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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Keep Pushin'

What is that thing??!!
As part of my new physical therapy plan I will see two different therapists.  I can see pros and cons with this approach but it is worth a  try.  The pros are that I receive the medical expertise of two very different people. If one of them is out or off work I can still see the other one and she will know my history.  The con for me is that if I am really benefiting from the treatment I am receiving from one and maybe not as much from the other then it could be a problem.  But there is no use in worrying about that now. I just need to Keep Pushin' on.

Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz
This week I met my other therapist.  She is a Physical Therapist and a Massage Therapist...I was thinking oh yeah, this is gonna be great!  As she began talking about her background she mentioned that she lived in Kansas, but she didn't sound anything like Dorothy (see picture to the left).  I said "I know you are not from Kansas!" She had an accent that I did not recognize. She said she is from Puerto Rico...not even close to Kansas!

Since my MRI did not show any bulging or ruptured disks to explain my chronic sciatica my doctor is not sure what my next step should be other than to keep taking pain killers.  Now I so clearly understand why the second Urologist I went to see said "Do most IC patients take pain medication? Yes, but that's okay."  I didn't understand it when he said it.  In fact it upset and frustrated me but now it makes sense.

My therapist gave me what I would call a deep tissue massage. Focusing on treating my chronic pain that starts in my buttocks and goes all the way down my leg.  It felt GREAT while she was doing it!  

I told her about the beginning of my Interstitial Cystitis (IC) journey and how I now have other related conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.  She wasn't familiar with IC but she said she would research it.  I gave her my handy dandy handout that has some information about IC on it and the ICA's website and of course my blog address.  She then asked me if it was okay if she prayed.  Are you kidding???  It is more than okay...it made my day!!!  I told her that I really appreciated her praying and I hugged her.  I said it made me feel better because I am a Christian.  She said "I am too."  I thought well isn't that just like God to put me in the hands of another Christian therapist??!!...I was feeling so blessed!

By Tuesday my back, bladder and sciatica pain had shifted into overdrive.  On Wednesday I was convinced I was in an IC flare.  However I started feeling better on Thursday just in time for my next pt appointment.

As promised my therapist had done some research on IC and she said "After reading about it, I have to admire you for continuing to keep pushin' on."  I told her that it was not easy at all.  Some days I just want to stay in bed.  But it's just not like me to give up that easily.  I have to keep trying new treatments, researching and learning as much as I can to help myself...I have to Keep Pushin'.
  
That is what we all have to do.  We have to make it through various trials of life. In the mist of these trials it may seem that they will never end.  And we sometimes lose hope.  But there is an end to all of this far more wonderful than we can imagine in our present circumstances.

You might call these guys old but I think they still have it...This is different from my usual videos but this song popped into my head while I was writing this post.  When I was a teenager REO was my favorite group.  I think this song has a good message.  We all have to Keep Pushin!

Let me know your thoughts or comments below. And feel free to pass this post along.


 
For more information on Physical Therapy
please visit Proaxis' website:

For more information on Interstitial Cystitis 
please visit the ICA's Website

For more information on Fibromyalgia 
please visit the Fibromyalgia Network's Website

You can email me:
bbbennett65@gmail.com


You can follow me on Twitter:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Treasure

After I talked with a friend that has Fibromyalgia (Fibro) and is going through some of the same issues that I am, I decided that I wanted to start going back to physical therapy.

She said that she was going to a place in my hometown and that it was helping her.  I told my family doctor of my desire to go back to pt and he got the ball rolling.

My first visit was this week.  Before I went I called and asked to talk to one of the therapists.  I was quizzing her about what she knew and what techniques she uses.  I have been around this block before and I learned a few things, so I wanted to make sure it would be worth my time.

After agreeing to meet with a therapist I made an appointment that was around lunchtime so I could go on my lunch break.  The lady that checked me in was very friendly and very informative.  She made me feel comfortable.  She walked with me to the second floor and showed me exactly where to check in and where to go.

Then my therapist came into the room.  The first thing she did was ask me if it was okay for an intern to come into the room with her.  Some people don't like having another person in the room but I see it as an opportunity to help educate another person about Interstitial Cystitis (IC), Fibro, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Vulvodynia, Sciatia, etc,etc.

The therapist basically had me do some leg lifts against her applying pressure so she could see how strong or weak certain muscles are in my leg.  She also started me back on a core stabilization exercise that my former therapist had also taught me.  

If you are like me and you have IC you may be afraid to try anything new or out of your normal routine in fear of a flare.  She wanted me to do 10 reps, but I only did a few and said that I would have to build up to more.  Shhh...IC is all about keeping the bladder calm.  We must not do anything to upset the bladder!!

Physical therapy is a commitment. You have to be willing to give up some time, energy and there is always homework.  It is just like going to the doctor.  If you go and don't do what they recommend then you may not see the full benefits.

If you think you need to go to Physical Therapy then I suggest the following:
  1. Commit yourself to the time it takes to make your body feel better.  This may be a lengthy time commitment, but a healthier body is worth it.
  2. Call the therapist and ask questions BEFORE you go.  For me it is always the fear of the unknown that makes me more nervous.  Once I understand what is going to happen the calmer I am going to be.
  3. Know Your body's limits.  If the request is to do ten reps then start out with three for a few days.  If your body tolerates it work your way up to ten reps.  You won't be punished if you do less, but your body will punish you if you do too much!!
  4. Listen to all of the advice a therapist gives you, do your own research and decide what is best for you (and your bladder).
  5. If you don't make a connection with the therapist after a couple of visits request to see a different one.  It is your body, time and money, so make the best of it!  I think these suggestions could apply to anyone that goes to a therapist,doctor or starts an exercise program of any type.
I feel that therapy is a total body commitment.  To make the most of your investment know what is best for you and make sure the care you are receiving is quality care.

It reminds me of what we studied at Bible Study this week.  We were studying Mark 12:28-34. 


"To give your all to God" as my Pastor put it.  Let's just think about the heart.  The heart controls our emotions, desires and affections.  If we want to know what are affections are then we need to look at what occupies our time and what motivates us to do what we do.

What are heart longs for is what we treasure the most. Matt. 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”  How do we get to the point where Jesus is our greatest treasure?  I think we can do this by reading His word and praying to Him that He would be valued as the greatest treasure in our heart and...spend time with Him.  Set aside some time each day to be with Him only and only Him. Use this time to praise Him, pray to Him and read and meditate on His word.

Can you imagine how your life would change if Jesus was your greatest treasure?  You think about that and let me know your thoughts below.  I hope you will take the time to listen to this beautiful song about God's love.

 
For more information on Physical Therapy
please visit Proaxis' website:

For more information on Interstitial Cystitis 
please visit the ICA's website

For more information on Fibromyalgia 
please visit the Fibromyalgia Network's website

You can email me:
bbbennett65@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter:

You can follow me on Pinterest:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Purr-fect Peace



Ok, let me make sure I understand this correctly.  You want me to lie down on a tiny little bed and then they will slide me into this giant magnet for about 30 minutes??!!  All of this AND I have to lie perfectly still?

But I am claustrophobic AND I am more anxious NOW that I have Interstitial Cystitis (IC), Fibromyalgia, IBS, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Vulvodynia, etc. etc.!! But I knew a MRI would be the next suggestion.

Since I have had sciatica http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/sciatica-topic-overview
for over 8 months now I went to my "regular" family doctor.  At first he ordered an EMG or Electromyogram.  This simple test given by a Neurologist measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. After the EMG was over I asked the Neurologist what he thought.  He said something similar to "It confirms that you have sciatica." Hmmm, I already knew that, but I guess that was the first step when choosing to go the "Western Medical" route.

When the pain first started I was going to Physical Therapy.  I told my therapist that I have chronic pain and numbness that starts in my bottom and goes all the way down the back of my left leg and into my foot.  The constant pain is usually on the 5-6.5 scale.  When it is really bad it is 7-8.  This is not an unbearable pain, but it makes it hard to sit or stand for more than 10 minutes without pain.  And as I have mentioned in other posts, if the seat is hard, forget about it!!! I just can't deal with the pain.

At the end of my treatments my therapist was mainly focusing on my Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, sciatica and pudendal nerve pain. She did connective tissue mobilization, stressed the need for and showed me exercises for core stabilization and taught me stretches to do at home.  We even tried a few rounds of "dry needling" just for fun...just kidding it was NOT fun, but I was desperate!!  It didn't help me.

The thought of the MRI made me very anxious.  I asked the group at my Bible Study to pray for me.  After Bible Study a friend came up to me and said "I will be praying for you."  She went on to say that she had a fear of water, but when she was baptized (in a river) that the Peace of God came over her and she was fine. I felt like the guy who was bonked on the forehead in the V8 juice commercial...why didn't I think of that?  I just needed to ask God for his peace.


It didn't make me feel any better that the doctor's office waited until the day before the MRI to call and ask me all those questions to see if you are able to have the test done.  But the strangest thing happened during this conversation.  After the young lady asked all the questions she said "Well, you are healthy, so you can have the test."  I said "Whoa, whoa, wait a minute I'm not healthy I have IC, Fibro, etc. etc.  She said "My Mom has IC."

She went on to explain that her mother suffers a lot and is constantly trying new treatments.  This is usually the case with most of us IC patients, because there is "no one cure fits all" plan.  Most of the time there is much adversity in the life of an IC patient.  As I fought back the tears I asked her to please share my blog address with her Mom. I also let her know that the ICA has a Facebook page for support. I told her that I haven't met anyone in my hometown that is struggling with IC and I would love to make a connection with her if she is interested.

The next morning when I had the MRI I took the medication that the doctor prescribed to help calm my nerves.  The technician covered me with a blanket, gave me earplugs and asked if I wanted a washcloth to cover my eyes.  I said yes to the washcloth and lied down on the table and continued to pray for God's Peace.  By the time the MRI was over I was asleep...talk about Peaceful! 

 Trust in the Lord and He will give you a peace like no other.  Only He can give you Purr-fect Peace in your struggles...trust Him.

Let me know your thoughts or suggestions below.


You can email me:
bbbennett65@gmail.com

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why NOT Me?

“So long, sucker! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …”  
POW! POW! POW!  I woke up to a noise that sounded like gun shots! I went to bed at 9:00 that night because I felt so awful. I had felt terrible all week. I wasn't sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time.  It was taking me a couple of hours to fall back to sleep and this night much to my disappointment was no different.

I think I would have paid my neighbors not to shoot those fireworks that woke me up.  I needed sleep more than anything else.  I wonder if they would have taken the money and used it to buy more fireworks!??!  Or would they have told their children that they couldn't shoot fireworks this year because we live near a crazy lady who doesn't have any New Year's spirit!!!



All week my Firbromyalgia (fibro) had been flaring.  I felt achy all over, my head hurt, my hair hurt, my feet hurt and everything in between.  But I had to crawl out of my only place of comfort (my bed) and go to work.  By the second day I was miserable.  I went to work and we needed to box up 2013 files...the last thing that I wanted to be doing.  Fortunately for me it would be a short day and we would leave early.  I was looking forward to going home and going to bed!  Then I remembered I had a doctor's appointment at 4:00.  No rest for the weary!

As I waited in the doctor's office I was in fear for my life again.  There were so many sick people!!  A little boy that was sitting very close to me was coughing.  His mother said he had been lying around all day and not talking (How did I know this? She was on her cell phone and I heard every word of her conversation...Don't get me started on that!).  Another lady walked in that looked like she had just crawled out of bed.  At least she had a towel around her mouth to save me from the germs.   I tried to melt into my seat, hold my head low and pretend I was invisible so the germs would not invade me.

When they called my name out to go back, I moved quickly. I was hoping to be safe from the germs.  When I made it back to the final destination I quickly washed my hands and hoped for the best.  A mere 2 hours later I was back in my car to head home.  Of course I needed to drop off some prescriptions at the  Pharmacy first and then I could finally go home and rest.

When I'm in a fibro flare sleeping is difficult. I go to bed early in hopes of getting plenty of sleep.  Then I toss and turn and flip and flop for hours before drifting off to sleep.  It hurts my skin to touch anything.  I feel like my skin is crawling and I just can't be still.  It is a terrible feeling because I am dead tired, but I can't go to sleep.  This is after I have taken several sedating medications and a sleeping pill!

My legs were hurting, my shoulder was hurting, my bladder was hurting and my back was hurting.  I had 3 heating pads in bed with me.  It was hard to decide where to place the heating pads.  I decided on my legs, shoulder and bladder.  Of course I rotated some of it around during the 2 hours.  I was also having hot flashes.  I would start out hot and kick all the cover off of me, then I would be cold and I would put all the cover back on me only to start the cycle again and again.  What a night!  I woke up every couple of hours and it took me just as long to get back to sleep.

On New Year's Day the only time I left the house was to go pick up my prescriptions.  My husband drove and on the way home it reminded me of how I felt after my surgeries.  My body was weak, my bladder was burning, I had vaginal burning, it hurt for anything to touch my pelvic area (including clothes and the seat belt).  Everything that usually hurts was in overdrive!  So for me the Interstitial Cystitis and the fibro combined make me feel as if I have just woke up from anesthesia, right after someone sliced me open and took out my insides...yep, that about sums it up...and oh yeah, I even had the severe nausea that I pretty much have now on a daily basis to go along with it.

When I am flaring and not able to sleep I want to use the time to at least pray, but my brain is so tired that I have trouble doing even that.  I am sick!  I have to concentrate on making my body feel better and it uses all my energy.  I can barely take care of myself much less think of others.  This is very hard for me.  It feels so selfish.  I want to do more, but I can't...my body just won't let me.  So then I can add guilt and depression to the list of things I am feeling.

By Thursday I started feeling better.  Life was good and I was so thankful for so many things. I had peace in my heart.  Is that the reason I go through all of this??  To make me more thankful for good days and to have more empathy for others when I feel better??  Maybe so, but it is hard to be patient and remember any of that when I am going through it.  I just feel miserable and I want to stay in bed, stay away from others and just rest!

The other day I talked to a fellow Christian friend that has fibro and faces other health challenges with her children.  We talked about how we say "Why me Lord?"  But as she pointed out, why NOT me?  She explained that her challenges have put her in situations to witness to people that she never would have met if not for the challenges she faces.  I feel the same way.  I want to use my pains and sorrows to let others know that there can be peace and our relationship with Him is still the same no matter what is going on in our life.

Prayer for the day: "Father, I thank You for the peace You have given to me, which does not depend on feelings or circumstances." from Billy Graham's website: http://crossmap.christianpost.com/devotionals/billy-grahams-devotion-find-peace-with-god-psalm-2911-15998

 

You can email me:
bbbennett65@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter:

You can follow me on Pinterest: