Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Why I Embrace My Insomnia

I'm sure that all of you have been in this situation:

Me: I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night.
Well Meaning Friend (WMF): Oh! I'm sorry to hear that! What's been on your mind lately?

First, don't get me wrong! It's nice that these WMFs care! But when the conversation leads to this I tend to just drop the subject for three reasons, one there is nothing major on my mind that is keeping me up at night. Two, I am all about sleep hygiene and have been ritual about it since the night I didn't need my mother tucking me in. And three, though I can understand that the WMFs may have sleep issues from time to time and think they understand, my sleep issue is chronic and it's not just about trying to fall asleep, it's also about staying asleep too.

For ever since I can remember I've had these issues. Even as a child I could not fall asleep, nor could I stay asleep. As an adult, I assumed my problem had to do with being in bed too long so I made it a point to stay up until I was tired. That only worked in my twenties for about five to six years because I was staying up until 3 AM and then waking up at 5:30 AM two to three times per week. It got old-- what can I say? Once I hit my thirties, I decided that a bedtime of 11 PM was more respectable but I'd always wake up at 2:30 AM from a dream, a noise, or having to feed the baby and I wouldn't fall back to sleep until it was 30 minutes before my older one had to wake up to get ready for school. Now that I'm in my forties I just lie there and watch TV until I feel tired enough because I've given up trying to fix my insomnia. Instead I'll just embrace it as part of my life.

Yes, I stare at the clock and hate it, myself, and everything else during those hours I cannot sleep. And I wake up with pain the next morning too. And, YES, it is hard for me to do my daily chores while in that pain but frankly the alternatives to my problem-- at least to me-- seem far worse.

I could try to take sleep aids-- I really could. Especially on those nights of desperation, but the problem is I already have been known to sleep walk without taking any kind of drug. I remember waking one morning to see some half eaten cheese on the kitchen counter and remembered dreaming about eating a piece that turned into me milking a cow. Seriously! It happened! So, for me? A sleep aid any stronger than chamomile or melatonin would be very dangerous!

My insomnia, thankfully, comes in waves and is like actual clockwork-- pun intended! The first wave is waking up once a night at around 12:30-1 AM. I can usually fall back to sleep easily until 4:30 AM rolls around and I'm awakened by my husband coming in from work. The next wave is waking up two-five times a night and having overly stiff joints in the morning. The best way to describe the stiff feeling is having to walk through a swimming pool. My last wave is not being able to fall asleep and then waking up two-four times during the night. Thankfully, I am currently on my last wave as I'm typing this post! Because after these waves I have one blissful week of sleeping like an actual normal person. YAY!!!

In the end, I still get a lot of WMFs that try and tell me to take a bath, get dressed into P.J.s, read a book, avoid taking any naps, and have zero caffeine. I think my favorite bit of advice was not to take naps. I get the sentiment, but in my case, if I don't nap on some days I WILL hurt myself.

I've had days where I've been so groggy that I have put the potholder on one hand and I've used the bare one to lift a pan out of the oven. I just simply cannot NOT take a nap on these days or on the days I must drive my children somewhere. It's just not an option in my world and this is why I've embraced my insomnia.

May all of you have sweet dreams and STAY FABULOUS!

Love and Friendship,
Kimberley

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Best Blog

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Healthline


I am considered a best blog again and I know that many of  you may think I'm slacking. I am SO not! I've been trying to gain access to this blog for almost a year!

I have just posted a new blog entry to let you all know things are good!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Another new win!

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Topical Pain Relief

First, I have a BIG apology to get out of the way! I have been having issues trying to get in here to post and they are finally fixed! YAY!!!! I'm so sorry I've been missing in action!

Second, let's talk about fibro!

I haven't done a post about topical pain relief in quite some time because I haven't come across anything I've really liked until now.

Much of my pain is sciatica pain and shoulder pain from sitting or standing for too long and being hunched over on my desk writing. The shoulder pain is something that I'm used to dealing with on a daily basis, but the sciatic pain can throw me for a loop where all I want to do is find some relief.

I think I have found some relief from a product called Australian Dream Back Relief Cream. Now, for the sake of formalities, one, please consult your doctor before trying any new product for pain relief, and, two, I am not affiliated with this product in any way. I bought this product on my own accord and I'm giving all of you the thoughts I have on it so you can check it out for yourself.

The product is not sticky like some pain rubs can be. There's no odor either and that actually made me wonder if the product would actually work! I went from a pain scale of 8 to a pain level of 1 when I woke up the next morning. It did take a bit of time to see results. My pain, however, was so minimal in the morning that I actually wondered if I was dreaming!

The jar is pretty large, but it is more expensive than a tube of the regular name brand pain relievers on the market today. I've only used it once so far so I can't tell you exactly how long a 4-ounce jar will last me. I tend to use products very sparingly, especially the higher priced ones so this particular jar will probably last me 4-6 months if my flares are not excessive.

If you like to take baths like I do, there's a great product by Dr. Teal that helps with very sore muscles. I've used this product during flares and I've used it when I worked out too much one day at the gym (thanks, Lee, still remember the feeling of THAT burn LOL!). This product works very well for both types of soreness. I had severe muscle tears with my first ever biking class (again, thanks, Lee!) and this soak helped to relieve the soreness related to that type of pain, as well as major fibro flares. The menthol aroma also helped to relax me enough to sleep afterward.

This product is not expensive and it lasts for about 4-5 baths. I'm a weekend type of bath person so it will last me a month when I'm not in a flare. I enjoy the product a lot for a relaxation.

I hope you look into either of these two as an option for you! And next time we will discuss shower heads and the benefits of getting ones with massage features!

STAY FABULOUS!
Love and friendship,
Kimberley




Friday, January 13, 2017

For the Record

I am making a public announcement that I, author Amanda Kimberley of FibroandFabulous.com (tm) has never been in the past, or is now, in association with, related to, OR affiliated with any entity known as Fabulous With Fibro. I am not selling any services as a holistic coach, nor did I write any books related to that brand. I am also not associated, affiliated, or related to a patient community group called Fabulous With Fibro that also has a clothing line. I will not ask you for donations of any kind, and I have never done so in over a decade of writing this blog. PLEASE be careful when you are looking for my blogsite in the future. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year, New Outlook

2015 was not a good year for me and 2016 pretty much sucked too. I had a lot of happy moments during each of those years, but there were some very sad moments too. My health was also not the greatest because of the compounded stress and junk food I was putting in my body.

Many people do New Year's resolutions and my thoughts on that have been the same for a couple of decades. I used to get really excited about changing a bad habit or putting something positive into my life, like exercise. I'd start out the first week or two and do really well until life came along in week three to ruin it all. I'd get discouraged, but keep trying until February when I started to realize that the goal was just too much for me to handle and I'd give up. From about 1997 and on, I made a resolution to make no more resolutions and that worked well until now.

I've been giving my health some scrutiny these past six months. I've made strides in my anxiety and panic attacks. My stomach, though not 100% normal, is NO WHERE near as upset with me as it used to be. And I am starting to slowly incorporate the things I enjoyed, like reading, before my family's turmoil. These are all steps in the right direction, but I want to do more.

Exercise is important, so is eating right. But as a Fibro sufferer, you can't always depend on your body to feel strong enough to do these things when you can barely get out of bed! I started talking with a Facebook friend named Vikkas a couple of months before the new year and he wanted to know from his all of us what our resolution or goals were for 2017. I thought about it for a few moments and came up with something I could live with and definitely live by. I want to practice more self-care.

Self-care is broad. It is not specific. If self-care can be exercise on a good day-- great! I can put in a 7-10 minute workout. If my sciatica is acting up, then self-care might mean a few hours in bed with a good book. Self-care can also mean more at home spa days filled with bubble baths, facial masks, and pedicures too! The sky is the limit with self-care AND it is broad enough to incorporate something for yourself positive daily to reach your goal. 

My goals for this year are to focus on calming my mind and spirit with meditation, yoga, and streamlining my newsletter and websites for my writing business. I also want to work on feeling less pain so I will be exercising for no more than seven rigorous minutes a day with situps, stretches, and lunges. I also plan on focusing on taking more at home spa days where I take care of my feet, soak in some epsom salts, and care for my dry skin. These are all things that can be worked on throughout the week, or month and if I skip a day due to pain, I won't feel horrible.

I think we are too hard on ourselves when we try and stick to a strict regimen of one hour workouts in the gym or a diet consisting of only raw fruits and veggies. These goals are nearly next to impossible to achieve for someone with Fibromyalgia. 

If you are living in a bubble and can avoid all human contact, you might be able to do one hour workouts daily. And if you are healthy enough to not need meat or carbs for deficiencies in iron or b-complex you could go on a vegan diet. 

A fibromite may wish to have goals like these-- and more power to you if you want to, but if you are like me, you probably will fail. See, I can't give up my bacon or my writing, so you'd never see me doing these well LOL! And I will be the first to admit that!

So the next time you decide to make a goal or a resolution for the new year, focus on something broad, not specific, if you want to change your health or lifestyle. You don't have to quit all of your bad habits all at once, do them slowly and with a lot of self-love for yourself. I can guarantee you that you will then commit and KEEP your resolutions every year!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley


Thursday, December 15, 2016

So...What Do YOU Think?

I am just one lonely blogger in a sea of many MORE reputable places that have gained FAR more recognition (and money-- let's face it) than I have?

So-- what makes you stay here and read? Is it because I pride myself in being the journalist that I trained be? Do you like that I fact check? Do you like that I speak my mind when it comes to practices that I find are NOT helping this community as a whole and I voice my opinion?

I'm wondering because most of you may get my posts from Facebook-- and that's fine! BUT know that they WILL be fact-checking my blog, and though I'm VERY confident that I'm right in my research, please know, that I'm not so sure how this will slant in the end. Blogs may become TOTALLY hidden EVEN IF they contain REAL info.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG BECAUSE I can't say! All I can tell you is read this article and be FOR WARNED for this blog and the rest that you read!

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-will-fact-check-label-fake-news-in-news-feed-2016-12

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It's Been a While

I know it has been quite a bit of time since my last posting here. With the deaths of my Grandmother and Mother, and the major move from Connecticut to Texas we have made, my life got complicated. I would apologize, but I don't think that is an appropriate thing to do. Why? Because I think FAR too often we sufferers apologize for things we just should not have to.

For instance, why apologize for a messy house when you, yourself as a Fibro sufferer, are taking care of children, pets, and the elderly daily? Is a messy house so awful? Not in the slightest! Your priorities have been on beings that cannot take care of themselves and not on an inanimate object. And honestly, if people feel THAT uncomfortable in a cluttered house, they are not your family or friends. They are problematic and should be left alone to handle their problems of selfishness on their own.

And I truly believe it is selfishness that rules them when they become uncomfortable in your dwelling. It is their judgement that you should be living to their standards. Their standards are always going to be judged from a completely different lifestyle. They more than less likely do not have a chronic illness to contend with. They may not have children. And if they do, are they also taking care of adults that are geriatric along with little children that are not school age? Or are they taking care of bigger children that require a taxi service and are they also dragging the elderly with them on those taxi runs? Probably not! They cannot judge you unless they live the exact life that you do. Only then can they judge, and at that point, they will probably keep their mouth shut because it would require energy to open it LOL!

I remember a day when I had no choice but to go grocery shopping with my Mom who was suffering from advanced Alzheimer's and my two children. I had to be quick with this trip because my Grandmother and her nurse were expecting me back so I could cook a meal for Grandma and my Grandfather. It was a very interesting trip because my youngest was maybe 4 month old at the time. My oldest was 7 years old. And Mom was a wanderer with Alzheimer's.

I had asked my oldest to hold on to the cart and her Ama's hand as tight as she could while my crying 4 month old was asking rather loudly for her mid morning feeding. I was pumping at the time for outings because people were not all that comfortable with woman who openly breast fed in public. So I reached for the prepared bottle.

The problem with asking a 7 year old and a person with Alzheimer's to push a cart is the fact that sometimes they cannot push it in a straight line. So I was trying to grow a third hand from my body to try and steer the food cart while holding the little one and her bottle at the same time. I can look back now on this and chuckle because it was a pretty funny thing to be happening to me while being so disgustingly tired. And I remember being really calm about the whole situation which was also funny.

Back then, though, it probably was not so funny to the people witnessing my life in Trader Joe's. Many of the employees stopped and asked me if I wanted to use their break room to sit and feed my little one. Others asked me if I needed help with shopping or getting the groceries to my car. And just about every customer allowed me the space and time I needed to shop in a usually hurried part of Connecticut. That day was quite memorable for me because I was apologizing to everyone if I was taking too long or in their way, and really, most found compassion for me once they saw the situation and could relate to it on their own level.

This is why I feel that the people who cannot understand or relate to what you are going through are selfish and are just not worth your time, energy, or compassion. Well, maybe your compassion when it is at a distance. But you should never feel obligated to sympathize with someone who cannot see beyond their own situations because you as a chronic sufferer need all the energy you can get to spend on the people and things that matter the most to you!

Stay fabulous!
Love and Friendship,

Kimberley

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