Happy New Year!!!
Even though I was diagnosed in 2003, I am still perplexed by how unpredictable living with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis can be. Seriously, if you read my November update and then later the one I posted a week before Christmas, you know that I was struggling both physically and mentally.
- My Body is Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Please Stand By
- Twas a Week Before Christmas When Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer and The Disabled Diva by a Wheelchair! My Unwanted Gift of Additional Pain.
I thought for sure I would be starting the new year feeling like I had been beaten to a pulp because that’s what living with a chronic illness during the holidays usually does to people like me. But I am NOT!! In fact, I am feeling 80% better physically and my emotional health has also seen a massive improvement.
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What I did to improve living with fibromyalgia and PsA during the holidays
There are many things I could credit for starting the New Year off so well. The first being my pain management plan which includes PEMF therapy, cannabis, and other herbal remedies. Looking through my chronic illness journals gave me insight into what was triggering an increase in pain and depression. And last but not least, I followed my own advice about surviving the holidays with a chronic illness!
How I ended 2019
I ended 2019 feeling better than I expected. My foot injury had healed well enough for me to walk with my rollator. I just couldn’t wear tight shoes or put pressure on the side that was injured.
With the injury occurring a week before Christmas and the fact that I was still battling inflammation throughout my rib cage during the holiday, I figured it was best to not make plans for New Year’s Eve. To the surprise of my husband and myself, I continued to improve so he suggested that we do something that we had talked about doing for many years. So we did!
We rang in 2020 at Disneyland!!! I used my rollator/transport chair combo, paced myself, and had the time of my life! I will be posting details about our adventure later this week.
Oh Christmas Tree
Long-time followers of my blog know about the four year period that I decided I would no longer decorate for the holidays by leaving my tree and decor up all year long! It ended when we moved three years ago and since I put up a small tree one year, no tree the second, and this year a giant tree that was too tall for my angel.
I made sure to have my tree up days after Halloween ended. As my costochondritis flare increased, I worried about how long my tree would remain up. Our tree is so large that it required totally rearranging my living room furniture and by mid-December, I longed to have the space it was taking up back.
While I had been up for our NYE celebration, it did take two days for my body to recover. As the first full week of 2020 approached I began to grow antsy. So today after submitting my first freelance article of the year, I turned off my computer, asked my daughter to assist, strapped my PEMF pain relief device to my lower back, and began putting away all our holiday decorations and removing the ornaments from the tree. We did a fabulous job! By the time my husband returned home from work all that was left for him to do was to move the box with the tree from the living room to the garage.
I couldn’t have done it without my daughter and PEMF device. My lower back muscles are still weak after resting for almost two months. With my PEMF therapy device on my lower back and resting as needed, I finished my task without increasing my pain.
An Allergic Reaction
I have the strangest allergies and sensitivities. Real Christmas trees and wreaths cause my eyes and throat to swell. You’d think the simple solution would be to use artificial ones, right??!! Yes and no! Believe it or not, I am also allergic to artificial trees!!!!
I am ultra-sensitive to chemicals and many forms of plastic when they make contact with my skin. When we decorated the tree, I accidentally leaned in too close which caused some branches to brush against my chest and neck. Within minutes I broke out in a painful, burning, and blistering rash.
Benadryl did nothing. Frantic for relief, I remembered how Soothing Skin Balm relieves my daughter’s burning eczema pain. I experienced relief ASAP and after several applications, the rash was gone the next day.
Today after putting the tree in its box I noticed that my right hand was swollen and had blisters on it. They burned and itched. Before I broke them all open and scratched my hand raw, I grabbed my daughter’s jar of Soothing Skin Balm and voila relief!! Within minutes the swelling went down and the pain and itching decreased. The pain and itching were relieved with a second application. I expect the blisters to be gone in a day or two.
The lesson I learned was this: Do not touch the tree or cover every inch of my body if I do and always have a jar of Soothing Skin Balm on hand!
The book is called opportunity and it’s first chapter is New Year’s Day!~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Pleased as Punch
I am more than pleased with how this year has begun. My goal is to continue listening to my body, giving it what it needs, and following my own advice!
How did your New Year start? Was it better or worse than you expected?
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2 thoughts on “Living with Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic Arthritis: Starting 2020 Off With a Bang!”
Wow I guess I missed your post about the pre-Christmas injury but I am glad you are better! I was really struggling before Christmas with no motivation, exhaustion, and high anxiety. Part of it was my own fault, I put off writing a blog post until the last minute but I got it done and submitted on the due date. The project airs on Jan. 10th. I also really needed a work break. I was on call Dec 23rd and then took time off from Dec 24th until Monday. My attitude has totally improved with the work break, even though I didn’t get to relax much since I was so behind on everything. Tomorrow I have my first cateract surgery (right eye). I am looking forward to being able to see again and 3 more days off work. David also started his new job this week which is a HUGE burden lifted. I have had more energy this week than I have had in a long while.
Sounds like you really needed that break! Let me know where to find your blog post when it goes live, I would love to read it! Praying your surgery goes well and what a wonderful gift of David starting a new job!! Glad to hear you are feeling more energetic, stress sure can be an energy zapper.