Tuesday, August 11, 2015
~ TICKED OFF TUESDAY ~ August 11, 2015 ~ "PAIN IN THE BUTT" or "SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED" ~
~ TICKED OFF TUESDAY ~ August 11, 2015 ~ "PAIN IN THE BUTT" or "SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED" ~ Today (as most every day), I'm ticked off about being in so much pain ALL the time. I know that I frequently grumble and complain, (and more than just on Tuesday's) about the chronic pain that I have been suffering with for almost 8 years.
I decided that I would vent loudly and vocally one last time and then try to limit my caterwauling to a bare minimum from now on!
Last Thursday I had one of the worst pain days I've had in a really long time. I'm sure it was a combination of a number of factors that tipped the scales, but before I get into that, let me briefly explain for those who may not know, my pathetic medical history of the past 8 years.
Prior to the day the pain started in my neck, I had been seeing a chiropractor a couple of times a week for a few months because of severe back pain. During my first visit with her, x-rays showed that my neck is a mirror image of what it should be and that there was a lot of old damage, deterioration, degeneration etc to several of the vertebrae in my neck. She asked if I had been in a bad car accident and she said, "I imagine that you must suffer from pretty bad migraines as well."
Of course, she was right about the migraines, which I have had since I was a very young child. However, I have never been in a bad car accident. The night of my first chiropractic appointment, I phoned my mom to ask about any car accidents I may not recall.
I knew that I had been physically abused by my biological father when I was a baby, I just didn't know the full extent of the abuse. That night my mom explained to me that when I was three months old, my biological father had broken two vertebrae in my neck, and that I spent the next several months in a body cast from my chin to my waist.
Over the years I have come to wish that I HAD been in a serious car accident! It really surprised me how each new doctor or specialist I saw was SO interested in the physical abuse, and wanted to delve deeper and have me "talk about it."
My biological father shot himself when I was 18 or 19 years old and even if he had been around for me to get angry with and blame, I have forgiven him. I don't remember the abuse, and I wasn't going to let finding out about it now define me or my life up until that point.
As I said, I wish I could say that I was in a car accident, because I only mention the abuse as part of my medical history and it holds as much emotional baggage as a random accident would.
After months and months of incessant back pain, I walked out of the chiropractor's office that first day in significantly less pain and standing a whole lot taller and straighter, not having to be hunched over in pain any more!
The chiropractor also noted my scoliosis, which is a slight curve to the left in my thoracic spine. Does anyone remember the book "Deene" by Judy Blume? The main character of that book had scoliosis and ironically, not long after I read the book, I was diagnosed. Fortunately, my scoliosis is relatively mild and apparently, I was old enough, at 13 years old, to not being likely to grow much more and therefore, I didn't need to wear a brace or have a rod inserted in my spine.
Because of these pre-existing conditions, the chiropractor said she would avoid my neck and the area of my back that was curved and we continued with biweekly appointments.
My last appointment with her was on September 28, 2007, during which she DID work on my whole back AND my neck.
I woke up in the middle of the night, four days later, on October 2, 2007, with a sharp, stabbing, burning pain at the back of my head, base of my skullI. What I could only describe as a really weird migraine. I called the chiropractor and she said she didn't want to see me again until my migraine was gone.
Well, that was almost 8 years ago and the pain has never stopped. I have had over ten MRI's, MRV's and MRA's, seen many doctors and every specialist and/or therapist you can imagine. I've seen neurologists, including the Chief Neurosurgeon in Ottawa, a rheumatologist, Cranial Sacral Massage Therapist, Essodynamics, Rolfing, Physiotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, many other I can't recall and even a carpal tunnel specialists (don't ask, he couldn't figure out why I was referred to him either)!
And aside from the MRI's showing progressive degeneration and deterioration, oh, and the discovery of a small aneurism in my brain, absolutely nothing can be done to help even relieve some of the pain.
I mentioned earlier that I also suffer from migraines. I'm not sure if the pain in my neck exacerbates my migraines or if my migraines exacerbate my neck pain. Regardless, it is not a good day when I have to try to cope with both at the same time.
My migraines are also affected by the full moon, the weather and any change in the barometric pressure. I am actually more accurate than the weather channel, as I can predict when we are going to get rain, thunder and lightening storms, just bad weather in general. I can actually even tell the difference between rain showers and lightening storms. I'm sure if you asked any migraine sufferer, they could probably tell you the same thing.
So, to sum it up, I suffer from a 24/7 shooting, stabbing and burning pain in one exact spot at the back of my neck; I also suffer from debilitating, wickedly massive migraines, about 3-5 a week. Throw in the occasional severe back spasms, oh, and I almost forgot, I'm going through peri-menopause and have far too frequent and such severe hot flashes that could boil water.
Let's just say that if I happen to have my period during a storm on a night that there is a full moon, I am completely up the creek without a paddle!!
Hey, you know what? I kinda feel better already! (Despite the fact that my migraine has gone from bad to worse to really, really bad). I had intended on writing about just how much MY being in so much pain ALL the time so completely and utterly affected every single member of my family.
I started this post by saying that I was ticked off about being in so much pain all the time. I think in reality, I'm ticked off at myself. At not being able to cope with my pain (despite doing everything I was taught through the Chronic Pain Program) and I'm ticked off at my inability to prevent the pain from controlling my life.
However, just going over (again, I know, for some of you) the facts and history of how I got to be in is place, almost eight years later, to where I am right now, has kinda made me feel a little bit better. It has made me realize that I have done every single, little, itty, bitty thing and then some, that anyone could possibly do and more to try to help myself. Including a four week outpatient program at the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Centre. I'm not exaggerating either. You name the treatment or medication and guaranteed, I have seen them or tried it.
I have long accepted the fact that I will be spending the rest of my life in some sort of chronic pain. Which, given my lifelong battle with severe migraines, is really nothing new to me. Sure, this pain in the back of my neck is 100 times worse, but ya know what? I'll just keep taking each day as it comes, minute by minute or even breath by breath, if I have to. I know, the typical saying is "day by day." For those of us suffering any kind of chronic pain or illness, "breath by breath" is often a more realistic comment.
In my mind, I have always said 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years, 7 years, now almost 8 years as "OMG, are you kidding me?? I'm still in so much pain after all this time"??
In writing this today, I just realized that perhaps I should be saying "OMG, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years, 7 years, now almost 8 years?? WOW, girl, you're still here! You're still getting up pretty much each morning, you even manage to get dressed some of the time, WAY TO GO YOU!!!"
Thanks so much for listening to me vent. Now it's my turn to listen and your turn to grumble. What's been bothering or upsetting you lately? What has you ticked off today??
#TickedOffTuesday #TickedOff, #ARRGHH, #GRRRR, #Upset, #Angry, #Orcanut, #PainInTheButt, #SickAndTired, #ChronicPain, #CopingWithPain, #Caterwauling, #BadPainDay, #BreathByBreath, #BackPainSpasms, #Migraines, #BadWeather, #Menopause, #HotFlashes, #NeckPain, #Deterioration, #Degeneration, #PhysicalAbuse, #Suicide, #Forgiveness, #Scoliosis, #MRI, #DoctorsTherapistsNeurologists, #UpTheCreekWithoutAPaddle, #WayToGoMe!
Friday, August 7, 2015
~ FLASHBACK FRIDAY ~ AUGUST 7, 2015 ~ "THEN AND NOW" ~ I just got a brand new iPhone, 5S (If that means anything to anyone. Personally, the only thing I've figured out so far is that my old phone was an android, and the new phone is an iPhone).
And although it's a total guess, I think I got my first cell phone 17 years ago in 1998 maybe. (The pic isn't my actual phone. I do still have it but couldn't find it to take a pic for this post). And OMG, that kinda makes me feel REALLY, REALLY old!! But, it also makes me think about how time really does fly by sometimes. Has it REALLY, truly been 17 years since I graduated from college and got my first cell phone?? S-E-V-E-N-T-E-E-N years???
It boggles my mind to think of all the changes (some for the better, some not) that have happened over the past 17 years.
I used to lament that I was either born too early or too late. Too late because I think I would have loved to live in the pioneer days when life was slower and simpler. I wouldn't want to give up on all the technological and medical advancements that we've made, but sometimes I think it would be nice to just take a step back, take a deep breath and SLOW DOWN!
Sometimes, I feel really guilty and down on myself because my chronic pain has kept me from bathing or washing my hair for three or four days (or more). However, I try to remember that there used to be a time when people were lucky to bathe once a month or even once a season!
Well, maybe not THAT slow but, yeah, it sure would be nice to slow things down every once in a while, eh?
I thought that I was born too early because, at the time, I wanted to be alive when we could actually see people that we are talking to on the phone. (Never in my wildest imagination did I think that could or would be an actuality)! But look at our technology now! I remember eons ago, calling friends who lived in areas where there were "party-lines."
I imagine there are several readers who are young enough to assume that a party-line has something to do with dances, (I'm thinking of a conga line), partying, or even drugs. However, for their enlightenment, a party-line was a telephone line that was shared by several people living in close proximity to each other. Which, believe it or not, meant that one house could sometimes be miles away from its nearest neighbour!
Because of limited equipment and resources, the phone company had to set it up so that these families would all have to share the same phone line. They may have had different phone numbers, but they would all ring on the same line. Every house heard the phone ring, no matter who it was for, and sometimes there would be separate rings for each household. Often however, there was just your basic ring, and you took your chances that the person you were calling would answer the phone. If not, you would have to call again, and again, until the right home picked up the line. (And yes, it was a distinct possibility that one or all of your neighbours could listen in on your conversations! This wasn't always the case of nosy neighbours though. Even when the homes had their own lines, you could often hear conversations through the lines from other homes).
Imagine. We have come from smoke signals, carrier pigeons drum beats and party lines to video conferencing, Skyping, FaceTime, etc. It's hard to believe sometimes.
I suppose since there are places that provide adventures that offer you the pioneering experience, I'll stick with my own time-line and enjoy the technological advancements that come along with it!
(Now, if I could just figure out how to use my new phone)!
#FlashbackFriday, #Flashback, #MemoryLane, #Memories, #RememberWhen, #Orcanut, #ThenAndNow, #iPhone5S, #Android, #TimeFlies, #PioneerDays, #Technology, #MedicalAdvancements, #SlowDown, #ChronicPain, #Skype, #PartyLine, #SmokeSignals, #CarrierPigeons, #DrumBeats
Thursday, August 6, 2015
~ WACKY WEDNESDAY ~ August 5, 2015 ~ (Previously entitled QOT...W) ~ " REALLY? BUT THAT'S GARBAGE!" ~
~ WACKY WEDNESDAY ~ August 5, 2015 ~ (Previously entitled QOT...W) ~ " REALLY? BUT THAT'S GARBAGE!" ~ Well, that's what my husband would call this post, but me, I like to say "REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE" ~ So obviously, the thing that is wacky, weird, (and in this instance, even if I'm the only one to believe it), wonderful, is me!
I know that I have mentioned in several, if not all, of my Rainbow Loom video tutorials, how much of a pack rat (again, hubby's word for this would be "hoarder") and penny pincher that I am.
In reference to Rainbow Loom, this is evidenced by the fact that I keep all of my broken bands as well as bands that were previously used in other projects and for one reason or another, have been taken apart. I think it would be fair to say that I use both equally. (And no, that is not a play on words from the Libra in me)!
I use broken bands for any project that requires facial hair, scars, hay/straw, tufts of fur, eyebrows. Anything really, that needs to have a "spiky" or unkempt look perhaps would be the best way to describe it. I also use broken bands for slip knot bands too!! Slip knot bands don't always have to have loops on the end,especially if you are just tucking them out of sight anyway. The pre-used or stretched bands, that really cannot be used for a new project, are PERFECT to use when you need to double loop band and I've often used these bands when I need a broken band of a particular colour (if I don't already have broken bands in that colour, that is)!
To me, it just makes common sense to keep and reuse these bands (and, honestly, I think hubby would agree as it saves money)!
Where we tend to disagree however, is for most everything else. I've gathered a few items from my "stash" to use as an example of the kinds of things that I do keep.
1. I'm not sure about the green bin and recycling rules where you live, but here, cans with a combination of cardboard and metal (like a Pringles or frozen juice can) cannot be recycled. HOWEVER, there is such an easy fix, that makes the entire can recyclable. All you have to do is use a safety can opener to cut off the metal end and then the cardboard canister, the plastic lid and the metal bottom can all go into the recycling bin and not the trash bin! (I'm sure it irks hubby that I pull these and frozen juice cans out of the garbage just as much as it irks me that he throws them in the garbage in the first place)!
2. I am always saving these cord locks or cord stops from any and everything. Most of these shown have come from hoodies/jackets that my son has outgrown, and/or his old backpacks from school. (And believe it or not, I have used these on a few occasions too! Once for a Halloween costume, another time to secure cord around something, and the biggest use was before my son could tie his own shoes, I would thread his laces through and then all he would have to do was push up the tab to tighten his shoes.
3. I am almost (but not quite) embarrassed to admit how many of these little plastic lids I have saved. Initially, I kept them to fit over individual portions of yogourt, jello, applesauce etc that I would send to school with my son. (This is also one of my pet peeves as well, because when my daughter was in school, they sold these individual serving cups with lids attached). I'm not sure why they stopped selling them. Everyone I know collected and reused them, so it shouldn't have been an issue of land fills becoming overrun! (I actually still have some that once held baby food because I noticed that they stop selling lids with the containers). I also intend (on someday) of making ornaments out of the lids. I figure I can secure cut out Christmas cards between two lids, I could make little flat snow discs, with winters scenes inside, oh the possibilities are endless!!
4. The metal lids off cans like Pringles and frozen juice I don't usually keep, but as I was thinking of this post, I realized that they would make great craft items as well. Even suitable for all ages! Young kids could paint pictures on them to be hung as ornaments, older kids could use tin snips and design their own ornaments. You could also add a support in the back and these would make cute little picture frames!
5. The fact that I pull these soap boxes out of the garbage is a great pet peeve of my husbands. I pull them out because they are totally, 100% recyclable!! (Therefore, they should go in the recycling NOT the garbage!
6. I love saving stiff plastic like these sheets. I cut them from any of the "impossible to get into" packages that many things are sold in. And you wouldn't believe the uses for them! I have used them for personalized book markers, "find-the-page" tabs for my sons agenda from school, I've made rulers out of them, templates, dividers and markers for my bands, again,mother possibilities are endless!
7. I LOVE saving the elastic cords that tie new shoes and sneakers together! And, believe it or not, I even found a use for all of them! I mended the mesh netting of the trampoline!! You never know when you're gonna need a piece of elastic cord!
8. I also always keep the twist ties and fasteners that hold almost anything you buy to a car board backing. I use a lot of twist ties in my looming, and often, you can find different colours other than white holding products to their packaging.
9. More twist ties! Any time I come across a twist tie, I will usually keep it! HALLOWEEN is a good time to grab a bunch as lots of people package up awesome treat bags for the neighbourhood kids ~ great opportunity to get silver and Orange twist ties!
10. The bane of my husband's existence ~ toilet paper tubes. I have been saving these from the garbage for years! They make fantastic little fire starters if you fold them up into each other. I can usually fit 12-14 together into one tube and the tight packing means they don't burn very fast and make great little kindling rolls! I've also used them for crafts (I made my son's birthday invitations out of little race cars that I made out of toilet paper tubes and also, I have wrapped my wet bangs around a one and held it in place with a big hair clip to air dry my bangs.
11. It gonna irk the Libra in me that I don't have an even number of items on this list, but the final one is the cloth strap that we irritatingly find on almost all tops and blouses to aid in hanging them up. They are just a nuisance and I always cut them off. And of course, stash them away. They make great ribbons for small gifts, and I've also used them to make loops to hold flash drives.
Oh, WAIT!! I know a 12th item I can add! Plastic grocery or shopping bags! Not too long ago, stores started charging if you needed a bag for your purchases. Of course, we have lots and lots or reusable, cloth grocery bags, but when we started buying our groceries at Wal-Mart, we stopped using the cloth bags because WalMart doesn't charge for their bags. We have so many plastic bags that my darling hubby swears they are taking over the basement. I use them for EVERYTHING!! (Don't we all)? I stuff them along our spare toilet paper holder in the bathroom to line the bathroom garbage bin, they get sent with my son to hold wet swim trunks and towels, they too frequently get doubled or even tripled to hold left-overs that are being tossed out. You name it, there are endless possible uses for a plastic grocery or shopping bag! I may not need ALL of the ones I like to keep, but it a major pet peeve of mine to have so many and not be able to find one when I need one, like to sort the recycling before it goes out to the garage ~ and not having one when I need it, happens ALL THE TIME!
Do I have hoarding tendencies, more than likely. However, I ALWAYS come up with a good use for EVERYTHING that I keep and unlike some hoarders, I don't really let them overrun the house (I'm sure hubby would disagree)!
#WackyWednesday, #Quirky, #Odd, #Interesting, #Bizarre, #Weird, #Wonderful, #Strange, #WhatTheWhat, #Orcanut, #Hoarding, #PackRat, #OnePersonsTrashIsAnothersTreasure, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #RainbowLoom, #Bands, #SafetyCanOpener, #Ornaments, #PlasticLids, #GreenBin, #CordLock, #CordStop, #MetalLidsAndBottoms, #SoapBoxes, #ElasticCords, #TwistTies, #ToiletPaperTubes, #PlasticBags, #Crafty, #Ingenious
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
~ TICKED OFF TUESDAY ~ August 4, 2015 ~ "FUNNY FEET, I LOVE YOU ~ NOT" ~ (anyone else remember the song "Funny Face"?) ~
~ TICKED OFF TUESDAY ~ August 4, 2015 ~ "FUNNY FEET, I LOVE YOU ~ NOT" ~ (anyone else remember the song "Funny Face"?) ~ Ok, so I think I am more "mildly irked" than actually ticked off, but it is really starting to get on my nerves that I have really weird feet and toes! And its not just one thing, I am plagued with several inflictions!
I know that it is summertime and by all rights, I should be going barefoot, but I'm usually cold and I can't wear flip-flops! PROBLEM AREA #1 ~ on both feet, the two toes next to my big toe are slightly webbed, [NOTE: Sometimes, the internet can be a wonderful thing! In researching for this post, I discovered that this condition has a scientific or medical name, SYNDACTYLY - meaning webbed toes and/or fingers. It can be genetically inherited, but doesn't have to be and people with this condition have something in common with not only famous people like Dan Aykroyd and Ahston Kutcher, but also with ducks, frogs and even kangaroos]!! My having a very slight case of "syndactyly" makes wearing any type of shoe or sandal that has to go between my toes unbearable.
I can't stand wearing open-toed shoes of any kind. PROBLEM AREA #2 ~ I used to hate my feet because my second toe is slightly longer than my big toe. [NOTE: Again, research for this post allowed me to find out that this condition also has a name. It's called "Morton's Toe" although has also been referred to as Morton's Foot, Greek Foot, Royal Toe, LeMay Toe and/or Sheppard's Toe. There are some treatments available, including surgery, but I recommend that if you are having problems from this condition, please see a doctor and/or a specialist]. However, I met someone once whose second toe was so far past her big toe, I am sure she must have had to wear shoes two sizes too big) ~ anyway, ever since then, I've thanked God for my "normal" toes! But I still don't like wearing open toed shoes!!
During my second pregnancy in 2004, which introduced our son Matthew to the world on November 12, something wonky happened to the toenail on each of my big toes. (Perhaps this post belongs with my new "Wacky Wednesday" column instead), but PROBLEM AREA #3 ~ is that I had grown a second layer of toenail. [NOTE: This is apparently a very common infliction in many people ~ just Google "layered toenails" and you may be as surprised as I was to find out how many people have this EXACT same problem]. There is no known real cause for this condition, and although it has been suggested that anything from pointed shoes, cold feet, poor diet or trauma can cause this, none of those factors applied to me (my feet really aren't always THAT cold)! As I said, it seemed to stem from my being pregnant. It is NOT caused by a fungus ~ a sample of my toenails that my doctor sent away to be tested came back negative for fungus and many articles that I found on-line also reported that fungus was not a cause of this condition. There are some medicinal treatments, although they are apparently very hard on the liver. Because of my other health issues and medications that I take, I opted instead to just keep filing, trimming and picking away at the second layer of toenail that I have. My best suggestion and advice would be to see your doctor and get a referral to a specialist if necessary. (And after 10 years, I was FINALLY able to pick, pry, file, dig and yank the second layer of nail away from the first. Talk about painful!! And, no, it ain't very pretty)!
As if that weren't bad enough, there still remains one final problem with my feet. And even though it is the least "medical" of my problems, it is the one issue that irks me the most. Probably because it not only happens on a daily basis, but actually, it occurs repeatedly and annoyingly, many, many, many times throughout the day!
And that brings us to PROBLEM AREA #4 ~ my socks NEVER stay straight on my feet!! This problem seems to affect mostly my right foot, which, for the "ever-seeking-balance-fairness-and-equilibrium" Libra in me, is a major "tick-me-off"! (Not that I would like for both socks to twist, mind you)!
As with the first three problems noted above, I tried to research some causes and/or solutions to this problem. But, alas, there doesn't seem to be a medical name or a scientific explanation for this "Twisted Sock Syndrome" despite the number of people afflicted by it. Right now my main concern is that my socks twist around on my foot. But thinking back to colder weather when I was wearing two or three pairs of longer, knee-high socks, another problem that I share with many, is that my socks fall down, bunch up and sometimes, usually when I am wearing boots, slid down underneath my heel.
The causes and solutions that I found run the gambit of odd, weird, wacky to down right ridiculous! (Another reason perhaps that this post should be made under my "Wacky Wednesday" heading)! Some of the reasons for socks twisting on our feet are: wearing sizes that are too big, the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" socks or the huge gap between sizes. I know the socks that I buy are ladies size 5-9. Now, I'm not sure about you, but to me, the difference between size 5 and size 9 seems to be quite a lot, so how can socks that fit one size fit the other? My foot size happens to be 7 - 7 1/2 so I figure since I fall right in the middle, they should fit me perfectly, right? Nope, apparently not.
Others causes were thin ankles, loose shoes, walking on the outside edge of your foot, and dry feet.
I could try one of these solutions that I found on-line I suppose: sock glue (yes, apparently there is such a thing); wearing thicker socks (um, I'm not sure how well that's gonna go over in the summer); using Velcro (apparently, you're supposed to stick one side to the bottom of your foot and the other to the inside of your sock and attach them together once the sock is on your foot); insulating tape (wrapped around the top of your socks after they are in your feet ~ this one is pretty self-explanatory, although I'm wondering if any kind of tape would do or if it HAS to be insulating tape); buying smaller or kids sized socks; and my personal favourite NOT ~ (see Problem #1), wearing socks with toes in them!
In the end, I have absolutely no idea what is causing my socks, again, typically my right sock, to continue to slip and slide and twist around my foot. And nothing I found on-line seems like a viable explanation or solution.
If you have any suggestions, or would love to commiserate with me on any or all of the above problems, I'd love to hear from you!!
In the meantime, I will either continue to grumble and complain about my twisty socks; try to buck up and learn to love open-toed sandals (not gonna happen); go around barefoot (which is likely the best option since I hardly ever go anywhere anyway), and wearing socks, twisty or not, is only going to leave me with the "farmer tan" of all farmer tans on my feet!
But hey! If I can get tanned enough, I'm sure my feet will become pasty and ghostly white enough to look like I am actually wearing socks!
That my friends just may be the best solution I can come up with to preventing sock twisting ~ wear invisible socks)!!
So, that's my pet-peeve for this week, what's been bugging you lately?
#TickedOffTuesday, #WhatIrksMeMost, #PetPeeve, #UGH, #ARCH, #WhatsBuggingYou, #Orcanut, #FunnyFeet, #WeirdToes, #Barefoot, #WebbedToes, #Syndactyly, #DanAykroyd, #AshtonKutcher, #Ducks, #Frogs, #Kangaroos, #FlipFlops, #Sandals, #OneLongerToe, #MortonsToe, #LayeredToeNails, #TwistedSockSyndrome, #SockGlue, #Velcro, #InsulatingTape, #ToeSocks, #FarmerTan, #InvisbileSocks, #Funny