Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pain and Pie

Image of potentially delicious pie filling found here. 

It's abundantly obvious that I have fallen off the "eating healthily" wagon lately. Pies, cakes, ice cream, golly...the list could go on and on and on.

I was thinking about this situation last night as John and I were getting ready for bed. Coincidentally, I was also thinking about my upcoming appointment with a new rheumatologist, and I was making a mental list of all the things I want to discuss with him. The item at the top of the list: I HURT.

Of all the issues that I have had with Sjogren's syndrome, pain has not been a major problem previously. Well, that is until it's cousin, psoriatic arthritis, made it's appearance after which I definitely added pain to my issue list.

Initially I was hopeful that my medications would rein in my PA but after the spring and now summer have passed, it's evident that they're not. It seems especially over the past month that my hands, feet, neck and back have become increasingly painful, and I'm incredulous that my toes have become so problematic. Toes? Really?? I don't like this. Not one little bit.

I hesitate to take other NSAIDS such as ibuprofen on a regular basis after being cautioned by my pharmacist: Your prescription drugs can be very toxic for your liver. Don't add to it's problems by taking NSAIDS and don't drink any alcohol.

So as I lay in bed last night listening to John brush his teeth and wondering how a simple sheet over my feet could make my toes hurt, it suddenly occurred to me that I had been trying to self-medicate my pain, but not with NSAIDS or any other drugs. Nope. I was a regular user of something far more addicting and dangerous.


There's nothing more comforting than a slice of pie. Or a home made caramel roll. Dang, with that kind of treat on the end of a fork heading for my mouth, all of my discomforts just fade away. (Well, that is until I step on the scale. Cringe.)

It would be lovely if I could walk out of my rheumy appointment clutching the prescription of a magic drug that will beat my autoimmune diseases into remission and will take away all of my pain. But I know that's not likely.

So what if I find that I just have to learn to live with pain? What then?

I know that there are others who have far more severe chronic pain than I do, and it's apparent that most of them aren't main-lining Crisco and flour and sugar in an attempt to make things all better. I think that I'd better learn more about what comfort measures are out there that don't include preheating my oven to 350 degrees.


I have a paraffin contraption that I dip my hands into, which does help a bit but only briefly. I know that swimming makes my hips and back feel better, but irritates my hands. Go fig.

It will be interesting to hear what my new doctor has to say. I'll keep y'all posted.

In the meantime, hm.....peach pie.....oooooooo.....


Laura said...

Maybe your new doctor will have some helpful non-drug suggestions too? :)

When I was facing a possible GD diagnosis and cutting back on sugars, I found that sugar-free gums were very good at hitting that "I need a sweet!" craving. If it's the full experience you're craving, they won't do, but if you just want a mouth full of sweet flavor they might. I thought most of the Extra Dessert Delights were amazingly good.

I am asking for a referral to physical therapy next week, as I'd like to be able to walk for longer without pain. At least in my case, it's a condition that goes away in a few months, but still. She told me if it became more of a problem she could refer me for PT - I will take her up on that! And count my blessings that it's no worse than it is, and temporary.

Anonymous said...

My pain are really less hard since I'm doing a gluten-free diet. Maybe you can try, just to take less gluten food, not avoid it colmpletly. It's wotth it !
And I also take bath with a special salt, it's really helpfull.
Epsom Salt is it.

Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...

Hi Julia--here's what has really worked for me: The book, Women, Food and God. Especially when I was in so much pain (the Sjogren's affects my nerves, and the Methotrexate hadn't kicked in yet and I hadn't upped my Gabapentin dosage) and really missing our daughter. When I feel pain, or am sad, or anxious, or any random emotion, I just let myself FEEL it, instead of numbing myself with food. And I'm a food blogger--go figger! Hope the book helps you as much as it's helped me....

annie said...

There are many articles written about anti-inflammatory diets. Certain foods do increase our pain like, ahem, sugar,wheat, dairy etc. I know, all the comfort food groups. I know how difficult it is because I've had to eliminate all these goodies because of severe GI problems, and I cook and bake for my family and don't eat any baked goods.How depressing is that?!! You do learn how to cope. In my case I have a piece of dark chocolate every day which satisfies my craving. Do ask your rheumy if you can see a dietician/nutritionist who specializes in illnesses such as ours. Try eliminating or minimizing sugars, wheat products etc. even for one week and see if you have any changes in your pain. Good luck, Julia.

Amy Junod said...

I'm sorry that you're having so much pain. The weight of covers in bed hurt my feet too. They feel better if I can wrap my feet around something soft like a snuggie. I can actually visualize each little bone in my feet, like looking at a skeleton.

Sugar is my BFF when I don't feel good too. Sugar is nice and doesn't make fun of my wonkie toes.

Hope you get some help with the new doc!

Anita Rowe Stafford said...

I think you're right about self-medicating with the food. I believe I have done that as well, but dang everything hurts! I was slim before becoming ill, but can't say that any more. Depressing.