Saturday, March 23, 2013

How I'm Feeling 85% Better and Back to Work!!!

Hey all! I've been feeling so much better for quite some time now- over 6 months. I wanted to make sure it wasn't a fluke. How did I get better? Well, in December 2011, I got pregnant with my bundle of joy that's now 6 months old, Samantha. She is amazing. The first few months were absolutely terrible. I had morning sickness coupled from withdrawal from getting off all of the meds I was on- which I now see weren't ever helping because I was having daily withdrawal while taking them. So, about 4.5 months into the pregnancy, I started feeling better. Much of my pain went away and I had less headaches. I ate pretty healthy throughout the pregnancy, but didn't go overboard. Just more fruits and veggies than I ate before. We also juice a few times a week (put fruits and veggies into a juicer). A few months post-pregnancy, I noticed the symptoms starting to come back. I now know that I always had a hormonal imbalance since being pregnant helped me feel much better. So what did I do? I went to a hormone doctor. Dr. Taylor in Kingwood, TX specializes in hormone replacement therapy and she takes insurance! I take progesterone daily now. I'm not going to say I'm running marathons, but I am feeling much better. I still eat healthier than I used to, but I'm not a health nut. So that's it everyone! Go get your hormones checked by a hormone doctor. Make sure they test your progesterone level. Most likely, you will have barely any. Oh- and I pay $75 a month for my progesterone and my Dr. visits cost $25. Please try this and get well! :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rain and Fibromyalgia

Hi everyone. I hope you all had a better week last week with your Fibromyalgia than I did. Mine was making me have so many aches and pains. Why? Well, the past week or two has been filled with a ton of rain in the Houston area. It's already humid here, which isn't great for anyone that has a hint of arthritis. When you add buckets and buckets of rain, it's a recipe for a pretty gloomy week.

Don't you hate when you have to push yourself to get "back in the saddle" after a time with really bad weather? It's harder for me now than it was before I came down with the Fibro. Still, though, today I swam for about 30 minutes outside and I'm already feeling a little improvement. I need to get back on that treadmill or walk outside next to get back to normal. I know my dog is really wanting me to get back into my routine because he loves his walks for sure. They've been cut short lately with all of this rain.

So I'm still involved with Celebrate Recovery and I'm still reaping benefits from the program. It makes me realize things about myself that I need to change in order to be able to receive God's best. Reading the bible and program studies helps me to put things into perspective when I'm getting way too anxious about nothing. It also helps me to have a good attitude and keeps me from getting too depressed.

On a completely different note, I just got done watching a program on NBC about 2 year colleges that have popped up everywhere in the last few years known as "for profit schools." I think it was on either Rock Center or the program before it. These schools aren't like the state school I went to where you pay a low tuition for a full four year bachelors degree. These schools usually only offer a 2 year degree and the jobs you get right out of these schools usually don't pay super well. How much do these schools cost and what are the names of a few of them? For example, the Art Institute costs about $60k or higher for just a 2 year degree. If you get student loans, though, you will most likely have to end up paying back over $100k with interest included. I know that over 4 years for a bachelor's degree my state education (which is just as good or better) today would still be about 10-12k per year currently. Over 4 years, that's about 50k. Many degrees require a little over 4 years these days, so maybe $55k. That's for a bachelor's though! Not an associates like many of these schools offer. I know I'm going on a rant here, but I have never felt like the cost of these "for profit schools" are worth it. Former students were discussing how they feel like they'll never pay off their student loans. Why? Well, they're not able to do enough with the degree they got. They would need to go back to working more than one job at once in order to put a dent in their loans. Isn't that why you go to school in the first place, though? To not have to work 2 jobs later like you are now to get by? I guess the view I'm trying to rant on about is that you should really comparison shop when looking at colleges for your kids or yourself. See how good their career services centers are at placing people in good jobs, check and compare tuition costs, and any other things you are concerned about. Just don't leave those first 2 out like too many people I know have. I just really hate that the federal government is giving out federal funding for tuition that isn't worth the money! Plus, many former students end up defaulting and us taxpayers pick up the bill! A much higher percentage of the students going to these types of schools (rather than traditional colleges) end up defaulting, by the way when compared to those that go the traditional route. How do you guys feel about that? Just wanting some dialogue on this...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hope in Christ Brings Many Gifts

Hi friends! Remember how I was writing that I've been going to a church group that has been helping me with my issues with anxiety? Well, I'm still going strong and I feel God's making improvements in my life as I write this. He is helping my overall attitude to change and I am clinging to pessimism less and optimism more.

I'm right in the middle of a lesson on HOPE in my Celebrate Recovery bible. I read something in the lesson that I have to quote:

"Many people today believe their doubts and doubt their beliefs. Has anyone ever seen an idea? Seen love? Seen faith? The reality is, though, that we can see the results of an idea. We can see the acts of faith and love, but the real things- the lasting things- in the world are invisible, spiritual, realities."

How true is that? Have you ever believed your doubts more than your Christian beliefs? I know I have. This lesson really calls me out on it and makes me realize how foolish it is to do so.

Bible Verse to chew on: Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long. - Psalm 25:5

It is a challenge to have faith in Him ALL day long, but that's his challenge for us and I'm willing to take it. Who's with me?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Anxiety and Depression Help: Celebrate Recovery

Hi all! I hope you have had a good week and haven't had any flare-ups.

I talk a lot on this blog about my issues with anxiety and depression. These issues seem to be common among those who suffer with Fibromyalgia. It seems as though we're always looking for ways to keep these bad habits in check- or at least I am.

How am I curbing my worrying and low moods lately? I've joined a group at church called Celebrate Recovery. This program is nation-wide now and lots of churches have adopted it or some other form of it. The program helps those with addictions such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and other substance abuse issues and that's mainly what it's known for. What people don't know is that it's also for people with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, anger problems, and many more bad habits. It works somewhat like AA, but there's praise and worship as well as a curriculum that is Christ-based. I've gone 3 times so far and the feeling of peace it's giving me isn't measurable. I feel so blessed. The church gifted me a Celebrate Recovery bible and it's the easiest bible to read that I've ever come across.

If you struggle with the same issues that I do, I suggest you find a Celebrate Recovery group in your area. Child care is usually provided for free. Don't give up if you're not crazy about the first one you try. I went a couple of years back to one at another church and it didn't help me nearly as much as this one has so far.

I'm excited about this journey to peace that Christ is taking me on. Join me and comment on your experience!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia

Hi all! I'm obviously behind in my writing!

I wanted to write this to let you know how I was doing. I'm 6 months pregnant with a baby girl. It's so exciting because she will be our first child. There are a lot of anxieties I've been feeling about being a new mom. Will I be good at it? Will I be able to keep up with her?

My husband and I have already bought the crib and my parents have sent a lot of items such as clothing, bedding, toys and more. We are so blessed! We haven't set up the nursery yet, but everything we need is there. It's a good feeling!

So how have I been feeling since being prego along with having Fibromyalgia? The first 3-4 months were absolutely horrible! We didn't plan the pregnancy, so I had to get off all of my Fibro medicine at 5 weeks. I did it cold turkey because no practitioner could tell me a recommended taper-off dosage. It made me so angry. Why are they prescribing medicine if they can't tell you how to properly get off of them? The withdrawal coupled with morning sickness was really bad. I lost 15+ pounds within the first trimester. I must say I needed to lose it though. One of the side effects (as many of you know) to chronic pain meds is weight gain. Anyway, I've been off all of my meds since I was 4-5 weeks along. I have pain and discomfort, but I must say that the medicine probably did me more harm than good. I'll have to see how things are going once my hormones stabilize after delivery, but I'm planning on staying off of the meds I was taking since they were mainly to help with symptoms, not cure anything.

You know what's been helping me tremendously? Swimming. I absolutely love it. When I swim, it's the best part of my day. I believe that Fibromyalgia has a lot to do with pressure within the body somehow. Swimming seems to relieve me of feeling any pressures in my body and helps me be more flexible. I'm also able to exercise without getting too hot. If I get too hot I feel really sick. Does that happen to anyone out there? Temperature problems and such? What are your thoughts on swimming and the disease and/or pregnancy?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Do I Keep Stressing?

OK, here goes. I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world because I explain all of these ways to de-stress and I hardly do them myself. When I first discover them, I do them faithfully. Just as many of us are with diet and exercise programs, though, I fade out. It's such a horrible habit, though. Stressing robs us all of so much and we gain absolutely nothing from it. It keeps us from getting things done, eating right, losing weight, keeping awake enough hours in each day, and doing well at our jobs. For the Fibromyalgia patient, it keeps us from feeling good. So there it is! I've confessed to all of you. I have to turn this boat around now. From now on, quiet time with God, exercise, and meditation are musts! Let's keep each other accountable guys!

Hebrews 12:10-11
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Isn't that the truth?!
I am making a commitment to live a more disciplined life and be better to myself. Worrying all of the time is a sin that many of us with Fibromyalgia commit. It will be hard to stop this habit and start new ones, but I believe our rewards will definitely outweigh the pain of our lifestyle change.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fibromyalgia: Ups and Downs

Do you ever feel like you're an emotional basketcase? I've heard I'm not the only one... I feel like a crazy person with no patience or grace. Does anyone else out there feel this way? Anyway, I notice that the more I exercise, the less mood swings I'll have. Trust me. I know how difficult it is to exercise with this terrible disease, but if you do it when you're feeling emotional there is a definite payoff. It doesn't have to be traditional exercise either. A lot of people aren't into that sort of thing. Raking leaves and cleaning the house are a couple of activities that have to be done anyway and give you plenty of exercise. Why is this good for your mood? It helps to release endorphins. Us Fibromyalgia patients can use all of the endorphins we can get.

What other way can you help your moodiness when you're going crazy with the fibro ups and downs? Watch a really sad movie or something and just let yourself have an all-out cry. Trust me, it helps!

Another suggestion:
Laying down on your back, put a pillow over your face and let out a few huge screams and imagine negative energy leaving your body. For extra release, do the "biking" movement with your legs in the air at the same time.


Psalm 37:24
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

We will all fail to keep our cool time and time again. It's important that we remember this verse and ask Him for forgiveness for our transgressions.

Blessings,

Michelle