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A Personal Story

I’m not one of those bloggers that starts off posts by being witty and telling stories about themself, their husband or their kids. I love those bloggers and I love how they can so easily share their lives with the world. I’m more of a technical blogger. I get down to the nitty gritty and tell you about what I’m making and how I made it. I’m a private person.

Today I want to break away from the technical cookie side of myself and get to the private and personal side. I want to share with you a struggle that I have had in my life for nearly two years now. I have been suffering from chronic pain off and on for almost two years. The main source of my pain is in my right wrist which is my dominant hand but I also get pains in other parts of my body off and on. The wrist pain is pretty much constant and that may be due to the fact that I type all day at my full-time job so it doesn’t get much rest.

I began a quest almost a year and a half ago to find out what was causing my pain. Naturally, given the line of work I’m in, I immediately thought I had carpal tunnel. I went through all the testing only to be told that I did not have carpal tunnel. My x-rays showed some inflammation so they referred me to a rheumatologist. I had several blood tests but they all came back negative. I was told that I had immflamatory arthritis and was given pills to treat it. After taking the pills for several weeks I began to feel even worse than I did when I went in. I was experiencing pains all over my body as well as dizziness, nausea and brain fog. I decided to stop taking the medication and go see my doctor. I believed that I was having an allergic reaction to the medication. The doctor said that I wasn’t allergic to the medication. She said it was just symptoms of my disease and she switched me to another medication. Again, I started to feel really sick on this new medication. I decided to stop taking the medication and see a new doctor.

I really liked the new doctor because he never prescribed me any medication. He said that he did not prescribe medication unless he knew what he was treating a person for. This was fine with me because I hate taking medication. I don’t even like to take Advil. I went through so many rounds of tests to only be told that I was a mystery. It appeared that I had symptoms of an autoimmune disorder but no test could confirm it. I saw this doctor for about a year and spent a hefty amount of money having tests done. It seemed that he was very content to have me come in every few months for the same blood tests. I also had x-rays, a couple of wrist MRI’s and a cortisone injection in my wrist done with this doctor. I finally had to decide that enough was enough and move on. I couldn’t justify going to a doctor anymore who was testing me over and over for the same thing with no positive results and no answers. I refused to be bled dry anymore, literally.

I decided to go see a pain specialist that is a client of my husband. After ten minutes of talking to him and explaining everything that had been done and said by other doctors he said that he was willing to put money on it that the problem was in my neck. He ordered an MRI and sure enough I have bulging/herniated discs in my neck. We decided to go with an epidural injection in the neck to see if the discs were indeed the cause of my wrist pain.

This past week I went in for the injection and by that afternoon the pain in my wrist was about 90% gone. The next day I was on cloud nine. I felt great and my pain was nearly 95% gone. A miracle. I finally found the right doctor and I was going to be pain free. So I thought. Sadly pain has started returning to my wrist and it scares me. I want to feel that euphoric feeling again. I want to know what it’s like to not have pain and have full mobility of my hand again. I was so excited because I was dreaming up all the future blog posts and cookies I was going to work on.

I do feel that I am finally with the right doctor because he is the only one that had a theory that had a test to back it up. Also, the injection worked but it seems to be wearing off so there may be some tweaking that needs to be done. I have faith that this doctor will help me get to a place where I can live my life without experiencing constant pain. I feel that I am on the right track. I’m also trying to be patient and not panic. There’s a chance that my body is still adjusting to the treatment and it may work.

I wanted to share this story with you not for sympathy but as a message to say that whatever is going on in your life, whether it’s medical or not, don’t give up. If you’re not satisfied or you’re not getting answers keep searching.

When I discovered cookie decorating in early 2011 I had no idea that it would become such a labor of love for me. Pretty much all the cookies, cakes and cupcakes you see on this blog have been decorated when I was having some sort of pain. I absolutely love what I do and I don’t want to give it up.

I get asked a lot if I take orders and the answer is no. I will occasionally do an order for a family member or a close friend but rarely. I had to give up taking orders because I just never know when I’m going to be feeling bad and I don’t want an order looming over my head if I’m not feeling well. These days I prefer to bake cookies for fun and teach people what I learn along the way on my journey. Baking for fun is less stressful because it allows me to do it on my time with no pressure of a deadline.

I’m not giving up on my quest to be pain free and with this new doctor I am hopeful that it will happen very soon. I’m dreaming of all the things I want to do when I feel good again.

Comments

  1. Aww Sweetie there is nothing worse than constant pain and it is great that you continued to try and find the source of it without just giving up and saying “oh well gotta live with it”. Sounds like this doctor knows his stuff and while the shot gave you some relief you may need to have some type of surgery although that would definitely be a last resort…but at least you are on the right track. I will continue watching your page and enjoying your work with hopes that what you do in the future will be pain free. Sending you prayers and wishes for your continued journey♥

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the pain you have been in. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to decorate in that type of pain. I am so glad that I have been able get to know you in a small way through IG. You are amazing and kind. The type of person who sends a kind gift to someone they don’t even know. You have blown me away with just that one gesture. Thinking of you and hoping that there are easier days ahead for you!!

  3. My dear friend Melissa, I’m so sorry that the injection has started to wear off or not have the relief that you first experienced. I have faith that you and your doctor will find a solution and I will pray that it will be soon. I hate being in pain. When I’m in constant pain, it feels like nothing else is going on except for the pain I’m feeling. You are obviously a very strong person and you were smart in realizing that it’s best to do what you enjoy on your own timeline. If you ever need to talk, I’m here and praying for you. Hugs, Cristin

    • Thanks my dear, sweet Cristin. You are right when you experience pain it is like nothing else is going on except for the pain. It is a struggle to stay positive and get things done but I try my best to not let the pain define who I am. Having great friends like you to talk to and lean on helps a lot. Thanks for being you :)

  4. Melissa – I’ve been following your blog for awhile now. You have great talent and I admire your work. Never would have guessed that you have chronic pain. Aside from cookie decorating as a hobby, my real profession is as a certified paralegal in the area of workers’ compensation law. If you do indeed have a bulging or herniated disk, I would urge you to get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon [not a neurologist -- you must see a neurosurgeon who treats disorders of the spine] and find out for sure if the disk needs to be removed. If he/she tells you that it isn’t serious enough to be removed surgically, then you probably will be referred to a longer term of pain management. But if the disk is herniated badly enough that it should be removed, you ought to proceed with surgery to avoid the possibility of permanent nerve damage in your arm and hand. Please consider getting that second opinion.

    • Thanks Shanna! I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for the info. I was hesitant to be so open about it because it’s something I just deal with & I try to not let it stop me from doing things that I enjoy. It was just time to get it off my shoulders.

  5. Just a quick note (since I’m still traveling) to say that I’m still praying Melissa. Hopefully the ‘chance’ that the procedure will still work materializes…it’s disappointing that the pain has returned. But, I’m believing with you that this Doc will have the right answers (perhaps the surgery that Shanna was suggesting) or whatever, but that it will manifest soon!! Sending a hug! Laura

  6. I am so sorry about your pain Melissa, but so glad that you are not giving up – I cannot imagine how draining this is for you. I wish and pray that you find relief and it sounds like this doctor is on the right track at least. I will keep you in my prayers.

  7. Hi Melissa,
    I am so sorry to read this story. I liked that you shared this story because you can help to others to find help. Never have to give up! that is the right way.
    I love all your projects and your blog is wonderful.
    Hope in God that you can find the cure and feel better everyday.
    Hugs,
    Farida

  8. Oh Melissa…I’m so sorry that you have to struggle with this. I too have a story somewhat similar to this. It’s way to long to post here, but if you would like me to share with you, please email me. Keep searching and trying and you will find the solution that will work for you. Until then, please know that I’m sending you get well thoughts and prayers.

  9. So sad to hear of your pain. I had really bad pain in both my wrists for a while and the doctor said I had arthritis and to just rest it. Thankfully it waned, and only comes back when I do too many cookies or have a crazy data entry day at work.

  10. I can’t imagine what you have gone through and can only say that I’m sorry that you are having to deal with this pain. I do know that constant pain is of course very worrisome but so too is it very draining on one’s body, let alone how it affects your overall emotional well-being. Living as you have with such pain and discomfort, I’m truly in awe that you can decorate as beautifully as you do.
    I’m glad that this last Dr. was able to give you a diagnosis that finally made some sense and that the treatment did work for a bit. Hopefully, pain free days are ahead for you and shall keep you in my prayers. You do have the right attitude towards tackling this and that is half the battle. Good luck to you.

    • Thanks Paula! I really appreciate your prayers. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment. This is exactly what I have gone through. I struggle with feelings of worry a lot and confusion. How could someone in their 30′s have to deal with this much pain? I feel like my body is older than my age. It is so draining both emotionally and physically. It’s hard to stay positive all the time. I do have moments of feeling depressed and sad but then I’ll snap out of it and tell myself that I cannot let this define who I am. I’m tired all the time but I somehow find the strength to push through it. I enjoy not only baking but also sewing and crafting and I’ll be darned if this is going to stop me from doing what I enjoy. Thanks again sweetie :)

  11. Wow! Sounds like you’re on the right track. You are a trooper to keep posting and sharing with others. Prayers for continued healing coming yor way! Take care!
    Jackie Lee

  12. Oh Melissa I had no idea you have been going through so much pain:( I can not possibly imagine what it must be like for you. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I just wish I lived closer so I could help you decorate cookies AND of course, you could teach me how to sew ;) Please know that you are in my prayers and here comes a bunch of cyber ((hugs)) your way. Please keep us all up to date on your progress.

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  1. […] know if they will be gone forever but at least for the foreseeable future. If you read my personal story and follow my blog then you know that I mention my health and doctors appointments from time to […]

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