Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Locks of Love Haircut

I have been growing my hair since 2007, my last Locks of Love haircut. This time, I was able to donate a 13-inch ponytail to this charity for cancer kids. My husband shot video of the event, at my request. Here's the video.

My philosophy of giving to others in need as a healthy form of distraction from my health problems applies here. It doesn't hurt to give away some hair and not getting frequent haircuts fits right into my busy schedule. Come on. Do like me and grow out a pretty little pony tail for some unlucky kids who have to endure chemotherapy. 10 inches is the minimum.

If you're interested in donating to Locks of Love, it's easy! For more information on donating to Locks of Love, go to:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stressing and Pacing with FMS

My last post showed you how I look when my face gets all hot and red. I've been noticing that's died down a bit now, thankfully, though I still notice hot flushes. Actually, maybe I'm just getting used to it and noticing it less, rather than the actual occurrences being reduced. At any rate, I don't always check how red I look now. I just wait it out and go about my business. I'm usually at work when it happens, so I have plenty of distractions.

Speaking of work (well, writing of work, I guess), it's been quite ridiculous with all the meetings, tight deadlines, and lots of work to do and no time to be at my desk to actually do it because of all the damned meetings! I am working on a new, very important project that is expected to be delivered in a few months and things are moving quickly on it. I guess that would be fine if it weren't for the other, usual work things that come up, and if I didn't have to deal with chronic health issues - all at the same time. In addition, there are other things going on in my life - loved ones with health issues and strained family relationships - that are adding to the stress pile.

The net effect of all this stress is that my body has been nagging me about taking a break. Meanwhile, I've been asking it to please wait for a better time to argue with me. Well, I give up. Today's the day. Okay, body? After I post this blog entry, I'm going to bed to rest. All day! That's going to have to do. I have too much going on to spare more than a day at a time. I also don't get paid for this time off, so I don't want financial stresses added to my pile. It's a bit of a catch-22 that way. Anyway, I'm willing to compromise with this day and see how long it gets me. Next week's work schedule is nuts all over again, so I'll have to be ready. If I'm not, there's going to have to be some rescheduling, I guess. It's nothing I haven't done before, but I really hate the feeling. I guess I need to get over that.

It's like I keep telling my friends: I can't help anyone else until I help myself. Remember the oxygen masks on the airplane. They instruct adults to put on their own masks first, then help their kids or others. If you faint, you can't help anyone. I try to picture that during times like this. I need to listen to my own advice more often. I'm still learning how to live with this fibrobeast.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Facial Flushing is a Side Effect of Savella!

Last Sunday, after posting photos of my extremely hot and ruddy face on Facebook, I confirmed that the new drug I'm on, Savella, includes "hot flush" as a commonly reported side effect. From what I read, it appears it's relatively common, but less common after the first month of use. Since I'm newly switched to Savella, I'm hoping my daily flushing will dwindle away.

Here are the pictures, in case you're wondering how it looks.

Note: I used Photo Booth and the pictures are reversed. (The big zit is actually on my right cheek.)

Here's one of the resources that led me to believe it's the Savella:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sciatica and Sinus/Face Issues Continue

Just hoping to leave a quick update here. I'm continuing to experience at least daily episodes of sciatic nerve pain in the back of my right upper leg. It feels like sudden lightning bolts of intense pain that strikes, usually without warning, and fires at will for however long it wants - sometimes it's one or five quick strikes, sometimes it goes all day. I frequently jump from the startling pain. It's very bizarre.

One of my past doctors suspected my Piriformis muscle was impinging upon this sciatic nerve because it was so tense after I was rear-ended a few years ago. I don't know if I'm asymmetrical or what, but the right nerve acts up significantly more frequently than the left, though I have had it occur on the left, occasionally.

When it happens, if possible, I try to put pressure on the painful area behind my thigh, sitting on a tennis ball if available, or/and bring my foot up to my other knee and lean forward to stretch and loosen the Piriformis muscle in my butt, which is supposed to help. With Myofascial Pain Syndrome tensing up most of my muscles all of the time, I am likely going to have to live with these intrusive little surprises for the rest of my life, so I'm trying to deal with it as best as I can when it happens, then just go one with whatever it interrupted (work, walking, dinner, sleep, etc.).

There's also been an odd facial heat thing going on with me and that is continuing and possibly worsening. Two nights ago, I felt significant sinus pressure and discomfort in my face. I had developed a painful sinus headache that prevented me from sleeping most of the night. The pillow would not feel comfortable to my aching head! I had that headache most of the day yesterday, and it settled in the sinuses just above the bridge of my nose and above the eyebrows. In addition, starting last night in the evening, my nose heated up and turned really red for several hours. All this for no apparent reason. I didn't hit it or blow my nose or have congestion or get sick or anything. It just turned red, like Rudolph. It was blazing hot to the touch - even hotter than my cheeks. I'm noticing that it's happening most of the day today. :(

Googling and suspicions have gotten me as far as suspecting sinusitis, a respiratory infection, allergies, or rosacea. This is all new to me, so I'm not sure what's going on with my sinuses. I just hope it's temporary and not serious.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sacroiliitis Acting Up

I have been hurting in the hips and back, as well as my knee and foot for the past week. It seems to do whichever pain it feels like for the moment but something is always wrong.

I have even had to use my cane at work one day when the bottom of my foot could no longer deal with the pressure of standing or walking on it well. I was told I have sacroiliitis in my left hip, but if -itis means infection or at least inflammation, why is this not more urgent than it seems to be to my doctor? My only treatment thus far has been a belt to keep the joints secure and the occasional NSAID, which I'm not thrilled about using after the gastro problems I dealt with a few months ago.

I've been having hot flushing in my face in recent days, especially in the evenings, and it's not necessarily due to the hot weather, as I'm keeping cool indoors with air conditioning and fans. I'm concerned about something ugly happening inside my joints and spreading for some reason.

The sciatica pains have been firing up a bit lately, too. I'm sure it's not a coincidence, since they are all around the hip area.

I've been very uncomfortable with sitting or standing lately, and lying down has been the best position I can find while dealing with these pains, but I'd like to figure out if there's something that needs to be addressed. I hate the thought of having to deal with some emergency later because all the early clues were missed.