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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Felicia Fibro - Life with fibromyalgia, EMPOWERED!

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Fibro Feelings – Rolling on By

What is Fibro Feelings?

I recently went roller blading for the first time in years…like probably eight years! The last time I remember doing it The Helpful Hubby and I went together as boyfriend and girlfriend and were living in a different state. In the past I really enjoyed roller blading, but my knees would always hurt from sliding my blade edge to come to a stop. I went with people to a skating rink when the place was pretty empty so this time I mostly just rolled to a stop when I needed to, to avoid the extra wear on my knees.

Skating on the carpet in the seating area was harder than I remembered and I felt klutzy. When I got out onto the rink I was doing good on the straight parts, but my turning skills had diminished in all the years of not skating. After only a few laps I felt a little worn out! I remember that I used to go for long stretches on the rink without exiting. I didn’t want to push myself into a flare though, so I took lots of breaks between skating chunks. The Helpful Hubby was also feeling the burn physically, but his adrenalin kept him going even during most of my breaks.

One of the reasons I was most excited to go skating was to play air hockey. I love that game, but it has also been years since I’ve played it. I won two out of the three games I challenged The Helpful Hubby too. I wanted to play more, but the wrist I was supporting my weight on to bend down and keep from rolling away was starting to hurt. I thought about having a snack, but the food counter had no clue about any allergn info. I stayed safe and stuck to drinking water.

After awhile I wanted to rollerblade really fast on the straight parts, but my turning skills just weren’t coming back as quickly. With all the problems I’ve had with my hip over the past two years I did NOT want to push my luck and end up falling. I don’t have the ability to deal with severe hip pain while taking care of The Boisterous Boy, so I need to do all that I can to avoid it. I thought I would be really sore the following day, but I wasn’t! My knee was very slightly more sore and it did pop more over the following week, but that was about it! Woo-hoo! I love it when I do something fun and physical and can keep it balanced enough where I don’t end up flaring. All-in-all we were probably at the rink for about two hours.

Do you ever rollerblade or skate?

roller blades

It’s like riding a bike – you never fully forget*

*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by Signe Brockman



Generic Medication Safety

Having a chronic condition, like fibromyalgia, is often a costly affair. To help ease those costs, many of us consider using generic forms of our medications, when possible. I recent Dr. Oz show discussed some of the concerns when getting and using generic medications and I want to share what I learned.

There are regulations that require testing that the amount of the generic drug that enters the body is approximately the same as the name brand, but not ones that test if the effect on the body is the same. Also, sometimes companies can get exceptions so they don’t have to do the required testing. Consumer Labs tested many different generic medications and found that there was often a variance of 20-25% from the name brand medication. The FDA said, “In a large FDA study that looked at more than 2,000 tests of generic drugs, the average difference in absorption into the body between the generic and the brand name was 3.5%.” this is somewhat misleading though because this is the average, so many medications are outside of that range.

There are also many different manufacturers of generic medications and each time you get a refill you may be getting one from a different source. So, according to the Consumer Labs study you could be getting anywhere from 80-125% of the intended effect each refill. This variance raises concerns if you’re on a medicine that minor dosage changes have a big impact on efficacy. Some types of medications where that is the case are ones for the thyroid, blood pressure, anti-seziure, asthma, blood thinners, immunosuppressants and antidepressans. For those types of medicines it may be safer to stay on the name brand.

If you still want to try the generic versions of those types, work with your doctor to have testing to make sure the medicines are having the desired effect. Once you know a specific manufacture’s generic medicine works for you, request that your pharmacy refill your prescriptions with the generic from that same manufacture each time. That way you won’t be susceptible to the variations other generics may have. Another option is to look for the authorized generic, which is the generic medication that is actually made by the same manufacture that makes the name brand version. In that case you’re virtually getting the same medication for cheaper.

Another type of generic medication that is concerning is extended release ones – like the ones ending in xl, er or sr. The pills are different in technology and may release at different rates, changing their effect.

Do you use generic medications?

pill box

Be proactive about your generic medication use*

*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by Sarah Korf



Fibro Feelings – First Spring Walk

What is Fibro Feelings?

Recently I went on my first walk since giving birth. I had woken up that morning with back pain out of nowhere, but it felt better by the afternoon. The weather was great so The Helpful Hubby, The Boisterous Boy and I took a short walk. I felt fine during the walk, but about an hour later I was not feeling so hot. My back had returned to hurting, but was now accompanied by fairly bad pain in my hip and upper leg – where my bursitis likes to act up.

I caught myself being a little more irritable because of the pain so I apologized to The Helpful Hubby and told him about my pain. He then offered to watch the baby while I soaked in an Epsom salt bath. I felt slightly better for a couple hours after the bath, but the pain started to creep back up again. Since I’m breastfeeding I’m still trying to avoid taking medication unless I absolutely have to. I slathered myself up with Sombra gel and propped my feet up.

A few hours later the pain was improving and by the next day I felt a lot better. I guess my back hadn’t gotten better during the morning of the walk, so I probably shouldn’t have gone. I am happy we’d decided to only do a short walk because I have a feeling I could have started a decent sized flare-up otherwise. For dinner that night I was happy to have a quiche from Costco that I could just pop in the oven. That spared me having to stand and cook which could have irritated the pain.

Do you notice when you’re acting cranky because of pain?

legs

Remember to go slow when starting new exercise*

*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by Looking Glass



Pains, Planes and Automobiles

Sometimes we have to make a decision about whether we should take a short plane ride to our destination or a long car ride. There are many things to consider when figuring out which choice works best for your fibromyalgia. You’ll want to consider how long it takes to get to the airport because traveling to and from the airport adds travel time to your trip. If you’re taking a shuttle (or public transit) it can be pretty uncomfortable sitting and wrangling luggage too. Also, will you need to take pain killers if you drive and are sitting for such a long time? Taking strong pain killers while driving is something to avoid, so if you answered yes to that question I’d strongly consider flying.

Think about whether or not the time in the car will make your fibromyalgia flare up more than the shorter amount of time you’ll be at the airport and flying. For me, a short plane ride (2 1/2 hours or less) isn’t too painful, but driving for long periods will make my wrist tendinitis flare up for a week. Since I want to enjoy my time at my destination, flying on a short plane ride makes the most sense for me.

If you’re considering driving, another aspect to consider is how comfortable you are sleeping in hotel beds. You’ll probably need to spend the night somewhere at least once along your route. If sleeping in hotel beds always makes your back hurt or you don’t get much sleep in them, it sets you up for a more painful and harder time driving.

If you have any food sensitivities or allergies I actually think flying is easier. On a longer road trip you’ll have to figure out more meals and snacks and you’re at the mercy of whatever stores and restaurants are along your route. I’ve found that restaurants in rural areas don’t seem to know about food allergens or how to help figure it out. It can add quite a bit of time to a meal (and your trip) trying to teach them and wait for answers. Sure, you can bring some food along, but you can only keep perishable foods cold for so long. I’ve never had a hard time bringing a decent amount of snacks through the security check point at the airport. If my snacks aren’t enough I’m usually able to at least find some fruit inside the airport.

To help you make this type of decision, check out my posts with tips for traveling: Tips and Tools for Traveling via Car, Tips & Tools for Traveling via Airplane – Part I, Tips & Tools for Traveling via Airplane – Part II and Tips & Tools for Traveling.

Do you prefer a short plane ride or a long car ride?

suitcase

Don’t be afraid to travel!*

*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by kthread