Saturday, July 29, 2017

Musings of Pain from Celeste – Part Two


What a privilege to have wonderful people like you to support my writing. Without knowing it, you lift me up. For that, I am grateful. It isn’t always easy; I get it. When I write for others, I learn too. Supporting one another is necessary to keep all of us motivated to do the things necessary for living a balanced life, despite persistent, chronic pain and illness. I hope you find something you need in my musings.


In healing,,Celeste

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0615798268

A Sampling of Musings


“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, 
the stillness underneath the mental noise, 
the love and joy underneath the pain, 
is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”
~Eckhart Tolle

Additional Reading:

And more …


"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about Celeste’s books at her website or find links here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.

All blogs and comments are based on the author's opinions and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Collateral Damage in the Opioid Epidemic


I wish I were writing this blog to report good news. Unfortunately, things are no different today than they were in 2011 when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report “Relieving Pain in America” was written. Instead, and even though the IOM report spirited the drafting and publishing of the National Pain Strategy, things have gotten much worse. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t read about a fellow patient taking their life because the source of the physical pain was inadequately treated and their emotional pain unbearable because of feeling judged, many times by those they seek for help and support.

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The opioid epidemic is very real and I do not mean to minimize that fact in any way. However, it is now painfully obvious that the CDC guidelines for opioid prescribing have not helped those who live with addiction. In fact, the guidelines have led to more deaths, not fewer. The forgotten, stigmatized, and judged, people living with persistent pain are now joining the death toll. That’s why I am sharing an article I wrote a year ago for my website, Guidelines for Pain Warriors. If you have been injured, I encourage you to use the links you find in the following letter. Or if you know someone like a recent victim, please encourage his or her family to take action.

Because of the volume of requests for help and the need to meet the demands for my own care, I share the following.


It’s important to understand what is happening. Physicians are caught in the middle. The DEA crackdown on prescribing opioids has made them fearful of because of perceived threats to their livelihood. On the other hand, if patient harm results from negligence or abandonment, the provider can be liable for that too. When a patient is fired, the physician has an ethical obligation to ensure a patient’s care is uninterrupted. However, the very people who impose edicts on physicians--the DEA, the CDC, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid, and or other government agencies are not accountable for their actions. 

We have the ability to hold the right people accountable by providing factual evidence. Evidence includes things, such as:


·        A written letter from your physician stating his/her reasons for stopping your pain care. (If you don’t have one, demand it.)
·        Chronological documentation your physician failed to provide ample notice for finding another provider. (The treating physician is obligated to continue your established care for a reasonable amount of time.) 

Following are other things to consider:

·        Is your physician negligent if no one is willing to continue your care?
·        Is your provider fearful to bridge the gap because of the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines or other governing bodies?
·        Is your provider using the changes as an excuse to abandon care?" Pain that does not abate is a reason to seek medical care, but physicians often feel helpless because treating chronic pain is complex. 
·        When the standard of patient care is breached (i.e. abandonment, negligence, or malpractice) and that breach causes harm, there is legal recourse. Currently, three things affect the changing standards, as I see it, (1) the influence of government agencies (2) lobbying by PROP--follow the Phoenix House money trail, and (3) the American Medical Association's decision to cut pain as the 5th vital sign from routine assessment, affecting the standard of pain care negatively…  

*If you are forced to sign a contract, read it. A contract is between TWO people and may be litigated if either party fails to uphold their part of the contract. The physician’s responsibilities toward your care should also be provided.

·        The physician must provide evidence as to why they withdraw care. Yet, some may feel protected by the CDC guidelines. They are not. The guidelines are not LAW!
·        Failure to provide information such as copies of relevant medical records, treatment notes, tests, etc. to those who are continuing your care is a breech.
·        Voice recordings or notes in your medical record that the DEA or other government agency created a burden on the physician’s ability to treat pain are helpful for both the physician and patient, but difficult to obtain unless a case is being litigated.
·        Documentation of refused emergency care, such as treatment, hospital admission for withdrawal symptoms, suicidal ideation, or any other untoward effect is mandatory. (This is not the same as expecting an ER to continue your outpatient pain care.) 
·        Your loved one has committed suicide and there is documentation abandonment or untreated/undertreated pain was the cause.

*As a patient, you also have a duty. If you are unreasonably demanding, non-compliant (i.e. abusing, diverting, or misusing opioids), or threatening to the physician or staff, you are not protected.


Helpful links for finding your senator, representative, and governor; medical organizations, and government health related websites, your states attorney general, your state’s pain care laws and more can be found at the bottom of page, Sample Advocacy Letter.

Additional Reading:
Patient Shoots Two at Las Vegas Pain Clinic (and comments)
Neat, Plausible, and Generally Wrong: A Response to the CDC Recommendations for Chronic Opioid Use





In healing,,Celeste

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about Celeste’s books at her website or find links here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.


All blogs and comments are based on the author's opinions and are not meant to replace medical advice.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Musings of Pain from Celeste – Part One


As many of you know, my husband and I spend as much time as possible enjoying nature. I personally use this time to reflect on things that bring me peace, which is especially helpful during difficult times. Spending time in the forest allows me to immerse myself in the things I enjoy, photography and writing.  I find the simplicity of life's treasures to be the most comforting.

What a privilege to have wonderful people like you who support my writing. Without knowing it, you lift me up and for that, I am grateful.



A Sampling of Musings from Celeste - Part One

·        When Fibromyalgia Is More than Pain        
·        Chronic Pain and Medicine Philosophy Cornucopia - Slide Show
·        Rolfing – The Most Up-to-Date Info from Expert, Ann M. Matney

And more …


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter & bleed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway



In healing,,Celeste

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate


Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Commanding Language, Conquering Dialogue: Perceptions and Pain


The words we speak to ourselves have a commanding impact on our emotions and even our physical pain. What I call power words can improve our self-talk when we use them to conquer the dialogue we associate with our pain.

Day Forty - Broken Body Wounded Spirit, Summer Devotions


The Impact of Words

Feelings that destroy our inner language when used with I AM:
·        worried
·        apprehensive
·        guilty
·        fearful

Action words that improve self-reflection when used with I AM:
·        overjoyed
·        decisive
·        peaceful
·        devoted

[Excerpt] Cooper, C and Miller, J. Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, Summer Devotions edition, The Power of Language.


Speaking Affirmatively

Writing affirmations is a powerful coping strategy that improves our self-dialogue. These authoritative sentences reflect a positive goal or characteristic. They can be short or long, but the shorter they are, the more likely we are to remember them. A good example is:

                             I can...         I try...           I will...

You can read more about what affirmations do for us, examples of affirmations, and clues for writing your own affirmations on my website at “Writing Affirmatively”.

Exercise

What power words do you use to improve your self-talk? Grab a pencil and paper and write down three of your favorites. Carry them with you and refer to them when you find yourself slipping off the wagon. Lately, I have been personally put to the test of my own advice, my top three power words today are…

empowering  –  uplifting  -  grit

“I will keep my mind’s inbox devoid of energy draining thoughts 
by replacing them with affirmations.”
~Celeste Cooper, Day Forty – Summer Devotions

Other Reading:


In healing,,Celeste

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about Celeste’s books at her website or find links here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.


All blogs and comments are based on the author's opinions and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Oska® Pulse – PEMF for Chronic Pain and Cellular Healing




"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company."




After reading the testimonies of others about how well Oska® Pulse was working for them,  I was excited when my device arrived.

I had already gotten some background information and this is what I found. Peer reviewed studies show pulsed electro-magnetic field (PEMF) therapy works for a plethora of conditions. And, since I used to write for Sharecare, I was glad to see Dr. Oz  say, “PEMF therapy is FDA-approved to fuse bones and has been cleared in certain devices to reduce swelling and joint pain.”  

How does it work?

The Oska Pulse is a PEMF devise that acts by massaging inflammatory cells causing them to dissipate. It doesn't move and there isn't an electrical current like that of a TENS unit. 

Features

An important feature of the device is that it turns off in 30 minutes after it completes four cycles of different pulse electromagnetic frequencies. You don't have to think about it. When it turns off, it will make three short beeps. You can’t feel it so if you don't hear the beeps, you know its off when the pulsing light it emits during operation is off too. If you find the light distracting, you can put it in a sock. Skin-to-skin contact is not necessary for it to work. 

The shape and size is perfect. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand or cradled on the neck, or if you prefer to set it next to you, put it on the flat side. It works in an eight inch radius of the device, period. 


It comes with instructions on how to use it and illustrations of how to use the strap so you can wear it.

The device has a rechargeable battery, so all you have to do is charge it like you would your cell phone. 



My experience

After three weeks, I noticed for the first time in a long time, I didn't wake up in pain from rolling onto my left shoulder. But, there is more.

I have experienced restless leg syndrome for many years. I even had a sleep study that confirmed significant periodic limb movement (PLM). And while my sleep study results was proof for my husband that I wasn’t purposefully kicking him during the night in retaliation for his snoring and it was a confirmation that I have a contributing factor to non-restorative sleep, this information did not solve my problem. And, neither did the medications to specifically treat PLM; I did not tolerate the side effects. But, that was about to change.

About one month in, I “awakened” with the PEMF device still sitting (unattached) on my left shoulder where I had left it the night before. I hadn't moved one inch! No covers in disarray, no complaints from the spouse. I had not changed a thing in my routine or in my medical treatment. The only thing different was Oska Pulse!

Compliance

The most important thing is using it enough. It won’t work if it stays in the nifty box it came in.

Reduction in inflammation and pain might be immediate. But, if a problem has been long standing, your body may take longer to respond. Many things can contribute to the way our body reacts. As an example, we have different reasons for experiencing chronic pain, or we may have another health problem that contributes to how our body heals

It's important to know that you might feel worse at first. This is because the Oska Pulse PEMF device works to release cellular toxins that have accumulated around inflamed areas, so don’t give up. Do as the instructions say and drink plenty of water, just like you would after a massage. 

The literature says the majority of people see significant improvement in 3 - 4 weeks and difficult cases respond in about 4 - 6 weeks. I am still on my healing journey, but there is a noticeable difference in my shoulder pain and joint range of motion. My periodic limb movement has greatly improved, an effect that was totally unexpected.  I consider myself a more difficult case because I have significant arthritis throughout my body. Knowing this and already seeing improvement, I expect it to get even better with time. 


I give my friend, Oska Pulse, five stars. 


In healing,,Celeste

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about Celeste’s books at her website or find links here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.

All blogs and comments are based on the author's opinions and are not meant to replace medical advice.  


Monday, May 8, 2017

Casting Light on the Shadow of Fibromyalgia: Finding the cause


Radiating the Shadow of Light


As suggested in my article for ProHealth, there is a problem with research on fibromyalgia. It is all over the place. The reason for this is partly due to how research is funded—sad, but true.


Drug Research

Several drugs have been suggested for treating fibromyalgia  but are they helping?


The FDA *Voice of the Patient (October 2014) said:

“According to the polling, nearly all in-person and web participants reported taking or having taken a prescription medication to treat their fibromyalgia symptoms. Prescription drug therapies were described as having widely varying degrees of effectiveness, and many participants noted limited benefits or decreased benefit over time. Additionally, even if effective, many participants described that they could not sustain treatment because they were unable to tolerate their side effects.”

*A polling of FDA approved Lyrica®, Cymbalta®, Savella® and other commonly prescribed medications.

 

Also in 2014, The Cochran Library database said while it seems helpful in those who tolerate it, the number who benefit from Pregabalin (Lyrica) is very small. Only one person in ten will have any benefits. (Pregabalin for pain in fibromyalgia in adults, accessed April 29, 2017) That is underwhelming evidence compared to the reported clinical trials on which the FDA based their approval.


Getting Unstuck

In our books I write about the importance of critical thinking and problem solving, i.e. determining what we think we want or need then go about finding ways to achieve it. But, when we change the goal, or even our interpretation of the goal, so changes the way we get there. Simply masking our symptoms so we can learn to live with it isn’t a lofty goal to me. Instead, we should be looking at the cause, the necessary step to finding a cure. That said, I support any medication, treatment, or therapy you and your doctor work together to find, but we can’t get stuck in thinking that’s all there is. We need to know how to treat fibromyalgia as a disease and manage it as we do diabetes, thyroid disease, etc.

The Biology of Body Matter

I began reviewing research, commentaries, and reports on fibromyalgia in 2001 when I first started writing our book, Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, 2010. And, I have seen evidence in small studies and large that fibromyalgia is biological.


As years pass by, we see a recurring theme regarding the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis involvement in fibromyalgia. And as we advance, we learn more about how this might work. You see, the HPA axis is constantly recalculating based on stress signals from the mind or body. For instance, if it receives feedback that there is an imbalance in the immune system this intricate system activates to restore order. 

Immune Cells

Behm FG, et al. found specific immune cells in FM using a specific method. That is what led to the FM/a® blood test. This finding doesn't necessarily negate previous studies on the HPA response in fibromyalgia. Instead, this and other “Peer-reviewed Medical Publications” (below), support immune system involvement in fibromyalgia, which could be upsetting the body's ability to achieve balance. When we treat the root cause in any disease, it makes the job of the HPA much easier.

Newsworthy Hope for the Future

Dynamic, well-respected scientists and medical research institutions will be collecting data from those of us who have tested positive with the FM/a® blood test. 



“We seek a potential set of explanations for why FM patients have their immunological abnormalities and that is why we have contracted with the genomic facilities at two major university medical centers(University of Illinois and UCLA) so we utilize their immense expertise and databases.” (Dr. Bruce Gillis, personal correspondence)

It’s important that you know this will “Take Time”. This is the first step to help scientists find treatment that is specific to the cause of fibromyalgia.

“Things Take Time (TTT).
Get this engraved on your watch crystal or the back of your cell phone.
The Grand Canyon started as a run-off problem.”
~Jeff Miller, PhD (My co-author)



Participation 


The FM/a® test “Campaign 250” is devoted to answering the basic three questions: Do I have it? What caused it? How do I treat it? If you would like to be one of the 250,0000 participates in this important research, you first need to have the FM/a® test. Start the process at http://fmtest.com/ and contact them if you can’t find answers to any of your questions. They are a wonderful bunch of folks. And, you can read my blog, FM/a® Blood Test – “How To” and My Results, which clearly explains my experience

In hope and healing,,Celeste

Related reading:



Following are downloadable peer-reviewed medical publications: (accessed, 2017)









"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about Celeste’s books at her website or find links here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.


All blogs and comments are based on the author's opinions and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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