Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR





Resolutions?
I don't do those well.


Resolutions have not been on the top of my list of completed items at the end of the year. Most of them have been thrown out the window before the first month of the year has passed. 

I think that a resolution, at least in my case, starts out with the best of intentions. I don't think I'm necessarily to blame. I think I choose the wrong resolutions.

So let's try for this year. 

I resolve: that I will be more accepting of me. I have an illness that has no cure. I will have bad days and good days and some fair days and, yes, I will have good days. I need to understand that there is absolutely nothing that I can do about that fact. What I can do is manage this to the best of my ability.

I resolve: that I will be a little kinder to me. When I have some of "those" days I will try not to beat myself up. I will not hate the fact, and myself, that I have limitations. 

I resolve: that I will try to check the attitude at the door when the pain feels overwhelming. I know this will be the toughest to achieve because it does tend to get the better of me. I know that if I just try to make my attitude a little better it might help get me through those tough days.

I resolve: to be a little more patient with myself. When I get frustrated from the fibro fog and my memory gets fuzzy I will remember that "this too shall pass." I will try to stop getting irritated. I will also quit bemoaning the fact that my fabulous memory is a thing of the past.

I resolve: to try to find the joy in my life. This is just a blip on the screen and it could be a lot worse. A whole lot worse. I am definitely not minimizing what we go through on a daily basis, but even on our worst days we need to find the strength to believe that life could be a lot worse.

So for the coming year........

For all my family, friends and followers.........

I wish you all the love, laughter, wonder, health, happiness and God's blessings.

Every minute,

Of every day........

Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

PAIN IS A FOUR LETTER WORD






I don't know if it's the weather.
I don't know if it's stress.
I do know that it hurts to be me.


Sometimes pain just permeates your whole being and takes over your life. Just when you get used to one level of pain another one decides to take you by surprise. It kind of likes to stop by and say hello just in case you've forgotten about it.  It doesn't want to go away gracefully.

Pain wants to rob you of your joy. I don't care whether it's physical, emotional or spiritual pain. It wants to be your nasty little reminder that pain can take away your day in one fell swoop.

Having a good day?
Wrong.

I tend to second guess myself right now. I feel a twinge and I know what's coming. Should it always be like that? Am I forever bound to a life where I measure every twinge and jab? I  also can't stay in one position for too long. My legs are starting to twitch so I know the night is going to be a long one.

Is it wise to know or is it better to let it take you by surprise?

I don't know if it's the humidity levels or just the stress of the season. I tell myself I'm going to pace myself and just do what I can. The problem is that even as I'm typing those words I know how ridiculous that sounds. My problem has never been to "just do what I can." If I'm able to, or even if I'm not able to, I keep going until I collapse. This isn't a good way to handle the holiday season.

What am I saying?
It's not a good way to handle this life. Period.

Isn't it pathetic when I can't handle shopping? Just looking at that statement depresses me. You'd think it would be so fun to go out and shop. All I know is that I can't face the stores. It's just too much to deal with and the other thing is the crowds. I can't handle that many people.

OK. 

Enough.

Time to stop sounding pathetic.

I need to put a smile on my face.

Is it working?

Nope.

That's a four letter word too.







Friday, December 14, 2012

I WANT TO GO BACK TO MAYBERRY








It's been quite a week.
I'm not just talking about the pain.
Both personally and in our nation.


First of all, what do you say about the shootings of innocent children in Connecticut? I cannot imagine what those parents and families are going through right now. Also, the survivors....what those children witnessed......it's horrific and there are no words that will comfort those parents. Their dear, dear children's lives were cut short and they must be inconsolable with pain and grief.

Also, I got word that a former co-worker passed away. She was young. She was 51 and didn't feel well. She took a nap and when they went to check on her.....well, it was already too late. Her daughter was her best friend and she's still quite young. She graduated high school in 2011 and was away at college. 

I've had to learn the lesson of mortality at an early age as well. I can tell you that isn't a lesson that should be learned early. It changes you. It gives you the feeling that all relationships are on shaky ground because they can disappear at a moments notice. Closeness becomes scary.

Then, to add a tiara to the week, with all these things happening, it's cold and raining. That means the pain has spiraled once again. 

If it isn't one thing it's another.

I'm not trying to minimize the happenings or compare them to the pain that has attacked my body once again. I'm just adding it to the list of events of the week. There is nothing that can compare to that kind of loss. Then compound that loss with the addition of senseless violence and what can be said?

I hate these kind of life lessons.

I hate the change that life lessons bring; the innocence of life that is lost and the realization that the people you love most can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Parents should never have to bury their children and little children should not know loss. They should be safe and secure in the knowledge that their parents will be there. Parents should not know the all-consuming grief and pain that their beautiful little sweethearts are gone.

What is wrong with this world?

What will inevitably happen is that the issue of gun control will come up again. It will be debated and debated but nothing ever seems to get done. I truly believe on the one hand that if guns are outlawed then only the outlaws will have guns. The war on alcohol during Prohibition, the war on drugs, the war on terror and now the war on guns.....to what end? They are all still alive and well despite the efforts to rid our world of them. I do believe that we need stricter laws and background checks before anyone can purchase them. I think online sales should be banned. I think certain types of guns should not be in the hand of private citizens. Military weapons are just that...military weapons. You need an assault rife to kill a deer??

I think it's our culture that is sick and in need of help.
You can ban all types of weapons but you just can't ban evil.


I think it's time we get rid of our culture of certain kinds of tolerance. You cannot teach children that everything they do wrong is someone elses fault or that something else is to blame. We need to bring back consequences for actions. We've become a society that doesn't want to hurt that little inner child. We equate discipline with abuse. When did it become acceptable for manners to go out the window? When did "please" and "thank-you" get deleted from our vocabulary? When did we decide that just because children grow up less fortunate they should be given a pass? We have done that in our educational system and look what the effect of that has been. I've seen what so-called high school graduates have learned and it's appalling. We need to crank our curriculum up about 7 notches so we can start raising children who will be capable of working in this global economy.

If I sound like I want to take our culture back about 40 years......well, I do and I don't. In some respects.....I do. I look at what children can see on TV during prime time and I honestly don't know how I'd answer the questions that would arise. The innocence that should be childhood has been wiped away. Growing up too soon is all over the news and it's "cool." Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?

I don't think I'm old fashioned. I'm not trying to be an old grandma but I see society heading in a direction that isn't good.....

Enough.....

I'm off my soapbox.

But...........

I hope that everyone hugs those they love a little tighter tonight.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

ME AND YOU AND A DOG NAMED BOO







Dogs are therapy.
This one is a little wrecking ball o' love,
I don't know what I'd do without him.

It's been a rough few weeks. Two people that I care about lost their baby dogs. I think we've all been through it but it doesn't matter,

It hurts like hell.

They aren't pets. They are little mini-people with fur that might not have the power of speech but their wants, needs and feelings are still very clear. They have their own personalities and quirks. The make us laugh and their love is unconditional. When ever we have a bad day they are there to make it all better.

They feel our love, our joy and our pain.

It feels so good to feel that kind of joy. Putting my arms around those little angels necks and and feeling their behinds start to wiggle with joy and puppy kisses galore. It makes no difference to me where that tongue has been.....now that I stop to think about it.....well, as long as the licks are on my face!! They also don't know how to measure time. I don't care if I've gone out to the garage, when I come back in the door I'm greeted like I've been gone hours. When I'm gone hours the yips and cries of hello make all the cares of the day melt away.

All they want is to be with their pack.

They feel the abandonment when they're in the shelter. I'm a rescuer. I walk down the aisles in tears wishing I could take them all home. But I can't. Still, I know I will choose one. I usually want the one looking dejected in the corner. He lifts his head warily, not wanting to believe that I could be "the one." Then, as I stop, the tail starts to thump and then a little more, and then, he's by the cage licking my fingers.

That's the one,

When I've been in so much pain my high energy, off the wall my baby dog lies quietly by my side. He looks up at me as if to say that he feels my pain. When I try to get up he stays by my side as I go to the refrigerator for something to drink and then jumps right back in bed next to me.

Any dog can be a therapy dog.
This is Buster.

I feel better knowing he's there. It brings a smile to my face when he jumps up on the bed with his favorite toy and puts it right down by my head. He wants to go outside but won't move until I do. This dog just makes me laugh and, for me, that is therapy. It helps with the pain...not the physical aspect of the pain, but it's more manageable and easier to bear. He looks at me and he understands. 

I know that the loss of an angel leaves a huge hole in your heart. I know they would want you not to grieve and go back to the shelter and rescue another baby so they can find the comfort of a loving home.

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. Every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all components of my heart will become dog and then I will be as generous and loving as they are."

In order to really enjoy a dog, it isn't enough to make him semi-human, it is, on our part, becoming part dog.

I can't imagine Buster Boo in a service dog hoodie.

I don't think a service dog has the attention span of a gnat.

Squirt and H would have called PETA and had them on speed dial.

Buster wouldn't know the number.....

In loving Memory of that sweet little Max.

xoxoxo




Sunday, November 25, 2012

GIVE ME AN F.... OK....ANOTHER F.






Give me a F.
Give me an .....
Oh, what the heck does it spell?


F.
is for the Fatigue that loves to hound my body when I've pushed it too far. It's always present in the morning because I never Feel rested. "F" is also for the Fun I used to have burning the candle at both ends. "F" is also for the Fog that is around whenever I can't remember the reason I walked into the room in the first place. "F" is also for the Frustration that I seem to feel every time I talk to a doctor about Fibromyalgia and they just don't seem to get it.

I.
is for the Irritability I feel when I just constantly feel Icky. "I" is also for the state of Invisibility which is where I live when people and doctors look at you with pure disdain when you say you've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. 'I" is also for the use of Imagination when dealing with doctors and trying to get the medications needed to manage this illness. 

B.
is for the Bad days that seem to rear their ugly head just when you thought you were beginning to feel good. It's for feeling Bummed when another flare comes right after the one that left a few days ago. "B" is also for feeling Betrayed and Beaten down by your own body and feeling Baffled when another symptom pops up. 

R.
is for the Ridiculous way that some in the medical community refer to this illness.  It is for the way that most of us have to Re-invent ourselves due to the chaos that Fibromyalgia brings to our lives. It is also for the Realization that there is no cure and this is a life sentence. It is also for the Reminders that you have to leave yourself because you cannot Remember anything. 

O.
is for the Optimism that we cling to especially when pain spirals Out-of-control. It is also for people who are Obtuse and think that pain is a constant in your life by choice and not design. It is also for those Outstanding friends and family to come to your aid and love you no matter what. It's for feeling Obligated to keep going even though every bone in our bodies are crying for us to stop.

M.
is for Medical appointments and having doctors on speed dial. It is for the MRI'S and all the other tests you'll go through until you finally get a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. It's also for the Money that will fly out the window because all these tests and doctor appointments are very expensive. It's also for the Memory that will also fly out the window and you will be left wondering where your intelligence went. It's also for the Management skills you'll have trying to keep the Myriad of symptoms in check. 

Y.
is for the acceptance and Yielding to the fact that Fibromyalgia is here to stay. It is for feeling Yucky. It's also for the constant Yawning because of the fatigue. It's for the realization that this isn't a day or month thing, this is a Years thing. It's Yearning for a day without pain.

A.
is for the Absence of testing that can lead to a real diagnosis. It is also for the ability to Alleviate some of the severity of the symptoms with medication. It is for standing strong and Adamant that this is real and not in our imagination. It's for feeling Alienated.

L.
is for feeling Limited. It is for feeling Left-out when we have to miss events because of fatigue or pain. It's for feeling Lousy or Lifeless when we lay in bed all day. It's telling ourselves that we are Lazy, Lumpy and Lifeless when a flare comes along and knocks us off our feet.

G.
is for feeling like some of the seven dwarfs especially Grouchy, Gloomy and Grumpy. Yes, I did take license on some of those names! It's for feeling Grateful for the good days that we do have and it's for feeling Guilty when I do take the time to let my body recover in bed. It is also for Grieving for the life that I used to have.

I.
is for the Irritation that I feel when people say that if I'd just move around I'd feel better. Don't they think I'd do that if it worked? It's for feeling Isolated. It's for the Invisible disease because you don't look sick. It's also for the Impatience I have with myself.

A.
is for looking at the bright side because it could Always be worse. It's for being Aggravated and Agitated with ourselves and others. It's for being Absent-minded. It's for the Accusations that we're neurotic when pain and fatigue take over. It's also for being Appreciative friends and family.

I'm sure there are more words......

I can tell you what the F stands for....

But I can't write it on my blog.......

Ha....I know it stands for Fricking Fibromyalgia!!

What does it mean to you?





Sunday, November 18, 2012

THE BLISS MOLECULE FORMULATION









What is it about the sound of the name?
 Even hearing it whispered makes you feel good.
Choc....o....late....
Choc....o....late....

It releases neurotransmitters. We can take it quite literally when we hear that we have "chocolate on the brain."

So, what does it do?

Let's start with endorphins. These little babies are natural pain and stress fighters.  It seems that eating chocolate releases endorphins. Hmmm...so far so good. 

Serotonin. It seems that chocolate (semi-sweet or dark) releases and increases levels of serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter that works to regulate mood, sleep arousal and pain. Hmmm....again....the higher the serotonin level the happier we are. I can tell you that I'm VERY happy when eating chocolate. The downside? Can't drink milk with our little pieces of chocolate, or as I prefer, enveloped in a nice cookie. OK...I can live with that.

Phenylethylamine. Commonly known as PEA. It's a chemical that makes you feel happy. OK..I'm with them on that. It seems that chocolate is loaded with it. It also has a half life of 5 to 10 minutes so it stands to reason that we should shove as much as possible as quickly as possible!! It's also called the love drug because we experience the same feeling.....

Anandamide. It is a lipid that it very similar to THC. THC is a chemical found in marijuana. Anandamide and THC both activate the same receptor that gives us a feeling of well being. Didn't we feel like that in college?? Anyway, I feel very happy with chocolate.

One thing about chocolate. 

It contains a chemical called theombrine. While it is mildly diuretic and similar to caffeine, IT IS TOXIC AND POTENTIALLY FATAL TO DOGS. Their heart and central nervous system can be compromised. They don't metabolize it as quickly as their humans.

So, other than that, it sounds pretty good to me. Plus, it melts in your mouth, not in your hands. Actually, when I eat chocolate I feel comforted and loved. Amazing, isn't it? The power of a little morsel of yum.

When you're always in pain a little chocolate sounds like a plan.

Years ago, a friend of mine got me a little bear that I called "Sid."

Sid said one phrase......

"I LOVE chocolate."

He knew me well.












Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NOW BELLY DANCING HELPS FIBROMYALGIA?





A beautiful and graceful tribute to the belly dance.
This wouldn't be me.


Is there anything else they can find that will help Fibromyalgia? Now, belly dancing will help us??  First, let me say that the thought of me belly dancing sends me into fits of hysterics. Let's just say learning dance steps isn't my forte and grace isn't my middle name.

Heaven help me.
I guess a study in Brazil put women in dance groups and belly dancers were helped. 

When our muscles are immobile, let's say like after a night's sleep (what is that?) they are stiff and sore. After that,  ANY movement will help reduce the pain. The more immobile the muscles are the more they will hurt. 

It's kind of like the Tin Man and the oil can.

I've always said that exercise doesn't help my pain. I think I need to rephrase that. It helps but it doesn't take it away. The pain ALWAYS comes back. The movement does help my muscles move and it helps the muscle spasms, but,  it doesn't "cure what ails me."

I don't think we need more management help. 
We need causal and curative help.

That's why Tai Chi, yoga, Pilate's or, yes, even belly dancing helps with pain. It's a slow, rhythmic movement of the muscles. We all get that. I don't know anyone with Fibromyalgia who can't recite a litany of things that help them with pain. We've gone through tons of trial and error to find ANYTHING that will get us through another day. 

People can only take so much pain. We are tired of happy, smiling faces telling us that if we just take this magic pill or do this lovely little exercise all of our problems will be solved. No wonder we get to the point where we'd like to scratch that smile off of their face. You're probably just depressed. GEE, YA THINK?????? What is it about chronic pain? Don't they get it? Do they think it's just wincing slightly and rubbing a little shoulder muscle and then we can keep our mouths shut and go on about our day? Or how about sitting us in a rocking chair and keep us drugged enough to shut us up?

We smile through the pain enough. We are the masters of invisibility. We HATE the fact that this lovely thing called Fibromyalgia has the power to render us immobile. Living like this isn't our first choice.

Why can't they find out?
Why can't we get past the stigma of this "imaginary" disease and find out what causes it?

Nope.

We're back to belly dancing.

Trust me.

That's a visual you wouldn't want. 



Sunday, November 4, 2012

GOING OUT ON A LIMB







I've been saying it.
I've always been saying it.
Now, I'm not out on that limb alone.



I've always thought that painkillers get a bad rap. I will never deny that they're powerful and, in some cases, abused. I think that just goes with the territory.

I believe if your medical treatment involves opiates you must be responsible, vigilant and do so with the knowledge their capabilities and power. I've always said that if I thought I'd be out of pain by taking these, I'd be in a lot of trouble. They take the edge off of the unbearable pain but will not take it away. If I took enough to be out of pain I'd be a zombie. Now, a study has come out that states that these drugs may not be as addictive as once thought. 

Finally, a study that looks at addiction and physical dependence differently.

I know that when my pain doctor and I talked about opiates, I was concerned because of the addition of acetaminophen. That can cause liver damage if you use it long term. I asked about the oxycodone because it didn't have the addition of acetaminophen. He told me that I could be on that for years without the worry of damage. 

We talked about dependence.
I was worried about that.

He looked at my history and I'm a very low risk patient. I don't have a history of any alcohol or drug abuse and nothing in my emotional makeup that would indicate risk for addiction. I was told about the rules (sharing, doctor hopping, etc.) and signed my agreement. I've never asked for an increase or taken them in any other way than what I was prescribed.

I think it makes sense.
If you give a bottle of painkillers to a drug addict, chances are there will be problems.

I do think it's important for your doctor to know what and how much is needed. I also think that you've got to be open and honest and let him know how these medications affect you and if it's helping you deal with the pain. He did tell me that I shouldn't expect to be out of pain. 

That's something I've never forgotten.

That's why I firmly believe that Fibromyalgia has subgroups. For me, pain has always been the main issue. Pain without depression. The muscle spasms that I have are helped immensely by the tizanadine. The tizanadine helps normalize the amount of Substance P in the spinal fluid. Maybe that's why it will help people like me.....pain without depression. Maybe Cymbalta helps those with pain but with depression. There's still something that nags me about the reason that there is no medication that helps all people with Fibromyalgia.

There needs to be an inter-disciplinary approach to pain. You can't throw medication at patients. There needs to be a team that works with us. From doctors to our yoga instructors.

So it's back to square one.

But things are looking up in the medication department.

It can't come too soon.



Here's the link.




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BOO








There is no dignity left.
None.

I usually dread Halloween because it would drive the doggies nuts. Given the prospect of doorbells ringing and dogs barking I still want them to dress up a bit. 

Mr. H loved his tux but HATED his pumpkin outfit. He looked like a big, fat tick. Buster decided to be bat-dog and protect the masses at "pawthum" city. (thanks D!)

Just a quick post to show him waiting for his share of the candy. No, he can't have chocolate but he does get his "snackers" in a cute Halloween bag!

So now we're on to November and 30% humidity. It's been a pretty rough time. Just when you think it can't get any worse.......

Bat-dog is ready to retire to the bat cave.....

It's been a very stressful night.




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WHAT'S NEW ON THE HORIZON?








Ok.
I like this one.
And it's been used in Europe for years.


Flupirtine. Interesting sounding name.....who names these things?? Anything starting with a "f-l-u-p" sounds kind of dorky to me, but hey, what do I know?

But, again, I digress.
I do that a lot.

This is an exciting new drug on the horizon.  I'll include the link to the articles at the bottom of the post. I've never heard of it and it sounds promising. Anyway, this drug is neither an opioid or an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It has properties of being both an analgesic and a muscle relaxant. 

It has been used in Europe for the last 25 years for treatment of pain after surgery, trauma, dental work, muscle spasms, cancer and degenerative muscle diseases. The FDA graciously granted phase II clinical trials to be conducted for the treatment of Fibromyalgia.

This has been used in Europe for 25 years?
For extreme pain and muscle diseases??
Why don't we have it here?

The side effects are minimal and there isn't the dependence issue that your body has with an opioid. The NSAIDS have been associated with gastrointestinal issues and, again, this isn't an issue with flupirtine.

It sounds like a miracle drug.
But, believe it or not, it hasn't been introduced in the U.S. for any reason.

I can't wait to see more about this.

25 years........we've never had this.

Why???







Sunday, October 21, 2012

I LOVE TO DO LISTS









Yep.
This is my list.
I have accomplished just that.

The one thing that chronic illness changes is your whole life. I know that doesn't sound like it's just one thing, but, it's the easiest way to explain it. There isn't one facet of your life and the people that surround you that is not affected.

I get tired of doing nothing.

I used to think that retiring would be the coolest thing. I wouldn't have to get up and work anymore and I could do what I wanted to do. It sounds like a great thing but, in reality, it gets kind of boring.

How much TV can you watch??

Well, I can watch a lot. No problem there because I love movies. What I mean is that if you could have all you wanted of the yummiest dessert ever, non-stop, everyday.......you would soon get real sick of that dessert.

The other problem is that the weather is changing and I can feel it in every bone and muscle in my body. I just start to feel a little bit better and then it rains, or it gets cold OR I just feel like crap. It just doesn't seem to end.

I know I'm whining.

At least the summer weather is finally gone. I do much better when the weather is cool but the transition kills me. I love it when the thermometer hits the 70's. It feels so good. I've always said that you can always pile on sweaters and jackets but when it's hot.....well.....you can only strip down so far....and it's still just fricking hot.

So what else can I whine about?

Well, I still hate the fog that surrounds my brain.

I can't find my keys.

I can't remember the words I want to say.

I can't remember where I wanted to go.

I think I know where I want to go.

I think I'll just go to bed.




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PUMPED UP KICKS AND FEEDBACK LOOPS









I always knew I was dysfunctional.
I just didn't know it ran so deep.
Clear down to my neurotransmitters.


I think we all have a dysfunctional neurotransmitter system. There has to be a reason that we don't all have the same symptoms and we don't all respond to the same therapies and medications. 

We have pain perception problems. 
Isn't this linked to neurotransmitters?

Chronic stress can contribute to Fibromyalgia but it isn't a cause, otherwise, everyone on the planet would have it. We all know that chronic stress changes the neural pathways in the brain but to what end?  Depression isn't the cause because not everyone who is depressed has Fibromyalgia. I think it's like everything else. There may be risk factors for the development but that doesn't mean you're going to get it. There may be a genetic predisposition depending on many things, but again, what is the trigger?

I'm on a roll here.
So what do we know?

1. We know that Substance P, glutamate, are elevated in Fibromyalgia and this accounts for an increased pain sensitivity. 

2. The lowered levels of serotonin and noradrenalin in the central nervous system could be the reason that the descending neural pathways are messed up.  This can cause issues with sleep and depression. 

3. The HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis and the sympathetic nervous system are off but it may be a symptom but not a cause of Fibromyalgia. Dopamine levels are also off which can cause our achy-breaky stiff muscles and brain fog.

I'm not a doctor (obviously) but doesn't this suggest subgroups? I know people with Fibromyalgia and they have pain but the fatigue seems to be more of an issue than the pain. With me....yes, I have the fatigue but pain is far more of an issue with me. Maybe this is why medications like Cymbalta and Savella work well with people who have more of an issue with serotonin levels and less of an issue with elevated Substance P and glutamate. 

Maybe by targeting the specific subgroups and medications that work specifically for that group.....is that a way to get better results than lumping us all into one group? It seems that pain with depression and pain without depression respond differently to medications. 

The only thing that works for me is the oxycodone in very small doses (5 mg.) and Zaniflex which controls the muscle spasms. Lyrica made me squirrely and gain weight and did nothing to help the pain or fatigue but others swear by it.

What I find VERY interesting is that Zaniflex (tinzanidine) reduces Substance P levels. Since the prevalence of pain is my main issue isn't this why this might work for me and not for someone that has a predominance of fatigue?

I think that the argument against using opioid in treatment  has more to do with the general issue of doctor liability and the risk of dependency. Right now it's politically correct to be against these in pain management because of a group that abuse them. 

I don't like a lot of them because of the addition of acetaminophen. Long term use can cause damage to your liver. When I went on the oxycodone my pain doctor and I had a long talk about it. He did explain the risks but also told me this would be better as a long term treatment because of the damage that anything with Tylenol or acetaminophen would cause. He knew that addiction and dependency were two very different animals and I was low risk for addiction. 

I just don't think you can pour everyone with Fibromyalgia in a bowl.

It's like making a cake.

You need to add one ingredient at a time.

If you add too much of one,

You get a mess.

This is what they've done with us.












Monday, October 1, 2012

THE CALAMARI SUBSTITUTION






While I love calamari rings, the tentacles,
or testicles (as my daughter would say) are not my favorite.
What does this have to do with anything??


I was just stumbling around this morning (what else is new?) and trying to see if anything was new out on the clinical trial horizon. What I found was staggering (and yes, I do that too). I was looking for pictures on Google images and saw a cool picture of hands. I started looking at some of the links and found out about the Calmere Therapy protocol.

What would I give to be off medication and relatively pain free?
Everything I own.

The clinical trial by the University of Wisconsin has finalized. The final processing was done on September 30th, so we should be able to see the results any time now. I'm putting all sorts of links in this post because this is the first thing that looks like it may work. 

Basically, what it does is take the pain signals and sends an artificial signal that says "no pain" to the brain.

I think I missed it because it has been filed under chronic neuropathic pain and indicated for cancer patients with chemo induced neuropathy. As you continue down the list though, it is for low back pain and neuromuscular diseases. Yep, that's us!!!!

During the treatment patients usually experience no pain and the duration that it lasts is determined on the underlying cause and intensity of the pain. You get treatment one treatment a day for two weeks and then booster treatments as needed. It's non-invasive and, obviously, drug free.

It looks like a giant Tens unit but it's faster, stronger and more effective. The Scrambler Therapy recorded at 59% reduction in pain. Let me tell you, if something reduced my pain by almost 60%......I could be functional again. 

The Mayo Clinic is conducting trials using the Scrambler Therapy as well. There are locations across the country using this protocol. 

I just think this is kind of interesting.....

At least it woke me up this morning........

Caffeine and getting scrambled.........

Works for me!

Just as an FYI.....when I spell checked neuromuscular ....it came up numskull.

How fitting is that??????









Sunday, September 23, 2012

STILL STRESSED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS







Can we ever be stress free?
Not in this life.

I always thought that my body thrived on stress. As amazing as that sounds, I really thought that I was at my best when under pressure. I had no idea what I was doing to myself.

What does happen during stressful situations?

What happens is your body goes into the "flight or fight syndrome." Your liver produces more glucose for energy for your muscles. Your body produces cortisol which suppresses the immune system. Your blood pressure rises.  Adrenaline is secreted so your body is ready for action. A body full of adrenaline can do superhuman feats. 

You are now "in the stress zone."
Actually, you're in survival mode.

Cortisol is produced in the adrenal cortex in the adrenal gland.  In small amounts it can heighten memory functions, lower sensitivity to pain, help maintain your internal equilibrium and give you a burst of energy. However, at its height, stress hormones are released into the body in an unprecedented rate. 

When your body perceives that threat the nervous system responds by sending hormones into the body. You are on alert. Your muscles tighten, your heart beats faster, all your senses become sharper, your blood pressure rises and you breathe a little faster. It is your bodies was of protecting you. 

So what if we live life in the fast lane?

Chronic stress is different than the momentary flight or fight stress. Chronic stress changes the way the body functions because we don't flip the switch that turns the flood of hormones off in our body. The heart can become more susceptible to disease from the constant flow of cortisol. Brain function can be compromised and learning and memory can also be altered. The immune system is suppressed. 

If you don't switch it off your body doesn't have the opportunity to return to normal.

When the stress that you're under is greater than your body can tolerate you become more at risk for stress related disorders.

The body doesn't differentiate between physical and emotional stress. Stress is stress. When you keep yourself in stress mode it becomes harder and harder to shut off the switch. That stress I thought I thrived on? It's that Type A personality that prides itself in its ability to be super person. 

Stress morphs itself into that old familiar warm and fuzzy bathrobe. It feels good to put on because its just too hard to become laid back but the price you pay for that warm and fuzzy feeling is very high. Very high. Over-achieving and perfectionist is what it is. You don't sleep right, you don't eat right and you think you're cruising through life.....

Until.



Anxiety, depression, insomnia, heart problems, immune problems, autoimmune problems or worse. Make no mistake. Stress can kill. 

Put the effects of stress together with a central nervous system dysfunction that is found in Fibromyalgia and you have a recipe for disaster. We have to find a way to breathe through the stress. Do whatever it takes because we have to. Try yoga, aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback.....anything.....going outdoors and looking at the sky......whatever it takes to relax.

Thrive on stress? 

Nope.

It just makes us worse for the wear.

And it just isn't worth it.