Chronic Pain

A 51 year old female living and dealing with lumbar back pain and fibromyalgia. Sharing things I do for relief, reduce stress and control weight gain.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finally, a good day

As I've mentioned in the past I try to keep it to a good day or a bad day instead of to much complaining.  For whatever reason last week there were no good days.  I'm not even going to state what explanation I came up with every day.  I'm always trying to come up with a reason I feel the way I do. Weather, to much activity, housework.....gotta have an answer.  

It's not helping the situation much that my stimulator is not helping much right now.  At my last meeting with Mr. R I left not feeling real confidant that the changes would last long, and they didn't.  Everyday I've spent plenty of time running through them all trying to find one that was comfortable enough to help.  Tomorrow I plan on trying to get in touch with Lovely and see if she will be over this way anytime soon.  Maybe seeing someone different will help.  

By Thursday I was really struggling.  I was watching baby C that day and by 3 I was in tears.  It had caught up with me and when she went down for her nap I just laid down and cried.  I don't do that often but it was one of those times I just felt like I couldn't take another day of this pain.  It's there everyday but it doesn't get that bad very often.  I have times that I really take it easy or I head out to do a list of things then come home before finished because I'm starting to get to uncomfortable.  When this kind of pain comes on it's like a migraine and there is nothing you can do but just get still take some deep breaths and get in control of your emotions and pain the best you can.  I didn't think I'd survive the drive home and when I did I went straight for the bed.

This is how I felt

On Friday I did only what I had to do. It was a rainy week end here so I took a day of rest on Saturday.  I did walk with my friend in the morning but the rest of the day I curled up on the couch and watched Lifetime movies and washed clothes.  Even doing that I was struggling around the house.  

Today, Sunday finally a "good" day.  Regular pain day.  A controlled one.  I was able to get out after the morning shower and grocery shop and later this afternoon had a good walk.  Run keeper informed me of some good news, I achieved some personal bests.  

  • Fastest average speed
  • Fastest average pace

My goal has been to walk a 12 minute mile.  Most of the time I'm at 16-18.  Today at one mile I was at 13 minutes 0 seconds.  Pretty darn close. I don't know how I did that and not sure when it will happen again.  I had a bad sleep week last week also.  Friday and Saturday night I slept good.  I think my body needed that so bad.  So this was the best "good" day I've had in a while.  I'd love to have one of these when I have somewhere to go or something around here I'm trying to accomplish. 

I found out last week the new date for my disability hearing.  December 10.  Sometime away but at least I now know I'm rescheduled.  

canadian geese ready to dive in
babies with their mother
finished P's blanket
Have a good week.  Weigh in Monday tomorrow.  Not sure what to think.  I had a terrible exercise week.  God Bless, Theresa

Instead of my usual closing phrase I decided for awhile to post some quotes from a fun book I've read several times.  Kisses of Sunshine Every mother should read it.  You'll cry and laugh.

If it was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called "labor."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Mothers Love 2

It's charging night so while I'm still it's a good time to write.  I made an appointment today with Dr. G. because I'm still having trouble with my battery site.  Maybe my butt wasn't the best place after all.  It seems to be getting worse instead of better.  You know I'm a "why" person, I need an answer.  During this weight loss period I hoped to get rid of some of this belly fat.  No such luck, I loose some of my butt.  I'm thinking that's the problem, I'm loosing my padding back there.  Of course their super busy and I was specific about what office (they have 3) and particular days I wanted so I don't have an appointment until late October.  It would be nice if it would just go away and I won't have to go.  Positive thinking....

I titled this post A mothers love 2 because it's about my mom instead of my child.  Let me tell you a little about my mom.  For as long as I can remember my mom has been taking care of people, and family in her life.  She is a kind, nurturing, gentle, hard to anger, and friendly person.  God has blessed her with the ability to care for sick people without feeling burdened.  There were times during her trials of caring for who ever it was (there has always been someone) that I felt she was held back from things in her own life that she needed to be a part of but the sick person had to come first.  She has always put others before herself.

It would be a very long post if I went back and told you about every person I can remember that she took care of.  I have to mention my Grandmother.  Her mom.  My mom has 3 sisters and for whatever reasons at that time in their life they were not able to help my mom much.  After my grandmother's stroke my mom took her home to care for her while still working.  She drove a school bus.  For a long time an aid would come while she was on her bus run and then my mom would have to come straight home so she could be there for Maw Maw.  There were many nights she went to work on little sleep from getting my grandmother up in the middle of the night to bring her to the bathroom or whatever it was she needed.  I can still remember my grandmother ringing her little bell.  Thats what she did to let my mom know she needed something.  

At some point my mom with not much help got to the point she couldn't keep up with caring for her.  She couldn't find help on week ends and it got harder and harder to take care of her meds, special food she had to have and whatever else came along with caring for her.  It broke my moms heart but she had to put her in nursing home.  As many elderly  people do she went down hill after being in the home.  If my memory serves me right at about a year she brought her back home with her and she died just a few short months after.

Right now she is helping care for my great aunt.  She is my moms fathers sister.  There were 13.  The youngest was a set of twins.  My aunt is one of the twins and the last living.  She turned 93 in March.  She is almost blind and has alzheimer's disease.  Her husband is 92 and does the best he can to take care of her.  She is always calling on my mom for help.  My mom has spent so much time doing things for her.  This has been going on for the past 5 or 6 years now.  She takes her places when she wants to get out of house.  Since she has gotten sicker the past couple of years she doesn't mean to but makes my mom feel sorrow.  My mom may have spent the day before with her but she can't remember her being there and she begs my mom to come back.  There are about 30 minutes from each other and my mom has dropped everything when she's called crying wanting to see her. While on the subject of my aunt I might mention that her twin brother was diagnosed with cancer and in the end my mom brought him to her house to care for until he died.  This was several years before my aunt starting getting sick. 

For just about the same amount of time she has been helping care for her sister.  The second sister to fall ill and my mom care for.  My godmother had breast cancer and in the end it was bad because it spread to her lungs and she developed pulmonary fibrosis.  Her oldest sister has alzheimer's disease also.  She has 3 children but seems they are busy with their own lives and just don't have time for their mom as sick as she is.  So, guess who does.  Actually doesn't, but spreads herself all around.  I probably sound like I'm angry about this.  I'm not.  I just wish my mom hadn't spent so much of her life caring for someone else.  She talks about things she wants to do in her life but I fear for her she'll never get to.

I mentioned back in April when I started this blog that my mom was having pain in her leg.  Now you have to know my mom, she never complains.  I was amazed that she even told me about it when it started.  Since April she's seen a few different doctors.  Both of her legs hurting now. The pain was diagnosed as Sciatica.  Sciatica causes pain to radiate through your buttocks into one or both legs.  She's had an injection 3 different times.  The latest news is the specialist recommends a laminectomy.  Not as invasive as the surgery I had but painful none the less and some recovery time.  They will remove part of the lamina above and below the affected nerve.  Hopefully she will be pain free after this procedure.  I can see it now, she won't want to bother anyone or have anybody troubled to take care of her.  Not that it will be any trouble.  

Over the last 3 years my mom has come to Baton Rouge multiple times to stay with me while recovering from a surgery or procedure.  Matter of fact, with this last surgery she had her first injection just 2 days before my surgery but still came to care for me.  Since my dad passed in May of 2011 she has been working to make ends meet. He had CHF and she was caring for him as well.  She sits with a elderly lady that has alzheimer's disease.  I don't see how she does it.  She has some other health issues also.  She'd never tell you about them, I have to ask.  I worry about my mom taking care of herself because she is so busy taking care of everyone else.  I've had so many people in my life tell me when I mention my concern that it is what she was meant to do.  It takes someone special with a gift of patience to care for people who are sick and my mom has it.  God Bless her.  Her surgery is next month.  I've already discussed with her coming to my house after for recovery.  At least the first 3 to 4 days.  She'll put up a fight I'm sure.  I'll keep you posted when the date gets here.

I finally finished the painting I was working on.  I think it's time to pick up the paint until after the new year.  I need to clear off the other half of my table again so I can put my table cloth on and put out the fall center piece. 

Maybe I should have taken in two photo's.  Top half then bottom half so it would be close enough to read.  I know what it says and I can't read it.  lol  I'll try and get a betty one when I hang it in the play room.

It's been so warm this week I was able to spend some time in the pool this afternoon.  The water was so warm.  I'm dreading the day it's to cold to get in the pool.  I've been coming back to write as the night has progressed on. Lord please don't let me have two painful areas.  I'm pretty uncomfortable, I may be calling to beg for an earlier date :-(


   The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A new week!

I'm glad to see Monday get here.  Some weeks are better than others and last week was one I was glad to see go.  Weather changes had me hurting pretty bad and dealing with some difficult issues didn't help.  Glad to see at least it didn't effect my weight loss.  Two pounds and a grand total of 12.  8 more to go and I'm hoping I can get it done before my 3 months of Weight Watchers online ends.  I know I can loose on my own but they have plenty of helpful tools on line.

As I mentioned in previous post Dallas had his little surgery last Wednesday.  It turned out to be a big surgery as far as I'm concerned.  When I came home from watching C on Thursday he was bleeding and his bruising had doubled in size.  I called in of course and after talking with them we agreed to just text in some pictures before moving him around to much and causing more bleeding.  After they looked they recommended if I was comfortable waiting until morning the vet that did his surgery would be in and it would be best for her to take a look at him instead of vet there on Thursday.  His stitches were still in place and he could stand on his own and drinking so a good sign.  Problem was, every time he was up he'd start to leak a little blood.  This was not ok for me, a little scary.

the ride home, still groggy 

The way things looked when I arrived home Thursday

Thursday night was filled with washing, washing and more washing.  His bed cover and my guest bedspread and sheets had to be washed.  Poor puppy I felt so bad for him.   He is normally so active and happy.  For him to just lay there and look so pitiful was hard to take.  Friday morning I put my plans aside and took him to see the vet.  D is always with me when I go.  I can't hold him for long and it never fails a lot of big dogs end up coming in when we're there with Dallas.  He has "little man" syndrome so thinks he has to boss them around.  The vet said he was ok.  Stitches still in tact and if we would be leaving home again he may need a cone.  OH no, we've done the cone thing before.  I wanted to avoid at all costs if possible.  I told her we'd keep close eye on him and planned to be home rest of week end.  

I gave him a sleepy pill they gave to keep him tired and still so I could go out.  I had three stops that had to be made.  The pharmacy, (Dr. having me add a new med :-( )  Dollar Tree and Wal Mart.  No getting around it.  Had to be done.  After first two my back was giving out but I had to press on and make it to Wal Mart to get through the week end.  I had made a list of goals to accomplish this week end and even with the Dallas issue I felt like I could still get them done, especially knowing we needed to stick around the house.  By the time I got out of Wal Mart I was so tired.  I got every thing put away and had to lay down just like Dallas and rest awhile.  This was how I left him and how he still was when I returned.  Glad to see he stayed put.

Never moved. 
Pearly whites.  Had his teeth clean while under sedation
Saturday was a new day and it started with more bleeding and them asking us to bring him in.  I saw him coming down the hall with drips of blood following.  I had planned to meet my walking buddy at the path so I had to cancel and ride to the vet instead.  Thank goodness D was with me this time.  They took same of blood to compare to pre surgery blood work and make sure he hadn't lost to much.  It looked ok and stitches still fine.   He just has to take it easy they told us.  What?  He is.  All he did was come out of his kennel to walk to bed in living room.  Personally, I think he needed more stitches, but what do I know? They offered to keep him there but was ok with us taking him back home as long as we would be there to keep him down.  Meaning sleepy pills a few more days so he could heal and leave it alone.  


Not much done

After returning from vet I hurried and started the pot of red beans and rode my recumbent bike since the walk was a wash.  I had a friend coming later to enjoy some relaxing int the pool.  That we did, just lounging around talking about what else?  What mothers love to talk about most.  Our kids and grandkids.  The water was a little cool but once in it was fine.  We spent a couple of hours and before she left was nursing Dallas with me.  He had gotten up while we were outside and his gauze and ace bandage was off.  We got him stable and still again.  After she left I was starting to feel the activities of the day.  I chilled a bit then started putting beans in containers.  A couple for P or A when visiting and the rest for my son.  I went ahead and text him to let him know I had cooked them.  Wasn't expecting to hear back anytime soon but received an immediate response.  I'm hungry, wish I could come now but don't have any gas.  Riding on "E" and need to have that bit to get to work.  Oh my, kid how do you live like this?  I told him to come eat so he could bring some home and I'd help him with a bit of gas to get back home and to work on Sunday.  

Turned out to be a nice visit with him.  He ate two bowls of red beans and had an opportunity to face time with his daughter.  I'm sure that was worth more than the food to him.  After he left I fell on the couch with my hubby exhausted.  He asked if I was going to work on P's blanket?  You saw my list huh?  I got it out and put a heat pack on my back and decided if I got one side done that was accomplishment so I could scratch anyway.  That I did and was ready to cry when I tied last one on first side and come up with an extra.  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  I wanted to cry.  ( I did a little, a a lot of fussing)  I know D felt sorry for me because he helped me untie until both of our fingers hurt.  So that's how the blanket went back in closet.  Just like it was when I pulled it out. :-(  I've done 3 of these and never made this mistake.  IDK what happened.  Too tired I guess.

Sunday Dallas seemed to be doing better.  We still kept him resting.  He only got up to eat and drink and of course outside a couple of times.  I had a lot of stomach issues Sunday morning.  The doctor lowered my dose on the Viibryd and added another with it since she lowered that one.  It's working good but side effects at higher dose won't go away.  I didn't agree the first two times she asked but decided to go ahead and try this go around.  I wanted to try and go to walk path since Saturday didn't work out but as I headed that way it only got worse and I turned around in the parking lot and came back home.  I went outside to help D with some outside chores.  Not many I can do.  The filter on pool has a gauge on it to tell you when to clean.  It's been two months and hardly moved so I wanted to see how it looked.  Oh my, it was terrible.  No wonder our pool is spotless all the time.  The system picks up everything.  D set me up to do bottom level after I was finished with top.  It took about an hour.  You had to get every nook and cranny.  Just when I thought I was finished I'd find more.  No way we're letting it go that long next time.  For now, it's sparkling clean.  I felt so helpful!



Sorry I'm being so talkative.  I wrote a post last night that was much shorter.  Just about D and today I was going to share WW"'s and other stuff but Blogger for some reason wasn't working.  I had given up and typed on my phone...very tedious I have you know.  Saved as draft and was going to post this am thinking it would all be working then.  It was gone...of in internet land somewhere.  Oh well, so I started over and just combined it all.  I'm sure I've lost a few of you!

After the pool filter was clean I started on cooking the dressing and prepping for my lunch too.  I cut some extra's for a dish for dinner this week.  The less steps I have to do at once the better for me.  D was cooking him self a pot of red beans.  Yes, we cook different pots of beans.  They aren't anything a like.  He'll eat mine, but I won't eat

I love the color of veggies.

a full stove, something you hardly see at my house
Hang in there....I'm almost done.  After cooking and eating lunch together with D while watching the losing Saints I rested for some time.  After I made my self sit in a chair and finish the painting.  I love painting.  I just absolutely hate sitting for any period of time. 
I finished though.  All it needs is a finish of mod podge and completely done!  So turns out my list wasn't a complete failure.  Only my baby boy's blanket was a flop.  Nonna will get it done.  I have 4 weeks left.  You may be laughing but I need that long.  I'll show the painting in next post.

Around five I decided to try the walk again.  Round two of pain medicine had kicked in and I had a chance to rest my tired bones awhile so I pushed my self to do it and felt better in the end.  I had a nice long epson soak when I got back.  That's when I retired to the couch to blog only to have it disappear.  I'll really try to keep it shorter next time.  I'm working on a post that's in draft about some of my dearest friends.  If it disappears I think I'll scream.  Maybe I'll start on paper the good ol fashion way.  That seems pretty safe.

Have a great week family, friends, and readers I don't know.  Thank you for stopping by.  Leave me a comment....makes my day!

 The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Surgery day for Dallas

I know many of you are enjoying this cool front coming through.  It was 60 this morning.  I step outside to sit on my patio with my cup of coffee.  (Something I do as often as I can)
I love to watch the birds eating and just listen to all the other nature sounds around us.   I know this time of year always effects me.  I know to expect it but doesn't mean I have to like it.  I'm sure this has played a part in not getting through this "flare up" thats been around since Sunday.  

Last night I had some time to go back and read some older posts from the blog I mentioned previously.  A patient with a SCS.  Not only any SCS she has the same one I do.  I wanted to go back and read about after surgery.  I didn't find a lot on that but so many statements she made was things I say exactly.  Number one being a particular post where winter was setting in and she mentions how the cold weather really effects her pain.  Yes....I'm not crazy.  There were many other things.  My mind is frazzled this morning but I can't tell you what it's like to hear someone else say things that you feel and complain about that even your doctor doesn't understand or can explain.  Being in the pool was one.  She mentioned the day the doctor released her to begin therapy again and how she felt so "normal" in the pool.  Yep, thats me. Sorry Shari, hate you feel these things dear. 

 I have so much to try to done before my therapy at 2 and blogging was not one of them but what the heck.  It was on my mind.

This morning I had to drop Dallas off for his little surgery that we've known had to be done since the spring. It is so strange around here without him here.  He has or had a small mass in his belly near his left hind leg.  I knew I'd be nervous but it was a bit worse than I thought.  I had hoped D would be with me because sometime when we go there he gets so excited over the other dogs I can't hold him because the strain of him pulling away is quite uncomfortable.  There were two large dogs in the front area and another small dog.  Of course Dallas has little man syndrome and thinks he can boss any big dog around.  As I'm trying to maintain control of him they have me fill out forms. Forms that are very similar to when I go to the doctor.  Questions about IV fluids and giving blood.  He was having a cleaning while under sedation and another form for if we want extractions done if anything is bad and vet decides necessary to come out.  Decisions decisions.  I knew D should be with me.  Then they hand me a black sharpie and ask me to circle the mass.  They must have thought I was so stupid by the look on my face.  I understood completely the task asked of me but my mind was thinking I can't pick him up or you kidding?  He weighs 20 pounds but a 20 pound child and a 20 pound dog are so different.  Dallas does NOT like to be picked up.  

She was nice about it when I explained why I couldn't bend over and pick him up.  She had a helper come out and hold him for me while I tried to find the mean ol mass causing all the mess.  I couldn't find it to save my life.  She was holding him under his front legs hanging straight down.  Now, this is worst way to hold Dallas.  He was squirming everywhere.  The best way to feel it is when he is standing on four legs and you feel under his belly.  Again I have to say I'm sorry, I'm no help.  Can't find it.  So then she calls out the nurse who'll be assisting in surgery. ( sorry, I don't know her correct title)  The lady behind the desk calls out exactly where its at.  You know, it doggie terms.  I'm thinking if you know where it's at, why do I have to do this.  The assistant found it right away and told them it wasn't necessary for me to mark, it was clear where it was.  Thank goodness.  I left there in tears.  Poor Dallas, getting put to sleep, cut on then having his teeth cleaned.  That was at 8 am.  It's now 11:05 and I just got the call that everything went fine and he is awake and starting to move around.  They asked me to call back at two and they'll let me know then if he can come home or has to stay the night.  I sure hope he can come home.  

I"m using some cream again a lot that I used to use before the stimulator was implanted.  I have a cabinet full of different choices.  Two of my favorites are Mineral Ice.  A pain relieving gel.  It smells awful but who cares.  Actually, I did when I was still working.  When I had to use it everyone asked, "your hurting today, I smell you?" The other is a compound cream that is mixed at pharmacy.  Professional Arts Pharmacy in Lafayette.  It has several ingredients including lidocaine which helps numb the area for up to an hour at a time.  I mostly use it at home.  It has no smell, but its so sticky.  It gets on my clothes an has stained them. 
Out of desperation I have used when going out though.  Not a good choice in the summer.  It really gets nasty when you start to sweat.  The other problem with it is the expense.  My portion is $50 and it has expiration date and sometimes I don't use it all before then.  And no, they can't make smaller bottle, I've asked.  

I made a call to my attorneys office even though they said they'd call as soon as they knew when we'd be rescheduled.  She told me no news yet but your on high priority so it shouldn't be but a couple more weeks.  Really?  I look outside and my pool looks so inviting but I'm sure the water is quite cold.  Last time in was Sunday.  It was nice and warm at the end of the day.  No shade so it warms up quick.  Another reason for my complaints of old man winter heading our way.  Listen up, I need more time.  Can you stall please?

D starting to work on the railings!

Looks great, he's doing such an amazing job.

All for today, I need to accomplish something other than on load of laundry and blogging.
Never know what to expect from my therapist.  She will either help me or beat me up for some wrong choices I've made.  It's ok, I like her most of the time.  I know she is the kind of therapist I need.  

Have a great hump day!

     The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday weigh in

1.5 that's about what I was expecting, maybe less.  Last week was a high pain level week.  Thursday was rough.  I had a visit from my grand daughter over the week end so I had a bit more activity than I'm used to.  Poor baby had some head congestion and coughing keeping her up at night, so Nonna was up too.  I believe last week I had the least exercise I've had since starting WW's.
Loss it better than gain, so I'm not complaining.

On Saturday my daughter and grandson came to spend morning with A and I in the pool.  They had a great time.  I believe some of this flare up that started yesterday was from not being able to tell how much I'm actually using my muscles in the water.  A hasn't been in the water much so she hung on pretty tight.  I played around with her and P quite a bit and I felt it on Sunday.  Then I made a two hour ride to bring her to meet her mommy after lunch and around two hours later I just really started feeling the pain increase.

We woke up to rain early this morning so I'm sure that contributes to this burning nagging pain back there.  I'm still not satisfied with the programs I have with the stimulator right now.  There just not getting where I need them to be.  The few that do I have to tolerate somewhere I just hate the way it feels.  I'll survive.  I'm going to hang with it for at least a week because any day things can change.  No walking this evening.  When I returned home from watching baby C I went straight to the couch with an ice pack. A little different than my normal pain.  I'm just sore across my entire back like someone hit me with a two by four.  Who knows?  I've spent countless hours trying to decide what makes some days so much worse and some much better.  I did manage to ride my recumbent bike and stretch a little later during the night.  It seemed to help for a short time.  

I should be sleeping.  Another early day tomorrow and on Wednesday Dallas will have me up early to bring him to the vet.  He is scheduled for surgery to have a mass removed in his belly.
:-( While he's sleeping they will clean his teeth too.  I have a hair cut after dropping him off and therapy at 2.  No resting on hump day either.  

Last night I really had planned to be in bed at 8pm I was so tired from little sleep on Friday and Saturday night.  My son called and asked if I had cooked any food.  This saddened me because I knew if he was asking he was hungry and possible without food.  It was a hard decision to make.  Of course he didn't call until 7 and I knew I'd never get to bed at 8 like I planned all evening if I let him come.  What mother leaves her child hungry.  Even if he is an adult.  His paycheck last week was small.  He missed several days for hurricane Isaac then after only working 2 days he had the accident and was off for another three.  I let him come and fed him some left overs and sent him home with some food from freezer.  He was very thankful.  Unfortunately he was wanting to talk.  I can't ever get him to open up and talk to me so what was I to do but sit and listen.

While he was talking I was trying so hard to focus all the while I was miserable and the bed was calling my name.  He had a lot to get off his chest from the past several days.  He is missing his daughter so much right now he can't think straight.  It's sad because he wants nothing more than for him and A's mom to get along and be civil to one another.  I'm not taking sides for either but I can speak for what I have seen him do for A.  He's made some bad choices in jobs and financial decisions but no matter what he does his best to do for her first.  He gave every penny he had to get his child support paid and it left him with no money.  I'm not saying he shouldn't do that, it's his responsibility to support her.  He doesn't complain about it.  It just left him in a position to do something he really didn't want to do, call on me.  

There are a lot of things that I'm disappointed about in his life but there are some things I'm proud of in all his troubles.  He has made an effort many times to do nice things for A's mom.  Like remembering her bd and taking A to get her a mother's day card and other simple things to show her he respects her as A's mom.  He tells his friends that A has a great mom and is smart and is in nursing school.  This may seem like something you'd be expecting him to do but it's not easy for him to continue to work on a relationship with her.  He tells me all he gets is ugly name calling and he's worthless as a father.  I could go on and on.  He even wanted me to read the texts because he thinks I don't believe him.  I told him I didn't need to see that I know it's important to him for A to see them get along.  He worries night and day what she thinks about him.  I know A's mom is disappointed in him just as I am but it could be worse.  He could not care at all.  I know dad's who never support their children and even care to see them.  My own biological father never knew me. His choice.  I've wondered over the years how do get up every day and not think about a child you fathered and what they are like.  What did they grow up to be?  Do I have grandchildren?  I'm finding little to encourage my son with these days but I have that one thing to hold on to to support him.  He is doing his best to be a good dad.  He wants nothing more than to have his own place and have quality visits with her.  I think his life will turn around for the better for sure when he can get in a position to do this.  

Every human being needs some kind words said to them.  I know even if we look at a homeless stranger on the street we could look deep in our heart and find something nice to say.  If not, how about nothing at all.  It only brings them down farther.  It's especially hard for me because he has no one else to talk to and no matter how much I might agree with the hurting things being said are not necessary, I must always maintain a healthy relationship with A's mom.  She can't spend time with her dad, so she has to spend time with this side of her family.  It broke my heart listening to him tell me these things and knowing all along she'd been with us all week end and he didn't get to see her.  When we starting packing up her stuff to go home, I was able to get a taste of what he was going through when he was having regular visits with her.  She immediately asked to stay.  She said she didn't want to go home.  When we met up with her mom, she didn't want to get out of her car seat.  Very heart breaking.   She is very well cared for and happy at her home with her momma, paw paw and maw maw, but it's obvious she'd love to spend more time here.  I just pray it will all work out soon.  I'm so sad for my son and what he is missing out on right now.  Believe me, he is too.

A and P having fun in the pool

put out seed for the bird

only hours later
Praying I feel better tomorrow.  I've had enough of this "extra pain".  I can't even hardly stand anything touching my back.  It's almost like it's all swollen inside.  All ways something huh?
God bless and good night....Theresa

   The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another try

On Wednesday I started to get discouraged early morning because I couldn't find a program to be comfortable.  As I've explained in past, sometimes when I do get coverage on my back where I need it I have to take it where I don't need or want right now.  As time goes on this is suppose to lessen or possibly go away.  12 programs and I can only tolerate 1.  This happened over night!  The last reprogramming was 3 weeks ago.  I thought it would last longer this time.  All day I kept switching around to find something better.  No luck.  I kept telling myself, go ahead and text Mr R and set something up.  I had Friday available then not agin until next Wednesday and I surely didn't want to wait to then.

7am I text Mr R. and fill him in.  Can you help me tomorrow? (Friday)  He's usually pretty good about responding pretty quickly and if not it's a few hours, never more.  I realize he does have other patients and possibly in surgery.  So...3 o'clock rolls around and as I take a pain pill I realize I haven't heard from him.  I always hate those situations.
Do you text again, or am I being pushy?  I know I've been guilty of returning a text due to forgetting because you can't answer at just that moment.  I've had friends/family not return mine for same reason, but I couldn't bring myself to text him again just yet.  He hasn't failed me yet.  Be patient.  

4:00pm a text from Mr. R.  Hey Theresa, I'm working on finding you a spot.  
ME: It's about time......wait 10 seconds.  I'm just kidding.  Mr. R.  Honestly I was in surgery and straight with patients after, no excuse but I just forgot temporally.  You scared me.  (talking about the "it's about time")  ME:  I was just about to dis you in my blog.  Mr R: LOL  We talk about my blog a lot while working together.  

He still hadn't found a way to see me but said to hang on and he would definitely find a way to see me tomorrow (today) but he'd be getting back with me sometime in the evening.  I did hear back from him around 7.  He couldn't work it out but he said Lovely would be in town for a trial placement and would see me right after.  She'll be in touch with you.  Great I told him.  Appreciate your efforts.  Lovely text me 30 minutes later and we scheduled for 12noon.  

I left the house this am at 11 to do a few other things first so I could come home right after because I'm usually tired after from standing still in one spot for so long.  I text her to let her know I was on my way to town and I'd be on time.  She text right back and said surgery was supposed to start at 10:30 and doctor still wasn't there.  Take your time she told me.  Oh my gosh.  I didn't even have my stimulator on because I didn't find it helping anyhow.  I was praying this would turn out to just be a tiny bump and only keep me waiting a short time.   At 11:45 I text her and told her I was headed that way.  We're just getting started, I can't keep you sitting that long she told me.  Your right, not happening.  She said she had text Mr. R to see where he was in his schedule and he happened to be at Surgery Center seeing another patient and was finishing up.  He'd wait for me and text his next patient he'd be a little late.  Great.  These rep's are great.  They do what it takes to keep you from hurting and happy.

We both decided right away we'd keep it short and simple.  Just fix one thats there or give me a new one that covers and I'll be on my way and you can get on with your day.  Well, it sounded like a good plan but never that simple.  What ever was going on with my leads, it has everything out of course.  He said what's happening right now is the signals are reaching the nerves in my rib cage area and sending sensations to my stomach.  It takes some getting used to, but when you are hurting as bad as I am it feels comforting.  My stomach has no pain so its insanely ANNOYING.  I know, I sound like a big complainer but Mr. R completely understands.  We worked and worked.  It was my stomach or my....get ready vaginal area.  Maybe some women might like this but it wasn't pleasing to me.  I'm quite sure I'd wet myself and not know it.  LOL.  Trying to find some humor in all this.  In an hour and half he managed to put 4 new programs on and there not perfect, but I'll work with them.  He didn't want to take away any of other 12 because there is a good chance just as I woke up one morning and they didn't work, I could wake up and find them helpful again.  I have a new reader who has my same stimulator.  St. Jude
Tell me, do you experience this?  If you don't, I don't want to know about it.  JJ

I haven't had a chance yet to go back in her blog to the date she had surgery but I am excited to read about her experience.  Love her title too.  I'm sure she won't mind me sharing for those of you reading for back pain reasons, or with a SCS.  Maybe she'll share mine in her blog.  "Rain into Rainbows"

A dear friend text me last night.  I teared up, her text read quote "Girl, I don't know how you do this.  I'm hurting so bad I want to cry"  She told me her back was on fire.  Hopefully its acute for her.  I really didn't know what to say.  Sometimes I don't deal with it well at all.  I take it out on D.  I take it out on myself by feeling pity and asking, "Why me,  what did I do?"  There is a reason, I don't know it yet but in my lifetime I'm sure I'll see it clear.  

I have a friend who I rarely talk to, we've know each other since I was 18.  He calls to check on me now and then.  EVERY time we talk, he says, "T, the way I see it if we wake up and open our eyes and see another day, thats enough to be thankful for"
He is so right.  Some days when I open my eyes the pain is so bad I don't want to get out of bed so I try to remember what he said to me and push on.  No doubt someone else is much worse off.  Like my cyber friend Shauna.  God Bless her, she's been through hell and back and she carries on strong and proud.  An inspiration to me and many others I'm sure.  You know the old saying, you are who your friends are.  Thank GOD I have the best of them and they've stuck by me.  Family too.  I know they are tired of hearing same ol things from me, but they still ask. Why? Because they care and their willing to listen.

Have a great week end to everyone.  Family, friends my fellow pain followers and anyone else out there.  Thanks for stopping by and supporting me.  I can't tell you how much it means to me to see those numbers creeping up everyday.  

  The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to manage pain with a spinal cord stimulator

How to manage pain with a spinal cord stimulator

Controlling your pain

Tuesday turned out to be a long and hard day for me.  I didn't know this until on my way home and the pain was getting stronger and stronger.  It's been a while since D got home from work and found me on the couch.  I stayed there from 5-6:15 and gave up on supper and settled for a Weight Watchers frozen dinner.  I took two different things out of freezer that morning to cook something good and healthy but I just couldn't get up and stand long enough to do it.

I started realizing after I got home that I never took my evening dose of pain medication.  This doesn't seem like a big deal but when you are controlling chronic pain and you let it get to intense it's hard to get it under control.  Especially knowing the kind of day I'd had, just don't know how I forgot.  The two things together turned out to = bad news ;-(

I changed programs as soon as I got home to see if that would help and after I ate took my pain medicine and some added ibuprofen two hours later for added help.  It was late night before I felt comfortable enough to get to sleep and I slept in this morning until 9 am.  

Thank goodness the flair up was under control later this morning.  I spent 30 minutes in the pool stretching and floating to relax some muscles.  Therapy session at noon so didn't give me much time before leaving to get anything done around here.  I was determined not to have a wasted day.  Pain control was much better today but we had rain this evening and it was my ah ha moment in explaining some of the increased pain yesterday and this morning.  

I've mentioned previously that I've cut back on pain meds since implant of the SCS.  My mistake sometime is thinking the low dose I'm taking I don't need.  I believe when you've taken for a long period of time at high doses you body just needs more and more to work for your pain.  Even changing pain medications wasn't helping before surgery.  It was a scary move to taper down after surgery but what I found once I passed the withdrawal symptoms it was working better.  The stimulator had a lot to do with it, but before surgery I felt as though I was just swallowing pills for no reason because I had to do something even though they didn't help.  I wasn't willing to just take unsafe doses.  So now that they are working properly, when I miss I'm reassured they do help!

I really want to encourage my readers who are dealing with any sort of chronic pain to try and work through some sort of exercises, stretches, or whatever it is that can keep you moving.  For me, it's a double edge sword.  As I sit here and type my back pain is increasing more and more.  My point, not moving, hurts.  Moving hurts, but the moving hurt is good for me.  Sitting is the absolute worst.  When I'm still for a short time, when I go to get up nothing wants to work.  My knees, my feet hurt on bottom and it takes a few steps to get my balance and legs moving.  My back stiffens up and slowly starts to get better as I start moving.  When I get up in the morning it takes a good 10 minutes to walk like a normal person.  The same thing happens when I exercise.  I fight through the pain, knowing staying still will have me bed bound before I'm 50.  I can get through the exercise whatever it may be, but I pay for it after.  I trust my doctor in knowing that he says I can't hurt myself in any of the exercises he has ok'd for me to do.  I want to stress to you that you don't just jump into exercising.  I don't know what each reader is dealing with.  You MUST check with your doctor.  

10 years of back pain and out of those 10 years I only spent a year and a half of no exercise.  If you have a pool, please use it.  If you don't, check into joining a club that has one.  Most YMCA's do and they usually have a pool and sometimes an indoor one also for the winter.  I remember right before my first surgery in '09 passing through the indoor pool to go to the outside and seeing the "silver sneakers" doing their routine in the pool.  I thought to myself, it won't be long and I'll be doing just what they are. And here I am today, doing just that.  I do swim laps in my pool but on days like this morning when I was still fighting this break through pain I just simply relaxed and did some routines that I was taught in PT and in Aquatic therapy.  You may feel as though your doing nothing good for yourself but do some research on swimming and water exercises.  On another post I'll tell you some I do, but without pictures it's hard to explain.  You can find just about anything on the internet today.  Please remember to check with your doctor and make sure you are healthy enough to do this.  Just walking is great and let your arms drag through the water, it strengthens the muscles in your arms in a safe and painless way. 

Today I ran across a news clip about SCS that is recent.  In another state, but great information if your considering one.  I have tired multiple times to upload a video and have not been successful.  I'm putting the link for those interested because I've given up on getting a video to work :-(
I'm still learning about blogging.  My next challenge is to create a button.  I've read about it and think it's a little over my head.  I'll need to study a little.  I went back to video to post link and see that it will let me create a blog post straight from site so that's what I'll do.  

My grand daughter had her first visit to the dentist today.  Glad to see smiles on her face, and so happy mom shared some pictures with me.  I even got some texts from A behind the photo's.  Something like
a;lkdsjfalkdjf      .z,mxcv,.mz.x,m    M N U Q.  Maybe she was letting me know the letter she was working on in preschool.  

A's first visit to the dentist
Her mom said she did great!
GNA and remember
The things you take for granted someone else is praying for. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Madness

I should be so happy about this! Two more pounds gone.  Hope I never see you again.  9.5 pounds and 4.5 inches.  When people say weight loss isn't easy, believe them.  Just the Weight Watcher's probably wouldn't work for me.  I have to add in the exercise.  That makes it so much harder.  Not because I don't like exercise.  I do.  Always have.  The added pain makes it that much harder though.  I'd like to quit so often.  Like today, at one mile the pain was creeping on so quick and intense, but I was determined to make two.  Why? Because no mater if I quit at one and called it a day, my back would still hurt the same in the end.  More often than not, if I get through it, I feel better in the end.  

I'm 5 days away from making 4 months post surgery.  I'd say I'm the same as last month.  Still struggling with soreness in my battery site. Still good news being I'm exercising, cut back on pain med's and getting a bit better sleep than before surgery. I've decided at 5 months if its still bothering me I'll go in.  Mr. R recommended such at our last visit. 

Myself, B and P went to see my mom, brother, sister in law and niece.  Hour drive.  P talking all the way.  Don't get me wrong.  I love listening to him talk.  There was a day when we couldn't wait for him to start talking.  He had a lot to say yesterday.  Enough that mom and I couldn't get through a sentence fast enough.  We met my mom first at Applebee's for lunch.  She noticed I'd lost some weight and she started in on me.  You look nice.  You've lost weight, how much?  Don't you think your good?  You don't need to loose any more.  I knew it was coming.  In 08 (last time I was on WW"s) I heard it from my dad a lot.  I told him I needed some cushion in case I gain some back.  Exactly what I told my mom yesterday.  I'm happy with 10 pounds because I can now fit back in my clothes but in 08 I lost a total of 25 and I was two pounds less than I started at this time.  So in 3 years, I gained it all back plus 2.  Same thing in '04 lost 15 and in 4 years gained it all back.  So if I stop now, it will be a short time and I'm right back where I was.  I have to loose while my body is cooperating with me.  This is not something that is a given.

I'm so glad I had a nice day with my family yesterday.  I was a little stiff when we got there to get out of car and sit right back down in a booth.  I had plenty of time to stretch later when we made it to my brothers hours to visit.  The ride back home was a little more uncomfortable.   It's odd, my back pain was there but I felt as though something else was added.  I realized when I got home and started walking around that the pressure of the seat on my battery site and the tie in the lead in spinal area was sore.  I couldn't even touch back there.  I covered myself with the mineral ice.  And it helped.  

I'm glad I had the advantage to stay home today.  I was pretty sore.  It was so nice outside.  Checked out the pool water expecting it to be could, but it wasn't. It was quite comfortable. After a long conversation with a dear friend I forced myself to go out for sandwich meat and fruit for the week.  Washed a few loads of clothes when I got back then around 3 I got in the pool for some stretching and hooked up the vacuum.  There wasn't much there so it didn't take long.  After supper I made it to the walk park for a walk.  That was nice also.  Painful, but nice.  A breeze blowing and some shade.  I get a phone call on the way home that blew me away.  I really can't talk about the contents of the discussion but I'll tell you I felt sick to my stomach and still do.  So much for all the pep talk in the morning from my friend.  It's ok, I see my therapist on Wednesday.  I don't know If I'm glad or scared ;/( 

There are somethings we just can't control no matter how hard we try.  WHY CAN"T I GET THIS? Thank you K for letting me ramble on this morning and sharing your take on things. Opening your heart to me to let me see how "your not perfect either".  But you seem to have it SO together.  And B, how many times have I promised to leave you out of this?  Yet I keep dragging you in.  I'm so truly so sorry.  I feel like the scared child and you are the mother.  Bear with me, I'll be back. I won't loose this battle.  

For what seemed a perfectly normal Monday full of nature and beauty, accomplishments achieved, hidden behind was sad news, hard calls and not so nice texts.  Sometime I hate technology.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I can count on the pain to still be there but maybe just maybe the heartache will be a tiny bit lighter,....please?

P on the front steps :-)

My brothers house

P and I on the front porch

My brother, sister in law and my niece 

B, P and P

P doing his thing with the shoes, lol

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Surgery aids

It's Saturday night and for most folks in this town that means LSU football.  I however am not a football fan.  I root for them to win, but not interested in watching.  When the MLB playoffs start that's what I'm watching.  Tonight I'm watching NASCAR while D is watching the Tigers.
I know, I bet a lot of you are thinking NASCAR?  I think it's absolutely amazing.  One day I'd love to go to a race.  I understand what you hear on television is nothing like the noise being there in person.  I think it's so amazing when they pull in to pit road and their crew change tires, add gas, air whatever it is they need in a matter of seconds.  If you've never watched, just watch once to see that!

I'm also charging my battery.  This is the longest I've went before charging.  I think it's been a little over 2 weeks and I'm just hitting an hour.  Tonight I decided to try my belt that allows me to be mobile while charging.  I didn't have a lot of faith it would work because even sitting or laying still I loose connection with the IPG sometime, actually a lot.  So I'm walking around tonight with this contraption on and D says, "you should always use that, haven't heard you complain once".  Guess that means I complain a lot when I do it confined to the bed or couch.  

My try at taking a shot of belt.
D, when I'm not ready

No reasoning behind this at all!

Months ago I mentioned I'd give some tips on helpful things after surgery.  I'm a little late for some people who have been reading for the SCS information purpose.  Sorry :-/

One of the things that ask you not to do for some time and especially the first couple of weeks is to not raise your hands/arms over your head.  They recommend button up shirts when you feel up to dressing post surgery.   I stayed in my night gown until my one week check with doctor.  Speaking of night gown that is aid number one.  At the outlet mall I found a button down night gown.  Sounds simple enough, but their not easy to find if your looking for one.  Even here they had two in store, a short and a knee length, both my size.  I bought them both so I'd always have one clean.  So easy to just button up and not have to pull over your head.

Good excuse to have something "pretty" to sleep in

The next aid that I used plenty, I also had for my first surgery in '09.  A chair for the bath tub.  At first you can't bath at all until bandage is off and outside stitches or staples removed.  Only sponge. Yuck!  D attached a shower attachment to my tub so I could sit on chair and at least do better than sponging.  I just had to be careful to keep the spray away from bandage.  Even when the dressing comes off your still not allowed to sit in bath water for a bit longer.  The incisions have to be completely closed.  We have a shower, but at first I would loose my balance some and if I didn't want to wash my hair it gave me an option to bath with out struggling to get out of tub.  Something I still have trouble with 3.5 months later.  I really need a hand rail.  As you see in the picture I take an epson soak often.  It helps so that's another time I'm needing to get out of that deep tub.  Otherwise, I stick to the shower.

Then there is my handy little dust pan that has a handle on it.  To be honest I had it before surgery but it was much needed then and still now.  Before I had it, I'd sweep up a little pile of trash and call D to come get it in the dust pan for me.  This thing is prices less if you have trouble bending over or squatting.  Beside it is my handy little grabber.  I have two.  It's so nice when you're help leaves and you start dropping things and no one around to pick them up for you.  I promise you, you drop everything when no one is around.  I also had this dandy item from first surgery too.  One in the front of house and one in the back.  If it's not close, I'm pretty good at picking just about anything with my toes.  I also find it very useful to get the clothes out of the dryer.  When I'm doing several loads and I don't use it I pay the price and don't forget next time.

Another simple little item I'd add is bendable straws.  The first 24 hours are tough.  You may not feel like sitting in a chair, especially if you place your battery in the back side.  If your having dinner in bed it's so much easier to drink.  So remember to pick some of them up.  
Chose to skip a picture of the bendable straw.  I think you get it. :-D

I received a nice email from a friend in pain.  One of the first to contact me when I started blogging.  She inspires me so.  I'm been following her blog since a few days after I started blogging.  Her case is much worse than mine.  She was in a terrible accident years ago and her spine was crushed.  At some point in her journey, long before I was following, she had a SCS trial.  Unfortunately it did not work for her.  I'm sharing this because I was so touched by her words in her email to me.  I'll just share the start of her email and you'll see why.  

Dearest T,

I don't know if you're keeping up on my blog, but I want to thank you for coming into my life, for you had a part in a much larger plan.

That's what it's all about friends.  Reaching out without even knowing your helping someone else.  All the while I feel so inspired by her courage and strength and she is thanking me.  It makes every minute I've spent blogging worth while.  I've had a few others reach out too but we've had more exchanges of communication via email.  Sharing a bit of additional information.  

My grandson came to hang with Nonna and Poppa while mom and dad went to the movies last night.  Poppa was in the pool when they got here. ( I was on the bed with my feet propped up resting)  B and her husband went to the back to see the deck and P decided he wanted to swim with Poppa. his clothes came and in he went.  This kid is not shy by any means.  He's a country boy, even went to pee behind the shed before getting in the pool.  No matter that mom didn't bring a suit.  He was perfectly happy swimming in his "Thomas" underwear.  lol  Gotta love him.  Just as his last visit, he kept us laughing the entire time.  Something Nonna really needs to do more of.  Thank you P. <3

     The things you take for granted someone else is praying for

            Happy birthday to my son, 26 today.  I love you .....where ever you are