Bendi’s Magnetic Jewelry – Pretty AND Powerful Pain Relief!

As a Fibromyalgia patient for the past ten years or so, I’ll admit that to many people trying to “sell” me a cure for my Fibromyalgia, I’ve become jaded. It’s a natural reaction, and I think that many Fibromyalgia sufferers are the exact same way. I mean, I’ve heard stories where people have actually taken the bait that these companies are dangling in front of us. It’s sad. We all want so badly to feel at least a little bit better. To me, it’s heartbreaking and terribly cruel for companies to try and make a fast buck off of the chronically ill. But I digress.

We all know that as of this day, this moment, there is no cure for Fibromyalgia yet. Perhaps somewhere in the future, but it will take time. The best thing that we can do is learn to manage our symptoms, find what works for relieving our pain, even temporarily. Of course, I haven’t found any miraculous product that has taken my pain away, or ridden me of my fatigue. I would be lying if I said that. I’m still the same old hurt-y and pain-y Jenn. But like I mentioned above, I am attempting to learn to control my symptoms, so my life doesn’t feel so incredibly out of my control when a flare decides to peek it’s ugly head in.

Along with Fibromyalgia, I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, among a whole host of other chronic illnesses as well, but that’s a whole other blog post. Because my profession is writing, my wrists are often achy, with the rest of my arm and my fingers becoming numb after awhile. It is not a pleasant feeling. I have to get up and shake my arm around spastically to try and get some of the feeling back into it. I’ve tried pain creams, I have tried wearing the wrist braces that my doctor suggested that I sleep in. Those were terribly uncomfortable and scratchy, so scratchy. I still try to wear them at times when it gets really bad. I know that eventually, I have to go see a doctor for it, but with my step-dad in the midst of getting his cancer treatments, there is seldom time for much else as of lately.

I’ve heard some good things about magnetic jewelry. I’ll be honest though, like I said, I’ve become jaded, so at first I was quite skeptical as to the supposed benefits of these bracelets. But, I’m willing to try almost anything once. So, I actually was really excited to pick out two bracelets, one for each wrist. Bendi’s Magnetic Jewelry offers a bunch of amazing styles of magnetic jewelry, really anything to suit anyone’s tastes! Ultimately, here is the first one I chose:

Rainbow Brite Magnetic Hematite Bracelet

and then this one….

Hematite and Pewter Bracelet

I squealed myself silly when they arrived in the mail. They are so pretty! The even have Fibromyalgia awareness bracelets! They also offer anklets, earrings, necklaces and more! But anyway, each bracelet can be custom sized so it’s totally unique to you, and the best part is, their jewelry is totally affordable. When I slipped them on, I’ll admit that I did so with some skepticism. After an hour or so I hadn’t felt any different. I couldn’t pinpoint a big change, but I also didn’t expect these to take away the pain entirely. But I did start to notice little tiny changes, especially when I was typing. When my arm would normally go numb with the carpal tunnel, I noticed that it wouldn’t any longer. Where my hands would often swell because the pain was so bad, they no longer did.

The changes were subtle, but they definitely were there. I was rather pleased. I wear them everywhere I go, but especially when I am working on the computer. Nothing helps like these bracelets.

Seriously Go Check Out Bendi’s Magnetic Jewelry!

More Humor Required

Now that I’ve had a couple of visits with Dr. R, I think he may understand me a little better….maybe.

I did the shoulder X-ray, the one he thought would reveal a torn rotator cuff. I got the MRI that he thought would show something other than fibro. I went in for the results, after of course, requesting more time off from work. So, the X-ray, he says didn’t show anything. Well there you go Captain Obvious, because I didn’t tell you that from the get go! So, I decided to play his game. “Maybe it’s osteoarthritis” I say, “because I have it in my neck”. He replies with “Nope, I think it’s your Fibromyalgia.” Y’all could probably hear my mental head smack from where you are. So, then we move on to the MRI. “Remind me”, he says, “Which leg and side of your back hurts the worst?” To which I reply “well, they both hurt, but my left side is the worst.” “Are you sure it’s your left?” He asks me. Mentally I’m fighting back my flippant responses. Mmm, wait!! I’ve had my left and right confused since I was three years old!! Wow, I’ve been so confused, I was feeling pain on the right side and didn’t even know it! After him asking three different ways and me assuring him that it was indeed my left side that hurt the worst he informed me that I have a bulging disc in either L1 or L2, I failed to retain which it was, on my right side. Boy, that says something, fibro hurts worse than a bulging disc in my lower back. He sent me off with a shot of steroid in my shoulder, and a two new prescriptions.

Those two prescriptions had phenomenal effects. The first one didn’t do much it seemed, so as per his directions I started the other new medication. I don’t know if it was the second pill or the combination of the two, but I became “lazier” than usual. My boss sent me home from work early two days that week, and that never happens. I went straight home and slept…until dinner time when my husband woke me up and wanted me to eat. I told him thanks but sleep was much more enticing than dinner, and that’s saying something because, he is a really, really good cook. He insisted I eat something, so I ate and went back to bed…until morning. Days 1 and 2 were carbon copies of each other. Then I was 45 minutes late going in on the third day. I emailed my boss, who only works in the afternoon, and told on myself. Luckily she was very understanding. So, I quit taking the second one, which helped some. Dr. R told me he wanted to up the dose on the first med. The new dose isn’t doing much, just keeping me on the sleepy, or dopey side of things.

It sure was a crazy ride. Tomorrow I get to try it again and go see what Dr. R has in store for me this month. I’m sure I get cast in the part of lab rat for Act 2. Stay tuned!

New Biotech Company On Verge of Finding A Cure?

New Biotech Company Possibly Found Cause AND Cure For Fibromyalgia? Photo via StockFreeImages

New Biotech Company Possibly Found Cause AND Cure For Fibromyalgia? Photo via StockFreeImages

Over a decade of medical research has yielded some promising results in terms of finding something to finally ease our pain and suffering with Fibromyalgia. Dr. William “Skip” Pridgen has been researching Fibromyalgia for the past 15 years while simultaneously working in this full-time surgical practice, Tuscaloosa Surgical Associates PC. Through his research, he has developed a new drug and a treatment that may one day actually provide a cure for Fibromyalgia! His research has also led him to create Innovative Med Concepts, which is a biotech company that one day hopes to bring forth the medical discoveries to the marketplace.

While there are currently various drugs on the market to treat the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, there is no definitive cure for the illness itself. Pridgen, along with Carol Duffy, who holds a doctorate in virology as well as being an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama, have together developed a drug that both believe will cure the problem. So far, two trial phases to test their new drug and treatment have yielded some incredibly promising results. Both researchers hope to soon move on to the final phase of the testing, but that’s a process that could take several years. However, if the results from the trial phase prove to be successful, the United States Food and Drug                      Administration could approve the drug for widespread use in humans.

Pridgen says “We feel we are on the right track and feel this is a real game changer, it is the tip of the iceberg. What we are discovering will accomplish so much more.” Duffy and Pridgen have thus far completed the first two test phases which must be completed in order for the new drug to come to market. In the first phase, the drug was tested on lab animals, whereas phase two had involved limited tests on Fibromyalgia patients, half of which were given the drug, and the other of the half were given a placebo. Those phase two results are now coming in. Pridgen comments “We got 90% of the results back and they are very positive. In the next couple of weeks we will see all the data.”

Thus far, Pridgen has raised about $5 million dollars for the tests, but additional funding will be needed for phase three testing. Pridgen is looking to various funding sources, which may include partnering with another biotech company or seeking financial backing from investors. The third phase of testing will take approximately 2-3 years to complete and will start with a thorough toxicology study to make certain that the higher doses of the drug will be safe for the Fibromyalgia patients taking it. If the toxicology study results satisfy the FDA, they would give the OK to start testing.

Pridgen first got started with his Fibromyalgia research while he was attempting to help his patients that were dealing with pain from irritable bowel syndrome. He had first discussed the problem with his mother, who is a biotechnologist at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  As the two continued to talk about the subject, they began to theorize that Fibromyalgia may be caused by a herpes virus that weakens one’s immune system. That was when Pridgen began extensively researching Fibromyalgia. Pridgen also states that he didn’t get serious about it until he had accompanied his daughter on a medical mission to the country of  Honduras. Pridgen’s daughter is fluent in Spanish, and she served as his translator in treating his patients. He learned that many of them were suffering extreme pain bought on by Fibromyalgia.

Pridgen says that seeing the suffering first hand of those Honduran patients drove him to devote more of his time to researching the condition. It also had meant working two jobs, medical researcher and surgeon. Pridgen admits that working both jobs made life with his family and office personnel tough at times. Pridgen also adds that many people think that the development of any new drug or medical treatment often occurs in a pharmaceutical company, but that it indeed has been happening lately in smaller start-up biotech companies like Innovative Med Concepts.

Pridgen says “The ultimate goal if the drug succeeds will be to get people suffering the pain caused by Fibromyalgia back into the workforce and back to where they can enjoy life.”

Music Reduces Pain In Fibromyalgia Patients

New research shows that music can help to reduce pain in Fibromyalgia patients.

New research shows that music can help to reduce pain in Fibromyalgia patients.

Ah, music. There probably isn’t a better feeling then snuggling into your pajamas, turning up your MP3 player and blasting your favorite song. It can be incredibly uplifting, and have almost an ethereal quality to it. There was never any doubt in my mind that music is one of the tools that has helped me to cope with my pain on a personal level. There’s a bit of a mantra that I like to live by when my pain is really bad, “When the headphones are on, the world is off.” 

Music As A Painkiller?

New research indicates that music can actually reduce the pain of Fibromyalgia and even increase our mobility. Researchers studied 22 Fibromyalgia patients, who were passively exposed to two different auditory conditions. The first auditory condition was self-chosen, soothing and pleasant music. The second auditory condition was a “control” auditory condition, being pink noise. The patients were then asked to rate their pain and perform a “timed-up & go task (TUG for short)” The TUG exercise was performed in order to measure their functional mobility after each respective auditory condition. By listening to the relaxing and pleasant music, the subject’s pain was greatly reduced, and their functional mobility increased as well. 

Is Music An Analgesic?

Granted, every person is different, and what works for some may not work for others. Perhaps you’re not really a music person. I’ve always spoken about the importance of distraction. What is your “thing?” A hobby that you like to do? I truly believe that it’s all about re-focusing our minds and putting that energy into something else.
But perhaps more research will be done into this! I am curious to see what else could come of it. It’s just nice to know that Fibromyalgia is being studied and researched! 

dont wait

Don’t wait!

Originally posted; 04/11/2013

I moved away from my hometown 20 years ago.  Everytime we come home for visits we try to visit as many as possible.

The older everyone gets I feel worse all the time about not making more time or longer visits.  Over the past year I  had been trying to get together with my Great Aunt Shirley and Gr-Uncle Sam.  They are just as busy as I am and it seemed we would keep missing one another.  We would talk on the phone or send each other letters (you know the things people call snail mail).

I finally was able to connect with them both last December.  It was so much fun. We talked forever.  My Uncle (a young 82) had just been learning how to use his new laptop.  We searched various sites and he  saved my blog and facebook page so he could read my stuff.  He also had me add my email into his contact list.  I didn’t want to leave.  Not only were we sharing stories but my Uncle is wonderful at debating.

My Aunt is amazing in her own rite.  She started out singing as a young girl on a radio program.  She was in a band that played in (omg bars), and cut records (you know those vinyl things people are using to decorate their homes). I remember hearing that she would still get royalty checks (for like under a dollar).  She still teaches piano.  She has had so many students.

They both welcome all of the children and families into their home.  Shirley teaching music. Sam either reading a book or telling the best poems.

While visiting I kept looking at the clock.  I knew I had to go. My mom had a special dinner cooking for me.  It was hard but I finally left agreeing to stop and see them at Easter and would be looking forward to Sam’s emails. I also promised that if he would find all of his poems that I would type them up for him.  He loved that idea.

We exchanged a few emails in January.  Then in February he went into the hospital with what was thought to be the flu.  In a short time he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer.  The disease was progressing fast.  We had a free weekend- no volleyball or other commitments so we planned to go see him.  He was still in the hospital.

We were then hit with one of the worst snow storms we have had in a long time.  I kept watching the weather sure we could go.  My husband, mom and co-workers told me that I was not going.  I went into an empty office, called my Uncle – I kept apologizing to him,  I was so sorry that I could not be there.  He was so understanding.  We talked a little about what was going on with him both of us knowing it was the end.  We ended the call with “Love you’s” and promising that I would be home to see him at Easter.

The next day, on my way to work I knew that I had to write a poem.  I went back in the office that I had spoken to him last and the ink appeared on the paper.

I have written poems for loved ones before after they have left us.  This was for him – while he was here.  I wanted him to know how I thought of him.

I sent the poem to my Sister and my Mom went to the hospital and read it to him.  She said he reacted just like I had described in the poem.

The next few weeks I seemed to get daily updates.  He was going home.  They were not going to treat him.  My parents were going on a short trip.  The Doctors had given him between a year to two.  Hospice was being called in.  I gave him 2-3 weeks.

We always go to see my family on Good Friday for Easter weekend.  This year we went down there on Thursday.  I was going to visit him on Friday.  I called. My Aunt told me that he wasn’t the same and might not recognize me.

I don’t know what I expected.  My parents had prepared me. However,  they did not even know what I was walking into see.

I got there with my Grandma and Daughter. My Aunt said the nurse had been there in the a.m. and… I don’t even know what she said next. I didn’t wait for her to say I could go in – I went into his room.  He was laying in the bed hooked up to oxygen.  Sleeping.  I set on the bed next to him, holding his hand, talking to him.  I talked to him about everything.  I told him how sorry I was that I didn’t come earlier.  My Aunt said that last time that he responded to something correctly was when she had read the poem to him.  She read it to him twice.  I didn’t want to leave his side.  I cried.  I told him that I loved him.  I told him that I would keep my promise to find his poems and have them all typed up.  I told him it was okay.  He didn’t have to wait until I came back again.  I wasn’t coming back until Memorial Day weekend.  I kissed his hand and his forehead and said goodbye.  He never woke up the hours that we were there.

The next morning we received the phone call.  He was gone.  I  called my Sister to tell her what had happened.  She said, “He waited for you sis”.

I spent that day with my Great Aunt and my Grandmother helping make the arrangements.  In between the planning and crying, their were childhood stories being told that I will cherish my entire life.

His funeral is this Saturday.

I know so many of us with Fibromyalgia  put off doing things until we feel in less pain or are not as tired.  Our time with our loved ones is so short.  I decided 3 years ago that I would not let Fibro and it’s evil sidekicks make me stop living.  Now, I have decided I am not going to allow my living to keep me too busy from slowing down and seeing those who matter.

All I can say is Don’t Wait!

FighterzNet: Week of 3/18

It’s that time of the week again, Fibro Fighterz! I’m sorry I am a few days off, it’s just been a crazy mess of things at home! You know how that is. Especially with Fibromyalgia, things can get tough. Spring is on it’s way here in New Jersey, I think we have finally seen the last of the snow – I hope I didn’t jinx it by saying that! But, I digress. I’ve found a whole bunch of new websites this week for this edition of FighterzNet, I think you will be very pleased! So take a peek at them and see what you think!

Health Month
health

We all want to lead healthier lives. That’s just part of human nature. But often times, especially when one is befallen with a chronic illness, it can be rather tough to get ourselves motivated. Even the mentality for change isn’t there. I don’t know about you, but even when I am feeling my worst, I am always up for a good game or two. HealthMonth has taken that idea and turned it into an incredible motivation tool! Their website is centered around a wheel, which you can take for a spin! Think of it as a wheel of fortune of sorts, just for keeping yourself in check! There are many different challenges for the month and there is also a fun community you can join as well for others to help you along in your quest for good health! You can set your own rules, too.

Click Here To Visit Health Month!

Second.MD
hand

If you’ve ever wondered about getting a second opinion when you weren’t satisfied with the answers that your primary care provider gave you, there is a website out there that is the perfect solution for that. As Fibromyalgia patients, it can be tough to essentially hop from doctor to doctor, it is physically taxing on our bodies. Second.MD is the online solution to that problem! With their website you can access top healthcare providers that you can ask any health questions that you want, right from the comfort of your own home.


Click Here To Visit Second.MD

Med ID’s

EMI
Even for someone who isn’t living with a chronic illness, it is extremely important to have a medical ID card with you at all times, should a medical emergency arise and you are unable to communicate. It’s imperative to have your medical information on you, but you don’t have to pay for fancy ID cards to do so.  With Med ID’s, you can enter your information and print up a medical ID card from the comfort of your own home. Their website also offers an array of different products that will alert medical professionals that you keep a medical ID card in your wallet. Check out their website and get yourself one!

Click Here To Visit Med ID’s!

PillPack
pack

If there is one thing that I can completely forgetful on, it is my daily medications. Whether or not it is the ever elusive “Fibro Fog,” remains to be seen. But I have tried nearly everything to make sure that I take all of my medicines on time. You know how that can be, sometimes the refills come up at different times in the month, it gets confusing, and we end up forgetting, and ultimately missing some of our medications that are most important in helping us on our path to wellness. Enter the PillPack. I’m kind of really excited about this, it’s a packet put together with all of your current medications! In addition to that, it also lists what time of day you are supposed to take them, exactly what is in the packet, including medication names and dosages, the day of the week and the date. Seriously neat. Personally, I am going to definitely look into this for myself. I’m never going to have to buy another pillbox again, nor will I have to remember refills, either! Huzzah! 

Click Here To Visit Pill Pack

The Pillow Fort Magazine

The-Pillow-Fort-2
I will admit that it is not often that there is a magazine that I am interested in reading. But this past week, there is one that caught my attention and aptly held it. Do you remember the pillow forts that we used to build as kids? They were our safe havens, our headquarters, a place we could go to escape. Well, guess what?! The Pillow Fort Magazine has created an incredible magazine for those living with chronic illnesses. Even their slogan is amazing, “Making Chronic Illness Suck Less!” With amazing resources, personal stories, how-tos, lists, and more, you are not going to be disappointed with this magazine!

Click Here To Purchase The Pillow Fort Magazine!