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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some Friends Just Don't Get It!

It was a lunch to remember, that is for sure. Not a good memory at all but one that has left it's mark on me.

I was really excited at the prospect of lunch last Thursday with my prior co-workers at my last job. It was a monthly birthday celebration/presentation by a physical therapy student.

It started with all the usual pleasantries, hugs and catching up. We all ate too much of the potluck's fare as usual. The presentation was simple and concise. After the student wrapped up the attention turned to my recent knee replacement (8 weeks old now). One of the PT's asked to see my new knee in action. I did so, flexing and bending as instructed. Then it happened, out of the blue like a lightening strike on a cloudless day. I was ambushed without a way out! The remarks were cutting and hurtful. The group (especially one) told me, in so many words, that I was not working hard enough, was a big baby in regards to pain and was not doing the exercises properly. I was stunned, speechless and wounded.

I left quickly, nodding a good bye and headed for my car. The tears started as soon as I put the car in drive. I called my husband who expressed outrage as I had expected. I blubbered on and on until I was done shaking.

I have decided that I do not need to do this to myself. The relationship I had with these people is no more. It is done, over and out. No more lunches. I am sad as this was one of my few outlets left but I cannot make sense of the attack. I really had tried to explain to them how fibro affects healing but it was to no avail. The tightness in my hamstrings has been there for years, the swelling in my legs the same. I have been through PT before with mixed results. I currently have a great PT who gets fibro and is very encouraging.

I guess my take on this is that no matter how much you educate and teach about this illness, few really get the scope of the ramifications on healing from trauma and/or surgery. I am sad about the disconnect with them and it breaks my heart to cut the relationships, but I have to protect myself. What would you do?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fibro and Supplements

There appears to be a great deal of chatter on fibro sites right now on various supplements. I am not going to address specific ones but just some guidelines, especially to the recently diagnosed.

A few things to consider when choosing supplements:

1. Has this particular product had a recent review by the National Fibromyalgia Association or like-minded publication?

2. What do you really know about the product?

3. Have you researched the product? Do you know the safe dosage range?

4. Did you talk with your doctor or pharmacist about possible drug interactions?

5. Do you have a condition that may make taking the product hazardous to your health?

6. How did you find out about the product? Did you see it on the internet?

7. Have you been to a support group (local or facebook) and talked with others about their possible experience with the product?

8. Have you compared prices and brands?

9. Can you honestly afford the supplement?

Lastly, do not expect a cure. Supplements can be a real help but fibromyalgia is not "cured". We can manage the symptoms and improve our situation but beware of any product that claims to have the cure.

Whenever there is chronic pain and fatigue we search for relief. In that search consider supplements but do so with common sense.

Until next time, stay well.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Scar

June 12, 2011. On this date, Beverly Jean Rogers left this earth to the open loving arms of Jesus. She was my supporter, mentor, hero and, most of all my mom. Oh Lord, how I miss her.

She believed in me. She believed in my diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She always called to see how I was, if I needed anything or if she could help me in someway. All of this from an 80ish woman!

On any given day my mom could outwork me. She was an "energizer bunny" if you will. She raised 5 children on a salary my father earned as full time factory worker and part time farmer.

This has had a profound impact on me and is the big reason I have not blogged in so long. I just could not formulate a sentence. There was energy only for the necessities of life. In the midst of her later weeks I had to have a total knee replacement. The pain was terrible and the pain in my heart even worse. I sat by her bedside in a recliner with an ice pack on my knee and just watched her breathe. I never wanted to forget the sound of her gentle breath.

My knee is now healing but my heart is still breaking. All of this is not kind to my fibro at all. I am taking the summer of from playing clarinet in an outdoor band and I have declined many invitations. I have survived with the help of family and facebook friends. My husband has been so supportive.

What can I take away from this? That loss is part of life but it nonetheless sucks. The increased stress has caused me increased symptoms. I expect to slowly heal but not without a scar, somewhat like my knee. My knee scar is proof that I had surgery. I am living proof my mother existed but there will be an internal scar on my heart.

I will be dealing with this again. For now, let the healing continue . . . . .