Tag Archives: Pain Management

Bipolar – Being There for My Kids and Real Anxiety

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We did something amazing today, something we haven’t done in a very long time, my three kids and I all made dinner and ate it together around our family dining room table. We did it alone, without their girlfriends and significant others. It was nice. It was unfiltered. It was honest.

My son and our cars were some of the topics of conversation. My car is doing really well, solid, for being over 200,000 miles. My son, wants out of his relationship with his live in girlfriend. She (girlfriend), is not doing as well as my car.

She’s a bit on the mad side and I do mean both mad-angry and mad-bonkers. He’s concerned she might do something to him if he breaks up with her. I hate to see him going through that fear, that pain. I was in a similar situation myself many years ago and things did not go well. Today the digital actions of the other person would be illegal. I don’t think this girl has the resources or the wherewithal to try to make his life hell like I experienced.

I must tell you one thing I think is particularly amusing that she does every week. I thought I was being nice when I was moving and going through my cookbooks, when I let her pick some out to take for her own. I shouldn’t have let her have the one on Herbs. It goes through all the major cooking herbs and talks about how they are used. So, being the incredibly wise girl that she is, she is going through the book and making a dish around one herb at a time.

Unfortunately, she isn’t a cook. She sees her herb of the day and then Googles it and picks the top recipe and decides to make it for dinner. For example, they had mint the other day. The recipe called for dry mint in a certain amount. She sent my son to the store for fresh mint. Then she added the fresh mint to the recipe in the same amount that it called for as DRY. Yeah. He’s been getting sick a lot. She also has no concept of cleanliness in the kitchen and uses knives and forks for raw meat and other foods at the same time without washing them. It’s no wonder he’s losing weight. It’s a wonder he’s alive. Her lack of common sense with cleanliness in the kitchen really troubles me.

Without going into the grimy details let me say that he’s smart enough to know that he’s made a mistake and that he needs to disengage himself from her asap. I’m gratified that he knows I meant it when I said any of my three kids could home if they ever need to. I don’t have any fear that he’s scared to live with me. There was a time when that might have been true.

My anxiety is going up and down but is mostly manageable especially now that I’ve seen my med provider Sara and she’s standing with me. She sees the stress the pain management doctor is putting me through and is concerned about the affect it is having on me.

I’m feeling supported tonight. I reached out to a friend tonight that I haven’t talked to in a while and she was there and open to chatting even though she’s feeling lousy. It feels good to be able to do stuff with people. I still have homework to do tomorrow, but I’ll do that tomorrow. That, and watch the Seahawks!

My well of anxiety is still open and active, but I’ve taken steps to try to control it. For the short term it seems to be working. It isn’t a forever fix, but at least I made it through the first week of classes and am almost ready for the second week. (I attend school at one of the University of Washington campuses.)

I made a major accomplishment this first week of classes: I went to two movies and had the kids over to dinner which are all time consuming activities. Last year I couldn’t have done that. It isn’t that I’m not afraid I won’t have things done on time or good enough, it’s just that I have to listen to my family when they remind me of what my GPA is and that people work full-time and go to school full-time and spend less time studying than I do. Okay, it’s that and meditative music all night. Well, that and my doctor sanctioned chill pills. I can take them when I need one and not feel guilty.

It makes a whole huge difference to have the support and two-way trust with my doctor. I tell her the truth about how I’m doing and what I’m taking and she doesn’t abandon me and tell me to just talk it out with my counselor. Sometimes counseling and medications have to go hand in hand. At least, that’s what I’ve found is true. All areas of my life have to work in concert to make me function.

I picked one thing at a time and as fast as I could I got the pieces working for me. I failed a lot and still have a lot of setbacks, but right now, I feel 60% pretty good. I’ll take that all day.

I started trying to deal with the extreme anxiety by talking with my counselor who immediately went to find my med provider knowing it would take more than thinking to help me. Then I listened to meditative music and “talk downs” I found on YouTube. I searched for something like “meditation sleep music”. Try it. I recommend it. Now I listen to “Soundscapes” on my local cable provider all night. And I’m exercising every few days, playing with my dog and training her and keeping up with my house cleaning chores.

Monday I have classes and then seen the pain management doctor… that worries me. Ok, now I’m needing to chill again. I’m so silly.

My First Day as a Grown-Up

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maks balloon

Apparently I set my alarm wrong or didn’t set it at all because at 9:32 my youngest daughter Sydney called and scared the snot out of me. I was so confused and I dropped the phone and missed the call. Oops. I got the phone off the light stand and onto the bed with me so I could call her back but she beat me.

You should know that while I’m only 53 I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and I’ve had cataracts removed and I wear full dentures. I ain’t got no choppers. This is interesting to know because of what happened next. Getting the phone in the first place was painful and I almost dropped it behind the bed because of the arthritis in my hands. Morning is especially bad for my hands.

Sydney called before I could call her. She was very excited and upset. I was still effectively asleep. She launched into her problem which has nothing to do with my morning in general so we’ll skip that.

I was trying hard to sound like she hadn’t woke me up, but it was no use. In morning especially trying to talk without my teeth in is like talking to me drunk with mashed potatoes in my mouth. Fortunately Sydney can translate most of what I say so that’s good. Thankfully I don’t have to make up a story of why I sound like I’m drunk.

Next I try to get out of bed. This is not as simple as you would think. I’ve had my right knee replaced twice so I’m careful getting out of bed because I don’t want to skip forward in time and have to have the other one done especially since I live alone now. I tried to get my feet to the floor but I couldn’t slide off the bed.

During the day, I can sit on the side of the bed and my feet dangle a good ten inches above the floor. On a normal morning I can’t find the floor. I couldn’t find the floor today. I swear this bloody memory foam mattress conforms to where I’m sitting and won’t let my butt go. So there I sat, trying without success to scooch over to the edge of the bed where I could work at getting off the bed. No luck.

So I try switching it up and go for trying to get just one bun closer to the edge. Finally, a little movement. Slowly I start the long and slow effort to the edge, all of four inches to the edge. I made it! I was finally sitting with my legs dangling over the edge of the bed. I leaned back and started the fearful journey of trying to fall towards the floor. It always seems like it is farther away from my feet every morning.

Yeah!!! I make it to the floor.

Next, the pain and stiffness of the arthritis in my legs and ankles speaks up and rudely tries to make me stand there like an old woman frozen in place. I wonder how my hair looks.

Eventually I make it to the living room and sit on the stool and slowly put my shoes on. It’s painful to bend over and pull my feet up on my knee to get my shoes on.

Eventually, success!

Why am I putting my shoes on without socks on and teeth in? Gotta take the doggie out to do her business. Then she wouldn’t poop. I’m out there getting my feet wet in the lumpy thickish dewy grass and fast getting annoyed. I give up and we go back in the house.

Ah ha! I remembered to feed the cats when I came back in the house. They’re food is downstairs so it’s not like I normally think about feeding them, which, is now my job.

The cats were Kyle’s job. Of course, now that job falls to me. None of the kids took a cat with them. I want them to take the cats with them! I tend to forget to feed them and when that happens Maks, the older of the two, goes in the kitchen and opens and closes the cabinet doors and lets them bang shut and do it over and over until you get up and feed them. Little asses.

My dog is a heeler/kelpie, meaning, she’s a herding dog. She loves to herd the cats. Somehow she knows when they cats are doing something wrong and chases them downstairs at full speed. It’s pretty funny. So if I’ve gone to bed all I have to do is open my bedroom door and poof! The cats are downstairs. Then I go feed them. If I have to be woken up it’s good to know the culprit that woke me up is getting theirs for doing it.

Sometimes Maks (cat) plays with helium balloons. I got one for Valentine’s Day from the kids. The cat takes hold of the string and takes it around the house. When I had my first knee replaced he started bringing all the balloons to me at night. The record of overnight balloon commando maneuvers was 15. He grabs them by the bottom of the string and carries them into a bedroom. The balloon in the picture ended up in Kyle’s room all the way downstairs this time. I don’t know why he does it, but it is so funny.

Now that my Oxycodone, Ritalin and my other pain pill have kicked in I feel like a human. Now would be the time to take Bailey out, but she can’t wait this long.

My first night alone was good. My two youngest kids both called to make sure I was okay. I love them. Kyle reminded me to feed the cats, which I had already done. Yeah me! We’ll see how I do tonight.

What am I going to do today? I’m going to work on my writing projects. I’ve been neglecting them. Fortunately, using the computer isn’t impacted by my prematurely aging body. I wonder how my brain is doing. I do have some mental health issues, a whole bowl of alphabet soup full of them, but I don’t have any old people brain issues. I’m awesome!

And thus began day one of my new life living on my own.

Ew, now it’s my job to do the litter box. I hate that.

Bipolar – Handling an Insane Schedule and Still Having Fun

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I tend to forget a very important fact when I’m busy and especially when I’m going to be driving… I have chronic pain in my back and I tend to forget to take my Oxycodone. Or, if I’m going to be driving, I don’t take it. Late this afternoon I remembered I was in pain (I also take Lyrica for FM and have OA so go figure with all the pain right?), I remembered and I took my pain killer. Quickly I was able to do house work and things I had stopped doing again, like moving around like I’m not a super old and very cranky woman.

I’m not high. Just experiencing less pain. It’s makes such a difference with the Lyrica and Oxy and the anti-inflammatory they have me on for my OA.

Back to the really important stuff: The Magical How to Be Too Busy and Still Have Fun.

Since my last post things have gotten more complicated and because I neglected to take some of my meds as prescribed I started being angry for no good reason and wanting to lash out. Took my meds…. I’m ok now. I can’t stress enough that we have to take our meds. You don’t think you need them? Especially during this next 30 days or so then you are nuts and a dope. Take your meds.

Starting last
Saturday  – Afternoon at my parents just to visit (my dad has stage four cancer and they “say” he has 6 – 12 months left) My brother and I are trying to spend time with them as much as possible.

Sunday (today) – Early family dinner at my parents with Tony and Mat too (my brother and his partner)

Monday – Take Kyle to the bus at 7:50 (the transit bus line stops exactly 8 minutes before our house)
– Take Syd to friend’s house so friend can get Syd to work on time (Kyle and I will be heading to Seattle)
– Pick up kyle at UWT at 11:00
– Arrive at UW medical center to get my new dentures (only Kyle and Syd know I’m getting them now)
– Drive through Seattle/Tacoma traffic through rush hour home. Usually takes 2 to 2.5 hours. Crazy drive. Seatac is almost that far.
– Pick up Sydney at end of bus route at 6:00 or find her a ride home

Tuesday – Sydney Braces for teeth…. orthodontist appt. at 7:50 a.m.
– 3:00 Sydney works till 5
– Kyle school then works till 5
– My brother’s birthday – at Bob’s Burgers (Where everyone will see my new teeth and that I cannot work them very well yet. So funny!)

Wednesday – Pick up “Carol”, my friend for lunch at Seatac during her layover. Actually, I’m picking up Jessica (my other daughter) from the airport and sneaking her home to surprise her sibs. 1:15 p.m.
– 3:00 Sydney works till 5

Thursday – Thanksgiving where I will again try to eat and talk with my new face. I anticipate talking funny for a bit and eating… carefully. lol
– Dinner at my brother and Mat’s at 4:30. It will be a banquet for kings and queens. They always throw amazing parties. The food is amazing. But then, they have lots of money.

Sat – Sun Syd is supposed to work on a project with a girl from school…. only she doesn’t know her sister will be leaving Monday. OMG!

I think those are the highlights. All the while I will be thinking of my dad and how he’s doing. And that the stress of all these secrets is making my brain burn like a torch lighting the way to a wondrous gift: family… and taking my meds as prescribed every day. Even the stupid ones that want to be taken 3 times a day. Uh. Don’t you hate those? Makes me bonkers.

My friend Carol and Jessica are the only ones that know what’s going on. No, Jessica doesn’t know I’m coming to the airport with my face in (dentures, it really changes your face).

Now more how to survive Thanksgiving tips that I use myself:
Play games – I don’t care if they’re card games with others or computer games by yourself. Play something!
Breath – from deep down in the belly when you feel the stress monster coming for you.
Ask for a hug – you don’t even need to say why. Just ask for one… or give one, maybe more than one!
Eat properly, and drink lots of water. No booze. NO BOOZE. Seriously. Don’t drink it.
Get enough sleep.
Smile. Smile for others if you can’t for yourself. Don’t bring your world down to your mood if you’re cranky.
Meditate, pray, be still… recharge yourself. Go to your happy place.
Oh, and do not over eat.

And then the next day will come and what you did the day before will still be with you so make wise choices.

Lastly, if you have a service dog avail them of their services. It’s what you have them for! Mine is sleeping soundly in her place at the foot and her side of my bed. Even with her cone on she knows when I need her. (She had her girl bits removed and wants to lick it too much) So that damn cone  is another stressor for us all. It makes it very difficult to train her with it on.

I’ve taken on a lot this week. I’ve decided I can make it work if I take my time and keep things separated. I believe I can do this. I even have a separate schedule in my desk in my room for Jessica coming. If I mess that up the game will be blown. Normally, I wouldn’t do this much, but Jess and I decided she should come home for a quick visit now and a longer one in December in case something happens with my dad; her grandpa.

She just became a Senior Airman in the USAF. I’m so proud of her! Her new stripes and all that are so cool. I can’t wait to see the picture of her in her blues besides her selfie. lol

And now the test. Can I follow my own plans to succeed? Have I set myself up for a huge fall? I don’t think so. I’m having to focus on others;  always a good thing. Focus. That’s important. I’ve got to stay focused and balanced and ask for help when I need it. Sometimes that’s hard to do.

Let me know how you fair this week my friend. I’ll tell you how I do when I’m through next Monday.

May you escape the nibble of a turkey on the end of your nose. May you eat said turkey instead. May you stuff your bird with stuffing . And may you spend time with loved ones, even if it’s only by phone or Hangout or… thinking of them. A little bit of love goes a long way. May you succeed in all your goals

Ciao,

Robin

Tramadol – for Pain

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Back to other stuff. The pain in my right hand and especially my thumb has become … really not good. I don’t usually tear up because of pain, but this one has me licked. For the moment.

I’ve been on Tramadol before, but I couldn’t remember how well it did or didn’t work. I’ve been on Oxy for months and still had pain. Way too much pain. Now I have the Tramadol again and took the first dose a few hours ago. I feel nice. My hand hurts much less. In fact, I’m actually able to type this with much less pain. For this I am glad.

I’m heading to bed now… hoping to sleep. Still no joy on that front. I have a feeling that the Tramadol and the sleeping medication will kick me in the ass and knock me out. So, since I see my med provider in the morning I’ll not have any in the a.m.

I was doing some reading (as I do when challenged, I investigate) and discovered that a particular medication I’ve been on before is used to treat both fibro and Bipolar. Interesting right?

Ooooo I just saw a commercial for Rizzoli and Isles! New episode Feb 25th! This is one of my favorite shows. I can’t wait.

No, I don’t really have a brain that jogs and skips and zips about when it should be focusing. No, really I don’t.