Colour The World Orange Day!

Today marks 2 years of being stuck in a bed. I no longer describe myself as “bed-bound”, but physically I’m still in that realm. I am able to get up more, and I have made progress but Complex Regional Pain Syndrome still runs my life by placing major limitations on what I can do. These annual dates of things like my initial diagnosis, school drop-out, etc. get weirder and weirder every year. There is something really neat going on today that is a cause for celebration, though!

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Product Review: Oska Pulse

Hey everyone!

I mentioned a couple months ago that I was trying out a new device for my chronic pain. The product is the Oska Pulse. The Pulse is a wearable Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) device that is supposed to restore electric potential to cells and re-normalize them. It’s small, light, simply to use, non-invasive, and appropriate for many people. However, if you have any sort of implantable electronic device (e.g. pacemaker, spinal cord stimulator) then this is not the device for you. For some people, the Pulse appears to be life changing in the way it decreases chronic pain and inflammation. Oska claims that 9 out of 10 people get relief from the device. The cost is $399 USD. There are promo codes sometimes giving you $50 off.

Unfortunately I was the 1 in 10 that did not seem to benefit from this device. I tried for months, sometimes 8 times a day. I was not able to wear the device because of my various sensitivities to touch, but it did not feel like anything when it was on. I was worried I would notice some sort of sensation, even though Oska says you will not feel anything. I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t feel anything. No issue there.

The device has one button on it, and one USB plug-in for charging. This made it exceptionally easy to use. I got about 30 sessions out of a charge, with each session lasting 30 minutes. Pulsing glowing lights on the device indicate when it is turned on, with a solid light when it is charging.

Oska has a 90-day money back guarantee, which they extended for me to let me try the device for longer. They gave me an extra 60 days to see if I could get results! I thought that was great, because they really seem to want their device to help people. It is still a business, but remember there is no better marketing than satisfied customers. For orders in the continental U.S., Oska will pay for return shipping as well if you need to return the Pulse. Since I’m in Canada, I did have to pay to send it back. It was about $28 for the shipping. The refund went through very quickly with no issue after Oska received the device back.

I gave the Pulse a good trial, and I’m sad to say I did not receive any noticeable benefit from it. It’s too bad that it didn’t work for me. I really wanted it to, for many reasons. My mom tried it out as well for her various aches, she thought she got some benefit from it but she had to use it on too many areas.

Now we arrive at the ultimate question for a product review. Would I recommend this?

Yes. I would recommend this product because it has the potential to help and does not have the potential to harm when used appropriately. (Remember this product is not suitable for people with implanted electronic devices.) The return policy is awesome, so the most you will be out is the shipping price if you are outside the U.S. If the Pulse does help enough to replace other modalities, it could actually save you money in the long run as long as you are in the position to invest initially. So even though the Oska Pulse didn’t work for me, I would definitely recommend this product for the low-risk high-reward possibilities.

 

To go to the Oska website, click here.

 

*This review is not sponsored by, or affiliated with Oska Pulse. All opinions are my own, and are not being influenced via payment/ paid content.*

OUT: opioids IN: low dose naltrexone

Hello all you sweaty summery people!

I am very, very pleased to announce that I am no longer on opioid pain medication! I started weaning off about 3 months ago, and it has been rough but I passed the finish line. Since I have less pain control now, my function has decreased greatly as a result. I’m starting to get settled in to this new state, but it will take some time. I am so happy I was able to push through and get off opioids to try a new medication regime.

The weaning process included: adjusting to new pain levels, major restlessness, a runny nose, sleep interference, mental blocks/ challenges, headaches, and brain zaps. I must say, it is really difficult being restless when you are mobility compromised! It was just as mentally challenging as it was pain-wise, maybe even more. There were some very emotional visits to my family doctor, with me barely dragging myself in there to cry about how I could barely get up and walk to the bathroom. I still have a long way to go readjusting as far as my function is concerned. Although if you think about it, readjusting my function is something I’ve had to do consistently throughout the last 2 years. Consistently inconsistent, but ideally the trend is up!

The plan is to try out low dose naltrexone (LDN) and to see if it has a positive effect. LDN is being newly used as way to clear up inflammation brought on by microglial cell activation. Evidence suggests microglial cell activation could be a common factor in many neurological, and chronic pain conditions including: CRPS, fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Ideally this means I will be taking a medication that targets a possible root of my condition. You know, if the research catches up saying the same thing. Right now there are not many studies that evidence regarding LDN can be collected from. This is the waiting game that is science and the scientific method!

I still have pain every moment of every day, just because I am off opioids does not mean I am pain-free. The opposite, really. I am very hopeful for the possibility of this new medication giving me some type of advantage though!

Wish me luck!

 


Studies referenced:

Microglia, a major player in the brain inflammation, their roles in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. Kim, and Jo, 2006.

The use of low dose naltrexone as a novel anti-inlammatory treatment for chronic pain. Younger, Parkitny, and McLain, 2014.

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye to My BSc.

Before this new and different life of mine, I was studying for my Bachelor of Science (BSc.). I was lucky enough that I fell in love with my Cellular Molecular Biology major.

Before I developed CRPS, I was a regular student worrying about my grades, and trying to figure out my next step.

I know the education I was receiving was a privilege in many ways. Now I know that studying for my BSc. was a physical privilege as well. A physical privilege that I no longer have.

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Spring News Rant

Wow. It has been a while.

Like many people who deal with CRPS, I am on many medications. Sometimes the medications, or combinations of them make me feel quite dulled mentally. For all my openness, I still can’t put something on here knowing that the writing isn’t totally me. The good news is that those combination of meds have been changed. The damp rag over my brain has dried up! ! !

Keep reading for more news on all things Zara. Yippee-cay-yay-MFer. Read More »

Preparing for the next Exhausting Excursion

With CRPS, it is very hard for me to go out. I have difficulties with my mobility, and being “comfortable” when not in my house, but the hardest by far is the anxiety about people, and people. A perfectly OK day can turn sour in less than a second if someone brushes by me too close, steps on me, bumps into me, or touches me on purpose (yes, it happens). Even when I warn people about my disease and not to touch me, they still do it. People suck sometimes, what can I say?

Some events are so important to me, that I accept all of the vast and sometimes unknown dangers to attend. The next event coming up that will wreck me physically but lift me emotionally is a family friend’s wedding. I am very excited to go, although when we were first invited I never thought I would be unable to dance, walk on my own, or even enjoy a Scotch. Life, it will surprise you. I am very excited for this wedding. The bride and groom are a wonderful team and I am very happy I get to join in.

So, in an effort to let everyone know what it REALLY takes, here is a list in no particular order. I present to you, The List of Things I Have to Consider Before Attempting Excursions in My New LifeRead More »

Recovering Happily

As I made a big fuss about earlier this week, I had a meeting with my MLA to discuss my case, and chronic pain in Alberta. The meeting was on Wednesday, August 17th with Calgary-Glenmore MLA Anam Kazim. I was allotted an hour, and ended up staying and discussing my case for an additional 20 or so minutes. My legendary mom Tobe transported me and joined in. Tobe also really helped me edit everything before! ❤

I am still really recovering from this meeting, as it took a lot out of me. I may add more to this, and re-share the edits at a later date. Read more to hear about my meeting summary and impressions…Read More »