Post Bike Ride Post

June 22, 2008

Well, it’s the day after my bike ride, and no flare. A little less energy, but NO PAIN. This is amazing!


The supplements are definitely helping! Over six miles on my beloved bicycle today, and while that’s a far cry from last year, and an even farther one from the year before, it’s still progress! I had enough energy left over to do a bit of grocery shopping, write this little update, and I’ll be cooking dinner in a few minutes.

Of course, the real test is going to be later– I took it very easy on the riding, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t have a flair, but I feel really hopeful. And hopeful is a very, very good way to be feeling. It’s been quite a while!

Vitameatavegamin Regimen

June 19, 2008

Last week, I was at about my lowest ebb with all of this fibro stuff. The pain had gotten almost unbearable, I was terribly depressed, and– ugh. Just ugh. Stay with me though, it starts to get better.

On top of it all, I was getting these weird and awfully awful cramps in my calves that were making it hard(er than usual) to walk. I was a little concerned so I went to the doctor, who ordered some blood tests, and I’m scheduled to have some sort of test called a doppler next week (to rule out blood clots). I also have to get a mammogram. My boobs aren’t cramping, but he wants me to have one since I’ve never had it done (I know- shame on me), and he probably figured I was in so much pain anyway that we ought to go ahead and add some mammary mashing to the mix. Anyway, Doctor P. said that the calf thing may just be some new turn that my fibromyalgia has taken– another new and wonderful way that it’s decided to present itself. I haven’t gotten the results yet, but in the meantime…

I’ve decided to start trying out some vitamins and minerals to find relief, and y’know? It’s working! Yesterday, for the first time in forever, I drove home from work, and instead of feeling completely wiped out and heading straight for the sofa (which is what I’ve been doing since returning to work), I actually had some energy, and I got a few things accomplished around the house. Wow!

This morning, commuting back to work in Columbus from Dayton, I was feeling so happy and pain-free that I was actually calling people to just say, “Wow!” I felt good, like James Brown. My calves had stopped hurting too. It all made me a little wah-wah, because it’s been so long since I’ve had a really good day. In fact, I thought that there was a strong possibility that I might never have another. Not only was I feeling fairly tip top, but my calves had almost completely stopped hurting too. Woohoo!

I was a little wiped out a few hours after arriving back home, but still… I had several really great hours!

So… for now, here’s what I’m taking. I may change this up a bit, which I’ll explain in a minute.

Twinlab Stress B-Complex Caps

Nature’s Bounty Natural Vitamin E (400 IU)

Source Naturals Fibro Response, which is a combination of malic acid and MSM

Nature Made Magnesium (500 mg)

Nature Made Zinc (50 mg)

Jarrow Formulas Natural SAM-e (400 mg)

SAM-e is supposed help with fibro, but unfortunately it tends to make me a little too energetic at night, and it’s interfering with my sleep. I still have the racing weird dreams (last night’s saga had Ron Howard in it– not Opie Ron Howard, and not bald director Ron Howard, but more Richie Cunningham Ron Howard), and I never feel that I’m fully asleep– I’m always thinking about stuff, or saying things to myself like “Wow– how weird. Richie Cunningham’s in my dream).

Anyway, I’m going to stick it out with the SAM-e for another week or so, because I’m so loving having this energy, but if my sleep patterns don’t improve, I’m switching to htp-5, which supposedly does the same good things, but has almost no side effects.

I’m also looking into a few dietary changes, and I’m trying to gear up to cut out (or at least cut back) on my beloved coffee and my sweet iced tea (it’s a southern thang, ya’ll). Fewer carbs, more fruits and veggies, and oatmeal a few times a week.

I’m so optimistic about all of this that I’m planning to start bicycling again. Two years ago, I was doing up to sixty-five miles per weekend. Last year, that decreased to about thirty-five, and this year, my fibro interfered so much that I almost became phobic about riding, for fear that it would cause more flares. Now I’m feeling like I might be able to handle it. I’ve even ordered a little basket for the front, so I can take the pup along.

So that’s how things stand right now. I’ll keep you posted, but I really hope that you find some of this helpful. Oh, and best of all? That entire bag of these vitamins cost less than a one month prescription of the Lexapro I was taking, and it’s helping more.

(Note: I’m not taking Vitameatavegamin.)

Down and Ow

June 9, 2008

I’m having a horrid flare. You know the drill– insomnia, pain screeching through every nerve ending, exhaustion, fogginess. I’ve given up on trying to figure it all out. Well, actually, I’m lying– I’m still trying to figure it all out.

I was up at 4:30 this morning, hurting and sleepless, so I did some searching for fibro information on the Web and found this great site— 100 tips for coping with fibro. I like the author’s route of changing diet and nutrition, and of going “au naturel” as far as medications. I’m going to start taking OPCs, which are a type of antioxidents, and I’m also going to try cutting out foods from the nightshade family for a while to see if it makes a difference. This includes tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers and eggplants. Sigh…no more baba ganouj.

I’ll keep you posted on this. In the meantime, I’d love to hear anyone and everyone’s best tips for dealing with fibro. Here are some things that I can’t do with out, and one thing that I want really, really badly.

Bath Therapy Bath Salts: You can get these at any drug store, at Target, Wally World, etc. A long soak in a bath of this stuff really does help me.

Heating Pad: I named my heating pad Antonio Banderas, which makes me feel a little less old ladyish when I lie on it. I really hate heating pads, but it does bring relief.

Lidoderm Pain Patches (by prescription): Make sure it’s Lidoderm, as some of the others have um, killed people. This is great for dulling pain in a localized area. You’re only supposed to use one at a time, but I often cut mine in half so that I can get relief in more than one place at once.

Massage: Can’t afford this often, but a really good massage therapist can work wonders sometimes. One day, when I’ve one the Mega Millions Jackpot, I’ll hire a live-in personal masseuse. I’ll call him Antonio Banderas, and change my heating pad’s name to Bud or Mac or something.

Love: Being around kind and loving beings makes my life gentler, and often eases things. My boyfriend and my cat make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and I’ve recently gotten a new little puppy that sits on my lap and warms my heart. Gentleness really does help combat the harshness of daily life.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper and Pillow: These haven’t helped so much lately, but for a few years there, I would not have been without them.

Osim IMedic Massage Chair: At about $2000, I simply can’t afford one of these, but this chair is amazing. It’s available at Brookstone, and I recommend that you try one out if you have a store nearby. Honestly, it’s fantastic, and I’ve actually driven to Brookstone a few times to use one when I’ve been hurting badly. My reason for this has been to experiment, to see if it makes a difference when I’m hurting a lot. It does make a difference– it really does. Now, if Brookstone would just gift me with a chair in exchange for this plug, I’d really appreciate it.

If I think of any other things that you haven’t heard a thousand times, I’ll let you now. In the meantime, what helps you?