I don’t know what happened today…I got up at 9.30 so I could be functioning by 11.30 when my Mommy picked me up to go the rheumatologist. He was running 40 minutes late (I hate that! Do doctors really think that their time is SO much more important than ours?) I said to Mommy, prior to going in, that I had no idea why we were actually there.
So, finally, we were granted an audience.
He said: So, what’s been going on since I last saw you? Quick medication and treatment update.
He said: Well, I see my job as ensuring that we haven’t missed anything and we’ve tested you for everything so we haven’t missed anything. You should keep doing exactly what you’re doing. I know of sufferers who have started off as badly as you but, within 5 years, have their pain and fatigue under control enough to return to work part-time. So, I don’t think I need to see you again unless something drastic happens.
Like I said earlier, no idea why I was there.
Then, Mommy had a nail appointment so I went for a walk – for about an hour…uh-oh, too long!
When I returned to the salon, I crawled into the pedicure massage chair, while I waited. The Mommy dropped me at home for a rest.
Now it’s 9pm and I’m exhausted; and I didn’t really do anything (except for the walk) but I’m ready to take my night meds and go to bed. So, what exactly happened today?
I have previously told you about my experience with Tai Chi – I go to a modified class for Arthritis, held by the Arthritis Foundation. We practice a modified Sun tai chi, which has 12 forms (this info is just so you can understand the next part).
Clinical Rheumatology reported, on May 13 2012, that the Oregon Health & Science University’s Fibromyalgia Research Unit held a randomized controlled trial of 8-form Tai chi to gauge any improvement in symptoms and functional mobility in fibromyalgia patients.
Previous researchers have found that 10-form Tai chi yields symptomatic benefit in patients with FM. The purpose of this study was to further investigate earlier findings and add a focus on functional mobility.
Participants met in small groups twice weekly for 90 minutes over 12 weeks.
Of the 101 randomly assigned subjects, clinically and statistically significant improvements were seen in:
- pain severity
- pain interference
- sleep, and
- self-efficacy for pain control
No adverse events were noted.
Accordingly, the study reported that tai chi appears to be a safe and an acceptable exercise modality that may be useful as adjunctive therapy in the management of FM patients. Yippee! Tai chi class on Wednesday is still on!
BODYBALANCE™ is the Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centred and calm. Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses to music create a holistic workout that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance.
The class started with a tai-chi warm-up…cool – I can handle that! Then, into some of the yoga moves that I had done previously. When we hit the downward dog,
I had to dodge Mommy’s dirty looks – what the hell have you gotten me into? Down into the plank – if looks could kill!
And onto the mat for the yucky part – pilates core workout! Guess what? I still haven’t developed any stomach muscles (ummm…and it seems neither has Mommy!) More yoga, some flowing tai chi and finishing with a 10 minute meditation to clear the mind.
(I haven’t gone into great detail because the class was definitely, as promised, a fusion of all three other classes: yoga, pilates and tai-chi as described in previous posts).
I must say that the final meditation was very much appreciated, as I dripped sweat onto my mat and waited to be scraped from the floor.
Earlier in the day, Mommy and I went to visit the doctor (rheumatologist #3). I tried to motivate him with the promise of fame, fortune and untold riches (He could be the One! The One who could show empathy! The One who could publish numerous journal articles! The One that all FM patients would seek!) Erm…it seems he wasn’t interested.
So, the plan is:
- maintain Lyrica dosage – 150 mg am & pm (til step 6);
- stop taking the Prednisolone (no weaning as I was only on it for a week);
- visit GP on Friday to start weaning off Sertraline (anti-depressant actually being used for depression) over the week;
- no anti-depressant for one week (should be some interesting posts that week!);
- start Cymbalta (until we find correct dose for my depression);
- reduce morning dose Lyrica;
- reduce evening dose Lyrica.
Of course, steps 6 and 7 will only be attempted if necessary; and step 5 may take quite a while. If at any stage, I find that everything feels better, then I’ll be leaving it as is. I have a follow-up appointment with Rheumatologist #3 in 3 months.
So it looks like it’s up to me and Mommy (and my poor GP – she doesn’t know yet! with as much input from you guys as you feel like giving) to discover the secret (at least, the one that works for me) behind managing the pain, fatigue and fog and returning to work.
Once again, another blog author has made me have a think. I had to look at a previous post (Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! (Fibro Style)) to realise that I hadn’t quite covered the topic as well as I meant to; and as I sat crying in my Mommy’s car, after a one hour appointment with the rheumatologist, where we both begged for some sort of strategy or plan – not just to be told that this is it… – I felt like all I’m doing is rushing from one appointment to another, from one class to the next.
Yes, I had also been at the acupuncturist earlier in the day, followed by an appointment with the optometrist, where he flashed harsh lights into my eyes and then expected me to be able to read the stupid board! And yes, I was feeling a touch fragile; but this feeling was overwhelming – it’s all too much!
It shouldn’t be TOO much. I want to be able to go back to work. I want to run 100 files. I want to research. I want to have back-to back appointments. But, if I can’t handle a handful of classes in a week, how am I ever going to be able to return? And should I even want to put myself under so much stress?
Anyway, although I didn’t really feel like it at the time, the next day I went to my Tai Chi class. Concentrating on moving my hands, my feet and my breath does amazing things for clearing one’s mind.
The next week’s that is coming looks to be another busy one – can’t really put off some of the things that aren’t FM related. Life still goes on, right?
But, I gotta tell you, if I get anymore shit from Centrelink, I will probably lose it!
Don’t get too excited! It’s not really a cure (but I got your attention!). It’s more like a band-aid solution that I am using – to stop forgetting things at home.
One of these is a cheque to be delivered to my GP tomorrow when I go to my acupuncturist – something I would probably forget in my haste to leave the house and get to my appointment; another is a cheque to go to my rheumatologist, which is where I am going after shopping at Target – so I know I’ll forget that one; and the last is a letter for my optometrist, which I have to fit in some time tomorrow – so that’s another one that would probably be left behind.
I hit my head on these as I go to my front door. And they are still in a safe place – just not one of THOSE places where I’ll forget them.
- Fibro Fog (backwards222.com)
- Fibro Haze (stuartotwaysmith.com)