Hello, world. 🙂 My name is Tymber Dalton, and I’m a spoonie.
I’m glad to be a new contributor for FighterZine. It’s not much of a stretch for me, really, since I’m living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis—and I’m a writer. (Yes, as in it’s on my IRS forms and everything.) I’ve been blogging off and on about my journey through this chronic condition on my regular blog. I’m lucky that I work at home, because there are plenty of days I spend in my PJs , on the couch or in bed with my laptop, and never make it to my desk.
No, I’m not making Stephen King money. (I WISH!) Far from it. One of the biggest perks of this job is the dress code. Lest you think I’m glamorous, keep in mind it almost takes an act of Congress to get me into a bra and shoes that aren’t a brand that rhyme with “rocks.” (Yes, if I wear a bra and real shoes in your honor, you ARE special.)
Starting out with a fabulous doctor, who is the one who diagnosed me when my fatigue got so debilitating that a trip to the grocery store would send me to bed for the rest of the day, was a lucky break. I’d heard of fibro, and CFS, but had no idea what they were. I assumed the pain in my hands and back and shoulders—and all over—was “just” arthritis. I could deal with that (usually). The fatigue, however, was scary. He ruled out other issues and started trying me on different things to help with the fatigue and pain.
We found things that absolutely did not work, things that worked for a few months or longer before my body stopped responding to them, and here we are, four years later, with me mostly on a self-Frankensteined mix of prescription meds and homeopathic supplements. I cannot stress enough the importance of having an open-minded and supportive health care professional.
Yes, I started joking last year that I was “Frankensteining” my fibro. It seemed appropriate. On another fibro group I help moderate, someone posted their success with malic acid/magnesium, and I gave it a shot. It seemed to help, so I tried other things. This was after I’d quit Cymbalta—cold-turkey—and had no side effects from that. (I should note I’d been taking it for a couple of years at that point and suspected—correctly—that it had quit working. NOTE: Do not try this at home, I’m not a doctor, and I stopped my medication in the middle of a month so I could go back on it if I experienced side effects.)
I’m one of those fibro spoonies who will have massive issues if my sleep cycle gets disturbed for too long. Poor sleep leads to fatigue and pain, which leads to poor sleep, which leads to…say it with me, fatigue and pain, and so on. Weather fluctuations also trigger my flares, as does excessive stress, or crashing myself with too much physical exertion. I get the “pulled plug” energy lags at times, where I can be fine one minute, and the next it’s like it’s all I can do to stay on my feet. (Those suck big hairy donkey balls even worse than the pain.)
When I look back, I can see where I’ve had fibro symptoms, which I mistakenly thought was “just” arthritis, for years. My Frankensteining came about when I was in a period of time where I had no health insurance. (Which, yes, was another consideration for me dropping the Cymbalta, because I just couldn’t afford to pay for it much longer.) But as I started researching and trying things, I started finding things that gave me some symptom relief. Lucky for me, my doctor worked with me instead of insisting I keep trying pharmaceuticals. His philosophy is if it’s working and not causing harm, go for it.
This includes a few non-traditional things that I’ll talk about in future blogs. (I don’t want to scare you off as readers before I reel you in. No, pay no mind to the rag and bottle of chloroform in my hand. And yes, that big, white, windowless van really DOES have free candy in it. No, seriously. Come closer and look…)
I’m glad to have this opportunity to blog about fibro and related conditions to a larger audience. My hope is that something I write about can help at least one other person on their journey through this. I’ve been blessed with supportive family and friends, competent medical care, and (thanks to Obamacare) I FINALLY have insurance again. That was a huge deal, since I’ve also got some other health issues I have to stay on top of, and a family history of various cancers.
I tend toward snarky (the humorous, not the harmful flavor) and have been known to quote Monty Python out of thin air. (Run away!)
I’ve found that if I can’t have a sense of humor about life, especially in regards to my health, then I would be a pretty miserable person. The things I write for a living are mostly the kinds of books that make “Fifty Shades of Grey” look like “See Spot Run.” LOL I did give one of my heroines fibro and arthritis, and was very gratified to find that many of my readers were able to associate with her.
My posts here will range from everyday life with fibro, covering medical articles, reporting on supplements, patient education—pretty much the whole enchilada. If you have questions or topics you’d like me to cover, feel free to give me a shout-out.
(You sure you don’t want any candy? Well, darn…)
Oh, I’m a native Floridian, have been married to Hubby for over sixteen years, and I’m owned by several pets of various species. Including Gidget, pictured above, who likes to take over my blogging duties every once in a while in her never-ending quest for doggie world domination. (Unfortunately for her, the cats turned out to be absolutely HORRIBLE minions, and the birds couldn’t care less.) When my body allows and I’m not fictitiously wreaking havoc and mayhem with characters in my books, I love shooting skeet, or hitting the indoor pistol range, in addition to spending time with my family, reading, crochet, and other various low-impact pursuits.
(Tymber’s other home on the Web can be found here, but don’t show/tell the kiddies. Or your boss. Or your mom. Or your preacher. Or… You get the idea.)