Tag Archives: Osteoarthritis

Bipolar – PENS & Oxycodone

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I love pens. I really, really want to get one of those very expensive jobbies. I saw some in a gift boutique downtown Wednesday afternoon. They were 2013 models and at a bargain 50% off the normal $450 and $300. Oiy! Maybe not today. I’d love to get one for myself and one for my eldest daughter. We both love to write.

Writing can be a passionate thing. It is with me. Always with me I’m investing something of myself when I write whether it’s something blatantly obviously personal or if it’s something going on in my head that I want to talk about.

Right now I want to say something that I think is very important so sit up and read carefully. I’m putting this in terms of applying to myself so I know this from personal experience.

I have chronic pain. I have something wrong with my L4 and L5 disks, degenerative disks all the length of my spine, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. I have a twice replaced right knee (replaced twice in two years, the first time it didn’t work) known as a TKR. I am 51 years old and I must say I do not appreciate needing to go to a pain management specialist and taking narcotics… every day.

I’ve been having what i can only label as nightmares now that I’m taking closer to the prescribed amount each day. (I also take Tramadol but that gives me migraines after a few days use). I don’t normally have nightmares. I was having trouble discerning reality fro dream when I would wake up in the morning.

Tonight I woke after another “nightmare” and remember something quite startling. When I was “incarcerated” in a facility to recover for my TKR the second time because my parents were moving and my kids wouldn’t be around to care for me giving me meds and such. It was a horrible experience. Besides generally feeling like I was incarcerated I was on Oxycodone at my maximum dosage every single time I could take it. The staff were only too happy to let me have it.

Unfortunately I had several nights in which I had terrifying and convincing hallucinations. It has taken me a long time to admit they didn’t really happen. Add to that, that I don’t remember my eldest daughter calling me daily from the MacDill Air Force base where she works as an air traffic controler. We live across the country from each other and that eats at my heart. We’ve always been close and the distance is difficult. But I don’t remember her calls and I know that bothers her. She took care of me during my first recovery and had to go through my even having two blood clots below my surgical knee. That was also a nightmare.

Last night and tonight I’ve been about at the level of Oxycodone that I was at in the rehabilitation center (read: nursing home) and I’ve started having hallucinations, not nightmares.

I suspect my use of pain medications is on the way down. We’ve tried a number of things and nothing seems to help.

I have an idea that I am sure will help. Ever hear of neuroplasticity? I’m sure you’ve heard of Luminosity, that’ s neuroplasticity. For me, this will mean using mindfulness to “remap” my brain and in doing so enable my actual brain structure to interpret pain differently. It won’t seem painful to me.  I guess I could put it like that without going into detail right now. I will soon though.

Neuroplasticity is becoming my key to dealing with my much of my troubles. Think of it, how awesome it will be to control my chronic pain, Bipolar, FM and OA… at least to a degree. Many advanced meditation practitioners are known to change their brains in a manner like the mindfulness I’ve mentioned.

Mindfulness. Neuroplasticity. How great to have the possibility of using these disciplines to help myself!

I’m not likely to be drug free… but I’ll get as far as I can.

I’ll talk about Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity in depth soon. They are very important disciplines that science backs up. I mean they are both proven scientifically to work in the areas I need. They impact many other things too.  After all, they are not confined to “topics” the brain considers. They do however, change the brain in ways we cannot comprehend considering the vast expanse, the last frontier as they say. At night I’ve taken to listening to Pandora. I searched and found a Mindfulness station to listen through the night. It’s playing right now. I finally decided to subscribe. Know why? The commercials were scaring me as I slept. Ew.

Watch your consumption of drugs like Oxycodone. You could have side affects you would think would anticipate.

Be cautious. Be ever vigilant.

Catch you later.I’m trying to stay awake for a while. Those hallucinations were getting very weird. Scary.

Robin

I’m in such pain…. I’m a BP1, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA, MOM

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Seriously though… I’m in an extraordinarly dismal pain deep in my bones I think. I’m not certain. It starts somewhere around my swollen and annoying disks down around the L-something-or-other.

Restless legs? Perhaps. Runs in the women on my mom’s side of the family.

Anxiety encouraging psychosomatic (maybe) spinal pain to radiate through Restless Legs and deep to the ass of the leg with the double times new knee.

Translation… My equal isn’t ibriumating. Get it? Equilibrium. Equal. Equal-ibrium.  New knee as in “not using it much for years and am lopsided and out of synch.)

What?

Seriously though… From my lower back down past my toes especially in my right leg and alien beastie is trying to pull the bones out of my flesh. Meat. Oh my.

Seriously though… Hurts like a “$(%*& ”   of  a    ” )(*&#_ ”   If you know what I mean.

Sitting on my bum on the floor is a feat of unsurpassed hilarity. Translation: I’m either laughing madly – or – crying with great abandon. Take your pick.

Tonight the pain started about 1:15 in the afternoon PST.   Not EST.   PST.

I took my Oxycodone and heating pad and lie down (lay down… well I wasn’t “sitting” down) on my bed while my puppy (Australian Shepherd/Heeler named Bailey, a little girl) snoozed at my feet. Literally. She slept temporarily where my feet could go on my queen sized bed. Then she slept where they also could have been. And then again. Add. Spin. Rinse. Repeat.

Where was I? Right. Bloody bleeding sickly . . . agony. Pain. Unrelenting, mind blowing, consuming… pain.

I don’t watch American Idol. Did once, when it all first began. Still have a fondness for Kelly Clarkson. The queen upon the Idol throne. I sat tonight not watching the 13th season with my son (Kyle, 19. He’s a boy.). I think I must have been doing it louder than I noticed because suddenly he sideswiped my attention from my ass to, well, to my whining. I was whimpering and whining.

I never allow myself that luxury while my kids are about. At least, not before this. Today, I’m in such pain… And it started well before bedtime.

Oh damn!  I just want to sleep.

I think, I think I’ll go soak my ass. Okay, I’ll soak everything that will fit in the tub too. Maybe some soothing heat not floating around my body will help some. Oh great bird of the universe I hope so. Damn I do hope so.

My car is in the shop. Again.

My phone is stupid and dead.

My knee is still new.

My weather is nice. Just right today.

My belly is too big.

My kids are amazing. And my puppy too.

I can see my feet again.  When I move my boobs out of the way. I’m short you know.

I’m in so much pain.

Good night.

Tomorrow is going to come whether I’ve slept or not. As it always does and always should do. I would do well to remember this.

Come on pain, time to have a bath. Pain, would you consider going down the drain? Please. No? Screw you. I’m having that bath anyway.

Again. Good night.

What’s Wrong with Me?

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All right then…. early on in my adventure in this thing called “me”… things were really rough. Actually, things have always been rough for me.

STOP!

Wow, that was horrible. I cannot relive all the horror that I’ve been through just to tell you this thing I’ve discovered.

When my kids were young and I was coming apart at the seams I struggled against myself to find peace. Some days the darkness wanted me too much it seemed. God was nothing and I was all alone. Alone in my head with myself.

The thing about me is I’m never ready to stop. Even when that’s what I’m screaming that it’s what I truly wish for.

I came across an idea, a lot of ideas. Things written and spoken that gave me the beginning of control. Control of myself… stopping.

Think about this. . . I am the only one in my head, controlling what I think and who I am. Yes, I may be admitting I’m bonkers and I’ve chosen to be bonkers… but I’m not. I’m not!

Youch! Bipolar is . . . my brain dancing to a private tune. When I’m off my meds or on something that just isn’t working for me my blessed brain runs amok. Everyday I enter into negotiations with myself to see if I’m going to cooperate. Cooperate with myself.

I am the only one who can control what I think.

Just me.

Yes there have been and will times when I don’t believe that. But it is true. My strength comes from within myself. I had to be on medication after medication and so much pain… when the drugs started helping me begin to hold on to myself, I was finally able to find an idea that would see me through this day.

I am the only one who can control what I think.

Okay, I need a little help with that from drugs, but what’s a girl to do when her brain runs bizarre?

I am the only one who can control what I think. Just me.

I won’t say I’ve been saved, because that’s not what this is about. It is about mental health, about my brain dancing Bipolar, ADHD, PTSD and always some new alphabet soup. I’ve been trying on OA and FM. We’re not on great terms just yet. And then I saw the Neurologist last week and he told me basically I’m mental. This facial tick I’ve developed over the last six months or so is my brain trying to get my attention.

Let me get this straight. My often out of control brain wants my attention so it, my brain, thought it would have a party on my face? Seriously? Sucks. He suggested I see my mental health professional. Wow. Show stopper.

My brain, with a “mental” disorder… is mental. Super sucks.

I am the only one who can control what I think. Just me.

Maybe that’s what my mind has been trying to tell me. That I need to listen to myself, that I need to learn and teach myself. I need to find whatever helps me handle me (good and healthy things) and pursue them with great vigor.

I must always remember that I am the only one who can control what I think. Just me — with a little help from my meds.

Confused yet? You are? Good. Me too.

You Can’t Have My Leg!

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It would seem that I’m not done with me yet. I’ve paralyzed myself for a long time, not willing to write, telling myself that I don’t know where to start. So many odd and terrible things have happened to me… are happening each day… that I rationed that I was waiting for a lull in the storms that are me so I could present you with a neat package all polished and not like I am now. If I were a color book I would never have drawing inside my lines.

Here I am. This is what I’m thinking tonight:

My right leg is going to fall off.

Seriously. That’s it. Oh sure, with my alphabet soup (Bipolar 1, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA… for now) crowding me for more undeserved attention. They annoy me. Like a flock, a gaggle of Canadian Geese launching themselves at me unreserved and underrated. They scare me. They are impossible to reason with. No matter where you are if they decide you need to be chased, you’ll be chased as long as they can chase you. No lie. Your heart will pound excitedly when the medium sized birds take after you on the ground like a Disney movie gone terribly wrong.

My leg. I had my right knee totally replaced in January two years ago. By the following year it was clear that the surgery had failed. The prosthetic that was implanted in my leg bone failed to graft with the bone it was supposed to graft to which would, had it worked, have given me a working and reliable new knee.

Wrong.

August 2013 a surgeon specializing in replacing messed up knee replacements replaced my replaced and prosthetic knee. Both times I suffered terribly (differently each time). I suspect that no surgeon would appreciate me talking with any of their patients and telling them how the whole sordid mess went. (To clarify – Sordid meaning: involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt, sleazy, dirty, seedy, seamy, unsavory, tawdry,cheap, debased, degenerate, dishonorable, disreputable, discreditable, contemptible, ignominious, shameful, and abhorrent. The exact opposite of: respectable.)

The up-to-the-minute report is this: Friday I showed my MD that my entire surgical leg (right) was bigger than the left. No sense in studying it to see if I was imagining it. It obviously belongs on some other person’s body. This is a problem. I don’t even know what the problem is and already I realize it’s a problem. I think my name must translate in some language to “problem”. I’m certain of it.

I exposed the bare and big leg to my doc on Friday last. He sent me back to my surgeon, but not till after we get another and new authorization to see the fella. Seriously. Same leg. Obvious connection. Gotta have that new authorization. I called his office and explained the situation. The woman at his office agreed to request one for me from my MD. (Yes, I’m saying “MD” and not PP, PC or any other ridiculous set of the alphabet… again with the alphabet. He’s my doctor, my medical doctor. That’s Medical Doctor. MD.

What I didn’t realize was that my MD had that very day put in an order for me to have a vascular study done on the affected leg. They would take me as soon as today (Tuesday). Getting an appointment that fast freaked me out. (Just a little FYI.) Since my doc referred me to my surgeon I assumed he was done with me regarding this particular medical happenstance (coincidence).

That last sentence looks strange to me, but my brain refuses to use any other word.

Anyway, the surgeon didn’t order the imaging before he even saw me. I wondered if maybe he had so he would know ahead of time what might be going on. But.. no. My MD ordered it. When he starts a process that really should probably be ordered to the specialist I was being sent to I hit the “worry” button and all hell breaks loose. Again.

Today the resounding thought that pestered me like the rain does every time it soaks me when I take the puppy potty was: “They are going to take my leg off.”

Seriously. “They are going to take my leg off.” That’s what my brain has been saying all damn day.

Just to show you how badly I freak myself out living inside my head with my alphabet soup, my MD has ordered me to have a service/companion dog. This, is our puppy, my service/companion dog in training. She’s so awesome. But more about her at another time.

I’m going to jump now through the rest of the day to now. I’m having considerable back pain which has kept me from sleeping. I began to write this. I got half way through it. Suddenly I see my bedroom door open, but I see no one opening it. Ahh. It’s Maks. Maks is one of our awesome cats. Throughout all my ailments Maks has been my healing kitty. Cat. He’s too old to be a kitty. Just don’t mention that to him and we’ll all get along just fine.

Whenever (most of the time) I’ve been doing particularly terrible, like today and taking my leg off, he comes to me and loves me up. Right now he’s purring and clawing, I mean needing, my right hip. This isn’t where he normally lays. He usually takes up station keeping on my left side somewhere but since we got the puppy (Bailey) he hasn’t been up to see me very often. I’ve been having my son bring him up to me when I retire for the night so he can get used to puppy smells and sounds. It’s working. He’s beside me doing his magical cat thing. How the hell do they know when we need them? Of course I’ve heard about the cats and dogs that can smell/sense impending death or various illnesses. He thinks he’s one of these special and extraordinary furry companions. I agree with him.

He’s been urging me to pet him and love him up stabbing me gently and now snoring at me. The look of love on his face is wonderful. (I know what you’re going to say. Cats don’t make that kind of face and they don’t feel like that you bozo. And then I would tell you to shut your trap. It works for me.) I’ve been alternately petting him and waving his loose fir away and writing this. I like it. I feel better. He knows my alphabet is haunting me. I do… feel better now.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m having the vascular imaging done of my entire right leg. It’s weird and cool to watch. Stay tuned in to this same bat time, this same bat channel.

Wow, can this cat snore.

Sleep Freak

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It always surprises me. I don’t know why. But it does.

What is it?

The human brain, specifically my brain.

Here I am deprived of adequate sleep night after night. Finally it seems that perhaps I’m not sleeping because I’m in more pain than I realize. I had prescribed medications taken as directed at bedtime. About an hour passed I suppose when I felt my breathing changing, growing slower and slower. Finally sleep seemed to over take my manic brain.

I panicked. One eye opened. Then the other. What the hell!? I want to sleep. I have to sleep. I really really need to sleep. Yet here I was relaxed and falling asleep… and I kept waking myself up apparently on purpose. Oh not consciously on purpose, but as I lay there reopening each eye as they slid closed time after time it became clear that I was beginning to panic.

I don’t allow health care givers to give me morphine. The reason is simple, or so I thought. I have asthma and when I feel like I can’t breath I panic. Morphine slows breathing. It is a normal response to the drug. It causes me to panic.

Enter tonight’s medication regiment designed to relieve my physical pain and put my busy brain and body into a good night’s rest. Unfortunately it is this very response to the medications, the expected response, that freaks me out. I don’t have sleep apnea if you’re wondering. I snore quite a lot sometimes and I’ve had the sleep study just last summer. I’m completely normal. At least, when I sleep. Strangely I feel right asleep when they told me to even though I was hooked up to all sorts of wires and sensors.

Tonight I finally fell asleep. Somehow, for some reason I don’t really understand, I wake myself up…. I think I’m dying.

I don’t know why. Perhaps it relates to the experiences I’ve had with morphine. I can’t control my breathing. It slows way beyond my normal rate. I feel myself sliding out of control. It seems to me to be too deep. Too final. I don’t understand.

After keeping myself awake and feeling rather foolish and yet stubborn and determined to stay awake lest I sleep to death, I decided that instead of assuming that my breathing was slowing to a stop and my pulse was probably doing the same thing that I would get up and look it up on my Chrome. It would only take a few minutes and then I could be reasonable and sleep or stay awake.

Although I can’t very well take either while sleeping, which if you remember I’m not letting myself do anyway, so I tried to breath as shallowly and slowly as I thought I was fighting. I also looked up the popper rate for a sleeping adult. As expected they were normal for someone completely asleep. Very asleep. Oh they are both on the lower side of the counts, but not abnormal I think.

That’s the problem, at least part of it. “I think.” And I’m afraid.

My body and brain are so out of control that losing control of myself while simply sleeping is freaking my subconscious out. Then it wakes me up so I can panic properly.

Writing always helps me relax. Blogging or writing in my diary especially. I hope that by putting pen to paper as it were that I have convinced myself that it’s okay to sleep. That all is normal. All is well. I will not die in my sleep tonight.

Still… I am afraid and I don’t understand.

I see my counselor in the morning and my med provider after that. You can bet that this will be the first thing I’ll mention after the Fibromyalgia. Adding the new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis to my alphabet soup of BP, ADHD and PTSD and I’m a bit whacked out. I’m going to put this down now and sleep. It is okay to sleep. I will sleep like a normal person. I suspect too that the Tramadol makes me a bit dizzy and makes me feel like I have a slight headache which is ironic since it’s a painkiller. I seem to recall that I’ve responded to it like that in the past but I’m not certain.

Add it all up and I have this terrifying feeling that if I sleep when I feel this precise way… I’ll die.

And that, isn’t something I want to do. Yet, round and round my head is still arguing with itself about the whole thing. Besides writing about it my other solution is to have a glass of milk. And I wonder that since I’m panicking maybe I should take my prescribed Diazepam.  Or, maybe it will also make me freak out that I’ve relaxed too much.

This is ridiculous.

I’m going to close my eyes now and try again. I really gotta sleep. . .

Osteoarthritis & Fibromyalgia – Really??

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I had great news from my Rheumatologist yesterday. I know now why I have so much joint pain. I know why some days I can’t hold onto a cup and my thumb feels like its broken. I know why I have pain all over my body… I know… youch!

I dunno NOTHING!

I do know something. I have a lot to learn about things I wish I knew.. had no need to know.

I do have arthritis. I have Osteroarthritis. Who knew right? Already had the right knee replaced – twice (yes, twice) in a year and a half. She, the doc, followed this news up with a stunner. Fibromyalgia. Osteroarthritis and Fibromyalgia together. Sounds like a bloody party. Very bloody. Lots of carnage.

I started reading reading a tiny bit about them tonight. I didn’t want to jump into it and become obsessed and blame everything wrong with me on them. I have other stuff for that.

Life is a load of interconnected bits. They go on and on until they make a whole person of pieces stuck here and there. We travel through life discovering how what our bits are and how they work together. Or how they should, could, work together.

I am a woman of many faces, many complex bits and pieces, many parts of me striving and staggering on my path to the future. Somehow I will make it all work. I will strive after wholeness everyday from my now to my next now.

I am a human woman. I have a heady dose of Bipolar type 1 and I exist in a thing called “mixed states”. I have a new knee(s) and Diabetes type 2 in remission. I have Osteoarthritis & Fibromyalgia. I don’t sleep well at all. This provokes psychosis. Yes, I know I owe you an explanation of that… later please. They all seem intertwined to me. One is similar, but not the same. They all affect the one. We roll along and try to find the brakes so we, so I, can catch my breath and suck in lungs full of fresh air.

I need fresh air. I need to understand. I need to conquer myself now more than ever.

Bipolar can slam me with hellish depression in a moment. It can pummel me until I just want it all to stop. I refuse to go to that place. I’ve worked hard and long to cling to myself and to the vision of who I am becoming.

These disorders dance in my body a wild and sometimes wondrous dance.

I am stunned.

Tomorrow will come when I awake. I will begin to formulate a game plan. I live for my children. They have given me as much life as I have given them. I live for myself. I have every right to live.

Tomorrow I will consider how to think about all this. To draw it in and start to sort it all out. I will not allow my mind to destroy me though the little grey cells that do the square dance with bipolar are going to be busier than usual with this knew knowledge. It does that when stress hits. This new information has granted me a gigantic helping of stress. Stress is so bad for me.

The first order of business is to sleep. Tomorrow I will search out ways I have not tried yet to master the pain in my mind and in my body.

I will not stop. I will become like perpetual motion.

You just watch me go. I’m the only one who can stop me, and I’ve chosen to push forward and to have a life filled with joy and love and adventure and so much more. And yes, pains and struggling. These are the facts and my thoughts as I know them right now, in this moment.

Walk with me. Let us see what the future, the moment touching this moment has for us. I think the ride is going to be… BIG.

Stay tuned to this bat time, this bat channel… yes, stay tuned. I’ll be here. The next moment is mine to own. Now, what are you going to do with your moments?