Sunday, September 6, 2009

Better living through chemistry?

Every time I turn around I'm getting a new pill to swallow. As my doctor once said, while having a difficult time looking me in the eyes. "I can't do anything about the cause of your illness, I can only treat the symptoms." She's a good doctor, contrary to that less-than flattering recollection. I have a feeling it was much harder for her to say, than for me to hear.

Still, the bigger concern is that the drugs are just that, temporary numbness from the cause. It all seems so counter productive, when you think about the long-term result.
When will I find a better way to either cure the cause or relieve the symptoms without pickling my liver and drooling on my shirt.
Then there are the times when I must forgo medication all together.
My doctor recently prescribed yet another medication for pain. My research has me thinking that I don't want another sedating drug with all the usual side effects. Drowsiness, listlessness and the usual parade of masks.
Fortunately, anal leakage isn't mentioned, but weight gain is, which doesn't sit too well with me. Fibromyalgia's biggest side effect (other than pain) seems to be weight gain. Mostly, because it hurts like hell to move, yet exercise is often the only way to really get the best of fibro. I believe "cruel irony" are the words you're looking for here. So, do I sedate myself with a drug at the hope of getting some pain relief or force my way through exercising?
Do I give in to the allure of medication, adding one more to the cocktail I'm already hating?
Do I take the gun?
Do I leave the cannoli?
Jesus I wish I knew.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I had a migraine recently, which was frightening -- since I hadn't had one in about a year. I know quite a few fibro sufferers who get regular migraines -- much worse, and more frequent than what I experience. The thing I hate the most (even more than the headache) is the aura that precedes it. You can't really see out of one eye and are unable to focus on anything. I usually get numb on one side -- well, more disassociated from one side, usually one of my arms. I imagine a stroke sort of feels this way. Then, after 20 to 30 minutes of this anxiety-inducing light show, the headache comes, and it's ... well, fucked. There are a host of medications out there for migraines, but timing is everything. If you don't take them at the earliest possible sign of the oncoming migraine, you're really in trouble. Then you have the nausea and the hangover, which is like a lighter version of the actual headache itself. That lasts another few days and I feel pretty disoriented during that time. Either way it's really a buzz kill, and yes, I puked, thank you for asking.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The sound of silence

There's a neat movie called The Fall of the House of Usher, starring Vincent Price. Originally written by Edgar Allan Poe, telling the tale of a man who suffers from hyperesthesia or an extreme hypersensitivity to sound , light, taste ... reality TV...
The condition, along with an anxiety (did I mention anal leakage?) drives him (Vincent) to the brink of madness. Perhaps this is the first example of fibromyalgia on film. This is among the crappiest symptoms I enjoy with fibro -- the sound and light thing, not the rest of it. Especially sound, where it can get so freakin' overwhelming that I keep earplugs with me at all times.
As much as I adore my daughters, there's some strange part of early-childhood development in girls, that indicates a need for high-pitched screaming for no reason at all. They shriek over just about everything -- pancakes for breakfast? Shriek. Going to the store? Shriek. Breathing in and out? Oh yeah.
These are the times when the earplugs come in real handy. The hardest, however, is during bath time. In addition to the shrill, wailing that seems to squirt out of them at the drop of a hat, you have the benefit of ceramic tile, that creates a sort of hyper-shriek. This is like putting a power drill with a hypodermic needle-sized bit into your ear and putting the pedal to the floor. After bath time, I Q-tip the blood and remaining brain from my ear canals, and usually end up with a real good headache, bless their little hearts.
I admit, I've played the Santa card a few times, as in "OK, if you don't stop screaming, I'm gonna call Santa..." What can I say? I have him on speed dial and it only seems fair that I have an ace in the hole when I need one. Besides, nothing else seems to work with a 3 and 5 year-old — I gotta hit 'em where they live, you understand. I also admit to being jealous of them having something to shriek about. I, however, do not. It got me to thinking... what would make me shriek in delight? Well, there's good pizza. Waking up next to Elizabeth Montgomery. (Jesus, that's a whole nother blog right there.) Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter being burned in effigy -- that would be a delightful shriek heard 'round the world. Dare to dream...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Joint pain

Medical marijuana is an interesting way to cope with fibromyalgia. Yes, I tried it and yes, I did inhale -- with a fury. I haven't smoked pot in about 20 years, so this was a bit of a walk down memory...
... what was I saying?

Oh yeah.
So, a friend of mine who suffers from chronic migraines has been a legal recipient of medical marijuana for about 6 months now. I was allowed to accompany him to a dispensary as an observer. I wanted to see how the stuff is sold to registered card holders and what to expect should I decide that this is the pain reliever for me. OK, this was among the most surreal experiences of my life, and I advise everyone to do this at least once. If for anything, it could be the closest any one of us gets to knowing what it's like to be in a David Lynch movie, minus the blood and breasts. The place I visited was considered (according to my escort) very clean and well run. Aside from the overwhelming smell of cannabis, the place could have been a massage therapy— or doctor's office. Everyone there was very accommodating, or was it stoned? I guess it doesn't matter, seeing how you never see people acting "drunk" when stoned. No loud talkers or people fighting and barfing on your couch. All very peaceful and mellow, just the way I like it. If I had my way, I'd insist on cannabis being part of the food pyramid the Surgeon General is so pumped about.
So, once our IDs are checked, my friend and I are escorted into large sitting area and parked on a big leather couch . Our host, a very lean, shave-headed, yoga-looking dude, is talking about the massage therapy they offer and how they are expanding their facility into a "wellness" clinic.
I'm still about 95 percent suspicious about the place, because in my un-stoned mind it just seems like a good place to come to to score some weed and just hang. I ask "Bob" about the number of fibromyalgia patients he services, and he starts beaming at me. "Right now," he says, barely containing his excitement, (excrement?) he motions to a door in at the far end of the room. "There's a soccer-mom in there getting a prescription filled for her teen-age son who is a fibro-sufferer." Sure enough, the door opens and Carol Brady comes strolling out with a brown paper bag clutched to her breast. She makes no eye contact and quickly heads for the exit. I admit, I'm somewhat impressed but fight the impulse to laugh my ass off when our host refers to her "prescription." Come to think of it, he refers (reefers?) to the marijuana as "medicine " every chance he gets. Look, I grew up in the 60s and 70s, ain't no way this old dog's gonna see it as anything other than pot.
Now, with the dispensing room empty, the "Bob" invites us in to take a look. Only one person or a particular couple, (in our case) are allowed in there at a time. I enter the dispensary and what I see is truly a wonder to behold -- a veritable buffet of all things marijuana. It's like a High Times candy store -- I'm Charlie Bucket and I've got a tune in my head and it ain't "Candy Man", it's "Purple Haze." We've entered a magical, wonder-weedorium and everywhere I look I see candies, baked goods, little baggies and pre-rolled cigarettes. Behind the counter is a proud, albeit, slightly unkempt attendant and behind him are shelves reaching up to the ceiling. Each shelf is burdened with apothecary jars, and each jar is filled with -- you guessed it -- pot. Not just your run-of-the-mill pot, it's the stuff of nice dreams, it's every pot smoker's fantasy. Every color of the rainbow, every shape and size -- it's Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes for the would-be stoner, which I guess makes me Harry POTter (I couldn't resist.) I am speechless, yes! I am without speech. I was then schooled in all the culinary uses for cannabis and couldn't believe that not only can you smoke it six ways from Sunday, you can put it in any number of edible delights, like peanut butter, suckers, tea, cookies and all magically delicious. Needless to say, my mind was sufficiently blown.
My escort then purchased a small amount of "medicine" and we departed as casually as we had wandered in.
Now, I'm not going to get into the details of how I came into possession of a small quantity of this medicine, being that I've yet to become a card-carrying reefer recipient, but I did. I informed the little woman of my intention when I got home that evening. She seemed curious about the outcome. Would I find relief from my pain and discover that the answer was right there the whole time? Would a few drags really make the pain go away?
And now a word about marijuana: What the hell happened? When I was younger So much younger than today... You could smoke a few joints between friends and even have a conversation afterwards. Maybe not an intelligible discussion, but a talk just the same. This is no longer your mother's, garden-variety weed here. I took only two drags and found myself trying to kiss the sky. I mean, my ass was kicked, if you'll pardon me being so blunt.
Speaking of goofy, why "Blunt" or "Spliff"? OK, I admit "pot" is goofy when you think about it, as is "reefer." "Grass" well ... although the stuff we smoked as young adults looked and acted like lawn clippings, it's no longer the case, is it? But now, this stuff is freaky-strong and although I think "Weed" is a timeless and endearing euphemism, I just don't think it tells the whole story. Something like "Coma Smoke" or "Brain Goo" makes more sense... I think I'd really appreciate a little help here.

So, I suspect the big question is weather or not it relieved my pain. Well, yes and no. While I was baked, I definitely wasn't thinking about the fibro. However, I'd have to smoke it every few hours -- all day to keep the affect working. My lungs just aren't that committed to the process. Then there's eating it. I didn't try any of the baked goods, and here's why. When I asked the Bob about how much I should eat he said, "It's different for everyone, you just eat some and see how it affects you." I looked puzzled and asked, "Well, what if you eat too much?" in which he coolly replied, "You just have to ride it out, I mean, at least you're not going to die."
Hmmm. I think I can say with utter confidence that Bob's P.R. skills left a bit to be desired.
Look, I'm a middle aged guy on Simvastatin, I don't need that kind of stress to my insides.
As you might have guessed, his disclaimer didn't sell me on the idea of ordering his laced, baked goods.
On a side note, I ask you this: Is it bad form to head butt a perfect stranger in front of a cornucopia of pot?

So, the important question is -- will marijuana really help with my fibro symptoms? Well, for me it helped, but I'm just not a big fan of smoking -- anything, and it really does take a toll on your lungs. Plus, the length of the relief from smoking it, although substantial, only lasts a few hours at best. That means you're probably going to develop a routine similar to that of a cigarette smoker. I haven't explored some of the newer technology, like the vaporizer. I hear it is much better, effects-wise, as well as a more intense experience. It 's supposed to be easier on your lungs because nothing is actually burnt, so you get a break from harmful carcinogenic smoke.
Then there's eating it. I hear that particular experience lasts anywhere from 6 to 8 hours and can be very helpful. Still, I haven't tried it yet so I got nothin' there.

It's always best to ask a lot of questions, because it appears that marijuana is really working for some fibro-sufferers. Here's what I suggest:
1. Are you up for the risks regarding smoking vs immediate relief?
2. Can you consume it in food and hope you can regulate the dosage to your liking?
3. Do you live in a state where medical marijuana is available? If not, do you have a green thumb?
4. Also, and most important -- do you live close to a Dairy Queen??
... damn.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I want to believe...

Not to get melodramatic here, but I'm in pain about 80 percent of the time these days. Even though I still see myself as a rather highly-functioning fibro-chotic, some days I'm really getting my ass handed to me, so-to-speak.
Here's the segue:
So, I was back at the doctor this week with prostatitis symptoms again. Well of course I peed in a cup, thank you for asking, albeit without a shred of commitment. It's kind of funny when you go to the lab and enter a bathroom with that cup in your hand. You stand there (or sit, depending on your anatomy) and look at that little metal door to the lab. I'm worried it'll fly open and there will be a sweaty dude in a lab coat panting and looking at his watch. "Hurry up my friend, I can hardly wait for your uurrrinnnee." I imagine his voice to be calculated and hypnotic, with just a hint of psycho right underneath. He picks random consonants to over-pronounce just to enhance the creep-factor.
Oh wait, this is Hannibal Lecter we're talking about --
yeah, that's the voice.
, I had to run the faucet to get the 'ol bladder's attention, you understand. I finish my "transaction" and realize I've given them gallons of pee over the last year, and now I'm getting suspicious.
On a side note -- I hate whenever I have a health issue, I go to the doctor and she says "Drop 'em." meaning my pants. One way or another, I'm assuming the position. "Got a hangnail?" Bend over. "Hey, did you just blink?" Grab your ankles. I'm getting plenty of action these days, no two ways about it ... but I diges

So, this week as I was being "inspected", my mind began to wander and it occurred to me that I'm missing a big piece of the prostate-exam puzzle.
Wait for it --
The world is infested by aliens.
No, hear me out.
Long ago, aliens would visit only rural, single-wide, mobile-home-riddled areas -- with, how can I say this delicately ... a less-than desirable gene pool. At some point the aliens sat down and had a conference.
They ordered dozens of bagels, with various flavors of cream cheese and those funky boxes of coffee from Starbucks.
A determined looking alien stood up, cleared two of his three throats and uttered the very words that changed their business plan:
"Hey, did anyone see American Idol last night?" I kid.
What he really said was that they'd been doing this human-experimentation thing all wrong. "What we have to do, is figure out a way to get them to come to us."
Enthusiastic nods all around, more coffee, some chit-chat and then they hatched a plan. They would infiltrate the cities and the media, telling everyone that the colon is in danger of disease, clogging, and hell, it very well could explode! We, being the gullible public we are, ate it right up. To top it off, we would even pay THEM to probe our tail pipes and feel up our unmentionables. It's really quite brilliant when you stop to think about it.
Oh, they're crafty all right. But I'm not fooled for a moment. I mean, who the hell goes to school just to poke their finger in your butt? Someone with a really sinister agenda, that's who. Gynecologist? More like twisted alien freak with a Freudian I-want-to-go-back-home-to-mommy complex. Even from a guy's point of view, I'd imagine the rate of really attractive vaginas can't be more than 30 percent, on a good day. Women often go to their OBGYN because something's gone haywire with their hoohaw, no? It's not like all women put their feet in the stirrups waring spiked heels and crotchless panties. And who the hell wants to look at man-sphincter all day? You can bet that ratio is about 3 percent for the entire year.
See how I rationalize?
You're welcome.
Where's the draw?
Oh, I can tell you since you're twisting my arm.
World domination!
I've got gelatinous swill in places I can barely reach because these bastards mean business. Don't be fooled! We must ban together before we are probed into complete submission.

OK, truth be told, I've had a bit more coffee than I normal do.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cry me a liver

Just when I thought it was safe to get medicated, the FDA scares the hell out of me. The rumor mill was spewing all sorts of drizzle about acetaminaphen and turning your liver into pickled goo. Turns out that your liver is really the cheese cloth of the body. Everything chemical (among other things) zips right through the 'ol liver. So, what was once a warning about ingesting no more than 4,000 mgs of Tylenol a day to reach a toxic state, is now, not recommended.
You realize that Tylenol is in just about everything. Niquil, Vicodin, Nestle Quick (the chocolate, not the strawberry flavor) -- soon it will accompany fluoride in our drinking water. Here's something I didn't know about the liver -- it's the largest organ in the body and is the source of bile. Wow, bile is such a hostile quality in an organ. I'm guessing it's just angry because it's not as popular as the heart or the vagina. Which I'll guess is where the angry bile really comes in. Still, the cool thing about this pissy organ is that you can transplant a portion (lobe) of it and it will grow back to its original size -- so, hey lungs, let's see you do that, bitch.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Morning wood.

This isn't as interesting as it sounds. I'm talking about fibro sufferers who get morning stiffness. Mine is usually in the mid back and neck and sometimes will lessen throughout the day. Other times I can just be standing or sitting there and suddenly my neck will spasm and sort of seize up. Like today -- I was standing in my studio and without moving a muscle, it happened. I could swear it actually made a sound as it began to tighten. See the accompanying illustration? That's where it hurts, yep. Usually on the right side and today it doesn't seem to be getting better. So, I'm on pain medication and it's barely making a dent. I realize this could be your run-of-the-mill, old-guy stuff, but seeing how I was just standing there like a slug when it happened, I suspect something more sinister is at work here. OK, I was ironing, still, I can say with all confidence that it was less than rigorous. Believe me, there are times I iron with an unbridled passion, (Who doesn't?) this just wasn't one of those times, is all I'm saying. So, there I was, "calmly" ironing, when I paused to check my water levels, meters and gauges, Hazmat suit (it's a Black and Decker, industrial "man-iron") and then, without so much as a memo, pain and the sound of me whining.
Weekends really blow when you don't have access to a really good massage therapist. I'd even settle for a heating pad right about now. I guess I'll be living better through chemistry over the next few days, which means things will be a bit fuzzy... er. I wonder if anyone in my house will notice?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pardon me, while I puke

Somewhere in Iowa we're sitting in a hotel room with two kids who are wired like midget, crack addicts and me fighting the urge to throw up. I'm taking two different antibiotics and my guts are doing that freaky dance that Rerun did on "What's Happening". My wife is the only voice of reason here. It's Father's Day and we've spent it on the road, which wasn't all bad -- the scenery was nice...ish, but I'm ready to be home and not living out of a suitcase. A word about Des Moines, Iowa. I've only driven through a small portion of this place and from where I sit, they've figured out how to inject the Jesus into just about everything here. Now, I have nothing against Jesus, I mean for the love of Pete, the dude bought the farm for our sins and all. You don't take one for the team like that and get badmouthed by me, no way, no how... not here... not like this. But weird displays in restaurants and gas stations all promoting Christianity? What the hell is it with middle-aged, Christian women and their fascination with everything Elvis? And, while I'm Jerry Seinfelding here, what's with the blown glass? I mean their just ape shit about the stuff... who are these people? A word of caution if you're traveling down I-80 and come upon the Red Roof Inn. Keep driving. Even if you're really tired and in danger of crashing. You're likely to have a better dining and sleeping experience upside down in your car, bleeding from a torn anus than stopping at the Red Roof Inn. This particular "hotel" is a crap hole. Some of the lights were burned out in our room, the toilet leaked and well, aside from the TV having horrible reception, the place smelled like a combination of stale smoke and the inside of a baby's diaper. Needless to say it had a real depressing feel to it. Perhaps that's what really happened to David Carradine, he stayed at a Red Roof Inn. Whoa, too soon for DC jokes? Perhaps. But I was ready to choke myself (and not in a sexual way) to keep from seeing the inside of this place any longer than necessary. Not to mention the sound of the highway right outside the window, of course that was just a bonus. I'll be honest here, I really enjoy a clean hotel and a little room service. It doesn't have to be fancy, just clean and well run and some burgers on the menu. Anything in addition to that is gravy, and from now on I'll look for those little gravy droplettes any chance I get. There is nothing more depressing than staying in a cruddy hotel room, unless you have a different agenda. Now, if I were smuggling heroine or needing to dispose of a body, this place would have been ideal. Gun running or snorting cocaine off a hooker's ass? Yep, this was the place to do it. Hiding from the law or going under witness protection? Bingo -- Red Roof Inn. But, my vacation included none of these activities. Oh hell, I just realized something. I'm not angry that this place sucked -- I'm bitter coz I haven't snorted cocaine off of a hooker's ass. God I'm transparent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Say cheese

Holy crap my back hurts. That's what I mean to imply with the art here. Also, it could mean that you shouldn't poop stars and pie wedges in public...
I'm on vacation now with the family. We're in Wisconsin, right near Madison. The people here are very friendly -- except for me. I'm not sure how this has played out, but I've been ill since I hit the road last Sunday. I had prostatitis, which in turn made me more vulnerable to other things. The fibro stuff is out of control -- back pain from hell, radioactive skin sensitivity and a pissy disposition. I had almost the exact same episode last year ... while on vacation. Shit. Now I have a sinus infection. I'm beginning to think that every time I plan a vacation, I should just schedule an appointment with the local hospital. I went to the urgent care last night because of the sinus thing. I know I sound like a punk-ass bitch, but after three nights of not sleeping and the intense pain, I knew I was starting to slip. I'm here for a wedding and need to have my wife's back (it's her friend getting married) since she's one of the bride's maids. I'm on kid patrol while they have the bridal shower. I know if this were something new or really bad she'd drop everything and be there for her husband. But, it's the same old turd-fest with me -- which I'm sure most fibro sufferers experience.
"Oh hi, this is my husband, he feels like ass... so, how are you?..."
So, I'm now on two antibiotics -- Cipro and amoxicillin. If you ever had the pleasure of this lovely cocktail, it really jacks with your stomach. I'm taking enough probiotics that I should start shitting mushrooms within the next few minutes. Ironic that I'm in cheese country, with a head full of snot, a stomach full of bile and an ass full of spores. Or maybe it's just comical. As I said in my last blog, guilt is a real sock to the pills. I wish I could figure out a better way to cope with the timing of this particular episode. I wonder if seasonal allergies are part of the problem, since it has happened three times in as many years. Of course I could just be a big girl's blouse.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To sleep, perchance to scream

Yep. It's official. People with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are perceived as whiny bitches. To make matters worse, even though the medical community (at least a majority) now acknowledge that these conditions are real, the stereotypes are still there and many sufferers are adding guilt and isolation to their long list of symptoms. I was surprised as hell to learn that roughly 60 percent of fibro and CFS sufferers also endure some form of depression and/or anxiety. The correlation between mental/emotional health and physical health is something the average person tends to miss. Sure, we know that if we lose our job, our wife runs off with .. well, someone's wife, the world is gonna close in on you in a hurry. Losing or gaining weight and feeling depressed are certainly a good bet. However, when you see the commercial on TV about the "The Pain of Depression" whoever they are, they're bloody serious. Mental and emotional trauma will bitch-slap you so hard that your unborn children will feel it. It's no surprise that so many people in their 30s and 40s crack up because of unresolved abuse they endured in their youth. Hell, it's likely they're still repeating the cycle of whatever abuse that forged them in the first place. So, if you are dealing with either of these conditions, chances are, a friend, relative or an uninformed (dumb-ass) medical professional has cast a weary eye your way. In my case it was a chiropractor. I was surprised when he went off and said "That's not even a real condition, is it?" Well, some would say you're not a real doctor, but I keep coming back here so you can smack me around like your own personal bitch. OK, I didn't say that, but I played it over a few times in my head after I left his office and each time I looked like a hero.
Don't listen to this doubting crap. It's real.
Of course, this doesn't give us permission to sit around and cry about it. We have to get up off our collective asses and be proactive about feeling better. I know for some sufferers it's nearly impossible. But there are some of us who are too comfortable with the condition defining them, and not getting up and moving around. To those people I say, don't do it. Do anything you can to grow a pair (testicles or ovaries, name your poison) and give fibro and CFS the flying cock-punch they deserve.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A sphincter says what?

Note: This is what I get for making light of getting my prostate checked in my last blog.
As I understand it, infections are commonplace with fibro sufferers. You name it, sinus or urinary tract -- there's a lovely buffet to choose from. It's difficult to say which came first, the chicken, (infection) or the egg, (fibro.) I've read that certain viral infections (and some bacterial, due to weakened immunity) can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms in those who have the condition. Or, does the condition make you more susceptible to infection? Before my head explodes, I'll just say that prostatitis (infection of the prostate) is my personal favorite. Not an uncommon infection among middle-aged men, but none-the-less, a real pain in the arse, if you'll pardon the pun. I get this maybe once or twice a year with all the usual fanfare:
Me: "Hello, is doctor jelly finger in?"
"Sure is! And he's got a hand the size of Hellboy, just waiting to make your acquaintance!"
"Well, that's all the invitation I need. Can I come by and have him route my tail pipe and jiggle my jumblies, while we casually discuss sports, American Idol and pretend my undercarriage isn't resting in his capable, monster-sized hands?"
"You betcha, cowboy! Besides he's good and drunk after a round of golf."
... I digress.

Still, it was my good fortune to have a female doctor see me today. I know what you're thinking: Well yeah ... dude... you don't want another dude ... messin' with yer ... uh ... junk. Frankly, women doctors are just a hell of a lot more considerate and gentle ... at least with me. However, there was this volleyball-coach-looking doctor, she made me feel like a prison bride ... but again, I digress.
So, as suspected, I have an infected prostate. It's nothing to get too weirded-out about right? We're all adults here, and men get goofy stuff going on with their hoo-hah-area just like women do. I heard that some fibro fans go into antibiotic therapy to help alleviate symptoms of ongoing bacterial infections and again, it's difficult for me, who isn't a doctor (other than the one I play on TV) to say how all of this fits together. Since the "condition" seems to have unique symptoms for everyone, see your MD and for the love of God, insist on a nice dinner coz something under your Dockers is gonna get fiddled with.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sugar... the fantasy

Don't be fooled. Yeah, her lips are great and all, but sugar is shitty enough for everyone, let alone fibromyalgia sufferers. More than I care to say, sugar is my kryptonite. If you can't exercise, at least avoid sugar any way you can.
The truth is, I usually feel like ass when I eat sugar. When it's going down, I'm like, woohoo! I'm the king of the fucking world! Then I get a weird feeling like when I go to the doctor and he tells me "Uh, I'm gonna have to check your prostate." Then I notice he's got fingers like Andre the giant and a series of Superbowl rings on each finger -- even his thumb. So, if you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue sugar is the worst. You're gonna notice your symptoms are out of control and your energy level will drop quicker than Paris Hilton's undies. Look up fibromyalgia and sugar on the Google -- I'm not your damn mom, you look for it.

What you'll find is that there are times when fibro sufferers crave sugar in ways that seem manic. I've had moments that have really scared the sauce out of me. I'll be fine, eating real healthy, then eat sweets like a crack-whore diabetic, and I'm not that into sugar as a rule.

See the kid in this picture? Sure, she's all content now, but I have it on good authority that after her little lollipop session there, she shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Am I crazy?

It's a work in progress.
Exercise is a huge part of coping with fibromyalgia. I've been told by more than one doctor that it's the best thing for the condition. At the same time it should be approached with some caution. Sure, you have to do the smart thing, like check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you're older, overweight and have a family history of god-knows-what. It's also understood that fibro carries some difficulties with it regarding exercise. Symptoms can be exacerbated by physical activity -- chronic pain that becomes real bad chronic pain can be an efficient buzz kill. So, how do you cope with such a lovely catch-22? How do you know if you can pull off mild exercise, much less a hardcore workout program like P90X or anything that involves moving your ass from point A to B? I'll be honest, I spoke with my doctor and she wasn't too concerned with my ability to pull this off. Why? Perhaps I gave her the impression that I wanted to do this, no matter what. Granted, if I had high blood pressure, or was under the threat of serious injury, she would have reeled me back to a respectable level. She did say to be careful and use some common sense. Which, in it's simplicity is more profound advice that most of us usually acknowledge. Truth be told, I was more scared about how painful this was going to be, even more than the actual exercise itself.
There are some realizations that can help. First, just do anything to get moving. It doesn't matter that you'll have setbacks, and I can assure you, you will. There will be some mornings that you'll try to roll out of bed and the pain will smack you down faster than a nun's yardstick. Don't let it unravel you, just spend the day resting through it and plan the next workout. Tailor your exercise to what you can do and when you do it, push yourself a little. Don't get discouraged and start throwing in the towel because you miss a day or two. Besides, it could be much worse, you could still be in junior high school.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm back!

I worked out last night -- not much pain at all and the sinus thing seems to be on its way out. It felt good to be able to do 15 push ups without any difficulty. Apparently, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. However, it can render you impotent, incontinent and more disillusioned than a virgin on prom night. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Monday, May 25, 2009

On the ropes

I've currently gone 3 days without doing P90X. I've been sore -- I'd say mostly from the fibro and a sinus infection. Shit. I've been avoiding septoplasty for about 2 years now. I was told the sinus and ear infection roller coaster would just get worse until I had this procedure done. If I may whine... the inner ear gets full of fluid and I walk around loopier than Dick Cheney on a rifle range. It makes exercise really impossible -- especially leaning forward. Anyone with sinus issues will tell you that leaning over during an infection is the equivalent of jamming a fondue fork into your eye socket. I may cave and let them bust my nose and reshape it in Rula Lenska's image. I will pick up where I left off with the exercise -- I have to keep going in spite of myself. I'm going to do the work out tonight if it kills me -- so to you Tony Horton,
I say,
suck it, bitch.

Burning man

Not that one, you pinko hippies -- the one where your skin burns from the hyper sensitivity of fibromyalgia. Last night I woke up in the middle of the evening a man on fire. This part really blows, when you wake up about every two hours with your limbs aching. If you suffer from this particular symptom I recommend a loose-fitting cotton shirt -- long sleeve. Take Ultram, if you have it -- it tends to work better than anything else my doctor has given me. Maybe take a warm bath with epsom salt too -- however, I'd suggest taking the medication after the bath. If it's 3 in the morning and you're drugged and floating in a hot bath, well, you're just asking for trouble, aren't ya? So, think it through before you find yourself floating tits-up and hurling toward a bright light.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 5: I can't move...

OK. This isn't me -- but I feel like this poor bastard
Who the hell knew that yoga would kick my ass six ways from Sunday? I was so sore from p90X's yoga workout that I still have limited control over my bladder. However, in its defense I've never done yoga -- not really. I'm working muscles in places not even my creator knows about. The front of my hip region and stomach area -- damn. So, I took a day off yesterday in order to recover and I feel much better today. I'm ready to do the legs and back workout tonight and will keep the ball rolling, no matter what. I do feel better overall and have noticed improvement in my flexibility and aside from the workout, the fibro pain in the morning seems to be improving. I have a fantasy about being able to do all of these workouts with the same ease (or ability) as Tony Horton and his ultra-fit spawns of evil. After the pain I experienced with the yoga, it's become personal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 4 -- I'm still kicking

What the hell? I have no idea what these two gentlemen are really doing, but I hope at least one of them gets dinner and a few minutes of spooning afterward.

So. DAY 4 : I did the yoga and although I didn't finish, I really gave it a hell of a go. I'm still in quite a bit of pain. There's a strange issue with fibromyalsia which I experience often. It's a sensitivity to touch, which usually feels like burning in my extremities -- mostly my forearms and back. That, in addition to morning stiffness (not the good kind) but acute pain, particularly in the early hours of the day really screws things up. I must say, the yoga was really invigorating, in spite of the pain. I've been told more than a few times that yoga is particularly good for fibro.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 1... Kill Me Now

A little background. I'm a 47-year-old male, with a family history of heart disease and diabetes. I've suffered with fibromyalgia for a few years now, and anyone who has this disorder knows what it's like -- you go to the doctor looking for answers and instead, you get medication. You've gone through all the tests -- arthritis? no wait... thyroid disease ... hold it, you're having an allergic reaction to something ... oh, I got it, Lyme disease! Sometimes it seems like it's never going to end. Fortunately, my doctor is a good one. She never stopped trying to get to the bottom of my symptoms. Finally, fibromyalgia. I'm not one who sat around wondering what was going on with my body either. I kept researching and following up with the symptoms and they kept leading back to fibro. I had a pressure-point test and almost went through the roof (with pain) when my doctor pressed on these spots. So.. there it was, finally, a diagnosis. What do I do now? Well, I kept studying about the disease and went to a class my insurance offered to help me better understand what I was dealing with.
Yes -- there are drugs out there and sometimes they help. Other times I get plain sick of the pain killers and anti-inflammatory stuff I put down my gullet. I've tried everything from Advil to Indica, and although I'm a passive exerciser, I've come to realize that you really have to kick this situation in the ass. I've been told more than once since this diagnosis that exercise will improve your fibro symptoms exponentially. So, I've started P90X and I'm currently on day 3 of a pursuit that has been both energizing and painful. Day 1, which was working chest and back, left me in quite a bit of pain the following day. I was too sore to even do the "Ab-Ripper", and although I felt like a bit of a wimp, I figured I'd let nothing discourage me. I flailed like a monkey on fire when doing the plyometrics on day 2, but did arms, shoulders and the ab ripper for day 3. ab ripper is the dance of the dark lord. I know I'm gonna hurt like hell tomorrow, but I'm gonna see this through if it kills me. I'll post day 1 photos soon to show my progress -- I think the humiliation of such photos will keep me going. I think that one day (hopefully soon) I'll be Tony Horton's disciple, but for now, I think he's Satan.