Thank goodness the weatherman was wrong. We did not get snow today. At least not here. But it was cold. Every year we forget how bad the previous Spring was, and complain about this year's version. We're so anxious for warm, sunny days.
MiMi, there must be a reason why Bill and I aren't grandparents. I think your tale of the new age swing told it all. I would have gone into panic mode the first moment I couldn't get the child out. And as for lifting him into the swing, well, we won't go into that.
We had an interesting experience our family physician's office today. DH had a bramble thorn imbedded in the back of his hand. He thought he had it out, but obviously didn't. The area grew into this bump that was quarter-sized at the base and raised up about 1/2 inch. He did his antibiotic course, and today was the day to remove the thing.
Excising the mass took about 5 minutes. Sewing everything back together took at least another 60. We stopped counting a little after the blood vessels had been taken care of, but there were a lot of stitches. My estimate was 50-60. DH says I underestimated. That thing was closed from ever conceivable angle at least twice. I was amazed at the attention to detail. But the kicker was that this was our regular, country family physician who did all that delicate work, not a surgeon. His nurse said that they schedule these things for the last patient of the day on their "half day." (We got out of there at 2 p.m.)
Sometimes, those of us who are battling fibromyalgia get more than a little frustrated with our doctors. We think they just don't know what they are talking about. We rush off to specialists to find some special treatment or magic cure. I know I did. (There aren't any.) And somehow we forget that our own family physician is a highly trained professional who does read his or her literature, who does take advanced courses every year, and who is quite qualified to handle almost anything that comes through the office door.
We have a debilitating chronic illness. Our doctors are not in any way responsible for this fact. They know that the things they have to offer us are far short of ideal. They lay awake at night thinking about what they can do next to help us. It is so hard for us to realize this from our position in the flimsy paper gown on the hard examining table.
We just happen to have an illness that is newly recognized by the medical profession. For something that didn't have either a name or a diagnostic critereia until 1990, fibromyalgia has come a long way. I fully believe that, in the NEXT 24 years, we will have a much better idea of the causes of FM, there will be treatments (and I think some of them will be surgical) to effectively treat the condition, and there may even be a cure. We just have to wait it out. (And remember, I'm 70 and have been dealing with FM since 1972.) I expect to see all of these advances. Really.
An, I was diagnosed in 1990 (the same year fibromyalgia got its name), but have had it since 1972. For the first 25 years or so, I did a lot of doctor shopping hoping for that magic mix of the right doctor who knew of the right medication to cure my fibro.
I did find a very knowledgeable neurologist who--once he saw me in a really bad flare--gave me the ultimate workup and ultimately put me on plaquenil, Neurontin, Ambien, cortisone, Flexeril, and the Duragesic pain patch all at once. I don't know which of these was responsible, but my flare went away and my baseline pain got lower, too.
I now see both my family practicioner and a pain specialist. (My extra special neurlologist left the area 15 years ago.) As the symptoms come and go, I am on or off each of those original medicines. I have had trials of each new "fibro" med as it came out. Most of them are impossible, because they prevent me from starting my urine flow--ouch!
Believe me, there is no magic cure out there. When there is, your family doctor will know about it. So will you. We FMers are a large base of patients, and we read the literature. We keep current as you must have noticed from reading the posts here. Because there are so many of us, almost every primary care physician knows how to diagnose us. She is also able to help you find the best medicine or combination of medicines for your particular case. And, when the ultimate cure comes along, she will know about it.
Tell your daughter that you have a chronic condition that is currently incurable, but that there are ways to make things better. Another thing: Every big pharmaceutical company is working on finding better ways to treat fibro. We are a potential goldmine for them. And they know it. So things are definitely looking up.
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!