November 7, 2012
I have been experimenting with my food a bit, trying to eat more healthy and focus on a vegetarian and gluten-free diet. I am filling up a water jug each morning of 64 ounces of water, and most days I drink all of this. I decided to try this for a couple of reasons. One was that I am planning on becoming a health coach in December to help others in their health and wanted to try out the food, and second I wanted to see if my food might make a difference in my health. Hearing I would lose some weight didn’t hurt either.
I was skeptical. Actually I am still skeptical. Years and years of trying different things to reduce my pain level, and give me more energy. Many things help – such as exercise, ice and heat, yoga and reducing stress. I even was able to reduce my medication this summer to about 10% of the dose I was given. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to cut it off completely, and any reduction caused too much pain.
So far the past week and a half I am feeling more energized. My body is still tired, yet I am so much more alert. I feel like I have an extra hour or two each day. I am still stuffed up, which is probably due to dairy which I haven’t cut out. My pain has also been reduced some, so I am reducing my medication a little more for the first time in months. I can feel more discomfort in my knees when I walk, and sensitivity in my hands (the tingling sensations are greater). The pain in my body and back are less, and I am still able to sleep at night. I have also lost about 6 pounds, so my clothes aren’t so tight – always a good thing.
I am learning a lot. I feel like I am understanding more what my body needs. I don’t expect a miracle, yet it is great to see some hope and improvement.
September 10, 2012
School is back in session for my two middle school daughters. We have had a great summer, and I miss them already. I love the carefree summer days, and the extended family time. September brings us back to schedules, homework, more soccer and routines. It is a time I start evaluating my priorities and thinking about what to do with my extra time.
I have been doing well with my new exercise routine. I am trying to do something at least five days a week. I coach soccer in the evening, though this entails less physical activity most of the time. I am trying to walk/run 3 days a week, and play racquetball once or twice a week. I hope to make yoga class once or twice a week and do some weight training. If I am able to keep up with this routine I know I will feel better. I will have more energy, feel more positive, have less pain generally, be more fit, and look better.
The ice and heat routine has been helpful. I am typing today with a heat pad on my back. I find that the ice and heat are reducing my pain level, and I have been able to continue to run a few times a week without too much knee pain. In order to cover most of my body it takes about 3 hours a day. If I am lying around, I will add in more time.
As much as I am enjoying my healthy life and the benefits it brings, I am wondering about how I can keep up with my other responsibilities as well. It can be hard to keep up with family members and do the daily chores at home. I also have a couple of opportunities that have come up that I am considering. One would involve a significant amount of time but could make a huge impact for many. The other could possibly improve my health. Much of life seems to be about making decisions on the best course of action that balances taking care of myself and being with others. I was looking forward to this period of health focus, but perhaps there is something else in store for me.
Wishing you all a good week…..
August 30, 2012
I have had an interesting week making adaptations to my medication. I added back my third mini dose for my vacation, as my pain was increasing and I didn’t want to deal with it while visiting family. I have reduced it back to two again a few days ago. The strange thing is in general I have not noticed a great deal of change in my pain level until now. The slightly painful tingling sensation in my hands/arms and feet/knees has returned. When I try to run or kick a soccer ball my legs feel heavy and everything takes more effort. I try to distract myself with music and/or other thoughts to keep myself active.
I have also had a drastic change in my energy level. I have periods through the day where I feel a bit “high” and hyper. Having so much struggle with fatigue this is a welcoming symptom. Other times in the day I crash where my pain level increases and it is difficult to concentrate. Generally this is before my typical dose, but not always.
Since I am using such a little dose, I am surprised by the impact upon my daily life. It makes me aware of the power of the drug I have been taking, as well as the body’s attempt to regulate when I make changes. I can see the importance for me to make changes slowly, making the process more bearable. I have a greater understanding of the dependence I had on the drug, and how after time the effect diminished. Changing medications has always been difficult for me, but at times this is when I would experience the greatest symptoms and the greatest relief. Since my dose currently is so low, I imagine that the symptoms I am currently having will be similar to what will be the end result when I am drug free, though probably slightly more intense especially when the “high” period ends.
I am still hopeful and feel like this is a huge step in improving my health. It feels good to be doing something that is improving my daily life, costs less, and is effective. I have so much to gain, and little to lose. Though I will always advocate the ability to have pain medication options, I hope we can also have better pain management care. I am grateful that I had amazingly supportive doctors, yet there was so much tha they didn’t understand and the options were limited and/or highly expensive. Much of my personal journey has been through my own research, talking to others, finding support, and exploring my own options for improvement. Taking it one day at a time!