My Summer ‘Blip’

Hello, lovely people.

I’ve mentioned some “medication changes” lately. One of the medications involved is an opioid pain medication. I am in the process of transitioning out from this regime, which causes a multitude of its own problems- tolerance, dependence, central sensitization, constipation, drowsiness, and more. After I wean off opioids, the plan is to go on a low dose naltrexone (LDN) regime. My medication regime has slimmed down the last few months, but it’s still complicated at times to figure out which drug is responsible for which effect. I hope that the LDN has a clear, and positive effect.

Long-term opioid usage is something I have never been comfortable with. I understand that for many chronic pain patients, starting an opioid regime is unavoidable and necessary. That’s exactly how it was for me.

I’ve only mentioned “medication changes” in a non-specific sense before this post. I do believe I am an open person, but there are still things I am not overly open about. I was lucky to have a very open and honest visit with someone I care deeply for, and it really helped my mood. I was able to sit up for a bit, then I had to lay down. I was able to quietly cry without feeling guilty for bringing my visitor down. Usually I have some guilt about that. That visit encouraged me to talk about my medication changes more openly, and get some of my thoughts out regarding opioids.

I hate the stigma associated with opioids. I hate the fact that I’m on them. I hate the fact that prescribing them wasn’t taken seriously by doctors for a long time, and that now there is a crisis. I hate how pain patients who really need pain management are blocked from opioids in fear of this crisis.

I hate how much function I’ve lost since starting the opioid weaning process. I hate how it feels like a huge step back when I can’t do the exercises I worked so hard to be able to do. I hate the adjustment period when my body is forced to adjust to a new pain level.

I tell myself everyday that this is just a blip. I allow myself to hate parts of it, because it seems to help me stay hopeful it will be over at some point. I tell myself to be even more patient than I’ve already been. I will readjust, it’s just taking time.

Today I managed to go on my stationary recumbent bike for one minute. This is the first time I’ve been able to get on it in 3 weeks.

It’s just a blip. It will be over before I know it. Breathe, rinse, and repeat.

 

Happy Stress Season!

Hello there.

The Season of Stress is full-on. For many, this time of year is a cold, busy, light-in-the-wallet kind of time. That’s at best. At worst it can be a living hell, emphasized by losses new and less new, deeply personal and personally deep. I really hope none of you are having this experience this year, but life isn’t easy so some of you inevitably are. Do your best to keep your head up, I am rooting for you.

I find this season to remind me of the things I have lost. I also see what I have gained, like a community and some wonderful friends, but it just seems easier to see the lost mobility, and life. I have said before I have hope for the future, and I am in a chronic pain program now where my goal is to gain some of my life back. I still have hope for the future. It is kind of hard during the holidays now as I am in a several week flare, had a massive spreading scare, have a birthday coming up, and the first “shit-iversary” of a diagnosis that really has changed my life. On the bright side, there are some wonderful people coming to town who I get to see. I hope you pick up on the flip-flopping nature of this. This month seems to have been lots of hope/dissonance. Perhaps you can relate to this, and this will remind every person that we are not alone in all of these worlds of feelings.

So, Bah-Humbug & Yippee Cay Yay Mother F*cker, aka Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.

Zara

Awesome CIB Holiday GIVEAWAY

Hi, everybody!

I joined a network this year, Chronic Illness Bloggers (CIB). The network is for bloggers focused on chronic illness, with 380 bloggers a part of it currently. There are many different chronic illnesses discussed, with many different ideas and viewpoints from wonderful, real people! For someone like me with a rare disease- CRPS, different blogs and community posts have really helped and continue to help me get a handle on things. It really is a community, and the camaraderie is inspiring…Read More »

The Inner Process

Everyone has an inner voice, and thought process. From what I gather, this is a messy place for many people. I am one of those. My inner voice has always been very hard to silence, and is more negative than positive. As I say often, it is what it is. I have learned methods over the years to control and manage it, stopping negative thoughts as or before they happen, and making my mind a more peaceful place. It’s never easy, but it has definitely proved fruitful. I am a lot happier with the balance of the process staying in the positive realm. My inner process is definitely a hallmark Pickel trait. I saw it daily in my grandmother, exacerbated by the dementia at the end of her life. I’m not sure she was lucky enough to develop methods that worked at keeping the negative and self-doubting side balanced. As a result, I don’t take it for granted that I have managed to find my own methods.

I went to a lovely wedding on Sunday, and I felt very lucky to be able to attend. I used a wheelchair, and it made the 5 hours (I know, right?!) I spent there possible. The ceremony was beautiful, between two people who really love and complete each other. It was one of my favourite venues, and had a really neat vibe.

The Inner Process really got to me on Sunday…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 »

660 News Coverage on CRPS and Chronic Pain in Alberta

A wonderful ally of the chronic pain community approached me about doing an interview on chronic pain, after I had posted yet another update on Facebook detailing my struggles. I am ecstatic to see Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and the chronic pain problem in Alberta getting press. I hope this leads to more.

Kendra Fowler, of 660 News reports, “Chronic pain sufferer to appeal for help from MLA”.Read Kendra Fowler’s article HERE.

You can also access the clips from the radio report:

Kendra Fowler interviewing Zara Pickel, Clip 1

Kendra Fowler interviewing Zara Pickel, Clip 2

Kendra Fowler interviewing Zara Pickel, Clip 3

Thank you all for reading, listening, and sharing!

Zara ❤