Saturday, December 17, 2011

In the Way; Insomnia # 111218

One of my ArtRage paintings: Insomnia 111218 for the poem below. 2:38 Am and not a wink of sleep yet tonight. Not one wink.

In the Way; Insomnia # 111218

I lie in bed and twitch, tired, but not sleepy.
I don't know what to do with my extra arms and legs.
Wherever I put them, they are in the way, cordwood
piled against raw skin. My body twists into a mobius strip,
a single surface of angst. Electricity crackles
and snaps down my spine, leaping from vertebrae
to vertebrae. My left foot circles and rears
like a wild stallion. When it leaps from the bed,
it drags the rest of me, protesting, with it,
out into canyons of darkness, lighting the night
with the lantern throbbing from my weary skull.

Mary Stebbins Taitt 111218-0200

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

waves of pain

My fibro never goes away entirely, but rises and falls from Tsunami to ripples

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I went to a writer's retreat and ate food I did not prepare myself, and had the first vertigo incident in months.  (Also itchy skin!)  Is the "bad food" and the ill effects a coincidence?  

Friday, September 09, 2011

Insomnia Journal

Insomnia Journal, 9/8/11, 11:32 PM

            I spent the evening working on a portrait of Mack and Carol for Mack's 70th birthday.  I worked on it earlier in the day and was tweaking it after dinner.  For dinner, we had hamburgers, and a vegetable stir-fry with garden zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, carrots, bok choy, broccoli and a little white wine. I had blood sausage in mine.  After dinner, Keith got potato chips and sat on the couch.  I came over and joined him.  I ate more potato chips than he did.  L I am trying to break the habit, but not hard enough!  (I never liked potato chips for many years--Keith taught me to like them, and it may kill me!)
            Earlier, I had walked over to Rolandale.  Keith drove over to check the phone connections, because I had ordered the Internet for Rolandale through ATT (DSL).  It was for my birthday and finally ordered it TODAY!
            I walked faster than usual, because I didn't want to keep Keith waiting, and I was feeling better than normal, but when I got there, he had opened a beer, so I walked 15 more minutes.
            I was very angry and frustrated when I left home because nothing was working right on Tabitha.  Tabitha kept trying to restart herself in order to update some program, and was threatening to restart while I was trying to work--I kept X-ing out the restart messages and they just kept popping up.  Meanwhile, the picture of Mack and Carol I was trying to print did not come out well because it was too small and I couldn't get the email to work.  I wanted to email the Psion journal from yesterday which was a story for the word Disposition, which I wanted to post for the WeekWord which is due Friday which is tomorrow.  I wanted to get it done because I have other things I need to work on like E's book, Frog Haven, Story 16 etc. I was also upset about Graham wanting to use one of the tents and about the possibility of his overhearing my objections to that.
            I was feeling somewhat better after walking 45 minutes at a good clip and did NOT have any fibromyalgia pain (which is very unusual!)
            I am writing these details down because I am up with insomnia and looking for a cause of it.
            At dinner, we put on a new CD I had ordered, Carol King and James Taylor Live at the Troubadour. It was a little overly loud, considering we’d never heard it before and didn’t know if we’d like it.  After some potato chips, Keith fell asleep on the couch.  It was upsetting me the way his head kept bobbing around.
            Then he got up, washed the dishes (thank you Keith!), and went to bed--it was about 9:00 and I went up, not knowing he'd gone to bed, expecting a story, but he was already in bed.  I am always disappointed when I don’t get a story, but considering how early he gets up and how hard he works, I try not to be too upset about it.  I got my nightgown on and sprayed my teeth with the water pik and brushed them, turned off the computer and read MYSELF a bedtime story.  I finished The Cay, by Theodore Taylor.  I liked it--I think it was a good book, but something very sad happened right near the end and I cried.
            I sat on the couch a while to calm down and then went to bed.
            As soon as I lay down, I almost immediately started having weird "semi-hallucinations."  I'm putting it in quotes, because they were not really hallucinations, but dream-like images and sequences and talking in my head.  It was like I was dreaming or having hypnogogic images, but I was not asleep.  This happens to me fairly regularly and is almost 100% associated with insomnia and seems to be an indicator or predictor--as soon as it starts, I can guess I probably will not be able to sleep, and, in fact, I lay awake for an hour in bed and got progressively LESS SLEEPY and MORE WIDE AWAKE as I lay there, and also started getting "restless."  I become agitated, and this agitation that "forces" me to get up.  I feel as if I just cannot endure lying there another second. I feel as if I will "explode" if I am required to lie in bed even another nth of a second.  I also often feel "hungry."
            When I have the "Semi-Hallucinatory[1] hypnogogic dreams" while still awake, I am fully conscious of myself, the room, etc.  The voices are not talking to me, it's more like a TV show is running somewhere nearby (but inside my head, not in Graham’s room, for example).  At first, it is as if there are veils of darkness between the “hallucination” and me.  Sometimes, I hear only voices, sometimes babbling in foreign languages.  Last night, there were the voices, but, although I could understand the words, they didn’t always make sense to me.  First the voices, then the images, dark at first, then brighter and brighter, like a TV warming up (back in the old days, when TVs had to warm up.)
            I was trying to remember two of the little “visions” I had, but I can, at the moment, only remember one.  A man was passed out unconscious on the beach or ground and a large bird ate his eyes out while he was still alive.  This vision horrified me and “woke me up.”  Hard to do when I am already awake, but I had been starting to drift and I startled into hyper-wakefulness considering the horror of the “vision.”[2]
            Tonight, I got up and took 5 mg of melatonin and two valerians and then came down and at a half-bowl of raw biscuit dough (with whole wheat flour and bran mix and rice milk.)  It's now been half an hour since I took the pills, but I feel no sleepier than I did before.  It's about par for the course, when I feel this way; the pills rarely help much.  Sleeping pills just make it worse.
            What I would have liked to do is two things on Tabitha:  get the file I want and print the picture I wanted to print.  But since Keith is in there sleeping, it doesn't seem fair to disturb him.  If I had felt ok to do that, I would have skipped eating.  I would not have come downstairs at all, probably.

            So, what's different about tonight than last night?

            *I did not get a story read to me (though I did read to myself.)
            *several things upset me, somewhat more than usual
            *blood sausage?  Garlic?
            *I walked faster than usual
            *Potato chips? Wine?  (A tablespoon or two in vegetables.)
*I accidentally had an extra high potency vitamin D and THAT could be the cause!  (But if so—it in NOT the cause other nights, since, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never done that before. (The pills stuck together.)

The problem is, I have no idea.  I can't see a pattern.  Keith thinks something is wrong with me, with my metabolism or something, and that it is not something I am "doing wrong."  (I worry I am causing the problem by some wrong choice.)
            I am concerned because lack of sleep causes many health issues, not the least of which is fatigue:

            *brain fog, forgetfulness, stupidity, short term memory loss
            *permanent brain damage
            *heart damage
            *it's associate with Alzheimer's and dementia!  :-(

            *it makes me logy and lazy, low energy, unable to function well, or work
            *it makes me cranky and grouchy and reactive in a bad way!

I am probably going to go upstairs and lie down and try again to sleep.  But I don't feel very hopeful.  :-(

[1] I am calling these semi-hallucinatory because they are not brightly colored and realistic AND I am awake or at least partly awake—conscious,
[2] 9/9/11, This morning when I woke up, I would have liked to have gone back to sleep, considering how little sleep I got, BUT I thought about that “vision” from last night, only this time, I saw it in another light.  I realize it may only have been “wishful thinking,” at a subconscious level, but it may also have been shamanic.  I saw the bird as a totem animal (like a raven, perhaps, although in the original visions, the bird looked more like a large gull, but I don’t know any gulls the size of a raven and it was larger than the average gull) who was investing the sleeping MAN (not woman) with deeper sight, such as spiritual sight, access to the unconscious and to the collective unconscious, perhaps.  I saw an image of the man sprawled unconscious on the beach with the bird standing on one foot on his shoulder, with one eyeball in his beak and one clutched in his talons and a ray of light illuminating the man’s third eye.  There was a symbol moving through the picture, circle-triangle-eye, which located itself in the eyeballs, over the man, in the sky, at the third eye of the bird, which glowed.  I lay there wanting to paint the picture.  I wish I were a better artist.  I can picture exactly how the man was lying, the composition of the painting, etc.  The little mini-vision (it lasted a very short time) relates specifically to the book I was reading last night about a boy struck blind in a torpedo attack on his ship and stranded on a tiny island where he learns from his companion how to “see.”  However, the person in the vision was a man, not the boy in the book and not “me,” unless it is the male part of my being.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Insomnia and Fibromyalgia

Insomnia and Fibromyalgia

It is 2AM and I am awake and have not slept. I went to bed and lay there wide-awake for an hour. Then I got up and did some art for an hour. Then I went back to bed for an hour and still did not sleep.

When I lay down, I am wide-awake. When I get up, I feel too tired and sleepy to do much.

I took some melatonin and some valerian. It did not help at all. I listened to a meditation tape and I counted breaths. That did not help, either. I lay in my sleeping husband's arms. That felt nice, but it did not make me sleep.
I do not know what to do to sleep, but I do know this: whenever I do not sleep, my fibromyalgia gets much worse. This is a persistent, recurring problem. I've pretty much given up writing about it because I had nothing new to say.

I've read that lack of sleep causes PERMANENT brain damage. I've read that lack of sleep is correlated with dementia and Alzheimer's. But I do not know how to go o sleep.

I go to the sleep doctor and he addresses the sleep apnea, but not the insomnia.

I avoid coffee, tea, chocolate, stimulants and depressants of all kinds. I avoid white sugar and sweeteners and white flour and refined carbs.

Nothing seems to help. I get depressed about it all.

The following is from a .gov site.

The following tips can help improve sleep. This is called sleep hygiene.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine before bed. (I avoid these all day every day)
· Don't take daytime naps. (I don't)
· Eat at regular times each day--avoid large meals near bedtime. (I normally eat several hours before bedtime).
· Exercise at least 2 hours before going to bed. (I exercised today between 4:30 and 5:30—well, actually, since it's 2:12 AM, it was yesterday)
· Go to bed at the same time every night. (Going in bed and staying there are not the same thing).
· Keep comfortable sleeping conditions. (How can you be comfortable wearing a stupid CPAP mask and hosing?)
· Remove the anxiety that comes with trying to sleep by reassuring yourself that you will sleep or by distracting yourself. (Yeah, right, how do you not become anxious about sleeping after lying awake hour after hour?)
· Use the bed only for sleep and sex. (What else would I use it for—a trampoline????)
Do something relaxing just before bedtime (such as reading or taking a bath) so that you don't dwell on worrisome issues. Watching TV or using a computer may be stimulating to some people and interfere with their ability to fall asleep.
If you can't fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and move to another room. Engage in a quiet activity until you feel sleepy.
One method of preventing worries from keeping you awake is to keep a journal before going to bed (I like to keep my journal on the computer, which is apparently verboten!). List all issues that worry you. By this method, you transfer your worries from your thoughts to paper. This leaves your mind quieter and more ready to sleep.
If you follow these recommendations and still have insomnia, your doctor may prescribe medications such as benzodiazepines. (My doctor says sleep meds make it WORSE!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

two kinds of pain

I don't like pain.  It hurts.

My fibromyalgia has been flaring up for several days to the point of being unpleasantly painful.

I can hardly believe the state young people have fallen to . . . (people have been saying that for generations--and maybe it was true, but it seems the worst yet now!)  

"Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way . . ."

We were a long ways from perfect, but today, young people have no respect. (Or very little).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Fibromyalgia: fall

Fibromyalgia:  sometimes my hips give out.  Walking down stairs, I'm afraid I might fall.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I haven't been able to walk for two days now, which isn't good for diet, sleep, or fibro!!  :-(

still sorting wet stuff

I haven't been over to Rolandale yet, but K says there's silt--I hope he doesn't mean sewage.  I'm feverishly working here--worked until very late last night.  Worked all day today, have done nothing else--the piles in front of the house for the trash are growing.  Damp pictures and manuscripts are spread everywhere, and many boxes have yet to be explored.  There is grief and sorrow for both of us, lost books and photos etc.  (Not the same as losing your mother of course, but some of my precious pictures of my parents and several dear friends now passed were ruined.  Etc.

Our flood

Well, there were flood warnings, but we paid no attention.  They were going to be somewhere else, they always were.  Wrong.  They were here.  Our basement flooded and there was camera gear, telescopes, photographs, clothes, rugs, artwork, and other important and valuable items down there.  Boxes and boxes of STUFF.

This is NOT my first flood experience by a long shot, but each one is fresh.

To complicate the emotional aspect, I had warmed Keith that we should put stuff up off the floor.  He insisted Moran never flooded.  Never has.  Has now.

We DID put the stuff up off off the floor 6 inches or so--but the water was a food deep.  Not just water, either.  :-(

Each flood even is different.   And freshly painful.  And difficult. 

I can't believe how much work we have ahead of us.  We had been planning to leave to go camping tday.  I've pushed trip ahead a day, but we may either have to push it ahead further or cancel it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Unbearable Piles of $#|+

I have a couple doctor appointments today. The first one is with my
cardiologist, Dr. John, and the second with my pulmonologist, Dr.
Macon. After getting my CPAP adjusted to a new higher pressure
because I've gained yet more weight :-( , I am going, hopefully, to
walk at Dodge park, in part because it is near Dr. Macon's office and
better than walking on the streets near home.

Since I have had to wait two to three hours at Dr. John's, I brought
my iPad, which I am writing on now, my Psion, and a book. I packed
these in a briefcase.

Because I have to have the CPAP adjusted, I of course had to pack
that--in its own travel bag.

Because I am going to walk at Dodge Park, which is scenic, has herons
and lots of wildflowers, I wanted to bring my cameras.

Because one appointment is before lunch time and the other after
lunchtime, and it would be silly and stupid to try to drive home in
between, I packed a lunch, water bottles, bran.

Because they bare prediciting rain and maybe thunderstorms, I brought
a raincoat and hat.

Because I didn't want Keith to come home to a messy kitchen, I took
the time to wash the dishes and clean the counter etc. Because I was
then running late, I was trying to getbout the door with all these
incredible piles of $#[+, tripping and stumbling and having trouble
getting my keys out and getting the car open etc. Aiee! Sometimes I
think I am leading my life all wrong.

I am writing this in the examing room. I got called in 19 minutes
after my appointment time which might be a new record. For quickness.


"What is truer than truth? The story!" Isabel Allende, old Jewish Tale


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Insomnia Journal, March 30, 2011

An Insomnia Journal, March 30, 2011

It’s 1:30 Am and I am awake. I went to bed at 10:30 but was itchy and agitated. I could tell by the way I felt that it was probably going to be an insomniac night, but I tried to sleep anyway.

First I just lay there to see if maybe I would sleep. Then I counted breaths. I’ve never found that particularly useful, but it was recommended in a book I read, so I gave it a try. Then I did some more breath counting exercises--more difficult ones. That didn’t help either. It rarely does.

Meanwhile, I got itchier and itchier. My skin itched.

I lay awake thinking of all the things I could be doing if I were up. Then I worried about how being up would ruin the day for me tomorrow and I lay there some more. Wishing I could just go to sleep. But I didn’t. I got itchier and more agitated.

I felt hungry. I wanted to get up and eat. But I was not hungry. I was having cravings. I had two bad days over the weekend, bad food that is. I ate a lot of soy at the party, and chocolate. The day before, I ate biscottis. And other junk.

I started thinking about food, wondering if it was the food from the weekend, from the salon and Sophia’s birthday party that was giving me insomnia, or something I ate today, or something else entirely. I still feel hungry. I still want to get something to eat. :-( Today, I ate carrots and peppers and extra ww bread. (more than normal). Otherwise, everything I ate was normal. (I think).

I got up and read a little in the book that I want to send to Rachel while the computer was booting up. I wanted to read the note from Ruth the Shaman poet. But it wasn’t that interesting. I am interested in thinking about Shamanism again. When I was in bed, not sleeping, I tried to go on a journey, but the hole in the earth that came to me was a rat-hole--the one last summer’s rats made under the terrace, That may have come from Milo’s rat. Down in the rat hole, there were “good” rats and bad rats, by which I mean friendly and unfriendly rats. I thought about how my judgement of them as good and bad depended on how they reacted to ME. Rats are social animals. Once they get to know you, they are fine (unless rabid). But I didn’t get anywhere beyond this sort of intellectualizing.

I read the rest of chapter 1 of The Hunted, by Gloria Skurzybski and Alane Ferguson. It’s a national park mystery we must have picked up for Graham in Colorado, but I don’t remember reading it and the book is perfect and tight as if it’s never even been opened. I figured I’d read it and send it to Rachel, since I told her I had some books for her and I already sent Judy Moody. I had this one in mind when I said that, as I had been rooting around in Graham’s discards looking for books for the kids and I’d seen it there.

When I was laying in bed, I imagined playing with fractals, doing art, working on my stories, reading, eating, doing some chores, getting the mole ready to mail, etc. But each things takes a while and it turns out that my inbox was full so I wasted some time deleting messages (and more need to be deleted.).

I try to start XAOS fractals multiple times, but I will not start. Maybe it’s expired. WAHN! It’s a great activity for insomniac nights. Oh well.

In order to accomplish something useful, I print 2 copies of the Mike Kline Address labels for mailing the mole. I feel tired, which is common for insomniac night--it’s time to be in bed, not up farting around.

I read chapter 2 of The Hunted. It’s pretty good so far. And, now I read chapter 3. I recorded the books I read yesterday, children’s books for Frankie, in my book list.

I went downstairs and ate almonds and baby carrots. I wanted something healthy, or relatively healthy, that would not exacerbate my cravings. I read through chapter 6 in The Hunted. The plot thickens and gets more interesting. Upstaris again, I read through chapter 8. It’s almost 3 Am and I am really tired. I think I will try going back to bed. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Reflective Listening

An Exercise In Reflective Listening And Empathy

with apologies and thanks to:  Sustainable Employee Motivation

Reflective listening in its purest form means that you verbally repeat
what you hear somebody else is saying, not by rote, but with caring.
It is listening to others from a position of empathy.
So what is empathy? It is the shift from me to we. It is the ability
to understand others on both a feeling and thinking level…to recognize
emotions in others…to make the basic shift from "the world revolves
around me" to being caring and motivated to help others.
Empathy is an essential part of emotional intelligence. (The original
piece said, "Empathy is where you grow out of the ego-centered part of
being a child.")
Empathy can be tricky. People who demonstrate a lot of empathy are
very good at tapping into their own life experience in order to relate
to what someone else is experiencing. But they use it only as a
starting point and not as the end itself.
If you are empathetic, you use your own experience as a guide, but
always "check out" whether your interpretation of another person's
feelings or thoughts is accurate.
You always maintain the thought that another person might feel
differently or think differently than you do in any given situation.
This is why reflective listening is so powerful. It helps you to
listen to others from that point of view.
Reflective listening can be trained, like any other emotional muscle.
The very act of repeating what the other person are saying will
immediately cause you to stop before you act on your automatic
The following activity will train that reflective listening muscle. It
is a good activity to do with your spouse. (a spouse work particularly
Reflective Listening Exercise
• Select an issue on which you have differing opinions. It is
important that you choose an issue about which you have differing
opinions, because that's when it's the hardest to listen to each
other. (We often invest in being right or in winning and don't come
from a place of wanting to understand)
• Begin your conversation with one person sharing their perspective on
the issue. The spotlight stays on that person until they indicate that
they agree that their partner clearly understands their perspective.
· If I, person A, am the first to share my perspective, person B
takes as much time as necessary to feed back to me their
interpretation of what I am saying.
Person A does one of two things. They either VALIDATE and say "Yes, I
think you have an accurate understanding" (Or "yes, that's what I
meant," or "yes, that is what I was trying to say") or they "CORRECT"
the interpretation by saying "that's not exactly it. Here's what I
Once person A has VALIDATED that person B is understanding, person B
then has the opportunity to share their point of view and allow person
A to check out their interpretations.
• Caveat: When you are communicating your point of view, share a few
ideas and then let your listener clarify. Then continue sharing more
If you speak for 5 minutes straight before your listener has a chance
to check out what they're making up, they won't be able to remember
everything you said.
Debrief After The Activity
• Did you feel that you and your partner understood each other better
or that you made some headway in solving the problem?
• What was it like to focus so intently on understanding the meaning
of someone else's communication rather than on what you were going to
• What did you personally have to let go of to listen effectively and
"check out your thinking maps?"
Become A Reflective Listener
After we have practiced this several times, which I hope we will,
let's try to make it a part of our lives and listening skills! I hope
some of the practice sessions that I hope we have will BE real-life
problems and situations!!!!
More exercises
• Step into someone else's shoes. All of us have people with whom we
have difficulty emphasizing or situations in which we lack empathy.
Choose a person or a situation and literally "step into those shoes"
for a period of time. Spend an hour or half a day doing someone else's
job. Note whether your ability to emphasize changes based on seeing
the world from a different perspective.
• Choose a real life "hot spot" to practice it. Select a person with
whom you are having relationship difficulties. Or you can choose a
person that you know holds significantly different beliefs from your
Invite that person into a conversation in which you consciously check
your own interpretations of what they are saying.
Begin by focusing on them. Before you move to sharing your beliefs,
say, "I just want to make sure I understand you. Can you clarify? Is
this what you mean?" People rarely say no to this.
When you are speaking, ask the person if they wouldn't mind sharing
what they're hearing you say. You can then take an opportunity to
correct them if you feel misunderstood.
• Use this tool whenever you have to deal with conflict of any kind.
Remember, this is a habit, and just like any other muscle, you need to
train it.
Just practicing it once, won't make it a habit. We need to use it
whenever we can to make it part of our hard wiring. I hope you are
willing to seriously work on this with me.
I am serious about wanting to practice this with you over and over
until it becomes a HABIT for both of us. PLEASE tell me that yes you
a e willing to work on this.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


I think we BOTH need to practice reflective listening, where we paraphrase, NOT BY ROTE, but with loving care, consideration, good intention and an effort at understanding, what the other person has just said. Eg: “Let me make sure I understand what you just said. Did you say your iPad crashed and ate that art piece you’ve been working on for three weeks? Was it the iPad that crashed or the program itself?”

Perhaps we need to learn to be more pc with each other, more “personally correct.” I think there is a time and place to be PC (politically correct) and a time and place to be pc (personally correct.) (By the way, to the best of my knowledge, I just made that term up.). The time to be PC or pc (personally correct) is when the situation is sensitive. I know you know what I mean—if there is a Polish person present, you don’t tell Polak jokes UNLESS it is a person who tells them and enjoys them himself. You don’t tell Italian jokes or blond jokes in front of an Italian or a blond. And if there is a person who makes a point of always being PC, you don’t tell any ethnic or un-PC type jokes in front of them. There is a time to be PC and a time to be un-PC—in the privacy of a relationship where you know the people and their tastes, you can be as unpolitically correct as is appropriate to that relationship. (Some people, like Alain Able, don’t seem to understand this concept and keep sending me sexual jokes that are inappropriate.) I know you know all this already, I’m not lecturing, I am using it as an analogy to my “new” concept of pc—personal correctness—an sort of extension of PC with wider ranging implications.

What I mean is that we BOTH need to learn to be more pc—personally correct—in our relationships with each other, by which I mean, more sensitive to the constraints of the persons personal needs, fear, “buttons,” hot points, mood, degree of tiredness and the sensitivity or difficulty of the topic. The more difficult the topic is, for either or both of us, the more careful we need to be to suppress our defensiveness, reassure each other, practice reflective listening, take our time, etc.

I want to say YES to our relationship, YES to our love, YES to our marriage, YES to growth, healing and deep communication.

I believe we should be able to talk to each other about anything at all, and to be successful at talking about some things, the more difficult ones, we may need to be ULTRA sensitive. At least at first and maybe for some time.

Sensitivity can include not joking or making humorous (or not so humorous, or pointed) remarks about things the other person is sensitive about, even if it seems funny. We can joke about our OWN shortcomings, but not those of the other until the sensitivity to that issues abates some.

Remember, I love you and WANT our relationship to THRIVE, not shrivel. I think good, open communication with honesty, integrity and trust is a key to a thriving relationship.

Both of us bring baggage to the table and it sits on the table between us, making conversation difficult and complex. Respectful and thoughtful reflective listening can help us understand one another. Maybe we could practice with silly things and light things until it becomes a habit and we can do it more naturally when we need to—when difficult discussions have to happen.

I hope you will agree to work on this with me. I want to love you better. I want you to love me better. And I think we are intelligent and loving enough to be able to do this.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

sleep and fibro

I didn't sleep hardly at all last, almost no sleep.  And it always makes my fibro worse when I don't sleep.

but it's generally been better--somewhat better.  I use a blue light in the morning and 4.5 o 5 mg of melatonin at night.  Plus I avoid dairy and soy.  Not sure which, if any, of those therapies are helping, but I do feel a little better.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unsolicited Advice

Unsolicited Advice

I would like to have a discussion about unsolicited advice, both the giving and, particularly, the receiving of it.

I do not like receiving unsolicited advice and I TRY to make it a point NOT to give it.  In some cases, I am even hesitant to give asked for advice. because it is often so unwelcome.

One must advise one's children while they are young. But I would prefer advice between adults to come when requested and to not come at other times, when unrequested and particularly when unwanted, inappropriate, and hurtful.

One of my family members often gives unsolicited advice.  I love and respect him and I respect his expertise and opinion WHEN I WANT help.  However, when I tell him about a problem I am having, and what I want is sympathy, understanding, hugs, he often gives me unsolicited advice instead.  I am being twice frustrated, once by not getting what I need and want and again by getting something unwelcome.

I think he offers unwelcome advice because:
1.     He loves me
2.     He cares about me.
3.     He wants to HELP

However, instead of feeling grateful, I feel
1.     Angry and defensive.
2.     Offended and belittled
a.     I am offended because
                                               i.     I feel as if he is assuming
1.     that he knows more than I do
a.     He DOES know more than I do on certain topics, but he often offers advice on topics where I know as much or more as he does.
2.     that I am too stupid to figure things out and work them out on my own
                                              ii.     I feel as if I am being treated like a young, wayward child

I know that in AA, Al-anon and other twelve-step programs, we are advised NOT to give unsolicited advice.  They say, and I quote, "Unsolicited advice can be seen as a passive-aggressive, condescending way of telling you that they think you're stupid or inferior."  And I have to say, that is exactly how it makes me feel!

How can I respond to it in a way that values and respects my loved one and at the same time, preserves my self-respect, dignity and intellectual capacity? A person could always choose to ask, before giving unsolicited advice, if it were wanted.

There are some exceptions to this rule—sometimes—RARELY—a friend must speak up and be honest in order to help a friend.  Sometimes, even interventions are needed.  But not multiple times in a single day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"delightful" new diet :-(

I just reached my lowest point of 2011.  :-D

Good news, right?  :-D

I had started the diet shortly after the new year, and had steadily lost weight daily until I reached 9 pounds.  THEN, with no change in the diet, I started GAINING WEIGHT daily!  for 3-4 days!

So what turned things around?  

Remember how I mentioned that when I was in the hospital with ML for her mastectomies, Graham was home sick from school?  I probably failed to mention he barfed in the kitchen sink when Laura Lindow had come for his piano lesson, and I had to clean it up.  Well, he gave me a delightful gift--I've been barfing my brains out for 18 hours.  I can't hold anything down, including water and am getting dehydrated!  :-(

That's probably why I lost weight.  No water (or food) for 18 hours.  As soon as I recover, I'll probably gain it back.  Meanwhile, I am desperately thirsty and afraid to drink anything.  Even a sip sets me off.  And barfing is not my favorite activity.  :-(

I'm pretty much too weak to do anything, either.  I've been in bed all day.

Unlike a snail mail letter, there are no germs attached to this email.

I hope ML doesn't get sick--I was with her almost all day Thursday and some yesterday, and also Graham, the day before he got sick!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

diet report

fat fat grandmother (me) with gorgeous grandson.
  • down 4.6 pounds from yesterday, when I had a sudden startling and unexplained surge upward.
  • down 2.5 pounds from Sunday (two days ago)
  • down 9 pounds from Wednesday.
  • down 25.7 pounds from my high point.
Got a ways to go still.

My sleeping, mood, and fibro have all generally improved somewhat since I started the diet.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


I'm having trouble with one of my goals, aka "resolutions," that I
haven't had time to write down yet: finish what I start before moving
on to the next thing. Problem: I haven't had breakfast yet, and
before I eat, I want to do my exercises and yoga. Roadblock: I
started a card for Rosy and a new poem: the first poem of the new
year. I'm so hungry! I've been up since 4 AM, couldn't sleep! Can I
please eat breakfast, even though I haven't finished dealing with the
poem? PLEASE? Pretty please? I've been up for 6 and a half hours
without a scrap of food, and THAT is not good for my diet? What if my
goals conflict with each other? Then what?

I know, I know, first things first, right? So wait, how do I KNOW
what the first thing IS?

Happy Birthday

I used one of the images from my new children's book (in progress) to
make a birthday card for my niece.

report on diet-day one

I started my diet yesterday, after finishing off the holiday food the day before.  I'm in phase 1 of the diet, and I completed the day entirely successfully.  This morning, I weighed 1.5 pounds less than yesterday morning.  I know daily weight fluctuates and will probably soon switch to weekly weigh-ins, but for the first week or so, I'll probably weigh daily.

I woke up this morning after a weird dream at 4 AM and never went back to sleep.  I found when I was dieting last year, that I slept somewhat better in general when I stuck closely to my diet.  I hope that proves to be the case again this year. Both my sleeping and my fibromyalgia are somewhat improved in general, but with lots of flare-ups, still.  Hope all is well with your progress on your goals as well!!

I am a little worried about BB (K), as he seems to be more and more tired all the time. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Thick fluffy flakes of snow drift and float randomly back and forth, undisturbed by the faintest breath of breeze.  The street looks like a scene from Currier and Ives, the perfect Christmas card.  Slowly, the wind pick up and the snow thickens further--the flakes slanting now, the storm starting in earnest.  It's still lovely, but it isn't Christmas any more.  And I prefer clean dry sidewalks to walk on and clean dry roads to drive on.  Yeah, I know, it's winter, what did I expect?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

new diet etc

I just checked and I weigh 9 pounds less than I did a year ago and 19 pounds less than my high point but 26 pounds above my low points in July and August 2010!  :-(  My diet went to hell at Uncle Bob's funeral and I never got back on track.  :-(

I intend to start dieting tomorrow. I also intend to add stair climbing very gradually to my regular walking routing, and hopefully start jogging again, lightly.  I have to wait until I've lost some weight to jog seriously.  I think I will order a pedomenter.


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