I Have Fibromyalgia 

One of the biggest issues I have with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is the inconsistency. Inconsistency of what doctors think it is, what causes it, and how pain should be managed.

Then there’s the inconsistency of people watching you deal with your illness. They think you’re fine because you hide when you have pain. Then if you are caught in pain, they freak out thinking you need to be hospitalized because they have never seen you in such a way. There are also those people who think you can take a pill and do yoga to get over it. Mind over matter.

Last is the inconsistency of these “fibro attacks”. There are some times I expect to trigger an attack, like after something strenuous like a hike or bowling tournament. But then there are times it comes on and it just ruins my plans.

It flares up and I’m completely thrown off. Try explaining to a toddler why momma screamed and cried curled up on the floor after said toddler used an elbow on momma to push herself to an upright position. These times suck.

I will note that I have more attacks when taking birth control. Even though I’m on a low dose, it still seems to make a big impact on my life.

Sometimes I get so angry when I’m in pain that I go between anger and tears until the sadness takes over or I am finally able to sleep. I don’t like being angry at anyone and I know there is no reason for it. It’s just such a hard thing to process. Granted this is usually when the pain is really bad like tonight/this morning. 

Treating the pain is not guaranteed. Sometimes something as simple as ibuprofen or a magnesium supplement helps so much. Other times I end up wondering how long it’s going to last and if anything will make it go away or if it ever will.

I know more people with fibromyalgia now, but it’s such a shady subject to talk about. No one really wants to discuss their pain. People get afraid that they will be labeled as drug addicts or that people just won’t get it if they don’t have it…. but there are so many people who do!

I know sometimes I just want to connect and maybe hear what others do to feel better. Whether it’s self medicating, prescription, diet changes, natural treatments, I really don’t care. I think it’s more about not feeling alone because I haven’t found any sort of fool proof treatment. And that I just feel bad because sometimes I need help because it is too much on days like this. It’s tough, and I don’t like it, but I’m still here.

I’m still breathing.

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Cheeseburger Night!

Last night my attempt to make hamburgers came to a crashing halt. I took the package of hamburger that I let thaw in the fridge overnight out and it smelled like vinegar! I switched gears and put a frozen steak into a pan while making oven fries. Thank goodness it didn’t take too long.

Tonight I was able to make the hamburgers and deep fried French fries! I actually prefer the taste homemade in comparison to fast food. It is a bit of work, but I plan to start premake burgers and keep them in the freezer for a quick fix.


Nom!

How Do You Meal Plan?

My biggest issue is the inconsistency of a schedule on a daily basis. Things come up almost every day last minute, and when they don’t I putter about waiting for something to come because it happens so often. I never use to meal plan, but I would know and have food ready to be cooked every day whether it was in a crock pot, from scratch, or left overs. Now it feels like cooking is daunting and it’s always been something I enjoy doing. So how do you meal prep and where do you begin?!

I’ve read that consistency is the key. Picking a few recipes that the family will enjoy each week consistently. Meatloaf or meatless Mondays, taco Tuesdays, etc. I expect this also helps a lot with a food budget because you can still buy things ahead on sale and in bulk.

Pick a day to shop and prep and be consistent.

Pick recipes and make a grocery list using local flyers to calculate costs and mark sales. Get family involved so that each person gets a favored meal during the week.

Develop easy recipe for dinner on shopping/prep day.

Write meal plan on a calendar so that everyone knows what to expect.

Buy a calendar!

Label items in the fridge for the day and date to be used, for added convenience.

I’m hoping to start this a bit sooner and ease into it. I hope to start planning a full week at the beginning of May.

Does anyone have any tips, blogs or recipes to share?

Free Items?

I’ve had this constant amount of stress over the past couple weeks. It only increased to the point of every day, my schedule is changed because there is some kind of emergency, someone going to the doctor, hospital, needing a ride, being sick, etc. It’s been incredible stressful and I just keep pushing myself through to the best of my ability and today was no different. Maybe that’s why something good happened? Unless the universe is just having a good laugh…

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Confession

I need therapy. Again.

I feel as though I am in a much better head space than I have ever been. As a child and well into my 20s, I was horribly agoraphobic. I even hated people because I felt as though everyone I was forced to be around hated me and sucked the life energy out of me. It was draining, made me anxious, and I was a disgustingly irritable person (aka, I hated me). Therapy and making a choice to change helped. I learned how to socialize. I learned how to take care of myself so I could deal with the things that drained me. I learned to fill my life up with things that energized me. That’s not to say that I was cured.

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Recipe to Feel Well

From a UTI, to pain that could be related to my gallbladder, which is still under investigation. To the norovirus and a cold. Things have been looking up? Sort of. The biggest frustration for me when I’m sick is that one thing hits after another and it aggravates my depression. I tend to be a very hands on sort of person and I need to be doing something to keep my brain from cycling into a downward spiral.

I was supposed to kick start some new eating habits, which didn’t happen this week. Right now I’m thankful for gatorade, gingerale, and crackers. Oh and homemade leek and potato soup!

Once I was feeling better, I traversed to the grocery store intending to make leek and potato soup. Luckily, I found leeks on sale for $1.98 per bunch of 3.

LEEK & POTATO SOUP

5-6 medium sized potatoes (I used russets), peeled, washed, diced – think home fries.
3 Leeks, halved the long way, chopped, rinsed (you only want the white part, and the lighter green)
1 Vidalia onion chopped
2 Celery stalks chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
8 Baby carrots chopped
2 TBSP Butter
1/4 TSP Tarragon
1 TSP Parsley
1/4 TSP Pink Salt
1 Carton of Chicken Stock (32 fl oz)

Saute leeks, vidalia onion, celery and garlic in 2 TBSP of butter (this can take up to 20 minutes depending on if you want your onions caramelized). Add potatoes, carrots, and spices and cover in chicken stock. Simmer until vegetables are cooked. Use an immersion blender to puree or leave as it. You can also substitute with coconut or avacado oil instead of butter. Some people may add cream or a rue, but adding enough potatoes helps to thicken the soup fairly well. I did not add pepper since I was recovering from the noro virus, but if it floats your boat, go for it. (A pinch of cayenne, maybe?) This is filled with a lot of flavor and I do not miss the taste of pepper in this recipe.

The process actually pulled me out of a funk. I didn’t feel great and I even brought a chair over in case I needed to sit down while I prepared this at the stove. I had barely eaten anything but a few crackers, went grocery shopping, and had only been pushing fluids so I was feeling rather weak. I started to get the pangs of hunger a few hours earlier. This soup was light enough that I could tolerate it, but filling enough to give me some energy. I didn’t have a lot to start with, but I still have a jar sitting in my fridge with two servings. This is the stuff I’ve been living on for a few days and I already feel I need to make more.

The Beginning

Starting February, I need to start working on myself again. I would like to go to the gym 3 times a week, and if not, follow a DVD workout at home. That is the plan. The biggest issue is getting myself to stick to it.

I’m also going to try to start meal prepping. Most food that I’ve prepped before does not last a week. So I may need to plan for two prep days. I think that having a meal schedule will help me to utilize my time more wisely. I figured a weekly soup for lunch or dinner, will make for a quick meal if things fall apart. Then prepping things like oatmeal and smoothies, and prechopping items for dinner and snacks will make throwing the other meals together a breeze. I hope this prevents our family from idling in from of the fridge and pantry wonder what to eat!

Does anyone have any suggestions for motivation and yummy recipes?

Infection

Not too long back, I had chronic hives. These have for the most part disappeared after having the Mirena IUD removed. Unfortunately for me, because I had hives while I was on a few different antibiotics, doctors assume that I am allergic. In fact, I am listed as being allergic to all classes of antibiotics. *sarcastic confetti*

I had a different allergist (my former no longer accepts my insurance), tell me that he doesn’t believe I am allergic to anything. My last testing was done while I was on prednisone. He said if I’m only getting hives, this is probably due to dermatographism and he believes my body is attacking itself (autoimmune), but doesn’t know which autoimmune disorder could be doing it. As far as antibiotics, he said I could just take them with beneadryl to prevent the hives. Unlike my former allergist, he just wants to dump a lot of medications on my body and send me to a colleague to be hospitalized for oral challenges in a controlled environment. Yeah, I don’t think so.

I ended up with a bladder and yeast infection after the IUD removal and the doctor decided to give me 3 days of ciprofloxacin, along with the generic of diflucan, providing I took it with benadryl as directed. I took the diflucan first and waited a day as I was told it didn’t matter what order I consumed them in. I had 12.5mg of benadryl with my first dose and a massive anxiety attack. I ended up having a quarter of ativan, because I was just plain scared about having a bad reaction. After 4-6 hours, I was fine, and feeling fine. I took my morning dose without benadryl, as well as my third dose this past evening. The only issue I really feel is the anxiety, horrid dry mouth, and constipation. That’s not too bad. I have three more doses to take and I’m done. I still feel pain and tenderness, but it’s not as bad as it was two days ago.

I hope 3 days is enough to fully eradicate this infection. It hurts to sit down which is an odd feeling. Then the general cramping when I’m laying down is uncomfortable. Its still pretty sharp when I put pressure on my bladder, but I’ve had no issue peeing thankfully.

I’ve read conflicting views on vitamin c and cranberry juice. Some suggests it makes the pain worse because it causes the urine to be more acidic. Others suggest it helps to flush out the system because it is acidic and doesn’t allow bacteria to breed. I’m not very good at avoiding acidic foods and drinks especially when coffee and tea is concerned.

I just want this infection gone! I want to get to spend more time with my daughter instead of being sick.

Tracking Food Consumption

For me, tracking my food intake has been helpful far more than it has been a hindrance. I know its taught me a lot about portion control, but it’s also helped me to assess my eating habits. On days that I don’t track and try to play catch up at the end of the day, I often find that my calorie count is severely low. When I track as I go through my day, I tend to make wiser decisions and consume closer to the calorie count my body needs.

I’m not saying that everyone should track as I know it’s not for everyone. People live different lifestyles and what works for me may not work for someone else. I have personally found this tool to be something of validation through my journey to enhance my health.

As an example, I was off by 1,058 calories. Yes, that’s a lot. I didn’t eat that much portion-wise because I simply wasn’t hungry. Then I got in a workout. The first one I’ve done in a while. This added more calories that I needed to consume, thus hitting the 1,000 mark.

I need to go shopping and pick up more fruits and veggies, so I ended up consuming a fiber one cheese cake bar along with some chips and dip. 150+300+120…It still left me with a 300+ calorie deficit. I know these are not very healthy options, but I wasn’t about to cook a full meal at 11 PM. So, I enjoyed what I ate!

Sometimes it’s just not in my cards to track all day, but when I had been tracking for a while, I found if I was running low, it was usually about 200-400 calories. It’s another reason of why I need to do this again because it is an ongoing learning process.I don’t always have this definitive knowing of what my body needs exactly, so I’m going to keep tracking for a while and continue making better choices.