I Feel a Migraine Coming

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Those of you who get migraines know exactly what it means to feel one coming. While I know everyone is different, for me it starts with trails of light as I move my eyes. I don’t have the pain at this point, but I know it’s coming.

While we’ve had a little reprieve from the freezing cold weekend, we are getting a little bit of snow tonight and a lot more is coming our way on Saturday. While I can definitely relate my migraines to hormonal changes (period week is hell), I find that the pressure with storms really affects me.

The more I read about and talk to people with fibromyalgia, migraines are a common thread for many of us. While my fibro and rheumatoid arthritis cause me a lot of pain, nothing compares to a migraine. When it’s bad, I can’t function at all. I’m useless as a mom, editor, parent advocate, etc. Just plain useless.

I’m hoping to head this migraine off by taking some Excedrin. I don’t want to pull out the Maxalt just yet. I’m like a crazy person. I feel like I have to hoard those for horrific migraine days. I didn’t take Melatonin earlier tonight because I thought I’d be exhausted. I was up late editing last night, and I worked a full day at the office today. That means no time for a quick nap or a cuddle with my cats.

One new thing I’ve been trying is essential oils. I know there are a lot of great companies out there, but since I have no idea what I need or want, I bought a sample pack on Amazon. No idea even what brand they are, but I love them. I use the peppermint when I have a headache coming on, lemongrass just makes me feel happy, lavender to help sleep, and then there are a few others. I only bring this up because of the migraine issue. If you haven’t tried peppermint oil, it’s worth a shot.

While it doesn’t take the place of medication (sorry, I wish I could say it did), I do feel a noticeable difference when I put it on my temples. A friend just told me about a certain blend that is good for fibro. I’ll report back on that if I buy it. It’s from doTerra, which is supposed to have wonderful products, but they are pricey.

Why I’m a Crab Today

I think I’m crabby because even though it wasn’t a bad day, I just don’t feel great. I hate to complain when I know I have days where my pain level is far worse, but it’s exhausting just not feeling great. I can’t remember the last time I woke up and felt refreshed by a good night’s sleep. Heck, even on a great Ambien night of sleep I still wake up exhausted.

Maybe BLAH is a better word. I’m blah because I haven’t had a day without a freakin ache in so long. I’ve been under my heated blanket since 5:30pm and my fingers are still like icicles (thanks Raynaud’s). So there, that’s tonight’s post. I’m blah and I hate it.

Tomorrow begin my weight loss journey with Ideal Shape. I don’t want to bore anyone, but I feel like if I hold myself accountable on the blog, maybe I won’t eat a bag of cookies or chocolates. I’m actually excited even though I technically started smaller portions and cleaner eating on Monday (we are going to ignore the Pepperidge Farm cookies I scarfed down when I got home from work).

Worst case scenario, tomorrow night I’ll be reporting back that the shakes were horrid. Best case, I’ll like them and feel full between the shakes, snacks, and drinking way more water than usual. They want you to take your weight and divide it in half, and that is the amount of water you should be drinking each day.

Hopefully, I can do that! We’ll see. I just want this extra weight off in time for summer.

Oh and to finish up, I was invited by the women who work at the pediatrician’s office to see 50 Shades of Grey. What the hell was I thinking when I said yes. I didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book…they lost me at “butt plug” and the whole contract thing. I know I said I was making an effort to be more social, and they are all super nice, but dear lord…I wasn’t planning on seeing that one. Should be interesting. I’m either going to cancel for fear of not knowing anyone, or pop a half a Xanax and force myself to go!

Before I admit that the half an Ambien is kicking in, I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the new blog followers. Thank you Goddess Simmons Drew for sharing the blog on your FB group. Connecting with people that understand what it’s like to have an autoimmune disease and the crazy roller coaster it is, has made a world of difference to me. We’re not alone.

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My Friend Bashing Post

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I’m irritated this evening, and I know I shouldn’t let stupid things bother me, but eh…sometimes they do. Tonight was our big Nutcracker meeting. They entire cast gets together for a two hours meeting with the director, choreographers, seamstresses, stagehands, etc. The kids get to see who got what role, like who is play Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy, etc. My girls are fairly young, so I can’t say we really know any of the older girls in the large roles, but some of them look familiar from previous years.

Remember my idiot friend who hated my blog? Well, his daughter does the Nutcracker, too. Remind me to kick myself for mentioning it a few years ago. Anyway, he walks in, looks at me and walks the other way. Are we 12? I carried on my conversation, because I have gotten to know a lot of the moms over the past few years and I’ve met a lot of really nice people. A few minutes later his daughter came up to my girls and I to talk. Of course, I was nothing but nice to her. She drives me nuts, but she’s a child and it’s not her fault both her parents are idiots and don’t happen to be teaching her proper behavior or manners.

She told me she was going to ask for a second role and as any motherly figure would, I encouraged her to do so. I took these kids under my wing several years ago, and I do still care about them, though it’s very different now that they are older and their behavior is really bad (especially the girl). She then went on to say she was confused as to why my two girls got two roles and she didn’t. I just politely shrugged that off.

During the meeting, my former friend sat on the complete opposite side of the auditorium by himself. Even when his daughter came over to sit with me again, he didn’t even turn to glance my way. If that’s how he wants to play it, so be it, but what a complete ass. I fully intended on saying a polite hello this evening, and not having things be ugly. I had no intentions of sitting with him or starting up a conversation, but I’m not in high school, I wasn’t going to ignore him. Jackass! So for a little perspective, I sent my friend an IM…she agreed that he was a jackass and mentioned that he posted something about finding “the one” on Facebook, so it made further sense because I’m really only needed when he needs a friend. If he’s got a girlfriend, he doesn’t need advice on the kids, or help from me. And good luck to her! As sarcastic as that sounds, I truly only wish him well, but a person who says things as cruel as he does to other people (not talking about me here, just talking about his every day FB life) isn’t really a happy person on the inside. Finding a wonderful person can make you feel awesome for a long time, but sooner or later, the fact that you’re a miserable person on the inside comes out…unless she’s a psychotherapist or something 🙂

Other than that the meeting was fine and my older daughter had her first practice today. She had a blast. My younger one starts tomorrow morning and then they have a practice together in the afternoon and somewhere in the middle I have to be at a football game for my son. This is the time of year where having an autoimmune disease and being a mom is really tough. I want to do everything and be everywhere for my kids. I love everything about my kids’ activities and I love being there to support them in whatever they do. I won’t lie, though, when I looked at the Nutcracker schedule for October with both girls having two roles and one of the dance buildings not being open yet for the year…I’m nervous. There are days when I have practices in two different towns a few hours apart, and I know I have my son’s stuff to do in between there, too. Or even worse, i I have to drag him along to Nutcracker, he is not a happy camper!

I am looking forward to going to the endocrinologist this week and hopefully digging a bit deeper into what’s going on with me. If I can tackle the hair loss, the exhaustion, and the weight gain, that would be a huge start. Heck, I’d even just start with let’s take on the exhaustion! I know I’m running on adrenaline today. I’m excited for my kids and that does factor in. I’m going to crash on Mondays, which I suppose is the best day of the week that could happen on, as I don’t have to leave the house on Mondays.

I have also been fighting a tension headache/migraine for the past few days. Between the ice and the muscle relaxers, I’m keeping it at bay, but I’m definitely not at 100%. Today it was pouring rain and cold, which meant hip, foot, and hand pain. I really notice it in my legs after I’ve been sitting for a while. I just can’t get up and start walking like a normal person. Standing up and beginning to walk is more of a process now. Getting out of the car is difficult. There is the moving one leg at a time and the the actual getting up.

I like my car better because it’s an SUV and I short, so I’m getting down out of the car. When I have to take the other family car it’s not exactly my style. It’s a Mercedes coup and it’s small and low. I suppose I should like it. First and foremost, it was free. Free is good. It was my father-in-laws car before he passed away and when my husband took over his business (I won’t even get started on that ordeal because it is book-worthy) he needed a better car to get him to all the buildings that the family owns. It sounds like we’re doing super doesn’t it? On paper we are…just not in our check book. We have tenants that haven’t paid rent in months but the commercial space is so large we can’t get anyone else to take it. It’s more drama than I need to share at this point. I’ll save that for a day when I’m upset with my in-laws 🙂

My point was, when I drive the Mercedes, I have a tough time getting out of the car. And you’re thinking, cry me a river, bitch! I know. I have a car, I’m lucky enough to have a roof over my head and three beautiful kids. Despite having special needs, they could be more perfect to me and nothing makes me more proud than being their mom. So yes, I have my issues. Some sound silly when I write them out in a blog post, but still I’m a person in pain and that sucks. It sucks not knowing how I’m going to feel tomorrow or the next day.

I have to wake up early for church tomorrow to bring my kids to CCD. I’m not even tired, But I’m hoping Beverly Hills, 90210 will put me to sleep. Good night all!

 

 

 

Warning: This Blog Contains TMI

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You have been warned. You might want to turn back not, especially if you don’t do TMI well. Let me be honest, I don’t share TMI well, so this isn’t easy for me either. I feel beyond horrid today. While my throat is no longer sore and I’m not stuffy, I can’t shake the annoying cough. I can handle that for the most part, except for the occasional coughing fits that sound like I’m going to hack up a lung.

The TMI part comes in after I provide a little background info. As I have mentioned in several blogs, I lost my mom to ovarian cancer when I was 14-years-old. Because of this, my gynecologist has me on birth control pills to suppress ovarian function as a preventative for ovarian cancer. I’ve been on the pill since my youngest daughter was about 6 months old, so for argument’s sake, let’s say 7 years. It’s a low dose pill, and the first one that is so low that it doesn’t make me nauseous.

A few years ago after having a spell of horrific migraines, I was switched to being on the pill for three months at a time, and then one week off to cut down on that hormonal migraine week where I get the terrible migraines. All this has been fine. No problems at all. With the pill I’m on, I hardly even get a period (here comes the TMI). But as I mentioned in a previous blog, I’ve been feeling bloated and like something was wrong.

I was having sporadic sharp pain on one side, but it was not enough to worry about–just here and there. I actually have a high tolerance of pain (or so I’ve been told) so it’s not like I’ve been doubled over in pain or anything, more like a sharp cramp and then it’s done. Out of nowhere today I got a very heavy period. I can’t remember the last time I had one like this but it was after I had a large cyst and it burst. So, in some ways, I’m actually feeling a tiny bit better. Okay, I’m in pain, and I physically feel like shit, but mentally I’m thinking it was likely a large cyst again; it burst, and I’m going to be okay.

Of course, I will have to confirm this first at my gyno appointment on August 5th and then at a subsequent ultrasound that I will schedule right after the appointment. It may sound silly, but I feel like it’s a positive thing that I feel like crap. There’s me…looking for a silver lining!

I was asked to do a guest blog on a rheumatoid arthritis site. I will post the link when it appears. I’m actually really excited about it. They are looking for some personal stories and they approached me because of the blog. I love any site that brings awareness to RA and the people who are living with it. I have learned so much from the people I’ve connected with through this blog and look forward to continuing that and heck, if I can connect with more of there, that’s great too.

I think we all bring something to the table, whether it’s a simple trick we’ve learned to help get through when your hands are swollen, or an uplifting story about accomplishing a goal with RA. Boy, after my trip to Disney last week, I’m anyone’s cheerleader. It really reaffirmed to me how difficult it is to live with an autoimmune disease like RA, and let’s just throw in my fibromyalgia for a little more fun. My mind wants to keep up with my family and do everything, but my body can’t. That was a really tough lesson, and I had to learn it myself. As much is it sucked getting sick or almost crying standing in line on the third day in the parks, I had to try.

Now I know what is best for me and how to space myself out. It’s not ideal and it likely never will be again, and yes that really sucks. I know, though, that it can always be worse. Okay, I probably won’t be the mom running the marathon or who can stand on line for 6 hours to wait for tickets for a concert. I am the mom that will be waiting inside with hot cocoa or will always be there to talk or listen. Again, not perfect, but I have to find acceptance. My trip helped me a bit with that.

As I stood in Hollywood Studios leaning on my son in the Star Tours line and he knew I was not okay, that made it far worse than needing that darn scooter. My son came home with questions like, “Are you going to have RA forever?,” “Is there any chance that you could get better?” and things like that. I’d rather just not have him see me at my worst. It’s okay that they understand Mommy needs to rest a lot and Mommy is in pain sometimes, but Mommy didn’t need to push herself that hard. I don’t need to let my RA control me…I just need to be a better scooter driver and control my own RA!

Tonight’s picture is a cast picture of all the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz, including my daughter. Opening night is tomorrow night. I’m so excited!!

Migraines Suck; Diets Suck

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My head has been pounding since Tuesday. I have pretty much made it through with ice packs on the back of my neck every few hours, muscle relaxers, and Excedrin Migraine. It hasn’t been fun, especially because I have been finishing up editing and doing a final proofread of a novel. I feel like I’ve read it about 100 times at this point.

It’s really not good for me to read it that many times all this close together. Usually I take a week to do a book and then a few days off before I read it again after changes are made. This author was making changes while I was editing, so this was just one constant circle of reading and re-reading. It’s a good book, but I’m very happy to be done with it.

I’m not sure what the trigger for this migraine is. My allergies have been pretty had for the past few days. The tree pollen is everywhere and even my kids are having a tough time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a lot of my plate…but let’s be honest, who doesn’t? It’s not like I’m under any more stress than usual!

I’m lying here with my ice packs, hoping that I wake up tomorrow headache-free. I have another busy day tomorrow that includes tutoring my autistic client, being the secret reader in my daughter’s first grade class, and going to that same daughter’s transition PPT. If you don’t know what a PPT is then you probably don’t have a child who receives special education services. My youngest daughter will be the first child to be dropped from services, and I give it a year at most that she stays on.

Though I think she benefits from the social skills groups (she’s a little rough around the edges and has ADD), her academics are beginning to get much higher than grade level, which will make my argument for services a little bit difficult. At most, I’m hoping they keep her in the social skills group and give her some accommodations. I think she really wants friends and struggles a little bit with letting others talk, etc. Of course I see that more at home with her siblings than her teacher does at school.

I’m still on my diet. Tonight I feel like I have a bit of an upset stomach. I do struggle a bit with low blood sugar so when I spoke to my coach last night she thinks that on the days when I teach classes or work out hard, that I need to eat more protein than is suggested on the average plan. Today I added two hard boiled eggs into my afternoon, and I didn’t have the shakiness, but my stomach is grumbly now. I’m definitely not feeling hungry…more like an upset stomach. I’m hoping I’m not getting sick.

I decided I’m not going to weigh myself again until next Tuesday, and see how I did after one week. I’m trying to be hopeful…of course my hopeful is 15 pounds, HAHA!! I’ll get there. At least I’m trying to be motivated. It’s a start.

Okay, off to put another ice pack over my eyes and try to sleep. How is everyone else feeling?

 

 

 

Diet: Day Two–I’m HUNGRY

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I’m hungry. I’m really hungry. I was fine until about 4pm today, and then I started to get hungry. I ate my dinner, and then I had a few pieces of mango, which is not included in my diet. Then, I had two spoonfuls of rice pudding. I’m sorry! I did it! We’re moving on. I exercised for over an hour today in class so, I’m giving myself a little break. Mango is healthy and rice pudding, well, well, it was two damn spoonfuls.

I don’t feel as well as I have been the past few days. While my energy level is still up, my allergies are terrible and I’m not sure if that is causing my headache or if I’m on the verge of a migraine. My right hip is also bothering me quite a bit today, but it’s still nothing like it was a few weeks ago in the cold weather, so I’m trying not to complain.

My 9-year-old just woke up after having a nightmare about our old dog. We had to put her down a few years ago after she was diagnosed with bone cancer at 12-years-old. She was my first baby. That dog never left my side through three miscarriages and years of infertility hell. It’s not that I don’t love our current dog, she is very sweet. She’s just not the brightest bulb if you know what I mean. Anyway, my daughter dreamed that a huge rock fell on my dog and she woke up crying.

Truth be told, she went to bed with a lot on her mind. Apparently one of the girls in her class made a “friends” list today and opted to leave my daughter off of it. My daughter has some very nice friends in the class, in fact her best friend is in the same class and said something to the girl who then said, “well, everyone always tells her she’s pretty and she’s stuck up.” Okay, let me explain something about my daughter. My oldest daughter (the one who was called stuck up) was painfully shy. She has come so far in the past few years, but in kindergarten, she didn’t speak to anyone other than one friend and the teacher for months.

She made some really nice friends in first grade, but still refused to raise her hand in class, or speak in front of the class. She was truly afraid and panicked, and I understood that, because that’s how I was as a child…heck, sometimes that’s how I am as an adult. My older daughter is my easiest child because she just seems to get along with everyone. She has a very easy going personality, and chooses friends that are really positive, nice kids. Maybe this girl misunderstand my daughter’s shyness for being stuck up, or maybe this kid is just a snot herself.

Girls are just mean. It’s funny when this kid was here for my daughter’s birthday party (for those of you that read that post, she was the one on her damn iPad all night) I told my daughter if she ever behaved like that at someone else’s house, I’d be very angry. So I think my daughter had a lot on her mind. She’s sound asleep next to me at the moment.

This parenting stuff is hard! There are no rule books when you want to call another mom and tell her child off…of course that would be inappropriate, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have the urge to do it.

I think for the first time in a while I might pop a half an Ambien and put an ice pack on the back of my head. I was going to get into the story of how my friend deleted me on Facebook again…oh heck, it’s a quick one. Refer back to this post about my friend who thinks my blog is a bad idea.  We hadn’t talked much since that day. We exchanged a few texts or Facebook messages, but usually when we have any sort of argument he deletes me as his Facebook friend. About four or five years ago when we were really close, this would upset me because at the time I was really trying to help him and his kids through a rough time, and he knows just what to say to set me off.

For whatever reason, after this argument he didn’t delete me, and things just went on as normal. We weren’t mad at each other, or at least I wasn’t really mad at him anymore, but I also didn’t have any real desire to hang out or anything like that. I enjoyed seeing his posts regarding the kids, etc. Anyway, the day after the wedding last week when I was feeling like a turquoise sausage he messaged me, and I snapped at him about not wanting to discuss how fat I looked. Okay, it probably was uncalled for, and he never had called me ugly, but I was having a really low moment.

When I went back a day or two later to send a quick note to say, I was sorry and I didn’t mean to snap, I realized he unfriended me. My usual M.O. is to ignore it, but because I knew I snapped at him, I sent him a note asking him why he deleted me. I’m sure that in itself shocked him. When he made some comment about how he didn’t have time in his life for me to be mean to him, I did apologize and explain that I was really having a tough moment and took it out on him. Anyway, he accepted my apology, and we moved forward. I did get in a “keep in touch” and that made me laugh because it’s just nonsense.

So in the spirit of getting rid of toxic friends, perhaps he got rid of me, and I’m tossing out a few people that have been driving me nuts lately and choosing to surround myself with positive people. Everyone is fighting some sort of battle. It’s perfectly okay to have a day or two (or more) where you aren’t okay. But, I am choosing to try and be positive as much as I can about my life. Some days it sucks, but I realize how much I have to be thankful for, and one of the three biggest reasons is sound asleep next to me.

It’s funny when you put all the petty bullshit aside and focus on what really matter, life gets somewhat easier. My family and my health, then my friends and my job. My cats obviously factor in there, and we can’t forget about Brutus! Have a good night.

 

 

 

 

I’m Still Here…Just a Hiatus

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I didn’t even realize how long it had been since I had written a blog. That’s the problem. I was in the habit of doing it every single night, without fail. I allowed myself to take a night off during my extreme physical exhaustion and it turned into a whole hiatus! Let me catch you up. I’ve been tired. I still have a headache on and off…mostly on. Today is the first day in a while that I haven’t had to take an Excedrin Migraine.

The headache has been draining. I almost missed out on our neighborhood girls’ night of Bunco on Friday, but I decided to suck it up and go anyway. I ended up needing to pop some Advil halfway through the evening just to get me through, but I really needed to get out of the house. I feel like I’m here home working, sleeping, or taking care of the kids. It felt good to get out and laugh.

Last night was my friend’s bachelorette party. It was very low-key. It’s her second wedding, and we’re all in our early 40s. We’re not exactly the strip club crew, so we decided to go to this wine and painting night at a local club. The have drinks and food, and offer a painting class. I haven’t laughed that hard in weeks. All of the sudden I felt like I was Van Gogh with two ears, blending my yellows and dry brushing to get the perfect hue. I took step by step photos, which you will see throughout this blog and posted them all over my Facebook page, and literally laughed throughout the whole thing. We had a great time.1973376_10203789404836964_7147673850525718626_o

Today was a mix of running way too many errands. The first of which was bringing my bridesmaid dress to be fitted (finally). There is nothing like waiting until the very last minute to realize that your boobs doing fit in the fucking dress. Yeah…that was my morning. I’ve never had a shortage in the boob department, but with some extra pounds, there are extra boobs. I haven’t changed since they measured me, so I didn’t think to try it on–big mistake! So, the plan is, the dress lady is going to try and let the dress out in the boob area about 1/2 inch, and I am on a diet of celery and water, HAHA!

We were able to zip it up, but it wasn’t very comfortable. The good news is that it isn’t low cut, so although it’s tight, I’m not hanging out everywhere, but it would really help if I could drop three or four pounds this week. I’m going to try buying one of those minimizer bras that supposedly takes off two inches, but even the seamstress wasn’t sure that would work. At this point, I’ll give it a shot. The rest of the dress fits well, and I don’t look as bad as I thought I was going to.

It’s not what I’d have picked, but I’m not the bride. I did find adorable shoes at DSW. OMG, I have never been to DSW. That was quite a treat. I’m not really a shoe person, or at least I wasn’t until I went there. I didn’t have a lot of money, and I had the girls with me (who were picking sparkly hot pink 6 inch heels), so it wasn’t a great time to shop for me. I found some really pretty silver sandals to go with my dress, so that crossed all my wedding stuff off the list.

My exciting news to report is that my daughter got the part in the Wizard of Oz that she tried out for. It’s a tiny Munchkin role, but she’s so excited. It’s a very big deal to her, so I’m excited. We went to the first cast meeting tonight, but the rehearsal don’t start until June. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see her on stage. They actually had a few Munchkins drop out so now they asked if any of the kids had siblings that were interested. I came home and asked my youngest daughter, and as of now she says she’d like to do it. We’ll see if she still wants to do it on the day of the audition.

As for autoimmune life, besides the migraine hell, my hip is still giving me a lot of pain. It resonates down my leg at times, giving me even more pain, and when it’s cold my hands and feet still go numb. This morning my two fingers got stuck again for an hour or so. It’s annoying. I keep hoping that it’s going to get warmer and I’m going to feel better. Heck, it’s almost May. It’s still not warm. In fact, I had a jacket on today. The sun was going in and out and the wind was whipping around. It was so windy earlier in the week that it blew my patio table all the way across my deck.

 

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This picture above was one of my favorites.  posted it with the caption “Nailed It.” I had so much fun with that damn class. I need to do more painting. I actually love to paint. I made each of my sister-in-laws a beautiful set of table and chairs for their baby showers, painted with their baby theme, and I painted a toy box with a safari theme for one of my best friends. I enjoy it very much and find it very relaxing. It’s actually something I wish I had more time and space for. I don’t consider myself overly artistic, but if I have a basic outline to work with, I do pretty well.

As my psychic client told me, I need to find more time to do things for myself. Perhaps painting will be one of them. Right now, my hip hurts too  bad to think about much else. Time for my heating pad and hopefully I’ll fall asleep sooner rather than later. I am glad to be back, and I hope everyone has been relatively pain free. Lots of crazy weather going on all around and I know that affects us autoimmune peeps. Check in with a comment and let me know how your doing!

 

Sorry to Disappoint

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For those of you waiting on the edge of your seats to hear about my reading with the medium, you’re going to have to wait another week. My migraine is back, thankfully not nearly as bad as the other night, but I feel crappy enough that I asked her if we could do it next week. Unbelievably, I woke up to about an inch of snow on the ground today. I swear, it was almost 80 degrees like three days ago. This is insane. Not only is it insane, it’s also hell on my rheumatoid arthritis and my fibromyalgia.

My joints were very stiff today with the cold. I had plans with my aunt and just being out in the freezing cold with the wind whipping around, needs a damn jacket again, and wishing I remembered to wear gloves…it was hell! It’s April! Enough of the cold.

My friend Christina posted on the Autoimmune Mama Facebook Group this evening that she felt she was always coming up short in one area or another in her life, whether it be her family, her clients, her business, her health, etc. It really made me think. I can so relate to how she feels, and I think most of us with autoimmune diseases can. It’s a juggling act between feeling well enough to take care of the things you need to do, and doing the things you want to do, combined with putting out the fires that come up on a daily basis. It’s hard! Heck, it’s hard just being a mom, let alone being a mom with an autoimmune disease (or in my case, more than one).

As I mentioned, my kids are on spring break. I’m reminded myself constantly that I love them…and that I went through hell to have them because I wanted them so badly. I need to remind myself so much because they are sending me over the edge this week. My day started out with my son crying that he was starving (again) and then whining about being bored. At one point today my girls were arguing and I told them to knock it off. My seven-year-old told me they weren’t fighting, it was the Littlest Pet Shops that were fighting. I actually told them that if the Littlest Pet Shops continued fighting I was going to separate them. Chalk that one up to things you never thought you ever say!

My point is it’s hard with them home. I’m trying to work. I’m trying to have fun with them, and I’m trying to not feel like crap…but the problem is that I do. My hands are back to feeling numb. I had the sharp pins and needles for over and hour this morning, followed by numbness. Now they are just freezing and white from the Raynaud’s. My hips and legs are sore and stiff. Is it the worst I’ve been? No. But I don’t feel good, that’s for sure.

What is making me happy at the moment is my job working for a nonprofit agency that helps children with special needs. I’ve been helping with an online auction and even doing a little fundraising (by email only because I’m anti-social and unfriendly), and I’m having a blast. Every time someone bids on something I’m thinking in terms of another family that I know we can help. Working there I see exactly how the funds are used. It’s not an operation that brings in a whole lot. Let me state the obvious…I’m not going to get rich working there, but I’m so happy doing what I do. I work with really awesome people, who are taking the time to teach me so much, and it just feels good when you help a parent in need, or you do something that you know is going to positively impact a child.

I try and focus on the good in my life when I’m having my low points. Yes, I’m feeling like hell, but I’m also lucky to have a job where I can work from home, in my pajamas most of the time. So all in all…it was an okay day. I’m hoping my kids are a tiny bit less annoying tomorrow. Also on my to-do list tomorrow is meeting with the head of the town’s Board of Finance…by myself. Did I mention I don’t really like people? I also don’t feel he and I have much in common, but I’m going to do my part to make sure he understands special education, but I don’t think he gets how expensive it is, and that it’s something that is state mandated. So, I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone, perhaps with a half a xanax on hand, and going to have a cup of coffee with the BOF Chair. Oh the joy of it all. I’m sure I’ll have fun stories from that tomorrow.

Have a great night everyone!

Off to the Rheumatologist I Go

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I think the Topamax is catching up to me. I’m completely exhausted. I woke up and begrudgingly brought the kids to church, then came home and took a nap. My daughter had a friend over and luckily this girl is a doll. She played so well with my two girls and my son played in his room and finished some homework. I really can’t believe I was able to nap as long as I did, but I was so thankful because I could hardly keep my eyes open.

I do remember it being this way the first time I went on Topamax and it did get better after a few weeks. The problem is, I was exhausted BEFORE the Topamax, now I’m just ridiculous! This too shall pass. I missed a perfectly beautiful day, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I clearly wasn’t going to make it through without a nap.

I brought my son to his second day of travel baseball tryouts and I have to say I feel pretty good about how that went. As I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t have high hopes for him to make the team. I hope that doesn’t make me sound terrible, but I’m realistic. There are between 35-40 kids trying out and they are picking 12. To say my son is in the top 12 would not be true. He consistently gets better each year and he loves playing.

We found out today that the A-string travel team is a huge commitment, meaning they don’t want you to take vacations during that time, and we have one planned in July already. It just sounds way more demanding on time than we are looking for, so I’ll be relieved when we get the email on Wednesday that my son will be place on the B-string team. This team is still competitive with other towns, but isn’t as demanding on time, meaning you won’t have games both days on the weekends, etc.

I’m trying to have somewhat of a life here. I may be anti-social, but I do enjoy sitting by the pool and doing nothing. It’s one of my favorite past-times. I love to watch my kids swim, and if the water is warm enough (thank heavens for pool heaters) I really enjoy being in the water. Last year was the first year that I found that swimming each day made a huge difference with my rheumatoid arthritis. My swelling was non-existent and my body just felt better. I’d get in the pool with a noodle and do my crazy exercises and laps, and my kids would crack up laughing, but it really felt good.

I’m looking forward to that again…and the sun. I’m really looking forward to the sun!!

Tomorrow I am seeing the rheumatologist in the morning. As I mentioned yesterday I’m going to discuss MCTD and my thoughts on having that. I’m putting on starting Lyrica until further notice, which might be until next winter when my body decides it hates me again. I am going to ask about a different muscle relaxer because I don’t feel like the Flexeril is really doing anything anymore. I know it’s short notice, but if anyone reads this and is on a muscle relaxer for their fibromyalgia that they feel has been helpful, please let me know. I think I’d like to start there rather than go on Lyrica. I keep thinking, summer is coming, and I know I’m much better in the summer. I don’t want a huge change.

I truly appreciate any insight. I’m going to leave it up to my doctor as to whether we go the trigger point shots into my neck and under my skull again. We opted not to last time, but my migraines have been pretty powerful lately (thus the reason for starting Topamax again). I have a feeling we will discuss the options and decide on the shots, which will mean I’ll spend the afternoon icing myself. Ah…good times. The things we do to feel good. If it works, though, it’s so worth it.

 

No Big News

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Well…I saw the doctor and I’m still fat. My last bloodwork was normal so we’re not talking an easy fix like thryoid levels. I just need to step up my exercise and cut my portions. She did mention that because my mom died at 43 of ovarian cancer, we technically don’t know what age she’d have start pre-menopause, so that could be contributing to things.

Because both my mother and grandmother had ovarian cancer, I am on a low dose of birth control to suppress ovarian function as recommended by my ob/gyn. This means I might not be noticing too many symptoms of pre-menopause. So, the first thing we decided is after a month of stepping up working out and dieting, if I don’t see any difference, we’re going to do a CAT scan to make sure there is nothing else going on.

There are no real symptoms other than bloating for ovarian cancer. I have a yearly ultrasound and in September my ovary “looked perfect” according to my doctor, so she really doesn’t think it’s that and she told me I need to stop stressing.

The other thing we discussed was my Celexa. There is the side effect of weight gain, but I have been on it for almost two years. I’m on a low dose and I feel good on it, so my first instinct was not to play around with it. The only change we did decide on was for me to go back on a daily dose of Topamax as a preventative for migraines. The only reason I went off of it was that when I initially was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and they were discussing methotrexate and higher level treatments, I panicked and didn’t want to be on so many medications on a daily basis.

I went through a really tough period with migraines, having about three per week and was put on Topamax, which really did lessen the frequency and severity of my terrible headaches. Don’t mock..but it also has the side effect of suppressing appetite, so let’s just say it can’t hurt my current situation.

It’s not that I wanted to hear something was wrong, but I wanted there to be an easy fix, and there isn’t. So I stepped everything up today and I need to make big changes and more time for exercise. Luckily it was a beautiful day and I took my overweight dog for a walk. I also taught a tough class this morning, and followed up with my elliptical and weights this evening.

I’m no fool. I know I won’t be able to do this much every day, but when I can, I need to. Getting outside for a 20 minute walk was wonderful therapy. Just to be in the sunshine was priceless. In terms of food, I do really well during the day,  it’s around this time that I get so hungry. I just had two rice cakes with peanut butter. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to get through the evening without snacking.

We did also talk about the welling in my hands and feet, and she did suggest trying a water pill when it gets bad. I’ll see how that goes. I’m taking one day at a time, and I’m happy to have been able to do as much as I did today.

And now an off-topic rant: a few weeks ago a young woman in our state was arrested for allegedly planning a school shooting. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I grew up in Sandy Hook and we live very close to the town now. I don’t take these threats lightly, but I also have strong belief that more needs to be done in our country about mental illness. Well, of course as I say there a few weeks ago thinking the absolute worst, I was glad that this crazy girl was stopped before she could hurt anyone. In fact, I still am.

So what changed? Tonight I realized that many years ago I met this year when she was about 5. My third or fourth cousin had just adopted her and another girl (not blood-related) from Russia. At the time she wasn’t aware of too many issues, but in an article I read tonight, that cousin was quoted as saying her daughter suffered from a mood disorder, personality disorder, ADHD, and had cut herself and attempted suicide.

I’m horrified at this news. Obviously we don’t know each other, but the article states that she stopped taking her medication and she is over 18. Maybe this isn’t the place for a rant, but heck, it’s my blog, and I really think as a country we need to do something about mental health care. I thank God that this girl and her boyfriend were stopped before they did any harm. I also pray her mother and grandmother as they try and put the pieces together and get her the help she desperately needs.

The whole situation just freaked me out. The incident in Sandy Hook changed my life forever. I remember every minute of that day and the fictitious facts were released bit by bit, and then the real story hit. I remember fearing for my children as we got the call that all schools in the area were on lockdown, And, I remember that feeling when my kids got off the bus that day. I pray for the parents whose children didn’t come home. This madness with school shootings needs to stop.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox.

 

This Migraine Can End Any Time Now

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As usual, things didn’t go as planned today. I woke up fairly sore, but I made it through my class and pushed myself quite a bit. That was about it for energy exertion today. I came home at 10:30AM and slept until 12:30PM. It wasn’t just that I was tired, I was downright exhausted. My whole body was fatigued.

The nap should have helped, but I woke up feeling like my migraine was coming back. My plans of using my elliptical machine while watching The Young & The Restless didn’t quite happen. I did get on the thing two separate times today for nor more than three minutes. I’m disappointed, I’m fat, and I’m unhappy…but I know if I pushed it much further today, I’d be shot tomorrow, and I can’t afford to take that chance.

My daughter has a small role in a play and there is a dress rehearsal tomorrow night, and shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Not exactly looking like I’m going to get a lot of rest in the next few days. I know I need to pace myself, but I hope tomorrow is a better day.

My hands have still been a huge annoyance. When I’m holding weights to teach my class I can see my fingers turning red and swelling. It’s like my hands just don’t want to work in the morning. I suppose they get better as the day goes on, but when it’s cold I don’t get much relief.

Now…to get rid of this freakin migraine. I’m breaking out the essential oil tonight. A little peppermint oil, a heating pad on my back, and an ice pack on the back of my neck. Say a prayer that I don’t wake up with it tomorrow.

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