A No Pain Vacation

I have written about my chronic pain a few times. I have migraines that at one time were basically constant. They would get so bad I was ending up in the ER several times a month. I have muscle and bone pain from damage caused by two of my cancer surgeries. I get kidney stones. Sometimes thyroid patients just hurt – if their TSH is not where it should be, if they have calcium or vitamin D issues. I go through that periodically. I also have low magnesium, that was part of the problem with my migraines and it can also cause problems with muscle and joint pain. 

I started seeing a pain intervention doctor. He has changed my life. He has gotten my migraines almost completely under control. He has gotten my chest and neck pain at least 80% better. My magnesium and D and calcium and TSH are all well regulated right now and I haven’t had any bad kidney stones in a while.

It used to be that traveling would trigger migraines. Driving or sitting for long periods would irritate my neck. Driving and doing anything with my arms (carrying things, having a backpack on, helping my son, shopping with a cart, vacuuming) would irritate my chest. Basically traveling had become difficult because not only was I in pain, but I couldn’t enjoy the time with family and friends like I wanted to. I had to spend more money because I had to stop at hotels more often – I could drive maybe 4 hours before I became exhausted and in too much pain to go on.

I told my pain doctor thank you the other day. 

Our Florida trip was the first vacation in over 6 years that I have been able to really enjoy. I truly didn’t have any pain issues on this trip except one migraine that was controlled in a few hours with my medicines. It wasn’t so bad I needed the ER or even had to go lie down. 

Let me repeat that.

This is the first vacation with my son and husband I have EVER truly enjoyed.

It was amazing.

I almost started crying when I told my doctor this. I think he was a little overcome too.

My neurologist has helped tweak a few things to keep from getting the few breakthrough migraines I get. Changed the dose of my magnesium and the kind I take, changed how I take my medicine the week of my botox shots and the week I have my period. Added some small things like muscle relaxers. Told me to quit caffeine.

I also told her the exciting news when I saw her this week. She is working with my pain doc.

Please, If you have chronic pain, please don’t give up. Keep asking for help until you find it. I literally went through five and a half years of constant pain and a whole folder full of doctors before I found people who could help. I had decided no one could help me. I had decided doctors were too frustrating to deal with. I just needed to find the right doctors. I had gone to 2 other neurologists that didn’t help, physical therapy that helped a little, 3 chest surgeons. Heck, I even begged and pleaded and enlisted my neck surgeon to have a thoracic surgeon try to fix my chest the last surgery I had. I had tried so many meds and so many changes to my life. I was still suffering to the point that my life was not fulfilling. 

Having major chronic pain changes a person. Being mostly pain free or at least diminished, I feel much more like my old self now. 

I still get fatigued, but that I can work with. 

I am just so happy that I have gotten to this point, and it gives me hope for my future. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t ever be like I used to be. I’m not the same person I was over 6 years when this journey began, but I am now able to enjoy life and family and having fun much more. 

 

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