Autumn and Medical Stuff

September 30th, 2011 by Cynthia Griffith
pumpkin spice K Cup

Yeah, we're suckers for pumpkin-flavored drinks... beers and coffee. We also love our Keurig coffee brewer.

It’s officially autumn, and I’ve been ready for it for a long time.  It’s my favorite time of the year.  I also love winter, but there’s just something about autumn.  The colors, the smells, the holidays.

I’ve been quiet lately, and haven’t been updating as much.  I have my reasons, though.

Medical Stuff

I’ve been having health issues for a while now.  I noticed my fitness level dropping.  For a while, I had worked up to running 40 minutes straight, and then the next week I could barely run even 3 minutes.  I never did manage to work back up to that.  I can easily walk fast for a long time and walked a strong 3 or 4 miles every day.  Suddenly, I was struggling with even that.

I had various pain, severe exhaustion, and weakness… it was time to find out what was going on.

Some autoimmune issues run in my family, so I mentioned it to my family doctor at my physical this past spring.  They ran blood tests, and they all came back as normal (except I was deficient in Vitamin D).  They put me on a high dosage of Vitamin D, and told me to go see a rheumatologist.

My labs from the rheumatologist have been coming back negative, and my D level is back up again (yay!).

My family doctor and rheumatologist think I have Fibromyalgia.

Not feeling your normal self is no fun

There are times I’m so exhausted and just want to sleep, but can never seem to catch up.  Even tapping on my iPhone’s screen hurts, and sometimes even the gentlest touch on my skin feels like sandpaper or worse.  I have to be careful not to push myself too hard and do things like I’m used to doing, especially exercise.  Chores and sewing can really wipe me out, and if I manage to bang my knee into something (I can be a tad clumsy) or stab a finger with a pin?  I get even worse.

Just taking it easy

So I’ve learned not to set too many goals, or at least not to kick myself too hard if I don’t make it (especially with a complicated sewing project that, really, isn’t the end of the world if I don’t finish in time).

I treat myself to things that soothe me, at least mentally.  I’ve not really found much that helps the physical pain and exhaustion (I have decided for now, not to take any medications).

Lots of “spa” days for me now!

A few months ago, we bought a Keurig and we love it.  We’re hooked on the coffees — it’s fun to try different flavors, and if I’m in the mood for one type and my husband isn’t, we can just make what we want.  I do need to cut back, but sometimes it’s those little things in life that make the difference. ;)

I’ve also been burning lots of incense.  I went through the vanilla and cinnamon scents quickly.  I can’t wait to get more of those.

I also have been going through bath salts like crazy.  Central Market has grapefruit and peppermint bath salts and I love to mix the two.  Light some candles, and turn on the water fountain, and I can trick myself into relaxing for a little while, at least.

I’ll probably never be my normal self again, but at least I can try to focus on those things I really enjoy.  I may be even slower about finishing sewing projects and other things that really aren’t that important compared to others, but I’ll get to them when I can.

Focus on those important things

I wasn’t going to post about this, but it has made me stop and enjoy those little things more often.  I definitely want to push myself to enjoy hobbies and set goals like that, but I also want to treat myself to a little relaxing “me” time a lot more often as well.

And if that means enjoying one more pumpkin-flavored coffee, or burning a few more sticks of incense that make me think of autumn and cozy holidays… well, I can’t think of a better way to relax.

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4 Responses to “Autumn and Medical Stuff”

  1. Christopher Gronlund Says:

    I hate that you don’t feel well. When we were up to 40-45 minutes of running, you were doing it at such a strong pace. It was so weird seeing you leaving me in your dust one week, and then barely able to trot along for a few minutes the next. I think the toughest moment was the day I gave you a hug, rubbed your back like I always do, and you winced.

    The good thing is seeing you haven’t lost your determination. In ways, you seem more determined, even though it’s tough some days. That you still make the effort more times than not and rest when you absolutely need it…that seems like a good way to go.

    I wish I could take all the pain and discomfort away; since I can’t, I’ll always do all I can to help out and make you as comfortable as you can be.

  2. Cynthia Griffith Says:

    Yeah, it really messes with my mind thinking “well, this is what I’ve usually done” only to crash hard, very quickly :( And the day I realized that my skin was feeling pain like that… yeah, I hated it. You were being very gentle, but it felt painful.

    There are some things I’m determined to keep doing, but that frustration with figuring out my limits or accepting that there are days where I have to think “sewing just isn’t that important right now” and focus on other things or rest.

    And I know you’ll always be there for me, because you always are! Thanks so much! :)

  3. Jamie Burnett Says:

    I’m sorry to hear you’re having medical issues. I have totally different issues and reasons for them than you do, but I can definitely relate on the front of having to pace myself back on the long-term goals, and trying to focus on short-term projects that I know I won’t be so frustrated with if they aren’t completed. I really miss being able to run and be super-active; I think that’s where all of my annoyances have hit me the hardest. I wanted so much to be able to keep up with my children and encourage them into activity. It’s a blow, to be sure.

    Speaking of missing…. I miss seeing your posts on Facebook, but I have been following your blog (maybe not as closely as I should, but I do check in). ♥ Thank you for adding me on G+…though I keep forgetting I have an account there…

    *large hugs*

  4. Cynthia Griffith Says:

    Jamie! What a lovely surprise :D Thanks so much for the reply… and yes, it’s so incredibly frustrating not being able to easily do those things you love and enjoy. Those things that are truly a part of you. I feel so off about my fitness, and it messes with my mind. It’s definitely going to take some time figuring out what I can do and how I can still enjoy pushing myself without paying for it.

    And don’t worry — I’ll be back tomorrow! I will be making some changes though. I’ve always been a decent supporter of FB, but I think they’ve gone a little too far from what I’ve been reading. I have decided I won’t delete my FB yet, but it’s going back to very private and I probably won’t be using it as much. I’m going to most likely delete all photos, and will be removing a lot of people from the friend list so I’m not overwhelmed. Don’t worry, I won’t be removing you! It’s mainly going to be people I rarely talk to or can’t remember who they are from different forums I’m a member of.

    Best wishes, and thanks for the reply!

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