Checking In

I just got back home today. Yep, I stayed away longer than originally planned. Even though there is still a good deal of work to do to get the move finished I just wasn’t in any hurry to get back here. For one thing, I slept better and got more of it than I have in weeks. Who in their right mind wants to give that up? Not this girl! In Addition to the amazingly good sleep, I really enjoyed the company and the feeling of safety. Another good thing to report is that while I was gone, I managed to accumulate more boxes, and I think that it will be enough to finish the job! When I left here on Friday I had loaded several boxes into the car since I was going for a visit anyway. Yesterday I managed to get them all unpacked and put away so that will be a little less work to do later. That’s always a plus. So far today all I’ve managed to do is load up the car (which was a lot of stuff), unload it all when I got here, and get caught up with all of the email which had built up over the past five days.

More than likely that will be about all I get done today. I am pretty tired after the last few days of unpacking, cleaning, lugging, etc. Tomorrow will be soon enough to get busy with more packing here. I have until the end of the month to be completely out of here, so if I need to take that long to get all of my belongings out that is what I will do. Yesterday and today have proven to me just how bad of a Fibro flare this is, but everything is working out just fine and will continue to do so. I have no worries there. I’ll be glad when the move is completely finished for many reasons which I have already discussed here. There’s no need to rehash those. There is one more reason which is pretty important. The flare which I was just talking about…I have a feeling that once this move is over and things are settled that I will feel somewhat better than I have in months. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are strange beasts that way.

All states of being whether good or bad share the mind/body connection, and with Fibro and/or CFS you can definitely tell how the rest of your life is going by the way that you feel physically. It’s been this way in the past for me and I know of many others with these conditions who have had the same experience. That’s not to say that a person feels perfect and doesn’t have flares when all is going well, but the length and severity do seem to correlate. So, I am holding out hope that this time around will follow suit.

I also want to mention the Tarot of the Week in this post. I am aware that I have not posted it for this week yet, and felt like I should say now that it just might be delayed until the move is complete. No, this is not certain but chances are good that this will be the case due to time, energy, and health issues. Please bear with me during this transition and rest assured that I will be doing my very best to keep things current here on the blog. Many thanks to all of you in advance for being understanding. Well, it has taken me a good hour just to get this post out and I am definitely out of gas. Hopefully this post finds all of you doing well and your lives going smoothly. I am signing off for now and will be back as soon as possible.

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Quick Update

Today will be my fourth night taking the Neurontin and it’s going pretty well so far. The first day I felt like a zombie and did nothing but lay around all day…so tired. The second day it was the opposite and was a little jittery, but not too bad. Today I feel pretty good actually and am starting to feel a little less pain, which is a very good thing. Last night, for the first time in almost a week I was able to knit a little bit. That made me happy, because my hands had been hurting so badly that it wasn’t possible. There’s even been some progress made with packing up for the move.

It’s looking like this medication just might hold some promise and that excites me. The past several months of having to scale back my life so much has not been a whole lot of fun. Even though I managed okay, with most of my sanity intact I have to admit that there were times that it really got to me. So, cross your fingers and wish me luck! More soon…

Let’s Talk About Fibromyalgia

I have to admit that the past few months have been a rough time for me physically. Yes, I do have Fibromyalgia and have had it for twelve years. On top of that I was first diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome almost eighteen years ago. The problems started well before diagnosis. It all started when I was in the seventh grade and somehow contracted mononucleosis. I never fully bounced back after that, but none of the doctors my mother took me to couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Some of them even suggested that it was all in my head. Of course this was very troubling to me, but life went on and I developed ways to go about my business in the best way that I could. At the age of twenty two, I went to a new doctor and after running the whole gamut of testing I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

This was still in the early days of doctor’s even acknowledging that the condition existed. Even today, there are a few in the medical community who scoff but there is much greater acceptance…even though there is still no known cause or cure. Let me tell you what a relief it was to have a name for what had been going on with me for so long. They didn’t really have any way to treat it, but they did send me home with literature to read and just seeing that there were other people out there going through what I was going through was priceless for me. There wasn’t much that could be done for it, but at least I knew what it was and so I continued on with my life…working and going to school.

At the age of twenty six I enrolled in nursing school and while it was a struggle, I loved it. There came a time that the work load was really heavy and there was not much sleep for me. My pain and fatigue levels went through the roof. I was actually sitting in class with a microwaveable heat bag just to get through it. When there wasn’t any relief after a few months, I went to see my doctor. He diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and prescribed muscle relaxers and non-narcotic pain medication. This helped tremendously for a while and made college a lot more pleasant.

For several years I worked and was really enjoying my career. It was a struggle at times, but it was manageable. One day when I was on my lunch hour, everything changed. On my way to get lunch I was stopped at a red light and was rear ended at around 45-50 miles per hour. The person who hit me said that they had dropped something on the floor and didn’t see that traffic was stopped. Thankfully there were no broken bones but I suffered severe whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and several herniated discs. There was a lot of physical therapy and countless doctors appointments. The first neurologist I saw suggested that I file for disability and this was something I didn’t even want to consider. Because of the length of time I had to take off from work initially, I lost my job but found another soon after. While I kept working for almost three years after the accident I had several jobs because I just wasn’t able to stay working for very long.

I finally went to see the first neurologist that I had seen and broke into tears in his office when I had to admit that I was no longer able to work. It was very hard for me to do that, and it took me a long time to accept that it was real. The accident made the conditions that I already had so much worse that there simply wasn’t a choice. Over time the condition of my spine has also worsened…nerve entrapment, arthritis all throughout the spine, etc. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve been reworking my attitude and my life, finding new things to keep myself occupied. This process took a few years because I was so accustomed to going out to work every day that I just didn’t feel that I was able to do anything worthwhile with my life. I’ve since found out that this isn’t true. It’s just different than it used to be.

Well, over the past few months I’ve been in a terrible flare up and had a new symptom start. When visiting my dad a few weeks ago I stepped outside onto his porch for about five minutes and noticed that my hands felt like they were burning. When I looked at them, I saw that one of my fingers had turned ghostly white and then after going inside there was a bluish tinge on the palm of the same hand and a few fingers. It was weird but I just blew it off. Over the next few weeks at home, I had more problems with extreme cold and pain in my hands and feet. It just wasn’t letting up, so I broke down and made an appointment to see my doctor yesterday. She told me that it is Raynaud’s Disease which often comes along with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. From here on out I have to make sure that I keep myself warm to prevent complications from lack of circulation. She said it was an autoimmune thing. When I let her know how much pain I had been in for a few months we agreed that it was time to try something. So, she prescribed neurontin. Not only is it used for nerve pain, but she said that it has shown some promise in helping with fibromyalgia.

Last night was my first dose and I spent the whole day today like a zombie. She warned me that I would be extra tired for a while, but that it should wear off in time. My hope is that this drug will be tolerable for me and will give me some relief. I’ve tried so many and haven’t been able to tolerate them. With all of this going on, I’m really glad that I’ve started doing the tarot readings a week at a time now! It’s going to take some time to get used to this. The timing stinks to be going through this because I have so much to do…packing for my move, plus I really want to get back to work with my Nano novel by finishing and editing, and there are several knitting projects sitting here waiting for me. Somehow I will get it all done, because I’m not a person to just give up. This is a little slow down but I know that it will be okay.

I really wanted to write this post for the sake of awareness of these diseases and also to encourage others who are going through it…there are a lot of us. Most of the time, we do not look sick and it can be hard for our families, friends, and others to try to understand. A lot of people refuse to, and that’s okay too because the people who really care about us will be supportive and there will be new friends along the way. Thankfully I have a few key people in my life who are very supportive and I hope that they know how very much it means to me. There are days that would be very hard to get through if it weren’t for their love, friendship, and support. Even though I’ve said it to them before…it cannot be said enough…thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 If you are one of the many suffering out there, the best advice I can give you is to be kind to yourself. Yes, I know that it can be hard sometimes because there are a lot of things you will want to do that you could have done before and no longer can. Try not to look at yourself and see failure, because it simply isn’t true. You will find new direction with time. Life is not over, and you are still valuable and worthy of love and compassion. Who knows…maybe the new you will come across something to do with your new way of life which will bring you more joy than you could have ever dreamed of. Just don’t give up…I know that I am not about to.

Let The Packing Begin

Well, now that I have some more boxes it’s time to get some more packing done. I’ll be moving at the end of next month and while I don’t have a whole lot of stuff, it’s still more than we think we have…until we start packing. This move is one that I am looking forward to for so many reasons. Not long ago I posted a rant about my neighbors, and that is a big part of my happiness about leaving here. Plus this move, which is a temporary one gets me one step closer to being where I really want to be and that is huge. More than likely I have mentioned that I have been living in the area in which I grew up for a little over three years now and it just never has been a good location for me. So, as much as I have grown to despise moving and knowing that I will be doing again before this year is up I’m still happy about it. Over the past eight years I have moved 11 times! Even I cannot believe it. My big dream is to go somewhere and stay for at least five to ten years without moving…maybe even longer, but at least that long would be fantastic to me at this point. 

The biggest obstacle that I’m facing right now with the moving process is that I’ve been in the middle of a big fibromyalgia/CFS flare up for the past several months. Of course I deal with these issues every day, but once in a while a really bad, extended period comes along and makes it difficult to much of anything done. Sometimes there are days that absolutely nothing does! Now is one of those times, but I’ll make it through just fine. Luckily there is a good amount of time to work with and I’m just taking it slow, making sure that I stop as often as I need to. There’s no need in making the flare-up worse. Having these two conditions have taught me a lot about the slow and steady approach which I will admit that I would have never dreamed of in the past. The pre-illness me was a jump in with both feet and knock it out as fast as possible kind of girl who hardly ever sat still for long. It took years for me to adjust to doing things differently. I kept trying to do things the old way for a really long time and threw myself into some pretty bad flares as a result. I will admit that the big reason for slowing things down and being more accepting of a new way of life was because I really haven’t had a choice. As time has gone by though, there have been a lot of positives about that. I’ve learned to relax more, to prioritize better, and most importantly was forced to see that taking time to care for myself is a good thing. Funny how that works isn’t it? 
Well, the boxes are calling my name so I’m going to go work on the packing for a while. I hope that all of you are having a good day and that maybe you can take a few minutes to think about how some of the hard times in your own lives have brought unexpected positives. It’s always good to pause from time to time and examine the things we have to be grateful for.