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Just call me Choco or Tams...everybody does! 45 yrs old. Happily married for over 20 years. Have 17 1/2 year old son. My father and younger brother live with us now. (They moved to Idaho after my mom passed away a few years ago -- and then moved in with us to help out after I became disabled in January 2009).

My husband, son, and I came to Idaho about 10 years or so ago when I was recruited for a better paying job and they even payed our moving expenses. We've been here ever since and have no plans of ever returning to Texas.

There are four definite seasons here (usually), no fire ants, no killer bees, haven't even seen a single roach! There is practically no traffic or crime to speak of in comparison to Texas. And you can drive 20 minutes in any direction to find the scenery has changed! Almost no humidity to speak of. When you get into a shaded area there is a significantly noticeable drop in temperature. Too hot today? Just head up into the mountains! We've done that and thrown snowballs at each other in the middle of July! And there is wildllife to be found at almost every turn. In short, we're all pretty much sold on the idea of remaining here!

As I stated earlier I became disabled in January 2009. I went from being a cheerful, hyperactive over-achiever to suddenly being slapped down.

For the first couple of weeks it felt like I had the flu -- achy all over, fever, nauseated, severe abdominal and joint pains. Even though the fever finally went away after two rounds of antibiotics the rest remained and became more severe. Started having low back and sciatic pain, weakness in my legs, balance issues, and sometimes my right leg just disappears, goes away, buckles out from under me. Bladder control was also lost.

I was in and out of the hospital and had so many tests and procedures but none of it really explained what was wrong. Eventually I reached point where I had overwhelming pain everywhere, couldn't sleep (and even when I did sleep I didn't feel rested), couldn't think straight, kept forgetting important things and details, and having lots of falls due to the balance issues and disappearing leg.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) in Nov. 2009 and began receiving medications which gave only a tiny bit of relief. I have to use a walker because of the balance problem -- and because of all the pain which increases with movement and I move quite slowly. A turtle could definitely move faster than me! And possibly a snail if motivated.

With FMS eventually comes IBS, insomnia, very intense chronic fatigue to go with the unrelenting pain, and I eventually became so depressed by it all that I even had to spend some time in therapy, but I'm past and done with all
that depression stuff. Don't get sad, get mad works for me. Keeps me motivated to keep pushing myself...and pushing the doctors to find answers as to why this is happening. There is something more than just the fibromyalgia at work here and I aim to find out what it is!

Due to the pain I am very intolerant of activity. Wind, cool temperatures, rain and so on make it even worse. So I've pretty much lived in my recliner for the winter months, but once winter has past I'll be back to pushing my limits again.

Since I move very slowly due to the unrelenting pain, I have TRIED to work up to at least making some distance. The best I've managed so far is to go only four houses up the front walkway and back during the warmer seasons.

It leaves me feeling exhausted and shaky in addition to increasing the pain and muscles spasms. It is usually a minimum of 3 days before I recover enough to be able to try it again. But, I keep trying.

The doctor has told me that I needed to try really hard to find it within myself to "work through the pain and fatigue" -- if and when it is at all possible -- and for as long as I can tolerate it --without over-doing it to the point that it causes me to be bed ridden for a week or more. To find a happy medium even if it meant several shorter walks but find a way to get in 20 to 30 minutes minimum 3 or more times a week of walking and in addition to that some gentle stretching once or twice daily. I haven't gotten anywhere close to that! But I keep doing what I can and pushing forward.

I've also tried chiropractic adjustments, therapuetic massage, acupuncture, and detoxifying ionic footbaths. And of course the medications, and medications to fight the side effects of the medications, and medications to fight the side effects caused by the combinations of medications, and..... get the picture. I'm pretty much done with THAT whole med scenario! After an illness kept me from keeping down meds I had a grand mal seizure from the sudden lack of gabapentin. I decided the very little pain relief gained wasn't worth that sort of risk, the weight gain, or being zombie-fied!
Probably made for the perfect, passive, cooperative little patient but....Sorry docs! You can kiss that bye-bye! I'm back and I demand answers...not patches or quick fixes! I refuse to give to up! And don't you dare either!

May 2012 UPDATE: Well, I always knew there was more to it than just the FMS! FMS didn't explain the balance issues and falls. The last few months I did some physical therapy and saw some more specialists. They found out I had severe pelvic instability as a result of past injuries (fall off a cliff, hit by drunk driver, and others). Basically the pelvic bone ligaments are damaged and can no longer keep the bones making up the pelvic girdle stable. This results in SI joint pain, a sudden temporary shortening of either leg, sciatica, throws off balance, and causes spinal misalignment and muscle spasms as other muscles in the body try to compensate, and can even cause incontinence issues. I now wear a sacroilliac belt and between that the PT I am now able to get about the house and walk short distances without the walker.

They gave me some surgical and other options but after extensive research I've decided to remain with more conservative measures for as long as possible because the outcomes aren't always favorable and can leave you in even worse shape, tend to be temporary, and the success rates vary greatly from zero up to only 45 to 83% at the very best. I also have arthritis, spinal stenosis, a bulging T10-11 disc, etc., etc. and I cannot lift more
than 5 pounds or do certain exercises/moves without causing more pain and problems and risking injury. I can, however, spend 10 minutes at a time on certain kind of recumbant bike and go just fast enough to make a mile in that time frame! This is very exciting for me because it is the ONLY exercise I can do for cardio! But that's something!!! :D

Member Since: 7/2/2010

Fitness Minutes: 949

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  • v NIXY72
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    Today you have the choice to be amazing. Today you can do more than just try. You can succeed. You can be victorious. Today, you can rock your world. You can look yourself in the eye and smile... because you know that you are fighting for an amazing cause: YOU. And YOU are absolutely worth fighting for.

    You can also do the same thing tomorrow.

    "It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up." - Vince Lombardi

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    In honour of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games this Saturday in London, I give to you the Olympic Creed which is as true for the games as it is for achieving our own goals and dreams each and every day:

    "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

    Today, you are a superhero, a survivor, a warrior, and a beacon to others for honouring yourself, your mind and your body; for making the choices that will make you an even better person tomorrow.

    Today you are one step closer, because you decided to be. Fight strong, fight well, fight fair.

    "Never, never, never, never give up." - Winston Churchill

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    3147 days ago
  • v NIXY72
    Today is the unofficial "take happiness into your own hands" day. It's unofficial because I just made it up! (*grin*) But it seems like a great idea, right? Today, try not to be controlled by others... decide to be happy, decide to be great. Move forward as if all your dreams could come true today with no barriers standing in your way. Smile, laugh, and be amazing...

    emoticon emoticon Because you ARE. emoticon emoticon

    “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.” - Groucho Marx
    3162 days ago
  • v NIXY72
    It's JUNE! Where has the time gone?

    Please forgive the blanket letter but there were too many people to thank and simply not enough time to write personal notes to everyone...

    Thank you so much for your support and friendship. I am happy to say that I am pretty much back up and running full steam and only have a couple more hurdles to jump to finally put this cancer battle behind me. Now I can look forward to concentrating on my original goals again and come the fall will (fingers crossed) be well on my way to being heathy and happy.

    Coincidentally, this Friday, June 8th, is Best Friends Day. So for all those in your life that you are thankful for, please take a moment to reach out, give a hug and share a smile. Where would our lives be without the amazing support and friendship from someone like you?

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    As we are entering into the summer season (for those, like me, in the Northern Hemisphere), I would like to send this wish to you:

    May you enjoy an everlasting renewal of energy and passion, for this is a time to celebrate the great potential you possess. May the sun shine upon you and fire up your heart to reach all of your goals and find joy in yourself and the world around you. Whatever battles you are fighting, whatever stresses may come your way, may you find energy, confidence, vitality and strength. This is the time to shine bright and show the world how beautiful you are. Embrace the summer-lit brilliance of each day and you will create a new life where all your wildest dreams come true. ~ Michelle

    Happy summer :)
    3195 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/6/2012 1:03:50 PM
    3206 days ago
    Thank you for the goodie! Made my day!
    3207 days ago
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