Friday, 29 June 2012

Self-Assuring Positioning

As a often hospital visiter, I like to learn new ways to cope with painful procedures and just make the whole experience easier for both me and the doctor or nurse (or whoever). As I was browsed Youtube, I saw a video that's title went something of  "Comfort Positioning for Medical Purposes." I, curiously, watched the video to find it was ways to hold your child during needles and such so that the child is comfortable, calm and feels more incontrol and also makes the process easier for medical staff. Mostly, I found this video very interesting and one day (in the extremely distant future) if I have a child, I would use this myself. But I began to wonder if there is a sort of comfort position people can use by themselves to feel more comfortable and calm, and also confident that you will be able to get through the test/procedure. I'm not sure what that would be called, but I expect this already exists. And since everyone is different, I'd like to share my own (what I shall call) 'Self-Assuring Positioning.'
I've had medical procedures done in many different situations, all of which I've been able to deal with one way or another.
When I'm sitting in a chair, I'll sit back far as possible. Say they need my left arm. I'll position my arm how they ask. I keep my  other hand in my lap, wide open. This is both to relax my muscles (like, keeping from tensing up) and also if the procedure hurts, clentching my fist will cause my distraction since I'd have to lift my arm and close my hand. I tend to not cross my legs: my muscles will become more tense and it gives the appearance of nervouseness. If you show confidence, you (most likely) will be less scared.
If I'm lieing down and again, they need my arm, I'll position it however they ask. I tend to watch what is going on, so I'll turn my head. If you prefer not to watch, turn your head the other way: Keeping your head up will mean your neck muscles are working and also keeping your head to the side will also relax you (especially if you have a pillow). I'll allow the joints in my legs to bend with the sheets, pillows, etc. because you will become less tense. My other arm varies. Sometimes I'll lie it flat, other times I'll put my hand under my head. This isn't so much the idea of holding my hand still in case it hurts, it's more so because it's just comfortable for me.
However, this is simply what works for me. It may not work for you. I repeated constatnly to keep your muscles loose and relaxed because no matter what works for you, being tense will always cause more pain. This is because your skin is tight and your muscles are too, cause the nurse or whoever to use more pressure or force. Also being tense out of expecting pain will cause pain. Really. Just think happy thoughts and relax a little. And keep your chin up kid, it's the best way to get through it.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Save Our Elders

The other day I decided to use Google to look up funny arthritis pictures. Some of them were extremely funny. Some of them were tremendouly depressing. Funny ones including things that said "Did you try this natural remedy?" or "My grandmother has that too" accompanied by hilarious comics. Depressing ones included an angel leading an elderly person to heaven saying, "Don't worry, that arthritis won't bother you anymore," and such. I'm a jokester, as most people know this fact about me quite well, but it was simply depressing to see comics of the elderly being led into death with promises of that being the only way to end their pain. Maybe I read too far into those pictures, but I nearly cried. So many elderly are abandoned by their families, and so many are sick. They need their loved one's to be with them, not an instant death the moment they have arthritis. Just because something is older, doesn't mean it's 'out of date.' If anything, it's something to treasure. I don't feel it's different with people: The elderly are people and need love and compassion, not to be tossed aside like a broken television. Maybe I'm a bit too old fashion for people now, but I respect my elders and care for all people the same.
I know I went a bit off track, but I hated seeing the elderly being depicted in such a way in comics: That the only thing that death is the only thing for them: Not to see their children and grandchildren, to play checkers and attend gatherings, or to just be loved. I just don't think it's right, let's have respect for our elders pplease.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Funny Things to Do During a Needle

I'm very used to getting my blood drawn: It's a rather common occurence for me. However when I went for it recently, I got the nurse who isn't terribly good at it and since the other nurses were busy I had to have her. She has a rather unsteady hand and insterted the needle way too far. It hurt more than necessary. Anyway, I find most people very uncomfortable during needles so I have a list of funny things to do during a blood test.

1.)  Ask if you can keep the needle to remember the day by.
2.) After the needle is finished, smile at the nurse and go "Now it's your turn!"
3.) If someone is getting their blood drawn/a shot nearby, stare at them with a huge grin. If they look at you, continue and don't lose eye contact.
4.) If there is a box filled with tubes with different colour caps, tell the nurse which ones you want.
5.) Halfway through, gasp and go "Don't take all my blood!"

The list is rather short: I've never really thought about funny things to do during a blood draw before, mostly just of what to do at hospital and such.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Skating Pain

I love hanging out with friends. I love doing fun things with my friends. I hate getting hurt in front of my friends. Especially when it's a birthday.
A few days ago my friends and I went rollerskating to celebrate my good friend's birthday. None of us had gone skating in a long time, in fact I haven't roller skated since I was eleven, maybe twelve. So I got on the floor, fell once when I wasn't paying attention. I laughed and said, "All you need is one good fall and you're set!" I was fine and we skated for awhile longer. Then I forgot which foot you use to stop. And  I panicked. And fell. On my wrist. Hard.
I was actually fine for a few minutes and then I noticed it hurt. I tried to chill it with my drink and it helped a minute, but more or less I couldn't really use it and I somewhat couldn't move it. It got worse later into the night. Granted I had an excellent time watching friends who never skated before learn slowly let steadily, seeing more advanced skaters do tricks, joking around, skating while holding hands with my 'special someone,' and just celebrating one of my greatest friend's birthday.
Anyway, the next day was when I really learnt how badly I hurt myself. I couldn't move it very well, it hurt a lot and it was a bit warm to the touch. Though no swelling, I'm treating it as a sprain because of the lack of movement. Anyway I've had sprains before just like that, and it took an x-ray to see it!
At the moment I'm wearing a bandage to immobilise it and I'm doing gentle exercises. Hopefully it will help!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Falling Back

My apologizes for not posting in a while: I haven't truely found the time to. But I'm here now and isn't that what really counts?
Earlier in the week I actually fell and landed on my back. A few days after my fall, I went to an amusement park, and yes I went on rollercoasters. I probably shouldn't have, but I'm not very sore and I take it as a good sign. The only thing was I was unable to push my harness over my head because of the strain and pain and I needed a friend to help me. But all in all it wasn't a very painful day. My friends and I took it very slowly with a lot of down time. I did most rides, except upside down rollercoaster: I've never been on one before and I don't like the idea of going upside down. I feel like they'd hurt my back and shoulders a lot.
Speaking of pain, Dr. Marc put me on a new medicine called Leflunomide. He said it's the same as methotrexate but less severe and I take it once I day. Two weeks later, so far so good.
Oh yes, also I've been working on a portrait of The Doctor (Doctor Who) for a great friend of mine. Perhaps I'll post it when I've finished?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Thank You, Nurse

When I was eight years old, I had my first flare up. I had to go to hospital for a week, and it was terrible. The flare up actually lasted about three weeks, but I was only in hospital for the worst week. I know nurses work very hard, but I had a terrible experience with my nurses. They started my IV wrong, often made me walk when it was simply too painful to, sat on the bed causing discomfort as they made me move (not a good idea), would be short with me when I couldn't move (I was extremely stiff) among many other things.
However there was one nurse whom I absolutely adored. She was very patient with me, and often soothed me. In fact, she stayed with me during an MRI when my mum couldn't be there with me. I recall she used to come at random with ice lollies (Popsicles). During my hospital stay, my aunt brought me fishes in seperate bowls. To say thank you, I gave the nurse one of them and she put it in the waiting room for people to enjoy.
To this day I still think about her an awful lot. I think of how she went above and beyond typical nurse duties. I think of her thoughtfullness. And I just remember how much of a real person in pain she treated me as: not another over-reacting child. I physically had problems moving and it was very painful to even be touched.
I swear if I could see her again, I would tell her thank you so much. I'd tell her how much I remember her, even if she doesn't remember me.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

When I was little and children in school shared secrets, often the chant "Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone," was heard. When I was a bit older, around ten, secrets were freely told to friends but also freely shared by everyone:  I guess the chant really put it into our skull that secrets must be shared, but it wasn't fun when everyone knew about it. Now at my age, we've learned to keep secrets. Actually, let me rephrase this: A few friends of mine and I are able to keep secrets. Most of the kids, however, are still at the stage where they must tell everyone their friend's biggest secrets. At the moment, I'm harbouring a huge secret. It's not my arthritis, as I'm somewhat open and free to tell people. It's not my love of rather geeky things either, though I don't tend to display it for all to see. Anyway, some secrets I try and overcome my fear of by just saying it. Usually, it works. Nobody thinks my secret is funny (if it's serious) and laughs or judges me, typically anyway. Actually for the most part afterward it isn't a big deal anymore. But not with every secret of course: some are meant to stay secret.

I think the issue most people have with secrets is not the secret itself but fear of being judged by it. For example, some people are very embarrassed of their secret of being born out of wedlock, especially if they are very religious and don't want to be seen as  a sinful person. Or some people keep their religion a secret because their friends are atheist and they don't want to be judged based on this fact.

I don't know what the point of this post was, just that I wanted to talk about secrets.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

This Is What I've Been Doing When I'm Not Here

I should be studying.
I need to study.
I'm expected to study.
I need to study.
I'm going to have exams so I have to study.
I need to study all my subjects.
I have to study to pass all my exams.
I will go study so I can be proud to get the great marks I work hard for.

Friday, 8 June 2012

You Only Have One

I remember my first date. We were going to go see a film, something he really wanted to see. My mum bought me an adorable shirt to wear and she consulted me on how to do my hair and what shoes to wear. She calmed me down a lot, as I was a nervous wreck. My mum couldn't see me off though: she had to work. She tried not to cry. I tried to cry. When she left, I cried my eyes out. I did my make-up alone. I got my handbag together alone. I waited for him to come alone. It was the worse feeling in the world.
Then I remembered a girl in my school lost her mum to cancer a year and a half ago.
I bet she cried when her mum wasn't there for her first date. I bet she cried  when her mum wasn't there when she was accepted into the art programme. I bet she cried on every holiday and birthday. I bet she cried when someone talked badly of their  mum in front of her.
I don't know where I would be without my mum. I don't know how my mum goes on without her's. And I can't understand people who talk terrible of their mum when their is just no reason too.
After all, you only have one mum.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Life (in all forms) is Beautiful

I don't have much I care to share today. However as I thought about this one song I like, I suppose it can really sum up how life feels right now.
"Life is beautiful."
Yes, that's all. All life in all forms is beautiful, young and old. Well and ill. Born and unborn. Exciting and calm. To love and being loved.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Elizabeth's Disease

So since I haven't had any views in a while, I'm going to assume I've been doing something wrong. Since I don't notice any difference in the style of which I post, I'm just going to continue on and hope everyone is just on holiday.
Anyway, I've noticed a bit of a trend in my exams at rheumatology. Now he has been checking me for Fibromyalgia. Not just recently but for a while. He seems less sure of arthritis at the moment. The thing about these diagnoses is that there is really 'no' or 'yes' test. Things change rapidly. You see I show many qualities of arthritis and  yet I do not. I also show qualities of Fribromyalgi and do not. I swear they should just call it 'Elizabeth's Disease.' It's too difficult to categorise.