Saturday, March 28, 2009

Isn't it ironic?

Well, I just survived a shopping trip at the new Whole Foods. The choices are overwhelming. Choices in general are a bit overwhelming these days, but my goodness there are so many wonderful goodies at Whole Foods. At one point I wandered off to the gluten and and dairy free desserts and when I found my husband again, he was standing in the beer isle nearly drooling on himself and said he didn't know what to do because there was too much to choose from. He ended up with Laugnitis IPA while I tossed a box of wheat/gluten/dairy free dark chocolate chunk cookies into the shopping cart.

Aside from that I'm looking forward to my future appointments with the allergist and the rheumatologist. I don't like not knowing exactly what is wrong and why I'm in pain. It could be fibromyalgia, or maybe it's Lyme disease, or something else. If it is Lyme disease I got it from a tick bite at camp Cazadero. I've been bitten by a tick only twice. I say only given my previous profession as a naturalist. That would be ironic if the place I got married was also the place I contracted the disease. This is ironic right? After hearing that damn Alanis song so many times I don't even know what is really ironic. Anyway, I'd really like to know what is going on with my body so that I can move on with getting better and living life. Think I'll try one of those cookies right now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

negative ions at the beach

I went to Natural Bridges today to visit with some Wolf School friends. It was a glorious day of warm sunshine, waves, and zillions of happy campers. I was told that I should spend more time at the beach because the ocean has negative ions that will help me feel relaxed and lessen the pain. I did feel relaxed and happy to see old friends, but the pain was still present. Every step in the sand was hurting my knees. The strange part was walking up the hill to get back to my car. I was so winded and had a hard time breathing. After that I went home had lunch and took a long psuedo nap. It is strange being so exhausted by seemingly small events. This is weird.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Sickness and In Health

It's funny I always assumed that the sickness part only referred to occasional illness and old age. I certainly never thought it would apply during the first year of being married.

Many of you know that I have been sick since January. I had a stomach flu, an upper respiratory virus and pneumonia. If that wasn't enough I started having intense pain near many of my joints along with a mild upset tummy and long lasting tiredness. After many, many visits to the doctor and nearly every blood test known to man, my doctor and I have come to a likely diagnosis: fibromyalgia.

Here are some questions people have been asking me and the best answers I can give at this point.

1. What the hell is that?
Well simply put it's a collection of relatively random symptoms topped off with a generous dose of foggy head, tiredness, and extreme pain. There is no test for this syndrome only the ruling out of all other possibilities. My doctor feels that she has pretty much done that and said that for now I should begin to live my life as though this is the case and start to treat the symptoms. I will be seeing a specialist soon and he should be able to confirm this diagnosis or let me know if it could be something different we hadn't considered yet.

2.What does that mean for me if it is fibromyalgia?
Well, it means that I have to learn how to live with these symptoms, learn how to treat them, and focus on being healthy and very relaxed. I've got to learn to pace myself and not get too tired because when I 'm tired the pain gets worse. It also means I will not be dying and I can still have a baby. In fact, some women with fibromyalgia feel great while pregnant and breastfeeding.

3. How am I doing?
Physically, I'm in a lot of pain and I'm exhausted from daily life.
Emotionally, I'm okay. In one respect knowing what is going on and connecting all the pieces of my frail health is a relief. However, being sick for months has somewhat isolated me from the world and my friends and I am feeling a bit bored and occasionally a little lonely.

4. Is there anything you can do?
YES!! Right now, there are 3 things you can do.

1. Educate yourself so that you can understand what I am going through. Here are two websites with a lot of good information about fibromyalgia.

2. Spend time with me. I may not be able to climb a mountain with you right now, but I would love to have my friends and family around for meals, walks, games, movie watching, craft projects, or to just sit on the beach with. Please be patient with me and know that every day is different, sometimes I feel fine other times I feel very sluggish.

3. Support my husband. Emiliano has been wonderful over the past few months and has taken really good care of me, but he needs a break and he needs support as he deals with the reality of what it is going to be like being married to me.

I'll use this blog to send out updates and share other interesting information about what is going on in my life. My hope is that I can use this technology to reach out to and connect with my community.


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