Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cold weather: minimizing impact

The Boy Scouts say it best: be prepared. What does this mean to someone who has trigeminal neuralgia or neuropathic facial pain?

Summer offers some people who have trigeminal neuralgia and other types of face pain a reprieve. Sometimes it's hard to imagine (and who wants to remember?) the suffering that occurs. No one wants to think about the possibility of severe pain returning, but the past two winters have been tough ones. So let's think about what can be done to help should this be another frigid season.

Before the winter approaches, have a talk with your family and friends. Talk to them about the rough places, the times when the pain reached your spirit, not just in your face.  Tell them what might have made the tough patches better, and ask them if you could have done something differently to help make the situation easier.

Ask your physician about a permit for accessible parking. Explain what it feels like when the wind hits your face. When you get the permit request signed, go to the issuing office before the harsh weather comes. For more information, please visit this entry: trigeminal neuralgia,parking lots, and wind. You may also want to take a look at some resources to shield your face from the wind. .

Have a Plan B for the Holidays. Although it is a festive time of the year, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanakkuh, and New Year's Eve fall during the colder months.

If you're the person who cooks, think about what you can do to make the dinner simpler. Ask people to bring or casserole or dessert. And have an alternate plan just in case you aren't well enough to cook that day.

Simplify gift giving. This will mean different things to different people. Maybe it will mean ordering things via the Internet or shopping at places that offer gift wrapping. It could mean fewer gifts.

For every day life, have things handy to simplify your life. Write directions to your home or other gathering places so that you can send them through email, fax, or snail mail rather than explaining them on the phone. People who experience pain when they talk know the importance of having information available in writing. Consider text messaging for your cell phone if you don't have it.

Schedule automobile work, home maintenance, and routine medical and dental visits before the cold weather hits. Stamina is often an issue for people who have face pain, and you'll want to have the fewest amount of responsibilities possible.

Make a list of important phone numbers or emails. Keep them with you as well as in a convenient place in your home.

Have cold weather attire handy.

If you do something to help you prepare for the cold weather, I'd love you to share it with us. God bless you.

Have you visited my website? www.withgreatmercy.com

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Computers: do they make your pain worse?

The lack of a definitive diagnosis can be almost as frustrating as pain itself. How can one move forward with treatment if he or she doesn't know the root of the problem? Individuals who have facial pain often have neck pain, shoulder pain, jaw pain, or back pain.

Medical intervention is appropriate to determine a diagnosis.

People often ask me about the pain I've experienced. I have learned about pain from your experiences, my experience, and academic information. I'm no physician, but I can tell you some things that have reduced discomfort through my neck and sternocleidomastoid (scm) area. Here is one of many diagrams of the a diagrams of the scm available on the Internet: The SCM.  If you are looking for a case study, plenty are available. You may want to read this: A case study of sternocleidomastoid syndrome.

Several years ago when I returned to the workforce, I spent most of my day working on a computer and talking on the phone. I loved what I was doing, but pain hit me full force. It was debilitating. When my doctor sent me for physical therapy, I was blessed to have a therapist who used Kinesio tape. She had advanced training with Kinesio, and I was amazed that she could place a piece of tape in my scm area and give me relief from computer strain. If you're interested in Kinesio tape, you can find more information here: Kinesio tape . Be sure to find a qualified medical professional who has expertise with this tool if you think you would like to pursue this avenue of medical care.

Another thing that helped me and still helps me with muscle pain is medication. I take a muscle relaxer as prescribed by my neurologist. It helps me with pain caused by my jaw and pain that radiates from my cervical area.

A change in ergonomics has also helped me. I stopped sitting a computer desk. This isn't an option for everyone, but it has benefited me. I use my notebook computer, and I type from my recliner.  Years ago, my husband voiced his desire for one of these chairs, but they did not appeal to my design aesthetic.  My upper cervical chiropractor told me he thought I would benefit from the neck support. He was right! I bought an inexpensive recliner, and what wonderful support it provides. My office, which once was an entire room, is now a chair. I have a wireless printer, so I am not tied to a desk. I don't use a mouse any more, and that seems to help also.

One more thing that benefits me is having a bed that "feels good." That means different things for different people. For me, it means A Stearns and Foster mattress, an "upgraded" model.  Pain is expensive, but relief is worth it. That's my opinion. I hope you find relief. God bless you.

Have you visited my website? http://www.withgreatmercy.com/