Saturday, July 25, 2009


It's amazing how a chronic illness can change you. You make plans and your body seems to sense that you need something else. You want to go beyond the borders of this invisible disease and right away, your body will betray you. The plans I now make are filled with exit contingencies, attendance caveats and anything else I can possible think of so that if the pain is unmanageable, I don't have to go.

Chronic pain chips away at the person called ME. It changes you. Some changes are for the worse and a few are for the better. I think I've realized what I want and who I am however the implementation gets a little fuzzy. So as the humidity rises and falls, I am again incapacitated.

Most people have no clue about this invisible illness. First and foremost there's the pain, then the unrelenting fatigue, the ever-annoying brain fog. I have low body temperature ( 97.1), low blood pressure, leg spasms that make me want to take a baseball bat to them. I feel like a vampire because my eyes are so sensitive to light. I am a human barometer. I struggle to remember information and do memory puzzles so that the few brain cells that I have I want to keep. Then there's sleep. What sleep?

Trigger points are tender? Sounds like chicken. Forget it, they hurt like hell. There are days, like today, that I can't stand to even be touched.

So lets make this Fibro cake.

Let's take the Type A personality
Add some obsessive compulsive tendencies
Add a dash of perfectionism
Throw in changes in lifestyle, divorce and subsequent financial issues
Mix well
Then add high pressure selling, hard and long hours and endless quotas.
Let this simmer for years.
Add menopause, mononucleosis, accident trauma.......

Finally it's done.
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue will be served up momentarily.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I am a basket case.

It's beginning to sprinkle. The humidity is over 30% and I can feel every bone in my body rub against each other and it doesn't feel good.

Now comes the pain filled random thinking......

How did we come up with basket case.....hell in a handbasket.........a tisket, a tasket........what the hell is a tasket?

Random thinking......I love it. If I keep it up I may be able to distract myself from the excruciating pain that I'm experiencing today.

Now, I've taken pain medication about an hour ago and it will take at least another hour before it begins to take the edge off. I've been in the shower, the bath, in bed, out of bed, walking around because I'm tired of being in bed, rubbing my hands, finally giving into the tears that have been threatening since the humidity started climbing and finally giving in and accepting that it could be worse but that's not making me feel better at all.

So now, I need to find some humor somewhere.

You know you've got the fibro fog when...........what the hell was I talking about?

When the doctor asks for your records, you ask which volume he wants.

You know you've got Fibromyalgia when you call oxycodone..."the mild stuff."

Where does a person with Fibromyalgia have their grocery list when they go to the store? On the table back at home.

How do you snap out of the Fibro fog?

I'll let you know when it happens.


Chronic pain. Brain fog. Fatigue.
The bywords of my life.

I've taken pain medication for the fifth day. I refuse to be immoble but it hurts so fricking bad to even walk. I rub my hands because they hurt. It's hard to sleep because I hurt. I find it hard to read because I hurt and can't seem to see through the fog that shrouds my brain.

I've been researching chronic pain and found a study from Northwestern University. Dr. Vania Apkarian states in this study that chronic pain shrinks the brain 11%. Eleven percent! This is compared to 10-20 years of normal aging. The unrelenting pain was studied in patients that have had it over a year. The loss of brain density is relating to the level and duration of the pain.

The decision making ability, emotional assessments and the control of social behavior is caused from abnormal brain chemisty that chronic pain brings.

This is heartening. That means the reason I've lost brain cells and turned into a jellied mass of emotions is that the pain has been going on for so long that I'm literally


I have tried to take part in the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue center comments. I've would welcome input on how other people cope with the pain, the unrelenting fatigue and brain fog.

What I can't handle is the complaining.

I can whine with the best of them. I grew up kvetching and will die kvetching but I don't want to listen to it from everyone else on a constant basis. I know we all hurt and I know most doctors think we're nuts.

Hell, for that matter, I think I'm half nuts with all this crap going on with my body.

What I want is something definitive. I bought a comfort U pillow 5 years ago and it has truly helped by taking the pressure of some of my trigger points so that I can rest. I tell people this is what I did and why it helps. That's all I want to know.

If you take supplements tell me what they are and why you think it helps.

For today, I just wish it would rain.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


LightningImage by Pete Hunt via Flick

Today promises to be a day that will hurt. There were thunderstorms moving in and I've been feeling it in my hands and going through every bone in my body.

The last few days have brought back the pain to the heights that it reached a month ago. I take two steps forward and then three steps back. To compensate for my lack of mobility due to the pain, I've used the time to pause.

Pause. Take stock of what I have, what I don't have, what I want and how I want to get there. The acceptance part of the grieving process that I've gone through with my body is emerging. I no longer want to fight it and deny it. I realize my limitations again and will adjust my life accordingly.

I got word that a work colleague has died. She had a massive heart attack and passed away after they operated on her. When I asked about her one of her friends said, "she was just under so much stress." I am fully convinced that stress kills. We're not meant to survive on cortisol running constantly through our system. That type A personality that I joke so often about has to take a back seat to Type B. When we see, "don't sweat the small stuff," those people who wouldn't recognize stress if it jumped up and bit them; they have something there.

What really matters in the grand scheme of things? The quality of our lives rather than rushing around trying to get everything "just right." Life, love and health.

I'm learning lessons from my dog. My baby is getting older and he has a little trouble with his back legs but when he see's "his pack" you can see his happiness in his whole body. He smiles; he wags his tail with the vigor of a young puppy. He doesn't stop to think what he doesn't have, he concentrates on what he does. The unconditional love of his family and friends and he sleeps in the contented knowledge that he has all he needs.

He is my lesson in life.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My kids, one of my body and one of my heart are moving today.

I miss them already, but I know they need their own lives and their own path and it's way past time for me to find mine.

I still have mountains of papers and stuff all over my tables and on their bed. I did spend the afternoon and evening just cleaning their bathroom. You know it's funny.........what is it about girls and bathrooms? I try to keep mine clean but when makeup is involved something happens.

Where does the dust that gets caught in the hairdryer come from? How does putting on a little mineral makeup cause the powder to appear on bottles not even close to where you're standing? It seems I'm forever cleaning.

As I cleaned and put things in little piles that they can now put in their house, I felt the empty nest twinge again. It was pretty rough when my daughter moved across the country to Florida. She drove away and I felt that emptiness down in the pit of my stomach and it stayed there. For a very long time. She and I have always been close and I felt like I lost my best friend.

Then, as time always manages to do, I adjusted. After six long years her life changed and she left her home and her friends and followed her heart back home. She and her fiance stayed with me until they got on their feet. Here we are, eleven months later and they got their own home and packed up and moved.

Some think that I got my house back. Ok, I did and it will be a little cleaner than it was but there is something to be said for the messes your kids bring. I think it keeps you young. It gives you something to laugh about when you see them doing everything you used to do and laughter is a wonderful, healing thing.

So as moving day has come and gone I am supremely grateful for the opportunity to have my kids home once again. I'm not quite laughing but smiling.

Besides, they'll be back over again today.

Friday, July 17, 2009





Years ago it was commonly known in Las Vegas that the correct temperature was never posted because they didn't want to scare off the tourists. The thermometer that determines the temperature that they use on the news channels is at the airport hidden in the shade. So if it's 112 it's probably more like 117 or 118.

The added bonus is that we're getting a few clouds so get out of your shower; don't dry off, then point your hair dryer at your face.

I can feel it in my bones. When it hurts to get out of bed and walk I know that the flare is coming. I knew it last night at Third Thursday. The extreme heat does not help me. I should have stayed in bed but the lure of the kitchen called me.

So staying out and working in the kitchen turned on me.

Paybacks are a bitch.

(but I had fun)


a whole, raw red bell pepper

We all have hectic schedules.

Well, not true...........not me.

However, the group came up with a

great idea to make sure we get together for

just "us" time.

Third Thursday.

Every third Thursday of the month we'll meet. The hostess will have two recipes that sound great and that we've never tried. This way we have a great excuse to get together and combine that with something we love. Cooking and baking.

So last night was the first "Third Thursday." It turned out to be a huge success. Not only did we laugh and have a great time but the first two recipes turned out to be killer!

The first one was a provolone, procuitto wrapped in red peppers and grilled. Oh man.......that was like eating a huge yummy pizza without the bread. The provolone is marinated with oregano, basil and EVOO. You have to wrap it with twine that has been soaked in water otherwise a nice kitchen fire will also be part of the agenda.

Slice the provolone, wrap the procuitto around it and then wrap that with the red pepper. Tie it up with the twine......throw it on the grill and YUM!!!!!!!!!!!
Pesto being processed.

Then we made pesto chicken sandwiches with carmelized onions and parmesan cheese. We made the pesto. I usually just buy the costco pesto (which is fabulous) but last night we made pesto. Oh .........very very good stuff.
All in all it was a wonderful time, with wonderful women and wonderful food.

Does it get any better than that??

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It's hotter than hell.

Point your hair dryer at your face, turn it on and stand there.

That's what it feels like when you walk outside.

I got in the car and it was 113 degrees.

I came back in.

I'll try again tomorrow.

The heat sucks.

Everything melts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I get this comment.

What do breasts have to do with fibromyalgia?

Does the title not say ramblings and insights?

Doesn't it say I really do miss myself?

Just because I have fibromyalgia doesn't mean I don't think about anything else or that I don't have an opinion about anything else. What fibromyalgia and chronic pain has given me is a short fuse.


Well, there's another subject. Oh crap, I already wrote about Billy Mays.

Chronic pain does chronic things.

It brings insight.

It brings patience.

It brings intolerance.

It brings tolerance.

It brings suffering.

It brings walls down.

It puts walls up.

It puts everything in hyperdrive.

It puts everything in slow motion.

It will bring joy when it's over.


Thursday, July 2, 2009


We must accept what we cannot change.

transitive verb:

to make different in some particular, alter, to make radically different or transform.

You can't fight city hall.

I've read that in order to be successful in life and with those around you the acceptance of change is tantamount to that success. It means you are adapting to the world and circumstances around you. Don't misunderstand, I think some changes are good. You can change your hairstyle, you can change clothes, you can even change your attitude; however, when you change and adapt to the world around you, you have moved into the realm of conformity.

Conformity means the world has control over you. You put blinders on and meekly follow. It means you fall in line with everyone else. It means that if everyone jumped off the cliff you would gladly follow.

Change is not always good and it's not always good to accept it. How that acceptance comes about is what makes the difference. There are thousands of books on change and how to deal with it and why it's a good thing. It builds character.

Actually, I have had enough of character building.

The people that say change is good are usually the ones instituting the change. Change is uncomfortable and sometimes very unpleasant. You don't have to be a radical, but observing the logistics of the change and what possible scenarios come from that change is a much better way of doing things than just a mere acceptance.

Mere acceptance is what get the masses in trouble. Sometimes the yearning for change is so strong we'll take anything that comes along and then regret it later.

I understand that change is the only thing in life that we can count on besides death and taxes. Life does happen and there's not much we can do about it. Change isn't being a doormat or a blind follower. We learn and make decisions and then move on.

We must change what we cannot accept.

I think a much better way to put it is that we must change what we cannot accept. It sounds so much better than put the other way around. It makes me feel less like cattle and more like the warrior in control of my life.

To bend and never to break.

Never bow your head in defeat.

Much better.