What It’s Like to Be Me With Fibro Fog

What It’s Like to Be Me With Fibro Fog

I’ve had Fibromyalgia for more than thirty years. When I was first diagnosed with my symptoms, they called it Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.), a “young persons” arthritis. The symptoms of Fibromyalgia matched remarkably well with A.S.

Over the years the types of pain and malaise have waxed and waned and even changed over the years. I have new pains mixed with the old as well as non pain symptoms develop.

More than thirty years later, my pain can be described like having the dull, aching flu-like symptoms throughout all the soft tissue in my body. This causes some of my joints to ache as though I had arthritis.

I also have muscle spasms throughout my back unless I take muscle relaxers then I just feel the sensation without my muscles contorting.

Fibro Fog

Fibro Fog

The symptom of Fibro Fog is, as far as I know, unrelated to the pain and just another menacing symptom. The problem for me talking about Fibro Fog first hand is that I don’t know if I am leaving details out or not, because part of fibro fog is memory loss.

When I was correctly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about ten years ago, I did not have fibro fog. When I did start complaining about fibro fog symptoms, my doctors blamed my symptoms on the drugs I was talking. The number one offender being narcotics.

As time went on, I started to notice certain patterns of fibro fog which included memory loss. This memory loss was unique because of events that I knew I should remember but couldn’t. I wanted to say a word and I knew what the word meant and why I wanted to use it, but I couldn’t remember the word. I could even describe the word yet I could not recall the word itself.

I then started having short-term memory loss. I started to learn early on to write questions on paper when I went to a doctor appointment so I wouldn’t forget the questions. I would take notes during the appointment so I could remember what the doctor said.

In spite of what the doctor would say about my memory and it being the side effect of the drugs I was taking, I persisted in pushing them about the memory issues. I had a feeling it was somehow related.

I read a few articles on fibro fog and changed my approach with the doctors after they still denied fibro fog was a symptom. I would ask very specific questions about my memory and could that specifically be related to the drugs. More often than not, they would say that the drugs shouldn’t affect me that way. It took a couple of years for the doctors to admit to fibro fog.

Meanwhile, I felt like I was slowly losing my mind. Somewhere along that time frame one doctor suggested taking up a hobby. Physical hobbies are difficult for a fibro patient to do. After several months of being badgered to pick up a hobby, I decided I would get back into studying history. I’ve always enjoyed history from grade school on.

I got a few history books from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to WWII and a couple of general history books. I decided I wanted to devote my study to the North African and European part of WWII. I have read more than twenty books to date on the subject with about twelve more books waiting to be read.

Having a hobby didn’t seem to help my memory issues at all. I got involved with WWII history groups on FaceBook and started to write a little about what I new. This was enjoyable.

It did bring some joy into my life but didn’t really help with my fibro fog. I would start to have my back pain flare up and then radiate from my lower back to my neck and knees and realize I was four hours late on my pain meds. I would get up and go to another room where I keep my pain meds. I looked around the room while in pain and forgot what I was looking for.

After a degree of frustration I would go back to my recliner and then the pain would remind me, “oh ya, I need to take a pain pill.” I went back into the other room and forgot again what I was doing. After a couple of minutes I would realize I was looking for the pain pills.

How can I have bone crushing pain, because I was late with my pain pills, and then forget that I was looking for them? Amazing.

Many times I have been in mid sentence only to forget what I was talking about. My fellow conversationalist would remind me what I had just said and sometimes I would go on with my conversation while other times I would say “I forgot what I was talking about.”

This happened at the doctor’s office more than once and finally I had enough presence of mind to say, “this is it, this is what I am talking about right here. I don’t know what word comes next.” My doctors finally started to accept the idea of me having fibro fog.

My fibro fog has improved a little and I’ll tell you how that happened in another post. Sadly though, in spite of some interesting therapy, I still suffer fibro fog.

Troy Wagstaff ©

Inspirational Quote About Life

Inspirational Quote

life_is_what_u_make_of_it

 

Life is partly what you make out of it and partly how you react to it.

Daily Devotional With Pictures

Daily Christian Devotional With Pictures

The Living Sermon
the_living_sermon

Be what the Lord wants you to be, not what the world wants you to be.

Be what the Lord wants you to be, not what the world wants you to be.

 

It’s Easier To Fix Small Things

It’s Easier to Fix Small Things

It’s easier to replace the oil in your car every three months than it is to replace a burned out motor. It’s cheaper to fix a small crack in your windshield than to replace the whole windshield.

It’s easier to repent of lust than it is to repent of adultery. It’s easier to fix the small things than it is to fix the big things.

Matthew Chapter 5 is best known for the Beatitudes, rightfully so. It is also the beginning of the famed Sermon on The Mount where wonderful and transcendent teachings were given by The Master himself.

Throughout the Sermon on The Mount (Matt. 5-7) there are many teachings and subjects talked about in that sermon. We will be looking at six verses that describes a concept called the “higher law.” Let’s read from Matthew 5:21-24, 27-28

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:21-24, 27-28

“It was said by them of old time . . . thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not commit adultery.” That is a reference to two of the Ten Commandments.

The “higher law” so-called, has given us additional and helpful information on overcoming temptation. The essential message is rather than be concerned with killing someone, don’t let anger get that far. Figure out your issues before the anger leads to murder.

Rather than worrying about committing adultery, worry about not lusting after someone. If lust is kept in check, then there would be no adultery.

Who says the Bible doesn’t have the remedies for all of societies ills?

Lets go back to the issue of anger and killing and look a little deeper at this concept of anger management. Make no mistake, God will punish those who commit murder. Jesus said “whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment.”

So now there is a consequence to being angry with your brothers or sisters. First it was don’t kill, now, after the Sermon on The Mount, it is don’t be angry. Nip anger in the bud and you’ll never have to worry about the commandment “thou shalt not kill.”

Like the passage of scripture says, if you have issues with someone go make it right or forgive him and stop being angry. If you’re not angry at anyone then you won’t be inclined to kill anyone. This is a great example of the higher law.

The second example of the higher law regards adultery. It’s a serious sin with serious consequences. To keep you away from the temptation to commit adultery, Jesus taught that we should not lust after anyone. Jesus made lust a sin. Repenting for lust is far easier than repenting for adultery.

It is easier to change your lustful thoughts or to change your anger than it is in dealing with the consequences of such terrible behavior. Change the oil in your spiritual life before it gets out of hand.

Troy Wagstaff

God Has Worked It All Out – Faith Is The Key

God Has Worked It All Out – Faith Is The Key

Daily Devotional

Recently I saw a Christian meme that said ” God has placed you where  you’re at in this very moment for a reason. Trust He’s working everything out.” I believe that this was designed to give hope and to make people feel good. But it’s not altogether true. I created this Christian meme to give hope to all those who need it. I believe that the truth gives the great hope of all.

 

Gods will is better than our will.

Trust In God Always.

 God sent us to earth with a body and free will with the agency to use it. We will always make mistakes. The Bible teaches us that we can repent for the mistakes we make or the sins we commit.

God doesn’t interfere with our use of agency. Where we’re at in any given moment is a result of our choices and use of free will. If we find our self in a bad place that makes us feel sad, then we have made uninspired choices. We put our self in that place.

If we find our self in a place that makes’ us feel happy, then we have made good and inspired choices. God will help us when we ask him or seek after him.

God will not uproot us and put us in a certain place that makes us feel bad, which takes away our free will. The great hope and truth behind all this is that with God, all things are possible and we can improve our situation as we ask for Gods guidance.

The Exception Rule

There is an exception to this. There are times when you find your self in a bad situation where you feel awful, through no fault of your own. This kind of situation can be caused by health problems or by being victimized.

In this case, we are placed in a situation without our consent or choice. In these types of situations we feel terrible and we need solutions and help. That help and ultimate happiness comes from God. He isn’t “working things out,” He has already worked them out and the help and solutions you need are already there.

To get Gods help simply requires faith in Him and reaching out though prayer, asking for His help. Then we need to be patient and listen for His help or be patient and wait for his help. Help will come. In His time frame you will receive His help.

Is Your Candle Lit?

Is Your Candle Lit?

Luther climbs the steep steps to get to the pulpit. A little breathless, he composes himself and then starts to preach to the swelling audience. “My brothers and sisters,” he says, “I want you to look at me. See what I have done. Look at my righteousness and good works. I have fed the hungry and I have put a roof over the homeless. I have paid my tithes, I have fought Lucifer, I have read my scriptures, I have kept the commandments of The Lord . . . ”

This is a very dramatic example of what not to do when responding to the commandment to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works.”

Luther, this fictional, self-righteous man is seeking the approval of his people and doing a poor job at that. He is, in no giving light to all that are within his house. He is a vain and self-righteous fool.

Let’s read Matthew 5:14-16:

14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Let’s look at this verse line by line to see how to apply it to our lives.

As disciples of The Lord, we are among those that are the light of the world. Certainly we are a light to those around us.

Imagine a big hill with a city at the top, especially at night with the street and house lights all on creating a yellowish glow than can be seen for miles around by the valleys below. The city with its lights all aglow is a small town with its citizens walking about, living their lives, doing good to one another, coming and going. The lights in the city are powered by all of the good works done by her villagers.

This city is not boasting to the valleys below “look at me! Look at how great I am!” It’s just a city that chooses to live in light, not darkness.

Now let’s read again verse 15. “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”

Be a good example

Let your light so shine

Why does one light a candle? There are many reasons, I can think of three. One is to create light in darkness. The second reason is ambience such as using a candle at the dinner table. A third reason would be to light a pretty candle to create a romantic dinner for two.

What would be the result of putting a bushel basket over the candle in any of these examples. It takes away the light of the candle. What good would it be light a candle only to cover it up?

This passage of holy writ uses the analogy of an uncovered light so that others may see. Verse 16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I want to emphasis the phrase “that they may see your good works” not hear about them, or be told about them like in the example above.

The teaching of letting your light shine is a sermon on being a good example to others. Don’t tell them about all your good works, don’t brag about them, just do good-by keeping the commandments and living like Jesus would.

You don’t have to wait for an audience to gather before you do good works. Let the good you do, be the way you live your life.

Ask yourself this question “if someone were to follow your example, would that lead them to God?”

If one should ask “how can I be a good example?” The answer is easier than you think. Read the Bible, ponder and pray over what you have read and ask Heavenly Father to help you apply it in your life. Live the precepts taught in the good book and you will be a candle set on a hill providing light to those around you.

 

Troy Wagstaff

© Copyrighted, All Rights Reserved

Journal Therapy For Fibromyalgia and Others With Chronic Or Invisible Illnesses

Journal Therapy For Fibromyalgia and Others With Chronic Or Invisible Illnesses

If memory serves me correctly, I have fibro fog so it doesn’t always, I started keeping a journal when I was about fourteen years old. I continued that practice almost daily until I was about 23 or 24 years old. Through the years I have started and stopped writing in a journal.

I do keep a medical journal at the present. But I am writing a lot lately and that sometimes over laps in journaling. There are six reasons to consider writing in a journal to help manage Fibromyalgia, chronic illness or invisible illnesses.

1. For Fun

2. A Legacy

3. Physical Therapy

4. Mental Therapy

5. Medical Journal

6. Emotional Therapy

Before we get into these six great reasons for keeping a diary, I want to emphasis that there is one rule to keep in mind. Just do it. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you do it regularly, every day or not every day, it’s up to you.

FOR FUN

Journal writing can be fun, at least for certain people. It’s a way to express yourself and keep track of your past. If you find writing enjoyable but you are not in a position to get serious about it, then keep an informal diary. Doing something fun is good for Fibromyalgia fighters, chronic pain patients and for those with invisible illnesses.

FOR A LEGACY

Keeping a journal about daily events or life events on a regular basis for posterity is a great reason for keeping a diary. For those with physical challenges, leaving behind a legacy or how you felt and how you coped with illness could be priceless for your descendants.

My Dad served as a U.S. Army medic in North Africa and France during World War II. I am a history buff for WWII. I wish like crazy I had a diary of his time at war.

FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY

There are two reasons I mention journal writing for physical therapy. One is for people like me who physically have a hard time writing with a pen or pencil. With Fibromyalgia I have lost a lot of hand dexterity. Writing is a way to concentrate on controlling nerves that effect your fingers and hands. The trouble with that is my hands get tired after two or three small paragraphs.

I do my writing mainly on the keyboard but I do enough note taking to keep my hand’s active.

There is another physical aspect for writing of any type. Any language art is good for the brain. It stimulates neuro pathways between both hemispheres of the brain and that helps your brains cognition which is good for failing memory or fibro fog. I learned this from a neuro-psychologist at my pain clinic. Since I have been writing almost daily, I have noticed some improvement in my memory. I still walk into a room to take pain meds because I’m hurting and I forget why I got out of my recliner and went into that room. But I really feel like my memory is better than it was five months ago, but has a long way to go.

Writing a journal also serves as a memory bank for those of us with memory issues. For a great deal of memories I am at the mercy of my wife or someone else. Had I kept a journal I could have looked up special events to retrieve my memories.

Now that I have Dragon dictation software, I am going to start keeping a regular journal.

Six Reasons To Keep A Journal

Six Reasons To Keep A Journal

FOR MENTAL THERAPY

I debated whether to include this “for mental therapy” as a separate category because it overlaps some of the information in Physical Therapy and Emotion Therapy. I then realized that to some extent writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal could be like going to a psychologist. They get you to talk about your feelings. Some times it feels good to talk to someone. Some people may be uncomfortable talking to a stranger with an advanced degree about their problems. Write in a journal all about your problems. The written page doesn’t know who you are.

MEDICAL JOURNAL

As of this writing, I only keep a medical journal. A medical journal can be anything along the lines of keeping track of what was said at your many doctor visits to recording your daily symptoms, and keep track of taking pain pills or other medication. You can keep track of your activity level. This is a great reason to keep a journal especially for me with a bad case of fibro fog.

EMOTIONAL THERAPY

For most people, sharing their emotions can be difficult. But when you have the pressure of a chronic illness or are a victim of an invisible illness like personality disorders or Fibromyalgia you have a lot of pressure on your emotions.

Letting go of those emotions can help. What better way is there than to write them down on paper or computer. The paper (computer) won’t judge you and won’t reveal your secrets.

You can also track your emotional health by looking back a week ago or a month or year ago and see how you were feeling and compare it to how you’re feeling today.

There are likely more reasons for writing a journal. Tell me how you keep a journal in the comments section below. I’ve noticed over time, I’ve seen improvement in my memory by daily writing and my medical journal has been a helpful reference for my Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Troy Wagstaff ©

%d bloggers like this: