Daily Archives: April 20, 2015

Day 4 of Latuda


At the rate I am going I will be taking it in the morning. I have taken it earlier and earlier trying to sleep at night and last night was pretty close. Today I took it at 5 PM.

I slept so little last night and then got up at 4 AM so at 10 AM I went back to sleep and slept to 4 PM. I feel rested now. Usually I feel drowsy.

Oh boy I am getting hyper. I couldn’t sit still during my shows at all. I wanted to run and leave the house and climb the walls. I may not be sleeping tonight. We’ll wait and see.

Tessa

I may be disabled, but I am not useless.


By the state and Social Security I am considered permanently disabled. I have a parking placard and get SSDI payments. I am basically broke because SSDI isn’t much. Certainly about half what I made while working. However, I can’t work anymore. I can’t sit for long at the computer, but being here at home I can lie down when I have to. At work I was stuck in a job that had me sitting the whole time with no relief unless I wanted to get yelled at for not being on the phones enough. I worked in a call center. We were penalized when we weren’t on the phones, except for the breaks which you missed if you were on a call, again unless you wanted to get yelled at. The breaks were scheduled period. No excuses including helping a customer counted. Don’t get me wrong we were given small amounts as a reprieve, but between having to move with the pain and my panic attacks I rarely met the bonuses. I have now been out of work almost 5 years.

I can walk small amounts. I refuse to be wheel chair bound at this point. I walk in pain. I deal with it with some grumbling, but I deal with it.

Even sleeping can be painful thanks to the Fibromyalgia and herniated discs.

So I am physically and mentally (all those nice mental disorders I have) disabled, but I have my mind (when it isn’t bound up with brain fog) and my blogs. I can use my blogs to entertain. I can use them to help myself and others. When not writing I am researching and I post my research in the effort to help others. It makes me feel less useless. Right now I have a post set up for every day of this month so at least one will post. I know I post a lot, but I hope I am helping someone and I know I am helping myself.

Right now my back aches, but it is time to watch “Dancing with the Stars” and I can relax on the sofa and watch that in an hour sorry, got the time wrong. Game shows first.

Tessa

Night 3 of Latuda, no nightmares…


Well I finally fell asleep around midnight and even though I woke up every 45 -60 minutes I did get right back to sleep. I am hoping that means my body is adjusting to the Latuda.

  • My blood sugar is 86 which is really good considering all the extra carbs I had yesterday.
  • I am starting my daily water and took all my pills. Almost forgot my inhaler. 
  • No nightmares that I can remember last night. I don’t think I slept long enough at one time to dream at all. Don’t remember any.
  • Up early though. Was awake by 4:30 AM and gave up trying to go back to sleep. I was just lying there.
  • Cat has started her morning dance and yowling for food. Man she is loud!
  • I woke up with a headache though. Not good. And my back is aching again. I thought that was gone last night. 

Tessa

Stress from Entertainment with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


It’s usually one of the first things you learn about fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome — stress makes everything worse. It’s easy to identify some source of stress: workplace drama, money problems, conflict with friends or family members…. But a more subtle source may be stressing you out without you even realizing it. That source is entertainment.

That may seem bizarre to you at first, but think about the goals of entertainment. It’s supposed to have an impact on our emotional state. We laugh, we cry, and our hearts pound in response to what we see, hear, or read. Our bodies can’t distinguish these states from the real-life things that make us feel the same way.

Movies & TV Shows

Several years ago, I realized that I felt a lot worse after watching intense movies or shows. It started while watching an action flick. During one especially tense scene, I realized I was leaning forward in my seat and my shoulders were up around my years. A couple of hours later, my symptoms flared. I spent the next day recovering.

I considered that it could have been the movie, but then I decided it was probably just a coincidence. The same thing happened the next time, though, so I decided there must be something to it.

When you have these conditions, it’s pretty common to have a lot of down time when your symptoms don’t allow for activity. So if our down-time entertainment is making us worse, what can we do?

I’ve identified two strategies that work well for me. First, I tried to stick to more lighthearted entertainment when I’m really feeling bad. Comedies and non-action-based dramas become common choices.

Second, when I do choose to watch something more intense like action or horror, I do several things:

  • Take anti-anxiety supplements before watching (l-theanine and DHEA are the ones I like);
  • Intentionally distance myself emotionally from what I’m watching;
  • Pause the show to relax when I feel myself tensing up.

That takes a lot of awareness, but it works well for me—as long as I don’t lose myself in the story.

If I find myself tense after watching something, I try to watch something really light and funny afterward to help me relax. Re-runs can be a good option because you already know what’s going to happen, which can keep you from getting emotionally invested.

Other Media

I take similar steps with books, but it can be a little more difficult. I find it’s even harder to retain what I read when I maintain emotional distance. That can make short stories a more attractive option than a novel. (They may be a better option due to cognitive dysfunction, as well.)

Along with short stories, I make sure to always have some options in my e-reader that I can pull up when I don’t have the tolerance for anything intense. (If you don’t have an e-reader, I highly recommend getting one when you’re able!)

Video games may be the worst offenders when it comes to creating too much stress in us. I tend to avoid things like first-person shooters or anything timed unless I’m feeling really good. I also find that video games lead to sensory overload more than other media. Quest-type games, where you can wander around and do things at your own pace, may be a better option.

Video games can actually function as a treatment for us, so don’t avoid them entirely!

Music

I like rock music, but I know that at times, I have a very low tolerance for the more thumpy or screamy stuff. Fortunately, my musical tastes are broad enough that at those times, I can switch to a more melodic genre. Classical is my go-to for when I’m really feeling anxious.

More than other forms of entertainment, this one takes communication with my family members. I have to make sure they know when I can’t handle the harder stuff so they can make other choices or wear ear buds.

The News

Watching the news and being inundated with all of the negative things going on in the world can cause a lot of stress, too. I like to stay informed, but I’ve learned that it’s better for me to read my news than to watch it and, especially when I’m already having a flare or a lot of pain. Also, the worse the news is, the less of it I read. (I spent a nearly a decade working in TV news, so ignoring it can be hard, but I force myself.)

I spend a fair amount of time on social media, but on those days when something horrible happens and it dominates my newsfeed, I have what I call a “media blackout day.” Those are the times when I’m really grateful for video streaming services.

Managing Your Entertainment

Don’t think that you have to give up your favorite types of entertainment forever. The important thing is that you learn what triggers symptoms in you and take steps to manage it. Whether that’s relaxation and deep breathing, strategic avoidance, or some other third thing is up to you.

New born 4 month old? (non-fiction)


I know I am jumping around with these stories and I am sorry, but I have to write them when my mind remembers them or I will forget again and they are coming out in no particular order. 

New Born 4 Month Old? – by Teresa Smeigh

The first 4 years of my marriage to my now ex-husband was in the Marine Corps. One of the reasons for joining was so we could have a family. We were very poor and no health insurance and we had just gotten married so the Navy didn’t want him, hence the Marine Corps. They didn’t care one way or the other. The Navy actually told us to cancel the wedding and the whole thing was set up and invitations sent out.

I was afraid he would agree at first because the Navy is where he wanted to go. Well he picked the right choice at the time and we got married. We married in July and he left in December a few days after Christmas. They let him wait til after Christmas at least.

I was alone in our tiny attic apartment and had no money except what I made working part time in Wanamakers in the new mall. I had no food so all the weight I gained after I got married came off and I started to run, well after I walked for a while. I was eventually able to run around the huge block we lived on. My parents fed me on the days I worked since I was in their area.

Finally came boot camp graduation (almost 3 months for Marines). I went to Parris Island with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I didn’t recognize him at first. All the guys were shaved bald and it was hard to tell them apart. We finally got together and he was surprise at my weight loss and firmed up body. I only weighed about 100 lbs when we got married and then gained a ton. I was back to my pre-marriage weight.

We lived in a trailer park during his schooling and then since he was first in his class he could choose duty stations first. We decided on North Carolina as it was on the east coast. Many of them were overseas.

We went searching for another trailer park at Cherry Point because that is where he chose. No base housing available yet. We found a rundown disgusting mobile home close to base. The disgusting part is for another story. We weren’t there long before base housing became available which is a good thing since I was pregnant by that time.

It wasn’t fancy, but it was nice enough and had 2 bedrooms and room in the kitchen for washer and dryer. The back door opened to the driveway and the front door was on a nice tree lined path for walking.

We decided to paint and I was trying, but my big belly was in the way and I painted the front of my shirt by leaning too close to the wall.

In the very first mobile home park we had gotten a black kitten. As we set the nursery up my kitten thought it would sleep in the crib. We tried to break the habit, but he continued to sleep there.

Finally it was baby time. We had friends and one of them had a 4 month old baby. They came to the hospital to visit and  brought the baby with them. We weren’t too happy about that, but at least she was sleeping.

However, she woke up and began screaming. The mother tried to shut her up, but she wouldn’t stop. Would you believe all 3 of them ran from my room and left me with the screaming baby. How was I supposed to explain my newborn looking like a 4 month old baby?? I was freaking out, but didn’t dare leave the baby alone. Everyone involved was lucky we didn’t get caught.