All posts filed under: acceptance

5 Items to Get Through Painful Days

This weekend was very difficult for me. A small party Husband and I hosted on Saturday night celebrating two birthdays and an engagement ended up sputtering to a halt at 10:30 when I kicked my friends out of the house; I was in too much pain to hold a conversation. Super Bowl Sunday was a party Husband went to without me. I stayed home, high on Vicodin and watching the Puppy Bowl (the latter of which is a noble endeavor). My neck and shoulders have been seizing badly. I’ve always thought of it like Silly Putty. If you pull it apart too quickly, it snaps; if you yank it with a tad less force, it pulls apart… just managing to stay connected as it stretches. That’s what my spasms feel like: My muscles are giant wads of pink Silly Putty that spasm and then s-l-o-w-l-y stretch. So I have to arm myself with whatever I can find that has the ability to help me get through tough times. What are my go-to items? Cryoderm: I’ve tried a number of topical creams, everything from …

Bedtime Reflection

So Husband and I were getting ready for bed last night (sorry to disappoint you, but this story is thoroughly unsexy). He watched me shrug out of my clothes like an old woman in a locker room. Craning my head to the right and to the left, I tried to ease the fingers of pressure gripping the back of my skull. I rolled my shoulders, contorted, tried to get away from myself. Husband was silent as I took my evening pills: Lyrica (nerve pain medication), notryptiline (antidepressant used for pain control), Cymbalta (antidepressant used for pain control), tizanidine (muscle relaxer). As I finally got into under the covers, he said, “Sometimes I just don’t get how someone can still be hurting from an accident so many years later.” That’s the kicker, isn’t it? Those of us with invisible problems, we look fine. Those who know me can see when I’m hurting, but to the vast majority of the human race, I look like a normal person. Even Husband doesn’t realize it sometimes when my spine has exploded and fireworks are …

Yukon Ho!

For someone who has broken so many bones, I live in a silly part of the United States. For those who haven’t been playing the home game, I live near Boston. We kind of had Snowmageddon this week, the first real snow of the season. The weather always seems to run along a wide spectrum in New England, which can physically devastate me. My chronically-plagued body would do much better in the dry heat of Arizona or New Mexico. That’s partially the reason why I haven’t traveled to that part of the country since becoming perpetually injured; I know deep down that I would never, ever leave. So I live in a frozen tundra in the winter and a humid wetland in the summer. It’s the pressure changes that hurt the most, I think. Husband and I were mostly housebound during the storm, watching trashy television and eating food just because we could. He even baked a pie. We had a glorious time shoveling the almost-two-foot snow drifts — meaning he was shoveling and I was standing …

Inflammatory Foods and Chronic Pain

I had a very in-depth chat with my nutritionist last night. I’ve been seeing Alexis for more than two years now because of my eosinophilic esophagitis. She specializes in difficult and weird food cases, and she’s been there the entire time as I transitioned back to eating normal food instead of powdered shakes. I’ve continued seeing her both for maintenance and to come to a deeper understanding about the way I view food as both an enemy and a crutch. Among many other topics of discussion was the idea that America is addicted to sugar. I asked if I should go on a complete sugar detox, mainly because I’m in love with Cinnamon Chex and eat those crunchy, sweet carbs like I have ten rows of teeth. Additionally, at the time of this writing, I finished an entire bag of trail mix that had 15 servings. I mean, I ate some yesterday, but still! Show some self control! My train of thought was that excess sugar leads to inflammation, and inflammation is something I certainly do not need …

How to Change Your Approach to a Problematic Life

One of my main problems is that I’m inherently negative. It’s just my personality. While others will greet things with optimism despite endless disappointments, I veer toward the “cup half empty” philosophy. If I’m negative and end up being hurt by something, at least I expected it. At least I’m not even more disappointed. I’ve been reading a lot of MindBodyGreen.com lately, and this article piqued my interest. The author, David Zulberg, discusses how to change your attitude when you cannot change your circumstances. This resonated a lot with me. I can’t change my situation; I can’t fix my broken body. I can poke it with needles, fill it with drugs, ice it and heat it and soothe it, but I can’t fix the fundamental problems. I can, however, change my attitude. I can change how I view myself. Yes: “I’m injured.” No: “I’m crippled.” Yes: “Today is going to be a great day.” No: “I’m going to hurt all day long.” Yes: “I’m in pain, and I will continue to live my life.” No: “This pain is …

The Bold and the Bionic

Everyone’s talking about the newest thing in pop music, the exquisitely beautiful Viktoria Modesta. She is a below-the-knee amputee who dances with appendages like a lantern prosthetic that attracts a swarm of moths and a black ice pick on which seems to balance the entire world. “Forget what you know about disability,” the video says to start. When I watch her, I feel like I can do that. Disability has a huge mental component — not necessarily how it affects your mind (because it certainly does), but the way it changes how you see yourself and how you interact with the world outside your rebellious, traitorous body. Scientists are currently studying how chronic pain and other seemingly eternal conditions change one’s personality. It makes us less adventurous, more cautious, afraid to move for fear we will further injure ourselves. Every movement cracks the snow globes in which we live. Viktoria Modesta exploded out of the snow globe and has become this otherworldly symbol for life beyond disability. She chose to remove her leg at the age of 20 …