Thursday, March 28, 2013

Medication and Dental Care

(Artwork by Kelly Watts 2013)

So under the 'continuing adventure' of having a Chronic Illness
I have just come from a Dental Check up.
And have been told some interesting news...
First of all, I have six, Yes, SIX cavities!  I have never had six cavities before!
Secondly I have some paradental disease happening in the back of my mouth.
What does this have to do with having a Chronic Illness?
Well, apparently, these cavities and paradental disease is caused by having a dry mouth from some of the medications I am taking.
The hygienist had to freeze one quarter of my mouth to clean my teeth and we only finished one quarter of my cleaning.  So I am scheduled to go in
for two more visits!  Oy vay!
The wonderful life of living with a Chronic Illness!
Do any of you have teeth related issues from your illness or medication?
I would love to hear about them.  Just comment in the comment section
as I love to hear from you.
Hugs and blessings my Spoonie Sisters/Brothers
Kelly Watts

Friday, March 15, 2013


Many people suffer from Lupus and I wanted to make myself aware of what this disease is.


What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys, and brain. Normally the body's immune system makes proteins called antibodies that protect the body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders. These foreign invaders are called antigens.
In an autoimmune disorder like lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. The immune system then makes antibodies that, simply put, attack the body itself. This causes inflammation, pain and damage to various organs.
Inflammation is considered the primary feature of lupus. Inflammation causes pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function, inside and/or outside the body.
For many people, lupus can be a manageable disease with relatively mild symptoms. For others, it may cause serious and even life-threatening problems.
Sometimes people with lupus experience a "flare." This occurs when some symptoms appear or get worse for short periods then disappear or get better. Even if you take medicine for lupus, you may find that there are times when the symptoms become worse. Learning to recognize that a flare is coming can help you take steps to cope with it. Many people feel very tired or have pain, a rash, a fever, stomach discomfort, headache, or dizziness just before a flare.
It’s estimated that more than 16,000 Americans develop lupus each year. More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women between the ages of 15 and 45.
In the United States, lupus is more common among African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans than Caucasians.


Symptoms vary from person to person as no two cases are alike (kind of like Fibromyalgia).

Symptoms may include:  Muscle joint pain, butterfly shaped rash on face (not everyone gets this), tips of fingers turn blue when cold, chest pain known as pleurisy, Fever greater than 100, prolonged or extreme fatigue, Anemia,
kidney problems, hair loss, Light sensitivity, abnormal blood clotting, eye disease, seizures, nose or mouth ulcers.

There are similarities to FM such as extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, I get chest pain Pleurisy a lot, I am anemic, I do loose a lot of hair...  I wonder if I could have Lupus?  I hope not. 

I am however getting bloodwork done tomorrow:(  I hate getting blood work!

I pray that some genius discovers a cure for both Fibromyalgia and Lupus really soon!  God please heal us!

If you would like to share more on your disease of Lupus please let me know and I can post it for you here.

(Artwork "Joy Tree" by Artist Kelly Watts 2012)
May you find joy through the pain today!
Many hugs and blessings fellow spoonies!
Kelly Watts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hot or Cold?

(Artwork by Kelly Watts 2011 Words of the Year)
This week I received a letter all the way from Australia from a sweet lady named Sharon.  She gave me a lovely card with a letter and made me a beautiful pair of earrings.  Thank you Sharon for your lovely gift, I appreciate it very much.
Her letter got me thinking... she mentioned that she was looking forward to the  cooler weather.   As for me... I never look forward to the cooler weather but long for the heat like a lizard in the desert.
As you might know I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada and we have had snow on the ground since the beginning of October... I have really been fighting this winter to get heat into my body.
We have an infrared sauna (but I do not always have the energy to hold myself up in a sitting position); I can sit in a hot bath for only so long; I have nearly worn out my 'umteenth' magic bag...
I need the sunshine and the heat.
The cold weather goes directly to my bones and they ache and ache.
What do you struggle with?  Hot?  or Cold?
What helps you?
The sunshine was smiling brightly today and I was in my 'happy place' in my dining room for as long as the sun shone through the window:)
I am very much looking forward to warmer weather as my trip to a warmer climate is on hold due to lack of funds with me not working:(  So sad.
I pray you are all having a wonderful low-pain week.  Many many blessings to you.
Kelly Watts

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Medication Check

(Artwork By Kelly Watts 2009)
What medications do all of you use?
What medications have you tried but have had horrible results?
I have been on medication since 1997.  I started on medication when my second born was well... born.  I was bedridden for 8 months due to the pregnancy shooting me some overdoses of hormones and all my joints would well... get out of joint!  I couldn't walk, I couldn't sit, I couldn't play with my firstborn on the floor anymore. 
That's when my depression kicked in.  When my son was born I felt NOTHING, it was like I was holding someone else's child but even then, it was less than that because I was completely numb and I LOVED BABIES!!!!
I had post-partum depression and was hospitalized just 8 weeks after my second child was born for three and 1/2 months. 
This is when I entered the medication industry and have been an avid member since 1997 (Unfortunately).
Medication for depression and anxiety and sleep were my starter meds coctail.
Paxil (which didn't work alone) so then added Nortriptyline.  Then atavan for the anxiety, and Chlora(Something) for sleep (a small nyquil looking gel pill)
This kept me in my bedroom for four years (literally) and Doctors called that functional???
Finally, in 2002 I find a Doctor who refers me to a "Mood Clinic" at the local hospital and they change up my medications being rather surprised that other Doctors just "LEFT" me as a hermet.
They put me on EFFEXOR (anti-depressant), Lorazepam (anti-anxiety)
small dose of Seroquel (anti-psychotic but in small dose used for sleep)
Oxazepam (anti-anxiety and used for sleep).
Through out my 14 year long depression these are the meds I used to help me through the depression, anxiety and sleep issues.  There were others in there but I cannot remember them.
I know that EFFEXOR helped me immensely and I am still on a low dose of this plus Lorazepam to calm my thoughts, Oxazepam to help with anxiety and sleep, and Immovane for sleep also.
For pain I am on Celebrex twice a day to help my joints.  I was on VIOXX when it was on the market but they stopped making that.  Now I am on Celebrex but their are side effects with this medication for heart problems.  I am not at risk yet but I will have to start thinking about getting off in a few years time.
And now I am on Cessamet, since February 26th so not quite two weeks.  It helps me sleep so well I cannot even tell you.  I have not slept this well in years and years.  I wake up in the mornings refreshed and ready for the day, my joints and FM don't usually bother me at first now whereas I used to have to stretch myself out every morning just to get out of bed.
I am able to accomplish a few tasks per day, whereas I wasn't accomplishing anything before.
Negative Side Effects:  Cloudy brain, blurry vision, dizziness, lack of motivation and sweet cravings.  I can handle the side effects if it takes my pain away or considerably.
I hope you find this information helpful.  If there is anything else you would like to know or if you want to share your specific stories and experiences pleas email me.
Kelly Watts

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pain Management

Photo: A Tens Machine - how I get through the bad pain days!
#fibromyalgia #fibrofighter #pain #support #relief #distraction #spoonie
What do you do for pain management when your pain meds just don't seem to take the edge off?
A few months back I went for a visit at my girlfriend Tara's house.  She had just had back surgery for a herniated disc in her lower spine.
During our conversation it somehow came up that she uses a TENS machine that she purchased from her physiotherapist to help her with her pain.
I was surprised!  I had no idea that those little machines work for pain.  Had I known years ago I would have purchased one.
My Tens machine cost around $150.00 I think... I love it.
Not only does it help with FM pain but it also works for my joint pain on my arms, as well as placing the pads on my abdomen to help me with Menstrual cramping pain.
If you do end up purchasing... beware... it is super easy to shock yourself (Not seriously but enough to hurt).  Make sure you read all the information about this machine so that you are aware of how it works.
For me it has allowed me to take part in some activities I wouldn't be able to normally... such as go to the malls with my family, go out for lunch after Church, sit in Church, go over to friends houses for visits.
It works as a distraction from the pain for me.
I wanted to share this information for you so that if it can help even just one friend suffering from their chronic illness have a little less pain... then it's all worth it!
Many gentle hugs to you my fellow Spoonies!
Much love.
Kelly Watts

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Check In With Cessamet

(Image from Google Image - Pills)
So, I am actively taking Cessamet now.  Having gone to the Doctor on Tuesday morning and filling the prescription... I have been taking it for 4 nights.
What am I noticing?
I am sleeping mostly all the way through the night!  Miracle!!!
Still having dizzy side effects when I do wake up in the night or in the morning.
(No problem... I can do dizzy if it helps)
I am not having extreme cravings for munching on bad food like I thought I might be getting.  So far anyway...
I am not sure if this has to do with Cessamet, but I have been feeling low in moods these past few days, harder to motivate myself (but I was able to push through it!)
When I wake up in the morning I do not feel a lot of pain... I almost have an adrenaline rush for the first hour anyway.  (I do not know how else to describe it - but I feel like I can accomplish more)
The first few days I was able to clean up the kitchen and walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes.
The last two days... low in energy... hurting... didn't sleep that well the night before...
I am hoping to see some sort of pattern emerging so that I can clearly see how this new medication is or is not working for me.
Again, if anyone has been on this medication before and would like to share how it worked for them, please contact me via email and you can tell me your story!
Many hugs and blessings Dear friends.
Kelly Watts

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Depression With a Chronic Illness

(Artwork By Kelly Watts Copyright 2012)
Is it really a surprise that DEPRESSION comes with having a Chronic Illness? I think I have been depressed since I was a young child, around nine years old and I have had physical pain since then also.
For me they have gone hand in hand.  I asked my Doctor what he thought and he looked at me as if I was bonkers!  However, all the research that I have done on this subject indicates that they do go hand in hand.
This is not a "SHOCKER"! moment for me:
It's more of "Well DUH!"
Living with a Chronic Illness makes your life journey much more difficult!  Everything becomes centered around your illness and I mean EVERYTHING!
I would much rather say , "Pfft, illness smill-ness!"  "It doesn't effect me!"
but I know I would be lying!
Everyday during the week my two teenage sons and my husband head off to either school or work.
I sleep in until I wake up which is usually around 9, I stare at the ceiling and monitor my body to determine what kind of day I am going to have, this usually means me monitoring my head also.  I slowly make my way to the bathroom and on the way there I stretch my body and test my mind.
"Where am I hurting today?
Did the medicine work? 
Did I sleep last night?
Is my head dizzy?
Can I see things clearly?
How am I feeling overall?"
Then I go downstairs and make my tea, shutting off all extra lights left on from my boys.  I fill the kettle with water and I monitor, "does it hurt to lift the kettle?"... "Do I have enough energy to grab the stuff for making tea?"...
Now, "Where am I going to sit where I will hurt the least?"
I sit in the same spot drinking my tea and reading my Bible or book every morning.  I take my medicine and vitamins.
Now I have to make myself a veggie juice... and I monitor myself again...
"Is it worth it?"  Okay, yes it's worth it... I have to keep this up.
I grab all the veggies out of the fridge and begin separating the amounts I need to wash and add to the juicer.
Getting all this prepared, washing veggies, juicing veggies, even drinking the juice, then washing the juicer ...
I have probably used up most of my energy.
Now I have to make it back upstairs...
All day long I sit, I lay down, I stretch or if I'm lucky I will walk on my treadmill for a few minutes... and I monitor my body and my mind.
I get out of the house once maybe twice per week if I'm lucky.
Does this sound depressing?  Well, to be honest with you... it darn well is depressing!
I have my good days and I have my bad days... some of those days are emotional moody days and some of them are bad pain days...
but... then there are those precious few hours where I am OKAY!  These hours are what makes it all worth while.
I am blessed.
I would not change a thing,
for I have my God, my Father
and He sends His angels to watch over me!
I pray that you can find that place of contentment, where you can do all you can possibly do to smile for someone, love someone, allow them to smile at you and love you back.  Allow yourself to know and feel our God who loves us so very much.
Sincerely Friends
Kelly Watts