Tag Archives: fibro

Costochondritis

I’ve been feeling like crud lately and thought this would be a good time to discuss various side issues that go along with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.  I am not a  medical professional and don’t claim to be.  Don’t assume that my experiences are the same as yours.  If something is happening that you don’t recognize, go get checked out. 

Costochondritis is literally a pain in the chest.  It’s terrifying to anyone, especially one with a family history of cardiovascular issues.  My first experience with it came in the early 90s.  I was in the middle of an argument with my then boyfriend and started feeling bad.  I put the argument aside and went to bed, hoping rest would make me feel better.  It didn’t.  I awakened with strong chest pains and trouble breathing. The trip to the ER cost a pretty penny to the uninsured food service employee. but it was worth it to know that I wasn’t having a heart attack.

Many years and a few similar episodes later and it still results in a similar fear.  I know now what symptoms to look for and know the attack will pass.  Costochondritis is a regular part of my life now and just part of a severe Fibro flare.

Costochondritis, or inflamed breast bone,  is painful inflammation of the breast bone and rib cage.  Like me, if may make you think you’re having a heart attack.  The pain may come out of nowhere like mine did, or it may be the result of overtraining, an injury, or extended coughing fits that accompany a cold or flu bug.  Treatment is easy – just over the counter anti-inflammatory solutions like tylenol or Advil should do the trick. When Fibromyalgia is involved, the pain is intensified and does not always fade as quickly as one would hope.  Extended pain saps energy, and when the chest pain combines with the spine pain, makes Sherrie tired and angry rather than friendly.

Do you have Costochrondritis?  How do you deal with it?

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

Inside a Fibro flare

All pain sucks.  It sucks the energy out of the body and mind.  Extended pain due to injuries takes a toll on the injured.  Days (or weeks) of pain seem impossible to handle until the pain eases as the injury heals.  With spinal issues, I ache daily.  When Fibromyalgia rears its ugly head, it’s agony.  Before it fully attacks, Fibro toys with me.  It pokes, prods, and smacks at different body parts before jumping on full force.  Fibromyalgia makes pain worse.

The early indications of a fibro flare throw my days off.  Yesterday started off great.  We attended the boy’s apprenticeship signing ceremony and had a fairly relaxing morning after that.  By early afternoon,  a dizzy spell hit that took me out for a few hours.  Out cold.  I didn’t see it coming.  By early evening,  my ankle began to tingle.  Tingle isn’t the right word, exactly.   The pain fell between a tingly sensation and pins and needles.   When it happened,  I knew – June’s flare is coming.

This morning,  on went the anke support.  Suppirts ease the pain and keeps those joints stable.  By 9 am, the knees, elbow, and shoulder tingling kicked in. All at once, the discomfort level rose.  I made a note to change my training plans (no lifting) and took the preemptive dose of anti-inflammatory herbs and meds.  By 10:30, my overall pain level went from 3 to 7 as my spine joined the pain party.  I had to switch from a seated to reclining position for work.  By day’s end, I’ll resort to prescription medication and an early bedtime.

The pain will either increase or remain at the 8-9 range for a few days.  Light either annoys me or hurts.  Sunglasses outdoors are a must, even if I’m in the yard with the dogs.  Otherwise,  it feels like heat rays boring into my brain.  There is no movement without pain and no comfortable position.   I’ll smile and socialize, but I’d rather be aslleep until the the flare passes.  I’ll eat because I have to,  not because I’ll want to or enjoy it.

Within a week, the pain level will drop to the 5-7 range with occasional spikes to 7-9.  Within two weeks,  I’ll be back to my usual self.  Some flares end sooner while others drag on for weeks.  While the general symptoms stay about the same,  something new pops up from time to time.  In May, it was a shap, stabbing pain in my hip sockets.

That’s what it’s like for me when a flare strikes.  If someone you know mentions a flare, be kind.  They’re not trying to blow you off.  Pain makes people angry, sad, frustrated,  and forgetful.  And hopefully,  it’s only temporary.

Until next time, I may or may not be in a blanket fort with a book or two and the Roku remote.  Peace.

Handmade beauty with Beauty by Shea

You know how people tell you that many commercial health and beauty products are bad for you and how we should go more natural?  What they don’t tell you is how expensive it is to go more natural.  Sticker shock is a killer!  But once you get over the shock you hit Google and Pinterest.  Once you hit Google and Pinterest, you find recipes for the health and beauty items you need.  And sometimes you realize that you have most of the ingredients on hand.  Then you go into the kitchen and blend, giggling all the while.   Sometimes you share these handmade products with friends and family.

That’s my story.  I drifted away from handmade a little, but learning more about Fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities sent me back into the kitchen.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and skin cream.  The family doesn’t always share my enthusiasm for my handmade concoctions, but the addition of Shea Butter to the skin cream recipes brings them around.

Beauty by Shea photo.
Beauty by Shea photo.

I regularly make my own foot cream and muscle rubs with essential and coconut oils, but the family wasn’t fond of the coconut oil base.  Adding Shea Butter seems to do the trick.  It thickens the base and the products leave no oily or sticky residue when applied.  I had the chance to try Beauty By Shea’s Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter and jumped on it.  This was not my first purchase of raw Shea Butter so I knew what to expect.  My package arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed from the jump. Real, unrefined Shea Butter is firm-textured at room temperature, has a creamy ivory color, and a faint fragrance on its own that blends perfectly with any added fragrance.

I use it straight up on my elbows and knees to help soften the rough skin. Just a touch is all you need. For my hands, I use a 60/40 blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil without added fragrance as a nightly hand cream.  In cold weather when my hands are particularly dry and cracked, nothing beats a 90/10 Shea/Coconut blend, especially when its still warm and has a hint of added fragrance. I reach for essential oils because I’m cutting out as much junk such as artificial fragrance as possible.

This is the start of something wonderful.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
This is the start of something wonderful. Sherrie Thompson photo.

When I need to pick up more Shea Butter, Beauty By Shea is where I’ll shop.  The 1 pound bricks regularly sell for $19, but right now are on sale for $11!  That is an unreal deal!  I may order another bag now so I’ll have it on hand through cooler months and for holiday gifts.

Do you make your own household or beauty products?  What are your favorites?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Painsomnia is real

It’s a little after 2 am and I’m wide awake.   I don’t want to be.  It’s nothing new, really,  because insomnia is my frenemy.  What is fairly new is pain-induced insomnia.   Thanks to fellow spoonies, I now know that painsomnia is real and unfortunately common.

So, what do I do when painsomnia strikes?  It depends.   Tonight I’ve played around on Instagram and Facebook.   Sometimes I work if I have a deadline around the corner.   If I’m still awake in an hour, I’ll go pack lunches for the family.   Or not.  The thought of the 5 am alarm going off while I stare at the ceiling is a downer.

I’m going to meditate for a while in corpse pose and hope I can drift off.  If not, I’ll see you later.

Do you get insomnia?   How do you cope?

 

Happy Sunday!

What’s going on with you?   Football,  fitness,  family, and meal prep here.  It’s going to be a busy week, so a head start is a good thing.

Sorry, I was distracted by the Falcons’s awesome OT win against the Saints.  Raiders, it was close, but you know next week will be better.  Here’s to an awesome NFL season and killer week!

Oh, and check on me tomorrow,  please.  I took on PiYo Define: Upper Body and 10 minutes of TurboFire Low HIIT 20 this afternoon.  Eep!

 

 

Stormy Weather

Just call me the human barometer.

A nasty thunderstorm popped up a little over an hour ago.  I knew it was coming because I felt it in my bones.  My already sore knee and ankle went into overdrive.  Pain that burns, tingles, and feels numb at once.  Then my shoulder decided to join in.  The day went from awesome to holy crap in just a few hours.  The plan before the flare was to get some cooking and organization going.  It hasn’t changed,  but the timetable has.  Instead of going nuts in there, I’ll tackle cooking today and finish organizing over the weekend.   Listening to my body makes a huge difference in my good and bad days.  I hope you listen to yours.

What are you up to?  How’s the weather where you are?  No matter what it’s like,  I hope you have a great weekend.

Out of spoons

Hi, all.  This is me, out of spoons.

I am exhausted,  in pain, uninspired,  and done.  At least right now.  Weeks of running around almost daily is kicking my butt.  I slept past noon and want to go back to bed.  I know I have things to do, but I fracking cannot.  I don’t have the energy to fake it today.   And that’s okay.

Do not forget to take care of yourself.   Sometimes that means taking the time for a nap, sleeping in,  or anime marathon if and when you need it.

So here I am.  Not faking it.  Hope you’re having a better day.