Enduring the Pain

The beginning of a day, you wake up and feel the day, existing inside of your body are the receptors of how this day is going to be, can it be altered, maybe, the only question is How?

You know the moment you wake up how the day is going to be, like the weatherman you have a pretty good idea as soon as your eyes open and you try to move. I have a daily stretching routine that I do before I get up each morning. This will tell the tale for this day, whether it is a high or low day, I hate the high days days, really, really hate the high days.

So my eyes are open and my body is not moving, it is cold outside and raining, I can hear the water running down the gutter outside of my bedroom window. I try to move and here it comes, the intense pain, it starts in my foot, almost like a stab, but not puncturing the skin, just a stab in the bottom of my left foot, hmmm, this is new it is usually in my right foot, so here we go…… I start my back stretches, rolling my legs from side to side. This usually aligns my back, puts all the vertebrae back into place, I have 4 or so that are bulging in the middle of my back, but today they are all stiff and not aligning, they feel like they are rubbing together bone on bone. I stop the leg rolls, no please, I know what this means…..today I will have to use my cane, the risk of falling has just been told, don’t risk it, just use the cane. They I try to do the pelvis lifts, working on my body strength, I do 5, not 50…….and now here comes the pain…….

So I carefully roll upright in bed, I feel my head start to ache as I lift it to the upright position, it feels like it is sitting on a needle, and as it rolls around the needle the pain intensifies…. the pain moves up the nerve in my neck and branches into my eye, a solid 10 on the pain scale, I bow my head and wait for the pain to calm enough for me to stand up.

As I stand the pain in my foot spikes as doesn’t my hip and back. I need some heat, I grab some warm clothes and head out to the kitchen to get juice to take pills, walking as lightly as possible, the house is not cold but the dampness is in the air, all of my bones hurt, a sign of a bad pain day has only begun.

I take a small handful of pills, multi vitamin, thyroid, anti-seizure and pain pill, a hot shower will help as I walk back to the bathroom to start the water as hot as I can stand it. When I get out of the shower I grab the heated throw and head to my recliner, I have a cup of coffee and bagel for breakfast while the blanket heats me up, now if I can get the pain down to a 6 or 7 I will be happy, waiting for the pain pill to kick in I sit in my warm chair.

As I wait I close my eyes, feeling my body fighting to combat the pain my heart can be felt beating from head to toe, like it is the only organ in my body, my whole body is pounding ever so lightly but with such intensity I can feel my breathing in my toes….. finally the pain is slowing as my body relaxes under the blanket…. finally I can relax a little to get through this day, just this day, hoping that tomorrow is a pain free day……..

Traveling

My husband and I have travelled almost every year since we have been together. He is a big baseball fan so wherever we go we try to see a MLB game and go to the famous baseball fields. Me, I like the artsy stuff, galleries, flea markets, zoos and aquariums. We are kind of the tourist type when we get there, not the big camera sitting on your chest type, we just think that the best way to tour is to take a mass transit, if possible, most big cities have them, and walk.

We live in the US and have walked Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, San Antonio, Salem, Massachusetts, Memphis. Love traveling…..

A few years ago we travelled from the middle of the US (Arkansas) to Grand Canyon, spent a full day there. If you have never seen the Grand Canyon you must go, it is a sight to see. We went to the petrified forest and checked it out also. There is a driving tour there where you can drive and park to take pictures, pretty cool.

Then on to Riverside CA, have family here so we were able to set camp up in a cool house and cook, eat and sleep for a lot less expensive than doing the motel thing. We watched baseball games in all of the surrounding cities, San Diego, Los Angeles, Anaheim. It was super hot for the games but I always managed to find a fan and a place to stand for the game, way to hot to sit in the sun and I always was able to find a tv with my fan so I didn’t miss anything.

On the way back we travelled the southern border, we stopped in Tuscan to see my husbands Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and wife, a short visit with them and out to eat dinner and head to motel. New Mexico took forever because border patrol was looking for someone but when we stopped for the night we managed to find a small restaurant with the most awesome food, what a treat, then on to San Antonio for a few days over the Fourth of July, we stayed in a beautiful motel on the river for 3 days and walked every day down the river walk.

And finally it was over, we drove to Dallas to see my cousin since she lives on the way, and that ended the most memorable trip with my small family.

A 14 day trip with my husband, stepson and a full Jeep Grand Cherokee. Why is it that when we travel we feel like we have to take all of our worldly possessions with us? And then my stepson had to do a class so with everything else we had to have the laptop, energy for the laptop and a hotspot.

John F. Kennedy’s Pain Story

JFK-Tennant

This is a great informational article, written in September, 2012 Practical Pain Management.

Some short exerpts:

The 1962 edition of Dorland’s Medical Dictionary does not even list autoimmune disease.13 The 1965 edition of Current Therapy only refers to “autoimmune reactions.”14 Slowly but surely the medical profession began to accept the fact that the body may actually turn on itself. In contrast to the 1962 edition, Dorland’s Medical Dictionary in 1981 defined autoimmunity as “a condition characterized
by a specific humoral or cell-mediated immune response against the constituents
of the body’s own tissues.”15 By 1989, Taber’s Medical Dictionary succinctly
defined autoimmune disease as we view it today: “Disease in which the body produces [a] disordered immunological response against itself

Summary
Pain management practices are now seeing patients with genetic autoimmune
diseases similar to that of JFK’s. Unfortunately, autoimmunity may be
a progressive lifelong disease that produces severe pain, which may become
centralized in the CNS. Fortunately for JFK, he was referred to Dr. Travell
for pain management in 1955. She was undoubtedly the best pain management
physician at the time. Her treatment regimen was comprehensive and
consisted of medication, exercises, and physical rehabilitation. It was the forerunner
of contemporary treatment for severe centralized pain.

Writing in the The Atlantic, Dallek noted that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK before the president’s medical ailments could. 1 In fact, Dallek surmises that “the evidence suggests Kennedy’s physical condition contributed to his demise.” On November 22, 1963, JFK was wearing a corset-like back brace as he rode in a caravan of official vehicles through Dallas. Oswald’s first bullet struck JFK in the back of the neck. “Were it not for the back brace, which held the President erect [and not slumped over], the second, fatal shot to the head might not have found its mark,” he concluded.

Despite this anecdote, it is clear that JFK would never have been in that convertible
on that fateful day if it had not been for the skill of his pain physician. Practitioners of pain management as well as pain patients should study the case of JFK. There are many lessons to be learned. Above all, his pain story is one of great will, desire, and discipline
on the part of both patient and physician.

References

1. Dallek R. The medical ordeals of JFK. The Atlantic.
Dec 2002. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/
archive/2002/12/the-medical-ordeals-of-jfk/5572/.
Accessed August 3, 2012.

13. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 23rd ed.
Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 1962.
14. Lovell RG. Autoimmune reactions. Current Therapy.
In: Conn HF, ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders;
1965:425.
15. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 26th ed.
Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 1981:141.

Mornings

Some mornings I wake up and it feels like every bone in my body has been broken, I can hardly walk, see straight, cannot for the life of me keep my eyes open. Today 67, cloudy, high of 71, but the rain is on its way…..

You know when your parents, grandparents said “I can feel the weather changing, it is about to start raining”, you laughed it off, nope, they were correct. This is horrendous pain, everywhere. Well I have Osteoarthritis everywhere which is why it hurts so much.

The swelling is terrible also, my feet and hands, I can hardly open and close my hands because of the swelling. The space between my knuckles is as high as my knuckles. And my right hip feels like someone put a hot iron on it, another couple of days until I get a shot in it….

I manage to take my pills, get a cup of coffee and head towards the recliner and turn on the heating pad, my heater on my chair went out so I found a really big heating pad that covers the whole back of my recliner so I get almost full coverage of my back and neck.

Well I turned the lights on the fish tank, need to get up and feed my fish, salt water aquarium, I will share that in another post later.