Thursday, March 12, 2009

Musings

I am sitting here this morning sipping my coffee, watching the rain and thinking. I have alot on my mind lately.
First and foremost is my commitment to Lent this year. I have given up sweets/desserts for 40 non-sundays so that I may keep the temptation of Jesus at the fore-front of my mind during this pre-easter season. I must admit that I have not been perfect in this endeavor. I have cheated at least twice that I will admit to myself. I try to rationalize it to myself as a weekday off instead of Sunday. I know in my heart that this defeats the purpose. I also try telling myself that God understands that I am NOT perfect as Jesus was...but still a part of me feels guilty and a part of me feels proud. Proud? Why? Well I see my use of sweets in a different light now that I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I am not tyring to make excuses for myself but I am trying to be realistic with myself. Sweets were an addiction for me...or I should say are an addiction for me. The cehmical reaction sweets cause in the brain temporarity eleviates some of the pain created by my disease by realeasing seratonin and other pleasure related neurotransmitters.
I eat sweets because I hurt. And being able to resist the temptation of temporary relief and the weight gain that follows is a huge step for me. I have not perfected it but I am on the track to do so. I am still trying to find ways to cope without self destruction.
Those of you who know me well know that I have another addiction. DIET DP! I love it. I hate to admit, but on a bad day I can drink up to, if not more than, 7 sodas. In researching Fibromyalgia I have found that one of the worst things for this disease is diet soda (because of the aspartame). So herein lies the second topic on my mind this morning. Not only am I dealing with one addiction, I am dealing with 2. Come to find out I have been using the caffeine, unbeknownced to me, to fend off what is commonly known as fibro fog (mental fog) and fatigue. I know stopping this cold turkey is the best thing for me but right now. I am just angry about it. Right now I just want SOMETHING to indulge in. Right now I just want a crutch. I know I know. Lean on God. I KNOW! But it is very very difficult to get to that place where your faith and your love for God can fulfil you physically. Sometimes I am there and sometimes I am not. Today I find myself sitting the fence.
I also need to change sooooo many lifestyle habits. I need to exercise daily but I am just soooooooo tired. My fibromyalgia is yet unmedicated. I am exhausted and sore and angry and want to break out of this shell of a body and be who I know I am without all these stupid physical boundaries. THIS IS NOT WHO I AM! I desire so much more. I desire energy, I desire stamina, I desire physical activity...but right now those things seem so very distant. I can barely make it through the day without a nap and when I do THAT seems like a major accomplishment.

I had the shakes yesterday. I know it is from the detox from caffeine and refined sugar products. MAN, it was miserable. I broke down last night and ate ice cream. I feel like a heroine addict looking for her next fix. (ok, maybe not that drastic but at times I THINK it is).
On top of all of this I am dealing with the recent self discovery that for my entire life I have built some sort of physical boundary to keep people from being attacted to me, because if I am attractive then I have to deal with all my sexual abuse baggage.
In high school I dressed like a carney 99% of the time. I was daring someone to love me through the madness of my clothing. Now I find myself wearing a different sort of clothing...WEIGHT! I eat to keep myself from feeling sexual. The more sexual I feel, the more attactive I feel. The more attractive I feel the more conscious I am that men look at me. If I can stay unattractive then no one will look at me and I wont feel uncomfortable from unwanted attention and therfore wont have to deal with my issues from the 11 years of molestation.
My mind is buzzing and this one verse keeps speaking comfort to me through it all.
1 Chronicles 28:20...I am praphrasing here.

Be strong and corageous and do the work. God, my god, will not forsake nor abandon you until the work on the Temple of the Lord God is complete.




Brick after brick I continue to build...knowing that one day my temple for God will be complete. And he will dwell in me forever.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Skunked"

I spent my Saturday evening watching local police chase a suspect through 3 backyards, into 1 vacant home and into the back of another. The police had been called out twice by two different neighbors about the same suspicious behavior. Indeed there was an issue.
The cars rolled onto the street and neighbors congregated in their front yards all aghast and slightly entertained. One male and one female officer became frustrated with the subject after a short interchance full of boasting and threatening--they fired one shot. The perpetrater wasnt even stunned. The negotiations continued and another shot. Still the perp wasnt phased. The male officer became irate and hit the suspect with a shovel. The perp still menaced. TWO MORE SHOTS FOLLOWED. The last one was fatal and came from a rifle.
Although brutal, gory and scary, I dont think you will see this story on the local news, or on their web channels--rabid skunks dont seem to make good crime stories

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rhematologist appointment

So after waiting 3 months I had my first appointment with Dr Fung today.
Right off the bat he said he saw some real issues in my family history-i.e. Lupus, ITP, Diabetes, Scarlet fever etc etc.
I was very pleased with the appointment. He spent a good amount of time with me and asked thorough questions. I really feel like he listened to my craziness.
After reviewing my chart and looking me over he told me there were 3 big issues at this point that he could see causing me problems.
1. My psoriasis was leading to psoratic arthritis and I am double jointed and that that alone causes mild joint pain
2.I definately have pre-lupus symptoms if not the disease. He is testig my ANA.
3. This is the doozie. He thinks I almost definately have fibromyalgia.
I dont know much about this disease. Wit my background in biology, premed courses, genetics and anatomy and physiology I almost always know the disease and symptoms...but this one I dont know much about.
So far this is the best of what I have come across

Symptoms
The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain, severe fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons – the soft fibrous tissues in the body.

Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they were pulled or overworked. Sometimes fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle twitches and burning sensations. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, and it shows up in people of all ages. A conservative estimate of its prevalence is 2% of the general population, but it may be as high as 3-5%.

To help your family and friends relate to your fibromyalgia symptoms, have them think back to the last time they had a bad flu. Every muscle in their body shouted out in pain. In addition, they felt devoid of energy as though someone had unplugged their power supply. While the severity of symptoms fluctuates from person to person, fibromyalgia may resemble a post-viral state. This similarity is the reason experts believe that fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may actually be the same condition. Gulf War syndrome also overlaps with FMS/CFS.

Common symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome:
Pain - The pain of fibromyalgia has no boundaries. People describe the pain as deep muscular aching, throbbing, shooting, and stabbing. Intense burning may also be present. Quite often, the pain and stiffness are worse in the morning and you may hurt more in muscle groups that are used repetitively.
Fatigue - This symptom can be mild in some fibromyalgia patients and yet incapacitating in others. The fatigue has been described as "brain fatigue" in which patients feel totally drained of energy. Many patients depict this situation by saying that they feel as though their arms and legs are tied to concrete blocks, and they have difficulty concentrating, e.g., brain fog.
Sleep disorder - Most fibromyalgia patients have an associated sleep disorder called the alpha-EEG anomaly. This condition was uncovered in a sleep lab with the aid of a machine that recorded the brain waves of patients during sleep. Researchers found that the majority of fibromyalgia patients could fall asleep without much trouble, but their deep level (or stage 4) sleep was constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity. Patients appeared to spend the night with one foot in sleep and the other one out of it.
Sleep lab tests may not be necessary to determine if you have disturbed sleep. If you wake up feeling as though you've just been run over by a Mack truck—what doctors refer to as unrefreshing sleep—it is reasonable for your physician to assume that you have a sleep disorder. Many fibromyalgia patients have been found to have other sleep disorders in addition to the alpha-EEG, such as sleep apnea (as well as the newly discovered form of interrupted breathing called upper airway resistance syndrome, or UARS), bruxism (teeth grinding), periodic limb movement during sleep (jerking of arms and legs), and restless legs syndrome (difficulty sitting still in the evenings).
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Constipation, diarrhea, frequent abdominal pain, abdominal gas, and nausea represent symptoms frequently found in roughly 40 to 70% of fibromyalgia patients. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) also occurs with the same high frequency.
Chronic headaches - Recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches are seen in about 70% of fibromyalgia patients and can pose a major problem in coping for this patient group.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome - This syndrome, sometimes referred to as TMJ or TMD, causes tremendous jaw-related face and head pain in one-quarter of fibromyalgia patients. However, a 1997 published report indicated that close to 75% of fibromyalgia patients have a varying degree of jaw discomfort. Typically, the problems are related to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the jaw joint and not necessarily the joint itself.
Other common symptoms - Premenstrual syndrome and painful periods, chest pain, morning stiffness, cognitive or memory impairment, numbness and tingling sensations, muscle twitching, irritable bladder, the feeling of swollen extremities, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, dizziness, and impaired coordination can occur. Fibromyalgia patients are often sensitive to odors, loud noises, bright lights, and sometimes even the medications they are prescribed.
Aggravating factors - Changes in weather, cold or drafty environments, infections, allergies, hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states), stress, depression, anxiety and over-exertion may all contribute to fibromyalgia symptom flare-ups


I also learned the hypothyroidism...which i have been diagnosed with for sure...can set off fibromyalsia....
But I have faith that all will be well, i will get treatment and feel well once more-By the Grace of God.