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Sprained ankle

December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

I was playing a good game of squash today when I made a sudden change in direction and a felt this pain shoot up from my ankle. I called a time out and let her play against my bro instead so I could sit down and just assess the damage.

The throbbing pain was slowly subsiding and the pain that I felt when I moved around was also getting less. I walked up and down a bit and by the time I was done with that, the pain had disappeared completely and I declared myself fit again to play.

Later in the evening, I stood up and it felt as though someone had stabbed me in the ankle. I put my hand up against the wall to stop me from falling over and sat back down. This time the pain didn’t subside and it just got ten times worse when I put any weight on it. Now I’m just lying in bed with a very sore ankle.

I’ve heard that you can easily treat a sprained ankle at home so I iced it for a while and then wrapped it up. It’s still throbbing with pain at the moment and any movement makes it worse, it doesn’t matter if I put any weight on it or just move it across the bed. Just my luck, we don’t have any painkillers in the house at the moment so it’s going to be a very long night…

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Deep tissue massage

November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I wanted to go for a massage but I didn’t know what type to go after. After much research and looking around, I found a guy who does deep tissue massages for a decent price. I settled for a deep tissue massage because I figured that I needed some proper work done to get all the knots and tension out, not just a nice relaxing massage.

So off I went to this newly opened spa, which I must add is a very nice place with very friendly people, to get some work done on my back, neck and shoulders. M, their deep tissue massage therapist, showed me around the place and then got to work.

He started off with gentle rubs so that I could get used to his touch and not squirm around so much because I’m so ticklish. Then he slowly started increasing the pressure to my liking. I like a firm touch and he said that he couldn’t believe that I was handling so much pressure. Apparently ladies generally don’t like it so rough.

As he was kneading away with his hands, forearms and elbows, I could feel the knots slipping underneath them. I always knew that I was tense but I never knew that I carried around so many knots in my back! He managed to break up all the superficial ones but there are still quite a few which are pretty deep that he needs to work on. There’s still quite a bit of tension that needs to be loosened up as well so I will be returning back to him for some more torture next week.

At the the moment, I feel like someone used my back as a punching bag. If there were no such things as mirrors, I swear that I would have thought that my back is currently bruised all over. However, I know that this is good pain and I’m actually really looking forward to next week’s session.

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World Diabetes Day

November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Today is World Diabetes Day. This is a disease that affects about 4% of the world’s population which works out to around 280 million people. That’s about 5 times the population of South Africa! And the number of people affected by this disease is increasing at an alarming rate.

So what is diabetes? Simply put, it is a disease where a person has high blood sugar. The type of diabetes explains why you would have high blood sugar.

There are three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is where a person’s own immune system destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. In other words, their bodies can’t produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is where the body has become insulin resistant either because the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or because the body can’t use the insulin properly. The last type is gestational diabetes which is what some women develop when they are pregnant. Other forms of diabetes are usually as a result of other conditions that a person suffers.

The cause of type 1 is normally genetics while type 2 is normally as a result of a person’s lifestyle, with genetics playing a small part as well. Considering people’s lifestyles nowadays, it goes without saying that type 2 is the most common form of the disease. This also means that with a few adjustments to your lifestyle, you could decrease your chances your chances of developing diabetes.

Both my grandmothers and my parents all have type 2 diabetes. This means I have to be extra careful because, even though type 2 is mostly caused by a person’s lifestyle, genetics still play a small part in this. I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I can’t say that I’m the most successful at it but I’ve at least incorporated going to the gym into my schedule which my parents don’t do.

So even though we can’t cure this disease yet, if we can spread the knowledge about it, hopefully we can limit the number of people that develop it which is a step in the right direction.

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Tension and massages

October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

About two years ago, I went to see my GP because I was constantly getting headaches. He told me that they were tension headaches because of all the tension in my neck and shoulders and his suggested course of treatment was to go and get a massage. Of course I grabbed this opportunity to go get a massage, who would ignore medical advice like that?

So off I headed to the nearby spa by our local golf course to get a neck, shoulder and back massage. It felt wonderful and relaxing at the time and I thought my problem had been solved but I was wrong. After a few days, the headaches were back. Obviously the massage was just a temporary fix that only lasted a few days. I came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be cost effective to go for a massage every few days so I’d just grin and bear the headaches when they came along.

Lately, I’ve been really stressed out at work and that stress has been compounded by the fact that I’ve been studying for the entrance tests into our board exam. I’m guessing that this has caused the tension to build up at an exponential rate as these headaches have been really bad lately.

So now I’m reconsidering the treatment that my GP suggested. The problem now is that I’m a bit more “educated” and I know that there are 10 million different kinds of massages out there so how in the world do I pick the right one? I know just a normal neck, shoulder and back isn’t the answer but what is? Deep tissue, hot stone, Swedish, pressure point or one of the many that I haven’t even mentioned here?

Anyone have a suggestion as to which would be the best?

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Cold weather and joint pain

September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

There are many people who claim that their joints are better weather forecasters than the weatherman. I’m sure you’ve met someone who has told you that the weather is going to become colder and amazingly, it actually does. Although no link had actually been proven yet, most doctors agree that the pain has something to do with the change in the barometric pressure which accompanies any weather change.

My knees are my personal weather station however they aren’t as sensitive as others because they can only tell me when there’s going to be a significant drop inte temperature. I’m lucky in the sense that they don’t ache all the time when it’s cold so I don’t have to sit throughout the whole of winter with sore knees. When I woke up yesterday with a sore knee (for some reason only my left knee was sore), I knew that we were going to lose the lovely summery weather we’ve had here in Joburg and sure enough, by late afternoon, the cold had arrived.

The question now is what do you do when you’ve got achy joints. You’d think that because the pain is brought on by cold weather that applying heat would do the trick but it doesn’t help me at all. The next idea would then be to take some sort of painkiller but Mypaid and Myprodol both didn’t do the trick. Besides constantly rubbing them, nothing really seems to relieve the pain.

Does anyone have some suggestions as to what I could try to relieve the pain?

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The Sunflower Fund and Bandana Day 2013

September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Pick n Pay has once again teamed up with The Sunflower Fund for National Bandana Day which is on 12 October. I’ve got my bandanas lined up and ready for the day. Above is my version of sharing some Sunflower love.

The Sunflower Fund was created to help raise funds for tissue typing of potential none marrow donors. This is quite an expensive exercise and many people who would like to be donors can’t afford these tests so The Sunflower Fund then steps in and helps cover the costs. I’ve got a friend who always asks us not to her gifts in her birthday but rather give the cash as a donation to the fund.

People with leukaemia and other bone marrow diseases have a 1 in 100 000 chance of finding a life saving bone marrow match so The Sunflower Fund is really working towards a worthy cause. However, just like with organ and blood donation, people seem very reluctant to get themselves into the SA Bone Marrow Registry. Some feel it goes against their religion to give another person a part of themself and others use the “I’m afraid of needles” reason. There are even some that are spiteful and feel if they needed the transplant/transfusion no one would help them so they don’t see why they should help others.

I don’t see why you shouldn’t help others if you can. Once you’re dead, you don’t need your organs so why not give another person a chance to live? You have more than enough blood to donate a unit so why not do it? Your body also is always producing healthy bone marrow so why not help someone out whose bone marrow is “poisonous”?

So I urge everyone to get themselves registered, I’m sure there isn’t a better feeling than knowing that you helped save someone’s life. And if you’re really against being a donor, at least go and get yourself a bandana so that someone else who is willing to donate can have their tissue tested.

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Whiplash

July 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Why is it that when people are late, they start driving like idiots? Surely it’s better to arrive late in one piece than to end up in a million pieces. I’m mentioning this because the silly supervisor on the client that I’m currently on doesn’t seem to get that concept.

On Sunday, after a nice relaxing weekend down by Richards Bay, he felt that we were going to get back too late so he started driving like a maniac. And when I say maniac, I mean that he was going 180km/h and swerving inbetween all the trucks that travel on the N2 at night. On the gravel road that we travel on to the mine, he was going 120km/h and that’s where it wrong.

On one of the corners he lost control of the car. He claims that it’s because of loose gravel but the first year and I both agreed that it was because he took the corner too quickly. Anyways, the car spun twice and landed up in a ditch on the side of the road. Luckily, we didn’t tip over so the car was still in one piece and we were all able to climb out relatively unscathed. Notice the word relatively.

There’s a line across my neck that I call my battle scar. It’s from where the seatbelt cut into me, not too bad but definitely noticeable. I don’t want to imagine how things would have ended up if I wasn’t strapped in. But on the other hand, because I was strapped in, my body stayed put during the spins and my neck didn’t.

In my “expert” opinion, I think I’ve got a little bit of whiplash from this incident. Since we’re out on the mine in the middle of nowhere, I can’t really go get it checked out by a doctor. There is the clinic but that’s manned by nurses and they only offered me some anti-inflammatories which I politely declined.

Now I’m sitting here with a stiff and sore neck. I’ve tried some “home treatments” in the form of rubbing on some Deep Heat and stretching it every now and again. We only go home on the 8th so hopefully it’s a bit better by then otherwise it’s off to the doctor I go to see if there’s anything else that I can do about it.

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Sleep cycles

July 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve never been a morning person but in the past three months so, it has become really, really bad. And it’s not because of the cold weather, I’ve never been like this in any previous winter. In the past, my alarm would go off and I would practically jump out of bed. Nowadays, I have to set four alarms and then I will only very reluctantly try and wake from my stupor. As you can imagine, this is a bit of a problem when it comes to getting ready for work in the mornings.

The hypochondriac in me kicked in last night and I started pondering as to whether or not there was a proper medical reason as to why this could’ve happening. My mind then wandered back to one of my MRI scans which showed that I have a tiny pineal gland cyst. The neuro wasn’t worried about it becaus it is apparently quite common and 99% of the time, it doesn’t cause any symptoms.

Even though the neuro reassured me that it wouldn’t affect me, I had to check out what this thing actually does and what the symptoms are if it actually gets big enough to cause problems. One of the problems is that it can mess with your circadian rhythm which actually affects your sleep cycle.

If it was up to me, I would go to bed well after midnight and only wake up at around 11:00 which is only when I actually start feeling awake anyways. Unfortunately, that could never work so I’ve had to try my best to adjust my sleep habits accordingly.

Now I’m wondering if this thing has actually grown to a size that can actually start causing symptoms. I don’t really want to bother the neuro about this because he will most probably think that I’m being hypochondriac-ish and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Or he’ll send me for another MRI scan and those things cost an arm and a leg, which I don’t have any spares at the moment.

So, do I give him a call about it or do I wait for ny next appointment and then mention it? Or do I just leave it completely? I don’t think it’s something else like depression or anaemia because I don’t feel tired the whole day, it’s just that my sleep clock isn’t really in sync with the rest of the world. Don’t you just hate having questions like this without a definite answer?

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World blood donor day

June 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve gathered from various sources, that 14 June 2013 is World Blood Donor. I’ve never been a blood donor. At first I was too light then when I was heavy enough, I was told that I was anaemic and eventually I started taking my meds and it became a big no-no. It’s always something that I’ve wanted to do but unfortunately I’ve never had the chance.

I was scouting around on Facebook a little earlier and I saw that News24 asked who is a blood donor and there were some very “interesting” reponses. There were a few who refused to donate because you don’t get paid for it but when you need blood you have to pay. Others made it a bit racist and said no because, according to them, black people’s blood is just discarded. There were also a few that wouldn’t donate because they didn’t get to choose who the blood would go to. After reading most of the responses it’s not hard to imagine why there is such a blood shortage in this country.

If I could donate blood, I would gladly do it, just like I’ve signed up for organ donation. If I’m fine without it then why still carry it around? Fine, I wouldn’t be happy if my blood was given to some criminal but how would I know anyways? Yes, if I have to have a transfusion, I’ll have to pay for it but that makes me feel a bit at ease because to me it means that it was “processed” so that it can safely be put into me. As for the blood being thrown out comment because of who it came from, well, that just shows me how racist people still are.

It’s such a shame that people can’t just see it as helping out their fellow human being. Wouldn’t the world be such a better place if they did?

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Explaining the pain

May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

I was going through various discussion topics on one of the health websites that I’m subscribed to and I thought I’d share this. The one user asked how she could explain to others what she goes through in a positive way. Some people brought up “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino but the one came up with this which I thought is a nice way to explain the chronic pain that they suffer.

“Chronic pain is like becoming a new parent. Your whole world is changed and will never be the same. Your life is dictated by the needs and demands of the little one. Your ability to do things on the spur of the moment is limited and you may not know till the last minute. Babies get tired and cranky because they get tired. Babies get tired from being around too many people for too long. Sometimes babies can sleep through anything anywhere and sometimes there are babies that can not sleep anywhere but in their own bed. They need regular rest and to eat at regular times. Going anywhere with a baby takes pre-planning and lots of stuff. The same is true with people in pain.

You may look like the same person as before but you are not. You will lose some childless friends that can’t or won’t try to understand but you will gain new friends (with children) that understand exactly what you are going through.

Chronic pain can be like a colicky baby. You can try all kinds of things, never knowing if anyone of them will work. Sometimes it works quickly and you can get that baby back to sleep. Sometimes nothing works, no matter how long you try. Your pain is that colicky baby. If you take your medication early enough, you might be able to stop/reduce your pain. But if you try to wait, no amount of medication is going to help.”

That’s a very good analogy don’t you think?

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