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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scope Results

Two weeks after my tummy scope I went back to the GI doctor for a follow up and to get my biopsy results. Now usually when I check in and they weigh me I say, "I don't want to know how much I weigh, I just wanna know how much I've gained." I haven't known how much I've weighed for a few years now. I just know it's ever increasing. However, on this GIRD diet I said, "Don't tell me how much I weigh, but I would like to know if I've lost anything on this lovely GIRD diet." She laughed and said, "You've lost 6 pound," in the last two weeks. Wow! OK, honestly I feel like I should have lost 50 considering I've been starving. I just haven't adapted well. I'm too unmotivated to find recipes that fit the GIRD diet that will feed my husband and myself. Instead I'm living on Slimfast and yogurt. The doctor said that I need to do this diet for another 2 or 3 months to get my stomach back to where it was. I asked if I could just add back tomatoes and lemons. He said I could try it after two more weeks. My biopsies were normal. They tested me for gastritis and Celiac disease. I asked if that was conclusive for Celiac disease. He said that the negative results were not 100% accurate. He explained how it lies in 1 of every 5 cells and it depended on where they took the biopsy. It's also all throughout the digestive system. So I could have it, but the strict diet would help know more as I add gluten back in. He said I shouldn't worry about going strictly gluten free, just maybe go lower gluten. I'll still be on medication for a few months also. He thinks I'll be fine once my belly recovers. I hope I can stay on this diet. It's difficult to follow, but I know I need it. I definitely feel the pain when I cheat. Maybe in a few months I'll have even lost weight. Problem is I know I'll gain it all back with the first normal meal I eat. That seems to be the side effect of the Lyrica or Cymbalta. They pull out every ounce of fat in any food and cause me to gain it. It's like the opposite of Alli. Sorry, I don't mean to be a downer. The good news is that I did loose 6 pounds and I didn't have anything really wrong with me. In time I should get better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Q&A: Help for Nausea

I had such a good question in the comments section on my last post that I decided to make it into a post of it's own. I thought that it might be helpful to a lot of people and I didn't want anyone to miss it. So here's my first Q&A:

"Hi, Carmen! I'm sorry to hear about your stomach. I have a very delicate stomach, too, from my bariatric surgery. I have lots of nausea, too. What causes yours? Any cures to get rid of it? I'd love to hear if there are. I take Phenergan tabs for my nausea. I hope you feel better. I'm praying for you!!
find Missy at FibroMyWhat?

Hey Missy,
Good to hear from you. Mine is a results of my sensitivity to external stimuli like smells, sounds, light, movement, changes in temperature (like walking outside from the a/c in the house to the heat outside to get the mail and then back in to the a/c), plain ole' heat, changes in barometric pressure, then also my vertigo and migraines. There are a few things that work for me depending on the severity of it. If it's just starting and not too bad you can try the old pregnancy remedies. Sprite or Sierra Mist and saltine crackers, peppermints. If you have nausea first thing in the morning keep some peppermints next to your bed and put one in your mouth and start sucking on it before you ever even lift your head. You can also drink peppermint tea. Ginger is good. You can take it in supplement form. I'm not sure if you can get peppermint like that. If you want to move toward OTC meds try meclazine. You can get it at Wal-Mart. You may have to ask the pharmacist to help you find it. Tell them your looking for the bottle that has about 100 pills in it. It is better than Dramamine because it doesn't make you drowsy. And it's much cheaper. If you talk to your doctor they'll tell you how much more you can take than what the label says. It comes in chewable, dissolvable form which can be helpful when nauseated. Some doctors will actually write a prescription for this. Depending on your insurance, you'll have to determine whether it is cheaper to buy it OTC or by prescription. There, of course, are lots of options with prescription meds and you can talk it over with your doctor. I'll tell you what has worked for me. I started with the Phenegran tablets. They do work. They down side is that they can knock you out, you have to swallow them which can be a challenge if nauseated and they take time to work like any pill. If you have a compound pharmacy around you, ask your doctor to write you a prescription for Phenegran in a gel form. It has to be specially mixed at a compound pharmacy. It's a gel that comes in a syringe (no needle, think plunger). You squeeze it onto the inside of your wrist and rub your two wrist together. The medicine is quickly absorbed through the skin and into your system. The plus side is that it works almost immediately and you don't have to swallow it. For me, it didn't seem to be as strong as the pill. So sometimes I would wait until I was stable and then hit it with a Phenegran tab chaser. However, that is not my advice as I am not an expert. In fact, I am a bad influence and you should do exactly as your doctor instructs. If your nausea if severe you can ask your doctor about Ondansetron. When my doctor prescribed it to me he said that it was the same thing that they prescribed to chemotherapy patients. Plus side, it dissolves. Downside, it can make you sleepy.

I hope that helps you. If anyone else has any suggestions on how to deal with nausea I would love to hear them also.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Post Scope

It's Tuesday. I had my tummy scoped on Friday. The doctor laughed at me and said that I was much more enthusiastic than most patients to have this procedure. I said that's because I am ready to fix what's wrong with me. The procedure was easy breezy. They used an anesthesia and I went to sleep in the room, woke up in recovery. There was no memory of a tube going down my throat or anything.  The girl that did my I.V. did a great job getting it in. Just one poke in my hand. Thank you, ma'am. No more mummy returns. Now the recovery has not been as easy. Mainly because I'm starving, but I'll get to that later. They did not see an ulcer or any polyps. What they did see was that my entire stomach was red and severely inflamed. They did take biopsies for Celiac disease and gastritis. In the meantime they have put me on the GIRD diet to see if my stomach inflammation will calm down, along with some medication. So the GIRD diet is gastrointestinal reflux diet. It basically keeps you from anything good. Just kidding. The biggest deal is no citrus, acid, or fat. I can't have tomatoes or any kind of citrus fruit or fried veggies. Nothing fried, in fact. Actually, no oils at all. No vegetable oil. No animal fat. No beef or pork. No lunch meat, sausages, or processed meats. No coffee (even decaf), tea (even decaf or green), carbonated beverages or caffeinated beverages. That's hard because I drink a lot of Sprite to fight off nausea. No chocolate, peppermint or spearmint, gum or hard candy. That's hard because I sometimes use peppermint to curb the nausea. All breads and dairy have to be low fat. No dairy after 6 p.m. No food at all after 7 p.m. By bedtime, I'm starving. The second day was painful because I could feel where they had taken the biopsies. I felt like the inside of my stomach had been scraped. It wasn't excruciating, just painful. So I didn't really want to eat, which was fine since there was nothing in my house I could eat. Once I started eating I was just eating yogurt, cottage cheese, things that were cold and soft. It sounds weird, but I didn't want food that might scratch the inside of my stomach. After seeing the pictures I think it made my stomach hurt more just knowing how red and inflamed it is. I'm kinda living on Slimfast and water.

I would like to write more, but I'm starting to get a little nauseated from the computer screen so I'm going to have to sign off for now. Just didn't want to leave you all hanging anymore than I already had since Friday.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Baked Ziti(s)

My friend, Sarah, over at Candida and Food reminded me of this recipe for Baked Ziti. She recently published the Candida Diet version on her blog. Since the original recipe was created I have made some adaptations mostly to make my husband happier ; ) so I'll post that recipe here. Now you'll have two recipes for Baked Ziti. Both recipes can be prepped for the freezer by doing everything except baking it. Just get it all ready, then put aluminum foil tightly on top then freeze. When you want to bake, thaw it out on the counter that day. Then continue with the recipe baking it, uncovered, until it is warm throughout and the cheese is brown. I usually split my batch into two smaller pans. One gets made for that evening. The other half gets put in the freezer. Anytime I can cut my workload in half my freezing a meal is great. When I know I'm going to have a day that I'll be too exhausted to cook I'll just pull out a meal to thaw and heat that night. Okay, here my updated version of the Baked Ziti.

  • 1 lb. ground turkey sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I use the prechopped onion from the freezer section)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I usually buy most organic, natural, MSG free, use what you need for you)
  • 1 box rice penne pasta
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 container feta cheese
Heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Brown turkey with the onion in it. You shouldn't need to drain turkey because it's not that fattening. Use a garlic press to mince the garlic into the browned turkey.

In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the directions at the lowest time. Rinse under cool water. Mix in a large bowl with the spaghetti sauce and feta cheese.
Mix in the turkey and onion mix. Pour the entire mixture into the pan(s) and top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the cheese is browned.

**all recipes should be adjusted to meet your specific dietary needs, please consult your physician.

Friday, July 29, 2011

GI Have An Ulcer

Went for the follow up visit after my ultrasound yesterday. I do not have gall stones. There is always a possibility that the gall bladder is not working, but she doesn't think that is it. She is thinking it's an ulcer. Not sure why I would have one of those ;0) She's trying me on some meds and probably sending me for an upper GI. I told her that I was in pain at the moment. She had me take some Maloxx right then in the office. She told me to get lots of fiber naturally in my diet and plenty of water. We picked up some Maloxx and Zantax on the way home. The nausea is a lot better so I'm thinking that it is because I was off the Topirimate. I go back next week, but she told me that if it got worse through the weekend to go to the ER because it could be the gall bladder not working or a lacerated ulcer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giving In Or Giving Up

It's one o'clock in the morning and I'm still up with abdomen pain which the doctor thinks is my gall bladder. I had my ultrasound today and go for my follow up appointment tomorrow. I'm thinking of my neighbor who had emergency gall bladder surgery. I have less than 24 hours to make it to my appointment. But I have considered a trip to the emergency room. I've taken an antacid because I had forgotten that she told me to do that. I don't know what good that would do. I'm tired but I can't sleep. These are times when I wish I actually kept real sleeping pills in the house. I run my hands into my hair and grab it by the fistful. I don't pull, it's just a habit I have when I'm in pain. I don't know why I do it, it doesn't help. The pain is now in my kidneys and spreading to my joints. I'm starting to flare up. I've given in and taken the last Hydracodon that my husband had from his ankle sprain. My aversion to pain pills doesn't seem so important right now.

Blood Suckers

I know that's not my usual positive outlook on things. But I hate when they take my blood. I always call it "taking my blood" because I never willingly give my blood. I have a phobia as a result of poor treatment during a test as a child. That probably also serves into my fear of doctors and tests. However I had to go to the doctor because I was out of my prescriptions and was feeling sick. I had completely run out of my Topirimate which I take for nausea, vertigo and migraines. I was also out of Amitryptaline which I take for sleep. So I've not been sleeping well and I've been nauseated for almost a week, living on Sprite and saltines, throw in the occasional nausea medication. Not a good diet. However I've also been having some abdominal and stomach pain. So they wanted blood. Of course, they did. This is a new doctor. They always want blood. Doesn't matter that my blood is perfect, no one ever finds anything wrong with it except anemia. I attribute this success to the fact that I try to keep my blood inside my body. Now I'm not trying to advocate against the donation of blood for saving lives. I admire and applaud those that do. However, I can't. I didn't even do it when my mom had breast cancer. I know, I'm a horrible daughter. But she actually released me of the obligation so I don't feel so guilty. Until I tell someone. So anyway, back to the doctor visit. In comes the phlebotomyst. I warn her that my veins are small and deep requiring a butterfly needle. And don't dig or I'll vomit. Hang on, let me lie down. OK, maybe that doesn't instill much courage in the poor girl, but I feel it's best to warn them ahead of time what they are up against. The first arm gave her one vial and just started the second vial before I started to clot. I ask, "How many vials do you need?" Four. "FOUR?" She's running a lot of test. The second arm gives her the rest of the second vial and starts the third. She says "You are a challenge," she will try my hand but if that doesn't work she will have to send me out. You know, out, as in another whole facility. Where all they do is draw blood. So I ask if they can still use the blood that they've already gotten. She hesitantly replies, "well, yes, but they like to keep it together." I tell her to keep going. I would rather her have to go to the other hand also and get it all than to have to start all over at another facility. And to be honest, I'm thinking I probably won't show up for about a week anyway and they seem to want this stuff pretty soon. But I would need time to recover physical, mentally and emotionally, you know? But the hand gives her the last of the third vial and all of the fourth. Yay! I walk out looking like a mummy with bandages wrapped around both arms and one hand. I make my follow up appointment for Friday afternoon and I have my instructions to go get an ultrasound of my abdomen. They think it might be my gall bladder. Great! That just means a hospital with an i.v. and everybody gets to see me naked.

Updated Medications List

  • Lyrica 150mg 3x/day for Fibromyalgia, morning, afternoon and bedtime
  • Cymbalta  60mg 1x/day, morning, for pain associated with Fibromyalgia
  • Topiramate 50mg 2x/day, morning and dinner time, for vertigo and migraines 
  • Amitriptyline 10mg 1x/day, bedtime, for sleep aid associated with Fibromyalgia
  • Molybdenum Picolinate  1 capsule/day, morning, supplement for sensitivity to smells
  • Sumatriptan 100 mg as needed for migraines, plus 2 Aleve
  • Ondansetron 4mg as needed for nausea
  • Promethegan 25mg as needed for nausea
  • Alphagan, one drop each eye, for driving at night
  • Prenatal Vitamins not because I'm trying to get pregnant but because I need so many supplements due to anemia, etc.,  and this is  the easiest way to get that dosage in the least number of pills

Monday, July 25, 2011

Breakfast Casserole by Sarah

My husband grew up in the South an ADORES breakfast casseroles...you know, the ones full of bread, Bisquick and all that starchy, yeasty goodness.  I scoured the internet, unable to find any recipes void of breads, baking mixes and tons of cheese.  Can you say frustrating?!?!?! I finally discovered a Cheesy Eggy Casserole recipe in my Taste Life! Organic Recipes cookbook which I modified to fit in with my anti-Candida diet.  May I just be honest for a moment and say, "It's fabulous!!"  Here's what ya do:

Breakfast Casserole
  • 1 lb. sausage, browned
  • 1 bag chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 9-11 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
I start by getting my rice cooking.  I use brown rice and it takes about 45 minutes to cook. This time, I had leftovers of my Lentils and Brown Rice and tossed that in instead of cooking a new batch of rice. 

Then, brown your sausage, drain and let it start to cool.

Scramble your eggs.

Mix all your ingredients together.

Put it all in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese**.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the center of your casserole is no longer jiggly.  Pull it out and enjoy!!

** Now, I know you're thinking, "Cheese?? We can't have cheese!!" However, in her cookbook Healthful Eating, Lynette Hall addresses the subject of cheese.
"Most cheese making is via a process involving bacteria and use of vinegar.  To acidify the milk bacteria is added so the rennet (either an enzyme from a calf's stomach or derived from molds and yeast) will work and aid in the curing.  The only cheeses usually allowed are fresh mozzarella, feta and ricotta.  These are the only cheeses you will see in this cookbook.  Mozzarella uses citrus acid for processing, ricotta uses lemon juice and feta ripens in salt to brine.  As in all other foods, get the freshest you can from an organic source."
I mostly use mozzarella cheese and have not had a reaction to it.  Obviously, if you have a reaction after eating it, omit from this recipe. 

This is a perfect option for a quick, easy breakfast once you have it cooked.  It keeps wonderfully and my entire family loves this casserole (especially my munchkins!!).  Hope you enjoy it, too!!

 ***Those with Candida react to foods differently.  These recipes are based upon my reactions to food and should be altered to fit your unique dietary needs. Please consult your physician.

find more recipes on Sarah's blog  Candida and Food

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Is There a Doctor in the House?

I have to find a new doctor. Mine has moved. I have approximately 3 months to find said doctor because I only have 3 months left of my prescriptions Lyrica and Cymbalta. I dread the search for a new doctor. When I went in for my foster care physical the doctor asked me questions about my prescriptions and why I was taking each one. It was as if she didn't know they were used for treating Fibromyalgia. I wonder how much she knows about Fibro at all. But I have to go back to someone, so I'll start with her and give her another chance and ask her these questions that plague me. Maybe she was just seeing what I was about. But the realization hit me this morning. I'm scared of doctors. I'm afraid that they'll close the door and trap me in the room and want to run all these test to find out what is wrong with me. Every time I have to find a new doctor they want to run test. I know what's wrong with me. I have Fibromyalgia.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who Me?

I just found out that I was the featured blogger this week on the Fibro Bloggers Directory.  I'm just tickled pink. I had to call my momma and tell her because who else would be more proud, right? I really do feel honored to have been chosen. It still amazes me that people even read this thing. But really it shouldn't because at times Fibro can leave one feeling very isolated and alone. I write to log my journey and because we need a support group. So please continue to ask questions and give suggestions. And thank you so much for reading and being a part of my support system.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Buck It List

Me, jumping on the bed.

So you've heard of the Bucket List. The list of wonderful things you want to do before you die. But for those of us with Fibromyalgia, doing the things on our Bucket List are not always physically obtainable. Doesn't mean that we don't dream about them. And it sucks that we can't do them. It's not our fault that we have this and it keeps us from doing what we want, right? So Buck It! That's right, I said it! Buck it. Make a Buck It list. I got the idea from my friend Sharon. When I recently went home for a visit, my closest girlfriends and I spent one night in a hotel. No husband, no kids. We had the evening to talk, swim, stay up, do whatever we wanted. Sharon had seen a picture on Facebook of her, perfectly grown-up with grown children, friend jumping on a hotel bed. It was on her Bucket List. Well, honestly, my real Bucket List has grandeur delusions. However, I decided that I can make a more obtainable, Fibro-friendly, everyday-achievable Buck It List. So for all of those dreams that we have to give up because this dreaded Beast has taken it from us - Suck It! I can still do fun stuff.
I jumped on the bed at my hotel. La-Di-Da! Now my list isn't about sticking it to the man and doing things to show that I can break rules. It's about having fun and doing things I wouldn't normally do within the limits of my capabilities. However, I'm not stupid enough to jump on my own bed. It would crash. I mean, my husband and I have had it fall a couple times before, if you know what I'm saying. There's no way I'm jumping on my own bed. And this bed felt very sturdy. So go ahead. Next time your in a hotel. Jump on the bed! Although I will say that it wasn't as easy as I remember. I tried to do a jump and jack. It felt like the covers were just holding my feet down. We were trying to get a picture of it. So I thought I needed to do something straight up so I kicked my foot straight up to touch my feet. I would not have attempted this if I did not reach down to the floor everyday to stretch my legs. So I knew that I would not hurt myself. But check out my friend Miss Sarah. Yes this is Sarah from
Candida And Food. She did the best jump of us all. She normally would not be able to jump this high with a baby on each hip. Heidi jumped also, but she wouldn't let us post her picture. Maybe she doesn't want her kids getting any ideas. But I want you to get lots of ideas. Tell me what is on your Buck It List?

**we were using a cell phone so they are very bad pictures, sorry.

Fostering a Good Doctor

It feels like we've not made any progress on the fostering front since I last posted. I think they may be waiting for all of our references to come in. There were a total of 13 references, so that's a lot. And it seems there is just a never-ending pile of paperwork. I won't hear anything for a while and then they need a signature on something. But to my knowledge, after the references are in, all we have left is our final home study by our case worker and the individual psychosocial exams for both my husband and myself. If we had any children or anyone else living in the house they would have to have them as well. I had mentioned in a past post that I was concerned about having a primary care doctor sign off on my physical since I really had not even bothered to find a primary care doc since we moved here a year ago. Well, it happened. But not for the reasons I had suspected. I thought they would say that I couldn't care for a baby because I had Fibromyalgia. She just said that she didn't feel like she should sign off on it because I was taking several medications that she had not prescribed to me. She said that she felt I should go to the doctor that had prescribed the medications. If the agency gave me any trouble with that doctor not being my "primary" doctor as the paper noted, then to come back to her. I was relieved that I didn't have to fight for a child because I had Fibro. I totally understood the need to have the doctor who prescribed the medication be the one who signed the paper and I kind of suspected that to be the case when I went in. I had thought originally that my Fibro doctor should be the one to sign off on me since if they had any doubts about my physical ability to care for a child it would be because I have Fibromyalgia. So I went to my Fibro specialist. She just signed it and then gave me the grim news that she is relocating to Houston. I was very disappointed since I just found her and felt like I finally had an ally. It is so hard to find a Fibro-friendly doctor. I thought I had hit the  jackpot when I found her while reading an article on the National Fibromyalgia Association website. She is a specialist and has Fibromyalgia herself. So if anyone in that area needs a Fibromyalgia doctor, look up Dr. Aysun Alagoz. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My First Wheels

I flew home for a four day trip to see my girlfriends. I've gotten used to the stable, warm climate of South Texas. In fact we're in a severe drought. Well on the last day of my trip it began to rain. I was so happy to see the rain. I even took pictures because it had been so long since I had seen rain. I miss the sound of thunder and rain. What I wasn't expecting was how it would affect my Fibromyalgia. After we had breakfast and got dressed we decided to do just a little shopping before we headed toward the airport. We were walking into our first and only store when I ran into the door and started to fall over. I had an attack of vertigo. My vertigo is usually very well controlled. I may have a little dizzy spell now and then, but it goes away as quickly as it came. This one did not go away. I had to use a shopping cart to steady myself. But after that store it had eased up. However, my friend insisted that when I got to the airport I let them take me in a wheelchair through the airport. I've never done that and I felt so stupid. I told her that I thought you had to have some kind of doctor's note to get that. She said not if you tell them your sick. Because if you were to fall and get hurt and it was to come out that they had denied helping you, it would be a huge liability for them. I told her that if she came in an talked to the person when I checked in then I would do it. I still felt like an idiot. But when we talked about it I realized there were other reasons. For instance if I'm walking through the airport falling all over people they would think I was drunk or maybe under some kind of biological hazard material. TSA would probably not let me fly home. So anyway, they gave me no trouble. Just called for a wheelchair. But then they wheeled me straight to the front of the security line. I felt so bad for everyone who had been standing in line for security. They gave me a wooden cane to walk through the metal detector. Then I was taken on the plane with pre-boarding. Again, I felt so bad. But I guess they can't mess with a wheelchair when all the walking people are trying to get on. Then a chair was waiting on me when I had to switch planes and then again when I arrived home. I had texted my husband that I was coming out in a wheelchair so that he would not be surprised and freaked out. My husband also agreed that I should have taken the wheelchair. He said that since I was traveling alone I would not have been able to handle my two carry-ons, which is true. I just felt like everyone was staring at me. And they probably were. I was lined up with all these elderly people in wheelchairs and then me. People had to be wondering why I was in a chair and preboarding. I would have been wondering that. Even though I was not in full vertigo flare. I was definitely having a come and go spell. I decided that it must have been the rain. The barometric pressure fell and so did I. But I'm home now and feeling better except that I think I have some kind of cold. That's probably from lack of sleep while I was there. But it was such a great trip with my besties.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hot Time, Summer In The City

OK, even my drought tolerate plants are all starting to lose their color. They just look a little gray. And the sun is literally burning holes into my bell peppers while they are still on the plant. I've not gotten one for us. The black birds are eating my tomatoes as soon as they start turning red. And then they go play in the dogs water bowl, since it's the only water for miles around. I know this because I find the tomato seeds in the dogs' water bowl. Seems the only vegetable I've had success harvesting is jalapeno peppers. Imagine that!!!! I'm getting used to the heat here, but it's still been easier than back home. At least I don't have to breathe water when I step out my door. It's funny to be running my A/C at 78 when we used to run it on 70 or 72. And for the most part it feels fine in the house at that temp. Like every summer before I find myself just hiding in the house in the afternoons, usually napping. The hottest part is late afternoon and early evening. If I even walk outside for a second I get a headache sometimes turning into a migraine. We're in a severe drought. The police cruise the neighborhoods at night and give tickets to the homeowners whose sprinkler systems are going off on their non-designated days. I think soon we will not be able to water at all. It actually did rain once during the night. Last night my husband said that he woke when it thundered and I asked him why he didn't wake me. He asked why he should wake me. I said, "So I could see the rain." I hadn't seen rain in so long, I would like to have seen it. He said, "So you're like a kid now who wants to be woken up in the middle of the night if it snows, except when it rains?" Yep.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Treatment for Sensitivity to Smells

When I was at the chiropractor I asked if there was anything he could do for my sensitivity to smells. He got all excited and said "maybe." This got me all excited. If I could gain control over that it would be a world of difference for me. There is a supplement that has had some success for people. So I'm trying Molybdenum Picolinate at one pill a day. Here's hoping. . .

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When The Winds Of Fibro Blow

I've always loved wind chimes. Unfortunately that's another joy that Fibromyalgia could have taken from me, had I let it. See, I have hypersensitivity to sounds, especially metal. So the sound of wind chimes can send me spinning into nausea and migraines quickly. Which is sad because there are so many super cute wind chimes out there that I would love to hang in my garden. The only metal wind chimes that I can tolerate are the hand tuned ones that have the notes of a certain song like Amazing Grace or something like that. I guess it's because that are hand crafted and tuned to match each other. They don't clang together causing a grating noise that irritates my entire body. And when you listen to them you can actually hear the song. It's really neat. However, they are more expensive. Quite expensive actually. But, alas, there is one wind chime whose sound has come to soothe my soul and calm my body. The bamboo wind chime. The resonating tones of the wooden chimes are almost healing. I have three hanging in my (very small) backyard. Three different sizes so that it's like a choir. I love them. LOVE them! And it is wind chime season. It's time to replace the ones from last year that have been hit with the dog's ball while playing fetch and been broken, or the strings worn away because we have so much wind only a whirlwind chime
could tolerate. So I made my way to Hobby Lobby because they frequently put their chimes for sale at half price and they have a good selection. I know to cruise to store waiting for other patrons to be clear out of that aisle. I don't want to be in the aisle with other people because they may stir up a metal wind chime and, of course, I'll get sick. I dream a little and play with the one that sings Amazing Grace. Then I move on to my beloved bamboo. I need two new ones, a large and medium size. My little one is still intact because it was not in the path of the ball. I have two shepherd's hooks in the garden that I am going to hang these from (out of the ball's pathway) or I would not invest in the larger one. Some bamboo chimes have a bell hanging on the inside so I have to be sure not to choose one of those. Then I strike one that looks very interesting geometrically, but it's metal. Ugh! It's metal painted to look like bamboo. They did a really good job. It looks very convincing. I kinda feel violated. I was having my nice little peaceful, dreaming about which bamboo wind chime I was going to take home with me to soothe my soul and calm my body day, and then BAM! I guess that's just how it goes sometimes. Especially with Fibromyalgia. But I walked away until the wind chime calmed down. Then when it couldn't hurt me anymore, I went back to what I was doing, picking out what was next in my life. A big fat bamboo wind chime and then a dark reddish brown one that will go well with our garden. Because I celebrate the sound of wind chimes in my back yard. The little things that other people may take for granted. "Stop and smell the roses." You bet I will! If it doesn't make me nauseous, I'm gonna enjoy smelling it, I'll savor eating it. I'll take time to listen to it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

(One of) The Day(s) That Changed My Life Forever, So Far. . . . . .

It's been one year since we left our families, friends, church, my job, what feels like our entire lives and headed west on a new adventure. At first, I felt so bad for those first women who really did give up everything to pioneer the West with husbands they barely knew. All they had were letters that took probably months, if ever, to get delivered. I, at least, have phones and texting, internet with Facebook and blogging. But it wasn't long before I began to feel pretty alone myself. Thankfully, it did not last for long.

Our first few months were consumed with the move and mostly, for me, with the scare of breast cancer that was delivered just days before leaving (what my husband has conditioned me to now call "old home" because I still call it. . . ) home.  I never knew the first thing I would have to do here would be find a series of doctors. Having walked with my mom through her breast cancer I knew what could be ahead, but although admittedly scared, I was always at peace. God is good. I am healthy. Yes, even though I have Fibro I consider myself healthy, at least in this sense, because I'm not terminal.

However, that experience did get us moving quickly to find a church to sink our feet into. I had imagined us taking our time and visiting several churches. But the morning that we were to visit our third church I just asked Rob "can we go back to the second one? I think it's the one." We quickly got involved, joined a small group, I began attending ladies' Bible study, we went through Financial Peace University again.

It wasn't long though before Rob and I realized that we were having to learn to live together for the first time. Essentially for the first eight years of our marriage we had a long distance marriage. He traveled most of the time and we saw each other on the weekends. We moved here so that he could be home. So now we were living together for the first time really. It was like being newlyweds without all the mushy gushy stuff to get us through. But we made it through, much quicker than the first adjustment to marriage thanks to the prayer and support of our new church friends. The holidays were hard being away from our families for the first time, but both our parents came for a visit and we went home for Thanksgiving.

In the process of decorating the nursery
It was then that Rob and I felt called to start fostering newborns. We've been in that process since January. We've been training for the last three months. But we've just completed training. Yay! Though the paper process seems non-ending. The next step is all the home visits, fire and health department inspections. TB tests, physicals, etc. I am so concerned that I'll have to drive all over town trying to find a doctor that will sign off on me because they have to sign off on us be "able" to take care of up to four children even though I'm only getting one. Good news is they are saying will be verified soon. Then we get licensed by the state.

We have definitely made a new life for ourselves here. I don't know how people make a move like this without God, without being a part of His family. To be able to walk into a church and have a connection with people. They took us in, we made new friends. We're building a new life and a new home. What a difference a year can make.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sense of a Vegetarian

Have I mentioned lately that I hate cooking meat? Argh! I can never tell if the raw meat has gone bad or not. All meat smells like it has gone bad to me because the smell of any raw meat makes me want to throw up. Especially if there is blood in the package! I could totally never be a vampire, Team Edward or not. I'm always calling my husband into the kitchen to tell me if the meat is still good because I cannot tell. And I don't trust the dates on the labels when it smells foul to me. Well, tonight he called on his way home and said that he was hungry so I said that I would start dinner. Shredded pork tostadas, a Pampered Chef recipe. Once again I'm thinking "this really makes me want to be a vegetarian. I don't know how I'll eat this meal after making it." My hubs isn't here to tell me if the meat is still good. But there was blood in the bottom of the zip-loc bag that I had used to freeze the meat. When I threw the bag in the trash and smelled the meat in the pan by itself (yes, I'm still smelling) it didn't smell as strong. Other than the fact that there was part of a dead animal laying in my kitchen, nothing looked odd. So I'm cooking it and serving it to my husband. If you ever read another post from me you'll know that we made it. But don't get worried to quickly because you know that I've not been posting too frequently lately. The last thing I need is the CDC showing up at my door when we're trying to get a foster baby.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Applied Kinesiology

I went back for my second appointment to the chiropractor who does what he told me is applied kinesiology. I was very excited to get to take a few items that I use every day to be tested to see if I have a weakness toward them. I also took in my boxes of broth and cream of mushroom soup to have him look at them to see if they really were less MSG. He said that the boxes soups were better because they did have less MSG. But they still did have some. It's misleading because across the front it says "No Added MSG". However it has yeast extract which has some MSG in it. But it's still less. So it's a better choice than the can. He gave me some other suggestions I'm going to check into. So, on to my progress. He retested all my strengths and weakness from last week. There was a little progress, but I don't think he was really impressed. However, I had significant improvement on my weakness to MSG. He gave held the vial with the magnet up to me and then had me hold out my arm. I tried to keep him from being able to push my arm down. And I was able to hold it much more than last week! IT WAS AMAZING! What an amazing difference. I guess the treatment really did work. So I gave him a few items that I use everyday to test me. First was my little k-cup that goes in our coffee pot. Don't freak out, it's decaf. Okay, not always. But this one was. No reaction. Yay! Then I was tested for my Truvia that I put in my coffee. It's a natural sweetener that is made with the stevia plant. No reaction. He had tested me against stevia and got no reaction as well. Then we came to my little sticks of flavored Splenda. Now I'm getting nervous. But I was fine. No reaction. Yay! And, no, I don't use the flavored Splenda and Truvia in the same cup of coffee. Finally I had my tiny individual cups of flavored coffee creamer. This one happened to be Vanilla Latte. Love it! He put the magnet against it and then held them against me. I put my arm up and he pushed down. I tried to hold strong. Uh oh! He said, "try again." Nooooooo! I have a weakness against coffee creamer! It's the end of the world! Okay, maybe not really. But I was disappointed. He tested me against aspartame and I went weak. Since I didn't have the box with me I didn't have the ingredients. But he said he thinks maybe it has aspartame for which I evidently have an intolerance. I'm hoping that it's whatever it is that makes it be able to not be refrigerator. Only so I can continue to use my refrigerator creamer : ) I'm recently addicted to the coconut flavor in my iced coffee. So I can use Truvia and Splenda, but lay off the aspartame. If I want to cut it out avoid diet sodas and gum, etc. But he went ahead and treated me for it just as he did MSG last week. Since I tested strong for MSG this week he did not treat me for MSG again. I got another adjustment and then he checked on my progress with my exercises. I had trouble with the ones where your arms go above your head. It's because my shoulders are one of my major trouble areas. So he did a treatment where I moved my arms while he squeeze certain acupressure points. I'm not going to lie. It hurt. But he said that I did good because most people curse. Now I don't have to go back for another month, unless I have pain and need to go in.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Makes Me Weak

It's been 11 months since we moved. I've not had regular chiropractic care for 11 months now. Since I've not been getting my regular adjustments I had to begin taking preventative medication for migraines. I decided it was finally time to get back to what has been a saving grace for me for so long. I asked around and got a recommendation for a guy that sounded really good and uses some alternative methods. Of course I waited until I was three days in a row with migraines before I finally made an appointment, but I finally got there. It was a very interesting initial assessment. Chiropractic care has always been seen as a type of alternative medicine. The type that he and his father do in their clinic is considered even a little more alternative than just regular chiropractic. He tested the different strengths all over my body looking for weaknesses. Then he tried to find what triggered the weaknesses. I'll try to explain. I hold my arm out in front of me and he presses down. I'm supposed to try to keep him from pressing down. Then I repeat the same exercise but with my head bent forward, then backward, then to one side, then the other. He found that as long as my head was up straight I was fine. But if I turned my head in any direction or bent my neck in any direction I became weakened. Similar tests were done over the entire body. Then he looked for my intolerances, like allergies that make me weak or sick. The same type of strength test was performed using an area where I was strong. This time he took a vial with something in it, held a big magnet behind it and pressed it against my body. Then tried to see if I could keep him from pressing my arm down. I was good. Tried a couple more vials and still good. Then we got to one vial where all the sudden I couldn't hold my arm up. It was the weirdest thing. When he held that vial next to me and pressed down on my arm, I had no control to keep my arm up. He changed vials and I was strong again. Go back to the bad vial and I was suddenly weak again. So what was in that blasted vial? MSG! I have a weakness against MSG. He said that was a very common thing in people who suffer with headaches. You're probably thinking the same thing I was. So now I have to completely cut out all MSG? He said that he can treat me to be able to tolerate some levels of MSG. But of course, it's best to try to decrease your intake. We'll get back to that. But first he tried a bunch of other vials. We talked about people with Fibromyalgia using the Candida diet. He had Candida so he tested it on me. No reaction to it. Of course, using the Candida Diet with Fibromyalgia isn't because we have Candida, it just seems to help the symptoms. He said, "well, yeah, it's eating perfectly healthy." We talked about the treatment and the possibility of being able to come off my medicine for both the migraines and the vertigo. He has seen both of those be corrected from this treatment. He believes I could at least maybe decrease my medication. Also, the sensitivity, soreness, tension all associated with Fibromyalgia he believes could also be helped although he never claimed to be able to heal Fibro. He gave me a spinal adjustment and acupressure. Then a special type of acupuncture to build my tolerance to the MSG. I held a vial of the MSG and he used a little probe that sent electrical shock, which I could barely feel, into different points on my body. Then, while I was still holding the MSG, he used a laser and shot different points on my body. He gave me a set of exercises to do for my neck muscles and I go back in a weak. In the meantime I am going to try to pay attention to what I eat and notice the MSG content and see if I can decrease it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Class Elbow

We've been doing our training for foster care. A lot of hours in the classroom, a lot of hours sitting at a table. Normally my sensitivity to touch is well managed, but with this much class time it means my elbows have spent much of the time on the table. Therefore, I am experiencing what I have named class elbow. Feels much like tennis elbow, which I have also had. My hand is also hurting from all the writing I've had to do from forms to fill out, notes and tests to take. Thankfully, I recently won some pain drops from a FibroMyWhat?'s blog contest. Perfect time to give them a try. I actually took them to my CPR class with me because I had wished that I had them the night before during class when my elbows and hands were hurting while trying to take notes and tests. I followed the directions and rubbed a few drops onto the area and rubbed it in good. I liked that it did not leave the skin greasy. I don't think that it stained my clothes either, but time will tell. Check comments for follow up on that if it does happen. It did seem to work. I don't know if it was the drops or the mini-massage. Unfortunately the directions say to reapply every 4-6 hours. My pain would return within 20-30 minutes. So it did give minor, if temporary, relief. I used it several times through out the class. This was the longest CPR class I had ever taken. It was from 9am to 6pm. In every other class I've taken we practiced on the dummy a few times and then took our written test and then our demonstrative test on the dummy. This class had us working on the dummies the entire class. There was a video and we watched the people demo it and then we practiced it several times. We did that with every possible scenario, rescue breathing only, choking, different sizes people, etc. Then we even had to practice on each other listening for signs of life and then rolling each other over for CPR and then into the recovery position. Thankfully we didn't actually try CPR on each other. Although we had to listen for each others' breathing, which was a little uncomfortable having a stranger that close to my face. Then he would call out a scenario and we would have to react with what to do. He would walk us through whether the person was breathing or what not and we would continue responding. It was a long day. So the next two days my neck, back, arms and hands were really hurting. My left hand was hurting the most because I was putting my right hand over my left while doing compressions. He had asked if anyone had any medical conditions that would prevent them from doing the physical part of the class that we could tell him during the first break. Had I realized that we would be doing so much I might have said something. But I thought surely I could do the test at the end. Anyway, I passed. And it could have been worse. And I recovered with the help of the pain relief drops. I'm going to keep using them. I even let my husband use them on a mole that he had scratched and it was hurting. He tried them and said that he thinks that they helped. It was not longer aggravated and so it shrank back down. They are worth a try.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Like The Normals Do

It's been a long couple of weeks. Not even two weeks really. Sunday afternoon, just over a week ago, my husband was cleaning out the hot tub. He stepped off the deck to empty the wet vac and rolled his ankle. We thought it was broken and went to the ER. They said that it was a really bad sprain that can sometimes feel worse than a break. So he left with a brace on his ankle, crutches under his arms and two scrips for narcotics in my purse. Stop the story right there! For a normal person, this may not seem like something to notice. But did you, friend with Fibro, catch what I just said?

So we get him home and he contacts his boss and guys on his team to let them know that he cannot be at work tomorrow. He actually ended up taking off a whole week. Although it wasn't really "taking off" since he can do a lot of his job at home on his computer and with the telephone. It wasn't ideal, but he managed. It was confirmed with safety at his work that he cannot come onto a job site until he can get his foot into a steel toe boot which wasn't going to happen anytime soon considering it was HUGE. Not to mention, all sorts of black and blue. We kept it elevated, iced, braced and him drugged. We watch it, like a boiling pot, for the swelling to go down.

In the meantime someone, namely me, had to finish cleaning out the hot tub. Monday, I had to finish wet-vacing out the bottom and emptying it, careful not to misstep and twist my own ankle. Then rinse and empty by wet vac again. By the end of the day I was already starting to flare up. I had used muscles that were long atrophied, I'm sure, lifting more than I am used to. My shoulders were the worst, as always. But Tuesday morning I was well enough to go to my last day of Bible study at the church. Then some girls and I went out and I allowed one to convince me to go to the YMCA. I had no intention of overdoing it. Little did I know how little it takes to overdo it. I did the elliptical, no impact. I intentionally chose the one that did not move your arms. I did about thirty minutes at a low level incline, going to pace of a tortoise. Again, by that night I was starting to feel it. My hips were hurting. It was deep in my hips. The only way I can describe it was like I must have had severe arthritis and I had just grind my hip joint for 30 minutes. When I awoke the next morning I could barely stand. But as always, after a little walking around I was up and moving. I apologize to my husband that I'm moaning and groaning when he's laying over there with his foot up. He assures me that he's not feeling that much pain.

Because I'm an idiot, I had agreed to go to the gym again that next day. So I got out the Tiger Balm and started rubbing it on my hips, upper legs, butt, then on my shoulders. I realized that what I really needed was to be dipped into a vat of Tiger Balm. It did start to work, so I went to the gym. This time I said I need to to the bike. Less movement in the legs and I even did the one where your legs are out in front of you instead of under you. Almost like you're just sitting on the couch. But moving. I went a whopping 3 mph and burned about 10 calories. I told my friend that I definitely did not need to come tomorrow because I was flaring up, maybe Friday. Wednesday night I was going to finish the coating in the hot tub so it could dry and then be refilled. But I was in so much pain I decided to wait until the next day. And the temptation that had been plaguing me all week finally found an excuse, "There's a white pill in the cabinet that could make this all a whole lot easier." All week I've been bringing him his pills, watching them disappear in the plastic tube. Wondering when he won't need them anymore, will there be any left? It's getting close to the bottom. There's no refills. I'm a horrible wife. In my mind I thought, "Can't you just take the one that I can't take and leave the others for me?" I take something over-the-counter and go to bed. Thursday I tell my husband and my friend that I am concerned. Usually when I do something (like clean hot tub on Monday) I start my uphill climb from the pain within a couple of days. Here it was Thursday and I was getting worse. It must be the combination of the elliptical on Tuesday and maybe all the stress with the foster process. Sure would be nice to get in the hot tub. My hubs does help me finish the hot tub and we get it filled. By Friday I do start to feel myself getting better. Wednesday night was definitely the hardest, but I never did take a narcotic. I want to say that I'm proud of that, but even now I feel a twinge of regret at not taking the sweet relief when it was valid. I've taken them many times. But I think it could be a slippery slope considering that they do not affect me as strongly as they affect most. I would just like to avoid them if I can. But I am no martyr. If my husband had not still been in need of them, I would have taken them. I cannot look at the white pills in victory. They mock me because they know that with Fibromyalgia there will always be another party to go to.

By the weekend my friend is going out of town, but encouraging me to still go to the gym. See her signing me in as a visitor on her Y membership got me in for a week so she wanted me to get the full benefits of the one week pass. And she wants me to be healthy. She said that she hoped I would keep coming so that I could eventually come exercise with her without pain. That's when I realized that it will never happen. Normal people may be able to exercise through the muscle soreness and get through the pain, in the end being more in shape and able to do more exercising. But I'm not normal. Yes, exercise is good for me. But my muscle pain and joint soreness will not go away with more exercise. I should just walk the dog, not use an elliptical. I can do some pilates or yoga, but not zumba or body pump, whatever that is. Here is the reason why. My caution to everyone with fibromyalgia who wants to exercise. I get more physical activity in my normal one week routine than I ever will in one week of down time due to a flare up because I tried to exercise one time like a "normal" person. No, it may not be considered exercise. But it is movement of the body.
Garden is starting to look good. Roses blooming, red yucca stems exploding.
My gardening, my house chores, my shopping. All of those have to be put on hold when I can't move because I exercised. Now, maybe some people, maybe one day I, can do some of these "normal" exercise things. But I can't just go to the gym and start exercising like a healthy 30 year old could. When walking the dog no longer presents any challenges then I can move on.

P.S. I was able to get in the hot tub on Saturday night.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Apologies

beginnings of a vegetable garden
I know it seems like I've not been writing about Fibromyalgia lately. I write about being homesick and the process of foster care. But I write about it because I've been struggling lately with my depression and my emotions. I'm so emotional lately. This application for foster care has been so draining and we really haven't even started. But I can't seem to control myself. Tears come easily. All when it has to do with babies or foster care, etc. But it's not just crying. It's laughing too. In the worst times, like in church or Bible study. Somewhere you're not supposed to be laughing. I get the giggles when someone says something funny and I can't stop. I've also been bouncing my knee up and down. Many people have pointed it out to me. It's like I have all this tension that needs to come out and it's coming out in tears and giggles. I don't know if the Fibromyalgia makes this worse or if these are the emotions that all adoptive mothers go through. But I've been trying to do some things to relieve stress. My husband took me to the shooting range last weekend and I shot his new 45. That made me feel great! I was on a high after that which lasted all day. Well, I did pass out for an afternoon nap, but still felt good when I woke up. I've been working in our garden and even started my own container vegetable garden. I do feel better after we decided to change foster care agencies. Although we are starting all over, things should go faster and with a more competent agency. But I know that it's going to be an emotional ride. I will be droning on about it here some. Because depression is something that we all live with. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

See Saw

Well, our foster care training was rescheduled. Of course, we didn't know until we were already there! See I checked our email last time about 4 which up until that point that they had not even sent out a reminder about the meeting. When we got there and no one was there and we couldn't get a hold of anyone one we checked my email again and saw that they sent out an email just about the same time I had last check it, only two hours before meeting time, rescheduling it for next week. But we didn't get that because we were too busy eating an early dinner, getting ready and driving across San Antonio. Rob had to take off work early for this. Yeah, I'm still a little hot under the collar.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Where Homesickness Blooms So Does Hope

Me and Hubbie 2004
We've been here less than a year although it seems like much longer. Each new season brings a  list of things for which to mourn a loss of what we've left behind. Most of the time it is represented to me, in what may seem like to the rest of the world, the littlest of things. In the Fall I found myself crying in the Macaroni Grill when I found out that Live Oaks did not change colors. Thankfully, Fall waited for me to come home for Thanksgiving and welcomed me with her beautiful display of orange and reds.

Spring always brings the daffodils. I've always loved the daffodils. They are the first flowers to come up. They bloom long before you have to mow your lawn for the first time. That means you don't have to worry about mowing or weed-eating around them. They're low maintenance. That's why I love them.
Me and Hubbie 2007
I always watch for the daffodils and it signals that Spring is coming. Somehow this had slipped my mind. Usually I would be planning our annual trip to the daffodil festival and seeing how many people I could con into letting me take their photo.
friends' baby '07
But when I saw friends' pictures posted on Facebook I was taken aback. How could this have happened without my knowing it? I quickly sunk into a funk. I had been battling a little bit of homesickness lately anyway, but this pushed me over the edge. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. No, all I wanted to do was go home. Not move, just visit. This is my home now. But I long to see my friends faces and feel their hugs. I want to walk through the fields of daffodils. I asked my friends here to please not remind me that there are bluebonnets here. That will not make me feel better. It's not about having pretty flowers. It's about having my pretty flowers. They represent a life. A life full of friends and family. Full of smiles, laughter and outings, Easter baskets and balloons. Never have I looked at a daffodil and wanted to cry, until now. Last year I diligently planted two rows of daffodil bulbs all around our mailbox,  lined our sidewalk and front porch. I wonder if they came up and bloomed? I wonder if the new owners enjoy them and are aware of how much work went into that beauty?
"My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Thy word." Psalm 119:28
But I know that God has called us here. I know that He has a plan for us here. He came before us and is making a life for us here.
"And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed." Deut. 31:8
And just as He provided me a beautiful Fall when we went home for Thanksgiving and friends with whom to spend Christmas, He has given me hope in the Spring. I was preparing for the garage sale that we are having this weekend. I found a pot that I wanted to sell. But in that pot was left over dirt from our old home. In that dirt were the daffodil bulbs that I had dug up from behind our back fence.
I found them growing back there in massive clumps. Those are the daffodils I so lovingly divided and transplanted into our front yard. No one could see them where they were. There were so many and in such a variety. But when I had lined the mailbox, sidewalk and front porch all twice I still had so many left that I just stuck them in a pot. Two pots actually, but I don't know where the other one went. Anyway, I went to dump the dirt out so that I could sell the pot in our garage sale. I thought that I would dry out the daffodil bulbs and plant them in the fall, only to find that they were already trying to bloom.
If they can survive here, so can I.
They had been in a pot in our garage for 10 months with no water or sun. But they were already sprouting. Maybe that's why I really love daffodils. They are resilient. Like me. So I took those daffodil bulbs, I dug into the hard Texas ground and I planted them around the Live Oak in our front yard. I hope they bloom! They will be a great representation of my old and new life. Suddenly I don't feel so homesick. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pen Pals, Dates & What's Your Name Again?

I have trouble remembering EVERYTHING. Our small group from church has been meeting at our house. Last week 2 ladies told me they would bring snacks last night. This yesterday morning at church someone asked if anyone was bringing snacks and I told them I didn't know. So she brought snacks. Then they all showed up with snacks. The ladies from last week couldn't believe that I didn't remember them telling me about it. They said, "you were standing right there." I realize that saying sorry only works for so long. So I smiled and said, "I really just wanted it to be a big party since it's the last week."

The Fibro it affects my ability to write. Thank you for typing where I can edit easily! I have a pen pal. I noticed this weekend how bad it has gotten. When I finished my letter and went to edit it I had mistakes all over it. Things like saying "our" when I wanted to say "of" or "that" instead of "the". My spelling is okay for the most part. But it's like I'm dyslexic with words. I used to be such a great writer. Now it's a challenge. Blogging makes me feel a little better because I do have spell check and I can edit several times before publishing. Sometimes it takes several reads to catch my mistakes.

I also can't remember anything that's going on with others. When people give prayer requests I try to remember. I can remember that something is going on. I can remember if it was a friend or family member but I can't remember who beyond that. If they were ill, I can't remember what was wrong with them. It makes me feel terrible when I asked them how it's going because I sound like I don't really care because I don't remember the details. But I do care because I'm willing to look like an idiot to ask them. That's how much I really want to know the update. It does help that in our groups there is one person who writes all the requests down and then emails them out. But I still can't remember the details later. And for birthdays I find that birthdayalarm.com is very helpful because they will send you emails to tell you when a birthday or anniversary, etc., is coming up.

I just feel like my brain is falling apart. When I try to apologize to people and I say Fibrofog and explain it, they'll say, "well, I have mommy brain" or menopause, or whatever. They don't understand that it's not the same. I'm literally losing my mind. Not like I'm going crazy. But I was so smart. It's a disconnect between what's inside and actually getting it out of my mouth or through my hands. There's literally a wall. There is a really intelligent person inside of me. But she can't come out to play. She can no longer communicate with the world. This is one of my greatest pains caused by Fibromyalgia.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breakthrough Buckwheat Breakfast!! by Sarah

Ok, maybe breakthrough is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have discovered a new breakfast option I’m excited to share.  I found this Creamy Buckwheat Cereal at Whole Foods and thought it would be a great alternative to oatmeal.
 I fixed it with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, Stevia and coconut milk.  Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Well, it really wasn’t and I was disappointed.  I let the cereal sit in the cupboard for a week and thought about what else I could do with it.  I had my breakthrough this afternoon as I was making Bri’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The peanut butter smelled sooo good and I did a bad thing…I cheated on my diet.  I ate a whole, heaping spoonful of peanut butter (peanuts are not allowed because they usually have mold on them.  Not helpful when on an antifungal diet).  So then I did another bad thing…I fixed a bowl of creamy buckwheat cereal and mixed in another heaping spoonful of peanut butter and some Stevia. WOW and YUM!!! It tasted like I was eating a peanut butter cookie. So, I figure if I use cashew or almond butter instead of peanut butter, it will still be super yummy and kosher for the diet. Here’s what you need:
  • ¼ cup of Creamy Buckwheat Cereal
  • ¾ cup of coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 large spoonful of cashew/almond butter
  • Sprinkle of Stevia
Mix well and enjoy!

**Those with Candida react to foods differently.  These recipes are based upon my reactions to food and should be altered to fit your unique dietary needs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wipe Out!

Saturday was such an emotional day. My husband asked what was wrong and I whined, "I don't know!" He said, "it's okay, you're just having a blue day." Well, early Sunday morning I found out what was wrong. Good old menstrual cycle. For the next four days I was completely wiped out. I could barely stay awake. I was sleeping in until 9 and going to bed before 9. It always does that to me. But this time I was more depressed than usual. I'm just now bouncing back.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Moldingly Obese

Have you ever noticed that fat people stink? I know I sound very insensitive and politically incorrect. But now that I myself am fat, I feel like I can say something about it. I mean, I don't think of myself as obese, although some doctors may. None of my doctors have ever suggested that I lose weight. Maybe because they know my circumstances. Or maybe because I'm really just what I consider myself to be, simply overweight. However, now that I am fatter I am very self conscious of becoming a stinky fat person. You know what I'm talking about, right? Really obese people have an odor about them. I've always thought it was because they had a difficult time showering or because they sweat more. Either way, I am determined not to become one of them. I've thought someone should speak out and help these people. But I don't want to reveal myself and my secrets to the world. But I was recently watching an episode of Bones, the television show about the crime fighting forensic anthropologist. She and her FBI partner walk into a room with a 500 pound women. Booth says, "What's that smell?" Bones stoically replies, "Mold. It grows in the fat creases of morbidly obese people." GROSS! So I decided to go ahead and tell you my secret to not being a stinky fat person. First of all, when washing I make sure that I wash well in the creases of my back fat. There, I said it. I have back fat. I still can't believe I just said that. UGH! Anyway, moving on. Be sure to rinse well and then dry well. Here's the big secret. Deodorant! Nothing perfumed either. Just powder fragrance. I use Dove. I wish the deodorant commercials would say this. I put deodorant under my breast. Let's face it, if you're bigger than a C cup you need it there. Skin on skin feels icky, especially when it's sweaty. Then I put deodorant in the creases of my back fat. OMG! I said it again. I have lost my mind! That's my big secret. You'll have to reread that last sentence because I am not saying (or typing) it again. But seriously, tell this secret to your BFFs. Your Best Fat Friends. Just don't point them to my blog. Despite the fact that I put it on the internet for the whole world to see, I don't really want everyone to know this about me. The reason I decided to write about it is because of my sensitivity to smells. When I smell things I get sick fast. This includes body odors, even my own. So do the world a favor, spread the word that deodorant is not just for underarms anymore.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bradley wants to be El Rey Fido 2011

My names is Bradley and I am almost 2 years old. I remember being taken from my mommy and littermates at only 5 weeks old. I went through 3 homes before being orphaned at a vet's office. When I was only 8 weeks old I saw my new Mommy for the first time and it was love at first sight, although Daddy took some convincing. They adopted me but I didn't get to go to my forever home until I was 10 weeks old because I was sick. But once I was home I met my best friend and big brother Brodie. Shhh, don't tell him, but he was a purchased pup. I would like to raise money to help all the doggies (and kitties) out there find their families. It's no fun when you don't have a place to belong. So please help me become El Rey FIDO 2011. If I'm crowned I promise to give everyone I see a big lick on the face. Well, maybe I'll do that anyway.

* To become crowned El Rey Fido IX in April 2011, your dog (and you) must collect more money for the orphaned pets of the San Antonio Humane Society than any other canine-and-human pair. The fundraising deadline is March 25, 2011 at 5 p.m.  
**The one dog who garners the highest number of individual contributors (regardless of the dollar amount raised) will get to be on the royal court.

  To see Bradley's fundraising page, click here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Energy Chart

I continue to search for blogs of moms with Fibromyalgia. I want to have some support system in place before we receive any foster babies. I've not found much, but I did run across this energy chart on Moms in Flight. It's a pretty neat little tool for easier communication within the family about your Fibromyalgia. The chart includes your likely symptoms that day, your activity level and what you need help with. This is what the author says:
"I have this printed out, laminated and I placed it on my refrigerator door where everyone can see it.  Then, depending upon the level number I am at, I have little arrow stickies that point to that level.  Then everyone in the house knows how I am feeling that day and I don't have to make a point of telling everyone how I'm feeling.  I save energy by not having to constantly remind everyone how I am feeling (and everyone doesn't have to hear me complain!!!!!)"
If you have the chart laminated you could probably use a dry erase marker to indicate your level. Or if you don't laminate the chart, you could use a cute little magnet to put next to your level. I say that because I don't know that a little magnet would be strong enough to go through a laminated sheet. Hope this comes in handy for some of you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Baby Shower for the Mom with Fibromyalgia by Chantal

If you are having a Baby Shower keep the following in mind:
  • Plan to have the baby shower at least two and a half to three months before your due date. This will give you plenty of time to both get organized and relax before baby comes. Remember you are working with a limited energy supply! 
  • When addressing shower invitations keep all records on the computer and print them on address sticker labels. Print a second set for later for the Thank YOU cards. Save this information on the computer for additional use with the Birth Announcements. 
  • Keep a detailed written record of all the gifts that you received. Fibro fog, as well as, pregnancy fog can sneak up on you! 
  • Registering online saves time and energy. Call the stores ahead of time to find out their return policies. Some stores that have items available online only, if returned, need to be shipped back to the store with the shipping and handling charges billed to you! 
  • Save all gift receipts from items you receive, especially the larger ticket items. You might get doubles. Most stores have a 30 day return policy after your shower date with the receipt. 
  • When buying baby clothes; buy larger sizes. Not only will this help you save money, it will also make changing baby easier on your fingers, hands, and wrists.Onesies, sleepers, and sleepsacks are must have daily clothing items. In fact, they are all you will need for the first four to six months depending on the season when baby is born. . Halo Innovations makes a sleepsack/sleeper combo that zips from the top making nighttime diaper changing simple. Available online at www.walmart.com. Halo Big Kid’s sleepsacks are wonderful for when baby is bigger. Available online at www.Target.com. 
  • Choose zippers over snaps –never buttons--especially if you are like me and have the fibro in your fingers, arms, hands, and wrists. However, if you do buy snap clothing, look for a simple snap outline near the diaper area with a curvature of the snaps that leads down the front of the torso and tummy areas all the way down to the diaper area. This design makes taking the feet out for diaper change much easier on your fibromyalgic fingers and hands. You will exert too much energy otherwise trying to button or snap.  If you buy the snap sleepers; be sure that the snaps are around the diaper area for easy access. Make sure that the snaps are not just down one leg. When baby becomes a bit older and starts to kick and to roll over on the changing table—a trick I use is to keep snapped one or two snaps at his ankles. Take his feet out of the sleeper but keep these snapped. This allows for a good “latch in” when dressing baby.
  • Invest in a digital camera and a camcorder. Buy the DVR’s before you go to the hospital and pack them in your hospital bag. This was one item that I overlooked that I now regret as I don’t have newborn film footage. At the time, I couldn’t imagine having the birth filmed so I didn’t think ahead about filming the baby at the hospital.
  • Make sure that you choose some heavy duty baby photo albums and put them on your Baby Shower Registry. If you don’t’ end up getting them at your shower, be sure to buy them before baby arrives. Buy more than you think you will need. Get organized and label them with large address sicker labels ahead of time. You will thank yourself later. I didn’t do this and ended with 11 months worth of pictures to sort though and file!
  • If you are using disposable diapers, the Diaper Champ is wonderful. You can use regular trash bags with it.  It is my pick over the Diaper Genie.
  • If you are breastfeeding, Bravado bras come in plus sizes too and they (online) are wonderful. Their washable breast pads are the best too!
  • When you buy the car seat--make sure you buy the travel system with the stroller. I bought the Graco Snugride and LOVE it! You will use the stroller almost as much as the car seat. Realize that due to your fibromyalgia, and depending on your vehicle you may have to position and place the car seat behind the driver’s seat side or directly behind the passenger’s seat side; instead of in the middle of the back seat, for easier access. Also, to avoid more muscle pain and fatigue, enlist others to carry the baby in the car seat to and from the car. You will get plenty of chances to carry the baby throughout your day.

Baby Registry Must-Haves for the Fibromyalgic Mother-to-Be:
On a budget—www.craigslist.org sells gently used baby gear;
www.freecycle.org lists free items ready to be discarded

(Copy this list, take it with you, and use it as your guide.)

Remember to register for larger sizes too. This will make changes easier on your fibromyalgic fingers, hands, and wrists. Also, babies grow quickly, and you might end up with a nine-pound-plus baby, like I did, who was wearing a size twelve months at six months!

Bolded items are my “Best Baby Invention” must-haves, and I have rated my top ten for you.

·        6–8 Sleepsacks by Halo Innnovations. (These are usually part of the Layette, but not always. They are a must in the prevention of SIDS. (My #1 Best Baby Invention!) Available at www.target.com or www.walmart.com. Also available in larger sizes for toddlers too: Halo Big Kids.
·        2–4 Snack Catchers A special cup with a toddler-friendly lid and handles used for holding Cheerios and snacks without spilling or a parent’s help. Available online at Amazon.com (My other #1 Best Baby Invention.)
·        Graco Snugride Car Seat Travel System or the like. (Make sure that you buy the car seat that snaps into the base and the stroller that goes with the car seat. The stroller will double as a high chair in restaurants when baby gets older and can sit up. If buying used, check expiration dates. Regulations change and car seats expire every six years.) (My #2 Best Baby Invention.)
·        Crib Tent if you have cats for crib and playard. (My #3 Best Baby Invention.) Available online at www.walmart.com.
·        Graco Pack N Play—Great for travel and Grandma’s house. Can be used as both a changing station and a bassinet. (My #4 Best Baby Invention.)
·        Breathable Bumper—instead of traditional bumpers. This bumper will grow with your baby when he or she starts to flip over onto his or her tummy, and you won’t have to worry about baby getting caught under it. (My other #4 Best Baby Invention.)
·        Diaper Champ (My #5 Best Baby Invention.)
·        2–4 Munchkin Food Bags (My # 6 Best Baby Invention.)
·        Playtex Insulator Sippy Cup After trying several. This cup holds up when thrown and doesn’t leak. (My # 7 Best Baby Invention.)
·        2-Sassy Teether Car Keys (My # 8 Best Baby Invention.)
·        2–4 Sassy Mirrors for the crib and the changing stations (Best Baby Invention.)
·        Appliance “Locks” Self-Adhesive Locks that won’t damage paint and can be used in place of other cabinet and drawer locks. (My # 9 Best Baby Invention.) Available at Target.
·        Monkey Backpack Harness (My #10 Best Baby Invention.) Available at Target.
·        The First Years Night and Day Bottle Warmer Used for heating up bottles and jars of baby food. Includes a cooler. (Best Baby Invention.)
·        Straps for attaching bookshelves and other large furniture to the walls. (Best Baby Invention.)
·        Electrical Outlet Covers (Switch Plates) that move. (Best Baby Invention.)
·        2–4 Sippy Cup Leashes available online at Amazon.com (Best Baby Invention.)
·        Exersaucer for when baby is around 6 months. (Best baby invention.)
·        Diaper Backpack Land’s End or Dad’s Gear (Best Baby Invention.)
·        Crib that meets today’s safety standards.
·        4–6 crib sheets.
·        Bassinet—on a budget, the Pack N Play is sufficient until baby reaches recommended weight.
·        Changing station or two. (Make sure that they have drawers instead of shelves, as baby will pull everything off of the shelves when he or she learns to walk. And you will be out buying another station. Also, check the weight limit of the changing table. Some tables are made to hold only twenty to twenty-three pounds.) On a budget, the Pack N Play is sufficient until weight requirement is met.
·        Nightlights for bathroom, hallway, nursery.
·        Fifteen-watt baby lamp for nighttime changes that won’t wake baby.
·        Bouncer.
·        Swing, the Fisher-Price Take-Along Swing is wonderful.
·        2–4 Layette sets—(The layette set usually includes a onesie, a hat, a sleeper, and a sleep sack. Sometimes it will include a bib and booties.)
·        4 packages of onesies—any brand. All sizes. (I prefer Gerber, as they are stretchy, easy to put on with my fibromyalgic hands, and they grow well with baby.)
·        6–8 receiving blankets.
·        Package of newborn diapers.
·        10 sleepers—zippered are best for fibromyalgic hands.
·        2 packages of washcloths.
·        Gerber baby feeding spoons.
·        Madela Hand-held Breast Pump Starter Kit (I also purchased the Madela Electric Pump.)
·        Lanolin—if breastfeeding.
·        Soothies for breastfeeding.

Chantal can be reached at her: