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Showing posts from January, 2017

Fine line: Alone time and isolation

With a chronic illness having some alone time is fine. To recharge. Have a nap. For some much-needed self-care time. To engage in a hobby that is meaningful to you. This is fine because it is controlled and temporary. Not to mention introverts love alone time and need it to recharge. It is more being alone, than lonely. And there is nothing wrong with alone time. And some of us are fine with more of it than others. As the image says, being alone isn't always lonely.

Too much time alone, when we self-isolate, for example, is not so good. It can become being lonely, and not being alone. It isn't good for anyone. Humans are social creatures it seems. It doesn't even take long to cause problems when they did isolation experiments. But we self-isolate because of stress, pain, depression, and anxiety. We feel too unwell to get out of the house and to socialize. It can make depression worse.
The University of Chicago researchers showed lonely and non-lonely subjects photographs…

Achieving goals is surprisingly painful

I am serious with that picture... a moment of pain is infinite sometimes. Take exercise for example. I am achieving my exercise goal. Exercise for me is a painful endeavor. I assume because of the hypermobility syndrome and my extra flexible joints that refuse to stay where they ought to. I do physio for that but, nevertheless, exercise is painful. And slow to improve. Maybe it is the muscle fatigue and fibromyalgia as well. Hard to say.

What happens is I start off on my exercise bike and in about two seconds I am in pain and then it increases exponentially until I am in a butt-ton of pain. I slow down to a crawl and time slows as well and it feels like I am going by teeny inches. All the while wondering what hell is this?
At first, two minutes. Yes, I succeed at two minutes. For the first two weeks I did 2-3 minutes. This was before my New Years resolution or I would still be at that point, of course. Let's call that prep time, shall we?

Then one day 5 minutes! Holy smokes 5 min…

Review: The Whole Health Life

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company

I have been given the opportunity to review the bookThe Whole Health Life. Shannon Harvey got sick. Not the flu sick. But ill. She was hard-working and pursuing a journalism career and then... bam. They thought she had lupus but over the years had a few labels tacked on. She did what she did best, she delved into current research into what could help her live a better quality of life.

My review of the book:
This is an interactive book. She provides resources on her site, quizzes, meditation tools, book recommendations... you name it. This a bang for your buck there. I am still digging through all that. The studies provide my logical mind with what I need to feel satisfied. I need actual research to, well, believe anything. I need some meat. Yet it is not bogged down…

Boom and Bust

I just had an interview and I forget to mention the one thing with fibromyalgia we all do even when we know we should be pacing. And, yes, today I am not at my cognitive best. Sort of migraine and fibrofogy. Anyway, we Boom and we Bust.

BOOM: I feel not too bad. I'm going to do the laundry, get some chores done, go shopping, run a marathon and solve world hunger.

BUST: That was too much and now I feel like death. I will have to now recover for three days.

BOOM: Those three days of recovery did me good. I feel pretty good today. I'm going to do a lot of other random things I shouldn't be doing all at once and see what happens.

BUST: I did not expect this pain to happen again.

PACING: I feel good today but I will pace my activities because I need to conserve my energy and I know I cannot push myself beyond my limits.

We know the Boom and Bust cycle because we do it. On our good days we feel like we need to be extra productive to compensate for our bad days. And then we bust into a…

Get your groove on: Music is not just good for the spirit

It is well known that music not only may improve quality of life (QoL) but also have different effects on heart rate (HR) and its variability (HRV). Music emphasis and rhythmic phrases are tracked consistently by physiological variables. Autonomic responses are synchronized with music, which might therefore convey emotions through autonomic arousal during crescendos or rhythmic phrases. A greater modulation of HR, HRV and modulations in cardiac autonomic nerve activity was revealed with a greater effect for music performance than music perception. Reactions to music are considered subjective, but studies suggested that cardiorespiratory variables are influenced under different circumstances. It has been shown that relaxing music decreases significantly the level of anxiety in a preoperative setting to a greater extent than orally administered midazolam (p < 0,001). Higher effectiveness and absence of apparent adverse effects make preoperative relaxing music a useful …

Review: CBD Clinic

I am reviewing some samples I got from CBD Clinic. I received no money to do this review and the samples I received had no influence on my commentary. They are currently running a campaign to get a product to market. Please see that HERE.

Here is their company page.
"The CBD CLINIC product line was developed to provide an entirely new class of non-prescription topical medications that offer Revolutionary Relief™ to the billions of people living with pain. Our mission is to help people throughout the world be as pain-free as possible.
CBD CLINIC products are brought to you in partnership with Aidance Scientific, an FDA-registered manufacturer of topical, dermatological solutions. Aidance Scientific has developed, manufactured, and distributed all-natural, over-the-counter medications since 2004, serving customers in over 150 countries worldwide. Aidance products are available in CVS and Walgreens, other retailers across the United States, as well as Amazon."

Here are the main fea…

The chronic pain management recipe

Today I woke up with a migraine. It was at a 7 out of 10. I leapt into action. Well, I shuffled slowly into action. This image represents what I did today to manage that migraine:

It was a non-medication day, you see. Sort of like a medication failure day. Or medication insufficient day. And all the above is accurate, aside from the fact I never did work that nap in. Sadly, because the migraine did work its way upward as the night progressed. BUT for the day I got it down to a 6 and I maintained. Yes, indeed, I maintained my 6 all the way into the evening where it worked back into a 7. But a successful pain management day.

But look at the list, man, look at it. I lay down with ice which generally if you do that for 20 minutes you can reduce your pain by 1 level. Not on the list, but I hydrated myself and made sure to eat. I slathered migraine balm on me (In my case I use Japanese mint oil these days). Did that three times that day. It chilled for a bit and when I felt it creeping up I h…

Depression: the listless stagnant ball of motivationless goo.

Depression is many things. Currently, for me, it is not suicidal despair due to the medication that enables me to at least temper suicidal ideation. Doesn't mean it isn't still present. And it is, in its motivation-sapping fatigue and listless suck hole of doubt and guilt.

Imagine you are walking along and you are going somewhere important to do important and meaningful things. But along the way, the path gets mired with thick clay-like mud and slowly you get more and more stuck into it. Each step is slower as you have to suck each leg out to press on. Each step you sink every deeper. And it is so so much more effort to get anywhere at all. And then you come to the realization you are going to get anything done when you finally get to where you are going because you wasted so much time getting there. So you feel hopeless and guilty. What a suckhole of a day. Except, what if this is every day? So the next day and the next day, you really feel less motivated to even get started…

The brain fog, cognitive dysfunction, and fibromyalgia

When we are talking about poor cognitive function we have to be precise and to not confuse it with just be absentminded but studies have shown there are real cognitive dysfunctions occurring with fibromyalgia. What is the cause of the cognitive dysfunction seen in the syndrome though? Is the brain aging faster? Is it due to depression or anxiety? Or is it correlated to pain or lack of sleep?

There are many areas where people with fibromyalgia can point to there being a problem but not all of them have been specifically studied. There is what is called Fibrofog the term used to refer to poor concentration. Often people have problems with their short-term memory, their long-term memory, and their working memory. They have troubles remembering the names of objects, people and have problems with facial recognition. When they speak the wrong words come out or they forget what they say in the middle of a sentence. When they are writing they use the wrong words, they mix up their letters, th…

Doctors and Insurance companies

My update on my leave is that my doctor Just Managed to finish the massive amount of information my insurance company requested. Late. Very Late. So I will get it sent off tomorrow. I was hoping to know soon because I thought this was done, but I will not, in fact, know soon. If it was too late, at all
The stress this is causing is immense. Makes me just want to stop thinking about it. But I can't stop thinking about it because I have bills to pay. How to pay them is indeed an interesting question. Because not working for months is not conducive to paying anything at this point.

I have been eyeing up jobs to apply for because when I get stressed I panic. When I panic I try to come up with counter plans. I think, I could do this. Or this company looks Great. But full-time? I failed at full-time. But full-time would give me financial stability. Then my spouse mentions driving into the city, he doesn't want that. And then I remember my doc said it would be better if I found someth…

When confronted with the Lazy stigma

I am on leave from work because of depression and pain. I wasn't able to function when I was there and my productivity showed it and my too often bad days, made for too many sick days.

However, when I was there I masked the pain and the fatigue like a Master Class chronic ill person. Because this is a skill I have indeed Mastered. Just like I hide my depression with humor. And I worked at a good office, but I got the impression quickly that a few of them didn't 'get it'.

One of the staff told me when I had come in 'So nice of you to show today'. And it hit me hard. She had been saying little jibes at me for a while. And I think she thinks it is funny. But it isn't funny to be pushing through the pain, fatigue and depression to get to work and then push through even harder to just try and function and have some belittle your efforts thinking when you miss work you are just having fun eating bonbons or something.

We encounter this 'lazy' stigma in ma…

New Year; Same old same old

Here is what I wrote about New Years Resolutions

We have to be careful about them because we have limited energy and our mood can be hit hard by the failure of too unrealistic goals. So small achievable goals are the way to go. But I have to say after the holidays I have what you can a mood let down. I enjoy the holidays and then there is always this New Year business... and really it is 'oh, another year of This' business. It is exhausting to think of another year. Maybe because I have such intense fatigue lately; anything is exhausting. I mean, New Years came in with a wicked migraine. It was like my brain was saying 'Welcome to the same old same old.'

I have goals in mind. And I hope to make them habits if I can just get around the depression and fatigue somewhat to manage to do things. Not to mention bad pain days, which seem to out number good pain days. Since I have been tracking my migraine days recently, yeah, bad pain days way outnumber good pain days. I have…