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 30, 2013

The Insomnia/Weight Monsters

What I've lately restrained myself from mentioning is my weight.  It' so very frustrating because about five years ago I took off approximately 50+ pounds and managed to keep it off.  Getting rid of some medications made it easier to lose the weight.

However, since my hospitalization, one huge contributing factor in my weight gain had been a result of changes in medication, out-of-wack hormones and stress.  How could this have happened?  Oh, but the strangest things happen to those who have CFIDS/CFS/ME and/or fibromyalgia, I think you'll agree. Part of the problem is that my sleep (or lack thereof) has put on the poundage to my bod.  I mean, let's get real: only three hours of sleep in 42 hours simply doesn't cut it.  

As I've written before, studies have shown that there are two critical hormones (leptin and ghrelin) which the medical community has come to understand, relatively recently, and that's the sleep/weight relationship - the how and why this happens.  Link over to the little purple bit and you'll get a bit of explanation of how these hormones have such powerful effects on us - and the impact when hormones are out of wack.  Have you doubts?  

"According to the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine: "Leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of 'checks and balances' system to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produces fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full." ~from this post. 

Remember then, when the teenager hormones which make a kid crazy, come into full speed ahead?  And we all laugh at how "hormonal " women become once they're pregnant, not to mention the postparnum blues.  With me - as is with many of you out there - things are further complicated by the CFIDS/fibro nightmare. I've got many hormones going against me and one example is: we're now seeing the mess my hypothyroidism alone has cost me.  Furthermore, take into account the mess in terms of other factors that contribute to weight loss and weight gain and you've got yourself a real puzzle.  Part of the problem is that my sleep (or lack thereof) has put on the poundage.

My medications have been changed quite a bit in the last six weeks and some are those that make you gain weight.  Do you see why I want to get off of those meds as quickly as possible?  Tapering is just taking way too long.  Soon I've be rivaling any overweight walrus. Gloom.  Despair!  (And agony on me... !)  For a laugh, check out the YouTube clip from HeeHaw.

The pain I experience - be it from body pain or in the form of migraines - has been almost out the wazoo and I'm realizing - yet again - that if pain is not under control you're going to add weight.  It has to be that some primitive part of us believes that eating is indeed the answer to all.  

I'd lived my very own version of the "Lamaze" principle as far back as I can remember.  I was thrilled to be able to learn this "distraction" method officially because finally I'd get real instruction as to surviving much pain.  I'd be able to endure much pain - which was only fair as I failed Lamaze with my three pregnancies and labors.  Yes, I learned from early childhood how to try to get your mind on anything but the pain.  Wherever I lived, I always had the cleanest floors which sparkled:  mindless work in which to get your brain as far away from the pain as can be.

And now I've worked myself  into an all-too-common vicious cycle: in order to avoid confronting the pain, we then end up overdoing it. 

  • I've long wanted to do something on what we call "social media" and reading. In taking on the project in my little converted room with 1/4 of books in the house, a wonderful thing happened.  I found one of my notebooks in which I kept a list of each book I've read over a few years.  The notebook was tattered - but then so am I!
  • Going through that notebook and seeing the book titles I was able to remember what was going on in my life at the time.  It was almost easier to go back in time with book titles than with aromatherapy essential oil (which have yet to reach my house).
  • I've meant to start a reading list to this blog...
  • Books are all over the house and getting to them, at the moment, is harder than qualifying for the Olympics.  Now that I've found this notebook, however, I've got many valid reasons if my book list doesn't pan out. 

Yesterday, I tried to ignore my pain by cleaning the little room which holds some of my books. (Yay! It's great that I found books I'd been looking for.)  But today I'm sweating like no tomorrow and running a fever, fighting a migraine and all sort of other goodies.  But it was so worth it.  Few things can compete with clean and nice-looking surroundings.

It's an absolute must that I return to my own version of  "eating healthy and well."  Through years (decades?) of experimenting, I've found a diet that works for me which not only takes off weight - instead the real bonus?  My migraines go away as long as I'm dedicated to that sort of eating. 

Goodbye, you nasty pounds - that's about 2.5 stone for our British cousins.  I hope you understand why in my case the extra weight must get lost!

And as always, I hope that everyone is doing their absolute best - only better.  Ciao and paka.

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  1. I volunteered to do a Walk and raise funds for Arthritis. Not looking forward to actually doing it though. It was luck that I could raise money through email.

    I hope you tell us about that great diet. I was reading a blog called "The Old Woman In My Bones" and thinking that inside me is a hungry woman wanting to have lots of food

    1. Hi Annette! Thanks for writing in. I will definitely write about the diet (my way of eating) which has helped me in a future post. I know how you feel about wanting lots of food - the meds we often need to take don't help us in that department. Hope you do (did?) well on the Walk! xx