Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fibro, Fall, Football & Fun

I'll start with a fibro update:

All in all, I can say I'm at a better place right now than I was a few months ago. Every day is still a challenge, but I have more "tools" to help me cope and make this load easier to carry. 

My mornings aren't quite as stiff, my headaches aren't as intense or as often, my pain can be managed better, and I can think and focus more clearly. I've seen definite progress! I hadn't seen much progress almost in the past year and a half and was really starting to believe it's just the way I would have to accept it. It was a very painful reality I dealt with every day, trying not to accept the place I was at. I'm not 100%, and am not sure if I'll ever be (I don't know what 100% feels like anyway), but I have seen real, measurable progress and have to note what I'm doing, if for nothing else, for future reference to stay on this positive path to wellness. Here are things I'm currently doing that seem to be helping in each of my main problem areas:

Fatigue: I've been using CoQ10 (over the counter). I think this is helping as I haven't needed to nap as much nights or weekends since starting this back in August. We'll see how it helps over time, but the fibro specialists said this supplement can help with fatigue at the cellular level (unlike coffee/caffeine from what I understand).

Pain: I still take a prescription for nerve pain 3 times a day and a muscle relaxer every night. I use prescription pain patches as needed (I use the patches for 12 hour increments a few days a week). I also am fortunate to get a back/neck massage from Nick every morning before he goes to work, and he also helps me get my heat pads on my back/neck muscles and wrap one around my jaw and temples so I can use them for a little while before I go to work. I also reheat my rice heat pad before work and have it on my shoulders as I drive to and from work. I have lots of exercises to help my neck, shoulders, and knee, but really haven't been using them much - I really should though. 

Headaches: Excedrin Migraine (over the counter) helps me with bad headaches/migraines as needed, physical therapy for TMJ (facial massages on TMJ muscles and temples, eating softer foods, awareness of keeping the muscles loose etc), and adding a bottom mouthguard to wear along with my top mouthguard have all helped me. Wearing the bottom mouthguard with the top one is supposed to make the plastic slide as I grind my teeth around rather than letting my teeth dig into the plastic and grind all night. I just got the bottom one two weeks ago and it seems to be helping, although I still notice the symptoms, they are reduced in severity. The tight temple muscles also contribute to the "fibro fog" feeling I get where it's more difficult to focus and think critically. This is very common for fibro, but I have noticed giving myself temple massages and using my heat pad there daily has helped reduce the "fibro fog" symptom.

Dry Mouth: This is a new symptom, one I believe to be a side affect from the muscle relaxer I take each night. According to the fibro specialist I see monthly, dry mouth is common for that medication and I've had this symptom since I increased my dose from 1/2 pill to 1 pill. To help with it, I've been using Biotene mouthwash (over the counter), and the Biotene gel (over the counter) which has a bigger impact, but I really only can use at night. At times, my tongue has a burnt feeling and it so dry. I also talk on the phone all day at work and have had the cotton mouth feeling a lot since increasing the dose of that medication. I honestly think my ER trip (explained in this post) was due to this side effect making my mouth and throat dry, making it painful to swallow. 

Digestion: There are foods I have to avoid eating (raw broccoli, hot dogs, greasy foods, etc), but excluding dairy and gluten from my diet has impacted me in a positive way. When I stopped eating all dairy products (even shelved goods containing dairy anywhere in the ingredient list), my frequent bloating got much better. Stopping gluten just makes my whole system seem to work better, and I think it has helped my pain, digestion, and possibly other symptoms. 

I still have good hours and bad hours, good days and bad days. I have to keep my posture in check at work, sleep with lots of pillows to keep my body aligned at night, and not push myself physically. I try to be more proactive than reactive, using my heat pads regularly to prevent any flareups. I have to keep snacks on hand, especially while running errands, I can get overwhelmed/anxious with certain activities and I think it exhausts me and I need to eat food more often in those cases. I'm thankful to see some progress and am thankful for all of the prayers that have been lifted up for me. 

I snapped this photo on one of our recent evening walks 

I've been a fall paparazzi for a few weeks now, trying to capture the beauty of the season everywhere we go. I just love the fall colors. They've been fading as the days go by, so I have to enjoy these days while we have them.

I had this ready to post early this week and am obviously late since it was the game before last now! Better late than never (and jumping over our loss but good game yesterday)...

In other news, ISU had a great win over TCU (a week ago now)! TCU was #15 and this led to us to yet another great upset! 

There were many times we were jumping and shouting with joy to see our team fight for the win.
Coach Rhoads has led us through some great upset in his 4 years as head coach! 

So proud of ISU!

In other news, I went to a friend's Stella & Dot Trunk Show party yesterday.

It was so much fun to play with the jewelry and enjoy time with some friends I care about! I'm such a frugal girl that it was a long decision making process:) but I got these simple cuties I'm excited about:

Here's today's Pinspiration:

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