It’s been a better week health-wise for both our future therapy dog (Sam) and me. After two weeks on antibiotics and prescription dog food, Sam has been declared infection-free. His puddles in the house have been reduced to a small dribble no more often than once a day. According to his veterinarian, even this symptom will likely disappear in another week or two. It can’t be too soon for me!
Now that he’s feeling better, Sam’s playful puppy side has emerged. Just like a toddler, this little pup (age 7 in dog years) cannot be left unsupervised for a single minute. We’ve learned that lesson the hard way. After half an hour on his own in our fenced yard, Sam was found with a dirt-covered face, contentedly munching on one of my husband’s prized bromeliads. The calm demeanor we thought characterized this dog may have been the result of his not feeling up to snuff. Now that he’s healthy and more comfortable in our home, and with us, his true colors are showing. Obedience training seems a long way off.
As for me, the trigger point injection I received three weeks ago for suboccipital neuralgia finally achieved the desired result. Although the pain had been roughly 75 percent better since the Aug. 2 injection, it’s only been 100 percent gone for the past eight days. As predicted, it took almost two weeks. My focus now is on prevention of a recurrence. Toward that end, I’ve dedicated myself to my physical therapy exercises. I faithfully perform the prescribed stretches both morning and night. I’ll do almost anything to prevent another episode of the mind-numbing head pain I’ve endured twice this year.
Although the muscle tightness that results in conditions like suboccipital neuralgia is a hallmark of fibromyalgia, stress also plays a key role. For that reason, I was recently referred to a support group that focuses on anxiety. Led by a skilled psychologist, this group has been surprisingly helpful to me. I’ve learned the source of much of my unease, learned new coping skills, and realized how common my symptoms are. That in itself was a good reason to attend this group. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I feel like I’m making progress.
Now that the worst of my daily pain is gone, I feel like a new person. I’ve been unusually active this week. In addition to walking the dog several times each day, I’ve managed to complete several projects that have been plaguing me for months. With my furry little friend at my side, I hung a wallpaper border (purchased nearly a year ago) around my bathroom window. I decluttered my closet and delivered donations to a local charitable organization. Small achievements for sure. However, they are signs that I’m functioning again!
Even more importantly, I’ve taken the time to smell the roses, so to speak. While sitting on my patio, I’ve listened to the rustling of leaves in the breeze, smelled the honeysuckle, enjoyed the colors of the flowers in our garden. I’ve closed my eyes and taken deep breaths. Relief from pain can make one appreciative of so many things that most people take for granted.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.