Thursday, June 20, 2013

Risking The Truth

Have you ever felt like you were putting yourself out there when admitting to your own weakness?  Isn't that how it feels  when you have to admit to someone, who does not quite understand your illness, that you  cannot do something or go somewhere?

When you get to the point you have to tell someone, I  do  not have the strength or the energy to go on a trip,  take that job, go out  tonight, teach that class, or volunteer in that organization -- it often feels like a huge decision, especially if it is something you  want to do.  One finds himself pulled this way and that.  Sometimes, it feels like a weight on the chest that sits there, until one is brave enough to admit this is not something he or she can do.

And then, there is the issue of being honest to help someone who suffers like you do.  The best example I can think of is what I wrote in "Digressing from Needing a Vacation." A synopsis of what I wrote goes as follows:  when you are constantly ill for years, there are moments when you might feel like you cannot take another moment of this.  This can lead to thoughts of suicide, but suicide is not the answer.  If this is a thought that plagues you, you should have psychological counseling.  It is worth the risk of being honest to tell a therapist you have had this thought.  My preference is a Christian therapist, but that because I know a Christian therapist would understand how important my faith is in my life.  There are things in life we should not have to tackle alone.  It is not failure to see a counselor that can help you manage the thoughts you have about your life in a healthier way. That is what I  call being smart and handling your illness.

Finding peace in a life that has become a daily round of illness is challenging. It sometimes feels like climbing a mountain you can never leave or being inside bars that will not let you go.  I have felt sometimes like my body has become a prison.  However, you can learn to live in a new normal. I have written about how I find that peace in God and in letting go of negative thoughts by turning them around into positive thoughts.  

Recently, I had to admit to a loved one that I couldn't spend several days visiting.  It was hard.  I did not want to call.  I was afraid of how that person would feel and whether she would understand.  But I had to do it, because I know my body.  I know I have been more ill this past winter and not yet totally  recovered. When I made the plans, I was optimistic and thinking I would be ready.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.

I had to risk telling the truth that I cannot handle the type of trip we were planning.  At least, I cannot at this time.  It was like a weight lifted when I was truthful.  I admitted my weakness and my inability to handle what would have been a fun trip during a time of feeling healthier.  I'm not saying I don't feel disappointment over not going somewhere I wanted to go.  However, I do feel peace in having been truthful.  And I have let the disappointment go. 

I have many blessings in this life.  I think I will count those, and smell the roses.  That is life-giving or life-living for me. 

Perhaps you have heard the saying:  "Have an attitude of gratitude."  Even in negative circumstances it helps one to get through tough times to count your blessings.  There are time one feels like he or she is barely hanging on, but that is part of life.  Sometimes, if I feel depressed, I tell myself it will pass.  Also, I find something to do:  I don't dwell on my feelings.  I feel them and I try to move on to put activity appropriate to my physical condition on that particular day.  

Today, I could not get motivated, but I have had some unusual things going on this week.  I considered that and a friend said, "This would be a good time to read a book."  So, I did.   No guilt.  Then, later on I took a shower and washed my hair even though I did not feel like it.  Funny how I feel better now, and I am not feeling guilty about not cooking supper or not doing housework.  Tomorrow is another day.  The world is not going to quit turning, because I didn't fix supper or didn't do the laundry.  If it was going to quit turning over my putting something off until tomorrow, we would be in lots of trouble.

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Weight Gain and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Old habits die hard, and it may not be the habit you think I am about to mention;  because, the first thing people usually think of when they see the words weight gain is diet.  Diet in the sense of going on a diet to lose weight is not what this post is about.  It is about the habit of thinking I need to go on a diet and lose weight being a trigger for frustration and thinking negative thoughts about myself.  

When you are struggling with the fatigue of CFS, it often becomes an emotional struggle when living in a world that equates the weight of a person with health and beauty.  In my own life, it is true that a great deal of my self-esteem was wrapped up in how well I was managing my weight, so when it became hard, seemingly impossible -- I felt responsible for my own weight gain.  I was responsible in my mind;  therefore, I had let everyone down in my life, including myself.  Yep, old habits die hard.

If you  have had difficulty with this issue in your life, and you need gentle sensible encouragement, I would like to recommend an article I read today, while I was searching for a CFS/FM weight loss group.  The name of the article is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Weight Gain by WD.  It was just the positive approach I needed to start thinking clearly on this matter.  I had let my emotions override a positive approach to my dilemma:  I needed input to get back on track to take care of myself, not to lose weight.

I have held on to clothes with the idea I would someday lose forty pounds or more.  However, I think it is time to let them go.  Why do I berate myself, when I try to do what's healthy, but I still stay overweight?  And for my Christian friends out there:  yes, I do think my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit;  and, that includes my brain and all parts of me.  However, I do myself no favor by being unrealistic.  Before I had CFS and I just had fibromyalgia, it was easier for me to lose weight.  Before I was fifty-five, I was able to fight this thing harder than I can now.  I have afflictions that I did not ask for, nor do I believe I caused them in the sense most people equate cause and effect of becoming overweight.  

I am facing the fact I am ill with several afflictions that make exercise and weight loss difficult and nearly impossible.  Therefore, I am going to keep moving as long as I can.  I am going to continue to stay on a moderately low-carbohydrate diet to keep my blood sugar as near to normal as possible.  An aside here is that I  am diabetic and keeping my A1C level within acceptable ranges without medication.  In fact, I asked my doctor why he doesn't have me on medication for diabetes.  He said my blood sugar would go too low.  What this tells me is that I am doing well.

You have to put together the facts of your illnesses and go on from there.  That does not always mean weight loss is going to be maintainable with some illnesses.  You know your situation with all the variables;  and, those variables are different for each person that has CFS/FM.  You have to make your decision based on what is right for you, not for Everyman or Everywoman. 

Remember that when you start to feel low about your lack or your excess of pounds.  

Finally, I am making my decisions based on the fact I know it is unhealthy for me to be consumed with weight as a gauge for my self-esteem.  I will balance my lifestyle as best I can within the parameters facing me.  

What will you do?

(If you were looking for a weight loss plan that is sure fire, I am sorry I cannot give that to you.  I  know many weight  loss plans:  sometimes, I feel like an expert.  Believe me, if I could come up with something that would be a cure-all, I would probably be doing it;  however, I have to make my decisions based on what is right for me.  And right now, I'm  resting in that and I am resting in my Lord.  God bless you.) 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(Updated) Digressing from Needing a Vacation: Hot Topic

Update:  Every once in a while, I catch myself in such a badly written post, I have to do some editing.  While I would not pronounce this perfect, it is more readable.

This blog is supposed to be about needing a vacation, but it digressed into something else, which I think needs to be said.  And hopefully, it will help you understand someone in your life that suffers from Chronic Illness.

Warning Before Reading This Blog Post

The hot topic of suicide is mentioned in this blog post.  I do not approve of suicide, nor am I being judgmental toward anyone who has ever had the thought or tried the act of suicide.  These are my personal thoughts, and I am in no way responsible for anything you or a loved one might do.  I have never, nor do I ever want to do such  a thing.  But the word is in here more than once, and I  want you to know; just in case it is a word that will set off anxiety or anything else in your life.

What I Need Is ... a vacation

Right now, I absolutely need a blog vacation:
I have already slightly indulged in it without the guilt!
willingness on my part to only write 
only that which can be written quickly without angst
is my mantra for the summer.

Please indulge me, as the summer progresses,
And forgive me if I'm not often here
With an encouraging word. 
Wish I was there right now, but I'm here at home.
This picture was taken at Amelia Island, a few years ago.

I need it to get me back on track if that is possible.
 I really don't know for sure I can gain ground physically,
Because I lost a lot this past winter.
 But, I am going to try to not worry about it.
Instead, I am continuing to do a little more gradually,
which is quite exhausting.
Well  perhaps, you don't know how this fatigue thing works, 
and I'm not speaking of the kind of fatigue fairly healthy people have.
Moreover, I forgive you if you cannot even imagine what it feels like 
to have a plethora of symptoms that mount and wane, but it feels
kind of like having influenza all the time and you can never 
quite get over the aches and low, draggy feeling.
And that is only part of the symptoms
 FM - CFS patients deal with.

I would never want anyone to suffer
 through these stupid, hard to explain symptoms 
We Fibromites and ME/CFS people have.
It is by God's Grace and Mercy, I am not totally  mentally disabled 
by the frustration of it all.  I had been in pain for 30 years or
more before I  ever knew I had syndromes.

If it were not for God, I admit that I would probably 
give it up -- everything.
Please don't worry, 
I am not depressed or about to
do anything like suicide.
I know what that is like for family.  
And even though I think the Lord probably forgives those Christians,
Who have momentarily lost their minds and do themselves in. 
I do not think it is right, or fair, or what He would choose for me,
Or anyone for that matter.  It makes me sad to think of it.

But sometimes, I do get very tired of trying
To be healthier,
To keep a strong heart and mind,
Which I know is a gift from God.
I cannot do any of this alone, 
And for those of you who say, 
"God is a crutch!";
I say that He is always Who I have needed, even when I was healthy.
So if you think you don't need Him,
You better think real hard about Eternity.
I am being honest and politically incorrect here, because I care.

I am sorry this is such a long post, 
but the next part has relevance in getting to my main points.
Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor.
The whole morning started badly, brought on by poor sleep,
and having to get up when my body only wanted to rest.

I couldn't find my keys, because I had put them in my Bible Carrier.
They were not in my purse, because I have not driven for
many weeks.  I don't remember the last time I drove. 
I know it has been more than a month.

Anxiety ridden, I got to my appointment.
(I called first -- the receptionist was kind and gave me a later time.)

By the way, for all my dear friends who would quote
Philippian 4:6-7 to me.  
I have known this verse by heart, since I was twenty,  
And it has carried me through many a moment.
I know He guards my heart and my mind.
The Holy Spirit has spoken to me when my heart was broken.
Not in an audible voice, so anyone could hear it, but He has spoken
to me when I least expected it and I am thankful.

The uninitiated often do not understand that
there is an anxiety caused by the broken brain and nerves, 
That will not be squelched.  
I have learned to deal with it.  I know how to visualize, 
contract and relax muscles,
breathe slowly, hold my breath, and breathe again.
My amygdala has been rested,  retrained, and upset again.
I have a flight and fight response that is all ready to go;
but I cannot jog or run anymore to help reset it.
I cannot dance like I used to.
My physical body is broken and battered by illness;  even though,
I worked hard to not be caught by a body that kept me
 from living an active physical life in my more mature years. 

Unfortunately, it caught me earlier than I could have possibly expected.
But, I had fought it, because I knew it was in my genes.

However, I did not expect it, because I exercised and ate very healthily;
also, I  kept my weight down.  
But sometimes,
People get sick anyway.  Oh darn!
That's not fair!

Back to the eye appointment...

My eye appointment was like no other I have ever had:  I was up and down, 
In a chair and out of a chair,
down the narrow hall and back to the same room,  several times.
I never knew so many machines for checking your eyes existed.
And they want me to come back in six months -- really?? 
Maybe, I should call and ask if I have to do all those machines again.
It was way too much
 for a ME/CFS - Fibromyalgia patient to go through 
without someone to drive him or her.

What I Wanted to Do after the Eye Appointment

I had planned the things I wanted to do when I was out by myself in the car.
Ha!  Didn't happen.  After that appointment, 
I didn't look at flowers to plant or go any place, 
The three most necessary .
I got a grilled chicken sandwich, real lemonade (needed a treat).
Thank you Chick-fil-A.
 I have to put a plug in for them, because they helped pay 
For our eldest daughter's education through their 
Winshape scholarship program, which believe me she earned.
But, it was also God's gift to her. 
Sometimes, I have to do a little wave my wings, mommy fluttering.

 With a grateful heart, I went to the new Chick-fil-A restaurant;
and I experienced their typical good cheer and kindness, 
which is comforting.
Then, I went to my pharmacy to pick up my prescription,
 but ended up with more frustration -- due to my own mistaken idea my doctor's office had called in my colonoscopy prep.
At least, I got the pills I had run out of.  My thyroid will appreciate it.

And then I went home, driving while upset -- never a good idea.
I had not been so anxiety-filled in a long time.
That was when I had the "driving off the road thought."

Remember, I told you I am not suicidal,
 but there is an Enemy out there, 
who would like us to be thinking and doing wrong things.
Should you not believe in the supernatural,
 I'm sorry, because it is there.  
God is real and so is the Enemy and His cohorts. 
 I really don't like saying the name.  Read C.S. Lewis and the Bible,
then you will know what I am talking about.  
I would much rather talk about God.

Anyway, as I drove home,
 This was a simple run-down of my thoughts.
I am so sick of feeling like this -- it never ends. 
 I can't do  anything.  I could run into one of those trees.
Oh, it probably wouldn't kill me.  I would just hurt worse
and, God would not like it.  
I had a picture of the air bag inflating, as well as 
being laid up in a hospital in pain.
How am I going to heaven, and say I did it to myself to Jesus?
Nope.  I'm not going to run off the road.  
It would not be fair to my family.
That was the gist of my thoughts.

Since I am the very near relative of two someones who committed suicide, 
I want to tell you that it is a horrible thing to do to your family.
Second of all, I want to tell you that 
your child should never see you  threaten to commit suicide.
Even if you don't ever do it,
She/he will not forget:  it will always be there in his or her mind, 
just waiting to be jolted back into present memory.
I know that memory can come back years later in living color,
because I have experienced it.

A word to you who have had 

the suicidal thought go through your mind...

It is not unforgivable to have the thought, 
nor is it unforgivable to have voiced it, 
or to have started to go through the act.
But I think
you need to ask God's forgiveness, 
your family's forgiveness, 
and most of all 
you need to forgive yourself.
Moreover,  it does no good to dwell in the past.
The past is the past.  
Done.  Gone.  Move on.

Trying to brush it under the rug and hope everyone will forget
did not work for the family I grew up in.  
I knew and I don't know how I knew,
that you never talk about 
Family Business.  
Well, it is not just business.
It is life.  And I have a theory that all families 
are at least slightly Dysfunctional,
Because I thought, we were a very normal and good family,  
 well, most of the time I thought that.
And we were, but...
is there really any family that is perfectly functional?
So to move on, it has to be dealt with in the family. 
If that is not possible for whatever reason;
with God's help you have to do it yourself.

I advise moving on whether or not other family members are able to; because it is unhealthy to be living in the debris of their emotions everyday.  

I am not talking about withdrawing one's love, but you cannot live someone else's life.  You cannot force someone else to change.  
That is what I mean by moving on.
That is why it is so good to have a counselor to talk to,
 because it can help you to get through things that are devastating to you mentally and emotionally.

All of this, and
it was just a simple trip to the eye doctor, right?

Now, I will share my sweet husband's
 understanding and kind reactions to all of this.
He did come home from work to check on me. 
And after I had a nap, 
He took me to get the makeup I had meant to buy that day.
On a second trip that evening, he took me to McDonald's 
for a hot fudge sundae.
He left a TV baseball game to do that.
Wasn't that sweet?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Does Your Skin Crawl?

Image Courtesy of [noomhh]/
How does a week go by so quickly?  It hardly seems possible it is Monday again.  Do you remember those long ago days when you thought Friday would never arrive?  Well, be prepared -- it is right around the corner.

My Focus is on my health needs this week.  I will still be doing things in the house, but I need to take stock of what's going on physically and attend to those things that need to be taken care of.

Remember our June focus on medicine and taking it when we are supposed to.  I have been working on that, and a few changes need to be made in the area of supplements.  So, that is part of my focus.  If that doesn't take care of things for me, then to the doctor I will go -- again.

Image Courtesy of  Salvatore Vuono
Weird things have been going on with me for several days.  Have you heard of the word Parethesia?  It is a sensation of tickling, tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect.  It can also be experienced as a sense of the skin crawling.  Also, an old-fashioned term I have heard used for it is "nerves", which seems to be an accurate term, since the nerves are responsible for this.  Yesterday, I thought if had to experience one more second of this I could go mad;  however, I obviously didn't.  

Therefore, I am in the process of figuring out why this has gotten worse.  Sometimes, I can get relief by being active, but it is short-lived.  Therefore, I have been looking at my supplements and whether I am needing more of some I had let up on.  I am thinking magnesium may help, but I am going to check out  a few other things, as well.  The thought also occurred to me that my body may have grown too used to my dose of Cymbalta, so I may need to  call or see the doctor.  However, I would rather go the supplement route.  And I  think I will add another fish oil capsule.  I used to take 2, but I had dropped to 1.  I have heard fish oil is soothing to the brain.  It can't hurt anyway.

One thing I did not mention is the parethesia starts to bring on a certain amount of anxiety in me.  I am not sure which comes first, the chicken or the egg -- the parethesia or the anxiety;  however, I can think of no reason I have to be anxious other than I hate that sensation.

What do you think?  Have you experienced parethesia?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sinusitis and Barometric Pressure - Big Ouchy!

Image Courtesy of [Michal Marcol]/

Big Ouchy is the incorrect use of the word ouch, but that is exactly how I feel when my head feels about twice its size in the region of my sinus passages.  My head feels heavy, my neck hurts, my body feels like it is fighting something extra off, and  my brain doesn't even seem to work the same.  My eyes are getting blurry and my tummy feels slightly nauseated.  I begin to wonder if I could have a migraine and sinus pressure at the same time.  

Did I mention I checked the barometer?   And, it is falling.  My sinuses and the way I feel were my first clue to the change in barometric pressure, because any sinusitis I have is usually affected by this kind of a weather change.    

I know what this is:  it is a sinus headache in every sense of the word without relief so far.  However, I am working on it.