Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fibromyalgie part two

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
  • Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness, weakness in the limbs, and leg cramps
  • Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
  • Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”)
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Tension or migraine headaches
  • Jaw and facial tenderness
  • Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
  • Feeling anxious or depressed
  • Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
  • Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
  • A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Dizziness
This list comes from There are many good web-sites that you can look at to learn even more about this rotten disorder of fibromyalgia.
I have to deal with just about all of these symptoms. The only one I don't have to "worry" about is the painful menstrual periods because I had a hysterectomy twenty-four years ago. I guess that was a blessing in disguise.
In my last posting about fibro, I wrote about the pain that I have to deal with every day. Today, I thought I would post about the fatigue I experience. There are times when it gets so bad that all I can do is sleep. It is like a tidal-wave when it overwhelms my brain and there is nothing that I can do about it. When I first started to notice the fatigue, I did try to fight it with all my strength. I remember a few years ago trying to make a dinner for my extended family that was coming over for a visit. The fatigue made me just want to go to sleep, but I had a dinner to prepare and housecleaning to get done. It got done, but I had to sleep for the next day and a half. It only took a couple more of these episodes to realize that I could not and should not even try to fight these fatigue attacks unless I really wanted to sleep for the next 36 hours. Now, I listen to my brain and just give it a rest. Now a days, when I feel fatigued, I usually just go to bed and stay there for three hours. When I get up, I still feel worn out, but in another hour or two, I feel well enough to go do something that would have been impossible if I hadn't napped.
Many times though, I still get frustrated and discouraged that I have to even deal with the fatigue. Especially when it hits when I already have other plans. I get upset that I have to drop those plans or if able, do them another day. The Word of God says that in everything we are to give thanks and that all things work out for our good to those who love God. By faith and obedience, I am trying to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to thank Him for the fatigue as well as for the fibromyalgia in total. I admit I am not there yet. This is one lesson that I haven't fully learned and accepted as of yet. If you feel like it, you can pray for me to be truly and fully thankful and accepting of God's will. Thanks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I hate sin

Yesterday, Bekah and I had the priviledge of going to Seattle to help with a fund raising event for Special Olympics. We decided that it would be best to park in Bremerton, ride the ferry, and then walk up to CenturyLink Field where we would be selling game day programs before the Seahawks played the Vikings.
There were so many people that walked on to the ferry and most of them were very strange acting and/or looking. It was strange and we didn't know what was going on. Usually a ferry ride is a relaxing way to spend an hour, but not this time. There was this one guy that kept jumping up on the bench seats and yelling weird stuff. We also noticed that a lot of the females were wearing these leaf leis. And a bunch of guys had "leaf" pictures on their shirts and/or hats. I finally realized who 90% of these passengers were and where they were headed. They were going to the Seattly hemp-fest to get high once again. I was really surprised to see how many of them there were on this ferry. The saddest ones to see were those who had young children with them that they were taking to this pot-smoking "party".
It was nice to finally get off the ferry and to get away from all the weirdness. Bekah and I had a fun time hawking programs for three hours in the Event Center. Our vocal cords are raw from all of the yelling that we had to do to be heard above the crowds. While there, I kept thinking about all of those people who were coming to "worship" their football idols and how that so many of them were lost without Jesus as their Saviour. How I wished that instead of programs, I was handing out tracts to these football fans. What an amazing opportunity was wasted. My desire from this experience is to be able to pass out tracts at our local events.
After we got done selling programs, we were given tickets to the game. We got to sit in the "nose-bleed" section right in front of a guy who couldn't say anything without a cuss word coming out after every word. We tried to just enjoy the game as we had never been to a professional football game in our lives. I thank God that Bekah had her I-pod and Bose headphones. She couldn't hear the guy, but I did. A couple of times I tried to sush him and after first quarter he left for a few minutes. The other disturbing part of this day was all the beer that was being consumed at the football game, and that older people were buying and giving it to their underage friends. It made me heart-sick. I was beginning to really hate sin and the hold that it has on so many people.
On the way home from Seattle, it was once again that the ferry was packed with people. The hemp-fest was over for the day and these folks were now so much more mellow than they had been in the morning. There had to be over 400 folks and 90% were from the pot party. Some of them were sleeping (even though it was only 9pm), others were just "melted" on the seats, and yet a few were still acting stupid. I could overhear many conversations about getting high at the festival. It was so sad that 50% of this crowd was high-school age or younger. My heart was so broken and my mind was so angry at sin, that I couldn't stay inside for very long. Bekah and I went to the front of the ferry where we knew there would be lots less people. Even though it was windy and cold, I felt better.
By the time the ferry got to Bremerton I could not wait to get back to my van and be alone with Bekah and God. I was full of hate and had to do a lot of praying. The Holy Spirit reminding me of Jesus' words to love our enemies. (These folks weren't my enemies, but their sin was.) The Holy Spirit also made me realize that there is no way that I can love these people, but that God does, and that if I let Him, He can love them through me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


This morning I had someone ask me about fibromyalgia. I have had discussion with others about it before and have been thinking about posting on my blog for quite a while on the subject of my fibromyalgia. In the image above you can see the common tender points that are used to identify if someone has fibromyalgia. I have all of them to some degree. The main thing is that a person must have pain in all four quadrants of the body: above the waist on the right side, above the waist on the left side, below the waist on the right side, and below the waist on the left side. There are other "signs" that a person has fibromyalgia and these are also needed for a diagnosis of fibro. The major one is fatigue. I also have that and at times I have it really bad.
So, how to describe fibro? Every day I have pain which never leaves. Some days it is worse and every now and then it actually isn't too bad. Think of how you feel when you have the flu and your body aches all over. That is how I feel on my worst days. Now think of how you feel when you have a headache. That is how my body feels on most days. My worst pain is in my elbows, knees, lower back, and neck. I realize that is where most of the tender points are located...well, that's where I hurt. The worst of the worst is my lower back. That pain is bad and causes me to not be comfortable when I sit. Much of the time I have to get up or move every 15 minutes. It does help me to have a comfortable yet firm chair with lumbar support. Those of you who know me from church have seen that I sit in the auditorium on a cushion and with a small blanket rolled up behind my back. That helps me a lot, but not completely. I haven't yet found anything that helps totally relieve the aches. I love going to Sunday school, however the chairs in there are really uncomfortable to my body and it is very hard for me to sit still.
There is medication that I take that does help me to make it through the day. So far, I have tried all of the three that have been specifically created to help fibro patients. I currently take Savella. I also take ibuprofen three times a day and Tramadol at night. I have tried naproxen, but it makes me very drowsy and gives me strange dreams. Other things that help are getting into a hot-tub. Wish I had one at home, but a hot shower has to do for now. Recently, I went out and purchased a larger heating pad to lay on and it feels so good when my back hurts really bad. Medication has helped somewhat, but has never removed all of the pain.
I will write more about fibro in my next posting (Lord willing), but as I am hurting pretty bad today, this is all I can do for now.