April 8, 2021

Flowers Pain-Free April 28, 2021

I’m pain-free again today! This makes five days in the last twenty-five years with a period where I didn’t have pain for some part of the day.

My big question is: where did this come from? This is the first time I’ve gotten this kind of relief without an extended water fast or a massage. It didn’t start until this evening. I noticed the pain was gone a couple of hours into sitting and working on an article about a proper mindset for dealing with chronic illness and pain. I’ve been doing very well these past few days and haven’t needed any help from CBD for pain for the last three days, so this was already one of the best periods for my pain in years. I noticed last night that wine didn’t make the nerves in my face burn either, so I knew I was dealing very well. Alcohol can be a big trigger for me.

Any time something new develops with my health, I catalog what’s going on to see if there’s something different that might have led to this breakthrough. The following are all different:

Last night, I did a late-night HIIT session after dinner–I usually do that before dinner. I remarked a couple of times that I felt so great that I felt like I needed to exercise. The session did increase my nerve pain, but not enough to take anything for it. I had commented earlier that I felt like I was back to peak strength after having a sluggish workout post-fast last week and felt so powerful that I felt a need to run during my daily walk.

I also made a couple of changes to my diet. I’ve been eating more homemade bread that my roommate has been making. I would’ve thought that would make me more likely to be inflamed, but it hasn’t been the case. As much as was wrong with me, I’ve never had a gluten problem, thankfully. I also increased my protein intake by 30 grams per day this week to bulk up faster. I managed 165 grams of protein a couple of days ago, but I was a bit lower yesterday. I’ve been putting on noticeable muscle in a hurry, so I wonder if getting closer to a proper level of strength is helping. I noted to myself yesterday that I looked like I was finally getting my grown man body back after looking like an adolescent for so many years from all the atrophy I endured while I was disabled.

A good friend of mine also helped me tweak my squat form over the weekend to put less of the bar’s weight on my shoulders. That made my squats much harder. I think a lot of my pelvic floor muscle weakness is at the root of some of my oldest symptoms, so it’s possible that properly developing those areas is allowing them to function better and perhaps relieve some of my waistline nerve pain.

Also related to eating, I’ve been pushing up my calorie intake for months to put on muscle. In the past two weeks, I’ve noticed an increasing level of comfort from eating more than in the past. Previously, it could make me hurt to eat more, I assume, due to gut irritation. I had a few bad days in the past year when I upped my calorie intake but haven’t had any problems since breaking the last fast.

It’s much hotter this week in Austin than it has been all year, and I seem to have less pain when the temperature gets hot. I had my worst spell with my pain during the snowstorm here in Austin back in February from a combination of the cold weather and losing water for a week, and my nerves got aggravated from not showering for so many days. I have yet to fully adjust to heat helping since it used to be one of my top pain triggers. I’ve been getting a lot of sun on my five-mile daily walks and am looking fairly tan.

Perhaps most importantly, I’m very happy these past two weeks. Everything is going well for me, I see tremendous results in all my writing and client work, and I’m pleased with all the opportunities arising for my career. I’ve been making a point to sing almost every day on my walks–I just feel like I have to with how well things are going for me. The more I work with others with chronic health conditions, and as I continue to progress, I keep seeing how potent happiness is for health due to the biochemistry involved. I have no doubt that my mood is helping my pain.

I hope this relief keeps going! It’s been almost four hours without any pain, but I won’t be surprised if it comes back, given how long I’ve dealt with chronic pain. I’ll keep track of how I’m feeling, what I’m doing, and see if I can find a pattern that can make this a regular occurrence! It’s wild to me that becoming pain-free is increasingly looking possible. I didn’t think that would happen when I had weeks where I didn’t go below a 7 out of 10. This is another wonderful sign of progress!

Here’s a photo from my daily walk.