My Pain Management Adventure

Re-injury time is not the most fun you can have on a Tuesday: (Look for our upcoming video on the software program called: Manage my pain Pro) Coming soon.
AW, SNAP. And for those who are familiar with that famous ‘Google downtime message’, you know that I can also use that phrase for my present situation. Pain, in any form is just no fun to deal with, so I’ll get right down to the point. Ouch, ooouch, eaaach, oooh,oooh, ow ow, yikes and ‘oh my gosh, that hurts’. When I first injured myself, it was bad, mighty bad. But this new injury, or re-injury or whatever you want to call it, has me baffled. It comes with an incredible series of headaches that you just wouldn’t believe. And me, an instructor of holistic health therapies. I have had to depend on modern day pharmacological drugs, that can have their own sets of limitations.

My Doctor is exceptional, and has supported me with a very strong regime of pain control, exercises, reports, instructions, advisement’s and a plan of recovery. I have seen physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, neurosurgeons and a host of other professionals, and yet here I am still in agony. The pain characteristics have changed somewhat. Before it was just incredible pain, and now as I had said before, there is pain, and headaches. Headaches that I thought I had left behind more than twenty five years ago. So you and I are, I think going to go on another part of our mysterious ‘pain adventure’.

I’m going to attempt to document as best as I can all of the ways I can either fail or triumph against injury. I’ll tell you what works for me, and hopefully what might work for you. I am going to ask my Doctor to send me to a pain clinic to learn the ways of yet another group of highly skilled professionals. Don’t worry, this will be anything but boring, and should be educational as well. Besides, I promised through my seminar systems that I would show you unique and fascinating ‘involvements’ of methodologies that I can.

It should be tons of fun. We will cover all three schools of thought. Hard core pain control, (the most aggressive of the three) pain center training (the medium, and perhaps the most understandable of the methods) and the holistic health regime’s (my understated method of choice) its just ‘thank goodness’ for modern times, or I may be laying flat on my back for extended periods of time.

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BACK TO WORK PROGRAM. IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING.

WEll, I got the clearance some weeks back to go back to work slowly. 9 hours for the first few weeks, then we boosted it up to 15 hours per week for several weeks. After that, we agreed that my neck could take 20 hours per week, and that was reasonable. I find that I have to nap in the afternoons when I get home. Usually about 2 to 3 hours is enough to recharge my batteries, and then I get to get up to blog and or podcast for a bit, then go to bed for the evening. I have to tell you about an amazing product that I found that is helping my neck like nothing else I have found.

It’s called the ‘Miracle Ball Method’ and let me explain to you how it is helping me relax my back to unheard of proportions. Click here to go to the website. The kit cost’s just twelve dollars and forty nine cents at costco. The kit comes with two low pressure rubberised balls that compress quite easily. It also comes with a manual that explains all about the system, application, theory and specific uses for using the balls. Most men will throw the manual away at the first opportunity, so this blog is for all of the people who somehow have mysteriously disappeared. The creator of the system, Elaine Petrone has said that she used the balls for up to 4 hours per day to help her with her own individual pain situation. Here is what I did. I would lay on the floor and place the low pressure balls just below the small of my back, almost on my buttocks.

Then, I would simply lay there and literally relax into the balls while I concentrated on breathing as slowly as I could. It was painful at first, but after the first few times, the muscles, tendons and ligaments really began to loosen up. I actually enjoyed the process of using the Miracle Ball Method. The best way I have found is to work the balls up the back in small increments. When working with the system, the best way to do it is to move the balls up about 6 to 8 inches up the back, then rest for 10 to 15 minuets. Yes, it does seem like a long time to have the balls under one area of your body, but my pain was so extreme that I had to resort to extreme measures in order to get back into the swing of things again. I couldn’t believe the difference in pain perception.

As a matter of fact, it worked so well, I regularly take the system to bed and work them up my back to my neck while I listen to podcast’s at night. You see, at night is when I educate myself as well, and keep up with the latest podcast’s on business, blogging, podcasting, holistic health and other issues that are pertinent to my businesses, and that usually can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, so with that kind of time, by the time I turn off my Smartphone, my body is pretty well relaxed from top to bottom.

I am even taking the balls to work (I’m a data technologist) and the results are nothing short of amazing. If you have back or neck pain, suffer from headaches, or have issues with pain management, I would highly encourage you to pick up a ‘Miracle Ball Method’. I told my Doctor about the system, and saw his notes that were talking about my neck injury, and in the notes, he said exactly what I told him, and that was that the Miracle Ball Method was indeed helping me with my pain. Just before I hurt my neck, I was on the verge of launching my ‘healthy tech talk’ program for computer operators, and was definitely going to include and teach the use of balls of different sizes in my program. Now, I have a reason, and a very powerful story to tell. Now, I will be using balls as small as golf balls, right up to and including palates balls that you can sit, stretch and roll your body on.
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I haven’t been blogging much for the past few days. There are some things that are looking up. My wife and I went to see my Doctor, and I informed him that we really needed to revisit the situation with my pain levels. He took away the Toridal, and added another medication that seems to be improving my situation. Now, with the new medication, at least I don’t have continual pain all the time. I am now at the point where I can sleep for a couple of hours a night. I’m not completely convinced which is helping the most, either the new medication, or the complete rest and relaxation that I have been ordered to follow by both my wife and Doctor. And, of course today I had to prove that I was macho, and did just a tiny little bit of walking outside, down the side of our house and visited with my wife while she gardened. We were out back for about 20 minutes, and when she was done we had some cleaning up to do. I picked up a tree branch that weighed no more than 15 pounds, and I carried it to the front of the house very carefully. Fifteen pounds, lets remember that number, because after about 15 minutes I got the worst neck ache you could possible imagine. And, to top it all off, I couldn’t hold a glass of water in my left hand because it was shaking so bad. It took a few hours to settle down, so for now, we will have to wait to see what happens when I go to physio.

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TODAY, I SPENT 6 HOURS IN THE EMERGENCY WARD OF MY HOSPITAL. WHAT FUN!

Now, it appears that I am back in the saddle (so to speak) and with this new combination of pain killers and muscle relaxants, I should be able to start physio therapy fairly soon, which is my intention because I really need to work towards a goal that delivers me back to normalcy.

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Here is an app I found in the Android marketplace that just might help you tracking your pain patterns.

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THE PAIN OF MY TEMPER, AND THE THERAPY OF MY APOLOGIZING

This is Sept 10th, 2011, and as promised, I am about to give to give you a glimpse of the annoying things that happens to me when I am subjected to constant pain in my neck, back, arm, face, right and left legs,…….. you get the picture. I find myself short tempered, argumentative and snappy to those around me. So, its appropriate that I name this section ‘the pain of my temper, and the therapy of my apologizing’ because not only does my pain cause my character to change, it is also turned into a painful burden for those around me.

I am somewhat of a control freak (those who know me can now gasp in amazement, and put their arms around my shoulders and say, ‘I had no idea’, then, I’ll tell you what a lousy liar you are) I’ve lived, trapped in this bubble of constant pain for over 2 1/2 weeks now, and I’m noticing several things happening at the same time. Because I have very little control over my own pain management (except pills that make me feel dopey, and make me look even dopier, please see my first couple of video’s below) the fact of the matter is that, if you take control away from a control freak, they inadvertently attempt to unwisely control other things, animate or inanimate. If a human being happens to be walking by at the time of one of my little ‘hissy fits’, then I let go with a barrage of barking fits, usually reserved for rabid dogs that are about to be put down.

Now, the reason my wife hasn’t phoned the vet and asked him to make a home visit is because I am quick to truly and honestly apologize for my actions, and to let her know that its this unrelenting pain and twitching that is driving me right around the bend, and if it continues for much longer, I may just phone the vet myself! (Just kidding, vets cost too much money, and its too painful for me to crawl around on the floor on all fours trying to imitate a rabid dog. (However, the thought of me biting someone right now has a therapeutic ring to it)

The point I am trying to make is this. Collect your caregivers, and those who are going to interact around you, and explain that, because you are in pain, you expect everyone else to be in pain (did I just say that?), no. Let’s change that. Tell them that, because your in pain, your not in complete control of your senses, and that if you get snappy, please understand, and if I don’t immediately apologize, gently remind me to do so. I may even consider going back to my doctor to see if there is an alternative to the pain medication I am on, and if he could find me something that will render me even less conscious than I already am. Well, if that happens, I may not get so angry, so I won’t snap so often. But… is that really the way I want to go? It certainly is this morning. My advice, get a book, and keep track of how many times you are short tempered with loved ones and those you see, and apologize right away.

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Sept 7th 2011: When your in pain, your still alive and functioning (even if it’s at a much lower level than what your accustomed to) I thought I would show people out there which technical tools I use to help me pass the time.

Sept 7th 2011: Instead of typing, I thought I would try to make a short video podcast. It went fairly well, I didn’t experience any more pain than normal because I used my hand held Vado. In this video, I am talking about my experiences with pain medication, show you what I eat for breakfast, and in the middle of the podcast, I get a case of the hiccups. Lovely.

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Sept 6th. 2011: Why do the nights have to be soooo long. Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my morphine starts to seep. (Hey, the rhyme works for me) I just wished the morphine would continue to ‘seep’ into my body and let me go to sleep. Night time can be a 50/50 crap shoot. There is no pattern or indication that will let me know that I am going to have either a bad or good sleep, and to be honest with you, my track record has been leaning toward more ‘bad’ nights than ‘good’. I did a podcast last year about sleep, and the importance of it. Unfortunately, that blog went down, for reasons I don’t remember right now, and took with it many of those blog posts into the abyss. One of the most important things that we should (but don’t always do) is to make certain that the bedroom, or room that you will be sleeping in can be completely blacked out. The reason is that your circadian pattern can be negatively affected if you see light when your body really wants to go to sleep. Another thing that we really need to be aware of is the ‘wind down’ principle. The wind down means that you really shouldn’t watch TV for one hour before going to bed. (Yah, show me someone who does that) I usually have to pry my wife’s fingers off of the remote control as we walk down the hallway toward the bedroom.

Oh, by the way, don’t take your morphine in the evening and offer to help your Wife clean up the kitchen. Now, your asking yourself if I have that bad a neck injury, why am I in the kitchen at all? Well, my wife felt sorry for me, and allowed me to contribute in some, tiny way. All I had to do is put the leftover beef ribs in a zip bag, and put it in the fridge. What did I do? Well, we found out this afternoon when she came home and told me to find the pork ribs that were in the fridge. I hunted all over the place. In the fridge, microwave, cupboards (hey, don’t judge me, I had just taken morphine) and could not find those ribs anywhere.

We keep a large plastic garbage can in the garage, and when I heard squeals of laughter, I had a suspicion of what happened to the ribs. Yup, your right. I carefully placed those perfectly marinated ribs in a large baggy and put them in the garbage can in the garage. Man, I loved those ribs the night before. I was just raising my finger up in the air and was about to say ‘honey, can I…..’ to which she said ‘no, you cannot eat ribs that have been sitting in the garbage all day’. I had to settle for Pea soup and an orange, and for a slightly disturbed-blue collar-Anglo-Saxon-Christian based-meat eating Canadian, there were tears in my eyes as I had to slowly lower the bag of ribs back into the garbage bag and waving bye bye as I closed the lid. I sure hope I don’t sleep walk tonight. Those ribs would be pretty ‘gammy’ if you know what I mean.

Armed with my Itouch and my latest Clive Cussler novel, I chose to pop in the headphones and pull the little chain on my bedside lamp, suggesting to my brain that sleep might be a possibility. Netflix satisfied my need for visual stimulation for about 30 minutes, then, the eyelids decided to go into a semi-comatose state. Perfect.

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Sept 5th 2011: My wife and I went to see our doctor today. He was filling out paperwork on my bulges and protrusions in my neck, and while I can’t read extremely well upside down, I could make out the ‘jist’ of it. There was a boxed area on the paper that said I can return to my normal duties in four to six months (maybe) . Four to six months (maybe) Yikes. Now, normally I would defend myself and my own reasons for disagreeing with my Doctor, delivering a brilliant retrospect on how it is unreasonable to expect anyone with any kind of life to aggressively rest for over 120 days. Presenting numerous legitimate points outlining the impossible request to not do any kind of physical activity for one third of a year. Has my Doctor lost his mind? Does he really seriously expect me not to jump up and down in his office, cause a scene and storm out of his office tearing up the paperwork he has so carefully completed for me? No.

Because, just the thought of me even thinking of jumping up and down reminds me of the pain I go through just trying to turn on the kitchen tap in my own home. It sends an ‘out of the body experience’ of such great discomfort, that I want to begin the process of starting to chew off my own arm in an effort to forget about the constant pain in my neck. So, I didn’t create a scene or have a weird gyrating temper tantrum at the thought of limiting my physical activity for a long time. I just sat there and twitched, which seems to be my new found hobby, because when you have something in your neck pressing on a bunch of nerves, you never know when some obscure section of your body is about to twitch at the most inappropriate time. Yup, twitching, jerking, spastic walking, its all part of my new personality that is trying to live with my new situation as best we can.

So, being of sound mind and fragile body, I hear-by declare that I will keep a running blog, dialog and tally of my pain, plan of action and eventual recovery in the effort to annoy all those who have pained before me, and salute all of those who are about to succumb  to this kind of mind bending situation I now find myself in. As you follow my adventure, I plan on including pictures, text, perhaps videos (If I feel up to it) I’ll just bet I can get some interviews with my care givers, whoever they may be. Let’s face some facts, I blog about almost anything and everything. Making home made pizza, ice cream, I even video’d myself vacuuming our cat. Click here to see the video.

My theory is this. The internet is the biggest old school party line telephone system in the entire world, and there are allot of people on the net that have already, or are probably going to have a neck injury just like mine. They are going to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, annoyed and perhaps disappointed with what they hear from the people around them. Stay tuned, now that I am confined to either the bed or the recliner in my home, I’ll hopefully find adequate time to map out all of the exciting events that are sure to come my way.

This kind of pain is quite different that anything I have experienced before. It’s relentless and sneaky because it doesn’t follow any pain pattern that I can remember. That’s why I think this blog will become very important. Well, it’s time for some pain management relief in the form of a couple of little white pills. I will Yak at you later. Rick.

 

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