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Category: Shopping and Online Finds

Pill Popping and Shopping

I admit, I’ve become one of those people.  Someone who must take her medicine, on a regular schedule, for an indefinite number of years, and yet so frequently forgets to take the medication that makes such a difference on her quality of life.

And for this I must pay… in two ways.

1.  By eating my words. I regularly nag my mother for neglecting to take what we call her “breathing meds.”  She is severely asthmatic and tends to only take her medicine on an as-needed basis, even though her doctors stress the importance of a consistent prevention routine.  I am, officially, a hypocrite in one more way.

2.  By spending money. I need to buy a portable pill case.  Something simple I can carry with me all the time.  Far too often I leave my purse in the car and don’t remember to take my medicine until we’re home from dinner.  By then it’s nearly 8:00 and the mandatory four hour wait between medicine and sleep has me up until the wee hours of the morning trying desperately to sit up and stay awake.

Most pill cases are fairly large and hideous, but I’m looking for  a portable option that reflects my taste and fits my lifestyle.  Although I have yet to place an order, I have narrowed down my options and learned something valuable in the process:

There is a fine line between an ammunition-shaped drug culture reference and a Tupperware party.  And that line is, apparently, a prescription pill fob.

Seriously?!  A stash pendant?

And, with that, I will drag my online shopping away from the shady fringe to a whole lot of stainless steel:

1.  Deluxe Pill Fob Necklace ($5-$10)

2.  Stainless Steel Key Ring Pill Box (about $4)

3.  Harry Koenig Round Pull Box (about $10)

4.  Vial Pill Case – 14 Day (about $40)

5.  Ezy Dose Deluxe Metal Pill Fob Key Chain ($5-$10) similar

6.  e-pill MedMemory Pill Carrier (about $40) not pictured

Which would you select?  Do you have a similar product?  Is there something else you recommend I look into?

Fibromyalgia Works for Me: Recognizing My Limit

Fibromyalgia does not rob me of my life, it does not ruin my life, it does not run my life.  Fibromyalgia does, however, affect my life, focus my life, even enrich my life. Fibromyalgia has challenged me to make do with what I’ve got (as far as endurance goes).  And at least once a week (and often once a day) I am tested.  Will I recognize when I’ve reached my limit?  Or will I overdo it?  When it comes to answering such questions… Saturdays are especially tough.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Saturdays.  I wake up early and anything is possible.  I pick up the kitchen and declutter the dining room.  I enjoy the early morning sun pouring into the living room.  I watch some HGTV.  I prepare for upcoming posts.  I catch up on tweets.  I plan my day.  I pick my Saturday project.  And when Daniel’s up and at ’em I tell him my grand plan for the day and we get started…

We’ll take a trip to Walmart, and (hopefully) Lowes.  We’ll clean the house, do some laundry, and organize a closet.  We’ll rearrange furniture, play the wii, and talk about our week.  We’ll prepare for guests, spend time with friends, and get ready for Sunday.  Individually none of these items sound exhausting, and when we pack ’em in one after the other there’s no time to feel exhausted.  But when dinner time comes and I finally take a seat that’s likely where I will stay until I head to bed.

I get excited just thinking about a project.  So I begin and stick with it until it’s complete, with little regard for how taxing said project may be on my energy level and/or health.  Daniel is the type who recognizes all the work projects entail and, as a result, is less likely to begin (knowing I’ll do that part for him).  We balance each other well.  I start and get excited and he’ll support me and work with me.

Anyway… the point is I am selectively devoid of the ability (or desire) to stop a task simply because I am exhausted. I’m not sure if this has always been the case, or if it’s a “skill” I’ve developed from living with fibromyalgia for over a decade ago.  Either way it’s a a huge opportunity (translated: shortcoming) for me.  Actually, it’s a blessing and a curse.

Since I made it back to work full-time last June, Daniel’s been good about reminding me to pay attention to my to do list and my sleep schedule.  Both have a significant impact on my health and, therefore, are of great importance to him.  Although I sometimes get annoyed when he reminds me of the time or encourages me to take a break, I appreciate his concern and willingness to pick up the slack I leave when I take a break or head to bed.  I am especially appreciative on days like today… a Saturday during which I have NOT overdone it. Perhaps I don’t feel as though I’ve overdone it because I, in fact, have not done much today (not true, I survived a grocery run).  Or, maybe I am not exhausted because of what I have and have not done throughout the week.

Sunday night Daniel and I were in bed and asleep by 9:30.  I can’t even do justice how unusual this is.  Daniel and I would rather read, write, game, organize, eat, yawn, and chat than sleep.  Working full time allows us so few hours together neither of us is in a hurry to get to sleep.  We both choose to live sleep deprived (Daniel more so than myself) in exchange for downtime with each other.  You know how it goes.  It may lead to a few minor disagreements on those days when we’re super sleepy, but the conversations and company are well worth it.  Point is, 9:30 gave me 2 hours more sleep than I typically get and Daniel 3-4 more.

Throughout the week I kept the house more tidy than is typical.  I played “Martha Stewart” each day after work and spent up to an hour tidying things before I collapsed on the couch.  We ran errands instead of bumming around in the evening.  Daniel got caught up on homework and his writing.  We didn’t let life wear us out.  We stayed on top of things.

All-in-all answering the aforementioned questions, “Will I recognize when I’ve reached my limit?  Or will I overdo it?” is rather simple this Saturday:

Yes.  Although I have not yet reached my limit I am prepared to acknowledge when I do.  No, I will not overdo it.  I am learning to pace myself and treat the week like a marathon, not a sprint to be completed on the one day I have with absolutely no reoccurring event.

Please Help! Chronic Illness and Meeting People, Part 2

I’m so torn.  For me the answer is as follows:

It depends on my mood.  And how a person makes me feel.  And where I am.  But mostly I don’t tell them unless I have to.  In fact, since my diagnosis in 1998 (at age 14), I have lived in (minus my 10 semesters at college) the same small town.  And, during my flare up last spring, I learned quite a few people whom I have known for the entirety of that time had no idea I have a chronic illness.  I consider this amazing.  They are either… very kind and gave me the benefit of the doubt on countless occasions, or very forgetful.  Either way it meant a lot to me.

On the other hand, it means just as much to me to think of the hundreds of folks who know I struggle with health challenges.  They haven’t made it their business to tell people.  They haven’t made it their business to make a scene when they can tell I am not feeling well.  Quite the opposite.

Anyway, back to the point.  When I have to tell folks I just say it.  Something stupid sounding, I’m sure.  But I always say it matter-of-factly.  “I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.”  I then typically downplay whatever symptom or situation has necessitated my discussing my invisible illnesses.  And I am usually tempted to crack a joke.  But I typically resist the immature urge.  Because it’s not a joke.  And I don’t treat it lightly (that doesn’t mean I act like it’s the end of the world, either).

Live Well, by SilverRiverMetal
Live Well, by SilverRiverMetal

Once I’ve told people I’m pretty open.  I don’t inflict more pain on myself by trying to mask a limp as I walk (like I normally do).  I am myself.  And I don’t pretend to be otherwise.  Frankly, once someone knows I feel more comfortable and less confined.  WARNING: I find that this can be dangerous.  I find that the fewer people who know about my health issues the more motivated I am to live well.  (And I don’t mean well as in good, I mean well as in not ill.)  The more motivated I am to level with the fact that there are countless things I can do with fibromyalgia.  (And very few things I can’t do.  For the most part I lead a very normal life.)

When people know about my fibromyalgia it is especially important to stay motivated and to refuse to excuse an effort that is inconsistent with my capabilities.  I think this is the biggest struggle for me and my fibromyalgia… as I discussed here and therefore fall short of our purpose..  And, to be honest, I think it’s a healthy and helpful one.  It is far too easy to fall pray to excuses (although there is plenty of room for reasons with fibromyalgia).

So whether your new friends know, or don’t, remember they can challenge us to find the limits of our capabilities and push them slowly.  Kinda like stretching.  But be careful not to over do it.

My Fibromyalgia Treatment Plan, v2.1 Update

The plan continues to work well. Fortunately, yesterday and today I have been able to catch up on sleep. Like BlaxTiger, I too appreciate a morning nap. Lately, around 10 a.m. I am completely unable to stay awake. I stagger my way to bed and crash until a phone call awakes me… and I feel remarkably refreshed.

This morning I was feeling pretty sure I was improving. Tonight I feel just as awful as I did the first day I left work. From my mid-back down I feel quite like someone is attempting to remove my legs, from the inside out. Hopefully sleep will help, as it did earlier today.

Until then, I believe this powerful piece by JournalGirlKira absolutely depicts how I feel.

i want a new leg by Journal Girl Kira

I love her work and hope to have a special feature on her before too long. Until then be sure to check her out over on flickr.

How I Aged 60 Years in One Day

Shortly after Daniel and I got married I found a wonderful chair for him at DI. It was a bit ugly and Daniel wondered why I was bent on purchasing it, but he was easy to convince since it was only $15. Once we got the chair home he was quick to admit it was a great find. He uses the chair daily and I love the look.

Since then I have wanted my own old chair. The sort that is so homely it’s perfect. Today, that desire aged me at least 60 years.

Today I pondered purchasing a recliner.  Actually, today I obsessed over purchasing a recliner.

I shopped online. I read reviews. I looked at pictures. And I found my favorite.  A used, “elegantly shabby retro orange recliner” for sale by BryBear68 on eBay.


I was heartbroken to realize this gem is available for pickup only, in Wylie, TX.

My sadness motivated me to create my own “recliner.”  Since my biggest motivation to get a recliner is to make keeping my feet elevated convenient and consistent (to relieve some of the pain in my legs) it was not a difficult task. I simply pulled a papasan up to our leather couch and rested my feet in the seat and it is working perfectly.