If ever I needed to hear a mother's wise voice it's now. For many women, we don't have the option of calling mom to ask midlife questions. We end up spinning out here, losing our minds, not understanding that there's a logical explanation for what's going on.
I have laughed at older women and thought they were making too much of hot flashes and such but here I sit at the beginning of what can only be described at hell and I am not laughing. Who knew that perimenopause and menopause would make me feel crazy? ...continue reading "A Mother’s Knowledge – The Menopause Talk"
When I first went in to therapy I was nervous. I didn't want to be there at all because I knew I was going to talk to him about feeling less than fully supported by my therapist on the issue of suicidality. I feared he'd become defensive but he didn't.
I told him that he does ask questions but that its just information, nothing is done with it. It just hangs there. I said, you do ask how I'm doing but there's little of no response after I answer. I explained that when we talk about my anxiety he probes. He asks how I intend to manage it. I said, you are interested, concerned about those levels and it shows because you engage me. I explained that I don't feel the same level of interest or concern when discussing suicide. I said, you know, sometimes I call you and ask one question, "Am I going to be okay?" I started crying at that point and cried through the entire session. ...continue reading "THERAPY REVIEW: Confidence. Being Heard. Suicide. Perimenopause."
The medical doctor suggested that Gabapentin withdrawal, not Lyrica is the culprit and that perimenopause is also playing a part in this emotional and medical crisis. She made some suggestions to improve the terrible mood swings such as Dong quai and Black cohosh. The University of Maryland explains why I chose to use Black cohosh despite possible weight gain. Again, I've chosen the lesser of two evils.
The symptoms are quite intense. Nightmares, anxiety and deep despair are a lessor evil than pain so I went against medical advice and didn't reduce the amount of Lyrica I'm taking.
My first thought is to type, "I know its risky, but you don't understand," however many do. Many get that its difficult to make a good decision when all the choices can harm you. If I don't take a mix of medication with severe side effects, then I run the risk of losing my mind due to pain. If I take the mix of medication with severe side effects I run the risk of hurting myself if the side effects don't taper off. That is if the problem is Lyrica. I'll get to that later.
This is a catch 22 with the medication and I made a temporary decision to continue this treatment course with daily, in person, observation by three close friends who are not medical professionals. One friend a day will be here for the next two weeks. I have therapy 2x a week for the next two weeks. I've also got regular activities and volunteer work to perform so I'm covered as far as being observed and supported.
While being supported, I may be tearful, anxious or suicidal. I know that word suicide is a scary one but let me state clearly that living at this level of physical pain is slow murder. So I'm going to take a calculated risk beside a strong support team. ...continue reading "Lyrica – Against Medical Advice"
He said I'm just a ball of pain and that I need to stop blowing steam at him. I stopped, looked at him and said, Did you just tell me to stop telling you I'm in pain. He said, yes, because its nonsense. Then he said, "I'm just telling it like it is. I shoot from the hip." I pointed to the nearly 40 frames on one wall having to do with his military career and congressional awards and I said, "You're a soldier, are you?" I said, "Some people aren't soldiers. Some people don't shoot from the hip or like being shot at, at all." I explained that if he didn't believe me then that's one thing, but to say, "stop blowing that steam" and tell me I'm speaking nonsense isn't an acceptable way to speak to me. ...continue reading "Neurology appointment. I’m not a soldier."
I've done what I'm supposed to do, that should feel good. I don't feel good.
I'm still creating. Some get finished, other's lack substance and I lose interest. Today I made a third doll for donations (pics eventually) and a hat for myself.
Right in the middle of studying I had a full blown panic attack but I kept going. I didn't want to feel totally defeated. The problem was that I made one single, solitary mistake and it felt like my world crashed, like it was the biggest catastrophe on my heart. I had to get myself together over a tiny mistake that it took seconds to correct. Agitation. Agitation. Low tolerance for just about anything.
I listen to my frogs. I read. I played fetch with the dog again today; day three in a row. Playing with him today was forced but it was nice to see his tongue hanging out of his mouth and that big dog smile after playing so hard.
I want to care, mostly I don't.
I want to be in a good mood tomorrow and meet with what is now three people for letters to homebound Seniors in our community. I want to meet with them but I'm afraid. I just want to go to bed and put the covers over my head but honestly it feels miserable under there, too. Why? What is there to explain this level of absolute depression and flat out despair? What's wrong with me?
Just thought of something....... I've had a med change. It's the only thing I can think of that would make me feel this bad, so deeply with no real reason. I mean seriously, I want to just lay down and die. I can't explain why. Is it the combination of meds or something else? I talk to Dr. D tomorrow. We'll figure out something because today I hit my threshold.
I complained about Zanaflex saying I can't stay awake and that I can't tolerate this stuff, but I was violently reminded why this medication is part of my regimen. There is no justifiable reason for one's body doing this stuff, for spasming so hard that panic sets in. Again, I looked around for someplace to run, for a way to get away from myself. I have to remember to breathe, to use my coping skills for pain management so as to help myself emotionally through the spasms and burning sensations.
Yesterday it was my left side that bound hard, let go, bound up then let go. The thing is, at one point it the muscle on my left side spasmed and held. I tried not to panic. I went to the room and got in a position that helps ease muscle spasms in that area. I put my feet on the wall in a bent knee position to get a good, deep stretch. Also on the wall are trigger point pads for my feet. Since my feet are sensitive I have to put them under the hanging quilt so the points are dulled just a bit. The position helps. It took about 10 min in that position to feel a difference. By then medication time rolled around and I could take more Zanaflex....and sleep off the horror. I wasn't upset about sleeping, not this time.
CRSD is a violent, unrelenting, sadistic disease. I'm amazed at the different ways it can find to harm the human body and maim the mind. PTSD associated with medical trauma is no longer a new understanding for me.
It's a different kind of world when photos of your feet on a padded wall becomes a photo op for a blog entry. I wasn't in pain at the time of the photo.
She nixed the Gabapentin and Cyclobenzaprine which no longer work for me and exchanged them for Lyrica and Zanaflex. I'm already on Cymbalta with Abilify. This is a combination I've not had before, one I really need to give some relief. I'd take a level pain 7 with no questions asked. If they could just get me to a 7. I know there are a few moderate potential problems with this mix but being in pain makes me willing to take the risk. I'm monitored very carefully.
I said this wasn't the doctor for me but we'll see. The first two appointments with her weren't promising but it's gotten better. She was pleased to see that I've lost 23 lbs since August. She was pleased to know I got Clyde and that we're walking daily. Today has been harder than usual because my left knee is swollen, so our walks aren't as far away from the house. We walk the courtyard several times which is a good leg stretch for us both. ...continue reading "Medications. GP Impression. Decompression."
I got a call from a medical supply company saying I don't have the right kind of pain for my insurance to cover TENS unit pads.
I laughed. She said, "I can hear the anger in your voice." I said, "As we speak, my shoulder muscle is so tight that my pain level is rising higher than I can stand." She said, "If it were up to me I'd sell you a TENS unit on your insurance, but it's not up to me. You don't have the right kind of pain" I said, "Please read to me the dx on my chart." She read off 5 major illnesses. I said, "Tell me please, what kind of pain am I missing?" She said, "Neck pain." I must have neck pain for 3 months before my insurance will pay for the pads that make my TENS units work. I mentioned the current problem, the DJD, the herniated disks I've been dealing with for two years now. Of course I have neck pain, but that's not listed as 'a major event'. A major even? ...continue reading "Not the right kind of pain"
We talked about the grieving process. I haven't been emotional in front of people, which may make me seem cold to her passing. It's been more private and I'm certain it'll stay that way. I'm running, that's for sure. I need distractions; I have them.
One distraction is the mean streak of Betty. I could go on and on about Betty but why? Until I change it, there's no reason to go on and on. The woman is a constant problem.
I told Dr. D that I'm working on getting different transportation to the store on Tuesday's but that I have real problems in cars. The only place I'm terribly claustrophobic and scared is in a car. I need to know I can get out and I need to know the person behind the wheel won't attack me physically. I need to know they aren't going to start hitting me, slapping me, threatening to drive into on coming traffic, won't scream "I'm killing us all" followed by driving off the road to wreck the car. (Times like this make me think I hate my mother.) ...continue reading "TR: Jane. Pain. Alternative Medicine"