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Chronic pain : Tools of trade

Over the course of several years that I've spent in dealing with chronic pain, I have discovered a number of items that helped to reduce the pain and keep me functional. Here is a list of 10 items that I use frequently:


Thermotex infrared heating pad. (Video review) I have used this since 2007 and it is still working very well. At the time I bought this, I thought it was pretty expensive. Now that it has been 9 years and the pad really reduced the need of pain medication on several occasions, I think it has paid for the investment several times over. I have mainly used it for abdominal muscular pain. There were times that I have wrapped it around the abdomen and slept at night. The main advantage of infrared is that it penetrates deeper and does not heat up the skin like a conventional heating pad. A good side effect of using it on the abdomen is that it reduces my tendency for constipation. It is also been very useful whenever I had any pathology n the rectum like an anal fissure…
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Less Pain, More Work: Add Contacts to Email Faster Using Dragon Naturally Speaking

In this Dragon NaturallySpeaking Tutorial, I show how to convert an email into contact in Microsoft Outlook. If you are in a hurry, you may want to skip to the YouTube video listed below directly and then return to this blog post for further clarifications.



In my earlier blog post, I had shown a fairly tedious way to add contacts in Microsoft Outlook. The method includes bringing up the Add Contacts dialogue box and then manually entering the name and email. There is a faster way to do this if you received an email from the sender you want to add contacts. For this,

Open the Email from the sender,do a Mouse Right Click on the name of the sender,then select the option of "Add to Contacts" in the drop-down menuAdd Contacts dialogue box will be brought up which will automatically copy the sender's name and email address. You can add more data if needed.Click "Save and Close".
In order to achieve the same functionality using Dragon Naturally Speaking, we will have …

Strengthening Exercises While Being Bedridden

If you are frequently bedridden due to illnesses like chronic pain, chances are that you will tend to lose muscle mass. Less muscle strength can lead to increase pain thus causing a vicious cycle of chronic pain. It is important therefore to find a way to exercise and strengthen the muscle despite being bedridden.

Over the years, I have found myself frequently to be in this situation due to fibromyalgia.  There are several videos about exercises for the bedridden patients(for example, this). However, the exercises in these are more to improve mobility rather than increase muscle strength. Ultimately, I spent quite a bit of time compiling a list of exercises from YouTube that exercise and strengthen every major muscle group.  The list is provided below along with the major muscle groups that they exercise.As I have suffered from injuries because of using weights incorrectly, I recommend trying only with the resistance bands initially and that is what I have included in the list.
(The …

Dragon Naturally Speaking Tutorial : How to blog faster in Blogger using speech recognition

In this Dragon NaturallySpeaking tutorial, I demonstrate how to use speech recognition with the Blogger platform to write your blog posts faster.

Dragon Naturally Speaking can be used to improve your productivity in any text intensive tasks such as writing or blogging. In the YouTube video below, I show how to write your blog posts faster with Google Blogger. You can utilise  most of the commands shown in the video for your WordPress blog also. For maximum efficiency, you may want to go through the video initially, and then return to this post and review the summary of the commands used in the video to compose the blog post.

Bear in mind that I do not cover each and every functionality available in the Blogger platform. Even demonstrating the most common options took about 21 minutes, which is twice the average time of my video tutorials. However, with a bit of practice, you should be able to start using the other features easily with your voice. Of course, if you face any problems, p…

Dragon Naturally Speaking Tutorial : How to format columns in Microsoft Excel

In this Dragon NaturallySpeaking tutorial, I show how to format a column in Microsoft Excel using speech recognition.

While working with Microsoft Excel, you may be required to format a column, for example, if the column contains a specific type of data such as dates or a dollar amount. To achieve this using Dragon Naturally Speaking, first bring up the format column dialogue box using the command "Format Column". Now you can navigate and choose any particular options using different Dragon Naturally Speaking commands.

The most convenient way to navigate is to simply say the name of the option. For example, you can simply say "Currency" to select the currency option. There is one particular case in which this may not work. In Microsoft Excel, the option "Number" is located within the tab also called as "Number". Dragon Naturally Speaking will then just go to the tab but will not navigate to the option because it has no way of determining whethe…

My experience with lumber sympathetic nerve block

One of the symptoms of my fibromyalgia has been severe debilitating abdominal pain . The pain management doctor I was seeing suggested trying a sympathetic lumbar nerve block. In a block is a fairly common procedure in pain management and there are tons of patient experiences out there. So instead of going into details, I will summarise the differences in experience that I had from what others had described.
For starters, I was under the impression that every doctor injects at the same nerve root level in the procedure. However, my pain management doctor said that depending on my symptoms, he will consider injecting different nerve roots. This means that you may receive one or more injections.

Most of the other patients seem to have not experienced pain. However, even after the anaesthetic, I experienced painful heavy sensation after each injection. After the procedure, I was not able to turn on the side where the injections at been made. Fortunately, the pain reduced rapidly. I used…

How to stretch your quadriceps the right way?

Patients with chronic pain often benefit from exercise. However, it is important to do the exercise properly otherwise it can end up doing more harm than good.

I have been dealing with lower back pain and abdominal pain for quite some time now. Every time I used to stretch my quadriceps, I would start getting some back pain also.

The video below clearly explains why along with stretching the quadriceps, you may put strain on your lower lumbar region. After using the technique mentioned here, I no longer get the pain and and therefore recommending it to everyone.

I also recommend subscribing to this channel because the trainer, who also claims to be a physiotherapist, first explains the anatomy and the function of each muscle and then designs the exercise. That way, you can be conscious of what part of the body you are putting stress on and can avoid it if you are experiencing pain in that area.


My experience with ketamine infusions for chronic pain

I recently underwent ketamine infusion for chronic pain. I thought I would share my experience for those who are considering this procedure to manage their symptoms of chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

There is plenty of information about ketamine infusions on the web. For those who are new to this, here is a link that may be beneficial.

Personally, I was motivated by this blog post. Unfortunately, the ketamine infusion did not help me but at the same time, I must state that I did only to sessions and the doctor discontinued because he thought that it would not help. I'm still hopeful that may be it may help if the doctor agrees to continue the entire course of 4 to 6 sessions.

The infusions were done for me as an outpatient procedure. This meant that every day I had to be at the hospital at 9 AM to complete the paperwork and all formalities. The breakfast had to be light. The procedure actually started around 10 AM and lasted for about 4 hours. After that, there was one hour of res…