Week in Review

I haven’t so much gotten many breaks this year aside from MLT but I’m much better able to handle the stressors.  The last couple of months has been pulling our home out of foreclosure, my husband returning to work, dealing with loss of insurance and then thinking its merge into covered california coverage would be at least somewhat affordable, but it wasn’t. My previous post about starting PT again was hopeful for a minute. The authorization and appointment was scheduled in days. It would have begun November 2nd. Our insurance ends October 30th. I had already lost care for my SCS and CRPS in February of 2016 this new appointment was separate under Medicare and for my spine only.  Even though I have lifetime medical under Worker’s Compensation it’s not that easy.  My injury was so long ago even physicians who accept WC have declined to take me as a patient.  My previous PMD didn’t get paid for his services for me for 5 years straight until he proceeded to court on it. I understand that a doctor needs to get paid and my adjuster nearly always delayed or denied. I’ve been in the process of closing out that future medical since the end of June 2017. It could take years. It hasn’t provided me nothing.

Our second daughter Rikki and her Fiance are moving to Texas. They’ve sold their home and will be leaving any day now.

Our son was activated for the California Fires (Sonoma) Emergency State Active Duty (ESAD) IC4U Unit. He works for the Solano County Sheriff’s Department and was already driving into it each day for his position securing the courthouse, but then was called to duty.  Ozra is also the CEO and President of Stronger Than Pain so he has a lot on his plate too.  Especially for having not turned 21 yet.

Kurtis Ozra IC4U Unit Telecommunications Specialist

I know there’s a difference between those who’ve fought and who are fighting overseas and in combat zones. Ozra is State side. I’m just as proud because we need help too.  Our devastations need these units to protect us as well. Both of my dad’s served in Vietnam. My current dad (my mom parted from my birth daddy in death in September of 1991 and married her childhood sweetheart years later)  was active in front line combat in the nam. He still has shrapnel in him. He’s both retired military and retired law enforcement. My daughter Rikki served in the Army, her fiance did 2 hard tours including Afghanistan. My husband was Navy for a minute and his father 21 years in the air force, his mama was an original Rosie. He flew them, she built them.  My husbands brother was a Navy Seal, we lost him in 2016. My husband was born in his parents 40’s, they have both been deceased since our early 20’s My dad died 10 months before his dad, and his mom barely 2 years later.  Ozra never met any of them, but I know they know him.

I’m severely behind in trying to catch up on anything internet or social media related. Our internet only became active for ourselves less than 2 weeks ago. Email has been a chore. I’m using an old laptop, so old it doesn’t even connect to certain sites because of browsers being out of date. Can’t update because they aren’t supported with such an old version of Windows. I’m grateful though that I have partial access at least and that’s been good enough.

Our grandson ‘Tai is thriving and our oldest Kharisma is hanging in there.

Currently, I’m working on returning my breathing machine to the sleep source center, cancelling that new PT appointment, and getting my other laptop restored though I’m not as on that as I could be.

My day’s are:

Move my body out of bed

(After sleeping, I’m sore and stiff)

Make coffee

(Do a few stretches using the kitchen counter)

Start home chores

(Have coffee)

Feed my dogs

(Try to feel awake and reduce pain from rising)

Internet and email

(As much as I can however limited from myself or something else)

Rest

(Stretch)

It’s repetitive all day.  Do, naps, do, rest, do and do some Netflix, too.

 

I go to Church as much as I can. Sometimes I go, but don’t stay for group.  It’s embarrassing for me to doze when Pastor speaks. I’m learning better that it’s okay, but I’m not so okay with it yet that I would let me fall asleep on them like that knowing it’s coming.

We start Church with a set of 3 songs and end with 1.  I’m finally able to stand for most of them.   A few times I’ve been able to for all, but not every time.  Progress still.  Of course I pay for my standing, singing, and wish to be with others, but I’ll do it again because I want to that much.

I just restarted PreNatal Vitamins as a source of a once a day with extra in it.  There’s no baby on the way.  Just another alternative to feel as good as I can without those things we sometimes hope for elsewhere.

Until next time…

 

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Healing Forward

A good friend said to me “It seems like you’re always defending something”. Something. I could hear my voice crack into the conference call as tears began to well up in my eyes. I had never thought of it that way. I hadn’t realized.

Almost instantaneously I responded “I am. I’m defending my life”.

gi-carved-healing-stone-ThoughtCo

I’m defending my reason for living, I’m defending who I was, and who I’m not anymore. I’m defending my here and now. I’m defending my choices, my actions and my existence. Each why I must, why I do and why I can’t. I’m defending the things I’m able to do, and everything I haven’t been able to do yet or never will. I’m defending my inability to do for others, my instability and my ability to try and keep trying for me.

I’m defending my pain, my passion and my purpose. Those 3 P’s that had paved my way into it all.

It’s a process and I’m still healing forward.

I’m just a new kind of work in progress.

 

My Natural Alternatives for Pain, Depression and Anxiety.

My natural alternatives for pain, depression, anxiety, pain management, and medication management that I’ve used over the last year that has afforded me an ability to maintain physical pain levels in addition to the emotional secondary conflicts that living with intractable pain has caused.

I look forward to those of you who can provide additional natural or holistic recommendations for myself and others.

Please be advised that any information that I share is NOT medical advice and that I’m not responsible for your choice to consider or use any of the options provided. Always consult with your healthcare team or pharmacist first.

Milk Thistle

Commonly used to detox the body, especially the liver. It can also help control or prevent Diabetes, lower cholesterol and is an antiinflammatory.

Turmeric
Anti inflammatory, antioxidant, treats arthritis and pain related diseases and disorders, including age related chronic diseases. It can be effective as an antidepressant.

Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases, syndromes, and other illnesses. Curcumin the active
ingredient in Turmeric can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and Lower Risk of Brain Diseases. Ref: Healthline.

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

For Anxiety and Insomnia- Valerian Root

Valerian root is a common ingredient sold in dietary supplements. It claims to cure insomnia and nervous tension caused by anxiety. Valerian has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy.

It was used in ancient Greece and Rome to ease:

Insomnia
Nervousness
Trembling
Headaches
Stress

Based on the available research, take 300 to 600 milligrams (mg) of valerian root 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. This is best for insomnia or sleep trouble. For tea, soak 2 to 3 grams of dried herbal valerian root in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Valerian root seems to work best after taking it regularly for two or more weeks. Don’t take valerian root for more than a month without talking to your doctor.

http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/valerian-root#overview1

I use Valerian both as a hot tea and in capsule form. It’s been quite helpful as a replacement for prescribed medications.

*** If you’re on any medications, please discuss using the Valerian Root with your physician or pharmacist.
Magnesium

It’s believed that magnesium in citrate are better absorbed than sulfate forms.

 

Top 9 Health Benefits of Magnesium

Helps Increase Energy.
Calms Nerves and Anxiety.
Treats Insomnia and Helps You Fall Asleep.
Helps with Digestion by Relieving Constipation.
Relieves Muscle Aches and Spasms.
Regulates Levels of Calcium, Potassium and Sodium.
Important for Heart Health.
Prevents Migraine Headaches.

Dreams– Some people have reported lucid dreaming using it. Being a lucid dreamer already, I love this for myself.

Magnesium Sulfate also known as Epsom’s salt. https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/magnesium-sulfate
More info: https://draxe.com/magnesium-supplements/

I use Magnesium in both capsule form as well as drink it in the sulfate form. Yes it’s the same form that we use to soak in baths with. It helps constipation for any reason. In the capsule form it provides natural ease from depression.

Echinacea for immune system support and more. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252684.php

Echinacea

Vitamins B12, B1, B6, Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin C are each important also.

Chamomile, peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, Ginger, Green teas.

Ginger, I shave, cut and steep fresh ginger for it’s anti inflammatory properties and to use for female problems, namely dysmenorrhea. It is a blood thinner too so don’t use it if taking a pharmaceutical that’s also a thinner.

Chia seeds

“Chia” means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

It truly is a super food. A really good article from August 2nd 2017 can be found on http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/291334.php

I use them nearly everyday. in both food and drink.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/291334.php

Kratom

It can be used for pain relief, depression, anxiety and a number of other ailments. It can be used as a stimulant. Each is dependent on dosing. It’s only dangerous if not used responsibly just like anything else. The only effect I’ve ever felt from it is a sense of calming which helped physical pain. I’ve drank it as a tea.

St. Johns Wort. This can cause adverse effects if taken with medications. It can be quite helpful for those who aren’t on any medications. It can interact adversely with other herbs or supplements.  Be safe.

“Some of the most impressive health benefits of St. John’s Wort include its ability to treat depression, improve mood swings, relieve anxiety, reduce the severity of premenstrual symptoms, ease addictive tendencies, regulate hormonal activity, prevent cancer, protect against viral infections, reduce inflammation, and soothe the nervous system.” Ref: Organic Facts.

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/st-johns-wort.htm

OTC’s

Epsom salts for soaking in order to relieve aching muscles and promote relaxation. I adore the Lavender and Eucalyptus kind and have even added it to my kiddie pool this summer. It provides aromatherapy as well as physical relaxation. It promotes a happy mood. Don’t drink this type though!

Epsom’s salts gel. It’s a topical form of Epsoms and can be applied to painful areas.

Aspercreme with Lidocaine

Thermo heat wraps

Capsaicin
It’s the same ingredient found in chili peppers. It’s hot. It can be helpful for some and adverse to others. It’s actually something I’m not able to use, The heat was severe and I couldn’t even wash it off without it burning for an extended period of time.

Pre natal vitamins are a source of multivitamins in a single dose. Don’t overuse it.

I’m still not able to walk long, but I am able to stay up longer and take more steps. I haven’t been able to run yet and it’s been over 17 years that I have.
I’ve been able to restore some bad posture that was also contributing to pain levels, dysfunction and spinal deterioration. I’ve learned to breathe better by being more mindful to belly breath instead of hold my breath in pain and hyperventilate. My little kiddie pool has been great for me this summer as it has allowed me to move my limbs, bones, muscles, and spine with weightless effort. This has helped me do a little more outside of water.

I’ve restored blood restriction from movement. I’ve reduced discoloration and edema in my CRPS side. I’ve eased a lot of internal organ involvement by using my little ball (A tennis ball learned at the Gohl Program) on my belly in a circular motion minimally a few times a week. Stretching, movement.

You might be thinking how? right now. How can you? How can I? Am I better off than you are regarding pain, crps, etc? Or a need for medication management? Know how many times I’ve asked myself how can I without any? How can I do my routines? The ones that also hurt me. You may be thinking you can’t do  or use any of the above because you’re in too much pain or you simply can’t stand the taste of something. I know. I was on pain relieving medication since the injury that led to my CRPS began. Even before the diagnosis itself. Since day 1. January 26, 2001 and then I suddenly wasn’t anymore. Of course I was dependent. I’ve had the Medtronic SCS since 2006.

I’ve had many people tell me they’re on Oxycodone with secondary Hydrocodone, or an extended release with a another pain medication for breakthrough pain and how they’re still at a 10 in pain.

Imagine that 10 with opioid medication and my “any pain level” without. If you can truly imagine that for just a moment then you might understand why I didn’t want to live anymore and how I became adamant that I wouldn’t.

Food

I do cook more yet 7 days a week isn’t happening. I do make foods in batches to freeze so that my husband has something to eat. So that we both do on the days that cooking is problematic.  Homemade TV dinners.

I have a wheelchair, or should I say had. It’s on my patio ruined because I let it get rained on. I suppose in the back of my mind I still didn’t want it. I have a walker with a seat and breaks, I have it stored away, I have several cane’s, including 4 prong, I’m not using any of them. I lost my walking stick.

I love nature and being outside even if it’s only on my patio in my little pool. I’d encourage you to trade some of that internet time for nature.

When that pain, or any pain rises from any of my issues, I remind myself that I really am stronger than pain and that I survived for a purpose I had never considered before it all. A purpose that isn’t in CRPS Awareness anymore as it had been the 13 years prior. It’s not in finding a cure for something that most likely will never happen in my lifetime or yours but instead helping people live in the here and the now. Change cognitive beliefs that keep the pain state of mind active and replace those with a sense of healing, ability, and laughter. Laughter increases endorphins and endorphins reduce pain if even for only moments at a time.

It’s in raising your well being and supporting your progress instead of glorifying pain.

Moderate to severe physical pain will affect your emotions, your mind and it causes depression and overwhelming feelings of loss whether that be
a career, livelihood, the friends we once had, or who we were before we became chronic or intractable. It’s a constant cycle of stress and a vicious and a continuous 360 of remaining there. Fight or Flight is the stress response. The way you handle that stress response plays a main role in the ability to cope with physical pain. It’s been said for decades that RSD affects the sympathetic nervous system, the
sympathetic nervous is 1 half of the autonomic nervous system, the other part being the para sympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system resides within the Central Nervous System. No wonder RSD is so out of hand. The Sympathetic nervous system is most commonly known as fight or flight. And more recently, fight, flight or freeze. If we’re in a constant state of stress, distress, our bodies regardless of injury or diagnosis won’t heal either. It can’t.

Understanding the stress response

Chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health

The news has reported from several media outlets that addiction and overdose deaths affects families and how those poor families are hurting because of the devastating impact it causes. Fair enough! Will they ever report how chronic pain affects families the same way? Or how our families suffer right along with us? I doubt it. Pain of any kind hurts families not just the pain of overdose that has little to do with any pain patient and everything to do with a choice. Even if the choice was made without the ability to understand the consequences. My choice to die and their choice to take too much. Fair? Suicidal ideations is trying to reason and bargain with pain (any kind) as is anyone who throws back that extra and dies from it.

One of my favorite books is Anatomy and Physiology Made Easy. A Concise Learning Guide To Master The Fundamentals by Dr. Phillip Vaughn. I have the Kindle Version. Available on Amazon. It’s an easy read. The other Anatomy and Physiology book I’m reading is a bit more complicated and more in depth. I would recommend the above title as a starting point for anyone without or without pain,  and as an informative tool regarding the human body, and as a stepping stone in order to understand possibility where possible is seemingly over.

So much can be done with a Yoga ball even from a bed.

(Initially this would have been either a Facebook Live or Periscope Live to share with you. When I’m able, I’ll still do a presentation and also demonstrate some of the techniques I use. IE: balls, dog toys, stretching, etc)

I’ve most likely left out other things I’ve done for myself.

Until next time. x

 

 

 

Undeniable Breakthrough

I haven’t written for a minute because I’ve been struggling to maintain a sense of worth and ability while at the same time coming out of the closest remission I’ve ever had. I’ve learned to survive without medication management for pain, yet there are times I wish I had even a 10 count as needed a month of Hydrocodone or Tramadol because it’s hard. I’ve learned and used every natural way I know to help myself.

I know that no physician ever pushed opioids on me and I don’t believe that even though I was dismissed and abandoned that it was personal. I understand they were under stress during that same period of time which just happened to be my worse time.

I never used the 10 on the pain scale in all my years of CRPS or the dozen other pain and non pain related disorders. I reserved that number. When I did use it, when it was 10 it didn’t do me any good because I suppose it’s so overused even the medical community thinks it’s a joke if we do.

The joke was on me.

Overwhelming - Breakthrough

I spent the summer in a little kiddie pool in order to do weightless movement that I wasn’t physically strong enough for outside of water. It really helped a lot. I’ve had a treadmill for about 10 years, an old model and still in working order. I’ve had a stationary bike for approximately 10 years, the ab slider my son sent over a few months back, my yoga ball while about 4-5 years old I only started using recently.

It’s just the treadmill and yoga ball I’m using now along with some stretches, mindful about posture, I learned with having MLT.

I could suck it up and have the spinal surgery, or I can suck it up and continue to do all I can for me still without any of that. It’s been a great stress reliever to not be having monthly PMD appointments, to not worry about whether or not medications will be delayed or denied, to not wait for a lumbar or cervical pain block, to not have to rely on someone or something for relief.

I’ve managed also to better regulate my high blood pressure often 180/+ to restore internal involvement, level off drastic inflammation and swelling for the most part. Today is a swollen day, symptoms extra present, dreading getting on the treadmill, but I have to even if for only 20 seconds. I’ve not made it beyond a minute even on better days.

I use the chia seeds for their anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, fiber, and other qualities. My allotment of vitamins have ran extremely low, so I’m out of some, and have a bit of others left. The combination was helping me maintain better. I feel like ka ka right now and so I know they provided a benefit. Since it’s expensive to buy so many different kinds I’ll be replacing it with Prenatal vitamins this upcoming week. The prenatal (nope, not pregnant) provides many supplements in one for a single price. That’s my best option until I can replace my others. I use fresh ginger as well.

The chia seeds I use as a sprinkle on foods and in water, coffee. In liquid the seed becomes a gel.

Later I’ll be doing either Facebook or Periscope live to share these natural ways of helping ourselves. Especially for those whose pain relief analgesics have been reduced or stopped and for those interested either way.

Do things happen for a reason? Or are they random? I’d like to believe it’s all been for a reason and that reason being instead of advocating and raising awareness solely for cures and information about an illness to instead raise it for HRQoL, suicide prevention and our mental health that will always go with it.

That’s the purpose of Stronger Than Pain.  Helping people live not just share with them all the reasons they never will again but rather all the reasons they can, must, and have to.

Through it all came an undeniable breakthrough.

 

This Week

While my outside of the water push ups did cause some soreness it didn’t cause any flare. I was over at our son’s the other day and so I missed my pool time. I laid on his carpet and did my push up set. The weird thing about it is the incredible headache that came on and lasted for about 45 minutes. The first time I didn’t think anything of it because I figured I pushed myself too hard and maybe just got a head rush as a result.

The next time, same thing. It doesn’t start though until I’m straining a bit or more. It’s never happened in the water that intensely probably because the water reduces any strain. I felt like I was going to pass out but it eased back down within the hour.

It’s things like this that can make it easier to stop trying more. Almost easier to not do them and avoid the headache or other symptoms all together. It’s crossed my mind like a quick flash of floaties.

Could be too that as I started those upper body routines, I also added neck exercises/movement into my daily movements. Not just a couple up downs with my head, or side to sides, but sets. If I have to I’ll back off of the girl push ups and just do neck movements for awhile.

I don’t know if I’m irritating my cervical spine with both, or if its just that my body is trying to adjust to it all. My lumbar spine doesn’t like me right now but that’s fine, I don’t like it either. Lol.

I got the Depo injection about 5 weeks ago in an attempt to ease down female troubles. I missed the next 2 cycles and have been on for 15 consecutive days again. It’s sort of a “Yay, but you’re doing great” crusher. I don’t feel great and I want to. I read on the internet it can take up to a year. If it’s on the internet it must be true. Jeez. Instead of having the injection again I’m suppose to have Nexplanon put back in. Seriously this stuff is way too much.

I woke up this morning with cramps so bad I was like don’t even get up today. But the little birdie on my shoulder was like get your ass up right now. So I did. Ha! It’s sort of an aggressive little birdie sometimes. 🙂

I sent a bunch of documents to my Kindle for offline reading because an internet break is about to begin sometime today. At least it’s suppose to.

I’m gonna nibble on my rx medicinal cannabis cookie today because I swear sometimes a little relief is necessary.  I might have already. 😛

I don’t use it very often so I’m always naive again when I do. Kinda funny, cannabis naive. But I am.

I don’t know why it’s called natural menopause when there isn’t anything natural about what comes before it. Natural would be that thing stopping one day and never coming back. It’s just not the nature I look forward to.

I want to get out in the garage and go through all the packed away things that I haven’t even seen for years. I want to get the boxing gym over here but I’m not sure yet if it’s worth doing so especially if I can’t or don’t use it yet. I haven’t used the slider in weeks now. Longer than that even. Not since I sprained my foot on it and that progress went backwards quick. I know I know, I need to face my fears. Maybe later. 🙂

I’ve been using the shake weight across my belly. I started sit ups (in the water a couple of weeks ago) I can do some crunches now outside of the water too. I use the shake weight for both breathing exercises and muscle control. I’ve really changed lack of muscle control to controlling them better. My limbs get a little wobbly sometimes still or spasms sneak in, and those use to exist everyday. It’s not all day long anymore. Some people use books or the like on their stomach, but the shake weight works for me because I also use it to practice keeping it there rather than letting it roll off me. The right side of my belly is bigger than my left because my ribs have shifted some. My left side is a downward incline. In other words my belly isn’t level. The shake weight is useful for me to control those muscles better. 🙂

It’s going to be in the triple digits today. I need to finish up some notes and lists for my son and get outside. I’m actually behind today. I’m usually already outside at least once by now.

Sunshine - Clip Art Library

It’s really tough when the devil up in it. It really is. lol

 

It’s All About The Fun

Because without laughter, things to laugh at, people to laugh with there’s nothing but pain as a primary focus.

I love quoting movie lines, tossing up lyrics, mixing saying’s, character study, personality shifts, acting. That’s my fun stuff.

Off to prep dinner for this evening.

I love spankin’ the meat too because that’s how you get a really good seasoned rub on.

28a9b9e4ae73db5ed43154d01c5b413f--emoji-faces-smiley-faces

Happy Thursday!

Triple Wide Down

Consider this a mix of humor, seriousness and heart.

Okay, so my butt has been a total breaking down triple wide since I was in my early 30’s and after CRPS. For those of you who need some visual that means my health related issues gifted me a triple wide ass and one that I should have never accepted. Deteriorating as a result of everything I didn’t do for it! You know like “I gotta big butt and I cannot lie?” I’m thrilled to report that it’s a double wide now.  😛

Goals

Make my double wide even better. (I’ll show you when my mood tells me to. Lol)

Try not to build so much muscle that people who try to do me dirty don’t become my bitch! (Word porn: Perception and interpretation. I’ll never tell)

Try not to do things with the shake weight that other people find offending. (Focus on the ones who love it. :))

serenity-prayer

Stronger Than Pain