Category Archives: PAIN

BEATING A DEAD HORSE – ONE IDIOM TO CONSIDER

idiom

I think most people have heard of this common idiom; if you haven’t here’s a link that will explain it to you:  http://www.knowyourphrase.com/phrase-meanings/Beating-a-Dead-Horse.html. 
I have always loved using idioms.  For myself, an idiom has been a special way of expressing something I’m feeling and at times the best way of explaining a situation in more visual way.   For example “the early bird gets the worm.”  It explains that you can easily get ahead  by being punctual and dependable.  Another one I really like is “It takes two to tango,” meaning  both people involved in a bad situation are responsible for it.
So today I came across a situation that I had once pursued but quickly gave up on.  That is when I started thinking about the idiom “beating a dead horse.”  It sound like a terrible thing to think of, but when you consider what it means it does make sense.  It has nothing to do with beating someone or a dead horse or any other animal for that matter.  What I take from this idiom is why try to fix something that can’t be fixed or why keep asking if the answer is always going to be the same  For the most part, I believe it’s true that you shouldn’t keep bringing about an issue that has already been solved or concluded, but that was until I realized how what I was dealing with was really not concluded.   I understand why I assumed it was.  Any health issue I’ve had in the past decade hasn’t come with a cure or the cure for most didn’t work on me.  I was always hearing that I needed to learn to live with it.  Hearing that so much has made it where I stopped pursuing any treatments that  may or may not  help.

Now to explain what happened today I have to start from the beginning.
So, about 5 or more years ago I had seen a doctor about some excessive facial sweating I had experienced.   I would literally be dripping of sweat with barely moving much .  Even in the dead of winter with below freezing temperatures, if I would walking up and down stairs or scrubbing the counter or the bathtub, I would sweat profusely.  At the time I thought maybe I was going through “the change” a little earlier than most or that I had some other medical issue that was causing it.   So I went to see my family doctor and she ordered some blood work to be done on me.   A few days later I received a call from her office and was told my blood work looked good and that they didn’t find anything abnormal.   I know I probably should have pushed for a reason, but I dropped it and haven’t brought it up since then.
I think I can why I chose to handle it that way.   I had already felt as though physically I was somewhat backwards long before that day.  Once when a doctor was doing a test where they would touch the nerves in my back and I had to tell them where I felt it at, I was told that the sensations I was getting on my left side should have been felt on my right side and vice versa.  I had other situations such as that and so it hit me that I was just backwards and far from normal.   I eventually accepted that I’m not normal and even take pride in that at times.
Until recently, I was content with using that reasoning and just dealing with it,  but for the past several years the sweating was getting  worse.  It started affecting where I would go and what I would do when other people would be around.   I knew that I really couldn’t be outside in warm weather without immediately breaking a sweat and it was so obvious of what was happening.  The only way I could hide it is if I was at a lake or by a swimming pool.  It was a much harder situation to explain when it was cold.  If  starting moving around, even in freezing weather, I still would break a sweat.   My hair would get sopping wet and it’s embarrassing.  These days I’d rather sit at home then go anywhere.   I’m tired of feeling that way.  I think that is why I decided to search that symptom on the internet.

WOW……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I THINK I MIGHT HAVE FOUND A REASON FOR WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ME…………..

AND THERE’S EVEN A TREATMENT FOR IT TOO!

I just about to “whoop it up.”  (Sorry had to throw that idiom in too: get excited with a party-like feel.)  Seriously though, I felt I couldn’t believe it was really possible to finally get an answer to one of my many health issues and in reality there’s no guarantee I even have.  I will find out soon though.   After I realized there’s a name for what I might have (Hyperhidrosis) and that there’s medication for it I called my neurologist and have an appointment tomorrow.    So wish me luck please, if this can fixed it will make a big difference in my life.

DOWN AND OUT NO MORE-HOW JESUS HELPED ME FINALLY OVERCOME DEPRESSION

ARCHITECT OF FUTUREI use to let so much get me down and I have also been though so many bouts of severe depression.  It felt like the past continually overshadowed everything I would try to do and I felt that my past would always define me.   Not because how hard it had been for me.  That had absolutely no bearing on anything.  It was only because I had let the past get in the way of everything I would try to do to make things better.   I would let it decide who, what, where, when  and that made it impossible to feel anything but defeat.

NOT ANYMORE!

I can’t say exactly what changed everything and even when.  When I look back on the change in my attitude it feels like it was something sudden, but realistically it was a process that happened over time.  I believe the first change I made was to stop focusing so much on my health.  I’m by no means saying a person shouldn’t focus on their health at all, but you can’t spend every waking hour doing such thing.  You should only spend the amount that is really required on that.  There was also so many other things I did to get me over that hump that I lived at for so long.  I have started a list of those things and here the ones of I thought of so far:

  1. As I  stated before “don’t focus too much on your health.”  For the longest time my poor health was what defined me.  I convinced myself that the reason for that was so I could find someway to get better.  The fact is I had let it consume me.  When I finally let go of that and started to focus on what I could do and not what I couldn’t, it was beginning of finally turning my life around.
  2. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  Things will go wrong in life, go through it the best you can, deal with it,  learn from it and move on!
  3. “Get rid of the negative influences in life.”  That was such an important thing to do.  I realized that being around others who complained all the time was really getting me down.  I then told everyone that I don’t want to hear negativity all the time, I wanted to surround myself with positive things.  That didn’t mean I stopped listening to others, nope not at all.  I listened, gave my opinion or advice as well as spoke to them about the positives to their dilemma and sometimes about how they need to try to let go of their negativity (didn’t always go over as well as I had hoped, but I tried to help and that’s all I could do.  I couldn’t fix everything for them).
  4. Start realizing you have a lot to be proud of!  As long as you are doing the best you can, what is there to regret?”  I use to have a really hard time with that one.  After all, I spent the past 44 years putting myself down, how was I suppose to see good in myself all of a sudden?  Well, first I looked at my situation.  I’m a disabled single parent of 4 kids who had previously been in a domestic violence relationship whose having a tough time affording everything.  Even so, I am still making it, barely but my family had everything it NEEDS.  I then realized I had to let go of the guilt  I was feeling due to my kids having a father who primarily was abusive to me, but beginning to be that way with them.  I realized that I did everything I should have and even could have to try to make it better.  I may have been foolish at times, but my heart was in the right place.  I also realized the reason I kept going back to him was for my safety of my children.  I was afraid of them being alone with him and the only way I felt they were safe was if I was there to protect them.  I finally got all of us away from him for good but it was after I had one of the kids therapist who was going to testify in court for me and so he suggested that we have a court order that gave the decision to the kids on whether they saw or spoke to him at all.  In a way it was like rolling dice.  I was in the most part confident of what they would choose but there was always a chance I was wrong, but luckily I wasn’t.  Besides an occasionally conversation or a short short visit, they have chosen to stay away from him.  Once I put that behind me I then started to think about what “limitations” the doctors had given me and how they said to take it easy even if I was having a day where I felt really good.   Over and over I was told not to  overdo it.  That just seemed so ridiculous to me.  Why should I take the days that I feel really good and not take advantage of those days.  So I changed that.  I did as much as I could, when I could and I far surpassed what I should have been able to do.  From that point on I decided I would not waste my good days on doing barely anything .  I take full advantage of those days and even though I sometimes have to pay in pain for several days afterwards,  it showed me how much I was accomplishing and doing and that’s something I should be proud of.   I easily could have had an excuse to not do much at all, but while some able-bodied persons were making up any and all excuses to just sit around, I wasn’t.  I was making the most of everything.  Even though it can be time-consuming and difficult, I feel this is one step that can’t be taken out.
  5. “Stop listening to that negative voice in your head that tries to convince you that you can’t do something.”  Even today I struggle with that voice, but when I catch myself putting myself down, I then will scold myself for thinking that way again.  May sound a little crazy.   Some of you might be saying “This woman talks to herself and even scolds herself,” but if I didn’ I easily could have had an excuse to not do much at all, but while some able-bodied persons were making up any and all excuses to just sit around, I wasn’t.  I was making the most of everything.  Even though it can be time-consuming and difficult, I feel this is one step that can’t be taken out.t, who would. Oh…I’m sure there are many controlling people out there that would like to take over, but….no thank you.  It has to come from me or I won’t be able to do anything at all.  I have to be the one in control of my destiny!
  6. Find and memorize bible verses or “quotes” that mean something to you.  The ones I like to use are:   “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and “With God all things are possible.”  When one thing after another goes wrong I will quote Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”  I have pictures and anything else I can find with those verses on them all around my house and usually where ever I go.  I also make sure I tell myself “I can do it.”  If I think in a negative way,  I won’t be able to do anything I try to do.
  7. Realize that you will have bad days.  I don’t have any misconceptions that every day will go the way I want it to go.   If you are then you’re creating expectations for yourself that you can never fulfill.  Be reasonable and set goals that are attainable and if you don’t succeed at all your goals, forgive yourself, move on and reevaluate what you can do.

I won’t claim to be an expert on this subject, I can only speak to what has worked for me.  I can say that there’s no human being that is perfect and to try to reach perfection is ridiculous and puts you on a road that will lead to your downfall.   I will admit that this feeling of happiness can be overwhelming at times and hard to believe I finally feel this way, but I do.  I know this is real and it’s because I made it happen.   Happiness is a reality but you have to really want it and clear about what the meaning of happiness really is.

 Happiness is a state of well-being and contentment : joy and/or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.  Happiness is also what you and only you make it to be.

CHANGE

I don’t know if this will help anyone else, but because of how I feel that we go through things so we can understand others and be there to help them when they are going through something similar, I need to share what has worked for me.  I have also felt for the longest time that there’s something that the Lord wants me to do to help others and that there are greater things to come that I’m suppose to do someday.  I’ve felt this way for a very long time and I even though I do feel that it is yet to come, who knows?  Maybe even this blog has something to do with his plan for me.  Whatever it is, if I’m not ready when I finally realize that here, it will be o.k. and I will get done whatever it is He has chosen for me to do.

everything possibleThank you Lord Jesus for everything you’ve done for me.  I may not have always appreciated it at the time and there were times I only saw the negative side of things, but you Lord Jesus have opened my eyes to so much.  You have given me understanding that I would have never had if I hadn’t ever suffered and that is such a wonderful gift you have given to me.  Again, THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR EVERYTHING!

 

TRYING TO HEAL THE HEART

a lil rainThis morning  I realized how much hurt I had let get buried deep inside myself.  To be honest I don’t have anyone in my life that I feel comfortable opening up  to and I know that is no ones fault but my own.

I was the one who let myself shut down.

I started building walls all around me.  At that time, I don’t believe I realized what I was doing, but I can understand why I did that.  I was hurt deeply by the people I was supposed to be able to trust the most.  Somehow I had to find a way to survive especially for my kids.  They needed a parent to take care of them that they didn’t have to fear.  I had to do anything I could to  protect my heart.   It was, after all,  already severely broken and I didn’t feel that it would be able to take much more.  So what did I do?   I started to avoid people, even those I loved.  I was still friendly to anyone and everyone I’d come across, but I always kept them at arm’s length so they couldn’t get close to me.  Then I stopped going places that I had once enjoyed but the worse was when I started going out of the house only when I absolutely had to.   I had become a hermit and the only one who could fix it was me.

I feel there is only one way I am going to ever truly heal.   First I need to knock down all the walls I had built so high.  Once done, I need to open up some of the old wound so I can let them drain and heal properly.  The only way I think I can successfully do that is if I start opening up about the past, write about my experiences, how they made me feel and any lesson that I learned from them.  I need to learn to stop always being the caretaker and realize it’s okay to let others  take care of  me.   I think that will end up being the hardest part, but I know that it’s something I have to learn to do and the sooner the better.

To start the healing process I need to try to train myself to take the time to post updates on this blog .  I’m not quite sure where I’m going to start, but using an “In the beginning” format probably wouldn’t work for me, it’s going to be what I’m feeling when I’m feeling it.

I just want to say thank you to anyone who is reading this now and/or any future updates I post.  Just knowing someone took that time to hear me out makes a world of a difference.

 

SOMETIMES IT HURTS LOVING SOMEONE SO SO MUCH

In my last post I spoke about how much I want for my kids and I meant every word I said, but I’m feeling very conflicted .  It has to do with the fact that I’m always taking care of others and I’ve put myself on the  back burner for so long that I don’t know how to change it.  The thing is I’m feeling very good about who I’ve become these days and I don’t want that to change but I can’t ever seem to win when it comes to getting others to understand I need their help too and when I try to help in some way, it’s so misunderstood and don’t just don’t understand why.

Let me try to give you an example of what I’m talking about.

One of my kids has their drivers permit and in the beginning I knew I wasn’t the person to teach them to drive.  Not because I didn’t want to, it has to do with I’m afraid something could happen to them when their on the road and although I have found that I have so much strength that I never thought I could eve r have…..if something happened to one of them I don’t know if I could handle that.  I even expressed to my child how I felt, after all it was a car accident that changed my life and put me on disability.  I wouldn’t change what happened to me, but I still don’t want any my kids to go through what I had to.  I’d rather them never have to feel any pain.

Anyway, my dad was the one who stepped up and gave driving lessons and now it’s about time to take the drivers test.  The past couple of week s I’ve let my child drive with me, but the moment I try to give any advice about something that I felt could get in the way of obtaining that license, I was supposedly pressuring and insulting my child.   It’s any advice or help I try to give, “things are different now….,” is the usual excuse!

One thing I need to mention is that I was still with their dad and my abusive ex husband up until 6 years ago.  I left him several times due to domestic violence but would go back to him mainly so I could keep the kids safe.  They were so young and he was starting to take his temper out on them at times and the only way I could protect them was by being there too.  Then when he had tried to kick my dog and instead ended up kicking me where I went flying in the air across the room I got us away from him again.  The difference was the kids were now older and very verbal about how afraid they were of him to a counselor.  That counselor was going to testify to that in court so they would be protected too so his attorney told him it was possible her could lose any custody rights and so my ex offered to agree to a Court order that stated the kids would be able to decide for themselves when and if they wanted to see him.  He was sure they would want to, but that wasn’t the choice any of them made and to this date the only one who has gone to visit him is my oldest daughter who is now an adult, but I never just by herself and never overnight.  Usually no more than an hour or two and only a few times.

The reason I mentioned that is because of the guilt I felt for them having to go through that and they knew that and used the guilt I felt to get away with some things.  I went from taking care of everything for my ex to taking care of everything thing for my kids and I lost myself on the way.  I didn’t make them do any chores even though I was the one on disability.  Although they know I’m getting worse I still can’t get the help I need and a lot of that is my fault, but not all of it.

There’s still so much to this story, but I’m really tired now so I will try to write more on it next time.  I also appreciate just knowing I can’t come here and talk about what I’m feeling.  It’s been holed up inside for so long and having a way to get some of the hurt out…..so necessary.

Thank you again for listening.

 

WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

Just saying that makes me feel like a little kid again, at least temporarily, but unfortunately it all center around being an adult.  An adult who has responsibilities, who has others she provides for and who has many relying on her all the while not having anyone she really can rely on.

CAN’T I PLEASE JUST BE A KID AGAIN?

I’d give anything to go back to those days when all I worried about is what fun I was going to have that day, but those days are gone and although I’d love to not have so many worries, I still wouldn’t give up the people in my life just so I could.

As the 2012 Holiday season begins, I’m finding myself deep in thought about so many things.  For one, the past few years my holiday spirit  for the most part had gone “POOF” .  It seemed Christmas was mainly about money and since that is something I pretty much lack, I guess I just gave up.  I don’t want that this year.  I want to go back to where I would go over the top decorating the house.  I don’t think I have even put my Christmas tree up for the last two years and not only due to financial reasons, but physical ones too.  I gave up on myself and didn’t even try…….NOT THIS YEAR!  This year I’m going to go so over the top it will take a while for anyone to track me down.

So I named this post of mine “What I want for Christmas”  and really it’s not really about what I want for Christmas but what I want for others.  First of all, for once I would like to say to my kids “No problem, we can get that.”

I’d also like to get my oldest son something he’s been saying he’s wanted for some time now.  He knows what that is and it’s not something frivolous, but it definitely is not something I could afford.  Cheapest is around $400.00.  My youngest daughter would like things for her room and clothes that aren’t from Goodwill and my youngest son needs a computer that doesn’t constantly freeze on him.  My oldest daughter is getting married and there’s many things she’s going to need and I would just like to enjoy going into a store again.  That is something that’s hard to do when you can’t afford to buy Christmas presents for the ones you love.

Somehow I’m going to make sure that this is a good X-mas.  Would be nice if my ex would cough up a bit of the almost $100,000 he owes me for back child support, but I’ve given up on thinking that will ever happen.  One thing I can say is even though I’m living on disability, I have supported my kids and we may not have the best of everything, but we have survived so far and have even thrived in many ways.  He couldn’t say that.  It’s called being a parent something he never has understood.

Probably will be posting more on both of these subjects, but that’s it for now.  Hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!  God Bless!

ANOTHER TEST, A FEW SHOTS, SOME SURPRISES AND SOME THINGS EXPECTED.

Several weeks ago I had the EMG/NCV of my legs and I pretty much got the answer I was expecting.  The test showed absolutely nothing.  SURPRISE, SURPRISE…..yeah right!  The thing that I wasn’t expecting was what the Dr. told me next.  He said that even though it’s rare for the test to show a false negative result for nerve damage, it can happen.  I don’t know if you can imagine how that felt.

RELIEF

That’s right, relief.  I found a Dr. who not only believes me, but understands also.

Wow, more than one those do exist!

and to finally hear the words

“I believe you!” 

it’s not something that someone like me who has had the issues I have hears very often and I can’t even express how much I needed that.  

Usually I get a negative reaction or a feeling of there’s nothing they can do for me and I was ready to give up on ever feeling better, but Dr. Wagner changed that for me.  It actually gave me the feeling that I don’t need anyone else to validate the symptoms or even give me a cause for them.  

For that reason I don’t know how much more time I’m going to invest in getting a diagnosis.  I think that knowing that someone believes me is enough and I’d rather just focus on controlling the symptoms.  I don’t have that need to prove anything anymore and that is such a great feeling.

A little over a week ago I had a 4-5 left-sided trigger point SI injections shots in my back.  That was the most painful injection I’ve ever have had.  The Dr. thinks the hip pain I’ve been having has to do with my Sciatic Nerve so I had to suck it up and get it done.   I just wanted to be able to  move without having to worry about randomly screaming my lungs out and scaring anyone who happened to be around me.  Although I still have some of the pain, that goal seems to have been accomplished.  I’m thinking that I may need to have the injection repeated.  I know that it can take a few injections before you get the full affect.  At least that’s have it was with the Caudal injections.

This has really been a busy month.  Just a week ago I  had another EMG/NCS, but this time of my arms/hands.  Dr. Wagner wanted to repeat it since it was back in 2009 when I last had my them tested.  That brings back memories of how this numbness/pain started. It was the morning after Thanksgiving  and I woke up in the middle of the night with the worse hand pain I could ever imagine.  I was out-of-town at the time and  I didn’t want to be a bother to anyone.  I also don’t like emergency rooms.  I decided to just grin & bear it.  From that moment on, little by little, numbness became a part of my everyday life.

Even though the numbness started in my hands I wasn’t having any numbness  in that area the day of the test.  I even thought to myself how funny would it be if that test actually showed something.  What do you know….. it did!  I guess I have mild to moderate Carpal Tunnel in both hands.  Honestly I just think I’m backwards and you know what?

I’m okay with that!

I think that actually makes me kind of special:)

So now I  have to decide whether to have that nerve biopsy or not.  I’m a little scared to have one done because of what I’ve read about it.  From what I understand the nerve is exposed and carefully divided into its many fascicles. Each fascicle is tested electrically during surgery to determine if it carries motor or sensory function, it then is covered with an occlusive dressing which is removed after 3 days, revealing some stickers underneath. These stickers are left in place until you see your surgeon about one week later for a wound check. My biggest concern is there could permanent nerve damage as a result of having this test, but it may be necessary if the numbness I’m having keeps spreading.   This may sound funny and is very annoying, but lately I can be bare footed, but the numbness that has spread from my feet up into my legs makes me feel as though I’m actually wearing boots.  Even when I do have shoes on, it won’t matter how straight my socks are on or if not a speck of dust is in my shoes, it feels like somethings not right such as my socks are scrunched up or rocks are spread throughout the entire shoe.   So you probably can imagine why I only wear shoes on as a need to basis.

I hate to admit it, but I think I need to put my pride aside and start looking for a walker.  Recently I had to use my old one since I couldn’t walk the distance I needed to without something holding me up, but I was embarrassed by how people looked at me with pity.   The thing is I need to start accepting the fact that it is going to get worse. Eventually I’m going to be almost completely hunched over.  I have what is called flatback syndrome due to failed back surgery.  Right now the surgery to repair it only has a  47% success rate and I don’t like it when the odds of ending up worse is greater than the odds of getting better. Not even worth it, doing fine getting worse on my own. Still can’t believe that fixing my scoliosis caused me to have a spine that is now too straight.   The fact is I’m so straight, I’m falling over, lol.  I am looking forward to getting a scooter one day.  I already made plans to race the kids!

Well, that is all for now.  All I can do is take one day at a time and I will and get through each one, just like I always have.

WHAT I’VE REALIZED

Since November I’ve had constant numbness in the bottom of my right foot. Then a few months ago I noticed numbness in the middle of my left foot going from my toe down to my heel and eventually the entire bottom of my left foot has also become constantly numb. A few weeks ago I finally saw a neurologist and Monday I’m scheduled to have an EMG.

Today as I was thinking about the test I started having a panic attack. Not because I’m afraid of the pain or what the test may show, I can deal with that. What I’m afraid of is once again getting told I have something that can’t either be explained or fixed (i.e. Fibromyalgia, CFS, etc.).

That got me thinking about what I’ve already been through, especially when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia was very hard for me to accept. For one, at that time I had never heard of it and even worse some medical professional labeled it a “made up disease” or called it a “mental” disorder, but

I KNEW MY PAIN WAS REAL……
I KNEW MY PAIN WAS NOT SOMETHING I WAS IMAGINING

So at first I dismissed it and thought “they probably just haven’t figured out the real cause of my pain.” Even as time went by and I would have other symptoms I would be told that it’s part of the fibromyalgia or even worse; being diagnosed with something else like CF(Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), I still didn’t believe it. For one thing:

HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO BELIEVE I HAVE SOMETHING THAT SOME DOCTORS STILL QUESTION?

Then I started researching it more and the more I research it the more I finally understood and even believed that actually was what I had. I was so happy. Not because I had Fibromyalgia and CFS, but that I finally could put a name to what was going on with me. I was on cloud nine, but right as I thought everything would be easy to explain to now, I was hit with a whammy that was even worse.

What could be worse than some doctors as well as myself questioning what I had?

Others questioning it too, especially those who were supposed to be the closest to me. And I know it shouldn’t matter what others thought, but in reality

IT DID….IT REALLY, REALLY DID!
And even to this day, shamefully
IT STILL DOES 😦

Lately, I think I have new and even a better attitude about it, especially since the past year has brought new and more alarming symptoms. I’ve realized that I can’t worry as much about what others think and if they don’t believe me, well…… then they don’t need to be part of my life. Just like the doctors can’t do anything to fix my pain, I also can’t fix another persons stupidity, so if they want to call it a made up disease…. I will speak my mind and it might even hurt my feelings a bit but more than anything…… I will really pity their ignorance.

Most importantly though is what I have learned and what I do know about myself and that is how strong I really am. Living with chronic pain is not easy, but even so I get up and do the most I can when I can. Sometimes I do more in one day than a healthy person does in one week. I can’t choose what days those are, but when I have a good day I do take advantage of that and for that reason

I AM PROUD OF MYSELF!

Anyway, Monday will be here before I know it and I could leave the doctor’s office that day with either some answers or more questions. Either way, I will get through it. I think I’ve proven that.

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