Showing posts from June, 2019

No Stone Left Unturned

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When I hit my lowest and went to my doctor, he wanted to prescribe me Cymbalta.  I refused it.  I had already researched the FDA-approved medicationfor Fibromyalgia (FM) and was terrified after reading the many horrible reviews.  (Cymbalta reviews)  I talked to my family.  I cried and refused.  I was actually scared.

I've since realized why. My mom was hospitalized for the first time in Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital in my sophomore year of 1980. Her second time that ended up being a permanent situation was only a year later. She was being treated for bipolar and schizophrenia with very serious medication. All I could imagine was being in the zombie-state that I remembered from my visits.  Scared me silly. However, on December 7, 2018, I knew that I couldn't handle without some help I agreed to go on a low dose of 30mg of Cymbalta.

Before resorting to prescribed medication, I…

Gratitude for these Days of FULLNESS

Boy, I've had a great start to the summer.  Well, that is after the first few weeks of June.  Stress  (mental, emotional, or physical strain or tension ) is known for flaring up the symptoms of Fibromyalgia (pain, brain fog, insomnia, exhaustion, etc.) significantly.  For me saying goodbye to my 6th grade classes (seeing them for the first time since I'd been off and packing up my books and personal things the last weeks for May) and then on June 3rd, attending the annual SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER celebration at a wonderful watering whole downtown in the big city hit me hard.  I mean shockingly hard.  Yesterday, when telling it to a friend over coffee was the first time I had spoken of it without crying-just a little tearing up.  

Through a Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain program at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, a pain clinical psychologist I've been seeing during the 10-week program has been reminding me that this is a time of change.  You can be said at the end of somethi…

What's Wrong with Me? Part 2

Bless my doctor.  First off, we had fairly recently moved to a small tall an hour north of Grand Rapids, MI.  I had just changed to him as my general practitioner the year before. After the recent diagnosis of ADD, here I am again, sitting in his office in tears.  I could tell he thought I was just a stressed out mess, but I tried my best to explain that this is all something new.  He brought up the term Fibromyalgia, but he admitted he didn't know much about it.  He ordered thorough blood work and an appointment with an immunologist.  All tests came up with normal results-no issues. My fears of the big C were alleviated.

In the meantime, I began to research all things Fibromyalgia.  I found some good information and some that were pretty detrimental.  One really helpful website has been by Donna who explains her own journey-first with Fibromyalgia and then with the additional diagnosis of Lyme Disease.  She has spent a lot of time researching and then sharin…

What's Wrong With Me? Part 1

Looking back, I see the signs that things in my body had been changing.  But at my age (now 55 this past May), I knew I was in perimenopause (now postmenopause).  I knew to expect changes.  Thanks to my partner teacher and good friend, I read some of the books that she recommended to find out what to expect.

Now, prior to all of this, I had had a diagnosis (and was being treated for) acid reflux (even had the Nissen Procedure) and Interstitial Cystitis (treated with meds, pelvic floor PT, instillations, and even a Botox injection procedure).  I often felt that If I could delete my midsection, I'd be golden.
But then, as mentioned before, the extreme fatigue, foggy brain, and high anxiety started, spring of  2015.  Figuring it was hormonal, I went to visit my gynecologist who prescribed me a  patch of Estradiol  (.0375mg BIW) along with Progestin (QD).  This did seem to work until the fall the next year.  I was bumped up to a .05 patch and a vaginal Estrace cream (BIW). When I sti…

Sleep, Fog, and Vampires

N.B- I do not own the rights to this image. It’s been circulating in online support groups.
I'm struggling waking up this morning.  Last night at 2:30 am, I wasn't though.  I almost got up to write at that time because, well, might as use the time as I have it. However, I did stay in bed and fell back to sleep after a couple of ours.  Yes, I scrolled through Facebook, which is on my list of things I should not do at night if I want to sleep.

I have had a pattern of two-three nights where I just can't sleep.  Catch a few hours.  Not sure how sound, either. Then I'll have two or three good nights of sleep.  For the past few months, though, I'm still waking up at 7:00ish, coherent and energetic. Today, not so much.

I hate mornings like this.  My body is definitely winning over my mind.  I've been "awake" for 3 hours now.  Still barely moving, barely able to think.  I explain to others that I feel a thick fog taking over my brain, rusting the works.  Then…

One Step at a Time

6:15 this morning, Scout, my grumpy-old-man orange tabby, is stepping on my head as I begin to come out of another dream that involves my alter-ego desperately racing through a maze of sorts (need an analysis of this 😄 ). As soon as he sees some consciousness from me, he begins to pleadingly meow for one of us to get up and feed him-thanks to his hyperthyroidism-getting old is tough even for him. 

As the dream seeps out of me, the reality of my body pours in. This is every morning. Every morning when I feel swollen-filled up with wet sand in my arms, hands, legs, and feet. My body talks to my mind and says, “I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get out of this bed.” It’s a pleading that I spend one half to an hour every morning arguing with. Over and over I say to myself, “Get up. You have to get up.” I’m shooting for 7:00 to 7:15 each day, so that I stay on a routine for sleep. Sometimes, I get up and after a pee and brushing my teeth, I head to the kitchen to take the medicine a…

Going from PAINfully Living to PainFULLY Living

The journey I've taken since my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
This past June (2018), as my husband and I drove across the country from Michigan to California in our Ford Escape, I began to notice a change in me.  It wasn't quite a new thing, but a new intensity and duration.  My muscles ached deep, deep within me, gnawing from the inside out.

This is the beginning of a major life change, a journey of sorts that has birthed a new self.  It's been hard (almost impossible at times) and is ongoing; however, I have come to be thankful for what it's brought me to.

Being a teacher and a lover of learning, I have done a lot of research.  Seeking insight, knowledge, and help from every place I could find it.  This blog is to share my path on this journey.  One:  Just so I can have it recorded somewhere.  Two: Hopefully help others through this sharing.

I have come to witness and understand that Fibromyalgia comes in many forms with a variety of symptoms and a variety of ways that p…