Staying on the Get Healthy Wagon

Fun with the Fitness Marshall

Ok, so I fell off the blogging wagon for a little bit (much of that due to migraines and other chronic pain flareups), but the good news is I haven’t fallen off the “trying to be healthier” wagon. I’m still trying to exercise whenever possible (swimming or cycling on good days, doing some light aerobics or walking on so-so days, and taking bad flareup days off).

Lately I’ve gotten into doing at home aerobic dance videos by the Fitness Marshall, which I would highly recommend. He is hilarious and very encouraging to all kinds of people, not just fitness buffs. I love how he uses plus size demonstrators as well!

I am still trying out LDN (low dose naltrexone) for my chronic pain, migraines, and inflammation. It hasn’t been a magic bullet, but may be helping some. I’m on a very low dose (1.5mg). I’ve tried the 3mg and 4.5mg doses, but they actually seemed to make me feel worse. I’m looking for good OTC supplements or meds to use for my migraines, so if you know of any good ones, please share! I can’t take Excedrin or Tylenol Migraine most of the time because the caffeine seems to upset my stomach a lot.

Discouragement – Getting Healthy with Chronic Pain Diary

Image by naobim from Pixabay

Feeling a little discouraged today about the whole getting healthy thing. This always happens when I try to change my bad habits. At first I’m all gung ho, ready-to-change-the-world optimism, but normally after a little bit of time, the excitement starts to fade and then when the pain gets bad or chronic illness creeps up on me again, I start feeling like it is hopeless and that nothing I do does any good.

I AM NOT giving up, but just wanted to be honest about where I’m at right now. Yesterday was a bad IBS day, so I spent most of the day in bed and having to be super careful about what I eat. Today hasn’t been much better. Also, am dealing with low level migraine symptoms and still having significant pain in my injured hand. If it isn’t better by tomorrow, the doctor wants me to get more xrays, and at this point it is hard to believe it will be better by then.

Lastly, It is raining today, so most of my favorite exercise activities aren’t as attractive 😦

Day 9 – Getting Healthy with Chronic Pain

Image by Michal Dziekonski from Pixabay
  • Not a great day. Started antibiotics for an ear infection and it messed up my digestive system. Lots of cramps and bathroom breaks 😦 My bruised hand has also been really painful, even worse than yesterday. Wondering if swimming yesterday did irritate it after all, or if I accidentally hit it overnight while asleep or something. My primary care doctor wants me to get another set of xrays if the pain is still there in a few days. Apparently fractures can sometimes be missed on xrays right after an injury, or at least that is what she told me.
  • Due to the issues above, I didn’t do any type of real exercise for the first time since starting this journey. Honestly, I spent much of the day in bed watching movies and kind of feeling sorry for myself. That’s ok though, we all need wallow days once in a while, right? At least my diet was still pretty good, mostly healthy with a few cookies thrown in.

Day 7 – Getting Healthy with Chronic Pain Diary

Ended up in the emergency room last night because my hand was hurting so bad and bruising up. Luckily there is no fracture, but man is it bruised, swollen, and painful! Guess I’ll be taking it easy today, icing it a lot, and no bike riding 😦 Feeling a little bit down because of it all, but not super depressed. I’ll just keep trying, even when hurdles are thrown in my way. Wish I could take some more ibuprofen, but it is starting to upset my stomach again, so guess I’ll stick to Tylenol.

Day 5 – getting healthy with chronic pain diary

  • Rough night last night. Horrible dizziness and nausea from migraine. It was one of those rare times where the dizziness and nausea were actually much worse than the head pain. I ended up having to take some Zofran which I hate doing because it messes up my digestion so much. Didn’t get much sleep.
  • Even with all that going on, I still did around 15 minutes of electric biking today. Felt good to do something good for myself even when a little under the weather. I did some online research today and found out that electric biking burns around 400 calories an hour, and even using an electric scooter burns about 300 calories an hour – about the same amount as walking! Who knew?
  • Thinking I may have done a little too much socializing lately. Feeling burned out and like I need some down time. Socializing in moderation is definitely good for my mental health, but when I try to do too much all at once my inner introvert gets exhausted and craves some alone time.

Transparent vs Whiny

This morning I woke up thinking about my online reputation and what I would like it to be. When others read my poetry and personal blog posts (especially the ones having to do with mental illness, autism, or chronic pain/chronic illness) the things I strive to represent are honesty, openness, relatable vulnerability, realistic hope when possible, comforting solidarity, the healing power of sharing our pain, and the courage and inspiration to keep going, even when things feel hopeless.

However, since I myself struggle from mental illness and chronic pain, being transparent and honest means that often my viewpoint comes across as dark and bleak. I don’t try to hide that or tone it down when it happens, because to me, that is part of being honest and vulnerable enough to share what the experience of dealing with those issues is like on a daily basis. Putting a happy face on it would be lying.

My only worry is that sometimes the reality of dealing with daily mental and physical pain is that you can start to sound whiny. Part of me says, “well, of course, you are going to sound whiny now and then if you are in pain all the time! No shit!”, but for some reason our culture makes whining out to be such a negative thing that most of us want to avoid that look at all costs.

Maybe we as readers and audiences have to decide rather we really want full honesty and openness (even if it includes some whining and negativity) or if we pretend to want the truth, but in reality just want a short, scrubbed clean, feel good version of life. I know which I prefer, but I guess everyone has to decide for themselves.

CFS/ME Flare Up and Park Outing

It’s been a rough week physically. I had a CFS/ME flare-up, which feels a lot like mono if you’ve ever had that, or the worse flu you can imagine. During these flare-ups, I run a fever, my body aches horribly, I feel too exhausted to move, too exhausted to breathe, and if I sit up or stand up long, I feel faint. Trying to do the simplest tasks is overwhelming and can make me feel like passing out, even just putting up my dishes or trying to take care of my personal hygiene.

Yesterday I was finally feeling well enough to get out and since the weather was warm, my husband and I went for a picnic at a local park. We got subs and then after eating, walked the short distance to the lake edge. As you can see, it was pretty darn muddy:

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I’m glad we went, because I needed the mental distraction, but now I am really sore and exhausted from even that short bit of activity. Trudging through the mud really wore me out because the mud sticking to my shoes made my feet feel like they gained 10 pounds, and I almost slipped and fell a couple times. It probably wasn’t the brightest idea to go, but mentally I needed to feel alive again, even if just for a little while.

Bad Flare Up After Car Broke Down

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Feeling like shit today. Woke up after sleeping 10-11 hours, ate breakfast, and then went to take a nap for another couple of hours. So, why am I so exhausted and feeling like I got run over by a steamroller?

Well, yesterday my husband was driving home from work when a tire fell off his car. I had to go pick him up and once I got there, we had to wait for the tow truck to come get the broken down car. It was supposed to be about an hour before the tow truck arrived, instead it was almost three hours. Three hours of sitting in the cold (we did turn on the heat in my car occasionally, but didn’t want to run it the entire time we were waiting). Three hours of sitting in a position that is not good for my back, neck, and joints. Three hours of my joints stiffening due to the cold and being cramped in the car.

I knew today I would feel rough after all that and expected my CFS/ME and Ehlers Danlos to flare up. As usual, I was correct, but I wish I wasn’t. Those who don’t have chronic illness and chronic pain have no idea how easy it is for normal, annoying life events to set us back for days. I think it is something you have to experience to truly understand.