Fibronaut At Home

Confessions (gasp!) of a Mommy with Fibromyalgia

My house is a disaster area and the next person who comments on it can clean it for me if it bothers them that much (hint, hint).

My 10-year-old and 8-year-old get themselves ready in the morning.

My 10-year-old and 8-year-old get their three-year-old sister ready in the morning too.  I do sometimes lift my head from my pillow to offer groggy, bleary-eyed and often unnecessary advice.  They are pros.

My husband gets himself ready in the morning (GASP!!!).

My husband gets himself out of bed in the morning (DOUBLE-GASP!!!)

I don’t do ironing.  Seriously.  Eventually the wrinkles smooth themselves out and that is what the “wrinkle-release” cycle on the dryer is for.

I always have laundry piled up, waiting to wash or dry or fold or put away.  Have I mentioned I really love the “wrinkle-release” cycle on the dryer?

My children (with the exception of the three-year-old and my husband) fold their own laundry and put their own laundry away.  Sometimes, they wash their own laundry.

I’ve made it one of my goals to do dishes every day.  I said it’s a goal, not a sure-thing.

Although my daughters and I require zero aim when using the toilet, the two who do have to “shoot for the target” and are therefore the most likely ones to cause the curious yellow stains around (and I mean AROUND) the toilet have NEVER (that I can recall) cleaned the toilet.  This isn’t really a confession, but a strongly worded hint.  I mean, really.  I only have so many “spoons” a day and to spend even a quarter of one of my spoons on the toilet is not only unfair, but cruel and unusual punishment.

My three-year-old gave me the nickname of “Sleepy-head-Mommy, wake-up!”

I don’t like to wash my hair every day and so I’ve gone poo-free so that my hair produces less oil and is less dry, requiring less maintenance.  I wash my hair with a baking soda and water solution and only put conditioner on the ends.  Don’t go “EWWW!”  I watched several videos on YouTube and read several blogs before starting this.  Google it.

I don’t clean the kitty litter until I either can’t stand it anymore or my husband complains about it.  I would now tell my husband to refer to the first confession on this blog but Alice The Cat is my cat and he’d probably let her outside for the fox to eat if I started asking him to clean the litter.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly bad (pain, fatigue, PMS, depressed) and my children start whining, I let them do whatever they want.  Third bubble bath of the day?  Sure!  Play XBOX even though your room isn’t clean?  Why not?  Eat every junk-food item in the house in rapid succession?  Your Dad will be home soon so don’t let him catch you eating that.

My husband is moving my three-year-old’s toys to behind the couch to try to contain her mess to that area.  This isn’t a confession either, but I wanted someone else to laugh at him on that one with me.

“God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt” is my new motto.

Any and all word problems in my kids homework are saved for when Daddy gets home.

My three-year-old is potty trained but refuses to wipe herself after going #2.  She instead hollers “Mom!  I pooped!”  It sometimes takes me so long to get there to help that she has started singing to herself while she waits.  It’s almost like I’m on “Jeopardy”.

My kids have learned to read my lips.  Especially when I’m mouthing “Ask your Dad.”

If what I wore to bed the night before is sweat pants and a t-shirt, I’m probably picking up my kids from school in it.

Actually, I should clarify.  That was the old me.  The new me has a new goal of taking a shower every day and so I usually do have clean clothes on by 2:30 pm when I pick up the kids from school.  If I’m not going anywhere else, however, I immediately change back into my comfy clothes.  Also, showering is another goal, not certainty.

The only reason, besides company coming over, that I clean my living room, is so I can do my yoga or my “Deepak Chopra’s: Leela” on the XBOX Kinect.

I don’t procrastinate.  I just forget.  Until it is too late.  Then I remember.

How long does it take three kids, one husband and one fibro-fighter to clean a house?  I’ll let you know if it ever happens.

Wait!  I had a Celebrating Home party in March and my house was clean then.  Unfortunately, that is the last time my house was clean.

My daughter once took a moldy sandwich to lunch for school.  I swear that I checked that bread while making that sandwich.  I’m also pretty sure that this happened before my diagnosis but I’m still using fibro-fog as an excuse.

I’m pretty sure I’ll think of more of these gems after I post this, but if I’m going to meet any of my “goals” today, I better get my butt off the couch.  Besides, my daughter has a friend coming over after school today and I can’t see my living room floor.  I jest.  I can see my living room floor, it’s just covered with crap at the moment.

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I Love My Library!

I know the title doesn’t seem like it should have anything to do with fibromyalgia, but my library has been so instrumental on my path to wellness.  I’m not well yet, but I’m learning something new every day about fibromyalgia.  I can’t tell you how many books I’ve checked out on the subject and I just requested more.  The High Plains Library District in Weld County, Colorado is so wonderful.  Even if a book I want isn’t at the library in my town, I can request it online or have a librarian request it for me.  They make it so easy.  If there is a book I want to read and the High Plains Library District doesn’t have it, I let them know and they get it.  They also offer CDs,audio-books and e-books, which are especially nice for those with fibromyalgia because it is so much easier to hold an e-reader or listen on a laptop than to have to hold a book, hold the book open and turn the pages.  I actually gave up one of my favorite activities, reading, for a while because when I tried to read my hands would shake, I’d get painful spasms and I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading because of this.  I now have a Kindle and I have perfected the art of book-propping to avoid hand and arm strain.

Here are some of the books I am looking forward to reading:

  • Fibromyalgia: simple relief through movement by Stacie L. Bigelow, M. A. (ISBN: 0471348023)
  • The Fibromyalgia Relief Book: 213 ideas for improving your quality of life by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson (ISBN: 0802775535
  • Figuring Out Fibromyalgia: current science and the most effective treatments by Ginerva Liptan, M.D. (ISBN:9780982833971)
  • From fatigued to fantastic!: a clinically proven program to regain vibrant health and overcome chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. (ISBN: 9781583332894)
  • Reversing fibromyalgia: the whole-health approach to overcoming fibromyalgia through nutrition, exercise, supplements and other lifestyle factors by Joe M. Elrod (ISBN:158054326X)
  • What your doctor may not tell you about fibromyalgia: the revolutionary treatment that can reverse the disease by R. Paul St. Armand, M.D. and Claudia Craig Marek

 

I know that I’ve checked out some of these before but it never hurts to give something a second glance, just to see if you missed something or if you have an “Ah-ha!” moment.  Right now I’m reading The Fibromyalgia Handbook: a 7-step program to halt and even reverse fibromyalgia by Harris H. McIlwain, M.D. and Debra Fulghum Bruce, M.S.  Step 1 is “Start with medical treatment”.  Um.  Duh!  I’m pretty sure that upon waking with the kinds of aches, pains and fatigue that go along with fibromyalgia, the first place most of us headed was the doctor.  Included in this chapter are various methods of pain-relief like moist heat (Twice a day? How about all day?), NSAIDs, anti-depressants, muscle relaxers and every other drug that could possibly be available for fibromyalgia, as well as supplements (magnesium, malic acid, melatonin).  Magnet therapy and Human Growth Hormone, are mentioned, as well as creams, liniments, lotions, injections, TENS and everything else you could think of or have been told MIGHT help.

I haven’t read beyond this chapter for good reason.  How could a person read this and not be more confused than they were before?  Every type of possible pain relief method is mentioned and they could all work or they might not.  It’s up to the reader to figure this out?  Really?  First you have to find a doctor who is willing to try some of these things.  My pain specialist got me off of the narcotics, which I am very thankful for, but has no other suggestion for me beside yoga.  Really!  I just do yoga every day and I’m all better?  I did yoga yesterday, meditated for a while, but still had little to no energy, still had pain and still couldn’t sleep last night.  Maybe today I’ll try my Leela by Deepak Chopra on the XBOX Kinect.  Life with fibromyalgia really is all trial and error.  Unfortunately, the price for my errors often leaves not only me suffering but my family as well.  Mommy is grumpy/asleep/crying, the kids have to find their own dinner and the hubby gets no loving in any shape or form.  I think the Fibro Response and thyroid are helping with some of the sensitivity and some of the pain but I really need something to give my energy a boost.  Zoning out all morning and falling asleep after the kids get home is okay, if that’s the way it has to be, but there are so many things I could be doing if only I had the energy.  I could even consider going back to work if I didn’t wake up feeling like a Mack truck hit me every morning.  I think I need to re-read my goals/positivity post (It’s a lovely new day).

The point of this post was to say that libraries are great resources but I think I came around to say that you should try to educate yourself but do what works for you because with fibromyalgia, anything goes.  Unless it doesn’t go.  Then quit doing it because (obviously) everyone is different and even the doctor’s aren’t sure what works and what doesn’t.  And don’t get down on yourself if you have to take a nap during the day or you don’t have enough energy to do the dishes/laundry or yoga that you had planned to get done.  Do your best, even if your best is sitting on the couch and playing games on Facebook.  Tomorrow you’ll start taking names and kicking ass.  Today just may be your down day.

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Acupuncture and Meditation

I love going to acupuncture.  Even though I still hurt and it is obviously not helping with my pain or my fatigue, I feel such an emotional release, and such a release of tension that it is worth it to me.  Yesterday some of the needles hurt and one of them hurt so badly that she had to move it.  I don’t want to put anyone off trying acupuncture because of that.  I’ve been four times and out of probably 50 needles over all those visits, only two of them have hurt like this.  If you’ve read my “Note to Self” post, then you know that acupuncture also has helped with my tummy troubles.  The benefits, so far, outweigh the minimal discomfort.  Acupuncture is the most relaxing hour that I have.  Even when I’m home alone, under my heating blanket, I don’t feel the peace that I feel when I am lying there, with the soothing music and the lights dim and lots of needles sticking out of me.  I ruined the image with that last part, right?  You don’t feel the needles and if you just concentrate on your breathing and keep your brain shut off, it will amaze you how relaxed you are.  The next part is TMI, so stop reading Mom.  I felt so good after the session yesterday that I was actually horny.  I cannot tell you how wonderful that was!  If only I could get the correct muscles to spasm instead of the wrong ones (if you get my meaning-wink-wink).

In other becoming-one-with-myself news I’m trying a new game for the XBOX Kinect called “Deepak Chopra Leela”.  It is supposed to be a meditation game and supposed to be able to tell if you are relaxing or breathing properly.  I haven’t figured out how I’m going to play this without interference from my three-year-old or my older two who are out for summer break but I’m really looking forward to trying it.  I used to love playing the dancing games, but I can’t anymore and I’m hoping this game will be my new thing.  I’ll let you know.

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