Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Relaxing Morning

How our puppy has grown!  She is
watching her master as he walks to work.
2 years ago

It's lovely sitting here on the loveseat recliner with my labrador retriever lying here, her shoulder snuggled close to my hip.  My coffee is steaming and the whole day is ahead of me.  

Some days, we fibromites have a few minutes or hours of respite from pain.  Sure, if you start putting pressure on our trigger points, which sometimes feels like our whole bodies, there is pain.  But to be able to sit or walk without nagging aches for even an hour is bliss.  

I have to admit it is a puzzle to me how in the evening, one can be in such intense pain, the whole body aches like it has the flu, but sometimes one wakes up and actually feels comparably comfortable the next morning.  One of the theories of why we feel pain more than the average person is that our brains and nerves make us feel pain more intensely.  However, as I sit here and realize there is a slight burn across my entire back, I think that I have learned to ignore much of the pain, because in some degree it is always there.

As I write, I am actually getting so relaxed that I'm falling asleep.  Maybe, it's time for a little nap, so I can have energy to get a few more things done today.  I like to take advantage of the sleepy moments too, since often I feel exhausted and sleep eludes me.  Have a lovely day.

Gentle hugs,


P.S.  After a tummy rub, our lab is lying on her back, asleep and dreaming.  She is my therapeutic dog:  petting her makes me feel good, and I smile.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Blues

Image courtesy of [Vlado]/

Hello, Dear Readers.  I hope your winter is going well.  Mine has been a little rough, but I am hanging in there with less depression than I have had other winters when the bottom seemed to drop out from under me.  My body does not like cold weather and the various changes in temperature, in barometric pressure, and living through dark, cloudy days.  Cold weather and dampness is particularly uncomfortable.

Do you have more pain and fatigue during frequent changes in weather or during the winter months?  Those of us with sensitivity to weather changes and temperature truly walk a balance beam:  we're too hot or too cold  -- dripping perspiration because we were too cold and turned up the heat, or we have feet that are cold even with thick socks.  There is actually a name for this condition:  dysautonomia which means one's autonomic nervous system does not regulate the body's homeostasis like it should.  Common sense probably dictates to most of us what to do to be more comfortable, but being a inquiring soul, I usually like to have more information.  Adrienne Dellwo wrote an excellent article on this subject.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When Up Is Down, and Down Is Up

When one has Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME, we sometimes have those days that not only do our brains work slower, we feel out and out foggy.  This afternoon, I am sitting here with my ears ringing about as loudly as the television;  and I am wondering what will happen if I go out to the kitchen to do some work in there.  Will I have to stop, because I only have enough energy to wash one or two bowls?  My inclination is to stay in my recliner covered up with blankets.  It's not that cold today, but I'm cold;  and, it feels cozy where I am right now.  I think that is probably as good as it is going to get today.

Did I mention my fingers are numb and tingly too?

Do you ever have days like this, and do you wonder where they come from?  Do you wonder about symptoms that come and go, or symptoms that are magnified sometimes, but not every day?  For instance, my ears do not usually ring this loudly:  right now, I can only describe the sound as very, very loud crickets or ocean without the break between waves.  When I have no other sound in a room, I sometimes hear a light cricket sound;  however, now, the sound is blaring loudly.  

All these symptoms are also described by other fibromyalgia patients. Sometimes we wonder what makes our symptoms kick in.  Well, today, I have an inkling I know what is making my day slow and weird.  I woke up early this morning,  and I had such bad excess acid, that I could not keep it down.  The pain made me feel like I was going to pass out, and I went into a cold sweat.  I had to lie down just in case.  If I hadn't known that I ate something that could give me excess acid before I went to bed, I would have been more concerned.  You see, I am no stranger to passing out:  I have done it ever since I was 11 or 12 years old.  However, it does give me pause, so I will go to my doctor.  

Ladies, have you ever thought you wouldn't know if you were having a heart attack, because of the fibromyalgia.  I've had stress tests twice, because I got esophageal spasms.  I don't get them very often, but the first one made me think I was having a heart attack. The spasm was so painful, I passed out.    Today, I haven't had an esophageal spasm but my chest wall is one big burning ache.  Right now, my sternum is sore without even touching it, so I have an ice pack on it.  

The reason I am going over all these symptoms is because they are fresh in my mind, not because I want sympathy.  

Dear Ones, I know how frustrating it can be.  Sometimes, weird is the only thing we can think to describe the way we feel. It feels a little bit like being Alice in Wonderland:  you don't know whether up is down, or down is up.  

   I hope you all are having a good day.
created by me for you

Light hugs to you,


For more information on Fibromyalgia Symptoms, click here:  The Monster List of Fibromyalgia Symptoms  by Adrienne Dellwo.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Living One Day at a Time

How do you know your attitude has changed towards how your illness affects your life?  When balancing your life does not include having to deal with constant depression, when you can smile about having to put your cane back in the same place to remember where you put it, and when having aches and pains don't make you angry -- you are learning to be content in your situation.  When I say content, I do not mean complacent.  When you can be content and happy despite the day's aches, pains, and events -- you have learned to live in the present. 

Living in the present can be a very good thing, because we deal with how we feel now, not yesterday or tomorrow.  For instance, I realize that I am feeling antsy this afternoon:  I did last night too.  So I'm not saying that you should just forget how you felt yesterday;  because if you feel the same way today, maybe your body is trying to tell you something.  Therefore, take a couple of minutes to think about what is going on.  What would help you in your current situation?

Sometimes, when one has Fibromyalgia or CFS, one's nerves seem to be on end for absolutely no reason you can pinpoint.  However, I know what is bothering me.  I have been spending too much time on the computer, blogging, or preparing something for a blog.  I need to move my body, do some household tasks, step outside for a breath of fresh air, and take a break from the computer.  I need to relax my mind:  my mind is reeling from all the things I think I need to do.

Back to Attitude    

Analyzing where you are in the moment is not an indicator of bad attitude.  It means you are taking care of yourself and figuring out how to balance your energy.  Realizing you are feeling a little off doesn't mean you have lost your happiness:  it just means it is time to smell the roses and look at where you are now.  Maybe, you just need to sit down and rest;  or perhaps like me, you have some things you have neglected for other things that seemed to take over your life.

Finally, those of us who have FM or CFS need to manage our energy.  So, if your problem is the laundry has piled up, you might not want to try to get it done in one day.  Take baby steps.  You can do one or two loads of laundry today.  Then, do another load tomorrow and the next day.  Sometimes, we make things so hard for ourselves.  We want to live our lives perfectly, doing everything we think we should do.  Watch out for living your lives with unrealistic expectations.  Remember, you can only take one step at a time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Not Your Fault

February 3, 2013

S L U M P or schlump (pronunciation shlump).  Have I mentioned that word too many times?  I feel like I have it stamped all over me.  On my forehead there is this stamp in red that is glowing "slump, bored, fibro-fog, shake it off, and why me?.  That is just the way I feel with the mire sucking at me:  I can picture my tortured feet trying to walk through the mud to get anything done.  And then -- there is that strange wonky feeling that I'm just a tad off, but if I got up I might be OK, only I cannot get up.  Or I won't get up.  I'm not always sure which it is.  However, if I wait it out without getting super reactive over my unwanted wonkiness, I will eventually be back to a higher level of functioning.

At least,  I know I am not the only one with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia that sometimes feels like this.  I was feeling frustrated, so I thought I would look up some articles on motivation.  The first one was written in lettering so large, I knew I would be scrolling the page forever.  Yes, I know I can change the print, but that blog post was not about the motivation problem CFS and FM patients get.  So I changed the words in the search engine and ran across one of my favorite writers in the area of FM and CFS.  She had an explanation and suggestions that make sense:  It's easy to feel lazy when you just don't have the motivation to do something.  This probably is more of a physiological problem, possibly related to neurotransmitter imbalance, than it is outright laziness... ~Adrienne Dellwo~

February 7, 2013

I have been able to say, "Oh, happy day..." for a few days.  I have still been fatigued, but I have not felt like all productive activity was lost. I am dealing with fibromyalgia aches in unusual places, but not pain that has been incapacitating.  At least I think they are all FM;  therefore,  if I don't have some relief soon, I anticipate a doctor's appointment.  Something important to remember, when you have an illness like FM, is not all pain can actually be attributed to the disease*.  Today is a cool, damp, rainy day in my neck of the woods;  therefore, I am not at all surprised that I feel achy.  I have had Fibromyalgia long enough to know my triggers (most of the time).  Sometimes, I am surprised;  or maybe, I have just forgotten. 

Sometimes, I have to use a cane when I first stand up, especially if I sit too long, but I think that is due to arthritis stiffness in my knees.  However, fibromyalgia can also cause unsteadiness;  so combine that with arthritis, and you have a double whammy.  Considering I have an artificial joint in my left hip and thigh bone, I would rather be safe than sorry.  Once I am on my feet and have gotten those arthritic joints warmed up, I usually discard the cane, putting it beside the chair I sit in most often.  If I didn't I would surely forget where put it.  The lovely thing is I can smile when I say that.  I hope you can too.

*Unless there is a new classification, FM has not yet been classified as a "disease", but as a "syndrome";  however, I call it a Disease, because that is what it feels like to the people that are afflicted with FM.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Do What You Can Do

Image Courtesy of [graur codrin]/
Foggy brain go away.  Don't come back another day -- I wish!  But here it is,  you are going to get the "Do what you can do, and don't worry about the rest talk."  That is what I plan to do;  because, if I start stressing over brain fog, it will get worse.

  • Earlier today, I started an excellent post by accident as I was commenting on another blog.  I copied it, and redid the blog post comment.  Lesson learned:  immediately copy to stick it note or new template, because I might delete the really good stuff, while I copy a name so I won't forget to spell it properly.  If that post makes sense to me tomorrow and my fog will let me edit without feeling brain dead, it will be in Living Better With An Invisible Illness.
  • I can do a load of laundry and put away the basket that has been sitting there a week.
  • I can do the FlyLady habit for the month, which is to declutter for 15 minutes every day.
  • I can write down a couple of things I need to do, and when I finish I can check them off my list.
  • Also, I can continue to get dressed daily, which I had let up on because I have been fighting depression.  This is something I have already accomplished --  Hooray, me!
  • What can you do?  Your list doesn't have to be as long as mine.
You and I can do this.  I know we can.  Take Baby Steps back when flare-ups, depression, or brain fog hits -- that is the way to go.  Be grateful for what we can do.  Enjoy doing something that doesn't make the brain fog worse.  You will have to decide what works for you.  I like to read something entertaining or watch a funny movie.  Sometimes, I work on my art journal.  Or I take a short walk with the dog.  Or I take my anti-anxiety medicine, and I go lie down in my quiet bedroom if there is too much coming into the brain and my nerves are on end.  If you have Fibromyalgia, you probably know exactly what I am talking about.  Sometimes, it is a daily battle and sometimes, we seem to have moments of respite.  Never again do I want this disease to flood my life with guilt over the things I cannot do all the time.  How about you?