CRM. A new fibromyalgia symptom?

Originally published on www.ProHealth.com • October 22, 2016

medicineCRM. A new fibromyalgia symptom?

Well, not really. But maybe.
I know I live with CRM.

Wonder what CRM is?

Let me tell you:

Can’t Remember Meds.

Even though it’s only a matter of hours after missing my medicine that my body begins to let me know, I often forget my meds. With that lapse in memory, I start experiencing body aches, fatigue (more than usual), and headache, sometimes leading to a fever-like feeling and cold sweats. It still surprises me and I think I’m coming down with the flu, but then I’m hit with the ah-ha moment: “I forgot to take my medication.” Then it takes at least 2 dosages before I feel my “normal.”

CRM. It is ridiculous. It is completely unavoidable. Just take the medication. Right?

It isn’t always that easy. Life happens. Any form of interruption in my schedule can lead to me either taking medication late or not at all. The first thing I do every day when I wake is to take my morning dosage; my phone alarm goes off at 7:00 p.m. everyday to remind me to take my evening dosage.

If anything messes with my routine such as oversleeping, vacations, etc., I am likely to forget. In the evening if I’m busy writing, the phone rings, laundry, etc., instead of hitting the snooze alarm, I will hit the dismiss button on my phone and remember an hour later.

I’ve tried many different methods to remember to take my meds and am currently using PillSuite, a seven-compartment sorter.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Sort your pills (AM or PM) into the seven compartments of the sorter.

Step 2: Place one of the plastic packets over the funnel on the sorter. Tip the sorter sideways and the pills will flow easily into the plastic packets. Label the packet.

Step 3: Finally, use the sealer to seal the pill packet closed and you are done!

I don’t enjoy sorting my meds. It takes me approx. 20-30 minutes to sort 2 weeks worth of meds/vitamins. I’ve gotten lazy and do not label the pill packets which means I really don’t have any way of knowing if I have taken them or not.

There is a very easy fix to this dilemma. I can label the pill packet with the date or start using the plastic daily medicine boxes that are clearly marked by the day and am/pm.

We are creatures of habit. It is important to take medications at the same time everyday.

Tie taking your medication with a daily activity such as breakfast, brushing your teeth or going to bed.

Keep them where you will see them (out of sight – out of mind).

When you take them, visualize yourself taking the medication.

Use a calendar and place a mark on the day after you have taken your medicine.

Place post-it notes or reminders where you are certain to see them such as by your toothbrush, nightstand, car keys, etc.

Ask a family member or a friend to give you a reminder call.

Find a sorting system that works for you.

Avoid the cheap pill boxes. They usually have flimsy lids and clasps that break or wear out after a few months.

Try different ways of reminding yourself to take the medicine and keeping track that you have taken them.

Keep a backup dose of meds on hand in case you forget to take them after you’ve left the house or if you’re going to be out past medicine time.

I’ve now been using the PillSuite system for over a month, and I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to try this product. I have officially tossed the plastic containers and plan on continuing to use PillSuite.

I would love to hear how you remember to take your medicine.

Disclosure: I received the PillSuite system 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.

Who Cares?

Originally posted on Prohealth.com on October 8, 2016

whocaresWe have all done it. We have lied or told half truths when asked the question, “How are you?”.

How many people in our lives do we share our true level of pain we are feeling every day, physically and emotionally?

As I walk down the school hallways every day to refill my water bottle I pass a Teacher who always says “Hi!” and asks “How’s it going?

I smile (a forced smile), replying “Hi!, Good.”

I caught myself in my head the other day saying “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire”. I am anything but good.

When asked how are you by a co-worker or a store clerk it’s more of a common courtesy question. Am I being rude by not responding when asked how I am doing? Or is it okay, since they are not asking for real because “How are you?”, is simply a greeting not an invitation to unload your daily list of complaints.

Can you imagine if I replied, “My neck and back are causing me a new intense pain. It hurts to turn my head. It is causing headaches. I can’t get the right balance between not able to go to the bathroom or having to go to the bathroom ASAP. My right hand has started hurting when using scissors, etc. My knee feels like it is going out every time I try to stand. I had to be helped into the bathtub this weekend.”

If we began answering the truth how long would it take for that person to stop asking?

I get it. I have known people who tell everyone absolutely every negative detail in their lives. It gets old.

What about our family or the people that live with us?

Eventually for many of us those that we live with stop asking. Maybe they just assume they know the answer already. It doesn’t mean they have stopped caring.

My daughter is 16, she is busy surviving high school. I don’t expect it of her.

I mentioned to my husband awhile ago that he doesn’t ask me how I am feeling any more. He said, “I don’t have to, I can tell by how you get out of the chair and how you are walking.”

Ok, so he sees it but that really isn’t what is needed.

The past few weeks I have acquired new health problems and a very high level of pain. It has kept me from doing things that I would normally push through and has brought me to tears daily.

Then just this weekend we were hosting a cross country bon-fire and I was asked, “What do you need help with?” I muttered under my breath, “Just end it.”

It has crossed over the line of just physical pain and is now affecting my emotional well-being.
I am to the point where I have to let the truth out because if I keep answering “fine,” I will find myself on the road to depression.

Are we more likely to open up about physical pain than when we are feeling depressed?

I think it is easier or more acceptable for someone to comment “my knee has been killing me” than “emotionally/mentally I am …”

What if someone asked, “How are you today?”, and we replied, “I want to jump.”

Can you imagine how others would react? Instead, we answer fine, good or in my case on crummy days, “peachy”.

What if there is no one you can tell the whole truth? No one to listen to you cry? Crying alone is one thing but crying in a room with others without any reaction is being alone.

Often we stop sharing the truth when we answer because it is easier for us. It’s much harder to share our long list of ailments. We want to be polite. We don’t want to ruin the other person’s day. We don’t want to be “a downer” or “negative.”

Those living with chronic pain such as fibromyalgia often become isolated. It is so easy to focus on our pain. It’s easy to feeling alone when you can’t talk about how you are really doing.

Thank goodness for support groups where we can share the truth of how we’re really feeling.

Everyone needs someone in their lives where they can share the truth to the question…

“How are you.”