Monday, May 20, 2013

Remediating Fibromyalgia Pain

In my late twenties, I developed terrible asthma.  I ended up in the hospital and almost died.  This continued apace, really knocking me down.  Bear with me, it does relate.  A man taking a course I was teaching named Peter Pfeiffer told me that I seemed like a person with a dairy allergy.  He suggested that I go ten days without dairy and see if I felt better.  I did--it was like a miracle.  I was a new person.

I looked at my diet and discovered I was having cheese omelets for breakfast, toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch, macaroni and cheese for dinner (etc).  I literally did not know what to eat.  Dairy was in everything I ate.

I started substituting soy milk for milk, tofu and soy cheese for cheese and I developed fibromyalgia.  Slowly.  I didn't connect it with the soy.  But eventually, it got so bad I literally couldn't walk to the end of my driveway I was in so much pain.  I did a rotation diet and discovered it was the tofu and soy.  When I eliminated that, I felt better, BUT then I developed a sensitivity to beans, peas etc, especially the dried ones.  

Meanwhile, my allergist suggested reintroducing dairy, since I hadn't had it in many years--she thought I may have outgrown the allergy.  Wrong--I immediately developed asthma AND fibromyalgia (or fibromyalgia-like symptoms.)

What this means is that I have to prepare all my own meals from scratch because everything (all prepared foods) has either dairy or soy or both.  And it was the protein in dairy and the protein in soy that created the problem.

After experiencing fibromylagia so bad I literally couldn't walk, it now is more of an inconvenience most of the time.  I totally avoid sugar and refined grains (Which turn into sugar), nuts of all kinds, dairy, soy, caffeine (I have no soda, coffee, tea, chocolate etc).  I exercise (walk, run, bike) 45 minutes a day and go to bed around 10-10:30 (good sleep is essential).  I drink only water and eat only fresh whole foods, organic if possible.  I do eat nightshades, in limited quantities.

I do eat wheat (whole grain only) and have been considering testing that as well, since I still have some residual pain that flares up toward the end of a long walk.

Isolation and Loneliness

I read that isolation and loneliness contribute to depression and that isolation and depression contribute to dementia.  In any case, isolation isn't fun.

I'm home alone all day.  Keith comes home, and then, leaves again as soon as possible.  Today, he went to Home Depot, and then R'dale to do some work.  The work does need to be done.  AND he probably doesn't want to be with me when I am miserable.  I do not blame him.  I am miserable when I'm miserable.

I am also lonely.

And no one can come visit.  And really, no one can call.  Scott called this morning to be supportive, and I was in so much pain I couldn't concentrate or make good conversation or even be a good listener. I am stuck.  Alone.

I can read Cowbird stories, theoretically, or send emails, or go on facebook, but most of the day, I was in too much pain to sit and read or type.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Jogging in Place in the Shower

Jogging in Place in the Shower

I want desperately to take a shower.  I haven’t been able to take on in a number of days because of the pain.  It’s been hot, and I’ve had to use a heating pad nearly continuously, and that causes sweatiness.

But the pain makes it hard to stand.

Some of the things that help the pain include:

  • Ø  hot water, hot baths, hot compresses
  • Ø  walking, running or leaping about, depending how bad the pain is
  • Ø  hugs and touch, massage
  • Ø  ibuprofen (takes the edge off a little)

No one is here to hug me.  I’m an hour and a half into this round of ibuprofen.

The hot water helps some.  When it doesn’t help enough, I march in place under the water.  When it still hurts too much, I jog in place.  The washing and shampooing become hurried and urgent.  Luckily, no one is here to see me. 

I wonder how far I’ve run, if I were going forward.  Three quarters of a mile?  I‘m going pretty fast and that’s about how much ground I’d cover on foot in the time it takes to wash up, shampoo, shave my legs.  Shaving my legs at a dead run is pretty tricky though, I have to slow down to easy jog for that, then quick speed up to knock the pain down.  Owy.  Well, I did it!  I'm clean!

During the high-pain phase of the flare-up, I ran around the house (upstairs only, for the most part) reorganizing things because it hurt too much to sit.  Moving rapidly around seemed to help.

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Tulip Collaboration
with Gail Slaughter
(She took the photograph; I painted it)

This first section is copied from the New York Times and is only part of the total story there:

Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.

More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the findings in Friday’s issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.

Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.

“It’s vastly underreported,” said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has published research on rising suicide rates. “We know we’re not counting all suicides.”

Another factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses.

*     *     *     *

I've written about suicide before.  More than once.  It may be a real option for me, later.

Last time I had this condition, I began to seriously consider suicide.  The unrelenting nearly unbearable pain, the worst pain of my life, went on and on and on.  How would I do it?  Sleeping pills, of course.  I guess.

So now, I'm reconsidering.  Thinking about suicide again.

I'm not ready to do it--I generally like being alive, except for this pain.  And, I'm afraid of the pain of dying and afraid of death itself.  I keep hoping for healing.  For some relief from the pain.  But when it's bad and I consider the options, suicide seems like one of them.

I recently threw away eleven bottles of sleeping pills.  I should have saved them.  If I do do it, I want to do a good job, not a half-assed one.  I do have more, and the others were expired.  I don't take sleeping pills any more.

*     *     *     *

Tulips, on the other hand, are one reason to stay alive.


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