Internal CRPS. It can affect internal organs.

Internal organs can be affected by CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). This condition has had so many name changes there’s no wonder many medical professionals have never heard of it. Many sufferers have to wait too long for a diagnosis, wait too long for adequate pain relief, wait too long for answers.

What body parts are affected by CRPS?

It’s well documented that CRPS affects skin, hair, muscle, bone, nerves. Even nails.

inside CRPS nails

image from pain and depression.com

I know patients who cannot bear the lightest touch on their affected arm or leg. Their limbs are swollen, the skin reddened, shiny and swollen as if it were about to burst. You can tell they’re in agony just by looking at their affected body parts.

inside CRPS foot

image from slide player.com

 

Some people stay in this ‘heated’ CRPS condition for a long time. Their skin is badly affected and may develop nasty sores.

I’m past that stage now. My arm and shoulder always feel cold. Extreme cold causes me more pain. I need more pain relief in winter than at any other time.

CRPS cold

image from The Mighty

What about internal body parts you can’t see?

If nerves and skin, muscles and bone are so obviously affected by this painful condition doesn’t it make sense that internal body parts are also affected?

It’s just common sense to me. But then I’m not a medical expert.

In my last post about CRPS I wrote about gastric problems. When I saw my GP I explained what was happening and how I believed there was a connection with CRPS.

internal gastric organs

digestive system

He wanted to eliminate other possible suspects. I told him about the kind of diet recommended by Dr Hooshmand and how I’d already taken that advice on board. Nevertheless, my GP said, we’d have to go through the elimination process: blood tests, scans etc.

I don’t have celiac disease. I’m not diabetic nor even borderline. One by one all tests came back negative so we eliminated other possible causes for my bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea. Then I had ultrasound.

I have Gallstones

‘Oh,’ I said to the nurse practitioner. ‘You said that in the plural. How many?’

‘Too many to count.’

internal problems

ultrasound image from ultrasound cases.info

That isn’t me in the image above but you get the picture. Because I don’t have the kind of pain normally associated with gallstones there’s no treatment necessary. Apparently. Yet.

‘There are probably tens of thousands of people walking about with gallstones just like yours who know nothing about it,’ said the nurse practitioner.

That’s all right, then. So what’s causing the vomiting? And the other?

CRPS affects internal organs

It’s official. People with qualifications say so. Here is a link to how I knew that before I went to see my GP.

I don’t blame him. He can’t know everything. Plus, he’s bound by procedures. But, no treatment at all?

I guess that means I just have to put up with it.

In the meantime I stay away from fatty things and don’t eat too much sweet stuff. I try to be sensible but when the CRPS pain flares up I know it won’t be long before I dare not wander too far from the bathroom.

The good news is: red wine is NOT on the list of things to avoid completely.

Thank you for reading. Sign in to my subscription list to receive a brief email to let you know about new posts. Your email remains private. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Author with CRPS signing out now.

Chronic pain and the author. Not enough good days.

In my previous post  ‘A Pain in the Arts’,  I wrote about how chronic pain interferes with creativity. The chronic pain sufferer is tired. All. The. Time. When good days dawn you want to make the most of them. On my own good days I want to write.

chronic pain and writing

on good days I want to write

CRPS chronic pain and writing

I’ve had contact with another CRPS sufferer who wants to write when he feels well enough. We know we have to pace ourselves. There isn’t enough energy to go round all the simple, everyday tasks that we previously undertook without a second thought.

chronic pain of CRPS

what having a god day means

I don’t beat myself up about not being able to do everything I’d like to. So I take it as a measure of success that this year I’ve published two books: my third novel and a second collection of short stories. I work at a much slower pace than I used to. Pain relief medication sometimes dulls the ache but makes me feel groggy.

If you’re reading this as a sufferer of CRPS or some other chronic pain illness you don’t need me to explain the myriad ways it affects you. How can you describe to others what it’s like?

chronic pain descriptions

words to describe pain

All in all it’s TIRING.

2017 – my fourth year of CRPS

This year has been worse than last. I’m disappointed that even during warm weather I sometimes feel knocked out. I have cyclical bouts of vomiting. The following is taken from the article: The Spread of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) by H. Hooshmand M.D and Eric M. Phillips -Neurological Associates Pain Management Centre, Vero Beach Florida.

INTERNAL ORGAN INVOLVEMENT

CRPS invariably involves the internal organs. Usually the skin surface is cold at the expense of increased circulation to the internal organs. This increased circulation can cause osteoporosis, fractures of bone, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, disturbance of absorption of foods with resultant weight loss, water retention with aggravation of premenstrual headaches and depression, persistent nausea and vomiting, as well as severe vascular headaches mistaken for “cluster headache”.

In addition, CRPS can cause the complication of intractable hypertension which responds best to alpha I blockers (Dibenzyline, Hytrin, or Clonodine). CRPS can cause attacks of irregular or fast heart beat, chest pain, coronary artery spasm (angina), as well as disturbance of function of other internal organs. A few examples are frequency and urgency of urination, respiratory disturbance such as dyspnea and apneic attacks, and attacks of severe abdominal pain.

Planning your day

This morning I was woken by pain at 4.30am. Yesterday it was 5 am. The day before 4am. I get up, make a drink and take medication. When the pain eases I use those hours in the early morning to write, research or edit what I wrote last week.

When everybody else is up and about I start on household tasks you can’t do at 4am or you’d wake up the neighbours. There’s no wonder I often don’t feel able to do much more at all in the afternoon.

I can’t commit to definite arrangements. I can’t always agree to be at a certain place at a certain time. People must understand if I don’t make it it’s because I’ve gone back to bed. So I don’t commit to joining groups and clubs. I opted out of the choir I joined until I’m in a good phase again. (See, I’m still hopeful.) I don’t like letting people down.

I’m a member of various social media pages and that works fine because I can join in with discussions at any time. When it’s 4am. here there’ll still be somebody in Denver, Colorado with something to say, or Florida or California. They don’t know I’m sitting downstairs in my pyjamas quietly waiting for the meds to kick in.

Authors put a lot of effort into marketing their work

Unfortunately I don’t. My energy is carefully apportioned. I’d love to build a band of faithful followers of my novels, send out newsletters, join book blog tours and the like. I know improved sales of my books isn’t going to happen by some lucky happenstance.

But I still want to write. Maybe when all my ideas have dried up I’ll find the time and energy to work on marketing but at present I can’t do both. So be it. May we all have a low pain day.

If you’d like to follow my writing journey with CRPS  please subscribe to my blog. Don’t be shy. Send me a comment. Your email remains private.

The Sandman and Mrs Carter, my third novel. Message me when you identify the mystery narrator!

On Kindle from August 12th

Available on Kindle first from August 12th, The Sandman and Mrs Carter promises to mess with your mind.

Sandman domestic drama, psychological mystery

third novel by Celia Micklefield

Click on image to go to Amazon UK.

The Sandman and Mrs Carter

is a psychological domestic drama with more than a touch of mystery.

Five named characters tell Wendy Carter’s story through their viewpoints. But who is the mystery narrator who seems to know everything about everybody?

The mystery voice gives the reader clues and says, “You can never be inside someone else’s head. If you could wouldn’t that mean you’d have to be out of your own and where would that leave you?”

Isn’t that a question and a half?

Stories with layers

I love reading stories with layers. I enjoy the discovery of characters’ foibles. A satisfying read pleases me when it gets me thinking I have it all worked out just before the author throws in another twist and sets me off down a different path. Mostly, I love to be intrigued.

So I suppose it’s no surprise that this is the kind of novel I enjoy writing.

Creative narrative schemes.

I like to be a little different with my narratives. For years we’ve heard all good stories must have a beginning, a middle and an end. While we can’t argue with time itself which never goes backwards we can get creative with the way we present it in novels. Okay, we must have a beginning, middle and end but in books they don’t have to come in that order, do they? Life’s journey isn’t a straight line: there are sidetracks and dark alleys; mountains to climb and oceans to navigate; flights of fancy and tunnels of gloom. As an author I can plan where the sidetracks appear. I can conjure up an unexpected setback or happy accident.

Suffice it to say I love intrigue. In The Sandman and Mrs Carter there’s plenty of it.

‘Hooked’ of Lincoln messaged me on FB to say she intended to read a chapter before turning out the light but went on to chapter ten!

Oooh, she described herself as ‘hooked’. I like that.

Who is the mystery narrator?

Really? Is it? Come on, you don’t expect me to tell you.

All I will say is, you guessed it, you have to read the book! I promise you you’ll think you know and then you’ll think you know again.

So if you enjoy a book that keeps you guessing you’re going to love The Sandman and Mrs Carter.

Send me a message when you think you’ve worked it out but don’t tell your friends. You wouldn’t want to spoil it for them now would you?

Don’t forget to subscribe for new posts. You can message me here on my website or on my Facebook author page. Also, I’m on Twitter @CMicklefield.

Happy reading!

The Sandman and Mrs Carter is available on all Amazon platforms in Europe, USA, India etc. The paperback version is available very soon.

Denial solves nothing. Don’t do it.

Denial comes in different guises. Usually when we say someone is in denial we think of it in negative terms. There is a person who won’t accept the truth, we think. There is a person who can’t cope.

denial as self defence

denial as defence

You might not want to face the truth about all kinds of things: illness; ageing, addiction, relationships. Some people use denial as a means of self defence. They think by ignoring the facts that everything will somehow improve.

Wrong.

denial never resolves

don’t deny your feelings

I have experience of it. I suppose most of us have at one time or another. But pushing aside problems only has the effect of allowing them to accumulate. Like cancer, they grow. They multiply. They keep on multiplying until your whole system is toxic.

When you know you have a medical problem you do something about it, don’t you? You go and get it fixed. But anything to do with emotions/feelings/fears/anxieties etc etc. we tend to shy away from. In a previous post I wrote about Brené Brown’s ideas on vulnerability. She’s all for coming out with your vulnerabilities and giving them voice. It’s the most courageous thing you can do.

But there are people who not only deny their own feelings: they deny yours too. When you’ve had the courage to make yourself vulnerable and express how someone’s actions make you feel they should acknowledge what you’ve said. If they refuse, they have a problem. They are in denial. And if you allow it to continue you’re the one who’s going to end up with a bigger problem than you had to begin with.

denial is avoiding your soul

face your truth

Yet there is a positive aspect to denial. Consider the following:

Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Self denial is another matter altogether. Abandonment of the needs of self and taking up your share of the suffering of humanity (your cross) is key to being a good human.

All well and good if you’re dealing with other ‘good’ human beings. There comes a point, it seems to me, when you can’t continue giving to others if they are in such a state of denial they prefer to continue hiding behind a false front. Surely that would be time for some tough love. Standing back and allowing someone to experience the error of their thinking might be the lesson they need. Obviously you wouldn’t do that with a child who wants to play with matches but when an adult is making the choice to live in denial all you can do is let them get on with it and remove yourself.

true colours

you can’t live in denial forever

Well, Amen to that.

Anybody like to add their comments? Don’t be shy. You can reach me on my Facebook Celia Micklefield author page and on Twitter @cmicklefield

Thank you for visiting.

 

Queer as Folk. Book Launch

Queer as Folk short stories

stories to give you a giggle, a sigh or a shudder

Queer as Folk

A new collection of short stories launches on 31st March in Kindle format. Pre-order is open now. A paperback version will be available in April. As with her first collection of stories the author focuses on what makes ordinary people do extraordinary things.

The author? The author? Why am I writing in the third person? Weird, huh? Just one example of why we do queer things.

I’m taking over now. First person from now on. Bugger tradition.

In Arse(d) Ends, my first collection, I used words ending in the letters a.r.s.e. as a queer and quirky link with the narrative. In Queer as Folk each story is subtitled by a profound saying, well-known or otherwise.

For example, in January Girl I chose the following:

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.

Mark Twain 1835-1910

For the story, Yorkshire Grit I chose:

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950

How queer am I?

Oh, I’m queer. So are we all. Life makes us that way. Maybe our lives are all about following our paths to un-queer ourselves. Perhaps at the end we can count ourselves lucky if we came through having coped with the journey the best we could with whatever resources we possessed.

One of my resources is a particular kind of sense of humour. I have a penchant for dark tales. I mean, I’m into tales of revenge where it backfires or accidental comeuppance for the nasty perpetrator who has made a telling mistake. For me, humour is a way of expressing hope. I want to give my readers a sense of satisfaction at the end of my stories that everything worked out just the way it should.

In Queer as Folk there are 21 stories, 1 poem and a 14 Tweet story I posted live on Twitter (told you I was queer).

As with my first collection some stories are longer than others. I like that variety. Sometimes shorter narratives pack quite a punch. It all depends on the subject matter.

I hope you enjoy this new collection. Here’s a link to my author page on Amazon UK.

Don’t forget to keep in touch. I love to hear from you.

 

Funny. What makes things humorous?

We’ve all got a funny bone

Actually it isn’t a bone. It’s the ulnar nerve. So why do we call it the funny bone?

There are two main ideas about that. One says it’s a pun on anatomy because the nerve runs along the humerus, which sounds like “humorous.” The other claims the nerve got its nickname because of the  odd (funny peculiar) feeling you experience after you hit it.

funny bone

funny ‘bone’

But humour hasn’t anything to do with your elbow unless when you bang it you make other people laugh. So . . .

What makes things funny?

Where do we register humour in our brains? Scott Weems tells us there’s been plenty of research into laughter.

His book Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why explains in detail. But what about studying what it is that makes us laugh? Why do some of us find certain kinds of comedy funny but others don’t?

funny for life

humour is life enhancing

Humour appreciation appears to be based in the lower frontal lobes of the brain, a location associated with social and emotional judgment and planning according to imaging research. That might explain why people who have suffered strokes involving the lower frontal lobes of the brain may have alterations of personality which include loss of their sense of humour. Also why psychopaths whose brains are wired differently tend to have an infantile sense of humour.

Different types of funny

There are different kinds of humour including the following:

Affiliative humour – the style of humour used to enhance one’s relationships with others in a benevolent, positive manner. This style of humor is typically used in a benevolent, self accepting way. Individuals often use this kind of humour as a way to charm and amuse others, ease tension and improve relationships.

Self-enhancing humour is a style related to having a good-natured attitude toward life, having the ability to laugh at yourself, your circumstances and the idiosyncrasies of life in a constructive, non-detrimental manner.

Aggressive humour is a style potentially detrimental towards others. This type of humour is characterized by the use of sarcasm, put-downs, teasing, criticism, ridicule used at the expense of others. Aggressive humour often disregards the impact it might have on others. Prejudices such as racism & sexism are considered to be  aggressive humour.  At times it may seem like playful fun but sometimes the underlying intent is to harm or belittle others.

Self-defeating humour is characterised by the use of potentially detrimental humour towards the self in order to gain approval from others. Individuals high in this dimension engage in self-disparaging remarks where laughter is often at their own expense. Self-defeating humour often comes in the form of pleasing others by being the “butt” of the joke.

Does funny have a reason for being?

So what is the purpose of humour?

we need funny

what would life be without something funny?


Airing social taboos

If we can laugh at difficult subjects might we make it easier to discuss them? In my first collection of short stories Arsed End(s) I wrote about sexual harassment, boring relationships, funerals, infuriating hobbies and the end of the world. I’m a fan of dark humour. I think it has its place in this sub-category.

Social criticism

We can take a poke at local and national government, even specific ministers or presidents, corporations and institutions like Big Pharma or the police. George Orwell set his social criticism novel in a farmyard in Animal Farm. We could laugh at Napoleon the pig whereas in 1984 I don’t remember there being anything funny.

Consolidation of group membership

Jokes about one political party to confirm your allegiance to another. Humour based on the ‘easy’ life of a hospital consultant to establish membership of the junior doctor group. One football team against another. You get the picture.

Defence against fear and anxiety

Turning fears and anxiety into something to laugh about makes them less frightening: death, funerals, impotence, fear of flying, bad drivers etc.

Intellectual play

Clever sayings, puns and other plays on words. Witty reposts and dry one-liners. As Einstein said, creativity is intelligence having fun.

And that’s where I’d like us to leave it. Having fun. All this analysis of what makes things funny and how we assimilate that humorous information takes the shine off the fun, in my opinion. You have to wonder what the ancients laughed at. When some young blood cut his finger on his own sword in the Bronze Age you can bet the others didn’t sit around analysing what kind of funny they were sniggering at.

The oldest recorded joke in the history of mankind dates back to 1900 BC Sumeria:

“Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap”

It seems even the ancient Sumerians had a lavatorial sense of humour. I don’t get this ancient quip. I don’t find it at all funny. But I don’t know why. It doesn’t matter why. I obviously haven’t found all the answers yet to my questions about humour.

Leave a comment, folks. Subscribe to my website for notification of new posts. Please, if you’re already a subscriber, be aware you need to subscribe again since my site crashed and your details were lost. Remember your email remains private.

Cheers! Have fun. Laugh a lot.

widgets screen

Widgets. Bells whistles and pretty pictures

You gotta have Widgets.

I lost all my widgets when my website crashed after updating to WordPress 4.7.2  I discovered the problem was caused by non-compatible plug ins. My screen showed the white page of death.

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare add_term_meta() (previously declared in /home3/cecilia/public_html/wp-includes/taxonomy.php:1153) in /home3/cecilia/public_html/wp-content/plugins/taxonomy-metadata/taxonomy-metadata.php on line 97

With the help of the marvellous James F at Hostgator we managed to get me up and running again. (see previous post.)

BUT. I’d lost all my widgets. Most of my plug ins were incompatible with my new updated system. What’s a girl to do?

Jetpack has the answers. Mostly.

This is a great package. Widgets coming out of its ears. Top Ten posts to show in your sidebar. Background stats to show how many views for each post. Subscriber email check box. Connection to your latest Tweets. Loadsa widgets.

You can tell there’s a ‘BUT’ coming.

I don’t like the image widget from Jetpack

It distorts your pictures. I’ve tried every which way to improve their appearance but gave up in the end. Images within the text of a post look fine.

widget screen

widget screen

The widget screen above from my media library looks okay. But when I tried to put an image box in my contents sidebar on the right of the page the picture was as distorted as the ones in the popular posts widget in the primary sidebar on the left.

Altering pixel size did nothing to help. Instead I looked elsewhere.

Black Studio TinyMCE widget

This is the one I always used before updating. I checked its compatibility and – Bob’s your uncle – it’s good to go.

The burning hand image I use for my CRPS posts looks as it should in the contents sidebar. I’m happy to continue using this widget.

Now I want to know how to put borders around images as I could before updating. It used to be an easy option. Maybe I’m just missing the information. It must be here somewhere.

Update at your peril. A necessary evil?

 Want your website secure? Update now.

I’d been eyeing the update recommendation for some months. Each time I looked at my WordPress dashboard there was the update message again.

update system

update NOW!!!

I know you’re supposed to update your systems. If you don’t you might find things don’t work so well. But I’m a careful sort. I wait. I wait to see if the latest update has caused problems for others before I take the leap into the unknown.

I made the decision. Time to update. I backed up using WordPress’ recommended plug in. I thought, It’ll be okay. If anything goes wrong I can go back to where I was before.

update wordpress

Update and calm in the same sentence?

Duh! See, I’m no expert at this malarkey. I’m a writer. I write novels and short stories and, to be honest, I’m pretty amazed that I ever got this far with managing my own website.

So, feeling reasonably confident I was fully prepared I hit the update button.

update in progress

what progress?

Have you ever seen the white page of death? It looks something like this:

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare add_term_meta() (previously declared in /home3/cecilia/public_html/wp-includes/taxonomy.php:1153) in /home3/cecilia/public_html/wp-content/plugins/taxonomy-metadata/taxonomy-metadata.php on line 97

What the . . .?

NOOOOOOOOOO!

I tried accessing my dashboard. Nothing doing. Just the white page of update death. FATAL ERROR are very scary words. I think my hair actually stood on end.

the horrors of update

update howling

I had a bit of a think. I made coffee. Thought some more. This must be fixable, thought I, but I need a fix that’s easy to understand.

First stop – Youtube.

Youtube is amazing. You can find out how to do everything from installing a post motor filter in your old Dyson to bathing a canary in preparation for a bird show. (I once spent a whole afternoon learning multiple ways of tying a scarf around your head for a fancy dress party). But fixing a FATAL ERROR on your website? I knew it was going to give me grief. Two minutes in and I was losing the will to you know what. Eventually it became clear I needed to contact my server who hosts my website. Hostgator. Right then. Saturday afternoon? Is there anybody there?

update with Hostgatorr

My website server. Could they help?

Their website says – Contact us by email, phone or use the online Help Chat form.

a) they don’t give you an email address

b) I can’t afford to call Texas

c) the online help is experiencing an excess of traffic

Hmmm. I wonder why. Maybe all the bloggers out there have received their own white page of death.

I tried again and again. Still nothing doing. Back to Youtube to see how to access my cPanel at Hostgator. This is the page where you can get into your account and, I thought, maybe I can simply delete the offending plug in which has obviously assassinated my website.

control panel

Hostgator control panel

Hostgator didn’t seem to know who I am. They wouldn’t let me in. I searched through all my carefully stored and protected info from the early days and found my welcome email with my username and password. I made doubly damned sure I entered it properly.

Zilch. Nada.

Funny, I thought. They know who I am when it’s time to pay the bill.

Saturday afternoon became Saturday evening and my eyes were on stalks. Reluctantly I conceded defeat and poured a large brandy.

James F to the rescue

On Sunday I got through. James F appeared out of the wide blue yonder and answered my online question.

update help

hostgator help

So now I’m back up and running. BUT –

all my plug ins are deactivated and, according to WordPress, most of them are untested on 4.7.2.

Now I have no FOLLOW CELIA subscriber check box. All my colourful content in the sidebars has disappeared. I can’t put borders around images in my posts nor can I automatically share my posts on Facebook, Twitter et al.

I’m disappointed. Not with James F. He is Superman as far as I’m concerned. But, come on WordPress. I’ve been a good girl and updated and you took my sweeties away.

Ah, well. I’ll just have to find plug ins that WILL work with my new updated system. Bear with . . . .

 

Send me a comment. I’d love to hear if others have had similar issues. And when I find a plug in that lets you subscribe please do.

Edit:

Aesthetic.

What is aesthetically beautiful country?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/aesthetic/

The WordPress daily post is always a challenge but I don’t often find time to write on the chosen theme. Today, however, we’re on the same page. I’ve been considering writing about where I live now.

I have long-held opinions about what I consider aesthetically beautiful scenery. It involves water, mountains and blue skies.

Well, here in Norfolk there are no mountains. But there’s plenty of water and sometimes there are also blue skies.

the aesthetic beauty of Norfolk

January Broad

I started out feeling cold on this Sunday afternoon walk around the Broad but soon had to peel off the top layer. Some Norfolk Broads came about as a result of peat diggings in medieval times but others, like this one in my photograph were chalk excavations. Rising sea levels completed the job. You’d never know it, but the fine city of Norwich is just behind those trees.

The Norfolk Broads are a popular English tourist attraction. Thousands of people come in summer to spend their vacation time on the water, stopping off at waterside hostelries before moving off in time to moor at another hostelry for the evening. Boat hire is big business here. Some folk live by the water and have their own. It’s a good place to house-sit!

winter aesthetics

private mooring

Winter brings a different kind of aesthetic beauty and makes creatives like me get out the paint brushes and/or write poetry, especially when mist hangs over the water and everything is still.

aesthetic mist

winter staithe in mist

Winter Staithe ©

( a staithe is a cutting or inlet )

 

No wind to fill the billowing sail.

No sun to bathe the picnic decks

where plimsolled little sailors skipped

gaily in and out and dripped

their melting ice creams down their necks.

No birds to follow in the trail

to search for scraps, to wheel and cry

and loudly squabble ownership

of tasty morsels newly slipped

into the wake. The staithe and sky

in rippled stillness form a pale

and misty shadow of the days

gone by. The old gate creaks

its winter joints. The reeds break

through the grey and filmy haze

with shots of gold: thin echo of a summer’s tale.

. . . . . . . . . .

More Norfolk posts to come in the goodness of time. Leave a comment, please. Don’t be shy. I love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, Stranger. How’s your CRPS?

It’s been a while. I haven’t written a new post since May. If you’ve read previous posts on the pain of CRPS you’ll know how it sometimes affects my creativity.

Chronic pain knocks the stuffing out

It’s like there’s no energy left for anything other than crawling back into bed. With an extra pillow to support the throbbing arm. With a hot water bottle to ease the painful shoulder. With a heated lavender pack under your neck. Sexy, huh?

In the early days my hand was swollen. If you Google images for a CRPS hand guess whose comes up?

CRPS hand

yes, folks, that’s me

I found I could use the keyboard with one hand but sitting at the desk in constant pain didn’t get my head in the right place for writing, especially the kind of fiction beloved by women’s magazines. Besides, my head was in a fog most of the time due to side effects of various medications. But I could edit. So, little by little I managed to get my first two novels out.

Oh, that seems so long ago.

CRPS beginning

CRPS beginning

Where my CRPS is now

The swelling has gone now. Thanks to early intervention my claw of a hand is more user-friendly. (You cannot peel a potato with one hand, not to mention putting  on a bra!)

Now I can do most tasks beyond my capabilities at the outset. And I’m grateful for that. I still drop things and take twice as long as other people at the supermarket cash desk but if I have a word with the cashier beforehand they’ll go more steadily for me. Top marks to Tesco on this one – always happy to help.

tesco

top marks for Tesco

But it seems my CRPS has spread to other places in my body. It’s gastro-intestinal stuff now, people. Look away now if the subject is too distasteful.

I have cyclical vomiting and diarrhoea. And it’s becoming more frequent. I’ve tried to ascertain which foods might be culprits and I know now to avoid heavily fatty meals but, still, some days the cycle begins without any reason, it seems to me.

I have an appointment to see my doctor next month which, by coincidence is CRPS awareness month.

crpsawarenessmonth

CRPS awareness

My doctor knows how I feel about taking medication. I control the amount I take. Rigorously control. However, as I realise I’m a candidate for osteoporosis due to the CRPS I’m going to ask for a Vitamin D check. If I can avoid further damage to my bones by taking a vitamin supplement, I will swill it down gladly.

In the meantime, cyclical vomiting permitting, I continue with my writing endeavours.

The Sandman and Mrs Carter is under review with a publisher. I’m also revisiting Queer as Folk, my second collection of short stories.

And I’m getting my orange outfit ready for CRPS Awareness Day.

crpsawareness

CRPS awareness

write from the heart