Friday, July 27, 2012

9 Tips to Reduce Fibro Symptoms

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lifescript introduces a new health center for fibro sufferers

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 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,


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,


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,


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Can Eating Chicken Give You a Bladder Infection?

Though this article is not specifically linking Fibromyalgia to the superbug,  it's still an interesting read.  I've always said you are what you eat and that everything in moderation is fine but if what are consuming a constant strain of antibiotics in our meats, water, and probably veggies (for all we know), we are bound to get immune to life-saving drugs.

I'd love to say that you get what you pay for, but I know that isn't always the case.  Yes, we should all eat organic food, or what I like to call, real food.  In the same token, however we should also want to know where that food actually comes from.  Taking trips to your local farms for milk, eggs, and veggies isn't such a bad idea-- especially after reading this.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia from Fox News

Book Give Away Contest

Want to try and win a copy of Fibro and Fabulous The Book?  I'm giving away 4 autographed copies with a quiz contest!  The contest is open to participants in the US only at the moment, but I hope to expand it for other countries soon!  Check out the contest by clicking here:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Train Your Own Dog as a Service Dog

Having a dog around can help when you need a little assistance on your bad flare days.  I have a Cocker Spaniel and he's been relatively easy to train for the regular things like sit, stay, and down.  I've even gotten him to put his toys away!  Wish the kids were that easy!

Training a dog can be challenging, though.  Especially if you are a new owner.  Sport is our first dog and there were times that it was hard to walk him because it took some time to leash train him.  He may be only 25 pounds, but that weight can work against me on my bad days.

However, there are some pluses to training your own dog to perform as a service dog.  The site below is a good start.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fibro and Home Improvements

Doing laundry and the dishes are one thing, but home improvement is something completely different when it comes to Fibromyalgia.  It's easy to know your limits when folding the laundry, but how about peeling off wallpaper or trying your hand at landscaping by digging holes for flower beds or apple trees?

I've often utilized the famous phrase, Roman wasn't built in a day when it comes to home improvements, and I may sound like a broken record, but it's worth repeating over and over again until you get so sick of hearing it, it becomes you mantra.

Who ever told you that you had to take down every square inch of wallpaper in your hallway that's attached to your living AND dining room in one day?  Was it those Weekend Warriors over at HGTV?

Come on now!  Even THEY have made mistakes that's what editing room floors are for!  Look, you don't have to be a hero, just be a warrior that paces yourself and have a winning attitude.  If it takes you all summer to peel one section of wallpaper-- that's fine because you are one wall closer to finishing the job.  And frankly, if you ask me, who the heck would want to sweat over the summer taking on such a huge task?

Relax and take on one wall at a time and make sure you clean up by throwing out your scraps and putting away all the tools.  Doing this will help in making you feel less stressed about finishing the project and also less guilty.  And start the project during a month (or four) where you won't have time constraints.  For instance, taking on a painting project that requires you to peel off wallpaper, prime the walls, sand, spackle, and then paint wouldn't be a good thing to try in say the month of November if you happen to be hosting Thanksgiving this year.

And if you happen to try and feel like you've failed to meet a personal deadline, know that your family doesn't care that you are in mid stream.  Celebrate the fact that you are trying with them and share you colorful ideas.  I bet they'll love them and maybe even offer a hand!  Asking for help isn't a bad idea, by the way.  No warrior goes to battle on their own.  They ALWAYS have help-- remember that!

If for some reason you can't find the human help you need, look for tools that will help.  Gardeners have a wide variety of tools from wheel barrels to chainsaws.  Each tools will do a specific job and it's good to research what it will help you with before you take the plunge to purchase.  Certain tools might not be a good choice for a Fibro sufferer to use.  I've had a lot of problems holding power tools for a prolonged period of time.  So I tend to opt for manual hedge trimmers as opposed to electric or gas models.  I also have problems with heavy drills and saws.

When a project really calls for something heavy duty, I will ask for the help I need-- be that my husband, brother, dad, or father in-law, or even a professional.  There's nothing wrong with asking for help, even if you are a home improvement diva like me.  I've spent many days in the Home Improvement area at the Sears Holdings stores in New England because I was an associate and manager there for a huge chunk of my adult life.

I've sold paint to some famous TV stars, as well as Pro wrestlers (I don't mind telling you who-- just ask!) and I've also learned from some of the best trainers out there how to sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal, how to determine a paint or moisture problem, what type of lawn mower/ tractor to use depending on your lawn, which exercise equipment suits my glut obsession, and finally, why drill torque is important.

It's funny in a way to think that you'd get an education from being a sales associate, but I have to say you really do-- especially when it comes to hardware and home improvement.  Ana from 50 Shades of Grey is right.

Having said all of this, have a happy summer and enjoy your home!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Fibromyalgia, Stress, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks-- OH MY!

My first panic attack came on quickly and awoke me from a deep sleep a few years back.  I experienced tunnel vision, paranoia, I felt like my skin was crawling, I couldn't breath, and I was having chest pains.  I was terrified and confused.  It was late at night, but I called a friend in a different time zone and she helped me through my attack.

It had been quite some time since I had felt that way and I thought my days of feeling scared and alone were gone, until today.  I've had an attack that has lasted all morning and it's now taking up a huge chunk of my afternoon.  Researching has helped a bit because I now know that about half of the Fibro patients out there suffer from panic attacks.

These attacks can be sudden and you may experience nausea, diarrhea, choking sensations, shortness of breath, tingling, headaches, paranoia, claustrophobia, tunnel vision, overwhelming fears, confusion, and even agoraphobia depending upon how much your mind races during the attacks.  I've been lucky to feel all of these symptoms during my severe attacks.  They don't happen often-- which is a good thing! Because I tend to feel like I need a rubber room with a huggie jacket for some of those symptoms.  YIKES!

Once I knew what was happening today, I stopped to rest and started to meditate, pray, and utilize some breathing techniques.  These seem to help a bit, but the attacks are lasting a lot longer than I ever expected.  I did take some Sam-e which has helped in the past with my anxiety issues, but it's not working fast enough.

Anxiety is usually brought on by stress and Fibro patients can suffer from both.  Our serotonin levels are mostly to blame for this, but lifestyle changes help.  Once you and your doctor determine you suffer from anxiety, you should try to eliminate as much stress as you can from your life.  It is impossible to avoid all stress, but removing yourself from a stressful job, situation, or even people, can help.

Another thing you can do is to incorporate enjoyable activities into your life.  Yoga, hiking, or any other physical activity is a good start.  Taking up a hobby like sewing, gardening, or fishing are other options.  These types of activities will get your mind off of worrying, a common trigger for anxiety.

Writing is my worry reducer.  In fact, I'm starting to feel better already!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fibromyalgia is Real #fibroisreal

Flares, Fear, and Quality of Life

As I was lying in bed this evening, awakened at 2 am by my stress that has been an absolute constant for the past several months, a fear started to creep in me.  It's a fear I've had before so it's not new to me.  It reared its ugly head way back in the beginning when I was first diagnosed.

I used to feverishly read up on every article, journal, and book produced by anyone whose name ended in DR in the beginning of diagnoses.  I wanted to take refuge in the information and have it comfort me like a security blanket.  I thought this way for a while until my security fell prey to one phrase, "Fibromyalgia seems to get worse with age."  It was a phrase I heard from a doctor that was treating me and that statement has haunted me for many years. 

I've tried to be comical about it and compare that statement with one made on the Golden Girls.  There was one episode where Blanche was talking about how she first found out about her period.

Her mother asked her daily at a certain age if she got The Curse.  Blanche would lay in bed with the covers over her head, terrified that The Curse would beat her down.  Finally, one day her mother brought her to the doctor and the doctor asked her point blankly if she'd gotten her period yet.  Blanche's response was, "Yes doctor.  I got that years ago.  It's The Curse I'm worried about!"

The show was funny and you may not think it ties in with what I have to say, but it actually does.  Many things we read out there about Fibromyalgia are not proven yet.  Fibromyalgia is still considered a new disease.  Some even still to this day call it a syndrome, but if they can link this beast to problems with the brain with brain scans, I'm a lot more inclined to believe that it's a disease.  Having said that-- we shouldn't take anything we read or hear about Fibro to heart unless there's been extensive research to back it up.

However, there's always that fear, that curse, if you will.  The fear that tells you that you'll always be sick.  The one that looms over you when you are stressed stating, I'll get you when you least expect it.  The one that pushes a flare on you at the least favorable moment in your life that leads you to wonder if you will get worse over time.

Ive been the primary care giver to my Grandparents for several years as some of you know.  I'm also a care giver to my Mother, and was secondary only to my Father for years too.  My brother, thankfully, stepped in once Mom got to the point where she needed to be lifted.  Her Alzheimer's is very advanced but she's still feisty and can throw out your back if you are caught off guard with her.

To this day, it still kills me that I can't help my Mother on my own.  It hurt when I couldn't do it for Grandpa either.  Grandpa also suffered from Alzheimer's but passed away about a year and a half ago.  It also has been hard with my Grandma because I've had to try to hold her up too due to her aliments and I was unsuccessful on two occasions.  She fell into my arms and I couldn't give her a safe landing.  She broke her leg because I wasn't strong enough the first time.  The second time was better because she had a safe land, but I couldn't lift her back into bed alone.  I needed the paramedics.

This kind of daily stress has had me worried, of course.  I constantly wonder if my body will one day give out due to all of the emotional and physical stress that I've been putting it through.  I worry that when I'm old I'll be a complete burden on my husband and children.  I worry that I might need a rest home and that's a financial burden that I'm not willing to have my husband and/or children bear.

There's a lot we don't know about Fibromyalgia and frankly, that's a good thing!  That gives the medical field time to research and come up with alternative healthcare practices for us.  And it gives me some hope!  I know we will advance by the time I'm old, but unfortunately, I'm stuck in the now and all I have is Blanche to keep me going at the moment.

Stay fabulous-- even when it's tough!
Love and friendship,


Monday, July 2, 2012

Your Faith and Fibromyalgia

It's something that I've never talked about.  Why?  I have ALWAYS felt I should NEVER have a say as to what an individual believes.  I'm not an ordained priest or priestess.  I believe in God-- don't get me wrong, but I'm not a preacher when it comes to my fans.

Personally I do teach religious ed on the side but a lot of that has to do with my strong connection with the people in my church and community.  I DON'T teach my own kids.  I pay for them to be taught.  I do this on my own.

So... having said that this blog post will be about your religious stance-- if you have one.  I know there are some people that have no religion and they pull through their pain as they can by believing in themselves.  It's great that they can.

For those that can't, look to your God, the one that drives you for support.  Yes, Church can be a good thing.  There might be people there that know what you are going through.  I know it's hard to open up.  I've had my HUGE share of having it hard, but don't disclose your faith as an outlet.

We all need our faith-- whatever it is.  You could be an agnostic and your faith keeps you going, an atheist and your faith pulls you through, a Christian, a Catholic, a Pagan, a Wiccan, a Jew, a Muslim... Did I miss someone?  If so, please add yourself in the comments so I can be conscience of you too.

Today the Bible reading of Juiras came up.  I love that reading because the first and second that go with it give me hope as a sufferer of Fibro.  Jesus always wanted to heal.

I believe that but you might not.  It's okay.  The point is-- BELIEVE in something to  help you through the bad times.

Yes, there is a fight with the Roman Catholics right now with the government.  I know.  And if you want to get into it, PLEASE email me.  Let's not cloud this positive site with negative crap about what's going on today.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


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