Sunday, 23 November 2014

Back Pain and the Breakfast Challenge

I've had a constant pain in my back for a few weeks now. At first it was just a slight twinge when I coughed, and my GP thought it was a pulled muscle. But last week it started aching all the time, and when I cough or bend it feels like my body's about to break in two.

When I saw her this week, she immediately asked if my chest was okay. It's uncanny how she can tell just by looking at me. I told her about the back pain, and after some discussion she thinks it's from some joint in my spine. I can't remember what it was called, but she showed me on the little anatomical model. She said it's 'referred pain' from my lungs, which is why it hurts the most when I breathe deeply or cough.
"Like when your left arm hurts when you're having a heart attack", she said

Painkillers don't help with this sort of thing, but I kinda figured that out when the 60mg codeine + paracetamol she gave me last time didn't make any difference. There's no position I can get in to that makes it hurt any less. So now I'm on an anti-inflammatory and hopefully that'll start helping soon, but for now I'm spending a lot of time horizontal on the couch.

Apparently physiotherapy would help alleviate the pain quicker. I can't stand being touched at the best of times, and to make it even harder, the physio is a man. I could see a woman, but that would involve going somewhere that isn't my safe little clinic, and that's just not an option right now.

She offered to show me where his office was and offered to introduce me, which I panicked at. She does her best to accommodate my anxieties, which means a lot to me. She still lets me wait in an unoccupied office if the waiting room's busy, and she's the only doctor who's never pushed me. She said the physio wouldn't have to touch me at the first appointment, that I'd only have to move my shirt up a few inches, or that it could even be done through a light t-shirt. I said I just wanted to think about it, but the more I think about it, the more impossible it seems.

She wants to leave me on the new antidepressants for a few more months and see if they start to help. I just nodded and said nothing. I'm too tired to care. It's not like they'll try me on anything new until I can get to the psychiatrist anyway. She still thinks I need to work on my 'thought processes' with the mental health nurse, which I don't disagree with, but the MH nurse has been causing more stress than not. She's in the middle of a six week break, so more on that another time.

I wore my Tatters and Rags skirt on Tuesday to show both my dietician and GP, since I first told them about it months ago. I wore a light skirt underneath for when I had to get on the scales. The thought of getting weighed in such a heavy skirt made me panic.

She set me a couple of goals this week. She doesn't want my intake to get below 400 (even though some days I manage as high as 800 cals), and she wants me to eat breakfast or lunch each day, or at least a snack by midday. The earliest I've managed this week is a small snack at 1pm. Most days I haven't been eating before 3pm (I wake up around 5am). It delays one stress in my day, at least.

She asked if it would be easier to eat the same breakfast everyday so I wouldn't have to think about it, and I couldn't help but laugh. She should know how routinely I eat by now. I'd been eating the exact same breakfast everyday for two years, up until about 8 months ago. Every morning I'd have a small (20-25g) slice of wholemeal bread, toasted and spread with Vegemite, and 60g bowl of nonfat strawberry yoghurt for a total of 85-95 cals. Before that, I'd sometimes have oatmeal and/or fruit. Earlier this year I started just having the yoghurt, no toast, but I haven't even had that for months.

The kids skirt I bought in Warrnambool

I got my oximeter in the post on Friday. My GP recommended I get one some months ago but I hadn't gotten around to it. Now I have the full set -  thermometer, blood pressure machine, glucometer and oximeter.
The cuff that came with the BP machine is 9-13".
The bigger one, 13-17", is my brother's.
The smaller one, 7-9", is mine.



  1. I hate hate hate having to call my GP, because he's a man. I have some health issues that really should be looked at, but no, I can't let him touch me or just look at me naked. It's hard to change doctors in Sweden, but I think I must give it a try.

    (and that skirt is simply darling)

  2. that sounds terrible, sweetie. the whole referred pain thing. ick. it sounds just about right. don't know if anti-inflammatories are my first choice... *thinks back* it's plausible.
    speaking of which, that's what I've been absolutely throwing myself in for the past two week. my Father had a story about this lung doctor that told his patient to stop smoking prior to his surgery, but his patient caught said doctor smoking outside a hotel. patient confronted doc and doc said "yeah, i know smoking is bad for you, but this brand is totally safe." out of panic.
    boy, i've heard some stories.
    oh, and there's that whole 'person with asthma had the best peak flow meter reading' because he's actually had time to practice on that thing. i liked that.
    i'm sorry about the physiotherapy thing. it sounds...*shakes head* horrible. i would understand your hesitation. there's very few things that would make me anxious, but anyone touching me is one of them. and i'm not even that much of an anxious person.
    i'm sorry that things don't feel like they're helping much now. you're a strong, strong girl. and it's not like you're not trying either.
    i love you so.
    i still raise my eyebrow at the 20g slice of toast. but oh, i found a huge piece of toast that's like 25g. i love my father so fucking much. a 25g slice of toast that's bigger than my hand. i love it when he finds those breads that are so thinly sliced, with not a lot of crust thing. he does that thing too with bread - once, he grabbed a bag of bread rolls and gave one to me and told me to hold it and see just how light it was compared to the one that seems to be all 'whole-wheat' and whatever nonsense.
    aw flower. i like your skirt. of course, i will have to say i dislike how fragile and small you look. i feel compelled to mention it.
    oh, oh, i saw your Tatters & Rags skirt! it's absolutely amazing. and i just about died when i saw the number 598 (this is from memory. i read the post when you posted it. wait. give me a second, i'll check) - yes, it's 598. and i remember that you said that the last row was sort of just something that spun itself on or something of the like.

    i love you.

    -Sam Lupin

  3. Oh, goodness. I hope your pain subsides either way.
    I usually don't eat before 4pm which I know is unhealthy but I just try to keep hungry as long as possible :/
    Oh, vegemite, ew. I had thought it was chocolate at first the first time I saw it.
    Yoghurt sounds great though.
    You look great with the skirt, isn't it a little on the short side though? Maybe with tights? (I was going to ask why you weren't cold and then I remembered it's summer oops :P)


  4. It might be good to monitor your vital signs every now and again.

    I think the antidepressant may be going well.

    Have a good week!

  5. Hello dear, I found just enought time to comment before I leave for class. Ah, what I would do for 90 degrees F, it's very cold still, at least we have a small holiday coming up before exams. I think the breakfast idea is nice..even if it's routine or something that feels behavioral, beneficial routines can be nice sometimes. maybe give it a trial of 3-5 days, see how you feel? I also have trouble eating in the morning, it's 9:30 here and coffee and prozac is my daily breakfast, but my friend has been encouraging me to grab a piece of fruit at least, or a smoothie. I'll grab a granola bar to eat after class. I love you dear, take care, try to have a great week :)

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  7. Why are you so unpolitely? Ive only ask you someone and i only want to help you in any problems. You should be thankful, that im here for you. Im also only here to know something about us. What Problem have you with me?

  8. Hi Bella dear. I'm so sorry it's been so long. This pregnancy has taken so much out of me, and I can't wait to get back into Blogger. I'm slowly getting there. That skirt is absolutely darling =) And I'm sooo jealous of your legs ;) I don't blame you for not wanting to meet with a male doc. After having trauma like we've had, we don't want anything to do with males we don't know.
    I do hope that you find some relief with this pain you're experiencing. You're in my thoughts and I love you =)

  9. That asshole also commented on my blog Bella
    I see you deleted yours, well done
    It's weird
    It;s like a robot typed these comments as the English is very poor
    As my sister says 'There is always one...'

    Hope the comment didn't upset you

    Love ya x