Fibromites, Do You Wake Up Refreshed? Just Smile!

It is Saturday morning, 6:30am and I am sitting here wide awake. Ask me why… c’mon, ask. Come onnnnn…. Okay fine! Because it’s Saturday and I can actually sleep in (well not really, my daughter has a soccer game and I would have to get up in a bit anyway, but that’s not the point!). The point is, it’s Saturday and I don’t have to get up at this time and it’s like flipping backwards day as usual in my life and I am awake for no reason when I should be asleep and here I am wide awake! Whew! That was a long sentence! It is not as if I got enough sleep so I woke up feeling…. and I hate this word now –> REFRESHED (Wait a minute, I honestly have tried to take that word out of my vocab… so rewind, erase and replace hate with strongly dislike). How many fibromites actually feel “refreshed” when they wake up? (could you actually feel me doing the quote/unquote really strongly with my fingers that time? because I was, well as strong as these grip-less hands would let me). I mean, that is just not something I have felt in years. I wake up feeling like …. hmmmm … not sure I have thought about this … I wake up and think about how I slept, what hurts and will I be able to walk when I get out of bed and then I try and figure out what day it is. Now as my daughter says, “sharing is caring” so when y’all read that one, laugh with me, not at me… because, for example, today I woke up and really thought it was Thursday for some reason. I was pretty happy it was Saturday once I figured it out. Still laughing at me, I mean, with me? That’s alright, that’s why you visited my blog today, some pain relief. :)

So back to my point, most days I wake up feeling tired, half of those days along with tired foggy decides to join the party and maybe 15% of those days depression decides to crash the party and bring everyone down. So refreshed never really happens. I wonder what that’s like. You know when you are watching t.v. and that commercial comes on with the chick in her all white pajamas changing the all white sheets, and the light shining through the wall of glass behind her and she just looks all clean and refreshed? She is the anti-me. I ha… oh wait, really dislike her.

It’s really not all bad, it’s my reality. I’m just saying it’s Saturday and “hellllllooooooooo”, just thought I might sleep in today, but apparently I needed to get up and greet the world. Okay… seriously, I am smiling… I really am. I just realized it. I am crackin’ myself up as I write this… I have to take my own advice, right? Don’t take life too seriously… and THAT my friends is why I am up early. I needed to wake up and get an early start so I could smile and hopefully make you smile. If I didn’t get up early enough I would not have been able to write this before getting out of the house for my daughter’s game. That’s the start of my day… smiling. Awesome!

Hope you enjoyed my post. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you start your day with a smile!

Stay cool!

Fibromyalgia, Vacation and What Was I Thinking?

Sooooo, I thought I’d go on a little vacation and relax. What the hell was I thinkin’?? I worked my ass off all last week in the office leading a staff meeting (remember that was my 70 hr work week) and then this week was the week I took vacation. Good idea? Ummmm, hell no! I am doing my best to relax, but I am in the most excruciating pain ever. Can y’all say F-L-A-R-E U-P??? Say it with me… FLARE UP!!

OMG! As my daughter says to me all the time as she rolls her eyes at me. This is really painful. For the first time ever, I really wish I had a wheelchair. Shit. Did I really just say that? Oh and get this, I actually said it out loud earlier today. OUT LOUD! I said it to my husband. “Do you think they rent wheelchairs?” I just wanted to suck it back in after I said it. While at the same time, I wished I had one. Lord have mercy… I mean it. WTF? I mean it. Please. Have Mercy.

So I am in the most beautiful place on earth. Okay, maybe not on earth… but as far as I’m concerned it is as far as I will be going on earth for a really really long time. So it’s the most beautiful place on my “earth”… Santa Barbara. We came to look at my son’s future college, UC Santa Barbara. Let me just say this… I am proud of what I have accomplished while we have been here. We arrived on Tuesday morning. Here’s the deal:

Tuesday, 4:15 I wake up… we leave about 5:00am (again OMG! it is really early!!), drop Tani off at my folks house and get the hell out of dodge, arriving at UCSB at 10:00. So, I start my day off with a long drive in the car. NEXT… a long walking tour of the campus. I thought I was going to die. My cane and I followed this happy sophomore guide as fast as I could go… at the end? Well, let’s just say I could barely move. Where was the car? Ummm on the other side of the flippin’ campus. My foggy brain was not functioning, my son was off somewhere else, my daughter was leading the way and that was interesting as we took the long way back to the car. Needless to say… ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

What is the moral to this story? If you have a really long, hard week… and you KNOW it’s going to be a really long, hard week. How about planning your vacation away from that really long, hard week so that you have a chance of NOT having a flare up while on vacation??

In my case, I didn’t really have a choice since I had to plan my vacation to coincide with my kids’ spring break. I’m not letting it ruin my vacation though! I am still doing what I want, I’m just working through the pain.  I was hoping my flare up would be done before we started our trip, unfortunately it has progressively gotten worse… so I just keep doing my exercises and the stretches that I learned in my pain program and carry on! Y’all know how I am. Stay positive, and keep on going!

If we let this fibromyalgia/ chronic pain stop us… we would never do anything! I am in this beautiful place, the weather is sunny, blue skies, perfect temperature… I really couldn’t ask for more. I am blessed to be able to come here, so I am not complaining. I love it! What I am saying is, in the future… it’s all about timing.

It’s all about PACING ourselves. I just need to keep reminding myself of this. Pace, pace, pace, the number one challenge I need to conquer.

Well, once again, thanks for stopping by! Please let me know what you are thinking about!
Stay cool!

Reach One, Teach One: This video on Fibromyalgia is Amazing!

I read a lot of information on chronic pain and specifically Fibromyalgia. I personally feel like I am pretty educated. I just finished going through an awesome 10-week Level II Chronic Pain program through Kaiser (which I highly recommend to anyone who has Kaiser, send me an email if you want more information on this).

The video in the link below is of Dr. Sean Mackey, Chief of the Pain Management Division from the Stanford University Medical Center, he gives a detailed presentation of Fibromyalgia/ Chronic Pain that is just amazing… I generally have the attention of a gnat, I watched this entire video… IN ONE SITTING! I kept wanting to look away, or put my laptop down and do something else, but I was so intrigued by the information I stayed glued to the screen. He provides the answers to:

  • What is Fibromyalgia?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What are some of the treatment options?
  • What is pain?
  • How should fibromites/ chronic pain patients be treated?
  • Alternative therapies
  • Latest studies
An Update on Fibromyalgia

Tip: If you watch directly from the site (and don’t download the video), you will get the video with closed captions which is really nice to follow along with Dr. Mackey as he speaks.

The date of the video is October, 2008

Running time: 1:14 (well worth the time!)

You will learn everything you need to know about FMS in a language that anyone can understand. He is positive and I felt almost uplifted watching this even though the information was sometimes difficult to hear. He knows his stuff!

Encourage your friends and family to check this out so they can better understand what you are going through.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find this helpful!

Stay cool!

How Do You Recover?

How do you start your day? If it starts out good or bad, does that determine how the rest of your day will go? Do you have the ability to turn your bad day around if and when it turns sour?

I tell you… with chronic depression, it’s like climbing up Mt. Everest carrying a 100 lbs. of cement on my back to turn a bad day — to good. Some days it just doesn’t work out. Some days the depression just hangs around like the cloud of dirt around Pigpen. Some days I am able to turn it around.

Yes, I take medication. I take medication to help me manage my pain, my depression and to help me sleep. I remember what it was like without medication. I know I don’t want to go back to those days. I hate putting these pills into my body. Every time I have to refill my pill boxes, I hate it. It cause me to go down a bit, but I have to remember that in the end it helps me. I sleep better, It helps me walk, work, spend time with my family… it helps me be human.

I worked about 70 hours this past week. I had a colleague tell me on my fourth work day at our business dinner, when I finally gave in and used my cane, that I didn’t need to use my cane, that I had walked fine all day without it. Nice. It still kills me to have to use a cane, and it’s always nice to get comments like that on top of my own pride. By Friday I could barely stand up. A few hours into the day I just lost it and during the meeting started to tear up. Really nice. Nothing like being in so much pain and so exhausted you just can’t do anything but cry… while at work with your entire management team.

How do you recover on these days? I’m not sure I did on those days. Exhaustion is difficult to recover from without just laying down and going to sleep. It’s Sunday now and I have spent the last 48 hours since coming home from work on Friday basically in a complete fog. I have either been asleep or laying down only to get up to go watch my daughter’s soccer game and to take her to the store. To go watch her game was so fucking painful, I really had a hard time even watching. So five days of work, 2 days of sleep. Normally tomorrow I’d be going back to work, thankfully I am on spring break with the kids. This has been my schedule for the last few months.

So… again… how do you recover on these days?

  • You pray
  • You rest
  • You give yourself a break
  • You relax and take care of yourself
  • You smile
  • You laugh
  • You remember it’s just one minute, one hour, one day… you don’t look past right now

That’s what I need to do.

Take care of you.

Thank you for stopping by… please share with me how you recover.

Stay cool.

I Close My Eyes…

I notice I close my eyes a lot these days…

When I am in physical pain.

I close my eyes.

When I am hurt emotionally.

I close my eyes.

When I am mad.

I close my eyes.

When I am sad.

I close my eyes.

When I am frustrated.

I close my eyes.

When I am tired… exhausted.

I close my eyes.

When I need to think.

I close my eyes.

When my heart is feeling scratched and torn.

I close my eyes.

When I feel disrespected and I am about to lose my mind.

I close my eyes.

When I am talking and I’m not being heard.

I close my eyes.

When I need to take a mental break.

I close my eyes.

I find myself thinking what it must feel like to be blind…. memorizing my surroundings and taking mental note of what I want to remember. Visualizing in my mind the environment I want to keep in my memory if I am not able to see.

What is this about? I have no idea. I have just noticed that more and more in the last six months, it is a physical response that I have started to use. It was not something intentional, but also not something I decided I didn’t like. I like it. I like that it makes me stop and take a moment to close the world out and take a break. It tells me… “don’t lose control…. just take a moment and get it together.” This life or any life is not easy. God did not put us on earth for “easy”, we are all here for different reasons. If we accept that and stop fighting it, then life becomes easi-“er”.

I believe I know why I am here. I am put in situations and I help out where I am needed. In the end I am definitely rewarded. God is good to me. As long as I look at the big picture and don’t just think about “ME”, I do well. This life is not about me.

It’s interesting, I got up this morning, to write about something completely different. God certainly does work in mysterious ways.

I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave your comments.

Stay cool and have a happy Easter!

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!

You are responsible for your happiness and your health

I had a breakthrough today… I believe that’s what it’s called. It’s personal so I won’t share it with all of you, but I felt I needed to just put it out there. Why say it at all? It was a big day for me, I wanted to mark the day as a historic moment in time. March 2nd, 2010. Done.

This life is a trip. No matter what happens good or bad, the sun still comes up in the morning and goes down at night… and let’s be honest NOONE wants that to change, right? Drama happens in everyone’s “world”, but do you ever stop and look around? Do you ever really stop and just take a good look around? I, personally, can’t take my life too seriously. I would be a real basket case if I did. I used to take my life too seriously and trust me… ALL I THOUGHT ABOUT WAS TRAGEDY.  (I bet you wish you were my friend in those days!) I was Ms. Negative about everything. I try really hard to think positive about things. I may not get it right all the time, but I do try.

Look around these days… earthquake in Haiti, earthquake in Chile, homeless people everywhere you look, you must know countless people looking for jobs, friends who have lost their spouses/children/parents… these are rough times people!! Why do you think we have chronic pain?? It is not a coincidence!!

You need to look at your life and figure out if there is a link between how you live your life and your pain.

  • Do you hang out with positive or negative people?
  • Do you have a positive or negative outlook on life?
  • Do you believe you will get better?
  • Do you believe you can be happy?

You are responsible for your happiness and your health. You have to make life choices toward happiness and good health. I have to do the same. Trust me, it’s not easy. There are days I prefer to stick my head in the sand and stay in the dark… but those are the days I need my husband to push me to get up and come outside and play.

What I’m trying to say is… your attitude about life plays a big role on how you feel and your pain level. We have so much pain already, anything that will reduce our pain … well … it helps, right?

Thanks for reading! Look forward to your comments… stay cool!