It’s a Very #Fibro Christmas Sing-a-Long

sing

84. maxine_stressOn the first day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
A bout of Anxiety

 

On the second day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the third day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
A bout of Anxiety

 

223. fibro

On the fourth day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the fifth day of 86. crawl into bedChristmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the sixth day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
74. prescriptionsSix Medications
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

 

 

On the seventh day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
68. HatSeven Tension Headaches
Six Medications
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

 

 

On the eighth day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
205. centredTotal Disequilibrium
Seven Tension Headaches
Six Medications
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the ninth day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
292.FM LovesongNine Painful Cuddles
Total Disequilibrium
Seven Tension Headaches
Six Medications
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Paresthesia in my (ten) Fingers
Nine Painful Cuddles203. acupuncture
Total Disequilibrium
Seven Tension Headaches
Six Medications
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Eleven ‘New Cures’ proffered
Paresthesia in my (ten) Fingers
Nine Painful Cuddlesxmas
Total Disequilibrium
Seven Tension Headaches
Six Medications
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, FIBRO gave to me:
Twelve Judgmental Relatives
Eleven ‘New Cures’ proffered
Paresthesia in my (ten) Fingers
Nine Painful Cuddles
Total Disequilibrium
Seven Tension Headaches
Six Medications124. indifferent friends
Five Sleepless Nights
Four Doctors’ Visits
Three Days of Heartburn
Two New Trigger Points
and A bout of Anxiety

Funny ☺But Sad 😓

This appeared on my Facebook feed so I reproduce, with permission (and some extra cartoons) for your (bitter-sweet) amusement

Top 10 Funny Living with Fibro Factors:

 

1. Hair dryers that look normal but actually weigh 3 tonnes when you go to dry your hair.

2. Having to allow extra time to cool off after showering because you’re now sweating bullets.

258. sleeping together

3. Sleeping under lots of blankets because you’re freezing but still needing the fan on because you are also too hot.

4. Thinking you were having a good day until you have to walk more than 8 steps and discover someone poured concrete into your legs when you weren’t looking

146. best exercise

 

304. smoke and mirrors

5. Trying not to get frustrated when people say “I thought you were getting better”…it’s a chronic condition, there is no better just good days, bad days and the ever dreaded flares.

6. Forgetting your children’s names…or why you came into the room…or how to drive…on brain fog days.

119. fibro fog

 

chronic comic 174

7. Trying to decide whether to be honest or just keep it simple when someone asks how you’re doing.

8. Mentally trying to weigh up if you are whinging too much about your fibro or not speaking up enough about what you are going through. Either way most people don’t understand.

85.second opinion

 

86. crawl into bed

9. Feeling exhausted all the time even when you get enough sleep OR not being able to sleep because pain is too much. Either way you’re still tired.

10. Knowing that you have to laugh at the absurdity of this condition because fibro has already stolen too many tears.

231. pleaSURES

 

100.1 pain in the ass

Sometimes a Duck is…

So, it’s Winter in Australia – not as cold as some places but, still, too cold for me.

I have been suffering from intense pain in my rib-cage and chest. The aching and stabbing pain felt like I had broken and bruised ribs.

Bloody hell! I thought, it’s that awful costochondritis AGAIN!!!

For over a week, every morning I was waking up in extreme pain. It seemed to dissipate by the time it was bed-time. But then, it would all start again.

After a week of agony and really cold weather, I finally realised that I was sleeping all curled up, in the foetal position, and it was my own elbows causing all that pain!

Sometimes a duck is just a duck!

117. fibro duck

Related Posts:

Untitled

A (Mass) Debate

I have found a treatment, as old as time, which may help those of us with sleep problems: masturbation!

OOPS!

Masturbation - Gustav Klimt

Masturbation – Gustav Klimt

Having a conversation about masturbation is taboo, isn’t it? Not to be discussed at work or dinner parties (or on blogs!) Well, masturbation is a topic that could do with some airing, especially as it may fight insomnia!

Sexual climax (of any kind) leaves one in a relaxed and contented state. This is often followed closely by drowsiness and sleep – particularly when one masturbates in bed.

Ta-Da! Problem solved!

***If you do not approve of masturbation, please do NOT continue reading***

Matched with male masturbation, female masturbation is considerably less common: 90 per cent of the total male population compared to 65% of the total female population masturbate from time to time. There are many benefits linked to masturbation, in general.

General Benefits

The best thing about masturbation is its many unexpected health benefits for both women and men.

Masturbation may:

  1. Promote the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitters associated with happy feelings that can improve overall mood and fight off depression.
  2. Produce oxytocin, which works as a natural pain reliever.
  3. Help reduce headaches and muscle aches.
  4. Relieve stress and tension and aid relaxation after a stressful day.
  5. Provide a sexual outlet for people who are on their own, by choice or circumstance.
  6. Help to induce sleep, or conversely, help to start the day with more energy.
  7. Improve the immune system and contribute to overall health.
  8. Strengthen muscle tone in the genital and pelvic floor area, which can lead to better sex.
  9. Keep you free from sexual transmitted infections as it’s the safest kind of sex.
  10. Help people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder causing leg pain, cramps, tingling and itching, (published in the medical journal Sleep Medicine). Several doctors in the US have had confirmation from their patients that it helps.
  11. Translate into better sex as stimulating each other at the same time is intimate and rewarding. People often masturbate into old age.

Benefits for Men

In 2003, an Australian research team led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Australia found that males masturbating frequently had a lower probability of developing prostate cancer. Men who averaged five or more ejaculations weekly in their 20s had significantly lower risk! However they could not show a direct causation. The study also indicated that increased ejaculation through masturbation rather than intercourse would be more helpful as intercourse is associated with diseases (STDs) that may increase the risk of cancer instead.

However, this benefit may be age related. A 2008 study concluded that frequent ejaculation between the ages of 20 and 40 may be correlated with higher risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, frequent ejaculation in one’s 50s was found to be correlated with a lower such risk in this same study.

A 2008 study at Tabriz Medical University found ejaculation reduces swollen nasal blood vessels, freeing the airway for normal breathing. The mechanism is through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and is long-lasting. The study author suggests a male can masturbate to alleviate the congestion and can adjust the number of ejaculations depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Other benefits include:

  1. May help combat premature ejaculation by training to last longer; it’s easier to practise control when on your own.
  2. Regular flushing of the system keeps semen healthy.

Benefits for Women

Possible health benefits for women:

  1. Combats pre-menstrual tension and other physical conditions associated with the menstrual cycle, such as cramps.
  2. Relieves painful menstruation by increasing blood flow to the pelvic region; which will also reduce pelvic cramping and related back aches.
  3. Builds resistance to yeast infections.
  4. Allows women to explore and understand their bodies better, so they will know what they like when they have sex with a partner.

Should you require further inducement, ladies, as you age, your body undergoes normal physical changes that may affect your sex life. The good news is that all these changes aren’t bad: ageing can have positive effects on sexuality. Some women, for instance, report feeling the freedom to enjoy sex more as they get older and don’t have birth control issues to contend with. Other women, however, experience emotional or physical changes that can make sex less enjoyable.

Practicing masturbation techniques can help remedy some of the problems experienced by women as they grow older. As a woman ages, her vagina becomes shorter and more narrow. In addition, without regular supplies of estrogen, the walls of the vagina can become thin and stiff. For this reason, it is common to experience vaginal dryness, or a lack of natural vaginal lubrication (wetness), as you get older. Masturbation stimulates the brain to produce physical changes in the vagina and activates various neural pathways responsible for clitoral swelling, vaginal congestion, lengthening of the vagina, and lubrication.

Maybe it’s a good idea to make masturbation part of your health routine and have fun at the same time.

Take the Next Step → LAUGHTER!

So, after smiling all day yesterday, let’s move onto LAUGHING!!!!

Joy 1

When was the last time you laughed until your side hurt from laughing… and not because of your typical aches and pains? Laughter is a natural medicine. It lifts our spirits and makes us feel happy. Laughter is a contagious emotion. It can bring people together. It can help us feel more alive and empowered.

I have happy moments and time with friends in which I feel joyful, but I also must admit that I laugh much less than I once did. Illness has a way of aging us much too soon. It makes us too serious at times, because we have to think about how everything will affect our body.

Joy 3Laughter therapy, also called humour therapy, is the use of humour to promote overall health and wellness. It aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort. Laughter has been shown to cause multiple physiological changes that may be beneficial to those of us with fibromyalgia. In a recent report, alternative health experts today tout laughter therapy as a mode of healing any disease from a mild fever to even cancer. It has been scientifically proven that laughter is both preventive and therapeutic. Although laughter therapy has not been studied specifically for FM, researchers are uncovering more about laughter in general and in painful conditions such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Benefits of Laughter

Laughter therapy has been described as great way to relax and de-stress terminally ill patients and those suffering from chronic illnesses. Joy 4Laughter Yoga is one such exercise that works on changing the physical, emotional and mental state simultaneously thereby bringing a positive outlook towards life and circumstances. A good laugh exercises the lungs and circulatory system and increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. The huge therapeutic value of laughter can turn your life and health around. According to some studies, laughter therapy may provide physical benefits, such as helping to:

  •  Boost the immune system and circulatory system
  •  Enhance oxygen intake
  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  •  Relax muscles throughout the body
  •  Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  •  Ease digestion/soothes stomach aches
  •  Relieve pain
  •  Balance blood pressure
  •  Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

Laughter therapy may also help to:

  • Improve overall attitude
  • Reduce stress/tension
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Strengthen social bonds and relationships
  • Produce a general sense of well-being

Great side effects for something that is free and readily available without a prescription! Many of the things in that list are either known or believed to be involved, to varying degrees, in many FM cases.

Most illnesses today are stress related and chronic stress attacks the immune system and makes us vulnerable to infections, virus attack and cancer. In fact, this is a major motive for people taking to Laughter therapy.

Joy 5People practicing Laughter therapy regularly report amazing improvement in their health as well as a more positive mental attitude and higher energy levels.  The first thing participants say is that they don’t fall sick very often; the frequency of normal cold and flu reduces or even disappears. There are daily reports of partial or total cure of most stress-related illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, depression, asthma, arthritis, allergies, stiff muscles and more. While this sounds fantastic, it all makes perfect sense, as laughter is nature’s best cure for stress.

Scientific research by Dr Lee Berk from Loma Linda University, California proved that laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing the number of natural killer cells and increase in the antibodies. The immune system is the master-key of health and if it weakens one is exposed to constant infection and sickness.

Joy 6Laughter Therapy For Reducing Stress

Stress and depression are two major components of ill health. Most health benefits people get are because they are able to manage physical, mental and emotional stress with Laughter Therapy exercises. Once the stress levels are down, the immune system becomes stronger automatically.

Laughter Therapy As An Exercise

Dr. William Fry, a research scientist from Stanford University scientifically proved that 10 minutes of healthy laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter is the best cardio workout. As an exercise it has similar benefits as compared to any other aerobic activities like jogging, dining swimming and cycling.


Laughter Therapy And Role Of Oxygen

Joy 7

Dr Otto Warburg, German scientist and Nobel Laureate said that the main reason we fall sick is because there is lack of oxygen in the body cells. Laughter brings more oxygen to the body and brain. A good supply of oxygen is the key for maintaining good health as well as healing a variety of illnesses.

Laughter Therapy For Depression

Depression is the number one sickness in the world and millions of dollars are spent on producing antidepressant drugs. Laughter therapy is extremely therapeutic for depression as it helps to release certain neurotransmitters from the brain cells as well as help joy 8people to stay connected and share their feelings and emotions.

Laughter Therapy For Mental Health

A major causal factor of many illnesses is a person’s inability to express their feelings and emotions. People are afraid of reactions and conflict. As a result they suppress and hold their emotions which ultimately affect the immune system adversely leading to a variety of sickness. Laughter therapy is a cathartic exercise which helps people release their blocked emotions in a non-violent way and makes them emotionally balanced. Bangalore research indicates that laughter also helps to increase positive emotions and decrease the negative ones thereby promoting a healthy life.

Joy 9

 

Possible Drawbacks of Laughter (did you ever think you’d hear that?)

Some people with fibro say that laughter can trigger post-exertional malaise – a major upswing in symptom severity after exertion. A long, hard laugh could lead to increased pain, especially if the muscles involved are deconditioned. However, this tendency may be countered by the endorphin release and other changes that are similar to the effects of exercise.

A rare side effect of laughter is brief episodes of syncope (fainting), likely due to laughter-induced changes in the autonomic nervous system leading to reduced blood flow to the brain. It’s unknown whether the autonomic dysregulation and blood-flow abnormalities of FM could increase this risk.
Int Fibro

Put a Smile on your Dial

My newest nephew, Jasper, and his biggest grin.

My newest nephew, Jasper, and his biggest grin.

It’s National Smile Day here in Australia…but it really couldn’t hurt to spread it around, right?

Scientist and spiritual teachers alike agree that the simple act can transform you and the world around you:

  • Current research (and common sense) shows us that a smile is contagious.
  • It can make us appear more attractive to others.
  • It lifts our mood as well as the moods of those around us.
  • And it can even lengthen our lives.

So before you read on, slap a nice, genuine smile on that face of yours. You’ll thank me later.

How Smiling Affects Your Brain

Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, excited. The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

The endorphins also act as a natural pain reliever – 100% organically and without the potential negative side effects of synthetic concoctions. (YAY! No side effects!)

Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant. Many of today’s pharmaceutical anti-depressants also influence the levels of serotonin in your brain, but with a smile, you again don’t have to worry about negative side effects – and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor.

How Smiling Affects Your Body

You’re actually better looking when you smile – and I’m not just trying to butter you up. When you smile, people treat you differently. You’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia reported that seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.

If you don’t believe me, see how many looks you get when you walk outside with that smile you’re wearing right now. (You’re still smiling like I asked, right?)

And I just HAD to include the other nephew, Z, as well.

And I just HAD to include the other nephew, Z, as well.

How Smiling Affects Those Around You

Did you know that your smile is actually contagious? The part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression of smiling when happy or mimicking another’s smile resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area. In a Swedish study, subjects were shown pictures of several emotions: joy, anger, fear and surprise. When the picture of someone smiling was presented, the researchers asked the subjects to frown. Instead, they found that the facial expressions went directly to imitation of what subjects saw. It took a conscious effort to turn that smile upside down.

So if you’re smiling at someone, it’s likely they can’t help but smile back. If they don’t, they’re making a conscious effort not to.

Looking at the bigger picture, each time you smile at a person, their brain coaxes them to return the favor. You are creating a symbiotic relationship that allows both of you to release feel good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, make you both more attractive and increase the chances of you both living longer, healthier lives.

Hey! And, if you can’t think of anyone you want to smile at, give yourself a smile in the mirror. Hug yourself at the same time and the effect is even stronger. OK, so you might look like an April Fool, but who cares if there’s no one but you to see?


Int Fibro

Demystifying How Meditation Reduces Pain

Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation, demonstrating a (HUGE!) 40% reduction in pain intensity and a 57 per cent reduction in pain unpleasantness.

67. meditation

chronic comic 163In the study, 15 healthy volunteers who had never meditated attended four, 20-minute classes to learn a meditation technique known as focused attention. Focused attention is a form of mindfulness meditation where people are taught to attend to the breath and let go of distracting thoughts and emotions.

Both before and after meditation training, study participants’ brain activity was examined using a special MRI scan. During these scans, a pain-inducing heat device was placed on the participants’ right legs. This device heated a small area of their skin to 1200 Fahrenheit 49 0 C, a temperature that most people find painful.

The scans taken before meditation training showed activity in this area were very high.

The scans taken after meditation training showed that every participant’s pain rating was reduced, with decreases ranging from 11% to 93%.

AND, when participants were meditating during the scans, activity in this important pain-processing region could not be detected (AT ALL!!)

At the same time, meditation significantly reduced brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area that is crucially involved in creating the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is; while increasing brain activity in areas including the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the orbito-frontal cortex (These areas all shape how the brain builds an experience of pain from nerve signals that are coming in from the body).

62. meditationOne of the reasons that meditation may have been so effective in blocking pain was that it did not work at just one place in the brain, but instead reduced pain at multiple levels of processing.

The authors believe that meditation has great potential for clinical use because so little training was required to produce such dramatic pain-relieving effects.

Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25%.

The study shows that meditation produces real effects in the brain and can provide an effective way for people to substantially reduce their pain without medications.

The Care and Handling of Your Achy Crabby Friend …by Fibro in your FACE

newhairThis is from Fibro in your FACE. It made me laugh…and we all need that:

Congratulations on your purchase of a friend with fibromyalgia! With gentle care & small considerations, you will have a friend for a lifetime. Please take a moment to read these care instructions, & refer to them any time your friend appears to be fraying or wearing out.

1. Friend With Fibromyalgia can provide a lifetime of laughs and insight, listening & loving. It cannot necessarily do all these things on a given day or week, however. You may go an entire month without being able to get your Friend With Fibromyalgia to work properly. Please do not return it to the manufacturer; ask it if it needs anything or leave it alone. It will eventually return to factory specs.

2. You can help prevent Friend With Fibromyalgia from breaking down. When enjoying an outing with it, do not hijack it for extra quick trips or keep it sitting in one spot for longer than is comfortable. “Can we stop at this divine little cafe before we go home?” is a perfectly valid question, but remember that Friend With Fibromyalgia may have a limited number of times it can get in & out of a car before it starts to malfunction. “Let’s stay for another movie” or “Come on! Let’s dance!” might also be answered with a gentle “No”, lest it go into flare. It does not matter if Friend With Fibromyalgia could dance or go into 87 boutique shops last week. The weather has changed/the work week was rough/God only knows happened & now it cannot participate. Let it go home.

3. If Friend With Fibromyalgia is in flare, or is going into flare, even texts are difficult. Your Friend wants to help you & loves you very much, but your Friend also hopes they will die very soon to be rid of the pain & fatigue, so unless something very serious is happening (death, dismemberment), please do not ask Friend for assistance. Have you ever had the flu while several bones in your body are broken? Would you want to hear about work woes or significant other gripes while dealing with that pain? Your Friend With Fibromyalgia might be too polite to say, but it is not capable of dealing with First World Problems today. If it does not respond, it is simply not functioning today. It does not hate you; it hates being alive.

4. You can’t fix that. Don’t worry about it.

5. Sometimes Friend With Fibromyalgia will say or text garbled messages such as “Zgdbr83!!” or “I think I’m an hour outside of town but I don’t know where I am I probably won’t make it.” The first instance might be fine motor stuff; the second is cognitive fog. In the first case just let it go; in the second case ask Friend With Fibromyalgia to please text you when they get home to let you know they’re ok. Do not be alarmed if they forget that, too. They get lost a lot.

6. If you can drive Friend With Fibromyalgia, especially long-distance or multiple-stop trips, that’s a very good idea. It will be able to do more with you. Let it get out & stretch if it needs to. You can tell because it will start twitching or doing weird things with its arms or neck.

7. No matter how adorable & supple your Friend With Fibromyalgia appears, it’s not a bad idea to treat it like your 87 year old grandmother, even if it’s a child. If your 87 year old grandmother could sometimes walk 3 miles on the beach or dance for two hours, wouldn’t that be awesome? Think of your Friend that way.

8. Your Friend can’t eat fast food. Consider meals with your Friend an opportunity to explore freshly prepared cuisine with no mystery ingredients. Friends With Fibromyalgia cannot be fueled by anything with more than 3 syllables American & 2 syllables English*

*Say “strawberries” to yourself first with an American accent, then an English one. A real one, not Dick Van Dyke. There you go.

9. Your Friend With Fibromyalgia does enjoy hugs. It does not enjoy being compressed enthusiastically, shaken, or clapped/pounded on the back. That’s why it doesn’t go to sports bars despite really enjoying screaming about what a fricken piece of crap loser Eli is. Suck on the failure, Eli! SUCK IT!

10. Go easy on the commercial cologne. Your Friend has a highly tuned nervous system & can smell you from 7 blocks away even if you’ve just had a 5 minute shower with unscented soap. A spritz of your cologne is delightful. A cloud will cause Friend With Fibromyalgia’s head to explode.

If you do not believe you can comply with the care & handling of Friend With Fibromyalgia, it’s ok to just enjoy their online presence & Like or Favourite their many amusing comments. Your Friend doesn’t want to be a pain in your ass any more than you want to deal with someone who is over sensitive in the most literal, physical sense.

Bonus care tip: Friends in Flare don’t want to be pitied. They do want to laugh or be distracted from their pain. Absurd is best; it’s an absurd disease.

Just in Time for Christmas

What do you want for Christmas?

FibroModem Girl wants a cure for Fibromyalgia!

You can wear this new cartoon on your chest or above your heart by visiting the FibroModem Cafepress store.FB Xmas