I Really Hate Toy Guns

Good News

Yay! Jonathan made a little extra money this week so I can buy some of the salicylate-free items I need before beginning guaifenesin therapy. I’m almost completely out of shampoo, conditioner, and hair gel.

Parenting: Luke was dumped

Sadly Luke’s girlfriend dumped him for another boy. I wish I were surprised but Luke’s former girlfriend dumped another boy to date Luke so it’s no surprise at all…to me, anyway…it’s a surprise to Luke. I understand the girl is 12 but she seems exceedingly dramatic even for an adolescent. I hope Luke takes the opportunity to spend more time with his friends. Yesterday he was sobbing in the car on the ride home, but today he seemed much happier. He spent a few hours drawing comics and telling me ALL the things after dinner.

I Really Hate Toy Guns

Oliver really irked my nerves today. I can officially say I hate toy guns. I hadn’t really put much thought into the matter until I lived with Jonathan. Now Oliver is always pointing toy guns at Luke and Luke points toy guns at Oliver and they both point toy guns at the cats and dogs. They are always pretending to shoot one another – or actually shooting one another with foam darts and such – when they’re mad. Today Oliver used a toy gun to shoot compressed air into Luke’s ear repeatedly while I was busy cooking dinner. Since a shot of compressed air can injure the inside of your ear, I had to drop what I was doing, chase Oliver down, confiscate the toy gun, and lecture him about it.

I just hate the damn things. Toy guns are currently the bane of my parental existence and I wish I were allowed to throw every toy gun in the house into a giant trash bag and throw it in the bin. Nothing seems to inspire violence, fights, and jerk-like behavior in Luke and Oliver quite like toy guns. Jonathan has no issue with toy guns so for now they remain in the house…sigh…

The Pre-Guaifenesin Purge

Still here. Still fatigued but not as exhausted as I felt over the weekend. That’s good right?

For those who asked by comment and email:

Yes, I’ve had labs. I recently had a thyroid panel which includes TSH, T3, T4 and maybe another test that I can’t recall. I’ve also had a CBC, or complete blood count, to check for anemia. I’ve had a metabolic panel to check liver function, kidney function, cholesterol, glucose, and a whole host of other things that don’t typically cause one to feel miserable.

Fortunately my labs are normal. Unfortunately I feel like crap.

The Pre-Guaifenesin Purge

I strongly suspect that fibromyalgia is responsible for my current misery. RA causes pain, swollen joints, low grade fever, and in my case weird skin rashes when I’m having a flare. I feel fatigue when I have an RA flare like you feel when you’re recovering from an illness. What I’m experiencing now is that I have no energy to begin with. I layer exhaustion on top of fatigue. It just doesn’t stop.

My next “step” (and by “step” I mean, treatment I’m going to try) is guaifenesin therapy. To treat fibromyalgia with guaifenesin, one must first rid all person hygiene items of salicylates which includes nearly every plant extract. Per the literature, guaifenesin therapy will not work if you are using any products containing salicylates/plant extracts. Starting guaifenesin for fibromyalgia treatment is pointless if you’re using salicylate products because the salicylates are easily absorbed by skin and block the guaifenesin.

For the past few days, I’ve been looking up the ingredients on products I have already purchased. I can keep my eye shadow, blush, bath soap, and one lipstick. I need to shop for: shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, brow filler, foundation, powder, hand soap, toothpaste, facial cleanser, facial lotion, eye makeup remover, body lotion, eye liner, and mascara. Hopefully Jonathan makes a little extra this month so I can begin shopping for some of the products I need. My current shampoo and conditioner are nearly empty.

Since guaifenesin is reported to make fibromyalgia symptoms worse at first, I need to wait at least a week before I can start the therapy because I’m on 24/7 call rotation for work.

If I keep feeling like I’ve been feeling, the next 7 days are going to be hard. I’m tough though. I’m sure I’ll make it out alive.

Exhaustion, Guaifenesin, and Suicide

I’ve spent the past few weeks feeling mostly well with the exception of feeling completely exhausted. No major pain to report. The rash on my face has been reduced to a few spots (it was covering the majority of my face). It’s just that no matter how much rest I try to give myself or how slow I try to take things, I’m mind crushingly exhausted from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed.

Exhaustion is making it hard to work through the day. It’s hard to be patient with the kids. It’s hard to get anything done, really. This level of exhaustion is hard to describe. It’s worse than the tiredness you feel when you’re catching the flu. It’s worse than being sleep deprived. The only thing I can equate it to is staying up for over 48hrs straight. I had to do that for work once when I was on call. By the end of the 48hrs I was falling asleep at the table as I tried to work and falling asleep in the shower. I don’t remember getting to bed that night. That’s the closest to how I feel right now.

Since I received a gift card to Amazon, I ordered the kindle version of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia. According to Dr. St. Amand, the author, most fibromyalgia symptoms can be reversed by taking guaifenesin. Guaifenesin is the drug in Mucinex that loosens mucus. According to St. Amand, guaifenesin is only helpful in reversing fibromyalgia symptoms if all salicylates are removed from the patient’s hygiene regimen. Salicylates are in most lotions, cosmetics, tooth pastes, hair products, bath soaps, etc.

Since starting guaifenesin protocol would entail purchasing an entirely new array of hygiene products, I would need to save up before I could start. Currently the only treatment for the body engulfing skin rash that’s been effective is packed with salicylates.  My sulfate free soaps, shampoos, face was, and makeup all contain salicylates too. But, as miserable as this exhaustion is, perhaps saving up a giving the guaifenesin protocol a try will be helpful. (Especially considering guaifenesin has little to no risk of side effects).

Before I was married to Jonathan, I would often think about suicide when I felt debilitatingly sick. Obviously I wouldn’t commit suicide now because it would be extremely traumatic to Jonathan, Luke, and Oliver. But, before they were in the picture, I would think about what would happen when I finally become too sick to work. Where would I live? Who would take care of me? I couldn’t depend on my family to take me in and it’s unfair to expect friends to support me or care for me since they all have their own lives. So, I decided when I finally get too sick to work, when I just can’t push myself any longer, I would re-home my pets with a no-kill shelter and commit suicide.

Suicidal thoughts of this nature are relatively common among people suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and RA. I don’t feel crazy or depressed when I have suicidal thoughts, really. I’m not sure thinking about suicide when you’re chronically ill is depression either. It’s different than depression for me. It’s a plan B. What would happen when I’m so sick I needed to be taken care of but there was no one to take care of me…

Jonathan’s Birthday

Today is Jonathan’s birthday. Luke, Oliver, and I went to the store after work where we bought a huge cheese cake platter and a variegated ivy plant. Jonathan loves ivy. It reminds him of the house he grew up in. Then I went to Jonathan’s “favorite” fast food restaurant – there are only 2 restaurants within 30 minutes of the house – and picked up burgers with bacon. I opted for a salad because I typically don’t eat meat and haven’t eaten a burger in over 15yrs.

Now Jonathan, Luke, and Oliver are upstairs playing Super Smash Brother’s. They’re having such a good time I can hear them laughing downstairs in the bedroom with the door closed.

When I really think about it I live a dream life. I live with a group of people who love me and each other and they’re laughing together. It’s wonderful.

It’s Permanent…Until Something Changes

I wish our financial problems were temporary. Unless Jonathan or I find a way to earn more money, our financial predicament will remain the same. I’ve been working on building a small photography business in addition to my full time job. I’m also working on marketing for Jonathan’s business.

In some ways, it feels like a catch-22. I could probably earn more working on my photography business than I will from working on Jonathan’s marketing. However, my time and physical abilities are limited due to arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. At least I have a stop gap financial plan in place until I figure something out. Maybe I’ll try starting an Etsy store although I’m not sure that photography does very well on Etsy…

For the record, I don’t use credit cards often. I had to buy working appliances for the kitchen and fix some things with the house right after we moved and for that I planned to use a no interest transfer on my credit card. So, that’s working as expected…getting paid off as expected.

All of this could be so much worse. It was worse when my ex-husband left. It was worse when I was growing up. I just hope it’s not affecting Luke and Oliver.

Pinching Every Penny…Twice

Financially speaking, things have been tight since we moved in July. Taking on a 2nd mortgage on the new house and adding Jonathan and the kids to my employer-provided insurance plan has taken a nearly $1,000 monthly bite out of my previous budget. Each month after bills are paid and food is purchased I’m left with $150 for all of our clothes, shoes, toiletries, and household goods. $150 isn’t much considering there are 4 of us. That’s $37.50 per person per month.

For the first time in my life, I used a credit card to buy Christmas presents. I shopped sales, used coupons, and hunted for deals which kept my total shopping on Christmas expenses for everyone just under $500. It might even be a bit less than $500 but I’m counting the gifts given to extended family, friends, as well as postage for mailing packages and holiday cards. The majority of gifts for Jonathan and the children were things they needed as well as wanted.

Now I have a $3,500 credit card balance which includes a few emergency home purchases like a new range and refrigerator since the ones which came with the house were on their last leg/completely broken. I’m trying to figure out a way to pay this off, but it won’t be easy.

For me there will be no eating out, no dessert, no convenience store drinks, no snacks, no books, and no outings with friends for months to come. I’m not looking forward to the isolated life. I am however, looking forward to couponing. I’m hoping to trim our grocery budget back to $100/week with coupons so I can pay off the credit card faster. The credit card is no interest until March 2016 so I have quite a while to pay in full, but I always pay off loans of any type early.

I just hope work stays steady for Jonathan this winter. Winter is a hard season to be a carpenter and work is usually hard to come by. Please, please let Jonathan stay busy.