Friday, May 27, 2011

Health Activist Writer's Challenge: Word of the Day Post!

Day 2  Word of the Day Post! Go to and write a post inspired by their WOTD - or grab a dictionary (or any book) from your bookshelf, open to a page, and write about that word. Can you link the word to your condition somehow?

I went to and the word of the day is:

 \DUH-juhn\ , noun;
A state or fit of intense indignation; resentment; ill humor -- often used in the phrase "in high dudgeon."

Higgins was so frustrated by such a basic error that he stormed out of the arena for the mid-session interval in high dudgeon.
-- Phil Yates, "Stevens begins to feel pressure as Swail stages customary revival", Times (London), April 29, 2000 
This woman is forever in a state of spiritual high dudgeon, and a list of her dislikes is as long as the Omaha phone book.
-- Jim Harrison, The Road Home 
What you see, they reckon, is all there is: a media star of fading allure--and shortening temper, if his dudgeon over a television soap-opera satire about him called "How was I, Doris?" (a reference to his fourth wife) is anything to go by.
-- "Gerhard Schröder, embattled chancellor", The Economist, September 18, 1999
The origin of dudgeon is unknown.

I was in a state of high dudgeon when I found out that fibromyalgia facilitates a loss in gray matter and premature aging of the brain.  How dare fibro mess with yet another part of me?  I admit, I was quite upset when I first heard about it, but I was more angry than sad.  I was pissed at fibro, for it changing my life, and now for it to be causing a loss in my gray matter and making my brain age faster.  It's just one more thing in a long list of what fibro can do to your body.  One study shows that gray matter loss is caused from low-dopamine in the brain.  We don't know yet if that is really the case.  It usually takes a lot of studies with the same result to know that something is true.  The longer you have fibromyalgia, i.e. you've had it since childhood, the more gray matter you lose.  The study I read says that people with ME/CFS do not have premature brain aging or loss of gray matter, while fibromyalgia has both.  I hope that someday soon, doctors will be able to stop this horrible result from fibromyalgia.

Homer Simpson's brain...and that's without fibro!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Health Activist Writer's Challenge: Health Acrostic

Day 1  Health Acrostic - Write an arostic for your condition or the word HEALTH.

IBS (common with fibro)
Burning pain
Reynauds (common with fibro)
Old feeling (I feel ancient!)
Missing out on life
Youth stolen
Analgesics (all pain medications, including Tylenol, NSAIDs, and Opiates)
Lyrica (a FDA approved fibro med)
Glia (cells that play a part in the Central Nervous System) 
Individuals (don't let your doctor treat you like all fibromites are the same!)
Allodynia (pain due to a stimulus that does not normally provoke pain)

Mental fog (also called "brain fog," or in the case of fibro, "fibro fog")
Central Sensitization (entire central nervous system becomes sensitized to a stimulus, causing amplified pain signals)
Sick a lot

This was a lot harder than it looks!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Health Activist Writer's Challenge: 30 Day, 30 Posts

Guess what?  I've got a new challenge.  It's called the 30 Day, 30 Posts, Health Activist Writer's Challenge.  So for 30 posts I'm going to be writing about fibromyalgia using prompts from from this website.

Day 1  Health Acrostic - Write an arostic for your condition or the word HEALTH.

Day 2  Word of the Day Post! Go to and write a post inspired by their WOTD - or grab a dictionary (or any book) from your bookshelf, open to a page, and write about that word. Can you link the word to your condition somehow?

Day 3  Yahoo Answers Post - Pretend you are writing a question about your condition - it can be as silly/humorous as you want.  Now answer it.  (Remember: Your answer can be just as silly.)

Day 4  Ludicrous Headline or Cure.  Do a news search and choose a ridiculous headline or proposed cure about your condition and write what you think about it.  Can't find one?  Write your own.

Day 5  Health Haiku. 5 syllables / 7 syllables / 5 syllables about your condition.  Write a few if you'd like.

Day 6  "I write about my health because..."  Reflect on why you write, in writing.  Meta!

Day 7  Leave your condition a text or voice mail.  Check in with your health by pretending you're leaving a quick note.  Bonus points if you find a way to record in audio-form too!

Day 8  Write a poem (5-15 lines) where every line is a health question.

Day 9  Health Activist Choice!  Write about whatever you want today.

Day 10  Post Secret.  You know the beloved post secret community?  Write down a secret that isn't really a secret.  Hint: A misconception about your condition, something people would think you'd be shy to disclose (but will!), or just something you want to shout from the rooftops!

Day 11  Revise your condition's Wikipedia page.  Pretend you're a Wikipedia writer - what sentence or paragraph should be included (in your opinion).  Has Wikipedia forgotten to include your condition?  Write a few quick facts and submit.

Day 12  Ekphrasis (writing about another art form) Post - Find a Flickr Image in Creative Commons that inspires you in some way (positively or negatively) and free write about it.  Give yourself exactly 15 minutes to write without stopping.  Don't think!  Brave bonus: Publish to your blog without editing!  (You can include a disclaimer.)

Day 13  Open a book to any page - take the first line you see.  That's the title of your blog post.  What does the blog say?  Write it in less than 20 minutes.

Day 14  Write a poem (5-10) lines where every line is a lie or misconception about your health condition.

Day 15  Two Sentence Story.  Tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end in only two sentences.  Get creative with semi-colons if you need to!

Day 16  Report This!  Write a blog where you're a news reporter presenting an invention or cure for your condition.  It can also be in the style of a Faux Press Release.

Day 17  Mindful Moment.  Describe something peaceful with as much sensory imagery as you can.  What are the sights, sounds, scents, and feelings?

Day 18  Your Daily Schedule.  Write a list of your daily routine from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed.  Be honest.

Day 19  Health Activist Choice Day 2.  Any topic you want.

Day 20  Describe your Writing Room.  What is in the room where you write your posts?  Are you in a crowded coffee shop, your desk at work,k or at the kitchen table?  Try to find and name an item in the room that is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, black, brown.

Day 21  Free-Write about someone you admire.

Day 22  Prescribed!  Your doctor writes you a wacky prescription - what is it?

Day 23  Dr. Seuss Day!  Write a post with as many rhymes as you can.  It can be a poem with end-rhymes or a paragraph with internal rhymes.

Day 24  Best Moment of Last Week.  What was the best thing that happened to you last week?  Did you have an a-ha moment or get great news?  Write about it and relive it!

Day 25  Red Pen Day.  Find an old post of yours from months or years ago - revise it as radically as you can (use Track Changes in Word or red font on your blog).  What changes did you make?  What clarifications did you need?  Publish the new version.  Post both versions if you're brave.

Day 26  Spirit Animal Day.  Give you or your condition a spirit animal and write about yourself or it as though you/it are that animal.  What qualities of the animal do you or your condition possess that are positive?  How is this a metaphor?

Day 27  Quote Prompt!  Find a quote that inspires you either positively or negatively and write about it!

Day 28  "I used to be ____.  But I'm not anymore."  Write a poem where every line starts with the phrase "I used to be" and ends with "But I'm not anymore." (5-10 lines)

Day 29  Health Cliché!  What's a health cliché that really bugs you? What are you tired of people asking you or saying to you again and again?  Write it down.  Then reclaim it!  Take it back and turn it around so you make it something you could be comfortable hearing.

Day 30  Gobbledygook Day.  Make up a new word (it can be a combination of two words or complete non-sense).  What is the word?  How do you pronounce it?  What does it mean?  Use it in a sentence.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Make a fibro friend laugh today

I came across something today that made me really LOL and I hope to get a chuckle out of you, too.  While we sometimes have to deal with so much serious stuff with fibro and all of the other diagnosises that we may have, that it is easy to forget to laugh.  So next time you have a friend who's in a flare, why don't you get her a pair of boobie hot water bottles from Pranksterhouse!  If my DH or a friend gave me these during a flare I'd probably laugh so hard I'd cry from pain.  Sometimes worse pain is worth it when it means you get a laugh!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back after hiatus and drinking ginger tea for pain

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've been able to blog here.  Today I wanted to share a new pain fighting substance I have found.  Our friend Mary Lou, is very wise in herbs and such and is the one who gave me the idea for this.  Mary Lou told me to go to the grocery store and get a ginger root.  Then slice off some thin slices of ginger root and pour boiling water over it to make ginger tea.  DH made a trip to the grocery store for me today so that he could get me a ginger root.  Then when he got home he sliced off quite a few pieces, poured water over it, and put it in the microwave to boil.  He said he used the microwave last time, too, and it turned out great that time.  The tea is okay tasting, I've never been fond of ginger, otherwise I'd probably like it better.  The tea does make you hot, though.  Before you get your hopes us, it doesn't actually make you look hot, but makes you feel like your core temperature rose a degree.  I really doubt it does, but that's what it feels like to me.  DH made me another cup of it before I took a nap.  This one I had DH help me take a picture of, with a garnish of ginger root on the side of the cup and the ginger root itself is on the saucer so that you can see what it looks like.  I hope this can give someone else some pain relief.  Anytime I find something that helps with pain I will always let you guys know.  You'll hear from me again a lot sooner next time.
Ginger root tea for pain relief