I’m getting ready to visit a rheumatology Nurse Practitioner in the next couple days. I have a long list that I will be bringing, because it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen anyone regarding my pain. I have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, a hemangioma tumor in my lumbar spine, I have been borderline lupus & RA for over 30 years, have high inflammation in my body (blood work has showed this for years, since my 20’s). I have severe and chronic plantar fasciitis and tendinitis in my feet. I also believe that I have now developed Sjogren’s disease because I have had extreme dry eye & dry mouth for over 3 years now. I have a lot to talk about at this upcoming appointment.
Along with being worried about what kind of reception I will receive from this new-to-me caregiver, I expect that I will also be sure to receive the suggestion that I should try some form of “exercise”. As if I have never heard that one before. (lol) Not trying to be sarcastic but when you’ve lived with pain for this long, you’ve pretty much heard it all. Doing some form of exercise is not a new concept. And I’ve tried pretty much everything, with….let’s say, not-so-great results.
ie: One thing I have tried was warm water arthritis classes at a very large local hospital. In the warm water, it felt great to move and stretch. I tried to go as gently as possible. But while in the water, somehow I was not able to gauge exactly how much my muscles were “protesting” and so when I would get out of the water and begin to get dressed….I would begin experiencing rebound pain like you would not believe. By the time I drove home, my hamstrings (especially) along with the rest of my body would be in severe distress. It would take me 2-3 days to recover…..just in time for another class. I kept going for months, thinking maybe it would eventually calm down, but it never did. I always tried to do each exercise as gently and slowly as I could, and while in the water it was like heaven…to be able to move my body without the stress of gravity was delicious…..but afterwards was when the Pain Monster would twist me up in a knot and I was miserable.
I have recently been thinking about yoga again. I have done some beginner yoga in the past and absolutely loved it but the same thing would happen….rebound pain. So after that continued for a couple months, I gave up.
I lost about 60 lbs. a few years ago and have kept it off, so now I am wondering since I have lost some of my excess weight, whether or not I should give yoga another try. I really love some of the poses and they feel so wonderful….but the fear of pushing too far and getting that nasty rebound pain scares me so much that I’m reluctant to try again. I have spoken briefly about it to a fellow blogger and also viewed several “beginner yoga” videos on Youtube, and I want to try again so badly. But I think I will wait until after my appointment because I need to find out specifically about what is going on in my lumbar spine. I know I have a hemangioma tumor within the spinal column (supposedly just a benign vascular mass, detected a couple years ago via MRI), but I need to know if it might be growing (feels like it could be, feels like a rock in there) and/or if I have osteoarthritis in there too. I am pretty sure there is osteo as well.
So anyway…..when (not IF, but WHEN lol) the nurse practitioner clears me for exercise, I will tell her of my past experiences and mention yoga. I expect that she will say it’s okay. But then when I get that yoga mat out and get ready to begin….I will have to get my head focused and not only move as gently and slowly as possible, but also deal with the fear of doing too much and going too far.
I am a person that always goes 150mph, at least I used to before the Pain Monster came to live inside of me. I am a Type A personality. I have a hard time reigning in my desire to push myself to the limit, no matter what it is. I know in my head that I have to be careful, but there is something inside of me that wants to see how far I can go….and that is the part of me that I find very difficult to control. It’s truly difficult to have this kind of intense “drive” when you are stuck in a body that cannot do much of anything without being “rewarded” with extreme and protracted pain. In fact, it makes me crazy most of the time. Probably why I have such a short fuse and get irritated at small things so often.
If I do decide to give yoga a try, I will hopefully be smart enough not to foolishly push myself beyond what my limits are. I hope that common sense will be what guides me through each pose. I pray that this part of me that wants to push myself hard will settle back and recognize that just one wrong move could really mess me up. These conflicting feelings inside of me have caused a lot of physical and mental anguish in the past. I never seem to learn my lesson. I don’t know what it is that keeps me pushing so hard….I guess it’s just the rebel in me. I’m so much like my dad.
Anyway, one step at a time. First things first. I need to get an xray and/or an MRI for my lumbar to see exactly what is going on there. Also would like an MRI for my feet, to see how much damage there really is and have that documented. My feet and my lumbar are two of the biggest issues I will need to discuss.
Then we will have to address the extreme and worsening pain from fibro and osteo. I am already on daily hydrocodone for my pain but eventually I will need something stronger. I will have to check the vibes I get when I talk to her about my pain. Every medical professional has his or her own ideas about how they feel about opiate or narcotic pain meds. I hope this one doesn’t balk at prescribing these drugs because I will need either a higher dose of the hydrocodone soon or else something stronger. I really hope she doesn’t give me a hard time, because I don’t have the energy, the patience or the time to dance around the issue of drugs. After 30 years, I know what I need to be able to function, and don’t want to argue about it with anyone.
So, we shall see what the future holds. When I think of trying yoga as a possible therapeutic regimen, I get equally excited and fearful. My body is so extremely sensitive to everything….(and I hate that so much, GRRRR!)….but it is what it is. I hope it will work out. I am willing to try….one more time.