Saturday, December 31, 2011

AND THE AWARD GOES TO....









Wow!
Nominated!
This is kind of cool!!

I really have to thank the person that nominated me. I've always said that if one person walks away from reading my blog and is helped in some way, well, that's enough for me. So, to the one who nominated me, I can only say thank you.  It means a great deal!


Your nomination details:
Award: Hilarious Health Activist 2011 (http://info.wegohealth.com/humor-2011)  
Reason: She writes about the challenges that chronic illness can bring. She keeps me smiling through tough times!

Congrats! We hope you’ll join in the excitement and take a moment to nominate your own favorite Health Activists for any of the 10 Awards and share the program with your online community.

Learn more:
Check out all the awards (and nominate others!): http://info.wegohealth.com/awards-2011/
Download our quick sharing templates: http://info.wegohealth.com/awards-sharing/
Want to help pick the winners? Apply to be part of our Judging Panel: http://info.wegohealth.com/awards-jury/


I always uses to laugh at the Oscars when the nominees would be interviewed after the show and they'd say,

"It's an honor to be nominated."

That's so true.

It is an honor.





Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BODY APOLOGETICS








I know that we shouldn't do too much.
Having said that,
I offer my sincerest apologies to my body.

This time of year gets crazy. Partly, because it just is and partly because I tend to make it that way. I just love buying presents. I don't do it well because I get very excited and tend to give them before Christmas. Then I have to go out and buy some more gifts. This adds stress because my budget for presents is smaller this year.

I need to not shop until the very last day.

I love finding unusual gifts as well. My kids call them "my latest obsession." I use them as stocking stuffers and, to be honest, they're just goofy little gifts. One year it was dental dots and another year it was Blender Balls. 

Am I the only one that does this?

Anyway, since Christmas I've been staying close to home and close to my bed. My whole body feels like it's been run over by a truck or, as I like to refer to it; roadkill. I'm using this time to catch up and read blogs and articles that I haven't read in a long time. I feel like I've been neglecting my friends...well, I have been and I need to get back to them. My heart is heavy as I read how my friends feel right now.

This is a condition that plays with your mind. Chronic pain can bring with it all kinds of gadgets and it wants to set up housekeeping in your body. We still grieve for the life that we used to have but there is a difference between that and depression. 

Or feeling like we're utterly alone.

We go through this life blissfully unaware that at any moment our bodies could turn on us. When it does, it leaves us bewildered and afraid. The one thing we thought we could count on was our body. Is it any wonder that we don't know how to react?

We need to be very careful about the isolation that chronic pain brings to our lives. Isolation is depressions best friend. They want to lure us to that dark place and share with us its lies. It will tell us that this fight isn't worth it. It will whisper its lies to us every day and with every passing moment that lie gains a foothold on our minds. We have to remain vigilant.

That's where the battlefield is.

If there is one person out there that needs our strength then we need to be there for them. All of us lose our strength and will at times. We all need each other. We need each other to share our joys and triumphs and our laughter and tears.

I pray that the new year brings comfort and relief from our physical pain as well as our emotional pain.

I pray that the new year brings an avenue for each of us to realize and reach for our dreams all the while staying mindful that we need to recognize and accept our limitations.

I pray that the new year brings an awareness of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and the research necessary to find a cause and a cure.

I pray that the new year brings renewal and restoration to those that I know and love.

I pray that we're also a little bit kinder to ourselves.







Monday, December 19, 2011

TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE









Now I've heard it all.
And I'm shaking my head.
Unbelievable.


Has anyone heard about the Bee Sting Therapy? Now, I know we'll try a lot of things hoping to relieve the pain of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. I know that I'd probably wash my face in sewer water if it would help. There are many weird and alternative therapies that I'd try in hopes that the pain would say bye-bye.

But not in a million years would I try this.
What mastermind came up with this? 

Okay, let me get this straight. In a body that already has neurological pain issues, we are going to add to the mix, a bee placed on strategic points and let that lovely little creature sting us. Now, I don't know about you, but even before all of this chronic illness mess hit me, I would absolutely flip out before I'd let a bee sting me. Now that the pain thresholds are lowered, can you imagine how that would feel? What possible good could come from this?

I'd call whoever thought of this a Mensa candidate but sub-moron is too high for this group.

I wonder what these geniuses charge for this kind of therapy? Well, I googled it. One place had a deal. I could get acupuncture and apitherapy for an hour for $120 and other sites going as high as $500. Now, to be fair apitherapy uses bee products (all kinds) to treat medical conditions. Bee venom therapy is a part of that kind of therapy. I'll agree on some of the products but letting a bee sting me?

Not only no, but hell no.

There is another question that I need answered. This therapy states that the bee venom therapy is getting stung by bees in a "controlled setting." Can you tell me how that is going to be achieved? How can you possibly control bees? It must be that the bee stings trigger the bodies anti-inflammatory response. These people think that the bee stings will get your immune system up and running and fight the Fibromyalgia. I can't even type this with a straight face. I guess doctors have come out against this therapy because one of the little, tiny, very small, minor drawbacks is that too many bee stings can cause bodily harm and even death.

Sounds like anaphylactic shock to me. 
What a winner!

I guess you get anywhere from 20-40 stings per sessions and you do this three times a week. I also read that it's used for depression as well. Don't even get me started on that one! Nothing like getting over depression by letting bees sting your body. Can you even imagine the pain? Can you imagine the pain you're in by the time you hit 40 stings? I guess the disclosures state that there could be some "discomfort" from the stings. 


I think I'd rather have a massage.

I read that a study was done and the symptoms, believe it or not, GOT WORSE. Gee, ya think? The cost must be pretty high because people are ordering bees and administering the therapy themselves. (stupid)

I think it goes without saying that insurance won't cover this.

Also, there could be a minor issue (death) if you're allergic to bees.

Is this what they mean by the bees knees??









Sunday, December 18, 2011

UNSETTLED SUNDAY








Peering out cautiously.
Looking at the world.
Not sure.
Unsteady.

I thought I knew my life path. I know that life can throw curve balls but I didn't expect them to be as strong and unrelenting as they have become. It feels like I'm coming to a crossroad and I'm not sure what way to go. I've never liked uncertainty and that quality has been a part of my personality for as long as I can remember. I feel comfortable knowing as much as I can about the people around me and my surroundings. I think that if I can then I can avert some of life's nasty surprises.

Wrong.

I'm just hanging today. I'm trying to figure out my next move. If life was a chess game, well, I'd be pretty close to being the master. I'm sitting here drinking Wild Sweet Orange Tea and contemplating my next move. I used to be in Starbucks every day and until I found out about Mocha's, I drank this tea every day. Then Starbucks changed it for this Orange Blossom green tea crap that tastes exactly as I just described it. 

It helps me think.

It keeps my body warm too. Lately, around 5ish, I start to get very cold. Very cold. I end up having to take a real hot shower or bath just to feel warm again. Is that weird? Please tell me that other people get cold in the late afternoon too. I feel that I have enough symptoms and to add even just one more to the list is overload.

Back to thinking.

It's amazing how quickly I can revert to Type A squared. When I start thinking I don't know when to just let go. My perfectionist tendencies kick in and then start to get the better of me. Why the hell don't I just stop? I know that when I do this the stress starts and then pain becomes my best friend again. 

I just need to knock it off.

It probably doesn't help that the weather isn't cooperating either. I woke up to the pitter-patter of little rain drops on my window last night and to a lovely little rainstorm this morning. I used to love the feel of the rain in the air. I still do but with plenty of caveats. I love the feel of rain in the air but it's going to hurt. Nope, that's not quite right. Maybe it should be, "I love the feel of rain in the air but my pain is going to go from a throb to OMG, please make it stop!"


That's about where it is today.


I think we need a new pain scale.


And it shouldn't stop at 10.


Rosemary and the magic barometer .....


Over and out.







Saturday, December 10, 2011

MY ATTITUDE IS IN THE TOILET








Rain is coming and I can feel it.
When I'm in pain I have a very low tolerance level.
Very low.
Like in none.


I've always loved being in sales which is pretty funny because I have a real cynical view of human nature. I love being around people but I'm also not surprised when they go off the deep end or act like a two year old. My personality is pretty strong and my friends either appreciate that fact or are themselves real strong. I've never understood game playing or acting like a baby. My friends are wonderful; even those friends that I've never met face to face. There is a strength of will that is there even through those times where they are curled up in pain or at their weakest point. We may have a very low pain threshold but we most definitely do not have a low pain tolerance. 

I've always said that Fibromyalgia is not an illness for sissies.

The rain is coming and I can feel it. My hands are starting to throb and the aches are starting to build. What makes it worse is that I'm a little stressed and that doesn't help at all. I'm still trying to find my zen place but, now, I've got all these little annoyances around me. They're like pesky little flies that I want to swat. It falls under stupid little games that I didn't even play as a teenager. In one respect it's annoying and on the other it's laughable.

Anyway, back to feeling like cow plop.

I went to the holiday support group holiday luncheon and most of us are in the same boat. I started thinking. Light and sound sensitivity. Pain and fatigue. Is it seasonal or just that the cold weather has really started to set in? I wish this was a simple "syndrome" where an aspirin and a good nights sleep would fix what ails us. The flares are tough. Real tough.


I've learned that I have to live with only a certain amount of marbles in the jar. Every act and every stressful moment takes marbles out of the jar. I have to be careful of my reserves and be mindful of the acts that do that. Managing my life's physical and emotional needs takes a great amount of discipline. I need to take the fact that this is chronic; not only keep that fact in my head but in my heart. I really have to get it together.

Actually the pain is really starting to piss me off.

I guess I need to get a better attitude. If it really reflected the pain I feel right now the toilet would be a step up. I get really tired of having to take pain medication just to get to the fricking gym. I want to tell you that as much as they say that exercise helps the pain, I can say with absolute certainty that it doesn't. The only thing it's done is increase my endurance. OK.....the little side benefit of looking good in my clothes helps, but pain is pain. It hasn't gone away and I don't think it's going to.

Please don't tell me that I don't look sick. If I looked like I felt I'd scare dogs and little children. As far as the exercise goes, I've almost fallen asleep on the treadmill. I especially like the way I feel afterwards. I feel like roadkill. When people think that Fibromyalgia can't be that bad I'd like to tell them to give someone a baseball bat and have them beat the hell out of them every day and then tell me it can't be that bad.

It is what it is what it is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is,

that this is not the time to irritate me.

Patience has never been my long suit.

It certainly isn't now.






Friday, December 2, 2011

UNDER LOCK AND KEY












We're in shackles.
It's what we carry with us always.
Fibromyalgia.

I'll never forget the day I went to the neurologist and she suspected Fibromyalgia. She wanted me to get a brain MRI to rule out MS. I was terrified and got the results of the tests before she did. It was negative for any lesions on the brain so MS was ruled out. She told me that she almost wished I had it so it would be better defined than what I was going to be stuck with. It was said with a sense of defeat because she knew the battles that people with Fibromyalgia face. Believe me, I'm not minimizing MS by any stretch of the imagination but there is better funding for research and it has the backing of the full faith and credit of the medical community.

I felt like the world was closing in on me. In one sense it was. I've never been real fond of change and the changes that were happening because of a car accident and subsequent diagnosis of Fibromyalgia were truly life changing. 

I don't do real well with that.

I'm not a real open person. I've always been very, very private. I guess you could say that unless you know me real well, you don't really know me. The persona is solid and it's very difficult to let people in. I know I have issues and little by little I deal with them. I'd never be labeled "the great communicator."

Instead of hiding from my fears, I've basically asked them to tea.

I've accepted certain things about myself. What happened in the past is just that. I can't do anything about the past but I can certainly do something about my reactions to those triggers. That's probably one of the best things that I can say about being shackled by Fibromyalgia. It's opened me up to a medium where I'm forced to reveal me. It's absolutely mind boggling to me that I've been able to write about issues and fears. Not only can I write about them, I have no hesitation about posting these articles. I've discovered a great deal about myself and I've tapped into a creative side that I kept inside for so long.


I'll probably never be thankful that a car accident brought chaos and havoc to my life but maybe one day I will. I guess I'll never know until that day comes. What I can say is that no matter what door gets slammed shut I believe that God will open a window. Even on the days where I'm curled up in pain I know that I have a life purpose. Knowing that I can touch someones life, even one person's life, is a true joy.


I'm trying to convince myself of finding that joy deep inside right now. The humidity is 44% and snow is actually predicted for the higher end of town where I live. There were high wind warnings and some of the wind gusts were actually hurricane strength. Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees and today there was snow. 


So after all of this, what does it mean?


For me it means that I still feel shackled and chained by the pain and fatigue that accompanies this invisible disease. I still feel that I have limitations on my body and limitations on what I am able to do on a daily basis. I still feel like a real old lady at times with the creaks and pops that my body makes. I still feel like I've been hit with a baseball bat when the muscles spasms start in my legs. 


BUT.


As much as I feel shackled and chain I also know that I hold the key to my survival. I can make choices that will help with the management of pain. I can write and keep my emotional health on the upswing as well as my physical health. Anyone with a chronic illness needs to find sustenance to guide you through the pain, fatigue, disappointment and frustration that seems to follow us around. So, see the lock that keeps the chains wrapped tightly around us? We can turn the key. It may not get rid of all of them but at least we are the one that holds the key.


It's a good thing that I had brothers.


And that one of them taught me how to pick a lock.


Just sayin...........















Wednesday, November 30, 2011

IT'S ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE








Fake flavor.
It's no wonder we have a problem.
And it's only the tip of the iceberg.

I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I believe there is something to this. It all boils down to the consumer. Whatever it takes to make us buy, that's what the flavorists will do. Flavorists are scientists that specialize in the science of flavor. They use the field of chemistry to create natural and artificial flavors. 

What it does is give processed food it's fabulous taste.

I mean, who didn't love McDonald's french fries? I could down a bag of fries before my husband could make it around the car. I'm definitely not a food snob but I've learned how to eat. I try not to eat processed food, however, every once in a while I like to sink my teeth into a Big Mac and fries. That is until I found out why I liked them so much.

Try that they used to fry them in a little cottonseed oil and beef tallow. I don't think they do that anymore but those fries used to be fantastic. Beef tallow? No wonder they were so fattening. Now they use "natural flavors." What have the chemists come up with to replicate that flavor?


I looked up strawberry shakes and I found that there are 59 chemicals in a fast food strawberry shake. There isn't a strawberry anywhere. Have the flavorists made processed food so attractive that the actual taste of real food tastes bland? I still say certain diseases seem a lot more prevalent now that when I was growing up. I hate to sound like an old lady and "my generation didn't do that" kind of thing but could the chemicals we have ingested for the last 40 years finally have caught up with us?


What have years of fast food done to us? I used to laugh and say the reason I don't have wrinkles is all the preservatives that I've eaten over the years. After looking at all of this it doesn't seem so funny anymore.


It's more like pathetic.


I think those of us with these invisible diseases or autoimmune issues need to be especially careful about what kind of food we put in our mouths. We need to read labels carefully. From what I've found out the only different between natural and artificial flavors is how they're distilled. That doesn't make me feel a whole lot better.


And let's not even start with that lovely little excitotoxin aspartame. Excitotoxins are chemicals, food additives or amino acids that over excite the brains neurons causing them to fire incessantly and burn out and die. 


All these chemicals.


So many diseases.


And we wonder why............


We should be afraid.


Very afraid.









Thursday, November 24, 2011

THANKS AND GIVING









Being thankful.
Attitude of gratitude.
Is it easy?

It's definitely not easy to pull yourself out of yourself and think of all the blessings that you have in your life. Chronic pain makes you withdraw..........it likes it that way. All it wants you to do is focus on your pain. The pain tells you that it's for self-protection and that it's for the best.

The pain lies.

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family. It's a time for giving and it's a time to be grateful for what we do have and are able to do. No matter how bad we feel...well, it could always be worse. I know that I'm guilty of letting pain shift my focus inward. I mean, let's face it, if the only thing that I'm grateful for is that I'm not a turkey.........well, you get the idea.

I need to stop and think.

Sometimes it's volunteering, or listening. Sometimes it might just be a smile. Gratitude is infectious even for the most cynical. I went to a church service and people were speaking about what they were thankful for this year. I was sitting there half listening and a man took his turn at the microphone and said he was grateful that he had his son for 17 years because his son went home to be with the Lord. I was shaken out of my complacency. I couldn't believe the dignity and grace that this man had in the face of such tragedy. It's hard for me to even write the words. 

I can think of nothing worse.

So, I think I can look at "me" and be grateful. I don't mean that I'm playing Pollyanna or glossing over trials that can be faced in life. I just think we can still find blessings that we have all around us. Instead of my focus being negative (like it usually is) I need to find a way to be more positive. I know that I have to dig down real deep. 

Wait.........this is making me sound like an ungrateful brat. That's not it at all and that's not me at all. I do know that there are others hurting as much and much more than I am. So what to do? It's still difficult to give when you feel like you don't have anything left in you. I have friends that I've met through blogging and they are HURTING. 

It comes down to not only being grateful for what we do have but also giving to someone, ANYONE else. We need to move beyond ourselves. I realize that if I were to go to houses down the block and trade my problems for theirs I might just come to the conclusion that I don't have it so bad after all. 


I may not have a back and neck that are in the greatest condition and I may have an illness that doesn't have a conclusive beginning or end BUT, all in all, I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends. That, in itself, should keep me in an attitude of gratitude. 


I have a wonderful daughter and son-in-law.


That's the icing on the cake.


Cake??


Did someone say cake??


Oh yeah..........I did!!


Time for dessert and for that I am thankful!













Sunday, November 20, 2011

JAR OF HEARTS









Just when I think I've got a handle on my life.
Something comes up.
And it proves that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.



You know.......I've learned how to handle pain. I've accepted that I have to find a different direction for my life. I've even tried to put the past behind me. I've congratulated myself that I was able to feel like I've buried one of the most hurtful situations of my life and moved on.

I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

My daughter asked how I felt about this particular issue. I really thought that I could take a highly charged emotional issue and put it aside. Running into it head on proved to me that there are some things in this life that will stay with me for my whole life and there isn't a thing I can do to change that. 

I don't even think I want to try.

My daughter and I are practically cloned. When we give our hearts, either to some thing or someone, that's it. I don't know whether that kind of intensity is a good or bad thing. For her, it's very good. She has found the love of her life and they will both do everything in their power to keep it alive and stable. They have a love and respect for each other that's obvious to the people around them. It's not just the honeymoon phase that I'm talking about. It's a deep regard and love that has them putting each other first and foremost. Not to say that they haven't had issues but they have a commitment and their word is their bond. Nothing on this earth could make them break that vow they've made to each other. 

It's truly a beautiful thing to witness.

I've experienced loss; of my parents and the loss of the people that I've loved more than life itself.  I've felt gratitude that I've had the good fortune to feel that kind of love for another person. When it ended I thought the earth was going to open up and swallow me whole. It didn't and I didn't wither and die even though I felt like I would. 

Now I've found out that I didn't move on like I thought I did. I've opened myself up for another dose of that soul-sucking feeling all because I got curious. Well, you know what they say about curiosity. That saying is absolutely true. Whenever I get curious I get in trouble. I have this penchant for putting everything to rest and it takes a great deal for me to do that. Fortunately, I don't normally make the same mistake twice.

I'm not going to dwell on it either.

For once in my life I'm not going to push the envelope. I'm going to keep my little Miss-fix-it hands out of it and trust that life will work itself out. 

I like to say that.

Have I ever done it?

"Go with the flow" is not my forte.








Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS





I always thought I thrived on stress.
I was wrong.
So what is the HPA Axis?

The HPA axis is the relationship between the hypothalamus, the pituitary and adrenal glands. Research is showing that people with Chronic Fatigue and/or Fibromyalgia have a real problem in this area.

The hypothalamus is at the base of the brain. It controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, mood, your sex drive and your sleep. The pituitary gland is also at the base of the brain. It controls our metabolism, blood pressure and stress response. The adrenals are at the top of the kidneys. They produce cortisol, adrenalin and norepinephine. 

So basically dysfunction in this area causes low body temperature, digestion problems, problems in the immune system, problems with energy and problems in the response to stress trauma or injury and pain and those are just the highlights.

Does this sound familiar?

The stress response is the body protecting you. I loved the feeling of flight or fight and lived that way on a daily basis. It was more powerful than any drug. I was typical Type A and thought that was the way to really live. If I wasn't going at mach two with my hair on fire then I felt like a wimp. What is interesting is that many of the women I worked with in new home sales now suffer from Fibromyalgia. I don't think it's a coincidence either. We lived under high pressure, long hours and high intensity. The stress was unbelievable. What I didn't realize was that I was burning myself out. I don't think any of use had a clue what was happening to our bodies.  

So what came first?
The chicken or the egg?

I'm not saying that any of us who are Type A personalities did this to ourselves. Did we have problems in this axis to begin with and then the stress just exacerbated the symptoms? Or did the stress and trauma put too much pressure on these glands and they weren't able to deal with it?

I remember the feeling. My muscles would tighten and my heart would beat faster. It seems like your senses are sharper. What I interpreted as daily living was my bodies way of protecting me. It would enable me to rise to the challenge of survival. 

I was in survival mode.
To the max.

When the stress is greater than the body is able to tolerate you are at risk for a stress related disorder. The heart becomes more susceptible to disease because of the increased cortisol and adrenaline in your already compromised system. The body doesn't differentiate between physical and emotional stress. Stress is stress.

If chronic stress can rewire the brain then I must be really screwed up. The body needs to shut off the switch and therein lies the problem. The stress felt so normal for so long that it tends to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling but the price that you pay for that over-achieving, perfectionist, familiar feeling is a very heavy toll on your system. 

You've basically put a big bulls eye on your back.

And back then I still didn't pay attention.

I pay attention now.












Tuesday, November 1, 2011

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM











Tired.
And there's nothing I can do about it.
Just try winding me up.

I've tried for several days to write this post. It just wasn't happening. I'm not even sure that I'll get through it tonight. I can't find the words and I can't find the energy. It's just one of those times when life comes at you.

And slams you into the ground.


I still didn't get through the post. It's been a couple of days since I've looked at it. Why? Well, let me start off with the death of my brother. I did know it was coming but I still wasn't prepared for it. I got the call at four in the morning and ran down to the hospital. He was already gone when I got there but I still wish I hadn't gone in the emergency room. I think we should all remember our loved ones in a "happier times" light. Now, when I think of him, I'll see the shell that was in the room. He had lung cancer and his body had wasted away to about 80 pounds. He looked so small but I pray he's finally at peace. Goodness knows that peace eluded him in this life.


I have good memories but a lot of conflicting ones as well. He chose to live his life in a way that was less than stellar. Our lives were so different that it was impossible to remain close to him. Maybe that's why it is still so strange to think that he's actually gone. I wish I felt more and I know that one some level I do but it's difficult to bring it forth. No matter how we lived our lives he was still my big brother. I also know that he was in as much emotional pain as he was in physical pain. All I know is that I've hurt a lot since his death. I don't do well with death and I recognize that but my body has a reaction stemming from my inability to deal with the inevitable.


It's funny. I really don't fear death. I fear the changes it has brought to my life and I fear how I get there but I'm at peace with what happens after. Strange isn't it? 


Then there is the tooth fiasco. Another one decided to go on a rampage and it was off to the dentist. The shots of Novocaine were enough to make me bounce off the walls but the noise of the drill in my head put me over the edge. All of this happened last Friday and I'm not recovered from that either.


Oh, let me not forget the $800 it cost me to fix my car from the belts and power steering issues that it had.


Is it any wonder that I feel like I'm in "implode" mode? 


It's like a storm that is developing over the Atlantic.


One day it's a tropical depression.


The next it's a category four hurricane.

















Friday, October 21, 2011

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE










I forgot the phrase.
If you play you will pay.
Today, I was reminded of that fact.


I had friends in town this week and I can feel every minute of it. On the one hand, it was wonderful to see friends that I've had for over forty years. Our high school class was rather unique. Even though we've gone our own way through life, a connection still remains. It's an easy camaraderie; and a knowledge that no how many miles separate us or how much times goes by, we can pick up a phone and we'd all be there for each other.


We went to dinner, lunches and on drives.
I'm exhausted.


I can't imagine living life in the fast lane again. As much as I'd like to be able to move at the speed of sound again, it just isn't happening. I felt like I was on overload. We took some pictures and I looked at myself happy and smiling. 


I felt like a fake.


I fell into the usual trap. When asked how I was feeling I just replied, "fine." Nothing could have been farther from the truth. I'd get in the shower and when the water hit me it felt like it was battering my body. I'd get dressed and the clothes hurt. I really tried to put everything aside and concentrate on how wonderful it was to be with them but it just didn't work. After I took one of them to the airport, I drove home and slithered like a boneless mass of jelly into my bed. 


I know that the exercise has helped me but combined with the hectic pace of the last few days, I was toast. 


Why is that?


Could the flare have been caused by the sudden intense stress that I felt when I realized that I forgot my ipad in the rental car?  The stress when I realized we had dropped it off over an hour before I missed it? Or by praying that I didn't get stopped by a police officer when I was driving 90 down the freeway? Or wanting to drop to my knees in gratitude when I found that the car hadn't been moved and the ipad was still in the front seat?


Can you believe I did that? Not only can I not move like I used to I still can't remember crap. I mean that's fine if it is a doctors appointment but when it's an ipad and your whole life is in that little thing.......well, it's not good at all.


So I'm in relaxation mode.


No, that's not correct.


I'm in slug mode.


And that feels pretty good.











Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CROSS MY HEART? NO.... MY HANDS











Now, I know it's easy to confuse myself.
I just didn't realize that it would be a good thing.
A very good thing.


For some reason the pain that I feel, when the Fibromyalgia really starts to flare, is in my hands. I can tell when it's going to get real bad because I start rubbing the joints at the base of my fingers. 

It starts as a dull ache and then it starts to throb.

I don't know why but it seems like I've been in almost a constant flare for the last few months. I've continued to go on but it it hasn't been easy. The humidity has been up slightly but when I've been this bad before the humidity has usually been higher. I'm not unduly stressed, so what is it?

It couldn't be the exercise could it?

Always before I would have used that as an excuse and opened up the fridge and buried myself in a cheesecake. Then, I'd quit.  Years ago I had a trainer that came to the house and I worked out with him for an hour three times a week. Even after that workout, we'd walk to Wendy's or we went to get cheesecake. It didn't matter because I weighed about 115. I have quit more gym memberships than I can count.

But that was before.

Now, I've made it a part of my life. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy it. Due to a failing thyroid and an autoimmune thyroid issue as well, my cholesterol was hard to control. When all this started going haywire all of a sudden, my weight was hard to manage as well. Throw in some icky medication that causes weight gain and I was a disaster in the making. After a couple of months of going to the gym I got my first set of blood tests. For the first time in a very long time, everything was in the normal range. To say I was beyond elated was an understatement. 

I suddenly got what I refused to believe all along.
Exercise really helps.
So, now I refuse to quit.

Well, back to the hands story. I was reading an article in the Daily Mail.  It seems that crossing your arms confuses your brain and its response to pain. It doesn't take much to confuse my brain anymore but when you cross your arms over your chest, the brain can't figure out where the pain is coming from in your body. 

Amazing, isn't it?

They did testing and found that peoples perception of pain was weaker when their arms were crossed. Part of the testing looked at how the body reacts to the signals of the brain on the right and left side of the body. If you put a glass of water to the right side of the body, most people will reach for it with their right hand. The same is true for the left side. It makes perfect sense to me. I know that the brain maps of the right and left side of your body and external space are linked together. If they are linked together, they are activated together and they react to painful stimuli together.  If you cross your arms over your chest these areas are now longer linked, at least, that's what the researchers found. By crossing your arms the response to sensory stimuli, including pain, is lessened. I think it's a fascinating study and could lead researchers to different therapies that could help chronic pain sufferers.

Now I have a legitimate reason for my brain to be confused.

As if I really needed an excuse................