Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Arthritis set-back

I had to go back on my NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) yesterday. My neck (on which I had major surgery 9 years ago) has been giving me increasing trouble as the NSAIDs anti-inflammatory effects have completely worn off. I went off the drugs in preparation for surgery 3 weeks ago. I was hoping to stay off them since part of my goal is to reduce the number of my medications, but I am full of osteo-arthritis that, though exascerbated by extra weight, is not necessarily caused by it-especially the spinal arthritis and two herniated discs in my neck (unless I've got or am a real fat head, which is possible.)

I cleaned something I shouldn't have and I've been having increasing pulsing nerve pain. I also have damage in my shoulder on that side from a fall last winter. Not being a martyr, I've gone back on the drugs and am feeling better. I don't want to have to go through the MRI, physical therapy that never works, and inevitable epidural shots. Someday I may have to have the neck fused (they took out a lot of bone but did not fuse it 9 years ago.) I'm usually very careful how I use my neck (my husband does most of the cleaning) because it is so easily irritated.

This kind of pain if it persists has a history of sending me spiralling into depression and into the food. I used to be relatively athletic and very active, a loss that I re-grieve with each new episode; and as the arthritis has grown, so has the weight. The weight, in turn, makes the arthritis worse. The arthritis has made it difficult to control my ADHD with excercise. Swimming, which used to be my best excercise and activity, irritates my neck if I do it very much. I can no longer swing my arms when walking because of the pain it causes in my neck. I have to be very careful with dancing as well, which I also love and seldom do.

I've had double knee replacements and shoulder repair (to remove a big spur and repair torn rotator cuff) in addition to the neck surgery. Both my knees and my shoulder started giving me trouble already as a teenager when I was not at all overweight. The weight definitely accelerated the deterioration of the knees.

So, now I have to deal with this flare-up without using food to help numb the physical and emotional pain that loss of mobility and pain always causes me.

Please pray with me that the pain will subside and that I'll be able to avoid the whole medical scenario I've had to go through too many times in the past. Please pray that I'll be able to deal with the loss of mobility without craving the food. Please pray that the weight loss will make a difference in my pain level because the neck is not the only part of my body that has really started hurting as the NSAIDs left my system. I'm not yet back on my fish oil capsules which I think also helped. Swallowing pills and filling my tiny tummy with them is still difficult and painful. It's disappointing and sad for me to have to go back on these drugs. That means I can't go off my stomach pill either. For now. But with God, all things are possible.