Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Cancer

My world came crashing down a month ago.  I lost my best friend and mom.

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My mom and me

Mom was 90 years old, but still beautiful.   She had Merkel Cell Carcinoma cancer, and cervical cancer.  I saw her dying in front of my eyes.  It was so hard. I think about calling her everyday, because we talked just about everyday.  I feel like I lost part of me since we were so much alike.  I can see her face and that beautiful smile, laugh, and her wonderful since of humor.  I loved her so much.  Now both parents are gone. I feel so alone.

Having bipolar and depression is difficult in itself managing during difficult times. Within the last few months I found out I have fibromyalgia, and Parkinson Disease.  This has been hard too.  I ask the doctor why do older adults start getting all these bad things.

It took 5 years to finally get a diagnosis. I was going to orthopedic doctors and all they wanted to do is give me injections.  I got sick of it.  So I tried a rheumatologist.  He does not have a good bedside manner, but, he ran a bunch of test and came to the conclusion I have fibromyalgia.  I was in so much pain.  I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.  But there was other symptoms and he said, ” I don’t do that.”  I hate hearing those words.  I made an appointment with my neurologist, whom I adore. He diagnosed me with neuropathy about 6 months ago, and now Parkinson’s Disease.  He gave me some new medication, Carbidopa-levodopa that I have been taking for a few days.

My neurologist was able to see sympthoms;  tremors, my posture , walking, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease since I was having a bad day..   I had all of the following symptoms:

PARKINSON’S DISEASE

  • Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may notice a back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger, known as a pill-rolling tremor. One characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is a tremor of your hand when it is relaxed (at rest).
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to move and slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk, or you may find it difficult to get out of a chair. Also, you may drag your feet as you try to walk, making it difficult to move.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can limit your range of motion and cause you pain.
  • Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loss of automatic movements. In Parkinson’s disease, you may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
  • Speech changes. You may have speech problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
  • Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.

My writing has become scribbly and small.  It’s gotten hard. I’ve always had speech problems, but it’s gotten worse.  I fall off balance and also fall. When I fall I don’t have the strength to pull myself up.  My walking is bad. I walk stiff and baby steps.

I hope this is helpful to someone else.  I will talk about Fibromyalgia in another post.

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Fibromyalgia Syndrome

I’m still struggling with depression and anxiety.  Just when you think you feel okay you relapse.  Another interference is my physical problems., which I’ve been told can cause physical problems. Does it every end?

I’ve been going to doctors for 6 years now with this pain that controls my body.  I’ve received x-ray’s, mri’s, ct scans, injections, nerve conduction study, you name it.  No one could figure out where the pain was coming from.  Well except, I do have osteoporosis, neuropathy, and arthritis.  LOL!   The orthopedic talked about surgery on my neck, but when I heard of the risks, I declined. I went to a neurologist for the study and found out about the neuropathy, and was given Gabapentin, which helps the nerve pain, especially restless legs.  He then recomended a Rheumatologist.

The Rheumatologists ran a ton of blood test and came to the conclusion I do have some rheumatism, but also gave it a name “Fibromyalgia”.  I guess that’s what they call it when they fcan’t igure out what it is.

The pain I have can be intense everywhere especially my legs and feet. I have spots on my fingertips that can really hurt when I touch them. My hands go numb and feels like needles all over even my arms.  I could never get out of bed at lease 30 minutes after taking the Gabapentin .  I couldn’t move!  I had no strength in my body and still don’t. Walking was an adventure stumbling all over the place.  Even my brain feels confused and disoriented.

The rheumatolgist prescribed to start with Predinisone, a steriod.  For the first month I could actually get out of bed and go walking.  I could drive longer distances without pain. He told me I couldn’t be on it forever.  I’m now on my second prescription with lower doses and it’s not as productive.  So I don’t know what comes next.  I just don’t want to go back to the beginning.

I paint and do photography so this has been disabiling for me. Below is some of work in my Etsy shop for sale.


Etsy Shop

 

What’s Depression About

It seems like I’ve had depression since I was in high school. I have journals where I wrote about feelings of loneliness and depression. “Sadness because one has no friends or family closeness.  I could trigger easily with anger.

I have ADHD ,  and that was difficult because in school trying to learn math and English. I couldn’t even take college courses, because I feared taking the Tasp Test, when I lived in Texas.  Instead , my first job out of school was a power company.  I was always good at typing, and I was creative. But English (grammar),  and Math was not my forte.

The following is some research on depression including my own discussions.

Some people with major depression experience the symptoms of depression only once in their life. Others experience frequent relapses and recurrences. (I experience it from triggers).  Triggers were like feeling alone,lines

Alone

Why am I depressed?

no one cares, family problems, my life is going no where. it’s important to pay attention to your feelings in order to catch possible signs of a relapse. Some people recognize the signs and some can’t, like me.

If you’re feeling down because of a specific event, such as losing a job or the breakup of a relationship, it could be normal and temporary sadness. If you feel sad, despairing, teary, or “empty” every day for more than two weeks and it’s interfering with other aspects of your life, it may be clinical depression.

Bipolar – Hypomania

Triple Falls-Dupont National Forest

Triple Falls-Dupont National Forest

Definition: Hypomania (literally “under mania” or “less than mania”) is a mood state characterized by persistent disinhibition and pervasive elevated (euphoric) or irritable mood but generally less severe than full mania.

This is a horrible feeling.  I haven’t felt this since I was first diagnosed.   I’ve always been hyper but this was almost out of control.  It actually was scaring me. I couldn’t stay still I had to do something all the time. When watching TV I had to be reading, searching on the computer or iPhone.  My mind was always spinning with all kinds of thoughts. 
I’ve got a project going right now creating jewelry for my Etsy shop.  I’ve been compulsive by spending too much money on supplies, buying books or magazines. I read about different designs to make.  My heart races and I feel as though I have consumed eight cups of coffee.  I breathe rapidly and my blood pressure goes up.
My mom use to get on to me saying, “Vickie sit down!” I was walking back and forth between rooms, because I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go. I do this now. I stayed up all hours making jewelry or search on Ebay for supplies. Being a perfectionist, I want to make the best earrings or necklaces with the best material.  I’ve been hearing sounds that get my attention..  I’m worn out!  Oh, let’s not forget the grocery store – I have to go all the time and I buy food I don’t eat.  I’ve been eating a lot too.  I’m calling this hyper eating.  But, I’m enjoying it that’s the problem.
I’m so glad I use digital camera’s and not film or I would be purchasing all kind of film on ebay.
Having Bipolar is confusing.  Your never know what will happen next.  Some where along the line I triggered all of this.
The following is something I read on Hypomania Episode symptoms.

“A hypomanic episode is not a disorder in itself, but rather a description of a part of a type of bipolar II disorder. Hypomanic episodes have the same symptoms as manic episodes with two important differences: (1) the mood usually isn’t severe enough to cause problems with the person working or socializing with others (e.g., they don’t have to take time off work during the episode), or to require hospitalization; and (2) there are never any psychotic features present in a hypomanic episode.

Here are the symptoms I found
  • Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
  • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
  • Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
  • Distractibility – yes I can switch to another idea quickly
  • Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually (not me, what sex!) or agitation
  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)
There’s a possibility that my episodes were brought on from a cortisone shot in my hip.  I was sick with high pressure, nausea, hot flashes and irritability.
I went to my doctor and she put me back on Bipolar medicine Depakote, Now I read the side effects and they weren’t good – depression, and damage to liver.  I have hepatitis and this is not good.  Every medication says that.  I haven’t started it yet because I’m scared to. So what do I do?

Negative Thoughts Can Destroy Positive Ones

quote 2I have a problem.  And that’s making decisions and changing my plans too many times. Negative thoughts keeping reeling themselves in my brain.  STOP!

Just recently, I purchased a trip to the Riviera Mayan in Mexico.   I told myself I was going to bite the bullet and take a long trip to Mexico.  I use to travel all the time, mostly I went solo, because going with someone can sometimes make your trip complicated.  Your more approachable when your solo.  But, the negative thoughts kept interrupting my positive ones. To stop these thought patterns I cancelled my trip and lost my deposit.

I made another reservation to drive to the North Carolina Mountains at the end of the mountain and it took a long time to decide.  Now, I’m thinking of all the reasons not to go. Am I going to get lost driving; with my hip problem will I be able to hike; is there all couples?  I try to keep positive thoughts, but those negative thoughts keep interrupting.

All I can say is negative thoughts can ruin your life. You can lose money and respect. I’ve got to stop the thoughts from my traumatic life and move on.

My mom 89 is the greatest.  She always tells me,”I don’t care or worry about anything – I can’t even remember what I was negative about.  My life is too short to to ruin the rest of my life with too much negativity.”

Journaling and Listening to your Intuition

“The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.
~Shakti Gawain

I was 17 years old.  I wrote my thoughts, poetry, and music. . When I went back and read my journals they were depressing.  I was a very depressed and lonely person, and It was mostly about relationships. After reading my past journals they helped me to grow and not make the same mistakes now as I did then. By recording your thoughts you’ll have new insights on your moods and behavior.  

Journaling can help solve a problem and improve your mental health.  It will clear your thoughts of all that chatter going on in your mind.

In addition, writing in a journal is an effective tool for use in the healing process. It  will improve your outlook on life and, and help your insight on life become clearer.

Start writing about where you are in life.  How is it?  Did you have a good day?  Or, how do you feel today?  Describe your living situation, your work, and your relationships.  What could you do to make your daily life less stressful.

Ever tried free writing? Put your pen to the paper and write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t stop writing and don’t worry about the grammar, punctuation, or spelling. You can edit later.

Take selfie’s with your iPhone with a smile and make different expressions. Learn to love and accept yourself, and like who you are today. The world we live in is a magical and a mysterious place. Write what you see around you. Go on a road trip and take pictures and write about what you see.

An important tool to lean is your intuition.  We all have intuition and you’ll need to learn how to listen to it.   What does intuition mean?

“The ability to understand something immediately,
without the need for conscious reasoning.
 “Allow our intuition to guide us”
 
Intuition is magical like ESP. We all have it just need to learn how to use it.  To me it’s my higher power whispering in my ears trying to help me.  Let’s say you have a tendency of putting your drink on the edge of the table. But your thoughts are telling you not to put the glass there. Then later in the evening you get up not thinking of the glass on the table, and you knock it off.  Red wine everywhere!  Or, you start to walk to your car, but your inner thoughts or intuition is telling you to check and make sure you locked your door. But, you ignore it. Latter, you come home and the door was unlocked. You ask yourself, “Why, didn’t I listen to myself!”
You’ll be amazed how different your daily life will be if you just listen to your thoughts or intuition.
Now, start writing.

Acceptance

Rose-antiquesigThere are many things that happen in our life that aren’t fair – illness, or injury.  Accepting these situations means focusing your strength and energy on letting go of yourself to God, and he’ll see you through the hard times,  Or let the anger, frustration, sadness and self-pity destroy you.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.

–Proverbs 3:5-6