I haven’t given a personal update on my life with chronic illness and pain in a while, so I decided to do that in this post.
To start off, November is my birthday month. I’ll be turning 65. Don’t ask me how I got this old. I didn’t think I would survive till my youngest graduated from high school. I was 59 when he graduated and I became disabled five years before that. Having six children probably had something to do with feeling like I wouldn’t survive till the last one graduated. LOL!
Low-dose Naltrexone Update
My fibromyalgia was really bad in June 2023. I talked to my doctor about trying low-dose naltrexone or LDN in late June. It was August when I was finally able to try it. It has reduced my pain a lot! I still have tender spots, but that overall flu-like aching is gone. Thank God!
Arthritis Plus a New Diagnosis
Unfortunately, LDN has no impact on the arthritis pain in my hands, neck and right knee. Which is sad. ): I use topicals, my OSKA pulse, and turmeric for arthritis pain with some relief. Mainly, I have to remember to not overuse my hands. Food prep and too much keyboard time definitely makes the pain worse.
As if fibromyalgia and arthritis aren’t enough, I started having bad heel pain in my right foot mid-September. My doctor told me I had plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes, known as the plantar fascia.”Mayo clinic
Having yet another painful condition is depressing. The weather is finally cool enough that I can get out into nature and walk, but I cannot do it because my heel hurts too much. Fall is my favorite time of year. Life really isn’t kind.
Anyway, I now have added wearing shoes in the house all the time, using my OSKA pulse near my foot, ice, and foot stretches to my daily routine.
Preparing for Flu/Covid Season
Next, since August my parents are needing more help. My mom recently turned 87 and my dad will be 91 in early January. I need to protect them from getting the flu and covid and protect myself because of my own lung issues. So the last month has been busy with getting flu and covid vaccines for all of us on top of their regular doctor appointments.
I don’t believe in getting both vaccines at the same time, because if you have a reaction you wouldn’t know which vaccine was the culprit.
I also bought a couple packages of face masks for the three of us to use when flu and covid numbers increase in our area. Thankfully, those numbers are low right now. Here’s an article I read about why masks help prevent the spread of flu and covid viruses.
Caregiving with Chronic Illness
Last month was also very stressful because I had to set up new tv service for my parents. Their tv provider was going out of the tv business. While doing a streaming service would have been the easiest choice for me, it would not work for my parents. My dad had a hard time getting used to a new tv remote. Having to navigate that remote to pick something to watch would never work for him.
It was very stressful and time consuming to put it mildly. I lost my temper at my dad. He was angry. It took a week for everyone to calm down. Geezs.
A Helpful Caregiver Article
Someone shared this article with me shortly after that stressful week: Caregivers’ Guide: How to Create a Peaceful Home Environment
It’s given me some resources and things to mull over that might make my parents home more peaceful. It also has a checklist of symptoms to pay attention to if you’re not coping well with caregiving. This one hit too close to home: “If your mind is always racing with concerns about caregiving, it’s a red flag.”
I realized I need to research caregivers in our area to have handy. My dad is doing most of the daily tasks around the house, and if something happens to him, my mom may not be able to live by herself. It’s a worry, because I feel like their situation is teetering on a knife’s edge if either of them falls or gets ill.
I feel I cannot become their live-in caregiver full-time, because my health would probably get worse, so I need to research resources now.
Update on Shattered to Whole
I’m excited to report that my devotional manuscript is at the editor for proofreading!! I’m also in the process of getting a cover designed. Woo Hoo! I never thought this manuscript would ever get to this point. Shattered to Whole is 60 Christian devotions about healing from domestic abuse. It has five sections:
- Untangling confusion about God’s love
- Untangling lies about yourself, God, and others
- Grieving losses
- Forgiving yourself and others
- Hoping again
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Wrap-Up of My Chronic Illness Life
Life is forcing me to use all my coping skills lately and I don’t think I’m really coping well. Maybe coping well is an illusion. Something professionals say we can do if only we would (fill in the blank).
Finally, I’m also trying to figure out what I would like to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just the thought of the holidays feels overwhelming.
How are you doing? What are you struggling with or succeeding at? Do you have any coping skills to share? I’d love to hear from you!
Till next time, Kathy
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