About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beauty CFIDS/ME/fibro tidbits...

I'm already missing spring, my favorite season!

Today, I have three "helpful hints" (or "tidbits") for the CFIDS/ME/fibromyalgia crowd.  And guess what: it's a short(ish) post!  Perhaps I can write shorter posts too - you just never know!  I'm certainly working on it (trust me!).

  • Tip 1: Dial Liquid Pump Antibacterial Soap

Let's face it, we sweat! And it's big-time sweat, because for the most part, living is difficult, and more often than not, a monumental, Herculean and Olympic-worthy effort.  On the other hand, we also have skin problems.  So, what to do?

Long ago, I finally realized that in the summer, just when I really need a hard-working soap like Safeguard, my skin simply can't tolerate it any longer, much to my chagrin.

However, I've discovered that using the Dial liquid pump antibacterial soap (I especially like the Pomegranate and Tangerine one at the moment), works beautifully under my arms and I now have those pump bottles strategically placed in all our showers, bathrooms and even by the kitchen sink.

In fact, this works so well in killing the bacteria which causes that "ripe" smell, that I even use it with my razor, as the foam needed for a good shave.  (Though I admit that for the legs, I'm back to my good old Dove, working up a nice lather.)  

BTW: I find that the "Gillette Venus" disposables with the refill cartridges for women, and its multi-bladed cartridges surrounded by soap, to be the most gentle and efficient razor for me.  My skin is sensitive and I have little hair to deal with, so....

  • Tip #2: Phyto; Phytophenere with Vitamins and Essestial Fat Acids - Five Thumbs up!
This prize-winning supplement is truly an amazing product and I'm surprised that so many people have not heard of it.  I understand that thinning hair and brittle nails are a really serious concern for those of us with CFIDS/ME/fibro, especially after we've gone through a rough patch, including a "simple" flu. 

Phyto's vitamins (a two-month supply) work like a charm. After a month, the tiny hairs start making their way through my scalp and I'm actually filing my nails down instead of breaking them at every turn. I'm not sure if they help with teeth, but I HAVE been taking them a lot of months out of the year, so my "no cavities" turn might have been helped on that end also. (I'm in the midst of another kind of vitamin regiment and will let you know in about another month or so if that works out.)  There were a few negative reviews on the drugstore.com site, but these reviewers, are, for the most part "healthy" buyers.  I would, however, check the label (as in anything!) to make sure you don't have an established reaction to any of the ingredients.  But as I stated before, I was in a desperate situation and am very glad I took "the risk." 

  • Tip #3:  My final tip of the day, taking a probiotic, comes to me via my stay in the Intensive Care Unit, this stay a few years ago. (Hard to keep track of them all, isn't it?  Ha!)
While in the ICU, in addition to my normal medications, a probiotic was added. 

For those not familiar with what a "probiotic" is, a simple explanation is that it's healthy bacteria that help to promote health by competing against the "bad" bacteria, which does cause disease. 

When I asked my nurse about the added probiotic, I was told that all the ICU patients get them, even the ones who were not going to be with them much longer, and I don't mean that in anything but in an after-life dismissal. The hospital found that bacteria/germs/viruses spread less easily in the ICU if everyone was on a probiotic and that their patients did better, on the whole, with one.

Therefore, when I arrived home, I ordered "Align" for no other reason than it looked good from the reviews on drugstore.com, not a very scientific way to go, I know. I saw that "Align" was a digestive aid and since I had done well with digestive enzymes in the past, I thought this might be a good way to go.  Furthermore, I had tried other kinds of probiotics in the past, but due to refrigeration concerns, never succeeded in staying the course and ended up throwing them away all too often.

With "Align," I immediately noticed a change in my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), for the better - MUCH better. However, due to fibro-brain, I'm a forgetful type of person, often feeling the expession/observation "out of sight, out of mind" was made up just for me.  (Perhaps that should be the motto for CFIDS/ME/fibro?)  When I've run out of "Align," two weeks will go by and suddenly I'm trying to remember what in the world I'm doing wrong.  I'm embarrassed to admit how long it has taken me to remember what the problem is and now absolutely BEG hubby to remind me to take it.  

Were it a medication that made me have a seizure if I forgot to take it, I'd have better luck (we all know I'm talking about Klonopin and Neurontin, right?). But anything short of that, I'm afraid that I'm a hopeless case.

I also take an oral probiotic, "Evoraplus," when I can remember it and do think that's helped me too. Unfortunately, because of my aforementioned memory problem,  I can't give it an 5 thumbs up. It would be hypocritical/dishonest. But perhaps by writing about it here will shame me into remembering to take it regularly since I really am convinced that it helps me and I think it may well have been an added factor to the "no cavities" front from  last week's visit to the dentist. 

So, there you have it: a short-ish post from me!  I do hope that at least one these tips helps make your life easier! Here's to hoping all are doing well!


  1. Thanks so much for the tips, Irene! I can use the antibacterial soap after shaving to prevent bumps. I also have a friend with cancer that may not know about the Phyto's vitamins to help in restoring and maintaining hair growth. You're the greatest, my droog. Lyev

    1. Hi Lyev! So glad my little tips can be of help. Prayers for your friend with cancer...I hope your droog does well. And as always, thanks for your support, fellow razvedchik!