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Posts Tagged ‘Fibromyalgia’

I wanted to give you a more personal look into the issue of living with fibromyalgia, as there are common things we go through.  After talking with several friends who have fibro, I found that we have all gone through a similar process of mourning the life we once knew. At one time we were energetic, productive, (pain had always been a factor for me, I never remember life without it) and something happens, and the gears freeze up, and we can no longer hold it together like we once did.  I was a homeschool mother of four, we lived on  a large property with fruit trees, and a huge organic garden with every imaginable veggie, including asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes, and the largest squash plants you ever saw. Our apple trees produced the sweetest golden delicious apples, we rented a cider press, and made cider, We had berries of all types, peaches, and cherries, so I did canning ’til the cows came home.

Now, all of  that was taken care of while teaching four children their schoolwork, keeping the house, and getting dinner on the table.  After some time passed, when the children were a bit older, we had moved from our little piece of paradise which was a rental, into our first home.  Situations forced me to get a job, and the children to go to school, by this time the oldest was done. I grew as a person at that time so much, as I had the most creative, job, everyone was envious of.  I was a designer, and visual merchandiser, buyer, product developer, display artist, and event stylist at a very swanky winery. I LOVED my job to say the least. I was like a cat in a sunny window, ‘I was in my element’. That’s when those gears started to freeze.  My migraines got so intense, and so frequent, they were unbearable. My myofacia pain caused me to nearly cry on the job… I was hitting the wall.  I knew I needed to quit my job, but to me, that job gave me the sense that I was worth something. My very identity was in the production of my hands, what I did- not who I was. I was needing that approval from others, and I was working stinkin’ hard to get it all my life, and it all came crashing in.

After quitting the job of my dreams, the mourning of my life as I knew it started in earnest.  Full blown depression had a stranglehold on me.  You would find me on the couch, with my blankets, pillows, heating pad, gorked out on xanax, pain killers, muscle relaxers, anti -depressants, etc. I was a catatonic mess. This is a stage I think many go through, at least the depression part, some people don’t have pill pushin’ doctors like I did. Not only was I not able to do anything to ‘prove my worth’ any longer, I couldn’t do anything!  I had loved ones telling me I just need to get myself in a better place, I need to get off the meds, all the classic things caring loved one’s say, but when you are in this state, you take completely wrong, and see it as if they are not understanding, “how could they possibly know how I feel?”  It seems insurmountable at the time, but somehow, this stage passes… Really!

Taking control of your fibromyalgia, to live with it, not fight against it, is key to getting on with life. Yes, you need a good foundational support system, doctor care, family support etc.  Books talk about that at nausium, but until you decide that you want to LIVE again, all the support in the world will be like the teacher voice sound in the Charlie Brown cartoons. How do we do it?  First we make a game plan, or a strategy that is achievable.  I started with one medication at a time, and slowly backed off doses with doctors supervision.  Medications are nothing to mess with, you need to get the doctors oversight when changing dosages.  When I got off most of my meds, and started exercising more, I found that i had more energy, and had a brighter outlook. But this had to come from a determination from inside me to get my life back. You may want to have a dangling carrot, say a trip, or a special reward to yourself when you accomplish your major goal if that will help.

You know, above I mentioned about the needing approval from others, and my identity being in what I do or produce…This is one of those things where the cycle needed breaking. Fortunately, it has been broken recently and gave birth to this blog. My youngest son (24)  was tired of my needing approval for everything, and asked me to sit and have a chat.  He said there was something at the root of this and he wanted to pray with me about what it might be, something I may not realize.  When we prayed, A memory came flooding my mind that I hadn’t had in many, many years.  I had drawn a picture of myself doing dishes with my mother, when I showed her, she rejected it.  Later, my father came home and saw my picture and complemented my talent, which made my mother very angry. They fought all evening, and I hid under my bed biting my hands.  My mother told me if they got a divorce, it would be my fault.  I never forgave my mother for that, and I had told myself I would never be that way with my own children when I have kids.  I have boxes and boxes of cherished scribbles to prove my point that I hadn’t realized was even happening until my son brought it to light through prayer. He asked me to see Jesus under the bed with me, because He was there with me. ” Can you see Him mom?” … “He was there with you”.

I asked the Lord to forgive me for the bitterness that had I been harboring towards my mother. A weight was lifted you can’t know!  I was so driven to share my new found successes living with my fibromyalgia, and breaking the toxic cycle!

After homeschooling those four children I mentioned above, one is an O.R. Tech. , one is a Phlebotomist, and the other two are in a partnership in their own clothing business, putting all the art they learned from mom to good use.  All of my children have turned out to be my greatest supporters beside my husband, we are a very close knit family, having a family night every Thursday night since the first child got married. he is now 32You can see how intertwined the Fibromyalgia is with the brokencycle subject matter, “which came first the chicken or the egg?” Do I have it because of the toxic parenting ? Yes.  can I heal with forgiveness, and breaking the cycle?  Your body will feel much better as your soul heals..Restore My Soul

Pro 17:22 A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine:but a broken spirit drieth the bones.


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Many people I know who have autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia, as I do, have  a common background.  They have either had a major trauma, or they had child abuse throughout early childhood. Without getting too technical, here, it will be explained later – it is all about the development of the various glands which control hormones,  cortisol, etc. (the HPA axis) When you are traumatized as a child, by abuse, normal development is hindered. Later on in life, you start the cycle of life, and things go down hill pretty gradually for some, and not so gradually for others.

By the time I was married, I was experiencing daily monster headaches, monthly migraines, horrible pain upon menstruation, which was very irregular, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome,(from early childhood) joint pain, tmj,  I could go on, but you get he point. I thought I was falling apart, thinking all these were separate things. It took years of being seen by so many different doctors, I was not diagnosed until a friend from church had one of the same reactions I had, which was my skin and muscles were in so much pain, nobody could touch me. I went to hug her, and she said Stop! I hurt all over!  I asked her about it because it was what i had, and she gave me a book, and told me who to see.  Fibromyalgia and syndromes and diseases like it are much more common than ever. One has to wonder what it is, is it that we were brought up by the keep up with the Jones’s generation who couldn’t be bothered with the kids they had, and abused them after the nonstop cocktail parties?  Or is it the wonder bread and banquet dinners and pot pies, twinkies and canned spagetti-o’s that we were fed that broke our little bodies so they completely gave up later in life?  Whatever it is, both are toxic, and both can be remedied.

Choices can be made for yourself, and for your children.  Eat properly, feed your children well, and they will be better off for it.  Be sure they get some treats though, balance is key.

If you have any or all of the symptoms I have mentioned, and you have not seen a doctor for them, check out the following links: http://www.rheumatology.org/

http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer

There is no cure for this, I have been living with it for years, but with proper diet, exercise, and a good support system in place, you can get back in full swing for sure!  As I write in my other travel blog about Hawaii,  http://two2travel.blogspot.com/ warm climates are usually easier on fibro patients, I always do so much better when I go to he Islands, I loosen up, get in the water allot, which by the way is very good exercise for those of us with joint and muscle pain. If you have a gym with a pool , you may consider it an option.

This is a wonderfully helpful book for anyone who wants to know more about the disease itself.  Available through Amazon.com

So how do I tie all of this in? what is all of this to say about the broken cycle?  It is fascinating really, I look at how the HPA axis works, and what the broken cycle that happened there to cause the body to go through the struggles it does, is directly related to the cycle we WANT to break from the past that brought it all on in the first place. So here it is explained:


The hypothalamus is the control center for most of body’s hormonal systems.

Follow figure 1 as I explain this. Cells in hypothalamus produce hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) in humans in response to most any type of stress physical or psychological.

The hypothalamus secretes CRF, which in turn binds to specific receptors on pituitary cells, which produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
ACTH is then transported to its target the adrenal gland stimulates the production of adrenal hormones.

The adrenal glands that are located on top of the kidneys then increase the secretion of cortisol.

The release of cortisol initiates a series of metabolic effects aimed at alleviating the harmful effects of stress through negative feedback to both the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary, which decreases the concentration of ATH and cortisol in the blood once the state of stress subsides.

Follow figure 1 as I explain this. Cells in hypothalamus produce hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) in humans in response to most any type of stress physical or psychological.

www.rheumatoidarthritissupport.blogspot.com

The above link is some extra help from a great friend of mine , who’s blog is indispensible for those who want to get help with diet, and tips for healthy living with autoimmune disease.

I can’t leave off without giving some encouragement from God’s word…Hebrews 4:15 “for we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with he feeling of our infirmities, but as with all points tempted like as are we yet without sin.”  Be assured He feels your pain, and knows your sorrows, and is more than able to heal your brokenness.

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