Fibromyalgia

I am a very lucky person. I have fibromyalgia but it is not as debilitating for me as it is for many. It used to be that I had tremendous pain on a fairly regular basis for days at a time but since I started following R. Paul St. Amand, M.D.’s protocols, I have found that for the most part I can live a fairly pain free life. That is why when I woke up in excruciating pain the other morning I was more than a little surprised and very disappointed.

It started with that deep ache throughout my legs as if a truck was laying across them. Moving didn’t help. Shaking my legs didn’t either. Massage didn’t work and beating on them to relieve the pain was for naught.

“Crap,” I thought with a sigh reaching for the aspirin before climbing out of bed. “I am getting old.This sucks.”

It was when I stood up that I realized what was happening. I could barely walk and when I did I looked like a 90 year old lady doing the Downtown Shuffle. I knew that the fibromyalgia had returned with a vengeance and I was pissed. Actually, I was pissed at myself because there are some things I can do to myself that trigger the pain. Yet, the day prior I  had ignored those triggers and ate myself into a sweet oblivion. Yes, sugar is one of my culprits and yet I dive into it like its a cool pool on a hot summers day.

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Usually, I don’t share the pain that I am in. Family members don’t understand why I can feel great one day and a week later be in so much pain. So I usually hide it…until I can’t. The pain makes me grumpy and I either can’t sleep or sleep to avoid the pain. I have serious brain fog (constantly) but I am thankful that with Dr. St. Amand’s help my days in pain are kept at a minimum.

I keep thinking that someday I will “get” it. That I will get tired of feeling crappy. That someday I will care enough about being pain free that I will actually “THINK” about what I am doing BEFORE I put things into my mouth that are going to hurt me later on. That I will care enough about myself to be mindful of what is going in and on my body. And it also occurs to me that perhaps this is some form of self punishment. I mean after all who would knowingly do something when they know they will severely pay for it later?

For now I will do what I can. Drink a lot of water and get out there and force myself to walk…miles. While it used to be I avoided movement when I felt this way, I have come to understand that for me, exercise, even if forced, seems to help alleviate the pain. And tomorrow I will try to stop crucifying myself once again.

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Christmas Past

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This year as we celebrated Christmas I couldn’t help but be thankful for how technology has enabled me to celebrate the day in such a profound and meaningful way.

Years ago, being away from your loved ones meant trying to make a phone call to them. And when I say TRYING; I exaggerate not. You would pick up the phone and dial only to hear DAH-DAH-DAH, “I’m sorry all circuits are busy…please try back later,” pre-recorded by a cheerfully chirping white woman who sounded like your Aunt Betty. This telephone fiasco would last all day and well into the night until your knew the telephone company’s “Aunt Betty” intimately.imgres

Finally, around 9 p.m. Pacific standard time your call would go through and you would feel like you had won the lottery! Of course, by the time you actually did reach your party on the East Coast, they would already be in bed, half-asleep, and pissed that you had woken them up. “Why didn’t you call earlier?” would be their endearing response. Three weeks later you would receive your telephone bill and and have to mortgage your house to pay for the  exorbitant bootlegger fees you incurred for the privilege of talking to your pissed off relatives. Ahhh, yes, those were the days!

Yesterday, I skyped with our grown son and daughter. I saw the babies playing with their presents and the happiness in Nicole’s eyes as she spent her first Christmas in her own home. I saw the seven-month-old crawling for the first time, heard the dog barking, and listened to the two-year-old sing me her rendition of Silent Night. And during this time of immense family pleasure and connectedness I kept thinking that this is what new technology is suppose to be all about. Not about killing, not about using it for countries to spy on their citizens, and it certainly should not be used for torture. Technology is meant to be used for good…saving lives in hospital operating rooms, warning us of weather emergencies and brewing that first perfect cup of steaming coffee on an equally foggy day.

And so, on this day after Christmas, may you use your new technology to skype, ipad, and keyboard to bring happiness, joy, peace and love to people near and far. May your smile brighten someone’s day, may your words inspire a friend to reach farther than they have ever dared, and may your mere presence on that computer screen bring comfort to a loved one in need. And most of all use your technology to do good in a world that thirsts to see the kindness and love that is innate in all of us.

 

Teens & Alarm Clock Hell…266 Days To Fix This

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Somehow, I have become everyone’s personal alarm clock and I don’t like it one bit. Waking up my children has suddenly become a major chore. I don’t know what it is about teenage-hood but the fact is that everything moves slower on them, their ears stop picking up the decibels emitted from my vocal cords and their bones seem to collapse in upon themselves rendering them unable to hoist their bodies out of bed.

It used to be that I could bellow up the stairs and it would work.

“Kids, it’s a lovely day. Time to get up!”

Three minutes later their shiny smiling faces would be standing next to me, sweet sleep still filling their eyes. Now, I have to climb the stairs to hell to bring them down myself. In short, the trip up the stairs feels like being led to the gallows.

With Paul the first exchange of the morning usually goes something like this:

“Honey, time to get up!”

Nothing moves, nothing stirs. Mom walks over to teens bed and shakes him where he kicks his foot striking me somewhere in the thigh. I am still unable to determine if this is a voluntary or involuntary act.

“Paul, time to get up. Come on baby. Let’s go. Move out!”

GROAN. Slight twitch of left toe.

Shake again.

LOUDER GROAN. Slight twitch of right toe and so it goes until each part of his body has twitched but not yet moved.

“Come on baby. Rise and shine!”

“OKAY I AM GETTING UP NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Fifteen minutes later I am still the only one down in the kitchen, the countdown to the bus has begun and I’m starting to burn like the bagel I put in the toaster 5 minutes ago.

In an attempt to remedy this hell of a routine I take taken many paths of desperation including LOUD alarm clocks that could wake the dead but somehow fail to wake my teens. I have cuddled with each child as they snore on. I have rung bells and I have banged drums. I have even resorted to ice cold water spray bottles which have resulted in nothing but an ugly attitude that manages to last into the wee hours of the next morning.

Is there no way out of this hell?

People tell me that I will miss all this when everyone is gone and out of the house but I doubt it. Because by the time the last one leaves the nest we will be retired and probably very weary of this lack of time management on the part of our teens.  Yet, I do hold out hope that the future will bring with it an uncomplicated way to start out my day. And, if it is true about what the experts say about the aging process, I suspect I will still hear, “OKAY! OKAY! I AM GETTING UP!” as I drift in and out of sleep. Only this time, those words will be uttered by a incredibly horny and somewhat naked 65-year-old man. And frankly this will be fine by me because instead of being the bell ringer it will be nice to once again have someone RING MY BELL to wake ME up in the morning.