Thursday, October 31, 2013

Think Pink! Better Late than Never!

Photo Courtesy of:

I went today to get an ultrasound of my ovaries since I've been having pains.  My doctor also decided that it was time for me to get another mammogram since my last one was in 2009 and I am now 46 years old. 

I feel bad because I know I'm supposed to get a mammogram at least every 2 years since I turned 40, and I haven't kept up with this.  Every October I pay my $5 to wear jeans at school in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I've never really sat down and thought about how this horrible disease affects so many women and men.  Yes men can get breast cancer also.  My hubby had to have a mammogram a couple of years ago for a lump he found on his chest.  Luckily it turned out to be a cyst, but it was scary.  I found this website that gives all sorts of Breast Cancer Facts, Statistics, and Myths

If you're over 40 or have had a parent, grandparent, sibling, or any other close family member who was diagnosed with breast cancer I strongly urge you go get your mammogram.  Although the month is over, it's never too late to get checked over. 

On the fibro side of things, the mammogram was a little more painful than the last time, but it wasn't as bad as having a flare up. 

Remember, Think Pink!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Get the Fire Extinguisher!

photo courtesy of

I need to make an appointment to see my ob/gyn.  I haven't seen him in 8 years (but I do have an annual exam with my GP every year so I'm not neglecting my body) since he performed my partial hysterectomy after Shane was born.  I've been getting hot flashes for about a year now, but they are happening more frequently.   This morning I woke up with severe pain in my right ovary.  I'm afraid it may be time to remove the ovaries and start the hormones (my poor guys). 

I live in a house full of men who don't seem to understand why I would possibly want the air conditioning going when they are freezing.  The 9 year old doesn't protest too much, he's very hot blooded, so it really doesn't bother him, but the 18 year old and my hubby act like I've set the temperature to North Pole Settings!

I had a hot flash yesterday morning at work that actually had my colleagues concerned.  I started sweating profusely and apparently my face became really red.  One of my colleagues did the mommy touch to see if I had a fever, but she said I was cool and clammy (ewwww).  It lasted about an hour, and then it left just as quickly as it arrived.  I had a couple more episodes throughout the day, but they only lasted 10 to 15 minutes. 

I'm in the middle of a serious hot flash as I type this, and wish the air would kick on again.  I'd get up and mess with the thermostat, but it hurts when I walk (darn ovary). Oh wait, it just kicked on again (yay me).   So for now my men must freeze.  I told them it was easier for them to layer, than for me to strip down (wouldn't want to traumatize my boys).  Thank goodness they all love me very much!

Gentle Hugs,

P.S. Darn air conditioning turned off again! :-(

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spondo What?

Photo courtesy of the Mayo Clinic

I finally got the x-ray results for my back, and the chiropractor tells me I have spondylosis.  I know I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, but had no clue what spondylosis was and I wasn't sure I wanted to know.  So the doctor shows me the x-ray and starts to explain what is happening with my back.

Needless to say I was a little freaked out by all his doctor talk, so I asked him to explain it to me in normal person talk.  He laughed at me and basically said my vertebrae are degenerating and I have bone spurs on the ends of them, my tail bone is at a funky angle, and my left hip is higher than my right hip.   I also have arthritis of the spine! Yay me!  So he wants to see me 3 times a week for the next 4 weeks to work on my back (more snap! crackle! and pop!).  He says they should be able to get me walking with minimal pain in no time.

I went to my rheumy yesterday and told him about the diagnoses, and he wants me to be careful with the chiropractor because he's afraid they're going to mess me up even more.  He then proceeded to give me 2 cortisone shots (one in each hip) to help with my myofascial pain.  My hubby was with me and I could see the look on his face.  I had seen the needle (about 5 inches in length) and asked hubby if the doctor had pushed the whole needle in my hip (the doctor gives a numbing shot first so I couldn't feel the big needle), and my hubby could only nod his head up and down.  The shots have actually helped with the tenderness in my legs.  Hopefully it lasts a while before wearing off.

So tomorrow I go back to the chiropractor and tell him about my rheumy's concerns. My rheumy also gave me a note for the chiropractor explaining what he would like accomplished during physical therapy.  He said to let him know if the chiropractor couldn't accommodate me and he would send me to a new physical therapist.

I just want the pain to go away!

Gentle Hugs,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

No, I'm not talking about the cereal! 

What a day! First hubby and I went to my family doctor (who I absolutely love and wouldn't trade in for the world because he believes me when I tell him I'm hurting) who gave me a shot of something, a pain pill, a prescription for some pain patches, and a prescription for a muscle relaxer. Then he called his brother the chiropractor and told him he needed to see me today. 

So off we went to the chiropractor who said my back was really jacked up (though he used his doctor words) and worked out a temporary plan of treatment. First a massage (I was thinking awesome until they went all deep tissue on me and pissed off my fibro and made me seriously light headed), then some stretches (painful but manageable), time with the industrial strength tens unit , and finally I was back with the doctor. 

 He stretched me out (ouch), and then told me he was going to do an adjustment (oh-oh). I have never been to a chiropractor before, but I relaxed and let him do his thing. He popped every bone in my back (quick relief, then "Dude, I'm going to hurt you if you do that again" pain). Monday I have to get some x-rays and lab work done, and he wants to see me again. Apparently it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Right now I feel like I've been beaten with a bat, plus my back is still killing me. I did take a long nap today due to the work out my body got plus the meds they gave me. So for now I'm supposed to keep resting, and then we'll see what Monday brings. So looking forward to it!

A little humor courtesy of
Gentle hugs,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Spine!!!!

I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child. I was one of the lucky ones who were diagnosed early enough that it could be treated through exercise (several exercises every day for 6 years), and I didn't have to have surgery or wear a brace.

My mom was the one who noticed when I was 5 that my back looked a little crooked. I had to see the specialist twice a year for 6 years. He would x-ray me, take measurements, adjust the lift I had to wear in my shoe (left leg is 3/4 of inch longer than the right leg), and adjust my exercises. Finally, when I turned 11 he told me that he no longer had to see me because I had reached the height I would be for the rest of my life. I had stopped growing at 5"4 (I was a tall 11 year old, but quickly became a short 12-46 year old).

The point of my post is the back pain I have suffered through my entire adult life. As long as I can remember I have always had problems with my back. I threw my back out the first time at age 29 which was not a pleasant experience. For an entire week I couldn't move without experiencing excruciating pain. I have dealt with this on and off for the last 17 years.

Lately my back pain is getting worse.  By the time I get home from work the pain is so bad I can't do anything else.  I spend my weekends in bed trying to get some relief.  I have tried my tens unit, heating pad, ice pack, back stretches, and pain medication, but nothing seems to work.  I have another 10 days before my rheumy appointment (which was supposed to be today), and I hope he has something that will help with this pain.

I started wondering if there was a link between scoliosis and fibro and found this very interesting link:  One thing mentioned in the article was that "about 25% of people with low back pain eventually developed FMS, and scoliosis or other postural disorders made FMS more likely."

So for now I get through one day at a time and hope that there is something that can help with the pain.  Until then...

Gentle Hugs,

Monday, October 7, 2013

I know I just posted but...

while posting a comment on Chronic Mom  I ended with "Remember: One Day at a Time" which triggered my memory of the TV show.  We are studying theme this week in my class and I am having them figure out themes by listening to TV theme songs.  After listening to the words from "One Day At A Time" I realized that this is actually a good way to look at life everyday! I don't like to look towards the future and think about how my chronic illness is something I am going to have to deal with for the rest of my life.  It's easier to take each day "One Day at A Time!"


Gentle Hugs Again,

What Do You Mean You're Taking A Few Days Off?

I called my rheumy today to confirm my appointment for this Saturday.  I've been looking forward to this appointment for about a month now since I've been in flare up mode.  Well apparently my doctor has decided to take a very long weekend (Friday-Monday) and now my appointment has been moved to the 22nd.  TWO MORE WEEKS!

I understand my doctor probably needs a vacation since he is the only fibro specialist in the city, but not when I'm in flare up! I know I'm being selfish, but I'm tired of walking around like I'm an 80 year old (no offense to the very active 80 year olds who can out walk me right now) instead of like the 46 year old I am now!

Hopefully the nurse heard the desperation in my voice and will be able to squeeze me in sooner, but the odds are slim.  So for now I will push myself to make it through the school day, and relax with my heating pad and tens unit when I get home.  Two more weeks! I can make it!

Gentle Hugs,

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Trying Not To Stress, but...

it's hard not to do when you know you're hubby might not get paid for awhile.  My Babe unfortunately is a federal employee who has to go to work each day while knowing he is not going to get a paycheck until government decides to get their act together and come to some kind of understanding.  This whole thing is a mess.  Right now the republicans are on my last nerve (which are shooting me some serious pain).  I think Jon Stewart sums up my feelings best:

It's bad enough that the shutdown is affecting my personal life, but it has also crept into my teaching life.  I have been teaching Point of View and was going to show my kids the classic story of the 3 little pigs from the Library of Congress.  I press the bookmark I had saved and this was the message I received:

A Note to Users
Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government, the Library websites, except the legislative information sites and, are currently unavailable!

WTF! I was so mad! Luckily I found a different website that had a version of the story (though not the one I wanted) to teach my lesson. I guess the Library of Congress finally realized how silly they were being and have restored the website (The Library has restored access to all sites in addition to our legislative information sites. Other legislative branch agencies, and many executive branch agencies with information functions similar to the Library, are granting public access as well.)  Too bad my lesson is over!

So my flare up is continuing into it's 4th week now.  I really need some kind of relief soon.  Have my rheumy appointment next week.  Hope he can help with this flare.  For now I will try not to stress over how we are going to pay our bills and feed our family.  Luckily our mortgage company is working with us for now.

Gentle Hugs,