Finally we are home and I couldn't help but wrap myself in all the love from my furry kids. Then I curled up on the couch, surrounded by the doggies, and passed out. Slept for several hours and needed it badly. The last three cruises have not been restful and it is time to admit that the fibromyalgia has started to wreck even that little bit of personal enjoyment. Robert went out to buy some Powerball tickets (up to $800 million!!) Catching up on the news, which is particularly violent. Nothing that happened could have been prevented by the President's executive order. I am not opposed to improving background checks and targeting mental health problems, but neither of these can identify terrorists, foreign or domestic. They are criminals, and criminals are not known for their law-abiding ways.
I told you before that I hurt every day and that the only day-to-day difference is the level of the pain. That's now; several years ago it was 2 to 4 days a week, although that was sufficient to disrupt my life. I did a little thinking over the past week, and it occurred to me that the earliest signs of the fibromyalgia began to show up in 2010. It wasn't the chronic pain, but the cognitive problems that first signalled the onset.
I thought I was losing my mind. Oh, I'd had brain fog before - when I started menopause, and when I was taking the anti-depressant drug Effexor (Venlafaxine), but in time, those fogs cleared and my mind sharpened back up. This time, though, it kept getting worse until I was terrified that I was experiencing early onset Alzheimers. Anyone who tells you that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease is woefully ignorant. I had to develop strategies for replacing words I could not recall and I know my court appearances suffered for it. As of today, I no longer have the ability to dredge up words. I ask other people for help; I certainly don't object if someone wants to finish my sentence for me. But it is virtually impossible to act as an effective and passionate advocate when you are fighting with yourself to remember words. In time, I lost the ability to retain new information - new case law, statutory updates, the whole new DCF matrix addressing how to interact with a family and determine if removal was necessary - my ability to read, understand, and remember was gone. All I'd really had my whole life was my intellect, and now I was losing it. Think about that for a second.
And then came the pain. If I remember correctly, 2012 was the year it started getting really bad. Frequent, chronic, debilitating pain in my shoulders, arms and hands. Harsh tingling in my arms, hands, and feet. Horrible gout-like pain. And the itching, that insane itching all over, but especially my forearms. They say fibromyalgia is invisible, but I have scars and damaged skin which prove it quite visible. Progressive. My back, my legs, my knees. Sciatica flare ups. I think the first diagnosis of chronic pain syndrome came sometime that year, but it certainly could have been 2011. Once fibromyalgia became the working diagnosis, we started looking for relief, but for me, there is no relief. I won't take opioids (habit-forming!), and the other available medications don't really work for me. Some drugs, like Lyrica, had side effects I wasn't willing to live with.
The good thing about the pain is that it helped me put the whole thing together and realize that I did not have early onset Alzheimer's. The bad thing about the pain is everything else.
Have I mentioned the depression? The mood swings? The whole panoply of mental health issues? Another time. I still have nightmares about my 72 hours in the crazy house.
The time has come to appeal the decision of the SSA. I'm getting my ducks in a row. Watch me quack. Screw the pantywaist doctors; this is real. This is permanent.
I really wanted to talk about modesty today, and why I don't necessarily agree with totally open public breast feeding. I did, but I am much too tired and fuzzy-in-the-head to do it. Maybe tomorrow, although I have tai chi class in the morning. Maybe another day when my brain is working and it doesn't hurt to type. Until then, guys just pull up your pants and gals stop wearing denim underpants out on the street.
While I'm not back into real cooking, I highly recommend using Pillsbury's crescent dough sheets for making pizza at home. Goya tomato-based sofrito, Mexican cheese blend, pepperoni, green pepper strips, marinated artichokes, garlic pepper, dried basil, and parmesan. Put tin foil over a baking sheet, and no-stick spray the foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Easy and good.