Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Should I Try It??????

It seems every day somebody else is running into me or emailing me with the latest miracle cure for fibromyalgia. Just drink this 3 times a day..........just do that 5 times a week. The latest is a miracle doctor who provides specialized care for over 20 different illnesses! NO drugs, no adjustments, no therapy.........the only problem I found with their website is that they couldn't tell me exactly what it is they DO do? I have a friend who referred me there, who has fibro also, who swears by the treatment, but she also couldn't tell me what the treatment was!

Then I have another friend who has just started the latest miracle cure all drink and she wants me to try it. It's, of course, all natural, no drugs involved. Helps the body heal itself! But once again, they can't tell me exactly what it is that the stuff does.

These alternative treatments are NOT cheap, nor are they covered under insurance or medicare.
Don't get me wrong....I KNOW my friends are only trying to help me. They see me suffering with this horrible thing called fibromyalgia and they want to help. They've tried something that they think has made them feel better, so surely it would work for me as well. I mean, what have I got to lose? I'm miserable now, if it fails I will still just be miserable. At least it's worth a shot, right?

What they don't realize is that I've already tried almost everything out there under the sun at least once. Rarely are there actually new treatments. They're just the same old ones remodeled to look like the latest and greatest cure all. I've tried all the scientific treatments that I know of. I've tried all the alternative treatments that I know of. I've tried everything you could possibly think of that's out there, whether covered by insurance or not and the conclusion I've come to is that nothing is going to cure me because they don't even know why I'm sick! The things that have helped me, I've stuck with. Unfortunately, it is true that these are just "band aids", if you will, and aren't actually helping me get better, but rather just treat the symptoms. As far as I can tell, that's the best that technology has to offer me at this juncture of life.

So when someone, especially great friends, come up to me and want me to try the latest and greatest treatments, please don't get mad at me if I don't immediately run out and buy it or book an appointment. Don't be upset that I'm skeptical. Don't write me off as "not wanting to get better" just because I don't try it. Because frankly I'm tired, just tired of being poked and prodded and used as a guinea pig for every new therapy that comes along. I'm heartbroken and discouraged that there's NOTHING to actually treat my illness and the illnesses that come along with it. Don't write me off.........I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just being realistic.

So that leaves me with the age old question.........Should I try it? What do YOU think?? Seriously, What DO you think? I want to know.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Things that help me feel better - parts 2 & 3

I bought this little comfort item at Walgreens almost two years ago and I can't imagine life without it now.

In case you can't tell from the picture (which I realize is totally unnecessary but I like taking pictures of stuff), this is a Homedics shiatsu massage pillow. It has two rotating heads (I guess that's what they're called) that also heat up. The great thing about this massage tool is that you can place the heads right on the spot that's giving you trouble, unlike those chair massage things that only cover a strip down your back.

This pillow works great to massage and relax the muscles in my mid back and it really digs into my trigger point areas. It's a total lifesaver when my back is tight and hurting and when my trigger points are acting up. I use this pillow almost every day and there have been many times that I would never have made it through cooking dinner without spending a few minutes with this pillow.

A couple notes of caution: If you leave it plugged in, it stays warm, which I find a bit disturbing. Also, if you are really tender to the touch, this might be too rough for you. The heads stick out quite a ways and they are rather hard.

Another comfort item that I couldn't live without is a big styrofoam cylinder that I bought from my chiropractor. He called it a myofascial trigger point release...Hmmm, I seem to have forgotten the last word but, boy, does it feel good on my trigger points.

It looks like this:

You place it on the floor and then roll on it, spending time on any spots that hurt or feel tight. I think it really does help to release the tension in my trigger points and it definitely works out tension in my back.

It's pretty firm, so if you are really tender it might be too hard. I saw something like it in the yoga/pilates section of Target, so you could always sample it there to see if it would be comfortable for you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things that help me feel better - part 1

I really liked Teresa's 20 Things That Make Me Feel Better on Bad Pain Days post and wanted to do one of my own. But, as often happens with my fibro, I feel overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks and don't feel capable of sitting down and writing about 20 things. Or even 10, for that matter. So, I decided I'd write about each individually.

The first is a wonderful thing I discovered while waiting for a prescription at Bartell Drugs:

Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soaking Solution is regular old Epsom salts with eucalyptus and spearmint essential oils added to them. I'm not a big fan of spearmint or eucalyptus but in this, they smell really good. Putting two cups of these salts in my tub downstairs fills my whole house with a delightful aroma.

According to my book on essential oils, eucalyptus oil is good for muscular aches and pains, headaches, sluggishness and mental exhaustion, all common symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Spearmint is good for improving one's mood and focus. What fibro patient couldn't use that?

I do feel an improvement in my aches and pains after soaking in these salts, at least for a few hours afterward. I've decided to commit to at least two salt soaks per week to help relax my muscles and detoxify my body.

To read about the health benefits of a salt soak, this article, Treat Yourself to Thalassotherapy at Home, is pretty interesting. After reading it, I'm thinking I should use sea salts, at least part of the time, because of their higher mineral content. But I'm still going to keep a bag of Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts around because they smell so good. Soaking in them is truly a treat.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When Is It Enough?

I tend to try to be positive to the outside world, even though I'm a negative person by habit, but I must admit I don't feel much to be positive about tonight. I've had a very bad day cognitively. Physically, I was much better. It was a good day even. But my brain has been MIA.

First, I slept through the alarm clock, again, today. My daughter had to repeatedly call me to wake up. She's only 5! After I finally woke up things seemed to go smoothly. We both dressed, ate breakfast (which usually NEVER happens) and basically got ready for our day. I took her to kindergarten school at 9:00 am and proceeded to drive the additional 15 minutes to ToysRUs. There I waited for them to open (still awake) and soon went in. I was looking for Zhu Zhu Pets. They're the hottest toy right now. Or at least one of them and my daughter loves them. There are 9 hamsters in all and my daughter has 4 of them. She of course wants the other 5, which we are constantly searching for. Anyway, they were out, but I did manage to pick up some doll house furniture at Buy one Get one Free for her doll house for Christmas presents. That was a great deal.

I walked out to my car and remembered that I had to ship a package at the UPS store so I got in the car and proceeded to drive back in that direction. Up to this point I have acted like a normal person, which is extraordinary for me. I hadn't forgotten anything. No mishaps. Everything was just cruising along.
Until I saw the red light! What are you supposed to do at a red light? We all know the answer, right? Apparently not! Now I had shown no hint of fibrofog up to this point, but now it decides to kick in. As I approached the very busy intersection, with cars all around, my light turned red. I had PLENTY of time to stop. No stomping on the brakes was necessary. But for some strange reason my brain decides that it does not know what to do at a red light. I momentarily froze (although the car continued driving) What do I do? What am I supposed to do? Just as I pass under the red light, I decide to floor it. NOW my brain kicks in~ Ahhh, you were supposed to STOP at the red light! Thank God it was after school hours had begun, but before lunch time. I am sure I would have had a wreck if it had been any other time of day. But as it was, though busy, it wasn't hustling as at other times of the day. The other people seemed just as dazed and confused about what I did as I was because no one even honked a horn. Thankfully there were no police around. Although I am not sure whether there was a camera at that intersection or not, so I may end up with a driving ticket in the mail. Lord, I hope not!

After this fiasco I managed to regroup and finish driving to the UPS store. Nothing unusual happened there, but I decide to treat myself to breakfast (I fed Tabitha this morning, not myself) at Burger King. I love their Ham, Egg & Cheese Croissants. Anyway, that all goes smoothly and before going home I make the decision to stop at Walmart, just to check on the Zhu Zhu pets there. All out!! No surprise there, huh~ I did pick up a couple of things for Christmas gifts and some Halloween candy though.

I arrived home 2 1/2 hours after I had left this morning. Only to discover I had forgotten and left the TV set on. But that's no big deal, right? I mean that's not hurting anyone! Well I sit down and decide to answer some emails and do some other odds & ends on the computer. It's 11:15am so I've got 1 hr 45 min before I have to pick Tabitha up at school. I am feeling a little tired, but nothing major and my brain seems to have recuperated from the red light fiasco. I've already taken care of business on the computer so I decide to hunt a few eggs on FaceBook.

The next thing I know my husband is walking through the front door yelling "Where's Tabitha"! I have no idea and where did he come from? He doesn't get home until 2:15 pm. Well, as it turns out I had fallen asleep (again) in my recliner and totally slept through picking up my little girl at school. This is NOT the 1st time this has happened in the last month. Actually it's the 3rd time it's happened in that period. My husband grabs the keys, runs out the door to go pick her up and shouts at me to call the teacher/principal of the school to be sure Tabitha is OK and still there and that he's on his way to pick her up. After he left, I did call Mrs. Elaine (as the children call her) and apologized profusely, for which she kept saying not to worry about it. Everything is fine (she knows I am sick) and not to worry about. Of course, I totally break down on the phone and begin sobbing. How could I do such a thing? What is wrong with me? I am such a terrible mother. Seriously, I must be. And what makes it even worse is that my husband and Mrs. Elaine have both called me during this period. A total of 5 phone calls were made and messages left on the answering machine. The PHONE IS 12 INCHES FROM MY HEAD!!!!!!!! How did I not hear it? What is going on!!!!!

Now you may say that it's probably just some of my medicine that I'm taking. After all I am on about 12 meds right now. But as it turns out, my brain wasn't TOTALLY functioning early this morning because I forgot to take ANY of my meds. So I wasn't groggy from medicine. What's the deal?
(Before you go crazy wondering, Tabitha was fine, still at school. Having fun with Mrs. Elaine cutting pictures out of magazines. Turns out she's there until 3 pm every weekday. Thank God for Mrs. Elaine!)
After Tabitha got home from school I tried doing some more work on the computer but fell asleep again. I slept for 3 hours and my husband had to wake me for supper.

Maybe I used too many spoons this morning early. Maybe I wasn't having as good a day as I thought initially. I don't know. I just don't know. But I don't think this is normal, even for a person with fibromyalgia. I know that extreme fatigue is a symptom, but I'm scared something else is going on. The doctor had given me a prescription for Provigil which is to combat the fatigue, however my insurance won't pay for it. They denied it as it wasn't FDA approved for my condition they said. I don't know........I may have to just fork out the money and get this one anyway. It's $250.00 for a 30 day supply. There is not a generic for this and I don't think there is a substitute either.

Just when I thought I had a handle on this fibromyalgia thing, now I'm having additional symptoms that are quite frightening. What if I fell asleep while driving? I do it RIDING in the car all the time now. I do it while people are talking to me! I am not going to lie to you, I'm really scared right now. What if I have narcolepsy? My sister & brother has epilepsy. Isn't it a related condition? What am I going to do?

When is enough ENOUGH? I'm very weak and broken right now and I don't know if I can handle having another diagnosis. God is good to me, so good to me. I am thankful for all He's done and is doing through my illnesses. But I'm just not sure if I can handle having something else added to my list. I'm so tired: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc....
I know that whatever happens, God will give me the grace to get through this, but I can't help but asking, "God, When is enough, enough?"

Please, Please, Please add me to your prayer list. I know this may be a small thing compared to what COULD be wrong with me, but it's a HUGE thing to me right now. Thanks for all your support!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What kind of Pain am I in?

I don't know what I'm going to write about tonight. I just know that I'm in so much pain I've got to do something to take my mind off of it, and this seemed like a good idea.

What kind of pain am I in? Oh you name it and it hurts. My whole body aches. Feels like I've been beat up. I'm so tender that even lying or sitting down hurts!
Even my shoulders are hurting. My left one (the bad one) feels just like it did when I tore it, but I haven't done anything but lay in bed and sit in my recliner. I've already had 2 surgeries on it, don't want a 3rd~
My knees are creaking and throbbing in pain. Again, this makes it very hard to walk. They even lock up on me.
And my ankles and feet are the very worst (but don't forget my hands and fingers!). I can't stand for my feet to be touched. Heat makes it worse and cold makes them cramp. I haven't tried a foot bath yet, that's next. Hope it helps. If my foot pain weren't so bad I MIGHT could deal with this. I'm a 10 on the pain scale. Actually an 11, but who's counting? If my feet were better I might be down to a 8 or 9. Oh the difference one digit makes!!!
My entire spine is in pain. Neck to sacral. AND I'm stiff. Like a board! I do have AS as well as fibro so that may be the reason I'm so stiff. But it's beyond ridiculous. I can't turn to save my life. Bending isn't much fun either. Going to the bathroom is a real adventure!
And to top it all off, I've got a headache. So I literally hurt from head to toe. Can it get any worse?
Glad you asked! Because YES it can. I'm not doing so great emotionally either. In fact I feel like taking the big plunge! I won't, I will never do that, by the grace of God. But I really FEEL like it.
I don't know how much more I can take. But there has to be a reason that I suffer. I don't think God lets people go thru this without a good reason. God is not cruel. I choose to think that He saw something in me that He knew I could bear this illness while still giving God the praise. I may not have just sounded like it, but that is my official stand on the subject. I do give God the praise and glory, even for this illness. Without it, I would have never known the JOY of a good day. Or being able to play with my little girl. I would have just continued to take all of these things for granted. I would have NEVER known what a real blessing they are. And I'd of never really experienced how comforting the Grace of God is. No matter how bad I'm hurting, or how down I am, God always takes care of me and He makes a difference in my life.

Soooo, I guess writing this did help me because I really am feeling better now. Praise God!

Monday, October 5, 2009

20 Things That Make Me Feel Better On Bad Pain Days

What are some things that make me feel better on bad pain days?

1. My Electric Blanket (the warmth is such a comfort).
2. A big , soft hug from my daughter.
3. My Bed (it's softness, yet firm, is the most comfortable place to lay).
4. Prayer (GOD always provides peace and comfort and lets me know I'm not alone).
5. Stretching (it seems to warm up my muscles and tissues, providing relief).
6. A Card or Letter from a friend.
7. Writing in my diary or blog (it helps me get off my chest all the feelings that are bottling up).
8. Take-out Food (no cooking!)
9. Talking to a Friend.
10. Believe it or not, SOMETIMES, gentle sex! (It takes my mind off the pain and provides some feel-good endorphines).
11. Creating something - crafts, pics, poems, etc... (It again takes my mind off the pain and makes me feel useful again).
12. Reading an Inspirational or Fiction book (It takes my mind off the pain and transports me to a different place mentally).
13. Making plans for when I have a GOOD day (It gives me something to look forward to).
14. A Nap (Pain is very exhausting!)
15. Buying something (inexpensive) for MYSELF (usually online as I can't get out of the house).
16. Chocolate, just a little! (Chocolate makes everything better!!! jk)
17. A long hot bubble bath (being surrounded in warmth & sweet scents is so comforting).
18. A Massage (it actually releases feel good endorphines!)
19. My little girl giving me one of her stuffed animals to comfort me.
20. Being held by my hubby as I try to go to sleep.

Can you think of some things that make YOU feel better on your bad days? I'd love to hear from you and get some ideas.
I know that some days NOTHING is going to make me feel better, but I have to keep trying because I have to keep living. The moment I give up, I might as well be dead! Because there's nothing worse than living a life without HOPE.
Gentle hugs to you.