Thursday, September 25, 2008, 3:15 PM
This is a photo of the lighthouse in St. Martins, NB Canada where I lived when I was raising my children.
I usually love to get out in the sun and it has been sunny every day this week but for some reason I have not wanted to go out at all. My neighbours death has been on my mind and the fact that, according to his wishes, there is to be no visiting, no funeral, no obituary or death notice. It just seems so cold - as if he never existed.
I have been having chest pains a lot this week and I know that I still could have gone out but I think I'm using that as an excuse for not going out.
The weather will soon turn and it will be too cold to go out for very long so I ask you, "Why am I so afraid of getting out and interacting with other people?" I really like all the people who live in the building, with the exception of one man who has a record as a sex offender. Nobody likes him, he's so obnoxious. When he talks to you, and most of us he knows now not to come near, he always talks about himself. How wonderful he is, what a great boyfriend he is (it's his girlfriend that is disabled and lives here) and how he's going to marry Jean and they will be so happy. It's enough to make you sick. Why she is accepting him in her life, none of us can understand. Her daughter won't visit or bring the grandchildren and has virtually cut all ties because of him. I don't blame her. I wouldn't want my children within a mile of a sex offender. And I absolutely could not choose a man like that over my children! Ever!! But I digress.
Back to my transformation into a hermit. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a specialist to see if this chest pain is being caused by my esophagus. Sometimes I am sure that it is because it can be relieved by drinking or eating something very cold and taking a muscle relaxant. That type can last for hours at a time. Then there is the sudden sharp pain that seems to spread either across and thru my chest or across and up into my jaw line or down my arm. That pain doesn't usually last long but it's intense while it's there. The cardiologist said it was probably angina but to confirm that diagnosis would mean some very invasive tests that he felt would be too much for me considering all my other health problems. of course, if he thought it was a major problem he said he would have done the further testing. So, we will see what the doctor says tomorrow. I started seeing him when I first had trouble swallowing 30 years ago so we know each other well. I trust him completely but I really wish I didn't have to go out tomorrow.
I guess that I must be slipping into depression again in spite of the antidepressant I have been taking. It should be stronger so I'll start taking a third pill tonight. I cannot allow depression to take hold and drag me down. I don't know why it's getting to me like this. Part of it is waiting for my power wheelchair, I feel like my whole life is on hold waiting for it to come.
My pain level is high today and I have been sitting here much too long. Bless you all and I pray that God will make His presence known in your life today.
Always a friend, Pain4Ever
Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 12:39 AM
My neighbor across the hall died in his sleep last night. His homemaker found him gone when she came to work. It has been a stressful day, talking to the police and telling all the others in the building. I live in an apartment building for disabled people so everyone here has some sort of challenge. David was a diabetic and had lost both legs to diabetes and had the fourth finger amputated just a few days ago. I know that he felt he was dying in pieces and he had been depressed but over the past couple of months, he had been so much better. He was making plans for the future. I was just over there a few days ago to fix his computer. It has been a schock to all of us and reminded us that when we moved in here last year we all joked about not moving again unless they took us out 'feet first' and now that once of us is gone it makes that a reality instead of a joke. I pray that David has gone to a better place and I am ashamed to say that I never once discussed spirituality or heaven with him and now it is too late.
Speaking of too late, it is almost 2 a.m. I must stop and get some rest.
Saturday, September 20, 2008, 9:55 PM
My homemaker told me she had to scrape the frost on her car windows the other day. I just dread cold weather. I hate having to put on all the layers needed to keep warm, the coat, the boots, the hat and so on. In Atlantic Canada winter is a very long, drawn out affair.
The Farmers' Almanac says that we won't have as much snow this year, a good thing if you are in a wheelchair, but December in particular will be much colder than it has been for several years. The cold has such a negative effect on my health, causing great RSD pain, that it becomes a real struggle to force myself out of the apartment at all. That means that I will also battle depression, a fight that I keep on with because the alternative would be just too painful for my partner and family.
I am still waiting for my electric wheelchair which will give me so much more freedom and make it enjoyable to go out. It should be arriving any day now and I hope that we will still have warm enough weather for me to get out and enjoy that new ease of movement.
My daughter, who has five boys ages 10, 5, 4, 2, and 1, is expecting in February and she found out on Tuesday that she is finally going to have the girl that she has been praying for. I give thanks to God for hearing our prayers and blessing her with a girl.
I have tried a new art medium, pastels, and I just love it. They are relatively easy to work with and you can use them anywhere. I have done three landscapes with them and I love the texture of the pastels. It gives a different dimension to landscapes and I am so pleased that I decided to try them.
Well, I've reached my limit for sitting at the computer and must get away from here and sit more comfortably. PLEASE - leave a comment to let me know you 'dropped by'.
Monday, September 1, 2008, 11:33 PM
I have been having chest pain and shortness of breath quite a bit - it has become a daily thing, as if I needed another source of pain. I read an article on Fibromyalgia that indicated that researchers believe that patients like myself may actually have a brain disorder in how the brain processes pain signals from the various areas of the body. We already know that those of us with RSD have an extreme problem with the way our brains process stinulation from nerves.
My brain is unable to distinguished 'normal' stimulation, such as the sensation of a sweater resting against my skin, and 'dangerous' stimulation like resting my arm on a red hot burner. You cannot imagine how painful this RSD can become. Sometimes, on a nice summer day I have to wear pants, a long sleeved turtleneck and maybe a jacket because I can't stand the painful sensation when the air moves against my skin.
I have to live one day at a time. If I thought about all the pain that I will endure in, let's say, three months; I would want to end my life. Facing that much pain is just too daunting and I fear it because I don't know if I can cope with it tomorrow.
I hate that I have to take so much morphine but I know I could not get through a day without something to at least make the pain manageable. I take morphine that lasts for 12 hours and then I also have some short acting morphine that is supposed to last 4 - 6 hours but, in truth, they only last about e hours for me. I wouldn't touch Lyrica with a ten foot pole because I already have a weight problem and the last thing I want is to take a pill that will make me gain weight. The same goes for Elavil. I took that years ago and put on nearly fifty pounds. My life is so sedentary - I get no exercise because it is too painful to exercise - and I have no idea how to lose weight.
I do believe that God has a plan for my life but I can't help but wonder if I am somehow so far off the 'right' path that even He can't reach me to help It is said that we reap what we sow so I must have sown quite a crop in my youth (I'm 57 now). Now, there's that other part of living with chronic painearing it's ugly head again - depression. I would not be surprised to find that as much as 80% of chronic pain sufferers also have depression.
I want to thank all of you who have left comments from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness, encouragement and advice mean more than you could possibly know. Being in this much pain is exhausting and I can't always sit long enough to write to each of you but please know that your generosity in giving of your time is precious to me. Thank you.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 5:09 AM
"Shall I look to the mountain gods for help? No! My help is from Jehovah who made the mountains! And the heavens too! He will never let me stumble, slip or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping." Psalm 121 1-4 The Living Bible For the past eight years I have tried to manage without looking to my faith because I was so disallusioned with the "Church". Over the past year, I have decided to come back to the bible and look to change my negative outlook and find mental health in spite of my physical problems. I saw a doctor in a walk in clinic on Saturday, because my regular doc is away, because I wasn't feeling well and, sure enough, I have double pneumonia again! The coughing and wheezing make it impossible to sleep but I never get more than 2-3 hours of sleep anyway. I must cling to verses like the one above, that reassure me that God is not sleeping, He is watching over me all the time.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99cEight years ago I was working at a job that I really enjoyed and my life was going along pretty well. I did use a wheelchair at work and when I had to walk or stand for more than 15 minutes. This was due to nerve damage (RSD) following a very bad ankle fracture. I developed a bladder condition (IC) called interstial cystitis, which is incurable and incredibly painful. I could not work in so much pain and having to go to the washroom every 5 to 10 minutes. I took pain medication which helped but I couldn't work while on the medication. In the space of about 10 weeks, I went from happy and in love with my job to depressed and on sick leave. The sick leave turned into months and then became permanent unemployment as my health continued to deteriorate. It began to sound like alphabet soup as the diagnoses piled up: First was the RSD, then IC, then GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease), FM (Fibromyalgia), RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Depression), COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), SOB (chronic Shortness of Breath), Arthritis, Lymphedema, Cystic Ovary and on and on. The pain and the gradual loss of physical mobility (I will receive my first power wheelchair in a couple of weeks) has been very difficult. I was slipping farther and farther away from everyone and everything. Now, I have decided to change my negative thought patterns and seek a return to the simple faith I once held so dear. The Psalms have been a real comfort to me lately as the message that God is watching over me, and has never left me, keeps coming through. I am looking for Christian friends who may have travelled this road or one like it. I am not looking for romance in any way - I have enough to cope with in my life as it is.