About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trying To Be Productive As Well As Amused

Birchbox on the left and Beauty Bar on the right: love the earphones, the Jouer and the Sisley!

I know that signing up for beauty subscription services may be rather passé but even though others may be bored with them, I'm absolutely thrilled to have signed up for a couple.  Color me easily amused and quite bored - even desperate if you must - but I think that they're a bit of fun - perhaps because I need a life?  (I'll not take that bet - it's too easily lost!)  

At any rate, when I signed up for Birchbox and BeautyBar three months ago, I didn't realize that receiving four or five beauty samples twice a month (one from each company) would turn into something I would look forward to like a young, budding, in-training, teenaged prima donna at Christmas.  Yes, color me easily entertained too; however, I also recognize the fortuitous timing as I'm supposed to be on strict bed rest for the next month. (Yes, I still sound like a seal when I cough!)

I can see myself eventually becoming bored with the concept but for the moment they serve my purposes.  Both companies send out boxes that are somewhat tailored to one's tastes. They wanted my approximate age (good since that increases the chances of anti-aging products and decreases the teeny-bopper products I have no one to pass along to), they know I'm not especially into hair products (I've given up on experimentation with my hair as a lost cause, product-wise: I stick to a few must-have's and call it a day) and they're aware of a few other "facts" about me, such as I tend to like a conservative look and not cutting edge, though I must admit to a surprising fondness for the turquoise nail polish that came in the other day.

Thank goodness I have this bit of "fluff" in my life because whenever I go through a bad spell (understatement of the decade) I tend to go a bit off track with my entire life (is this a post for understatements or what???) and that all adds to my spiraling downward until I can finally say "enough!" and figure out some sort of mind game that will force me back on track.  This week I've tried quite a few things with no luck, so I'm putting it out there via this blog in order to shame myself back into "order."  Here is how I'm starting "back," if I can keep myself at the level I am right now and not get even a smidgen worse.   If I can get through five days of this, I'll have a good chance of succeeding:

1. Weigh myself each day and RECORD the number on my calendar. My 20-lb. weight gain is downright depressing but the worst is over, I hope, since I DID finally force myself onto the darn scale, a huge move.  And, BTW, I record my weight in code...I'm NOT crazy!

2. Cut out all sugar. That includes fruit and that honey I don't even like!

3. Go back to "food combining," or my version of it. I'm convinced that all of us do best on some foods and worse on others and it's up to us to see which work best for our individual selves.  That is, don't listen to the so-called experts - after all, they change their minds as often as Seattle changes its weather, about every ten minutes from what I've heard.  You know your body best, so listen to it and learn from it.  Food fads come and go why?  Because a certain percent of the population can be always be found to be successful with any kind of diet. (A topic for another day!)

4. Go back to taking my vitamins religiously. (More later on this too!)

5. Start back to what is over-the-top hygiene for me, a person with CFIDS/ME, fibromyalgia, pain, sleep problems and migraines, crazy temperature fluctuations several times a day accompanied by sweats.  For some reason this really helps, though paradoxically I have to be careful and not over-do it.  Overdoing anything at all can accelerate the pain and insomnia for heaven-knows-what reason(s).  So, it's all a rather bizarre balancing act.

6. Drink tons of water. Yes, it sounds so pathetic to say that I've been too weak to even drink enough water, but it's true nonetheless.  In fact, all these "goals" are so easily obtained for the "normal" person but feel like bucket list items for "us."

So, I'll let you know how things come along. I have GOT to get myself in gear.   Summer's almost over and I've accomplished almost nothing!  Worse, the remodeling has stalled because of my being too sick to have anyone in the house, which puts me into another downward spiral.  If we don't get our walls painted soon, I may have to go jump off the nearest cliff as I can't bare the thought of another holiday with scarred walls, little furniture and certain rooms filled to the rafters so yet other rooms can be worked on.

What a truly crazy life I lead: I haven't been to our local mall in at least five years but shopped at the Petronas Towers just a few weeks ago.  Surely there must be a happy medium!  (Huge goal: TJ Maxx and Michael's, which I've never even been to!)  Perhaps the subscription service is one easy possibility that will lead to more.  At this point I must keep in mind that thing I sooo hate to say to myself: baby steps.  Annoying?  You betcha! I was never a baby-step person, not even as a baby, but it'd be great if I could get myself to feel just a tad human again and start getting some feelings of accomplishment!

Here's to all feeling their best, only better!

Have you tried a subscription service and if so, what did/do you think of them?


  1. Irene, your thoughts on nutrition resonate with me! I'm excited to invite you to read my latest blog post (and to follow my blog too) called "Health Help Here!!!" I think you will resonate with the part about the Apo E gene. You are so correct that each individual needs to eat according to what their body requires. It's exciting news! It could potentially help everyone!

    1. Hi Judy! Yes, I read your post and see what you mean! It is rather exciting. Glad to see you're doing better these days too!
      Irene xx

  2. You go girl! Great post Irene. I think THE most important on your list is to drink plenty of water. Chronic illness and their horrid symptoms, particularly fatigue and pain are worsened by dehydration. Always always drink enough water ;-) Keep up the good work and thanks for your support too <3 x x x

    1. Thanks! Drinking lots of water is key - is HUGELY important, I agree with you, Princess. Getting enough is crucial for so many aspects/reasons/layers of the CFS/ME and fibro "nightmare." Drinking enough water is really important for almost anyone who's sick. Glad to see another water "fanatic"! ;) xx