Everything Hurts

pain

Getting out on good days

health, pain, exploring, trends, art and design, foodAmanda VinciComment

I've been riding the chronic pain coaster for a couple of months now, one week of feeling great followed by another of swollen muscles and stiff joints. During an especially bad night a few weeks ago I made a promise to myself, a promise to  have to take advantage of my good days. Make the most of them, go out there and get inspired.

I work in and live right outside of the greatest city in the world (my opinion, of course). But the last thing I usually want to do during down time is get pushed around on the subways and walk down long city blocks. But I've been keeping my promise to myself, pushing myself to get our there and explore what NYC has to offer.

Here's some of what I've discovered:

Pietro Nolita is a perfectly millennial pink instagramable hot spot just north of Little Italy. It's owner, Pietro, designed this 25-seater restaurant to reflect the warmth and happiness of his home country (and family's) – Italy. The food is quite authentically Italian, and I loved my al dente Cacio e Pepe. Everything is as the napkin suggests, "pink as fuck"... including the drinks, some of the food, and the adorable bathroom. 

Which seat would you take? I'm amazed by the skeleton stools and there was no shortage of inspiration at Collective Design Fair that took place May 3-7 during NYCxDesign. Unfortunately I didn't keep track of the names of these pieces or the artists they're by, but here are some of my favorites from the collection!

WE WILL NO LONGER BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD. Yes indeed. Love everything about this.

The piece above by Zachari Logan especially spoke to me about struggles with chronic illness and body acceptance. I related it to my recent realization that my body and mind connecting is what makes me feel whole.

I have a list of over 1,000 restaurants I want to try. Not exaggerating. And The Lucky Bee has been at the top of my list for a while now. Yet another posh and adorable restaurant, this one serves a Thai inspired cuisine and delicious drinks. I was a little disappointed with my meal (not much on the menu for veggies) but my friends really enjoyed theirs. Go for the drinks and a snack, service was slow slow slow though.

I visited Gallow Green for my second time this week, thanks to the good people at Facebook hosting my work team for drinks and snacks. I absolutely love this rooftop bar and restaurant that's located on top of the McKittrick Hotel, home of the famously creative show Sleep No More. The drinks and food here are pricey but unbelievably good.

My summer goals are officially set: eat healthy (except when at a great restaurant) drink only a little (except for brunches!) and explore a lot (except for bad pain days... and work. Still have to go to work). Hooray for getting out on good days!

Chronic Pain Confessions

chronic pain, blog, mental health, pain, wellness, personalAmanda Vinci3 Comments
confessions.jpg

It's time to set the record straight about my chronic pain. Like Usher once said — these are my confessionsssss. And you might find that some of them are yours too.

I feel pain every day.

Most of the time I'm so used to the pain it doesn't really effect me.

If I have more than 2 days of terrible flare up pain, I start to become depressed.

My pain causes depression and depression causes more pain.

When I don't feel good and people ask what could have caused it, I get mad.

I have a love hate relationship with my pain. Sometimes I'm happy I have it. It's made me stronger in other facets of my life.

I really enjoy going to the doctor. I feel like I'm accomplishing something each time I go.

I hate exercising "for fun". Extraneous physical movement is never fun.

When people innocently share what a good workout they've had, I feel resentful.

I push myself just to prove that I can be like everyone else.

I sometimes use my pain as an excuse to get out of things I don't want to do, even if I can do them.

Lots of times I do things I know will cause me to be in pain, just to show that my condition won't stop me.

I loved getting every surgery I've had.

My scars make me happy, because they make my pain visible. Giving it credibility that it is real.

Getting out of bed is the most difficult part of my day. I have a hard time functioning before 10am.

My pain changes constantly and is hard to predict or keep track of.

My ferret, Sneaky Weasel, is the best form of therapy for me.

I sometimes feel jealous of people with conditions that are more visible.

I find too much comfort in my favorite foods. 

Most foods completely disgust me.

Sometimes wearing clothing hurts.

Listening to my body is the best way to treat myself.

I've learned to love myself, chronic illness and all.

I'm very proud of my battle with pain, and love sharing my story with others.

EH Review: Double N Urban Farm & Apothecary

eh reviews, ehreviews, chronic pain, migraine, pain, products, review, reviews, shoppingAmanda VinciComment
doubleN1.jpg

This Valentine's weekend is all about love. So how about showing some love to an important person in your life — you. Do your body and your mind a favor this Hallmark holiday and practice some holistic pain relief. Stetch, take a warm bath, meditate, or yeah... just watch some Netflix. And if you're looking for the perfect gift to give that special somebody (your body), head over to Double N Urban Farm & Apothecary.

Double N creates seasonal herbal body care products, all made with intention. This means they carefully select all natural, organic, ingredients and combine them into wonderful lotions, salves, teas, tinctures and more. They have an enchanting farm that truly creates healing products. You have to check out their website Double N Urban Homestead to get a look into their daily life at Double N... totally made me daydream about owning a farm. Stunning.

doubleN2.jpg

The lovely folks at Double N sent over two of their pain relieving products for EH to try out — Fire Muscle Rub and Headcase Headache Relief. Everyone that has come in contact with me in the last two months knows I've been suffering from sharp neck pains and blinding headaches. They started right around the new year, and with a combination of herbal remedies and old fashion physical therapy, they've been going away little by little. These two awesome products have been a part of my treatment and I swear to you they've been worth their weight in gold.

Let's talk about the Fire Muscle Rub. This salve is completely unique, and really does have a warming feeling to it. It's perfect for achey sore backs and necks, but you can use it on any unhappy muscle to get some sweet soothing relief. The cayenne & arnica infused olive oil really contributes to it's warming properties, and the coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax create a smooth solid, where a little bit goes a long way. The essential oils of clove, ginger and cinnamon are key in providing strong relief. 

doubleN3.jpg

Now for the Headcase Headache Relief — oh how I've been taking this with me everywhere. I never know when a headache will strike, and it's so important to be prepared at the first sign of one. Head Case has some truly unique ingredients that I haven't seen elsewhere. This blend includes amethyst infused sunflower oil! Amethyst?! I mean, I love the way they look... but they provide pain relief too? Yes, incredibly, they do. The blend also consists of peppermint, frankincense, lavender, basil, chamomile, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. Just rub it on your temples and neck 2-4 times a day and remember to breathe in. You'll feel it's soothing powers in no time. If you suffer from headaches, this is a purse must have.

What's really beautiful and unique about Double N Urban Farm and Apothecary is that they grow their own plants. They see them through and nurture them from seed to product. You are truly supporting organic and local farming by purchasing products from them. An extra something to feel good about, when you're feeling good from their products.

Enter the code: FEELGOOD at checkout for 20% off ANYTHING in their Etsy Shop through the end of February! An exclusive code for EH readers!

So go on and show yourself some love this Valentine's day with Double N Urban Farm & Apothecary. 

Sponsored.

 

 

A story of our pain, then and now

mental health, pain, self help, books, story, personalAmanda VinciComment

The other day, my friend asked "can you imagine having chronic pain in the 1800's?" I immediately recalled a short story I read in college — The Yellow Wallpaper.

"You see, he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?" The narrator of the story is at a loss for how to get her doctor husband and brother to see her invisible illness. They tell her that the very worst thing to do is to think about her condition, that doing so will only make her sicker. Boy, if I haven't heard that before.

The woman and her husband rent a mansion for the summer, and she's immediately uneasy with the decision. Everyone around her tells her it'll be good for her, she'll be able to get fresh air and exercise, and the change of environment will help with her poor mental state. Sound familiar? I thought so.

This story was published in 1892. When I read it in 2009 I felt as if I was reading a memoir of myself. Here was this woman, a woman trapped in a time period that felt so long ago — and she was experiencing the same treatment of her illness as I had received. She feels guilty for not getting better, and for not fully appreciating the help others have given her. She struggles with the treatment plan put in place for her. She is ordered to not work, get plenty of exercise and take pills at every hour of the day. She also struggles to define what she calls her "nervous condition."

If you haven't read The Yellow Wallpaper, I strongly recommend it. It is relatable to all of us suffering with an invisible illness, both mental and physical. It perfectly captures in a very personal way just how women with unseen pain were regarded not too long ago. Most women were passed off as "hysterical" when they complained of their pain. Unfortunately most of us have experienced modern day treatment reminiscent of this throughout our own medical journey.

I remember sitting in class as each student read a paragraph out loud. When we had an open discussion about what we read I really wanted to share my story, and how easily I could relate to this woman — but I stayed quiet. I was embarrassed that like the main character, I would be thought of by my peers as crazy or self obsessed. This only made me more like the lady trapped in The Yellow Wallpaper.

This story is a perfect depiction of what can happen to a person when their condition is ignored and their pain is not believed. Although it is not a story of triumph, it is a story that must be heard. Read it here, and let me know how it made you feel.

 
yellow2.jpg
 

EH Reviews: Botanical Delights

chronic pain, products, pain, shopping, nerve pain, fibromyalgiaAmanda VinciComment
BD1.jpg

My eyes light up every time I see a product with one of my chronic conditions printed on the label. For me? Don't mind if I do. I had to try these two pain relieving products from Botanical Delights, I mean, they practically had my name on them.

Nerve Pain Relief Butter is pure creamy goodness.

Nerve Pain Relief Butter is pure creamy goodness.

If you suffer from nerve pain caused by fibromyalgia, arthritis, sciatica, diabetes, etc.. you have to check out the unique pain relieving blends created by Botanical Delights. It is really inspiring to see a company focus on the creation of products specifically for nerve pain. When I was diagnosed twelve years ago, such products were nearly impossible to find. 

Botanical Delights takes pride in their all-natural handmade products, only using the highest quality ingredients. They carefully create powerful Synergy Blends. Synergy Blends occur when two or more highly concentrated essential oils are combined, and the molecular composition changes, resulting in a more powerful product. Each one of their blends results in a highly effective way to help you both physically and emotionally.

BD2.jpg

BD sent Everything Hurts two products to try out. Their Nerve Pain Relief Butter and their Fibro Survival Synergy Blend roll-on.

The Nerve Pain Relief Butter is super creamy and silky. It's so luxurious, but don't let that fool you — this stuff is strong. Really, I didn't know essential oils could do what they're doing in this butter. This product really targets the shooting, burning, and stabbing that is often associated with nerve pain. Rub a dab of it into the affected areas on your body, and feel it getting in deep and going to work almost immediately. The ingredients in this blend include Clove Oil, Black Pepper, Copaiba, and Frankincense. Each of these oils have strong pain relieving properties and are amazing natural substances. The combination of these in a Beeswax, Vitamin E and Arnica Oil base are really something you need to try to believe. Use it up to 3-4 times a day, and pretty soon you'll notice your pain isn't nearly as bad as it once was.

Fighting Fibro has never been easier with this roll-on relief.

Fighting Fibro has never been easier with this roll-on relief.

If you have fibromyalgia, do yourself a big favor — go grab one of these Fibro Survival Synergy Blend rollers right now. Ever since I got mine, I've been taking it along almost everywhere I go. When you have fibro, literally EVERYTHING hurts. Botanical Delights understands this. That's why they've created this really unique concoction that provides relief specifically targeted for fibromyalgia pain. They've carefully chosen anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anti-spasmodic oils that are known for their healing properties. This roller is PACKED, I mean absolutely PACKED with essential oils. How the hell they fit all of them into this carry-size roller? I have no idea. Plai, Lavender, Black Pepper, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Marjoram, Peppermint, Geranium, Roman & German Chamomile, Pine, Wintergreen, Apricot Oil and Vitamin E??? All in one amazing Synergy Blend? Seriously. Go, get it. Apply it to your trigger points. Thank me later. No, thank them. This stuff is a game changer.

Check out all of Botanical Delights natural essential oil blends in their Etsy Shop. They have such a wide range of products focusing on conditions such as autism, arthritis, anxiety, ADHD, sleeplessness, PMS, menopause... the list goes on.

Sponsored.