All posts tagged: doctors

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 …

You Found Me. Congratulations!

I feel like this is the equivalent of talking to an empty room, but here we go. My name is Jen. This is me: Underneath that snood and gargantuan winter coat is a 27-year-old lawyer/writer/editor from the greater Boston area. She is happily married, owns a home, works for a small firm, and has been in two car accidents that severely damaged her spine — one accident in 2004, one in 2013. The second accident was an echo of the first, a lesser impact that somehow produced a bigger sound. I’ve been in chronic pain for a decade. I’ve been to: physical therapists chiropractors surgeons pain management specialists acupuncturists energy healers I’ve tried: steroid injections cortisone injections Botox injections (in my back) lidocaine injections nerve ablations the full range of narcotics yoga swimming gentle exercise meditation I finally had a cervical discectomy and fusion in my neck this past year. Now my pain fluctuates day by day, radiating from my spine out to my limbs. I know that right now the room is empty, but there are so many people out there …