Thursday, January 31, 2013


Sometimes you get real tired.
Tired of being tired.
Tired of pain.

I think it's just been one of those times where everything just seems to get on your nerves. It's as if I'm down to the last nerve and everything seems to get on it.

It's as if I'm back living in my pain world. It's the world where pain takes front and center. My day revolves around the level of pain that I feel. I know my limitations and I don't like them. I've never liked limitations and as I've gotten older I like them even less.

Limitations suck.
I don't care if it's mental, physical or speed limits.

I get tired of saying, "I'm tired" or "I hurt." It gets old to my ears let alone to anyone else's. I know that those around me don't mind. That isn't the issue. They love me enough to be here with me through all of this. 

All of this just gets real old to me.

It seems that the magnitude of all of this has crept up and smacked me in the face. How do you say all of this without sounding like a whimpering little baby? Just because your body hurts and every bone and muscle in your body has turned on have the audacity to bring your life to a halt?

It sounds ridiculous even to me.

I've got a life of slow motion.

That has run head on into the reality of pain.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I was looking through papers. 
One in particular stood out. 
It was the flyer about medication. 

I've been looking at the medications that are currently used for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants and even anti-epileptic drugs. The approved drugs like Lyrica have side effects that can be serious.

So what are some of those medications?

I tried Lyrica and I still haven't lost all the weight I gained when I took that stuff. Not only do I hate the commercials but Lyrica made me squirrely. I gained weight (a lot), wondered if life was worth it and I couldn't trust my own mind. Even if it promised to take the pain away forever, I still wouldn't take it ever again. 

See, I will aways believe that Fibromyalgia has sub-groups. I have pain but not depression. I still feel that if depression accompanies the pain then Cymbalta or Savella may help and work for people in this group. It doesn't help me AT ALL. 

I have pain and terrible muscle spasms. I always say I'd take a baseball bat to my legs and beat the crap out of them because it would feel better than those stupid spasms. I take Zanaflex (tizanidine) and it does help. It helps normalize the amount of Substance P in the spinal fluid. Substance P is a neurotransmitter and it has been found that people with Fibromyalgia have an excess of Substance P in the spinal fluid. For me, it helps.

Back to the flyer.
It states that Zanaflex is ranked in the "poor" category.
I'll get back to that.

In the "excellent" category is Cymbalta, Lyrica, Savella and, funnily enough, Hydrocodone. Again, if you have pain and depression it's quite possible that these medications will help. The thing about hydrocodone, in my humble opinion, is that it isn't good for the long term. It is  usually combined with acetaminophen and there is a possibility of liver damage with long term use. The drugs in the excellent category in the flyer have weight gain as a side effect. I don't know about anyone else but pain is difficult enough to deal with.....

Weight gain?
Let's just add a tiara.

While I think the flyer gives good information about the approved medications that are used for Fibromyalgia, I think it's a mistake to rank them. The problem with Fibromyalgia is that this is a crap shoot. No one really knows what is going to work for whom. While a low dose opioid and tizanidine work for me to manage the symptoms, it may not work for someone else. 

Medications are tricky. They are to be used with caution. We have been made to believe that popping a pill will be magic. The pharmaceutical companies are big business and the side effects of the medications that we take are wide and varied. When I hear the disclaimers I think that the illness is almost better than what we have to take to manage it. Plus, they always talk REAL fast when they hit the real icky side effects. 

I think that sometimes we're being sold an illusion. They really don't know what these drugs can do. Is it possible, years from now, we will be told that these drugs are really not safe? I think there is a place for everything and we need a strategy that encompasses a pharma-exercise-alternative-behavioral-nutritional strategy. 

Let's face it, until they figure out what causes our pain perception and reception to go haywire......well then.......

We are where we are.

It the middle of the stream.

Reaching for any paddle that can get us to shore.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Sometimes things look bleak.
Sometimes you can't figure out the "why."
Then God's grace will be...

There are times in this life that you can't figure out what the heck is going on. Everything around you is falling apart but, then again, that's just what it seems like. 

I've never been a "religious" person but I am a very spiritual one. I really, truly believe that God has a reason for everything. There are times that I've felt his presence and there are times that I'm flailing out there on my own.

I know that I've been blessed in this life. I have wonderful kids that are my life. It was a miracle that I had her and she has been a source of joy in my life. I really meant it when I told her that one day she'll have one and I hope it's just like her. Now, at the time, I really meant that I hoped her son or daughter would make her as crazy as she made me. She walked at a very early age and ran soon thereafter. I never stopped after that. 

Did I mention that she downed a bottle of baby aspirin and handed me the bottle?

At the kids wedding I made a speech and mentioned that there were so many stories that I could have told but I chose that I'd save them as bedtime stories for their children. Now, that I really meant! 

I just have been a little reflective today. I went to the doctor and need a ton of blood work done. I'm going to be tested for a ton of autoimmune illnesses. Hopefully, just to rule them out. I don't know my medical history because I was adopted. As my daughter gets older it's something that I really wish I knew. 

I would hope that it would be included for all adoptions. 

I don't think its right to leave certain details out. I know the records are sealed and some birth parents are reluctant to have that door opened BUT I do think that a medical history should be taken so future generations aren't left to "guess work" and basically a crap shoot.

I left the doctor reflecting on the why. Why now does he feel the need to check for more autoimmune illnesses. What is he trying to rule out? They all say that it's nothing and it's just to make sure nothing else is lurking in the background......

Why say that in the first place?

Anyway, I was a little shaken by that but then I heard from my little sweetheart and the world seemed right again. Sometimes I need to be reminded how wonderful are the things this life holds.

I need to let go (never been my strong suit)

And let God be in control.

It will work out.

It always does.......

But Grace has never been my middle name.

Friday, January 4, 2013


The African Griffonia plant.
The seed pods are a natural source of 5-HTP.
Wasn't there a motor oil like that?

5-HTP is an amino acid that is made by the body from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan.  The body uses it to increase the production of serotonin. People with Fibromyalgia are usually deficient in serotonin. That's why for some people with Fibromyalgia, Cymbalta works wonders.

There is also a natural supplement of 5-HTP that can be taken. 

The dosage can be anywhere from 50 to 500 milligrams. That seems like a pretty wide variation in the dosage. Eating foods that contain tryptophan, such as poultry, seafood, nuts and dairy is a pretty healthy way to increase the amount of L-tryptophan in your body. The supplement sounds like a harmless way to increase the levels in your system.

Just remember one thing.
Even though it's natural that doesn't mean it isn't a drug.

Always let your doctor know what you're taking. Even if its a simple vitamin or a supplement. They can interact with the medications you take.....even the over-the-counter ones. These supplements can have strong biologic effects. We need to be careful....we have enough pain. 

Natural doesn't always mean safe.

I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else. Sometimes you get so tired of the pain that you'll try anything. I went to a support group meeting and a woman told me she took a supplement called lithium orotate and it took away the pain. Well, I went online and ordered it. I can tell you that I didn't have a real good reaction. There can be some real serious side effects and I didn't research it until I started taking it. 

Now, I'm very, very careful about medication.

Again, I understand the desperation to feel better. If there was something that worked the journals would be filled with studies and trials. The point is that we must be very transparent with our physicians. It may seem silly to list vitamins and supplements but they need to know. If you don't think your doctor will know, ask the pharmacist. Some supplements can interact not only with your current medication but even with certain foods.

This could happen to any of us.

Plus, we shouldn't mess around with our serotonin levels. That is only for trained medical professionals. There can be serotonin poisoning and that can be fatal. It can be as simple as combining medications that increase the levels. There's even cough syrup containing dextromethorphan that can do this. It just depends on how much of a serotonin increasing medication that we're already taking. Part of the problem is that we're prescribed so many things for so many different symptoms. 

There is also a great website where you can check the interaction of your medications and supplements. It's called MEDSCAPE DRUG INTERACTION CHECKER. I've included the link so just click on the the word. 

So just be careful taking medication.

We have enough issues to deal with.


Still sounds like motor oil to me.

I guess it is.........kinda...........