Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention.
The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policymakers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.
World MS Day unites individuals and organizations from around the world to raise awareness and move us closer to a world free of MS.
In 2009, the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) and its members initiated the first World MS Day. Together we have reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world, with a campaign focusing on a different theme each year.
MSIF provides a toolkit of free resources to help everyone to take part in World MS Day. Anyone can use these tools, or make their own, to create positive change in the lives of more than 2.3 million people around the world.
One good thing about being sick and taking Tramadol (I’m assuming it is Tramadol) is that I have lost a ton of weight since this all started. I have lost 30 pounds in 2022 already. Now that may sound like a ton of weight, but when you weigh 250 pounds that is a drop in the bucket.
So why am I losing so much weight, you ask? Simple enough, I’m not eating. I’m putting away less than 500 calories a day and some days, I’m intaking half of that number. I have zero appetite, no hunger pangs and no ill effects of not taking in more calories. I’m not dizzy, or lightheaded, none of that, so, I’m just not eating. I know I need to eat, so I eat a small dinner, about a 1/3 to 1/4 of what I normally eat and off comes the weight.
I guess I will meet my new year’s resolution or lose weight very quickly this year.
This blog is going away soon and going to be rolled into my other blog. I have a blog (AverageJoeWeekly.com) that is about all my hobbies, experiences and past times and I think that having a medical category on it and folding all my IHaveSomeNerve posts into it makes sense to me. So………………..
It has been some time since I have updated this blog. That is mostly due to the fact that I have just not been feeling it lately. I haven’t been feeling myself and I haven’t been feeling well.
A month ago, on top of my rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) with Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), I was diagnosed with Costochondritis.
Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis might mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.
Costochondritis is sometimes known as chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome or costosternal chondrodynia. Sometimes, swelling accompanies the pain (Tietze syndrome).
Costochondritis usually has no apparent cause. Treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for the condition to improve on its own, which can take several weeks or longer. (source – Mayo Clinic)
In my case, I have had a costochondritis flare-up since Thanksgiving 2021. It is by far the most painful medical issue I have had to deal with. It is a constant ache sometimes dull other times more intense, that just doesn’t go away without medication. Periodically there is a very sharp intense pain on my right side that feels like what I would imagine I’m being stabbed feels like. It lasts about 20-30 seconds and then disappears, leaving the constant ache in it’s wake. The ache on average is 3-4 on the pain scale and it is just there all the time, if I take a deep breath or move wrong it jumps up to a 5-6 sometimes more. I’m taking tramadol 100mg three times a day, along with my Enbrel for the RA, and Gabapentin (2400 mg a day), propranolol for the PoTS symptoms (High BP and Rapid HR, plus the whole standing up thing) and a muscle relaxer in the evening and my Seroquel to sleep.
The issue is that the Tramadol is making me (for a lack of a better word) ‘dumb’ (bran fog). More so that the gabapentin is giving me brain fog and it is not eliminating the pain, it is just dulling it so I can get through the day.
I belong to several Costochondritis support groups on Facebook and most of the people there don’t seem to ever have their symptoms go away, but my rheumatologist is telling me that it should go away after a few months.
Getting the Costochondritis diagnosed was a major pain in the backside as well. It was a trip to the ER, trip to the gastroenterologist, an endoscopy and a trip to my rheumatologist, just to get it diagnosed.
I joke with everyone and tell them that I’m collecting autoimmune disorders like charms on a bracelet.
With an estimated 1.5 million Americans afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, NOW is the time to find a cure. We’re inviting you to join us in raising awareness about rheumatoid arthritis on #Rheum Awareness Day!
I walking into my Rheumatologist’s office, well walk is such a strong word, a word that makes you think I was actually standing upright when I entered the office, I was more hunched over to my right side as this tends to help keep the pain to a dull roar, opposed to walking erect.
I sit down in a room and wait my turn. She comes in about 20 minutes later and I start to tell her what is going on, she looks me over, and tells me that it sounds like it is Costochondritis. Now I have already done my own research and that was the conclusion that I came up with as well, so I think we are on the right track. We discussed management of it along with my other issues and we decided that if Tramadol is working for me then let’s stay the course. After my exam and talking about my other issues, she wrote me a script for 90 Tramadol, which is 50mg 3x a day for 30 days. She also writes me a muscle relaxer to take at night and some lidocaine patches for topical application.
I walk (well hunch) out of the office with the thoughts that maybe we are getting somewhere now in my head.
Two days after the script is filled, the pain is not getting better, in fact it is worse. I call my rheumatologist and she ups the dose to 100mg three times a day.
That is currently working and I can function like a normal person for the most part. Well function is such a strong word, but we will leave that alone for now.
Now comes the problem of me getting the script updated and refilled. I wait a few weeks, hoping that it will all shake out on it’s own. Fat chance of that working and I have to call my pharmacy and explain the situation to them. They tell me that they can’t fill the script for 14 more days. OMG, I’m nearly out of pills now (two days left and you want me to stretch it to two weeks. I called my rheumatologist who called the pharmacist. I called the pharmacist back and explained once again. I tell them the date she increased and how many pills I have left. Thankfully, the tech I was talking too, was nice enough to talk with the pharmacist who had talked to my rheumatologist already, but hadn’t updated my notes yet. So it all worked out and I now have 180 pill supply (2-50mg pills 3x a day for 30 days).
Victory is mine (we have to celebrate the small victories)
I made it to my gastroenterologist appointment, and I’m all out of pain meds, I have been milking what I have, taking fists full of OTC pain meds, just to make it to this appointment.
Long story short, I see the doctor and he tells me that he doesn’t think that I need a colonoscopy as I had one two years ago, he thinks that I might get some benefit from an endoscopy, as all the test results look fine and nothing jumps out at him. I ask him (I feel like I’m a drug addict now) for some more pain meds to get me through to the endoscopy. He writes me for 20 more Tramadol which I’m ecstatic about.
I got the endoscopy and well, the results revealed….. nothing, absolutely nothing at all, everything is normal. My only saving grace at this point is that I have a rheumatologist appointment in a week.
I have been having some strange abdominal pain that just won’t go away. I went to my local ‘doc in a box’ (BetterMed) and the doc there instantly thought that it was my gallbladder, so he prescribed some pain meds and ordered an ultrasound. Getting the ultrasound scheduled was a nightmare itself. It seems in my area of the U.S. (near D.C.), they are several months out for any specialist. It was going to be over a month just for an ultrasound, ugh and I’m in major pain and I only have 20 tramadol
The pain is a constant ache about 3-4 on the chart, with an intense sharp pain like I’m being stabbed in the mid right side of my chest. This sharp pain lasts 20-30 seconds and it really high up on the pain charts. I also have a corresponding pain in the back side of where I’m being ‘stabbed’.
When I finally got the ultrasound I was still having pain, in fact nothing changed. The results said that everything was fine and that my gallbladder, pancreas, right kidney (I have horseshoe kidneys BTW), intestinal tract, appendix and liver are all good. I have a small cyst on my liver, but that is it. The next day the pain was worse than ever so it was off to the ER. Mistake #1!!!
The ER in my town is a mess and I mean total mess. I get there and have to go through COVID screening, which determines what side of the waiting room I go to. Non COVID to the right and COVID to the left, and the room is separated by a glass partition.
The waiting room isn’t full, but fairly busy. I wait about an hour and they take me back to take my vitals and start the triage process. Once they have my story, they kick me back out to the main waiting room and let me rot there along with the other dozen patients for close to two hours.
Now it is time for triage, where they take blood samples, a urine sample, put in an IV line and then send me back to the main waiting room. This time we rot there for four more hours, but before we get to that part, let me tell you about what happened in those four hours.
First the patients in the waiting room are irate, one for having to wait for so long, two for the waiting room being cold, we are talking in the low 60’s, three for the occasional COVID positive person who is hacking up their lungs sneaking into the non-COVID side of the room and possibly infecting all of us. Fourth for the lack of concern from anyone that works there. In my case, my pain was getting worse and worse and when I was in triage, I asked for something for the pain and they told me that they would have me in a room in a few minutes and they will take care of the pain then.
The entire time we (my wife and I) were there, we never once saw anyone clean anything. So here we are in the height of a pandemic (or so we are to believe it is a pandemic) and no one is out cleaning the waiting room. They removed the vending machines some time ago, so you can’t get anything to eat, unless you leave the hospital grounds. Sure you have the cafeteria, but you can’t get there from the ER, without someone who works there letting through the locked doors and you can’t even get someone to take the elder lady in a wheelchair to the bathroom so she can pee, well enough to open some doors for you.
So, I’m standing in the corner in tears now, because the pain is intense and I’m sure my anxiety isn’t helping me much either. My wife goes and asks the nurse about my pain meds and they of course just blow her request off. An hour later a team of three enters the waiting room and starts taking everyone’s vitals. They get to me and I inquire about the meds and she tells me that she will check my chart. I was shocked when she came out 10 minutes later and said that it is too soon for me to have more pain meds. I said, more? I haven’t had any yet. She said that they should have given me something in triage. I said I asked and was told they would get me into a room and give it to me. She went to check my story and I guess it held true as they called me back about 10 minutes later and gave me some Percocet which did help me. After a little over 7 hours in the ER, they got me back to a room and the doctor came in to see me, no less than 3 minutes after I arrived in the room. He makes it sound like it is a slow day and he isn’t seeing many patients (WTF). He tells me that my tests are normal and to follow up with my gastroenterologist who I have an appointment with in a month. I ask for something for the pain to hold me over and he gives me a script for 10 Vicodin. He tells me that he will discharge me with undetermined abdominal pain, which is the same thing I came info.