Dec 29, 2010

Savella~Good News and Bad News

So, today is day 8 on Savella and I have both good and bad to share so far. I have been super surprised by the lack of bad side affects I have had ! The very first day  I had a little nausea and just a little here and there since increasing my dose. I am supposed to increase my dose again tomorrow and I am hoping the nausea won't get worse when I do. Still, the nausea from this is nothing compared to what I felt when I first tried Cymbalta~GAG!  I've noticed I have felt hot a few times, but nothing unbearable. It's just weird because if I'm hot you know something is amiss:) So far, that's about it as far as side affects go and I'm so thankful. I have read that some people start having more side affects after they have been on it longer, but I'm hoping that won't be the case with me. I have noticed a decrease in my appetite, but more about that in a minute.

As far as how the Savella is working: hmm, I am noticing WAY less stiffness in the mornings! I think it is helping with overall pain, just not pain free~yet. I am usually in pain later on in the day because I seem to be having trouble pacing myself and I end up hurting. It still amazes me how little it takes for me to have 'overdone it' and that is extremely frustrating!  It's weird though, I felt more relief the first few days I was on it than I have these last several days. It IS helping some, just not a drastic change yet. My energy is a bit better, but again, not great yet. So, the good news is~I feel some improvement and hope to feel more!

The bad news is~my husbands insurance is changing as of Jan.1st and we found out that his new insurance will not pay for Savella unless my Dr. convinces them that I have tried other things and that I really need this drug! This is SO frustrating to me! Our insurance that we have had for YEARS always helped with ANY medication~even Savella and now I have to PROVE that I need it, ARGH!! Without insurance, it will cost 274.00 a month and I am just not willing to do that! Even with insurance it was 56.00 and I thought that was a  stretch. Anyway, I am praying that the insurance company will cooperate. Who knows, I may find after a while that it doesn't help enough to fool with it, but I want to at least give it time to see.

Now, a little more about the decrease in appetite. I have TOTALLY stopped neurontin!! I realized that it was making me want to eat like a crazy person so I started researching it a little more~I research EVERYTHING by the way:) I also mentioned it to my internal med. Dr. and the rheumatologist that I saw (whom I didn't like). They both said that it is bad for increased appetite and weight gain. I had not really gained a lot, only a few pounds that I have now lost, but I felt completely out of control with my eating while taking neurontin. That was driving me nuts! My Dr. was really concerned about me going off of neurontin and told me to try cutting it back, but that didn't help.
Liquid Vitamin taste awful by the way! Mix with juice:)
 I am now taking magnesium with malic acid before bed and it seems to be helping me sleep. I am also taking a liquid vitamin (in the morning) that is full of amino acids and all kinds of good stuff. A lot of people  lose their appetite on Savella, but I think mine is just getting back to normal. I am eating less and feeling more satisfied when I eat, but I don't know if it's the Savella or stopping neurontin.

The main reason I wanted to share all of this is because I know how helpful it has been for me to read other people's experiences. I hope this is helpful to someone and I will keep you posted about any further improvement or side affects. Have a great day!!

Dec 27, 2010

Back to Normal? Nah:)

Well, I survived the Holidays and had a fabulous time with my lovely family!! On Christmas day, we went to my cousin's house in Wise Va. to see my Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles and cousins. We had a great time! That's me on the right in the orange sweater and my hubby behind me, kids behind stair rail.. Grandmother is in the middle of couch with my parents on each side of her. My younger brother is on the left and his wife beside him. My older brother didn't get to go because they have a 5 week old little angel:) The trip home was interesting/miserable! What should have taken us 3 hours took us over four hours due to snow. Whoever told me it was going to be a mild winter LIED!! So, I spent about 7 hours total in the car that day which equals a hurting body! It was worth it though to spend the day with the family:)

Although Christmas is over, my hubby doesn't go back to work until Jan. 3rd. So, technically we won't be back to normal for another week:) We are planning to go shopping, maybe go to a movie and just chill around the house this week. We all have some Christmas money to spend which is always fun. I guess Christmas really isn't over for us yet:) Oh, there may be a lot of playing the Wii this week too! My son's girlfriend got me 'Donkey Kong Returns' and I think I'm addicted! I love it because it's the only Wii game I have ever had that I can actually lay on the couch and play when I don't feel like doing anything else~LOVE it!!

I will give an update about the Savella etc. soon~I'm just still enjoying the peacefulness of this season:) I have LOVED the calmness of this Christmas. I guess health issues can have advantages~as in forcing us to slow down and really enjoy what matters.

Hope you all had a fabulous Holiday!! I look forward to catching up on blog reading to see what everyone else has been up to:)

Dec 21, 2010

If at First You Don't Succeed...

...go back to the Dr.~AGAIN! Boy, this has been a hard road lately and I feel like I may NEVER find something that works to relieve my fibro. I tried Cymbalta and quickly decided not to continue with that. Then I must have taken a stupid pill because I also decided to try going without Nuerontin. That was NOT a good idea. I went two nights without it and my body was screaming!

My sweet hubby let me go to a yoga class Sat. morning~which happened to be after two nights without meds. I was SO excited to go to a class! I hadn't been to one since finishing my teacher training the first of Oct. I've done yoga, just not gone to a class. So, I go to this class and I KNEW as soon as it was over that I was gonna pay! By the time I got home, I was reaching for pain meds. and crying. My mom happened to call while I was crying and I had a complete meltdown on her. She also has fibro. so she can totally relate. I am thankful to have her because sometimes fibro. can make you feel VERY alone:( It's just hard for people to understand. I mean, I don't LOOK sick~so therefore I must be okay. I think people also have a hard time understanding the toll it takes on a person emotionally to be 'sick' day after day after day. It felt good to let some of that out to someone who knows what it's like.

 Anyway, I realized after my little moment of insanity and not taking meds. that I could not do without it again. I started doing MORE research about fibro. and decided that at this point I am pretty desperate for relief. I have read so much on the web about fibro. that my eyes sometimes feel like they are crossing! I called my Dr. Mon. morning and thankfully was able to get in to see him. He is so kind! He is always understanding and never makes me feel stupid. He told me yesterday to NOT give up and that he feels really bad for me. He also thought it would be a good idea to send me to a rheumatologist. He prescribed a fairly new drug called Savella and we'll just have to see how my body responds to that. I go to the rheumatologist on Jan. 13th.

I am still not ready for Christmas, but I am choosing to not stress over it. I'll get done what I can and not worry about the rest. I'm so thankful for my family and for the reason for this season~which is Christ's birth.


Edit: The rheumatologist office called and they want me to come today instead of Jan. 13th! I'll keep ya posted:)

Dec 16, 2010


I finally got some decorating done!! We had a lovely snow day and spent it in our pj's:) We started off by decorating ginger bread houses~so fun!

Got out the Christmas dishes
Centerpiece on the table
Bought all new ornaments this year! My two favorites:

And the tree is all done~FINALLY:)
Hope you all had a beautiful day!

Dec 12, 2010

Is it REALLY...

...almost Christmas?! I told my husband last night that I didn't want Christmas. He asked me why and I said because I don't feel good enough to have Christmas. He asked me how I was supposed to feel and all I could come up with was "Better than this!" I don't even have a tree up yet!! That is depressing me, but I just haven't had the energy to do it. Maybe today? My kids did their own shopping and I haven't done shopping for anyone else. Sometimes, I wish I could just stop time, just long enough to catch up:)

I have been on the Cymbalta for about a week and a half now and I am going off of it. It seems to be wreaking havoc on my gut~as in I am not able to go to the bathroom~sorry, TMI! I have also noticed that here I am taking an antidepressant and I am MORE depressed than I was before! I actually wasn't depressed before I started it, I was only taking it for the fibro. I can't tell that it's doing anything for my pain either. Maybe I haven't given it enough time, but my gut can't handle it anymore. I have been reading some forums where people have posted about their experience on Cymbalta and it was ALL bad! One lady got so constipated she ended up in the ER with a blockage and was throwing up! Sorry, but that just does not appeal to me!

Because of the affect that the Cymbalta has had on my gut, I am going to spend  a few days eating lots of fresh/raw fruits and veggies and also do some fresh veggie juicing. I feel like I have a bowling ball in my gut and I just need a break/cleanse. It's such a shame that medicine that is supposed to help ends up making me feel just as bad, only in a different way!

Well, I should probably go and come back when I am a bit more chipper. Just wanted to say "Hi":) I wish I could be more consistent with blogging, but oh well. Have a blessed day!

Isaiah 42:16 "I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth."

Dec 7, 2010

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yesterday for lunch I made myself some sweet potato pancakes. I have been wanting to make them for the last week and just now got around to it. My mom used to make potato cakes when I was growing up and I loved them! These are so simple and yummy!

Sweet Potato Pancakes
1 sweet potato (1 lb.)
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbs. gluten free flour
1 Tbs. agave (or more if you like sweeter)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
cinnamon ( I didn't measure)

1~Cook, peel and mash sweet potato
2~Mix everything together until blended well.
3~Measure out 1/4 cup of batter and place in oiled skillet. Spread with spatula.
4~Cook until both sides are brown.
5~Eat and Enjoy!
Makes 8 pancakes

I had mine along side some black bean soup for a very satisfying lunch! Then I had another for a bedtime snack with a little dairy free butter and agave~yummy!

Dec 6, 2010

A Day of Rest

Really bad lighting!!
You know what I did yesterday? Absolutely NOTHING!! Sunday's are supposed to be a day of rest and they honestly wear me out sometimes. The most productive thing I did was take a hot bath and put clean clothes on. I missed out on church, but not because I didn't want to GET worn out~I WAS already worn out!! I had six people over for dinner Sat. night, three of which were teenagers that ended up staying at my house all night. We had a great time!! Needless to say, I don't think I even got two hours of sleep. My oldest son was kind enough to remind me the next day when I was moaning that I am not a teenager anymore~duh! Normally, when we have teens over like that I go on to bed, but this time I stayed up talking and laughing with them. I also had to make sure the girls were upstairs and the boys were downstairs after a certain time. So, that meant staying up until almost 3am and then listening to girls giggle and talk until about 5am. Then my hubby got up around 5:30 to go to work. I finally got up around 9am after having NO success with sleeping! I felt like I had been ran over by a steam roller! The teens had to fix breakfast themselves because there was NO way this momma could do it! Then, I also blessed them with the privilege of washing all the dishes and cleaning up where the girls had crashed in the living room:) I, on the other hand, spent my day like a zombie on the couch watching Netflix. All in all, it was a great weekend! Was it worth feeling like I had aged 20 yrs. over night? Yeah, but only because I could chill the next day~otherwise, I would have never survived. Good times!:)

Dec 4, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We are getting our first snow of the season today! I'm not really crazy about cold weather and snow, but oh well. Might as well not complain about something I have no control over:) It is pretty, just makes things a little inconvenient. Then again, why do we always think things should be convenient? My oldest son has a 4-wheel drive truck so he is braving the weather to go pick up his girlfriend and my younger son's girlfriend. Boy, that was weird to type. You see, I just met my younger sons girlfriend last night! This is the first time he has dated anyone, so I haven't quiet got that in my head yet. My kids are growing up!! How weird it will be when they are all grown and married! Anyway, hubby is at Wal-Mart getting new tires on his car and is bringing the goods home for me to fix spaghetti and meatballs. 

I saw my Dr. yesterday and it was a good visit. He is such a great Dr.! I was voicing my concerns about having to resort to taking meds. and he kept reassuring me that I had done everything I could have done to avoid drugs. I don't know why I have struggled so with that decision! I was thinking this morning that it may just be my ugly pride. I think deep down, I think I should be stronger than fibro. or chronic fatigue. I think I should be able to 'beat it' somehow and I have been humbled by the fact that I can't! Anyway, I'm taking Cymbalta, nuerontin and pain meds. when needed. I know a lot of people can't take Cymbalta, but I'm hoping it will work for me. It is making me pretty queezy, but I think it will pass. He said to give it two weeks.

I better run now~I'm gonna have three extra teens for dinner tonight. Good times!:)

Psalm 29: 23 "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."

Dec 3, 2010

I'm thinking...

...blogging isn't going so well lately. Seems like life just keeps gettin' ahead of me. I have decided to take the month of December off from teaching yoga at my church and am trying to just be home more. It seems like this season just flies by at break neck speed and I get lost somewhere in the shuffle of it all.

I'm also thinking that I am going to have to try some medicine that I have been trying to avoid at all cost. This is very hard for me as I was trying to stay as natural as possible. I see my Dr. today and will talk about it with him. What brought me to this decision is when I realized that even doing child's pose in yoga made me hurt! I feel like yoga will help me stay healthier, but not if I can't do it. My fear is that I won't be able to teach if I don't start feeling better.

Enough with the gloom and doom~I am VERY excited that I found a place not far from where I live to teach yoga! I am starting there on Jan. 8th, hence the needing to feel better:) To start off, I will be teaching a Sat. morning class each week, but if there is enough interest, I will add a weekday class later on.

I also just want to say how blessed I am to have a husband who has been so supportive! I asked him recently if he stressed about me not being able to clean houses as much to bring in income and he just keeps reassuring me that he just wants me to be healthy.

So, even in the midst of struggles and daily pain and fatigue, there are always things to be thankful for:) It does my heart good to think of all the ways God blesses me! I read a very sad comment on a fellow blogger's post. The person who left the comment does not believe that God can NOT make a mistake and does not believe that God is in control. The person stated that if God is in control then that is a terrifying thought! I pray for the person to see God for who HE IS. If God is NOT in control, that is a VERY terrifying thought to me! I can't imagine my life without HIM! Lord, reveal yourself to those that are blinded to who you are:)

2 Cor. 4:4 " The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ..."