I am an Undergraduate Student who has Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and embraces the Vegan lifestyle. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a Chronic Neurological Condition that I hope and pray there will be a cure to one day. Until then I live my life to the fullest, embrassing the life the Good Lord has given me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Surgery Update

Wednesday was my Spinal Cord Stimulator Battery Revison. I was schedueled to go in around 3 in the afternoon. I had recieved a call from my Dr's office letting me know that I was able to come in earlier since the person who was suppose to have surgery before me cancelled or their surgery was cancelled. This of course excited me since I had to fast starting midnight the night before and I was hungrey and thristy since I wasnt aloud to drink anything either except tiny sips for pills.

Everything with the surgery went well. It was around 7 or so that evening that I got released. My side was hurting but it was still a bit numb from the numbing shots I was given. The day after the surgery when the shots really wore off I was hurting. I was hurting because of the post-op pain, my battery is working wonderfully. My boyfriend came over that night which helped alot. Im not one to lay in bed day in and day out so when Im forced to due to surgery pain I get bored fast. Im not a fan of movies since I know I can be doing something else and more productive. I made a stake of movies next to my bed and well, they havent been watched. J and I finally figured out how to use the Movies on Demand feature and watched a movie the first night he came over. He came over again yesterday and since I was still hurting a good bit we hung out around the house. I did end up venturing out to get a bite to eat which made my day.

Like I mentioned a bit earlier in this post my new battery is working amazingly well. I am so happy I got the re-chargable battery vs the 3-5 yr battery. Now that I have this new battery I can tell that mine was dying and Im not scared to turn it up to get the relief I need. I have noticed that I have recovered faster from this surgery than anyother one including the revision I have done last summer. I think its because of being Vegan and eating more health oriented type of foods. I have been making sure to get more protein during this time since Im healing from surgery.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pre-Op Tests and Rechargable SCS Battery

Hello All!

I hope you are all liking the new design of my blog. I was creative one night and instead of pulling out all of my scrapbook supplies I came on here and did a new blog design.

I had my Pre-Operative tests done today and surgery is a go on Wednesday. It is not scheduled till around 3:15 in the afternoon so I know that I am going to be pretty hungry by the time they knock me out. I always tend to believe that the fasting and IV are the worst parts of procedures. My body just cant go without food that long and getting an IV well that's another story.

I am excited though that I will be getting the rechargeable Spinal Cord Stimulator Battery so that I wont have to be going through this for at least 10 yrs or so (last how long the battery is suppose to last). I will have to charge it at least once a month or more depending on how much voltage I use but that is worth it to me not to be having to go through this every few years. The battery I have in now was suppose to last 3-5 years and Ive had it less than 3. It will be officially 3 years in December but my Dr and nurses are surprised how quick it went.

I was explaining to J (my boyfriend of 2 months) about RSD and the SCS and he was curious just like everyone is when they first here about it. I have been blessed though with a boyfriend who has taken the time to ask me questions and understand that there are somethings I am not able to do but just because I have RSD doesn't mean I cant be an active participant in life. I think we all need to keep in mind if you or a loved one has a chronic illness / chronic pain doesn't mean their voice shouldn't be heard or they cant participate in activities. We love to have fun just like everyone else.

For those who are about to be getting the SCS and would like to contact me please feel free to. It was the best decision I made and I still love the SCS today. It has helped me gain my life back and there was no way I could have done that without it. I don't feel like I "gave into it" or "settled" for it. Its an amazing piece of technology that people with Chronic Pain have been given access to.

Healing Thoughts to All!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Surgery Date

I had a last minute Dr's appointment yesterday where we discussed my upcoming revisoin surgery for my SCS. I am happy to anounce that even though my Dr. isnt able to perform the revision himself that another Dr is willing to do it. If insurance approves the surgery everything should be a go for Wednesday with the pre-op be the Monday before.

With the revision surgery being on Wednesday will give me time to recover before going back to school on Sunday. Im not too worried especially since this is just a battery replacement.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Surgery + New Job

On Saturday night I was adjusting the settings on my Spinal Cord Stimulator. The remote in which I was adjusting my battery informed me that my battery needs changed. This is a bit problematic especially since Im going back to school in two weeks.

Another problem is that my wonderful Doctor of 8 1/2 yrs got into a car crash a couple weeks ago and isnt able to use his hands at the moment. I will update when I get my surgery date as his Nurse Practitioner is trying to squeeze me into the scheduel before I go back to school. I may only have a few days to recover from a same-day surgery before I go back.

For some good news I found out last week that I got the Book Store Job on Campus that I really wanted. It is not concidered work-study so I may have to work more and the hours may change week to week but I am not sure of that. I train on Wednesday and with my SCS battery starting to go Im really nervous. I dont want to turn it up more than I have to but I am hurting more since its not working properly. I am thankfully still getting coverage (please pray it stays that way till the surgery).

*Sending Healing Thoughts*

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Being Labeled as "Sick"

When someone is searching for a diagnosis for their chronic pain or they are already diagnosed they are automatically labeled a "patient". When someone is labeled a patient they get this mindset that they are sick. Normally when someone goes to the Doctor they are truly sick. The definition of being sick is your body's immune response fighting against bacteria that either causes pneumonia, influenza, the common cold, ect.

People who are being treated for their chronic pain feel like they get into a rut. Once you get into the unending Doctor's appointments and daily medications you do truly feel sick. It gets to the point that people wonder if its ever going to end and if a depression starts this feeling of "sick" gets ingrained even more.

A lot of those who have Chronic Pain there family and friends tend to "baby" or not expect much out of them. This leaves them in the patient or sick roll. With Chronic Pain especially RSD it is hard to do everything you want or need to do. For those with advanced RSD family members may have to assist them with their daily activities. Even those with less advanced RSD many family members may see that their sister, daugher, loved one; is not able to do what they once were able and get the "sick" or patient mindset.

I have never thought myself as sick. I have RSD but I am not sick. RSD is a dysfunction of the nervous system. We may not feel well at times due to our pain but we can still enjoy ourselves. We can love our lives and have Chronic Pain. Thanks to medical advances people with pain both acute and chronic are living more full filling lives.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Loving Yourself

For the Average American who is bombarded with the media Loving Oneself is hard to do. Throw in a Chronic Illness or Chronic Pain and high Self Esteem and Loving Oneself is pretty much non-existent.

All people whether they have a Chronic Illnesses / Chronic Pain or not have a choice to make and that is to Love Oneself. That may seem impossible due to life's circumstances and what the media says we need to look like to be perfect and appealing to the opposite sex. Honestly we just need to Love Ourselves and the glow and confidence you have will show your partner or future partner how you take care of yourself, how you love others, and how you will love him (or her).

Here are Tips to Loving Yourself:

1) Be Honest with yourself about how valuable you are or you think you are - After I started taking care of my body better I treated myself better. I got rid of most of the negativity in my life.

2) Share with others - Some people with Chronic Pain or Chronic Illnesses are not able to work but volunteer to get the fulfillment out of it. For me I like to work or do some activity to stay busy while being able to help others.

3) Forgive Yourself - If you were ever told you weren't worthy or were compared to someone you despise, its not true. You are worthy and you are your own self.

4) Learn to let go - A lot of people have had a bad childhood / beginning / moments and have a hard time opening back up. Sometimes its best to talk about those feelings with someone which helps you let them go.

5) Love is a feeling not a choice - Choose to love yourself

6) What is feeling your emptiness? - Fill that place with love instead of objects, food, alcohol, ect.

You don't have to be miserable living with a Chronic Illnesses / Chronic Pain. We can be just as happy as those who are completely pain free and healthy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Keeping Positive With a Chronic Illness

Many people who develop a Chronic Illness or Chronic Pain have a hard time staying positive during their treatment and life through out their illness. Sadly many Dr's still believe that these conditions such as RSD are caused by depression when depression and other mental disorders develop afterwards.

Thankfully I avoided going into a depression when my RSD came back. I believe this was because I had the support of my family, friends, church family, and online friends. It greatly helps to know that you have support from all these people. Not everyone who develops Chronic Conditions have this support though. So it helps when Movie / TV stars like Michael J. Fox who have Chronic Conditions show us that it is possible to be possible and live a full life.

I recently read an article in Reader's Digest from May 2010. They did an interview with Michael J Fox about a new book he has coming out and how he is able to stay positive. I recommend that if you haven't read it that you check it out.
We all go through a mourning phase when we find out that we have a Chronic Illness or Chronic Pain, this is very normal. Being angry that we can no longer do things that we once were able to do is the next phase. Acceptance is the last phase in mourning. It took me a while to accept the fact that I had RSD. I didn't admit to others I had RSD until people knew something was wrong when I was 17 and I had it since I was 12. Now I love my RSD, yes I love it. I hate the pain but its taught me so much and its made me, me. I also love the fact that its given me the drive to do things some people don't believe I can achieve because of it.

Once you accept your Chronic Illness / Chronic Pain its going to help your treatment plan. If your constantly fighting against your Illness or Pain than your going to be stressed out and in more pain. I really started loving my life its reflected in my completion, the way I act with family and friends, the way I view life, ect. I really don't like when people call me "sick" since I'm not. I don't have the stomach flu, pneumonia, strep throat, ect. Unless you really do have an infection or are classified "sick" by a Dr you are perfectly healthy, your nervous system is just a bit messed up. Yes I still have pain but I'm less apt to focus on it during the day. My SCS remote and meds are with me to help bring the pain down so I'm able to enjoy my life like life is suppose to be enjoyed.

Peace, Love, Happiness