Tuesday, August 25, 2015

September 2015 "National Pain Awareness Month" right around the corner and "Beautify in Blue Campaign" by the US Pain Foundation

I will go ahead and mention that I got our Mayor here in my Hometown to sign a "Proclamation" for September 2015 being National Pain Awareness Month! The US Pain Foundation is "hosting" a "Beautify in Blue" Campaign to bring awareness into our towns and cities. Ennis has allowed me to be a part of this event for September. I am not sure all of what my package will be from the Foundation, but I will have signs, posters, ribbons and so forth to put up around town. So, I am thrilled to be able to do something and give our town a look at just how chronic pain can "control" your life, and just how many right here in town suffer from all types of illnesses that also have chronic pain issues in tandem. Even one of the gentleman that does okay these types of projects told me he suffers from Migraines. It is amazing when you speak out about some of the chronic illnesses and pain here in your own "backyard" so to speak, how many others are also suffering too. I have two cousins, both suffering from RA, even before I was diagnosed. In fact my 1st cousin Mike, who just lost his Mom to stomach cancer (my Mom's sister and my Aunt of course) just had hip replacement, this is his 2nd replacement - (two weeks ago), he had his other hip done, about the time I was having one of my knee replacements done probably in 2008 or so. I have had "so many" and in 2007. I believe I went through about 7 surgeries or more on joints, so the dates sometimes become a blur. But, I know others that I run into in the market of Wally World and so on, that also have issues, some of them like my neighbors across the street, the Mom, and both sisters all have diabetes. I believe their Dad also suffered from it. In fact the youngest sister, and she was maybe in her 40's passed away about a year ago after fighting diabetes. She had already been on dialysis. The Mom has also been on dialysis now for several years. She "shattered" a knee not too long ago and spent weeks in the hospital and in rehab, but due to her illness, and the dialysis and age, they would not do surgery on the knee. I don't think the doctors feel she could make it through the surgery. She is sometimes so weak, they have a difficult time just getting her to dialysis. It is just sad to see what the entire family is enduring. The son, is just an incredible man. I don't think he has been "plagued" with diabetes yet. But, he also has two strikes against him on both sides of the family. You don't see it as much in men, especially the type they have, but with the family history, he certainly could succumb to it.

After all of the advocacy I do for Autoimmune Illnesses, Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, and also Arthritis the AI kind, as well as osteoarthritis, along with Cancer and Heart Disease, sometimes the issues of Chronic Pain kind of take a "back seat" in my activist roles. 

So, since Chronic Pain, which of course I know all too well, from my own personal and up close experience with it now for many years, well before the Autoimmune Issues were diagnosed, I suffered from such horrific Migraines that I was sick with them sometimes several times a month, for many years throughout the time I was about 17 years old, until about the age of 45 or so. 

They became so bad at times, that I had to resign jobs, that I had been in for years at a time. It became such a burden, yet back then there were not many answers as far as migraines went. They had very few medications, most of them of course narcotic pain medication, and even back then, the doctors were so leery about giving them. But, if I did not have my prescriptions, it never failed I wound up in the Emergency Room so many times, and even that for one got OLD very quickly, and for TWO, of course the ER doctors began to think of course I was after the "drugs" rather than having Migraines so bad. 

So, oddly enough, once the diagnosis of the autoimmune illnesses were made, and I finally found after years and years of suffering by then all types of chronic pain issues, an awesome Pain Management doctor, who has been taking care of me now for at least 8 years maybe more... and he even put in my internal pain pump in 2010. 

My migraines seemed to have calmed down, even before the pain pump. and began to change. I began to have "Lupus Migraines"... and an injection of corticosteroids, along with a step down pack for 7 to 14 days, was the only thing that helped those.

But, my chronic pain became more complicated due to all of the severe joint issues, of which some I have had surgery and others still bother me with chronic pain, which is a part of many AI illnesses.

So, I felt compelled to now do some advocacy work in the realms of Chronic Pain.

Thus my reason for helping out with National Pain Awareness Month, and the Beautify in Blue Campaign. I hope to be able to help educate others about Chronic Pain, and just how badly it can also effect your quality of life. 

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