Posts Tagged ‘osteoarthritis’

Pain Is Up!

March 29, 2022

i had originally scheduled a different post with the same title.. One that should have posted in December, but some of it isn’t relevant anymore, and I’m in a different place, so I am changing it..

Why? Cuz for the first time in years my pain is at a 7/10.. Keep in mind, I picture 20/10 to be the equivalent of having my limbs cut off with a full chainsaw without the benefit of anesthesia or passing out from the pain.

Whats making it worse, is I had an epidural a few weeks back, so my lower back & my pain due to Osteoarthritis is pretty much non-existent. That means, I have fibro pain & *just* fibro pain at a 7/10. Normally when I hit a 7, it’s a combo of fibro & OA. When that happens, if I can dull out the OA pain, I can deal with the fibro.

Pain Scale 7-8/10
Pain Scale 7/10

So, its *all* fibro pain & last night I was almost in tears, even with extra (Double) muscle relaxers & narcotics – even a good chunk of alcohol. So there’s not much more that can be done for it, and *nothing* they will do in Emerg to help. They won’t given me any meds stronger than what I am on. Narcotics or a muscle relaxer.

When I do visit the ER, I typically get a toradol shot & a Xanax. Tonight that won’t do anything to help.

The only good thing is that I see my pain doc. Honestly, not sure my shots are even going to help I expect she’s going to recommend a lidocaine infusion, the one treatment I’ve not tried. I think I’m going to say yes this time.

Why so much pain?

Simple, if you read my previous post about CBD, you’ll know my GP thinks it’s my medical marijuana. So I’ve been off the MMJ since February 17th. While not as bad, I’m still nauseated and I am still throwing up. I’ve been on this medication for about 4 years now & it was a huge help getting me off fentanyl..

Due to the extreme bruising, he, my GP, also yanked me off the arthrotec, an anti-inflammatory, a few weeks before that. But I still bruising.. I have been on this medication for decades, since my mid 20s…

So I’ve lost two of my treatments that were helping my fibro, but do not seem to be resolving the problems I took to him.

As a result my pain has been slowly creaping up & I’m experiencing allodynia again. Basically, it is a sensitivity to touch. See next week’s post for more about this & how it’s been impacting me..

It Finally Happened Again

August 13, 2021

So on Friday or late Thursday my sciatica flared up, because of my osteoarthritis… And with Cub camp on Saturday there is no way I would have been able to function.

So I went to the ER, the first time since covid started, and possibly even the first time in 2 years…

Previously when I went to Lakeridge health Oshawa I was expecting compassion, respect and dignity. I’m sure if you go back far enough you will see posts of getting policy changed in the Scarborough hospitals.

On Friday the first thing the doctor said to me was “So I hear you can’t afford Toradol?”” well that’s professional. He agrees to give me some Toradol after I saw I don’t want narcotics.. Toradol in an anti-inflammatory..

Every other time I’ve gone to the emergency department in the hospital, but Centenary, Scarborough Gen, or Lakeridge Health Oshawa I have been given an injection of 30 mg of Toradol. Frequently I am also given another 30 mg tablet to take it home later. And occasionally the doctors do offer me a muscle relaxer as well

All I got on Friday for a chronic pain flare bad enough for me to drag my ass to an emergency department in a pandemic was 10mg of Toradol. There is absolutely no way that someone with chronic pain, specifically in a flare with pain spiking, the 10 f****** mg of Toradol is going to do anything.

The one thing it did, was put me in tears.

I ended overdosing on naproxen at home just to get enough relief so that I could work with my Cub Scouts the next day.


Before some dough head makes a comment about me being a Scouter while having chronic pain. If I didn’t do anything because I had pain I wouldn’t be doing anything at all – I’d be a freaking hermit. And I’m very much enjoy working with the kids to allow that.

And before someone else says let somebody else run the meeting, I was the Scouter in Charge on Saturday. I was the one who actually knew exactly what we were doing, leading several of the activities & the only one familiar enough with the area to run a hike… I am also the one who, if something happened, I would be the one responsible whether I was there or not. So you damn straight I’m going to make it up to the day.

My ER Visit

May 17, 2021

As you’ve seen by some of my other recent posts, I was recently in the emergency department due to pain. The pain in this case was not due to fibromyalgia or endometriosis or any of my other chronic conditions. Or at least I didn’t think so. I was concerned about a blood clot due to the AshraZeneca vaccine I had received the week prior.

Summary of that ER visit, I don’t have a blood clot. I’m fine.

At the ER, due to possible AZ issues, *not* Fibromyalgia, and *not* OsteoArthritis.. So it’s still been over a year since me last FM/OA pain crisis.

But the point of this post is that I have not been to the emergency room since before COVID started. 10, 12, even 14 years ago I was a frequent flyer at Centenary Hospital in Scarborough. I was there about once a month and it was not unusual to be there multiple times in one month. It actually got to the point where I knew the department head by name, and he knew me, by name. In the grand scheme of things, that not generally a good thing.

Even after I had moved back from Scarborough to Oshawa I was still going to the emergency room every 2 to 3 months due to my fibromyalgia & OA pain.

Butt as things have gotten more manageable, as my weight has decreased, my fitness level has increased, my diet has improved, my medications have been cut back and altered in a positive way, I have become healthier and healthier. I have, with the help of my doctor’s, been able to better manage many of my symptoms of Fibromyalgia & OA.

The other day I was actually thinking about when my last visit to the emergency room was. I realized that it’s been over a year because my last visit was prior to COVID shutting down the world last March. I think I may have been in the ER after Cub camp on the family day weekend in 2020.

But think about it. I used to be going for regular ER visits to help control my pain. Now, it’s been over a year since I’ve been in a the RR, and still not for FM/OA related pain.

How Awesome Is That?!?

Crappy Week

April 16, 2021

So, I posted on the 13th of April about how crappy I was feeling on Monday… While I’m not having a problem getting my shower door open, I’m still feeling like crap.

It’s been a long time for me that I’ve have sustained a higher pain.level over more than a few days..feeling crappy started Sunday morning.

If you ask me what I did on Saturday? I went for a drive. I love to drive, but with the price of gas right now, it’s a little expensive. So, I has in & out of the car & driving around.. Even hopped on the highway to drop of my BFF’s birthday pressie..

So nothing was done out of the ordinary that could trigger a flare. To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t flare the weekend before at the cottage when I *did* do something that could cause a flare – helping my Dad move the trailer.. I just don’t get it

And to top it off, I’m not sure what my body is trying to do. My pain levels are up. And all I have thinking about is fentanyl…. I just don’t know if it’s a want for pain relief or if the want is to be oblivious to everything cuz of the medication, or just to get high..

Epidural? For Fibro?

January 18, 2021

Actually, no, not for fibromyalgia.. Well it does help some of the fibromyalgia pain, but that is not how it helps the most.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts about the injections that I get. I mostly talk about the trigger point injections & less about the epidurals..

The epidural medication, Triamcinolone, is a corticosteroid which is an anti-inflammatory. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching. I have osteoarthritis in my lower back from S1 to L1, if I recall correctly & it’s probably progressed since the original diagnosis about 7-8 years ago. Osteoarthriti is the degradation of the spinal cartilage making the bone change resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling..

The process is done by anesthesiologist. He gives me a local anesthetic, and then a second deeper anesthetic before finally injecting the corticalsteroid into my back through the notch in my coccyx aka the tailbone. He then also does the regular trigger point injections.

A visual representation of where the needle is injected to.

After the injection I am monitored for 30 to 45 minutes before I am permitted to leave to ensure I’m not reacting badly..

The initial results are awesome, always. Later in the day when the local anesthetics were off the area of the injection is sore. Fortunately at that point it’s later in the day and I’m slowing down anyways.

I typically get two to three epidurals per year starting in November or December & ending in March or April. For whatever reason my osteoarthritis tends to be worse during the winter. I usually get them every 7 and 9 weeks. I would say my initial pain level drops to ½-1 /10.. Considering I’m anywhere between a 5 and an 8 when I go in to get these shots, that’s amazing!! The effect does tend to wear off and is pretty much worn off in 7-9 weeks. The shortest time I’ve gone between shots was 5 weeks.

They help me. & For a short while, I almost feel pain-free!

What Do Pain Docs Do For Me?

January 11, 2021

As mentioned in my previous post, I see two different pain physicians. Yes they do both know about each other. Actually, one referred me to the other. But why two? Because they do different things that help differently and for different durations.

I know these doctors know what each other’s are doing because I see them both in the same clinic but different offices. And while there are different offices in different cities, my electronic file is available to them both.

Shots with Dr S

My regular appointment is with Dr S.. I actually started seeing her 10 or more years ago, once a week but now generally only see her every four weeks now. From her I get nerve and trigger point injections.

I get them in my shoulder for the nerve going down my arms, 2 injections on each side of the back, the top of my back at the sides of spine in the trapezius muscle, down my back in painful trigger points primarily in the shoulder blade & the latissimus Dorso muscle, 8 shots in my lower back beside the Sacral & lumbar vertebrae, and on in the back of each hip for the sciatica. So a minimum of a about 20, to up to close to 50. Typically I get 30 shots in my back & neck.

Bupivacaine – for nerve & trigger point injections

Bupivacaine injection is used to numb an area of your body during procedures. It is a local anesthetic. It causes a loss of feeling and prevents pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings.

Epi with Dr J

I also, only in the winter, see Dr J.. He is an anesthesiologist and performs epidurals in my lower spine, specifically my tailbone every two to two and a half months. This is in lieu of the injection shots in my lower back as the pain in my lower back goes up during the winter probably due to the cold & the OsteoArthritis in my lower spine. The epidural covers a lot more space on the lower back and does a better job with the pain has it lasts about 2 months, not just one.

Traimcinolone – For coccyx Epidural

Triamcinolone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.

Compare: How Do They Work?

The monthly injections with Dr S are done with a medication that is a local anesthetic, While it does help break up the knots of the Myofascial Pain Syndrome, it is primarily a numbing agent forthe pain. Over the years the blockage of pain has lasted longer and longer. Initially it was less than a week whereas now I am almost back to my pre-COVID pain treatment level at almost four weeks.

The epidurals with Dr J are with both the bupicavacine in the lower back and the corticosteroids which is a type of anti-inflammatory. So in addition to the initial numbing, I am also getting inflammation reduction as this medication reduces the signs and symptoms of inflammatory conditions & rheumatologic diseases such as arthritis including RA & OA.

So given that on the weekend, my pain hovered to an 8 out of 10, I am grateful that I was able to book in quickly with Dr J today & glad I’m seeing DrS for the upper back injections tomorrow.

Ongoing Holiday Crash

January 9, 2021

Most of the time when I have a crash in the holidays I end up in the hospital because of how bad the pain can get.. I usually manage for a few days at a level 7 or 8 out of 10 and after that, I’m in the ER.

This year, while the pain has been up, it hasn’t spiked to that level yet. And I hope it doesn’t. But unfortunately I have been in less higher level since the 26th of December – so, 17 days days now, which is unusual, for me… A severely sucks..

But I called my pain physician in Scarborough for an appointment on Monday & see my other pain doctor Tuesday. . With pain levels at a 5 or 6, I can deal, but only to a point.. after more than 2 weeks, I’ve hit that point..

Wish me luck!

My Types of Pain

November 7, 2020

With all the different medical conditions that I have, several of them are chronic pain conditions. Now you must think, because there are so many issues, that the pain would just bleed through, but it doesn’t. Each pain for each condition feels uniquely different from the others. Being able to differentiate between different types of pain and their causes is advantageous in that since I know what is causing the pain I know which treatment would work better

Fibromyalgia Pain – tTis is more muscular and joint pain. I have tropical rubs, muscle relaxation and pain medications to help deal with this

OsteoArthritis Pain – This pain is exclusively in my lower back as I have osteoarthritis in the entire lumbar and tailbone area of my back. Topicals will help this to a point, but anti-inflammatories tend to be the most productive treatment

Myofacial Pain Syndrome Pain- This one just sucks because it is hard to tell between what is the my official pain syndrome and what is just stress. And sometimes they’re both. Treatment for this type of pain is the nerve and trigger point injections that I get from my pain management clinic. Massage therapy also helps me with this .

Endometriosis Pain- Fortunately while I don’t experience this as much as I used to I still get shots from this . Currently I will feel the occasional shot down from my ovary to my leg. Other times is when Demetrio tissue adheres to the bowel and then the bowel moves as stool processes through causing the bowel structure to shift, causing years in the Endo tissue, causing pain. This is typically dealt with using anti-inflammatories and pain medications.

IBS Pain- initially because the endometriosis was located on my bowel I did not have problems differentiating initially between IBS pain and endometrial pain. Having dealt with this since my teen years I have been able to determine the difference between the two. And do a sharp whereas IBS is more crampy. The easiest way to resolve this is to have the bowel movement.

Arthritis Pain – I also have the normal form of arthritis in both my hands and in my knees. Anti-inflammatories typically help but support braces are also advantageous for both my wrists and my knees

Kidney Stone Pain- the first time I dealt with this pain it knocked me off my feet. From what I’ve read this is one of the most painful forms of pain that the human body experiences. It took three lithotripsies and several other false starts to get these treated. Drinking lots of fluid did help in that it would help float the stones away from the ducks so it was not impeding the function of the kidney.

I have experienced other forms of pain such as a pinched nerve, pulled or torn muscle, spring, bone break, concussions, etc. These forms of pain fortunately are short-term, typically less than 3 months unlike the chronic conditions above.

When it’s Not Fibro Pain

October 20, 2020

Over the years I’ve dealt with a lot of different kinds of pain. I’ve had broken bones, pulled muscles, sprained ankles, torn muscles, chronic Charlie Horses/nasty muscle spasms, concussions & even thrown out my back. Each of those feels different from each other, right? Before a Fibro diagnosis, they are dealt with appropriately.

I’ve also dealt with pain due to endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, CFS/ME, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, regular arthritis, kidney stones, gallstones… And each of those feels different from each other. I can even differentiate between IBS pain & Endo on my bowel pain.

I’ve dealth with all sorts of different types of pain..

But once you hit that one diagnosis, many doctors don’t bother looking past it. This happens way to often for those of us with Fibromyalgia & even ME/CFS.. When you go to the ER or even just to your family doctor with a new pain issue, many of us are spoken down to and even dismissed saying the pain is due to fibromyalgia. The one time I’ve have a pain that I said wasn’t fibromyalgia but it actually was happened when I had chest pain. It was costochondritis & while this is a Fibro issue, it’s understandable the first time or three that I freak out & head to the ER thinking heart attack.

Now, I’m lucky. I have had a great support system & have over recent years learned to be my own advocate without being a bitch about it.. I have not experienced this problem much with fibromyalgia. I did however experience this at the beginning of my medical journey in my 20s.

I kept having abdominal pain.. After being put off by my GP once or twice, him thinking it was just gas, he sent me after a 4 month wait, to a gynecologist. She did an exam & sent me back to my GP telling him to send me to a GI doc.

So, GP sends me to a gastroenterologist.. After a 6 month wait there, I was scheduled for a colonoscopy (that was fun..not) and was determined to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.. After getting it settled down by diet & medication, I was still having abdominal pain. GI tells my GP to send me back to the gynecologist.

I had another 2 month wait to she her agai,n over a year after my previous appointment. She tells me, “you don’t have endometriosis”, because my symptoms were atypical, despite still being consistent with Endo. She did agree to do an investigative laparoscope to shut me up & “just in case” she was wrong. She Was Wrong. I had Stage 3 Endo across my abdomen. So the investigative laparoscoped turned into a treatment laparoscope where she tried to in size and burn off any visual endometriosis cells. She has to go back in 6 months later to get the remaining endometrial cells higher in my abdomen that she missed the first time because she “didn’t have long my enough tools”.

So I learned early on to be an advocate for myself, with support from friends & family. If you feel your are being dismissed, say so. Cuz yes, your pain *could’ be from your fibromyalgia, but it ‘could’ also be something else.

So, my doctor’s know that if something’s not right, I will stand up and say so, not taking no for an answer.


Those who know me personally, would probably say to me, yeah, but what about that issue with your shoulder? To be honest, that is still a work in progress. Now that physio is back available, I’ll be asking my GP for a prescription & get that set up. Yes, it started in March, and I’m just getting to treatment now. But remember, alot of things closed here in Canada for quite awhile, so yeah, it’s taking a little longer to get things dealt with in this issue.

I’m A Human Pincushion

August 21, 2020

About 8, maybe 10 years ago, I was referred to The Centre for Pain Management to help get the fibro under control &, if I’m lucky, off all the drugs.

I was initially getting weekly injections of Marcaine. This is an injectable medication that is a numbing agent similar to Lidocaine..

Where do I get them? Lol, everywhere! hence the pincushion reference.. They are primarily in my back. I get nerve injections & trigger point injections. The nerve injections, I get 4in the lower back on each side of my spine & the sciatic nerve the goes down the leg. I get two in the neck on each side. And a final pair at the top of the shoulder. So that’s 16 to start, pretty much every visit. The number of trigger point injections depends on what’s been flaring (FM? CFS? OA? MPS? Stress?) Initially she was giving me upwards to another 20-30 shots. That means up to 45 shots in my back neck & shoulders.

About 5 years ago we started to see improvement & extended the time between visits so that unless I was in a flare I was going every other week. This progressed to three weeks, then four.

Just before COVID hit in March, I was just starting & doing well on an appointment every 5 weeks. While I was still usually getting the basic 16, I was only getting 10.. 15 max other injections in my back. I was doing well.

Unfortunately due to COVID & the loss of many of my other treatments, my pain levels have jumped back up.. However, not as bad as when I initially met her.. so I’m currently going every other week.. getting the base 16 & maybe another 15. With my other treatments slowly becoming available, I am hoping I will be able to return to the levels I was in the spring.

Currently, I visit my Doctor at CPM every other week. However, I will be away when my next appointment shows up & I’ll be trying every 3 weeks. Hopefully it’ll be ok. There is no way I’d be able to drive home in that kinda pain.