Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guest Blogger Writes Of Her Journey of Pain and Nasuea

It all got worse after my hystorectomy in june 2008, so thats where im going to start. At that time we were getting ready for my niece to come for a short visit two weeks after my surgery. My body was starting to ache all the time, i figured i was just still recovering from a level 10 vitD deficiency. I was tired most of the time still, so it made sense.

My surgery went well. But my nurses wouldnt give me my pain pills, saying i was in pain because i needed to have a bowel movement. When i explained my Dr had me do a colon cleans & that i hadnt eaten a thing since, i was then told it was from gas then and either way i needed to get up and walk.

When on the morphine drip when i first came out of surgery i told them that i was itching horribly from head to toe. They told me i was probably allergic to the soap they washed the bedding in. When i inquired as to why the itching only happend after i pushed the button, i was given the same answer - the soap. I told my Dr the next morning and she immediately changed me off the morphine and the itching ceased. I had a roommate, the nurses and cnas were all but running to answer her call bell. She mustve had great insurance, because i was on state insurance at the time and my call bell rarely was answered. So bad to the point where my roommate would push Her call button & tell them to check my light cuz i needed help and not getting any. She was a nice lady.

So i called & asked my husband to pick me up a day early, i just couldnt take the lack of treatment going on.

When i went home i was under orders to rest. HA! my baby was 2yrs old, his brother 9. His brother has always been a difficult child. The day after i got home while i had fallen asleep, he went in the back yard and tore apart the club house my husband was building with him. Plywood laying all over that side of the yard. He then carried his baby brother, who was in nothing but a diaper & no shoes, to the center of the mess surrounded by nails. He then came and told me his little brother was in the back yard. I told him thank you & went to grab the toddler. I was in complete shock when i seen what christopher had done. I told him to go grab his brother, i wasnt supposed to lift over 10lbs and he got the baby Out there fine. Anyway he tells me no, then ran into the house and locked the slider door and the front door so i couldnt get in with his brother. He came back to the slider at some point when i went to rescue the baby, i also noticed my cell was in my pocket. When i got back to the deck i set the baby down and looked up to see the older one looking at me and holding a steak knife to his throat. **please know this was not the 1st time he had done this and we had him in 3 differemt counceling programs at that time** i told him if he didnt put the knife away i was calling dad and he can deal with him all pissed off. My kid said Fine! So i called my husband and told him what was going on. I had wrapped the baby in my hoody and kept an eye on the boy inside. I informed him that his dad just started his truck to head home so this was his last chance or he Would be spanked. He threw the knife on the table next to him, flipped the door unlocked & ran lickity-split to his bedroom.

I told my husband we were in and i got of the phone. I took baby to the couch and turned on sponge bob, then went back to his brothers room.

The closer i got to his room, the louder the banging got. I entered his room right as he put his foot thru his lizards Glass aquarium, slicing his heel wide open. As i picked up the lizard i yelled "what is wrong with you!?", he just kept glaring. I bandaged him up, and he calmed down. I never did find out what the reason was for that outburst, maybe there wasnt one. Then i called his therapist to report what happend and after that i called my husband to let him know what had happend & that the storm had passed for the moment.

My husbands mother had come up to help, but had left the day before this happend.
Two weeks later my hyper high maintnance sneaky bad idea havin never sleeping niece came to stay with us. Considering i was still recovering, the agreement was that i was only to have her while my mother was at work. I already had my hands full with my son. This was not the case. We had her with us 24/7, my mother flat out told me the child was too much to handle...she really was a handful!!...but i wasnt in a position to deal with it either. But that didnt seem to matter. We had her for 6 months. (SIX!!) it was suposed to be work hours for 2weeks. Thru xmas and her 2nd birthday we had her. We had a joint party for her and my youngest who was turning 3, as their bdays are only 5 days apart. We celebrated at chuckie cheese. Both xmas and the bday party my mom got video clips of, which i thought was the time. She had my brother convinced that SHE had my niece & SHE threw the celebrations (my brother & his wife were in Tn dealing with court stuff, thats why we had my niece in oregon). I sent him pictures and told him numerous times, his friends told him, our family members all told him...and to this day he doesnt believe it. He says " why would she tell me that if she didnt have her?" Ummm.,moron!:(

My brother moved back first. My husband took 2truck loads of my nieces things over to him and our mother, you would think it would have been a tip off to my brother that my mother had duped him, and that i was not lying afterall...but nope. He wont believe it! Anyhoo, i had agreed to do daycare for him, keep my niece all week and then he came and picked her up on the weekends. He paid me once, then asked me to fill out a paper so he could get daycare payment help from wefare. I did, but was turned down for not being set up in a completely childproof home. I told him this, the next time i was owed money i was told to call welfare.

We also found out i was vitD deficient, i couldnt get out of bed one weekend:( my level was 10, and i had to get a super dose.

Then we got the news about his wife planning on moving here too with my brother and my mom. She also to this day does not believe i had her daughter 24/7. Idiot woman! But in 6 months she only called twice!! to check on her baby. Already everyone had big plans for me to take her job hunting & take her where she needed to go, because i didnt work so that meant i was free to be their taxi i supose.

My husband had had enough. He decided it was time to move away. My health was declining & they didnt seem to notice or care. His mother lived 3hrs away in a small town, her health was no good & she needed some extra help and didnt have anyone to help her, so we decided we would move by her. And then he could help her when she needed it & i could get back to taking care of me and hopefully get better. My family was not happy however, as it was inconvenient for them, we told them a whole month before we moved to find different daycare. They didnt. They bitched about how they didnt know, and how one of them was going to lose their job, even asked me if i would take my niece With us just for a couple weeks to get the wife there so she could watch my niece! My husband told them no. Enough was enough, and i love him for that!:)

That move was in 2009. Since then i have been to numerous doctors about my all over pain. It was getting worse rather than better. I hurt down to my bones:( the doctors would do all sorts of bloodtests, but everything always came back normal. I was told all sorts of blow off answers. Even told at 30yrs old that i needed to accept the fact that we all hurt more as we get older! I was like REALL!?! AT 30!?! not even... Ive been told the reason my back hurts was from carrying my fat baby, then because all young moms have low back pain, Then told it hurts because im too skinny! I now know i have a double curve scoliosis at about 30% curve & some disc degeneration:( You would think any one of the doctors i have seen would have picked up on that. But i just found out last september!

My stomach issues worsend as well. Forever being nauseus, spareatic vomiting out of nowhere (i used to have to carry a puke bag 24/7), and the pain from my chronic constipation being blamed on not drinking enough water (even though its ALL i drink!) with my tramedol. the pain was excruciating. I would feel like something kinda sharp was being dragged through my guts, my entire body would sweat profusely and make my hair drippy (ew!), and then the vomiting would start. This would happen a few times every morning, then usually i would take a warm bath as soon as i thought my stomach could handle it and that would help it calm down enough so i could smoke some medical marijuana & hold down a couple of nausea pills.

One morning in May my mom had come to stay the night & my bestie was remarrying her husband of 10yrs that afternoon and i was supposed to b a bridesmaid. But the vomiting and stomach pain would not subside. My husband checked on me while i was yet again stuck on the potty, folded in half and dripping sweat. He went and asked my mom to check on me. She talked me into suffering a trip to the ER. I weighed 217lbs at this point.

They admitted me, i missed my besties rewedding;(. Poked, prodded, xrayed & drew blood. Summed it up to an intestinal flu and after 3 days sent me home.

Things were pretty uneventful, although my oldest son was being a handful..13...ugh lol! I was working on being able to eat again and we started making plans for camping. Also i got great news that a couple of my pain drawings were accepted and being shown in an art gallery in portland, oregon! I was so excited! My first art show! July 6!

July 3rd was my 2nd admittance into the hospital for stomach pain and uncontrollable vomiting.more poking and prodding by a different doctor. This time they said it was being caused by the stress of raising my difficult child and from being stressed about my chronic fibromyalgia pain. After 5 days when i could hold down jello they sent me home again.

La dee da life goes on...

October i switched to the doctor who treated me in the hospital, and made her my pcp. I went in to see her to discuss my medications and i asked her to send me for an mri. She told me we need to think about & accept the fact that this was probably as good as it was going to get;( i told her my medications werent working well for me & she offered me methadone! I said noooo... Im scared of that crap!! So i left that appointment feeling sad & hopeless. Thats a pretty dreary outlook for someone only 33yrs old:(

A week later i was back in the hospital. Excruciating stomach pain & uncontrollable vomiting. My primary doctor was out of town, the doctor who did see me all but accused me of Dr jumping and sent me home. The next day i was still sick, so my husband called that dr who seen me the day before and asked him what to do. He said to wait until he came on shift at the ER at 7pm. So we did. His demeanor was much kinder and he was much nicer to talk to. He told me that he was going to admit me and try to figure out whats going on. Here We Go Again...

Bloodwork every 6hrs, more imaging, lots of saline & anti nausea meds. Three days later the dr comes in and tells me he thinks that my pain meds (i was on a lot at that time) was causing me an iliac, a temporarily paralized spot in my intestines. So nothing could go through, causing the stomach pain and vomiting. He said he wanted to keep me in another day or two to be sure.

Two days later my vomiting had ceased, the nausea had not yet however. I was able to eat jello and hold down water & juice. The doctor came to see me again and said he wanted to keep me another night just to make sure he isnt sending me home just to get sick again and be right back in. No problem for me!

He also kept me the next night lol! And he changed my meds and took some others away to help prevent the iliac from flaring up again.

I was down to 123lbs. Almost 100 pounds lost due to all my sickness. :(

To date i have not been back in the hospital (knock on wood quick! Lol!), i still have chronic pain from my fibromyalgia and scoliosis w/disc degeneration, and my stomach still hurts in the mornings but not making me pour sweat, or anything at all like i was having before, and the vomiting only seems to happen if my meds are making me too nauseus from an empty belly, but it has been controllable and not so bad that i have to carry a puke bag anymore.

I still have health issues, i have made that dr from my last stay my pcp, and we are learning how to manage them. He also got my state insurance to cover physical therapy! Its a miracle!!! Lol!;) i get to feeling frustrated and hopeless and he helps make that better too. For starting out as a jerk, ive found im pretty lucky to have him for my doctor. ;) hes not going to over dope me like my last doctors did, instead hes trying to Help me.

Ok, im not sure what else to write other than saying to the reader to take it day by day. Its a struggle. God gives his biggest burdens to his best angels!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guest Blogger Jamie Crawford Tells Her Tale

Hello! Some days I feel like I am 70 other days I feel 4 but I am only 31. If I could remember my name I would tell you, oh wait it is….ummm…oh yeah…Jamie. I am a Wifie to the most amazing man, Bonus Mommie to three incredible children and three precious grandchildren. The last time I checked I lived in Peoria, Arizona. I am sure you know what I mean in just trying to remember your name let alone your date of birth or which house is yours especially on the days when your fibro fog is so intense you do not remember what you did an hour ago. I hope I can finish this blog post before I forget what I was doing.

So what is wrong with me? Well, I landed myself in the hospital for 22 days in 2010 due to spinal meningitis. Now two years later I have fibromyalgia, multiple scoliosis, restless leg syndrome, chronic headaches and migraines, anemia, insomnia, Hashimoto’s thyroid condition, and a few other issues on the side. They do not know where I got the spinal meningitis nor do they know why I have had these issues as a result. As of recent, I spent five days in the hospital that resulted in two units of blood, two bags of iron, vitamins, antibiotics, and fluids. Now, they do not know why I am losing blood nor what could be causing the iron deficiency. Regardless of how I got here I am here and learning each day to fight my fight.

I commonly get asked if I work or better yet why do I not work because I do not look sick. I have not returned to work since I was hospitalized in 2010. I am officially “retired”. I am lucky enough to be a Mommie and Wifie who does not have to work full-time. I do own Kelly Kreative which a marketing and public relations company and recently started Kreative Girl Designs which a kreative design company focusing in jewelry, hair bows, and tutus. I also write regularly and am looking at expanding some of my work even more. I am simply not able to work time in the capacity I was prior to getting sick. I go through more days of “sick” than not. Most people do not understand what it is like to go from working full time plus living the life that I thought I wanted to suddenly have it all end in the blink of one eye. However, looking forward I absolutely love my life (minus not feeling good) and am so thankful to be where I am now.

In looking at my medical issues, they have impacted my life in so many ways. As many of you know battling with the same conditions I do that each day is different. I have my great days and I have my days I would rather go to sleep for a long time. I have stopped four wheeling, riding quads, and even working out. I do yoga as much as I can because I have noticed a positive effect when my restless leg syndrome is really bad. I do push myself to keep up on household chores like grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and laundry. We do still like to travel just accept that I will need a nap or five and a few extra days to recover from the trip. We do not always make plans but rather go day by day, one so I do not disappoint others and to allow myself to heal rather than be upset if I cannot do something. I am very blessed with a Hubs who understands my fight and is supportive. Life has changed a lot from my wild days.

Medical care is a completely different story. When I “retired” I lost my health insurance. In Arizona, I do not qualify for state health insurance because I do not have a biological dependent child. So, I have gone two years without health insurance. So, my medical treatment is my usual pain management appointment to show that I am disabled and the cheapest medication. I am not treated differently because of my conditions but rather less quality treatment because I cannot afford the good stuff. Luckily that has changed. I now have health insurance and my medicare is starting in March. I am slowly adding in new treatment based on all my conditions and what is most important at that time. I have an incredible pain management doctor, Dr. Abram Burgher. In addition to my pain management I also see an awesome doctor, Dr. James Tuggle. He focuses in the utilization of vitamins and minerals to assist in my daily living. He is actually the one who figured out I was losing blood. I have been seeing him for years for vitamin therapy via injection. He has done a lot of work with me on hormones, vitamin deficiencies, and “non-traditional” treatments. It has made a huge difference in my life. Finding a great team of doctors really makes a big difference.

Although my battle is young compared to most I would say to those of you who struggle to keep focused on the good things. Make sure you develop a supportive network so when you have your bad days you have someone to lean on through those moments. Take the time to find doctors who understand your struggles and are willing to listen to you. Yes, there are doctors who listen to you and treat you as needed not just based on paper. If you get a bad feeling from a doctor do not continue your appointment or do not go back to them. (Ask my Hubs, I walked out of one doctor’s office because she refused to listen.) Be willing to read, learn about your battles, treatments, ideas, research, medication, therapy, and so on. I go to the doctor with a list of ideas or questions. I question everything. Remember that you are not alone. This is a true fight. If you need someone to talk, reach out to someone special (or me). Also, push yourself. I know you push yourself every day. Find something to push yourself on or for because it helps give you purpose.

I hope you laughed while jumping on board my mind for a while. I am always around to ask questions to or to talk to. I will be thinking about you!

Jamie Crawford
Google talk -

Guest blogger on Pain, Guilt and Hope

Pain, Fatigue, Guilt, and Hope by ProgressMom

Every day I hurt. Every day, I am tired. Not like the good kind of tired where you have worked hard all day and you feel satisfied and fulfilled from a job well done. No, this is the kind of tired where you sometimes have to stop and sit down while you wait for the elevator. This is the kind of tired where you sit down on the couch to have a snack and realize you forgot your drink and think, “Dear Lord, how bad do I want that drink? It’s all the way over there..”
My new “normal” has become pain, fatigue, and guilt. Why the guilt? Guilt because I can no longer be the mom and wife, friend, daughter, sister, etc, I used to be. I cannot run around the yard and throw the football with the kids because I hurt, and the activity will make it worse. Guilt because it takes all I have to “give” at work all day, and I “give through the pain and fatigue and well, by the time I get home, I have little to nothing left. Guilt because I take medicine just to feel some kind of normal, and I don’t really “believe” in medicine. I mean, what kind of a hypocrite am I? Guilt because church attendance has become another chore (which doesn’t get done), something that my body just cannot get on board with because, uh, you guessed it by now, pain and fatigue.

The new question has become, “Is this what my life is going to be like?” And, “Is this not just a little flare? Is this it? And, how much worse is it going to get?” Another doctor visit, more tests, and more, “Here try this medicine.” Another medicine I have “failed” at because the side effects debilitated me more than the pain itself and didn’t fix the pain, anyway. Another wish to cry out to the doctor, “Do you have ANY idea how much this hurts? Every day? All day?” And, no I don’t want those other pills, the ones that have all the atrocious side effects (like lymphoma, for example).

And, then, the realization sets in…they cannot help me. I am on my own. The doctors can’t fix this. Silence…Where is my hope? I need hope…And then, “ I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”Psalm 121:1-2. I pray, I cry out to God and ask for wisdom. I claim His promises for me. He promises not to withhold His wisdom from us when we ask. In fact, He says he will graciouslygive it to us.

And, I recall learning about a wonderful Integrative Medicine doc…I have hope restored, not just in the doc, but in the God who reminded me to go in that direction. Despite the pain that is still there, burning, throbbing, reminding me of its tenacity and power, I have hope. Hope in a God who is bigger and more powerful than my pain. Hope in a doctor who is carrying her God-given purpose on this earth. Hope for His plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans for a hope and a future. Hope that says, “He never would allow anything to come upon me that He did not plan to use for my good and His glory.” I WILL trust in Him! I WILL press through the pain! I WILL believe that on the other side of this, there will be beauty. There is beauty in the suffering, for it is through the suffering that we come to know Him better, love others better, and know that Christ’s power rests in us to do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

So, though I am not cured instantly, not set free from my affliction, strangely, I have a little more peace knowing that He gave me HOPE. He has not forgotten me. He sees every tear that is shed and He has saved them in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).

My new normal is not normal, but then, nothing is here in this fallen world. This is not our ultimate destination. But, thank God, we have the hope of the life that is to come, and we have His loving hand to hold as we journey through this world as well as opportunities to love others who are suffering as well. There is purpose in the pain. I WILL push through it to the purpose, even if I do not learn of it until I cross to the other side. He will not let it be wasted. I have hope!

Hope (Photo credit: bitzcelt)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My dear friend writes about his bout with chronic pain

My friend Amanda asked if I would share my experience with some chronic pain I have, and continue to, deal with.

I am a normal, active and fairly healthy 36 year old male. I have always been hard working holding mostly manual labor jobs. I was in the Army infantry for five years and did a two year deployment to Iraq. Once home from Iraq I drove trucks over the road for a bit and then decided to go to school. In February of my second year of school I woke up one day to a sore ass. Nothing major, just felt like I had been kicked real hard in the butt. Well, I’m a health guy, and so I thought whatever was ailing me would go away. Weeks went by and this pain persisted. Now- I’m stubborn, and I am a healthy guy… So whatever this pin in my ass was, I was certain would work itself out. Day by day this pain got worse. By April I couldn’t hardly sit, stand or lay down without some serious discomfort. One day in May I had Supper with my family, and decided to lay on the bed for a bit. Well, I couldn’t lie down and I was howling in pain. The pain was in my butt and going down my leg. I went to the ER and they took an X-ray for my back. I was given some super-duper pain meds and told I had “degenerative arthritis” whatever the hell that is. So, I called my Mom as she is a nurse and told her my life was over, I had this degenerative arthritis. She laughed and said we all have that, it’s part of getting older. That answer is the answer they give when they have no idea what is actually wrong with you.

So a few more days go by and I don’t get better. I call and they set me up for a CAT scan. I do this CAT scan and it doesn’t show much. By this time I am in the ER on a every three or four day rotation. I hurt and I hurt BAD. So much for being a young health guy. I went in at one point and could hardly move. Couldn’t walk, couldn’t sit… At this point I got an MRI and an overnight stay in the hospital. They gave me dilaudid for the pain, and soon after that lil shot I felt like I was eighteen again. At this point I was told (after the MRI) that I had a bulged disk in my back and it was pinching a nerve. How the hell could this happen to me? I was young, I was healthy? I fought as an infantryman in the Army… and now I couldn’t walk. June came and went, July I was in the ER every other day. Same story, same mix of drugs. I was now on a host of meds, mostly pain meds, and I was eating them like candy. None of this helped. In August I came in and was treated like a drug seeker. Now- I am not a drug seeker. I like to drink, but in my life I have never, ever, ever been on drugs. So now that I actually need them… I get treated like some kind of drug seeker. That day I vowed never to go back to the ER no matter how much pain I was in. I took the prescribed amount of vicoden I was given, and sat on a block of ice for two weeks. I couldn’t sleep, I was in too much pain. The pain by now started in the butt and went all the way down my leg. Once in bed I couldn’t move- and I mean AT ALL. My wife started sleeping in a different room. A lot of times in the night I would wake up screaming in pain. Like blood curdling screaming. The nerve would pinch more and there was nothing I could do except live through the pain. This was hands down the worst thing I have ever dealt with. Think of being tied up and tortured. I couldn’t move, and even though I was not moving, the pain would overtake me. I couldn’t do a thing. I slept very little for about two weeks. Getting out of bed was fun too. I absolutely could not sit up- nor could I roll over without seeing stars. I am talking the worst fucking pain a human can endure here. Not some discomfort… worst pain ever. And guess what, you couldn’t see it. No broken bones, no blood, nothing, just my word saying I was in the worst pain ever. Back to getting out of bed… I would roll over, and then shimmy out of bed. I could put no weight on my left leg (the affected side of me) I would need to stretch for several minutes just to put weight on my leg. Stretch to the foot of the bed, then another stretch to the head of the bed. (This took 10 or 15 minutes) then grab my dresser and prop myself up. Then weight on my leg, then stretch more. After 25 minutes of stretching I could now, with the aid of the bed and footboard, limp to the point where my bathroom door was near, do a spin step hop thing and damn near die taking one step to my bathroom. (Hey the only reason I got out of bed was to use the bathroom) I would then stand at the toilet to relieve myself, and in order to do so I had to stand on one leg. Sitting and pooping… I will spar you the details. For June July and August I had a bucket next to the bed, because I could NOT make it the ONE STEP to my bathroom.

Did I tell you I was a young healthy guy? A bad ass in my own mind. Fit for anything. Did some of the hardest things a person can do… I have always been healthy. I am the guy who doesn’t believe in this “unseen pain.” If there isn’t blood, it can’t hurt. All these people claiming disability…. Most of them are just too lazy to work. Looking for a handout.

I went from the top of the world, to the bottom. This can’t be happening to me. I have great wife, and great kid, I am in one of the hardest schools in the country. I survived combat. My life is perfect. I went from that… to locking up my guns and giving my wife the key to the gun safe because I was that dame close to ending my life. No bullshit. I would cry and cry on my wife shoulder. She would cook, clean, mow the yard, go out with friends… I would lie in bed and cry. I couldn’t get up. I couldn’t do even the simplest things in the house with considerable effort.

So why aren’t I dead. Well, the guns were locked up silly. Here’s what I did. I quite going to the ER. I sat on ice for weeks on end. I would get up at 4:00 or 5:00 and watch tv- sitting on ice. I went on a diet (I wasn’t huge, but I had gained weight since coming home from Iraq.) I lost 15 pounds in three weeks. I went to physical therapy. I really don’t know what helped, what did the trick. I do not think it was the therapy. That just wasn’t effective for me. The Ice- maybe. The diet, could be. I really don’t know. I got off the drugs. Getting off most was no problem, like I said I never did drugs, and I don’t like them. All except for vicoden. That lil bad boy is addictive. I did get off vicoden, I need it for pain and I took it for pain, but as I tried to quit cold turkey- I found I was addicted to it. So I simply cut my doses. In three weeks I was off vicoden.

So, how am I now? Well, I hurt. Not the absolute hurt I initially had. I would say on that good ole pain scale I am at a 2 every day all day long. This is chronic. I am off the drugs, but I do have an open prescription for vicoden. At times I take it. Mostly I use it for sleep. I have a consult for surgery in a week.

My story gets very complicated when I start telling you about my health care provider. I will be brief. I go to the VA. The VA sucks and they won’t spend money on a person. I had no other insurance. I signed up with my wife’s insurance (we didn’t do this previously, because hey… I’m a healthy young man right.. what could go wrong?) and had to wait for the preexisting condition time limit to come. So now that’s up and here I am. I could write a ten page paper on the shitty treatment from the VA and the waiting and waiting I did with the regular insurance, and goddamn loopholes I had to jump through just to get a damn consult to see the surgeon… That process alone took months.

All in all I am better. The consult is in a week. I do not want surgery, but I also do not want to be in the pain I am in for the rest of my life.

My outlook on unseen pain has changed 100%. Oh, sure there are people faking it. Lots of lazy pricks looking for a free ride and a hand out, but chronic pain, unseen pain, back pain, PTSD (Ya, I have that too), and other unseen illnesses certainly exist

Remember I was young, I was healthy, I fought a fucking war… and for three months I couldn’t get out of bed. And if I could have I would have shot myself.

I’m better now- but you can bet your ass I am a believer now too. My life is getting back on track. My awesome wife endured this with me and stuck by my side. I am gaining weight again as I am back in classes and I do nothing but go to class then come home to study. I look forward to completing this semester as this is my last semester of class work and then I can more actively pursue my weight loss goals.

Life is good again.

Jason Surface

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest blogger on Chronic Migraines

Danielle is a 29 year old who lives in Oklahoma. She suffers from chronic migraines.

Her daily life is effected by the fact that she has some sort of headache every single day. She takes medications to keep them tolerable, but She does not remember a life without pain. She has missed more days of work than She cares to count up because of migraine pain.

When asked if she had doctors that treated her fairly she said, "I have had more than my fair share of doctors who don’t listen and doctors who seem to not care. But I have fought and finally found doctors who believe me and believe that there will be a way for me to live pain free."

When asked what meds she takes that have been helpful, or unconventional treatments, she replied, "I take 800 mg of Neurontin three times a day to help “prevent” the migraines. Most of the time this just brings it to a more tolerable level. I also take 400 mg of Vitamin B2 per day and 1000 mg of Magnesium per day. These have been proven to help reduce migraines. I have a prescription for Fioricet, but I rarely take it because I don’t find that it helps at all. I generally take Excedrin migraine on a daily basis. I have tried chiropractors and acupuncture to no avail."

Hobbies or activities she is still able to do include: I am able to work the majority of the time. I am still able to play with my children, and enjoy weekends with my husband. The thing I miss out on the most is the general happiness that comes from being pain free. My almost 4 year old daughter has come to know me as being in bed. I want to change that. She already knows when I’m not feeling well and tells me “Mommy, you need to go to bed."

Any advice to our readers? If your doctor isn’t listening to you, find someone else. There is no reason to live your life in pain and feel like no one is listening to you or taking you seriously. There are TONS of doctors out there, you just have to find the right one.

Also she'd like to add, If you are a family member/friend of someone who lives in chronic pain, please take them seriously. Please don’t downplay their situation or make them feel bad about it. Trust me, they already feel bad enough. I have spent many days in bed feeling terrible because my kids are growing up without me. I sincerely wish I could feel better. I pray about it, I take my meds, I go to the doctor. Give support. Don’t think just because they look ok, that they actually are ok. When you live in chronic pain you learn how to put on your happy face and go about your day because that’s what you have to do.

Guest blogger: Danielle Brigance
Authored by: Amanda Lakso

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Looking for guest bloggers!!

Looking for guest bloggers!!

In search of guest bloggers to write your content on my blog. Anything having to do with chronic pain. You can write your own or I'll interview you for the article. How it has effected you, your family or anyone you know. Could be a college project or anything else. Looking for your input and ideas. Please email me at for more info and what you have in mind. I'm pretty open to idea's. Thank you for your time! 

Amanda Lakso

Monday, January 7, 2013

Emotional Aspects of Low Back Pain

Emotional Aspects of Low Back Pain
WebMD Feature
By Stephanie Watson
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
You can eat a healthy diet, exercise religiously, and follow every single one of your doctor's recommendations -- but no matter how healthy or well-conditioned your body may be, at some point, your lower back is almost destined to cause you problems.

For most people, low back pain is just a minor annoyance that emerges once in awhile, sticks around for a couple of days, then goes away. For other people, there's no break from the pain.

When pain becomes chronic, it goes far beyond a physical sensation. It can impact your emotions, too. "The back pain can become a black hole for all of life's bumps in the road. Everything is blamed on the back pain. If the back pain were better, everything would be better," says Jerome Schofferman, MD, head of the Rehabilitation, Interventional, and Medical Spine Care (RIMS) Section of the North American Spine Society, and director of Research and Education for SpineCare Medical Group in San Francisco and Daly City, Calif.

How well you cope with your low back pain, and whether you get the right treatment for the physical and emotional impacts of it, will determine whether you control your pain -- or it controls you.

The Pain-Emotion Connection

Low back pain can be more than just physical. It can have a profound effect on your mood, and just about every other part of your life. "Chronic pain is something that interferes with every aspect of daily living. You can't concentrate -- you can't remember things as well. It affects your appetite, it affects your sleep," says Robert N. Jamison, PhD, associate professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.

People who are in constant pain may worry that they won't be able to work or go about their daily activities. With all of that stress, "It makes sense that people get depressed, anxious, and irritable," Jamison says.

Pain is more than just unpleasant sensations traveling through your nervous system. It also involves your perception, feelings, and thoughts. The worse you think your pain will be -- the worse it feels.

Some people with low back pain magnify their pain until it explodes into something far more profound than it really is -- a tendency known as catastrophizing. Say your doctor diagnoses you with degenerative disc disease. When you catastrophize, a whole range of scenarios runs through your mind. You imagine your back becoming so debilitated and painful that you have to quit your job and stay at home. You even envision a future in which you're confined to a wheelchair.

The physical and emotional toll of living in constant pain leads nearly a third of people with chronic pain to become clinically depressed. About 75% of people who are being treated for depression report physical symptoms, including pain. If pain can lead to emotional distress, the reverse is also true. The more trouble you have dealing with stress, the more likely you are to experience pain. In one small study, patients who were under mental distress or who had chronic pain (not in the lower back) were three times more likely to develop low back pain than those who had better coping skills.

Stress and pain can turn into an inescapable cycle. You're in pain, so you feel stressed and anxious. Stress can cause your muscles to tense up, which ratchets up the pain even more.

Another cycle can emerge -- this one centered on fear and avoidance. "People will avoid activities that they fear might either make their pain worse or [cause them to] reinjure themselves," Schofferman says. Avoiding physical activity will eventually weaken your body to the point that even if you want to finally go out and do something, you won't have the strength to do it.