Family coming to visit!

DandelionsI’m super excited because my family is coming for a visit! I just found out on Saturday!

Oh, and they are coming THIS Friday!

They are also not very motivated so they are staying with me, in my 700 square foot apartment! It was too late for them to get a hotel room and at this point, too expensive.

Yikes! 4 people sleeping on air mattresses in my family room!

So, for those of us with pain, we know how stressful it can be for family members to come for a visit.

 

Physically:

  • Trying to/wanting to pick up the house
  • Take it easy to save spoons, although this rarely helps on the day
  • Extra grocery shopping
  • Pushing yourself because you want to keep up

 

Mentally:

  • Dealing with people not necessarily understanding your situation they want you to do more than you can do
  • Being confronted with what you can’t do or participate in
  • Feeling misunderstood, people judging you for what you can or can’t do
  • Missing them when they leave
  • Having to rely on friends to help prepare for your visit – feeling bad about this

 

Dandelions 2There is always so much that goes on in our chronic pain heads. People also don’t realize we can’t just be easy breezy. We can’t just roll with things like we used to or want to. It takes planning, help from other people, and a mental fortitude to stick up for yourself. Especially since they are staying with me, I will need to do an expert job of speaking up for myself when I need to go lay down. I can just hear my brother now “oh, you’re fine”.

Regardless of all that, I am so beyond thrilled they are coming. I love my little nephew and niece and am so, so, so happy to see them. Plus, it’s a little emotional as they are moving back to Michigan in a few weeks so this might be the last time I see them for years.

Wish me luck!

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon CJSIGLERC. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Physical Therapy- again

Hello Kitty Bike for my niece

I think I might get this bike for my 4-year old niece, I mean, how awesome is it!

So I went to physical therapy on Monday, June 21st. It went fairly well.

Walking there was easier than I thought it would be. It is literally in the same building as my apartment, but I still have to go out the front door and walk up a slight slope. My back seemed to be fine from that.

The front desk lady was really nice. That helps. Scheduling future appointments with her should be a breeze.

Then I met my therapist. He is a boy, which I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it is what it is. He is the owner of the practice, so that is good.

He seemed to really listen. I liked that. Also, there didn’t seem to be any judgement coming from him. I also liked that. That first therapist I saw when all of this started totally and absolutely judged me. She wanted me to do an exercise and there was no way I could do it. I told her that and after, I don’t know, one or two exercises, she said “You have to be able to do this.” No, I didn’t. I said I was willing to do exercises with her, but maybe she could modify it or come up with a new one. She basically said if I couldn’t do that, then I couldn’t do anything.

With how very limited I am now, I could see someone raising an eyebrow and questioning how little I can do. I did not get that sense from this guy. I will call him B. In fact, I kind of rolled my own eyes when B asked what was wrong with me and I said “an annular tear, but no one seems too impressed by that.” He said that he thought annular tears were worse than just herniations and that the pain could be very bad. That made me feel like he believed me. That made me happy. Too often I feel like people think my condition is no big deal and that I should be better by now.

B gave me two exercises to do and then suggested PT twice a week. I think that sounds reasonable. We discussed the fact that I said I don’t need to be cured, but it would be nice to be more mobile and to be able to do more stuff.

I hope for improvement; what can not happen is that I get worse.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

 

Updates on hurting myself; new diagrams including referred pain, dermatomes, and flexion patterns

Straight-leg-testI tried increasing my hamstring stretch 3 days ago on June 18th, 2015 by about an inch. Typically, I place my leg on a surface that is 15 inches high, then a surface that is 16 inches high, and finally a surface that is about 17 inches high.

I’ve been doing that stretch for about 9 months now. I took a break after the Minkowsky doctor appointment that tore my back up again for a few months. Before that, I have been doing that stretch since about 2012.

When I fExercises for low back imageirst moved to San Diego, I could barely get my foot onto the 15 inches high surface. There was so much pulling on my right psoas. It took months before I could get it done comfortably. With the 17 inch high surface, I had a hard time actually lifting my leg up, I think my SI Joint was too rigid and immobile.

However, I’ve been stagnant for a few months now. So, I thought I would increase by about an inch, maybe 1/2 an inch. Basically, my fingertips usually rest at the top of my knee. On the right side I moved my fingertips to the middle of my knee cap. On the left side, I did the same.

I did this for a week with no problems.

Then those few days ago, I did it again. The right side is always way tighter than the left. So I kept the right side the same, but on the left side I moved my fingertips to just after my kneecap. I rested my weight on the leg.

I felt no pain at the time, I was actually quite cheerful I was making progress.Sciatica Pain

I woke up the next day and was like, ouch. This is going to be a bad pain day. But, I figured, no big deal, you did something slightly new that last week, you did everything right, if you have more pain, that’s just the way it is on the road to recovery.

Yeah, save for the fact that I’m experiencing pretty impressive nerve pain.

My right foot is equally numb and prickly. My right calf is very weak. I don’t feel like I can stand on it by itself for very long. There is also a weird, almost like constant charley horse in my right calf, which I realize is referred pain. When I lift my right leg, it stabs there. Not out, away from my body, but like a knee raise.

anterior_hip_muscles_Again, this seems highly unusual that that much pain would come from simply increasing a stretch, which I feel I did safely, by a half inch to an inch.

I’m so frustrated.

Therefore, I’m going to include some diagrams I spent looking at last night to figure out where my pain is coming from.

It is definitely L5-S1. Most of my pain is in the back side of my calf, on the lateral aspect of the right calf. The location on the foot seems to spread depending on, oh, who knows.

Here is also a good link from U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (1994).

On a side note, really? 1994? Couldn’t we have fixed back pain by now? Shouldn’t there be an injectable or something?

 

From that article, I found this diagram to be the most helpful …

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 10.32.12 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another good article with a really good image. The article is basically a back pain guide

L4-S1 Pain distribution

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one final image that I really liked:

dermatomal map of nerve root distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. I will still post on my physical therapy appointment later in the week.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

 

Updates for the week – massage therapist, psychologist, and social security

HeadmassageSo far, it’s been a fairly productive week.

One of the very nice ladies from my support group mentioned she had a friend that was a massage therapist. We will call the massage therapist LR.

I called LR yesterday and left a message. She was very prompt in her reply to me via text, which I actually like better than phone conversations.

She was very professional and very sweet. It is, as you all must know, very hard to describe our life circumstances to those around us. It’s embarrassing for me to have to explain to people that I can’t really leave my house. Do you know how hard that is for someone who used to work as a nurse, take call, play in 3 separate soccer leagues, walk her dogs, go to the gym, and have a pool membership? Sometimes, despite all that I did, I still liked to simply walk downtown for fun. So to tell someone I can’t even leave my house to get a massage, it breaks my heart just to have the words come out of my mouth.

Yet, she didn’t make me feel stupid. She was like, whatever! I was so appreciative of that. We worked out a price, which she had great ones, and scheduled a massage for next week. I’m excited. I hope it helps ease my stress level a bit. It will be my first massage in about a year.

As for the psychologist, that is proving difficult. The irony of the situation is I could see a massage therapist not wanting to come to my house and massage a client in her bed. If I was going to say no to that or a psychologist over the phone, I’m fairly certain the in-bed massage would win the declination category.

Yet, it’s the psychologist that I can’t seem to pin down. I could sign up for one of those monthly subscriptions to an online psychologist, but that’s not for me. To have to reexplain my situation over and over and over again? Please see above …

I’m gonna keep working at finding one though. There has to be someone out there willing to do it.

footmassage1As for Allsup, they finally received my paperwork stating I will pay them, even though I have signed that document about 2k times. Now, they can move forward with my appeal. I am fairly surprised that the customer service representative I talked to over the phone still didn’t understand that the only thing that has been filed for the appeal is a request for more time. We had two months, and the hold up, apparently, was my payment paperwork. I have not been with MetLife since November. They had 5-6 months to get me that paperwork before it became an issue. That is what held up my appeal. They have seriously dropped the ball on so many occasions I can’t believe it. I will not care if I win though. I’m pretty scared. As I’ve stated in previous posts, my finding a job, even if I can do it, will be next to impossible. I know, I know – they say I can work at a fast-food restaurant. Mmm-hmm. It’s like they did not read my medical records.

That’s about it. Oh, I did sign up for PT again. It’s on Monday. I’m terrified. I got pressured into it though, even though I see why this person wants me to try it again. It’s just, I would never be in the situation I currently am if it wasn’t for two physical therapists.

Next week, I’ll let you know how the PT goes.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Looking for a job as a disabled person

So, Social Security, since they denied me, has forced me to look for jobs despite me not being well enough to have one.

 

I am running across exactly the problems that I knew I would. Early on in my injury situation, I had looked for jobs. I was better then than I am now, and the jobs were limited then. Now? Next to impossible.

 

So, my resume has gotten a lot of feedback from employers looking for a nurse. Well, you know, a nurse who can work as a nurse.

 

That’s really not going to cut it.

 

I have, though, gotten a little bit of feedback for employers looking to hire someone as a recruiter or a case manager. However, 2 things pose an issue.

 

A lot of the case managers must work in the hospital setting. I can’t do that for a lot of reasons. One, I can’t get to the hospital. Two, I can’t work 8 hour days. Three, I can’t stand for 8 hours straight. I need a break every hour on the hour, and I need that break to be laying down. Sure, I definitely see a hospital letting me do that! In order to complete 8 hours worth of work, I would need to be there 16 hours t fit in all of my laying down cycles.

 

I had an insurance firm call me and request an interview, but they want me to travel all the way to Oceanside for the interview. That’s 45 minutes away in a car. I can only sit in a car for 5 minutes once during the day and then I will suffer for it for the rest of the day. They wanted me for manager positions and for recruiter positions. I asked if any of them could be work from home. He said perhaps the recruiter position. The only issue was then the interview, which I’m sure we could have worked around. However, the main issue is that I would need to train in Oceanside. Again, now I would have to drive there. I thought about maybe getting a hotel there so I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth, but I would need my bed. It needs to be at the right height for me to get into it and the right softness level so that I’m comfortable. Otherwise it feels like my back is tearing open. Also, I’m sure the training would be for 8 hours a day. I can’t do 8 hours. I don’t even think I can do 4 hours.

 

So there it is. I can’t even try for a job because of the training issue.

 

I’m so mad at Social Security for not believing me or approving me. Even if someone will take a chance on me working from home, how will I train? Who is going to hire someone with my severe limitations? It goes back to their reasons for denying me based on my education. Sure, I’m educated, but I can’t apply it anywhere because of my physical limitations.

 

I’m feeling a bit punched in the gut today. I always knew that this would be a difficult road, trying to find a job, but it doesn’t make going through it any easier.

 

The worst part of it is, even if I get one, I’m fairly certain I will be in too much pain to even do a good job at it.

 

Ah, my life is glorious.

 

This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Support group – success

I had a support group meeting on Sunday that was finally a success!

I have been working on Meetup for awhile trying to get a group together. It’s been really hit or miss.

Not this time. This time, I sent an invite out to the people who have been emailing back and forth. That seemed to be the most successful. One of the ladies wanted to do a game night and so that was the activity.

I was able to get 4 people to show up.

It was really fun! I’m super glad that I stayed with it.

Everyone was really nice and I actually like each and every one of them.

I’m not sure when I should do the next event, but I feel like I should invite people soon, to keep the momentum up.

This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is ava