficial.
  • They don't like seeing you suffer. Your pain causes them pain. They wish they could take it from you but they cannot not. So they offer advice, in hopes that is something they can offer, just a small thing instead.
  • They want to do something. They don't know what to do or say but want to show solidarity. So they mention something they heard and they use that to show that they care about what you told them. It is an act of kindness and solidarity with your illness.
  • They don't know you well but they want to relate to you. So they hear what you say and they have no idea what to say so they immediately try to find something they can compare, contrast in their related experience. 
  • They love you. And they will find anything on the topic, remember it and share it with you because they will do anything they can that can remotely help you.
None of this comes from a bad place. Most of it comes from a very good place.

#Photophobia and desensitizing it

Photophobia is a major pain in the eyeballs for me with chronic migraines. I own 7 hats and 6 pairs of sunglasses. I have my indoor specs tinted pink for photosensitivity. I have black out blinds in the house and live in a cave. I have Flux on my computer to change it from aggressive blue light to rose lighting. Then I dim the screen.

So here is the thing. I heard a little something about photophobia and it had me changing my behavior. Mine is bad. Very bad. Migraine or not, I cannot leave the house without sunglasses. It is just too painful. So I heard this lady had a doc recommend she not avoid light and slowly train herself to more light exposure to help with her photophobia. It will not go away, but avoidance makes it more severe.

#Fibromaylgia and #stroke risk

A new study in China suggests Fibromyalgia is associated with an increased stroke risk, the study of MedicineIncreased Risk of Stroke in Patients With Fibromyalgia,”  The researchers did a population-based study about whether FM increaes stroke risk. They used the Taiwan National Health Insurance (NHI) claims database to collect a group of 1 million subjects who were followed with the healthy controls for a three year period. (Jan 2000 to Dec 2002). A follow-up time was done for some patients and controls which continued to 2011. 

A #Review: #FibroCane Vitamins and supplements for #Fibromyalgia.

This is a review for FibroCane. They offered me two products to try for a review.

FibroCane itself is a brand that doesn't use synthetic chemicals and rather uses wholefoods. I much prefer this. All the vitamins I use are in fact made this way.

The worst lesson #pain ever taught me

I'm going to tell you a story to express my point where I learned a thing called 'push through the pain'. We all do it. Need to get something done. Have to work. Push through the pain.

Back to work @PainConcern Audio

Proper treatment at the doctor level can lead to a productive return to work

The #Migraine with #aura

Migraine auras are a fantastical part of a migraine. Gifting us with sights unseen by others. And then Bam pain. So they are also a great warning of impending DOOM. There are some auras that are just the most spectacular thing you have ever seen. Amazing what the brain produces as that flux of brain activities presses the wrong buttons. Not to mention the weird sensation. All of sudden half your face is numb or tingling or both. Or your hearing goes all muffled and all you can hear is the damn tinnitus ringing in it.

Discussing: 5 Surprising Lessons I’ve Learned about #ChronicPain

All pain is real. And we should not have to validate it to anyone

5 Surprising Lessons I’ve Learned about Chronic Pain is a good read and worth discussing his points so lets get into them.

  1. All Pain is real. "Chronic pain sometimes has no concrete, identifiable cause, but that doesn’t make the pain any less real.". He says that with many of us with chronic pain the Validity of our pain is suspect. Pain is of course subjective. There is no way to actually measure pain levels. "Each individual’s interpretation and expression of pain is based on a complex interaction of physical, psychological, and emotional factors, all of which originate from the brain." Therefore pain can be doubted. They can look at you with gender bias and think you are a woman therefore you are exaggerating your pain. There is no way to say my 7 is in fact a 7. In fact my 7 is someone else's 10. Our pain scales get skewed anyway just from having chronic pain. Therefore doctors should treat all pain patients at their word. My 7 is a 7, for me, therefore it is a 7. 
  2. Emotions drive the experience of pain. "Emotional pain is very much a part of chronic pain. In my experience, chronic pain is about 20 percent sensory, and the rest, the other 80 percent, is emotional. There are five key emotions that make pain worse: fear, guilt, angerloneliness, and helplessness. " I would not think That emotional. I am pretty stoic in pain. However, people get irate when this is pointed out. When they are told emotions are tied to pain. I am not sure why we all know emotions effect pain levels. Not only that but when they look at pain in the brain, pain is more like a circuit and it does link to the emotion centers. So we are wired to have a Reaction to pain. This is normal. I burn my hand on the stove and I curse like a sailor. Normal. What is unfortunate is with chronic pain we can get bogged down in the damned emotional clutter we are experiencing because of the pain. The frustration, the endless guilt, anxiety, anger, helplessness, depression, fear. This is why some forms of therapy are beneficial. Work through the emotional crap and we can view the pain without the emotional reactions, and lower our suffering, which helps us cope with the sensory experience of the pain.
  3. Opioids don’t always make chronic pain better; they may make it worse. "Opioids are extremely effective as pain relievers; however, because many people develop a tolerance to the medicines within two to three months, it is often necessary to increase the dosage. Therein lies one of their primary dangers—as the dosage increases and the drug is used over time, physical dependence, and possibly addiction, develops." Very Rarely does addiction develop. But, yes, physical dependency and tolerance do. But in fact painkillers are actually considered to be poor pain relievers, just the best we have. But it is part of pain management. How does someone in chronic pain for over 2 decades begin physio and exercise? With painkiller treatment to help manage the pain. Also, sometimes it is the very last resort and what happens when you get there? It is the Last resort. "Opioids have many side effects, and sometimes, using opioids actually causes more pain—a phenomenon known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia." Yes, that is a risk, that does not happen often. The treatment is taking them off that Specific opiate and putting them on a different one. Done.
  4. Treat to improve function. "If we are treating with the goal of taking pain away, but the person is getting worse in terms of his or her ability to be active and productive, that is not good pain treatment. With most chronic pain conditions, the goal of eliminating pain altogether is simply not realistic. When treating chronic pain, improvement of function needs to be taken into consideration." This is a fact. One we have to accept if we have chronic pain. And we do. We get it. The pain doesn't go away. We are aiming for functional and manageable and tolerable. All things we desire in order to have a life. I think of the painkiller I am on and it feels like it isn't that strong at all. I have no clue how much I'd have to take to be free of pain but I am positive it would be an overdose.
  5. Expectations influence outcome. "The answers to many of the problems that plague those with chronic pain lie in the powers of their minds. There are many studies that prove that believing a treatment will work results in a significant percentage of subjects having an effect. What creates this effect? It is the belief that there will be an effect. This belief causes significant changes in the brain and body, which translate into a different experience." People are forever discounting the power of belief. It is strong. Think placebo effect. I know of people when you offer them a viable suggestion they shoot it down right away. That won't work. Nothing works. If that person were to get that treatment it would in fact have less of a chance working according to studies. Personally I like to have an open mind about every treatment. I say it might work a lot, but even a little would help. You fear it won't work so you say to yourself it won't so you will not be disappointed. But it is better to maintain some optimism and be open to the possibility it could help to some varying degree.

My #work solution is ready #HealthCompramises

I would like to say that I had a very good conversation with my employer today about returning to work after this last horrific leave experience of mine. Now generally my issues with return to work have been unpleasant and I have in the past worked with a manager that quite simply didn't work with me and my disability. And I couldn't work the position. Well, I worked the job great. When I was there. But I could not consistently Be There. The work tension and issues that evolved from that caused more stress than you can possibly imagine. It was a brutal enviroment.

This was different. This area manager and manager actually are what a disabled person wants to have at their back. They said they had my old role for me, if I felt I was ready for it. They wanted to know what they could do for me for me to be a productive member of the group. For me to do well and be well.

We then went into how the return to work would be. I said it would be 3 days a week. Alternating work day with day off after. Always having that recovery day. They were fine accommodating that. But wondered when I would be able to do full time again. I said the pain clinic wants me only at part time. I would worry part time would work out well and then I'd go to full time a rapidly find out it wasn't possible... like every other time.

I asked about Job Sharing which they have at other similar institutions and also it is on the HR site at our office. But they can't. So then it was mentioned there could be another role that has part time. Something I had considered at home as a logical move for the back to consider for me. I agreed that role made the most sense since I knew working part time is a good idea for me. Always saying if I wanted to do that. Because there are wage differences to consider. I am aware of that, but knew wages would be going down for part time anyway.

I mentioned in the past with all those leaves I knew I wasn't functioning well. But I was trying to hold onto a career. It was difficult to accept to work less. My boss said your work shouldn't affect your health. If you need to step back you should consider that option.

So essentially they said you have a strong history with the bank and how can we help you continue that. What would work for you?

I literally have not experienced that. If I had, maybe years ago I would have done this and suffered a great deal less because of the change.

One thing they said that my productivity when I returned from the long term and started at that branch last year was low. Very low. For me, whose productivity was always great this bothers me. I blame it on being two years off and having to get familiar with a new system and finding materials again as well as being rusty with customer conversations. I felt I was less productive as well. But I worry it might be medication. Since now I am on running painkillers. I hope it was just because I needed to adjust to the pain levels and a return to work and nothing to do with med side effects... if it is still like that when I return I may rethink the med choices and mention it to the pain clinic.

Anyway, bravo, for an exceptional disability work conversation with those two. That is how it should be with every disabled employee. Just have a straight up honest conversation with them. Help them to be motivated to succeed. Because god damn it we want to succeed.

So this will be the day I will finally stop fighting with my body over something I am incapable of doing. I tried repeatedly to work full time. Over and over. It never worked. Pushing through the pain is exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. It catches up with you.

Remind myself I am not my job. And get down and learn something new. Excel at that and have less stress. Less pay, but less stress. Able to actually achieve it. Able to go to work Consistently. Able to be Reliable.

I feel this decision will work out well. I feel a sense of relief in fact. Because I know I will not be forced into a situation that I will not be able to function in and then feel like a failure when I cannot. I want to feel like a competent, efficient and reliable again. People never see you as you are. They see the disability... and it isn't reliable.  But I am. I'm intelligent, competent and damned reliable. I need a job that fits my limitations... so I can actually be those things. I know I'm giving up my career in the bank that I desired and wanted. I know that. But sometimes your health comes first and you just need to do other things. I will work to keep myself sane and this is turn will not be detrimental to my health. Maybe one day a successful treatment will come out of research and I can actually progress career wise. If not, then I will maintain and consider myself lucky.

Spider #venom could take a bite out of #pain

I heard about this research a while back so I assume it has now progressed. I like articles where they look to nature to find all these fascinating medical applications. I think of the first migraine abortive ergotamines made from Ergot which is a poison and in some theories was blamed for the Salem witch trials.(WebMd). To think you can take that and abort a migraine is amazing. From that they invented the triptan itself. So a lot can come from researching what nature has to offer.

In Australia at the university of Queensland, researchers have looked at the venom of over 200 spider species. The researchers have found a specific toxin in the venom of the tarantula (specifically Thrixopelma pruriens or Peruvian Green Velvet Tarantula) that shows potential as a painkiller. One that's not addictive (of course) and more effective that opioids (since those are not actually that effective for pain). The Peruvian Green Velvet Tarantula's venom inhibits pain receptors. Specifically, "the peptide toxin the researchers refer to as ProTx-II inhibits pain signals by binding to the membranes of nerve cells." Pain News

"Our results show that the cell membrane plays an important role in the ability of ProTx-II to inhibit the pain receptor. In particular, the neuronal cell membranes attract the peptide to the neurons, increase its concentration close to the pain receptors, and lock the peptide in the right orientation to maximize its interaction with the target," said Henriques, who presented her latest findings at the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society in Los Angeles Pain News

Of the 200 spiders they have researched 40% contain one compound that blocked Nav 1.7 channels. They have over 45k spiders to explore. "Our work creates an opportunity to explore the importance of the cell membrane in the activity of peptide toxins that target other voltage-gated ion channels involved in important disorders," said Henriques.Pain News
Pain News Network says there has been research into the venom of cone snails as well. I remember reading those too. Similarly it also blocks pain signals. One advantage stated was that it decomposed quickly and therefore unlikely to cause dependency. One drug called Prialt is in this category; it is injected into the spinal cord and treats severe pain of a failed back surgery, injury, AIDS and cancer. 
Interesting research on the horizon...

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...