The best medical advice I ever got was from an ER doctor. I was 9 and having my first migraine problems. My primary care physician kept telling us that I’d grow out of it. There is a reason he is no longer my primary care physician.
Anyway, my mom rushed me to the ER one day because I was vomiting more than normal, a lot more than normal for my migraines. My PCP would not recommend seeing a neurologist because he was convinced it was just puberty. However, the ER doctor had a different opinion. He told me how to keep a migraine journal to see if I could find triggers for my migraines.
I didn’t find many, but I have kept that journal going since 1989. I write down the food I eat, what I did that day, any medications I take, any aches and pains, as I’ve gotten older, it has evolved to show more than just my migraines. This month, I am really grateful for that journal. I’ve been going back through it, looking for when the pain in my hands actually began.
November 1995. I got up, walked to school, it was really cold and when I got to school, I couldn’t even hold a pen in my first class. The teacher sent me to the nurse who thought I just wanted to leave and go home sick. I stayed all day and struggled all day with the pain in my hands. I noted that I even wore my gloves all day, during my classes because keeping them warm helped the pain.
So now I know, Dr. Allen is the first doctor that sent me for testing for RSD in 1995 because my hands hurt when they got cold. I didn’t note the name of the neurologist who did the testing and told me that RSD was not affected by cold – I’ve learned it totally is. So, I was right, 22 years of RSD/CRPS undiagnosed and untreated despite multiple RSD tests and neurologists.
I also ate a slice of apple pie on Thanksgiving without getting sick afterwards. Apples make me feel bloated and cause mild stomach pain that usually leads to intestinal pain. It’s been 12 years since I ate a slice of apple pie without it making me sick. I am willing to bet money that CRPS is the reason 12 years ago, my digestive system went to hell. However, taking the Lyrica every day has helped. I am slowly reintroducing foods I haven’t eaten in over a decade because I was able to eat a cheeseburger with peppers on it and it didn’t kill me or have me in the bathroom for hours upon hours afterwards.
I can definitely tell a difference with the Lyrica every day, twice a day. Not just in foods either, but in the way I feel. I get extra tired on it along with the muscle relaxer in the morning, but I can take a nap and wake up and feel fine, I don’t feel drugged and groggy after the nap. And as we move into winter and I work out of my garage more and more, I can tell a difference in my hands. Normally by now, my hands would be turning into claws. We’ve had several back to back cold days and cold for me is less than 60 degrees. That’s all I need to have severe pain in my hands. But while my hands are bothering me a little bit, they aren’t bothering me like the usually do.
I know it sounds weird, but I am really excited that Lyrica might be giving me back useage of my hands without severe pain and my digestive system might become mine again! I can’t wait to try and eat a banana or an orange, fruits I haven’t eaten in 12 years because they upset my stomach sooo much. And peppers! OMG! I love peppers. I have really missed them. I think I should introduce foods slowly, see what I can and can’t tolerate and in what quantities. But thanks to that journal that I started in 1989, I can pinpoint every thing that has gone haywire with me and everything that has helped or worsened the situation. That journal really is the best advice I have ever gotten.
It might also help me learn my limitations. I overdid it several days in November. Including Thanksgiving on what my activity level can and cannot be. Meaning I am out of Vicodin until December 5th. I took my last pill this morning because I am still in a ton of pain from yesterday and because I was rationing my sample pack to last me until I could get it picked up. I did so today! Thanks to my mother in-law and donations from all my readers. Thank you all soo much! It is already in my December budget.