The Pain Journal

Sometimes you can’t appreciate where you are until you remember where you’ve been.

It’s easy to lose track of accomplishments when you are busy focusing on what you haven’t achieved. That is why I journal.

I know myself. I know that I am easily distracted from important things, and easily discouraged when I think I am not making enough progress. The bigger picture becomes hazy when I am feeling overwhelmed or tired. I journal because small daily victories are a good reminder of WHY I am doing what I am doing.

Overall, the main reason I became vegan was to control my pain.  The constant struggle of trying manage daily life while feeling like I had been beaten with a sledgehammer was horrible.  Exhaustion reigned supreme. Motrin and naps were a way of life.  Doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and a bottle of emergency prescription pain pills were all necessary evils.

10 weeks in and I catch myself in moments of being pain free.  Not constantly, but sometimes. What a gift! My energy is returning and while I still nap occasionally, it’s because I awoke too early or stayed up too late, and not just because my body is sucking the life out of me.

I thought I would share some of my journal entries. When I started, I only documented my symptoms, because my hands hurt so badly it was difficult to write.

February 27, 2017 – End of Day 1: Tired, achy, stiff fingers, sore back, knees and hips. Sharp pains in wrists, hands, shoulders, hips, knees, feet and jaw.

March 6, 2017 – End of Day 8: Hands no longer stiff, pain reduced by 80%. Not difficult to write tonight. Jaw popped back into place, so very sore, but had been improving. Right shoulder improving. No more pain in arms. Right hip, knees and back still sore, although some improvement.

March 26, 2017 – End of Day 32: Hands stiff and sore, was very hungry today (was it the potatoes or EVOO last night?) have had ankle swelling since Day 1. Still no improvement. Back very sore, hips normal. Jaw sore. Noticeable increase in energy.

Today is May 6, 2017 – Day 69. To date I have lost 27 pounds. I have been able to put on my anniversary band that I had to take off due to swelling in my hands many months ago. I haven’t taken Motrin(or any other pain reliever) in 66 days.  My sugar cravings are completely gone. I don’t even miss it!!! I only have occasional pain in my hands and shoulders, my back is mildly sore. I cut my medication for depression in half. So much improvement! I am so thankful I didn’t give it, even when it felt like it was the hardest thing I have ever done.

If I can offer one piece of advice, it is this: IMG_3474Never give up.




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