Posts Tagged ‘Aquafit’

Yes, I Tried That.

April 15, 2022

I know you’re trying to be helpful but your suggestions of yoga or CBD or massage or med XYZ, but I’ve tried it all already..

Medications.

In my case, I have tried all the meds. The only one I haven’t tried is one that’s available in the States but not in approved for use here in Canada. It’s called Sabella.. Specific medications for fibro include lyrica and gabapentin did not help and in fact, the gabapentin made me significantly worse – not good

I’ve been on any number of narcotic medications, starting at 20 Tylenol 3’s a month (that was a joke, way too insignificant) to high dosages of codeine contin & Fentanyl.. Fortunately, those were not at the same time.

I’ve also been on several muscle relaxing medications. Unfortunately, the one that works the absolute best is not covered my government benefits, but the one that is covered is adequate unlike many others.

i have been on anti-inflammatoriez for many many years due to Endo then the arthritis. Unfortunately, it seems to have started causing increased bruising in the last year or longer. As a result, my GP has taken me off my regular double daily dose. I now take an otc anti-inflammatory “as needed. “

I have actually been on various forms of medical marijuana and just as I’m finding the perfect balance to help, I start having issues, problems that might be due to cannabis products. We are still trying to figure out the cause because even tho I’m off *all* marijuana products, synthetics oils and otherwise, I’m still having regular issues. So the docs got no idea what’s going on. Read more here.

Exercise!

You’re kidding me, right? Do you know how hard it is to exercise when your body is screaming at you? Even Yoga.. Or swimming.. Or walking.. Even these simple every day activities, when you have severe Fibromyalgia can be unbelievably difficult. While it can help some it does impact others in a negative way, deteriorating their health.. I am lucky. I made a decision 10 years ago when I hit 303lbs on the scale at my doctor’s office. So I did start the long and painful, excruciating process of doing a smidge more activity, very slowly increasing what I was doing.

So yes, now I can go swimming.. well, walk in the pool, lol.. Before COVID I could participate in an aquafit class, but sometimes no more than bobbing in the water but I made the effort to be there.

Yes I can walk further, but that happened with great encouragement from my sister. Over the last six years, we would get together weekly to walk. On some days I can’t walk very far, but I try. This encouragement has led us to talking and we have become very good friends now. An excellent side bonus!

Yoga can still be very painful, depending on the speed, the instructor, the modifications, the positions we use and the flows (God I hate flows). I do have favourite positions like bridge & pidgeon that surprise people. But it took me 10 years to get to this point and it can still very much hurt.

Was at the gym, stepping around in an Arriba class earlier this week and crashed out that night… Barely made it to the time I take my night meds. Even took extra early pain meds to help dampen the pain so I could sleep.

The advantage of me having the gym membership at my local YMCA is the plus membership I fork out the extra for the plus membership because it includes additional99lounge, steam room & the infamous hot tub. The hot tub is my life saver. Can’t wait for my tat to finish healing so I can send all the way in to my neck

Diet.

These include gluten free, Keto, vegetarian, vegan, anti-inflammatory, Noom, high protein, Mediterranean, Weight watchers, diabetic, South Beach, intermittent fasting, paleo, raw foods, Aktins, etc… While some of these would works for some, none of these really helped me or could help me. Between complexity, my will power (or lack thereof), cravings and food sensitivities, none of these actually worked for me. My choice of “diet” is moderation and avoiding a lot of prepackaged foods. The closest to this would probably be the weight watchers program but I found their point system to be complicated especially with the cognitive issues with my Fibro. This adaptation has also helped me lose weight. So I still do drink Coke, probably still too much, but significantly less. I’ve almost 100% restricted out the xanthan gum, guar gum and carrageenan additives as they typically cause my IBS to flare which would start putting me in starvation mode, which makes maintaining, let alone losing weight even more difficult. Not to mention get some of these diets require me to eat foods with these additives in them.

I do treat myself every once in a while with a bowl of sorbet. Very infrequent use of these chemicals it is permitted because my body can tolerate them in very very small doses.

Alternative treatments

We’re talking massage, acupuncture, physio, osteopathy, chiro, etc. Physiotherapy does not really help the fibro other than adjusting exercises that could be beneficial to help increase strength, endurance or flexibility. In many cases this does not improve the pain due to fiibro in patients.

While chiropractic medicine helps some with fibro, it actually made my situation significantly worse.

Osteopath does help but it mostly treats my other conditions like post concussion syndrome, migraines or endometriosis and general health and wellness. Does not help fibromyalgia specifically that I know of.

Acupuncture does absolutely nothing for me or any of my medical conditions. I have tried it a number of occasions and hasn’t worked with any of the practitioners. One lady treated my Endo & gave me migraines. Any further attempts for any other issues have resulted in absolutely not relief

Massage can wonderful. If you get an appropriate RMT who understands fibromyalgia and will listen to you & adjust when you say “Ow!” it can help. Unfortunately it also tends to be very short-term

Injections.

For 15 years now, give or take, I have been getting injections of a medication called Marcaine which is a sibling medication to lidocaine. These I get with my pain physician who was initially in Scarborough and is now in Oshawa. These shots have helped over the years for anywhere between 4 days and 4+ weeks depending on the level of my pain

In the winter I also get epidurals up to three times each winter depending on my pain levels at that time. This tends to treat my osteoarthritis in my lower back, not the fibro pain. In doing that however, it reduces the OA pain, making the fibro pain more manageable.

lidocaine infusion. This is the one last treatment I know of. This is when they attach an IV and add lidocaine to your blood system. This is my next course of action for treatment. I have an ECG scheduled for next week so that I can access this treatment. Once it’s been verified that my heart is ok, I can and will book the treatment. I will let you know how it went.

Thank You, But..

Thank you for your concern for me and your helpful intentions, I’ve been dealing with this a long. Thank you for your pearls of wisdom persistent unsolicited advice is actually inconsiderate & thoughtless. I *do* know my body & I do know what works for me. It comes across to those of use dealing with these issues like we don’t know anything about my fibro and that you know more than me & my doctor. Honestly, in most cases, I do know more than my doctor. So please stop making suggestions cuz what worked for your friend’s cousin, Sally, I have already tried. or that your Dad’s friend’s daughter was cured, because it can’t be. I don’t need anyone telling me how other people’s treatment going to work for me because her fibro is not my fibro.

So stop I don’t need or want to hear it.

30 Facts!!

May 24, 2021

Originally written for the 25th Anniversary with 25 facts,, this is a list of things you should know, from someone with Fibromyalgia. From someone who experiences it, not just studies it. I have taken the original, modified it and added to it from *my* perspective as my experiences with fibro are not the same as hers. OP info available at the bottom.

  1. Every morning is a tough morning.
  2. I can sleep all day and still feel like I just ran a marathon.
  3. If I went out last night, I need a day or two or three to recover — its okay, it was worth it.
  4. When i’m tired, let me sleep.
  5. Certain foods make me flare up, For me that’s items like Ice cream breaded food products (like fish sticks or chicken fingers), mayo & salad dressing, KD, etc.. Some I know why, others no clue.
  6. When I’m in a flare, leave me alone in a dark room but please check in, even if I don’t answer. It makes me feel cared for & loved .If I am flaring and I am responding, I’m likely asking for a ride to the ER.
  7. Yes, diet matters, but in flare mode, all bets are off.
  8. Yes, my face is swollen. No, I didn’t gain 5 pounds overnight… Well I could have gained, but not on my face.. So, Yes, that is a tell that I am in a flare.
  9. I have many different sizes of clothes in my closet to accommodate flare vs. non-flare days. I currently have clothing from a medium ( very generous medium) to 3x.. I’ve lost weight, so likely only a few items & eventually they will go too.
  10. Fibro Fog sucks. Ya know when you get absent-minded every once in a while? Misplaced your keys? Misread something? Forgot to water the plants? That’s Brain or Fibro Fog. While it happens to everyone at some point, it not the norm. For people with Fibromyalgia this is the norm. Every day. I have even lost my train of thought, mid-sentance. It happens enough that those close to me don’t bat an eyelash when it happens. Some even see it happening & will remind me of what I was saying. The worst, is fogging out when I drive & I love to drive, but have to be super careful to make sure I am clear minded.
  11. Ask before you touch. Some days, I can barely tolerate the feel of clothing or even my hair on my skin. When I’m ok, give gentle hugs please — my skin & muscles may still be tender. But if I give you a bear hug, you can give me one back!
  12. Bright lights, loud noise and too many smells can overload the senses and can cause nauseous (or worse) or kick in a migraine.
  13. Allergies play havoc on my body. Scented products like perfumes & body products are typical culprits Sometimes I don’t even know I’m allergic until I experience it, So it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when I go into public because I can’t control what scents other people wear. Food allergies/sensitivities do not make life any easier either, especially when eating out.
  14. I am a human barometer ( there’s a post around about that.. I can typically tell it’s gonna be too cold, too wet, too hot.
  15. Yes, i am on medications, sometimes even alot of them. I have a decent relationship with the pharmacy staff, and I know exactly what all my medications are, the dosage, and why I’m on it & how it helps.
  16. To me, car rides are joy rides cuz I really love to drive. I need to stop every hour or two to keep my legs from going numb or seizing up. It, for me, is so worth it! But so many with fibro feel differently than I do & equate it to a highly painful roller coaster ride.
  17. Some days it’s OK to let my Fibro win. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  18. I can get moody. You would be too if you were in pain all the time, be patient with me.
  19. Don’t be surprised if I can tell your mood as soon you walk in the room. My Fibro/spidey-senses are tingling.
  20. My day, week and month are carefully planned to accommodate my Fibro. Only important events & people like you are scheduled.
  21. If I cancel my plans with you, don’t be mad.. Remember, I made plans with you, because you are important to me. I am trying and obviously want to hang out with you, so please keep any nasty commentator yourself as I already feel guilty.
  22. Your friend with Fibro that says they have no pain doesn’t make me feel any better. Plus if they have no pain, they may not have fibro cuz *all* Fibromites have *some* level of pain at *all* times Alternatively they could simply lying either about having fibro or about being totally pain-free. Also, just cuz someone says they are “Good” that’s does not mean pain-free
  23. “You should exercise.” ROTFLMAO. Have you considered going to the gym while you are in the middle of the flu with body-wide aches & pain, fatigue? Didn’t think so, so how can you expect me to when I have body-wide aches & pain and fatigue? Yes, I do exercise, but I’m not a hypocrite. Do you know how long it took from me to go from bobbing in the water during aquafit to get to my current level of exercise? Years!! It helps, that I have lost weight. Before you use me as an example of of someone with fibro who is ‘fit’, remember that I started my journey to become healthier & to increase my fitness level in the winter of 2012, almost 9 years ago. And I would not consider myself ‘fit’
  24. Going to the doctor makes me sad & sometimes overwhelmed— it’s a reminder of my condition. And it doesn’t help that I have at minimum a half dozen medical appointments each month – GP, Pain Doc, RMT, Physio/Osteo therapy, Gyn, Neuro, Dental, Psych, mental health support groups, and one offs for tests like bloodwork, ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or CT.
  25. There are zero no-pain days, but my low-pain days are my happy days. So if I’m looking good and acting good and I’m social, I’m better, right? No, just a good *low* pain day. Fibromyalgia is chronic & will not go away
  26. Because of Fibro, the mandated downtime gives me the opportunity to write this blog, and I’m grateful. Unfortunately, some of that downtime does not even permit blog writing because the pain or fatigue is*too* intense, so I have missed posts.
  27. Because of Fibro, some Fibromites get to spend more time with their families than if they were healthy.
  28. if i am being a dick about my health, you will not change my mind. I have to figure it out myself. For those in my life who put up with that for years, I am sorry.
  29. Because of Fibro, I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community that reminds me I’m never alone.
  30. Yes, I have depression. No, it’s not because of my fibro. My depression started at age 16, but fibro, we believe, started from Mono when I was 19-20. So, obvs they started at different times plus I do know the triggering event that started my depression.

Original published by Puja Rios on May 11, 2007 at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-facts-for-fibromyalgia-awareness-day_b_59148663e4b01ad573dac1c2

Returning to the Gym

July 23, 2020

Here in on the east side of the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario Canada, we are moving into stage 3 of reopening tomorrow. What this means “Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., gyms, fitness studios)” are allowed to open. This includes my local gym, the Durham YMCA.

The following stipulations are in place by the provincial government:

  • Physical distancing must be maintained, except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training.
  • The total number of people permitted in areas containing weights or exercise machines is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, which cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people.
  • The total number people permitted in classes or organized activities at any one time is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, and cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people or the outdoor limit of 100.
  • Assigned spaces are strongly recommended for organized fitness classes (e.g., by marking circles on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).
  • Gathering limits do not apply in all other areas (e.g., pools, tennis courts and rinks).
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between user sets or at the end of a game.
  • Any washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.

I have some concerns about this. Our “Plus” change room is fairly small to accommodate the extra features we pay for. There is going to be very little room to social distance.

Our additional features include the steam room and the hot tub. I’m figuring since the steam room is unavailable then so is the hot tub. But what about the pool? I guess since there are no aqua-fit classes they just allow free swim? How is that safe? Since I walk my laps in the pool instead of swimming, should I be wearing a mask?

How are they planning on running an Arriba class? The Wednesday & Thursday classes where in a half gym & there was usually 50 people in that space. Triple that in the full gym on Saturday mornings. There is no way to social distance that many people. And given the distance we move during class, we’d likely only have room for maybe 25 people so as to stay out of everyone else’s breathing space. I don’t want to be dancing in the residual saliva in the air from when the person beside me is breathing hard from exercise.

I also noticed no yoga classes. I understand not being able to run a yoga class using one of the studios due to size, but why not a class in the gymnasium. Yes, a little louder & a little brighter, but an evening class would help that.

Social distancing in the showers? There only 5-6 showers total in the Plus section.

Now, almost all the features of a plus membership restricted which includes Steam Room, Hot Tub, Private Showers, Peace and Quiet-no kids, Lounging Area, Personal Hygiene Products & Towel Service. Without most of this, do you think we’d get a price break until it opens back up? Good God no. In fact, they cancelled the pilot program I was in so my membership is going to go up by about $20

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure I am comfortable going back to the gym quite yet. Being at higher risk makes me hesitate, especially when new cases reported are climbing back up towards 200.

What are your thoughts on going back to the gym?

My Weight Loss Journey

July 7, 2020
I’ve always been a bit on the bigger side, a little chubby… I was 120lbs starting junior high, finished high school at 180lb, spent my 20s near 220-230lb.. About 15 years ago, I joined weight watchers with my mom and my weight had maxed out at 275lb. I lost almost 60lb on that program. But after that, my lifestyle completely changed and it turns out, not in a good way. So finally about 8-10 years ago, I stepped on the scale weighing a whopping 303lb.

I did not like that number, but wasn’t really in a position to do much about it. Between finances & available services & programs there’s not much I could do. So I started just eating less.. In the summer, we would walk over to the community pool and I would swim – not laps really, but just treading water.. it took a few years, but I lost about 25 lb in 4-5 years with that schedule. Very slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

At that point I moved out of the city, back near my family. My rent included membership to the local YMCA gym. I didn’t figure I’d be using the actual gym much, but I knew I’d use the hot tub. So, I used the hot tub 5-6 days of the week. I then started doing a yoga class at the gym for about a year until the instructor switched times. Then about 2 years ago,, my mom invited me to join her aquafit class..I started doing not much more than bouncing around in the water. But it was fun, so I kept coming back..

At this same time, my eating habits got better. While I still ate junk food, it was less often, and I was eating at least one good healthy & nutritious meal a day. That’s much better than before where fast food was the norm and serving sizes were twice what they shood be.

In the Aquafit, I was slowly working with increased intensity in the class… I started going to a second class later in the week. . The weight started coming off faster.

I tried to add jogging into the mix, but I just couldn’t get into it mentally, not on the ground and my lungs could not handle the cardio What I did do, I would run laps in the water. This worked the muscles but the cardio wasn’t as strong as I was unable to keep my breath while jogging .

I was improving. My health was getting better, pain levels went down (no, not gone, unfortunately), and my clothing started to get looser and looser.

I had items in a size 26 in my closet. I was swimming in those.most of my clothing was a 3X.. and I started to swim in those.

I feel better.. I feel healthier and happier. I actually feel like myself again.

Where do I stand now? I am a size 16, currently weighing in at 207lb, as of my last weigh in. a total loss of 97 lb so far.

Final goal? 180lb.