I Am Still Here…

I have been very quiet on the blogging front over the last few months. But I have regularly logged on here to read all your amazing posts.

My youngest son is now a frequent user of my computer, I rarely get the time to sit down a write…. I miss it.

Wishing you all well and looking forward to reading your stories x

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6 Things about Chronic Pain You Didn’t Know You Knew

Anyone living with someone who suffers chronic pain should read this x

Then Everything Changed

Chronic pain isn’t just constant pain, though that would be more than enough for anyone to handle, the truth is chronic pain always brings friends. These added challenges are obvious, but rarely taken into consideration by “healthy” people.  Remembering that like all bullies chronic pain travels with a gang can help to better understand the life of someone in chronic pain.

Pain is exhausting.  We have all had a bad headache, a twisted knee, or a pulled muscle, and by the end of the day it is a monumental effort just to read the mail.  You may not have consciously realized it, but the pain that has relentlessly nagged you through out the day has drained you as bad as any flu.  Even when you try to ignore pain it will stay in the back of your mind, screaming for attention, draining away all of your energy. With chronic…

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Its Been A While….But I’m Back!

I haven’t written for quite some time but as 2013 comes to a close I cant help but look back at this year with some relief that is nearly over.

A year ago, on the 28th of December I underwent a procedure that was to relieve me of the daily pain I’d suffered for four years. In fact what was supposed to be a new pain free chapter in my life turned out to be quite the opposite and for the first six months of 2013 life stood still.

Life became almost unrecognisable, culminating in daily doses of Tramadol. I had become nearly two stone over weight and was struggling with depression. I had no money left from my savings and getting very little help from the government. I was broken. I looked in the mirror and did not know who that person was. Where did that happy confident girl go……

Well folks, she back!!! 

I may not be free of IC, I may not be slim although I have lost 22lbs so Im getting there, but my mind is back! My clear thinking is back, my control is back, my confidence is back!!! I AM BACK!  I find it hard to put into words how I feel. If I talked about all the shitty things that have happened over the last four years it would make for depressing reading, so Im not going to. In fact all of that is gone, let go, forgotten, forgiven.

Now is the time to grab life by the whatsits and enjoy! These last horrendous few years have taught me something very important. Maybe if I hadn’t been in that hell I would never have learned to appreciate the important things in life. Many of us a bit blinkered and go through life without my care or thought, well I was a bit like that. I was kind and generous to others, I was a good friend to many, I provided for my family as a single parent.. but… I didn’t understand what appreciating life was really all about! I’d never experienced long term chronic pain, never endured financial ruin. In fact I’d never really worried about money at all. But somehow I was never really happy deep down. Now I know why!

Life teaches us many great lessons, its up to us to listen, learn and take action!

I took action, I took responsibility. I came off tramadol, I lost weight and then I made the decision to go self employed. Every time I took one of those decisions I grew. I grew in confidence and I grew an understanding of what had been wrong in my life and that I had to get to rock bottom before I could learn and ultimately change my life for the better. 

So here we are nearing the end of 2013 and I thank god we are! I still have IC, I still have no money and I still have pain everyday. But!!? I feel happy, I feel alive and I feel ready to go on into the new year, 2014… here I come!

My name is Morag and I’m back x

Is This A Turning Point?

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Where to start…… Ok, the last four years have been s**t. Really really! Illness, financial ruin, relationship breakdown, moving house…… Being a single parent with a chronic pain condition has been a tough road to travel.

One constant in my life for two and a half years has been my horse, Finlay. There is not a day goes by when I don’t feel privileged to have him in my life. The time I spend with him Im not a mum, single parent with a chronic pain condition. Im just me! The girl who started riding aged 6 and never stopped. Of course as a mum I feel blessed everyday that I have two healthy happy boys but my horse time is me time!

In July this year I appeared to be having less pain on a daily basis, it was still there but not as severe. Around this time I started wearing a magnetic bracelet. I had been taking tramadol everyday so maybe that was the reason but I really wanted to get off this drug. I had started to lose weight, being 20 lbs overweight, this was a good thing. When the weight loss started I began to feel better about myself, I had control of something for the first time in years. This feeling of achievement spurred me on to come off the tramadol, which I did.

One other reason to come of the drug was I would begin a 6 week course of treatment for my IC, one day a week at hospital. So I wanted to be drug free to access whether this treatment would make any difference. The more decisions I made the more confident I became. I took on a small cleaning job a couple hours a week, Id met new friends and Finlay’s yard, and even contacted someone who has IC and lives locally to me! It was great to chat to someone who completely understood what I have been going through for five years.

So now a couple of months on, I’ve lost 14lbs, my pain is at a lower level and my self esteem is much improved. I don’t feel as insecure and I’m actually quite liking myself again.

Last week I was approached to work part time for a local lady who has three dressage horses. At first I was really unsure. Could I do the job? Could I manage pain levels? Could I use my catheters at work? Could I fit the hours around my youngest son and my own horse commitments? After much deliberation and conversations with friends (ok I know its not life or death, just a job) I decided to give it a go! In fact I am going self employed, freelance! Its a bit scary but… feel the fear and do it anyway!

So many good things have happened in the last two months. Why now? Is it because I took control of one thing in my life (my weight) Is it that when you project positivity that’s what you attract? Is it just the cycle of life, like life’s patterns? They say life changes every seven years and just over 7 years ago I met my ex. Hmmm that makes a lot of sense! So 7 years on and I’m finally turning a corner on to a new path. Who knows where it will take me. x

Ps, last week got my hair done for the first time in 12 months AND went out for a drink with friends. Well, they’d been trying to get me to the pub for three years 🙂 x

IC : Full Circle!

Next week I will start attending hospital once a week for treatment in the hope that this time around it will make a difference. This treatment as been tried before but as we have exhausted all other options apart from drastic measures like bladder reconstruction, its worth another try.

It does feel like Ive come full full circle right back to the beginning but the difference this time is that by using the catheters the bladder will actually be empty. I believe that all treatments failed previously because this important fact was missed. The bladder was not voiding sufficiently!

We all retain a certain amount for fluid, that’s very normal. But I was retaining up to 350mls! That’s very far from normal! So with the combination of drug therapy instilled into the bladder plus the bladder being properly empty maybe there is a chance that the pain will be less. Maybe!

The drug therapy is call Cystistat, I will have weekly instillations of this for 6 weeks in the hope that it will help to repair the damage to the lining of the bladder.

With IC you can only hope! x

Time For A Massage!

Im not talking about myself, don’t be daft! I wouldn’t pay for that for myself, no, we’re talking about equine deep muscle massage. This is the reason I haven’t been to the hairdressers in a year!! Horses, dogs and children come way before me (not in that order of course, I promise!) For the pricely sum of £30 Finlay got an MOT (service)

This was long overdue, I’ve always known he was stiff on his offside (right side) and he has had shiatsu treatments but he was feeling quite off! So it was time for something a bit more substantial, something more physical to get to the root of the problem. This is where Irene comes in.

Irene works with divining rods initially when gets to work massaging the affected area. I had never seen this technique before but she was highly recommended by the professional trainer at my yard. Im very open to alternative therapies and have, in the past, given healing (channelling energy) to humans and animals. So when Irene began I was full of questions, how she got started with divining rods, was it a spiritual connection, what guided her (the rods or spirit) She told me that she is a spiritualist and frequently attends ghost hunting weekends!

To some this may be amusing but if you saw what she did for Finlay you’d change your mind!

She stood on his near side first (left) the rods immediately started spinning wildly, the over to the other side which was exactly the same. I had given her very little information (wanted to see if she would pick up on what I already knew) Very quickly she said he was sore on both sides just behind the shoulder but much worse on the offside. Correct!

In fact he was really sore! My poor boy was climbing the wall when she started to massage the muscles. It was quite frightening to watch just how sore it was! I felt so guilty I hadn’t done this sooner. Finlay never really showed any real problem. Never disagreed when tacking up or girthing up etc. But last week I notice his stride shorten, so stopped riding that day and called Irene.

Irene explained that this problem has been there for years, long before I got him and that he’s had some kind of trauma on his offside. I’d always suspected this because that’s his stiff side, he sweats more on that side, lies on that side, always turns to the right (in his stable, spooking etc) Anything that means he doesn’t have to stretch his offside.

As Irene worked away he slowly began to feel more comfortable. I could visible see the blood flow returning to the muscle, a very slight pulse could be seen and the whole area was very soft. Finlay was breathing huge sighs of relief and resting his head in my arms. My beloved boy was finally feeling relaxed. Irene commented regularly about how lovely Finlay was, not in looks, in personality/energy. This is the exact same feeling I got when I first set eyes on him two and a half years ago. It was a spiritual connection.

Finn now has two days in the field (today and tomorrow) I will lunge on Saturday and saddle on Sunday.

Irene is a fascinating person, she works with top horses all over the country. Eventer Lenamore one example! Yet she loves nothing more than sleeping in a haunted house looking for ghosts. Add to that her 5ft2″ stature and broad Glasgow accent (imagine the Crankies, Janette, Scottish comedy legend) then you get a rather un-horsey looking person lol But never a truer word than don’t judge a book by its cover. She’s extremely professional and one of the nicest people Ive ever met!

Finlay is to have a follow up in two weeks time. On reflection I believe the months spent at the pervious yard compounded this hidden problem. The anxiety and stress increased the tension in his muscles leading to a sore Finnie.  x