Dreary days with damp weather. . .


For weeks now in Spokane, WA it has been gray and cloudy with rain and/or wet snow. This kind of weather is so difficult for me and for many, many others.

Physically, I have increased pain and the wet cold seems to seep into my bones. I just want to huddle under a soft blanket.  My meds seem less effective; they just can’t beat the cold. Mentally, I feel depressed, as if the gray clouds are pressing down on me. Outside it is wet and muddy and the trees and bushes are bare; the colors of the world seem wiped down to gray and brown.

I try very hard to keep busy, but I frequently succumb to the depression and pain. I find I am better in the evenings and will often make one or more pieces of jewelry after dinner. Sometimes I work on my coloring books during the evenings and truthfully, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Solitaire on my computer. When I go to bed I snuggle up with a good book and read until I’m sleepy.

Since I try really hard not to feel angry at myself when I have a depressed or painful day I am constantly reassuring myself that it’s okay to have a “lazy” day. After years of illness, I’m still so hard on myself(which is not good for the depression!).

Does the winter landscape bother you? What do you do to keep active? How do you ward off the pain and/or depression? Please share your thoughts on this subject!



I’ve Got to Master my Camera


I’ve got a new-to-me (used) camera I’ve got to start using. A couple of my friends have seen it and tell me it’s a great camera and I should just start “playing” with it.

I’m so glad my friend gave me the camera, yet I’m kind of scared of it. There are so many settings you can mess with! The almost constant brain fog I have makes it hard to remember those kinds of things. I also need to see if this camera will work for me as it needs a $50.00 sd card.

I would love to show you some of my jewelry projects as well as adding something nice for you to look at before you read each post. Beware! I also want to share some photos of my cats!

There was a time when I was a whiz with a 35 mm SLR. I loved photography! Now photography may be something that  has also gone by the wayside since the accident that tumbled my brain around inside of my skull.

But, I’m stubborn. I’ll try my darnedest to make that camera work for me! And someday, you’ll find yourself peering through the fog at a picture of all three of my cats!



Is it Worth It?


Last night I had to stay up until after midnight to apply for a Section 8 housing voucher. (Yeah, I know-what a crappy time to have to get yourself entered into the lottery!!) Anyway, I ended up frazzled and forgot my bedtime medications.

I flopped around all night, too hot, too cold, too everything. I felt awful this morning and finally remembered I had not taken my meds. In particular, I had not taken my Lyrica.

Now Lyrica is in some ways a miracle drug for me; I firmly believe that without it I would be bedridden. I first was prescribed Lyrica to help slow down my brain after the traumatic brain injury. Months later I realized that the fibromyalgia was much improved. It also helps with the nerve pain I have in my neck, back and hips.

However, there are two problems with taking Lyrica-the first is the side effects and the second is that it’s addictive. I take meds for the side effects it causes and heaven help me if I miss a dose or two. I get chills, sweats, severe abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and a headache so bad I can’t describe it. Now, let me be clear-I am not mentally addicted to Lyrica, I am physically addicted. My body goes into drug withdrawal when I don’t take it.

The withdrawal is not only nasty to go through, but it also freaks me out! I won’t take narcotics for severe pain because there is a family history of substance abuse and that scares the heck out of me. I’m addicted nonetheless.

I don’t take any medications I don’t need to take and yet I take 30-some pills each day. What’s that doing to me? to my longevity? to my best possible life? Is it worth it in the end? I guess for me the answer has to be yes. I would hate a pain-filled life spent in bed.

Any comments or experiences you’d like to share? This is a tough subject and I’d love to hear how others deal with it.


Awesome Weekend


I’ve had the best weekend! Yeah, I’m really painful and fatigued, but I didn’t let that stop me.

Friday night I got my chores done and spent the rest of the evening making myself some dinner, cleaning up after dinner and then I read until bedtime. It was so nice to have a home-cooked meal! I haven’t cooked for quite a while; I usually have a sandwich or a microwave dinner.

Saturday morning I made myself a bacon cheese omelet. Yum! I spent the rest of the day in my pajamas; I made a really pretty necklace with matching earrings; I made dinner and read quite a few pages of a murder-mystery I’m really into right now.

Sunday morning a friend dropped by and brought me still-warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. Guess what I had for breakfast?! Another friend dropped by and we talked and talked, worked in our coloring books and TRIED to figure out a way to rearrange my living room.

I didn’t accomplish much the last three days. . .I relaxed, enjoyed the company of my two best friends and ate good food. But then maybe I did accomplish a lot after all. I took care of myself without any fretting or fussing or worrying about anything at all. :~)




I’m a Tired, Tired Girl


Today I got up, showered and went with my trusty caregiver to do a couple of errands. First to Verizon to find out why my phone is acting wonky. They ordered me a new phone and the USB reader I needed was 30% off. Great!

Next we went to Rite-Aid where I picked up a few odds and ends. While I was there a friend called asking if I wanted to sit in on a health insurance consult she was having and I enthusiastically went. (More about health insurance later!)

Fast forward a couple of hours and I hear the insurance agent say, “We’re losing Deb!” I had been about to drift off to sleep. I was so embarrassed. My friend explained to him how much time I spend in my pajamas and just how fatigued I get.

For me the fatigue is the most difficult thing I have to deal with. I barely got off my back-end today, yet I feel like I’m trying to walk underwater. Whole days or weeks go by like that. I have always been active-I raised four children, worked as a nurse and with a husband in the military, we moved a lot. Now I am frequently too tired to get myself out of bed.

My head understands that traumatic brain injury, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome all cause serious fatigue. My heart, however still wants me to be up and busy all day long.


Pajama Day

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Today was a pajama day. I slept a little later than usual, ate when I felt hungry and piddled around with a necklace I started making last night.

Making jewelry is my passion. I make a piece of jewelry almost every day. Not only do I love working with beautiful beads, but it is also an activity that I can usually do even on my worst days.

Every day I have a headache that I liken to “being hit in the back of the head with a two by four.” The headache is in addition to the muscle pain of Fibromyalgia. I have found that if my mind is engaged, I can’t think about the constant pain at the same time. Making jewelry is a perfect activity for me. And, because I am passionate about jewelry-making I imagine the joy I feel also helps release all those feel-good endorphins we have.

There are times when I feel too fatigued and/or painful to be active; for those times I read or work on a page in one of my adult coloring books. I’m not suggesting that these ideas will work for everyone. I’m just sharing the ways in which I can hold the pain at bay while feeling like a productive adult. I feel that finding appropriate activities is an important part of dealing with chronic pain and fatigue.

Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? I would like this blog to  function as a community of sharing. Please feel free to leave comments.