My chronic life is always changing, February 2021 was no exception. You would think one would get used to living with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis, especially living with them as long as I have. But the truth is that it is impossible.
New illnesses and injuries can throw my chronic illnesses out of whack. So can stress, life events, and weather.
In this month’s pain management reboot recap, I share what is working and what is not.
Listen to the post here or scroll down to continue reading.
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My Chronic Life February 2021
Taking a cue from the month before, I took extreme precautions to not upset my hernias. This included no bending or lifting of anything! It also included no driving as the position I require the seat to be in aggravates the hernias on my right side.
Note that I do not have a diagnosis yet. I did, however, snag an in-person doctor visit for March. This will hopefully lead to tests that will answer the question of what is causing the tearing of muscle and creating the ever-growing in size and number of lumps.
I cannot claim this month as good or bad. There were some significant improvements, but there was also a severe setback.
I continued with PEMF therapy on a daily basis. Because I wasn’t increasing inflammation throughout my abdomen by bending or lifting things, I didn’t have to take breaks in treatment like I did in January. This month’s treatments were solely focused on the center of my spine.
In addition to PEMF treatments, I consumed a homemade cannabis edible each evening. There was one week, where I also needed their relief during the day.
Each night I slathered my body, neck to toes, in a magnesium-rich lotion to reduce the tension from their reaction from the abdominal pain.
I did add something that I had not used in January. While thinking back to everything I took back when I was feeling my best despite being chronically ill, I was reminded that I had not been taking my daily herbal tinctures. So, I quickly got online and placed an order.
Benadryl was still needed a few times. I am pretty sure it was something I ate that triggered a reaction. However, there was one occurrence that was really strange. I woke to my left arm covered in hives, burning, and itching. That reaction remains a mystery. But I did find relief with Benadryl and Soothing Skin Balm (My daughter uses this for eczema) BTW, these reactions all took place before I resumed my herbal tincture regimen.
Last but not least, I am on a quest to lose weight. I have read that weight loss may help with hernias. Whether I actually have them or if it improves the pain or not, it must be done. At the very least I need to lose what I packed on in 2020.
Resuming daily herbal tinctures made a huge difference! They have significantly reduced the amount of inflammation throughout my entire digestive tract. I hadn’t realized how swollen my intestines were until then.
Daily PEMF treatments are working their magic. My back doesn’t feel like it is going to snap in half when I walk across the house! I still cannot stand long, but walking just a little without lower back pain feels fantastic. The most outstanding improvement that has stemmed from these treatments is how my body reacts to weather changes. In the past 30 days, we have experienced every freaking season. We have had summer-like days followed by snow and hail! Mind you, it does not normally snow where I live in southern California! With that said, instead of getting a migraine before or during each weather event, the worst I felt was tired. My fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis aches were at a minimum and there was no nerve pain.
I began making dietary adjustments mid-month and have lost 3lbs. This was thrilling considering I am unable to exercise at the moment.
I suffered a serious setback this month. Even with such a massive reduction of inflammation, my abdominal muscles continued to rip. The pain was awful. Nothing relieved or stopped it.
When something new and painful occurs, my body does not know how to react. This leads to what I refer to as a shutdown type of flare. And that is exactly what my body did. For a week, I could do nothing but lay in bed and stare blankly at the television in between periods of sleep. The only pain I felt was when a muscle would rip. The rest of my body was lifeless. After a few days, I could feel my strength returning and by the end of the week, I was back to “normal”. It has taken some time to catch up on life, both work and personal.
This was not the first time since 2003 when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis that this has occurred and it won’t be the last.
I made a lot of modifications this month. The first thing I did was limit doing things out of the house that could be done at home. I signed up for a free trial of Walmart+ for free grocery delivery. If you haven’t joined Walmart+, do it! I will be posting a review soon.
Then I hopped on Amazon and used subscribe and save on other products we use. I save 5-15% off each subscription product depending upon how many I schedule to order each month. Some of the products I purchase are ones that I could get at face value cheaper on their own sites. But, with Amazon subscribe and save, the amount I pay is about the same and I don’t have to pay for shipping.
With shopping no longer an issue, I am also taking control of my schedule. I am not certain, but do feel that enjoying two consecutive days out triggered the intense ripping earlier this month. I am going back to my old school chronic illness ways and padding outings according to my body’s needs. Currently, I am aiming for no more than one major outing every two weeks.
I am continuing to use my power wheelchair. In fact, I recently enjoyed a morning at a park and rolled beside my husband and daughter while they went for a power walk.
I did something a little different during my flare this month. Instead of riding it out alone in my bedroom, I asked my husband and daughter to set up the air mattress in the living room. This made flaring less lonely. We watched movies together and even when I wasn’t participating, listening to their conversations made me feel alive. It also allowed me to follow my body’s schedule by sleeping whenever I wanted without moving rooms.
Game Plan For The Next 30 Days
My game plan for the next 30 days is pretty much the same. Changes will be made as pain or flares demand. But what I am most looking forward to is my doctor’s appointment. I am hoping it brings answers to what is going on in my abdomen.
If you are new to my blog or this series, you can read it from the beginning here.