D and I are both hopeful that we will open 3-4 weeks earlier than last year with the help of the thermal cover we purchased last fall. We were able to close a month later than usual.
We do need some sunshine for that to work and we haven't seen much of it lately. I'm hopeful!
On to how all my ailments are.
My aching back: Same old story. I mentioned last post I was actually looking forward to my visit with my PM doctor. I'm never looking forward to any appointment but I know I needed some advise on my medications. I have to say for as long as I've been on the same narcotic it's worked relatively well for me. We talked last year on my pre surgery visit about changing because it had got to the point it was only taking the edge off and hardly reducing the pain scale number. I was, and currently getting about an hour to hour and a half max relief from it. He prescribes TID (three times a day) but I rarely take that way. As you know, if you've taken narcotics for chronic pain for any period, the longer you take them the more you need to get relief. You body becomes accustom to the schedule of taking it.
This past winter has been the worst ever. My PM doctor stated he couldn't tell me how many complaints over the last few weeks he'd heard the same thing. I told him all my bones hurt and he smiled only because he said he was waiting for that next. Something else he has heard a lot. So we did make the change at this visit. We have a good relationship and he knows what my pain tolerance is. He trusts if I tell him I've had to take as prescribed lately to get any relief that I'm at my worst. He knows I understand the longer I hold off the more relief I get down the road. Not to say it's always easy. Trust me, if it's a day that will be hard I take every alley I can. My stimulator runs 24/7, pain medicine and patch or cream.
The lateral epicondylitis: After 4 months of OT I was very impatient with it and sought advice from an orthopedic in January. He confirmed what we already knew. No arthritis, just a bone spur on the elbow. Good old tennis elbow. Takes time, he says. Yep, I've heard. Funny thing is about two weeks after I saw him I started getting some relief with it. I was so glad to get a break from the brace. I left it off and when ever it started bothering me I'd put it back on. I saw my OT on Friday and we did a review and release consult after my treatment. She was great. Always encouraging me that it would get better. It's not completely gone. I'm still doing the stretches and careful not to over do it. I'd say it's 80% better.
The mean Fibromyalgia: This goes hand in hand with my weight control. Shortly after I started the medication my rheumatologist started me on I reached a plateau. I've been up and down by 2 pounds since December. I can't seem to reach my goal weight for nothing. It's ok though. I'm happy I'm controlling the side effects of the medications. If I wasn't still following a plan I promise you I'd have gained at least 10 pounds by now. I really think I need to increase dose or take additional dose in the morning but I'm so scared of the side effects. I see my rheumatologist next month so I can wait until then to get his advice on that decision. It can be brutal some days. What already hurts intensifies, and areas that have never bothered you and have no reasons to hurt can be extremely painful.
Dr. Oz had a segment on Fibromyalgia this past week. I wish he would have committed more than 10-15 minutes to it. He had an audience member who had symptoms come up and a specialist went over the "trigger points" that are very tender to someone dealing with FM as opposed to someone who isn't. Why are they important? Because so many women and men are written of as having some other diagnosis because it is very hard determine if you have FM or not. For instance, most patients experience fatigue. Fatigue for long periods of time for some patients. That is a symptom of a lot of ailments. It could be from any number of things. Headaches are another example. I could name more. He made a point that made me feel better about something. He said, some women are actually relieved to get the diagnosis because then they know that people don't think they are crazy. There actually is something wrong. I felt a little that way. So many of my doctors said it was just a stem of my back pain. I knew better. I'd done to much research on my own about the illness. I actually agreed when my rheumatologist started mentioning it. When he officially put it down as my diagnosis it was disturbing none the less and a relief to know at the same time.
It's Sunday morning, raining and I don't have a place that is not hurting. Every area is tender to touch. I can remember seeing the commercial years ago for FM thinking how can that be? Surely they can figure out what is causing it.
When I was still working we had several patients diagnosed with FM and I was particularly close with one. The last two years I was there I couldn't believe the change I saw in her. Before I knew it she changed before my eyes. Looking much older and frail, I had so much empathy for her in my heart knowing the "ideas" people have when you tell them what's wrong. Including my own employer. I believe she was fighting it years, before knowing what was going on for sure. That was different for me. I started out with the attitude that no one but my family needs to know about what they "think" I have. I will however do everything I am supposed to do to keep yourself going. Exercise, watching my weight, keeping my bi annual appointments with my rheumatologist. A lot of people who aren't getting the answers they need stop seeking treatment. I stuck with him even though for 4-5 years he had no for sure answers for me but he always had plenty information. Ideas and suggestions for supplements. He is my favorite of all my doctors, and I have plenty!
Which brings me to....
My weight: I just said it to my husband this am. What is worse, to tough out the pain or gain a little weight? As much as I'm hurting this morning I'm really scared of the weight gain. It's already put 20 pounds on me once before. I've continued to follow my WW's program. My husband and daughter both will tell you that I don't play around with something I pay for. I'm not going to "estimate" or say to myself, well I've eaten good the last few days so it won't hurt to eat out and guess at it. I'm sort of OCD about it. If I can't figure out the points or it's not a chain in the app to know the points I'm going to pass. With all that said my point is the medication is trying to win. I'm on a low dose and feel like I could really use a stronger one. He wrote for BID (two times a day) so I'd have if I needed it. Hopeful though that a nighttime dose could keep me comfortable. Most of the time it does. I'd say out of a month I might do an am dose 5 times. Today was a day I needed that. I'm actually waiting for it to kick in right now.
When I started the FM medication I was two pounds away from my goal weight. There is no doubt I'd have hit it for sure. It's been a struggle though. It constantly fluctuates between 2-3 numbers but never have I dipped past that number I was at when starting the medication. I've hit it again a few times but mostly stay 2 to 3 pounds above that. There is no doubt if I wouldn't continue to follow a plan I'd quickly gain enough to not fit any of my clothes. I've always worried about controlling my weight because of my back pain and the challenge of exercising.
My Stimulator: Even though I've been frustrated with my coverage and my lack of support ( I feel ) from my St. Jude rep who I've loved and bragged about many times, I seem to always have it on and thankful to have it. I don't know if he is just so busy now he can't keep up with his number of patients requests. My last time reaching him it was quite disturbing waiting to hear back from him. He's told me in the past, "bug me". Well, I did. On the day we were supposed to meet he set me up with someone else because something came up for him. I've seen her before but not for adjustments. She was with him for several of my visits because she was training. We did ok with our meet, but I ran into a problem a couple of days later. I text and called her. Guess when I got a return call? Four days later. I had figured it out on my own by then, thank goodness. My stimulator was not making connection with the battery. I've experienced this before. One of the reasons I had to have the reposition surgery last year. By the time I heard back from her it was just so disappointing that she even called at that point. Like it was ok? Her message gave a reason why I it took so long and it was not even a good reason. I have to get over it because her and Mr. R are my only options for adjustments. I'm at their mercy.
To let you know how much I'm using it reflects in how often I'm needing to charge now I charged my batter yesterday and it had only been two weeks. It took 2 hours and 10 minutes. I used to go a month. sometime longer before charging and at most it was an hour. I've had it running 24/7 the last few months in this awful damp cold we've had. I've found if I turn down pretty low and leave running I seem to not be as uncomfortable when moving around in my sleep. I have 13 programs right now and can only use 2. I'm thankful for them, but even they could use tweaking. To have at the level I need I get the zaps into my side and stomach. I will soon just bite the bullet and reach out to Mr. R again. I need to do it before I loose placement with the 2 I have because it could be days before I get something set up with him.
Dallas: He has started a medication to help reduce swelling of the tumor in his bladder. He has good and bad days. Some days except for his bleeding you wouldn't think anything was wrong. Some days he is just so lazy and laying around looking pitiful. Our vet said at some point we will need to put him on some pain medication. He's still up for his afternoon walk and eating all of his food every evening and she said that is a really good sign. We are very hopeful that this medication will shrink the tumor enough to keep him comfortable and still active a little longer.
Sweet AJ and P: Things are going great for them. AJ nursing well and P is such a great big brother. Always checking and asking questions about his "baby sister". B had two week pictures of her and they are absolutely beautiful. Can't wait to share, but I have to wait until B sends out her announcements. They are on their way. She did share one of P and AJ together so I can share that one with you.
|Makes my heart melt <3|
If you are on WW's and always looking for a low point snack like me I'll share a couple I've been having. I have discovered Wasa multigrain crispbread. They are only 1 point a piece and I pile on a wedge of laughing cow cheese, also 1 point. It is a filling snack. Have a piece of fruit with it and a full glass of water and I promise you it will help curve your appetite until your next meal.
|Wasa crispbread with laughing cow cheese|
Another of my favorites is a pizza on flat bread or a bread that is called flatout fold it. I love the Rosemary & Olive Oil flavor. They can be hard to find sometime. Great for hamburgers or chicken sandwich too. It is made by same company as the flat out. Each kind is 2 points but the tortilla I used is only 1pt. I mentioned it in an earlier post. I use it to make a wrap sandwich and also toast to crisp and cut into strips to dip in my soup or chili. Today it worked awesome for my pizza since I was out of the flatout flat bread.
|7 point pizza|
For the first time in I don't know when I don't have any doctor or therapy appointments this coming week. I won't know what to do with myself. Really I'll be caring for Dallas. He's becoming a handful right now.
I've enjoyed watching the Olympics. D and I've enjoyed watching together. They're aren't many shows we watch together. A few shows that D and I watch together will start coming on again this week so we're looking forward to that.
Good night everyone. Have a nice peaceful and pain free week.
Filled with H.O.P. E. (hold on pain ends)