Friday, July 29, 2011

Keep On Moving

Fibromites share a common sentiment—keep moving. This sounds counter-intuitive for someone who is in a lot of pain and possibly exhausted, but it really isn't. If you can get yourself in motion, everything starts to loosen up. If you get yourself in motion, your mind is most likely on other things than your pain and exhaustion. As long as you keep moving, even if you hurt, you can keep going. If you stop, it's all over.

Heather tries to stay busy, “This week I have been off from school. I really think that that’s the key—having things to do. If I wasn’t doing stuff this week, I would probably have laid around the whole time, gotten depressed. I’ve been applying for jobs in Des Moines so that keeps me pretty busy.”

It’s frustrating for Misha not to be able to keep going. “I’m a fast paced person and when I have to slow down, or when I have a couple of days when I don’t have anything going on I get into a funk. I’ll decide to watch a movie and then two days are gone. Then I get depressed and it’s hard to get back into things.”

Chris believes her hyperactivity is her way of ignoring the pain, “When some people hurt, they just might want to go lie down. I do the opposite. I become hyper. I think if I stay busy it is going to go away. It doesn’t. It is kind of a subconscious thing. I’ll get up really early in the morning. If I hurt really bad, I think the more I move as long as I don’t stop it will go away. I ignore it. Give me my ibuprofen, stick those pain patches on, and keep going.”

According to Francis, "If I don’t get up, if I stop moving I’m in trouble. That’s why I just keep moving. Because once you stop moving and try to relax then forget it."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer -

"-and the living is easy." --Gershwin

Summer is a time of sunshine, lounging at the beach or pool, barbeques, and vacations. Summer can also be easier for those with fibromyalgia. Generally, I have found that when the temperatures are warmer, my muscles ache less, but that doesn't mean I won't experience a flare.

Pressure changes, such as those caused by big violent thunderstorms, as well as the lack of sleep that accompany them when one hits in the middle of the night can trigger a flare. Flares can also be triggered by extreme heat and humidity. Add the normal stresses of living, and summer isn't always easy on those with fibro.

This is the first time that I missed a week of blogging. Summer is my busiest time of year. I own a vacation rental, and it takes time to manage the bookings and clean between guests. I took on two farm markets this year where I sell baked goods and my art work. Since I work out of my own kitchen and not a commercial kitchen, the baking can be tremendously exhausting. I care for my elderly parents, and I am trying to keep my writing and art going at the same time.

I ran out of steam. It's amazing how adrenalin can keep you going. Life doesn't stop because I feel tired and achy. I have been extremely tired for the past few weeks, but I had deadlines, so I kept going. I could feel the joints beginning to ache especially my trouble spots, the hips, shoulders, and elbows. Standing was sometimes excruciating. Taking bread in and out of the oven on a peel was very difficult. At times I though my elbow and wrist would give out.

I did it though, but I couldn't keep up the writing or painting. This past week I finally got a little ahead on the baking, and I crashed. After the market on Saturday, I was ready to sleep for a week. I managed a little cleaning on Sunday, but by today, I was pretty useless. I allowed myself some naptime today. I still feel achy, but I am coming back. The heat and humidity are high and that aggravates things. Tomorrow is another market day, and I will have to bake in the morning. Another deadline, another day, and I will meet the challenge tired and achy or not.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Starting Young

Most people, particularly women, are diagnosed with fibromyalgia between the ages of 30 and 50. For those who are younger than that, the diagnosis can have a significantly different affect on their lives, than for older people. Why is this so? I asked Kristy about this. She was in her twenties when she was first diagnosed.

Kristy was diagnosed, out of the blue,  in 2005, "I was 24 years old. I was working with small children and in March of 2004, I was injured -- or so I thought. I was unable to go back to work. I thought I’d take six weeks off and I’d be fine. Six weeks turned into twelve weeks turned into my doctor saying you are not okay to go back to work and you need to start looking at disability options. It wasn’t until I was sent to Strong Allergy Immunology that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia."

Although the pattern sounds similar to other fibro diagnosis, the difference is in her youth. Kristy went to college so she could have a good career. She worked very hard, "I’m still in debt from going to college. Accepting that I wasn’t going to be able to follow through with a career was panic number one. I didn’t really have a chance to get into the workforce."

When Kristy attended fibro meetings, she couldn't relate. Not only was her career side-tracked, but what about family? "Everyone else already had a family. Who even wanted to date a girl with fibromyalgia? Other people already had children. I didn’t know if that was something that was ever going to be in my future. That was tough.

People would come to the fibromyalgia meetings and say, 'Oh I have such a hard time going to work and then coming home and cooking for my children.' and I’m thinking I can’t relate to that at all. I don’t have a job, and there are no children to care for. I can’t make dinner for myself.

I was very lucky that I found somebody. I found a boyfriend that was willing to accept me as I was. But I’ve also seen relationships break up for middle-aged people with fibromyalgia."

Kristy believes it is different for younger people. "Most of the people I have talked to seem to have gotten fibromyalgia after they accomplished all of these things. I got it before I even got to start."