Monday, August 27, 2012

Urgent Note Regarding Chronic Pain and Vitamins

Note:  I wouldn't normally put something like this out here this quickly but it happened to me, it happened to at least one of my friends, and so it could be happening to you too.....

A few weeks back, I was sidelined with a cold.  Along with that cold came a bunch of muscle pain.  Not so unusual I thought so just went on about my business.  Then suddenly my shoulder began to hurt.  I am not talking about the dull ache of a cold here, I am talking about the deep burning pain of a torn muscle or the like.  The pain took me back to college when I dislocated my shoulder. 

I had slipped the day before and did one of those not so graceful moves where you catch yourself before butt meets floor.  I struggled now to figure out if that some how caused me to tweak my shoulder.  The days went by and the pain stayed.  Some days it was so bad I could barely move my right side at all, others I had some limited relief.  It kept waking me up at night every time I shifted in my sleep. 

Then one morning after a particularly bad night, I was getting ready for work.  I had already shifted everything possible over to my left hand (thank goodness for ambidexterity!) but out of habit, I swung my right hand out and picked up my vitamins.  The pain was excruciating and literally made my hand numb.  The pill bottle dropped out of my hand and rolled off across the floor. 

As I picked it up, I noticed the label.  I had not noticed when I bought the vitamins a few weeks back but there it was on the front in large letters "now with 1,600 IU vitamin D3".  I rolled my eyes as I thought "great, now I have to check to see what else they changed to make sure there is nothing in there I might be allergic too."  I always buy the same vitamins (and have for years to avoid problems with allergies to them).  I put the bottle away and went on with my day.

On my way to work, that thought would cross my mind again.  Then suddenly be followed by the hazy recollection that something like this might have happened to someone I know.  I got to work and kept flipping it over and over in my head.  "Yes, I am pretty sure that my friend had a problem with his vitamins causing him horrible joint pain."  This problem with my shoulder started right after I bought these vitamins.  First chance I had, I was on the net looking around.

Most references cite that they give you excess D3 for joint pain.  Most references cite that most people are deficient in D3.  They you find the one little comment.... someone asks if it could be CAUSING their pain.  There is a link, then another, and another.  Then you find the one where someone quotes a medical paper saying that yes at first you CAN have pain from the D3 as your body goes into overload absorbing it all.  Of course, this is followed by the slew of people for whom the pain has NOT gone away.  You wonder, "if I need it so badly it hurts to take it, how long before it begins to settle down and stop hurting?"  I think of my friend who suffered for months before figuring out and subsequently quitting the vitamins.  I know there is no way I can do this for months.  I can barely do what I need to do, no way I will be able to do any real work.

So I search some more, more links more clicking.  Then I start to find links that lead me to this....

Click it and read it but what caught my eye was this: 

Quote:  Magnesium deficiency is epidemic in the United States, with the majority of Americans unknowingly deficient.   This can be problematic when optimizing vitamin D levels. In fact, it is common for rising vitamin D levels to bring up symptoms of an underlying magnesium deficiency.  Vitamin D has no known side effects. If one experiences any of the following symptoms due to supplementing with vitamin D - or with sun exposure - a magnesium deficiency is most likely the reason why: irritability or anxiety, nausea, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, muscle cramps/twitching, weakness, constipation.  End Quote.
Great.  I pulled up my vitamin label on line and looked.  Yep sure enough, the magnesium in them is lower than recommended.  I thought about it a bit, then wrote it up in a short little e-mail and sent it to my friend with the link. 
Later I talked to my friend who confirmed that yes, I was remembering correctly, his pain did go away after he quit the vitamins.  Mostly, he has chronic pain from old injuries but the massive pain he was in is gone.  The more we talked the more I thought this must be it.  I decided that it couldn't hurt to try the correct level of magnesium.
I stopped on my way home and picked up the magnesium I needed to bring the total up to the amount I needed.  I didn't really expect that it would help.  I didn't really expect to see much of anything at all to be honest.  Once home, I took one with my dinner then I settled down to watch a movie since the pain in my shoulder was so bad there was no hope to do anything else. 
Much to my surprise, I found that a few hours later there was absolutely no pain at all. None. I do not take pain killers at all so there is no chance it is anything else.  It has to be related.  Cautiously optimistic, I text my friend this unexpected result.  This morning after a peaceful uninterrupted nights sleep I am still pain free for the first time in weeks.
Why am I posting this?  I have so many friends who suffer from chronic pain that if this is in fact "epidemic" how many of them could have this issue?  It happened to me, it happened to my friend.... 

I am now hopeful.  I am still a bit skeptical but even the scientist in my head has to accept that yesterday I was in horrible pain and today I am not with no changes to anything except that one little vitamin.  Pain like that does not go away like this.  I have been moving my shoulder every which way this morning.  I lifted stuff, I pushed stuff, I pulled stuff, I rolled myself around on it.... nothing not even a small twinge of pain to say that anything at all had happened.

So.  If you take vitamins and have any of the problems listed in that article, check the label to see where the D3 level is and where the Mg level is.  If you have OTHER health issues also talk to your doctor before you go switching things around.

As for me, I will keep you posted as time goes on how this works. 


I posted this in the comments of my last blog.....

A very long time ago, my dad had a horrible accident. It almost killed him. After a long stay in the hospital he finally came home. He had promised himself that if he made it out of there alive, he would do all those things he put off for "someday". 

Those things you always say you are going to do but for whatever reason it lacks priority..... 

So he came home, 

he let me get a dog, he bought a brand new car for the first time in his life, we moved house, etc. There were a lot of little things but they were "things".

Shortly thereafter someone made a jealous and hateful statement along the lines of "must be nice, blah blah blah, I hope you lose it all....."...

Then a few other bad things happened. My dad decided that there will always be those who can not see past the THING to see the reason behind it. He realized that there will always be those who see what you have and undeserved and unearned and therefore be jealous and even jealous enough to wish evil on you. He immediately put voodoo dolls on everything he could and things got better....

We have done it ever since. We treat them well and they look out for us. 

Then I realized that I had not shared the whole story here as to why this is on my mind..... 

So as I think you all know (or maybe not, I have been a terrible blogger lately) I recently bought a truck.  I had to.  My car was in a state where I could not trust it but yet I have to drive for work.  I was going to trade my other truck until I realized that it might be 21 years old and have a quarter million miles on it but it is the more reliable vehicle.  So I bit the bullet and sold the car and bought another truck last month.   When the old truck gets to that point, I will trade it on a car, until then two trucks for me.

It has more on it than I need but in order to get what I did need, it came a bit fancified.

I do not need all the chrome trim, wheels, and power whatever but I got it anyway.  And got a good deal when the dealer realized that I was serious about not wanting it. 

Anyway, I drove it home and it was mine.  Subsequently, I drove it to work and immediately started hearing the "must be nice", "you must make too much money", and other comments.  I passed them off as harmless ribbing. 
I should not have.  I had moved everything out of the car and into the truck and just gone about my business forgetting one crucial thing.

Flash back to shortly before everything started breaking on the car...  It was a mess and needed cleaned and waxed badly.  I was going to do it but then the detail shop down the street from the house had a special... it was cheaper to have them do it than I would pay in water to do it myself.  So I head them do it. 

Turned out to be a big mistake.  During that visit someone either accidentally cleaned/vacuumed up or stole my doll out of the car.  I noticed it almost immediately and made them look for it.  No such luck.  I swore to myself I would replace it right away and then didn't.  I would forget, not have time whatever.  A week later, I would get hit in the car.  They didn't do a lot of damage but enough.  Then little things started to go wrong with the car.  The windows stopped working one by one, something odd with the engine, the truck latch went wonky, two tires developed leaks, then finally the whole thing with the valet service killing the battery...

Now this did not happen all at once or I might have realized my mistake.  It was a slow trickle that turned into a flood.  So I bought the new truck, moved all my stuff and went about my business.

Flash forward to this week.  Tuesday the dog leaped off the bed in the middle of the night and attacked the front windows like crazy.  I came to the front and saw nothing.  I went back to bed and finally she did too.  I got up in the morning and went about my day.  As I got ready  to pull out of the drive I noticed the driver's mirror was folded up.  I grinned as I thought that TIM must have bumped it the night before when he was over.  Then I reached for one of the "gadgets I don't need but have come to enjoy" and pushed the button for the power mirror.  It began to fold out the driver's and I looked to the right and realized the passenger's had a problem.  I put the truck in park and got out.  Sure enough, someone had ripped all the chrome covers off the mirror.  Then I connected the dots. 

They must have been after the driver's when the dog went nuts and scared them off.  I called the cops who came and wrote a report and proclaimed it drivable, and then I went on with my day.  I called the dealer and they assured me that I could get NON CHROME covers to fit for $30 each or so.  I decided I didn't need to deal with the insurance.  the paint is scratched but it is all in the clear coat so no big deal to live with or buff out.  They also gouged the mirror body but again I can live with it.  I can switch out the covers so this won't happen again.

Arrived at the dealer and confirmed the cover purchase... then thought to ask  if this was all I needed.  The dealer is great so the parts manager stepped out to have a look.  Then made a face and shook his head.  "damn kids" he muttered " they steal the chrome to avoid buying it but take the whole cover every time." 

When I questioned what he meant by that he explained.  The mirror cover is two pieces.  The chrome is the top.  They stole the chrome which is replaceable and exchangeable to put "the bling" on their cars for free.  This is the part that is either chrome, paint to match, or black and comes standard as black..... stolen as well was the bottom which is black and not sold separately from the mirror.  My $30 repair just became $310.  Then when questioned he told me that YES my door panels have to come off to replace the mirror and YES that does require a special clip removal tool not yet available for sale to the public.  My repair just became $600.  I could get the mirror in black and then would need the extra black one for the driver's side total now $630 plus tax. 

He saw I was near to tears and patted my shoulder.  Before you do all this, maybe check with warrantee or service and see if maybe they have a full cover set on a defective mirror also try craigslist and ebay to see if someone has them for sale.  I thanked him and drove home.  I decided best short term answer was to park inside the gate so they didn't take the driver's until I figured out what to do. 

So I pulled in the drive inside the fence and came in the back door.....Where I noticed that doll hanging.  I literally did the "face palm" thing.  I realized that not only had I neglected to replace it in my car.... my new truck didn't have one either.  So now it does.  Now if only I can find the mirrors/covers for a decent price.


The thing about homes.....  Its yours.  You own it. 

Within the walls of that home, you may do as you please.  No one, not any one can tell you what to do.  Well they can tell you but you may in turn show them the door.  It is your castle you control who passes the moat.

You have the power to paint the walls puce if you so desire or choose to leave them white and paint the ceiling purple.  Curtains, blinds, or shutters?  What does your heart desire?  Its your choice to make. 

I like to think of my house as that little piece of my heart, head, and soul that is accessible to others.  They can come inside and get a sense of the greater me.  There are rooms that are pure PollyAnna, rooms that scream Yvonne, but mostly it is the blended me that shows through.  People come in and tell me that they can see me in every room of my house as well as in the outside spaces.

Know that there will be those who will come in and try to change it to suit them.  There are those who would try to assert their influence on your home.  These same people are those who would try to do the same with your life.   But know that here in your home, you have the power to ignore them.  Or give them your ear then simply ignore or politely decline to change it.  This home, it is the one place where you can run for shelter much as you once ran to your childhood home.  This place has stopped your nomadic life and set the roots deep into the soil if only for a time.  You can of course always choose to nomadically move on again but for now, this place is your roots. 

That said, be cautious as to who you allow into this precious place of yours.  Do not allow it to become tarnished or tainted by those who would do you harm by thought, word or deed.  These folks, do not casually allow them access to this portion of your soul, not by their physical presence, not by thought, by word, or even virtually.  Be mindful that this place remains yours alone by careful vigilance of those that you allow power and control over it and chose wisely. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blogger's Block.

Well, here is a quote I must remember when writer's block strikes. 

"you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" ~ Ray Bradbury