Tag Archives: chronic illness

Health Update July 2019

3 Aug

It’s funny how the hardest part of writing these updates is this introduction. I rarely know just what I want to say right off, so I end up staring at the page, wishing I could just write something, because the rest of the post is done and then I can finish it off! Alas, intros are hard. Apparently. Maybe not for you though.

Anyhow, I’ve gotten this one written up at last.

fightinglymemigraines

 

 

Overall Health: I think I can say that, yet again, I’m doing better. Fatigue, while less than it was, is still a major struggle. My fibromyalgia has kicked up in my back and calves/feet again.

7/22- increased LDN to 2.5mg a day.
7/24- started atovaquile, taking at breakfast – before 9am. Felt decent all day,  worked in yard am.  Tired in evening but no big crash
7/25- fatigue all day long. Felt good aside from it. Couldn’t nap.  Migraine tried to flare mid aft. 
7/26- felt well,  cleaned in am.  Fatigue hit around 11am. Related to new pills? 
7/29 increased  LDN to 3 mg. Slept better,  fuzzy brain early am next morning
7/30 – felt good in am,  cleaned house and worked out. Tired in aft but not overwhelming.  Napped after dinner.  Migraine kicked up to a 7? Back/left calf hurt evening and all night. 

7/31 – ran errands in morning, felt ‘off’ and was sensitive to smells while out.  vision loss and nuclear migraine early afternoon, slept/cried/iced for about 4 hours, felt decent enough to get up and make dinner.

8/1 – fragile and dealing with aftermath of nuclear migraine. trying to keep the migraine from flaring again

Migraine:  Only one nuclear migraine (and that was the 31st!)  Mostly, the pain level gets to an 8. And hovers. I’ve had a bit of the odd visual auras (which I found out at my last dr appt that it’s called scintillating scotoma) but not near as much as last month.

Sleep:  I’m still getting 6 to 7 hours a night, with at least 3 wakings. Majority of them I need the ice pack on the pillow.  But there was about a week where I barely needed the ice pack. *yes, this is the exact same as last month!*

Screenshot_20190802-120408_Instagram

Memory/Brain Fog:  This has improved a little bit more – I’m noticing I’m able to recall words/names easier. But when the brain fog hits – man, it hits.

Vision: The auras have eased.  I just talked about this in the migraine section – go check out that article, it’s about these colors/blur/black spots. Well worth the read.

TMJ:  I’m happy to report that my teeth don’t ache very often anymore. I’ve still been taking naps without my night guard (shame on me, I know) and that is when my jaw is most tense but… well, I figure that’s my fault. It only pops a few times a week now.

Screenshot_20190802-120336_Instagram

Fatigue: This has decreased a bit, it still hits me and when I take naps they can be a few hours long, but I’m not taking them every day. And I’m not falling asleep directly after dinner either –well, mostly. Overall, I’m able to do more, I just have to space things out and be aware that I need rest times in between.

Fibromyalgia:  As I said above, my back is hurting again. And, I still have my calf aching/cramping/burning pain fairly regularly and my feet do these ‘great’ little nerve freaking out sessions.

Weight Loss: Minimal, but I’m determined to focus on this again!

Mood: I’m very pleased to report that this has mellowed out again and I’m certain it’s because I started back up on Xiao Chai Hu Tang. Remind me to stay on these chinese herbs. It’s worth it. – this reminder is still real guys.

Digestion:   This is still, thankfully, at my normal.

Screenshot_20190802-120351_Instagram

As my notes said, I started taking atovaquile just over a week ago. I haven’t noticed any negative or positive side effects from it yet, so I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor. She has me on it for 30 days, just to see if we can kill off some of these buggers. (no, I’m not very technical, sorry.)

I’m still taking NP Thyroid every morning. As well as LDN every evening. Each week I’m increasing that dosage until I hit 4.5 mg.

Since I can’t remember the last time I updated my full list of supplements/vitamins, I’ll share them with you today:

Andrographis

B2

Bearberry (I’m finishing up the bottle I have and then stopping)

Butterbur

Berberine

Calcium

Chaste Tree/Vitex

Complete Mineral Complex

Feverfew

Fibronol

H2PLX

Horse Chestnut

MG

St. John’s Wort

Turmeric

COQ10

Iberogast

Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Liver

And that’s it folks, if you’ve got any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. I did want to share the post that I wrote about the scintillating scotoma (before I knew what they were called).

Thanks for stopping by SGL today,

Laura

 

Health Update June 2019

28 Jun

When I go to write these health updates, the very first thing I do is pull out my phone and go to my notes. Where I’ve faithfully – or not- kept a log of how I’ve been feeling. Then I’ll email that log to myself and copy and paste it below my Overall Health section… (the wonders of technology that makes that so simple). Well. When I just searched for it, apparently I didn’t put down one day in my log for this month. Not even one day! So, I’m having to rely completely on my memory for this post. Which should be interesting…

fightinglymemigraines

 

Overall Health: I hesitantly say that I’m doing better than I was at last month’s update. Overwhelming fatigue and visual auras still command much of my attention though.

Migraine:  Thankfully, I haven’t had  more than one turn into a nuclear migraine but there have been several that have wanted to. Mostly, the pain level gets to an 8. And hovers. There have been several days that I didn’t need a clonidine until later in the afternoon, and others where I was taking one right after getting up (and all through the day) and yet nothing would touch the pain.

Sleep:  I’m hitting 6 to 7 hours a night, with at least 3 wakings. Majority of them I need the ice pack on the pillow.  But there was about a week where I barely needed the ice pack.

Screenshot_20190627-144236_Instagram

Memory/Brain Fog:  This has improved a little I think.

Vision: The auras just don’t want to go away this month. Most days I have a vague sense that my vision is off somehow and others, I get the more intense colors/blur/black spots. Thankfully so far this month, I haven’t lost sight in my left eye at all.

TMJ:  This is about the same as last month although since I’ve been randomly falling asleep during the day (this means without my night guard), my jaw is tenser and my teeth ache a little more. Other than carrying my night guard around with me, I’m not sure how to help this.

Screenshot_20190627-144226_Instagram

Fatigue: I can’t even tell you how much this has decreased you guys. Partly because it would be hard to describe that change and yet get across how much it is still affecting me -and like I’ve mentioned above, I’m taking almost daily naps. Most of them are right after dinner (picture me dragging myself from table to couch without cleaning up from the meal type of tired).

Fibromyalgia:  Even with cheating last week, this hasn’t been near too terrible. I still have my left side (especially my calf) aching/cramping/burning pain fairly regularly but the intensity has eased.

Weight Loss: Minimal

Mood: I’m very pleased to report that this has mellowed out again and I’m certain it’s because I started back up on Xiao Chai Hu Tang. Remind me to stay on these chinese herbs. It’s worth it.

Digestion:  We’re staying at my normal! Which, is clearly not what it should be but I’m okay with it for now.

Screenshot_20190627-144250_Instagram

SO. I’d like to state the reason for my improvements for this month.

We took me off the doxycycline. The day before I went in to my doctor, it hit me that I’d been feeling awful for 6 weeks. And I’d been on the doxy for….6 weeks. My body just couldn’t handle it. You know what else has disappeared? The rash all over my face.

I am still taking the NP Thyroid and believe that it’s helping my fatigue.

It’s been a slow battle coming back from being on that antibiotic and I’m thankful that I’m getting back to how I felt before. Of course, it’s frustrating that I fell that far downhill but I’m glad I tried it because now we know. 

As of the 24th, I started LDN’s (low dose naltrexone)- we’re targeting my migraines with this. I’ve been told that they are tolerated very well. We’ve started me out at 0.5mg and are going to slowly increase the dose til I reach 4.5mg (which is the standard dosage). I had to really force myself to do this – after such a strong reaction to the antibiotics, I really just wanted to curl up and lick my wounds. But I knew that that wasn’t the right decision. I can’t waste any more time that I could potentially be getting well, just to get over fear. Sometimes, that’s the right choice. But this time, I knew I had to push myself and just try it.

Because I can’t even imagine life without migraines. I’ve been having them since I was…18 or 19. To go through a day, two days, a week! without one… Ahhh, what a thought. And if we can get these to go away/ or just minimize them, we believe that some of my other pains will ease as well.

So here’s to being bold and trying new things in the slow journey to health.

~Laura

 

 

Health Update Apr/May 2019

30 May

All I can say is at least I’m getting this up before June starts. My levels, and types, of pain have made getting this post up such a bear. fightinglymemigraines

 

 

Overall Health:  It’s been a roller-coaster ride these past six weeks. That’s really all I can think to say about it. I went from doing pretty well during the days and crashing so-so in the evenings to….rough days and passing out at 8pm because I just can’t stay awake any longer. (only to wake up an hour later and not be able to sleep again til midnight.)

 

Apr 16 started doxycycline                                                                                                              Apr 30- good energy most of the day.  1 mile walk plus housework. Migraine kicked up afternoon,  clonidine calmed.  Started thyroid 9am. Tiny bumps on face in evening, not sure why? 
May 2- decent energy in am,  hit with fatigue around noon.  IV in afternoon.  
May 3- felt pretty well today,  fatigue hit afternoon. Tiny bumps on face again this evening and a tad bit last night. 
May 5- bumps again today, also around collarbone, some itchy. Fatigue early afternoon, napped but then foggy and dehydrated rest of afternoon.  Hungry like crazy in evening,  migraine kicked up a lot.  
Observations: fibropain is less intense.  Migraines are still sharp and increase a lot in evenings.  Clonidine helps,  overall but not always.  Evening hunger is common.  Fatigue is light in am but hits mid afternoon at least.  Needing a nap most days.  Foggy brain after. 
Went off of thyroid on may 11th to see if it was causing the rash on my face. Fatigue hit hard whole of following week, rash still present although not as bad? Fibromyalgia flared the same week.  Started thyroid back up on the 17th.
May 17 – visual  aura and nuclear migraine. 
May 21 Fatigue has eased a little bit since Sunday.  Felt off all day,  fending off another crash this evening

Migraine:  SIGH. The pain has been quite terrible lately, with one full blown visual aura/nuclear migraine this past Friday and three more attempting to blow up.

Sleep:  I’m hitting 6 to 7 hours a night, with at least 2 wakings. Majority of them I need the ice pack on the pillow. Several I’m having night sweats -even with the ice, joy oh joy – and of course, never waken feeling refreshed.

Memory/Brain Fog:  Brain fog has stayed around again. It’s kept my ability to focus on things at a minimum.

 

Vision: I have had four  FIVE visual auras in the past week. That’s about four more than I’ve  been having every few months. I’ve noticed that even in between lately, my eyes aren’t quite right. Looking at black text/white background can be difficult…

TMJ:  I have just realized this has eased. My teeth aren’t hurting as much or often as they used to. It has only popped a few times in the past few weeks. My jaw still regularly hurts but overall, this has definitely improved.

Screenshot_20190529-083154_Instagram

Fatigue: This is still my biggest current struggle. It can go from just marginally dragging to laying me out and making me fall asleep within half an hour. (this makes for interesting planning of errands…)

Fibromyalgia:  In a way this has decreased slightly. But my left side (top of head down to toes) frequently aches. If I stay away from processed sugar, the fibro stays down –remind me of this next time I’m tempted to cheat and have sugar.

Weight Loss: Non-existent.

Mood: This has been a bit topsy-turvy the last little bit but I’m sure it’s because of the levels of pain I’ve been dealing with. And hormones – hormones out of whack are fun. Eesh.

Digestion:  We’re back to my normal! woohoo!

Like I said in my notes above, I went off the Thyroid for several days to see if the mostly invisible rash that has appeared on my face was connected to it. I’m fairly confident now that it’s not, but the rash is still there (at least it is mostly impossible to see!) and I’m not sure why. I’ve also been trying to tell if the doxycycline has helped any of my symptoms, but really, with how I’ve been feeling, it’s so hard to separate the pain, you know? Even doing this update, it’s still all so foggy to be able to tell. I’ve also only been on the doxy for a month and a half, so I doubt that’s long enough to be able to tell anyway.

I will add about the Thyroid though, that I think the fatigue was going down after I first started it – so I’m hoping that will start happening again soon. I mean, I was taking Abby on a mile walk in the mornings, doing some house cleaning and making yummy dinners. Which, for me, is a pretty full/energy burning day. And now I’m barely getting her to the park, doing maybe 20 min of light cleaning and sort of maybe throwing a semblance of dinner together. Augh. I know this journey of healing is an up and down, switchback type of road but I’m ready to be through this particular rough stretch. Especially since I know that the pain in my left side would disappear if I was able to lose some weight.

~Laura

Health Update Jan/Feb 2019

8 Mar

Well, it’s a little later than I wanted to get it up, but my health update for January and February is finally here.

fightinglymemigraines

 

 

Overall Health:  Fatigue and fibromyalgia have been hard this past month odd.  Having motivation to get anything more than the bare minimum done has been hard most weeks.

Jan 22- still bad fatigue but went grocery shopping in am. Brain fog in afternoon/evening. Migraine kicked up in late evening but not severe. Some achy fibropain last night and thru today
Jan 25 – less fatigue the past few days and have been able to take short naps. Migraine kicks up in evening. 
Pre-cycle symptoms: fibro flaring in calves, back pain, weird/bad dream
Jan 30- tired first thing but had decent energy thru out the day. Some minor fibro cramps in calves and hands. Left hip hurting in afternoon and evening. Decent day overall
Jan 31- pretty good today till fatigue hit in afternoon. Nap and clonidine kicked the migraine. Left calf cramping
Feb 2- fatigue and migraine upon getting up. Took 2 clonidine in am and took a 2 hr nap. 
Feb 6 – increased iberogast to 2 drops/day. 
— bad fatigue most of weekend and Monday (11th) and even worse on Tuesday (12th). Severe migraine on Sunday (10th). Wondering if the iberogast is why the fatigue is so bad? Or am I going low on h2plx? 🤯
Feb 13- fatigue wasn’t as bad today. Did minor housework, blogged, read. Only took one nap. A bit of a struggle to keep migraine down all day. Did 1 drop iberogast in am and evening each. Testing to see if it helps. Left hip and calf started hurting in evening
Feb 18- changing times of iberogast seems to be helping fatigue. Even with a busy Friday and Saturday, I was still able to take Abby to the park this morning. Migraine/mood flared afternoon. Calmed by evening. Left calf and Hip hurt in evenings. Took half a melatonin
Feb 19- decent in am, a little more myself. Ran to Costco in am. Hit w/ fatigue after but not awful. Migraine flared to 6/7 in afternoon. Ice and tylenol/Bayer helped. Going to bed with ice pack 💤 left calf tight, migraine in temples
Feb 25- some less fatigue but still strong. Migraine kept down with Tylenol/aspirin. Took one nap. Upset stomach afternoon and then again after dinner. Bloated stomach. Also had the sweats when stomach was worst. Foggy brain. 
Feb 27- pain in eyes, felt like auras were coming. Fatigue. took a nap and woke up exhausted. Migraine off and on all day. Did some housework etc today though so, some improvement. No stomach issues!

Migraine: Frequently, Clonidine (my prescription pain killer) doesn’t work and I take 2 Tylenol/1 Bayer instead and that does the trick. Some days, the migraine refuses to ease but others, it chills out readily. Commonly it’s in my left temple, band around the head or base of skull.

Sleep: Surprisingly, I’ve started getting more like 8 hours of sleep a night. (still with a few wakings each night of course). I’m not taking a nap every day, which, while that’s nice, I think most days I should be and just can’t.

Memory/Brain Fog: brain fog has been a definite struggle still. And of course, some words are still escaping me.

Nutrient IV : so this might be an odd category but I want to keep track of what we do, and how I respond to it. We did a drip bag this time with the full spectrum of B vitamins, A bunch of Vitamin C and whatever else she adds to it =) and a push of glutathione at the end. I’d hoped to notice a huge increase in my energy and decrease in symptoms (like I used to) but I didn’t. I noticed a small change in those things at least.

IMG_20190223_184658_502

Vision: I didn’t have one major visual aura! I have had the feelings of the beginnings of them but have been able to catch them (ice pack, eyes closed in a dark room, protein snack). However, I have had just…aching in my eyes the past few weeks. Dryness as well.

TMJ: I’ve been having more painful popping the last week odd, but before that it was pretty non-existent. My teeth/jaw do hurt every day, pretty badly sometimes.

Fatigue: Once again, this has been such a killer. I have increased my dosage of H2PLX to 3/day and that has already helped. (I just did this a few days ago). While I don’t like the price of H2PLX, the results can’t be denied. I’m trying to get more iron in my diet and contemplating going back on the liver because I’m just so worn out from this. It’s a crushing exhaustion that just wears you down all day.

Fibromyalgia:  Sadly, this hasn’t eased since last month. My left calf is still tense/self flexing throughout the day and my knees/elbows hurt to some degree all day/night. My knees hurt the worst though – some days they get ‘stuck’ and I have to slowly straighten them. Ice is still the current magic treatment.

Screenshot_20190307-080339_Instagram

Weight Loss: I have gained and lost, gained and lost. It’s not been a priority lately but I’m trying to focus on it again. I’m trying to cut out corn, starch and processed sugar.

Digestion:  Somehow, this has eased to an extent. I still get an upset stomach a few times a week. I still need to talk to my doctor about it (as I ended up having to cancel my last scheduled appointment). I’m wondering if the Resveratrol was one of the main culprits to it freaking out so badly.

Mood: Overall, this has stabilized, and I haven’t even started taking the Xiao Chai Hu Tang. (one of my favorite herb combos you guys, look into it! Check the source though, the levels of arsenic can be high).

I just decided to share with you the vitamins/supplements that I’m currently taking, since I’ve had to really pare down and start over on these.

2 each : Feverfew, Magnesium, St. John’s Wort, Fibronol

1 each: Turmeric, Vitex, Andrographis, Berberine, Butterbur, Bearberry

1 Complete Mineral Complex only 3/week

3 H2PLX/day

2 drops/day Iberogast

I am wanting to start next, B2 and Calcium (and so many more after those). I also need to work on increasing the Iberogast.

Screenshot_20190307-080429_Instagram

~This has been a hard month, to be completely honest. I feel like I’ve hit a valley and pitched a tent there. With my brain fog, I can’t write. With my knee pain I can’t be up and around as much as I want/need to. With the fatigue, I’m so drained that just getting food and taking care of Abby is all I can do most days.  I am trying to focus on the positives – one of those being that the fatigue has eased slightly the past few days – and look ahead to better days.

~Laura

In case you missed it, I wrote about a time recently that I took Excedrin. I used to take it regularly for my migraines (about 10 years ago now) but no longer! It’s just…. well, go check out the post. I also have a series on Encouragement for Living with Chronic Pain. 

Health Update Dec 2018/Jan 2019

23 Jan

I don’t like writing these sometimes – although living the pain is obviously worse. Heh. Over the weeks I’d really slipped into ‘pure survival’ mode. Which for me, means I wasn’t doing any detoxing or anything to help diminish the pain except for my vitamins and clonidine. So, beginning of the new year, I have made it a point to do the extra detoxes and other things to try and get me out of this funk.

 

fightinglymemigraines

Overall Health: I’ve taken some steps backward this past month and that is incredibly frustrating. Stomach issues and debilitating migraines and fibro flaring again.

Dec 20- drove to bend. Very tired after but did pretty well all day
Dec 21- fatigue and some fibro. Short nap in afternoon, fuzzy brain after
Dec 22- decent fatigue, but went shopping. 2 hr nap in afternoon, helped. Some fibro cramps in feet/ constant left calf cramping. Took 1/2 melatonin at night
Dec 24- didn’t sleep well last night. Achy all over – teeth, joints etc. So tired. Some migraine
Dec 27- drive home from bend. Didn’t crash much at all in evening
-Have been having painful twitches for a few weeks. Right eyelid twitching off and on. Fatigue strong but mostly not overwhelming.  
Dec  29- fatigue and some fibropain. Bad foot cramp last evening that took a while to wear off. 
Iron breath has returned, even though stomach feels fine. Didn’t take any pills/drops on Jan 1 to see if that helps like it did last time. 
Jan 2nd – vision loss and nuclear migraine in evening after feeling well all day. Day 25. 
Jan 3- recovery from last night. Fatigue and sore. 
Jan 7 – bad fatigue all day with minimal ability to focus. Migraine and fibropain kicked up bad in evening. BAD. E of C?
Jan 8 –  tired and achy but better so far. Went grocery shopping in am
Jan 17- IV day. Fatigue
Jan 18. – strong fatigue (probably from yesterday) started feeling strange in afternoon, kinda shaky and like I’d had caffeine or sugar. Stomach worse the later it got
Jan 19- stomach still upset. Not hungry in am

Migraine: Two nuclear migraines in the space of a week along with a few almost- nuclear ones. The daily ones have been responding to a combo of tylenol and aspirin better than clonidine lately (so strange).

Sleep:  I’m still getting about 7 hours with 2 or 3 wakings in the night. Most nights I am completely exhausted but have to wait til I can get the pain down to a decent level to go to bed.

Memory/Brain Fog: I’ve been struggling with words a lot lately. Brain fog has been a pretty frequent thing as well.

screenshot_20190121-152043_instagram

Vision: I had two visual auras in the space of one week. Sigh.

TMJ:  It pops painfully frequently and aches so that my teeth hurt daily. The front of my neck has started hurting again as well. I really need to get in to my bodywork doctor soon.

Fatigue: sadly, this has increased once again and stayed strong. I have been resistant to naps lately, just having gotten so very tired of sleeping so long during the day. I’m sure this isn’t a good way to handle fatigue… It’s just been weighing me down every single day.

Fibromyalgia:  It’s increased a bit since last month. My left calf is still tense/self flexing throughout the day and cramping in my feet/calves. I’m glad that they haven’t started again in my hands/elbows though. Ice is still the current magic treatment – be it on my calves or neck. If I’m resting, I’ve got one on me.

Weight Loss: Oy. I was losing steadily and slowly and now it’s just to the point where I’m hoping I can start working out again so i don’t end up at the weight I was when I first started losing a year ago. Augh.

screenshot_20190121-151905_instagram

Mood: I’m sad to report that this has been touch-and-go the last while. I’ve run out of Xiao Chai Hu Tang and haven’t replaced it. (the price is what’s stopping me but I’m going to have to break down and do it soon.)

Digestion: Not good. I have been struggling with iron breath and sometimes an upset stomach again. Cutting back the amount of pills I take has helped but it hasn’t taken care of the problem. I’m really not sure what’s going on – if it’s something I’m eating or what. But I go in to see my Dr. in a few weeks to talk about it.

~Laura

If you want to check out a post about pain keeping you up at night, The Dark before the Dawn is the one for you. Or check out Chronic Illness Silence to read about feeling like I often have a gag in my mouth about my health. This title says it all – Unexpected Side Effects of Chronic Pain.

How much more will Chronic Illness steal from me?

11 Dec

As a girl, I never used to think about growing older. Oh I did in the sense of ‘what do I want to be when I grow up’ and that sort but I never thought past that. Who does when you’re twelve years old and running around barefoot with your pigtails slapping your shoulders?

But with the passage of time, my looking ahead has changed. As it does for everyone. Dreams shift with the wind-blown sand. Hopes are shattered like glass. Sunrises fill your eyes and heart with fire.

chrncillnsssteal

 

Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

Now, instead of career goals and adventures waiting in the future, I look past the busy years to the slow rocking of a chair on a porch. I picture myself sitting there, a blanket on my lap and a long braid down my shoulder. My eyes are dimmed but I can see well enough to read a favorite novel from time to time.

I think about myself, white-haired and worn out. And wonder. I wonder what will I have done in the intervening years?  Will I have struggled against this disease that whole time, being relegated to wishing and hoping but stuck fighting just to stay alive? Or will the miracle that I’ve been praying for, finally happen, and I am able to move forward. Move toward a dream. Or two. Or even three.

(like children. a small homestead. Living in Israel for a year. Having writing be my career.)

I will have lived a full life, whether I am chronically ill for the whole length of it, or if I am able to beat it to a large enough degree that I can DO. Do the things that I dream of doing. Do things that I haven’t even thought of.

But there’s a fear deep inside of me. A fear that I rarely acknowledge. For what’s the use of pulling something out for the light of day that you can’t do anything about? But here I am, dusting it off and showing it to you.

There’s a fear deep inside that even though I am fighting and will continue to fight, Lyme will have stolen so many years from me that it’ll be too little too late…All we have is this one life, we don’t get a do-over. Already it has taken 13 years – my whole adult life – how much more will it steal?

Will the old woman in the rocking chair have been there since she was in her thirties?

Will life continue to pass by in a sort of haze-  being a part of it but still very much on the outskirts? I am better able to commiserate with people my grandparents age, than with my own.

Deadlines at work and stress over obnoxious coworkers? I have to go back to almost ten years ago to be able to identify with that.

Trying to navigate parenting a young one? Thanks to my health, we haven’t even been able to try for any kids of our own.

Unable to remember that important thing and not sure which doctor to try next? That I understand and have recent experience with.

Are you trying to gauge which medication/supplement/treatment is helping or not? Yep, right there with you.

And while I can laugh about this reality, shoved deep down inside is that fear that it will never change. And if it never changes, how will I react to that fact? I have survived these past few years by simply not thinking about it – by focusing on the fact that I have made progress in healing. Obviously that’s not a bad thing, focusing on the positive. But I know that this fear that is hidden away is going to rear its ugly head eventually and completely. freeze. me. Like it’s done in the past. I know it will again.

Along with that fear is the realization that even while fighting Lyme,  I can still have a full life. I can still chase a few dreams and make wonderful memories. Just like I’ve been doing the past 13 years. I finished Culinary School. Traveled overseas and across country.  Fell in love. Married. Moved a few times. Gained new friends and nieces and nephews. Picked up an old hobby. Started and finished writing a novel. Etc, etc, etc.

So I share this fear of mine with you not as someone without hope. But as someone that is trying to acknowledge, and share, the hidden things, the secret things that go on in someone living with chronic illness. Just because there may be healing going on, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a basket full of fears and worries still waiting to be dealt with.

~Laura

 

Health Update Sept/Oct 2018

16 Oct

Well, folks, over a week ago I was thinking about the little improvements that have been happening and realized how nice it was to be able to see them! And then, if you saw my FB or IG posts, you know that last tuesday I crashed and burned harder than I have in months. OY, but isn’t that how it goes? It doesn’t take away (fully) from the improvements but it takes away some of the optimism. I do want to look at where I was at this time last year though to maybe get some of that optimism back…hopefully. So let’s get to it!

fightinglymemigraines

Overall Health:  Flaring severity has decreased. Brain fog has eased. Fibromyalgia has increased. I’m still exhausted and completely tired of fighting for my health. I’m READY to move on to the next thing in my life to focus on – like becoming a published author maybe?

After a blood test last month, we learned that : my LDL’s are high, my adiponectin is high (dr wrote ‘fat burn’ next to it =) ), Omega-3s are low and that I most likely have SIBO. My doctor has thought that before but with the results of this test, we’ve decided to work on treating it.

I’ve started Resveratrol (2/day),  Bearberry (1/day), increased Iberogast to 14 drops/day.

Aug  16. Started DIM Detox, 1/day today only? Feel pretty good, tired. Napped. Worked on book! Low migraine late am. Fibropain shoulders down, minimal in wrists and hands. 
Aug 17- bodywork appt am. Migraine and fibromyalgia flared pretty badly in evening
Aug 20- energy in am, minimal pain until early afternoon. Migraine and fibromyalgia flared pretty bad in evening, as has been usual.
Aug 24- fatigue has eased and flaring in the evening has calmed down as well. Still some brain fog, fibromyalgia in joints/just all around aching that’s pretty painful and distracting. increased Iberogast to 14 drops/day last week. Am increasing liver, seeing if it helps with fatigue. 
THESE  above are ALL Sept dates!!!
Sept 28- migraine flared in evening with fibro                                                                             Oct 1- Increased Noni Fruit 3/day                                                                                                  Oct 2nd- decent fatigue all day went errand running and to the dog park. Fatigue kicked up late afternoon along with migraine. Fibro flaring later evening, especially in right hand. Day 17
Oct 4- fibro flaring last few days. Migraine  kicking up off and on all day. Back pain is pretty constant for a few weeks now. started resveratrol 1/day
Oct 5&6 upset stomach all day. Fatigue but still able to get up and do things. Brain fog gone
Oct 9 vision loss in am, avoided severe migraine. Slept most of the day, fatigue/recovery from the morning. Awful

20181004_215338

Migraine: These have been both marginally better, and much worse. — While I have had a slight decrease in severity some days, I also had a visual aura this past week so I feel like it evens out in the end.

Sleep: my doctor had me start taking 5Htp to help with my sleep (among other things) and it did help – a lot – I was waking less during the night, sleeping longer and feeling a wee bit more rested. The problem was that it was causing nightmares and messing up my stomach a lot. I have since gone off of it because the stomach stuff was just too rough. So, I’m back to seven hours tops of sleep with multiple wakings. With frequently needing an ice pack or heating pad.

Screenshot_20180908-155532_Pinterest

Memory/Brain fog: The answer is the same as last month – Neuroflam. It is a lifesaver. Not that I’m clear of either memory problems or brain fog but they aren’t so …debilitating now.

Vision: As I said, I had one vision loss this week, although it didn’t progress fully it was the worst I’ve had since June/July. I was able to halt the full nuclear migraine that follows though.

IMG_20181010_141838_703

Getting some editing done

TMJ: While it still isn’t popping too much, I would say this has increased lately because it aches SO OFTEN and my teeth just hurt frequently.

Fatigue: This has either been calm enough that I’ve been able to do minimal things (light cleaning, dog park, slow walks,etc) off and on thru the day or it has just hit me hard that I’ve been stuck on the couch for days on end.

Fibromyalgia: Once again, the biggest pain the past month. Well, along with the fatigue. There’s just a constant burning, tingling, throbbing in my limbs anymore, as well as occasional cramping. The cramping had disappeared for a few weeks but now it’s back occasionally. The overall aching has been keeping me up later at night, unable to relax enough to get to sleep. I’m still on ice at least once each day, but it’s typically a pretty fair bit of swapping out ice packs. I have been using the Tens Unit on my legs this past week and it helps so much! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.

Screenshot_20180924-214659_Pinterest

Weight Loss: YES! It’s not much but I’m pleased with any.

Mood: Thankfully this has evened out again!

~Laura

24 Jul

I’m sharing this post – a Letter to Lyme Disease – that is especially fitting for me lately. I hope you’ll take the time to click over and read it as it speaks to what those of us with chronic pain go through emotionally as well as physically.

IMG_20180620_200511_282

“I’m getting very tired of having to lay on an ice pack all the time. It’s the main thing that has been keeping my migraine down these past weeks. But. It would be nice to not have to be switching them out all the time. I miss the softness of my pillows.”

~Laura

 

Health Update April/May 2018

8 May

Once again, I am so glad I do these updates! It helps so much in keeping track of where I’ve been – and where I am. While I have been frustrated lately on just how expensive all my treatment is – how come insurance just won’t cover lyme treatments?! – I have to admit that it is all worth it. Out of curiosity, I brought up last year’s update  and the difference is striking. I don’t take melatonin or theanine to sleep anymore – ever! While my fibromyalgia is still painful, I can crochet pretty much as long as I want and it doesn’t get to the point of making me cry/scream. I no longer have disassociation. I am able to keep up with housework better overall. The things that I started taking/increased are all some of my favorites now – St. John’s Wort, Butterbur/Petadolex, iron supplement, etc. I have decreased the ceanothus to once a week though because I react to it so strongly.

 

fightinglymemigraines

Overall Health:  It’s a bit tricky to know how to summarize… The fatigue, fibro and migraines just seemed to hit and not want to ease for several weeks. Going to IV and bodywork didn’t help as much as they normally do. But the last few (?) weeks, I have noticed a bit of an improvement. Often, I see it in individual days rather than an increase over several days…

Mar 22- fatigue and migraine today. Crashing in evening with fibropain and migraine. Two or three clonidine. 
Seem to flare on days 15 and 22
Mar 24 – fuzzy brain and fatigue. Migraine hard to calm down throughout the day. 
April 4th – IV (push, not drip) yesterday. Woke up with a headache. Took 2 clonidine during the day to keep it down from a bad migraine. Felt pretty good otherwise. Had energy and ability to focus. Left calf tensed up quite a bit this evening – migraine flaring
April 5th – severe fatigue today. Migraine off and on. Hard time focusing. Left calf tight and foot tingling late evening. Three clonidine today
April 8th- a little fuzzy brained all weekend. Fatigue too. Some cramping. 
April 9- took one drop clonidine am. Mega fatigue hit late morning. Bad migraine early afternoon and most of rest of day. Started SAT.
April 13- increased SAT to 2/day. Some fatigue and migraine
April 16- bodywork Dr. 
April 17- calves cramping. Some fatigue. Nightmares
April 18- foggy brain and fatigue. Calves still cramping. Increased SAT to 3/day
Have mostly forgotten to take daily liver the past week. Haven’t noticed any difference? Fatigue has eased although it is still present. Brain fog is the same. Was busier this past week odd than have been in a while and have not CRASHED like I thought I would. Sensitive to smells and loud noises.
April 23rd- started Mineral complex again. Migraine off and on all day. Energy even though I’ve been tired and took two naps. Was a productive day.
April 24- was tired but not overwhelming. Took one nap, maybe two. Fibropain flaring in late evening, hip hurting too, going to bed a little early, hoping to sleep it away
April 26- fatigue hit today, even more so in the evening. Was hard to even eat dinner. Taking iron supplement didn’t help, like it normally does. Was also hungrier than normal. Front of neck has hurt a lot the past few days. Increase Mineral Complex to 2/day
April 28 – woke up feeling pretty good, fatigue eased. Front of neck still hurt but eased as day progressed. Took Abby to the park with start of migraine but eased by evening. Went to movie, took 3 clonidine before and during. Didn’t crash like I expected to afterward. 
April 29- woke up feeling even better today, still with some fatigue. No clonidine so far. April 30 – increase Complete Mineral Complex to 3/day.                                                           May 4th – start Molybdenum

Migraines: While I haven’t had any level 10’s (and just a few times of a hint of my vision going), these have been bad. And have often not responded to anything I do to get them down. And then other days, one clonidine is all I need. Very back and forth.

20180329_124624

Sleep: I am able to sleep longer than normal – up to 8 hours some nights! It’s been so nice. But. I have been waking up more often to use the bathroom.

Memory/Brain Fog: this has increased, frustratingly. Quite often, I won’t realize how bad it is until I leave the house.

Vision: Like I mentioned above, I had a few times of vision loss. But it was very minimal – the sparklers in my left eye that is the precursor to it, and then nothing else.

Fibromyalgia: This is just bad enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating. My left calf is always tense/hurting. My joints ache frequently and have had some random stabbing pain in my palms or base of feet.

TMJ: The front of my neck has HURT so much these past weeks. Even going to the bodywork doctor didn’t help it like it normally does. My jaw isn’t popping quite as much but my teeth still ache frequently.

IMG_20180409_135219_779

Fatigue: This has eased….most days, thank goodness. I do think the H2PLX has helped a lot. I tried going off my iron supplement and while I didn’t think at first there was any difference, there was. (it got to the point that I’d fall asleep mid-project…or almost fall asleep in the checkout line at the grocery store.) I now am taking it most every day again.

Weight Loss: I have been able to lose a tiny bit!

Mood: This has calmed back down again and I am so very thankful for that.

Bladder: Ahhhh, this one. This one has me a bit baffled. All of a sudden last week, I was needing to use the bathroom about every 10 minutes. And I’d wake up about 5 times a night. GAH. I don’t know why either. Thankfully it’s calmed down but it’s still more…active than it should be.

Screenshot_20180324-175953

~ Check out It’s the Lyme Life – may 2017 and Encouragement for living with Chronic Illness (the start of a 4- part series) for more!

 

 

Health Update Feb/Mar 2018

22 Mar

With it raining outside, corned beef in the crock pot, roasted veggies in the oven and the ingredients for veggie burgers prepped, I’m feeling accomplished – and worn out – this morning. But I’m finding that if I just rest for about an hour, I’m typically ready to get back up and do some more things. Like make the veggie burgers. And vacuum.  But just learning that I can replenish my energy supply, has made such a difference on my attitude – and in what I can realistically accomplish in one day. Of course, there are many days where I am relegated to the couch. And on those days, I seem to be fine with it – read : my brain is so fuzzy that I don’t care where I am as long as I don’t have to hold myself up. Slow progress is progress. And coming to terms with where I am physically does a whole lot for me mentally.

 

fightinglymemigraines

Overall Health: Still able to see improvement but fatigue and fibromyalgia have been flaring this month. A tad bit of mood struggles.

Feb 20- flaring fibromyalgia. Bad fatigue. Migraine kicked up early afternoon. Upset stomach mid evening for no apparent reason. This has been going on for a week ish, off and on 
Feb 22 woke up with migraine from the night before. Went away by mid morning. Felt decent most of the day. Came back early evening to a sharp 7. Took one clonidine. 
Feb 23- migraine kicked up quickly to an 8- neck and shoulders stiff, teeth aching, early afternoon. Two clonidine. Finally eased. Got really tired after making dinner. Calves very tight in evening. 
Feb 29 – some fatigue, upset stomach because I ate some coconut ice cream last night. IV today. Still feeling pretty decent the past few days, even though cycle is coming. Have been able to get multiple things done each day. 
Mar 2 – fatigue. Achy. Fibropain flaring a bit. If I wiggle my toes, a… Tingly (?) Feeling runs up my left calf. Have been overly hungry this evening. Took 3 clonidine again today. 
Mar 5- . Felt decent all day till after a bath. Migraine hit pretty hard and left arm started hurting bad.
Mar 6- woke up with migraine and arm still hurting. Had to sleep with an ice pack all night in my arm, tender to the touch, very achy. 
Mar 7 – woke up with fatigue and migraine but has eased as the day went on. 
Mar 8 – did better today overall until mid evening. Then crashed- migraine, fibropain, back pain. Took clonidine. Then Advil (for my back) a while later. Then fibronol, magnesium, feverfew. So tired but such pain
Mar 9- crashed pretty bad this evening. Was rough today but not awful. Tonight, fibropain, migraine, jaw is super tight and painful. Augh
Mar 11 – jaw hurt and popped all day. Fatigue was less. Migraine off and on all day. Crashed in evening, left calf is very tight making from my toes to hip ache, teeth are throbbing, migraine pulsing. Make. It. Stop.
Mar 15- saw Dr vogel today finally. Whole left side tense and hurting, right side was pretty upset too. Worked on my right kidney a bit as well. Had migraine and fatigue today, nap only helped a little. Brain fuzzy the past few days, mood a little off. 
Mar 19- 20 a bit brain foggy and fatigue but able to do things. Crashed in the evenings significantly.

IMG_20180227_114153_076

Migraines: While these have increased in severity again I am still having days with minimal/none.

Sleep: This has stayed the same, where I’m getting 7 hours a night (almost to the minute). I wake up about 2 times a night. I’m not needing many naps during the day but have mostly been able to when I need them. I did sleep almost 9 hours last weekend though.

Memory: haven’t noticed any change

Vision: Other than noticing they are blurry when I’m tired – especially tired and not wearing my glasses – my vision has been great

Fibromyalgia: This has flared just enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating. My left calf is always tense/hurting. My joints ache frequently and have had some random stabbing pain in my palms or base of feet.

TMJ: My jaw has been popping a lot along with my teeth aching frequently.

IMG_20180306_225736_413

Fatigue: This has flared enough that it’s kept me down on the couch at least half a day several times this month. I have started taking my H2PLX at lunch and dinner to see if it helps with the evening burn-out and I think it is, to a degree. I’m now thinking of increasing to 3 a day.

Weight Loss: GAH. I’ m trying not to be frustrated by this – I have gained. Even though I have been relatively strict on my eating (allowing some starch from time to time and a bit of ‘dairy’ every few days), I didn’t expect that to throw my plan of losing 5 lbs by my birthday so off track.

Mood:  this has been a bit off again, but not terrible

Bladder: the same as last month -> This has eased a bit I think. It’s at least to the point of my normal (which still isn’t where it needs to be)

Screenshot_20180322-104906

 

~Laura

A Musing Maverick

"What good amid these, O me, O life? - Answer: That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman

Elaine Howlin - Literary Blogger

Journaling, Reviews, Readathons

See Jayne Run

Navigating with Chronic Illness in a Self Absorbed World

prophetofwar.com

I will walk with you. Will you walk with me?

1WriteWay

I AM therefore I Write. Official site of Marie A Bailey, writer, knitter, and stray cat magnet.