Soon got my epidural – sooooooooooo ready for it

I just love Christmas but boy it doesn’t half take it out of you, especially with this cold weather. Very pretty but not ideal for people with muscle problems.

It’s snowed like mad here today so I haven’t moved an inch and we were supposed to be going over to my Dad’s in Manchester to take prezzies and cards etc tomorrow but with the state of the roads I’m going to send it by Royal Mail Special Delivery instead. I will miss seeing Dad but he’s coming to stay with me after Christmas so just as long as he gets my gifts then that’s all that matters.

I had some bad news sent my way last week – the local newspaper which I write for has made me redundant with a few other local freelance writers. It’s one that comes out once a week and isn’t a big earner or anything like that but with it happening just before Christmas it made it feel much worse but I have been overwhelmed with emails from my contacts. Ah well c’est la vie as they say. You never know I might actually finish my book I’m writing now I have no other writing commitments.

I’ve got my epidural on Tuesday so I’ve overdone it a bit this week trying to get everything finished so that I will rest on Wednesday ready to enjoy Christmas and I must admit I feel really organized (for a change).

Well, I’m just about to type up my final article for the local paper so I had better get on with it and see what the wind blows my way in 2010. Take care everyone.

Swine Flu Vaccination – what awful side effects

Hi all,

I’m sorry I haven’t been here for a few weeks but I’ve had a trying time over the last couple of weeks helping my daughter get over some surgery she had to have but I felt quite proud of myself on Tuesday when I left to come home. At the end of the day I’m a middle aged lady and left my daughter early evening to get on a bus on my own to the tube to get the tube on my own to St. Pancras International to get on the train on my own home !!! Did I do well or what? The most important thing of course was that my daughter got better soon and nothing would have kept me away from helping her when she needed me most.

When I got home I had an appointment with the nurse at my doctors for a swine flu vaccination which my Doctor felt I needed, so, off I popped for the jab in the arm which of course was nothing but I was in no way prepared for the side effects of the injection after having had numerous other flu vaccinations without any problems.

The first thing that started to bother me was my arm which went as stiff as a board so bad that I couldn’t even lift it up and then I was woken in the night with what felt like every muscle in my body aching and in pain. I’d had my usual concoction of drugs before I went to bed and so when the pain woke me up all I could take was Paracetamol which didn’t touch it. I made every effort to get up and get ready to take my dog for her morning walk but I found the wind outside too painful so came back and went straight back to bed.

The pain go no easier but got so bad that my husband started to get a bit worried and told me to try and find out if it was normal to suffer so badly from the injection.

I decided the best thing to do was to go on the Internet to find out what the side effects of the vaccination were and everything I was suffering from were listed so our feeling of anxiety soon left us and I realized it would soon be over.

After another restless night I felt tons better this morning although far from 100% yet but after suffering what I can only presume was a taste of the real flu, I am just so pleased I had the vaccination done.

I’ve got my epidural a week on Tuesday and just feel grateful for another few days to get over this before having another needle stuck in me !!

Well I hope your all well and nearly ready for the Christmas fun. I’ll be back before then though, take care all.

Non-surgical treatments for neck pain

As you know I try very, very hard to control my back and neck pain but in particular I find the neck/thoracic pain very troublesome and debilitating.

I love making things with my fingers and decided I would knit some fun mug cozies for the family for Christmas to dress up the Christmas table. Now we are only talking about 45 stitches and a few inches long and I had them made in a night but if you had seen the state I was in afterwards, you would have thought I’d done ten rounds in the boxing ring.

I couldn’t even raise my arms without pain and the only thing that helped in the end was my electric head pad which I lay on in bed. I had an awful night but decided today that I would ring up the pain clinic tomorrow to request another epidural as I think I have slipped through the net it has been such a long time since they contacted me.

I then spent some time reading on the net and one of my favorite sites is spine-health which seems to have everything about spinal problems and I came across an article about non-surgical treatments for neck pain.

It said that with the help of the forum community of neck pain sufferers, they have managed to compile some suggestions that have worked for these people, who certainly know what itÂ’s like to deal with neck pain on a daily basis.

Take a Swim – well when I read this as the first option I thought the rest would be what I already know but then when I read on a little I realized that maybe I could go swimming – not to swim but to float as they stated that forum members noted the therapeutic effects that swimming has on back pain and neck pain, specifically in reducing inflammation, providing quick pain relief and allowing for unrestricted movements.

Some of the ways to do this were simple things like getting the water level up to the neck and simply moving around squatting until the water reaches the chin, and then moving back and forth and to the right and to the left.

Another suggestion was to utilize a Water Pillow which is something I have never tried before. It said that the rejuvenating effects of water pillows allow patients to dictate the firmness of their pillow. Specifically, more water equals a firmer pillow; less water provides a softer pillow. So now I’m going to find out who sells them and give this a try.
For me even the greatest pillow has no chance against neck pain that interferes with my sleeping, so I would be delighted if I found something that would help.

Of course, various supplements were suggested with some that stimulate the hormone Melatonin (which is highest prior to bedtime) and allowed some to at least get some much-needed quality restorative sleep. I am afraid I have tried every single one in the health store and supermarket and just when I get excited that I think I am sleeping better I have a terrible night but I would never give up on this as there are so many more to try. My Doc will not give me sleeping tablets as I am on so much medication. I guess it would totally knock me out.

One thing they did suggest was to take Magnesium as many cases of neck pain are the result of muscle strains or sprains, speaking with a nutritionist about magnesium (an essential mineral that helps contract and relax muscles) so that may be worth learning more about as some forum members noted how taking magnesium helps with muscle tightness in the neck.

I knew that Acupuncture had to be on the list and as you know I have had very little help with this and had many many treatments which again seemed to work at first then nothing the next time. But it did say that some people find no benefit whatsoever so I don’t think I am on my own on that score.

But deep tissue massage which was mentioned is something that I find does help me but is only for a short time but as I find it very relaxing I try and have one a month but its not a cheap form of pain relief at the end of the day and often depends on the skills of the practitioner. Remedial massage was another one mentioned which I must admit I have not tried and as I have a spa day package given to me by my son on my birthday I think it will be something I could try. However I am always a bit skeptical that they may not know enough about the type of surgery I have had.

Holistic treatments like aromatherapy (during which essential oils are used for relaxation and mood improvement), meditative music, candlelight, etc. were also suggested but again that is something I use and do all the time – in fact I could not cope without my meditative music when I am lying awake in pain at night.

It then went onto say how limiting instances that often spur and exacerbate neck pain (like sitting at a computer for long periods of time, driving, heavy lifting, other activities that require heavy use of the arms) have helped achieve relief, but for me there is so little left that doesn’t bother it that my life would not be worth living if I stopped everything and I think i know how to pace myself after all these years.

One thing they did suggest which my Physio told me to do recently when I had a lot of numbness was to put ice on different areas of the body (between the thumb and index finger, on the bone 1.5-2 inches behind the ear, on the indent between the middle of the eyebrow) to help achieve relief from such symptoms. The main reason I have not tried this is just simply because I am a warm person and just the thought of something cold on me would put me off trying it, but apparently one creative forum member noted using a headband to secure the ice in these different spots and on the temple. And when his neck pain got really intense, he suggested slowly moving to and lying on the floor with a towel behind the neck.(Yuk !, how uncomfortable does that sound :??

Finally it suggest sharing experiences with other neck pain sufferers which may help spark other ideas for achieving desired pain relief and at least provide comfort that there are people out there who really do care but I know I have my blog friends who care so I don’t need to go to any forums for that help.

So, after taking it all into consideration I think I should try the swimming (I mean floating) in a pool, a water pillow, start taking Magnesium and try a remedial massage. Ice is something I really don’t think I could try unless it was very hot lol 🙂

Thanks for reading my blog friends :wave:

I have completely overdone it yesterday and today!

I have completely overdone things today and yesterday – just by way of a change. I’d noticed the Debenhams 25% sale and I’m not one to miss a bargain so my other half and I trotted of to town yesterday to get some bargains and some Christmas presents. Well you know what us women are like once we get into a department store with lots of goodies to buy …………
the rest is history. But, instead of being very sensible and going straight to bed when I got home I was on such a roll with my endorphines well and truly kicked in, that I decided to finish making my Christmas cards.

Big mistake ! – my neck went into such spasm that I just couldn’t look in any direction and it felt like someone was sticking a knife in my neck. My other half was a bit cross with me but got me lay down with a heat pad on my neck and took my laptop from me and anything else I could reach and made me rest. It eventually went as it always does but it did do me in a bit and I needed the pain to go away for today as I had a coffee morning planned at my house for the ladies group with some stall holders selling Christmas goodies ( yes, more – I’m nearly done now).

Anyway, I woke up feeling the usual (rough) but once the medications kicked in I was ready for the mad house which it certainly was. The last person left at 2ish and by the time I’d tidied up it was three and I nearly ran upstairs to bed and slept until my husband (who I’d sent out to look for my xmas prezzy) brought me a cuppa up to bed at 5ish.

I know I’ve said it before but it is just such a bind that bells ring when its too late and to have a brain and mind that want to do everything at full throttle. As my husband always says to me “you just NEVER learn, do you”? I think I just have a mental block of how bad the pain can be – either that or I’ve lost the plot lol ! I think its that really.

I’m now watching the fantastic Children in Need concert at the Royal Albert Hall on the box, which is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face – I think it’s absolutely brilliant and have always supported such a worthy charity.

Until next time friends, I will try and not be toooooooooooooo naughty tomorrow (but I can’t promise you) lol.

Spinal Surgery, Haemorrhoids Surgery – is it the answer?

Nearly every week in the Mail Health Pages there is another article on a spinal operation to cure all back pain but everyone that I read seems to be only suitable for people with new spinal injury’s and not for people like myself who have had surgery after surgery and back pain for the last 20 + years.

The one in the Mail today was about how a prosthetic neck joint called Prestige ( a surgical wedge) was placed in the spine to replace the bulging disc which in this case was in the patients neck ( same as mine) and although the surgery was still quite big in that they have to cut under your chin to move the windpipe to one side. The devise has undergone rigorous testing in America ( just by way of a change) and it has shown that people are in far less pain after this type of surgery. The surgeon was a Professor Steven Gill at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital.

I’m not frightened of having surgery, I just won’t go through with it until I find the right one for me and I know that could take years but its amazing how fast things are advancing in that type of surgery. Deciding which area of my spine to tackle first will be the biggest problem for me as my bulges are in my cervical, thoracic and lumber and some eighteen years ago a top spinal specialist said that he thought the only option would be fusion from top to bottom but my movement would be very limited !!

Of course, the trouble with leaving these sort of decisions can mean that you have other problems to deal with, for instance haemorrhoids, which I’m sure I will not be alone in suffering from this because of the side effect of the pain and other medications you take.

I’ve already had surgery once for this problem but it was so painful that I said I would never go through that again. But again in the health section of the Mail an article was written a couple of weeks ago on the latest surgery for this type of problem which leaves you with NO pain after surgery – amazing or what.

So, I guess I just have to be a bit more patient and see if they come up with a spinal surgery that is pretty painless as well. You never know miracles do happen.:**: