Important information

Important information

I got these images from the “Life after the semicolon” page on Facebook. It is a good resource for those of us who deal with depression, suicide, or any mental illness really. Check it out. I recommend keeping these images on your phone or tablet so they are handy for you to do a quick self-check from time to time.

Here is another one. Kinda similar to the first but not exactly the same.

Hang in there beautiful people. Remember you can always reach me by dm or by email. I am here if you need to talk to someone but I am not a medical professional. Do your best and reach out for help if you need it. You got this!!!

Narcolepsy Nightmare

Narcolepsy Nightmare

So,I take Nuvigil for my narcolepsy. It doesn’t have me functioning at a normal level but it gives me a few hours of close to normal and then most of the day at a safe to function level. My Dr still doesn’t want me driving in the evenings. Ok, so every month when I go to fill it, there is some kind of problem and I sometimes end up having to go without for a few days resulting in me sleeping literally all day long, about 21 out of every 24 hours. So yesterday was my last pill and my Tenncare won’t let me fill anymore prescriptions until April 1st because adults are only allowed 5 prescriptions a month. So I get to go without meds for 4 days then about 3 days at least to build back up in my system. Thank you narcolepsy! Thank you Tenncare! I get to sleep thru 4 days. Woo hoo!

The many faces of fibromyalgia

The many faces of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a very confusing condition for several reasons. First of all, there is just not a whole lot known about Fibro. Not a lot of money or time is put into the research of Fibromyalgia. Second, there have been a LOT of symptoms that have been attributed to Fibromyalgia.

Sometimes it seems like once you have the Fibro diagnosis every time you have a new symptom your Doctors just say, “Oh, it’s the Fibro,” without even investigating for other causes. I have noticed some Fibro patients are bad about this as well. I have left many bulletin boards and support groups because I have gotten sick of all of the “Who else has my symptom?” posts. They go something like this:

Initial poster: “I have noticed every time it rains that my left nostril gets stopped up and my right elbow itches. Does anyone else have this problem? It is driving me crazy. My neighbor’s sister’s dog’s groomer said I can take supplement X to help but I don’t know what dose to take….”

Answering posts (approximately 84 out of a couple thousand users): ” Yes!! I have that and it is a Fibro symptom! It is caused by ….insert one of 84 causes….and I take supplement …..insert one of 20 supplements….and it works wonders!! I take …. insert one of 20 doses…. Good luck and keep us posted!!!”

Third, Fibromyalgia is very hard to explain because it is not just one type of pain you are dealing with. I experience about 7 or 8 different types of pain from aches to sharp stabbing pains to electric shocks to pins and needles. The type of pain varies in location and intensity. I have certain places that hurt a lot of the time but no part of my body is off limits and I never know what will hurt today.

Fourth, patients can experience numbness and weakness in their arms, legs, hands and feet. This makes using their hands or walking and driving difficult. It limits activities.

Fifth, fatigue. Fatigue is a major symptom of Fibro and one I struggle with in particular. Sometimes the fatigue is so bad I cannot lift my head from the pillow. It can last for an hour or it can last for weeks. I have no idea when it will hit or how long it will last. My medications also make me sleepy, and I have narcolepsy which makes me experience excessive daytime sleepiness. It is a wonder I am ever conscious!! LOL. I struggle with this. Sometimes I feel like I sleep through my life. I have to take at least one nap a day.

Sixth, Fibromyalgia is unpredictable. Some days I may feel pretty close to normal and may be able to go shopping for a little while or run errands or clean a little. These days are rare and I try to make the most of them. Other times I may sleep for a week or writhe in pain for days. I never know what a day will bring. I have gotten better at predicting my arthritis pain. I know if I am walking/standing/sitting up for a few hours a day then I will have 3-4 days of extreme pain in my hips and back. The Fibro pain though is pretty unpredictable. I do know that it is affected by the weather. When it rains I hurt. I know that much.

Seven, there is no set treatment. There are a few drug regimens, some get results with exercise regimens, and others with dietary changes or supplements.

Last, no two people with Fibromyalgia experience it in the same way. The same can be said for treatments. No two patients respond to treatments in the same way. A lot of treatments are spread by word of mouth and are tried by desperate people paying out of pocket in hopes of finding ANYTHING to help relieve the pain.

Hopefully, in the future we can make some progress in helping those of us with Fibromyalgia find some relief. It is difficult to live a quality life when you spend a great deal of it in pain. Gentle hugs out there to all my Fibro brothers and sisters. Comment below and let me know how you are coping and how you are dealing with the pain.

The To Do List That Never Gets Done

The To Do List That Never Gets Done

It seems like I have a never ending To Do list. Just when I manage to cross off one or two items I add on three or four more. Most of the time these are calls to Doctor’s offices or errands to be run. Sometimes there are chores I need to accomplish around the house. A project I really want to put the finishing touches on. Something one of the kids needs for school.

IMG_2582 (1)The problem is that I hate my To Do list. It sits there and mocks me. It criticizes me. It tells me how I don’t measure up to what I should be. It tells me I am lazy or unmotivated. It tells me I am slow. It tells me I am not good enough. It’s not very kind, this To Do list. It’s not very forgiving either. It expects me to get it all done in one day. It doesn’t see why it should linger there for days or weeks even. It doesn’t see the need to be added to and rewritten. It doesn’t see why it should be shuffled from here to there and sometimes told how much it is hated.

You see I have chronic illnesses. I have fibromyalgia which has fatigue as a major symptom and I also have narcolepsy which….well, narcolepsy… my body wants to sleep all the time. Add on top of these my chronic depression and you have a mixture that is ripe for To Do list hatred. Most days I have little to no energy or motivation. When I do happen to have the right mixture to get something accomplished it is usually short lived. This is very frustrating and demoralizing. Which, as it happens, is the prime cause of To Do list hatred.

What do you do about To Do list hatred? Well, there is only one cure that I have heard of and it is very difficult to achieve. Very few people can actually achieve it permanently. Most usually suffer setbacks at some point. What’s the secret? you ask. It’s not really a secret. The cure for To Do list hatred is forgiveness and acceptance. Forgive yourself for not getting it done. Accept that you are doing what you can and it will get done when you are able. See? Easier said than done huh? But it is true.

Those of us with chronic illnesses have a limited energy reserve and our body needs it to heal itself. We need to conserve every bit of energy that we can by resting whenever possible while remaining active to the point of not overdoing it. It is  a delicate balancing act that few can achieve perfectly. Especially in the beginning. Stress should be avoided. Especially stress from judgmental To Do lists. 😉