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A bad night, and a not so great day

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm not blogging this looking for sympathy, just need to vent. And it's all part of this journey I am going through living with stage IV cancer, I just want to be honest with what it is like, and not hide the truth about it.

Last night was a bad night with the hip pain. My pain pill didn't help much, and though it made me sleepy, it didn't make me tired enough to actually sleep. I was really upset with that because I had plans this morning to meet a friend for breakfast at 9:30am this morning, one I haven't seen for a couple of months, and I also wanted to give her her belated birthday gift, her birthday was in June. Because of my treatment schedule, her and her husband working on their house and taking a trip, we haven't been able to meet, though we do keep in touch via email. And she also lives about a 40 minute drive from here.

Anyway, back to my story. I took one of my sleeping pills around 11pm; (it's one I can take 1-3 pills, depending on the need); well, at 1am, I was still tossing and turning, so I took a 2nd one. I think I finally fell asleep around 2am. Alarm went off at 8am. After hitting the snooze alarm twice, I got up, still feeling like the sleeping pills hadn't worn off. I know I waited too long to take that 2nd one. Then my friend called and said she couldn't make it because of a migraine. I felt bad for her having the migraine, because I get them too, but I was glad to not have to get ready to go out this morning.

I ended up taking about an hour nap at 2pm, something I normally don't do; even when I try to take a nap, I usually don't fall asleep, but this time, I at least dozed for a bit. Still, it took me until around 5pm to feel somewhat awake again. I've also had a little bit of headache all day. My hip was feeling better, but started hurting again around dinner time.

I have been thinking a long time about trying a TENS unit for my pain. I ordered one from Amazon today, on sale for $30, and free shipping. I used $25 in Amazon certificates I earned from Swagbucks, and it ended up costing me only $5. For that price, it's worth a try.

What is a TENS unit? You might be asking; here a description of it from HeathCentral.com:


"What is a TENS Unit?

TENS means "transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation." TENS units are small devices that are battery controlled. Sometimes they can have attachments that go on your pants or pockets so that they are easy to bring with you where ever you go.

How Does TENS Control Pain?

Sticky patches (electrodes) are attached to the skin, and small electrical impulses are delivered to underlying nerve fibers. This works in two ways. The first is through endorphins. The body has its own mechanisms for suppressing pain. It releases natural chemicals called endorphins in the brain, which act as pain relieving substances. TENS units can activate this mechanism. Secondly, the electrical stimulation of the nerve fibers through the electrodes can actually block a pain signal from being carried all the way to the brain. If it is blocked, the pain is not felt.

Many physicians use TENS in their offices to help patients with pain management. If the therapy works for the patient, he or she may be a candidate to either rent or buy his or her own TENS unit. Patients who use TENS units may experience significant pain relief, while at the same time engaging in a therapy that is drug-free. Users of TENS units generally report few side effects, though some patients note that their skin is red where the sticky patches (electrodes) are placed. This can be lessened by using different electrodes or gels.

What conditions are helped by TENS?

Neck and back pain, arthritis, sciatica, headaches, muscular strains, TMJ disorder, and others."

I had to go out and water the plants tonight, just the plants that really needed it. Most of them that are in the ground were ok, it's the ones in the planters and pots that seem to dry out the quickest. I was thinking of sitting outside and reading tonight, but it's just a little too warm out, and being that I still feel "headachy" I think I'm better off staying inside where it is cool.

I did a short workout with my light weights after dinner. Hip was hurting too much to do any lower body stuff today.

Hoping for a good night of sleep tonight, that will at least make my head feel better and make the other aches and pains easier to deal with.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVES_ANIMALS 7/29/2010 12:13PM

    Hope you are doing better today.

Hugs,

Sally

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CAROLYN0107 7/29/2010 1:49AM

    A TENS machine is supposed to really help. I had a friend who wore one for years.
HUGS

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SERENEMOM71 7/28/2010 10:30PM

  What a terrible, no good, awful, yukky, day! I hope that as I am writing this you are already getting ready for bed and thinking of sleep! I know that you will meet with your friend soon! Here's to a good Thursday, a wonderful TENS experience, and less pain all around!
God bless.
Amy emoticon

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DENI_ZEN 7/28/2010 9:52PM

    Shari, that really does sound like one miserable night...and day. Ah, well...I'm sure you and your friend will get together again soon! I very much admire the way you tackle each problem that arises head-on, and then you conceive a thoughtful "battle plan" and go to work! My hat's off to you (and it's one of those little beans with the plastic whirligig thingies on top :) It's hard to find that solution - or those solutions - which work well, and with a minimum of side effects.

I've known people with neurological disorders and pain who had good results with TENS units, and I've been tempted to try one myself. So, it'll be so interesting to find out what benefits you reap from yours (and WOW, did you get it inexpensively! Well DONE!). Can't wait 'til you start using it...and I know you're so anxious to combat this rotten pain, too. How can a person get decent sleep with such pains? And it's a vicious cycle, because if we don't get a good night's sleep, the pain level will only increase.

Keep us posted, and I've got my fingers (eyes too!) crossed that you'll get excellent result from yours! - Sandi emoticon

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IVYLASS 7/28/2010 8:44PM

    My husband is thinking about getting a surgically implanted TENS unit for his back pain.

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ELLFIN3 7/28/2010 8:31PM

    I have used the TENS Unit at the chiropractors! I really enjoyed it! I also have a friend who has one and he swears by it! How long before it comes(I sound like a little kid!) I will be glad to know if it helps you!!! My Sister found out during on of her seizures she cracked some ribs and that was the chest pain. Now if they could just find out about the seizures! Hopefully you will sleep tonight! Rest Well! emoticon Feel better!!!! emoticon emoticon

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RESULTS361AP09 7/28/2010 8:28PM

    I'm sorry to hear you are having so much pain. I hope the TENS unit works for you. I know some of our patients have used them with pretty good results. Take care & get a good night's sleep tonight.

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