Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Review

Christmas is over.  Clean up is beginning.  I can't say that I am all that sad this year that is it over.  Normally I have post Christmas blues, but this year with how I have been flaring and not being able to do all the things I like to do with my boys I am just glad it is over.

After a few days of Christmas get togethers I was pushed to my limits.  Pain and fatigue took over.  Monday was a day of pain medicine and resting especially since even with the meds I was unable to sleep Christmas night because of the pain.

We did bring home our 17 year old niece with us Christmas.  Chloe is going to help the boys clean their rooms properly for me so we can put away their gifts and go through clothes and see what is up there that fits and what does not and can be donated.  This is a big help for me.  Chloe has stayed with us off and on her whole life so she fits in just like the boys except she will help me out.

I plan to at the least have the main area back in shape, tree down, and gifts put away by Friday.  Not too big of a task as long as the upstairs gets done.  Thursday will be a run to Detroit Metro Airport to pick up my friends 2 boys who are flying back from a visit to Florida with mom and her boyfriend.  Nicholas is excited to see Ricky and Michael as they are best friends  and they moved to Charlotte with their real dad so they don't spend as much time together.

Very few returns which is nice.  I think we will do that on Thursday as well before the airport if possible.  Three items is our fault.  One I bought thinking of one Jacob and it was on Nicholas's list, then two "Cars 2" movies as I forgot we had bought one already and then Caleb got one from and Aunt and Uncle.  Jacob needs to exchange a Nerf gun as he got the same one as he got last year.  So thankfully we don't have many to do and many a line to stand in.  Also why I am waiting a few days for the crowds to get smaller.

Now I am looking forward to New Year's Eve with some of my best friends ever.  Hoping that next year I will be healthier and able to do more so I can make great memories for my boys and husband.  Now is time to recover and move one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Link Sharing - Counting Down the Days

Wanted to share this article.  It relates to the last post I did about managing your holidays so you can enjoy by keeping them simple.  There are some great tips here.  I hope it help.

Counting Down the Days - Tuesday, December 21 2010
0 CommentsAs the days wind down to Christmas, I can feel my anxiety growing by leaps and bounds. Even with my pared-down expectations and advance planning, there’s still so much to do. I know it’s time to scale back once more, and I’m coming to terms with the fact I probably won’t get it all done. So here are the makings of my last-minute Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Holiday Survival Guide.
Gifts. I still have names on my list, but I’m going to forget about what to get and how to organize my day so I don’t have to drive so much. I’m not going to wrap. I’m not going to ship. I’m turning to gift cards that can be purchased and delivered online. (I will choose online businesses from which I know the recipients would buy stuff.)
Cards. I’ve seriously cut back on my card list. I only send to people I don’t see. And I no longer do handwritten notes with each card. Yes, I’ve succumbed to the typed Christmas letter. For a while I felt guilty about that decision, but I’ve tried to make it sound fun rather than like a documentary. These will probably make it out the door by Christmas, but I doubt they’ll arrive by Christmas. And I’ve decided that’s okay. (You can take this one step simpler and send e-cards. This online card shop is a favorite of mine.)
Food. I’ve given up on the full-course turkey dinner idea this year. Instead, I’m getting trays of vegetables, fruits and deli meats, plus a few salads, from my grocery store. We’ll start a very simple slow-cooker meal in the morning, which will fill the house with good cooking smells all day, and if we’re still hungry after we’ve spent our day nibbling, we’ll dish up bowls of stew. And as my grandmother used to say with a wink, Sara Lee was very good at what she did. (Dishes are festively-decorated, sturdy paper, and utensils are color-coordinated and disposable--minimal clean-up.)
Decorating. If it’s not up now, it’s not going up unless someone else does the work. In my case, very little is up, which means there will be very little to take down (there’s a silver lining in every cloud!). My decorating this year will be aural: we plan to listen to lots of Christmas music.
Laying Low. I’m going to introduce anyone spending time with me over the next few days to my refrigerator. I will extend full household privileges to root through my cupboards and help themselves to whatever they find. (I will not feel guilty that my cupboards aren’t spic and span.) And, because socializing this week would probably send me through the roof, I have declined invitations, with explanations and sincere apologies. For people I would love to see but can’t, I plan to call on or around Christmas day. I will make one exception: if someone invites me to a quiet meal for which I don’t need to get dressed up, I’ll go.
Timing. I’ve skirted around this one, but here it is point blank: if I can’t get something done for someone else by Christmas day, then I’ll get it done in the days after Christmas. It’s okay if Christmas extends beyond the actual day. Really!
As the days tick down, try to remember what’s important. Fill your head with positive, nurturing messages. The holidays are about giving … not things, but love. Having Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue may mean you have a harder time doing as much as you used to do; it doesn’t mean you love anyone any less.
Extend that love to yourself. Don’t stint on sleep. Make time to rest when you feel yourself approaching your limit. Remember to eat (remember to breathe deep relaxing breaths!). Laugh and smile and hug those you love as often as you can. Sidestep the guilt. Try not to accept the burden of other people’s expectations of who you should be, and be realistic about who you are and can be. Tell yourself it won’t always be this way, that as your treatment progresses, you will be able to do more.
Perhaps you and I will discover a valuable lesson from our efforts to trim the unnecessary from our holiday celebrations. I expect that if we look carefully and open ourselves to the possibilities, we may find less is more. This could be one of our most meaningful holidays ever.
Be on the lookout with me. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Shortcuts a Must This Year

I am feeling like a failure this year to my boys for the holidays.  As I am writing this I am in tears from pain and letting my boys and husband down, but I am doing this so you that suffer with Fibromyalgia know you are not alone.  This is one of the hardest times of the year for us as we have more to do from decorating and get together.  I have an added scare with my first mammogram which has just pushed me over the edge.

I was in so much pain last night I took Vicoden.  Which makes me have a "hangover" the next day so I was asleep on and off all morning and did not get Jacob and Caleb uptown to Santa, Nicholas is at a camp out for Boy Scouts and I really don't think he can still believe at 13 years old.  So there is one guilty feeling.  Then I wanted to bake some cookies today, even if they were the pre-cut ones.  Again, I just can't do it.  I could barely pick up my laptop.

I know why I am flaring and it is expected, but it does not make the hurt and guilt go away.  I had my 2nd mammogram and ultrasound on Thursday.  Not only painful positions but the stress.  Fortunately it is OK.  Just some cysts to follow, but a few weeks of stress and worry.  Then yesterday I  threw Caleb's class holiday party, which was fun and great to do, but it took its toll on my body with everything combined.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to going to a friend's for a little Christmas party with some of my best friends. That will be OK, but we all take a appetizer to pass and I love to make them and do something really good and different, but I am thinking it will be more of a antipasto platter with store bought stuff.  I really don't think I can be out there cooking and stuff.

I have a ton of wrapping to do this coming week, especially the stuff for the boys before they are out of school.     Going to have friends from Florida spend one night when they come up to get their kids for Christmas break.  Again a good thing, but a bit more to add to the list.  We will sit back and have some fun catching up which is good for me and they understand all I go through so I don't have to panic about the house and stuff too much.

Right now I am just laying here wondering if I should take some pain medicine and just give up.  I want this time of year to be wonderful for my family and myself.  I need to figure out what i can do to make it seem festive without killing myself.  Maybe I do need today to be a down day, then I can go from here and get things done. Shortcuts will be needed.  Maybe go to dollar store and all non Santa gifts are in bags this year or something.  Maybe buy a platter of cookies somewhere so we can enjoy them and just not the baking part this year.  I don't know right now, but I do know I have to do somethings to make it easier so I can be full force for the really important things.  I hope you are figuring out ways to make the holidays enjoyable and pain free with shortcuts so you have the energy to do what you feel is important.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Managing Mornings

Managing Mornings

I found this about article linked above and wanted to share. I think these are great ideas for starting your day off to the right start. I know I cannot just jump out of bed and start my day. I need it to start slowly.

I set my alarm for a few minutes before my boys get up and I have it snooze a few times just to give me time to sort of wake on my own when I have to get up. Fortunately my boys are great at getting ready for school most mornings so I can stay in bed and slowly get moving. I know what they are up to as our bedroom is on the main floor and with the door open I can see the kitchen and dining room. As long as they are doing as they are suppose to all goes well.

Once they leave for school I usually will make coffee and enjoy or if I have to leave I will take a hot shower. All depends if I will be home for the whole day or not. I like being able to have some coffee and eat then take a shower. I will dress accordingly. At home I am comfortable with yoga or pajama pants and tops that won't be uncomfortable. No need to jeans or dress pants that may dig into me.

I do have a heated mattress pad and I will turn that on or jump up and turn up the electric heater. We keep our heat down because we use propane which is expensive. My husband can't have it too warm at night or it makes him cough and flares his allergies so a dual sided mattress pad and our own blankets solve that problem. It is hard to get up into a cold room and it can freeze up the muscle instantly.

So try some of the ideas in the article or some of mine. See if they help you gain a little more control of your mornings and hopefully make your day just a bit better. Fibromyalgia affect so many things we don't think of so every little thing we find is worth a try as long as it is a safe thing to do.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Fibro Christmas Song!

I stumbled on this in an email I receive from About.com on Fibromyalgia.  I thought it was be nice to share and put some holiday humor to our condition.  It is funny to me as it is so true.  I know the pretense is not funny and very serious.  I went shopping all day yesterday with some of my best girls and today is a day of recovery for me.  I am not as bad as I have been in the past, but muscles ache and I want to sleep.

First Caleb our yougest came in to snuggle, then Tucker the dog started barking to go out.  So I go let him out, and he takes off so, for a bit we are trying to call him back in.  Just enough to "wake" me up.  So some coffee, TV, and computer time for a bit.  I am sure a nap to come or at least a day of lounging around.  Probably will work on updating Christmas shopping list and looking for ideas for a first grade holiday party since I took that on.

So read the song.  If you can sing, sing it and sing it loud.  Just a little something to know you are not alone, with just a little humor so I think, though I do have a dark sense of humor.  Hope you enjoy.

A Fibro Christmas Song!
by Kim
Sing to the tune of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

Muscle scream can you hear em,
No medication can cheer em,
I'm up all night,
I look a fright,
My Fibro's Flaring from these Holidays.

I decorated a little,
Had to stop in the middle,
My arms just don't work,
my legs started to jerk,
My Fibro's Flaring from these Holidays.

In the livingroom lays the Christmas tree,
It is drying up & it's turning brown,
By the time I start
to decorate it,
the lights will burn the darn thing to the ground.

Later on I'll try wrappin,
But I doubt It will happen,
No wonder why I'm a grouch,
suffering on the couch,
My Fibro's ruining my whole Holiday.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Help with Online Shopping to Help You

With Fibromyalgia it can be hard at times to get out and fight the crowds at the stores for your holiday shopping.  This year I am doing a lot more online shopping. This is helping me save my energy for the important things during the holiday season, like baking cookies with my boys and being able to enjoy the visits with relatives and friends since these to me is what what holidays are about.

I have already ordered and received several gifts.  Some are from the Etsy.com site that I have friends selling homemade items on, other are from other retailers.  I am actually going to sit down with my husband and figure out the boys list and see if I can do one large Toys R Us order so I don't have to tromp through that store.  Not fun on a good day.

I thought as a way to help you with Fibromyalgia as well as every one with the busy schedules I would do some postings with special offers I receive.  These offer will help you save money as you online shop.  I know we need to save money and many of us with Fibromyalgia don't work because of the pain we suffer so saving money is important.

Below are a few I have came across this morning either in my email inbox or other places online.

About eStore:
The eStore is an independent online retailer,
owned and operated by eStore Retail Services,
featuring P&G brands. Now for the holidays you
can get FREE Shipping with a $25 purchase, as
well as 15% OFF and FREE gift wrap for
Vocalpoint members.

We have 12 days of exclusive offers to inspire the holiday spirit and make your shopping easier. Enjoy sweet prices on holiday treats and Starbucks® Christmas Blend coffee, specially-priced iconic holiday mugs - and even an easy way to get daily brewed coffee for a month with just one purchase. Find out more at Starbucks.com/merry.

December 1-5
Free Shipping with $50 order, but coupons and Kohl's Cash is deducted then you get free shipping if you spend $50 beyond the discounts. (Found that out yesterday when trying to place an order and use my Kohl's Cash from Black Friday.)
Promo Code for 20% off:  Holly20

Remember to also use any rewards programs you belong to like Mypoints.  They can save you money or give you points or money towards other items.  Also opting into emails for the companies you shop will keep you updated with the latest sales and when they cut of shipping for Christmas delivery.

Good luck on saving money, saving energy, and enjoying the holidays with your loved ones.