Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

The manual: Brain Fog Recommendations

When 'can't' can'ts us right out of life

I know isolation. I know hermiting. I know not doing anything because I was in pain and doing things would aggravate it. I know how this leads to can't-ing ourselves right out of things we want to do... but don't have the energy or feel it will trigger pain so we decide just not to do it. I've been there. And in the end, you just don't do anything as a result.


I do it. I think many of us do it. Here is the warning. I hermited for a few years. More than a few when my pain wasn't being managed. And it isn't good for a person, even an introvert. We need to get out and about once in a while and socialize.
So sometimes we have to get out of that comfort zone a little and find ways to engage more in the world.
Things I do:
Go for walks (get me out of the house)Coffee with my momCoffee with a an old co-workerGame night with friendsKaraoke night (I am there for support... no one needs to hear me sing. lol) Did a paint night one night. Going to try that again. I…

Guest post: How to Change Your Life to Reduce Your Chronic Pain

Image via Pixabay by ronymichaud While doctors can meet with patients who suffer from chronic pain and recommend treatments and medication, the patients themselves have the power to minimize their chronic pain if they make a few lifestyle changes. Sometimes, even small shifts in home life can have significant impacts on the amount of pain you experience. We share some of the most effective ways you can change your life to reduce your chronic pain here.
Use the Power of Water There are three changes you can make with water to reduce your chronic pain: drink more of it, spend more time soaking it in, and listen to it. If you drink enough water to achieve healthy levels of hydration, you will relieve your headaches, joint pain, and stiffness. Other drinks like soda, coffee, tea, and alcohol promote fluid loss, just as a diet rich in protein and fat does. If you are taking joint supplements like glycosaminoglycans, you need to be drinking water to optimize their effectiveness.
As for spen…

Living in a backwards world

One thing I have learned living with a chronic illness is that it is perceived as a weakness. Often as something you should be able to 'control'. Often as something you should try to 'cure'. Often as something you should have been able to 'prevent' and it is somehow your fault that you are ill to begin with.

Yet chronic illnesses are rather common, so this seems sort of out of place thinking.

And we, it seems have little place in society. People are put out of place having to accommodate for us. I have been refused accommodation because I do not have a 'physical' disability. I assume that meant not a visible one or a common one. I have likewise not had accommodation because the office itself was simply not designed for it... so it wouldn't work. Wasn't in the planning for people to think about those that might need ergonomically correct environments. Since I wasn't even sure it would do anything since I had, again, never been o…

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day: things I learned

Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness day which is important to me because I have, officially, had FM from twenty years now. It is a condition that involves malfunctioning pain processing and as such is a chronic pain condition. It also has issues with insomnia, cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue.
Here are some things I know about FM from just my experience with it personally.

1) There was and still is a lot of stigma surrounding it. A lot of 'it is in your head' business. Doctors themselves didn't believe it at one time and I mean not too long ago. I encountered this medical stigma when I was younger myself. Went to the ER with chest pains (Costochondritis, not only seen in FM by the way but a painful chest wall condition) and was turned away with no tests at all because he didn't 'believe in FM' and, therefore, me. There is mounting research to show in fact it is a valid syndrome and there is actually a blood test on the market to identify it (only in the US as fa…

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Things to do on Fibromyalgia Awareness Day May12th
Share Awareness imagesWear purple and share on social media
Links to check out:World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Is May 12: Spread the WordMay12th.orgMay12 Awareness on FacebookFor Bloggers there is the May 12the blog bomb that has been going on since 2014. Blog Bomb #May12BlogBomb
Resources:National Fibromyalgia AssociationNational Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain AssociationFibromyalgia Action UK


Monday Manual: Brain Fog

Tangled: Depression and pain

One thing I can tell you about coping is that I like to learn things the hard way. I think we all struggle from time to time due to certain circumstances in our lives. For certain I can say chronic pain management matters. There was a time several years ago when I had no chronic pain management and I suffered. This is a long post but it is Mental Health Awareness week in Canada and it is important to know the struggle with mental illness and pain is complex and we do have the capacity to cope with both.

What to do? Well, my answer initially when the pain got beyond my coping strategies was push through the pain hoping there was something in the near future (always a year away it seemed and when it came? Never something that was in any way beneficial to me).  So push through the pain again. And longer. It began to affect my mood. Then some of the medications they put me on made that mood worse. Finally, depression. Pain management is fundamental. I get there isn't a…

Adapting to pain? I would hope so!

I have an interesting study that states the ability to withstand more pain is an adaptive process. We all know that it is. We know it does it with pain because we endure a vast amount of it and we cope with it as time passes. Not even sure how long it takes before our tolerance begins to grow but it is a natural process. This suggests a physical adaptive process.  Although, since it is a small study they would need to dig deeper.

The small study was published in Pain.
When the researchers used heat on the men and women’s skin to induce pain, they found that the more opioid receptors they had, the greater their ability to handle pain. These receptors were higher among the people with arthritis, which the researchers say suggests that this increase is an adaptive response, possibly to make it easier to deal with the chronic pain that comes with such a condition.
The researchers did not prove that arthritis pain increases the numbers of these receptors, but lead study au…

Mental Illness Awareness Week #GetLoud

1 in 5 Americans and Canadians will experience mental illness.  How there is such a pervasive stigma out there regarding all mental illness with that stat, I do not know or comprehend.
Here are some more facts taken from National Alliance on mental illness NAMI
Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experience a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.618.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
Here is what they list for the consequences of lack of treatment:
Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disor…

Review: Oska Pulse

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "





What is the Oska Pulse?

Well, it is an external stimulation device designed to relieve pain, muscle stiffness and inflammation through pulsed electromagnetic field technology (PEMF). It promotes recovery for all types of pain and is drug-free.


Where to purchase? Price? You can purchase Oska Pulse at OskaWellness.com. The cost is $399. Return policy? There is a 90-day money-back guarantee. The desk of a hectic blogger and my Oska Pulse at work on those hypermobile knees I'm using it for fibromyalgia but I do have migraines as well, and there is research for that too. I have been using it 6-7 times a day to get some maximal effect due to the fact the pain is widespread. I use it ankles, knees, shoulders and head.

You don't actually feel anything whe…

The perks of working

I have always been an ambitious person with specific career goals. And it is hard to reconcile that chronic pain doesn't really allow for ambition. Really ticks me off, to be honest. But we can work and a lot of us do work. And there are certainly benefits to doing so.
People- yes, social interaction with actual people. Major perk for chronic illnesses because we are prone to isolation.Pain distraction- As long as you are not exceeding your pain limits, work is actually a fine pain distraction. Rather than ruminating on it, you are focused on other things.Keeps you engaged- keeps you mentally engaged. I don't know about you, but when I am off work I have to work hard at keeping myself mentally engaged. I do a lot of freelance writing on the side to keep my brain from stagnating into a puddle of goo.Money honey- Yeah, no one wants financial instability that comes with disability. And people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain tend to suffer financial due to disability and c…

Monday manual: Mood

Preparing for work with chronic illness

The Brainless Blogger is returning to work, once I get all that sorted out. I had to get a new vehicle because my brother hit a deer and wrote my off. So that part is taken care off. And I need to get my migraine Botox redone again so that side of things will be done. Then just the work side to get done.
Working with chronic illness and pain is a complicated thing. We have a lot of strategies we use at home to cope with pain and illness that we have to somehow transfer to the workplace to cope with the pain, fatigue, and illness. What I do, is by no means what you may do but it is how I transfer things over with my two primary illnesses fibromyalgia and chronic migraines.
Mental illness- I had my depression due to pain treated, which was necessary. It was compromising my capacity to cope with the pain. So that was a step that was needed. And I am glad it was done. I feel much better for it.I saw a pain psychologist regularly and learned a bit about acceptance and pain management. And …

Monday Manual: recommendations for fatigue

Monday manual fatigue part one and now the recommendations....


BONUS:
Take Rhodiola. (Pronounced Road-o-weena. Silent L. Inserted sneaky W. We are not sure where the N sound comes from). Researched for fatigue this may give you a boost. Always talk to your doctor about new supplements. Not because they will know anything about them or contradictions, but because it covers our liability for mentioning it.Take random supplements and herbs until it creates some sort of energetic concoction that may or may not be illegal in some States. Name this concoction after yourself and sell it, thus making you rich and, therefore, enabling you to retire early and manage your fatigue.

I don't need approval

I am in pain.
I don't need to validate that pain to anyone.
I cope with chronic illness and pain in many ways.
I don't need anyone's approval of my methods.
All I need to do is live the best chronic illness life that I can.

I don't want to fear life for fear of the pain. The pain will always be there. I want to cope with the pain the best that I can so that I can have the best life that I can. And that involves several strategies and some acceptance of the pain itself and chronic pain management.
I have a life to live. I want to live it. Carefully. Moderately. Pacing. Doing the work I need to do. Getting the treatment I need to get.

Maybe I should...
Why don't I...

No.

I am on a path. I am trying the strategies that I want to try right now. If they fail I will move to the next strategy and the next and the next. I find what works, and I keep it. I find what does not, and I discard it. Every single on of us is different. We often do not need the random health advi…

Frames of Mind

Announcement of this awareness campaign has come out to post your art to help awareness of migraine.
Select submissions chosen by notable migraine experts will be displayed at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society from June 8 – June 11, 2017 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, MA and other migraine-related events throughout the remainder of 2017. Additionally, art submissions will be displayed on the My Chronic Migraine Facebook Page.
So consider participating in this migraine awareness campaign via art that expresses your migraine experience. Not one for art myself, since I am not too artistic. More for the written word; fiction, poetry, essays- that sort of deal. But I will be eagerly awaiting to see what everyone comes up with.

Research: looking at sleep and fibromyalgia

I have talked about fibromaygia and sleep before.
See:Fibromyalgia, sleep hygiene and insomnia
Lack of continuous sleep in Fibromyalgia #sleep duration and# fibromyalgia #pain intensity Now we have another study looking at our quality of sleep and sleep dysfunction in fibromyalgia. It is one of the hallmark symptoms of the syndrome. This study unsurprisingly states we have difficulty falling asleep and worse quality sleep compared to control groups of healthy individuals. Surprise! Not really. Sort of knew this from my actual sleep. The study Sleep Disturbances In Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis Of Case-Control Studies was a meta-analysis of previous studies. I rather like these because they are reviewing a lot of combined data. In this case 25 studies with 2,086 subjects in total.
Studies evaluating sleep with polysomnography reported significant differences between fibromyalgia patients and healthy individuals concerning wake time after sleep onset, total sleep time, and sleep efficienc…

Review: Fibro Soothe

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "




Prohealth offers the product Fibro Soothe. I personally am pretty interested in these fibro supplements and I have tried some before. They save me from having to buy so much more, and I can just buy the one to take regularly to help my Fibromyalgia. Right there is one perk.

It contains: Frankincense, Turmeric Longvida, DL-Phenylalanine, Ginger, Devils Claw, Ashwagandha, Bromelain, Papain, and Turmeric Powder.

I am pleased to see Turmeric on the list as well as Ashwagandha and ginger.

Turmeric: Within Turmeric is Curcumin, the active ingredient which is well known as an anti-inflammatory. The site says it may 'Promote soothing comfort in muscles and joints.' Fact is, FM is one of those syndromes investigated for low-grade inflammation so this i…