Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. There's an understatement. I'm currently in what one would call a "Fibro Flare." I went through a very long period of denial, months in fact, and the last couple weeks have been a hard lesson in acceptance. I was going to write something about how hard it is to have a chronic illness. Then I started thinking about all the chronic stuff out there; diabetes, arthritis, lupus...and realized that I need to get over that part. It sucks, there's no doubt about that. But everyone has crap they have to deal with on a daily basis, (and don't get me started on the stuff in Japan, because that will put me into depression,) so I need to quit my bitching about that. No, the hard part this last couple weeks is knowing what is coming and feeling a complete loss of control. Before, I didn't know what was in store for me. My primary Fibro symptoms have included; migraines, non-restorative sleep, insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue, depression, TMJ, wide-spread muscular pain, etc... It's a long list, but those are the symptoms that were bad enough to require medical care. My migraines started back up several months ago. At first, they were clustering around "my time of the month," but started becoming more and more frequent and debilitating. I finally got into a doctor for them and also admitted my sleep patterns had not been that stellar as of late. This doctor was actually somewhat excited to treat me. He had "some great meds for migraines that weren't around when I'd been treated for them previously." He's also the one who brought up my Fibro and started asking questions about my sleep. He prescribed me a low dose anti-depressant to see if it would help with my sleep. Since then I've had only 1 full blown migraine, which I was able to mitigate w/the migraine meds he gave me. Lasted less than four hours, as opposed to the multiple day ones I was having before. I also realized all the peri-menopause symptoms I'd been having (bad hot flashes & night sweats,) seemed to have stopped around that time. Bonus! Awesome!

Since that time though, my body has been trying to change it's clock. Trust me on this, when your body does this, there isn't much you can do. My body clock would like to be from sometime after noonish to about two or three AM. I am trying to keep it on the 10 PM to 7 AM for sleep vibe, (since it's almost midnight now, you can see how well that's working,) so I can deal with my kids when they're awake, but not so much. I know all the tricks related to sleep issues; only sleep in bed, no TV, no books; go to bed and get up at the same time every night, keep paper by your bed to write things down (keep your mind from spinning,) there's more, but you get the idea. It's not working. My body is running at it's peak about 10 PM to 1 or 2 AM. I can't seem to shut down before that. New flash: When you don't get enough sleep you're exhausted. Your PSA for the day, you're welcome. I'm great at pointing out the obvious. The exhaustion is typically accompanied by pain, and round the cycle goes; the pain makes it hard to sleep, you don't sleep so you have pain. Whee! The final straw, (in the past,) has been my digestive system. When my GI Tract gets involved it goes big. By big I mean it's landed me in the hospital a couple times. I don't think it'll ever do that again, (I did a lot of the wrong things in the past & know better now,) but never say never, right?

The widespread pain started in earnest about 2 weeks ago. (I've had major pain before that time, it just seemed to be centered to my sciatic issues.) I have 2 types of pain, nerve, from my disc problems and muscular, from my Fibro. I may have been dealing with the pain issues for much longer, but it started traveling to old favorite areas (mid-back, neck, shoulders, ankles...) in the last month. Areas that have nothing to do w/my lower back or leg. I suspect the two things exacerbate each other for fun. The exhaustion kicked in at that time as well. For the last two weeks or so, I get up, get the kids where they need to go and get back in bed till I have to go get them. When they're home, I lay on the couch and have them move the kids chairs & tables near so I can help with homework, read to them, etc... Yeah, no nominations for mother of the year over here. I feel like I've got the flu or mono, that's the kind of tired I'm dealing with here. I've been working on getting back onto a very low-carb diet, because I felt in the past that it helped with my symptoms, but it's been slow going. When I'm in pain I want chocolate. (Understandable, chocolate releases endorphins, your body's natural pain killer.) What I really want is my Starbucks Mocha. It's my version of comfort food. The warmth of that chocolate going down my throat immediately relaxes me. That craving, is my Achilles heel for the low-carb diet. It's the hurdle I'm having trouble getting over. This morning, after 5 or 6 days without one. Five to six days spent in bed because of pain, I decided I was going to have one. I figured if I limited my carbs everywhere else all day that could be low-carb enough. I was taking Little to gymnastics, where I sit for an hour on a cold bench in an unheated gym. It doesn't do wonders for my pain level. I wanted one to get through that hour, and the next couple after that which would more than likely be pain filled. I indulged. My pain had been slightly better and the feeling of that warm mocha seemed to help melt the last of it away. Surprisingly, I ended up running quite a few errands with Little after gymnastics because I felt so much better. Then my stomach joined in. My IBS seems to have taken exception at that mocha. It took the Fibro pain and turned it into Fibro IBS. All the bloated, uncomfortable, out-of-control feelings that come with IBS have shown up. There are other, more graphic details, I'll spare you, that accompany a bout of IBS. Let's just say I have no doubt it's not just something I ate. It's me. It's the way my body responds to this; it's the Fibro.

I haven't wanted to admit it's back. I know I've said that in the recent past, but I'm still fighting it. I still don't want to believe it. I want to be back how I was when Little was an infant. That short period of time when both girls where born, my back had not been injured yet, and my Fibro was gone. I want that back. I want my girls to know that mom.

I have owned up to the fact this is for real. My old rheumatoligist considers me a new patient because of the amount of time since I've seen her. "She's no longer taking new patients." Can't make this shit up people. I went to see my GP last week. Seeing a doctor about it, makes it real. She's good, she listens and seems to care. I told her my details, she's concerned about depression. (She "doesn't know much about Fibro.") My response? "Chicken or the egg?" One follows the other, you don't sleep, you will eventually experience a true physical depression. I know of what I speak. She referred me to another rheumy & wants to me see a shrink as well. I have an appointment in April w/the rheumy; I'd seen him briefly 10 yrs ago, but had to change due to insurance. That got me the April appointment, as opposed to May. Glad I'm not an emergency. I still need to find a shrink, but I'm procrastinating. I've had good & bad ones in the past. The bad outnumber the good 2-1, I'm just not into it. I know I need to see one, but I just hate the process.

Know what I hate more though? I hate that my body feels like it's attacking itself. I'm ready to be done with that.