And for my next trick, a pinched nerve!

(reposted from facebook)

Yesterday was really rough for me emotionally. I hadn’t even fully emerged from several days of endometriosis pain when my upper back/neck went out. This is the second time in a month that a pinched nerve issue has cropped up – it used to happen all the time when I worked at a desk, but since changing careers, the pinched nerve issue is rare. This is a really bad one, and is still on fire today, despite pounding myself with muscle relaxers and Advil all afternoon/night. I’m tired of being in pain. You have no idea how tired.
December 15, 2011 at 6:59am

Doing it my way, despite the pain

(Reposted from Facebook)

 
December 10, 2011 at 8:11pm via mobile
Spent the day drugged to the gills on Tylenol 3, but at a friend’s house playing my first ever Call of Cthulhu game. Bonus – one of the gamers is an acupuncturist who did some work on me during game!
It’s pretty awesome when your friends allow you to play the game while doing various pain management stretches and maneuvers. The lady of the house even had a heating pad for me! ♥

 
December 11, 2011 at 12:36pm
Yesterday after gaming with friends, my husband drove me to my tattoo consultation. Still drugged with pain meds, I walked baby steps from the car to the tattoo parlour. The tattoo artist and I discussed the piece and made some changes, and then I bought a pair of wooden earrings. I’ve been wanting to change out all my jewelry from metal and plastic to natural wood and stone jewelry. One of the women at the shop misjudged my earring size, and I ended up with a stretch nearly a gauge in size. I was about 6ga – she took me to 4ga when she put the wooden earrings in. However, the resulting endorphin rush had a positive effect on my endometriosis pain…as in it nullified it for a couple of hours!

steph-stretched-wood-earrings12102011

YAY!!! I was even able to walk up a San Francisco hill to get back to the car. Holy crap, you have no idea how cool that was. I should do endorphin pain management as endo treatment every month.

 
December 11, 2011 at 3:57pm
(Attempting to keep some positive thought up)…

Something that I have done which you may not have:

Steph on a donkey in Israel

I have ridden on a donkey in a Bedouin village near Netanya, Israel.

The flare goes full bore

While many of my friends get to sleep in on a Saturday morning, or get to enjoy the Lunar eclipse this morning, I get to be awakened from slumber with such pain that leaves me stupefied with my mouth agape as I stagger about in the dark to get my heating pad and medicine.

Before I can take my medicine, I have to eat something, and all the while, the pain grows ever more intense, and all I can think while being up before the sun on a weekend is, “at least I was able to finish the work week before the endometriosis flare went full bore”.

But I really want to see the Lunar eclipse, and I can’t even get several blocks down to the parking garage to get an elevated view of town because of the pain I’m in, though I’m reeeeeally tempted. Me, trying to walk a mere 4.5 blocks, putting one foot in front of the other, with radiating nerve pain. Or…me, getting into my go-kart of a car, and pressing the accelerator with the radiating pelvic nerve pain at 7.5 on the pain scale…when I’m nauseous from the pain by any slight movement. =(

Yes, I’m wallowing in the pain and depression of being a dependent invalid at the moment.

One of my friends told me she is jealous that my debilitating pain is at least localised and cyclical, which means I have windows of time which I can predict there will be little to no pain. I have critical windows of time to live my life and not worry about every minute consequence an action or a food or a drink will have on my pain level, while she cannot predict the pain – it strikes anywhere in her body at anytime, and so often that she is on medical disability and can no longer work.

While I am sad that many people, including women with the same condition I have (endometriosis) are disabled by the pain full time, it does not lessen the reality of my own anguish, which I have been suffering for 26 years. Before surgery, I did apply for disability and was denied, because although I could barely work, I could still work 14 (non-consecutive) days in a month. As long as you can work 14 days out of a month, you’re not sick or disabled enough to qualify for disability insurance.

I have had two surgeries 3 years apart, to minimal effect on the pain. I am still bedridden from the pain. I am still missing work from the pain. I am still taking narcotics for the pain. Doctors still do not know how to control or manage the pain. There is still no cure or proper treatment for endometriosis. Doctors are still arguing over theories of what even causes endometriosis, while millions of women world wide suffer a pain so severe that most men would die of in minutes if they had the same condition, because the pain is akin to going into labor every 2 – 4 weeks for 26 to 35 years in a row. Hell, there are women with endometriosis who have said that actual labor and childbirth was LESS painful than the endometriosis pain, I kid you not.

Cyclical pain or full time pain, it does not matter. The pain is real, and it is debilitating, and it is crushing. It slams one into a depressed mental state faster than you can say “ouch”, and the depression sinks one to the depths of the murk so fast, that if you don’t pay attention, you might miss critical cues telling you that the person is finally just DONE enduring all this pain.

Endometriosis may not kill us directly, but the illness is always in danger of killing us indirectly. There is no benefit to feeling jealous over someone who “only” has cyclical pain. Jealousy diminishes the harsh reality of the sufferer, making one feel a sense of survivor guilt, making the emotional pain even harder to bear.

So I wallow in my very real pain as it strikes me early this morning, while I miss a beautiful Lunar eclipse and wait for 2 Tylenol 3 to even try to make a dent in the pain, while I sit on the couch with a heating pad on my broken body and breathe those shallow breaths that one breathes when in so much pain, while trying to remind myself to do relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to get through this flare.

I want the pain to stop. I want it all to stop.

Just checking…

(reposted from facebook)

Droning headache? check.
Crushing fatigue? check.
Low-grade fever? check.
Puke-burps? check.
Increasing dizzy spells? check.
Accompanying an endometriosis flare? CHECK.

Autoimmune disease: because chronic pain and flare-ups aren’t enough; you also have to get cold and flu viruses as a sidecar.
December 8, 2011 at 8:28pm

Early December cycle

Last night, I developed uterine cramps after eating pasta alfredo with Langostina tails for dinner.
I also had a cup of caffeinated tea with dinner. The pain started on the way to a concert, and got worse throughout the night. Standing or sitting did not matter, the nerve pain stung and radiated from the uterus, settling in the lower back, causing debilitating pain by the time I left the Peter Murphy concert. I descended the stairs of the concert venue slowly, wincing with each step, clutching the railing.

By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs and was out on the street after the concert, I was nauseated from the pain. On the way home, every time the gravity changed in the car (turns, changing lanes, curving highway), the inflamed nerves screamed, and I cried out in pain.

However, once I got home, I refused to take meds, because I wondered if it was my kidneys acting up. Other organs are easily afflicted by endometriosis, and if the kidneys were suffering, then adding pain meds might make things even harder on me to process. Instead, I used an exterior pain relief gel, and did some Chi Nei Tsang around my pelvic cradle to see where the pain was coming from, and how it was radiating out.

Though the stinging, burning nerve pain felt like it was in the sides of my pelvic bones, in my lower spine and radiating down my legs, the Chi Nei Tsang helped me realise that the originating source of the pain was actually in the uterus. It was so inflamed that the nerves broadcasted a pain party to the entire pelvic cradle. It grabbed hold of the trunk of nerves in the pelvic cradle and shot down the sides of my legs, almost to my knees.

The pain relief gel comes from NationalAllergy.com, and it is called Super Blue. I rubbed that on my lower back, and then situated a heating pad over my pelvis.
Further, I moved my body slowly to figure out the best position for rest. It was one of those times where I wished I had my old futon mattress again, because our bed was far too soft given the level of pain I was in.

Last weekend, I had developed pelvic pain on three occasions right after drinking coffee, so I have since gone back to drinking caffeinated tea, and only in moderation; one cup at a time, and not every day. I had not recently developed pelvic pain with the tea, so I’m suspecting the langostino shellfish as the culprit to my pain. Shellfish is said to contain lots of dioxins, which feeds endometriosis growth and flaring, though there has not been any in-depth studies that I know of to show you to prove this. It’s just one of those things that I know to be a solid suspect, based upon my pain history when consuming shellfish, especially at or near my cycle.

This morning, I am running late for work, and the stinging pain resumed once I crawled out of bed. I will be taking 800mg of Advil gelcaps to get through the day. I am two to three days away from the onset of my next cycle; george will be here by Wednesday or Thursday, in time to ruin weekend plans. However, I have a consultation with a tattoo artist about a design I want on my upper back, so I plan to be there, drugged to the gills or not.