Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blog Post

I don't have a fancy title for this post. I just couldn't think of anything honestly. Ha. 

My mind feels great and I am doing well mentally and emotionally. I am off my pain pills and my depression meds. I wasn't exactly depressed but my family doctor said that with chronic pain comes depression and put me on a low dose a few months ago. I have stepped it down and am now off of it.

Most of my days include atleast a few hours of getting outside and laying in the hammock with my Nook.

I am taking just one prescription medicine - a sleeping pill. I am hoping to step this down slowly since it also has withdrawal side effects. The sleeping pill does help put me to sleep and helps me sleep through the pain and so I cannot complain. It may take a few months but I am slowly going to try to wean myself off of this too. 

My body hurts. Some mornings I wake up and can type for a bit and I am glad of that. The last few days I have been using my walker. 

My days include devotions, Bible reading, lots of praying, reading and trying to sweat. I cannot hold a book but I can use my knuckle to turn pages on my Nook. 

QVC had a great deal on the Dragon software. TWO sets for just $80 plus free shipping. These retail for about $200 and sell for that on Amazon. I am going to try it for typing. There is a 30 day return policy on these. I may not be able to thrift, dress the mannequin or edit photos but this will help me type. I will keep you posted!

My doctor wants me to sweat as much as I can. I am currently using a heating pad but have a "U" pillow ordered from Amazon and will get it later today. The pillow is made of buckwheat which smells like popcorn and pancakes. I am not a sweat-er and it is chilly here in PA. Sweating is tough when you cannot walk or move too much.

There are baths filled with magnesium salts, electric stimulus sessions and eye exercises. I was blessed to have a friend's friend lend me a $2500 electric stimulus machine. Her daughter had the same condition as me for years and she said I could keep it for as long as I needed. I didn't even know this woman and she trusted me with such an expensive device!

The left side of my brain is very weak which is why most of the pain is on the left side. CRPS (RSD) weakens the nervous system which includes your brain. My right eye has turned inward to help "fix" my left side. There are a lot of eye exercises to help correct this and I have them downloaded on my Nook and my phone.

I went for 7 hours of tests and treatments this past Friday. One of the treatments included multiple sessions of breathing oxygen. Breathing is one of the things I can do without pain :)

Lidocaine patches help numb the areas of pain. I don't use them every day but I am thankful to have them. I sleep with them on my wrists, hands and left knee. They only numb the skin but it is a good distraction.

This was a photo of some of the swelling in my left knee at the beginning of the day, before the 7 hours of tests & treatments. You can imagine how swollen it was afterwards. I forgot to take a photo.

My doctor said to try kale and dark chocolate. It naturally helps with pain.

Dark chocolate is gross. So bitter! My awesome husband picked me up several kinds and the dark Hershey kisses were best. Yes, I know those don't really count as dark chocolate and have the most sugar.

I tried fresh kale, baked kale with olive oil & salt and kale with bacon. Kale is the absolutely most disgusting food ever. Unless kale is a miracle cure for CRPS (and it is not), there is no way I am eating this again. And the chocolate made my stomach sick because I cannot tolerate milk.
These have no milk but yet still make my stomach sick for some reason. And they aren't as yummy as Hershey's kisses. Ha.

My supplements also include magnesium, Kapp Arest and some kind of gross peppermint liquid called Nitric Balance. I am also taking vitamins. 

I go back to the doctor's on Friday. He is awesome. I write down all my questions and he answers them as he treats me. And...great news! Yesterday was the first day my stomach held food for the entire day. It seems to be settling down. I am going back to gluten-free since I now have thrush from all the wheat I was eating (chicken noodle soup and lots of crackers were my diet while my stomach was sick). Ha! So my diet will include lots of fruit, veggies, grilled chicken and nuts. My favorite meal is fresh spinach salad with carrots, strawberries, grilled chicken, raw almonds and a bit of vinegar. Yum!

We are getting a new roof! This is the "before" photo. Our shingles have been blowing off for years. We have no idea of how old the roof is but we are guessing it hasn't been replaced since the early 1990's. (Does anyone else think this should have been just 10 years ago? How is it 2014!?!) And...we are going with a metal roof. It is slightly more expensive (about 10% more in cost) but it will last so much longer. Most metal roofs have a life time warranty.

We had a wonderful strict Mennonite build our master suite and we are again using him for this project. He is also going to replace the gutters since we painted them white a few years ago. It will be easier to replace them than re-paint them. Especially since I cannot hold a paint brush right now.

When my father-in-law passed away in late June, we inherited a ton of stuff. Most of it got sold or given away. But some of the tools were kept since my hubby will use them. My husband is super organized and I am so thankful for that. On Tuesday he alphabetized the peg board. Yup, alphabetical order, starting with bolt cutters and brushes and ending with a window washer & yard stick. Don't ask how long this took him (okay...3 hours!!!).

And here is what the rest of the basement now looks like...Yikes! It will take weeks to finish but he is taking it one day at a time. I cannot do a thing except watch. I sit with my leg up and just spend time with him. I hate not doing anything but I am loving this time together. I am glad God used this disease to slow me down. I know He is working in my life and I am joyful for that. I am NOT thankful for the pain but I am thankful that I don't have a busy life right now.

 I have always been someone that counts down the time until the next "big thing". A month until vacation, 100 days until Christmas, etc. I look back on just a few months ago when my knee was bad and I wish I would have been more thankful that 'just' my knee hurt and not my arms, wrists and hands. And so I am trying to enjoy this time of my life being slow. I don't want to look back on this time when 'just' my knee, hands and wrists hurt. I can still do so much and I am thankful for that.
One thing I can do: Jamberry! I had a Jamberry Facebook party and earned a ton of free nail strips. They are basically stickers that you heat up. They have glue on the underside and the glue melts when you heat them. You stick them on, smooth them out and use a nail clipper to trim the excess. So easy!

Aren't they fun? My hands shake badly but even I can do these.

My father-in-law lived in an assisted living community the last few weeks of his life. My husband went back to sing, play guitar and play piano and put on a "show" for the residents last week. He sang old hymns and some old songs. My favorites included You Are My Sunshine and Roses are Red My Love (by Bobby Vinton).

The show became a big 45-minute sing along and the residents loved it. I sat beside Mildred who had dementia. She kept asking why she was there and how she got there. Mildred didn't remember almost anything but she remembered the songs and sang along. You have know idea of how this blessed me.

We also met a dear lady named Madeline. Madeline knew my father-in-law, Dean, from the early 1940's. She and Dean use to be "beaus" and went to the roller rink together. Dean even asked Madeline to marry her but they were only 16 and she said her dad would kill her. Dean then went to WWII. She remembers him coming back from WWII in his army uniform and skating after the war was over. What sweet memories!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


  1. My parents are both in assisted living and I know how much it means to them when people come and entertain/spend time with them. I think it's really nice that you and your husband did this even though your father in law was there only a short time.

    1. Nancy - I remember you saying that your parents were at an assisted living building. Older people make you feel amazing. I love hearing all the wonderful stories and being a part of something. I am sure you also feel that way :) Thanks for the comment!

  2. I don't like Kale much either, but i tried these and ate them like potato chips, they were that addictive and really good. I got my recipe here but I'm sure there are tons on pintrest too. 'I continue to pray for you!

    1. Thanks Melissa. I tried almost the same recipe and couldn't do it. I am not sure if it was the combination of the bitter dark chocolate and the kale or just the kale but it was no good. I appreciate the comment though :) Thanks :)

  3. In the winter I juice kale, green apples and a squeeze of lime. I crave this stuff! I don't know if you will like it but it tastes a lot different than cooked. I also like the Dove dark chocolate in the red wrapper.
    Love your nails ~ I need to try Jamberry. Do you need to have a special heating tool?
    I did buy the Emjoi Optima and I love it!!! So glad you recommended!
    I am glad you are off all the pain meds ~ praying for complete recovery from RSD.

    1. Holly, I never met you but I know we could be friends! Thank you for all the comments and reading my blog. Kale and green apples doesn't sound bad. I was thinking about trying kale with strawberries in a smoothy. Isn't it odd that our body craves stuff? I love that. Thanks for the suggestion! Kale is super cheap and I may try it again. I cannot believe I just said that. Haha.

      I'm so glad you love the Emjoi! Doesn't it hurt like crazy!?! But I also love mine. I had to shave this morning because the Emjoi hurts them (it is the vibrations). I am going to regret shaving tomorrow when I have stubble.

      I have used a plain hair dryer to heat mine and now I use a Jamberry mini heater (I got it for free from the Facebook party). Both work great. There is also a "baggie method" on YouTube but I haven't tried that. I have super oily skin/nails and so I make sure to clean them well with rubbing alcohol before applying them. I love doing my toes best.

      Thank you again for all the comments and the thoughts. I am also glad I'm off the pain meds :)


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