Monday, August 30, 2010

Alas, it was too good to last...

Monday morning brought the usual wake up, lay still for a moment, flex various muscles to see how much they hurt before attempting to rise from the coffin- I mean, bed. And of course, the muscle pain is always there first thing in the morning. One would think that resting all night would bring some relief, but all it does is increase the ache. I manage to make it downstairs, despite the muscle pain, which didn't go away after a few minutes of moving around and the foot pain, which I can only blame myself for- I didn't wear shoes two days in a row. What could I do? It was in the 90s for heat (30s for you Celsius followers) and pulling on a pair of leather Doc Martens is not on the top of my heat index coping techniques.

As I sit here typing at nearly 530 AM, my skin is itchy as hell. My muscles feel like they're being compressed and are trying to escape through the itchy skin.

I need to get all this out of my body before next Sunday. My 17 year old daughter and I are going to the ren faire again. I can only hope that its cooler than it was the last two times I went. I lasted till about 2 or 3 PM both times. That's a good long day, but its also a long time to sweat non-stop (I'm not exaggerating, I literally started sweating the moment I got out of my air-conditioned truck till I got back into the air-conditioned truck.

Hopefully by Sunday, I'll have a stretch of good days to build up my spoons.

What the hell am I talking about?

Only this- "The Spoon Theory" by Christine Miserandino 

If you touch my spoons, I'll break your fingers! Which is a lie, because if I broke your fingers, it'd cost me a spoon and I need all my spoons.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's this? A whole week of feeling good?

I really don't want to get excited about this. But I've gone since the last blog post (a week ago) without taking daytime pain meds. And I've done a lot in my days. Since last week, the Disabled Guy etsy shop sold two birdhouses and two of my photographs. (in case you don't follow my every move, we're selling stuff to try and raise money to send our daughter to New York City with the high school orchestra). So I've been to the post office five times in the last week (five because I had to go once to get boxes for the birdhouses). I've been to the store- grocery, Wal-Mart and to Fashion Bug to buy jeans with the 17 year old (school starts on Wednesday). All without having to take pain meds in the daytime.

So, I'm pretty sure the Cyclobenzaprine is doing something good for me. It is helping with the sleep issue. The longer blocks of sleep are a good thing.

I have had a few days where I was achy in the daytime, itchy too. Like right now, my wrists ache and my skin is slightly itchy. My muscles are a bit sore, but compared to how I felt just a month ago, this is a huge improvement. I'll take "slightly achy" over "agonizing pain" any day. Of course, my deepest, not-so-darkest fantasy is PAIN-FREE, because I don't remember what that feels like.

Despite the good things about the Cyclobenzaprine, I still get that tired-ish hangover feeling in the mornings. Again, though, if that's one of the things I have to live with to feel human in the daytime, its not that bad of a trade-off. Oh, and the dry mouth. I already take a water pill (Hydrochlorothiazadide) for the edema I've had since late 2004 and I went through a period of time with the dry mouth from that. But now, from the muscle relaxer, I've got pretty bad cotton mouth. I can sit with a mouthful of water and it still feels dry.

I got some mouth spray called Biotene for dry mouth and its rather disgusting. Its 'gentle mint" flavored but its more like "we rubbed some Juicy Fruit on the bottom of a wet shoe and then made a spray out of it". Not good at all. Tastes awful and doesn't do much for the dry mouth. It has been suggested more than once that I try sour candy. So I got some "Icebreakers" brand sour things. They worked okay and even though I dislike sour candies, they weren't so bad. Except they're sugar-free. They have an ingredient called "Sorbitol". I don't know how to say this delicately, so I'll just do the best I can. "Sorbitol" helps people who are having a difficult time with... umm... let's just say it helps you "go" and leave it at that. So, if I use a lot of these Icebreakers Sours, let's just say I don't get to spend that much time sitting at the computer.

So, I will find an alternative because I have stuff to do that requires me to leave the house. And the fact that I've felt damn good in the last week and I can leave the house, well, that's all the better.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A pretty good day. Then I went to bed. Then I woke up

Friday wasn't bad. Two of our puppies went home on Friday. I did a half-assed job cleaning up the living room a little for the impending strangers- then apologized and explained that my kids don't do housework because they all have jobs and I'm in pain. Sometimes, I feel like saying, "We're lucky I'm upright, wearing clothes and coherent enough to piece these words together in a sentence."

But, Friday was overall okay. I took some Vicodin about a half hour before the first couple arrived to pick up their puppy. Then there was a brief comedy of errors in the attempt to get the inside baking element out of the oven. (it died about three days ago, and we had to wait till we got paid for a puppy to buy a new one). I got the replacement element and the spouse installed it and now our 16 year old oven works again. So, I went to the store.

I zipped through the store like the Me of old. Which is strange, because the Old Me is actually the Younger Me. I liked the Younger Me. She was happy and healthy and quick. A little chirpy and if I met her on the street, I might find her annoying, but I miss her.

More times than I care to remember from yesterday, I was completely drenched in sweat. It was humid and hot (around 90 Fahrenheit) and any move I made outside caused me to sweat like a long-distance runner. At the grocery store, by the time I got into my truck, I was dripping as though I had run a marathon with a Gatorade drip in my arm. But, aside from the intense sweating (which I'm sure was a combination of my extra activity and the warm temps and high humidity).

Lately, the humidity makes me feel worse, but I attribute the daytime Vicodin to the fact that it didn't seem to bother me. I was quite pleased yesterday. Felt good. Walked good. Seemed to have energy that I hadn't had in a while. I even considered writing about it last night, but around 830 PM, I was sooo tired. So very tired. I was in bed by 930, asleep by 10.

I think I slept through the night. I don't recall waking up in the night like I used to, so that's a good thing. When my alarm went off, it felt as if I'd just fallen asleep- which could mean one of two things: I slept so good it felt as though it sped by, or- I woke up just as tired as I was when I fell asleep. It was a light combination of the two. As soon as I tried to sit up, every single muscle in my body rejected the mere thought of moving. Every muscle ached. Every tendon is tender (oh, that's an unintentional pun, I swear). My muscles feel hot. The skin on my hands feels like its burning and itching. So, a good day followed by a sore and achy morning.

Yesterday, I had a pain in my wrist. I've had this pain before. It comes and goes. As long as I don't put weight on my wrist, it doesn't really hurt, but the second I put my hand down or try to grip something, the pain shoots through. Now, its only in my wrist. It doesn't jolt down the fingers or up to my elbow. It affects my grip strength and I view it as a mere inconvenience. But it got me to thinking about how this fibromyalgia thing is testy. Pain comes and goes. So does the energy. Some days I feel like I could conquer the world. And some days, I feel like the world has kicked me in the Lady-nads and left me on the floor to let the minor planets finish me off. (I just had the thought of the planets circling my pained body, curled on the floor, while they dance around me, snapping their fingers like West Side Story... "Once you're a planet, you're a planet for life!" *snap, snap*

What do you want? Its 510 AM!

Oh, and two more puppies go home today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Itching, aching, twitching, oh my!

I've been slightly itchy all day. A slight bit of burning, like a friction-y heat just under the skin.

And my muscles ache. I woke up so achy that I thought I'd been working out too hard. But that isn't happening.

About four PM (its about six PM as I type this), my muscles got twitchy. I'm a regular poster on a website called Regretsy and the site was down for about a half hour. In a Facebook post, the site owner announced the downtime. I posted a reply saying I was having withdrawal twitching. Well, I was actually twitching. I ended up taking my Vicodin about a half hour early tonight. When the twitching and the friction-y burning feeling ganged up on me, I'd had enough.

I'd really like my feet to stop hurting too. That's not a fibromyalgia issue, just a bitching for GP (general purpose for all you non-military types).

I shared photos with you last time and in case you don't read any of my other blogs or have me friended on Facebook, photography is my hobby and slight profession. I say "slight" because I have yet to make any money off of it, but I'm trying. I'm a recently-published amateur photographer. Well, there are some days that even the photos don't distract me from this mess.

Oh, and in case you had no idea- my "recently published photo" is hanging in a Denny's Restaurant in South Beloit, Illinois. I'm fairly well chuffed about that. People I know (okay, my adult-aged son and my parents) have called me to tell me they've seen my photo.

Now back to my regularly scheduled whinging. I wish this Vicodin would kick in so this freakin' itching would stop.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"I feel achy"... "My body is sore..."

Neither of those is even close to being accurate. Those are the words that I say, but they don't come close to describing how I feel.

Yes, my muscles ache.

Yes, my body is sore.

Those short statements do not even touch the depth of how much things ache or how sore things can be. I was tired today from taking a shower. The very act of standing in the shower and moving my arms around my body as I washed tired me out. Sitting on my bed and holding a blow-dryer in one hand and running my fingers through my damp hair... well, it made me tired too. But at least I was sitting down and I had my elbow resting on my leg to ease that muscle tiredness.

Pulling my clothes on caused my skin to send little jolt-y electrical-y shocks through the muscles underneath. I didn't put shoes on again today- which I know I'll regret in the morning, but for today it just hurt too much. The very thought of trying to lift my feet with the weight of my Docs on them was enough to make me tolerate the pain in my spurred feet. I considered putting on my Converse sneakers, but that would have meant I would have to stand up and find socks, then sit down and put the shoes and socks on my feet. And I just didn't want things touching my feet today.

Today was one of those days where I felt like a big bruise. My bra hurt for me to wear, but I wore it anyway because I don't like to go braless in the daytime. I'm somewhat well-endowed and going bra-free is just... well, incredibly noticeable. I finally gave in and took two Vicodin pills. I didn't want to, but I had stuff to do today (I didn't get half of it done, but it wasn't end-of-the-world important). About an hour later, I felt better. More like "flu-achy" and less like "Pull off my skin and scream" achy. Two 5/500 Vicodin pills muted the pain, but it made me feel the itching under the skin in my hands. At the moment, I'm two hours past three Vicodin pills and an hour past one muscle relaxer (10 mgs) and while I'm feeling pretty good overall, I still have the itching under my skin. As the Vicodin wore off after a few hours, the pain didn't come rushing back. Instead, I felt my muscles tightening. You know that feeling you get after you've sat at your desk, sort of hunched over, working on a project for a few hours? Its like that, but there's a constant pulling and a slight burning feeling in the muscles. And it isn't just in my neck or my shoulders, its all over. From my fingertips to my toes. I just happen to feel it in my shoulders and neck first.

It wasn't a total loss today. I took advantage of my slight Vicodin buzz and the easing of my pain levels to put my dog Gypsy in a headlock and force her to be in my photo of the day. I'm doing a 365 Days Self-Portrait project. The gist of it is that you take a photo a day- every day- of yourself. It can be a portrait or abstract or anything, as long as YOU take the photo and YOU are in the photo. Even just a fingertip. I've done two fingertip photos (in the same week). I like those because when people do them, they're damn near playful. Mine was, anyway. But Gypsy, my German Shepherd, hates the camera. It comes from my near-constant cataloging of her life with a little box with a bright and annoying flashy light on it. She always turns away at the last moment. I take great photos without a flash, but she's having none of it. I managed to get four shots of Gypsy in various types of choke-holds for the camera. And because I can, and because it makes me feel as if I've accomplished something, I share them now. Three were rejects and one was my submission. My daughter chose the submission because she said it was funny.

172 reject- Gypsy hates the camera

172- reject, She just does not like the camera at all.

172- reject, Gypsy really hates the camera

And here's the submission that Christine chose because she thought it was funny. Gypsy was watching people through the trees and I sort of popped up behind her for the photo.

172 of 365- I tricked Gypsy into a photo

And because I mentioned it- here's my first "fingertip" photo. My mouse pad is the map of the world with water droplets.

154 of 365- So sleepy...