Fighting back against chronic pain with a simple, creative, & healthy lifestyle. Inspiring others to become warriors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Shoulder pain? Yeah. I've been there since April. It sucks so hard and frankly, I wish it would just stop.

I'm at my wits end with my inability to sleep how I want to.

My Adhesive Arachnoiditis makes my right side unbearable to lay on most nights, which has been fine because I can get my mountain of pillows and stack them to get my right leg into the perfect position to sleep laying on my left side. However, since I messed my left shoulder up in April, getting bursitis and shoulder impingement, I can't lay on my left.

Sleeping on my back makes my shoulder pain throb and I can't really lay on my right side so I'm just SOL.

It got so bad I even considered dropping $300 on this pillow system.
If you don't know what the different things that can go wrong with your shoulder...this article is great at explaining.

My awesome PT guy hooked me up with some stretches and a few exercises I'll cover next week.

1. Doorway stretch.
3 times, 30 seconds each, move arms up and down. Now I will say this does bother my back. I have to make sure my core is tight and I'm tilting my pelvis up so my lower back extends. Gosh, I hope that makes sense.

2. Foam Rolls
3 different locations: lower shoulder blade, mid, and upper. 10 each. Hold your neck for stability

3. Arm Levers
Keeping your injured arm perpendicular to your body. Bend at the elbow and raise the forearm. Using your opposite hand, gently push the stretching arm to the floor.

10 times, 10 seconds each

Even though it is my left arm that is injured, I repeat the arm level on my right side because I don't need that side acting up!

Well, all is said and done. As long as I keep up with my stretches and exercises on a daily basis I'm fine...but it's just one more damn thing to keep up with.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I keep having issues thrown at me. I get on a great track of doing the things I need to do. Making my to-do lists, staying on top of my alternative therapies for my Adhesive Arachnoiditis, and generally getting crap done. I feel like the ultimate boss bitch of my own life, I can go out and conquer the world despite my disease.

And then something dramatic, stressful, or stupid happens and kills my daily routine and expectations I have built up. It takes a week or more to get over the said event and by then I have to regain the energy and gumption to get back into the habit of things.

Organized Me vs Real Me: 4 Things to Get Back on Track

1. I have generally accepted that I am going to get disrupted by something.

Whether it's my husband gone for business, my elderly dog having terrible health issues, or me hurting myself, I just know it's going to happen. I've decided that if I at least get my face washed in the morning, do 10 minutes or less of yoga, drink my water, and eat paleo, it's a win.

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Sometimes it's so easy to fall into the I'm going to do "what's easy" trap. I know when I spent all that time food prepping and then couldn't move for 5 days, I'm not joking, it would have been so easy to just make some Annie's Organic Gluten Free Mac and Cheese.

However, I improvised and made my sweet potato and tomatillo hash into a soup using my instant pot so I didn't have to stand up at my stove. Luckily, that soup lasted for 6 meals.

2. Pick One Thing and Do It


I know I've said start small and I do mean it. In my pain haze, I decided to just focus on making sure I ate good and drank the appropriate amount of water each day.

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It's not much, but it did keep me on track.

Then in a few more days, I added a bit of yoga on.

In a few more days, I started dry brushing to move my lymph again.

It may take me two full weeks to get back up to doing my everyday routine but I'm in the acceptance phase where I know I will eventually get there which brings me to...

3. Give Yourself a Break from Guilt


I think we just get so down on ourselves for our failure to not maintain the status quo when something happens. You got a nasty cold and suddenly you can't keep up with your workouts. It's fine. Give your body a chance to heal but as I've said before, start small and get back on the horse.
Life is rough, it's not easy, and it's vastly unfair. Don't place more negativity on yourself (yes I am also writing to myself here because I'm not perfect and I struggle with getting off my routines) by beating yourself up about that PB&J you made last night or the exercise class you missed.

Put something funny on the TV and work on your laughter skills.

4. Get a Buddy that Understands and Encourage Each Other

One of my BFF's called me about two weeks ago and we had lunch. She wanted to pick my brain about her struggles with depression and everything she said was speaking to my own soul.

We decided together to seek out some professional help, encourage each other daily, even if it's just a quick text, and be candid with the times our brains go to the dark places in our mind. She doesn't have my disease but she has her own demons and that makes me relate. We are also proactive about getting better.

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You need to find someone you can relate to and is proactive about seeking positivity. They are the type of person who recognizes there is a problem and is willing to do things for a change.

If you have someone in your life that is the opposite of these things, consider giving them less of your time.
Organized Me vs Real Me: How to Get Back on Track?

When all is said and done, the real-life me, the one who always gets bombarded with something weird has learned that each day is a new day to become the organized me.

I look forward and am hopeful that I have at least one or two days a week where I'm on top of my game...and since I haven't eaten breakfast yet, I better get on that. I'm just thankful I felt creative enough to do a blog post.

One small thing at a time, right?

I'll eventually get back to being the boss bitch I am. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but I'm hopeful it will happen soon.

Monday, September 24, 2018

I have spent the last two, now going on three days, in severe pain.

Why?

Well, I would love to make a long story short but that's just not my style.

Since May, #leohusband has been traveling for work, and when I mean traveling for work I mean halfway across the world. Also, he's gone for 2 to 3 weeks and back for a few days, maybe a whole week if I'm lucky, and then gone again.

This hasn't been a positive situation for me.

I am usually stuck at home due to my limited mobility and energy levels, so seeing #leohusband is my outlet. Isolation isn't that great for someone with chronic pain. While I do have friends in the area, I have to balance my energy on outings and getting things done around the house, not to mention my personal goals...like this blog that has become almost impossible to update.

One of the things I hate the most about Adhesive Arachnoiditis is the energy suck (okay the pain isn't fun either). Some days I have to choose between cleaning the kitchen and cooking dinner or doing yoga and videotaping it for my blog. Guess what I've been choosing since May?

So while #leohusband is away, my goals and my life feel like they have been put on hold, not to mention that my health has taken a drastic spiral downwards.
Fluffy Alarm Clock has also had major health issues since March, so that has added to my stress and contributed to my current depression, in conjunction with #leohusband not being here.

My pain levels are increasing and I know that one of the contributing factors is because I'm not eating exactly how I should. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still eating paleo, but when you start eating Bob's Red Mill Paleo Museli for breakfast and dinner...something is just not right.
Which brings me to our topic...
Why Food Prepping is Bad


Another of the many things I struggle with is my brain thinking I'm still normal. I haven't adjusted to the new normal with things I think I should be able to do, even though I talk about making the new normal your bitch constantly.

For instance: Some of my family mentioned getting a speedboat for a vacation and I made the offhand comment that my speedboating days were over. This I understand. I have adjusted to the new normal for recreational activities. Rollercoasters? No. Standing in line for more than 10 to 20 minutes to get into a museum? Hard pass.

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The other part of my brain thinks that I should totally be able to prep meals for a week. Although in the past I've food prepped with #leohusband and one of our couple bff's for the Whole30. I found out the hard way that four people food prepping together is way easier than one person alone.

I even took breaks. Work for 45 minutes to an hour, take a 20 to 30-minute break.

Didn't matter.

The irony is, I spent all that time washing and chopping, sorting into Tupperware, and organizing each meal...and I'm in so much pain I can't even think about standing in front of the stove to actually cook the meals I prepped.

Ugh. Life is too damn hard sometimes.

It looks like #leohusband isn't going to be letting up on his travel anytime soon so if I want to eat healthy, like I know I should, I've got to find a better way.

I just wish I had a Whole Foods or a Sprouts near me. I would think that they would have organic pre-cut food. Unfortunately, the produce that is pre-cut at my local stores is not organic and according to my functional medicine doctor, I need to avoid anything that has potentially been exposed to RoundUp, aka Monsanto.

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So while I do choose to use pre-cut veggies occasionally, they are not viable for long-term use.

That leaves me searching for pre-cooked food delivery options that are Paleo or Whole30 compliant.

Join me in my search next week as I explore options.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Since #leohusband has been traveling all the freaking time, I really have not been into cooking.

Actually, I haven’t been into anything lately.

I guess you can say the strain of him being gone for the last four months is really starting to take its toll. It’s obvious I’m missing my other half because things just don’t seem to be fun without him. I’m definitely on cruise control here.

Well, at least he’s back for a little bit and it seems that I have rediscovered my desire to cook again. It helps that there’s an appreciative audience.
So this morning I dug through my pantry and got out the Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Pancake Mix I brought from Thrive Market a while back.

The steps to make this are very simple and took less than 5 minutes. I did substitute one item because I am a fan of adding avocado oil to pre-prepared mixes than coconut oil. I find that melted coconut oil solidifies as soon as it comes into contact with eggs from the fridge, which is not good for cooking.

Other than the coconut oil I kept the recipe the same. I decided not to do anything fancy this go around just so I could try out the plain pancakes without any additives like dried fruit or nuts.
They mixed up well, the batter was slightly runny and they poured fantastically. I got about six medium-sized pancakes per the recipe.

I had my griddle on 350 with a light spray of olive oil on the plates.

The only drawback in the cooking process is they do not bubble in the traditional way that most pancakes do. When it came time to flip them, I watched for when the tops turned from a glossy sheen to a matte. That's when I flipped them. At that stage, they were golden brown so my timing seemed to be correct. Good thing since there was no bubbling.
I didn't time the second side, but it was long enough for me to peel a peach and slice it up. So maybe three minutes???

I served the peach on the side with a tablespoon of organic maple syrup (also courtesy of Thrive Market). I wanted them on the side because I felt it was important to try the pancake plain.

I mean plain, noting on it. No Ghee, no honey, no syrup, no almond butter...nothing.

Even plain they had a good flavor. They weren't dry. Semi-fluffy but good none-the-less. They were even better with the peaches in syrup.

All in all a great go-to mix when you don't feel like making your own or you are short on time for breakfast. The only complaint I had overall is that there is coconut sugar in the mix which I honestly feel is unnecessary. Come on people, we're going to add maple syrup anyway, why the add?

Whatever.

Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Pancake Mix Review
Taste: ★★★★☆
Chronic Pain Ease: ★★★★★

I highly recommend this for my chronic pain and illness community. It was so easy to make and required very little standing time and effort. Plus, since it was only me for breakfast, I have leftovers so tomorrow's breakfast is taken care of.

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