Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TOS reading - ebook

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/126375816/Thoracic-Outlet-Syndrome

Good, concise information on TOS!
If you're new to TOS and want to understand what is involved in testing, diagnosis and treatment, this is an easy read and will answer most of your questions.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Our experience with postop pain pump

Each of the three of us had a pain pump we went home with postop. A simple gravity fed pump attached to tubing that was inserted in tiny incision under the arm. It had a strap and we pinned it on our shirt to prevent it from falling.  It looked something like this, thought I do not know the exact brand.

It provided glorious pain relief for the first 48 hours after going home, morphine I believe.
 A friend who is a nurse came over and removed it because I was squeamish, but I could do it now that I've seen and experienced it.

Highly recommended.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Big TOS Medical Word of the Day - Hyperalgesia

Hyperalgesia = increased sensitivity to pain or enhanced intensity of pain sensation

http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/hyperalgesia

This happened to all three of us, the back of our arms have spots that are numbish, sensitive, hard to explain but we all have it. Maybe nerves were stretched and didn't fully recover postop? It's not a problem for us unless a dog or a kid or unknowing person taps or touches just the wrong spot on the back of the arm....eeek.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

TOS Diet days 28, 29, 30-Final

I got a copy of my medical records from when I had rib resection last week. 
The first thing I noted was that I was, at the time of surgery-almost five years ago, 37 lbs lighter than I am now.
I began the TOS Diet journey using a few different materials as inspiration. One is the book Diet for a Pain Free Life.
The main point of the book is excess weight leads to increased inflammation and thereby increased pain.
There are recommendations in the book I disagree with, such as: using sugar substitutes, moderate soy consumption. I do agree that excess weight may be a contributing factor, one of many, in my own pain cycle.

The smoothies will always be part of my diet. Gas and bloating can be an issue at times, but the absorbable nutrients can't be beat.
Much of my struggle with My TOS Diet was regarding coffee consumption.  You will probably not be surprised to know I am back to my daily one large cup of caffeinated coffee. 
I continue to cut out refined foods, sugar, white carbs. 
Having said all that, it seems to me nerve pain does not care what I eat. I have low pain days and bad pain flareup days, even when I've been virtually perfect in my anti-inflammatory diet.
And for me, when pain gets reeeeally bad, I want to self-soothe with food so much! A cookie or three, a vanilla shake, some dark chocolate. After all, I deserve some happiness in life with all I have to endure-right?!

So I apologize if my TOS Diet wrap up is a bit of a let-down. I'm disappointed too.  I was hoping for more of a wondrous change. I still think diet does play a part in pain issues, and I'll keep at it as best I can.
Gentle hugs to all my fellow TOSers~

Saturday, March 1, 2014

TOS Diet days 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

I consider My TOS Diet to be one piece of the puzzle in trying to control my TOS pain symptoms.
Some of the other pieces are: posture, managing stress, staying active, supplements, attitude and thought patterns, and all the small daily choices to adpat my life around TOS.
SO far on My TOS Diet, I'm finding that cutting out refined food, junk, carbs, and simply replacing them with whole foods to be somewhat helpful in reducing my pain issues. I continue to struggle with missing the upper affect from the serotonin dump I get when I eat a donut or something sugary. I have noticed less arm achiness, and overall feeling a little more stable, not swinging from one carb load to the next.

Breakfasts have consisted of Buckwheat pancakes, real butter, real syrup, banana...or Ezekiel Raisin toast with butter, Whole grain cereal with nut milk, eggs and whole grain toast, eggs and cooked chopped spinach with olive oil, coconut flavored green tea, plain organic tea, decaf black tea, and the last few mornings-decaf coffee...this morning-half caff coffee. Am I sliding back into coffee consumption? I have in the past, so possibly. I will try to hold out. I do feel less acidic without it, but my inner coffee addict gets just so pissy without that one cup-o-joe.

Lunch has been alot of leftovers, a veggie subway sandwich one day, but mostly leftovers.

Snacks lately have been: banana, applesauce cups/unsweetened, cucumber slices with hummus, mozzarella cheese stick, toast, grapes, mini oranges, nuts. I've let myself eat whenever I want as long as the food is whole, and not processed junk. So no weight loss, in fact I've gained a couple pounds the last two weeks. But then it is terribly cold and snowy and  hard to do very much besides try to stay warm... and eat.

Dinner has been beef meatloaf without the bread crumbs, brown rice with butter and veggies... Creamed cauliflower with ground beef and mixed veg(no corn) over brown rice or whole grain pasta topped with parm cheese...baked chicken, sweet potaoes, green beans...chicken stirfry-no msg, Bragg liquid aminoes instead of soy sauce...and last night we got regular old pizza because I needed a break from trying to figure out what to cook. I only had one piece, with a vanilla shake I made: vanilla nut milk, ice, blend.

As I near the one month mark, I've decided to continue to keep junk and refined foods and sugars out of my diet as much as possible, and continue sticking with whole foods.
I have a half full jar of Gin-soaked raisins on my counter I have no idea what to do with because I cannot bring myself to gag them down anymore.
The smoothies are always on my go-to list for something filing and healthy. I made a carrot cake smoothie that was delish the other day: carrots, apple, pineapple, walnuts, coconut shreds, nutmilk, cinnamon, nutmeg to taste, blend and drink-tasted like carrot cake!

One more TOS Diet update to go...gentle hugs~