Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Entering Day Three of this "Flareup"

Seriously, man, they need to change the name of "flareup" to something else. The "flare" part gives the illusion it isn't going to last long. Like "hot flash". There's nothing "flash" about it. I've had hot "flashes" last for two hours.

I have fought the urge to get all whiny on my Facebook status today. I really, really wanted to just bitch about it today. I had to change my shirt three times before leaving the house this morning because each one wasn't soft enough. My skin aches today. Where my clothes are touching it, it outright hurts. And itching. Sweet Captain Frobisher, the itching! Why "Captain Frobisher" and not "Jesus" or "Fanny Adams"? Because I like Captain Frobisher- that is to say, I like the guy who plays him at Bristol. I have never walked away from a conversation with him and not been smiling. (also, who the hell is "Fanny Adams" and why is she sweet? I have no idea if the actual Captain Martin Frobisher was sweet or not, but I have absolute proof that the man who portrays him at Bristol is sweet).

I'm sitting here at my desk, listening to Shake Hands With Danger Radio, hoping that I can lose myself in the music. But it isn't working tonight.

I took Vicodin this morning, but it didn't do much other than make me type an email with a lot of typos that I had to fix. Much like I'm typing now, and I'm catching them as I go, because that's how I roll.

I can't sit still. When I sit still, my muscles twitch. So I'm doing that leg-jiggle thing that annoys people who are seated near you in a crowded room. But I'm alone in this room- canine presence notwithstanding- so it annoys nobody but me. Earlier today, I was chilly. Shivering caused me to hurt. Getting goosebumps caused me pain. But putting on a hoodie- which I have since donned- hurts like a bitch too. Being too cold makes me hurt with the shivering and goosebumps. Being too warm makes the itching more intense.

My hands are cold (Raynaud's Syndrome, part of the fibro), but the pain is making them burn as well. I'm also getting the little electrical jolt-y feeling in various places. I suppose the fibrofuckingmyalgia is getting back at me today for mocking that ad yesterday. Also... my ear started ringing this morning and it didn't stop till about a half hour ago (which was an hour after I took my nighttime Vicodin).

Now back to something more fun.

Captain Sir Martin Frobisher...

After discussing with the good Captain Frobisher that my boobshelf is indeed shelf-like, I told him about this photo (or one like it, there are two). Not to be outdone, Frobisher showed us the skills he had... with his codpiece.

This initial discussion was about facial hair. I said that I had some German in me, and I stroked my upper lip and added: "I use a cream. It smells terrible, but it works." Frobisher's companion said that it was "The German way- it smells terrible, but it works!". That's why the Captain is stroking his epic mustache in this photo. (that is his companion's hat on his codpiece).

Captain Sir Martin Frobisher

The good captain attempted this after hearing about my boobshelf photo

Captain Frobisher and Jane the Phoole (another Favorite Person of mine).



At Stronghold, six months after the above video.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I've Seen those Ads, You've Seen those Ads, We've ALL Seen those Ads...

You know the ones, where the woman (always a woman!) is in her business casual clothes complaining that she's got "chronic, widespread pain" and how her doctor told her that attached to those aching muscles are nerves that send messages to the brain.

Wow, lady, I took general science in the eighth grade too! If you haven't witnessed the impressive creativity that is a drug ad- and congratulations, welcome to the Internet- here's a YouTube video of one...



Did you see that? The graphic with the brightly-lit "nerves" is a "dramatization". You know, just in case you believed that's what nerves look like.



I can't take Lyrica. Mostly because when they had me on Gabapentin, I swelled up like a startled blowfish.

See? Yeah. I swear this is a totally real photo of me.



There are many drugs out there that are supposed to help with "chronic, widespread pain" also known as fibrofuckingmyalgia. And to get to a point where one helps with the "chronic, widespread pain" is a crapshoot. Some people get lucky and have certain drugs work for them and they need not seek out more. In my case, the muscle relaxers help me sleep, which usually helps me feel better. I also have the Vicodin for my nightly pain and any spontaneous daytime pain.

But I digress.

In those ads, the woman whinges about her "chronic, widespread pain"- and I don't blame her- but she grasps her shoulder and makes a small wincing face to show her discomfort. Let me tell you what fibrofuckingmyalgia makes me feel like today.

Today, my skin feels hot, but when I touch it, its cool and normal. Under my skin, I have the beginning itches of that "millions of tiny, hairy-legged spiders" thing I've complained about before. I'm hoping that it doesn't escalate because as I type this, I'm an hour from taking my Vicodin at its regularly scheduled nightly time. That hot-feeling skin thing, that's my muscles. They feel like they're being pulled to the point of burning pain. But it isn't really intense, more like an annoyance. The burning pain- you all should know what I'm talking about. You've done a task, be it on purpose or accidentally, where your muscles were overworked. Weight-lifting, bike-riding, carrying a toddler for any length of time. And you can't stop what you're doing, but you can feel your muscles burning.

That would be the lactic acid being released in your muscles. But imagine that feeling all the time. All the time. Right now, sitting here at this computer, typing on this keyboard, my arm muscles burn like I'm in the weight room screaming: "Feel the burn! FEEL THE BURN!!" Except I'm not. I'm sitting here at this computer, typing on this keyboard. There's nothing strenuous about what I'm doing.

This pain I'm having in my muscles, below that burning feeling, isn't a wince-inducing, shoulder-grasping thing. It is actually more like: "please don't touch me or I may have to rip your arm out of the socket and throw it because it hurts." The hoodie I'm wearing hurts my muscles. My clothing is hurting me. I'd be sitting here, at this computer, typing on this keyboard, stark naked if I could, but my computer desk is in the dining room and the dining room and living room are kind of open to each other. And I simply can't afford the therapy my kids would need after seeing their mother surfing on the Internet, while naked.

This chair hurts to sit in as well, but I haven't yet mastered the art of levitation, so there isn't much I can do about that.

I can feel every single muscle movement. Even the ones that are supposed to be unconscious- like breathing and blinking. When I blink, the skin and muscles around my eyes ache. When I breathe, the muscles and ligaments in my chest ache. I feel every muscle ache because my muscles feel like they're pulled to the limit.

Sometimes, when I feel that I can't take the pain much longer- or if the Vicodin is taking too long to take the edge off- I will purposefully press on one body part or flex a body part just so it will hurt more than the other body parts and I can forget about the "chronic, widespread pain" for a few minutes. This time of year is particularly rough because the weather seemingly changes daily and I've got almost nothing to distract me. In the Spring and Summer, I can lose myself for thirty minutes in photography. Then I can lose another hour, sometimes more, by editing the hundred photos I took in that thirty minutes.

I just tossed my hair out of my eyes and felt everything from my head down to my mid-chest burn and scream out a little. The hair is still mostly in my eyes. My "overactive nerves that send messages" don't look all sparkly like they do in that ad. Mine are angry and ugly, and look more like that guy from the toenail fungus ad.

Yeah, this guy.



So there you have it. How fibrofuckingmyalgia makes me feel. And this flareup has been going on for two straight days. And most of the time, I go through my days with that slight burning pain in my muscles. Those are "good days". Today is a moderate day. I didn't take any Vicodin, even though I wanted to. I did spend about an hour curled up under my fleece blankets in bed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

About Falling... as in "On my Ass"...

Last Monday night, my second worst fear happened. I slipped on the ice and tore up my human knee again.

Why is this my second worst fear? Because my worst fear- with my knees, of course- is falling and destroying my cyborg knee. I have this irrational image of the metal knee joint shearing away from bone and leaving me with a blindingly painful rubbery knee. I found out last year that isn't what happens when one damages a metal knee joint. What happens is much worse, involves metal rods and screws and the rebuilding of your femur like a thousand-piece puzzle.

I didn't write a blog about this last week because I wanted to see my surgeon first. I had that appointment this morning. I was hoping that my appointment last year was my last-ever. Well, that's today, dammit. As nice as he and his nurses are, I never want to see them ever again. He agreed.

The good news is that there is nothing wrong with my cyborg knee. It isn't chipped, cracked, injured or otherwise damaged. The human knee has nothing structurally wrong with it from this slip and fall. The bones are intact and not dislocated. The arthritis is "very obvious", similar to what caused me to need the other knee replacement. But it is in no way needing a replacement.

And the injury itself triggered a delightful fibro flareup. Using crutches for three days just about killed my arms. That was a muscle memory I was unhappy with and I wish my muscles would remember the yoga and the walking. I stopped using the crutches and started using the two canes. George and Gracie. Yes, I named them. Eventually, I stopped using two and was down to just the one.




Since I've been putting off writing this blog, I got even lazier and did a video of my route on my deck.



I mentioned a photo in the video. Here's the photo in question- I did some Photoshop to show where the ice/water was when I was old-man shuffling around. And the red X is where I landed on my ass.



And, my knee has a glorious bruise on it. These photos were taken on Wednesday- so not even two days after it happened.

This was taken in the morning, after my shower. Yes... I was naked. YOU'RE LOOKING AT A NAKED PHOTO OF ME! I KNOW, YOU FEEL ASHAMED!



And this one was later in the day. I'm poking the part where my kneecap is supposed to be.



So, according to ol' Doc Bones, I'm doing everything I'm supposed to- ice, elevation, pain meds as needed. And I'm still trying to stay active. As active as one can be while whining about a fibrofuckingmyalgia flareup and a hurt knee. And, the knee exam left me tired and sore. I feel terrible right now. Well, not right now because I took some Vicodin a few hours ago. I felt terrible... Yay, Vicodin!

Also, on Saturday, this happened:

356 of 365/2- CADBURY!!

And today, this happened:

358 of 365/2- The truth is out there...

So if we just ignore the whole slipped-on-the-ice thing, this week wasn't all that bad.