Thursday, December 29, 2016

Good-bye 2016, Hello 2017

This has been an all-around tough year so I'm fairly glad to see it coming to an end. Like every year, I'm hopeful that the new year will be better than the last. While I certainly don't know what changes and surprises 2017 has in store, I do feel like hubby and I are setting ourselves up to make some purposeful changes in our life - and I'm excited about that.

I'm also feeling some anxiety and fear. I'm worried about the coming changes to the health care laws. I'm worried about the pain in my hands and feet. What if the medications don't help? What if I have to live the rest of my life with this increased pain? What if I am never able to return to any of my hobbies? How do I cope with this? 

I know 2017 is going to be full of challenges for me. I hope I will tackle these challenges with some courage and, ultimately, triumph over them. I could sure use a win.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Shopping with Migraines and Fibromyalgia

Christmas is almost here.

The onset of severe hand and foot pain this past August has made the holidays a real challenge. Even after abandoning the very thought of doing any holiday baking or bringing a dish to pass, I've still needed to do some shopping and some wrapping of gifts, which has aggravated both my hands and my feet.

Of course I did as much as I could online but online can't always take the place of shopping in a store. In a store you can look around and get ideas. You never know when you might stumble upon something wonderful that you never would have imagined. The item may be available online but you can't really do a search for something you don't know exists. Plus, it can be hard to get an idea of the quality of an item online. Pictures can be quite deceiving.

This year we found several gems in the stores and so I was glad we went shopping but, unless I get to feeling much better soon, I don't know that I can do this again. Every moment I'm on my feet I'm aggravating my foot pain and the more aggravated my feet get the worse the pain is even when I'm resting. Not to mention how difficult it then makes doing basic things around the house like laundry.

The wrapping was a big mistake. Everything I do with my hands aggravates the hand pain. Every. Single. Damn. Thing! I need my hands for showering, dressing, eating and drinking. The wrapping was an unnecessary aggravation. One that hubby will have to do from now on.

Going to the stores is always further complicated by the migraines. I can make a plan and rest my hands/feet all I want but if the day comes and I have a migraine none of that matters. No plan is ever safe, not even Christmas with the family.

Maybe the thing to do is make Christmas preparations a year long activity. We can keep our eye out for gifts all year long. Perhaps I can ask everyone to make an amazon wish list or just give only gift cards. Or maybe I'll actually find a way to control this new pain better. Obviously, that would be the best solution.

Christmas is the least of my problems if this pain persists.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Now on Medication Trial #3 for Nerve Pain

As expected the gabapentin made my nerve pain worse, so I'm off that. My doctor then prescribed Lyrica, which looks to me to be very similar to gabapentin. As expected, after 3 short days on Lyrica, I was having the increased nerve pain and trouble focusing my eyes.

Now that I'm done trying the two drugs I was fairly certain to have adverse reactions to, I'm ready to start trying to ones that have a better chance to being effective. I'm not sorry to have tried them again because I am just that desperate for some relief but I'm glad I didn't have to waste much time. 

The new trial is on nortiptyline, which is actually an antidepressant. This is one of the drugs I tried for migraine prevention along with amitriptyline and protriptyline. Obviously they have were not effective at preventing my migraines but I'm hopeful for some benefit with my nerve pain. Since it's very unlikely I'll have increased pain as a result of this medication, it'll be a while before I know if it's effective. 

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas To-Do-List Complicated by Chronic Pain

Christmas is right around the corner and there is still so much to do between now and then, even after eliminating all baking and cleaning projects. Hubby and I have managed to make steady progress on our to-do-list but it has been slow steady progress. Frankly, at this rate it won't all get done in time. 

But it's not like we can just pick up the pace and get it all done. I can only go out on days when my head pain isn't too bad. Even on a day when the migraines are manageable, I can only run one errand if it's sunny out. With my foot pain as bad as it is (worse now because of the gabapentin) I have to limit the amount of time I spend on my feet. Doesn't matter if I'm walking or standing, every moment on my feet is painful and ever increasing until I'm off them. Then there is the need for recovery after.

While we try to get stuff done within the restrictive confines of my pain, Christmas gets closer and closer. Normally, I try to start on this stuff in the summer but this year has been difficult as I've been dealing with this new pain. Many things have been pushed to the back burner - Christmas shopping is just one of them. We won't even talk about the messy house and the complete lack of baking.

Chronic pain strikes again. Always present so I never forget it's the pain that dictates what I do and when, not me. No plan is safe, especially this time of the year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


A little levity to help you cope with the election and get you through this midweek.

Have a great day!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nerve Results and New Medications

How is it the 5th of December?

So much has happened already. 

I was able to get an appointment with a neurologist to see about the nerve pain in my hands and feet on the 1st. Much sooner than expected. Even more unexpected was being able to have the test done on my nerves that same day by the actual doctor. I thought for sure I would be sent to some testing center to have it done by a tech. Turns out there is no nerve damage, which is wonderful news. 

Since we have already ruled out other causes, most likely this is a severe worsening of my fibromyalgia. I've been asking myself over and over, what could I have done to make it so much worse? It has never been this severe and even with all the resting and care I've taken since early August, when all this started, I've not seen any real improvement. In fact it has only gotten worse. 

Since I can't come up with an answer, I have to assume this is simply something that can happen. Perhaps it's just a progression of the condition or some other idiopathic event. All I know is that this is not my fault.

The doc also prescribed a path to an appropriate dose of the gabapentin my primary doc started me on the week before. She was way, way, way under-dosing - she usually doesn't know what she's doing. As I started to increase my dosage over the weekend, my nerve pain got much worse. Last night's dosage made it clear that this just isn't the right drug for me. 

I had this same response to this drug back in 2011 when I was trying it as a migraine preventative. I've reached out to the doc to let him know what was going on. Hopefully, we can move quickly onto another medication trial.