This is my MS and I make the rules…….until I don’t or until what is going on with my body has nothing to do with my MS. I go along day by day thinking I am managing quite well and just like that, my body reminds me (not gently either) that I, in fact do not make the rules.
I was out golfing one beautiful afternoon and had what I considered a decent game, I even used a cart as my energy levels haven’t been the greatest as of late, but I have been able to modify my activity so I could still participate in the things that I enjoy. Anyway, after the 9 holes, I was tired but still felt accomplished so I came home for a shower but by the time dinner came around, I could not put any weight on my leg without pain ripping through my knee. Within an hour, I couldn’t bend it, I had shooting pains coursing through it and a fair bit of swelling was presenting itself. Are you sh*&ting me? Still, I thought resting and icing would make it better and I told myself that I had just over done it. 2 weeks later, I was still icing it, resting, not walking, yadda yadda yadda so I thought maybe a call to the doctor was warranted. Of course, in the last month, my family doctor had retired (actually, the 2nd doctor in a year) so I made a call to a locum doctor that I don’t know from Adam and started whining explaining what had happened, so she ordered an Xray and wrote a prescription for an anti-inflammatory cream and I waited for a call from the hospital. The call came about a week later and by this time, I was having a small bit of relief but nothing that I would consider a miraculous recovery. Hospital said, “we can get you in 2 weeks from now, will that work?” Well, no, that’s not going to work and here’s why – I explained that my worry was that in 2 weeks, enough healing would have occurred, and they wouldn’t be able to get a clear idea of what was going on and no, I don’t think it has anything to do with my Multiple Sclerosis. If my MS has taught me anything, it’s that I am my own best advocate and I am not shy to tell the medical professionals what I would like to see happen and why. And 9 times out of 10, they can accommodate me which is good enough odds for me. That’s not to say that I diagnose myself or tell them what is wrong, but I do tell them I need them to start the process of figuring it out sooner rather than later and that usually works for me, not always, but more often than not, it does. I’m like a dog with a bone and if I fall through the medical cracks, then I only have myself to blame. Back to the Xray, I was able to get in the following day in a hospital in a neighbouring town that is about 30 minutes away. So far so good. I received a call the following day with the results. I have moderate to severe Osteoarthritis in both knees (although only one was bothering me) and I also have it in my fingers on one hand. Not the worst news, but she then proceeded to tell me that I will likely need a knee replacement. Wait? What? I’ve never had any issues with any joints in my body and I’m still wrapping my head around the unpredictability of Multiple Sclerosis which I have had for 16+ years, don’t be throwing anything else at me please. So, I am now on a list to start that conversation with a specialist.
In the meantime, here is where it can get tricky…..what can or should be treated when already treating a chronic illness such as MS? Do I treat the Osteoarthritis or do I stay the course and continue treating the most severe issue I have which has always been MS? After all, treating my disease is not a once in a while kind of thing, it is an everyday treatment of symptoms, managing current disabilities, minimizing future damage and long term management of the disease itself. Now we are throwing in a painful bout of Osteoarthritis in my knee and my fingers, and I can’t help but feel like something is going to take a priority and something is going to have to take a back seat, but what’s it going to be? That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? For now, I’m gummying up, icing and resting it and doing what I can with regards to healthy habits and minor physical activity all the while knowing that this is even more reason to get my crap together and do what I can to help myself.
In keeping with the spirit of pain management, because that’s what I do regularly, I thought I would share a recipe for a Cannabis infused cream that I make for myself (actually, my sister-in-law is the real authority, I just put my spin on it). We are blessed to live in Canada where Cannabis is legal both recreationally and medicinally and I have been using it as a complimentary addition to my health care regime with the blessing of my team of physicians for at least 4 years. They have seen the benefits on my brain and spine MRI’s and have given me the ok to continue with what I have been doing over the years as it seems to be working. My sister in law and I make a variety of our own products (including gummies), but I think I will start by sharing with you this lovely indulgent cream that I use every single day and I hope you get as much relief from it as I do.
Cannabis Infused Cream
- 3 Cups Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil Ratio of Cannabis to Coconut oil is based on your preference
- 1 Cup Beeswax Beads
- 80 Drops Essential Oils Oils chosen will be dependant on what you want the cream for. If using for sore muscles or nerve pain, I use Young Livings Deep Relief or Pan Away. If making a batch to use as an anti inflammatory cream, I use a mixture of Wintergreen and Copaiba. If you want a relaxing bed time cream, I would use a mixture of Peace and Calming and Lavender. It's all a personal preference to find what works for you!
- Melt infused coconut oil and bees wax beads in a glass measuring up on the stove top
- Once melted, add essential oils until you have your desired scent, but I like to use approximately 80 drops or more.
- Leave on stove top on low for approximately 2 hours allowing the oils to meld
- Remove from heat and let cool overnight
- Reheat mixture on day 2 and add more essential oils if you feel its necessary after mixture is liquid.
- Leave on low for approximately 2 hours.
- Pour into containers, let cool, label your lotion and put the lids on
Is there anyone else who has multiple chronic health conditions and if so, how the heck do you prioritize your care plan?