Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More Random ADHD-Inspired Thoughts

  • I watch the tiny home shows and think I could do that. Then I look around my 600-sq. ft. apartment and realize I have storage sheds outdoors, besides using one bedroom for storage-like things - fabric, yarn, books, etc.
Source: Global Avenue
  • I made instant oatmeal, using hot chai latte instead of milk or water. YUM!!
  • Why do some people lie about others? How can you prove something is not true when you do not know who is saying it? What is their payoff? What is the motive for doing so?
  • In my opinion, Tom Hanks has maintained his good looks better than John Travolta. I thought Paul Newman maintained his better than Robert Redford. Again, only my opinion.

Friday, March 25, 2016

I Would Rather be Working

I had an appointment the other day that centered on my health. I was asked what medical conditions, "with specificity," made it so I could not work at least part-time. Four typed pages in Arial #10 font gave very specific explanations of health problems I have. The response I received was along the lines of, "How could anyone expect you to work with all this?" 

Source: Classroom Clipart
Like many people with a chronic condition, it seems like a new health problem comes along all too regularly. It would be awesome to get through one year with nothing new added to the list. I would much rather be working. 

I have met a number of people who have had to quit working due to health conditions. Without fail, each would rather be working than have whatever chronic illness they are dealing with. 

Median 2014 income for a woman my age was $41,080 per year. The disability benefits I receive is currently less than $12,000 per year. I would be crazy to want to be disabled.

I do not understand why people keep asking me if I cannot work at least part-time. I have been to more doctors and health practitioners for evaluation in the last few years than I probably have dealt with before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And that is the total for 45 years versus the last three years. 

I have been poked, prodded, had MRI's, a C-T scan, and a pulmonary function test (PFT). Pictures are taken of my retinas yearly. I see my doctor for follow-ups many times each year, plus more visits for new problems. I have had my head examined by several doctors and therapists - they all come up with the same diagnoses. 

Two government agencies, plus my doctors, have all concluded that I am 100% disabled. So why is it so hard for friends and relatives to accept what I have had to come to terms with. 

I would much rather be working than be disabled. I would much rather be using my hard-earned education being an accountant than trying to figure out how to balance my budget. I would much rather make a presentation in front of a room full of strangers than undergo another medical test.

I would bet that 99.9% of all disabled people would rather be working. 


Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Going to be Different for Me

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I had gone to the doctor's thinking I was having knee problems. I was surprised that what was hurting were trigger points inside my knees. I also learned I had 13 out of 18 painful to the touch.

Source: Mayo Clinic
At this time, I had a friend, Katherine, who also had fibro. However, she had waited until she was unable to get out of bed for a year before going to see a doctor. Her husband had to carry her to the bathroom. She did not think I could have fibro, because I was not in as much pain (yet) as she was.

I was going to be different. I was diagnosed early on, and I was willing to take medication to manage the symptoms. My friend had decided to treat it by eating a macrobiotic diet and using homeopathic remedies, such as ginger plasters. 

Now, I understand what my friend meant when she did not think I had fibro. It is a very different animal today than it was when I was diagnosed in July 2005. I understand when she had to plan carefully if we were making a shopping trip to the city. 

Fifteen months later, I started going through a very stressful time, and I was managing my symptoms. They were increasing, and the pain medication dosage was increasing, too, but I was still managing.

I am speaking about my friend in the past tense because she passed away in June 2009, just 20 days after our last shopping trip. It was unexpected, and I was so glad we had that last trip together. It had been months because I was in college then. 

Katherine has a special place in my heart. She always had such a sweet disposition, and no one would have guessed she was in constant pain. She and her home had such a calming presence, it was a pleasure to go share a cup of tea and chat with her.

And, it is not different for me. Now, I spend my days in pain - my triceps are very painful today, making typing this difficult. It seems like one thing after another is going wrong in my body. (If you are interested in learning more about that, type "fibromyalgia" in my search box.)  

Like her, I cannot work, and I need it calm. Taking a shopping trip is a major chore that has to be carefully planned. Like her, I rarely leave my sanctuary, because it is so tiring. Saying that, I understand why my triceps are screaming at me today - I went out and about the last three days.

One of the places I went to. I highly recommend it!
It is hard to accept, because I want it to be the way it used to be. I want to be able to do all the things I used to do. 

What about you? Has your life changed since you were diagnosed?


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ADHD-Inspired Random Thoughts

  • Parenting is hard. About the time I thought I figured it out, my kids were adults. Hindsight is 20/20. 
  • My teeth have shifted. I have a bicuspid that is especially pointed. With the shifting, I keep biting my tongue with that sharp bicuspid, which swells, which causes me to bite it more.
  • Space between paragraphs makes reading blog posts easier.
  • If I am not sure about my spelling and grammar, I copy and paste into my Word program and review it. I find it catches most of my mistakes. Too many years of editing college papers makes it hard for me to write anything, including journal entries, without worrying, "Did I do it right?" (Including that last sentence, too.)
  • Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days are harder when you no longer have anyone living at home. They are for me, anyway. 
  • I, somehow, have ended up with two Google+ accounts and cannot figure out how to delete the one that I do not use. I get notifications from Google that I have missed Google+ postings from myself. It always seems strange when it happens.
  • How does medication "know" where it is supposed to go? The same pills that take away a headache will not take away a sinus headache. I have to take specific sinus medication for that. 
  • Oh! ADHD is all in my head, too. Silly me!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Fibro Fog" - Will I Ever Think Clearly Again?

My kids used to say I should try out for "Jeopardy!," which was nightly viewing at our house. I gave up watching it, because I am afraid to see how much I have lost. I suppose I should not sell myself short - I can still solve the "Wheel of Fortune" puzzles and do Sudoku. 

Drawing by SethAllen623 - Public Domain Image

When your "brain fog" hits hard, do you ever wonder if you will be able to think clearly again? I received an important phone call and did not remember that the person was returning my call. I forgot I had called her in the first place. Thankfully, I had written down some of the information before I made the initial call.

I started to wonder if I had aphasia or "mild" dementia since the fibro fog sometimes seems similar to the brain fog experienced in the other conditions. Doing a search on the term "brain fog," I was surprised to see how many different conditions have some sort of "brain cramps" as part of it. 

I get a big whammy, because I have ADHD, fibromyalgia, and hypothyroidism. I was relieved, though, to find out I am not losing my memory; it is just harder to retrieve information than it used to be.

What about you? Do you have some sort of brain fog? 


Friday, March 4, 2016

Is Fibromyalgia an Autoimmune Disorder?

I started to wonder this when I was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis the other day. I normally look like this photo taken a few months ago:

A couple of weeks ago, I used the same camera and looked like this:

Not very attractive and extremely uncomfortable. My scalp, face, and ears broke out with a rash that looks like a combination of measles and acne. The rash on my nose makes wearing glasses painful.

Naturally, I went to the doctor to see what it was and what could be done about it. Selsun Blue for my scalp and hydrocortisone cream for my face and ears. I am not quite back to the top photo, but I am looking a lot better than the bottom photo. I am extremely grateful that it can be treated, even though it can take a long time to go away completely.

Is seborrheic dermatitis an autoimmune disorder or related to fibromyalgia? The answer is neither, but people with a weakened immune system increase the risk of getting it. So can obese people and people with depression, and I am a depressed, obese person.

So, what is an autoimmune disorder?
NIH: U.S. National Library of Medicine

According to the NLM, autoimmune disorders can affect muscles and connective tissues. Some of the symptoms are: fatigue, fever, and joint pain.

If you have fibromyalgia, you might recognize those symptoms and definitely have muscle aches. 
Mayo Clinic

In an autoimmune disorder/disease, the healthy cells come under attack by the antibodies which normally defend them. In other words, the body attacks itself. These disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes.

People with RA and lupus can also get diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but fibromyalgia is not a condition where the healthy cells come under attack by the body's antibodies. Therefore, fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disorder.