Monday, March 5, 2018

Bariatric Surgery

Well after a couple years of plotting and planning, I underwent gastric sleeve surgery on 12/11/17. I have lost 31 pounds thus far. I am praying it helps with the Fibro and Chronic Fatigue. I know it won't cure it but I know it will help. I had to cut out all diet soda, so I've been without 3 months and I can tell a slight difference.

I also went back on cpap machine after another sleep study and that too has improved my sleep, another common symptom with Fibro. 

Look at me making all the right moves. I will keep posting on my bariatric surgery.

The weather has been rainy for over a week now and it makes my body sore. My legs are sore to the touch and to walk. I'm running low grade fever and having hard time doing much of anything. Praying this will pass soon. 


Since my last post, we have moved a few times. My husband has lost his job due to health and filed for disability. He got his very soon but his health is worse than mine. We are renting a decent house and living on disability. We are in our 50's and it scares me at times about our future but I try to live in the present and just focus on us and our health.

Fibromyalgia doesn't change to help me be a caregiver to my husband. Fibro doesn't care at all in fact. It's hard enough taking care of me, let alone my spouse. There are some days we can get stuff done together and some days we can't. Shopping is a chore. Big chore. If it weren't for our youngest son helping most of the time we wouldn't buy groceries.

I've read there is a new blood test for FM. Not sure if I'm interested in taking it. Curious who has out there and what is it came back negative??

I've been trying to break my fever and fatigue with an Advocare Spark drink, or energy drink. It does give me a little boost. I just wish I could clean house like I used too. I get tired of the mess. I hate to ask my daughters in law because they work full time and then some. But to have a clean house would be nice. That is probably the biggest thing I hate about this illness is that it steals my energy. No energy is the pits.

2 years later

Only over 2 years since my last post. So maybe it isn't a good idea for someone with Fibromyalgia to keep a blog because goodness knows we don't know how we feel day to day and I for one do not  like to commit to anything. But reading a few post last week from others with the same illness reminded me that maybe I could possibly help someone else along the way.

The past couple of months I have had signs of the facial neuralgia again. This would be the second time it has flared up in the past year. This time it has hung around much longer leading the doctor to place me on long term medication instead of quick relief pain medication. So the past two weeks have been a nightmare adjusting to medications. Anti seizure medications. They are powerful medications. I am finally on just one pill at bedtime. Among all the other symptoms that come with years of Fibromyalgia, being super sensitive to medications is one of them. We are going to try just that for a while. I am also experiencing heart palpitations daily that are very uncomfortable to which we are have increased my medications for that and I'm not happy taking more pills.

I'm  hoping to have some weight loss surgery this Fall as soon as I can save up my deductibles and I'm sure the weight loss will help with the pain in my legs. My sleep was better till the facial pain. We put up my first ever swimming pool this summer and I must say it greatly helped with my physical and emotional well being. I have not gotten a tan in years. It was nice to have a tan on my face and legs again. I will miss it till next year. It was wonderful walking and moving underwater where there was no pain and just freedom to move, like floating on air.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Past Year

A year gone by......a whole year since my last blog. I had no intention of just dropping the whole blog, but so many things came up that kept pushing me away from my computer. Can you guess the first main reason? If you said my illness, FIBRO, or even the new back pain issue, you are correct. My back pain escalated. I was being sent from one specialist to the next, then a terrible thing happened, my husband lost his job. We were new to the city and he lost his job which means insurance too! I was in the middle of getting those expensive epidural shots in my back. BUT, life goes on, we couldn't stay in the city with no money and no new job leads, so we had to hurry and pack up and move back home. To my brother's house and family. Our grown children were very glad to see us but we were sad we could not make a new start there. Hot Springs is a beautiful inspiring city with so much scenery to help anyone heal through chronic pain and depression. But my granddaughter was here and family wanted to help.

So we moved in and my back pain continued. I eventually sat in a wheelchair most of time and did my own research on anything I could find on my condition. Internet connection was sketchy at my brother's house so again the pain and not much computer connection kept me from blogging. Then of course depression sets in with both me and husband worrying over job loss, insurance, no home, no money. Kept praying, keep looking, kept dealing with all my pain. Summer came and went and in the fall I reached a break in my back pain. I am not sure why, but I suddenly had a big relief of pain. What did I do?? I got out of the house, I went to town, I tried doing a little more, walking a little more, seeing sights and people. And then it began to come back. But my husband found a job, and we found a house and in the fall, right before Thanksgiving, we began to move in our new rent home. Of course I did not do much at all. I did unpack some things but I remained in pain. We waited the 3 month time frame for our new insurance to kick in.

Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went and the New Year. And first week in February I finally seen my good ole small town family doctor and told him my long sob story of  doctors in the city, then no insurance, no relief with pain and bladder issues. After we talked, we decided to try Chiropractor help, then physical therapy, some pain medications as needed, and then a little further down the road, pain management, but I needed steroids for inflammation. Of course I realize pain medication masks the real problem but I needed a break from the pain. The steroids and chiropractor visits begin to help some. Then another major bad break, my husband got very sick. He developed some chronic bleeding from his colon that hid from the doctors. He went through several transfusions and tests to find the source of the bleeding. In and out of 3 hospitals. This whole time I do not know how, other than by God's hand, did I make it staying at the hospital, running here and there and waiting on him. You know what our energy and pain levels are with FM and it was so stressing on me but I did it. So whatever relief I received from the steroids and chiropractor came back with a vengeance. Now my husband lost the new job and I could not return to doctor or chiropractor.  Which brings me to present day.

My official diagnosis from the rude Neurologist was Spinal Stenosis with my bladder issue, being a separate problem. I disagreed and still do. When my inflammation is at it's worse, the nerves to my bladder are more pinched and I loose function. I cannot sit at computer very long. I cannot lay very long. I cannot stand very long. I cannot walk very long. I cannot bend, or lift. The pain is horrible. Sometimes it is a shocking pain, from the pinched nerves. Sometimes it is a burning and bruised feeling. Now it is not only in lower back, but all in buttock, sacroiliac area, hips and upper legs. I can't believe I am saying this, but I miss the days where I just complained about the aches and pains of FM. Anyway, I did manage to get another regular steroid shot and went back to taking pain medications daily and muscle relaxers. Yes, I worry about addiction. This is day 3 after shot and I have some relief. So therefore I am blogging, and on Pinterest and Facebook. I have not sat at computer this long in a year.

My goal is to go back to my family doctor and have him send me to some specialist that will really discuss my problem and take action. My FM has pretty much remained the same. Still no energy and aching muscles, very sensitive to touch, noise, etc....not sleeping well. I still cannot shop or do housework much at all. I still am mostly housebound. Some days it bothers me that it has taken so much from me and some days it doesn't. Mostly I am still trying to take it one day at time and keep moving forward.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update on New Symptoms

Well the back problem hasn't gotten any better. I finally went to a clinic here who took me serious. In fact they very dramatic about my symptoms being serious. They sent me for a immediate MRI and gave me an appointment to a neurosurgeon. Said I may need surgery to fix a trapped nerve. I don't know the MRI results and won't know till I see the specialist and we all know how long it takes to get in to one of them. So I have over 2 weeks to wait this pain out. My pain is much better sitting at an incline or laying down. Sitting up watching tv or using computer hurts after a short while. Lately sleeping is not easy even while laying down my bottom gets to hurting. Nothing I can't handle. But we all hate to see new symptoms appear and with me they
are always "chronic"! So I've been really taking it easy. No lifting, pulling, tugging, toting, carrying, bending, reaching, or basically anything! Let's just say I am so blessed to have a husband who is supportive and understanding. Yes it gets to him at times and I can't blame him. But I am so thankful for him. So as I've been laying around I've had many topic ideas to pop in my head and as I can sit up and write I will posting quite a few short topics! Stay Tuned!

Good News Bad News

I am reading a book right now and one story in the book from another woman with Fibro was her sharing her story and how she was learning to live well.So after several doctor visits for a year or so she finally got the diagnosis of Fibro ( and we certainly know how that is a nightmare). But her doctor said " The good news is it's not terminal, you won't die from it but the bad news is you will feel like crap the rest of your life"!!!!! Isn't that the truth! So I thought of a few other funny or inspiring good and bad news to add to that.

1. Good news is Fibro won't kill you but the bad news is you will feel like crap the rest of your life.

Now let's reverse this so we are left with the "good" news part of this new life with Fibro.

1. Bad news is you have Fibro and you will feel like crap the rest of your life. Good news is that it's not terminal!

Doesn't that sound great!

2. Bad news is Fibro probably will take your ability to go out shopping away. Good news is you will save money!

Be positive now, because I know you were thinking of something negative to say about the medical expenses......stay positive!

3. Bad news is with Fibro I cannot go up steps or step up on a curb anymore without assistance. Good news is I have a reason to hold hands with hubby in public!

4. Bad news is Fibro can drives your "friends" away. Good news is you will learn who your true friends are.

5. Bad news is the Fibro gives you deep aching muscle pain. Good news is it can lead to a spouse massage or even a professional massage!

6. Bad news is Fibro won't allow you to participate in all those extra activities you never could say NO too. Good news is you have valid reason why you can't now!

7. Bad news is Fibro doesn't allow you to be near as active as you once were. Good news is you will have time now to "Be still and know God"!!!

8. Bad news is Fibro may end some of your current hobbies or interests. Good news is you will seek others that may actually be more thrilling!

9. Bad news is Fibro makes housework impossible! Good news is if you having loving spouse you won't ever have to worry with it anymore!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Work Your Plan

I moved to this city 4 months ago and have been in a fog ever since. Alright I've been a fog since Fibro diagnosis but since the move I've really been in another world. The stress literally knocked me off my feet. I had been working up until the Christmas time. I supposed I was one of the blessed ones who could still work since fibromyalgia. With each year I lost more and more mobility and the stress and pain built up so badly that I really thought I was just going to die. But I had to keep my job because hubby had lost his job and we couldn't find another job in our area. Thankfully he did find one but it was 70 miles in another city and so we began to plan to move. FINALLY I could quit my job. I really though that I would feel so much better right from the start of not having to go to a job, but guess what? That hasn't happened 4 months later. You've heard of broken or burn out? I supposed I'm a combination of both. So as day by day has went by and hubby has worked longed hours, I've lots of alone time and thinking time. Oh and I had a long list, (very long list) of all the wonderful hobbies and crafts and organizing I was going to do! But even hobbies require energy. Even reading requires energy. Have you every felt so weak or tired or your hands hurt so bad that you couldn't hold up the book or Kindle?? If you have Fibro then you probably can relate. And then the too requires energy to type or use you arms, shoulders, neck, and hands. It is so sad that some days those of us with Fibro can't even play on the computer. Let alone focus on some of the computer activities we do! So all my hobbies and crafts I was going to start on have been put to the side. Then I became down and depressed about it all. Stupid Fibro! Then I feel bitter again and a vicious cycle of grief, anger, and resentment appear along with feeling sorry for myself. No life! Well to top it all off it hasn't helped me any either that I haven't been to church in a long time. I've used the Fibro as excuse. I mean do I really want to meet new people in a new place when I look and walk like death? So I was spiraling downward and I knew I had to do something. With all my free time I had time to think. Somedays are easier than others. I mean my thoughts just drift off or disappear at times. I rigged my laptop up on the arm of the couch where I didn't have to reach and I pulled up reading material and articles. AND my dear old Dad's voice popped in my head...(Daddy's been gone 7 years now) and his words were "Plan your work and then work your plan Karen".

Daddy was a salesman of sorts and he knew how to grow his business and when I started selling Tupperware for a few years he helped me some with that by showing me how he made his plans then worked them. Now I'm sure he read that in Dale Carnegie or something similar, but the point is I remembered it and it was what I needed to hear! Along with some of the articles and stories I had read about others with Fibro and how they were living well inspired me to work up a plan of action and then put it in use as to help myself have better quality of life. Even if I can't do most "normal" things anymore I can certainly feel better about myself and my illness and even maybe do some of the things I had longed to do after I quit working.

So I'm sharing my list here and if you are a reader of this blog, then please hold me to it! I do have a few friends and my family that support me. My hubby is wonderful. He grows weary of me here and there and I don't blame him at all but for the most part I am one of few who have an amazing supportive hubby. I may even add to my list from time to time or take away but as of right now I think the following will help me some physically and mentally where I can get to the place of peace with Fibro and the new life that I feel is going to be with quite a long time. So I might as well settle in and snuggle up with this Fibro, right?

  • 1. find a team of doctors here that I like and trust...a regular PCP, a Pain Specialist and maybe even Neurologist....and start going back to Chiropractor. I've read other's stories that use a team who all work together and there are Pain Specialist here that I've read great reviews about from those with Fibro. And the Chiropractor here uses Acupuncture and I would like to try and see if that and Massage will help any.And with the current lower back problem I am having now, that I feel is a pinched nerve, I thought maybe one or all of the above could help me there.
  • 2. Get back on my Cpap machine. A new study and my doctor working with me there especially on the night time medications until we can find one that works. Sleep is so important and I haven't been sleeping well at all.
  • Back on my supplements. Either through Prohealth which has 2 particular mixed supplements for Fibro or individually. But I know need Magnesium, and back on B12 shots, and Omega 3.
  • My bath soaks. I had already tried these for helping me sleep but sometimes I do not take time to soak in hot bath. I mean we all know what a work out either a bath or shower is, so the quicker I shower and get out the quicker I can lay down. But I want to try the hot baths for pain. My muscles are screaming in pain and stiffness. 

  • Daily meditation and prayer. I've gotten so far off track. No motivation, no desire to do anything. I know God hasn't left me though and getting in the habit again is hard, but I'm doing it one step at a time, little by little. This is one of the most important steps to recovery and living well.

  • Setting my alarm (again) for mornings and getting  up whether I have slept or not. To establish that routine again, instead of lingering and laying in bed from lack of sleep.
  • Working on at least one of my projects throughout the week, if not more, but steadily crossing off those projects on my list. Getting my mind off this illness and pain.
  • Stretching daily. I am not moving as much as when I worked and so my muscles are more stiff than ever. If I could find some senior (lol) yoga classes I would like to try and go. Checking into the YMCA here and water therapy or aerobics. 
  • Beginning to walk again....starting small.....taking Lilly (my dog) to the mailbox and back and build up to walking down the street. This will be major for me because I have tremendous leg pain and horrible arthritic knees. My legs usually freeze up after walking a short distance and my knees lock up and I simply can't go anywhere. So this may prove to be interesting but I'm going to try. Getting outside and doing this will be good for me mentally too.
  • Diet....not starving...but eating healthier food. I've been eating junk and sugar and sugar makes my body hurt worse. It's a quick hunger fix and a lazy way of eating. When I low carb I feel fetter physically and have some energy. I have got to get back in that habit.
  • CHURCH.....get in there and stay in there. I need my church family. Fibro is a lonely illness, isn't it? It wouldn't be if everyone was as understanding and compassionate as we with Fibro are to one another. Sadly sometimes there are even church people that are not caring toward others with Chronic pain but that's another subject for another time. I need God and want to worship him!
So that' my plan. I planned my work of living a better life with Fibro and now I'm going to work this plan!