I recently started massage therapy for my TOS. It has thus far been very painful. The treatments are painful, but I work on my breathing to relax – being tense would only make it worse. I get a brief two days of relief from the treatment, and then subsequently feel worse. Especially in my neck area, not so much the nerve pain.
This year at BlogHer I had one of my first comparative experiences regarding my pain. Attending the conference two years in a row showed me just how much worse my pain has become, despite my lessened reliance on pain medications. Mentally I can deal with pain – constant pain has taught me how to manage.
When my pain goes above a normal threshold level, I have a routine in place to handle it. Tylenol if it’s my arm, advil if it’s my shoulder or neck, and as a last resort, a prescribed narcotic to relieve my symptoms. These days I go take a nap to amplify the tylenol’s effect and lessen my reliance on medications.
I didn’t have these luxuries at BlogHer. Both days I took myself to a quiet bench for an hour to lie down, which was a partial relief. But both days I left early in the evening networking sessions. It pained me to have to do so, but I was unable to overcome my pain. I had to miss networking and socializing with my fellow BlogHer’s and turn down dinner plans – something I did with much regret.
Both nights Ianiv drove me home blasting the A/C to lessen the nausea and headaches the pain brings on. And once home, I went for the narcotics and rest to try to regain my sanity.
The flight home was agony. I hate airplane seats. I don’t do well with bucket seats because they push my shoulder forward and increase my pain. I can only be so creative with pillows. This time I asked for ice, and it was helpful.
Today I lost my battle with pain. My morning medications did not relieve my pain, and my regimen of nap + meds had no effect. Not even the narcotic. I grew fairly desperate as I could not even type – my fingers were sore and my arm half asleep. So, I turned on the heating pad (something I hate doing in summer) and slept on the couch for 4 hours. Not moving. I had my cats for company, which was soothing.
I feel somewhat relieved. My arm feels like it weighs five times as much as the other. And I am still a bit feverish. I am sad that it interrupted my conference experience and that it affects my life in this way. I hope sharing this experience will be a comfort to others in similar situations.