transitionu

Life Coaching, Observations, Reflections, Things that make you go hmmmmm

Category Archives: Chronic Pain

Rite of Passage or Practical Indignancy 101

Rite of Passage or Practical Indignancy 101

On 2 June, 2017 I made the visit to the new to me Pain Clinic I spoke of in my eHealth Ontario piece.

I went in with the information sheets filled out. Didn’t pull any punches on the forms. One of the questions was, “What would you like your doctor to do with the pain”. My written response, “Give it to the individual that hit me”. If you know me, you damn well know I did so write it down and you’re laughing because doing that is so me!

Yes, I brought out some theatre. Yes I brought out some of my intelligent donkey and yes I made it known I wasn’t pleased to be having to do the same things again because there is next to nothing in the way of records attached to me.

Put more simply, you gotta rise to the occasion!

I went in there prepared to make a stand and with an open mind. Both objectives were accomplished.

No nonsense, no pretense, no side stepping. Oddly as I was being examined, I was never questioned about my answer to the “what do you want done with your pain” question.

You’d think the Docs would of wanted to discuss my B.A. (bad attitude) but nary a word.

The initial questioning was done by a resident. Poor dear girl, exposing one so young to a mind like this.

Going through the info sheets and the Resident asking me if there was anything else that made the pain feel better, and I said, “Not without a partner”. A blank look on a doctor’s face after you’ve answered their question, priceless! I don’t know how anyone else feels but, I don’t think you should have to explain the benefits of sex to a doctor, even one in training.

It is incumbent on you to tell your health care professionals the truth. It is in your best interest to be emotionally present when discussing your condition(s). They have to know your mindset as well as your physical status. Complete communication is not an invitation to go off on a rant. A rant  is singular expression and not communication in a good way.

The simple explanation is that there is a long history of dealing with chronic pain attached to me and I still have chapters to go. I had a lot to say and I did a lot of talking during this examination.

No, no seeing doctors as Gods by me. Doctors are just body mechanics. I’ll grant you they oversee the most complex machines on the planet but they’re still mechanics.

I made certain both doctors, the anesthesiology resident and the specialist were clear on what I wouldn’t do. A stand had to be made. I am simply not going to keep doing what doesn’t work and relating it to new faces any longer.

I’ve been dealing with chronic pain far longer than those that need it will receive palliative care. My demand is simple, give me the same considerations in my medical dealings with chronic pain that would be given to an individual in Palliative care.

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of the terminal diagnosis.

I’ve been living with chronic pain almost 1/2 my life. Oddly mine too is Osteoarthritis. What the court did is good because the Feds didn’t get it correct with Bill C-14, Medical Assisted Dying and that piece of legislation still needs work.

Let’s not be reading things in to the statements I’m making that aren’t there. I’ve a 150 year life plan that is my harmless little fantasy so leave me the hell alone.

Part of your decision must come from dealing with the reality of your own impending death. You are setting a termination date for yourself and that reality may help you examine your pain more closely. I would hope the death reality would make you examine more closely.

I’m tired of building the history when I have to see someone new. Hell. I’m tired of seeing the new. I’m tired of the slight variations in a molecular chain that just might make a positive difference for me. But we’ll have to try different dosages to see which will work, if any of course.

I enjoy my mind quite a bit. With all that goes on up there in my head space, I love my mind. Of course I talk to myself a lot. But then I show other people the conversations I’ve had with myself. This is called writing and it is how writing gets done. Talking to yourself and not writing it down is called something entirely different.

We are talking antidepressants here. Depression was part of the consultation conversation. By definition I am depressed. Going by the definition given to me by one pain clinic doctor, I’ve been depressed 30 days less than I’ve had pain. I wasn’t real pleased when the event took place so let’s call it 20 days.

I’m tired of having my brain chemistry tinkered with so I’m not going to take on the new old with a slightly different chain. I’m not taking it on despite telling the Doctor in charge that I would. Yup, I flat out lied to the Doctor. The Doc got to feel  good that he’d done something good for me and I got him to stop pulling out stops.

I’m a creative. My mind is never off. I’ve been through this idea of treatment before and I can show you in my journal where my handwriting changes back to what it was when I stopped taking those mind altering drugs previously.

I’m still trying to figure out how me sleeping 25% longer, keeping me horizontal 25% longer is going to make me feel better. Especially so when the problem is I have to get up and move around to feel better. Doc didn’t have an answer for that.

The Doc did make the point of all drugs affecting the mind and that is true BUT, not all drugs directly affect cognizance and antidepressants do.

The consultation wrapped up and the primary clinic doc looks at me and says, “Degenerative” and I looked right back at him and said, “Yup”.

My demeanor and disposition are much improved with the decisions I’ve made. I’m not shutting off and tuning out. You present me a possible treatment option that is new and I’ll listen.

I know this stuff and if I need more help I’ll ask. I’ll keep regular with my primary pain doctor so he’s up to speed on what’s slowing me down.

I shall go forward in life happier because I’ve eliminated a major stressor!

G.R. Hambley ©
June 22, 2017

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Why And Why Not

Why And Why Not

It has been an absolutely shitty year for death in the music industry and it’s just mid March.

The latest, a couple days ago was Keith Emerson of ELP. Yeah sure, you can call them Emerson, Lake and Palmer if you like but not many people I know do.

I’m not going to get in to naming names as I’d surely miss a couple and someone would take great delight in telling me about it. I’m not going to get in to the contributions to the art of those that have passed either.

To all those that went away, they mattered to each and every one of us in our own way. That is enough for us and I believe knowing they touched us is enough for them too.

The icons we grew with that have been such an important part of our lives all the way along the path of life and now in to the backside of our own lives are falling. We miss them and we remember the pieces of ourselves and our lives that they were part of. No, they didn’t for the most part know first personal of each of us but they damn well knew what they meant to us.

Keith Emerson’s passing has a far different feel for us because it was suicide. The range of emotions is greater and rawer within us when death is self inflicted. The things people say are rawer when death is brought on by our own hand.

Some say heartless and hurtful statements. I disagree to a point. The point is there are those who look to be hurtful and thankfully the hurtful ones are few.

So very many that make what others call heartless and hurtful are in reality expressing how they feel suffering their own loss. I can see the statements as thoughtless but not heartless. I can see those hurtful statements as striking back because what you did hurt me.

What I’ve heard and read about Keith Emerson’s physical being, degenerative arthritis where he’d already lost the use of 2 fingers and for certain was going to lose the use of all his fingers. Could he have written? I’m sure he could have written. I’m just as sure no one would be able to play just from the written music the way Emerson heard it.

I and many know about chronic pain and degenerative. I know the pain and anguish. I know how useless I’d feel were I not able to write. I can understand completely being able to do something oh so very well and then not being able to do it anymore. I don’t think I could bear to lose the word my way.

A few comments I’d seen on the suicide said, “Selfish”.

I said this;

His life, like anyone else, to do with as they choose. You don’t get a vote. The emotionalism attached to any pain is 100% real.

A damn tragedy yes. Could it have been prevented? No one will ever know and have to believe because he didn’t reach out, no. No more than the breaking down of his body. I think he’d reached the point where he wasn’t asking himself why and was asking why not.

Why and why not? Many and I am one of them will tell you, when you find yourself asking yourself why take your own life you have a problem. When you stop asking “why” and start asking yourself, “why not” you are in much deeper trouble. I hope if you ever find yourself in that, “why not” place you find it somewhere within yourself to reach out for help.

I use a music service and have a few playlists. One of those playlists I named, “Soulful” and ELP’s “Lucky Man” is the first tune in the list. It is both tragedy and irony that Keith Emerson’s went as he did. The end of life mimicking his own art. A bullet found Keith Emerson well before the bullet from the gun did, “no money could save him, so he laid down and he died”.

G.R. Hambley ©
March 14, 2016

Now It’s Twenty Seven Years!

Now it’s twenty seven years!

Celebrating the unhappy anniversary number of twenty and seven. I generally do a bells check at the anniversary date. By bells I mean the state of me physically and emotionally. There are other bells and the last time I checked they were all still where they belong.

Been doing this self assessment for a number of years at the anniversary date because it helps me take an honest look at the changes in me over the last year.

For those of you new to me, I have presented in the past that it was an MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident), March 5th, 1989 that my life changed in an instant. That I was rear ended is about all you need to know here.

The anniversary refers more to the aftermath than the accident itself. I am now 27 years without a pain free day. I was thinking about being pain free and I simply cannot remember anymore what that it was like to be without pain. For me, like many others, pain is normal, pain is usual, pain is a constant. Hell, I don’t even wonder anymore what it would be like to be, at least on occasion, pain free. I imagine it is just the same for other chronic pain sufferers that have endured the very long haul.

The last year had a drug change for me. The change in consultation with my Doctor has me taking something beyond acetaminophen. Been taking the drug for about 6 months now and this thing has its merits and its pitfalls. The drug is Gabapentin which was designed for epileptics to block signals from the brain to nerves. The drug is also used by those including me that do not suffer from epilepsy.

The drug doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot for the Osteoarthritis. What points the drug hit certainly give much appreciated relief. A few years back I was receiving nerve blocker shots once a week. Duration of the effect was about 2 ½ days and there were so many spots to hit all areas couldn’t be hit. Only so much of the solution you could have in a week. The day of getting the shots was rough, just wanted to get home and lie down for 2 or 3 hours after the procedure.

The capsules daily, for me, a far better management mechanism!

I’ve stated previously my reasoning on why I didn’t take much of anything for pain. For me it is all about the cognitive. If I don’t have the cognitive functionality I am going to be one very unhappy individual! Using Gabapentin I remain cognitively fine. The side effect of some physical wobbles isn’t so bad. Especially not bad if you bump in to someone soft and not a wall!

This “El Nino” winter has been more challenging than last year when it was a frigid one. I went so far last year as to name the 2nd month of the year, “FrickUary”. I’m also S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) so by this time of the winter I’ve had more than enough of it for several people! The only thing that really works for me is natural light, sunshine. Even in January and February, if it’s cold and sunny I’m generally not bad. I do take vitamin and mineral supplements as worked out with my Doctor.

This year it has been very warm, very damp and with very little sunshine. I’ve felt it big time. The winter blues magnified greatly. I was more output visibly productive writing last year in “FrickUary” than I was this year in February. I have a few things on the go including a major poetic work.

Visible output, I have a standard that I set for myself. I only compete with myself and that is big enough task for anyone. Competing with yourself, challenging yourself. I’ve done that big time in the last year by finally getting lyric poetry down and down real well. “Baby Be Mine” was the last one I wrote and I’m especially fond of “From The Stars” for the lyric and the photograph of mine.

I’ve had to pay closer attention and examine myself as the drug masks sensation. There has been more noticeable deterioration this year. I do fidget more and believe in some way the fidgeting is a benefit from having some degree of pain relief. I think better when I move so this is very good! Seeing me writing is a strange sight indeed to those who don’t know me.

The book that is still in progress on my experience with chronic pain, my narrative writing has become better in the last year. I’ve been in and out of that endeavour some. Don’t know if I should have been on that book more or not. I’m going to go with the chronic pain book is in the exact spot it is supposed to be in at this point in time.

I added a second blog spot in the past year. That blog spot, SPASM Canada is where I can exorcise my intelligent donkey more freely. My idea of the separation of church and state if you like.

I’ve had a few blessings this year and one very special one in particular that has been a wonderful help creatively and personally a good friend.

Dealing with pain, any pain, is never easy. Physical pain plays on us emotionally as well. We all have to find our own way to cope and hopefully we don’t get lost in the journey.

I know I’ll continue along the path a little slower and with no less resolve. I’ll have another update for you next year on this date.

Take care of you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

G.R. Hambley
March 05, 2016

PS … An intelligent donkey is a smart ass and I’m a good one!

Changeable And Not

Changeable And Not

When I get angry or upset I yell at a page. Writing is one of the coping mechanisms that helps me keep my mind off my chronic pain and in this moment what had angered me. For me writing is both Catalyst and Catharsis. Not to mention being a highly constructive way to deal and cope with the angst. For me it sure beats having an outburst or withdrawal of some sort.

I wrote the poetry below in about 45 minutes and it is an acrostic. I was composing the piece in my head as I made my way from the pharmacy I use to a coffee spot.

I have been dealing with chronic pain for over 26 years. I’ve been fighting with another physical shift for about 6 months. They happen every few years. These shifts in physical being are not going to stop. Coping with these shifts is never easy. Some of the shifts have been easier than others. This one has been the worst. Age, some stress and the after effects of a pretty harsh winter temperature wise that I just haven’t come back as well as I’d of liked.

Knowing when to get medical help with the situation doesn’t have a definitive “you can wait” or “you need to go now” switch. You have to feel your way through it and I will admit I’m not the best at going on time, in time. I tend to stretch it out thinking I shall find a way to overcome without help. I’m getting better at going for help sooner rather than later but me thinks I’ll always be the sort to push beyond the flap of the envelope to my own detriment at times.

Breaking in a new Doctor too. Fun Wow!

When I post an item that has coping skills, Life Coach Tips, etc., in the piece it is about me and what I have found that works for me. You have to find your way to cope and you don’t have to do it alone unless of course that is your choice.

I hope those that read me can find something for themselves in what I’ve written that they can use. If not, that’s okay too.

Changeable And Not

Slippery up slope, sliding on the flats, surfing on the downs
Hard climb to reach the threshold of rest and repeat
Infinite change where only the variables remain constant
Frustration fixation, moody blues and not the good kind

Take one, take two, take this damnation for an other’s cup of poison
It shall not be allowed for a moments respite or throughout what remains
No surprises, no up rises, no monsters creeping will be left to live
Game face on, for those conquering chronic change, it never comes off

G.R. Hambley ©
July 11,2015