Category Archives: Pain

Some funny title goes here

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I had this whole post planned out in my head. I planned to write it on Sunday. Fibromyalgia and arthritis just laughed and laughed and laughed and said “No”. So the post that I have in my head will stay there a bit longer.

Here is this instead, how to shut Fibromyalgia and Arthritis up in three oz. It is not necessarily tasty.Think of it as taking a shot of alcohol. Some really nasty alcohol but the idea remains the same.

What you will need: A juicer

1 lemon- use 1/4

some ginger root – 1/4 inch

four to five pieces of Turmeric root

About an inch slice of cucumber

About two inches of celery(not pictured because I added it last minute)

three cloves of garlic

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With in twenty minutes my pain levels were noticeably less. I don’t think an hour ago I could have even typed this much.

I don’t like it, but I do it.

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It started in an attempt to make sure my husband ate healthier. At the time he had been eating oatmeal for breakfast and often ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. I had a genius idea to cook a lot at once and portion it out and freeze it for him to have better meals with all the work he has been doing to support our family.  Then one night I got home and I was just done. There was nothing in me to cook. We were out of milk so cereal wasn’t an option. I used two of his freezer meals and felt better about what my daughter and I ate for dinner. Soon after this I started working part-time. When I picked up my daughter she had been fed. I just had to feed myself. Cooking for one just does not appeal to me. Some weeks I go really crazy and prep lunches for my daughter and me plus the freezer dinners. One week was going to be really really busy so I even prepped breakfast.

Chronic illness takes so much from us, taking back my nutrition has been one way to fight back. True I do have to plan for most of the day to be spent cooking and prepping and resting. It really does take a lot out of me however, I have found it’s value far out weighs the energy spent doing it. When I first started doing it took me a lot longer. The more I have done it the more efficient I have gotten at it. This is what works for me. When I first started this was almost a six hour process for me.  I really don’t cook using exact measurements. The food you will have to use your sense of judgement of how much your family would eat. Some I know the amounts only because I was able to dig up Farmers market receipts and find the amounts I got. So if you are looking for exact measurements, this is not for you.  However, I do know that the more nutritious meals I can eat the more my body will thank me for it. The easier I can make it to get veggies and fruit in my diet the better I function. When I have complete meals like this ready,the less likely I am to resort to cereal for dinner or other crap, like pizza.

Here is how I do my food prep/cook days.

Grocery store list:

8 pounds of chicken

one head of cauliflower

1/2 lbs Green beans

Baby Carrots

Two sweet potatoes

1 lbs Parsnips

Quinoa

Brown Rice

 1 head of Broccoli

about 1/2 a lbs Sugar snap peas

2-3 Squash(whatever is in season) I normally stay with acorn or butternut squash as they will hold up the best.

Eggplant- I often get the baby eggplants as they are easier. I get between six to nine

Tin foil

Olive oil

If you don’t already have them Ziploc or Glad entree containers (this normally does about 12-14 individual dinners)

So then I come home and clean all the veggies. Turn the oven on to 350

Line two trays and two baking pans with tinfoil(this makes clean up simple) (and by the time I am done I need simple)

Place your chicken in one of the foil lined baking pans. Add olive oil and seasonings to your liking. I have found the best combo is garlic rosemary and sea salt.

 Toss the chicken in the oven and set the timer for an hour. It does best on a top rack.

Then in the other baking pan I place the cauliflower and baby eggplants  and sweet potatoes. Cover well with olive oil. We like to use garlic and dill on the cauliflower and garlic and salt on the eggplant. The sweet potatoes I individually wrap in foil and just toss a splash of olive oil and salt in with it.  This normally takes me about fifteen minutes and I toss it in with the chicken.

Next up are the parsnips and carrots. Peel and place on baking sheet. coat in olive oil and season. Again we tend to do garlic rosemary basil and salt.

Toss that baking sheet in.

Half the squash and de-seed it. sprinkle some cinnamon nutmeg and clove on it.  Slap it face down on the baking sheet lined with tinfoil and a bit of olive oil. Toss that baking sheet in.

Now go lay down. There should be about twenty minutes to thirty minutes left on the timer.  I sometimes cheat and just sit down and snip green beans.

The timer goes off.

Take out the parsnips and carrots first and set aside. The cauliflower and eggplants are also normally done. The sweet potatoes if the very center is still firm that is fine. Remember you will be microwaving them so they will finish cooking.

Check the chicken. Most of the time it is done but it could need a bit more.

On the stove you will need four pots.  In one you will mix brown rice and quinoa and set it to boiling. I normally save the kale and spinach pulp in my juices and toss that in with it. I make quite a bit but as usual I don’t normally measure it. I would approximate a cup of each. It will make a lot which is what you want.

Then the green beans and sugar snap peas and broccoli in the others. Cook them to just shy of being done.  This way when you microwave them later they finish cooking the last little bit and are perfect.

Now you can line up the gladware or ziplock containers. I throw about a tablespoon of quinoa rice mix in all of them. A chicken breast. Then two veggies. Mix how you wish.

Quinoa rice spinach and kale mix

Quinoa rice spinach and kale mix

Quinoa mix, chicken sweet potato and green beans

Quinoa mix, chicken sweet potato and green beans

Quinoa mix chicken and caulflower. I believe the carrots got lost under the caulflower

Quinoa mix chicken and caulflower. I believe the carrots got lost under the caulflower

Sugar snap peas caulflower chicken.

Sugar snap peas caulflower chicken.

Quinoa rice mix, parsnips and carrots and chicken.

Quinoa rice mix, parsnips and carrots and chicken.

Top and toss in the freezer.

Take out as needed.

For lunches I normally do a salad with some cubed ham or turkey shredded cheese, hard boiled egg and mandarin oranges. In ziplock bag, fried noodles  or a seed mix(pumpkin and Sunflower) then in small containers dish out a squirt or two of dressing. This keeps it from getting soggy.

For breakfasts we like to do a layer of greek yogurt a layer of granola a layer of fruit drizzled with honey sprinkle on some ground chia and then a shake of cinnamon. These stay good for about three to four days. For the other days I normally portion out oatmeal and mix in ground flaxseed, wheat germ and some cinnamon. Then all I have to do is add water.

Another meal I normally toss in the oven after all the food prep is brussel sprouts mushrooms onions baby carrots, minced garlic a  little lemon zest and olive oil then season with whatever you wish. Toss that all in some tinfoil and wrap closed. Toss THAT in the oven for about thirty minutes or so. Most of the time I just turn the oven off after thirty minutes and leave it in the oven. I normally have a bit of quinoa rice mix left over so I spread that on plates and top with the brussel sprouts mix.

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update on product review of ultracur

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I have a habit that when I find something that works, I am not always picky on the brand. This one I am. I can honestly say it works better than anything I have tried before.

Nature’s Made and Sundown being my normal go to brands. I ran out of Ultracur and I had some sundown on back up. My daughter actually takes it to boost her immune system in the winter. It wasn’t like from one dose to the next I noticed the difference. It was more once I reached the 24 hour mark without Ultracur. I started noticing aches, pains that had quieted. Could I have really pin pointed when they quieted. Probably not. It was like. oh hey, that was gone. Don’t worry there were other areas that were yelling. When it kicks in, it tends to be just as subtle. I know for me when I am not functioning my brain is constantly checking my body. NOW? Can we go do something now? Can we at least sit up? Can we stand? Once I am up and moving I tend to think less about my pain issues.

My routine has become I get up and take two. About thirty minutes later, my morning stiffness is noticeably less. I should note I also use Ginger,either in juiced form or in my Chai. Often two to three times a week I take a four mile walk. When I return from my walk. Two capsules and ginger. Most of the time thirty minutes later I can function again. Sometimes if I have really pushed myself it takes an hour.

At this point a little over a month after starting it, I have completely stopped taking aspirin. I only take Tylenol at night to help me sleep. For whatever reason Tylenol knocks me out. It is worth mentioning there is some minor risk taking aspirin and curcumin together. I never took them at the same time it was either one or the other. Until I tried this one, I had not found anything that would work at bedtime where I could stop using so much aspirin to help the muscle pain and the Tylenol to take the edge off the joint pain.

There have been some nights I have begun to question if I even need to take Ultracur at bedtime. I have skipped it several times and surprisingly had decent sleep.

If you missed the original product review you can read it here.

Please still contact Casey if you are interested. We continue to work together.

The truth about flares

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I often get accused of being a chronic complainer.I don’t post how i feel for sympathy. Sometimes just seeing it in black and white helps me.  I just need to vomit it all out so I can move on. Its cathartic. This is not to say I don’t appreciate the comments.

Chronic illness is an asshole. Sometimes it makes me seem like an asshole. Most of the time in a flare I feel like I am being an asshole.
When I am resting I still feel like I am being lazy. I still think you are thinking I am being lazy. You can tell me all you want that you are not. When I have to cancel plans there is a part of me that feels I am just making an excuse. I know, if I went the pain would magnify. I know it.

Chronic illness makes your anxiety triple. Anxiety is an asshole too. Anxiety over what I do get done in a day. Anxiety over what I don’t get done in a day. Anxiety over what others are thinking about what I did today. Anxiety often makes me feel like I am being a complete wimp.
I feel ridiculous saying my skin hurts. Or any other body part that is acting up.
I feel like it’s an excuse even when I know the pain is too much to push through.Dishes have to get done ,I know that. It would seem standing doing dishes should be no big deal. Standing is a lot more work then we realize. There is a reason it takes babies so long to learn. There is a reason they get tired easily from it. If I do push myself my hips,knees and ankles blossom into painful bursts. If I keep pushing my hands will start to cramp up.  Have you ever tried to wash a plate and had your hand cramp. Most times I break the plate. It would make sense to stop doing the dishes before that happens. That is the thing though, the frustration, you don’t want to stop.

I am just as frustrated about my body flaring as you are, if not more. My brain is still functioning and often going a thousand miles a minute. I am thinking of all the things I need to get done. The things I should be doing. It is even more frustrating to feel somewhat okay while laying down yet, within five minutes of being up doing things, you are exhausted and often shaking.

I have a tendency to emotionally eat. Yes I know I shouldn’t eat that but sometimes emotions need to be fed. I do try very hard to balance my emotional eating with healthy eating. I do aim for that balance. I know full well I will pay for it later. Sometimes I feel it is worth it. Sometimes later when I am paying for it, I think I was being stupid. Just because I ate it yesterday or last week or last month doesn’t mean I can eat it during a flare. I could have eaten it yesterday and today it makes me want to vomit. I could have had it at lunch and my stomach tolerated it just fine. Eating it with dinner, not so much. It can be as small as garlic or lemon or as big as chicken. There is often no rhyme or reason to it.

So there it is the cold hard truth about flares and complaining.

The important thing.

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I could tell you how hard it is to get out of bed , while I feel like death warmed over, to walk.

I could tell you how many times I was way too hard on myself.

I could tell you all of this. It would all be true. It would not however be important.

The important thing is to start.

Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Myofasical Pain Syndrome are not gentle issues. They are not very happy with exercise. In fact they protest it loudly. Three years of walking and I am just now getting to the point where I can actually wear exercise clothes without my body protesting. When I first started I could not wear sports clothing. It was like it flipped a switch for my muscles to act up even more. Now I am just used to going walking in jeans that it doesn’t bother me at all. Okay well maybe when I am a sweaty mess it bothers me a bit.

I started small, walking twenty minutes at a time.  I walked for twenty minutes at a time, twice a week for months. I felt stuck. If I tried to go further, I could not function. I finally figured out I just needed to be okay with what I was doing. It was not an easy decision. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. The truth is when I look back, the fact I was even doing it was progress. I was not giving up, that was progress. I was not giving in to my body, that was progress. I then branched out with changing my diet. This was also something that was very slow going. I wanted to go out and buy all the healthy foods and just switch. The more I researched the more I realized that would not work. It takes time for your taste buds and your palate to change. It is so easy for both things to revert back to bad foods. The junk food out there is addictive. I could not just switch to eating grapes when I was craving sugar or any of the other hacks really. Deciding to make any change to your lifestyle is brave. When you are doing so with a body that already does not feel good, even braver.

The problem is my expectations of myself don’t always match what my body is up to. I still have issues with this. I still feel I should have done more, accomplished more, made more progress. That whole self-compassion thing.

Every time I have increased my pace or my distance it has not been a conscience decision. It was on a whim and then once I realized I did it. I wanted to do it again. This is not to say that I don’t over do it. I do. Some days my walks are great and I can function. Some days my walks are great and my body says, “um No.” to anything else that day. It took longer than a normal person to reap any of the benefits of exercise. However now it is coming fast and furious. I sleep better. I am loosing the weight. My heart conditions are better controlled. The more I walked the more I wanted healthy choices to eat.  Had someone suggested I could use food to ease some of my symptoms a few years ago I would have said. “Nope tried that.”  Same response if someone had told me to exercise more. For the longest time I could not think of it as exercise. Of course this means I did things a bit harder. I didn’t want to think of it as exercise so I went on nature trails. It is really hard to increase your distance and your pace on nature trails-with a body that does not cooperate. Since I started walking a flat surface designated for walking and cycling, I have made significant progress. It only took me four months to come to that conclusion though.

Having a friend or someone to encourage you to keep at it, really helps as well. Please feel free to email me and let me know you are taking the important step of starting. I would be glad to email you encouragement!

Product review- Ultracur

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Ultracur reached out to me on Instagram. I know it’s hard to believe I was on Instagram! NOT! I am addicted to Instagram.

 I emailed Casey and she sent me some samples. It was as simple as that.  I literally opened the package in my car. I had hit a wall and was trying to figure out how I was going to function for three more hours. I mean, everything hurt, I did not want to do anything at all. I took two capsules. I was pleasantly surprised that within thirty minutes I was feeling better.  It most definitely gave me the extra time I needed to finish the most basic things left in my day. I had to pick up the kid, pick up the husband, and we had to go to the store. That night I took my normal dose of Turmeric before bed. I have to say, I noticed it wasn’t as effective. Curious, I started looking into this Ultracur thing. I emailed Casey and told her how impressed I was. I told her I was impressed enough with it to do a full blog review of the product.

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Curcumin is the magic part of the Turmeric that makes you feel better. It helps relieve inflammation. It is not just joint inflammation that it helps. It will also work for gastrointestinal inflammation. It is like a soothing balm for your colon. The joints, the muscles they really like this stuff. There can be some difference of opinion on wether to take just Turmeric or Curcumin. I would suggest you try both and see which works best for you. Now the other thing, most likely you won’t notice an immediate difference.  It can take a few weeks for you to notice the difference. I did not have that experience with it but, I also have been taking it for months and originally started taking it via juicing fresh root. The supplements that I had been taking did not seem to work as well. I have to say Ultracur is probably the closest I have gotten to the feeling the freshly juiced root gave me.  Ultracur says you can take up to two capsules four times a day. What I have been doing is setting aside six capsules in the morning. Some days I get by with just two in the morning and two at night. I did use it with quite impressive results during a flare. It was a lot like taking advil. It didn’t just help one area it was an all over improvement.  In fact, there is research that suggest that Turmeric is just as powerful as many pain killers. Check it out.   Also here as well.

As always please, discuss this with your Primary Care Provider prior to taking this supplement.  There can be some interactions with medications and Turmeric. Ask for the samples and bring them with you to the Doctors office. Do your own research!  This is what Dr. Weil says about Turmeric.  This is the website for Ultracur and what they have to say.

I know a lot of you, are like me, on a fixed or very inflexible income. It is hard to just go out and spend money on something that might not work for you. So here is what I have for you. Email Casey Centola for a free sample, let her know you saw it on my blog!  ccentola@hausbio.com

Ebb and flow of parenting with chronic illness

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One thing that eludes me is consistency. Some of that is A.D.D., some of that is just life.  Chronic illness doesn’t really allow for consistency. It is super annoying.  It bleeds over into parenting. When my illnesses are flaring or acting up, I tend to slack off on parenting. I know I do this.I hate it.  I dislike how much TV she watches while I lay in bed. It takes energy I just do not have, to keep on top of her.  I want to always be that mom who is fully involved and happily multi tasking making dinner while the kid is doing homework. It is just not realistic for this to be happening daily though.

This morning  Actually it started the night before, we did homework for hours. Why hours? Because I was resting. She was supposed to be sitting at the table doing her homework. I could hear when she got off task. I made sure to point it out to her. When she was crying for like the fourth time I told her to pack it up. We would finish it in the morning. She is a horribly early morning child  anyway so why not. This lead her getting up an hour earlier than normal,because she was worried about not having enough time.  Between slurping coffee and getting really frustrated she is not focusing. The guilt starts. The guilt that I should have been more on top of this. I should have. I should have. I should have.  This is what goes through my head. I know on one hand, that I could have done things differently. Then again, she is nine. She is old enough to be responsible for her homework.

It’s not like I don’t know it’s coming. It’s not like I don’t know its due. It is more like, It just gets set aside in the hurry of every day. We set it aside because this came up or that came up. We set it aside because I am not feeling well,  we will do it tomorrow. I will feel better tomorrow because I rested today and I am going to take it easy tomorrow. That by the way never actually happens.  Then suddenly it is due tomorrow.

We get her homework packet Thursday after school. We pour over it like it’s the newest gossip magazine. Look how many pages of math! Oh, look you get to do this! I have an idea for that! We really do plan on tackling it. Thursday we are good about filling in her reading log, including the summary of what she read. We mark down what flashcards she did in Math. Friday, we normally have a family treat. However on the way there I normally make her read her book. There is a fifty-fifty chance it will get written down when we get home.   Saturday, sometime after I arise from the abyss of sleep, around eight am I look at her homework packet. We might even tackle some of it.  Then the outside is calling because it is fall in Florida. It is splendid weather outside. Not cold, not hot, windy but not windy to make it miserable.  In other-words, paradise. Sunday morning is out because church. The next thing I know its Monday. When I pick her up it’s all gusto. We are going to get it done. She reads. She does math. I am knee-deep in making dinner.  “Yeah I don’t care what you do. OUT of the Kitchen!” We have tomorrow. We will knock it out tomorrow. You get the picture.

Sometimes at the end of the day, I think “yup, nailed it today.” I got work done. I got the kid fed,to school-fed and in bed. I took time for me. Go Me! Then there are other days that at the end of the day. I think : ” Well breathing was really hard today.”

I think sometimes us chronic illness sufferers give the wrong impression about flares. Sometimes, it really is a flare and we never even saw it coming. We went to bed. We woke up having a new sympathy with road-kill. Most of the time though, it is not like that. I have weeks where I really feel on top of it. I have medicated at all the right times. I haven’t pushed the limits too far. I have eaten healthy and slept decent and taken personal time. Then it slowly starts off. By slowly I mean like from one day to the next. It just slowly one thing after another stops working. The medications are not as effective. I have more muscle aches than joint aches but I am still treating for the joint aches. Maybe what I did one week didn’t push the limits, so I do it again the following week. Uh oh. Limits reached and exceeded. What? I just did that!  I ran later than expected grocery shopping or cleaning so I had less me time in the car waiting to pick her up. It just slowly builds. Those kinds of flares are easier to recover from. It is like a light goes on and I am able to fix things. I start medicating  right. I give a little extra self-care. The times that it just WHAM! BAM! No thank you Ma’am. Those times we dread because so much of the time, we have to wait it out.  I can try to medicate. I can try to listen to my body and see if there is some craving it has. Most of the time, it is waiting though.

How do you parent when you feel like that? How do you parent when it’s not consistent?

You learn to go with the ebb and flow of your illness’. You learn to ebb and flow parenting. You learn to take advantage of when you do feel good.

I am still working on it.

The summer climax….family vacation

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Family Vacation-It is grueling in a lot of ways. It is also worth it in a lot of ways too.

We booked our vacation in February. After receiving our income tax return. Thank you Government! It is the only way we can budget in a vacation. I was really really surprised how reasonable a Disney vacation package is.

I was determined to maintain reading time even with being on vacation. The car drive was a good place to enforce this. It was more like me saying every ten minutes. READ.. Are you reading? READ!  She had her book out the whole way there, a two hour car trip.

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We got to Fort Wilderness campsites. The check in time was suppose to be one pm or later. We got in ten minutes early. BONUS! We got campsite 2006. It would have been super awesome if it was 2005 since that was the year she was born , we were here to celebrate her birthday after all. I was super stiff from the car drive so I did some stretching while the husband went all Master Tent Setter-uper. It took about twenty minutes before the kid was ready for the pool.  We went ahead to the pool. Hubby was super about setting up the tent and inflating the air mattresses.

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Let the standing in line begin! An hour and half and we are done-for now.  A small trip to Wal-Mart. No vacation is complete without a trip to Wal-Mart.  We saw the good side of Orlando. We saw the bad side of Orlando. Thank you G.P.S. for taking us on the longest route possible.

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Each night Fort Wilderness has campfire events, Chip and Dale were there. The first night it was charades. It is amazing how much they can express without saying a word.

As a native Floridian you would think Epcot would be old news. It actually has changed a bit. It was a nice mix of familiar and new stuff.

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Of course, there is also the difference of seeing it through your child’s eyes.  Remembering how you felt and seeing it expressed on their face.  It really is priceless.  That’s what you hold on to when the kid is in mid temper tantrum. Actually she was really really well behaved.

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Some of the things have changed. Figment is not the same.  It takes a bit to remember that change happens. The message is still just as fantastic.

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Kids absorb so much more than we realize.  There were some really inspiring quotes around too. Which was great  because what else are you going to do in line? Think deep thoughts of course!

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NOT! It’s more like how long until alcohol!

There were primarily two types of parents at Epcot. Those who had alcohol and those who wished they had alcohol.

We did not indulge this trip. It was really tempting in Mexico to stop for some Tequila!

No really after ten hours at Epcot I can see how kids would have temper tantrums. I can see how parents could have temper tantrums. I am  physically only able to handle one day, even that was hard. I can’t even imagine going to parks back to back.

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Sunday we chilled. We went to the pool. We went to the arcade.  There were a few temper tantrums. It really should be expected. If you are tired, your kid is tired too.  It also helps to remember to eat frequently.  That is primarily where we ran into trouble. You really do loose complete track of time and not realize its been so long.

There was Mommy and daughter time. Even if she did say…..” look Mommy I am floating like you only better!”

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There was Daddy and daughter time.

There was bike riding, not by me though. My back won’t tolerate that. They rode their bikes, I walked to the bus stop and took the bus!

I also took advantage of the hot tub at every available chance.

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The campfire events were the perfect end to the day. Okay the S’mores might have been part of the reason for that. They had a movie as well but, realistically we were beat by seven pm. We headed back to camp by eight thirty each night. It was hot. I am not gonna lie. It was not miserable hot though. We had electricity hook up so we had a fan, which really did help.

It really was exactly what needed as a family.

Monday we packed up and drove home.

Tired, slightly burnt(despite copious amounts of sunblock) and ready for home.

I did not do much of anything once we got home.

Other than start planing next years vacation to Animal Kingdom!

So what did I learn?

1. Medicate medicate medicate.

Set your alarm. You may even need multiple alarms to actually take the medications! Don’t wait to be in pain! It slowed me down to wait for pain to ease to keep up with the kid.  It was easier to put aside my discomfort to make sure she had a great vacation by telling myself its temporary and rest is coming. Make up a mantra to help keep you motivated.

2. Pace yourself and go with the flow.

Some of our past vacations I have been completely stressed out.  It is better to have an idea of how the day will go but not be very rigid.

3. Speak up for yourself.

I mostly use over the counter medications. However I did discuss this trip with my Doctor. He was willing to prescribe muscle relaxers and pain control meds for the few days we would be gone.  I also was more tolerant of myself using some of my vices, Chocolate and Caffeine. I used Mountain Dew and a snickers bar to finish the trip home.  It was a small boost but it helped.

4. Plan ahead

So this may seem a lot like training for a marathon. YOU are training for a marathon! I did slightly more walking the days prior to going. I also tried to rest as much as possible as well.  It doesn’t always work but being mindful of needing to train and rest certainly helped.

5. Plan for REST!

I am really glad this year we added an extra day to hang around the campsite. It really helped me feel less taxed from our vacation.

I am still extremely tired and easily exhausted. I am still in higher amounts of pain. I expected it though. Plan for plenty of rest after the vacation as well.

The idea of pain relief

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Its been… um.. let me think… Seven years? I think. It all runs together. I no longer remember not being chronically sick or dealing with Chronic pain.

Once upon a time I was taking prescription level strength pain medications. Now I get over the counter pain relief medications.

Now I laugh when I see them call them pain relief.

Oh honey aren’t you cute. Its more of a pain dampener. Its like after the mind numbing silence someone turns on static and you think well this is nice. But then it fades and the static gets quieter and we are back. Sometimes it doesn’t even do that.

I know I have an amazing ability to push it aside most of the time. For me, most of the time it is mind over matter. Meditation has gone a long long long way to help me here. If I am in motion I am less likely to notice it. It is so much easier for me to stay in motion once I start. To just go from one thing to the next.If I let myself rest , I feel it. I don’t want to start again. This is part of the reason mornings are so difficult. Its that initial get in motion activity that is so hard to do.

I have too many sensory issues to use much in the way of creams or gels during the day. As hard as it is to believe the sensation that the cream or gel creates is more distracting to me than the actual pain.  Same with pain patches and what not. Sure I could go through the hoops and motions and get back on Lortab or something similar. The question remains though, at what cost? They were making my health deteriorate faster and with a family history of drug dependence and abuse, I am more comfortable not being on them.

In the end this means I spend a lot of time at the end of the day getting out of pain. I take Tumeric and ginger during the day for the pain and it does help. At night I often flop between aspirin and Tylenol, ice packs, epsom salt baths and sometimes even massage.

Everyone has to do what is right for them when it comes to pain management.  For awhile , for me, it was prescription medications. For now , for me, this is how I manage. It will change again. I know it will. That is one thing this journey has taught me. Pain management is all about change because our body has this wonderful way of adapting to  pain. We become tolerant of the level of pain. We become tolerant to the type of pain relief we are using.  Had anyone told me that I would tolerate a pain level of five as my normal pain level on any given day when I first started. I would have laughed until I cried.  Had they told anyone that when I rate my pain a three I consider it a really really good day. ……  The pain can only be pushed aside so much before it demands to be felt. I probably would have told them to keep the drugs coming, I don’t want to feel that.

LET ME OUT… Aka Week Six of Summer Break

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I really don’t know what to say. It has been a whirlwind. I am ready for a break and I think this week we actually slowed down quite a bit. Its not all bad but the days are super long and tiring.  Its hard to balance what the kid wants to do, needs to do with what I want to do and what I need to do.  Its not entirely different from what happens during the school year. I just seem to have less patience, its probably the heat. It takes it out of you when its ninety something by nine am and still in the nineties at eight pm. Between normal housework stuff, chronic illness stuff, and kid meltdown stuff , it gets a bit overwhelming. Never fear though, I wouldn’t change a thing.  So here is what actually happened this past week:

Sunday July Six.

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Blissful kidless morning. Church… and more kid free time in the afternoon. I would say it was blissful but Saturday night I slept horrible. I mean horrible, like I would have preferred a screaming baby horrible. I came home from church. I looked at the dishes and the cleaning that needed to be done. I laid down on the bed. I barely remember pulling the covers over me. I woke a few hours later and basically went to the bathroom, took a sip of milk and was out again. The vibration from my phone woke me up. The kid was on her way home.  Luckily the hubby was able to make dinner and do most of the parenting. The kid did hang out on the bed with me but I was not NOT up to getting out of bed.  It did not help that there has been a storm cell that brewed, growing and shrinking growing and shrinking in the ocean, it finally let down and rained.  Once it started raining I started feeling more and more normal. I woke up with that all over skin sensitive sensation , nothing can touch it without intense pain, and an anxiety attack.  Oh good just in time for bedtime.

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I am thankful I have friends that understand and help when and where they can. Believe it or not this type of crash is actually a good thing… it means the flare I have been dealing with is finally really truly curving off.

Monday July Seven

Three mile walk to cleaning job about killed me. The kid read her book. Then it was a flurry of activity to get ready for the car. Housework to burn some nervous energy. I am really proud I did not have a panic attack. We got the car and I actually had to pull over and have the panic/anxiety attack from not having one prior to getting the car.

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Tuesday July eight

The weight did not come off until we walked out of the DMV with the tag and title now in my name. I needed to just relax. We had so much time to kill as it took way less than expected. We went and checked out the Rookery as we had never gone when it was early morning. We thought maybe the bird behavior would be different. It wasn’t much. We went to Panera and had celebratory bagels and I got a big honking Sweet tea.

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We then headed to the library. When the kid points out a park we have not been to in almost two years. Mom can we check that out? Do we still have time? SURE!  It amazes me the changes we saw.  We even saw deer hoof prints. The kid tried out her tracking skills and declared they were fresh. Works for me, I have no clue.

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So then we go off to the library. GUESS WHAT???? I had the wrong library on my calendar. The one the Rainforest puppet show was at? Twenty minutes away. How much time did we have? Oh, it starts two minutes ago. I debated not going. It was not even an option for the kid. Of course we were going. Man. It was AMAZING. It was wonderful. She talked about conservation, She talked about endangered animals, loss of habitat, what the rainforest provided the Earth as a whole. She was captivating. She used Portuguese and Spanish words for the animals and colors. She talked about the cultural of the people who live in and around the rainforest.

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We decided we were not ready to go home. We wanted to explore the area like we were going to when our old car broke down. We found a new park. Oh man did we find a new park.

We are going back at a better time. Better time being early morning to beat some of the heat as eleven thirty am is NOT the time for a hike in Florida in July. We still saw some cool things, tortoise, eagle nest, iguana(huge lizard, not sure exactly on type)

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We didn’t exactly have hiking shoes on. No worries. I survived plenty of barefoot summers in Florida. The kid was really into it and we had a whole conversation about Earthing.

Wednesday July nine

It dawned on me that all the walking we have done since the car breaking down almost three weeks ago, has been with intent. It was fine as a change up for a week. Walking is my stress relief. Walking in nature more so.  This dawned on me late Tuesday night. I immediately made plans to go to a park for a hike Wednesday morning. I had a hard time falling asleep Tuesday night because I was so excited. It was nothing short of magical.

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It was beyond exactly what I needed.  We saw a total of eleven deer.  A hawk  landed in the tree right next to us. We saw two wild pigs.  Magical.

We came home ate lunch and rested. There was a snake and reptile show at the library. I felt good enough I thought. Its just an hour.

So wrong.  Bedtime started at four pm.  Of course it was hubby’s game night so dinner and all that crap was on me.  Somehow I made it.

Thursday July ten

Math tutoring day.  We were off and running. While recording her math tutor lesson, I wrote out her writing prompt instructions for the day. I am really happy to say she is really starting to enjoy her math lessons and is gaining better understanding each week!

We were off and running hubby to the ortho doctor…. checking on his thumb. While he did that, we went to the natural food store. We have been out of Natural Calm and DHA/Omega3 supplement. It was obvious we needed it STAT this morning.  They had samples. Most of the samples made me happy. One I wanted to try had corn oil in it. True it was Non-GMO but I don’t think my corn intolerance really cares about that part of the corn.  The kid worked on her writing while we were sitting in the car waiting for hubby to be done.  We decided on Burger King for a special treat for lunch.

THEN we had family naptime.

It was mostly rest time the rest of the day.  The kid finished her writing. She also had to get her hour reading session in.

Friday July eleven

Someone really must have given me crack or something. I agreed to take hubby to work and then thought since I will be up, we should go on another early morning hike. I have to say…. it paid out.

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Towards the end of the hike she was getting irritable and tired and cranky. I thought about tossing her in the bay….. instead I just tickled her and said ALLIGATOR. To which she ran ahead in a fit. Ahhhh Silence…. Oh I mean… yeah…that probably wasn’t nice.

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The insanity started at Target. I know I know. It was not their fault though. Insurance was being super weird and stupid and thus, waiting another week for medication. Paid a Doctor Bill, always a big occasion.  Home for lunch and rest time. The kid had Math to do. I had a church meeting to go to. She sat in the other room and read her book, mostly.  A quick very sucessful trip for a birthday present for the party we go to Friday.  The rest of the day, rest. I am trying to remember just because I am feeling better doesn’t mean that a Flare can’t happen.  I am trying to remember it is better to pace myself, and her. That resting is productive for the chronically ill.

Saturday July Twelve

I had hoped to go to the beach first thing in the morning. Morning came and neither the husband nor I were really feeling it. We were not feeling like doing much of anything. After all isn’t that what Saturday mornings are about. So we have just been loafing around the house.

Later we will go to a friends house to celebrate their son’s eighth birthday. The kid and him are eleven months and two weeks apart. Yes we figured that out! It’s hard to believe our sweet little babies are getting so big.  They really need to stop growing so fast.