January 31st, 2012

Well, that was a lengthy delay in posting. Wasn’t so much that I was feeling rotten…although I was…it has more to do with energy levels. I’ve been eating better, more fruits and veggies, and drinking more water, sleeping more, not helping much though. The bipolar weather has been wreaking havoc. Let’s see if I can remember all the details.

Pysio:
First two appointments were helpful. The traction seemed to loosen my neck up, balanced the strength in my arms. The day of would hurt but the next 4 or 5 days would be great comparatively. Still sore but none of that burning nasty pain that makes me want to rip out my spine. Not so much this time. Had an appointment last Wednesday which as usual had me sore the day of but I was chipper. Was told not to come back for three weeks since things seemed to be rolling along as well as could be expected. The next day I felt like I was hit by a truck. Limited burning pain which I am thankful for but the pain levels were pretty high. Headaches, pain in my shoulders and shoulder blades, hands very sore. So I don’t know what the hell is going on.

New Baby Doctor:
I was pleasantly surprised by the OB clinic. While I was not pleased by the fact we were there for 2 hours, almost 45 minutes late getting into the appointment. Was understandable when we found out the doctor was across the street at the hospital delivering a baby! They were very thorough, much more so then the midwives. Rob is very pleased. He doesn’t have issues with midwives, he liked the ones we saw for the last pregnancy, he just wasn’t too pleased about these ones. First we saw the nurse, peed in a cup, had my weight taken (155lbs), and blood pressure. All good. My blood pressure is perfect apparently and has been all the way through. Had extensive  conversation about previous pregnancy, medications I was taking and am now taking, depression and anxiety and so on. Once we got in to see the doctor he asked extensive questions about my conditions. Made sure I was getting proper care for my depression and anxiety, if the midwives hadn’t already referred me to a head doctor he would have. Sending me to an allergist (Feb. 10th) to recheck my latex sensitivity. Requested my records from the Rheumatologist so he can go over them. I explained how the docs sort of waffle as to what it is I have, the FM, the RA or both. Explained how my first RF test was a “high normal” which he said could have been a false positive, but then I told him how at one point my RF was at 14, which is a definite positive, he said, “Well you’re just an odd one then aren’t you?”, which made me giggle. I love doctors with a sense of humour. He has had one patient with RA and they kept things under control for her with small doses of prednisone. We need to be careful about my flare, we can’t let the joint pain and inflammation get too bad. So while I am concerned I will have another doctor tell me I am crazy, I am hopeful he won’t. He seems really down to earth and seems to like to get to the bottom of things. He asked when I had seem my Rheumatologist last and I  told him almost a year ago which got a slightly confused look from him, then I told him how he had told me not to come back, which he wasn’t impressed with. So that also gives me hope. While I don’t WANT to have RA or FM, I was hoping that during pregnancy that it would be extensively looked into, which is what seems to be happening. So I’m crossing my fingers. I’ve also decided to take Rob to all medical appointments with me from now on if possible. Not only did he back me up on how I’ve been feeling, he could ask questions that he had. Speaking of which, he’s been hounding me about how much I am eating and what I am eating and that I’m not gaining enough weight. So we asked the doctor, he said 7 pounds at this point is fine and that he doesn’t want me eating LOTS of food because we don’t want a giant baby, I just have to make sure what I am eating is well balanced and nutrient rich.

Today:
Today I woke up at 5am, which was nice. Had my usual wake up at 3am, but managed to get back to sleep pretty quick. Was feeling half decent until about half an hour ago. I woke up with a very painful jaw and sore teeth on the left side which is an indicator of how much I am grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw in my sleep. Which is unfortunately an indicator of stress. My neck is sore and stiff. Well maybe stiff isn’t the word, it just hurts to turn from side to side.  Shoulders and shoulder blades are very painful, feels like rocks are under my shoulder blades again. Arms, wrists and hands are exhausted from the small amount of typing I have been doing and my wrists and joints in my hands and fingers are beginning to hurt a lot. After two ES Tylenol my jaw feels a lot better but my headache isn’t any better. Having the pain above my eyeballs which is apparently something to do with the nerve compression. The more frequent popping and grinding in my neck is concerning me quite a bit. The OB said if my “nerve compression” isn’t getting any better he will send me for an MRI. I’m thinking I will ask him about that in three weeks when I go back. I think it’s time for a bit of  a nap or some vegetating at least. Will update later.

UPDATE:
After my nap I did actually have a productive day. Did some light housework. Had a visit with a good friend and her little munchkin. She brought me food too which was beyond awesome. Beef burrito from Taco Del Mar. It’s huge. I only ate half, the rest will be lunch tomorrow. It really is bizarre the things I can eat right now. So many things I haven’t enjoyed in so long. I’m taking full advantage. Then I puttered around online. Baked carrot orange walnut muffins which are incredible. Also made banana bread, also very tasty. Tried to crochet, after ripping the whole thing out three times I gave up on that for the evening. Headache never really went away, the jaw pain was off and on. As was the shoulder and back pain. Found myself getting really tired really fast. I took lots of little breaks. When I had my nap earlier today the spot under my left breast on the rib cage actually woke me up twice. Felt like it was on fire. So I slathered it in A535 and the last of my lidocaine cream and that worked quite nicely. I’m really tired and worn out but pleased. It was a good day.

 

Pain Management/Meds: 4 ES Tylenol, turned down the lights and volume on tv, heating pad, 2 Wellbutrin, 15mg Cipralex

Supplements: 1 folic acid, 1 vit d, 1 prenatal vit

Pain: 8-9

Mood: 7-8

January 17th, 2012

I can’t seem to find a comfortable spot today. It’s making me cranky. Fell asleep around 9:30pm, did the usual tossing and turning but slept somewhat. The dropping temperatures are making things rather difficult. Woke up at 2:45am and haven’t managed to get back to sleep. I lay in bed for a few hours and eventually got up about an hour and a half ago. I’m pretty much done as far as the computer goes already. Even with my fancy gloves typing hurts and causes an overwhelming sense of fatigue in my hands/arms only after a few words. I had all this stuff I wanted to type today but it will have to wait. The ES Tylenol isn’t doing much, heat only helps for a short time, the lidocaine I put on my neck is making things somewhat bearable. I moved wrong last night during one of my tossing and turning moments. My neck made this lovely crunching sound, luckily I am going to physio tomorrow. The physio lady told me things are going to get considerably worse before they get better, so I wonder if my neck and upper back are so bad because of this and not just the weather. I know the rest of the pain is caused by the weather. I’m going to try to catch a nap before my Mum comes over to help me organize and clean.

Update:

I caught a nap, slept for a couple hours before Mum got here. We went a little crazy with the cleaning, her doing the majority of the  work, I just pointed at things. I don’t know how to repay her. I know she does it because she loves me, but I still feel bad about it sometimes. I now have an official laundry room, clearing out some appliances from the kitchen to make more space. It’s pretty fantastic. Most of the Christmas decorations are put away, just have to take down the tree. Hung this fancy shelf type thing in the closet of the baby’s room and got some stuff onto that. Things are coming along nicely. On the baby front my belly is huge. My husband put his hand on it, I moved it down lower to where the baby actually is (he had his hand on my organs*giggles*) and he said “Oh! It’s getting hard!”. This of course makes me think about things that got us the baby, not the baby itself, which is just the way my sense of humour works. Well I didn’t actually think that until I was typing it. When he had his hand on my belly I was all happy and warm and fuzzy. He’s been a little scared to touch it I think. He’s getting more relaxed. I’ve been working on the cloth diapering thing, trying to figure out the cheapest and most effective way of doing it. When Mum and I were in the London Drugs today we found latex, dye, and perfume free diapers, using corn based products as a base. Not sure if they are biodegradable but they are close enough and cover all the bases I was concerned about (except for the biodegradable part which I will look into). The two brands were Earths Best and Nature Babycare. Both were very reasonably priced. Still not as cheap as the regular disposables but still really well prices. Earths Best was $16.99 for 50 newborn diapers, Nature Babycare was $14.99 for 42. The longer I go without meds and get used to my new normal I’ve been realizing that the cloth diapers will be murder on my hands. So as much as I hate to do it I will have to switch to these eco-friendly disposables. There are Nature Babycare wipes too that are the same price. I will be doing cloth wipes at home but I still want some disposables for when I go out.

I felt like I had been hit by a truck all day to varying degrees. So by noon I was done. Slept until 5pm. Got up, made dinner. Rice pudding is in the oven. Once it is out I will be going to bed again. I have physio early in the morning, of course it is the coldest day of the year so far. Needless to say I am taking a cab. Here’s to hoping I can sleep tonight.

Pain Management/Meds: 2 ES Tylenol, 1 Lidocaine, Heating Pad, Arthritis Gloves, 2 Wellbutrin, 15mg Cipralex, sleep

Supplements: 1 Vit D, 1 Folic Acid, 1 Prenatal Vit

Pain: 10

Mood: 6

January 16th, 2012

For any of the new readers, a general rule is that when I don’t post for a few days it is because I am feeling really bad.

I love the snow. It’s so pretty. This may sound a little strange but I had forgotten what it did to my body. I’ve had chronic pain since I was 15. I’ve dealt with it in some not so smart ways, and thankfully now, much more proper and healthy ways. The last three years or so I have been using some pretty heavy duty medications from my doctors. They made it possible for me to get up, go to work, behave like a “normal” functioning member of the work force. Now that I have been unable to have my meds for four months I have discovered a few things. The first one being that if I have to take heavy medication to do something I shouldn’t be doing it. Like cyclobenzaprine. The second being that it is not possible for me to return to the workforce. I will not heavily medicate with a child in the house. Breastfeeding or not. The third being that I like clear headed. It’s been quite some time since I have felt this clear headed. Even being clean and sober for quite some time now, the drugs that the doctors gave me still made me foggy. Unless it is absolutely necessary I don’t plan on taking them. I am willing to take the T1’s more readily after the baby is born but if I have to live my life drugged…well…it’s not really living is it?

The last three days have been rough. And getting rougher as the cold really sets in. The “t” zone as well as hands/fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, toes, and I swear every vertebrae throbs. The “t” as well as my shoulders is the worst. My exercises are helping minimally, as is stretching. I have physio on Wednesday morning so hopefully that will ease things up a bit. If things are like this tomorrow I may break down and take half a T1. I need to get some things down around the house. Appetite hasn’t been very good either. I’ve still been eating but it’s more of a force feed.

I’m off to eat some dinner, do some stretching and probably fall back asleep.

Pain Management/Meds: 3 ES Tylenol, 2 Wellbutrin, 15mg Cipralex, Heating Pad

Supplements: 1 Vit D, 1 Prenatal, 1 Omega3

Pain: 9-10

Mood: 6

January 13th, 2012

Woke up at 5am this morning which was a nice change from the usual 3am. Was feeling rather productive today. Cleaned the kitchen, took out a bunch of recycling, dropped some cheques off at the Strata Office. Discovered along the way that I have to start moving a lot slower because of the fact the baby is stealing all my oxygen and squishing my lungs, besides the fact it makes my back protest. Had a sit after that, hands were really sore. I had planned to clean the bathroom but since the hands were angry I sat on the couch and sorted a bunch of paperwork, filing what needed to be and putting the rest in the shredding pile. This finished my back off for the day, the usual “t” as well as more of my middle back. Took some ES Tylenol and lay down, falling asleep on the couch. Woke up, made dinner, cleaned up. The pain on my left mid-back/ribs kicked in pretty bad. Eased up a bit after I sat up for awhile. Have to watch how long I lay on that left side. Now I’m gonna crash for the evening. I’m hoping tomorrow I can get into some crochet. Oh! And the first two editions of the revamped and re-released Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon showed up. SO pretty. I have to wait until March to get anymore.

Pain Management/Meds: 2 ES Tylenol, 2 Wellbutrin, Exercises(still can’t quite remember to do them every two hours

Supplements: 1 Prenatal VIt, 1 Vit D

Pain: 7-8

Mood:6-7

January 12th, 2012

Woke up at 3:30am. I was impressed that I woke up in the same position I fell asleep in. Normally I thrash around like a crazy person. Guess that towel in the pillow is doing it’s job. I guess the tylenol had worn off or something though. It was the neck/spine that woke me up. I switched sides and tried to go back to sleep for half an hour. No dice. Took some ES Tylenol and crawled back into bed. Lay there for just over an hour not getting much relief. It just started to hurt on the other side. I finally got up after snuggling a sleeping Rob for a bit. Washed his coffee cup and set it up for him to make his morning cup. Fed the cats. Slathered on some lidocaine cream. I can’t use it all the time, kinda like the T1’s but it works nice. The smell of the tiger balm is bothering me, which is funny cuz I usually love that stuff. A535 is even worse. Heated up the corn heating bag and now have it wrapped around the sore spot.

I would rather be sleeping right now but apparently that’s not in the cards. Although I have the strange and simultaneous urge to crochet and clean. Once this bag cools off I’ll try to have another nap. Will update later as usual.

Update:

Around 6am I finally got back to sleep. Watching my posture and doing my exercises keeping things down to a dull roar. Went over to a good friends place to have lunch and have mommy time. I got to hang out with just her and her baby. Holding the baby only for small increments as it made my neck start to burn. My friend is very accommodating so we just passed her back and forth. Talked about pregnancy and babies and marriage. Got home and meant to take a nap. Didn’t actually happen. I puttered around online then watched some tv. Made some dinner, Rob was working late. Then felt the need to dry some apples and start a new blog. Yes I am a junky. Extra sleepy now will call it a night pretty quick here.

Pain Management/Meds: 1 ES Tylenol, lidocaine (1), heating bag (2), 2 wellbutrin, 15mg cipralex

Supplements: 2 Omega3, 1 folic acid, 1 vit d, 1 prenatal vit

Pain: 8

Mood: 8

January 11th, 2012

Missed a day! I was really busy yesterday, did lots of running around. Wasn’t too terribly sore. At least not as sore as I had been the last two days. I was out ALL day so I was really tired.

Today was painful. First physio appointment. Because I am pregnant I can’t do any of the electric based treatments. I am limited to posture correction, exercises and manual treatments. Had the usual poking and prodding. She didn’t say what had caused it, this pain in my upper back and shoulders but explained what was going on. The nerves in my neck and spine are being compressed, my arthritis may be contributing to this, building deposits up around nerves. The entire nerve system of my neck, which actually starts just under the shoulder blades and up is involved. I didn’t even know it did that. It’s a pretty text book case of long term nerve compression as far as she can tell. The only oddities being that I get no relief from raising my arms, which should lessen the pressure on those nerves, my left arm is weaker then my right and when I sit up straight my right shoulder is higher than the left but when I stand up straight it evens out. Even my uneducated brain thinks that’s weird. There is a pronounced and unnatural curve to my neck which is causing most of the compression. So what we need to do is first centralize the pain from my entire upper body to the just the junction between shoulders and neck. Once that is done we work on getting at the source of the compression which is that spot.

It is going to get worse before it gets better though.  The way nerve pain works is like this PAIN-BURNING-TINGLING-NUMBNESS(Or something like that, I can’t quite remember). My pain sits in the burning/tingling/numbness area. This means we have  to work our way back though the scale. Think about when your leg falls asleep. The progression of symptoms from being asleep to normal. That’s basically what I get to do. And because it’s hurt for so long it is going to take a long time to get it back to any sense of normal. All we did today was light manual traction on my neck. It hurt…a lot. And it felt weird getting full sensation back into my left hand when I had not even realized it was gone in the first place. She was impressed by how quickly it seemed to return, but I told her just wait it probably won’t last for long. Which she figured would happen too.

I had to buy a new pillow, extra firm, and fold a towel and place it inside the pillow case at the bottom to support my neck. Whenever I sit I need to have a rolled up towel supporting the curve in my lower back. I have to be conscious of how my body is positioned. Think yoga, I need to make sure my spine is straight and in it’s natural position, stacking the skull and neck above the shoulders, rather then the lean it has over the shoulders right now. Every two hours I have to sit with proper posture and gently nod my head forward. This also hurts, but it does bring some relief for a bit. It always builds back up over the two hours, but at least I have a way to dial it back ever so slightly. I also need to use the heating bag regularly, this will not only ease the pain but bring blood to the area and help it to heal. I go back next week.

Had my name changed on my SIN card yesterday…only four years after I was married, hehe. Spent TWO HOURS today setting up my sickness, maternity and parental benefits. I need to stop by a Service Canada office this week to drop off my note and one of my records of employment.

In the last week or two I have been getting pain in my midback on my left side, it curls around the front along my ribs right to my sternum. Antacids don’t touch it. Tylenol helps a bit. I mentioned it to the physiotherapist saying I figured it was a pregnancy thing. She said it might be but it is more than likely something to do with the RA. I wish I could just get into the new Rheumatologist!

That’s all I can remember right now. My spine is on fire and I want snuggles.

Pain Management/Meds: 2 wellbutrin, 15mg cipralex, 2 ES Tylenol, heating bag, exercises, back support

Supplements: 2 Omega3, 1 Vit D, 1 Prenatal Vitamin, 1 folic acid

Pain: 9-10

Mood: 7

January 9th, 2012

I slept relatively well. Weird dreams that bordered on nightmares.

Woke up with sore shoulders and spine. Lay in bed for an hour with the cats. They seem to feel the need to be touching me at all times right now. At least Mr. Cat has stopped sleeping on my head for the time being. Ms. Cat has become a drooling machine though and it’s gross. Cute but gross. Got up finally. Had a epsom salt bath. Took my morning dose of pills, included half a T 1 which worked well and didn’t seem to effect the little spud too much. So half a pill at a time. I’m about to go take another half. Spine is starting to feel like it’s on fire again. I have a physio appointment on Wednesday. $55! Yikes! Luckily I can get some of it back from Robs medical. Think I might take a nap.

Update:

Never did get that nap in. Got distracted doing “adult” things. Organizing EI, realizing I need to get the name changed on my SIN card so I might as well go to the office tomorrow and get both done at once, paying bills, organizing benefits, getting wills written up. Also did some reading on independent book publishing online. Taking the Tylenol 1 today was helpful, kept things down to a dull roar. It’s still very pain, especially my right shoulder today, between my shoulder blades, the “t”. Going out early tomorrow to get this EI stuff taken care of. My head hurts as well. So it’s an early night.

Pain Management: 2 wellbutrin, 1.5 Tylenol 1, 15mg Cipralex, 

Supplements: 1 folic acid, 1 vit d, 2 calcium, 2 fish oil, 1 Prenatal Vit

Pain: 8-9

Mood: 7

January 8th, 2012

Back/shoulders woke me up at 5am. Tried to get back to sleep until 6am when the pain finally ramped up high enough to get me up into the cold room to put tiger balm on. Was going to curl up on the couch but Rob convinced me to get back into bed since it’s better for my back anyways. He snuggled me and I managed to get back to sleep sometime between 6:30 and 7:00am. Woke up at 8:30am and had a long hot shower which loosened things up a little. Our plans for the day were cancelled which isn’t really a bad thing since Rob is coming down with some sort of plague and my spine is trying to explode. I’ve been curled up on the couch ever since. Pain on my back/shoulders is starting to increase again to unbearable levels so I am going to get some more tiger balm and probably sign off the computer for a bit. Will update later.

Update:

Had a lazy day. Ordered pizza for lunch, that’s how unmotivated we were feeling. Back/shoulders/neck got really bad. Spread halfway down my back when it usually stops at the bottom of my shoulder blades. It feels hot and pulsing. I slept for a few hours. Sleep seems to bring some relief, at least for a bit. Once I’ve been up and doing stuff for a little bit it ramps back up. When I woke up I was feeling fragile and nauseated. Made a small batch of cookies for Rob. Peanut butter! The bottoms got really dark though, not sure why. Too hot I guess. After that I slapped some more tiger balm on and put the heating bag on it. My nausea went away. Always disturbs me when it hurts so much my stomach goes funny. Once the bag cooled off (it’s one of those ones with corn in it) I took one more Tylenol and the rest of my daily pills. I’ve realized today that in conjunction with the rest of my pain management techniques it does take a bit of the edge off my back pain. I need to ask the midwife if it’s ok to take it every day. I know it’s perfectly safe as long as I stay within the prescribed dosage but it still worries me. I’ve been working on the teddy I am making for my niece. It’s taking forever because I keep having to put it down, but slow and steady wins the race right?

Going to watch a movie and fall asleep again now.

Pain Management: 3 ES Tylenol, 2 Wellbutrin, 3 tiger balm, heating bag

Supplements: 2 Omega 3, 1 Vit D, 1 Folic Acid, 1 Prenatal Vit

Pain: 9-10

Mood: 6-7

January 7th, 2012

Oooh! Two days in a row! *pats myself on the back*

Today was painful but very productive. I am exhausted but satisfied.

My Mum came over and we made some good progress on the baby room. It’s about halfway done. It seems my hoarding tendencies are better right now, especially if I keep reminding myself why I am getting rid of stuff. What really impresses me was how easy it was for me to remove FOUR boxes of books from my collection and barely bat an eye. I think it has a lot to do with the fact I found the box with my most beloved books in it. Pretty much ALL my Anne Rice and Anne McCaffrey. I had to make room on the book shelf for them. So now they are all nicely displayed and there’s even room for some new ones. That’s what got the pain in my hands going, soon followed by the left then right shoulder, then the “t”, that spot from the bottom of my shoulder blades to the base of my skull and from shoulder to shoulder. Think making the sign of the cross  but on your back. Then the lower back/tailbone/pelvis kicked in. It was time to stop after that. Not to mention my Mum is recovering from back surgery for spinal stenosis and there’s only so much she can do as well.

Then we went and had lunch and then I hopped a train downtown to visit good friends we haven’t seen in a year. They have a darling two year old. So we watched the Saints game, Rose and I chatted like crazy while Rob and SiMan did the same. Had jambalaya for dinner. And now here I am!

Pertaining to the doctor: I took my mom in as backup this time. She helped drive home the point that I am too sore and tired to work and most of it has nothing to do with pregnancy. Pregnancy is actually helping with some things. With my immune system running at 50% I can eat a lot of stuff I usually can’t so that is fun. Back on topic though. I told the doc where it hurt, Mom backed me up, he poked at the sore spots and nodded to himself. Wrote me a note for medical EI. Also recommended some physiotherapy, so I have a note for that as well. Have to find a place to call on Monday. Works out well too, since I got both notes at the same time, so if EI decides to be stupid I can show them I am going for treatment as well. So on Monday I also have to get onto Service Canada and get my EI going too. Heard the baby’s heart beat again too, nice and strong! Oh yeah, doc also told me I can take Tylenol 1’s or 2’s if my pain gets unbearable. Codeine is perfectly safe apparently. So I took two yesterday, it was nice to get some minor relief since the Extra Strength Tylenol does NOTHING for my body pain. I don’t like how it effects the baby though. Baby has been rolling around like crazy, the codeine caused a noticeable slowing of the party in there. I’m definitely only going to use it sparingly. Tiger balm and heating pads work damn good too. The T 1’s are good for when I need to go out.

That’s all I can remember for today. *hugs and smooches*

Meds: 2 Wellbutrin, 15 mg Cipralex, 1 ES Tylenol, 2 Tums

Supplements: 2 Omega 3, 1 Vit D, 1 Folic Acid

Pain: 8-9

Mood: 7-8