Tag Archives: pain

loki is sleeping and the rain is really white and flakey

loki had her xrays today, which were inconclusive. so the vet is sending them to a radiologist for an expert opinion, but her knees are fine, her spine seems fine, but on side of her pelvis was hard to read. we’re hoping it’s not a tumor. she’s sleeping off the sedative they gave her for her xrays, cuzz like, telling a dog to hold her breath and not move doesn’t work so well.

anyway, it will take about 5 days to hear back from the radiologist and til then she has tramadol for pain (same stuff they gave me right before my surgery), and then prednisone to start later on. my poor puppy!

and, the rain predicted for today has turned into about an inch of snow so far. it’s pretty, but i’m in no mood.


my father, my spine

There’s always been a theory floating around in my head that my back pain was caused by my father. That my difficult relationship with him settled in my back and no matter what I did or tried to do, my pain would never leave as long as my father had a grip on my spine.

Well, two days ago, my father decided to create another one of his dramatic crises that sucked me into a whirl of worry and dread. And in the wee hours of this morning, after horrible dreams of my father imprisoning me and threatening me with a gun, and my attempts to flee, and enlisting help from others, and trying to board a plane for alaska or outer space, and the bastard hunting me down — the old pain has returned to my left leg.

I am attempting to rationalize this. I am hoping this is pressure from some other thing, not my spine. I am hoping it’s muscle pain, not nerve pain and that I will successfully walk it off.


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when to go to the doctor

Recent events as well as my foray into the world of doctors has got me to thinking about how we rely on the medical establishment to fix us and what it means to actually be broken. Over the past several decades, most people in this country have come to rely on doctors more often and for more and more problems. I don’t want to get into the politics of this here. For now it’s enough to say that our current ideas of what is healthy and what isn’t has turned health care in this country into a massive industry with the power to control much of our lives from cradle to coffin.

and i don’t like it

Doctoring, as with most things in the 21st century, is highly impersonal and disconnected from nature and the natural order of things. Our society has little tolerance for illness of any sort and if there’s so much of a hint that an illness is rooted in or even influenced by emotion, you might as well just give up the idea that you have a say in how you will be treated. No, no “options” for you. You will be analyzed, medicated and if you don’t do as your told, institutionalized for your own good. Check your freedom at the clinic door.

When a child is born in today’s modern world, before she is suckled she is tested and given a score. Apgar scores are happily announced along with sex and weight as if this were a grand accomplishment. She will be tested, scored and ranked through every stage of growth. Throughout her life she will be dictated to by doctors, schools and government programs forcing vaccinations, drugs to control acne, weight, behavior and mood. She will have her teeth straightened, hormones adjusted, wrinkles erased, and tummy and titties tucked and tweaked. And when she’s ready to die, she will be denied dignity and her body embalmed and vaulted against decay.

We need to come to grips with this incredible mass denial of our nature. We will not live better through chemistry and if we hope to truly understand what is normal we need to get back to the true nature of things. To nature itself. One way to do this is to redefine our relationship with the health care industry, taking back our power, and maybe even work on our personal and collective definition of what is normal and healthy.

With this in mind, I’d like to offer my personal quick guide to when it is necessary to enlist the aid of a doctor or other health care services, because, they do have their place and when restricted to the things they do well, we all benefit greatly. Mainstream medicine is really really good at dealing with things that are broken. Doctors and hospitals are at their best when dealing with emergency situations and acute conditions. They suck at chronic ailments, non-life threatening conditions and any sort of long-term health care.

So here is my general guide on when to see a doctor.

* Emergencies such as: heart attack, stroke, shock, anaphylaxis or other uncontrollable allergic reactions.
* Accidents which result in trauma such as head trauma, broken bones, gaping wounds, massive bleeding, etc.
* Animal or human bites, mauling.
* Fevers over 104 degrees.

When to see a psychologist/psychiatrist:
* suicidal without good reason (i.e., when it is not a quality of life situation resulting from terminal illness).

Minor or common non-life threatening illnesses are best left to the wisdom of our own bodies to heal. We can help ourselves and others with comfort care–teas, soups, soft blankets, kind words, kisses on the forehead. Minor accidents can be taken care of by cleaning the wound, applying heat or cold, healing salves (best if made by you or an herbalist or wise woman).

Chronic conditions are best left to common sense, herbalists, wise women, body workers (massage therapists, reiki practitioners, acupuncture/acupressure, etc.). If all this fails to help and drastic measures are needed (i.e., drugs, surgery) then by all means, avail yourself of what is out there in mainstream medicine, but this should be your last resort, not your first.

There’s one thing I have not address and that is cancer. There is so much mythology, fear and loathing that comes with cancer that it is important for each of us faced with this particular dance to make her/his own decision as how to approach treatment. There is a wealth of information out there but very little of it not under the control of the AMA and pharmaceutical companies, but there are alternative approaches that can be used along with or instead of chemo, radiation and surgery. You just have to decide for yourself what is best for you.

But then, that is true of all things. What we need to be reminding ourselves of is that there are different approaches and we don’t have to give up our rights and our power to deal with our ills.

One last thing…

It is NORMAL to feel sick, unhappy, unloved, grief-stricken, or downright miserable for no fuckin reason at times. I don’t know where the notion came from that we must always be happy and satisfied, but it’s a really dumb thing to think. Our society does not want us to feel bad (emotionally or physically) and when we do feel bad, we are supposed to get over it within a few days or maybe a week or two, but then that’s it. Back to happy. Well, it ain’t so and it is disastrous to deny our sadness, anger or grief. There’s a reason people suffer anxiety attacks and depression–it’s time to slow down or stop everything we’re doing so that we can heal. We need to not fear the shadow side of things. We need to move through it just like we need to move through the stages of a common cold.


2 entries for the price of 1 -or- “it’s alive!”

i started this on the 9th….then had to wait and see. it’s taken awhile to admit what’s happening. i didn’t want to type out loud that the pain is back, but there’s no denying it now.

august 9
A week and a half, and the pain is back. It started yesterday around my hip and today it settled into the groin, hip and is pressing down my left leg.
I wonder, if I close my eyes and feel my way back to before yesterday, can I somehow live there? The day before yesterday is still so close I can almost taste it with the tip of my tongue.

Those too few days of freedom were so very sweet.

=====
august 17
i tried to rub the pain away, i tried to stretch it away, walk it away, but it came back just the same. it’s almost as bad as before the epidural.

the doctors have this little chart-like form for you to fill out everytime you go into the office. there’s a little person on it that is supposed to represent you…one drawing is facing front and one facing back. then you have symbols to choose from to draw on top of the little person’s front and back aspects. these symbols show the doctor what kind of pain you have. 000 = achy, /// = stabbing, +++ = numb. these are the only choices. then you rate the pain on a scale of 0-10. then you rate the percentage of change since your last visit. if there’s no change, it doesn’t matter, you have to deface the little person who represents you and choose the same numbers, etc.

i don’t think the doctors even look at the picture because they ask you the questions that it’s supposed to answer anyway. i think they make you do this to keep you quiet while you wait far too long for the doctor to see you. last time it was 45 minutes after my scheduled appointment time. given that i’m in pain and sitting really really exacerbates the pain, by the time the doctor poked his head out the door and called my name, I was in utter agony.

i asked if i could change my drawing.
he looked confused.

now, i want to know what these doctors are thinking. they specialize in a patient base that is experiencing unrelenting, excruciating pain. It’s hard to describe the level of “ouch” that the spine and nerves can cause, but because of it, you spend your days choking back the shouts that rise up your throat each time you take a step, try to sit or simply shift your weight. and these guys just let you sit there for 45 minutes? how does that in any way translate to reasonable patient-care?

so, anyway, the pain is back. the day i got the epidural i rated my pain an 8. right after the epidural it shot up to 10. the next day i would say it was a 6; the day after that a 4 and i was almost pain-free until day 8. i would think by the time i go back for the second epidural, i’ll probably be back up to 8. but only on the left side. i guess that’s something.

i now think of the pain as an entity, separate and distinct from me. i think it has something to do with the little person that represents the front and back of me. putting the pain there has somehow given the pain an identity — a thing-ness that is fighting for its own existence. it is a parasite and it doesn’t want to let go–to die. so, this is a different kind of battle at this point. i must have let my guard down on the eighth day and the pain managed to slip back in. it bit down on the disk, wound around my groin and is pushing it’s tendrils down the nerves of my left leg and is stinging top of my toes with poison.

this isn’t just low back pain. this is an invasion and i’m fresh out of percocet.


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