So, I seem to have gotten into another fairly bad pain flair recently. I've been in increasing amounts of discomfort since this weekend, all the usual suspects - hips/lower back, knees, hands, and shoulders. The pain isn't excruciating, just constant. And that gets very wearing over time, especially when not much seems to help for long. I'm trying to tough it out - primarily because stomach pain from over-use of ibuprofen bothers me more than muscle and bone pain. It is enough to make it difficult for me to relax enough to sleep. So, the sleep schedule is going random again.
I'm having Elvis-pelvis again too. And my butt has started clenching during these if I'm standing up. Very weird. On the bright-side, maybe I'll have an awesomely toned butt or something...

Today was especially weird. I woke up (or Oreo woke me up) and for a brief moment was worried that I wasn't going to be able to move my legs. I could, but my thighs and upper arms have felt very peculiar all day. Weak, shaky, and sort of...hollow. The best comparison I can think of is when you stretch out your arms or extend your legs to stretch as far as you can. The feeling you get when you reach the peak of the stretch, maybe when you start to tremble just a tiny bit, just before you release. Yeah, it's felt like that. All day. And my calves feel like they have knots in them and are tender to the touch. Yippee.

Today is one of the days that makes me wonder at what point I'm going to have to think about and start exploring prescription pain relief. I've been avoiding it for a number of reasons. One is that I haven't really felt I needed it. While I'm in pain more often than I'm not, I've felt fairly able to cope. As I've said - it's not excruciating, dear god pass the morphine or I'll go buy some heroin from the guys across the street in the park bad. It's just really annoying. It slows me down. And it's harder to do things when you hurt, even if you figure you'll hurt regardless, it's just exhausting. And a lot of times, so much easier to just hold still in whatever position you've found that's vaguely comfortable. It distracts me a bit. It almost certainly does add to my fatigue - it gets very challenging to keep an upbeat, fairly happy attitude when I hurt all the time. I figure when I can't do that anymore, it will be a good indicator that it's time to try something stronger. I still don't usually consider it as disabling as my fatigue, or weakness, or migraines, or involuntary movements. Another reason is that I've wanted to hold off as long as possible because I know from watching my dad deal with arthritis that tolerance to a lot of pain relievers builds up - I don't want to build up a tolerance to things and start running through available options before I have to. A third reason - I'm worried about side-effects - I don't like being spacey, I hate throwing up, and I have to be a little cautious because of my sleep apnea that I don't take anything likely to seriously depress breathing. And a fourth, from talking to friends and reading, I don't know if I'm ready to deal with the rigamarole of convincing my doctors that I'm in pain, dealing with the hassle of possibly controlled substances, etc. etc.
I also have to wonder how much of my pain is neuropathic and, if it is, whether conventional pain relievers will do much. Thus, my on going impatience with wanting to know what the hell is actually wrong with me.
So, for the time being, I'll make do with my topical stuff, at least some of which can be applied as often as I want. I particularly like a lotion I got from WalMart with a good amount of menthol in it and Badger Balm Sore Muscle Rub for this. Tiger Balm patches, Ben Gay, and Salonpas patches (very good for hands and also very cheap) are good when I need a little more oomph, but I try to be cautious as they also contain salicylate and so shouldn't be overdone. (It's probably pretty hard to OD with them, but really, I'd rather not risk it...) I also have hot and cold packs. I have fairly comfy pajamas or sweats to wear most days so I'm not irritating sore places or finding it even more uncomfortable than usual.
I take one or two ibuprofen when necessary. At best, it takes the edge off. I also take it if I suspect I've over done it and think I might want to stave off inflammation.
It's just so frustrating though, to not really know why I hurt. I can guess, sometimes, that I over did it - walked too much, stayed up too late, was overstimulated. Sometimes the weather seems to play a role. Other times, I have no clue. And I can't tell what makes it go away either. It sucks. Out loud. :P I wouldn't wish this lastingly on anyone. Maybe on some insensitive people temporarily so they'd really know what it's like, but never permanently.

On a brighter note, though, I finished the second large panel for my bag and am now working on the gusset. I also discovered that I did over half of the second large panel incorrectly, but I think it's salvageable so I'm not frogging it. Dammit. :)
Also, Oreo seems to have gotten over last night's accidental bean ingestion. Thank God. Why is he especially cuddly when gassy?

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