Pain Program… Day 2

I have done it. I officially started the Level 2 Pain Program at Kaiser yesterday. It is focused a lot around the concept of amygdala retraining. I have seen programs to purchase out there in the online world, and this program is part of Kaiser’s offering. This is the only Kaiser currently offering to determine the success. So far… I hear it has been extremely successful. I am optimistic. Optimistic for the first time in a very long time.

In talking with my intake nurse, who has also been supporting me for a long time through this process… one of the major difference between the programs I have seen online and this one is that we are meeting everyday for three weeks, followed by 3 weeks of meeting 3 times a week, followed by once a week for 4+weeks. Each session is 3 hours. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

We started with introductions, about 15 of us including doctors, nurses, psychologist and pharmacist. Then one of the doctors read an inspirational passage about fear from a book. I must say… it was good to hear from this particular doctor as when I first started this process years ago (after being diagnosed with FMS), I saw this doctor and he was a complete ASS to me. I remember crying after leaving my appointment with him. He is a convert and now understands chronic pain and the effects much better. It’s good to know folks can change.

After the reading, we did about ten minutes of Qi Gong… all of us and then all the medical folks left and the rest of us did Feldenkrais for about 40 minutes. We did Feldenkrais the last time I went through the Level 2 program, but only for a few minutes. This was interesting, not easy for me, but I definitely see the benefit in it. With more sessions, I know I will be able to relax more. It was difficult for me to relax and get into it. I was also having a hard time paying attention to the instructor, just my mind going crazy. I need to learn how to calm my mind down better.

After Feldenkrais, we had a 45 minute group session about a concept. Yesterday was about the 3 P’s. Planning, Prioritization and Pacing. This was ran by the psychologist but about the input from the group. Group therapy with everyone in the room on the same page… we are all in pain. A room full of people who can all relate to each other’s lives.

After this, everyone went for a group walk for 15 minutes… and then ended the day going around the room with parting comments.

I am optimistic (how often do we say that word?) that I am going to come out of this process as someone who can start living a higher quality life.

I have only had one day, I will start getting ready to go back today in a bit. Getting dressed and leaving the house every day will be a challenge for me since I am usually in the house Monday through Friday. I am also thinking about work a lot, so I need to let that go. This program is all about me and about me making my life more about LIVING than just getting through the day.

I can do this.

I wish you all a great day!

Waiting… and Waiting…

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. This is what I am doing this week. I was the lucky recipient of the “oscopy” twins, one up and one down… on Tuesday… seems like  a long time ago, yet it was just yesterday (for me, I’m still up as you can see at almost 2am). The waiting before going in for the procedure was not fun. After drinking that yummy liquid, I thought I was doing alright when BAM! Nausea along with a nice little migraine followed by the chills hit me like a mack truck. I wasn’t able to finish all that stuff. It was lights out and pray for sleep. Thankfully when the nurse asked me “So, did you drink all the Gavilyte?”, I promptly answered with “Yes” and there were no issues as a result of my giving up on the strict instructions.The actual procedure was a dream, with IV in my arm and drugs streaming down the line… I was out. I woke up, got dressed and went home… I honestly cannot remember most of that day. All I know is I am thankful that I didn’t wake up during the procedure!

So, now I’m back to waiting. Waiting for the results of my stomach and polyp biopsies. I am going to stick with the assumption that everything is all good to go. Although at the same time I’d like to hear “Well, you have XYZ, which explains all the problems you are having with all the rumbling and tumbling in your tummy as well as the anemia.” I don’t have high expectations that there will be answers, it seems there rarely are… oh, other than “Well it’s part and parcel with Fibromyalgia… or Depression…” On those days, when I walk out of the doctor’s office, I mostly feel deflated and question my wisdom with going to the doctor in the first damn place. This last round has been fruitful, in that I know I have anemia which is a good reason for my exhaustion of late. What I don’t know is where the blood is going or why this damn flare is going on… and on… and ON.

Oh these are fun times, right? I am working as hard as I can at work and still feel like I should be doing better. It’s tough when you know you used to be so … well … good at your job. Yes, I used to be good at my job. I just can’t remember when that was. I believe it was about 3 or 4 years ago. I’m not sure. I know I have had bursts of goodness, but those are definitely few and far between.

ANYWAY! Here I am. Waiting.

Tomorrow’s going to be the day that I get my results back.

I hope.

Stay cool!

Day 30: My Word Tree…

Today’s Prompt: Word Cloud. Make a word cloud or tree with a list of words that come to mind when you think about your blog, health, or interests.

Today is the last day of the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. I did it! As the final post, I have created this tree in answer to the prompt… enjoy!

Day 28: The First Time…

Today’s Prompt: The First Time I… Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like? What did you learn from it?

This is another prompt that requires the functioning of my brain. It’s somewhat challenging as I have laid in bed thinking about this for a long while (in addition to the time spent thinking yesterday and last night and the night before). Hmmmmm, first time… how did I feel, what did I learn…

I was hoping to finish this post this morning, but I have not had any inspiration whatsoever. I simply can’t think of anything to write about. So! This will the the first time I have not had any inspiration to write in the thirty days I have been writing for this challenge. After racking my brain for something that I did for the first time, I just came up blank. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Pretty sad and frustrating.

Not a very exciting “first time” to share… what can I say? With that said, I apologize for this uninteresting post. I hope you come back tomorrow and visit.

What I will tell you about this “first time”, I am motivated to try something different, something new. Always gotta find that “hope” in a situation like this. I think it’s time to do some paper crafting and gathering my thoughts about some new goals for myself. I’ll have to come back and share what I came up with.

Happy Saturday!

Day 27: 5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories…

Today’s Prompt: 5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

  1. Foggy Brain

  2. Depression

  3. Digestion

  4. Exhaustion

  5. Attitude

You’ll notice pain is not in my list of 5 challenges. I can deal with the pain, it’s all the stuff that comes with it that makes my life hell. Pain doesn’t feel good, it’s not a friend. But… it’s physical. I can work with it most of the time. What is difficult are all the side effects that come along for the ride. I think my list is pretty self explanatory. I’m sure those of you with chronic pain can relate.

Never good to dwell on the negative. So, let’s focus on the positive. What are my 5 most recent victories?

  1. Writing this blog. This is a huge victory. I’m on day 27 and I haven’t missed a day yet. How awesome is that?
  2. Digging into my digestive issues. Tests, tests and more tests. I haven’t given up, although extremely frustrated, I’m determined to keep going until I finally get some answers. My victory here is eliminating all the things I could have had!
  3. Accepting that my pain is at a point where I need to make a change. I’m making a change. Today.
  4. I made dinner… yes, it was only one time. This is a pretty big deal in my house for me and I did it, giving me a tad bit more confidence for the next time.
  5. I started making 1001 cranes… and I have an idea for the design.

Well, here’s to five more victories next week! Have a great week-end and remember no matter how bad things seem, you deserve a pat on the back for your victories big or small.

Stay cool!

Day 25: 3rd Person Post… My challenging conversation with… my brain

Me: So… I am participating in this writing challenge for 30 days about my health. Today’s prompt is to write a third person post about a memory I have had. I find this interesting since you can never remember anything.

Brain: Really? You are going to put all that on me?

Me: Of course I am. You are responsible for remembering everything, aren’t you? Aren’t you the smart one? So far, just trying to remember a conversation to write about today is not really working out. What can you recall from one conversation you have had in the last 24 hours that would be interesting enough to share?

Brain: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… welllllllll… thinking…..

Me: This is me waiting.

Me: and waiting.

Me: and waiting.

Me: and losing patience. I can’t wait all day, I only have today to write this post.

Brain: Give me a break! I work hard all day for you at your job and now you want me to keep working? When do I get to rest?

Me: You get to rest when it’s time to go to sleep. That’s when you are supposed to shut down.

Brain: That’s not fair! When you lay your head down to sleep, that’s when I go into action thinking about all the things that we need to do tomorrow and all the things we didn’t get done today. When else can I just sit back and do that? Other times of the day you have me working for your job or in conversation or doing whatever you need, always at your beck and call.

Me: Unfair? Seriously. If you don’t relax when the rest of my body is relaxing, it doesn’t work. My pain will never go away. I need to turn all the dials down. You really need to work with me here.

Brain: I’ll think about it.

Me: And you got me off topic. We are supposed to be remembering a conversation to share.

Brain: Wait, what? I forgot.

Me: … and that right there is exactly why you have been named “Foggy Brain”!