Monday, November 12, 2012

The big "D" word!

Fall has almost skipped us here in Indiana. We went from 80+ degree days to days in the 30s & 40s. Except for a mild day every once in awhile. What I wasn't ready for was the sudden onslaught of "winter symptoms". You know, the increased aches & the depression. Add to that hormone issues & you get a big mess.

You'd think after a lifetime of this, I would be prepared. I wasn't. And my family, especially Hubby, paid the price. What price is that? A grumpy, sad, tired, sick me. When I'm down, so is my whole family. The worst part is that I can see myself in this rut, but I can't get out.

I'm doing better the past few days. My Hubby prayed over me & my hormones have stabilized. We also had a few gorgeous days with lots of sunshine. I was able to walk some over the weekend. But I can see it's going to be a tough winter.

It may be time to get an anti-depressant. As most of you know, Fibromyalgia suffers already have low serotonin. Add Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to it & my serotonin levels bottom out when the sunlight hours get short.

I truly hate medication, but there are times when I need it. My mind tells me I am being weak, but my heart is telling me that I need to do this for myself & my family. It's hard to admit you are depressed & need meds. People (including myself) judge you for taking anti-depressants & for being depressed.

I know that I am truly blessed. I have everything in the world to be joyful for. I am grateful. But I also know my joy is not based on my circumstances or health. You can be joyful but still be depressed. So I must seek help from my doctor.

Yes, I'm blogging to convince myself what I need to do. And just maybe, my struggle will help someone else in the same situation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Painful Praises

Out of nowhere the pain slams me

Once again I'm at its mercy

It hurts to breathe

Darkness beckons

I pause to whisper His name


The pain remains but peace floods me

His grace overwhelms me

I can breathe

The darkness flees

All at the mention of His name


This scene repeats itself often in my life

I used to beg God to take it

The overwhelming pain

The depression that threatens

The thorn in my flesh so painful


But God changed my point of view

I don't see this as a negative

Instead it's a blessing

A chance to praise Him

For He carries me through it all


My pain shows me my need of Jesus

I can't survive this life alone

I need His mercy

I need His grace

I need His overwhelming love and care


If not for my pain and struggles in life

I'd believe I could do life myself

No need for a Savior

No need for Jesus

Just pushing through life on my own


So I humbly pour my praise out to God

And thank Him for my thorns

They show me my need

They show me my hopelessness

They show me how lost I am without Him


Rescued by Jesus who suffered for me at Calvary

He died for my sins & yours

He was buried

He rose again

He gave His life so I may be free


How can I complain about any pain I face

When my heart is bursting with thanksgiving

Overflowing with gratitude

Humbled and in awe

Of all my Jesus has done for me


So I offer my life, my pain, my suffering to Him

A sacrifice of praise lifted

To the Savior of my soul

To the Giver of life

Praise & Honor & Glory forever.




Thursday, August 16, 2012


I've been reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book "Choosing Gratitude". In it, she states that we need to have gratitude in all things, even bad things.

I truly can say that I am thankful for all my health issues. No, I don't like them. I don't like pain. I don't like numbness & restless legs. I don't like sleepless nights. BUT I am thankful for them.

Through the pain, agony & tears, I have seen my God provide my every need. He has been my comfort on sleepless nights. He has been faithful to never leave me alone. Even when He didn't ease the pain, God gave me peace of mind to rest in Him.

One of the greatest gifts that God has given me through this painful journey has been the privilege of sharing with others what an Awesome God I serve! My Creator made me. He loves me & died for me, a nobody. I don't deserve to be saved, yet He did save me. He walks with me throughout this life.

Though I walk through difficult times that I don't understand, I know that God is there. I know He has a reason for this all. I know that even though I don't know why, He does & it's all for good. And I wouldn't trade all this for the world!

Without the sleepless nights, I wouldn't have the pleasure of praying for my family & friends at night. Without the pain, I wouldn't be able to sympathize with those who hurt. If my life was not just like it is, pain & all, I wouldn't be at the place in my life where I could give thanks to God for this all & in this all!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fibromyalgia Setbacks!

Life with fibromyalgia can be so frustrating at times. I'll be doing really good. Walking 4-5 days a week, having low pain levels & losing 15 pounds. Then it all grinds to a halt. My weight loss stalls, daily headaches kick in as well as fatigue & achiness. It's frustrating because it hits out of nowhere.

To top it off, I've been dealing with my heart trying to race. This is something I've not had to deal with for 18 years. In 1994, I had a RFablation to kill a short circuit pathway in my heart (Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome). I've been trying to tell myself that I'm imagining it, but it's not working. Looks like I'll be heading to doctor again soon.

Sometimes it feels like my body hates me. I think my body parts get together to see how they can throw me for a loop today! Hey, let me pop a fever for no reason. Hey, how about a headache, we haven't had one of those for awhile. Hey, how about a pain here or there for no apparent reason.

It sure makes it harder to get healthy. I mean, it's hard for anyone to get healthy, but when you have fibromyalgia, your body fights it. You can't push your body really hard or it breaks. And then sometimes it breaks when you are not doing anything. Now I have to fight mentally. I can't let a setback by my body undermine all the good I've done so far. I have to convince myself that just because my body isn't showing the results of my discipline doesn't mean what I'm doing is worthless. I have to convince myself to keep going, to keep eating healthy & to keep walking. I have to convince my mind that this is not hopeless, it's just a small setback. I have to fight with my mind, my body & all the strength I can muster...


Sunday, July 8, 2012


It's been 2weeks since Hubby & I started on our no pasta, no bread & no simple sugars way of eating. I'm surprised, it hasn't been as hard as I imagined. I have more energy & feel less foggy brained.

The first week, I did cardio in the pool at the hotel as we were traveling with Hubby. This past week I have been walking 2-4 miles a day. I'm loving the walking. I just wish it wasn't so hot out. It's been over 100 almost every day for past 2 weeks.

I've lost 10 pounds! My blood pressure has dropped. In fact, we had to back down one of my BP meds as my body likes this exercise so much. I also have less heartburn.

So that's my update. It is hard, but it is so worth it!

Friday, June 29, 2012


The last 3 months have been rough. New symptoms have drove me crazy. The ups & downs of being told possible diagnosis only to find out it's not that. Getting a few new minor diagnosis but mainly being told it's just my fibromyalgia. All this has been harder on me than I realized!
I went to see my primary doctor last Friday. Was totally shocked when I got on the scale! I was the heaviest I've ever been in my life! I broke down & cried in front of my doctor. Not because he yelled at me, but because he was so kind. He didn't lecture, he sympathized. He offered help if I want it. So, I've given myself 4 months (when my next appt is) to change my life. If I haven't made drastic improvements, then I'll go to the weight loss center.
On Monday, I changed my diet. Mostly protein & Veggies with a few fruits thrown in. No breads or pastas. No sugars unless in fruit. I've limited my diet drinks & drunk mainly water. I plan to stop the diet drinks soon, but didn't want to totally shock my system. One thing at a time!
On Monday, I also started exercising. It isn't much, just 30 minutes daily of walking or aerobics in the pool at the hotel. We have been traveling with Hubby so the pool was convenient. I feel it was a good way to start. Starting today, I will be doing some WiiFitPlus at home. I want to start walking too, but need to wait till the temperature outside drops as my body can't tolerate the heat.
I've set some goals for myself. I want to lose 15 pounds by August 10th. I also want to be walking atleast 2 miles a day by then. My long term goals are loftier. My total weight loss goal is 125 pounds. My fitness goal is to be walking 4-5 miles per day by spring & ultimately start running again & maybe do a 5k.
I know it will take hard work & strength. I know I will have bad days, but the end goal is worth it. That end goal is to be healthier & be able to do things with my kids & Hubby for years to come.
I've come to the realization that modern medicine will not help me! This is something I have to do for myself. I have to choose whether I am going to give into this fibromyalgia & let it ruin my life or whether I am going to fight! I am choosing to fight! I'm going to fight for myself & for my family! I was healthy once, I can get there again!
This is me 25 years ago! I'm determined to get back to something close to this!

My motivation!

My motivation & my best encourager!
I know this will be a tough fight but I also know it is worth it. It is very hard to post this as now everyone knows my goals & if I fail it will be very embarrassing & more devastating. It's hard to be transparent, but I know it is something I must do. Pray for me as I embark on this life change because I know it is only with God's strength that I will be able to do this!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm tired!

I hate being tired. This kind of tired is not your normal "I've had a busy day & I'm worn out" kind of tired. This is the "I'm feeling fine & then bam! I'm so tired I can't think" tired. It's the kind of tired I got in college when I'd been up for 48 hrs cramming for exams. Only I haven't been up that long & I was totally fine 2 minutes ago.

This kind of tired can happen at any moment. I was at Home Depot the other day when it hit. I couldn't remember my PIN number for my debit card. It hit in Meijer Saturday & I couldn't remember what I needed to get. It tends to hit toward late afternoon so I try to take it easy at that time of day. It's a little scary & I'm afraid one of these days it will hit at a totally bad time. I just keep praying & trusting God will keep us safe.

A side-effect of this tiredness is that I'm very cranky. It's very disorienting & it seems that noise makes it worse. And my kids are noisy. Unfortunately, they often get grumped at. I try not to...

So if I'm talking to you & seem to space out, I'm sorry. I don't mean to. I don't know why this is going on & every test i have done comes out normal. I'm working on coping strategies, but until I get used to this & get better at living with, I'm sorry!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's all in the ATTITUDE!

I've had several people as me lately how I'm doing. I answer "I'm doing better." it's not because I feel better physically. It's because I'm coping better. My attitude is better!

I have a few updates. My skin biopsies came back ok. I also went to neurologist & he says I don't have MS. He says all the fatigue & facial numbness & vision blurriness is just a bad fibromyalgia flare-up. So now I just have to live with the new symptoms & learn to cope.

So even though nothing has changed and I have no new diagnosis, I'm doing better. I'm resolved to pushing through this & trying to get healthier. I'm finding my attitude about all these health issues will either carry me through or break me. So it's all in the Attitude!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Stronger tree, stronger me!

Many years ago when I was studying Forestry, I learned that if a tree is located where it is blown by the wind, it will grow stronger roots & be able to withstand even the strongest storm. Trees that were sheltered from the elements were weaker & often damaged in the stronger storms.

I'm so thankful that God has allowed me to be shaken by the winds of illness, changing plans, a travelling Hubby & many other things. These things may seem unbearable to others who look at my life, but my roots are deep. They are planted in my Savior!

With each new obstacle thrown my way, I've been blown & tossed around. But I'm anchored in Christ! I know that no matter what is thrown my way, He will carry me through. Each trial is making me stronger & more like Christ. I may get battered & bruised along the way. I may get a few "limbs" knocked out of me. This is God's way of getting rid of my bad habits & traits.

But I know that each storm of life I walk through makes me stronger & better able to handle the next one! Because of this, I welcome the storms! I'm thankful for the storms. Without them, I would be weaker. Without them, I wouldn't know the power of God's love & mercy! I wouldn't know that God is trustworthy, faithful & true! I'd be less like Christ.

I love these verses! "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4 NIV84)

I may not consider it pure joy as I'm in the middle of a trial/storm. But as I ask God for perspective, I step back and look at my journey. I can see where I have persevered. I can see where I'm growing more mature & more like Jesus. That's when I have joy! For just a second, I see where I've come from & where I'm going! I see that one of these days, my trials will disappear. One of these days, God's work in me will be complete. I will see my Savior face to face & be a perfect reflection of Him!

Until then, let the storms of life come! They will only make me stronger!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another twist to my life

So, my rheumatologist sent me to the dermatologist because of my facial rash. Come to find out, it's a condition called urticaria. It's basically hives caused by physical stimuli such as sunlight, heat/cold, pressure or exercise. It is treated by taking antihistamines to block the histamine reaction. So something easy to deal with.

The twist comes because I had to have 3 spots, 2 on back & 1 on hand, biopsied. I was not expecting this but very happy my doctor is being so proactive. I had to have stitches in each spot. It affected me more than I thought it would. I've been having some pain & tenderness. I've also been having some moments of fear of the "what ifs". I know God is in control. Whatever the outcome of the biopsies, I know God will carry me through it. But I still have those moments of fear sneak up on me.

I will have the results on Thursday at 8am. So just 84 hours! Then I'll know the extent of this twist...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still waiting...

Still no answers as to what is going on with me. My spinal tap came back normal, but I have no idea what that means. I have a nerve conduction test tomorrow. It is the last of the testing that has been ordered. Will it provide answers?

Will my doctors figure out why my muscles feel cold & numb and then the next second have sharp electric shock type pains followed by burning? Will they figure out why one moment I'm walking fine & the next I feel like my legs are lead? Will they figure out why I'm so tired? Will they figure out why I have numbness & tingling throughout my body including my face?

So many questions & so few answers...

I wish I could tell you I'm "resting in Jesus" & I'm doing great. I could tell you that, but I'd be lying. I have to admit that I'm not handling the wait very well. I know in my heart that God knows my troubles & will carry me through whatever is going on. But I'm finding it hard to patiently wait on His timing! I'm finding it hard to be joyful in all things! I'm finding it hard not to lash out at my kids & Hubby! Ouch, admitting that one hurt. I'm finding it hard not to give in to the pain.

I'm struggling...

But I won't give in! I will keep fighting! I'll keep trusting! I'll keep waiting!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

The difference support makes!

After church today, I was thinking back 15 years to when I was waiting for another diagnosis. My situation was different in many ways then. We were still childless & I was off work on disability. We also were NOT plugged into a local church. And this was before twitter & Facebook. I had my Hubby & our families, but that was the extent of my support.

Today, waiting for diagnosis is still hard, but I am surrounded with love & support from many sources.

1. I have the most incredible husband! He loves me so much. He's so patient with me when I fall apart. He has picked up so much of the responsibilities here at home when he is home. He sees the tears & hears the fears I'm afraid to voice with anyone else. He is my rock!

2. I have awesome parents & in-laws who are helping with the kids & with whatever we need help with.

3. I have a great church family. I didn't have this 15 yrs ago. I'm overwhelmed by the offers of help. I've had offers for meals, childcare & housework. Now to figure out what help I need & when. I also know we are being covered with their prayers.

4. I have a ton of friends online supporting me. Childhood friends, college friends, family, church family & Internet friends. When I'm struggling, I can make a quick post. Then I'm covered in prayers & receive tons of encouragement.

This 2nd time of new symptoms & diagnosis waiting is still difficult, but the additional support I have is making an incredible difference. I'm having moments of fears & tears, but nothing like the crushing fear & depression I had from fighting this fight with very little support. Don't get me wrong, my Hubby & our families were awesome support back then, but there was only so much they could do.

I think twitter & Facebook have helped too. Being able to post how I'm doing is helping me be open, honest with others. It's hard to admit face to face that you are scared & struggling. But posting online is a little easier for me to share. And I know someone will reply with just the thing I need to hear.

If you are going through something similar, I suggest surrounding yourself with a strong support system! The bigger support team, the better off you will be.

To all of my friends & family, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for offering to help us! Thank you for your prayers! Thank you for your words of support & encouragement! Thank you for being there! Also thank you to those of you who are supporting my Hubby & the kids. I know health issues affect more than just me, so thank you. I'm so greatful for all of you! Your love and support makes all the difference in the world!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Getting through the hard times

Life with a chronic illness is hard. It's even harder when you are waiting for a diagnosis. There's just some relief when you finally find out what it is you are facing and you have a name for all the symptoms you are dealing with. Physically it's no better, but mentally it's infinitely better.

So what do you do when you are waiting for that diagnosis or you are having a bad flare? Do you have a plan in place? Here's some ideas that have helped me:

1. Pray! Tell God you are scared. Tell God you are hurting. Ask Him for strength to face what you have to face. God doesn't cause the pain & bad things you are facing. But He does allow it. Everything you are walking through, He knows about! Everything you go through has a purpose, we just may not know that purpose. Sometimes, it's to refine us, to make us into the person God wants us to be. Sometimes, it's to bring us to God. Sometimes, it's to bring others to God. Other times, it is to gives us some experience so that we can encourage someone else in life. And sometimes, we may never know the reason. Ask God to help you see through your pain to others you might help.

2. Find someone to talk to! You don't have to tell everyone all you are going through, but it helps to have someone to talk to. Keeping everything inside you is not good.

3. Let others help you & pray for you! Telling others you are struggling is very humbling but it can be uplifting too. Having someone bring you a meal or watch your kids for a little while or mow your lawn, can brighten your day & uplift your soul.

4. Find something to fill the time! Read a book, do a hobby, watch a movie. Do something. Don't just sit around a think constantly about how bad you feel or about all the things that might be wrong. Even listening to uplifting music helps.

5. Let some things go. Don't feel you have to do all your housework or even keep doing all the activities or volunteering you've been doing. You need to face the fact that you have limitations. It's ok to not sweep when you feel bad or say no when asked to do something. You can't do everything.

6. Have a plan for those really bad days! Have a simple meal plan, have backup babysitters, have some down day activities planned. It's not a sign of weakness to rest! It's ok to have a down day.

7. Don't give up! That diagnosis will come. This flare up will end! You will adjust! It will get better.

8. Share what you are going through with others. Start a blog. Start a podcast. Watch for others in pain & share with them. You never know when your experience might be the encouragement someone else needs to keep fighting.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Good News

Got a call from the rheumatologist! It's awesome news. I do NOT have lupus!!!!

I just feel lighter knowing that. I still have a spinal tap on Monday & a nerve conduction test on May 4th. But it's a relief to know 1 disease I don't have.

On a side note, we are at a homeschool convention right now. I'm exhausted but feel I'm doing a fairly good job of pacing myself. I'm taking breaks & even came back to the hotel room today & took a short nap. So I'm doing ok. I'll still probably be exhausted tomorrow night though...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Still no diagnosis!

Well, my appointments have come & gone. I'm fighting a headache. I'm not sure if it's weather, stress or hormone related, maybe all 3. Time to rest, but first I want to update y'all on what's new.

I saw the neurologist on Tuesday. Based on my symptoms, it's looking like I have a couple of different things going on possibly. So, I have to have a Spinal Tap on 4/23 & I'm also having a nerve conduction test on 5/4.

Then I saw a rheumatologist today. He did confirm that I have Raynaud's Phenomenon (feet/hands turn blue when cold). He is running a whole slew of lab tests & also referred me to a dermatologist for rash on my face.

The good news from the week is that I love my team of doctors! They are committed to finding out what all is going on with me & are wanting to know what my other doctors are doing.

The bad news is I still don't know for sure what is going on. And the things they are testing for/suspecting are pretty scary. I'm being tested for Neuropathy in hands/feet, MS(Multiple Sclerosis) & Lupus.

I know that whether it is 1 or all of these, God will carry me through. I've seen God's Faithfulness time & time again as I dealt with a heart arrhythmia & fibromyalgia. I know He won't fail me now!

I am also blessed with a wonderful Hubby who will be by my side no matter what we have to face. I'm blessed with 3 great kids who love me & are great helpers. I have awesome parents & in-laws who love me & help me when needed.

I am also blessed with tons of family, church family & friends who will pray for me, encourage me & help out where needed.

So although the future looks scary, I know I'm gonna be alright!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Night before neurologist appt.

As I lay here in bed, it's the night before my neurology appointment. I'm struggling with a bad reaction to the sun. I seem to have hives & feeling a little blah. But that is nothing compared to the inner turmoil I'm struggling with.

I'm very anxious to hear what the neurologist thinks. I'm a little scared though. I've had bad experiences in the past with doctors. Because one doctor told me I was crazy & my fibromyalgia symptoms were all in my head, I fear I will hear that again. I know deep down there is something wrong & I know the MRI showed it, but I still fear the "it's all in your head" diagnosis.

I'm also praying I don't completely fall apart on the doctor. Some of my symptoms are a little scary. I'm praying for clarity of mind as I talk to the doctor. I want to be able to remember all the symptoms & not downplay them. I have a tendency to do that as I'm pretty good at hiding what's going on with me.

Hubby is working out of town so I'm going to be on my own. Fortunately my wonderful parents are coming up to help me around the house & with the kids. They will be here for me, but it's not quite the same as having Hubby here. I also have Rheumatologist appt. on Thursday, so it's a busy week healthwise.

I'm also a little stressed because at the same time as I'm getting all this health news, I have two kids with birthdays this week. My son is turning 9 tomorrow & my oldest daughter is turning 12 on Sunday! So trying to stay positive & celebrate them during this time is rough. And, I might not be able to make their birthday cake like I usually do. So frustrating!

Anyway, that's what's on my mind tonight. I'll post again soon when I get a diagnosis...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Honest talk about pain & struggles!

I'm struggling. I'm struggling a lot. I'm not supposed to. And I'm definitely not supposed to talk about struggling... WHAT????!!

Ever feel like that? Ever feel like that since you are a Christian, you are to live this perfect life where every thing is rosy & you have no problems? For some crazy reason, we Christians think that just because we accept Christ as our Savior, suddenly everything in life is perfect. And if it's not, we feel like we've failed God & everyone around us.

Life isn't perfect. Jesus even told us we would have troubles. John 16:33 says "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Jesus said we will have trouble. He didn't say come to me & all trouble will disappear. He said come to me so I can give you peace when you have trouble.

Why do we have troubles, pains, imperfections, etc? I truly believe a lot of it is because we live in a world ravaged by sin. Sin destroyed God's perfect creation. This world is flawed. Because of this, we will have storms, natural disasters, imperfect people, sickness & strife. But sometimes we have troubles because God wants to bring us to our knees & have us confess sin in our lives. It could also be that God has allowed Satan to sift us so that God will be glorified. We may never know the why? behind our suffering/struggling.

But we can know the God of the universe, the Creator, the Savior of the world who gives peace! The peace God gives is beyond explanation! In John 14:27, Jesus says " Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

This peace is not the absence of troubles or suffering. This peace is a calmness of soul, spirit & mind. It's a gentle inward assurance that even though things look bad, real bad, God is still in control and He will carry me through this.

How do I know this is true? Because I've experienced it first hand, time and time again. My story is not unique. It is one many people around the world experience. Mine is one of a body wracked with physical pain. It may not be your story for each story is unique. But whatever your story, Jesus is Here! He's waiting to give you Peace!

I've had pain since I was a child. I can't remember a time when I didn't hurt. But I've always known God was there to carry me through the pain. My pain has been given many names & progressed in severity over time - growing pains, cystic arthritis, fibromyalgia & now maybe something more severe & damaging. I go through a period of struggle each time it gets worse and I wait for a new diagnosis.

I wonder "why me?" I cry out in fear for strength. I question God. Yes, I said "I question God!" He's big enough to handle my questions. I don't blame God, but I do ask why me? Why now? Sometimes the only answer I get is "Trust ME!" and somehow it's enough.

As I look back, I can see how this life of physical pain has drawn me closer to Jesus! When doctors & loved ones can give you NO relief, Jesus is the One who can! It may only be Peace of mind & strength to endure the pain or it may be an easing of the pain. But His relief is always what I need!

I can honestly say I would not trade one bit of my life! Yes, it has been painful at times. But without the pain, I might have walked away from My Savior! Without those sleepless nights, I might not have had time to pray for others! Without my experiences with pain, I might not be able to encourage others in pain & assure them that God WILL carry them through. Without my pain, I would not KNOW that God is all I need!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Encouragement for my soul!

I've really been struggling this week with all the new symptoms, tests & possible diagnosis. So when I couldn't sleep this morning, I dug into God's Word & pulled verses that comforted me in some way. So I thought I'd share here in case someone else is struggling.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV84)

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things You planned for us no one can recount to You; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:5 NIV84)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 NIV84)

I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. (Psalm 31:7 NIV84)

I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4 NIV84)

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them. (Psalm 34:7 NIV84)

The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. (Psalm 41:3 NIV84)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NIV84)

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22 NIV84)

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. (Psalm 62:1 NIV84)

But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. (Psalm 71:14 NIV84)

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV84)

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:7 NIV84)

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NIV84)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV84)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV84)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12 NIV84)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV84)

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 NIV84)

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11b NIV84)

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV84)

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV84)

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3 NIV84)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV84)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV84)

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10 NIV84)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 NIV84)

Monday, March 19, 2012

What if it's not JUST fibromyalgia?

I saw the doctor today. I love my doctor. He listens to me! He agreed that my symptoms were worrisome. He did think it was more than just fibromyalgia.

So, I'm scheduled for a brain MRI with & without contrast on Wednesday. I also had 5 big vials of blood taken for 12 different tests. And I got diagnosed with Raynaud Phenomenon & Allergic Rhinitis.

Today was a busy day & I pushed thoughts of what all this means out of my head. That was until I was driving to a play date. I felt scared & overwhelmed. To make it worse, the person I'd talk all this out with is out of town. Hubby's out of town till Friday night.

When I got home tonight I went through the tests. My doctor is being thorough. He's doing all the standard tests plus 3 thyroid tests. He's also doing the standard autoimmune tests like CBC, Creatine Kinase, ANA & Rheumatoid Factor.

I'm really glad he's checking all this. I need to know if it's more than Fibromyalgia. I'm trying not to think of all it could be (MS, Lupus, etc...). Instead I'm trying to rest in the fact that none of this surprises God! He has plans for me that I can't comprehend right now. I KNOW God has carried me through almost 42 years of life! He's seen me through happy times, sad times, troubled times, joyous times, painful times & yes, even scary times. God is faithful! I know that even if it ends up as a really bad diagnosis, it is all in His hands. And through any & all of this, I will trust God to work this all out for good & use it to bring Glory to Himself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Is it just fibromyalgia?

Every time I have new symptoms, I have to ask myself this question! Is it really just my fibromyalgia or is it something new or something really serious??

I've been dealing with sinus issues for like 6 weeks now. So tired of it! On top of this, I've been having some new symptoms that have prompted me to get an appointment with my doctor. I see him on 3/19.

So many of them could just be fibromyalgia symptoms. But they could not be too. This is probably the most frustrating thing about fibromyalgia!

I'm dealing with really cold hands & feet. I notice at times my feet & even my finger tips are blue. I even noticed my lips were a little blue the other day.

I'm also having some weird numbness. I mean, I'm used to having some. But this is in different spots at different times. I'm having numbness in my face, on top of my head (makes me almost feel itchy), in middle of my back, in different places on my legs & tonight in my arms.

I'm also having a very hot face & sometimes it's red. Almost like I have a fever, but rest of me is cold. So annoying because I get subconscious when my face gets so red.

Today my Blood pressure was very low for me. It was 108/66. I have high blood pressure & usually run about 120/80 or higher when on meds. It's rare for me to be lower than 115/75. And I'm feeling very wiped out.

So, is it just fibromyalgia or is it something else. I'll let you know when I know!

Please pray for me. Pray that I'll get a correct diagnosis. I'm going to ask my doctor to recheck some things they check when they are trying to diagnose you with Fibromyalgia. It's been 15 years since I was diagnosed. Maybe some things have changed. Pray that I don't drive myself crazy between now & the 19th by letting my mind wander through all the possible things that could be going on. Thanks so much! I know that whatever the outcome, God is with me every step of the way & will work this out for good!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Constantly Learning How to Live!

Fibromyalgia is a daily battle!

Each day you have to decide to take that first step & get out of bed. You have to decide to push through & live! As each new pain & health problem pops up you have to learn how to live with it.

You have 2 choices each moment of the day: 1. give up & just stop living or 2. figure out how to live with the pain and have a life.

I was at a point many years ago that I had given up. I gave in to the pain and just laid in bed unable to move. I was just listening to the doctors, taking tons of pills & just existing. I was miserable & my Hubby was miserable. I wasn't living.

Now I make the decision every day to get up & move. Even if it's just to the couch. On good days, I have to watch that I don't overdo.  It's a balancing act. It takes a lot of prayer! I don't have the knowledge or wisdom to know if I'm overdoing it. So I pray that God will stop me when I push too hard. I also pray that God will help me to move. I really can't do it without Him!

I'm finding that living with Fibromyalgia is a constant learning process. Each new day brings a new pain, a new struggle that threatens to overwhelm. I have to look at my current situation & try to learn how to cope. I don't think I'll ever stop learning how to cope. This broken life is a constant process...

A constant process of growing, coping, getting torn down, getting overwhelmed, failing & picking yourself up again. The point is, you need to keep going. Don't give up. Don't give in to the doubts, the fears, the anger, the overwhelming urge to quit.

You also have to keep a watchful eye out for surprises. The sinus problems that won't go away. The pain that comes out of nowhere. The stress from others. Ordinary problems that pop up. Any little thing can throw you off if you aren't prepared, if you aren't watching for them.

You have to be prepared to not give in to them. To not let things get to you. To shrug off the stress & let it roll of your back. You have to guard your tongue & not say something in pain/stress that you'll regret. You have to learn not to react on impulse. Many times our impulses are bad and our reaction to things are amplified. Many times our fibromyalgia causes us to take things wrong or get overly offended. We need to stop & breathe! We need to get input from a friend to see if we are over-reacting before we act & say or do something we'd regret, especially if it's our family.

All of this is easier said than done. I know I've snapped at my kids, said things I regret and given into the pain many times. When I do I have to say I'm sorry then pick myself up and start again. I have to constantly learn how to live with fibromyalgia!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine's Day Thank You

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd thank my Hubby for all he does for me & all he puts up with because of my fibromyalgia.

My dear Hubby,
Thank you so much for:
-holding my hand through the times of excruciating pain.
-sleeping by yourself when I was too achy to handle any movement in bed.
-rubbing my back & other muscles.
-having to cancel plans at the last minute because of my flare-ups & not complaining about it.
-putting up with my mood swings.
-helping me to bed when I could barely move.
-helping me get dressed & taking total care of me when my flare-ups were bad.
-taking care of the kids when my pain was out of control.
-making supper for me & the kids when I couldn't.
-calling the doctor when I was too upset or uncomfortable about calling.
-supporting me through all of the pain, flare-ups & trials due to the fibromyalgia.
-going nights without sleep with me when the pain was horrid.
-listening to me talk when I was hurting or frustrated or moody.
-watching over me & sometimes knowing my limitations before I do!
-Understanding when I can't perform my "wifely" duties.
-Standing back when I'm venting or melting down over the pain yet knowing when to step up & comfort me.
-Giving me more than I could ever give you!

I could go on & on! When you have fibromyalgia, your loved ones have to put up with a lot. They have to go the extra mile to make you comfortable & help you. They have to forgo a "normal" life just like you do. So, if you have fibromyalgia, take the time to day to tell your loved ones Thank you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Unexpected "side-effects" of Fibromyalgia

As you research Fibromyalgia, you read about all the signs & symptoms. You read a lot about effects of fibromyalgia such as loss of work, loss of job, large doctors bills, etc... What you rarely read about are the "side-effects" of Fibromyalgia. What I mean by "side-effects" is the unexpected things that fibromyalgia does to you that affects your family or those around you. 

So here's my list of "side-effects":

1. Unexpected outbursts of frustrations - you're not really mad at your family member, you just are frustrated with all your pain & your tolerance is shorter than normal people. I find myself snapping at the kids or at Hubby. I think I hate this the most. I don't want to snap at them! I need to figure out how to handle the frustration better.

2. Less sympathy for others - I find that since I'm hurting so much that I find it hard to be sympathetic to my Hubby & kids when they get hurt. I just want them to "buck-up" and handle it because I do. I forget that what seems like a little pain to me may be major pain for them.

3. Sudden cancellation of activities - This is really hard on the kids. We plan some fun outing & then I get hit with a flare-up & we have to cancel that outing. Major disappointment on their parts. I find that I tend to keep activities a secret from them in case I get feeling bad & have to cancel. 

4. "Are you feeling okay mom?" - A child should never have to be worried about how mom is feeling. It breaks my heart to hear them say this when I know that many times my answer is "no, I'm not." It thrills me when I can say "yes, lets go do ________."

5. Hubby gets the shaft! - many times, Hubby has to pick up the slack left by my not feeling good. He has to cook, clean & take care of kids. On top of all that, his needs go unmet because I can barely function so there's no way I can do my wifely duties! (I hate this as much as he does!) Plus he often can't even vent to me about his day because I'm in no mood to handle his blowing off steam.

6. Appearing aloof or non-caring to friends - many times I'm in no mood to talk when my pain levels are up so I'm very quiet or avoid people giving them the illusion that I'm not interested in them. I also have trouble focusing when my pain levels are up so the conversations I do have may be disconnected & nonsensical. Also, the more people in the area talking the worse my focus becomes.

7. Loneliness - for me & my kids - Many times it's easier to stay home, not have people over, not engage. I find I don't want to let others down by having to cancel or not being totally there. So it's often easier to just isolate myself. Of course, I end up isolating the kids some times. 

8. Being tight lipped about how I am feeling or not seeking help from others - This kind of goes along with 6 & 7. I've been around people who constantly complain about their pain, who seem to think they are the only ones that hurt or think that everyone else should help them & do stuff for them. I so do not want to be this person! Because of that, I end up going the other way. I struggle with telling others exactly how I'm feeling. I also struggle with asking for help. Part of it is pride, part of it is not wanting to be a burden. 

These are only a few of the "side-effects" of fibromyalgia. But as you can see, it's a lot more than just pain. And it affects more than just the person who has fibromyalgia. It affects their spouse, their kids & their other family & friends. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Is this really just Fibromyalgia?

Do you ever wonder if your symptoms are really all just tied to your fibromyalgia? Or is there something more serious going on that is going undiagnosed because everyone just tells you it's the fibro?

We just went swimming. I was doing good. In fact, the water was very warm & really loosened up my muscles.  I was feeling really good. The air in the pool area was cool as they have a window open to try & even out the humidity in the pool area. I got out & dried off. As I was standing & waiting on Hubby & kids to dry off, I got a sudden wave of tingling in my feet & lower legs. I had to sit down because it was so intense.

As I walked to the room, I felt like my legs & feet were asleep. 10 minutes has past & they are still tingling. Why? Is this just a fibromyalgia symptom? It is listed as one & I've experienced it before. But it also can be a sign of more serious problems like diabetes, stroke or MS. So do I just chalk it up as another fibromyalgia symptom or do I be more concerned? Do I need to call my doctor? Or do I just wait for it to pass & go on?

Fibromyalgia stinks because it can mimic other diseases & syndromes. It stinks because it can hid more serious health issues. It stinks because it plays with your mind. It makes you paranoid that something more serious is going on & at the same time makes you feel like it's all in your head...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Irritability Stinks!

Pain is the easiest part of my fibromyalgia to handle. The hardest part to handle is the irritability! I find I snap at the kids & my hubby. I catch myself being short with them. It comes on suddenly. I hate hate hate it! I don't want to be irritable. I'd much rather be hurting all over & barely able to move...

Friday, January 6, 2012


I've crashed big time. I feel like I've got poison inside me. My muscles ache. My head aches. I feel pain everywhere. The pain makes me nauseous. My brain feels like it's on overload. All I want to do is cry.

I feel like the worst mom in the world as I can barely take care of my kids right now. I'm grumpy & short tempered. I'm an even worse wife. All I can do is cry & complain when my Hubby calls from out of town.

I can't think straight. When in a group, I feel like I'm in a fog and only hearing half of what is going on. I probably appear aloof & stuck up to others but it's just that I'm not processing half of what I see & hear unless it's a one on one conversation in a quiet room.

My muscles feel swollen to me although they don't look it. It feels as if they are swollen & seeping poison into my body. The only relief I get right now is the hot showers I take. The hot water seems to drive the poison out of my body & allows the muscles to relax.

I haven't felt this way in years. And because of that, I haven't dealt with it very well. I'm struggling. I've handled it all wrong. I've pushed way too hard when I shouldn't have. I've been way too lax when I should have been pushing myself. I've been eating all wrong & giving in to junk because it was comforting & easy. And the worst thing I've done is stopped my meds because I freaked out when I realized I've gained back ALL the weight I've worked hard over the last 5 years to lose (over 40 pounds!)!!

So, I've crashed. Now it's time to stop punishing myself. It's time to relax and stop fighting my body. So my goal for next 48 hours is to rest when I need to, sleep when I need to, take as many hot showers as I need to & just let Hubby worry about the kids & house.

I also plan to dig into God's Word. That always seems to help. It amazes me that I always seem to turn to God last. He must sit up there & laugh over me. I'm so stubborn & pigheaded. I'm so like the Israelites in the Wilderness. I KNOW what God has brought me through yet I still turn from Him & grumble all the way.

After I rest & detox, the hard work begins again. Eating healthy, drinking lots of water, handling stress better & exercising/stretching begins. It will be hard, but it's got to be better than this crash...

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year

So 2012 is here. I'm praying this is a better year for me with my fibromyalgia.

It's been a rough year. I've lost weight only to gain it all back when I went on Lyrica. Then I went on Cymbalta. I had improvement for about a month & now I seem to be doing worse.

This year, I'm getting ready to start researching diet, exercise & nutrition in regards to fibromyalgia. I may even look into Chiropractic care for fibromyalgia.

Look for me to share what I learn with you all here on my blog. I am going to try what I can to get better & back away from Sanity's edge. I have a feeling it is going to involve a radical dietary change. Not sure how well I will handle that, but I'm willing to try if it will make me feel better.

I need to get better so I can really take care of my family and my home.  Please pray for me as I begin the research & start on this journey to get better. Looking forward to a new year!