Monday, October 26, 2009
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. *Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. *Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe.)
3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t under estimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at using a Neti pot, but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*
5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption. *Vitamin A and D3 can also help prevent flu due to their anti-viral properties. (email me back if you want me to give you the Vitamin A and D3 protocol)
6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
I suggest you pass this on to all your friends and family; you never know who might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
When I stopped working and spent more time at home resting, I still had a hard time managing my emotions. I would blow up at people in public if they did the slightest thing wrong to cause me discomfort, I blew up at my son without a good reason for such an outburst; I was, literally, a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.
It goes without saying that my emotions affected my mental well-being, and over time I realized how my emotions were affecting my physical well-being. I have taught myself to calm down drastically through meditation, inner reflection, and spending time alone.
However, there was a very recent emotional outburst. I was in Wal-Mart with my son to get a few things. We learned they didn't have any electric carts available and I was in way too much pain to walk through the store, so I decided to wait in the car. We hadn't brought in my walker, to I used an empty cart for stability to get to my car. Somebody behind me started yelling, "Move it! Come on!" I turned and said, "Excuse me? I'm disabled." And he CONTINUED to yell at me for holding him up! Needless to say, I lost it. I started screaming obscenities at him, and followed him out the door, continuing to yell at him. He slunk down and started walking faster. I held my head up high until I got into my car, then I broke down into the ugly-faced, hyperventilating cry. I was angry and hurt by his insensitivity and ignorance. But I only allowed myself to cry for 10 minutes. Then I compartmentalized just like I do with everything else.
- What do you do to help yourself feel better when you’re feeling blue?
When I am depressed, I call my mom. Without fail. She always has a way of putting things into perspective for me, then we end up talking about other things that make me joke and laugh. It's almost impossible for me to be depressed around my mom!
Another thing I do is turn to my Twitter support group. I have never found a group of women more supportive than theses ladies! Whenever anybody is having a bad day due to pain, depression, anxiety, whatever, these women "flock" around them like mother hens. Even though I only know these ladies from online, I consider them my dearest friends because they have helped me so much. The best part is that we all understand what each other is going through.
- What strategies help you work through the losses brought by your illness?
Loss is still something I try to cope with on a daily basis. I lost my job, lost my Master's degree, lost my social life, and my quality of life is questionable. Every day I run through things that, maybe, I would be able to do despite these afflictions. But I have yet to come up with anything. Lately I have rediscovered my creative side when I started playing with a scrapbooking program on my computer. I've started playing with graphics and making things for my blog and online support group. But it's helped me to know that I haven't lost every part of myself through illness. I am still loved, I can still love, I can still think (sometimes) and read and write, I can still be creative, I am still needed, and I can still help people. I'm still me, but in a different light and on a different path.
Love and hugs,
P.S. The support group can be found at http://groups.google.com/group/FibroVoices
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Week 4 of the online Fibromyalgia Self-Help course focuses on managing stress. "Stress is a double challenge to people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. First, illness adds new sources of stress to those common in everyday life. Second, CFS and FM are very stress-sensitive illnesses. A given level of stress takes a greater toll than on healthy people. Thus, the double challenge: your stresses are multiplied at a time when you are more vulnerable to the effects of stress."
Stress can come from many different sources, including:
- Symptoms: Ongoing discomfort is tiring and worrisome
- Limits: Frustration from living within strict limits
- Loss: Loss of control, of income, of friends and of dreams for future
- Isolation: Stress from spending time alone or feeling different or alienated
- Money: Financial pressure
- Relationships: Often strained; may lose some relationships
- Thoughts: Unrealistic expectations or overly-pessimistic thoughts
- Uncertainty: Worry about the future
- Sound/Light: Sensitivity to sensory overload
- Allergies: Sensitivities to foods and other substances
- Fatigue: Sleep deprivation
Things I currently do to relieve stress:
1. Audiobooks. I download audiobooks onto my iPod, lay down with an eye mask to block the light, and be read to. Sometimes I'll do this for an hour or so, but on particularly bad days I've been known to do this the entire day. It keeps my mind focused on the story being told and off of other things.
2. Laughing. Whether it's something something funny I find on the Internet or having a funny conversation with a friend or family. Laughing always eases the stress.
3. Acceptance. This is the hardest part and something I am still working on. Accepting that this is my life right now and I have to learn to understand and cope with this new me. I grieve for my former life and cycle through the stages of grief. When I reach acceptance, I feel at peace. Of course, I still cycle through the other stages at times - just waiting to get back to acceptance.
1. Rest for at least an hour a day, 7 days a week. Confidence: 10
2. Return to pool exercises, at least 3 times a week. Confidence: 8
3. Hire somebody to do housework. Confidence: 8
I've been going through a really tough time lately, which I'm sure all of you understand. I seem to be in a flare that is going into its 7th month and am struggling to find some relief. Despite the fact that I have suffered from chronic pain for 16 years, up until two years ago I was able to finish my Bachelor's degree, start my Master's degree, work full time, and have an active social life. Now I have trouble just getting up and walking to the kitchen. I had to drop out of school, three courses away from a Master of Arts in Education. I had to give up my job. And I've lost my social life, as well.
Pacing has always been an issue for me. I hate when things are undone or not completed, so I tend to get started on something and not stop until it's done - despite the pain it causes. My son constantly reminds me to pace myself, rest more, or simply let him do it. It's hard to give up that control. In my former life, I always had to be in control.
What makes symptoms worse?
- Lack of sleep
- Physical exertion
- Not enough movement/too much movement (trying to find that fine line, the happy medium)
- Being able to complete something I started
- Getting things done
- Being able to successfully reclaim some area of my former life
Last week my target was to clean my room, bathroom, and put away laundry. I was only able to put away the laundry. I learned that I should set small, attainable goals and targets each day. Some days my target may be to just wash my hair, others to just rest, and some days I may be able to clean half my room. Small and attainable goals are the key to pacing.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The Fibromyalgia Wellness Project, a research study sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health. This project is conducted by Collinge and Associates, an independent research organization directed by William Collinge, PhD. The project is now inviting participation by people living with fibromyalgia.
What are the benefits?
You may discover new ways to reduce your symptoms and improve the quality of your life.
You will be contributing to knowledge that may help others living with fibromyalgia.
Who is eligible?
Adults (over 18) with fibromyalgia.
You must be able to read English and complete the assessment forms on this website.
You must have daily access to the internet at home to use SMARTLog.
What is involved?
Read the Consent Form and attest to your understanding and agreement.
Complete the Application Form on this site.
Fill out monthly surveys (10-20 minutes) on your well-being and quality of life, at the beginning of each month of use of the website, and at the end of the study period.
Complete the SMARTLog several times each week (about 5-10 minutes each time). You can do this in the evening before bed, or in several visits through the day.
Ask for and receive SMART Profiles telling you what inputs lead to reduced symptoms for you.
Try out new strategies on your own or treatments to see if they help you to reduce your symptoms.
How long is the study?
This study is being conducted in two stages:
-- The first stage (“Alpha”) is three months.
-- The second stage (“Beta”) will be nine months.
-- You can participate in either or both stages.
The longer you participate, the more likely you are to learn strategies that reduce your symptoms. We recommend at least three months.
Results: Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) ScoresYou scored, out of a possible 21 for both Anxiety and Depression:
Between 16 and 21 for Anxiety: a rather high level
Between 11 and 15 for Depression: a moderate level
Note: This test is not a substitute for an assessment by a qualified professional. Symptoms can vary with time.
Check your score here!
Each year, IASP chooses a different aspect of pain that has global implications and sponsors a 12-month campaign to raise awareness of that area of pain. For our 2009–2010 Global Year Against Pain, we selected musculoskeletal pain as our focus.
Why Musculoskeletal Pain?
More people around the world experience musculoskeletal pain than any other type of pain. And the problem is complex and far-reaching, with many different types of pain falling into this category, including neck pain, limb pain, low back pain, joint pain, bone pain, and chronic widespread pain—just to name a few. Yet, despite the wide-ranging conditions and symptoms, all types of musculoskeletal pain share similar underlying mechanisms, manifestations, and potential treatments. The Global Year initiative provides an ideal forum for us to explore, and raise the profile of, these important issues.
Global Year Preparations
The new campaign, which is scheduled for an official launch on Monday, October 19, 2009, will draw much-needed attention to a host of issues faced by those with musculoskeletal pain. The 2009–2010 Global Year Team, led by co-chairs Dr. Lars Arendt-Nielsen (Denmark) and Dr. Kathleen A. Sluka (USA), has been busy preparing a variety of materials, resources, and communications to ensure a successful campaign. Team members have also been finalizing more than two dozen Global Year fact sheets on a number of specifics topics related to musculoskeletal pain, including:
- Evidence-Based Treatment of Acute Musculoskeletal Pain
- Acute/Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain (including Sensitization)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Basic Aspects of Joint Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injuries/Overuse
- Exercise in Management of Musculoskeletal Pain
More Details Coming Soon
Watch for more information in upcoming issues of the IASP Newsletter, as well as special email announcements later this year, with more details about the new Global Year campaign. Several issues of Pain: Clinical Updates in the coming year will focus on topics related to musculoskeletal pain. In addition, the Global Year pages on the IASP website (www.iasp-pain.org/GlobalYear/MSP) will provide further details and resources, including an overview presentation for speakers and chapters to use at their Global Year events. Members will also be invited to sign up to receive periodic email updates on Global Year news.
Ready to Get Involved?
While the Global Year Team will provide the objectives and framework for the Global Year Against Musculoskeletal Pain, the real success of the campaign will come through the efforts of our members and chapters around the world. The team encourages all our members and chapters to make plans now for meetings, symposia, media events, and other local activities in support of this vital initiative.
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