Friday, January 27, 2012

Ask Elnora--About Pain??? Lenora Worth

Hello, my darlings. Elnora is grumpy today. My bad back is not happy. Not sure what I did (no high heels, no late night dancing, not even a shopping spree) but my back has slipped its dripper, so to speak. I'm in agony. I can't get my much-needed beauty sleep and sitting at my desk is not pleasant, either. Actually, it's a temporary desk until my real one can be installed at our "retirement condo". But Elnora isn't ready to retire just yet and Bad Back, take warning. I will fight you!! Sigh. Anyway, after another sleepless night I got to wondering--how do you cope with pain? Pills, acupuncture, massages??? All of those sound divine to me right about now. And do you find that doctors tend to pat you on the head and tell you to learn how to deal with stress??? I'll show them stress! Elnora with a bad back is not pretty. So ... let's talk about coping with physcial pain even when we have to (as Elvis, bless his heart, would say) take care of business. No pity party here. Just a discussion on how it seems to me a lot of writers suffer from back problems and other physical ailments. But you know what Elnora says-- "As long as my fingers can walk me through a plot, I will stay with this keyboard!" Even if I'm in a hunka, hunka burning pain!


  1. I used to play competitive baseball. I slid into third and damaged six vertabre. I've had the dreaded bad back ever since. And, who knows when it can go out. A simple move can trigger it. I take four Ibuprofin at a time when it's really bad.

    Hope you feel better.

    No fun :(

  2. Sigh. Now blogger works. I posted on FB about my solution. But I will throw out what friends are telling me to get. A standing writing desk. It is on my honey-do list.

    My PT recommends meditation because it is better than screaming "relax, muscles, relax." :-)

    It is a combination of things besides stress. Physical make-up or injuries play a part. Sitting is a killer. And think about the other parts of your body that are connected to your back.

    Feel better soon. And get a massage for the emotional well-being if nothing else.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Thanks for the advice and the company. I actually get rife when sitting on my chaise lounge. This is the worst i' be ever had!! Sleeping is the pits. A massage sound lovely.

  4. Rife??? That should be relief!! I invent new words.

  5. Since I've had back surgery, my first question is whether you've had an MRI to see what's wrong.

    I also use benzodiazepines for muscle relaxants (the latter make me hyper).

    Heat and/or ice help also. I can only take tylenol.

    I use a binder to keep me comfortable when things hurt too much. Not all the time, just when too painful.

    Pace your activities.

    If you haven't gotten an MRI, that would be my first suggestion and go from there.


  6. Remember how much energy it takes to cope with pain nd make adjustments. Boy have we learned this at our house!

  7. My back went out one summer and I spent 3 months in bed. Hot tubes are good. Also massage, but the biggest help is when you get well, strengthen the muscles of your abdomen. It helps support your back. Also, when you get up in the morning, there are exercises to loosen your back. I'll be praying for you.

  8. Thanks, Linda. I've had MRIs before but not yet on this one. I think that is definitely the next step. No way around it. We're pretty sure it's a slipped disc since I've had those before. Yes, on the heat and ice adn muscle relaxers. I'm doing all of that. Thanks for your comments. :)

  9. I am not a good patient. dont do pain! I do my back in every so often and my knee alot as the kneecap isn't on right. I reach for the ibuprofin also (or advil as its called here) I also use dencorub extra strength gel which I rub into the back. It adds heat and does help.
    I understand the sleeping being the pits I tend to be a restless sleeper and turn alot with back out its so painful. just sitting hurts and dont mention the toilet!
    At least with the knee It can be positioned to help abit.
    I do feel for you.

  10. No no no Miss Elnora.
    No self medication and no self miraculous methods to solve the back problem...

    You find out what is causing the pain and then we'll talk.

    Meanwhile, a hot bottle (I don't know how you call it in your country) and some relaxation from the toes to your neck could sooth but you really have to check that.

    Take Care and Get Well Soon. And GO SEE the Doctor! Don't take any high-heels to not distract the poor guy from the point ahahahahah

    Praying for you,

  11. I've got a bad back and finally went to a physical therapist last year. My daughter is a PT and kept encouraging me. The exercises really help. Even the most extreme pain eases when I do my stretches and strengthening routine.

    Also...try a sock filled with rice. Yup! Get an athletic sock, white, long, in good shape and fill it about 3/4th full with raw, white rice. Knot the end of the sock, then heat in the microwave for 2.5-3 minutes. The rice remains warm for quite a long period of time, and the heat is moist, so extra good for sore muscles. In winter months, I warm up my cold bed with a warm sock.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  12. Debby, that sock suggestion is worth it all by itself, just for the warming the bed use.

    Peace, Julie

  13. Yes, I know all the rules. I've had back troubles most of my life. I have been doing yoga since high school. And, Debi I have one of those rice filled bags back in Louisiana. Sure wish I thought to bring it. But all of the suggestions are good to hear. And i had not done my exercises before our road trip so I wasn't as relaxed as I would have liked to been. Big D is going to buy me a heating pad and some Blue Bell ice cream. Isn't he a prince?? Thanks for letting me whine.

  14. Lenora,
    My husband has a rare syndrome and lives with pain everyday and every step. His back is fusing together in odd ways and can be extremely painful, in fact we just got back from NIH and is orthopedic surgeon said he should not even be able to do half the things he does. Awhile back someone who came to his work noticed his pain and gave him the book I'll give you the website for. It is a 10.00 book and has stretching exercises. It really helped him a lot.

  15. Chronic pain is so exhausting (as someone else mentioned above).

    For me, finding the cause of the pain was the answer to keep it under control.

    I had what I thought were raging sinus headaches for years. ENT couldn't figure out why I kept getting them as my slight seasonal allergies were kept under control with a prescription nasal spray and a CAT scan of my sinuses was clear. HMMMM

    Then one day, I was talking to my boss/mentor (lover her!!) and she said they sounded like tension headaches (the pain is above me eyes). She asked if I knew where I stored my stress. Well, I have TMJ and am a teeth clencher and also always have tight shoulder/neck muscles.

    I started going to Massage Envy once/month for therapeutic massages and that took care of about 85% of my headaches!! YAY!!

    However, I still had a few doozies a month, plus I started hearing a "whooshing" sound in my right ear. That can make you feel crazy REAL quick!! Well, I had ignored my TMJ for too many years and finally went back to a specialist. The mouth splint and PT on jaw muscles is helping tremendously with both the residual pain and the noise.

    My mom has had back problems ever since I was very small. Backs seem to be the most tricky in finding the cause so it can be treated. I hope you feel better soon!

  16. Lots of good advice. It seems backs are too easily hurt.
    I've been doing Pilates and that has made a difference for me along with all the other suggestions. I can't do Yoga because its too hard on my shoulders, neck and wrists. I thought I wouldn't be able to do Pilates because of my back issues but I can. I have to modify occasionally, mostly when it comes to my neck, but my core is getting stronger which in turn is making my back stronger. I had an MRI last Sat. Will find out the results on Tuesday.
    Tracy, your story sounds similar to mine. I have TJM and ignored it for years. I would get ear pain and headaches that the docs swore were infections even though they couldn't see any indications of infection. I was told my ear canals were too small and trapped water but there was nothing to be done even though I beg to have tubes put in or something. I finally gave in and spent the money to see a TMJ specialist. My jaw bone is too far back and presses on my ear canals. With a splint we're bringing my jaw forward and its has helped tremendously.

  17. Thanks, Tracy S. Would you believe I have TMJ and migraines, too. I've had that most of my life and after therapy and biofeedback, learned I store tension in my jaw and my back. I haven't had a headache not once in the last three weeks, but this backache is making up for that! I think massage would be wonderful. Once the doctors pinpoint what has happened with my back, I hope they will suggest a massage somewhere in the treatment. Thanks again to everyone. Sharing health problems with others can benefit all of us, I think. It's not all about Elnora after all. It's about being proactive and aware!

  18. Julie D, thanks for the website. I will check that out. Terri, I do Pilates a lot, too. Trying to build up my core muscles. But I've neglected my exercises over the winter. I think I've learned a valuable lessons. Don't pass up exercising when you get too busy. Which is what I've done. Elnora believes a well woman is an aware woman. We sometimes have to take care of ourselves first, so we can take care of others and get our business done, too! See, I knew I'd learn something from my wise blogger blossoms!!!!

  19. Oh, Lenora! I hate that for you!

    I've lived with back pain since I was attacked by a patient almost 30 years ago so I can empathize with you(and everyone.) The last two years I've been laid up every winter for stretches of two to four months--flat on my back because I can't stand or sit.

    Despite that, I do stretch my muscles; I push myself to walk despite the pain. And I lay flat on my back for long periods, using either an alphasmart or writing longhand to write my manuscripts. I take medication(pain pills and muscle relaxers) at night to help me sleep. And I should have invested in Sunbeam as many of their heating pads I've gone through in the last 30 years.

    Pain is a vicious cycle that can leave you exhausted and depressed. Give yourself a break--Hope you feel better soon.

  20. Dear Elnora, I hope your back is better today. You probably know this since your pain is chronic, but lying with you knees drawn up to your chest can sometimes help. And a hot tub is wonderful if you have access to one. The hot tub is my favorite pain and stress reliever when I can find one.

  21. Patty, you were attacked by a patient?!? Wow. That's horrible.


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