It’s cold. And changing my antidepressant from Cymbalta (which was helping my fibromyalgia but had quit helping my depression) to Fetzima (vice versa) isn’t helping my grumpy mood any. I have developed strange food cravings (carbs, sugar, and more carbs) and I am frighteningly grateful for cable TV and Law & Order reruns.
Even having a migraine, with all of its painful and ugly connotations, sounds romantic in French. According to one of my favorite books, Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language From the South of France, by Kristin Espinasse (an American married to a Frenchman and living in Provence), to have a migraine in French is avoir la tête comme une citrouille. Literally translated into English, this means “to have a pumpkin head,” which is amusingly descriptive of a migraine. If, that is, someone is pounding violently upon the pumpkin that is one’s head.
However, I did discover another tip in the same chapter. The chapter is called is Citrouille and is about Espinasse’s rather hilarious attempt to celebrate Halloween American-style with her bewildered French neighbors. Next time vous avez la tête comme une citrouille, simply scream at your pumpkin head “Allez-vous-en!” (get out of here!) Scream as loud as you can with someone whacking at your pumpkin head with a hammer, anyway.
I apologize for my lousy French grammar, by the way. Should mon la tête comme une citrouille ever va-t-en laisse-moi tranquille (go away and leave me alone), I hope to brush up on my college French.
N.B. As always, I use textures from 2 Lil’Owls on my photos, this one included. I highly recommend their entire line of presets, textures, digital papers, and workshops. If interested in purchasing, my affiliate link is https://2lilowls.com/ref/9
Really, frustration should be listed as one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. I’m too tired and sore to feel rage, which is what this feeling would morph into if I felt better…although of course my not feeling well is the cause of the frustration, so there you go. Another example of the crazy spirals and cycles this disorder causes. Please excuse me, gentle readers, for giving into the temptation to vent. One of my goals for this blog was to be genuine, which I haven’t been, because I haven’t been honest about my physical or emotional state of health.
I didn’t even write about breaking my foot last October–a break that required two surgeries, thousands of dollars out of pocket, and is still causing me pain. I was stuck in bed for over two months after the break. And all I did was fall in the kitchen! Thanks to the fibro…I have dizzy spells and last summer I actually blacked out a few times. Unfortunately, I was rushing to let the dog in when I fainted this time, and twisted my foot as I fell, which caused a complicated break called a Lisfranc fracture. A fracture which almost always requires surgery. One thing I can say for certain though, is that I have a husband who truly loves me! And a dog who considers it her duty to take care of me whenever I’m sick. Fiona stuck to me like glue the entire eight weeks, while George waited on me hand and foot (excuse the pun).
I finally got back on my feet–both of them–in January, but I had some extremely painful nerve damage in my second toe. Thankfully, that has gone away, perhaps because my anticonvulsant (gabapentin) that I take to control my seizure disorder also helps with neuralgia (a side benefit to seizures I never considered, but actually the same medication helped when I had ongoing pain from the shingles too). The second surgery, which was March 18, was simple, just to take out one of the metal plates from the first surgery, but that too turned out to be unexpectedly painful and to make life even more interesting, I developed a nasty, painful, blistering rash on my upper foot and ankle, on Good Friday no less. Time for antibiotics.
Well, it’s all over but the pain. The pills took care of the rash, my post-op X-rays looked great, my stitches are out. And I should mention that my surgeon was terrific, skilled and kind, as were all of the nurses, anesthesiologists, etc., involved in my care. My surgeon thinks the residual pain in my foot may be due to fibro; I can tell it’s not bone pain, and he did have to move a lot of tissues and nerves around during the surgery to get the plate removed. So fibro makes sense as a cause.
I’m also having a nasty, cruel depression relapse (probably partly tied to the fibro and vice versa…don’t you love it) and trouble with anxiety over finances. Major anxiety. I’m looking at filing for relief from my student loans on the basis of total and permanent disability, which makes me cry every time I think about it. And every time I think about the blood and sweat and tears that went into that master’s degree.
Too tired to write anymore. I’ll finish this tomorrow.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are hidden moments and life itself is grace.
So now I’ve reblogged two times in a row. Bad girl, I am. But talk about writer’s block…I’ve got it. So much that it’s painful, almost, to look at my blank computer screen, with the cursor blinking at me anxiously. Why did I ever think I could be a writer? Writers play with words, and at the moment I’m completely out of words. Interesting words, that is.
Which brings me to fibro fog. If anyone reading this has fibromyalgia, you’ll grasp what I’m talking about immediately. I think someone has stolen my brain, or flicked an “off” switch that has shut everything down. Whoever you are, I’d like my brain back, please.
I sit here in a stupor trying to figure out what letter on the keyboard to punch next. I keep remembering that foggy day when my mom decided it would be good idea to introduce me to modern poetry. I’m about, maybe, ten or thereabouts. We go out on the front stoop and stand, blanketed by fog, while my mom recites Carl Sandburg’s poem Fog to me.
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
And of course, I can’t figure out how to get the darn text to single-space the poem, so it will just have to stay there. Sometimes, learning to accept a little imperfection is a good thing, I guess. But anyway, when this foggy haze envelops me, I remember my mother and my introduction to modern poetry. Sandburg captures, in his spare modern verse, exactly how fibro fog feels inside.
The funniest medical advice I’ve ever seen about fibro fog was on a medical site, a good one, like the Mayo Clinic or Web MD, and it said that the best way to cure fibro fog was to lower one’s pain levels and decrease fatigue. In other words, stop having your fibromyalgia flare and the fogginess will go away. Um, yes, thanks, not terribly helpful.
Actually I suspect that the cause this time is the result of really bad hay fever (my throat is so sore I’ve lost my voice), a fibromyalgia flare brought on by not being able to do my walking routine thanks to sky-high levels of ragweed pollen, and a muscle relaxer I’m taking because the flare is aggravating my neck pain from of last summer’s car accident.Especially the muscle relaxer. I see my pain specialist tomorrow, and we will have lots to discuss! (Actually, he has recommended a course of acupuncture, but I can’t start until late October.)
So at least I know what’s causing it. But I can’t help feeling that the fog came in on little cat feet, stole my summer, and then moved on. Evidence is accumulating that fibro is a disease related to the central nervous system, so it makes sense that it would cause my fuzziness. But really, enough is enough. If I could just go for my walks, I’d be able to fight the fog. The first frost, a nice, ragweed-killing one, is all I need. That and a spell of decent weather afterward, although that has been quite rare this year. Or maybe a membership at Snap Fitness or Amazing Fitness, one of those places that have the treadmills, the bikes, and the elliptical machine. I refuse to let my fibromyalgia define my life.
- The Mystery of the Fibro Fog (fibrogirls.wordpress.com)
- Fibro As A Federally Recognized Disability (littlefallofrain.wordpress.com)
- What am I forgetting?… (livingwithlimitedspoons.wordpress.com)
- Introducing The Fibro Comfort Kit! (myfibrotasticlife.wordpress.com)
This list comes courtesy of the Fibromyalgia Network. I was thrilled to find this–it totally captures most of my days lately!!! If you have fibro too, see if you can relate!! (It also explains why I have so sorely neglected you, my poor little blog…)
You Know You Have Fibro When…
- your 80-year-old mother phones to tell you she has already done her shopping, washing, daily emails, and been to the post office, but you’re still trying to get washed and dressed!
- you get lost in your own house (and it’s only a small three-bed semi).
- you wake up in the middle of the might and grab a Hershey’s kiss on the way back from the bathroom and wake up with chocolate all over the pillow… more than once.
- you ask your son if his brother is out of the dishwasher yet! (Meant to say shower.)
- you’re making peanut butter cookies and just put the jar of peanut butter in the oven to bake.
- you use hair spray on your armpits and spray deodorant in your hair.
- you stop at a stop sign and wait for it to turn green.
- you find the Christmas presents you hid two years ago.
- you go get something from the fridge, leave your phone in the fridge and try to answer the ice cream pop when you hear something ring.
- you take the cordless phone and point it at the TV, and are so frustrated you cannot get your afternoon soap.
- you sit politely waiting at the pharmacy but they’ve already given you your purchases and have gone back to their other jobs.
- How Can I Explain to my Friends and Family about Fibro so they understand? (tcellzgonewild.wordpress.com)
- Denial (anothergirlwithfibro.wordpress.com)
- Fibro Fog (caroltrevor.wordpress.com)
- Things never to say to someone with Fibromyalgia (fightingfibrowithfire.wordpress.com)
- My fibro will not define me… (livewithfibro.wordpress.com)
- Today I tell you.. (lethologicax.wordpress.com)