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, October 31, 2013

Fibromyalgia - a controversial silent disease

I will apologize right away for the length of this blog.  I've been coming back to the draft for days trying to cut out things but everything is important to "me".

Since my post in September where I open myself to ridicule of telling how saddened I am to have it confirmed I have Fibromyalgia(FM) I've done a lot of research. More intense research than when he first starting talking to me about it years ago.  Then, I was reading all medical sites like WebMD, The MayoClinic, Wikipedia and Ask.com.  There were more but these are the ones you would recognize.  Since September I've been on a different search.  Reading from patients mouths, hearts and minds.

Never in all my years of dealing with my numerous aches and pains; back, muscles and joints have I felt so vindicated by strangers. Every blog or article I read was exactly how I've felt and feel. FM patients are good at hiding their pain for fear of ridicule. As I mentioned over a year ago even a doctor I worked for thought FM patients are just crazy and that's the title the doctor gives them because they can't find anything else to diagnose.  That is so far from the truth.  Our pain is real.

You don't walk into your rheumatologists office and have them diagnose you with FM in one visit or even one year. I write this post to share with you a few bits and pieces that were important to me.  Important because it validates everything I have tried to understand over the past years.  Why do I hurt everywhere?  Why am I so tired all the time?  Why can't I sleep? Why is it so much worse when I first get up in the morning?  All this time I've been looking to my doctors for answers when others who feel just like me had all the answers.

I remember searching to see if someone with a Spinal cord Stimulator had a blog. I found a few.  Reading them inspired me to write, even if no one read.  It made me fill like I would get things off my chest.  Now I am searching through so many more Fibromyalgia blogs than I ever thought I'd see.  I believe I read 1 in 20 people have FM.  Every definition down to the detail is how I am feeling and felt for a long time.  To some, it would have made them more depressed. For me it has been encouraging.  This blog world is my support.  Not to say my family and friends are not, but your still tend to doubt even if the people you love understand.  

I can be fine one day and another I can do something that is simple for most people.  After I am done I really to tired to do anything else.  My husband struggles with this.  When I say I am so tired he wants to know why?    

One thing I read in common was how no matter how much pain or how bad of a day a blogger was having they made their self exercise if they could possibly do it. I've read walking and swimming are two of the best exercises for FM.  A plus since they are great for my back also.  The problem is I'm doing very little walking these days but not because I don't want to.  For some reason when I'm hurting I can tolerate my recumbent bike much better.  If I stop moving I will become so stiff the end result will be bad.  

Exercise is very important for anyone, but especially if your dealing with chronic pain.  Chronic pain = depression + FM = depression + exercise = accomplishment. On the other side of that coin I'm learning to say no, to go lay down if I need to and not let the undone things bother me so much. 

At my OT appointment on Tuesday the PT did some dry needling for me on my triceps and the muscle where it meets the tendon near elbow.  It wasn't that bad compared to procedures I've been through previously.  It was by no means comfortable though.  It's to soon to tell how much it has helped.  The swelling is down to an inch now so that is definite improvement.  I go back Friday and she will re evaluate everything and write my notes for my rheumatologist on our progress.  I can't help but wonder if the FM has exacerbated the whole experience.  

Below are some pieces I mentioned in the beginning.  If you have FM you know all about it.  If you don't, you may know someone who does and it will help you have a better understanding what their day to day life is like.  I think we all want empathy not sympathy

From Scope- an award winning medical blog


I can’t imagine anyone relishing the idea of being tired, in pain, or suffering from “brain fog” for one day, let alone for months or years. If you have fibromyalgia, this is what you experience on a regular basis. Yet there are people who believe that fibromyalgia doesn’t exist – that it’s a made-up disease with the purpose of appeasing patients, giving their complaints a name.

Incidences of muscle pains characteristic of modern-day fibromyalgia have been documented for centuries, but only in the 1970s did the disease begin receiving serious attention as physicians began to better identify trigger points, inflammation, and fibromyalgia-associated issues such as sleep disorders and irritable bowel. And only in 1987 did the American Medical Association recognize fibromyalgia as “an emerging condition.” But saying it’s a disease and convincing non-believers are two different things.


I’ve been asked what it’s like to have fibromyalgia and, just as it’s difficult to diagnose, it’s difficult to explain. Although I was only diagnosed a few years ago, I can trace the symptoms to my teens. I often experienced unexplained bouts of exhaustion and pain. I never slept well. I had other fibromyalgia-related physical issues, but no one could figure out what was wrong. After a while, I began to believe that it was all in my head. I knew I felt the pain, but there was no explanation. I knew I was exhausted, but everyone is tired – why would I be any different? The other symptoms? I was overplaying them, complaining too much, imagining them, looking for attention, wasn’t I?


My family and close friends were (and still are) wonderful. They never made me believe that I shouldn’t be feeling what I was experiencing. They tolerated my quirks, such as the hypersensitivity that results in a very strong startle reflex and not being able to stand the feel of certain things against my skin. (It wouldn’t surprise me if the princess in fairy tale The Princess and the Pea had fibromyalgia!) My husband, my children, my friends, all helped me when the pain was bad and the exhaustion overwhelming. But feeling so different and not knowing why take a toll on a person.


I did what many with fibromyalgia do. I withdrew into myself. By withdrawing, you minimize your chances of being criticized or attacked by those who don’t understand your “nonexistent” illness. But at the same time, because you are internalizing everything, your symptoms become worse. Your mind plays more games. And the cycle continues.



I cried when my rheumatologist told me I had fibromyalgia. I told him I wasn’t crying because I had it, I was crying because I finally had validation – that this was real. My pain was real. My illness was real. He told me that many patients react the same way. How sad.

A year ago, I began a project called 101 Questions About Fibromyalgia. I asked friends and colleagues for questions, either from the point of view of having fibromyalgia or loving someone who does. I received some great questions but I also received a long e-mail from an editor whom I had never met. Her angry e-mail outlined exactly why fibromyalgia doesn’t exist, point for point, but she also told me that if having a name for my illness made me feel better about myself, then it was OK with her.


This is why many people with fibromyalgia don’t speak out. There is no such anger against people who say they have diabetes or cancer or Crohn’s disease – but it’s acceptable to brush off, deny, or criticize a claim that you have fibromyalgia.


Living with any invisible illness can be difficult. Living with one that still is not accepted by many is so much harder.


Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN, is a health writer based in Montreal, Canada. She is a contributor at Forbes.com, HealthDay News, and other outlets. Find her on Twitter @MarijkeD.


Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety. (National Library of Medicine)


COPING:

Fibromyalgia is a persistent condition for which there is no cure. It is common for symptoms of fibromyalgia to wax and wane; they may be more severe at certain times of the day, month, or year and they may remit for an extended period of time only to reappear later either for no apparent reason or following a traumatic event such as an automobile accident. But there are ways of coping with fibromyalgia symptoms and preventing exacerbation of pain. Here are some tips:
  • Prioritize sleep – it is important for people with fibromyalgia to maintain a regular sleep schedule and to get treatment for sleep disorders if necessary.
  • Create a quiet environment –chronic pain has been known to intensify in the presence of sound stress.
  • Exercise – regular exercise is known to improve symptoms in some patients. For people with fibromyalgia, low-impact activities such as walking, yoga or swimming are the best choice.
  • Medication – work with a physician to develop an effective medication regime.
  • Massage – gentle massage, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques are all generally considered beneficial with respect to chronic pain management.

SYMPTOMS:

Fibromyalgia usually includes a broad range of symptoms including some combination of the following:
  • widespread pain
  • sleep disturbances
  • chronic daytime fatigue
  • morning stiffness in the joints and muscles
  • migraine headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • painful menstrual periods
  • numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • restless legs syndrome
  • temperature sensitivity
  • dizziness and balance problems
  • cognitive and memory problems
  • mood disturbance such as depression and anxiety
Out of these 13 symptoms I have experienced 10 of them.  2 were in the past and much better but I still wonder? (irritable bowel syndrome and painful menstrual periods) The others are just like the COPING definition.  As bad as I hated having Dr. C tell me this news it feels good to understand what is happening to my body.  A lot of these symptoms I have never shared fearing people will just think I'm crazy.   Temperature sensitivity...oh I definitely deal with that.  Off the scale.  Ask my husband or my daughter.  The last one has been chronic for some time now,(especially the anxiety), but I've convinced myself it was due to my back pain.  My doctors agree, except for Dr. C.  My pain management doctor is the one who had me try two different medications that are commonly used for patients with FM. (Cymbalta and Savalla) Unfortunately neither worked. He never used the title he was just responding to my complaints of hurting everywhere.  

When Marijke spoke of not being able to stand certain things against her skin I almost jumped out of mine.  I never discuss that with anyone.  My husband has heard it a lot but even he gives me the strangest looks.  There are times that I can't be in the same bed with him because he has PLM and if his leg is moving I'm so sensitive to it I have to move!

The last I'd like to say, you know I mean for today, is that my mom has Fibromyalgia and Restless Leg Syndrome. The National Sleep foundation has written that there may be an association between FM and RLS. It's most common (RLS) in patients with FM and those with Rheumatoid Arthritis and she has both.  So what am I crying about?  The NSF also states that FM seems to run in the family though not knowing if genetic or environmental.  I have and continue to pray for both of my children that they don't start experiencing symptoms.  One of the hardest things of dealing with it is getting answers.  


To my friends and family, thank you for putting up with me.  I know you often wonder why I back out or just don't feel like it so many times. Your no need to know attitude has carried me far.
I have the greatest husband any one could ask for.  Even he struggles to live with the depression and anxiety with me.  You see I'm really good at acting.  When I do go out, I fall apart when I come home and he catches me every time.  

Lots of genuine hugs and H.O.P.E. to everyone dealing with this invisible illness.  Theresa


HOPE looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst in them.

HOPE opens doors where despair closes them.

HOPE discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot be done.

HOPE "lights a candle" instead of "cursing the darkness"

HOPE regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.

HOPE cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Author unknown


Monday, October 28, 2013

A fun filled week end



Better late than never.  I should have had this up Wednesday but I honestly have not even looked at my email or much of anything else since then.  I weighed and measured that morning.  Had a very busy day then went to dinner with my girlfriends.  I really had to be picky seeing it was the beginning of the WW's week for me.  The food was delicious but the company even better.  



These ladies are great.  They didn't mind posing in different areas of restaurant before I found the best back ground.  Then we grabbed our server and had him capture a few shots.  He even let me check and make sure we were ok with them.  What a sport.  Thanks Brigitte for adding the festive boarder.  

The previous day my second appointment of the day was with the OT.  Durning treatment I was pretty uncomfortable.  She had another therapist who does the Dry Needling also known as  intramuscular stimulation  evaluate me.    I was really hoping that after Friday's session we would be able to determine there was not a need for it any longer.  I did have improvement, but not enough to change her mind about having it done.  It hurts so much in that area I can't imagine having needles inserted into these tendons or muscles. 

The session lasted longer than usual so I got a late start on my Chicken Enchilada soup when I got home.  So late I was putting it up in bowls to freeze and some for the week pretty late that night.  It was worth every minute though.  It was so good.  I entered everything in the WW recipe builder.  I made a double batch and it totaled 6 points per cup.  A cup doesn't sound like much but when you add some cheese and sour cream it is very filling.  What I was missing was the chips I enjoying dipping in when I'm not "watching it".  
Most of what goes in
Then I remembered these tortilla wraps that I like to make a turkey wrap with for a change up from bread.  I also love to make fajitas with them.  The tomato basil flavor is 1 point.  Yes, you read right.  ONE point.  The wheat is 2.  Weird, I know.  Most tortilla wraps or flat bread are 2 points.  I get them at Wal Mart but you know how that is.  Some Wal Mart's carry them and some don't.  I can't always find them when I want them.  Anyway, I decided to toast one instead of just warming to get it it crispy.  I broke into pieces and it worked lovely as "chips" to dip in my soup.  Above is most of the things that make everything come together to taste wonderful.  The chicken and the fat free half and half are missing.  The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream but I promise you it's no different with the fat free.   


Ole Mexican Foods "a better choice for your health"
toasted and broken into chips

On Thursday I kept a friends little girl at my house all day.  She is super active and kept me busy and my mind working.  She is a talker like my grandson.  Full of questions and only stops talking when she is sleeping!  An hour and a half after she left my home my granddaughter came.  Lucky for me, her mom brought her to my house and I didn't have to drive and meet her like usual. 

Tomorrow (Monday) is her birthday and she was going out of town for some "me" time.
Of course it was fine by me that A wanted to spend some time with Nonna.  Unfortunately she had to go to therapy with me on Friday morning, but I smoothed it over by stopping by the library to pick out some books she had in mind to choose.  She is starting to recognize some words so loves to read a book that has them so she can tell me the words.  

enjoying the computer
  
After OT was over we met my daughter and grandson at Chick fil A for lunch.  The kids loved it because the play area was unusually empty.  I'm glad they got to visit because the rest of my daughters week end was packed.  We had lunch and a nice visit before we each moved on to our next item on the list.  Just so happened it was Wal Mart for both of us.  The necessary evil :~{




best part of my day <3

We finally made it home around 3:30.  My friend who I mentioned earlier wanted to let her daughter and A visit because they love spending time together.  Her name starts with an A also so I'll call her A2, laugh out loud.  Her week end was full except for Friday evening.  I had told her we'd see what time we got home and how tired each of us was.  A rested and watched a movie while I put everything away then I kicked back in the recliner on the heating pad for awhile.  Shortly after they came to visit.  A2 grabbed my A and hugged her.  She said, " I love you A".  So sweet.  We took them for a wagon ride and to swing and slide next door.  Then we had supper together.  It was enjoyable for us all.  A2 and A had a great time playing together.  Neither wanted to stop.


Little monkeys 

A & A2
Saturday was P's official day of birth.  His party is next week end so I'll wait and do his birthday post with his party pictures!  4 years old.  They are both 4 and we have another on the way.  When I think back where I was 4 years ago I'm a little disappointed.  I know I can't dwell on it, but I can't help but wonder what things would be like if I wouldn't have ever had the first surgery.  I know I can't look back.  I have to keep looking forward.  That's where the H.O.P.E. comes in.  I keep telling myself that and I will as long as I have to.  It would be nice if I could get rid of some of these other ailments though.  

I brought A back to the library for Cliffard's 50th birthday.  It was nice.  They played games, sang happy birthday, made a craft and then had treats and lemonade.  I'm happy for her we went. She really enjoyed it. 

Happy 50th Cliffard

A snack after craft.

I brought her to meet her mom this evening.  Even though while loading up she was asking over and over,  Why do I have to go home?  I can tell you when she saw her mommy her story changed.  She was so happy to see her and go with her.  

So it is now Monday morning.  I was watching the nail biting World Series.  St. Louis 2 Boston 2.  Every game has been close.  Needless to say I thought I could do both.  When the game ended I gave this 100% UNTIL...I fell asleep with my laptop on my lap.  I woke up at 2 am with my fingers on the key board and my neck very uncomfortable.  I'll end here as to not delay another day waiting until tonight.

Happy Monday and to everyone a great week.
Full of H.O.P.E.
Theresa




Monday, October 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I believe coming home is the hardest part of vacation.  Your never ready to leave and you have to pack your things anyway. Then you all ways come home with more than you left with.  Right away I started planning Saturday when we started home Friday evening so I could rest on Sunday.  1/3 into the ride home I was so uncomfortable I literally didn't think I could make it.  My stimulator was so high it was nerve racking.  When we stopped for something to eat I was like a robot getting out of the truck.   

When we made it in I was never so happy to get out of an automobile.  Between the packing and loading to leave, unloading when home and I think the biggest culprit was the rain.  Something we had not seen in a week in FL.
That's very typical of how it starts too.  About 6-7 hours before the weather gets here.  I didn't sleep worth a flip even though I was thrilled to be back in my bed.  

On Saturday I hardly did anything.  My back was so sore.  It was different than my "normal" pain.  I felt like I'd been beat with a board.  I took an epson soak and did a little laundry.  Other than that I stayed on the heating pad and in bed most of the day.  Thank goodness I felt a little better on Sunday because I really needed to go grocery shopping and finish up around here.  Of course there is the huge stack of mail when you return to go through.  Blah...

open and sorted
I did find one thing very exciting in this stack of mail.  The hundred dollar check that I was promised for doing the Television study.  Nothing like coming home from a week off and finding some extra money!



I was determined to cook Sunday.  Maybe even two things.  I just love having supper already done for a couple of nights during the week.  By the time I went to Sam's and Wal Mart I was hungry and tired.  I had lunch, a rest on the heating pad then back at it.   I started a pot of red beans and decided I really wanted some chili.  I like for it to get cold but I'd been craving some for a couple of weeks.  

I've always cooked my chili from scratch the same way.  Being on Weight Watchers I knew I'd have to do some work to figure out the points or I could use a recipe already calculated, tried and rated.  It was different than my chili but I absolutely loved it.  5 points for a cup.  Some 2 point Mexican WW's cheese, and 1 pt worth of light sour cream on top and it was off the hook!!
My son stopped by on his way home from work to get a bite to eat and gave it a star rating also.  I liked it enough I'd cook it that way again WW's or not.  Matter of fact, I usually like to skip a night between left overs.  I didn't mind at all having again tonight.  It's red beans tomorrow night!

I bought a huge pack of chicken Sunday to make Chicken tortilla soup.  Another favorite when fall sets in.  It freezes so well and so easy to make.  Those are two big factors for me if I'm going to cook a "big" batch.  I have an appointment with my psychologist and the OT tomorrow.  After I get home I'll get that soup going. I love this season, but not the switch of warm to cold then back and forth.  It's really hard on the joints.  

On Wednesday evening I'm having dinner with my group of friends that meet regularly.  I'm glad we're getting it in before the holidays.  I'm pretty sure the last time we got together was in May.  It's amazing it such a short period of time so much there is to talk about.  I'll have to talk fast.  It's the first night of the world series.  #redsox  #bostonstrong

I'm not sure If I mentioned or not I bought some Coconut Oil a few months ago.  I'd seen on Dr. Oz that it was good for many uses and I wanted to try for a particular use.  I had to research to find a good brand now I'm seeing it every where.  Even Sam's has a huge container of it.  Like the size you would get powder detergent in.  I don't need that much Coconut oil.  LOL.  Here are some uses.

  1. It's great for your skin so slather it on.  I've been putting it around my heels at night before going to bed but any where is great.  Also great for your cuticles, dry knees or elbows.
  2. Massage oil.  Why not?  You need the oil anyway so why not use something that smells great and is good for your skin if your giving your partner a massage.
  3. Removes even the hardest mascara to take off.  Much better than using something with a lot of chemicals.
  4. Lip balm
  5. Frizz Fighter for your hair.
  6. In the kitchen same as you would use EVVO.  It adds flavor to your recipe.  Yes, I've tried it.  
  7. Popping pop corn
  8. Making your own granola or nut butter.
  9. Roasting vegetables
  10. Replace vegetable oil for baking.  Everyone will want your recipe.
  11. Nipple cream for breast feeding moms.  It's all natural so it's safe for nursing mothers to use.
  12. As a sexual lubricant or vaginal dryness.
I could go on and on but you can look your self and find many more.  These are some I've tried myself.  Regarding the last one, things you buy Rx or over the counter really have chemicals in them you really don't want to absorb in your body.  Especially on a regular basis.  I can tell you I've paid a pretty penny for a prescription for estrogen cream that didn't work near as well as this does.  Check with your doctor first if your concerned.   


The brand I bought


Have a great week!  I plan to give it my best because I have H.O.P.E.
Theresa




Faith

I believe in the sun, even though it doesn't shine.
I believe in love, even when it isn't shown.
I believe in God, even when he doesn't speak.

Found on the wall of a concentration camp

Friday, October 18, 2013

A time for reflection

It's been an absolute amazing week.  Despite my aches and complaints D and I have throughly enjoyed this beach trip.  We're at a new place this time.  It's always nerve racking when you go to a new place you've never been until you see for yourself.  I'm a review reader, but you can't always believe everything you read.  Good or bad.


We had a safe trip here.  After checking in we got our grocery shopping done.  How convenient, a Sam's and a Wal Mart right next to each other just like at home.  It never fails, we over buy or under buy scared we'll have to much and have to find room to tote it home.
Not this time.  Perfect planning my friends.  Over supper we agreed that we shopped perfectly.  We have breakfast and lunch for tomorrow which is exactly what we need.

There is a beautiful view of the bay here.  Right on the docks a lovely place for grilling outside.  We had steaks on Tuesday night.  Nothing like cooking outdoors and watching the sunset.  Last night we went out to dinner and had another fabulous view while enjoying supper.  There were ducks everywhere right outside the window of our table.  We also enjoyed watching the sun set again for a second night.

We had a safe trip here.  After checking in we got our grocery shopping done.  How convenient, a Sam's and a Wal Mart right next to each other just like at home.  It never fails, we over buy or under buy scared we'll have to much and have to find room to tote it home.
Not this time.  Perfect planning my friends.  Over supper we agreed that we shopped perfectly.  We have breakfast and lunch for tomorrow which is exactly what we need.



D grilling supper
Sunset at resort









There is a beautiful view of the bay here.  Right on the docks a lovely place for grilling outside.  We had steaks on Tuesday night.  Nothing like cooking outdoors and watching the sunset.  Last night we went out to dinner and had another fabulous view while enjoying supper.  There were ducks everywhere right outside the window of our table.  We also enjoyed watching the sun set again for a second night.
Our normal little ritual is to hit the beach around 9-9:30.  Around 1-1:30 we come back and have lunch then back around 3.  After that we just stay based on our evening plans or what our stomachs decide for us.  Mainly me, I have to pack several small healthy snacks to make it through the morning and the afternoon.  D can go all day with a hearty breakfast.  Today we were especially enjoying the evening and ended up staying until sunset.  With a decent crowd during the day, leaving with just a hand full of people left.   3 days in row enjoying daylight end.   Now we could watch the sunset at home.  I can't tell you the last time we just stopped and watched the sun go down together.  


To the East @ 5:50
To the West @ 5:50, amazing difference

I've done well with my eating choices.  I really don't like saying "my diet" because I really mean eating right again.  My WW's tracker has been nagging me since Wednesday to enter in my weight.  Ha, I left the scale at home.  It will have to wait.  I know I've done ok though.  On Tuesday I was splurging since it was the end of the WW's week for me and I had plenty bonus points and all my activity points left.   It's been a relaxing busy so for me it reduces my temptations. 

I've walked 5 days in a row on the beach and plan to make it tomorrow morning also.  I wish I could do it in the morning at home.  Not as painful and I like that it's over and done. This couldn't be possible without my stimulator.   D has walked with me every other day.  Nothing like having your spouse sweat it out with you!  I had to be mindful of not swinging my left arm back and forth.  Except for swimming I never manage any type of exercise 5 days in a row.  
Another reason I'm feeling positive about step on the scale when I return home. 
They actually have a heated pool here but we've spent 85% of our time at the beach. 

On my mornings walks alone I've had a lot of time for reflection and soul searching.  There are many things going on in my life right now and my choices are crucial.  In the beauty of walking the beach, things just don't seem quite so bad.  Somethings need to be dealt with and some need to just be let go....and let GOD.  


They really aren't concerned they are in your way!
I've had a couple of good days with my arm and a couple of not so good.   I've also had a really bad one that went into the night.  It kept me awake most of it.  A sharp dull pain deep in my elbow.   Bursitis stinks!  Thank goodness it finally calmed down.  Beats me what caused it to "flare" the way it did.  I've followed all my OT's instructions, including stretches and wearing both braces at all possible times.  ( I have pictures to prove it )  I don't think I'm going back next Tuesday with my arm any better, but hopefully with a better attitude.   One can only deal with so much.  

4:30 today
D and I went to the outlet mall in Destin yesterday.  He had several things on his shopping list.  He got them all but one I might add.  I met a lady in one of the shops that asked about my braces.  She had a feeling because she'd been there, done that.  After 3 years she had surgery to repair and she said she was so glad she did.  It was simple and easy and changed her life.  Oh, to hear those words.  What I longed the outcome of my back surgery to be.  Again with my stimulator surgery.  Hearing her say that made my stomach churn because I pray that's not what my injury comes down to.  I have a bad taste in my mouth for any kind of surgery.  

I've had fun writing notes to my grandkids, friends and husband in the sand.  I have a friend really having a hard time right now.  I know the place she is in.  It's no fun.  When I was really struggling last year she text me almost every other day.  Just hello, or I'm here.  It meant so much and some time I couldn't even respond.  One day she just told me, "I'm coming over there."  "What do you want for lunch?"  Despite my saying "I'm not up to it"  She came.  It's time for me to do the same.  I don't like what I'm hearing, or not hearing back.  However, I did get a response from my picture and for that I felt hopeful. 

I sure miss my babies 

For D, right after I took first one I caught wave coming on the second
 
I hope this made her smile

All good things must come to an end.  I really want to just stay here.  With little to do and no stress at all I have felt better than I have in some time.  My husband would probably not agree but he doesn't understand "pain" vs "PAIN"  lol  God Bless him.   We have a lot to look forward to when returning home.  My grandson's birthday party is coming up.  Thanksgiving, our Anniversary, D's bd, my Moms 70th bd, D's moms bd, Christmas and then.......grandchild number 3.  That dear readers, is the best wait of all.  A new life begins.  A new chapter for Nonna.  My daughter and her husband love their son so much.  I'm just so excited for my daughter to have a daughter of her own.  I think maybe just maybe when she arrives I will try and stop referring to A and P as my "babies".



 I used to tell her when she was little that when she grew up and had children I hope she had a little girl who was just like her.   Now you can take that how you want it.  It was meant "both" ways!  I love both my children the same.  No doubt.  But, a mothers love for her daughter is just different.  Especially when she only has one.  A bond no one can break or come between.  Her and I have been through a lot together.  Things that would surprise you.  I'll just say we both have endured an equal hardship that cuts deep.  We're better mothers, daughters and spouses because we survived.  It's not how I want the bond with her daughter to form but it is the "kind" of bond I want them to have.  

Have FAITH, have HOPE (hold on pain ends),
Theresa



Hold On Pain Ends <3


Beautiful as usual

Friday, October 11, 2013

Trying to stay positive

Here is the long and short of what's up.

Since Tuesday's OT my elbow/arm has gotten worse.  The swelling and the pain.  So much so that I emailed the doctor who referred me and inquired if he thinks we could possibly going in the wrong direction.   Today I was in tears through entire treatment.   She took a different approach and tried something different today.  She felt terrible and I felt terrible for her.  I assured her I didn't think it was her.   She reminded me tendonitis is slow to heal.  Today is visit 5 and I may not get relief until 3 weeks. 

She basically pleaded with me to hang in there.  Rest my arm as much as possible once we are there.  No stretches if it brings on pain.  Wear my wrist brace but only the BANDIT when I could tolerate it.   What ever reduced the pain the most, heat or ice....use it.

Needles to say packing this evening has it way up there on the pain scale.  I have everything that I can do tonight.  I was scratching off my list and I came to "Charge Stimulator".  Great, that has to be done.  So here I am charging and decided to give you guys and update.  Typing is NOT helping but nothing is so oh well.  It's making this charging time pass a little faster.

This does not look like tendonitis to me :-(

I finally got those new tires on my car Thursday.  It's been bothering me.  Just needed time to do it.  Unfortunately they had some other bad news for me.  I'll need some work done when we return home.  I was upset about it at first but heck my car is 9 years old this month.  I've really had hardly any trouble with it at all.  It's been a good car to me.  Many people are asking why don't I just get a new car?  I really don't drive far.  When we travel we take the truck because of the bed cover.  It's almost always just me and I don't go far.  I can't see having a new car note for 4-5 years if it's not absolutely necessary.  Just how I roll.

On to the WW's saga.  The one thing I've been happy about this week.  I've lost some inches and finally made some progress on the numbers.  I think your body has to work with the plan also.  Counting calories didn't not work with my body.  It didn't have me eating what I needed to help me loose.  I'm excited to bring a few things I haven't been able to wear since the early spring.  I may have to stop after another pound or two.  My battery is getting tender like it did last year when I lost weight.  I wonder.... Why can't I loose some in my breasts, instead of the buttock?  I need that, I don't need the extra breast tissue....lol.  



So last Wednesday I was at 137 and hoping to be back to my "best" with Fitness Pal.  I accomplished that plus two.   I'm sure it was just time for it to finally start dropping but I could tell after 2 days this was going to work for me.  Sometime it's just not worth it to try an save a few dollars.

I'm a day late...I know.  Just couldn't get around to it yesterday.  Even late at night.  My arm was hurting so bad i just couldn't type at all.  I need to give a shout out to my Sister in law.
"C".  A great one she is.  She helps out my mom all the time and for that I'm so grateful.  She's a supermom, stepmom and domesticated housewife.  I sent her a text, which I am so against.  People that I don't see, they deserve a card in the mail.  Other than that, I think it's a waste of money.  It goes straight in the garbage and adds to our landfills.  My opinion!  So C....Happy belated birthday.  Hope it was special for you. 
C shares a birthday with my dad.  It was his birthday yesterday also.  See my post last year on Oct. 11 if you missed it.  We miss him so....

One last thing.  My daughter and family made it home this afternoon.  I'm so thankful God guided them home safely.  D and I will ask for the save favor as we take off tomorrow.  Our dog, Dallas, had it all figured out tonight as so as we took out the suit cases.  I really needed to give him one of my anxiety pills to calm him down.  I couldn't make him understand why it was ok tonight.  You can wait to freak out in the morning.  Which he will.

Dallas with "peanut"

I"m sure your hear from my while at the beach.  Pictures will look the same as always.  That's because it's always, beautiful, the same and that's what we love about it so much.  We can count on it to be simply beautiful.  

I made a proposal to my husband that he shave his hair and he went for it.  I was kind of shocked.  He wanted me to do it for him.  We both liked the way it came it.  A strange feeling for him to get used to.  I teased him and told him that I'd be willing to shave mine and we'd match.  No way he wanted me to do that.  I swear I would though.  Right now I can barely lift my arm as high as my shoulder.  It's just hair.  It will grow back.


"D"  Thank God he's in my life <3

Enjoy your week end.  I pray if your dealing with any physical or mental pain that you get some relief.  A little or a lot I know you'll take it.  God bess!

Hanging in there with H.O.P.E. (hold on pain ends)  I'm still waiting...and believing. 
Theresa

Sorry I am skipping the quote.  I'm exhausted and still have more to do when my stimulator is done.  (soon I hope)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Decisions, decisions...

The time has come that I can no longer put of making a decision on accepting or declining the benefits that come along with disability.  I've been in touch a with a representative of Medicare Plans.  My attorney gave me his number and told me to hang onto it. The day I starting getting information regarding Medicare benefits I should give him a call.  Please don't try and figure it all out on your own.  I clearly see why now.  It can be quite confusing. 

We're clear on one thing.  It would be a lot less expensive premium if I take the medicare coverage.  Everything is different though.  I've had to do  a lot of research to prepare to sit and meet with the Humana Representative.  For example; checking with all my doctors to make sure they take this plan.  I also went online and entered all the prescription medications I take to see what they would cost under this plan.  Some were the same but several were more expensive. A couple they don't cover.  Mainly it was the newer prescriptions that haven't been around forever. It works on a tier plan and depending where the drug falls depends on your payment for it.   Certain tiers give you different coverage.  Long story short several of the medications I take are $20 to $30 more per month so it you multiply that times 12 it almost makes up half of the savings.  

I spent several hours on the phone today trying to get answers.  I called Humana directly since the website would not give me a clear answer on if some of my doctors were involved with the plan or not.  The most important ones are, but for the ones that aren't I want to see  what my options are to replace them.  I've seen some of these doctors since 2006 or earlier.  It all boils down to dollars and cents.  Honestly, my husband asked me forget the money, does it benefit you to be covered with Humana insurance? If not just leave things as they are.  I couldn't really answer that.  I think we will be close to breaking even.  I just have to do a little more homework tomorrow.  The deadline is closing in so I have to make my decision. 

My daughter and her family left for Disney World FLorida.  I was worried about the storm that was brewing around in the gulf but it turned out just fine. At half way they stopped for the night and completed their journey the next day.  My daughter has kept myself and P's other maw maw excited with a lot of pictures all day, everyday.  They are all so cute.  He is surly have a great time and making some wonderful memories.  Nonna is so happy for him.

I'm a bit worried about my daughter.  Her feet are hurting her after 2 days and 2 parks.  MAGIC KINGDOM & HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS. P, ha..he is a brave little fellow.  He's riding all those big rides with his dad and mom.  I thing some momma is very willing to sit out because of the long lines. This gives her a chance to rest her poor feet.  

Maw Maw and I (Nonna) have been in stitches all day with pictures and texts from mom.  P's little sister will get to hear all about big brother seeing all of his favorite characters.  It is so obviously clear how happy and excited he is to be there.  I have so many pictures. Here is a wrapped up preview she made for instagram.


Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Swimming is down to a minimum.  Last time I was in the pool was Thursday evening.  The temperature had made it back to 90.  I enjoyed that swim so much thinking it may be my last.  Thursday night P came over to sleep so mommy could get started with shopping, finishing up some work and packing in the early morning.  No swimming that evening.  

Friday morning P and I set out at 8 to go and pick up A at our usual meeting place.  We picked her up and came back to my house. They played and had a great time together.  After lunch P's mom came and A had to come to OT with me and watch me be tortured once again.  My right side the therapist agreed was better.  The left, worse.  She could hardly touch it.  After consulting with her peers she came back and told me we needed to add a harness to keep my wrist from moving.  Keeping my wrist from moving keeps the tendon at rest so it can heal.  I still need to do the exercises and stretches at home.


I have to admit I noticed a big difference the first day.  This brace is so much more comfortable than the one she made for me on the right hand.  I realized just how much it helped when I took it off Sunday to do some dishes. As I was unloading the dishwasher I could feel how sore and swollen it is.  Tonight after the stretches I rubbed the area with a medicated cream and then measured out of curiosity to see if it was still swollen.  Around my right elbow measures  an inch larger than the left one.  This sure does seem to be a slow healing process. However I am glad to be better on one side at least. 

A stayed until Sunday.  On Saturday night I took her to see her daddy when he got off work.  He is working 13 days and 1 day off until Thanksgiving so it is hard to get some visitations in right now. I was so proud of the them both.  When we left they both did so well.  I took a couple of pictures of them together.  (are you surprised?)  A likes to take 2 always!. One silly and one with a smile. Silly usually means her tongue out.  This has been her routine for quite some time now.  It's funny, as I mentioned earlier I'm getting a lot of pictures from my daughter and many have P's tongue out.  I asked if he got that from Lou Lou.  (her nickname at their house) and she said, no he's just so happy he is beside himself and don't know what to do with it.  Too funny, that kid.


Saturday night
Friday
We are experiencing a fall like week here in Baton Rouge. Cool in the morning and late evening.  Next week vacation.  Woo hoo, I just can't wait.  We've checked the extended forecast for Destin and it looks awesome.  October is our favorite time to go and we've never been disappointed.  The weather is perfect and the crowds are minimal.  Hopefully I will feel well enough to go to a couple of places we love to shop each year.  

I started typing last night and got really sleepy.  (this is a GREAT thing) I put down the computer and picked up first thing thing this am to finish.  I plan to head to AT&T before I let myself get tied into another survey and can't upgrade my phone. I want to look at the new iphones and see if I like them.  After that I'm off to OT.  Sometimes I don't like change.  I could very well keep the one I have.  Instead of my usual inspiring bit I have to leave you with some more pictures that will clearly show you how much fun my grandson is having.  Oh how I wish I could be there with him.

Living with H.O.P.E
Theresa



Dinner with Mickey & friends
One Happy Boy!






Hey look, it's Pluto
Think I'll take a picture with him :-)