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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Allergic to My Home State

I traveled home for the week of Thanksgiving. We left the Saturday morning  before. I realized a few hours into the trip that I had forgotten my pill organizer but I didn't want to turn back (again). I thought that maybe one in week the meds would not have time to get out of my system and I would be okay. Sunday morning I started to get car sick on the way to church. I basically stayed sick the entire week. I tried dramamine, meclazine, saltines, candy canes and sprite. By Sunday morning I had only missed one dose basically because I take Lyrica at night and Cymbalta in the morning. Although I do take Topirimate at both and it is for vertigo and nausea. But that's awfully quick to get sick. And I was nauseated the entire week. I decided it had to be the climate. I used to be sick all the time before we moved to Texas. One of the things we considered about San Antonio was that the weather is much more stable. It's not as humid. It's always worse in the winter because the sun sets early and the car headlights are difficult with my sensitivity to lights. My sensitivity to smells and sounds was flaring up. I was miserable. We came home early.  I never thought I'd be so glad to get back to Texas. I did get some Phenegran from my aunt to get me home. I was sick and had to take the second Phenegran only 2 hours after the first one. But we made it back. Sure thing, when I woke up on Texas soil the next morning I was fine. Can you believe that? Totally fine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Can A Hysterectomy Help With Fibromyalgia?

This is one of those graphic post so if you are squeamish, don't read it. And I'm going to just jump right in. I've had a rough week. Tuesday began with lower back pain like I haven't had in years. I started my period last Wednesday. On Thursday I went to the mall because I had to get dog food so Bradley didn't die. Just before I left the house I had put in a super tampon. When I got to the second store I felt something. So I went to the bathroom and realized I had not put in a tampon. I couldn't believe I had left the house like that. How careless. So I put in another one. I took off my panties because they were messy. That store did not have what I needed so I left and went to the next store. They also did not have what I needed so I went into Ross. So, I've only been going for about 30 minutes maybe since I left the house and I feel it again. I go into the bathroom and my shorts are completely ruined. I go to put in a new tampon and realized that I had put in one when I left the house so now I actually had two in. So I pull them out. Blood just starts going everywhere. It's all over the toilet, running down the outside of the toilet. I get scared and start shaking. Sometimes, it's good to have a baby with you. I use the baby's wipes to clean myself and the toilet. I put in a new tampon and I put a diaper in my shorts. Ross is among many things, a discount clothing store. I go straight to the pants section. I grab a couple pair of pants that might fit and go to the changing room. I call my friend and tell her that I think I'm having a miscarriage. I didn't know I was pregnant and we were not trying, but what else could it be. She comes and gets us. She tells me that I am completely white. I was weak and shaky.  I just wanted to go home. So I get home and go to change and clean myself up. Then I pass this huge piece of tissue with a few more pieces to follow. I didn't know what to do so I fished it out of the toilet and put it in a diaper. It was after business hours and I didn't want to go to the hospital. I knew they couldn't do anything for a miscarriage. So I decided to wait until the next day to go to the doctor. The bleeding slowed but I continued to pass small clots into the next day, but I was still cramping. The doctor did urine and blood tests along with a pelvic exam. He said that he did not believe that I had a miscarriage. He described a scene like this. When a farmer harvests his field he may miss a spot. The next year he may miss a different spot and certain areas become overgrown. The uterus is similar. The lining may not completely come out with each period and parts may become overgrown. Parts can even become bottle-necked near the entrance. Then with a dramatic period where there is lots of blood loss the excess tissue can come out which is what happened to me. The tests confirmed that I had not been pregnant. The exam left me in more pain. I finally quit bleeding on Sunday, but was still sore.  On Tuesday I had a trans vaginal sonogram to see if I had anything left that needed to be cleaned out or if I had any cysts, etc. Everything was clean which is good. However, he said that these dramatic periods could continue and even get worse and become a problem with blood loss. Considering my medical history and complications, my inability to take birth control, my desire to not take it due to wanting to avoid hormonal treatments he said that I may end up needing a hysterectomy. He is having me keep a journal of my periods for the next few months and then I go back for a follow up. I asked about ablation. He said that he could stop the bleeding with that, but not the pain. There is only a fifty fifty chance of the pain stopping after an ablation. I asked if I just felt the pain more because of my Fibromyalgia and he said that he has several patients with autoimmune disorders who do much better after a hysterectomy and are able to come off their medications such as Lyrica and Cymbalta. That would be nice to come off of those. I am young and do have concerns about the long term affects of their use especially on my liver. He said that they cannot tell if I have endometriosis until I am in surgery. They cannot see it on the sonogram. If I am covered with it on my ovaries, they could take those out as well. I feel like this "dramatic period" was an isolated event. But maybe he's right and they are going to get worse. And the thought of possibly getting off the meds would be nice. But this is a huge decisions. Of course, we would get a second opinion before having surgery. Does anyone know anything about this? Has anyone ever gone through this? I value your suggestions and knowledge.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Healthy Halloween Snack

On Sunday nights, my husband and I host a small group of teenagers in our home from our church. So this weekend I wanted to do a little Halloween themed snacks. I decided to share the healthiest one with you. Not that it is that original or difficult. You've probably seen it all over the Internet. But just in case you haven't, here it is. Whatever your choice of orange citrus fruit, just use a permanent marker to draw the faces on them. The night of the event you can cut the tops off if you want then prop them back on to make them look more like jack-o-lanterns. I want to serve them from a bowl so I probably won't do that. And I've seen tiny pieces of broken pretzel stuck into the end to look like a pumpkin stem. If you do it, post your pictures on the Facebook page.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Honey Baltic Amber

I was looking for more Baltic Amber on Amazon to help with my migraines. I was looking at a piece that I liked, but noticed that it didn't say "Baltic" it just said "honey." So I googled to find out the difference. Evidently each color of amber helps with different ailments. And the Baltic Amber has more of the succinic acid than does the amber from other regions. So when choosing your amber for medicinal purposes, choose Baltic. And here's a little guide to help you choose your color courtesy of this website which also had some other great information on this topic. So check it out. 

Listed is the preferred Baltic Amber type next to each ailment:
Sensitive skin – Ruby
Eczema due to allergies - Lemon
Fatigue and Chronic fatigue syndrome –Ruby or multi Baltic Amber

Migraine Headaches –lemon or honey Baltic Amber
Menstrual Cramping – lemon or multi Baltic Amber

Back Pain – ruby or cognac

Chronic Pain –lemon or honey Baltic Amber

Muscular Pain – ruby, cognac or multi Baltic Amber

Morning Sickness,etc – lemon Baltic Amber

Acid Reflux – lemon or honey Baltic Amber

Rheumatoid Arthritis –lemon or multi Baltic Amber

Stomach problems and upset – honey Baltic Amber

It also helps calm and decrease stress –honey or lemon Baltic Amber

Then I ran across a pendant that I liked and the listing indicated that it was Certified Genuine Baltic Honey Amber. So look for that too. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

Here's another recipe for those of you who use the Candida diet to treat your Fibromyalgia. It comes from my friend Sarah's blog

I've recently discovered Chef Anne Burrell on Food Network and her recipes make my mouth water. Of course, the majority of them contain ingredients I can't eat but there are several recipes where substitutions can be made. I was thrilled to find that her Chicken Noodle Soup was one of those.  I only had to substitute Tinkyada rice pasta for regular pasta. I also only used a pinch of red pepper flakes instead of 2 teaspoons...what can I say - I'm a whimp! It was absolutely delicious and it was even better the second day. 

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch thyme
3 pounds bone-in chicken legs and thighs, skin and excess fat removed
Water, as needed
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, halved
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 grates fresh nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups small pasta, preferably small shells such as orecchiette, or orzo
1 (15-ounce) can white beans or chick peas
1 bunch cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped

Coat a large stock pot with olive oil and add the onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt, to taste, and bring the pot to medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables until they start to soften and are very aromatic, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic, crushed red pepper and thyme and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Add the bay leaves, bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes and skim off any particles that accumulate on the surface. Squeeze the juice of the 2 lemon halves into the soup and drop in the lemon halves. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and taste for seasoning. Adjust the flavors with salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer the soup for an additional hour. 

While the soup is simmering, bring another pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until "al dente," firm but not crunchy. Drain the pasta and transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and toss. Reserve.

 After the soup has finished, switch the heat off and remove the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the lemon halves, thyme and bay leaves. Let the chicken cool, then remove the bones and discard. Pull the meat into bite-sized pieces and return them to the pot. Taste the soup for seasoning, which should be spicy with a bright lemon flavor and a warm cinnamon chicken feel. It should be very full-flavored and warm your soul. Rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Adjust the seasoning, if needed.

Spoon some of the reserved pasta into the bottom of each serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over the pasta. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve. This soup is perfect for a cold day! YAY!

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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Breaking Dawn: Team Mom

It finally happens. When you think you really are about to die. Consciousness and dreams trickle together until you can no longer tell whether you are actually awake or asleep. Hunger is denied for lack of energy to bother eating. You hear crying in the distance knowing that it is just echoes in your mind that won't let go. This really is the end. I can't do this anymore. And then it happens.

You wake the next morning and the baby doesn't cry all day like she has every day previous. And she goes three hours in between bottles instead of one hour like every day previous. And she starts to actually go down to bed at a reasonable hour instead of being coaxed to sleep for three hours before being able to lay her down. Then she starts to sleep four to five hours at a time through the night. And you're able to move her to the nursery instead of the bassinet in your room. Can it be that she is getting better? That we've gotten through the colic? Am I jinxing myself by even daring to write this?

Moms have an amazing ability. Their bodies go the distance. Sure, I couldn't tell what day of the week it was or remember my husband's name. But I took good care of that baby. And now that she is settling in to this life here on earth and not quite so needy my body is feeling the effects of the last month and a half of being a new mom who also has Fibromyalgia. My muscles are sore, my joints hurt, I'm fighting migraines. My IBS is flaring. Of course it hasn't helped that I strayed from my diet after Quito left. I ate what I wanted as a result of emotional eating and gained ten pounds in two months. I didn't eat when I wasn't hungry I just ate things I shouldn't eat whenever I did eat. Now I'm trying to get back on track not just to lose the weight but to lose the pain in my stomach. And my memory is suffering something terrible. Of course right now everyone is understanding because I have a baby. They don't understand that it's like this all the time and only worse right now. Having a baby with colic was hard. It was more emotionally draining than having a drug baby. The drug babies keep us physically busy, but the constant crying of a colicky baby can wear down even the most decorated soldier. So here's to all the moms out there. Especially those who have battles of their own, but still manage to put it all on hold to care for the needs of the little ones. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sugar and Spice and Everything Tulle

We've had our little foster baby girl for just over two weeks now. After the first week I would have said that it was a lot different having a healthy child. But this time it only took a week for my Fibro Mommy Foggy Brain to kick in as I was already forgetting things. However, she became increasingly agitated and seemed to be in great pain. They changed her formula to soy and that has seemed to help along with the gas drops. Yet she is still colicky and wants to eat every hour. By that I mean that she wants to be "topped off" every hour. She's not hungry, she's just not full. I know how much her belly can hold now. If she goes 2-3 hours she can take 3 to 4 ounces. Alas, she demands one ounce on the hour, every hour at least during the day. At night she can make the 3 hours at a time. But the days are hard. She will not be soothed with a pacifier or swaddled. She cannot go to sleep unless there is a bottle in her mouth. If she wakes up after 15 minutes of sleep she has to have that bottle to go back down. The doctor says she's two young to start a dependency on the bottle to get to sleep but I'm not so sure. Someone suggested that she has growing pains since she has had quite the growth spurt since coming to live with us when she was 13 days old. I have ordered her a Baltic Amber necklace. It worked for Quito and me so I'm willing to give it a try on her. Whether it's growing pains, gas pains, or just uncomfortable maybe it will help her. I'm not going to let her sleep in it though. I'm afraid her little hand will get up under it. I'm only going to let her wear it during the day when I'm watching her. I'll let you know if it makes a difference.

One month old. Wish I could show you more but I can't post anything that would identify her. She was wearing butterfly wings. So cute!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's a Mom!

One year ago today I received a call to pick up a baby boy from the hospital. That is the day I became a mom. Even though he is no longer with us, he changed my life forever. You never go back to NOT being a mom.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Baby Girl

Last night we received a new foster baby. She's a two week old healthy baby girl. She will probably be with us for a few months. She has siblings who have all been adopted out of foster care. The plan is for her to be adopted by one of those families. Until then, we will grow her :o) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

21 Best Fibromyalgia Blogs of 2012

I am so honored for my blog to have been selected as one of the Best Fibro Blogs of 2012. It makes me feel good to know that I have something to offer others and that I can make a difference in others' lives even if it's just with the stroke of a keyboard. Thank you all for your feedback, comments and emails. I value them all, positive and negative. And thank you to those who check on me when I'm not blogging to encourage me to continue.

Check out the other 20 blogs here.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Ok, so I know this isn't the typical Buck It list item. But, if you've got a fascination with wind chimes then you'll love this. It is so cool! The world's largest tuned wind chime still in production. They only make one when you order it. And it's $3,000. I had to stand on a rock and reach up to pull this rope that was hanging down to ring it. My brother-in-law was helping me not to fall. Looking up and seeing the wind chimes move kind of made me dizzy though. It's located at the Black Swan Antiques in Gruene, Texas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One Month Gone

It's been one month since our little foster baby went to live with his grandmother. It still feels like a piece of me is missing. For those of you who don't know, he is different than the other foster children because we were trying to adopt him and thought that we were going to be able to. We brought him home from the hospital at birth and it wasn't until about 7 months old that we were told anyone from his family wanted him. By 10 months old, he was gone. One of the hardest parts has been not being able to get any updates on him. He had tests scheduled, that I scheduled, and now I can't know the results. The family had told CPS they would let us have contact, but now that they have custody of him they have evidently changed their minds because they have refused any contact so far. We decided to take a two month break before we take in more foster babies. And then I am only going to take girls for a little while because I can't bear to put his old clothes on another little boy. I have been writing my prayers in a journal and that does seem to help. I flew home to see my family and friends. I am taking my time in packing his things away and transitioning the nursery from his nursery back into a foster nursery. But we know that God has called us to foster. We can't not do it. He would not have lived if he had not come into foster care. And I know there are other children in the same situation.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
                                                                                                    James 1:27

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Harnass Your Fears

That's the slogan at Wimberley zip lines. Have you ever wanted to go zip lining? I have and I finally got my chance. Partly due to having been sick recently I finally dipped below the weight restrictions. Men have to weight below 250 lbs and women must weight below 200 lbs. I had told myself that if I ever lost enough weight to go that I would. So my husband and I went with his parents to an eight line course. I will say that it was not as thrilling as I thought. However, it also was not as scarey as I thought and those two go hand in hand. If I had been somewhere exciting and exotic maybe it would have felt a little more adventurous. I did not get motion sick, though, I did have a little vertigo the first couple of times. The guides said that it was from looking at the cables and seeing the vibrations in them. So if you go, do not look at the lines. Once I was mindful of that, it was a little better. I have heard that you can zip line through the giant red woods in California. I would like to do that. But even if you're just going to a more local venue, it's not a bad way to spend your afternoon.

This is me in the "school" learning how to do it before we all went out.
 Me, husband, in-laws

Me coming in for a landing on one of the lines.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

He's Gone

Yesterday CPS took our foster baby, whom we were trying to adopt, to live with his grandmother. We are, needless to say, devastated.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baltic Amber

Mine and Quito's Baltic Amber necklaces with polished stones. 

So I was walking through the church nursery to pick up our foster baby and I said, "cute necklace" to one of the little babies. The nursery worker told me it was a teething necklace. Not a necklace that the baby chews on, but a necklace that somehow relieves pain associated with teething without having to use drugs. I was totally interested in this so I stayed to talk to his mother. She has four children. The fourth one had just been born, but the three older ones had all worn these teething necklaces and still wore them. She said they all got their teeth in and she never even noticed them teething. Our little Quito was starting to teeth so I went home that day and looked it up on amazon.com. While I was on there I saw that I could get one for myself. I thought maybe it would help with my neck and shoulder pain. The necklaces are made from Baltic amber. Baltic amber is petrified tree resin. Wearing it against your body allows your body heat to warm the amber releasing the succinic acid which helps with pain and inflammation. You can buy necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings, all ranging in prices from $20 for a basic necklace like mine or several hundreds of dollars for a designer piece with a large stone. I purchased mine from a store on amazon called The Art of Cure. I put one on Quito and one on myself. Quito has cut his two front bottom teeth with absolutely no fussing at all. I was wearing my necklace everyday, sleeping and showering. I had taken it off because I dressed up for church on Mother's Day. I forgot to put it back on. For two weeks I was having migraines. I was taking my Imitrex everyday. Then I realized that I didn't have my necklace on. I put my necklace back on and within a day I was back down to just dull headaches and then eventually they were gone again. I told the doctor that as long as I was wearing it I wasn't having many migraines. Occasional headaches, but rarely migraines. She said, "wear it." I've been asked if I think that it is a psychological effect. I don't think that it is because when I first put it on I forgot about it. And I had forgot about it when I took it off and was having migraines everyday for two weeks. It was only then that I realized maybe it was working. Plus, it had worked on the baby and he certainly was thinking about it. Do a little research and give it a try. A $20 treatment is nothing if it ends up working for you. And if it doesn't, you still have a pretty piece of jewelry.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Be Strokin'

 The doctor suggested that I try something to help with stress. I don't know why she thinks I would need to do that. LOL! I've tried my hand at painting a couple of times now. The first was a friend's birthday party. It was at a place called Painting With A Twist. They are all over the country and you can find a location near you. The instructor stands in front of you and tells you exactly what to do. We all painted this cross during her party. It took me a while to relax. Which is probably why they encourage you to drink wine during the experience. It is, however, bring your own alcohol. I didn't drink, but the longer I painted the more I relaxed. The more I relaxed the better I painted. The better I painted, the more I relaxed. So painting must be relaxing, right? I wasn't please with my first product, but it has grown on me over time.

My second trip to Painting With A Twist was at a different location with my mom. I had told her about it and we wanted to go together. But this time we chose an Open Canvas night. That meant that you chose your painting. There was no instructor telling you what to do which made it much harder. They did walk around the room and tell you what to do step by step if you needed help. I needed lots of help. I had chosen a peacock and the body was presketched onto the canvas for me. I was not as uptight as the first time, but it still took me time to relax. It took me so long that by the time I had relaxed enough to get the body painted correctly I had to hurry to complete the tail feathers before the class ended. This time I was much more pleased with my finished product even though I had chosen a much harder piece. I want to keep going back because I really enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yay for Delays!

We are thanking God for a few more weeks with Quito!!! several keys members were missing from today's hearing which included a visiting judge so they weren't real anxious to move him. CPS said they want to integrate him into the home by increasing his visits, two 8 hour visits and a weekend visit. We are still hoping it's a slow miracle.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fear of Falling

As many of you know we are foster parents. We've had our Paquito since he was 5 days old when we brought him home from the hospital. We thought he would be ours forever. But CPS is giving custody to his grandmother. It is always the goal of CPS to reunite a foster child with relatives. In his case, he had a blood relative willing to take him and capable of passing a home study. The court date is May 22nd and we expect him to leave that same day. He will be 9 months old. We will be broken. There is nothing I can write to express to grief I am feeling, the pain in my heart. I am concerned that the Fibromyalgia will contribute to my grieving process. I don't want to fall into the black abyss of depression. How do I keep from falling? How can I lose a child and not die inside?

I wish you could really see how cute he is, but we're not allowed to post pics that identify him. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pain in the Bum

Someone mentioned this topic in a comment on the post Monster List of Fibromyalgia Symptoms. I recently experienced it for myself. Had she not mentioned it I would never have written about it either. But here I am laying it bare, once again. So what is it? Hemorrhoids. For some reason, after my gall bladder surgery I developed a hemorrhoid. Not sure why since it was easier to go after than before. Here we go with TMI. In case you didn't know. Once you have your gall bladder out fat will run right through you. So if you eat something with a lot of grease or fat, you gotta go. Immediately! And it literally just runs out of you. And it burns! It's disgusting. It only happened to me twice because I said, that's gross. I don't want to have to experience that so I'm not going to eat anything that is going to cause it. Can that cause the hemorrhoids? I don't know. But I got one. I say one because it is just one, but it's a biggie. I recalled having read in a magazine some home remedies for hemorrhoids. So I implemented them. Pineapple is supposed to help. So I bought some pineapple juice and started drinking a can every day. And witch hazel, a natural astringent. I looked at the active ingredient in the Tucks pads and it's witch hazel. So I bought a bottle of straight witch hazel. It's near the rubbing alcohol in the first aid aisle. The bottle usually looks just like the rubbing alcohol bottle. I just pour some witch hazel on toilet paper and wipe every time I go to the bathroom and after my shower. It's much greater concentration than the pads and I can flush it. These two home remedies have already started to shrink my hemorrhoid. Good Grief! I can't believe I share this stuff. I only do it to help someone.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Moms with Fibromyalgia: Solutions for Birth to 6 months Old

In the last six months I have been using products to make motherhood a little easier. Most people look at me and think "She just has to have everything, doesn't she?" I know this because some people actually voice this out loud. It's not about having things. It's about having Fibromyalgia. These products make being a mom easier which keep me healthier which means I can spend more time, and more quality time, with my babies. The following are products that I have been using and recommend for the mom with Fibro who needs that little extra help to make life easier. Because we should be allowed to have children too. These products making that easier. They are listed in no particular order.

Baby Trend Snap N Go Infant Car Seat Carrier Stroller

 There are different brands of stroller frames. The basic idea is that you can take your child's car seat out of the car and put it in the stroller frame instead of an entire stroller. You therefore cut down the amount of weight you are pulling out of your car each time you get your stroller in and out of the car. I used this even just to get the baby from the front door to the car so I didn't have to carry the heavy car seat. Also because of the basket I was able to carry my diaper bag, purse and everything else in one trip. My neighbors probably think I'm crazy using a stroller to get my child in from the car, but who cares. They don't have my back. I chose this brand because the front wheels swivel. Some of the brands' front wheels do not swivel which means that you have to push down on to the handlebar to lift the front wheels to turn the thing. It has two cup holders on the parent tray and a compartment with a lid where I kept sanitizing wipes and keys. This stroller is super light weight and takes up very little space when folded. When we had both boys I used the double version of it, which took up no more space than the single version. Waiters were amazed to see us fold that double stroller up into the corner! Not all car seats "click" into it. But it comes with seat belts that fasten across them as well. There are little bars that you adjust to size the stroller when you are assembling it, which I did the double stroller all by myself, thank you very much. You can purchase it at Babies 'R Us. I bought my single one at a resale shop.

The Mommy Hook
Start accessorizing that stroller now. Your favorite friend will be The Mommy Hook. I keep it hooked onto my stroller to carry my purse because I get into it way to often to keep it in the basket. Then when we get to a store I hook it to the handle of the grocery cart. Back to the stroller with purse on it and a few extra bags in tow. It has a padded handle so that you can carry a bunch of bags into the house at once or a bunch of diaper bags if you are blessed with that many kiddos still in diapers. A little trick - I keep the little end on the handle of the stroller with the fat end down. That way the opening end is easier to access my purse straps. You can purchase at Target or Babies 'R Us.

Itzbeen Baby Care Timer

 For years I've listened to women complain to me about mommy brain while I, some what silently, suffered from fibro fog. Now when they notice something they say, "Oh you have mommy brain." I think, "Uh, no, I have Fibro Mommy Foggy Brain." It was bad before the baby, now it's . . . what was I talking about? Anyway, this timer will help you keep up with with the baby was last changed, fed, how long they've been awake or asleep. There is a button that you can use for whatever you want. We used it for when he last had his medicine. You can also set each task to remind you to do something at a certain time. Quito needed to eat every two hours. The timer will sound an alarm. Or if you want to silence it, the buttons will flash red when it's time to do that task. Push the button and it automatically starts counting up again. It will clip on to you. There is a lock feature so you can't accidentally push the buttons and mess up your whole schedule. There is a feature for moms who are breast feeding that will remind you which side you fed on last. I know lots of people just say "Well he ate at 2, so now he eats at 4." Well, when you've been feeding every two hours, twenty-four hours a day for two months, it all runs together. Time means nothing anymore. This little timer was a God-send. It allowed me to put away the little pen and paper and relax a little. I was able to even close my eyes knowing that it would wake me when it was time. Now I will say that I let my husband do all the initial set up for the times, but once we got going he taught me how to use it and I got the hang of it. It really isn't difficult. It's just that I have, ya know, Fibro Mommy Foggy Brain. 

Boppy Infant Feeding and Support Pillow
I've mentioned this before. I've been using it for years as a support for my arms and shoulders. I used it in the nursery for years to feed babies and now I've used it with my own. It wraps around your waist and the baby lays on it while you nurse or bottle feed so that you don't have to support the baby's weight. It's a life saver. And it will grow with the baby. As you can see from the picture the baby can lay on it to play with toys overhead. They can lay on their belly with it under their arm pits for tummy time strengthening. When they are learning to sit you can put it around them for support and if they start to tumble it will catch them and ease their fall. They can be purchase with out without the cover. Extra covers can be purchased to have some clean ones on hand. I also bought a waterproof protective cover to keep on mine. I actually have one for the living room and one for the nursery. They are available at Babies 'R Us, Target, most maternity stores, online. Prices vary greatly so shop around. Boppy makes lots of great products.

Shout Stain Remover 172 fl. oz


Any baby is going to make stains. On himself. On you. On anything that moves or doesn't move. I have found that Shout is the best stain remover. I use it liberally. I spray just before putting in the wash. I discovered that if you spray and leave in the hamper then the dyes from the clothes will bleed onto each other. As with many things that I do which require wrist muscles, the squeezing action can cause some pain. Especially when you add the weight of the bottle that I'm having to hold. However, at Sam's Club, I found this gigantic bottle of Shout with a long tube and then a trigger on the end. You can leave the big bottle setting on top of your washer or shelf and just run the tubing down to your basket and hold the gun, point and shoot. SOOOOOO MUCH EASIER!!!!  I will never buy shout in a small bottle again. 

 Summer Infant Tummy Comfort Seat

 If your newborn has reflux and has to sit up after feeding, this is your life saver. With Quito he had to eat every two hours for the first four months. It took him 45 minutes to eat. Then he had to sit up for 45 minutes. So before we had this that meant after prepping a bottle, feeding him, and sitting up with him for 45 minutes, I only had 15-20 to sleep and do whatever else I needed to do in my life like eat, shower or empty my bladder. This is similar to a bouncey seat but doesn't bounce causing them to spit up. It holds them at an incline with a 5 point harness. It has a vibrator with a timer. The cover comes off and is washable. The entire thing folds up small for travel. And best of all, it fit in our bassinet so I could put him right back into bed after eating and I could go to sleep. He actually slept in this until he was seven months old. This literally changed our lives.

 Select Kid's Booster Pads

 There will come a time when your baby, and you, could sleep through the night if only he or she did not need their diaper changed. Here is the answer. These are booster pads. It's just an insert that you put in their diaper before putting them to bed. You'll be amazed at how much they hold and how well you sleep. Another wonderful advantage beside getting rest is that without their diapers leaking in the night that means less changing of the cribs sheets which is difficult and painful on our backs. You can order these on Babies 'R Us website. I suggest ordering them by the 180 count. If during you're bedtime routine you find that you've run out of these, you will be thoroughly ticked off.

I'm sure there are other helpful things that I've been using, but I just can't remember right now. I will have to add them later.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What a Day a Week Makes!

It's been a week and four days since I went back on the Lyrica. I was on 75 mg once a day for a week, then moved up to 150 mg once a day. I can already tell a difference! All of my sensitivities are coming out of overdrive. I've not had as many migraines. Still some headaches though. I'm able to ride in a car again without being nauseated. I can go out in public again without the sounds and smells of the people associated with the outside world making me sick. People just don't know how hard it is to function when the simple sound of a fork being dropped on a plate can send you spiraling into unrecoverable nausea, vertigo and migraines. Or their stupid phone chirping with a text message. Things that most people don't even notice can seem fatal to me. But now it's coming back under control. I'm really hoping to be able to stay at this dosage. But one of my biggest adversaries, Summer, is on its way. With the heat and the brilliant sunshine, come more woes. I suspect I may just have to increase when summer hits full force. But hopefully not.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

To Med or Not To Med

I've been off the Lyrica for a while. I actually ran out of my prescription and having had to find a new doctor I had to make an appointment to get meds. Well, with a baby that has been kinda difficult. So I ended up off the Lyrica and getting it pretty much out of my system. I thought I was doing okay so I told the doctor I wanted to try to go without it. Well, it wasn't much longer that all my sensitivities to external stimuli started crashing back down on me: The sensitivities to touch, smells, sounds, lights, motion, changes in temperature. I'm more fatigued now even though I'm getting more sleep than when the baby first arrived. I've had a few episodes of vertigo. I'm nauseated a good deal of the time. And I've had migraines a lot. Now when I talk about nausea I'm not talking about the nausea with migraines. I'm experiencing it without the headaches. And I experience sensitivity to light and sounds without migraines. So these are not all migraine related symptoms. It is sensitivities to external stimuli that is triggered by the Fibromyalgia. Lyrica has worked for me. I was taking 150 mg three times a day. I knew I was going to have to go back on it. In the meantime, I have lost 43 pounds with the GURD diet and all the troubles I've been having with my stomach, etc. I know that when I got on the Lyrica last time I blew up like a balloon. I'm afraid that going back on it would cause me to gain back all the weight I've lost. I was going to schedule an appointment for the doctor to get back on it, then all of a sudden, BAM!!!, I ended up in the emergency room and had my gall bladder taken out. Well, not being on the Lyrica made that recovery even harder. I just think had I still been on my meds it might have been a little easier. Not easy, but a little easier. So this week I finally went to the doctor to see if I could start back on the Lyrica. I am also going to try to function on a lower dose. I'm starting at 75 mg a day for a week and then going up to 150 mg once a day. I'll see the doctor in a month.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vampire Paramedic

This is my arm one week after my trip to the ER. When someone came in to take blood he introduced himself as a vampire. I said "it's a good thing because my veins are small and deep. They don't give it up easily." He looked around and went for this. Why did he choose this area? It burst almost immediately. It was the most painful blood draw I have ever had in my entire life. It actually took my mind off my stomach for a minute. Of course he had to go again to my other arm in the crook of my elbow like a normal person. But first he left to go get a smaller needle. Did I not warn you? I asked him if he was a phlebotomist or a nurse. He said a paramedic. I said, "so your patients are usually unconscious already." I asked if he would like to try my skull next. He said he did have a gun that shot right into the bone, but he would have to take me outside to do it because he wasn't allowed to do it in the hospital. It sounds like I was being horrible, but my husband was right outside in the hallway answering questions. He came in and asked what all the giggling was about. My nurse was in there too. He was laughing at how I was interacting with the paramedic. See, when I am in a bad spot I make jokes and laugh to relieve tension. But now I think, seriously, what was he thinking? Was he just trying to prove he could get my veins. I've had kidney problems since I was 6 years old. I know my veins by now. Let me save you some trouble and me some pain and heed my warning. Maybe I'll have a warning label tattooed on my arm just in case I ever am unconscious for the paramedics. 

Surgery: Second Edition

My original post about my surgery disappeared when I opened it in my iPad to publish a comment. So I am rewriting it. I know this one is totally different since my first one was written while still half high from whatever I was on when I left the hospital. I'm sure you'll get more detail and less sarcasm. I guess the truth is gone now along with most of my memory of what happened those couple of days.


Some of you may know that I've been struggling with GI problems since this past summer. First they did an ultrasound on my gall bladder that showed no stones. Then it was determined that I had an inflamed stomach after a scope and biopsies which also showed that I did not have any ulcers, polyps or Celiac Disease. This was probably because I had been using Aleve in conjunction with my migraine medicine for over a year after moving here to manage my migraines. I didn't know that Aleve would tear up your stomach. So don't believe the commercials that say to use it everyday. I was put on the GURD diet to heal my stomach along with some medications. As of early January, I've lost 35 pounds just by observing the GURD diet. If I ate anything that was not on the diet I was in pain. My stomach didn't seem to be healing. They changed some of my medications and that seemed to help a little. In early December they did a HIDA scan to see if my gall bladder had just quit working. The results came back abnormal. The gall bladder was supposed to empty 40% but only emptied 20%. The doctor said that it was not enough to removed the gall bladder. Lots of people live with it like this and I was just to let him know when I couldn't handle it any longer and we could take it out. So his diagnosis for me was a little bit of GURD, which I never feel, maybe a little bit of IBS, and a gall bladder that isn't fully working. Sunday night, Jan. 22, at about 10 pm I had an episode that was the most painful so far. I tried to wait it out like normal, but couldn't. The pain was so bad I was vomitting. I told Rob he had to take me to the ER. I was beginning to think that there was something else wrong with me, but at the least it was time to take out the gall bladder. A little after midnight we went to the ER. They did an ultrasound and found gall stones, so obviously the first one I had six months ago was wrong. My liver was enlarged and my white blood cell count was up which indicated that I had an obstruction. They said that I had probably passed a gall stone. That would require a second procedure later to locate it and retrieve it, however they would verify that during surgery.I was treated for pain, admitted and they did surgery first thing in the morning to have my gall bladder removed. When I woke in my room later I still had all the pain from before we went to the ER and now the pain from surgery. They had given me morphine, but it was not working. And they couldn't give me anything else until the morphine was out of my system. So I had to wait out the pain until they could give me something else. It was a very unpleasant few hours. The morphine did however make me nauseated so I was not able to eat the liquid diet they gave me. They would not let me try saltines or oatmeal or anything else I thought I could tolerate because I first had to successfully hold down the liquid diet before going on to a solid diet. Because of my pain level and inability to keep down the liquids they kept me overnight. They did finally get me something that helped with pain, I think it was some kind of muscle relaxer. About 3 am I told the nurse that I was really hungry and would like to try to eat something, but that they wouldn't let me during the day. This nurse was a lot more relaxed. She brought me some cheerios and I held them down fine. So she went into the computer and changed my diet to get me oatmeal for breakfast. About mid day I was released to come home. My mother-in-law is here to help take care of the baby and my parents are coming after her. When I took the bandages off Wednesday as instructed, I found that I had 6 staples. They did not tell me this before I left the hospital. I go to get those out next week. 

Taken a few weeks ago at the reception following a friend's Change of Command ceremony.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hey everybody,
The content from my last blog "surgery" disappeared. If any of you happened to save it on a screen shot or made a pdf I would love if you could send it to me so that I could repost it. My address is thisismyfibro@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Maternity Leave

Okay, I know most people only get 6 to 12 weeks, but I'm not most people. I have Fibromyalgia. Wait, can I use that excuse? No, I can't. I've been off the blogosphere for four and a half months now. But it's not because of the Fibro. Yes, it has played a role, but only a small part. It's more because of my situation as a "mom". I'm a new mom, but not by birth. We are doing foster to adopt. On August 26 we got the call to come to the hospital to pick up a 5 day old baby boy who had been born on drugs. He was ready to go home, but needed a safe place to go. He was a preemie and had the jitters and tremors. He was so tiny when we brought him home, 4 lbs 7 oz., that we called him Paquito. For the first 2 and a half months he had to eat every 2 hours, which took almost an hour. I was getting only about 45 minutes sleep at a time if I was lucky. It was hard. After about a month we were asked if we could take another baby boy for about 2 months. He was the same age as Paquito, but healthy. I figured I'm not getting any sleep anyway, so I might as well. Wow, I had no idea. Shortly after we welcomed home the second baby Paquito took a turn for the worse. He had been struggling with reflux so bad that he spent the whole night choking and gagging. He wasn't gaining weight and was diagnosed with severe failure to thrive. He ended up on a feeding tube. An n.g. tube, the one that goes down the nose. So now I spent all my time trying to keep him from pulling it out and he spent 14 hours a day hooked up to an IV pole. It did accidentally come out twice. The tube helped and he started to gain weight. Meanwhile I continued to struggle with my own health issues. I had been having stomach problems. They persisted. I did not have gall stones. My stomach was inflamed, but there were no polyps or ulcers. I tested negative for Celiac disease. He did say that there is a small chance that it was a false negative. I was to continue the medicine and GURD diet. I was having so much trouble with what I could tolerate that I've lost 35 pounds. I'm glad to have lost the weight, but it's not the way you wanna lose it. And I figure once I'm back to normal again it'll probably all come back on. They did a Hyda-scan on me to see if my gall bladder just quit working. The test did show that it was not functioning completely, but not enough to remove it. It evidently is supposed to empty 40 percent of what they put in you during the second part of the test and mine only emptied 20 percent and I didn't experience pain during the test. However, I was so cold that my entire body was seized up. That's a later story. So after 2 months the second baby wasn't going home, but he was moved to a different foster home to protect Paquito's health. We were told that he was too fragile to get sick. We had been quarantined in the house only going to doctor's visits for most his life. But the other baby went to visitations with his family including 3 older siblings which meant he was exposed to lots of germs that would come home to Paquito. Things did get easier once we were back to one child especially once he was off the feeding tube. My GI doctor said that his diagnosis for me is the inflamed stomach, a little bit of GURD, the gall bladder is not completely working, and maybe a little IBS. All that combined has given me all this trouble. As long as I stick to the diet and my meds I'm okay. But it is hard. The other thing that will be hard is blogging. I'm going to try to get caught up. I'll post some things to catch you up, but the dates won't be accurate because I just don't have the mental energy to bother with it.