Friday, July 11, 2014

Feisty Fridays



For those who have no idea what Fibromyalgia is and what symptoms one can exhibit, it is often difficult to explain why you are not feeling like doing much of anything. Fibromyalgia is another of those invisible and silent illnesses, often categorized with Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, Migraines, Lyme Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. When someone has one of these invisible illnesses, they don't look sick, or handicapped, but their illness is just as valid as someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, or heart disease.

Why am I writing about an invisible disease and specifically Fibromyalgia? Because I recently admitted I am among the growing number of people who has a condition no one else can see. This disease is one of the conditions people who have it are called liars and told they are phony, simply because there are no outward signs of anything being wrong. I have Fibromyalgia. No, I have not gone to the doctor to be diagnosed, and no I did not do a self-diagnosis. So, how can I be sure? I can't be. But I do have more of the symptoms than not and since this disease is also genetic it stands to reason I am a logical candidate. My eldest was diagnosed last year...

Most days I can manage the pain and fatigue, others not so much. Changing my diet and exercise has begun to show a difference in the amount of pain I have on a daily basis. There are still days that I mess up and don't do something I know I'm supposed to be doing and I pay for it the next day or two... on these days a simple task like going to the grocery is more challenging than anything I have ever had to do. Being overweight is a challenge unto itself. I know I need to exercise, even something easy like walking would be fine to begin with. How do I make my body do the things my mind is telling it when all I know is I have some of the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced? There are days that I can barely walk from my bed to the toilet, less than ten feet from the bed. I've also had a few days when I just couldn't get out of bed for any reason. My blankets and pillows (yes plural, pillows) are the only pain-free haven I can find.

I have cut almost all processed foods from my diet, my eating habits now include more fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and I've also begun taking Vitamin D supplements. It has been suggested I eat walnuts and almonds, but I'm allergic to both so that option is out. My biggest challenge has been limiting and then eliminating caffeine. I don't drink soda but I do drink a lot of tea. So, I've reduced my caffeine intake to two cups of coffee each morning (down from half a pot or more), and the tea is green tea with either honey or Stevia. I also have a steak on occasion and even though grass-fed beef is highly recommended, I haven't been able to find any place local that carries this.

On a positive note, I have found there are a number of people among my friends list (both online friends and personal face to face friends) who also suffer with Fibromyalgia. This is kind of like an unauthorized support group for us. And I've also found some of these same friends are energy workers who like me disregard what their body is telling them in order to help another person in need. Jimmy has been amazing, asking questions, calling from the road to check on how I'm doing and helping out when he's home. Tanya is my lifeline at the moment, she has taken over most of the daily drudgery so I can function at whichever level I happen to be at for that time frame. Even the neighbors have been a blessing.

My time online has been greatly reduced as well. Some days it is all I can do to sit in the desk chair long enough to complete my assignments for Ashford. I do have a laptop so I could use it in the bed if necessary, I just haven't felt the need so far. I have been spending a lot of time keeping a handwritten journal of my daily activities and the foods I eat. This way I can track patterns to determine what I'm doing and eating that may cause the pain to intensify. No conclusions so far. And it's during these AFK times that I am thankful I like to read, which can be done with the Kindle or a regular physical book (yes, I DO have quite a few of those as well, LOL).

That pretty much sums up why there hasn't been a written entry for some time and why it seems like I've forgotten about Aoibheal's Lair. I haven't forgotten, it takes a day or two (sometimes more, thank Goddess for the draft folder) to get the things running around in my head into type and then published. I'm still here, just sometimes lost in the hazy fog of unrelenting pain...