Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Friday at 9:30am, I went to Oral Surgery Specialists in Annapolis and got my three remaining wisdom teeth removed (one on bottom left, two on right). I remember getting prepped, which included a blood pressure cuff and lots of questions. The assistant was lining up a bunch of needles and reassured me that only one of them was going into my arm. She hung up an IV drip (I think that's what it's called) and I got stuck with the one needle (my surgeon did the sticking). The cool thing is that they just had to poke me once and then all the other needles could be injected into the drip and get into me that way. How nice. I remember the surgeon saying something like "this will make you relax" as he injected something into the drip and that's it - I don't remember anything before 3pm.
I don't remember anything really from this paragraph. It happens after 9:30 and before 3pm. My husband was my driver and he says that I instructed him on how to leave the parking garage (it has a tricky thing with ticketing) so apparently I was lucid. He took us to CVS to fill my prescriptions and he got me a bottle of water. I tried to drink it but my mouth and lips were totally numb so that didn't work well but I got a little liquid in. Oh, I couldn't have anything after midnight the night before the surgery, so Mark was pretty sure I was dehydrated (hence the water). It'd be nice if I could use a straw but that's bad (can dislodge the blood clots). I had applesauce for lunch and it's hard to eat when your lips are huge and numb. There are no pictures :) I had a pudding at some point, and I started taking my penicillin. I also changed my gauze at some point.
3pm: I can start remembering stuff, so that's an improvement. I had a pudding at some point, since I didn't have breakfast and only an applesauce for lunch. Feeling is returning in my mouth and upper lip, so that's helpful.
6pm: I eat pureed soup for dinner - acorn squash deliciousness. Feeling is back in my lips, so that's awesome. I also take some pain meds since feeling is coming back: ibuprofen and hydrocodone. After dinner, Mark leaves me chilling on the couch and heads to Awana.
8pm: I change my gauze and there's only a little blood on the left and a bit more blood on the right. My stomach starts not feeling well. I eat some jello because that's hospital food but my stomach is still not happy. I'm watching Supergirl on Netflix. I'm getting dizzy. I've been icing close to what they say, 30min on and then 30min off but it's not an exact science (also, I get distracted easily).
9pm: I (quite forcefully) vomit. It's quite red, possibly from the jello and squash soup and also possibly from the blood. Laid down afterwards and tried to not do anything.
12am: (midnight) Mark wakes me to get me to take my meds (just the ibuprofen and penicillin) - I throw up immediately afterwards. I was able to sleep the night fine (put a towel on the pillow to catch any blood and slept on my left side because that's comfy for me and I only lost one tooth on that side).
Meds: Penicillin: 1400,1800,0000; Hydrocodone: 1800; Ibuprofen: 1800, 0000
Saturday 6am: I feel fine (Mark has a conference to go to hence up so early on a Saturday). I taste a little blood in my mouth (I didn't sleep with gauze because I didn't want to choke). I take a shower but get very dizzy and dry heave. Tried to wash my hair but that was a bad plan. Sat down for a while and then felt better.
7am: Ate oatmeal (apple cinnamon but the apple chunks were a little hard to just swallow) and drank some tea (Earl Grey, hot). Tried to eat some blackberries but they were too big and solid. I put gauze back in because I didn't like the feel of the stitches (both bottom teeth holes have dissolve-able  stitches). Bleeding is very minimal.
12pm: (noon) Reheated some soup (we made a big pot of it on Thursday). Left side hurts and is swollen - iced it. Chilled on couch for the rest of the day and watched Supergirl on Netflix. Sadly there's only one season so far.
9pm: I take a shower (Mark checked on me to make sure I wouldn't pass out) and notice two red itchy bumps on my stomach (about the size of bug bites). I think I might have had an allergic reaction to the hydrocodone and it might be a good thing that I only took one dose of it. I opened a new toothbrush and very softly brush my non-molars. It's hard to get the toothbrush in my mouth because my jaw does not want to open and it's quite sore in the back.
Meds: Penicillin: 0700,1200,1900; Ibuprofen: 0700,1400,2100
Sunday: My surgeon warned me that the third day is the worst and he was very correct. I moped on the couch all day watching Gilmore Girls. My head and neck hurt, and I can feel the stitches on the right side and I really don't like it. I ate half a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a small bowl of soup for lunch, and mashed potatoes for dinner. The potato was not creamy because we were out of milk, so I ate it by taking small chunks and smooshing it against the roof of my mouth, then swallowing.
Meds: Penicillin: 0800,1300,1900; Migraine meds: 0800, 0800
Monday: Head still hurts, so I don't go to work. I felt the stitches on both sides of my mouth with my tongue, and that was probably a bad plan. It felt all sore (possibly raw) afterwards. I tried to eat 5-grain oatmeal for breakfast (I asked Mark to get something without chunks and that's what he found) but the grains are too solid so I gave up and ate applesauce. I had soup for lunch and then a different soup for dinner (pumpkin). I ate the insides of bread pieces and that's the most solid food I've had (I gave the crusts to Mark). I ate some dark chocolate M&M's afterwards. I started feeling better around 2pm and I've been on the up and up since then.
Meds: Penicillin: 0900,1500,2300
Tuesday: Stitches are super annoying. Jaw is a little sore if I don't move it and very sore if I do. Smiling is ok but laughing is not. Controlled yawning is ok. My appetite was back when I woke up, so that's good! I haven't been hungry since Thursday. My left side is slightly visibly bruised while my right side is fine. I need to set a reminder to take my penicillin. I took some ibuprofen before heading to work just to head off any soreness. My stitches are super annoying (have I already said that? well it's still true). My teeth feel like they are not clean in the back because it's hard to brush my molars without hurting. I tried eating a real meal for dinner because we forgot to skip Blue Apron this week, and that was a bad plan. I tried to just eat it, but that was a no-go (chewing with only non-molars is hard). I put it in a blender, and that didn't seem to do anything. I put it in the food processor, and that turned it into a mashed potato-kale-egg-pepper mush that was ok. And then I had to use my water pick to dislodge food from my teeth holes. That was not pleasant. The stitches are still really annoying. The ones on the right are poking more than the ones on the left, which means the right side is healing faster. I really want my gums to heal so the stitches will fall out and be gone. The stitches on the right side are just poking me and kind of annoying but the stitches on the left side feel like they're pulling or pinching and that's annoying. I think I'll take some ibuprofen to calm it down. I still have two red marks on my stomach but they don't itch and hopefully will go away.
Meds: Penicillin: 0700,1600,2200; Ibuprofen: 0830,2200
Wednesday: I still can't rub in chap stick because the side-to-side motion hurts. I felt exhausted this morning (like my body is trying to rebuild my mouth or something). I used toothpaste for the first time since the surgery, and that was nice. In the evening I decided to mess with the surgery site on the right side and that was a bad plan. The stitches have a long tail (probably a fraction of an inch but it's annoying) and it keeps poking into the socket where the tooth used to be. I was trying to get the tail out of there and I irritated the area. It just hurts now. I should have just let it be.
Meds: Penicillin: 0800,1300,1900; Ibuprofen: 0830
Thursday: Right side still hurts when I wake up, but I was able to sleep fine. It stopped hurting a little after the ibuprofen kicked in. I can open my mouth more so that's really nice for stuff like eating. This evening I realized I have four ice packs for my face hugger sling thing (I thought I only had two and then I saw that I had three and then my husband was like no, you have four). Blood washes out of the face sling very easily - I threw it in the washer and it came out all nice and clean. Sadly all this means I iced my face tonight - the top socket was sore.
Meds: Penicillin: 0800, 1400, done! Ibuprofen: 0900
Friday: One week since surgery! Messed with the right bottom site again (I know, bad plan). I cannot get the tails of the stitch out of the socket but I didn't try too hard (see previous bad plans). I called my surgeon and asked about it and the assistant said that the stitches can fall out or be absorbed in - either way is fine. So that's good. I didn't take any pain meds this morning and when I got to work I was a bit sore but stubborn so I actually went the whole day without pain meds. My molars on the right side feel odd because I think I've clenched my teeth too much (in an effort to keep my tongue away from the stitches). And tonight I was able to open my mouth wide enough to easily brush the tops of my molars! That was good. Except I slipped and kinda rammed my toothbrush into the surgery site right behind my molar. Ow. The stitch on the right side is getting absorbed - I can feel the knot but the tails are gone. The stitch on the left side is getting to be annoying, so that's progress? It feels gross, but it's a stitch inside my mouth so that's probably normal. As for food, I had cream of wheat, soup from last night, then mashed potatoes because I didn't want the same soup that I had for lunch (need some variety). I put coconut milk in the potatoes and added some thyme and they were good. And I finished the day with a smoothie - berries and non-dairy yogurt that we froze.
Meds: NONE! 
Saturday: Ate scrambled eggs and tomato for breakfast (i.e. not cream of wheat, which has been my breakfast for the last week). It took a while but was tasty. Went back to soup for lunch and dinner. Chewing stuff tends to push food remnants into the socket on my right side and then I have to flush it out afterwards and that's annoying. I use a water pick - Monoject.
Sunday: Went back to cream of wheat for breakfast because it's quick to eat. Had the chicken noodle soup from Panera for lunch and ate most of it - I got tired of chewing (and I don't like celery) so I gave the last bit (which was mostly chicken and celery) to my husband. I was able to eat potato chips and that made me happy - just had to eat slowly and be careful not to jab the surgery sites with a sharp edge. Also snacked on dark chocolate M&Ms because I like them.
Monday: Cream of wheat again but it's pretty tasty, then sweet potato soup for lunch and acorn squash soup for dinner. I have pretty good range of motion with my jaw but if I chew food (like bread) then it tends to get stuck in my right socket. The left socket filled in and there's not a hole there but the right side left a hole. Odd. And then, when I sat on the couch this evening, I felt something in my right socket so I removed it and.... it was the stitch!!! The right stitch is out and that makes me happy. So the right side thinks it's healed and that's good.
Tuesday: Had my follow-up appointment and my surgeon is super punctual! The appointment was at 0800 and I was out of there at 0804. I got a Monoject (because the one I had was given to me by my sister who has a dental connection) and he said everything looks great! Tonight I went all out and had CFA because I really wanted it- waffle fries, chicken nuggets, and a soda with a straw! It was great and I was fine. I can chew on my right side and then I need to flush it out with the water pick afterwards.
Wednesday: Eating cream of wheat for breakfast and I feel something in my mouth that's not food.... the left stitch is out!!! I'm stitch free and I feel like I can actually move my mouth/jaw without pinching/pulling! It's amazing!!! Let's calculate - surgery was on the 30th and today is the 12th so stitches lasted 10 and 12 days. I think that's on the longer side, but hey it's over with so that's great. I do need to use the water pick to flush out the sockets, so I put it in a sandwich bag and just keep it in my purse. There's a single-person restroom at my work (in a different area than the regular restroom) so I just go over there to flush food out of my jaw when needed. I'm eating all the normal foods now and it's great :) 
I will try to update again once I stop needing the water pick after nearly every meal. 
2/27/17 - I forgot to update after I stopped using the water pick! Have no fear, it did not take this long to stop using it. I carried it with me and used it after most meals for at least a month, possibly a little longer. Once the sockets fill in (there is still a dent for me but not anything food can get stuck in) then it's just normal eating and hygiene!

Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic Soup
Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup - this one is really good.
Coconut Acorn Squash and Carrot Soup from BH&G (sadly behind a pay wall online but I got it from the magazine) - made this one twice because it's so good. Really just acorn squash is good - I would eat it mashed with some butter for a quick dinner.
Pumpkin Soup that uses pureed pumpkin so it's super easy to make.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Stupid Wisdom Teeth

So back in the day I was told that I should get my wisdom teeth removed but they weren't a problem at the time. So of course I didn't. But the time has come and they are a problem.
Yes, although they originally came through properly, they are now moving and it is not good.

I have been told that getting totally knocked out is a good option and don't use a straw afterwards. Do you have any other advice for me? I have the consultation later this week and then I'll get the surgery scheduled.

Update: I had the consult and my surgeon seems like a nice person and I'm getting total anesthesia. The teeth all look non-complicated, so that's good. On the 15th when I went to schedule, they said I could come in on the 23rd - tooooo  soooooon and also I have something planned for that weekend so we settled on the 30th. I'll let you all know how it goes!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Communion / Lord's Supper

In the Bible we are told to remember the Lord's death through the ordinance of Communion. The 'rules' are quite loose, and hence many churches do it different ways. Some observe it every quarter, others do it monthly, and some do it weekly. I've visited a few churches since we like to travel and have day jobs so weekends are when we're out and about, and I thought I'd share what I've seen.

At my current church, our Pastor reads the passage from 1 Corinthians 11 or one of the Gospels about the Last Supper, specifically the part about the bread. While the pianist quietly plays, the Elders then pass around the dishes with broken matzo, then we all take it together. Pastor then reads the next part, about the cup. The Elders pass around dishes with cups of grape juice, again while the pianist quietly plays, and we all take it together. 

The church I attended when I was younger did Communion the above way, with a little extra. While the Deacons were passing the dishes around, men would stand as they felt led and read a hymn or Bible passage that brought out an element of Communion to them. 

A few months ago we went and visited relatives and went to their church. It happened to be communion Sunday, so we got to experience a new method of communion that they called "Come Forward Communion." I liked the experience - I think changing up the communion service helps you think about the different parts and see things in a different light.
Basically the elders stood at the front of the auditorium and the congregation was dismissed by row. The congregation walked to the front, got the elements, and went back to their pews. You took the elements in your own time, whether right after you got them, on the way back to your seat, or after you sat down. When I received the bread from the elder, he said "His body was broken for you." I don't remember what the elder handing out the juice said because the first one's statement really stuck with me.
Individually receiving the elements really made the experience personal. We were taking communion together as a group, yet individually since we got the elements one at a time from the elders.
Overall I liked the experience. It's not something that needs to be done in every communion service, but I think it is nice to change things up so we see things in a new light.

Another church I visited passed around the dishes with the standard Communion cups in them, but they were stacked. The bottom cup contained the cracker while the top cup contained the juice. It was an efficient way to get both elements to everyone. We all took the elements in our own time as well, which contributed a personal touch even though we were all together. 

I think it is eye-opening how we as Christians can take the ordinance of Communion and express it in different ways that are all valid. Maybe this post will make you think of Communion in a new way? 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Saga of the Broken Toe

Have you ever broken a toe? Have you currently broken your toe? Are you wondering how long it'll take before the extreme pain is over? Well, here's how it worked with me.
First off, a helpful site: WikiHow to heal a broken toe
**DISCLAIMER** If you crush your toe, rather than snap it, go to the doctor! If your toe looks weird (like it's flopping about or bent to the side), go to the doctor! If you think something could be off or you just want an x-ray, go to the doctor! **End disclaimer**
Saturday #0: I was taking a walk in the park, saw a beautiful long-haired dachshund gliding along, and ran my right foot's pinkie toe into my husband's heel. He was wearing sneakers while I was wearing sandals. My toe bent possibly 90 degrees to the right and my ankle and knee tried to compensate but failed. This hurt a lot. I yelled out in pain. I hope I didn't scare the dachshund. I told myself it was just a bruise or a sprain or a pulled muscle and I forced myself to complete the lap, probably less than a mile. I hobbled along in pain. Every time I put my foot down, I realized something was wrong. My knee and ankle walked off the pain, so that's good, but my toe was not giving in so easily. We ran some errands, and finally I got home. My toe did not bruise or swell, and it looked totally fine. However, I sat on my bed and pushed myself back using my feet and cried with pain. I then taped my pinkie toe to my fourth toe and called it good. When I laid down for the night, my toe felt like it was on fire (normal for a bone break). I took two ibuprofen and called it good.
Note - how I taped: I used medical tape (from a First Aid kit we keep in the car) and wrapped all the way around the damaged toe once, then around both toes twice.
Sunday: I hobbled to church for Sunday School and morning worship, but my toe was not happy. Thankfully my church building is not too big, so I didn't need to walk too much. But sadly there are stairs and that was not the best. I wore Aerosole sandals which are very comfy and slightly dressy so I can wear them for everything until Friday. After church I put my foot up and chilled on the couch for basically the rest of the day.
Monday: I went to work. This was not the best idea. I was able to very slowly hobble in, took the elevator because I was not going to deal with stairs, and got to my desk without too much pain provided I walked very slowly. Everyone noticed and told me I should go to the doctor. At the end of the day, even though I had flipped over a little desk trash can to elevate my foot, my toe was really not happy. I was in moderate to extreme pain as I hobbled to my car. I had a coworker offer to bring my car up for me, but I said no worries because my car was only a few yards away. It was a very painful few yards. I decided not to run errands and just go home. I put my foot up, and that decreased the swelling. I also put ice on it. That's a good thing to do. I changed my tape and took two ibuprofen when I laid down for the night, and I put a throw pillow under my foot to elevate it.
Tuesday: I rode in the car as my husband drove from MD to SC for my cousin's wedding! This was quite good because I was able to stay completely seated (i.e. off my foot) and easily put my foot on the dash every once in a while to elevate it which really seemed to help. Eight hours later, we arrived at the wedding, where I sat in a chair for most of the time, but at the end of the night (since I'm on the bride's side) I did help clean up and I was totally fine! Resting and elevating for eight hours really seemed to help.
Wednesday: Now for the ride home - another eight hours in the car for elevation and rest. We did stop in VA for a visit but I tried to stay seated when possible and put my foot up. My toe felt fine as long as I didn't put weight on it (basically walked on the inside of my foot).
Thursday: I went to work, but conscientiously tried to stay off my foot (i.e. stayed in my chair and had coworkers come to me rather than hobble over to them). My toe felt fine provided I walked rather slowly. It still hurt if I walked more than a few feet. But, it didn't feel bruised anymore. I changed my tape in the evening.
And now we take an intermission: picture time!
Can you tell which toe is broken? It's the unpainted one.
There is a little bruising, but not much.
All taped up!

Friday: I wore sneakers for the first time since breaking my toe! Still tried to stay off my foot as much as possible, but I was able to walk at a very slow pace rather than a snail's pace. Walking is getting to be ok, which is fantastic, but I am still clearly limping.
Saturday #1: I walked at a slightly slow pace rather than a very slow pace! Also, I prefer not walking but that gets boring quickly. I had my husband do the errand running while I tried to limit my movement. I reached up to get something which made me go on my toes and that hurt. Sneakers still work but I prefer bare feet at home so my bandage isn't all stuffed up. But walking in shoes is more comfortable than walking barefoot because you walk differently - your foot moves more when barefoot whereas the shoe keeps you stationary (unless your foot slides forward in the shoe and that really hurts and your shoe is the wrong size apparently).
Sunday: Stairs are still difficult and I can't pivot on my right foot, but slow walking is ok.
Monday: I was doing fine, but I helped in a friend's VBS in the evening and we had a runner in the youngest class. I was closest to the door so I took a few quick steps to stop him, and that was a bad plan. My toe hurt, and I went and sat down. Thankfully it was the end of the night, so I went home and iced my toe and took some ibuprofen.
Tuesday: I wore sandals today because my toe felt slightly swollen from my dash last night. Changed into sneakers in the evening for VBS, and stayed in a chair most of the night - it worked out great. I'm able to almost walk at a normal pace with a limp, but it's more comfortable to walk slowly with a limp. Also, I changed my bandage tonight and I was able to move my toe slightly and without pain! That's an improvement.
Wednesday: The work day was fine and I'm getting better at walking at a normal pace! Did not do VBS because I have Bible Study and that was fine.
Thursday: Workday was fine - I'm still taking the elevator to my office and I don't go for midday strolls but I can walk at a normal pace! Did VBS but did not work in the little kid class - was able to just do paperwork and that worked out great.
Friday: Workday was fine and we did something crazy - we drove to Virginia Beach for a beach weekend! Made it to the hotel and turned in for the night - the car ride was very relaxing for my foot.
Saturday #2: Beach day! So I have walked the bare minimum for the last two weeks so this is the first real strolling I've done since the break. It was fine! We did not walk the boardwalk and we stayed pretty close to where we parked. I did end up rubbing a spot raw on the inside of my foot due to walking there to take the weight off the healing toe. I put some tape over it and it was fine! I also did not go in the water because I did not want to deal with water and wet sand getting into the bandage. Changed the bandage after showering since it was slightly sandy.
Sunday: Beach day #2! We still did the minimum walking, but strolling at a normal pace from the car to a spot on the beach and strolling for food and restrooms was fine. I do start limping after a block or two of walking, and I cannot go at a fast pace, but regular strolling seems to be fine! I think I can finally get back to doing stuff, but I don't want to push myself too far. I still cannot stand up/push up on tip-toes and pivoting tends to hurt, but stairs are fine! Also, changed my bandage after I got home since it was full of sand. I decided to be dangerous and I took all the tape off, showered, then re-taped it. Not sure if that was the smartest thing, but it was so dirty from beach walking.
Monday: Normal workday - walking is fine but I still take the elevator because I don't want to injure myself and also I'm a little lazy. I probably could get back to taking the stairs because it's not far. Also I still prop up my foot while I'm at my desk - I have flipped my garbage bin upside down and I just rest my foot on it.
Tuesday: Normal workday and then I went to the food bank afterwards to pack up boxes! It was a lot of standing on my feet, but I did fine. So actually at work I was feeling fine and then I pushed my chair back to go talk to a coworker and that hurt - I can't do that apparently (falls in the same category as tip-toes since it's weight on the front of my foot).
Wednesday: Normal day, can't pivot on my right foot mainly because I'm worried I'll hurt it.
Thursday: Changed my tape. OH yeah so we went out for dinner and then strolled around a neighborhood afterwards and as we're walking back to our car I notice this little songbird flying low... right about head-level... right at us. I though it was going to swoop into a tree but no it kept coming at us. So I said "bird. Bird. BIRD!!!!" to my husband then we ducked and it screeched as it flew right by my ear and I ran for a few feet cause I was freaked out. Not sure what that was about but hey, I ran for a few feet! And I wasn't hurting afterwards, so that's good.
Friday: Nothing special, still not walking fast.
Saturday #3: I was cleaning the floor and I used my bad foot to move the towel around and that was a bad plan. Needed to stand on my bad foot and use my good foot to swoosh the towel around. Also crouched down to get something and that hurt, but I'm usually fine crouching down - I think my foot was to the side a little and that was the problem (if I keep my feet under me, it's all good).
Sunday: Went to church, walked around the mall, it was all fine.
Monday: Normal day. Went for a stroll with a friend but only did one lap around the building (we usually do three but it was really hot and I didn't want to push it) and felt fine. Also took the stairs to go on said walk and realized I really should go back to the stairs instead of the elevator. Did a short stroll around the neighborhood after dinner and all was fine.
Tuesday: Took the stairs at work today! No more elevator for me.
Wednesday: Work was fine. Still propping my foot up during the day when I think of it. Went for a stroll around the neighborhood and all was fine. Untaped my toe before showering and was fine - not sure how much I need the tape currently but I think I'll stay taped up til the weekend to make it a full four weeks, just to be safe.
Thursday: Normal day, taped-up toe, went to work and out to dinner with a stroll afterwards.
Friday: Normal day, went out with a friend after work. I'm walking completely normally and I only notice pain when I go up on my toes and then pivot sometimes.
Saturday #4: Went out and about most of the day, and after showering at night I UNTAPED MY TOE and left it untaped! Slept the night fine, which was expected.
Sunday: After four weeks of tape, I went out and about without tape! And I am fine! This is great! I think I'm pretty completely healed! I will update if I'm not, but I think I'm good! I still feel some stiffness but not pain and I think that's due to not moving for so long. Woohoo!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dehydration Fix

I get migraines. One of my triggers is dehydration. The issue is, I dehydrate very easily. I don't know why, but it's like my body doesn't retain water. This is a big problem when I want to do things like see the monuments or visit historic sites and museums and other places that involve a lot of walking. I mentioned this to a friend, and she gave me these:

Hydralyte Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets. You take two tablets, mix them in water, and enjoy. It tastes kind of like Gatorade. I went for a walk around a nearby lake (about 2.5 miles) and felt great! Usually I feel off, even when chugging water, after being in the sun for any length of time. I highly recommend these!
On a related note, while walking around the lake, I saw many dogs. I like dogs. I got distracted by one and my littlest toe ran into my husband's shoe, causing great pain. I think I broke my toe, and might have injured my ankle and knee in the process. But I was able to finish the lap around the lake, albeit with some limping at the end. It was a long-haired dachshund that caused this accident. He had very nice fur and was just gliding along gracefully.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pain and Prayer

I get chronic migraines. I have many triggers, but I'm learning them so I can better avoid them. However, some things (like the weather or time of month) cannot be avoided. Others (like stress or not getting enough sleep) are hard to avoid. The real issue is when several of these triggers all line up, and it's kind of worse when I can see them lining up and it feels like there's nothing I can do about it - I just know that it's going to be a migraine day.
Several of my triggers lined up last week. It was going to be a Migraine Thursday. However, I have Bible study on Wednesday night. I asked for my buddies to pray for me to not get a migraine. And when I woke up Thursday, NO MIGRAINE! It was great. I went through my workday fine.
However, I went to babysit at a friend's house that night, and I felt a migraine coming on. It's not a good feeling. It's really not a good feeling when you don't have any meds on hand, which was the situation I was in. So I prayed - it was literally the only thing I could do short of calling someone and asking them to get my meds and stop by, which would probably wake the kids and it wouldn't end well. So I prayed, and the pain WENT AWAY! It was awesome.
At the end of the night, I went back to my house and went to bed (that's a good normal thing to do). However, as I laid down, I felt the migraine come back. It was bad. I then debated - do I take my meds or do I just keep praying? I talked this over with my husband and he made a good point - God gave us the medical advances we have and we should use them. So I took some meds, kept praying, and went to sleep (thankfully it was weak enough to let me sleep). I woke up Friday morning - NO MIGRAINE! It was great.

The moral I get from this account: God can choose to heal miraculously. But He also can have us use the medical advances we have been given. Don't turn away 'normal' cures (meds) while waiting for a miracle.

Biblical account tie-in: Naaman.
Secular story tie-in: the guy on the roof praying for God to rescue him from a flood, who turns away two boats and a helicopter while waiting for God to miraculously rescue him.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Chronic Pain and Holidays

Chronic pain and holidays

It sucks.
Many people suffer from chronic pain. You learn to live with it mainly because you have no other choice; you learn your triggers and try to avoid them, but some triggers (like weather or calendar events) cannot be avoided. And sometimes your pain decides to flare up on a holiday. 
I get migraines. I got one on Christmas; it was really rough. My amazing husband helped me through it, and I have some medicine that allowed me to be mostly functional, but it was still a hard day. You are supposed to be happy on Christmas, and everyone else was happy, and I had every reason to be happy, but I was not; I was in pain. I am grateful that I was functional enough to get out of bed and try to enjoy the day - going to the in-laws' house, seeing family, opening presents - but I was not all the way present. I had to excuse myself a few times to go to a quiet part of the house and turn off some lights and try to unwind, hoping that would make the headache release but it did not. Thankfully the migraine went away the following day so I was able to engage with family for the rest of the weekend. 
If you suffer from chronic pain, know that you're not alone. Some can hide it better than others, but many are fighting that battle. Speaking about it can help; also reaching out to someone close to you can be beneficial. Remember to take care of yourself.