Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Those were the days - being told to "get a life" was "oh so common"

I am down with a cold today, and have a little "fogginess". This blog had been "abandoned" for a while - it has been very painful to revisit the difficult times, and be totally surprised not only by what I had written, but how the posts were written. I have been shocked so many times by the grammar, spelling errors and places where I seemed to have skipped words in a sentence - all due to my "fibrofogs".  I revisited the posts today, as a little reminder of how good things are, and what strategies I should use to cope with it, just in case the fog lingers.  

One of my posts surprised me with its "feisty- ness" :).  It was my response to a well meaning comment to my post about coping with fibrofogs - someone basically told me it is "all in the mind" and "get a life". Boy, I was strangely eloquent despite all the grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and some strange sentence structures!
I really appreciate the long comments...showed that someone had cared enough to say something with the intention of helping me, helping me to clear those fogs.
However, I must disagree with some of the comments, and clear the misconceptions about fibrofog.
Now, it is not all in your mind (I wish it was). Positive thoughts help you to cope, and is necessary to keep you same, but it will not clear those fogs. 
Style my lifestyle?? I am no sit at home moaning about my life kind of person! Of course, you might think so, looking at the amount of posts I have done in certain periods! Those were the days that even when I was totally "dead", and had to stay at home, I still drag myself out of bed, to write, to document my life, to communicate! Yes, it is true. There were many times I do succumb to depression, but I always proactively try to identify it early, do what I can to avoid it and get out of it! BTW, depression is not something that you could just snap out of it! 
Do you know how many times I had to "proof read" a post, and spell check sometimes?? Any idea? Any idea what it is like to write half way, and then forgot what you were writing? No offense to others with the condition, but I have no learning disability! I am not boasting here, but just to let you know what it is like---I have held many scholarships for my academic achievements, and yet...
This is a medical condition, which affects you physically and mentally, regardless of who you are, what you have been (or are) doing, or how optimistic, purposeful your life have been! You get what I mean??
"When did you last visit a cemetery, a youth organization and volunteer to help, offer to help meals-on-wheels or any number of organizations and venues where your 'ailments' would be but imaginary vis-a-vis those of the ones you serve!"
Volunteer? Gosh, I have been an active volunteer for years!! Old folks home, charity shop, orphanage! Does that stop me from having a fog?? Does that stop me from having fibromyalgia??
If my thoughts or rather my will, is not stronger than steel, I would have collapse long long time ago!!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Winter preparation 2012

Winters are different if you have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

There are a list of things to do:

Apart from the cold and bad weather which can make morning stiffness more uncomfortable, I also try to prevent the winter infections such as cold and flu. For some people ( including me), a bad infection where your immune system works like crazy could trigger a flare. This is my checklist for health:
  1. Flu jabs - This needs to be taken every year, and ideally as soon as it is available in September/October. It takes a few weeks before the jab fully work. I usually take mine in pharmacies. 
  2. Get ready antiseptic alcohol hand gel - very important to prevent catching cold/flu when going out and taking public transport
  3. Disinfectant sprays for the home/office - My favourite is  "Neutraair" from Dettol for home. It is a "2 in 1 "-  eliminating odours and also killing bacteria at the same time
  4. Omega 3 supplements and multivitamins
  5. Medicine cupboard - antiviral for flu, cough and cold medicines, enough supplies of pain killers and medicines for RA/fibromyalgia. 
  6. Stock up on heat plasters/muscle rubs which feels warm instead of cool

  1. Central heating - turn on the heating while it is still warm for a couple of hours to ensure everything is ok.
  2. Double check your utility tariffs - you don't want to be caught with surprise increases
  3. Additional quick heating available for mornings that are exceptionally cold (My heater fan bought in 2009 - it is one of the best investments I have ever made!)
  4. Supply of stockings, thermals, gloves!
  5. Supply of small towels and a working microwave for my hot towel compress ( sooth stiff joints)

This is for "hunkering" down - days when you are unwell and don't want to get out, or the when the weather is really bad and you don't want to slip and fall. 
  1. Stock up food  for bad weather days. I have a list of food that I always have in my fridge and cupboards in case I get a flare, and also have my list of "flare food". I make sure these are enough!
  2. Working from home arrangements in place
  3. Check other "supplies" e.g. detergents etc
  4. If you have a car, it is also time to make sure that it is in good order and have your deicer etc ready

These are the additional steps I take to make the winter a cozy one.
  1. Coat/winter wear in good condition - check buttons, zips etc are in good condition.  I don't want to mend clothes in a dark winter night, especially if I have a flare
  2. Shoes/Boots have good grips/soles in good conditions
  3. Candles and lavender essential oils to make the home a cozy one
  4. BISCUITS , instant hot chocolate   :)
  5. Get ready some books and other "indoor projects". 
Does anyone out there have other tips?