Thursday, February 14, 2013

LOAD213 - Days 11-13

So I'm starting to imagine that by the time LOAD is over, you will all be so tired of looking at and commenting on my layouts... and wondering if anything else is going on in my life.  Mostly my days right now are work and scrapping - just trying to keep up with the challenge and get some good pages done.

For those who have been wondering, I'm two and a half weeks into the Primal eating lifestyle and so far so good! I've been able to stick with it and although I'm still seriously craving something with a pastry texture (cookies, banana nut bread, brownies...) I haven't had any cheats! And there has been some weight loss too.  Not a lot yet, but these days every little bit is something to celebrate. But with vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, fish, and some dairy as the staples of this plan, there really is NOTHING on there that looks or tastes like bread, pasta, crackers, or pastry.  I could live fairly happily without bread or crackers but I am missing pasta and pastry!

So the layouts...
LOAD11 prompt was tell a secret of adulthood.  My secret is that the news media almost always over-hypes the weather...

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LOAD12 asked "what did you do for love"?  And this prompt could go in so many different directions, but my chosen direction was timely for me...

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Finally, LOAD13 asked us to incorporate something NEW into our layout. This whole Primal thing is new for me and sometimes mistakes are made. I made a big mistake (for me) ordering "gluten-free" pizza (thinking I was being all virtuous sticking to this plan) on Friday night when Jay & I went out to our favorite local pizzeria.  It did not agree with me at all and triggered a massive flare-up of my fibromyalgia that lasted into Sunday morning.  Which led to this layout... where the new to me technique was to create an actual scrapbook layout in art journaling style. Which I then paired with a 6x12 journaling page.  This will go in the "All About Cheri" section of our "US" Library of Memories album.
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The journaling reads:  Living With Fibromyalgia

1. Pain. When I was first diagnosed with fibro, most of my days were a 5/6 on a pain scale of 1-10. Pain I equated with the type of all over body aches you get with the flu - a flu that never goes away. The pain is transient in that it can seemingly strike any body part at any time, although most commonly neck, shoulders, hips, and knees. Through diet modification, meditation, and Tai Chi most days are now in the 2/3 range. Not bad enough to prevent me from engaging in most everyday activity. Nevertheless, the pain is constant. I haven’t had a single pain-free day in years. On days that I don’t mention it or complain, it only means that I’m coping, not that I don’t hurt. If I complained every time it hurt I would sound like a broken record. On a bad “flare” day my pain level will shoot to a 7/8, just shy of bad enough to head to the E.R. Those are the days when I have no energy at all and just need to sleep all day.
2. Fatigue. Being tired is another constant with fibro. I am tired all the time. Most days I am able to push through the exhaustion in order to accomplish what must be done. Sometimes I just can’t and have to give in to a nap.
3. Sleep. Fibro wreaks havoc with normal sleep patterns. Most nights I fall asleep in 20-30 minutes. But I wake up an average of 10-12 times per night. If I’m lucky the waking is transitory and I fall right back asleep. Sometimes the awake periods last around 15 minutes. Then there are the nights when insomnia takes over and I can’t fall asleep to save my life. Those nights are hard and usually mean a really bad day will follow.
4. Memory. By far the hardest symptom for me to deal with has been the memory glitches. I will forget things - like taking the keys out of the car before I lock the door. Or leaving my purse in a restaurant. I lose words. All. the. time. As someone who earns a living crafting with words, it becomes very frustrating when I know there is a perfect word for what I want to say but I can’t recall it. I have difficulty concentrating and I’m easily distracted - like adult onset ADD. It feels scattered and chaotic; not my normal organized self. And I can no longer trust my memory. I have to keep lists and write everything down or I won’t remember it five minutes later. I used to be able to work off a mental checklist.
Obviously, none of this is life-threatening. It could be far worse. But try to imagine how you would feel if you were condemned to spend the rest of your life exhausted, in pain, and unable to rely on your own brain. How would you cope?

Now, I realize the layout sounds kind of dark and I'm not really in that place.  It is just that I was trying to explain the symptoms in a way my family (who are mostly still in denial that there is anything wrong with me) could understand. It is my hope that once this layout makes it into an album they'll actually read it and take the information to heart.

So, it's all good here, I'm feeling fine... Happy Valentine's Day to my bloggy friends!


9 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm enjoying seeing all your layouts Cheri, and you are doing a great job with LOAD. I especially like the art journal style page & our honest journaling!

I can't even imagine a diet with bread (well, Mama's biscuits mainly!) - in fact, I'm pretty sure I could live on bread & water alone. Well, and Coca-Cola, too. LOL

Maya Oren-Dahan said...

Beautiful layouts! Thanks for sharing so much about yourself! I hope you will find some relief.
Good for you for keeping up with your diet!

Missus Wookie said...

You are nice to cook the pasta and then good not to eat it. I'm sure you've read the 12 spoons story about living with chronic pain? I found that so helpful when I was at my worst in 2006.

Sian said...

Happy Valentines Day to you too! I bet getting all that journaling down on paper felt really good..

Keep on keeping up with that diet :)

Amy said...

I have gradually reintroduced some grains over the last month - mainly quinoa and rice, but only a couple of times a week. I have certainly lost weight and I am also feeling a lot better. It's not always easy as we are so trained to eat those high carb foods when our bodies don't need them. Keep at it, you will find what works for you!

Love ALL your layouts, and I think the Fibro one is fabulous - a good explanation.

Abi said...

Happy Valentines. Keep going with the diet. Thank you for sharing the layouts, they are always beautiful.

Karen said...

That last layout is probably one of the most important ones you will do. I learned a lot reading the journaling. I had a colleague who suffered from it as well. It can be so debilitating. I hope the change in your diet makes a consistent difference.

Alison said...

Great layouts..and a very good explanation of living with fibromyalgia !
Alison xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

I think that last layout is so brave.
Rinda