Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Are we so in control that we're out of control?
What are we really dealing with here?

I have control issues. I fully admit it, revel in it and have even tried to fix it. I think I came out of the birth canal with control issues.

Let's actually start there.

I weighed 2 lbs. when I was born. Back in 1952 my survival rate wasn't real high. Given my birth weight I was probably about 29 weeks when I was born. I was in a incubator for 3 months and only allowed to go home when I reached five pounds. Knowing what I do about premature babies there were all sorts of health issues that I could have had but didn't. I must have started fighting at birth.

One of the earliest memories I have is falling face first into a glass bowl filled with potato chips when I was four. All around me was chaos. No one knew if the glass was in my eyes and blood was streaming down my face. Someone had gone to get the doctor that lived across the street but I wanted "to see me bleed." The doctor came over and stitched me up right on the table. He threatened that if I moved I was going to the hospital. Evidently, I didn't move a muscle. My brother told me the only one who was in control that night was me.

Control morphed into perfection issues and organization issues. I would alphabetize my records and subsequently videos and then DVD's. I created my own Dewey Decimal system for my books. Even the spices in my spice cabinet were in alphabetical order. When I got into new home sales I would be like a whirlwind creating the perfect organizational system for my office.

Where did this get me?

I have been rocked to the core when I found out about chronic illness. Suddenly, after a car accident that I couldn't control, I found out that my body was not under my control anymore either. I always know that it could be a lot worse. The pain that I feel on a daily basis is nowhere near the pain of cancer and the subsequent therapy that goes with it. It's nothing like the emotional pain that people deal with when they experience the trauma of great loss. This is more like a constant, nagging pain that reaches up to slap you in the face every time you get a moment of life that is pain free. This pain never wants you to forget that it's still around and will take every opportunity that it can to steal your joy. 

I think from the moment I opened my eyes for the first time I was engaged in battle. It was a control issue for my life and to this day I think control means survival. To let go of the control means I am at the mercy of God and I don't think I've ever done that. I don't mean that you let caution go to the wind and figure everything will be fine. I cannot see myself as Pollyanna; I mean, it's just not me. I'm definitely not made that way, however, I have to learn to see the bigger picture.

Life experiences bring all those traits we were born with to the forefront. The loss of control makes me feel imperfect and weak but isn't that what humanity is really all about? We are really perfect in our imperfection. This constant quest for perfection ultimately ends in never finding it. Even if we think we have it will never be quite good enough. I think part of letting up, even a little bit, is becoming flexible. Did I say I trouble with that as well? 

I was watching a you tube video by Rick Butts. (I've included the link) He's a marvelous speaker and he was talking about control and happiness. He mentioned that the times we were the happiest was when we were in control and the unhappiest times was when we felt out of control. How true is that statement? I felt like he was talking right to me. I am truly the source of my own stress. When life gets you crazy or when you get you something simple. Like washing the dishes. In other words, do what you can do and don't worry about what you can't do. Thank you Rick! I really mean that!

Life is filled with things that are out of our control. I've lived that and you'd think I would have learned that lesson by now.

I didn't. 

So what did I do?

I freaked.

Then I attended my pity party for one.

I denied it.

I got mad at it.

But I still haven't accepted it. (i'm working on it.)

But I am still doing the dishes.............

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I keep hoping.
I keep wishing.
I keep chasing.

No matter what I do lately I can't seem to sleep. I've been more tired than usual but this is ridiculous. I'll sleep for two hours and then I'm awake. Even when I do manage to fall asleep it feels like I'm half awake. 

Definitely not restful and restorative sleep.

Okay.........I know this is just part of the life with Fibromyalgia. I know it's the old alpha wave intrusion rearing its ugly head. I know all of that.

I didn't say I had to like it.

I've tried all of my usual remedies; lavender spray on the pillows, melatonin, warm showers before bed and none of it has been working. I've been walking at the gym to keep the muscles moving. 
I'm back to trying the tried and true. I've tried turning off the TV but being in the dark with nothing to divert my thoughts has made the problem worse. I've maintained a regular sleep schedule and I still wake up at night. I try not to nap during the day but sometimes I just have to close my eyes. 

I just don't want to break down and take some sort of sleep aid. Combining sleeping pills with the pain medication and muscle relaxers makes me very nervous. So where does that leave me?

I'll tell you where.

It leaves me with eyes wide open.

At one in the morning.

And at three in the morning.

So when it comes to sleep and Fibromyalgia,

All bets are off.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It seems like I carry my world with me.
Figuratively speaking.

I was trying to find my keys. I had looked all over the house and my last hope was that I kept them in my purse. Now my purse is one of those large hobo bags that I love to carry. I've got so much stuff in that bag it probably hurts my neck and back to carry it. I swear I need traction after lifting it and I know that my shoulder doesn't need that kind of weight put on it. I think the reason I like large purses is because it's easy to find. Notice that I said, "the purse is easy to find." What's inside is a whole different story. I really need to go through it, however, because I found something that I haven't used in at least ten years.

I found a tampon.

You could have heard me laughing a mile away. I thought I found a stray lipstick until I pulled it out and looked at it in the light. Where in heavens name could that have been hiding? It was then I decided that I need a different purse. Thank goodness I looked at it before I started putting it up to my lips. That could have really been embarrassing! 

How much stuff do I really need to carry? Let's see, I have a make-up bag that I could use as a carry-on for a flight. My wallet alone weighs a couple of pounds. I've got receipts in there for the dog food I bought 2 years ago. I've found perfume samples, several pairs of eyeglasses and cases, sunglasses and a secondary wallet with all my discount cards. I've got several packages of gum because, heaven forbid, I should run out. I've got hand lotion and nail polish because I can never find a good color when I get my toes done.

Let's not even start on the medication that I always carry with me.
I'm guessing that my purse weighs about ten to twelve pounds if you count the phone and iPad.

I've tried to go smaller. I've cleaned out the makeup bag and then I'll forget to zip it up and the cosmetics will go everywhere. I've either forgotten to zip up the change compartment or I can't pull out my wallet fast enough so I'll just drop the change in. When I look inside it's like looking into a dark abyss to which there is no end in sight. Within moments of cleaning it out the dust of the ages seems to magically appear in the bottom of my purse. How does this happen? I've found tobacco even though I haven't smoked in YEARS. 

I have finally figured out that a purse is like making soup. I start out with a few veggies and then by the time I've added all the goodies I could feed the whole neighborhood. I have never been able to make soup for one or two. It always turns out as soup for 40. I've tried using a smaller pot but then I have to pour it all into a much larger stock pot.

My purse is put together like that pot of soup. It just keeps getting larger and larger even though I try to keep it simple.

It doesn't work.

I still have soup for forty.

I even put a flashlight on my key chain to help me find stuff in this huge bag.

Only I still can't find my keys.................

Friday, June 17, 2011


Is it Fibromyalgia?
Or is it age?
I can't remember crap.


I used to have a VERY good memory. Actually it was better than very good. I used to call it my file cabinet and I could go to the appropriate drawer, pull the file, and go into total recall mode. With the advent of the computer age, I called it my internal hard drive.

My hard drive crashed.
Actually, I think the parts are still pretty good. 
It's the retrieval that sucks.

I hate running into people that I know and their face is so familiar but, for the life of me, I can't remember their names. I walk into rooms and wonder what the heck I was looking for and I really find it irritating when I misplace my keys and other lovely little objects. 

I'm one of those irritating people that like things in its place. I alphabetize my DVDs and the spices in my spice cabinet. Well, I used to. I just don't have the patience anymore. When I was younger I even had my own kind of Dewey Decimal System for my books. Record albums were in order and I was a total pain in the fanny.....even to myself. I told myself my obsession for organization made my life easier. It was tough to implement but after was easier.

It's always been easy for me to memorize......well.......anything. If I see a movie or TV show a couple of times I can recite it. It's the same with anything I see or read. Like I said, it's been easy for me. When I was in college I would show up at midterms and finals after cramming for 3 days before the test and memorizing the books. That's how I got through school. Later I would read contracts just for fun and after a couple of times I'd be able to recite those too. 

Then age shows up and along with it Fibromyalgia. Combine the two of those and sometimes I don't even recognize myself in the mirror. As I've said before, I loved to read anything and everything. Now? I find the back of cereal boxes challenging. I have to program my phones calendar with the smallest of tasks otherwise I won't remember them. So to compensate for my loss of brain cells  I've taken to calendars and lists. Without them I'd forget to pay my bills. 

Now, I have to pray that I remember to check the calendar.
At least it gives me a 50/50 chance.

It seems that when the fog hits my brain also gets overwhelmed by stimuli. I'm more sensitive to lights and noise as well. For some reason the noise in the stores bothers me. I wear my sunglasses when I go to the gym and walk.  Is it the pain causing some sort of distraction? Is it the fact that sleep is elusive? Or, can it be a neurological problem? I don't know what's worse, the pain or the brain fog. Basically, I'm on sensory overload.

So what to do?

The only thing I can do is laugh at myself when the fog rolls in. I thank heaven for smart phones and computers. When the brain is on overload I try not to fight it. When I drive by the exits on the freeway because I've forgotten to get off I enjoy the scenic route.

I can empathize with the scarecrow.

If I only had a brain...... I know that I miss mine very much.

Where did the yellow brick road go?

Monday, June 13, 2011


Do other people also wish they had a real handle on their lives?
Just when I get one hurdle crossed.
Another one pops up.

I've been called tenacious and, so I've heard, it's one of my more "endearing" qualities. It's just that I have an insatiable curiosity and when something doesn't make sense I have to try to put it in some sort of order so that I can process it correctly. The other part of that equation is that when I want something I never give up.

Where is the fine line where tenacity turns into stupidity?

There comes a point of acceptance, I guess. Sometimes there's no way to make sense out of something that will just never make sense. You can't fit the square peg into the round hole and I should just leave it at that.  I used to say, "there's Mr. Right, there's Mr. Right but I want the one in the back that will really screw up my life." I have always tried to change the unchangeable but, then again, I've always tried to fight City Hall too.

I wish I had the recognition between the "able to do" and the "I shouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole." 

I just don't understand why I just can't leave something alone and not try to figure out the why. I guess after almost 60 years, maybe I'm just not able to change the process. Maybe I shouldn't want to. It's like changing the rules in the middle of the game. You just don't do it.

Having chronic pain changes you and it plays with your confidence. I think it's difficult to put up with some of the physical limitations that arise when the flares are out of control. Couple that with the emotional issues that come along with the pain and it can be a real recipe for disaster. 

I don't understand why people walk out of your life without an explanation. It is beyond my ability to process. I know I should just accept it and let it go but my thoughts don't work that way. I have always liked hearing the bad news so that I could deal with it and move on. Without that, I tend to look back and that's not a good thing.

Maybe it's this urge to analyze everything. Well, that's not quite it. I analyze, over-analyze, do a quick once over again and then start the process over again. After that I beat it into the ground, kill it, bury it and then resurrect it to analyze it all over again. Now, if I could just do this before I act, I'd be ahead of the game.

So once again I've thought myself into a nice little flare. I have decided, though, I'm still going to go to the gym and walk through this even though the pain is still there.

Let's add this up.

I've got physical pain.

I've got emotional pain.

I've got enough baggage to take a trip around the world.

I sound like a real peach...................

Friday, June 10, 2011


It's amazing.
Murphy's law is in full force and effect.

Since the wedding I've been unwinding and relaxing. I've been on overdrive emotionally and it's taken it's toll. It was a wonderful day and it's an unbelievable feeling to see your kids so happy and starting their married lives together.

I saw some of the wedding pictures.

I looked like a fat, stuffed sausage. Now, I know my daughter will look at me with that, "you do not" look but I feel like I looked so icky. So, now I'm back at the gym trying to walk and doing what I can to lose some of this weight. It just doesn't want to come off easily. I just have to figure out how to do this because I can't take the way I look any longer. The pictures took care of that!


Then it's been a little challenging with the pain. My hands have been really bothering me and the pain hasn't subsided. At night the muscle spasms have also been working overtime. I've been taking my time walking and taking my supplements. Hopefully it will help. I've tried to keep a good mental attitude but I can't seem to shake this snarky persona.


I woke up the other day and brushed my teeth and my crown cracked. Does it get any better than that? It's not bad enough that I look like a stuffed sausage let's add snaggletooth to the mix. So I go to the dentist and get the lovely needle full of Novocaine. Does anyone else have trouble after they go to the dentist? Plus, the temporary crown isn't the prettiest. Needless to say the flare has increased in intensity due to the trip to the dentist.

I've tried many times to sit in front of the monitor and start to write but I couldn't find the words. Today isn't much better but I feel guilty neglecting my blog. 

I'm tired.

My brain is fried.

I'm frustrated.

Nothing seems to be working right now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


What to do?
Should we hide under a rock?

I've been reading about the information from the World Health Organization about our cell phones and the radiation that's emitted from them can cause cancer. Didn't I just read that the WHO said cell phones were not carcinogenic? 

I think the problem is that we don't know what to believe.

It doesn't help that everywhere we look there is a different opinion, backpedaling or out and out lies just to buy a certain product. I mean, lets take the information that's out there about food. If we exclude eggs, peas, dairy, whey, bean sprouts, all beans, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, lentils, cabbage, kale, asparagus, onions, leeks, rutabagas, shallots, garlic, papaya, any dried fruit, coffee, bananas, avocados, honeydew melons, meat, poultry and fish we can cure Fibromyalgia. Now, lets go to the nightshades. Potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. 

And let's not even talk about sugar.

I have listed foods from different sites that talk about Fibromyalgia and diet. It's amazing how many foods are on the "forbidden list."  Is there anything left to eat?  Great,  I can't eat and now I can't use my cell phone.

What's left?

I'm making light of all of this but there is a grain of truth to it all. We've become an over-processed, over-medicated, fast food, plastic and techno society. I find it disturbing that antibiotics and hormones are added to the grain that is used to feed our poultry and cattle. I find it VERY disturbing that genetically modified food is part of our food chain. How long have we had plastic bottles in our babies mouths only to find out that the BPA (bisphenol A) is dangerous? I would much rather eat organic or natural products that the over-processed and chemical filled foods that are out there. That sounds funny coming from someone who is a diet coke addict but it's true. I just think that there are choices out there and we should be aware of what we are putting in or on our bodies. I think labels should be truthful and I think knowledge is power.

I don't know what effect all of this has upon our lives. Progress has to take place. I wouldn't want to go back to a bygone era. I like my computers and iPhone too much. Unfortunately, I also believe all of this progress isn't good. However.............................

Am I willing to give up my cell phone? 

Probably not. 

There's one thing true about life.

None of us get out of it alive.