Monday, January 29, 2007

Stop Stewing About People's Flaws

I found myself having to remind myself of the title of this post. As many of you know, when we feel pain and fatigue it sometimes is difficult to accept or deal with people that we feel are rude and do not treat us with dignity. Here are some tips that I hope will help you.


-If they are insensitive, in order to short-circuit your own tendency to obsess or pick a fight; remember a time when you felt appreciative of something they did. If you met them for the first time and you were treated rudely or without respect, think of someone else that did something special for you or yours. This way your brain will register all those emotions and re-experience them. In a matter of minutes, your anger will fade.

-Take a deep breath, pause and repeat. Say a prayer in their name.
-Stop and ask God to help you deal with this individual or situation that has caused you to feel hurt or angry. He will answer, I promise.

I hope and pray that this post has helped someone today:)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is a condition caused by uncomfortable sensations in the legs that produce an intense, often irresistible urge to move the legs. This can lead to sleep disturbance and severe fatigue that interferes with daily activities.

These sensations are feel like pins and needles prickling, creeping, crawling, tingling, and are sometimes painful. They happen to me quite often and in the evening when I am attempting to relax or sleep. Moving my the legs can temporarily relieve these sensations.

Restless legs syndrome can be treated with drugs such as those that increase the brain chemical dopamine, pain medications or anti-convulsants to control leg movements and assist with sleep.

I hope and pray that this article has helped someone today.

Tips for Fighting Fatigue

Eating a well-balanced healthful diet is one step towards helping your fatigue. Going without eating the right source of fuel will ultimately cause chronic tiredness. Try eating fewer and smaller meals throughout the day and not eating a large dinner. You can upset your sleep pattern by eating late, fat foods, caffeine and alcohol. Drinking caffeine can throw off your sleep pattern for up to ten (10)hours. Many people try eating sweets to boost their energy when they should actually eat proteins and complex carbohydrates.

I hope and pray that this article helps someone today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive problem that causes episodes of abdominal pain, cramping or bloating, and diarrhea or constipation. There are no physical signs of disease in the intestines and no specific tests that diagnose the condition. Systems often get worse with stress or after eating.

IBS can persist for many years. An episode may be milder or more severe than the one before it. One good bit of information, the disorder itself usually does not worsen over time. It does not lead to more serious diseases such as cancer.

Stress management, diet changes and, in some cases, medications are helpful in managing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

I hope and pray that this information has helped someone today.

New Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I read this article on a new therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. José Montoya, MD, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases), and postdoctoral scholar Andreas Kogelnik, MD, PhD, have used the drug valganciclovir — an antiviral often used in treating diseases caused by human herpes viruses — to treat a small number of CFS patients.

The researchers said they treated 25 patients during the last three years, 21 of whom responded with significant improvement that was sustained even after going off the medication at the end of the treatment regimen, which usually lasts six months. The first patient has now been off the drug for almost three years and has had no relapses. A paper describing the first dozen patients Montoya and Kogelnik treated with the drug was published in the December issue of Journal of Clinical Virology.

“This study is small and preliminary, but potentially very important,” said Anthony Komaroff, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study. “If a randomized trial confirmed the value of this therapy for patients like the ones studied here, it would be an important landmark in the treatment of this illness.”

To find out more about this; click on the the title of this post to connect to the article.

I hope and pray that this information has helped someone today.

Praying Is A Great Way to Heal

May today there be peace that surpasses all understanding within you.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you remember the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you....

May you be content knowing you are a loved child of God.

Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love without restraint.

It is there for each and every one of us. May the Good and God of each day be the meditations of your thoughts.

I hope and pray that this post will help someone today.

Experienced A Flare-Up :(

I am finally feeling human again. I was experiencing a real bad flare. There are people that understand what I mean by "Flare-Up". You end up experiencing a variety of symptoms at different times. With FMS you experience common symptoms such as disturbed sleep, disturbed memory, fatigue, pain, anxiety, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and depression. I had widespread pain on both sides of my body, above and below the waist for what felt like a long period of time and my multiple tender points were indeed tender.

I am still having problems, but they are now at a level I can manage. There are different methods for managing the physical demands of fatigue, sleeping difficulties and weakness of a chronic disabling condition.

It is all in my attitude, I must try to be positive. My eating patterns, physical activity, strong relationships are all part of my daily life. I know this is not always easy. However, what keeps me going is knowing that I have the support of my family and friends. I also have to believe...believe, someday I will feel better.

There are various ways to do this; like trying to write articles for my blog or another site or by reading. Yes, I am making myself stretch and move around as much as possible. It is painful, so I have to set limits and pace myself. There goes that word I do not like, PACE.

I hope and pray that this post has helped someone today.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Experiencing a BAD FLARE

Hello Everyone,

I am truly sorry I have not been able to add more posts to my blog. I am experiencing a very bad flare. Many of us experience what we call a bad flare or flare-up. That means our symptoms are so bad we have difficulty just existing. I am not kidding. On these days, I try to sleep to help me ignore my pain. My neck is in so much pain and I have not slept well the past few days. I am going to take a long hot bath and medicate myself.

I hope I will feel better tomorrow and can add some helpful information online.

Sorry for the delay:(

Monday, January 08, 2007

Migraine Headaches - Help Relieving the Pain

This is one of the tips I picked up while on medical leave.

You will find that practicing yoga helps alleviate pain when you feel a headache coming on:
  • Close your eyes,
  • Wrap an ace bandage around your forehead (starting at the back of your head), and across your temples and eyebrows (this will lessen the eye pressure),
  • Move your eyeballs away from the eyelids (they should drop back and down in their sockets,
  • Try to keep the bandage on for a minimum of 10 minutes.
When you are at work try this:
  • While seated at your desk, rest your forehead on a hard surface (like a book),
  • Place your head down (this softens the skin at the back of the neck),
  • Make sure there is a straight line between the back of the neck and shoulders,
  • You can now bend your arms and support your elbows on the desk,
  • Try inhaling and exhaling softly and quietly through your nose,
  • Do not hold your breath,
  • Make sure you keep your shoulders down (spreading your shoulder blades and moving down and away from each other),
  • Hold for about five minutes.
I find this helpful and prefer this to taking more medications.

I hope and pray that this post has helped someone today.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Resource

I have added "Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Resource" to my site as a link. This site contains useful information such as:

  • E-mail Bulletins on the subject you are interested in,
  • Library with great information (health watch newsletter, news articles, latest drug news, etc.),
  • A Community tab with various topics (chat, message board, coping center, organizations, events, clinical trials, doctors, disability and support groups),
  • Tip of the Day,
  • They also include other sites related if interested.
I added my link to their website so that I can share information with others. I am trying to add my blog in many places, so I can reach people. This site was very helpful to me when I was first diagnosed. I believe it will help others too.

I initially had them send me the Tip of the Day. You select the database with the subject you would like a tip on. The current database results include:
  • Alzheimer's
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Health
I pray and hope that this post has helped someone today.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hello Everyone

I am sorry I have not updated my blog. I am experiencing a bad flare and it is difficult to concentrate. I promise to add new posts soon. Please keep checking my blog for updates.

Thank you very much.

Fibro Viv

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Try a variety of strategies to help your condition

Taking an active role in learning about your illness may help you find benefits from different treatment options/programs that include some of these strategies:

  • Moderate exercise
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Stress management
  • Visualization
  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • Healthy eating
  • Massage
  • Use of medications to manage specific problems such as sleep, pain and psychological disturbances,
  • Use of organic products to replace your traditional medications.
When possible I have tried all of the above strategies. Sometimes our own lack of or poor health insurance keeps us from trying some of these treatments.

Massages, medications, doctor visits, therapy and even some organic products are not cheap. Prior to losing my job I was able to take medical leave and had health coverage that allowed me to participate in a Rehabilitation Program offered in our city. Unfortunately, not all the program was covered, so I only have information on what I was able to participate in. I will share this information with you as quickly as possible on my posts. Please check my blog daily.

I will also research old notes when I visited various websites that offered free information when I was trying to figure out what was going on with my body, the aches, cramps, cognitive issues, pains, etc.

Since I had been with my PCP for so long and only suffered from asthma and the occasional flu, colds, etc., he knew I was not a hypochondriac. When I came to him with all of these symptoms, he started to try to eliminate one at a time. It was a long process. My PCP was also trying new and different medications. As many of you know, medications affect people differently. We can all share what we have tried and our experience with the different strategies and treatments.

My mission is to share this with as many people as possible, please share your experiences with us all.

I pray and hope that this post has helped someone today.

Unanswered Questions

There are still many unanswered questions with regard to Fibromyalgia syndrome. Researchers are working on issues such as:

  • Can FMS be prevented or cured?
  • What is the association of FMS and other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Immune Syndrome?
  • Why is FMS so difficult to diagnose?
  • In what ways might various health promotion behaviors alter one's response to FMS?
Women with FMS can experience a variety of symptoms at different times. However, many women with FMS experience common symptoms such as disturbed sleep, memory, fatigue, pain, anxiety and depression. These symptoms are listed below:

Symptom/ Percentage of Patients Affected

Muscular pain/ 100%
Fatigue /96
Insomnia /86
Joint pains /72
Headaches /60
Restless legs /56
Paresthesias /52
Impaired memory /46
Leg cramps /42
Impaired concentration /41
Nervousness /32
Major depression /20

This was information given to me at the Clinical Study. I know there are additional symptoms because I have experienced them. Please keep this in mind.

There are some things that some people and doctors do not understand. Those afflicted by
Chronic Fatigue Immune Syndrome know that that it is not relieved with bed rest and often worsens with physical or mental activity. These are additional symptoms without percentages:

General weakness
Eyes sensitive to light
Sensitivity to noise
Feeling closed in, uncomfortable around crowds
Personal bubble (your space feels invaded or shortness of breath)
Tender lymph nodes, Sore throat
Trouble sleeping or not feeling refreshed after sleep
Muscle aches
Joint pain without swelling or redness
Pain on the bottom of your feet
Trouble waking up
Sleeping for over 18-20 hours (due to lack of deep sleep)
Trouble with short-term memory or concentration
Forgetfulness or confusion
Irritability, anxiety, mood swings, or depression
Low grade fever, hot flashes, or night sweats
Prolonged fatigue lasting after minimal exercise and light activities
Chest pain or shortness of breath

There are many other symptoms you will experience if you also have
IBS and other physical problems. I personally have experienced all the symptoms listed above. I have not experienced them all at once! Thank goodness. However, all of these symptoms will be experienced at one time or another with these illnesses and many during a bad flare.

Your state of health is affected by how you live, love, work, relate, and believe. I believe that you can maximize your wellness by having a positive, responsible attitude toward your health and by practicing behaviors that promote wellness. I know, I know.....sometimes it is difficult to think positive when you hurt so badly and are so fatigue. Believe me, I have been there many times. I have to shake it off and cry, pray and sometimes literally just go to sleep during this process. It is O.K. to take time for yourself and cry, pray, do whatever it takes to help you shake the bad attitude. There are days I tell my family I do not feel well, feel cranky and need to spend time alone in my room. It is best to just be honest and let them know you feel badly and cranky. When you are frank and honest about how you feel, your friends and family understand. If they do not understand, just pray for them. They will come around. I know that all of our days are bad, some worse. However, we need to be strong enough to fight this battle and try to remain positive. I have yet to experience a remission, but have faith that someday I will be in remission. Have confidence in yourself to have the ability to remain strong and it will enable you to have a different view of your quality of life. Believe me, I only have a few hours in a day and sometimes no hours that I feel well enough to visit with family and friends. I cherish those hours and feel blessed to have that time.

Please share your story with me and others by posting on this website.

I pray and hope this post has helped someone today.

The Concept of Health

I want to share some information I received when I attended a Clinical Study on Fibromyalgia.

All of us want good health. Good health is merely the absence of illness, or something else? Check out the definition of health in The Encyclopedia Britannica. It will define health as
"the extent of an individuals continuing physical, emotional, mental and social ability to cope with his environment".

Health experts now describe lifestyle as one of the most important factors affecting health. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 7 out of the 10 leading causes of death could be reduced through common-sense changes in lifestyle. There is a brief test that was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to help people estimate how they are doing with regard to their health risks and practices. The behaviors covered in the test are recommended for most Americans. Some of these may not apply to persons with certain chronic diseases or disabilities, or to pregnant women. Such persons may require special instructions from their physicians.

If you are interested in receiving the details of the test, please post your interest and email me for the information. I will be happy to share this information and fax it to you or email it.

I pray and hope this post helps someone out there. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Yoga and Fibromyalgia

Yoga was introduced to me when I was on medical leave and in rehabilitation for my CFIDS/FMS.

Anyone that practices Yoga, a sticky mat is a necessary tool for any yoga workout. The non-slip surface provides a safe and comfortable area in which to practice any pose. Make sure that your mat meets your need for a yoga mat that is rugged yet gives plenty of cushion. You can also find cotton mats. There's new mat that has a microfiber side that wicks away moisture while the other side sticks to the floor. I have not been able to purchase it, but it sounds great.

I have CFIDS/FMS and the chronic fatigue sometimes makes it difficult for me to force myself to practice yoga. So do what I do and at least practice stretching in bed. Any type of movement helps.

Fibromyalgia and yoga are a great combination for easy stretches, careful strengthening, plus relaxation techniques. Improve your mind, body, sleep, and more.

Be sure to check with your doctor about starting any exercise program. Things like high blood pressure and back, neck, and knee problems can be adverse conditions for certain yoga exercises. Also, try to take advantage of joining a class or buying a video with someone that has experience teaching Yoga to patients with fibromyalgia.

It is important to perform yoga postures for the whole body, not just postures that target a certain area or problem. Everything is connected.

The form you use during a posture is more important than how far you can go into a posture. Yoga is for you to discover yourself and your abilities. Practice yoga on an empty stomach at least 2 hours after eating.

For those of us with fibromyalgia, mornings can be very stiff. You may find that taking a warm bath, then putting on warm sweats will make it easier to practice in the morning. You are the only one that can judge the proper time to practice yoga.

The last time that can really help you achieve a deeper sleep is right before bedtime. But, be careful. Too strenuous of an activity at this time of night can ward off sleep for hours. Just gentle, slow yoga at this time of day is best for fibromyalgia and anyone. I just complete stretches right on my bed. Not too many because I end up getting a second wind at the wrong time!

How Long Do I Practice Yoga for Fibromyalgia?

I can tell you from experience that just 5 or 10 minutes a day will be more beneficial for you than doing 20 minutes every other day or 60 minutes, once a week. As I noted before, only you can be the judge on the proper time to practice yoga.

As you start to feel the benefits of yoga you will naturally want to add a little more time to your yoga practice, working up to 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day. I have not been able to go for more than 5 minutes at a time since I started doing it at home alone. I lasted longer during class because I had to!:)

How Do You Get Real Benefits from Yoga for Fibromyalgia in Just 5 or 10 minutes a Day?

First, try to find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. You will find that the loss of a little sleep will not bother you as you gain the benefits of yoga. I know this is hard to believe since you're already sleep deprived, but it does help with the stiffness we experience.

It is difficult to stay focused and concentrate, however, not being distracted is a big key to yoga and it's mind/body benefits. You need to concentrate on so many things going on with your body, that your mind is able to clear.

I experience constant chatter that goes on in my brain, and I have learned that I have to try and stop it in order to concentrate:

1) Your Breathing - Take long, deep complete breaths that first fill the bottom of your lungs, then the middle, then the top. In exhaling, this is reversed - empty the top of the lungs first, then middle, then the bottom of your lungs. Breathe through your nose, it's a natural filter. This strengthens the diaphragm, which pulls air into your lungs.

2) Your Eyes Focusing on One Spot - Stare at a spot directly in front of you or whichever direction your head is pointing for the posture.

3) The Alignment of Your Body - Be aware of what your body is doing. Is it balanced, equal on each side? Are you using the proper form for the pose?

4) The Sensations in Your Body - Are your muscles tighter on one side than the other? Are you feeling a good, comfortable stretch or are you pulling on your muscles too much? During a balancing pose, feel the body sway slightly and how you and your body correct the balance. Feel your blood give energy to your body as you move.

5) Tightened Stomach and Kegel Muscles (the muscles on your pelvic floor that you use to stop urinating) - These are a little harder to accomplish but are well worth the effort. You may only be able to hold these for a second of each pose at the beginning but keep trying to hold them longer. Start by tightening the stomach muscles on your exhale to push out the used air and allow more fresh air in. Then as this becomes easier, try holding your stomach and kegel muscles in while inhaling. This will work your lungs more as the diaphragm cannot expand downward with your stomach muscles tightened. Your rib cage will expand on each breath. When you hold your kegel and stomach muscles while performing yoga postures, you will feel a warmth come over your body due to the increased effort. When you get warmer, your body becomes more able to stretch and change it's shape.

Begin your yoga practice with warm-ups and end with relaxation, for best results.

If You have Neck or Back Problems

Don't compress either the lower back or the neck into a backward bending position, in order to avoid injury.

Don't lock your knees when bending forward in either a standing or sitting position. This will help prevent pulling on your lower back.

Cushion your knees with a pillow under them if kneeling on them hurts. You can also put a pillow under your bottom, over or between your feet, when kneeling to take some stress off the knees.

If you have high blood pressure, sinus problems, or are menstruating, do not practice upside-down postures in yoga.

If a posture is hurting you, ease back on it a little, or stop it altogether. With fibromyalgia and yoga you should only move into a posture until you feel a mild sensation. Never force anything or push until you feel discomfort. The one exception to this may be foot pain as the feet are often weak and tight. Keep trying to work them in the future if you are unable to exercise them at this time.

If you have increased shooting pain the next day, you know you did too much and must take it easier the next time you are able to practice yoga. This is common when starting yoga with fibromyalgia. The cold weather fronts coming through make it more difficult for us to move. Do not overdo. PACE.

Listen to your body and go with what it will be able to do that day. This is very important for people with myofascial pain or fms. If you don't follow your body's signals, you may end up with a lot of pain for a couple weeks.

If you are in a lot of pain and unable to do even the simplest yoga stretches, visualize yourself doing the exercises. I am a believer in visualization and honestly do not practice it as often as I should. The benefits of visualization for setting goals, making your dreams come true and feeling healthier do help.

Practice your yoga for fibromyalgia barefoot on a thin carpet or hard floor with a mat. A carpet that is too thick will make it difficult to balance and be grounded.

When I was on medical leave, part of my rehabilitation was yoga classes. I would go in not wanting to complete them because of how I felt. It was too painful for me to lie down on my back since pressure on the trigger points, especially at the back of my pelvis, created too much pain. When I completed the session, I was glad I did. It was very beneficial.

Try to check out the Internet for lessons on Yoga for people with Fibromyalgia. It is very important that you do not try to practice the wrong type of yoga movements.

I pray and hope that this posting is beneficial for someone out there. Have a wonderful day.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people I worked with in the past and many whom do not even know me for adopting my family this past 2006 Christmas. I will not list their names because I do not have their permission. They know who they are!:)

They understand that I am a real victim of this invisible illness and not a hypochondriac. The reason I have created this BLOG and continue to add information is because I want to publicize and help other people understand that there are "GOOD PEOPLE" in this world that care and understand.

I went from what I believe felt like a vibrant highly energetic woman that was laid-off her job in August of 2002. I have given up making dinners for my family and basically barely function doing small everyday tasks. Even though I am
home bound and feeling terrible, I believe I can make a difference by utilizing my computer and getting the word out. I would encourage anyone with enough energy and cognitive ability to get involved and share their experiences with me and others. My cognitive abilities may not always be intact, however, I believe that I make enough sense to get people to understand the urgency in trying to find help for those people that suffer from CFIDS/FMS and other illnesses. There are days I look great, but I require long periods of bed rest after any activity. I enjoy visits from family and friends and sadly enough end up requiring bed rest. It is worth it to me. I pray each day is better and that I keep my faith and continue to fight this ugly battle.

It is because people like the ones that adopted us exist that I continue to keep my faith. I want to share my own experience and recovery process in the hope that others may find encouragement in the power of self help and accepting help from others. Not everyone regards humility as a virtue, Christ set an example of humility and now I see that this has preserved my soul in tranquillity and helped me become more patient under trials and opportunities that have been bestowed upon me and my family. I pray that I am accepting and receiving the lessons I am suppose to learn from my experiences.

I pray and hope this article has helped someone and acknowledged the generosity of people who have helped my family.

How to give yourself a back massage

If you find that you need to massage your back and do not have anyone to help you, try the following:

You will need a pillowcase, a tennis ball or two.

1) Place tennis balls in the pillowcase,
2) Hold the end of the pillowcase over your shoulder and stand against a clear wall,
3) Move the pillowcase accordingly to be placed where your back aches,
4) Move yourself against the wall and you will feel the tennis balls working on your back.

Neat trick. It helps when there isn't anyone available to help you. I hope this helped you.

Fibro Viv