Saturday, October 17, 2020

Real Life Update


Greetings everyone! The Unleashed One here. I am aware that Entry 6 of Shadow Work Sundays hasn't been posted yet. However, I do want to pause to give a real-life update before resuming with the Shadow Work.

Over the past few months, the pain associated with the carpal tunnel has intensified. More bad days than good days. More days when the medicinal cocktails, homeopathic and pharmaceutical, just wasn't providing relief. I was very hesitant to go to the next stage, the cortisone shots because I really do not like needles  😔😕😡(#HateThemMofos). I purposely look everywhere else except where the needle is going in because it amps up my anxiety.

For even longer, my knee joints had resumed the creaking-cracking sounds. I was diagnosed with early-onset arthritis in that area about a year ago. I was given the cortisone shot for both knees around December and was due for another injection around late Spring/early Summer. But then, the pandemic hit and put a lot of things on pause. Since arthritic knees ranked low on the list of medical things to deal with, I made do with every cream I could muster to make the pain more manageable.

When the go-ahead was given for on-site appointments, I figured it would be smart to knock out two birds with one stone. The carpal tunnel was the more pressing issue, so I scheduled that appointment first, followed by the appointment with the knee doctor.

The specialist and I did talk at length, even bringing up the possibility of surgery ... if I wanted to forego the ongoing injection cycle. I told him that although I'm not a fan of needles, I wanted to ensure that I went through all the steps before surgery. In addition, insurance likes to see that type of thing, for woe be it for them to cover the immediate solution rather than steps that may be ineffective. Or maybe it's just me that can run into that issue (shrugs).

Lookie here, I'm not going to front. The initial stick doesn't hurt, but toward the end when you have to do the finger wiggle, whew chile! The specialist did warn that I was going to be numb for a bit but the injection area may be sore once the numbness wore off and that it would take a few days to gauge effectiveness.

By sore, I thought maybe a soreness similar to what I experience with DOMS. I've dealt with DOMS before ... annoying but tolerable.

What my specialist should have told me was the following:

"Monica, it is going to feel as if the most powerful demon in the universe shoved Wolverine's blades all through your hands, rendering you with the inability to do anything."

That is what he should have said because that next day, I was in agony! Yes, I have a high tolerance for pain, but on a scale from 1-10, that was a 15. I didn't even fake the funk. I called out from work and tried to master how slow I would have to talk so that the text to speech would not mess up the majority of my words. Simply put: it's always just my luck when I'm ill that everyone from the backwoods of North Dakota attempt to talk to me.

The saving grace was that the hand appointment was on a Thursday afternoon, so I had until Monday to get to some level of functionality. The worst of the pain subsided by Sunday, which was why I was able to do the last Shadow Work post.

It's been just over two weeks since the wrist injections and the verdict is still out. There hasn't been a lot of wrist pain but I still have a lot of inflammation with my hands. So, my body still isn't one hundred percent happy. However, because my everyday hustle involves a lot of typing, the surgery may look to be more of a permanent fix, although when I get it done, I'm looking at up to three weeks of recovery. So, if I opt to do it, it's all about the when.

As it pertains to my knees, it's been a week since I've had the injections. I am slowly increasing my level of activity. I am discovering that the injections work better for the knee. Maybe it's the difference between bone (knee joint) and nerves (hand/wrist). This round, the right knee took longer to bounce back but was understandable because it's the one with the greater amount of arthritis. The knee specialist also suggested that I incorporate VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique) strengthening exercises. It is the area of muscle just above the kneecap. The vastus medialis helps to stabilize your kneecap and keep it in line when you bend your knee.

For a long time, I conceded living day to day with some level of chronic pain. I believed that if I just accepted this, it would assist me in coping mentally. On the flip side, it made me question how I can live my best life if there was always a cloud of pain, especially if there could be a way to minimize or eliminate it to some degree? If I desire to be the best for myself and others who rely on me, the least I could do is give it a try.

One of the articles I read, as part of this special program I'm in to address my upper back pain, is to find my "North Star". What are the goals that I want to achieve or the activities I want to accomplish? Another article was on "rethinking my pain". Although there are physical contributors to my pain, there may also be other stressors that are manifesting in the physical. Perhaps if I can keep those stressors to a minimum, it will decrease the likelihood of a physical projection.

Change does not happen overnight but I do believe if I continue my dedication to my wellness, there's no other direction to travel but up.

Thanks for reading. Shadow Work Sundays to resume soon.

Until next time,

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