Saturday, November 26, 2011

Things that help me

I thought I'd share some of the things that help me as I live with fibromyalgia. These are in no particular order. They don't always work & I don't use them all at the same time.

1. My TENS unit - When my back is spasming or muscles are hurting, this often helps me.
2. Hot Showers - A lot of time my muscles are tight & the hot water helps them to relax & eases my pain.
3. Horse Lineament - I know it's for horses, but this helps my sore muscles better than any arthritis creams.
4. Rubdowns - My Hubby has gotten very good at giving me rubdowns. It helps my whole body to relax.
5. Prayer - sometimes all I can do is pray through the pain. God always gives me the strength to endure the pain.
6. Friends - sometimes just chatting with a friend helps. Letting my friends know I am hurting helps me know I am not alone & it lets them know that I need prayer.
7. Medications - sometimes I have to take pain pills or even just Tylenol PM to help ease the pain.
8. Stretches - My physical therapist gave me a lot of different stretches to help with my pain. Sometimes doing the stretches will ease the pain or at least make it bearable.
9. Trigger Point Therapy - I use the Trigger Point Therapy workbook. Sometimes this hurts more at first but then as the trigger points release the pain gets better.
10. Chocolate Therapy - Sometimes, you just have to eat some chocolate & relax!

I hope this will help you or someone you know who lives with fibromyalgia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Fibromyalgia has many faces. It can manifest itself as pain, headaches, achiness, fatigue, irritable bowel, etc... Most of the time, I am faced with pain & achiness. I've gotten pretty good at handling these.

The last 2 days, I've been experiencing fatigue. Not just being tired, but having no energy to do anything. It's been all I could do to help the kids with school & fix meals. When I first get up, I feel shaky & like my muscles will just give out. Once I start moving around, I feel better but wear out quickly.

I'm so thankful that this only happens every once in awhile. I'm not sure I could handle this everyday. Well, in truth, I could handle it with my Savior's help. The only way I make it through each day is with the strength God gives me. I have to take it one day at a time.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good & bad moments

It's been a weird week. Lots of changes in life happening here including our Pastor of 19 years stepping down as God is calling him somewhere else. Also seeing some other changes coming.So I think this week my health is being affected by stress.

I've also been affected by the weather changes this week. Our week has included 70 degree days, 23 degree nights & every thing in between. We've had sunshine, rain, wind & even a little snow.

With all these changes, my health has been up & down all week. I've had headaches that have come & gone. I've had some really good hours in which I decorated for Christmas, cleaned my kitchen & cooked some yummy stuff. I've also had some bad hours where I just laid on couch praying for headaches to go away & muscles spasms to cease.

All in all, I feel I've stayed upbeat and persevered.  Sometimes you just have to ride out the bad so you can enjoy the good moments.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sudden Changes

After spending the afternoon at a friend's for a birthday party, we stopped at the store so Hubby could run in & get some milk. I was feeling good & excited to go home & start getting out Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, due to no fault of Hubby's, what was to be a 15 min wait turned into an hour wait.

And just 10 min before Hubby returned to the van, I started getting achy. By the time he returned, I had pains in my legs & hips and was feeling lousy. That suddenly!!

I did manage to get the bare Christmas tree up, but that was it. I'm sitting here now praying for a good night's sleep. Also praying that as suddenly as my body aches came on that they will go away.

Just another day with fibromyalgia! In just a moment's notice, everything changes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good & bad update

I've been on the meds for depression/fibromyalgia for a week now. Friday & Saturday went really well. I felt like my old self & even caught myself humming. I just felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. I felt less irritable & even "happy".

Sunday I felt a little under the weather. I'm not sure if my sinus infection is back or what. Then yesterday I was so tired. I fell asleep on couch for 4 hours & woke up feeling horrible. I just wanted to go back to sleep. Today I have been real tired too. I'm not sure if it's another sinus infection or fibro-flareup or the depression.

Hubby left today on another business trip, so that could be part of why I feel a little blue. I hate that he has to travel but am so thankful he has a job in this economy.

I'm truly praying that this fatigue will pass & tomorrow I will wake up feeling how I did on Friday & Saturday.

I do have to say that I'm proud of myself today because I really just wanted to come home from taking Hubby to the airport & not do anything. But we did math & Bible for school work & I fixed supper (even though it was just TV dinners).

Just need to keep praying for God to carry me through this & for the depression to lift. I'm going to keep on fighting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pain, sleep apnea & depression

For the last few months, my fatigue levels have increased. So has my irritability & grumpiness. I haven't been sleeping well. A few weeks ago, I went in to see my doctor for a sinus infection & mentioned my fatigue. After talking for a few minutes, he told me he wanted me to do a sleep study.

I had my sleep study which I detailed here. 2 days after my study, I got my c-pap. I haven't noticed any big differences yet, but they said it might take awhile. We went in yesterday for an appointment with my sleep doctor. During my sleep study, I was having apneas 23 times per hour during my light sleep & 76 times per hour during my REM sleep. When they put me on the c-pap, my obstructive apneas decreased, but my central apneas (when brain signal that tells me to breath is delayed) increased. So now they have to find the right pressure & settings to balance that.

My sleep doctor also put me on Cymbalta to help with my fibromyalgia pain & some depression I'm fighting due to the pain, fatigue & starting "The Change". I'm really praying it will help as I'm tired of being near tears & being irritable with everyone especially my Hubby & kids. It's so hard to admit you are fighting depression.

Here goes: I'm fighting depression! I don't want to be around people,yet once I am, I'm glad. I want to sleep. I'm short tempered with my kids. I cry over everything. I fight with my Hubby over stupid things. BUT the key is that I am Fighting!! I'm not going to let this win. I spoke up & told my doctor (with prompting from Hubby).   I got medication. Sometimes you need medication. I do.

Admitting your depressed is hard. It seems doubly hard if you are a Christian. As Christians we are supposed to have Joy, not be depressed. But, this is a fallen world & our bodies are imperfect. Sometimes depression is a result of sin &  laziness in our lives. BUT sometimes it is a result of broken bodies, messed up brain chemicals or excess pain & stress. I'm so thankful that God has gifted some people with medical skills to treat depression.

So, that's my story for now. I'm getting help & I'm going to get through this. I know God will carry me through. And if you'd pray for me, I'd appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Human Barometer

I think one of the worst things about fibromyalgia is that you are the mercy of the weather. My body is in tune with the weather. I know when a weather front is moving in before I look up the weather for the day. As the weather changes, so does my pain.

The weather we have now seems to be the worst. Cold, damp & windy. It's been this way for 3 days now. I'm not handling it very well. You'd think by now I'd have coping mechanisms in place for this kind of weather. But I can't seem to remember any. I started out achy all over. I'm cold & can't seem to get warmed up. I'm moody too so that doesn't help. I just want some sunshine!

Sorry to complain. I try so hard not to. I try to keep my emotions even-keeled and my mouth shut when I'm like this. I have to keep pushing myself to get out of bed & move. I don't want to give in to the pain & fatigue. I don't want to be bedridden again. I try not to lash out at my kids, but it seems like I end up doing that. I try not to isolate myself when that seems to be all I want to do. I have to fight the depression that follows the pain.

Fibromyalgia can be a very debilitating thing sometimes. You have to fight it. You can't give in to the pain & the fatigue & the darkness. You have to keep yourself going. You have to push harder than you've ever pushed sometimes. You have to pray more than you've ever prayed....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A little about me

My name is Lea. I have fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed in 1998 but truly believe I've had it all my life. Pain has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I had "growing pains" as a child. I'd wake up screaming with pain that wouldn't ease until my dad massaged my legs & got it to calm down. At age 7, I woke up one day & couldn't walk. Diagnosed as Cystic Arthritis but I believe it was fibromyalgia even back then. Through out my teens I had a lot of weird pains & aches off & on. This continued all through my 20s.

In 1997, I hurt my back. Diagnosed as bulging disks, the doctor assured me I'd be back to work within a month. That month stretched into 3, 4, then 5 months. By this time my back doctor was baffled. My regular doctor said it was "all in my head" & sent me to a shrink! Little did I know this was the best thing that could have happened.

This psychologist was very knowledgeable. She said yes, I was depressed BUT it was because I was in a lot of pain. REAL PAIN! She said those fateful words "I believe you have fibromyalgia." I was so excited because I had a real answer to why I was hurting so much, why I was not able to get back to work & why one day I would feel good & the next I wouldn't.

Since then, I've know highs & lows. I went from being bed ridden to being pregnant with very little pain. The pregnancy hormones agreed with me & made my fibromyalgia almost disappear. But my 2nd pregnancy caused it to get worse & with my 3rd it stayed about the same. So I've had ups & downs.

Through out it all, I've leaned on God to help me through. He has taught me so much about myself through this. I've learned that I'm much tougher than I could ever imagine but I also need His strength more than I could ever imagine.

So join me as I continue this crazy journey near sanity's edge that I call my life!