With everything going on...and a few other things that weren't brought up in my last post...it still feels like all of the life has been kicked out of me. I tend to get de-motivated really easily these days...and my head just gets into these weird dark places and I don't know whats up or down or even real anymore. Each new crisis brings me down another level...and before I even have a chance to climb back up...I get pushed down again. It's always been that way for me...to some degree...but it has become a lot worse within the last year. At one time...I used to be able to bounce back a lot faster.
Between frequent anxiety attacks...battling depression...recurring existential fears...and terrifying suicidal thoughts...I don't feel like me. I feel like a shadow...and the real me has been draining away for awhile now. I have some idea on what it might take to revive my spirit...and in another sense bring the 'old me' back...but it also scares me more than anything else in this world. With the way things have been going for me...I don't have a lot of faith in the outcome. So...for now ill just do the best that I can...for as long as I can.
I wasn't left dead in the water for too long...because my family over at the pal discord helped me to work through the emotions tied to the various situations that had me so very distraught. I love and appreciate everyone there who listened...gave ideas and advice and encouragement in the chat room and in private message. Your willingness to find a practical solution calmed me right down...and gave me hope again. Even after making a few mistakes...I wasn't being blamed or judged and this felt wonderful. The people over there never cease to amaze me...and it made me realize..I have been stubborn and maybe should have asked for help before the purchase that ended in disaster. Who really knows...but the extra eyes might have helped me to avoid getting scammed in the first place.
After writing the last post...I was determined the best course of action would be to give up on...at least for the foreseeable future...ordering that elusive medical device. But over the weekend...I actually went back and forth with the idea some more and just couldn't seem to let go of it all together. I began to feel guilty for everything else that was purchased while waiting for the evil Quell to arrive...because when it came right down to correcting my mistake and ordering another one...where wasn't nearly enough money left over to make it right. While sorting all of this out in chat...one of our hardworking witnesses appeared and offered to help me out with the difference between the ebay and amazon prices. I could hardly believe my eyes! This kind of response...is what makes this community special.
This amazing act of compassion felt like a second chance! So...I went over to order the Quell for the second time...and it had sold out! For days...I kept checking back...but the only ones still for sale are between $600-$700. Waiting for some unknown amount of time for the product to restock at the original price...feels unfair and rather impossible. I know how crazy this sounds...but I really began to believe this was some sort of curse...and all of these obstacles were being orchestrated by the universe to prevent me from getting better. My anxiety kicked into overdrive...and I began to spin. However...after reaching out to someone on the same wavelength...I was able to gain more perspective. And thinking about the situation from a different angle...has helped me to see things more clearly.
Today...I am going to be letting go of the fact that despite my best efforts I got really hurt...did things in the wrong order...and made some choices that didn't end well. After all...getting that overwhelmed...only feels like the end of the world without a support system. So...instead of being at war with myself over all of the things that I could have done differently...dwelling on the negative and taking the shot to my confidence personally...I have decided to accept everything that happened as part of the process...and I will be moving on.
I like to think that everything happens for a reason...and in this case when a dozen challenges arise to prevent me from doing something that seems like the right move...it probably isn't the right one. I also realized the other day...that I have been like a dog with a bone when it comes to owning the Quell because it became more than a product...it turned into a principle that represents a beacon of hope. I refused to change direction because I did not have anything else to replace that beacon with. All of those obstacles are nothing more than a sign to rethink what can be done as an alternative. At this point...I need to believe there is one to move forward. This means looking at other pain relief devices.
Since the Quell is a brand...it does not represent the entire range of TENS technology. I have started to look into other stimulator brands...which could still provide the same relief...minus a few of the extra features that I have seen nowhere else. One other brand that I have been looking into...is less than one third of the cost which makes it less of a gamble...but it's also wired and cannot be used while sleeping which are downsides for me. I will probably end up with that one anyway...and still consider it a blessing...because something needs to be done soon. I don't know how much more pain I can handle. My muscles continue to spasm and lock up and that's more than scary while living alone. I need to be able to take care of myself.
Setting things in motion once again for the spinal cord simulator surgery...still isn't an option...and it never will be. Through a certain pain clinic...I wouldn't have had to pay one cent for it...but for once the cost has nothing to do with my decision. I don't want anything invasive and I am willing to trade off on something external and probably with less impact because of that. Sometimes you just know things...and I sense that in one way or another...I wouldn't survive that procedure.
With suicide as the leading cause of death among CRPS sufferers...some of us don't even have the chance to die from a complication. It's not an exaggeration to say...I am on brink of death and have been desperate to get back in control...before the pain completely drives me off the edge. The people here have become my lifeline....and so far nobody has let me give up. I hope that everyone who has played a part in making a difference...knows that.
What attracted me to the Quell in the first place is the promise of non-localized pain relief...which happens to be activated in the only place...on my whole body...that can handle the electrical pulses. Regular TENS units...are advertised as localized muscle massagers...which does not work for me because I can't place the electrodes on any of the muscles that hurt. I also want to target nerve pain...which most articles on TENS technology claim that it can and does. I have extreme sensitivity to touch and stimulation on 90% of my body so normally...I would never consider trying transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation as a viable treatment in the first place.
However...it seems like I might have found a workaround. The idea behind the Quell device is to trigger a bunch of nerves in the right leg that cause a reaction in the spinal cord...telling the brain to confuse pain signals and release natural painkillers and full body relief. So...I have been wondering...if it might be possible to mimic the Quell...but with a regular TENS unit instead. It won't be wireless and portable...or be possible to wear day and night...nor will it automate treatment...but if it works...my pain will still be in control within the windows those session based treatments provide.
I need that numbing effect on the whole nervous system that masks the pain...and if placing the electrodes of the regular TENS device in the same location the Quell would normally be placed...it could have the potential to work in the same way. I have always been reluctant to buy a regular TENS device that is labelled for localized muscular use...and use it for widespread nerve pain instead...but these are desperate times. Perhaps jumping on board with this idea will save me a lot of hassle. The device is readily available with Canada...pretty much always in stock...and the electrodes are cheaper...and not engineered to wear out as quickly. I wish there were another wireless TENS unit on amazon...but I won't be picky.
As for my other stomach related medical issue...gastroparesis has not been ruled out but there have been some cases of CRPS causing gastroparesis. So far...all of my test results are leading up to the CRPS spreading internally. The source and the worst of it...started in my left ankle...spread up my leg and into my left arm...and jumped across to my right arm. A botched spinal procedure caused some nerve pain to erupt in my lower back for a long time...but it seemed to plateau and hasn't fully flared up in years.
Something seems to have triggered the disease to start spreading again...and this would make sense of the CRPS spreading forward and internally...changing the normal behavior of all the muscles and nerves in the effected areas. If this ends up being the case and the spread is not stopped again...my heart and lungs will be at risk...and my stomach pain will be here forever. I would never be able to bend and twist without some serious painkillers and don't know how this will impact my diet long term.
In high enough doses...the CBD oil actually dulls my stomach pain. It's not a high enough dose for the nerve pain...but even this amount of relief gives me hope that increasing my intake of CBD oil...or maybe even switching to CBD isolate capsules has a good chance of ensuring some kind of normalcy and pain control in the future.
On a plus side...the neighbour who verbally attacked me...has up and left! She is gone forever...and just moved out in the middle of the month. How crazy is that? This means that everything that was supposed to arrive this week...was safely delivered to my door without getting stolen. I will never again have to deal with that hag!
I want to end this post with some gratitude...in the heat of the moment everything about my situation five days ago...felt raw and angry. It's never easy to hold onto the positive when so much negative is being thrown your way...but I would never want anyone to think nothing good came from all those amazing donations. All of the stuff that you see pictured above was made possible with help from this community...and fills some sort of important medical or dietary need. I plan on writing another post that goes into more detail. Normally...with my income only purchasing one or two of these items every few months is possible. I have never once been able to have all of these things at once! Between these supplements...a completely different stimulation unit that I will soon be purchasing...and an increase in CBD oil or isolate...my life will finally begin to improve. For real this time...it feels wonderful to have a fighting chance.