Day 20: Miracle Cure… (not really)

Today’s prompt: Miracle Cure. Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure?

I thought and thought about this prompt. Just getting past the word “miracle” was difficult for me. I’m sure everyone has tried at least one thing in their lives that they thought would miraculously cure them based on testimony and research… only to be completely disappointed at the actual result.

So, here’s my write up (I felt like I was back in school again writing up this pretend article):

San Jose, CA. A report has come out today from a panel of doctors reporting that they have found a cure for Depression. This panel of doctors from around the world have discovered that by including a specific type of food in the diet, patients have responded successfully and appear to be symptom-free. After experimenting and testing this theory on patients around the world for the last few years, this is no longer theory but fact. We now have a cure for depression.

What is this miracle food you wonder? It is a new type of fruit that scientists have been developing from an array of fruits from different countries over the last decade. This fruit grows in any type of soil and under the best and worst conditions making it easy for anyone to grow once they are made available to the public. The best part about this news is that the cost is almost negligible. People can grow this at home or soon be able to purchase at any grocery store.

This fruit is similar to an apple, has a wonderfully aromatic scent, and a flavor no one has been able to put their finger on.

Once FDA approval has been obtained, the name of the fruit will be released.

Of course the above story is not real… but one day I hope something that does not require a prescription or a big bank account and is natural will be the ultimate cure for depression.

Thanks for visiting today! Have a great pain-free week-end!

Day 17: Learned the Hard Way…

What’s a lesson I learned the hard way? Hmmmmmm, which lesson do I choose? There are so many possibilities.

A lesson I keep learning… the hard way… is that exercise makes a difference. Another lesson? That my diet makes a difference. It’s like I know what I am supposed to do, but my brain says otherwise. Take my meds everyday at the same time, manage my stress, manage my time… there are so many things I know I should do. So I guess I haven’t really learned my lesson(s)… yet.

I would have to say the biggest lesson I have learned is the “overdoing it” one. I am much better about stopping when I should, not over committing, holding back when I want to get something done. I realize the consequences of my decision mean I will be out of commission for days on end if I don’t restrain myself.

My perfect day on Sunday, we went to the zoo. Normally I would take my cane, but I knew there was no way I could make it from the car to the entrance without my pain making it so uncomfortable it would start the day off badly. I used a wheelchair. This is letting go of my pride to the infinite degree. I really just had to accept this was the only way I was going to get through the day and have fun. I can tell you, I was simply exhausted at the end of the day. The wheelchair saved me, but it didn’t alleviate the pain or exhaustion. I thought I’d experience less pain, but I didn’t allow it to ruin my day. I also didn’t overdo it. I had my perfect day.

It’s so easy for all of us to overdo it. Overdoing it can mean vacuuming the house or washing the clothes or making dinner. It could mean working a normal 8 hour day. Living within our boundaries is not easy. Trading one activity for another could mean working and not participating at our child’s sporting event. It’s not fair, but these are the decisions we are faced with. We need to feel okay about it or we tear ourselves up for it. I am not a bad mom, a bad wife, a bad employee… I’m not a bad person. I am someone living with a health issue and I’m doing the best I can.

The lesson I learned (and continue to learn everyday…)? Balance. I can say I’m sitting about even, feet dangling off the see-saw. I definitely have my up days … and my down days. I have learned, but the actual daily practice of this balancing act is crazy hard.

What about you?

Thanks for stopping by.

Tamiko

Day 16: Pinboard…

The prompt today is to create a pinboard for my health. I created one just before I joined this writing challenge. I have been posting most of my prompts from this challenge there.

My three favorite prompts so far in the challenge are:

Day 5: Ekphrasis Post… WHAT? Ekphrawhatis? #HAWMC #Fibroymyalgia #Depression

Day 7: TUI… Talking Under the Influence of Pain #fibromyalgia #depression #HAWMC

Day 11: THANK YOU! Remembering my very first post: The F word… Fibromyalgia #HAWMC

Short and sweet today… it’s been a rough one for me. Rough or not, I can’t forget to wish my dad the very best birthday in the world!! Without him, I would never have this ability to communicate.

Take care everyone!

Tamiko

Day 11: THANK YOU! Remembering my very first post: The F word… Fibromyalgia

Wow! I am thisssss close to getting my 10,000th hit on my blog. TEN THOUSAND!!! That is crazy awesome!! For my 11th day of this Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, I decided to re-blog my very first posting as myfoggybrain. We’ve all come a long way and I’m so grateful to everyone for supporting my writing. Here’s to another big moment in my life!

THANK YOU!
Tamiko

The F word… Fibromyalgia

October, 2009

I have learned so much in the last 18 months. Things I could have gone a lifetime without learning… and quite frankly been okay. In the last 5 years I have been to the doctor off and on so many times I have lost count. I have felt stupid, crazy, frustrated… but for all of you out there who have gone through this experience, I don’t have to tell you. You already know. You have the F word too… FIBROMYALGIA.

Once you are diagnosed with the F word, you may feel like you are getting closure but it’s really only the beginning of your next F phase… FRUSTRATION. You thought you were getting out of that phase… but NO! At least not me. This, I have found out, is a medical condition that has no cure, no visible signs that you are not well and has not been 100% accepted by the medical field. WONDERFUL. “Welcome to the the F world people, hang on to your seats, this is going to be a rough ride!”

Whenever I see people who know I am not feeling well, I feel like I should look like shit so people will accept that I feel like shit. I should paint all of the places on my body that hurt a bright pink so that it will be obvious. Instead, my lucky ass, gets to be the one who can no longer finish the simplest sentences or remember what I was doing 5 minutes ago or even 5 seconds ago. Noone gets that brain fog has anything to do with the F word, people just think I’m stressed out, exhausted or just stupid. My foggy brain is a world I seem to live in 99% of my life these days… I can remember when I was smart. I can remember the days when I could actually train a room full of adults. Today, I’d have to play charades just to get through my first sentence presenting to a room full of first graders! So now you know my 3rd F word for today… FOGGY.

What I really hate? All the support groups that I went to online thinking there would be good ideas to help me feel better. What I found were too many online support groups with a bunch of sad people talking about how miserable they are…  in the end I got horribly depressed. Not to mention all those F’ING (my 4th F word for today) QUACKS trying to sell the miracle drugs that will cure us in 6 weeks or less!  Seriously… I’m in pain and in a brain fog… I AM NOT COMPLETELY STUPID!! These people have got to be stopped. I mean seriously… put the money towards research..

So what am I telling all this for? After taking 5 years to get diagnosed… 18 months after being diagnosed to finally get into a treatment program… that is 6 1/2 years of my life. That’s pure craziness! I am ready to take control and help others as well. Blogging seems to be the thing these days. I just wanted a place for me to share my journey with this crazy thing called Fibromyalgia.

This is my first blog and I hope it helps others. I am here to learn, share and network. I hope you share with me as well…

Thank you for reading!

Some excellent sources of information:

What is Fibromyalgia: http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/whatisfibromyalgia/u/Fibromyalgia.htm

National Fibromyalgia Association

WebMd: Fibromyalgia

Day 10: Dear 16-year old me…

Hey girl,

You have experienced a lot in your first 16 years. I am writing this letter to you to share with you how I am feeling about where you are in your life and I also want to spread a little knowledge from my life experiences. Knowing you, it will take some time to digest any advice to determine whether or not it’s worth your while to pay attention to it. I understand, all I ask is that you read this letter through to the end and keep an open mind.

First, let me tell you how I see you as a person, and honestly, how I believe the world sees you. It’s important, for me, that you hear this from me as one of my hopes for you is that you never question these things. I get that, at your age, it’s difficult to deal with all the pressures socially, educationally and emotionally. Just know that you are loved, most importantly.

  • You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • You are strong… you are so strong. Don’t let this strength get in the way. Don’t confuse strength with pride. Strength will hold you up (with God’s help) in difficult and challenging times. Pride will pull you down if you let it get in the way. It’s okay to be wrong, and it’s even better if you can admit it (out loud).
  • You are giving and loyal. These are awesome attributes and will bring wonderful people into your life. Save that loyalty for those that treat you with the respect and love that you deserve.
  • You are smart. You are smart. I’ll say it again… You. Are. Smart. Give yourself a break. You do not have to know everything. It’s okay to ask for help, it will make your life easier if you learn how to ask for help now vs. when you are older. People want to help you, you just have to let them in.
  • Spontaneity is a wonderful thing… keep it up!
  • You are intuitive, use that to help yourself and others. Use that when making choices that may change the course of your life… those choices that will make an impact in just one moment.

Below are some of the things, looking back in my life that I’ve learned, that I hope will help you grow as a person…

  • Your life is precious and it’s a gift. It can be taken away at any moment. Push all the negative people, images, stuff away and close the door on it. No need to let that back in your life. If someone or something is not bringing joy or uplifting your spirit or teaching you something that will make you a better person… remove them or it from your life. It may not be easy, but you will feel better without that negativity.
  • Give people a chance. They will make mistakes and there will be times when you will get hurt, but your true friends will always be there for and with you through thick and thin. It’s not the quantity of friends in your life, it’s definitely the quality. I truly believe less is more when it comes to friends. Invest your time in friendships that don’t involve manipulation, lies, judgement, insecurity…
  • Take the time to enjoy life. If you are always worrying or wishing for what you want to happen next, you are not able to enjoy what you have now… and I believe you are blessed. You have a lot to be thankful for.
  • There’s a time and a place for everything in your life. There’s a time to work, a time to learn, a time to play, a time to rest…  keep a balance so at the end of each day, you feel good about yourself.
  • Watch the world around you and take the good from what you see. Leave judgement to God. Everybody is human, makes mistakes, has a bad day… or just maybe needs a friend to uplift them. You can do that, do your best to uplift others, not judge, criticize, embarrass… Treat every person you meet with respect and dignity.
  • Love yourself and others will love you. Treat yourself kind.

The reason why you feel down and you have a difficult time in school is not because you are crazy or because you are stupid or because you can’t hack it… you have Depression and ADD. It’s not the end of the world, you can manage your mental health so that you can be successful. Educate yourself.

You only get one life, make wise choices so you will live a long, healthy, happy and content life. Your friendships and relationships with family will support you through the good and the difficult. I hope and pray you will marry a man who you will be happy with every day. Someone who you can share anything and everything with and build a forever live with.

I have learned many lessons the hard way. The most difficult has been believing my body would always be there, no matter how I treated it. This, I can tell you, is not true. I am a middle-aged woman with the body of a 90-year old. I have Fibromyalgia now and I believe one of the main reasons is because I didn’t keep a balance in my younger years. I worked and worked and worked until my body said “NO MORE!”. What I worked and worked for, at the end of the day, was not worth what I am dealing with now. I could have spent more time with my family, I could have spent more time reading a book and relaxing, I could have traveled more… there’s so many “I could have’s”. I hope you take this to heart and make different choices in your life.

Most important… have faith. With God on your side, you can do no better!

God Bless you.

Day 8: Best conversation I had this week

I am participating in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. Please visit WEGO Health’s blog and the WEGO Facebook page to find other writers tackling the same topics—or sign up for the challenge yourself!

 

Rinnnnnnggggg (not really what my phone sounds like since it’s a mobile, but I have no idea how to get that translated here)…

Me: Hello?

Man on phone: Hi this is Dr. X calling, we have a phone appointment scheduled today. How are you doing?

Me: I’m doing okay, how are you?

Dr. X: Well I’m doing good. I understand you had an appt with your primary care physician and she has referred you back to us here at the Pain Clinic. So, it doesn’t sound like you are really doing “okay”.

Me: Well, yeah… I never know what to say when people ask that question, it’s kind of a default answer. I have been in a horrible flare for the past few weeks. I don’t really understand what the trigger was, I can normally attribute it to the weather or an event. This time it’s has come and doesn’t appear to be going away… thus the appt with my dr. Normally I don’t go in or call because I know there’s nothing she can do for me.

Dr. X: Yes, I understand. With your situation, it’s a good thing that we are talking again. I know how hard it is to manage day to day and your right, your primary care dr. is probably at a loss. I spoke to Awesome Nurse (I’ll call her that, because she is) about your case before I called you and she mentioned what the two of you discussed the last time you spoke. We both felt it would be good to talk to you about some of the changes going on here.

Me: Okay.

Dr. X: Since you went through our Pain Program, we have made significant changes. We have a new Psychiatrist here and we have revised the program completely. We have introduced a group support structure and incorporated movement strategies into the program. We have very good results and the success rate so far is pretty high.

Me: This sounds interesting… and the conversation continued for another 15 minutes.

When I first saw this prompt for the Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge, I was a little wary. More than a little, I was thinking this is one of the days I’m going to miss. No conversation stood out that I wanted to share… no good conversation I should say. My dr.’s appt was pretty disappointing earlier in the week and I’ve been in so much pain I haven’t really been conversing. This call that happened today gave me hope. Dr. X explained this program and how it works, the intake process and really gave me a great feeling. He said he’s seen people that have been in pain for a very long time, people like me he said, that have tried everything and he felt like they had really seen life changing differences after they completed the program.

He said that people on medication and rely on it, people that want to get off their meds, people that don’t want to take meds… basically whatever choices people have made about meds, it doesn’t effect their participation in the program. He told me that they don’t judge or discriminate, at the end of the day their goal is for people to be able to live better lives. A holistic approach, not just to “fix” something, but to change the way we are able to live. Part of the intake process and the program overall is to help determine what each individual needs, whether it’s medication or emotional support or whatever.

Like I said… I have hope and I can feel that sunshine again. I trust these people. They gave me life before. The Kaiser pain program is amazing. If you have one, and you are a member… I really encourage you to get a referral and jump in with both feet. You will be in a pain friendly environment where you will not be judged and most important… you will be BELIEVED.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity. I’d say wish me luck, but I have faith and that trumps luck every time!

Thanks for reading.

Tamiko