Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Parenting Classes

We are 1/2 through with our parenting classes, called MAPP training or classes towards adoption! I guess last week was hubby's week, this week was mine. Last week we had to do this visualization and then tell how it made you feel. Well it made Stephen feel very angry. This week we were learning about different parenting styles, Positive and negative consequences. Negative consequences are like questioning, sarcasm, and more. And, I don't mean the child's actions, I mean the parents. More specifically parent's reactions to children's actions. I saw a lot of my childhood in the "negative" consequences. I found it hard to keep from crying and to leave the room. It's all a process and I made it through. :)
On the plus side, I made semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies with pecans and splenda and everyone loved them.
I am thinking of taking my 4 year old little cousin to swim lessons this summer, that would be fun!

Early signs of fibromyalgia

by Dr. Deborah Bauers
 Fibromyalgia has been called both a disease and a syndrome. From its earliest signs through the development and duration of its more chronic symptoms it is neither life threatening nor degenerative. Its pathology does not manifest as a true disease process and yet the chronic pain that a fibromyalgia sufferer experiences can make it a debilitating condition. Its complex set of physiological abnormalities make it a recognized health issue that can create significant pain and fatigue.
Fibromyalgia is a rheumatoid-like condition that impacts the soft tissues, tendons, and muscles of the body causing exhaustion and discomfort. One of its earliest but most conclusive signs is often recognized and identified as the presence of pressure sensitive trigger points that are quite painful when palpated.  These pressure points are usually located behind the head and neck, on the shoulders, and behind the knees and elbows.
There are numerous symptoms often associated with fibromyalgia many of which can also be symptomatic of other autoimmune diseases.  For this reason, a rheumatologist or physician who specializes in treating autoimmune diseases is the best healthcare professional to diagnose fibromyalgia. Before the diagnosis can be made, blood work and x-rays must be done to rule out osteoarthritis, thyroid problems, and other auto-immune diseases such as lupus, Sjrogen’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
Earliest symptoms, together with specific pressure points, that often suggest the onset of fibromyalgia include the following:
1. Pain in the groin
2. Difficulty climbing stairs and hills
3. Chronic sinus problems
4. Dry mouth
5.  Stiffness upon waking
6. Dry eyes
7.  Difficulty swallowing
8.  Chronic fatigue
Numerous other symptoms may occur and become chronic as an individual struggles with fibromyalgia over time.  These include:
1. Irritable bowel
2.  Headaches
3. Tingling and/or numbness in the extremities
4.  Depression
5. Bladder spasms
6. Difficulty concentrating
7. Memory loss
8. Dizziness
9. Sleep disturbances
Much controversy surrounds the origins and precipitating factors that may result in an individual having fibromyalgia.  While it was originally believed that this syndrome was largely the result of the psycho-social factors, more recent studies suggest that it may onset after a virus or illness.  Physical trauma to the body, endocrine imbalances, and deficits in the production of neurotransmitters are all being studied as possible stimuli for the onset of fibromyalgia. 
Fibromyalgia sufferers frequently experience hyper-sensitivity to certain sounds, smells, and tactile experiences and are uncomfortable in large crowds or in the midst of a lot of confusion. Prolonged exposure to overstimulation tends to exacerbate both pain and fatigue.
Overall mental health, coping mechanisms, support systems, and ability to manage stress also appear to intensify pain that is felt by fibromyalgia sufferers.  Certain personality types appear more prone to develop this syndrome and individuals who tend to be more negative in their thinking experience greater levels of fibromyalgia-related pain.
Fibromyalgia is best treated by a comprehensive plan that includes pain management, cognitive and physical therapies, and stress management techniques. Fibromyalgia sufferers must learn to set boundaries that ensure that they get enough rest and moderate exercise, while learning strategies to overcome the perception of helplessness that often accompanies the syndrome.

Southwestern Steak Salad with Salsa-Spiked Dressing

Yields 4 servings
1 lb. flank steak
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mild chili powder
¼ tsp salt
Nonstick cooking spray
½ red onion, diced
½ lb. mixed greens (about 6 cups)
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 can (15-oz.) black beans, drained, well-rinsed
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, diced
½ cup tomato salsa
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Sprinkle the flank steak with cinnamon, chili powder and salt. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Coat with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place the steak in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning once until the steak is lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the oven and cook 12 minutes for medium rare, 15 to 17 minutes for medium. Transfer to a cutting board.
Place the greens, black beans, pepper, onion and cilantro in a large bowl.
Prepare the dressing: Place the salsa, lime juice, cumin, olive oil and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Drizzle over the greens and toss until the greens are coated. Transfer the salad to a large platter.
Thinly slice the steak and transfer to platter. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Facts (per servings): calories 330, fat
13 g (sat. fat 4 g), cholesterol 53 mg, protein 31
g, carbohydrates 26 g, fiber 8 g, sodium 620 mg,
sugars 48 g

This recipe is from

Insulin Time

Last week, or maybe the week before, I went to my doctor for a physical needed for the adoption process. She checked my blood sugar. I had just eaten a granola bar. I didn't think with only 12 grams of sugar they would cause a problem with my blood sugar, wow was I wrong.
I admit I haven't checked my blood sugar in a long long time. I kept procrastinating ordering a new meter. I had finally ordered a new meter and supplies the week before I went to the doctor, and it arrived, thankfully, just a few days after my appointment. What I haven't told you yet is how high my blood sugar was at the doctor's office. My doctor asked her nurse to check my blood sugar with their meter and it was 264! My doctor also ordered blood tests. A few days later the nurse called to tell me my blood sugar was out of control and my doctor feels it is time for me to start insulin. INSULIN!
The nurse scheduled me for an appointment with the specialist, I go next week. I am still scared but I have been doing some research. (of course, I have!)
One of the most important things I learned was actually from a diabetes magazine I had brought home from the doctor's office. The magazine is called "Guide to Diabetes". The website is The article to which I am referring is a real life story "Insulin has been a blessing". One thing that helped me stop beating myself up about the granola bars is this quote "I thought taking insulin means you have failed, you didn't do a good job of managing diabetes, and it meant you were near the end". Further "As type 2 diabetes progresses over time, the pancreas produces less insulin even when you are doing everything right to control your sugar levels. Many people with type 2 diabetes will probably need some form of insulin replacement after eight to 10 years, says Luigi Meneghini, MD. MBA, director of the Eleanor and Joseph Kosow Diabetes Treatment Center at the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami".
I'm not pushing off the blame. I need to lose weight, and thanks to well I don't know which of the new medications I'm on that has caused my appetite to disappear, but I'm grateful. I'm watching my carbs especially. For instance, we had a Memorial Day barbecue. I had 1/2 a hamburger bun, a hamburger, and a bratwurst. I didn't eat any veg but I didn't eat any chips either. Tonight we went to Steak & Shake before our parenting class. Instead of a double steakburger with a full order of fries and a shake. I had a single steakburger, I cut the meat and bun in half and doubled the meat using just 1/2 the bun, ate 1/3 order of fries and had coke zero. Later for a snack I ate 1 chocolate chip cookie made with splenda and semisweet chocolate chips (and pecans), and a few raw carrot sticks. I am down 11 pounds so far! 11!! I admit I have been feeling a little weak and shaky, but this is possibly due to my blood sugar. A fasting blood sugar is still 130, way too high. I'm hoping once I start using insulin I will feel better and maybe even start walking the dog a little further each day again. Although June is not the time to start long walks in Florida!!! In the coming week I will receive a blood sugar / food journal in the mail from the manufacturer of my new glucose meter. I'm hoping to start keeping track of my meals, and sugar levels too.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Psoriatic Arthritis: A REAL Diagnosis at last???

In January I was sent to a new rheumatologist. Dr Youngblood sent me for a series of xrays, blood tests, urine tests, and frankly that was January so I'm not sure what else! I finally had my follow up appointment today. She was very nice and spent a lot of time with me. She had immediately thought what previous doctors had misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, and other miscellaneous  diseases, disorders whatever, as an inflammatory arthritis. The tests were to determine what type. 

The test ruled out lupus, which was another doctor's first instinct, and after tons of research mine too. But, lupus is in the inflammatory arthritis family. The tests did not determine which type of inflammatory arthritis, but confirmed the existence of general inflammatory arthritis. Including inflammation, of course, bone spurs heavily in my feet, ankles, sacroiliac joints, spine, and knuckles. The ones in my hands aren't so bad but there is also the presence of osteoarthritis. The bone spurs in my spine are creating bridges and fusing my spine together. Nothing that sounds like any fun! Apparently my elbows are showing early signs of psoriasis, which is why she thinks it is psoriatic arthritis. If it is not psoriatic arthritis, she said it is something close. She says there are too many possibilities to maybe narrow the diagnosis 100%.
Dr Youngblood prescribed new medication. Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.Sulfazine EC is also an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, I have to start taking flexeril 3 times a day for rib spasms, trust me those are no fun! I'm not sure what treatment happens for the bone spurs, but this is a start. I go back in two months.
So lets all cross our fingers (if you can) and hope first, this diagnosis is finally accurate, and, second that the treatment helps. :)

Heart Gallery & Adoption

Stephen and I have always talked about fostering kids or adopting. I don't know where this desire in me comes from, except I know there are so many kids out there who are having a worse childhood than mine, and need a good home. This past Christmas I was watching the Dave Thomas Home for the Holidays special and I couldn't take it anymore. I'm 42. If we are going to do this, we better do it soon! I immediately went on the website for the Heart Gallery and found a 12 year old boy and his short story ripped open my heart. Soon, I had Stephen convinced. He's a big pushover so he didn't need much convincing. Plus, he would love a son to play video games with and teach hockey to. Next, we went to orientation. The second step is taking 10 weeks of parenting classes, these are called MAPP classes. Unfortunately, the March classes were already full so we had to wait until May, but guess what? It's MAY!! We start next Tuesday and we are so excited!
Of course we are scared, we've never had a child to be responsible for! But, one thing we are not afraid of is having a support system. I have a large extended family with my Aunt, and cousins, plus my niece & nephew. My aunt & cousins took me in when I didn't have any other family. My husband's mom and brother are pretty terrific (shhhh don't tell them I said that!), plus he has a large family of multiple aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents that live nearby. I also have my two best friends. One I've had for about 27 years, and the other about 14 years. I have absolutely no doubt that every one of our family members will embrace an adopted child as if he or she was born in our family and had grown up with us their entire lives. I'm so excited to be able to offer our kid not only ourselves but the wonderful extended families we have.
I'm currently reading Ashley Judd's book entitled "All That Is Bitter and Sweet". Her first chapter is called "Family of Chance, Family of Choice". She says "My family of choice is a colorful assortment of surrogate grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who infuse me with love, belonging, and acceptance. My family of origin, the one into which I was born, was also brimming with love but was not a healthy family system." Lets be honest, who's family is ever a 100% healthy family system? We can not choose our family of chance it's our family of origin, we get what we get. But, we have our families of choice. We can choose to surround ourselves with love and support. I've had a friend or two over the years who I was close to, long term friends. Over time these relationships became toxic to me. Filling my life with their negativity about my marriage, my life. I made a choice. As tough as it was I ended those friendships, because it's my choice. My family of choice is supportive and loving. My family of choice does include members of my family of chance, not everyone, but I'm learning with family, not just friends it is a matter of choice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grandparents... the best memories

My best memories are of my grandma and grandpa. I was talking to my best friend the other day about grandparents. My mother wouldn't agree with this, but she isn't really involved in my niece and nephews life. She was when my Dad was alive, but not really since he passed. Her mom doesn't either. This seems so different from when I was growing up. When I was a kid Grandpa would take us to the store to pick up a case of beer, we'd also pick up a bag of Brach's candies, and we got to make the mix! Another treat would be going to the Dairy Queen. My cousins lived in Dubuque, just over the bridge and my cousin Tracy was close to my age so I always begged for her to come stay when I did. Of course we had our moments! Tracy will tell you the truth, we'd argue, I'd go in the bedroom and lock the door. I'd lay down and fall asleep and when I woke up the door would be open :) and all would be fine.
One of our favorite things to do was to go to happy hour at the marina. Grandma and grandpa would get a beer and we'd get soda. I think there was a bowl of peanuts or something. Looking back I'm not sure what made it so magical, except maybe feeling grown-up sitting at the bar with our grandparents.
Other times grandpa might take us to "the beach". It's funny to think of that little strip of beach now. Comparing it to the beaches here in Florida it seems so small, probably dirty. But, it was quiet. No one was ever there, no sunbathing or swimming on the shores of the Mississippi under the Dubuque/East Dubuque bridge, but we walked and picked up seashells. If we were good we might get to go downtown for a hotdog. Just so you know the population of East Dubuque is less than 2,000 and the "downtown" was about 2 blocks long. The hot dogs were decadent, I am not sure, but I think the name of the bar was Mullgrew's. I could be wrong about that. There was also a pharmacy, and an Okey-Dokey grocery store. It seems so foreign now as little kids we could walk the mile into town by ourselves. I remember when I was about 5 (this was one of my Dad's favorite stories) I asked my Dad if could go to the little corner store to get some gum. He said no. Well, determined as I was I took my little purse outside and put some pretty white decorative rocks from our yard and filled it up. I then walked the couple of blocks to the store and tried to buy gum with the rocks. One of the neighbor kids, older kids who babysat, was there, took pity on me and bought the gum. Man was I in trouble. It took an incredible amount of gum to confess who bought it for me. But the thing is even at 5 it wasn't a big deal to walk to the corner store or go across the street to the park, alone. Now.... wow, times have changed!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Lion on the Stairs

I have a few memories from my early childhood years. The problem with a few of them is I'm not sure if I'm remember the event itself or the photo of the event. For instance, I remember my parents looking for me all over the neighborhood, frantic, thinking I was lost. I was upstairs in my room having a tea party. I saw them, heard them, looked out the window, but for some reason the thought to say "hey, I'm up here" wasn't something that dawned on me. I don't believe I was being malicious, just I heard them and went oh ok, and back to my business.
Another memory is one of those photo memories. We had a dog, a toy poodle. Pierre, or Lucky Pierre as my dad called him. I believe mom had other names for him as he preferred to pee on the floor in our back room rather than outside! I remember being in my white confirmation dress and Pierre being in the pictures. So, it's not really the event I remember. I remember the photo.
I wonder what a shrink would say if I told them I still remember a recurring nightmare I had when I was 5-6. You realize this was over 35 years ago, right? We had a two story house and in the dream I was on the stairs spying on my mother and her friend in the dining room. And somehow there was a lion crawling up the stairs to pounce on me, my mother oblivious to me, the lion or to my imminent danger. Talk about a prelude. My mother.
One of my earliest memories is me asking my Grandmother why my mom hated me. Mother has never been good with honesty and she's not going to like me writing this, but these are my memories. She says I was jealous of my brother. In one way I've never felt a moment of jealousy towards my brother. In another way maybe, but not in the way she means. She means that he was brought home from the hospital, became the center of attention, and I was jealous. No. On the other hand, anyone who was ever close to my family can and will tell you Brian is her favorite. To this day, he is her favorite. My dad repeatedly said "it doesn't matter what Michele does, from the moment she enters the house till the minute she leaves, it's wrong. her hair, her clothes, her friends, nothing is right". If I was jealous it was because he did everything right in her eyes (no matter what he did wrong), and I did nothing right.
Many would say my dad had a favorite, daddy's little girl. I'd have to disagree. I'd say he had to compensate.  He had to play peacemaker, keep her away from me. My uncle told me one time that all parents have a child they pick on, for him it was his daughter. I don't know if this is true (whether he picked on her, or whether all parents have a kid they pick on). What that statement meant to me was her actions were visible to others, they were confirmed, not just in my head. A few years ago I realized in a way my brother needed her more. Sometimes I think parents have a six sense about this, I've seen it in other parents. They favor the weaker child. I'm very independent, I needed my mother sure. Don't we all, but not in the way my brother did. Trust me I'm not excusing this behavior, it's just something I have witnessed.
I want to say some things changed for me when I went away to college, but more after that when I moved across the country to California. One day I was on the phone, I called the house to talk to my dad and she started yelling at me. I hung up. How liberating was it to realize I was several thousand miles away, I didn't have to listen to it anymore!
I'd had other realizations in the past. Maybe the first one was in high school I was assigned a paper in lit class on mental abuse. Suddenly the remarks "you're fat (all 114 lbs of me) no boy is ever going to like you", and more became all too real, I can't tell you other comments, I don't remember others. What I remember is having a private meeting with my teacher because I didn't think I could finish the assignment. My tears, and her understanding, what a wonderful teacher. True, mother used many of dad's belt buckles, and broke enough wooden spoons she eventually bought a pine paddle and used that and plastic spoons. Trust me plastic hurts even worse.
When I was about 16 I ran away. I'm not sure exactly when. It had to be during my senior year of high school. The summer between my junior and senior year I had gone to a summer immersion Spanish program at Eckerd College. I was going to my friend Debbie's to hang out, my mom was giving me a ride. Now Debbie lived a few miles away, and she didn't really know the name of the streets and neither did I. She gave me directions like "take the second left, then turn right at the first road". I hung up the phone and my mother said "you didn't get the names of the streets" and backhanded me across the face, bruising my cheek. This was a first. Her signature move was digging her fingernails into your arms until they bled, but punching in the face was new. I was hurt and shocked but didn't run away.
Two days later I came home from babysitting. I tried to go straight to my room and avoid her but she had other plans. She stopped me and said "Debbie called, and Jordan called". I started to walk away. She called me back "I'm not through with you yet. Your father and I are getting a divorce and it's all your fault". My fault because she hit me across the face, because she was out of control. I went to my room, afraid she would come to my room I climbed out of the window and walked about a mile to the nearest pay phone. I called my best (and still best) friend to come pick me up. She did. Her parents had me call my dad at the bowling alley and tell him where I was. He picked me up, I'm not sure where we went, but we went to some little diner and talked. He said they were getting a divorce, but it wasn't my fault. He said my mom had mental issues.
I don't know what happened but they did not get a divorce.I spent the night at Debbie's. The divorce was never mentioned again.
My parents met New Years Eve, got knocked up circa Valentines Day, engaged Easter, and married Memorial Day. I think my mom blamed me for her life. She married someone she barely knew, at age 22. A life that wasn't easy, my dad drank in those early years, and she blamed me. She took it out on me. If not for me she would not have had to get married and would not have been stuck in that life. They fought, mostly about me. Eventually, after I moved out of the house, they came to be in a happy loving place, and had a happy marriage. My mother and I, we've never come to that place.
We don't speak now. In fact, my family doesn't speak to her. I've spent my entire life trying to get her to love me, to accept me, to get her approval. Eventually you have to come to the realization that this is not going to happen. I don't think I'm there yet, don't tell my husband but I think deep inside me there is a little flame of hope that refuses to go away. For him, it's simple. The last time she hurt me was the final time for him. He said "that's it! we are not doing this anymore. I am not coming home to find you in tears over her. We've done everything we could. When she was evicted from her house my mom, and I, plus our entire moving crew (plus my cousins) packed her house and moved her stuff into storage, it's never enough for her. I won't see her hurt you anymore. She will not email you, call you, or even facebook you. I'm done". So we're done... for now.

My biggest fear as I went to college was she would start picking on my brother. She had begun to before I left. My father told her if she did he would leave her. I think this may have saved my brother.

Addiction, My Brother, My Family...

Funny, I don't remember a lot from my childhood. I'm assuming this is because I have blocked it out. I know we all have issues stemming from our childhoods Mine are better than some, worse than others. Some people were abused less, some more.
My actual first memory is of my brother when he was brought home from the hospital. My mother had him on the changing table in his room and as little boys do, he peed on me! Ah prelude to what follows, lol! A few years later I paid him back by accidentally burning his leg. I was about 5 and he must have been 2. I decided it was a good idea to make my parents breakfast in bed. My brother wanted to be helpful and put a paper towel over the pan. ON A GAS STOVE. The problem wasn't that I was trying to make breakfast, the problem was I talked him out of telling our parents about the third degree burn on his leg for quite a while.
Until recent years I have had a good relationship with my brother. Even now, we really don't speak, but this is not borne from a disagreement or problems between us. The separation is entirely induced by me. You see my brother is an addict. Alcoholic, drug addict, whatever you want to say. He's not into crack or heroin, more like xanax type drugs. Frankly, I miss my brother. However, I miss the brother I know, not the homeless looking addict he has become. This person is a stranger I don't want to know, and can't have in my life, it's too painful.
The addiction started in his teenage years, smoking pot. I'm not for or against pot. I've been known to partake once in a great while myself. Honestly, if you have fibromyalgia a single puff or two stops muscle spasms immediately, and helps you sleep. The problem is it can be what they call a "gateway" drug. I hate to say that. Because it's not for me. Still, I know other people who smoking pot has lead to harder drugs, and we've had a lot of issues with drugs in my extended family with drugs, both in the past and in the current tense. I don't have a problem with a little smoke once in a while, but the other stuff, it just takes control of your life and ruins it.
So my brother was brought home once by the cops, busted smoking pot. I think he had to go to counseling then. What I don't understand is why he started. Maybe it just seemed cool. My dad never abused us and he was mom's favorite, he never did anything wrong in her eyes. Bad grades, busted for pot smoking, whatever, he was still mom's golden boy. She never abused him, what did he have to escape from?
After high school graduation he attempted junior college, but it really wasn't for him. He started out young as a telemarketer in my dad's business and eventually worked his way to manager. Groomed by my dad. I know he and dad would go to lunch and Brian would have 2 or 3 beers. Mom and I begged dad to talk to him about this, as he'd go home after work and drink another 6 pack. I think dad did talk to him a few times but my dad had his own drinking demons from his own youth.
I don't remember much about those times. My mother always says I think my dad was perfect. I know he wasn't, I remember being young and being drug out of bed in our pj's to go with mom so she could drag dad out of some bar. I don't know when he got smart, and straightened out, but the point is eventually he did. My brother is almost 40 and he never has.
Brian really went off the deep end after my dad passed. I don't know if he blames himself for losing the business, or if that is just the excuse he uses. I can tell you though, the business closing wasn't his fault. The home improvement business was on it's way downhill when my dad passed, who knows the stress could have even added to my dad's stroke. This was a crucial time for my brother though. He started drinking heavily, then he started working for a guy he met in a bar who introduced him to drugs. During this time he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, given his first prescription and introduction to xanax. Sure, xanax is helpful, trust me I've been in the throes of an anxiety attack many times. But xanax isn't helpful when taken 3 or 4 at a time with alcohol! This is the addict.
Eventually he lost his family. He's not allowed to see his kids, and if they were my kids I wouldn't let him see them either. My niece doesn't remember him, he's been gone from her life since she was about 2. My nephew hates him. I can understand that. As a kid I would feel abandoned. I would feel like he made a choice, and I believe he did. I know addicts will tell me it's not a choice, it's an addiction. But don't you make a choice to get help? Doesn't a cancer patient make a choice to get help?
My mother took him to AA, she's still heavily involved in al-anon. My husband and I took him him several times. One time he had been living on the street, sleeping under bushes, eating at soup kitchens. Another time I found him on my doorstep. He asked me to take him to jail to turn himself in for a dui. He spent 3 months in the local jail. When he was released my husband and I took him in again. The rule was no drinking. The first thing he did was sneak a 6 pack of beer in the window of his bedroom. Not too much time before he started getting slightly abusive with me. Not hitting, and I don't remember specifically what he did, my husband probably does. I do remember Steve picked him up by his shirt and threw him out.
Now a days I haven't seen him in a few years. I have friends who have run into him though and they tell me he's still super skinny, and still looks like a homeless person. I wish I could say I have hope for him to realize he has a problem but I don't. One of these days I will get a phone call that he is gone.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I’m a Spoonie, are you?

First I want to apologize to everyone for not writing in so long. I’ve been saving my hands for other ventures, mostly watercolor painting.

Today, thanks to Twitter, I discovered a brilliant mind. Christine Miserandino is the author of The Spoon Theory.

Daily we deal with the “but you don’t look sick” or “why can’t you?” or even worse “you’re just lazy”. Christine’s best friend asked her to explain how she feels on a daily basis. Christine thought for a while and handed her a bunch of spoons. Everyday those with illness start off with so many spoons each day. Some days we may have more spoons, some days less, but each day we start with “x” amount of limited spoons. Spoons = capabilities = tasks = energy. Today, I got up. This cost me a spoon. In fact, I didn’t get much sleep as I was awaken after only five hours. This costs me another spoon. I got up, went to the bathroom, threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth, and made a bowl of cereal. This cost me a spoon. I hung out with my neighbor and painted a picture, this cost me a spoon. I made dinner, another spoon. I may only have one spoon left, I’m saving it in reserve as I’ve been sick all week. After all, I don’t want to borrow from tomorrow’s spoons.

If I stay up to late watching tv I will be nauseous, and hurting, so I might lose my spoon yet.

I think I’ll look for a silver spoon ring on ebay to remind me to always count my spoons, how about you?

Dazed and Confused - In the GROCERY STORE

To be totally honest I’m not sure if I should be sharing this with you, or why I am, but I gotta let it out somewhere. I went to the grocery store tonight, my typical Friday night event, grocery list in hand. Remember that, grocery list in hand because it’s important. When suddenly I’m just confused. Confused about what I’m supposed to be doing. I mean in the grocery store, with the grocery list, and totally lost and confused as to what I’m supposed to be doing. I wander around for about half an hour trying to figure it out, panic starting to burble up inside of me like acid reflux.

I decide to call my husband for a rescue, mind you I’m all of a mile from my house and it’s straight down the road. But, my cell phone is in the car charging so I decide to just leave. I paid for the two measly bags worth of stuff I did manage to grab before totally losing my marbles, and maybe a few things during the mental state I can only refer to as extreme stupidity.  I walked out, threw the stuff in the trunk and hesitated for a moment about driving home. But, I was feeling lucid and like I said it’s only a mile straight ahead.

I came home, left the two bags in the trunk. Opened the door to my husband asking me questions and wondering why I’m mad at him for some reason. Babe, not everything is about you. I ignored him and just crawled in bed, pulled the covers over my head and cried.

I know this is what fibrofog is all about, but damn, it doesn’t make me feel any less stupid.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Mystery Continues

I went to a new rheumatologist on Wednesday, Dr. Youngblood. She seems good and bad. Bad because she doesn't believe in fibromyalgia. But, in a good way. I know that makes no sense at all. She believes that there is always an underlying reason and that doctors are too lazy to dig. I hate going to the rheumy. I mean who with fibro doesn't? Getting poked and prodded and asked "does this hurt?" Um just count the "OW"s. Who knew my ribs were so tender? or, my right hip? Apparently, not me. I don't need all my fingers and toes squeezed to see if they hurt, I told you that. Damn, the toes on my right foot still hurt! Actually, I am just finishing my second cold of the season and it's set off a massive flare so everything hurts. Back, shoulders, arms, down to my fingertips aching. Hips aching. Left back (I always say shoulder because it's the area that surrounds the shoulder blade but the doctors keep telling me this is my back not my shoulder) is just throbbing incredibly through to the front and down the left arm.
Back to the doctor. She seems thorough. She ought to, she had both feet, both hands, lower spine and t-spine all x-rayed. I swear it was at least 12 x-rays, plus the blood. Seven vials of blood. With my veins that took a while. Three hours and six prescriptions later. Granted, the prescriptions were all refills of my diabetes, thyroid, blood pressure, muscle relaxers, plus some topical thing. She thinks this is all due to some inflammatory arthritis, possibly lupus, but more likely an inflammatory arthritis. I go back in two weeks for the results. Right now though, I've got to see if a sleeping pill will help, as you know it's near impossible to sleep in this kind of pain.