3 years alcohol free

It’s taken nearly 3 months for my shoulder to heal again. This situation had begun about a week prior to my blog post Ball Therapy in November.

I continued on with my music movement therapy the best that I could. I had to remove the weights from my routine for the most part. I did try to resume twice. A mistake both times, yet no one can say I didn’t try, try, try again. I did! I should have waited. I tried walking in place, holding them too and finally didn’t attempt to lift them above my head until recently.

I didn’t consider this a flare really. An acute re injury or slippage of spinal disc and irritated nerves is probably more accurate.

Sleeping, laying down wasn’t pleasant. I had to rest propped up regularly for weeks in order to rest at all. I couldn’t lay on my back, or my arms for more than seconds. My neck was heavy. I used a back, neck, and shoulder support posture harness for nearly 2 months. Removing it to bathe or dress caused my wedgie to intensify with that tearing sensation. I call it a wedgie, I suppose to replace the word, pain.

I resumed lifting my 2 lb weights 3 days ago on my 3 year soberversary. I’m hoping it’s okay to do so now and it’ll be fine. The other symptoms are still occurring. The buzzing, numbness, pulsating, shock like sensations haven’t subsided. As long as the tearing and ripping pain doesn’t accompany it, I can deal with it.

I broke 2 plates from not having enough strength in my hand to support the weight of a coffee cup while washing dishes.

I’m proud that I don’t consider alcohol an option anymore, but I haven’t fully overcome the reason why I had. Medically untreated pain and various illnesses.

Achieved my 3 years, January 18th.

I spent a beautiful sleepover at my sons with his wife and my grandson’s 10 days prior. They live about an hour from us.

I’m still about 40 lbs down from 10 months ago. At a weight loss halt currently yet maintaining.

Stronger Than Pain – January 8, 2022

I wore this shirt, which had belonged to my son from the Ignition Student Conference years ago. He was a teen still. It’s a size medium.

I wouldn’t purchase mediums yet. Sticking with large for now. Earlier last year, I was wearing X Lg. This shirt was in my closet and so I was inclined to try it. Woot!

I still have 20 to lose.

My lower extremity CRPS is better some days but not each day at all. Some days it feels like losing the weight hasn’t made any difference, yet I also know it’s had to. The benefits are there even if I don’t feel it on a regular basis.

I’m looking forward to springtime and doing my kiddie pool water PT. I find calm in nature and sunshine and weightless movement isn’t stressful. I started my music movement therapy so that I could avoid or minimize winter rumbles. Flare-ups.

The element of stress is there especially when I have to push myself extra to get through doing the exercises. I try to make it fun with music so that the stress isn’t heightened with it and I can feel good wanting to.

I’m not planning to stop the movement or fitness routines, I’m hoping to do both.

Next week will be 21 years since I sustained the injuries that led to RSDCRPS type 2. I was 32. I’ll be 54 later this year. Cray.

Happy Friday!

Gohl Method

I’ve referred to MLT dozens of times over the years. MLT is Manual Ligament Therapy.

The therapies and protocols are what I’ve used to maintain my comorbidities.

Now that video demonstrations are available it’s easier for me to recall some of what I learned, yet had also forgotten. What I mean by forgotten is the specifics to certain movements and stretches.

Spinal pain had been creeping up. I’ve been using an inflatable traction device since yesterday. Since having MLT years ago, I’ve only had a few instances of this. When I attended it was at its worse and it had been ongoing for more than a year.

I had been sent to the physical therapy center for traction of my spine and a few other treatments including heat and manipulation. I underwent cervical injections. The second one I had was the day before the Gohl Method/program healing retreat. (Oct 2016)

In fact, I spent my 48th birthday there. The spinal problems had caused cervical radiculopathy. Part of my right hand, fingers, wrist and forearm are partially numb. The treatment restored loss 9f feeling in my third finger. Its the finger I type and text with. I canceled the 3rd injection.

I was seriously scattered yesterday. Too much pain distorts my thought process. I kept changing my mind all day.

I couldn’t concentrate. I watched and rewatched 2 Spanish lessons, and couldn’t retain a single thing.

Background noise was terrorizing me. Hypersensitivity to sound. My anxiety kept rising.

I wanted to reach a 5 day exercise goal. Then wasn’t going to do it. I thought I had other weeks ahead to accomplish that.

I replaced that with Anterior Body Stretch. I could visually focus as I mirrored the video. That helped me complete it.

My mind kept nagging me, I’m not even kidding, to not miss my music movement therapy and achieve 5 out of 5 days that my fit bit would log as actual exercise not only active minutes.

I rewatched all of the Gohl Method presentations and demonstrations.

The little inspirations fit bit give you. You’re a pro! Ha! 10 minutes is hardly that, but hey,  at least it sounds supportive. It would be the first time reaching a 5/5 goal. I did!

Today, so far, stress is lessened. There’s no worry to miss song movement today. I just had to reach that goal!

I’ll repeat anterior stretch, and take it easy.

I really like Abdominal Self Massage, and have been doing this one for years. Not to the full extent of the video though. I use my therapy balls more than my hands, I’ve been doing it hands-on for 2 weeks.

I mentioned in a previous blog I wasn’t taking on anything in 2021 other than increased weights. These therapies don’t count as they are already in progress and therefore will simply continue.

The only thing I can think of that caused or contributed to this flare, or re injury is banging my knee 2 weeks ago tomorrow. It’s still bruised and swollen. It looks like I fell and I didn’t. I dinged it in the doorway coming out of the bathroom. My dog was weaving between my legs, and smack!

That hurt like a bish, but then I didn’t think any more of it. I just thought I was sore and tender because CRPS does that anyway. I hadn’t even noticed the depth of bruising and swelling until the 4th day, when I was getting ready to go with my auntie to Thanksgiving eve prayer service.

It occurred to me some before and more so after rewatching these videos that maybe I threw my posture off and as a result my spine as well, which led to my current state.

I’m really not certain. Random flares occur often enough.

It makes sense to me. I’ve been attempting to repair my poor posture over these last several years, too. I’ve fairly well fixed my breathing issues, which is fast slow, even in my sleep and documented in sleep study reports. I don’t panic breathe, anymore. I’ve avoided hyperventilation.

I pray these methods help others as much as they’ve helped me. I have faith they’ll help even more into the future.

For more information-

https://gohlmethod.com/

Feliz viernes

Ball Therapy

In my previous post I mentioned shoulder pain. I wanted to share what relieved me of much of it last evening.

My chronic illness tool box is full of little helpers such as this.

When I underwent Manual Ligament Therapy 5 years ago, I had learned to utilize a tennis ball on my belly, and painful areas.

Later, I also started using a dog toy. It’s a ball on a rope with a tug handle.

There were times I had difficulty raising my arms to place my ball behind me and this idea came spontaneously.

My husband brought our dogs home some toys. I looked at one of the items, and thought immediately, I need that. Lo siento perro, that’s mine!

I stole the dogs new toy!

This has been a go to for me all along.

I can stand against a wall and toss it over my shoulder for self massage in those raw areas. I also use it laying down, as I did last night, and do it this way more often.

I laid as flat as able on my futon, tossed ball behind me, over my right shoulder, and rested on it. The strap/handle sets on the front of my shoulder/upper chest allowing me to control placement. I don’t have to get up, only lean up a little to reposition.

I can feel the ptessure in the raw painful knots. I had turned my head slightly to the left, I wanted to see the TV. I had Spanish lessons on YouTube at the time. Distraction.

When I turned my head that area in my shoulder was a sharp pull. I would roll the ball into my back in tiny motions while laying on it and I intended to increase pressure. The area hurting the worse was specific at the edges of my blade. When this happens, it also becomes painful to lift my head, and the pull and tearing sensation in my neck can be intense.

Tissue, fascia began loosening, maybe a tight muscle, or combination.

Earlier yesterday when I completed my 3 songs of music movement therapy I didn’t use my weights. It was more important to me to achieve my physical exercise than stress over the weights. Plus, I still used my arms in movement the entire 14 minutes.

I think I mentioned some time ago that I’ve also used a rolling pin on my legs for CRPS, Arthritis and Fibro. It helps sore flesh and muscles for me. It relieves some of that visceral all over bruising feeling.

I do have to push through the allodynia and hyperalgesia at times.

The item/tool, touching, hyper sensitivity isn’t pleasant either but nothing hurts more than those pains building to a flare I can’t get myself out of and which leads to major depression as a result.

Again, I have no medications, treatments, or medical/pain care.

I share these tools so that others might be able to ease and relieve themselves, especially those who either choose to live naturally or were, like myself, fired and abandoned by their pain managers.

My greatest goal in all of this is to keep myself, and hopefully others, from becoming suicidal due to pain.

I’ve been there too many times already.

I wish you all pain eased days and nights.

CRPS and Self-Healing

I’ve mentioned doing low carbs and incorporating physical movement into my daily routine.

I had gone 12 consecutive days with an average of 14 minutes of continuous weight bearing activity. My fit bit actually recorded some of these days as aerobic workouts in addition to active minutes. In order to reach “active minutes” I need to move for 10 non stop minutes.

I recieved my fit bit October 26th, and have 23 days of 10 or more active minutes. 2 of the days didnt record. I only accomplished 2 songs on those days. 6 minutes.

I missed 3 straight days this week, resumed the day before yesterday with 23 minutes, and missed yesterday.

I’m in a flare.

I banged my knee a week ago, and that’s still bruised and swollen. Seems to have set off extra nerve pain. This is the same knee that turns inward when I practice lunges. I had finally gotten to 11 each of those.

I’m a bundle of pain currently. My right shoulder and blade is throwing a fit, and the burning throughout that side isn’t only physically exhausting it’s mentally burdensome.

I considered stress as the culprit too, and at least a contributer and so I started recalling the week. I had a good week! I was excited to cook and began pacing myself in the days prior to accomplish that.

I went to prayer service with my Auntie on Thanksgiving eve. I’ve never been to her Church before. I’m dedicated to mine, yet I know Jesus wouldn’t mind, in fact, he’d be thrilled for me to be with family, too. Even our ancestors would be overjoyed.

If stress caused heightened pain, swelling, and bruising, I’m not sure where the trigger was, or is. I’m sure that stress can reside in the background. There’s no way to avoid it, only manage through it.

I know that my music movement therapy is benefitting me along with stretching and being mindful of stressors that impact any type of chronic pain and illnesses.

I only started this type of movement therapy with music 3 months ago. It was all weightless water therapy previously.

I’ve taken it to a brand-new level. I’m sure my body is thanking me while being a bit angry too. It’s use to what its use too and we’re changing that.

I read a great book a couple of weeks ago and I’ll share more about it soon.

Stop Chasing Symptoms
A unique approach to the causes and treatment of chronic pain

https://youtu.be/xARyDIGh_WE

I’m of like mind with the author, who’s also my Manual Ligament Therapy therapist, Arik Gohl. He’s been amazing support for me since I first met him in October of 2016.

His book also walks the reader through video demonstrations in addition to the written word.

It’s been a journey of self healing for 5 years now and if it takes another 5 years that’s ok.

(I started writing this before Church this morning, and in the interim completed 3 songs equaling 14 minutes)

Okay, okay, perhaps the stressor was the extra Thanksgiving stuffing with gravy. 😆

Happy Sunday!

Everything in Moderation

Quote by Oscar Wilde: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

It’s good to avoid extremes?!

This quote has been playing on my mind.

I’ve been consuming low carbohydrates since March. I’ve reached my initial goal of losing 35 pounds just last week.

I began Music Movement Therapy in August. I think I’ve previously mentioned that. I needed something to transition to from my Summertime water therapy. I had some worry on me because while I spend as much time as able in my kiddie pool each year during warm and hot weather, the colder months seemed to leave me stranded without that. I would lose much of my benefit that water stretch and movement offered.

I have a stationary bike a few feet away from me, and it sounds odd that I can’t pedal on it without so much discomfort that wanting to try again is actually stressful for me. I can’t seem to go longer than a minute, two at best.

My Music Movement Therapy has at least given me a sprinkle of motivation. I love to dance! And while I wouldn’t consider this dancing, some would. I started with my son’s song California Dreamin’.

I’m up to 3 songs now. A combined 14 minutes. I’m using 2 lb dumbbells and I’m on my feet the entire time. Forward steps, backward steps, side steps, walking in place, lunges. I can’t hold a lunge yet. The weights help me achieve what I’m doing though. When weights are above my head my knee is bent forward, weights come down its back leg stretch. I may not be explaining myself correctly. Hmm. Anyhow, quick forward, quick back. I’ve tried without the weights, but I’m weaker on my feet/legs that way, and stumble, mis step at times.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

I’m not sure if I’m trying too much too soon. I do think that my eagerness to do so is in a positive light. It’s now or never. It’s said that it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit. I’ve made a good habit to do my songs each day minus only a handful of times I wasn’t able to. Physical strain. I try to avoid the word pain anymore.

No pain, no gain? Use it, or lose it? Such a fine line at times. M o d e r a t i o n.

It’s only been a few months. At this point, I’m not disappointed in myself.

My kiddos gifted me a Fit Bit for my birthday last month. I adore it. My daily steps seem good. It does record other movements as steps and so I’m not entirely certain of actual steps accuracy.

I set it to lose 25 more pounds. 23 to go. If I get that off it would be a total of 60.

If…

I’m 53 now. I can barely believe it! This January will be 21 years since the injuries that led to CRPS occurred.

I feel like this is my last chance.

I’m keeping stressors and triggers at a distance. It’s taken me years now to get to this point. Especially in regard to secondary major depression and anxiety disorders.

If I don’t keep these stable none of this will make a difference.

October

I love Springtime! The weather begins to warm and my water therapy begins. Each of my 3 children are born in March. I always look forward to that time of the year.

October is my favorite color. Beautiful shades of earth. I adore autumn as everything starts to fall away in order to begin again.

It’s cleansing.

It’s also my birth month and not too cold as of yet. It smells refreshing to me.

It’s also time to ride. 🧹

I enjoy the sharing of seasonal memes as a distraction to carry me through the winter, especially the funny ones.

Spanish lessons continue at 504 consecutive days of learning.

I’ve watched several Mexican novelas already. (English subtitles)

I’m fairly sure I’ve mentioned that our Grandson’s Ezekiel and Greyson are bilingual as their first words form.

A few weeks ago I was worried about Summer ending and water PT being over until Spring again.

That’s when I began transitioning to indoor therapy.

I keep telling myself it’ll be worth it. I’ve been here before with this mindset, positive, and I wasn’t able to maintain what I worked so hard for due to a combination of the intractable pain and repetitive injuries.

CRPS, symptoms, and that visceral bone pain is always heightened in the wet, rainy, and colder months.

So far I’m doing as well as I can be with the music movement therapy and with orthotics on while doing so.

I’m praying that I avoid any major flares and continue into the upcoming months without gaps in my routine.

A part of me is so very tired and worn from all the try, try again. A piece of me says this will be the last time. My heart says, yes you will, you always try again.

Feliz martes para ti

~Dodinsky

Music Movement Therapy

I’ve mentioned many times that I utilize spring and summer for water therapy. I’ve done this for more years than I can count. I even did this in the years prior to CRPS. That was for Juvenile Arthritis.

After our home burned to the ground 21 years ago, we lived in an apartment where a kiddie pool couldn’t be used for 5 years. A year after the fire was my injuries that led to CRPS.

Water has always helped me. It’s light, weightless and I can get movement and stretching in that is otherwise difficult and painful. I’m no stranger to discomfort. My whole life.

I started the music movement therapy August 27th. Low carbs for the last 6 months, and began wearing the shoes with my custom Orthotics in them again on September 7th.

Between swelling, additional injuries, and weight gain I wasn’t able to use them. I couldn’t go up a size because the orthotics are specific for this size shoe. In fact these are the only shoes I’ve ever had them in. 5 years old and haven’t worn them at all since 2018.

Trying again.

Music, of course, generally inspires movement for me even if its non weight bearing. However, the periods of major depression didn’t let me catch that vibe.

I started off with my son’s song California Dreamin’.

I’m up to 2 songs most days. About 7 non stop minutes.

Right now, My main focus is my upper body with 2 lb weights. My arms are effected by my cervical spine.

I’m practicing balance for lower extremities. My truth is that I’ve stumbled, and nearly biffed it several times over since beginning.

My predominant CRPS foot is frequently bruised just from standing, or the slightest bend, and this hasnt helped that any.

Sometimes, I’m really not sure when enough is enough.

The physical try is both beneficial and harmful to my bones. I have to continue to get this weight off and kiddie pool time is over for the year.

It’s just movement to music. Hardly a workout, and not quite dancing. It’s a start and a little more than water PT offered.

2 of my other favorite songs to do are Boogie Shoes and Monday Morning.

I am that old.

Chronic Pain Disrupts Emotions

It does, doesn’t it?

This blog is in reference to:

How Chronic Pain Disrupts Emotions
7/28/2021 By Pat Anson, PNN Editor

https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2021/7/28/how-chronic-pain-disrupts-emotions

“Chronic pain is more than an awful sensation,” says senior author Sylvia Gustin, PhD, a neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology. “It can affect our feelings, beliefs and the way we are. 

“We have discovered, for the first time, that ongoing pain is associated with a decrease in GABA, an inhibitive neurotransmitter in the medial prefrontal cortex. In other words, there’s an actual pathological change going on.”

I hope you read this article by PNN in its entirety.

Earlier this year, I began taking GABA by NOW. It’s for neurotransmitter support. I had read that it could help decrease pain by stabilizing emotions. Oxidative Stress.

Having CRPS type 2 and several other chronic and incurable physical conditions, I acquired major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders and suicidal tendencies along the way.

Standing causes an intense rise in pain which sends my brain into attempting to manage the moment. I’ve been flooded with emotions throughout my days. Positive self talk immediately, “I got this”, “God got me”, “Just one more step”.

When pain is severe those words of encouragement are helpful yet also defeating at times. Our brain still knows it’s stressed even if we play positive tricks for out minds. Depression can still slip through, mood can become or remain unstable, temper may rise, and the list goes on.

Why? Because it hurts that damn bad. We’re not meant to endure such pain.

I do believe that over time our brains rewire negatively. Fight or Flight plays a major role in RSD/CRPS. Stress is our enemy.

For 5 years, I’ve been attempting to heal myself of these accumulated changes, the impact of chronic illness, coping. Brain fog?!

What about all the times we’ve become irritated and annoyed? At ourselves or others? For many of us that’s NOT who we are. It’s understandable that chronic pain would disrupt our emotions to this extent.

The first couple of weeks I didn’t notice any change at all when I started the GABA. The purchase wouldn’t have been a loss. It was reasonable at about $12 on Amazon. As I continued to take it, I began feeling better emotionally. I had been taking Ashwagandha and Valerian Root. Anxiety and Depression can be a bish and these helped tone down those emotions. I’ve been able to skip Ashwagandha. I still use Valerian Root occasionally, as needed.

The GABA hasn’t reduced physical pain at this point. It has though lightened my overall load. It took 10-12 weeks. For me, this is definitely a keeper for the tool box.

I hope this information is helpful to someone. Feel welcome to let me know if you’re already using it, and any benefits you’ve noticed. I’m interested.

I’m including 2 other references that you may find informative.

Putting the brakes on pain: Researchers protect GABA neurons from oxidative stress

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805113430.htm

What Does Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Do?

https://www.healthline.com/health/gamma-aminobutyric-acid

I’m not sure if this will cause adverse reactions with prescribed medications. I only use OTC relievers and supplements. I’ve had no negative interactions. Stay safe!

Happy Friday!

Self-Managing Comorbidities

I keep trying to make a positive difference in managing my life for CRPS with comorbidities. I’ve been doing low carbs since March. I’ve attempted my usual summertime physical therapy using a kiddie pool. I do this each year.

Inside the water I can do 20 push-ups! Outside it, zero. In the water, 100 leg slides. Well, that’s what I call them. Outside the water, barely a handful.

I’m always thinking that if I can do enough inside water that it will benefit me outside. If water wasn’t weightless, I couldn’t achieve these.

As far as low carbs, I’m not doing Keto really. I’m just extra mindful of my carbohydrate intake. Generally, staying around 35 net carbs daily.

My kidneys and colon have a hard time with lower carbs. Meat and cheese is my enemy. Our western diets can cause Diverticulosis, or at least contribute to it. I’m sure it contributed to mine. The last time I did low carbs I had intensely painful bouts of Diverticulitis. It took months to settle down entirely.

This time, my right kidney threw a fit. My kidneys are at about 50 percent of normal function. I’ve self managed it fairly well since diagnosis approximately 8 years ago.

I was diagnosed with NAFLD about 10 years ago. I wasn’t drinking alcohol back then.

I’ve already had part of my liver removed for hemangioma, tangled blood vessels. It was during a surgery to remove a remainder of Gallbladder left behind from a Gallbladder surgery a year prior. There’s still more masses on my liver that wasn’t removed.

I haven’t had much pain there since Manual Ligament Therapy in late 2016, early 2017. The therapy was for my CRPS and Spine, but I recieved benefit for other issues, including Gastritis.

Unfortunately, my belly does swell horribly at times, but pain there, for the most part, has been manageable.

I’ve been praying less weight will equal being easier to weight bear. Less impact on my bones. I’ve had Juvinile Arthritis and mild Cerebral Palsy since the beginning of my life.

I don’t know if I had Scoliosis earlier as well, I wasn’t formerly diagnosed with Levoscoliosis until 2016.

What I do know is there’s too many sprains, strains, and fractures, and I’m not entirely sure how to keep them from reoccurring. My muscles are weak. I’ve had vitamin D deficiency for several years, and do take OTC supplements.

Water PT gifts me natural D, sunshine, and nature. It’s a win win when I can get to my patio for it. It’s also my favorite time to thank Jesus for all he does for me, and with me.

Today I remind myself that no matter how it may seem at times, or even how it feels…

I am perseverance; I am resilience.

I am Stronger Than Pain.

Pain Distraction

This is an important piece in my toolbox. More than ever. It’s always been of value. For many years, advocacy, writing, and poetry were my main distractions. These allowed me to be of use, contribute to society, and nudge my mind in other directions. Limiting focus on what I felt.

Laying up in my own thoughts certainly  didn’t help whether a moderate or severe flare or an acute injury and situation. Over thinking can be brutal.. Physical illness with chronic intractable pain is a vicious cycle of depression and anxiety rotating in and out of an already weakened state.

It seems like I’ve already spent a lifetime trying to manage and adjust these cycles.

While my plate remains full, most of it has been replaced with better options. Like any plate it depends on what it contains.

At this point, I couldn’t add any more to it or it would spilleth over and that’s where taking on too much happens. It’s a crash waiting to happen for me.

My three main distractions have become routine.

1. Pray. For myself and others.

2. Church. I’ve attended, online, each Sunday for 16 months.

3. Spanish Lessons. 52 consecutive weeks. 415 days to be exact.

Each of these are from home. It’s hard for me to take on more. I do wish at times that I could. I’ve learned not to dwell on that.

All of our food is home cooked. That’s a daily do. I’m grateful to my husband for the day’s he either gives me a break or steps in when I’m physically unable to accomplish it. Our dogs also have to be fed, and cared for, and that’s daily of course.

Physically, I do as much as possible early mornings. By 2 p.m. I’m struggling . Dinner is generally ready and served by 3:30 p.m. unless my husband is delayed at work. By 5:00 p.m. I can hardly budge.

Shoutout to my crockpot for always having my back.

And to each of my grandson’s whom I love dearly. De’Mantai, Ezekiel, Zy’Aire, and my newest, Greyson, who’ll be born this month.