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.

Friday, December 6, 2013

What's "Not" Happening

It's been so long I decided best to go back and read my last post.  How long ago was that now?  I've been a slacker...but I have a good excuse ok?  I'm not going to tell you I haven't had time.  We all have the same amount in every day.  I just haven't physically felt like it period!  Here's why.

During the week of my last post I started the move with my rheumatologist to try something for the fibromyalgia pain.  I've been putting if off because I don't like the choices of drugs for FM.   I had reached the desperate, I don't care any more, pain level.  "Give me something, I just want to feel better".  That's what God said through my thoughts when I opened my eyes that morning.  You can't deal with this any more.  So I emailed my doctor and asked him what he thought.  

At first he reminded me we tried it in 2011 and I asked to stop taking because of side effects and you didn't thing it was helping.  His positive side was that it was not "full blown" or a "flare up" at that time.  Now your experiencing the real ugly side of it, it can't hurt to try.  I wrote back and said, Lets go.  Last time one of the two side effects went away after two weeks even though the other hung around.  I'm ready to try anything.  So he recommended I start with a night time dose. 2-3 hours before bed time and 2-3 hours when first up is the worst.  If we can get results with a bed time dose that would be great. If that's not enough we'll make changes.   Sounded good to me so I started Thanksgiving Eve night.  I thought I noticed a small difference the following morning but didn't think possible to notice results that fast.  Night two, Thanksgiving night after traveling to and from D's families home town, even more noticeable.
D with his dad and one of his sisters

My family came here the day after Thanksgiving.  I had little to do.  My husband did the cooking.  My daughter brought pie and a dish.  I made a cake.  D's birthday was the day before and my moms the next day.  So I baked a birthday cake.  Not a big deal.  My granddaughter stayed the night before and she even helped.  Being on my feet a lot really effects how I feel also so I kind of jumped the game and took some of the medicine before the all over pain started with a morning dose. That has been the only day I've taken more than bedtime.  That night was my third dose.  Definitely a noticeable difference when getting up in the morning on Saturday.   I can't tell you how pleased I am with the results so far.  

Always ready to pose
My silly grandson

This medication does not effect my back in any way except that one pan level 8 is easier to manage without another pain level 8 present at same time.  I emailed Dr. C back that following Monday morning to him know I really felt like I was getting some good results.  He was thrilled to hear and hoped it continued.   

That week end after Thanksgiving brought something new to deal with though.  Life is never simple is it?  On the Saturday my pointer fingertip felt swollen and underneath side felt very tender.  Every time something touched it it felt tingly and sore.  I mentioned to D and he seemed to think I always have something hurting everywhere.   On Sunday it increased and by night time it was really feeling weird and swollen to point I couldn't bend it.  It kept waking me up during the night throbbing. 

When I went to OT Monday am she checked it out and asked the hand specialist to take a look.  Her opinion was I should get right on the phone and make an appointment with my dermatologist.  She said, "this is not going away.  What are you waiting for to happen?"  So I called.  Fooled around for 2 hours waiting for the appointment.  I had blood work at 8.  Saw my social worker at 8:45.  The OT at 10 and the PT at 11:15 to 12:30.  The PT did some more needling in my elbow and my second session on my back.  She inquired about results from the first but I let her know I'd traveled, had a day of company, and a busy week end.  Not to mention starting a new medicine in the middle of all that.  I didn't want to mislead any information to her.  I let her know in all fairness it wasn't a good week to try and judge on that.  

On to the dermatologist and he decided it was paronychia.  He treated it like staff to be on the safe side.  He said he really felt like that was what it was but without any infection present at this point to tell.  A medium dose antibiotic and recommended warm soaks or compresses which ever I preferred.  And when will this throbbing stop I asked him?  It kept me awake much of the night.  The soaks should help and after 2-3 of antibiotics in system I should feel much better.  I know I'm a pessimist, but I drove away knowing it wasn't going to be that simple based on how much it hurt.  Monday night it was worse.  Just couldn't sleep.  I soaked it on and off during night.  Tried propping it up.  Tried the TV to take my mind off of it.  Nothing worked.  At 5:30 am I gave up and got up with my husband and made coffee and tried to stop thinking about it.  I had my gloves on I wear for hand swelling at night and when I took it off in light I couldn't believe the difference it how it looked.  Oh goodness.  No wonder it's hurting even more.  It's even redder and more swollen.  

I called in at 8 when they opened and requested a call from the nurse.  At 10 I called back again.  What gives?  You saw me yesterday, I'm not making this up.  Finally at 1pm they called me back and said I needed a steroid Rx to help get the swelling under control.  All fine and dandy but I could have started on it this am.  Now I will be taking it in the evening when I haven't slept for 2 nights.  Prednisone always keeps me awake.  My pharmacist says, "didn't I see you here yesterday?". Yes sir, for the antibiotic.  In my opinion they should have given me this then too.  And yes, I was here Sunday also picking of three of the many others I take.  That's why you know me by my name.


I get home and eat some yogurt and slam back 3 prednisone's and pray that I'm awake from that and not from the throbbing feeling all night.  Unfortunately the one dose at 3pm didn't handle it.  Now on Wednesday, day 5 of the onset I see something very scary looking under my skin and a small black area under nail.  Of course this scares me.  So another call goes in.  When I reach someone I explain how many days I've taken antibiotic and i've started the prednisone.  The doctor said to call if 3 days go by and it's not better or it starts to drain.  It's not draining but it does feel like my finger will explode if it doesn't soon.  So that means it's not better!   I seriously thought about doing it myself.  I wasn't scared of poking my self just inflicting the pain to drain it.  They asked me to come in at 2:30 and I gladly agreed.

He took one look and said he was surprised I was back.  He really thought we caught it early before infection would get to that point.  He froze a small area and did a little slice and started draining.  It wasn't a pretty site and continued for some time to get it all.  I'd never have imagined he would have got that much out of my finger.  On the way home it felt so much better.  Sore, but I didn't feel the throbbing.  It was just really sore and tender.  The tough part was he wanted me to try at least 3 more time before bedtime to squeeze some more infection out.  UGH...I guess I can do this.  Yes you can he said if you don't want to come see me again.  I managed to get it done.  

Before doctor
4 hours later

I had mild throbbing and I slept so good.  I still had to keep it propped up because it tried to swell up again.  It got bumped and banged all day on Thursday.  It's the pointer finger on my prominent hand so every thing I do uses it.  Starting my car, unlock the door, writing, typing.  As long as it doesn't go on as long as the elbow pain I'm good.  I was feeling a little better that day and of course on the prednisone I feel like superwoman.  I bit off a little to much. It was throbbing again this evening.  It still looks amazingly better though.  Not sure why the swelling is sticking around.  I thought by Thursday night it would be gone but not yet.

Here it is Friday.  When I show up for OT/PT both therapist and the hand specialist wanted to know the scoop on my finger.  I showed them the pictures and of course they wanted me to uncover and see how it looked today.  It's still swollen on the underside and numb.  The hand specialist said if it was staff it will take a full 7-10 days to completely clear up.  The OT was smiling at how excited I was that my arm/elbow feels perfectly normal on this prednisone.  Of course I did have the dry needling done last week with the PT on my elbow so she deserves some credit too!  I can't wait to finish the prednisone and see how it really feels.  We did some more needling on my back today.  Nothing fun about it but I think it's helping.

So there it is, between the FM pain and this nasty infection in my finger I just couldn't bring myself to type a post.  I've been so tired.  Not even checking my email.  I really need to take a little time and get some of my surveys done before they kick me out of the program.   I've done what I can to get a little exercise in.  Trying not to worry too much because I've done ok with the WW's.  I'd would like to have lost more but I gained one the week starting Thanksgiving and back down this week.  You never know?  Somehow I deleted my picture.  You'll just have to take my word for it.  lol

I'll be challenged next week starting my treat making for all my doctors and some neighbors I like to share with.  I just try to lick the bowl instead of a sample.  My husband and I didn't get to do anything for our anniversary so we are going to dinner tomorrow night.  After we're going to stop by the outlet mall and after I pick up what is on my list for there, I will be really close to being finished shopping for Christmas.  

My mom and I

Happy Birthday D and mom

Filled with H.O.P.E. this week especially.  Hope everyone is enjoying this holiday time and not feeling stressed out over it.  It will come and go no matter what we get done so take a deep breath and enjoy the reason for the season.