Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Scare

This Christmas I am feeling very blessed that Ed, the boys, and I are all Ok and healthy after a Carbon Monoxide scare.  The really scarey part was there was no reason for it to happen.

Monday night, Tuesday early morning, Nicholas and I woke up with severe headaches.  I know my shoulders, neck, and head hurt horribly.  I could not understand why I hurt at that time as I had taken a Vicoden for my ankle pain for that on going sprain.  When Jacob woke up in the morning he also had a headache.  Something inside me triggered a thought to call Ed at work.  He was on his way home as he did not feel good either.

After a bit of thought I put it all together.  As soon as Ed got home I had him install a smoke/carbon monoxide detector we had laying around to replace our old ones.  Within a short while it was going off.  Ed started checking everything out and finds it must be the water heater as nothing else was on and doesn't have pilot lights.  He shut it off and opened the house. 

I went to get my hair done and I picked up another detector as precation.  So far all is well and OK, just that I am shook up at how close we could have come to losing our lives.  So the inconvenience of no hot water is OK.  We turn it on for a quick shower and that is it.  Since the part is almost as the ones we saw online we will be buying a new water heater. 

The carbon monoxide poisoning, I guess for better of any other word, is causing me to flare some.  My upper body is hurting and tight.   A bit unusual for me as I tend to feel more pain in my back, hips, and legs, so I know it is relate to the carbon monoxide.  Also my exhaustion is horrible.  If we were not out looking for parts today and Christmas shopping I would have slept a lot I am sure.

So I beg of you to put in carbon monoxide detectors as well as smoke alarms as recommend.  It is not something you want to take lightly.  There are programs if you can't afford them.  Take the time and install them for your families safety.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Boys Christmas Break

Today is the boys first official day off school for the Holiday/Christmas Break.  Friday was their last day until January 3rd.  As of now it seems these two weeks are going to be very long.  Hard to believe Christmas is only a few days away the way Nicholas, Jacob, and Caleb are acting.  Nicholas being the worst.

I am very frustrated with their behavior.  I am really trying to get organized and do things to get ready for the holidays.  I still have Christmas shopping to do, laundry has piled up again as the washer is not working quite right still, though today I am trying to do some anyhow.  The boys trash the house faster then it can be cleaned.

Nicholas and I are fighting over stupid things.  He won't do the simplest task.  I just chased a 12 year old through the house trying to catch him so I could talk to him and try to get through to him.  Instead of that, I manage to get a sharp pain in my ankle and my lower back is throbbing.

All this pain from the ankle sprain and then compound it with the Fibromyalgia it is overwhelming.  Then add the holidays, shopping, get togethers, etc., I see a breakdown coming both emotionally and physically.  My darling, wonder husband Ed is doing all he can to help, but he is working a lot of hours and should not have to deal with this all as I am home. 

I have not wanted to do anything for the holidays.  No cookies, decorating (only tree this year), parties, etc.  Some of it is the boys and their attitudes and some of it is the constant pain.  The stress is making the Fibro worse as well as the cold weather.  Here in S.E. Michigan it has been colder then normal.  Then the ankle and the stupid walking boot cast I am wearing makes me walk wrong and makes the back hurt a lot.  I was watching Christmas with the Kranks last night and that is exactly how I feel. 

I really do just want to skip it all.  It  would be so much easier on me.  Though unlike the movie, I would not throw together a party just because my child came home last minute and I had a cruise planned and paid for.  Sorry, you may feel that is mean, but without notice that is what would happen.  I would be bye-bye.  If only I could do that this year.  I'd be happy, relaxed, and would feel better on the cruise in the warmth.

Reality is I can't skip it all.  I have cut out what I can.  Lists of gifts to buy cut, no baking, no decorating.  Maybe I'd feel better if I could do that, but the boys just don't deserve or allow it.  Living room was cleaned up last night, trashed this morning.  My only hope is Ed has a week off between the holidays and maybe I can talk some friends into helping me, though I am so embarrassed, but I need to get help.  It is OK to ask for help. 

I may see if the boys can go somewhere for a few days to give me a break.  I love them so much, but it is so hard to fight all the time and deal with attitudes and defiance.  I was ready to have Santa skip our house, but I can't do it.  I just can't.  Beyond that I feel I am doomed to all this forever or at least a good 15-20 years.  I think I need to rely on help and just take it easy.  Rest of today will now be babying ankle and hoping washer holds out to get a few things washed at least, as well as doing my Avon Administrative work.

I hope you are having better luck with your children.  Please post tips if you have them.  I will find someway to have peace as I need to for my health and for a happy family.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gifts For Those With Fibromyalgia or Other Chronic Pain

Fibromyalgia not only effects those who have the condition but those that are around the inflicted person as well.  With the holidays upon us you may be looking for gifts to give your loved one with Fibromyalgia.  Why not consider things that will help your beloved feel better?  With Fibromyalgia many won't take the time to relax and take care of themselves so great gifts are gifts that will help the person reduce stress, relax, and have a sense of overall wellness.

Since I have suffered with Fibromyalgia for several years I have found things that I like that I will suggest to give as gifts.  I also read on in the Fibromyalgia Community that listed gifts for those in pain.  So between myself and this list I have compiled a list to help you shop for that person you care about care for their Fibromyalgia symptoms.

Here is my list of gifts for Fibromyalgia and/or other Chronic Pain condition:
  • Heat Wraps (small or large)  I received a full body microwavable wrap from my husband for Christmas one year.  It is probably the most used item in my Fibro arsenal.  He bought it for me at Origins.  I also have a small one for the neck I purchased at The Body Shop. 
  • Massage is always great.  I do recommend you check that the massage therapist has experience with Fibromyalgia and Myofascia massage.  People with Fibro need a gentle touch and there are techniques to help the patient feel better and not cause more pain.
  • Heated Mattress Cover is again something I have and use nightly in the cooler months.  I turn it on a bit before I climb into bed and it is warm and cozy and doesn't stiffen my body.  I also use it in the morning to loosen up the muscles a bit before I get up.
  • Maid Service.  Even a one time deep cleaning would be a great help.  Sometimes we just can't get down to clean the floor trim, or things up high like lights and fans.  If you can't afford to purchase the service make a coupon for your Fibro friend  or family member for you to let them have the day off and you clean the house for them.
  • E-Reader or Kindle.  Many have times when a book is too heavy to hold for long periods of time and since these are light it can help when they are down.  They can escape the pain by reading a great novel of their choice.  It is something they can take with them to their many doctor appointments as well.
  • Bath Pillows are also great.   Soaking in a hot bath soothes the body, but if your head is not supported it can cause pain.  With Fibro again we need things to help us with daily tasks.  I have one of these and it does really help when I need to sit back in the warmth of a hot bath.
  • Warm Cozy Socks.  Great stocking stuffer idea.  Those with Fibro are always looking to stay warm.  Socks can really warm a person up and a nice, non tight, comfortable fabric are great.  I know I have a large collection and when I am home it is all I wear and I buy more whenever I get the chance.
  • DVDs of their favorite movies.  When in pain sometimes you can't do anything but lay there.  It is great to get lost in a great comedy or edge of your seat movie. Or another option is to up their cable or dish subscription to get Showtime or HBO if they don't have it.
  • CDs or ITunes card for their favorite soothing and relaxing music.  Or even and MP3 player if they don't have one.  As they sit in the tub relaxing or burning a scented candle it is another way to escape the pain some.

Some of these I have, some I would like.  When you are gift giving for a person with Fibromyalgia or other Chronic Pain conditions I think it is important to keep that in mind.  People who suffer pain and exhaustion feel guilty quite often if they take time for themselves and by giving a gift for them to do it they feel less guilty.  I know this from my life and experiences.  I want to put my boys and husband, extended family and friends first, but there are times when I need to think of me first so I can put others first.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Grape Goo

With having Fibromyalgia and 3 boys in lots of activities I am always looking for easy recipes to throw together for potlucks.  I received this recipe from a Scout's mom I had in my Den, with my oldest son Nicholas.   It is a hit everywhere and it is something the boys can help with or even make if I am down.  It is always a hit and I am constantly asked for the recipe.

Grape Goo Recipe
(A.K.A. Grape Salad)

2 big bunches of red grapes (cut large one in 1/2)
2 (8oz.) blocks of cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I use dark as it is my preference, light is fine)
4 oz. pecan bits

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and white sugar.  Add Grapes.  Mix well and place in a 9x13 inch glass dish.  Mix brown sugar and pecans together.  Spread over top of Goo.  Gently pat down.  Chill in fridge overnight or it can be served right away.

I have used full fat, low fat, and fat free cream cheese without any notice in flavor or how much others like it.  That is up to you.  I try to cut the calories when I can.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Want to Skip Christmas

We all have up and down years for the holiday season.  Some have it much worse then others.  I am blessed I have a family and great friends to celebrate with, but last year I was suffering from Gallbladder attack, thinking it was my Fibromyalgia.  This year I have a severe sprain ankle that I am wearing a walking boot because of that is throwing my walk off and hence my back and sending me into flares if I am up too much.

I am really in the Bah Humbug mood this year.  Only decorations I have put out this year is a tree.  I don't feel like shopping at all and even if I don't have a lot to buy I love watching others doing their shopping especially last minute.  I find it hilarious.  Baking may also not happen again this year.  Though I really love sugar cookies made the way my mom made them when I was a kid so I hope to get the energy for them at least.

If if was just me or Ed and I this would all be OK.  It is not just the two of us.  We have 3 boys who are growing so fast and I feel that they are missing out on some of the fun of the holidays because of me.  My boys love baking the cookies and helping decorate.  One thing I did do this year is let them help decorate the tree, which in the past I would not let them as I collect blown glass ornaments.  I felt bad about everything and they are older now so I let them put on the ones that were not "special" to me. 

This time of year drags down the most energetic person, but if you are suffering with Fibromyalgia it is so much worse.  One day of shopping, if you can do the whole day, can put you down for a week.  Baking and standing in the kitchen is so hard.  The running between family and friends is fun and you want to see them, but it takes a toll. 

People with Fibromyalgia really need to learn to choose what is most important when it comes to the Holidays.  Pick a few things that really are special to you at the holiday and focus on that.  Try to eat well and take care of yourself, though I am a firm believer in enjoying food and drink at the holidays, but in between events try to do the good things your body needs.  Lots of water and healthy food. 

Don't procrastinate or you will feel overwhelmed.  I am there right now.  Bills must be paid first so I can't get out and buy gifts here and there like normal.  I have decided I am giving gift cards to some this year as I just can't be out there this year.  I may do more online shopping then in the past and I hope by doing short cuts like these I will be able to do those things that are important like baking cookies with my boys.

Part of me wants to just skip Christmas and everything related, but I do know I would miss it.  So instead I hope to take it a step at a time and not stretch myself too far.  Pick the important things and if need turn down certain things.  Remember if you don't feel good you will be no fun so take care of yourself and you will be able to enjoy it with out wanting to skip it all.