Tag Archives: fatigue

Energy!

11 Mar

Chronic illness cat

 

Chronic illness cat, you speak the truth.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

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FMS – It’s not in your head.

6 Jan
Albus Dumbledore :D

The Harry Potter fangirl in me couldn’t resist this quote.

 

You may have read recently that researchers have discovered what they believe to be the cause of FMS symptoms.

The discovery really is groundbreaking, but what concerns me is the tagline featured in many articles on the subject that fibromyalgia sufferers can rest assured that “it’s not all in their head.”

Unfortunately, we’re not the ones who needed the reassurance. Those of us who have FMS know that it is very real. Sadly, though, many doctors still don’t “believe in” fibro, and will hopefully believe otherwise after reading about the latest research.

I’m very fortunate never to have been told that my symptoms are “all in my head.” (Not by anyone I know, or any medical professional, that is. Trolls on the internet are the extent my experience with that kind of patronizing b.s.) My mom has FMS, and so did my father, much to the astonishment of doctors I spoke to early in my diagnosis and treatment. My family isn’t very large, either, so my support system was small, but two of them already had firsthand knowledge and experience to share with me. That also means less of a chance that a family member would dismiss my symptoms as psychosomatic. I’m very thankful to be surrounded by understanding, empathetic people who, even if they’ve never experienced something similar, want to help make life a little easier for me by helping me with physical tasks, allowing me enough rest, and just being there to listen and encourage me. I know that’s not the case for everyone with an invisible illness.

There’s a little ray of light, though, in this research, that will eventually illuminate the minds of medical professionals, and hopefully lead to better diagnoses, and fewer misdiagnoses. It may even lead to a cure, or at least a consistent form of treatment for those of us who’ve known all along that it’s not just in our heads.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Here’s to rest.

28 Dec

Naps.

Wishing you all a restful weekend.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Fatigue.

20 Dec

We're close like that.

 

It’s a cloudy day here, and a storm’s coming in. My body is weak, sore, and my eyelids are heavy. I’ve had some sleep issues for a while now, and have gone to bed late (or early in the a.m.) and woken up around 11 or 11:30, for a total of about 8 hours of interrupted sleep. So, really, more like 6 or 7 hours. My body tends to require 9 to feel rested enough. I’ll be trying an increased dosage of the new med tonight to see if it helps regulate my sleep patterns.

Meanwhile, five days to Christmas, and I still have lots of presents to make. So, I’m going to take today to knock them out (hopefully.) Since we’re unable to go to Louisiana to see Tom’s family this year, I’ll be sending the presents with my brother in law, who gets to play Santa.

Wishing you all a restful, renewing weekend!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Yoga and meditation for chronic illness.

17 Dec

Now, first let me say that I’m trying very hard to practice what I’m preaching, here.  I started doing yoga when I was about 12, as I was starting to recover from years of illness, and started doing it regularly as a Junior in high school. I took yoga in college, and have continued to do it on a semi-regular basis since. Needless to say, there are days that I can’t even imagine doing Savasana (Corpse Pose, or the resting period at the end of your practice,) whether it be from lack of energy, pain, or weakness.

A few days ago, though, I was reminded of the possibilities of yoga poses by this article from SparkPeople:

 

Nearly every pose out there can be modified for just about any limitation. Seated poses are great, especially if you work in an office environment, or another environment where you don’t get to stand up and move around much. (Be sure to go to the next pages in the article for specific instruction on seated poses.)

Another thing about yoga is that it regulates your breathing, and causes you to have to focus on your body alone. There’s plenty of quiet time as you’re trying to keep your balance in Tree Pose, or as you’re trying to be aware of your core while pulling your sacrum upward as you pull your heels down to the floor in Downward Facing Dog.

I also came across this link to Yoga Nidra, or Yogic Sleep, which is what many people experience at the end of each practice with Corpse Pose. This goes a step further, adding guided meditation to the experience. It’s said that one hour of yogic sleep is equivalent to three hours of “regular” sleep.

Yogic Sleep - 1 hour is as restorative as 3 hours of sleep.  The perfect thing for over-worked moms!

 

Click on the photo for free recordings to use during your meditative practice. I surprised myself by staying in a meditative state for the majority of the 45 minute recording I chose to listen to. I’ve meditated before, but often no more than 15 minutes or so. It helps with the fibro fog and anxiety by calming my brain and helping me focus. I also sleep much better afterward.

Do you practice yoga or meditation for your health? What’s your favorite pose or mantra?

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Insomnia. Friend or foe?

9 Aug

I just realized why it’s so often that I can’t go to sleep even though I’m beat. (Other than the fact that my sleep cycle changes at least 4 times a year, and I have a problem turning off my brain or ignoring certain pains.) It’s the quiet. The peaceful, dark quiet. It’s a rarity in my life right now, and I’m enjoying it every chance I can get.

Seriously, folks, I never thought I’d count sleep problems as a blessing. Right now, though, I’m listening to the dry leaves blowing in the wind outside my window, and reveling in the perfect quiet of the building. All day I’ve been on edge, despite my efforts to focus on gratitude, immerse myself in work, and talk to the people I love. It’s been one of those days that I could go from screaming to crying to laughing to silent within a matter of minutes. In case you’d like to know, it’s partly due to my hormones, which are easily scrambled, even by medication that’s supposed to be the same thing I was taking before that worked so well but cost nearly $100 a month. Anyway, I sit here, typing, listening to the most subtle sounds, and I realize that I’m calm. Ok, so maybe that’s part Elavil, but I’m not kidding when I say that I absolutely cannot get away from the noise in this place during the day. Not even in our apartment, old and thin-skinned as it is.

Here’s something you may know all to well or you may not know at all about FMS: symptoms include light and sound sensitivity. I got a double whammy of that with the epilepsy, I think. Even though I’ve become accustomed to the ringing phones, slamming doors, loud group conversation, other various (usually electronic) noises, and bright fluorescent lights,  it’s very clear to me once they’re gone how the unstoppable assault on my senses not only slowly chips away at my sanity, but affects me physically.

Unfortunately, due to the physical and mental limitations that have become my norm, leaving the apartment also replaces any energy I have with fatigue and anxiety. The grass is always greener. I guess some would say the grass is brown on both sides, but I’m for optimism all the way.

So, I sit here, soaking up the silence.

Close my eyes, let it lap at my feet like waves.

And drift out into a sea of rest.

Gentle hugs,

Chels