Tag Archive: Pain


Why so negative?

Why must I always jump to something negative?  This morning I saw a Van parked halfway in a business driveway and a tire up on the sidewalk.  It looked to me like someone had started their day with a cocktail, or maybe had yet to make it home from their night of “fun.”  I instantly when to this negative thought process of, why don’t people get a DD?  Why must they put not only their own life in harm’s way but others on the road?

As I was spiraling down into my own private pissed off little world – I passed where the van was and was able to see what was really going on.  Sitting with his back against the fence was a homeless man, you could tell he was at his darkest hour.  I could read the pain and suffering on his face.  Kneeling down in front of him was a man dressed all in black with a bright white collar.  A man of faith had stopped his van to offer some comfort to a soul in need.  He had the other guys hands held tight in his grasp and his head bent in prayer.

This made me change my attitude right quickly.  I felt like I had been slapped by some spiritual hand.  Get out of your funk girl, not everything is bad.  Just cause some bad things have happened doesn’t mean that everything that happens is somehow bad.  Even if I don’t get my way, even if I don’t get the answer that I want, and even if I am missing out something I want to do – it is not the right time for those things and the powers that be (who know better than me) are guiding me to where I need to be.

I took Monday and Tuesday off work due to feeling very under the weather.  Last week we rolled out some new software at work and it didn’t go as to plan.  I work Tech support phones so you know who got the brunt of the pissed off end users who were dealing with pissed off people they were trying to take care of.  I try very hard not to take what they say to heart, but for some reason on Monday and Tuesday of last week it was a little on the impossible side.  I had a really hard time on Monday.

I forgot to HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) I was all of those things and I was also in pain and that always adds to those.  I am in pain about 80% of the time so you think I would be able to control myself while in pain.  But when you add all of those other things, being overwhelmed and in a lot of pain (migraine) it will make for a very unstable Courtney.  I was angry, mad, explosive.  I did a pretty good job of not taking it out on the end users, cause well it was not their fault.  (mostly) However, I was not as calm after I hung up from someone who was just not grasping what it was she should have been doing.  I am not a trainer, I do not know all the work flows and I can only go off of the information I was given.  This happened to be the same study guide that she was reading from.  I calmly asked her to talk to her supervisor after I just could not get her to understand what she should have been doing next and she got very upset with me and started to yell at me.  I again asked her to get her supervisor.  After the call was over I put my phone on the hook very calmly.  I then picked it up and slammed down the handset about 4 times.  I felt much better after that, till I realized that the director of my department had seen it.  He had me stand up and slow dance with him for a few seconds and it made me laugh.  That was just what I needed.  Him and I have always been able to talk about things, he knows all of what I went through this past year and I know a lot of what he has been through with his own struggles.

It seemed that I was starting down this path of being pissy.  Even my boss asked me if I was OK cause I looked stressed.  HA!  Stressed – who me?  How could I be stressed with 10 voice mails at any given point during the day, screaming end users and a lot of IM‘s and emails to deal with – who could be stressed with all of that?  So they could tell just by looking at me, hmmm….something has to change.  I decided that I could only fix one thing at a time.  Like in recovery, one day at a time – one step at a time.  I would just take one call at a time – If there was voice mails I would deal with them one at a time.  If I got a lot of them, I started to hand them out to the guys.  It worked and I was able to stay calm.

My husband told me about the three D’s.

Do

Delegate

Drop it

You need to do it if you can.  Delegate if you can’t.  Drop it if it is out of your hands.

It helps me not stress about things that are no longer in my hands.  If I turned it over to someone else then I need to let them deal with it.  Now with my job I do have to check back on things to make sure that they are taken care of, due to the nature of the business that I am in.  But I need to not stress about it anymore.  I turned things over to the guys and let them deal with them.  I handled what I could and took it just one at a time.  My Wed, Thursday and Friday went much better than the first part of the week.  I had some back pain and just pushed it off as stress.  As the weekend showed up I felt like crap and spent a lot of my time just being lazy.  Sunday morning I woke up very early to the feeling that I was going to be sick and that feeling was very right.  I ran to the other end of the house to the front bathroom and thought I was going to die.  After what felt like an  hour, I returned to bed to find everyone still soundly sleeping.  (hubby and the three furry kids)

So I spent most of Sunday being very careful of my movements, my back hurt but again I pushed it off as something else.  I planned on going to bed early but didn’t quite get there.  It was a very storm night so it took me a while to get to sleep.  When 5am Monday morning hit and the alarm went off, I knew that there was no way I was going to make it in.  I had taken the medication I have for the sick feeling that comes with migraines Sunday night.  It’s a narcotic and makes you very loopy and sleepy.  So when I woke up I still felt it in my system.  I knew work was going to be slammed with calls again but I had to take care of myself.  I have health issues and have not always taken care of myself.  That was part of being co-dependent.  The first sign of co-dependance is the lack of taking care of one’s self.  That was me for sure.

So I called in, (I also had to call Verizon tech support to fix txting on our phones, stopped working on Friday and needed a land line to call from)  spent the day on the sofa.  I did go see my mom for a bit and used her phone to make a few calls.  (wow I turned this into a “make a long story LONGER” thing) So anyways by the time I woke up on Tuesday the pain in my back had gone to my kidney.  I had stopped taking care of myself again.  I had not been drinking as much water as I should have been and living in the sand all my life you would think I would know better.  I have had many kidney infections due to this very reason.

So I slammed the cranberry juice and water and made it back to work today.  So now that I have made this post longer than I had set out to do, I will end with this.

Take care of yourself first.

Stop being negative.

Remember to HALT.

Drink lots of water!

And as always:

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

 

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness

Each year, National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is observedto educate the public and raise awareness

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straight. Today was so bad I couldn't concentrate on what I was saying. I'm not even sure I knew WHAT I was saying because of the pain. I even mixed up two people's names and felt really dumb afterwards. Anyone got a migraine cure? 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

about invisible illnesses. One of the blogging activities this year is a “meme,” 30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know. So, here’s my meme…So that my readers can better understand who I am, maybe you also suffer and used alcohol to cope.  I felt compelled to post this:

  1. The illnesses I live with are: Migraine disease, IBS, chronic body pain, hypoglycemia and a few others.
  2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2003.
  3. But I had symptoms since: 1987 (4 years old)
  4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Keeping medication on me at all times, avoiding food and environmental triggers.
  5. Most people assume: that Migraines are “just headaches” or no big deal just deal with it.
  6. The hardest part about mornings is: waking up with pain
  7. My favorite medical TV show is: Greys anatomy
  8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my computer and my smart phone.  I track all my migraines with an app on my phone.
  9. The hardest part about nights is: occasional insomnia.
  10. Each day I take: 8-10 pills and nose spray
  11. Regarding alternative treatments I: use meditation, heat/cold therapy.
  12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible.
  13. Regarding working and career: I can work from home when I can’t make it to the office.
  14. People would be surprised to know: that I am in some type of pain every second of every minute of every day.
  15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: limitations.
  16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: make a difference for others with the disease.
  17. The commercials about my illness: are far and few between and inadequate.
  18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I was diagnosed at 20 years old with migraines, but have had then since I was 4 – so not sure what I have missed other than a lot of work days.  IBS has made me change my diet. I have missed social events and work events due to overall body pain.
  19. It was really hard to have to give up: I had to give up eating, smelling or being around chocolate at all.
  20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Not much I can do while a migraine is in full swing.  But while being laid up in bed with other pain or unable to sleep – I like to blog, read, crochet, paint, cross stitch…lots of different things.  I like to play online games too once in a while.
  21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: not know what to do with myself.  better yet – who’s normal are we talking about?  All I have ever known is this pain.
  22. My illness has taught me: Not give up, that I am not alone and that the ones who love me really do care.
  23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: people thinking I can take a couple of Tylenol and “get over” a Migraine.

    Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Ext...

    Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Extra Strength Tylenol PM, pain relievers with the active ingredient acetaminophen/paracetamol. Tylenol PM (the white-and-blue tablets) also contains diphenhydramine, a sleep aid. These drugs were made by McNeil-PPC, Inc. The expiration date for the Tylenol is April 2007; the expiration date for the Tylenol PM is April 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  24. But I love it when people: actually ask questions and want to understand.
  25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:  Can only live life on life’s terms – can only live one day at a time – Let go and let God – turn things over to a higher power, or a power greater than myself.
  26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: learn all you can about this disease, then take charge of your health, your own health care and pain management plan.
  27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how many people come up with “cure” scams to make money from us.
  28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: my husband rubs my back and my neck for me once in a while.  He tries to keep the house quiet and dark for me.
  29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: if we’re to make progress, we must speak out and keep speaking out to educate people.
  30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: that we CAN make a difference!
Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Migraine Barbie has Snapped! (Photo credit: Deborah Leigh (Migraine Chick))

It means a lot to me to be able to share with others the pain and the suffering that I live with every day in the hopes that maybe someone will find in it the comfort that they are not alone.  Just as with the openness that I have with the AA and AL-alanon aspects of our life, migraines and chronic pain is something I wish to be open about.  Through numbers we gain strength and hope.  Migraine sufferers have a high subside rate, its is hard to get health care professionals to understand that not all chronic pain sufferers are pill seeking.  Most of us would rather have a treatment plant than be drugged.  Those who seek only to drug themselves then live life might have started out this way, but through desperation have reached a point in which being unable to feel anything is better that feeling pain.  At least to me , if I can still feel – I am still alive.  It might be pain, it might be dark, lonely and terrifying, but I have faith that when the clouds part, I will have sunshine – even if its for a brief moment.

 

Steps…


“It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I thought this was fitting for anyone doing the 12 steps.  You must remember that it is a one step at a time thing.  One step at a time, one day at a time, one goal at a time… it’s not an over night change.  I thought once He stopped drinking life was going to go back to normal.  Nope, he had a lot of pain and things pent up that he was hiding with the alcohol.  We both hid behind our own veils and thought we did a good job.  I used to think as long as there was a smile on my face no one would know how bad I hurt.  Not so much.  To most I am an open book, no matter what cover I put on the pages people can still read the signs.  The only person I felt never got me was my husband.  He could never understand the pain from being lonely, the migraines, the hurtfulness from his words…there is no way he understood me.  The only one of those that was true was the migraines, he doesn’t have them that bad.  Little did I understand then that he was in his own kind of pain.  He understood all too well the loneliness, he is the adult child of two sever alcoholics who do not believe they have an issue and have disowned their son and me.  That is their own deal, and we are not going to be a part of it.  They also have the control problem and we were unwilling to let them control us and that didn’t work for them.

Pain is lonely, I spent so much time alone due to my migraines.  No one understands them, they just want to leave you alone.  That works for some people, but I hate to be alone.  Now that my husband has a better understanding of my migraines, he knows how to better help me.  Just as he took the time to learn about my illness, I took the time to learn about his.  That’s when I discovered its not just the alcoholic who is sick.  It’s a family illness and effects all members in it.  AA will not teach him how to make me stop being co-dependent and Al-anon will not teach me how to get him to stop drinking.  The groups are there to help the person in it, the other person needs their own recovery plan.

So just remember, just because it doesn’t seem like someone should be in pain, the hurt could just be in the inside.  Just because they don’t have bruises and scares, doesn’t mean that it’s all in their head.  You would not tell a person who has cancer to just stop having cancer, its something that needs to be treated.

First Al-Anon date 12/22/11

Al-Anon start Date: 12-22-2011

12/23

Yesterday was my fist Al-Anon meeting.  After the meeting I came home and talked to my husband about my feelings.  He was at his AA meeting while I was at my Al-Anon meeting.  All this time I thought this was just his problem.  He was the sick one not me, why do I need treatment?  I am not the one who drinks, he is!  As I read the book and listened to everyone’s story’s I realized that I am just as sick if not sicker than he is.

The drinker is the one who lies, hides things, steals, makes up stories and is the only one with the illness right?  WRONG!!  I lied right along with him, I helped him hid the drinking.  I would tell myself “he doesn’t have a problem.”  I would go buy him beer and never say anything about it to him.  He would yell and scream at me, or through stuff if I did something he thought was wrong or something he didn’t like.  I just would take it, I never said anything.  I would sit there in silence and listen.  Sometimes I ever started to believe it.  So really recovery is as important for me as it is for him.

I felt a lot of guilt towards his drinking for a long time.  Maybe this was somehow partially my fault.  Then I felt anger towards him, towards his parents, towards myself.  Why did his parents have to be so mean, such heavy drinkers and passed it on to both their children.  Then I felt sadness cause if he would have found Al-Anon, Alateen or ACA (adult children of alcoholics) maybe this could have been avoided.  Instead of dwelling on the past, I am putting my energy towards my recovery and the future.

During our separation which was the fist part of his recovery, he used to tell me that even if we didn’t stay together this was not just his issue and I would have to always deal with it.  I thought oh great, he is never going to let me be.  But after talking with him last night I realized what he was talking about was my own illness.  I was co-dependent to his drinking.  I would take care of him so he never had to suffer the consequences from his drinking.  I was making it easy on him to keep drinking.  Now being able to see that I am also sick and need the recovery program I feel so much better.

Wait, you feel better after admitting you have a problem?  Well yes, that is one of the twelve steps.  The very first step is to admit that you are powerless over alcohol and that you life has become unmanageable.  There are twelve steps, twelve traditions and twelve concepts of service.  What a coincidence there is also twelve months.  I will be working thought each one each month.  I was told by my group leader last night that after one year I get my Al-Anon chip, I am so excited about that.  Seeing Bryan get his chips has been wonderful.  AA gives out sobriety chips as they reach milestones in their recovery.

My husband got his 6 month chip last week and it was my first open AA meeting.  That is when I decided I wanted to see what Al-Anon was all about.  Going to the open AA meeting opened my eyes to recovery.  The AA, Al-Anon, Alateen and ACA programs are wonderful.

I always had this feeling of being lost, without purpose, without hope.  I was sad, depressed and lonely.  I thought there was no way anyone would understand or believe me.  I have lived most of my life in pain that no one understood or believed.  I have had migraines all of my life, I also have wide-spread pain all over my body.  There are no medical findings to support my claims of the pain.  So I was told over and over that it was all in my head.  As a child Dr’s told my parents I was faking the migraines.  It was not till I was 21 and had a seizure that they started to listen to me.

So, here I am a person who suffers herself not believing my husband when he tried to tell me he suffered.  That he was in pain, was sad and depressed.  I could not believe that he felt hopeless or useless when everyone wanted his help for everything.  He felt just as alone as I did.  So here are two people who are in pain, lonely, sad and hopeless.  Both so close to one another yet so far away.   Thank God everyday that we both have now found recovery, we have both found understanding, we have both found compassion and we have both found the love for each other that was always there.  We just had to get out of our own way.  Let go and let God.  To hear him talk of God in his life is very new for me, he refused Gods presence in his life for a long time and it warms my heart now.  So now we have each other, we have God, and we both have recovery.

 

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