Monday, May 28, 2018

Correlation of Tea Consumption to Pain Experienced = 100%

With surgery 3 days away, I've got a lot on my mind these past few weeks. Wrapping up at work, getting things organized at home, getting through my nesting urges and navigating the usual pre-surgery emotional roller coaster that seems to come every time. 

To add to the list, my shoulder is now declaring itself done, and my pain has increased noticably. so much, that I am Googling pain scales to accurate encapsulate how much it hurts. I'm putting my pain at a solid 5 right now with some days at 4 and others at 6. 

I've been providing a pain number at rheumatology, neurology and orthopedic appointments for years.  They ask you to provide a number between 1 and 10 rating your pain, without any cues or clues as to what constitutes a 1 or a 10. And I think I've been doing it all wrong all along, and under-rating my pain.

I can clearly recall my 9. It was a few surgeries back, and they had taken bone from my hip to graft to my shoulder. For that surgery, I didn't want a nerve block (too many past issues), so I was at the mercy of the IV pain meds they were pumping into me. My pain reached the "worst possible pain you can imagine" and since then I've adjusted my pain scale and compared everything since then to those few awful hours in recovery as my pain was out of control. 

To address my increased pain, I spoke with my rheumatologist and she provided me a prescription for Dilaudid as the Tramadol and Tylenol 1's were not sufficiently addressing my pain, and I still had 3 weeks to go until surgery. The Dilaudid is helping my pain, however my emotional state is a whole other matter.

One of my coping mechanisms has been to drink more tea. It seems the correlation between increased pain and tea consumption is 100%. There is something soothing about tea that calms me, provides some caffeine and forces me to slow down for a few minutes and regroup. This simple exercise is one of the several non-medical ways I try and manage my pain. I've also been working from home in the afternoon for the past several weeks, which allows me to lie down for 20 minutes to rest. Plus the added comfort of being at home, in comfy clothes hanging out with my puppy provides some measure of soothing to my frayed body and emotional state.

I've been listening to playlists from Google Play. A lot of comfort music, which can be categorized as Alternative Hits from the 90s. I came across OAR's "Shattered" and it seemed appropriate for my current state.