I’ve turned into a box of Rice Crispies! Winter and Fibromyalgia.

Winter came in like a raging bull. Suddenly the temperatures started dropping and cold gusts of wind blew all the dead leaves to the ground. This is when I turned into a box of Rice Crispies! You can hear me coming with my “snap, crackle,pop”. Winter has just started and already the pain is becoming unbearable.

My rheumatologist has this questionnaire you complete when you come to the waiting rooms. One of the questions is “How long does your morning stiffness last”. I think I will be answering “All day!”. The stiffness makes things so much harder. Simple tasks become really hard. I feel like I’m 80 years old. Walking slowly, moving slowly…everything slowly. In our new place our kitchen gets no sun. Going in there is torturous!!

When he asks “where are you experiencing pain?” My response will be… EVERYWHERE! Even whole new spots!!! Since when did my ankle become problematic??? My pain specialist had mentioned that I might want to get my hip checked. I poo pooed the whole idea. Recently my physiotherapist said that my range of motion was really bad with my right leg and she needed me to get my hip x-rayed. Now I’ve had problems with my SI joint, that has progressively gotten worse over the past 10 years. Between my osteoarthritis and problems with my SI joint being out of place, regularly it seems to have caused problems with my hip. How do I know? Because bloody hell my hip is so sore now that it’s gotten cold! Okay so I will be taking this up with my rheumatologist because damn!!

My activity has decreased massively because of the cold. I’m just too stiff and sore to be getting around like I normally would. I’m blessed to have a partner who understands, who doesn’t have any ridiculous demands on me. We take each day as it comes. I do what I am able to and even then he will stop me to prevent me from overdoing it.

Those with any kind of arthritis or Fibromyalgia really battle during winter. I currently have a heated back brace on and a heated wheat bag on my neck! I have the gas heater on full blast all day even though I hate gas. Well I hate bloody pain more! It’s an invisible disease. I’m not out in public because I’m immunocompromised but if I was I can imagine the weird looks I’d get. Why the hell is a young woman walking around like an old woman? What the hell is wrong with her. Of course some people will put it down to me just putting on. It can’t possibly be that bad because she’s young.

That kind of attitude really gets to me. Just because I look ok and don’t look sickly doesn’t mean I’m not. Come closer so you can hear the snap, crackle and pop. Come over for a serving of Rice Crispies. My elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, hip, SI joint and my neck. Ah the cracks you get from my neck will make you look around and ask “wtf was that?”. This has actually happened before. My 15 year old brother has magical hands when it comes to his sister’s neck and shoulders. It freaks him out though. He is insists that it can’t possibly be a muscle. It must be my bone. He has since learned that it spasms so badly that it feels like a rock. Even my rheumatologist said to hubs “you probably have to use your elbow to get in there when you massage her”. Spot on doc.

As the Professor at the pain clinic said, they are unable to do any procedures on me on me now because it requires me to go to theater. So all they can do is keep me comfortable. How? By doubling my meds and adding meds that have awful side effects. I have been avoiding taking them, other than the pain killers but the desperation is real and I might just cave and take the crap meds. Like Lyrica/Preglabin. I’m supposed to be on 300mg a day of this. That’s a massive dose as opposed to using 75mg like I did before. Even then I didn’t want to take it. But what to do when you’re in so much pain? You’ll be surprised what pain will make you do. I’m sure there are alot of you reading this who can relate.

For now I will keep warm. Increase my Epsom Salts soak baths. Take meds to try and keep myself comfortable, continue with my heated back strap. I love this thing! It’s a electric heated back strap. I love that it’s strapped to my lower back, providing constant heat but also kept in place with a strap. If you have back problems you might want to have a look at investing in one of these. They stay warm really long which is a bonus. Annnnd… always my trusty wheat bag.

ProTip: When heating a wheat bag ALWAYS place a cup of water in the microwave with it so you don’t burn your wheat bag.

Winter is here for us folks in South Africa. I hope you all keep warm and somehow manage your pain to where it is at least bearable. I know I’m not the only Rice Crispies box. I can only imagine what some of you are going through right now.

People paint winter as a cosy time, watching movies, fires crackling and hot chocolate. Not in our world. Oh it is very different. I just want it to be over already! I would love some of that Q20 or whatever it’s called… you know the stuff to oil creaks in doors. Can someone please come up with one for humans.

If you’re suffering with Fibromyalgia I feel you. It’s a year round disease. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, Winter is here and believe me I feel your pain. I really do. Stay warm, do those epsom salts soaks and don’t overdo it! Besides, we are peaking with our Covid 19 infections in South Africa so best to stay in as much as possible. I’m immunocompromised so I have not been out of the house, except the 2 weeks that my physio worked on me, in more than a month and a half. As the infections rise I have no idea when I will get to be able to go anywhere… so online shopping it is this. šŸ˜‚

Ps: My house is starting to look like a warehouse! Everytime the intercom goes off hubs says “what did you buy this time??”šŸ˜

Stay Safe

One Love šŸ˜·āœŒ

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