Saturday, May 29, 2010

My "Experiment"

OK, I think after one week of not taking the blood pressure medication, I can confidently state that I don't have hypertension.
I've been monitoring my BP regularly throughout the day since I stopped taking the med (today is day seven without it), and my readings remain constant (avg 118/68).  I'll continue monitoring it, but I am not going to go back on the med unless I start seeing an increase (anything approaching 140/80).
And of course, I'll discuss the issue with my doctor when I see him at the end of June.
My leg cramps have returned to their usual "annoying" level but they are nothing like the debilitating pain that I was experiencing while taking that medication.
Therefore, my jury is in on that experiment:  the medication was absolutely affecting my leg cramps, just as the diuretic did a few years ago.  Which suggests that if I ever do develop hypertension, I'm in big doo-doo because it will have to be treated -- but how?
I have also been taking my sleep med every night for the past week and a half.
And it has worked, insofar as helping me feel better rested, in spite of my still having to wake every couple of hours to change position.
However, for the past couple of nights (actually, since I'm not wearing the athletes' taping), the pain is permeating my sleep and I'm waking in extreme discomfort, not feeling nearly as rested as I had been.
I expect that my body would really like me to increase the dosage of the sleep aid.  While I have wiggle room in that area, I'm reluctant to go that route because of the residual effects that might be left the next day.
I'm going to stop taking the sleep aid again, to get my body used to sleeping without it because I don't like the idea that it's looking for more: that suggests dependence and I simply won't go there. So my body will go without until the sleep deprivation gets too onerous again. Stupid maybe, but I can't risk the alternative.
Both Thursday and Friday, when I was without the athletes' taping, my legs felt like they had walked a marathon and it was terribly painful to move any distance.
Today, I'm wearing my TENs machine and it's quite interesting how quickly I had forgotten the level of relief I get from that little unit.  It's really remarkable but as soon as I turn it on, there's this tremendous "AAAAAHHHHHHH" effect as it sends its pulsating signals down my legs.  And it too allows me to walk almost normally, just as the athletes' taping did.
So I'll go back to wearing the TENs machine every day again, just as I had been doing before my physiotherapist started applying the taping.
The drawback to wearing the TENs, of course, is the limitations it places on what I can wear because of where I have to place the electrodes (a pair on each hip, with the wires extending up through my waistband, and the radio transmitter attached to my waistband).  It can be cumbersome and awkward with some outfits and going to the washroom can sometimes be very tricky!
I had quite a discussion with a good friend about my physiotherapist's suggestion that I look to biker's shorts as a possible alternative to the athletes' taping.  We jointly decided that perhaps the new "girdles" might provide adequate compression (the biker's shorts maybe not being the best idea for something that I would be wearing almost full time).
So now I'm on the hunt for Spanx or Flexees undergarments, which I understand are today's version of girdles -- just a lot more comfortable.  And they have shorts and mid-calf lengths that might do the trick.  I just have to leave my little enclave of Mississippi Mills to find them (read:  I have to make a trip to the big city).
My next scheduled trip into Ottawa is Tuesday, so I'll discuss this alternative with my physiotherapist (just in case she feels that these might not provide sufficient compression).  If she approves, I'll stop at Sears on my way home to check out the Flexees; my research tells me that they are "more comfortable" than the Spanx.  Since I'll be wearing these things for extended periods, comfort is a prime concern for me.
Of course, we could always go with my original solution:  just cut off my legs at the hips.  That should stop the pain, don't you think? I know very well that is not the answer but believe me, there are many evenings when I think that solution would be a blessing!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My "In House" Physiotherapist

John is quickly becoming "almost" my physiotherapist.
A few years ago, my physiotherapist instructed him on how to give me the traction that I need every day.
So, every morning, we try to remember that he has to wear his physiotherapist hat.
And it really does make a difference to my well-being because on the days that we forget, I feel it.
Several weeks ago, my physiotherapist added a few extra manipulations that John can do and she recommended that they too be done daily.
He's getting pretty good at stretching my shoulders; and with a little more practice, he could become as proficient as my physiotherapist at the myofacial release of my neck.
Now, if only he could administer acupuncture ...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I was right

Well, just as I predicted, my physiotherapist would not apply new ahtletes' tape to my thighs.
She said that we have to let my skin heal from this reaction to the adhesive, and we will perhaps have to only use the taping occasionally (and we should pick our opportunities carefully).
Of course, I was whining because nothing has given me so much success as that taping:  each application has allowed me to walk almost normally for up to five days.
BUT, she did have a suggestion of what I can try in the interim.
She explained that since the tape worked as well as it did, in all likelihood I would notice considerable relief from wearing bikers' shorts (the tight lycra/spandex jobbies).
Of course, I could go to a medical supply store and buy actual compression shorts which would definitely do the job but she suggested that bikers' shorts would be more fashionable (and might be a bit cheaper too).
It certainly makes sense that the shorts would give me relief, given the amount of relief I got from two strips of tape.  Obviously, I need the compression on my hips and along my IT band that those shorts will provide.
My sleep last night was highly disturbed, due to pain.  I was aware of how much better I had been sleeping whilst that tape was in place, and it was abundantly clear that the pain was always worse on the few days that I wasn't wearing it.
Last night, the pain was particularly extreme, interrupting my sleep repeatedly in spite of my having taken my sleep aid.
And today, my legs are again feeling like they are not connected to my brain; they just don't want to respond to commands.
So, this afternoon, I will head into the sports' supply shop in Carleton Place to see what I can find in the way of bikers' shorts.
As to my experiment vis-a-vis my blood pressure medication, this is day four of not taking it.
And the leg cramps are considerably reduced; not yet back to their previously annoying level, but certainly less than they were five days ago.
Which would suggest that the medication was in fact worsening the cramps, just as I suspected.
AND thus far, my blood pressure has not risen, remaining at the low readings that I used to get before I went through that withdrawal nightmare.
I'll continue monitoring my blood pressure because it's early days yet, but I hope that this experiment will prove that I don't need to be taking the medication at all.
With all the meds that I do need to take on a daily basis (asthma, epilepsy, pain, etc), I really don't want to be taking one that isn't necessary to my well-being.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Damn, Damn, Double Damn!

Damn this bloody sensitive skin/body of mine!
My physiotherapist was reluctant to put new athletetic taping on my legs last week because I was starting to show signs of reaction to the adhesive.
The reaction was only ever so slight, so in the end, after much whining from me because I get such wonderful results with the tape, she altered the position just a tad.
Today, I removed the tape because I'm going in for another session.
And this time, it actually hurt to take the stuff off; usually, I barely feel its removal.
Well, I know absolutely that she will not be talked into putting another set of tapes on me today because I have welts all along my leg where the tape used to be.
Again, the marks aren't serious but they are enough to give pause.
With each application, the reaction will get worse and, as she explained, eventually blisters will form and she is not going there.
So I know that no amount of whining from me will convince her to continue with this treatment.
She might be agreeable to using it on alternate visits, provided my skin clears up between trips (but the evidence of reaction she saw last week is still clearly visible today ... ).  Alternatively, we may have to reserve taping for specific purpose use (ie if I have a particularly taxing week ahead of me, or if I'm planning to travel).
We were both so pleased that the tape was working AND that I wasn't reacting to the adhesive.  I wonder what trick she'll come up with now?

Monday, May 24, 2010

My New Experiment

I've started a new "experiment" vis-a-vis my medical care.
Ever since my doctor put me on blood pressure meds, my leg cramps have increased to a stupid level, becoming so intense that the pain is interfering with every aspect of my life, 24/7, and I don't like it.
So, after consulting with my pharmacist and confirming that there is no harm in stopping the med cold-turkey, I decided to stop taking it for a while to see if the cramping returns to its previous annoying level (they never really go away altogether).
Sunday was my first day not taking the blood pressure med that I had started taking some five weeks ago.
My pharmacist told me it might take a few days before I could safely tell whether or not its removal was making a difference and he cautioned me to monitor my blood pressure closely (which I certainly intend to do).
Thus far, my blood pressure has not risen, so that's a good thing.
But the leg cramps have not lessened yet either.
I know, it's still early going -- this is only the second day without the drug.
Obviously, there isn't going to be an immediate response (although it did have an immediate effect when it exacerbated the leg cramps).
But I like immediate results.
After all, the damned drug increased the leg cramps immediately that I started taking it.
So why doesn't it decrease the leg cramps immediately that I stop taking it?
Would that things worked so logically in the real world.
As to the matter of my blood pressure, that was never an issue until I went through the withdrawal episode from Cesamet.  Reportedly, the effects of that nightmare should be completely out of my system by mid-June.
Perhaps I don't need anything to control my blood pressure and this experiment might prove that to be true.
In any case, by conducting this experiment, I'll have irrefutable data to show my doctor when I see him in late June and we can decide then whether or not I even need to stay on the med.  If I don't need it, my leg cramps will return to their "annoying" level.
I've also been taking my sleep aid every night for the past week (I simply could not continue in the sleep deprived state that was evident).
And while I'm still waking all too frequently during the night, I have to admit that I am better rested than I've been in a very long time. Obviously, the sleep aid does help me get a better quality sleep when I do sleep, even though I still wake every couple of hours to change position because of my hip discomfort.
So it would seem that the pain management specialist just might have known of what she spoke:  I do need to take something every night.  That's just a stark reality of being a fibromyalgic.
I will revisit the issue with my doctor at my June visit, because there might be a better drug to use than the one I'm currently taking.  After all, if I have to take something, I may as well take the most efficient one for the job.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I had my "Tummy Tuck" Consultation

So, I met with the cosmetic surgeon on Wednesday afternoon, and what an interesting consultation it was!
This surgeon has been in practice since 1973 so he has lots of years of experience under his belt.
His office staff was friendly and courteous, and the doctor himself was extremely personable (I guess that's why my doctor was so comfortable making the referral -- he knows me well and knew what kind of match would work for me).
AND, my 2:00pm appointment was precisely that -- I was actually called into the doctors' inner sanctum, by the doctor himself, at 2:00pm!
He was a most delightful man indeed (not something you hear often, when describing a specialist -- they are usually such stuffed-shirt, "I know everything and you know nothing" type ass-holes, I find).
We first sat and discussed my history (I had filled out the initial in-take form in the waiting room when I had arrived) and he questioned my desire for a tummy tuck since, as he put it, "I clearly didn't 'need' one." 
"No, I want one," I explained, "and I have wanted one for 30 years."
His obvious next question was to wonder why, if I had been wanting one for 30 years, I was only pursuing it now.
"Economics," I replied, "Until now, I was not in a financial position to indulge myself.  Plus, in the intervening years, when twice my weight ballooned as a result of taking various medications, I wasn't much interested while I was 40 pounds overweight.  But those days are over now, if I have any say about it."
Ever the flatterer, he assured me that I am, according to his chart, at exactly the perfect weight for my height.
He had a series of questions that he asks all his patients, and I guess I passed (cosmetic surgeons have to ensure that patients are "suitable candidates" for the surgery being undertaken).
I had a set of questions for him, and he clearly passed. 
More importantly, I trusted him and what he was telling me.  It was almost like we had known each other for many years, he was that easy to talk to.
One of my questions, of course, was whether or not he had performed this procedure on fibromyalgic patients and he said yes, he had, and there had not been any repercussions.  If the fibro was controlled (ie many were taking Lyrica, as I am), none had flare-ups as a result of having had the procedure.
He expressed concern about the fact that I am not using anything for my additional hip pain and I assured him that I have several non-invasive tools at my disposal (TENs, acupen, massage tub etc).  He was intrigued.  I also explained that I will use Codeine Contin on an "as needed" basis if the pain becomes too intense.  He seemed happy with that approach.
We discussed my concerns about anaesthetic and he respected what I was telling him; he in fact validated my experience.  He was actually quick to explain that the previous use of cortisone to control my allergies would have affected my adrenal glands, which is why my response to anaesthetic was so dramatic (very close to the explanation I had been given some 25 years earlier, I just don't understand all the medical nuances).
He operates out of a major hospital in Ottawa as well as the Carleton Place hospital, which is much closer to where I live. We decided that, should I give this procedure a green light, it should be done in the Ottawa hospital where all the specialists were in-house, rather than in the local hospital where those specialists would have to be called in, should a problem occur. (This was the same reasoning used two years ago for John's gall bladder surgery being done in Ottawa rather than in Almonte.)
As we were moving into the examination room so that he could assess whether or not I was even a candidate for a tummy tuck, I assured him that once he "saw me," he would understand exactly why I wanted the procedure.  We were both giggling (like I said, our rapport was like two old friends chatting).
His examination involved his first assessing that there was excess skin that required removal, and then he had me do various things to help him assess my abdominal muscle wall, which he determined to be in excellent condition (must be from 30 years of "sucking it in," I offered). 
He determined that my problem has nothing to do with muscles and everything to do with excess fat, perhaps from years of fluctuating weight.  He said that I basically have the fat and skin of a size 14 woman in the body of a size 6-8 woman (I think he understated the body size but perhaps he's not very familiar with women's clothing sizes?).   At my largest, I was a size 18, but I've never been as small as a size 6-8.
He agreed with the advice I had been given 25 years ago that the only way I would lose my "tummy" was by cosmetic surgery; no amount of sit-ups was going to rid me of it (don't I know it!).
We then returned to his office where he showed me detailed diagrams of the procedure (gross me out!) and we got back to the discussion of my issue with anaesthetia.
I voiced my concern about the fact that in 1978 I woke in recovery unable to breathe (a "delayed response" to the anaesthetic) and then in 1982 I was "almost lost on the table."  How can we be sure that the next administration of anaesthetic won't be even more catastrophic (ie will the trouble occur even before it's administered )?
He understood the sentiment of my concern and suggested that the only way to get answers was to have a consultation with the anaesthetist before making a decision.
We left it that his office will book a consultation with the anaesthetist and depending on what I learn from that visit, I will then decide whether or not I want to proceed.
His parting words to me were, "Fortunately for you, this is definitely something you don't really need, it's something you want.  So if in the end it turns out that you shouldn't do it, it won't really be the end of the world for you.  It will simply be something you can't have, for your own safety."
He obviously is not looking at this only in terms of how much money he could make.  He truly cares about the patients who walk through his door.  That philosophy so closely matches my own doctor's approach to health care.  Such doctors are few and far between today.
How can you not trust and respect a plastic surgeon who takes that kind of position with your care?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tomorrow is Tummy Tuck consult day

Yes it is.
Tomorrow, after my physio appointment, I will stop in to see my sister-in-law again to pick up yet another version of the MedicAlert bracelets (we've been having our trials getting a proper fit -- think this will be the final one though).
Then it's off to consult with the tummy tuck surgeon.
I have no idea if he will even agree to do the procedure on me, once he hears all my "issues."
But, until I have the consult, I have no way of knowing if I'm a candidate.
So, I'll pay the money to find out if my 30+ year dream can be realized.
And we'll go from there as to whether or not I'll even go through with it.
I know that I absolutely want to have a flat tummy.
But I have some concerns vis-a-vis my personal response to anaesthetic and the fact that I'm fibromyalgic -- do I really want to deal with the fibro flare-up that will ensue?
I've had so much pain and difficulty for the past several months, I'm not sure I'm up to what will, without a doubt, result from the surgery.
However, without consulting with the surgeon, I have no idea what options might be available to me.
So, I'm going ahead with the consult.
Whether or not I proceed with the tummy tuck remains to be seen.
Tomorrow is also my beautiful boy's soccer night, so I'm going to stay in town to watch him play -- an unexpected overnight visit.
An impromptu overnight stay for no other reason than to watch my grandson play soccer!
And Thursday morning, before heading home, I'll have breakfast with my favourite sister (and best friend).
We haven't seen each other in a dog's age, so that will be a treat too (and I'll get to show off my new svelte body to her)!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The trouble with meltdowns (Cont'd)

I know, I know, I haven't posted since Friday.
Please stop nagging; I can't take the pressure!
I simply haven't been up to blogging.
You see, after a meltdown, I'm in a very subdued mood.
And subdued is putting it mildly insofar as the mood I've been in of late.
I tried taking a sleeping aid again on Friday night, hoping it would have the same beneficial effect as I derived from it on Wednesday night.
Once again, I saw every two / two and half hours all night long.
And that left me groggy and dragged out all day Saturday.
I actually went to bed some time around 7:15pm last night and again I was awake every two / two and half hours (at one point, I stayed up and read for a few hours).
Got up for the day at around 5:15am and my leg cramps were so bad I was very upset because now I can add that to my aches and pains.
And that got my worry wheel going because I'm getting quite concerned as to why the cramping is becoming so bad.
I don't know if its indicative of anything and I don't know who to discuss it with:  my doctor is doing the testing but each test takes time and there's the waiting until the next appointment.
This business of "process of elimination" is enough to make one crazy.
If the latest bloodwork rules out diabetes as the cause, then we're left with yet another mystery as to what the hell is causing the problem.
Now when I say the cramps are getting bad, I don't mean they are becoming annoying.
I mean they are becoming disabling.
Previously, I had difficulty moving around or standing still because my hips caused problems.
Now, in addition to the pain in my hips, I have difficulty walking or standing still because my calves are screaming in pain.
This is a new phenomenon.
And it's new since I'm taking "a very innocuous" blood pressure medication.
Innocuous for some, maybe.
But this is me, queen of reactions.
So today, by the time John got up, I was again in tears because I'm really tired.
I'm tired of being in pain.
I'm tired of waking up tired.
And most of all, I'm tired of being depressed.
I don't sustain depressions very well; it's time for it to be over.
I have declared an end to the depression.
One theory is that I should be using a sleep aid every night.  Perhaps I should be.  But if it doesn't help me get uninterrupted sleep, I really don't see the point in taking it.
But it's sleep deprivation that kick-starts a meltdown, and it's the meltdown that plunges me into a depression.
I'll try a sleep aid again for the next couple of nights and see what happens.
I have to do something so that I don't keep getting so thoroughly sleep deprived.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The trouble with meltdowns

I had the house to myself yesterday.
John went on an adventure with a good friend (my Angel's husband) to look for a specific butterfly.
It gave me a much-needed day alone and after the good night's sleep that I'd had, one would think I could put it to good use.
However, I was so down in the dumps that I'm afraid it was a totally wasted day.
I'm not sure to what I should attribute the depression.
Usually, when I get like that, I can pin-point precisely what the problem is.
But this time, while I could identify the trigger, I didn't know why I couldn't shake the mood.
The trigger was the meltdown that happened on Wednesday afternoon, as a result of having too many demands on my time and resources while operating on too little sleep.
That meltdown plunged me into what I'm calling a depression
So all I did yesterday was sit around and "mope" -- I watched a few of my canned television shows and I read for a while (even the book depressed me).
But mostly, I sat and fought off the tears that so badly wanted to come (normally, I have difficulty crying without identifiable cause).
By the time John got home, I had things nearly under control and we talked again about how I get this way when I get too far behind in the sleep department -- that's when life gets too overwhelming for me.
If only, if only ..... that balance is so difficult to find when sleep eludes you.
I crashed at 9:30pm last night and managed to sleep, almost uninterrupted, until 5:15am -- that's seven hours so that's a fairly good night's sleep for me.
And I feel much better today -- not at all in that "depressed" state of mind.
I'll take my time and read my newspapers in bed with my coffee this morning before I get my day officially started.
I have an appointment to see my eye doctor so I have to be out of the house by 9:30am, which means I can't loll around too long but I can go slowly because it is, after all, only 5:30am right now.
After my eye appointment, I'm hoping to meet a good friend for lunch before coming home.
Socializing is always a good thing to do, especially when one is catching up with friends one does not see often.
Then I'll come home and take it easy again.
But I think I'll start introducing a sleep aid more often into my regimen, and if I can get essentially uninterrupted sleep at least a couple of times a week, perhaps I can avoid the inevitable meltdowns.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I slept nine hours !

Finally, I slept!
Yesterday, was a day from hell.
It started with way too much on my plate and I had had too many stress-filled days leading up to it.
You see, when John gets a new computer, my life gets thrown upside down.
And John got a new computer a few weeks ago but the techie only came out on Tuesday to do the install.
I had stayed overnight in Ottawa on Monday night so that I could be at my doctor's appointment on Tuesday morning (I am so healthy I'm going to live forever, according to my medic).
Tuesday was essentially lost because the day was spent effecting the changes that were required to get John up and running again (as I've said before, he has a very complicated set-up).
But when I went to configure his PhotoShop CS4 the way it needed to be, I noticed that his new computer had not been built the way we ordered it:  they had installed the operating system on the smaller of the two hard drives.  A call to the shop before we put anything else on the system was appreciated by the boys, although it meant another trip out here so the error could be corrected.
So, computer guy was back here by 9:30am yesterday to make the switch.
Now, I don't like to be rushed in the morning but yesterday was also cleaning lady day.
And I had a meeting at noon at my bank.
And John wanted to go to the gun club in the afternoon.
That meant that we both had to be showered and ready to go before 9:30am because neither one of us would have time after computer guy left.
And we had to have breakfast too (something I have great difficulty doing immediately upon getting up -- I need to wait a while before I put food into me).
And John was desperate for a haircut so we threw that into the mix (just to keep life interesting around here).
What I'm saying is, I hit the ground running yesterday and I didn't stop until 2:30pm.
By then, it was too late.
My meltdown had started.
I tried to prevent it but was powerless to do so.
Now, I know that it wasn't yesterday alone that caused the meltdown.
It was the cumulative loss of sleep combined with the "too much on my plate" that caused the meltdown.
Whatever the cause, a meltdown occurred and it was not fun.
So, last night, although I was dog-tired, I took a sleeping aid anyway.
I finally shut my eyes at 10:15pm last night.
And I'm happy to report that I only woke once -- ever so briefly at 4:30am -- and I went right back to sleep until 7:15am.
That makes nine hours of sleep, essentially straight through.  I broke all records!
Do I feel rested?  Sort of.
My hips are burning with pain because of my having stayed in the same position all night, too.
But the most important observation is:  I don't feel groggy this morning, the way I usually feel when I take a sleeping aid.  Obviously, if you truly sleep them off, they work.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Today is "National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day"
"Fibro Fighters & Survivors"

"National & International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, is a day of recognition and compassion for all those who suffer from this debilitating illness. May our nation & all the world know and be educated. Let's support one another and get the word out. Together we can find a cure!
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons. As well as fatigue and multiple tender points( places on your body where slight pressure causes pain) Common areas that can be affected is the back of your head, neck, and upper and lower back. Also your chest, elbows, legs, hips, knees, ankles, hands and wrists... pretty much your whole body.
The pain from fibromyalgia can be mild to extreme followed by overall stiffness. Other symptoms include fatigue and sleep disturbances, a sleep disorder called "Alpha Wave Interrupted Sleep Pattern". This is a condition in which deep sleep is frequently interrupted by bursts of brain activity similar to wakefulness. Also night time muscle spasms occur. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include Irritable bowel syndrome "IBS" Headaches, anxiety, difficulty concentrating "Fibro fog" Mood changes, numbness in hands and feet and the list goes on.
Doctors do not know what causes fibromyalgia. There are many theories and factors that may be the cause include sleep disturbances: Injury, infection, abnormalities of the autonomic "Sympathetic" Nervous system, changes in muscle metabolism, stress and hormonal changes. Fibromyalgia isn't life threatening. But the frustration and extreme pain can interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis and live a normal life. Fibromyalgia is a very real and misunderstood condition that often leaves the sufferer isolated, lonely and unbelievably frustrated.
Trying to explain this invisible illness to doctors, family members and friends can be very difficult. Most of the time fibromyalgia patient's feel that they are not being taken seriously. Often the sufferer is left with the impression that others are thinking "It's all in your head" or "You don't look sick, just get over it". Those who have this condition end up suffering in silence due to the lack of understanding one feels. Having fibromyalgia is like what I call being a "Prisoner of pain". The pain is just indescribable. I too suffer from this illness on a daily basis and I would like to share any ounce of encouragement or hope to anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia.
Hugs to you all who suffer daily.
Sincerely, Janet. : )"
"Fibromyalgia:  Prisoners of Pain Support Group"!/group.php?gid=75145195252&v=wall

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Busy Days Ahead

Eventually, life will slow down, right?
Today, I head into Ottawa for physio (yippee!).
But first, I'll meet my sister-in-law for lunch so we can make a switch of those magnificent MedicAlert bracelets she made for me (the first ones are too large so she's made smaller ones and we'll trade).  That's the trouble with inventions -- it sometimes takes a few go-rounds before you get it right!
After physio, I'm going to my little chickadee's for our Mothers' Day visit (I don't "do" crowds and busy establishments very well so we improvise).
We'll go for dinner at a place of my beautiful boy's choosing (he's working on it) and I also have a hair cut appointment this evening (time to get beautiful again!).
My little chickadee wants a fashion show of all the new clothing I've bought in the past while, since I've gotten so thin, so my overnight bag is essentially a large piece of luggage for this trip.
I'll sleep at her place tonight so that I'm in Ottawa for my doctor's appointment tomorrow morning.  Really looking forward to that too, because I've only got about seven items to discuss (of the two allowed).  Ever since he's had me on that damned blood pressure med, my leg cramps have gotten totally out of control (a phenomenon he promised wouldn't happen).  I'm not sure what's worse -- elevated blood pressure or this non-stop cramping that sometimes get so bad my toes curl.
And of course, since I'm sleeping over, I get to have breakfast tomorrow morning with my beautiful boy before I take him to day care.  I love that part of my visits.  It's our special time together, and now that he "expects" it as part of my overnighters, it makes it all the more precious to me.
Tomorrow is also the day the computer guy is coming out to install John's new system so I'll have to get straight home after my doctor's appointment.  Last week when I stopped in to pay for the unit and I mentioned that I wouldn't be home when he got there, he looked at me in near panic and asked, "Does John know what he needs?"  I assured him that John knew precisely what was needed, and I would get there, hopefully, right behind him -- and I would leave a road-map for him.  (They can also phone me, if push comes to shove; as long as I'm on my way home, I can talk to them about whatever is required.)
So, bottom line is, don't look for another update to this page before Wednesday because I doubt that I'll have time before then to post anything further.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers' Day

To all mothers, have a wonderful day today.
And to my little chickadee, thank you for making every day mother's day.
Love you up to the moon and back again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Duhh, sometimes I can be so stupid!!!

I just now realized what the hell's wrong with me today!
And thank the good Lord I realized it before I headed into the tub again.
Yesterday morning, I took a long, jet-massage bath -- something that is usually very therapeutic for me.
But duhhhhhhhhh!
My massage therapist has already told me that I cannot have massages for the month of May because of that steroid shot I took on April 14th.
The way I'm feeling today is exactly the way I felt after the sessions with her!
I've put myself right back into another fibro flare-up by taking that bath yesterday morning -- something that I thought would be therapeutic at the time because I had wakened feeling so stiff and sore.
Double Duhhhhhhhh!
Obviously, if I can't go to my massage therapy for another month, I also can't take a massage bath for another month.
When, oh when, will I learn to put two and two together?

Stop this nonsense ... Please!

I am sooooooooooooooooo tired.
Not sure what I'm going to do to address this issue but I see my doctor on Tuesday so I guess this becomes #7 of the (maximum) two items to be discussed.
I truly don't know if there is an answer, since the problem continues to be one of my having to wake up every two / two and half hours to turn over.
And frankly, after the third wake-up, I've had enough and my mind goes into gear and I just have to get out of bed, which becomes "for the day."
If only I could learn the art of napping, it might not be so bad.
But apparently, that is not an easy thing to do at my age.
I'm trying, and I hope to achieve some success with it soon but thus far, it's not happening.
At least I'm resting for a bit during the day, but sleep eludes me.
I've never been one to nap unless I'm sick, in which case I simply sleep my life away.
Feast or famine, that's me.
Yesterday, I had been up since 4:30am and had taken a massage bath to start the day because my body was already in such discomfort.
And we had an extremely busy day.
John finally tackled a few jobs from the "honey-do" list (a list that in fact is not allowed to be maintained in this household) and he needed my help with the day's chore.
So we spent the morning putting up shelves in the laundry room before I had to leave to go have lunch with my Angel.
When I returned, he had completed that project.
Then we installed new drying racks (I'm a nut for anything Lee Valley and they have some wonderful ideas for the laundry room).
Once we finished doing that, it was time for our politics show (and pre-dinner drinks) and we were both ready to sit down.
But it was also time to think about dinner and neither of us had an inkling!
We eventually came up with something that fit the bill (we're not elaborate around here) and we were eating by 6:30pm.
Our boys are in Chicago so the game wasn't starting until 8:00pm -- they were pushing things big time if they thought they were going to have either of us helping them win last night.
I made it to the end of the first inning; John apparently stayed to the end of the third (I vaguely recall his coming to bed and reporting no score).
Fortunately, the Jays won without us again (they're on the road, so they're winning!).
The first time I woke to turn over, it was all of 10:30pm -- and oh my body was screaming in pain.
My arms and shoulders were really objecting to having held my arms up over my head for long periods of time, so they were letting me know in no uncertain terms that I should not participate in home renovation projects.
But really, it was such a small job!
The next time I woke, it was 12:30am -- and this time I slapped on the TENs machine.  The pain in my hips was just too severe and both legs were agonizingly sore.  Evidently, several Mack trucks had been present in the bedroom again.  I gingerly made my way back to bed and eventually fell back to sleep.
And then the stupid dreaming started.
When I woke at 3:00am, drenched in sweat, upset with John for not taking the turn that was clearly marked, I knew there was no going back to sleep this time.
Especially since I had to again get up to pee.
Evidence of the Mack truck assaults was now severe; my legs just didn't want to respond to my commands.
This time, I was awake for the long haul and there was no sense even trying to go back to sleep.
I know when I'm beaten.
So, once again, here I am at 3:30am -- blogging.
My body would love to be in the bath tub, with those massage jets pounding away at me, but the tub is very noisy and I don't want to disturb John at this ungodly hour (our house is very small, and the bathroom is immediately adjacent to the bedroom).
But once he's awake, that bath is being drawn and I'll spend an hour in there to officially start the day again.
With any luck, I'll be able to get some shut-eye at some point during the day today and maybe stay awake to a civilized time tonight so that I can sleep to perhaps 6:00am tomorrow.
A girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Up too early again ...

What the heck do I have to do to sleep past 4:15am?
After a very long day yesterday, I managed to stay awake 'til 10:00pm last night.
And still, here I am ... up for the day much too early.
It's not like I'm getting continuous sleep, either, because -- as you know -- I wake every two / two and half hours to switch sides. 
So really, no matter what, I'm always tired.
And frankly, as the saying goes, I'm tired of being tired.
But I guess this is my life now so I'm simply going to have to learn the art of napping -- a totally foreign concept to me.
This has beein going on long enough to convince me that it is not going to change so I'll have to adapt.  That's all there is to it.
Now on to more interesting matters.
Yesterday, as part of my busy day, I stopped at my sister-in-law's workplace to pick up my new MedicAlert bracelets that I had commissioned her to make for me.
And they are beauts! 
I asked for the bracelets and she went the usual extra mile and made matching earrings.  Of course, when she showed people at her work what she had done, she received orders ("Oh, I need a set for my daughter!") so these will serve as the prototypes for an additional line to her already wide offering of interesting jewelry pieces.  She and her husband can create just about anything we dream up.
It'll be interesting to see what kind of reaction I get from the public now that I will be wearing one of these (most days it will be the black one) every day.  Perhaps I should carry a supply of her business cards with me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Physio Day Today

It's physio day today.
That means the long drive to and from the big city.
And once again, I've been up since 4:15 am (got an extra hour today on account of I managed to stay awake beyond 8:00pm last night -- made it all the way to 9:00pm!!!!).
I've got a rather ambitious agenda ahead of me too.
Gotta go to physio -- where, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to catch a bit of shut-eye whilst I lie on that table with over 40 acupuncture needles doing their magic.  And I'll get new athletic taping applied, which I really need.
Then I have to drop in at a friend's place and explain her income tax assessment so she doesn't panic when she receives same in the mail this week (sure hope it hasn't already got there).
From there, I have to stop at our friendly computer shop to pay for and pick up John's new computer (don't worry, he's really paying for it -- I do all the bookkeeping for the household so I'll just charge it back to him!).  I'll bring the computer home but it won't be coming out of the box until the techie comes out here (we're hoping for Friday; if not -- Tuesday of next week) to rearrange John's very complicated set-up.  We made a deal with him when we put in the order that he would agree to spending a day out here to save me the aggravation and frustration that would ensue if I had to do it (I'm simply not up to the fight!).  Naturally, as long as we're prepared to pay for it (read:  John is prepared to pay for it), he will do whatever we ask.
Then I have to stop at my sister-in-law's workplace to pick up some fabulous new bracelets she made for my MedicAlert medallion.  I didn't want to order new from the catalogue, so I showed her what I wanted and commissioned her to attempt to duplicate them (which she has done in quick order).  I'm quite anxious to see the finished products.
Now, these stops mean that I will be driving in a very large circle today but all the stops are pretty much en route.
I should get home some time around 3:30 - 4:00 pm -- or almost twelve hours after I woke this morning.
John has been warned that I will be drop-dead tired by the time I arrive and will likely not be able to answer any questions he might have for me (beyond perhaps, "How are you?").
And I will not likely be capable of sitting up for a meal so he's not to count on me to even want dinner.  Essentially, he'll be on his own.
And that computer is not coming out of its box until computer guy walks in the door, on whichever day that is, be it Friday of this week or Tuesday of next week.  You hear me John?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This has got to stop ...

This business of starting my day at 3:15am has just got to stop.
Yesterday, I was wide awake at 3:20am.
Today, 3:15am, but I refused to get out of bed until I couldn't bear it any longer.
That lasted until 4:00 am when I had had enough.
So I got up and started my day.
With any luck, I'll be able to go back for a bit of shut-eye as dawn is approaching.
Yesterday, I did just that -- went back at about 4:30 and managed to sleep until 6:00am.  Woo-hoo for me!
Still made for a very long, tiring day.
Of course, if I could stay awake past 8:00pm, I might be able to sleep past 3:00am.
Vicious cycle, I know.
But it's the cycle I'm in.
I'm still waking every two and a half hours too.  But I can go right back to sleep until that magic hour hits when there is no more sleeping and I just have to get up.
So here I am, blogging at 4:30 in the morning.
There was no blog yesterday because my laptop was giving me fits.
Every so often, it decides to lose its wireless connection.
No rhyme nor reason for it; it just loses the wireless connection.
Sometimes I can correct the problem; other times, I have no idea what it wants me to do.
But left to its own devices, eventually it corrects itself.
Which it has now done again.
My techies are working on it and perhaps they'll figure out the gremlins at play.
I could have gone downstairs and used my desktop computer but I was too busy with other stuff to be bothered so I just stayed away from blogging yesterday.
There are fewer Mack trucks visiting each night, so my body is slowly recovering from last week's massage but I'm still not up to snuff physically.
My massage therapist called yesterday and we cancelled each of my next two sessions so I won't be having any treatments during the month of May.
We scheduled sessions for the first three weeks in June and she dropped a bombshell on me:  she is "retiring" in the third week of June so the day I have my last massage is also her last day of providing massage therapy (she will continue critical care nursing at the hospital).
Now I have to find another massage therapist.
She has a few names to recommend, which I will get from her when next I see her, but it won't be the same.  We've built up such a wonderful rapport over the years; I'll miss those giggle sessions tremendously.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Damn those Mack trucks anyway!

I really wish those trucks would stay away from me.
You see, when my fibro flares up, it feels like Mack trucks have run over me.
And it isn't fun.
Apparently, having had that massage on Wednesday really got things flared up big time.
Because ever since then, my body thinks that it has been hit by several dozen Mack trucks.
And I simply can't seem to get ahead of the curve on this one.
Of course, I didn't help matters much.
On Friday, I insisted on going into Carleton Place to run some errands.
It's not like those errands couldn't have waited either; but I just had to go.
So John convinced me that he would take me, rather than my going on my own.
Turns out that was a good call too, I guess.
Because I'd be much worse than I am had I done the driving.
I indulged myself and took a sleeping aid Friday night, hoping that it would help ensure a good night's sleep.
Yeh, like that was a pipedream!  Those Mack trucks were everywhere, all night long.
Anyway, by Saturday morning, it was abundantly clear that I had done way too much walking the day before.  My legs were not co-operating with my brain or my body; every step caused excruciating pain.
And the effects of the sleeping aid simply left me feeling groggy and blah.
Consequently, I didn't get much done on Saturday.
In fact, it was all I could do to prevent the "meltdown" that I could feel welling up inside me.  Those meltdowns are still a threat when I get too far behind in the energy/pain department, and yesterday definitely fit the bill.
I managed to fall asleep mid-day for a brief while and that helped somewhat but I still needed to hit the sack super early last night, which is precisely what I did.
And this morning, I woke aware that those Mack trucks had again been having a good time all night.
So today, I will sit around and veg to try to give my body the time it needs to recuperate from this flare-up.
A soak in the jet-massage tub will go a long way towards that recovery, and then I'll curl up with my book and get lost in that.
Hopefully, by tomorrow things will be back down to their normal painful state, rather than this excruciating level.
And as for those Mack trucks?  There needs to be a law prohibiting them from all bedrooms everywhere.  Perhaps I'll start a campaign ...