Archive for November, 2021

Tracking the Possible Side Effects of Your Prescriptions

November 26, 2021

I am pretty sure, most of us when we get a new medication do go through the drug information as well as discussion with our doctor about the side effects of the med. But keep this information because side effects can happen at any time..

There are at least three situations I can think of where it could be very important. I know two from personal experience:

  1. You can adapt to the medication over time and the side effects can creep in as you’re adapting. For me, it happened twice. I was on Celexa for several months before the side effect of abdominal pain started creeping in.. Because it had been a few months we, nor my doctor or I, didn’t associate a possible side effect from a medication to the pain. I was also on fentanyl and didn’t even notice the side effect of a decreased libido as it slowly crept in. I thought it was part of getting older. until I came off the medication & return to the level of high school..
  2. Dosage changes can also impact. With the increase in medication to help treat something you can also increase the risk of side effects. I had this happen with Cymbalta. Well it didn’t help me with my pain it was helping me with my mental health but we had to shift it up one level. This shift did the same thing as my fentanyl just took alot faster. Zero libido kicked in after only 2 days.
  3. Other Interactions. It is entirely possible for medications to interact with other substances. Yes, the big one would be other prescription medications, there’s a possibility of interacting with over the counter medications, supplements of all sorts or foods even. So if you are having side effects, if you made any changes in any of these, take that into consideration. But the side effect might be from the food or the supplement or the new med, but the side effect could also be from the initial medication or worse a combination of more than two.

So, Yeah. Keep as eye on your side effects if there are changes, even if you’ve been on it for a while. Unfortunately, the third situation is the most convoluted one to sort out.

Flaring! Flaring bad!

November 23, 2021

Yesterday was the perfect storm. Everything conspired against me.

  1. Poor Sleep. According to my fitbit, for the last several weeks, I’ve been getting usually between 4 & 6 hours of sleep a night, average rating poor-fair. There’s the occasional longer, better sleep in there, but not often..
  2. Forgotten Medication. When I left for the cottage early this morning, I forgot all my meds at home. Admittedly I didn’t need them all today, but there are certain ones that I do have to take at certain times for them to be effective. Unfortunately, those got left at home. I did have limited or weaker alternatives which I suppose is better than nothing.
  3. Emotional Stress. I am currently having problems with my current relationship. I’m not sure if it’s something I can handle and accept or not, so there’s alot going on there..
  4. Poor Diet. Due to the aforementioned stress, I haven’t been eating.. I haven’t been eating well & I haven’t been eating much. Neither is good, both is worse.
  5. Activity. Spent the day in bed.. with my boyfriend, not sleeping. While this is usually a good thing, due to stress, I was unable to truely relax and enjoy it. So I was getting the workout without all the longer term benefits
  6. Physical Stress. After I’d started going down hill, I had a horrible drive home. What would normally be a nice relaxing 1½ hour drive home from the cottage turned into a 3+hour nightmare. Between accidents causing an entire highway to shut down for over 14hrs, excessive detours, multiple accidents on said detours, snow.. The body begins to tense up more & more & more.. and with me being in the car I wasn’t able to like stretch or anything creating more physical stress

For the first time in over 3 years, my pain turned to a solid 8/10.

After 2+ hours, 4 Tylenol3, 4 muscle relaxers, an anti-inflammatory, my CBD oil, prescription edibles, and a backrub with A535.. the edge started to come off, but I also started feeling the effects of over medication too..

I just can’t win..

Relationships

November 18, 2021

This is a very personal topic & I know some will be ticked off to hear of my relationship status . While this post does touch on the topic of polyamory, every negative comment will me removed. Immediately. So if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all…


I am in an open relationship. I have one partner, however, he has recent started another relationship and I’ve been having alot of problems processing.. So for the last month I’ve been living with my stomach in knots

Part of the issue is super poor communication. But part of it appears to be mental health.

After I left Rob, I had alot & I mean alot of councilling.. Probably for close to a year when I started to feel comfortable in my own skin again..

It seems that there is one area that we did not touch upon and that is my self-esteem and self worth issues in regards to personal, intimate relationships.

Previous relationships since Rob have been superficial at best. I’ve seen several guys in the last few years, but one has stuck. I’ve known him since April 2018 and we’ve become super close. He and I, before he met his other partner, we just starting to get serious. Just bad timing on that I think.

Over the last month there has been very poor communication. Part of that is poor communication skills and part of it is him not understanding his feelings quite yet.. and because of that he was unable to express himself well..

We’ve had many conversations over the last month’s & every time we talk I think we’ve established where we are and then something gets said and I spiral down.. and considering how strong I feel for him I went down and down hard & few times. I’ve ended things with him 3 times this month but I guess I I’m a glutton for punishment because the same thing happened four weeks in a row.

Over the last few days we’ve been able to meet in person and finally have a truly open and honest conversation. I told him where I stand emotionally…

So as it stands he is emotionally committed to both of us and wishes to focus on his new relationship but has realized that he can’t start neglecting me or stop communicating with me or work on our relationship.

He has a relationship with her and he has a relationship with me.. Those relationships don’t have to cross or compete.. that’s part of my own issue of perception but we’ve apparently both felt this and because he wasn’t communicating the same thing to both of us.. So he is going to continue working on his relationship with her but at this time same time he is going to continue working on his relationship with me.

What We Should Know About Our Meds

November 16, 2021

Given our chronic medical issues you would think we would know everything and anything about what is going on. Well some of us are fanatical and no every single thing but her medical conditions are treatments and all the other possibilities, very few of us do. But here are some important information that we should know.

Who’s Your Pharmacy Staff?

I’m not talking about the stock boys or the cashier’s, but the staff who prepare your meds. If you have a good rapport with the pharmacy technicians and your pharmacist you are less likely to have problems and they are probably more willing to take the time to communicate with you about concerns and questions you have.

Do I know my Pharmacy Staff?

I get my medications through a large national chain. I would recognize the two pharmacists that work nights I believe one is Christopher & I *know* the other is Stephanie. As for the Pharmacy techs, I do recognize them & I believe most of them recognize me in the context of the pharmacy. The girl who usually works pick up is Hailey and she recognizes me, despite the mask. When she sees me step towards her in line to get my meds she says to me “Hey Kelli! How’s it going?” As she’s already getting my info pulled up on the computer which is search my last name. The girl before her I also had a similar camaraderie.

The pharmacy prior was a smaller store of a different national chain. They knew me fairly well and vs versa. We would recognize each other on sight, even outside the pharmacy, by name – Mine, my SO & my Dog lol.

What Are Your Medications?

Most of us know our medications known by one name or another and most of us also know our dosages. But did you know that the generic is not the same as your brand names. Each of these medications have different code numbers so Nabilone has one unique number and Cesemet, which is really the same medication, has a different one. This is because the formulation is slightly different Do you know about these numbers? I know in Canada it’s called the Drug Identification Number and I believe in the States it’s a National Drug Code (someone correct me if I’m wrong). They *should* be listed on your prescription bottle

Different formulas & dosages of the same medication all need a unique DIN or NDV

Do I know the Drug Identification Numbers of my medications?

No, not off the top of my head. I do have that information in my bedside table however (maybe I should put that in my phone – lol). So while I don’t have the information in my head I do have a handy.

This is the reason why CBD or THC by prescription is not covered by medical benefits because it does not have a DIN or NDC

What are the Possible Side Effects of Your Prescription?

I am pretty sure, most of us when we get a new medication do go through the drug information as well as discussion with our doctor about the side effects of the med. But keep this information because side effects can happen at any time..

Check back Next Week for More on the Side Effects

Burn the Bras!

November 12, 2021

No woman can say they love all their bras. In fact most women *hate* their bras.

With some women with fibro, especially bustier ladies like me, can not wear a bra.. We have a low tolerance for the discomfort from the shoulder straps. Yes, they dig in for every busty woman, but because we have chronic pain, we tend to feel this sort of thing more keenly.

Bra Straps can Cause Irritation, Redness, Chaffing, Friction, Bruising and Pain

The underwire is another deadly aspect of many of the current styles of bras. Yes, the wire end are rubberized to protect us, but they still jab into you. I had one that was so bad that it started ripping through the material. The smartest thing I did with that bra was to remove the underwires.. It was a whole lot more comfortable after that.

Underwires Severely Suck

Sometimes even just the strap around the ribs can be very painful. This goes for sports bras or short tank top styles aswell. I wouldn’t be surprised if that pressure is agitating a form of costochondritis.

Bands on Bras Tend to be Worn Too Tight, Mistakingly Thinking it’s Better Support Its Not & it Hurts

One last thing is that so few women are wearing the proper size of bra. And out size does change. Here is how to measure yourself for a bra:

  1. THE BAND: Measure around the body directly under the bust while wearing a bra. Round up to an even number if necessary. For example a measurement of 42″ gives a Band size of 42, but a measurement of 43” + 1”(rounding up) gives a Band size 44
  2. THE CUP: Measure around the fullest part of the bust. This is the bust line measurement. The cup size is determined by the difference between the bust line measurement and the frame size.
What is the Difference Between Your Measurement Under the Bust and Your Measurement at the Fullest Part of Your Chest

Rememberance Day

November 11, 2021

November 11th is the day to honour armed forces members who have died in the line of duty, and those who have come before us. It commemorates the end of First World War hostilities. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles was the official end of WWII, in late June, 1919.

Penned by Canadian poet, soldier, and physician John McCrae in April 1915 at battle in Belgium’s Ypres salient

COVID Immunity

November 9, 2021

I posted before I received two different vaccines. My initial vaccine was the AstraZeneca which landed me on my ass and the second was Pfizer which didn’t do anything.

I was told by my doctors that because of the extreme reaction to the vaccine that I would have a higher immunity rate than someone who did not.

My COVID Vaccines

The AstroZeneca is a viral vector-based vaccine. As I understand it, when it is delivered to the body through a virus such as a common cold virus the body fights the virus but also the vector in the virus creating your immune response and the antibodies against covid-19. The Pfizer is a messenger RNA vaccine. This means mRNA created in a laboratory when injected, teaches our cells how to make the protein that triggers an immune response producing antibodies

2 months later when I got my second shot, Pfizer, I was told, again by my doctors that because they are two different vaccines that work and approach the problem differently that I likely have a higher immunity.. CDC says the infection rate of those fully vaccinated is 0.0002%.. So apparently, my chances of getting covid are even lower.

Stress Impacts the Body

November 5, 2021

You all know stress impacts the human body. No one knows this more than people with Fibromyalgia. Part of our issue is that our muscles cannot relax because of the pain signals we are receiving at all times. Add stress to that, with most common physical reaction to stress is muscle tension. So adding tension to an already agitated muscle makes for a disaster.

No one knows yet 100% of the cause of Fibro. If it’s actually a physiological issue or if it’s a neurological reaction? Either way, the addition of the tension to the already agitated muscle, skyrockets the pain, with definite real pain.. Not just a neurological misfire that we could potentially be having.

And before anyone says I’m minimizing pain, I am not. People with fibromyalgia feel pain every single day. – it’s the cause we don’t know. We don’t know if the cause is something physical in the muscles, we don’t know if it’s part of the nerve chain or even something in the brain. We.just don’t know And as many of you know, I’m in a remission with my Fibro. I still feel pain, but I’m better managed and had made alot of changes a few years back. As a result, my pain levels rarely rate over a 5 – right now. I have, in the past, been bed bound. So I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum. I am the last person to downplay anyone’s pain let alone someone with Fibromyalgia.

But back to stress… I’ve been dealing with some pretty intense issues lately.. The big 2: 1. Problems with my Mom & our relationship.. 2. Issues with the guy I’m seeing – relationship may be ending. And I don’t think either one reads this blog. Those are the big ones but there is always in additional normal day to day stresses..

So….. On Monday night I had a breakdown. A complete emotional & mental breakdown (this does not include the meltdown I had earlier that day). I was in such hysterics that at times I could barely breathe.. You also don’t want to see what my kitchen looks like, cuz it all hit me as I was cooking stir-fry, which means three pots on the stove, each carefully times so everything finished hot at the same time. Interestingly enough I could feel myself deteriorating and the rice was pretty much done, the meat was pretty much done and the vegetables were almost done so I took the presence of mind to grab storage containers and just put everything in the fridge because there was no way I was going to be able to eat it and I have no family to feed. But I didn’t give myself enough leeway and ended up destroying the contents of the shelves with the storage containers.. Apparently I have a decent arm because I found, after the fact, empty storage containers or lids in my dining area, my office area, one almost in the living room and also my bedroom.

I ended up calling the local mental health line & spoke with a gentleman named Craig who listened & offered support..Initially, my mind had been racing with a lot of dark negative thoughts.. But I finally got calmed down enough after over an hour of venting. & I was no longer in that dark and twisted headspace.

I woke up Tuesday morning physically & emotionally wiped. Unfortunately this was one of the days that I just can’t say no. I had to drop my mom off at her doctor’s appointments because she no longer drives. I still also had to finish prepping my Cub Scout meeting.. Which meant I also had to run my Cub Scout meeting because this week got dropped in my lap on Sunday. The meeting went well and I was able to get out of my head for almost 2 hours not thinking about those big two issues. By the time I got home in the evening after my meeting, I stripped down, showered, got extra medicated and watched some mindless TV. That’s all my body would let me do – I pretty much hit the wall. Oh & eat some of the stir fry from the night before – lol.

And this excessive physical reaction is 100% due to stress exasperating the Fibromyalgia and some of my ppother chronic pain issues.

Fibro Friends, IRL

November 2, 2021

It’s interesting to note exactly how many friends I have, real, in-person, face-to-face local friends that I have with Fibromyalgia.

When I first started having symptoms in the mid-90s, I’d not heard of Fibromyalgia let alone know someone with this condition.

I only found out about fibromyalgia through, unfortunately, Dr Google. Few doctors had even heard of it then. Many did not believe it existed. Few had any idea how to treat it..

Jump ahead a few years..

  1. First person who was a friend of mine is Billy Jo. Her and I met in a mental health workshop in my local hospital. We met because of mental health & connected over of common physical health. We have been friend for.. 8-9 years now…
  2. My BFF was also diagnosed with fibro about 7 years ago. Due to an abusive relationship I was estranged from her while she went through her diagnosis. However, because she knew of my struggles and issues I’ve had getting diagnosed & treated, she had a good idea of what the process was & how to get it sped up.. my diagnosis took 13 years.. Hers only took 3-4 years.
  3. I had left the aforementioned relationship approximately 5½ years ago. This was just in time for my high school reunion.. One of the people I reconnected with another girl named Jo.. While we were not friends in high school we did know each other and we have to come friends in the here and now. I think part of the reason why we connected so well was because I understood and she did not have many other friends let alone ones who got & understood the issues with Fibromyalgia.
  4. Shortly after that reunion I connected with a lady in Newcastle who is my twin. No, we look nothing alike however there are so many other similarities. We were born within two weeks of each other, we both went to the same high school, we have almost the exact same list of medical conditions including Fibro, we react well to the same medications as well as an overlap in personal interests beyond our health. So we met about 2 years ago, shortly before covid and we’ve connected over these similarities, but also over our differences.
  5. Growing up, the neighborhood kids down at the end of the street were friends.. The oldest had a big gap between herself and her younger siblings so she hung out more with my older brother, his friends and some of my friends as she was a few years older than me but many years older than her siblings. After I moved back to Oshawa we eventually started connecting again a few years back. She also has Fibromyalgia.

Its interesting how many people have fibro that you may not even know about..