Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pain Management

Today I went to my new PM folks. They are simply wonderful.

As I've written before, I see a Physician's Assistant (PA) and a Pharmacist together each time we meet, and they ask me pointed questions which, in the end, make a world of sense to me. Nina and Eric are their names. Good folks.

I am now taking Oxycontin with oxycodone for breakthrough pain, along with nortriptyline at night for sleep (and controls the pain during the night). I also take 90 mg of Cymbalta.

I had a rough two weeks since the last time I'd seen them. I had a good visit with my mother (from NH) and my sister (from Hawaii), and then a very close friend from Maine came to visit, along with her husband.

I would have been okay and recovered from that, but I did a "number" on myself when someone locally wanted to trade his property for ours. I love where his property lies, in a pine forest with no lawn or flowerbeds to care for, only pine needles. Just what I need.

The yard here is too much for me to take care of. My husband mows the lawn, but I try to take care of the watering and light weeding. I love gardening, but it's truly too much for me. When I try to do some weeding, I lie down next to the flower bed and pull weeds that way sometimes.

So, I think having a yard in the middle of some pines would be just what I needed. That any energy or strength I might have could be used for some easy walking. And that's another thing, we don't have any easy walking here. The road is too busy, and it has no shoulder to walk on. And across the road is a great place to hike, as it leads down into a canyon and back up the other side, but all of that is beyond what I can do now.

Back to the other day and how it affected my pain level.

I weeded in the yard one whole day and I did housework for one day as I prepared the place to be seen by a potential "trader." The one night, I was up at 9:30 pm weeding!

My hands swelled up and were so weak and painful!

As it turned out, though the other guy did want to trade, we did not. We loved the land at his place but the house was a triple-wide manufactured home and that was simply too big for me to take care, vac the carpets, etc.

As I looked back, though, on the days I spent preparing to show our place, I realized that I was obsessed and was having a serious lack of good judgment when I worked so hard. The pain is still with me, though it lessens each day, as I pay the fiddler for overdoing.

I asked my husband to strongly tell me to stop working so hard if I ever go into that mode again. He said I've worked that way all of my life, which is true. But "no can do" anymore!

So, the pharmacist today decided that we should keep on with my meds and dosages the way they are for now, because it is hard to measure their failure or success when the last two weeks were not the "norm" for me. I thought that made good sense.

I began to cry big ol' juicy tears at the end of our session, just because they are so nice. So caring. I am so labile any more. I cry at anything, almost. And especially when I am around people who are sincerely kind to me.


Vivianne said...

Hi, I'm so glad to have found your blog. I too am living with horrible chronic pain from surgical repairs of C1-C2 subluxation. The first surgery was 6 hours by the neurosurgeon and the second surgery 12 hours with the neurosurgeon and this time the main surgeon was a spinal surgeon. They stbilizd my head and neck with plates and screws from occipital to C6. It's been 10 years now. I too rely on quite bit of pain meds. Just wanted you to know that your blog is encouraging and its helpful to know I'm not the only one and we can be encouraging to others with chronic pain and life changing events.
God Bless You and May His Everlasting Peace Comfort You Always,

By His Grace said...

Hi Vivianne, thank you for leaving a note! You are so blessed to have survived! What happened to you 10 yrs ago? I am so glad that they stabilized your head/neck, that is something that was never done for me and which I still keep thinking about and wondering if I should have it done. It's so hard to find someone who has had what I have, had the surgery, and can give some feedback. Your story is "close," tho not the say. Atlanto-axial subluxation is a scary thing! Thank the Lord that you are safe and sound today!

hugs and thanks for the blessing

Vivianne said...

Hi Virginia,
My neck problems are a result of rheumatoid arthritis. I was very young (22) when I was diagnosed. My neck problems started aroung age 45 or 46. I am now lmost 56 so the arthritis has had a long time to damage me. I do feel fortunate that my Doctors did what they did. .......they had intended to go from occipital to C2, butbeing the second surgury a little more complex. They said my bones in the neck were very soft and small. They had to make decisions during the surgury based on what they found and decided the complete fusion with plates was the best way to go. They told me the first plan (going to C2) would not hold and I would be in for the more drastic surgury within 3 years. I do feel very fortunate I had a great spinal surgeon (Dr. Vincent J Devlin) and I do believe they made the right choce. I have been told I am very stable now and the only real danger is the screws or plates breaking through the occipita bone. It was life changing and having to deal with the pain. But I do okay. The pain sounds ike it may be somwhat the same kind of pain you are experiencing. A lot of shoulder and neck tension pain. I would love to share more with you. I was told without stbiization, I could end up in the same state as Christopher Reeves or death. The optins were not good.
God Bless,

By His Grace said...

Vivianne...I'm sorry I did not respond to your message here! I don't know if you will be checking back in or not. I googled your surgeon and came up with 3 different locations for him, PA/AZ and another I just forgot. Where is he located? I also found that he has written a textbook called Spine Secrets and seems to be very scholarly! I'd love to know more about him.

How are you feeling now? I pray your pain has lessened.

I feel like my body is driving me to the point of seeking out a surgeon (again). My brainstem compression issues are increasing in terms of intensity. I just wish I knew of a surgeon that I feel confident in. There is one in Seattle who has come highly recommended, I might send my info to him.

God bless you, too, and I hope you see this!