Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Leaky gut

I just wanted to put up a post to link people to this site about leaky gut syndrome.  I think almost anyone with Fibro will relate to a lot of this article.  Might be something to raise with your doctor.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Weather is helping

As you know if you are living with fibromyalgia, weather can be such an important factor.  When the weather is changing so much, like it is now, you just feel like you are at the mercy of the weather.  When there is a beautiful warm day, you feel great.  And then it gets cold again.  Or too hot.  Or it starts to rain.  For me, this is the time of year when I need to remember my routine and stick to it.  As soon as the weather is great, I start walking outside instead of my indoor exercise routine.  But then, when the weather turns, I am not walking as much and my indoor routine has become an activity of the past.  It feels like work to incorporate it into my day again, since I had used the walking to accomplish things, like walking to the grocery store or the office.

This is the challenge for people with fibro.  At least for me.  I have to constantly remind myself to get so much cardio into my day and so much stretching.  Today, I have done none of the above, and, frankly, I am pretty achy.  And my seasonal allergies are kicking in, so I feel like I deserve a break.  How quickly I forget that a break from my routine will make me worse.  And then it will take several days of commitment to get back on track.

Living with fibro is a journey and you need to keep on track, I guess.  So while others are happy to see spring coming (and I am too), it is still a challenge to keep on track.  Once spring weather is fully in place, I know that I will have my outdoor routine.  It is a challenge, but the rewards are great.

Keep going, keep doing and keep living.....

Friday, January 8, 2010

The beat goes on

Well, the challenges of Fibromyalgia never seem to dissipate, but it is still manageable. The snow has fallen and it is officially a snow day for the kids, so this is a great opportunity for me to try to catch up. Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle two weeks ago (it still hurts) and last night I twisted my other knee. This means I have to re-think my aerobic workout, so out comes the stability ball and two cans of spray starch. I bounce on the ball and use the cans as weights while I raise and lower my arms to build up my heart rate. It works! And without stressing my pathetic leg joints. I also get to watch television or listen to the radio. I recently started downloading a podcast called Fitmusic, and that has been great, too.  Of course, I love my Fibromyalgia Cookbook - quick healthy recipes.

I have wrapped my knee and I am trying to keep moving. I do love the show. It makes everything so beautiful, but it makes walking a little tricky. I might try cross country skiing this weekend if my knee and ankle will cooperate.

Recently our health insurance offered me a free health coach. I took them up on it right away. The best thing she did for me so far is told me to take baby steps. Of course, I have a list an arm long of the things I want to start incorporating in my health routine: lose weight, swim, yoga, tai chi, aerobics, bike riding, work out at the gym, etc., etc. She said I need to slow down, added one thing (additional 15 minutes of aerobics three days a week) (I already do 15 minutes each day). Of course, one of the limiting factors with fibro is that I can only do 15 or 20 minutes at a time so that my muscles can recover. I learned that the hard way when I kept doing 45 minutes at a time, but kept getting worse and worse.

Anyway, things seem good, but it is important to keep focused and work through the pain, make accommodations so that you can stay active and, most importantly, keep thinking positively! I would love to hear from other about their struggles because I know we all have them, but with support we can all overcome these limitations in time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer fun

Well, thank goodness that it is the summertime, and there are plenty of opportunities to be in water. Fourth of July weekend was great because I spent so much time just floating in the water. Ditto with the past weekend. It is amazing how swimming can be so beneficial to everything. It also helps that so many vegetables are ready in the garden. I have been eating cherry tomatoes as a snack each afternoon. So much better for me than anything else. And I finally decided to have a much smaller garden this year. It is only 5' by 5', and there are just a small number of plants (3 pepper plants - yellow, of course, 3 kohlrabi, some lettuce and beans, a few cucumber plants, 2 zucchini plants, you get the picture). The tomato plants are all in pots and they are doing great! I set the pots out on the brick patio, so they are getting plenty of heat. I just need to make sure that I water them each day, but these days it is fun to go out and check on what has ripened. Oh, and I have some herbs, which are always fun to add to any meal. I have no idea if this is cutting down on the food bill, but I do know that you can't beat the freshness.

Today is a raining day, but that is a good chance for me to catch up with household chores and get a lot of work done. Later I promised my son a trip to the fair. I am really getting out and enjoying the weather, but I have to keep remembering to take it one step at a time. Paced activity is the key. And I think downsizing the garden has made the whole experience so much more enjoyable and manageable. I don't look at the garden with dread anymore. As I sit here writing, I see that the morning glories that I planted around the fence of the garden are smiling back at me. Seems like things are going well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Keep moving

Well, back to that old theme of activity, activity, activity. It is not as easy as it seems. I keep trying to remember to ride my bike places, if possible. I have been pretty good about that. I also try to walk as much as I can. However, I have a dream of really working out, like I used to. I was just thinking this morning that I cannot believe that I used to go for an hour on the stair master or in an intensive aerobics class. It just does not seem humanly possible. But I guess it is and, while I know that can never be a real goal because that intense level of working out will just make my fibro worse, I can still dream of doing it for 15-20 minutes, right?

I don't remember if I mentioned WiiFit before, but in the winter that was a lifesaver. I would get up every morning and do 30 minutes on that. It wasn't very intense, but it got me moving. I really need to get back to that sort of routine. Summer is nice, though, because you have so many opportunities to move.

So, now I must go. I am going to take a walk around the park. Just trying to keep moving.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wow! It has been over a month since I posted anything. Sorry about that. But what has been going on is just TOO MUCH STUFF! I have just been feeling overwhelmed by everything. I am very lucky because I have been having a lot of referrals to doctors to help me with various problems that had been so minor, but are now getting attention, like the neck spasms and the lower back pain. Oh, I have been "living" with it, but now that I am dealing with it, it has just taken over my life. I feel like I have a new full time job (to add to my regular full time job and a full time job of parenting).

However, I am finally realizing something. Actually, two things. One is to simplify. The other is to just move. Simplify because lists and lists of tasks can really bog you down. So I have simplified everything I am doing down to one simple question: Will this help me be healthy? That applies to the decision to lay down on the couch and watch television, grabbing a handful of something to eat or overdoing it by going on a ridiculously long bike ride. I know that activity in moderation is something I need to do. I know that I need to do my stretching exercises. I know that I need to eat healthy, which means planning a menu, shopping, cooking (because prepared foods are really not good for me) and....OOPS! Did it again. Making a list and making me crazy. So now I just try to think - will this be healthy. If I am laying down on the couch because I am so tired, wouldn't I really benefit more from a power nap. If I am snacking, wouldn't fruit be a healthier choice. If we are going on a long bike ride, wouldn't breaking it up into many errands make more sense. This all seems to be helping.

BUT THEN I ALSO FEEL SO TIRED ALL OF THE TIME! When I wake up in the morning, I am tired, but on the mornings when I drag myself out of bed, walk the dogs and get moving, I am still tired later in the morning, but then I do a power nap and I actually have a pretty good day. Make sense. But the point is to just move. Even when I feel like I should go for a short walk, I wonder if I even have the energy to walk to the front door. But since I am telling myself to keep moving, I go to the back yard, water a few plants, then start to think about what is going on in the neighborhood and then, pretty soon, I am going for a short walk. I may stop along the way, but when I get home, I have more energy than if I just stayed on the couch the whole time.

So wish me luck as I try to keep deciding if this will make me healthy and as I keep moving. Gotta go now, I am feeling motivated....

Monday, May 4, 2009

It all starts with a good attitude and one manageable goal

Well, yet again a series of setback occurred over the past several weeks.  It started with a small traffic accident.  No injuries, thank goodness, but I ended up totalling my 1998 Ford Windstar (not worth that much so not really hard to do).  That forced us into doing something we have known for a while that we needed to do:  get a new car.  Went through that process - took up another week.  Weather has been up and down, so when it is nice we really go to town with bike riding.  Had severe neck pain, resulting in emergency room visit (because of the accompanying headache) and another visit for an MRI, along with many doctors visits.  Lost a lot of time that way.  Now, hopefully, that is all behind me.

You know, the most important thing to hold on to during stressful times like this is an upbeat attitude.  Even though all of these activities got in my way, I tried to embrace the time waiting around for things, like doctor's appointments and MRIs, and tried to really focus on what I need to do.  I have been feeling overwhelmed because the list of things I need to do seems never ending.  Ultimately, I realize that in order to maintain a positive attitude, I need to make the list more manageable.  So I have boiled it down to one goal:  lose weight.  And with that one goal, everything should fall into place.  Lose weight equals eat healthy (great for fibro), engage in activity (also great for fibro), get plenty of sleep because when I am tired I make bad choices (also great for fibro and Chronic Fatigue), and keep track (this will also improve my attitude because I will see progress).

And there you have it.  Yes, I have meds for fibro, exercises, a whole book of what I should do, but now I am going to try to just use this one goal to encompass all the other goals.  That way, I don't feel as overwhelmed.  I know I can do this.