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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Criteria For Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

Adrienne Dellwo, About.com Guide to Fibromyalgia & CFS recently reported that there are new criteria in diagnosing Fibromyalgia. Read her article here. It describes the diagnostic procedure for Fibromyalgia and the differences that have been made to include
  • Fatigue
  • Waking unrefreshed
  • Cognitive symptoms
  • Somatic (physical) symptoms in general (such as headache, weakness, bowel problems, nausea, dizziness, numbness/tingling, hair loss)
I've probably had Fibromyalgia for about 8 years or so. I spent almost 2 years fighting against getting diagnosed. About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed and started a treatment regimen which has worked well especially for my pain. I have always felt that going strictly on a pain criteria, I do much better than most people with Fibro. My probably is the hypersensitivity to external stimuli which causes a lot of vertigo, nausea and migraines. Although I feel I do have pain, pretty extensive fibrofog, difficulty sleeping and continuing muscle weakness. Thankfully I have been blessed with doctors that know that Fibro isn't just a pain disorder. In addition to Lyrica and Cymbalta, my first medications, I added melatonin. Then I got special glasses for light sensitivity and a prescription for the eye drops Alphagan, which are typically used for Glaucoma patients. My medicine for nausea was upgraded to Ondansetron, the same thing they give to chemo patients. My vertigo is returning so I began taking Topiramate as well. We'll see what happens . . .

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Monster List of Fibromyalgia Symptoms

General Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Delayed reactions to physical exertion or stressful events
  • Other family members with fibromyalgia (genetic predisposition)
  • Sweats
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Cravings for carbohydrate and chocolate
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Vision changes, including rapidly worsening vision

Muscle & Tissue-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Sinus & Allergy-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Sleep-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Light and/or broken sleep pattern with unrefreshing sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep starts (falling sensations)
  • Twitchy muscles at night
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Reproductive Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Menstrual problems
  • PMS (as an overlapping condition)
  • Loss of libido
  • Impotence

Abdominal & Digestive Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Bloating & nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Pelvic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (as an overlapping condition)
  • Urinary frequency

Cognitive/Neurological Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Difficulty speaking known words, other language impairments (dysphasia)
  • Directional disorientation
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Paresthesias in the upper limbs (tingling or burning sensations)
  • Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Staring into space before brain "kicks in"
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings

Sensory Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Sensitivity to odors
  • Sensitivity to pressure changes, temperature & humidity
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Night driving difficulty
  • Sensory overload

Emotional Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Panic attacks
  • Depression (as an overlapping condition)
  • Tendency to cry easily
  • Free-floating anxiety (not associated with situation or object)
  • Mood swings
  • Unaccountable irritability

Heart-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Mitral valve prolapse (as an overlapping condition)
  • Rapid, fluttery, irregular heartbeat
  • Pain that mimics heart attack, frequently from costochondritis (as an overlapping condition)

Skin, Hair & Nail-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Pronounced nail ridges
  • Nails that curve under
  • Mottled skin
  • Bruising or scaring easily
  • Hair loss (temporary)
  • Tissue overgrowth (non-cancerous tumors called lipomas, ingrown hairs, heavy and splitting cuticles, adhesions)

Miscellaneous Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Nose bleeds
Sources:
2004 Devin J. Starlanyl. All rights reserved. "Fibromyalgia (FMS) and Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) For Doctors and Other Health Care Providers."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

I hope that you'll take a moment to look around my blog. Visit some of the websites I've posted. Read some of my posts. Learn about Fibromyalgia. Learn about me. I hope that through this I can help and encourage those with Fibromyalgia and educate those who don't. Remember that just because we don't look sick doesn't mean we aren't. Just because we put on a good face doesn't mean we're not in pain.

One of the reasons I started this blog was because there are no support groups where I live. Share your favorite websites and your blogs with me. Please leave me a comment on my posts. I would love to dialogue about what we are fighting. Let's fight it together.

Each May, countless people around the world take part in Fibromyalgia Awareness Day activities. Officially observed on May 12, Awareness Day is designed to increase awareness and understanding of fibromyalgia—a chronic pain disorder that affects 3-5 percent of the world population.

To learn more click here.

In honor of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, Select Comfort is giving away a Queen p5 Sleep Number ® bed (valued at more than $ 2,000) in the online edition of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine: http://www.nxtbook.com/fx/mags/lastissue.php?mp=/nxtbooks/fma/fmasample.

For more information on the contest, click here: http://fibroblog.org/2010/05/11/win-a-select-comfort-mattress-in-honor-of-awareness-day/.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Body Pillows

In a recent post I stated that I was thinking about getting the Boppy Total Body Pillow. While we were traveling I saw the store Destination Maternity. We went in so I could see the pillow. The salespeople were so nice. They have a yoga room where I was able to lie down on a mat and actually try out the pillow. I tried out the Boppy pillow and a couple of others. I liked Boppy the best. Since we were traveling we decided not to get it that day. But I did come home and order it. (I actually ordered it at Bed, Bath & Beyond because I had a 20% off coupon.) I currently sleep on an Apple Core Pillow recommended by my chiropractor. For organization sakes, I'll make that a separate post. When lying down with the body pillow, it was more comfortable to me to use it upside down, that is the part recommended to go between the knees under my head. The first night that I slept on it I woke up with a migraine in the wee hours of the morning. I moved the body pillow from under my head and put my core pillow back under me. After a few more hours of sleep the migraine was gone. My chiropractor said that using a body pillow is fine, but not the right support for my neck. So now I sleep with the knee part in between my knees and I have the head part in between my arms. I still have my head on my Apple Core Pillow. It works out nicely. I will say that it is difficult to roll over. Of course I usually wake up every time I roll over anyway. Sometimes I will lay on my back and have the large part under my knees since it can be painful for my back when lying flat. I'm glad that I purchased it, but since I can't use it under my head I probably could have used any body pillow. This was the most comfortable one though. If you haven't tried sleeping on your side with something between your knees and arms give it a try. It helps to align your spine and alleviates back pain. I hope this helps. What products do you use for a better night's sleep?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baked Ziti (for the Candida Diet)


Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground sirloin
1 box rice penne
1 jar of organic spaghetti sauce, preferably sugar free
1 Vidalia onion chopped
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3/4 box grape tomatoes, halved
16 oz. mozzarella cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning

Directions:
Cook penne, al dente, then rinse with cold water, toss with extra virgin olive oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Over medium to medium-high heat, brown sirloin with chopped onion. Drain excess juices. Return pan to heat and add garlic, then spaghetti sauce. Mix meat sauce with penne. Grease, 9x13 baking dish. Pour meat sauce and pasta mixture into pan and sprinkle evenly with Italian seasoning. Place tomatoes in a single layer on top. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake about 45 minutes or until cheese is browned.

**all recipes should be adjusted to meet your specific dietary needs, please consult your physician.
developed for the Candida Diet

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Apple Core Pillow

For years now I've been sleeping on the Apple Core Pillow also known as the Tri Core Pillow. It was recommended to me by my chiropractor to help reshape my neck to it's proper alignment. This pillow is a miracle. It is just the right depth so that when I lay on my side my neck is straight. There is an indention in the middle so that when you lay on your back, your head sinks into the pillow while your neck is supported. It helps to alleviate my migraines which are partly caused by the misalignment in my upper spine. I've tried other pillows, but for me this is the best one by far. Please check with your chiropractor before using this pillow. It may not be best for you. And follow the instructions on using the pillow since sleeping on it all night in the beginning may be painful.