Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mom Says: A Poem

Mom says

“You look sick, you REALLY look sick.

Maybe if you did not take all those medications

You would not be so sick.”

I am not sick because I take medications.

I take medications because I am sick.

Mom says

“So they’re going to blame ALL THAT on the environment?”

Heavy metals, toxins, pesticides, viruses and chemicals in the foods we consume.

How could these things NOT be affecting us?

Mom says

“Why is it that all you read is stuff about your physical problems?

Maybe concentrating on them to the exclusion of everything else

Could be adding to it. (Or Causing it?)”

I am not sick because of the books I read.

I read the books because I am sick.

Mom says

“Well I just think that you focus on every little pain and problem you have

And maybe if you didn’t it wouldn’t be such a problem.”

I am not sick because I think about the pain and the problems.

I think about the pain and the problems because I am sick.

Mom says

“Maybe the fact that you get angry should tell you something.”

I am not sick because I am angry.

I am angry because I am sick.

Why do you want to blame me for being sick?

© 2008 by Sherrillynn Johnson

Note: I have lived with my mom since May of 2001. I have only been able to work full time for one year out of the almost seven that I have been dependent upon her hospitality. While she doesn't always understand where I'm coming from, she always tries. The fact that she gave the OK to my putting this poem out there in the blososphere is testament to her open minded and agreeable attitude. To thank her for all she has done for me is a formidable task, and one that I don't try to do often enough! I dedicate this poem to her. Thanks Mom!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chronic Thursday: New FM Commercial

I'm going to try committing to post once a week instead of on Mondays. I've been behind for a couple of weeks now and maybe this will work better for me. And for you, too!

I saw the new commercial a couple of weeks ago, don't know what channel I was on, but what caught my attention was when they were saying "Would you believe me if I looked like I felt?" and as the camera moved, dark bruising appeared on her arms, then on her legs then, on her neck. It really REALLY hit home with me because over the years I've often tried to explain how FM feels by saying that when certain areas are touched, it feels like I have a really bad bruise there (at tender points), but in reality there is nothing visible.

Can we have a zoom on those bruises? Yah, that's getting there!

View the new commercial here. Click on View Commercial/Play Video in the lower right corner. I have a wait a couple of minutes for the whole thing to load or it doesn't play right or completely.

Speaking of FM commercials, while I was searching for this new one I came across a lot of reviews for the old one (the lady in the art class) and they were almost universally BAD. It really annoys a lot of people and I don't think it's doing near enough good to make up for that!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chronic Monday (on Wednesday!): NFA announces 2008 National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day campaign, "Caring By Sharing"

There are three facets to
the NFA's Caring By Sharing Campaign:

The NFA has done a good job of getting the initial information out early this year. But in the Sharing Awareness program they're still saying "Check back soon for free materials, such as templates for press releases, facts about fibromyalgia and sound bites, to assist you in telling your story." It's getting late for people with FM to be getting started on this type of thing. Hope they'll get this stuff out soon...

They're also still saying "Hold a "Take the Fibromyalgia Pledge to Care" event (more information coming soon!)" in the Sharing Facts program. I don't know about you, but it's too late for me to be taking on anything of this magnitude now, a mere 60 days before the event...

I'm late with Chronic Monday this week because I've been busy packing stuff up to put in a U-Haul and take to a storage facility in the Savannah area. We're boxing up all our "clutter" and taking it to where we want to move once the house sells. We then plan to re-join our clutter by moving ourselves and the rest of our worldly goods to a new house. I'll probably be late with Chronic Monday next week too, same reason.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan - Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation - March 13-16, 2008 - Washington , DC

The Winter Soldier Preview Video is below. It's long, about 17 minutes, and parts of it are graphic.

I have to ask myself this question when it comes to events like this: If I can't bear to watch a few photos of what's really going on in this war, then how can I expect my brother or my nephew to actually participate in it? The memory of these photos will subside rapidly from my memory; the pictures of these scenes will probably be burned indelibly into the memories of those I love who are required to participate in them. That's why I watch.

How does this subject relate to the topic of this blog? Briefly, when my friends or family are active duty military, I think of war in much more personal terms. Not to whine but just stating a fact, this causes me a lot of stress. We all know that stress affects our illnesses in many ways, most of them negative. The other way the war relates to the topic of this blog is that it is producing lots and lots more people with ICI: People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD; people with a myriad of other anxiety related illnesses; people with sleep disorders; people with Major Depressive Disorder, etc. There's also a relatively new kid on the block: Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. The wonders of modern medicine saves the lives of lots more veterans than it used to, but our knowledge of the damage war does to the mind lags far behind.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chronic Monday: National Sleep Awareness Week, March 3-9

I've had the drop dead stomach flu this week, complete with fever, chills, cramps, nausea and diarrhea. So my hard drive sits on the floor in much the same position it was in last week. Today is the first day since last Tuesday when I came down with the crud that I've been able to eat real food or do anything productive at all. So the Sleep Study scan remains inaccessible. But the Gods have smiled on me and made this week National Sleep Awareness Week. What a perfect lead in to the actual study next week! I know, I know, kind of anti-climactic, but what else can I do? I will tell you that the study showed that I got no - that is zero - Stage 4/delta sleep in the 6.5 hours that I slept. Stage 4/delta sleep is the deep, restorative sleep where the body rejuvenates itself.

The NFA page on Sleep Awareness Week says:

It is estimated that 90-95 percent of people with fibromyalgia experience disordered sleep. In addition, non-restorative sleep was cited as one of the most severe symptoms experienced by FM patients, following pain, in a recent online epidemiological survey by the National Fibromyalgia Association.

National Sleep Awareness Week® (NSAW), is a public education and awareness campaign presented by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), that coincides with the return of Daylight Saving Time, the annual "springing forward" of clocks that can cause Americans to lose an hour of sleep. This end of Daylight Savings Time causes me severe misery when I am working. I start preparing for it months in advance, sneaking my alarm up earlier and earlier but very slowly, so that by the time the actual day to change the clocks comes, I am really only getting up fifteen minutes earlier. It's still painful and it feels like I am just starting to get used to it when we change it back again. It makes me think seriously of moving to Arizona where they don't choose to participate in the Daylight Savings Time program.

Also from the NFA page on NSAW:
The theme for the 2008 weeklong health promotion event is Sleep: As Important as Diet and Exercise (Only Easier!) Among the campaign’s many components are quizzes, sleep tips and the results of the annual Sleep in America poll. New this year is a two-week NSF Sleep Diary.

People with FM, correct me if you don't agree, but if getting eight to nine hours of replenishing sleep were easy, WE WOULDN'T HAVE A PROBLEM! Maybe FM wouldn't even exist!

Here's an interesting appliance from the NSF that might work for me, a clock that literally jumps onto the floor and runs away so you have to get up and find it to shut it off!

There are also a bunch of sleep quizzes I'm going to have to check out,

and last but not least, we have the Great American Sleep Challenge. I feel stressed just reading the directions. I'm not much of an online gaming person. Poker, Second Life, that's about it. Let me know if you win a bed, though!


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