Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Strategies and alternatives for coping with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and other chronic illnesses

I Didn’t Sign Up for THIS

Posted by wendyburnett on March 6, 2010

Sometimes I hate my life . . . (honestly, most of the time I hate my life.) It’s been a particularly bad week, and I’m having a LOT of trouble coping with the pain levels. That means I have trouble sleeping, which increases the stress, and that increases the pain levels even more. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s gonna have to break soon, unless you can have pain levels higher than 10/10.

The real problem seems to be that as the pain increases, my tolerance increases too, so that what would have been an 8 or 9 a few years ago only rates about a 5 now. (I guess in that way, you really CAN have pain levels higher than 10/10, since the 9 I’ve been dealing with for the last week would have been at least a 12 two years ago.) It doesn’t help that the only pain meds I have access to right now are ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I’ve had to stop taking the ibuprofen because it’s tearing up my stomach, which leaves me in a serious bind. Normally, I’d supplement the Tylenol with skullcap and turmeric, but I ran out of those last week, and haven’t had the money to get more, so I’m down to ginger tea and vitamin C as my only anti-inflammatories.

It’s going to be an interesting month or so while I let my stomach heal from the damage the ibuprofen does, and it looks like I’m going to be experimenting with a LOT of alternatives for a while. Luckily, I have a few essential oils on hand, and I bought a bottle of organic olive oil a while back, so I have something to use as a carrier oil. Olive oil isn’t ideal, since it has a fairly strong odor, but at this point I don’t really care how it smells, as long as it helps. I’ve also got a fairly wide selection of herbs available, so I can make some infused oils with the ones that have pain-relieving and anti-spasmodic properties. (The only problem with infused oils is that it takes time for the oil to absorb the active ingredients of the herbs.)

While I wait for the infusions, I’ll be experimenting with teas from the herbs that don’t taste too hideous, and the ones that have stomach-soothing properties. Teas can also be used in the bath, which opens up some additional options. A nice, strong tea poured into a tub full of hot water and epsom salts can be VERY soothing, and it doesn’t matter what the herbs taste like, either.

For the moment, however, I’m going to retire to a bed full of hot packs while I wait the hour-and-a-half until I can take more Tylenol. Maybe I’ll even be lucky enough to fall asleep for a few hours before I have to start the next round of doing what has to be done.

If any of you have pain relief options that don’t involve prescriptions or large amounts of money, I’d love to hear them. In other words, “HELP!” (LOL)

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7 Responses to “I Didn’t Sign Up for THIS”

  1. Clady said

    I’m in the same boat as you, Wendy. I’m in a flare of sorts lately with stomach problems, which means nausea. When I remember to drink it, Welch’s grape juice seems to help. A friend told me to take it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I don’t do that often, I usually just drink the juice by itself. It must have soothing properties as well as antioxidants in it. She also told me to rub olive oil on my knees when they hurt.

    I usually accept the advice from well-meaning people but don’t always follow through with their remedies otherwise I’d go broke. Hope that helps.

    • Thanks for the advice. The olive oil I’ve got, so I can try that right away, and grape juice is fairly cheap, so I can pick some of that up at work tonite and try it. Heck, if we have a store brand, I can even get 10% off. It can’t hurt, and I’m sure I can use the antioxidants, since my diet isn’t all that great (it’s really hard to eat properly on $50 a week for two people, especially when you have to feed 4 on your nights to cook.) Maybe the grape juice will help satisfy the craving I have for the fresh fruit I can’t afford, too. That would be one heck of a bonus.

  2. suzanne said

    Devil’s claw is an anti-inflammatory that can be found in health food stores. First turned onto this because of one of my horses… weird thing…. had leg problems then realized it was available in human form and have used it. I use it and it seems to help me keep my prednisone levels down to 20mg.

    • Oh, nice, I’ll have to check into that, thanks. Do you use it as a tea, apply it externally, or buy capsules/tablets? I’m always up for new herbs to experiment with, and they’re frequently usable in multiple forms. That can be handy, since sometimes one form will cause a problem, where another form won’t.

  3. Annie said

    I agree with everything in this post as I have been incredibly overwhelmed by my pain issues in the last month as well. They have gone through the roof to the point of being unbearable.

    I take a wide variety of prescriptions for them – but in terms of pain relief and not a lot of money, I have to through a recommendation in there for marijuana. I know it’s not legal, and I know it seems wrong…but when it comes right down to it, it is one of the few things that can mute my pain for a couple of hours.

    • Honestly, I’ve tried pot, but I can’t handle it. Something in it makes me violently ill, so it’s not an option for me. That being said, I think it’s ridiculous that the government refuses to allow the sick to have something that has been shown through research to help just because the pharmaceutical companies can’t patent it.

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