Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh, My Little Chickadee

My little chickadee can make me laugh, no matter how depressing the discussion might be.

Yesterday, I sent her an e-mail about how much worse my hands were:  "My hands are worse than ever today.  Perhaps your prediction was right and whatever is afflicting my ring finger is spreading to all my fingers … Woe is me, it really hurts to type.  Whatever will I do if I don’t get this under control?"

Her reply:  "Well, there has to be some way to get it to a point where you are able to do things, and then maintain that.  I mean, you can’t have no use of your hands.  I assume it also hurts to do other things, but typing is just the worst?  Obviously so since you first noticed it when you were driving and said the shopping you did yesterday aggravated it.   You must have really pissed off someone in your former life to result in getting saddled with these afflictions!"

Moi?  Piss someone off?  I don't believe it.

Well, perhaps if I was a cat in my former life ...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gosh this sucks!

So, it seems I'm in yet another fibro flare-up.

From what, you might ask?

Well, I'm asking the same question.

On Thursday morning (yes, my massage day!) we made a quick trip into the big city to take care of a family matter that has been hanging over us for some time now.  It's not 'finished' yet but we moved it another step closer to resolution.

There was some physical labour involved.  Minimal on my part.  But I guess that's all it takes, when combined with the commute.

We arrived home with just enough time for me to shower and prepare myself for my massage therapist.  A tad too rushed for my liking.  But the massage helped work out the kinks, of which there were many.

On Friday, we spent the day getting ready for an almost impromptu visit from our Toronto host (that makes our fifth visit this year -- a record!).  He left about 2:00pm on Saturday and we hopped in the car to run errands in town (thank the Lord it wasn't back into the big city!).

The fatigue caught up to me, big time.  (The mack trucks were back last night.)

And all the while my finger has been giving me fits.  It simply isn't getting any better, although the Voltaren is keeping the pain at bay, somewhat.  By the end of the day, my finger is quite visibly swollen again.  Perplexing indeed!

Now today, my hands are extremely sore -- not just the one finger any more.  It's now all the fingers, and the wrists.

Hence, I'll end this post here, because typing is very painful.

Have I ever mentioned that fibro really sucks?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

And now it's my finger

This is just craziness I tell you!
Last week (Monday to be exact), my hands were bothering me.  So much so that as I was heading into Ottawa to attend a funeral, I turned around in my neighbour's driveway and came back home to get my arthritis gloves.  My hands were hurting that much as I gripped the steering wheel.
I thought nothing of it.  Just another of those "bad hand" days.
Fast forward to Thursday evening as I sat enjoying the company of my former boss man and good friend BK and his wife.
The ring finger on my left hand was hurting -- bad.  
I looked down and it was swollen, big time.  Just that one finger.  Normally when I have an arthritis flare-up in my hands, both hands are visibly red and swollen, not just one digit.
I struggled to get my wedding band off and initially it looked like it might have to be cut off, the swelling was that severe.  But eventually, I worked the ring off and massaged the finger.  Man, it was sore!
The finger continued to bother me through the week-end but the swelling subsided considerably.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

If Only ...

Some time before I was actually scheduled for my hip replacement surgery, in fact before I even met the surgeon, I had a discussion with my then family doctor.
I was concerned that I would be going through the long process of surgery and recovery just to come out the other end still plagued with bursitis, and therefore still not be able to sleep on my right side.
My doctor drew me a picture of what happens with hip replacements.  "The bursa is removed," said he.  "So you can't have bursitis any longer."
I went away, happy in the knowledge that I would be ridding myself of two pains with one surgery.  Bonus!
Fast forward to two months following the surgery.
It is quite evident that I have bursitis in my left hip.
How can that be?  My doctor assured me that the bursa is removed with a hip replacement.
When next I visited my surgeon, I asked the question.  "Did you remove my bursa?"
"No," said he.  "I don't remove the bursa unless it is very inflamed.  I incise through it, but I don't excise it."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Genealogical Musings

As I've mentioned here on more than one occasion, I'm an avid genealogist.  (I call the hobby, 'looking for my dead people.')
I've been researching my family tree for 25+ years now and I've gotten pretty damned good at it.
But several years ago, quite early on in my research as a matter of fact, I discovered a most interesting revelation about my ancestry.  I've traced my paternal grandmother's French-Canadian ancestry (on her father's side) back to the 1500s and it turns out that I am my own cousin, many times over.
This phenomenon is not unique to my family tree. A surprising number of Quebeckers can trace their family histories back to the settlement era of the mid-1600s. Many of the original families married amongst themselves, and still do, resulting in Quebec's gene pool being particularly unalloyed, so much so that researchers wanting to isolate specific genetic characteristics -- such as obesity, or proneness to having twins, or certain heart conditions, or diabetes -- conduct their studies in Quebec.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Death and Dying ....

A very good friend of mine lost her sister last week.  It was a sudden, heart-breaking loss.
Yesterday, my little chickadee and I went to the wake and it was difficult for me to see my friend so emotionally distraught, but trying to hold up a good front for all the people who were there.  It was also difficult to see her niece and nephews standing in the receiving line, in front of their mother's open casket,  smiling bravely as person after person presented themselves to offer their sympathies.
Today, we will attend the funeral.  They being Irish, it should be quite the party.  (Their mother's funeral was a blast!)
On the way home yesterday, our conversation turned to one we have had many times over the years.
Wakes are really for the living.  For people to pay their respects to the grieving who have been left behind.  But to have to put up such a brave front for hours on end, when all you want to do is curl up and die yourself, is simply not right.
I have visited wakes, paid my respects, and departed.  But it is very difficult for me to be in the same room with an open casket.  I truly have visions of that person moving, twitching, eyes fluttering ...  I simply cannot look at the body.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm improving ... slowly

My lower back is improving, albeit very slowly.
My massage therapist worked on the area yesterday and confirmed that the muscles are very taut indeed.  She did her best and her best did help.
But of course, when I woke this morning, after a night of non-movement, the muscles were seized and I had to start all over again.
I took a jet massage bath and wow, did that ever feel good!
Walking is no longer painful but any movement that specifically calls on the lower back muscles (ie getting up out of a chair, or rolling over in bed) is still very difficult.
At least I'm no longer in constant pain.
Imagine, the action that brought this on was approximately three hours (tops) of sorting paper.
And here I am, on the fifth day following that activity, still suffering the consequences.
Did I ever mention that fibro sucks?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It only hurts when I move

Or when I breathe.
Reaching is no treat either.
Oh dear.  Whatever will we do with me?
As quickly as we make progress in resolving one issue (ie my knees), another raises its ugly head.
You see, I brought this one on myself.
Not deliberately, you realize.  But I really should have seen it coming.
We are helping a very special person clean up his (very messy) apartment while he is temporarily incapacitated.  And in doing so, John brought home boxes (and bags) full of paraphernalia that needed sorting.
So on Sunday, we tackled the chore.  We sat out on the porch and started sorting, I sitting on the futon, John in the Adirondack chair.  Boxes on the floor between us.
We spent the afternoon reaching and sorting.
I should know better.  Really I should.
With all the years of office work behind me, I should know how to ergonomically set up for such chores to lessen the pain that will surely follow.
But no.  It would seem I had forgotten all that I had learned over the years.
I sure remembered the next morning though, when I awoke having been visited by those damned mack trucks again!
As Monday progressed, I could feel the spasms starting in my lower back.
By Tuesday, they were very pronounced.  My physiotherapist tried to work them out as best she could and her ministrations helped (as did the acupuncture), but the relief didn't last long.
Last night, the mack trucks were back in fine form and in addition to the back spasms, my right leg -- especially my foot -- was contorted in spasmodic pain.
This morning, I've applied tiger balm; I've taken Robaxicet; and I'm wearing a back brace.
But really, as long as I don't move, or breathe, or reach -- I'm just fine, thank you very much.
Fortunately, my massage therapist will be here tomorrow.  Surely, she'll be able to work out the kinks!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Knees update

On Friday last, I had my final Synvisc injections in my knees.
This time, the shots didn't hurt quite as much.  That could have been due to the fact that I took a codeine contin before I left home.
The discomfort for the rest of the day wasn't nearly as bad either.  I mean, I was still uncomfortable, and I had to stay off my feet as much as possible.  But this experience was nothing like the previous two had been.
Both knees were much more functional throughout the wait period than they had been with the earlier shots.
And there really was no pain to speak of.  Just a "weird" sensation in the knees -- like they were heavier than usual, if that makes sense.
The Doctor explained that the pain between shots was to be expected.  It was a very large needle that was being injected into the knee and the joint needed time to recover from that attack.  She said that she didn't have arthritis but if a needle that size were injected into her knee, she'd have a lot of pain and would need time to recover.
What she was telling me was that I should expect to spend recovery time just from having had the injection.  And that could take up to two weeks.
She told me that the average response time was six to eight weeks for a patient to really know if relief was had from this treatment -- because it could take that long to recover from having had the injections.
That being said, based on how my knees feel today -- not quite 48 hours after the third injections -- I think it's safe to assume that I'm on the road to a successful treatment.
Why, you ask?
Because my knees feel different today.
More reliable.
Less painful.
I couldn't say that after the first shots.
I couldn't say it after the second shots.
But I can say it with confidence after the third shots.
That bodes well for success, non?