The Mallory Project

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." – Julia Child

New year, new insurance!

Yay! I had my first doctor’s appointment with my new insurance today.
My insurance is definitely more expensive now, but it’s worth it, since a) it’s insurance (unlike the last three months) and b) it’s much more convenient than CMSP (which is what I had before losing insurance.)

I had a lot to catch my doctor up on. The first thing we discussed was my chronic pain. Dr. G thinks I might not have fibromyalgia, but a neurological disorder.

I’m also going to physical therapy for my arms and back, behavioral therapy for the anxiety and depression, and a neurologist for the pain. I also started a new medication that is normally used to treat seizures and neurological pain.

I really like this doctor, and I feel like he’s going to work closely with me to figure out what’s going on with my page-long list of symptoms.

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The Spoon Theory

The Spoon Theory is something I first heard about a few months after my fibro diagnosis. I was taking a Living With Chronic Pain class through my doctor’s office, and the nurse who was leading the class (who has chronic pain herself) explained the spoon theory to us.
In a nutshell, the Spoon Theory is:
Everyone is given a certain amount of spoons every day – the spoons represent energy. Let’s say everyone gets 12 spoons. The average person without chronic pain/a chronic illness wakes up, takes a shower, brushes their teeth, gets dressed and eats their breakfast, and they use maybe one spoon.
Someone with a chronic illness uses 5 spoons doing that.
So the non-ill person has 11 spoons left for the rest of their day. The ill person has 6.
Basically, we use a lot more spoons – a lot more energy – to do normal things, things that most people do without thinking about it.

I feel like I don’t do this justice, so here’s a link that explains it really well. The website is But You Don’t Look Sick, and it’s written by a woman with lupus. Take a moment to read her story, it’s really good.
But You Don’t Look Sick

(Also, the community of chronically ill people has taken to calling ourselves “spoonies” because of this theory, so if I use that word, that’s what it means.)

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Immune system…

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Yeah, I’m sick again. It’s just a cold, but it’s a bad cold. Stuffy/runny nose, cough, burning throat, itchy eyes, ear pain (though that may be due to the lap swimming I recently started up again), headache, muscles and joints achy, a slight fever, and even my stomach’s a little wonky.

But my parents are awesome, and taking good care of me. My dad bought me Sprite and fruit, and my mom gave me some cough syrup left over from when she was last sick. My boyfriend and Facebook friends have been supportive, listening to me complain and giving me pep talks. I’ve also been able to rest, since I got off work at 8:30 Friday morning, and don’t have to be back there until 5 Sunday morning. And I have Arrested Development on Netflix.

Hopefully the cough syrup and rest pay off. I don’t wanna be sick anymore, and I hate feeling like this. I hate that I feel like this so often. I wish I was healthy.

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Anti-Inflammation Diet Update

I’ve been doing pretty well on the anti-inflammatory diet. Well, pretty okay.
I’m breaking it up into four steps, because it’s too difficult to completely renovate a diet in one go.

My first step was fat: my goal was less than 20% of daily calories coming from fat, with less than 2 mg from saturated fats. I succeeded 10 out of 12 days.

My second step was carbohydrates: 40% of daily calories, with at least half from fruits and vegetables. I was close on the first part every day (out of 6 so far), with my daily intake ranging between 40 and 50% (usually hovering around 45%). But most of my carbs came from grains and sugar. I think only 1 day I hit the 50% goal.

My step for next week is protein. After that is sugars/processed foods. I think I’ll do okay with protein, though it will difficult cutting down the red meat, as I don’t eat chicken, turkey or fish. Hmmm… We’ll see how it goes.

Also, one part of this diet is to exercise more. I get a lot of exercise at work (retail: I’m on my feet all day, moving heavy boxes, carrying stuff) but I decided to try *real* exercise. I got a Groupon for a local gym with a pool. When I got there today, a water aerobics class had just started, so I hopped in and did almost an hour, then I did ten laps. I’m gonna try to get to the pool three times a week. They say swimming is one of the best exercises for fibro. Hopefully I can keep up with it and this diet. I hope it helps me feel better.

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Pain flares and long nights

My fibro always seems to flare when I have an overnight and/or long shift? It could flare on the days I have off, so I can lay in bed (or the hot tub). Or even flare on my 4-hour shift days.

But no, those are the days I feel good (well, better). And when I have to rely on caffeine and little sleep, and carry heavy boxes and move shelves and climb ladders, my body decides to painfully ache from head to toe.

#it feels like all my muscles are throwing up #or yelling unintelligently at me #i wish I could go back to sleep #but I’m here for another 5 hours

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