Sunday, October 19, 2008

Depression and Fibromyalgia

Hello Everyone,

I want to talk to you today about dealing with depression while living with Fibromyalgia. As I meet others living with Fibromyalgia, it has become clear that depression is a very real, very important topic that we need to talk about.

It seems to be a universal situation: We deal with our symptoms as privately as we can, not wanting to impose on those around us or seem "weak". We silently deal with our fears, our doubts, our limitations, and our overwhelming questions about our future. In many cases, this can lead to mild or even severe depression.

One of the biggest obstacles that faces those of us living with Fibromyalgia is the fact that no one can see our illness. It's not readily identifiable to those around us. Therefore unfortunately, the problem becomes having to justify our pain, our fatigue, and our limitations. It weighs us down and causes us to feel isolated and defenseless in many cases. Having to constantly "prove" that there really IS something tangibly wrong going on in our bodies not only adds to the burdens we are already carrying, but many times adds unnecessary triggers that make the pain and fatigue worse! If we're not careful, and we don't make sure to have a good support system around us, we can get trapped into feelings of despair and hopelessness. Over a period of time, this can lead to depression.

It's VERY important to keep communication open. If your loved ones are not your best supporters, I want to encourage you to find a group or an online forum of others living with Fibromyalgia that you can talk to and bounce ideas and information off of. If you are experiencing difficulty talking with your doctor or their staff about your symptoms, emotional needs, or medications, don't settle! If there is ANY way at all to find help elsewhere I encourage you to keep looking for a medical team who specializes in Fibromyalgia or at least is willing to LISTEN to you and get you the help you need. Don't under any circumstances settle for "it's all in your head". Although some of the symptoms of Fibro can worsen because of emotional triggers and reactions, it is NOT true that Fibromyalgia is all made up in your mind. That's a myth. You deserve a proper diagnosis and proper treatment to help you regain your quality of life.

There are some fantastic links to groups and resources here on my blog. Look over in the right hand column for information.

If you believe that you are experiencing depression and it seems to be lingering or getting worse, please get help right away. You can choose to consult a counselor, a doctor, or a holistic physician to help you for instance. Don't just do nothing though. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of!

When I faced depression recently, my doctor was wonderful and listened very carefully to what I was saying. My personal choices were extremely important to me and I was nervous that he wouldn't take them seriously. However I should have known better. He and his Physician Assistant have been marvelous since the first visit I had with them after 2 years of searching for a doctor who could help me. (I have a link for my doctor down on the right hand side of my blog as well. See "John Tesser") At any rate, for me it was important that I didn't have a long term medication prescribed that I was going to have problems with. I don't like taking medication to begin with, so I didn't want to add any more to what I'm taking already. My doctor listened carefully and recommended 10mg of Nortriptyline at night. This medication is not one that has to be taken every day, nor do I have to wean off of it. It can be taken on and off as I need it. I was so happy! Not only that but it also helps with pain too. I have virtually no side effects when I take it at night and I sleep much better.

Now you may not need medication, this was a personal choice after my doctor and I talked it over. Perhaps you may just need a short term counselor, or any number of other things that can help you. The point is to take care of yourself and find help in any way that you can. Depression is not a situation to take lightly!

Here's to your success!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

*Why I Support C28 - NOTW* This Co. Rocks!!

Dear C28 Friends,
Last month we were informed by the Make-A-Wish Foundation that Carissa Fluke's last wish was to shop at C28. Since Carissa was too sick to get out of bed, we prayed and brought C28 to her hospital room! Carissa had not walked or smiled for weeks, yet as she saw the room full of free NOTW clothing, her smile was from ear to ear as she walked toward us! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS.

Traci Scarce (C28 events coordinator), Kevin Moore (NOTW designer) and I had the privilege to minister to Carissa, her family and the hospital staff by going through countless scriptures on our NOTW clothing and thanking the Lord in prayer for her improvements. Please pray for her mother who is supporting 4 of her 6 kids. Carissa's dad died in a car accident 2 years ago and it has been difficult for the single mom to support the family emotionally and financially.

CURRENT UPDATE (9/22/08):We are so excited to let you know that Carissa MADE IT TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL! By the grace of God, she has survived to complete her first round of chemo and is receiving her mother’s white blood cells as we speak. The next process is the bone marrow transplant. Our God is so big. While sometimes we don’t understand what the plan is, the plan sometimes is just to watch Him work to increase our faith. We trust that you will continue to pray for precious Carissa, as one day she will be a LIVING testimony to what God can do!

Please access the link below to watch her progress, read her mother Lisa's journal entries and view photos. You can even sign up to get an email every time her journal is updated.

You can also send cards and donations to the address below and these will go directly to her.

Lisa Hardinge/Carissa Fluke
1811 Poplar Avenue Room 201
Memphis, TN. 38104

In His Grace, Aurelio F. Baretto III
C28/NOTW CEO and Founder

Carissa Loves Her New NOTW shirts

Carissa, Traci, Kevin, Russ, Aurelio

We Prayed And Read God's Word


Whew! Awesome! : )

** For More Information on C28/NOTW Click --> Here


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Write It Down!

I'm excited and happy to report 9 days without any flu-like symptoms and very little pain! I had 1 day in between that was painful and fatigued but bounced back significantly the day after.

I want to encourage you to keep a log of your daily symptoms and feelings so that you can have a record you can show to both your doctor and as a back up for applying for disability. If you are applying for benefits they will require about a year's worth of written testimony as to how Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia has limited and/or affected you. It can be a major benefit in your case file and help your doctor(s) add information to your file for documentation.

It's important to be you own advocate. Don't be hesitant to write down anything that applies to how you're feeling and affected in your daily living tasks. Everything matters.

Another good idea is to have friends, family, and co-workers write statements as to their observations of your symptoms and how they affect you. Added testimony is a plus when applying for benefits. If you want to create your own questionnaire in order to make it easier for them to fill out this is a great idea as well. It may help friends, family, and co-workers be more willing to help you out with a written testimony.

Here's To Your Success!