Saturday, February 26, 2011


I have a deposition on Monday.
Need I say more?

I'm surrounded by the twins. Pain and fatigue.  This latest storm isn't real good for my body. I've been in a lot of pain and the muscle spasms have been a real joy to live with. Usually it helps to spend a lot of time in the bath. 

The good thing is that I've read a lot of books. 
The bad thing is I'm a prune.
The ugly thing is that it hasn't helped.

Usually the swirling water helps my muscles. I get quiet and down to relaxation level but this time has been different. I just can't seem to get relaxed. Maybe it's because I've got a deposition on Monday. I'm not worried but I am stressed. I just know I'm going to be asked how this accident has affected my life. 

I don't think there is enough time to tell that story.

My dog "H" is on the bed beside me. Fortunately, he's a slug like me. I just want to do something besides focusing on pain. I want to walk outdoors and enjoy the rain and cool weather. I actually tried that this morning but crawling around the neighborhood looks suspicious. Plus, I don't like the idea of concrete burns on my knees. So, I came back inside the house. H wasn't happy because he was looking forward to being out in the front yard and networking with his puppy buddies down the street but he decided to stretch out and sleep the rest of the day.  

I'm tired of watching television and reading books. I want to interact with people again. I miss working and I miss sales. There is a high that goes with the territory and I miss it. Plus, I miss making a living. Sitting around and collecting Social Security isn't my idea of having a good time. I've been angry about this for so long. Now I get to be deposed and the question of how this affects my life has been nagging at me all day.

It's affected me physically. 

I'm in pain on a daily basis. Granted, some days are a little better than others but there isn't a day that goes by where pain doesn't accompany me. I look at my life before the accident and I had a lot of fun. Did my back hurt? Yep. Did I still wear 4 inch heels? Yeperoo.  That was then and this is now.

It affected me emotionally.

It's a different mindset that you have when you're working. Your days off and vacation days are precious. You use them to unwind and regroup and often wish you could just stop the rat race and make it permanent. Then when the unthinkable happens you realize that it isn't a good thing at all. I need to keep my mind active and I want nothing more to be in a sales office again. Then I realize what it entails and I know I can't do it. You have to re-invent yourself and that sucks. Big time.

It's affected me financially.

A friend of mine once said to me. "It's not how much money you have, it's how quickly you can replace it." Truer words were never spoken. Savings are a good thing but it only takes one illness or one accident to wipe it out. Money doesn't buy happiness but it sure makes your life a lot more convenient. Of the two ways to live one is a lot more fun.

So on Monday I get to be deposed and express myself, hopefully, without hostility. I am angry about this accident and I have to let that go. Well, at least in front of the other attorney.  I'm using the next couple of days to unwind and regroup. Post traumatic Fibromyalgia can be argued so it's back to the pain.

I can do this.
I know I can.

I'm just going to hope the bruises aren't too big from my attorney kicking me under the table when I get out of line.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Good stress.
Bad stress.
No difference.

I haven't been up to writing. Thank goodness for the guest post because my mind hasn't been focused on writing. Plus, my hands haven't been cooperating either.

My daughter's wedding is approaching and with it lots of festivities. Her bridal shower was over the weekend and by the time it was over I was in bed curled up in the fetal position. It was happy and joyous but, at the same time, I was in a lot of pain. We had the shower in the afternoon and a dinner in the evening. It didn't matter how happy I was or how much I was enjoying myself; the pain still reared its ugly head.

I then realized that it didn't matter what kind of stress that surrounded me. Good stress is the same as bad stress and I've got plenty of both. Even things of beauty cause pain.

Stress, whatever kind, equals more pain.

My hands have been particularly uncooperative. I read an article once about Martha Beck. She's a life coach that has Fibromyalgia. She wrote that her hands hurt so bad that she had to tape pencils to her fingers so that she could hit the keys on the keyboard. I totally understand that one! I have to move my fingers slowly because the movement causes pain and then I have to hit the keys with little pressure because that also causes pain.

Now, let's talk about the weather. If it wasn't bad enough, it began to rain on the morning of the shower. That's just the icing on the cake. I nearly had to crawl to the shower! When my daughter arrived the first thing she asked was, "how are you feeling?" She knows that rain plays havoc with my body. It's sad, though, that on the day of her bridal shower she has to worry about pain. 

Now, let's talk about the dress shopping excursion. Moving first thing in the morning is very difficult for me. The joints are very stiff and I look like a 200 year old woman getting out of bed in the morning. 

Attractive visual, isn't it?

So "the moms" are popping in and out of stores. That, in itself, was comical to watch. My popping in and out of the car days have come and gone. Then I won't even get into trying on dresses! How depressing! A few years ago I'd look on the racks and pick out an 8 or a 10 and not worry about a thing. Now, between the prices and the size I'm ready to scream! I don't like looking like a stuffed sausage and especially don't like it when I'm photographed. My greatest fear is looking like that in her wedding pictures. 

However, I digress. 

So we finally find dresses and I got home at 3:30. I promptly got in bed and remained there. I hurt so bad that I wanted to curl up and cry. The twins were making my life miserable. The name for fatigue and pain. 

I am not a weak sister but when I want to stop shopping and go home something is wrong. When I am praying to the gods to get me out of Nordstrom's and into bed something is MAJORLY WRONG.  The old phrase shop till you drop could definitely apply to me. I loved to shop and I was pretty good at it.  I passed the Philosophy counter and the girl that had always helped me smiled and waved. I guess you could say I was fairly well known at the makeup counter in Nordie's. 

All of this really sucks.

After all of this narrative the point that I'm trying to make is that stress isn't good. Stress, whether good or bad, is an assault on the system and I'm trying to figure out a way to alleviate it. I do try to stop and breathe my way through the pain.  Sadly to say, so far, that hasn't helped so I will just keep trying. 

I guess Bret Michaels was right.

Every rose does have it's thorn. 

My thorn is Fibromyalgia.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Today is a departure from my usual posts.
I have a guest.
Welcome Eric Stevenson!

Alternative Methods for Managing Pain

Western medicine is often poorly equipped to deal with chronic pain.  Health care professionals tend to subscribe to a “battle” perspective on illness – fighting and vanquishing the enemy disease – rather than one of constant vigilance and management.  Whether dealing with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or symptoms of mesothelioma, an incurable cancer, people with pain-causing disease often must look elsewhere for help.  Maia Szalavitz, correspondent for MSN’s Health and Fitness, researched the following non-pharmaceutical activities for managing pain:

Receiving a massage can help alleviate some kinds of body pain, but giving a massage can actually reduce stress hormones.  A 1998 study showed that elderly patients who massaged infants were less likely to need to visit their doctors.  Most doctors recognize that touch is a factor in social support, which is crucial to living well with chronic illness.

Offering your time or giving gifts to others can counteract feelings of helplessness that sometimes come with unmanageable pain.  Scientists at Boston College actually found a direct link between volunteering and pain reduction after six months.  Depression and pain-related disability decreased, as well.

While acupuncture has not shown to be significantly effective in clinical trials, part of the reason may be that, unlike giving a sugar pill, it is extremely difficult to fake acupuncture in order to conduct the required trials.  Though acupuncture may not work for everyone, anecdotal evidence suggests it is sometimes helpful for pain.  Even the placebo effect provides some relief.

Daniel Clauw, director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, points to exercise as the most effective treatment for the chronic pain of fibromyalgia.  He is quick to mention, however, that overdoing it can make the pain worse, and he therefore recommends starting slowly and building up to more strenuous activities at your own pace.

Treating pain with psychological therapy is not the same as saying “it’s all in your head.”  Mood and thought can increase or decrease perception of pain, and some cognitive behavioral techniques can help chronic pain patients manage feelings of helplessness and regain some control over their attitude toward their illness.  

Meditation practices that promote “mindfulness,” or being in the moment, can also reduce perception of pain.  Wake Forest University neurobiologist Fadel Zeidan found that even as few as three 20-minute meditation training sessions helped college students withstand greater amounts of pain.

These methods may not be appropriate or helpful for everyone with chronic pain.  For example, someone with mesothelioma symptoms like shortness of breath may be unable to exercise, and someone with chronic fatigue syndrome who requires all her energy to work may be unable to volunteer.  However, when pharmaceutical treatments have proven ineffective or insufficient, it is worth looking into alternatives.

Thanks Eric for your post!

Friday, February 11, 2011


An invisible disease.
Chronic Fatigue.
Tons have it.
No money to find out why.

I looked up some statistics and found out that between 3 and 5 million people have Fibromyalgia and over one million people have chronic fatigue in the United States. You would think with those kind of numbers there would be adequate funding for research. We are talking numbers in the MILLIONS here and there's very little money to find out why or what causes these illnesses.


To put it in perspective, and not to diminish the severity of the illness, MS afflicts somewhere between 350 to 500,000 people in the U.S. and there is funding galore. 


We have numbers in the MILLIONS and no one knows why or cares why we are afflicted.  The research that is being done is filled with controversy. Once there was testing done with the XMRV retrovirus and it's correlation to Chronic Fatigue all hell broke loose. One group tries to disparage studies being done and forums are filled with vile comments. Now groups are being put together with doctors who don't believe in the XMRV retrovirus and, get this, dentists. What the hell are dentists doing on the team?

These illnesses are debilitating. Something, whether it be an assault on the immune systems or caused by physical trauma, is flipping the pain switch to the on position. Once in the on position it isn't being turned off. We are called lazy, neurotic, malingerers and depressed. We are not believed. 

We live in a state of crisis management. 

So how do we get funding, or more precisely, adequate funding? 

I guess until Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue reaches up and bites someone important in the old proverbial fanny, no one is going to care. The problem is we look normal. We can smile and laugh but it's through the veil of pain. No one cares unless it's visible. To be sick we have to look sick and we don't look sick. Symptoms can change from day to day and sometimes from minute to minute. Doctors either don't believe us or they don't want to deal with us because there is no cure. 

How loud do we have to yell to get something done?

We are the ugly duckling in the world of research.

We want, for once, to be the swan.

Friday, February 4, 2011


What goes better with Poor-pitiful me crackers?
Maybe a Port-Whine?

I've spent the last week feeling very sorry for myself. I suppose it's natural but I am so tired of fighting. Everything feels like it's being sucked down into this insurance denial vortex.  Now, I'm in one heck of a flare. 

Stress does not help this illness at all.
My advice?
Live in a bubble and stay away from it at all costs.

I used to take rejection very well. I was in a business that lived on it. The way I looked at it was that every "no" was one step closer to a "yes." That's the way it worked and the No's just rolled off my back. How could I do it with such ease then and with such pain now?

Because my future didn't depend on it.
That's why.

I have decided to just let my attorney deal with it. That's what he's getting paid to do so I'm going to take my little controlling hands out of it. That will lessen the load on that front. Now, I start the depositions for the car accident and that should be a whole lot of fun. I just hate them. I have to keep my emotions in check and answer questions from bozo's that couldn't find their way out of a paper bag. 

Okay, strike that. I'll be nice.
I have to get through this pity party and stand up again. 

I've never been one that accepts change well. It's weird. It's not the idea of changing. Everything evolves and I'm comfortable with that concept. Usually the people spouting how great change will be are the ones that want to institute change and it's usually to fit in with their agenda. That's the part I'm not crazy about. I'm more into logistics and looking into every possible scenario that could come up from moving that particular chess piece clear across the board. That is what gets me into trouble. I'm real good at looking at scenarios. Maybe it's my cynical way of looking at everything instead of being an optimist. Let me rephrase that. To me it's not cynicism, it's realism.

I think the problem also stems from the fact that change brings stress which brings me back full circle. Fibromyalgia, change and the stress that it brings to not belong in the mix together. It definitely does not do the body good. I just keep thinking back to the thought that all of this will build character. Yeah, right. You know the next line........I definitely have a lot of character.  

So now I have to just suck it up and leave the pity party.

Can I take at least one balloon with me?

I hate to leave empty-handed.