Last week I was given a devastating blow! I was told by all medical professionals that I'm currently seeing that basically it's time to just come to terms with the fact that I'm going to need two more surgeries. A new orthopedic doctor looked at me during a consultation for a pain management epidural and said it's been two years since you were hit by the car, you've had five cervical epidurals already. If you think that i'm going to give you the six magical epidural that suddenly fixes everything, than I'm sad to tell you, you're sorely mistaken. He refused to do anything but refer to me to a surgeon for a consultation. Now, I face having my hip operated on again because I have major symptoms that should be gone by now and they want to slice my neck open through the front to fix my spine! I'm honestly terrified. I could go through all of this and end up worse or I could have to live like this forever. I've cried my heart out over it but as long as I keep my stress levels down I can keep the terror from occupying my mind. I don't take any pain medication so the mental strength I use to stay positive is very emotional and very deep. It's like the Ancient Greek mythology story of the man tied to the rock and a bird pecks at him for eternity. That's what it's like living with chronic pain.
Through out this journey I have found a routine of using alternative measures along with holistic nutrition to take the edge off and make sure that the rest of me is in tip top optimum health. I would like to share with everybody a day in my life combating chronic pain and supporting optimum health with physical restrictions:
Wake up Marijuana Joint: curbs pain, numb limbs, spasms and stiffness
Turn on music to keep my mind positive. Pain is less noticeable when you're singing a George Michael song.
Breakfast: all you can eat!
Grapefruit: curbs appetite, reduces cholesterol, support heart health, positively influences blood lipid levels
Pineapple: packed with vitamin C as well as other vital nutrients and minerals, it also contains an enzyme called Bromelain which effectively helps joint pain, arthritis, inflammation and surgical recovery
Dates: fiber, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, b6
Cold Pressed Turmeric Latte: mix 1 tablespoon each of honey, cinnamon and turmeric with hot water and cold pressed coffee
Benefits: anti-inflammatory, lubricates joints, pain killer and a little caffeine to offset the sluggishness pain gives you!
15/30 minutes: Cool Therapy icing to reduce pain and inflammation and get my leg and neck ready to bare the day
15/30 minutes: Epsom salt bath to reduce inflammation
Now I'm ready to get my blood pumping so the properly functioning parts of my body get some cardiovascular work, so they can support the rest of what's going on. I smoke marijuana prior so I can do this without increased pain. Since I cannot do anything with impact, I will do 1hr of Ballet (cardio barre), stationary bike or mild incline hike as well as some hand weights. My pain is still present during these activities but because of the morning routine, it doesn't increase. While I'm moving, I know it's there but mentally I feel a release I desperately need.
Post "work out"-
Greens Juice: cucumber, kale, collard greens, spinach, celery, cayenne, ginger, lemon and apple.
Benefits: nutrients, minerals, anti-inflammatory
30 minutes: Cool therapy Machine to reduce pain
15/20 minutes: Epsom salt bath
Now, I have about an hour or maybe two where I try to accomplish a blog post, or office tasks I need to do. It's very hard for me to sit still because it hurts and my body has spasms and ticks and I constantly have to reposition.
6 cups or more- Greens (spinach, romaine, arugula): high water content to reduce inflammation, iron, B vitimans, blood health, heart health, protein
Garbanzo Beans: fiber, protein
Cucumbers: high water content to reduce inflammation, detoxes body
Beets: detox, blood health, minerals, vitimans, mental health, digestive health
Tomato: anti-oxydents, immune system support
Curry spice: joint lubricant, cardiovascular health
Dressing: balsamic or red vinegar mixed with sweet hot mustard And pepper...
32 oz home brewed - muscle recovery tea with turmeric
The afternoon is usually a doctors appointment, physical therapy or some sort of treatment to help me feel better or try to fix the issues. I smoke marijuana before any of these activities so I can do them.
Snack: Green Juice: Greens Juice: cucumber, kale, collard greens, spinach, celery, cayenne, ginger, lemon and apple.
Benefits: nutrients, minerals, anti-inflammatory
30-60 minutes Hot tub: increases circulation, jets help sooth spasms and soreness
Dinner: This is where I get a little break from having to eat to support my issues! I either eat high fat/high protein or high carb/low fat! This purely comes down to food combining. If I eat high carb high fat, I swell up and my stomach hurts so I seldomly do that. So it's either a ribs or meat/veggies or pasta or grains/veggies! Always all you can eat! Sometimes I have an alcohol drink with dinner if I want to. This is the time where I usually find my pleasure factor with eating. A lot of the time I feel the impacts of these choices immensely the next morning or immediately after but I need the joy that comes with pleasure eating to give my life balance and satisfy my palletes desires. If I didn't have this 20% of pleasure from food I would explode. It's natural for us to want to eat for pleasure so finding this balance has enabled me to maintain a healthy weight, body and mind.
After dinner I usually take a medicated edible that eventually puts me to sleep for about 10 hrs which is the only time I kinda get a break from pain!
I know it all sounds like a chore and terrible to have to do day in and day out, I do mix in fun activities but one day away from this take 2 days to get back to bare able. A lot of people think I'm anti social but the truth is when you live with chronic pain you want to be alone a lot so people don't see you hurt. You have to plan and build yourself up for events and prepare for the recovery time from the exertion but this is all better than being addicted to narcotics and having no chance to get better. I have to protect myself from inexcusably stress and all of the things that doctors say can cause us ailments because it's all true and my body and mind are so vulnerable to them.
I could dwell on what's happened and stop living but instead I choose to use what I can to manage with what I'm faced with until a time comes along where I am better. I know what serves me and what doesn't because I do the work to live the best I can with circumstances I am faced with.