Okay....I spend waaaay too much money there but, hey.....it's Costco!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I've said it before.
I'll say it again.
I LOVE THIS STORE!
I got hooked on Costco years ago. Even though I didn't have a large household, I'd by toilet paper, paper towels, detergent and all that kind of stuff there. I didn't even look at the other items UNTIL a woman showed me some book cases that she bought and they were $99.99. I still have them and they're gorgeous. Ever since then, I've been a Costco junkie. Did I say junkie? It goes way beyond that.
If you ask me where I bought something, more often than not, I'm going to say Costco.
I'll tell you.
Sometimes I buy stuff and it stays in the boxes or it looks good and I don't end up using it. That's kind of what happened with my shredder. I put it in the closet in my office. Kind of an out of sight - out of mind sort of thing. When I moved it went to storage and then I set it up in my boyfriends office. The first time he went to use it after his shredder went out, mine didn't work either.
He asked the magical question.
"Where did you buy it?"
OK....we load it up in the car and off to Costco we go. Now, I'm really excited....I know it's dumb but it's like going to Nordstrom for me. I can always find something to buy. YAY!!
Back to the story.....
I get in the return line and I get to tell my story. "Hi, I bought this shredder and it's mostly been unused and in storage. When I plugged it in, it wouldn't work. I don't know if you can help me because I'm not sure when I bought it."
She calmly looks at me and says, "when do you think you bought it?"
I'm thinking........I'm thinking.......
"Maybe a year or two ago??"
She looks at the shredder and it is still in pristine condition.....it was really hardly ever used and she says, "let me look it up."
OK.....I'm waiting.....it's a good 4-5 minutes and she comes back.
"You bought it in 2007"
OH MY GOODNESS......I was in shock!
"2007????? I'm so sorry! Can I just leave it up here while I shop?? Again, I'm SO SORRY!!"
Now, get this..........she looks at me quizzically and says......
"YOU DON'T WANT TO RETURN IT???????" (caps are mine)
Now, I am in shock. I said, "you're kidding, right?"
Nope...she wasn't kidding......
She returned it and gave me the equivalent amount on a cash card and sent my beyond shocked fanny on my way.
Do you believe that????
It cemented my belief that those stores who stand behind their products and treat their employees well will thrive. It's a basic business premise that has been forgotten by bean counters than only look at the bottom line.
Why do I shop at Costco and Nordstrom? Because they care. They care about their customers and it shows. Plus, they sell QUALITY.
By the way.......the meat at Costco is UNBELIEVABLE. Just get one of those little vacuum sealers and you're good to go.
Yep, I got that at Costco too!
Okay....I spend waaaay too much money there but, hey.....it's Costco!
Okay....I spend waaaay too much money there but, hey.....it's Costco!
I just had to share this story! It's too good!!!!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
It reinforces my belief.
A lot of doctors suck.
Okay.....I have health issues. I know that. Heck, everyone knows that. What I expect when I go to a doctor is a little knowledge and conversation and possibly....quite possibly.....a way to fix the problem.
Apparently, that is asking too much.
I've gone to doctors that have refused to name Fibromyalgia on my chart. I've gone to doctors that look at the kind of pain I'm in and give me the "oh, suck it up" look. The last one I went to looked at my skin peeling under my nails and offered the following comment...."well, you do live in the desert."
I've lived here 47 years and I've never had skin peeling from under my nails. I've go alligator skin, thyroid problems and the bimbo says....."you live in the desert??????" WTF????
I go to pain management every month. While I appreciate the fact that pain doctors are incredibly busy, when a doctor walks into your room....takes a look at you and then the chart and WALKS OUT.....well, that is beyond ridiculous. I'm serious. This doctor was not in the room with me for more than 15 seconds.
Do you believe that one??????
I go to another endocrinologist on Monday. I can't wait to find out what this person will do. Although I hope I can be pleasantly surprised.....trust me, I have just about had enough. What is it with Las Vegas?? If a doctor can't get licensed anywhere else do they all just come here?
Health care has become beyond terrible. What kind of arrogance causes someone to look at you in disdain when they take an oath to "do no harm?" How do they justify spending less than 4 minutes with you and then bill your insurance an exorbitant amount of money? No wonder health care is so expensive....no wonder there is so much fraud.
I'm convinced that Buster gets better care than I do.
That wonderful doctor comes in and talks to Buster.
Asks how that sweetheart is doing and Buster's tail goes a mile a minute.
If there is medication it's explained what it is for and how to use it.
If there is a problem they want to get to the bottom of it.
And they REALLY LIKE PETS.
Maybe I should go to a veterinarian.
Boo bear......you don't know how lucky you are.
Monday, June 3, 2013
I think the volume is turned up.
And I can't turn it down.
That doesn't happen when it's Pink Floyd.
When you have Fibromyalgia your body is sensitive to so many things. My senses seem to be on hyper drive.
But it's selective.
Scents like bread coming out of the oven, fresh flowers, even some perfumes that are vanilla based can transport me to euphoria. It seems that I can't get enough of the fragrance. On the other hand, my nose is very, very, sensitive to scents that I find.....shall we say......unpleasant?
How about malodorous?
How about stinks?
When I worked in sales people would come through the sales office and I'd start spraying air freshener the minute they'd walk out the door. Body odor is one thing I cannot handle and my nose picks it up immediately. Friends have said that they don't smell anything but, me? I could be a bloodhound.
Then there's taste.
If I don't like it...there is NO WAY that I'm going to eat or drink it. There have been medical tastes that call for drinking, well, crap is the only way I can describe it. The staff becomes impatient with me because it just won't happen. The icky taste almost becomes magnified. My mother used to have the same problem. She'd tell me that there were starving people in China and my response would be, "send it to them because I'm NOT GOING TO EAT IT."
Let's go to the light.
I'm part vampire.
I'm beginning to sound like a real fruitcake but it's true. I get practically blinded by the light. If I'm outdoors I have to wear sunglasses. Even when it's overcast I end up in shades. I don't get a headache from it.....I just start seeing spots. It's like having a huge flash bulb go off in front of my eyes. Boy, I really dated myself saying that didn't I???
Do I dare go to sound??
Turn on the radio.....
I LOVE MUSIC.....
All kinds of it. It has the power to soothe my soul. I can't even imagine a world without it. Classic music, country, rock and roll, pop, blues....even opera. It doesn't matter....just depends on my mood. I can put my headset in and rock. I can handle loud music if I love the song. If I don't?
TURN DOWN THE FRICKING VOLUME!!
So what is this selective sensitivity? I have to take ear plugs to live events but I could listen to the same song on my headset and it can be loud. Background noise or loud sounds in a restaurant just bug the crap out of me. A high frequency sound or nails on a chalkboard......sometimes even a loud television.
I think the biggest sensitivity that I have is heat intolerance. I can handle the cold much better than heat. The way I figure it .....I can pile on blankets and clothes but there's only so much I can take off. When it's hot, it's just plain hot and I can't handle it.
And I can get hot in an instant.
It's amazing. I live in Las Vegas......or FSD (fort stinking desert) and I have for 47 years. You'd think I'd be used to the heat. Nope. Not happening. I have fans going and the A/C cannot be over 75 degrees. If it is......I'm ready to stand in the freezer. I don't cool down quickly and I don't sweat. Basically, I just can't tolerate hot. Is this weird or what??
Plus, I get very bitchy when I'm hot.
Is that all it takes??
I may have to rethink that.......
I'd probably have a lot of dissent!!
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Just what I feel like.
Just what I'm doing.
I have been dealing with the puzzle of a thyroid that's attacking itself, nodules on my thyroid and a lovely flare that has knocked me on my fanny.
I can't seem to keep my eyes open. I've been sleeping 12-14 hours a day. Normally, I wouldn't mind that but it's been forced on me. My skin looks like alligator skin and it has started to itch. There's a little difficulty swallowing but the one doctor I went to "isn't real concerned about it."
ISN'T REAL CONCERNED?
I feel like crap.
Let me rephrase.
I feel like something that crap brought in.
So let's examine the evidence.
I'm real tired. I'm tired enough that I can fall asleep mid-sentence.
I'm moving so slow that a slug moves at mach speed.
I feel like I'm going through menopause again. One minute I'm hot and the next I'm cold.
I'm going through lotion like crazy but still have that alligator look.
I'm gaining weight. (THAT IS BAD. I CAN DEAL WITH THE REST BUT THIS????)
I ache more than usual.
My skin is peeling underneath my nails.
My hair is shedding worse than Buster's.
I'm craving carbs. (Ok.....so what??)
I can't remember my own name at times.
I feel like a vampire because I hate the light.
All of this points to problems with the thyroid. This brings me to an interesting topic that I'll write when I can pick my head up. The symptoms of thyroid problems mimick Fibromyalgia.
So I'll write....
What came first the chicken or the egg?
Thyroid of Fibro??
I'm going back to bed.
Monday, May 13, 2013
When people say,
"I know how you feel"
"I get tired too"
Give them my shoes for awhile.
How does your day start out? If it's anything like mine you're hobbling to the kitchen feeling like the tin man in bad need of an oil can.
I'm on a search for caffeine.
I need coffee and as bad as it is I have a diet coke chaser. I've tried giving it up cold turkey but I don't like plain water. I will say that I've cut the diet cokes WAAAAY DOWN but first thing in the morning....well, so far it ain't happenin'.
Then I slug down the medications that start the day. I take my thyroid medication, supplements and pain medication. This will get me through until noon. Fibromyalgia combined with hypothyroidism and a dose of autoimmune thyroiditis keeps you feeling like you're running on empty. Energy is at a minimum and you're just bone tired.
Tired isn't the right word and I can't think of one that adequately describes it.
As time goes on my patience level with this "syndrome" has dropped to a new low. We went to Hawaii and the beach is the place where I find my peace. I usually don't like to sit around doing nothing but put me on a beach and I'm one happy camper. Going there and dealing with the plane trip and the headaches of travel was something new to me. By the time I got to the beach the pain was horrible but I was determined to put it aside and feel the peace of the water. No matter what I did or how I distracted myself finding peace was difficult.
I still felt like crapola that washed ashore.
People tell me how fortunate I am that I don't work anymore. I wish I felt fortunate. It really is tough to be in management mode on a continual basis. At times, there is frustration but along with it comes the realization that life could be a lot worse. We can smile but that smile sometimes masks a great deal of pain. The smile also conveys a sense of well-being. Funny, isn't it? Well-being; that isn't even close to the real meaning of the word.
We manage a myriad of symptoms that change on a daily basis.
There are so many symptoms that plague us. We even ask ourselves.....is this the fibromyalgia or something else? I get tired of explaining that another ugly symptom has reared its ugly head. I am lucky in one respect. I've got an incredible doctor that describes himself as "nosy." He doesn't brush me off and he sincerely cares about how I feel. We try to rein in the beast but there is a tiny place that houses the fear that every twinge and twitch brings.
Trust me, it costs a lot to be sick.
Insurance or not....fibromyalgia is expensive. The management isn't cheap and it seems like something is always out of whack. Now, it's my thyroid that is dealing me fits. The thyroiditis is flaring up and my internal thermostat is fluctuating like crazy. I can't sleep, my skin is dry and I get hot and cold. They found a nodule on my thyroid and I have to have that checked out. What comes next?
The days of running around like I don't have a care are history.
Everything that used to be precious to me has faded into the background. I had boundless energy, thrived on stress that came with my job, working in sales and I had a memory that bordered on eidetic. There was a sense of pride in myself and my abilities that are a vague recollection. Sometimes I don't recognize the person I've become......the person that can't remember why she walked into the room. The fibro fog......it burns off but when it hits it's thick and it envelops your world in a cold and thick blanket.
Back to the symptoms.
Pain, fatigue, muscle spasms, insomnia, stiffness when you stay in one position too long, difficulty remembering or concentrating and numbness and tingling. Then there's the sensitivity to odors, light, chemicals, noise, medications and heat or cold. They symptoms that I mentioned are just the top ones. There are MANY MORE. These symptoms can intensify due to time of day, exertion, hormonal fluctuations or even the weather. Is it any wonder they can't get a handle on this?
So here's what we feel like
here's what we were.
and here's what we will be
It's Fibromyalgia awareness month.
Try to look past our smile.
We're trying our best.
There is no cure.
Sometimes we're not believed.
And that's just the good stuff.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I really tried.
I can tell you it didn't work.
But I tried real hard.
Have you just ever felt so lousy that thinking hurt? I was getting ready to go on vacation and I was stressed.
When did packing a couple of suitcases become so stressful? I couldn't decide what to take and it wasn't the clothes. It was taking the crap that I use to manage pain and I was terrified that I'd be curled up in bed in paradise.
Forget the medication. I had to take a tens unit with extra pads for the electrodes. I took aromatherapy bottles. Did you know you had to advise the TSA that all these items you put in a Ziploc bag are medically necessary? Just as a shout out to the TSA, they were wonderful and took a look at me and offered to help me through the screening when it looked like I was going to fall over.
When I got on the airplane I was prepared. I had taken pain medication and half a muscle relaxer. I was concerned because I can't sit longer than 20 minutes and even that is a stretch. I had my iPad and, mentally, I was ready. I really appreciated the bulkhead because I could stretch my legs straight out and put them on the wall in front of me. I plugged in my earphones and turned on the tens unit and, Hawaii, here I come!
Not so fast.
I was good for about 2 hours. That's when I had to start popping the medication. I stood up. I walked down the aisle. I meditated. I can honestly say that I was in a good frame of mind but my body was in another picture altogether.
Let's say I made one tiny mistake.
We live in a society that is a tad paranoid.....and rightfully so. There are some crazy people out there right now. We do have to become more aware and speak up if something doesn't look right, however, I didn't take into account what electrodes fastened to my body might look like with a small device that looks like a remote detonator.
More than one head looked at the wires sticking out of my pockets and one motioned to the flight attendant. I was waiting for the lavatory and she came over to me and told me the story. We kind of got a kick out of it but, one the other hand, I thought it was admirable. This is a very good thing......watch and speak up.....no matter what.
Anyway, by the time I landed I was ready to hit the beach. No matter what frame of mind I was in the pain was shooting down my legs. I tried to ignore it and think myself out of it but to no avail.
Pain is pain.
I couldn't even sing Leaving on a Jet Plane to get myself out of it.
But there is a good side to this.
I didn't get arrested when we landed.
Friday, April 12, 2013
The stress of chronic illness.
Where do I begin?
Chronic illness: the invisible shackles that bind us. It's been said that we "acquire" Fibromyalgia due to stress. What they fail to acknowledge is the stress that chronic pain brings along with it.
One of my favorites is agreeing to something social. Now, in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "should I put several caveats in the agreement so I don't look like a no-show again?"
It seems that everything is a fight. Not a physical or verbal fight but a fight of circumstances. You feel like you are fighting against the immovable object. I was driven, competitive and work obsessed. Then I got slammed and it all went out the window. When you have to redefine yourself....well, it isn't pretty. We go from mach 2 to ZERO and that takes its toll. That alone brings all kinds of stressors. Most of the people I know define themselves by their work and I was no different.
I was in New Home Sales and loved it. It took a long time to get over the fact that I would never man a sales office again. There is a lot of climbing stairs, movement and memory involved. There are days that I still have a tough time dealing with it, not only because of the income, but I loved what I did.
So, back to feeling like cow plop.
When I have something I want to do it's kind of a crap shoot whether I'll go. If the pain level is manageable...of course I go....but on any given day....well, that's up for grabs too. Weather seems to bother me and it's been haywire lately.
We want to go away and the stress of traveling is just one more thing. When you can't sit for more than 20 minutes and it's a five hour flight......what do you do? I don't love flying on the best of days let alone the worst of them. Just to get the bulkhead seats I had to get a doctor's note and show medical records for a reason that I have to sit there. Then the humidity levels are much higher than they are where I live......I'm just hoping that I can sit my fanny on a beach and not care how much pain I'm in.
Did we say stress? It seems that everything has stress attached to it. It may not be overt but it's still there. Why? Because we cannot fly by the seat of our pants anymore. Every little thing has to be planned out and accounted for......and even then it may not work out. I get so tired of being tired and in pain. I want to shake it off and have pain-free fun.
I want to get out and call people and enjoy life. Now, I'm afraid that I'll be a big drag because I just can't do what I used to do. Pain, fatigue and nerve damage.....did I say stress?
Everything revolves around me.
That used to be a good thing,
Now, it's a pain in the fanny.
Notice I said fanny.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Here we go again.
Is our pain all in our head?
If it is, what word would I use?
I found one.
I was reading a study on Pub Med.gov (I've included the link here) and there was a word for people that have a tendency to respond to illness and psychosocial stress with pain, fatigue and an increase in symptoms.
The word was Fibromyalgi-ness.
Interesting. I've never heard that word before and in the context I wasn't sure I liked it. If I get the connotation behind the definition, it's basically saying that if life gets too icky or we get sick we play Camille.
I can see me now. I'm going to place my hand on my head and faint dead away when life gets tough. If that was the case I'd be dead. I do believe that some people tend to be a little more dramatic when they are sick or hurt. Every man I've ever been with falls into this category! I've always said if men had to go through the pain of childbirth the human race would have died out. Like everything else, there are those that magnify their symptoms and there are those that try to suck it up and hide them.
What I think is Fibromyalgia is being shoved to the somatic disorder wastebasket.
I think I'll become Jeff Foxworthy........
If you have one or more that are distressing or disrupt your daily life......
You might be SSD.
If you spend excessive time and energy to these symptoms and your health.....
You might be SSD.
If you have a high level of anxiety about your health or symptoms.....
Well, you might be SSD.
If you have a predominate pain complaint....
well, you might be categorized in other psychiatric diagnoses.
I don't know about anyone else but I think this is a step back to the Stone Age....
Like I always say, I want to beat the crap out of someone with a baseball bat and let them live that way for weeks, months and years and then TELL ME THIS IS A SOMATIC DISORDER.
(and just for the record, I'm not depressed, I haven't been abused, I haven't had tons of surgeries and I'm not overly dramatic about my health and don't sit wringing my hands about the pain)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
All pain is tolerable
as long as its somebody else's.
Pain, even by definition, is subjective. "It is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage," or "an unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity as a consequence of injury, disease or emotional disorder."
How can we adequately describe pain?
Well, we can try to describe it using medical jargon. Let's see....there is allodynia. That's pain due to a stimulus that normally doesn't cause pain. I can't see going to the doctor and telling him my allodynia is off the charts.......
Hyperalgesia.....this is like turning up the volume on stimulus that does cause pain. Basically, pain in hyper drive.
Again, I can't see going to the doctor and using medical jargon. They may understand the meaning but they'd look at me like I was a wackadoo. My doctor would tell me to get my nose out of the medical books and just talk to him. My feeling, and this is just MY opinion, is that if we use too many medical terms the doctor may feel like we're looking for something to justify something that he will qualify as an imaginary illness.
Then there's the pain chart. The smiley faces and the words don't go together. If 10 is the worst possible pain then should I be standing there or should I be rolling around and screaming in pain? If that's the worst then is 8 that far behind and, if so, what does it mean? I think childbirth was a 10 but would that make the pain I experience every day a 5? I don't know how to go from a 5 to 10 and really make sense of what I feel.
I've become pretty good at management but having said that am I sabotaging myself? I can take a lot of pain; I'm used to it, unfortunately. How do I accurately convey the level of pain? They don't know me so they have to take my word for it. Sometimes I underplay it because I don't want to be thought of as a baby. I also think there is a credibility issue, not just with me, but with anyone who has chronic pain.
There are so many people that fake the pain so they can get medication. I was at the pain management doctor a couple of weeks ago and I was waiting for the nurse to bring the prescriptions and my appointment card. I could hear the doctor in the next room and he was telling the person that he wouldn't be refilling the medications that another doctor had given. Basically, they were doctor shopping. The list was extensive and I was shocked that a doctor would prescribed sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and two STRONG pain pills. I would think you'd go to sleep and not wake up. If I asked for that I'd get locked up......how does someone walk out with that kind of narcotic protocol? Of course, the voices were getting pretty loud and the patient was escorted off the premises.
This is why we walk such a fine line. If we are in too much pain and mention it we run the risk of being denied medication because doctors are just plain afraid of liability. If we underplay the pain then they figure we don't need anything. If we say we need it for breakthrough pain they think we're recreational users.
What will it take to get adequate multi-dimensional care?
I have my own pain scale.
There's OW. There's OW squared. Then there's the pain I call voodoo pain. Remember in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom the pain that he had when the pins in the voodoo doll was more then he could bear?
That's the pain.....Voodoo.
It's the old joke.......
Does this hurt?
Then don't do it anymore.........
Saturday, March 16, 2013
moderate drinking eases Fibromyalgia.
Gee, ya think???
They needed a study for this??
I guess it's been shown that people that drink have less trouble with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and a better quality of life. Now, I'm not Einstein but I don't think you have to be a Mensa candidate to figure this one out.
Moderate drinking is categorized as more than three but less than seven drinks a week. Okay, so if I knock down a few after dinner I guess I'll be able to handle the pain in a more ladylike fashion. Here's the trouble......
I have NO tolerance for alcohol.
If I have a drink or a glass of wine I have been known to start drunk dialing. I just can't tolerate alcohol. This started after I had my daughter. In college my girlfriend and I used to win shot contests and still be standing straight. Something happened to my body after I had Danielle. I get buzzed really, really fast.
It doesn't help that I really don't like the taste of liquor. I have to hide it in fru-fru drinks like Mudslides or Pina Coladas or, if I was back in the old college days, Everclear 151 and fruit punch. If I can't taste it and the rest of the drink tastes good I'm in trouble. I forget the stuff is in there.
So, back to the study.
Who wastes time with this??
Of course, if you're half lit you're going to be able to tolerate the pain that bombards our bodies. It's interesting that some of the patients reported that they also cannot tolerate alcohol so that is why they abstain. Also, there are medications that absolutely should NOT be taken while drinking.
If you're in a lot of pain and take opioids, you should DEFINITELY NOT resort to moderate drinking to relieve symptoms. People with Fibromyalgia have low GABA levels (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA slows down the activity of the nerve cells in the brain. Alcohol increases the action of the GABA receptor. This may be a reason that the pain volume is turned way up in people with Fibromyalgia. Low GABA, high pain, huh?
Like I said.....if you're half lit......who cares??
Of the 946 people who participated in the study it was founds that they had lower BMI (I guess if you drink you don't eat) lower unemployment and higher education. (You can tell that from a margarita?
There is a caveat from the study......
They urged people not to start drinking to relieve pain.
They couldn't figure out why the alcohol helped with the pain.
They actually studied this???
I have to stop writing....
my margarita is waiting for me.
After one of them I won't even be able to spell margarita.
Update: Too much reverses the effect!
Update: Too much reverses the effect!
Here's the link......you've got to read it.......Moderate drinking may ease symptoms.