Thursday, February 26, 2009

Starting to feel a bit more human

Today I baked cookies (from scratch and not the bucket o' dough as I have been doing lately), had everything prepped to throw stew in the oven and was showered by 11:00 am. No, I didn't wet the bed. I slept on the hide-a- bed in the living room because the King has some chainsaw throat, hacking plague and I think I just might die if I catch it so I'm doing all I can to avoid the germs. The kids were super quiet this morning but I did wake up to them moving around which is nothing short of a miracle considering I took pain meds last night and didn't get to sleep til after 2. It is bitter cold tonight and I can feel it everywhere. I hope I can fall asleep soon. I'm back on the hide-a-bed as the King has been working while trying to beat this thing so it's hanging on for dear life. He needs to rest and has finally turned off his crackberry, apparently some of his emails late last night were less than coherent and his co-workers told him to go to bed and just say no to crackberry plus cold meds. I hope he can sleep in some tomorrow. He tried yesterday but had 150 messages by early afternoon so then tried to get caught up again. Please pray that I can fend off his plague.

Today was a not bad day in terms of pain, fog and energy. I'm tired and achy tonight but the cold (-33 C with the wind and dampness) really wrecks havoc with my body so that is to be expected. I wish we could move back to the desert but it's even cold there this winter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some days I just want to cry

I got rid of my self-acupuncture pads late last night. My ear was aching and I'd had enough of the headache from Monday already. I felt so out of sorts still and was hoping that I'd alleviate at least one of my symptoms by taking those retched bandaids of pain off. My headache is gone as well as my earache. Thank the Lord! I had to take something for the pain last night which made me sleep like a log once it kicked in.

Since I woke without a headache and feeling a bit better for the first time in over a week I got right to things and hopped in the shower right away (I normally have to muster up the strength to do this and I dawdle around in my jammies for a few hours first). The laundry basket was overflowing so I hauled it downstairs (normally I'd call on the King but he is not feeling well today). I nearly slipped on my way down the basement stairs which should of been my first indication that I should not venture down there. I could not believe the mess. The Prince and the Princess had been assigned the task of keeping up with the laundry by the King. They'd been read the royal riot act earlier this past week when he ventured down to the dungeon for something and saw the disaster (laundry and their rooms). So they'd had a week to get their act together and were even grounded from TV a few nights so they could do so. Unfortunately the King did not follow up and check their work. I just couldn't bear the stress of a disaster this past week. I knew that any stress would send me off the deep end physically so I avoided the dungeon. I asked them several times if they washed this load or that load, if there were more things to wash, etc. The Prince even chose to stay home while we ran errands on Saturday so he could catch up on all the laundry and his other chores (fools we are... he obviously played Wii and watched TV only doing the chores that would be most noticeable to us).

I'm so disappointed on so many levels. *sigh* I had been fooled into thinking that the Prince was actually learning how hard this is on me and had decided to take a more responsible approach to his chores and a more respectful way in treating me. He had spent 4 days with the royal grandparents and came back with some humility and a better attitude (fool I am to think that would last but thankful that my Mom had some empathy for me and that my Dad took the time to spend some time with his oldest grandson one on one). The Princess is starting to slack in the helping department but I think that is largely due to the Prince treating her like Cinderella at times and expecting her to do it all. I try to stay on top of that but she carries the burden rather than sharing it because she sees I'm suffering. I hate that she feels the need to try to protect me and I need to talk to her again about letting me be the parent despite my situation. It has been so hard for me to not be all my family needs me to be. Some days it takes everything I have to ensure that their is dinner on the table, lunches made, homework done and everyone is where they need to be that night. Many days that is all I am able to accomplish. I feel like I fail them often. I've learned to let some of the small things go and I do not have the house I used to have in the way of cleanliness, organization, over the top meals and homemade things for lunches.

So here I sit wishing for a laundry fairy and mourning, once again, what I once was.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Still not feeling like myself

I accomplished very little today. I took my herbs, did my acupressure points, my self-acupuncture, a shower, rested, made supper and lunches for tomorrow. I felt lightheaded and still kind of out of body most of the day. I don't know what the deal is. I hope tomorrow is better than this.

Get me out of here!

Yesterday was Dr. X day. I was not all that enthusiastic about going and really wanted to stay home under the blankets. It started snowing like crazy and I just wasn't feeling great. The King drove me as he had a few things to do and figured he'd get them done while I was getting my treatment. Things started off as usual and he said he would teach me to do somethings to help with my stagnant "cold" (TCM divides things into "cold", "heat", "wind", "damp", etc) which is what is causing me to not feel so great. He checked my pulse points and tongue, remarked at my weight loss and how I look younger. We proceeded to the room where he does acupuncture where he put more needles in my hands than usual and 2 in my face, which he had never done before and I have to admit it freaked me out a little. I was feeling pretty relaxed and he left the room. Shortly he returned with a Barbie sized chimenia and some white string. He said he was going to teach me something for my "cold". Next thing I know the chimenia is strapped to my belly with the white cord which was elastic, it was tight and not comfortable at all. Then he wets a piece of the tissue I'm laying on and puts it under the chimenia pot. He proceeds to light a cigar like thing which instantly smelled disgusting. He explains to me that it is perfectly safe and if it feels hot I can move it up and it will relieve the heat feeling, that I'm to use this for 20 minutes. He puts it in the chimney of the chiminea and leaves the room.

After I don't know how much time I start to feel the heat, it's not just hot but feels like it is burning. I raise the cigar up and wait, no relief, raise it more and still no relief. I started to freak out as it felt like my stomach was burning. I thought to myself that I can't take it right out of the chimney because I'm laying on tissue paper and I'll be on fire if an ash hits it. I call for the doctor and all I can hear is the buzzing of the machines at the drycleaners next door. Tears start pouring out of my eyes like you turned a tap on, my breathing is erratic, I push the heat lamp away from me (all the while it is difficult to even use my hands as I have so many needles in them and in my elbow joint, there is some shooting pain with my frantic actions. I holler again for the doctor and finally the receptionist comes in. I tell her that I'm burning and I need this thing off me. He comes in while still on the cell phone, sees the river of tears and she tells him that I want it off. I say it's burning, he shows me how to raise it and I freak and tell him to get it off. He says "ok, ok... you ok. Relax, why you so sensitive?" He takes it off and leaves!!!!! I'm in full blown panic attack by now and so thankful that sweet M, the receptionist comes back and helps to calm me down. I want these needles out and I want to go home. I was in full blown caged animal terror and panic attack like I never remember ever experiencing. She assures me that while there is a red mark it doesn't look too bad. M talks me through some deep breathing and gets me calmer. She then gets him to come and take the needles out and tries to explain to him that I've had a panic attack (he is off the phone now). He removes the needles, does some massaging of my forehead and pulls my ears, asks if I ok and tells me again "you ok". He tells me to relax and lay still, leaves the room again. M asks if I'm ok and goes as well.

I get up and phone the King, all I said was "you need to pick me up now", it's only been an hour since he dropped me off. He asks no questions and comes. (He was in the next city so it took a little bit). M talks to me again, is so sweet and understanding. Dr. X comes back and explains to me that I was not burning and how I need this treatment to get rid of the cold. He says next time... I look at him like he is insane. M says that if I decide to try it again that she will sit with me through it. She is so apologetic about everything, I was not given the bell (never have been before and didn't even know it was an option) and says she is so sorry she did not check on me earlier. Dr. X says I need to trust him and work with him or he can't help me. I feel like I'm out of my body. M is my advocate and talks to him about how the experience and how I've been feeling. She asks him if he notices an improvement in me, even though I feel like I've gone backwards. He tries to explain like he has to me before and then he goes and comes back with a paper. He says his english is not so good and if I read this maybe I understand better. It is obviously translated from chinese and the english is a bit off but it makes sense. I feel better about continuing the treatment but I'm not so sure about the smoking cigar. I get my herbs and my King arrives to rescue me.

We have to go back to the city as he did not get everything done. I'm totally exhausted and lay back in my seat dozing while he does his thing. We have to hit Costco to buy food for the breakfast program at the school, I'm embarrassed that I'm in yoga pants (I never wear that kind of thing anywhere but to my therapy appointments (acupuncture and massage) because I go straight home) but the King says not to worry about it as I still look better than most people who are dressed in real clothes. (love that guy). By the time we get home I'm so exhausted I can barely think straight. I have barely an hour before the crew gets home from school and I'm out of it on the couch. I was just done for the rest of the night and my sweet King even made dinner. I had some trouble getting to sleep and ended up taking a pill. I have some self-acupuncture pads in my ear and when I layed a certain way while I was tossing and turning I'd feel the effects of 6 little pricks poking into my ear at once. He claims I will be able to keep them 1-2 weeks but I can't see that happening. I will have to cover my ear when I shower and I do that daily so I don't know how long they will last.

I did some research on this "cold" stagnant thing and it lines up with the things I've been feeling. Typical treatment is moxibustion which seems to be similar to what he was trying to do. I don't know why I had such a strong emotional reaction to it. I have not been prone to anxiety or panic attacks. It was a terrifying experience and not one that I want to repeat any time soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I had to cancel lunch with a friend today. I'm really disappointed because it's not something we are able to do often. Who am I kidding.. it's not that I have a heap of friends irl. She was very understanding but I still feel awful canceling. We were meeting in a nearby town and the thought of doing my hair, driving (means I can't even take OTC pain meds, yes my tolerance is that low) was just way too much for me today. I hate it that my body is grieving me so right now. It hurts around the muscles in my chest when I take a breath this morning. I'm going to have to break down and take something which will mean a loopy few hours but hopefully it will take the edge off the owies.

It has been a difficult week and my energy levels are so low. I feel like I am losing my mind at times because my brain is so foggy. There are times when I could swear I've had a certain conversation or sent an email or even made a blog post but it has never happened. Makes me feel like I'm on the edge of dementia at times. I need to get back onto my lists to keep things in order. I haven't had to do that for a long while and got out of habit.

I just don't know what to do anymore. On Monday I see Dr. X again and I'm going to talk to him about the herbs. I'm obviously missing something that I had in my concoction in December. I just don't know why it went from helping me so much to it seemingly having zero effect. I'm starting to slip into a bit of the blues which isn't a place I ever like to go. It's just been difficult to go from feeling so great to being back to this. This is not the life I want but it is the one I have. I need to find a way to get on top of this mentally and spiritually. Right now I feel like I'm wallowing but I'm so darn tired I can't seem to muster the strength to fight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I'm so very tired today. I did go to be late last night (waiting for the King to return from a meeting) but I slept well. Still have the new pain and have that general 'blah I feel sick feeling' going on.

It's a gorgeous blue sky day today so that keeps my spirits ups. I'm pining for spring and am scheming ways to freshen up our decor in the living room. I've already schemed a new bathroom look and how I want to rearrange our bedroom (now I need to have the energy to shop and do the work). So today I will give myself a break and rest.

To my dear friends that have me on reader, thanks for putting up with my whining. I know this has been more of a whine blog than anything since I started but I'm hoping for better days. This kind of talk therapy helps me some and I appreciate you listening. When my head is clearer I will finish my posts about the kinds of treatment I've tried and the success or lack thereof in them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Pain

I have new pain lately under my arm pits and down the sides as well as from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. It feels like I'm deeply bruised and it is tender to touch, clothes, laying down on my back or sides... yeah sleeping is a challenge. I've been trying to keep it all in as last week was busy with school activities and the Princess had her birthday festivities this weekend. Last night I could not sleep as a result of the pain which of course leaves me so exhausted in the morning. I don't think the King was very appreciative of the timing of this latest sleepless night as he needed me up this morning and had a hard time waking me. That always makes me feel like a failure as a Mom and a wife ( I put that on me, he doesn't even though I know he gets frustrated).

This week is my personal week of appointments that are supposed to make me feel good - hair and nails, even lunch with a friend. It's something that I've not done for years and an important part of me finding time for myself and feeling better. I honestly don't know how I'm going to swing it all and would rather just crawl back into bed. Can you believe I'm dreading doing stuff that I wasn't able to do for me for years? Yeah, I'm that pathetic. *sigh*

I just wish that I could get on top of this again. Part of me almost wishes I never had that glimpse of normal life- little pain, good energy, etc back in December. I was coping better with these limitations and frustrations before that. I'm really down on myself and I know that I push things too far sometimes because my family so enjoyed me being normal. I just don't know what to do.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm a big old whiner this week. I'm so frustrated that I can't get on top of this pain. December was such an amazing month and my hopes were up so high that I'd finally found a way to manage this all. January was difficult and February is not looking very promising. I've spent all my insurance coverage for both massage and acupuncture... everything now is out of pocket until May. This doesn't put us into great hardship (just fewer dates or entertainment which is a sacrifice that both of us are willing to make for my health). I just see it as a waste when I don't seem to be seeing results. I'm so frustrated. I know that sometimes you get worse to feel better and that my body has years of anti-depressants to clear out, years of holding onto hurts, disappointments and failures to let go of. I realize that this is more than just a body thing but I'm having such a time getting to the optimistic/positive side of it all when I've been suffering so much. Yes I know it could be so much worse and I'm so grateful that my affliction will not take me from my family. I know I should be patient and persevere but I'm sick of being sick. I'm tired of letting my family down. And if I hear "Oh, you're not feeling well again" from some friend I'm going to scream (don't ask me how I'm doing if you don't care to know).

I'm off to see my massage therapist. It's that bad that I've already forked out $84 this week that I'm willing to shell out another $70. *sigh*

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slow to rise

I'm not a fan of mornings. My internal clock woke me at 9:00 a.m., which is such an improvement over how much I was sleeping prior to my Dr. X adventures in late November. However, my body is rebelling against me today. Coming down the stairs was "ow, ow, ow... oh crap... ow, ow" every step of the way. I feel like I need a walker today....sigh... my hips are killing. I really want to crawl back into bed but that would require going upstairs and I don't think I can do it. I'll just rest awhile and hope it goes away.

I have cookies to bake today for the Jester's class party on Friday. I was going to do sugar cookie lollipops but I don't think I can manage the rolling today. Thankfully I have a bucket of ginger cookie dough from the school fundraiser so I will make those into cookie lollipops without the heart shape. The Jester wants to ice them and put sprinkles on. Tomorrow I have PTA running around to do and then have to put together a fruit tray for the Little Prince's class party (how lucky I was to get their class assignments for the same holiday party...gah... at least it's done with for the year right?)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I wish I could find it

My energy has disappeared and I so wish I could find it. I'm exhausted after doing the simplest things like grooming. gah Upside is I'm not sleeping til 10:00 am because I was up til 4. My clock seems to have reset itself for 9 am and I'm ok with that right now. I'm so thankful for my awesome husband who takes care of the morning routine with the kids. What a blessing that he works from home and is able to do that for me, for us, for them. I know many men who would grumble even if they were working from home because that is not their "job" but my man is such a hands on parent. So often during my hell I think he is the better parent. I try not to beat myself up for that and be grateful for it.....but it's hard when your bodys fails and you feel like you fail everyone you care about in the process. AF has left the building and my pain has subsided greatly. Dr. X. really did a number on me yesterday with my pressure points. My hips are still rather tender from the acupressure and subsequent acupuncture. My generalized all over body achiness is better though so I'll take the pain where I have it over the it-hurts-to-wear-clothes pain.

I will do my best to take it easy today and try to find my energy. I have to prepare food for Valentines parties on Friday for the Jester and the Little Prince, deal with a monthly PTA fundraiser on Thursday and get a birthday present for our Princess sometime this week. The King has taken care of the birthday events. He will be taking the Princess to Apple school on Saturday, they are taking a Jam class. Then on Sunday we've made arrangements to take her 2 BFFs to the matinee and the Marble Slab for birthday ice cream. No pressure on me to feel good and entertain a houseful of girls. YEAH!

I'm so glad we decided to do our Valentine's cards early. This year it was individual popcorn packets (we have no allergies in either class this year) for the Jester and the Little Prince's classes. We made wrap around labels from construction paper that they decorated and wrote the names on. I know I could have had something done that looked fancy but I really think that the Valentine's should be done by them not me. Princess found a scrappin kit to make cards for her girls and then recycled some left over store bought ones for the boys in her class, she put together little treat bags with erasers, candy and popcorn. The Princess even had two things of XO soap squirrelled away, from a stash of Valentine's day goodies that Auntie C sent her from CA a few years ago, to give to her teachers.

I'd better run and take my herbs before I forget about them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Today was my weekly appointment with Dr. X (he is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctor and acupuncturist). I was feeling really lousy after my horrible week. I asked him what he thought of the correlation of worse pain and the week before AF and the arrival of. He was proud of me for being able to make a connection and said that we can work on that and hopefully next time I won't have such a horrid week. He asked if I did my homework - I have various pressure points that I need to massage when I'm experiencing pain. I can't seem to rub them as hard as he does (ouch!) but I do my best. It works best when my hubs does it for me. We also talked about my weight loss and I joked with him that my husband wants him to put those weight loss needles in another spot because I'm losing too much boobage. I bought new bras in late November and I can literally put a fist in the gap space that I now have in them. I'm going to try to hold off another month or so before investing in new bras (why are they so freakin expensive?). I may have to resort to socks to fill out the space lol.

It was a very long appointment today, I'm not sure if he forgot about me or just decided that I needed to be a pin cushion for longer than usual but my bladder was ready to burst by the time he came in and removed the needles. After my needles I go to have my head steamed with an herbal concotion on it. I come out of there with some dang sexy hair! Just as I was about to sit in the steam chair I grabbed my left temple as it was throbbing. He right away asked if I was okay and I said I had a sharp pain and headache all of a sudden. He said not to worry and he rubbed my forehead, pulled my ears and then tapped on various places on my head (totally bizarre but the pain went away so I'm gonna roll with it). I came out of the wellness center to snow...blah.... I had hoped we were seeing an end to winter.

I'm always tired on acupuncture days and wish I had time for a nap but school will be out soon. At least I have made supper already so I can just relax with the kids til it is time to throw it in the oven.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sometimes I'm a little slow

I've finally figured out that there can be a correlation between pms and the dreaded arrival of AF (Auntie Flo for those not in the know) and increased fibro symptoms. Doh! My pain increases the week prior and the first bit after she arrives. I also struggle with the blues (something I'm normally on top of these days which is a far cry from where I was even a year ago...I haven't even used my blue light therapy this winter). Of course I'm so grumpy, noise sensitivity is at the top (try finding quiet in this house before 10 or 11 pm) and generally not pleasant to be around. Now that I've finally figured it out I need to see what I can do to alleviate things.

And so it begins

I have been really feeling the need to talk through my struggles lately. I have difficulty doing this in my real life. I'm not dying and while this affliction robs me of so many things I know that I am so blessed compared to the health struggles that many have. So I decided to make this a place where I can come as some faceless and nameless person in cyberspace, where I cannot be judged by the looky- loos that know me irl (when you've been labeled a hypochondriac by crazies who think they know you it's hard to be honest and real about how you feel) or feel like I'm burdening those that know me in cyberspace with my whining.

I've been battling this officially (that means doctor diagnosis) for about a year but when I look back at things I can see this has been a part of my life for so much longer. I am blessed that I finally found a doctor who listened to me and is open to me trying other ways of managing this than painkillers, antidepressants and drugs. (I know that those things work wonders for many but I personally need to exhaust all other options before I can consider going back on anti-depressants (which nearly killed me). My tolerance for pain meds is very low and a mother of 4 has a hard time being an incoherent zombie). I'll share more about my treatment later.