Saturday, December 17, 2016

When you procrastinate...for a year!

Well we all know procrastination and lack of energy go hand in hand. Lack of energy and fibromyalgia also go hand in hand. So it should come as no surprise that I have put off even looking at this blog for quite some time. I have great ideas, I write notes, my phone is full of photos, I have dreams of this beautiful post with all these pictures I have taken and then by the end of the day its all fizzled out and I cannot possibly bring myself to do one more thing let alone sit at the dang computer or on the phone. I had a website dedicated to fitness with fibro and I could not maintain it. My husband was originally going to hep and that didn't work. A few friends who do website were going to help and of course that didn't work out either. When I had more time I was able to be focused and get so much done. Even with some bad days or weeks thrown in. I used to read blogs and websites and think  "wow, the last post was a year ago or 2 years ago. Where did they go? Dont they care? What about the readers?"

Now I do!

How easy it is for that to happen and how intrinsically I understand it now.
 Now I have no time and with some bad days thrown in there it seems every day only the bare minimum gets done.
Im just surviving. I have no time to share my entire story with the world. Or half my sto...well, even 1/4 of my story.....with anyone.
But I do have some highlights and plans to fill in the blanks when I have a couple days off next week. (best laid plans.....fingers crossed).

Probably the biggest thing is we moved a few months ago into this new house. Its a shade smaller and for someone who's got ADD, OCD and Fibro, it went fairly well. I had no major stress or anxiety issues until a couple days after moving in. (Thats big because we were living out of boxes all summer leading up to the move. More on that later) We left some things at the old place and the hubster got a friend to go get it all. I went over the next day to "clean" and saw there was still a million things left including heavy furniture and so yeah...I had a flip out. I wanted, no, NEEDED to be done at the old place. 

THE OLD PLACE...sounds like a book title. It could be had I desire to write everything down. We were packed in like sardines with our neighbors (not the good kind). It was loud, stressful, we had no privacy, we had constant knocking on the door, lots of foot traffic, car traffic, noise from a bar and also the drunk people staggering down the street after it closed. We had fights we had to call the police for every other month, a half way house, a rehab center, a 7-11 and a liquor store, neighbors who blasted music from their cars at all hours.....I could go on but the kicker was the kids couldn't ride their bike down the street without our thinking they'd get run over or kidnapped. And that's not my anxiety, that's the neighborhood.  

THE NEW PLACE...We have nice neighbors who aren't too close. Our backyard is very large, more long than wide and then goes down into the woods. Its conservation land so no one will build or encroach. Its almost magically quiet with the only sounds coming from various birds. We have deer, turkeys, rabbits and other critters who come to visit. Nov one knocking on the door and the kids can ride around the neighborhood, walk down to a friends house or to the bus, and its all safe. The anxiety level is down from a constant 9 to a 1. Its an unbelievable difference in the actual quality of life. Instead of dreading every noise and waiting on the edge of my seat for the next thing to happen, I'm chillin' with my dog on my lap looking around for things to do.

Stress is a killer. I have posted about it before and I'm sure I will again. 

I started making things to sell on line ie opening an Etsy store. Cant keep up with that either! I was doing well but I got VERY, and I know fellow online sellers no matter what site you use can sympathize, I was getting very annoyed at the people purchasing things an not leaving any feedback. I know feedback is great for myself as a buyer. If I see other people happy I am encouraged to buy. If I see low stars, low purchases, even though I know it could be someone just starting out I get hesitant. It looks like I have sold very little and I feel its not worth all the effort when people take my goods and not post feedback. I have let my listings expire as of late and I feel no motivation to add pictures of the new things because...well...shipping and communication to get no feedback...again it feels pointless. Its not about the money. You want someone to say "hey good work and THANK YOU".
If I get in there and spruce it up I will provide a link soon. 



I have had painted wine glasses, pre-made scrapbook pages, awareness bracelets, awareness magnets and other assorted awareness items.

Im done training (been a while now). NOT forever I hope but...Macros, calories, injuries, demands, late nights on the pc and memory issues are not a good mix at all. I do not have enough energy  to fully maintain at the level I should be able to and that effects my confidence which effects how I carry myself. I still give advice, tips online and occasionally a paid workout but as for clients, I just cant. Do I feel like a failure? Some days. Other days I remember this is my life now. Adapting and changing as the fibro does good or bad, is the way it has to be. 

Started Crossfit. Loved it 10 minutes in and I was hooked. Those who know, know. Its not like anything else. Its just not. You fell strong, confident, you carry yourself differently and feel like you have a secret. Like you're in a secret club for the cool kids and you cant tell anyone because you wont be cool anymore. But you do tell everyone because its so great you want to share it. You want to recruit people, you want to share the high and be proud you opened up new doors for yourself and a friend. It was scary, I was intimidated, but I took my scared arse in there and MADE myself get through a free class....Immediately paid for the next month. Its one of the best things I ever did. You have to try it at least once. 

The only picture I have there, I never bring the phone in #nodistractions

Had surgery on my right shoulder. Had issues for a while, tried everything I could. Ice, heat, magnets, electric stimulation, massage. The doctors of course  ran me around the bases. PT, cortisone injections, ultrasound blah blah...finally I demanded an MRI. Diagnosis: torn labrum , also a little of the  bicep! WTF!! PT wasn't going to fix that. GGRRR
Lets count the number of times I was asked ..
A: "Did you do that a Crossfit?" and B: "are you a pitcher?"
It wasn't as bad as they let on when they finally got in there, "supposedly" but had to scrape the bone and the amount of pain I stayed in for as long as I did after was no joke. That was April. Its now December. Still have pt and although some things are great, some of the important things are not and I am very displeased to say the least. The physical therapist also said "by the way, did they tell you you have arthritis in that shoulder?" BALLS!!! No "they" didn't. She wanted to make me aware that even with surgery and pt I may still be in some level of pain from the arthritis so not to get my hopes sup. FUN STUFF RIGHT? Ever feel like you are surrounded by idiots? My main goal is not 100 percent, but I want to go back to crossfit. Right now I feel like I cant carry my weight. QUITE LITERALLY!!

I think that's enough catching up for now. My brains will explode. I have still been reading, researching, and experimenting. I was given a copy of a book about cfs and fibro to read before it was to hit the shelves (which it has already) so I have a review on that, some supplements and some other things. Wow, Im still amazed at how being so extremely tired  all the time can set you back a millennia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kratom For Pain (and other things)

What is Kratom?

It is a Southeast Asian native tree(Mitragyna speciosa). *Oddly enough it is in the same family as coffee. sIt's a natural analgesic which has been used for hundreds of years to safely alleviate pain, combat fatigue and help with the effects of anxiety and depression.
The leaves of the tree have been used in  low doses (as a stimulant) or high doses (as a sedative). It has been used to treat pain, diarrhea, arthritis, fibromyalgia, treatment for opiate addiction and much more.

How can you take it
You can remove the central vein and chew on it (not recommended). This is mainly done in its native region. Dried leaves can be powdered or crushed to make it easier to swallow. 

The powder can be mixed with water or other liquids. It is quite bitter so fair warning. One site recommends making a chocolate  milkshake to get it down the in the best tasting way possible.

 You can mix it (powder) with applesauce, ice cream or yogurt .

You can have it put into capsules. 

Small drops of the extract can be dissolved in hot water as tea, or mix the tea with the regular tea you drink. 

When mixing coffee with it you can use milk, cream, sugar or honey to manage the bitter taste. 

There are different strains for different effects. It has been banned in some states and in jeopardy in others. You can check the internet for a list, there is quite a bit of info anywhere you look. Make sure you fact check! 

Malaysian strains, especially green malaysian varieties, tend to be effective for  pain relief and can be less sedating than Indo, Borneo and Bali strains. Because of this, these strains can be great for anyone who would not like to experience a drop in their energy levels. If you do not want to experiment  or do a lot of research thats involved in trying different strains for reasons of time, confusion or cost,  red vein kratom tends to be overall better for pain relief than other strains.

"In an online survey of 6,150 kratom consumers by Pain News Network and the American Kratom Association, nine out of ten said the herb was a “very effective” treatment for pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, opioid addiction and alcoholism."

Percentage who rated Kratom effecive for pain relief.
  • 100% Cancer
  •   97% Multiple Sclerosis
  •   94% Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  •   93% Migraine
  •   93% Fibromyalgia
  •   92% Rheumatoid Arthritis
  •   92% Back pain
  •   92% Acute Pain
  •   91% Lupus and other autoimmune diseases
  •   90% Osteoarthritis
  •   90% Neuropathy
  •   88% Trigeminal Neuralgia
  •   79% RSD or CRPS
  •   76% Ehlers Danlos syndrome  

So what does this mean for us that suffer chronic pain? Well more reading, homework and guesstimatingThere are many "natural" drug free remedies out there. You only need to look on face book, twitter, blogs and support groups. just do a google search and behold the plethora of options!!

 There are products, pills, plans, books, vitamins, shakes, diet plans....This is another in a long list of things you may say why not try.  Why not. Its less than other things, its a plant. But remember, PLEASE ALWAYS consult your doctor as there are always risks of side effects or interactions. 

I would love to hear from anyone who uses this in any capacity to leave a comment on how you found about it and if you think it works. I see a lot of placed dedicate to information and it seems it has a big following. It would be great if someone shared some first hand info! Thanks!

Reddit User: Tea Recipe
Reddit User: Depression

5 Simple Kratom Recipes You’ll Love

Resources not linked aboved: Dosage conversion chart, Best strains for pain relief

Monday, June 8, 2015

"But Exercise Makes Me Feel Worse"

"Exercise improves your pain threshold,” says Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, a vice president with Champion Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala. “With chronic pain, your pain threshold drops -- in other words, it takes less pain to make you feel more uncomfortable. With cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility exercise, you can improve that pain threshold.”

“Exercise improves your pain threshold”  

Lets think about that for a minute. 

Ok minutes up!
Who wouldnt want to feel just a bit better if they could just from getting a little exercise? 

The first thing you think is "when I exercise I feel worse". 
The next thing you think is "I am so sick of people telling me to exercise!"
(Its ok, I dont get offended)
But you have to realize the only reason people say it all the time is because generally its true. NOT always, but generally.  (I'm not talking about those who think exercise and a good nights sleep will cure you!) Just as changing your diet "generally" helps. I always point out that I am never ever a one size fits all person. I don't like blanket statements because I am smart, experienced and open enough to know that not everything works the same for everyone. 
There is such a thing as exercise intolerance

Impaired oxidative phosphorylation not only causes muscle fatigue but also muscle cramping with or without tenderness, or a feeling of extreme heaviness in the muscles. These symptoms are especially severe in those muscle groups being used, and patients often complain of discomfort in the legs or even muscle spasms.The discomfort may be felt immediately following the activity or later on, waking up the patient from sleep. Following more prolonged or intensive activity, the pain or heaviness can persist into the next day(s) despite rest. A subset of patients has pain associated with elevations of CK and intensive exercise can lead to frank myoglobinuria; there may also be associated lactic acidemia (DiMauro, 1999).

With that said of course if you are going to hurt more you are not going to want to do it. And it takes a special determination to do it anyway knowing what lies ahead. One of the most common statements you hear from a Fibromyalgia/ME/CFS patient is  "I'll pay for it later"
Its part of our permanent vocabulary. But lets put this in perspective.

You drink foul tasting cough medicine because you know it will help your coughing. 
You take antibiotics when you dont like prescriptions because it will help your infection.
You spend $500 dollars on a brake job because you know it will save your life. 
You do so many things as a parent that "hurt", because you are trying to shape, protect and teach your child.
Something we are very guilty of is doing too much because we dont like to say "no" to others. We KNOW its going to hurt, but we do it anyway. We just decide to "pay for it later".

Well, a permanent part of my vocabulary is "you are in pain anyway". You are in pain anyway so why no make it count for something. Why not endure just a little more pain now, to prevent even greater pain down the road? I don't say that off the cuff, I don't think "if I can do it you can do it" and  I don't think its easy. 
BUT..aside from the abundance of articles, studies and "opinions", you do experience this yourself that....
The less you move, the more it hurts. The more it hurts the less you move.
 So it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. It hurts so bad you stop for a while and when you try again you want to die because it nearly kills you. And that's real pain, not an excuse to avoid exercise. 
The first "exercise' you should do is with your fingers! Do some research. Look on the internet, ask questions in support groups, read blogs and see what types of exercises and modalities seems to have the best results.  Make a list and then rate them in order of effectiveness. 
#1 Would be the most common, popular or least painful to incorporate. #2 Would be the next most common answer. 
1. stretching
2. walking 
(certain types, not the twist in a pretzel type!) 
Then, call the doctor and make an appointment to discuss the best way to go about getting some exercise. Bring your list and your research. DON'T FEEL FOOLISH. Most times coming armed with information will make them take serious, and provide specific answers. Don't let them tell you "go get a trainer", or "just start walking". That's not a plan. 
A plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something, OR an intention or decision about what one is going to do. You need to decide what to try first, at what intensity level and how often. It might be to even get a referral to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist to get the proper advice and program.

For example, If you decide to walk you shouldn't just walk 2 miles after having done little to no exercise. You could cause a flare and/other reactions. Graduated walking is best.  Decide with the doctor based on your condition how much and how far. Starting with only 10 minutes (any pace) 3 times week for 3 weeks. Then try to increase it to 15 minutes or just try walking a little faster.Then 4 times a week for 3 weeks (or simply increase to 15 minutes still 3 times a week), and so on. If it does not agree with you you will know right away. Maybe you have to cut back to 2 days, walk slower, or move on to the next thing on your list.  

If you chose yoga, start with only one class in a week. Wait and see how your body responds for the next few days. (Try looking on Meetup , facebook,  or local papers, gyms and studios for a free class in your area before you commit to the cost of a full session in case its not for you. A lot of studios also offer a drop in rate to you can try just one class) Its also not a bad idea to talk to the instructor ahead of time via phone or email and make them aware of your medical issues and what your goal is. They will be able to give extra instructions for your benefit, provide blocks or straps for you to modify some of the common moves so they do not cause you great discomfort and make sure you are in the right class, or tell you which one to try.  In my experience, Hatha, Svaroopa and Restorative are the top most effective types for Fibromyalgia and whole body pain related issues. Especially for beginners. 

The key is to find something that works for you. Don't judge  yourself or compare yourself to the others, especially "healthy" people around you. Each person has their own challenges, progresses at their own level and are motivated by different reasons. I beg of you to keep trying. Just keep trying and don't get discouraged by setbacks. 
I actually took that word out of my Rolodex because it has too much of a negative connotation. It's not a setback, its simply a communication from your body. Just as a dog has to bark or a baby has to cry to communicate, your body has no voice. It has to tell you when you have pushed it too hard somehow doesn't it? Its just a message to "slow down', pace yourself and in some cases when you seem to get no feedback, its actually saying "hey that wasn't so bad! you can probably do that again!"
    • tention or decision about what one is going to do.

Matthew Jones, researcher at the University of New South Wales who led this study   said “the results remind us that the longer we stick with an exercise program, the less physically discomfiting it will feel, even if we increase our efforts ... The brain begins to accept that we are tougher than it had thought, and it allows us to continue longer, although the pain itself has not lessened.” (A less technical article that translates the study can be found here.)

*This is not to say you will be healed, that you won't or don't need additional therapies or medications. Exercise it is just an additional tool for your arsenal to help combat pain. Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. 
A Beginners Guide to 8 Major Types of Yoga
Yoga Diciplines- Different types of Yoga
Relieving Pain Through Exercise-Not Medicaion

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lil' Bub Birthday Paw-ty!

Nothing like a good old fashioned birthday to get your mind off pain! 
My 7 year old was turning 8. She wanted a party at home and of course my first thought was 'oh my gawd'. The stress, the cleaning, the errands, talking o other parents, and planning....blegh
But then I realized might be exactly what I needed. Winter depression, pain, and the long wait for spring maybe be dulled a little by the excitement of planning a party. I used to love it, so maybe I can love it again.
I was right.
She is obsessed with Lil Bub and wanted that to be the theme.
Since you can't exactly go to IParty and get Lil Bub decorations, I was left to making my own. I scoured Pinterest and the internet for anything related to cat parties, kitten parties, Lil bub and basically took a few things from here and there. I got ideas, thought of a few things myself and I got it together. 

We printed out lots of pictures of Lil Bub  to use everywhere
(Personal use people!! To "whom it may concern": Dont sue me!) 

Pictures of Bub in frames

A cat mobile with cats from the dollar store around
wooden knitting rings covered with yarn.
Cattails and Pussy Willows around the house!
 Although I only got a "cute" from everyone else, I thought this was hilarious and it tickled me to no end! Sometimes you have to entertain yourself!

I weighted the balloons down with balls of yarn and cat toys

Even the bathroom had to be done! (wood burner)

Clay poop and a (NEW!) cat scooper and crinkled paper both from the dollar store

I rolled yarn around different size Styrofoam balls and wooden mini spools and placed them around with toy mice

I printed out Lil bub in different sizes and put them all around the house.

$1 wooden letters from the craft store painted to match  the decor.

"Meow Mix" 

Purr'fect Punch

I made at paw cookies for the kids to take home.

I used my Cricut to cut out "It's A Pawty" letter for the banner

Boas to choose your own "tail"
They picked collars and added beads and cat charms to make "Kitten Collars"

Boy oh boy did they have fun prancing and crawling and meowing around the house. It was much louder than I anticipated, but they had fun and it made all the tedious work pay off.

Called in a favor with some nice old ladies at the local supermarket who pulled this off !!! So cute right?!

The birthday girl was very very happy. There were a lot of little details that were time consuming and back breaking, like making tons of tiny balls of yarn, and hanging them from doorways and ceiling fans, but I did not apparently take pictures of everything. I blame "fog".

I still did stress. Type A's do that most of the time no matter what. Everyday I thought of something new to do and everyday I had anxiety that I would not get it done in time. My hands and fingers ached. I had to use patches, Aleve, heating pads and Icy hot a lot for a few weeks. Getting addresses and making sure people got invitations even seemed draining to me but I kept on because I wanted her party to be great. 
They slept over and after they were all finally gone I just crashed, on the couch...whew..over. It was so fun but also draining. I happened to have had ZERO help getting this all together, and my body paid for it afterwards. But as many things involving our kids ..

My middle girl happens to have been born on the fourth of July so every year it's sort of a big deal. Either  a trip to six flags or a lot of shenanigans and a rented bouncy house in the backyard. 
There's only so much you can do in the winter, so I wanted it to be just a big deal for her. Her favorite thing was the T-shirt we made (iron-on) because she can keep "forever". long as she loves Lil' Bub anyway. She is a pretty cute cat I must say. I wasn't sold in the beginning that I could create an entire party around her, but once I spent a minute reading her story and looking at that cute face I was hooked! And seeing how happy my baby was.....yeah
it was totally worth it!!