Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pain Descends

Bad Night and Day.... ad infinitum

No pain medication, too much snow, sick, and then The Belly balks. Spent most of Friday fighting to tromp down the pain, Friday night and Saturday incapacitated for the most part, tonight trying to drink more liquids debating how much longer I can try to manage with heating pads, hot baths, pacing the floor, and hunched over pillows.

The Headache decided to have one of those days when the pain spikes quickly and then disappears for awhile and returns to do it once again. The right side of my head decided to jump right in and join the party. I finally turned the stimulator down after trying to kill this with electricity. The muscles and skin get "overstimulated" and then the stimulation starts to translate to your brain as pain too!

Thinking maybe I have another kidney stone as part of the pain, so I have been hydrating hydrating hydrating even through the pain and nausea. I think I am losing the pain battle tonight, but would like to make it until morning as I am actually feeling too sick to drive 45 miles to an emergency room. Darkness and cold and roads that have turned to ice just is hard to face when you don't even feel like sitting up.

I wish I could dare take another hydrocodone. I tried to get my doctor's office on the phone Friday, but they didn't make it in because of the heavy snowfall. I laugh, as I grew up where you had three feet of snow most of the winter, and drifts maybe 20 feet tall and you still went to work and got to school. Down here, three inches of snow is enough to close everything, and it looks like we got about 12 inches. Today it was melting where it was shoveled or scraped off, but tonight it is cold enough to refreeze.

I want to stop the pain, but I just can't risk another allergic reaction after how big the hives got last time I took a pain pill. I have had hives as big as dinner plates, and have permanent dark spots all over me where hives have broken into the vascular levels of my skin. I'm trying all the tricks I know to see if I can derail the ouchy train before it gets going full steam again.

The pain is coming in waves, then it backs off, then comes again. Not pleasant at all, and I'm whiney about it. I tell myself, you've been through worse and came out OK. I'm just very tired tonight and feeling ill, and I think that makes the pain seem worse than it probably is. I just have no point of comparison anymore, because I don't have any pain free days. I find it very difficult to be objective about pain anymore. It's a sore subject for me, pun intended.

I have to train next week at a client's for three days straight. I don't know at this time if I am going to make it. I'm trying my darndest to get ready for it, but it's a tossup if I can make it. I feel like I am letting my team down, and myself down by not being able to control my recalcitrant body. I wish I had a wonder twin, so I could say "Wonder Twin Powers Activate!" and fix all my problems with my wonder twin powers. Sigh. Wish I had a Gleek too... and an invisible airplane.

Friday, January 29, 2010

No More Hydrocodone

Allergy Confirmed

I was able to hold down some applesauce and a soda this afternoon, and then some noodles boiled in no-fat chicken broth. Best meal I've had in days.

Unfortunately, since The Belly is no longer my friend, my pain increased exponentially after eating. I did not take my pancreatic enzymes because I wanted to figure out what medication is causing the hives out of the two possiblities - Creon (enzymes) or hydrocodone (pain medication). I had not taken any pain medication for a couple of days, so I took a hydrocodone tablet this evening, and presto-chango out pop the hives in about 15 to 20 minutes. They have just been getting worse all evening and they are getting bigger. I don't have to guess anymore, I know the hydrocodone is the culprit. No more good pain meds, I'm not happy.

I always have itched when getting strong pain killers, and was hoping maybe this was the same type of problem - benign itching - but I definitely got hives not just the creepy crawlies. Besides the big lumps coming out on my stomach, and my arms, and my legs, my mom said my back was broken out under the skin. My hives do that - little red spots all over my back, but not raised. If you press on one I then get hives elsewhere, or the hives get worse. My immunologist says they are collections of mast cells under the skin, so poking them just breaks the mast cells out and they go looking for more to irritate.

I can't take morphine, because I get violently ill. Codeine is out, same reason, plus hives. Hydrocodone is now off the list. I itch terribly with dilaudid. What's left to take for pain? Not much. I'm afraid I am up the proverbial creek without a paddle. I can't take anti-inflammatories of the pancreas and The Belly reacting to them. I'm a little panicky tonight, but I'm telling myself to be calm.

Reeeeelax. Breathe sloooowly and deeeeply. Imagine I'm in a snowy woods, and the crisp snow is scrunching underfoot with every step I take. Branches creak under the heavy burden of ice, and my breath puffs white into the cold air. I put my hand out and catch a heavy snowflake in my palm. I look forward to the promise of spring and the transformation from hibernation to renewal and growth, the springing of crocus and grass through the icy covering, and the wet breath of the wild March winds.

Ah, I feel better now; I guess that biofeedback training works, eh? Now if it would either make the pain disappear or the hives it would be perfect!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling Fifty

Bad Time On The Road

Went this week to train at our new site. They are wonderful, easy to train, eager to learn. I however was not so wonderful. I worked Sunday, worked until about 8:30 PM Monday, took until about 11 to get my work clothes ready and medication packed, got up at 5 AM drove two hours - tried to without pain meds, had to stop and take pain meds, and take a half hour to be safe to drive, so then that was two and a half hours, got to the client.

Instead of nine students I was expecting they had gotten enthusiastic and I had about 20 and they had seemingly overnight created a bigger classroom, which was great (even exceptional) - except I didn't have enough training sign ons or training licenses to accomodate this large of a group. I am anal about these things, and test everything before hand, but no way to test what I don't know. After an hour and a half delay to get this all setup, I whipped into training mode.

They were fantastic, but the organization that training large groups requires and the timing of how you train, and your "patter" (fill-in talk) while you try to observe what is going on is different. I would not have attempted to train such a large group by myself - normally that is a two man job. One to talk, one to observe and help. Ah well, we got through it, and they got trained, and The Belly protested, and The Headache reared its ugly head. I had three more sessions, one unplanned where a lady just came at the wrong time - I just trained her on the fly - why not?, and the first one I finally ended up breaking into two sections AND still got done on time. Am I a miracle worker or not? But I was wiped out by five o'clock. Generally I am the person who determines the class size, gets the particpants signed on, etc. This site has been chaotic for me because I do not have control of this. Serenity Now!!!!

I have let go of being in control months ago, but days like Tuesday and yesterday happen because bless their hearts my clients don't have any idea what goes into creating a training class (like licenses and sign on's and special data). I just try to be professional (my clients are not trying to create distress to my perfectionist training persona - that is all self inflicted) and go with the flow. I am a teacher in the fourth generation of females on my father's side, possibly fifth, so I just take the schoolmarm mojo and make it work.

I spent from six PM Tuesday to five PM yesterday (Wednesday) vomitting. I think the culprit was The Belly, but I can't rule out The Headache. I am so dissappointed in myself. I am working so hard to be stronger this year, and this - my first challenge - I managed to muscle through, but not without my clients knowing something was up yesterday. I had to rush out of training classes a few times to pake in the bathroom nearby. I managed to time it by the time 10 AM had rolled by and have class breaks so they wouldn't have to stop. Auuuugh!!! Poor clients!

I love the people I work for, and my Big Boss even told me he is trying to hire a training expert to take the load off of me. They are just the nicest people. God was steering me in the right direction seven years ago when I was searching for a good place to work, for good people. I was tired of corporate shennigans, outsourcing, protecting my people from downsizing, trying to do the right thing when the coroporate muckidemucks were determined to do the things that made them (personally - not the company) the most money. Soul weary I found this company, and they hired me!!! They keep me renewed even in times like this week when my body tells my mind it is time to quit.

I have gone off any pain medication today, didn't have any since Tuesday evening since I couldn't keep anything down. I'm going to see if I feel better even with more pain. I can't go around not able to take in fluids because I will end up in the hospital for sure. In quite a bit of pain - going to get dressed and head into work, even though I am late today. Push push push and see what breaks is my motto this week! Feeling all of my fifty years and then some today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dream Time in Missouri

Is It The Drugs?

Feel like I spent all night last night dreaming about Boston. I dreamed about driving to Boston, taking trains to Boston, walking around Boston, finding a doctor's office in Boston, even going to a tag sale in Boston. Why Boston? I haven't a clue! The tag sale was run by wives and husbands of retired policemen and firemen. I had a great time. The weather was icy in my dream, and I feel I spent a lot of time getting places only to turn around and go somewhere else. I'll have to think about it to figure out what my brain was trying to tell me.

I have a huge case of hives tonight. Not huge hives, but lots of them. I am afraid it is my new friend hydrocodone, or else my other new friend, lots o' enzymes made from pork protein. It has been gradually getting worse since I started taking the higher dose of hydrocodone Monday. I didn't take my second dose today because of the hives this evening. I will be taking some vistaryl or benedryl in a little bit - hope it knocks em back a bit - they are starting to grow together now into bigger hive humps. And I'm super itchy - hoping I don't have to epipen myself because that then means I have to go to the ER. Double sigh.... The Headache is acting up also, not sure if it is from the allegic reaction, or if it just likes the hydrocodone...Triple sigh...

Went into work today trying to make up for time missed last week. Frustrating day, didn't get anything accomplished. Frustrating weekend - wonder if you can get an allergic reaction to frustration??

On a sadder note, my cousin Harold died last week. He had just been diagnosed a few days ago with advanced lung cancer. The nurses were attempting to remove some fluid from his lungs from the cancerous pneumonia, and he just collapsed and died in an instant. I am sorry that his warm presence is no longer in this world with us. I pray that I will be so lucky when my time comes, that God in His mercy will give me a quick decisive end. I am sad that because of my health and my Mom's health we won't be able to go to the memorial service.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feeling Better

Sprinkled with StarDust

Feeling better even though very hard to stay asleep. Couldn't get enough sleep today, so no work, now medication has worn off a little, my friend pain has come to visit and can't go back to sleep. I will be glad when I get my medication roller coaster flattened out.

Tonight I'm just hoping that the stardust will help me put myself back to sleep, and the pain to bed too!

Good night Belly. Good night Headache. Good night pain. Good night pancreas. Goodnight Hoagy. Good night stars. Good night moon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Meds

High Stepping and the One Man Weave

This morning my PCP and I discussed options for controlling The Belly pain. I told him that the Vicodin just wasn't controlling the pain. I said maybe I could take the pills closer together than one every eight or so hours. He said that increasing the frequency would not help. His explanation made sense - if the pain is not decreased by the dosage, then the dosage is wrong, not the number of times a day you take it. He said even if I took it more times a day, I still would have the same amount of pain because the narcotic amount was not correct.

He prescribed Norco at twice the strength of the Vicodin and increased the dosage to one every 4 hours if needed. I will take the minimum that will work to control my pain. My first dose was at nine this evening, and after the intial dizziness/floaty feeling subsided I am almost pain free. I was stepping high - you know, when your feet seem disconnected from the ground and you step really high because you're not sure where the foot belongs or when it will make contact for the next step, but I was also weaving, a trifle punch drunk. I may have to take it for a few days before I can drive because I would not be safe driving in my current condition. Since I only got 45 minutes of sleep last night, I hope that tonight will be sleepy time all night.

I was able to work today even though The Belly was burning. I am always very happy when The Headache and The Belly cooperate enough that I can actually work. I am thinking about making another short term disability claim, as I still have not been able to work full time. I closed my last claim in August, hoping that the stimulator had The Headache on the run, which it has...I just didn't factor in The Belly.

My older brother is going to technical school for aeronautic testing, so I have inherited his big yellow cat as there are no pets allowed on campus where he is staying. Puddytat has wiped out a couple of mice in the garage already! I do have to watch Puddytat because he seems to think the parakeets are there just for his dining pleasure, but he enjoys sleeping on my soft covers on my big bed.

My Belly The Prickly Pear Patch

Not writing much this week. Went to the emergency room Wednesday in bad belly pain. Wasn't bad enough to keep, they just dosed me with pain pills, antibiotics for a kidney infection, and threw me back home. The next two days were even worse, but I didn't want to go through the ordeal of another ER visit.

Every old person in creation had gotten out on the first nice day since we had subzero temps, and then broke something, busted something, tore something, or pierced something. Belly pain doesn't rank high when trauma cases keep rolling in. I guess it's like journalism, if it bleeds it leads.

I had not had a drastic injury so I did not mind waiting my turn, but when you are in extreme discomfort and can't hold down anything in your stomach, public waiting rooms are not the best. I have this aversion to vomiting in public toilets, and hospital waiting room toilets even more. I don't want my face anywhere near that thing! Ewwwwww!

I increased my pain medication to the maximum I have prescribed to take, but it was woefully inadequate. I'm afraid it was the type of pain that needed to be relieved by something really heavy duty, which I don't have in my arsenal of medications. I went to the ER at 10 am and didn't get out of the ER until mid evening.

I have a doctor's appointment with my regular PCP this morning (as it is already 2 AM) to discuss the ER visit and to review my pain levels and pain management strategy. Not sure what I will do, I felt I had the kidney infection because I dehydrate myself when The Belly pain gets too high and I can't keep anything down. I don't know if covering up The Belly pain will help with the nausea. I already take anti-nausea medication to both cope with the nausea from The Belly and to help with The Headache, not sure how much more anti-nausea medication I can take. Maybe I need to change brands of enzymes...there is one called Ultrace (I think) that people swear by.

The pancreatitis attack gave me a godawful headache. Not a migraine, not The Headache getting worse, just an all over the head noggin knocking headache. I think it must be because your body chemisty gets out of whack when your digestion acts up. Since this is the third attack (although the mildest) in six months, I am starting to recognize the headache pain that goes with it.

My belly is painful, I feel like I have eaten a bunch of prickly pear cacti and they are trying to burrow their way out. I did have a cup of tomato noodle goodness tonight, as my dear Mom sacrificed her last quart of home canned tomatoes for me. I'm paying for it - trying to distract myself from the ouchiness by doing stuff - I've mopped the floor (middle of the night but hey it needed to be done), folded clothes, scrubbed some countertops, and tried to blog. I've not been the greatest at any of it, but it is occupying my time until The Belly decides it's time to sleep.

I didn't get to work the last part of last week. I was so proud Tuesday because I had a full day at work! Then BOOM sick as a dog, like the Titanic sinking fast in unfriendly waters. I am determined to reclaim my life from this iceberg field of illness. I think if I didn't love my work so much I would just give up. It was very tempting to think about it Thursday and Friday, which were just lost days. But I'm getting myself together and tomorrow, I'm going full tilt hitting it again. One of these days I am going to win.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Emesis Basin Blues

The Belly Rules

I've been trying to put in more hours at work because we are so short handed. Had a long meeting today, and another probably tomorrow morning (I guess at this point it is later this morning). I am praying as hard as I can that I won't get sicker before that meeting. I am very discouraged that my health is interfering with my life and my career.

My belly pain has been increasing steadily the last couple of days. Tonight I am having stomach/pancreas spasms, and have been throwing up. Even though I have been using pancreatic enzymes, it did not appear that any food had actually digested (ewwww!), which for me is not a very good sign. When my pancreas enzymes get way out of whack they also seem to shut down my entire digestive system. The pain medication does not appear to be helping very much, but I might have a different feeling of effectiveness if I didn't have any in my system at all.

I thought this afternoon that I should go to the ER and get evaluated, but I really don't want to start my new year with ER visits again. You know you've been to the emergency room way too often when your insurance company sends you a form letter telling you that you have other options to see a physician. Unfortunately my own PCP and the urgent care center all recommend that I go directly to emergency if the digestive system gets out of hand.

As always I am very shakey and dizzy from throwing up and starting to feel dehydrated. The Headache has been increasing the last day or so, but the stimulator has been able to keep up with it so far. I am having a lot of pain in my back tonight and am having some trouble breathing (that started yesterday). I think I am going to have to see if my enzymes are too high.
Hoping to keep going as long as possible. Just not having high hopes for tomorrow. Sigh and sigh again!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scientific Proof of Photophobia Link with Migraine

Not Surprising to Migraineurs

Read an article today that gives a scientific explanation for the pain that light creates for many migraine sufferers. Those of us who have photophobia know that the problem exists, we just don't know how to stay away from light on a permanent basis.

The article entitled "Why Bright Light Worsens Migraine Headache Pain" at states that a study was done with blind migraine sufferers, some of whom could sense or see light, and some of whom could not. The migraine patients who could not see light had no difference in pain when exposed to light, while the patients who could sense light had increased pain on light exposure. The resulting theory is that the optic nerve itself and its functioning and connectivity is related to photophobia. The author states:

They tested out these ideas in a lab, by injecting dyes into the eyes of rats with migraine headaches. By following the dyes, the researchers traced the path of the melanopsin retinal cells through the optic nerve to the brain, where they found a group of brain cells that became electrically active during migraines.

"When small electrodes were inserted into these 'migraine neurons,' we discovered that light was triggering a flow of electrical signals that was converging on these very cells," Burstein said. "This increased their activity within seconds."

And even when the light was removed, Burstein said, these neurons remained activated. "This helps explain why patients say that their headache intensifies within seconds after exposure to light, and improves 20 to 30 minutes after being in the dark."

I hope physicians that are skeptical about the light dodging habits of frequent migraine and other primary headache sufferers read this. We aren't imagining that light can trigger headache pain, and that light can make headache pain worse. We are experiencing an electrical storm that is either ignited by light exposure or incited to greater levels by light exposure, and that this storm doesn't stop the instant that light levels are lowered. Hoping that this research can either lead to a way to stop light from triggering or worsening migraines, or a medication that can assist in gaining light tolerance.

Maybe designers of emergency rooms could take note also, and have an area with dim lighting for headache patients to wait in. Migraine patients are already in a lot of pain before they ever hit the emergency room, because no headache patient willingly goes into that environment of noise, light, and odor unless they have no other alternative for pain management. A quiet dark area where you could wait your turn would be a welcome change from the normal bright fluorscent light.

Diana Lee at Somebody Heal Me has coordinated and published the January Headache Blog Carnival. The subject this month was "Healthy Habits for the New Year." As always there are a variety of submissions, with my favorite being about how behavior can increase or decrease pain tolerance. Please drop by and check out this month's offerings!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

No More Pain Spikes

Working Towards Normalcy

Last year I spent in desperate pursuit of getting an occipital stimulator installed to mitigate my headache pain. The degree of daily nonstop pain I was in was more than I could handle, and medication did little to assist control. The diagnosis I have, hemicrania continua, only responds well to one medication [indomethacin] and that had started to ruin my pancreas so I was being forced to discontinue it with no real replacement for pain relief. By a miracle of some sort I got accepted into a trial study of occipital stimulation for headache control, and to my amazement the stimulator did what it was supposed - controlled my pain! Not 100% but close enough at this point I'm considering the daily pain problem fixed.

What I am left with are spikes of extreme pain - they come in bunches, piercing through my head on the left side, burning their way back to my hind brain where they disappear as quickly as they come. All I can do is bear down and hunker through the outburst. I don't think any medication I take will stop these, as my headache specialist, Doc Optimist, said that indomethacin is the medication of choice to control these "spikes" also.

My hope for this next year is to achieve pain control: for the daily headache, for the pain spikes, and for my now chronic pancreatitis. Last year The Headache did not respond well to pain medication, the only relief I received with pain medication was when I was given enough in an emergency room to send me to the sweet land of oblivion. With the main part of The Headache now being gently tingled out of my skull by my electronic headache zapper, I hope that the pain medication I am taking for the pancreas problem will also take care of The Spikes.

I have only been on a pain medication regimen for a handful of days, but I am getting over the sedating effects, and have noticed a decrease not only of The Belly pain but have only had one Spike episode in this time. It is too soon for me to know if this is just fortuitous circumstance or a real benefit of the medication. My worst fear is that the medication (time release tramadol and vicodin) will create the dreaded Monster: Medication Overuse Headache.

My PCP assures me that the level of medication I am taking verses the level of pain I am experiencing will not lead to addiction. He feels that even with the new regimen I am undermedicated. I prefer to take baby steps with new medication - my roller coaster experience the first year The Headache manifested has made me a cautious consumer. I only want to improve my health situation, not worsen it.

With better pain control I plan to increase my activity levels. I have let contacts with friends slide the last couple of years, as it was a struggle just trying to keep working. I miss my friends. Email and phone calls are great, but they are not a substitute for human to human interaction. I need to start getting out regardless of how I feel, but getting the energy to do so will be hard. Thank goodness my family is here and they don't care if I'm a limp dishrag some days!

Looking forward to a year full of surprises. I could not have predicted how well 2009 turned out, so I am hoping for an even better 2010.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sad News, Good Memories

My Cousin Harold

Got news last night that my cousin Harold has been diagnosed with lung cancer that has metastisized to his lymph nodes. Not a good diagnosis. He has started treatment hoping to reduce the size of the tumor that is causing him a lot of pain. He is having difficulty breathing, which can be very scary. Harold is probably around 61 years old, but I don't think of him as being that age.

I remember Harold as he was in high school, working at the dimestore soda fountain giving me a coca cola made from real coca cola syrup and fizzy water in a tiny little coca cola glass. I remember him giving me rides on a bicycle down to where the railroad tracks crossed the road near my grandparents house. I remember him driving me and my fifty million other small cousins to see movies at the nearest movie theatre that was fifteen miles away, packed three or four deep, oldest to the youngest, on the bench seats of his father's car. I remember sending goody boxes to him when he was in the infantry in Vietnam. I remember his kindness to all of his myriad cousins and his joy about being a father. I remember his patience at still being called Little Harold even when his uncle Harold had passed away 20 years ago!

I am saddened, worried about him and his family and his brothers Don Ralph and Bob, hoping that he will be the one in a million to have remission. I work with a gentleman that had a similar diagnosis with inoperable lung cancer and survived to be cancer free, so I know it happens. I pray it will happen to my cousin. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Poor Dachshund

Looking for his Mamma

I took my 79 yo mom (who lives with me or I with her - however you want to say it) to the doctor today. We had to be gone awhile for that, and then awhile longer when they wanted her to get another chest xray instead of a CT scan. My brother was dog sitting for us, and he took this video (and I'm sorry if it's slow and long - don't know how to edit this format!) of what my dachshund Augie does when we both leave the house.

He carefully crept up on Augie (ignore the mess in the kitchen please - I haven't felt like picking everything up lately) and video taped him as he howled in loneliness in the living room. Now Augie was home with my brother and his dog Beans and my outside dog Bingo and the two parakeets, but to hear his howling you would think his world is ending. He does this everytime my Mom leaves the house for any length of time. He was supposed to be my dog, but I really think heart and soul he is my Mom's dog. I'm just someone who plays with him.

At about 50 seconds into the video is where you can see Augie just howling with his little head tipped back. We think he looks like Snoopy on Peanuts when he howls. My brother said he caught him in different rooms doing the same thing, including sitting and howling on my Mom's bed. When Augie noticed he was being watched, he would try to act like nothing was happening and he was just being his normal happy go lucky self. My brother said in between howling sessions Augie would position himself near a window where he could watch the road.

My pancreas pain has been better today, and I am getting past the sedating effect of the medication. Having some piercing pains tonight, but I ate more today because I felt better. The vicodin is taking the edge off, but it really isn't strong enough this evening. I guess I don't have my regimen down to perfect yet.

My boss (have I mentioned lately that I love my job??) had rescheduled my client visit last week to this week, and bless his heart decided that we could schedule it for another week later in the month. I was going to go without any pain medication tomorrow (because I'm not sure about driving so far because I already have problems with sleepiness and driving) and just bear the consequences of the pain to get the job done. I am relieved that I don't have to test my endurance this week. Some days I am not so tough as I like to think I am!

Winter Weather

Icy Winds Do Blow

1923 New Hampshire
Dust of Snow
by Robert Frost
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued

A snowy day, an icy night - dreaming of warm summer breezes. Still up at three in the morning, medication not much help tonight. Hoping tomorrow will be better.

I am growing more used to the pain meds, not nearly as drowsy feeling. Could use some medication drowsiness this late or early in the day. Am thinking of taking another dose so I can lay down in some comfort without The Belly interfering and sleep. The Headache is acting up tonight - may just be the weather, or it could be the new medicine. I think I am ruing tomorrow already.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Lost Day

Pancreas Pity Party

Very sick today. Emphatically

Wishing I felt better. Definitely

Would like some energy. Hopefully

Reaction to pain. Negatively

Feeling sorry for myself. Partially

Not sure if the new pain meds are making me sick or my pancreas is making me sick. A problem, because I don't want to spend the $150 emergency room copay if I'm just making myself sick by taking new meds, but if it's my pancreas making me this sick it can be serious. I waited out today, but have been very nauseous and sick. I hurt through and through and it is becoming harder to inhale deeply because the pain goes through me and around my chest.

If tomorrow is the same or worse, I will probably make a trip to the ER. I am almost to the point I would welcome better pain management even if it means sitting in a hospital room for a couple of days. I wish I was a drinker or a smoker so at least I could have the standard pancreatitis excuse. As it is, I'm not sure why my pancreas decided to quit working other than the medications I was taking. According to what I have read, medication induced pancreatitis subsides after quitting the medication and I haven't taken any of the problem meds since May.

Hoping that this new year will be a good year. After the last two years I could use a good year, but the start of this one is about as bad as the two previous years. I feel like I'm moving in a thick fog - can't see where I'm going or where I've been just trusting that I will get through it somehow.

I'll try and get some quality sleep tonight and maybe in the morning I will wake up bright and cheery, my regular self. The pain is just getting me down today. The fight I fought against The Headache and won last year is now being waged against The Belly this year. Sigh...