2012, Here I come!

2012… Damn, how did it become 2012 so fast? Aren’t cars flying in the air now? Doesn’t everyone have robots that do everything? Do we all live in space? Oh wait, that’s the Jetsons. When I was growing up I really thought that stuff would come true in my lifetime. I gotta tell you, I’m glad it didn’t! Remember how people thought the world was going to end in 2000 and again in 2012? I’m very happy those predictions didn’t come true!

Life brings many interesting changes… smart phones and the quality of the picture in HDTV‘s much less these new fangled tv’s that are 3d? It is just insane! I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes last night and I must say… it was really good. I also thought the first one years ago was pretty good at the time I watched it… I don’t necessarily believe re-makes are a good thing, but this movie, this change was good. Remember how you had to actually talk on the phone? Oh yeah, and the phone was connected to a wall so you also had to stand in the kitchen in most homes, unless you were lucky enough to have one in your room. I do wish many times that my children had to use those phones instead of the mobile phones… but I can’t complain about that, those mobile phones have saved me many times.

Where am I going with this? Well… like the world, like technology, like life… my conditions change. Sometimes it’s not so good, but these days I am doing okey dokey. I started back on an anti-depressant (I think I already told you), some things I have to accept. One of those is my depression is not something I am able to manage very well naturally. I felt GREAT being off all the drugs, but I started to feel really depressed. I know you all know what I mean. I talked to my doctor and we agreed it was time to get medical… I mean medicinal… you know…. back on a drug. Taking a drug, the simple fact I had to flippin’ take a drug, depressed me – but I had to accept it’s okay. It’s okay to take something to help make me not have those crazy ass thoughts that we all run away from. Okay we don’t run, most of us, because running is a bit challenging :). We all walk quickly away from (some of us have our own version of a quick walk which for perfectly fit folks may be considered a slow walk – but hey! We gotta be proud of what we can do). Let’s be real… if you have depression you just sink into these thoughts and they grow like a fog around you and it just gets thicker and thicker until you are completed consumed and you can no longer see blue skies and feel the laughter anymore. So! This is why I am taking an anti-depressant. I am taking the short life Wellbutrin and it’s all going okay. It wasn’t great when I first made this decision, I started by taking Prozac and that just made me feel like a slug with no obsessive thoughts. I switched and now I’m feeling alright. It’s all about managing and accepting change.

If you have Fibromyalgia, ADD, and/or Major Depression like I do, you should be a professional at managing change. Certainly doesn’t mean we enjoy or want change – it’s just a part of our daily lives. If we have plans and we wake up feeling like shit… well? We have to make the best of staying at home and enjoying some down time. We have tried every medical and natural cure, or better said, “fix all” out there. Each time we go through the expectations of taking something new and the outcome and reality that there is no cure today (notice I said “today”). This is managing change at its best (or worst as the glass is half full goes). Everyone with a medical condition faces these types of challenges.

I take each day as it comes and I do my best to appreciate my good days, be thankful for the awesome things in my life and accept change. This is certainly not easy. One of the awesome things I am most thankful for is my support from family (including the 4-legged ones) and friends. I have the most amazing group of folks in my life!! They are all going through their own trials, whether medical or emotional, and I only hope I can be as good to them as they are to me.

2012 is going to be another year of change. It’s going to be awesome because I am going to make it awesome. I hope you do the same.

Please let me know how you are doing, I love hearing from you!

Keep on reading and stay super cool. :)

Tamiko

This Too Shall Pass… I Am Blessed.

Wow… Where have I been? It’s been over two months since I have written something… and to be totally honest, it’s been over almost that long since I have even visited my blog page. Six months ago, if someone would have said I would let that let that much time pass without viewing my page, I would have just ignored them because I would have thought to myself “NO Flippin WAY!”. Well, it’s true. Now that I’m here, that old familiar feeling is back. It’s the middle of the night, I’m sitting in the dark, on the couch with just the dim light from my laptop…. except this time… same couch – different house.

Where do I start? My life, my life, my life… Lord, I know You do not shoulder more than one can bear… I. Just. Am. So. Very. Tired. I really do try not to complain, I know there are people so downtrodden and their lives really suck, I know I have no right to complain…

Here’s the deal… let me bottom line it for you… I feel like I am starring in a country song where you play it backwards to figure out everything that has been lost (I should win an award for this one!)… I am just not mending… I don’t even know how to mourn anymore. I know hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units up and down the west coast and unfortunately so do my children. What started out as a good learning situation for my children when they were young, has turned out to be a continuous cycle of “Whose Funeral Are We Going to This Month?” … Scarred for life.

Where the hell was I going with this? Oh yeah… I was bottom lining it… let me get back to it…

So! Important in a Chronic Pain Patient’s life… Truth. Honesty. Well in anyone’s life, but more so in a chronic pain person’s life because you spend your entire life explaining your pain to people who do not believe you!

Shortly after the passing of my very close friend Steve’s passing, I lost my Godfather which seemed “suddenly” to me (way too soon as I just really wanted more time!)… Very close after that… we had a traumatic experience with a dog that we were really hoping to adopt (all of my 4-legged blogger friends would totally relate to my experience but Lumpy is in a happy home now!) Well, my son entered college and turned 18 and then my husband and I found out we needed to move out of our house we had lived in for over 10 years. We had less than 2 weeks to vacate. So! I found us a house to rent and we packed up our memories and our furniture and moved to our new “home”. That was the 1st week of November… and did I tell you I was on disability and went back to work the second week of September?

For those of you that were around my blog last year… I was blessed to get out and help pick the tree this year and my husband and I trimmed it this year!

I have this horrible feeling there is a big ass dam inside my body somewhere secret stored up and it’s just going to open up one day… God help the folks that are around on that day. Poor souls… I have a huge smile on my face right now… because Lord knows, all you can do is smile when you think about the poor souls who will have to deal with my ass when I unload on them!

So, now that you are caught up with where I have been and what I have been up to since the last time I blogged….

After all I have been through…

my family still makes me laugh at least once or five or ten times a day.

My parents are still with me and I thank God every single day for this.

I am blessed.

I still have my brothers, sisters and their families and my friends and their families around me.

I am blessed.

I still have my five senses.

I am blessed.

(Ummm I did not say I HAVE sense, don’t get crazy here).

My husband still wakes up every morning and goes to sleep to me.

I am truly truly blessed.

I have fibromyalgia, ADHD and chronic depression and yes…

I am blessed.

For me, it is important to remind myself to remember what I have and to do my best to stay positive. Please be positive with me. There’s enough negativity out there…

Thanks for reading! Stay cool…. and God bless all of you and Happy Holidays!

Maybe There Are Just Too Many Maybe’s… Making Decisions With A Foggy Brain

Let’s say, for instance, you have to make a life altering decision. How do you go about thinking through this decision? Do you talk to your friends? Do you go in a dark room and think, think, think? Do you sit down and make a list of the pro’s and con’s? Do you talk to your counselor? Do you talk to your significant other? Do you talk to your dog? parents? What do you do?

Let me give you an example. You have the option to make a change that will make a significant difference in your income, your social life, even your daily life and will cause you to go through some pretty major positive and negative stress. You can either make this change OR you can keep  going in the life you have. The life you have is not bad. You make a pretty good income, you work with some of the best people on earth, you have some pretty major stress.

So, what’s the problem? Well, that was just an example. My question still remains. What do you do when you have a problem and you need to think it through? I struggle with this all the time when I have issues. With a foggy brain, when I try to figure things out… well, let’s be honest… I don’t get to the “figuring out” part. I start to do the research, but I have a difficult time reading through the policy jargon. The stuff that used to be so easy for me… this is the shit that I used to read through and help OTHER people understand. Now I’m the one that can’t figure it out. What. Happened. To. Me.

I have my good days when I can be a Lawyer! Of course these are my husband’s worst nightmare days. He should really pray these are the days he doesn’t get into an argument with me… because if I’m feeling good, I’m probably going to really want to use my brain! (God help him!) These are the days that I will willingly work 16 hours to get through as much email and paperwork as possible. I can process stuff very quickly vs. the normal time it takes. Quickly. This is how I used to work in the late 80′s and 90′s and early 2000′s bcp (before chronic pain).

I can remember those days. I used to work 16 hour days… everyday. I used to work 6 days a week… every week. My life was work, work was my life. Hmmmmm, I don’t think I should look back on those days and say “those were the good ‘ol days!”. There were definitely some GREAT days! I had a lot of fun working, I learned a hell of a lot… but I gave up a hell of a lot as well. I am certainly paying the price now. People still expect the same output or I should say, people would still like the same output. I also expect myself to be able to work like that. I still push myself to work those hours. I don’t know how to work an 8 hour day, stop working and then figure out what to do the rest of the time. Well, let’s be real here… after those 8 hours, I’m pretty much useless. BUT, IF I had energy after 8 hours, what would I do? I have no idea. There is so much to do… where would I start?

My problem is… I have so many things I want to do, I am overwhelmed. If I wasn’t working at all, where would I start? Where would I stop? How would I prioritize? The thing is… why think about it at all if there’s no chance at the moment?

So… again, I have this question about how to make this big life altering decision. I have this damn foggy brain. I have all these questions in my head. I am completely overwhelmed. I know there are all these processes you can use to make decisions… and well… I think when it comes down to it… maybe I’m just not ready to make this decision. Maybe I’m afraid. There are just so many Maybe’s.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe I’ll figure out what I want to do soon.

But for tonight… I think I’ll go to sleep… and maybe, jussssttttt maybe, when I wake up I’ll have an idea of how to think through this decision!

Y’all stay cool! Thanks for reading…

A Simple Post: My Fibro Journal Template… Use It & Track Your Daily Progress… YES I SAID PROGRESS!!

Hi everyone!

I created this template based on the 10 week Level II Pain Program I took at Kaiser and I have used it every day for a month. It has helped me remember to take my meds, really understand my sleep (lack of sleep), how my pain goes up and down, when and how often I flare and… when I talk to my dr… I can actually speak factually (what a concept)!

Try it, tell me what you think… these are just pictures. I posted it a couple of weeks ago, but I thought if I showed you what the pages looked like, you would be more apt to try it out. :) You can download the template in my Awesome Resources tab.

If you are not tracking your progress… if you don’t use my template… create your own or buy one or do something! It’s important so you can see your PROGRESS!!!! Even if it’s small, you do progress. Even if it doesn’t feel like it… you are making progress. You will have bad days… but you will have GOOD days. Journaling forces you to see the GOOD!!

Okay, I’m off my soap box. :)

Thanks for reading and have a super cool and pain-free week-end!

MY FOGGY BRAIN: Daily Fibro Journal - Page 1

MY FOGGY BRAIN: Daily Fibro Journal - Page 1

MY FOGGY BRAIN: Daily Fibro Journal - Page 2

MY FOGGY BRAIN: Daily Fibro Journal - Page 2

Eczema, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Depression & ADHD? Anything Else Want to Join This Party?

Let me tell you something funny. I thought I knew pretty much all I needed to know about Fibromyalgia. I thought I knew all the pain and exhaustion and crap that I was going to know that came with MY Fibromyalgia. Pretty funny, huh? Obviously I was naive and completely missed the chapter about the skin and the effects that FMS has on it. I admit it… I’m a dumbass. I have spent the last 3 days… one, two, three and let’s count today so this is the fourth day… itching like a dog dipped and rolled in fleas. If you could see me now… I have hives all over.

Pain+crazy itchy=psychotic mom. My dog Tani, also has some kind of crazy itchy thing going on. I want to do what she does. She literally walks and randomly throws herself on the floor, I mean this, THROWS herself on the floor and “THUD!” rolls to her backside and vigorously wiggles back and forth to scratch her back. I’m jealous. I want to do this. I know I sound crazy, but she looks pretty content when she’s done.

I gotta be honest, I think I’ve been pretty okay to live with. I haven’t thrown things around the house or screamed for no reason or even cried like there’s no tomorrow (although I’m seriously on the verge). I have pretty much just sat on this couch and played Facebook games on my computer. Non-stop. It’s the only thing that can distract me enough to keep me sane. Thank goodness there’s a new game to play as well… I can’t read or Twitter or watch TV. I can’t sit still or barely write this blog post. I’ve been trying to write it for the past 24 hours. Idle time for more than 10 seconds and I am scratching like crazy. This seriously SUCKS. I mean, I am ready to take any drug offered to make this stop. I am anxious and stressed and frustrated and exhausted all at the same time… AND in pain. How is this even possible?

If you could see me now….

It’s Wednesday and I just finished this post. I hit save and the page exploded before my eyes.

The login page comes up and I login and I come back and … it’s all gone. All my edits are gone up to the point where I had last saved. What do I do? Do I give up and just scream? Do I say eff it and just leave the post yet again for another day? (yes that is EXACTLY what my first reaction is) or do I suck it up and just finish it?

This is me sucking it up… so be nice! hahahahahaha.

So! It is Wednesday (I know I just said that, cut me some slack here) and I am still itching away… I found out the problem, I’m just not sure I believe it. On Friday, like a good patient, I had sent an email to my chronic pain doctor. On Monday he gave me a call and we talked about what the issue might be. He decided it wasn’t a reaction to my meds (good thing). He also thought it would be  a good idea for me to see my Primary Care Physician (PCP). I had a feeling this was going to happen. I still find it super cool that he even calls me to check in with me. Kaiser has such a bad reputation, the fact that he calls me, and first thing in the morning, and then tells me why he didn’t call me on Friday?? Awesome! The people in the Chronic Pain group…. they are the best! I can’t recommend the Level II Pain Program enough!!

I went in to see my PCP and she figures it’s chronic hives… I’m not so convinced. She’s thinking and asks me if I want to go on steroids. Hmmmm, how about NO! Prednisone? Hmmmm… HELL NO! Then she tells me she is going to have this “Roving Dermatologist” check me out. Cool. I’m cool with that. Sounds interesting and a good idea. We wait. I have my husband and daughter in the room with me. We wait. She comes in the room with my PCP (I just like saying that… funny how that acronym just happens to be the same as, well…. you know). Anyway, the Roving Derm and my PCP start talking and the Derm starts looking at my hives and asking me the questions, “when?”, “how long?”, “anything new?”, she wants to see where all the hives are and then she keeps asking me … literally over and over and over again… “did you use any new lotions?” me: “no” okay, “but, have you used any new lotions?” me: “ummmm, no”. It was almost as if she didn’t believe me. I guess she gave up after she kept getting the same answer. She then does this doctor speak with my PCP and pretends my family and I are not in the room. Riggghhhhhtttttt. This 6 foot black man is not in the room. I am thinking… “I wonder if I pinch her, will she notice?” and then I think… I better not, the consequences of that are probably not very good… and just as I finish with my thinking, the doctor bubble breaks and “PING!” we are all in the same room again. My PCP gives me my prescription and we are on our way. I like my PCP, but it’s always kind of a strange visit to me.

Steroid lotion and cream and Atarax. I start day 2 of this lotion/cream twice a day schedule along with an Atarax pill and so far it’s not really working, but I’m giving it a chance… because that’s the sort of girl I am! I don’t like to take the Atarax during the day. I have to get my work done so I will wait until it’s time for bed. This means I’m itchy all day… all I’m saying is… you don’t want to irritate me… you don’t want to irritate the irritable, right? Pass it on.

Okay and here’s the thing… Eczema, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Depression and ADHD?? Good damn thing I’m married!! I’d never find a man with all that shit! What I’m sayin’ is anything else want to join in this party?? You better come quick!! I’m closing the door to this gosh darn party, I’m lettin’ the door hit ADHD in the ass as it closes! This is bullshit!! I did not sign up for this, but I’m handling it. I’m takin’ it. I’m living with it and I’m not going to sit down and cry my eyes out. Try me, damnit!! Okay, maybe some days I’ll cry my eyes out… but not EVERYDAY!! These things do not make for the end of the world… they cannot kill me and I won’t let them kill my spirit. Right? Are ya with me?? Good!

I will say this though!!! 2000+ hits to my blog?? That is WAY TOO AWESOME!! When I first started writing this blog I never ever in my wildest dreams (okay now I am going a bit overboard, I don’t really dream about my blog, but you get my drift) thought that I would have this many folk read what I’m talkin’ about. I love the fact that people understand and get what I am talkin’ about.

You all have a wonderful and blessed day!! Leave your comments, I love to read them!

Stay super duper cool!

PS. I was chicken, you would have pinched her, right? :)

Nothing like a little ADHD to go with your morning coffee!

I don’t have enough change in my life so once again I decided to change the theme of my blog. There aren’t a whole lot of WordPress themes to choose from, which is probably a good thing for me since I like to change these types of things,  I am still obsessing about the look/feel of this blog. I am crazy woman. I am the person that decides to move the furniture… RIGHT NOW. I am the person who decides that I want to be organized and need a new planner… RIGHT NOW. I need to get organized, therefore, I need to figure out a new file system, which requires new files, which requires a trip to the store…  I need to find a way to track my actions, so I need a new binder or a new planner or a new system or a new spiral notebook or a new ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! WAKE ME UP OUT OF THIS CRAZY ASS NIGHTMARE!!!!!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!! Yes indeedy, I have ADHD… I have told you this before. Nothing like a little ADHD to go with your morning coffee. Or how about a little ADHD to go with your morning review of actions… it goes a little something like this:

Me…. reading email, drinking coffee… getting my brain engaged and ready for the day.

My ADHD: “hmmmm so much to do, how are you going to figure out how to prioritize all this stuff… I mean where do you even start?  You should start by prioritizing! You should figure out where to start… You can’t start until you prioritize. You have to prioritize before you start!”

Me: “Don’t do it.”

My ADHD:  “What do you mean don’t do it! You KNOW if you prioritize you’ll be organized.”

Me: “Don’t do it. IT’s A TRAP!”

My ADHD: “Puh-lease. A trap? I wouldn’t do that to you. I am here to help. WE are a TEAM. You need to prioritize. How are you going to prioritize?”

Me:  “Shit how am I going to prioritize? I gotta figure out how I’m going to prioritize! I gotta get a system.”

My ADHD: (whispers) “WINNER!”

Me an hour later…  “SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! I did it again!!!! Oh man I gotta stop getting distracted and focus.”

I have a system for capturing my actions. I just have to keep using it and getting off-track and letting myself get  distracted. It’s just another way of bringing me down and creating pain.

Tonight changing the theme on my blog was a nice distraction after a very long and painful day. My work has been very challenging since transitioning to my new job. It’s difficult to work the long hours and manage the pain.  So after a long day, the time I took to look at the themes and find and edit one of my photos for the header and put a new picture up of Tani… well, it was worth it.

This is the thing… if I can do one pleasurable activity a day, my depression should stay manageable. That’s the hope anyway. I think it’s working for the most part. I have learned this in my pain class. If I can manage the depression, it’s just one more way of helping to manage my pain. Once again, there’s always a connection.

I can manage through the pain. For me, this is my life. In other words, if I accept this is my life, then I will continue to LIVE. I won’t let the pain take me away from living. If I wait until I feel good and there’s no pain to do anything… I may never be able to leave my house! It’s easier said than done… but we all work on this every day, right?

So this post is kind of all over the place, but sometimes it’s just like that! I can’t help how my brain works. I mean you just get to read this… I’m livin’ it 24/7! :) I started writing and I honestly thought I was going to write about something completely different and ended up, well… here.

I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading! I hope you leave a comment, I really appreciate hearing from you!

Stay super cool!