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

My Pain. My Meds. My Pain. My Meds.

This vicious cycle of crazy ass pain and taking pain medication is never-ending. I often wonder what would happen if I stop taking my pain meds, but the fear of that excruciating pain is just too much to handle. Yes, I am one of the folks taking prescription meds. I am not taking narcotics on a daily basis, I was taking Darvocet and I have yet to find a replacement for that damn drug. I never took it daily, but it did help take the edge off on those days when the pain was at level 10+. Now I have nothing.

I have hated this process to get to where I am at, but at the very least, I know what to do and my doctors are willing to work with me. They don’t look at me like I am crazy and Kaiser believes in chronic pain and Fibromyalgia and has a program to work with you. That does not mean that it’s easy to figure out the meds, it’s absolutely not easy. I have a fundamental problem with putting this crap in my body. I don’t believe the long-term effects are clear and honestly, it’s scary. I’m watching TV and seeing these lawsuits going on and the meds they are advertising class action suits for? I am on today or have been on in the past! Seriously? It’s not cool! What do I do? I can’t afford the natural path, it’s just not in my current budget. I did try it, and it is a nice way to go. I believe in it, I support it – I just can’t afford it. I wish that it was part of my medical benefit, that would make a big difference.

Even though I have been taking some of these meds for over a year, I still read the papers every single time I renew the prescriptions. Topiramate has the same side effects as Fibromyalgia! This is crazy to me. I think about this a lot. I believe the meds are helping me, but sometimes I have to wonder if the meds are also introducing their own issues. Foggy brain seriously sucks! Is the Topiramate helping or hindering?

If you read my last blog, you know Kaiser ran out of one of my meds. I didn’t end up getting that scrip for 2 weeks. Well, by the time I picked it up I had pretty much become used to not taking it. I decided to go without it. That medication was initially introduced for pain and to help me sleep at night. After being off the medication for two weeks, I believe my pain and sleep is the same as it was while I was on the medication. That was a great “pro” for Kaiser running out of the med, at least I was able to determine I don’t want to take it anymore. One less pharmaceutical in my body.

One of the other meds I am taking is Cymbalta. I am a believer of this med. I have chronic depression and this has definitely worked for me. If I have to choose between being in pain or being depressed, I’ll take pain. I have had depression for much longer than I have had FMS and it is a kind of pain that is unbearable for me and those around me. To be at my lowest point in depression and my highest level of pain and to have to choose between fixing one of those? Wow. That would not be cool. Both are so unbearable.

So… back to Darvocet. I have been having a lot of flares in the last six months. Darvocet was very helpful to me when it was available. Since it has been removed from the market, and for good reason, I have not been able to find anything that works. I have tried Vicodin – this less than mildly takes the pain away, so it doesn’t really feel like it’s worth it. Tylenol with Codein – this does less than zero, feels like I am taking a placebo. The only other alternative my Dr. could offer was Methadone. Hmmmm, at this point I pretty much am not really feelin’ that drug. It just feels wrong, I don’t know. Anything else interacts with the stuff I already take. Very frustrating. Especially with the number of flares I have been having. I need your advice Fibromites and fellow chronic pain mates!!

Well, that’s all I’m thinking about today, thanks for stopping by! I could really use your comments on this one, I would love to hear how you are coping on your meds.

Stay cool!

Tamiko

Fibromyalgia and Creatively Finding Your True YOU…

Topsy Turvy (album)

Image via Wikipedia

Post #500 My Foggy Brain… take 5… annnnnnndddd ACTION!

Yeah right! It’s not really my 500th post, but it is about the 5th time I have tried to write a post for my blog. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, every time I start/stop, start again or even finish… something doesn’t feel right. I’m just not feelin’ it. The vibe is not all good. You get what I’m sayin’… it has to be right, to actually push the “Publish” button! Once the content is out there, I need to feel good about what I’m sharing. I am always honest and give my best when I write and I don’t want to start half assin’ things now…

My world has been topsy-turvy, I always wanted to say that… topsy-turvy… Seriously, my life as a medically disabled on-leave full-time person is very different. It took three weeks just to realize I actually wasn’t working. One week to transition my work away, the second week to recover from the prior week of transitioning and the third week was the last week of the summer before school started, in addition, we had some getting ready to do for a family wedding. Let me just say this past week was the fourth week and I experienced a full-on flare for a few days and then recovery mode. Life definitely does not stop for anything.

I will say this… and this is not easy to say. I have chronic depression and I have had it for a very long time. Shortly after going on this medical leave I fell into a major depression. I have been doing a lot of creative journaling and prayer and listening to my Joyce Meyer podcasts everyday. I can feel myself coming out of it, it’s been almost a month. With the journaling to get clarity about some things about myself and my faith exercises along with my physical exercises and the support of my family it has helped to bring me to a better place.

The reason I shared that with you is to show you that it is possible to go from the crappiest place to a better place … but it definitely takes work. As I sit here and type I realize I actually did do some work to get here. As I smile I CAN say, “I didn’t just sit on my ass for the last 30 days.”. Not that I really did believe I sat on my ass for the last 30 days, but it is so far removed from working 12 hours a day that I didn’t actually realize what I had accomplished until right now.

In “finding” myself (I just laughed when I typed that because a girlfriend and I just discussed this phrase last month and “finding myself” in our discussion meant having an affair to a lot of other people…. so if that’s your definition… let me interject… NOT my definition!!)… okay pay attention, back to what I was saying. In my creative journaling to get to know myself better and find out what I really want out of life I bought a blank journal book and a whole lot of color pencils and asked myself some questions… in case any of you are going through this, I thought I’d share some of them with you, as well as a cool website I am using:

  • I just started with blank pages and wrote out “I Am…” on one page filling in the page with colorful descriptive words that I kept to less than 15 and all positive, on two pages I drew out a big heart and wrote out “I Love…” at the top and listed everything inside the heart… you get where I’m going with this – you can make your own lists to get to clearly define your own YOU.
  • creativity 101: discover, explore+empower your creative genius. This e-course is free and it’s pretty cool so far. Check it out, for all you creative types, there are weekly courses, meditations and you work at your own pace. for a free course, it’s pretty well done. http://www.abccreativity.com/creativity-e-course/
  • My big winner this week was finally, after a year of procrastinating, taking the integral tai-chi class! Why did I wait?? I loved it! It was two hours and it was relaxing, challenging, spiritually uplifting, mentally uplifting, physically I felt better when I left and I’m looking forward to the next class… oh and did I mention it was FREE?? These classes are offered through the local libraries so they are always free. With all the hype about Tai-Chi and Fibromyalgia, now is the time to try it out… you won’t regret it!

To finish my post, I went for a walk tonight with my two beautiful children and my crazy dog. It’s the first time I have done this in a very very long time. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I have gone for a walk like this. I really have to cherish these moments, in a few weeks my son goes off to college and soon I fear I will be “invisible” to my daughter. I can feel it coming… It was really nice to get out of the house and be able to walk for 30 minutes. My crazy, funny dog loved every minute and she kept us all entertained (as usual). I really need to give that Caesar Milan a call… I love my dog, but she has that psycho thing goin’ on whenever she sees another dog on a leash…. off leash she is pretty awesome… well… she has her moments… as long as everyone is off leash she is really awesome… honest, she is. look at her pictures, you know she is! she is totally submissive when she goes psycho… she just has this crazy bark that sounds like she is kujo-dog… all the while wagging her tail and as soon as she gets close to the dog, she rolls over to her back… but how would the other owner KNOW that?? They have to be a true dog lover to know that…. and not everyone is, sooooo anyway… how did I get on this?? oh yeah, I am easily distracted…. anyway… I love my dog and you would too if you met her! :)

Hey, thanks for stopping by and please let me know how you are doing today!

Stay cool

Tamiko

PS. The links and that picture are brought to you by this new fancy function in WordPress that I’m trying out… so I may have gone a little crazy with it… what do you think?

PPS. I am having a difficult time finding a theme that I like… hence the constant changing of the themes… still not loving this one… waiting for one to get published that makes me go WOW!