Sunday, July 31, 2011

6 Things I Love this Summer that keep me hippy chic

Hey everyone.  Miss you all.  Well, hippy gals need to look good and feel beautiful too.  These are some of the things I am lovin' this summer.

1) Bows
This photo was taken before my Aunt added beautiful highlights to my hair
Clip in bows are so cute and in right now.  I got this bow at hot topic after seeing my friend Linnea wearing it.  Anyone can wear a black bow and it goes with any outfit or any hairdo.   They sell these everywhere in everycolor.

2) Softlips pearl lipbalm
This lipbalm has spf to protect from the sun and is also a very subtle, pretty pink tint. It leaves lips really soft.  I apply it morning and night.  Having moisturized lips also helps lipstick go on smoothly.

3)  Mac Hue lipstick
 This lipstick is a very pretty sheer pink nude that covers my pigmented lips really well.  It looks great with a smokey eye..  I wore it on my wedding day as a top coat.

4) Swim Cap
 We seriously need to bring the swim cap back.  Look how stylish it is.  I never see people wearing a swim cap at the pool and I dont know why more people dont wear them.  It saves my hair from damage from the chlorine and the sun.  Also, I look terrible with wet hair.  As soon as I get out of the pool I take my swim cap off and I have fabulous hair right after swimming.

5)  Alba Deep Sea face mask
It is organic, vegetarian and under $10.  I bought mine at Target.  I love this mask because it helps control breakouts without drying my skin.  Even if you dont have trouble with breakouts I would recommend this mask because it makes my skin feel fresh and soft like a baby.  My skin glows after I use this.

6) Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy eye pencil
Urban Decay, Midnight Cowboy

Midnight cowboy is a really pretty color, a tan brown, with hints of pink.   It has flecks of silver in it for sparkle without being overly shimmery.  I also wore this on my wedding day as a base color for my smokey eye.  The best thing about this pencil is that it does not smudge, budge or melt off.  You can wear it alone or as a base and your eyeshadow will not be going anywhere.  The first time I wore it, I was sort of scared it would never come off, but to my relief it did come off after a shower.

Well, those are several of the things I am loving this summer.  I will keep you updated on more things I love at a later date.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pain Management is a Pain in the Butt. Literally!

According to WebMD 46% of American adults suffer from chronic pain.  That is a lot of people.  And let me tell you,  I feel your pain.   But we still have to go on with life.  I would like to share with you what I do to manage my pain.  Everybody is different and it won't be the same for every individual, this is just what works for me.  You should talk to your doctor about pain management to find a routine that works best for you.

1)      Swimming.  I love swimming.  It is the perfect exercise for me.  It is really a Godsend that I have my own heated pool at my condo.  I can go swimming anytime.  I love getting the exercise.  The strength that I have gained has improved my life so much. 
2)      Cane and crutches.
Leaning on my cane for support
  I have a super cool walking cane.  It doesn’t help a whole lot with the actual pain of walking, but the great thing about it is that I can sit on it like a chair when I get tired.  Yes, I know, I have great balance.   Walking with a cane also signals to others that I have trouble walking.  If anyone gives me any trouble I can whack them over the head with my cane.  This is great therapy.
This is me sitting on my cane.  I know it looks like I have a stick up my butt. 

          I always keep my crutches in the car with me.  Usually I need them at the end of the day or if I know I will be walking or standing for more than 5 minutes.  For example, at the shopping mall or when I go to Fisherman's Wharf.

3)     Physical Therapy.  I go to PT once a week (use to be twice a week).  Not only does going to PT give me the opportunity to do my strengthening exercises, but my physical therapist also motions my leg.  Getting motion into my leg is crucial.  She also massages my hip flexor and piriformis muscle.

4)  Traction.  Traction is when someone pulls on my leg to give it space in the hip socket.  My physical therapist does this for me.  I can also do this myself at home.  I tie a rope to a pole and then to my ankle and hold on to a doorway and pull.

5) Chiropractor.  Okay, I know some people think chiropractors are quacks, however, I am now a 95% believer in chiropracty.  

This is called side posture. 
    When I first began going about 3 months ago I was very skeptical.  Hey, I would try anything though, I am in pain, right?  I would stand on my head for 3 hours while drinking orange juice if it would help.  As my chiropractor explains it, the nerves from your spinal cord pass through the vertebrae in your spine.  If your spine is sublaxed, or not moving correctly, it pinches on the nerve.  Now the nerve cannot operate at 100%; maybe it is only operating at 50%.  If you can get your vertabrae moving, the nerves are freed up and can operate like they are suppose to.  This means all the organs in your body will be functioning better.  I really am feeling better after seeing the chiropractor.

6) Acupuncture. I love, love, love acupuncture.  It makes my muscles so relaxed.  My acupuncturist also uses elctro-stim.  Every time I have a treatment I have to take a long nap afterward.  It is so relaxing.  However, it is not for everyone.  Gavin HATES it and thinks it is pure torture.

7) Drugs. I have completely stopped taking anti-inflammatories because, frankly, they don't work for me.  I have been taking these since 13.  I don't think it is good for my liver either.  I have also stopped my vicodin (I did use it for a week following my wedding).  I totally support vicodin as a pain management tool, but it is just not for me.  The risk of addiction is too great, I cant drive while taking it, it makes me feel loopy, and it only last for 4 hours.  Now I am taking an anti-depressant, Lexapro.  The thing is, I am not taking it for depression.  I couldn't be happier. I am taking it for pain and anxiety. Anti-depressants are suppose to block pain signals to the brain so I can manage my pain better.  Being in pain causes a lot of anxiety as well.  Going out of the house is a big event.  I am always worrying, "will this cause more pain?", or, "who will be mean to me today?".  It is really stressful, but Lexapro is really helping me.  Also, even though I am happy, I do have down days.  I think, "when will this pain ever end? Will I be in a wheelchair someday?  Can I ever go for a walk on the beach, go to Disney Land, walk around a big city?" Lexapro helps me cope with these worries.

8) A support system.  Having a support systems is so crucial.  Gavin is mynumber one cheerleader.  He is so kind
 and understanding.  He pushes me to get better, but makes sure I am not pushing myself too hard.  No one can understand what someone with FAI is 
    going through unless you walk a mile in their shoes, but Gavin sure acts like he
    understands my pain.  That means a lot to me.    Gavin never asks me to lift a finger around the house.  He never complains when the house is messy because he knows some days I can barely get out of bed.  Gavin always drops me off at the front door when we go out shopping or to dinner.  He always finds me a place to sit down when we are out of the house.  If I complain about my hip he will bring me ice and cater to me.  I know some people with disabilities dont have friends or family that understand how they feel, so I feel truly fortunate.

9) Distraction.  Distraction is key.  You need to escape your pain.  I like to watch movies or read a book.  I can escape into the storyline and forget about how much pain I am in for a couple of hours.  Right before falling asleep is always the worst time for me because I dont have any distractions.    Im concentrating on falling asleep and sometimes I cant.  I usually read before I go to bed to distract from my pain, then when I am dead beat tired, I turn of my reading lamp and fall right to sleep.

10) A good mood.  Being in so much pain puts a frown on my face and makes me grouchy. Staying in a good mood one is probably the hardest for me because sometimes I just want to punch people.  When some lady says "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?" I just want to say, "beeeahhhtch, what the fricken hell is wrong with you?"  But I have to remember to have a positive attitude about the situation.  It is a perfect opportunity to get on my soapbox and advocate rights for people with disabilities.  So I say "beeeahhhhtchhhh, I want to speak to your manager.  Right now!!!"  But the point is, just try to be in a good mood, have fun, and do what you can do within your limitations.  I know I cant go snowboarding, but I CAN go for a romantic drive in the mountains with my Sweetheart. I know I can't go for a long walk on the beach, but I can sit on the beach and read a book.  I'm so lucky.

11) Eat healthy.  Not only will your body function better, but you will be at a healthy weight.  For some people with chronic pain losing weight can help.  If I carried around an extra 5 pound weight with me, that would mean my hip would start hurting sooner than without that weight.  So because of this, I make it a point to maintain a low weight.

12)  Wear comfy shoes and clothes.  I only wear the most comfortable shoes.  I dont care if Uggs are ugly, they are comfortable.  Of course in my case, shoes can make a big difference.  High heels would kill my poor hip.  Also, I usually wear work out clothes.  I like to be comfy.

13)  Don't do too much.  I know for people with chronic pain, you like to test yourself.  Can I still clean the whole house in 3 hours?  Can I still walk around the shopping mall without a break?  Well even if you can do these things, you will pay for it later.  It is better to take it easy.  When I clean my house I take breaks in between each chore.  When I am at the mall I sit down in between stores.  Who cares if it takes 30 Xs as long as the average person to do something.  

14) Sit down.  In my case sitting down really helps.  Sitting doesnt increse my pain much as long as I sit correctly, sit on a comfy chair and stretch every 30 minutes or so.  Standing up and walking is what kills me.   

Well that is all I am doing to manage my pain for now. What does everyone else do for pain management?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I have a Bible Bump

I have a bible bump also known as a ganglion cysts.  A ganglion cyst is a cyst that grows in the wrist around the joint or the tendon.  In the past it was known as a bible bump because of the method of treatment that was used get rid of the cyst.  If you had a bible bump on your wrist you would have a friend whack it with a heavy book.  Since every household had a bible, and the bible is a heavy book that could be used to whack and pop the cyst, the cyst was known as a bible bump.  My cyst is too deep to use this method, otherwise I would get my bible out.

My bible bump is deep in my wrist next to the radius bone.  My pea sized cyst is also located right next to the tendon leading to my index finger and right next to an artery.   Because if its location and small size, this makes it difficult and dangerous to operate on, but an operation might be necessary if the pain doesnt go away.

The cyst is pressing on my tendon and causing pain and swelling in my wrist and the palm of my hand.  Both my doctor and my physical therapist have ordered me to completely rest my hand for at least a week.  Dont use it at all.  Obviously this is very difficult.  No dishes, laundry, changing sheets, hmmm.............. maybe this isnt so bad after all.  But really, this is a very hard task, to not use my hand at all.  I believe the longest I have gone is a day and a half.  However, now that I know how dangerous the operation is, I will have to give resting my wrist and hand another try.

Today the doctor gave me a cortisone injection in the palm of my hand.  The injection had lidocain in the it as well.  It felt good to numb the pain in my hand but the pain in my wrist is still there.  My doctor decided against injecting my wrist with cortisone because of how deep the inflammation was and how close it was to the artery.  She didnt want to inject cortisone into my artery or into my tendon.  That wouldnt be helpful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A wedding

My wedding was beautiful and wonderful and I am married to the most amazing man.  I walked down the aisle, danced, socialized, walked around and I felt great...... until the next morning.  The next morning was very painful.  I think all the adrenaline and a couple of cocktails distracted me from my hip pain.  When I woke up the following morning I didnt want to take another step.  I had to take vicodin for a few days following the wedding so that I could sleep and go about my day.  It has been over a week since the wedding and I am still in intense pain.  I just have to sit around and ice my hip but the pain still wont go down.  It is really hard to sleep.  I already went to accupuncture which made me feel better for a few hours.  I have physical therapy and I see the chiropractor this week so I will talk to them about my pain levels and see what I should do.   Sometimes I contemplate going to the emergency room I am in so much pain.  But then I think, really, what could they do?  Nothing really.

Even though I am in a lot of pain now it was worth it to have my fairytale wedding (hopefully Gavin had fun too).  I am so, so happy right now and grateful for what I have, even though I have a lot of limitations.  I am hoping the pain will reside with a lot of rest.  Resting is frustrating especially when I am trying to get a new home in order. But, Gavin helps out a lot even after working 10 hour days.  He is such an angel.

Thank you all for being a part of our special day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to have a Hippy Wedding

Well,  I am not going to let my hip pain get in the way of this hippy wedding.  This is what I am going to do on the day to manage my pain level.  I want to have fun the whole day without being in too much pain.  Here is a sneak peak at my shoes.

1) Have fantastic flat shoes.  I love high heels, but I can only dream about wearing a heel right now.  It is flat shoes for me all the way.
2) Have a receiving line.  I will be sitting on a stool in the receiving line. That way I can talk to each of my guest without having to stand up.
3) Have a short dance song.  Our dance song is cheeky, fun and totally fits my personality.  It is also short.  My  father daughter dance song will also be shortened to accommodate my lack of dancing and walking abilities.
4)Drugs, I will have anti-inflammatories, and vicodin on hand if I need it.  I will have to not drink if I need to take these.
5) Alcohol.  Whenever I have a bad hip day, I usually pour myself a glass a wine and try to relax. As long as I am not in too much pain this usually works to numb the pain a little and be able to relax.
6) Sit down.  My number one way to manage my pain is to sit down.  There will be plenty of seats as I make my way around the ballroom.
7) Let my groom cater to me.  He always offers anyways and I wont refuse his help. I love this guy.
8) Have fun.  Hopefully I will be having too much fun to even think about my hip for the day.  I cant wait to see you all there.