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Friday, January 29, 2010

Insomnia and Birthday

Wednesday was my 41st birthday. I got many birthday wishes through facebook and a cross stitch mailing list I am on. These well wishes touched me and made me feel good. I had a good day. My DH let me choose a couple of cross stitch books and patterns as birthday gifts. I will post about them in my stitching blog. I was very happy that everyone in the house remembered my birthday and wished me well. I'm not one for having birthday parties and stuff. A sincere "Happy Birthday" is enough for me. I got a chocolate cake, frosted with chocolate fudge frosting and shaved chocolate to decorate it. DH said that, as a chocoholic, he thought that cake was perfect! It was delicious!

I was really hoping my pain would give me a break on my birthday but no such luck. It wasn't a pain crisis, but I did stay at an 8 or 9 most of the day, even with my medications. Insomnia has returned the last few nights because I just can't get comfortable. When I do fall asleep, I wake up after only 30 minutes. It can then take between 30 and 60 minutes for me to get back to sleep. Apparently my pain wanted to celebrate my birthday with me. LOL

I'm going to try to get some sleep now. Who knows, maybe it will work and I'll get 3 or 4 hours of sleep without waking up every 15 to 30 minutes. That would be wonderful!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another day goes by

Today wasn't too bad of a day despite the rain. I talked with a friend of mine today. He had back surgery (fusion L4-5 L5-S1 I believe it was) back in August. The fusion is doing very well and his back pain is much better! I am so happy for him! He sounds a lot better than he did over the past year while he was suffering so badly with pain and multiple doctor's visits and their stupidity. Instead of that under-tone of depression, exhaustion and pain, his voice is clear, strong and happy. I am very happy for him!

I did some catching up on blog reading and some stitching as well. My back hasn't been too bad. Though I got another headache today, this time it didn't respond completely to Excedrin. So I've had a headache all day. I had to get off the computer because it was making the headache worse. Even now, looking at the monitor is making the headache more painful but I am still going to try to get this post up. I am pretty sure it is the Pristiq causing the headaches because it is listed as a possible side effect. The paperwork said it should clear up after about a week, but so far it went from a headache that went away with one dose of Excedrin, to one that has lingered all day despite Excedrin. Tomorrow, if I have another headache (if so it will probably be close to migraine pain) then I will stop taking the Pristiq and request a different anti-depressent.

My neighbor came over today and I gave her a few tips on cross-stitching. She started a design last week but didn't do very well with it. I think it was because she chose to use black fabric and stitched at night with poor lighting, thus she couldn't see the holes very well. Black fabric is not the best choice for one's first counted cross-stitch project. I let her borrow my book "The New Cross-Stitcher's Bible" by Jane Greenoff. It has a wonderful section at the begining about learning to cross-stitch. I figured it may help her to read it.

I did some of the dishes after dinner and a little bit of picking up in my bedroom. So far I have managed to do at least one chore every day this year. I am hoping to continue this and get more on top of household things.

Well that's it for me today! I hope everyone has been doing well!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Learned A Lesson I Could Have Lived Without

Due to miscounting on my part I ran out of my sustained release (maintenance) medication yesterday morning and could not fill my new prescription until today. I had a couple of my breakthrough pills left and those kept me out of major withdrawal but I got an idea of what my pain would be like if I no longer had pain medication. I didn't get a complete idea as the breakthrough meds I took did help a little bit with the pain but what I did experience was just horrible! My entire lower back and pelvis just ached, throbbed and felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly in multiple places. My legs were shaky, tingly, pins & needles with occasionaly sharp shooting pains. If it had gotten worse I know my legs wouldn't have held me up. So I learned that if I ever get taken off my pain medication, I will not be able to walk due to the pain. I know that I would not be able to live with that kind of pain on a daily basis, it would kill me. I figure I'd be suicidal within a few days at the most, if not faster.

Besides hurting like absolute hell this experience scared the shit out of me! The idea that I would be in such horrendous pain, unable to walk, and (without medication) without any chance of relief, just terrifies me. It is hard enough dealing with the pain I do feel and its impact on my day to day life; I know I wouldn't be able to live with the amount of pain I would have without my medication. Yesterday showed me that very clearly. I also know with the DEA getting more involved with how doctors prescribe pain medication, and how difficult it has become to get my prescriptions on a monthly basis, that it is very possible that the day will come when I can't get pain medication anymore. The DEA does not belong in the middle of the doctor patient relationship. The DEA should not have the power to decide which patients deserve pain medication and which ones do not, irregardless of the doctor's opinion.

There was a booklet in my doctor's office yesterday that talked about the guidelines the DEA is giving pain management doctors. Under no circumstances is a perscription to be replaced if the patient said they lost it, it got damaged, or stolen. Same with an early refill. The patient is to be considered a drug addict or a drug pusher who has sold their medication and/or prescription or somehow diverted them. There is no room for accidents or anything else.

Another thing is my prescriptions must be exactly 30 days apart. No more overlap is allowed. It used to be that a patient was given about a week's overlap in their prescriptions. This was to allow for the possibility of their appointment being moved (which my doctor's office has done for every appointment I've had for the last 6 months) to a day after they run out, or the patient winding up in the hospital and missing their appointment or things of that nature. This is no longer allowed. If a patient is found to have more than a 30 day supply they are discharged from care and considered an addict, assumed to have bought street drugs. This counts even if the prescription is written for the patient to take it on an "as needed" basis; such dosing often leaves a few pills left over at the end of 30 days if the patient only takes it when they really need it. It is just insane.

Its yet another example of how a few people can end up screwing up the lives of everyone else. It is so frustrating.

OK I'll stop ranting now. I havne't posted in a while because my depression came on strong the last couple of weeks. I just didn't feel like blogging or anything else. I did force myself to stitch at least a few minutes every day even if I didn't enjoy doing it. As my pain has allowed I have also forced myself to do some household type chores as often as I could. So far I've done at least a load of laundry every day with more days of me doing more chores than that. I'm proud of myself for continuing to do things even when I would have preferred to just vegetate all day. I did finally get a prescription for a new anti-depressant and I took one last night. They make me drowsy, but I expect they'll stop doing that within a couple weeks, once my body adjusts to them. I am hoping they will help with the depression, which would help a lot.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Year In Review

Due to my back and pelvis I don't do a whole lot like go to the movies, an amusement park or things of that nature. But despite that 2009 just flew by! The best, most challenging, difficult, rewarding and wonderful part of the entire year was having my niece in the house. At least 5 times every day she made me laugh with her antics. She did something that made me a bit sad as well, mostly because I remember my son doing the same thing at her age (2 years) and it made me remember just how my disabilities have negatively impacted his life. Anyway, there was a day a few months ago where I tripped and ended up on the floor. I didn't fall thankfully, but I knew my legs were giving out so I lowered myself holding on to the chair to save myself from falling. (Would have fallen into the chair but I was behind it and knew walking was out of the question!) Bridgette got scared and started to cry but she stopped real fast when I told her I was ok. She said "Ok!" then grabbed my hand and pulled "Ahma! Bed!". When I was able to get up, she actually led me to bed and told me to get in, which I did. She then covered me with the blanket and said "night night ok?". She was so cute and so serious I tried not to laugh and I thanked her with a hug and a kiss. It was just so cute! Having her here has been wonderful! I've always loved children and did want to have more than 2, but my body can't handle it. I am so grateful that I get to share her life and watch her grow, discover, and learn. Watch her play, laugh, and mimic what we do. It is wonderful!

Homeschooling Kyle again this year hasn't gone as well as I had hoped. Mostly because my back makes things like field trips very difficult. I am determined to make things a bit more fun for him when we start up again after the Christmas break. I am very proud of Kyle, he has done very well. I especially love it when something I am teaching him fires his imagination to the point that when he gets on the computer, instead of playing a game he starts looking for more information on that topic! He then tells me all the new things he has read and how it has made him think of things in a different way. I love it when his curiosity blooms like that! He still hates math but loves science and sometimes he likes history as well.

My daughter Sam has had her ups and downs this year. Learning that she will live with chronic pain for the rest of her life, was very hard on her. Of course this caused her to have many worries and concerns, but she has handled them very well. I am so proud of her! She did not revert to her old behaviors for dealing with stress (violence, verbal abuse, cutting), instead she used all the tools she has learned over the years and dealt with it all very well. She has a boyfriend now, who is just wonderful! He treats her very well and sees her for the person she is, not for her pain. I am so happy for her and I hope the relationship continues as it is wonderful to see her so happy.

DH and I had our ups and downs this past year as well. More ups than downs though, which I really like. He continues to be very supportive, loving, and understanding towards me. He has been very supportive in my bid to overcome the depression that ate me alive for most of the year as well as in my bid to get off my butt more often and do more around here. I am very blessed to have finally found a man like him and I love him so much.

For me this past year has been a struggle mentally, emotionally and physically. Fighting depression is becoming harder for me. Once I get back into the "do nothing" mode because of pain, it is very hard to recognize it and then pull myself out of it. My desire to stitch disappeared for most of the year, though it has woken up the last few days and I started stitching a Joan Elliott design last night (hopefully will have WIP pics for my stitching blog tomorrow). I have worked very hard to get back to cooking for my family, cleaning the house and running errands. I'm not where I want to be, but I have made a start and that makes me feel good. The hardest thing is not beating myself up too badly when I fail or backslide a little bit. Being depressed doesn't help with the pain as it makes it seem so much worse than it really is. It lowers my pain tolerance level and causes insomnia. My pain has been okay over this last year. Not my best year, but not my worst either. Hopefully as I continue to move around, I will get stronger and in return that strength will help me control my pain and even lower it a bit. I know some of my pain is caused by weak muscles that hurt when I use them, not just the broken joint etc.

I'm hoping that I can continue my progress for 2010!

My goals are to continue to do stuff around the house daily, stitch for at least an hour a day, work a bit harder to make home-schooling more fun for Kyle, and continue to fight the depression. I also hope to successfuly quit smoking but I'm not going to promise that one. LOL