Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hope

My face wasn’t doing good last week. I mean, it’s never good, but last week it got worse. One day it just went off the charts for me.

This is what used to happen with my back. It would be bad, and I would learn to cope with it at that level. Then it would get worse, and I had to learn to cope with it at that new level.

I suppose that’s what living with chronic pain is like. It’s always there, so you kind of get used to it. Then it sends in a reminder. Just in case you had forgotten. If only..........

I felt like I had been coping with my face a little better before this last episode. I actually felt as though I was getting my life back on track. You know, like actually getting out of bed and getting dressed in the mornings. Then wham, bam, here we go again.


My GP had received a letter from the pain clinic a couple of weeks ago suggesting a new med for me to try. At that point, I was doing that bit better, and the thought of a new med actually scared me. Going through all the starting from scratch with it, the side effects, then of course, the big one - is it actually going to help?

My GP completely understood, and agreed with me. If I am doing ok on what I am on, there is no point in changing. Of course, the pain clinic hadn’t sent that letter just for the fun of it. It was because the pain clinic nurse called to see how I was doing a few weeks ago, right bang slap in the middle of a bad spell. So they were trying to help. It was shortly after I spoke to her that I had that little bit of a better spell. Then I get another bad spell. It can be like being on one of those rollercoasters. One day you're up, next your down. I guess I am just grateful for the 'up' days.

I am hoping that it was just a bad spell last week, and hopefully it will stay calmed down. Just now, it’s not too bad, but my teeth are feeling as though they are on the verge of going crazy. Or maybe that's just me......

But at least if it all does get worse again, then I know that there is another option out there for me. And I suppose it’s good to know that there are other options.

There have to be other options. And there has to be knowledge that someone is wanting to help.

But most of all, there has to be hope of finding a way out of this illness.

We need hope. A lot of hope.

We really need it.........

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crazy, but nice crazy....


My last couple of posts have been a wee bit depressing about coping and about all my pain, whether it be on my face, my back or those silly ribs. I never wanted to have my blog full of doom and gloom all the time because, as I’ve said before, I am a positive person and I do try to keep a smile on my face every day. 

I said way back in the beginning that maybe I should compose a list of all the things which make me smile. I reckon a list is kind of impractical since if I started, well, I don’t think I’d know when to stop. Yes, there are that many things........

One of the things, well, it's not just one thing......it's my nieces and nephews. I have plenty of them and a few of them now have also had children, making us Great Auntie and Great Uncle. (But weren’t we always great???) That does make us feel old though!!!
  
Just a few nights ago, we got the news that one of our nieces had delivered a nice healthy baby girl. A beautiful girl with a beautiful name. Nothing better than a new baby to make you smile.

It is nice having a lot of nieces and nephews. Nothing like getting a hug from them when you see them. Nothing like being given a drawing or a painting especially made for you. When I was a bit fitter I used to get into the kitchen with them and we’d make cakes. Icing sugar everywhere, but I loved it. Now nearly all of them are old enough to be making cakes themselves, getting icing sugar everywhere in their own kitchens.

I always had great fun when we have had them come to visit. From nail painting to climbing mountains. (Actually, it wasn’t a mountain, and we drove up, but it felt like a very long climb!!) But I always enjoyed their visits. Not always relaxing, but always enjoyable. Acually, sometimes it was relaxing..... I used to pay some of them fifty pence for a foot massage. And they did it! I think I’d need to pay more than that nowadays.

One of my nieces Skyped me this morning. She is living is Spain and tells me that she has now grown up. And she is only 26!!! She is a bit crazy. Actually, not a bit crazy......she is very crazy. But crazy in a nice way. I won’t mention her name, but many people who read my blog will know exactly who I am talking about. There is only one of her. (Thank goodness......I don’t think the world could cope with two!)

Seriously, she is my niece and I love her........but she is definitely crazy. I really shouldn’t say too much, because she is a bit infectious, and whenever I am around her, I do become ever so slightly crazy too. Nice crazy though!  Maybe not even crazy - just a bit silly. We have this thing about singing.  But neither of us can sing. But we both love to. Normally Christmas songs. Oh, and Abba songs. We just get louder and louder and more and more out of tune and drive every one else crazy. Not so nice crazy though......

Anyway, none of my nieces or nephews are any more special than the others. But some are definitely crazier! But whether they’re crazy, quiet, shy, whatever......each one of them has made me smile.

And I think that my ‘crazy’ niece may be an example to everyone.  I'm not sure that I would like her to grow up completely. Maybe none of us should grow up 100%.

It's nice to keep a little bit of silliness in your life.




Friday, February 17, 2012

Coping

Living like this really drags me down sometimes.

The chronic pain.

It just doesn’t go away.

Of course, then I had to have that fall and give myself cracked ribs on top of everything else. That pain is still really bad, but I’m kind of getting used to it now. Just another pain to add to the list.

I do get some good days. But to be honest, the good days aren’t really all that good. And they probably won’t ever be.

I’m not being negative or a pessimist by saying this. I’m being realistic.


I am sure that life is the same for most people who suffer from a chronic painful condition.

Many chronic pain sufferers don’t actually have a life.

They just cope.

Every day.....they just cope. Somehow.

I often say that I think of myself as a positive person. But that’s not to say that things don’t get me down sometimes. That’s ok. It’s allowed. I am human after all. Just as long as I don’t stay down for too long. I need to be able to get back up again. And the longer I’m down, the harder it is to climb back up.

Other people think of me as positive too. A friend told me the other day that I have great spirit. She doesn’t think that she could ever cope with what I live with. But she could. Most people could. That is just how we are made. We have something in us which makes us cope with whatever life throws at us. And when we’re coping with that, it can throw us something else and we learn to cope with that too.

So maybe we are actually all the same. Me, coping with my pain, someone else coping with family troubles. Someone else coping with their money worries or problems at work.

 So maybe I’m not any different from anyone else. Maybe we are all coping. Just coping with different things.

But for most people, they cope as well as having a life.

But for many people with a chronic pain condition - they just cope.

Chronic pain IS their life.





Monday, February 13, 2012

TN, Back Pain, Joint Pain, Now Cracked Ribs....What Next?




Yep, that's me -  I'm Cracking Up!

I met with a little accident just over a week ago and hurt myself badly.

As if I don't have enough to deal with!

Hubby and I had been watching a film in bed. I had been desperate for it to end, since for the last half hour of it, I kept nodding off to sleep. So, whenever it finished at one o'clock, I got up to go to the loo. I didn't even need to go - just habit!

Somehow, I don't quite know exactly how, but  my foot got tangled in something lying on the floor (that'll teach me for being untidy!) and the next thing I knew I was falling. And with quite a force too.

I bashed my back against the wardrobe, then slid down it, and caught it again on a chest of drawers. Ian couldn't get out of bed fast enough to come to help me. I was screaming in pain. It's actually a bit strange. I can remember hearing myself scream, and thinking, this is ridiculous screaming like this, but I couldn't stop. The scream just seemed to go on and on.

Ian got me picked up off the floor and my back hurt so much that I was sure that I had done some damage. He got me sitting down, but I kept feeling as if I was going to faint and I couldn't breathe. Probably because there was no air left in my lungs after that ginormous scream! Ian said I had absolutely no colour in my face - even my lips had turned white. I did calm down eventually, but the pain in my back was really bad and I have to say, I was really worried. Ian offered to get me some painkillers, but as my face had been really bad that weekend, I was already at my limit for the day, so could take no more. But by five in the morning, I had to take some tablets. It had become so painful.

On Monday, I convinced myself that it was just muscular. I don't know why I say "just".  There is nothing "just" about muscular pain. It can be severe. Extremely severe! But I didn't see the point in running to an emergency GP, or an hour's drive to our nearest casualty department. I had an appointment arranged to see my usual GP on the Wednesday, so I decided it would keep until then. As you know, I already live with chronic back pain due to my scoliosis. So I kind of felt like it wasn't too seriously injured despite the pain. I also have Osteoporosis, which means that my bones are thinning and could break easily. (I think I conveniently forgot about that!) Obviously, had the pain become worse, Ian would have taken me to casualty.

But I managed to last until the appointment on Wednesday....I couldn't drive because of the pain, so hubby took me down. I struggled to get out of the chair when my name was called, so hubby helped me up.

My doctor listened to my story and took a look and reckoned that it wasn't "just" muscle pain, but that I had probably cracked my ribs when I fell against the wardrobe. And the treatment for cracked ribs......nothing. You just need to keep them until they get better. Which is what I am trying to do. With a lot of oooohs, aaaaaarghs and squealing noises.

It hurts. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to laugh.  Hurts to cough. Hurts to sneeze. Hurts to yawn. Hurts to stand up. Hurts to sit down. Lie down. Get back up. Open doors. Close doors. Basically.......it just hurts.......all the time. It hurts!!!

Oh, I forgot to mention hiccups. Cracked ribs and hiccups do NOT go well together. Hiccups are the worst of all! (If you read this and know of a hiccup cure, please write in the comments box. Even if you don't know of a cure, I'd be happy if you would write in the coments box!)


You may remember from previous posts, I already had sore ribs. One doctor thought it may have been an osteoporosis crack. That was the other side, but the pain was nothing like this.

So, yes, I think I have started Cracking Up.

And I don't think that a tube of Superglue will fix me!!!





Saturday, February 04, 2012

No Business Like Snow Business


Feeling a bit brain dead this morning. I had an argument with hubby earlier about what day of the week it was. I was convinced this was Sunday. Hmm.....had to look at the computer to check. Then had to tell him he was right. Again....lol!

It's the tablets. They get the blame for everything.

So.....Saturday the 4th of February and it seems like winter has decided to make an appearance today. A little snow....but it is absolutely freezing cold. I'm glad we don't need to go out. I would suffer going out in that cold.

Hopefully we don't get too much of that cold, white, fluffy stuff. But there is one member of the household who absolutely loves it. The minute he sees it, he is desperate to get outside, get his nose into it and kick it up with his heels. No, not Ian. It's the dog. Red absolutely loves playing in the snow.

A couple of years ago we had a really bad winter here. We were well and truly snowed in. But Red thought he was in heaven. We couldn't get out to get milk or bread,  but our dog was the happiest dog on the planet. This is a photo of him that winter. I'm sure you can tell that he was kind of happy.

I just wish I didn't have TN - I'd probably be out there throwing snowballs for him.



Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Friends


Friends - I used to love that show. Maybe a wee bit sad.....but definitely true. I loved it. I couldn't wait for it to come on. I watched the re-runs over and over, so I probably knew the script as well as the actors. I even shed a tear when the last programme was shown. The Friends theme tune instantly lifts my mood and has me singing along "....I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to fall....." I would even dance about the room like a teenager if I was fit enough.


Living a life with chronic pain, whether it is from Trigeminal Neuralgia, back problems or any other condition, does change your life so much. Everything changes....including friends. You can't go out. You don't feel well enough to have visitors sometimes. You just want to live in your own little world most of the time.

But I have to say that I have some great friends. They are friends I have met online. Now, I know that some people would argue with me and say that they can't be 'real' friends. Well, I would disagree. They are as real as they get.

Friends who I play Scrabble with, friends who also have TN, friends who I share hobbies with. Sometimes it's strange how we have come to meet.....but we have and they are all real friends. And I am so glad to have met them.

Some of them have "been there for me, when the rain started falling". Friends who listened to me when my Mum became ill and later died, friends who listen to my moans and groans about my pain day after day, friends who try to cheer me up when I am down. It works both ways......I try to do the same for them. When they have problems, I listen. When they have good news, I am happy for them. When they are worried or upset, so am I.

We are there for each other through good times and bad.

They are "real" friends.

Yes, I live in my own wee world most of the time. But I am happy to say that I have a lot of friends who share my wee world every day. And I really do not know where I would be without those friends. They are very special people.