Saturday, January 28, 2012
I have Fibromyalgia (FM) and this is my blog to myself on dealing with it and organizing it so that I can cut it down to a size where I can deal with it.
Fibromyalgia effects us all differently so I have had to learn to deal with it on my own terms. For me my pain seems to be worse at night. I would take meds but I have lots of side effects to the point of illness due to the medications, so for the most part opt out. For me I don't have a lot of choices.
In not being able to tolerate the high powered pain and often mood altering drugs offered to most FM sufferers I feel like I am a little weirdly wired from the typical FM patient. I had rather have pain and my wits and have a fair shot at losing weight and staying healthy, then have meds that interfere with my weight and have to deal with all the overwhelming side effects these meds produce in my sensitive system.
I have not really solved the problem, but I have at least risen to the challenge it has created and am learning to work with the problem. I now take some meds "as needed" or sparingly with my doctor's blessing. If I take them on an everyday basis many of these powerful drugs overwhelm my system and the side effects start showing up.
I have found that anti-inflammatory meds work sometimes but they are tough on my stomach. Sometimes that must be a trade off. Also OTC pain meds work somewhat, but when I am are having severe Fibromyalgia pain it can be a challenge trying to get through.
In discovering what helps give me quality of life I have pinpointed things I cannot do without. These, for me, are 2000 mg of coral calcium and, even though it is balanced with magnesium and vitamin D, a friend of mine and I were both told by doctors and lab technicians we needed to add even more vitamin D. We were told that most people, and especially those with FM, needed more vitamin D than they were getting.
I have been taking calcium for years and the right kind does minimize pain. I really notice it if I skip it. I started adding the extra vitamin D recently and it has seemed to help as well.
I have also discovered my triggers. For me I call them the F factors. These are Foods, Fronts, Failed sleep and Frustration which when allowed to go unchecked place my body in Fatigue causing my FM to Flare for me. Here is the equation.
F (Food, Fronts, Frustration and/or Failed sleep) x (multiplied) on Fatigue unchecked = FF (Fibromyalgia (FM) Flare)
If I can stay ahead of the F factors by
1) eating higher protein sustainable energy foods and avoiding junk food and high carbs,
2) paying attention to the weather to know when to expect a weather induced flare and planning on taking the meds I take sparingly the day or just before the front is due so I am ahead of the pain,
3) reading a scripture or other positive uplifting reading to ponder (for me it is a scripture that a student of mine brought me which brings me peace) and using other de-stressing techniques that leads to Frustration,
4) and relaxing at night before bedtime in order to get a good nights sleep and avoid the Failed sleep pattern
I have found that I can do moderately well considering the condition. As a matter of fact, just getting most of these reduces my FM symptoms. Unfortunately this is an if and does not always work out.
The scripture my student gave me, by the way, and which I keep in my Bible as a book mark so I can read it every night is
" Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives it do I give it unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid for I am with you always." John 14:27
However, there are many other uplifting scriptures or other writings that are peaceful and uplifting to focus on. I ponder good thoughts as I rise and upon going to bed at night to prevent frustration and especially in times of frustrations. I have found it does seem to help sustain the body as well as the soul.
If you are religious, a prayer journal at night, giving over your stress to God, is often very effective in reducing stress at bedtime so that sleep can be more beneficial.
These are just some of the things I have found helpful as I struggle to deal with my FM. I sometimes feel like a boxer giving it the one two punch and trying to keep it off guard, but then sometimes it flattens me. There are more techniques I use and others use as this is an illness that requires adjusting and adapting to whatever it throws at you, so the challenge goes on...
For a more complete blog of some of my methods of dealing with pain see my blog on "What Do You Do for Fibromyalgia Pain?"
Monday, June 20, 2011
I had a great Dad! He was known for honesty, integrity, work ethics, and lack of haughtiness ina all circumstances even though he was a manager. His employer told us at the funeral what we already knew and that was that if my Dad said something you knew it was the truth, he also added what we didn't know and that was that as long as he managed his books he knew hew never needed to call an auditor. He knew they were correct because of my Dad's integrity and accuracy in his work.
Another co-worker stated that once she and another co-worker got into a squabble about who should do what work. My Dad walked in as they were bickering. She said he never said a word, but sat down as they were arguing. When they happened to look over at him, he was quietly doing the job the both thought they were too good to do. She said they both felt about an inch tall and wanted to slither into the woodwork. They settled their differences and didn't argue worked together to decide how they could help each other make the office run more efficiently by doing whatever jobs needed done.
I am so blessed to have these memories of my Dad. For me I knew whatever he told me was the truth and I knew that whatever I told him would not be laughed out, villainized, or minimized and he would show true understanding and compassion without strings attached.
He was a deacon in the church and enjoyed serving others. I continue to learn from my Dad's example every day.
My husband was another strong man but in different ways than my Dad. He believed in protecting abused animals and worked with the USDA. He was very intelligent and could fix anything. He was a kind man and tried to take the best of care of me. I miss him greatly and with the trials and obstacles I have faced as a widow I have relied on the things that I learned from my husband and watched him do to survive and keep the place fixed up and repaired.
I am very fortunate to have had two strong men in my life who had values and commitment.
Also, I have a Heavenly Father, who has looked after me, provided for me, and provided these two men in my life for a definite reason I am sure.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY in Heaven to all of these wonderful pillars of support in my life.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
My Sylvia observing me at my computer from her usual place on my shoulders .
As some of you know our cat, My Sylvia took sick Monday and disappeared the next day. She was 14 years old and looked very tired that day, stopped eating that evening, and I gave her an antibiotic just in case. She looked so frail and worn out and just wanted to lay down as if she was exhausted. I did get her to drink some milk but that was only lip service on her part to make me happy. The next morning she had left the house via the cat door and was no where to be found. I searched and called her name but to no avail.
My Sylvia's original name was Sylvia, but she was our dear sweet kitty and my dh and I would banter back and forth...."She's my Sylvia!", he would say to which I would reply, "No, she is my Sylvia!" So Sylvia immediately decided that her name was MySylvia and would always answer to that. She usually did not like leaving me unless my dh needed some kind of extra care. She would sit or ride on my shoulders and observe every move I made.
When my dh went into the hospital the first time she was quite distraught but did finally get to see him via webcam which is how the photo above was taken. When he came home she was the only one of our pets (not even his own dog) who recognized him because he had lost weight and lost his hair and had changed so much, but that didn't fool My Sylvia. She knew the smell of the one that was missing and immediately she took up her place in his lap. For days she would not leave his side unless he slept and then she would come to me and sit on my shoulders as if to say "He is resting so I will make sure you are okay, now." It was almost as if she worried that she had not been diligent enough in taking care of him the first time he went to the hospital and she was making up for that.
When we went to the hospital the last time MySylvia followed us out to the car like she usually did and watched us leave. MySylvia did not stay in the house much when we were gone. She preferred to stay in the front yard and wait until we got back to come back inside with us, even though she had a cat door and could go in or stay out as she pleased.
After my dear husband died we took him to another state to bury him in our family plot. When I got back, MySylvia had a broken back leg. The vet said it would probably not do any good to set it since we had not been able to get to it when it happened, but that she would be fine in about six weeks. Well, she was fine from the broken leg in 6 weeks and was jumping up on my shoulders and the washing machine, etc., and was able to run, though she did have a limp.
However, MySylvia, was far from being well from her broken heart from not being able to find my dh. It was as if this time she knew something terrible had happened. Every day she would go to the places my dh would spend time outside and check them out to see if he might show up there.
Yesterday some friends from St. Louis came to see me and help me around the place. They changed a flat, checked and filled the water and oil in my cars, fixed my TV so that I could watch it again (the handyman who moved it to replace some paneling had not hooked it up right), and they did various things I was unable to do which helped me a great deal. While they were out and about, however, in an outbuilding where my dh had spent a lot of time, they found MySylvia. The building was open and she had gone in one last time before she died of what we believe was heart failure to find him. I had looked in the building but she was in a hard place to see and I had not seen her when I looked inside before.
Our friend said, "It looks like she is with your husband now. He has her and is caring for her like she cared for him." I cried and cried. We buried her in the front yard where she used to wait for us to come home and then jump through the fence to meet us.
So now I have lost My Husband and My Sylvia and today is a really rough day for me as she was a part of the family for 14 years and I know that after she said goodbye to me she had gone to try to find my dh to say goodbye to him, but maybe she said "hello" instead. I talk to my husband even though he is gone and last night and today I have asked him to please take good care of MySylvia and that I miss them both, so.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
As most of you know by now, my dear husband passed away the last part of April , 2010. He did not die of the leukemia as he remained in remission to the end, but of a new strain of C-diff that many of you may have read about in your newspapers recently that does not respond to antibiotics.
There is much I would like to say about this but will wait.
However, last year I gave my husband an "internet" birthday party and he really enjoyed talking to many of his friends in a chat room that I set up for him for that occasion. This year even before he was sick he talked about having a "real birthday party" and when he got sick it was his goal and kept him going when things were not going well.
Since he was in remission from his leukemia we had found a place to have it and he was already thinking about what kind of cake he wanted as well as who all he would invite (which was a quite a long list including nurses and doctors, co-workers, friends and family) .
The day before his birthday on the way home from teaching lessons, I thought about using one of the cake mixes I had bought to make a birthday cake for him, and make a cake for him anyway, but I have just been so tired lately! I had to stop in at a store on the way home so as I did I prayed, "Lord, please let there be a cake here so I don't have to bake one and make it one that I will know immediately that my husband would like", and then as an after thought I added , "I wonder what my dear husband is doing now and and how he is doing?"
As I looked in the frozen section I did see some cakes. One was a chocolate cake, his s favorite!!! I picked it up and started to get it but then thought, "Now this will you make you put on more weight than you already have over this and it won't bring him back, so just put it right back!"
However, as I was putting the cake back in the case I happened to look at the label more closely, and what I read there made me put it right back in my cart, because it seemed to be a message just for me and everyone who knew and prayed for my husband.
On the label beneath the "Dutch Oven Chiffon Cake Chocolate" were these words "Him who cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37b
Have you ever seen a cake with a scripture on it before? I had not. All I know is that it is my miracle cake and the Lord answered two seemingly unrelated requests with that one cake. I gave thanks to the Lord for considering my needs , and now have cut out the label with the intention of keeping it and cherishing it forever.
I hope all of you remember my husband fondly today and perhaps a smile will come to your faces when you do. He truly cared about people and all of God's creatures great and small.
In Loving Memory of my husband,
From his loving wife, Char
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