Painful Pins and Needles

I haven’t had a lot of luck finding someone who can help me clean my home and do my laundry on a regular basis since becoming ill. The last person I hired was wonderful. Unfortunately, for me, housecleaning was only extra part-time work she did to make ends meet. Fortunately, for her, she was able to find full-time work with enough hours and compensation that meets her financial needs. Her now full-time employment means that she doesn’t have the extra time – and I’m certain not the extra energy – to clean homes anymore.

Since losing her help, I haven’t been able to find someone or a service that will include laundry as part of housecleaning without charging an arm and a leg. So, I’ve returned to doing both tasks on my own when I have the energy and not too much pain, which means things aren’t always as tidy as I like them to be. This past weekend, I had to do laundry because my dirty towels and bed linens were starting to pile up. All the activity and energy I needed to get them clean caused a pain flare up and triggered a symptom I haven’t had for a long while: my feet and ankles are swollen.

The usual warning sign of feeling pins and needles prickling from my toes and up my legs all the way to my hips preceded this pain flare up. Feeling pins and needles always causes an extremely high level of anxiety in me because I know it’s what happens right before the level of my pain starts to climb; and once the pain starts to climb I have no control over how intense or painful or for how long the flare up will last. All I can do is hope that it won’t be so terrible that I’ll have to go to the hospital emergency room for help to cope and get some relief.

On the other hand, I don’t get any warning sign(s) before my feet and ankles swell. It just happens and it adds to the pain in my feet and ankles because they become tender to the touch. I never know how swollen they will become: at times, I’ve been unable to wear certain shoes or boots because my feet seem to grow a size. I never know how long the swelling will last: this is the third day so far and sometimes they’ve stayed swollen for weeks.

Furthermore, after all this time, my Pain Specialists don’t know the reason(s) behind the swelling. At one point, they believed they increased the dose of one specific medication I was taking (Gabapentin/Neurontin) too high. This made sense because one of its known side effects is swelling of the hands/ankles/feet. However, last year, when my Pain Specialist decreased the dose then eventually removed Gabapentin from my treatment the swelling didn’t immediately go away. Some months later, it did stop, and it stayed away since about the middle of last summer. Why it came back a few days ago, I’m not sure.

So, once more my legs feel as if they are on fire as the pain builds and they swell. I’m doing my best to keep my legs elevated because I hope it will help to reduce the swelling – even if it’s only a little bit – and staying off my feet can help me cope with the pain flare up. I’m also sticking closely to my medication schedule by taking them as soon as my alarms go off because I want to maintain a steady level of pain medication(s) in my system.

If things become unbearable, I’ll make my way to the hospital emergency room.

There’s not much more I can do…



15 thoughts on “Painful Pins and Needles

        • Glad to hear and read (your site) that you’re doing well 🙂
          I’m not feeling better yet but that may be resolved tomorrow.
          Keeping me feet up usually helps a bit but when it goes for this long without any ease, the help I have to seek out is at the end of an IV tube. I’ve spent so much time in the hospital emergency room since becoming ill that I have a strong aversion to walking in there and retelling my history yet again, while the medical staff looks at me sideways trying to assess if I’m there seeking extra drugs then waiting for hours for treatment.
          Alas, if things aren’t better tomorrow that’s where I’ll end up.

          After writing all this, I feel like an elderly auntie who responds with a novel to being asked how I am 🙄 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I completely understand how difficult it is to live with pain. This was a very wonderful and well written post! It is truly amazing what we can learn to deal with in life and the strength we all have, that is sometimes hidden. I have been battling Multiple Sclerosis for 16 years now and it has had its ups and downs, but I try to hold on to my positive attitude. I started my blog 2 months ago and it has been a great experience. I have been able to communicate with so many wonderful and amazing people that really understand what I go through. I look forward to reading more of your posts! Take care!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks alyssabowman 🙂
      It is amazing what we have the strength to deal with. I had to learn, literally overnight, how to cope with intense incessant pain. It has been a hard road because of the pain flare ups, like the one I wrote about, that increase my pain levels beyond what I can cope with on a daily basis.

      As always, I’m sorry to hear that you, or anyone, I connect with experiences and can understand pain the way I do. I hope you have more good days than bad.
      And I’m happy to welcome you to the blogosphere 🙂


      • Pain is definitely so hard to deal with. I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. I understand the pain getting to a point that is beyond the level you can deal with.

        This blog has been great for me. I have been able to connect with so many amazing people that understand what I live with. I truly hope that if you follow my blog, it will be helpful for you. I do look forward to reading more of your posts. I hope you are able to rest today and get some comfort and relief!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Starting this blog two years ago definitely improved my life. It helped me feel less isolated because I spend the majority of my time at home alone and I’ve learned so much from about coping with a chronic illness and life in general from the many people I’ve connected with since the very first day.
          I guarantee you won’t have a moment’s regret about starting your blog.
          I’ve already started reading your posts and I look forward to learning more about you cope and what gives you strength and support to carry you through each day 💛


          • I am so happy to hear that starting your blog has been helpful. I have connected with some amazing people! I hope that my blog does show what makes living with a chronic illness a little easier. I mean, it is never easy but less of a burden on yourself!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Not So Easy Fashion Choices: Rubber Boots | My Small Surrenders

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