Saturday, July 31, 2010

I don't know if the Disabled Guy still thinks I'm "exaggerating the pain" after today.

As I've mentioned, I don't like to take my Vicodin during the day. I get a certain amount of pills per month from the VA. They give me enough to have a few extra, but I don't like to get into the habit of daytime pain meds. There are exceptions, of course. If I have to go grocery shopping for more than a couple items. If I have to go to Wal-Mart, which I hate doing, I take daytime pills. I hate Wal-Mart not only because they're a globally-dominating conglomerate that seeks to stomp out every bit of originality from a town, but because EVERYTHING is so far apart. I can't just pop in and get a bottle of human shampoo and some dog treats. I have to go from one end of the store to the other. And deity forbid I order photos... that's all the way at the back of the store.

So yeah, not thrilled with having to go to Wal-Mart.

Thursday, we did the big monthly grocery shop. That's two pills around ten or eleven AM. That evening, I took my usual six PM pills (followed by the muscle relaxers at 730). Then, on Friday, it was payday and Wal-Mart day. Two pills as we leave the house, so they'll be in my system good by the time I reach Wal-Mart. And of course, the six PM pills.

Today, I didn't plan on leaving the house. I didn't even put shoes on- which I'm now regretting, because when I go shoeless, my feet are sore. That's my own fault. I made Chef Boy-R-Dee pizza for dinner tonight. Which means I had to mix the dough by hand, mush it into the pans by hand... you see where I'm going? And the pizza is so messy (I do the thick crust method) we use forks to eat it. I took my six PM pills ten minutes late.

About ten minutes afterwards, what felt like... well, I can only describe it as static electricity on high crackled through my arm, down through my now-sore wrist and into my hand. Simultaneously, the same sensation jolted through my right leg, down to my foot. As this static-crackling feeling is going on, I had sharp, stabbing pain that throbbed through my hand, near my knuckles and in my foot, near the ball of the foot. I couldn't get it to stop. It sort of freaked me out. And the pain. There are no exclamations I could utter that would convey how it felt. I clutched the arm of my computer chair with my left hand. I gasped for breath and clenched my eyes to keep the tears from flowing. I curled my right arm up, cradling my hand against my chest (well, between my breasts, it sort of happened that way). My hand looked claw-like and I was afraid to bend or straighten my fingers. I know I was doing some kind of writhing thing, because I was trying to use my left foot to "push" the throbbing pain out of the right foot.

I don't know how long this went on. It couldn't have been too long, because NASCAR was on and it was on commercials. Had I been making that much noise, the spouse would have gotten pissed off and he didn't. He actually asked me what was wrong. I couldn't explain it.

I didn't actually cry, but I did have tears fall, but it was more like my eyes were too full to hold them back, if that makes sense. Here I am, an hour and a half later, with a residual ache in my wrist and hand- it feels slightly hot, like a low-grade burning feeling (which I've had many, many times before) and the parts of my foot that typically ache on those days I go without shoes are also aching, but they seem a little more tender than usual. I'm not sure if that's actual tenderness or if my brain is just more aware of it now.

I've had my hand hurt before. I've had my arm hurt. I've had my leg and my foot hurt. But I've never had all of them, simultaneously, jolt in the same way.

On top of all that, I've spent most of the day with the itchy skin... I considered taking just one Vicodin to settle the itch down. And no, Benadryl won't work. A lotion won't work. The itch is inside, under the skin. Like there are a thousand bored spiders, all twiddling their spider thumbs at the same time.

So now I'm not so sure if the Disabled Guy thinks I'm exaggerating anymore. Of course, I'm not going to have a spell like that deliberately just to prove it to him. In fact, I'd like to live pain-free for a while. I don't even remember how that felt.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Don't Have this Fibro thing worked out yet

One would think that by living with this pain for as long as I have, I'd "get it" a little more. Sure, I've only been diagnosed with fibromyalgia since June 28th, but I have lived with this pain for more than five years now. I suppose knowing what it is makes a difference.

Wednesday, I was so absolutely exhausted that I could barely function. I was sluggish and sore and my skin was tender. I was in that "giant bruise" phase for pain. I even took a nap! I woke up from that nap feeling worse than I did when I fell asleep. I even went to bed at my usual time and slept like normal- well, the new normal, on the muscle relaxers. Then, I woke up at my usual time, laid down on the really uncomfortable sofa for forty-five minutes (and slept for most of that time), then ate breakfast, did some online stuff, took care of the dogs and I went back to bed.

Where I slept for another two and a half hours. I dragged myself into the shower... dragged myself back to my room... Then I perked up a bit. And I felt okay all day. A little sore. Not too bad. I even had to leave the house and go out into the icky heat and humidity. I took my pain meds at 6 PM, like always. I took the muscle relaxer at 730 PM, the new "like always". And here I am, at nearly 1230 AM, still awake. I'm not the least bit tired or worn out now. I'm sore, of course. We should just say every day is sore, but varying levels of intensity.

For a couple of days, our weather was oppressively hot. Its hovered around 90 Fahrenheit with humidity in the 80% range. Walking outside is like walking into a slimy, wet, hot blanket. This evening- err, Thursday evening and even now- we had some severe thunderstorms roll through. That was around the time I should have been tired from the day itself, not to mention the enjoyable medicines I'm on. And here I am... awake... listening to the thunder and fending off the occasional dog. (they're afraid of the thunder. They're taking turns seeing who can get as close to me as possible without actually crawling on top of my head).

So far, I got this much: heat and humidity does not like Fibromyalgia. Or maybe Fibromyalgia doesn't like heat and humidity. Either way, Fibro is outnumbered two to one. Let's hope Fibro doesn't get it into his head to call on Arthur and Burr, the Itis boys, to even up the score.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My body does not like the heat.

It never has, really. I lived in Georgia for four years and while I didn't absolutely die from the heat, I didn't like it. I tolerated it because I had no choice. I went out in that disgusting heat and humidity because I had to. Of course, it didn't do to me what it does to me now.

Now the heat and humidity drag me to the floor, moaning and wailing in such a pathetic way. I feel as though all I can do is lie there, quivering takes too much energy, so I just lay there while heat and humidity kick me in the teeth. Okay, that's not a good analogy. It doesn't really kick me in the teeth, it actually beats me with huge wet noodles till my body aches and I'm soaked with wet noodle water and sweat.

Sounds delightful, doesn't it?

I started taking the muscle relaxer (Cyclobenzaprine) just over two weeks ago. And I do feel a lot better now than I did even two weeks ago. I feel that I have more stamina than I've had in the last several months. The last few days, I haven't been completely drained. The pain has been touch and go, some days are good and some days have a spell where I don't feel so great.

The longer I'm exposed to heat and humidity, the worse I feel. I went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire on July 10th. I did pretty good- lasted till about 2 PM before I started to really feel bad. By 3 PM, I'd had enough and felt I'd drop any minute. I made my way back out to my trusty truck, unlaced all my garb (yes, I dress in garb) and sat with the AC on- directly blowing in my face, in fact. About ten minutes went by and I felt a lot better. My companions joined me shortly after and I took them back to their motel (Angus came up from Texas and he had a friend meet up with him from Michigan). In the motel I did a few tarot card readings for the friend and it was quite nice. The room was cool and I felt infinitely better by the time I had to get on the road for home.

I'm going to the faire again in two weeks with Ceej, my 17-year-old daughter. So, if I feel this much better now, in two weeks' time, I should feel even better.

Since I've been taking Cyclobenzaprine, I've been sleeping better. Before, I'd sleep a couple hours, wake up, sleep for an hour, get up for a couple hours, go back to bed for another hour or two. I felt like I was on the verge of sleep all the time. If I sat down to watch a movie, I would fall asleep. If I did anything other than sit straight up in this computer chair, I'd fall asleep. If I had to drive anywhere farther than across town, I loaded up with caffeine to get me through. Some nights, I'd stay awake. Not because I wanted to.

Now I fall asleep much easier and I stay asleep for a longer block of time. A good solid four hours, then I might wake up (note the time) and go back to sleep till it was time to get up. A few nights in there, I've actually slept from the time I fell asleep till my alarm went off.

And its been great! I enjoy this thing you all call "sleep". Its delightful! Why haven't I been doing this all along!?

And, if you have been following along in this thing called "my life", you'll know that sleeping better helps ease the pain related to Fibromyalgia.

I do have a problem though. My family. The disabled guy doesn't care much about anyone's pain. I just got up from here and asked him some questions about all this. As it turns out, he thinks I'm "blowing all up out of proportion". He thinks I'm exaggerating how I feel. He says: "You get up bitchin' every day." Well, that's not entirely true. I only complain when it reaches the point that I can't hold it in any longer. I don't exaggerate. And I certainly do not "wake up bitchin' every day."

After that disastrous conversation, I decided against asking the kids what they thought about this and the condition I'm in. I already know that one of my kids thinks I exaggerate and one of them acts as though I'm outright lying. The other one is sort of wrapped up in life events, so I'm not even going to bother.

Today was an okay day. I was tired- most likely from the heat- and my skin was only slightly achy. My muscles feel bruised too, but as long as I don't bump into anything, I'm okay. I'm a little more hurt and a bit flabbergasted that nobody in my family cares. Wow.

After almost six years, you'd think I'd be used to it by now.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fibromyalgia is a way of life forced upon the sufferer...

Since my scar story fell apart like so much crumbly cake, except not as delicious, I've sort of let this blog go.

But, two weeks ago, I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I thought about it for a while and figured I could put this blog to good use again and start a personal account of my own adventures with fibromyalgia.

Maybe someone else who is going through what I went through to get to a proper diagnosis will read it and it will help them- or at the very least, they'll chuckle over it and they'll forget about the pain for those few minutes. So, in the next few days, I'll redo the banner and such, and start up talking about... well, me. And we all know how much I like to talk about ME!

They say: "write what you know"... and I know me!

Tentative title: "My Adventure's with Fibromyalgia"... which is somewhat lame. But hey, its a start. Till then, here are a couple links to my regular blog (meaning not the Conversations with the Disabled Guy, not Books are More Fun than Housework)...

~The blog written BEFORE the diagnosis~

And...

~The blog written AFTER the diagnosis~

Till then, here's a cute photo of Luna's puppies- this is Vato (renamed "Drake" by his new owners) and Wah-Lah!, who has no new name yet.