Category: Epidural Analgesia

Coping With Life When You Are Disabled.

Copying With life When You Are Disabled.

I have this methology “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I am not the type of person to whinge and moan, I just make the most of what I have and try to get on with it.

I always keep myself busy and set goals. However my physical and mental disabilities are obstacles that daily I have to get round.

My OCD is by far one of my prominent disabilities and have designed a quarantined cocoon area where only I have access to. This area allows me to be free of any anxieties that I would have in the normal environment. I have adopted this practice to save cleaning my whole home from top to bottom day in and day out. Believe me I used to clean from top to bottom every single day until I realised I was wasting valuable time doing something else.

Keeping myself busy does help to block out intrusive thoughts to a certain degree. I am the worlds worse for critising myself. I try to brain train to reason with myself that what I do is ridiculous and out of character to normal people, but it all is related to stress, anxiety and depression. Depending how stress I am under will depend how well my day will be. If I am super stressed, I find that I cannot concentrate and even do minuscule tasks.

My OCD is germ contamination related and I am even more conscious of my surrounding and the things that I touch. I dislike people visting me and visa versa. I prefer not to go out, hence I am not going out any time soon pandemic regulations or not.

I actually wrote an article on my other blog about germ awareness and cross contamination: https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2021/02/16/saliva-and-mail-cross-contamination-of-germs/

As for my other disabilities:

  • Cerebellar Atrophy (I lose my balance or grip and muddle my words up especially when I write, I also have mental blocks).
  • OCD (I am aware of germ cross contimination and and am careful what I touch).
  • Social Disconnection (I prefer my own company and not go out and socialise, although we can’t anyway but you get my drift).
  • PTSD (I have flashbacks of the physical and mental trauma I endured in the past and certain things trigger my depression).
  • Clinical Depression (This is related to past physical and mental trauma I endured, in which there are days where I go to a dark place).
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (I cannot bend my knee, again from past physical trauma/abuse).
  • Dysphagia (I sometimes choke of food, I get a painful feeling followed by trouble swallowing and breathing and only when the food is dislodged does the feeling subside, gross I know but what can I do? I have been told I could have surgery but there is no gauarantee that it would work. I am not going to go under the knife for anything, I can tell you that for sure).
  • Epidural Analgesia (Chronic Back Pain, even bending down to feed the cat makes my back spasm, the same goes if I am standing for excessive length of time I have shooting pains from the small of my back to the nape of my neck. Simple taskes like taking out the rubbish or bringing in the grocery shopping has brought tears to my eyes in the past).

So yes I have good days and bad days but I do not dwell on my ailments and try to live the best way I can. I adapt to around my disabilities. Fortuantely for me I offer digital services so I can do 100% of my work online and do not have to venture out.

Stress and worry are contributing factors to my OCD, PTSD, Depression and Social Disconnection.

  • Getting headaches (I have regular headaches)
  • Having stomach cramps (I have a bad stomach most days, but that can be from drinking energy drinks to keep me awake).
  • Not being able to sleep (I find my medication helps me sleep but it takes a few hours for me to wind down, hence I watch a film or play a game, I also read books from time to time).
  • Feeling pains in your chest (I do not get them often but when I do it is scary as I have also experienced jaw ache and shooting pain down my left arm in the past). I have had an ecg scan done and the doctor said there was nothing wrong, yet the same doctor also prescribed antacid ‘Gaviscon’ to my daughter even though she was later diagnosed with MS after I admitted her into A&E.
  • Having constant worring (If I do not keep myself busy I do worry hence I try to keep my mind occupied all the time). Worrying only makes your health deteriorate and although life struggles can get in the way of your happiness, one needs to find a way to tackle the problem we are faced with, rather than sweep them under the carpet. Confronting your inner demons makes you stronger. Sometimes simply writing down your problems is the first step to dealing with whatever is on your mind. Talking to a friend or family member also helps but for me expessing my emotions in the form of a blog is theraputic in itself.
  • Having panic attacks (I only get these if I have to meet negative people). People that judge or critise, you know the people I am talking about or if I have a deadline in work or something that I have seen or heard that has triggered the onset of sheer panic. However for most part I am organised and know to how to avoid trigger warnings, so panic attacks are subdued.
  • Feeling shortness of breath, (I only get this if I cannot swallow due to my Dysphagia or at times when I have in the past been in distress, due to the trauma and abuse I endured).
  • Having mood swings with friends or family (I avoid socialising so no one knows my moods and no one can be on the tail end if I do have a bad day).
  • Finding it hard to feel happy (Continuously reassuring myself and staying positive that what I am doing will eventually change my life for the better, is enough to motivate me to get up and tackle every day tasks).

Although I was going to do a daily/weekly journal of my health, I am not able to do so at present as I have many projects I am working on and simply do not have the time, but I always try to strive to stay focused and optimistic that tomorrow will be a better day.

Obviously adopting a healthy lifestyle can help with coping with life struggles, such as:

  • Regular Exercise
  • Breathing Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Eating Healthily
  • Brain Training
  • Learning New Things
  • Staying Focused
  • Being Organised
  • Setting Goals
  • Time Management
  • Avoiding Negative People
  • Learning to Trust People
  • Motivation
  • Talking to Family and Friends About Your Troubles
  • Discussing your Problems with Professionals, Health, Finance, Relationships etc

Final Thoughts!

I am a disabled entrepreneur and I have created a business round my disabilities. The way I saw it when I first started out, I would not fit in or be accepted in a normal working enviroment and I am the most happiest I have ever been for a long time doing what I do and it works for me. So the way I see it is my disabilities are a blessing in disguise, as I would not be where I am today without them.

I avoid negative judgemental people especially if they have power trips (Trolls especially that have nothing better to do than try an bring a person down, these get immediately blocked).

As for me I will help anyone that genuinely needs my help. I am very good at analysing people and situations and I am very astute.

Stay safe, stay focused and stay motivated, nothing stays the same forever unless you let it…

Dysphagia.

Dysphagia is the medical term for problems with swallowing food and drink.

Some people find it difficult to swallow certain foods or liquids, while others can’t swallow at all, other side effects include: coughing or choking when eating or drinking. bringing food back up, sometimes through the nose.

I know this may sound horrifying or even disgusting but on and off depending on what food I eat and if I have taken small bites will determine if I do not have the feeling I am choking and that food is stuck and won’t go up or down. This usually occurs if the food is dry and if I have taken large bites. Normally I have to chew my food like a cow chewing grass. Eventually, it gets monotonous and I lose the enjoyment of the food I eat. If only there was a pill form where you could choose your meat and veg and have the taste and nutrition plus the feeling you have had a slap-up meal all in one.

In fact, In 1936 the Jefferson City Post-Tribune ran an article recounting the views of Dr. Milton A Bridges of Columbia University. In it, he declared: “Human beings are never going to eat pills for meals” (why not? I would try it for certain) he went on to say “pills can never be made to contain sufficient caloric volume”.

Reading this I would find this would be an idyllic solution to my problem, popping a pill saving time sourcing the produce, cooking, and then chewing, not to mention losing weight in the process with the low-calorie count, how wonderful that would be. Imagine your gas or electric energy bill would also drop in the process. But this is not an ideal world and the Government and the Economy would be affected hence it is never going to happen, not in my lifetime anyway. This would also solve world hunger but one would need to have calories as our bodies need on average of 2000 calories per pay so we would have to pop around 400 pills per day just for calories alone. (My theory if that was the case would be to crush them and mix them up as a smoothy formula).

To think how many hours we waste shopping for groceries, packing and unpacking, preparing and cooking, and then sitting and eating for me I could be doing something else as time is precious. Imagine how much packaging we could eliminate from our lives whilst saving the planet in the process.

What is the likely cause of the dysphagia?

Certain disorders such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease can cause dysphagia. Neurological damage. Sudden neurological damage, such as from a stroke or brain or spinal cord injury, can affect your ability to swallow.

I wonder if this may be linked to Cerebellar Atrophy & Epidural Analgesia? I am not an expert but it seems a bit of a coincidence that I have the above ailments and find it difficult to swallow at times.

How to Treat Dysphagia includes:

  1. Exercises your swallowing muscles.
  2. Evaluate your Diet and perhaps change the foods you eat. (Don’t know if there is a recipe for a full english breakfast smoothy).
  3. Dilation.
  4. Endoscopy. ( I had this proceedure done they made me swallow barium and then they stuck a camera down my throat), besides this is for diagnosis purposes and not for ment as a cure.
  5. Surgery. (Not guaranteed to be a successful and you may have to repeated surgeries).
  6. Medicines. ( I have been prescribed Gaviscon Advanced Mint tablets, as I suffer with acid reflux which is also associated Dysphagia.

Further reading can be found here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/swallowing-problems-dysphagia/

Epidural Analgesia

Epidural analgesia is most commonly known as a pain relief for women in birth labor and older adult patients. It’s used to manage postoperative pain, procedural pain, trauma pain, or labor pain. The method is the procedure of administrating opioids and/or local anesthetics into the epidural space.

.Epiduaral Space.

Epidural Analgesia procedure is performed by inserting a needle in the epidural space, lower back and injecting analgesics, or by threading a catheter through the needle. A similar procedure is used for lumbar punctures.

Whilst epidural analgesia is used to alleviate pain during labor, epidural anesthesia on the other hand is used to provide anesthesia during delivery and surgical procedures.

Epidural anesthesia paralyzes the bottom half of your body temporarily where you will experience loss of sensation and motor function and involves the administration of local anesthetics and/or opioids into the epidural space at a larger dose than what was administered during labor to achieve epidural analgesia.

I remember having both procedures and the anesthetist running an ice cube or so he told me down my leg and asked if the feeling was hot or cold and I said it was hot. For all, I know he could run a pen down my leg and I would not have known. Come to think of it, this was in theatre so where would he have got an ice cube from? lol.

Now 20 years on after the birth of my daughter if I bend at an angle for about two to three minutes I experience excruciating pain and my whole back spasms in which all I can do is sit down in order to stop the pain. I first noticed I had a problem after my daughter was born by c-section and when I came home the upper part of my back cramped whereby I could not move. As the years went on I knew that there was an underlying problem but did not think there was anything anyone could do. Nowadays even washing up or bending to lift grocery shopping can cause my back to spasm.

Fortunately for me, I work for myself and do not need to have permission to have time off if I am feeling unwell or produce a sick note and seeing I am working remotely do not have to move from the comfort of my home/office.

The long-term procedure of epidural analgesia is used to manage persistent (chronic) pain, including cancer-related pain.

Long-term epidural catheters can be surgically implanted and attached to an implanted or external infusion device.

For me even though I do have these spasms there is no way on earth I would I ever have another procedure done to correct the first one unless it not invasive.

For me, I just take Sopodol 30mg/500mg Caplets (codeine phosphate) prescribed by my GP for the pain for my knee but also helps with other pain i.e. my back. I immediately have to sit with my back supported with a soft cushion. I also use Deep heat and Deepfreeze and to be honest, I prefer the cold sensation to the warm. I also prefer to just spray the area rather than in patch or gel formula.

You can read more on Epidural Analgesia here:

https://journals.lww.com/nursing/Fulltext/2012/08000/Epidural_analgesia__What_nurses_need_to_know.15.aspx#:~:text=Epidural%20analgesia%20is%20the%20administration,(weeks%20to%20months)%20basis.

Side effects Epidural

1). Low blood pressure. It’s normal for your blood pressure to fall a little when you have an epidural.

2). Loss of bladder control

– (This is me, like clockwork running to the bathroom every two hours 24/7).

3). Itchy skin.

4). Feeling sick.

5). Inadequate pain relief.

6). Headache.

7). Slow breathing.

8). Temporary nerve damage.

9). Infection.

10) Permanent Nerve Damage.

11) Fits (convulsions).

12) Severe Breathing Difficulties.

13) Death.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/epidural/side-effects/

** Please note due to the current panademic regulations do not go to your surgery but speak with your GP over the phone.

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