Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shingles, yea it really does suck

Two weeks ago today I would end the day with what started to feel like a cramp, a real bad cramp in my trapezoid. The cramp hurt so bad it felt like those you get in your calf that jolt you out of bed in the middle of the night. I had the wife massage and it seemed to help a bit, off to sleep I went.

The next morning the pain also went up my neck as well and I was unable to turn my head from side to side. I went to work anyhow, thinking that it may work itself free.
Work sucked to say the least, all I had to do was drive around in a truck and count animals for the first 45 minutes but the side to side movement on the dirt road was intolerable.
I considered going home but I decided to help load some equipment instead, you know with one arm, cause that is what you do when you are from Montana, work. Stupid I know.

I was still thinking of going home, but when I approached my boss, a man who has two crushed vertebra and still works daily I wussed out, I mean I could live with this nasty pulled muscle right?
I was the only one who was licensed to drive the dump truck so I was instantly recruited.
Now this truck lacks an air ride seat, which makes life miserable when you are healthy, and even more miserable when you are not. I am here to say if I could have turned around on that crappy two lane highway and drove home, I would have.
I toughed out the rest of the day in some of the worst pain in my life. Again had I been close to civilization I would have thrown in the towel, a bit late now.

The following day I would take the day off and see a doctor and get the "you pulled a muscle" mind you it did not act like any muscle I had pulled, and I kept trying to tell her that I had a couple of bites from flying ants, maybe it was an allergic reaction, she scoffed.
The next day was the same, movement was limited and all I could do would be play video games.
Day three I was better, but I noticed what looked like spider bites on my shoulder, still convinced it was an allergic reaction I thought at this point there was nothing more to do but tough it out.

Saturday morning I woke with the worst pain shooting up the side of my head I have ever felt in my life.
Now mind you, I have lived thru pain. Growing up on a small ranch I had been kicked, stepped on, and bitten by large furry animals. Pain I could deal with, this was worse, every 30 seconds it would shoot up into my head and literally drop me to my knees. I called the doctor after call phone service and her father, also a physician would return my call.
"are their blisters on those bumps" he would ask, yup, it looked like little blisters "you got shingles he replied" I called a friend and told him he would have to drive me over to see the doctor to confirm the diagnosis, which he did. I am glad for this, I doubt I would have been unable to make that 17 mile journey with that shocking pain every few seconds going off. The pain apparently was from the virus attacking nerves, thus the pain shooting up the side of my head, uhggg.
I would be prescribed some anti viral medication, it took away the pain mind you, but it made me all kinds of congested. I coughed and hacked which always helps when you have muscle pain, however it still was better than not.
Day two the crappy stuffy feeling I had was overwhelming, I now felt like I was getting bronchitis as well. I did not take my evening dose and called the doc in the morning, getting the "its something else, just keep taking it"
I tried, but it sucked so I quit again.

I saw another doctor on Wednesday, she was more sympathetic but gave me the "you need to work thru it if you can, the anti viral decreases your odds of getting it again as well as the length of time battling this" She had me stay to monitor my side effects, told me to watch it and off I went.
On the off chance I would stop by later in the day mentioning that I was sweating, apparently that is bad and I was told to cease it immediately.

So there you have it, two weeks to the day I am in extreme discomfort still. I can say that it is tolerable and I could work if I had a desk job, but I do not, I work outside, I use my hands and that is my life.
For a reference to pain, the first week, felt about like when I dislocated my AC Clavicle. From then on the pain has varied.
It sucks, you have trouble doing anything as you are always uncomfortable.
The wife did discover online that people were having luck with a cayenne pepper and vinegar poultice, it has helped me immensely as well.

Good luck, it can last up to six weeks, and I am not looking forward to anymore of this nonsense.

Monday, August 10, 2015

We have a legitimate alternative to conventional pain medication that is barely used.

My latest adventure has been with a bout of Shingles. The pain from this at the start was absolutely Immense.
It would start in the form of a major muscle cramp which I thought had developed from riding a four wheeler all day. Then I would start thinking maybe it was from an insect bite as I saw some red bumps appearing.
Soon those red bumps expanded and I could not understand why I was being assaulted by spiders.
I would wake up two days ago with so much pain in my head it felt like a spike was being driven into my skull. Apparently this was being caused by the effected nerves in my shoulder sending those wonderful signals to the brain box, uhgg.

Keep in mind I am someone whom normally has very little sensitivity to pain. I can cut myself open and rarely feel it, so having a pain so bad I could barely function was a unreal event to me.

I would be diagnosed with Shingles and the Anti Viral Medication I was given would help the pain immensely as Shingles attacks your nerves.

Now I was faced with a dilema, the anti viral made me congested, a bit short of breath even, and the pain medication given to me was Acetaminophen which of course is nasty on your body. Now I kept taking the anti viral as I could deal with the mild allergic reaction to stop the pain, but was it really necessary? Is there a better solution?

The answer is probably yes.

While I am not saying the anti viral medication is not something we need, clearly it helps and should be used, however it seems that if we simply went back to what mother earth gave us, we would be better off.

I am talking about Marijuana, a plant which seems to have little side effects so long as it is eaten, and not smoked. Smoking Marijuana is a cause for lung cancer, which we can all agree is not a good thing. But eating it seems to be nearly the cure all for pain management, and it even acts as a PED.
Keep in mind that I come from the anti drug side of things. Dad was very conservative in this regard and would have broken my legs had I so much as sniffed a drug.
Seeing side effects of conventional drugs has always made me shy away from them as well. Now that I am older and it seems my hard life is catching up to me maybe it is not such a bad thing to use some wacky weed.
Whether you agree or not, one thing is for sure, it should be our choice, and our choice alone and not for the Government to dictate this on our lives as well.

So far the legalization of Marijuana in Washington and Colorado have been nothing short of success stories, so let us make the rest of the nation the same, let us give people real choice in their treatments and stop the limited choices of potentially harmful Pharmaceuticals.