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Monday, January 4, 2010

Pain, pain go away

Woke up in excruciating pain. Usually, I can go the first 5 minutes of the day before it hits me. But sorry, not today. Of course, I had all these plans that got pushed back. I ended up in bed most of the day instead. And when I finally got out of it, the pain spiked so badly I was screaming in aisle 4 of the supermarket as I thought about why the heck I'd ever left my bed.

But I have learned that there is plenty I can do when I'm in laid up in bed...pay bills, shop, connect a whole slew of Jews to each other and even better talk to converts who need help staying sane during the conversion process. That final one was the best part of my day. Even while my head was spinning so much it was hard to sit up, I was able to provide comfort to someone else. (Two folks actually and that's a great feat...being able to manage two phone calls in one day without collapsing!) Made me feel pretty useful as a human being on a day when I felt pretty useless.

My dastardly plan, of course, is to connect (almost) every convert to each other to create this amazing support system...even if I have to do it from my bed! Even if you don't need support, I bet there's someone who could use your help! If you want to get in on the conversion bit, check out my support group (information's on the left side of my blog). If you're not Orthodox, consider emailing me individually so I can connect you to other non-Orthodox converts and be sure to check out this group: Gereit Tzedek.

(AHEM: Now, please, please avoid the need to respond to my little post with a billion different tips on how I can deal with my chronic pain. Someone asked me today about "my disability" when I mentioned it and even though they didn't know and had never heard of fibromyalgia, they launched into a list of ideas for things they thought would help. I've said it before and I'll say it again: LISTEN, most times, it's just a "weather report," not a cry for help. I have a good doctor, thank you very much. Don't give people advice about their health unless they've asked for it.)

11 comments:

  1. I'm sorry that people never seem to learn. I"m happy to offer a sympathetic ear and commiseration.

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  2. But... but... I have a REALLY IMPORTANT AND EXCELLENT TIP FOR DEALING WITH PAIN! I just can't keep it to myself. Please forgive me. Have you ever tried standing naked in a field of bees? My acupuncturist told my chiropractor told my faith healther that bee venom is good for pain. And cancer. And curing diarrhea. I just think you should explore your options, you know?

    Haha ;-P

    Sorry you had a rough day - Yesterday was horrible for me and last night was even worse. I didn't sleep a wink because the pain was so bad, despite taking strong pain meds. I am a wreck today. Unfortunately part of what's wrong is over-use of the computer, resulting in really bad arm and shoulder and hand pain. And yet here I am on the computer again. Why oh why do I do this to myself?

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  3. ByTheBay, I'm the same way. Working on the computer always equals pain. We have a very strong love-hate relationship. Unfortunately, it's easier to email my friends than talk to them on the phone (which can also seriously exacerbate my pain). I don't want to be isolated in my little Rapunzel (but with an afro instead) tower so I make choices every day: um, can I comb my hair today or will I answer that long, long email from a fan? As I'm sure you're aware, sometimes you don't have to do anything to piss off the pain demons.

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  4. Did I mention my miracle cure works better if you dip yourself in a vat of high fructose corn syrup first? i can't believe I forgot that part.

    Yes, the pain demons can be pissed off even if I don't do anything wrong. But they're bound to be worse then I am self-destructive (even if unwittingly) by doing things that hurt me. But like you, I struggle with trying not to let my illnesses isolate me... so the computer is sometimes my lifeline, my connection to my friends and the illusion of a social life. Which sometimes is worth the pain.

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  5. Bee venom therapy is said to help with alleviating pain symptoms in many neurological/neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as MS, fibromyalgia, and others. A friend of mine has tried everything to help cope with his MS and he swears by bee venom. As a physician who was previously a naturopathic doctor and chiropractor, I will tell you that alternative treatments can make a huge difference, but it depends on what works for you and what you are open to. I am currently conducting research on the use of chiropractic in treating fibromyalgia, and have found among subjects in the study and my own patients that not everything works for everybody, but that with a little know how and open-mindedness, alternative treatments can make a huge difference for some people. After all, these treatments have worked and existed for thousands of years prior to the creation of allopathic medicine in the 19th century. I am not telling anyone what to do, but I think we can all agree that when it comes to pursuing good health, we should be open to all possibilities.

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  6. R'Daniel, none of the people giving me unasked for advice are physicians. There is an all too common knee-jerk reaction when you tell someone about an illness: they start offering a hundred different ways you can get better...even if they don't even understand your illness. Most of these people can't spell fibromyalgia! It's ridiculous. It's often condescending. It's not helpful. It's irritating.

    If a doctor or fellow fibromyalgia patient wants to discuss my health, I might if I trust the source but not on my Facebook fan page and certainly not in my blog comments section.

    I find it really incredible that I sat at a Shabbat meal with four doctors and all they asked were questions, none of them made any 'suggestions' for things I should try because they confessed they didn't know much about fibromyalgia. But I can't go 2 seconds after telling a regular everyday person about my fibro without them making some stupid suggestion.

    Of course I believe in alternative therapies (and I even try some but I won't be disclosing them with all of you) but unless I asked you about them, keep them to yourself. Please.

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  7. I fully apologize for offending you in any way. I am sorry that I may have come across that way, but I can assure you that I never meant any insult or insensitivity to you in any way, shape or form. Unfortunately, people who often make such recommendations do not realize the impact of their words. I never intended to come across as telling you what to do, and you should know that perhaps unlike others you have encountered, I never intended to demean you or your treatment plan, but was merely trying to offer more information on alternative treatments, not necessarily directed towards you. I apologize once again, and ask mechila, as I hadn't realized the כאב I caused you through my words, which I can assure you was not deliberately hurtful. Dr. D. S., MD,ND,DC,MS,MA,MPH,FACS,FAAD

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  8. R'Daniel - What part of "I don't want your suggestions" don't you understand? My comment above was a joke, and Aliza knows that because she knows me (and that I'm a fellow FMS sufferer who is similarly annoyed but unsolicited advice from people who don't struggle with the illnesses I do).

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  9. Oh dear, R'Daniel, I wasn't talking about you!!! You were incredibly sensitive in your delivery. All that was for those other people, not you!!! But trust me, I am up-to-date on alternative treatments and when I'm interested in trying others, I go to my doctors (not the blog) to figure out how to get them done in a way that doesn't break my bank account.

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  10. Sorry to step on any toes, Aliza. I can delete my comment if you want.

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  11. No way, Gluten-Free, I try to avoid deleting good, thought-provoking comments. I think people need to see that those of us suffering from chronic illnesses are sick of the constant barrage of suggestions we get from clueless healthy folk. I honestly can't go a day without someone suggesting something and always without me asking.

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