Cranky Is As Cranky Does…I’m HUNGRY

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food ...

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food that might be found across cultures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HELP WANTED: LOOKING FOR A SCONE ASAP OR EASY RECIPE

Yes, it’s true. I AM CRANKY and I don’t even need to explain it. I know. That’s enough. I don’t want pity and I can’t change the situations. My physical health, sigh, I have to accept. I’ll live. However, when my life’s joy, (vice,) hobby and life’s work is limited then it gets darned serious. No, I am not on a diet. That would be easy. I wish I was on a diet because there would be a reason and an outcome and a desired result.

But, with my bad luck, I have to be the one whose jaw blows out whose sound carried through the house leaving me shrieking in unbearable pain and crying that my husband came running. I knew I should have gone to the ER.

I saw my dentist, an oral surgeon and now I’m supposed to see a TMJ specialist. I’m not surprised, it was just another thing to heap on but for me, this was a personal tragedy. Not being able to EAT?  I don’t like drinking or smoking or anything else, I have no hobbies but one thing I love is food and now that has been taken away from me. I’m yearning for real food that is not mashed, white, banana-like or blended.

A fresh batch of homemade buttermilk scones.

A fresh batch of homemade buttermilk scones. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And even if I tried to like drinking I have recently been informed that my kidneys are in bad shape too. Surprise!

I’m sick of chicken soup, vanilla milkshakes, rice and bananas. I long for warm, crunchy French bread dripping with butter, a large sandwich, basically anything I am now denied. I still want scones, pizza and a great big salad and did I mention scones?

I can’t bear to call another doctor tonight. I’m in no mood. It’s almost time for dinner, home-made chicken soup with mashed up Saltines in them, I learned that from my kids. Luckily, we have cupcakes from yesterday, they better taste good. I need something before I start to scream.

The oral surgeon also said that this pain will come back that some internal bleeding happened when the disk in my jaw slipped. He’s a nice guy, a really nice guy, he didn’t even charge for the five-minute consult but I wish he hadn’t said what he did.

I’m hungry, I want to eat real food, Last night I rebelled and tried (the operative word) to eat teeny, tiny bites of pizza with fork and knife (a la Diblasio ) which really was no fun at all and of course the pizza WAS BURNED.

Out of pure desperation I ate my husband’s filet of sole drenched in egg and butter:  I don’t even like fish but it was something different.

BUT, I want scones, surely I could eat those, sweet scones made with love and wild blueberries, I see them dancing beneath my eyes.

I wish I could bake with ease. With all my illnesses I just may have to acquire a new skill: baking. No more liquid diet. ‘Eat as if you were a three-year old” the charming doctor said. I will listen to him, cutting everything up into tiny pieces, everything for a taste of variety.

I’m stuck on muffins and stones. Any kind. Soon. Help me. Please?

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I Need Help: Fibromyalgia-TMJ

closed TMJ

It’s a pain like no other, hard to describe, impossible to treat, at least for me. Falling under the Fibromyalgia umbrella, TMJ is like lightning striking your ear and jaw straight through your brain and head. It kept me up all night; no pain-killer helped it, no heating pad, ice, soft foods.

The pain shoots, there is no warming and no treatment that helps; I didn’t eat any hard foods yesterday. My jaw usually pops and goes back into its socket; I live with that. I was a bit worried about the Presidential election but not enough to be awakened all through the night in utter agony as if I had been shocked by electrical wires, moaning and groaning all night long. I was restless, weary and I hurt so badly; I toss and turn to see if lying a different way will help. Nothing works.

Even though I have had Fibromyalgia for years, the varied symptoms (maybe because of the cold weather?) are worse now. I wish I could scream out loud and get it all out of my system but I can barely open my mouth. I try not to speak, to hold my lips a certain way; I pretend I am a model who is posing for a sculptor who is doing an impression of me in burnt-red clay. I can’t move my lips or my mouth for him to get the correct shape so I try to relax my mouth, my muscles until I find a single spot that doesn’t make me cry out loud. I try desperately to hold that same place so I don’t scream; I am just asking for tolerable not even for feeling good.

I have dealt with many of the other symptoms of Fibromyalglia in an accepting way as possible but nothing has been as urgently painful as this. I’ve been to ENT’s (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists) convinced I have had flaming ear infections until the diagnosis was always the same. TMJ.  Now, I no longer go to the doctor, I know what it is and I huddle under blankets, drink liquids through a pink striped straw and pray for the pain to subside.

Those of us with this chronic pain disease have so many different symptoms, yet there is usually one or two that affect us the most. This is one of them for me. Pain, out of nowhere, unexpected, usually starting in the middle of the night and continuing as long it takes. I’ve tried the mouth guards (sort of), I’ve tried heating pads, I’ve tried deep breathing and meditating. TMJ lurks in the quiet of my brain and body and jumps out of the darkness to scare me with its razor-sharp accuracy. It attacks with no warning, no signals. Unlike migraines, there are no warning signs. This, I find hard to deal with, hard to surrender to so much pain for however long it decides to stay. For once, i am helpless in this situation, I feel disempowered and small, the pain has caught up to me and it is winning.

The Separation Between Pain And Pain

snake

Pain woke me up from a deep sleep, as if someone was crossly shaking me awake. It started in the middle of the night, doesn’t it always? I felt sharp, stabbing pain that started behind my ears and shot down to my jaw line like bursts of fireworks you want to watch but not feel. I  moaned out loud; the pain was unbearably familiar but I hadn’t had it in a long time. Labor pains, during childbirth, at least give you a couple of moments rest in between contractions and a beautiful new baby as an award but this did not. I would try to sleep for a minute or two and be awakened by searing pain, inside my head, like a steak being branded on an open fire. TMJ had come back with a vengeance.

I have noticed that my Fibromyalgia symptoms, soreness of legs, feet, joints, muscles, pain everywhere on my body, have been at an all time high. I wonder if it has anything to do with the weather changing since it started so suddenly, or all the stress building up in the last three months or is it just random torture? Maybe it’s all of them, together. I can take medicine for the pain but we all know it just doesn’t help. Nothing does.

I know it doesn’t seem to make sense but I don’t have the energy to take a train to see my Rheumatologist, I’m sorry, I’m just too tired. Patients with other type of  illnesses may not be able to relate to this but chronic pain patients understand. They understand all too well about Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups. “What’s a Flare-UP” you ask? Ah, obviously you don’t have Fibromyalgia and I am jealous of you now. I understand though, it happens all the time. I would not be a good Fibromyalgia Ambassador right now because I tell the truth. Physical and emotional pain are closely connected, they join together like two vapid snakes curled around each other. You can’t have one without the other. Pain is here to stay, it never goes away for long, it comes back like the univited guest that crashes a party with drunken rowdiness. Pain is here to stay; wrap your mind around that.

Swedish Fish Are Mood Elevators

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Image by absenthero via Flickr

Sometimes all we need is a change of attitude. Or a good night’s sleep or the morning light that makes evening’s horrific problems seem not so bad after all. It’s hard to wake up grumpy after nine hours of sleep. My back is a little better so that’s an improvement and I  hear the cardinals tweet their beautiful songs right outside my window. It’s raining but the light gray skies look hopeful, almost as if they were encouraging the sun to come out and play.

I found a diner that serves carrot cake by the slice but ever since I saw it I haven’t been back to buy it. Just knowing its available is good enough, well, until tomorrow when I go back, hand them my cash and run.

Writing about my narrow angled glaucoma last night made me feel relieved. It had never occurred to me to write about it before and I find that strange. I can post about Fibromyalgia but this horror, this reality, had subconsciously become my scary secret.  It’s as if before I had avoided a part of my own reality: I’m scared to death of going blind and the procedures themselves are excruciating. Help me. Please.

Tonight I will break apart the multi-grain French loaf that I bought at the store yesterday, warm it up and eat it with olive oil or butter and a chunk of sharp white cheddar cheese, and honey and that will be my dinner. I will drink diet vanilla Coke out of  a wine glass and celebrate being alive, celebrate yesterday being over.

My headache throbs incessantly and will not go away. Weather? Stress? Fibromyalgia? Life? These days I’m a single mother of two active and self-involved teenagers that dance around me. There is no real communication or help, because they are only concerned about themselves and their private worlds of friends.  I lost it today, saying I was not “their maid” and they need to help out. At 16 and a half and almost 18 and a half they should really know better but they don’t. Age appropriate? Probably. Annoying? Definitely.

I am looking forward to watching Modern Family tonight on television while eating Swedish Fish. Yesterday was the first time I ever had a Swedish fish, I took a few out of the bags I had bought my children and tried them. I now know why they love them. The texture is smooth, slimy, sugary sweet and strawberry? I eat them gingerly not wanting to tempt the pain of TMJ. Even so, Swedish Fish (and no, they are not paying me) truly are a delicacy, because other than ginger-lemon cookies, they are all I’ve got.  Sugar therapy. Works for me.

Buying Yodels For My Family Is A Big Fat Lie

Yodels

Image via Wikipedia

The year of tension and excitement and dread is upon us. We have a Junior in High School and  Senior in High School at the same time. I get mixed up when I write a check, is it for the PSAT? Senior dues?  Homecoming? Does my daughter have driver’s ed the same time she is babysitting twice a week or will that work out? Will my son and husband’s EMT class conflict with my son’s attention to applying for college? How will he get all his homework done? How will my daughter do all these things at the same time?

Our guidance counselor is on medical leave and I do feel bad for anyone who is sick. But, to my own chagrin when we heard the announcement my husband and I both thought: “What about our kids?” They are in their Junior and Senior year and they have no guidance counselor. It was totally selfish and somewhat unkind but it is reality.  I’m sure they will figure out things at the High School but becoming one of  “those parents” was totally disheartening and disturbing.  It wasn’t right, it wasn’t nice but it I admit it, it crossed our minds.

Tonight, we thought we had our son’s Senior essay all set (and since when do the parents have to do the work and write an essay?).  We wrote a beautiful, succinct paragraph that truly summed up his character and learning style. All was fine until I heard people wrote pages. Not one page but two or three, one parent wrote five. Granted, this is a bit much but I had the horrible feeling that we had done too little. So, after calling friends, taking polls and freaking out, I tried to expand his essay and elaborate so we will have at least another paragraph, two if they are small.

This added news sent me into a frenzy. I panicked, I stressed out and of course, I ate. I went straight to the kitchen where a lone pack of Yodels sat in their pretty white box with blue and orange trim. They were basically begging for me to eat them. What could I do?  I ripped that cellophane pack into shreds within two seconds, and ate them as I was climbing, with pain and soreness, upstairs to the bedroom. I literally stuffed them into my mouth. Sure, I ate them one at a time but I did not linger, I did not sit down leisurely and peel the chocolate, I just ate them.  I didn’t even ENJOY them. That, my friends is stressful eating. Next time I go grocery shopping, I cannot kid myself that buying the Yodels was an altruistic act for my children.

I can tell I am overwhelmed because my jaw has stiffened and my TMJ hurts. I am trying to relax but I can’t. There is so much going on now that I can’t even “breathe” myself down. If Yodels didn’t help, nothing will.  This is not good for my auto-immune disease or my fibromyalgia because I think the stress makes the symptoms worse. I am in pain and I am very tense and my body hurts in places it shouldn’t hurt. Even if I slow my body down, my mind (probably still from the aforementioned Prednisone) will not. I just can’t stay up much longer, I’m tired and need to sleep. For a person who never procrastinates I am thankful for one extra day. One last day to finish all the things left to do, retype the essay, clean the house, do laundry, go to pick up a prescription and most importantly, not eat Yodels.