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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Not Now Dear, I REALLY Do Have a Headache!

Pregger's motto to self: I do NOT have a migraine, I do NOT have a migraine....

There are a few subjects which haven't, as of yet, really been acknowledged in this blog, mainly because they are such enormous problems in our CFIDS/ME/fibromyalgia world that it often feels as if I'll open a can of worms too difficult to deal with.  And who wants worms?  They are such slimy cruddy things  - the worms, I hasten to add, though the migraines could very well be described by those two adjectives, as well as many more!  I'm afraid, frankly, to even start in, but I'm taking the plunge since the migraine aspect of this illness is a huge problem.  Furthermore, it boggles the mind to realize what an enormous problem migraines are across the board, across all societies.

Though I think I'd always had bad headaches as a child, I was never able to acknowledge them since I distinctly remember my mom telling me that children don't have headaches, they caused headaches!  So, somewhere along the line I must have learned to ignore them and in doing so, I must have come up with ways or strategies which enabled me to deal with them.  Washing and scrubbing the floors on my hand and knees was one strategy, I realized many, many years later - it was a particuarly effective coping mechanism with the added benefit of seeing a job well done. (Goal-oriented?  Nah!  That's not me!)

And if you think about it, this coping mechanism was in many ways the sort of thinking and way of enduring pain that I later learned in Lamaze classes before my first child was born.  And boy (or girl)!  Did I ever want to be scrubbing the hospital floor when I went into labor with each of my 10-pound screamers!  Somehow the hospital staff was not responsive nor convinced by the strategy I proposed: their loss!

But let me tell you: I've always lived with spotless, gleaming floors and they are a "thing" with me as far back as I can remember.  Well, not in very recent years, but that's only because my body's no longer able to do this "deflection." However, my mind has yet to be convinced, as often happens with so many aspects of this DD!

My "denial" over headaches/migraines didn't last too long once I married and became a baby factory.  One day happy hubby came home from work and we sat down to "chill" out with my juice and his soft drink (party animals that we were) watching "Wheel of Fortune" (getting nerdier by the minute?) when hubby shouted out, "look at that!"

Well, I couldn't exactly look at THAT, since I had almost no vision in my left eye and the right wasn't doing very well either.  When I calmly explained to practically-hysterical hubby what was going on, he wanted to drag me to the ER immediately but I simply didn't want to be put on display.  I was already 6 months preggers with child #2 and there were also practical considerations!  Who would take care of baby # 1, for example? Would the Doc Juniors working the ER's even know what was going on?  This early in my CFIDS/ME/fibro saga (still years before a diagnosis) I was already, instinctively, saving up my "health credits," - "spoons" as today's generation calls it.

I felt that annoying hubby was blowing everything out of proportion.  I had difficult pregnancies and every problem I'd described to my ob/gyn was a classic pregnancy symptom, even if many were a bit unusual.  Why would this blindness be something to get excited about, I wondered?  Of course, I conveniently forgot that terrified-hubby's grandmother went blind completely during her next-to-last pregnancy never regaining her eyesight.  Consequently, she was never able to actually see her 9th and 10th babies. (These women should have gotten medals of some sort, I swear!)

Luckily, earnest and freaked-out hubs was able to locate a neuro-ophthalmologist for the next day - in 1980 they were hard to come by, but it was NYC and to give NYC its due, you can find anything there.

As it turns out, the diagnosis was immediate.  Quite simply, I was experiencing a migraine equivalent, something that happens relatively often, I understand, to pregnant women who experience severe migraines.  

Well, what wasn't so simple was that I told my doc that he was sooo wrong, since I never even experienced headaches, never mind migraines!   A bit of childish "yes, you do!" and "no, I don't!" went by for a bit with my noticing that ever-annoying hubby was not coming to my defense!  Instead, he just watched us go back and forth in a sort of trance, almost as if watching a tennis match.  When I finally called him on it, he said in a shocked but hushed voice, "but you DO, Irene, you tell me you have headaches all the time!"  Huh?  Oh what a betrayer!  How dare he LIE about something so important!  (And I happen to have a huge bugaboo about lying - huge! Was I going to have to go to divorce court?  Were my hormones all over the place?)  At any rate, this was the first I'd heard of such nonsense!  Where the heck did he come up with this one?   Did he want a diagnosis so badly that he agreed with something that was so very wrong?

As it turns out, I was the person in the room who was in deep denial (ironic since I just wrote recently how I do NOT do denial, but please keep in mind that this all happened before I'd become a "professional patient"!).  The denial was so deeply entrenched that my mouth would complain about the darn "headache" and then I'd go into floor-washing mode, never hearing my own words, never realizing why my floors were always gleaming.  Yes, noises bothered me at times (ok, almost ALL the time), light was such a factor that I practically turned our bedroom into a bat cave and so on and on and on....  But hey, didn't everyone?  (No, they DIDN'T, you stupid, stupid young fool!)

After that, I'd always felt that perhaps the reason that my migraines became progressively worse was because someone had dared to yell out that the Emperor had on no clothes.  Once those suckers were identified, there was no turning back.

What I've come to realize, however, is that with the second pregnancy, it was no shouting out about emperors nor clothes that caused the progressively unmanageable migraines.  It was simply that my body was no longer able to play the mind games that were involved in denying my neurological problem.  Worse, I was so afraid of side effects hurting my babies that I never took any meds for these migraines, despite reassurances that a pill every once in a while wouldn't hurt.  Huh?   No, I wasn't about to endanger my babies and there were many times that hubby and I would cry together trying to get me over the worst part of a particularly bad migraine.  

What I also realize, in hind sight, is that the reasons my migraines had reached such epic proportions when just years later I was OFTEN hospitalized for these "little headaches" was because I was getting progressively worse with this monster illness of CFIDS/ME/CFS/fibromyalgia.   My body had had too many physical stresses put on it since that infamous flu that started this whole mess.  And the physical stresses just wouldn't let up.  The latest had been that I'd lost more than half my blood volume in a sudden gush when I delivering my first baby and the problems that were put on my body as a result of the complications of that delivery were further assaults on the body.  They were signs, in fact, trying to warn me that I needed to slow down and that my body just couldn't take any more abuse.  It was most unfortunate that no one realized, in the middle to late '70's and even well into the late '80's, that there was much more going on than "simple migraines," though of course, there's nothing ever simple about migraines, period.

Getting the migraines under control took many, many years and many hospitalizations.  The meds back then, compared to today, were woefully pitiful.  We, for heavens sake, didn't even realize what was happening, everyone (but me) making excuses for anything strange that happened to me, from pityriasis rosea (a childhood illness I had before my first pregnancy) to shingles, an "old folks" illness at the time not seen in a woman still in her 30s.

Eventually, my migraines became totally uncontrollable, but once I hit rock bottom, it was only then that I DID get them under control.  Yes, I still get migraines.  Worse, I get "body migraines" as well.  However, this is all for another post since I've already gone on way too long!

In the meantime, I hope everyone is feeling the very best they can be, only sooo much better!  Ciao and paka.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Tidbits: Coping and Thriving

OK, I know that I can be strange at times, indeed very strange. That's what this dreaded CFIDS/ME/fibromyalgia life experience has done to me.  But I'm here to pass on a bit of that strangeness, which actually are survival methods, to the current generation, sort of handing off the baton, so to speak.  Make of it what you will.

  • "Mind-games":

I got to the point where I was starting to go out almost NEVER.  Going to the ob/gyn was about as exciting as life got fired up around this period.  The coping mechanism/mind game I came up with, especially as I had a beautiful closet full of incredible clothes, was a bit unusual.  

On the days I felt well enough, I'd hang out an outfit on the outside of the closet door at the foot of my bed so that I felt that in some way I was still indeed a part of the world and could actually "enjoy" wearing my clothes the easy way: clothes had become difficult to wear because my skin and nerves were just that sensitive.  

It sounds crazy but I didn't even realize what I'd been doing and it helped me survive one of the worst period of my 38 years with this nightmare.  I most certainly hope that I'm not the only person in the world for whom this sort of "therapy" worked?!?  (And do I get extra points for unique thinking?)

  • Attitude: 

I find that at times the smallest, unnoticeable and innocent act can throw one over and mess up carefully-conceived plans.  I had moved my son's old room armoire katty-korner to the wall and that tiny detail gave the room a completely different look and feel.  However, not too long after, a young lady was helping me with decluttering the room, as well as other rooms, and in her enthusiasm, she took it upon herself to turn that armoire back against the wall to it's "original" (read "boring") spot when I was busy elsewhere.  

I'd been making great strides with that room.  However, because it took so much energy and psych'ing myself up for this project, it took just the smallest "negativity" to make me feel as if I were a balloon that had been popped and the air was escaping too quickly, just like my hard-earned resolve.

From now on, I must try to impress upon my family how important attitude is.  They are supportive, yes. However, although they understand, somehow they do NOT understand how difficult it is for someone like me to do anything at all. Though they understand how ill I am, they are somehow unaware that a look with a puss on it's face or innocent words such as "Ugh!  I'm just so tired" can undo any "health credits" I had so carefully worked on building up in order to do a small project.  And no, two years later, that armoire is still in the "wrong spot" and the room is still a mess.  I may put this room on my to-do list this weekend if we can manage to stay healthy!

  • The Lists!:

Time gets away and before you know it "C" is coming up - soon (cringe!).  Well, while channel surfing a few days ago I saw a couple trying to sell their house.  The important thing is that after a not-so-fantastic house appraisal the news station gave the couple a to-do list to be completed within 48 hours.  I saw that list and drooled!

That's it!  I'm going to start writing a list of things that MUST get done during the weekend, but very easily obtainable goals and not put down "peace in the Middle East" as a weekend goal.  However, taking in the potted tropical plants into the house for the winter and decluttering 15 items of the obviously no-longer-worn to donate is, I believe attainable, and will be on the list. 

And so you have my Friday Tidbits!  I do hope this list will be a good inspiration to some, or at least a great chuckle!

Here's to everyone having a fantastic (and productive) weekend.  I most certainly hope that everyone's feeling their very best, only better.  Ciao and paka!

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Note: above image from Polyvore.com and pinterest.com.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Eyes Have It!

Even when I was younger I liked to keep the eye makeup on the subtle side.

I know that there's a bit of controversy as to whether women who reach a certain age should or shouldn't be wearing eye makeup.  But really, with my thinning and sparse eyebrows and eyelashes, CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia have made me go solidly into the must-definitely-wear-eye-makeup camp.  And really, eyebrows and eyelashes DO get washed out with age, even if you don't have the DD.  I think it's all about the degree of how much you wear.

Well, of course, there's always the amount of eye makeup that's worn that makes the difference!  I mean, I really try not to look like a drag queen on a really bad night - not that there's anything wrong with being a drag queen.  It's just that with my identity crisis (I didn't have one in college when everyone else seemed to have theirs, so I'm due one about now) "drag queen" is not one of the identities I'm trying to decide upon.   But whatever it is, good eye makeup will definitely be a part of the identity.  After all, one of my mottoes in life is "Not the face!  Not the face!" as I've often written.  That IS prime real estate!

Right.  So, in that spirit, I thought I'd pass on a few products names that have proven to be successful over the years. After all, we all pretty much need to deal with dry eyes and what do dry eyes lead to?   All together now: RED EYES!  Very good!  These products have really helped me keep red eyes to a minimum and that's why they're listed.  So, here we go!

  • Elizabeth Arden Advanced Eye-Fix Primer:
I have no idea what possessed me to buy this primer when I bought it.  I think primers hadn't even been invented yet!  (Why do I always insist on dating myself?)  At the very least they weren't huge-selling items yet, the way they are now.  Maybe I was just so thrilled to be in an actual, real live store that I couldn't leave without buying SOMETHING to honor the occasion!  Anyhoo, I've been using this one for absolute ages.  I've tried many other eye primers - in fact, I seem to have an impressive collection of various primers - but this is the one I keep coming back to.  It's just that good.

  • Bobbi Brown Chocolate Eye Palette:
I bought this when it first came out, years ago and it's become a classic for me.  Oh sure, every time a new neutral pallet comes out I inevitably find myself trying to talk myself out of buying the latest thing.  After all, how much makeup does a woman who almost never goes out at all actually need, I often wonder?   Ah!  It must be the Girl Scout in me!   "Be prepared."  Yes, that must be it!  And all 13 years of Russian (think "survival") camp helped too: "Будд готов!"  (Yes, those funny letters mean "Be prepared!" also!)  Well, I think I'm ready all right, with enough product for great-great-granddaughters to inherit old decrepit makeup in the year 2112!   But really, Bobbi Brown's palette is what I even  use on those barely-there brows of mine in a pinch - there's certainly enough of a selection in color to have a choice depending on the shade of my hair.  Yep.  "Будд готов" indeed!

  • Trish McEvoy with the straight across eyeliner brush, shadow transformer and eye shadow squares:
This may be my favorite liner if I were forced to choose; however, I may have to do a separate post on eyeliners alone. I absolutely love a discreet eyeliner and there are a few that I alternate between as being my favorites, but somehow, I always seem to come back to Trish.  I dip the brush into a tiny drop of Trish McEvoy’s shadow transformer, which I've already put a drop onto a shadow in a palette or on the individual shadows.  You then have an almost endless supply of wonderful shades and staying power.  If I had to give an answer to that silly "what would you take with you on a desert island" question, you can bet your sweet bippie that I doubt any makeup would make it.  Instead I'd want an endless supply of fresh cold water and then I'd want a book ON makeup!

Mascara: that's a Pandora's Box for another time!   So  that’s it for today!

As always, I hope everyone's feeling their best, only better.  Ciao and paka!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The (Woman) Doctor Behind President Kennedy's Pain Management

I'm happy to say that there were two articles just published in a medical journal about one of my heroes, Dr. Janet Travell, a pioneering doctor in pain (to say the least).  The articles, which discuss the autoimmune disease and the pain medicine aspects of President Kennedy's care by Dr. Travell, is found in this month's edition of the medical journal Practical Pain Management (with his image on the cover) and can be found at the link here and here.  I am especially excited as Dr. Travell has long been one of my heros - and I just wrote a post about her recently).

Dr. Janet Travell with  First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson. Dr. Travell became President Johnson's White House Physician after the Kennedy assination. 
I'd like to point out that my "source" who knew Dr. Travell very well was not one of the doctors who wrote the articles - I don't want to mislead you - AND petty person that I am, I'd like you to know that I have excellent sources (ha! regarding "petty," true about "petty" and "excellent sources").  

There are a few problems I have with a few "facts" in the articles, but overall, the information is excellent.  Because of my extensive comments and my real effort to shorten my posts, I'll need to divide my observations into several parts.  I'm afraid that when it comes to pain management I get just a TAD (over) serious!  (Ahem!)

My reservations are mostly small, though some are important, while others are small, period.  On the other hand, there are a few points that I REALLY agree with that I'd also like to point out as excellent points made.  Today I'm starting with Dr. Jay's article in light of trying to spare people long-winded posts. (Yes, yes, I basically said that already!  Sigh!)

1. In the article by Dr. Jay, he's a bit inaccurate and I wonder how well he knew Dr. Travell when he wrote that "Her use of procaine injections was most likely into myofascial trigger points...."   UH...excuse me, but Dr. Travell wrote two volumes about myofacial trigger points, still sold at Amazon, as I noted in my post and I even placed a picture of the volumes at the end of the
post.   My source tells me that she most certainly DID inject JFK's trigger points and that was also the consensus at a medical conference where she was the guest of honor.  This was when and where my source first met her as a relatively young man when she approached him in her wheelchair, knowing already who HE was, and saying she was following his career, "young man!"   (He would definitely have been too intimidated to approach her and this man is NOT easily intimidated!  Hero worship can do strange things to people (ha!).)

2. I only hope that when Dr. Jay wrote "other stimulants ... There continues to be methylphenidate for use, as well as amantadine" that this was a spelling mistake (maybe generated by the dictatorial iPad which haunts me as well!) and simply not caught by the editors.  On the other hand, I don't want readers confused by seeing this medicine quoted in this usage.  I only caught this error regarding Amantadine since Amantadine is an antiviral medication which I DO take, but for my CFIDS/CFS/ME, not for my fibromyalgia and/or myofascial pain.  The author most likely meant the stimulant, "amphetamine."

3. Dr. Jay also wrote,  "Finally, and most impressively, Dr. Travell treated more than the symptoms of pain and hormonal dysfunction.  .... Dr. Travell knew then what we know now -- physical exercise is necessary to maintain a number of physiological functions as well as to help decrease pain." 

Now this, the exercise, is a real bugaboo of mine, I fully admit it.  With all due respect, however, I beg to differ and one fibro source has even testified in court many times that exercise is not always appropriate for pain.  It all depends on the patient.   As I keep saying over and over again, we can't be plugged into any formulas!  Dr. Travell most definitely believed in what is right for each individual patient and didn't believe in any set "theory" other than going by results - and this in fact was an example of her genius! Furthermore, as I'm always saying, I've seen more theories come and go over the years, each time doctors absolutely sure that THAT was the answer.  I have finally started looking at everything as what works for me - after much damage was done to me, completely innocently, I must add, and much of it permanent damage - and I've had to long ago stop going with anyone's "dictates."  I can just imagine Dr. Travell looking down and shaking her head at some of the rigidity going on.

4. I whole-heartedly agree with the following excellent conclusion, however, and want to point it out: 

"Bottom line -- Dr. Travell treated President Kennedy in a highly appropriate fashion, using tools that most physicians today wouldn't know how to use, and even in ways they may not have been able to fathom.  I do believe that Dr. Travell knew or intuited various things about drugs and hormones that we now understand better and more deeply.  The fact that her treatment plan was so effective is a function of her exceptional skill as a physician at a time when physicians knew far less than we know now."

Now THAT quote is absolutely right!  Dr. Travell understood one could not be rigid in his/her thinking.  She also understood how much each patient varies and how each patient is unique.  In addition to her care, love and intuition of patient care, she understood that no two patients are exactly the same and each patient's care is unique to that care, something the vast majority of specialists today should remember.

"This is not cookie cutter...you gotta do it right," to quote MY source.

As always, particularly today, I hope everyone is doing their best, only better. As they say, "to be continued!"  Ciao and paka!

 (Did you enjoy this post?  Please subscribe to my blog and you'll never miss another one again. It's easy: follow the directions on the upper right-hand corner of this page. And BTW: I'll never sell, share or rent your contact information. I don't even know where to find it, so fear not: it's a firm promise!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A CFIDS/fibro-Friendly Beauty Line

My latest planner workhorse, it's taken me to a lot of places and  has room for a few extra products in the  detachable pouch on the left side.
If I had to pick one beauty product line for the foreseeable future, especially one for my funky CFIDS/ME/fibro skin, it would most likely be a hard choice between Chanel and Trish McEvoy.  Chanel is famous, a true class act.  In the end, however, I think it would be Trish McEvoy who'd win out.

Each and every time I use her products, I have at least a nanosecond where my mind says, "this beauty line is really pretty darn perfect for those who have CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia."  Truly!  Our skin is just so finicky and unpredictable.  Yet I've been using the line for ten years, at the very least, and have never had any skin problems with any of her products.  (Knock on wood: I can't afford any more bad skin reactions for a while, thank you very much!) 

Trish McEvoy is rightfully famous for three areas in the beauty industry: her incredible brushes and her unique and ground-breaking planner system, the "Makeup Planner" systems.  Furthermore, everyone also agrees that a huge part of the reason for the Trish McEvoy line's success is that her husband is a dermatologist.  Combine the science of dermatology with the creativity of a makeup artist and you come up with a pretty amazing line of products, from skincare to cosmetics to fragrances.

I must admit that I'm very partial to brushes in the first place and the TM brushes are amazing. They're always well-balanced in the hand and put makeup on very nicely. They're incredible for the "blend, blend, blend!"  The brushes with the lucite handles are almost works of art.  And the travel-sized brushes in the smaller planners are pretty decent as well.

But I do think that what Trish McEvoy will always be best known for is her unique makeup planner system.  I must say that over the years I've bought several of the limited editions of the planners, as well as the traditional ones, from the smallest sizes right through to the mid-size planners and even one of the large ones.  (BTW: the smaller ones make for great Christmas presents for a special daughter or friend.)

I return to these planners over and over again, especially if I'm forced to travel anywhere. They are such a great answer to an easy way of using fewer "spoons" and fewer "health credits," whether it be for getting ready to go out your door or packing for a trip. The makeup can be moved around from one planner to another. You can reorganize any of the planners to suit a short trip or a decadently long one, from one season's colors to the next. Sometimes I get flashbacks of coloring and organizing toys in kindergarten and think to myself that these planners are the adult equivalent of those early years.   Fun!  Great fun!

I'll revisit Trish McEvoy in the future (please! someone remind me if I forget!).  If I were to describe all the products in her line it'd be such a long post that I KNOW I'd end up chasing away even my most loyal and diehard readers. Her brilliant, beautifully designed brushes alone are a post unto themselves.

As I looked over my collection of Trish McEvoy's products and compared it to what is currently in the stores (available at NordstromNeiman Marcus and at Saks Fifth Avenue). I noticed that one product I love, the "Beauty Booster" moisturizer/primer that really and truly worked (even lifted!) appears to have been discontinued or changed formulas.   Don't you just hate it when a favorite product is suddenly dropped?  However, I saw a couple of skincare products that I'll read up on.  If the reviews pan out, I'll give them a try.  Knock on wood, but Trish McEvoy hasn't let me down yet!

In the meanwhile, I hope everyone's enjoyed the beautiful autumn weather this past weekend. Yes, the temperature changes are a bit rough on us. Our symptoms worsen with the changing seasons, but the beauty out there, even if it's only looking out of our bedroom windows from bed, is worth it in so many ways, or so I hope!

So, here's to all feeling their best, only better. Ciao and paka!

Another example (and view) of the "Planner Makeup System"

Please not that I do not have any financial compensation in any way for anything on any of the posts on this blog!  Everything is my very honest opinion.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Tidbits: Fibro-Brain

And it's Friday yet again!   How, I wonder, can the time move so quickly and yet so slowly, both at the same time.  It's been a heck of a week!

Since this is a bit of a potpourri, here are some of my (very) random thoughts and experiences.

  • The hypothyroidism is about to send me over the edge.  Honestly, I thought I was finally getting a bit of control over my life, despite the fact that I knew that there is and has been something majorly wrong going on with me.  Good grief, I'm in bed almost 24/7 and had more or less resigned myself to this stage at this time, despite the increased pain and all the other symptoms that are driving me batty.  But the awful thought: I know that the thyroid problem (and the symptoms associated with it) are just the tip of the (new) iceberg.  But, as usual, in "Irene-land," I messed things up, just to make life a little more interesting.
I was to have blood testing done again last Monday to see what my thyroid level was, along with a few other goodies. Even at my best, I have trouble remembering to take my thyroid med.  I'd finally decided to take the new med in the AM, afraid it may interfere with the bane of my existence, sleep, or the lack thereof.

Well, I'm the first to admit that I am really awful about taking meds.  Fibro-brain at it's best.  Sunday afternoon I remembered I'd not taken it and since I was in the middle of something - probably looking woefully at the pores on my face? - I asked hubby to get me the med.  I was actually shaking so much that hubby insisted that he put it in my mouth - I'd been dropping meds right and left all week.  Trusting soul that I am not, I felt with my tongue that there was only one pill and chastised hubby for his mistake.   A suddenly rather pale-looking hubby asked, "what do you mean?" - clearly realizing what had happened.

When I'd started the thyroid med, we soon doubled the dosage.  For some reason (what? I have NO idea) I continued to take two pills after the prescription was refilled with the new dosage ... so I'd been taking double the amount of medication I should have.   Fibro-brain at its finest!!! :)  Oy vay!

  • I'm getting a bit annoyed with the whole ME vs. CFS fight and which is worse and who has it worse and all the nonsense involved.  It is EVERYWHERE!!!!

It's not rocket science, people. If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, it's a d*mn duck!   The term "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (CFS) is insulting.  I absolutely DESPISE it.  Why not just go back to calling it "The Yuppie Flu" and get it all over with!!!!   "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" (ME) is better but not accurate either, plus it's hard to spell, a definite consideration with those who have this illness!   I, personally, prefer "Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome" (CFIDS) and it's the term I use in life, but that's not accurate either.   As long as you don't call it CFS, however, I don't really give a darn which name is used, CFIDS or ME.   But give me a break: stop the fighting and arguing!  It is all the same animal, just different politicians!   Full stop!  Period!

  • On a lighter note - and don't even bother trying to figure out how I got here - after all, everyone in my family says they would never want to live in MY brain, even for a second.   But if you get a bad haircut, turn it around: it's Murphy's Law.  If you get an awful haircut and color, highlights, etc., it means that something wonderful will happen.  I got my worst haircut ever, as did hubby, for our son's wedding in Malaysia.   Just saying.... think about it - or not.

Finally, I hope all have a great weekend, and I hope everyone is doing their best, only better.  Ciao and paka!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life: "A Candle In the Wind"

Need anyone really say more?

The other day was such a particularly bittersweet day which reminded me of what I've lost and found since those weeks when I came down with the flu that led to my eventual debilitating CFIDS/ME/fibromyalgia back in 1975.  My daughter was able to go to the Elton John concert in our small hometown.  (What he was even doing in our tiny town I've YET to figure out!) I was thrilled to know that said daughter was able to make an Italian dinner for friends in her own home. I am, of course, still traumatized by her recent health crises, worried that teaching all day, then running to the store, running a few other errands, cooking a meal for guests and going to the concert would be too much for her, especially since we're all still trying to get over a bug that's going around.  I know that it'll take me a few years to see my daughter - ay! not to jinx her! - as returned to good health.  Her dad and I still always jump the moment the phone rings.

But the bittersweet part? I almost hate to write this because I feel as if I'm a rotten and selfish mom for saying anything at all, but Elton John DOES bring back so many memories, and! in the end, a bit of sadness too.

When I moved into my freshman dorm, I discovered, in addition to a lot of other things (ahem) a entire new range of music.  My tastes in high school had been more along the line of The Carpenters, though a very good friend did try to enlighten me with Simon and Garfunkle's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" album, which, to my credit, I eventually wore out and have lost track as to how many versions I bought, including 8-track tapes!

But it was such an incredible surprise that one of my roommates not only loved music, but had an elaborate stereo system.  Yes, that admission of a "stereo system" DOES date me - if the "8-track tape" thing hadn't already!  What dates me even further is the collection of albums (ay! yes, vinyl round records - some of you might need to look all this up on Wikipedia!).  She had The Who's "Tommy" album and Santana's "Abraxas" album, among other gems.

We were a generation surrounded by great music, which started in the late '50's and culminated in the mid-70's and it was yet another reason to be in "seventh heaven" once I got to school.  Hubby and I often say how sorry we are for this generation's music because, sorry guys, our music was the best ever!  It's such incredible music that all who have followed us have taken our music as its own too - much to our outrage and chagrin.  WE never claimed OUR parents' music, after all, nor wanted to. However, we HAVE come to realize that we must share.

You'd walk into the student center and the smell of 2% beer (vs. the full-blown 4% beer) allowed to 18-year olds by the state of Virginia would assault your senses as Rod Stewart sang about "Maggie Mae."  As my friends would get that almost-forbidden beer, I would outwardly bemoan the fact that I was only 17 and couldn't drink ANY beer legally, though secretly happy I didn't have to as the smell of it made me quite nauseous.  Wonderful memories, truly!

But the music I loved most was the album that blared the majority of the time out of our dorm room, played over and over again.  It was the singer and album I most connect with in those first heady months of freshman year: the newly-discovered Elton John and "Your Song," in particular.  I'd find myself listening to the words as I worked on a calculus problem and my 17-year old self couldn't help hoping that one day someone might love me that way too.

It was quite miraculously and unexpectedly that I did find that love - to put a "hokey" spin on things. These days, whenever I hear "My Song" I find I have such mixed emotions. I realize that my hubby never knew me when I wasn't sick.  Oh I was able to hold down a great job for a while, at a publishing company I thought would only happen in my dreams.  But it was a puzzle to us both that hubby had to literally push me out the door each morning and on Fridays I would crash on the sofa in my work clothes and not wake up until Sunday afternoons.  I was able to have three wonderful children but each pregnancy and delivery was either a near-death experience or one fraught with complications galore.

To my ever-ending sadness, the kids never knew me as the "real" Irene/mom.

But there is one person left who does remember the "real" and "old" Irene. And what a blessing.  Without her occasional throw-away remarks, I too would have forgotten the "old" me.  I remember when "So You Think You Can Dance" first came on the air and my BFF said, off hand, "I look at the show and think, 'Irene could do that much better!'". Huh???

Or she'll mention my playing of the piano.  Years later, when the kids took piano lessons, I decided to go on and continue piano lessons after a long time away from the piano. What a disaster and what a reality check!  Fibro-brain had such trouble reading the music that I might as well have never learned it in the first place,  but most of all, my fingers, which were always so strong, could barely press down on the keys to make any sound.  Worse, at the time we didn't understand what was happening and I was simply disgusted with myself, my self-esteem lowering even further.

My voice, too, lost it's singing ability.  The muscles are too weak.  My daughter calls my smile for pictures "mom's fake smile," but doesn't realize that the muscles around my mouth are just too weak for a real one any longer.

This disease is wicked and cruel.  It puts you in the worst place in terms of health.  It robs you of your glow, your essence, your life as you knew it.  In some cases, it robs you of almost every happiness you ever knew, enjoyed or felt. Yet, ever so cruelly, it "appears" to make you look healthy - and I say "appears" because it does make us look weird or a bit "off" to the world.  Good grief.  I can spot a CFIDS/ME/fibro person anywhere I go!  To me, the signs are so obvious.  I only wonder, why aren't they obvious to healers?

So, VL, I'm thrilled that you were able to go to see your mom's favorite singer of all time, and know you felt badly for me.  And I loved that when Sir Elton sang "My Song" every fiber in your being wanted to hold up your cell phone so I could hear it live, only not doing so because you knew I wouldn't be able to really hear it.  And Linda, thanks for all the little casual reminders you unknowingly and innocently throw out every once in a while to remind me of who I really am, underneath this wretched illness.

In the end, I know that I'm blessed and I know I have a life I never even dared to dream of as a child.  I know that no one's life is perfect, despite all appearances.  Everyone of us has burdens we carry.  It's just that some of us have bigger ones or some of us have more invisible ones.  But no one gets out of life unscathed.

However, that doesn't stop me from wishing that I'd had a handle on this illness in the early years - or a diagnosis for that matter.  Had we known some of what we know now, perhaps there would have been a chance that I'd be able to go to our local supermarket or mall more often than about once every five years.  And maybe when Sir Elton came to our litte town, I'd have had the energy to see him and hear him sing my very favorite songs live.

As always, I hope all are feeling their best, only better.  Ciao and paka!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You CAN Tell A Book By Its Cover Sometimes...

I often think that people still wonder why in the world do I do so many articles on beauty, be it skincare or makeup, when I'm supposedly a blogger who is writing about CFIDS/ME/fibromyalgia and the myriad of problems that accompany these core illnesses. You'd actually be surprised at how often I wonder also.

I'm sure I have at least another hundred reasons and examples, but I thought I'd mention a couple today, even though I've "gone here" before (one example).  I'll only cover one or two others today in order to keep this post from getting ridiculously long - I'm really working hard on that!  (Huge sigh of relief from my faithful readers: I heard that!)

Those of you who've been following this blog are also probably aware (ad nauseam) of what happened to my daughter just two years ago: that she suddenly came down with some sort of never-seen-before vicious hybrid of Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis and within four weeks of going to her first ER visit and hospitalization had lost 45 pounds. She had been hospitalized five times at three different hospitals and during her second hospitalization at one of America's best medical centers for this problem her colon perforated.  She needed emergency surgery ASAP.  And this was just the beginning of her problems. (Some of it can be read here.) 

With each doctor she saw (and there were literally hundreds in the almost two-year history) I was constantly asked her medical history because my daughter was in howling pain, too out of it to understand what was going on around her, not able to swallow saliva, much less water or ice cubes.  They asked and re-asked, repeatedly, about her family history. They kept DISBELIEVING my husband and myself when we would say that we had no history of Crohn's or ulcerative colitis in either of our family histories, absolutely convinced we were lying or not seeing something.  They were so sure that Crohn's and ulcerative colitis were hereditary, though these diseases are woefully not understood and there are only lots of "trends" that are seen and heredity happened to be this particular medical center's "hang-up," trying to fit square pegs into round holes, if you'll excuse the pun.  I wanted to "smack them upside the head" at times, as some of the locals around here often say, hoping in vain that that would put some sense into them but refrained, thinking of the beloved nuns who'd not agree with St. Peter if they saw him let me through those Pearly Gates one day!  I did disclose that I had been hospitalized once for colitis in 1975 as a result of the antibiotic use during the flu that led to my CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia, along with IBS.  But Irritable Bowel Syndrome is NOT Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a big distinction.  They were just so convinced that their "theory" that Crohn's/UC is hereditary, though really, no one actually knows where it comes from, nor why, at the end of the day.  It was simply maddening.

But what I found really interesting yet really frightening (another one of those understatements I tend to make) is the thing that I noticed about six months before my daughter got sick.  It involved her beautiful green eyes.

Let me back up for a moment.  I had the good fortune to be under an elderly doctor's care at a holistic clinic for about a year back in 1997.  He'd been running the clinic for about 50 years - yes!!  50 years!  And what was his main interest and that of the patients he saw?  CFIDS/ME/fibro!!!!  Yes!  Amazing!  He had patients flying in from all over the country to see this old man and the various practitioners he had working under him.

One of the things that this elderly (ancient) physician believed very strongly in was iridology and also looking at a patient's skin tone, the color, the pallor, the patient's gait - all the many bells that go off in a real physician's and healer's head like a computer that has not yet been invented, which registers everything that is right about a patient and what is wrong with a patient.  Given that my mom was always a bit of a health nut herself, when America was interested more in martini's than in carrot juice, I was familiar and even fascinated by this old doctor.  Here was a doctor who was spitting back things to me that my mom had been espousing all my life, and I had rejected them not only because it came from my mother, but because it was from my Russian mother and though she had had a degree in dentistry, it was not an American degree, but one from Europe, thus null in the US.

So about six months before the infamous frantic run to the ER and the resulting first hospitalization, I had noticed something that I suppressed for the first couple of months.  And how I do NOT do denial - it just takes up too much energy, something I, as a "spoonie" or one who is trying to build up "health credits" constantly,  am always trying to preserve and use judiciously.  

I had noticed that my daughter's beautiful green eyes were acquiring a translucent quality.  Whereas they had been a rich solid green before, they were now almost like see-through marbles.  After about two months I was starting to get obsessed about it in the strangest way and this was becoming just too much denial and I don't function well that way.  And yet here I was in heavy denial.  Finally I realized that I had to mention it to my hubby: after all, if anything was amiss, I'd never forgive myself for it and I knew that when (note, WHEN, not IF) the poop hit the fan, I wanted it on record that this was something I'd noticed before, that it hadn't been an "immediate problem," but something brewing.  Yet it took me a long time to work up my nerve because I was just that nervous about jinxing my precious "baby."  Her father took note but wasn't overly concerned.  I later noticed that she was sleeping a lot and that also give me the heebie jeebies, but it was the eyes that scared me the most.

Why the eyes?   Because, for the most part, eyes are no longer studied in a way that gives a doctor the whole picture of the patient.  Neither is the skin.  And yet both should be taken in as part of a patients' health, good or bad.  

Yes, the obvious signs in eyes are still looked for, the ones that can't be overlooked: the yellowing of the eye for jaundice, for example, or the signs of a concussion.  But think about it: those are just the first clues that then call for fancy testing.  But there are so many other things that are skipped.  I remember learning in Psych 101 that the dilation and contraction of the pupil could mean lying or an excited state, that Chinese jade merchants would look at the eyes to see if the customer is truly eager to acquire what he sees in front of him or not and whether haggling should continue or stop.  We parents were told to look at our kids' eyes for signs of drug or alcohol use.  But doctors?  Nah...forgetaboutit!

And we patients should be outraged about it.  Look at how a doctor barely touches us any longer.  I've been to dermatologists who have not touched my skin - afraid that my freckles might be catching?  I've been to a neurologist in the past year and a half who never touched my foot when I told him about my newly-developed neuropathy in order to ascertain if I did indeed have it and how extensive it is.  I've been to a famous CFIDS specialist who also claims to be a fibromyalgia specialist, who only touched 3 of the 18 tender points - and reluctantly at that!  

And now doctors and third party payers are evaluating patients by phone or computer?  Are they nuts????

When my daughter was moved out of the OR and into the Recovery Room, my hubby, the son with us and I were able to visit her for about five minutes, to be reassured that she had indeed made it through the surgery.  We had prepped our son by saying that she would look awful when he saw her.  After all, she'd just been through pretty serious surgery - panicked immediate surgery - and that she would look a bit banged up, the color of her skin would look awful, and so forth.  We felt we needed to warn him: he had been through more than enough already, having been there to help me cope with my daughter 24/7, running errands and seeing things no 30-year old young man should see in that medical center, the suffering not just of his sister, but of all those around us.  And he'd had to try to keep me calm until his dad drove like a bat out of h*ll from our home to the medical center, as I tried hard to keep up a calm exterior during said surgery, not very successfully, I might add.  

Instead, what we saw in the recovery room was a real revelation: my daughter's skin was almost pink and the eyes, which were rolling around a bit from the anesthesia, already looked better than they had in months.  I looked at my son and he looked at me and I could see him asking with his just barely-raised brows, "I thought you said she was going to look awful!"  Instead, she looked wonderful.  Not wonderful from a year ago, but wonderful for the last 6 weeks especially, and wonderful for the last six months for me.  The toxins and diseased colon had been removed.  Her color reflected her suddenly improving health - miraculously so.

So, this is yet another reason that we who have the invisible diseases also get a bit "upset," shall I say, when we are told, "you don't look sick."  Because really, we do.  We know in our hearts what we should look like and it isn't what we look like now.  Some of us can disguise it better than others and some of us are very good at it and some of us not so good at it.  But it really hurts that our doctors, who should know better, don't recognize the signs and instead rely on machines and tests.  

As long as they are able to get away with this, I fear that we will continue to get care that is less than what we deserve and we will continue to get thrown into that psychiatric wastebasket, a trend I painfully see coming back again, one I had hoped I'd never live to see again.

And on that cheerful note (!) I hope all are feeling their best, only better.  Ciao and paka!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Tidbits: Help and Fun

Easy reading for fibro-brain!  And so much fun.
It's Friday and we've all survived another week! Yay! Hopefully everyone's health and family crises have been at a minimum. 

I've tried to start a Friday piece that would come out each Friday (imagine that!) but it's difficult to commit to anything when you're sick with CFIDS/ME/fibro and the dozens of other problems that tend to plague us.  There's always severe insomnia, migraines, Fibro-brain, and a hundred other problems that get in the way - indeed, often simply surviving seems to be miraculous.

But I've finally decided that if it's possible to do so, I'm going to give it a try.   It will just be quick observations or tips of any sort or anything that I've thought of during the week (or month!) but somehow never got a chance to mention. I've held off on any kind of commitment but have finally decided that if on some Fridays I don't get around to writing a post, who but the CFIDS/ME/fibro and spoonie communities will understand, right?  You've seen a couple of attempts so far and I'm going to keep the title "Friday Tidbits." We'll see how it works out.  So here we go!

  • For about four days this past week I came down with very itchy skin on areas around my left leg.  It was the sort of itchiness that was actually getting to the point that the scratching was making it raw and I was beside myself.  To complicate matters, it was my left leg that was affected and that leg has a lot of numbness, the sort that you feel after the dentist gives you a shot of novocaine and it starts to wear off, yet the nerves are still not completely revived - and then you accidentally bite your tongue.  (I certainly hope I'm not the only person who's experienced this!)
At any rate, after just one evening the knee was raw, but after four nights, the back of the knee, above and below the knee were starting to look scary.  The antihistamines I take prophylactically for hives were not helping at all.  Then I finally realized that my air cleaner was off!  I'd written about this air cleaner before and just started laughing, thinking, "you got that one right!"  The electricity had gone off in the house for a second and that was long enough to stop the air cleaner.  Within a day of turning the air cleaner back on, the itchiness disappeared - like magic.  If only most of our problems were dealt with so easily!  But it shows just how much that air cleaner really does help some of my problems, and not just with the skin but with breathing and a tiny list of other problems I don't even realise until something goes wrong.
  • There is definitely a bug of sorts going around town and I'm glad that I have a clock/thermometer next to my bed as my body temps start to go into serious yoyo mode.  I get clammy, I get hot, I get cold, I get chills, and so forth - this and more, all within minutes, repeatedly.   At least when I look at the thermometer I know it's me and not the room, one less factor to consider, as I discussed in a previous post.
  • And finally, a bit of fun to get us away from all this sickness and to just enjoy.  I'd recently mentioned (ha!) that "Project Runway" is the show that hubby and I look forward to each week, almost a guilty pleasure. 
And Mondo was back as a judge last night!

Oh boy. Last Thursday's episode, the team efforts, reminded me of every wedding or other occasion that I've attended as far back as I can remember when you got a bunch of Russians and Ukrainians in the same room.  (As I shake my head and huge eye-rolls start in.)  Dmitri and Olana reminded me yet again of the nightmare seating chart at our wedding and the saving grace the Italians were because the Russians sat on one side of the Italians and the Ukrainians sat on the other side of the Italians.  But that's all besides the point.  (Of course!)  

I've been in love with Tim Gunn, the would-be designers' guide on "Project Runway" for years.  He's such a kind and optimistic teacher/mentor, in addition to being brilliant, a gentleman and almost a lost breed.  His new book came out on Tuesday and it's so good that as soon as I received my copy from Amazon, I immediately ordered a copy for my BFF.  Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet is just great fun to read.  I'm still having trouble reading and it continues to shock my family and very close friends (Irene without a book in her hand???) but this is great for me at the moment (year?) because I can pick it up and put it down. If I can't concentrate because of pain or because of a problem that needs to be addressed, it's no biggie.  There's nothing you have to memorize (as in a plot).  It's all just fun reading - and feeling as if Tim Gunn is there beside you telling you these fascinating tidbits of fashion history, weaving it all into a brilliant story.   If you want something far from all your troubles, this may be the ticket.  And I've already come up with an idea of something that might help me with a problem I'm having with my legs...I'll keep you posted.

I always feel that you never know when, where nor how you'll find something that helps you deal more easily with your health problems...or life ones also, for that matter.

At any rate, hoping all are doing the best they can be, only better.  Have a great weekend, ciao and paka!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

No Silicone in this Omorovicza's BB Cream: Review

Finally! There's a BB cream with no silicones in it. Given how many skin problems those of us with CFIDS/ME and even fibro have, I decided that I needed to do a bit of an investigation into Omorovicza's "Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20," the BB cream with no silicones but full of all sorts of "goodies."

And really, if BB creams work, how perfect is it for those of us with limited energy, limited ability to present a pretty face to the world? For those of us with the DD, how many steps can be eliminated with just this one product? These BB creams combined with patients who have Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and/or Myalgic Encephalopathy seems to have been a match made in heaven!

And surprisingly, I've found myself being asked about the silicone aspect in BB's a lot lately and thought that perhaps it's finally time to give my own take on it "officially." (Oh yeah, like I'm "official"? Ha!)

It took a while, but I finally made the huge decision to buy Omorovicza's BB cream version. Thank heavens Omorovicza often includes free full-sized samples which help make the decision (a tiny bit) easier as it is extremely expensive. Yep! I got their full-sized mud mask as my gift with a purchase, an almost unheard of "freebie" that boggles the mind. "The Deep Cleansing Mask" was a stunning 1.7 oz at $113 - free with any purchase. They have all sorts of "schemes" to try to make their products seem more affordable.

As much as it pains me to say this, however, the Omorovicza BB cream has been a bit of a problem as I try to figure out how and what to do with it. Yet, it really shouldn't be so much trouble. After all, one of the beauties of BB creams is that they are supposed to be so easy to deal with, right?

I'd tested other BB creams and wrote a couple of posts about them as you can read here and here. Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream, at the top of my list, won with a landslide. I had two or three samples and two BB creams I bought, but they all did my skin no favors, developing bumps or redness in a couple of cases, and even after my review as I later tried other BB creams as well. Yet nothing was as successful as the Dr. Jart. Actually, these BB's are now being produced at a manic rate, and the results are that many BB creams all too often have nothing BB about them.

And mind you, all of this testing was taking place as exasperated hubby kept saying, "you have got to stop messing around with this stuff!" when he'd see the bumpy outcomes, the redness, whatever. Ah! We lead such an exciting life (ha!).

And I DO have a allergy to silicone sheets, as described in an earlier post, which can be read here. I now know that I have sensitivity to most, though not all products with silicones. I have yet to establish which products will work out OK with my skin if the product contains silicone because not all products with silicones have negative reactions. It must have something to do with the formulations and/or fillers and/ or binders - or even the man in the moon, for all I know. The more expensive beauty products that do have silicones seem to work best (wouldn't you know it!) but, really, that's no guarantee.

Getting back to Omorovicza's BB cream. I lusted for this product when I first heard about it to the point where it hurt. (I know, I know! I need a life! Don't judge me! Joke - or not?) I kept looking at the ingredients, reading reviews, and, of course, with my fibro-brain, had trouble making a decision.

The company's literature says that their BB cream has been proclaimed as the “Swiss army knife of the beauty industry” and with an SPF of 20, it's not just a moisturiser, foundation and sunscreen but also a concealer and has anti-aging cream, an "all-in-one!" (The BB creams are all SUPPOSED to be all-in-ones, with moisturizer, an SPF and a bit of tinting a "given," just the rest of the goodies/treatments differing.)

Furthermore, Omorovicza promised that its BB cream leaves your "skin flawless, sheer and even, whilst hydrating and protecting it from UVA/B rays." It also includes hyaluronic acid (discussed hereand also here), something fantastic for plumping the skin and keeping it hydrated. It has Vitamin C for production of collagen and elasticity, dealing with free radical damages and so forth. White lupin and red crystal. OK, OK, they got me!

And so after many months I took the plunge. And then finally the day came when I was well enough to play around with it.

  • Day 1: it balled up and kept flaking off. Odd.

It burned a bit, not a good sign, but didn't burn much. But SHOULD it have burned at all?
The color was too pale for me and I'm pretty fair.
It looked as if I'd put on a mask. It didn't blend in well.
It covered nothing. Oh dear.

  •  Next attempt: no balling or flaking. Good sign, but what had I done "wrong" the first time?

It still burned. Was this me or the BB cream?
It covered nothing, though there was just the most faintest bit of just "bringing the face together." I'm not sure if anyone can understand that.

  •  Next attempt....and next...and next..
  • Next #lost count: no balling, no flaking, but burning, still.

However, the other day I happened to glance in the mirror and was shocked as to how pale I've become. There was no color whatsoever to be seen. "White as a ghost" popped into my mind immediately. Scary, but I know - hope! - that it's due to the hypothyroidism and once the meds kick in...

However, the good news was that now the color of the BB cream was fine! There was minimum coverage (if at all), of old freckles and hyper-pigmentation, although a bit of evening of the skin, reduction in redness to a degree? However, there was no improvement in my new wrinkles, nor with other "promises" and the burning would not go away no matter how much I kept trying different approaches on different days. It must truly be the illness and meds causing this, I feel. Yesterday's attempt I was determined to wear for at least 4 hours. I finally gave up after after only three very, very slow and uncomfortable hours.

However, in the midst of all of this, I subjected my poor daughter to the BB cream (as well/yet again) and I applied it to her face - she must have allowed me to do this in order to curry favor for a future time, when needed! Because the BB cream suited her color, evened out her skin, though each and every freckle could be seen, I sent her home with a tiny jar into which I'd pumped in quite a bit of the BB cream. Somehow the BB cream gave her a more polished look, with minimum effort, yet made her face look quite natural. But be forewarned! If you like your freckles, it's great. If you don't like your freckles, forget about it! This can then be applied to age spots, scarring from acne and a handful of other skin problems. You really do need to have pretty good skin to wear this, in addition to being fairly light-complected.

So, after weighing all the pro's and con's, I think that if you want a BB cream with no silicone, this baby is for you. This is seriously something to consider if you have CFIDS/ME, since the oddest things can happen to our skin. You may or may not be sensitive to the silicone, you may or may not be sensitive to any number of ingredients in the formulas.

I'd also feel remiss if I didn't add that there is a drag to the Omorovicza, most probably because of the no-silicone factor, which is not too surprising. And finally, there is the cost to consider - $135, though at 1.7 oz, an impressive size. Their website can be seen here.
I think I'll stick to the Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream with a whopping SPF 45 and a (much more) reasonable price of $39 for 1.4 oz. I like the color, the texture and the much higher SPF. It also doesn't burn my sensitive face, it gives much more coverage and feels as if I'm not wearing anything at all on my face. Having said that, I will probably keep using the Omorovicza until I run out of it...it's just too expensive to throw out and I know that the ingredients are top-notch! Furthermore, there must be a way that I can use it and not experience the burning....there must!

Ouch! Sometimes writing the truth (as I see it) hurts. However I'm absolutely sure that there are many women out there who would and do very well with it. It's a class act, just not for this CFIDS/ME person.

Hoping all are doing the best they can be, only better. Ciao and paka!

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