Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Body Knows!

It seems like my body knows that I must get through the work week with as little pain as possible, but it seems to want to make up for the week on weekends.  I had minimal pain all week, but this morning I woke up and I can hardly move my arms because my shoulders and neck are killing me.  I also have a monster headache, but after almost 30 years of monster headaches I can deal with those.  My feet feel like I'm walking on shards of glass!

I'm glad I didn't have this pain during the week, but I would like a weekend off every once in awhile. I guess my brain and body know that I need every bit of strength and energy to get through my days, but it is wreaking havoc with my weekends.  I seem to spend my Saturdays trying to recuperate and recharge for the next work week.  This wouldn't be so bad, except it takes time away from my family.  I feel guilty for not wanting to do anything on Saturdays because I hurt so much, but luckily for me I live with a wonderful group of guys who pamper me and understand what I'm going through. 

I love being a teacher, and all that it entails. I love seeing the faces of my students when the light bulb goes on.  From the moment I step into the building until I get back into my car, I'm going nonstop! I don't think I could effectively do my job if I had the pain I have today.  It's bad enough the fibro fog hits at the most inopportune times, but my kids usually can figure out what I'm trying to say or what I was trying to write when it hits. 

This first week back wasn't too bad, and the fibro fog was pretty mellow until yesterday.  I think by yesterday I was exhausted from the week and my brain was acting pretty loopy. The great thing about teaching 5th graders is that they are quick to pick up on a spelling mistake or a misspoken word.  They are not obnoxious about correcting me, and I've learned to make it a game by telling them I was trying to see if they were paying attention.  Other times I'll blame it on a lack of coffee.  Either one usually works, and we have a good laugh about it!

So today I will rest up and conserve my energy.  Luckily it's a 3 day weekend which will allow me to spend extra time with my guys. I've taken my meds and the dreaded pain pill (which I hate taking unless absolutely necessary), and I will nap! Today is a me day!

Gentle Hugs,

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is my Daddy's birthday! Yes I'm 46 years old and I still call him Daddy! I'll admit it, I have no shame, I AM A DADDY'S GIRL!  Always have been, always will be! So Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you very much!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP)

Living with CMP is literally a pain in the butt.  I don't know what I hate more, the fibromyalgia or the CMP.  Actually it's worse when both of them are in flare up mode at the same time.  It seems to me that the CMP never really goes away.  It just varies in degree of pain.  Sometimes it only hurts if someone hugs to hard, accidentally bumps into me, or gives me a friendly hit on the arm, back, etc...

CMP Trigger Points
Lately I have been hurting more than usual.   I think it's a combination of trying to get used to being back at work, and the rainy weather we've been dealing with this week.  I have been especially hurting in the glutes and the trapezius muscles.  It feels like someone is constantly stabbing me in those particular areas.  It's hard to get comfortable when they hurt all the time.  I'm definitely hanging around a 10 on the pain scale! Both of my arms and legs hurt when someone touches me, but I can live with that pain. 

I've been afraid of getting the pain injections since I have never had any relief with cortisone shots for other problems.  I have thought about going to get a massage, but I'm afraid I'll hurt more after the massage.  I'm glad I found this website (look under the pain picture for link).  I'm going to do some more research and see if I can figure out how to deal with this pain.

Gentle Hugs,

Monday, August 26, 2013

What a Great Day!

I was so happy to see all my new students today! I teach 3 Reading/Language Arts classes, and I really have to say that all 3 classes were wonderful.  I didn't have any trouble with my breathing (remembered to use my inhaler this time), and made it through the day with only minor aches and pains.

All ready for work!

Today was also my oldest son's first day of college! I can't believe my little guy is a young man now! I'm so proud of him.

Spencer first day of college!

Spencer through the years!
The only part of my day that wasn't great was finding out that one of my students also suffers from fibromyalgia and migraines.  I feel his pain and wish I could take it from him.

I'm happy but exhausted! Going to sleep early so I'm ready for another great day!

Gentle Hugs,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy, Exhausted and In Pain!

Well I survived my first official week back at work.  It was great catching up with my friends and colleagues, I went to some great inservice trainings, and I finished setting up my classroom.  I am ready to receive students on Monday, and have at least the first 3 days planned out.  I'm planning on using the weekend to finish planning for at least the next 2 weeks.

Today was a very busy day! I got to work this morning and walked to my classroom.  I realized when I got to my room and was breathing heavily that I had forgotten to use my inhaler before leaving home this morning.  Luckily for me I keep an extra inhaler in my backpack, so I used it right away and sat down for about 5 minutes and was ready to go again.

I spent a lot of time it seemed running back and forth from my room to the workroom or office.  Our building isn't huge, but it isn't small either.  My room is located at the end of the second hall in a 3 hall building.  I wear a pedometer every day, and today I managed to log in 3.21 miles.  This was just in my building and in my classroom.  Needless to say, my feet are bothering me again.  My back hurts, and I have a monster headache.  To make matters worse, it's supposed to rain tonight so the rest of my body is starting to feel achy!

Regardless of the pain and exhaustion, I'm extremely excited for the first day of school on Monday.  I have missed teaching and can't wait to have students again.  I will not let the Fibro dampen my spirits! I will rest up this weekend and will be raring to go come Monday!

Gentle Hugs,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day Back to Work!

Well I survived my first official day back to work.  It was great seeing all my friends again, and we had a great day catching up.  The inservice wasn't too bad, but I would have wanted to spend the day doing more productive things than going over things I already know how to do! A friend of mine sent me this link that a teacher wrote about inservice trainings.  It's pretty funny, and pretty scary how accurate it is when it comes to how a lot of us feel during inservice.  I shared this with my colleagues and they thought it was pretty accurate also.

I am very happy that I haven't needed my oxygen tank at school, but I'm still getting headaches and am exhausted by the end of the day.  I came home and took an hour long nap because I was so tired.  I'm going to try to get to bed earlier tonight (couldn't fall asleep until midnight last night and was up at 5:45), and I may take my shower tonight so that I can sleep just a little bit longer.

I'm hoping by next Monday that my body will be used to the new routine and that I won't be as exhausted by the end of the day.  So for now I'm going to read some blogs, then it's off to my shower and then bed time! Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Gentle Hugs,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Busy Last Day of Vacation!

I can't believe after 5 months I'm finally going back to work! It's going to be nice seeing all of my colleagues again.  I saw a few of them today while I worked on my classroom, but there are many I have missed!

I had a very busy day for my last day of vacation.  I had to get up early to get myself ready to take Shane to school.  Then it was shot day at the allergist's, so that took up almost an hour and a half of my morning.  Since I was already out and about I decided to go to the local teacher store and craft store to buy things for my classroom.

I then had to go to the shoe store to buy some new work shoes I can wear with capri pants because it is still very hot here. By the way if you haven't tried SAS Shoes, I highly recommend them if you have problem with your feet.  I bought the Free Time Style since I can't seem to wear my regular tennis shoes anymore because my fibro is affecting my feet, and I can't wear sandals because I need ankle support for my knee.   The SAS Shoes may not be the prettiest shoes on the planet, but they certainly cushion your feet.*

Finally I made it to school after picking up Spencer from the house.  He spent his morning getting his schedule set up for his first day of college.  He has decided to take his basics at the local community college while he tries to decide what he wants to major in when he transfers to an university.  I've heard music therapy, sociology, and education.  At least I still have him at home for awhile. 

Spencer and I finally managed to finish getting everything in its place. and borders hung up on the walls.  I have a few odds and ends to tie up, but I could accept kids into my classroom tomorrow if it was the first day for them. 

So tomorrow I head back to work with a big smile on my face, and my inhaler in my bag.  Looking forward to catching up with everyone and hanging out with my grade level for the next 4 days.  Monday we get kids!!!!

Gentle Hugs,

*I am in no way affiliated with SAS shoes.  These are only my opinions!

Friday, August 16, 2013


I thought I was doing okay yesterday after setting up my classroom, and was going to get away with just a headache.  As the night progressed though, other parts of my body started hurting.  By bedtime I could hardly walk because my feet were very tender.  It feels like I'm walking on shards of hot glass!  My arms and legs are sensitive to touch, actually I will throw something at you if you even come close to my arms and legs! My pain scale number has definitely gone up from the 5 I was at yesterday.  I would say today I'm at about a 9.  Needless to say I didn't get much sleep last night and look like something from "The Walking Dead!"

I can handle the pain in my arms and legs (remember don't come to close to my throwing arm), but the feet are another thing!  Just the thought of getting up to go to the restroom gives me nightmares! So today is going to be a lazy, stay in bed kind of day. Thank goodness my hubby is off today and taking good care of me. 

Gentle Hugs,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Headache Time!

Went to work today to get my classroom ready for the upcoming school year.  We go back on the 20th and get kids on the 26th.  This was my first time back to my classroom since getting sick in March, so I really wasn't sure what to expect.  My wonderful substitute packed up my room for me so I wouldn't have to worry about a thing.  He did an awesome job, so unpacking the room wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, plus I had 4 helpers with me.  My oldest son Spencer convinced his best friends Sarah and Marsha to come and help, and then my dad dropped Shane off after he got out of school.

Best friends since 3rd Grade!

I took my oxygen tank with me just in case I needed it, but I only needed to use my inhaler to keep me going.  I did end up with a monster headache, and several parts of my body seem to  be mad at me and are throbbing.  On the pain scale I would say I'm only about a 5. I'm taking it easy the rest of the night so that I can go back tomorrow and finish up.  My helpers did all the heavy lifting and cleaning today, so I only have to put some things away.  Shouldn't take too long I hope!

Gentle Hugs,

Happy Birthday Zoe!

My beautiful niece turns 12 today!  Hope she is having a great day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Little 4th Grader!

Shaney has started 4th grade today.  He has been going to the same private school since he was 2 years old.  I found his first day of school pictures from Kinder to today's picture and put them together to see how much he has changed.  He skipped 1st grade, so there is no picture for that grade.

I always try to take the boys first day of school pictures by the same light switch in my house.  His Kinder picture was taken at Grandma and Grandpa's house because he spent the night there, so I had to rush over there and quickly take it before going to work.  Notice you can't even see the light switch anymore in today's 4th grade picture!

Gentle Hugs,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Can't Believe He's 18!

Today is my oldest son's 18th birthday! It seems like only yesterday I was walking my millionth lap around the hospital floor trying to get him to cooperate and convince him that he was ready to leave the safety of my womb and face the real world. Now he's an 18 year old man getting ready to start college.  He decided that he wanted his own tattoos for his birthday, so I took him to the place where I got mine and watched as he did his first adult thing.  It was not easy to watch.

Here are his tattos:

"Like a diamond from black dust, 
it's hard to know what can become if you give up."

His dog Willy's actual paw print! 

We had a really great day celebrating his life! We are so proud of the young man he is becoming. We love you Spencer more than words could ever say!

My Family!

My Baby and I!

Gentle Hugs,

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Handsome Little Man!

Shane starts 4th grade on Monday, which means getting his hair cut for the new school year.  We didn't cut his hair all summer so he had a little mop top growing on his head. He decided he wanted it shaved off military style!

His Before Photo!

Sent this to Grandma and told her he decided on a Mohawk!

Just kidding! My handsome little man!

I can't believe how much older he looks without the hair! He's ready for Monday and 4th grade now!

Gentle Hugs,

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Two days of trainings have left me worn out.  I'm hoping I can more energy by the time I officially go back to work on the 20th.  I need to start going to bed earlier (not always easy) and trying to get m 8 hours in.  I'm resting for a little while before I have to head out again to Shane's back to school orientation and meet the teacher night at his school.  Hopefully I don't fall asleep during the orientation. 

He's been going to the same private school since he was 2 years old, and the orientation never changes.  It's mandatory so every year we sit there and listen to same thing all over again.  I could do the orientation in my sleep (which might actually happen).

So off I go! I just wanted to check in just in case anyone cared!

Gentle Hugs,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Losing Weight

As anyone with fibro can attest to, losing weight is not always that easy.  You may have medications that work against you, your sleep patterns may be messed up which apparently affects weight loss, or you may be trying to figure out what foods to eat so that you don't end up in a flare up which is not as easy as it sounds.

I have been fighting with my weight for years now, so I can't blame it all on my fibro (or can I since I've probably had fibro for a lot longer than I thought?), but I gained about 40 pounds after my diagnoses.  I didn't realize I was gaining that much weight until I started having my breathing issues in March and I stepped on the scale to a whopping 265 pounds! YIKES! I knew my clothes were getting a little tighter, but holy smokes!  Before my asthma diagnoses, all my doctors kept telling me I couldn't breathe because of my weight. It took losing 20 pounds for them to take me seriously.

I think there is a certain prejudice against overweight people when it comes to getting a medical diagnoses.  Doctors want to blame everything on your weight because it seems to be easier.  I've been one of the lucky ones who hasn't ended up with diabetes or high cholesterol.

I lost the first 20 pounds out of spite towards the doctors.  I wanted to prove that my overnight problem had nothing to do with my weight.  Once that was proven, I decided I needed to continue losing weight for myself.  Knowing about the hole in my heart, and the fact that diabetes runs in my mother's side of the family (she has just started taking insulin shots), I have decided to start going through Weight Watchers* again, since it has worked in the past.  I'm now down 26 pounds, and I'm determined to lose at least another 26 by Christmas. I think losing 6 to 7 pounds a month is realistic.  If I can lose even more, GREAT!

So fibro beware! I will not let you stop me from attaining my weight loss goals.  You are in for a fight if you think I'm going to allow you to get the best of me!

Gentle Hugs,

*I am in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers.  This is only my opinion!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I Braved the Pain and Won!

I decided to go ahead and get my tattoo today.  I was only going to get the tattoo of an infinity sign with my boy's names weaved into it, but then decided to add a fibromyalgia tattoo also.  I figured if I was going to risk a flare up, I might well do it all at once.  My tattoo artist could see my nerves jumping as she did my tattoos, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I managed to survive with only a small amount of residual pain and a headache.  Since pain and headaches are an every day part of my life, this really isn't that big a deal.  We'll see what tomorrow brings! Here are my new tattoos!

My love for my boys is infinite!

It's a part of my life and I know that one day they will find a cure!

Gentle Hugs,

Friday, August 2, 2013

New Old Haircut!

I decided to go and get my hair done today.  I haven't been since May and was in desperate need of a touch up on my color (lots of gray peeking through).  I had put in purple highlights in May and was going to remove them before school started.  I decided to be a rebel and keep the highlights. I also decided I needed to change the cut a little to try and even out the back.

Me on July 2nd

Me today!

The purple is a lot darker, but under the lights it is definitely noticeable.  I haven't worn bangs in a while, so I decided to go ahead and add them this time.  When I got home I saw this picture and realized I had gone back to my "roots" so to speak!

Me at 5 years old!

I guess it has been a while since I last had bangs!!!

Gentle Hugs,

Thursday, August 1, 2013


What did I do you ask?  I made it the whole day without having to use my oxygen tank.  I started off my day by going to the doctor for my next round of allergy shots, then I went to drop off my return to work note (which they wouldn't accept because the doctor forgot to put the day I could return to work). I then went to the doctor to get my note dated (he wasn't in so I have to go back tomorrow), went to a local Tattoo Place to see if they could pierce my son's ear (he wants an industrial piercing) but the guy wasn't there and I need his birth certificate since he won't be 18 for another 10 days, so we have an appointment tomorrow at 4:00 (now if I can just find that birth certificate).  Finally, I finished off my day by going to Target to buy some school supplies for my class and get groceries.

I used my inhaler before going to Target, and took my oxygen tank in just in case.  I took it slow, and made it through without turning on the tank once!  I'm exhausted right now, but it was a great accomplishment for me!  I have 19 more days until I officially return to work, though I do have 2 days of training this week.  I think I'm going to be able to go back to work without too many breathing problems (just the usual fibro problems).  Keeping fingers and toes crossed!

Gentle Hugs,

PS: While at the tattoo shop, I decided to get a new tattoo.  I go in on Saturday to get it. This will be my first tattoo since my fibro diagnoses. Hopefully it won't put me into full flare up mode!