Archive for ‘Pain/Joint Relief’

May 10, 2018

Boo-Boos, Helichrysum Essential Oil and Epsom Salts

Boo-boos – we all get them. Big ones and small ones. Nor are our four-legged friends immune from them! I first witnessed the miracle of Helichrysum essential oil when I used it on the hematoma in Holly’s ear. Imagine half a ping pong ball in your ear. No wonder poor Holly was constantly shaking her head.

HollyEar

The vet told us that it would take a couple of months before the blood in the hematoma would be reabsorbed and her ear would return to normal.

I didn’t want her to suffer that long, though. I had learned about the wonders of Helichrysum essential oil from an aromatherapist. I wanted a superior product, so I ordered some Helichrysum from Purify Skin Therapy. It worked like magic! Within a week of daily applications of a few diluted drops, Holly’s ear had almost returned to normal. I was sold!

Last week, I stumbled on a step. Fortunately, I didn’t break anything, but I did hurt myself in several places. I had bad bruising and swelling in my left ring finger, as well my left ankle and toes.

finger

When I awoke the next morning, I was concerned that I would have to get my rings cut off as my finger looked like a sausage. Not a breakfast one, neither, but more like a Bratwurst. (Yes, a wee bit of exaggeration!) Then, I remembered that I had some Helichrysum essential oil. I prepared a dilution and applied it to my finger and foot. By the evening, my finger had returned to an almost normal size, even though it was still bruised. My toes and ankle are taking longer, especially since they weren’t in great shape to begin with. In addition to using Helichrysum essential oil, I’ve been soaking in Epsom salts, which has helped to reduce the pain. Oh, that magnesium! By the way, it is not uncommon for RA patients to be deficient in magnesium.

Note to self: If I ever injure my ring finger again, remember to remove my rings while the removin’ is still good!

 

About essential oils:

You want a trusted source. You pay more for this precious oil. A good quality (and effective) Helichrysum oil is very expensive, but when you learn about the harvest, you’ll understand why.

Helichrysum

Holly Draper, who owns Purify Skin Therapy, is a certified clinical aromatherapist. She cares about her products and she cares about you! If you have questions, she’ll take the time to answer them. (Like whether it is safe to use her Peppermint oil in baking? “Yes, experiment with it, ours is ingestible, being USDA certified organic. But use only very small amounts. It’s really strong.”)

Besides Helichrysum essential oil and epsom salts, what else do you have in your first aid kit?

In my next post, learn about the one trick I taught Holly that every dog should know in case of a medical emergency.

 

Related posts:

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April 19, 2018

#550 – Pastry Blender to Potato Masher

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If you have compromised hand and wrist function, kitchen chores, like mashing potatoes, can be a challenge. Good tools are essential, as is finding creative uses for the items you already have.

I have a pointy-ended potato masher (see bottom image, on the right), which doubles as a torture device. I had to press down on the end of the handle to apply enough pressure to mash those spuds. While I was getting the job done, I was also gouging my palm. (A mixer or food processor works, but sometimes I don’t feel like hauling out or dirtying those items.)

I was delighted when I found a pastry blender with a handle that is ergonomically-suited to me. It allows me to keep my wrist in a neutral position while I mash, mash, mash those potatoes. My mother-in-law blesses me each time she uses the one I gave to her. My sister-in-law used it at Christmas and she raved about it. Guess what she’s getting as a gift? Shhh, don’t tell her!

If you’re new to stocking a kitchen, or are new to RA, I’d suggest that you select a potato masher, or a pastry blender, with a handle that is horizontal. If you can’t find one, at least choose a potato masher that has a rounded tip on the handle. (See bottom image, left side.)

More creative uses for things you already have:

 

April 9, 2018

What Happened When I Became a Spoonie

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If you spend any time on-line reading about the effects of what it means to have rheumatoid arthritis, you’ll like come across the term “spoonie,” which refers to “The Spoon Theory.”

In a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue is significant. The pain and suffering caused by doing something most people take for granted, such as getting dressed, can be exhausting when you are gripped in a flare.

Christine Miserandino came up with The Spoon Theory to explain to a friend how her chronic illness impacted her energy levels. Imagine that you are allotted a finite number of spoons in a day, and each action (showering, dressing, making breakfast, etc.)  subtracts a spoon. You could conceivably have no spoons left by early afternoon, dependent upon your disease activity.

Last August, I ruminated about all the times I was so exhausted that I had nothing left for those I cared about. I often dragged myself into school, teaching a full-day, going home to prepare a meal, eat, do some prep work, then into bed by 9 pm. Only to repeat it all over again. There are those times when I did more than I should do. I grew up on a farm, after all: make hay while the sun shines, dontchaknow! My philosophy was that if I felt good, I should do things. Lots of things. Only that would often backfire, leaving me exhausted and sore the next day.  I am much better at managing my energy, now. Yes, there’s wisdom in aging!

Anyway, back to August, when I began to think like a spoonie. I am a spoonie. Spoonies have finite energy. And so on and on it went, thinking about what it felt like to be a spoonie. Until I realized that the more I took on this identity, the more tired I became. By identifying with it, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I began to believe it. The more I believed it, the more true it became.

Without any disrespect to Christine and the other spoonies, this is one word that I will not claim for myself. Instead, I will continue to do what I need to do to be as well as possible. When I’m exhausted, I’m exhausted. Period. I don’t need an additional label to box me in, especially one that ends up making me feel worse.

A chronic illness is challenging. That’s why I am diligent about employing a number of strategies to help me move through life. “Spoonieism” just won’t be one of them.

February 4, 2018

#547 – Goal Accomplishment: Bundling and Trust

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Image courtesy of Stoonn | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Alter Your Course, I listed a few things that help me wander the circuitous path that rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has set out for me. While I’m not always 100% successful at doing them, I manage to find my way back whenever I stray off-course.

How are you doing with those New Year’s vows? Have you been successful with the changes that you’ve promised yourself? Perhaps your resolutions were cast in plaster and the icy winter weather has quickly caused them to crumble.

When you decide that self-flagellation, via the guilt train, is no longer viable, it’s time to travel a different route.

Bundle up

To Change Your Life, Learn How to Trust Your Future SelfJeff Wise outlines how to better achieve your goals by breaking your larger goal down into easy-to- accomplish steps. With the religious execution of those baby steps, you chalk up small successes, or bundles. Based on your past performance, you then have proof that you can achieve the bigger goal. The fruit of your labour yields a healthy serving of trust in yourself. The more you nurture it, the more it grows.

Imagine how it feels when you exclaim,”Hey, I’m confident that I can do this, based on what I’ve done so far!”

Yes, even when you have a chronic illness, such as RA!

 

 

 

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