Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Me

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later that I tell you all about my Fibromyalgia.  Because when I have a flare up like I had the last two day (crossing fingers it's not here again today) it pretty much disables me from doing much of anything.  If you aren't familiar with Fibromyalgia, let me give you the rundown.....

Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure.  Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance and joint stiffness. Some patients may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling and cognitive dysfunction Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as postraumatic stress disorder.  Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms. 
Evidence from research conducted in the last three decades has revealed abnormalities within the central nervous system affecting brain regions that may be linked both to clinical symptoms and research phenomena.  These studies show a correlation, but not causation.  Some research suggests that alterations in the central nervous system might be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged or severe stress.
Historically, fibromyalgia has been considered either a musculoskelatal disease or neuropsychiatric condition. Although there is as yet no cure for fibromyalgia, some treatments have been demonstrated by controlled clinical trials to be effective in reducing symptoms, including medications, behavioral interventions, patient education, and exercise. The most recent approach of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia involves pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity.
Fibromyalgia is considered a controversial diagnosis, due to lacking scientific consensus to its cause.  Not all members of the medical community consider fibromyalgia a disease because of a lack of abnormalities on physical examination and the absence of objective diagnostic tests.
Fibromyalgia has been recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology.
Well, I am here to tell you that it is real.  Very real.  I take regulatory pain medications (of which I am at the maximum dosage) each day that are supposed to limit the amount of pain overall.  In other words, stays in my system, builds up in my system.  However, there are times that it is just not enough and the Fibro wins or over takes the day.

I was diagnosed almost exactly 2 years ago although I suffered with the effects of it for many months prior to diagnosis.  For some people it gradually comes over time, for me it seemed to almost happen over night.  I went through test after test after test, saw so many doctors that I can not remember their names, had brain scans, blood work, x-rays, sleep study, EKG, EEG, nerve conduction studies, you name it....I've been through it.  I am so sick of doctors I can hardly stand to go to my monthly visit with my Rhuematologist.  But, of course I do because I need to.

I recently went to see a Pain Specialist because my Rhuematologist just won't or can't do anything more for me for the pain.  Well, this pain specialist wants to give me 2 shots in my spine to try and alleviate the pain.  I am undecided yet whether or not I will have this procedure done.  I am just at my wit's end sometimes as to what to do and especially when I have bad days.  I just want someone, anyone to take the pain away and make it better.  Nothing helps completely.  I have elevated my legs, laid down, stood up, sat down, propped up, taken a warm bath, etc.  I do rub myself down a lot with Icy Hot as it seems to dull the pain but not alleviate it completely.  My pain is mostly in my legs and feet although, it does radiate to my arms and hands when I am having a really bad flare.  Like this week.  Folding laundry last night was nearly impossible and the hubby was angry at me for not listening to my body.  But I am stubborn sometimes and refuse to let it rule my life.

So, that is what I live with.  I never know how my day will be when I wake up each morning.  Stress seems to be one of the worst triggers of my Fibro and right now I believe I am having a flare due to my grandson's diagnosis of hearing loss (like I mentioned, more on that later).

I have learned over the last 2 years how to live a very low stress life.  However, if any little thing disrupts this barrier or bubble that I live in, my Fibro flares.  The bigger the disruption, the worse the Fibro.

But, enough about that....I am sure I have bored you to pieces by now.  Just want to give a thank you though to Wikipedia for the information on Fibromyalgia.

I have some major news!  On Monday I got a PM from Mel at Scrap Orchard asking if I wanted to join their creative team and become a "BEE".  Of course, I jumped up and down, squealed and told the hubby to pinch me to make sure it was real.  I had applied to their recent call (in May) and wasn't selected.  Which totally bummed me out and yes, I shed a few tears.  But, all in good time my wishes came true and I am now officially a BEE.  Thank you Mel and Kami for having me!

This layout uses Lucky Me by Rosey Posey Studio and of course my new favorite font, Niki by Stolen Moments.

This layout was made for the After Five Designs, July Template With A Twist Challenge (you can grab the template for FREE on their forum) and uses their new July 555 Collab, Independent Spirit.  You can get that collab for only $5 for 5 days!

I really liked posting my Agenda the other day and with today being a REALLY busy day for me, I thought I would post it again.  BTW - I did go back and update the things I got done from my list the other day!

Agenda for Wednesday, July 6th:
Make bed - done!
Unload/load dishwasher - done!
Prep coffee - done!
Bleach countertops - done!
Water plants - done!
Layout for Kat - done!
Call Resort about amenities -dond!
Letter to my baby Airman - done!
Pick up scrips at Walgreens
Pick up groceries for weekend motorcycle club retreat -done!
Pack for motorcycle retreat - done!
Clean sewing room - done!
Run - done!
Add Google Reader to my blog - done!
Sew together backing for Lyssa's quilt

Well, there you have it!  Busy day or what?  I better get started or I will never accomplish it all and I have to get as much done as possible before Jonathan comes home or I won't get it accomplished.  He seems to slow me down.  I get so much more done when I am home alone!

I'll see you next time!  May be Monday though before you hear (or rather read me) from me again.  I have a motorcycle club retreat from Friday to Sunday and we are heading out Thursday afternoon.  So, not sure I will have time to blog tomorrow.  I will have lots of catching up to do though so you have lots to look forward to!