Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Strategies and alternatives for coping with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and other chronic illnesses

Archive for April, 2010

Blowing Your Nose Is Not Ladylike, and Other Truths of Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on April 27, 2010

ChronicBabe is hosting Grand Rounds this week, and they’ve chosen the topic “ladylike.” This post isn’t going to make the deadline (I worked so many hours last week it was all I could do to keep us fed,) so it won’t be in the carnival, but I found the topic interesting, so I decided to write it anyway.

I guess I should probably start with a confession. . . If you used the word “ladylike” to describe me around my friends, they’d most likely laugh in your face. I was a tomboy growing up, and I never really “got” the whole ladylike thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Does Using a TENS Unit Ease Fibromyalgia Pain?

Posted by wendyburnett on April 25, 2010


A few years ago, my rheumatologist suggested that I try a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) for my fibromyalgia pain. She gave me a prescription (be sure to make a copy of the prescription to keep in the case with your TENS in case you need to travel with it,) and I jumped through all the insurance hoops, picking up my TENS unit a few weeks later.

I visited a physical therapist to learn how to use it, and started taking it to work with me every day. I used it constantly for a while, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I Feel a Flare Coming On

Posted by wendyburnett on April 24, 2010

OMG – somebody please kill me . . . I’ve worked a seven hour day, and 3 nine hour days in a row. I think I’m gonna DIE. Thank heavens I made “THE LIST” this week. I was scheduled for another eight hour day (plus the hour it takes me to do the cleaning after I get to close,) but the list says that i’m not allowed to put in more than six hours tomorrow. We’re not allowed to go over forty hours or corporate will have a fit, but according to MY numbers, if I work 6 hours tomorrow, I’m gonna be at forty-one and a half. I’m only scheduled for six on Sunday (which means I’ll be there seven, since it takes an hour to do cleanup after I close.) Forty-seven hours in six days, I guarantee I won’t be doing anything but SLEEPING Monday . . .

To top it all off, I’ve only got Monday off, and then I have to work four more days before I get another day off. It’s bad enough when I trigger a flare overdoing it on something I LIKE, but setting myself off because I’m working myself to death is something else again. WHAT on earth was I thinking when I agreed to take a job that requires me to stand on my feet from the time I get there til the time I get home, lift and carry boxes that weigh up to 30 pounds, PLUS having to walk a half mile there and back on the days my hubby works. (Actually, I know what I was thinking . . . “eating is good, and being able to pay the rent is even better.”)

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Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Pain, Stress | Leave a Comment »

Give Your Pain a V.O.I.C.E. (Verification of Illness, Coping & Experience)

Posted by wendyburnett on April 19, 2010

The University of North Florida is doing a new study, researching personal experiences with chronic illness, including those without a diagnosis yet. According to their website:

“Our goal is to document and share the collective voices of those who endure the challenges of living with chronic physical symptoms. We seek honest and candid responses in an online survey from patients who personally know about the impacts of living with symptoms of illness. Your voice is vital to providing awareness and understanding, and to help establish issues that we need to address in medicine. This research taps into information that lab work and other technologies cannot reveal, relying on input from you for the advancement of science and understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain, Research studies | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Oooops, I Screwed Up, AGAIN

Posted by wendyburnett on April 15, 2010


Dammit, I KNOW better than to do this . . . But, being the stubborn bitch I am, I manage to do it to myself whenever I stop paying attention, and let myself forget that just because I usually keep my bipolar very well controlled doesn’t mean I can’t trigger it.

Work scheduled me for more hours than usual this week, and it’s been really busy, so I ended up staying 90 minutes late two nights this week. That cuts WAAAAAY into the time I have for the stuff I need to do at home, so I’ve been staying up late to get everything done. BAD idea! Very, very, VERY bad idea.

Last night I got about 6 hours, and the night before I only got 3 (not entirely my fault, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.) Anyway, when hubby got up to get ready for work, I nearly drove him nuts talking “at” him. This is NOT a good sign . . . Talking like that is always the first sign that I’m starting a manic or hypomanic episode, so it’s time to take steps. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Mania, Pain | 2 Comments »

8 Ways to Handle Unwanted Treatment Advice

Posted by wendyburnett on April 13, 2010


In yesterday’s post, I talked about the people in our lives who keep pushing us to try new treatments thinking that we’ll be “CURED,” and promised you a selection of methods to deal with them. As I said in that article, none of these methods are guaranteed to work with every “helpful” person in our lives. Just like us, each person will require their own combination of methods, and some won’t stop no matter what we try.

As annoying as it can be to deal with all the time, we have to remember that our illness has affected their lives as well, and handle the behavior as gently as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Yet Another Mentally Ill Person Killed by Police

Posted by wendyburnett on April 12, 2010

Another bipolar man has died due to the lack of training in dealing with the mentally ill, and the family has filed suit against the police department as a result, according to JusticeNewsFlash.com.

These kinds of deaths are so totally unnecessary, and it pisses me off to know that any one of us could be killed by police, just because they are totally clueless about how to deal with mentally ill people who are in crisis. This seems to be a bit more than just ignorance though, since Mr. Cardall’s family claims that after tasing him twice on his bare chest, police officers left him laying face down in the dirt, totally ignoring his wife’s requests that they check and make sure he didn’t need medical attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Opinion | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Are Well-Meaning Friends/Family Driving You Crazy?

Posted by wendyburnett on April 12, 2010

We’ve all been there – many of us deal with it every day . . . the well-meaning friend or family member who comes running every time there’s a new pill or treatment available for our chronic illness. We know they just want to “help” us get better, but it’s crazy-making to constantly be bombarded with new things to try. It’s especially bad when we try the wonderful new treatment, and it DOESN’T WORK! Then we get to deal with their disappointment and questions about, “Are you sure you’re doing it right?” or “Did the doctor give you a strong enough dosage?”

Healthy people mostly only have experience with things like colds, flu, and infections; with maybe a few injuries thrown in. For simple stuff like this, it’s easy — take a few pills for the symptoms of the cold or flu, and in a week or so, it’s gone; take an antibiotic for about 10 days, and the infection is CURED. Injuries involve some down time for healing, and maybe a little physical therapy, and everything is back to normal. Because this is all the experience they have with illness, they assume that ALL illness is like that.

I call it “the antibiotic theory of chronic illness.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Healthcare, Invisible Illness, Opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

ChronicBabe Blog Carnival #1 – Check it Out!

Posted by wendyburnett on April 7, 2010

ChronicBabe has started a new blog carnival! The first topic is “I can bring home the bacon! Thoughts on work and chronic illness,” and they’ve chosen 20 posts (one of them is MINE – and I’m so excited!) sorted by 5 different subtopics:

  • “Practical work/life tips to start using today”
  • “Employed…in a balancing act”
  • “Employed…and dealing with it”
  • “Living with unemployment”
  • “Unemployed? Back to school!”

There’s something for everyone – check it out!

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Never Fry Bacon Naked, and Other Things Mama Never Told You

Posted by wendyburnett on April 4, 2010


Disclaimer: Not all of the experiences in this post are mine. I’ve collected stories from my friends, too; and if it sounds like something that happened to a guy, it probably was.

My mama never mentioned that it was a bad idea to fry bacon while naked . . . seems to me that would have been good information to have, right up there with “don’t touch a hot stove” and “the red end of the cigarette HURTS.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Opinion, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »