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.)


My first few days of work were wonderful and awful. It was so good to see all of my co-workers, and to get so many hugs. They’d actually left my desk intact– I couldn’t believe that it was still there waiting for me.

Half of the department is gone now. This contract was supposed to last a year, but it’s dragged on for almost two. Many people have become impatient about putting their lives on hold, and they’re moving on, finding new jobs and foregoing their severance. The people who remain seem tired and stressed, but still as kind and funny as ever.

I’ve been staying at the home of Kim, a supervisor in the department whom I love. Her house is almost an hour from the office, and it’s just beautiful. I go out on the deck in the mornings and drink coffee, listen to the birds, and watch old dead leaves float from trees, making room for new ones.

My body has not been holding up well through this, but my supervisor told me on my first day back not to worry about anything. She’s given me an unbelievably easy job to do, so there’s no stress involved. She also made it clear that I am to leave whenever I need to, and she doesn’t care if I’m late. “I just want you to get your severance, and to have a proper going away lunch like everyone else.” I heart her.

I have mixed feelings about it all. I’m so thankful for the opportunity, but I’m angry at my body. I’m coddling it, and in a way, so is everyone at work. Stress exacerbates fibromyalgia, but there’s absolutely none involved. I can sit or move around, or do anything I need to do to relieve the pain if it gets bad (including going home). If standing on my head would help the fibromyalgia, they’d provide me with a pillow and the space to do so. But nothing seems to matter. The fibro does what it wants to do, and what it wants to do is wipe me out with exhaustion and send pain shooting through my limbs. I find it all so frustrating. People can see the effects of this written on my face. I don’t want them worrying about me, or having to deal with this at all. It’s embarrassing to feel like a forty-seven year old ninety-two year old.

“I think the worst part of it is the mental aspect,” I told a couple of work friends. “The fact that I can’t control the pain or anticipate when it’s coming or how long it will last drives me crazy.” I try to keep it in the background, but it keeps screaming at me.

There are great lessons in all of this. I’m learning to let go and accept this gift that I’ve been given by the people at work, and to try to do it gracefully. I’m beginning to understand that I will never understand this syndrome, and that, try as I might, I’ll never be able to fully predict what it’s going to do. I’m trying mightily  not to hate my body for what it’s doing, but to instead listen to what’s it’s telling me, and to try to obey its orders as much as I can. I’m trying to learn to not be humiliated or feel “less than” because of all of this, but that’s been a little more difficult. Right now, I’m missing the part of me that was energetic and fun. I hope it comes back soon.

Quite honestly, I’m a bit terrified. I will never have an easier job, or one where I am accommodated to this degree. This wasn’t even a full work week, and I’m not holding up well. I’ll try again next week and the week after that, and hopefully, my body will respond better. But this experience has made me decide that I need to think much more seriously about the future, and how I’m going to survive financially with this uncooperative body of mine.