Archives

Known VS Unknown Environments and FM


Why we tend to stay home.  Isolation or control ?
I happened to hear a comment the other night on a movie about a blind man. It was his Mother telling his new girlfriend ” do not base his ability on what you see him do at home, in an environment he controls” And it rattled around in my brain, until I realized, just how that applies to us with FM.

A large number of us, prefer to stay at home … period. To the point where some of us, are downright agoraphobic. The line from the movie was not the first time I had seen this effect, in action. As I recall seeing the same effect, with those I used to teach.

I was a one on one life skills teacher for persons with Disabilities. I noticed, that when they were at home ( once they got used to the apartment ) they seemed to do pretty well. It was when I got them outside of that environment, that their over all state and general performance, suffered. Once they were used to certain stores and the like, their abilities improved, at least in that place. But if I took them somewhere they had never been, again, performance suffered.

So I had to ask myself, in what way does this apply to our tendency to be ” stay at homes” ? Now, it is a given that often times, we just don’t have the energy to face the chores in the outside world, that is nothing more than fact. But how much of our reluctance, is also due to the fact that we have NO control over that environment ?

Sensitives :

For example; If here at home, it is too hot or too cold, I can walk right over to the controls for the AC or heater and change that. I can strip down or dress warmer, in short, I have some direct control. But what if I am out and about ? Now, I am stuck in whatever I happen to be wearing, having to deal with often sudden shifts in temperature ( say from the AC in the car, to out in the heat to now back in the AC in the building ) and that’s just one aspect, the ambient temperature around us.

Light: Now I don’t know about you, but the horror of florescent lighting is enough to drive me about bonkers. Yet, such lighting is in most public buildings, or doctors offices. So yet another thing my body does not like and reacts rather badly to, that I have no control over. Not to mention, we do not do very well in bright sunlight either.

Rest to action phases: Now, at home, if I need to rest, I can just stop whatever it is I am doing on most days and go lay on the sofa and watch TV or read a book. I can even go take a nap if i want. When I am out ? None of those things apply.

Smells: At home, we can to a high degree, control what we smell. Outside and going about, we have little to no control over the major assault on our senses from all manner of things, from the detergent aisle at the grocery store, to the woman sitting next to us on the bus, who bathed in her perfume. Let us not even get into the nasal assault we suffer when walking into any doctors environment.

Noise: Now this one I know for a fact is an issue, as I wear an MP3 player around my neck with ear clamp headphones, literally everywhere I go, to block out the noise all around me. As any failure to do so and I come home even more wiped out, than if i didn’t block it all out. And again, in my own home, most of the time, unless the TV is on, which is rare … the only noise is the AC running, as total quite is preferred. ( Which is why noisy neighbors about drive me crazy )

Desensitization or over excitation:

Now some might say, we are creating our own problem by exercising such strong control over our home environment, as it does not prepare us for the assault on the body in the outside world. And in my personal case, they might even have a point. As in my current situation, I have almost total control over most aspects of my home environment, but what about those of us who have a house full of kids, husbands, wives, pets etc ? Granted, even they have some greater control over their personal space, but not nearly so much as I do … yet… they suffer the same issues as I do, when they go out and about.

So what are we really dealing with here ? A case of, we shelter ourselves and therefore suffer more when we go out, or a case of we would suffer even more, if we did NOT control our personal environment, as then we would have NO respite from it ?

Even in most of the rules, regarding persons with disabilities, there is always a clause stating that they should have in all cases, where possible, the”least restrictive environment .” In fact, in persons with the more common disabilities, there are major protocols in place to reduce the distress of the shift from a controlled to a non controlled environment. A read of the research shows clearly that you can find notations to health professionals, in plenty for just about everybody.. except us. Now, granted, the more severe the disablement, the more complex the protocols, but to my way of thinking, perhaps there needs to be some created for us.

For example: At the doctors office, less bright lights if you please, which makes it a need to….Lose the waiting around for hours in crowded noisy waiting rooms, put us in a private room to wait, with dimmer lights. Let us sit with our feet up if we need to, as for most of us the forced legs down position for hours means, we will fall down when we go to get up.

Simplified forms to fill out or have the nurse just ask the questions and fill it out for us
Bring us warmed blankets, if we have to wait, so we don’t get chilled, as most doctors offices are like refrigerators.

Just these things alone, would make what can be a horror of pain and distress, a typical visit to a doctors office, into something a lot more comfortable to endure. And I think it is high time, we started asking for them.

More soon….

© 2013 all rights reserved

Advertisements

New medications, the trials and tribulations and FM


Goddess help me. I HATE trying new meds. I look at them with all the trepidation of a ticking bomb.  ENT give me no less than three of em. Now I have the good sense not to start all three at once.. the first one wasn’t so bad.. minor body rush for a few moments…. a wee bit of tired ( it’s supposed to be taken at night, so no harm there ) and it does seem to help a bit for what its for. Ok. so far so good, kept that up a few days.. same results.  Medication accepted.

So today I try med number two…… and ugh… Ever try those really rough OTC anit histamines ? The ones that make you shake like a tree in the wind ? The ones that just wipe your brain ?

This one is just like that times 3-4. and so far.. it has almost every so called “Minor” side effect the thing says it might have, and a few not ON the list to boot.. at this rate, I might even be allergic to it.. but not sure on that yet.. all I know is I feel crappy. Monitoring the reactions and will take whatever steps needed. But off hand I would say this one is a NOT !

It makes me doubly suspicious, to even look at number three that I have yet to try and what’s funny.. this one that I just did a while ago..was NOT the one my pharmacy had doubts about. Let’s just say it makes me real leery about the one he DID have doubts about to where I might not even try it… at all. And have him tell my doctor that nix on both the sprays.

And whats worse, Doctors, over all anyway, do not seem to understand this hesitance to try new stuff. They act like any side effects are just something to be endured.

Well news, when you have Fibromyalgia and a half a dozen other aliments, that already make you feel like crap.. you do not feel that adding further discomforts.. for perhaps little gain, is bloody worth it.

As the effects are additive. This one might cause headache, thanks.. I already have them quite enough as it is.. without courting more. This one says do not take pain meds with it.. it’s called HELLO.. your telling me I have to choose between a stuffy nose or be in pain for the day ? Pain that the medication itself… is causing ?

This one causes diarrhea….it’s called again, thanks a heap. I already have that problem and I do not need it aggravated. This one says will be worse with muscle relaxants.. which I take daily. Are you seeing the trend here ?  

Do Docs even read or understand the possible effects of the meds they hand out ? Or do they just see how it might help the one thing they are focused on ?

Whatever happened to holistic healing ? As in take all factors into account and deal with the entire person and the side effects to benefits ratio of all of your medications.. combined ?

I am willing to bet they don’t stop to think about that very much. But WE have to, as we are the ones taking everything, combined and their combined effects are what matter here.

Sigh.. hoping that perhaps this one won’t send me to ER AGAIN ! But am holding out judgement on that, until I feel normal again.

When will Health personal get it.. that you have to take all effects into account for the over all well being of the client ? 

Think a few good thoughts for me that these effects go away in a little while with nothing more to show for it, than a crappy day, which I have NO intention of repeating.

BB

Esta

 

Trying to get back to “normal” or at least as normal as it gets with FM


Well, things are half way back to normal in the sleep department, I say half way, as I am basically making myself get up at my usual hour, no matter if I have had enough sleep or not. Which I hate to do, but I really do not see as I have much choice here. I cannot just sleep the entire day away, when I have things to do. Warning… on a rant roll tonight, so just bear with me.

It’s already bad enough, that most nights my Mate and I, almost swap places in the bed, as I am no more than getting in it and getting half way to sleep, when he is getting out, but to miss him entirely for whole the day too ! Unacceptable. So no matter the cost, this sleep all day, has got to stop.

Even if it does mean, that half of the time my brain is fried, and my memory has gone completely to hell here. Everything that needs doing, MUST be done.. right now or it is not gonna happen. As mentally, I am running on empty here.

Now, if all that were not enough, I have a brand new issue. Does anyone else have tongue or mouth problems with FM ? For the past month and half and more now, my whole mouth feels like it’s sore. My tongue is literally cracked right down the middle, and has sores on the edges. Like I have been chewing on it, which is totally impossible, as other than to eat, ( which has been a trick lately as it hurts to eat most things right now ) I do not even wear my lower plate, I have not for years.

This is one of the issues I wanted to talk to my doctor about, you know the office that gave me an appointment, for Oct, when the last time I saw the woman, was in June ! And I told them why I wanted to see her, when I called.

And the glands under my arms hurt like all get out, every time my arms are down, you can literally see some swelling in some places. It all seems to scream some kind of immune system malfunction to me, but as to what could be creating it, or if that is even whats going on here, I have not a clue.

But such weirdness can happen with FM, as our immune system is most often going full bore, or you basically have none there is no middle ground here… and this, given all else that is going on, just might be the result of one of those times, that I really do not have much of an immune system, and the stuff showing up, is the result, but this could be something else, altogether, so I cannot just shrug it off.

Just because we have FM does not mean we cannot have something totally unrelated to it, going on too ! FM does not give us any immunity from coming down with other stuff, on top of FM. Is is hard to remember that, when FM alone brings in so many things that can go wrong here.. but any thing new, HAS to be investigated.

The back, legs and neck are still a mess and I have just about given up on the idea of a Chiropractor, as the fight to get the service, is just about too much. It doesn’t do me a whole lot of good, to add to my stress levels, just trying to fight my HMO over it, so I am gonna try for at least a PT as that, they might be more reasonable about.

Not to mention, the ears are both still acting up and still no ENT appointment.. as of yet anyway and I even put in that dang request, in writing ….well over a mt ago !

Sigh, some days, I just do not have the energy, to handle it all, and ride herd on my doctors entire medical staff, many of whom, are not doing their dang jobs !

Gonna have a word with Doc on all of that, as I am positive no one asked her if she thought she should see me sooner for all of this. The one I  seem to keep getting on the phone in her office, can barely speak English, so it’s a sure bet she doesn’t understand it all that well either !

To me, anyone who cannot speak English here in America, has no damn business answering a phone in a professional capacity ! Particularly, not in a Doctors office.

I think from now on, if I hear that voice, I will automatically ask for someone else, as I am getting dang tired of her mis-handling things, likely due to her own incomprehension of the language, both spoken and written, as she does not seem to get what shes reading, either.

Well, that’s enough whinge for one night, I am tired and need to at least lay down.. so good night all and may your rest be blessed

BB

Esta

Sleep still messed up with FMS


Okay, now this is just getting too weird. Went to bed at my usual time, was even starting to doze laying there, which is normally a good indication that sleep is possible. Not last night, I was up and down no less than 3 times. As I make it a rule, if I have been in bed for more than half an hour and still not asleep.. I get up. I was still up, when the mate got up at, past 9 am. This is about to drive me, insane.

To bed at 9ish am and up at 5pm is just not gonna cut it. As the mate so pointedly reminded me.. if it keeps on like this, if I happen to get an appointment for damn near any part of the day right now, I would be hard pressed to keep it. Hell, as stands, my entire dang day is gone… before I even get outta bed !

I do not have any until next mt, as the moment, but one never knows.  As there are several I want to have and have been pressing for that I would be very pissed if I finally got them, only to miss them as my body has gone  entirely off the deep end here, with the sleep thing.

Doctor is just gonna have to listen and pay heed, and give me some real sleeping meds for days like this, like I asked her for.. ( which when I asked last time, she gave me yet more anit depressants, which did make me sleep, right enough..for about 2 hours, then the nightmares started, several days in a row…. so in the trash they went ) This cannot continue!!!

Welcome to my not so dream land

BB

Esta

The long sleep insomnia and FMS


Well, I guess my body had had enough of this up all night bit, and I slept for almost 12 hours. In fact, the only reason my mate woke me, is I was getting behind on my meds. It has been a long time since the body has just said “okay, enough of this no sleep.. watch this” !

This is not the first time this has happened, but what surprises  me, is that it does not happen, more often. As one would think, that if the body is sleep deprived enough, it would do this, almost automatically, yet, it does not.

Now most people have experienced this, long sleep, at least a few times in their lives, often right after a period of prolonged energy drain. But it is in fact, yet another form of insomnia. As weird as it sounds.

Yet, such prolonged sleep does not bring the rest one would expect. In fact, it often brings a feeling of a slow brain, body and a general malaise, which has no real connection, except to the excessive amount of down time.

My mate often complains of this almost horrid feeling, if he has “slept too long”.

“Too much sleep can weaken your sleep system. Your body is not awake for long enough to absorb enough sunlight, get enough exercise or engage in enough tiring activities.

Your body temperature takes a long time to climb to normal in the morning making you very drowsy for several hours after waking. In fact your body temperature may not climb to its peak at all, so you may feel lethargic all day. This is because excess melatonin that has been released by keeping your eyes closed for a long time does not dissipate quickly leaving you feeling drowsy and drained of energy.

Too much sleep can actually weaken your immune system leading to lowered resistance to colds, flu or worse.”  Link

Insomnia and FMS


Well, I did the up all night bit again, save for about an hour when I dozed out on the sofa. And to make matters worse, when I did get up and go to bed, the pain started in to where I had to break out, for the first time in ages, a second dose of my pain killers.  I try very hard, NOT to do that, as the supply of them, is limited. But I did get at least some sleep.. sorta 😦

A sleep study I had done, shows the rather classic pattern of the ” sudden bursts of awake brain wave activity, happening in the brain of someone whose is supposed to be in deep stage 4 sleep ” Now what that means, in a layman’s terms, is that our very brain will suddenly throw alpha waves, into a time period when we are supposed to be having Delta waves, in other words, be in a state of deep sleep. This lack of deep sleep, is considered to be the main reason we have FM.

They know this, for the simple reason that if you deprive ordinary people of stage 4 sleep, they, rather rapidly in fact, start to show the common signs of FM. Now as to which comes first, no one knows.

What are the effects of this kind of sleep deprivation  ? They are very well known, and can be very serious, which makes one wonder why the idea is not given more attention. As the known effects are:


Effects of sleep deprivation

aching muscles
blurred vision
depression
daytime drowsiness
decreased mental activity and concentration
weakened immune system
dizziness
fainting
confusion
hand tremors
headache
hyperactivity
hypertension
irritability
lucid dreaming (once sleep resumes)
memory lapses or loss Article
nausea
slowed reaction time

And in extreme cases
Hallucinations (visual and auditory) and or death.

Now most of this, we all know very well, do we not, yet no one seems to take this  massive amount of overlapping evidence, seriously. Most of the things we are given for sleep, are either outright ineffective and or have so many side effects, they are worse than useless.

So it begs the question of why, if the detrimental effects are so will known, is nothing more positive, being done about it ?

Something to ponder, perhaps on the very nights I cannot sleep, since I seem to be doing a lot of those lately 😦

BB

Esta

Medical frustration’s continue and day to day life with FMS


Gurrr.. had to call my doctors office.. yet again yesterday. No less than 3 of my medications have to have pre authorization now ( thanks to medicaid changes) and as yet, nothing had been done on them. In fact, when I called the woman was reciting requests that had already been completed, and only one of them that had been faxed. So had to have my pharmacy re fax the entire lot.

And get this, the woman insisted that anytime something like that comes in, they get on it right away. Well, if that is the case, why do you have only one in front of you, when 3 have been sent in the last week ? 

But, the good news is, the bath chair I FINALLY got, works like a charm. It is amazing the little things, that we did not even realize were such a pain, like washing ones feet, that suddenly one can so, without having to worry about falling down. It was very relaxing in point of fact, as up to this moment, I did not quite grasp, just how tense I was in the bath, just to keep from falling out of the thing. So score one for me.

The rollenator thing, is gonna take some getting used to but I think it will serve very well, when its time to do the marathon walk about, like at my doctors office for example. I never can just sit there, as my feet have to be up. But, as my mate pointed out, I could just as easily take the rollenator, put it in front of me and use IT to prop my feet on.  🙂

The heat is still trying to murder us all, and is zapping energy like crazy. As there is only so much AC can do, to handle triple digit heat indexes. The hurricane Irene ( blessings on all in her path ) brought us just a dash of rain and a few days of slightly cooler temps for a couple days. 

Just a minor side note: Our TV went out,  for no particular good reason, but thanks to Freecycle, we were able to get a replacement in pretty fast. I am not a huge TV buff, but two things. One we pay a good deal for that aspect bundled with our phone and internet and Two, it’s the only the thing that saves me from going right up the wall some nights when I cannot sleep or the pain is too great for the wimpy PK’s my doc gives me, to handle and I desperately need a distraction.

It’s the weekend again, which means I cannot do a thing about riding herd on the grasshoppers I am trying to direct in the medical profession, so I refuse to even bother my brain about it.. at least until Monday 🙂

More soon…

BB

Esta