Or should I say, looking forward to 2015? Looking forward is more my tune but the changeover of another year, especially with chronic pain, calls me to reflect and to ponder my future. It’s been three gorgeous months in nurturing [...]
Last week, I attended my last acupuncture appointment and for the first time in over seven years, am therapist free. Hang on, I have to just repeat that: I am therapist free Did I ever think this day would come? Of course I did and I believe that's why I am here. I have had my moments, but what I didn't realise through all that heat and whilst pacing like a snail, was that each flare up and pain episode was actually not an indication that pain was here to stay, but rather that it was actually beginning to leave. Although just a difference of minutes initially, eventually I felt the flare ups spreading further apart. And with recognising that change and NOT increasing my capacity past a snail's shell weight, I began to make progress.
I thought it might be a little more realistic to post 'status' reports as I battle on with PN. Most often I try to be positive and hopeful but the reality is PN is nothing but hardship, sacrifice and loads of pain. Instead of bombard my website with these status reports I chose to write these on my Facebook page. It also makes it easier for me to provide support in the form of 'live' communication. I can keep posts short and they can be posted from the phone more regularly. The website tends to have 'major' status updates, I felt I needed to comment about the day-to-day struggles.
When I hear 'festive cheer' I can't help but rhyme it with 'Festive fear', are you terrified at this time of year? Festivities call us to get out of the safe daily zone, step into marathon entertaining, baking, wrapping, socialising, a time to move away from our therapists and their treatments (Lord knows they need a break!) and jump! It's impossible not to wonder, how will this end for my pelvis?
...I'll clarify now, this post is a very positive one. It's about standing up, facing the world which requires courage, strength, being understood, supported, alot of struggle, and a damn load of management skills. ... not only did Lucy Feagins share our creativity on her brilliant blog, but her address and understanding of our space and lives couldn't have been more spot on or more supportive of PN. It puzzled me that Lucy could understand it when others struggle so much. ... I want judgement to stop. People in pain shouldn't have to say more than 'I suffer chronic pain'. It's harmful and prevents people in pain from going out when they're feeling ok, or rather when they can withstand their pain. If their houses are really tidy, that means they have help. If you see them socialising in one place, doesn't mean they can make it to the next. We are able to smile, we can move, we can walk, we can stand, just not alot. We don't hunch, in fact our practitioners teach us to have great posture, we might sit funny, walk slow, not carry much, and stare as you may you won't see our pain. If we appear somewhere and look great, we planned for that and it took alot of sacrifice and help. If you have doubts, keep them to yourself please because there's no doubt in our mind we're in pain.
I had tried to paint myself in pain but it was deeply upsetting. It would have also been concrete documentation - forever - and that's the last thing I wanted to do with this pain. Immortalise it. The pain wasn't staying. It wasn't forever, and there was no way I was going to make it mine. My artwork takes me to happy places, but of course I couldn't ignore these years of my life.
Well it's hardly a birthday celebration! But certainly a time to reflect and assess myself and the achievements of PudendalNerve.com.au. The total visits in 12 months total an astounding 21,500 and the search terms are a clear indication that still, so little is understood of Pudendal Neuralgia worldwide. The first note must be of thanks and of course, has to go to my husband Theo. Without Theo's daily help this site simply wouldn't be up and running.... neither would I! Second note worthy thank you, and certainly something that can be celebrated, has to be the beautiful connections I've made in the past year. I've met the most inspiring, energising, kind, compassionate people, whether practitioners, therapists, chronic pain sufferers, or people attached to the pain system, you have been my encouragement and empathy. Your pain and/or knowledge inspire me to continue and get to the bottom of this dreaded pain issue (in the hope of resolving it not only for me but for all of us!), and/or try to voice my improvements for an ignorant WorkCover system. As far as my personal 1st year status goes, I definitely have 'progress' to celebrate; I'm running on Nerve block no. 3, refreshing my pelvis as required with a newly installed bidet, taking minimal amounts of Endep, in much less pain but still much limited with capacity and in need of daily help. Although I still need regular massage, I'm able to work a little from an accommodating home setup, thinking a lot more, delegating-delegating-delegating and finally, but not least, have taken a plunge into the wonderful world of Chinese Medicine which I believe may finally be able to reach my pain. Stay tuned for another update on that soon. (image) Nerve Block Cake & Candle To sum up, here are some stats that may be of interest to my subscribers and visitors (and my very loyal spies!).
Happy... post nerve block No. 3. I'm at 5.3 weeks and have managed to walk daily a few days in a row, practice some extremely mild yoga and have a few meals out without the pathetic fire warning in my pelvis. Could it be? Could it really be? Here's hoping 2013 begins with some pain free magic. Right now, I feel like this... and I wish that everyone who comes across my website, or is a regular reader feels the same. If not, please, remain hopeful.
With Pudendal Neuralgia, or any other pelvic chronic pain issue, it can be impossible to sit pain free (let alone get away without a flare up). Of course, I'm no pro when it comes to seating, but I've learned a lot from my own experience and from listening to the 'ouch' in my pelvis. The seating I needed, was most often hand-made! (Have a look at the one my gorgeous father in law made, it's the stool with adjustable foot rest!) Although I've worn out, thrown out, tried and tested so many more seating aids, I'm showing the ones that have lasted or worked for a while. These are the ones I often resort to.