Distraught…well, not that bad.

I’m sorry.  I haven’t been paying attention to my blog and I haven’t been supporting others.  I’m sure you all think I’ve dropped off the earth….maybe not, maybe it’s just me.

I mentioned in a previous post that I hurt my back.  Um, kinda.  I started having back spasms as side effects to a medication back in May, then the med was changed and I was put on another that caused akathisia (the need to move – like restless leg all over), this caused my muscles to tighten even more.  I saw my GP about it and she gave me muscle relaxants.  It didn’t get better.  I was sent to PT.  It didn’t get better.  I was put in steroids, they seemed to help some.  I was sent to a specialist, he gave me lidocaine injections in my back.  I was much worse the next day.  After a couple of days of that, I was once again put on steroids.  This time I think I’m having every negative side effect you can have from a short dose of steroids.

These side effects are hell.  (they are getting better)  My moods, oh my goodness.  I’m so sad, I am crying all the time.  I’m scared, I keep having feelings of intense fear wash over me.  Two nights ago, I was convinced I was dying.  I’ve been having slow moving vertigo, I barely see it moving, but I feel like I’m moving, and I can’t walk without help.  My head has been killing me.  Extreme nausea has plagued me.  I can’t sleep.  and I’ve had 2 seizures.  Oh, let’s just say, I’m going through a rough time.  But don’t worry, it’s getting better.  I know my mood swings are from the steroids, but it’s hard to deal with.  Poor hubby.

Speaking of hubby, he has worked from home the past 3 days.  He hasn’t wanted to leave my side.  I’m so very grateful to have such a supportive and caring spouse.  He makes me want to be a better person.

After all of this, my back still hurts.  I still have 2 days of steroids left, and I have exercises to do, hopefully that will get me on the road to recovery.  To be clear, according to x-rays I have no damage to my bones, it’s all muscular.  The muscles simply will not relax and they spasm often.  I have not had an MRI.  I cannot have an MRI because of my cochlear implants.  If they need more imaging it will have to be a CT scan.  We’ll cross that bridge if it comes.

Forgive me this post of self pity.  I will try to post more often, and get out there and support others too.  I miss you.

 

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BioCBD+ “Feel the Difference”

“I have been given BioCBD+ Total Body Care as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “

CBD bottle

Simply Google “CBD” and you will find a plethora of products, it seems as if a new product is added every day.  It can be daunting to the consumer to try to wade through all of these to find what works.  (unfortunately there’s a lot of junk out there).  One way I can help is to give you my experience with BioCBD+  (please see their website here)

BioCBD+ is an American company, located in Encinitas, CA, that sells CBD (cannabidiol) supplements. CBD is a non-psychoactive part of the cannabis sativa plant.  (you can read more about cannabidiol here.)  “BioCBD™ is derived from organically grown hemp plants, and it contains all of the synergistic cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other compounds of the original plant”(BioCBD website).  Since Sanjay Gupta’s documentary “WEED”, brought the awareness of CBD and how it can help people, especially a little girl named Charlotte, whow has epilepsy.  You can watch the video here.

What makes BioCBD+ different from their competitors?  “BioCBD™ is an all natural, water soluble source of CBD plus Ayurvedic herbs (magnesium and turmeric in Total Body Care) that is more bioavailable than any CBD hemp oil products on the market.” (BioCBD+ website)  According to their website BioCBD+ never uses artificial coloring or flavoring and their products are free of soy, nuts, GMOs, binding solutions and/or solvents, and  are the only all natural water soluble CBD made without the use of solvents or glycerides.  BioCBD+’s “CBD is extracted from our special variety of industrial hemp that contains naturally high concentrations of CBD. The result is a raw oil that is high in CBD, virtually free of THC (less than 0.03%,) and complete with a full spectrum of other cannabinoids and terpenes, which work synergistically to make CBD even more effective. The hemp oil is then shipped to our labs to converted into the all natural, water soluble BioCBD™ through our patented process”. (BioCBD+ website)

BioCBD+ is a pioneer in producing water soluble CBD.  This process posibly makes their product more of a value for the money.  You can watch their video about water soluble CBD here.

CBD bioavailable

I started my first bottle of BioCBD+ Total Body Care on July 31st.   After reading about the many things CBD is reported to help, I was looking for some pain relief and possibly some help with anxiety.

This was a good time to try the BioCBD+ Total Body Care as I hurt my back and started physical therapy just a few days before. Therefore, I was able to judge the efficacy (for mr) not only on chronic pain, but also on acute pain.

The suggested use, as, stated on the bottle, is: “Start with one capsule daily and increase up to 6 capsules per day.  When desired results are achieved gradually reduce daily amount”.  I started with 1 capsule and took one a day for a week, I didn’t really notice much of a difference.  I increased the amount to 2 capsules and I started noticing a reduction in pain.  Just a little.  I wasn’t sure if it was the placebo effect or not.  In 6 days I got in touch with the company and asked how fast I should be increasing my dose, he said after a couple of days; The bottle I was given had 30 capsules, so I was able to take one does of 3 capsules and I finished up the bottle with the 2 that were left.    This I noticed.  This helped my muscle spasms.  It took the edge off of all my pain, the acute back pain and the chronic arthritis pain in my neck  *note it wasn’t a miracle, it just made the pain more tolerable..  I also noticed I didn’t have as much wide spread pain (from fibromyalgia).   I admit, I didn’t really think it was doing very much, until I ran out.  Within a few days after I ran out, I was in much more pain and I had a panic attack.  I didn’t realize how much it was helping my anxiety.  I purchased more of the Total Body Care, so I could give a more detailed review.  (The second bottle, was not given to me, I bought it myself).  There was a break of about 2 weeks before the next bottle appeared. (It took me a,title while to order it)  I once again started with 1 capsule, but I’ve increased the dosage every 2 days, until I got to 4 capsules a day.  I have noticed a reduction in pain, and my anxiety is better.  However, I’m having increased vertigo.  I had increased vertigo when taking the first bottle, then it calmed down the week I was out of it, and increased again when I started taking it again.  As my normal readers will know, I have vertigo often due to Meniere’s Disease, but I had very little vertigo for the past 6 months, until I started  BioCBD+ Total Body Care.  Unless you have a condition that causes vertigo, I wouldn’t think this would be a problem.

1 Bottle of Total Body Care is $120, 2 Bottles is $220, and 3 bottles is $300.  Each bottle contains 30 capsules.   Signing up for auto-shipments can save you a lot of money There is also a sample size available for $45, it contains 15 capsules.

BioCBD+ also has a scholarship program.  They are a “for benefit” company.  For every bottle purchased they give a bottle away to someone in need.  If you have a financial and medical need, or know someone who does, check out this program.  +Scholarship – Buy 1, Change 2 Lives.

Another great thing they have is the “Feel the Difference”  Money Back Guarantee. When you order a product you have 30 days to try it.  If you don’t like it you can return it, you don’t even have to return the product of a 30 count bottle as long as the return is within 2 months of purchase.  If you buy more than 30 capsules, you will need to return the unused product to prevent fraud.

To purchase BioCBD+ Total Body Care (or other their other products)  just follow this link:

BioCBD+ kindly offered to give my readers a 10% discount on you first order.  All you have to do is enter PICNIC10 in the Coupon Code section.  How cool is that?

Additional Resources:

 

Mindfulness Monday – Pain

mushroom

“Do not resist your pain.
Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness,
or whatever form the suffering takes.
Witness it without labelling it mentally.
Allow it to be there.
Embrace it.
Then see how the miracle of surrender transmutes
deep suffering into deep peace.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 

“With mindfulness we have the choice of
responding with compassion to the pain
of craving, anger, fear and confusion.
Without mindfulness we are stuck in the
reactive pattern and identification that
will inevitably create more suffering and confusion.”

~ Noah Levine

 

*image taken by S. Holcombe, permission is required for use.

Mindfulness Monday – Pain

palm springs plant

“Radical acceptance means feeling sorrow and pain
without resisting.
It means feeling desire or dislike
without judging ourselves
or being driven to act on it.”

~Tara Brach

“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior.
You are beneath the thinker.
You are the mental noise.
You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

#HAWMC Day 28 – 5 Challenges & 5 Victories

Today is Day 28 of #HAWMC (WEGO’s Health Activist Writers Monthly Challenge).  The prompt today is:

5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories.
Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus.
Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

5 Challenges5 most difficult parts of my health focus:

fear

  1. FEAR- My number one challenge is Fear.  I’m afraid of the vertigo.  Of course I’m afraid when I’m having it, but I’m constantly afraid I will have it even when I’m not.  I’m afraid of the pain, the migraine pain, the arthritis pain, all of the pain.  I’m afraid the pain will get worse and I won’t have any way to manage it.  I’m working through some stuff in my past and I’m afraid of what I’ll find out.  I’m afraid of more than I like to admit, but I’m working hard to be less afraid.
  2. Finding Doctors – I’ve had a difficult time finding doctors that treat Meniere’s Disease.  Even if they say they do, they often have little knowledge of the disease.  It’s also difficult to find a doctor who knows a lot about migraines.  It has been difficult to find good doctors to treat me.  In each field I’ve felt I’ve found a good doctor, only to be hit with the “I can’t do anything else” line soon.  It is a definite challenge to find a good doctor.
  3. Freedom taken away – Isolation, is a big challenge.  Since I can’t drive, I have to depend on my husband to get me out of the house, this is a difficult thing sometimes.  He works hard and when he is at home sometimes he has things to do here, or he just wants to relax, he doesn’t need to be taking me out all the time.  Plus I have to get over my fear of having vertigo in public before I can go out at all.   My freedom isn’t just taken away because I can’t go out, it’s also taken away at home.  Because of my illness doing certain things are not only difficult, they can be dangerous.  I can no longer cook because it’s dangerous.  I can’t take a bath or shower by myself, because it’s too dangerous.  It’s very hard for me to do any housework, sometimes because of the danger, sometimes because of the fatigue.
  4. Friends – It is a challenge to keep friends, and to make new friends.  Many of the friends I had before I became ill are not in my life as much now.  (various reasons, but let’s face it, I’m a different person.)  Making new friends is a huge challenge.  (I wrote a post about this, Making Friends?.
  5. Food – Food has been a challenge for a long time.  I have had GI (Gastrointestinal) issues for as long as I can remember.  Then I found out that I have Fructose Malabsorption, IBS, and a wheat allergy.  I have a specific diet I must follow so I won’t get sick.  This makes it hard for me to eat out, or to travel.  It’s hard to explain to people, “oh, I’m sorry I can’t eat that lovely meal you prepared”  It used to be hard to explain why I can’t eat wheat, now it’s really hard explaining why I can’t eat onions, apples, and all kinds of things.

5 small victories – list of 5 little, good things that keep you going.

wedding-love

  1. Successful marriage – This isn’t a small thing, this is a HUGE thing, but it’s what helps keep me going.  My husband and I both agree when we think about it we don’t feel that we work hard on our marriage, it’s just something that comes natural, but that isn’t exactly true.  We do work hard, it’s just something we want to do, so it doesn’t seem like work.  When I first started losing my independence it was very hard on our relationship.  I shut him out and he didn’t know how to talk to me.  We decided to see a therapist.  It was there that we learned to communicate again, and we both have a better understanding of how to deal with my illnesses.  If I could give one bit of advice to any couple going through one partner becoming ill, it would be to get a therapist. It might just make your marriage better.  I know mine is.
  2. Days I can deal with vertigo alone – this is a big victory for me.  When I start to have vertigo I panic because I never know how bad it will be.  See number 1 under challenges, and you will know, I’m afraid!  So going through a vertigo attack without help is a huge victory for me.  I’ve done it a few times, where I’ll have vertigo when hubby is at work and I don’t callv him home.  This doesn’t happen often, so this is a small victory, but it’s a big victory really, every time it happens.
  3. Making new friends – I’ve made many new friends on line.  I have a hard time meeting new people in person, but I’ve found that I can meet some wonderful people on line.  I’ve made some wonderful friends through my blog.  I have one friend that I met through my blog about 7 years ago now, our friendship has transcended the blogosphere.  We email, text, and send packages to each other.  We have called each other, but I can’t really talk on the phone.  One day I hope to meet her.  I think this is a pretty big victory, to go from losing friends to gaining such a deep friendship with someone I’ve never met in person.
  4. Getting out of the house – There are days I can fight through the fear and get out of the house with minimal distress.  When I’m having a good day we can go out and do normal things.  Those times are small victories, they get me through until the next time.  They remind me that I can do it.
  5. Diet – Eating my restrictive diet has made it so I can eat with minimal to no GI distress.  It may be challenging to eat this diet, but I think it’s a small victory, actually a big victory, to be able to eat without GI distress.

 

I wrote a similar post to this one here.

I’m participating in WEGO’s #HAWMC, if you’d like to read more posts from today please search for #HAWMC and check out WEGO’s Facebook page.  Don’t forget to Like Picnic With Ant’s Facebook Page too.  🙂

If you would like to share your story on Picnic with Ants, contact me through the contact form on my About Me – Contact Me Page.

#HAWMC Day 9 – Ideal Place

Today is Day 9 of #HAWMC (WEGO’s Health Activist Writers Monthly Challenge).  The prompt today is:

Happy Hump Day! No denying life can get hectic, but let’s take a mid-week break to fantasize our ideal day! Would you go somewhere? Who would you spend it with? Have you had this day? If not – how could you make it happen?

 

There would be a lot of steps to creating my 100% ideal day.  Any one part alone would be a pretty darn good day, but put them all together and I’d have the day to end all days.

Wait!  There are 2 different kind of days that I dream about. Both require the same beginning requirements:

First I’d wake up with no pain, then I’d notice that my head did not feel the slightest bit off balance.  After I got over the initial shock of this, I’d dance around the room a bit, doing a pirouette for the first time in years.   Suddenly I could hear better with my cochlear implants.  I could understand a group of people if I wanted.  I could talk on the phone.  Speaking of which, on my ideal day, I’d call my best friend and talk for an hour or so.  (I’d sneak in a visit, but I only have one day, sorry love.)

Okay right now I’m just marveling at the fact that my head doesn’t hurt.  My head has hurt every day since I was 11 years old.  My neck doesn’t hurt, the degenerative discs have made just holding my head up a challenge some days.  All my aches and pains, gone!  What a day!

Turning my head I don’t have to brace myself because I don’t feel dizzy.  I don’t remember not feeling dizzy.  Suddenly I’m not afraid.  I know I have this day.

This is where my 2 days diverge.

beachwendy

photo by jenn dorff

One day is spent on a beach with my husband, just relaxing, building sand castles, riding bikes, walking, swimming, riding the waves, and drinking tropical drinks.  Heck, just lying there drinking tropical drinks would be a dream.  I’d love to end that day in my husband’s arms making love, without pain.  That would be my ideal day.

cleaning-clip-art-pi5xggeib

click here for source

My other ideal day would be spent cleaning my house and cooking.  On my ideal day I would not get tired I’d be able to really clean my house and cook a fantastic meal.  I really miss being able to do these things.  I know it sounds silly.  Why would I want to spend my ideal day scrubbing my house?   It’s something I can’t do now that I really want to do, that’s why.  But I’d end the day the same way I ended the first day.  Making love with my husband, without pain.  Something I haven’t ever done.

Either of those would be ideal days for me.

What would be your ideal day?  Would it be anything like mine?

If you’d like to read more posts from today please search for #HAWMC and check out WEGO’s Facebook page.  Don’t forget to Like Picnic With Ant’s Facebook Page too.  🙂

If you would like to share your story on Picnic with Ants, contact me through the contact form on my About Me – Contact Me Page.

#HAWMC- Day 1 What Drives You?

hawmc_background_coverToday marks the beginning of WEGO’s Health Activist Writers Month Challenge.  I will attempt to follow each prompt every day to bring awareness to chronic illnesses.  Be sure to check out WEGO’s Facebook Page for more blog posts during this month.  Don’t forget you can always follow my posts on my Facebook Page too!

Today’s #HAWMC prompt is:  First, let’s get to know each other! What drives you to write about your health? What do you want other Health Activists to know about your condition and your activism? Reflect on this for 15-20 minutes without stopping…GO!

What drives me to write about my health?  Since the prompt says to write for 15 – 20 minutes I’m going to write stream of conscious, if I repeat myself or have grammatical errors please forgive me.

I started writing about my health for the same reason I still write about it, to help others who feel alone when faced with the same conditions I have been faced with.  I’ve found support through my blog and I hope I give the same.

I try to bring awareness about Meniere’s Disease, Chronic Migraine, and Bipolar Disorder and let other’s who have these diseases know they are not alone.

I also have other illnesses that I mention along the way.  Like Degenerative Disc, Hypothyroidism and others.  I’ve also recovered from Avascular Necrosis in my hip and like to give others with this condition hope.

What drives me is my illnesses and my love for others.  My compassion for others and myself.  I write because it helps me and in turn I hope it helps others.

What do I want others to know about my conditions and activism?

Well there’s an awful lot to know about my conditions, as there is more than one condition to cover.  I’ll pick just talk and see what comes out.

Meniere’s Disease – Meniere’s is diagnosed by the symptoms, there is not definitive test for it.  The symptoms are: Random attacks of Vertigo, Fluctuating hearing loss, the feeling of fullness in your ears, and tinnitus.  If you have all of these symptoms and they have ruled out other illnesses then by process of elimination they diagnose you with Meniere’s Disease.  The progression of the disease can be different for different people.  It is normally only in one ear, it can attack both ears. I have it in both ears.   It used to be thought that the disease would “burn” itself out.  As the patient lost more hearing the vertigo got better, until there was a leveling out period where the patient no longer has vertigo.  As can be seen with me that is not necessarily the case.  I am deaf now and still have vertigo often.  There is not sign of a “burn out” for me.   I do want everyone to know that this disease does not progress the same for everyone.  just because I lost my hearing does not mean other people will, I still have vertigo, but that doesn’t mean other people will.  I’m in a very small minority.

Bipolar Disorder – I want people to know that people aren’t crazy when they have this.  Being Bipolar doesn’t stop me from living a normal life.  I want people to know that not everyone is the same with this too.  I am lucky.  With medication and therapy I am doing very well, and have been for years.   Others are not so lucky.  Medication does not work for everyone. Everyone with this disorder has to work hard.

Chronic Migraines – I want people to know that migraines are not just a headache.  They are so much more than that.  They make you sick all over.  Having a migraine for more days during the month than not can put a huge damper on life.

It takes a lot to face the world with a smile on your face when you are faced with these illnesses and more, but with the help of mindfulness and a support from those who care about me I get by better than I could ever imagine.

This is some of what I want you to know about me and my illnesses and why I write.  I hope you will join me on this month long journey.  Wish me luck that I can accomplish this goal of posting every day this month!