You think these spasms look painful, you should see them this year. This photo was taken last year during a very painful episode. I have lived with Chronic Myofascial Pain for 23 years now and it never really eases up all the way but, we can take measures to lessen the pain.
Understanding the beast...
Those of you that are either dealing with CMP, Fibromyalgia or Multiple Sclerosis, you know exactly what I am going through, sadly. It seems to be a never ending battle to stay one step ahead of this game.
Please understand, you are not alone and yes, some of us do understand.
Stress: One of the worst things that can fall upon those of us that live with a muscle disease.
My husband is at work all day and a lot of the night, my brother goes to school during the day and so, that left it up to me to take him out on the leash.
It was getting to the point I could not walk him during the day time.
I was so frustrated, I just did not know how to love him enough so he would stick around.
The blame game started to hit me and then the stress of it all started to mount. Sweet Tee is a Akita/Pit bll mix and the Akita in him gives him the ability to jump very high, especially for their size. Money was tight but, we had taken what we had, bought some chicken wire and started to barricade this dog in, only for him to find another way to get out. It seemed as if I was building a fence to no where.
Sleep Pattern: Very important for us to maintain one, which is very hard. We want to sleep folks but, we are unable to do so at times. As each night goes by with less and less sleep, it starts to take its toll on us.
Of course I was the last to get it so I had taken care of everyone else, making sure to try and guard myself against the flu and then I got it.
I tried to run faster than the flu, Sweet Tee running away and just the everyday duties that take all I got but, they finally caught up to me and I had to go to bed.
I did not babysit my grandson for a few days while I rested up. Tristan himself was just getting better so we both tried to weather out this storm together. Tristan had a diaper rash, one thing he just normally does not get.
Between his parents, Dan & I, we all started to doctor his behind, thinking it might be a heat rash as he ran a high fever while he was fighting the flu. We found out in some days that it was not a diaper rash, he actually caught another bug.
Noooooo, Not this Bugg...
|LOL, Not Me!|
I being his main caregiver while he was awake, I too was being bitten, without even knowing it, until I too saw welts. Where as most folks that get chigger bites, they get them all at once, as they are out in the woods when they get attacked and in one location but, here we did not know this is what it was and we all ran high fevers, I too thought that was why I was getting a rash. I was also running a high fever for days on end.
Having two dogs, 4 adults and 1 child that use this home a lot, those chiggers sure did spread. Now here I am still dealing with an escape artist named Sweet Tee, we just went through about 3 weeks of the flu and my body was feeling it. Also I might add, this was all in the month of November, right during the holidays.
Not Done Yet...
After the flu had pretty much gotten out of my home and Sweet Tee was still running away. I was washing and vacuuming everything, over and over again. The best way to kill a chigger is with (very) hot soapy water. I had taken so many baths to combat all the bites and maybe future ones that might come if I did skip this step that my skin and hair were both brittle, let alone the strength it was zapping from me.
I will share the whole chigger experience with you in the next few weeks. I learned what to do and what not to do during the process of how to get rid of these very painful parasites.
Our grandson came over, he seemed to be feeling much better, he had his usual day of hanging with his granny. His granddaddy made it home that night from work, Tristan wanted to sit on his lap so I went in the bedroom to relax, when all of a sudden I heard Dan yelling "Denise, oh my gosh come here!". As I reached the living room our grandson vomited once again.
Within the next 5 days we all had to combat the norovirus and that was not fun. Yes Sweet Tee was still getting out and my body was fighting to keep on going. My constant battle with CMP was starting to be a losing game. You see, since my body was having to fight off the flu, the norovirus, it also had to process the poison that is left by the chigger, it did not have much left for the CMP so, I have been going down.
The spasms were building up, I was still getting massages, not as many while I went through the flu though and that too was taking its toll on my body.
Chronic: My definition, constant but, with different degrees of pain, depending.
Myofascial: Thin clear film that covers our muscles.
Pain: Every day, it never lets up but, it will lessen at times.
This is the best way I know how to explain the process those of s that have CMP and some that have MS...
This is a Muscle...
This Your Muscle 'on' CMP...
For many reasons the clear layer (Fascia) over our muscles tighten up, which then draws in your muscles and you get a spasm. If you have ever had a spasm (aka charlie horses) then you know how much pain they do cause. There is a difference though...
Where as a person not living with this ailment will tell you, it does subside after you relax your muscles, mine do 'not' subside unless I do the work that needs to be done to make it happen. They either need to be taken out by my friend/massage therapist Jamie, my husband, my own hands or with another trick of the trade.
Do What You Must!
I have found over these years that those of us with the same muscle ailment are the same, yet different. What works for one does not work for all and as you are trying to get your muscle disease under control, you must realize this.
I have opted out of taking pain medications since 2000 when I was given oxycotin, I tried it, I didn't like it so I tossed them. I am so glad I did not just listen to the doctor and give them a few days to see if the side effects lessened. Within the next year they were killing people. Not worth the chance for me, if you find they help you, then so be it do it.
I do take a very low dose of xanax daily. I will also take soma's for a few weeks, then off until I have another bout.
The doctor that did finally (90's) give me the 'right' diagnosis once told me to smoke a joint if I feel stressed or have a drink or two. The key is to keep stress away as much as you are able to.
I am not much of a drinker so that is not a option, other than the occasional hoot'n and holler'n we might do once a year and at times once every few years. I did not smoke pot so that was out, so I started by getting all the information I could on the disease. Now if these options make you feel better, by all means go ahead, it is your body and you know it better than I do or even 'most' doctors.
By the way: I am all for 'medical' pot, it helps a lot of us that deal with pain constantly, might not take all our woes away but, it does help most be able to ease it up a bit.
Do what works for you!
Massage therapy twice a week and no not that relax me, smell the lavender and let us mediate kind of stuff. When Jamie comes to my home, she does not come to play.
The sessions are long (3 hours), painful and cuss words are thrown. I call it my pain tourettes, no offense to those that suffer with tourettes syndrome.
I also know that moist heat will help me along the way through CMP world and luckily years ago a friend of mine told me about rice socks.
Fill a tube sock with plain dry long white rice, using a mason jar to start the socks off works the best. Tie off the end and repeat.
Place the sock in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Each microwave, sock and rice is different so it is like microwave popcorn in that, it might take a few tries to get them just right. Then place the socks where your muscles are hurting and allow the moist (moisture comes from the rice) heat to penetrate in.
When your rice socks stop giving out moist heat, place them in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Or do as I do, place them in your freezer once a week. It might not take all the pain away but, I do promise you one thing, it does not hurt.
Life Goes On...
We have been able (Husband is selling those cars) to finally afford the tools we needed to keep Sweet Tee contained. Tristan and the rest of us are over the flu, the chiggers and the norovirus, now our bodies are healing. Our bank has worked with us so we will not lose our home, we just signed the papers last month.
A stress I have been living with for over a year, when my husband lost his job on April 1 2011 and yes, that is April fools day, go firgure huh. We went through a few months of Dan looking for a job and then 2 BS jobs until he finally found his way back to the place he where he was first fired, they called him back. Dan was salesman of the month this last month and all seems to be right in our world, today.
This was why I have been absent and unable to work. As a (recovering) A-type personality it kills me to be down but, at I keep saying, you must do what is right for 'you'.
I hope this article has helped those that too live with a muscle disease and just maybe, it might open up the eyes of you folks that do not.
My first article this go around is about the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, maybe take a look see and tell me if I am doing better or not. I am sure your answer will be "Yes!"...
Super Bowl XLVII: Football, Food, Fun & Yes, Pranks!
For another trick of the trade, please visit my article on how to make your own bath pillow...
You'll be Yelling: "Pillow, Take Me Away!"
All photographs are the property of Denise O. Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, it is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission. Just keeping it real folks.:)