Twenty-eight days since fracturing my ankle (but who’s counting). I was looking forward to my doctor’s appointment yesterday (“looking forward to a doctor’s appointment” – now, that’s a first for me) thinking I will finally give the orthopedic boot the boot and be frrrrrrreeeeeeee. Not. I forgot the ligament was going to take longer to heal than the bone.
The good news: The bone is healing, I don’t have to wear the boot to bed, the wrapping is off and can take a shower without my foot sticking out into the room.
The mediocre news: I have to transition from the boot into an ankle brace sloooooooooowly . . . for a month.
The bad news: My ankle hurts if I walk and pain makes me crabby.
Elixir Fixer by Peggy
This would make a lesser person take to the bottle. Which reminds me, today is National Wine Day. Read this fascinating post on the benefits of wine which include things I need RIGHT NOW:
Anti-aging (who knew?)
Blood thinning (so it no longer boils)
Boosts immune system
Increases bone density
and . . . 6 more benefits (you’ll have to click on the link below to learn how all 10 benefits help you)
I’ve written many posts about my history of fibromyalgia, just not recently.
My “foot episode” has caused a bit of a fiber flare-up, just in time for National Fibromyalgia/ME Chronic Fatigue day on May 12th.
Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it:
In 1995 I contracted an invisible “illness”. Out of nowhere I experienced excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs followed by years of gastrointestinal, cardiological, dermatological and emotional symptoms. At the onset I was also in peri-menopause and experiencing mood swings, wildly, uncontrollably ric-o-shaying swings between happy to annoyed – which I’m minimizing for public consumption.
Back then fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: Unexplainable, unverifiable and psychosomatic. It was a Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome, as doctor after doctor told me. based on test, after expensive test coming back negative. I was told nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”.
Forever imprinted in my memory is an appointment with the chief of neurology at one of Los Angeles’ major medical schools (the doctor and medical center shall remain nameless because this is a true story) He reviewed the test findings, looked at me knowingly – as if we shared a secret – and said, “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychological issues”. He leaned forward, compassionately touching me on the knee and winked, “Go home, live a good life and take up a hobby like kick-boxing.” The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.
I searched for anyone –gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors – to name to what I had, to give what was invisible to everyone but myself a label other than HYPOCHONDRIAC. I looked fine, acted fine, and thousands of dollars of medical tests came back negative. All I took away from the 100’s of doctor’s visits was a stack of psychiatrist’s cards doctors handed to me on the way out of their office.
After years of pain, escalating exhaustion, depression, countless doctors and tests I did qualify, on all counts, as a hysterical middle-aged woman .
Well over a decade later fibromyalgia was recognized by the medical community as “real”. Current research indicates it might be a neuro-inflammatory/auto-immune disease impacting the central nervous system. No one knows for certain and there is no current cure.
I’m no longer middle-aged or hysterical.
But the doctors were right – it is, all in my head.
Why, when you tell someone who is ill that they look good, they’re offended?
Practical ways you can encourage someone who is ill.
May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND). The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
May 12th was chosen as it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was believed to have suffered from ME/CFS.
It’s only DAY 3 of my “convalescence” and the thought of spending most of my time sitting with my foot up for 3 WEEKS is __________. Fill in the blank and it’s probably close to the mark.
So far I’ve worked on CATNIPblog posts, worked on Peggy & my Happiness project, started reading a new book and watched far too much TV. My “rear-end” is already beginning to hurt as much as my foot.
I have more time on my hands (and feet) than ever yet have less focus than ever. Looking for something creative to add to my sit-down-activities I decided to finish pages (upon pages) I started years ago in my many journals.
judy’s journal, collage, acrylic, marking pens
Today I picked a page that required no thought, just schmearing a bit of paint with my finger and doodling with marking pens. I have no clue why I wrote the fishy-poem I remember from childhood on the page.
“A hot bath is the original hydrotherapy — water treatment — and still the best. Immersion, buoyancy, heat, and vibration (if you’ve got jets) all have useful biological and sensory effects, many of which are useful to people with injuries, pain, anxiety, depression, and more”.
1. Don’t make it too hot. Hot baths are a soothing escape, but too much heat will stimulate the nervous system. While you may feel tired ,you are not as relaxed and may not be able to sleep for a while.
2. Cool your head–or feet. Sticking your feet out of the bath lets off some excess heat, while keeping the benefits of a raised body temperature. You can also pour cool water on yourself . This will help you to feel better after the bath.
3. Do some self massage in the bath.
4. Stretch in the bath. The warmth decreases muscle tone, flexibility is increased and the buoyancy makes me stretches easier.
5. Drink water-you will sweat in a hot bath (which helps eliminate waste from the body). Drink before and after. Being dehydrated can make you grumpy.
6. Baths are a great treatment for muscle soreness. The heat gets in much deeper than using a heating pad/pack. They are especially good for low back pain. Most low back pain is muscular, especially “knots” in muscles, which a hot bath can ease.
7. Try deep breathing-it may increase your relaxation. Not slow breathing but deep and strong.
She writes beautifully, candidly and creatively about her experience with pain, dis-ease, chronic illness or she describes it: “pain, poetry, bipolar, prose (and a little whimsy on the side)”
Her poem, not only provocative, is so relevant to current research on how our thoughts signal our limbic/autonomic nervous system to create the neurochemicals that tell our “bodies” what to do – messenger molecules that determine blood pressure, pain signals, auto-immune responses etc, etc . . . essentially all our body’s systems.
I don’t wake up thinking today will be
a pain day
a crying day
an angry day
a disillusioned day
an anxious day
a hypomanic day
a worrying day
a backwards looking day
a beat-myself-up day
an inside day
an in-bed-a lot day
I don’t wake up thinking today will be
a less pain day a happy day a calm day a dreams-might-come-true day a confident day a stable day a positive day a looking forwards day a kind-to-myself day an outside day a mobile day