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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stress and Aging

I had my follow up appointment with the ob/gyn after my dramatic period in October. I had been keeping a journal of my periods, flow and pains, etc. The good news is that for now I'm not  bleeding to death. So I will not be having a hysterectomy. However, the doctor says that I'm aging faster than I should be. He was concerned that the stress of fostering was mostly responsible for it. He wanted to know how much longer this child was going to be with us. I told him 6 months to a year. He looked displeased. He said that I really needed to have a complete blood panel work up, but that if it was to be done now it wouldn't tell us anything. I'm so stressed out that my results would be skewed. He postponed my well-woman exam. So I'm supposed to go back in six months, continuing with my journal. He said we'll talk about hormones. He knows that I don't want to do hormone therapy because my mom had breast cancer from early menopause and hormone therapy after a hysterectomy. He said that we're not just going to be talking about estrogen. That there are a lot of chemicals that can be adjusted. I said, "Well, now I'm just gonna worry until then." He said, "good." I guess that means this is supposed to be a wake up call or something? I am a natural worrier. How is worrying going to de-stress me? I'll tell you how. Because I always forget about myself. Give me a few days and I'll be back into the role of mom of a special needs baby scheduling umpteen medical tests, doctors and therapy appointments. I can barely remember to write in my menstrual journal, much less worry about what the doctor meant about . . . What was it he said again? I don't know. . . something about . . . me.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Funky Blues

It's been hard lately and I've been under a lot of stress. The other night I was talking with Rob and he said I had to get out of the house. He didn't care what I went and did, but I had to get out. So I called my friend and we batted a few ideas around. Honestly the idea of being out late was not appealing to me. And after being up well over 24 hours straight with the baby I didn't have the energy to dance. And I don't go places where I have to stand in line for 
someone to tell me that I may not get in. I don't think so. We ended up going to Painting With a Twist for that night's class doing The Funky Blues.  They had an awesome play list and we were singing along. 
When we were finished we weren't tired . I don't know how. I must have been running on pure fumes. So we decided to go karaoking. As we were walking out the front door of the studio we heard this horrible wailing coming from the bar down that sidewalk. We looked at each other and said, "They have karaoke." We didn't stay long. We embarrassed ourselves pretty well for ladies who weren't drunk. We brought ourselves home and I was still tucked into bed by midnight. The next day my spirits were more lifted. The night out was much needed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My First Contest

One day I was publishing the comments on my blog. There was a comment from an author. A real life author. Like, an award-winning, published, person, who writes stories that other people actually pay money to read them, author. At first I couldn't believe she would actually read my blog. But then I remembered that we are all just people. She too needs a place to go to share her experiences with Fibromyalgia and find out how it affects others. Her name is Kristine Cheney, award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance. I asked Kristine if she would be willing to be another Famous Faces of Fibro for my blog. Not only will she do an interview but she would like to offer some pdf ebooks up for grabs as prizes.

Kristine Cheney Interview Coming Soon!

Interview March 1st
Contest Winners Chosen March 17th

Everyone who leaves a comment is registered for an entry into the contest. Winner(s) get their choice of any one of my books. Kristine will choose a handful of winners. For every friend they refer to visit the interview and leaves a comment (stating the name of the friend who referred them in their comment, then the person who referred them will get an additional entry in the contest. Visitors can have as many referrals for extra entries as they like. The person with the most friend referrals will get two signed bookmarks for being so awesome! In honors of Kristine's Irish roots, winners will be chosen on St. Patrick's Day. May the luck of the Irish be with you. Winners will receive the .pdf ebooks (winner's choice of ebook) via email.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Fear I've Fallen

"I chanced upon your website today while I was reading up on Baltic Amber. I accidentally pressed the "next page" button and read about your entry the day they took your baby to live with his grandmother........ I wish I have the right words to say. I cannot fathom all the emotions you must have gone through. I very much admire your spirit and love you have, and the inner strength to decide to foster again. I was hooked on your blog and wanted to read more, only to realize that entry has ceased sometime November last year. I hope that you are well and know that someone is thinking of you and draw strength from your spirit."                         Missy - January 14, 2013

You said that you "chanced upon" and "accidentally". But I don't think either of those is true. For some reason I didn't find your message until today. I could think that was chance or an accident. But today is the day that our caseworker is coming at 2pm. I was going to tell her that this baby (our fourth) is our last. That I cannot do it anymore. But I got your message. I thought that I wasn't making a difference because all I was doing was getting the children healthy and then giving them back to the same people who hurt them just to let them do it all over again. But maybe the difference I'm meant to make is still out there. Maybe it is in you or in someone else that just reads about me trying. Maybe that's all I'm supposed to do is try.

 "Fear may fill our world, but it doesn't have to fill our hearts." - Max Lucado

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My GERD Diet

It's been a year and a half since I started the GERD diet. I did it because I was having stomach problems as a result of tearing up my stomach using Aleve. It took a long time to recover. During that time I also had my gall bladder out. Between the pain of my stomach and my gall bladder I could barely eat. Plus, the diet was so restrictive that when I did eat it was so low fat that I wasn't consuming many calories. I lost 55 pounds. After losing our baby, I have gained back 10 pounds from emotional eating and starting to eat things that are not on the diet. Okay, it's probably 10 pounds of sweet tea. But I'm from the south. Sugar is in our blood. Whether it's mimosas, mint juleps, sasparilla, or sweet tea. You've heard of southern hospitality. How do you think we got so sweet? Of all the things I missed, sweet tea was one of the most. When I felt better and became more relaxed I started hitting it hard. If I can kick it again, I'd probably continue to lose. I've been asked several times how I lost the weight. I'll admit it is a hard diet. As soon as I start with it people immediately say, "I can't do that." I always start with the things that people love the most so they can reject it immediately. NO beef or pork, no alcohol, coffee, soda, tea or chocolate. That's usually where people tell me to stop. Well, it required no exercise. So here's the full extent. Basically you are avoiding all fat and acids. Nothing that can aggravate the stomach. So no vinegars (pickles, dressings, olives), citrus or tomatoes, fat of any kind. No carbonation (sodas, beer, champagne, sparkling waters). And look at the labels because almost everything has citric or absorbic acid in it. Basically you have to cook everything from scratch and just drink water.

FOOD GROUP                               AVOID                                                                  SAFE

Meat                                     No beef, pork, or other red or fatty                   Turkey, Chicken, Fish
                                              meats. Lunch meat, processed meat.                 Grilled, baked, roasted
                                             Fried foods, fat & skins on meat. 
                                             Sausages, hot dog. Anything brined. 

Dairy                                  All Dairies must be low fat. Sour Cream           Low-fat products, Egg
                                            Ice Cream, Eggs,                                                    Substitute, Mozzarella
                                                                                                                              Cheese, Chocolate Milk

Grains                               All breads must be low-fat.                                   Rice cereals, oatmeal,
                                                                                                                              Quinoa, rice-pastas

Fruits                                 No citrus in any form, tomato or tomato          apples, melons
                                            juice, cranberries or cranberry juice                bananas, pears, grapes
                                                                                                                             peaches, strawberries,
Vegetables                        Anything Fried Raw                                              Most stuff as long as it 
                                           onions, peppers, radishes                                     has not been fried,
                                                                                                                              pickled or brined

Beverages                       Caffeine, Alcohol, Carbonated                            Water, Skim Milk
                                          Beverages, Tea, Coffee                                           Pure juices with no acids

Fats/Oils/Condiments   Anything with fat, vinegar, pickles,                   Seasonings that aren't too
                                           No animal fat products, Butter, vegetable        spicy, about 2 Tbls
                                           oils                                                                           extra virgin olive oil a day
                                          Mint, Curry, Black Pepper, Some Strong 

Misc.                                Hard Candy, Gum, Chocolate                              

This is the diet my GI doctor gave me. You will see different versions in your research.

Famous Faces of Fibro: Morgan Freeman

"Every so often he grabs his left shoulder and winces. It hurts when he walks, when he sits still, when he rises from his couch, and when he missteps in a damp meadow. More than hurts. It seems a kind of agony, though he never mentions it. There are times when he cannot help but show this. 'It's the Fibromyalgia,' he says when asked."

 I've always loved Morgan Freeman as an actor. I've known little about his private life. I was surprised to learn that he has Fibromyalgia. I was shocked to hear people's reactions. I learned about his condition on ProHealth's Facebook page. ProHealth stated, "Morgan Freeman admitted to suffering from Fibromyalgia, and now the largest Fibromyalgia organization has reached out to him. Will he become a national spokesperson? Hang on to your seats, as Fibro could get it's 'Michael J Fox' and the disease could get more respect--and funding."

 I read every comment to date and was appalled at what people were saying. Some were questioning whether he actually had it because of his symptoms. How many of us have suffered because people did not believe our symptoms or did not believe Fibromyalgia existed at all. And now we are going to turn on one of our own? If we have learned anything it is that Fibromyalgia is vast and symptoms vary from person to person. When Mr. Freeman stated, "Up and down the arm. That's where it gets so bad. Excruciating," I'm sure that he was not saying that he only had Fibromyalgia in his arm as one of the Facebook critics suggested. But symptoms can be worse in certain parts of the body. The brain is telling your body something hurts even if it doesn't have physical reason to hurt. But if you've sustained an injury which really does hurt, then the brain's signals of pain would be far more than in their "normal" Fibromyalgia overdrive.

My second aggreivement on behalf of Mr. Freeman was when people questioned whether he should be a spokesperson for Fibromyalgia on two accounts. His credibility as a person. And because he's a man! First, there is no one who is holy enough to meet everyone's expectations. He played the part of God, but it was a role. He is an actor. And the man has not even started the job as a spokesperson, so quit criticizes him for things he has not done yet in the role of a spokes person. I'm sure that in his 30 second commercial for Fibro he will not tell you who to vote for. Mr. Freeman has been unfairly compared to Michael J. Fox. I do not personally know Michael J. Fox, but I do know that he is not perfect because none of us are. We have put him on a pedestal because we watched him grow up as a child actor and we hated to see his suffering. The second reason critics have suggested Mr. Freeman cannot be a spokesperson for Fibromyalgia is because he's a man?! Oh my gosh?! Are you serious people? How long have we fought for women's rights? How long have we fought for everyone's rights? And now he can't be a spokesperson for Fibromyalgia because he's a man? Fibromyalgia does not discriminate! Despite what people believe this is not a women's disease. Men do get it. And the results are probably skewed because men are not coming forward because we portray this as a women's affliction. If we want proper research and a cure we need a greater sampling of people and this includes the men. Ok, yes, I would love for a famous woman saint to come forward and be our spokesperson, but she hasn't yet. He was brave enough to admit that he has this. It has changed his career as you can see in the movie The Magic of Belle Isle, which I loved.

And, on that topic. Some people were saying that now the "normals" are going to complain that if Morgan Freeman can do all he does with Fibromyalgia then the rest of us should get off our duff and do something. This is another chance to teach the public that Fibromyalgia is different for everyone. Some people can still function and some people are completely debilitated. Mr. Freeman should be considered an inspiration. He has had to adapt his lifestyle and his career because of this. He was brave enough to let Esquire post a video of him playing golf, which he now does with only one arm because his left hand is pretty much useless. But he didn't just give up what he loves. He adapted. What does my blog header say? I only have one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from my living it. Well done, Mr. Freeman. He is one of us. Let's not treat him the way we have been so cruelly treated. Fibromyalgia is an unfortunate community to be in, but if you are here I would like to believe that you will be supported no matter what your gender, symptoms or person history because none of those things matter. It certainly hasn't stop Fibromyalgia from invading our lives. But we can learn one thing from Mr. Freeman. Live your life even if your swinging with only one hand.

Friday, February 8, 2013

RIP Ellie

I've always been inspired by this young man and his dog. My heart is broken to learn that she died this morning. This is what my friend said: "Seth's service dog, Ellie, was hit by a car late last night and died early this morning from extensive internal and external injuries. Our heart aches for Seth and our family. No 22 year old college kid should have to make the decisions he just had to make. We are so grateful for his friends that helped him last night. We will miss her so much. She was a world traveler, Luke's best friend, a steal your food when you aren't looking kind of gal, even a few months shy of graduating college, and just over all fantastic seeing eye dog. If there is a doggie heaven then I know she is receiving some amazing angel wings for the outstanding work she did keeping our Sethy safe from harm. RIP Ellie. we love you".

Please keep Seth in your prayers. Few of us ever know what it is like to truly depend on another. For many years she gave him a great life. He should never have to have been put in the position to have to end hers. This was truly a tragic accident. Please pray for his healing and that of his family. God bless all his friends who will help him through this.