Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Action Plan

I attended the first of six sessions, about living with chronic pain. It was very interesting, and the participants were of various ages, with a variety of ailments.

And we were assigned homework. We were to read sections of the workbook we'd been given, and we were to devise and record an action plan.

Much like my one granddaughter, I left my homework to the last minute, but was given a reprieve when the meeting this week was cancelled. I went to lunch with my brother instead.

My action plan was to walk ten minutes, four times a week. I managed it twice, three times if I count the time spent walking in No Frills, getting groceries.

Ten minutes doesn't seem like much, but given the state of my knee and my back, I would be hard pressed some days to get it done. Other days, I could manage, if I remembered, or got my head out of a book or some current craft.

I understand why you need to do this kind of thing with a routine. It becomes automatic. The only routine I have for sure in my day is first thing in the morning. I would already have taken my 1st pill of the day while in bed, as that medication needs an empty stomach and no food for at least and hour.

The next pill needs food, or I'm nauseated and feeling sick for hours. So, I make my coffee, and sit down a muffin, or granola bar. Then I have a yogurt and take my other meds,as I have some swallowing difficulties with the big pills.

While I do that, I check my E mail, go on Facebook, check my two blogs and do a turn around Pinterest. Then the rest of the day id up for grabs.

But now I have an action plan.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Living With Chronic Pain Workshop

I signed up for a 6 week workshop entitled "Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Pain". It was an interesting beginning, and I have homework.

The participants were of various ages, suffering a variety of ailments. I was the only one with MS, as most had more arthritic type conditions, or diseases like fibromyalgia.

They talked about the difference between chronic and acute pain. I get that, my knee, neck and back pain are chronic, something I've suffered with for most of my adult life. The shoulder is new, so its acute.

This week we were to develop an action plan. One thing, one activity, how often and for how long we want to do it. I chose walking. 

I always have good intentions to go out and walk the circle of my court. I never seem to get it done. Yet when the dog was visiting (I dog sat for a week) we walked every day until it got really cold. Why do I need a dog to get me up off my ass and out for a walk.

Because pain is an issue, I'm starting off slow, giving myself a chance to make my goals, and not set myself up for failure. I said I would walk 15 minutes, four times a week. Hopefully I can work up from there, once I make it a habit.

I'm feeling a bit shamed into this. My 88 year old neighbor walks to the drugstore and back, and from here that's a very healthy hike. 

I wonder if shopping counts? Next time I go to Walmart, No Frills or Costco, I'm going to time myself, see if I walk, at least 15 minutes. Of course, I'd add that as an extra, not one of the four times I'm dedicated to do.

I don't think store meandering is quite the same as a well paced walk. Oh well.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Doctor's Appointment

I was fortunate to get an appointment with my doctor yesterday. This pain in my shoulder is wearing me down. There are so many things I do that cause pain, like putting on a sweater. picking up the saucepan from the stove, cutting veggies. Even taking a swipe across the counter with a sponge hurt.

Apparently there are 4 tendons that work to keep the shoulder functioning. These tendons can become inflamed, tendonitis, or they may tear or rupture. Whether you call it a rotater cuff injury, tendonitis, bursitis, whatever, it's all basically the same. Pain and it's location depend on  which tendon. Hereby ends the lesson for the day.

I'm going to have an x-ray and an ultrasound to determine what's going on with my shoulder. I vote for inflamed, and maybe the least invasive cortisone shot rather than a tear and some surgery. I'm all for whatever is least invasive.

Meanwhile, I guess crocheting is out, as all this got much worse after my crazy binge of crochet after the holidays. Even typing causes pain.

I may need to find another hobby to get me through this time. Something without a lot of repetitive motion to cause strain.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A Bit of Denial

I haven't been writing in this blog as regularly as I should...could, and I think part of that was to deny how I was actually feeling. It's been a rough few months, some worsening of old issues, some new.

Losing some muscle strength and having increased fatigue has sent me to my bed early in the evening, even though I never settle to sleep until late. I was having some eye trouble, and couldn't read but for short periods. Luckily, realizing I could crochet in bed kept me from going stir crazy.

I don't get out much, maybe once a week unless special events come up. I looked at my gas receipts and saw I haven't filled my tank since February 2nd, and I still have 3/4 of a tank.

Along with the flashing lights I've been getting, there's been some blurring, and being on the computer for long is difficult, so no writing.

Pain comes and goes, and I never know what kind of day it will be. Today had a rough beginning, but better now.

I have a new pain, well, months old now, but nothing I've felt before. My right shoulder is very painful, with various movements, like reaching back to put my arm in a sleeve or with any lifting. The pain is not in the shoulder really, but now is constant, running down from the shoulder joint to the elbow, and then there's the pain in my wrist and thumb.

I finally decided enough was enough, the heat, the analgesic ointments are no longer holding the pain at bay. Of course, when I called the doctor's office, they were closed for the day. Tomorrow for sure.

When I was first diagnosed with MS my greatest fear was losing my vision, and the use of my right hand. I can deal with the decreased mobility, but I need my hands and my sight to be creative.

Fear or denial, I'll make the appointments first thing in the morning. I've suffered in silence long enough.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Rain/Pain Connection

I didn't fully appreciate the last few days and the freedom from extreme pain. I can't understand why today I woke up in such distress, barely able to move with the pain in my back.

On days like this I seem to get clumsy, dropping things and having to bend over to pick things up, over and over again. And, of course, it's garbage day.

I've made it to my recliner and have the heat turned on,  I can only be thankful that it happened this week, and not last when I was dog sitting. I don't feel like getting up frequently to let the dog out, and standing, waiting for her to do her business.

Oh good, the heat is kicking in, time to sit back and put my feet up for a bit.

Maybe it's the rain, who knows?