Posted in Awareness

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day June 19, 2021

This World Sickle Cell Day (observed every year on June 19), find new stories and resources about sickle cell disease!

So many people I have met that have sickle cell disease also have Osteonecrosis aka Avascular Necrosis.

Sickle Cell is an inherited blood disorder that causes “sickle” shaped red blood cells that can stick together, blocking blood flow and oxygen from reaching all parts of the body. People with SCD can experience pain, anemia, infection as well as many other health issues like Osteonecrosis, Vision Loss , Anemia,DVT and Extreme pain.

According to some of my Osteonecrosis group members : Living with sickle cell disease can be a challenge. But there are steps you can take to live the healthiest best life possible.

Here are some tips from the CDC web page

It is very important that every person or family with a young child with sickle cell disease have a plan for how to get help immediately, at any hour, if there’s a problem. Be sure to find a place that will have access to your medical records or bring a copy.

Go to an emergency room or urgent care facility right away for:
  • Fever above 101° F
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal (belly) swelling
  • Severe headache
  • Sudden weakness or loss of feeling and movement
  • Seizure
  • Painful erection of the penis that lasts more than 4 hours
Call a doctor right away for:
  • Pain anywhere in the body that will not go away with treatment at home
  • Any sudden problem with vision

People with sickle cell disease can live full lives and enjoy most of the activities that other people do. The following tips will help you, or someone you know with sickle cell disease, stay as healthy as possible.

Find Good Medical Care

Sickle cell disease is a complex disease. Good quality medical care from doctors and nurses who know a lot about the disease can help prevent some serious problems. Often the best choice is a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood diseases) working with a team of specialists.

Get Regular Checkups

Regular health checkups with a primary care doctor can help prevent some serious problems.

  • Babies from birth to 1 year of age should see a doctor every 2 to 3 months.
  • Children from 1 to 2 years of age should see a doctor at least every 3 months.
  • Children and adults from 2 years of age or older should see a doctor at least once every year.

Osteonecrosis is common in patients with sickle cell disease, with an incidence ranging from about 2 to 4.5 cases per 100 patient-years. Patients with the hemoglobin SS genotype and α-thalassemia and those with frequent painful crises are at highest risk. The overall prevalence is about 20-30 percent.

Osteonecrosis, a form of ischemic bone injury that leads to degenerative joint disease, affects ∼30% of people with sickle cell disease. Although osteonecrosis most commonly affects the femoral head (often bilaterally, with asymmetric clinical and radiographic progression), many people with sickle cell disease also present with multifocal joint involvement. Meaning it can be in the femoral head or hip as well as knees, shoulder, ankle etc…

Eat healthy with sickle cell more fruit and vegetables less processed junk and stay hydrated

References

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html

Ash Publications https://ashpublications.org/hematology/article/2019/1/351/422583/Osteonecrosis-in-sickle-cell-disease-an-update-on

Eat right . Org https://www.eatright.org/health/allergies-and-intolerances/food-intolerances-and-sensitivities/nutrition-for-the-child-with-sickle-cell-anemia

Boston Medical Center https://www.bmc.org/sites/default/files/About_Us/Features/Sickle_Cell_Disease_Treatment_at_BMC/field_Attachments/SickleCellDisease-EatingHealthy.pdf

Posted in Advocate, Awareness, Bone Health

VIM Pain Mgmt App from The Arthritis Foundation

This is a really good app, it’s new released by the arthritis foundation just a couple weeks ago. 

It’s a great way to connect with others that understand what it’s like to live with pain. 

It provides tips to help ease the stress and anxiety that come with chronic pain. 

Discusses various treatments from diet to meditation, to acupuncture to prp and stem cell injections to joint replacement .

The app tries to help those living in pain have options to have a better quality of life. It helps track your pain so you can discuss this with your doctor or surgeon.

It also gives you ways to register to get connected with National and at Some point Local connect groups in your area . All this is free. Ypu can even link to the podcast. 

I am the Facilitator for the Boardman Ohio LIVE Yes Connect. I try to provide support, and patient education via information as well as guest speakers as well as group interaction. 

Right now we are on zoom, but will be at some point back face to face as well as remain on zoom also. I think zoom is good because you can attend right from your hone or work or pulled over in your can. 

That’s why I volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation, they provide so much to so many. 

Give it a try…. one of the best apps I have. 

If you use it. Use the same email as your arthritis.org email for Live Yes Connect. That way you can be up to date and linked to all great things the AF has to offer in one easy app. 

Wishing you all a pain free day

Deb

Posted in Awareness

What’s the Right Injection for My Joints?

I love modern medicine, new ways to help joint pain, inflammation and help us all have a better quality of life.

But we don’t always get the cons on a treatment and we always get the pros. Like to know both and make an informed decision so today I’m gonna share the cons on a few treatments.

Having osteoarthritis and osteonecrosis in my right knee and OA in left, arthritis in hands and Spondylolisthesis in my back I want to be aware of my options when it comes time for pain relief.Especially when we are taking injections.

For me injections are a no no for my back, had them years ago trigger points injections and I swear it weakened my back and leading me to develop bilateral pars fractures and spondylolisthesis. So unless my life depends on it steroids are a no for me.

I had a couple of these injections in my back and knee and honestly I felt worse after, my pain was no better and steroid injections in my opinion mask the pain and can cause Osteonecrosis and according to many articles they can have many side effects

This post is to raise awareness about all injections and make you aware that everything has possible side effects.

Cortisone shots are injections that can help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. They’re most commonly injected into joints such as your ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine or wrist. Even the small joints in your hands or feet might benefit from cortisone shots. But they have many potential side effects.

Steroid Injections Most notably, cortisone is known to break down tissues, such as articular cartilage in the joint.1-3 Cartilage is crucial to joint health, acting as a shock absorber and reducing friction between bones when a person moves.

All patients need access to all the information and told the advantages and disadvantages so we make a better decision and voice our concerns to our physician.

Injections are no cure all, although some doctors seem to use steroids for every thing. It’s been said it’s the go to drug.

But you can end up with other conditions like

Side effects of cortisone injections can include:

• Cartilage damage.

• Death of nearby bone aka Osteonecrosis aka Avascular Necrosis

• Joint infection.

• Nerve damage.

• Temporary facial flushing.

• Temporary flare of pain and inflammation in the joint.

• Temporary increase in blood sugar.

• Thinning of the skin near that area

• Tendon weakening or rupture.

PRP Injections Platelet Rich Plasma

When treating osteoarthritis with platelet-rich plasma, a doctor injects PRP directly into the affected joint area. The goal is to:

• Reduce pain

• Improve joint function

• Possibly slow, halt, or even repair damage to cartilage

Platelet-rich plasma is derived from a sample of your own blood. The therapeutic injections contain plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than is found in normal blood. Because it’s using your own blood no or less rejection chance.

Platelet-rich plasma injections may not be appropriate for a patient who: Has a medical condition that could worsen or spread with injections, such as an active infection, a metastatic disease, or certain skin diseases. Has certain blood and bleeding disorders.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections Not all studies conducted to test the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid injections in treating knee osteoarthritis have reported positive results. That is way some doctors may not recommend this treatment.

Research suggests that hyaluronic acid injections may work in several ways to reduce knee osteoarthritis symptoms.For example, hyaluronic acid injections may reduce inflammation and friction; and the slow the degeneration of cartilage and bone.

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

• Allergy to bacterial proteins, gram positive or

• Allergy to hyaluronate preparations or

• Skin or knee joint infections or other problems at the place where the injection is to be given Should not be given in patients with these conditions.

• Joint effusion (too much fluid in the knees)—Patients with this condition should be treated first before receiving this medicine.

Stem Cell Injections known as the gold standard Stem Cell Therapy Safety

Most stem cell therapy using adult stem cells are considered safe because the stem cells are collected from the patient, minimizing the risk of an unwanted reaction. The most common side effects are temporary swelling and pain.

Our own stem cells is a cell or group of cells which have the capability or potential to differentiate themselves into any specialized cell of the human body and that those new cells perfectly fulfill the functions that correspond to them. These cells are very important in the early stages of life because, thanks to their differentiation, the different organs and systems can be properly formed and the human body can grow.

But injections gave the pros and cons

Other potential safety concerns for unproven treatments include:

The cost is expensive and most often not covered by insurance

• Administration site reactions,

• The ability of cells to move from placement sites and change into inappropriate cell types or multiply,

• Failure of cells to work as expected, and

• The growth of tumors.

Even if stem cells are your own cells, there are still safety risks such as those noted above. In addition, if cells are manipulated after removal, there is a risk of contamination of the cells.

There are risks in all treatments, I wish when doctors were explaining all the great benefits of something they would also inform us of the cons.

I hope this helps

References

Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cortisone-shots/about/pac-20384794

Arthritis-health https://www.arthritis-health.com/treatment/injections/potential-pros-and-cons-prp-injections

Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/hyaluronic-acid-injection-route/description/drg-20074557

Cleveland Clinic https://health.clevelandclinic.org/stem-cell-injections-emerging-option-for-joint-pain-relief-2/

Knee injection
Posted in Awareness, spondylolisthesis

Living with Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

If you have a low back problem and you’ve been told you have spondylolisthesis, you should learn all you can about it, and the simple measures you can take to protect your low back health.

I have had a back problem since I was 12 when I fell during track practice in jr high school, my foot actually got caught up on a hurdle and I landed on my tailbone.

It didn’t phase me much as a kid, it became really bothersome in my 20s which was in the 1980s and it really seemed to get worse in 2001 after I was rear ended and then pushed into the car in front of me while I was sitting at a red light.

Throughout the years I did what doctors told me, try this and that here do this, no do that some doctors were just rude and just thought because I was in my 20s in the 1980s I was looking for pills. I hate pills. None of them listened to what I was saying.

Those are the doctors I fired. How dare they assume that because of my age I was a drug seeker.

I mean they could have at least gave me an X-ray or MRI of my back they just assumed ……and I was dismissed or offered a cortisone shot and if I refused which I did I was ignored and called a non compliant patient. I swear this went on for at least a year or two.

Also after my car accident it got to where I could hardly hold a cup without it falling out of my hand.

I thought the problem was me. I thought maybe I am not explaining myself or my symptoms right.

If only I could just find the right combination of words, maybe then doctors would understand and listen and not think I am a pill seeker and provide me with the treatment I needed. I’m just asking to look at it take an X-RAY or an MRI DO SOMETHING!

I didn’t want any damn pill, and I sure as hell didn’t want a short of cortisone. I rarely took an Advil let alone any other pill.

Pills always seemed to have more complications connected to them then they were worth.

Yes I was one of the nerds that would read any inserts, or talk to a pharmacist about any meds and often left without the pills prescribed because often the side effects were not worth it at the time.

In the 1980s I was  a young mom who didn’t wanted to feel in the fog, I drove her to school, dance class and just would never chance the effect of a pill to kill my day…..plus my 1st husband was abusive so I had to be on guard at all times.

But that’s a story for another time.

When I finally went to a doctor that actually listened to me I was thrilled she was an Osteopath she gave me exercises that would help the back and muscles, she sent me for an x-ray had me walk and said my gait was off so I got and insert for my shoe that she made foe me free out of foam, she also told me my one leg was 1/2 inch different in length so she made me an insert for heal 1/4 inch thick dense foam, it helped for awhile but didn’t take away all my pain.

I was sad when she moved to another state and she referred me to a PT.

For years my pain was improved but not gone, I followed and completed my exercises daily or a few times a week as I was told by my PT was told it was most likely arthritis , then osteoarthritis but one day in 2005 I was really hurting and my Doctor scheduled me for an MRI vs X-ray as I was having more and more pain.

I was told I most definitely had osteoarthritis but little did I know I had something worse that I didn’t find out for years later, even though it was written in my chart.

I actually had something called Spondylolysis in My L5 S1 area and also above it.

What is spondylolysis?

A spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below it.
Spondylolisthesis risk factors include sports that put stress on the bones in the lower back, such as gymnastics , track and field and football. Genetics may put some people at increased risk.

I was also diagnosed with Spondylolysis – Spondylolysis. Pars defect. Stress fracture. These three terms are used interchangeably, all referring to the same condition. Spondylolysis is a stress fracture through the pars interarticularis of the lumbar vertebrae. The pars interarticularis is a thin bone segment joining two vertebrae. It is the most likely area to be affected by repetitive stress. This condition is fairly common and is found in one out of every 20 people.

What are the symptoms of spondylolysis?

Spondylolysis doesn’t always have symptoms. When it does, the only symptom is usually back pain.

The pain often gets worse with activity and sport, and is more notable when bending backward.

Generally, the pain doesn’t interfere with everyday activities. If it persists, it is recommended to seek medical attention.

It’s very bothersome when I walk more than say a mile. It also hurts when the weather changes.

What are the risk factors for spondylolysis?

Being human and walking upright is the most basic risk factor for spondylolysis.

The natural inward curvature of the lower back puts stress on the pars interarticularis.

Certain sports that involve excessive or repetitive bending backward may increase the risk of spondylolysis.

Examples include gymnastics, football and soccer.

Young athletes may sometimes develop spondylolysis as a result of over use and hyperextension of the lower back. Genetics could also be a risk factor for some people.;

Spondylolysis Diagnosis

If you have long-lasting, localized low-back pain, it could be due to spondylolysis.

An X-ray is sometimes sufficient to defect a stress fracture. However, if pain persists despite rest and physical therapy, additional imaging may be necessary.

Your doctor may need to order an MRI, a CT scan or SPECT scan of spine for a definitive diagnosis.

Spondylolysis Treatment

Spondylolysis treatment focuses on managing the pain and helping you return to your daily activities. This condition doesn’t typically put you at risk for spinal cord injury or nerve damage.

Depending on the degree of pain, treatment options include:

  • Rest/break from sports
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physical therapy for muscle strengthening and general conditioning
  • A lumbar brace

Surgery to repair the fracture is rarely needed, as the pain is expected to fade over time in most cases.

Surgery for Spondylolysis

Surgery may sometimes be an option for adolescents with lumbar spondylolysis. The fracture can be repaired by using a strong titanium screw. This surgery is done by making a 2- to 3-inch incision in the middle of the lower back. The screw is placed to secure the two sides of the fracture together, providing some compression across the area. Then a bone graft (a piece of bone from elsewhere in the body) could be used to further support the repair.

The surgery takes three hours, followed by two or three days in the hospital for recovery.

I will pass on any surgery unless it’s a must!!!

Your doctor may also recommend a surgical procedure such as spinal fusion if it’s found that spondylolysis has caused your vertebra to slip forward. This slippage is called spondylolisthesis, which is a different but related condition.

Mine has slipped forward and yes it’s a nagging constant all day just about every day pain.

Spondylolisthesis Is Not The Same As A Slipped Disc—But Does Involve Slippage

Slippage is a key element of spondylolisthesis.

They like using the word “slippage” because it conjures up a visual image of what’s happening in the body. He explains, “When you have spondylolisthesis, one of the vertebrae—the bones that make up your spine—slips out of place over another.”

However, it’s not the same thing as a slipped disc.

It’s gotten to the point that, I have lived with so much pain all the time the average person would be in agony and I am still doing what I can throughout my day. I would probably try to run a marathon if I had a totally painful day.

The grades

Grades of Spondylolisthesis:
  • Type I (less than 35%)
  • Type II (25-50%)
  • Type III (50-75%)
  • Type IV (75-100%)
  • Type V (spondyloptosis)

Reference

https://physicaltherapyfirst.com/blog/2020/10/19/spondylosis-spondylolysis-and-spondylolisthesis/

Posted in Awareness

So Sick of Pain

Back in August 2020 I was taken by ambulance to the ER m, because I had such a sudden, out of the blue pain in my back,side, and right chest area it caused me to start to hyperventilate and I was so afraid. How I I be sitting laughing at a movie and then bam riding in an ambulance

Thank God my husband was home as I could not even speak the pain was so incredibly intense. My husband got me a brown paper bag so I could try and focus on my breathing. The ambulance arrived and immediately got me on the gurney hooked up to heart monitor…..I was really afraid…was I having a heart attack?

When I got to the ER they got me hooked up on their heart monitors started to take blood every few hours, to check my enzymes to see if maybe I was having a heart attack, then they started doing every test they could to rule out heart attack, blood clots etc…. Was given medications like morphine and later dilaudid to help the crazy intense pain I had. The pain was not easing up.

They admitted me for 24 hrs for observation and came up with the diagnosis of panic attack. What did they do to help these panic attacks? Nothing.

This pain I didn’t think was associated with a panic attack, but what do I know.

They tested me for heart issues , deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. It was very uncomfortable as my arms had to be over my head. As they went to inject the contract in the spec area of IV it comes out at a high rate of speed well as it came out, it broke the plastic piece and the contrast went in my hair on my gown so we had to do another.

I felt as if I kept passing out from the pain if that makes any sense. I find out that my heart and lungs were good thank God.

The next day they took me for a Stress Test with dye and echo and they asked if I wanted to try and walk jog or because I have joint issues did I want them to just medically speed my heart and I would lie flat. I chose to walk jog because I think feeling no control of my heart rate would freak me out a bit.

I went over 6 minutes and felt great! I impressed myself. In fact they also said I did very good. So again no heart issues.

They diagnosed me as having a panic attack. I was discharged and yet given nothing in case this happens Bahrain, which they were clear in telling me it’s very possible.

I noticed that over the next week I was a bit shorter of breath than normal: When my husband and I go walking I can tell and I feel more fatigued. Maybe I am worried it will happen again. So I have to find some other way to think besides worrying about something.

It’s interfering with my studying real estate. I cannot concentrate for more than 10-15 minutes at a time and I feel like I am all over the place. I just feel weird.

Fast forward 7 months later, feel great a bit anxious here and there but no more hospital trips…….until

01 March 2021 here we go again can’t breathe chest pain back pain side pain….I was just eating dinner and bam here we go again how can you just get a panic attack when laughing at dinner? This feels worse but different it’s stabbing sides back chest .

What is happening!!

2021 has been a physically painful year for me. I go from 2019 no pain and. most of 2020 my health being really good to 2021 being physically and mentally brutal…

This house doctor was an ass to me.!He thought I was a drug seeker and refused to prescribe Tylenol plain Tylenol no codeine just Tylenol. Then he called me fat and said my pain is skeletal and lose some weight.

I told him do NOT talk to me like that. Told him over 2 years I have lost 78-80 lbs and although I live with joint pain this is different. I asked him to check my gallbladder and he refused. He then discharged me and I called hospital administrator and disputed the discharge.

So the next day this doctor looked pissed that I was still there. Again I told him check my gallbladder. He finally did and sure enough I was right.

He never apologized to me and I did report him to the hospital administrator.

Well let’s see what happens next….

Posted in Awareness, Blessed, Chronic Pain, Grateful

Happy New Year

Being an advocate for bone and joint pain and personally living with osteoarthritis osteonecrosis and spondylolisthesis pain .

I saw our community struggle in new and ways besides living and dealing with daily pain.

People suddenly couldn’t access routine care because of lockdowns, fear and added anxiety.

They became more isolated than ever before. They and their family members faced job losses and financial hardship.

As an advocate for arthritis and a facilitator for my local LIVE YES Connect Group, I had to cancel or postpone in-person programs and events.

But on the plus side we went virtual on Zoom

Some members and their families faced added strain, whether dealing with virtual school or safety concerns for loved ones in nursing homes.

It’s a year most are happy to see come to an end.

But as a person with pain, I am always compelled to find silver linings. Even in the mist of challenging of times.

In 2020, I got to travel to Washington D.C participate in a focus group and then speak on Capital Hill.

I met some fantastic people from our state representatives to other leaders and advocates who work so hard to create a strong support system for so many causes and conditions.

I got to stay in a great city and tour the beautiful historical city of Washington D.C

We made great strides in accessibility, as health care system finally embraced telehealth and more companies allowed remote work.

Many disabled now gave hope to possibly getting a part time job working from home now because we see it is doable.

We seen a President work tirelessly to get pharmaceutical companies to create a vaccine quickly that will be safe for the USA and world.

We gave witnessed the power of science and innovation with the development of promising treatments and vaccines.

We saw our neighbors and communities come together to support one another in their time of need.

Despite the news only showing negativity there was a lot of positive happening.

2020 shown how resilient we are. And to never lose faith. Be grateful for everyday.

I don’t know what 2021 will bring;

I’m hoping it will be a fantastic year.

I just want to Thank you for your support, and following me on IG, Blog, and all social media platforms I promise to bring you current and uplifting information in 2021 and I wish you all a safe, healthy, prosperous and happy new year

Deb

http://www.ChronicallyGratefulDebla.com

avascularnecrosiseducationcom

Posted in Awareness

Today is Avascular Necrosis Osteonecrosis Awareness Day

Today is a special day for me , it’s the second annual Avascular Necrosis Osteonecrosis Awareness Day.

The am still working hard to get every state to work with the others so we all have one date to raise awareness and bring recognition to the painful disease called Osteonecrosis which goes by several others names.

It’s a slow yet rewarding experience

More people are learning about Osteonecrosis , what it is how you get it in many cases. And that’s what it’s all about. To get people to listen to us, learn about it. That way we can get better options for treatment and pain.

Some of the faces of AVN women is this picture

Osteonecrosis

Avascular Necrosis

SONK

SPONK

Ischemic Necrosis

Aseptic Necrosis

Legg Calves Perthes – Avn children

Kienbock’s Disease Avn wrist

Kümmell disease Avn in vertebrate

ONJ Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

and so many more …….

Osteonecrosis is a disease caused by reduced blood flow to bones in the joints. In people with healthy bones, new bone is always replacing old bone. In osteonecrosis, the lack of blood causes the bone to break down faster than the body can make enough new bone. The bone starts to die and may break down.

You can have osteonecrosis in one or several bones. It is most common in the upper leg. Other common sites are your upper arm and your knees, shoulders and ankles. The disease can affect men and women of any age, but it usually strikes in your thirties, forties or fifties. 

At first, you might not have any symptoms. As the disease progresses , you will probably have joint pain that becomes more severe. You may not be able to bend or move the affected joint very well.

No one is sure what causes the disease. Risk factors include 

  • Long-term steroid treatment
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Joint injuries
  • Having certain diseases, including arthritis and cancer

Doctors use imaging tests and other tests to diagnose osteonecrosis. Treatments include medicines, using crutches, limiting activities that put weight on the affected joints, electrical stimulation and surgery.

To read more about Osteonecrosis go to

http://avascularnecrosiseducation.com

Posted in Awareness

New Possible Blood Test For Fibromyalgia

For those who live with possible #fibromyalgia that has not been confirmed, new test is on the horizon
#OhioStateWexner – hopefully leading to better treatments.
https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/mediaroom/pressreleaselisting/blood-test-spots-fibromyalgia

So many women and men live with this painful disease and now maybe a confirmation via blood test is not to far off.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (fi·bro·my·al·gi·a) is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia. This is called abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million US adults, about 2% of the adult population. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but it can be effectively treated and managed.

What are the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?

The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are

  • Pain and stiffness all over the body
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
  • Headaches, including migraines

Other symptoms may include:

  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Pain in the face or jaw, including disorders of the jaw known as temporomandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ)
  • Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS)

What are the risk factors for fibromyalgia?

Known risk factors include:

  • Age. Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages, including children. However, most people are diagnosed during middle age and you are more likely to have fibromyalgia as you get older.
  • Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

Some other factors have been weakly associated with the onset of fibromyalgia, but more research is needed to see if they are real. These possible risk factors include:

  • Sex. Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.
  • Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Repetitive injuries. Injury from repetitive stress on a joint, such as frequent knee bending.
  • Illness (such as viral infections)
  • Family history
  • Obesity

Learn more about fibromyalgia

Posted in Awareness

Domestic Violence Awareness – Power and Control Break Free From Abuse

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month today we learn about Power and Control

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control. At The Hotline, our frame of reference for describing abuse is the Power and Control Wheel developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN. In the diagram below, the Power and Control Wheel assumes she/her pronouns for the victim and he/him pronouns for the perpetrator, but the abusive behavior that it details can happen to people of any gender or sexuality.

The wheel serves as a diagram of tactics that an abusive partner uses to keep their victims in a relationship. The inside of the wheel is made up of subtle, continual behaviors over time, while the outer ring represents physical and sexual violence. Abusive actions like those depicted in the outer ring often reinforce the regular use of other, more subtle methods found in the inner ring.

Posted in Awareness

Domestic Violence and Covid19

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in domestic partners and families spending more time together at home.

Not surprisingly, being in such close proximity for extended periods of time has resulted in higher stress levels. That raises a concern:

Are people in the same households more likely to intimidate or physically hurt one another?

If domestic abuse is already a problem in a relationship, the coronavirus pandemic might be making it worse. An abusive person may use this situation to exert more control over a partner.

Know that shelters are open do not stay in an abusive relationship

Look Out for Warning Signs

Put a plan together if someone you are living with is:

  • being verbally or emotionally hurtful.
  • threatening you.
  • having episodes of explosive anger.
  • harming animals. 

Steps You Can Take to Keep Yourself and Others Safe

  1. Find a place you can retreat to safely. Avoid the bathroom or kitchen.
  2. Enlist support from a trusted friend or family member you can call.
  3. If necessary, use a code word or phrase to indicate you need help.
  4. Memorize phone numbers of people and agencies you might need to call in an emergency.
  5. Make sure you can easily access:
    • cash.
    • identification (Social Security card and driver’s license).
    • birth and marriage certificates.
    • credit cards, safe deposit box keys and bank information.
    • health insurance information.
    • any documentation, photos, medical or police reports relating to previous episodes of abuse.

Call you local DV Shelter or Hotline for help

1-800-799-SAFE

Posted in Awareness

October Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I am a survivor and advocate of Domestic Violence. I am so glad I lived and finally ended the cycle of violence.

After I finally left my first husband for good, I went to counseling and attended a women’s dv support group to what I call deprogram my brain from all the negativity and abuse I experienced for 10 years.

Over time I healed and went on to become a volunteer then a group coordinator, then I presided over the support groups spoke to incarcerated women, churches, police,women’s organizations and I then became a DV Shelter manager and did this for for at least a decade. That was my 1st calling. I think as we live and experience things in our life we get different callings. That was definitely one of mine. To go out educate anyone and everyone on DV (domestic violence)

My first marriage was never really a happy marriage. Yes there were happy times but if I look back I felt more like a hostage than an equal partner in a marriage. This man I married shown me a side of him I never saw when we dated, or else I never would have married him.

I was a battered wife and it all started about 2 weeks after I was married. I arrived home from work 90 minutes later than usual because we were so busy at work and my husband went off. He called me a whore, bitch, slut at that point he didn’t hit me. But the verbal abuse I experienced for being late at work was just ridiculous. We didn’t have cell phones in the 1980s.

You know why he went off ? Because dinner wasn’t ready. Of course I apologized.

It wasn’t long before I became his personal punching bag. I was hit , punched, kicked, slapped, more times than I can count and I’m grateful I’m alive, because I came close to death a couple times.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort.

It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.

Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other. 

1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women who were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post.

That’s almost double the number of people who were killed fighting in the war. People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

  • Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
  • The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.
  • It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
  • Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.
  • They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
  • They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

Please I beg you if you are in an abusive relationship get the hell out , don’t walk …..run

Make a plan slowly hide money a few pieces of clothing in a duffle , copy all important documents like birth certificates for you and the kids , marriage license, restraining orders, social security cards for all of you. If you have to flee and you will…. you will need these to get some for of help with say public assistance,medical, court help etc…..

Keep them with someone you trust completely who will not tell anyone.

It will never be better it will get worse. Sorry doesn’t mean shit when you keep getting kicked, pushed,punched,slapped, called names like bitch,cunt,whore etc…

You are told so much bullshit that plays mind games that over time you begin to believe all his crap like no one will ever love you, your nothing, your lucky I love you because who else would.

The topper is after your beat and bloody or slapped They look at you and say …..you made them do that to you. If you …… fill in the blank

Would have only had dinner ready

Or the house cleaner or didn’t spend so much at the grocery store.

Or why did you have to open your mouth.

They find every way to blame you … nothing is ever their fault and often they hit you for no reason. It’s all about control and their own low self esteem.

They don’t want you to succeed,they discourage you from bettering yourself.

They don’t want you to go to school, Hell they don’t want you to see your family or your friends!

They want to alienate you so all you have is them. Then they beat you call you names.

It’s like being in a war you are brainwashed and tortured by the enemy – but the enemy in this case that is hurting you torturing you is your spouse or significant other.

Being in a DV situation can physically and emotionally harm the kids, some females grow up to be abused and some males will grow up to be abusers and vice versa.

When you are in a domestic violence situation especially women you are a significantly higher risk of experiencing PTSD,depression, anxiety,substance abuse and thoughts of suicide.

Don’t believe all the I’m sorry it will never happen again. It will happen again and each time will be more violent than before.

How many times do you need to hear I’m sorry it will never happen again?

You matter, you were not put on this earth to be someone’s punching bag. You were not born to be verbally abused, physically abused, psychologically and or financially abused.

You were put here for a purpose but being abused wasn’t it. I know you are tired, exhausted and just ready to give up. Or you may be in denial. I know exactly how you feel and so millions of other women.

Put your hand on your heart, feel that? That is your heart beat…. you are alive for a reason. That reason is not to be a punching bag.

I know you may love this person and think he loves you too and he will change. He mostly likely WONT. If you love someone you don’t beat them down you lift them up.

Do NOT be as foolish as I was and stay for 10 years because of fear and the lack of self esteem that came from being told we didn’t matter , we were worthless….nothing.

You are somebody special you have a purpose, that purpose is not to be abused by someone else ….you must get out before you are killed or critically injured.

Working in a Domestic Violence Shelter to me was a privilege. I was blessed with the opportunity to help other women get out and make a plan to get out. These were women of all races, religions, economic and social backgrounds. From a politicians wife, to the cops wife to the preachers wife to the single mom to the teenager in an abusive dating relationship.

They have a special place in my heart because I know what they feel.

So what is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a violent or controlling behavior by a person toward a family or household member, usually towards an intimate partner. Although the partner is the primary target, violence is often directed toward the children and pets as well. Approximately 95% of domestic violence victims are women. It is a learned behavior. Abuser and victims come from all walks of life, races, income levels and ages.

There are many types of abuse:

  • Verbal: Yelling, name-calling, threatening to hurt or kill, criticizing your appearance, belittling, constant blaming
  • Emotional: Social isolation, neglecting physical or emotional needs, abusing pets, accusations of an affair, monitoring telephone conversations, criticizing family and friends, embarrassing you in front of others
  • Sexual: Unwanted sexual advances, committing rape or incest, forcing you to have sex with others, forcing pregnancy or abortion.
  • Psychological: “Brainwashing”- a person’s self-worth is destroyed through harassment, threats, deprivations of food and sleep
  • Physical: Hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, inflicting injury with weapons, homicide
  • Economic: Withholding financial information, controlling money & bank accounts, making you account for every expenditures.

I dealt with many bruises on arms legs big ass bumps on the head from so many blows to the head,, a black eye here and there , busted lip, pushed from a moving car, hand broken in 5 places, kicked with steel toe boots, cornered he loved yo corner me then punch or slap me on time I was punched and pushed so hard my head went through the glass on our front door I had to have over 120 stitches and my head was wrapped as if I just had brain surgery I lost so much blood I almost passed out, blood was going all over and then the I’m sorry came out of his mouth, all I remember was saying I hope I die so you go to fucking prison, then I will be finally free. This happened when my daughter was asleep in the other room and thank God his nephew came over he cleaned all the blood up off the floor and wall, taped cardboard over the glass on the front door and stayed with my daughter who was asleep, she was maybe 4 or 5. Hard to remember exactly.

I could have died that night.

At the ER they asked what happened he immediately said I fell. I told them to get him away from me. The police came and removed him from the ER.

On the way out he said remember how your getting home and it’s fine he will go alway and pack and be gone before I’m done getting stitches.

That was code for bitch shut up our daughter is home and he’d take her.

He always threatened to take her that’s why I had her now live at my parents. And even though I saw her daily it was not the same.

I told the nurse what happened , but lied to the doctor stitching me up. He knew he looked at me and said you could have died consider a plan to get out. I told him my daughter is home with our nephew how much longer as code to him to please don’t keep lecturing me I will get out when it’s right.

After I was all stitched up I actually got back in the truck and went home my head felt as if I was never going to be the same. How was I going to go to work in 4 hours? My parents are going to freak out.

I called my mom after he went to work told her I wasn’t feeling good and could she come pick up her granddaughter, she said they could asked what was wrong I said nothing really just not feeling well. She said did that bastard hit you again? And when am I going to leave ….. just what I didn’t want to hear another lecture to make me feel yet stupider.

When they came to pick up my daughter who cried when she woke up and saw my head. I told her it’s ok mommy hurt her head and I will be ok in a few days. But grandma and papa was coming to get her so I could go to sleep and heal my boo boo.

It was clear she wanted to stay with me and I wanted her to stay, but in case he came home and wanted to fight again I can’t have her in the cross fire.

My dad cried when he seen me. My mom teared up and my dad said please come home, I told him it will be worse right now if I come home. Because he will just come there like before.

I told my dad I will plan to leave soon. He went and bought us dinner so I didn’t have to cook and I think it was his way of letting my husband know I see what you did and I’m watching you.

That was just one of hundreds of incidents over 10 years.

Please get out while you can……

More posts weekly for the month of October

Posted in Awareness

Dealing with Joint Pain in the Pandemic

How do I deal with my knee and back pain until the orthopedic doctors start seeing patients again?

There are a variety of non-operative treatment options for pain. No one treatment is going to help everyone, and patients need to find the treatments that seem to work the best for them.

Medications I personally cannot take NSAIDS so I reach for

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is an over-the-counter option that is safe and effective for me.

For many Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) – e.g. Ibuprofen and naproxen – may also be helpful. Prescription NSAIDs are also an option to discuss with your health care provider.

Some say medical marijuana helps them. I’ve never tried it so I cannot comment.

Supplements, such as glucosamine/chondroitin, are generally safe and may be helpful in reducing some arthritic pain. Also talk to you doctor about curcumin supplements tablets .

I drink Turmeric tea aka golden milk it is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Exercise helps me. I’m not talking about running or walking a marathon.

Just 1-2 miles once or twice a day. Makes me feel good especially in summer. My joints love the heat.

I have a daily exercise regimen, specifically designed for me and my knee osteonecrosis osteoarthritis, and this back pain that is really an out of the blue pain.

With osteonecrosis moving is critically important for maintaining strength in muscles supporting the joints , reducing pain and it’s also great for stress.

It is important to be as active as your joints allow and find a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises that you perform daily, without increasing your pain.

A good source for exercise instruction for arthritis may be found at you ortho office maybe they can email you some ideas.

Crutches, a walker, ice/heat treatments and a knee brace may also be helpful in managing your hip and/or knee pain.

Weight Loss and Diet

The covid 19 is a little saying that explains what is happened to many since the pandemic.

And extra 19 pounds can cause the joints to really hurt.

Many patients with osteonecrosis and arthritis are carrying a few extra pounds and weight loss reduces stress across our joints.

We put 3-5X our body weight across our hip and knee joints with activity, particularly stair climbing and getting in and out of a chair. Every 10 pounds of extra weight carried results in 50 pounds of weight bearing pressure across the hips and knees!

A healthy diet is important for general health and weight loss, and some may find benefit from focusing on an “anti-inflammatory” diet. The anti-inflammatory diet is a diet which includes tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fatty fish, and fresh fruit, particularly blueberries, strawberries, cherries and oranges. Foods thought to cause inflammation, and to avoid, include white bread and pastries, French fries, soda, margarine and red meat.

In summary: stay active, eat healthy, maintain social distancing as instructed and maintain a positive attitude.

Please know that your orthopedic provider and all pcp ‘s are also anxious to get back to “business as usual” and help you to resolve your arthritic pain!

Check out my other posts on great recipes

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Wishing you love, good health and a pain free day

Love

Deb

https://flexitarianforlife.wordpress.com/

http://www.ChronicallyGratefulDebla.com

Posted in Awareness

All About Knee Pain Part 5 of 6

Part 5 knee

Treatments

Conservative care

Many types of knee pain can be relieved and/or resolved with conservative treatments such as:

Rest When the knee is injured or is inflamed, as in bursitis, tendonitis or arthritis, it’s important to rest the joint and avoid overuse. That may mean keeping the knee straight (extended) or in positions that limit bending.

Ice/heat Applying ice or cold packs to the knee can reduce inflammation and swelling, especially after an injury. Once swelling is gone, heat may be used to help relax and loosen tissues – although ice is the primary treatment.

Pain relievers Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can help relieve knee pain, including ibuprofen (Advil®) and naproxen (Aleve®).

Weight loss Your doctor may recommend that you lose weight to reduce pressure on your knee.

Braces In general, knee braces wrap around the knee and leg and help limit unwanted movement while supporting the knee. They are commonly used when knee ligaments are weak, and help to keep the knee from “buckling.” Braces will provide support during healing, but are not a primary treatment for arthritic degeneration.

There is a variety of braces. Functional braces are designed to support knees that have suffered an impact-related injury. Rehabilitative braces provide support when recovering from a surgery or injury. Uploading/offloading braces are used by patients with arthritis and help to stabilize the knee when standing up or sitting down

Physical therapy

Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of your knee pain, physical therapy may be the next step. Physical therapists can show you specific exercise programs that will help you recover from the injury and decrease the pain you are experiencing. They also may demonstrate low-impact stretches and exercises that can strengthen muscles in your knee, improve stability and flexibility, and reduce pressure on the joint. They can advise you on helpful lowimpact aerobic exercises, such as swimming and cycling, that won’t aggravate your knee pain. Physical therapy also is an important part of recovery after knee surgery.

Injections

I personally am not a fan of these. I personally get more pain when o have had them. And they can lead to faster break down of bone tissue and can lead to Osteonecrosis.

Steroid (or more commonly known as cortisone) shots can be placed inside the knee to reduce pain and inflammation.

Another nonsurgical procedure that can provide relief from knee pain is viscosupplementation. Administered in the doctor’s office, this treatment involves injecting a lubricant into the knee. The filler lubricates and adds cushioning to the joint, allowing bones to move more easily and reducing friction.

In some cases, relief from viscosupplementation can last for months. It can be a viable, though short-term, solution for mild to moderate osteoarthritic knee pain.

Prp injections

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient’s own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems. I have had this and I had a good result. Healed no but a better outcome and mobility than I had.

Posted in Awareness

All about Knee pain part 4 of 6

 

Part 4 knees

How is knee pain diagnosed?

 

When diagnosing any knee pain, the physician will take your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination.

To help your doctor best understand your knee pain, you’ll need to provide the following information:

• A description of your knee pain (aching, tenderness, burning or swelling)

• Where the pain is located and when it occurs

• When the pain started (and if it is the result of an injury or accident)

• Anything that makes the pain worse or better

Your doctor also may order imaging tests to view the joint, which may include the following:

X-rays – An X-ray can show if there are certain problems, such as deterioration or fracture, within your knee.

MRI – In some cases, your doctors may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. An MRI provides significantly more detail about the soft tissues in your knee, such as the cartilage on the surface of the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles.

CT scan – Computerized tomography scans combine X-ray views from multiple angles, creating a two- or three-dimensional, cross-sectional image. These images show “slices” of bone and soft tissue.

 

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