Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence (From Pain) Day

Funny thing about TOS: when I feel bad I don't like to talk about it.  Who wants to hear about another's aches & pains, or how many pain pills they took today, or how they couldn't do what they wanted to because they hurt so much?  On the flip side, when I'm feeling really good I don't want to talk about that either, because I'm afraid I'll jinx myself and start the cycle all over again.  Alas, this TOS life is complex.  Yet, I will admit that for the last two or three days I have been feeling wonderful, with little pain and functioning like a "normal" person, or at least my "normal," before TOS and my other repetitive strain injuries railroaded my life.  No simple feat, these pain-free days.  They follow a series of alternative therapies and remedies mixed in with some mainstream medical magic: acupuncture and soft-tissue reprocessing from the Pain Whisperer, Tom Chi; a 45-minute all-over body massage by the wonderful Connie Wehmeyer at Subtle Energies; a trial of Curaphen, a pain relief health supplement by Euromedica; a cortisone shot in my right shoulder; weaning away from Cymbalta, an anti-depressant used to alleviate chronic muskuloskeletal pain; an Aquasize class at the Y; lots of ice to elbows, ankles, and shoulder; Topricin pain cream; and plenty of rest and sleep.  It is not a quick or easy job to manage pain.  In fact, it's rather time-consuming and round-the-clock.  Disability is not fun for anyone, especially me because I feel I have so much to offer and so much to do and be, and as you may have surmised it can get expensive.  Insurance does not cover any of the alternative therapies, and what mainstream medical treatments they do cover have to earn their approval.  Sometimes it's frustrating trying to find a system that works.  Then there are times when all the pieces fall wonderfully together and some sort of pain nirvana is achieved, which is where I am today.  Whatever I'm doing, it's working for now, and I'm grateful.  Happy Independence Day!