Monday, July 9, 2012

Heat Wave 2012

Here in Michigan the 100 degree temperatures have finally ended as of yesterday Sunday, July 8th.  Most of the United States has been or is still under the heat wave.  For most people it is hot and somewhat uncomfortable, for us with Fibromyalgia it is at a higher level.  With Fibromyalgia we don't adjust as well to changes in temperatures especially extreme ones.

Many of you probably feel hotter then others around you, sweat more, and are just more miserable.  As it affects our bodies it affects our mood as well.  We feel guilty as we may be flaring and not able to make dinner, do laundry and other chores.  We may also not be able to participate in other activities and  have to just sit and watch or be left at home by ourselves, which causes us to become depressed and feel worthless.

For me I was miserable with the heat.  I was sweating way more then I normally would, though some of my medicines cause that for my Anxiety and Depression.  I just felt gross.  I would get where I felt sick no matter how I tried to cool off.  I even started drinking Powerade Zero.  I have never liked these beverages, but need to try anything to feel OK.

Now for my Fibromyalgia, other the exhaustion it was not too bad and that may have just been the heat.  Now yesterday we had our front move through with cooler temperatures in the 80's and that is when my back went into spasms and to touch me anywhere hurts.  It is probably a change in the temperatures as it was dramatic and the barometric meter readings may change.  That is the pressure in the air.  

Yesterday I medicated for the pain.  I have not yet done so today, but am thinking I may have to as I can barely move.  I am also tired as the pain kept me awake as i don't like to take the pain medicine with my nightly medicines.  Something I need to check with my doctors on as far as any interactions.  

Hopefully this is the biggest change we have to go though this summer.  I am not sure what we can do to help the Fibromyalgia symptoms in the heat, but will be doing research especially when I see temperatures looking to rise again.  For now if you are still in the part of the country that is part of the heat wave still, drink fluids, rest a lot, and try to be in air conditioning.  Don't over exert as it will hurt you later whether you have Fibromyaglia or not.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Two Scary Incidents

I want to post an entry into this blog again as times have been tough for me as I am sure it is for you with Fibromyalgia, Depression, and Anxiety.  This week in particular has been very hard with my emotions and that then turns into a lot of physical pain.  Physical pain then plays with your emotions.  For me right now my mental health is the worst, and what makes that even worse is because of ankle surgery it is hard to be proactive with things like exercise that will help me mentally.

This week has been very scary.  In the last two days I have had two experiences that really scared me and one was quite stupid.  I was ready to confront and take down a guy on a motorcycle who cut me off as he was going the wrong way, then blocked me.  I would have got out of my van and took him down if  I had not just had a new cast put on.  I did engage in an argument with him and really truly told him off.  I normally avoid any and all confrontations.  It was almost like I was out of my body or mind.  It was not me.

Second was last night after Jacob's baseball game.  We came home and I was fed up with the boys not listening, back talking, etc.  I started yelling and screaming until I realized what I was doing, then I went to the bedroom.  For some reason I came back out and the kids were fighting and yelling at me like how dare I ask them to do their chores.  I had enough.  I said, "I am leaving".  I went and put on my shoe and walked out the door and started down the road.

Ed chased me down, not that it was hard since my left leg is in a cast.  He stopped me and calmed me down and talked me back to the house.  Once he got me in the house he guided me to the bedroom and told me to stay there and he would deal with the kids.  Of course the guilt came in.  I had actually planned dinner and was going to cook till I couldn't find dishes or clean ones as the boys will not do them right.  That is what set me off.  So I did not cook.  The boys had sandwiches or something of the like, Ed ate cereal and when I calmed down I ate a little bit of carmel corn.

I am very drained physically and emotionally.  I am afraid to drive or be in public alone (without Ed).  Even when I do get out I can only be out for a short period of time or things like the above happen.  I have missed some of the boys games because I just can't go out of the house.  Sometimes I can't even leave the bedroom.  I feel so checked out and not there like I should be as a wife, mom, and friend.

If you have an mental issues don't be embarrassed.  Get help.  It is an illness and nothing to be ashamed of.  I am trying to bring more awareness to it as I believe so many don't get help that need to.  Even though I have had help for years I still wore down.  I am being treated now in different ways and have a long road ahead, but I know one thing.  I cannot ever give up the fight.  I have too many blessings not to fight and you do too if you look for them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Missing Caleb's 1st Baseball Game of the Season

I know my blog has changed off the subject of raising kids with Fibromyalgia and focusing on anxiety and depression.  The same premise is here though.  Talking about raising kids, in my case 3 boys, when mom suffers from pain.  Anxiety and Depression do go very much hand in hand with Fibromyalgia.  I will be talking about them both as they are major things in my life.

I promised myself that this week I would see Jacob's and Caleb's first baseball games of the season if nothing else.  Well I don't think that is going to happen.  I am a mess today.  I can barely leave the bedroom, much less the house.  I called my husband, Ed and talk to him.  He assures me that Caleb will be OK.  It is his first game tonight and I don't think I am going to be able to get the courage up to go.

Last night I was at Jacob's game which was great.  Though I was anxious and nervous the whole time.  Why, I couldn't tell you.  Ever since I went into the hospital I have been developing the fear of going places and driving.   I am going to try to make Caleb's next game on Thursday if I can't get myself together to go tonight.  I have surgery on Friday and the next week I probably won't go to any, then Nicholas's games start and I will have to take him unless he can catch a ride.  It won't be easy but I have to.

I really scares me to suddenly be afraid of driving or going out in public.  Shoot I can't even just go outside hardly and today I don't want to leave the bedroom.  My therapist thinks is may be a bit of post traumatic from driving during the major meltdown and that it all started to come to a head in a large store.  It is just really confusing as I have always been independent going places and doing things.  Now I feel like a huge failure to myself, my husband, and my boys.

Now if Ed is driving I tend to do OK.  Though anxiety creeps in at time like if the traffic is too heavy or something like that.  I am lucky to have a husband that is such a rock for me.  He is always positive and wants to know what to do to help.  I wish I knew.

It just breaks my heart that I am such a mess and that I am missing things.  I also am having trouble taking care of things like cooking and laundry.  Everything is just too much these days.  I know for my guys I have to take this time to heal, but it is just so hard when I feel that I am letting them down and can't be the mom and wife I want to be.

No matter what illness or illnesses you suffer from, being a mom makes them hard, from not resting enough to feeling you have let everyone down.  Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Stress and other invisible diseased make it harder as others don't understand.  So I hope by telling my stories not only am I getting therapy of getting it out, I hope you can relate to something and know you are not alone.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bad Scoring and Slight Agoraphobia Now

We as moms with or without any debilitating thing are so stressed.  I feel like I am still falling apart despite medicine changes and therapy.  I am just so impatient.  I know this is going to be a long road for me to get back to myself so I can be everything I want to be; a great wife, mom, and friend.

I am really happy and I am happy I have finally found and am receiving the help I need.  That said, it is so overwhelming.  Today in therapy my therapist had me take the Breck Test I think it is called.  On one the anxiety part I score moderate, not the greatest.  On the depression part I got a 54 I think it was with 64 being the worst and something like 29 being moderate.  As you can see it is really going to take a commitment to feel better.  I am determined though no matter how long or what it takes.

I am also starting to develop a bit of agoraphobia he said.  I am afraid to drive or go out in public.  I am definitely in an avoidance phase with this.  Like tonight my wonderful husband has to manage all 3 boys baseball schedules while coaching  too as I cannot get myself to go.

I had to stop and pull myself together on the way home from therapy after a car pulled out in front.  I burst into tears and start a panic attack.  I start back on my way home only to go a block and have another car pull out in front of me making me slam on the brakes once again.  Now I am shaking, crying, and thinking of just getting out of the van.  But somewhere deep down I was able to keep myself going as I knew that was not rational, but it is very scary when this happens.

I am happy Edward took tomorrow off work to go with me to my pre-op appointment for my ankle surgery.  I was really getting terrified about driving into Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti in the morning.  I don't know if he took it off for this reason or because he wants to work on the bedroom and just wants to go along for support.  After my short drive home from Chelsea I am so happy he will be with me, probably driving.

I feel like I am disappointing my family so much.  It is hard not to be able to handle the boys stuff, cook, clean, etc.  I know depression and anxiety are diseases like all others but I have guilt building even though getting better is what I need to be focused on.  I love my guys so much and feeling like an outsider looking in is probably the hardest part of everything I go through.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Long road, tiny steps is how I have to look at life right now.  End goal is the end of the long road.  Daily goals are the small steps.  I must be patient and let medicine work and therapy guide me back to the real me.  It is hard and I hate it as I am happy, but my brain says otherwise.

I know I blog here a lot about Fibromyalia, but along with that I suffer from Depression and Anxiety as most do with Fibromyalgia.  Right now Depression and Anxiety have the best of me.  I am exhausted not only from all this, but the medicines as well.  I can hardly pull myself out of bed, and most days fall asleep mid afternoon.  I am not doing anything I absolutely don't have to.  Some of that is good, some not so good.

I have developed anxiety about leaving the house, driving and going into a store.  I only am going out when I have to.  It is better if I go with someone, but alone is almost debilitating.  Today I had to go see the psychiatrist and planned on getting us some groceries since this are getting pretty bare around here. I went to my appointment and as I talked with the doctor my anxiety grew.  By time I left I was almost in panic.  Not sure why.  I know he is there to help.  Maybe the thought of going to the store when I left.

As I got into the van and started driving the tears came.  By time I was by the grocery store I knew there was no way I could go in alone if at all.  I just kept driving towards home, crying the whole way.  This is so new to me.  I never really had trouble going anywhere even with my anxiety except maybe the doctor's office or a hospital.  I want to stay home when I am alone.  Maybe because it all happened at a large store, then I had to drive to the safety of my doctor's office then the E.R.

I feel so guilty and like a failure.  Yes my brain knows I have an illness just like heart disease or diabetes, but it seems so different too.  I know a lot about these conditions so I know it is a biochemical illness mostly in my case.  I have not had major traumas or anything like that, but I do have a high family risk.

I am not ashamed like some are that suffer from Mental Illness.  I know it is not anything I can control, but the negative feeling come up no matter how hard I try to put them away.  I have been a bit public with my hospitalization so others no they are not alone, that it is OK to get help, and to bring more awareness to Depression and Anxiety.

So even though I have been on medicines for years and for the most part they have always worked, I look at being hospitalized as a new beginning for the long road, but it will need to be done in tiny steps.  Sometimes the steps could be backwards in feeling even, but they are still steps to feel better.With something like Depression and Anxiety I will always struggle to some extent, but we can find a way to cope with it and live life normally, so never give up.  Take every tiny step you need, to get to the end of the long road.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I ended up in the hospital, which was a great thing to start getting me back to me again. I melted down big time and started to have fleeting thought of suicide and just leaving my guys behind and go hide. I was extremely scared that I lost it forever, but now I know I can get the help I have been trying to get and with work I will be better.

I am concerned how it all affected my boys and my friend's daughter. All 4 were with me at Best Buy when I lost it. I cried from Ann Arbor to Chelsea and kept thinking I could just ram the van into the car in front of me, but I didn't and kept realizing that would hurt the kids and the other person so I kept an extra safe distance. I stayed in one lane of the hwy and just focused on getting to doctor's office.

Once at the doctor's I saw the psychologist I was seeing in the stress clinic and he sent me immediately to the ER and then into in patient behavioral health. I was anxious at first, but knew I was doing the right thing. As the days when on I felt better, but still not quite right. Then Tuesday evening it as a sudden change. I felt I was ready to come back home to my family and friends and start the out patient part.

So Wednesday I stuck to the schedule they had for us, but worked towards getting released. I was great to surprise the boys that mommy was home. I was home alone yesterday and just relaxed and not worry about things around the house. We headed out to get hubby's car and my phone back from Best Buy. That was something I knew I need to do. I had my husband and boys for support and I only got a few tears, but I walked back into that store with no panic attack. Though we both got back and realized we did not pick up his car from the hospital. I guess that will be tonight.

My reason for sharing this is not for you to feel sorry for me, but for you to know if you get out of control there is help everywhere. It will be OK and we don't need to hurt ourselves or others. Focus on warning signs too and get help before it gets this out of control. It would be the easier fix, but even at the point you are not in your so called "right" mind there is help. Listen to others as well as your self. I know I am blessed with many who care and even if you don't have a support system you can get one.

I am eager to start being my old self and restarting my life. You can have a happy life and be depressed, suffer anxiety, and a slue of many other mental illnesses. Don't allow others make you feel ashamed. Mental illness is a disease just like heart disease or diabetes. Get help if needed and never, ever give up.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Driving With Fibromyalgia

Driving with Fibromyalgia can be quite painful as we know, from uncomfortable seats, staying in one position for too long, and just the plain stress of driving.  I just read an article which is posted and quoted below about driving with Fibromyalgia.  It was part of an article about 4 common things that are easy for most, but not for us.  As a mom of 3 very active boys, doing some contracting work for a dental equipment repair business, and a direct sales consultant I do spend a lot of time in our van.

One day out visiting dental offices or running the boys from one field to another with a possibility of another town thrown in really can make me hurt.  It hurts to sit too long, especially behind the wheel when you can't even wiggle around some.  Then having your arms up to hold the wheel cause neck, arm and upper back pain.  Then the stress of people cutting you off, getting behind schedule because of a tractor (We live in the country.), now major construction project through our small town, not to count the issues of visiting the larger towns around when needed.  I have just read something I never thought of Fibromyalgia to cause.

As you will see in excerpt from below it is talking about Fibro Fog and driving.  Forgetting where you are going, forgetting how to get somewhere, in bad cases disorientation.  Fortunately I am not to the point where I feel I am an unsafe driver, but I do sometimes find myself not paying attention maybe as well as I should whether the boys are with me or not.  I sometimes forget the area I just drove through and think "wow, how did I get here?".  Those kind of  things are scary to say the least.  I never related it to my Fibromyalgia, but it made so much sense to me as I was reading.  Even medications we take can make us a bit out of it and affect our driving.

Now I have realized this I feel it will make me a stronger driver.  I will make sure I am more aware, not drive as much if possible when having a bad day physically because that will affect how we react, pay attention, and just driving in general.  I haul very precious cargo many times that I am driving called Nicholas, Jacob, and Caleb.  Edward too.  Nothing would be worse then hurting them or someone else because I was out of it.  I am pledging to look at myself more seriously as a Fibro Driver and hope you do as well.  Read the clip below for full information I read and I hope it helps you be safe and protect those around you.

Brain fog can be a major problem when you're behind the wheel. Some of us periodically forget where we're going or how to get there. Even worse, we may become disoriented and not know where we are.
It's scary when this happens and can lead to an anxiety attack, which makes the situation even worse and can increase other symptoms.
Some of us also have trouble paying attention to the myriad things that we need to while driving. We may not be able to process all the necessary information to be safe on the road.
A small fraction of people with these illnesses stops driving completely. Some may have to limit their driving to familiar places, while others are okay most of the time but choose not to drive on especially bad days. It's a personal decision, but one that we need to be aware of to protect ourselves and others.

As you evaluate your driving ability, it may help to get input from friends and family members who've ridden with you, as they may have noticed things you didn't.

A few tips I think would be helpful for us are driving only when rested.  Also if you have a long drive, stop frequently, get out and stretch.  One thing on my van I never had before is heated seats.  This is great in the cold or on a painful day that I have to be out.  Also in cold warm your vehicle up, in the hot weather start it with the air on so you don't have extreme temperatures that will make you hurt.  Keep distractions to a minimum (good for all people), turn off cell or ignore it even with a headset, keep radio low or off especially if you have others in the car.  I know too much noise driving or riding in a car makes me really irritable..  Irritability causes road rage and stress.  We don't need that.  Just a little input from me to keep us safe.  Please comment if you have a safe or comfortable driving tip.