The Problem of Pain

This post isn’t an extended whine. I say this because otherwise it might sound uncommonly like it.

But it’s not. It’s actually more of a “uh, my body doesn’t work as planned.”

Also, this post isn’t about my sons, when it would be “the problem of pains.” Not that they are pains, I mean. By and large they’re surprisingly decent human beings, but having that many people in the house interferes with my writing. Actually I’ve determined having anyone but Dan around interferes with my writing. There’s no explanation for this. At any rate, that’s not what the post is about.

I’ve been trying to finish Through Fire for… well, two years. But the last two months, I’ve known exactly every step needed to finish it (which didn’t happen before because this is the least communicative character ever, as far as talking to her creator.) In fact I thought I could finish it, and Darkship Revenge and do the dragon books before Christmas. And I should have been able to, except…

Except writing even a little made me exhausted.

I came up with my usual lame excuses: I’m not focusing; perhaps it’s this book (not unlikely. I’ve had books – no, I’m not going to tell you which – where my brain turned off and I fell asleep while trying to write. No, I wasn’t bored and they’re not stupid. It was like an allergic reaction); I’m getting older—

It wasn’t until this week, when the pain became so bad that I also didn’t want to do other things like… walk down the hallway, and that I felt like I had the flu, even though I THOUGHT I’d slept (think exhausted doze, but never full deep sleep) that I realized something was wrong.

It’s like this – because of an issue with my caesarean (only had one. Second son was born normally) where it was botched, I often – depending on hormones – go through periods of low level pain. Low level as in “Wake up in the middle of the night being gnawed on by rabid weasels” – okay. Not LOW level, but normal for someone who had the same issue, and there are a few of them my age. A lot of them apparently are on prescription for chronic pain, but I have strange reactions to opiates. How strange? Well, one of the normally prescribed pain meds makes me see and hear evil singing lizards. So. Also there is some indication morphine makes me write vampire stories. I wonder if that’s listed in some toxicology. Most of them, though, just make me extremely dizzy and nauseous, to the point that, while recovering from a broken bone, I chose not to take painkillers, because the side effects were WAY worse than just being in pain.

So for two/three years I’ve convinced myself the rabid weasels are just part of life, and I’m okay. And it works, largely.

I have this ability that other people don’t seem to have, to tell pain “noted, now go away” and turn off that part of the brain. This is very useful for things like long-distance running.

Anyway – I’m getting to that age, and things have been… odd, and I’m being looked at because of other odd things, though there doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry, they tell me – and I didn’t notice, not really, that I was spending a lot of time awake in the night going “ow” which in turn caused a lot of sleeping during the day when I was supposed to be writing.

But it’s more worrisome than that. Apparently with this particular pain, at some point my “go away now” stopped working, and it was back, except that my conscious brain refused to acknowledge it. What this meant is that I was trying to work against pain.

This is possible – if exhausting – while ironing and sewing (And those of my friends who were promised sewing projects for xmas gifts – they’ll be late, because of that) but it seems to lead to VERY short bursts of writing punctuated by long “I’m looking for something to distract me” bits.

The good news – yes, it IS good – is that the pain got too strong that I can’t be distracted from it, which means I know it’s there whether writing or reading random news, which militates in favor of writing, which I enjoy more. Also, now I know it’s there and it’s OW, I can do things like take “so strong I can’t think” pain meds before going to bed. Far enough before going to bed that when I go to bed I sleep.

This means that I’m more rested than I’ve been in months, even if I am still in pain and pain has a “work load” of its own. I.e. there’s a reason they call childbirth labor and it’s not just the pushing – it’s the pain.

What this means: I’m writing again, and it’s actually going well for more than 400 words at a time. OTOH sometimes, because the stupid pain killer is six hours, I take a second and go back to bed, so this blog might be late some days. For my family it means that this week I’ve decided house cleaning is way too much effort. I hope the boys do it this afternoon, but if not they’ll have to learn to live in filth. Tough.

What it means going forward: We still have no idea what is causing the pain. Judging by today, the doctor’s guess is wrong. I’d like to believe it’s psychological, because then I could stop it, but I don’t think it is, because it only rounds on me when I’m not noticing. The most scary of the possibilities appears to be eliminated, so it might simply be a combination of “botched caesarean plus hormonal ratchet down of normal at my age.” Logically it shouldn’t do this, but when has my body been logical?

There is a chance of surgery (if it’s secondary not-lethal thing) with a long recovery period in my future. I’m trying to figure it out so that if needed it doesn’t come before this book (please G-d) is delivered, and doesn’t interfere with Liberty con.

What this means for you guys: Be patient with me. Particularly the subscribers, but the rest of you as well. If I promised you something – a book, a blog, to put up your guest blog, a t-shirt, whatever – and haven’t delivered, ping me. I’m not a ditz but apparently fighting constant pain even when low level (which it’s not now) is like a mind wipe, and I keep “dropping” things. I’m trying to get organized, but I never needed planning before. So, don’t assume I’m weaseling/don’t want to deliver. PING me. You won’t annoy me. And be aware it might take pinging me every week for a month because, mind of a minute.

And be a little patient on the dragon series. It’s still there. Still wants to come out. I’m just fulfilling obligations to Baen first, and then it gets written and subscribers read it before it goes to Toni (my publisher at Baen) promise.

I’m okay. It’s nothing lethal. It’s just annoying pain eating what little mind I had. No big. People LIVE for decades with much worse, and if it comes to that, I’m sure I can get used to it and do so. BUT for now, it’s scrambling me a little.

This too shall pass.

Oh, and what I mean by this post is for you to know what is going on.  One of the things I found out is that I was snapping at my family for minor things, which normally wouldn’t be a problem.  I try not to do that in comments, but if I do, know where I’m coming from  AND I don’t want you to think it’s the WORST possible stuff.  AFAWCT this is by no means life-threatening.  Just annoying.

The last two years I’ve been a bit ditsy, but right now other than finishing the books, I’m going to be REALLY ditsy.  Also, when on the pain killer, spelling is… artistic.  I hope you cut me some slack.

 

216 responses to “The Problem of Pain

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Take care

  2. I– thankfully– have not had any kind of pain like that, but have family members that do.

    You’re right, pain has a work-load of it’s own. It’s tiring to hurt.

    Praying.

    • Having spent over three decades living with back pain (including paralysing spasms) I beg to differ: it is not tiring, constant unrelenting background pain is exhausting. It saps energy, it weakens focus, it distracts attention and alienates you from the world. Even when you have suppressed your awareness of it it lurks, a slow drain of your life energy’s batteries.

      • THIS – this– yes.

      • Been there myself, RES, just about as long, and couldn’t agree more. De-generative disk disease, a three-level cervical fusion, a healed compression fracture, a couple of herniated disks, damaged facet joints, a lower-back lamanectomy, and osteoarthritis and nerve impairment from the neck down – makes life difficult at times. 8^). This winter has been the worst I’ve experienced. We’ll live through it, though, won’t we? Nothing like a little adversity to make you push harder.

        • Amen. Only two two-level cervical fusions (so far), but both of them involved spylondosis, meaning not just the main spine but also the nerves running from it down the arms…..

  3. You offer a great and humbling description of your experience and self-management of pain.

    Be very careful with pain medications. Your brain, as S King has attested, will start to tell you things are hurting just so you’ll take more. Even aspirin. They become less effective as time passes. Your hormone and basic physiology change, sometimes permanently, with their use. You are lucky if at least some of the medications commonly overused are repellant to you.

    You should have several opinions if you are having pain intrude on your activities of daily living daily for months or years. Intra-abdominal and Pelvic Pain are very hard to manage whether one knows the cause or not. Its also hard to find someone in the medical profession who is dedicated to trying to identify and solve your problem, and not just treat the symptoms.

    I think of Frida Kahlo when I think of folks living with pain. I’m not sure if her back or her husband were more intense sources of suffering. You are lucky to have the marital and family support you have.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    • Right now I’m only taking pain meds this weekend. I have an appointment this Monday and will then figure out what to do going forward. I MIGHT have to take pain killers to sleep. Right now they’re all otc because I hate not being sure who’s doing the thinking for me.
      Hopefully we figure what is causing it and eliminate the source.

    • There are good medical reasons for some people to take strong painkillers. Aspirin isn’t that dangerous. I wouldn’t use Stephen King as a reference on the treatment of chronic pain.

      I have osteoarthritis and I take a strong pain-killer to deal with it twice daily. Hydrocodone 7.5/325 mg acetaminophen. If I didn’t take it as often as I do, I would be bed bound with the pain. I have had my arthritis for well over 10 years.

      I’m sorry if you’ve had bad experiences with medications but they really are necessary for some people. If I weren’t taking the meds I currently take I’d probably be dead.

      • I took 40mg of Oxycontin for about six months, and it made me a zombie. Finally had to quit taking it. I’ve been taking Tramadol (Ultram) for about fifteen years now. It still works, but not all the time. I have an appointment Wednesday with a pain doctor to see what’s next. The epidural I had the end of November helped, but only for about three weeks. May need another one – or three. Problem is, the epidurals raise my blood sugar level, and I’m a diabetic. It’s all about trade-offs: do I want to hurt from the back pain, or from the high blood sugar… I’ll live.

  4. Professor Badness

    Pain is wearying. But it also builds character!
    (Do we need more character around here?)
    Our thoughts and prayers go with you.

    • My kids tell me I’m a character. Cartoon character.

    • I already got plenty of character, thanky, and would prefer to save building more for a hobby in my retirement.

      I don’t have the impression Sarah lacks for character (or characters) and needs her strength for turning the crank which lets her characters out and into the world, there to wreak havoc amongst the forces of oppression, bwah-ha-ha-hah!

      (Oops – didn’t mean to cut that particular cheese. I beg your pardon or at least commutation of sentience.)

    • Builds character my ass. That statement is one of those content-free cliches that keep people from dealing properly with chronic pain. If your doctor believes “pain builds character”, run away!
      The “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” bullshit is inoperative after 50 or 60.

      • Heh. A friend had that Nietzsche quote for his answering machine message until I pointed out that often it merely leaves us wounded and prey for lesser dangers. It does little good to survive the lion only to fall to the jackals.

        I also despise that “weakness leaving the body” nonsense which fails to distinguish between transient discomforts and damage reports. When your body starts telling you that the dilithium crystals are fracturing it is no time to forswear ameliorative action.

        • “That will does not kill us leaves us scarred and bitter.” — *#$^ Nietzsche Said After His 2nd Divorce

        • That which does not kill me had better be able to run DAMNED fast.

        • One of the things I discovered when I first started seriously exercising, is that there is good pain, bad pain, and really bad pain.

          It was actually kind of cool when I discovered if I didn’t exercise regularly my knees would start to hurt, until I got onto a good round of squads and dead-lifts.

          Then I managed to crunch my left knee, and I quickly discovered, while both would hurt if I didn’t exercise, if I did, one knee would get better, and the other knee would get worse.

          Guess which knee gave out on the upstroke of a lunge, dropping my entire body-weight onto my single big toe? Thus my introduction to the third type of pain.

          Everyone has the ability to turn off pain, if they practice it. Pain is, in and of itself, just a signal, and signals can be ignored. It is the thing that is causing your body to send that signal that cannot and should not always be ignored.

          • yeah, my problem is I tend to forget about it. So I knew I was staring at the ceiling a long time at night, but didn’t correlate “pain in the night” with “Feeling like crud come morning.”
            This isn’t helped by the fact that my husband carries out ENTIRE conversations in his sleep. The other night starting with “didn’t we buy a new mattress pad?”

            • I’m completely the opposite. My nerves are particularly sensitive, anyway, and chronic pain is in the realm of, “I swear I’m going to cut it off if it doesn’t stop,” if it’s more than a very minor level.

          • I group them as “discomfort, ache and pain,” myself. There’s a fourth, but it’s more of a whimper-to-scream thing.

            Pain can be damped down, but it’s not a total thing, it’s tiring, and there are pains where it simply doesn’t work. (Toothache, for example.)

            I tend to mentally frame it as needing enough “space” to “shove” the pain away.

            It can also really suck, because the effects of the pain are still there– I almost passed out from pain at the zoo, because I shoved it out of the way too hard because I was playing tour-guide, and my mind was already rejecting the area that hurt, and the reason.

            A lot of people are primed to take discomfort as pain, which is a grave disservice to them.

      • Professor Badness

        I suppose a more accurate description should be that, “How we deal with difficulties in life determines the content of out character.”
        But that wouldn’t fit very well in a fortune cookie.
        It’s also what i say to my kids if they don’t like the food I’m giving them.

      • “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is nonsense from day 1. As any number of people who had illnesses as newborns can tell you.

      • William O. B'Livion

        See, that’s a miss-spelling.

        Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you *stranger*.

      • Conversely: Whatever DOES kill you DOES NOT make you stronger, and this is absolutely true.

        Unless you’re Obi-Wan Kenobi.

      • From the contexts I have seen it used, before it became a popular phrase, I believe that it was originally meant to be applied to emotional suffering, rather than physical. In many cases, it would then be true – living through things that cause you emotional pain lead to your being stronger and better able to deal with adversity in the future. Of course, there are exceptions – PTSD comes to mind.

  5. get better
    NOW!
    (did that work? No? damn. doesn’t for me anymore either)

  6. Pain is a disabling condition. It saps your strength, weakens your willpower and otherwise diminishes your life. Take it easy as you can.

    On a related note, I slipped on ice and fell while taking mail out to the box. Just. Made. My. Day. No injuries – but the pain is definitely noticeable.

      • The thin layer of ice on everything outdoors in Colorado Springs is melting, thank goodness. I took a spill yesterday, flat on my back onto pavement. Came out amazingly well, the elbow I landed on isn’t even hurting. I distinctly remember having time to shout “Oh, s###” while still airborn. Prayers and good thoughts your way.

    • Ouch. My sympathies for your pain, and I hope you feel better.

      But I cannot resist a gloat here – Sunny Silicon Valley weather is currently scattered high clouds indicating 66 degrees on the thermometer out back at 3:30 pm.

      In January.

  7. Eamon J. Cole

    Slack? I — I come here for the ditsy and the artistic spelling!

    Ahem. 😐

    Luck and skill for you and the practitioner. Unfortunately, it’s still the practice of medicine and sometimes solutions are a process of elimination.

  8. Praying they find out and fix the source of the problem. I posted an article about Vitamin D on Sarah’s Diner — not sure, now that I see more clearly what the problem is, that Vitamin D would do you any good. Maybe someone else will see it and be helped, though….

    • Somebody needs to make a list of “it can’t hurt” type vitamins, with levels and details. (I know even Tums has a few situations where it can hurt, but this crowd is the sort that would actually want the details instead of a blanket ban.)

      • Vitamin D is fat soluble so definitely not one.

        • It’s destroyed by exposure to (even just a little) sunlight if you have too much, and the amounts required to do harm are improbable.

        • From MayoClinic.org:

          Taking 50,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D for several months has been shown to cause toxicity. This level is many times higher than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for most adults of 600 IU of vitamin D a day.

          • I take 50K of D twice a week. So does my husband. It helps us quite a bit. Some of us don’t absorb D from sunlight very well. Biochemistry is very individual. Not everybody’s body works the same way.

            • And it will get worse as you get older, or are sick, too.

              From memory, I think I actually know about the guy who established the “has been observed” sick thing. We had a lot of health fads in my folks’ valley, and it’s one of mom’s favorite topics. (In a gruesome sort of way. It’s amazing how often the health nuts drop dead of a heart attack in their fifties, and it’s almost never the ones that became health nuts because they were sick.)
              There was a guy who was sure that the RDA was some fraction of what you actually need, so as part of a diet he was selling he special ordered ten times the recommended daily amount.
              They messed up one of the orders, and he got a HUNDRED times the amount.

              He was also supplementing heavily with something like at *least* 10k international units, and totally avoiding sunlight to raise his levels.

              He started to feel bad, so he increased the amount he was taking, and only ate his special order meals.

              Eventually, he went to the doctor because his feet were bleeding. Not “bloodloss” type, just “uh…my feet are bleeding. Maybe I need an expert’s opinion.”

              His treatment consisted of, roughly, “stop that!” and sunlight.

              I wouldn’t do anything like that much, but that’s partly because when I first tried 250% of D for energy, it was like chugging espresso, in a sort of good way.
              I don’t even want to THINK about what more than that would do!

              • I thought Vitamin D was something we synthesized normally through exposure to sunlight?

                I know if I make sure to spend an hour or so a week in direct sunlight, I tend to feel much better, but that may just be me.

                • William O. B'Livion

                  It is something our body produces normally.

                  For values of “normal” that are “living on the Serengeti with our loins wrapped in animal skins”, not values of normal that are “Spending 23 hours a day wrapped in wood, brick, steel and UV proof glass, and spending the rest of it outside covered head to toe, leaving only about 3 square inches of flesh exposed to the cold”

                • Some people don’t make enough, or any, of it. In addition to being Vitamin D deficient, I’ve been anemic off and on. Luckily my anemia is borderline and I don’t need to take iron supplements.

                • We do, and it actually takes very little for someone like me *points at transparent skin* to get enough exposure for decent health, but that’s if all else is good. If you’re too far north, have higher demands, your body works but not perfectly….

                  We know the body makes it, we know that if the body has too much then it will destroy it, and we know that some people have issues that are helped greatly by getting a higher amount of it. We don’t know all of those things in the same person, to my knowledge, and I think that both making and destroying were determined by observing bloodlevels when exposed to sunlight while the “it helps” is from people trying it.

                  • [Deletes rant about “Uniform Standards Of Care” guidelines being imposed by the national government just as we are beginning to reach the real possibility of individually tailored treatment.]

                    • Add a verse about favoring standardized stem cell treatment just as it becomes practical to harvest– they’re in FAT!!!– and culture them for each individual patient, which could become standard for anything where you need to heal and nevermind major medical issues, and I’ll sing along.

                    • Do you have a link to information about that? Because I was sure there were already therapies out there that use stem cells cultured from the patient.

                    • http://www.stemcellmx.com/fda-restrictions-on-us-stem-cell-research/

                      They’re treated as drugs, which means each new “version”– ie, human giving cells– has to go through the whole approval process.
                      ******
                      There are therapies already in use– when one of the big cat Vegas guys was mauled by one of his cats, he got an early one in… Germany, I think.
                      They’re generally illegal in the US, is the issue. (I’m guessing that some get through the same loophole as bone marrow transplants.)

                    • I wonder if anyone has made the argument that it’s no different than donating blood for yourself in advance of surgery? That’s not only legal but encouraged.

                    • FDA makes the counter-argument that the refining and culturing process “has not been proven” to not change the cells.

                    • And has anyone gently pointed out they are asking you to prove a negative?

                    • There’s a reason that people believe it was a political decision.

                    • Eamon J. Cole

                      [notes the rant was deleted, reshelves the potentially appended rant-in-agreement.]

            • In my case, it isn’t helped by the fact that since my pancreatitis I don’t absorb fat soluble anything that well.

        • If you are severely low on Vitamin D you can become lethargic and depressed.

          • Which explains Seattle, and Grunge.

            • It may also explain why the darker-skinned populations in the US tend to be where there’s more sun, even though I know for a fact that, say, Northern California and Nevada use to have a pretty decent sized black population…..relative to an already pretty dang small total population, about the last quarter of the century before last. No specifically anti-black racism, the “anti-new-guy” thing was the biggest divide, some religious tensions, but that was Nanny Ogg Their-Charles-Our-William things and it wouldn’t explain it being so country-wide a pattern.

              Then again, maybe my mom’s “theory” of it being because they weren’t stupid enough to stay in places with winters like ours.
              (Said when we were working through one of the half-dozen pickup sized drifts on our driveway, thus the quotes around theory.)

              • Cleveland has a huge black population, and trust me… the winters are … ew…

                • But Cleveland has/had other reasons to be there– every example I could think of, there are things where the advantage wasn’t “same situation, better weather.”

                • You mean you don’t like below zero temps? The lovely winter “breeze off the lake that hits downtown?Lake effect snow?
                  Snowstorms in April? Snowstorms in Nov? Lake effect snow measured in feet,not inches-if you live east of Cleveland,and a bit south of I-90-like Chardon,or Thompson,or closer to the lake,North Madison,Perry Township?
                  Don’t like ice dams on the Chagrin,Rocky,or Grand rivers?

                  Good luck with the pain issue. I’ve dealt with chronic,severe pain for upwards of 20 years-chronic pain for a bit over 30 years.
                  The BS about “your brain will tell you that you hurt because it wants the medication” is just that -BS. I’ve been on every narcotic pain med known to mankind-despise them all.
                  If you have to take narcotic pain meds to take the edge off the pain-and that’s all they will do is take the edge off,none take away all the pain-in my many years of experience with pain meds-I would take something that’s in transdermal patch form,morphine,fentanyl, etc. because the amount released is small-no big dose at first that about knocks you silly,then in 4-6 hours do it over again. The transdermal patch releases controlled amounts of the drug through your skin,slowly,so you do not get “buzzed” but you get pain relief.

                  One plus for the greater Cleveland area-
                  At least the Cuyahoga doesn’t catch on fire any more.
                  One downside for me-I can see and hear the skiers at Brandywine ski resort from my kitchen-and the dang snow machines.

                  Good luck with your pain problem,I’m a fairly recent fan-Darkship series-and look forward to your other books being finished.

              • William O. B'Livion

                Cause and effect reversed.

                The south has a large black population because it’s sunny and moderately warm, which is the only way owning slaves was economically viable for plantation owners. If they’d had to feed and house them against a Michigan Winter, that would have been a no-go.

                During WWII many southern blacks moved to where the factory jobs were, and Oakland was a major port for the war effort.

                Blacks have even worse problems than whites in the winter vis-a-vis Vitamin D.

                • Yeah, the “barechested roofer in Florida” was what my doctor answered to my kid,w ho isn’t even that dark, just you know, olive skinned.
                  “Are you a barechested roofer in Florida? If not, with your skin color, I guarantee you don’t have enough vitamin D.”

                • You apparently missed the part where we had a proportionally large black population.
                  A lot of them became ranch workers of various flavors; estimates are that 1 in 4 cowhands were.

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    Yes. Post civil war.

                    I don’t know what “we” means in that context, but yes, there were a lot of black cowboys (relatively) and ranch hands AFTER the Civil war, but the population started out in the south, spread out when they were freed. The population centers tend to be (still) the south and in areas that are, or were industrial production centers.

                    There were never that many cowboys and ranchers west of the Mississippi as a function of the total population (not as a function of rancher/cowboy), and I have no idea why that dropped off, other than what were the prospects of marriage and ranch ownership?

                    Ranching is *hella* hard work, and when the factories opened paying good wages, well, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYflT3h6lCQ

                    • Will, would you please go read the comment you originally responded to and stop lecturing me about broad stroke/popular belief contradicting direct observation of how many black folks were historically in the area I lived for the first decade-plus of my life? It’s really annoying that I could take the time to write out a pretty clear comment, and even refer back to it, and you can’t be bothered to even re-read the damn thing.

              • Actually, in spite of stereotypes about the south, the Klan was very strong in the Northwest as well, especially around Portland, where they even had a law against transient blacks staying in the city more than 24 hours. Over the long term this depressed the black population in general.

                I don’t mind our winters, but I LOVE our summers, when I get to enjoy them. 2014 was not one of those summers. It got eaten by mandatory overtime.

                • The single largest concentration of Klan ever recorded was in the Midwest in the 20s. Needless to say, this isn’t widely publicized among the elites looking down their noses at the South.

                • Not in my area, possibly because it was…. well, immigrants, Catholics and Indians, and sometimes several of those at the same time. When my grandfather would talk of having gone to their recruiting parties (free food, and he looked English) it was exotic.

                • It is generally wrong to speak of The Ku Klux Klan — the “movement” consists of three distinct waves with only superficial resemblances. Generally, each version uses the form of the prior incarnations although there is very little continuity between them. The initial version of the Klan existed as an active movement only until the early 1870s and the organization was recreated forty years later, thanks in large part to D. W. Griffith and President Wilson.

                  Wiki notes the Second Wave was largely active in the 20s, spreading nationwide and even into “Canada, especially in Saskatchewan” before dying out in the Depression. This was the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewis, anti-Communist, anti-Union version of the Klan, demanding “the purification of politics, calling for strict morality and better enforcement of prohibition.” (You can see the reason better informed Progtards (but I contradict myself) liken the TEA Party to this version of the Klan.)

                  The second Klan achieved its greatest political power in Indiana; it was active throughout the South, Midwest, especially Michigan; and in the West, in Colorado and Oregon. The migration of both African Americans and whites from rural areas to Southern and Midwestern cities increased social tensions.

                  The Klan became most prominent in urbanizing cities with high growth rates between 1910 and 1930, such as Detroit, Memphis, and Dayton in the Upper South and Midwest; and Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston in the South. In Michigan, close to 50% of the Klan members lived in Detroit, where they numbered 40,000; they were concerned about with finite housing possibilities, rapid social change, and competition for jobs with European immigrants and Southerners both black and white.

                  It would be a mistake to see the Klan solely as a bastion of ignorance and resentment; in many areas they were staunch advocates of good civic governance:

                  In some states, such as Alabama and California, KKK chapters had worked for political reform. In 1924, Klan members were elected to the city council in Anaheim, California. The city had been controlled by an entrenched commercial-civic elite that was mostly German American. Given their tradition of moderate social drinking, the German Americans did not strongly support prohibition laws—the mayor had been a saloon keeper. Led by the minister of the First Christian Church, the Klan represented a rising group of politically oriented non-ethnic Germans who denounced the elite as corrupt, undemocratic and self-serving. The historian Christopher Cocoltchos says the Klansmen tried to create a model, orderly community. The Klan had about 1200 members in Orange County, California. The economic and occupational profile of the pro and anti-Klan groups shows the two were similar and about equally prosperous. Klan members were Protestants, as were most of their opponents, but the latter also included many Catholic Germans. Individuals who joined the Klan had earlier demonstrated a much higher rate of voting and civic activism than did their opponents.
                  [Emphasis added]

                  While many people attribute the Blaine Amendments (banning “direct government aid to educational institutions that have any religious affiliation.” Wiki) in 38 of the state constitutions derive from this era they were actually first proposed in the interval between the 1st and 2nd Klans, during the latter period of the 19th Century. It is possible that many of those amendments passed with the support of the 2nd Klan but my research (nor my memory) does not extend that far.

                  The third (and last thus far) version of the Klan was the anti-Civil Rights, anti-Communism version arising in the 1950s.
                  ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan

                  • I saw the “Birth of a Nation” in 1960 at U.C. Boulder. It was the most impressive piece of propaganda I’ve ever seen – incredibly powerful. I grew up in Hawaii, part of a minority, and didn’t think there was a bit or racism in me, but if there had been a klan recruiter outside the theater I would have signed up, it was that effective. Fortunately the effects wore off on the walk back to the dorm.

                    • I’ve known several people in the Klan — one of my high school classmates’ father was a local leader. It’s something that never appealed to me, or to my family as far back as we can trace them (well before the Civil War). For too many folks, it was considered just as practical as belonging to the Lions Club or the Oddfellows. I never did see the sense in it.

      • William O. B'Livion

        http://examine.com/

        Vitamin D is one of the few things that it’s *so* hard to get too much of that you’re pretty much fine to take some more. Unless you’ve got a outside job in a place with lots of sun, you’re probably not in dangerous territory.

  9. Luck with the doctor, let’s hope something will be found which will help you deal with the pain, or get rid of it altogether.

    I have been dealing with that inflamed shoulder for several months now (again, it has been a recurring problem for several years), and with it the big problem is also sleeping, I can’t, not well. But I’m way luckier here than you, there is a surgical treatment which, I’ve been told, will get rid of the low level pain I’ve had with no major loss of function. They cut the tendon. Sounds drastic, but seems it’s one of those tendons without which we can function pretty well. Only the orthopedist told me that I still have to wait about a year, and if this time the less drastic methods no longer work THEN he will consider the operation.

    Yay. But still, it’s just a year. And it’s possible pain meds and physiotherapy will work again, they have always before, although then it will most likely recur again sooner or later. Has been doing that for over ten years now, with shorter periods between the times before it gets inflamed again.

    Damn bodies.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      Damn bodies.

      Can’t live with ’em, can’t… Wait — that’s not…

    • A phrase encountered elsewhere that I like is “stupid beta meat sacks”. I have some choice words for the manufacturer, who *clearly* did not do enough quality or safety testing. Or bother to produce any documentation.

      • Pish-tosh. There is an extensive and comprehensive owner’s manual (and update) available which hardly anyone bothers to actually read. Too many people overlook that what they are complaining about is merely the packaging for a far more complete product.

        • vaporware 😀

        • And if you read it, it says that we saw the wonderful creation and said “thanks,but we’d rather do it ourselves” (how very human). And things have been getting worse every since.

        • The Other Sean

          But the people handling maintenance and the makers of the aftermarket mods and such keep offering conflicting advice and offering a bewildering array of products of unknown worth.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Bah. You were fine when the package was opened. After taht it’s user error.

  10. Take care Sarah and get well soon.

  11. Oh, and I know a little bit what you are going through. I haven’t had that severe of pain for that long, but have had it for shorter periods, and pretty much live with lower levels of chronic pain all the time. It is tiring and brain-sapping. The worst thing, though, is that there isn’t anything wrong that other people can see, so I’m afraid sometimes others think I’m ‘malingering’.

    • Sleeping seems to be the big problem with stuff like this. With my shoulder, although I have problems with some movements generally I can use that hand well enough. And it doesn’t hurt so much I’d really notice much during the day. But I just can’t sleep well with it. And being a bit tired all the time does, indeed, affect everything else, especially doing things with which you’d need being able to concentrate well. I keep pushing doing those things a bit ahead all the time, hoping I’d hit some period when I’m feeling more sharp, but those have been far apart lately. And yes, since you seem to be functioning about normally other people mostly probably can’t quite get what the problem is as the brain fog is usually not so bad it would be obvious to anybody else.

      • Sleeping interfered with results in reduced vitality, increased susceptibility and diminished ability to recuperate. And as you expend more of your lowered reserves to push the lumbering beast through yet another day your capacity for dealing with the ordinary indignities life imposes becomes ever more strained.

        And those around you only see the effects, not the load. It ought encourage us all to be more charitable of the weaknesses and frailties of insufferable whinging twits who natter on and on and on about the offensiveness of how some people sit in the subway or what shirts they wear at work.

    • Professor Badness

      My wife has a similar problem. Her MS has gotten progressively worse over the years, but her family (parents/siblings) just doesn’t understand that she has lost function/mobility.
      She says “pain” and they think “headache”. It has become difficult to explain why she can’t travel too family get together’s in another state.
      But some of us understand. I hope that helps.

      • Yea – My family are the same way. They don’t understand that while I look pretty good– I still only have a limited amount of energy. In fact, I have expended too much this last week with unpacking and need a rest.

        • When my wife was taking her chemo, the doctor told her about one of her patients whose husband just couldn’t understand why she wasn’t able to keep the housework up like she should.

          Someone needed to have a long conversation with him, with a short stick. A police baton, say.

  12. 1. Take care of yourself. Because you’re our friend and we love you.
    2. Finish the books. Because you’re a writer and the books are the reason we even know who you are.
    3. Everything else can go hang.

  13. Yes pain is very tiring. Also if it makes you sleep deprived you slowly go crazy without sleep. When my knees hurt so bad I can’t think straight I found that biting the fleshy place behind my thumb distracts me. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it’s because I control that? I doubt this is as helpful as what the doc finds but it is the best I have. I don’t like opiates either. So far Aleve works better than Norco for me. YMMV.

  14. Please, take all the slack you need. I wish I could do more than simply offer slack.

  15. I have been living with mild to moderate chronic pain for almost 5 years now, tried everything to “fix” it. I’m taking the absolute minimum pain medication (mild opioids, glad I don’t have any reaction like yours and I still think perfectly clearly) to make it through. Being in pain all the time has raised my blood pressure, so that seriously sucks. Waking up in the middle of the night with pain also sucks.

    I know how you feel. 😦

    Hope it all works out for you. Hugs!

    • Hot baths work sometimes. Even a hot shower. I used to be able to walk 20 miles without a problem. Now walking into the next room can trigger my back to spasm and cramp.

      I don’t take any opiates/narcotics except Percocet, and then only when nothing else relieves the pain. Unfortunately, that’s becoming more and more often. I drove one poor physical therapist to despair: he’d spend a half-hour working over me, I’d get off the table and immediately cramp up. Poor guy – I felt sorry for him. I WILL continue on. As my dad used to say about me, I’m too stupid to give up, and too stubborn to quit. It gets me through the bad times. What’s REALLY hard is that Jean, my wife, has many of the same problems.

  16. Christopher M. Chupik

    Bleh. Please know, that you have understanding fans who won’t bug you when your next book is coming out.

    Maybe a little. 😉

    • Only once a week. Really. Promise. We may scratch at the office door, whine, scoot our e-readers across the floor with our paws, and give you kitten or puppy-dog eyes, but not ask about the next book. Pinky swear.

      • Professor Badness

        But some of us can’t pull off puppy-dog eyes.
        Cute as a gorilla may be, they’ll never be as adorable as a puppy/kitten.
        (Sigh, the orcs think I’m cute.)

  17. This too shall pass.

    Isn’t that what they tell you about kidney stones (one of the types of pain I have thankfully never met in a dark room late at night.)?

  18. Had chronic pain for a while. Made the mistake of dealing with it by clenching my teeth. $2000 crown later (after a tooth split because of it) I retrained myself to tap my teeth together instead of clenching them.

    Please do what it takes to get you through this, although you might want to commit to at least post an “I’m still here” every three days or so if you cannot do more with the blog, just to reassure us.

    Hope it gets fixed soon.

    • Hah! I handled it by grinding my teeth in my sleep. A slower and more extensive process which has resulted in very very short front teeth and a new plastic mouthpiece every so many months. Dental work is surpassingly expensive and not a little uncomfortable. Until they’ve solved the problem of OM replacements parts I advise avoiding it as much as possible.

      • Oh yes. Seconded. Very much (same problem…).

      • Several dentists have accused me of grinding my teeth, but closer examination shows that I simply have teeth made of poor-grade gutta percha.

        *sigh*

        Fortunately I have a superlative dentist (after years of others ranging from “acceptable” to “No, I don’t know what happened to him. You can’t prove anything.”.

        Anybody living in the Doylestown PA area is advised to look up the practice of Beth Snyder DMD. She’s great, and her people are so nice that going to the dentist is very nearly a pleasure.

        As for those who live too far away; keep looking; not all Dentists have the chair-side manner of Boris Karloff, and cement hands.

        • I don’t consciously grind my teeth, but I’m sure I do it now and then. I DO clench them, sometimes to the point of pain.

          I had a dentist tell me about 25 years ago that because I had impacted wisdom teeth, and didn’t have them taken care of early enough, all of my teeth except the very few in front are cracked, and no amount of dental work would repair them. Most of my teeth are badly broken, and sometime in the next year I’m going to have them all pulled and replaced. They’re a very tiny part of my physical problems.

          • They may be a small part of your problems, but unless I miss my guess, it will be a significant relief. I was simply amazed after I had mine removed, after years of letting them go to hell.

      • I’m faced with the prospect of retainers (which I have been wearing in various forms for 25+years), a sort of braces (major engineering challenge), or crowns on all my teeth for the low, low price of almost six figures in front of the decimal. I’m leaning toward retainers.

        • I can’t recommend retainers. They tend to cost a lot for upkeep, will eat you out of house and home if given half a chance and the livery expenses, between suiting them up and laundry is just ridiculous. Besides, if they get to messing about with your ladies-in-waiting the headaches multiply astronomically.

          If you would keep your crown you want to go easy on the retainers.

  19. When I saw the title, I thought you were going to draw on C. S. Lewis.

    I slipped on the attic stairs and gave myself a fright last night putting Christmas decorations back in the attic, but I don’t think I strained anything too bad or at least not as bad as whatever it was I did to my elbow in November toting bags of cement and mortar across the front yard to keep from driving on it. My elbow feels like it’s bruised or something. I’m not getting old; I’m just too sessile in my day job.

    Get to feeling better; I still a little bit on the Barnes and Noble gift card I got for Christmas.

  20. Good luck, I hope your health gets better soon.

  21. I hope it doesn’t turn into a chronic illness. I have that same ability to turn off pain, which helps me to survive serious situations (is it the berserker gene?) etc, etc. But when I became ill, all the joints of my body and my eyes had inflammation. Then I couldn’t turn off the pain. When I could finally feel the pain, it was the worst I have ever felt. Even when I fractured my ankle (and walked on it), I was in less pain with a fracture than with this pain. Please find out what your pain is and fix it. Hugs in the meantime.

    • Btw omega 3s and krill oil are really good for fighting inflammation (I use it to keep my inflammation under control since my disease is all about inflammation). I can’t take normal asprin or NSAIDs because of kidney disease. Even acetaminophen like Tylenol is on my use only if you fracture your ankle list. Pain such as strained muscles get heat only. Vit C helps with a lot of problems. We don’t get enough Bs or Cs in our diet– I take a B-complex, extra niacin, and extra folic acid, which helps me with bruising, cholesterol, blood pressure, and joint pains. My doctors shrug and give me a “doesn’t hurt” answer. I have seen a difference in my ability to function since I started taking a lot of these vitamins.

  22. I meant to ask earlier, but when you say “ makes me see and hear evil singing lizards” is it evil lizards that sing, lizards that sing evilly, or what?

    There is a certain insurance flogging lizard that I can imagine singing show tunes, say, out of Sweeney Todd … brrrrr.

    OTOH, maybe you’re just flashing back on old Muppet Show skits.

    I can see Kermit and Miss Piggy doing that.

    The problems of English in assigning adjectives are a fundamental flaw of the language.

    • Hey show of the old Muppet Show skits hurt.

      Did you know you can bruise your rib cage from laughing too hard? True story.

      • I am baffled that Disney has not released the final two seasons of this program. A quick check at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Muppet_Show_episodes reveals such guests as Dudley Moore, Victor Borge, Beverly Sills, Liza Minnelli, Christopher Reeve, the Cast of Star Wars (Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker), Dizzy Gillespie, Jonathan Winters, Carol Channing, Shirley Bassey, James Coburn, Paul Simon, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt, Glenda Jackson, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Carol Burnett, Roger Moore, Johnny Cash, Debbie Harry, Gene Kelly, Gladys Knight, Buddy Rich, Marty Feldman and many more.

        That these are unavailable except through highly selected “Best Of” compilations is a crying shame and an affront to OCD sufferers everywhere.

        • Professor Badness

          The way Disney markets their properties is a little schizophrenic. I’ve never been able to figure it out.

          • I know. I’m still all kinds of baffled that they never released box set DVDs of Phineas and Ferb the TV series. Seriously, that’s a cartoon I wish we could have and sit with the kids to watch.

            • Professor Badness

              Amen sister!
              But Disney won’t release a TV show until it’s twenty years old, with a few exceptions.
              (They did release the first two seasons of Kim Possible through the Disney Movie Rewards.)

              • *checks when Gargoyles was released* ….dang, you’re good. ’94.

                • Professor Badness

                  I’ve got Gargoyles on DVD as well. I’m a huge Disney freak.
                  (I worked at Disneyland twice.)

              • I liked Phineas and Ferb more than I did Kim Possible, though I guess I wouldn’t mind them having that either. Rather wish they’d just compile and release for DVD, and can’t understand why they’re choosing not to. Instead they’re going with the super young kiddy target audience (the oh so annoying Wonderland Pirates come to mind) but ignore the huuuuuge profits they could land with P&F and Kim Possible and similarly targeted age range cartoons.

                Yeah, this is me griping “Shut up and take my money why are you not releasing that?!” *chuckle*

        • Disney is schizophrenic internally, that’s why their decisions look that way. Talking with empoyees of the mouse house is an eye opening experience.

          • My favorite story of Disney internal politics is the tale of how Disney came to import the Studio Ghibli films. The animators had been huge Miyazaki fans for years, and had pointed out to the Suits that even though Japan is HUGE Disney territory, every time Disney and Miyazaki released a film in the same summer, Miyazaki handed them their heads.

            The Suites geeked, and didn’t ever buck too hard when Miyazaki (who had been burned before) included a clause that said they couldn’t edit the material AT ALL, and that he had final refusal on their dubs.

            Then, just by chance, the first film due to be imported was Mononoke Hime. And the Suits watch it, and something like 20 mins. in somebody’s ARM comes off, on camera.

            They HAD to release it to theaters. It was in the contract. Disney was going to release an animated film with on camera dismemberment. The Suits were having conniptions.

            They released it under the Buena Vista label.

            And held their breaths.

            So far as I can assertion, nobody cared.

      • Mandy Patinkin injured his ribs during the filming of Princess Bride by holding in laughter at Billy Christal. Elwes got replaced by a dummy because he kept giggling and wiggling during the same scenes

  23. If it’s fallout from botched surgery a few decades ago, new surgery may not only be able to fix it, the recovery time and all is likely to be much shorter (not in the least because the source of chronic pain would be repaired.) I hope they figure it out easily. Chronic pain is no joke.

  24. You get to feeling better and don’t be worrying about side projects that aren’t paying bills.

    That said, the yarn shipped and you’re still getting that afghan once it’s done. *waves hands* Because I like you and you’re getting it, you can finish the other stories once you’ve got things wrangled.

  25. Reading your blog is a privilege, please don’t make writing it a duty that causes you pain.

  26. Professor Badness

    Okay, completely off topic. I work in a used book store and a customer just asked for a good book on the fundamental tenants of Islam.
    Any suggestions?

    • A rather broad topic and there are many different approaches to be taken. I gather Bernard Lewis’s work is highly respected. Try What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response for a post-9/11 analysis, The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years or even Islam: The Religion and the People.

      Other works to consider might include Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law (Modern Classics in Near Eastern Studies) by Ignaz Goldziher, Andras Hamori and Bernard Lewis (Apr 1, 1981) or books by Raymond Ibrahim, Robert Spencer (The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins) or even Ayaan Hirsi Ali, although her work may be less specific than your customer is seeking.

      As always, checking the bibliographies of several good reference works can provide a wealth of leads.

      • Professor Badness

        Thanks!

        • Second the books by Raymond Ibrahim, Spencer and Hirsi Ali. I also recommend the Jihadwatch site as well as The Religion of Peace site for references as the discussions there do get into the actual nuts and bolts; and has references to taqiyya and kitman and the other ‘ways’ to deal with non-Muslims…

          • Professor Badness

            I’m going to have to print all this out.
            Thanks.

            • If you start bouncing around the sites and related links you’ll eventually start building up a good list of references that are easily had online. It should surprise nobody here that those same places are often under attack by the Left/vileprog dhimmi who like to dismiss the reality that are simply reported and analyzed upon in these sites.

              I do warn that it is a descent into a dark, dark path, to read and discover how extensive this cultural war and invasion is. When I did finally come to the conclusion that this was no less than a full blown war of several hundred years and still continues to be, I had to come to grips with it; along with having to accept that this is in fact, a systemic, doctrinal advocacy of hatred and slavery of the ‘other’, for Islam cannot survive unless it has a second class dhimmi to serve the Muslim ‘upper class’, fundamentally incompatible with Western civilization (or any other civilization on the planet!)

          • Have you looked at thre gatesofvienna website?

            • Yes, them too. I used to regularly blog about this as well, on my LJ before, whilst in college and shortly after it. (was one of the reasons why Clamps started stalking me – because he repeatedly likes to misrepresent me as an anti-Muslim ‘racist’ for my criticisms and condemnations (ignoring of course the reality that Islam is a socio-political structure as well as a religion.) I don’t think it would surprise anyone here to find that he’s very pro-Islamic, pro-Palestine, anti-Israel, interestingly anti-Iran, if one were able to look through the old discussions. At one point he actually declared he would love to see the streets ‘awash in autarch blood’, in reference to Iran.)

              Alas, I no longer have the time to do more thorough analysis write ups as I used to. I rather miss it because it was a wonderful way to keep my mind sharp, and this was the sort of work I trained for (political/social/historical analysis on the international scale)

              • What a racist thing for him to do. Since anyone of any race can be a Muslim, and can also not be a Muslim

                • Of course he’s racist. Typically it is racists who accuse others of racism* because “race” is the factor they notice most. For example, where most conservatives look at President Obama and see a Far-Left ideologue, largely indistinguishable from Bill Ayers, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin or Babs Boxer, the progressives see Obama’s skin color. They are also the ones obsessed with “authenticity” although that may be more reflective of their desire to cow people into compliance rather than persuade with logic.

                  *Yes, I am cognizant of the logic loop inherent in such statements, except I am basing the accusation of racism on a demonstrated tendency to see people as representative of races rather than as individuals. I infer his racism by his projection.

              • I suspect children – they are such a (wonderful) time consumer.

          • Which reminds: there was a writer — Bat Ye’or — on National Review Online in the first few years after the 9/11 assault who wrote informatively about Dhimmitude. I don’t know how informative she (? – I think) is on Islam generally. Check the site http://www.dhimmitude.org/ for resources and Ye’or’s CV, although it differs somewhat from the information offered at her Wiki entry:

            Bat Ye’or is a pseudonym of Gisèle Littman, née Orebi, an Egyptian-born British writer and political commentator who writes about the history of Middle Eastern Christian and Jewish dhimmis living under Islamic governments.

            You’ll also want to look into the writings of Daniel Pipes “an American historian, writer, and political commentator. He is the president of the Middle East Forum, and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal. His writing focuses on the American foreign policy and the Middle East.” [Wiki]

            • Yep, both of them I used to extensively read (see my reply to Frank about time – Jordan179, Foxfier and Mary can attest though that I used to write very exhaustively about these topics and regularly used to report on them). Daniel Pipes gives very good ongoing reports and Bat Ye’or is a source I consider very good about the reporting of dhimmitude, both past and present and it’s echoes in current events, especially in applications in Europe, and exposing it as it appears in Britain and other European countries.

            • Bat Ye’or is excellent, but her book about _Eurabia_ is depressing as hell. Joan Peters _From Time Immemorial_ is a great one about the real history of Arabs/”Palestinians” in what is now Israel/Lebanon/Jordan from 1850-1950.

              • Sigh. Pretty much any honest and accurate history of that part of the world is such as would “depress a hyena.” Even most of the dishonest and inaccurate histories promote despair, and this has largely been true for at least a couple, three millennia.

    • I second the recommendation on the Spencer books, and your customer might look at Ibn Warraq’s edited volumes on the Koran and Mohammed.

    • The Koran itself might also be a good guide. Read the source material, then read the commentaries, if for no other reason than to figure out which sura trumps which.

    • If you, personally, want to get a “feel” of what Islam is like, read Leon Uris’ “The Haj”. Quite contemporary, and quite truthful. Uris spent something like ten years researching and writing it. It really enlightens your mind if you’ve read the Quran and had a hard time understanding it.

  27. Been dealing with chronic pain issues with the wife. Doctor has her a prescription now that really helps, but before that we found that magnesium salicylate (found in Doan’s Pills and Percogesic brands at Walmart and CVS) greatly helped where tylenol and ibuprofen were falling down.

    Of course, as your doctor will tell you, don’t mix painkillers in any case, but you might want to run it past him and see what he says. (presuming ‘he’)

  28. This is the community you built (raspberry in DC’s) direction, and we happy few are aware of how lucky we are. Take the time you need to write your books. Over the long haul you’ll cover more ground at a marathoner’s pace than a sprinter’s (I think I just saw a rabbit & a turtle passing me???).

  29. Astrosorcorer

    Get well soon!

  30. *lifts her coffee in sympathy toast to Sarah* I too have been seriously derailed often from writing due to well, medical problems being pesky this year and I don’t dare put it off any more. Kind of grateful at the moment that the hospital bed is comfortable and isn’t giving me massive back issues the way the other ward beds have done in the past (that, and Rhys and I invested in a memory foam pillow for me, so I sleep better these days with less of the strained muscle pains that can often incapacitate). So hah! I thought “well, I can just write!”

    They’re monkeying around with the BP meds and observing if that works, but the unfortunate side effect is, I’m asleep A LOT or unable to concentrate very well. At least I’m where I need to be and I’m being carefully watched. Baby’s heartrate is good and strong, and they’re trying to keep him in there baking for as long as possible.

    But here’s to persevering, and taking care of ourself, yes? Prayers for us Huns and our life-pains, and that we get past the darned things.

  31. My best wishes for a speedy miraculous recovery, Dona Sarah.

  32. I can relate, as someone who wakes up in pain, goes to bed in pain, and is sitting here right now hurting….

  33. Götz von Berlichingen

    Split a bottle of (Francis Ford) Coppola Claret and a handful of dark chocolate nonpareils. Might not relieve the pain, but it certainly helps with the suck. Then, wife and I make fun of each other (or ourselves) until we laugh. THAT relieves the pain.

    Sorry for your troubles. On the other side of it, I was “untimely ripped from my mother’s womb”. It was bad. M’kay?

  34. Good luck, and best wishes.
    My wife’s been dealing with something similar (although in her case, it’s liver), so I can kind of sympathize by proxy.
    Heck, just playing nursemaid is exhausting enough that I haven’t gotten anything new written in three months. That you’ve been accomplishing the task while on the bad side of the equation is impressive.

  35. Sarah I hope your doctor can do something good for you. From personal experience chronic pain sucks big time and yes is exhausting. 😦

  36. Feel better quickly. Sending prayers.

  37. Hugs and prayers!

  38. Do what it takes to get better. Us junkies can do without a fix. Take care of yourself.

  39. Fer Pete’s sake, young lady,* take care of yourself! I’ll cut you just as much slack as you need. As pointed out several places above, your blog is privilege, and waiting awhile for a book never hurt anybody.

    *Yes, “young lady.” My daughter’s your age..

  40. Having an allergy to opiates isn’t that uncommon. I have a similar problem and found out the hard wa by having some outpatient surgery where they gave me a morphine drip and when the surgery was done I waa sick as a dog for 3 hours and in pain. The oxytocin they gave me was no help and made me sick as well. TookTylenol for the pain. By unfortunate circumstances 1 month later I had to repeat the surgery, I told them no morphine this time and post surgery I was up and out of the hospital in 15 minutes.

  41. Sounds as if you are having issues with scar tissue from your cesarean. Hopefully you have found a really good doctor who knows what he (in the generic sense) is doing and who keeps you informed of his concerns for your condition, diagnosis and prognosis.
    Almost lost the wife a few years back because nobody recognized a systemic fungus/mold infection. Kind of like a black mold infection on steroids. Fortunately a friend who started life as a chiro and segwayed into nutrition and chronic diseases did a live blood scan and figured out what was going on.
    Take care of yourself.

  42. I’m quite familiar with the problems of having a bad memory. And, from seeing the effects having your memory go to heck has had on my wife (her meds do it to her), I can imagine how frustrating it is for you.

    So, get better and don’t worry if the blog gets redecorated while you’re not looking once in a while.

  43. Sleep Apnea. I didn’t see it mentioned, but that is a distinct possibility. (Yes, even with other ailments.)

    From the first post and throughout, reading about many of the symptoms “hit me in the gut” because they were the same as my symptoms (particularly extreme pain, not being able to sleep, “fuzzy” brain).

    I won’t go into a lot of detail, but I’ve been diagnosed with, and am being treated for, several unpleasant and painful conditions, and many of my symptoms were relieved–I still have them, but there has been a lot of relief.

    Finally, one of the doctors made an appointment for me at a sleep clinic, as I was sleeping only two to two and a half hours a night, then was so exhausted that I felt like I needed to sleep most of the day.

    The all-night procedure showed that I stopped breathing many times; so now at night I wear a plastic mask hooked up to a machine that forces me to breathe. I sleep much better, have less pain and more energy; and better memory.

    It’s important to realize that there may be more than one ailment causing your pain and distress; and if you are not sleeping at night, to have a sleep study done at a qualified clinic, to determine whether you have sleep apnea..

    • Um — My husband had sleep apnea. I am not making the normal noises.
      The pain is being caused by an anaerobic infection in the uterus, precipitated by a biopsy to find out if the other uterine problems including low level more or less constant pain, which masked this, could have a cancerous origin. (The biopsy was negative.)
      So, it’s at the other end of the body, as it were.

      • Note: This comment has nothing to do with your diagnosis. It only relates to the symptoms mentioned of sleep apnea:

        Younger son and I were talking to the migraine doctor, who wants him to take a sleep study, to see if he has sleep apnea. I told doctor that he doesn’t have the snoring/wheezing symptoms, and he said that not everyone does. Since this guy is very big on making sure everyone has all the information (though he’s not too good at gauging his patient’s level of knowledge, he explains everything to the lowest common denominator), I tend to believe him.

        • I should have younger son checked, then.

        • It’s nigh on impossible to comfortably gauge the level of knowledge of patients unless they’ve got some medical-type letters to hang after their name. Can be very annoying as a patient.

          Can be a little terrifying from the other side…

  44. 197 comments, and no one makes the obligatory Princess Bride reference? You folks are slipping.

    Sarah, take care of yourself. After all, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

    Sheesh.

    (Seriously, though. May your doctors be accurate and insightful, and correct, and may the prognosis be one that leads to a speedy and thorough recovery.)

  45. You are in my prayers.