Moving Day

November 30, 2020

Last Saturday was moving day. No, not me. I’m staying put. My best friend, however, has to relocate into the city for her new job.

For the last 3 weeks I have been going over to her place every other day to help her pack. The woman has *way* too much stuff, IMO. Since I’ve helped her move her household countless times over the 30+ years we’ve been friends, I would know.

Boxes,and boxes, and boxes, Oh My!

Why every other day? I am not taking the risk of going into a flare & not being able to help at all. Am I packing heavy stuff? You betcha! Am I moving it? Only when necessary & if it is light enough that I can safely lift. But some things, no way. Vinyl? No way! CDs? Nuh-uh! Paperbacks? Yes, cuz they’re in small liquor boxes. Hard covers? Not a chance. Collectables? With my flakey shoulder, I’m not taking the risk of dropping anything, so unless it not heavy & not far then sure, but otherwise, not happening. Movies? Nope cuz they are packed in a fairly big box. Linens? Depends on if it’s the big box or the small ones! Kitchen stuffs? Again depends on the weight. Decor? Nothing big, nothing heavy.. Furniture? Not in this lifetime, unless it’s like a TV tray or something equally light in weight.

Physically making the boxes, filling them,then sealing them up & moving them to start the next box, even if it’s super light, is quite the challenge. It helps that her & I do it together. She grabs the item off the shelf or out of the drawer & hands it to me, and I pack it to the box. So neither of us is doing all the actiins. Then we switch. It makes for fast work, while not completely stressing out our bodies. (BFF also has fibro). And that has been working awesomely!

Pain still happens though.
Thankfully a bad day, not a flare.

Sunday & Monday were a small crash, but may or may not have to do with packing cuz I was also exercising on Friday & Saturday.. this is the first & only time I’ve skipped helping due to pain. Given that I’d been helping pack now for 2 weeks, every other day, I think I was doing really well. But it’s not a flare, thank God, just a bad two days..

Did I unpacking anything? Only immediate necessities on Saturday. I usually start with the bed. Get that set up & made, so they have somewhere to sleep on Saturday night instead of under a pile or boxes. I rarely get past that point. But I know it’s greatly appreciated. This time because her daughter’s could not help due to covid, I started on her kitchen… Actually got most of her dishes, dish ware, glasses, cutlery & utensil unpacked.. So her kitchen, minus her food was pretty much unpacked by the time we stopped.

Let’s avoid crashing under a pile of boxes.
So, afterwards, I was home most of Sunday recuperating.. Went out for dinner with another friend that night, as we were going back into lockdown the next day. Monday & Tuesday were additional days of rest. & I was grateful that my cub meetings, despite me leading the main activity, were virtual – made bird houses! But by Wednesday I was feeling like my normal self.. Yay!!



Anyone concerned about my risk of exposure to COVID, please read my previous post “Upcoming Move – Keeping Safe”

Weight Loss Tips – To Do or Not Do

November 26, 2020

DO Have a Good Mindset

Attitude is critical to sucess, and if we are not approaching our disciplined regimen with the right outlook, our chances of success are slim. Stress and other negative emotions tend to lead to either over-eating, binge eating, poor food choices or a combination of these.

DO Eat Protein in the Morning

Studies have shown that eating breakfast triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical which allows to control impulses making that afternoon snack of a candy bar significantly lower. Research has also shown that skipping breakfast is harmful to our metabolism which can actually make us 4.5 times more likely to be obese, and it increases our odds of overeating at the next meal.

Eggs baked with cheese and veggies.. Yum!

Starting the day with high protein levels creates a higher thermal effect increase the number of calories burnt through the day. This morning boost also better preseres lean body mass, which further protects the metabolism, and aids in a more tone and defined look. High morning protein levels also lessen cravings, mood disturbance, irritability, stress, and fatigue levels.

DON’T Eat Too Late

Eating a large meal late in the day could be hurting our chances of successful weight loss.. Eat larger meals for breakfast or lunch, and include healthier treats & snacks. Switch the soup or salad from lunch and eat it for dinner instead. People have lost upwards of 35 pounds simply from shifting meal times, while eating the exact same diet. This shift also improves sleep quality and decreases morning grogginess.

Eating late is not recommended, but if you must, choose something light.

DO NOT Starve Yourself.

Make sure we are eating enough. Skipping meals or simply not eating regularly tells your body that you may experience a famine in the near future and your metabolism will adapt. Regular eating tells your brains that there is food ready to be consumed and your body doesn’t need to store what you eat as fat for later.

While we think that skipping a meal or postponing a meal will help reduce caloric intake, we become ravenous. We over eat, binge or don’t make a proper meal in lieu of something quick – like fast food from McDonald’s or Little Ceasar’s. Healthy snacks, premade food both dinner or prepped, and structured meal times can help make sure that hunger stays under control resulting in more balanced, healthy meals.

Starving also creates blood sugar imbalances, where it goes up and down each day resulting in hormonal chaos. When hormones are out of whack, the weight does not come off no matter what is done.

Do Not Make Excuses

Shit or get off the pot. Commit to it. Make ourself accountable. Set goals and follow through. We have to make these changes to see changes.

DO Monitor Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is one of the biggest weight loss challenges. A single glass of wine is between 120-125 calories, a vodka soda is a little over 100 calories, and a 16 oz margarita can set us back more than 1,000 calories. Then how often do we only have one? Typically with no nutritional value, alcohol tends to make us crave greasy, unhealthy food rather than a protein-and-veggie-packed meal

Just one glass of wine has 120-124 calories.. But who drinks just one?.

Do Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Most grown adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. As it turns out, that amount of sleep is also ideal for preventing the pile on of excess pounds. A recent study found that people who didn’t get the recommended amount of sleep were more at risk for weight gain.

Do NOT Regularly Drinking Pop/Soda.

This is my Kryptonite.. My caffeine is Coke.. I really enjoy drinking Pop.

Pop, Soda, Soda Pop, whatever you call it

Drinks & diets high in sugar have the potential to decrease the microbial diversity in the gut within the digestive system which appears to be associated with most of the human diseases affecting westernized countries, including obesity.

Do Not Weigh Yourself

Well, yes, you do need to weigh yourself, just don’t do it every day. Once a week is good. Daily weigh ins are often discouraging due to natural fluctuations. You see every bump & glitch in your weight loss. Weekly weigh-ins are a much better time frame. Also us the same scale, in the same clothes, at the same time of day to get consistent & more accurate weight-loss readings.

Do Get Exercise, Like Walking

Working out plays a crucial role in weight loss and can help us maintain our weight loss for years to come. While people tend to find one workout routine that works for them, research has shown it’s important to switch it up. Instead of simply running or walking, try to vary the speed as you go. Walking at varying speeds can burn up to 20 percent more calories compared to maintaining a steady pace.

Running is a good form of exercise

Do Reduce Your Carbs & Added Sugar Intake

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, or six teaspoons, for women, and 150 calories (nine teaspoons) for men. Most Americans are ingesting much more than that, so to get & keep the weight off, reduce the amount of added sugar you eat. Reducing the intake of calorie-dense sugar carbs automatically reduces the amount of calories consumed on a daily basis, which forces the body to burn fat stored around the midsection for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbs!

To increase the chances of obtaining that bikini body, swap simple carbs for high-fiber foods. The current recommendation of fiber intake is about 25-28 grams per day, Focus on eating whole foods that are naturally high in fiber like fruits, veggies, and unrefined grains. Suggestions include : whole grain breads, whole grain oats, , fruit & veggie smoothie, veggie chili, veggie burrito, sweet potato toast, nuts, yogurt with granola, veggie pasta with turkey, fish baked with vegetables, stir-fry, and veggie scrambled eggs (the more veggies the better) – I like bell peppers & mushrooms with some cheese in mine

Do Eat More Protein

In addition to fiber, protein is another important player in the weight loss game because it requires more energy to burn than carbs or fats and thus keeps you fuller longer. A study found that Greek yogurt, with the highest protein content, to have the greatest effect on weight-loss. For an added boost of protein and flavor, consider topping your Greek yogurt with some fresh berries and almonds and then pair with a hard-boiled egg. Other high protein edibles include jerky which now comes in a ton of flavours, string cheese, high-protein smoothies, veggie pasta from beans, egg muffins which is the same idea as scrambled but baked instead, cottage cheese with fruit or nuts, frozen Greek yogurt adding peanut butter powder & fruit, roasted pumpkin seeds, again oatmeal with fruit & nuts , cheese muffins, pancakes from Kodiak flour, and protein bars or better yet, homemade protein bars made from oats, dates, nuts & protein powder.

Chheese Muffins! Yum!

Do Slow Your Eating

It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough, so if you eat slowly chances are you will consume less and see your belly shrink. One study found slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal. While only 66 calories might not sound like much, cutting that amount out of every meal adds up. Just that difference alone can result in a loss of more than 20 pounds in one year! The simple trick to slow your pace: Place your fork down on the plate after each bite.

Libido

November 23, 2020

How fibro & other issues affect or don’t affect my libido. People who know me but do not have interest in this topic as relates to me, like a sibling or parent, even some friends, you just might want to skip this post.

Lol.. No, this is not me & a partner, but a stock photo. 😉

When I was young, before the fibro became an issue, I was only dealing with the early onset of only Endometriosis & CFS. My sex drive, much to the delight of my boyfriends over the years, was high. I don’t know many women who have that strong a libido. I only know of one female whose libido is close to mine. I’d equate my strong libido levels to that of an 18;year old boy. That tells us something.

I have found that the medical condition itself of fibromyalgia does not impact my libido. It does however impact if, when and how I act on that libido. Whether I’m a passive or active partner, how I can move and what positions I can or can’t get into. And there are some days that are just too painful. The mind is willing, the body not so much.

While the fibro has not impacted the desire, what has impacted it over the years is medications. I’ve had two major medications not only decrease but almost eliminate any sex drive I had.

Fentanyl patches completely killed my libido

Fentanyl: I was, at one point, at 50mcg/hr through a fentanyl patch. And because I had slowly been increased to that.. I didn’t initially notice the libido drop.. It was a slow progression to the complete elimination of any interest.. I was also on it for several years and I guess I attributed the drop in drive as a fibromyalgia issue as many women in the support groups have lost their libido to fibro. I only found out that it had completely suppressed my natural urges when I came off it. It took only a few days for it to return. And return it did! Unfortunately I was single at the time.

Cymbalta significantly impaired my libido

Cymbalta: It seems that there are a lot of antidepressants that can impair one’s sex drive. Fortunately, I’ve never had problems with them until the Cymbalta. It was initially great for my depression, but zero help for the Fibro for me.. But when we tweaked it & bumped it up a level, the mood stabilizer part of the medication was better, but within 48 hours of starting the higher dose, the libido died. We tried it for 6 months to see if that side effect would wear off before switching me to a different medication. My sex drive returned in maybe 36 hours, at most.. But again, I was single again, at the time.

Now, these medications may not impact others the same way and I’m sure there are other medications that will impair sex drive of others. This is my experience and my experience only.

Upcoming Move – Keeping Safe

November 17, 2020

No, I am not moving, my BFF & her hubby are.

For the last 2½ weeks I have been going over to her place every other day to help her pack.

I know there will be those concerned about the risk of getting exposed to COVID. Yes, they are moving to the city, Toronto, Canada’s biggest hotspot but we are being as careful as possible.

To minimize any risk to my parents, I’ve isolated from them while I’m helping pack & move.

I am only in one circle at a time.

My bff & her hubby are now my bubble. No, I don’t wear a mask at her place, but they are the only people who I do that with. His job had been modified so that he interacts basically with no one while he does his pickups, not at his work & not with the clients. She currently works from home, but that will shift slightly after her move. In the grand scheme of things, they are low risk of being exposed. Because of running errands & my cub scouts, I’m at a higher risk of exposure than she is as she is only leaving her place to transport items to her new home, a house.

Because I’m only me & Lilly in my immediate household, it is recommended, for my mental health, that I extend my bubble. Helping my BFF & getting to spend some quality time is also good for my mental health & wellbeing.

Immediately after the move I will isolate for 2 weeks, no bubble whatsoever before returning to my parents’ bubble. I will not be helping my bff unpack as my Mom is not comfortable with that.

On the day of, masks. Every single person *must* have a mask before entering any premises. Hands must also be either sanitized before entering, or washed properly immediately upon entering. Signs will be up to help the movers go directly to the room they need to go to, making things more efficient & less wandering. I’m sure I’ll have a Lysol or Clorox sanitizing cloth at all times to wipe stuff down as the movers come and go.

This is the best way to keep everyone safe and at a comfortable level and allows me to help her out.

More info on the move & it’s impact on my Fibro coming shortly.

Soap for RLS

November 13, 2020

Written by Amanda Stout.. I think this is the original: https://www.simplemost.com/bizarre-reason-people-sleeping-bar-soap-sheets/

i never tried this, but I think it’ll try it next time my rls flares up.

The Bizarre Reason People Are Sleeping With A Bar Of Soap Under Their Sheets

It sounds wacky, but you might want to give it a try!

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I’d often awaken in the middle of the night with terrible leg cramps. I was already low on sleep, so these painful wake-up calls really got to me. That is, until my mother-in-law suggested I try putting a bar of Ivory soap under my fitted sheet.

I approached this suggestion with a healthy amount of skepticism, but as for everything else while pregnant, I did some research. What I found was post after post from people with restless leg syndrome (RLS) or leg cramps singing the praises of soap under their bed sheets.

According to a Twitter poll conducted by the TV show “The Doctors,” 42 percent of respondents found relief using the soap remedy. All evidence of using soap to relieve leg cramps is anecdotal and not backed by scientific research, but it is cheap and drug-free, so I decided to give it a try.

And guess what? It worked, I never had another leg cramp!

Reasons Why Soap May Help Prevent Leg Cramps

So, why do people think soap works? Like many home remedies, there are lots of theories about what to use and why it’s effective.

  • There’s no consensus on what type of soap is best. Some have said Dial and Dove don’t work, but others swear by it. For RLS, Dr. Mehmet Oz suggests the use of lavender soap or other soaps with natural essential oils for the potential calming effect. Others use Ivory or Irish Spring.
  • Some believe that the soap must emit something into the air that relieves the cramps. Many advise placing the soap under the sheet near the area where cramping is an issue and changing the soap out every three months or so to make sure it’s fresh.
  • Soap can contain magnesium, so another theory is that it may help with leg cramps caused by magnesium deficiency.
  • Still others believe it’s simply a placebo effect.

More Tips For Relieving Leg Cramps

Muscle cramps have many possible causes. According to the Mayo Clinic, these can include: dehydration, mineral depletion (calcium, magnesium, potassium), muscle fatigue, age, pregnancy and other medical conditions. If soap doesn’t work for you or you’d like to try other inexpensive home remedies there are a range of options:

  • Stretch calf muscles before and after exercise and before going to bed.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially while exercising or being active. Good hydration helps your muscles relax and feel less irritable.
  • Take a warm shower before bed to relax muscles.
  • Try eating a banana, avocado or other potassium-rich foods.
  • Drink pickle juice. The salt, sugar and vinegar may help provide a quick replenishment of minerals lost when sweating.

As with anything, make sure to seek the help of a doctor if you experience extra painful or prolonged issues with leg cramps.

Remembrance Day 2020

November 11, 2020

“In Flanders Field” was written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae


In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.




I’d like to thank my friend Sargent Jeffrey Elo of the Ontario Regiment for doing virtual meetings with my Cubs, both the 1st & 13th, and our Beavers.. I was surprised & happy with how engaged the youth were during his presentation. With no veterans left from WWI & so few left from WWII, we have to keep remembering the veterans who died in these wars and the so many other missions since then.

Newly Diagnosed? Here are some thoughts for you.

November 9, 2020

Fibro can get you down so much. It can also make life so difficult. But it also brings people together, raises awareness and gets people the help they need – but you need to ask 😉

Here are a few thing to keep in mind to help you on your journey…..

  1. Don’t feel guilty. It’s not your fault. You did not cause this.
  2. With Fibro our lives have changed drastically… Don’t feel bad about not being the person you used to be – it’s not your fault…. Try & embrace who you are becoming – the new you.
  3. Housework will always be there tomorrow – but your time, love, experiences won’t be..
  4. Don’t worry about yesterday as it’s gone. Tomorrow hasn’t come yet so enjoy today, however you can. That might be having a bath, taking meds so you can chill out in front of the tv, going for a walk, or whatever you enjoy..
  5. Never ever feel bad about having to rest. This condition is very stressful on our bodies and with poor sleep we got very little healing sleep, so it’s no wonder your exhausted & hurting.
  6. If people want to know how to help you and what is wrong, they will do research. However, you can point family and friends in the right direction by sending them a link to online sites. ButYouDontLookSick.com has the spoon theory which while for another condition, also applied to Fibro.
  7. ENJOY THE GOOD DAYS! But don’t do too much! Took me about 20 years to understand how to pace myself!
  8. Not everything will work. It is a hit & miss process finding out what combination of diet, activity and medications works for you. For example, my bff swears by Gabapentin but I found it exacerbated my symptoms. I am getting great benefit from medical marijuana, but another friend got zero benefit..
  9. There are a ton of online support groups for Fibromyalgia & chronic illness.. Join one or two.. or six… Most others in these groups are like me & are here for you any time you need to chat – that’s one thing I really love about these groups..
  10. There is NO CURE. Ignore anyone who says they were cured, especially if they are trying to sell something – These people do NOT care about you. Or they are in a remission & delusioned in thinking that they are cured.
  11. Some days will be good, some bad and there’s not necessarily anything you could have done to prevent .
  12. This condition waxes and wanes, so while there is no cure, it is possible to improve.. it won’t last as your disease progresses.. Most people once they figure out what works do not deteriorate. I myself am currently bin a form of remission, with pain levels low, but 10 years ago I was bedridden.. Lots of changes over a long time helped me there.. So there is the possibility of improvement & remission with Fibro. I’m just enjoying the increased functionally & lower pain levels while I can.
  13. Flares happen. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent it.. Myself, I’d say 50% of the time I can tell I’ve overdone it & a flare comes on.. The other 50% is unpredictable.. and yes, despite the semi-remission, I still have flares just not to the extent & frequency as I used to.. For that I am eternally grateful.
  14. Above all, take care of yourself and help yourself to feel better. Other people can wait 😉

My Types of Pain

November 7, 2020

With all the different medical conditions that I have, several of them are chronic pain conditions. Now you must think, because there are so many issues, that the pain would just bleed through, but it doesn’t. Each pain for each condition feels uniquely different from the others. Being able to differentiate between different types of pain and their causes is advantageous in that since I know what is causing the pain I know which treatment would work better

Fibromyalgia Pain – tTis is more muscular and joint pain. I have tropical rubs, muscle relaxation and pain medications to help deal with this

OsteoArthritis Pain – This pain is exclusively in my lower back as I have osteoarthritis in the entire lumbar and tailbone area of my back. Topicals will help this to a point, but anti-inflammatories tend to be the most productive treatment

Myofacial Pain Syndrome Pain- This one just sucks because it is hard to tell between what is the my official pain syndrome and what is just stress. And sometimes they’re both. Treatment for this type of pain is the nerve and trigger point injections that I get from my pain management clinic. Massage therapy also helps me with this .

Endometriosis Pain- Fortunately while I don’t experience this as much as I used to I still get shots from this . Currently I will feel the occasional shot down from my ovary to my leg. Other times is when Demetrio tissue adheres to the bowel and then the bowel moves as stool processes through causing the bowel structure to shift, causing years in the Endo tissue, causing pain. This is typically dealt with using anti-inflammatories and pain medications.

IBS Pain- initially because the endometriosis was located on my bowel I did not have problems differentiating initially between IBS pain and endometrial pain. Having dealt with this since my teen years I have been able to determine the difference between the two. And do a sharp whereas IBS is more crampy. The easiest way to resolve this is to have the bowel movement.

Arthritis Pain – I also have the normal form of arthritis in both my hands and in my knees. Anti-inflammatories typically help but support braces are also advantageous for both my wrists and my knees

Kidney Stone Pain- the first time I dealt with this pain it knocked me off my feet. From what I’ve read this is one of the most painful forms of pain that the human body experiences. It took three lithotripsies and several other false starts to get these treated. Drinking lots of fluid did help in that it would help float the stones away from the ducks so it was not impeding the function of the kidney.

I have experienced other forms of pain such as a pinched nerve, pulled or torn muscle, spring, bone break, concussions, etc. These forms of pain fortunately are short-term, typically less than 3 months unlike the chronic conditions above.

Happy 50th, Laura.

November 2, 2020

Today, Laura would have been 50 years old.

For those who don’t know the backstory, I’ve always called Laura my sister. Technically, she was my sister-in-law but I have known her since I was 12 or 13. We were also friends in our own right through soccer & field hockey.

Laura was a Toronto police officer recently returned from maternity leave. While responding to an emergency burglary call for an elderly woman, her vehicle was hit by a civilian. Her police cruiser spun, throwing her partner from the vehicle but wrapping her around a tree. The civilian was never charged with anything, not even failing to yield to the emergency vehicle.

Laura with Paige, only hours old.

A new mother, a caring sister, a supportive daughter, a good friend, a loving wife and a great police officer, her life was tragically cut short and we miss her. .

Laura J Ellis, nee Sharp

November 2, 1970 – February 18, 2001

Rest In Peace

Happy Halloween

October 30, 2020