Revisiting my lost blog

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1, 2011 by icangel

I had completely forgotten about this blog until my e-mail alerted me to a new comment. So much has changed in the past few years. And while all the information I’ve posted has it’s place, I made a decision to turn away from western medicine and added a more Eastern approach to my daily life. I became so fed up with this one sided view of how the body works from the perspective that the physical is just the physical. Nothing any doctor offered me fixed the problem to my standards. I thought…there must be something more out there. This can’t be it?? It wasn’t.

I’ve always relied on both eastern and western points of view but deciding to journey away from our medical system and turn fully twords an eastern approach has changed my life for the better. No more daily medications. I do sometimes use a sleep aid as having to get up numerous times a night to use the bathroom gets exhausting, but the pains not there. There are days when I don’t feel as well as others. I still get tired, and if I eat something that’s a big no-no like hot sauce there can be some pain…but I’ve learned how to feel it differently.

More to come as I have to get ready for work. Yes…work. Work that involves constant physical labor. I never thought I’d be able to work like this again. I’ve taken back my life. I refuse to let my bladder rule my day. I’ve had to start over from the beginning but I’d rather be at a more healthy, pain free beginning than stuck in a cycle of suffering I can’t control.

The diffrence the internet can make

Posted in Daily issues, Uncategorized on June 15, 2008 by icangel

For the past few years alot of people have had to listen to me complain about the continued rise of technology doing alot of nothing.  Looking at those rants from the perpective of a daily internet user, I can see all my technology issues stemmed from the medical field.  The over used example of putting a man on the moon has been a favorite of mine.  There are people living on this very earth who have stepped onto a different planet and been able to feel our worlds advances beneth there feet.  Yet no one can fix my bladder.  When you think of modern day technology, all we can do and all that is on the horizon, it is popusterous that medical advances are unable to repair or reverse peoples suffering. That view of course leads right to possible spiritual or religious reasons for suffering. But although I often vere off topic and end up losing place of my origional point, I may defenitly add my probable spiritual reasons in another post.  But then there are all those PC views and topics I hate to avoid but have been so wisley taught to keep to myself.  I ask…whats the fun of keeping quite in my own blog. 

At least I havent sufferend long enough or become bitter enough as to start thinking consiracy theories…Since meeting a variety of different people who have been in pain for decades, many have become bitter to medical care and start to believe that there DR’s are only out for money and could care less as to fix the problem…presribing medication for pain brings in more money. I dont buy it…Yet.

 

Non-Narcotic Pain Management

Posted in Some common Treatmets on June 4, 2008 by icangel

****Like always I am not a medical professional. All medication information listed here is from my own personal experience or knowlege. Some information is also from the ICN network web site. Never take a medication prescription or otherwise without consulting your DR and or they are monitoring the medication use. It puts me at ease to always say this disclaimer but especially when talking about medications. This information is to only be used for general knowlege and not for the consumption of any medication without a DR******

 

I have known for quite a while about the management of pain with non-narcotic medications but up until the past 6 months, never needed to use anything more than atarax(hydroxazine) and pyridim along side my extended release medication.  So I thought due to my recent need for one I would post a bunch that I knew of. I’m sure there are handfuls of medications they have found to improve chronic pain but I honestly only know of the ones my DR and I have spoken about. 

Remember I’m not a medical professional these are only to be used for general knowlege NOT without a DR.

Of course the favorite of Dr’s who treat IC…

Hydroxozine(atarax;vistaril)

This medication is an antihistamine and is also used in treating mild anxiety. It effects mast cell degranulation which is thought to contribute to IC symptoms. It can help to decrease night time voiding. daytime frequency and decrease pain.

I personally really like this medication but it can make you drowsy so it can take a bit of time to adjust. I say worth the wait and extra naps!

An oldie but a goodie is Pyridim:

Which is uaually used to treat the pain and burning sensation that accompanies UTI’s. This is the medication that turns Urine orange. It is good at helping to keep bladder spasms and urethra pain with IC controlled during a flare or particularly bad day.

Although this is non narcotic, I believe there is a pyridim which does include a sedative. Dont qoute me on that. It’s what I have heard as I have never tried it.

Tricyclic Anti-Depressants:

These medicines when being used for IC are not being used to treat depression. The side effects of these medications may actually be beneficial to us IC’ers.  There used in smaller amounts to treat pain and work by blocking the bladder pain. They dont know how it works exactly.  These medicines can

relaz the bladder and dcrease the severity of bladder spasms, cause an antihistamine property with the sedating side effect of the medicine, delay the desire to urinate and block certain nuerotransmitters which cause the brain to disregard pain signals.

Then there are options like Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants have been used for pain for a long time. There said to help relieve nueropathic pain(nerve pain) While some anticonvulsants arent narcotic other like Klonopin are.

I have tried Topamax but had a bit of an unplesant side effect when my eye lids began to spasm. Not fatal but not really something you can handle for more than a few seconds at a time.

There is some information pertaining to muscle relaxants, but not the type I was expecting to see. I expected to see something like Soma. The listed medications were more like Atavan and valium. I have never tried anything like Soma for my pain. The bladder is a muscle.  I do wonder what a muscle relaxant like soma would do for IC.  I’ll try to research that more.

These are the medications that I know of that are non-narcotic and must be prescribed by a DR. There are some others listed on the ICN network web site where I got all the exact information for these meds but I am not familiar with them at all so will wait to learn a bit more before I add them.

I also will post some of the over the counter medication available which is known to help IC symptoms.

 

Been a While!

Posted in I'm Baaack! on June 4, 2008 by icangel

For quite a while I couldnt find my password and the new one wasnt working so I couldnt long on.

It was awful not being able to blog away my days. Funny how attached you get to your laptop or computer!

   So what is new?? I have stopped the Heperin Installments. They just got too painful and became more trouble than I could deal with for a while. On ocassion my Uro sneaks one up on me. I agree if I have nothing to do for the day but dont really get much breakthrough medication so try to avoid seeing my Uro on days I actually have a glimmer of a normal life.

     My pain has been pretty bad these days. I have gone through tons of medication options and nothing has really helped much. My Pain management Dr and I agreed that raising my extended release medication wouldnt be a good option so am searching for way to medicate the pain in non-narcotic ways.  I’ll post alot of the non-narcotic options for pain management a bit later on.

  My pain management Dr also suggested I see a therapist to deal with the psychological effects of dealing with chronic pain. Although I have been avoiding it, I know its a good idea. She has been after me to do it for about a year(maybe more) I know I get down much easier than I used to and have had a hard time adjusting to life without all the physical activity I used to be able to do. My pain doc also says that because I’m so sensative to medictions she would prefer to have those non-narcotic meds that are known to improve nerve pain like anti-depressants and anti-convulsants br prescribed by someone who specializes in them. Makes sense. Psychiatrists do specialize in psychotropics.

 When she stronly(very stongly..) suggested this a few weeks ago, I found that I got insulted. I know that she doesnt think I’m crazy or that my pain is psychosematic, but I still had this bubble of insecurity rise up and before I knew it I was saying things to her like…my pain isnt all in my head, I’m not crazy!  My Dr being very comapssionate and understanding only reassured me that she knew my pain was real which was why she was giving me such string medication in the first place.  But usually I wouldnt have reacted in that way so I guess it is time to talk to someone about depression and stress.

  I have been to therapy before…I am an american afterall.  But I also work in the field and hate admitting that I need help. You would think it was easier…Nope. Shame on me for that.

   So here I am at home on the couch for the uptenth day in a row. 3am, cant sleep and hanging out on the internet like its my only friend in the world.

 I have started visiting a health forum and although I dont post much about myself I like to help other people on it….come to think about it, I really dont post too much stuff about my day to day life even in my own blog. I should turn over a new leaf. It’s not as if I have to start revealing deep dark secrets although this blog would proabably get really popular pretty quick!  I did notice that my blog has been viewed 66 times(woohoo) now depending on how much of that is family checking up on me I have no idea.  But regardless thanks to anyone for paying even a minute amount of attention to my world! I also apologize to those who read it as I am a terrible typist and constantly misspell words and put marks where they dont belong.

  What prompted me to stop at nothing to get access to my blog again is that the medical forum I like to hang out on just started a new forum for Interstitial Cystitis. It is a forum that consists of a DR to answere questions so its not really for getting to know others with IC, but its a start. I thought maybe my blog will make a difference to someone who comes along. And if there is someone who can identify with anything or know there not alone, than it is worth keeping up with.

 Hopefully I can begin as much as possible again as I have learned alot of new information on not only IC but on pain management and the problems surrounding us with the management on pain.

  So for now…I will be making an appointment for someone to shrink my head and prescribe yet another pill that will supposibly help with the nereve pain in the bladder. I guess you can say that pain does come from the head in a way if you can take a medication that helps block the brain from sending a pain message to the nerves. Not sure that is the exact way it works but I know it is along similar lines.

 

Using aromatherapy, music and candles during meditations

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 15, 2008 by icangel

Throughout the past 10+ years of meditation, I have experimented with many external aromas, sounds and light.  And although these things can be a benefit when attempting to reach another level of consciousness, if you cant get a hold of them they are not required at all.

MUSIC:

When I first started meditating I would use a meditation provided by a voice on a tape(now most all are CD’s).  In the beginning this was very helpful as I had little idea of what to do and what can be achieved during a meditation. 

    There are so many different types of meditations on CD’s available.  The best place I have found to find these CD’s is at a new age, holistic or metaphysical store.  I was recently asked a question that if there were meditation tapes available in a store that focused on ideas of Christianity.  And while there are, I don’t know where to find them except using the Internet to look for them.  But if you are christian, new age and metaphysical stores offer so much more than what people have been lead to think.  There are all different kins of stores.  Some focus more on Wicca beliefs while alot more focus on spirituality in general.    These stores also sell incense, herbs, candles, all natural bath products, stones and trinkets. If you have even the slightest belief that spirituality does not have to contain religious belief, then checking one of these stores out can open up a whole other world beyond the physical and mundane. 

Okay back to my topic…Meditation does not often pertain to any specific religion, while there are some that do, most are a reflection of the human mind, body and spirit and what our minds are able to obtain once opened without the judgement of our ego.  So getting these meditation tapes and CD’s from a new age or metaphysical shop is okay.  But some will not venture in due to personal beliefs and that is okay, you can find many on-line. 

Eventually through practice, you will be able to come up with your own meditations and what works best for you.  During a meditation you have come up with, or read in a book, or my wonderful blog:0):0):0) you can use instrumental music.  There are again CD’s made specifically for this reason.  But you by no means have to use them.  You can use any sort of soft instrumental music you find relaxing.  You will want to avoid any music with lyrics as this can break your concentration or leave you unable to focus on your meditation from the get go.

You can also use sounds such as ocean waves, heart beats and rain.  I would stay away from sounds like the rain forest or with animals on it because those sounds can be disruptive and again break your concentration and relaxation.  But if your aim is to just get to a relaxing state, then any sound you find very relaxing will work.   Even the rain-forest sounds.  Meditation doesn’t always include reaching a different state of consciousness.  Many, many meditations focus on learning to relax and lower anxiety.  Those are also great.  A good relaxation exercise along with sounds and music is under my post about color and visualization.  It is an exercise which focuses on releasing the tension your body builds up, from your toes to your head. 

 AROMATHERAPY: 

Aromatherapy as I’ve discussed is a way of using your sense of smell to bring about certain thoughts and physical feelings.  Aromatherapy is used in many ways from relieving physical ailments and pain to helping open the mind and bring about relaxation in general and during meditation. 

There are many different kinds of scents used for meditation and in a variety of ways.  The most popular being incense or candles.  Some other ways using aromatherapy during meditation is to get an essential oil and oil burner.  By adding a few drops of essential oil to water and adding heat, you can fill a whole room with an inviting and relaxing sent.  You can buy or make pillows which contain certain herbs like lavender, eucalyptus and a variety of other aromatic herbs.  Aromatic lotions can be applied to your skin before meditation or taking a bath with aromatic oils, salts OR gels.  Another great way to use aromatherapy during meditation is to put a few drops in a vaporizer and inhale the aromas deeply.  But not all scents can be used on the skin and not all scents work best in a vaporizer.  A good rule of thumb is that if you can buy it in an essential oil and you like the smell, you can use it in an oil burner.  Also anything you can find in incense for can obviously be smoked.  But smoke is not always a great option as it can bother alot of people. 

I have listed some aromatherapy essential oils in a previous post and those can also be used in meditation if you find the smell to be pleasant.  I have a few more favorites that I find benefit my mental state during a meditation.

Myrrh:is used as a purifying sent.  You can use it in incense, burn the actual resin or in an oil burner.  I think Myrrh has a very Strong aroma.  Its really earthy and deep. I love it as an all around sent day to day.  And of course it has been prized for thousand of years for its healing properties when the 3 wise men offered it as a gift to baby jesus.

Frankincense: another wonderful sent.  Used alot in meditations to promote feelings of courage and protection.  But the sent brings an all around pleasant feeling.  And of course its importance throughout time just like myrrh, makes it a wonderful sent to use.

Amber: True amber resin in expensive as it is hard to obtain by those who gather it.  develop millions of years ago it is the fossilized sap of the pine tree.  But true Amber resin has a very beautiful and light sent.  It is said to help open the minds eye.  Of course amber like smells can also be used in incense, and although a beneficial aroma all around the incense is rarely true amber. If you can get your hands on true Amber resin, you’ll never want to stop smelling it. I cant say enough about this aroma its my top sent.

Ginger: Because ginger has alot of healing properties, using it during healing meditations is excellent.  It has grounding properties and is invigorating yet relaxing.  It can also calm the nervous system.  Confucius was said to never be without ginger at any meal.  This shows how long ginger has been used for its healing and aromatic properties.  You can use ginger as a message oil, bath oil or lotion.  But it can bring on skin irritation in large quantities.  I have used the lotion prior to meditation. 

Patchouli:Okay, we have all heard patchouli is the sent of the 60’s and can be used as an aphrodisiac.  But patchouli offers so much more as an all around calming and grounding sent.  I have found that its either a sent you love or hate.  But on my end, I love it.  And hey, if it was used by the hippies of the 60’s you know its sent was worn to bring about feeling of earth connection and love.  What could be better? You can use this sent, in the bath as a lotion, in an incense and oil burner.

Lavender: Cant leave this one out.  When you think of aromatherapy, lavender always comes to mind. Its calming and relaxing. You can use it in just about any way you want including pillows and eye masks.  Its a staple for anyone exploring meditation or general aromatherapy. 

Sage:  Yep, sage is a wonderful sent for meditating.  It is said that upon the ribbons of sage smoke your prayers are brought to the heavens and Divine.  Many people use sage wands to purify and cleanse spaces.  Especially before meditation.  I love the earthy sent of sage and use it often to cleanse my home. Ever time I use sage to cleanse my home, my cats get ultra happy and start jumping and playing around.  Its almost as if they felt more energetically comfortable and want to show me that its a benefit.  I only used to do it once and a while until I noticed how much happier they were afterwards.  Its like an energetic cat nip for them!

CANDLES:

As I mentioned above, candles can be used for purposes of aromatherapy.  But candles also have many uses when it comes to the mind, body and spirit. 

Many people choose to use candles in meditations for not only there sent but color.  Just as in color visualization and chakra cleanings, certain meditations can be paired with certain candle colors.  You can use any colored candle you pick up from the store but again new age and metaphysical shops specialize in selling candles representing certain goals and energies from color use.   Unlike music and aromatherapy, candle use for mediation isn’t always used.  Many burn a white candle during meditation to symbolize the divine as white is pure.  But getting into the use of different colors can ger quite involved. 

I always generally use a white candle when meditating to symbolize the divine.  Mostly when I know I will not fall asleep.  For this reason, if you would like to try and use candles you need to make sure they are in a very safe holder and that your alarm is set so you don’t let it burn down.  I keep the candle on a table containing nothing else and nothing above the table.  But I would never recommend using a candle and falling asleep, so I cant say you should or shouldn’t use one during meditation. That is your call, I don’t want anything bad to happen.

Okay now that that is out of the way…if you think you would like to experiment with candles you can use the color list in the color mediation post and match up your goal with a color. 

During a meditation,  I often use my visualization to visit different places for relaxation. I like chakra and color meditations for healing but my favorites are using my visualization techniques.  I usually pick a particular sent, usually sage incense and light a white candle. I make little sachets filled with lavender and chamomile and place then on my chest and inhale them deeply. I don’t generally use music or sound but if I do its usually a specialized CD from my local new age shop filled with gentle instrumental sounds. That’s my favorite way to do them.  But half the fun in using meditations daily is to figure out what helps you open your mind and relax in the best ways.

Happy Meditating:)

Herbalism

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 15, 2008 by icangel

Herbs can be great remedies for all most any condition that ails you.  Whenever herbs are taken you should consult your doctor or a certified herbalist.  There are some such as chamomile and marshmallow root that are very safe and sold in most grocery stores as tea.  Others may be a little harder to find or only available through an herbalist.  Today herbalists are becoming popular in many towns, cities and states.  Also, whenever you take an herb you should research the information pertaining to it. Especially those that act on the Central nervous system.  Anyone taking narcotic medications SHOULD NOT take any herb that can be sedating. 

I am not a doctor or herbal specialist.  I have not tried all the herbs I am going to mention.  But will make mark to each one I have used with a **.  Some can be found at natural food stores and health stores. 

**Yarrow Root:

Anti-Inflammatory; Anti spasmodic

Can be used for fevers, high blood pressure, intestinal infections, diarrhea, menstrual cramps and to improve pelvic circulation.

Generally used as a tea. 

Can also be used in baths to relieve aches and pains

**Marshmallow:

Helps Irritable Bladder and non-reproductive coughs

Used as a tea.

**Fennel:

Used for IBS, Arthritis, water retention, Adema and also used to reduce hunger

Used as a tea

**Rhubarb Root:

Do not eat Rhubarb Leaves

Used as Laxative, for constipation and feelings of congestion.

Laxative Wine: Warm a glass of white wine(do not boil) pour on to 1tsp. of chopped Rhubarb Root.  Add a pinch of Cinnamon.  Let sit over night.  Strain and drink.

White Willow Bark:

Anti-inflammatory, mild painkiller and anaphrodisiac(lowers sex drive)

Contains aspirin like compounds, but does not upset stomach

Skullcap:

Calms nervous system, anti-spasmodic, anxiety, tension, headache

Years ago commercially made skullcap were found to contain Germander, which is poison. Always buy herbs from a reputable store.

Used dried Skullcap as a tea

**Linden:

Calming and soothing, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic

used for alieving anxiety, irritability and insomnia.  Also induces sweating and lowers fevers. 

Old or improperly dried Linden is said to have a narcotic effect.  Throw away old or discolored flower.

**Valerian Root:

Sedative, nerve restorative, calms the heart and anti-spasmodic.  Helps with insomnia

Used as a tea

Cramp Bark:

Relaxant, anti-spasmodic, mildly sedative, cramping pains, muscle spasms, shoulder and neck tension and back pain

In large doses cramp bark may lower blood pressure and cause the feeling of fainting.

Aromatherapy Oils and Uses

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 15, 2008 by icangel

Essential oils are not only benefitial in aromatherapy but are also great for uses on reducing inflamation on the skin and sometimes on cuts and rashes.  Not all Essential oils can be used on the skin or inhaled in the air and should only be used in there directed ways.  Unless you have allergies or sensitive skin aromatherapy in baths as well as in the use of vapors in generally safe.  This post is only for oils which are used in vapors and/or on the skin.  Although some mentioned below can be taken internally, I will discuss those in a different post.

Marigold:

Do not confuse with African Merigold(Tacetes) which is toxic.

Anti Inflammatory for inflamed skin.  Stops bleeding and also has wound healing properties.

Ylang-Ylang:

 Great for use in combating stress related insomnia.

Use in bath, lotions and shower gels.

Roman Chamomile:

calms nervous system and induces sleep. Anti-inflammatory. Has anti-bacterial properties.  Prevents and eases spasms.  Good for skin Infections such as rashes, cuts and bites.  Reduces fluid retention and fevers. 

Use in Baths, Compresses(hot or cold) and lotions. 

Cinnamon Leaf:

Do not confuse with Cinnamon bark(part used in cooking) which can be an irritant when released by heat into the air.

Respiratory and circulation stimulant.  Great for chest infections. Poor concentration and helps lift depression. 

Use in compresses and vapors

Bergamot:

Never use undiluted on the skin.  Can cause an increase in the skins sensitivity to light

Joyous and uplifting.  Also great for use with Interstitial Cystitis. Soak cotton in mixture of 3 drops bergomot and 3 drops lavender and wipe soaked cotton on opening or urethra to sooth inflamed and raw skin sometimes resulting from increased urination. 

The above solution is great in a bath also.  Bergomot should be used in a carrier oil(an oil which easily dilutes in water) when used in a bath. 

The sent of Bergomot also repels insects and worms.  And can also be used for vaginal itching and discharge. For that use see above solution.

Myrrh:

Calming, relieves agitation. Has a balancing effect on emotions

use in oil burner and incense

Lemon Grass:

Good for headaches, lethargy and stress.  Used for muscular pain and also as a deodorant for excessive perspiration.  Used in vaporizers it helps keep pet smells in the home at bay.

Can be used in lotions, compresses and baths and vapors

Eucalyptus:

Great for coughs and colds.  Chest congestion and sinuses. Used in compresses, treats muscle aches and pains. 

Use in Baths, Vaporizers and hot compresses.  Also wonderful when mixed with a little lotion and messaged into pressure points. Especially at the temples for headaches.

Lavender:

Calming, soothing and emotionally balancing.  Has pain killing properties for muscle aches and pains.  Helps with depression, insomnia, headache and stress

Use in any way desired: baths, lotions, oil burners, candles, vaporizers, shampoo’s and compresses

Basil:

Do not use the oil from exotic basil which is slightly toxic.

Wonderful in a vaporizer for migraines.

Mix 3 drops basil oil, 4 drops lavender and 3 drops peppermint.  Place mixture in vaporizer and breath in deeply. 

Rosemary:

DO not use if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure.

Refreshing, circulation stimulant. Used for muscle fatigue.  Helps with mental exhaustion and promotes mental clarity.

Use in compress, baths, vaporizer

Ginger:

Do not use in excessively hot or inflamed conditions. 

eases mental confusion, helps relieve fatigue and nervous exhaustion. 

Use in vapor form

These are just a few of my favorites. I will be adding more if people are finding them helpful.