This week I’m having a tough time keeping going. Trying to stay alive. The pain flare-ups I’m having seem to be getting worse. I was in pain Sunday and part of the day Monday. Went in to my chiro, acupuncture and massage appointments and the chiro probably caused it all to flare up again as the pain was still going down that day, so back I went into another bad day of pain Tuesday that wouldn’t quite go away Wednesday. Finally feeling better, but pain is tough to deal with y’all.
The term ‘sciatica’ was mentioned to me three times by people I worked with on three different sets last week. I looked it up and it sounds an awful lot like what I’m dealing with, but somehow, none of my doctor’s have mentioned this to me before. Two different neurologists don’t think the cyst on my spine is the cause of the pain. My chiropractor and the last neurologist have both mentioned doing planks. I’m trying but having trouble with pain flaring up in my shoulder still from the car accident last year. (Also when I started fighting this lower back pain.) And I think planking was the cause of Sunday’s flare up of pain. Other than the fact that I tripped on set and landed on someone’s knee Friday night. That in itself didn’t cause the bad pain flare up. Just dull pain a couple of inches up from that. The area just below was probably slightly irritated from that, so when I went to do my plank the next day, I felt the pain at the base of my spine go from light pain to a pretty sharp pain in a matter of five seconds time. I should have stopped planking sooner, but instead I sat there assessing how my shoulder was feeling for a couple of seconds before the warning bell went off in my head that I needed to stop planking Now. Le sigh… Such is my life nowadays.
I find myself soaking in the tub a lot when the pain hits. My little heating pad broke and I need a new one. (I’ve been looking at these Sunbeam heating pads Amazon.) I’ve tried icing the area as well, but either way I’ll get a half hour to an hour of lesser pain that what I had before, and no relief from the pain shooting down my leg. At least if I soak in the tub, I can soak my leg and get relief from that pain as well.
Purple and green hydrangeas
I take an 800 mg ibuprofen prescribed by my doctor. It doesn’t even phase the pain until it starts slacking off again. I was taking muscle relaxants, but a friend wondered why I wasn’t taking cbd oil instead. So I’m trying that, and it helps with muscle spasms, but again, not the pain. It may relax me as well, but I’m not sure. I did almost fall asleep in the tub the other day when I woke up in pain at 4:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I may have just been worn out by the time I almost fell asleep in the tub, but after 45 minutes of soaking plus my ibuprofen and the cbd oil, my body finally felt relaxed enough to start dozing off again. I found myself wondering if I did fall asleep, would I wake up if my head dipped to far into the water. And if I didn’t, at least I wouldn’t be in pain anymore. Yep. That’s when I realized it was time to get out of the tub, my friends!
I have no wonderful words of wisdom for people going through pain, but a whole lot of empathy for you right now. All I can say is: Keep your head above the water. Keep doggy paddling. Or, get out of the water entirely, in my case, and if you’re able. If it makes you feel better, start singing the song Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees
Some days, that’s all you can do. And it’s enough.
Survival is keeping your head above water until your feet find the ground.
I’ve been kind of quiet the last couple of weeks on here. Just putting my head down, trying to get through. It seems like so many times we are struggling and just can’t even reach out to others during our struggle. I’m having major flare-ups of pain from the cyst, the last time after just sitting and watching a movie. I want a second opinion on this cyst. The flare-ups of pain are coming right from the base of my spine, where the cyst is, I’m sure it’s the problem, but trying to get a neurologist who knows how to deal with it may not be as easy as I originally thought because apparently, Tarlov cysts aren’t common. So I end up in excruciating pain for a couple of days when I somehow trigger the pain. I’m so tired of dealing with it, I’m discouraged that I can’t live my life like I normally would. I really want to go hiking, but that will trigger the pain. It is affecting my way of living at this point.
Furthermore, Pinterest suspended my account for 2 weeks due to a copyright complaint. After 2 weeks, my account was not back up and running, so I started trying to e-mail them. It took another week for them to correct the problem and this time, they did decide to remove the strike against my account. I still may have some old ones on there, which really ought to be removed as well, but at least they listened to me and took care of the problem this time around.
To make things worse, I’m fighting over bills from the billing office from where I was going to physical therapy that they couldn’t be bothered getting out to the car insurance adjuster in a timely manner. They keep saying they’ll do things, and then they never do them. Now they are saying they’ll bill the insurance, but really, I’m beginning to lose hope. It’s like they just answer the phones at that office and then nobody follows up on the actual work generated by the phone calls.
So, there are a few not too good things going on in my life right now. It knocks the breath out of you some days when too many bad things are going on. So, what do you do when life gets you down and you’re struggling to get back up again? Here are 7 things to do when you are having a bad day.
Pray – A few weeks ago, the pain from my cyst was hitting really bad and I was at my wits end, hurting and tired of dealing with it. I told God, I just need one good thing today. Something to counter the bad. Just one good thing. Later that day I got a past owed payment from someone I did work for already and keep having to hassle to actually pay me the money owed now. I’m still owed more money from that same person, but still. One good thing came my way.
The next time something bad happened was the day they shut my Pinterest account down. I saw the e-mail early in the morning as I got ready to take off to be a body double that day. I was so distracted and having so much fun on set, I wasn’t really thinking about Pinterest at all that day. Two days later when I wasn’t on set having the time of my life, that blow really hit home and I was having a really down day, but still, I was having one good thing to counter the bad on the day it was happening. It helped for a bit.
Know you’re not alone – I don’t care what lies the enemy is telling you. You are not alone. I know, I shut down when bad things are happening and start isolating myself. I know this isn’t good. I’ve gotten better about at least reaching out to my family, but I’m terrible about reaching out to friends. Which brings me to my next point:
Try to reach out to a friend – They may be just the life saver you are needing. Just talking about your problem will probably make you feel better. But, be careful who you reach out to. Try to find a person you know is empathetic otherwise you may find yourself being ‘fixed’ by a well meaning friend who then decides if you just do what they say, everything will be fine and then sweeps you and your problems under the carpet like they’re all taken care of. Which may leave you feeling worse, because they aren’t.
Take time for self-care – Pamper yourself. Take a hot bath. Watch a movie you’ve been wanting to watch but haven’t made time to watch. Read a book. Get your nails done or do them yourself. Buy yourself a treat. Sit in the sun. But most of all, relax. Take time for you.
Move it, move it – I know, when life gets you down, it’s hard to do anything but curl into a lethargic circle on your bed, but exercise gets those endorphins going and help lift your mood. Go for a walk. Do yoga. Exercise. Run. Dance. Twirl. Whatever works for you, but try not to let that lethargy keep you down. My only problem is when I’m in pain, it hurts to move. It hurts to stand, it hurts to sit, but if I can’t stand laying flat on my back anymore, I will start pacing slowly taking small steps. If it is physical pain getting you down, you may not be able to do this, but otherwise, try to get moving. Especially outdoors in nature.
Take action – Unless you feel God telling you to be still, take steps to try and solve your problems. I’ve made numerous phone calls trying to deal with the bills coming from Legacy from my physical therapy. I’m trying to get another referral to a neurologist from my doctor because it sounds like my chiropractor’s office has decided the first one’s opinion is the gospel truth, despite the fact that that man cut me off 3-4 times when I was trying to talk to him as if he wanted to prove the cyst wasn’t the problem in his chart notes so he could push me out the door and feel justified by it. I feel like I have every right to get a second opinion and if I don’t feel like my chiropractor is going to give me one, I’ll get one from my primary care. Nothing is worse than feeling like you have a physical ailment with no solution to resolve the problem up on your horizon. When I started e-mailing Pinterest about my problem with them, it actually got taken care of. I’m putting on my armor, strengthening my resolve and getting ready to kick butts and take names if necessary to get the help I need. As I told my sister the other day, I’m taking action and bringing God with me! If He’s not going to tell me what I need to be doing, I’m going to do what I can to fix the situation, then leave it in His more than capable hands.
Get professional help – If things get really bad, get professional help. Talk to a counselor. Get a prescription for an anti-depressant from your doctor. Actually take the medication. Come up with a back-up plan. A family member of mine is really fighting depression right now, (Yes, please send prayers.) she is taking action to fight it. Coming up with a plan of action for when it hits really bad, including being pro-active and getting a referral to an in-patient mental health facility ahead of time. She’s got her armor on. She’s fighting hard. I’m proud of her. Depression sucks.
Also, be aware of the people in your life. People are fighting battles you know nothing about. Reach out to your friends. When they are having a bad day, they are to worn down by the struggle to reach out to you. Let your loved ones know you care. Check up on them. Come along beside them. Encourage them. No, you don’t need to give them solutions to all of their problems. Just be there. Be a friend. Let them lean on you. Your presence and your caring are far more powerful in people’s lives than you could ever know.
Wild rose~ photo by Calvin Hodgson
My family member fighting depression posted this on Pinterest the other day and I remember seeing this on the wall when I used to work in a mental health counseling office. I see her fighting this fight. She’s asking for her stick. She’s ready to do battle. She’s trying to arm herself, even if all she has is a stick. She probably feels weak right now, but all I see is her strength. I see her. I validate her struggle. I’ll not only hand her a stick, but take up one of my own and be ready to fight by her side.
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A few fun things to lift your mood:
*As we are seeing so many celebrities taking their lives right now, I just want to say, don’t do what other people are doing. Don’t romanticize suicide. Don’t think committing suicide will take you down in a blaze of glory. You’ll be dead. You won’t be here to see the aftermath. I for one, am so adverse to following the crowd, if everyone is doing it, I don’t have any desire to participate. ‘Throw back Thursday’, no thank you. ‘Caturday’ was fun until too many people joined in. ‘Ice bucket challenge’, nah, you all have fun now with that. But for those of you who follow the flock like mindless sheep doing all of these trends, beware. The suicide trend I’m seeing in social media is not cool. Do not follow people into the dark void they are going down. There is hope and help to be had! You play an important part in the lives around you. You are loved. You matter.
‘It’s just a bad day, not a bad life’ photo credit: