Yesterday was a mix of good and not so good...I didn't get paid for being a witness for my friend, but I DID keep the guy from intimidating her. Turns out he's an agent for her landlord. He's thirty years old, not a good people person, and quite used to having tenants jump when he tells them what they "have" to do. I set him straight very quickly; and after that he was more polite. But he kept a wary eye on me the whole time and was obviously glad to leave. Still, I wasn't sorry when the whole thing was over. I couldn't wait to get home and rest a bit.
I cancelled my afternoon meeting because I was tired. Instead I did a little grocery shopping. I ended up having to put some stuff back because I got to the checkout and realized I didn't have enough money. It's hard to choose what to put back when you need everything you have. But I did...I came home with the things we needed most, so that was okay.
By late afternoon, I realized the dragginess and crampy pain I'd had since Tuesday was actually a bladder infection, grrr. It really flared up by the time I got to church last night. The service was beautiful, though. I forgot how bad I was feeling for a while. But I went straight to bed when I got home.
Today I'm not doing much...I called my MD's emergency number this morning, and they've called in a prescription. I'll send Husband to get it later on, after he wakes up. I will be resting, drinking lots of tea, and eating plenty of roasted garlic. That should straighten me out in no time.
Hope everyone has a good Easter...I'm going to go and lie down for a while. View Thread
Good Morning, Mimi! I know I haven't been here much lately...all my energy is going towards dealing with day to day stuff. The financial stress takes a toll, and I've been feeling perpetually tired. I have to stay positive for both of us, though, because Husband is tired and fed up and no longer cares what happens. The stress has worn him down and he has no hope things will get better.
Today it's gray and cold out---yet again---with snow and rain showers predicted. I have to go to a friend's house this morning, to act as a witness while she has a home inspection. She is upset because her landlord wants to raise the rent when he hasn't done any repairs, so she called the building inspector to make a report. Then she realized she'd have to cover her own tracks.
She has three cats. Her rental agreement specifies no animals. I can't help but laugh at the thought of her trying to find a place to hide the cats, food and litterboxes, especially since every room in her place will be inspected. She is also getting rid of the bottles (she drinks regularly); and she told me that when I got there she'd be outside raking the yard. I don't feel right about going; but I "might" be getting paid for doing it. We need the money badly.
On a happier note, Husband and I went for a walk yesterday, and I walked 500 feet WITHOUT MY CANE. Yippee! I was amazed at how quickly my legs got tired; but it felt so good to walk like a "normal" person. I haven't done that for almost a year.
That's all for now...I need to fix some breakfast and get ready to head out the door. It'll be a busy day today. View Thread
And I forgot the TITLE. It's called "Dancing With The Dragon".
It's been tough going here lately. I've been using my journal every day and doing a lot of praying. It doesn't seem like it's going to get easier any time soon, and I'm trying to keep the faith. I need something to hang onto, lol.
Husband is really struggling...I shared a while ago about how his company had decided he needed to cut an hour a day from his run time. That worked out to a $130 loss per paycheck, and it completely wiped out our $100-per-month grocery budget. We are hanging in somehow; but we had one really tough week when all we had to eat was oatmeal and soup. Now we're okay for a week or so. I'm taking it one day at a time.
The reason for the pay cut,,,Husband's company was audited by the state (they are state funded). They found Husband's run wasn't making the company any money, because they have to pay his benefits. But they couldn't just stop the benefits. So they made him cut his hours down. Now at the end of the school year they can legally stop his benefits because he doesn't have enough hours to qualify for them any more. That means I will lose mine too.
Husband is fed up, frustrated, and ready to give up. He is trying to jump through their hoops so we have some sort of income, no matter how pitiful. His last bi-weekly check was only $86 after deductions. $86 for TWO WEEKS of work! What's the point of working? I would rather be without the benefits if it means getting back the man I married. Since I'm the wife, guess where all his stress goes.
I am using all my energy to stay positive, because one of us has to be strong. I am focusing on the good. I've been painting a mural here to brighten the place up; and I've been cooking lots of soups. I feel like I can still feed us when I put things in the freezer. Every day I dump my worries into the journal; then I look around and ask myself, "What is GOOD about this day?" And I make a list...There is always something to be grateful for, even if I have to stretch to find it.
It goes without saying I've been flaring a LOT...The tiredness hangs on no matter how much rest I get (not that I've been sleeping, lol). Still, I'm getting up every day and trying to make our lives work, the best I can. I don't know what else to do except keep on trying to move forward. The one bright spot in all of this is, my coping skills are getting stronger and stronger. Dealing with this will be a piece of cake in no time if I keep it up!
So that's my life at the moment...Now I'm going to go and make us a crockpot beef stew for dinner. Hope everyone has a good day! View Thread
I forgot about the copy and paste yesterday, for the FMily members here who don't have Facebook. I've been flaring and the fog is pretty thick, lol. So I'll do that first:
"What's that noise?"
I jump awake, my heart racing. But all is quiet. The only sounds are the heater's hum and the whoosh and hiss of the vaporizor. I shift position, settle back into the covers, and try to fall asleep again. But sleep seldom comes quickly.
Fibromyalgia is a strange condition. Along with widespread pain and constant fatigue, the "fight or flight" state becomes the autonomic nervous system's default setting. Science hasn't figured out why. But every little noise or stress makes the body unleash a flood of adrenaline. This is annoying, especially when I'm trying to sleep.
In a healthy person, the adrenaline release stops when the stress passes. The body returns to its normal relaxed state. This doesn't happen with Fibromyalgia. The system remains on high alert, and the smallest disturbance or change in routine unleashes more adrenaline. The chronically high levels of adrenaline means my system is always racing, whether I'm aware of it or not.
This continual racing depletes dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the body that determines how the body perceives pain. It is usually replenished during sleep. But one of the issues in Fibromyalgia is poor or non-existent sleep, so the dopamine stays low. The lower the dopamine is, the more sensitive the body is to pain. The pain disrupts sleep even more, and before I know it, I'm in a flare. If my stress levels are high, this can happen very fast.
A flare---meaning extreme fatigue and widespread throbbing, burning pain---is not fun. The pain is often accompanied by stiffness, muscle spasms, headaches, nausea, low-grade fevers, chills, and diarrhea. In my worst flares, I feel burning, electric waves traveling up and down my body. It feels like I stuck my finger in a light socket after someone worked me over with a sledgehammer.
The frustrating part? If I were to go to a doctor with these complaints, any tests done would come back fine. If I were to have an MRI or a CAT scan done, they would show no abnormalities. Fibromyalgia is a disorder in the brain and central nervous system, and there are no tests for that. This condition, while debilitating, is also largely invisible.
The "invisibleness" of this condition creates its own stress. How do I explain to someone how horrible I feel when I look perfectly healthy? A healthy person can't understand Fibromyalgia. He sees a person who looks normal, with no outward signs of physical illness. His reaction is usually a baffled look and a polite, or not-so-polite, change of subject. Pain is not something he can readily relate to unless he has experienced it himself.
I have Fibromyalgia. I have low-pain days and high-pain days, days where I can function and days where I cannot. Pain-free is a state I dream of reaching, while accepting that I may never reach it. All I can do is work within my limits in the hope that I can expand them.
But Fibromyalgia doesn't have me. It may steal large parts of my life, restrict my mobility, limit what I can do on any given day. But it can't take my ability to choose. This is something I've learned as I come to terms with this condition. I can choose to see what's good in my life, even when I hurt. I can cultivate a larger awareness of the small things that make me smile, and savor the little victories, like getting out of bed or making a pot of soup. I can still love my husband, hug my cat, offer compassion to a friend. Fibromyalgia can't stop me from being me. It will never touch my heart, and that is what matters most.
Now I'll post separately about my "regular things...Hope you enjoy this.View Thread
Hi All, I haven't been on much lately. We've been dealing with a lot of challenges here and it takes a lot of energy to stay positive. I haven't had a lot of energy to type, but I have been reading. I'm still here.
I posted a new blog piece today about Fibro. I thought I'd share the link here for anyone who would like to read. Hope you are all doing well ((((HUGS to all)))).
Haven't been on in a while---there's been a lot going on. I've been letting my creative side out; and I've been cooking, crocheting, playing with my new camera, and painting a new mural in the apartment. Oh, and I also started a blog! This is the link, if anyone wants to check it out: http://queenoftransformation.wordpress.com/
I've been doing all this in spite of a lingering flare and an ongoing sinus infection. The infection is allergy-related; and I've had it for a month and a half. It never really goes away. I got tired of feeling draggy and blue, so I decided I would do things to cheer myself up. I needed to distract myself from all the gray weather and the stress.
Today it's pouring out, and we're under flood watches until tomorrow. I'm making a huge pot of beef barley vegetable soup and trying to summon enough energy to work on the mural some more. I'm turning part of a bare wall into a window that overlooks the ocean. We need something to look at besides this apartment.
At the moment my energy is at zero. My body hasn't adjusted to the time change yet, especially since Husband's alarm goes off so early. The alarm rings at 5:45; and my body is still saying it's only 4:45. Makes it a bit hard to get up, lol. I've been extra tired the last couple of days.
Not much else to say...the timer just rang for the soup. I need to go and season it up so we can have it for lunch. Hope everyone's having a good day! View Thread
Still battling the flare---it moderated for a while this morning; then it came roaring back again. That dratted monthly "visitor" is refusing to actually arrive! It's a pain when that happens, because the flare doesn't quit. I am SO ready for it to be over!
We are getting ready for the next snow event. It starts tomorrow...It will be a 2-3 day thing; but they can't predict exactly how much snow we'll get. It will be anything from a dusting to a couple of feet, depending on the storm track. I am beyond ready for spring and would prefer no snow at all.
The financial stress continues...Today Husband's company told him he needs to cut an additional HALF HOUR A DAY from his bus run so they can supposedly stay within budget. This translates to an income loss of $140 a month, omg. It will also drop Husband's hours low enough that he will no longer qualify for benefits; and I suspect that's the real motive behind the company's request. Husband is one of three tenured drivers with almost full coverage; and after this he will no longer be eligible. Neither will I. I am good at balancing a budget, but this is getting ridiculous. How in the hell are we supposed to live?
On the bright side, I made a huge kettle of beef-barley-vegetable soup this morning. I'm waiting for it to cool, and then I'll stick it in the freezer. After that I'll take a nap so I have energy enough for dinner. I am really dragging today!View Thread
THE LENSES OF PERCEPTION My view of the world is blurred, defined by a cataract and by glasses that no longer work. One eye sees the world through a thick fog; the other sees blurs and halos. Neither view is actually there. Neither view is true.
I am dyslexic. My brain "sees" me type a word forwards; then I look at the screen and the word is backwards. Sometimes it's complete gibberish. Because of this, I am a very careful proofreader. I often have to stop and correct words in every sentence. This makes typing frustratingly slow.
I see the world through faulty lenses, both physical and brain-related. However, there is also a third lens, not visible but perhaps most important of all. That is the lens of belief. How do I, as a person, see the world? How do my beliefs influence what I see?
My beliefs influence my brain. Science has proven this. There is a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS for short), that is literally "programmed" by what I believe. Anything that I focus on with strong emotion tells this part of my brain, "Hey---this is important. This is what I want to pay attention to." The RAS says "Okay---I'll get right on it." And it goes to work.
The RAS is non-discriminating. It accepts whatever I say is important and it shows me everything related to that subject. It doesn't judge anything as "good" or "bad". The catch is, it will screen out everything not related to what I've "asked" it to look for. It is hard-wired to do that. This is why I need to be aware of what I believe and how I choose to see the world.
If I look at my life and see the financial challenges, the (sometimes) lack of food, the gray, rainy weather, the water-damaged apartment---you get the idea---and I say, "Life really sucks and there's nothing to look forward to!", I am "telling" my brain, "Hey---THIS is important. Show me why this is true." The RAS gets to work. Before I realize it, I'm overwhelmed with evidence that yes, my life does indeed suck and there's definitely nothing to look forward to. There may be plenty of good around me, but I won't see any of it, because I haven't "told" my RAS to see the good things. I told it, through my belief, to focus on the bad. That belief---my lens---determines what I see.
If, instead, I look around and see the birds on the feeder, the squirrels on the porch, the steaming cup of coffee with my breakfast omlette, my crochet projects waiting to be finished---again, you get the idea---and I say,"I am lucky to have so much!"; the same thing happens. My words tell my RAS, "Okay---this is important to me. Show me why this is true." And it will come up with all the evidence to support the "fact" that my life is good. The bad things are still there; but my perception has changed. I am using a different lens.
My belief---how I see the world---is my most important lens. It determines if my world is ugly and sad, or filled with things to be thankful for. I choose each day how I want to see. In my world, rose-colored glasses are pretty cool!View Thread