Follow up

As a follow up to my previous post regarding ASMR, I have just come across a video that explains ASMR and goes through many different triggers so you can find out if you can experience those “head tingles” that people in the ASMR community describe and what particular triggers work for you, if any:

Of course, even if you don’t experience the “head tingles” hopefully it will at least be relaxing for you. I find these videos help me sleep.

In other news, my major accomplishment this week was finally getting my medical records sent to a clinic to get approved for a medical marijuana card. This is something I have been meaning to do for about a year, but the cost associated is rather high and sometimes I get a kind of medical fatigue… too many appointments and I get burnt out. Something gets placed on the back burner. Sometimes this is chiropractic appointments, or dental appointments, or whatever. Anything I feel I can spare or put off for awhile gets ignored. This allows me to recoup a little bit, save a little money, de-stress a bit.

I have some hope that with my card I will be able to find some products that will help me with my pain levels at work. I work ten hour shifts (sometimes longer) and work in a high stress position, and to make matters worse, it’s an environment that is purposefully kept cold. Even WORSE, I have had no heat in my house for weeks, including through a very bad freeze and snowstorm, though I survived with a couple space heaters and the work in my house is continuing on… I should have a working furnace again at the beginning of next week. Of course the weather has improved since the freeze a couple weeks ago but still. I am very sensitive to cold thanks to Raynaud’s and my thyroid issue.

Anyway, a friend of mine who is also a cardholder told me about some kind of salve purchased from a dispensary that may help me out a lot. I did also recently get a topical anti-inflammatory/muscle relaxer from a compounding pharmacy that my doctor prescribed for me, but it is expensive and difficult to apply by myself. A guy at the clinic I went to told me this salve has kind of a warming sensation too which could be very soothing for me.  ANYTHING that can be done to reduce my pain and tension would be a life saver for me. I keep feeling like I have tried everything, but there’s always something else. So we’ll see how it works.

On that note, I just have to complain a little bit. I am sure that everyone with any chronic illness has run into the acquaintances who mean well but just kind of continually cause frustration with unwanted medical advice…. or maybe I am just kind of an asshole, I don’t know. I get pretty irritated with unwanted advice in general, I don’t know why but I tend to feel offended even though it is irrational. I realize people just want to help, but after so many years, tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours of medical care, I feel I have heard it all. Suggesting I take vitamin D is not exactly groundbreaking advice.

I did, though, find an article I really liked regarding how to understand and interact with people with chronic pain. I feel much of it applies to other chronic illnesses and even some acute ones. I keep sharing this, hoping my friends/acquaintances will at least give it a cursory glance, or other people may find it helpful for the people in their lives if  they also suffer with a chronic illness: How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain


Thyroid dysfunction

This video is long but very important, this is coming from a person who experienced many symptoms but went many years without my thyroid issue being diagnosed, because, as mentioned in this video, my previous doctors only checked TSH instead of  a battery of other tests that would have identified the issue. If you suspect you may have a thyroid dysfunction, please watch this. It mentions symptoms, including swollen tongue (do you see the outlines of your teeth on the edges of your tongue?) and others including fatigue, weight gain, sluggishness, etc. Be your own medical advocate, demand the tests they suggest in the video if you do suspect you may have an issue with thyroid function. It can change your life. My body temperature was only 96 degrees which was an obvious sign something was wrong. My Raynaud’s has been better, I feel like I am a normal person as far as temperatures go now. Still struggling with fatigue for other reasons but this could help a lot of people out. My advice would be to ignore the sales-pitchy sounding free stuff offer and just pick the important info out.

More good news

So there is more good news that I am noticing.

For the past week or so, a rib has been ‘out’ in front, causing extreme amounts of pain. Of course it was on my dominant side, too, so anytime I needed to use that arm it was causing stabbing type pains in my chest. Of course, breathing, sneezing, coughing, throat clearing or anything else was causing pain as well. I could actually see it jutting out of my chest. Unfortunately, I have many problems with my ribs and have had problems with them since the car accident five years ago. I am not sure why and no one has been able to really figure out why, but it is what it is. However, normally they cause me pain in my back, not my chest, so this was unusual and incredibly painful. Two nights after the pains first appeared, I was in tears late at night when I should have been sleeping. It got so bad that I tried to put it back in place myself but to no avail. I was luckily able to make an appointment with a chiropractor for my lunch break the next day.

He worked on it but it’s a difficult area to work with, it moved a bit but still wasn’t where it needed to be. He put some kinesio tape over the area and I left it there for four or five days. I was afraid to remove it, thinking it would get really bad again. It felt better but still hurt when taking a deep breath or sneezing. My arm was way easier to use though for normal tasks.

I removed the kinesio tape on a day that I had an appointment with my massage therapist. I went in and knew it would hurt really bad but that it was necessary. She worked on my back and my chest, since the problem likely was stemming from my back anyway. The chest work hurt like hell but I knew it needed to be done. She told me to heat and ice it that night so I did.

I take a low dose of flexeril and gabapentin every night and I was really hoping the muscle relaxers would help it ease back into place. Unfortunately it wasn’t seeming to help until today. Finally I woke up and my chest felt much, much better. It’s still hurting a bit but it is SO much more manageable.

I also take a low dose of tramadol pretty much every day just to take the edge off my pain. It certainly wasn’t going to touch that sharp, stabbing sensation but it is much more likely to help with my other regular pains and aches.

Other than the awesome healthy pap smear results I got, I also noticed a difference with my Raynaud’s. My doctor had mentioned to me it seemed I have pretty thick blood. He advised me to up my fish oil intake (I was already taking fish oil supplements) to help thin my blood out. Today I actually feel warm. I feel like I may be regulating my temperature like a ‘normal’ person!

I live in a cold, damp place and work in an environment that is purposefully kept cold year ’round. This combination is pretty bad for my particular health issues. I had also been made aware that my internal body temperature is lower than typical but still relatively normal.

I usually wear many layers, especially at work, and keep a small space heater nearby and on at all times, and sometimes wear gloves while I work. Today I have noticed that I have been feeling fine temperature-wise, despite not wearing a hoodie or cardigan. I have been wearing a shirt with half-length sleeves, and my hands have been warm enough to avoid wearing the gloves I typically wear. I have hardly had my space heater on, which is very unusual for me. I usually leave it on all through my workday. Yesterday I was outside in the cold, it was rainy and windy and I felt okay. This is really good news for me because being cold all the time is so miserable! Things are looking up and I could get used to this!