Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

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

Archive for the ‘Alternative Treatments’ Category

ChronicBabe Blog Carnival #5: Favorite Self-Care Tools and Techniques is Live!

Posted by wendyburnett on June 3, 2010


The newest ChronicBabe carnival is up! Nineteen different posts give you a wide range of options to try, and the ladies who wrote the posts know what they’re talking about – they all live with this stuff 24/7. Wander on over and find something new to help you feel better.

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Posted in Alternative Treatments, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain, Personal care, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You CAN Feel Better: Self-care Tips and Tricks for Fibromyalgia and Bipolar Disorder

Posted by wendyburnett on June 1, 2010

Preparing the bath  /duc 297
Image by jaci XIII via Flickr


The new ChronicBabe Blog Carnival theme is favorite self-care tools and techniques, and will go live on Tuesday June 1. I love this topic . . . self-care is a very important part of managing a chronic illness, and we all deserve to take good care of ourselves. I use a lot of non-medication methods to manage the symptoms of my multiple chronic illnesses (the short list is fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder, but if you’re really interested in the entire list, check my “Who Am I” page,) and I love sharing them with anyone they might help. I use a lot of aromatherapy and herbal teas for symptom control; and stress reduction techniques to minimize flares, anxiety, and bipolar cycling; so let’s get started. Continue reading You CAN Feel Better: Self-care Tips and Tricks for Fibromyalgia and Bipolar Disorder

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Posted in Alternative Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Learning to Live with Pain – Being Proactive (Part 2)

Posted by wendyburnett on May 7, 2010


In my Sunday post, I promised you complementary/alternative methods you can try for pain and stress control/reduction, so here we go. These methods apply in all of the 4Ps, although they apply in different ways in different stages. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EFT and Tapping for Fibromyalgia – Do They Work?

Posted by wendyburnett on May 6, 2010


Does it work? Yes, and no . . . Like anything else, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) has its benefits, but it is definitely not going to make your fibro go away completely. It does, however, help my symptoms and make my fibro easier to live with, so I’ve added it to the resources I use to help me cope. (Is this purely a placebo effect? I don’t really care. If I feel better, or have less pain, it’s worked for me, and I’m happy with that no matter what the mechanism is.)

I downloaded the free EFT manual from http://www.emofree.com and read the information provided, memorizing the steps needed to perform a treatment. The first symptom I tried it on was a migraine, and it worked pretty well. The first treatment eased the pain, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Learning to Live with Pain – Being Proactive

Posted by wendyburnett on May 2, 2010

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Kahlil Gibran

Have you ever watched the Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters”? They do some really interesting stuff on there, and this past Wednesday (April 28th,) they tackled a pair of “myths” about pain:

  • Women have a higher pain tolerance than men. and
  • Cursing increases pain tolerance

It was pretty interesting. They set up a bowl of ice water that was kept at just above freezing (1 degree Celcius) and attached to a timer. They then tested an equal number of men and women, seeing how long each person could keep their hand submerged. The subjects were not told that the men and women were competing, and for the first test, they were not permitted to curse while their hand was submerged. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 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 »

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 »

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 »

Is it Boredom, or Is it Depression?

Posted by wendyburnett on January 18, 2010


Do you ever find yourself staring into the computer, irritated because none of your friends are available to “talk,” saying “I’m so bored” even though you have a thousand things you could be doing? I have a list as long as my arm of things I WANT to get done, things I enjoy doing as well as those that just NEED to be taken care of, and I can’t pry myself away from the computer.

I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes, flipping from Twitter to Facebook to IRC to my email, then on to the blogs I follow; but before you say I’m addicted to social networking you should know that I frequently go for days without checking any of those (well, except for Facebook. I will admit that I AM addicted to one of the FB games called Farmville, but today even THAT is boring.)

On days that I’m not “bored” I spend most of my time doing the “have to’s” and popping onto the computer, reading, writing, or resting in between. Today, even books don’t tempt me, nor does researching any of the many writing projects I’m working on. This is a very bad sign, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

The Placebo Effect: Do We Care Why it Works, as Long as it Does?

Posted by wendyburnett on January 7, 2010

Placebo (definition) – any dummy medical treatment; originally, a medicinal preparation having no specific pharmacological activity against the patient’s illness or complaint given solely for the psychophysiological effects of the treatment; more recently, a dummy treatment administered to the control group in a controlled clinical trial in order that the specific and nonspecific effects of the experimental treatment can be distinguished.

Placebo Effect – any effect that seems to be a consequence of taking a placebo, the change is usually beneficial and is assumed to result from the person’s faith in the treatment or preconceptions about what the substance was supposed to do.

I have a question for you. If you have migraines 3 times a week and start taking feverfew capsules to prevent them, do you REALLY care whether the reduction is caused by the feverfew or the placebo effect if you start only having one a month? If it works, does it matter WHY it works? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion | 4 Comments »