Doctor Appointment

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I am so infuriated I have no idea what to do next. Let me start from the top. I went to the pain clinic doctor yesterday. Before I see him, he has a gatekeeper who writes down notes and brings forward my concerns. They look at my chart, make a plan and discuss. Makes sense, right? Sure when it works.

I went in there with a few concerns. First, I have not been sleeping. I get an hour or two, then day 5 or 6 I get a full rest. This is three weeks. My pain is keeping me awake since I’m stepping down the opioid medication. She tried to tell me my pain was spiking because of withdrawal. Never happened to me before? Oh, well take melatonin. Really? Well, practice good sleep hygiene. Do you really think I’m new at this? Well, we will slow down the step down on your medication, you’re doing the rushing, not us! The doctor comes in later and first thing says I need off that medication now.

I explain about my muscle cramps, constant pain from it, how much it affects me and how it impacts my day. I reiterate my daughter’s birth story, and the probable damage. She forgot to mention the spasms to the doctor, but he has a medication that might help. Gatekeeper chimes in that it might make me drowsy so I’m actually tired when I go to bed. I refrain from strangling her. Then the doctor asks me if I have children and I nearly shit myself. Obviously she has told him nothing. I immediately launch into the saga of my week in labour, but he isn’t listening. This is vitally important, but lost.

I had mentioned about a breast reduction, but gatekeeper scoffed. Don’t wear a bra. She doesn’t get it at all. I manage to ask how I’m supposed to do physio if the band makes me vomit and the straps makes my fingers numb. This, brought forward. Least of my concerns right now. (I’m a G in Europe or an I/J in US with a 38 band. I have a small ribcage, but yeah. The band is extremely painful it presses on my stomach itself, the straps cause finger numbness immediately,  total loss of feeling in 2 hours, and I have constant sores developing underneath, it’s a freaking nightmare)

She does seem convinced I need a gastroenterologist. They are helping get one on board by harassing the one at the EDS clinic.  I’m still eating the small meals a day, and whatever I can manage in between. My stomach burns like fire. Ugh. We now carry ZipLoc bags everywhere. I expect people to mistake me for Beyonce anytime now.

I did get called a fucking bitch twice and a slut once. I mean, my husband was driving his car on the street like an asshole, not levitating for pedestrians, totes my fault. 🙄  I was also wearing sunglasses indoors, I’m so photosensitive. I deserve to be called a fucking bitch. 🙄  I must be one of those newfangled sluts who never have sex, and rarely leave the house. Mmmm, constant vomitus soooo sexy.

The more people I encounter, the more I want to be alone.

Present company excepted.

I’m starting to hallucinate from lack of sleep. What fun!

Oh, Gatekeeper heavily suggested I see a psychologist to talk about my problems. (This has been something I have been begging for) because people with way less problems than you see them, you know. I also want to see a psychiatrist who can please help me with sleep issues. Please? (Another rant culminating in me demanding to find me names for both.)

This was the woman I saw last visit. When she asked where I was from, and I answered “Winnipeg ” she said, “I’m sorry”. (People from Toronto think this is hysterical).

If people in this city are being treated the way I am, no wonder things are tense. I refuse to leave this house and it is because of other people.

To add to the love, our city being shot up the other night was right where my husband grew up. Beautiful area. For some reason my husband’s ex girlfriend had to post all about her feelings and tag my husband on Facebook. Sigh. Normally, but not after 20 years and when you’re living with my exhusband. Apparently saying the first part (the tagging) is making the shooting all about ME, and pointing that out, is slutshaming. I can’t stop laughing, because no. Reporters reporting doesn’t mean the news is all about them, and in the end, doesn’t it always begin and end with the triggered white Male? Losers (’cause it’s always a pile on 🙄) . Glad I know there ARE good ones out there or I would be so depressed.

Ok. I’d better stop or my eyes will roll right out of my head. I have a low tolerance today, I had better look after myself.

Trying to get back to love, but I’m so low on reserves.

🦓

Cefaly at Two Weeks

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My approximation of the box pose, only more ‘me’

Along with getting rid of my chronic case of tech neck, I am dearly hoping mid-July’s Botox treatment will give me the pain relief I seek. The last doctor treatment for migraine (or anything, actually) was May 28 when I had the nerve block. Over time, my facial pain, the pain in the back of my head that radiates down my neck and into my shoulders returns as the day wears on. On the plus side, I can sit up for ages before becoming dizzy. I usually become sore first. I have several lamps now and aim them all over the place at various levels to limit pain. Noise levels are still problematic.

Anyway, The Cefaly.

There are two types of Cefaly units. The US one, and the

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The Cefaly Box

Canadian and rest of the world? European? one. From what I understand, the US model has one speed and an allowable wear time of 20 minutes.

My model has three speeds 1. Active Headache 2. Prevent 3. Gentle and is allowed to be worn all day. (The website at http://www.cefaly-technology.com explains all this).

Included in the box is a set of electrodes, (3 maybe? My husband ordered a whole bunch so I got confused.) And some forehead wipes.

Cefaly works by cleaning your forehead with the wipe. Bioderma is the closest sub for this. It must be non-oily. Next you place the provided electrode (powered by 2AA batteries, don’t worry) on your forehead. The brochure will describe this, don’t worry. Mid forehead. You then slide the lovely Wonder Woman Headband down your head until it engages with the electrode. Press the button on your WWH until you get your program. (In US this is ONCE). Enjoy your 20 minute treatment. Repeat if desired, unless American. Lowest price we found in Canada was $299 at Costco.ca.

I am fortunate to have the gentle cycle, because I am very sensitive to TENS! Yes, I had no clue this was TENS at all. I had used a machine once at my grandmother’s house once about 25 years ago and it was so incredibly painful.

The first time I used it, thoughts I had included:

“Dear God, I hope this thing shuts off eventually. What if it doesn’t?”

“This feels like Dave Grohl playing timpani on my sinuses!”

“Did I buy a home ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) machine by accident?”*

*(I had a family member go through this treatment several times, we discussed it,  plus the awful scene in cuckoo’s nest, I understand it was a very mild situation.  My brains were being scrambled, and I was getting scared. That’s where my weird mind went.)

But I endured. The next therapy I needed to stop about 5 minutes in. It was just too painful. My husband complained of a headache that evening, so it was time for an experiment. He got to wear the band. He couldn’t feel anything! I couldn’t believe it.

 

The next time I used Cefaly, I sat up and carefully applied the electrode supplied, to my forehead using a mirror to judge the best spot midway between my eyebrows/forehead ridge and the start of where my forehead curves. This session was so much less painful. It still hurt, but was much better.  This time I noticed how much better I felt after the session. I had about 10 minutes where I felt I still was wearing the headband, and I was kind of scrambled for a few minutes, like waking from a nap. My shoulder and neck pain was so much better, and my facial pain was from a 6 to a 3 or 2.

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Electrode Placement is Very Important

 

The next three or four days were tough, as I had excessive sleeping. I would lie down for a quick nap, planning to wake around 5 for dinner, do my therapies; and wake up the next morning.  I’ve done sessions over the last three days, still on gentle. However, now the painful part is only a couple of minutes and I tend to fall asleep for the last part of the session. The damn beeping to signal the finish always wakes me. I’m thinking of going up to level 2 soon.

 

  • Having your electrode placed properly is very important. Use a mirror.
  • I found having the TV or something on is helpful to pass time or distract.
  • Bioderma is a fantastic substitute for the included wipes. I have not found a distributor. Alcohol is too drying and will degrade your electrode pad.
  • Just press the button for emergency stop. 
  • Two AA batteries.

 

At this point I am looking forward to my afternoon sessions. It’s like a challenge.

The fantastic part is my insurance reimbursed us for it. Yay!

Verdict: Even though I am sensitive to TENS, this product is highly effective in reducing and treating my headaches. Where I would expect to be useless, I can take a treatment and after 20 minutes my pain is seriously reduced.  I’m amazed.

I will keep you posted!