Tag Archives: chronic pain

Olympics, Doctor Visits, and College Sympathy Pains


— 1 —

I love the Olympics, but I find them terribly stressful. I remember watching Nadia Comeneci score the first perfect 10 in the Montreal games in 1976. She was awe-inspiring. I remember the “Thomas Flair” changing men’s gymnastics forever. I remember Michael Phelps as a gawky kid, wide-eyed at winning his first gold medal. But it all comes down to two or three minutes with the whole world watching. What if, God forbid, you have to sneeze? One sneeze could literally ruin a career. It could send a young athlete who has trained since they could walk into a life-threatening depression. Watching Aly Raisman’s parents while she was competing literally made my stomach hurt.

— 2 —

I watched them live when that was the only option, but as soon as I could record them and then fast-forward through the commercials and the parts that didn’t interest me that’s what I did. Yes, I was a day behind, but when I was working I figured out a way around that.
olympic results
Now that I can’t work I’m pretty isolated, so I don’t have to worry about people telling me results I don’t want to know.

— 3 —

I have to say I’m not crazy about the newer scoring methods on gymnastics. Difficulty was part of the calculation for the ten-point system, and we got to see how each judge had voted. I miss that. And is the women’s vault built differently now? What was wrong with the old way? And I always enjoy the men’s gymnastics, but I was distracted this year by Sam Mikulak. I can’t even tell you what the young man’s face looked like because I couldn’t take my eyes off his arms. He had a single, massive vein running down each arm. I haven’t stuck anyone for an IV in decades and I could have gotten a 16-gauge into each arm on the first try and hooked him up to an IV line the size of a garden hose. This is called “nurse porn” and we can’t help it. So if you have large, easy-to-see veins don’t freak out in the grocery checkout line if someone stares. They are just wishing everyone was more like you.

— 4 —

Since according to my husband and son I have no filter anymore (I think I just used it up), I over-react to minor issues, and am demanding and refuse to let go of issues until they are resolved to my satisfaction (I kinda thought the last two were points in my favor, but I was out-voted) I moved up all my doctors’ visits to “first available”. I started with my primary care doc, laid out the list of new symptoms (which also included high blood pressure everyone has ignored for a year, Left hip pain with a numb left leg, NEW moderate lumbar scoliosis, and worsening muscle spasms in my neck, shoulders, and upper back). He tossed me a bone by adding an additional blood pressure med. Gee, that was worth my co-pay (not).

— 5 —

I’d already seen my pain management nurse practitioner. If she were any more bored with her job she’d be comatose. I’d filled out a long form about my pain since my last visit and put it face-down on the desk. She never turned it over. I told her about the hip pain and the scoliosis, even pulled up the image on my phone. She said, “Hmmph.” Then she wrote me a scrip for pain pills and said she’d see me in a month. That co-pay was an extra $10. The next time I didn’t fill out a form, she didn’t ask for it, and I was out another $35 just to get a prescription written. I see her again this afternoon and she’s going to earn her $35. I need a new muscle relaxer. Taking half of the one I take at bedtime won’t work. I tried that one day – took it with my 6 a.m. pain pill in preparation for getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom at 8 a.m. No shower, just a potty break. But the next thing I knew both dogs were barking in my face because it was 11 a.m. – doggie lunch time.

— 6 —

I saw my psychiatrist this week, too. He wanted to blow me off with “Have you experienced any new stressors recently?” and “How long has this been going on?” I told him there were no new stressors, just the same ones I’ve been dealing with for five years now, and that the new behaviors had been going on for two months and he really needed to work out a system for patients with sudden changes, since if he hadn’t had a cancellation it would have been another two months until I’d seen him. Anyway, I got a new med he’s very optimistic about, and a new diagnosis I’m not very comfortable with. But if the med works I’ll take the diagnosis. We’ll see in 3-4 weeks.

— 7 —

SOOO many pics of friends moving their kids into Freshman dorms. I feel for them. I remember Aaron’s move-in day like it was yesterday. I was so happy for him, excited that he was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do, and making new friends and learning life lessons.
But I loved having him at home so much, and knew I would miss him terribly. The transition was tough in so many ways, and John’s next year will be even more difficult since he’s my youngest. I’m going to savor every moment of his senior year!

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Setting Goals for 2016

happy new year

I’ll be linking these up on Thursday at Mama Kat’s as New Year’s Resolutions, but after four years of college during which nursing diagnoses and care plans were drilled into my head I am completely incapable of making something so vague as a “resolution”. I set long-term and short-term measurable goals with specific time limitations and lists of actions to assist me in achieving them. Then I evaluate my progress along the way and adjust my goals and actions accordingly. Yes, that’s how nurses think. But we have the best stories, so hang out with us anyway 😉 Oh, and we also compartmentalized our lives as if they were different organ systems, all working independently but potentially spreading dysfunction from one to another. So my spiritual goals will be separate from my financial or relationship goals, but I know it’s all going to end up in the same bucket . . . so to speak.

 ~~~1 ~~~

Officially join the parish church I’ve been attending for years. If Michael doesn’t want to I will join on my own. I’m fairly sure John doesn’t want to, since he currently considers himself a Pastafarian. I’ve been putting it off because tithing in our current financial situation would mean giving up electricity or water, and I just can’t see that happening. But another of my goals may help in that area.

 ~~~2 ~~~

I want to keep losing weight and eating healthy. I’ve felt so much better in general after my gastric band surgery and my postop diet changes, and I’ve lost about sixty pounds so far even without aerobic exercise.

 ~~~3 ~~~

I would like to improve my flexibility, though, so I’m going to do daily stretches and very short walks when my neck and back pain allow. If our transportation situation (one-car family) and financial situation improve I’d love to go back to water aerobics. It’s the only aerobic exercise I can do without rapidly escalating pain, and I really have missed it.

 ~~~4 ~~~

I’m going to share EHT with new people every single day. Some days it just might be a telemarketer or the drive-thru pharmacy tech, but it’s a life-changing product. Go see Concussion with Will Smith and then tell me you don’t want something to activate the tau proteins in your brain!

 ~~~5 ~~~

I want to write daily, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. My goal is to publish a novel in 2016, and I have a few that are partially finished, so that may not be an unreasonable goal!

 ~~~6 ~~~

John will be a Senior in High School in the Fall of 2016, so I need to help him prepare for college. He’s taking EHT to help him focus, so hopefully he can bring up his GPA and do well on the ACT. Then we need to start narrowing down the in-state schools that offer what he wants and scheduling visits. At least I’m not brand-new to this one. Wish me luck!

My Halloween Costume


I’m totally stealing this graphic from Mama Kat. Go to her site and see what everyone has linked up. Theirs will be much more sane and upbeat than mine. I’m writing for me tonight, and if you’d like to read, that’s fine.

I’m dressed up as me for Halloween. Not the me everyone sees, but the me inside. I’ll have a vice clamped to the back of my neck, and the hilt of a chef’s knife sticking out between my shoulder blades. My lower back will be bruised and bloody, with my mangled vertebrae poking through. My hair will be a long, loose mess, because I can’t even wash it or comb it without my hands going numb. The clip or sock-bun people usually see – something they’d be embarrassed to go to Walmart in – is the best I can do, and probably took a couple of thirty-minute lie-downs with an ice pack to get through.

My skin is covered with scars. They are all words people have said to me, or about me. They burned at the time, no matter how long ago, and the scars won’t fade. Some are the little white lies people told to avoid me when I wasn’t of any use to them anymore. If you want to know who your true friends are lose your job, your health, your looks, and your endurance. Those few people who will still take ten seconds to text you back are still your friends. But then ask a favor – ask to talk to them about something you’re really excited about, something that has changed your life. They’re really not interested.

Then there are the wounds that won’t heal. They are burned deep into the muscle, but can still be read through the swelling and the black, necrotic tissue. DENIED, DENIED, DENIED on the tender undersides of my arms. BANKRUPT just below my collarbone, on the thin skin of my chest. That flash of white is my sternum. FORECLOSURE is much smaller, just over my hipbone. I can still hide it for now.

But I’m wearing my boots, and my head is held high. My fake smile is gone, and the nice manners with it. My eyes are cold and feral as a wolf’s. I’m damaged, but the anger inside me burns hot. I can and will take on any challenge to my family. Blood may spill, but never enough of mine that I’m not here for the next fight.

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