So I finally got around to calling my mother (my parents live in Corpus Christi) to let her know what has been going on with me and the beloved. After the conversation, I realized that we’ve actually been doing quite a lot, especially for two people who are having health issues that prevent them from working or going out much. So I figured I’d update anyone who was paying attention to this blog.
(I am sharing medical information because it’s good to know that it can take time to work out what works for you, and to get names of meds perhaps you haven’t tried. If you have fibro, keep trying out everything that might work to find what does work for you!)
We saw the specialist and got an “all clear” for my blood work. No rheumatoid arthritis, all other blood levels were within norms. Always good to hear. She suggested increasing the Lyrica (fibro med) and finding a pain specialist or accupuncturist to deal with the ongoing levels of pain. We went to our primary care physician two days later. We talked with him and I made it clear that the specialist is fine for consultation, but I want all of my healthcare to be focused in his office and he and I will chart my course for health. It gives me a central place to call for my prescriptions (so I don’t have to call all over the place getting refills) and since it IS central, if there’s bad interactions, the doctor will be able to see that within my records. It makes a more holistic, overall health care plan of action which I want. So he and I have mapped out a combination of Lyrica, added back the Cymbalta (which handles pain of fibro more than fibro and melds with the Lyrica beautifully). I’ve dropped the Tramadol (the worst for side effects of my pain meds) which will now be my “go to” med when I need some extra pain relief. I’m still taking the Celebrex as a maintenance (twice a day) pain pill, and Vicodin is still my friend, but usually 2 a day instead of 4. That relieves my doctor…
He also takes care of my husband, and we both go to each other’s appointments so the doctor is used to seeing us together. I like this as well; I believe you always need an extra set of ears to hear the conversation. Paul is also very observant of me, so he can tell the doctor more of the external signs of my health/behavior. And since the doctor knows what is going on with BOTH of us, he also handed me a prescription for Xanax, to relieve the stress we are both living under. Amazing how fast the tightness in my chest (which I thought was a recurrence of my asthma) went away with that little yellow pill. It’s not a long term med, but for right now, it’s a necessary and important part of getting me healthy again.
And according to Paul, I am doing so well that it’s disorienting. I am, to quote him, back to being a smartass. YAY! I have actually taken my kitchen from piles of dishes hoping for some kindly friend to wash them up to getting them washed and put away. And I am keeping up with them as we eat and make more dirty ones. I have rearranged my kitchen into a more cook-able arrangement. The appliances that I use regularly are lined up like a display in Bed Bath and Beyond….the Cuisinart food processor, the rice cooker, the toaster, the convection oven. The counter that they had all been huddled on is now clear except for my cutting board and the crock that holds all the kitchen utensils. In other words, a clean area to prep food and conveniently next to the stove. (Which by the way has my induction plate on it–if you haven’t cooked on induction (by magnetism, basically)…well, you should. Faster, hotter, shorter cook times makes it easier and CHEAPER to use than a regular gas or electric stove. Just saying.)
And with all of that in order, I am (drum roll) COOKING again! It’s something I do very well and enjoy doing…but haven’t had the energy or focus until recently. Of course it means more dirty dishes…sigh.
So what other excitement have we had? Both kids came to have dinner with us to celebrate my son’s birthday. We went to Black Bear (his first time, but not the last time he wants to go there!) and Paul got to see their interaction for the first time. We’ve had them both visit, but never together like this. My sweet Froggy looked at us and SMILED…he remembered us!! Which was awesome. We also got to spend time with him and his parents over two days, which was wonderful. Another one of those simple days, nothing special, just family hanging out–we ordered pizza for dinner–and yet was a truly wonderful day.
We also have a young friend whose mother recently died, so we’ve been a quiet place for her to come and sit, talk to us and just hide from her own life for a little. We both minister, it’s what we do…helping others is a vital part of our own lives and it’s been missing, lost in the crush of poor health and the realities of the insurance companies who dictate whether or not you are approved for your claim. Or as my friends have said before, all the lost puppies find my house. Nice to be helping others again, especially having been on the receiving end of other’s helping us.
I made country-fried steak for dinner last night, compete with white gravy, Texas style. I think of it as library paste with sausage, but it’s the traditional topping for the steak…no seriously, it does taste good, but it is NOT a demiglace or anything that fancy. Real country cooking. Fried rice of some sort for dinner tonight, I think. And it’s nice to be able to plan and then prepare actual meals.
So life is definitely going a lot better. I still tire easily (loss of muscle tone, of course) and I am still trying to go slowly while ignoring the feeling of malingering. We’ve decided that we need to create a real schedule instead of “eat, sleep, computer” at any hour without regard to the normal cycle of time. Can’t go food shopping at 2 am when the store closed at 11 pm. I think we also need to get back into a routine of doing specific things at specific times to create a sense of order that will help us on the path to good health.
For the rest of you with fibro, I hope this helps you find a way out of your flare ups, offers some idea for meds to try and lets you know that once you can get the pharmaceuticals right, which will treat the issues of fibro appropriately, there is a nice, normal life waiting for you as well. Excuse me while I go load the dishwasher.