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

Please follow like and share to get updates on my latest posts

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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Posted in Awareness

All About Our Knees Part 3 of 6

Part 3 knee

Knee injuries can be the result of sports, falls or trauma. They typically involve the ligaments that hold two of the bones of the knee – the femur and tibia – together. Here are some of the most common types:

Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are among the most common and dreaded sports injuries. Your ACL keeps your knee from moving too far out of position. Changing directions too quickly or hyperextending the knee can tear the ACL. Women are more prone to tearing the ACL. Surgery is often necessary to repair damage to an ACL.

A stretch or tear of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) is typically caused by a hit or blow to the outer knee. Pain is felt along the inner knee. Bracing and conservative treatment, such as rest and physical therapy, are usually sufficient to heal these injuries.

The meniscus is crescent-shaped cartilage between your thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bone (tibia). You have two of these cushions in each of your knees, inner (medial) and outer (lateral). The medial one is most often injured. These injuries often are caused by sudden twisting, resulting in swelling, pain and locking of the knee. Arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to remove the torn fragment when conservative treatment does not help.

Posted in Awareness

All About Our Knees Part 1 of a 6 part series.

About the knee 1 of 6

Did you know that your knee is the largest joint in your body. Its a really amazing and complex mechanism made of bone, cartilage and ligaments. The cartilage in your knee acts as a cushion and gliding surface. So the knee can move freely.

When the knee is healthy, the cartilage keeps the bones in the joint from rubbing together. However, when the joint is affected by arthritis, the bones make contact and cause mild or severe pain.

Injuries, as well as aging and degenerative conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage to break down.

Things like osteonecrosis of the knee (also known as avascular necrosis) is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to a section of bone in the femur (thighbone) or tibia (shinbone) is disrupted. And eventually can lead to severe osteoarthritis and even joint collapse.

Knee pain can affect every step you take. From playing sports to climbing steps, knee pain is difficult to ignore.

Some home remedies may help temporarily, but if you have chronic pain or symptoms such as swollen or red joints, it’s time to see a doctor.

I am not a fan of steroid injections or corticosteroids period as they can lead to Osteonecrosis.

And in my opinion doctors use these way too much for me. It seems like the go to drug for everything.

Because it helps inflammation but When prescribed in doses that exceed your body’s usual levels, corticosteroids suppress inflammation. This can reduce the signs and symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and asthma.

But they also have side effects like

What side effects can corticosteroids cause?

  • Elevated pressure in the eyes (glaucoma)
  • Fluid retention, causing swelling in your lower legs.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Problems with mood swings, memory and behavior and other psychological effects, such as confusion or delirium. Just to name a few.
Posted in Awareness

Arthritis Pain Do’s and Don’ts

Arthritis pain:

The Do’s and The don’ts

Will physical activity reduce or increase your arthritis pain? Get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.

Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. You can find plenty of advice about easing the pain of arthritis and other conditions with exercise, medication and stress reduction. How do you know what will work for you?

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you figure it out

Basics

Whatever your condition, it will be easier to stay ahead of your pain if you:

• Learn all you can about your condition, including what type of arthritis you have and whether any of your joints are already damaged

• Enlist your doctor, friends and family in managing your pain

• Tell your doctor if your pain changes

Everyday routines

Pay attention to your joints, whether sitting, standing or engaging in activity. When we have pain the last thing we want to do is move but often what we should be doing.

• Keep your joints moving. Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.

• Use good posture. A physical therapist can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly.

• Know your limits. Balance activity and rest, and don’t overdo it.

In addition, lifestyle changes are important for easing pain.

• Manage weight. Being overweight can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to more arthritis pain. Making incremental, permanent lifestyle changes resulting in gradual weight loss is often the most effective method of weight management.

• Quit smoking. If you smoke stop. It’s not that hard , I quit smoking and so can you. Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain.Smoking also slows down the healing process as well as it’s a nasty stinky habit.

Exercise

When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and increase your endurance.

What to do

Choose the right kinds of activities those that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that’s right for you.

Don’t just go start jogging if you have knee problems or lifting weights if you have back and joint issues.

Always consult your doctor before doing anything!!

Once you get the ok.

Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training. Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or water exercises, to improve your mood and help control your weight.

What to avoid

Avoid activities that involve high impact and repetitive motion, such as:

• Running

• Jumping

• Tennis

• High-impact aerobics

• Repeating the same movement, such as a tennis serve, again and again

Medications

Many types of medications are available for arthritis pain relief. Most are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. Talk with your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

What to do

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors. But not everyone can take certain medications again talk to your doctor.

Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain, do not use if you have a scratch, cut or open wound. Use alone or with oral medication.

Consult your doctor if over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your pain.

What to avoid

• Overtreatment. Talk with your doctor if you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers regularly.

• Undertreatment. Don’t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. You might have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.

• Focusing only on pain. Depression is more common in people with arthritis. Doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies reduces not only depression symptoms but also arthritis pain.

Physical and emotional integration

It’s no surprise that arthritis pain has a negative effect on your mood. If everyday activities make you hurt, you’re bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.

What to do

Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions include:

• Cognitive behavioral therapy. This well-studied, effective combination of talk therapy and behavior modification helps you identify — and break — cycles of self-defeating thoughts and actions.

• Relaxation therapy. Meditating, doing yoga, deep breathing, listening to music, being in nature, writing in a journal do whatever helps you relax. There’s no downside to relaxation, and it can help ease pain.

• Acupuncture. Some people get pain relief through acupuncture treatments, when a trained acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles at specific points on your body. It can take several weeks before you notice improvement.

• Heat and cold. Use of heat, such as applying heating pads to aching joints, taking hot baths or showers, or immersing painful joints in warm paraffin wax, can help relieve pain temporarily. Be careful not to burn yourself. Use heating pads for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Use of cold, such as applying ice packs to sore muscles, can relieve pain and inflammation after strenuous exercise.

• Massage. Massage might improve pain and stiffness temporarily. Make sure your massage therapist knows where your arthritis affects you.

What to avoid

• Smoking. If you’re addicted to tobacco, you might use it as an emotional coping tool. But it’s counterproductive: Toxins in smoke cause stress on connective tissue, leading to more joint problems.

• A negative attitude. Negative thoughts are self-perpetuating. As long as you dwell on them, they escalate, which can increase your pain and risk of disability. Instead, distract yourself with activities you enjoy, spend time with people who support you and consider talking to a therapist.

Wishing you a pain free day

Deb

Posted in Arthritis, Awareness, Hearing Loss, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Link-Between Hearing Loss and RA

When we think of hearing loss, you may associate it with your loved one who’s always asking you to repeat yourself, or the friend who may struggle to follow conversations.

Hearing loss is often caused by exposure to excessive noise and is even linked to the natural aging process. But did you know that hearing loss isn’t just caused by your loud job, or the blaring music at the concert ?

Along with lesser known causes of hearing loss like smoking and diabetes, a recent study found a link between hearing loss and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that affects many seniors, though young people can also suffer from the disease. Around 1.5 million Americans have RA, and this number continues to rise. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system turns against the body. Rather than protecting the body from sicknesses by warding off viral and bacterial infections, the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain. RA can damage cartilage and tissue around the joints, disform the joints, and even damage the bone. It becomes painful to move the affected joints, and leads to reduced mobility, and difficulty performing normal daily tasks.

Linking Hearing Loss and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clinical trials looking at the links between hearing loss and arthritis found far higher rates of hearing loss among those with arthritis. Those with RA were more likely to have sensorineural hearing loss, hearing loss associated with the ear and not the brain. Delicate cells in the inner ear are damaged in this type of hearing loss, and once these cells are damaged, they don’t regenerate. You’ll be unable to hear certain sounds in the environment, since the cells in the ear responsible for those sounds have been destroyed.

A 2006 study found that around 43% of those with RA had hearing loss! And a study from the Mayo Clinic, reported that even though they weren’t able to detect measurably higher rates of hearing loss among those with RA, their patients with RA were far more likely to perceive that they had hearing loss.

 

How does RA Lead to Hearing Loss?

Researchers are still unclear on the how rheumatoid arthritis and hearing loss are linked. However, it’s clear that RA can attack other body systems, not just the joints, so the cells in the ear can also be affected by this disease.

Another link could be the drugs used to treat the pain that goes hand in hand with arthritis. Many studies have found that common pain killers, such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause hearing loss. Even taking these pain killers two or more days per week was linked to worse hearing health, while those who took pain killers six days a week had a 24% higher risk of hearing loss than those who didn’t take pain killers. Those suffering from RA often take a lot of painkillers just to get through the day, and these drugs are known to reduce blood flow and deprive the cells in the inner ear of the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

While doctors can’t cure RA, they all agree that treating the disease as soon as possible is essential for good health outcomes. Treating RA stops inflammation, prevents further joint damage or deformity, and relieves pain. It also improves overall well-being by allowing for increased mobility and physical function. Treatments include medications to ease symptoms, as well as to reduce inflammation and slow joint damage.

Self-management is also important when it comes to RA, and your doctor will help you be proactive in managing the disease and maintaining your overall quality of life. Eating well, exercising often and resting, using heat pads, and learning relaxation techniques all play a role in self-management.

Treating Hearing Loss

If you’ve been struggling to hear, and think it may be linked to your RA, call your local hearing center.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Posted in Advocate, Arthritis, Awareness, Meditation, Mindfulness, osteoarthritis, Osteonecrosis, Pain

How I Use Meditation and Palming To Help My Pain

So I have been meditating for over 18 months. It has helped me learn to quiet my mind. Focus on my breathing and start taking back some control of my pain.

It sure did pay off last week.

I fell after another bowman lost her balance her cane went sliding and she also grabbed onto me as for me to stop her fall.

That did not happen.

As with any time I am feeling pain I try to meditate the pain away.

Sometimes it works fantastically sometimes it just calms me which is also good.

Here are the steps I take to help meditate my pain away

Step 1: Stabilize your mind

Step 2: Identify the area where you feel pain.

Step 3: Focus your mind to the pain sensation in the area.

Step 4: Notice if the pain sensation changes.

Step 5: If your mind wanders, gently bring your mind back to the object of your meditation, which is a focused awareness on pain.

Mind stabilization can be achieved with mindfulness meditation, described as “a simple mental exercise, which develops mindfulness and concentration by paying attention on a chosen object (for example, taste of food or activity you wish to focus on) and holding the attention for a period of time. Mindfulness meditation does not necessarily require sitting but can be practiced while eating, walking, running, commuting, and doing other activities. This mental exercise also helps develop an ability to sustain mindfulness for prolonged time.”

Here are helpful tips for quieting an unquiet mind:

  • Meditate for only two minutes (gradually move to 3,4,5,15… minutes)
  • Use a timer to remind you of an end of a meditation session.
  • Instead of trying to stop, welcome it whatever arises.
  • If you cannot concentrate on the object of your meditation, pay attention to the thoughts and stories occurring in your mind instead.
  • If you cannot meditate while sitting, meditate while walking,hiking,running,laying down at night, eating etc….

Say to your self

I am

Breathe in I breathe out am – do this a few times then add I am pain free, I am healing, I am well.

When I’m finished doing this for a few minutes at the end I rub my hands together get them warm and gently place the palms of my hands on my eyes. It feels so good. You can then rub your head.

Feeling the energy in your body going to help your pain.

Palming helps the eyes

Palming: Palming, which was originally invented by Tibetan yogis, is done in darkness with the palms cupping the eyes. Palming soothes the optic nerve, which is often irritated. Sit in a darkened room with your elbows leaning on a table. Relax your back and shoulders, rub your hands together vigorously to warm them, then place your palms over your eyes. Don’t press the eye sockets and don’t lean on the cheekbones. Visualize total blackness, the most relaxing color for the brain, and breathe deeply. Let the blackness permeate everything: your eyes, your whole body, the room you sit in, the city, the state, the continent, the planet, the stars, the universe.

You may see all kinds of lights, which is an indication of irritation in the optic nerve. In fact, you may not see total darkness until you have completed several palming sessions. Palm for as long as is comfortable.

Meditation and Palming

I find this not just relaxing but I feel centered , calm , content and I have less pain when I do this 2x a day, for just 10 minutes.

Here are the links I used and still use sometimes

I am – guided meditation by Wayne Dyer https://youtu.be/BoE4QjMiHys

Palming for relaxing and helping eyes

Posted in Awareness

What to do if you suddenly run out of energy-spoons when traveling

I love to travel but when I do, I know when I get home I will be wiped out by fatigue for sometimes 2-3-4 days.

This little mini trip was no exception.

Fatigue can often be described in various ways. Sometimes it is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental and physical).

I had the privilege of going to Washington DC the last week of February 2020.

I participated in rare disease week, spoke on Capitol Hill seen so many historical places and also participated in a focus group.

It really was an amazing trip.

It was also exhausting.

I pushed my body to the limit, correction beyond my limit. I walked far too many steps than I was used to. But ya know what I did it, I made it sure it was tiring but I made it.

And I would do it all over again.

Of course I am paying the price now as I was literally exhausted for 3 days after I got back home.

But I enjoyed every minute of it.

A few things also caused me to use up a lot of my saved energy or spoons

Example: On the last night in Washington DC after I attended a focus group , I wanted to go on a bus tour for like an hour or 2, see some monuments at night but I was tired

I called the consiere who said the trolly picks you up at the hotel and brings you back to the hotel. I was sold and went on a night tour, we went to MLK monument, Jefferson,Back to Capitol at night, the White House , Korean War vet and Vietnam memorial, Lincoln monument, Arlington cemetery and lastly the Iwo Jima memorial, one of out lasts stops.

I was feeling great tired yes but invigorated from this tour, a woman younger than me also on the tour who had MS lost her balance when she was walking to the Iwo Jima memorial her cane went flying she fell, and as she was going down she tried to grab onto me and this caused me and a young man to also lose balance and so I fell, and he did to but he kind of rolled.

I however hit the ground so hard knee first I thought I shattered it.

All I did was pray dear GOD protect me , please don’t let this be the way my trip ends.

Thankfully this happened at the end of the tour. I felt pain and numbness but I also felt my knee swelling fast.

The tour bus dropped me off at the Capitol Hilton

I hobbled to my room after the tour starving, ordered room service cleaned my knee which by now was the size of a grapefruit .

I was hurting scared and a bit pissed off, should I go to the ER? Do I just wait when I get home tomorrow?

I called the George Washington Hospital and was told they are full of flu patients would have at least a 6 hour wait but I could come in.

I chose to wait.

I don’t think the woman on the tour meant to do that. It’s a natural reaction to reach out and stop from falling.

I think I was also so tired I just couldn’t keep myself from falling. That’s what pissed me off.

All my energy just went down the drain. I was hurt exhausted and I mean I was hurt.

I probably should have went to the ER

I chose to tough it out. Hobbled and got 2 buckets full of ice and made my own ice packs from zip lock bags wash cloth and hair scrunchie.

Oh I needed energy and was totally depleted but I had to dig deep and get moving for that ice.

All that great mojo was gone in an instant.

We cannot store up extra energy or “spoons” to use later unfortunately so sometimes we have a tendency to over do it when we feel good. And then when shit happens it’s exhausting.

Room service came with my leg propped up , so I ate and went to bed. The pain was so intense I was worried how the hell was going to make it through the airport the next day.

People see you are doing ok and this can lead them to assumptions – Some people thinking your suddenly well because you had a few good days .

People just don’t realize how much pain a person may be in because it’s an invisible disability.

People also don’t realize that a few goods days is exhausting.

And when you get hurt and you already suffer from chronic pain I swear it’s intensified 10 fold.

I’m usually a happy person and pain or no pain I am grateful that I am alive and can move.

That night I did all I could not to cry.

One thing pain has taught me is how to deal with pain.

I wish I didn’t have pain I hate it because pain is more than an occasional visitor in my body it’s more like a permanent unwelcome tenant.

Every time I feel a bit better something happens and the flipping pain is back all over again.

Most people have no idea what living with chronic pain is like.

I used to get offended when people would not recognize chronic joint pain as a disability.

I would love to see many of those who think that oh joint pain is no big deal do what I do in a day with the level of pain I have and still be as happy as I am.

Because I am happy, I just have to pace myself.

My life is all about pacing.

This is because everything I do cook, clean, sleep, walk, blog, travel, advocate,it all takes time. This gradual approach to every aspect of my life is not only about enlightenment or mindfulness.

It is about pain. Or more specifically, trying minimize it. Minimizing it is the key because I’ve learned it just can’t be avoided, at least not entirely, no matter my effort.

So take those spoons and energy and live your best life . You cannot store spoons but you can learn what to do when your spoons run out .

And remember rest even when your on vacation, eat well so you can be strong and hopefully you come home in the same shape as when you left.

It’s been a week since I’ve been home knee still swollen like a grapefruit

I did ho see my ortho and had xrays. I have a bad bone bruise and a lot of soft tissue swelling

It’s gonna take 4-6 at least I was told weeks and I hope it is back to where it was before the fall.

I’ll keep you updated

Please send positive vibes

Thanks

Deb

Also if you don’t know about spoon theory here is a good link

https://www.healthline.com/health/spoon-theory-chronic-illness-explained-like-never-before#1