Thank you! HAWMC’S Most Riveting… Wow!

I woke up this morning and checked my blog and wow! I have hit 11,000 hits… this is so incredibly amazing to me. I would never in my wildest dreams imagine that people would read my blog, much less have 11,000 visits.

THANK YOU!

Just as incredibly cool to me, yesterday I received an email from Amanda Dolan, Editor at WEGO Health. I was awarded a Superlative Badge for the Most Riveting post in the 30 day writing challenge last month. I am proudly showing it off (on the side of my blog as well :) ! If you click on the badge you will see the rest of the winners.

Awesome day… surrounded by the most cool and awesome people on the internet! Thank you for the motivation and inspiration.

Stay super cool!

Tamiko

Here’s the posting that received the award for Most Riveting:

Day 2: Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most…

For more information on WEGO Health, check out any of the following:

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? :)

Turn Up the Music!

I can remember when I was a teenager blasting music as loud as I could to tune the world out. It worked then and it works now. If I turn the music up to just the right decibel I swear it makes everything in the world seem juuussstttt fine. I remember waiting until my parents would leave the house and turning the stereo up REALLY loud, closing my eyes and just laying on the floor or writing in my journal or chillaxin’…

These days I have to remember, I’m the parent now. I’m the one who’s supposed to be saying “TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN!!!”. Sometimes, like right now, I want to turn the music up so loud the roads shake and the cars jump up and down. I want this damn pain to go away. I am so very tired. I am so frustrated. This pain makes everything so much harder. I hate that people feel bad for me. I never know what to say when my friends ask how I’m doing… I mean, I know I’m not doing fine, but I don’t want to sound like Wendy Whiner so I say “I’m alright”.  Sometimes I just want to say “I feel like shit, I feel like I just got a ‘beat in’ initiation into a gang… the fibro gang. What a fucked up gang that would be. I feel like I’m black and blue all over. I feel like my bones are broken. You can’t see any of this on the outside. I can feel it though. This fibro shit is crazy. I gotta tell you… you gotta have faith in your God to get through this shit. Excuse my language. I’m a little out of control tonight. Just feel the need to vent a little.

It’s difficult to keep all the things in life balanced and working. Life. Marriage. Work. Family. Personal. Health. Throw these things up in the air… which one do you catch first and which ones get dropped? I tell you, I roll out of bed in the morning and start working and I probably work a good 10-12 hours a day these days. I am actually pretty darn focused. Would I actually “catch” work though or would it fall slowly to the floor… interesting question. Scary proposition. Is it possible to catch all of them? It is impossible to multi-task, so something has to give. One can only focus on one thing at a time. Given there’s only 24 hours in a day (now you understand why most of my posts go out after midnight!) if 10-12 are spent working, 5-6 are sleeping, there’s roughly 6 hours left to focus on everything else. Hmmmmmmm. I better take a look at my Maintenance Plan I came up with from my Level II Pain class. I definitely have a problem of “pacing” myself. I can’t seem to work just a “little” bit.

I think I better turn up the music and think about this for a while…

Thank you so much for reading and please leave me a note. I love to hear from you!

Stay cool!

Fibromyalgia and Doing “IT ALL”… What Do You Think?

Okay… here’s the thing. I’m just going to say it. I don’t get how people with chronic pain manage to do “IT ALL”. I am sitting in the kitchen that I made a mess; because I don’t want to sit at the desk that I left a mess; because I don’t want to sit in my bedroom that I left a mess. Honestly, there are not that many rooms left in the house. My son’s room smells like something or God forbid someone died in. My daughter has friends jumping around, hopefully not breaking the furniture in her room, and it is extremely loud in there so I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. My one sanctuary room, “the living room” in a very deep booming voice), I kind of have not allowed myself to go in so I don’t ruin it… you know the room I’m talking about. When you were growing up, it was the room that had the plastic covered furniture in it. The room no one was allowed to actually enjoy themselves in. Only grown ups were allowed in there, and only on special occasions. Sooooooo, when I grow up, I will let myself go in there! Until then, it’s just for special occasions… and I haven’t yet forced the plastic over the furniture… don’t push me, I might just go there! (if I was reading this out loud to you I would say “

Back to my topic… I can’t even stay on topic, much less do “IT ALL”, which of course IS my topic! whew! This is starting to confuse me (which as you know is not too difficult to do…). So! Since the holidays, I have had one hell of a time finding time to

  • tweet,
  • blog,
  • work my full-time+ job,
  • eat right,
  • spend time with my family,
  • exercise/ do my physical therapy,
  • read,
  • research fibro,
  • spend time with God (which should be #1),
  • spend time with family/ friends
  • paper craft

Obviously the must do’s always get done because they have to. Once prioritized, I thought it looked like this:

  1. work

Then I sat here for a while… and I decided I would rearrange things a bit. One priority just sucks… and it’s selfish and stupid, not to mention it’s not much of a life and I refuse to make that my life (did you say that in one breath?)! At one point in my life, that is actually how I lived… yes, I know, it is very sad, but true. I refuse to let that be the case now!

So, here’s what I will work on… AGAIN (because I keep forgetting and hopefully this time I will pay attention!): IN THIS ORDER…

  1. God
  2. My health
  3. My family
  4. My job
  5. My papercrafting

In between those things, I will tweet and blog. I will do my best and I will accept I can’t do it all. If I’m successful, I will get less and less of those looks from my husband where he’s shaking his head like I’m crazy because I’ve just taken on the world. If I’m successful… I. Will. Be. Content. Because I am content, I will have less flare ups… you see? I do get “IT”, I just have to accept that I am not Wonder Woman and I can’t do “IT ALL”. Those are two totally different things. But seriously, if I was Wonder Woman… I would totally dig that plane she had.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. Stay cool!

whew! i’m still standing. or rather sitting. or am i passed out on the floor?? all i know is… i made it through the holidays and now… i’m getting ready for 2010!!

merry christmas!! i’m still standing. or rather sitting. or am i passed out on the floor? all i know is… i made it through!!

what a whirlwind holiday season this has been! most days i had no idea if i was coming or going. i was foggy brain multi-tasking which, trust me, was the scariest thing ever. i mean it. think of this… my family room had about 15 projects going on, you could not see the floor, the table tops, the chairs, the couches, it was absolute chaos in there… but for me? i was workin’ it. i had three 6-foot tables in that room, i swear when i wasn’t in there, there were little project angels helping me… (a girl can dream, right?) i have to really give it to my husband, he let me do my thang (that’s right THANG). he generally (and by generally i really mean always, can’t stand it, has no patience for it) hates clutter and if that room was not the ultimate, extreme definition of clutter, i don’t know what is… but he just soldiered on each day, for weeks, and let me work. i’m pretty sure he knew i would have lost my mind if he said something, but that, my friends, is support.

i gotta tell you, i had a lot going on before that big guy was comin’ down my chimney… i had:

  • eight 12×12 scrapbook calendars to make (only 3 of which were the same) so i was designing scrapbook pages for hours!,
  • 28 kids to buy for (thank goodness for amazon.com!!) – let me tell you those lightning deals on amazon saved my “you know what”,
  • one 12×12 album to scan and copy to create two smaller 8×8 albums (seriously can santa bring me a 12×12 scanner next year?? scanning a page 4 times is so not fun!! can you say 26 x 4? and honestly my husband did all the scanning, what a guy!),
  • two desk calendars (thankfully there’s snapfish where i went to create online) and
  • two poster collage calendars (again i love snapfish!)
  • christmas cards (last minute decision… snap! fish!) and
  • i helped my daughter make eight custom designed tshirts (what was i thinking…. i was thinking in October… that she needed to start, which is what i told her… told her in November… told her December 1… 2… 3… you get what i’m sayin’… her beautiful brother helped me in the middle of the night to get these and the calendars done)
  • in addition to her one 12×12 scrapbook calendar… (again, why do i encourage the start of all these projects? i love the feeling of frustration and stress all at the same time… it’s such a yummy feeling! and honestly (again) i didn’t really do anything but encourage/motivate/yell/yell/yell at her to get it done) but… her creations were awesome! i have to say it again… totally awesome!!!

and all this in the span of the three weeks before santa arrives… 80% of it the 5 days prior to… oh yeah, totally forgot…i also had:

  • the cookies to bake, which the kids did (thank goodness for auntie cheryl who faithfully comes every year to lead the troops while i quality check the end result)
  • the tree to decorate, which i did in the middle of the night one night after i just couldn’t take it anymore (the tree had been put up and the lights were on it, what was my excuse? don’t get me started… but i had to put my mom’s handmade ornaments on it.)
  • i scrapbooked an album as a birthday gift for a family member (i was really happy to have done this, this one made me feel really good)
  • i worked a little bit up until christmas eve, which i had meant to take off completely… because i was needed to do some things. it took more time than expected, but it was worth it.

moving on… i’m getting ready for 2010!!

now that christmas is over it’s that time of the year where everyone starts to make resolutions for the coming year and reviews the goals they did or did not achieve for the prior year. we do this as a family in my house. we set aside a day and scrapbook a page and each list our “10 most memorable moments” and “10 goals for the year” some of the goals are the same for each year, some are different – it’s not a time to be judged. my son is very good about listing smart achievable goals, he knows how to create achievable goals. i am going to learn from him this time. what a novel idea… an achievable goal! this is such a great skill he has at such a young age… he is very wise for a 17-year old. tomorrow is the day we will work on our lists and scrapbook together as a family. i hope for a drama-free day… i plan to just work at my desk with the family with tani by my side and get into my groove with positivity and God on my side… because that is how i plan to start 2010!

this will be a year of change for my family…

  • my son will graduate from high school. we will find out what his next path in life will be in the spring, i am going to be brave about this, but i already miss him. my best friend’s son is leaving for the air force in february… i miss him already even though i never see him as they live a state away. he was the first baby between the two of us bff’s so i feel as though he is leaving me too.
  • the company i have worked my entire adult life for, the last 24 years will be acquired by another company come the end of January. this will be a change like no other for me…
  • i start my chronic pain program in january, this is supposed to change everything for me as far as my pain. the pain team says they have seen people leave this program, literally, with renewed lives. i’m excited to see how i am doing as i progress through the program.

i am thinking about my goals for the coming year, i know all of you are as well. i am wishing all of you less pain in 2010 than you had in 2009 and continued sharing and support. we hold each other up in the good times and the bad and together we will continue to make each other stronger.

thank you so much for making me a stronger and better person despite having fibromyalgia, this community of fibromites/ chronic pain people seriously ROCK! nothing can hold us down!

thank you for reading and stay cool!

should i call this a fibromyalgia “flare down”? whatever it is… i like it!

i have been feeling really good the last six days. six days of relatively average, level 4-5 pain days. thanksgiving day was the first day i felt really good. friday i spent the day scrapbooking and i felt really good. saturday was up and down… sunday was just okay, i had some serious foot problems but thankfully my husband was home to help me through it. monday is usually the day that all hell breaks loose in my body so i was pretty worried…. i waited and waited and let me tell you. i made it! it was a good day. in fact, it was a really good day, all things considered. i had a clear head yesterday and my pain level was about a 5. i have not had a day with a pain level below 7 in many months. did you read that?? i said months! and a clear head? it felt like i went to the store and exchanged myself for someone new! what the hell is going on?

do i call this great thing a “flare down“??

today… well today was a big day for me. for all you fibromites out there, you can relate to this… i took a shower this morning and i still had energy after. i had to slow it down a bit (i got a little too happy and forgot that i actually HAD fibromyalgia for a second and completely overdid it) but i kept going. i got in my car and drove for the first time in many, many months. i drove up to the san francisco airport to pick up my boss and back down to santa clara for a meeting… i was in the office all afternoon and then out for dinner with the staff. this was a big deal for me. i have not been this active and driving since… well i honestly can’t remember! even better, i had a clear head all day… again!  again i say… what the hell is going on?

do i call this great thing a “flare down“??

at about 8:15 tonight while sitting at the dinner table… i started to feel the nudges and the tension and the bruised feeling and i thought to myself… “go away!… i am feeling good! i am feeling good!… noooooooooooooo!!… not fair!!!!!!!!!!” but i can feel the pain coming. so, i quickly decided to call it a night and come home.

now that i’m home, i can feel my elbows and knees tightening up and hurting and i’m getting pissed off. i need to do some self talk. i can feel my fingers starting to hurt as i type, my head is hurting and all i can think is “eff this shit! i am going to feel good when i get up tomorrow! nothing can stop me!”.

so did i have a “flare down”?? did i have six great average level 4-5 pain days for no reason at all?? well when i think about it … all the nights were pretty painful, the meds helped me sleep through it. i wake up and go back to sleep because of the meds… so… i’m going to think like this for right now:

  • i am having some really great days right now.
  • my nights are painful, but my meds are doing the job and helping me get some rest and when i wake up i go back to sleep so, for now, my insomnia is under control. this is great news!!
  • i probably overdid it today which is why i’m experiencing pain right now.
  • tomorrow is going to be a great day.
  • i may not be where i want to be… but thank God i’m not where i used to be!
  • i have the courage to change what i can and i will accept what i cannot… it is what it is…

my formula for getting here to my “great days”:

  • a whole lot of prayer
  • listening to my teachings by joyce meyer and pastor paul
  • my physical therapy and following through with it at home
  • a whole lot of prayer
  • the support from my family and friends
  • the support from the fibro social networking community
  • a whole lot of prayer

if  i can do this… so can you!

what do you think? “flare down”?? fluke??

thanks for reading! stay cool!

it’s ironic: invisible condition, invisible people & social networking

myfoggybraini found out i had fibromyalgia over a year ago… i started reading books and attempting to learn as much as possible, yet after a year has passed, i feel like i was not taking in as much information in as i should. in the last four weeks, i have learned more than in the entire year, not by books or doctors, but by social networking.

my name is “my foggy brain” and i am a fibromite. i have the “invisible condition” noone wants to believe and noone can see. the strange thing is, social media, by definition is “the unseen”. it is virtual. it is facebook… it is twitter… it is blogging. so i remain “invisible”. i remain invisible by choice. i admit i am new to this. i have only been doing the fibro twitter and blog thing for a month so maybe there is a time when people get together. i’m not sure if i’d be up to doing that… i mean by definition, we are a group of people who don’t travel well. i can’t fly and can’t see a time when that would be a good idea. i can’t ride in a car more than 45 minutes without major pain. soooooo where and how would a “tweet up” happen? don’t get me wrong here… i was just sitting here and found it ironic. invisible disease/ invisible people.

i have been doing the social networking thing for a long while now, i have two twitter accounts (probably not such a great idea for someone who can barely finish a sentence… but i digress). i have an account just dedicated to my fibro friends and it is the best thing i could have ever done. very focused, provides me great information and the people… the people are GREAT! the level of support that the people provide to each other is so nice… i would have never thought it would be so nice. it is like a 24/7 support group. i totally underestimated the value of twitter in this respect. i am kept completely up to date on the latest and greatest news, medications, therapies, etc. AND provided wonderful support… AWESOME!

with my blog… i love the comments. it’s nice to know i’m not alone. i have been reading other people’s blogs and it’s been inspiring… so many people are suffering from fibromyalgia and feel alone and many don’t have a lot of support. it’s hard to read, i want to reach out and jump through my laptop and help. this condition is so tough… it affects people in so many different ways…  the worst part about it to me is that it seems to affect people who in the earlier years were HIGH HIGH HIGH performers. people who went out of their way to help others and were always  doing too much and basically burned out their bodies. now when they need help, they don’t have a support system. just doesn’t make sense.

what do you think?

btw… if you want to follow me… i am @myfoggybrain

thanks for reading! stay cool!