Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I JUST NEED SOME RESPITE




This morning I slept in. Usually the alarm rings at 6am and I get up and get Chris off to work.  But last night, I laid his clothes out for him, filled the tea kettle and left him to get himself ready. 

It's not the norm, but neither is my bout of fatigue and pain. This is one humdinger of a fibromyalgia flare if it is one.

I say if it is, because I am experiencing crippling joint pain and feel feverish.  For years, there has been debate amongst rheumatologists as to whether I have Lupus. I have many markers, including antiphospholipid syndrome (sticky blood), and my ANA+ has tripled in 12 months.

So far my diagnosis is connective tissue disease, unspecified auto immune disease and fibromyalgia. But I think more blood tests may be in order. I have never had such joint pain as this.  Plus I need to see if my thyroid meds are doing the job. I am exhausted. Constantly. I wake up with no spoons at all.

On the plus side, I set myself a goal of folding all the clean washing that was piled in our walk in robe. It was a mammoth task with frequent breaks. But I managed to do it, and it has given me some satisfaction.

I have cooked a fried rice dish that Chris likes and unless he cleans the kitchen for me, it will get done tomorrow when I come back from my doctor appointment.

First thing on my list of requests after checking my blood pressure will be a check to see why my joints are all swelling up at the same time. It can't just be ageing.   It's extremely painful and is probably why my BP won't come down.

 I would be happy if I could just get a respite from being in pain. I just wish it would show its face so I know what I am fighting..


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the  crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Monday, 22 June 2015

GOD FEELS FAR AWAY


These last few weeks have been difficult to say the least and as I sit here this Monday morning my body's aching and my fingers are throbbing with arthritis. 

I feel every day of my 62 years and wonder how I am going to cope with another decade or so that I probably have left of life.  My house is in need of a good tidy, and not the type that Teresa, my friend and home helper can do either.

There is washing to fold and put away, dishes to put in the dishwasher, cat kibbles to clear up from when the cats fought over the same dish of food. And their litter tray in the garage needs emptying. As I said, not stuff Teresa does.

I have had someone add a horrid caption to one of my pictures on Pinterest leading back to my other blog and I have had to delete my Board for it and redistribute my pins to other ones. I am stressing that readers have thought that I posted it. My stats have dropped considerably. Damage done I think.

Yesterday was a prayer meeting for people involved in the launch of our new Baptist church in two weeks. I literally forced myself to go as I am one of those people. Midway in prayer, I forgot a word I was searching for in prayer (anointing... it was.) and the air hung in pregnant silence. It was embarrassing, but my mind is suffering fibro brain fog and I don't look sick, so I didn't mention it.

I am so over being ill. Striving to be normal sucks. I am depressed. I admit it. And today, writing this, I feel like throwing in the towel.  If you feel led, please pray for me. God feels far away today... I  am in a hard place...

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


In my distress I called upon the LORDto my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice,and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:12

Sunday, 14 June 2015

WRITE YOUR NAME ACROSS MY HEART



I have a condition linked to fibromyalgia which is called dermagraphia or skin writing. My skin is super sensitive and if there is any pressure whatsoever on it, I come up in red welts like hives. And it is super itchy and hot to the touch. In fact, I look like I have been whipped when I am dressing after a bath or shower. And that is just getting dry.

Dermagraphia was in fact the clincher for my rheumatologist in diagnosing my fibromyalgia. Red welts appeared over my shoulders and at the back of my neck where she pressed lightly to gauge if I had pain in the typical pressure points. "Ah, you have dermagraphia! You definitely have fibromyalgia!" she said. It was the day of the diagnosis, a lead up to three years of tests and endless doctors' visits. 

There is nothing I need do when I get the welts coming up. I can use a soothing lotion but it will calm down by itself in about 30 minutes.

I jokingly invite Chris to write his name across my heart..it doesn't hurt, It is a nuisance more than a pain, but it sure makes a good party trick! 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. " Isaiah 41:13

Monday, 8 June 2015

OF DISHES AND DALLIANCES


This picture reminds me of Chris and I in the kitchen... I often can be washing the dishes and he will come behind me for a cuddle.. I still blush and giggle like a school girl!  I usually go weak at the knees when he kisses the back of my neck, and I turn around and kiss him passionately.  Finally, we break away, breathless with romance and laughter!  Most times, he then pitches in and helps me finish washing up.

This little dalliance of ours to us is quite romantic and that coupled with the fact that Chris helps me with the dishes, makes me feel nurtured and happy- it doesn't take a lot for me! Which is good, because money is short for a lot of flowers and chocolates.

We do go out together for meals whenever we can salt away a little money.  Nothing too expensive, but we bring our own ambiance!  Just looking into each others' eyes and holding hands over the table reminds us of our early days together and keeps us focused on each other.  Truly, we do adore each other.

Because money is in short supply, and because we constantly laugh together and cuddle often, we feel that special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays and Valentines' Day aren't necessary to show affection and love. We in fact, do not buy gifts for these for each other. And it is perfectly fine with us. We do, however look at our wedding photos and reminisce a lot on our anniversary or any other date significant to us...

I think it may be the fact that we are an older married couple that makes it easier to see romance in ways that younger couples don't.  With age and ill health, both Chris and I prefer a bubble bath at home with a good back wash and nail trims or a foot or back massage.  We do that for each other on a regular basis. To us, nurture is romance!

Chris loves me bringing his breakfast into him in the morning. This to him is romantic and although his not buying me presents and sending me cards may seem that he is an unromantic man, nothing could be further from the truth.  He sings to me! We have some special songs that he says were written just for us, and he will play them on the computer, and take me in his arms and croon to me as we dance slowly round the living room.

Because I am often in hospital, Chris shows his care by staying with me most of the day until visiting hours are over, just stroking my hair and holding my hand. Or he will come with our laptop and headphones for me. My heart melts with love for him.  We can't stand to be away from each other.

Illness, medications, no spoons and age have curtailed our times of intimacy, but we manage to show love to each other in ways that are imaginative, erotic and very caring.  There is absolutely no thoughts of unmet needs- love can be expressed in ways other than full sexual intercourse, and we delight in each other regardless! If sex happens, it's a bonus!

So we don't care about no presents or cards for Christmas, or birthdays or Valentines' Day-  with the romantic sparks that still fly between us, and our little dalliances, every day is Valentines' Day. 

I thank God for Chris as I am one very blessed wife, and I tell him often.... he finds that very romantic too!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life ... 1 Peter 3:7  this post has been written with my husbands' permission.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

AT LEAST I CAN FIND A SEAT



I often have trouble walking, and it's not because I can't. It is a combination of things that see me gasping and unable to progress. 

My gait is OK, but as soon as I go for a walk or try to shop, my muscles in my back spasm, my heart pains me and I get breathless. I need to stop, find a seat and dose myself with nitroglycerin spray under my tongue and if I am wheezing with asthma, I use my inhaler. It's not much fun, especially when I feel well enough and have the spoons to actually go shopping. 

Chris and I have found a way around this problem. I use either a wheel chair or a motorised scooter that I can hire from the Concierge at the Shopping Centre. I even have a card that I just present when I go. It makes hiring it easier.

At supermarkets, I find if I actually push the shopping trolley, that it gives me the support for my back muscles that I need. And for walking when I can for exercise, I have a walker.

I used to balk at using mobility aids, but now I have accepted that I need them, I find we can still go shopping and enjoy ourselves. You have to work with what you have.

Another reason I am using the walker around the block is that I need to keep walking or else I will find that I can't.  I am hoping that after I have the heart stents put in, that I will be able to build my strength up again and not need them. But meanwhile I have to keep working at lowering my blood pressure and sugars and hopefully clear the brain fog.

Meanwhile, I thank God that we have them available here. And at least I can always find a seat.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.  Proverbs 31:17

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO BE SEPARATE



Night time has proven to be a difficult time for Chris and I.  We both have problems sleeping and often we keep each other awake.

Chris has osteoarthritis in his hips and shoulder and finds it hard to drop off to sleep. His legs are restless and jumpy and painful he often suffers from bad calf muscle cramps. It is not unusual for me to find him making himself a cup of tea in the middle of the night because he can't sleep. Plus we both have sleep apnea.

But more often than that, it is I who makes it hard for him. I usually go to bed full of pain and can't really get to sleep unless Chris rubs my back. He is very good like that and I usually get to sleep quickly. However, I grind my teeth in my sleep, stop breathing for about a minute, and snore. 

My medications cause GORD which has resulted in me having aspiration pneumonia and left me with asthma. I often wake up unable to breathe, and need to use my inhaler. My blood-thinners Clopidogrel and aspirin (for my stents in my heart to stay open and for antiphospholipid syndrome), cause me to have nosebleeds in my sleep as well.  Poor Chris is often disturbed again with this. So we are not good night time company.

Obviously, not all these things happen every night, but a good lot do and we have often considered sleeping in separate rooms. However, I have a problem with that because I love cuddles and sex if it happens, and I love sleeping in Chris's arms until I drop off to sleep. It has been our custom for the 17 years we have been married.

So we have worked out a strategy for staying close, yet sleeping separately. Chris will come to bed with me, and when I am asleep, he will come out to sleep by himself if he can't drop off.  We haven't actually got another bedroom set up in our new small house, so Chris sleeps in the recliner rocker. 

We are very passionate with each other and very demonstrative and we often sit watching TV holding hands. So there is no problem with closeness. And there is no problem with sleeping separately for the most part.

This situation is not ideal, but when chronic illness threatens to deprive others of their needed rest, something has to be done. We don't see any harm coming into our marriage through separate rooms, in fact, we think under the circumstances, it would enhance it...sometimes you just have to be separate.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks


"When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. ” Proverbs 3:24

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