Listen to My Chronic Life January 2021 Reboot here or scroll to read
On the 19th of December I shared the mistake I made regarding how I was treating fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, and abdominal pain. If you missed that post, you can read it here.
Today I am sharing the changes I made, improvements, and setbacks experienced, along with a new plan for the next month.
If there is anything predictable about living with a chronic illness, it is that it is always changing. With that said, here is how my chronic life has changed in the past month.
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My Chronic Life January 2021
With fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis pain and symptoms being as bad as they were in December of 2016, I knew it was time to return to daily PEMF treatments. As you may recall, PEMF treatments are what significantly reduced my pain from both chronic illnesses from 2017-2019. It wasn’t until I failed to treat my body daily for a little over a year that the painful symptoms returned. Being that it took four months of daily treatments to achieve an amazing level of ongoing relief, I entered this month with realistic expectations.
With inflammation surrounding my spine at an all-time high, that is where I focused all PEMF treatments.
I began with a week of daily 10-12 hour treatments on my sacrum. My upper spine and neck were the focus of treatment for the second week with the same treatment hours. A setback forced me to take a three day break from the treatments. Afterwards, daily treatments resumed with placement of my PEMF device mid-spine.
In addition to PEMF treatments, I consumed a piece of homemade cannabis-infused fudge to help me fall and stay asleep each night. Applied a CBD balm to the areas of extreme pain throughout my abdomen and a magnesium lotion to my neck, shoulder, hips, sacrum, thighs, calves, and feet.
Although I wouldn’t normally classify it as part of my treatment plan, liquid Benadryl has played an unexpected role. In the past year, I have been experiencing more allergic reactions than ever before. Because my food allergies are not typical, the only way to fully avoid them would be to make everything I ate from scratch. With that being totally unrealistic at this time in my life, I keep a bottle of liquid Benadryl handy. The reason I am including it in my treatment list is that in the past month, the times that I have had to use it, I experienced a decrease in my abdominal inflammation.
At the end of the first week, the constant throbbing I had been experiencing throughout my lower spine finally ceased. After treating my upper spine, I was later able to resume treatment at the center because the PEMF treatment radius is now treating both areas. They are being treated at a lower frequency, but for now, it is better that I treat them equally, rather than one area at a time.
The next improvement is the one that I needed the most relief from. Nerve and bone pain from weather changes are what prompted this pain management plan reboot. I am pleased to say that even with a summer-like heatwave, my weather-related flare was less painful. Last month’s forced me to lie in bed while curled up in a fetal position and sobbing. This month’s flare did not cause me to cry and allowed me to work from my recliner. This by far was the best improvement I could have asked for.
In addition to rebooting my treatment plan, I added a new member to my mobility fleet.
Meet my new power chair, Pinky. I cannot even begin to express how much I love her! She has improved my life in so many ways. Shopping is fun again! And although I want Southern California to come out of lockdown safely, I cannot wait to take Pinky to places that are currently closed. A full review of my power wheelchair is coming soon!
Another change I made was beginning my nighttime pain-relief routine between 5 and 6 o’clock. The reason for this is because I currently need the all night release of THC from cannabis edibles. Because they take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to kick in, I moved up the process to make sure I am in bed between 9 and 10 PM. The only drawback is that I cannot drive in the evening, but so far that hasn’t been an issue. If something comes up and I have to drive, I can have my husband or friends drive or take an Uber. This will most likely be a short-term change. As my pain improves, I will be able to switch from marijuana edibles to dry-vaping flower right before I am ready to go to bed.
Due to a setback (see next section) I have also began using my rollator and crutches within my home.
I had an unexpected setback. Due to southern California being a covid hotbed my HMO is currently overwhelmed. I am waiting for an appointment but am pretty sure I have a combination of multiple epigastric and incisional hernias.
The only way to keep them happy is to not lift anything and to keep all pressure off of my golf ball sized lumps. That means, no bending in any direction, no tight clothing, and not pressing on them. So while I gained a bunch of freedom by purchasing a power wheelchair, I require having someone with me to lift it in and out of our vehicle.
Although PEMF therapy is fabulous for reducing my chronic illness pain and symptoms, it does not help reduce the inflammation that surrounds the hernias when they have been aggravated. That is why I had to suspend treatment for a few days.
I also suffered more tearing of the meniscus in both knees. This issue can only be addressed with mobility aids, cannabis, and CBD balm until elective surgeries are permitted again, and only after my abdominal pain can be dealt with.
Game Plan For The Next 30 Days
My game plan for the next 30 days is to continue following the same treatment plan and modifications that I did this past month. I also hope that an appointment will open up so we can be sure that the lumps I have found are hernias and not something else. Until then I will continue doing everything in my power to keep the pain throughout my abdomen as low as possible so I can continue daily PEMF treatments on my spine.
Like many others, everyone in my home has put on some pandemic weight. We are all working on eating better and encouraging each other to make healthier choices. The restaurants in my area will miss our money, but I am sure we will find another section of the economy to support. Ha Ha!
My final goal is to give my family and me something to look forward to each month. Before the pandemic shutdown Disneyland and every other place we enjoyed spending time at, we would go on one to three adventures per month. Even though we are still locked down, there are places we can go to spend time together outdoors. It’s something we all need and thanks to Pinky, nobody has to push me. I even ordered a pet carrier to hang on the back of my power chair so Zeva has a place to rest when she’s too tired to keep up. Between the new carrier and car seat, she will be able to go on a lot of adventures!
And that is my chronic life January 2021 update.
How have you been?
Is your pain better or worse than last month?
What changes have you made or plan to make to your pain and symptom management plan?