Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Worse Half - Left

What a complete fudgebucket of a day today is!

My sleep has degraded until it just completely crapped out at 3am this morning.  I woke up and went to pee, thinking I could fall back asleep after coming back from the bathroom if I don't turn the lights on.  Yes, it's come to that.  I try to fool myself into thinking I'm not really fully awake.  It has worked occasionally, but not this time.  I got back to bed and realized my plan failed miserably, as I was not able to get comfortable, plus I was wide awake (even though I spent all day at work yesterday feeling like a zombie).  I gave up and spent my early morning hours playing on Facebook, waiting for the Sandman to beckon me back to bed.  He stood me up.

So I started my day and flipped on the news while I had some breakfast.  Things were fine until I felt like I needed to move my neck a bit, so I did.  Instead of feeling a relieving adjustment, I felt excruciating pain.  It feels like I've contorted it into some awful position, but all I did was move it a little bit.  I didn't even stretch it!

So, ever since about 6am this morning, the left side of my neck, my left shoulder, my left arm, and the left side of my back, all the way down to my left hip, are all seized up in pain that intensifies with any movement.  Lovely. 

I waited a bit to see if it would subside.  Eventually, I had to decide to use up yet another of my very few remaining vacation days to stay home and rest.  I'm on much more pain medication than I ever really consider using, especially on a work day or a day when I need to drive.  Since I'm home, I thought I'd "pull out the big guns" as my husband said.

I tried going back to bed after contacting my boss, but there was no relief there and still no sleepiness.  I should be napping or something right now, but I can't.  I'm feeling out of order and unable to sit still.  My eyes feel like I've been awake for weeks, but I can't sleep.  I can't even lie down comfortably.  I'm restless.  I can't even deal with the television today.  I turn it on, hate whatever is on, search for something else, give up, and turn it off.  I've done this about three times today.  

I feel irritable, I guess.  It's probably a good thing I'm home by myself.  I hate subjecting Don to my irritability.  What's weird is that I recognize it (I hope) right away.  It's such and icky, uncomfortable feeling that just feels incurable.  Bleh.  I just wish I could shake it off.  There's a lot that needs to be done, but I'm in no shape to do it.  Yet I can't seem to rest.  It all just seems wrong and messed up.  

I am going to see if there is a trigger point I can find that might be causing this problem.  I have my Thera Cane and Knobble here, waiting to help me.  I hope they can.  If that doesn't work, I've got a heat wrap on my shoulder and hopefully I can lose myself in some reading or something.  Sometimes distraction is the only treatment that works for me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mallory, My Fibroduck

This is Mallory. :)  Mallory is going to help spread awareness for Fibromyalgia by posing for photos in various locations.  I take her picture and upload to Fibroduck's website, where everyone in the world can see her.

Her spots represent the invisible illness of Fibromyalgia, so you can tell she's not a "normal" ducky.  She's still trying to live a fun and fruitful life, even though she's different, just like I am.  Although sometimes it may seem strange to see a ducky in certain places, it's representative of how strange it may feel for us fibromites to be in this world - kind of like a duck out of water.  Even though you can't see how strange it feels, we feel it.  We compensate however we can and try to make the most of each situation.

I bought my ducky in a 3-pack from a local Party City store for under $3 and customized her with dots myself, but if you like you can order a free* ducky from Jamie Goodwin, the creator of Fibroduck.  (*Due to the expense of running the charitable website, she is now asking for just the cost of postage.)

Please visit Fibroduck online and view some of the photos uploaded there.  Download a poster and join in the fun by taking your own photos and uploading them to share with others.  It's a fun way to do something that helps fibromyalgia awareness, which in turn helps fibromyalgia patients like myself get better, more effective treatments and helps reduce confusion and misunderstanding of this chronic, incurable condition.

P.S.  I have two extra duckies I would be happy to give away to two lucky readers of my blog who are interested in joining up with Fibroduck.  If you'd like your own fibroduck, please let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me check the profile page from my blog's "About Me" page).  I will send a ducky to each of the first two people who are interested.  (Be sure to leave me your email address so I can contact you.) 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Fibro? (A Wonderful Vacation)

I just got back from a great week long vacation with my husband.  We drove up to his old stomping grounds in Glennie, Michigan to stay with his childhood friend's family, out in the country.  

The weather was sunny and hot for most of the trip, and we did lots of fun stuff, like canoeing (my first time), four-wheeling (another first for me), target shooting, a pontoon boat ride (another first for me), attending a local 4th of July parade, even tossing the old Frisbee around.
We also visited several great places along the way, including our favorite brewery, Founders in Grand Rapids, MI, and attended a Weird Al concert in Indiana on the way back home.

I noticed that, despite all the activities, I felt GREAT!  I hardly dealt with any of my fibromyalgia or other health conditions myriad symptoms.  I had only little pain in my back, neck, and hands and feet.  There was no nausea, no headaches, no IBS problems, and very little (unearned) fatigue.  This was all a great relief to both me and my husband, as he worries about planning vacations around my unpredictable symptoms.  

I speculated as to the factors that may have been so helpful with regard to lifting my pains, fatigue, and health problems while on the road.  Here is a list of possibilities I have pondered:
  • I got lots of warm sunshine, which means I got lots of vitamin D.
  • I ate and drank lots of yummy food and delicious beers.
  • I had little stress thanks to no work, no chores, no commuting, even no diet.  My husband even planned all the stops and did all the driving.  (Thanks, Don!)
  • I had plenty of distraction with new people to meet, new surroundings, and new experiences.  I was busy!
  • I got plenty of exercise and walked a lot.
  • I got plenty of sleep.  (I slept surprisingly well on all the strange beds.)
  • I had plenty of FUN!!!
I had a wonderful time and am very thankful that I got to experience it without being a fibro-drag on the rest of the group.  (I hate slowing down everyone else's fun because I don't feel well.)

Unfortunately, now that I'm back to my non-vacation routine at home/work, I'm noticing the return of some symptoms.  My asthma seems to be acting up at both work and home, causing me to cough, clear my throat, and sound hoarse again.  (This was all gone on vacation!)  I am digging up and finding that molds in the indoor air of my office building and possibly in my basement where I like to watch TV in the evenings could be aggravating my allergic asthma and possibly adding a post-nasal drip, which could be behind the throat clearing.  The difficulty breathing seems also to be causing me to be exhausted during most of my day, and especially at the end of the day.  To top it all off, my comfy, familiar bed at home doesn't seem to be comfortable enough for good sleep, as my sleep seems more interrupted and broken now that I'm home.

To top it off, my native garden is under attack by the village (again) due to ignorant folks making anonymous complaints that have no merit.  The village is threatening to mow the entire parkway TOMORROW!  Little does the author of the threatening letter realize that our native plants benefit the entire neighborhood, while the turf-grass they so seem to adore is harmful in several ways.

In addition to all this mess, I'm dealing with several other stressful situations that have to do with others and things out of my control, as well.  I won't go into details, but it's so overwhelming that I feel compelled to keep making lists about follow-up tasks and chores. Ugh...

I suppose there would be no wonderful experiences if there weren't also awful ones, for comparison.  I'll try to keep that in mind and appreciate my health remission for the temporary phenomenon it was, and look forward to my next one.

I'm wishing you all a pain-minimal day!