Saturday, December 29, 2012

Essential Oils, Herbal Teas, and Pregnancy

Since my first pregnancy in 2000 I've read about the many things a pregnant woman should stay away from because it could possibly harm the growing baby.  Herbals in the form of teas and essential oils have taken the worst hit due to the bad press about over consumption of certain herbals, using oils in a baby's bath, and the intermixing of herbals with doctor prescribed medication. 

The bad press started back in early 2000 due to a woman reporting stomach problems to her doctor.  Her condition worsened and became serious and they had attributed it to her over consumption of herbal teas, particularly St. John's Wart.  An article about the precautions of taking St. John's Wart is here: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/stjohnswort/a/stjohnswort.htm.  The negativity gained new vigor with a rather recent finding of sterility in infant boys using lavender. 

The lavender study is small and according to Live Strong, the possibility of lavender being the culprit of infertility is minimal http://www.livestrong.com/article/171036-lavender-oil-male-hormones/.  The article only hints the reader at steering clear of lavender when trying to conceive which leads me to believe that there needs to be much further testing on the subject.

Essential oils for a pregnant woman in her first trimester are a different story, however, according to What to Expect and Live Strong http://www.livestrong.com/article/160187-lavender-oil-pregnancy/.  Lavender may possibly cause a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy which is why it is recommended to avoid it until later trimesters where it is considered safe to use. 

Many other essential oils are safe to use in your second and third trimester and a gal on the What to Expect message boards was kind enough to list them.  http://www.whattoexpect.com/forums/what-to-expect-general-message-board/archives/bath-salts-essential-oils-while-pregnant.html

Though I agree with her due to my own research into herbs, it is always best to consult your doctor before using anything because even though these herbs are considered safe by themselves, it may be a different story for you personally if you use them in concentrated amounts or with medications.  Please, please consult your physician before using any product containing herbs because they are still not regulated by the US federal government.

It is important to note that most things in moderation, including herbs and spices you consume in teas and foods, are safe.  But it's always better to be safe than sorry.  You know your body, and so does the little one inside you.  Listen to your body.  If you experience nausea at the sight or smell of something, it may not be just a pregnancy symptom, it may very well be your body alerting you to stay away from that particular food, cleaning product, or drink.  I truly believe that.

A funny thing happened to me the other day which reminded me of my pregnancy "alarm".  My husband had come home from work and had a White Russian.  It's not completely common place for him to have a drink every night, but alcohol is not completely banned from this house either.  In fact, I've been known to indulge in a glass of wine on occasion myself.  After he had his drink he had joined me in bed and I could smell the alcohol on his breath.  It was completely nauseating and I had to roll over on the poor guy. 

Now for obvious reasons, alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy just like certain other things.  I honestly believe that my nausea kicked in because of my pregnancy "alarm".  Call me crazy if you'd like, but I don't think I'm wrong.  I believe our bodies are capable of some pretty fantastic things and I believe this is one of them.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Friday, December 28, 2012

Working through the pain with Bee Natural Fibromyalgia Care Products

“I can't stand to see people in pain.” Marian, owner of Bee Natural said to me in a recent interview I had with her. Bee Natural Fibromyalgia Care Company, a new business, had its infant beginnings in 2011 with its official product research and development but Marian really had had the idea since her Fibromyalgia diagnoses.

“There aren't many products out there geared specifically towards Fibromyalgia sufferers.  Most are for arthritis pain and they include Fibromyalgia.  My goal is to have products like my Deep Tissue Morning Bath Soak on popular store shelves like Walgreens and Walmart specifically for the sufferer.  I experimented with many different combinations of herbs and salts for this product for many years. In fact, one might say that I actually started my research and development way back in 2008 when I was first diagnosed with three different cancers and then Fibromyalgia.”

Marian chose specific herbs and salts for Fibro sufferers in her bath soaks. She adds Basil for alertness.  This helps with Fibro Fog.  And she uses Epsom Salt to draw out Fibromyalgia pain. Her choice of lavender for her other bath soak is for people who may suffer from anxiety along with their Fibro pain. Marian is also working with certain essential oils for Fibro sufferers and plans to have some available on her website soon.
“Sandlewood helps with sleep, calmness, and stomach issues but it has to be pure in order to do the most good.”

Curious about her symbolism in the bee, I asked Marian why she had chosen it as her company logo. I figured that maybe some of her products may contain bee pollen, a substance known to help aid in alleviating fatigue. But Marian elloquently stated that she has never viewed any Fibro sufferer as a butterfly.


“They just don't seem to work as hard as the bee. And even way back in middle school, I can remember working as hard as a bee. I was always sick with something and penicillin never seemed to work. I also had Chronic Fatigue and was home in bed often but I still graduated at the top of my class.”

Many studies have shown that Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to be Type A personalities and a worker bee would fit our choice of lifestyle well. Even when we find that we are becoming sick, we find ways to compensate by doing extra on our good days. Marian, a high school English teacher, used to do her lesson plans on the weekends.

And that's not all that this ambitious Fibromite does. In her spare time she has been writing her own books for Fibro sufferers. She plans to have them go to print shortly. She also would like to eventually set up a brick and mortar store geared specifically towards Fibromyalgia sufferers. These stores would carry anything from bath salts to comfortable clothing. She agrees with me and many other sufferers that some of the clothing on the market today is very uncomfortable for people with pain issues and she'd like to do her part in remedying that.  For more information on Marian, please visit her website http://www.beenaturalfibromyalgia.com/index.html.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pregnancy at Week 4 and 5


Pregnancy at weeks 4 and 5 can be uneventful for some mothers.  In fact, they might not even know they are pregnant at that point.  But for some of the lucky, like me, you can experience anything from fatigue on top of your normal fatigue, sore breasts, sore lower back, constipation, diaherra, mood swings, nausea, dizziness, bloating, food cravings and aversions.  I've been lucky to experience all of the above at week 4 and 5 of my pregnancy.  Up top is a picture of week 4's bloating.  And below is a picture of week 5.


I'm having a hard time fitting into my normal pants at this point and will have to start shopping for maternity clothes this weekend.  OMG! As my 4 yr old would say.  My first two pregnancies were nothing like this one.  I didn't "show" until my third month and even at that point I could still manage to fit into some of my clothes.

Bloating can be from a number of things during pregnancy.  Tight clothing and what you eat play a major role in your bloat and I've been guilty of both.  I cheated this holiday season and had baked goods that contained wheat.  I couldn't help it.  They were calling my name and they looked SOOOO good.  I paid for it, of course, and wound up with some irritable bowel and bloat. 

There are ways to alleviate feeling like the Good Year Blimp, even in pregnancy. 
  1. Wearing loose clothing helps to relieve some pressure.
  2. Chewing your food slowly.
  3. Sticking to a healthy diet of 6 small meals a day rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables and staying away from fried foods, cabbage, beans, and onions that are gas culprits. 



For our own Christmas dinner I stuck to my pregnancy diet and ate foods rich in protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables with roasted duck, ham, baked baccala with roma tomatoes, shiitake mushroom lasagna, and kale with quinoa.  I picked at these delicious dishes most of the day and made myself eat 3 small meals and 1 snack.  I haven't quite worked up to 6 meals a day at this point because I just can't stomach it yet (pardon the pun) but I am getting there! 

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,
Kimberley


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fibro and Fabulous Pregnancy

Coming this August... A new addition to the Fibro and Fabulous Family!  Yes, that is right!  Your favorite Fibromyalgia author is pregnant! 

As I do with everything Fibro, I will be posting about pregnancy from a fabulous stand point and you all will get to see the progress month by month.  Have a wonderful holiday!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm Usually a Type A, but Lately...

Doctor Oz had a very interesting segment on today about metabolisms and food and how it can effect you and your health.  I like the Doctor Oz show a lot and I'm so glad that there is someone out there discussing the very things that I've said countless numbers of times over the years about food.

Pills to cure illness were never a common staple with our ancestors and it shouldn't be for us either.  Simple changes in diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference for us all.  I know there are some skeptics out there.  They still want to hold onto to the traditions of pill-profit medicine and that's okay.  But if you'd rather save a few hundred dollars or so every month, you might want to consider the alternative.

After taking Doctor Oz's test, I found that I'm a reformed Type A personality/metabolism.  Type A's suffer from anxiety which is something I've always struggled with, but perhaps the counseling I've gotten over the years for my OCD issues, which stemmed from my mother, has helped me to finally find a balance where I'm now a Type C!  Yes I now crave salty AND sweet foods, I get tired, cranky, AND I have aches and pains.  YAY!!! I'm so excited to be a happy medium!  NOT!!!! LOL!

Regardless of your personality or metabolism, you can change how your body reacts.  Doctor Oz suggests a certain diet to follow for each personality/metabolism, and yes, he does suggest that the foods you eat make up your personality.  A topic I find very interesting.  I know I've changed my diet several times over the course of my life and I've become a different person than I used to be.  I thought it was due to growth and experience alone, but could it really be just the food?

Doctor Oz has suggested that there are many studies out there about personalities and diet, however, sorry to say, this Fibro and Fab gal has yet to see it in the Google searches from a reputable site, except this promising one : http://www.rps.psu.edu/indepth/does_personality_play_a_role_in_the_preference_for_spicy_foods.html.  But that doesn't mean I won't keep looking.

You can follow the discussion from the aired Doctor Oz television show here: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/your-metabolism-type-diet and be sure to take the quiz: http://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/quiz-what-your-metabolism-type

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley




 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fibromyalgia and Holiday Festivities

I really hate the word diet.  It's constricting and has the negative connotation that you'll have to avoid all of your favorite foods at your Aunt Lucy's because she tends to cook everything from a box.  The holidays used to scare me. And for a good amount of years after being diagnosed, I tended to take on the burden of hosting the festivities simply because I didn't want to feel silly or starved at a family function.

Food sensitivities aren't fun.  In fact, they can down right suck for the sufferer.  They make you feel isolated and guilty because you feel people may have to go out of their way to cook something suitable for you to eat.

There are a few things, however, that you can do to make the holidays a little more bright and merry for everyone involved-- including yourself.  First, offer to bring at least one dish so you know it's something safe to eat.  Some Fibro sufferers can handle a few chemicals or preservatives if they eat them in very small portions so having a stress-free dish always helps.

Second, avoid any of the normal foods that might trigger a flare.  Dairy and wheat are two big flare factors for many sufferers, where as oven prepared meats like turkey, are not.  Filling up on veggies and meats may be your best bet in avoiding the day after flare.

Third, if you plan to drink alcohol, keep hydrated with plenty of water.  Alcohol doesn't have to be completely avoided if you typically don't flare from it.  However, the holidays should not be the time to try something new.  Stick with an old standby like an ale if you are not gluten sensitive or a white wine.  White wines have less silicates and tend not to cause migraines like reds can.  But be careful.  Some whites may cause headaches depending on the wine brand.  If you haven't had the brand before it could spell trouble.

If you are a tried and true reds fan they don't have to be avoided all together-- stick to a brand of wine you know and like if you have your heart set.  However, certain red wines can cause adverse reactions in people. The studies on this are not completely clear, though.  In one study, some people got adverse reactions to wines from South America that have low tannat, while others were perfectly fine.  Merlot and Cabernet have lower tannat, and therefore, they wanted to see in Brazil if these wines cause less migranes.

I'm not as fortunate as some of the study goers.  I know I can develop a serious reaction to certain brands of Merlot, Cabernet, or even white wines.  I even have, on one occasion, become violently ill after one glass. At other times I've woken up with a severe migraine.  Blends work better for me personally.  I tend to gravitate towards a White Muscato, Zinfandel, Chiraz, Melbec, or a Sweet Red like Moscato because I don't get headaches or painful flares from them. 

Another thing to keep in mind during the holiday season is your intake of baked goods.  Processed sugar sometimes is not a Fibromites friend.  Stick to deserts that are on your personal good list.  Refrain or consume very little of the ones you are not sure of.

Lastly, have fun.  Stress triggers flares.  Don't worry about the food or anything else.  Enjoy your family and friends and have a great as flare-free as possible holiday season!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley


Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Migraine

The holidays drive everyone nuts.  You've got those special relatives and/or friends that spout off their laundry list of gifts they expect you to buy, the lines are long, people are cranky, you can never find a parking space, and then there's cleaning the entire house and making the seven course meal that will be devoured and forgotten about in five minutes.  I must admit that I tend to get loopy and start to sing strange versions of Christmas songs to keep my sanity-- hence the title of this blog entry.  I'm also guilty of making oddly shaped Christmas cookies that aren't "G" rated, and a glass of wine also has never hurt me during this season.

On top of all of this holiday cheer, you've also got to make sure the kids get to soccer, basketball, hockey, dance, karate, and/or whatever else they are into, figure out and do the school science project, make erupting volcanoes for the minor science project, research family trees that need Ancestry.com to complete because you discover that your grandfather really was the black sheep of the family, try to decipher math because it was never your strong suit, and pray to GOD that the only Spanish you know to help your daughter through her non-book class that was learned from Dora the Explorer will be enough for her to pass the sixth grade.

Then there's the lovely neighbors who seem to have all the time in the world to criticise you and your leaf-filled lawn that hasn't been mowed since the weather turned to a cool 80 degrees, the walls in your grandmother's house (that you are living in) haven't seen a coat of paint in 50 years, and it shows, the carpets need to be pulled up because they are old, and the bathroom shower needs to be renovated with new tile because the white subway tiles have now turned black in certain spots.

Now I know that I can't solve the theory of relativity, heck, I don't even think I could understand it-- math's not the strong suit.  But what I can tell you is that you may have to dust off one word in your vocabulary that's known in every language.  No needs to be used, and often with Fibromites, especially during this time of year.

No may not be a great word for teachers and principals to hear, but from my experience, it should be said even to them.  My child is just starting middle school so I only have my past to compare, but I have already seen a lot of waste with time and resources.  And if this is any indication as to what my child is in store for her for the rest of her middle school days, I can truly say that I'm disappointed.

I don't want this entry to wind up being a sound board for how I see where our nation is slipping in education-- that's not my intent-- but I must make my case because I think this is important.  Many of us parents go along with what the teacher wants because we want our children to have a good grade.  We'll go on Ancestry.com if they need birth and death dates if we have to.  But, if we as parents are doing all of this for our children who aren't old enough to do this themselves, something winds up getting lost in all of this, and that's the child being able to learn how to do the project on their own.  I'm sorry teachers, but once the parents step in it's no longer the child's project, it's the parents' and that's not learning.

This issue isn't right on so many levels for the child because it hinders their learning process on how to research things on their own.  There are other things that it hinders, but I'm only dedicating a short blurb to this since my blog is on Fibromyalgia.

A child who is not 13 can not be expected to generate an account on a social networking site to look up family information.  It's stupid and illegal to think otherwise.  It also isn't right to ask parents who may work, or tend to sickly family members, or are ill themselves to pick up the slack in the project.  I'm sorry if this sounds rude but we as parents have already graduated and when we were in sixth grade (at least for me and my husband) we did our own work thank you very much.  And that work was appropriate for our age group-- sorry teachers!  Now, I must say I am a Religious Education teacher and I can appreciate teachers' hard work, but this busy work has got to stop!

If you are ill with Fibromyalgia, or anything else for that matter, and these types of projects are taxing, it is best to talk to the teachers and the principal respectively.  Sometimes they don't actually see what they are asking for is over the top until a parent complains.  And if they don't understand why this is an issue, take it up with the school board.  Education is important for the children NOT the parents who have already been schooled.  Period.

No works for the neighbors too.  Some of them just don't realize that you just don't have the time or money to do the things you know you have to (or even like) do.  If they are nice neighbors they will be happy to help pitch in.  If they aren't, well, a wise writer once said, "Fences make good neighbors."

Relatives can be a touchy subject when it comes to no.  Some of them are sensitive while others can be psychotic.  It's tough to deal with them, I know,  I have a few black sheep grazing the family tables myself.  I tend to either bide my time with some of the stranger ducks because I know they'll only be around for a day and then they're gone until the next major function, or I'll plan my event around their drama.

I was never a dramatic person.  I'm an action, scifi, paranormal, or horror movie kind of gal.  Overly dramatic people turn me off.  But since I'm a writer, I can find some nice ways around the outcomes of dramatic meltdowns.

If you know the scenes from past experiences and have memorized the outcomes, try to make those work to your advantage.  If Aunt Sally is always an hour late to dinner, then make sure you tell her that dinner is an hour earlier than you plan.  She'll be on time, the food will be warm, and you won't feel like a heel for having the rest of the guests wait.  If your mother in-law likes to plan the holidays at the last minute at your house, always make sure you are ready.  I start a month in advance around here by getting all my "good" glasses washed, I vacuum the drapes, carpet, and other textiles, and then try and keep up with the daily "drops" of clothing, food, and paperwork.  I also cook and freeze all my desserts and sides ahead of time so I'm not scrambling at the last minute.

The last thing I do is plan out my shopping excursions carefully.  Every retail facility-- be they food or clothing is packed from the day after Thanksgiving to New Years and it's frustrating to anyone with time limits.  I've said this before but it's worth repeating, Tuesday is the slowest day in retail, and therefore the best day to shop.

Many stores, including your food stores, will have caught up on empty shelves by Tuesday.  Shipments also typically come in on Tuesdays due to the fact that it common knowledge in the retail industry that Tuesdays are slow.  They all know it's a good recoup day.  Try to shop on that day if you can.  If you can't, Wed, Mon, Thurs, and then Fri, respectively, are your best bets.  Also try to shop early in the morning or about an hour or two after the typical dinner time.  These should be the best times to avoid a rush.

I know I have a problem shopping in a busy store.  I tend to get confused very easily due to my personality AND Fibro Fog.  I don't like to be in anyone's way personality wise.  I just don't want to be a cause of frustration for the busy people.  But because I am this way, I tend to avoid busy isles and I won't wait to grab the things I need because I forget to.  I'm too busy trying to make everyone else's shopping experience nice.  It then becomes too hard to remember what I need.  At that point my Fibro Fog will kick in and then I'm completely confused and it becomes difficult to even read a label.  This is why I avoid a busy store all together.

Avoid your migraines this holiday season so you can have as stress-free as possible holiday.  You deserve that in your life!  EVERYONE does!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Weaning and Medication

Weaning off of medication is something that many Fibro patients find themselves thinking about.  Some decide on this because they like to have a family while others feel they would be healthier to do so.  And sometimes, you or your doctor may feel that it's time for you to wean.  If you are finding that you're considering going off of your pain medication(s) for any reason there are some things you should think about before you decide to take the med-free road.

  1. Talk with your doctor.  You doctor is your best ally on your med-free journey.  He or she can suggest your best course for weaning, especially if you are on certain kinds of pain medications.  Certain pain medications are actually narcotics and opioids and even though they are by prescription, the side effects you may have can be the same experience drug addicts have from illicit drugs.  Going "cold turkey" is not something that is suggested by doctors if you've been taking these types of pain killers because the side effects can be severe.  Some of them include increased levels of anxiety, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and headaches.  It is best to seek the counsel of your doctor so he/she can help you plan out a safe weaning process.
  2. Have patience.  First and foremost, going med-free is scary if you've never done it.  I don't care how long you've had Fibromyalgia, it doesn't matter.  The pain level you had prior to your meds will always be a vivid memory, always.  And that's scary for us all.  No one wants to take a step (or twelve) backwards.  It's a huge fear.  It's one that I even had and sometimes still do.  If my lifestyle changes slightly or my stress level has gone up for any reason, I get worried.  When fears are flying, have patience with yourself.  Rome was not built in a day and neither is confidence in yourself or your pain.  If you are doubled over because you have been folding laundry for a half an hour it is completely okay to allow yourself some relief via a pain pill.  Do not beat yourself up for what you may need, that's not your goal.  Your goal is to feel healthier in your mind, spirit, AND body.
  3. Have a goal in mind but don't make it concrete unless your doctor is involved.  Concrete goals are great.  They can make people realize their dreams but they can also hinder you too.  I'm goal orientated, but to a fault.  My father was very goal orientated but he was laid back.  Things he wanted to accomplish in life looked easy to me, the bystander, because he never seemed to let his stress rule him.  My mother was different.  She suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and she made Adrian Monk look dirty-- really she did!  LOL!  Growing up I had two extremes and I've been trying, REALLY trying to find a happy medium for myself.  Goals are tough when you don't make them.  Set ones you think you can make but if you don't, just remember it's still okay.
As always,
Stay fabulous!

Kimberley

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The On Going Gluten Battle and IBS

I was pretty lucky when it came to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  It had never been a huge issue for me before or after my Fibromyalgia diagnoses.  I was always a relatively steady weight and I didn't have a lot of problems with constipation as far as pain was concerned.

But lately it's been a different story.  Now before I go into my story, I must say that I was never what I considered a healthy weight during my late teens and twenties.  I weighed at best 110 pounds.  My height is 5'4 and 3/4" so I wasn't severely underweight but I did push that at 20 when I weighed in at 92 pounds.  I had reasons for that weight loss and I'll delve into that era of my life one day, but this isn't the day.

My weight, at now, 120 pounds, was never really a huge issue before but it was shifting to my belly, hips, thighs, and fingers.  I wasn't completely alarmed at first because I figured my age (39) and stress might have something to do with it.  The weight shift (and I must stress that it was a shift and NOT gain) started to make things uncomfortable for me when it became hard to wear button-flied pants or jeans.  I was okay with sweat pants or the roomy grandma pants, but skinny jeans were out of the question. 

I tried to ignore the bloat and I was good at dismissing the painful gas and constant constipation because I thought it would just go away.  Two weeks went by and I wasn't experiencing any relief.  My pants were getting harder and harder to fit into and I nearly cried the day I was supposed to go out to my soon-to-be sister in-law's bachelorette party because I couldn't find anything that fit until I finally broke down and took a trip to the mall to buy a new pair of pants.

After I had recovered from the shopping ordeal I had decided to do a little research into my mysterious bloat.  I looked at the symptoms of IBS and they seem to fit the bill when it comes to my floating weigh bloat and painful stomach cramps but we shall see if a doctor feels as I do.

Having said that, you all know that a naturalistic diet has always been big with me, but I was shocked to see wheat on the good list for IBS.  I know many Fibromyalgia sufferers find it hard to consume wheat.  Eczema sufferers also find it hard too.  And many IBS sufferers tend to either have or develop Fibromyalgia.  Eczema or other common skin disorders have been present in Fibro patients but I don't believe it is as common as IBS since 30-70 percent of Fibro patients suffer from IBS.

Wheat is tough on Fibro because it's pretty much processed.  Some of it is Genetically Modified, some of it is bleached and refined (processed), and some of it is just not what grandma used to grow.  Now, I'm not saying that wheat is incredibly bad-- quite the contrary-- it's not.  Wheat has it's place.  BUT it is incredibly overused in today's American foods.  You find it in soups, salad dressings, breads, pastas, and in some cases, meat dishes.  It's almost nearly impossible to completely avoid it unless you are an incredibly diligent label reader or you go completely vegan.

Wheat and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love to eat pasta, bread, and everything else that's wheat, but my body hates it. My body is nice enough to show me from time to time exactly how much it hates it.  My eczema had been so bad lately that I found it hard to completely open my right hand due to the rash, redness, bleeding, swelling, irritation, and pain from my eczema.  It was horrible.  I knew the worst thing I could do was scratch, but I honestly couldn't help it.  The itch drove me so insane that there were days when I wondered if cutting off my arm would give me the relief I so desperately was seeking.

Even though I had crazy thoughts, I still tried to be positive and found some help with books on the subject.  They helped me to know that a humidifer was good in the winter. Indoor greenery and flowering plants were nice to have along with gloves for dish washing.  And skin cream was a must.  But no matter how diligent I was in all of these things, the itch just wouldn't stop until my neighbor suggested I try to abstain from wheat. 

I tried this and my skin cleared up.  I was happy but staying off of wheat was hard.  I liked it too much so I found myself cheating-- A LOT.  Feeling hungry from my lack of wheat didn't help matters either.  So I quickly found myself going back to my favorite wheat pastas and breads.  My skin problems came back and so did my irritation with my complete lack of will power.  I tried to settle and adjust to my itch problem but IBS started knocking at my door and that landed me right back to square one.

While researching IBS I found two sites that stated certain whole grains like wheat might be hard for IBS sufferers to digest.  Having read that I decided to go back to my wheat-free diet.  I've been doing okay mostly but I've had a few slip ups here and there, especially the past two days while getting ready for my brother's wedding.  My uncle has been in town and I cheated and ate clam chowder.  I was shopping for my dress and wound up eating eggplant parm in Italian sandwich bread and I also drank a beer.  My slip ups have not caused me a lot of IBS pain, in fact, my bloat is almost completely gone at this point, but I have been itchy. 

I'm not sure what I'll do from this point on with my love affair of wheat, but I know one thing... I'm going to try and find a way to feel fabulous-- no matter what!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gardasil and a Mother's Struggle

This blog entry is going to sound a little off topic to some of you, but if you've read anything from me before, you know that I'm a naturalist to the core.  I was approached by my oldest's doctor yesterday about Garasil and here's my take on it...

After reading about Gardasil, the Human Papillomavirus vaccine in 2006 and 2007, I felt the pit of my stomach drop.  The alarming reports of experiencing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after the having the shot were overwhelming.  I just couldn't grasp that they were linking Gardasil to an onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in some cases.  The affects were so severe in some cases that they caused fatality.  My oldest was about seven when all of this information came out and I started to worry and dread the day that the doctor would pressure me into having my daughter take the vaccine.

Since 2006, many side effects have been documented after taking Gardasil.  Some cases of serious nerve disorders like Guillain-Barre Syndrome have been reported along with weight and hair loss, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, and Seizures.  A report from Patientsville.com lists 64 printed pages of reports from side effects by individuals.  WebMD discusses a link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the Gardasil Vaccine also.  Although, I must point out that there is a more recent study done by the drug company Merck, themselves that states there is no real link between nerve disorders and Gardasil.

Having said all of this, you all know how I feel about studies, I don't trust them. They can be bias which proves nothing.  Or they are done with a small group of people which also proves nothing. Merck has an agenda, they want people to get this vaccine so they can make money.  Period.  They can't make money if there's a lot of bad press about their product.  A wonderfully written study with 190000 participants would look good to anyone.  It has the right amount of participants.  A two year study is promising too.  It means people are really looking at long term effects.  But really, this study doesn't add up when you find that only 44,000  were looked at for long term effects.  And really-- no one can ignore a 64 page report listing a HUGE amount of side effects.  This isn't good and it seems to make the Merck's test look more than just a little flawed.

Bottom-line-- I don't want my children getting this vaccine.  I think it will do more harm than good.  I'm at a lucky point right now though, this vaccine is, as far as I can see, not required by the schools here.  I hope that it never is because I'd never want to ask a mother to play vaccine roulette with their children. 

For me though, if this winds up ever being a requirement, I'm going to practice my Constitutional rights and pull my children out of school to teach them myself.  I find it awful that we as a society have no say in schools when it comes to the health and well-being of our children.  They have forced us to have the children medicated in some cases (don't get me started on Ritalin), vaccinated, and eating to their liking for decades and it just has to stop. 

What ever happened to eating at home?  I remember being able to walk home for lunch.  I had a healthy meal and then I went back in time for recess.  These practices were thrown by the wayside and forgotten.  I think it's about time that they are remembered and resurfaced!  Manufactured foods and vaccines from greedy corporations are proven to not be good for us.  Mom always did know best.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley




Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fibromyalgia, Conceiving, and Miscarriage

Though some may disagree with me, I do not believe that conceiving a baby is any different for someone with Fibromyalgia.  Granted, healthy woman will not have to wean themselves off of medications that may either make it hard to conceive or be harmful to a growing fetus like some sufferers, but none the less, conception is basically the same for us all.

People with Fibromyalgia are also challenged with pain and sex may be difficult on some days.  This shouldn't discourage you from trying to have a baby.  Knowing your most fertile days may help you plan out your intimate moments better.  There are many ways to determine your most fertile days.  You can try the math yourself, use an ovulation calculator on some reputable sites on the internet, or you could also purchase some products on the market geared towards telling you your most fertile days.

All of these work well, but I personally like the calculators.  One to try is from the The Baby Center.  All you have to do is plug in the date of your last period and the calculator will do the rest of the math for you for the next several months.  Now, of course, you'll have to remember the last date of your period in order to do this so it's best to try and get into the habit of marking it off on a calendar so you can remind yourself.  I must admit that that was something I most certainly had to get back into the habit of doing because I became very lax and forgetful.  I'm also getting older and I don't think about my cycle as much as I used to because I can pretty much tell when I'm going to get it at this point.  

Once you have conceived, it is important to eat a well balanced diet, take prenatal vitamins, and pace yourself.  Don't over exert your body with excessive exercise.  And making sure you do not have problems like Celiac Disease or Thyroid issues will help to reduce the risks of miscarriage.  A good reference site is Miscarriage Support Auckland Inc.  However, it is always best to consult your physician before you try to conceive so he or she can tend to your specific needs.

There is a common misconception about Fibromyalgia and miscarriage that I often find on the internet.  Some people think that having Fibromyalgia may lead to miscarriage but there are no factual studies on this, hence, there is no link between Fibromyalgia and miscarriage. 

It is very possible that despite having Fibromyalgia, many woman have experienced miscarriage due to stress, health issues like gluten intolerance, and hormone imbalances.  There also may have been a problem with the fertilized egg.  50-70% of first term miscarriages are believed to be from  chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg. 

Miscarriage can happen in about 10-20% of known pregnancies.  This number could be much higher if one takes into consideration the unknown pregnancies.  Most woman who experience miscarriage will within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy so it is possible to have your period on time and not know that you had been carrying a fertilized egg. 

The good news, however, is that there are many, many people with Fibromyalgia that are mothers, including myself.  I have two very healthy daughters.  Both were planned and I had healthy full-term pregnancies.    

Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Warm Heart with Great Natural Therapy

It isn't every day that I recommend a product here on Fibro and Fabulous.  It's not that I don't like products, quite the contrary, I enjoy gadgets just as much as everyone else, but I don't normally talk about them unless I'm inspired.

I recently was introduced to a gal by the name of Yvonne Fricker.  She is the owner of a small business called Warmables and her story is incredibly inspiring to me.  She takes all natural to a whole new level with her company and even though it is commonplace for her to do so given her upbringing in Switzerland, her concept goes far beyond the ordinary.

I've had the pleasure of trying out a product of hers that helps to relieve the pain of Fibromyalgia with natural heat.  My pain can get pretty bad around my neck due to long hours at the computer and it was hard to find relief without taking a hot shower.  I used to use a lot of pain rubs but I'm not a huge fan of the recent bad press.  A heating pad was also out of the question because I could never get one to stay put.

Yvonne suggested her neck pack that's filled with cherry pits and I just love it warm, room temperature, and cold.  It really works in relieving my pain symptoms and is gentle and light enough not to put too much pressure on my flared regions.  The kids and grandma like it too.

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Fricker, Warmables



Recently I was able to catch up with Yvonne after another one of her successful craft shows and I interviewed her about her company.  Below is the interview in its entirety:

F & F: I see that you had started out with an idea that your child should have a hot and healthy meal at school.  I can relate to this, as well as many other mothers because school lunches are not great and neither are some of the cold to-go options.  Peanut allergies are also highly prevalent in schools today so a healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwich is mostly a thing of the past.  It's hard to cook well-balanced for your children when they aren't home a good majority of the day.  How did this idea you had spark into a health- conscious business?

Yvonne: As you mentioned, healthy and tasty meals in school are not easy to come by. By the time our son was 6, he started getting tired of PB&J sandwiches. My husband and I cook just about everything from scratch. The lunch offered in my son’s school simply was not an option for us. 

I am a professional seamstress by trade and one day I stood in a store looking at oven mitts. It came to me that if heat can be kept out, it can be kept in. I purchased the oven mitt, cut it down to a rectangle and added a Velcro closure. The first version of our lunch kit was born. 

But it did not keep food warm for very long. After one year of sewing dozens of samples we had a pouch which kept food warm for about 3 hours. It was great but still not long enough for Isaiah to bring to school. That is when I remembered using cherry pit packs as a kid in Switzerland. We used them instead of hot bottles to stay warm with at night. So I added a little bag filled with the pits to the kit and food stayed warm for up to 6 hours.

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Fricker, Warmables



How did we decide to start the business? Other parents made that decision for us. As Isaiah took all these warming pouches to school they got noticed. Soon we were asked to make extra ones and that was when Julian and I decided to turn our idea into a small business. The Warmables lunch kit has been sold throughout the USA and internationally for the past 4 years. Up to this day not one has been returned to us.

F & F: Hot meals are a great idea for kids, but you took Warmables further and expanded into heat therapy for pain sufferers.  What made you decide to expand your business into helping chronic pain sufferers?

Yvonne: When Warmables started off we only had that one item on our website. It was hard to get noticed with such a tiny site. I travel to a lot of arts and craft fairs to offer my hand painted silk accessories. Walking the fairs pointed out to me that more people started to become interested in natural healing. I mentioned before that I used the pit packs when I was a child in Switzerland.  

Living a healthy lifestyle is the norm in Switzerland. Natural healing is preferred when possible and it was just a logical thing to expand our product line and offer tools supporting a more natural lifestyle. So many people suffer from Fibro and RA and other chronic illnesses. Many use heat treatment to ease the pain. Our packs can offer relief from that pain naturally. They can be heated or frozen over and over again. And they can be washed.


F & F: Your products are not only homeopathic in nature; they also are beneficial to the environment.  Many people today are "green conscious" for various reasons.  Some want to preserve our environment to keep it around for their children and grandchildren.  Others want to be self-sufficient and find a way to live off of their land.  What made you decide "to go green" with your company?

Yvonne: I grew up in a house with 7 recycle bins in Switzerland. We recycled glass (sorted by color), aluminum, cardboard and paper, plastic, electronics and we collected veggie leftovers to compost. My hometown and the Swiss, in general, have been big on not wasting all along. I don’t feel that we went green. I feel that we are sharing our knowledge of how to waste less.

F & F: Your line is getting wonderful reviews in the medical and alternative health fields.  Many physical and massage therapists like and recommend your product.  Are there any new product lines we will be seeing in the near future from your company?

Yvonne: Yes. We have just added 3 new Hot’n Cold packs to our website. They are specifically designed to help people with Fibro and RA. We kept getting requests for larger pit packs to cover the entire leg or torso for a very deep, thorough heat treatment to ease that nagging pain. We now have the Bodice Healer, a Leg Wrap and we also added an RA glove to warm up hands crippled by the pain of RA. Our next product will be a boot and a larger version of our Neck Hugger. 


Photo courtesy of Yvonne Fricker, Warmables

 


F & F: This has been a delightful interview!  I'm so happy when I come across individuals that are passionate about helping people!  It's very refreshing to see today!  Is there anything else you'd like to add about your company?  And please, do let us know where we can find out more about your product!  What is the web address for Warmables?


Yvonne:
We can be found at www.warmables.com. and on facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Warmables/499922836689012. We always welcome comments and new product ideas. My husband and I do not have Fibro or RA. We listen to people like you, Kimberley, and we try to learn what helps and how we can improve our products.

We just came back from our first trade show which was very successful. Our Hot’n Cold packs are available in about 25 stores in NJ, PA, MD and NY. Hospital gift shops, gardening centers, massage therapists, chiropractors and individual families are now offering and using our pit packs. The packs lend themselves splendidly for the treatment of aches and pains as well as aromatherapy when combined with essential oils. They can be used to clear congested sinuses and help to putting cranky babies to sleep. And last but not least, they can help cooling down fevers or warm up cold beds. As I mentioned before, the packs can be tossed into the wash along with your jeans and t-shirts.
I would also like to mention that we purchase all our materials in the USA. Our cherry pits come from Michigan. They are leftovers from making pie fillings, jams, preserves and so on. The pits would be garbage if not used for items like hot packs. We use cotton fabrics only to make our cases. Most fabrics are purchased in NJ and NY. All sewing is done by us in Jersey City as we strongly believe in supporting our own economy.

Kimberley, I want to thank you very much for giving us the opportunity for this interview. I sincerely hope that our Hot’n Cold packs will help you personally and many others burdened with illness, pain or just in need of some warming or cooling comfort. We'd also like to offer your readers a special now and one in the near future.  Right now we'd like to offer your readers free shipping on Warmables Small Neck Hugger.  Thank you!

F & F: You are very welcome!  It's been such a pleasure talking with you!  And the free shipping sounds AWESOME!







Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In Case You Didn't Know...

I can't begin to tell you how many people I have recently come across that are completely misinformed about Fibromyalgia.  There are some that just think it's arthritis and there are others that still want to believe that it's a syndrome and not a disease.  I'm not sure why people want to hold true to that syndrome thing.  Many sites stopped calling it FMS for short several years ago.  It's now called FM because it is a disease-- period. 

But, for those of you that still need proof that it's an honest to goodness disease, here's some proof from a very reputable website called WebMD-- you may have heard of it.  Also, please note that this article is four years old which means that all of us who have this DISEASE have known it for years.

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/news/20081103/fibromyalgia-a-real-disease-study-shows

Friday, September 14, 2012

How Do You Know If It's Fibromyalgia?

This blog entry from a chiropractic office in CA has some great information.  I can't begin to tell you how many healthy people I've known who have thought we Fibromites are "lazy".  Ugh!  Honestly, Fibromyalgia should be deemed the Type A Personality disease!  

Anyway, I'm digressing a little too much.  This article is a great source of information. 
How Do You Know If It's Fibromyalgia?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Organic Foods and Nutrition, Really?

I honestly don't know what Stanford is trying to prove here.  This has got to be the worst case of waste I've seen in a long time.  Organic fruits and veggies were never meant to be more nutritious than their pesticide filled counterparts.  Both contain vitamins and minerals, HOWEVER, one will kill you off a lot quicker than the other!

Pesticides and other harmful chemicals are bad for you.  We say how bad it is to inhale cigarette smoke whether it's first, second, OR third so why is it so hard to believe that ingesting chemicals is ALSO a bad thing?! 

UGH!  I can't believe that someone was given money in the form of a grant for this!  We should all be outraged by it and demand that grants only be given to people who are worthy of doing something important for society with them.  This study clearly was not important and proved very little. 

We should be taking steps forward as a society not backwards.  Chemicals and antibiotics are not healthy for any of us here in the US-- period.  If they were than the rest of the world would still be using them too.  But they are not and were banned for a reason.
http://news.yahoo.com/study-questions-much-better-organic-food-071356280.html

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pre-Pregnancy Checklist for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

Many sufferers have been searching the internet as of late for advice on pregnancy while having this beast so I've decided to devote today's posting to a pre-pregnancy checklist for all of you thinking about adding a new addition to your families.
  1. Talk to your Fibromyalgia doctor about your medications.  Some meds are very harmful to growing fetuses.  Others may even hinder pregnancy.  Discuss a plan for weaning off these harmful medications and plan out a date for eliminating them either temporarily or for good before your pregnancy.
  2. Start taking prenatal vitamins now.  These vitamins are essential for baby so starting this good habit early is always a good thing.
  3. Have a game plan with family and friends for house duties.  Some of the regular house duties are a no-brainer for Mommy-to-be to do before pregnancy, however, once you have become pregnant, all bets are off.  Common household chores to steer clear of are changing the litter box, using harsh chemicals to clean the kitchen or bathroom, home improvements such as painting or staining, or doing anything that might cause you to get off balance-- in other words-- don't use a ladder or step stool while pregnant.  Okay, the last one was more for me because I sprained my ankle during both pregnancies.  Oh who am I kidding!  Learn from my mistakes people!
  4. Schedule a gyno visit and discuss pregnancy with your condition with him/her.  Depending upon your individual situation, you may or may not be considered a high risk pregnancy.  I was not but I also was not on any meds at the time either.  That can make a difference with some doctors.
  5. Get plenty of rest.  Eat right.  And learn not to push yourself too hard.  This will keep you in practice for when you are pregnant and can't do as much as you'd like.
  6. Pace yourself and allow yourself some slack.  NO ONE and I MEAN NO ONE has every done pregnancy perfectly by the book.  Listen to yourself and your body and you will do what is right for you AND baby.
  7. Read up on symptoms and find a support system.  Many Moms have had Fibro and have had healthy pregnancies.  There are a lot of support groups out there-- even for Fibro Mommies.  And of course-- you always have yours truly!
  8. Plan ahead.  Who's going to change/feed the baby at night?  Will you breast or bottle feed? Who's going to clean the house during the day or night?  Are there other kids involved? What will they need during the day/night?
  9. Pets are a tough subject.  They are your babies, but what happens to them when you have "siblings".  First, map out a game plan as to who will take care of your precious Fluffy and Fido while you are having "sibling" number 2 and beyond.  Next, devise a plan as to how you will introduce your new "sibling" to them.  It's not really hard, but it can be frustrating if you've had Fluffy or Fido for a while before baby.  Pets WILL get just as jealous as siblings so patience and LOTS of treats are in order when the day finally comes.  Separation between baby and pet also helps because the pet will feel like they have "owner" time too.  I could go on and on with this. I promise there's a future post for this!  Until then, email me with your inquiries (kimberley@kimberleylinstruth-beckom.com).
  10. "Mommy time", as in "me" time is also important.  It will be hard to separate yourself from baby at first at times, I know, but it is essential to do so because you have to take care of yourself too.  Plan time for your showers, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and time AWAY from baby.  Believe me-- Daddy really CAN handle it.  I've had 2 kids and SEVERAL pets to prove it!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Not So Rich Look at a Billionaire's Viewpoint

I know this article sounds COMPLETELY off topic and borders on politics.  Politics is something that I don't really discuss much here on this blog because I feel opinions are like belly buttons.  Everyone's got one and sometimes the discussions can get so heated that an "innie" winds up having an "outy".

My personal opinion on politics is that politics suck.  The parties never seem to agree and they constantly bicker and never get any work done.  I know that if I pulled half the stunts the politicians have pulled in the past several years at MY job, I would have been fired.  But that's what makes them different-- they can sit on a law or policy, refuse to work across party lines, and STILL have job security because elections are only done every couple of years.

I think a lot of people are as fed up with me when it comes to politics and big business.  I'd say the economy-- but let's face it-- the economy IS big business.  They are the ones calling the shots-- not the little guy.  Which leads me to this article from the richest woman in the world...
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/drink-less-more-billionaire-tells-152654355.html

I must admit that I got a chuckle from this one because it reminds me of another historical line, "Let them eat cake."  Both lines were spouted from people who are complete morons when it comes to what society is really going through.  And what's worse, if people really believed their statements to be true, we might have an even worse problem on our hands.

I'm sorry, but "working harder" doesn't get you rich.  Working harder can get you sick, but it doesn't make you rich.  I understand that rich people take risks with money, that's how they get rich.  The thing is, most average hard working people aren't going to have enough cash on them to take high risks.  This is where other people come in.  Rich people have a lot of friends who have been willing to help them succeed along the way and not all hard working people have that luxury.

So if you tell people to just stop having a life and go to work, that's okay, but expect ramifications.  Why?  People ARE working and they are WORKING too much.  The average work week isn't 40 hours anymore.  In fact, I'm not even 40 yet and I don't ever remember working only 40 hours at a full time job.  Those days went by the wayside long before the 90's came around and were replaced with 80-90 hour work weeks.  This constant working (and obviously HUGE dependance on big business to fuel and feed us) has made society as a whole a lot more stressed than even a generation ago.  Stress leads to disease, and disease leads to high health care costs.  These costs aren't going to bode well for businesses, nor will it for society when the sickened individual has to go on short or long-term disability. 

Most of my readers know that I had to quit my 18 year career, but what you may not know is that I'm glad I had to quit.  That JOB would have killed me because they were asking for way too much from any one particular individual.  Some of you may disagree with me and say, "Hey Kim, it was a job and you got paid so you should have done everything they asked of you no matter what."  I'm sorry, but when a job asks you to give up 5 weeks of vacation that you don't get paid for, to stay till 1 am and come in for 9 am the next day, pull you from your unpaid lunches, and lift heavy objects that weigh more than you do on your own, they are not looking out for your well being as a valued employee.  They are looking for an extremely cheap way to make more money-- period.   

That job, and that job alone, caused a lot of my Fibromyalgia problems because I was young and stupid and DID do everything they asked of me.  And because of that, I'm convinced that if I stayed, I wouldn't be able to walk today.  No amount of money is worth my mobile freedom.  I'm glad I quit and allowed myself the decency to be able to have a life that's somewhat free.  I may not ever know what it's like to live a life pain-free, but I can at least walk which is a HUGE improvement from 2005 when I couldn't.

So, to all of the billionaires out there that think we not so rich folk are jealous, please do me a favor, live, learn, love, and find some kind of fabulous for yourselves and your families.  We aren't jealous of your money.  We prefer our time, something that is FAR more precious than that worthless paper you think we seek. 

Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley


Fibromyalgia does not hinder Concord artist's passion for painting - ContraCostaTimes.com

Fibromyalgia does not hinder Concord artist's passion for painting - ContraCostaTimes.com: Fibromyalgia does not hinder passion for painting

Saturday, August 18, 2012

LiquidCMO Formulation Gives Dramatic Results For Fibromyalgia Patients

This press release looks promising, however, the studies done do not state the number of participants.  I don't like press releases that don't state the facts-- that's a personal pet peeve of mine.  I shouldn't have to find the facts-- they should be there in the release-- but that's me.  And as far as the numbers go, it's a bit scary that they don't post them.

HOWEVER, MSM can help Fibro sufferers.  That has been proven and I've even used it myself when I've had inflamed joints.  It did take a week or two, though for me to feel better once on MSM.   So if you decide to go that route-- wait at least two weeks before deciding it's not right for you.

A word of caution though, this site is only worth looking into if it's affordable for you.  I say that because personally, at least from my stand point, it's a little high. The cheapest bottle is $92.00 for about a two week supply (16 days).  Now that may seem harsh and I don't mean to begrudge people of their lively hood but let's face it-- having Fibro is expensive.

My Tremedol cost about $200 when I was taking it as a newly diagnosed Fibromite.  That was too much of an out-of-pocket expense for me and my family.  I actually stopped taking it because of the side effects AND the cost.  I'm glad I'm drug-free-- don't misunderstand-- but I also feel it's wrong for companies to charge high prices on drugs AND supplements. 

Many of these supplements on the market today can be grown in own backyards if we had the strength to do so!  We all have our good days and bad ones, but it just seems like we'd be better off having good days.  It's a WHOLE lot cheaper!

Again, I don't want to begrudge people of their lively hood and I think it's a good concept so I'll let you all be the judge...
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/8/prweb9798145.htm

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fibro and Attitude

I was in a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and the topic was about attitude.  She compared me to another friend of hers who had Fibromyalgia and said, "Kim, don't take this the wrong way, but you just seem to have a better attitude about your illness.  My friend gets too caught up in what she can't do and can't eat and she just seems miserable all the time."

Being the person I am, I tried to brush off the compliment.  I'm not one for accepting them well.  I'm me, a human being and I may do some things well, but I've been known to screw up too.  And when I screw up it's usually bad so compliments are not something that I've gotten used to.

But something else was hard about that compliment and that was the fact that someone else was suffering.  They were feeling down and out about their disease, possibly even overwhelmed.  We've all been there.  We've felt bad about having to change our lifestyles from a fast-paced type A personality to a B.  That can make anyone feel down but if you add the long list of foods that should be avoided into the mix it can make people discouraged and depressed.

My friend who complimented me stumbled upon something that I had forgotten in my years of battling this beast.  Newly diagnosed people will mourn their old life.  They will mourn for minutes, months, or possibly years.  And it all depends upon their attitude.

If someone is generally a positive person in life, mourning what was lost might not take very long at all.  The reason being is because a positive person will tend to find creative ways to incorporate their old life with their new one.  They may make substitutes in their diet by making homemade pasta and avoiding processed ones, or they may even try to continue their favorite activity, like gardening, but at a slower pace.

A person who can't see the silver linings may take a lot longer to mourn their old life.  This is sad but I honestly don't believe they do this because they are negative.  I truly believe that they need more time to process what is going on and they learn differently.  It might even have a lot to do with the fact that no one has ever shown them how to look for silver!  I know I have that problem when it comes to compliments.

So the next time you come across a person with Fibromyalgia who seems to be negative, try helping them find their lining.  For all you know they could lead you to a pot of gold!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When You and Your Child Have Fibromyalgia

It's a topic I really hoped that I never had to discuss because the initial research stated that children of Fibro sufferers would not inherit the gene.  It wasn't supposed to happen, but sadly, it has.  Children of parents who suffer from Fibromyalgia are more likely to develop it than the rest of the population. 

Now, as a side note, and FORGIVE ME for going off on a tangent-- but, if my kids can inherit this beast of a gene, let's do the ENTIRE Fibro community a favor and start calling FM a disease and NOT a syndrome because in the loosest sense possible-- if it can be spread-- it's a DISEASE!  Having said that, I will now step nonchalantly off my soap box and continue with the task at hand...

Juvenile Fibromyalgia has not been studied heavily in the US, though there are cases here.  A child usually develops symptoms in their tweens to early teens.  Symptoms include wide-spread muscle fatigue and pain in 5-11 of the classic trigger points that adults have.  Children will also find it difficult to sleep and will also find it hard to concentrate in school.

That's the bad news-- here's the good news.  Once diagnosed, many children recover remarkably with treatments and the symptoms will lie dormant!  That's really good news, especially for me...  And this is why I've been a little silent here and there over the past three years or so...

My oldest daughter is turning 12 this year and she may be following too close in Mommy's foot steps.  She had always had a problem sleeping as a child but I could always excuse it away.  There was either the noisy tenants in our apartment complex downstairs, a police car screaming by in our city, or it was just a "bad" dream. 

I constantly tried to dismiss these episodes to avoid what I probably had already known as truth.  I've always believed that I was born with Fibromyalgia.  I don't think it's something that just develops due to a car accident or some other kind of trauma in life.  I know these things make symptoms worse-- don't misunderstand me-- but I believe those things are only the catalyst.  I DO NOT believe they are the cause.  I think we are born with this beast of a gene-- period.

Our family has had a hellish past few years.  We've undergone a parish priest getting arrested.  I won't fill in the details because I'm sure you can guess why he was, and no, THANK GOD! it wasn't with my child.  We've moved three times due to family needing us closer.  My oldest had to change schools due to this move and the school went from public to parochial schooling.  Close family members have passed either naturally or untimely.  Close family members have also become very ill.  And I'm only tipping the iceberg here because some stuff is just too private to say because it's not my place to say it-- so enough said.

That though is enough for any adult to go a little bonkers, but can you imagine a child of 11?  My oldest started to develop some severe sleep problems along with having some concentration problems at school.  She also would have sharp shooting pains that lasted for only a few minutes and then would mysteriously go away.

The major problem, sleep, was starting to severely affect her work at school so we hauled her off to the doctor who was, of course, greatly concerned since she knows of my history.  We discussed ways of having healthy sleep habits like having warm milk before bed, getting ready for bed at the same time every night, putting on soft, comforting sounds or white noise on, etc.  We've done this faithfully as parents already given my sleepless nights.  The only exceptions are when it's hot and they need an air conditioner or the weather is crappy and they need to get to a lower ground.  Both would rip her from her bed and have her where an AC or lower ground is.  Now, she's a kid and she LOVES to camp out but let's face it-- she's not going to get the most sound sleep because she's in a different environment.  That's just plain fact, but in those situations, it is minimal and she needs to be safe.

HOWEVER, there are other times when her dreams have awakened her terribly over the course of these past three VERY long years and she can't sleep.  It's reeked havoc on her days at school where I've had to call her out because she was just too tired to go.  This is why I made an appointment with the doctor to begin with.

Her Pediatrician is wonderful.  HOWEVER the sleep clinic doctor could use a few lessons on how to treat patients.  I'm not saying this person sucks at what they do, BUT you might as a DOCTOR want to check what the patient's parents' have ILLNESS-WISE before ASSUMING it's all about stress.

We Fibromites know that our sleep patterns are different and they can't be easily tracked on medical machines.  I truly suspect that this is what my baby is going through because she was bad one minute in life and now okay the next.  I experienced that too.

Stress does A LOT to the body.  It really does.  BUT that shouldn't give doctors free-reign on prescribing crap to us when they don't know what they are dealing with.  Okay-- coming down from the soap box again.

For all of you that are going through the battle of finding out why your child has Fibro, I sympathize with you and understand what you are going through.  I worry each and every day about both of mine.  PLEASE know, I'm here and can relate to all of the misdiagnoses and finger pointing.  Leave a comment or email me personally at Kimberley@kimberleylinstruth-beckom.com if you need and immediate question answered.  I will, of course, continue to post what I can as my child and I go through her problems.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Fibromyalgia and Fashion

There's an old saying that states we are slaves to fashion.  And if you have Fibromyalgia and try to keep up with the latest trends, you might wind up feeling just as weak and weary as one!

Each generation has their fashion favorites and faux pas and some of us older gals have the proof of it on film.  YIKES!!!!  I grew up during a period where hair defied all the laws of gravity, woman's shoes could look good AND kill roaches at the same time, and pants were so baggy that it looked like you had a third leg growing.  Ah, the 80's, such a fond time for working hard and playing hard, but that grueling fast-paced life of fashion don'ts made my body want to scream!

Small one inch heels were nice in the 80's but the shoes coming to a roach zapping point were not.  My dogs were not barking-- they were whimpering when I let them out of their misery at night.  I was thankful when the 90's arrived because I could liberate my piggies and burn those tortuous shoes!  The 90's had a wider base for your piggies to run free, but the chunky heels reeked havoc on my knees and lower back.  Once 2000 came along, I vowed to only wear sneakers, sandals, flip flops, or Crocs for the rest of my natural born life!

Jeans are another torturous thing.  I'm sure hip-huggers make us look good figure-wise but who the heck cares about that if you can't smile due to the pain the squeeze is causing you in your bladder, hips, and lower back?  You know why you don't see models smiling in pictures anymore?  THEIR IN PAIN PEOPLE LOL!  Skinny jeans aren't great either because it's hard to move in them and they make my skin itch. 

And on a side note, who designs these things anyway?  BARBIE?  Sorry, I'm not a 5'9 anorexic gal who lacks hips and thighs.  I may no longer have a perky butt or chest but that's because I have kids.  My body is SUPPOSED to be that way because I've given birth.  And just because I have I shouldn't have to feel guilty EVERY TIME I shop for a pair of jeans.  I'm not big, I'm not small, I'm some where in between-- why can't you make jeans for the average gal AND at a decent price?  Is it that hard?  For the amount of time I spend TRYING to find a pair that fits-- the fashion designers should be paying me LOL!!!

Bras are another horrendous piece of fashion that I also hate.  My girls aren't big on confinement.  Sure, it's nice to have them perky with a little cleavage but they'd also like some room to breathe for crying out loud!  If these girls have to be in a cup size a little bigger or a sports bra-- they are perky!

The whole point I'm trying to make is that we Fibromites need to consider A LOT when we shop for clothes.  I spend just as much time shopping for clothes as I do a big ticket item because I want to make sure I feel comfortable without looking like I just put on Grandma's curtains.  Next time you get a flare, check to see if your tight fitting clothes may be to blame.  And if they are-- go hit the clearance racks!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Sunday, July 15, 2012

One's Fear of Panic

This blog posting for today may sound a little off topic due to what I'm facing recently.  However, I can assure you that every Fibromite deals with health issues that seem unrelated to Fibromyalgia.  The sad part is, they really aren't and the more you know about what's going on inside you, the better you will be to handle flares.  Having said that-- here's the post:

The thought of leaving the comfort of my own home has been a challenge for me since my Fibromyalgia diagnoses.  I honestly hated going anywhere.  It wasn't until my loving but ever so persistently annoying best friend forced me out of my house that I started to realize I might have a problem.  I lived in fear of people giving me strange looks as I limped by them.  Some have even been nasty when I just simply couldn't move fast enough out of their way.

I remember a time in my life where I was the one passing out every slow-paced walker in the mall.  I used to power-walk on my work days during breaks for exercise.  The slowness of some people's gate used to frustrate me, so I can relate to the nastiness I now face, however, I was never rude to anyone who was walking slower than me-- not EVER.

Why?  The answer is simple, some of them may have found it difficult to walk.  Others may just have a slow gate by nature.  And finally, many were going to the mall to enjoy themselves.  Not one of them viewed the mall as a factory breeding stress.  They all found shopping fun.  I however, was not so lucky.

The mall and I had a brief fling when I was a teenager.  I walked every square inch of the local mall and literally knew every crack on the floor.  I enjoyed walking around with friends and looking at all the nice things the merchants had to offer.  I never bought much because I've always lacked the funds for my expensive tastes, but it sure was fun to look.

Today I struggle with remembering a time when I didn't have stress, anxiety, panic attacks, Fibro Fog, or pain every time I set foot out of my door.  Thoughts of leaving Grandma alone without me, along with leaving a dish (or 12) in the sink seem to creep their way into my head, and before I know it I'm having a full-blown panic attack in the tampon isle at Walmart.

There are times when I truly want to cry because I feel completely alone when this happens.  The sad part is that I'm never alone during an attack.  My children are always with me and I think this might actually add to my stress because I'd never want them to get into a car with me if I'm having a bad day.  My Fibro Fog has exacerbated this fear and there are days when I just completely avoid driving all together. 

I did this Friday when I was supposed to take my kids to the local science museum.  My attack was pretty bad and came on 5 minutes before my children's godmother walked through the door.  I asked her to drive out of fear that my attack would compromise my driving.  As we walked around the museum I started to feel a little better until we had to leave.  Panic rushed over me again as I looked down at my watch and realized it was lunch time and I didn't leave anything out for my husband to give Grandma.  I came home incredibly stressed and feeling the effects of a rapid heartbeat to a sink filled with dishes and a Grandmother convinced that she was left alone all morning long.

Now the reality is, my husband did feed her some lunch, but it was later than normal.  I'm glad he remembered to feed her, but that's all he did because I didn't remind him to do anything else for that morning.  I was just too focused on my own health to remember to say anything to him.  I could go into a long drawn out speech about how it's unfair that I have to remind people in my life about trivial things like picking up after themselves, but that's really their issue and it won't help me. 

You see, sometimes my fear of perfection is what gets me in the way of feeling healthy and that just simply shouldn't be.  Perfection can be a dangerous thing to strive for because we are all human and have limitations.  One of those limitations I struggle with the most is trying to be everything to everyone I love and that's not only dangerous, it's self-defeating.  I can't be everything, I'm not God and I need to somehow find a way to not only understand that for myself, but to get the people around me to understand that too instead of having the guilt card played on me.  Guilt is a terrible thing and should never be used on anyone to gain what you want because believe me when I say that the person you are talking to has already beat themselves up enough with guilt. 

Panic and stress happen all the time in our daily lives because things have a tendency to not always go the way we want them to.  I've tried to adapt to this as best as I can as an individual and now I have to gently show the others in my life that the fear of panic is just that-- fear of things not going the way you want them to.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

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