A Personal Update

Pink Peony

I'm aware that the blog has taken a bit of a different turn lately and I know it's gone down a path that is more serious than usual. With everything going on in the world, I'm just not able to feign ignorance to what's going on and act like nothing is wrong. And this blog gives me a voice so if I don't use it now, then when? I didn't intend for my posting schedule to change when the pandemic began but due to a health issue that has been at times debilitating, I've had to reduce my posts.

I have had to take a step back from posting here as well as social media as I've cut down screen time as a whole. I've talked about some of my health struggles like vertigo and tinnitus in the past as well as that two year period where it was an endless spiral of pain and injuries. This is the reason why I'm extremely careful about my habits, what I eat and don't eat as well as the products I use and have an obsession with hygiene and keeping a clean home. This has served me well for a number of years which I have been able to live mostly pain and illness free. Then the pandemic came. While I'm pretty sure I had a mild version of COVID-19 early on, my main issue was a pinched nerve in my neck and cervical radiculopathy that was causing a constant stabbing pain in my arm. After a medical tele-visit, I began doing physical therapy exercises which helped and the pain started going away but life goes on and I still had to cook and housekeep. We ordered in some times but that's not a solution that's especially healthy or fiscally sound for the long term. And this is definitely not the time to slack on cleaning, My husband has been helping me as much as he can and we do many things together but he has been dealing with shoulder pain himself.

So I would get better and then get worse and in the past few weeks, my condition worsened. The pain moved into my neck and even the smallest motions would trigger arm pain or a feeling of pins and needles. The simple act of brushing my teeth would be excruciatingly painful and anything that required looking down or bending forward was murder. And then it started wreaking havoc with my sleep which really messed me up because that was the only time I could somewhat escape from the pain. I went from taking anti-inflammatories a few times a week to every day. My  husband and I have spent many a night commiserating over not being able to sleep due to pain. Fortunately I have been able to take naps in the afternoon.

Health, Health quote

I'm not going to lie, this has taken a toll on me both mentally and emotionally because my body has once again betrayed me. It has stirred up my anxiety and caused me to become withdrawn and disinterested. I have also been emotional and viscerally reactive to things that usually wouldn't bother me. At the same time I feel like I'm seeing certain situations/people for what they are and am clearer than ever about my priorities. I just want to be well and be a better citizen of the world. Things like makeup and artifice become really unimportant when just washing my face is a struggle. Sticking to a pain management routine, reading books and listening to music have been my escape as well as shutting out anything that I just can't be bothered with.

We finally went to see my orthopedic doctor yesterday. We've been putting it off because we didn't feel safe traveling uptown in a pandemic especially since I'm immunocompromised. He diagnosed me with left shoulder impingement and cervical radiculopathy. I'm scheduled to go for an x-ray and he has prescribed physical therapy for now, He also showed me a few exercises to help with the pain for now.  I'm feeling hopeful that I don't have nerve damage and being able to email him going forward also gives me some peace of mind. My husband also saw him and he was diagnosed with a possible torn rotator cuff and frozen shoulder. He has had problems with that shoulder ever since dislocating when he was a gymnast in his youth. I have had frozen shoulder and it took a year and half to regain a sense of normalcy. This is a condition can be immobilizing to the point that you can't do anything because something as simple as getting dressed hurts like hell. I feel for my husband and am beyond grateful for how he has put his pain aside to help me as much as possible during this time.

I also sliced my left index finger last week while prepping food. It was pretty nasty and deep and if we weren't in the midst of a pandemic I would've went and got stitches. I was able to stem the bleeding and the liquid bandage I put on there seems to be keeping it together. I think it's going to be okay but getting anything done is a little inconvenient at the moment. My husband has stepped up and has even been helping me wash my hair. I nearly sliced off the tip of my ring finger years ago and had to get twelve stitches and lost some sensation in it. This doesn't seem to be anywhere as bad but it's not fun.

I'm sharing this because I've been open about what's going on with me in the past and if I have been off or distant lately, know that it's nothing personal, Pain management occupies a good part of my days and I  just don't always have the energy to interact or engage. It's also not always easy for me to stay positive and act like everything is okay when it's not. But it's not all bad. Being a chronic pain sufferer has really given me a high threshold for pain. And going through this has finally made me a true back sleeper because I have to sleep in a very specific position. This is much better for my skin. I was a side sleeper and would sometimes wake up with pillow marks on the side of my face.  Just keep in mind that even though people may seem and look fine, they may be going through something that you can't see. So don't judge and be kind as not everything is about you.  Health is something we should never take for granted and if you are fortunate enough to be healthy, take care of yourself and cherish it.


Lilli said...

Hello my friend, tears on eyes while reading your post. I know, must be so so hard for you. After my accident my life changed and what have been simple acts or habits are now a keeping struggle just to pretend everything is back to normal but isnt. Exercise and being active have helped but the chronic pain and vertigo are now my best friends. Health is the most important thing and we shouldnt keep it for granted at all, but rather being grateful for it, even though isnt anymore as it was used to be. Love and hugs to you and your hubby my dear Rowena, send you much light and prayers <3

Pilar said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been having a tough time Rowena. It's okay if you're not positive all the time, you're only human. Last year I felt like my world was falling apart. Like you, I was having anxiety and disinterest, so I can imagine some of what you're feeling. Sending love, prayers, and hugs to you my friend <3

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Aww...Rowena!! So sorry to hear about these constant struggles...I can understand those. I have cerebral palsey in my legs and most days are fine but some days my muscles are really tired and I can struggle to even walk to the next room. It can be sore as well and take from a few days to weeks to really feel better. I get anxiety as well, it comes and goes and wavers in intensity depending on the situation. I know it can feel like there is no light but, there is and you will find it. And it's perfectly fine to not find it straight away or need time...take all that you need, you will feel better for listening to yourself and what you need. Health is so important and something we should never take lightly. All my love, hugs and light to you!! <3

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

I'm so sad to hear this and reading your post. Health is always on the first place and if we aren't healthy everything else is much harder. I send you a lot of love and positive thought.

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R.ChamberofBeauty said...

I'm really sad to hear about your health my friend. I will pray for you and hope you get well soon. I believe that prayers have immense power in them. Take care of your health.
Love <3

Ivana Split said...

Any kind of health problem or pain issue puts pressure on us and you really had to deal with a lot in the past few months. You have done the best you could in these hard times. It is good you and your husband are able to be there for one another, despite the fact that you both struggle with health. I imagine that the situation being so crazy in USA only adds insult to injury. This whole pandemic has caused so much uncertainty in everyone's life.
It is wonderful that you are able to see the silver lining in all of this. It is never easy to deal with health issues, but every situation is a growth opportunity. Dealing with chronic paint has taught me patience and sometimes it seems to me that it also made me a more compassionate person.

Hena Tayeb said...

So sorry to hear all that you have been going through. Times are stressful and so many people have decided they are tired of the virus and continuing as if all is okay. It baffles me. Take care and I hope you can find yourself pain free again.. soon. We'll be hear when you get back.

ALLIE NYC said...

I am so sorry you are going through such a rough time. I know how chronic pain and discomfort can be. I deal with chronic health problems and chronic pain and discomfort because of it. I don't speak about it much on the blog or in person, only with one or two people I know well. So I know how hard it can be. It is hard to be in a good mood to be positive or to be around other people. I am glad you have your husband and I hope that the PT helps.

Allie of

Deasy said...

Oh Rowena, can I just give you a virtual hug right now? I'm sorry to hear that you (and your husband) are going through some physical difficulties. In a time like this, especially, since seeing any medical professional is like jumping through hoops. I hope you are able to take the time to take care of yourself. <3


Omaye said...

I recently discovered your blog and I didn't know about your medical history.
I'm so sorry about what is happening to you and I wish you and your wonderful husband the best.
I cant say I know what the pain feels like, but I emphasise with you as it hard going about your day to day activities that I personally take for granted.
I believe in prayers and I will pray for you.
I wish you safe recovery and the best that life has to offer.

Emmylou said...

((((HUGS)))) chingu. :( Thank you for sharing what has been going on. I am soooo truly sorry to read that the pain on the shoulder has not eased up but am glad to hear you were able to go to your orthopaedic doctor. Oh man....I can only imagine how painful this must be:( During this time, it is truly hard to be mentally ok, and having physical pain to boot is no joke. My older sis had to be to ER a couple of times for vertigo. I don't honestly know how you manage. You are one tough woman. Please let me know if there is anything I can do (or send).

Dressed With Soul said...

Oh, dear Rowena, I'm so sorry! You are going through a horrible pain and it must be so difficult for you. Nevertheless you are so brave, I'm very impressed. Sending you good and healing thoughts by my heart and you are so right, that the health belongs to the most important things in life. Thank you for sharing and please take care <3
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

Mica said...

Sorry to hear you have so much going on! I know pain and chronic conditions can be hard things to live with so definitely take it easy and don't feel pressure to keep up with all the blog stuff! It will still be here when you feel better.

We have had the same fears here about visiting doctors and hospitals - sadly with the kids we have had to visit hospital a few times! They are your typical rowdy boys! It's good you've been able to see someone about the pain and I hope that things improve for both you and your husband!

Away From Blue

Jackie Harrison said...

I'm so sorry for your continue health struggles it must take a big toll on your mental and deep feelings. I hope it improve for the better and you could get back to yourself. I agree a healthy self is a happy self. Be strong you will conquer this.

Doctor Anne said...

I am very sorry to hear that you still have pain issues - the toll that takes on mental health and general wellbeing is highly underestimated. Once again I have to say how lucky you and your husband are for having each other, it seems you are constantly caring and there for one another.
Sending you lots of love and all the best for your health.

Gemma Etc. said...

Oh gosh I can only imagine how painful your shoulder/arm must be. Now you know what you're dealing with, I hope you start to feel better xx


Jo said...

Rowena, so sorry and sad to hear what you and your hubby are going through. I love the last two sentences - be kind and be grateful for our health. Sending you love from Canada.

xo Jo