It’s My Life!

Woah! Really busy for me out in the real world – there is actually a life for me beyond Fibromyalgia Awareness…

As you know, last night was my fabulous shiatsu massage; but, before that, I had a very-overdue botox injection (or lots of little ones) across my forehead: Botulinum toxin, commonly referred to as Botox®, is well-known for its cosmetic use to eliminate glabellar lines, the frown wrinkles between the eyes (which is fabulous) frown_lines_beforeyet it can also relieve migraine-type headache, muscle tension headache, or chronic daily headache. Results can be dramatic. Some patients (about a third) who have suffered from daily headaches for years report being free of headaches for two to five months; so I’m hoping (at least) some of my head pain will disappear.

After that, it was an appointment with my lap-band doctor – basically unnecessary because, during this whole month, despite hardly eating because of teeth pain, I only lost 400 grams (that’s a poo!). Hopefully, after this whole ‘Lyrica-weaning’ process, I will start to lose some (much un-needed) weight!

Driving Miss DaisyToday I was lucky enough to receive my very belated birthday present – a matinee performance of Driving Miss Daisy with Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. I had seen the movie (a very, very long time ago – after googling it, the movie was around 1989 so I was 18) but I really didn’t remember the entire Jewish storyline, only the black racism. It was pretty damn cool and I had a (very uncomfortable) seat in the second row (that’s from the front!)

And now, tomorrow, it is Z’s 3rd birthday party (so I’ll see my father for the 1st time since The Letter) – he decided to have a gardening party with minimal decoration (BUM!) but I did what I was allowed to:

hungry caterpiller (window)hungry caterpiller

balloons

His real birthday is on Tuesday so I prepared a treasure chest of presents…

chest closed chest opened

and decorated the spare-room at my house for when he sleeps over.

view from door full view

We’re going to the Zoo!

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Absolute Silence Leads to Sadness

1980s-makeup-madonna-i3A long time ago, when I was about 18, I had a huge crush on a bartender at my regular night club. At the time, of course, I thought that I was desperately in love. I was crushed when he approached me to tell me he liked my best friend and asked me if she might be interested in him. As teenagers do (or did back then), both my friend and I went to the toilets to talk. Feeling very noble and selfless (and rational), I told my friend that if he liked her and she liked him, it didn’t matter that I ‘loved’ him.

I’m really quite sad (and angry under that) at the moment: basically, the same situation happened to me 25 years later -tonight…except I was playing the friend role. BUT the person playing me was not so self-sacrificing.

cartoonSo, tonight, a date that I was longing for after 10 days of FB messaging, texting and Skyping, is no longer; and I am sitting here, instead, writing my next post…so, I am (I think, deservedly) sad (and angry under that).

In the face of my emotional state, I wonder if this whole thing will cause a flare because women with FM are more emotionally sensitive than women who don’t have the condition – right? WRONG!

Researchers who set out to understand the role emotions play in FM pain may have ended up dispelling this myth. Scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands asked 121 women (About half the women had fibromyalgia; the other half did not) to think about a personal experience that made them angry or sad. The researchers then exposed the women to painful electric shocks.

All women in the study (about with FM and half without) felt more pain after becoming angry or sad. And the more emotion they felt, the more pain they reported.

The study, which is published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research, may help to dispel the notion that people who have FM are more emotionally sensitive than those without our mysterious illness – There was no difference seen between women who had FM and those who did not.

“We did not find that women with fibromyalgia were more sensitive to emotions than women without fibromyalgia,” says lead author Henriët van Middendorp, PhD, senior researcher in the Psycho-rheumatology Research Group at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology of Utrecht University in The Netherlands. “However, because women with fibromyalgia already have heightened pain levels, the increase in pain due to negative emotions is troublesome, because the starting level of pain is already high.”

cowardly-sadness-aka-angerResearchers involved in the study say their findings suggest that techniques that reduce anger and sadness, including cognitive behavioural therapy and meditation, may play an important role in pain management.

“Many studies have shown that negative emotions and pain are associated, which likely reflects that pain causes negative feelings. However our study strongly suggests that negative emotions may also cause an increase of the pain,” van Middendorp says.

“Since drugs only work partially in fibromyalgia, everyone is looking for lifestyle and other things to do. So emotional regulation techniques might be helpful,” Robert S. Katz, MD, a rheumatologist and fibromyalgia expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, says.

By the way, it’s my birthday now (it’s after midnight)…so I’m sad (and angry under that).

 

A Night in Paris

I am dead, wrecked, exhausted…but I deserve it.

Yesterday was Henry’s (Mommy’s partner) birthday. He turned 78. (It was also my father’s partner’s birthday but I am no longer in his life (see The Pain of Family vs the Pain of Fibromyalgia!) Now, Henry is very well off and has been so helpful to me, in every way possible. I am unable to give him any gift that he can’t or won’t buy for himself; but I am able to ensure that he is surrounded by his friends and family for his birthday. So, we had a party…

Henry was born in Paris – it was only natural to have A Night in Paris as the theme.

Front of Invitation

Front of Invitation

Front of Invitation

Back of Invitation

centrepiece 1We decided not to have snails and frogs legs, as most people wouldn’t like them, AND they’re REALLY expensive.

fruit platter food 4 food 3 food 2 food 1 eiffel towers

C'est moiThere were about 70 guests and I acted as the help; if I didn’t Mommy would have to do all the work and then she’d be in pain. This way, we shared the pain!

We tried to make the house look like a French bistro.

boxesentryway bistro
backyard 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It ended up being a very successful party but I could really use a warm water pool right about now (and probably, a couple more days)!

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Happy Birthday

Today is my baby brother’s 40th birthday. Happy Birthday Mitch!

His celebrations have been going on for a week. As you know we had an afternoon tea for the family on Sunday.

Welcome to Mitch Air, Flight 40!

Introducing the staff of Mitch Air…

Your trolley dollies will be serving…

Some of Mitch Air decor…

My beautiful (most of the time) niece, Naomi.

And I learned that blue food dye may not be the best thing to serve little children.

His BIG celebration with mates will be on Saturday night. (I was invited but I’ll be recuperating.) And tonight, late – after my hydro session and, as my last meal before my gallbladder surgery; Mommy, Mitch and I will be going to a huge ribs dinner (food I don’t think I’ll be able to eat for quite a while after the op).

So today is last-minute stressing about my operation (and probably more stressing than normal because I’m not allowed to smoke) and organising. While I probably won’t be able to answer any comments, I have written some extra posts because I promised myself that I would have a post every day.

See you after a fabulous (drug-induced) sleep!

Tick all the Right Boxes

I woke up today and it was just another normal day UNTIL the postman came…

Three boxes arrived – I’ve told you I like to shop!

Box 1

The first box I opened had my order of 2013 desk calendars – FibroModem Girl Favourites (MY favourites!) So, the desk calendars are available at my shop for $17.00.

Does this mean I’m a published author?

Box 2

The next box had more shop stuff – just in time for the Holidays and very pretty.

Box 3

This one was the best!

My brother’s (father of Z) 40th birthday is on November 8th – mid-week so it can’t be party time. So, his BIG birthday party is going to be on November 10th. I can’t be there because I am having a stupid gallbladder operation the day prior. However, we are having a family get-together on Sunday November 4th.

Firstly, I should explain that my brother is named Michael but everyone calls him Mitch (except if we’re mad at him!) Also, he is a pilot.

So, over the last two weeks, I have slowly been working on his family party.

This is the invitation.

I printed out, then cut up and glued (yes, I paced over the entire time!) little goodie bags and pilots’ visors.

Hand-made goodie bags Pan-Am style

Hand-made pilot hat visors

Then I made a tonne of different labels to go on everything…

These are going on everything – from the champagne and orange juice glasses that Mommy and I (dressed as matching stewardesses – I’m even going to have the fake ponytail!) will give passengers on arrival to all the containers that we are putting the food into (because that’s how they serve it on the plane!) And, as on any plane, all cutlery (and wetnap) will be wrapped in plastic for hygiene.

Of course the kids can’t have champagne so they’ll be given MitchAir Kids’ Club bags, which will, of course, have the appropriate warning and liability notices on them. Each child will get the appropriate plane-oriented surprises. 

Now is where today’s box comes in… Here is what arrived!

So, as you can tell, I’m very excited – I’m even making cupcakes with blue icing. (And I damn well better be okay to play my part!)

Happy Birthday, Mitch – I love you. (Don’t worry – he doesn’t read my blog, either. It will still be a surprise!0

Cheeky Monkey Party

My birthday card for Z.

Today is Z’s 2nd birthday party.

We are having a monkey party (his choice!) so some dress-ups will be required. Photos (if there are any good ones) to come.

But, as I may not have enough time (or energy) to post – I have pre-posted a gallery of previous dress-up parties. Feel free to comment and make fun!

I am a girl who LOVES a themed party!

And I have the opening night of Annie to come – the theme is Something Red. Pity I don’t fit into my Priscilla dress anymore!

The World’s Best Mother

Today is my mommy’s birthday.

In this huge world, my mother is the person who loves me most. My mother is not my whole life, but she is a really big part of it. My whole world does not only revolve around her, but she is the most influential person in my life. My mother is not just another woman. She is extraordinary.

I have known her for 41 years, 3 months, 9 days, and 22 hours; so I know her very well, and I have loved her since the day we first met.

There is a Yiddish proverb that says: God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.  My mother IS God on earth, as, when wondering what God would be like, I imagine a loving, genuine, caring person sent to look after us and our needs, just like my mother.

Since I have fallen ill, I have seen my mother shedding tears of anxiety; her hair greying further (not that anybody would notice, though); and worrying endlessly. My mother helps to feed me, clothe me, and pay my bills. My mother helps me have a place to live. My mother supports me, loves me and I love her. If it was not for mother, life would not be possible; or rather, life would be hell without her.

Through all times, bad and good she has been my inspiration and guide. All that I have learnt, I have learnt from her. I wonder what type of person I would have been if it was not for my mother.

I also wonder if anyone else (other than my brother) could ever have such a mother as mine. I am very proud of being her daughter, and I think that she is the best mother in the world.

If not for myself, then for the sake of my mother, I pray to be an adult of whom she can always be proud. Help me remain good and help me to be healthy, prosperous and happy, as this will make my mother happy. She deserves to have a fabulous daughter for all the work and devotion she has put in and will continues to do so.

I know, no matter how old I get, I will always be her child and I will always love her.

Happy Birthday, Mommy.