Fibro Sunday, a little late…

I have been wanting to see a new rheumatologist for the last several months but I continually put it off. I think part of the reason that I didn’t make the appointment was that going to a new doctor can be difficult; and secondly, I have to tell another total stranger about all the pain I have and being told oh it’s just the fibro.

I was wrong! This doctor listened to every word I said, made notes as I answered his hundreds of questions, and took his time with me.

He is thinking I have been misdiagnosed and may not have fibro, sent me for bloodwork to check for Rheumatoid Arthritis. He also had me stop the arthritis meds and put me on steroids.

WOW! He said if by the 5th day I didn’t notice anything different, any improvement, to stop taking it. Well, by the time I went to bed that first night, the blanket did NOT hurt my toes, socks did not hurt my toes. Then next day I woke up and wasn’t quite as tired and stiff as I usually am, the third day I had a little more energy.

I am not pain free, but oh what a difference!

Tomorrow is the 5th day and I am positive I will be continuing the steroid regimen. I am totally amazed.

I have tried to have so many conversations with the doctor I was seeing about RA, because I had the markers show up in a blood test 3 plus years ago but she just continually said “Fibro”.

I don’t know for sure that I actually do have RA, but so far this new doc has me on the right track.

So I guess if I have any words of wisdom tonight, I would say to always follow your gut about your health. Get a second or third opinion if you need to do so. I am not encouraging being a hypochondriac, but if you are sure what you are feeling about your body is not what the doctor is telling you, get a second opinion.

Live well and happy friends!

Fibro Sunday

One of the things that I think is a challenge for those of us that deal with fibro pain, is trying to figure out when that pain is from the fibro, or something a little more serious.

For a year I complained to my Rheumatologist about my right shoulder pain. She kept blowing it off as fibro, even though over the months it was increasingly getting much worse. It took almost a year before she actually believed me and then in a matter of months I had rotator cuff surgery.

Another concern I have had is that I continue to get arthritis in many more places on my body, so I questioned something more severe, perhaps rheumatoid arthritis. And she shrugs it off.

So, sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands because we do know our bodies better than anybody. Rheumatologists are a rarity around my area so I will be driving to a nearby town. He may tell me the same things too but I feel that I need a second opinion.

I strongly encouraged anyone with a health concern that is not completely confident in your current doctor to seek out a second opinion, and a third if need be.

Another thing that makes me seek out a second opinion is that everytime I read an article about a theory on fibro, she “pooh-pooh’s” it, tells me the theory is old or that there is no truth to it.

I have read several articles over the last 6 months about a possible link to a virus. I would love to talk with her about it, but I already know what she will say.

I hope you are all well and enjoying the spring!

Live well!

Fibro Sunday

Yesterday I spent part of the day with one of my dearest and most cherished friends. She is recovering from knee surgery, so we had a lot in common sharing our stories of pain medication, therapy, and overall physical pain.

And it made me realize that to those that do not have daily pain, chronic pain, you cannot understand how our lives have changed because of it. Or what we have to deal with.

For example, shopping. I love shopping! Especially in the spring when I get to plan and shop for my flowers, planters and garden. But it’s exhausting and painful. Getting in and out of the car can be tiresome but it can also hurt. All the walking hurts me, but I push on as much as I can. I usually have to ask for help with large bags of potting soil, fertilizer, etc. There have been days where I had to break the shopping up in two parts, coming home for a break and going back either later in the day or the next day.  Don’t even get me started on shopping for clothes, OMG!  What female doesn’t like shopping for clothes but I tell ya, getting undressed and dressed again can be a little hurtful.

Cleaning can be a challenge as well. When I hear someone say that they can get their house cleaned in a short amount of time, I kinda want to smack them! But I am also envious. I do a little cleaning and then have to sit for a short period of time. Possibly use the heating pad. But I can tell you this, having a spotless house isn’t as important as it used to be!!

Yard work, I always loved being in my yard and gardens but I have to pace myself and be careful how I move and how much work I allow myself to do at one time.  Pain meds are always involved.

Waking to an alarm and going to work, I know we all struggle with that! But seriously, when you hurt as bad as we do, getting up and moving first thing in the morning is not that easy. I have to work to support myself, so I do my best to work through the pain, or the stiffness, or the exhaustion as best I can just so I am out the door in time. And when I sit in my chair at my desk… WOW the pain sets in my back or hips like crazy. And I have to wonder, is it really worth it?

Taking a shower. Yes you read that correctly. Sometimes the water hitting our skin hurts. It can also be exhausting trying to get a shower done in a reasonable amount of time, all that moving. There have been times where I am using a back brush, it is like rubbing nails across my skin. There have been times when just shampooing my hair not only hurt but used all my energy. Most of the time the water cascading over me is very refreshing and comforting but there are times when it is not.

Weather. I know there are a lot of folks that can feel the weather changes coming with their arthritis pain. This is a little bit more! In fact, I can tell you that some days, I have sat at my desk with my head in my hands crying from the pain, willing it away, waiting for the pain med to kick in and just trying to breathe and not stress too much but the crying is a dead giveaway that I AM stressing!! I sometimes calm myself with a cup of chai while the med does its job. 🙂

Exercise. I once went to the gym, and often; at least 3-5 times a week. I am lucky if I can get myself to our fitness center and swim just once a week, I do try, and I do feel good while in the water. But trying to convince myself while I am IN pain, that I should be in the pool, well lets just say the conversation in my head is not pretty!! I try to walk too, but the pain in my feet is terrible, I have orthotics which does help but if you have never had pain in your feet you cannot understand walking like that! I am lucky to get a 30 minute casual walk in, my good walks of doing a hearty fast paced sweaty walk is over! I feel like I am giving myself heart disease by not moving, which is what both my parents passed from. I feel doomed.

Our weight, ugh. Because of everything I just told you, we then put on weight because we can’t move much and it is very depressing. And just makes us feel even more horrible about ourselves.

So when someone says they are hurting but they look fine, believe me, we do hurt and the struggle is real for us. Don’t judge us, just try to understand.

The sun is shining and it is just a tad warmer today so I am going for a walk. Then I need to run an errand and head for food for the week. You all have a great day!

Fibro Sunday

Today was absolutely gorgeous!  So hard to believe that just a little over a week ago we had snow!

But today, the temp reached 72, and I was able to get outside and plant pansies, pull weeds and sweep the walks.  And play endless ball with the pup.

Of course, yard work equals pain, even though I took several breaks.  So by late afternoon I was on the sofa trying to work my way through the pain.

I love being outside doing yard work, I just need to pace myself so that I don’t thoroughly over do it but regardless I will hurt.

I have a lot of flower beds I want to plant this spring, and typically that’s so exciting but now the back end of that excitement is knowing I will also suffer later.

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I will try to get to some new recipes soon!

RumChata and Caramel Milkshake

This is a sin. Seriously.

And forgive me, but it is a sin I will definitely commit again!

I was craving a milkshake, and I wanted a cocktail. So hit up the liquor cabinet and I combined the craving.

Super easy. And you probably don’t even need to use a recipe. But here it is anyway, in case you’re curious!

I put about 2.5 ozs of RumChata in my little drink blender, added about 2 cups of vanilla ice cream, a shot of Caramel vodka and about a ¼ cup caramel sauce.

Blended until smooth, which didn’t take long because my little blender is a whiz!

I poured it into a mug, topped with a squirt of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

You could also add some chocolate syrup to make a chocolate caramel milkshake!

This milkshake was perfect, even though it was a chilly night!!

RumChata and Caramel Milkshake

2.5 ozs Rumchata

1 Shot of Caramel Vodka, optional

¼ cup carmel sauce

2 cups vanilla ice cream

Add to blender and blend until creamy smooth. Top with additional carmel sauce and whipped cream.

Enjoy!!

Fibro Sunday

So, it’s been a rough 2 weeks for me. The weather usually has a hand in my pain so with some of the rain that was been passing through, and now the big winter storm coming our way… I’ve been hurting.

I didn’t even want to go swimming the last 2 weeks! And being in the warm water pool always makes me feel better….

I cannot do anything to change the weather but I can do my best to not let the pain win! I have shed a few tears too.

The struggle is real!

Anyway, my Christmas Cactus is blooming!!! Go figure! It’s gorgeous!!

          

Roasted Tomato Salad Dressing (or veggie dip!)

This creation is that of my friend Jen at work. She had some tomatoes to use up before they spoiled so she made a veggie dip, and it was delicious!

Jen and I share a love of cooking and trying different recipes. I have been trying to talk her into a food blog so stay tuned!

Anyway, she told me she roasted some tomatoes, used about ½ cup of greek yogurt but when she tasted it she decide to add mayo. Which I think she was trying to avoid! She also used the juice of a half of a lemon. I had to make it! I was looking for something different for a salad dressing and decided to give it a try, so here is what I did…

I roasted a pint of grape tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper. I put them in a 325 degree oven until they were roasted really really well!! You will not need an entire pint, I only used about ¾ of a cup of them and the rest will be used probably on a pasta dish.

I put the ¾ cup of tomatoes (and some of the oil along with them) in a small blender that I have, added a half cup of plain greek yogurt, ¼ cup of mayo, juice of half a lemon and a little salt and pepper. I added a few drops of hot sauce, that kicked it up a little and was really tasty!  Then I pureed until smooth.

Give it a try as a veggie dip or salad dressing, it is yummy! I plan to make it again as a sauce over grilled veggies. Thanks Jen for sharing it with me!

Roasted Tomato Dip/Salad Dressing

¾ cup roasted grape tomatoes, plus the oil from roasting

Salt and pepper

½ cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream

¼ cup mayo

Juice from half of a lemon

Hot sauce, optional, to taste preference

Place all ingredients in a small blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

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