Saturday, 25 June 2022

On a wing and a prayer


We have been busy looking for another home to rent. It's been a nightmare. There aren't many homes to rent and when we apply, we are vying with about 20 other people for the same home.

Most days we have to go to look at these houses and as we are in the country, it is at least an hour's drive each day. I am exhausted.

So much exhaustion is hard to take, especially when it brings on a fibromyalgia flare. But as in lots of things in life, it just has to be done.

I think the most stressful part is actually securing a property to move in to. The actual move is not so bad, and this time we will be paying my grandson to help us move.

With the fifth wheel and tow vehicle sold, we are in a position to get someone to do the move for us and it's especially important with our failing health to enlist help this time.

We are going to miss the birdlife here for sure, but with us being in our 70's, we have decided that we need to be closer to family and hospitals if we have an emergency.

This house is old and has no insulation and is incredibly cold and it's our winter now. With the price of electricity going up on July first, we won't be able to afford the heating in our all electric dwelling.

We are feeling the cold and are looking forward to ducted heating again.

Today there's no house viewings as it's Saturday. I have used the time to catch up on washing and I have two slow cookers going with different meals in them.

I am contemplating using Prednisolone for a few days so that my neck and jaw pain (TMJ) abates. I don't know if it will help my muscle pain in my shoulder and upper pain, but it can't hurt.

Today is the first day for awhile that I have been able to post as my muscles feel like they're tearing. But I just wanted to touch base and tell you what's happening in our part of the world at the moment.

Next week is another day of house hunting and tonight I feel like I am running on a wing and a prayer.

 

Saturday, 18 June 2022

It's a pain in the neck

 

Lately I have been trying to keep off the computer. I have had a horrid fibromyalgia flare and I suspect along with neck and shoulder pain, I have also got TMJ and polymyalgia rheumatica back as well.

We  recently sold our GMC Sierra ute and with no more vehicles needing a driveway to park on, we have turned our attention to finding another rented home. It has proven to be a nightmare.

There are not many affordable homes to rent and we find we are vying with up to 20 different people at a viewing, all hoping to get the same property. It is terribly stressful.

I think the stress has exacerbated my fibromyalgia. I have been clenching my jaw and this has seen my TMJ return. Without a blood test to check ESR creatines and so on, I can't say that my PMR has returned, but judging from the pain and inability to raise my arms, I would not be surprised.

I have done 5 loads of washing and dryed it in the dryer as it's too painful to hang it outside. I have run the dishwasher and been to the chemist to pick up my Januvia for my diabetes. Just that small bit of work has exhausted me. My spoons have left the building.

Lately I have been thinking it isn't worth moving, but the possums in the roof wake me up with their thumpings and scratchings and the cold weather has meant that central heating is calling my name and beckoning me to a newer more modern abode.

Just typing to you has stirred up all my sore muscles, and it's traveled down my arm. So I will be taking some paracetamol Osteo soon and maybe I'll be having a nana nap.

Fibromyalgia, PMR or plain arthritis makes for a bad day by any name. Whatever ails me, it boils down to the fact that today, it's a pain in the neck. 


 

Monday, 6 June 2022

And the icing on the cake is...



Friday we went to the chemist and were treated to a cup of tea behind the counter. In between customers, we chatted and caught up. 

We were amongst the first of their customers and we have gone solely to them and rejoiced with them as their business grew. 

We don't go out much, and he and his wife know this. They are lovely people and we will miss them if we find a new rental- so much so, that we have decided we will still go to them for our prescriptions. 

Thanking them for their hospitality, they asked us to call in every Friday for coffee. Well, it looks like Fridays will be script days!   

In saying that, it will depend on whether my fibromyalgia allows me to travel. There are days when I just want to stay home as my spoons are few. But  just knowing that whenever we do see them, we will be welcome and missed is precious.

It does get lonely sometimes here. It's nice to have friends. The icing on the cake is that they are Christians! 




Sunday, 29 May 2022

It's a good thing, fibro or not!

 

Chris and I have both had glandular fever which lasted for months. He is being checked for fibromyagia as he has every indication that he has, even though it is mainly a female disease, it can affect men. Here is an article written by a doctor about that link....

Epstein Barr, the virus responsible for glandular fever or mononucleosis, has been linked to the development of fibromyalgia – a chronic, painful condition of the muscles and connective tissue.

Fibromyalgia sufferers are mainly female and report chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to gentle touch. One of the most important criteria to determine whether or not you may have this disease is significant pain in very specific areas of your body, including:

* Inside of your elbows
* Your collar bones
* Inside of your knees
* Your hips

Usually these locations are symmetrical, so you’ll have pain equally present on both sides of your body. Experiencing significant pain when someone presses on those areas, on both sides, is indicative of this condition.

Other symptoms can include fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, bowel and bladder problems, difficulty swallowing and joint stiffness.

Conventional medicine offers no cure for fibromyalgia, although there are treatments like medication, exercise and behavioral interventions that can reduce symptoms.

The natural approach to treating fibromyalgia is to re-balance the immune system which may have been damaged by the effects of the Epstein Barr virus. It is also vital to relieve symptoms through nutritional intervention, graded exercise, stress management and re-establishing good sleep patterns. Let’s have a look at some of these natural treatments for fibromyalgia:

The mineral magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that is showing promising effects on the pain of this condition. It should be taken as a powder or capsule along with magnesium-rich foods like fish, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, soybeans, green leafy vegetables, brown rice, apples, apricots and grapefruit.

Malic acid is also often low in sufferers and should be supplemented. Malic acid is found naturally in fruits like apple. It often gives unripe fruit a tart or sour taste.

To help relieve the fatigue seen in fibro and Epstein Barr, vitamin C and the B complex are recommended. Anti-inflammatory foods like fish oil, zinc, ginger, turmeric, pineapple and paw paw can also help.

Restoration of normal sleep patterns is an essential part of the recovery process. Herbs like valerian, skull cap, hops and chamomile are excellent. Epsom salt baths which are naturally high in magnesium should also be taken nightly before bedtime. These baths reduce muscle pain and tension and help ensure a good night’s sleep. Gentle exercise during the day – either a walk, swim or stretching exercises can also help you sleep better at night.

Diet wise, I recommend my Epstein Barr, CFS and fibromyalgia patients follow a low carb, high protein diet based around good quality protein foods and plenty of fresh leafy greens and other vegetables. Sugar, grains and the nightshade family of foods like tomatoes, eggplant, chilli, potatoes and capsicum, should be eliminated as they can trigger pain and soreness in the fibromyalgia patient. Remember too to drink plenty of pure water – at least 2-3 litres a day...... author unknown

I have to add here that I could never drink 2-3 litres of water a day and current medical advice is that we only need about 6 glasses. Too much water intake can cause more problems and we have enough to deal with already. 

We are already both on fluid tablets due to heart failure. But apart from that, we are going to implement some diets changes and other suggestions.

With us both suffering similar pain issues, it is easier to understand each other and offer love and support. Which is a good thing, fibro or not! 


Wednesday, 25 May 2022

We just have to embrace it



We have been looking for another house closer to family. We have applied for one yesterday and had a phone call from the real estate this morning which sounded positive. 

Our fiver got to South Australia to its new owner and they rang us to tell us how pleased they were with it. So that's good. 

We are taking our GMC Sierra to the mechanic for a good overhaul Monday and then we will decide what we will do with it. Over here they are seen as a luxury ute and we think a young buck would love it. That's what we are hoping. 

My twin and son and granddaughter continue to recover from Covid but are still very much under the weather with it. 

I am convinced that our prayers have helped keep my twin. She's so many serious health issues such as lupus and I was afraid for her. 

I have done a load of washing, cleaned my kitchen and am about to make some lunch.  I have a flare of fibromyalgia again and my spoons are nearly all gone.  I will be  taking a nana nap soon.

With an imminent move, I am not looking forward to the energy output, however I am looking forward to being nearer family.

I will miss the birds and our feral cat who is gradually becoming less timid as we feed him. We have named him Teddy Bear as his face is surrounded by bushy fur and he is gingery brown and looks like a teddy.

But I know in  life that one rarely gets everything one wants and so we have weighed up staying or moving. We have decided that we want to be closer to family, particularly our daughter who has had leukaemia.

With a bird bath/feeder and garden swing to take with us, we will continue to feed the birds as we watch from the swing in the garden.

It's true what they say: nothing is sure except death and taxes. Life is full of change. We just have to embrace it.


Friday, 20 May 2022

Invisible illnesses hurt as much as a broken arm.



So yesterday I got my tooth seen at the dentist. I was overjoyed that she managed to save it. It was a gruelling 45 minute sit in the chair.

Those of you who suffer from fibromyalgia know that sitting stretched back with one's head tilted to the side is not an easy pose to stay in. Add ankylosing spondylitis and polymyalgia rheumatica to the mix, and it's a half hour of torture.

I must say though that the lady dentist was very patient, kind and efficient. I told her about my many ailments as required for a new patient, and I was amazed that not only did she know what fibromyalgia was, but was very careful to not touch my neck roughly. 

She also gave me double the novacaine because she knew I would be very sensitive to pain.

It so happens that her friend suffers from fibromylgia and she has a really bad time of it. To have the dentist allow me to sit up and have a rest every ten minutes was a blessing. In fact, she was a godsend.

She lowered the chair as far as it would go as I got out, and being aware of my torn knee ligaments in both knees, she helped me get out and stand up. 

Today, my tooth is not aching at all, but my jaw, ear and neck are. I suspect from the injections and keeping my mouth open for so long. I have TMJ as well.

Today I have been doing meals, cleaning my kitchen and folding washing whilst medicating with paracetamol. I have had to take it every 6 hours, but it is what it is. I am still better off filling the tooth as opposed to pulling it.

My plan for tonight's meal is to make a sweet curry pork dish with rice. Chris loves that and it's easy to do in the slow cooker.

My online shop will be coming in an hour or so, and I will put that away. That's it for today.

I loved that the dentist took fibromyalgia seriously. It's not often that it is. When you find someone like that, the validation lifts one's spirits. Thanks goodness some people believe that invisible illnesses hurt as much as a broken arm.



 

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

He's feeling fairly ordinary.


It's been a busy day today. I have a broken off tooth that needs to come out. We had to be at the dentist's by 8.30am and it was an hour long drive. I was being fitted in as an emergency and was warned I could be waiting for up to 2 hours to get seen. 

Two hours passed by waiting and I was then told they couldn't see me today. They gave me a list of dentists I could see but it was too late to be seen today. 

So we drove about an hour away to see a house that we have applied for to rent. It's so nice and the inspection is tomorrow afternoon at 5pm. I hope we are successful. We have told the landlord we are looking and he was fine. 

When I got home I rang a few dentists on the list and I have an appointment midday Thursday for an extraction. My tongue is sore as the tooth is quite sharp. With my fibro flaring and TMJ, I am just about out of my tree with pain. 

My twin sister and my son have Covid and continue to feel sick, but she's feeling a little better, but my son has man flu. I am so glad Chris and I haven't got it....

I am already in my PJ's with my electric blanket on.  I have rung my son to see how he is before I go to bed.  Not so good. He's feeling fairly ordinary. 




 

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Or should I say, how little!



It's Wednesday morning here. I have cleaned my kitchen and taken meat out to thaw for dinner. I am going to cook pork chops with mashed potato and greens with gravy.

My sister's son came to visit her for Mother's Day. He brought some homemade scones with cream and jam for her and my nephew to enjoy. They share a house together.

During the visit, he shared that his own son is at home with Covid. Yesterday, he rings and says he's now positive too. With lupus, fibro and other diseases, and with my son with breathing problems, they are worried that they will catch it too. They aren't vaxxed. So far my son and my sister are OK but are getting some RAT's this afternoon. 

Chris is sleeping sitting up on the couch. He really needs to go back to the doctor as he's feeling like he's drowning in fluid. I have been encouraging him to go, but he's very stubborn. Consequently, he doesn't get much sleep and can't lie down. 

It's hard looking after him because of this fear of doctors and hospitals. It's not like he's a child and you just take them....

There's not much else planned for today. My fibromyalgia pain is bad. I'm so glad at this stage of my life that I can decide how much I will do each day. Or should I say, how little!  



Monday, 9 May 2022

It was a good day!



It's Monday afternoon here. I have cleaned my kitchen and done a load of washing. My step-son and his wife came and checked out the fifth wheeler we have sold. We can't even get up in it anymore.

She made the bed up again like in the photos and step-son vaccuumed the floor. It is so nice and the buyer is going to be getting a bargain. He plans to use it as a static van to live in on his property. He's been on the phone organising a transport company to get it for him. He's interstate. 

Hopefully, it will be gone by the end of the week and our bank account will look a lot healthier. Next we will be selling the tow vehicle and buying a new car and moving. So that's what I am doing this afternoon: looking at home rentals. 

I am cooking pork BBQ ribs for dinner. Yet with only a few things on my list of things to do, I am incredibly tired..thanks to fibromyalgia.

Yesterday was Mother's Day and Chris brought me a cup of tea this morning and said Happy Mother's Day. I said I aren't your mum and he replied but you mother me!  So cute. I giggled.

Each of my kids rang me so all in all, it was a good day! 



Thursday, 5 May 2022

More than a cake


So yesterday was my 69th birthday. We went to my twin sisters & my sons house for lunch to celebrate.

I really appreciated my sons' effort at the surprise cake he made for us. He's never made a cake in his life. We sang Happy birthday but we all decided not to light 69 candles in case it set the smoke detectors off. He put a few on for traditions sake.

We bought some KFC and enjoyed the family feast barrell. We had just enough chicken to feed four adults and we found we wouldn't need to have a cooked dinner.

This worked out well as I was suffering with a fibromyalgia flare and in fact almost didn't make it to their place for lunch. You know how it is: you arrange something for the next day, and you don't have any spoons when you wake up.

But as Chris pointed out, he was driving and I didn't have to do anything except sit there. So I went.

The trip is one and a half hours each way and I was so tired on the way home that I fell asleep in the car, garotting myself on the seat belt.

So not having to cook when I got home was a blessing. We just had some fruit and a cup of tea. It was enough.

My son lives with my twin who is ill with lupus. He's her carer. He cooks plain meals but never has baked a cake before. So when he brought out his birthday cake, I was more than a little surprised: and the other surprise was that it tasted good as well!

As we blew out the candles, his face was glowing with pride and satisfaction. I saw more than cake yesterday: I saw love!