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Married 20 years today

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Theo and I celebrate our 20 year anniversary today. 10 of those years we’ve had to unwillingly share with chronic pain, 5 of which, I can totally admit I was not really present.

Celebrations are so hard because you can never celebrate the way you used to.

You can’t celebrate the way you want to either.

Even if 10 years have gone by, I know for sure that Theo and I would have had suitcases ready now and we’d be planning a great trip overseas to mark our anniversary as well as our birthdays which all fall in November. Continue Reading

My Recent Follow up Appointment

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Pain-Management-goodies

I’ve had loads of information to process after my recent appointment with pain specialist, Dr Nick Christelis.

To prevent you all from zoning out (and my backside from having a fit), how about I spread my pain management report out a little?

If you’re in a kind of ‘I can’t be bothered, I’m over it’ and ‘don’t want to hear any recommendations or my brain will burst’ state then here’s a special post for you – Diagnosis: A Can of Worms. 

And if you didn’t read how I prepared for my appointment please do so here because I’m about to reflect on it: Upcoming Appointment with my Pain Specialist

I’ll also be back to report on how I am going a few months down the track – sooner if something miraculous happens.

On arrival

It’s always great to see Dr Christelis and after my appointments I always feel very much relieved. There is such a huge psych component to having a specialist who understands you and your health issue. Continue Reading

Upcoming Appointment with my Pain Specialist

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In just a few days I will be seeing Dr Christelis.

I’ve had one follow up appointment since my sacral stim implant.

It’s not that the stim has miraculously sorted my chronic pain issue, and not that I haven’t had a million symptoms to question, but I’ve come to learn that symptoms change alot. So I wait weeks, even months before deciding whether I need an appointment.

During this time a fair bit of info accumulates. I learn alot about my treatment and alot about how my body responds to it. It’s impossible to remember all this detail.

Thoughts I battle before an appointment are – how I’ll manage the car ride, my preference to be self managing, and that I’m sick of appointments. There is also the cost issue to take into account and that there are others who need these appointments also. A good pain specialist is busy.

Being conscious of the above, I’ve learned to manage appointments better. I plan for the appointment by using Pain Train to speak for me and remind me of everything I want to say.

Wanna see how I do this?

Continue Reading

Welcoming the biggest US beauty brand to Australia – Rodan + Fields

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Who says injured workers and people with chronic health conditions can’t work?

Welcoming the biggest US beauty brand to Australia – Rodan + Fields.

Give me an opportunity to be involved with a company that doesn’t pride its business on photoshopped images, that embraces ageing, while also offering a business model that allows me to be involved within my health limitations… and I’ll be attempting it!

Continue Reading

This, is Queenscliff

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I’m thinking it might be relevant for followers to see where I moved to. So, here you go – welcome to Queenscliff!

It has been a huge transition (by now you’ve heard about it) but moving from my previous (20+year) city life to this seaside town is quite a change!

Kind of forced sea-change! Continue Reading

Self Management: Acceptance, Commitment & Sacrifice

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Elizabeth Banfield_written within
(Image: Written Within* by Elizabeth Banfield hand burnished linocut, kozo tissue, thread ©2017)

My sacral stim and I have known each other for a full 17 months now, so I felt it was the right time to make some comments and reflect, again, on this self management business.

Yes, the sacral stim is making a huge difference.

Now remember – I’m talking about my pelvis, my pain experience, my brain, my nervous system and my genes

Three (of my never-ending) realisations for living with chronic pain are that I have to:

  • accept that my life and I have changed – forever
  • commit to a new way of living, and
  • make the sacrifices that it takes to self manage

Chronic pain really blurs life so it takes time to realise the impact (positive or negative) of any treatment or change of activity.

Time seems shorter for me. When I compare myself with full capacity humans, I feel I achieve less and the physical cost is greater.

Not the best value! But it’s what I can get.

The Sacral Stim

The good news is: Continue Reading

ADF campaign: Losing Yourself in Pain Medication

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The Alcohol & Drug Foundation (ADF) has been working to enhance awareness about the way Australians consume pain killers.

My understanding of the campaign is that the ADF in no way suggests pain killers are not necessary – many Australians require their medication to manage their health issues – but patients should investigate other options and be informed about the effects of taking these medications long-term. They should not be recommended as a first resort.

Within a few months of taking chronic pain medications, I realised it was not a long term plan for me and was thank full to be able to find other forms of treatment that could help me survive chronic pain day-to-day.

Mamamia: My experience with medication

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Mamamia_0794

It’s time we talk about the addiction killing more Australians than heroin and ice combined.

(Excerpt from mamamia.com.au. Story by Caitlin Bishop)

Soula Mantalvanos was 37 when she was sitting on a fit ball and it burst. She landed on concrete, hard.

“It was a split second. It was bone to concrete and it felt that way. I was in shock and then thought ‘I can’t move, I can’t move’. Slowly, I turned over and crawled to the carpet,” Soula told Mamamia. 

Before then, Soula walked everywhere. She lived with her partner in the heart of Collingwood, Melbourne. They would walk to see friends, walk to dinner. Soula did yoga four times a week. She could hold a shoulder stand for eight minutes. Continue Reading

Suck it up and smile – it’s holiday time!

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Yippee!! Not! It’s too hard.

I was dreading Christmas – like I usually do. And I’m dreading New Year’s eve and day – as I usually do. And even though I would regard myself as ‘experienced’ and loaded with the best treatment possible, there seems to be no way of avoiding pain during holiday time.

Suck it up!? Um…,

No!

And that word my dear readers, is how I manage this holiday time.

I’ve learned it so well now it just rrrrrrrolls off my tongue and I loooove it because it’s always there for me and it keeps me HAAAAAPPY.

Here it is again:

Noooooooo

And with that comes,

I’m sorry, I can’t do ‘that’

With the truth being, I definitely can do ‘that’ but I have chosen (well sort of voluntarily obviously as I didn’t plan this bizarre accident) not to, because I don’t want the pain levels during – and after – I do the ‘that’.

There.

But of course it isn’t so easy. There are a few sad bits that come with ‘no’. Continue Reading

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Definitions of pain

What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?
Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggravated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

What is Neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or malfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. The pain is often triggered by an injury, but this injury may or may not involve actual damage to the nervous system. More…

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