Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rest in Peace, Bunny

Today, Bunny, my rice sock, was scorched in a senseless act by the rogue microwave at work today. I still needed her warmth, but the smell of burnt popcorn quickly permeated my department, with disgusted co-workers bluntly shunning us. They don't understand what she means to me. I took my poor Bunny home with me.

The heating pad at home took over for a while, but Bunny will be missed. She has warmed my spasming muscles on many occasions, allowing this chronic pain sufferer to bravely press on and continue to "make the bacon" despite the stabbing pain. Time and time again, she has been there for me when others didn't have a clue I was overwhelmed and in a world of hurt. She gave me courage, hope, and most of all, gentle and encouraging warmth.

Rest in peace, my dear Bunny. I will always remember you and how you came through for me in countless times of need. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trigger Points Gone Berserk

For over a fortnight now, I've been dealing with some ridiculous knots in the muscles near my shoulders, neck, and upper back. Since it started, I've had two really great sessions of trigger point massage therapy on the troubled areas. I have also used my TheraCane, a tennis ball, my rice sock, my heading pad, hot baths and showers, stretches, pain medicine, and now, finally, rest, as I write to you from my bed today.

It started on my left side, mostly in the side of my neck, down to the mid-back. It has been restricting movement in my neck and just causing this constant, awful pain.

It has gradually spread into more of an upper back problem on both left and right sides. Today, it is settling into the right side of the upper back and top of the right shoulder.

I don't know exactly what triggered this particular flare, but I can look back and see plenty of possible contributing factors, including the ongoing foot tendonitis thing, stress, and weather extremes, to start.  But I also kept going to work and doing things, acting like a normal or something. Why do I keep doing that? I think I have been busted, living on borrowed spoons.  I worked through it until yesterday around noon, when I decided I couldn't keep pressing on. It's a shitty time for me to be off work, but as I tell my fibro friends, I cannot take care of anyone else until I take care of myself first. So I am resting until something changes for the better.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Painful Foot Update: Peroneal Tendonitis

So, last Friday, I went to a new foot doctor about the pain and swelling around my outer right ankle bone.  The whole staff was very nice.  The doctor pressed on various areas of my bare foot and asked if it was painful.  He found the worst spot (toward the back heel side of the bony area) and suspected an inflamed tendon.

I had my foot x-rayed to rule out any bone or other problems - all clear there.  With my past history of having this same problem a few months back, and since it went away with just some icing and rest, he says we can assume this is peroneal tendonitis.  If it gets better in a few days with the ice, Aleve, rest, etc. that would support the diagnosis.  However, if it gets worse or does not subside, we can do more detailed testing like MRI to see if anything has torn.

An ankle brace was recommended to help support the foot and reduce further inflammation while walking around, so I went and got one after my appointment.

I was also told my arches were slightly flat, and that my foot posture turning downward on the inner sides of my feet was possibly contributing to my tendonitis.  The doctor recommended getting some good shoe inserts with sturdy arch support. So I got a pair of these as well.  Since I had some cheap inserts in my boots already, he looked at them and added some felt to the bottom of the arch area, to beef up the support a bit.  I thought that was nice.

I also got a great printout of strengthening exercises to do to help prevent further injury to my feet, and have been giving those a try each day.  I'm backing off the daily stairs climbing at work until I feel better, and the yoga and other activities are mostly on hiatus, too, to I can rest the bad foot.  I did do some yoga poses today, though.  I just made sure I didn't use my feet for support and took extra care to look for any signs of pain in that bad ankle.

So, here I am, several days later with my foot feeling a lot better, but not quite back to normal yet.  I am still wearing the ankle brace but I have put the cane away and have just been stepping slowly and carefully at work and at home.

I'm a bit cranky otherwise, though, because other symptoms have been acting up.  I fear that the Aleve I was told to take (always with meals, mind you) for the inflammation was irritating my stomach, so I stopped taking it.  I had some gastritis a while back and don't know if that is still with me, or if it's just more IBS or something else.  I have been dealing with some sharp, stabbing pains in my ribs and back the past couple of days, and my eyes feel like I've been awake too long, though I did manage to sleep.  Then yesterday, out of nowhere, tinnitus in my left ear just started raging with this loud, muffling ringing for hours.  On top of all of these symptoms, like the cherry on top, is all the mental garbage that tags along: my difficulty with focus and memory, plus the stress of dealing with all this crap while trying to live and manage and keep my job.  I declare a flare.  And I am just trying to remember that there is hope at the other end of this particular nightmare.  I just don't know when exactly that will be.