Eeyore is My Spirit Animal

Well, things are still a bit rough. My back is still not doing great although it has been a slight bit better. I have been able to cut back a little bit on the pain killers, which I am thankful for. I hate having to take opioids too often. Unfortunately, I did trip over my TENS unit cord and that didn’t do my back or my knees and legs a lot of good:

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I was thankful the fall didn’t make my back way worse though as that easily could have happened.

Yesterday I even felt up to going down to a nearby thrift store and just walking around a little bit to see if I could loosen my back up any. I even found a new Eeyore to add to my collection while there (the pink and light blue one on the far right):

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Eeyore is my spirit animal….unfortunately.

ER Visit, Trigger Point Injections

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Well, my back is no better after 5 days, so I ended up visiting the ER last night. They gave me a steroid shot and 2 trigger point injections. It was the first time I’ve had trigger point injections and they hurt like hell! Luckily, the pain is brief, but I couldn’t help yelling out a bit in pain and squeezing my husband’s hand like a stress ball during the procedure.

Unfortunately, the shots didn’t seem to work. I’m not any better than I was before going to the ER. That makes me think that it is probably my spine causing the issue – either my degenerative disc disease or my bulging discs.  At the ER doc’s suggestion, I also bought a TENS unit and have tried it out a couple times. I’m not sure it is helping either, but I figure at this point I’ll try anything.

I’m so very tired of this constant pain. This is enough to drive a person crazy.

Chronic Pain Kills Dreams

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My migraine, neck, and back issues have been flaring up on and off ever since my bad MRI experience almost two weeks ago. I feel like I’m not getting anything done and am struggling to get the bare minimum of my daily routine done. All this has me feeling depressed and has killed my enthusiasm for the new book I started writing.

The logical side of me knows the pain will eventually subside, but while I am stuck in this misery it feels infinite and everlasting. Chronic pain wears you down, destroys creativity, and can stomp all over your goals – at least anything short term. I hope I’ll be back to normal someday soon.

Last Night was a Disaster

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That headline is not an exaggeration. First off, my MRIs went bad. I had MRIs for my brain and neck scheduled last night, both with and without contrast. I didn’t even get to the contrast part because the first part gave me a migraine, triggered severe neck pain, and gave me a major panic attack. I was almost sobbing by the time they got ready to give me the contrast, so they sent me home.

I left feeling embarrassed for not being able to keep myself from crying in public yet again. I also felt feelings of failure as I couldn’t do something as simple as completing two MRIs. Now I have to contact the neurologist that ordered the tests and tell him I wasn’t able to make it through and see if he wants to make separate orders for the contrast part. So, I might have to go through it again soon.

Also, we ate at a local restaurant yesterday that served me some bloody chicken. I didn’t notice right away because the blood pooled beneath the chicken breast. Anyhow, last night I got really sick and had to sleep with a trashcan beside me. I took both Mylanta and Zofran and nothing helped the nausea. I suspect I might have gotten a little bit of food poisoning from the underdone chicken.

At least I’m not fighting down vomit anymore, but still feeling nauseated and sick. Understandably, all this has made my mood rather blah too. I just want to huddle under the covers and hide from reality right now.

I Miss Having Kids Around

Today my husband and I went to go see one of his students dance in a special recital:

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Seeing all the cute little kids dressed up in their costumes and dancing made me really miss having kids around. I used to be almost constantly surrounded by kids between foster parenting, volunteering with the kids at our old church, and working in the school system as a teacher’s assistant/aide. My favorite age of kids to work with were always the younger ones, 3-4 years old to around 6 or 7, although I bonded well with kids of almost any age.

At this point, I don’t know if my physical/mental health will ever consistently improve to the point that I can do those things again, but I miss them. I am thankful for the experiences and memories though.

EEG Update & Going Gluten-Free

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Had my EEG yesterday morning. It wasn’t too bad. The flashing strobe light part was almost kind of like what I imagine doing psychedelic drugs would be like – all the swirling lights and patterns…it was kind of crazy. I was supposed to nap for like 15 minutes or so, but just couldn’t fall asleep. I’m hoping I won’t have to do the home sleep study, but I guess we’ll see what the doctor thinks. The gel they put on my hair to keep the electrodes connected drove me crazy, so I had to come right home and wash it out.

Other than that, not much exciting is going on. I am attempting to embrace a mostly gluten-free diet in hopes that it helps my digestive and chronic inflammatory issues, but it is hard because many of my favorite foods (pasta, pizza, bread, cereal, cookies, etc.) have to be eliminated or replaced with gluten-free substitutes which don’t always taste as good or have the same texture. As an autistic gal, food texture matters A LOT to me and it takes a good long while for me to get used to changes. Thank goodness a few mainstream cereals are already gluten free (like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, most Chex varieties, Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles, and a few more).

My mood today is rather blah. Just not feeling much of anything, except tired.

After the Battle is Over…

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I’m feeling a bit like this weird-looking guy I sketched the other day. Dazed, confused, and like I’ve been through the wringer. I am so very happy I won my SSDI case, but I’m almost a little in shock and kind of feeling like “what do I do now”? After fighting for something for so long, it is kind of weird to actually get it and have the fight over. I’m not complaining at all, I am SO very thankful, but my brain just needs some time to adjust and move from the mentality of scarcity and fear to one of feeling more secure.

(Find my art for sale on my Ebay store.)

I Won My SSDI Case!!!

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Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page today, I think it pretty much sums it all up:

Six long years, and I finally won my SSDI case! Fully favorable! Feel like crying and screaming. Been sick and in pain so long, sometimes I wanted to give up hope and die, but glad I hung in there.

All those people who doubted me or thought I was just being “lazy” or “dramatic” can kiss my ass. To all those who have showed love, empathy, and encouragement, thank you so much for helping to keep me alive and fighting.

My fellow bloggers here on WordPress definitely fall into the second category of supportive, encouraging people, so thank you all so much!!!

By the way, the decision was just made yesterday and my lawyer was the one who called and told me, so it will still be a little while before I get the back pay or monthly payments started, but I’m on my way!

Neurologist Visit Update

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Yesterday I saw my new neurologist for the first time to try to figure out why I am suddenly having so many migraines. I must say the visit didn’t start out well. For one thing, they only see new patients first thing in the morning, and I am NOT a morning person. However, I did make it there on time at 9am in the morning, but then I ended up waiting to see the doctor until after 11am!!! Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

The doctor seemed rather grumpy when he finally came in too. Maybe he was having a bad morning (I would think so with being that behind schedule for a specialist), but after waiting two hours, dealing with a grumpy doctor was not ideal. I will say that even though he was a bit grumpy, he was thorough at least. He asked tons of questions and investigated all the leads I could provide, even bothering to request additional medical records and taking a second look at my imaging tests that have already been done.

By the end of the visit, he had decided to send me for an EEG to check for possible mini strokes or seizures, and another head/neck MRI to see if my cervical issues have worsened in the past two years or if anything else has changed. He also wants me to be tested for Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder that may be contributing to my vertigo, ear pain/pressure, and tinnitus.

He noted that my neck was constantly spasming, so he switched me to another muscle relaxer and also put me on Topamax to try to help prevent the migraines (we are hoping it might help my fibro pain some too). I guess we’ll see how it goes from there.