Friday, April 29, 2011

Are You a Babe?!

ChronicBabe is now 1,000+ babes strong! Have you check out ChronicBabe?!

A snippet from the homepage:

"For Babes, who happen to have chronic illness...

If you're a sick chick in search of like-minded folks—the kind of people who are living well in spite of illness—you're in the right place! ChronicBabe offers hundreds of resources designed to help you keep on being a Babe, even with chronic illness. To get the most out of our site, sign up today for our free eNewsletter: Goodie Bag, and get dozens of tips delivered straight to you every other week. And when you sign up, you also get a free ebook, How to Be a ChronicBabe: A Beginner's Toolkit."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy with the Support

I visited my dentist a few weeks ago for my teeth cleaning. The dental technician is familiar with my fibromyalgia struggles and asked me how I was doing. I told her how I found a book (The Dental Handbook on Fibromyalgia) and discovered the benefits of taking the amino acid L-Lysine. I proclaimed how it has kept my mouth sores at bay! She was so glad, and told me she recommends L-Lysine often to patients, but people don't seem to trust in the alternative treatments and brush off her advice. It made me feel good to know that she is on my side and supportive of my choosing to use alternative treatments.

I also visited my neurologist a few weeks ago, he has treated me for years for my migraines, and recently also started helping with the fibromyalgia. I told him I had weaned myself off Nortrptyline (I took 25 mg nightly initially to prevent daily headaches, and then it seemed to help fibro too.) And that I no longer needed my Lunesta for sleep. He said that's great, but what has changed? I told him how I've been doing yoga, and massages, and taking supplements (esp magnesium). He was quite supportive of my new changes and my choice to use alternative treatments. He said if its working, keep doing it! And when I need him for anything to let him know. I continue to see him twice a year, for checkups and what not. But again, its just nice to know that my doctor supports my choice in alternative and complementary treatments.

After speaking with some co-workers this week about frustrations over health insurance coverage and recent (disasterous) changes, I am also glad that I am relying less on medications and such that require insurance coverage. I figure, the less I rely on health insurance the better off I'll be moving forward. Health insurance is headed for disaster, and I don't want to be caught in the middle and fighting for my health rights every step of the way!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Struggling with Fatigue

Lately I've been struggling more with my fatigue. I had a break in yoga classes, but will be getting back with them today, so I am looking forward to that and hopeful that will help. This is a good post that I found, has some good pointers. I'm going to take a better look and evaluation of my lifestyle lately and see where I can make some tweaks and improvements to get me back to being more energetic!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Find Strength and Opportunities in Chronic Illness

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Victor E Frankl.

This is a great post on a great website. The quote really hit home with me. She speaks about the struggles with chronic illness and her ability to determination to find strength and opportunities. I think we can all relate and be inspired:

Since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia I have become a stronger person, and funny as it is to say, a healthier person in the way I live. A blessing in disguise perhaps?!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rice Krispies are going Gluten-Free This JUNE!!

This is awesome news, I hope more major companies take note and follow!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Men Have Fibro Too - Social Sites for Men

Fibromyalgia is not as common is men as it is in women, so maybe is a little daunting for men to approach (though we accept with open arms!)

But I did come across this info for men that I wanted to share. I don't have an account with these sites, so if anyone else has any expereince with them I'd love to hear the feedback! - a social network for men with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or chronic pain. Members can create their own webpage, join groups, discuss issues in forums, read blogs, post photos, and chat. Profiles are completely hidden from the public. In order to interact on the site, users must sign up. So far, more than 250 men have become members. hosts news, articles, cartoons, a chat room for discussion, and inspirational stories all in one place. Resource links to sites with more scientific information are also listed on the site.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grow Your Own Healing Herbs

What fun to grow your own herbs! And good for your budget, too :)

AARP features awesome articles, read more details here on how to grow, how fast they grow, and even some great recipes!

Peppermint - Settles upset stomach; eases muscle cramps
Lemon Balm - Dispels anxiety; improves mood
Valerian - Acts as sleep aid; has sedative effects
Sage - Eases sore throats; freshens breath
Rosemary - Increases memory; reduces joint pain

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Joints in Motion are Less Painful

Again, even though this article is about a form of arthritis, I feel us fibro-folk can learn a lot from the same advice and we too share joint pains. We are just lucky that ours isn't progressive, like arthritis is.

Learn the science of WHY exercise is good for our joint pains, and also WHAT kind of exercises are best. (Some of my favs of course are yoga, walking, water aerobics!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hormones and Fibro Pain

Wow, this article was really interesting, I guess I always kind of knew, or rather "felt" - literally - a link between hormones and my pains, but this article confirms it and helps explains it more.

Estrogen is a pain preventative, and its levels falls just before menstruation making us feel more of our pain at that time. Estrogen levels also fall at the onset of menopause, so this explains the increase in fibro pain at menopause for a lot of women.

Also to note, a neurologist stated "... other research shows that women with IBS, fibromyalgia, and IC who are on estrogen-containing birth control pills seem to have fewer symptoms than other women with the conditions, however, I wouldn't recommend patients go on the pill [for this reason]."

I take LoSeasonique birth control, for the sole reason that on it I only have 4 periods a year! I was miserable the week before, during and after my periods becasue of my hormones and my fibromyalgia and migraines, but now on LoSeaonique my life is SO much IMPROVED due to the lessening of frequency of my periods!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Toni Bernhard a Blogger on

Now you can check out a new blog on by Toni Bernhard, author of "How to Be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers".

Reading her book was one of the turning points in helping me accept and deal with my fibromyalgia, so I know I am going to cherish enjoy her blog too!

Check out her blog here, Turning Straw into Gold:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Share Your Fibromyalgia with Congress

A letter from Janet Favero Chambers, President National Fibromalgia & Chronic Pain Association


Speak up!

We need to tell Congress FM is important and needs more research. Congress is currently deciding which pain conditions need more attention and research. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is the official group that is weighing which pain conditions are most deserving of attention from Congress and the National Institutes of Health. This is the opportunity the Fibromyalgia community has been waiting for – it is our opportunity to educate Congress about the challenges of living with fibromyalgia.  They do not know the realities of living with Fibromyalgia. Your story has never been more important. Please spend a few minutes of your time completing the above Pain Research Public Comment form.

Things that would be very important to share-

• things that prevent you from getting pain care,
• costs of pain care,
• the need for scientific research on pain, especially the need for treatments that work and don't make you feel bad, and
• the need to educate  all health care professionals about chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Comments are due by Monday, April 4.  Please act today.

Make a difference for all of us living with Fibromyalgia—
share your story today.

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association is fully supportive of this effort.  I represent FM on the Pain Care Forum Subcommittee on Training & Education in Washington, D.C. and know that the information the IOM receives will directly influence its recommendations to the U.S. Congress.  By mandate from the U.S. Congress, the National Institutes of Health will respond to these recommendations by developing the type and amount of pain research for many years to come.   
We need many people to come forward with their stories to help us achieve our goals of increased research by the NIH and increased education for doctors who are treating patients with FM and related pain conditions. We will keep you up to date on the outcome of the IOM’s recommendations. 
As a member of the Pain Care Forum, I will continue to ensure that the voice of the Fibromyalgia and overlapping conditions community is always heard.  Thank you very much for submitting the public comment form for the IOM.  Would you please also pass along your name and email address along to me so I can keep you up to date on this important issue as I do my work in D.C.   As always with this type of communication, all correspondence with the NFMCPA is confidential and private.
Sincerely yours,
Jan Chambers

Janet Favero Chambers, President
National Fibromalgia & Chronic Pain Association

It's Spring! East Fresh Fruits & Veggies & Help Your Joint Pains!

AWESOME info! PLUS recipes!

ASPARAGUS: High-fiber, low-calorie asparagus is rich in Vitamin K, folate, and a variety of B vitamins, which can help alleviate joint discomfort. And asparagus is packed with antioxidant Vitamins C and A – which are both important for joint health. 

ARTICHOKES: Artichokes are low in calories and high in fiber, plus the antioxidant Vitamin C and calcium – critical to bone and joint health. Artichokes are also rich in essential minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and phosphorus.

STRAWBERRIES: Strawberries have as much Vitamin C as oranges, plus they’re loaded with other powerful antioxidants. They contain folate, which may reduce the risk of bone fractures, and their anti-inflammatory properties are good for your joints.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to Exercise with Arthritis

I am adding this info about arthritis becasie its very similar to how fibro feels/affects us, and we can use these same tips to help us learn to exercise.

I know, seems weird that exercise would make arthritis and fibro better right?! But I found this article which consulted a physical therapist an a rheumotologist on how to exercise for the best results and least pain:

They mentioned water aerobics, I would looooooove find a local class of this! I have looked into it and they are all aimed at the retirees in my area, during weekday hours :/

Friday, April 1, 2011

Morton's Toe and Fibro

Check out Kristen's blog about Morton's Toe and Fibromyalgia. Its a really interesting read, I had not come across this before. I checked, and while I do have pretty weird looking toes, I don't think I have Morton's Toes.

This is also a self-assessment and treatment guide Kristen has found, very helpful and full of good info too: