Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Short Vent

Isn't medicine supposed to be a science (and an art but mostly science). In theory medicine is to deal with facts, measurable data, quality research, pure motivations...and the like. Somewhere along the line the science has become so muddy with greed and ego I just don't see how we can still consider it so. Of course I understand there are good doctors who still practice the science and art of medicine. Those folks have a mountain in front of them to overcome if they wish to remain that way.

The industries of medicine have gone the way of most industries - massive, corrupt, driven by disguised greed, unconcerned about unintended consequences and human toll. I'm beyond frustrated with insurance, drug companies, hospitals, doctor offices, disconnected services, ignored symptoms, unjustifiably expensive products and services coupled with record profits year after year and a thousand other aspects of medicine.

I'm worried that my pain has gone on so long because of the many dysfunctions of the very industries that I've been depending on to help me. The consequence could be a pain path so strong that I may never recover from - even if the original cause is eliminated.
How are we supposed to navigate all of this? How do we know who to trust? What choice do we have but to trust?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Starting PT

I had my first PT session this morning and am happy to report that I really like my therapist. You just never know until you get in there... She was knowledgeable, experienced with my issues, kind and had an easy disposition. She seemed hopeful that there are things we can do to make me more comfortable - yeah!

Of course all the assessments involved pressure on various points on my head and neck so I left with more pain than I arrived with. Such is life. I probably would have reached that pain point anyway over the course of the day.

She sent me home with some exercises I can do, and I will happily do them. I'll happily do anything that might help.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This and That

I'm sitting out today's activities. Yesterday was a big day with 4 hours on the road and 3 hours out in the sun of Monticello, then running some errands before returning home again. As you might imagine I'm very sore and pretty tired still. Today the plan was to go see the Cardinals play the Nationals but that would actually call for 1 1/2 hours on the Metro (one way), 3 hours or so in a small hard ballpark chair in the heat, humidity, sun (poor air-quality alert) and then a return Metro trip more like 2 hours. I just couldn't put myself through that, especially considering I have my first PT appointment first thing in the morning tomorrow.

So I'm here at home, getting all my PT paperwork together and resting up for the Primetime Emmy's tonight. Since I spend so much time these days watching shows I get more excited about seeing these award programs. It's more interesting when you are familiar with most of the programs and actors. I might even enjoy a 1/2 hour or so of red carpet hoopla beforehand. This is what you would call an unintended consequence of chronic pain. A good nap in the near future will go a long way toward helping me stay awake until the end so I'll go ahead and add that to my agenda.

What are you up to today? Are you going to be watching tonight? Did you have a good weekend?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Out In The World

Today is a big day for me. I'm putting on make-up and getting dressed to go out in the world and socialize with other people. I'm sore and quite tired, but I don't have a migraine (yet - hopefully it will stay away all day). Mostly when I go out I'm only going to the doctor or to the grocery store and obviously I get dressed to do so, but this is different. I'm going to wear nice clothes, blush, mascara and even some jewelery.

Okay so I'll never look like this model from Mom but I'll feel like it and isn't that what matters?

When I was in Minnesota I had a lot of opportunities to be out and socializing - in addition to being good for my soul it reminded me how much I miss it. Before the pain I used to be a very social person. Being so far away and dealing with these chronic pain issues has just made socializing so difficult and rare.

Thankfully my husband's schedule is going to lighten up as we move into fall so we'll be able to do more stuff together, you know, out in the world.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mexican Cravings

My in-laws will be arriving for a visit tomorrow morning so I've been spending a good amount of time and a energy getting the apartment ready. Since our apartment is so small they'll be staying a hotel so there is some wiggle room in how clean and neat things need to be. My body is extra sore because I'm doing all the cleaning tasks I normally do in a week or two in a couple days.

I'm setting an intention for their visit that it will be low key and not very stressful. We'll see...

On a completely unrelated note I'm craving Mexican food with all it's cheesy, fried, sour creamy goodness. Just thinking about it I'm salivating - and I can honestly almost smell it.

Yum! What's your favorite Mexican dish?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ChronicBabe Blog Carnival

The latest ChronicBabe Blog Carnival is now available here. The topic this time is Arts & Crafts. Check out all the wonderful posts and get information about participating in the carnival.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sick of Summer

I'm so sick of summer!!! This summer has been miserably hot and I just don't want to deal with it anymore. The older I get the less tolerant I am of extreme temperatures. I do like the change of seasons (partly for the variety and partly for the change in wardrobe) and am glad that at least I live in a part of the country that has seasons of equal length instead of the crazy long winters of Minnesota that I grew up with.

If I were to design a perfect weather calendar I would have January 1st be the start of spring, which would last until July 1st, at which time summer would hit. Don't worry, it'll be over before you know it. Come August 1st fall weather would get started and last until the day after Thanksgiving. Then we would all enjoy what winter has to offer until the end of December. Just enough time to make Christmas festive and no more.

Honestly I'm not sure if I've become so intolerant of extreme weather because I'm just changing as I age or because of my migraines. Really cold weather causes my muscles to tense, which is an obvious problem for my head as well as my neck/arm/hand spasms. Really hot weather seems to cause my head to dialate - a pulsing will immediately result from high heat and humidity, ultimately resulting in a migraine.

What about you? How would you design the weather throughout the year if you could? Has your chronic pain been a factor in the weather you prefer?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Something New?

A new and disturbing trend has emerged in the last month or so as my nausea has spread from the days I have a migraine to all days. It is worse than it was before and now also is a daily battle. This is not good for obvious comfort reasons, but I'm more concerned about my weight. I can't lose any more weight and actually need to start putting more of it back on. I have some Zofran in my tool box in case of emergencies so I tried taking on just a regular day to combat the nausea - didn't work.


In other news, our lease is going to be up in mid-November. My husband's office has moved so we are seriously considering moving closer to it. It's not really far but it could make a big difference in the amount of space we can afford, which would have a positive impact on my quality of life. Don't get me wrong I am very thankful for our apartment - it meets all our basic needs and we can afford it. Two very big positives. But we don't have any outdoor space, any privacy, any nice neighbors, etc. So much of our stuff is in storage because the space is just so small. Since I'm home all the time it would just be nice if I could expand my stomping ground, at least to have a small patio or balcony to enjoy all the nice spring and fall days.

I'm already fantasizing about the move. It is by no means a done deal...but I can't help it. After two years in this small apartment I'm just so ready for something else. The search is on - slow as it will be.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Projects For Pain Relief

My nightly battle against contracting muscles has forced me to search out creative ways to keep my joints and nerves from suffering the resulting pain (I simply can't win any battle while sleeping). The first thing I did was buy a couple of those wrist supports for carpel tunnel.

While that provided me with some relief in my wrist it left my elbows and hands free to move, contract and hurt all they wanted. I looked in the store for something to brace my hands but only found thumb stabilizers. So for several months I had been tossing around ideas in my head and looking around the apartments looking for items that may prevent my hands from making their nightly death-grip fists. My first idea was to fasten something soft to the palm of my hand. I decided to puncture one of those stress balls (or in this case a light bulb shaped stress ball), run a piece of elastic through it, and wrap it in a piece of cloth to protect my hand from the inevitable rubbing elastic.
It didn't really work out like I had hoped, maybe if I could fashion the fabric into a sort of glove this would work better. Since I don't have a sewing machine I decided to rethink my approach, which is when I remembered how my husband had hurt a finger earlier in the year and we had taped a Popsicle stick to it as a stabilizer. Why couldn't I tape a Popsicle stick to all my fingers - or actually have my husband tape them?

This actually worked a lot better, but was rather time consuming as we prepared for bed and then again when I woke up. Because of the time issue I am not motivated to do this every night, opting to simply do this when the pain is really bad. As we move into fall I'm thinking I can buy a cheap pair of gloves and fasten the sticks to the outside of the glove. Once the weather cools down I won't mind wearing a pair of stabilized gloves to bed.

The next project was for my elbow. My neurologist had suggested that I stay away from the store bought elbow stabilizers, saying they are to constrictive and my muscles could atrophy with their use. She actually suggested this next homemade fix. I cut a rectangle out of one of those cheap foam mattress pad (they used to be egg crate, but now just come in patterns). The foam then wraps around my elbow, overlapping on the inside of the arm. Then I placed a paint roller over the overlapped area to prevent my arm from doing much bending. Then I had my husband tie it down with shoe strings.

I wouldn't want to have both elbows wrapped just in case I needed something in the middle of the night. It's not pretty, and completely impossible to put together on my own - BUT it actually did a good job of stabilizing my elbow. This is another thing I only wear when the pain is really bad, mostly because of the heat. I'm still trying to find a way to fasten it on my own. I tried making Velcro straps but it didn't really work, but I might try another version of that idea later in the fall.
We do what we can, right? I would love to hear about your projects. What have you made to better cope with your pain?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Waste makes me sad, and the older I get the sadder it makes me. I can hardly stand to watch the Kleenex Disposable Hand Towel commercials. Have you seen these?

The commercial talks about how your hands are only as clean as the towel you use to dry them and then proceeds to show a dirty white rag being sneezed on, and the dog grabbing it with his mouth, and kids wiping their hands... I grew up with 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 birds and an aquarium of critters, this kind of thing never went on in our house. It never went on in any of my friends' houses either. There simply is not a big problem with hand towels soiling hands. And even it the towel gets soiled, you can just put it in the laundry and grab a fresh one. Our houses are not truck stops or malls, do we really need protection from our families and friends in this way? Should we all install toilet liners in our bathrooms as well? This is not a product that solves an existing problem, rather it attempts to create a problem to make money and unfortunately creates more waste in the process. As if our lives were not full of enough waste. Not very responsible on the part of the Kleenex company, and kind of a sad commentary on our culture of waste.

I am regularly reminded about the struggles of people around the world. Not enough food, no clean water, or not enough water, disease and death as a result of this lack of resources. Then to walk the neighborhood or drive around town and watch how we treat our resources just makes me sad. Every morning when we walk our dog we watch the broken sprinklers spray water directly into the street where gravity takes it to the sewer (I've alerted the management, but they don't care). Everything in our stores are so over packaged. Do we really need the cardboard box and a plastic bag for our cereal? Do we need our street lights to be on all day and all night? Who pays for that?

I'm certainly no saint when it comes to consuming resources - being home all day every day doesn't help with that. I spend a lot of time online and with the TV on. I'm sure my showers are too long and bathing the dog certainly uses too much water. But I'm very aware and try to do what I can to cut back. While I can't be sure it really makes a difference it reduces some of the guilt I feel because of it. Here are some small things I'm doing to cut back.

1. Shut the water off when brushing, washing, etc.

2. Use only compact florescent light bulbs and turn off everything not being used

3. Unplug the computers, routers and all other blinking appliances overnight

4. Keep the temp set high during the summer and low (as low as I can handle, which isn't as low as my husband could handle) during the winter

5. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when I have full loads

6. Use those ugly plastic covers on the window during the winter since our apartment is not energy efficient

7. Try to buy products that have as little packaging as possible, and are not overly processed themselves

What I really want to do is have a garden and a compost pile but not really possible in big city apartment life. Can't wait until we move back to the Midwest and settle into a SMALL house.

Have you done things to cut back on your consumption of resources? I would love to hear what you do and/or suggestion for other things I can do?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Most aspects of living with this chronic pain are incredibly difficult. I hate not working, I hate being at home so much, I hate taking all these medications, I hate all the doctor appointments, I hate being in pain so much, I hate not being able to do all the things I used to do, etc., etc. I've become an accidental housewife (without all the money and kids that term usually brings to mind). Of course I don't do my housework in a dress and apron instead opting for the comfort of pajamas. Maybe that makes me a modern housewife...okay that may be a stretch.

My husband works very long hours and honestly is not very good at anything domestic so I have taken over everything at home. I do all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, bills, dog care (except the late night trip outside - too many bugs), dishes - well you know the drill.

Domestic chores can be tedious and truly never end but there is also an element of satisfaction in the immediate gratification it can bring. The sparkling bathroom, the tidy kitchen, the empty laundry baskets and the like all bear witness to the work that was just performed. However, the satisfaction is equal to the frustration I feel when the work is quickly undone by the next meal, the next shave, or the new pile of dirty clothes. This is life - right? None of us live in a magazine photo so all people have to deal with these daily tasks.

As much as I wish I could go back to my profession, during the 3 plus weeks I was in Rochester recently it occurred to me that part of me likes my role as a housewife. Something about the tradition of it feels good, even though I would never describe myself as traditional. I like taking care of my husband, our dog and our home.
Even though my husband (and I) would like for me to have a second income I suspected that part of him also really likes having a housewife. While I was away we would talk and Skype a couple times a day and I just got the feeling that having to suddenly take care of things around the house was a challenge. He seemed to have a renewed appreciation for all that I do and how it makes his life easier. When I got home I admitted to him that part of me sort of liked being a housewife and asked if part of him sort of liked having one. He, somewhat sheepishly, agreed.

I think we both were reluctant to even think these things, let alone talk about it because it's not politically correct - after all we are a fairly young modern couple who just fell into these very traditional roles because of the limitations imposed on me by my chronic pain.
In becoming a housewife, accidental or not, I've discovered how mutually beneficial these traditional roles really are. Don't get me wrong, if we are not able to have kids and I get to feeling like my old self again I would want to go right back to being a modern working woman. But in the meantime I don't want to spend ALL my time wishing there was more to my days than balancing feeling awful with household chores. My situation is not all bad, I am enjoying being a housewife. Now that I've had this revelation, maybe if I made that more of a focus my stress level would go down.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bee Relief

Several years ago my husband and I acquired this vibrating massage bee in a Christmas gift game with his mom's family. It's nothing sexual or kinky - it is just a massage aid. You press the tail and the bee vibrates so when you apply it to your back or neck it does the work for you.

We've carried it around for the past few years - using it occasionally but mostly forgetting about in the bedside drawer. Until yesterday, several days into this painful neck spasm, I remembered the bee. I dug it out, revived it with a couple fresh AA batteries and propped it up between the back of the couch and my neck. Ah!!!

Sitting there, just leaning into the vibrating feet of the bee I actually felt a noticeable difference. Even better, the relief (mind you not total relief) continued even after I shut the bee off and carried on with my day. Needless to say the bee will be getting a lot more use in the months and even years to come.

I'm actually using it right now...

Monday, August 16, 2010

More To Be Thankful For

Well my migraines are still daily but today's migraine responded to the medications. Just in time too. I was about to call my doctor and see about getting different meds or whatever she thought I should do. My neck muscles are in spasm still - for the most part I feel like someone has taken a bat to my shoulders, upper back, neck and head with every bit of those areas tender to the touch.

I know it hasn't been long since the last time I made a thankful list but I'm feeling like I need another one today so here it goes. Today I'm thankful for:

1. All kinds of great fruits and veggies in my fridge
2. Not having to go to the doctor's office or the ER
3. Air conditioning
4. My laptop and Internet connection
5. Ice cream with a fattening and rich caramel & butterscotch topping - yum!
6. Neck rubs from my husband
7. Washer/dryer right here in our apartment

I'm also very thankful for all my wonderful followers. I appreciate you all very much!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

PLEASE, I Beg You, Body!

The last several days have just been kicking my butt. I've had a migraine since Monday that I just have not been able to get on top of. For the first couple of days it was okay because this happens when I get my period. The period stuff has since moved on and I feel no better. The nausea that is normally annoying has become a real problem; probably because I just can't bring my pain down enough. I'm at a point that I can barely eat anything because I feel so darn nauseous all the time. A simple car ride can make me feel sick to my stomach. And because the pain just won't go my entire head is on hyper-hyper sensitive mode. When I walk I feel like each step is just a jarring stab into my brain. My neck is in spasm (of course) and it won't be talked into relaxing. My shoulders hurt and that goes all the way down both arms. My jaw is screaming and causing some kind of pain and ringing around the ears. I'm so tired and am certainly getting plenty of sleep but not enough to ease the fatigue. I'm taking all kinds of meds - much more than usual for this unusual situation.

Of course this is Saturday so I am not going to be able to reach my doctor for a couple more days. I'm seriously considering going into the ER just to get a day of relief - some time to function and have fun with my husband. This relentless cycle is like nothing I've experienced since becoming armed with all my meds. I've never taken more than 1 Imitrex in a day, yesterday I took 2, and then another this morning. I rarely take my Zofran but it always used to work, now it is not. I rarely take the Ativan because I don't like the long recovery from it, but I've taken it twice yesterday and today. The Imitrex either has stopped working or something has changed in my head/neck situation that is overriding it.

Despite all the nausea I'm quite hungry. But of course trying to eat when you feel your stomach turning and the room moving and vision blurred - well it just doesn't work. I can't afford to lose any more weight.

Going a bit crazy here. I'm worried about what's going on and I don't want the following week to be as ugly as this one has been. Please please please body don't get worse. I've been working so hard to improve things for us. PLEASE I beg you, body!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pondering Pot Part 2

I'm thinking about pot again.

The thing is that my muscles are taking over my body despite my daily dose of muscle relaxants. I'm always in pain between my head, jaw, neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands. I pretty sure beefing up my coping and stress management skills will make a difference but it's a long process. I'm also pretty sure the PT I'm arranging will make a difference, but it too is a long process.

In the meantime I wish there was something I could take that would give me a little break. Maybe some pot (eaten, not smoked) would relax everything. Maybe it could be the intervention that puts an end to the cycle of pain and helps my body jump into the relaxation techniques and whatnot that will make for long-term relief. I just can't think of anything else that would be a spring board over the gap. Can you think of anything?

I just don't know what I'm doing when it comes to that stuff. I can't help but worry about it reacting with all my other meds. Besides I don't know the difference between good stuff and bad stuff. It's intimidating but I'm pretty desperate for relief.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Headache Blog Carnival is now Available

The August Headache Blog Carnival is available now!
Check it out!

Still So Much To Be Thankful For

Okay, well my attitude is a little better today but I'm still in the thick of the bad stuff. Time to focus on some positives. Here is a list of things I'm thankful for today:

1. The ability to stay home while feeling so bad.

2. A late morning shower

3. Netflix streaming episodes of South Park - always funny

4. Air conditioning - it's so darn hot and humid here I can't imagine not having air

5. Shelves with food and a faucet with clean water

6. The good health of my husband

7. A soft bed to nap and sleep on

8. Internet connection which provides me a lifeline to the rest of the world

The world is full of intense suffering and there is no reason why I should be exempt from that. When I really look around at our little apartment my heart swells with the many blessings we have. I have many bad days (today being one of them), but there is always so much to be thankful for.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One of Those Days

The migraines that accompany the heaviest days of my period are always impossible. No matter how much medication I take they win. I know it is going to happen and it always does - so why does it take me by surprise every month?

I'm having a pity party today. Feeling crampy, achy, blah, hot, uncomfortable and of course there is the migraine that just won't go away. Thankfully the meds took the edge of the worst of the pain, but still... I've decided to just give myself today to whine and feel crummy. I know I'll still feel crummy tomorrow, but I'll feel so bad about whining today that my attitude will improve.

Do you have days like this?

Maybe now is not a good time to be blogging :) See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Don't Know Where To Begin

I hate to admit how fearful of and angry at the health care industries I've become. Nobody likes to deal with the hassle of insurance companies, billing departments, pharmacies, careless or thoughtless docs, offices that close at noon, medical records etc. The hassle really is taken to a whole new level when you start dealing with a chronic condition that keeps you involved regularly for years on end. I guess it's natural to feel the way I do about it.

I live in constant fear that I'll lose my insurance, or that it will become so expensive that I can't afford it (though I know I can't afford to be without it either). Right now I have a great neurologist but outside of her office I'm fearful about receiving a hastily given label that could impede my treatment. I'm scared of medical and billing mistakes. I understand human are involved and so mistakes will happen, but the medical establishment doesn't seem to have that same understanding. They just won't admit to errors (I'm sure some do - I just haven't seen it happen) so getting them corrected is very difficult. The business of medicine is so big, so wealthy and so powerful - being a chronic pain patient and customer is very intimidating.

While I'm no good at dealing the stress, anger and frustration I feel whenever I have to deal with the medical industries I have some strategies for dealing with them:

1. Keep really good records - of everything. Having your own files for every visit, every test, every bill, etc. can make your life a lot easier when you have questions or disputes about what happened.

2. Be polite and respectful when dealing with problems. This is SO hard. The last thing any of us needs is to deal with crap on top of the health crap we are already fighting. I've certainly lost my cool a time or two when confronted with someone who just doesn't care about "your problem." But the old saying is true - you get more with honey... You need people on the inside to be on your side in order to get a positive outcome.

3. Enlist some help. I just can't manage all of this by myself, especially in the migraine fog. I try not to make any calls without first talking to someone else about what's going on. Partly to vent and partly to make sure I haven't missed something or am not being unreasonable in some way. It happens.

I honestly don't even know where to begin in dealing with the most troubling aspects of the medical industries and the stresses I feel surrounding them. To say it is overwhelming would be a huge understatement. Mostly I try not to think about - that's right, some good old fashioned avoidance. I'm open to advice though...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Coping With A Migraine

This month's Headache Blog Carnival topic is how do you cope with your headache disorder. I've had this written down in my notebook for a few weeks now and have read it and thought about it quite a bit in that time. Sadly, all my contemplation hasn't paid off.

Honestly, I don't know how I cope. I don't know that I do cope, at least not well. Despite several years since my pain got out of control I've only recently started to focus more on living well through the pain. And that's something I've blogged about several times before. Maybe you've seen the lists - always including laughter.

Anyway, I wanted to take a different more literal approach to this month's topic and talk specifically about how I deal with my migraines. Right now I average 18 migraines a month, of course some months are better or worse. Here's what I have up my sleeve to deal with these days.

- Rescue Medications: I have some really great tools on my medication shelf that can help me manage the migraine pain in all the forms it manifests itself. Usually no more than 5 hours after taking these meds I'm able to function better. Unfortunately, everything else that comes along with the migraine (extreme sensitivity, nausea, fatigue, you know the drill) will stick around for the rest of the day.

- Grin and Bear it: I take my medications to relieve the pain so that I can still do stuff. Even though I continue to experience other effects from the migraine and of course the effects from the medications I go ahead and just do as much as I can. If I waited until I felt good to do stuff, nothing would get done. Honestly, getting stuff done feels like a great reward for powering (and I use that term very loosely) through it.

- Protect the Body: As much as possible I try to protect my body from the outside forces that can trigger or quicken a migraine. For example, wearing hats and sunglasses, drinking lots of water, being careful about eating regularly and enough, etc. But also I'm trying to do things that will increase endorphins and power up my immune system like working out (whenever possible), keeping a good sex life with my husband and eating healthy foods.

That's it right now. I'm working on a plan to help me cope with the stress in my life better because I know it will help with all the muscle tension that is literally taking over my body. Ultimately this should bring me some preventative power over my migraines, which would be the best coping mechanism of all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Passing Time

The last several days have been full of not much as I'm trying to rest my hand/arm as much as possible. My doc thinks this is just severe inflammation due to the very long drive, which makes sense as it coincided with my drive home. Today is the first day I've noticed a difference - an ever so small amount of improvement in the pain and weakness of the last week.
To occupy my time I'm watching a lot of TV and movies online and on my Roku. Of course, I usually have plenty of time to watch whatever, whenever but I'm actually doing more of that now (hard to believe it was possible). There is still some unpacking and cleaning to do but I just don't want this pain to continue any longer than necessary so I'm just not doing anything that doesn't have to be done. Thankfully my husband doesn't notice or care how things look around the apartment.

The X-Files season 1 has shown up as a Watch Instantly show on Netflix so I thought I'd give it a try. Despite the popularity of it back in the early 90s I just never watched (probably because my parents did). I'm actually getting into it though. The costumes and technology are of course way out of date but I don't mind, it almost feels a little nostalgic.

I'm also getting caught up on all my regular shows that I got so behind on watching during my time in Minnesota. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that not much is going on; watching, sleeping, napping and hey, still showering each morningish.

Do you ever have times like these, when even the usually low level of activity drops lower?

ChronicBabe Blog Carnival

My roadtrip kept me from participating in the latest Chronicbabe Blog Carnival
The topic for this 9th edition is
Lots of great posts - well worth the time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

100th Blog Post!

I got to see my neurologist today. She had just received the packet from Mayo as I was waiting for our appointment so we were able to go over everything that happened. Including all the frustrations - there is really something to be said for having an established patient/doc relationship. Even though it has only been 20 months or so since I've been seeing her we have established trust and I feel comfortable talking openly with her. She has a good amount of common sense, which helps that along greatly.

Anyway, she said she would try to find another TMJ specialist at Hopkins, which is really close by, for me to see. Shortly after returning home I received a call from her office, I have an appointment at the end of October - Yeah! She didn't know a PT in the area to send me to, but I managed to find someone via the National PT Association. Unfortunately, the person I chose isn't available until the end of August. Always better to wait for someone with the right experience instead of just getting it over with.

We talked again about botox. I just can't imagine spending that kind of money on something so temporary. Something about it feels like a band-aide; I don't think I can stomach more band-aides right now. I WANT THIS STOPPED! I WANT MY LIFE BACK!

On a completely unrelated, but more exciting note: This is my 100th blog post! I can't believe I haven't run out of things to say yet :)

Monday, August 2, 2010


Ouch! My left hand, wrist and lower arm hurt so much I can barely use it. This has happened before but, after 4 days, it has gone on longer than it ever has before.

When I was at Mayo the docs kept asking me if I have any weakness in them, and after much thought I decided that I wasn't feeling weakness, but now I'm not so sure. I can't hold or carry anything in my left hand with any kind of weight like a glass of water, or a dish, or even a box of cereal. The good thing is that I'm right handed, but even so I really use both my hands and am struggling to do things without my left. Is this weakness? I think it might be.

Why couldn't this have been going on while I was still at Mayo?

I can't help but wonder what could be going on. Does weakness indicate something? Thankfully I'm going to see my neurologist tomorrow. Today I'm just going to try and enjoy my birthday.