Will exercise decrease your pain?

I recently looked up POTS, a medical condition that I’m unfamiliar with:

Wikipedia: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS, also known as postural tachycardia syndrome) is a condition in which a change from the supine position to an upright position causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate, called tachycardia… A variety of treatments, including exercise and medications, can improve symptoms for the majority of people with POTS…

Okay, so while your heart is doing jumping jacks in your chest, it’s time to exercise? It seems like doctors suggest exercise for almost every medical condition. And it’s true, we don’t get enough exercise, but…

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/1/22/even-a-little-exercise-is-better-than-none

They measured the physical activity of 1,600 adults with osteoarthritis in their hips, knees or feet; and found that just 45 minutes of moderate physical activity a week improved their function and reduced pain…

Osteoarthritis is a specific medical condition that can cause varying levels of pain and disability, but I don’t think that every chronic pain condition will respond the same to light physical activity.

In a study of 131 older adults who have osteoarthritis, participants attended 45-minute chair yoga sessions twice a week for 8 weeks.

Researchers measured their pain, pain interference (how it affects one’s life), balance, gait speed, fatigue and functional ability; before, during and after the sessions.

Compared to a control group enrolled in a health education program, the chair yoga group showed a greater reduction in pain, pain interference and fatigue during the sessions, as well as an improved gait. The reduction in pain interference lasted for about three months after the chair yoga program was completed…

When I lived in Houston, it was too hot and humid to take walks. I only started taking walks after I moved to New Mexico (and got a camera). At first, I lost some weight, which was a good thing. But the weight didn’t stay off. Part of the reason for that was my inability to find and afford quality medical cannabis. I’ve gone through periods of stability that have lasted for months — both in the legal and underground markets — but they always come to an end, interrupting any progress I might make.

Since I moved here over 3 years ago, I’ve been more physically active than I have been in the past. I’ve also taken up baking (which includes more cleaning), and that’s also increased my physical activity levels.

So, has all this increased physical activity helped to decrease my overall pain levels? It seems logical that it would. Maybe in a group of patients who suffer from osteoarthritis, you would see the majority of them achieving benefits from exercise, including a decrease in pain levels. Would the same be true of a group of patients who suffer from TMJ or Trigeminal Neuralgia?

I hate to go against logic, but as I sit here thinking about the connection between my level of physical activity and my pain levels, I can’t say that the increased physical activity has made any difference in my pain levels. Sure, sometimes a walk can increase my pain levels, but usually, my level of physical activity doesn’t appear to be related to my pain levels. I know that doesn’t make sense, but there you have it.

There’s nothing wrong or sinful about feeling good

I believe we should have access to any and all treatments for pain, including cannabis. But I don’t want pain patients to think that if they switch to cannabis, it will be the only drug or treatment they’ll need to manage their pain. (Any drug is just one part of an overall pain management program.)

I’ve been very lucky to have access to a quality strain of cannabis in the last couple of months — one of those strains that are very hard to find. I’ve wondered if daily use of a good strain would be enough to manage my high pain levels (averaging about a 7 out of 10), but I think that’s about false hope. Cannabis is great, but it’s not a wonder drug. Of course, everyone’s experience will be different, but I think I’ve had enough experience throughout the past 3+ years to reach some conclusions.

If I had a choice (which I do not), I would probably choose a combination of cannabis and a painkiller to treat my pain. The addition of a painkiller would allow me to smoke less cannabis, and the cannabis would allow me to keep my painkiller usage to a minimum. I might even add a muscle relaxer at night, because the muscles in my face deserve more rest than I’m able to provide.

If I was able to add a painkiller to my pain management program, I might be able to take a walk every other day, instead of once or twice a week. I might be able to lose some weight. With a little extra pain relief, I might not think about death so much. I might think that I have some kind of survivable future. There’s even a possibility that I’d be able to regularly clean my toilet. (Okay, maybe not.)

When I was taking a bucket full of prescription medications, I relied on them to manage my pain. Maybe I relied on them too much, but that’s only because, out of all the treatments I’ve tried, prescription medications worked the best. I think that’s true for most people. I think it’s true that a lot of acute and chronic pain is best controlled with painkillers. (Patients aren’t given high doses of antidepressants before surgery.) Maybe the opioid war advocates would agree with me on that, but would disagree about how long we should be allowed to use opioids to manage pain. After all, according to the other side, anyone who swallows a pain pill has a high risk of becoming a drug addict. (And what’s worse than being a drug addict? Maybe a murderer?)

I read an article recently about how cannabis affects the part of the brain that deals with your sense of time. I’ve been thinking about that…

I know that being in constant pain makes time go by very slowly. Twenty-four hours feels like a week, not one day. And then I thought about the occasions that I’ve felt “high” from a drug. You know, the shameful high that almost all pain patients deny they experience with painkillers. The high that drug addicts chase on a daily basis. The high that makes you feel good artificially because it’s from a drug. The feel-good high that is really what the drug war is all about.

Within that high — a possible side effect of some drugs — is a distortion of time. That relief allows time to float, almost fly by, as if you lost 10 pounds and your feet had wings. As if a heavy burden had been lifted just a little, allowing a tiny taste of freedom inside your prison of pain. (Everyone’s prison of pain is different, caused by mental and/or physical pain.)

Does it feel good to get high? You betchya. However, it’s not like that good feeling lasts very long. But it can last long enough to, say, take a walk (or scrub your toilet). Or the high can work as an incentive — a reward for doing the painful thing that you really don’t want to do.

I suppose it’s all about what you do with the high. Those who suffer from addiction will always be chasing the high, and because of the drug war, will always be shamed and criminalized. Looked down on for suffering from a medical condition that most people think is a choice.

Those who suffer from constant pain will always be chasing after relief, and because of the drug war, we are now treated like those who suffer from addiction.

I’d just like to point out that the high I’ve been talking about gives relief to both pain patients and drug addicts. Look down on that high if you will, but it serves a purpose. The pleasure centers in our brains are there for a reason. They’re activated not only by drugs (including caffeine and chocolate), but also by things like friendship, caring, sex, love, risk, and winning.

Good feelings are part of being human. Unfortunately, so is pain. But just like humans are not meant to feel constant pleasure, we’re also not meant to be in constant pain. We’re not meant to feel depressed every single day, and if we do, that means our brains are out of balance. We’re not meant to feel constant fear and anxiety, and if we do, that means our brains need help.

Being human means we have to suffer, but when pain reaches a level where death is preferable to life, then our brains need help. Not help for a couple of weeks or months, but constant help. The pain is constant. The help has to be constant, too.

Sometimes the help we need will include the high from drugs. Let’s stop looking down on the high. There’s nothing wrong or sinful about feeling good.

What does ringing in the ears sound like?

http://www.ata.org/understanding-facts

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. While it is commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can manifest many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking. In some rare cases, tinnitus patients report hearing music. Tinnitus can be both an acute (temporary) condition or a chronic (ongoing) health malady.

Millions of Americans experience tinnitus, often to a debilitating degree, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 15% of the general public — over 50 million Americans — experience some form of tinnitus. Roughly 20 million people struggle with burdensome chronic tinnitus, while 2 million have extreme and debilitating cases…

I’m sure that everyone who suffers from tinnitus hears a different sound in their ears. And it’s not like the sound always stays the same. But I was watching this video where the quarterback suffers a concussion, and the sound in the video (at 0:48) sounds just like the constant ringing in my ears.

It’s not like tinnitus is painful — more like uncomfortable. But it can also be quite maddening. Which is why I can’t fall asleep unless there’s music playing. And why I’m so thankful for music therapy.

Please Join Me For Dinner

I suppose bologna is not too good for me, but it sure tastes good.

01dsc09868

Especially with lots of mayo.

05dsc09874-0

It’s like a flat hot dog.

02dsc09866

And it’s cheap.

03dsc09881-0

I usually smash a sandwich like this into a pancake so that it’s easier for me to eat, but I waited to do the full smush routine until after I took these photos. As always, I’m here to entertain you, and your needs come first.

04dsc09869

I think the bologna is smiling at you. 🙂

07dsc09875

Bologna and mayo on a stuffing bun. Yum.

06dsc09877

We’re getting married tomorrow.

dsc09872-2

If my sandwich will have me…

dsc09878

Okay, if that’s the way you want it. Prepare to disappear. 🙂

President Trump Rushed To Hospital With Possible Case of Anal Mouth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump was taken by ambulance to an undisclosed hospital today around 4:20pm. One of his aides said that it was related to an episode of lockjaw that the President suffered back in 2017.

donald-trump-is-on-an-absolute-roll-after-wild-week-filled-with-twitter-fights-and-heated-debates-about-rape

In March 2017, it was reported that the President was suffering from major headaches. White House staff said that he was “grumpier than usual.” Unnamed sources said that this description of Trump was a large understatement, but refused to elaborate.

When reporters tried to get further details of President Trump’s medical condition by speaking with Senator White (R) from Alabama, the Senator popped a Xanax on camera and repeated the oft-heard line of “everything’s fine.” As reporters are continually faced with the haggard and haunted looks of politician after politician, their own faces have also begun to look haunted.

48866530-cached

The media has been unable to report on President Trump’s episodes of lockjaw, but internet sources say that the President suffers from a type of lockjaw called trismus:

From Wikipedia: Trismus, also called lockjaw, is reduced opening of the jaws (limited jaw range of motion)… It is known to interfere with eating, speaking, and maintaining proper oral hygiene. This interference, specifically with the patient’s ability to swallow properly, results in an increased risk of aspiration. In some instances, trismus presents with altered facial appearance. The condition may be distressing and painful for the patient.

Most people who suffer from this condition have a limited jaw opening, but the jaw can also be stuck in the open position. Internet sources say that President Trump suffers from the latter type of lockjaw.

Donald Trump

There have been rare cases of lockjaw developing into anal mouth, which is a condition that no one knows very much about. Turning again to the internet for further information, anal mouth is a condition that causes your mouth to turn into an anus. Every word you utter is covered in smelly shit.

images-6

There is no known cure for anal mouth, and since the only available treatment is to keep your mouth shut, this medical condition is eventually politically fatal. Such is life.

an-apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away-an-orange-4698303

images

(Do you know how easy it is to find an image of Trump with his mouth open?)

rncnbc

This post inspired by Dr. Laura. 🙂

What do I see? Take a drive with me…

I see the sunset from underneath a pine tree.

01dsc04142

A couple of weeks later, another sunset.

02dsc06085

Saturday’s sunrise.

03dsc06468-0

I should stop staring at the sun. It can’t be good for my eyes.

04dsc06469-0-2

Cloud porn in the Walmart parking lot.

05dsc06459

We’ve had some good rain in the past couple of days. Even though I love the rain, my allergies do not. It will take some time before my allergies settle into fall.

09dsc06128-0

I see the sunset reflected on the car in front of me. (The only thing you can see on my car is dirt.)

10dsc06115-2

Unfortunately for me, there’s a Krispy Kreme next to Walmart.

07dsc06470-0

Since I don’t buy as many donuts as I do Dilly Bars, I thought I’d try to save some money. Donuts this month, not Dilly Bars. And you don’t really have to chew donuts, making them very easy for me to eat. (Wow, the excuses we tell ourselves… when really, I just wanted some junk food. It might be junk, but it sure tastes good.)

08dsc06479-0-2

The last time I went to Krispy Kreme, I told myself I wouldn’t go back. Their donuts used to be worth the price, but they aren’t any longer. That’s still true.

dsc06476-0

Kelly Liquors is next to Krispy Kreme, but they’d sell a lot more donuts if they were next to a weed dispensary.

dsc06476-0-2

dsc06478-0

I’m not happy that I wasted money on Krispy Kremes, but I did catch a great sunrise. Happy Daylight Savings Time. 🙂

Do you have Crohn’s?

I love food. It’s a moment of pleasure in just about any day. But I struggle to have an appetite because eating can be quite painful for me. My first bite of the day usually involves a lot of muscle cramping in my face. Sometimes, I beat an achy foot against the floor to distract me from the cramps. After that, it’s usually okay. Like I’m gonna let pain take away my enjoyment of food? No way.

That’s one of the effects that I like about cannabis. It gives me an appetite. Distracts me from the pain of eating so my taste buds can fly. Time for some peanut butter chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars. 🙂