Sunday, August 19, 2012

Entry Number 15 - Diabetes and Chronic Pain

I have just been reading one of the articles in the Better Homes and Garden Australia Diabetic Living magazine (July/August 2011) about Chronic Pain.  If you have very visited my other blog Menopausal Mumma you will know that I have pain, I don't know if I would call it chronic as there are days when the medication I am on keeps it manageable, but then there are days like today when everything seems to hurt.  Those days are hard, hard to keep myself in a positive head space.

This article is looking at alternative ways to help with pain, rather than just popping pills.  What I didn't like was this bit of the article ....

But if you are among the one in five people who lives with chronic pain, it can be your worst enemy. Having diabetes may ramp up your risk of such suffering - there are many ways in which complications of the condition can cause you discomfort, with nerve pain in the feet and legs a particular culprit.

Great, while I don't yet seem to have any nerve neuropathy associated with my diabetes, it is always a threat.

Of course, the usual, aim to lose weight is in there in the article - I get a little tired of that message.  Sure we all know that to be lighter is better, but it is just not that easy to achieve.  If you can develop a pill that makes me wake up 50 kgs lighter, I will be the first to put my hand up.  I get that you need to make healthy food choices, and I am trying.  I get that you need to exercise, but hey chronic pain and exercise is a catch 22 situation, just as severe arthritis and exercise seem to defy each other.

They say to take some stress out of your life, well I am trying that as well.

The alternative remedies they recommend you try are

Qi gong
TENS machine
Capsaicin cream

Some of these I already do, I have acupuncture and massage and I must admit both help.  The acupuncture is not Chinese acupuncture, but trigger point dry needling from my physio and it hurts like hell, but it really does give a lot of relief after the treatment.  I used to have a weekly hour long massage and that kept me supple, but with my massage therapist moving back to Melbourne I have struggled to find someone who is as good.  Although this week my physio massaged my upper back and it took a lot of tension away.

So I have to try adding more movement into my day and I may give this Capsiacin cream a go, although it does warn it takes up to 8 week to see any effect.  I won't be doing the Yoga as I can not get onto the floor and if I do, I can't get up again.

I am also booked into see a Pain Management Specialist at the end of September, I hope he can offer me some relief and if that works then the gym may come back as being an option for me.  I also will go back to the pool when it opens in October.

I think I can say that even with the pain today it is a a pretty good day.

Thanks for popping by xxx


  1. I am glad that today is pretty good.
    I also battle with pain. Somedays it wins, others I can ignore it, or drug it into submission. I am also certain that if there was less of me to hurt I would hurt less. And that activity helps.
    Which means swimming for me. I cannot walk far enough to get relief without exhausting myself. Like you I cannot get down to the ground very easily, or up again if I have. Which irritates me. It makes gardening considerably more challenging than it used to be. And gardening is one of my 'distract yourself' practices. Sigh. Sorry, I seem to have replied with a small novel here. Hugs.

    1. I just wish I was a stronger swimmer, water walking I can do and water running but swimming not so much. I envy the swimmers doing laps. Hope you cope with your gardening for a long time, I know how much you love it. Hugs right back at you. xxx

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments re that article you quoted from. Why is that whenever you read or listen to suggestions by specialists they never seem to take into consideration that there are some things you just CANNOT do? It is a number of years now since I could 'go for a walk' so that's out as is any exercise not sitting down. Those articles rather dampen one's spirt and make you feel inadequate. I feel OK today but woke up with pains here there and everywhere and when I tried to do the dishes I couldn't stand long enough to finish them. I support what you say and what you try to do. Glad though that the day is a pretty good one. It is for me too. xxx

    1. I suppose in the case of the magazine, it is catering for type 1 and type 2 diabetics and a lot of the type 1 are not necessarily burdened by weight or other illnesses. I was interested that some of the alternatives I was already doing which in the end made me feel like I was actually working towards a pain-free (or less pain) life. xxxx

  3. Do you know, it's not just the neuropathy. Diabetes can impact the levels of pain we're having. I've been learning quite a lot about how my diabetes has made my pain so much worse.

    It doesn't help at all, of course. When you deal with it day in, day out and at the levels that we have it - pain is pain. But I feel a little more empowered knowing what is happening with my body.

    I'm still working on getting that referral to a pain clinic. At present they have me on Oxy (both quick and controlled release versions) and I'm desperate to stop. I have my appt tomorrow.

    I can't tell you how sorry that I am about what you're going through, Karen. Honestly, it's such a blow to you - this big scary thing that you're living with now. But I do promise it gets better. I do promise that not only will you find a management system that works to control your diabetes, but it gets easier to cope with the fact also.

    1. Thanks Melissa for taking the time to go back through my old posts xxx

      Luckily I have not got to Oxy, I don't think I could cope with it at all, which I suppose means your pain is much much higher than mine and that saddens me. In your mid 30's you should be enjoying life to the fullest. Fingers crossed, legs crossed, everything crossed that you get off the Oxy and get some relief from having the cortisone injections. xxx