Woah! What Happened?

Summer, I guess. It got hot here. We’ve had some rather unusual weather, and it’s been totally kicking my ass pretty much the whole time. My man-child also got out of summer school, so I’ve been handling him all day, as well. I completely forgot about my little blog in the process, and neglected it.

I’ve been pretty busy around here, and for some insane reason, I’ve been sleeping a whole lot, too. I don’t understand why, but I just cannot get through an entire day without taking a nap unless I sleep in until 11 AM, and that’s only possible on weekends. I don’t understand it. I don’t feel particularly shitty in any way I can actually name, but I’ve just felt so exhausted by 1 PM. I don’t know if it’s just a phase with my Fibromyalgia or what, but it’s getting to the point I’m getting seriously annoyed over it. I don’t really feel like I have the time to take naps, but I can’t get away with not taking them either, lately. If this is still going on by the time my kiddo goes back to school at the end of this month, I’ll probably book an appointment with my doctor to see what she has to say about it.

My mother is going to be moving out here around the first of October. She’s pretty much just done with Texas and wants to come out here. We also could use an extra set of hands for our child, since he’s disabled and takes more “handling” than the average nine year-old. The plan, as it stands now, which is constantly changing because my mother can never make up her mind, is for her to come stay with us for a couple of weeks and find a new job out here and then we’ll all move into a 3/4 bedroom house, since that will be the best idea all-around for all of us. We lived with my mother for a little over a year back in Texas, so it isn’t going to be a new experience, and since she’s starting to get older and still works full-time, she’s finding it harder to keep up on her own place by herself. Also, having her live with us will provide the benefit of extra care for our child and will make it easier for my mother to transition to living in a huge city. We’ll also be splitting all bills such as rent, utilities, and groceries, so hopefully, all of us will be able to put a little more away and create more of a nest egg for ourselves. I think that, with the right boundaries put into place and the right understanding between her and ourselves, this can be a very good set-up for all of us.

She keeps wanting to rent a big U-Haul and bring a bunch of stuff out with her, and I keep trying to tell her that it would just be cheaper for her to have a huge garage sale and sell everything and then go buy all new stuff once she gets here. That’s what we did. We spent maybe a little more than $2000 total to furnish our place out here, and the way we had all of the expenses figured, we’d have spent a lot more than that to haul it all out here and store it and then move it into our new place. She’s so determined to bring things like her treadmill out, though! And she’s headstrong, so if she doesn’t make the decision not to drag it out here herself, then it will be coming.

So, I’ve been perusing all of the available rental listings for our area. We’ve found a few houses that we’re interested in, but for whatever reason, once we drive by we find things we don’t like about them. At least we have a couple of months to do this, so there’s no rush to settle on the first thing and not get what would work the best for us. Ideally, we’d like to find a house with central A/C (no, not every house out here has that!) and a back yard with grass and a covered patio. Since most of the year, the weather is mild here, spending time outside is actually feasible, and my child has always wanted a place with a yard to play in.

That’s what I’ve been up to, lately. Busy and very exhausted.

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Go With the Flow

I have been pretty busy this past week, and I’m still trying to catch up on my rest from a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been so exhausted! I think because I went all out with celebrating my husband’s birthday and Father’s Day, my body has decided that it wants a vacation. I can’t remember the last time I’ve slept this much! It feels good, but I also know that when I’m sleeping, nothing is getting done! It’s a no-win situation.

I’m just going with the flow right now. I figure that I should probably listen to my body, and if it’s saying I need a break, then I shouldn’t push myself too far. I don’t want to end up doped up on pain relievers and laying in bed because I didn’t. That would be more shitty than just getting a little done here and there!

Fibromyalgia just sucks! It literally sucks. It sucks the energy out of your body when you most need it. I wouldn’t personally wish this on anyone. If you have it, you know what it’s like. I think that the best way to handle it is to pay attention to the signals your body and brain are sending and don’t try to override them. I’m not good at this, because when something needs to be done, I just want to do it and get it over with. I get very annoyed with myself when I can’t. Then, I start finding more stuff that needs to be done, and nit-picking at things I don’t feel I got done right. The next thing I know, I’m pushing myself to do all of it, and I find myself totally overwhelmed.

So, this week I’m going to just try to focus on feeling better. If I don’t post much, it’s probably because I’m taking a lot of naps.

June Gloom and Brain Fog

June is officially here in Southern California. It’s cloudy and drizzling this morning. I feel like starting a pot of chili, which is weird to me, considering it’s almost summer and it’s supposed to be hot, not cool! I may do that, if I can make it to the store and remember everything I need!

I went grocery shopping yesterday. I didn’t want to, but it needed to be done. I’ve been such a hot mess these last few days. I don’t know what I did to myself, but my whole body had staged a revolt against me, and wasn’t really up for a shopping trip. But, we were almost out of food in this house and I had to get something for us to eat. It’s hard on days like that, because when my fibromyalgia flares, my brain usually goes on vacation, too. So, I was walking (or rather, stumbling) through the grocery store, trying to figure out what to get. I had settled on a few meals, two of which were chicken salad croissants and my version of carbonara. I got all my groceries, got checked out, got them home and out of the car, and then I realized I had forgotten the celery for the chicken salad. I forgot the freakin’ celery! There are like 5 ingredients in chicken salad. How could I forget one of the main ones?!

So, I get to go back to the store today. Luckily, I’m not feeling half as shitty as I did yesterday. I think the fact that my hubs made sure I kept on top of taking my NSAID helped a lot. I also have so much to do around the house, because the past few days I’ve spent curled into a ball on our couch. I don’t like it when I fall behind on housework, because housework is the type of thing that doesn’t just stop when you don’t do it. It just ends up stacking up on you, and before you know it, you’re buried in a sea of laundry, dishes, and vacuuming! This is even worse when you have fibro, because then, when you’ve started feeling better and can actually do the work, there is so much for you to do, that you end up overdoing it and sending yourself right back into another flare. It’s almost a vicious cycle if you’re not careful about pacing yourself, which I’m not!

Also, my kiddo broke out in a cold sore over the weekend and I think he gave it to my poor husband. We’ve been pretty fortunate, so far. Kiddo had his first cold sore at 5, and hasn’t had one since, but his lip erupted again this past Saturday. He has his cold sores inside his mouth, on his gums or inside of his lip. Well, my poor hubby woke up this morning with what looks like a blister on his lower lip, so even though we tried to be super-careful about washing our hands and using Purell whenever we touched our child, it seems he caught it anyway. Which means I’ll probably get it as well. I don’t want cold sores! Those hurt! I don’t like pain!

I need to get on my housework, though. If I sit here typing much longer, I’ll have myself convinced I need a nap instead, and I can’t do that! Not today! I have a ton of work to do!

Talk About Brutal!

I have got to get that PT referral going. There’s just no putting it off any longer! I think I’ve reached my personal breaking point. When I get to the point that I’m constantly having to drug myself up on pain relievers and muscle relaxers, it’s time to quit procrastinating and just get it done.

As you’re aware, I have Fibromyalgia. I spoke about this at length in a prior post. Well, not only do I have that, but I also have scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. I’ve been to a physical therapist once before, and he literally straightened me out over the course of about nine weeks, but it hurt like motherfucking hell every time he touched me. Yes, I did feel so much better afterwards, but I dread going back and doing it all over again because it was sheer torture to go through.

My particular PT involved ultrasound massage, which is a misnomer, if you want my honest opinion. It isn’t massage at all, because the word “massage” implies relaxation and something that feels pleasant. This isn’t anything like that. It involves the therapist taking a hard metal ultrasound wand and rubbing it roughly across your back while applying a decent amount of pressure. For a person with Fibro who has many pressure points on her back, this is excruciating. The least unpleasant part of my appointments was always after the massage, when he’d perform manual subluxation, just like a chiropractor.

Currently, I have a pinched nerve somewhere in my back or neck that is causing pain to shoot up from the left side of the base of my skull. I spent last night tossing and turning, in extreme pain, and when I got up this morning I took a full Flexeril and a diclofenac. That’s always a sign I’m doing pretty badly. I never take a whole Flexeril unless I can’t take the pain any longer. I’ve actually been taking quite a few full doses, so I’ve burned through almost my entire bottle a lot faster than I normally would, and this is going to present a few problems in a few days if I don’t call my doctor and ask her to re-write me a script for it, because I’ll be asking for a refill too soon, and there’s a pretty good chance my insurance will deny it if I don’t.

I spent the entire day today in bed. I got home from taking my hubs to work and crashed. Hard. I crashed so fast, I didn’t even get my bra taken off, and I don’t normally sleep in that because the underwire is extremely uncomfortable! I slept from 8 this morning until roughly 1 this afternoon, when I woke up hungry and decided to take Taco Bell up on that offer for a free Doritos Locos taco if you use their mobile app to place an order.

So, that’s where I’ve been. Sleeping.

Fibromyalgia

I have Fibromyalgia. This has got to be one of the most frustrating diagnoses that one could ever be given, because no doctor is sure what causes it, exactly how to fix it or make it better, and there isn’t even a universal medication for it. It’s also frustrating because you can be completely fine and feeling awesome one day, and the next be laid up in bed with so much pain you wish your mattress would swallow you alive.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2012, but I believe I first started showing symptoms the summer of 2008. There is a theory floating around that says that a trauma to your body, such as a bad car accident or a major surgery, can trigger Fibromyalgia, but not everyone can identify a trigger. I believe mine could have been my C-section and the birth of my pre-mature son.

The year of 2008 is really fuzzy for me. I know I slept almost the entire summer away. I was always so exhausted that I would spend almost all day and all night, every day, in bed sleeping. I didn’t know why I was so tired. I couldn’t really explain it, and I even secretly thought my mother was right when she’d come over and get on my case about being “lazy” because I was always in bed. My self-esteem took a nose-dive. I couldn’t help it. I felt worthless because I slept constantly.

This was also around the same time I started having a lot of problems with back pain. I now have a diagnosis of scoliosis, but back then I just knew my back hurt. It didn’t hurt just a little bit, either. If I’d pick my son up the wrong way, pain would shoot up my back or my sides, and I’d be laid up for days, trying to deal with it.

When I got diagnosed, my primary care doctor had sent me to see a spine specialist, who told me he couldn’t find anything wrong with my back. The night before the appointment, I had found an article online about Fibromyalgia. I think one of my friends who also has it had posted something about it, and I’m the curious type, so I started reading up on it. I found a little questionnaire to fill out to help identify if you suffer from Fibromyalgia or chronic pain, and I was actually astonished when I started going through it and realized how many of the questions I personally identified with. So, when I went to my appointment, and the doctor told me that my MRI looked fine to him, I asked him if he thought I could possibly have Fibromyalgia. He, of course, told me that wasn’t his expertise, but he said it was entirely possible, so he called my primary doctor and asked her to refer me to a Rheumatologist.

It didn’t take my Rheumatologist more than ten minutes to diagnose me, and on top of Fibromyalgia, he also said I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis in one of my knees, because it crackles when I bend and straighten it. He prescribed me Lyrica, which in the beginning was a godsend for me.

Another thing that was extremely helpful for me, was getting the diagnosis of scoliosis, because I was referred to PT for ultrasound massage and subluxation. I’m not shy to say that ultrasound massage hurts like a royal bitch! But, it’s totally worth it. After around twenty sessions, we were able to get my back all straightened out, which lessened a lot of my pain.

I no longer take Lyrica. It quit working for me. I already experienced what people call “brain fog,” and there towards the end, my head was getting even foggier, and my doctor wanted to increase my dosage. I didn’t feel like the higher doses were helping at all, when I tried them, but I was feeling even more confused than before, so I made the decision to titrate off Lyrica. I know it wasn’t helping anymore, because my pain severity hasn’t increased at all since stopping the medication. I am, however, a lot less foggy than I was while taking it.

I could go on and on and tell you so much more about Fibromyalgia, but I’m following the Daily Prompt, which asked us to write for no more or less than 10 minutes. If you have any questions about my experiences with Fibromyalgia, or are even wondering what it is, feel free to comment.