What they really mean

I love my doctor.  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before, but just in case you missed it…

So, I went back for a two month medication check.  That’s what he called it, but I’m fairly certain it was so he’d have visual proof that I hadn’t, in fact, completely lost my shit.  He actually came all the way into the room and stayed there, although to be fair, he pulled an Ali and floated like a butterfly just in case.  Poor guy.  I must give off waves of instability like a male lion gives off pheromones.  Maybe if I started marking my territory…

Anyway, where was I?

Yes, the Cymbalta is working.  No one’s died, me included.  I did mention getting separated from The Codefendants on the Metro in DC.    It must be working, doc, because all I could think when the train pulled away with my children in tow, leaving me on the platform, was “oops”.  He chuckled, assured me it really wasn’t funny (he’s right…it was kind of a riot) and then looked on the bright side.  At least they’ll have something to talk about in therapy.  Doc is my kinda guy.  

We quickly progressed through my shenanigans since the last visit: 41 miles walked in July; 49 in August; and 72 in September.  

Am I tired?  I have fibromyalgia and if that’s not enough, refer to the previous paragraph.

Am I sleeping?  Define “sleeping”.  Like…cat napping, like the dead, through the night, without waking?  Let’s see: yes, no, no, no.  Sounds like my side of a conversation right before I hang up on a telemarketer.  I am having some really vivid dreams, mostly about Himself, who’s dream self is very good at ticking me off.  I wake up and have to remind myself he has no clue how good he is at pushing my buttons when he’s unconscious.

I can see the wheels turning in Doc’s mind.  Let’s try another medication and see if we can’t get you on a sleep schedule.  I insist I have a schedule…it’s called a lack of one.  I might get 3 solid hours of sleep a night.  Maybe…if the planets align, the dachshund actually comes when called, and the Red Wings win the Cup again before I die.  Excuse me while I have a giggle here.  What the hell, let’s add another pill!

I’ve always been someone who’s taken several meds at once, thanks to several gastrointestinal issues and general nuttiness.  No biggie.  And there’s always some humor to be had.  If not, you may as well cash it in.

Case in point: lists of side effects.

Enlarged mammaries:  you’ll develop boobs big enough to feed Africa, China and at least two Balkan states.

Delayed gastrointestinal movements: the only stool you’ll see from now until the day you die is what’s on display at IKEA.

Accelerated gastrointestinal movements: the family expression here is “like shit through a goose”.  Good luck getting to the toilet in time, loser.

Dry mucus membranes: yeah, if the presence of camels and Bedouin tents isn’t a clue, it’s freaking dry in your mouth.  Never mind the sand exiting your nostrils.

And my personal favorite…

Increased perspiration: you will sweat like a two-bit whore on a pay day weekend.

Good times ahead.  

At least no one’s died.


Drink Me

My quest for all-natural remedies for my fibro pain is never-ending.  After the Lyrica fiasco, I’m no fan of  the pharmaceuticals that clog the airwaves day after day and the over the counter stuff taken at a level to make a dent in the pain would seriously pickle my liver.

My acupuncture lady, Miss J, bless her heart, introduced me to essential oils as a relaxation tool.  I’ve used them for any number of ailments and a panic attack or two with varying degrees of success.  She also likes Chinese herbs.  The stuff she has us taking for allergies smells like His Awesomeness’s socks and has a fleeting (thanks be to God) taste of celery.  Works like a charm but the ick factor is substantial.

I came upon a recipe for turmeric tea that claimed to help with pain.  What the heck…I’ll try anything once.


Now, before you even think to ask me what it tastes like, take a good long look at the above photo.  Folks, I scraped similar looking stuff out of the diapers of The Co-Defendants.  The University of Texas jerseys are this color.  That’s right…baby-sh*t brown.  The picture doesn’t even do it justice.

The recipe said I could add honey to taste.  There aren’t enough bees on the planet to make enough honey to make this stuff palatable.  But I was game and drank most of the concoction.  It was a struggle as breathing post-sip only intensified the taste.  However, I am happy to report that my pain level is actually significantly diminished.  Is this due to the turmeric or the shock of drinking what amounts to swamp water?  The world may never know.  Will I drink it again?  Possibly, but I must find my big girl panties first.


No, Really, It’s You

First, it was the naysayers who informed me that fibromyalgia wasn’t real–that it’s a trumped up condition created by people who are just plain lazy and don’t want to work.  Then there’s the alternate theory that says it was created by the money-grubbers in the pharmaceutical establishment to sell high-dollar medications.  I find this funny considering the fact that I still get up (albeit creaking, moaning, groaning and very slowly) at 4 a.m., work a full day (usually in a department where I stand All. Day. Long.) and come home to run a household and ride herd on two children who consider pestering the crap out of one another (and thereby driving mother insane) an Olympic event.  As to the alternate theory, pills do not help.  Not over the counter, not prescription.  So, unless I’d like to pickle my liver and serve it later with fava beans and a nice Chianti, I think I’ll skip them.

And while we’re on the subject of ‘choosing’ fibromyalgia, let me just say that were I to cherry-pick an affliction, I’d opt for something that resulted in me being thin, firm and perpetually tan.  And no, I don’t mean I want hepatitis.

Then, it was the nattering nabobs who said acupuncture was all smoke and mirrors, a waste of time and not ‘real’ medicine.  Ponder this a moment: Plastic surgeons are considered ‘real’ doctors so I guess we’re to assume the saline-filled bubbles they sock into chicks’ chests around the globe (no pun intended) are also ‘real’ boobs?  Yes, I refer to my acupuncture appointments as ‘going to the doctor’ but it isn’t just medicine, it’s an art.  Placing a needle just so to relieve pain takes talent and patience, traits I tend to find lacking in most ‘real’ doctors.  So, while you suffer side-effects from all those pills your MD shoves at you, my only one is feeling better.  Who’s the sucker now?

Now, what’s left to deal with are the trolls who believe ‘I am hurting’ is somehow my call for the Pain-Scale Pissing Contest to commence.  I do not consider my challenge, and that’s what fibro is to me, a challenge, to be the equivalent of acne-faced boys whipping it out in the school gym locker to see whose is bigger.  Are we really that far gone as a society that we have to be in competition over pain and suffering?

To be clear, I hurt every day, all day.  It just so happens that I may not hurt as bad as yesterday or even last week.  If by chance I say I’m feeling pretty good, this does not mean I’m cured.  It just means I’m not a panting, slobbering, dejected mess on the inside at the moment you asked.  I AM NOT in some sort of competition with the world at large to determine who’s in the most pain.  Of course there are others worse off than me and am I glad I’m not them?  Yeah, you betcha.  But it serves no purpose to belittle my daily experiences in comparison to someone else’s.  You simply diminish everyone’s experiences and come out of it looking like an ass.  Save face and skip your judgment.

One recent pithy remark was that my story never changes.  Duh!  And some folks are Judgy McJudgersons only on days that end in ‘y’.  Ask yourself where you stand on the Douchebag Spectrum.

Bottom-line time: Spare yourself the angst and me your hot air.  Smile your fake smile (And we all have ’em.  I reserve mine for ill-mannered children and adults who shouldn’t be allowed in public without a shock collar.) and move on.  I’ve got better things to do and a higher class of folks to do ’em with.

Fun Fibro Friday

I sit here listening for the umpteenth time to ‘Let It Go’ (if you don’t know which movie it’s from, please crawl out from under that boulder and join the rest of us) and would like to offer up my fibro to anyone who’d care to have it.  I’ll let it go!  Anyone?  Come on, no adventurous types out there today?  Fine, be that way.

Every other week, I spend a day with my acupuncturist Jamie and her bevy of sharp-tongued needles.  Today was no exception only I had company…The Diva.  For some reason, The Co-Defendants think Jamie hurls harpoon-sized weaponry at my over-sensitized self.  Some days, I admit, it feels like it.  The Diva spent the majority of the hour peering over the top of her DS, eyes wide, making gulping sounds as if before a firing squad.  She decided the needle between my eyes made me look like a unicorn.  I admit, in my imagination, I am that fabulously unique.  As for me, I just lay there staring at the designs created by those millions of dots on the ceiling tiles.  I’ve never seen the Virgin Mary or Elvis, maybe Jimmy Hoffa once, but who can be sure?  Truthfully, that’s a departure from when I first started acupuncture sessions which I usually spent giggling, thinking of myself as a human pincushion or porcupine.  Now, I wake myself snoring.  Or drooling.  Usually both.

In addition to the fibro, I also have Raynaud’s, which is a giggle a minute all by itself.  Usually, the tips of my fingers, my toes and even my nose are cold to the touch…like touching a real live corpse.  Yahoo!  And, yes, I am that doofus wearing the hoodie in 1000 degree Texas summer heat.  I’ll admit that one benefit is the ‘no snuggling’ rule Himself has instituted.  Yay, me and having my side of the bed all to my lonesome.  And forget picking up anything cold…it’s not going to happen.  At any rate, I went in today with my palms fire engine red and hot, hot, hot.  And not in that good Tom Selleck kind of way, either.  Apparently, that’s the flip side of Raynaud’s.  Who knew?  For today at least, I am one hot broad.

Jamie’s remedy?


I can’t make this crap up.  So there I lay (laid, lied…whatever) letting her jab me in the side of my pinkie finger right smack next to the nail bed with an old-school finger jabbing device.  And all the while I’m thinking that I’m paying this woman to do this.

I’ll say one thing for this fibro gig:  there’s never a dull moment.


Playing Catch-Up

I have, to use the technical term, been ‘piddle farting’ around lately when it comes to sewing.  Forget quilting, it’s taking all I’ve got just to sew a few stitches before the energy level drops to zilch and I wake up the next day, on the sofa, snorting and drooling.  Lovely picture, but there it is.  Gotta love fibromyalgia.

At any rate, I got a few more Tula Pink blocks completed and have found that ‘scrappy’ is not something I enjoy.  Scrappy = chaos in my orderly universe and it’s giving me the hives.  But I’ve committed myself, to the project not the asylum, so I only have, oh, about 86 more blocks to go.  What color straightjacket should I choose when I’m done?  Something to complement my ensemble or should I be bold and go for contrast?





Not as bright as some of the others, but that’s okay.  Maybe they’ll provide a resting spot for the eyes instead of making the whole quilt some sort of psychedelic horror show.

This morning it was lovely and cool with just a smidgen of wind.  I begged Himself to let me open the windows, but being a magnet for every particle of pollen in the known universe, he nixed that idea pretty quick.  So, I improvised.


I figure I might have a month’s worth of mornings that will be suitable for back patio sewing.  After that, we’ll be frying eggs out there.  It was loverly and quiet and testosterone-free as Himself and His Awesomeness sweated it out doing….well, I’m not sure.  Manly stuff, I presume, most probably involving bodily noises and car movies.  But that’s just a guess.

Happy Mother’s Day a day early to all the ladies out there.  I raise my glass to you (mainly because The Co-Defendants have driven me to drink) but also because we moms rock!



Tula Pink Kick in the Pants

To say I’ve allowed the fibro to kick my butt here lately would be a major understatement.  I have, for all intents and purposes, been utterly useless; even The Co-Defendants seem more productive.  SCARY!  This psychotic Texas weather doesn’t help in the least…both Friday and Saturday were warm (think 70s) and today it’s colder than a witch’s boob in a brass bra.  You’re welcome for that visual.  How about ‘colder than a frog’s butt’?

Friday afternoon I washed the tons of dirt off the Mom Mobile, paid for it big time on Saturday and got absolutely nothing done until evening.

I’m plodding along on the Tula Pink City Sampler blocks although I must say it’s pretty gratifying when I get even one of these little babies done.  Here are numbers 8 and 9…



I think the tape measure one is my favorite so far.

Only 91 more to go!

Tell Me What I (Kinda Sorta) Want to Hear

I’ll admit it to the blogging universe, but never to my husband’s face, that when I ask for an honest opinion, I generally want the person I’m asking to lie.

I once asked a psychiatrist if I was crazy.  His reply was that mentally ill folk don’t think their behavior or thoughts are abnormal so it wouldn’t occur to them to ask about the appropriateness of their actions, therefore, I didn’t qualify for ‘crazy’.  I say there’s always an exception and that psychiatrists are a lot like politicians…never a straight answer.

I asked Himself, once upon a time, what was the big deal (no pun intended) about Kim Kardashian’s badonkadonk and why everyone just swooned over it.  The man chose to make hand gestures to describe the difference between hers and mine.  He did not choose wisely, grasshopper, and spent a very lonely week if you get my meaning.  On the other hand, I’ve asked if something made me look jaundiced, fat, old, dead (pick your descriptive) and he’s lied like a champ.  Ah, well, one ill-chosen response should not make him a doghouse occupant for life.  Perhaps he thought I genuinely wanted an honest answer.  Silly man.

If you keep up with my blogging ramblings, you know I was told in a half-assed, kinda-sorta manner back in July that I might possibly, probably, take-my-best-educated-guess have fibromyalgia.  It wasn’t one of those moments that instilled a lot of confidence in the medical community, especially when it was suggested I get a sleep study first.  WTH?!  ‘Go to a specialist’, my mother intoned.  I had the doctor set me up an appointment and then I promptly fired her.  I’m sorry, but when I want answers, I want answers not some dilly-dallying, waffling crap.  I can get better info from Wikipedia.

So, Thursday I got my definitive answer.  I’d already been warned by an acquaintance to expect to basically be told what I was going to do and when with regard to treatment.  Haha!  I don’t take those meds anymore, so we’d just see how accommodating I’d be.

I’m not a huge fan of doctors.  If I’m there, sitting in my skivvies and covered only by a paper ‘gown’, it’s fairly obvious a good time is not about to be had by all.

Imagine my surprise when I was sitting in my skivvies, haute couture paper gown in place AT MY APPOINTMENT TIME!  Grab the smelling salts, y’all!  Yes, on time, I tell you…with the doctor already in the room.  As I rambled on about why I was there, Dr. F perused the paltry lab notes sent over from Dr. You’ve Been Fired.  Then I got put through the ringer.  Tender points I didn’t know existed on my body were poked and prodded and every extremity and joint I owned was put through more contortions than a cheap hooker.  We discussed the weather, the economy, immigration and politics.  He asked if I ran my household the way the President is running the country…no lie.  All while I’m sitting there half-naked and freezing.  Charming.

‘Let’s be honest here, doc.  All I want is a yes or a no.  I know there aren’t lab tests to diagnose this.  I don’t want medicine of any kind with all the lovely side effects.  Just give me a yes or a no and if it’s no, what are you going to do then and I’ll be satisfied.’  He blinked at me like an owl.  Crickets chirped.  Apparently, according to Dr. F, my attitude is my best offense against fibro.  Who knew being an obstinate, sarcastic, pain in the ass could be an asset?  Well, me, but no one else seems to appreciate the finer points of my personality.

In the end, the answer was the same: yes, to the fibromyalgia.  Was I disappointed that was the only thing wrong with me…was his question to me.  No, I’m good that that’s all it is.  Isn’t that enough?  It sucks monkey nuts that there’s nothing the medical community can do to make it better sans side effects but them’s the breaks, right?  I’m satisfied and life can now go on, not that it wasn’t already marching forth whether I was ready or not.  I mentioned the acupuncture and Chinese herbs and was impressed he didn’t roll his eyes and could actually read the herbs, written in Chinese no less, on the label.  He seemed a bit shocked that I didn’t want painkillers or sleeping pills, but let’s be honest, they’re not going to do any good.  This is life and life goes on.  It’s not like I don’t put on my big girl panties everyday anyway.



The Tact Train is Leaving the Station

I have managed to accomplish exactly zilch in the quilting department since coming home from last weekend’s retreat extravaganza.  I have, however, managed to bake two batches of incredibly awesome muffins/cupcakes without anyone keeling over from shock or going into convulsions of disgust.  It’s the little things that brighten my day.

Today was another acupuncture day and this time I made myself watch while Miss J set my feet and then the palms of my hands on fire.  Have I ever mentioned I work with my hands?  Yep, that was a ‘working buttonholes in the seat’ experience if there ever was one.  I thoroughly enjoy my visits, not just because I know I’ll get some relief and that I’ll inevitably wind up giggly like a idiot, but also because I want to see what wacky Hawaiian print shirt she’ll have on that day (which reminds me, I want to try Hawaiian applique some day).  From the soles of her Doc Martens to the tippy top of her never-seen-a-comb hair, I think she’s fairly awesome.

I’m not sure what it is about going for these visits that is akin to going to a regular medical establishment-type physician, but it gets me to running at the mouth.

‘People don’t believe half the stuff you do to me in here.’  Nice one, Steph, make it sound like porn.  Idiot.

‘Do other people ever say they feel guilty for saying they feel like crap every time they come in..or is it just me?’  Sigh and chuckle is her standard reply.

Do you think she drinks before or after my visit.

I have visions of what I look like while the session is going on…

Premise : Pinhead who’s more terrifying than Jason and Freddy combined leads a group of...
photo credit: picsearch

but I know that in reality I look like this…

Clever Beastie

As far as I’m concerned, these appointments can’t roll around fast enough.  I always feel like something the cat barfed up pulling into the parking lot and like a perky pair of boobs after plastic surgery while leaving.  Carry that mental image with you through the weekend.  You’re welcome.

So, pardon me while I get up on my soapbox and do a little preaching.

I’ve been doing the pin-the-needle-in-me routine for six weeks but I’ve already had enough of the naysayers and pooh-poohers telling me that the relief is all in my head.  I suppose they have to say this because it’s not typical medical-establishment jump through hoops until we figure out what works stuff and, heaven knows, if it doesn’t come with side-effects it must not be real medicine.  It takes every ounce of tact I have (and trust me, it isn’t much) to stand there and smile and nod all while thinking ‘You are such a dillball’.  Go ahead, ask me what a dillball is.  They continue on, telling me the relief I feel only comes because I have faith that it will work.  I’ve yet to get a reply to my retort of ‘I pray, too.  Is that all hocus-pocus?’ 

Frankly, I did a little eye-rolling myself when Miss J sighed over my deficient qi, but if sticking a pin in my cranium or lighting my extremities afire gets me some relief, sign me up.  I’m quite sure there’s some sort of life lesson God is trying to teach me about patience and perseverance and suffering so I’ll be content to muddle through it and try (and generally fail) to live with fibro gracefully.  I don’t knock their choice to support the pharmaceutical establishment and gulp down pills with nasty side-effects.

Don’t knock mine.

Hump Day Game!

If ever there’s an upside to fibromyalgia, it’s that you know with 100% certainty that you’ll be in some degree of pain every single day.  This week it seems is the week that fibro has upped its game, turned the screws and it stickin’ it to me like nobody’s business.  If I continue in this vein, I’ll wind up whining monstrously and sniveling.  I’m no beauty queen, but rivulets of tears and snot running down my face wouldn’t up my beauty quotient and the whole red-nosed thing belongs to Rudolph so…..


No, not one of those obnoxious kids’ games that makes you want to stick your finger down your throat or something more adult that involves cards and shucking your clothes.

Let’s play the Guessing Game and the winner gets something awesome from my fabric stash.  Have I decided what the prize is?  No, I’m too tired to think that far ahead.  Think of it as a quilter’s grab bag.  The only caveat, is that the right word, is that I’ll mail U.S. only.  Sorry, but it’s too expensive to do the overseas thing and selling a body part to pay postage isn’t my idea of a good time.  Maybe next time.

So, here goes…

Give me a one word answer to describe your reaction to these cookies. If it matches mine, you win.  Yes, I am desperate for distraction.  Work with me here!