chronic illness, chronic pain, diagnosis, disabled, drugs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, illness, insulin, spinal stenosis

spinal stenosis, why haven’t i written about this before?

i’ve written about fibromyalgia and diabetes and psoriasis but i’ve never written about spinal stenosis. i’ve never really talked about it to anyone before. it’s a bit hard to explain, or at least it takes a little while and not nearly as many people have heard of it.

spinal stenosis causes me more pain than any of my other ailments. it’s a narrowing of the spinal column, caused by a few different things, it’s arthritis in my case. the problems occur at  L4 and L5. the column narrows enough to cause the discs to bulge and pinch nerves. i also have the same problem at the sacroiliac joints.

i have a very hard time walking, i’ve talked about that a lot. people don’t believe it when i tell them about how long i can stand up and how far i can walk. more about walking in another post. i walk with a cane most of the time. sometimes i wish for a walker or that i could collapse  into a wheel chair. like fibromyalgia, the spinal stenosis has flares.

when it’s bad i have to drag myself around with my cane. trying to go upstairs makes me cry. laying in bed is better than standing or walking, but it’s far from comfortable. there is intense pain in my low back. pain in my hips and butt, weird inside pain in my pelvis. that pelvic pain makes me nauseated. i felt pain like that from endometriosis, too. i should talk about that, too (endometriosis, that is). pain from internal organs is different than any other. awful. nerve pain is also different than any other. then there’s injury pain, like broken bones, and the pain from pain in muscles and ligaments is all it’s own too. ahhh and arthritis pain. argh! and stomach pain. lol, i have it all!

my legs are very weak. i trip and fall too often. it bothers me. i see stairs and i imagine falling down them  and just feel terrified. every once in awhile i wipe out at home and end up on the floor. it’s no fun! standing is very difficult. if i am in the kitchen and i want to use my phone to control my stereo, instead of being able to just stand there and do it, i have to sit down just to do that. i don’t go to stores very often because i can’t trust my legs to survive it without buckling, or getting a stab of pain down my leg or in my back and making a grunty ouch noise, lol, cause sometimes i just can’t help  it! leaning on things like shopping carts helps a little but not nearly enough.

the stenosis is bad enough that my huz has to do 99% of what needs doing to keep things going well in our lives and home and meals and shopping, laundry, etc. my  jobs are to make his lunch before he goes to work and taking the dog out to pee (he takes doggy out to poop 2x a day) 6 or 7 times a day. he’s getting older and i want to make sure he’s comfortable. i have to make sure i take all my meds and my injection and blood sugar, take care of myself (it can be a challenge because of the fibro fatigue.. we hire people to clean.

it didn’t take too terribly long to diagnose this. an MRI shows everything they need to see. it’s cool to be able to look at the MRI pictures with the doctor and have him show me exactly where the problem is and what’s going on.

there are drugs to take to make it easier. in general you don’t take narcotic pain relievers for it because it’s chronic. i take a prescription NSAID, use hot and cold packs, do stretching (i could be a lot better about doing that on a regular basis!) and unfortunately, bed rest.

i have degenerative disc disease, which means things will just get worse.

one day at a time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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batman, bipolar, chronic illness, dentist, diabetes, drugs, insulin, medicine

daily drugs

the pills are morning, noon, and night. i can swallow each line of pills at once. 😀 the big bottle is prescription mouth wash that i’m using to help my gums while i go through this insane amount of dental work i’m having done. i’m fixing all the urgent/necessary work done in a couple of months. i’m so bipolar!  i went years without taking care of them and now i want to get EVERYTHING done at once.

the gray thing is an insulin pen, with a fresh needle next to it. you unwrap the needle and screw it onto the pen. you dial up how many units you want and give yourself the injection. it’s so much easier that having to take the insulin out of a vial with a syringe everytime.

the Batman band aid is for a cut on my toe. lol all that stuff is sitting on my old painting table, hence the huge mess!

 

daily drugs

abstract, abstractexpressiomism, art, artist, fine art, painting, psychedelic, Uncategorized

“psychedelic cave formations”

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taking care of my health

i slept so well on our new bed last night! it’s such a change; a couple of years ago i was manic and sleeping about two hours at night, maybe one or two during the day. day after day after day. i had such cold lonely mornings before the sun came up, know that my husband and dog were soundly asleep. ANYWAY now i rarely wake up earlier than 7 (going to bed at midnight). i’m grateful for it.

my husband told me the truth i didn’t want to hear, i got mad, i panicked, and then i decided to open up my mind a little bit. i’ve had all these aches and pains, bursitis, arthritis blah blah blah. i kept going to the doctor and they didn’t find anything. my husband made me realize that since i sit at my desk all day everyday, hunched over a keyboard or painting 10 hours a day was ruining my body. i kept myself from getting any better by going  down the stairs very slowly and carefully. i did everything like i was made of glass because i hurt so much.  i rarely left the house. ha! i rarely left the room i make art in.

he said, it’s all on you, you’re the only one that can turn it around. i huddled in bed on monday, crying.

then he suggested a plan of what i could do. stretching. my muscles are tight and gnarled up. so, yesterday i watched a couple yoga videos on youtube and stuff about stretching if you’re sore. it was hard to start at first but when i realized it helped a bit, i started doing stretches frequently. i can tell how short and tight the muscles are, but wow it feels good to be able to move around more! i get up from my desk and walk around the house every 15 minutes or so. it’s like my body is thawing out.

this makes me see that my depression is still going strong. has been all this time. i guess i knew that. maybe this will help. i’ll still suffer chronic pain, but it doesn’t have to be crippling.

i worry that this will only last a couple of days, i hope it’s not mania. all i want to do is relax. i don’t even know what it’s like to relax. people always say they spent the weekend “relaxing at home” or whatever. i don’t relax even after i’ve taken my klonopin, not in my sleep, not after a long session of crying.

i can’t do a yoga class because it’s too hard to leave the house, let alone be around a bunch of people. but i think i can learn a lot at home.

i’m tempted to go the chiropractor because part of the treatment is a sports massage. omg it hurts but that’s definitely the closest i’ve gotten to relaxing!

it’s scary to take responsibility for keeping your body well.

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this is the latest photograph in the ‘neighborhood’ series.

this series has been really good for me. i am just taking shots at places in my neighborhood (who would have guessed? lol)

that are close enough for me to walk to. that’s a big deal for me. my agoraphobia has lifted enough that i can go outside in public places. i have a purpose to be out there…getting a shot for everyday’s neighborhood photo. it’s getting to be a bit of a ritual.

it makes me feel good because i have a goal i can reach. i haven’t had a day yet that i couldn’t get a picture i liked. some are better than others, but i think that’s just how a project like this works.

it’s important for me to get out and moving around because my bursitis and arthritis (let’s write a musical!) keep me in the house, stuck in one spot, all day. i didn’t walk far, but it was enough to find a new picture and enjoy the sun and the flowers all over people’s porches. yay!