Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

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

Archive for the ‘Fibromyalgia’ 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 »

My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take

Posted by wendyburnett on June 1, 2010

Chronic illness is a life-changing experience for everyone, and each person’s journey is very different; but there are experiences we all recognize as well. How many of us have lost jobs, friends, spouses, homes, and family members to our disease? No matter what illness we have, we share so much that we can connect on a level that many will never understand unless the journey comes to them. We share symptoms, and losses, and lessons; and we share the understanding that our lives will never be the same because the illness, the journey, has changed us in ways that can never be undone. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow and be healthy again, even if by some miracle we were cured; the experience has changed us in fundamental ways, and the lessons it has taught us can never be unlearned.

My journey began many years ago, and it has changed my life so much that when I look back I barely recognize the woman I was. I was married, and miserable, and convinced that I was too stupid to ever be able to take care of myself without a man to tell me what I thought, what I wanted, and what I felt. I was depressed and suicidal, dissociative, and having flashbacks that I thought were delusions or hallucinations. I was terrified that I was losing my mind, and more terrified to tell anyone what was happening for fear that I really WAS “going crazy.”

I can pinpoint the exact moment that my journey through illness began, too. Not with a time or a date, but with an event; an event so ordinary, so innocuous, that I could never have suspected the effect it would have on my life. Continue reading My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 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 »

How are You? How Do You Answer the Hardest Question Ever When You Live with Chronic Illness?

Posted by wendyburnett on May 20, 2010



I think we all hate that question when it’s asked by “normals.” Unless it’s someone you know well, you never know whether to tell the truth (I feel like shit, thanks for asking.) or lie (Fine, how are you?)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

What does a “good” day look like to you?

Posted by wendyburnett on May 17, 2010

My definition

My personal idea of a good day is one where I don’t have to go to work, and I can spend some time just doing things that make me feel better. It does NOT mean that I’m not in pain (I haven’t had a day when the pain levels were below a 4 or 5 on the pain scale in at least 5 years.) It also doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted, or that I can actually remember all the things I need to take care of without lists, notes and reminders from the people around me.

What it does mean is that the pain levels are at a 6 or below, and that I can lay down with the hot pads when I need to, or take a nap. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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 »

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 »

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 »