Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dry Needling and Updates

So starting last week I began going to my dry needling sessions again. It's two weeks until my next Botox series of injections. I took approximately a month off from dry needling because of my husband's impending death. So this past Monday I went in for my second dry needling session. Between the Botox wearing thin ( the spasticity is back), my fibromyalgia flaring up, the anniversary of my mother dying, and just general stress of my husband dying, the funeral and just living post stroke has really taken a toll on my body. I'm hurting everywhere. I imagine stress has been a major contributing factor.

The down side of dry needling is that when you take a month off, as for me, the positive effects wear off. The deadened trigger points come alive again. But you have to remember that I have severe spasticity too. I'm not blessed with episodes that only last an evening, but the kind that lasts for days unless something intervenes to stop the process like dry needling. I don't even want to imagine what it would be like without the three muscle relaxers I'm on.

With all the events happening in the past couple of weeks, I was back to taking my full doses of muscle relaxers again until I was free to do the dry needling again. I was even taking pain medicine over the last week just to manage four hours of sleep.

Anyhow, back to Monday's session. Like most stroke survivors, I'm on a blood thinner. It's been downgraded from Coumadin to Plavix. Yeah, that's progress for me and my high platelet count. I'm just warning you because the picture I'm going to show you of my lower bicep, inner elbow, and inner forearm looks bad. It actually doesn't hurt much at all.

6 hrs after needling
All those red dots and bruises are needle insertion spots. Yes, my arm was so tight it took over thirty insertions with the needles in this area to stop the cramping, restore full extension of my arm, and stop the associated pain. That's not including the insertions into my upper bicep, deltoids, trapezius, or lower down my forearm and thumb, or my leg. I had over two hours of fun just to stop the pain and restore some movement. It was well over 100 spots by the time my therapist was through. But I finally got some needed relief. Each insertion gave me a little bit more relief each time. So it was well worth it.

I'm still a firm believer of this type of therapy.Dry needling has brought me relief when I should be in agony right now. Now for a shocker...I moved my thumb and index finger on command yesterday. It wasn't much but it's a start.

This week I spent two hours on the phone with Social Security this week trying to reapply for disability. The major change is that I'm now attempting to get spousal benefits. The interviewer said that I should get an accept/deny/ or request for more information letter about it in THREE months. I'd like them to try and live like I will have to for three months without income. He then followed up with it could possibly take A YEAR or so to be decided. Ya gotta love the bureaucracy at work.

It's a good thing the life insurance and our pre-planning will kick in within 45 days or I'd really be in trouble. With my book sales in a steady decline and no new titles to offer, I'd really be stuck. I believe in being prepared as much as possible.I just have to be patient. Ugh! There's that word again...patient.

As far as my grief process goes, it's been strange. I'm actually more relieved by my husband's death than miserable. But maybe it's the lull before the storm. I'm not in denial because I know the love of my life is beyond my reach. I miss him. There's moments in my day when it will hit me that I can't get a arm rub of encouragement from him and it hurts. But it's not as devastating as I thought it would be. I doubt my love for him because of the lack of this, but then I'll shove that aside because he was my soul mate. Maybe because I saw him in so much pain and wasted before he died that I'm thankful he isn't here like that. He was so sick for over a decade. Now if he had been the man he'd been the man I'd married, I would be honestly grieving. Without a shadow of doubt in my mind. Maybe this is God's Grace to me.

I had my son in law rip out the wood wheelchair ramp this week. It was a hazard with me hanging ten on it every time it rained. We've had almost daily thunderstorms since Spring. I had been avoiding the ramp like the plague since the last time I fell. As he pulled up on the edge where it was attached to the cement, out poured a sea of red and black carpenter ants. It was even worse when he finally
pulled the ramp all the way off and exposed the nest full of eggs. All the ants were scurrying around. Each one grabbing an egg to carry. I spent the next three hours with a can of ant spray and doing the one legged squash-the-ant dance. I still didn't kill them all. This would not have been possible if my beloved was still alive. The chemicals in the spray would have irritated his breathing. It probably didn't do me any good either. I had a nagging headache for two days afterwards. Yeah Jo, poison the ants and poison yourself too.

That leads me to question, why is it that an amputee can hop one one leg, but me as a stroke survivor can't? Try as I might, I can't hop on one leg without losing my balance. How about it other strokees, can you or am I just Abby Normal again? Maybe I'm just to old to do it. Nah, that can't be it.

How has your week been?


  1. {{{{{hugs}}}}} Jo, I'm praying for you daily. I hope the needling and Botox will give you more than a measure of relief. I'll add the SS mess to my list for a double helping.

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