About a year ago, I learned that I have severe osteoporosis. I was literally, blown away by this news because I was a lover of all this dairy. But this was caused largely due to medications that were stealing calcium from my bones or not allowing it to absorb into my bones. On top of this because of my debilitating diseases, I was not getting any exercise. And if you aren’t doing weight-bearing exercise, your body is not being instructed to build bone.
Now, at my diagnosis, I’m sure that my doctors said to try to exercise some. But they never gave a “why” to exercise even though it hurts. No one said, “Look, if you are moving then down the road you will have osteoporosis.” And though it was the drugs they prescribed, they didn’t instruct me to get a DEXXA scan earlier than the typical age of 65.
Seriously, friends, when it comes to your health, you best be checking those medications and seeing what you are up for. You better take the things your doctors do say seriously. Do your research and ask questions. Don’t assume that your doctor is doing everything he can for you.
I noticed that it was National Sleep Day or something and it’s common knowledge that Fibro warriors have trouble sleeping. So I thought I would share some information from different fibro warriors that have written something. My friend Glenna Norton recently purchased a My Pillow mattress topper. She was raving about how her sleep has improved so I asked her to write a review. Her review is here and then you will find some other fibro warrior’s blog post about sleep.
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Fibromyalgia? Have trouble sleeping?
So do I, or should I say did I! About a month ago, I went to eat breakfast with a good friend from church. She told me how, for years, she had trouble sleeping until she ordered a MyPillow 3-inch mattress topper, and boy was it a game changer! She has slept like a baby since ordering it two years ago.
No More Couch Sleeping
In turn, I told her I had a lot of trouble sleeping, too, mainly due to Fibromyalgia. I spend at least half my time sleeping on the couch so I decided to give MyPillow a try. I love their pillows, have had them for years! Love that you can wash and dry them! And a 10-year guarantee is a great selling point!
I ordered the MyPillow mattress topper and a set of the Giza sheets. They came sooner than expected. I have had GREAT sleep for over two weeks now! All in my bed, no more couch sleeping!! The sheets are soothing to my skin, as well!
Guess now, I’ll order us all a pair of the house shoes! Woohoo! Glenna
Information about the MyPillow mattress topper:
They consist of three unique layers: 1) contains patented foam for support and durability; 2) has transitional foam for comfort, weight distribution and relieves pressure points, 3) a removable zipper cover that’s machine washable and dryable, which consists of straps to hold in place. This is made in the USA, has a 60-day guarantee and a 10-year warranty! Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a new mattress!! I highly recommend this product to anyone suffering from Fibromyalgia! It is definitely a game-changer!!
P.S. Order straight from My PIllow for better discounts!
And Now From Some Fibro Bloggers
Get Your Weekly dose of Sleep Info every Sunday
Bar McLullich from the UK writes about sleep nearly every Sunday on her blog, Back Pain Blog.
If you are in chronic pain, the last thing you want is to not get a good night’s sleep. I have suffered from more pain and chronic fatigue due to my sleepless nights and I have tried a myriad of different things to help me get a better night’s sleep.
Melissa Reynolds at MelissaVSFibromyalgia has done a lot of research on sleep and fibromyalgia. She has created a workbook that you may find helpful.
The paradox of chronic insomnia and chronic fatigue is a mean one. How can I be so exhausted deep down in my bones, yet still not able to sleep? – every fibromyalgia fighter ever. Sleep research, sleep hygiene, sleep tips, and all the things I have been learning about combating chronic insomnia and fibromyalgia.
Melissa offers video posts on her site. You may find that more helpful than reading through information.
Some Deeper Research & the Fibro Blogger Directory
Lee Good at Fibro Files has written several times about sleep as well. Her posts are more in-depth research which will give you lots of information on what is being studied. I was interested in this article about vibrotactile stimulation. I had not heard of it before.
Michele here on the blog has been talking about the Science of Eating this year. Her posts will wake you up to some of the eating problems in our society.
I recently found this video by a health coach, Joe Reed, at Train Outta Pain. Again, I have never heard of Circadian Rhythm, but this sounds logical. He says that food, sleep, and brain fog may all be related. He is on Facebook. Circadian Rhythm Matters.
REALLY! THIS IS THE LAST ONE!
Cynthia at My Inspired Fibro Life has some great things that may help your get your ZZZZ’s.
It started with tenderness around my elbow. I was a bit concerned because allergic reactions tend to start at the elbow for me. But I couldn’t figure out what was different in my life. About a week later, little blisters broke out, and then, oh the itching and pain! Y’all, you do not want to experience this. Did I somehow contact poison oak when they were removing trees from our backyard?
As if the pain of fibromyalgia isn’t enough, the effect of said pain can wreak havoc on our personal lives. You see, it’s not just pain like a headache or even a broken bone. This pain is constant with no hope of ending. And to make matters worse the pain does not walk alone. It has “friends” that tag along as well. Fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain and soreness, weight gain, and depression are just a few of the “friends” of fibromyalgia pain.
But today I want to go where few dare to go and that is, the lack of libido leading to a strained relationship with your spouse. This is not just a problem for you the fibro warrior but probably, even more, an issue for your spouse.
Now before you stop reading because you don’t have fibromyalgia,
You may be wondering, “what is the lymphatic system”? I know that, for me, I have seldom thought much about it. I’ve heard of others having cancer moving into the lymph nodes and that was pretty much a death sentence. It has much to do with our immune system so it’s important that we make sure we are giving it some attention.
It’s like an additional circulatory system that moves vital hormones and such throughout the body. The lymphatic system consists of all the lymphatic vessels and lymph organs. For example, the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, as well as, lymphatic tissue found in the small intestine and throat (adenoids, tonsils). It works together with the blood-producing system in the bone marrow, thereby playing a vital role in immune responses to protect the body from various pathogens. It also helps transport nutrients and waste products in the body.
I recently wrote about many of the things that cause bone loss. There are many causes from genes to medications to inactivity. I was surprised when I received the diagnosis. You might be too. So why not go to my first post and take the risk assessment quiz. Then come back and learn how you can work to prevent osteoporosis.
Usually, your doctor isn’t going to order a DEXA bone density scan until you are 65. Since I am on Medicare due to disability, I get all the notes that Medicare people get. A year or so ago, I saw a note asking, “Have you had a bone scan yet?” I ignored it because I was under 60. But this spring, I thought, “Why not ask?” And my rheumatologist jumped right on it to say “Yes, have your PCP order it this summer.”
If you know what this is, you probably already have it or someone in your family does. So, You may be wondering what is osteoporosis (OP). In short, it’s a weakening of the bones where they are becoming less dense. If you took a crosssection of a healthy bone, you will find that there are small holes throughout it; however, when you have OP, these holes get larger and larger (less density) causing your bones to more easily fracture or break.
So what causes osteoporosis (OP)?
I would like to share a bit about this because, in 2021, I received a diagnosis of severe osteoporosis. I was shocked. Being a dairy farmer’s girl, I have always loved my dairy foods. And even though it has been many years since I was on the farm, I still eat plenty of it. I have also, always had great posture. So why did my bones get weaker? What else may have been causing the problem?
When I was first hit with Chronic Pain (Story Here), prednisone turned out to be my best friend. It was amazing stuff that removed all my pain. I had not felt that great in a long time. I didn’t even experience any side effects while taking the medication. But ten years later, I have some warnings to share with you. I hope you will take heed of them because as I learned, your doctors aren’t going to warn you or even express concern.
If you knew me in my young years, you know that I could have been the Dairy Poster Child. I grew up on a family dairy farm. Once I left the farm, it seemed that there was nothing to talk about but cows. There was nothing like a tall glass of fresh milk right from the bulk tank. It’s what I missed the most, I think. It took me a while to get past the taste of pasteurized milk and I didn’t dare drink 2% milk. When I visited a friend’s home, they offered milk, I would ask, “Is it whole milk?”
So when I learned that I have osteoporosis. It was quite a shock to me. For a day or two, I really could not grasp how it could be that my bones are not strong; that I was at risk for fractures and breakage. Adding this to all my other diagnoses was more than I could bear. Like David, I cried out to God, “How long, oh Lord? I can’t take any more problems. Please no more pain.”
Since I had morning appointments that day, I didn’t get to sit down with the Lord until that afternoon. (Maybe that is why I was so shaken… I had not invited Him into my day yet.) Anyway, God began giving me messages all day. As I did my study with Gracefully Truthful, He said to me, “I will not leave you as an orphan. I will come to you.” (John 14:18) Thank you, Lord, for this reassurance. I began singing this song the rest of the day.
Encouragement from Friends
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”
Proverbs 16:24 NIV
They may have not known that what they shared was for me, but it was. All through the day, I received gracious words just at the right time. Have you ever seen a cross-section of a bone? It’s like a honeycomb. Unless you have osteoporosis… then it’s more like swiss cheese. See National Osteoporosis Foundation
The words of my friends were like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Friends offered up prayers. Sometimes it was just sharing a quote or scripture. They had no idea that God inspired them to share it for my purpose. That night my dear friend at Alabaster Girls post this prayer.
Father, I am loved by You, an extraordinary God, a good, good Father. Your love makes life worth living. Because of You I don’t have to be afraid of tomorrow.
You are my peace.
Thank You for Your grace that truly is sufficient to carry me through the difficult places. I don’t like the difficult places, Lord — You know that. And yet I find You there. You draw near and strengthen me. You pour out Your love on me and it quiets me, giving me strength.Help me keep my eyes on You, Lord.
In Your presence I find joy, courage, and the tenacity I need to keep moving forward.
Bless You, Lord. What a wonderful God You are.
In the Name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Nan Trammel Jones, The Alabaster Girls
But I Still Tossed and Turned for Many Nights
All these things and more I have known since my youth. I know that God will not abandon me. I know He will see me through. But I am tired and my pain has been unbearable lately. Just the pain alone was waking me up and then my mind would start running away wondering what would happen next.
One of the girls from The Alabaster Girls group had friended me earlier that week but I was not “in the mood” to talk with a new person. She was from halfway around the world. And I wasn’t sure of her connection to me at that point. She kept gently prodding me to respond to her. But I like being the encourager and I didn’t have it in me to chat with someone new. Then she sent an audio clip… She sang “Pass me not, oh gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry. While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.” And tears came to my eyes. It was my prayer. We chatted and I shared a bit of my story. She promised to pray for me.
Preaching to myself
On the second day, I saw the writing prompt for Five Minute Fridays – “STRONG”. I wondered, “Could I write about strong bones when it was so raw to me?” In the past, I have looked through my old posts to see if there was anything I could update and share. And there it was “When I am weak, He is Strong”. As part of that post, I shared an old hymn written by Annie Johnson Flint. I didn’t know it then, but Annie was orphaned as a child, and by her teens suffered severe arthritis and was soon wheelchair-bound. I’m learning more and more that it is those who go through great trials that have the most beautiful poetry and songs. Do you know her hymn, He Giveth More Grace”. That’s the grace God is giving me.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done
when we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun
He GIveth More Grace, Annie Johnson Flint
I Will Not be Shaken
Finally, I stumbled on this scripture which woke me up to realize that God has got this. I do not need to be shaken. It is quite appropriate with words like: “even at night”, “my thoughts trouble me”, “I will not be shaken”, “my whole being rejoices”, “my body rests securely”, “You will not abandon me”, “You will not allow your faithful one to see decay”.
7 I will bless the Lord who counsels me— even at night when my thoughts trouble me. 8 I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely. 10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful one to see decay. 11 You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.
I Need to Memorize This Verse and Quote it in my Bed at Night