Thursday, November 20, 2008

No meds

Ok, so I weened off all meds and have been completely without them for about a week. So far, I can't sleep so I feel like crap during the day. I think if I could sleep I would be fine for the most part. I broke down and took melatonin a couple nights ago, it helped but I am lacking sleep so much that I was still groggy the whole next day. I am persisting though, we will see how I feel in another week. I'm hoping some of it is just withdrawals that will go away!

I am going to get more strict about my sleep hygiene, no caffeine after 5....snack before bed, consistent bedtime. I need to start practicing meditating/visualization again. I used to be really good about it and could get myself to sleep within a few minutes using it but I'm out of practice.

I haven't been using my low frequency massager much lately. For some reason if I use it more then 15 minutes now I get sore later. It didn't do that when I first bought it so not sure what is going on now. Also, it increases circulation so not a good idea before bed. Best in the morning to help me get going.

Moving moving!

Well we are at it again! One of the highlights of the army life (haha) moving!!! We are headed to Savannah GA this time. At least its warmer!! Makes it worth it to me :).

In preparing for this move I've found a great resource, www.ahrn.com. I know it lists all the army installations and I want to say it includes other services as well. Its a great resource, I've found lots of rental houses listed there. You put in your PCS date and installation then you can search based on bedrooms, price and some other factors. You can even save the results you found that you want to look into. I have to say the army really is coming a long way in family support and resources. You will definitely want to remember this resource for your next move!!!

Moving...again!!!

OMG...I'm moving in THREE WEEKS!!! I can't believe I'm moving again-even though I knew it might happen. All in all I'm happy about it. I've heard lots and lots of good things about Savannah and its definitely WARMER-which is a big deal!!! My house is such a mess though....I am so not ready for the movers yet. When am I ever really but there seems like so much to do and I can't sleep because I just lay there and thing about everything I need to do to get ready...then I don't get anything done during the day because I feel like crap because I didn't sleep....ahh the joys of Fibro :P.

Speaking of....I've been completely off all my meds for about a week. It is NOT going well. I suppose it could be worse....but man I really really want a good night sleep! I broke down and took half a melatonin a couple nights ago...helped but didn't restore my sleep habit. Putting myself on strict no caffeine after 5 rule, we'll see if that helps!!!

On another note, I discovered Squidoo this week!!! LOL Like I needed something else to do! Its pretty cool though, because I can make a lens for whatever I happen to be into in the moment then move on to something else when I get bored with that! I think it will suit my ADHD personality just fine!!! you can see my first lens at www.squidoo.com/soby Its just a simple lens about me to get started but when I get more up you will be able to get to them from there so check it out and then check back!



Ok I think that's about all I have to say today :) now back to not getting anything done!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My painting



Hi all!! I just finished this painting and wanted to share!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rabbit habbits

Oh my gosh!! Sydney's rabbit just peed all over me. YUCK!!! So apparently rabbits have a defense mechanism where they kick their back legs and spray pee everywhere. Its quite disgusting!! She has done it to me once before and done it to Dustin once-always when she doesn't want to be picked up. But this time was the worst by far!! So if you have/get a rabbit beware of getting peed on!!!

AFTB Plug

You know what AFTB is right? Army Family Team Building. All army posts (should) have an AFTB program and its completely free. There are three levels of classes- but they do not have to be taken in order. These include classes on Army structure, traditions, leadership, personal development and many more. I highly encourage everyone affiliated with the army to check these out. As far as I know all of them also offer free child care while you are taking the class. If for some reason none of the classes offered at your post work for you, you can also take the classes online at www.myarmylifetoo.com Make the most of what the army community offers, one way to do this is to check out these classes!!! Have fun!

Homeschool Lounge

Hi all!! I found a great resource for homeschoolers, its the Homeschool Lounge. You have to create your profile and be accepted by the site owner so it might take a couple days to register but its an awesome community for homeschoolers. They have discussion boards and interest groups for anything you can imagine related to homeschooling. Enjoy!!!

Getting off Meds

So...I've decided to stop taking my medications.....Now the disclaimer: TALK TO YOUR DR BEFORE YOU STOP TAKING RXs!!!!!!!!!! That said, I haven't been able to get in to see a doctor since we moved. After a long talk with my husband last night we decided to give it a try (weening off meds that is)....I'm not going to get into the why of it right now. I wanted to mention this because I will post how it is going on this blog. I only have two RXs related to the FM that I'm currently taking (not including my pain pill which I rarely use) so those are the ones I'm getting off of. I am going to once every other day on my pill for anxiety and if this week goes well I will stop it completely next week. I will be using my low frequency therapy, stress management, excercise, relaxation etc to manage symptoms since I won't be using the meds. Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Scattered

Do you ever feel so scatterbrained you can't get anything done? Like there are so many things that you need to do and so many thoughts running through your mind but you can't catch one long enough to actually DO anything? I get this feeling sometimes and its paralyzing. I feel overwhelmed, confused and scatter brained but I can't figure out what to do to snap out of it! I'm feeling that way today. I need to write an article, clean the house, start organizing stuff to move, post on my other blogs, work on my website, work on my business map, play with syd....etc etc etc. But all I want to do is go to sleep because I just can't concentrate on anything long enough to actually accomplish anything. Ugghh anybody have any suggestions? Ok I think I'm going to go read now...maybe that will calm me down enough to concentrate.

AHHHH Kids!!!

Man Sydney is pushing her limits lately. She told Dustin this morning "I want this dress you have to go buy it for me right now!" Wow where did she learn that??? She is also starting this fake crying stuff when she wants something or isn't getting what she wants-what's up with that??? I'm not sure where the sweet little girl I raised went-terrible twos??? Try threes!!! I'm at a loss on what to do! I'm just hoping that this is a phase that will pass...soon!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Good Days....

I have had a lot of them lately....part of me is waiting for the other shoe to fall but I thanks God every day that I'm able to function, live, work, play with my daughter etc. I still remember the hard days, if nothing else the FM has made me appreciate the good times all the more!!

My good days lately are thanks in part to ALOT of help from my husband. Work has been slow for him and I'm taking advantage of it while I can. The ability to sleep more and focus the energy I do have (my spoons) on the things I really want to do rather than the chores I need to do has been awesome.

So....I don't have much else to discuss, I haven't had much time to read to post more book suggestions since we just moved but hopefully I will soon. I can't be sad that I don't have much to say because it means I haven't been struggling. Here is wishing you all good days!!! May you enjoy them to their fullest!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Moving again!

So we are moving again....this time to Savannah GA, Hunter Army Airfield to be exact. We tried to get out of the move and stay in NY (as crazy as that may sound we just didn't want to move again). But, alas, the powers that be don't want to help us out this time! So I'm looking at the positive; only a couple months of the brutal Northern New York winter!!! Then is sunny, mild, warm Georgia!!!!! I'm from Texas so cold doesn't agree with me AT ALL!!

I have no idea what the army is thinking. They are moving my husband's unit to GA, why? It is costing more than I can imagine I'm sure plus the unit that they are "switching places" with isn't moving up here till after their deployment, so that means all their families are still in GA, which means no where to live!! Luckily we usually live off post anyway since I pretty much require an office but its rough still. The houses for rent that I've found are ridiculously expensive so we will be in an apartment-again-for at least a while until we can get a good feel for the area.

My husband is still trying to get into flight school, apparently they want to see persistence, which means submitting your packet several times. At the same time he is working on college classes and CLEP tests so if he finishes his degree (only 60 hours to go) he will apply for OCS instead. So who knows what the next couple years hold!!!

This is the adventure of being in the army!!! LOL I'm just going with the flow and trying to keep a smile on my face!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Awesome site!!

So the army (or ACS or someone) got a great idea to put together a site that has tons of information, training etc and you can sign up for things through this site. It even customizes based on where you are stationed. There is TONS of info here so take some time to explore it and see how you can get the most out of it!! Now I know you are waiting for the website and here it is!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Find the positive

I hear so many people complaining about everything. Anywhere I lived there is someone who hates it and refuses to find any good in it. Your attitude is up to you, not your circumstances, you can decide to be happy.

Before I go on let me say I am as guilty as anyone about not making the best of things, especially where we are stationed, I am trying to change this. I am making a conscious decision to find the best in our situation whatever it may be and to be happy wherever we are. I have a husband who adores me and a beautiful daughter, what more could I want? I would encourage all military wives to try to find the best in wherever you are stationed. Find things on base to get involved in. If you can't find anything start something!! Meetup.com has listings for all types of groups and if you don't find something you are interested in you can start something. There are also lots of army wife bulletin boards and websites online just beware of those that contain mostly complainers.

When we complain and are unhappy about where we are it effects our husband's work. They feel like they have failed us somehow and worry about us and cannot concentrate on what they are supposed to be doing whether it be a deployment or training. Our husbands need that energy to do their best at their job so we need to do our best at our job of being a military wife! That means making the best of our situation.

My home is where my husband is!! I will be happy and make the best of all our situations even if it isn't what I had "wanted."

Better Days

The flair has pretty much passed. I am still careful about my energy and only unpack a little at a time so I don't wear out. We are almost done unpacking so I'm feeling pretty good about how I've done on this move (my first since I've been diagnosed).

We went to the state fair a couple weeks ago and I found an absolutely wonderful device. It is a low frequency device, you apply pads to your body (I use mine mostly on my back) and then hook them to the device and it vibrates on your skin (this is a simplified explanation). It is supposed to stimulate muscles and blood flow and relax the muscles. Its really awesome.

I did a search and found a good price on the set at this link: http://www.painreliefessentials.com/products/rhythmtouch.htm I haven't shopped at this site so I can't tell you anything about their service but its a good price for the set. You can also search for "Rhythm Touch" and find other retailers. The websites explain it better than I can also. All I can say is this has helped ease the pain, relax the muscles and improve my energy. Hope it helps you too!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To move "home" or not to move "home"

Well we just moved ourselves back up to New York! I will not be returning home during any future deployments, it is just too much trouble for us.

I see the question about weather or not to "move home" during deployments on bullatin boards for military wives all the time. It also seems like everyone has very strong opinions about if you should go home or not. I think this is a question that can only be answered by you. What is your specific circumstances and situation and what would be best for your family.

Some of the advantages of "going home" is that you are closer to family and friends to provide support (and help with children if you have any). It can also be cheaper for your family if you move in with parents or other family members. For me I had an easier time getting a job in Texas than anywhere else (I have no idea why).

Some of the disadvantages are that you are disconnected from the military community and whatever services and support your particular base offers and may miss out of special activities put on by your FRG (video teleconfrences, FRG meetings, and redeployment briefs and ceremonies for example).

So if this is a question you deal with know that you are the only person that can come up with the right answer for you. Talk to friends, family and other military wives about the decision but don't let any of them force a decision upon you. Once you do decide be happy about the advantages of your decision and don't dwell on the disadvantages-deployments are hard enough!

More soon!!!

So much stuff!!!!!

I am going to get better at posting on a regular basis! Soon-I hope!

I just moved from Texas to New York. While unpacking my daughters "school supplies" and putting them on the shelf I have allotted for them I realized that we have a TON of educational stuff for her and she isn't even three yet!!

I'm not complaining but we should be set for a while! I think I am going to lay off buying stuff for her for a while!

More soon!

Moving

I will eventually get better at posting here more regularly I promise!!!

I just got finished moving from Texas to upstate New York. My husband returned from a deployment in Iraq, flew to Texas, packed up what I hadn't managed to pack yet in our house. Then we drove to Arkansas and spent three days camping and digging for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds park and digging for crystals at a local crystal mine as well as some other sightseeing and general family time. After three days in Arkansas we drove another 5 hours to my husband's friends house in Tennessee where we spent another three days. We had a great time and the trip was not to bad on my until the last three days.

Three days of driving 7+ hours a day (we were pulling a very full trailer so it slowed us down a bit) was really hard on me. I was aching everywhere when we got here but I tried to keep up.

It seems like since we got here I've been having my worst flair since I got diagnosed. I haven't been able to get out of bed until late in the morning -noon some days. I have had very little energy during the day when I do get moving. Its really hard because I feel like I am not helping enough with the moving in. I had enough energy for quite a bit of unpacking the first two days but the last few have been really BLAH! Luckily my husband is totally understanding and doesn't push me. I just hope this flair passes before he goes back to work and my daughter insists on getting up at 7!

I know this is temporary but it is still frustrating. I am trying to keep my spirits up and conserve and ration my energy....just waiting for better days!!

The next post I'll be sure to include more useful information and less complaining :)!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Physical Therapy and Suppliments

I have finished a month of physical therapy that has helped immensely. Now I just have to be diligent about continuing the exercises at home. I've also started taking several supplements recommended by my grandfather (a botanist who is very knowledgeable about herbal remedies). I believe these are helping with both my energy level and pain control. I won't list them here because any supplements should be discussed with your doctor and I don't want anyone taking this as medical advise but I will suggest you do your research and talk to your doctor about the possibility of these helping.

Here is a book suggestion:



I just finished this. If you have had Fibromyalgia for a while and have read other books this one probably won't have any new information but its great for people who are just learning about the condition. It also includes some helpful pages that can be copied and help you to organize your medical information.

Busy Busy

Sorry for the lack of posting. I promise I will get better about it. We are currently finishing up a 15 month deployment (our second and the first since our daughter was born) and are waiting for the Warrant Officer selection board on July 1st to find out if my husband has been accepted to flight school. If he is we will be moving to Fort Rucker in August. So I am busy doing to organizing/sorting/packing/planning thing again.

In the meantime check out CINChouse its a great website for all military spouses.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Army wife

I have been married to my husband since July 2000. He was a reservist when we married (we met the day after he returned from AIT) and went active duty right after our first anniversary. Our first duty station was Germany and since then we have lived in Virginia and New York and are waiting to find out what our next assignment is. Texas is home for both of us and we are hoping to get to Ft. Hood asap so that we will be close to family. My husband is currently in the process of applying for Warrant Officer and is hoping to become a helicopter pilot.

We have been through 2 deployments, the first began May 2003 and was a 15 month deployment is 1st AD. The second we are not finished with yet so I won't give details. I will say that the second is much easier for many reasons and harder for a few. Knowing what to expect can be a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time.

This blog will be a place where I share my thoughts, visions, wishes, resources and recommendations for other army spouses, as well as possibly a few thoughts for the service members themselves.

Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome and encouraged as long as they are polite!

My first suggestion for any Military wife is:




This is a useful reference. The author is the wife of a member of a different service but it is still very useful for those of us married into the Army. Very basic information presented in a straight forward and honest way. Warning: she doesn't pull punches so if you are looking for someone to tell you that it will all be great and you won't have to deal with the bad as well as the good then you don't want to read this book. But, if you are looking for some information about how to function in the military world as the spouse of a service member and some honest truths about this life this book is for you.

I suggest we all have a couple copies of this book so that we have one to loan to those new spouses we meet along the way! Enjoy

Learning a Second Language

Research has shown that the earlier children are exposed to a second language the better their chance of mastering it. Young children can learn more then one language and are able to distinguish between them. Some people worry that exposing a child to a second language at a very young age will cause them to have problems with English (or whatever their primary language happens to be). This is not the case, children who learn a second language often master their primary language quicker than children who only learn one language. They also often do better at reading and writing.

With my daughter we have started using the Muzzy language programs which can be found here. I purchased the multi-lingual set which includes five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German) with four levels per language (Levels 1 and 2 on DVD and Levels 3 and 4 on interactive CD-Rom) as well as levels 1and 2 transcribed in all languages and workbooks for levels 3 and 4 in all languages. It also include the Muzzy doll and finger puppets of the characters and a DVD of all of the songs on the program.

My plan is to do Level 1 Spanish for two months (which we just completed), Level 2 Spanish for 2 months, then combine level 1 and 2 for two months, making 6 months of Spanish. Then we will repeat with another language (my daughter is not old enough yet for the cd-roms). There are 6 DVDs (about 15 min each) for each level as well as three vocabulary DVDs. I play 1 dvd a day (Mon #1, Tues #2 etc and Sun Vocab).

I never force my daughter to watch it but she often asks for it. I allow her to watch it in addition to her daily TV allowance and encourage her to watch it instead of other options.

She has started to use a few phrases and sings along with many of the songs. My goal for this program is the expose her to the language and lay the neural groundwork for later language learning that will be more structured.

I highly recommend this program for anyone with young children. There are many options of how to purchase it and they have additional early learning products that you may find interesting.

Comfort for your feet!

So, having FM has changed my thinking on comfort vs. fashion. Suddenly comfort is much much more important. I'm not going to be walking around in a sweat suit or anything but I'm definitely more in tune to what feels good on my skin and especially on my feet! When I first saw people wearing Crocs footwear I though, "no way, those are hideous, why would anyone wear them." Then I saw a friend (who happens to also have FM) wearing Crocs mary janes like these



They weren't too bad...maybe I could try a pair like that. I mentioned it to my husband and next thing I know a pair of black mary janes shows up in the mail! I put them on and I was instantly in love!

Not only does the FM give me pain in my legs and back but I have high arches and weak ankles so comfortable shoes are hard to find. I usually go for the chunky heeled look that supports my arch and just hope I don't turn an ankle (I do on a regular basis). I also hate to wear socks and any kind of shoe that feels constricting.

These shoes are so light and airy its almost as good as being barefoot. (The closest I've found yet). They are supportive in a way that lessens the pain in my back and also are comfortable for my feet and not so high that I turn my ankles. They have nubs on the inside of the sole that they say stimulates circulation, I'm not going to make a claim to that but if nothing else they give a nice little foot massage when you are walking.

I highly recommend a pair of crocs to everyone but especially to those with FM and especially if the pain is in your legs, feet and/or back! There are many styles and colors, something for everyone. You can see them all here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

About the Fibromyalgia

After 2 1/2 years of trying to figure out "what is wrong with me," and many doctors telling me "your fine" or "your just depressed," I was diagnosed on March 21st with fibromyalgia.

This difficulty with this disease is that they don't fully understand it and there isn't a treatment specifically "for" FM. As of now I'm on medicine for sleep and anxiety as well as to help control the pain. I also take a good multivitamin, feverfew (for headaches), Ginseng and Ginko Biloba for general health (disclaimer: ALWAYS talk to your doctor before starting any supplements). I am under the care of a Rheumatologist as well as my primary care physician.

www.fmaware.org Is the website for the National Fibromyalgia Association

www.arthritis.org Also has a lot of good information and resources for those with FM

I will document here helpful resources, book and treatments I have tried. While I hope those things that help me can be helpful to others always always check with your doctor before trying anything new.

About our preschool at home

One of the topics I will post about on this blog is the preschool activities that I use with my daughter at home and her progress and the success or lack thereof of the things I try. This will include product and book recommendations, helpful links and activity ideas as well as how I organize her learning. I am a firm believer in learning through play. Some direct teaching can be beneficial but the child's temperment, attention span and learning styles should be taken into consideration in deciding what activities to use, how to present them, how long they should last etc. A balance should be achieved between active and quiet time, child and parent directed learning, direct teaching and free play and all activities should fit into the child's natural attention span and end before the child becomes restless. Forcing a child to do an activity is useless and will result in the child resisting and dreading the things you have planed for him/her.

My main goal is to provide a framework for my child to achieve the next level of her development in a fun and exciting way. I want her to learn how to learn through questions and discovery as well as through my direction and her practice. I will build upon the skills she has by introducing a skill slightly harder then what she is currently doing and patiently repeating and reinforcing until she has mastered the next level.

Always follow the child's interests and current skills and use those to move your child to the next level. Remember, all children are different, the things that work for my daughter may not always work for your child but I hope to provide enough information for any parent to successfully and confidently help their child learn and expand to the best of his/her abilities during the preschool years.

My daughter is currently 2 1/2. I will be homeschooling my daughter for kindergarten and first grade at least so I will have several years of information to post about homeschooling here!

Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome!! Remember: HAVE FUN!!!!!