The contents of this blog are copyrighted to the author, Missy (unless otherwise noted) and may not be used, reprinted, published or in any way copied without written permission of the author.

The medical information contained in this blog (when it appears) is not intended to provide medical advice of any kind. Any medical topics discussed here are as they pertain to the author and her conditions only. Do not make any changes to your medications, treatments, etc. without speaking to your personal physician first.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I did it

I made it through Thanksgiving and I managed to cook almost the entire meal! Better yet, I did not hit a pain crisis to do it either!

We have a bar stool in the kitchen. It is for me to use when cooking or doing dishes, so I can do it sitting down. I haven't used it as much as I should have as I am more comfortable cooking standing up, the way I was taught. Well this year I realized if I wanted to cook the meal, I would have to use it. So I did. My sister-in-law Stephanie and my next door neighbor Diane both helped me with the preparation of everything such as cutting up celery for the stuffing, to basting the turkey, etc.

I had promised my husband that I would stop if my pain hit a 7 or 8, and let someone else finish the cooking. Well by the time it got that high, the turkey was done and everything else was in the oven needing 30 to 45 minutes and then it was time to eat. So I left that last bit for someone else to do and went to sit in bed.

I managed to spend the day mostly out of bed also and visiting with my friends who had come over to share a meal. This year I tried something new. We were all sitting around the living room (my dining room table won't fit that many people plus all the food so we ate around the coffee table in the living room) and each of us stated a few things we are thankful for. I know it might sound a bit corny, but I really wanted to add something special to the day because it felt special to me. I was pleasantly surprised when everyone agreed to it and participated without getting giggly, embarrassed, or anything.

It was a wonderful day!

My back has been more sensitive since then and I have returned to being unable to stand for more than 3 minutes, but I think I will be able to cook dinner more often if I use the bar stool.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Things Really Matter & Finally feeling a bit better

Well the pneumonia finally cleared up. It took quite some time and 3 antibiotics. Of course, I was able to tell that I was feeling better, at first, because I started to feel my back pain more clearly. Now I am back to my usual pain levels and the rest of my body feels normal.  I still have a bit of a runny nose and sinus congestion, but that's it.

I've met a new blogger. She found my blog and commented on a couple posts. She started her own blog in the hopes that it would help her to have a place to vent her thoughts and emotions. She also struggles with chronic pain due to a back injury which has caused depression as well. Her name is Leanne. You can find her blog here: Please visit her and welcome her to the blogosphere as she can use the support of others.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving on Thursday. I don't know if I will be able to cook the meal and that is really upsetting me. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner has become something I hold on to dearly and look forward to all year. It has become very important to me, kind of as a way to balance out the things I can't do by providing a good meal. On the couple of occasions when I haven't been able to cook the entire meal, I spiraled into depression. This year I am very worried that I won't be able to cook it at all because I am pretty much stuck off my feet almost all the time now. I will do my best, push myself (like I do every year) and probably end up in a pain crisis for a couple days. I will do as much of it as I can sitting down and have others help me with preparation for the cooking (as I always do), but I am really hoping to get through this. I don't know, it seems to have become a major deal for me. Like "See I am ok, I can still cook Thanksgiving dinner!". One meal, even though it is a large one, shouldn't be an indicator of how good or bad a person is, but this meal has become exactly that for me.

I guess it is a good example of how a chronic pain patient has to find other ways of defining themselves and other things to hold up within their own minds as proof that they are still "good". Depending on what we are physically able to do, those important things can vary widely from participating in a hobby, to cooking a special meal, to just doing some laundry to any other action a person can take. These things become the ruler we use to measure our worth and value as a person. As a result, if further injury or advancement of an illness, takes those things away from us the effect is devastating. It hits us directly in the self-esteem. It hurts and is scary. It reminds us that we are not healthy or "normal". It brings worry about the future. It bring depression.

To a healthy person having something that seems so small, no big deal, be so deeply important to a person doesn't make much sense. They often dismiss our fears, concerns, etc. because they don't understand how such a normal activity is not just a normal activity to us. I've heard "it doesn't matter who cooks the turkey. It isn't the food, its the togetherness and gratitude that matter". This is true for most people, but for me it does matter because this is something special I can still do for my family. This is a way I can show how much they mean to me, how important they are to me, that I can still do it so I am not completely useless. To be unable to do it anymore is terrifying and emotionally devastating.

Please, let me cook this year ok universe? please?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pneumonia...a good thing?

I signed up for some stitching related things, so of course I got sick. Seems to be how my luck runs. LOL

3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with pneumonia so I've been pretty sick. Lots of coughing, wheezing, and congestion. But I have noticed something about being sick, when I am sick I don't feel the pain in my back as much (this is a good thing). I think it's because I feel so horrible all over that it just kind of blends in or is overshadowed if I feel extremely horrible. So I guess being sick does have it's good side!

Though body aches on someone who suffers from chronic pain seems monstrously unfair. It's like "Ohhhh give her body aches, she doesn't have enough pain!". LOL I try to find amusement in things, it keeps me from going too crazy.

I'm not feeling as depressed as I was, which is nice. I'm hoping this improvement isn't just because I'm sick. I don't think it is because I am finally starting to feel better and the overwhelming sadness isn't returning.

Other than being sick, nothing else is going on. I am feeling a bit better today so I am going to try and stitch a Christmas Ornament for the challenge I joined. I was hoping to have at least 2 ornaments stitched by now, but no such luck. I'm going to try a simple design because my concentration isn't as good as it normally is and I'm afraid if I try something more difficult I'll just end up having to rip it all out.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still around. I hope everyone is doing well!