Fatigue! ! ! Today was one of those days that seems to hit us every now and then--although more now that I am older. I was suddenly, irrationally fatigued. I had to force myself to get out of bed in the morning. However, since there was nothing pressing on me, I was able to have a quick run through the bathroom, grab a glass of juice and my morning meds, and jump right back in bed. Lucky me.
Looking back, I know that this feeling has always been part of me. It's not a weekly thing, or even a monthly one, but I do have days when it's like someone pulled the plug on all my power lines. I remember having them even when I was a kid. School days were never take-the-day-off-and-stay-in-bed days, but there was always at least one of these energy deficient days during Summer vacation.
Fatigue days, as I call them, would often come during some minor illness like a cold. They loved calling at "that time of the month," adding fatigue to the misery of bad cramps. I never took off work for menstrual cramps, but I did when the cramps included a fatigue day.
Of course, fibromyalgia did nothing to make this less of a problem. In a small way, every day is a fatigue day. We all experience this. But, since fibro, these infrequent bouts of allover lack of energy have been more insistent.
When my body says, "I won't do that." it means it. The few times I've tried to override the signals and act like it is a normal day have been disasters.
One time, I woke up to a fatigue day when I had to attend an inservice. (Drive 100 miles to Buffalo, attend the meetings from 8 til 5, drive 100 miles home.) This was the annual recertification inservice. If I didn't attend, I didn't teach that year. So I went. That was Saturday. I spent Sunday in bed. Every muscle in my body hurt--from the roots of my hair to cramps in my toes. I missed a whole week of work because I ignored a fatigue day.
Am I alone? Does anyone else out there get these super bouts of fatigue? Mine are once or twice a year. How often do yours come? Have you found a way to counteract them? Or do you do what I do and crawl in bed with an old favorite from your bookshelf?
Wow, Ashley! A husband has a sort of vested interest, but a boyfriend? What can you say without scaring him off?
I have this condition that may disable me, but some people--even doctors--don't believe it's real.
Today my right arm hurts. Yesterday it was my left leg.
I don't sleep very well. Please don't shake the bed if you have to get up during the night. I'll wake up and won't be able to get back to sleep.
Sometimes I feel so rotten that I am just mean, rotten, and nasty.
Well, that won't work, will it. How about:
I think I have fibromyalgia. My muscles hurt so much. It's sort of like how achy you get when you have the flu. What do you think?
Please be gentle with me. Sometimes it is so easy for things that do not hurt other people to make my fibro act up.
Sometimes I get so very tired. Remember the way you feel after you pull an all nighter for final exams. It's a little like that.
In other words, break it to him a little more gently. After all, you're just learning about fibro yourself. Don't expect him to be all that excited about it.
Not knowing is a lot worse than knowing. Make an appointment with a doctor who is understanding. Your family physician is fine, if you have a good relationship with her. More and more, primary care practicioners are getting to recognize and diagnose fibro.
And, please, don't get too upset if you do have fibromyalgia. Sometimes, we sound as if our fibro is the end of the world. It isn't. We just need a place to *itch and moan and groan on our bad days. And we know that we will find sympathy and understanding here. It's also human nature for us to come and post more on the bad days. On good days--and there ARE good days--we're too busy living our lives.
They said that the radiofrequency ablation would have aftereffects like a burning sensation. Unfortunately, that particular information was delivered back in Dec. for the right side. Since I never had any problems then, I forgot the details. Like how long this will last. It's like the feeling of a sunburn on my left "cheek." It's a heck of a lot better than the pain it removed, but it is a little bit of a pain. You notice the feel of clothing, your chair, the bed, etc. But it is still a lot better than what it replaced.
Tried something new today. Canned pumpkin and cake mixes were both on sale at the market yesterday. I got creative with 2 boxes of spice cake, some eggs, and the whole big can of pumpkin (no oil). I topped the loaf pans with brown sugar and cinnamon. Boy was this a hit. And no one (but us) knows that there is all that VEGETABLE in the cake and no extra fats. Everyone had seconds--including me.
The cat DH brought me from the abandoned farm next door last November has been a joy all through the cold weather. Now that it's nicer out, he's trying to sneak out every time the dog does. We live too close to the road for that. Every cat we've ever had has met its end that way. Not this one! Our road is only 3 miles long, and we're right in the middle. It's a narrow, country road that has only recently been paved. No, the speed demons didn't start with the tarring. The road was actually wider as a dirt track. If anything, drivers are more cautious now, but the speed limit on unposted areas is still 55 mph in NY. So we're playing, "Grab that cat!" every time the door opens. I'm getting good at the 3 yard sprint.
DH planned on the Great Spring Seed Meet being today, but it was too nice out--50's and sunny. The next rainy day, he'll get together with the others who share our own little "community" garden and compare leftover seed packets, this season's wants and needs, and our combined checkbooks. He had a shocker when he saw that sweet corn seed has doubled in price since last year. This makes it 4 X what it was 2 years ago! Remember this when you get sticker shock in the produce isle. I just hope he tests his soil before he plants. Last year's way too much lime may still be lurking to do damage to this year's plantings. How heartbreaking to see the onions and carrots disintegrating in the ground. We don't want to see that again.
DS doesn't say anything about another foray into the computer dating game. He's had 2 girl friends and a bunch of first dates in the past 16 months or so. Ms. right is probably out there, but I think it's a mistake to bring them home to meet mom and dad (us) on the first date. But that's just my take, and what do I know?
Hope you all are doing well and have a Blessed Easter,
You could really feel the warmth in your photo. How beautiful. How majestic.
Aren't massages awesome? You go into it thinking, "That would be nice"--in a mild sort of way. But then those magic fingers start to work, and it's like the Good Lord issued you a new back.
I hope you let your neighbor know just how much you appreciated that particular thank you from him. Sometimes we forget to tell just how great a little gesture like that is. Of course, the best part is having good neighbors--even if they're only there part of the time.
You folks weren't alone with the very unwelcome return to winter weather. Monday it hit 77. Today there was a little icicle hanging from my car's body below the opening of the front door--at noon!
(My mom said that there was snow in July of 1943 in NJ. It was my youngest aunt's wedding day. Mom was 8 mos pregnant w/me and stayed home at another sister's house doing last minute things for the reception while the wedding was going on. She had thought the church would be too hot for the two of us! Little did she know.)
DH and DS are using this weird weather to get their ATV's serviced. DS switched from his winter 4WD truck to a nicer riding truck and car. They got me all fired up, and I dragged out all the junk that had piled up in the minivan, changed the litter bag, and washed the insides of the windows.
Wish I knew what that cloudy stuff is that builds up on the inside of the windshield. It doesn't come off with plain water, ammonia water, or Windex. It looks clean until you drive at night and you see all the blur from headlights. Or until you drive into the direct sunlight. As if the sun doesn't blind you enough on its own, you've got to have that rotten film to make things worse.
It's weird in a really nice way to be able to stand longer than 2 or 3 minutes without pain. I don't know if you will understand, but it felt good to have been on my feet long enough to have a tired back instead of a screaming one. God bless my pain doc and the Radio Frequency Ablation that has both sides full of dead nerves. Let's all cross our fingers (and pray a little, too) that the nerves take a couple of years (or longer--please, God) to grow back. I still feel all the fibro aches and pains. I'm still exhausted. I still have a twitchy bladder and an irritable bowel. I just don't have this constant spinal pain at waist level. And I still thank the Lord for this not-so-little blessing.
It is so easy to forget just what most of the meds used to treat fibromyalgia really are. They are psychotrophics. Some are antidepressants, some are muscle relaxants, some are for sleep or fatigue, many newer ones are combinations of two different drugs. They all are aimed at the nervous system.
And that means that, at least for some of us, we get kind of spacey on them. If you manage to function despite this weird feeling of not really being all there, you may be in for a surprise. The out of it feeling slowly wears off. Luckily, the beneficial effects (assuming that this particular medication is the right one for you) usually stick around.
So, if your medication is helping, AND you can feel functional and safe during this 6 to 8 week period, you may find that you CAN tolerate your new drug--AND that it makes a big difference.
It was 1990 when a kindly, old (and now retired) doctor gave me my first Rx for Ambien. Luckily, I put the cap back on before I took that little pill. Even more luckily, it was a Friday night so I could sleep what seemed like forever.
As you have probably discovered, Ambien is an amnesiac. You have no knowledge of the hours that have gone by since you took that little, white pill.
Unfortunately, like all good things, the time when Ambien works for you this well will come to an end. For this reason, I save my doses for the times I really, really, really need to get some sleep. If you reserve Ambien for your level-8 pain nights, they will still help you get a good night's sleep. You may even have slept your flare-up away.
There is one really scary thing about Ambien you should be aware of. Once the honeymoon stage wears off and you take a few hours for the Ambien to kick in (instead of a few seconds), you may find that you are sleepwalking. That's right, honest to God, get up and make yourself a smoothie (leaving the blender dirty on the counter) sleepwalking. My husband and son have both witnessed me doing it and having no recollection of what happened. For this reason, I always tell my husband when I take an Ambien--just in case I decide to go for a late-night drive. The newer, sustained release version is more apt to cause this. (Thank goodness for the generic, zolipidem! Only $5 co-pay and no sleepwalking.)
I hope that this medication works for you. Use it with care and be safe.
DH had such an interesting day that I think he invented some new words!
He's a redhead with temper to match. He's invented a lot of words in the 46 years we've been married.
You should have seen the fireworks with our roof. We put a new, steel roof on our house. One of the panels was particularly difficult with several tricky cuts and bends as two sections of roof met. Finally, that last, difficult panel was in place. DH was so proud of how perfectly he had fashioned it. It was worth all that hard work.
The very next day, while working on the soffits, hubby backed the backhoe (yes, the same one) into the panel, skewing it just enough so that it is bent irregularly. Although it still holds water out, it no longer looks so perfect. One of these days, I know he'll remove that one piece and spend a whole day getting it just right--again.
Another time DH retrieved some papers from my car and took them into his truck. He put the truck in reverse and backed right into my car. (My six day old car.)
I have noticed that many of us post here our first time because we are just plain desperate. When you are in horrible pain day after day, when you can't seem to think at all, when you don't remember the last time you actually slept--THAT'S when you come here.
I've been dealing with this horrible disease for a long time, and have learned something heartening for you to know just now. Fibromyalgia may never leave completely, but it does seem to leave you with some good days--or weeks, or months, or even years!
There seem to be cycles. I don't know whether they are caused by the things that are going on in your life, or whether the fibro is what brings the other things to your life, but bad times and fibro flares seem to go together just as good times and milder fibro go together.
Then there are the times when you absolutely have to have the energy and the ability to do something. I noticed this when I was 37 and started college and then again when I was 53 and "commuting" 300 miles weekends to be with my dying mother. The fibro didn't go away, but I was able to pretty much ignore it and get the job done. Both times there was a payback, though. When I finally earned my teaching credentials, I had one long "cold" from the first day of school until I left that school in February. After Mom passed away, the fibro pain was so bad that I used up every bit of the sick days I hadn't used in 10 years at my dream job.
Sometimes it seems that a new medication or a new treatment just takes so much of fibro's burden away. And guess what? Everything else in your life will be going along great at the same time.
Then--for no apparent reason--you'll suddenly be in a full blown flare-up. You may have migraines. You may have abdominal pains that aren't your old irritable bowel. (To this day, I'm not sure that my gall bladder removal wasn't "just fibro". This was before fibromyalgia even had a name, and anything's possible) And, wouldn't you know it, something bad will be going on in your personal life. It could be fights with your spouse, a sick child, money problems, or ANYTHING.
Did the fibro cause the fight, or did the fight cause the fibro flare? Who knows? But they seem to go together.
Now, please, please, please, forgive me. I know how many times you've been told "It's all in your pretty little head." And we all know it isn't.
HOWEVER, if we can cut down on some of the stressors, maybe, just maybe, we can tame at least some of our fibro syptoms. I know that a bad cold will always give me a fibro flare. Several years ago I started using Zicam at the first sign of a cold. I have not had a cold in at least 5 years. I also haven't had those fibro flares I would have had if the colds had developed.
Now, if you have some contributing condition that triggers fibro flares or maybe makes them worse, it might make sense to take care of these other conditions as much as possible. I take a probiotic for my irritable bowel. I use Celebrex for my osteoarthritis. Did they take away all my fibromyalgia symptoms? Of course not! But they may have lessened some of them. When we visit our younger son (100 miles each way) I get a backache and usually go into a week-long fibro flare. I've finally figured out that if I use a muscle relaxant before and during the trip, I don't get as bad a backache AND I usually don't get my week-long flare.
We all know that there will be good times and bad in our lives. We can expect good and bad times with our fibro, too. Sometimes, we can control or ward off our bad fibro days. Sometimes, we can't. Either way, if we recognize that fibro does get better (along with worse), we should be more hopeful and better able to get through the bad times. Remember, THEY DON'T LAST FOREVER!
Oh, how I love your screen name. Wish I'd thought of it. It says it all, doesn't it.
About Lyrica: I was on it for exactly 2 days--during which I could not urinate. I had to be catheterized at the E.R. But this is my "normal" response to many of the fibro meds. Which brings me to my point. We are all unique both in how fibromyalgia effects us and in how we respond to the so-called treatments.
In the future (once you are off the Lyrica), ask your doctor to start you off at the lowest possible dose--even if this means splitting pills. Any nasty surprises will be a little less nasty. And many of us do get horrible surprises from medications.
One plan that works for some of us--but definitely not all--is to use very low doses of more than one medication. Your doctor would start you on the one she feels the most confident about. Then, she would slowly add others until you had your fibro more or less in control.
CONTROL OF FIBROMYALGIA IS NOT A PAIN-FREE STATE. IT IS A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN FUNCTION AND LIVE REASONABLY WELL DESPITE YOUR PAIN. Please come to recognize that your have a chronic condition that (so far, at least) has no cure and only uncertain treatments.
Your doctor has the ability to remove all your pain. Of course, you would be so zonked out that you couldn't work, or drive, or manage your money, or read and understand a simple paragraph. Your goal will be to eliminate as much pain as possible while still allowing you to function in your everyday life. This is often a fleeting state. Your life is constantly changing, and so is your fibro. This means that your meds will be changing too in response to these other changes.
With patience, you and your doctor CAN find a better control for your fibro. It just takes time.
Today was a comedy of errors. DS took my van today because DH would be using his truck. So I had one more day of R & R after Monday's Radio Frequency Albalation (which is doing great so far!).
Hubby needed the pickup because it had a nice empty bed that was easy to get really clean. Today was the day to kill one of our steers because the freezers are almost empty of beef.
For the past week or so, the cows have been staying up near the barnyard where DH feeds them each day. Today, of course, they had gone way down into the pines, so hubby had to take his ATV and try to chase them back to the barn. They didn't chase. The ATV got buried up to its axle. Hubby climbed off and walked back through the mud and muck, and, again of course, the cows all came back with him. They all crowded together making it impossible to herd out the steer DH was going to kill.
Two hours later, that one steer was exactly where DH wanted him. DH came up to the house for his gun and one bullet to do this as humanely as is possible with one close shot to the brain. The lady at the butcher shop was on the phone asking why the carcass was not there when DH came to put the gun away.
DH went to start the backhoe. It wouldn't. One more hour wasted. Butcher lady on phone again. By 2 p.m. the animal was hanging by its back legs. DH sprayed it down with the hose, gutted it, skinned it, sprayed it again, split it and quartered it, then sprayed it one last time. Or so he thought.
The butcher lady was on the phone with me yet again when I heard a loud crash. While hauling the last quarter onto the bed of DS's pickup, DH overshot the mark and shattered the truck's back window. There were pieces of window all over the inside of the truck, the truck bed, and--worst of all--all over the steer.
We borrowed a neighbor's truck, sanitized its bed, lay down fresh plastic sheeting, re-sprayed the beef (checking carefully for any glass shards), and nestled the four quarters into the truck bed. Butcher lady was back on the phone to remind us that we had to go the long way around with a bridge out.
Hubby said that everything went smoothly at the butcher shop --thank goodness.
The meat will hang for 2 weeks at the butcher shop and then be cut to the specifications of our two customers who will get 1/4 each and our own for our half. DH is not a vindictive man, but he says that this animal will taste especially good.
And that is how I "relaxed" today. (I witnessed all of the above from the house wearing slippers and pj's. But I did a lot of running to the phone. I also made sandwiches and tea for DH at 3 p.m. and dinner, too. Oh, and I did 3 loads of laundry.)