Pain Management… for Ten Years

Recently, I’ve realized that the pain management I do in my life has become such second nature that I don’t even notice it most of the time… so I thought I’d make a list for others who deal with pelvic pain, back pain, tendinitis or other related pain who might want to try some of the techniques.

Here’s the list, in no particular order…

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A New Project: Summer-Long Work-Less Challenge

In the age of Lean In, particularly where I live in California where the pace seems to keep increasing along with real estate values, it can feel nearly impossible to stop and take a breather. I’ll admit that this is a first world problem. I’m very lucky I have the option to take time off. A few years ago, I didn’t have that option. Over the past decade, I’ve been on a rollercoaster that began with the severe nerve injuries from pregnancy and delivering my daughter that I’ve written about at length here and elsewhere. I had planned to take off two months before my daughter was born, two months after she was born, and then work part-time until she was school-age. That didn’t happen. Continue reading

Diagnosis: Getting Better, But It Still Sucks

That’s what my OB/GYN said at the end of an emotional but helpful annual visit. “So you’re getting better, but it still sucks.” I thought she did a pretty good job summing things up.

She was proud of the progress I’ve made over the eight and a half long years since I first began seeing her after my injury from another doctor delivering my baby. I wish she had been my doctor when I was pregnant; perhaps none of this would have happened, but we’ll never know.

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Ode to Icepacks

O icepacks, my icepacks, how do I love thee?
All the more coldly whenever they’re three
Or four, five, six or seven
Why limit yourself in icepack heaven?

An icepack a day keeps the doctors away
An icepack an hour keeps the demons at bay
An icepack nearby gives me the power to live any way.

Hark, what is that sweet popping sound I hear?
The pop of the icepack-pad just to appear
It makes each day bearable, survivable to be here.

They come in all shapes and sizes, the icepacks I love
I sometimes will use them below and above
With icepacks my life now has meaning again
Without them I’d be lost, a scribe with no pen.

Eight is Enough

Life’s been whizzing by the past couple of years since my daughter started grade school. I thought I would have more time, but I haven’t. The good news it has become easier to manage my pain on a daily basis. The bad news is it’s still around lingering like an irritating neighbor that just won’t leave you alone. Still, I learn new lessons about life with pelvic pain.

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Sharing Pain

I’d never wish what I’ve been going through the past six and a half years on anyone, but one of the worst things about it was feeling really alone quite often. Without my family and blogging friends, I could never have survived. Yet there was still an element missing – I had no one to talk to who had gone through the same experience. Slowly over time, I’d receive an e-mail message about once a year, thanks to this blog or other things written on the topic or through mutual friends. Then I finally decided to go hunting for a pelvic pain e-mail group and I found one, the ‘happypelvis‘ list.

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Setbacks

It’s been 7 months since I’ve taken Tramadol for my pain. Surviving daily off Motrin, I got into a good pattern of preventative pain medicating with it, each day to keep the pain from flaring. Last week, I had a severe episode of food poisoning that triggered new gut pain and added to too much sitting, suddenly I find myself with the worst flare-up I’ve had in months.

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Moving forward

Today I worked out at a gym for the first time in 6 years… without pain. For those of you who know about the injuries I sustained from pregnancy and delivery of my daughter, you know this to me is a major milestone. Traveling across the world and back last month was a big turning point in my recovery.

I don’t write about this much publicly any more because I don’t like focusing on the pain or making others in my network feel uncomfortable, but today I felt like sharing here. For those who suffer for months or years at a time, perseverance pays off when you keep trying new treatments and never give up. While today’s wasn’t a major workout by most standards, to me this is a bigger deal than running a marathon. (It’s sure taken a lot longer to get there!)

Fears and Inspirations

I’m about to embark on my first overseas trip in five years. The flight alone would’ve killed me one year ago – the pain of sitting being so intense. So it’s a good time to reflect where the past five years of pain have taken me.

This video clip came into my inbox this morning of Phyllis Greene, who started blogging from bed rest, like me, but who is in hospice. She’s 90 (as her blog, appropriately, is called wedeb90). It’s inspiring to see that. I have a 99 year-old friend who’s on Facebook. She too inspires me. She’s not moving around as much as she used to, but the bottom line is that new media can enable us to reach out and be active in communities in ways that we never could before, providing opportunities to feel much less isolated and alone. We’re lucky to be living in the new media age to have these opportunities.

Soon I’ll be on the longest flight I’ve taken since I was pregnant and this pain journey began. I’m taking all of my pain medications along, and I have all of my other pain management tools that I’ll bring also. Let’s hope I don’t go over the weight limit. Wish me luck!