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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm guilty

I admit I have no good reason for not writing in over a week.  I have a reason, just not a good one.  I've got myself addicted to a television program I can't stop watching.  In the evenings I spend time in the pool.  Watering every day now. With the heat here in LA and no rain, our plants and herbs will not survive without it.  By the time I come in from outside and fix dinner,  I'm anxious to watch the next episode of this program.  After that I convince myself tomorrow night I'm not watching and I'm going to post on my blog!  I've been reading a little of a great book each night also so by then I'm getting sleepy.

A couple of weeks ago in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep I was channel surfing for something to watch on TV.  I stopped on "The Closer".  I'd never seen before and this particular episode was a rerun of the SERIES Finale.  Two hour special of course.  I fell for the main characters personality.  It's a crime drama but so funny at times.  The entire cast is full of great actors.  I was shocked to discover when I looked it up being I'd never heard of it before that it ran for 7 seasons! I decided to go back and watch 1st one to see if it was good as the first. From then on I've been hooked.  I'm on season 3 episode 5.  Check it out, you won't regret it.

Last Sunday I baked a whole chicken that turned out so awesome.
My husband said, " it's remarkable". It was so tender and juicy.
I can take partial credit but not entirely.  I don't remember the show but it was a contest between two chefs on to brine or not brine.  The chef that didn't brine stuffed inside and under the skin.  I've baked a lot of whole chickens before and put seasonings inside and seasoned outside but not this particular combination.  It's amazing what a few fresh herbs will turn out.

I rubbed entire chicken with kosher salt.  Stuffed inside lemon wedge, fresh rosemary (whole sprigs), and quartered onions. Under the skin I stuffed with lemon slices, fresh basil leaves and rosemary chopped.  I then cut another lemon into slices and laid around pan with onions.  I added a little chicken broth to keep the onions and lemons from sticking to pain and to braise the chicken during cooking.  425 for hour and half. (5 pd ) It is the juiciest chicken I've ever eaten. It literally melts in your mouth.  Matter of fact, I have another in the oven as I type. This time I added mint leaves to the combination of seasonings.  Can't wait to see what difference they make. 

It's time to hook up with Mr. R again.  Most of my programs have moved around again.  I have two out of 9 I'm using.  Everything else has moved to my stomach and these two are working their way there also.  My granddaughter is coming tomorrow to visit a few days so it will wait until she goes back home.  

I've went to the walking path to walk a few times.  It's the hardest out of the three things I try to do for exercise.  I sweat (excuse the pun) it out but it's really hard.  I'm so glad when I get it done though.  Swimming is the easiest but I'm aways so sore and hurting after because I don't realize that I continue to over do it each time. 

My grandson's last tee ball game was Monday evening.  He put on a show for us.  He is so stinking funny some time.  

proud of his little trophy 

in the dug out
You may recall in a previous post (one before last) I posted a couple of pictures of us eating out with A at a Mexican restaurant.  When we returned home we remembered we'd never checked the mail that day.  In it was a small bubble manila envelope with a strange return address that we didn't recognize. Addressed to both my husband and I both.  It said "open together" 

And so we did.  It was a puzzle.  We started putting together and it took a bit to figure out the message but right away I had clues and guesses.  Those beautiful eyes on P stood out right away on a piece of the puzzle.  Then next I come across two pieces that make a bow tie!  P and my daughter were both in a wedding back in May so I thought maybe it was a puzzle of him in his tux.  Then I was guessing a puzzle made from professional picture taken at Easter.  Maybe one she didn't show me yet.  

Here is Poppa and A working while I step back and take a picture.
I'm so glad I did that.  Just wish I had one with me in it.  So in the end when all together this is what the puzzle told us.

I'm sure you can figure this out.  Right?  Nonna is so happy and excited for P to be a big brother.  Thrilled to know that my daughter and son in law are blessed to have the gift of life given to them once again. This past week she sent out original pictures of this puzzle to family.  I believe next week she'll be ready to share with everyone so until then.  It's a secret! Ok? We're planning to wait and be surprised. Boy or girl?  Now my son in law is not to keen on this idea, but we'll see if he honors B's wish.

I'll try to be back sooner.  I know it won't be before A goes home on Tuesday.  Tonights a walk night.  Pushing myself to do this because the day I quit fighting I loose. 

God is awesome...
Living in H.O.P.E. (hold on pain ends)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Exercising with Back Pain

I recommend you discuss any exercises you do at home with your PM doctor or your PT if you have one.  Even they sometime do not know what is best for you.  A doctor I saw for a second opinion, at my one year mark after fusion surgery in '09, sent me to PT.  I trusted he knew the best place for me to go.  

During the time I was going 2times a week I felt like I was hurting more, not less.  The PT kept telling me it was just soreness and I was working out some of the tightness causing my pain from loosing mobility at L4/L5 site.  I not only fought through for the 6 weeks but continued to do them faithfully at home for another 6 weeks.  At some point I felt as though I was sure I was feeling worse. 

I obviously had other issues going on with my back, including constant inflammation.  What I learned when I started seeing my PM doctor and we discussed more PT was that I needed to see a PT who specialized in patients recovering from back surgery.   He was skeptical since we'd tried everything but knowing I would see someone who works with patients like me he wanted to give it a try since I was willing.  The first thing I discovered was some of the stretches I was still doing at home was a "no no" if you'd had a spinal fusion.  ONE of the reasons I wasn't feeling any better.  

Make sure if your orthopedic or GP orders PT for you that you see someone who knows how to treat someone with your specific conditions.  I knew before I read this article because the second PT I saw went over with me what to do but more importantly what NOT to do if you'd had back surgery.  I couldn't seem to get the link to copy and paste but at least you can see what you would need to search for to find article if you cannot read from here.  I would also recommend signing up for the newsletter.  Your able to choose specific subjects you are interested in reading.  I chose chronic pain, back pain , pain medications and sleeping/ insomnia with chronic pain.  You are not bombarded with emails either.  I believe I get one every 3-4 weeks.  Under the 5 foods for fighting pain is cherries.  One of my personal favorites. this season especially for that reason.  

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I'm sure my fellow pain suffers out there understand good days and bad days.  I'm so grateful for the good ones but they don't come often enough.  It also messes with your mind making you think, " is something really wrong with me?"  You wonder how you can feel that way one day and another barely drag yourself from bed.  I've been experiencing that often lately.  

On Saturday (day before Father's Day) my brother, his family and my mom came over to visit. 
My daughter and her family came for a short time and my son also spent the afternoon with us.  We had a grand time.  My niece really enjoyed the pool.  She loves to swim and does it well.  My husband spent quite some time with her and P in the pool and later when my son came he stayed in a good while too.  My niece should have been water logged.  

I got up that morning thrilled that I was having a great day!.  I went out with my husband to take care of a few things and even did a little cleaning when we got back.  After I had food prepared my daughter and her family arrived.  From that time on until 9 that night I didn't stop.
I was in the pool for awhile, (relief) but other than that I was mostly on my feet.  About 2 hours before everyone left I could really feel the break through pain starting.  I start fidgeting when this happens.  I start to hurt but can't do anything about it and don't know what to do with myself.  No sooner than we closed the doors from saying good bye I was crying.  I picked up a few things, took pain medicine and got on the heating pad.  I couldn't get to it fast enough.

Sometime we want to just enjoy ourself so much we're able to distract ourself from the pain.  One of the reason my therapist encourages me to get out with friends.  Sometime it works, sometimes not.  Being with my family worked.  When it was over it hit me hard though.  I was awake until 1 before the pain medicine finally took the edge off.  I then took 4 ibuprofen and was able to go to sleep.  Would I do it again...absolutely!  I guess what I'm trying to get across is what I mentioned earlier.  You can be fine one day, one hour, or one moment and then it slams you from no where.   When I read my fellow pain bloggers they describe the same kind of feelings which helps me understand I'm not crazy. 

My incision is looking better.  I've starting putting some butter cream on it so hopefully in another few months it will be back to the way it looked when healed the first time.  I can't remember what happen, I think I lost my balance, but I bumped my battery area and it's been sore about a week now.  Hoping that's all there is to it and it will go away.

At 5 weeks

Poppa with P and look closely you see my niece underwater

My son with my niece on his shoulders
I see my therapist this Friday for the first time since before surgery on May 8th.  I think she'll be surprised to see how well I'm doing.  We'll have a lot to catch up on.  I've been thinking all week all the things I wanted to talk about next time I'm on here writing and I can't remember the first thing.  I guess I need to start writing them down.  Hope your not bombarded with the pictures.  I had a hard time choosing a few.  Most of my family has seen but you guys have to understand I do have several friends who are not on Instagram and obviously my followers who are not friends/family haven't seen either.  

My mom and brother on top and my SIL and niece in the middle
Four generations <3
Hugs to everyone with H.O.P.E.

What does not satisfy when we find it was not the thing we were desiring.
C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More improvement

I'm happy to report that things are still going great since my last post.  I think there have been two days that I wasn't able to be in the pool even if just for a short time.  Some days I over do because I forget and think I'm superwoman in there and pay for it after.  It's still a good thing.  My back is getting stronger and stronger. I can actually tell.  I do all the things they taught me at Aquatic Therapy and then I swim laps.  I'm back riding my recumbent bike occasionally too.  I greatly prefer swimming over riding especially since I can't swim during winter months and the bike is aways available.   It's also fun to just get in and relax.  I had another friend over this past week.  Perfect timing for a mother whose daughter just got married, teaching done until August and she's had some traveling to do during this wedding planning.   She said what I always say, "I'm gonna be waterlogged".   We got in around 10:30 and got out for lunch around 1.  We made a scrumptious salad and went back in.  It was after 4 before we knew it.  

I've been able to cut back once again on my pain meds and making it until late morning before I even need to turn on my stimulator.  I don't stall because it doesn't help but because if I'm ok without it  I can tolerate the length of stimulation longer.  Sometime late at night you just get to the point that you can't stand it a minute longer.  It can actually feel a relief for a short time when you first turned it off.  

Speaking of the stimulator, I finally took the time to charge my battery.  It was replaced on May 8th and I didn't charge for the first time until June 6th.  Big mistake.  It still had half life left but to my surprise it took two hours to charge.  I'll never let it get that low again.  The longest its ever taken me is one hour.  It's much easier to take time more often and charge less time.  I believe based on this experience I could go up to two months if I wanted without charging but I'd never let it get that low or want to chance having to charge that long. 

I'm an example of never giving up.  So many times I've thought I was having another procedure for no reason.  I've been knocking on the wood of our deck that things are finally working like they are supposed to.  I pray in continues.  I'm sure Mr. R is surprised he hasn't heard from me.   It's soooo nice not to feel my battery tugging and pulling the way it was. 

My hives seemed to be controlled again.   Every few days and they always come in clusters.  The days seem to be farther apart though.  I'm counting on getting back to that "remission" I was in some 6 months or so ago.  

You know I can't wrap this up without a picture or two of my lovely grandchildren.  My boy P had to go for a follow up appointment with the eye doctor last Tuesday. Unfortunately he  needed glasses.  An astigmatism in both eyes.  Poor baby.  Handsome as ever though.  He's tolerating as well as can be expected for a child with sensory issues.

And A made a surprise visit on Saturday evening.  Her mom got a ticket to the LSU BB game at the last minute.  So she made the almost 2 hour drive here to bring A to visit and get to the game just in time.   My husband and I had plans to go to dinner and decided to keep them.  A is a well behaved girl and I knew she'd love going out to eat.  They had a band playing and she loved the music.  She absolutely entertained us through out our entire meal.  Including dancing.  She was not embarrassed at one bit.  

outside Superior Grill
A and Poppa as we were leaving

When we left this particular restaurant that was just a few blocks from our "old home".  We didn't tell A we were going to pass by.  We turned on the entrance street and she commented that this is where Nonna and Poppa used to live.  Amazed she remembers that and we hadn't even turned onto street we lived on.

Now you know I love Dollar Tree.  Every time I go there for only one thing I walk out with ten. I honestly need, not want, them all.  These little treasures look cute on my fence by the pool.  I plan to go to another because the one by me is very small and I'd like to see if they have some others to choose from.  I only picked up three and once I placed them along fence I think a few more would look great.

Metal sunshines for the fence along side of pool.

Old Family Phone
My mom sent me a picture of this phone today and asked if I wanted.  If she really does give it up I'd like to save to show my great grand kinds.  This was the the first telephone I ever used.  And yes, it was used right there where it hung on the wall.  Not in the bedroom or any place private.   That phone stated there for many many years.  I didn't know it was still around.  At some point they got a push button phone but I may have been gone by then?

One of my followers "Janet" is at one week from her SCS implant.  Sounds like she is doing well.  But like myself worries that others think she should be running a marathon by now.  If you've been through ANY type of surgery your body needs rest after no matter what.  Agree you need to move as soon as doctor says so but that doesn't mean cooking and cleaning house.  It means getting out of the bed and moving around.  Take care Janet and keep updating me.  I'm praying for a huge success for you and hope our other "pain" friends are too.  By the way, what type of stimulator do you have?

God Bless, still living with H.O.P.E.

               Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outward we are wasting away ,yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and monetary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
                   2 Corinthians 4;16-18

Monday, June 3, 2013

The wedding

Friday morning I spend most of the morning in the pool.  I swam laps and did the PT exercises they always had me do when I was in aquatic therapy.  I just thought I was wonder woman.  I kept telling myself take it easy....feels good now but you don't know how you'll feel when you get out.  I also planned to attend a wedding of a close friends daughter.  I wanted to feel best possible for that.  Around noon I got out had lunch then went to run a couple of errands.   As the afternoon became evening for the first time in a while I was actually looking forward to dressing up and going out.  Some of this was because I was feeling better than I have for some time.

Of course I had to check in with my fashion coordinator a few times.  Shoes ok?  Jewelry work?  Before I knew it, it was time to leave and I didn't want to carry the "big" bag I'm toting right now.  It's big, but empty.  I grabbed a small black bag and took off to meet my daughter.  5;30 on a Friday afternoon heading the way all traffic is heading.  I should have checked with my daughter on the best way to go.  When I got on the last turn to get to the major highway that her house is off of I had to follow an ice truck all the way.  Point? I was late.  Like many times before I got to hear my sassy daughter call me a "slacker". :-) ........I'm laughing about it.

My daughter and I made it on time before the start of ceremony.  Barely, but we made it.  It was very nice.  Her daughter was stunning and seemed so relaxed.  I look back at my wedding pictures often and I look petrified.  One of my favorite shots is of me with my maid of honor and matron of honor.  My longest best friend and of course my daughter.  They look wonderful.  I look like someone has a pistol in my back.  We rarely get to visit just her and I.  We had to stop ourself from chatting durning the ceremony.   Here is my friend with her two handsome sons.  They both look just like their father and her daughter has all her features.

My friend escorted my her sons
The bride with her father
 Her bridesmaid dresses were a nude/champagne color.  I hope I'm getting that right.  A certain way the light gleamed on the grooms men during mass their ties had a hint of pink.
B and I headed to the reception hall to wait for the bride and groom to arrive.  We met some people and my daughter actually had a couple of people she knew from school.  The food was great and we enjoyed the music too!  We really had a great time.  We enjoyed getting to talk and just kick back with no time limit or sneaking in a sentence or two in between P's stories!  My daughter is a fun, funny and truthful person.  I enjoyed the wedding and her company equally. 

My friend managed to get around to our table a couple of times.  We grabbed a picture together but the lighting was pretty dim.  I enjoyed catching up with her family members I knew and watching her and her husband dance.  They remind me of my parents and my husbands parents so much with their love of dancing.  

A few last pictures I want to share.  One is the bride dancing with some small children and it was the song where they say, "low, low, low"  Explaining that in case you are wondering what they are doing.  What i love about the picture is how the lights made her dress look.  The lights just gleamed off her dress.  The other is of my daughter, and many others in a line dance.  

It took me hours to get to sleep when I got home.  Between my husband not being home and coming in from such excitement and fun it took me a good while to relax, calm and sleepy.
Honestly all the nights until he came home today have been that way.  Here I am tonight up late again and I can't use him not being here as an excuse tonight.

Saturday I was in pool from 10-11:30.  Then later with a friend from 1-5.  We couldn't believe how quickly the time went by.  As I keep saying I feel great when I'm in the pool but I continue to be sorry later.  In the long run I still think it is helping me.  I can't stretch that way at all out of the pool.  The weather has been so nice this past week end.  I'm looking forward to having a full summer of using it for the purpose of therapy.  I'm so sore tonight.  

My husband made it home pretty early today and he spent the afternoon with me relaxing and swimming.  I talked him into doing some of my PT exercises because he doesn't really know the real value in them.  It didn't take much time of doing 3 different ones to agreeing that they do give you a great work out!  My friend had attested to that the day before.  She didn't get hassled by me to do them she just wanted to.  We jogged around a few times and she said her legs and butt hurt!

So enough about my week end.  I told my husband this evening while we were floating around in the pool that for the first time in a countless number of procedures I feel like there was some success.  And yes, I knocked on the wood of the deck.  My husband is impressed himself with the placement of the battery.  He knows how it felt before.  He can't even feel this one.  Only the incision.  I think a combination of several things contributed to the best few days I've had in some time.  Laughter, the pool, stretching, a few mojitos throughout the week end and last but not least my battery site getting better.  

Speaking of battery, (IPG) I planned to charge tonight and when I checked expecting it to be very low it is still not even half way.  It will be four weeks this Wednesday so I'm very impressed.  They really had me worried about the time span of the battery.  Mr. R said to be prepared to have to charge more often.  I won't let it get to low but I talked my self out of it tonight.  

I found a great article regarding pain management and stretching do's and don'ts for people with back pain.  Chronic pain readers don't give up on me.  I plan to get back to that and share some information.  Have an awesome week followers.

Believing in H.O.P.E. (hold on pain ends)