Agreeing with myself….

I have learned that life is not something to beat into submission, nor have me beat into submission, but is like the ocean. Waves come in, and waves go out. yin/yang. Up and down. Good and bad. I believe that what we focus on we bring to ourselves…it’s sometimes tough to not focus. 

 

I’ve begun running again. RUNNING WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS!! RUNNING WITH CHRONIC PAIN!! I must lose at least 40 lbs. I’ve lost an inch in my waist after 4 weeks of running. AND watching what I eat. Getting myself together and getting complaints filed and getting the money due to me. Long stories. I have felt as if I am a victim so long…too long. I had a wonderful husband who supported me. He’s gone now. He doesn’t support us at all. Not emotionally, not in any way or shape or form. Sad, actually. Even though we aren’t married any longer I would still support him, but he has tried to beat me down for so long and I have crawled back up. Running gives me strength. How it does this, I don’t know. Running brings me joy. I smile the most during and after a run :) My little sweet dog, Max, is my running bud. He is a Malti-Poo and a damn tough one :) He loves to run with me. Sometimes I go alone, and I hear him whimpering at the door as I walk down the driveway. Sigh…..Image

Where there is a will, there is a way…

Recently was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This explains quite a bit as to the joint pain the past 8 months or so. The pain in my shoulders and hips had gotten to be so bad that I had to refer myself to a rheumatologist. Although  my primary care doctor had taken bloodwork for RA, she did not apparently take the exact blood work that was needed. I received the diagnosis on October 1st. This may explain my heart attack on April 23 of this year. I have been started on meds for inflammation. Strong Anti-inflammatories called Etodolac…or something to that effect. It works fine, although I still carry background pain. However today was a rainy, chilly day and  I was more sore than usual. I see my doctor in two weeks and he may tweak the meds if I am not 80% relieved from the pain.  I am not at 80% relief for sure. I will have to read about diet and exercise and figure out this whole new person. This year has been something else!! 

The presentation is not always great, but the substance is.

Feeling body aches, joint pain, and ridiculous headaches are a part of life. Hiding these problems everyday from those I meet, work with, care about is the predominant feature in my life. Pain is my Google Calendar…why? Because pain dictates what will get done that day…and when it will get done. I have found that later in the day is better for me. Early part of the day is worse. Why I wonder? Wouldn’t rest overnight help the pain and clear my brain? My brain is clear, my mind is clear, but the pain is worse in the morning. 

what changes can be made in my lifestyle? Must must MUST force myself to exercise daily, stretch daily no matter how bad the pain that day. I know that there is something out there that can improve my life and the way I live my life. At this point, there is no way that I can have a regular, working for someone else go to a 40 hour per week job and commute back and forth. My days and pain are too difficult to predict. I changed primary care physicians and am looking forward to hoping to get some ways to decrease this pain even more. SIGH.

It’s a wild and crazy world!

My first post was about pushing through, sucking it up, and getting on with life. I think that the way I view the world is that nobody has pain, nobody has problems, nobody has financial struggles. However, when I take the focus off of myself, quiet my mind, I can see the world from a different place and realize that for the most part people don’t share what they struggle with. We have learned in this society to keep our struggles to ourselves. The signs of NO WHINING or jokes about Pull your big girl pants on kind of hang in our ears. People with chronic pain have learned self mastery. We wake up in the morning and know what needs to be done, but we have to assess where our bodies are at on that given day to determine how we will get things done, where we will get things done, and IF we will get things done. I have learned to just let some things go. So I won’t have a house worthy of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine cover. Not a big deal. Far more important are the ties I reinforce with my friends and family. This is what I save up my time for. I just wish my back and neck didn’t hurt so much…..

Never give up….never give up….never give up.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

I have always had dreams. I always knew what I wanted out of life. I remember saying when I was a young girl: When I grow up I want two boys, a small house and a big piece of land with dogs. I got all of that and lost it too. I believe that we attract what we think about, what we know, what we dream about. I love Wayne Dyer’s books and I truly believe that in all of these years living with pain, frustration, sadness for the loss of the person I used to be and trying to get used to the person that I became. His books have been amazing: “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” 
― Wayne W. Dyer

I know that I am judged. Daily. I am judged by people who see me leave my car, when I park in handicapped parking, and they judge me for what they perceive in me. That I am not handicapped enough to be parking there, am I using the handicapped placard from someone else.It’s neither of those, but my pain is kept well hidden. Every day I decide how I am going to get through the pain and how I am going to meet the needs of those around me or in  my life. As soon as I wake up, I know what kind of pain day it is going to be. Sometimes the days run in a series of days where my pain is incredible and unyielding to any medication. Other days it is managed and I can move through my day without frustration. Those days, unfortunately, are very rare and few. I am looking forward to having a better life. I know it will be better. I believe it. This I know.

April…it’s April already?

Well, I had my most recent injections last month (3rd set). Facet injections–3 and SI joint injection on left, plus L5 nerve root injection. Yikes. Sounds worse when I read it. Oh–forgot–my occipital injection. Prior to these injections–I began having excruciating headaches again. I mean–knock me into bed and leave me alone–headaches. The back and hip pain is excruciating if I don’t have these injections regularly. I mean–I am relegated to home and sometimes bed. Quite frustrating based on that I do not have any extended family here–only my two sons who can’t help me, I still help them. I am quite independent I suppose because I have to be. It would be nice to give up some of this independence for some help :)

In order to make a life for myself, I applied to and was accepted into law school in 2005. 3 weeks before my then 5 year old son jumped on my back to wrestle and I ruptured my disc in my low back. I persevered through law school. Never gave up. Never took time off despite surgery mid first semester and –oh I forgot–I also suffered for years from Stage 4 Endometriosis. So, I had a surgery every semester for that. Now my goal is to move on, deal with the chronic pain in ways to alleviate it, manage it, control it, and strengthen my body through a variety of meds, foods, exercise, and mind-body focus. God Bless.

the beginning of pain

I was a runner, an athlete–in my own mind anyway. A mother. A wife. An Occupational Therapist. An Auntie. A friend. I lost many pieces of myself on September 18, 1998, again in 2005, and most recently in March, 2011. I sustained a life altering traumatic injury to my lumbar spine in September/1998. I was 20 weeks pregnant and hit by a bus. Yes–a bus. Knocked over a fence and into my neighbor’s yard. My baby was born at 35 weeks. I endured years of physical therapy, surgeries, and what was to my new life–one of chronic pain. I never had to take anything stronger than an occasional ibuprofen before this accident. After the accident, I had trouble sitting, sleeping, standing, moving. Thank God I had my wonderful husband……until he just was done and he moved onto greener pastures where he reminds me quite often that he is in a wonderful relationship now and is very happy. Sorry to have inconvenienced you with my accident. :-? This blog will reveal more of what I have gone through to push through the pain and develop a new life. I have no other choice but to either push through or curl up in a ball. So–I push through and make a life for me and my sons (ages 21 and 13).