Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

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

Posts Tagged ‘Bipolar Disorder’

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 »

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 »

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 »

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

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 »

Bipolar Rage: Am I the Only One?

Posted by wendyburnett on March 15, 2010

I had one of those horrible days today (actually, it seems to be a bit of a pattern lately.) I’m normally pretty calm at home, but shortly after I walk into work I’m furious, and I stay that way until well after I leave.

I work in the deli at a grocery store, which probably isn’t the best kind of job for someone who’s bipolar. It’s extremely stressful when it’s busy, but I don’t have much choice if I want to eat. The real issue for me is that we’re expected to wait on customers; price, rotate, and stock product; mark down anything that’s approaching expiration; pull, scan, and throw away expired product; make deli trays for special orders; cut and package block cheeses; slice meat for the department that makes the custom subs; help customers find things, answer the phone, and keep everything clean. (Oh, you have to drop everything and update the temperature log every 4 hours, too. )

We NEED two people working during the busy times, one to slice and wait on customers, and one to work on everything else; but they never schedule more than one person. It is absolutely impossible for one person to keep up with everything they expect you to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

An Award?? Oh My!

Posted by wendyburnett on February 15, 2010

When I got home from work last night and got done with all the “necessities,” (you know the drill – dinner, laundry, dishes, etc.) I decided to check my blog surfer and see what my friends had to say this weekend. Imagine my surprise when I found my name listed in one of the posts! I knew that Jolene, over at Graceful Agony, was getting a “Sugar Doll Award” because I’d read Deanna’s post listing her picks, but I never expected that Jolene would choose me as one of the folks she passed it on to.

I’m honored and amazed that Jolene chose me. I haven’t known her long, but she is quickly becoming a dear friend. I’m totally impressed by her ability to stay positive (I haven’t posted in a week because I’m stuck in one of those totally negative spaces I get in sometimes, and I knew I couldn’t write without that negativity bleeding through,) and her ability to put into words what so many of us feel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Blaming the “Victim” of Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on February 7, 2010

I was reading a post about blaming the victims of rape on Virginia Woods’ blog yesterday, and it made me think. “Victims” of chronic illnesses frequently get blamed for their illness as well, especially if they have something that isn’t very well understood by the medical community, like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Victim blaming isn’t as common within the medical community when it comes to mental health issues like PTSD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but out in the “real world;” family, friends, and acquaintances frequently blame the mentally ill for their symptoms. (Have you ever been told to “just stop thinking about it and it will go away” or “you didn’t have a problem until you started seeing a therapist?” How about, “you don’t have anything to be stressed (or depressed) about,” or “I’m tired (or in pain) too, and it doesn’t stop ME from doing what I need to do.” I have, and I expect that I will again.)

Healthy people seem to have the idea that those of us with chronic invisible illnesses can control or eliminate our symptoms with willpower. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

One of Those Days . . .

Posted by wendyburnett on February 5, 2010

It’s one of those nights again . . . One of the ones where the pain is so bad that sleep is impossible, and the muscle twitching is even worse. It feels like my muscles are trying to squirm out of my skin, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Big Pharma and Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on January 8, 2010

Do the big pharmaceutical companies want us to get well?

I’ve been thinking about this issue for a long time, and I wonder, do the drug companies really want me to get well? If they found a cure for fibromyalgia, diabetes, bipolar disorder or any of the other myriad of chronic diseases out there, what would happen to their bottom line? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Health, Opinion, Prescription medication | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »