Ouch! That was painful.

Woman holding onto shoulder in pain

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You hit your elbow on the table, shooting pain runs up your arm, and you yell out “ouch!”. Many of us have encountered a similar scenario. In that moment of pain you may be irritable, distracted, tense, even inpatient. The pain is sharp, intense, and after a few distractions the pain has subsided, and you go about your day. I have just shared with you an acute pain scenario.

Acute pain described by Web MD:

Acute pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp in quality. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body…Acute pain may be mild and last just a moment, or it may be severe and last for weeks or months.

Have you considered what it would be like if that sharp, intense pain, never went away? You were forced to live in a chronic state of pain even if the injury is considered healed. Try and imagine the emotional and physical distress that mounts.

Chronic pain persists despite the fact that an injury has healed. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years.

I admit, in the past minimizing a person’s suffering when I heared words like, chronic lower back pain, knee pain, joint pain, disregarding and not understanding the severity of chronic pain. With this newfound knowledge, I hope that we all reconsider how we treat people who bravely share with us that they are suffering from chronic pain.

Much love,
Marissa

Creative Sunday

Theme: Patience

A daily struggle messing with my emotional state

This condition takes a drain on my psychological state

I battle with the future, present, and past

Life turning into daytime drama, I must have been miscast

Forced to patiently await for a date that may never come

Grappling for some semblance of who I have become (Sara Gorman Shout-out) ;

Knowing that turbulent times and joy combine as one

Some call this a chronic condition,

I’m coming to accept this may be my life’s mission

Patience until the answer is revealed

Total acceptance may be accepting this mission is concealed

As I am forced to wait, I will tame the desire to debate

Continue to train like a hungry welterweight

Careful not to push beyond what my limits dictate

 

Much love,
Marissa

Another Chronic Condition?

Doctor And Stethoscope

Image: Suat Eman

Approximately 4-5 years ago a doctor suggested my lab results indicated Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (immune system attacks the thyroid tissue). Another doctor was not convinced and was unable to concur. Without additional information I mentally did not claim the condition. Differing opinions usually leads to additional blood work down the road. My new GP is keeping an eye on my thyroid levels. As my TPO antibodies continue to rise, hypothyroidism (Thyroid doesn’t make enough T4 and T3 hormones), doesn’t seem out of the question. It’s just a waiting game. Crap, I don’t want to have to take a synthetic hormone for the rest of my life. Sigh. Mentally I am forced to focus on one life altering chronic illness, I need the rest of my health to stay on track!

* My results:
7/28/11 Thyroid Peroxidase (tpo) Ab 38
6/5/12 Thyroid Peroxidase (tpo) Ab 54

If you have thyroid issues, please reach out. Are you on a thyroid diet? Has synthetic hormone helped minimize your symptoms. I am going to need guidance on this one. It seems like the thyroid treatment controversy is hot and heavy!

Much love,
Marissa

*TPO Normal Range 0-34

It Has Arrived

So pumped to have gotten in this months awareness t-shirt and bracelet.

chronic pain awareness t-shirt and bracelet

Chronic Pain fact via the American Academy of Pain Medicine 

 While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.

 

Much love,
Marissa

Awareness DNA

Clay figure holding a question sign

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What makes you tick? What brings you joy? What pulls you out of a dark place? Don’t be afraid to sit with yourself and take time to understand your personal DNA. Part of my healing and acceptance of living with a chronic illness has come from bombarding myself with questions and putting in the work to reveal answers. Forcing myself to engage with my thoughts and reducing the negative internal autopilot has produced positive growth.

As I learn more about my personal DNA, I realize that I am passionate about spreading awareness. It brings me joy to receive a monthly awareness t-shirt and bracelet. These days nothing pulls me out of a dark place quicker than putting on my awareness bracelet and t-shirt. Without engaging, I would have never revealed these truths.

Don’t be afraid to get intimate with your chronic disabled self. You may find joy in dark places!

Much love,
Marissa

Sometimes You Find Yourself Freestyling Life

Play

My life is anything but a well executed, thought out, lyric. I consider my life raw and often times messy. Chronic illness has found a way to complicate, yet simplify my life. Every Friday I partake in Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). The therapy has a tendency to kill me softly. On the day of VRT, my physical therapist asks that I not partake in any visual stimulus, so I often find myself, lying in bed, listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

During VRT, we work on posture, coordination, vision, and core strengthening, therefore, Saturday I wake up feeling as if a truck hit me. Come Sunday, I began show traces of my familiar disequilibrium self. I don’t get out very often, so by the time sunday rolls around I am stir-crazy. I have found that long durations behind four walls can be madding; therefore, positive distraction is critical.

Babe and I were clicking through the channels and landed on VH1’s show, T.I. & Tiny. Tip’s son, Domani, was given a chance to write a song and perform it within two days. My mind began racing. Throughout the years, I have hinted at babe that I can write rhymes. I have gotten some interesting glances throughout the years. So, this Sunday, during the show, I asked babe to participate in the creation of an off-the-cuff hip hop rhyme. It’s important to note, I am low budget, and don’t have any equipment, so the sound quality is not important. This was a sporadic attempt at positively distracting myself.

Disclaimer:

Do I think I can rap or freestyle? No.

Do I think I will have a career in music? No.

Do I think I am little crazy sharing my personal antics on my blog? Yes

Did I secretly want to be Queen Latifah and MC Lyte growing up? Yes.

Kicking off the challenge: I embarked on what I am calling, Creative Sunday.

Challenge: Given a random theme, locate a beat, write lyrics, record the song, play babe the track. Here, is the 5 step breakdown.

 Babe provides me the theme. “Do the right thing”.

 I look for a beat. Where the heck do I find beats? I ended up on YouTube. Took me about 20 minuets to locate an instrumental.

*First break came after locating the beat.

 I start writing the rhyme. It took about 30 minutes including breaks.

*Forced to take about 2 breaks during this process.

Record the track. This was a fun process. I didn’t have a great sense of what I was doing, but it didn’t stop me. It’s important to note, I had a grin on my face the entire time.

* Several long breaks were taken during this process. (Being forced to take breaks while in fun moments can lead to frustration. I am learning to anticipate breaks in any venture I partake in which now minimizes the frustration. I am now starting to see breaks as part of the process.)

Play track the babe.

I was so nervous to play babe the track! Why was I so nervous? The track was never going to be heard by anyone, so who cares. This was just supposed to be a fun distraction. I guess everyone fears rejection on some level. As I was playing babe the track, various reactions formed on his face. Guess he didn’t know what to expect. He reacted like a proud parent, and it was just the reaction I needed. He was very supportive and suggested I share it on the blog. I figured, what the heck. The purpose of creative sundays is to show the importance of having fun regardless of limitations and participating in random moments that bring unexpected joy!

Happy Listening. And cheers to creative Sundays!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Do The Right Thing 2.0

Much love,
Marissa

Instrumental credit: M-Phazes – All 4 Hip Hop ( Instrumental )

Copyright Disclaimer: I am considering this venture an educational process. I learned a ton. There will be no sale or distribution. I am just a chronically disabled gal keeping positively distracted.

Lyrics: Do the right thing

This rhyme was birthed from a random moment. Shout out to babe
Tonight, slither up to the mic, rattle snake
Believe in the promise of a sealed hand shake
Let me take you back, to that dark cold place
Morality swallowed up between time and space
No time to contemplate or call on home grow faith
The spirit of the moment shook you like a earthquake

Time to be alone, this moment not home grown
Flashlights in the car, your mind about to be blown
Handcuffed, spread out on car, your locked down
Silence deafening when it’s the only sound.

It’s never easy to simply do the right thing
Remember what happened to radio raheem
In a choke hold facing 5-10
Leaving another generation of fatherless men
Seems senseless a life without a beginning or end.

(vocal)
Its never easy
it’s never easy

it’s never easy
never easy

never easy
never easy
never easy

Switch back to the second you change your fate
Filled with rage and anger you could hardly see straight
It took years to build up this ignorant rage
Living life through the bars of a rattled cage

Jury assembled of 12 angry white men
Save money on this trail we know where it’s headin
Cinematic drama played out in black in white
American justice don’t go out without a fight

You jump up, they scream, it’s a prosecutors dream
Max sentence handed down to the legal defense team
Walked out the courtroom your family cries
Choices and consequences laid to your demise
Sitting in a cell means time to mend
Future generations will be lead to stronger men
Time will be served left rattled and unnerved
Courage rebuilds when you hit that right nerve

(Vocal)
Its never easy
never easy
Its never easy
never easy

It’s never easy
never easy

Listen carefully as I will leave you with this
There is a thin line between sorrow and bliss
Next time you think of loosing the moral code
Think back on what you’ve already been told
Patience is virtue leading to the promise land
Shortcuts deter you from that master plan
You are birthed from the father of everything
Your purpose will be revealed when you do the right thing!

12-12-12 Project: June-Chronic Pain

According to the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, 100 million Americans suffer from Chronic Pain.

Chronic pain not only involves the person with pain, but the family as well.

Almost two-thirds (59%) reported an impact on their overall enjoyment of life.

74% said their energy level is impacted by their pain.

This month’s 12-12-12 project will feature Dale Lehn, living with chronic pain. In 2001, Dale was happily living life with his family enjoying a successful sales management career in information technology. He was returning home from the beach when a simple sneeze alerted him of a much greater problem. He quickly went from undergoing an MRI to having a benign tumor removed from his spinal cord. The tumor returned in 2005 leaving Dale restricted to a wheelchair. Dale has worked to enhance his life condition and is the cofounder of chronicpainanonymous.org  I look forward to learning more about Dale’s experience and spreading awareness about chronic pain.

Much Love,
Marissa