Can Fibromyalgia kill you?

My neighbor (adopted family) died yesterday(May 5th,2013). She lived with Fibromyalgia for 34 years.

The cause of death; Heart Attack.

I can guarantee the list of causes leading to her death won’t list Fibromyalgia, CFS, or Depression.

It will read Diabetes, Heart Disease, Kidney Damage, COPD, Emphysema, High blood pressure, & Heart Attack.

Cleo used to love the outside; planting flowers, feeding the birds, fishing and going to the casino.

However, the past three years she stopped.  Her chair became her home.  She stopped cooking “real meals”.  She spent day and night in her chair.It was such a struggle to get her to attend even a doctor’s appointment.

She had given up the fight. The cycle had begun and she wouldn’t fight it.  Her husband, sister and myself all tried.  I would ask her to go swimming~remind her that moving would help her eventually.

Little by little she lost her ability to do the things she used to love and the last weeks – her body had loss all muscle tone and strength to even use the walker to get up out of her chair.

The cycle ~ we all know so well ~ pain, no sleep, depression; more pain, less or sleeping all the time due to the depression.

I am in one of the most severe flares that I have experienced.  Not the longest (yet) but certainly the most painful.

My Monday’s routine is to wake up, drop our Daughter off at school and go swimming. I did not want to go.  I wanted to stay in my bed.  Thankfully, I have a gently pushing family that “make” me go swimming.

I am always promoting that we MUST BE ACTIVE physically and mentally.I know that it works.  But there are days like today when the pain is so strong that it takes over the your mind. It is so very hard to fight.

This pain that I am experiencing today – she was experiencing every day of her life. I understand why she felt like giving up. I know that when I hit a flare; I don’t want to move or eat. I forget and let the anxiety of the fog and pain take over my mind & body.It takes sleep, food and swimming(moving of some kind) to help me get through it.

Fibromyalgia, Depression, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Kidney Damage, COPD, Emphysema, High Blood Pressure & Heart Attacks

What do they all have in common?  They all have the same ways to help prevent them.

Eat a healthy balanced diet, Stay physically active, don’t smoke and reduce stress.

~ Keep Moving ~

“Regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.

• Reduces the risk of dying prematurely. • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease. • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes. • Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure. • Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure. • Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer. • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. • Helps control weight. • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling. • Promotes psychological well-being.” http://www.nutristrategy.com/health.htm

It should be no surprise to us that the list of common treatments for Fibromyalgia, include exercise, physical therapy, medication, relaxation, stress reduction and healthy eating.Remember the question;  Can Fibromyalgia kill you?The correct answer is no.It certainly feels like it will some days or you may feel like you want it to.  There are lots of studies showing the growing number of suicides by those with Fibromyalgia.Another article states;  “The higher rate of accidental death may seem odd, but it does make sense in light of certain fibromyalgia symptoms.  We tend to be clumsy, and our cognitive dysfunction (fibro fog) may make it dangerous for us to drive.Also, accidental overdose can happen due to forgetfulness, desperation or both.”It is so important to me that if you can remember anything about this entry;I want you to remember that if you let Fibro and its evil sidekicks win ~ if you don’t fight it ~ if you don’t eat healthy, find ways to reduce anxiety and relax your body; and most important – MOVE – KEEP MOVING it can lead to diseases that will KILL YOU.

If you had the choice or chance to live and not die would you do what it takes?

 
warrior

I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life
In Loving Memory of a dear neighbor; Cleo ~ forever in our hearts.

Don’t wait!

I moved away from my hometown 20 years ago.  Everytime we come home for visits we try to visit as many as possible.

The older everyone gets I feel worse all the time about not making more time or longer visits.  Over the past year I  had been trying to get together with my Great Aunt Shirley and Gr-Uncle Sam.  They are just as busy as I am and it seemed we would keep missing one another.  We would talk on the phone or send each other letters (you know the things people call snail mail).

I finally was able to connect with them both last December.  It was so much fun. We talked forever.  My Uncle (a young 82) had just been learning how to use his new laptop.  We searched various sites and he  saved my blog and facebook page so he could read my stuff.  He also had me add my email into his contact list.  I didn’t want to leave.  Not only were we sharing stories but my Uncle is wonderful at debating.

My Aunt is amazing in her own rite.  She started out singing as a young girl on a radio program.  She was in a band that played in (omg bars), and cut records (you know those vinyl things people are using to decorate their homes). I remember hearing that she would still get royalty checks (for like under a dollar).  She still teaches piano.  She has had so many students.

They both welcome all of the children and families into their home.  Shirley teaching music. Sam either reading a book or telling the best poems.

While visiting I kept looking at the clock.  I knew I had to go. My mom had a special dinner cooking for me.  It was hard but I finally left agreeing to stop and see them at Easter and would be looking forward to Sam’s emails. I also promised that if he would find all of his poems that I would type them up for him.  He loved that idea.

We exchanged a few emails in January.  Then in February he went into the hospital with what was thought to be the flu.  In a short time he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer.  The disease was progressing fast.  We had a free weekend- no volleyball or other commitments so we planned to go see him.  He was still in the hospital.

We were then hit with one of the worst snow storms we have had in a long time.  I kept watching the weather sure we could go.  My husband, mom and co-workers told me that I was not going.  I went into an empty office, called my Uncle – I kept apologizing to him,  I was so sorry that I could not be there.  He was so understanding.  We talked a little about what was going on with him both of us knowing it was the end.  We ended the call with “Love you’s” and promising that I would be home to see him at Easter.

The next day, on my way to work I knew that I had to write a poem.  I went back in the office that I had spoken to him last and the ink appeared on the paper.

I have written poems for loved ones before after they have left us.  This was for him – while he was here.  I wanted him to know how I thought of him.

I sent the poem to my Sister and my Mom went to the hospital and read it to him.  She said he reacted just like I had described in the poem.

The next few weeks I seemed to get daily updates.  He was going home.  They were not going to treat him.  My parents were going on a short trip.  The Doctors had given him between a year to two.  Hospice was being called in.  I gave him 2-3 weeks.

We always go to see my family on Good Friday for Easter weekend.  This year we went down there on Thursday.  I was going to visit him on Friday.  I called. My Aunt told me that he wasn’t the same and might not recognize me.

I don’t know what I expected.  My parents had prepared me. However,  they did not even know what I was walking into see.

I got there with my Grandma and Daughter. My Aunt said the nurse had been there in the a.m. and… I don’t even know what she said next. I didn’t wait for her to say I could go in – I went into his room.  He was laying in the bed hooked up to oxygen.  Sleeping.  I set on the bed next to him, holding his hand, talking to him.  I talked to him about everything.  I told him how sorry I was that I didn’t come earlier.  My Aunt said that last time that he responded to something correctly was when she had read the poem to him.  She read it to him twice.  I didn’t want to leave his side.  I cried.  I told him that I loved him.  I told him that I would keep my promise to find his poems and have them all typed up.  I told him it was okay.  He didn’t have to wait until I came back again.  I wasn’t coming back until Memorial Day weekend.  I kissed his hand and his forehead and said goodbye.  He never woke up the hours that we were there.

The next morning we received the phone call.  He was gone.  I  called my Sister to tell her what had happened.  She said, “He waited for you sis”.

I spent that day with my Great Aunt and my Grandmother helping make the arrangements.  In between the planning and crying, their were childhood stories being told that I will cherish my entire life.

His funeral is this Saturday.

I know so many of us with Fibromyalgia  put off doing things until we feel in less pain or are not as tired.  Our time with our loved ones is so short.  I decided 3 years ago that I would not let Fibro and it’s evil sidekicks make me stop living.  Now, I have decided I am not going to allow my living to keep me too busy from slowing down and seeing those who matter.

All I can say is Don’t Wait!