Second Pain Management Appointment

I had my second Pain Managment appointment today and it went pretty well. I filled him in on how my back has been lately explaining how im struggling to manage because the pain seems to be getting worse and I’m struggling to sleep because the left side of my ribcage feels like its being crushed inwards however I lay. He again confirmed I suffer chronic pain which is hard to treat but we can try and find ways to manage it.

I have to request an X-ray on my ribcage from my GP at my next appointment so he can see what is going on with it as you can visibly see the ribs poking out slightly too. I also let him know I have had my duloxetine upped from 20mg to 60mg because I’ve been feeling so depressed.

He examined my back when we had finished covering everything and got me a Tens machine to use and showed me where to place it and how to use it. He told me didn’t want to refer me to physio yet until we see how things go after the steroid injections and using the Tens machine regulalrly.

second pain management

I now have to monitor my weight and weigh myself at the same time every week making sure it doesnt carry on dropping.. Not something I’m looking forward to as I try not to weigh myself too much due to past problems but I am getting so fed up of being in pain that I’m happy to gain some weight. I just really need to try and remember to eat more and make sure theres a few more snacks around as otherwise I forget and usually just eat dinner each day. Luckily the CatchMyPain app lets me add details and notes for each day so I’m going to make sure I keep track of everything on there so I can show the Dr next time as I totally forget half of what I need to say when I go in there!

I wore the Tens whilst shopping after my appointment and it did seem a little easier although my balance is still awful and I feel silly walking. Hopefully the Tens helps me do more as I’m getting so fed up of not doing simple tasks or doing them then regretting it.

I’ll be having my Steroid injections in just a few weeks and then wont see pain management until June 14th. I really hope by then I’ll be able to start physio again.. That is if I dont keep getting caught up in the wires of the tens haha!

Have you used a Tens before? Did it help?

 

Overcoming a bad patch

I’m pretty sure I am not alone in saying January was mostly awful!
I’ve been trying to overcome a bad patch. The cold weather made it miserable and made my whole body hurt so much I had to keep myself fairly dosed up, something I generally avoid doing as much as possible as I really don’t like taking any kind of medication and dealing with the side effects.

As you may have read my LGG4 died leaving me without a phone and almost camera-less.. I say almost because I do in fact own a real camera, I have a Fujifilm finepix S1500 but I misplaced the rechargeable batteries and hunted through the flat huffing and sulking for a good few days until I eventually found them.

Just as I thought I was winning I managed to take a few shots and went to put them on my laptop only I couldn’t find the USB lead! So of course I spent another few days tearing apart the flat like a madwoman.

The Mr  then suggested asking our tech geek if he had a spare. Turns out we went through all this when I got the camera (second hand) and tech geek had given me a memory card reader to use instead.

Of course this was sat in my kitchen junk draw staring at me for the entire week whilst I searched the draw for the batteries (which were actually in there too!?) and the non-existent USB lead.

Normally it wouldn’t bother me so much but I needed the pictures for our Weekend Box review and the Mr found a local photography group a few weeks back and I was hoping to brave it and try going to hopefully learn to take much better photo’s and to give me a break as well as meeting new people in the area.

I also started on the mission of cleaning my brother’s flat leaving me exhausted and well behind on my own housework. Obviously I don’t mind doing it as it really is needed and I am the only person he trusts to go through his stuff and sort it but I am suffering for it.

Both girl’s have been ill on and off throughout January too which obviously makes it even harder to get thing’s done or catch a moment to myself. Add to that the Issue’s we have been having with Eva’s school it has been a hectic, stressful and lonely month!

Overcoming a bad patch

So all in all January was a bit crap to be honest. I know to most people all these little things seem so silly but for me it just felt like one thing after another was going wrong and this caused my depression and anxiety to spiral out of control a little. Luckily February seems to be going fairly well minus a poorly Eva and issue[s with her school.

Reviewing the Weekend box really perked both Eva and myself up and gave us something to do whilst Izzy slept over the weekend.

I eventually managed to upload my pictures and finish the blog post too. I missed another photography group meet though as I have been overly anxious all week but I’m hoping to pluck up the courage to go on Tuesday.

As it turned out the LGG4 was still under warranty and although the collection was delayed by a day the G4 was collected for repair on Wednesday and should hopefully be back working within a week,
I have everything crossed it is fixable as I really do love that phone!

My brothers flat is so much cleaner and a lot more organised and his asthma has started to ease up slightly where there is less dust & mould. He is doing better in himself and on my last visit we went to ads with an unused gift card I found at his and bought him a decent saucepan, strainer and utensils and enough food to keep him going until my next visit.

Although I’ve been in a lot of pain lately we worked out wearing the Mr’s long johns helps with my leg pain where they stay warmer. Also the Mr has been making sure my wheat bags are warmed every night and he has been using a fan heater to warm the bed up each night to help too. Plus knowing I only have another month to wait until my steroid injections I am hopeful the pain may decrease a little!

To top it all the blog seems to be doing fairly ok even though I’ve struggled with posting and networking lately and I have a few more awesome reviews coming up very soon.

Over the coming month I’ll have more time to chat to other bloggers and read more posts too which I love doing! So if we haven’t spoken before please feel free to come say Hi sometime as I love discovering new blogs and having a chat.

Hopefully this coming Tuesday I will manage to make it to the Photography meet up, I just need to try not to think about it too much in the days leading up to it to keep my anxiety down. Easier said than done but I really need to try and do this for myself, give myself a bit of time out doing something I love & hopefully make some friends around here too!

Eva is booked in at the Dr’s Monday and I’m hoping we can get to the bottom of her headaches and a few other thing’s.

February is definitely looking to be a much better month already! How was your January? Do you have high hopes for February?

Seeing in the New Year

seeing in the new year

Happy new year to all my readers, I hope you all had an amazing night seeing in the new year and I cant wait to have a nose through some posts to see what you all got up to! I did write a Christmas – New Year post thinking I wouldn’t find the time to squeeze in a proper new year post but I’ve had a bit more free time today so decided to share with you all how we saw in the new year.

Originally we were meant to have a few people over for drinks to celebrate the new year but the Mr decided against it. Surprisingly not even an hour after the decision was made to just spend New years indoors together I got a phone call from my brother in a bad mood & skint but desperate to come see us and see new years in with us. I guess it was one of those strange things where plans fail for a reason.

Its been almost 10 years since I’ve seen the new year in with my brother as he was in care most years or hospital and I was either in a refuge or unable to get to him or help him get to me so the idea of spending new years eve with him at last made me ridiculously happy.

My brother explained his situation and between the Mr and I we had a plan & thanks to c2c running late trains especially for the new years eve celebrations it all fell into place nicely.

My brother hates asking for help, I’m very aware that I am one of the few people he dares to ask for help from but still feels awkward doing so, the Mr and I try to remind him every time we see him that he is family regardless & if he needs something he only has to shout.

I was seriously proud he finally plucked up the courage to call me, we instantly transferred some money into his account so he could jump on the train & when he got here he told us what had put him in a bad mood and we all talked it over and by the end he was laughing and smiling like crazy drinking rum with us & eventually after a bit of persuading he let us buy a takeaway for us all.

As midnight got closer we put the BBC countdown on opened our curtains to watch the fireworks out the window. The advantage of living 11 floors up and looking out towards London is that we can see fireworks for miles on a clear night. My brother & I were really impressed that the fireworks display in London we were watching on the TV we could see out from the window here in Thurrock!!

We saw the new year in together again at last & it honestly made my night spending it with the two guys I love the most, my Mr & my brother.

After spending Christmas eve with my brother too I think he has now realised we mean everything we say, he is always welcome here, if he needs anything or wants to see us he only has to say and we will arrange something, we may have missed a lot of years out but he is and always will be my baby brother and no matter what I will always be there for him & I think he is gradually seeing that.

Seeing in the New Year this way has left me feeling very positive for 2016 knowing my brother will come to us when he needs to & he is slowly getting used to being part of a family again. Family life itself is going much better recently too now that I have signed off and not stressing myself out constantly trying to find a job when I’m struggling to walk to my corner shop. Now I have a pain management consultant things are looking up slightly with regards to my health, someone is listening at last and willing to try and help me instead of fobbing me off with tablets that give off awful side effects.

The blog, thanks to all you lovely readers has got off to a much better start than I had expected & I’m really looking forward to putting a lot more time & effort into the blog. With my last blog I tried to stick to only one or two topics which of course made it much harder to come up with content, this time I’m just doing what I want when I want & it seems to be going much better although admittedly I do need to plan and organize my time better to get where I want to be this time next year. I’ve been chatting to a few lovely bloggers over the last month or so too which has been lovely where I struggle to socialize in person & I’m hoping I can get the courage up to say hi to a few more bloggers too.

2015 wasn’t an overly great or an overly awful year for us but I’m hoping 2016 will be much better & hopefully we can even squeeze in a family holiday somewhere as our only family holiday was almost 5 years ago whilst Eva was still small.

I’m hoping to learn more about knitting & crocheting this year too as I find it so Calming and helpful with my Anxiety and Depression.

How did you celebrate the new year? What are your hopes/goals for 2016? Have a similar post you would like to share with me? Drop me a comment or Get in touch!

 

 

Christmas – New Year

I thought a Christmas-New year catch up was needed. Over the last week or so I’ve struggled to stay focused enough to write a full post with all the excitement that’s been going on. At last I have managed to find some time to sit down and write.

Christmas

December is usually an extremely hectic month and I struggle massively with my anxiety and depression but this year has been a lot easier for several reasons.

One being I had my pain management appointment on december 14th and my consultant actually listened and has booked me in for steroid injections, physiotherapy again but much slower and mentioned looking into a spinal cord stimulator.

Relief

It’s honestly a HUGE relief, knowing someone is finally taking me seriously. I may have a chance of getting on top of this pain. Admittedly I am struggling with slowing down more but luckily I’ve had a fairly good few weeks and been able to cope and do a bit more than usual.

Christmas

The Christmas period itself has been so much calmer than normal. It has been lovely, I’ve managed to spend time having fun with the girls a bit more. We even managed to destroy a gingerbread house!

A Party

We also attended a minnie mouse themed birthday party for my friends 1 year old. It was lovely although my social anxiety apparently showed and it was rather loudly pointed out that I was sitting alone being ‘unsociable’. Still I managed to talk more than normal considering I barely knew anyone and it was just myself and the girls!

We totally kept the minnie ears!

Surprise Bedroom Makeover

The Mr & I planned a surprise bedroom make over on christmas eve. The Mr set it all up with the help of a friend whilst I took the girls out for a day of shopping, spending their christmas money & visiting father christmas with my brother.

Spending christmas eve with my brother was a huge highlight for me. Unfortunately we havent spent as many christmas’ with each other as we should have.

Christmas Photo

This photo is one I’ll treasure, our present to my brother was this photo in a christmas tree snow globe. The globe was Eva’s idea as his flat is too small for a christmas tree. His cat would destroy a tree, so she thought it could be his christmas tree which reminds him of all of us and our fun day out.

Christmas Day

Christmas day itself was a nice quiet family day just the 6 of us.. Cat’s included.. Because the girls had new beds the cats needed one too along with some new toys!

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Boxing day we had a flat full of people where a lot of Rum & Jaeger was drunk. I rarely drink so it was quite nice having a chance to let my hair down a bit surrounded by people I’m comfortable with.

Coping Better

Boxing day is usually a day where depression sets in badly. Thankfully with friends around, being kept busy I didn’t have too much time to dwell on the past.

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I still had the same flashbacks & memories of my miscarriage 7 years ago & going past the hospital in the car made me feel ill.  I held my keepsakes tight and managed to calm myself and go back to enjoying our christmas celebrations. We picked up my brother for an evening of drinking and celebrating how far we have both come.

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Rum may have helped a little but I honestly think looking over the last few weeks that having the people around us that we have has helped make things run a bit smoother making christmas much more enjoyable.

Family & Friends

Spending time with everyone, laughing joking having fun has been amazing. The girls were spoilt and had a magical christmas, my ears are still ringing from Eva’s squealing! It’s definately been our best christmas yet and we plan to have a few people over again for new years eve to celebrate too. I’ve had a lot of fun Taking silly selfies with the girls too, you may have seen some on twitter or instagram 🙂

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We are stocked up on crafts & things to do thanks to father christmas! Even when I’m not able to do much, the girls can still come and sit on the sofa with me. We can do something to keep them busy which I’m hoping make’s me feel a bit better about not being able to do more. I miss things like giving them piggy back rides & racing Eva to the top of the spiderman climbing frame and spending hours at the park and struggle because I am in too much pain.

Feeling Positive

Overall things have been good lately and seem to be looking up. The blog has really kicked off quite quickly! I am still over the moon I had my first PR opportunity thanks to BakerDays on the new blog so soon. I’ve already got talking to a few lovely bloggers & look forward to meeting more.

Although I’ve been busy & haven’t blogged much lately I have enjoyed getting back into blogging this year. I’m looking forward to continuing in 2016 and connecting with other bloggers too. Especially as it really cheers me up getting a new comments or like or follow. I dont go out much and I’m stupidly shy for such a crazy person, so it’s nice to socialise a little. F

eel free to pop by and say Hi on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can find my handles on this page or feel free to leave a comment here on the blog 🙂 I follow back too 😉

So here’s to the new year, I look forward to sharing it with you all!

Ups And Downs

This past week has been full of ups & downs for me. My pain levels have become unbearable across the week. I’m suffering majorly, in more ways than one because of it.

Ups And Downs

That’s the problem with Chronic pain, it isn’t just the pain the gets to you. Anxiety is a huge problem for me right now, as is depression. I’ve recently discovered the term brain fog. This is what I feel when my pain heightens, I becoming confused, dizzy, anxious, struggling with my short-term memory etc.

When I get like this it’s extremely hard for me to ‘word’ (talk) as I call it. If I am asked something, even if I know what I want to say, it comes out all jumbled up. This leaves both myself and the person im trying to talk to extremely confused. I get frustrated with myself very easily at the moment and have become quite emotional.

Struggling

The hard part for me is being aware of all these symptoms. Knowing it is  my body’s way of saying ‘help, I’m struggling!’ yet not knowing how to change that. I just can’t get my mind and body to cope and ride it out.

After hoovering just a small corner of the girls room, whilst the Mr did all the heavy work, I managed to hurt myself. I did this without realising, I thought I was being careful. I guess a walk into town afterwards tipped me over the edge.

To top it off the following day I managed to trip over our cat, Batgirl and fell into the doorway. I banged my hip on the frame as I fell and landed awkwardly on my right side. I instantly vomited from the pain and ended up passing out. When I woke I was instantly in tears because of the head splitting migraine. I also felt pain all over my body from the fall. 2 & 1/2 day’s later and I am still paying for it, but it is gradually easing again.

Being A Spoonie Mum

I need to learn my limits but I am struggling with this greatly. I’m only 25 & I have 2 daughters that I wish I could get down on the floor with more. Being a bit of a lunatic I hate being unable to do so much. I had a huge meltdown at my Mr this week. I ended up crying that I couldn’t do such a simple task most mothers do weekly. Tidying and sorting through your children’s toys should be something I dread doing! Instead, it’s something I wish I could do more.

I spent a good half an hour telling my Mr all the thing’s I find frustrating. It’s so hard because its stuff I SHOULD be able to do. He sat and listened for a while. Then said this to me, ‘If you saw someone in a wheelchair would you tell them to get up and walk because they should be able to?’. Of course, I said no. He told me that as much as I am finding it hard and frustrating, I need to stop judging myself and beating myself up constantly over what I ‘should’ be able to do. I need to accept that I have limits but there are things I can do and I should be proud of that.

Feeling Better

That calmed me down and got me thinking. Eventually I realised how right he is and decided to sit and finish off Izzy’s blanket since I find it quite a calming hobby. I was in agony but still managed to complete it. Once I had done it I felt so much better, I had achieved something at last! I have made a few mistakes, there are 2 small button holes. They are barely noticeable, so I decided just this once I’d leave it. Afterall, it is my first big project. Luckily the fluffyness hid it well and Izzy had already been demanding I hurry up and hand over her blanket!

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Over the last few weeks, knitting has helped me stay a bit more focused. It has helped me calm down a lot when I am feeling anxious. I concentrate on the next stitch, instead of sitting with a ton of thoughts racing through my head, over-analysing anything and everything possible.

Knitting that blanket has given me such a boost. Seeing Izzy’s face the following morning, watching her carry it all over the place and snuggling with it on her daddy’s lap, made me feel amazing. Such a boost after such an awful few days.

Becoming More Sociable

Some of you may have noticed I have been a little more active on twitter over the last week or so. I’ve had a few chat’s with some lovely blogger’s which has also cheered me up quite a bit. Some of my posts have been shared quite a lot surprisingly. Also, I have recieved several lovely comments which always seem to come through at a low moment and cheers me up.

As much as I have had some majorly down points this week, I have also had several good ones too. I definitely need to focus more on the good than the bad though.

Christmas

On that note, tomorrow we are putting up our christmas tree. I’m getting excited for that, I’m going to cut out a few cardboard shapes, stars, stockings etc for the girls. They can pretty them up with paint and glitter and hang them around the flat.

I have made a small start on christmas presents and we have almost built up enough amazon credit to buy the girls beds. So this week when we get paid, we can buy their smaller presents. We wont struggle as much to make christmas happen, even after out money screwing up several times throughout the year. I’m so grateful for that right now, I know its your presence not presents that children need, but at the same time I’d like to make sure they have a magical christmas. Focusing on tons of food and lots of decorations to brighten the place up and getting the girls into the christmas spirit!

Feeling Grateful

I am grateful for what I am able to do and know I need to give myself a break every now and then. I need to continue to help myself by busying myself with crafts, blogging and doing what I can with the girls. Im aware that anxiety and depression is part of the vicious cycle of chronic pain and thing’s will get worse a lot sooner, if I allow everything to get to me. So I plan to stay as positive as I can, distract myself as much as possible, judge myself less and try to accept my limits more.

Do you suffer chronic pain, anxiety or depression? How do you cope and stay positive? Drop me a comment or head over to my Get in touch page to find other ways of contacting me if you prefer. Thank you for popping by and reading my post x

Calming Hobbies For Anxiety

I’m focusing on calmig hobbies after I wrote about anxiety last week and how I’ve really been struggling. It is really affecting me, along with depression mostly because I suffer from chronic pain.

Calming Hobbies For Anxiety

I asked readers for tips to help me feel less anxious constantly. One tip I recieved was to write down every thing I want to get off my chest at night and the other was to find a hobby to keep my mind focused.

I have managed to pick up the yarn I needed to finish my knitting project and half way through knitting a scarf too. I have been making an effort to knit a few rows every few hours.

Writing And Knitting

Every night on my notes I write down everything that has been frustrating me. Knitting, along with writing whats on my mind each night, does feel like its helping. As I write, it feels like a weight is being lifted. With knitting, I think about less and less with every stitch focusing only on the next stitch.

I noticed a lot of my writing each night is about how my pain has limited me throughout the day. It makes me feel useless as I tend to end up sat on the sofa, trying to focus on not moaning too much. However, over the last day or so, I’ve been focusing on my knitting whenever I’m on the sofa. Doing this, I at least feel like I am achieving something, watching my projects grow.

Coping Better

My pain levels have escalated throughout the day but im still feeling positive. I havent had an attack in a few days now and I feel a bit more positive in general so I’m going to keep up the writing and knitting and once Ive finished Izzy’s blanket and scarf I plan to attempt learning crochet!

calming hobbies
Almost complete!

Thank you for the tips and keep them coming in if anyone has any others 🙂

Do you craft? Feel free to link up your makes, I love seeing what other people have created!

Struggling with Anxiety

Struggling with Anxiety

Struggling with Anxiety is one of those things that come and go as they please making it very difficult to avoid an attack.

Recently due to the fact I suffer from chronic pain and have struggled for 5 years to get a referral for pain management, having had to swap to Esa because of this (which as a result left us with no money for almost a month!) amongst other things, anxiety has been getting the better of me.

I am quite an anxious person in general I worry about anything and everything and find it very hard to switch off but I’ve definately been struggling a lot more recently.

Its making it very difficult for me to go out and do things even when im having a fairly good day because I panic I wont make it there and back, I freak over the fact I look funny when I walk because of the pain, the more pain im in the more I visibly struggle to walk which makes me panic that people will stare at me.

Im trying to put together a video for the Samsung SmartThings campaign but Im struggling to do it, every time I attempt to record what I’m doing and talk about it as I go I begin to panic and hyperventilate, start shaking & sweating and feel extremely nauseous and like the walls are closing in on me. It’s seriously depressing me that such a simple task feels like climbing the worlds tallest mountain to me right now.

Making calls is a huge issue for me again, anyone other than the Mr on the other end of the phone and I struggle to answer or make the call. Having thought I’d got over making and recieving calls it feels like I’ve taken a huge leap backwards again.

I really need to find a way around this but I haven’t a clue what to do.. So Im asking you, My readers if any of you suffer or know someone that suffers anxiety that may have some tips on how to get around it?

I’ve tried breathing exercises but these just seem to make things worse.. what else can I try?

All comments are welcome, if you’d like to contact me privately please visit my Get in touch page to find a suitable way to contact me. All help is very much appreciated!

Chronic pain at 25

Part of the reason I decided to begin blogging again is also part of the reason I stopped blogging before. I am a Chronic pain sufferer and have been for over 5 years now. I struggled to get the help I needed when it first began which caused me to become extremely depressed and anxious.

Shutting Down

I shut off from a lot of my friends and closed my blog and deleted all trace of it as I was fed up of ‘moaning’ about the pain constantly. I’ve recently realised that sometimes to cope with chronic pain you need an outlet where you can vent and moan so you can clear your mind and take control again.

Keeping Track

As I’ve come to realise this I’ve decided I’m going to document what goes on with my various appointments, to help me keep track, vent & moan on bad days and make others aware of how chronic pain affects lives, and hopefully find other’s who have learnt coping techniques and to hear their story too. If you’ve got this far then here is my story.

Lower Back Pain

Since my pregnancy with my eldest daughter in 2010 I have had excruciating lower back pain. It all began with struggling to climb the stairs in our first flat whilst pregnant, I’d struggle so much I’d be in tears. I thought at the time it was just typical pregnancy pains until it continued about 6months after my eldest was born.

X-Ray Results

I eventually got to a point where everyone was telling me I had to go to the DR’s and find out what was going on. Eventually, I did and an x-ray showed I had scoliosis of the lumbar spine and low disc space in L4-L5. My GP referred me to physiotherapy which wasn’t helping and due to unfortunate circumstances at the time I became unable to afford the fare to get to my physiotherapy sessions and gave up trying to seek help.

Chronic Pain

After a few years of struggling with the pain and trying to manage it with over the counter medicines, I got much worse especially a few months after the birth of my youngest daughter. Over time it got to the point where I could barely pick her up, so I went to my local GP to try and get some help.

Physiotherapy, Again

Again I was referred to physiotherapy which didn’t go well at all. After the first session, I hurt for almost 2 weeks! By the third session, I was barely able to walk for the next 3 weeks. I went back to my GP and explained the pain was worse and explained how it travels down my leg and at times I can’t walk or move my legs, attempting to lift my youngest up gives me extremely painful spasms, all of it combined is exhausting and depressing and on top of it all on really bad days I’m extremely nauseous too.

Medication

I was prescribed Amitriptyline, Duloxetine, Naproxen and Co-dydramol to try and help manage the pain & the depression. I was surprised to find out that some anti-depressants are also used for nerve related pain but after doing a bit of research discovered they are quite regularly prescribed for this reason. Unfortunately, the medication does very little but I am at least able to sleep a bit better on the Amitriptyline which is some relief.

Another X-Ray

I was sent for more x-rays which showed lordosis of the thoracic spine which shows signs of muscle spasms. This indicates its likely to be a nerve problem which it seems my GP must have worked out as she prescribed the amitriptyline from the start. When I attended my last physiotherapy session the physio decided it was best to release me and refer me to pain management as he said it was clear the exercises had aggravated the situation and he didn’t want to hurt me more and he made me a referral marked as ‘urgent’.

Pain Clinic

I now have to wait until the 14th December for my pain clinic appointment, which after seeing the waiting times at some hospitals I’m quite lucky I got an appointment this year. I’m hopeful I can find ways to manage the pain and remain as active as possible with their help as being stuck indoors most of the time and unable to enjoy simple things without suffering for it has had a major impact on my mental health and my family.

Reaching Out

I’m hoping to connect to other Chronic pain sufferers by sharing my story here and keeping track of my progress. If you read all of this post then, Thank you for taking the time to do so and please feel free to contact me in any way if you want to share your story or just a chat.