Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review: Reviving the Broken Marionette: Treatments for CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia

When I first 'met' the author of this book, I was fascinated by her ability to bring forth so much expertise in the twitter world about my illnesses - check her out at @diamondie.  Over time, I learned that she had written a book to fill in the gap on treatments for Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME (a subject I jump all over!).

This is a super-fantastic collection of research by Maija Haavisto.  If you had a doctor who was willing to work with you through a variety of treatments, this book would cover any and all!

She discusses the effects of everything from benzodiazipines to experimental treatments in a wide variety countries.  I was amazed at the differences in treatment throughout the major centers of the world.

I learned more about CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia treatments in this book than I have in my years of scouring the Internet for information.  It's all here in one neat and tidy collection.  A definitive book on the subject of these illnesses, and definitely one to add to the bookshelf.  Highly recommended.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Things That Bug Me Mondays

  • Scaly winter skin and the amount of moisturizer it takes to prevent the situation!
  • The fact that two more hard drives have crashed around this place...(we must be really wicked on hard drives...).
  • Having late night snack ribs stuck in my teeth with no dental floss to be found!
  • Not conversing with my friend Leslie for wayyy too long!
  • That I lost my TMJ mouth guard somewhere around this house!
  • Bills, bills, bills.
  • Being reliant on Celexa to have a remotely stable mood :(.
  • Not knowing whether or not to buy Goo Goo Dolls tickets or Melissa Etheridge tickets!!! Torn.
  • Panic attacks at night :/

I love Savage Chickens!

A picture of one of the graveyards in Charlottetown.

Isn't this so, so true??
(Images from WeHeartIt and myself)

What is getting you down this Monday??  I'm not going to lie, I'm having a bit of a down weekend. How do you normally cheer yourselves up?


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Links, Links, Links

My latest and greatest of the Interwebs!

A skill I think we all need to improve!

How to talk to family and close friends about what you are going through with Chronic Illness, written by my favorite Toni Bernhard!

Advice on how to move on by any given predicament...

This appeals to the neat freak in me!

Women should spend more time praising the strength of other women!

Lessons learned by Positively Present.

101 ways to make your day better than usual!

Keep fresh on staying interesting and creative!

I hope you liked these links everyone!  Let they entertain, amuse, and hopefully enlighten!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quote of the Day - Emma Stone

Emma Stone: (on trusting your gut) I rely on my instincts and intuition, and I feel it's so imperative for people to follow not the path but their path.

(Image from WeHeartIt)

Hells yes!  There is no better way to live than to follow your own intuition.  Your gut feelings will tell you what's right and wrong (unless you are a sociopath, in which case...yeah).

Those with chronic illness especially need to learn this lesson!!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Love Me Fridays

  • Getting dressed up. I love nice fabrics, painted nails, makeup, color combinations, and all that noise. Makes me feel more alive :).
  • The show Divine Design is my new obsession.
  • Listening to more music again...I missed it...
  • That Kim's MRI came back clear!! Yay!
  • My mom's latest carrot and raisin muffins! They are soooooooooo good that I can't wait to get more! Yum.
  • The new Donkey Kong for the Wii is super fun!
  • I have a total girl crush on Emma Stone!
  • The Futurama Christmas episode!
This made me laugh so so hard!

I've been obsessed with different lip colors lately, although I've heard some not so great things about the Lime Crime line...anyone use it?

I want a chandelier for my home. Yes please!
(Images from WeHeartIt)

What are you all grateful for this week?  Please share the joy!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Down Day...

It hasn't been a very good couple of days.

Yesterday, I was advised that tests were going to come to a close, as at this point they are now finding false positives.

It was implied that I simply wasn't trying hard enough, and that my attitude simply just didn't align with one who could cope with being constantly in pain.

He also said I needed to cut my medications, and yet couldn't come up with medications to cut.

I was not impressed.

I then got a flu shot, and saw my gastroenterologist who gave me more gastroparesis treatment (Motilium).

A few hours later, I got horribly dizzy and vomited.

I went to acupuncture this morning and 21 needles were inserted.  I left in more pain than I had when I went in...not quite sure that's how this process is meant to go.  I now have the worst muscle aches in potentially ever (the nurse called to check on me and the doctor then said that this is a side effect that I simply wasn't warned about...).

I've spent a lot of time in bed.  I wanted to review a great book: Reviving the Broken Marionette: Treatments for CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia by Maija Haavisto, but I just haven't had the strength.  It's coming soon!

Hope everyone is well!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pop Culture Wednesday

I have been playing a lot of television and movies in the background lately, in order to pretend I have company around the home (yes, I am that lame!).

Half Nelson:

This was a really touching movie that I just revisited.  It's true, Shareeka Epps is really the star of this movie, as she steals every scene she shows her face.  Ryan Gosling plays a crack addicted professor, who really means the best, despite his drug habit.  Really makes you revisit one's views of addiction, as it is never as black and white as it seems.  Drey (his student) and Dan (Ryan Gosling) develop an unlikely but emotionally satisfying friendship once she discovers his secret.  I recommend.

Reality Bites:

I LOVED this film.  It definitely will go into the must-watch on a regular basis pile!  It really describes how University sets you up to believe that life will deliver these great things, only to have individuals fall apart when they are trying to find work in a difficult, low-end market.  So snarky, so amazing, so loveable.

The Dharma Bums:

I was recommended this book by my lovely friend Sarah, and it was not a disappointment.  I have a great interest in Buddhism, and this book just instilled even more of these wonderful thoughts into my head.  I'm not sure I want to live out of a pack on the side of a mountain (not conducive for the chronically ill haha...), but the idea is beautiful.  Smith and Japhy are both highly likable characters, and Jack Kerouac just rocks my socks.

Zach Galifinakis Live:

I REALLY wanted to like this.  I found it boring, I found him offensive, and just overly blah.  Maybe I was just in the wrong mood.  I normally like his comedy, but he just seemed like a drunken buffoon in this one.

Did you love any of these?  Hate them?  What have you watched/read/listened to this past week?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Survive the Holidays - Chronic Illness Style!

Surviving the holidays can be a tricky task when you are chronically ill.  It can take a little more planning and preparation than it would for the general public, but it is possible to pull off the holiday you want!  Adequate resting time is one of the most crucial aspects of this process.

A Little Advice:
  1. Pick a budget to stay within - chronically ill individuals pay large amounts of money for doctors, prescriptions, physiotherapy and the like, so it is perfectly acceptable to let people know that you are having money difficulties and need to stay in a certain range.
  2. Write a list of who you need to buy/make presents for, and the items you are planning (brainfog can manage to steal these things away!).
  3. Try to buy throughout the year, in order to take the pressure off of last minute shopping and jam-packed malls.
  4. If you have the room, get the holiday decorations up a little earlier, so you don't have to worry about them last minute, and can take your sweet time :).
  5. If you are the hostess of the entire holiday event, but too tired too cook extravagantly - come up with a list of extra special (but still easy) meals to make (or buy!).
  6. During family gatherings, be sure to take a minute to lay down and catch a nap if it is what you need.  Make sure not to overdo anything!  People who care about you will not mind this.
  7. Try to have fun and relax!  Make sure you have the proper medication with you, as well as anything else you need to get by (iPod, notebook, inhalers, etc...).
  8. Make up a new tradition that works well for you with your chronic illness!  This is my favorite thing to do every year!  Last year's tradition was mass amounts of paper snowflakes!
  9. Try to work on Christmas cards and letters for keeping in touch with people - it's an easy thing to do from home, without having to spend much money!
  10. If you manage to have a mega flare and miss some people during the Christmas season, it's always fun to make care packages for them later when they don't expect them!

(Images from WeHeartIt)

What tips do you use to make the holiday season a breeze?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Things That Bug Me Mondays

  • The fact that my stimulants seem to be working less and less!  It's remarkable that mj works better for me for energy than any type of actual stimulant...  It's even weirder that it does the same for my beautiful friend Kim!
  • Reruns on television!
  • Freezing cold feet and hands from now until the Summer again!
  • I miss sunshine.
  • My hard drive in my new computer is all spastic.
  • My perfect ice blue metallic nail polish chips sooooo easily!
  • Doctor appointments that are scheduled at 8 a.m.
My boyfriend reflects this philosophy most of the time haha.

Haha, I actually like to think I have pretty good morals, but thought it was funny!

I have been doing this since I was a kid.  I am a little better now, but for some reason, I always think someone is out to get me! 
(Images from WeHeartIt)

All in all, I'm having a good week and enjoying myself in my few spare minutes!  Planning new treatments and lifestyles all of the time :).

What are your loathes this week?!  Let them out here and clear your slate for a new and fresh week!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Links, Links, Links

These are a sample of some of my favorite finds in Internet-land this week!

The best collaborations with MAC makeup of all time!! I wish I had all of these collections, because they are stunning :).

Buildings that look like the products that they sell!

I think we all know one of these people in our lives...

A dramatic eagle clip!

A comic about being too obsessed with a zombie invasion!

The 25 most powerful women of the past century.

I have always loved Hyperbole and a Half and this is no exception!!!

An optical illusion for your brain - keep it exercised!

Sarah Wilson talks about walking meditation (not that I can walk that much!)

Advice all of us can take!

I hope these provide some distraction from one's day!  Be sure to send me anything you've found of interest!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Quote of the Day - Katy Perry

 He showed me a passage from On The Road by Jack Kerouac and he said that this is what I am. It was something like, ‘I want to be around people that are buzzing and fizzing and never say a commonplace thing and shoot across the sky and make everybody go ah’. So that’s become my life statement. 

 I have a soft spot for women - I'm not afraid of it, Some women walk into the room, and they're so beautiful and you're like, 'I wanna smell you,' you know? I have certain girlfriends who I just think are the most angelic, beautiful creatures. And if any of my boyfriends ever fail me, I'll turn to them! 

(Images from WeHeartIt)

I think Katy Perry's look is sooooo sweet, even though I'm not a massive fan of the music!  Her and Russell Brand have to be one of my favorite couples in Hollywood.  I love these quotes, and I think they have a magical spin to them :).

Hope you enjoy!

What are everyone's weekend plans?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Love Me Fridays

  • Spending more time journaling and cooking!
  • My iPod Touch and book light for keeping me entertained throughout the night!
  • All I think about is cake.
  • Getting things crossed off the to-do list!
  • The fact that you can amuse yourself to death on the Internet (I somehow also think this is a bad thing! haha).
  • Salt scrubs.
  • Apple juice.
  • The fact that I'm not a Hoarder! Yes, I'm watching Hoarders at 2 a.m.
  • Middle of the night television and twitter for keeping me sane(ish)!
  • Putting the Edgar Degas collage back on the wall!
Can I have this manicure please?
Haha, I want one of these mats!
I want fur babies!
(Images from WeHeartIt)

So what are the little things that you are grateful for this week??  Remember, everyone could always have it worse, so reflecting on the things that take you through the days is always a good thing!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random November Poetry Selection

~ My head spins
My body in ruins
My knees hit the tile floor
Will it end soon?

The poison in my veins
It runs wild and free
I need an antidote
I need to be SEEN

Oh the tender body
So prone to bends and breaks
Let me acquire wisdom
Let this not be a mistake

If I had wishes
I'd save them for a rainy day
Who am I to change anything?
Who am I to say?~

~ Annie Martin (2010)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pop Culture Wednesday

So this week, I've checked out Netflix and my sister left me her Wii!  Talk about ways to entertain the housebound!


I have been LOVING Netflix streaming online!  It is sooooo worth the little bit of money they charge a month!  It has all of those movies that you haven't seen in forever, and can't easily find on the Internet.  I've been watching a ton of great films, trashy films, any films...

What Happens In Vegas:

I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would.  It was simple, but cute and heartwarming.  Just the light piece of candy I needed on a recovery afternoon.  If you want a decent rom-com, I recommend checking it out :).

Dazed and Confused:

I just love this movie. So much fun!

Kirby's Epic Yarn:

Since my sister left her Wii at our place while she's in the midst of exams, we decided we'd try out some of the games!  I love this game so much!  The graphics and ideas are crazy and whimsical.  100% entertaining and I don't have to be a super awesome gamer to be able to play well.  If you own a Wii, I definitely think you should try this one on for size!

What are you loving this week??  Always love your suggestions!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

These Shoes Weren't Made For Walkin'...

Do any of my fellow illness-having individuals still wear high heels?  I think they are so so pretty, but do find it hard to walk in anything but a wedge heel (the pain starts breaking me down)!  I figure there is no harm in still eyeballing a few now and then!  How does everyone feel about socks with shoes?

Really out there, but really fun!

This is totally my favorite look!

Cutesy, and I might be able to walk in something similar :).

I'm not sure how I feel about this trend...

Skull stilettos thrown in for my beloved Sarah, who will covet these immediately!
(Images from WeHeartIt)

Much to my dismay, my brain isn't working at full capacity today!  Instead, I ogled shoes!  What do you gap out to on the Internet (This is one of my many!)??


Monday, November 15, 2010

Things That Bug Me Mondays

  • The fact that someone would take the time to inform me that they think my blog is a constant pity party and that I promote a life of living on the couch.  Ouch.  I hope no one else falls into this territory :/.
  • I need more energy so I can start decorating for Christmas!  So excited!  I love holidays and decorating!
  • Low blood sugar.  Totally investing in glucose tablets thanks to a Twitter friend!
  • When you can't get in contact with someone you love, and the worst case scenarios start floating through your mind after so many attempts...
  • The BBQ ran out of propane!  No last minute BBQ's with which to sign off Fall!
  • My skin.  It may bug me for awhile, as it doesn't look like the cyst party is going to clear up anytime soon.
  • The wheel bearing being broken on my car.
Bahahaha, toe stubbing plans!

(Images from WeHeartIt)

Otherwise, I'm pretty psyched!  I had a great date with the best friend and my sister left me the Wii while she has exams!  Nothing to knock about any of that.  My body is only half-behaving, but what else is new??

Is anything picking away at you this week??  Leave your stresses here and try to go out without the heavy shoulder baggage for the week!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Links, Links, Links

So I have been scouring the Internet for some favorite things for my lovely readers this week to check out!

A beautiful picture of a disk galaxy!

A blog about being a little extra special to yourself (the person to which you are usually harshest!)

My reaction to my latest (not-so-)lovely blog troll!

The argument against cooking at home (funny)!

Make a place in your home into a sanctuary!

Beautiful pictures of the countryside...feeling kinda country lately :).

Crazy looking dogs!

A backwards pole vault :/.

Have you found anything neat on the Internet this week that you'd like to share with me!?!?  I'd love to look at new things!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quote of the Day - Florence and the Machine

"No walls can keep me protected
No sleep
Nothing in between me and the rain
And you can't save me now
I'm in the grip of a hurricane
I'm gonna blow myself away"

~ Hurricane Drunk - Florence and the Machine
(Image from WeHeartIt)

I LOVE Florence & The Machine and their album Lungs!  Easily my favorite music to come out of last year :).

If you want something to listen to while hoping to mask pain, I vote for this!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Love Me Fridays

  • My birthday presents!  All amazing!  I got bath products, nail polish, a new laptop, a new robe, and a giant cake!
  • Amy Winehouse's Back To Black album.  I love it all of the time.  I wish she would get her act together and make more music!
  • People's StyleWatch section.  I compulsively check it in order to get outfit ideas for myself!
  • Sticky Tac.  It allows me to plaster my new apartment in pretty pictures!  (Although the one I bought on the Internet still isn't here!).
  • My home!  This is the perfect place to get better, get worse, or stay the same!  In all realities, I just love it here!  Having cable is neat too!
  • The fact that I think I know what I'm getting everyone for Christmas :).
  • Warmth and kindness shown by all my friends with their birthday wishes for me!
  • I got a visit from my sister and Andrew and it was the best thing ever!  Love them both!
  • Watching too much TLC and HGTV!
  • Conan!

(Images from WeHeartIt)

What simple things are making your life a million times better this week!  Sharing is caring haha!  I love to hear what makes other people feel warm and fuzzy!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Insomnia Blues

So I appear to have run into the insomnia lifestyle yet again.

I've been getting killer restless leg (and body) syndrome and severe anxiety anytime I try to go to sleep.  Not entirely sure what caused the switch, but I'm not really loving it (or its effect on my body...).  If I had to guess, I would say the Domperidone.  I do a ton of breathing exercises, and take sedatives, but I seem to be excessively spun only at nighttime these days.

So my latest ways to kill time in the middle of the night:
  • The twitter after-hours and different regions crew.
  • Browsing for new pictures and links on the endless, beautiful, crazy world of the Internet.
  • Eating (now that I can sort of eat!).
  • Being blinded by the fact that my computer is still too bright even on the lowest settings (photosensitivity joys).
  • Writing blog posts.
  • Thinking of eating.
  • Watching useless late night cable television.
  • Doodle journaling.
  • Eating.
I should probably go make gluten-free toast with marmalade.

I wish I could describe all the horrors of my recent days and my doctor appointment, but I just can't get it into words.

These are what people want to know though: 
  1. The MRI is inconclusive because they didn't see anything in the area they last found something, but may have found something in a different region of the pituitary.
  2. My doctor believes it is not enough to cause physical symptoms.  My waits for referrals will be very long.  I'm back in the unknown :(.
  3. I was once again implied as being crazy and making up things that are not happening.
The rest is sadly, too painful to talk about.

(Image from WeHeartIt)


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pop Culture Wednesday

This week I've watched and heard so many delicious things for you all!

Mumford and Sons:

I popped this album onto my iPod the other night and listened to it as I was trying to go to sleep. The lyrics are AMAZING!  On top of that, the music is so catchy and the riffs will be stuck in your head for days.  I love, love, LOVE it!  It's really calm, peaceful music.  Definitely a must-own.

Thelma and Louise:

I LOVE this movie.  It's one of my top twenty favorite films.  This is one crazy joyride away from the awfulness that can be present in women's lives.  They had nothing to go back for so they just kept going.  I think that is the most inspiring part of the movie oddly enough.  These women never gave up.  They fought adversity and ended up creating chaos!  If you haven't seen this movie yet, it NEEDS to be seen.  By everyone, as it's fantastic.

The Walking Dead:

I must say, I'm enjoying this show on AMC.  I find it INCREDIBLY graphic and gore-filled, so it definitely isn't a show for everyone.  My boyfriend read the comic, and as such is quite invested in the tv series.  I'm more like...hey, this is like watching Left 4 Dead in live action!  My brain is turning to mush my friends.  If you are into zombies...worth a look.

The Sixth Sense:

Everyone and their dog has seen this movie by now, and most people are well aware of the twist at the end.  Despite that, this movie is actually enjoyable to watch again.  It's supremely well-crafted, and when you watch it again you catch all the little clues that were put in to build up to the climax.  A seriously good piece of movie making!

What have you been watching/listening to/reading this week??  Please share your suggestions!!


An Appointment To Nowhere...

I am both excited and nervous for my doctor's appointment today.

I get to find out more details on the pituitary tumor, on my referral to the endocrinologist, and investigations for endometriosis (or to see if that is purely in my gynecologist's practice).  I haven't gone to see my general practitioner (family doctor) in a LONG time :/, and it will be interesting to catch her up on all the latest developments.

The person taking me to my appointment is my mother - and as November is National Caregivers Month - I want to give an extra special shout-out to both her and my boyfriend Jonathan!  I could not survive without their help!  They do so very much for me.  They fill my pill boxes, they feed me when I'm too weak to feed myself, and they help me with basic necessities. I'm so very grateful :). They are my roots to the world!.

(Image from WeHeartIt)


I can't even describe how upset this appointment made me.  I have never felt more destroyed by a physician.  I can't even get another one, as I've been on a waiting list for 2 years and there are no private doctors here.  

I'd explain the joys of the situation, but I just can't handle reliving it anymore.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Things That Bug Me Mondays

  • Insomnia!  I've been up to the wee hours of the morning all of the time, and find myself doing things like sleeping on the hardwood floor!  Crazy Annie.
  • Waiting for the results of the pituitary tumor check in and potential endometriosis examinations.
  • My lungs and skin have been so hard on me lately!
  • My pain has gotten a lot worse as compared to on the LDN, but I am also much more conscious. Trade off one makes I suppose!
  • Not being able to eat limitless cake without the associated calories!

(Images from WeHeartIt)

Otherwise, I had a fantastic birthday!  I dressed up, and we made the most yummy food! Roasted red pepper, feta, chickpea, and quinoa salad and spicy pork chops!  And then the best homemade carrot cake a girl could ever ask for!  I was able to watch movies and mindless tv while drinking champagne with my favorite people :).

One of those times that proves you can't knock the occasional goodness out of life!  I will try to load the pictures soon!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Links, Links, Links

Today is my BIRTHDAY!  Yay!  It's been absolutely fantastic, with my two favorite people by my side.  Plus I had the best gluten-free carrot cake of all time.  In the hopes of spreading some joy, here are my links of the week:

The best signs found at the Rally to Restore Sanity!

Zach Galafianakis makes a very political statement on television! (Even though it is only herbal tobacco!)

A video of people being awesome!

I secretly now want to cover all of my shoes in glitter!

I'm always keen on looking to improve writing skills :).

A beautiful and perfect quote.

Sit-ups with seals!

Everyone feel free to share with me all of your favorites from the Internet this week!

Birthday Girl,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quote of the Day - Marilyn Manson

I enjoy Marilyn Manson.  I'm not going to lie.

(Image from WeHeartIt)

I was not raised on technology the way today's children are, but it has since become a very pervasive and important part of my life!  This is especially true with being sick and housebound!  I wonder if neighbors were more supportive of their sick in the past, or if the sick individual was simply without anyone with which to identify.  

What do you think of this statement?  Do you think young people are being altered by mass amounts of information, or do you think it is just making them more informed?  I would love opinions!!!