Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September is Pain Awareness Month

This is from a previous blog article. I have edited it for Pain Awareness Month to help others understand a bit about living with chronic pain.




We must never lose hope that "others" will understand chronic pain. "Others" meaning those that have not experienced this life and all the grief and loss it brings! Especially loved ones that aren't able to understand.

If Only

If only those suffering with chronic pain had the opportunity to have their pain seen by those that aren't able to comprehend how it feels, how it impacts every moment of every day and every night, what it does to a person’s life, how it takes every aspect of what one use to be and leaves one’s life and soul shredded, searching to find some sort of relief from the unending, horrendous nightmare of the disease called chronic pain.


If only those that aren’t capable of comprehending what it is like to live with chronic pain could glimpse the struggle of those dealing with the losses and the grieving . If only others could see what it takes to endure this type of life and to find the strength it takes to rebuild one’s life to integrate living with this horrid disease.

If only those people, who aren’t able to understand could possibly perceive the pain that is hidden beneath the surface, maybe then they would comprehend. Maybe then those suffering would not be ignored, glossed over, cut off and dismissed.

If only people in the news world would truly report both sides of the story. News reporters like Anderson Cooper who “goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news,” did a story on “Prescription Addiction-Made in the USA” on Anderson Cooper 360. I truly expected more of what it is like to live with chronic pain to be a part of this report.

I was pleased that a chronic pain person, Kay Sanford, was included in this audience and had been able to share part of her story, which included much of what many suffering with chronic pain seek, healthy ways to find relief from living in a body trapped in unrelenting pain. On behalf of all chronic pain sufferers I want to say, thank you, Kay Sanford, for doing what you had to do to get there to share your story! All of us know what it takes to travel anywhere!  
  

I do think she had a lot more to share though! Anderson had asked, “What would you say to patients like this?” And Dr. Drew, who was on the show, stated, “I would say, ‘good, fantastic!’  I would say in this situation no one would dream of interfering with her treatment.  But that is a very tiny minority.”

This left me completely speechless! Does he actually believe what he said? Dr. Drew actually stated, “…that is a very tiny minority.”  Is he really not aware of the statistics in the
National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain

If only these people in the public eye, that hears their voices could learn the other side of the story!

 Image result for NIH images
Among the many other subjects covered in this NIH study released in February of 2015, this report states that there are 100 million chronic pain sufferers in America. Of those, 25 million suffer with moderate to severe chronic pain. 
This report also states that 2% abuse their prescribed narcotics! There is no ignoring this incredibly distressing reality. I definitely do not want to come off as ignoring all those suffering addiction, nor those that die every day overdosing!  Not only is addiction a horrifying disease that has many horrible affects on the sufferer, it also has appalling ripple effects on all the families and friends it affects. As far as I am concerned something needs to be done to combat this! There is no way anyone can overlook that at all!

 What about the 98%? In the Anderson Cooper special, Kay Sanford represented the 98% of us using our prescribed opioids appropriately. And Dr. Drew stated she was part of “a very tiny minority.”

There are 98% of these sufferers that are using their prescribed medications APPROPRIATELY! Medications, that by the way, are needed to try and live somewhat of a functional life…a life shredded to pieces by chronic pain! A life many describe as a "life of hell!" Many cannot comprehend such a life! It can be hard enough for those living with unending, all encompassing, overwhelming moderate to severe chronic pain to even comprehend the magnitude of such a reality! 

If only others would hear our hearts, what we try to share, only to be disregarded. We need to be our own representatives as to how many chronic pain sufferers are perceived. I do know addiction is a horrid reality. However, interweaved in this are those of us, the 98% that get demeaned and degraded for just having the disease of chronic pain and having to use opioids and other medications that somewhat help us to have somewhat of a "normal" life. Even if it only allows us to be able to get up out of bed and toilet ourselves! Make a simple meal for our families. To go outside occasionally and sit with the sun on our faces! 

If only, people could understand...

-None of us, 100% of all of us with chronic pain, should be discriminated against at all for having to deal with this horrific disease. Nor should we be humiliated for having to utilize a medication that is prescribed by ones physician to live a life that is as functional as possible.
-The majority of physicians are not the “drug doctors” many say when discussing opioid use. That is a whole different subject, yes another sordid problem, but again, the majority should not be scandalized for the minority! 
-After thorough and detailed research on what the DEA and the CDC has already done, (with more being put into place) and how it has already negatively affected the lives of many chronic pain sufferers trying to maintain and obtain treatment, we will have someone give a voice to those suffering with chronic pain and the multiple affects on our physical, emotional, financial, relational and social side effects of what we deal with.

If only all chronic pain was made visible so others could see the horror of this disease.

If only…

Saturday, June 10, 2017

HOPE FOR WHO?

PULLING A PAIN MED FROM THE MARKET GIVES HOPE?



CNN published an article regarding
"the Food and Drug Administration's request this week that drugmaker Endo Pharmaceuticals pull the painkiller off the market as a sign of hope..." (see link below for full article)

PULLING DRUG OFF THE MARKET - HOPE AMID OPIOID CRISIS ARTICLE BY CNN

FDA WANTS TO PULL OPANA OFF MARKET DUE TO OVERDOSES

It is beyond excruciating to lose loved ones to a drug abuse! Many of us have, or know someone who has! PLEASE, people use meds as prescribed, your loved ones need you!

What is also very important is that we help educate others as to the statistics of opioid use am abuse. Those requiring pain medication are getting caught in the crossfire in the War on Drugs and being immensely affected.  The following link will take you to an article regarding the statistics.

BE AWARE OF STATISTICS OF NIH REPORT (click for article) 98% of those prescribed opioids use them appropriately! We need to know these statistics! And not only that, but we need to share this information with others to help educate and adviocate for chronic pain sufferers everywhere for chronic pain sufferers are not taken into consideration when the FDA and othere agencies make these horrid decisions that affects our well being.

People need to know that 98% of those prescribed opioids use them appropriately! We don't want to rely on them, but need them to decrease our struggle with living with chronic pain!  As many as 50 million living in moderate-to-severe excruciating pain, some enduring this every single moment, of every single day, for the rest of their lives! These medications are needed to help to do minor things like breath easier, not shake or live curled up in a ball, be able to move, take care of oneself, etc.



Please speak up by clicking on the links provided and sharing your story.

We need to be commenting on these types of articles. We need to have a voice too! No one is going to speak up for us!

Please be respectful and kind, for many just are not educated as to what a life like this is like. Especially be kind to the hearts of those grieving lost ones. As I told a relative when she was empathizing with my Central Pain Syndrome,  "I would rather live with my constant moderate to severe pain than live with the heart wrenching pain of the loss of a child as they do."




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Baking and Making Christmas Goodies



 Image result for christmas baking free images

BAKING AND MAKING CHRISTMAS GOODIES

Many of us love to bake and make our favorite Christmas goodies every year! Candies, cookies and dessert bars all have a special place in our hearts! Nevertheless, living with chronic pain makes doing all the tasks it takes to perform creating all these beloved items challenging. All the planning, getting the ingredients and all the bowls, utensils, mixers, pans and setting them all up, along with the repetitive reaching, gathering, stirring, measuring, sifting, lifting, chopping and cleaning up make for a recipe for a whole lot of pain! But, it seems every year, the urge to create these irresistible, delicious, yummy, crunchy, ooey, gooey goodies takes over! We just have to do this! Or do we? It’s your choice!

Beware: Know your limits! Make sure you look over the following tips to help make this as achievable and trouble-free as possible, with the least amount of rebound pain that may leave you regretting you even started!

 I know I have gotten started with baking and couldn’t stop (I’m not talking about eating what I made! Or am I?)  I am talking about trying to push through the pain to get it done! And have ended up in bed, in tears, with a mess all over the kitchen. Now that I am writing this, I have to put into practice what I am preaching and make some wise choices myself!
Here are some tips to hopefully make for the greatest prospects to a low stress, low pain, fun –filled, deliciously, delectable yummy Christmas:

  • Go to a local bakery - This is the ultimate, trouble-free, no mess, no stress way!  They have an abundance of enjoyable, mouth-watering, scrumptious goods to select. DONE! Seems like an excellent gift to yourself!
  • Bake Ahead! - Start your baking early - Many items can be made a couple weeks or even months ahead of time and frozen! This way, you won’t have to go through all the making and baking, along with the decorating, shopping and the other activities and events all at once.  If you do it slowly over the next couple months and freeze what you can, it would save you a lot of time and physically energy when it gets closer to Christmas. Just remember, some items tolerate freezing more than others!
  • Just pick a few to bake - Choose just a couple items to make. And then make them a week in advance for freshest options.
  • Using an electric mixer – Using the regular beaters, as well as the dough beaters or even a stand mixer will aid with eliminating the pain that can happen from trying to stir cookie dough and other items.
  • Using a food processor   -is also great for chopping ingredients saving you from irritating that pain as well! Just pop it in and zoom it around for a second or two and you’re done! 
    Image result for cookie dough christmas goodies
  • Cookie dough - can be mixed up, frozen and baked as needed! Roll your dough up and cover with plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container. Take out the roll as needed, thawing in the refrigerator overnight, or a couple days Slice what is needed and bake. Cookie dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to a week, as well as frozen for up to 3 months. This can make for an easy, fun time with the little ones, as well as anyone unexpected guests who might pop over! Also, you can purchase cookie dough in the refrigerator section at your local grocery store. Cookies freeze well in an airtight container for several months.
  • Peanut brittle - holds well if kept dry and in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks. (after it is cooled)
  • Fudge - holds well in a refrigerator for at least 2-3 weeks in an airtight container. Use wax paper between layers.
  • Dessert bars – some are easily frozen for a couple months or refrigerated for a week. 
  • Recipes for simple appetizers, easy meals and desserts for the holidays will be in my next book-Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain - 3, As "Easy as it Gets" Recipe Ideas for HolidayEntertaining.
In addition, if you have any diseases or disorders leading to physical impairments that impede your vision, strength, coordination, sense of touch, or other skills needed for the tasks performed in any of these activities, be cautious, especially with the heavy and hot items so you do not burn yourself! Please ask someone for help! You know your body better than anyone! Be safe!


Sheri Kay has recently written a series of EBooks called, Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain, which was written for those with chronic pain with the purpose of giving specific suggestions and ideas to help make the strenuous activities of the holiday season simpler and more tolerable, ultimately decreasing the stress on us and helping us to be able to reduce the chances of increased pain flares, thus hopefully allowing us to spend cherished time with family and friends.

The books can be purchased here at Amazon.com

This blog is for all of us with chronic pain! Do you have a favorite topic on chronic pain, documentary, book, video or even a blog to share you'd like me to cover in this blog? I'd love to hear about it! Share in the comments below.

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You might be interested in the new EBook series, Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain that was written for those of us with chronic pain with the purpose of giving specific suggestions and ideas to help make the strenuous activities of the holiday season simpler and more tolerable, ultimately decreasing the stress on us and helping us to be able to reduce the chances of increased pain flares, thus hopefully allowing us to spend cherished time with family and friends.



The EBooks can be purchased here at Amazon.com.


Here are more articles on Christmas that you may be interested in:











GIFTING IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS


GIFTING IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS

Not only is it having chronic pain that makes buying gifts for Christmas extremely difficult, but for many, having so many people to buy for adds to that difficulty, and can make it very stressful! Being the youngest of a large family, married, with two married kids, a grandson, grand doggy, a plethora of nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, a favorite dear aunt and uncle, as well as many friends and other loved ones I’d love to buy for, there just is no way I could physically or financially handle that! Fortunately, Christmas is not about having things all wrapped up nicely in a bow for us! The true meaning of Christmas is in the gift of a baby that came to bring salvation to a lost world! A gift of grace and a future without all this horrid stuff life here drowns us in! 
Many of us take this time of year to celebrate His birth and give gifts to show our love to others. This can become overwhelming to many! And very challenging for those of us with chronic pain!  Let’s take a look at some ideas that might make all this practicable for those of us with chronic pain. 
First we will look at the gifting element and then in my next blog, we will look at the shopping piece of it all!
Below are alternatives that can be taken into consideration with all this gifting that may be overwhelming for you. Take a look over the ideas to help reduce the number of people you buy for, fun ways to integrate gifting at family get-togethers, condense the variety of gifts you need to purchase, as well as alternatives to traditional gift ideas.

  • Have a “white elephant gift exchange” - Not only is this great fun, it helps cut down on gift buying as well as the type of gifts. Everyone brings a wrapped, used or inexpensive gift and places them in a pile. You each take turns picking one out.  The first person takes a gift and unwraps it. Then the second person chooses a gift from the pile, unwraps it, and then
  • Image result for WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT FREE IMAGEdecides if they want to keep it or exchange it for the first person’s gift.  The third person picks a gift, unwraps it and then decides to keep it or exchange it for one of the other gifts by the others that already opened theirs. And so on, until everyone has a chance to pick a gift, decide if they want to keep it or exchange it with someone else in the group.  Then the first person can pick a gift from anyone in the group, if they want to do so, or keep the one they have! Many great laughs arise from the silliness of the gifts often purchased at rummage sales or have had found been found around someone’s house, coveted nice gifts, goofy gifts and even prank gifts. Some fun gifts have even made repeated appearances from year to year!