"I only get one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from my living it."

Friday, December 31, 2010

Introducing Guest Writer

Sarah with her baby girls
Some of you may remember me writing about my friend, Sarah, who has to adhere to the Candida Diet. It was she that got me started looking into that type of cooking and learning, in the process, that it is a form of treatment for Fibromyalgia. I hate that people think living the Candida lifestyle means that they have to eat bland, boring food. So, I have posted a few of the recipes that I have created and hope to continue doing so. However, I also recently convinced my friend to be a guest writer and allow me to post some of her recipes. Be sure to try out the recipes and let us know what you think.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thanks to the Cleaning Lady

Washing the dishes always makes my back hurt. So when I saw this article I thought how nice because I can cut out a little bit of my workload. I have always scrubbed my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Now I don't have to. And I wont' feel guilty. I going to start immediately. I'll let you know if it doesn't work. 

Posted by The Cleaning Lady on October 19, 2010

I was talking with my friend the other day who described the ongoing feud she has with her husband over the dishwasher. He insists that dishes need to be scrubbed and rinsed prior to going into the dishwasher, while my friend insists that they just need to be scraped of large food particles prior to dishwasher loading. So, who’s right?

Drum roll please. My friend is correct in this situation. According to experts, there is no need to pre-rinse dishes, and in fact if you do, you are wasting water, time and energy. Most newer dishwasher models have sensors that adjust the cycle’s water levels, temperature and time according to how dirty the dishes are. Rinsing dishes clean of all food particles can actually decrease the effectiveness of your dishwashing detergent - today’s detergents are designed to attack food particles left on dishes.
An energy-efficient dishwasher uses up to 5 gallons of water to clean an entire load of dishes, while leaving the water running and rinsing and scrubbing the same amount of dishes by hand uses up to 27 gallons of water. You can further save water by only running the dishwasher when it is completely full and loading it properly.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas Miracle

Christmas Eve was spent attending our church's candle light Christmas Eve service. It was so nice. I was glad that they had it since they decided to cancel the Sunday service on the 26th to allow all the staff and volunteers to have the flexibility to travel and spend time with their families for the holidays. I'm fine with that. I just really miss church when we don't get to go. But as soon as we got home I was walking through the house and was struck with a migraine. It just hit me all of a sudden with vertigo and nausea. My husband was just singing in the kitchen starting dinner, had no idea that anything was wrong with me because I had just walked through the living room. It literally, hit me like a bullet. I made it back it to the couch. We got me medicated and all that jazz. Christmas morning I woke up, still with a headache. We opened our stockings. Since we have some big things coming up we decided not to spend money on presents. I tried to eat breakfast, but my migraine was getting worse. I took the last dose of medicine that I could take within the 24 hour period. I got in the hot tub. I spent about four hours in there. I finally found a position that stretched my neck just so that relieved the tension and decreased the pain. I didn't want to move. I could tell I was starting to get a little sunburn. I was pruning. I wanted to get out, but at the same time was afraid that if I did the migraine would come back. See, some friends had invited us to Christmas at their home at 4 o'clock. I really wanted to go. I wanted to have a place to spend Christmas. Not that Rob isn't family enough for me. But having just moved here and having no family around, it's our first Christmas away from our families. It's kinda depressing. So I really wanted to be able to go. Thankfully Rob was in the kitchen making the food and desserts that we said we would bring so that if I was up to it we could still go. I finally got out of the hot tub and rested a little before I managed a shower. Then a little nap. I woke up and it was a Christmas miracle. We went to our friends house and I was fine. We had Christmas dinner. We played their new kinect game. I'm sure I spelled that wrong. But we didn't leave until about 2 o'clock in the morning. I made it through the whole evening without a headache. Thank you God for my Christmas miracle! My friend did ask if I kept up with the weather because she gets migraines based on the different fronts that come through. So I'm going to check that out. Living here is a whole new climate for our bodies to adjust to and new allergens.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blue Christmas

My parents were just here for the weekend. It was their early Christmas visit. Since moving here six months ago, this will be our first time to have a Christmas away from our families. I mentioned before that I had a new wave of homesickness hit after we returned from our Thanksgiving trip. Now I am feeling the Christmas blues. It's going to be so weird not having anyone to spend Christmas with. Yes, we have each other. But it will be weird not having a dinner or family get together. And since we just moved in and still need some large items for the house and there are some things coming up in the near future we decided that we wouldn't buy gifts for each other. So there will be no opening of gifts either. I'm starting to get kinda depressed. At least our church is having a Christmas Eve service. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good Girl Ghirardelli!

Or would that make a better boy's name? I'm standing in the candy aisle at the grocery store drooling over the Ghirardelli chocolate thinking that would make a great name for my next chocolate lab. I was planning on naming this one Peppermint Mocha Twist after my fav Starbuck's drink and just calling her Mocha. But she was a he and got named Bradley. But Rob objected to Mocha anyway and said it was just because I was PMSing. I look down at my shopping cart. CRAP!!! Half the stuff in it is chocolate. I am so PMSing. OK, so naming your dog after chocolate foods doesn't exactly make the list of symptoms on the back of the Midol box. But it's definitely a clue for me. And for me, when menstruation hits, she strikes quick, like an assassin. No wonder I'm getting so tired as I restock the shelves. Now I'm having a hot flash and my back is killing me. If I was regular enough and could keep up on a calendar I would have known this was not a good day to make a shopping trip. I try to finish my shopping list without adding anymore chocolate items. But I'm getting the Ghirardelli hot cocoa because it will get cold again. Ooh, and the Hershey's dark chocolate syrup because I have ice cream at home.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tiger Balm Patch Review

Today is cleaning day. The dogs are at daycare to get them out from under my feet while I work. It's harder than usual. There's so much to do but I'm having to make myself take a break because that knot in my neck/shoulder area is coming back. The one that was bothering me while we were at my parents' house during Thanksgiving. I didn't get to bring back the Shiatsu massager that my dad gave me because we didn't have room in the car. They are bringing it when they come for Christmas. I could really use it. But I have a smaller version. It's just a little more difficult to use. Then I remember than I have the Tiger Balm patches that my husband raves about. So I go put one on. about 15 minutes after, while I'm vacuuming, what I notice most is the cool burning sensation. It's like putting on Icy Hot or something similar. When I use the Tiger Balm cream that part goes away pretty quickly. But the patch seems to last much longer. If you can't stand that burning sensation, then you probably cannot handle the Tiger Balm patch. You can try it for yourself. But I wanted to give you fair warning. I'm pressing on with it though. I also seem to be itching, but that's probably due to my extremely dry skin. So I vacuumed the house and continued cleaning without any trouble from my neck and back. After a couple of hours the burning sensation did go away. I only got to wear it for about 3 and a half hours or so because I had to take it off to shower and get ready. So I didn't get to wear it for the full length of time. I don't know if that would have changed the outcome. It did relieve my pain. I went to a Bunco game that night and had no trouble at all playing. So that's pretty good. Now when I stretch my neck I can still feel the spot and some pain and when I rub it there is still a knot. But I know that I need an chiropractic adjustment and the Tiger Balm patch can't do that for me. Maybe I'll try it again overnight and see what the outcome is. See if I have a miracle recovery like my husband did.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Help! I Have Fibro And I Can't Go Out!

I know for me, going to the grocery store is a hassle and sometimes a huge challenge. It's exhausting. The smells make me sick. I'm back and forth because I can't find anything or remember anything no matter how organized my list is. You may remember reading about my embarrassment about having to ask for help with getting the bags out to the car when I look like a normal healthy person who should be able to do it myself. Then I have to get home and lug them all inside and put the stuff away. I'm getting worked up just writing about it. In fact, I've found myself making more frequent, smaller trips to the store. I guess it helps. It's inconvenient. It costs more in gas and time. But it's easier on me. I wonder. . . does anybody ever shop online for stuff like this? I mean, I order food from the Schwan's man. But what about other stuff. Then I got a flyer in my bag at Target for Soap.com. I never did anything with it. But now a blog that I follow has advertised that Soap.com is offering $10 off any purchase. You can even just purchase $10 worth of stuff. You would have to pay the $4.99 shipping, but that's still $5 off. Or you can purchase $25 worth of stuff and get free shipping. Just use the code 10BUCKSFREE when you check out. You can buy toilet paper, detergent, bath and body, health and beauty. Lots of stuff that you get at your grocery store or trip to Walmart, corner pharmacy, etc. That means it could potentially cut out half of the junk that I have to go out, buy and lug back home. The prices are a little higher and I don't know if you can use any kind of coupon other than the ones that Soap.com puts out themselves. But it may be worth it. Especially during a difficult time, like all of winter.

**since writing this post, Soap.com has clarified that the coupon code is for existing customers only. Not sure why they wouldn't want new customers. You could try calling customer service and see if they will give you the coupon code anyway. Sometimes they will.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Even though days get to the seventies, sometimes eighties, and we can often still wear shorts in the afternoon. Although today was a cold front and we had to pull out the jackets. It's still very sunny and no leaves have changed. But people have decorated their homes and the lights twinkle brightly.
Tree Trimmin'
The day after Thanksgiving we had a little tree trimmin' party with a few friends to put up our first Christmas tree here in Texas. Grandma Eva sent a surprise package. It was a stocking for Bradley. She made it for him to match the ones she made for Rob, me and Brodie. We've already received three Christmas cards. The first one was all the way from Honduras. Usually by now I've already taken our family picture and started sending them out.
But this year I have no idea if I'll even get to it.
We had our Journey Team Christmas party. That's our small group from church. It was lots of fun. I got a very funny gift from the gift exchange, but I can't say what it was because we're going to use it at another party.
JT Party Pic

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We went home for the first time since we moved here in June. Wow, that was a long wait. But I think it was good for me because it helped me get past the homesickness before coming home which would have just prolonged it. We decided to go home the week before the week of Thanksgiving so that we would have the opportunity to see some friends. We thought that if we went the week of Thanksgiving everyone would be busy traveling and having their
Thanksgiving with families. Also, I had been upset that I was missing fall for the first time in my life. I know I wasn't missing fall, but I was missing the changing of the leaves. But for whatever reason in the weather this year, the leaves changed very late. Usually they are dead and on the ground by November, but they were changing. It was so nice. It was like Fall had held it's breath just for me. Sunday we had Thanksgiving with as many as we could of Rob's family.
Then Monday my friend Sharon and I went out to Pinnacle Mountain to look at the leaves. It was so nice.
Tuesday we had a little "open house" at Chic-Fil-A. We told everyone we would be there for a few hours and to come by and see us. We were able to see lots of friends that way.

Then we headed to Memphis with my parents to see my Grandparents. Thursday was a down day as we were both exhausted by this point. Friday we met my brother and nephew for lunch and a movie. Then had dinner with friends again before heading back to rest up for the long drive back. On the way home Rob was pretty sick. He had some kind of cold. After a few days I caught it too. It took longer for him to shake it. But it was good to be back home for the holidays. And it was good to come back home. Yes, you heard me. It was good to get back home. It was during this trip that I started calling Texas home. You know when you're staying somewhere else and in hotels, etc. You are enjoying yourself, but finally ready to be back in your own bead and not living out of a suitcase. And I was missing my friends here. I had missed our new church. I missed the ladies at my Bible study. And I was glad to be back in the warmer weather. It's nice to go where it's cold and the leaves are changing. But it's kinda like going where it snows . . . that's vacation weather. This here. . . this is weather for living.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Medicine Mixup

I have two prescriptions that I am getting filled at CVS pharmacy. My amitryptaline for sleep and my topiramate for vertigo and migraines. They always call me with an automated voice message telling me that it is time to renew my prescriptions. It's usually pretty accurate since it's within my last week of pills. I can refill it on the phone and pick it up that day or at my convenience in the next couple of days before I run out of pills. Well, the last time that I was picking up my pills they asked if I wanted to get the automated refills. I said, "Sure." I figured that would save even more time. So the night before our trip, we're getting the last of our packing done. I'm filling my pill organizer. Oops, I've run out of these two. Where's my next bottle? There isn't one. How can that be? I've always got another one. I've got automated reminder calls. I must not have gotten my call. My CVS isn't 24 hours and we're leaving before the pharmacy opens so I think maybe we can fill it at a CVS along the way. But then I remember that I signed up for automated refill. So I call to see if my prescription has already been filled and it has. It's waiting to be picked up. Well, if it's waiting to be picked up then I can't get it filled at another one. At least not easily. I decide that it's too much hassle. I have enough amitryptaline for the rest of the week. I usually take a topiramate in the morning and at night. I can make it half way through the week. So I figure when I get close I'll take my last one and split it in half and take half one day and half the next day. Then I would just have to wait until I got home to get my refills. But last night we were at the casino. I didn't stay late, but I did sleep in late. So I was in a hurry this morning when I took my pills. Instead of splitting my topirimate in half, I just downed it with all the rest. So now I hope I'm okay until I get home.

ALSO, because I was up late I took my first of three doses of Cymbalta late. So when it came time to take my second dose I decided to wait. I usually take them about seven hours apart. It had only been four hours. I thought I would wait, then take my last pill later at night. Well, I of course forgot to take my second dose until about 8 pm. So now I either have to miss my last dose or wait until enough hours pass to take another one. Which one is worse. My husband thinks that I should have just taken my second dose even though only four hours had passed when my reminder alarm went off. My concern is that it makes the dose in my body too high. I am on 150mg three times a day. I believe that is the highest dose for Fibromyalgia. Does anyone have any advice on whether it is better to take the pills too close together or miss a dose? I don't necessarily notice if I miss one dose. But if I miss more than one dose within a few weeks or a month's time then I do notice it. Advice?

Dentist Visit

I went to the dentist Monday (today is Wed.) Tuesday morning when I brushed my teeth I had soreness at my gumline from where I had had my cleaning. That night it was a little worse. This morning it is still there, though a little better. I'm not sure that this is in any way related to the Fibro. My husband went for his visit at the same time. He said that his gums were swollen and sore. But I think they had to clean him a little more aggressively since they got on to him for not flossing enough. At one point the dentist said that flossing is just as important as him taking his blood pressure medicine. An infection in your gums can get into your blood stream and be very serious to your health. So y'all get flossing!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shiatsu Knot for Me?

Sunday night my upper back muscles were really sore from riding in the car so much. Just from the limited positions you can get into. Then sleeping on the guest bed at my parents where I evidently slept clutching the side of the bed to keep from rolling toward the center. I had this huge knot in my upper back above my right shoulder blade just to the right of my spine. High enough that it could almost be considered the lower neck, but low enough to still be considered the back. Oh, it was so sore. I think I had a rib head out of place. I couldn't imagine sleeping again or riding in the car again. And we had so much more riding around the state to do. So my dad pulls out this back massager that his boss had given him as a Christmas present a few years ago. It was one of those that you put in the chair. You sit on it to keep it in place and it straps to the back of the chair. It's a shiatsu massager so it has the little balls that roll clockwise or counterclockwise on both sides of your spine all the way up and down. I used it for I don't know how long. It must have a timer setting on it because it turned itself off. I turned it back on. It went for a while and then turned itself off. I turned it back on. After the third cycle I finally stopped since we obviously could not agree on how much I needed. That and I was exhausted. So I went to bed and with the suggestion of my mom put pillows between me and Rob keeping us from rolling to the center of the bed. I slept much better. The next morning when I woke up I could tell as soon as I moved that my back was sore from the massage. Even just toweling off after my shower hurt. It hurt to touch the seat back in the car. But my muscles were so much looser that it was worth the soreness. I got to go to my chiropractor. She said that she could tell why I was sore and that, yes, I had a rib head out. I am hoping to go back for another adjustment before we have to go home. Tuesday I was still sore to the touch but not as bad. Too much still to use the massager again though. However, I think that Wednesday night after riding through a couple more states to see my grandparents and then back to my folks house I'll be ready to use it again. But this time I won't use it nearly as long.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

FYI

I am really backed up on my blogging since my Christmas Bazaar. Man, it was like having a full time job. It was a perfect example of why some people with Fibro don't work. It's practically impossible to do anything else. I am going to try to get caught up with my blogging, at least on what I can remember. To do that I am going to be backdating some of my posts. It helps me to keep up with when things happened. So if you are one who likes to read everything, you'll have to go back to the archives and not just follow the blogroll or newsreel.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christmas Bazaar Goes Global

You may know that I'm having a Christmas Bazaar in my home to meet people here in our new town. Everyone's getting to do lots of shopping from consultants and home businesses. But you don't have to be left out. You can shop from them as well. I've found some great new things to share with you and some old favorites as well. So check out these websites and get some Christmas shopping done. Just click on the name of the company below.


    Monday, November 1, 2010

    gLOVEs

    The weather is turning cooler. Not a lot. Just a little. We still can wear shorts in the afternoons and even go without jackets in the evenings as long as we are wearing long pants. At least this is my very limited experience so far. However, rain is supposed to be coming. I say supposed to be because it is cloudy, which is very unusual for here, and it is very windy. The temperature has dropped. But the rain has not come. I took the dogs to daycare and today is my cleaning day. I want to clean in shorts and if I am cleaning I should stay warm enough. But when I stepped outside to take them to school I about wet my pants, it was so cold. The only reason I didn't wet my pants was because every muscle I had clinched just keep me from blowing away, it was so windy. I thought "Surely Chicago cannot be windier than this." I've come home and there are things I need to do for the bazaar. I am trying to alternate cleaning and bazaar work. The bazaar work is more computer oriented and cutting paper, decorating type stuff. The cleaning is more, well, cleaning, you know. So usually where I take my breaks during cleaning, I am filling it with bazaar work. Here's the thing. It's cold. It may not be cold to everyone else. But to me, with this front coming through, it's cold. My hands are cold and they are hurting. My arms are hurting. My shoulders are literally drawing up toward my ears and it hurts. If you were sitting across from me, you could probably see my shoulders drawing up. And it hurts when your muscles seize up. It hurts. I'm hurting. It hurts. I should really go get in the hot tub. That's what I really want to do. And probably should do. Another thing that I do is wear these arm warmers. They are like leg warmers, but for your arms. I got mine at Walmart last year. They are the gloves without fingers. They do not have the part that comes down and goes over your fingers. Those are glommits. These are just fingerless gloves. EXCEPT they come up your forearms almost all the way to your elbows. They help keep my hands, wrist and arms warmer (not warm, just warmer) while allowing me access to type, cook, read, scrapbook, bead, anything for which I need my fingers exposed. I hope to get more this year. But maybe you can make them. I can't knit. However, if anyone finds a pattern for gloves like these, please share the pattern with me. I would love to have my mother-in-law make some for me.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    My Aching Chest, I Gotta Rest

    OK, my boobs are hurting really bad today. Don't know why except that I have recently finished my period. Just part of the hormone moodiness. My friend took me shopping in this little town today. I didn't think that I should walk around holding my breast as that is what helps them feel better. So I took some Aleve before we left. It must have helped. That or the adrenaline of the shopping trip. We went to a great little town and walk around to these little boutique shops. We had lunch and did some wine tasting. I decided to add making wine glass charms to my beading business. We were gone about 4 hours. She wore me out. I didn't feel that tired while we were out, but I came home and slept for four hours. Is that right??? An hour of sleep for an hour of activity. But my husband was so nice. When he came home the dogs got out of bed with me. They never woke me up. He played with them and gave Brodie his medicine, fed them and started dinner. He did all of that without ever waking me up. I was so grateful when I woke up all on my own. But after being awake for about an hour I could have gone right back to sleep. It was a great day, but I'm amazed at how tired I was later.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    The Good With The Bad

    I was talking on the phone with a friend back home. She was concerned about how I was feeling because she has been reading my blog. Evidently I'm always talking about how bad I feel. True. That's what I do here. I focus on my Fibromyaglia and how it affects my life. But what I don't focus on is how it has NOT affected my life. Now that my friend does not see me on a regular basis and only reads my blog, she thought my health had taken gone downhill. Sure there are things that are worse. But there are things that are better now that I'm not working and now that I'm in a more stable weather environment. So I would say that I'm about the same as she remembers. In fact, most people who know me are surprised when they find out that I have Fibromyalgia. And my doctors have always commented on how well I do in general. I think it is because, for the most part, pain is not my issue. Yes, I have the pain associated with Fibromyalgia. I met the criteria on the tender points chart. But my pain is not as debilitating as it is for most people. Although I do have my flare-ups and my bad days. My issue, as stated in my "about me" on the sidebar, is the hyper-sensitivity to external stimuli. Light. Sound. Smell. Motion. Changes in temperature, air pressure, barometric pressure, ventilation. It results in vertigo, nausea and migraines that are for the most part controlled with my prescription glasses and medications. Lifestyle helps prevent pain flare ups. So here's what you should know about me. For every bad day, I have 10 good ones. So when I'm not writing about the bad days it's because I'm not writing about the good days. I'm busy trying to live them.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    A Bad Influence

    Has it really been a month already? I feel like you were just here. Like an old college friend who comes for a visit, wearing me out. Except without all of the fun. Oh, you make me eat sweets and drink sodas. Needing it like an addiction. I'd replace a meal with dessert. I don't care, just give me the freakin' chocolate. And I'm so tired. I didn't wake up until 10:30 this morning. Shut up, rest of the world! You who whine "wish I could sleep that late." You don't know how it feels to wish I didn't have to sleep this late. Only to need it again in just a few measly hours. Wow. That was b*tchy. Did I mention that you bring out the worst in me? . . . When you visit. . . . Really? . . . Has it only been a month since my last period?

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Christmas Bazaar

    I've been so busy lately that one of the many things I've neglected are my blogs. I have been preparing for my Christmas Bazaar. I started to meet people. Well, I actually started because one girl asked me to have a home party for her scrapbooking business and the other girl sitting there said "if you have a party for her, you have to have a party for me," (she sells candles). So I came up with the idea of having them at the same time and asking other ladies who do things to get in on it so that we could invite all of the ladies from the Bible study and my scrapbook and card swapping groups. The idea being that I could meet people that I've come in contact with or have more contact with the people I've met. Because I don't think I just say "Hey, I'm brand new to town and I don't know any of you, so why don't you all come over to my house for a "whatever" party and spend your money so I can get some free crap." However, I feel more comfortable saying that I'm having a festival type event where you can come get lots of Christmas shopping done in one place. Some of the vendors are home consultants. Some are local people who make things and sell them as a business or just for this event. The vendor end has exploded. So much that I no longer have room in my house. I have even opened up the guest room for space, three tables on the back deck and one vendor is bringing her awning to set up in the backyard. Now we need the shoppers. And I really hope they come. Because I have been working my katookis off getting all this planned and I still have lots of food to prepare, get my own booths ready, house clean (like actually clean), sign and balloons for front yard. Okay I feel like I'm making a To-Do list now. But don't worry, I don't want you to be left out. So you're invited too. Some of the vendors have websites. I am going to post their websites on the blog so you can do some early Christmas shopping, too. The party begins here November 6th, 2010.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    And The Award Goes To. . .

    I recently received the One Lovely Blog Award. It is a blog award that is meant to be passed on between fellow bloggers. When I accepted it, I had to agree to pass it on to blogs that I felt were worthy. I am supposed to choose 15 blogs. That's a mighty task for me. At least to choose 15 that are new to me. And a lot of the blogs that I follow are so big that I think they probably don't do the whole award thing. I started my list and was saving it thinking I would post when I had them all. But then I thought, this is going to take forever. So I decided that I would post as I found them, a couple at a time. You can enjoy them along with me. And I won't forget to do them all no matter how long it takes, I promise. So here are my first picks:


    Home Schooling Goodness
    This wonderful lady is the mother of two young children. She is a teacher by trade. She takes the time to home school her oldest child while maintaining the hectic therapy schedule of her baby girl who has Down Syndrome. Her blog is a combination of lesson plans, book reviews and personal journal as a mommy. She also is a consultant for Usborne Books.

    On Life and Beans 
    This amazing woman is mother to six children. She cooks dinner on a budget. And when I say she cooks dinner, I mean she cooks healthy, organic, fresh. And when I say she cooks on a budget I mean 8 people on $5 for the whole meal. Crazy cheap! And Healthy! I've had her food and it tastes good. So try it out.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Small Fiber Neuropathy In Fibromyalgia

    I read a new article which talks about Fibromyalgia possibly being Small Fiber Neuropathy. They determined this by taking skin biopsies. Okay, so I don't know much about this, I'll admit. Here's what I do know. I was having a lot of pain in my feet. Yes, most of us have trouble with pain and stiffness in our feet when we first get up in the morning. Sometimes it will go away after a little while. But mine was not going away. People were suggesting that I had plantars fasciitis. I also had tingling and numbness in my feet, legs, hands and even lips sometimes. I went to the doctor and he tested me for Neuropathy. I didn't test high enough to have Neuropathy, but I did test higher than "normal". But, of course, could I ever be considered normal? He also did blood work and everything came back normal. That I do always have. Normal blood work. Which is always good, right? Except that it never tells us what's wrong. You know the feeling. You're waiting for blood results. You want everything to be okay. But at the same time you hope that it does show something so you'd at least know something. That was about six months ago. So, I still am having the tingling and numbness in my feet and legs. Sometimes in my hands and lips. The next time I go to the doctor I'll talk to them about it again. Click here to read the article "Small Fiber Neuropathy in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" by Adrienne Dellwo. Now tell me, how do you think Neuropathy relates to Fibromyalgia? She asks if you've responded well to neuropathy treatments. But I'm not sure what neuropathy treatments are. Can you tell me?

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    One Lovely Blog Award

     Missy, she's so sweet. She gave me this award. 


    This is what she said: "I was awarded this beautiful award for my blog a few days ago
    and it is one of those awards where you put it on your blog and pass
    it on to fellow bloggers you feel are worthy of it.  Well, I
    immediately thought of your blog.  Yours is my fave on the net! I look
    forward to hearing from you on your posts."

    That is so sweet. I hope I can keep living up to those expectations : )  
    Now I have to find 15 blogs to pass it on to. The instructions say blogs that I've newly discovered. But I think I have a few old blogs that I may bend the rules for. 
    I probably won't get them all out real fast, you know with the Living Life At Half Speed and all.
    But I eventually will get there. I already have a few in mind.

    Thanks again, Missy.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Is The Whole World Down Or Just My Internet?

    The other day my internet was down. I had a sudden rise in anxiety. I know it's silly, but I actually had a little panic attack. Having just moved so far away, I've really come to depend on my internet to stay in contact with the outside world. All of a sudden I could not email, facebook, check blog updates. I felt so disconnected. Yes, I could make a phone call or get in my car and leave. But I thought maybe, just maybe, Texas really did have a big bubble that they could lower down over the state and cut off communication to the outside world. What if? Surely I would know if it was the end of the world because someone would post it on facebook. Except that I can't get online to check. I remember my freshman year in college I had never even been on the internet. Can you believe it? I didn't have a cell phone. If I wanted to find a friend and they didn't answer their dorm phone I had to walk my butt across campus to find them. Two things come to mind immediately. 1) my butt was much smaller then. 2) I always remember college as the best time of my life. My panic attack didn't last long because I do realize that I have a vivid imagination and my adult brain kicks in and tells my imagination to calm down. But for a very short while that day I felt very alone. Isolated. Cut off from the world and just a wee bit scared.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Neither Here Nor There

    Let's start with the good news. I don't remember if I mention that the last time I was at the doctor, at my last breast appointment, I had only gained 1/2 a pound. That's great for me because usually I gain 3 or 4 pounds at every appointment. I've quit letting them tell me what I weigh. I say "don't tell me what I weigh, just tell me how much I've gained." This time I think that I only gained half a pound because before I had worn flip flops and taken them off to weigh. Gross, I know. But I'm desperate. This time I was wearing tennis shoes. That's worth half a pound, right? So I've finally quit gaining weight. Of course, I've quit eating too. Just kidding, but I have been working really hard. Here's the bad news. I had one of those $10 gift cards that Kohl's sends you in the mail. So I went to find something on clearance because I'm cheap. I couldn't find anything in the ladies. So I go over to the women's department where I expected to go anyway. I grab a few things in an 18. I try those on and they were too big. That's great, right? Wrong. I'm stuck. I'm in between, again. The regular clothes don't fit because they are too tight. They plus sizes are too big. So what do I do? It's practically impossible for me to lose weight. So what, gain weight just to fit in the next size up? I've spent most of my life here. In the in between. Seriously, I think the gap between the regular sizes and the plus sizes is too large. In fact, it's about the size of me.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Blank Blog

    I know I haven't been blogging much lately. There was my period which always wipes me out for a week. I'm too exhausted to do my regular things, much less make a sentence for a blog. For some reason it seems to come around every month. And with Fall all the activities pick back up. I literally have three reoccurring things on my calendar. I go to the ladies Bible study on Tuesday morning, church on Sunday morning and then small group on Sunday night. And that seems to be all I can handle. Why is that? I feel like I can't put anything else into my calendar, yet it is so clear. But the normal daily life activities just take me so stinking long to do. I've thought of several things to blog about in the last few days. I've had ideas running through my mind. This is the first chance that I've had to sit down and try to tap them out. And what happens? Nothing. I can't remember a single one. Just a blank screen. By the time that I remember what I was going to write about it will be irrelevant because it was probably time sensitive. I don't know. I can't think. I'm using all my brain power and body energy for other things, you know, like life. But I am enjoying life. I can say that. I think the depression is lifting. I knew it was situational. I am settling in here. I'll be fine. I always knew I would. Right now I just need to go to bed. You can probably tell. I sound kinda tired. But I didn't want to leave the pages empty for too long. I'm still here.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Free Sample of Neru Patch

    Ok, fibro friends, I do not know anything about this patch, I've never heard of it. But I did see in my blogroll this offer come through so I wanted to pass it on to anyone who may be interested.  

    Free Sample of Neru Patch Foot And Leg Discomfort
    Only Available for Shipment within the United States, click here.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Last Breast Appointment

    Monday I had my last follow appointment of all the appointments in the long line of appointments that come with having found a lump(s) in my breast. That's right. It's over! For now anyway. I had my follow-up with the surgeon who just talked to me about my breast and if I was having any more pain in that area. I told her that it did hurt, but nothing like it used to. We concluded that I just have moody breast. They groan and complain anytime they have to do anything. Which is all the time since I am at that age where I'm supposed to me making babies and milk. I did find a lump in my right breast about a week ago. I wasn't even looking for it that's how obvious it was. I was in the shower and felt it. But I had just started my period and within a week it was gone, just like good 'ole Aunt Flo. Moody breast! I asked her if one reason that my breast hurt could be because one of my major trouble areas with Fibro is my shoulders. She said absolutely! That's how she said it. "Absolutely!" The pectoralis muscles are running under the breast and up toward the shoulders and it's all connected. So that could be another reason why I have pain come and go. She said that I would come back "as needed" which hopefully would not be for a long time. I'm clear, but let me tell you, it was a wake up call. She did say, as a scientist, she does not recommend any cancer prevention that promises a quick fix. She said don't fall for any youth saving procedures. Eat right, light exercise as tolerated (that's for me, not everyone.) Do your self-exams. Get your regular screenings. When I'm older, if I fall into a higher risk category (if I still haven't had a child, if a sister has since had breast cancer) then we would talk about other medical preventatives. Until then. . . live.

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Flu Flux Fibro

    Yesterday I had the multi-vaccine flu shot. I warned that you could feel it going in because there was so much fluid. Here's my personal account of how it affected me afterward. Please, Please, Please don't let this keep you from getting the flu shot. One day's pain in the arm is so much more tolerable than having the flu with Fibromyalgia for an entire week. Think about it! That's why I got mine. Plus it takes me forever to recover from things.

    The day that I had the flu shot the injection site was already very sensitive. In fact, that evening the pain had woken me in my sleep. I don't know about you, but for me sleeping can be painful. I sleep on one side until that side hurts. Then I roll over. Then when that side hurts I roll over, etc. I think most people do that. The difference between them and us is that once a side has begun to hurt it doesn't stop. So once we have slept on that side, felt the hurt and rolled over, we can't go back to it later. When I rolled to my left side, and the pain from the injection site woke me, I had to talk myself back to sleep. I kinda rolled back and forth until the pain was familiar enough and found the least painful spot all the while saying "it doesn't hurt that bad, go back to sleep." The lullaby for someone with Fibro. By the next day I think it did send me into a mini flare up. It definitely sent my left arm into flare up. My shoulders, which are one of my worst areas, were hurting so bad. I could barely lift anything. But I'm the person that grits my teeth and goes on. I guess because I know there is no real cause for the pain. I mean I know there is real cause. But I haven't been injured. My shoulders aren't broken or have spurs in them. It's the overactive neuron thingies. So I figure the pain isn't supposed to be there. I'm not causing any damage by working through it. Does that make sense to anyone? I guess another reason for working through the pain is that I have stuff to do. And unless I'm in so much pain that I literally cannot then I'm going to keep going. I have to. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not wonder woman. I do take breaks. I'll sit down for a minute and just groan as loud as I can to get the frustration out, an overly melodramatic soap opera moment. And I do take help when I can get it. When I got to the grocery store today I could barely push the cart and that was while it was empty. I just wanted to cry. My shoulders hurt so bad I can't push an empty cart!!! Oh, it crossed my mind. Those electric carts. But I can walk!! I just can't push a cart. Grit those teeth and go on. Once you get into your task you can work through the pain. I go through the check out and this time they didn't offer to carry my bags out. Maybe they didn't notice the glazed look in my eyes, that my smile was really a grimace. Or maybe they just thought a perfectly healthy looking young woman should be able to get out half a cart of stuff on her own. This time I asked him. Again with the awkward situation! Do I explain? Do I make a joke? So what did I do? I told him I have trouble with my arms. Wow! Why didn't I think of that when I was a teenager? No, mom, I didn't clean my room because I was having trouble with my arms. No, teacher, my homework isn't done because I have trouble with my arms. Anyway, I would normally have done the 2 bags to the car myself (even if he did stuff one bag way too full.) But I also had a gallon of milk. Hello, weighs 8 pounds. Then I had 3 small bags of dog food for a food drive we're going to this weekend. Oh, and did I mention that my arms fell off in the produce aisle? At least when I got home I could leave the dog food in the trunk. And get my overly stuffed bags into the house before taking a break for one of my mini-dramas. My mother and husband have asked me if the dramatics help and you know I think they actually do. You should try it. Go on, no one's watching.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Flu Shot

    I got my flu shot today. It was the multi-vaccine one. Let me warn you. It hurts. I'm not saying this to scare you. It doesn't really hurt. But I've never had a flu shot hurt before. While I was getting the shot I could feel the vaccine going in. I guess it took longer for it to go in because it's a bigger shot. I told the pharmacist, "Dude, you're not very good at this." He asked why and I said because it hurt. He said that he's had a lot of people tell him that. He said it's the H1N1 vaccine that hurts. So be prepared, if you're getting the multi-vaccine flu shot, that you will feel it going in. My arm doesn't seem to be bothering me now. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. I've heard that the trick is to make sure that you move your arm around a lot after you've gotten your shot. Don't favor your arm. I know there is a lot of controversy over whether or not to get vaccines. If I was a normally healthy person I may not get them. But that aside,  1) I live too close to the Mexican border. 2) The last thing I want to get is the flu. If I got the flu you might as well shoot me and put me out of my misery. I can't imagine having the aches and pains of the flu along with Fibromyalgia. I've had the flu, but it was a very long time ago, way before Fibro came into my life. And I gotta admit, I am afraid of getting it. And I am afraid of getting the swine flu now that we've moved so far south. That's why I got the flu vaccination.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Tiger Balm

    I remember recently Tiger Balm giving away free samples on Facebook. By the time I got to the page, of course, they were already out. Evidently this product is hard to find? I had never heard of it. But last week I was at the H-E-B looking for those stick-on heat patches for my husband. I saw the heat patches in the Tiger Balm brand, with a free sample inside, so I grabbed it. Then I looked a little further and found the Neck and Shoulder Rub. I grabbed that for myself. My husband used the heat patches on his motorcycle trip. He said that he woke in the morning without pain and that he can't remember not having pain in that spot. He was so impressed with the heat patches.
    So I guess from now on we'll buy that brand because we've used all the other brands of heat patches. I am actually going to use the neck and shoulder rub on my hands. They have been hurting in the joints I think from the seasons changing, colder weather coming. Plus there has been a lot of rain. I have some emu oil to try and some Tylenol Precise, but I understand that to really know which product is working I can only try one at a time. So for now, I am going to use the Tiger Balm. I am only using the Neck and Shoulder Rub because that is what I was able to find. But it does come in a nice little squeeze bottle like hand lotion so that is convenient.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Tingling

    I had just woken from a nap that was not nearly long enough. I was brushing my teeth to get ready ready to go out and my mouth couldn't feel the automatic toothbrush. It was like I had been at the dentist and had been numbed. Then on the way in the car, I was touching my right arm, but my right arm couldn't feel my left hand touching it. My left fingers could feel my right arm. But my right arm was numb. told Rob, "I think I'm still asleep." Has anyone else ever experienced anything like that? Where a body part was numb? I am not diabetic, most recent test having been done just four months ago. I was tested for neuropathy and was negative for that although I was a little higher on the scale than most people. So has anyone ever had that? Maybe it was just the way I was laying on a nerve while asleep. I do get tingling in my feet and legs. I'll have to adjust the angle of my legs. Sometimes it's because my shoes are too tightly tied, etc. Sometimes it's because I've just got my arm on the table or my phone up to my ear too long so I have to switch. Almost like I have poor circulation. Anyone else?

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Manic Fatigue?

    I don't even know what to call it. This Sunday was wild. My poor husband. I think he may actually prefer when I am too fatigued to do anything. Saturday I went to the scrapbooking event that was from 4 in the afternoon to 11pm. Usually I try to get a little nap before to help me through the evening, but the day prevented me from it. But something kicked in. I don't know if it was the tea that I had before and at dinnertime with the girls or just spending time with the girls. I ended up staying late and talking afterward. I didn't head home until after midnight getting home a little before 1am. But instead of going to bed what do I do? I see the dog flap his ears so I decide that this is the time to wash them out. I've been putting it off for a few weeks and this is this best time of all, right? Took my time getting ready for bed, still energized from the fun of the night. I thought I would never be able to go to sleep. Of course I did go to sleep as soon as I lay my head down. The second my alarm went off to get ready for church I popped right up. No snoozing or burrowing deeper down into my slumber. I can't get out of bed after 9 hours of sleep much less 6. But here I went. I did think that I would need the caffeine to get me through church so I had a coffee. But that just added fuel to the fire. I was so ramped up. Maybe it was just that I've been so homesick and finally got another night out that I just went nuts. Sunday afternoon Rob recommended that I go lay down because we were supposed to meet our new small group for church at 5pm. Usually I take a good nap late Sunday afternoons. I told him that I had plenty of energy. He said that he knew I felt that way, but he knew that I really did need to rest. So about 2 o-clock after doing a little bit of stuff on the computer my eyes started getting heavy so I went to lay down. He was right. He had to come wake me up.We went to our get together at a local restaurant where we were to meet each other, some for the first time. Again, I was so energized. I was much more outgoing than I would normally be during a dinner with people I was meeting for the first time. Of course, I already knew two of the couples which only left four people that I didn't know. But still, I was acting so silly. I was up late Sunday night with energy. I woke up good Monday morning but it finally wore out pretty early that same day. So has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I can't imagine it was the caffeine. I'm not so strict that I would have such a reaction. Maybe I have been so house bound that I went bonkers when I was able to be around people. That's so sad to even admit. I'm embarrassed for myself. But could that really explain the burst of energy? Is there such a thing as an opposite to fatigue and does it ever affect those with Fibromyalgia? If so, how can I put it in a pill so that I can help others and more importantly become filthy rich?

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Deceptively Positive

    I woke up with a headache. Let me rephrase that. A headache woke me up. I think there's an important distinguishing factor. I saw an episode of that television show The Doctors where they said that waking up with a headache is bad, but having a headache wake you up is worse because it could be a sign that you have brain cancer. Of course that memory is in the back of my mind. But I know that this headache is from the fall. When I sat up on the side of the bed I could feel the stiffness and pain in my upper back between my shoulder blades. I could feel the individual vertebrae again. I get up and walk off the usual morning stiffness. I have a big day. I have to get the dogs to daycare, do my scout shopping, go to the grocery store and meet a local Close To My Heart consultant. I don't have time to be sore. Before I leave the house my headache is already turning into a migraine so I go ahead and take that medicine. Nip that in the bud. I need an adjustment now more than ever after the jar to my shoulders and neck. But I can't go to the chiropractor. Click here if you missed that story. I forgot to mention yesterday that my bruised knee is not just a bruised knee. I think it's a bruised knee cap. I decided that when I was trying to kneel next to the bathtub and it nearly sent me through the roof. And I was reminded of it as I went to get the dogs out of the backseat. I put my knee up on that comfy cushiony leather backseat and just fell over forward, rolling to the side. I had forgotten that my knee was injured. But the boys are off and I'm on my way to Old Navy. I go in to do my scout shopping. I use the handicap dressing room as I often do if there is one available and I don't see someone else who is in more need of it that I am. I can use the extra room to waddle about and fall over. There's also usually a bench to rest. Today the issue was that I could not get the pants off the hanger. They were on those plastic hangers that have the metal things that squeezes down on the pants. You have to push up to get it to release. It hurt the tip of my thumb so much that I could barely get it off. I got one pair off. I had several though. I debated because I hate to ask for help. But I decided that it's what they are there for. I asked an associate if she would assist me and get all of the pants off the hangers. I have to admit that I did feel, well, rather stupid, to be honest and blunt. I look perfectly healthy. I feel like I should explain myself. But what would I say? "I have Fibromyalgia?" She probably wouldn't know what that is. "I have problems with my hands. "Yeah, whatever lady." I don't know. And then when I watched her take them off it was so easy. IT WAS SO EASY. I never realized how easy it is to get those d**n hangers open until I couldn't do it myself. So now I feel stupid and mad. Well, now. I felt stupid then and in awe. Now I feel mad. Mad that something so simple has been taken away from me. Move On! Off to the grocery store. I get everything on my list and things that were just on the list in my head (that no longer hurts, YAY!) I check out and take up the guy on his offer to take my bags to the car. Again, I feel like I should give a reason why I am having him take my bags to the car. It's not like I'm actually in a wheelchair or  dragging three screaming rug rats along. I'm not old enough to be using age as a reason. So I say, "Sure, I take muscle anytime it's offered." What? That was cheesy! I need a better line people! Or maybe I should wear one of my wrist braces to the store from now on. Or better yet both! I get home, use my cart to roll my goods in and unload my groceries. I'm on the National Consumer Panel so I have to scan them. Then I sit down for a break. I get a call from the consultant who wants to meet and she suggests ice cream and we settle on Dairy Queen. Since I hadn't had lunch I could eat there. This is an accomplishment for me. Usually by late afternoon I realize that I've not eaten lunch and it's now a little too late to actually eat because we'll be having dinner soon. Usually by then, since I've not eaten, I've also developed a headache and general all around yuckiness. Since I'm trying to still make friends I stayed and talked with her and a couple other people who met her there. Then it was time to pick up the boys. So I had a full day. Usually while the dogs are in daycare I get to clean house. That didn't happen today. For dinner I took the advice that I read in an article on tips for making cooking easier. I only actually cooked one item, homemade macaroni and cheese from the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld where she hides the vegetables in the food. I served it with bagged spinach salad and a rotisserie chicken from the store deli. It never occurred to me that the reason I get so flustered when I cook and everything is going at once is because of the Fibro. This article was very helpful.  It was a very busy day for me. And really at almost 11 o'clock at night my attitude could go either way, but I'm trying to be positive. So today I am choosing to look back and see the accomplishments that I made regardless of how embarrassed I may have felt at the time.

    1) I asked for help at Old Navy- I was helped with a smile. 2) I let the bagger take my bags out at the grocery store- I didn't have to ask and he was a pleasant conversationalist and very polite.  3) I was proactive at making sure I ate lunch- her first suggestion for ice cream also served food so I didn't have to counteroffer. And  4) I made a home-cooked meal but only cooked one of the items- my husband got seconds of the mac-n-cheese even though it has butternut squash hidden inside it.

    Scout Shopping for Jegglings?

    Here's a great shopping tip that I have devised recently. A lot of stores have these one day only sales. Their "VIP" customers are privy to the sales in advance. So what I do is go look and try on the day before the big event. Then I ask them to hold my items for me. The next morning when everyone else is in a frenzy I can go in, walk right up to the cash register, give them my name and check out. Tomorrow Old Navy is having their ladies leggings on sale for $6. It's tomorrow only. So first I looked online to see if they had any that I might even like. They did have two kinds that I was interested in. So I went and the sales girl asked me if I was looking for the jegglings. "The what?" " Jegglings. You know, the leggings that look like jeans."  "Oh! Yeah! That's it. Point me toward those." Although that's not exactly what I was going for I did buy a pair. I like to wear leggings under my dresses in the winter. Especially since dresses are getting shorter every year. It helps to keep from getting those cool breezes that make my legs hurt. Anyway, I picked out my leggings, went to the cash register and put them on hold. Tomorrow I will walk in and check out. I got to shop virtually alone. No crowds, no elbows, no lines, no cacophony of the monster warehouse storeroom.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Brace Yourself

    After a few days of cloud cover I'm having a hard time adjusting to the sunlight again. Even in the house it's so bright. It's now two days after my fall as a result of Tropical Storm Hermine and I'm much more sore today. It feels a lot like a flare up. I did get in the hot tub last night. It wasn't long before the jets became uncomfortable, almost painful. So today I just soaked in the bath tub. Pretty much my entire body is hurting. I finally figured out how I fell. I knew that when I went down I fell backward and my legs went in front of me. My left foot and right knee getting banged up. When talking to my Dad he said "I bet your tailbone hurts." I realized that although I fell backward I didn't land on my bottom because my tailbone didn't hurt at all. So how did I land? Today I have the answer. My arms went back and I took the brunt of the fall on my elbows sending the jolt up my arms into my shoulders. I actually first noticed the pain in my spine. I can feel the pain in between the individual vertebrae. Then, beyond noticing my entire body ached, I felt my elbows were very sensitive. They are sore. My arms are sore all the way up. My trapezoid muscles and neck hurt. My pectoralis muscles hurt and I know I never use those. My shoulders ache. My shoulders are one of my biggest problems areas. My elbows and arms too. So this fall was exceptionally bad for me. Tonight we ate chicken and I couldn't cut my chicken with my fork because of the pressure that went up my arm and into my shoulder. I had to pick it up which I hate doing. Just a peeve of mine. Then I had to quit eating the chicken because my jaws started hurting from the chewing so I just ate the potatoes which were soft and easy to chew. I don't know if it sent me into a flare up or if it's just soreness from the fall. But I have pain in all my joints, all my muscles are hurting, my bones. If you have Fibro you know what I'm talking about. My fingers hurt to type this. Of course, the weather man says that humidity is up because of the storms that are moving through and the seasons are changing too. It could be one of those or a combination of all of it. I do tend to feel a lot of these symptoms when the seasons change. But I would almost bet money that all of this is related to my fall. We're running the dehumidifier in the house and that is helping a lot, as always.  I took a nap this afternoon just to escape the pain. I was tired. But to tell the truth I was trying to pass time also. But it hurt to lay in the bed. I know I would feel better if I got in the tub again, but I just can't bring myself to go through all that trouble. It doesn't make sense to the normal person, but undressing, getting soaking wet, drying off and getting dressed again is quite a chore when you're in pain. I'm too tired now at the end of the day. These are the times I wish I had pain pills, but I really don't want to start down that road as long as I don't have to. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Souvenirs from Hermine

    Day Two of Hermine. She passed through yesterday, but her tail end has curled around today just so we don't forget her. Not likely since she left me with a few souvenirs. I woke this morning to a sore body. Rob said, "It's a good thing we have a hot tub." I said, "Yeah, I can see me sitting out there in the rain with wind gusts of 45 mph." He just started giggling a the thought. I love when he giggles. So here's how it feels the day after. I am sore, but not as bad as I expected. I was when I first got out of bed to go to the bathroom. Then of course, I went right back to bed. That actually occurred twice. I've been meaning to use a gift certificate for a massage, but I thought I don't want anyone to even touch me right now. But after I got up and started moving around it got better. But I do hope the rain subsides so I can soak in the hot tub tonight. My right knee hurts a little. It's bruised, very tender. My right ankle hurts a little, but not too bad. The worst injuries are my left toes. All but the big toe on my left foot are a little swollen. The left three are hurting and I think I may have broken the baby toe. I can't bend it or move it because it hurts too bad. But I know they can't do anything for a broken toe. Anyway, I will recover. I just need to pay more attention to whose coming to visit.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Cloudy With a Chance of Hermine

    Tropical Storm Hermine. I had never heard of her. That's too bad because I should have known she was on her way. This was my first tropical storm. Well, we've had the effects of tropical storms. But this was my first time to be in the eye of the storm. She blew straight threw our city and I had no idea she was even coming. With all the excitement of the weekend and then my "down day" on Labor Day I had not watched any news. So when it was raining this morning I didn't think anything of it. But it got stronger. Then stronger. I was watching the morning news with my breakfast. I had to take my "Welcome Autumn" sign off my front door because it was beating against it. That's when I learned her name and how to pronounce it. By this time I was aware that there was a lot of noise outside. I looked out the back window and saw that my rocking chair was missing it's cushion. I scurried outside to find it and busted it. I slipped on the wet floor. I laid there a minute in pain, but mainly because my dog Bradley was clamoring all over me, you know, making sure I was okay and all. I knew immediately that I had hurt my right knee and jammed about three toes on my left foot. But I felt I had no choice but to get up and continue my rescue efforts of my beloved back patio.
    I managed to wrangle in a few soaked cushions, a lamp and radio. I was afraid of things banging against the house and causing damage so I tried to drag the rocking chairs in. They wouldn't fit through the door so I left them. I came in and changed into a dry robe. While icing my knee, I talked to my parents on the phone and my dad recommended laying the chairs on their side. I made another quick trip out. Yep, in my robe. Not the best idea. With wind gusts at 45 mph I had to tuck the robe between my knees and walk with my legs glued together. My robe was whipping around, getting wet. I bet the neighbors loved that. Did I mention that my thin robe is white? What was I thinking? Anyway, I got more cushions in, laid down the chairs and put away some smaller items. Came back in and changed into another dry robe. A little later I was trying to get Bradley to go out to potty. He had not gone yet since he was too scared. Yep, in my robe. Just sprinkling, but still windy. I see another cushion out in the yard. Seriously? Will this ever end? So I hurry out and get it without getting too wet. Bradley still hasn't pottied, but we're going inside. Rob comes home. I'm in a robe and our entire back porch is piled in the kitchen. He just looks at me. I just look at him. "Happy Anniversary."

    Labor Day Weekend

    We had company from home this weekend. We had some friends who were in town for a family member's 50th wedding anniversary party so they added a day to their trip to spend with us. In addition to that, a mutual friend of both of ours came in from Houston. So on Sunday we all met at a local restaurant for lunch. My friend's college roommate and her husband and son were there as well. Then they all went swimming in the afternoon while we came home and rested. Well, my husband rested and I continued to get ready for the night. I did lay in the recliner for a little while when I felt I was completely ready for the evening. We all got back together at our house and grilled and had a little cake for one of the guy's 40th birthday. It was so much fun and it did my heart so much good. Just to see friends from home. To see that my life before here really existed and wasn't just a dream. The girl from Houston used to live with us back home but moved away four years ago. So she and I had a lot to talk about. She said that everything I was feeling was completely normal and that she went through it too. She recommended a book called After the Boxes are Unpacked by Susan Miller. My fried said that moving involved a grieving process and that this book really helped her. After they left that night I immediately got on e-bay and bought it. So my book is on it's way. I slept 12 hours straight that night and woke feeling pretty good. But after only and hour and a half was ready for a nap. I kept myself up with this and that though. Eventually I did take a nap in the late afternoon, since it was Labor Day and all. But we didn't even leave the house. And I only changed from one set of pajamas to another. I went to bed at a decent time and slept almost another 11 hours. So I guess I was pretty worn out from all the excitement. But it sure was fun and I still have a smile on my face. 

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Blog Award

    Thank you to FibromyWHAT? for the blog award.
    Missy, you are always very encouraging. That is one of the most wonderful things about an online support group. Thank you. You're the one who deserves an award for always being there to comment with an encouraging word, a blessing and a hug.

    Standing In The Rain

    My husband comes home from work and finds me asleep in the bed with both dogs. This is not the first time this has happened. He greets the dogs, does stuff around the house, takes them out to play, all the while I never even wake up. This, also, is not for the first time. He has to come wake me up for dinner. It's not the first time he's had to do that either. Worse, it's not the first time he's had to make his own dinner because I couldn't, or wouldn't, wake up. But it's a good thing he did wake me for dinner because I forgot to each lunch. How does one forget to eat lunch? I still can't give a good answer for that. He asks me if I'm depressed. I surprise him when I quickly and tearfully answer back, "I think so." But that's not why I've been sleeping so much. I'm sleeping so much because I'm completely exhausted. I try not to take an afternoon nap, but if I don't then by late afternoon I end up crashing literally and that's when he comes home and finds me in the bed. I cannot stay awake all day like a normal person. I cannot. CAN NOT. And even with a good nap I'm still ready to go to bed at 10  or 11pm. Part of it is just the fatigue from the Fibro. I think part of it is this new medicine I'm on because it can make you sleepy throughout the day. In fact, I remember when I used to be on a much higher does of it. The doctor had suggested that I take it earlier in the evening because I couldn't get up in the morning for work. But about 30 minutes after you've taken it you're passing out which is why you normally take it at bedtime. So what's better: to sleep late in the morning while my husband is at work? or to pass out at 8:30 while he's home and I don't get to spend time with him? Either way, I'm still passing out in the afternoon. I told him my sleeping was because of those two reasons, not from depression. I think that when you sleep from depression it's because you can't think of anything to do that you've got enough energy to do or that you got enough ambition to do. You can't think of anything you'd rather do, kinda like being supremely bored, so you sleep. Almost like boredom eating. It's boredom sleeping. That or you're so miserable that you want to sleep to make time pass by faster. I'm not doing either one of those. I have, but I'm not now. But I have actually been thinking about whether or not I'm depressed. I know that depression is a part of Fibromyalgia. When I met with my new doctor, the Fibromyalgia specialist, she didn't ask me if I was depressed. She just asked me "how is your depression?" I told her that I wasn't depressed. When I do get it, it comes on fast and hard. Something will set me off and I'll go spiraling down really fast and just plummet in one day. But I can be back up just as quickly the next day and be fine for months. And it really doesn't happen very often. But I know that depression is a common symptom of Fibro. And I know that my current situation, having just moved to a new state far from all our family and friends, makes me vulnerable. And I have become homesick. I asked myself just the other day if I thought that it had turned into depression. And I believe that it has. So when he asked me, I answered. But I also had an answer. This depression for me is a result of a situation that is exacerbated by the Fibromyalgia. The situation is temporary. When we make friends and get our life going here, the homesickness will abate and the depression will too. That may only take a few months. On the other hand, if I go to the doctor they will give me anti-depressants which take a few months of being in your system before they reach their maximum benefit. So if we just wait it out, it could be over before the medicine would even have really taken affect. So that's what we decided to do. Weather the storm together. Wait it out. I know it's there. I know I'm choosing not to treat it medicinally. I believe that when the situation changes it will go away. If it doesn't I will get treatment. And anyone reading this can hold me to that.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    There's No Place Like Home

    Well, I had a little melt down this weekend. As some of you may know, it has now been almost a full 3 months since my husband and I moved to a completely different state, far, far away from all of our friends and family all in an effort to be together more. He travels with his work and we thought if we went where the work is that he could come home at night more often. And that is true. But it doesn't change the fact that it is all different. And even though we are together I still feel alone. I am alone all day because I don't work. I had so many good girlfriends at home, I was used to having someone to shop with, go to lunch with, confide and talk to. I miss my church. I miss my part time job at the church nursery where I worked 3 mornings a week. Which honestly it was getting to be too much and we thought the move came at the right time because it would have been really hard for me to quit it. I miss my grocery store. I miss my roads. My doggie daycare. My restaurants. I haven't really cried yet and that may be the problem. I'm trying to be strong. For me, for Rob so he doesn't feel bad. For my parents, so they don't have to worry.

    So, Sunday morning the music began in church. I didn't know the song so I couldn't sing along, so I started to cry. I'm sure that's not really why I started to cry. It was a word or phrase or hug from the Holy Spirit. But nevertheless the tears came. But then I didn't know the next song. I didn't know any of the songs that morning. So I cried through the whole music portion of the service. Then the pastor taught on how important it is to have relationships. Are you allowing yourself to have close relationships? I wanted to stand up and yell "I'm trying!" I've been going to the scrapbooking thing, talking to every person I come in contact with, basically stalking people in the aisles of common interests at the store. So I cried through the whole sermon. Then through the offering and the closing song which I did not know. Afterward the music directors wife came and asked me what was wrong. And I just said honestly, "I'm homesick." It's a new feeling for me. I've never been homesick before. I've been to college and all around the world. Rob said the difference is that I always knew when I would be coming home. This time is different. This time is indefinite.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Gone Fishin'

    I wish I had been gone fishin'. I've been absent because I've been too tired to blog. Too tired to put two words together to make a sentence. Last night was my first blog on my dogs' blog all week. If you follow it you'll notice that I've had postings, but those were prescheduled to post, not ones that I actually sat down and wrote this week. I'm blaming it on Eve. That's right. Her and that darn apple. My menstrual cycle came earlier than expected and nearly wiped me out. It was Sunday afternoon and I told my husband I thought something was wrong. Sure enough, there it was. I was so tired all I could do was sleep. and sleep. and sleep. When I wasn't sleeping I was just a zombie. But I think I'm back. Each cycle hits me differently. I must say that I probably preferred this one.  Usually it comes with excruciating lower back pain sometimes to the point where I can't even walk. Toss in a few migraines for good measure. I, of course, also have menstrual cramps. Let me rephrase that. I have, when I was 12 years old the doctor told my momma to give me 2 tablespoons of whiskey before a scrip pain pill, menstrual cramps. Thankfully I have outgrown most of those. Yay for old age! And lucky me, I get to have ovulation cramps too. Whoo Hoo! But that's actually not such a bad thing when trying NOT to get pregnant. Yes, I can tell by my cheering that my mind is coming back even if my body is slow to follow. But my fingers are working. So at least I can blog again. Except it's the weekend and you know I hardly ever post on the weekend because I'm too busy having fun with the hubs. Happy Friday!

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    It's Just My Experience

    So yesterday I wrote about friendship. I made this comment, "it's a lot harder to make friends post diagnosis of Fibromyalgia than it was to just keep the friends I already had after I had been diagnosed." I realized that I should have said that it is just my experience. It may be the opposite for some of you. Maybe for some of you it's been hard to keep your friends after being diagnosed and it's been easier to make new ones. If so, I want to know. Either way, actually I'd like to know. What has been your experience? How does Fibromyalgia affect friendships? How does it affect socializing? Yesterday I was just writing from my personal and recent experience and I hope that you all know that.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Little Devil On My Shoulder

    My life after the big move is slowly picking up speed. Most of the house is unpacked. If it's not unpacked, we probably don't use it. We're doing projects. We're going to church socials. We're meeting people and trying to make friends. I'm getting back into the normal routine of actually cooking, which means grocery shopping, lugging groceries in, cleaning the dishes and then there's all the trash and recycling that accumulates from it. Oh, and the compost that my husband is now doing, set that aside for him. Of course you all know about laundry and keeping a house clean, there's no story in that. My pain is starting to come back as my lazy days slip away. I've felt colds coming that never came. Allergies to nothing in particular. Aches and pains and invisible rashes. I don't know if it's just because I'm getting busy again. Maybe I've found my fine line of what's too busy. What I've been doing most lately is getting to know my new city and the people who live here and trying to make new friends. And realizing that it's a lot harder to make friends post diagnosis of Fibromyalgia than it was to just keep the friends I already had after I had been diagnosed. Does that make sense to anyone? Here I was living life and I had my friends, then BAM, Fibromyalgia. My sweet and gracious friends adapt and we all go on living happily ever after. Until I move. Now I need new friends. It's not that my old friends aren't there. They are. They just can't go get lunch or have girls' night when the hubby works late. Finding friends with Fibromyalgia is hard. I've been scrapbooking with a group at a local scrapbook store. Okay, I only went to one scrapbook night from 4-11pm. I've participated in two card swaps. That's 3 full days that I've bent over my work table within one month's time. My craft that I love so much causes flare-ups, but at the same time its worth it. I love it. I do, but it hurts my neck and back and gets my migraines going. And my right elbow really hurts later from all the movement because I'm right handed. It's also difficult for me to get all my gear in and out of my house, car, into the store, back into the car and house again. That's a lot of lifting for me. One of the girls there actually invited me over to her house and I feel so stupid because here I need a friend and the first thing that went through my head was "it's so hard to move my stuff." But she has two kids and can't come over to my house. I feel like I may have just sacrificed that relationship before it even started. And then two other girls invited me to start walking with them come fall. Well, I know that I can not walk, as in walk at a speed intended for exercise. And even if I could, I couldn't do it regularly. They already knew I had Fibro and, yes, I told them that was why. It's like Fibro is a little red devil sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear, reminding me, "you're not normal. You're not like everybody else." And it's true. I may look like you. I may act like you. But I can't do the things you do. And now that little devil is standing between me and potential friends, causing little road blocks along the way. I don't want them to think that I'm just a wimp or gotta have it my way. This is new territory for me. Back home everyone knew me and saw me get so sick over the years and then saw me get diagnosed. It was a journey together. They still ask me how I'm doing. But here what am I supposed to do. Do I talk casually about Fibromyalgia? Or is it my dirty little secret? Should I let people know up front "Hey, I would love to, but that's really hard for me because. . . " or what? I don't want to chase people off. I also don't want to come off as a Fibro Freak Lobbyist or something. I'm still just a person.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Why I Could Never Be A Geisha

    I pulled out my mineral makeup today which I had not worn since we moved. The reason that I had not worn it was because it does not have an SPF. But I was in a hurry, so I chose to put just the basic "make me look like a million bucks" shimmer stuff on my face that covers all blemishes, smooths skin tones, makes you glow and completely eliminates the need for a foundation. You the know the stuff. Anyway, I'm brushing the powder onto my face and it hurts. My face is hurting. I do remember this now. That's not why I stopped using it. But I do remember that it hurts to rub my face with this brush. I read a lot of reviews on this particular brush. People said that it was the softest kabuki brush they had ever used. And I promise I am not rubbing hard. I am being very gentle. But the contact hurts my face. I think it's just the little tips of the bristles and the friction action against my skin. But repetitive motions of the smallest kind can hurt. Like even just washing my face with my hands will leave my face feeling a little numb like I may have taken the top layer of skin off. It does that to the palms of my hands after rubbing my dog's belly, too. My hands will be numb for about 30 minutes. So after using my mineral makeup this morning I went to lunch with my husband and my face was still hurting. It hurt for a good 2 or 3 hours. And this was not numb feeling, this was definitely pain, more like the feel of a bad sunburn that is going untreated. It finally started to subside after about 4 hours with just a little tingling still on my upper lip and bridge of my nose.
    So, really that's why I could never be a Geisha. I can already pop a fan open one-handed, play a flute and my feet are fairly small at a 7 and 1/2. I'm sure I could learn to keep my mouth shut (maybe), hold my head up under a 30 pound hair-do, pour tea without spilling it, and play a . . . what's that guitar like thingy? Oh, yeah, maybe there are a few other reasons why I could never be a Geisha.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Noise Sensitivity

    Ok, here's another great article from Fibromyalgia and CFS Blog called Noise Sensitivity in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I told y'all this is a blog to follow and here is a good example. When talking about noise sensitivity she says:
    "This aspect of our conditions hasn't been studied as much as the biggies -- pain and fatigue -- but some pain findings actually do lend some support to this idea. Most people have what's called an inhibitory response to repeated sensations. That means once they've felt something and their brains have determined it's not a threat, the response to it gets progressively weaker. A tight waistband, a shoe that rubs the Achilles tendon just a little, a slightly rough bedsheet are things everyone notices, but only at first. According to studies, those of us with fibromyalgia don't get to tune out these "harmless" sensations. Instead, our nerves over-react to them, sending more and more pain signals at every contact, and instead of filtering those signals out like it should, our brains seize hold of them and crank up the volume."
    I've mentioned here on my blog before that this is one of my main problems with Fibro, the sensitivity to sound. I've even dialogued with a few of you about how difficult it can be for me to go out sometimes because I get sick so easily from sounds, as well as smells and light. I commented on this article that a dropped fork across a restaurant or passing by a metal wind chime can send me instantly into nausea. But it's in my own home too. Putting away the dishes is one of my most difficult tasks because of the sound it makes when I have to stack them together, especially metal on metal. I have this set of stainless steel metal mixing bowls. I love them and love to use them, but they make the most awful sound to me when I am putting them away. I really felt like I was a rare case in Fibro. I've never heard or read of anyone else having this problem. Now I know that I'm not alone. Should that really comfort me like it does?

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Living Life At Half Speed

    I've decided there are 3 levels of sleepiness. There's tired, really tired, and exhausted.

    1. Tired-This is what a person experiences when they stay up late, have to get up early, or combine the two. Maybe you had a bad night's sleep or bad dreams. 
    2. Really Tired-This is where I was when I was first diagnosed with Fibro and where I think I am now back to. I can only be awake for about 5 or 6 hours before I need a nap or I'm passing out in my chair. The other day I was cleaning house just to stay awake. And I was vacuuming, a pretty physical activity, and my eyes were closing, my head nodding off, because I literally couldn't stay awake. There are days that all I want to do is sleep. I don't care if I see anyone or eat anything. I just want to sleep.
    3. Exhaustion-This is where I was a few weeks ago. This is probably where insomniacs live. You're so tired that you couldn't sleep if you wanted to. I don't know how anyone functions here, it's so dangerous. You don't sleep at night. You're tired during the day, but don't nap, you don't fall asleep at your desk. You're a zombie.
    My new medicine has taken me from exhaustion back down to really tired. I think I actually felt better at exhaustion because I wasn't feeling anything. I so look forward to just being tired. Will I ever just be tired again? Today I took the dogs to daycare. I came home and got online to check my email, etc. What I really want to do is sleep. But I know what I should do is clean. With them in school is the only time I really have to clean easily without their "help". I can get so much done without them here that would take me days to do with them here. But what I really want to do is set my alarm for 15 minutes before time to pick them up and sleep all day. Does anyone else want to put all of life on hold just so they can sleep? I know, I can hear it ringing through my head, "Don't sleep your life away." But I'm pretty sure the person who came up with that saying did not feel like I do. Is it possible to get caught up? I know the answer to that already. But I hope. Surely I can't always feel like this. I'm so tired. And no one in my face-to-face world understands. It makes me feel like I am the only one who lives life at half speed.