March 17, 2019

Finally, it looks like spring might be on its way.  The temperature today is -1C.  Of course, these old bones of mine let me know well in advance of a weather change.  To think that a while ago I did not believe that aching bones could be brought on by barometric pressure and temperature changes.  Trust me I have learned the hard way.

Years ago I began a family research project which I had intended to publish in book form.  However, life has a way of getting in the way of good intentions.  Truth be told another reason for not finishing the book was that no one was interested.  I have decided to get back to writing and finishing this project.  What the end result will be is still an unknown.  It does make me feel like I am finally accomplishing something besides moaning and groaning about my pain.  I was very fortunate to have my grandpa around for the first few years that I worked on this project. I so enjoyed the time I spent with him listening to him and recording his stories.

My doctor’s appointment earlier this month was a positive one.  I got another six months of medications.  The big moment was when he told me that I will probably qualify for a breast reduction and tummy tuck.  I have been having terrible problems controlling a constant yeast infection on certain portions of my body.  I have been losing weight for a while; in fact, so far it is 70 lbs.  This, of course, leaves one with places for the yeast to grow.  After talking to my doctor and explaining the weight loss and subsequent issues he agreed that I would be a good candidate for the above-mentioned surgery.  What a motivation to keep losing the weight.  Heck, the tummy tuck and breast reduction should take care of quite a few more pounds.  I know that at the age of almost 71 I will never again have the body I once had but at least the fat will be reduced.  

Arthritis seems to have spread to my fingers which is most annoying.  I find that the more I type the more they hurt but by the same token the more I type the less they eventually hurt.  Go figure.  

If the temperatures continue in this warming trend enough snow will soon melt so I can get back to riding my tricycle.  I still feel weird riding it but I really have no choice.  My balance problems do not allow me to ride a regular bike which I miss terribly.  When I was a kid, between the ages of 8-12 I would spend my Saturdays riding around the countryside on my bike.  I would pack a banana and peanut butter sandwich, grab a drink and get on my bike and ride.  To beat the boredom of just riding my bike I would go to different farmyards and either ask for directions or ask for a drink of water.  My motive was to get inside the house to see how other people lived.  Pathetically nosey I know.  I would ride around for hours.  My parents would have had a fit if they had known what I was up to.  My dad had told me if I hoed one short row of beets he would buy me a new CCM bike. I got the new bike but after the one row, he never wanted me on a beet field again.  I destroyed more beets than weeds.  

Hope you all have a great week. 

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March 3, 2019

singingberthaThe audio is a snippet of a song (words and music) written by my son and grandson during a visit to Seattle in 2004.

Another weekend is coming to a close and the Arctic Vortex refuses to leave this part of the country.  Apparently, we have had the coldest February since 1967.  The weather forecasters keep telling us that warmer weather is on the way, but I suggest that no one hold their breath waiting for it to arrive.

The tremendous shifts in the barometric pressure have made this month rather memorable.  I thought that in such cold weather the barometric pressure would remain constant.  But oh no, I was wrong.  Apparently, a move to Arizona would solve the barometric pressure problem.

In the last four weeks I have managed to accomplish things on my “to do list.”   Being a hoarder of sorts, I kept all the cards that we have received as a family since 1967.   Finally took the time to sort through them.  Several years ago I purchased archival photo albums.  However, many of my photos remained in a box.   Finally got them sorted and put into photo albums.  When my day is tolerable and my energy level is such that I can actually think about finishing up projects, I tend to overdo it.   However, I do get a feeling of accomplishment.

Chronic pain is physically and emotionally stressful.  Trying to cope with chronic pain can lead to anger, frustrations, and despair.  Here are some recommended ways to help with chronic pain:

  • Learn deep breathing or meditation to help – I have tried this and when the pain is really bad I cannot concentrate enough to breath deeply or meditate.
  • Reduce Stress – again, something I have struggled with.
  • Exercise – this is something that I cannot do.  I have been referred to physical therapy, but the wait for an appointment is six months.
  • Cut back on alcohol and smoking – I did not drink alcohol and have not smoked for 10 years.

I would certainly recommend trying the above methods if you suffer from chronic pain but do not expect miracles.

Well, it is bedtime and tomorrow is another day.  When I am fighting pain I find it hard to write an interesting blog.  Do not give up on me.  I will try to improve my writing skills.

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February 4, 2019

The second month in 2019 and not much has changed in my life.   I made two roasters full of Holopchi the other day.  They turned out really well, even if I say so myself.  However, the day after I made them, I slept for almost 24 hours.   I should be grateful that I was able to make them.

January was a month of temperature and barometric pressure fluctuations.  Along with that came pain, horrific, debilitating pain.  It often amazes me that I manage to plug along day after day without too many complaints.  I do, however, carry anger inside, anger against the doctors who want to make it their goal in life to take away any form of pain control that allows me to survive.

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, my family doctor sent me to a rheumatologist in November 2018.  I asked for and received the report that she sent to my family doctor after my appointment.  She basically attributed my pain in the mornings as merely stiffness and made the suggestion all I needed was an exercise to deal with this stiffness.  After much deliberation, my husband and I decided that this could not stand as the truth in my medical records.  We wrote a letter to both the rheumatologist and my family doctor reporting the falsehoods in her report.  My end of February appointment with my family doctor should be an interesting meeting.  I have been penalized before when trying to set the record straight with a doctor so who knows what will happen.  Just another stressor in my life.

Tomorrow afternoon, my sister and cousin will be coming to my house for an overdue visit.  The three of us try to get together once a month.  Going through some of my mom’s papers that I had not had the energy to go through before this I found a letter written by my cousin’s grandmother.  It was written in the Gothic script.  My husband was able to translate it into English for her.

During the month of January, I managed to set up an online store selling collectibles, and art using my prints and watercolours.  The store URL is Luella’s Originals.  Check it out.

Well, it is time to try to sleep.  Hope you all will have a pain free sleep.

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January 14, 2019

It is the middle of January and we have been experiencing very mild temperatures for this time of year.  The barometric pressure has been bouncing all over the place.  This, of course, brings on a load of pain.  At one time I believed that weather changes could not possibly have any impact on pain but I have certainly learned my lesson.

NIH Medline Plus states  “Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer.   Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.”

Our daughter is an event planner and we attended her 12th Night Supper on Saturday evening.  She sold all the tickets beforehand and had a lovely group of people in attendance.   She and her son had a great time putting on a puppet performance called “The Night Before Christmas”.   At times like this, I wish that I was capable of lending a hand with the preparations.  Thankfully my husband was able to help with the dishes after the evening ended.  At least one of us could pitch in.

It is almost midnight and I should try to get some sleep.   The nights can seem very long when one wakes up every hour or so.  The bogeymen seem to come out around 3:00 AM and drive me around the bend.  At that time of the night, my mind comes up with the most terrifying thoughts and the memories I want to forget.poisonrai

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January 4, 2019

The beginning of 2019 has been an unmitigated disaster.  I had been battling knee pain since the 26th so you can imagine my surprise when I woke up on New Year’s day with the most horrendous hip pain imaginable.   Life can be a bitch.  The pain has finally eased off somewhat today.

At times like this when the pain becomes unbearable, I take a look at my life and wonder what the heck I did to deserve this “punishment”.  Oh, I am the first one to admit I screwed up royally in my life and have had to live with that for a very long time.  But enough is enough.  What I have also realized is that no one likes to listen to a whiner.

So I will wish you all a good night and crawl back into bed and contemplate my life.

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December 29, 2018

Opioids for Chronic Pain – My new blog.

Just a quick post to let you know that I have finally accomplished a goal of mine which was to build another blog; this one dealing with Chronic pain and Opioids.  Unless you live with chronic pain and rely on some form of opioid painkiller to make it possible for you to crawl out of bed in the morning, you have no idea how cruel and frightening we the sufferers find the new laws about opioid prescriptions.  The intent of my blog is for fellow sufferers to share their fears, opinions, anger, and pain.  I also hope that this blog will turn into an advocacy group, a group that will present our case to the “powers that be.”  What boggles my mind is that the medical profession has no problem punishing 70-year-olds and older people who have legitimate chronic pain.  They are punishing us because law enforcement does not have the ability to stop the trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs like fentanyl and Carfentanil.   We are tarred with the same brush as all the drug pushers and drug dealers out there.  (Carfentanil is an opioid that is used by veterinarians for very large animals like elephants. It is not for human use. It is approximately 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and 10,000 times more toxic than morphine. This means carfentanil can be deadly in extremely small amounts.)

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Author Unkown

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December 27, 2018

newyear

Here hoping you all had a Very Merry Christmas and that the coming New Year will be filled with much joy, good health, and many blessings.   At the beginning of December, I began decorating the house for Christmas and actually managed to meet my goals.  In case anyone is interested here are some pictures of my accomplishments.

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December 17th, 18th, and 19th were really tough days.  Thanks to the constant change of the barometric pressure during those three days my pain levels went through the roof.  At times like this one has to wonder at the extreme cruelty of the “know it alls” who have decided that people who have severe pain issues do not deserve pain medication.  I was so worried that the pain would remain so debilitating through the upcoming holidays.  Thankfully the weather changed yet again and the pain levels slowly decreased to levels that I could cope with.  Mind you, to cope I take pain medications.  If I did not have these medications I would not get out of bed in the morning.  Each time I get my pain medication renewed I wonder if this will be the last time.

We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve this year.  There were six of us; my daughter and her partner, our grandson and his partner and Peter and I.  First Choice on Main prepared our Christmas dinner and it was absolutely delicious.  My husband picked up the meal, which was piping hot, a half hour before we planned to eat.  The meal consisted of turkey, gravy, meatballs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, cole slaw, cranberry sauce, buns, and even the butter.  If you are interested in calling Sharon about home-cooked meals to go send me a message.  After supper, we opened gifts and spent the evening hanging out together.  Everyone spent the night and in the morning we had brunch before they left.

December 26th Peter’s brother and his wife invited us for supper.  As always, the meal Ken prepared was delicious.  We spent a relaxing evening catching up with events in each of our lives.

The three days that I was laid up earlier this month I spent most of my time reading to try to keep my mind off of the mind-numbing pain.  The books I read are “The Motive” by John Lescroart, “The Pure in Heart” by Susan Hill, and “Sanctuary” by Faye Kellerman.   I also just finished reading “Wild Fire” by Ann Cleeves, the final book in her Shetland Series.  So sorry that there will be no more books in this series.

In closing, I wish you all a New Year filled with much happiness, good health, and many blessings.

 

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November 30, 2018

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Why is it that the older we get the faster time goes by?  The end of November is here and Christmas is less than a month away.  Every year I make a promise to myself to finish my Christmas shopping by the end of November.  To date, I have not been able to keep that promise. 

Winter is here with daytime temperatures as low as -9C and nighttime temperatures as low as -18C.  We got enough snow overnight for my husband to use his snow blower to clear the driveway and sidewalks.  It was dark by 5:20 PM today.  If I had a choice the powers that be would do away with the twice-yearly time changes.  

The ups and downs of the temperature and the barometric pressure in November have played havoc with my poor old bones.  The constant fatigue is overwhelming.  When the pain and fatigue become too much I find myself taking a nap in the morning, in the afternoon and again after supper.  Then the guilt sets in.  I feel like I have wasted too many precious hours.  

We celebrated our daughter’s 48th birthday at our house on November 11th.  I made two roasters full of holupschi for supper that day something I had not done in years.  On November 17th we met up with family members Doug, Dale, and Derrick.  Dale and Derrick were out from Vancouver for a wedding.  We met for coffee and had a lovely visit catching up on family news.

The ups and downs of the temperature and the barometric pressure this past month have played havoc with my poor old bones.  The fatigue that plagues me every day is overwhelming.  I take a nap midmorning, a nap in the afternoon and then another nap right after supper.  Precious time is being wasted by these naps and I find myself consumed with guilt.  It seems to be a never-ending struggle just to get up in the morning to face another day.  

barometric pressure

Chronispain

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October 23, 2018

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” – Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th President

We had a taste of winter-like weather during the beginning of October.  Snow before our Canadian Thanksgiving does not happen that often.  Hopefully, this is not a taste of what our upcoming winter will be like.

The September 15th weekend was a nightmare.  The bone spurs and chondrocalcinosis in my right knee decided it was a good time to see how much pain I could tolerate. I should be thanking my lucky stars that the excruciating pain only hung on for five days; apparently, this pain can last as long as a month.  Patches, one of our dogs, sat beside my bed all night and cried along with me.  I am a tough old broad and rarely cry so was rather shocked that the pain in my knee got the better of me that weekend.   On Monday morning my first call was to my Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Kayler.   His receptionist got me an appointment later that week on September 20th.  Dr. Kayler will be scheduling me for knee surgery in the New Year.

A common cause of chondrocalcinosis is calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD). Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD) occurs when these crystals form deposits in the joint and surrounding tissues. The crystal deposits provoke inflammation in the joint, which can cause the joint cartilage to break down.  The disease may take a few different arthritis-related forms: osteoarthritis, a chronic rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-like inflammatory arthritis, or an acutely painful inflammatory condition called pseudogout.

Bone Spur in Knee. You can have bone spurs in knee joints for years without experiencing any symptoms. But when they do cause symptoms, they can be painful and interfere with the movement of your knee. Bone spurs are bony growths that can develop anywhere on the bones, but most commonly developed in joints.

Thanksgiving 2018. Once again we, including grandson Benjamin and Danika, celebrated Thanksgiving at Natasha and Mike’s house and had a wonderful time. Natasha cooked an amazing dinner. Her pumpkin pie was “to die for”. Her homemade pumpkin ice cream was incredibly delicious. Much love and thanks to Natasha and Mike for the most enjoyable afternoon and evening and for the amazing meal. We, as a family, have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, especially the fact that Peter has fully recovered from the heart attack he experienced Thanksgiving 2017.

Tomorrow we celebrate Peter’s 72nd birthday.  We decided to keep the celebrations low key; we will go out for supper and then have grandson Benjamin and Danika join us for birthday cake at home.  Peter and I got hit with a flu type illness two weeks ago and we cannot seem to shake it.   Enough already with the dizziness, intermittent nausea and extreme fatigue (napping for two hours in the morning, two to three hours again in the afternoon and often another two hours in the early evening).

Happy Birthday in Heaven Dad

My Dad – October 10th, 1919 to June 28th, 2010DadLuella

God saw that he was getting tired,
A cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around him
and whispered, “Come with Me.”
With tearful eyes, I watched him suffer,
And saw him fade away.
Although I loved him dearly,
I could not make him stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest.
God broke my heart to prove to me
He only takes “the best”.

Author Unknown

I have rambled on enough for one day.  Time to take this kaput body to bed and listen to some “YouTube” on my iPad and wait for the dawning of another probably boring day.
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September 13, 2018

Luellatwowalkinmyshoes

 

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