Archive for the ‘Pain’ Category

Christmas Cookies

December 30, 2022

Every year for Christmas, I bake cookies to give to friends and family for gifts. To make it easy on myself, I buy some of the dough pre-made. This also allows for a little more variety than if I just made six batches of peanut butter cookies or sugar cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I tried something different this year. Yes, I still bought the pre-mix dough and I also still mixed up some dough. What was different this year is that I only baked the cookies that I needed as I needed them. Previous years I would bake all the cookies and then freezing them all.

While this does take more time, it has been spread out over multiple days. It limits doing repetitive and eventually very painful actions for hours & hours on end. Plus, I’m also not spending one day constantly baking

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The other benefit is that for most people, the cookies are fresh – straight from the oven almost in most cases..

Various Type of Cookies on Cooling Racks

Unfortunately, I did not see my brother’s family this year due to a really bad storm the day before our family dinner. He was still digging out with intermittent power. His eldest god to school near me, so I will send the family’s cookies home with her after the holiday break. Until then, they are frozen cuz dough only remains good for a limited period of time.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

The only other ones that were baked & frozen were the gluten free ones for my neice’s & SiL’s gluten intolerances. That was done for two reasons. First to ensure that all the gluten-free products were baked on a gluten-free surface and not switching between gluten-free and regular cookies. Second to keep all the gluten-free cookies together. I didn’t want to get them mixed up.

Be Kind – You Don’t Know The Struggles Of Another

December 27, 2022

A well written article from CNN about how depression, a medical condition, impacts the lives and deaths of people struggling with it. PLEASE READ.

Some particular statements I found poignant:

  • “Just because you can’t see it inside someone, doesn’t mean the pain they are experiencing isn’t real or overwhelming.”
  • “With cancer, you see people you love deteriorating on the outside. When someone struggles with mental health issues, you often don’t see it.”
  • “There’s a big difference between wanting to end your pain and wanting to end your life. But some of those who struggle with mental illness may not be able to see the difference.”
  • “Stop assuming you know what someone else’s life is like, or what it’s like to live in their head. You have no idea what somebody else’s life is like. And neither do I. You have no idea what pain or trauma a huge smile may be hiding.”

If someone has depression or even occasional suicidal ideologies, offering support instead of criticism is always the best way to go. You do not, can not, know how much someone is struggling with their demons. As Ellen says, “Be kind.”

Those who I know who should read this the most won’t even bother. They will consider themselves better even when they have struggled with their demons.

November is RSD/CRPS Awareness Month

November 29, 2022

RSD stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which is an order term for CRPS which starts for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. November is the awareness month for this multi-named chronic pain condition . See the images below for more information..




The Process of Doing Laundry

November 18, 2022

There is something that healthy people don’t realize about those dealing with chronic pain. That is the unrelenting exhaustion that occurs when dealing with and fighting chronic pain. This exhaustion severely exacerbates energy levels so sometimes we can’t do everything in one shot. Laundry is an excellent example of this.

When doing laundry, most people will throw stuff in the wash. When the cycle is done they will throw the clothes from the wash to the dryer and throw in another wash another load to wash. When the dryer is done it will take out the clothes into a laundry basket, fold them, then put them away. Then they repeat as needed.

There’s no way I could do all that. Not with the other things I need to get done in a day. So for me, laundry is a multi-step process.

1. Organizing clothing.

While this is frequently merged with the next step, it isn’t always. If I have a full hamper of clothing, I have to take it all out and separate it into different loads including a gentle load, potentially a white load bleach and then splitting up the colors into two balanced loads. Just the weight of picking up putting down and moving around clothes especially if there’s something heavy like towels, that can get pretty tired and pretty fast.

2. Washing.

From here, I have to get the clothing from the laundry hamper in my bedroom to the laundry room. Fortunately for me my laundry is on the same floor as my bed room. But carrying that much weight and then starting the cycle and making sure all the clothes are in and balanced. Well healthy people don’t think twice about this again it gets really tiring really fast.

3. Drying clothes.

I have a stacked washer dryer so picking up heavy wet clothing from the washing machine and pulling it up above head level into the dryer takes quite a bit of effort. Again most people don’t think twice about something like this. After getting everything in the dryer, making sure all the laundry balls (because I don’t use dryer sheets) are evenly distributed through the load because half the time I forget to do that ahead of time. So this means moving around all these heavy wet clothes, again. Now sometimes it’s a gentle load and that requires me to take things out move them across to the other side of the laundry area and it’s a pretty big space considering, and hang each item up carefully on the drying rack. Fortunately, gentle loads are rarely a big load and lighter in the summer than in the winter.

4. Emptying the dryer.

I can put a laundry basket on top of the washing machine and carefully drag clothing out of the dryer into the laundry basket. This is not the difficult part. The difficult part is bringing it out to the living room which is where I tend to fold my clothes. While they are no longer wet, they still tend to be heavy and I have to carry that from one side of the apartment to the other. Most people don’t think that’s a long distance but when you’re carrying that much weight and yes for someone on chronic pain that’s a lot of weight, that far it can be painful and exhausting. Then if I also have to grab the dry gentle clothing it’s on the drying rack on my way by that makes the basket even heavier.

5. Folding clothes.

I tend to procrastinate, I will admit that so this is partly a problem of my own making. As a result by the time I get around to folding my clothes, I usually have a couple of full baskets of clean laundry. Fortunately I have very little that actually wrinkles. I tend to take my time and organize the clothing as I’m folding it, while I’m watching TV. Watching TV while I’m folding is it good distraction so I don’t notice the pain or the fatigue as much. I will agree that lifting one item at a time and folding it and putting it down it’s not that big of a deal but doing that process over and over and over again for an hour or two, takes its toll. Yes it takes me that long to fold my laundry.

6. Putting Away.

As I fold, I tend to organize everything. T-shirts that go to the dresser together, pants that get hung, go together, hoodies go together, socks in one pile, undergarments in another, and pj’s all together. It makes it easier, but those baskets must also be brought back to the bedroom and the weight can be excessively heavy as I move basket after basket. But again I procrastinate until I’m actually looking in the clothing for specific items.

The issue with putting things away isn’t so much the stuff that goes into drawers, but the stuff that gets hung. I have a walk in closet & most of my clothing hangs from a rod just above my own height. Jean are the worst, not only do I have to get them on a pant hanger correctly, they are also heavier than most of my other clothing & the weight hangs long making it more difficult to maneuver. Especially if I have several pairs of pants, I may not be able to empty all the baskets cuz lifting clothing above my head stresses my arms & back exacerbating the exhaustion of the activity.

Conclusion.

So, not only do I have to do this in steps, resting between, this process can take a few days to work through because the pain and exhaustion severely limits the amount of energy one has.

Being Sick with Fibro

October 25, 2022

So i caught a bug this weekend. Stuffy nose, sore throat, head ache, body aches . Never did take my temperature.. & I noticed something .

The Fibro pain isn’t typically everywhere at once.. it’s usually once place or another, not everywhere.. But you add the body aches & every is now hurting.. yuck.

Pill Bottles

October 4, 2022

What really sucks is when your hands are too sore to open your container for you pain medication

Crash and Burn II

August 16, 2022

So I overdid it on the Civic holiday weekend and crashed as a result. I’ve been in a flare ever since.. This is a continuation of Crash and Burn.

As I said, Monday was about the same, pain-wise & still working on my sister’s project, but finally got a decent amount of work done on with this project. I think there was no improvement on Monday because I went to soccer.

Tuesday morning showed some more small improvement. That afternoon was my appointment with Dr Sithaparanathan at Neupath Pain Clinic (formerly CPM). Got my full shots & she gave me big trouble for over doing it. She asked my why I overdid it cuz she knows I’m pretty in tune with my body & it’s pain. I had lidocaine infusion on the Tuesday prior & the pain relief was still in effect which is why I didn’t feel any pending problems I guess the impact work off Sunday night/Monday morning while I slept.

So Tuesday afternoon was better, and was spent again at my sister’s.

I noticed significant improvement in weight bearing on Wednesday. The week prior, I was unable to pick up the sewing machine, even just to lift it from the table My brother-in-law had to come over and pick it up to take it to my sister’s. Today, however, I was running errands, one of which was to get the light bulb changed which required me to take the machine with me. I was able to carry it now. It was a bit of a struggle, but I was able to do it, take it out to the car. Yay!


A set of ushions for my sister's outdoor love seat, one of you have been working on

As you can see, we are getting it done & here’s a view of one of her love seats in case I didn’t share before. This just shows the look we are going for with this completed loveseat.


I got some of my own stuff done that day cuz I was not at my sister’s doing stuff, tho several of my errands were related.

At this point, I was still having trouble getting moving in the mornings – usually afternoons right now. Pain levels are still higher when I wake and still having problems getting decent sleep Sunday – 6hrs, Monday – 6 hr, Tuesday after my shots was good with almost 7½, Thursday – 5¾hr, Friday – 4hrs.

While I’m *in* bed by midnight, I am not tired til at least 2am, some times up until 4am. There are also where I wake in the middle of the night wide awake. None of this helps my sleep. Thursday was bad with a combination of both. I was in bed shortly before 1am attempting to sleep. According to my Fitbit, I dozed off at 3:30am & up at almost 5, wide awake and unable to get back to sleep until 8 but even then for only 3 hours before being wide awake. And people wonder why I am completely exhausted some days.

So, overall, pain got better and better, but I was still getting exhausted each day.

i also began to have problems with my ankle &: my knee. Being on vacation, my knee has been fine.. was even good on Sunday after being off seeing since Thursday. However, being Wednesday of my week off, I’m pretty sure the peddle usage has aggravated my gout. I’m icing it & tossing it in my tensor when I’m doing any significant walking.

Let’s hope, with us not starting back up after the long weekend that it starts to heal up on its own. 🙂

Crash & Burn

August 12, 2022

The August long weekend was spent at home, the first time in several years, even doing covid. Typically I would be up at bff’s cottage, but she wanted the weekend starting her vacation to just be her & hubby..

Instead, I spent it in the GTA. Thursday night I went walking with my friend Tracy as my sister was at the cottage on vacation. We went 5.18 km according to my fitbit. Pace was 7.8 km/hr which is pretty good. Average speed for someone our age is about 4.5km/hr. So a good clip.

Friday was a quiet day, but Saturday started with my mom having a hissy fit about all my stuff in their space, so I spent the afternoon hauling any of my personal belongings & any cub supplies I had from the garage and into the backyard , either to my indoor space or my father’s shed. Between 2 & 6:30, my fit bit recognized three instance of exercise. 2 were classified as walks, but one was registered as sport. This tells you how hard I was working. That evening I went out to a bar with friends. Some were new to our group, so we had some ice breaker activities & lots of chat, getting to know new people. Then off to the dance floor until I left shortly before 1am.

Sunday registered a walk on my fit bit at 12 and I don’t remember what I was doing.. likely at noon I’m still dragging my ass outta bed,, esp when I wasn’t home until 2.. ( I realized layer it was 12 midnight & I was dancing).. I then took the pup to the dog park and we took the longer path. I did yoga for about a half hour & change. *Then* I went to soccer & I was exhausted by the end.

I woke Monday morning, thinking “Hmm.. I’m not too bad.” Then I moved. Boy was I wrong! 8/10, easy, & pure fibro pain. Not alot anyone can do anything for that.. Plus ongoing muscle cramps in my legs on & off until I got some magnesium on Wednesday, which helped..

So I spent the holiday Monday in bed, same with Tuesday & Wednesday other than a painfully slow walk, barely 1km/hr. I was however feeling a bit better each day..

Thursday was spent at my sister’s hanging out at her pool & started working on a project she wanted to do this month. Got in a couple of short walks, minimally faster than the days before.

Saturday & Sunday we also spent working on the project with multiple pool breaks .. I did go out with friends on Saturday which was nice. Then I again went to soccer on Sunday – am I a glutton for punishment or what?

So now we are one week later, pain levels still jumping at a 4-6/10.. depending on the time of day.. Sunday afternoon I was at a 4.. Probably why I went to soccer.

Monday was about the same, pain-wise & still working on my sister’s project, but finally got a decent amount of work done on with this project.

to be continued…

Trifecta to Being Productive

July 8, 2022

I find there are three health benefits of being productive. I’m not necessarily talking about cleaning the whole house or an equally large activity. Even something smaller like getting X amount of laundry or dishes done. Something manageable but productive but nothing that is too much.

After getting something done & done well, I feel three things:

  1. More awake and alert
  2. More energetic
  3. Less pain

Additionally, I feel better about myself and accomplished as I’ve set a realistic goal & reached it.

Tattoos with Fibro

July 5, 2022

I’ve not had any tattoos prior to this year, so I don’t know what it’s like to have any ink done with a body that does not have pain. Honestly because I’ve been dealing with chronic pain issues since adolescent, I don’t think I could have even had the opportunity to do so.

I have 2 pieces done thus far. They are both rewards for my weight loss.

On my upper left arm, a little bigger than I was expecting, is my Scouter Koolaid tattoo I was given the name Koolaid by a patrol of scouts in my early 20s. So, basically is the scouting fleur-de-lis with the Koolaid guy super imposed on top. With the cub sign shown in his right hand.

This tattoo was actually quite painful. I had a hard time tolerating the pain. I was gritting my teeth the entire time but I persisted because I knew it was temporary pain and would eventually stop

On the top of the backside of my right shoulder, I have a butterfly. This butterfly is similar in style to a monarch butterfly but instead of the orange, black and white, mine is coloured inshades of purple and white. It is unique & really cool in that it is almost 3D in nature and you can see the shadow of it behind the butterfly. The text surrounding the butterfly reads “Fibromyalgia Awareness”.

This tattoo was significantly easier despite having more chronic pain issues in the area. For the majority of the work I was able to just sit and relax as he drew on the back of my shoulder. In fact, the upper lettering where I says “Fibromyalgia”, that actually tickled. Go figure There was one spot however that was a problem. Near the end of the work, the artist was adding white for highlights, he hit a flat mole on my back That sent a single big sharp jolt of pain through me. But that was the only pain I had from that one.

The artist, given that these two were my very first two and done right one after the other, he was not only surprised but suitably impressed that I only jumped that one single time. Apparently that is not the norm.

I do have one final one planned as my final reward for reaching & maintaining my goal weight. That one is going to be a collection of roses on my bum/ hip/ lower back in shades of bright pink & purple, maybe blue. The text to accompany that tat is “Neon Rose”, the online alias I have used since I was 16, so long long time ago.

When Lilly passes, I will be getting her paw print on me aswell in commemoration.