Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Chronic Roundup:9/29/08

PCOS/Insulin Resistance/Diabetes

Interstitial Cystitis/Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Pelvic Floor Dysfunction/Vulvodynia
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Allergies/Asthma/Celiac Disease

Daily Inspiration: 9/29/08

If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals. -Susan B. Anthony

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Chronic Roundup is Now Monday Chronic Roundup

Rule 1 for having a crazy life and chronic pain/illness: schedule yourself accordingly. In that vein (pardon the pun), I am moving the chronic roundup to Mondays, so I'll have more time to truly prepare. That way, first thing in the week you'll have the roundup for the previous week.

Sorry for the confusion. And enjoy your weekend!

Daily Inspiration: 9/26/08

It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. -Joseph Joubert

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Daily Inspiration: 9/25/08

Success is that old ABC -- ability, breaks, and courage.
- Charles Luckman

(In honor of McCain "suspending" or "taking a break from" his campaign...if only we could do that to face our issues.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daily Inspiration: 9/24/08

As the end of the century approaches, all our culture is like flies at the beginning of winter. Having lost their agility, dreamy and demented, they turn slowly about the window in the first icy mists of morning,...[then] they fall down the curtains. Charles Baudelaire

Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting the Right Mix: Meds and Time

One thing that some people are kind of sketchy about discussing is mental illness and what those of us with mental illness issues do to make things right. For the record, I'm an advocate for talking about these things, but I understand and have taken advantage of the right to plead the fifth or just stay silent.

The problem with staying silent is that you learn nothing about what can happen.

I've been on Prozac for about 14 years now off and on (mostly on). Over the years, it has served me well. I have been able to achieve quite a bit that I would have not had the stamina to otherwise. I have made and formed quality relationships. Most importantly, I've been able to keep my greyness (what I call depression) at bay. That is, until more recently.

Over the past few months, I've noticed changes in my ability to control my moods. It's not a psychological problem (the way in which I view and deal with the world) but something more organic than that (inside of me, uncontrollable). Eventually my therapist and a good friend convinced me that it's okay that the Prozac was no longer working--in fact, there are better things out there now than there were before.

What I didn't know until I saw the psychiatrist on Friday was that Prozac can truly have a "shelf life" so to speak. In other words, prozac (and any SSRI) can eventually stop working for someone after a period of years. In fact, the psychiatrist was surprised I got this long of a life out of it. It's called the "Prozac Poop Out" effect.

In order to spare someone else the time of having to look this stuff up, I've compiled a list of resources about this here: Depression Returns with Prozac Poop Out, an FAQ on Prozac Poop Out, and You and Your Antidepressant.

So now to combat the poop out, we are trying to add Wellbutrin into the mix. Apparently it helps remedy the poop out problem in some people. Since Prozac has been good for me for so long, it was worth a shot.

The lesson, though, is this: don't be afraid to talk to someone about your meds. This can be even more trying in cases of mental illness, but it's that much more important. And as always, The Body Chronic is a big supporter of having a good sense of humor about this and every other chronic condition. So don't take offense over the picture I's important to learn to laugh at yourself.

Has anyone else had this happen? Any experiences with moving past it? Let's discuss!

Daily Inspiration: 9/22/08

Autumn is really the best of the seasons; and I'm not sure that old age isn't the best part of life. But of course, like autumn, it doesn't last.
-C.S. Lewis
(On the first day of autumn, 2008)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Daily Inspiration: 9/18/08

A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally. Maya Angelou

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Natural Plumbing Disaster at the Home of The Body Chronic

This past weekend was supposed to be a celebration. The Mister turned 30 and I threw him a surprise party. He's a good guy who has never had anyone really pay attention to his birthday until he met me, so I figured he deserved it. Plus, he's put up with me for nearly five years...that alone should warrant a party.

In any event, the surprise part went off without a hitch. He was shocked, to say the least.

But then we were both surprised. You can read the full story here, but to sum it up: our basement flooded. Pretty soon the guests were clearing out and we were calling a plumber.

For the past three days we've been doing everything in our power to get the water and moisture out of the carpets and off the walls where water touched. We rented a carpet cleaner immediately and sucked up as much water as possible. We then cleaned any hard surface we could with bleach and disinfectant. Nevertheless, it appears something isn't working.

We have an insurance adjuster coming out Friday and she claims we have coverage for water backup damage. I'm praying this is true.

The worst part is that for two people with chronic allergies, having water in your home--even if you've done your best to clean it up out of the carpets--is not a good idea.

So I thought I'd take this frown of a situation and turn it upside down and provide some helpful links about allergies and mold.

I guess a new house could use new carpet anyhow.

Daily Inspiration: 9/17/08

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.
-Dr. Seuss

(Green Eggs and Ham was the first book I read on my own--it took me three hours and I locked myself in my bedroom until I completed the task.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Daily Inspiration: 9/16/08

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied... but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.
-John Berger

Monday, September 15, 2008

Daily Inspiration: 9/15/08

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory. Susan B. Anthony

(On the occasion of my birthday.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

National Invisible Illness Awareness Week

This week is National Invisible Illness Awareness Week.

The Body Chronic is dedicated to giving a voice, an ear and a shoulder to cry on (or laugh on) to those of us with invisible illnesses. Just because it's not outwardly visible, does not mean that it fails to impact our lives.

Here are some articles from the coordinators of II Awareness week about invisible illnesses:

And as always, don't forget to check out the sites that feature chronic illness information and support 365 days a year, such as:
Keep it up!

Friday Chronic Roundup: September 12, 2008

PCOS/Insulin Resistance/Diabetes

Interstitial Cystitis/IBS/Vulvodynia/Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Allergies/Asthma/Celiac Disease

Daily Inspiration: 9/12/08

The secret to humor is surprise. - Aristotle

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Daily Inspiration: 9/11/08

A late lark twitters from the quiet skies:
And from the west,
Where the sun, his day's work ended,
Lingers as in content,
There falls on the old, gray city
An influence luminous and serene,
A shining peace.

-William Ernest Henley

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Body Chronic Has Been Naughty

For those of you who I haven't alienated by my lack of posting lately, thank you for sticking around.

For those of you who have strayed due to my lack of posting, I know how you feel.

Life in TBC has been hectic at best. There's been some family drama, mixed with new homeownership and a busy work schedule. At best it's gotten me thinking about stress and TBC, but at worst it has had me neglecting this blog which I truly believe has the potential to do big things. That is, if I allow it.

But I have learned about TBC and I'm able to report some of those findings to you.

Things you learn about TBC while under stress:

  1. You revert to old things. For me it has been a heavy-coffee habit. I used to drink coffee a lot. But randomly over the past few years that desire has diminished and, although I enjoy it, I don't horde it like I used to. Over the past few weeks I have found myself at the office coffeepot more times than I'd like to admit (and somehow every other time I have to be the one to brew a new pot--it's a conspiracy!). But also over the past few months, in my stress, I've also reverted to my writing. I've always wanted to be a writer above all else. It had seemed as if I have given that dream away to the highest bidder. But it turns out I have some juice left in me. I started a new blog dedicated to my life and writing--A Perfectly Cursed Life--and I've found, or rediscovered, a passion. I guess it's more than a passion--it's a survival mechanism.
  2. You can handle more than you think. I thought moving would be hard. I was right. I thought work was getting hectic. I was right. I thought family drama was imminent. I was right. But even though all these things happened at once, I learned that I can take on more in practice than I can in theory. See, if I had a choice about all of those things, I may have chosen not to do them. "It's just too much," I'd probably say. But because I was forced into them, I've come to realize that I am much more capable of enduring multiple cluster-bleeps in my life than I once thought. Which leads me to my next thought...
  3. You do what you have to in order to get by. This one seems fairly simple, if not a given. But it's too true to ignore. I don't like the fact that my current anti-depressant isn't working after 13 years of solid performance. But, I make an appointment to work on that and move on. I don't like the fact that the physical act of moving--even with movers--put me in a lot of pain. But I took the necessary rest and meds to get by. We can adapt, even with chronic illness. Hell, we're probably better at it than most!
  4. You get cranky. I have been a ball of moodiness lately. Of course, some of it was very warranted. But some of it was just a matter of being in pain and being stressed out at the same time. It's hard to live life with a smile on your face when your insides feel like they might explode. It's not an excuse to lash out, but damn it, it's the truth!
  5. You need help. The Mister has been an amazing help throughout all of this. He pretty much planned and executed our move without much if any help from me. He has made sure that the cats are getting fed and the dog is getting treats (though his walks have been scant since the move). Even Mom and Dad have pitched in, helping me paint and clean before we moved. Would I have survived without this? Maybe. But it's nice to be able to ask for and receive help...because you need it. (P.S. Painting a room makes you hurt in places you didn't know existed.)
So look out world and web, TBC is back in business. Life goes on, as does chronic illness--whether we like it or not. We might as well get the best out of it together.

Daily Inspiration: 9/10/08

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. - Kurt Vonnegut