Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Brief Blogging Hiatus & Headache Update

As you may have noticed, I've taken a wee holiday from blogging! There's simply too much on the go with our house hunt and my engineering workload these days. Also, I'm trying (ever-so-hard) to get back to the gym on a regular basis, which at this point is once every week or so. Not very good progress, I'm afraid.

My headaches have been up and down. I don't pay much attention to them any more. I'm utterly bored with the topic of head pain. They oscillate between a 2 and an 8 most days, and I get very few days of relief. I am overdoing things and I need to get more sleep.

The new fitness regime (my once-a-week work outs) worsens my headaches. This is eternally frustrating. I'm accustomed to exertion headaches, which I often get simply from walking home from work most days. But the day after a workout with weights, the pain is close to unbearable. My neck and shoulders seize up and my back muscles ache and hurt from top to bottom, even after doing low weights. My muscles are hyper-sensitive, over-reacting to a small workout by tensing terribly all over until my legs and arms, and especially my shoulders, traps, and neck ache like I've climbed Everest or had a car accident.

The muscle pain evolves into a dull, sickening headache which is made worse by pain which goes from head to hips. I call it a "body headache" and it's debilitating and exhausting to hurt this badly. Years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which I've never really bothered to address because it seemed to come and go. But over the last few years, the muscle pain is inextricably linked to head pain. Whether or not it's fibromyalgia is irrelevant - the fact is, my muscles ache, badly, especially my neck and back, and when they do - my head aches like a son of a gun. These are typical "tension-type" headache features, but don't explain why my hips and legs ache sometimes too..

So I'm not terribly inspired with my return to fitness. Who the hell can work out after a day of pain at the office, especially when the next day promises to be worse? I can't believe that for most of my 20's and early 30's I worked out regularly 4-5 days a week. Over the last year, I've gone to the gym maybe once a month, and in the past two weeks have been there a couple of times. My body doth protest. How did I do this once? It seems so long ago.

For now, I've put blogging further down the priority list. I'll write here and there when I get a chance, so please keep checking. And forgive me if I don't visit your blogs as often as I did. I promise to resume blogging once things settle down. For now, I'm trying to "pace" and "self-manage" a little better, like my workshop leader taught me. That means using my free time for house-related things, financial things, going to the gym, learning all about home repair/maintenance, poring over decorating magazines, and sleeping...

David is a gem. He makes my life bearable. He cares for me, cooks my meals, buys me groceries, and reminds me to slow down. But being detail-oriented, and an engineer, I'm taking charge of the financial aspects of the house buying, doing spreadsheets, planning our bills, and figurin' and head scratchin' about lots of things, like merging our bank accounts and looking after investments. I love doing these things (being a bit of a control freak and information junkie) but still...I need to slow down.

Thanks to David, I am sane. He supports me and loves me without fail. Without him, I would be a perfectionistic mess, mired in details, who never takes time to eat right or go to bed on time or smell the roses. He balances me out, encourages me to rest and not be so hard on myself. He is the best drug. And I can't wait until we find a house so I can be with him every day...


  1. Terri, I'm glad that your busy with life! Don't worry about your blog, we all need little breaks every now and again, and I will continue to check, even if you don't post daily, ect.

    I have heard before of people with fyb, and that it is linked to headaches. I haven't done the research myself, so I can't tell you for sure, but it might be something you want to look into (you know, after your done with the spread sheets).

    And finally, I'm so happy that you have someone like David in your life, he really sounds like the perfect match for you.

    Oh ya, and I was talking to Jamie the other day, saying how I think it would be neat to meet you one day, since you are really the only blogger that I know that is close to me, not to mention, we both have headaches, and he thought it was a great idea. Perhaps once your life settles down again we could arange something??? Well unless you are worried that I'm a crazy stalker, and then well, you don't have to meet me, lol.

    Have a great day Terri, I look forward to your next post, whenever it may be.


  2. Terri, please take care of yourself. I look forward to hearing the resolution of your house hunting.

  3. Shannon11:22 am

    I admire your ability to be so productive in the face of your chronic headaches. As far as dealing with the fibromyalgia, I'm wondering if the exercises you're doing at the gym are right for your conditions--i.e., headache AND fibromyalgia.

    I know 2 women who have fibromyalgia. One of them (who doesn't have chronic headaches) joined a gym and exercised almost daily. She said it was an uphill battle, but persistence paid off, and she is finally free from the pain of her fibromyalgia.

    The other woman who has fibromyalgia also has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and frequent migraines. Despite all her conditions, she has repeatedly tried to find an exercise regime that will work for her, but has found she does best when she confines her "workouts" to gentle stretching, and walking.

    Although I don't have fibromyalgia I can relate to to neck, shoulder and upper back problems. I have herniated discs in my neck and they create quite a bit of pain in those areas. Despite all my best efforts to find exercises to strengthen my neck I've found that I'm better off just not doing them; they make my condition worse. Instead I put my focus on learning to relax muscles I was unconsciously tensing. Biofeedback was helpful for this. I also took up Tai Chi and Chi Gung--gentle, but therapeutic movement.

    I only offer these stories as examples. I don't know what the right exercise routine is for you, but I wish you success in finding it---and also the house of your dreams. Hopefully that will ease some of the stress in your life.

  4. jackie - yes, i was thinking it would be great to meet you one day too, seeing as how we are neighbors and all - do fire off an email if you will be in calgary some time and have time to meet up. i know sometimes you come through here for work, etc. but if you ever have a few extra hours i would love to meet you - and we can go for (non-caffeinated) coffee or something.

    dorothy- thanks for your thoughts. i do check your photos most days - it's a quick fix and makes me HaPpY! and inspired! :)

    shannon - yes, i have heard that exercise can be good for fibromyalgia. there was a recent report on this in the media, i think. the only trouble is: when you feel beaten up already, it is near impossible to "work out" or even do something gentle. probably yoga (which i used to do) would be better for me, but i really want to tone up and lose weight. for me, diet alone isn't enough, so i am doing cardio and gentle weights and seeing how it goes. it is a battle, as you said. i like the idea of trying tai chi some day and your suggestion of trying biofeedback is wonderful. i've heard a lot of buzz about it but know little about the techniques. if i decide to pursue any more therapies - biofeedback will definitely be on the list!

  5. You don't even know how much I hear you on just being over talking about the pain. It's there, nothing we do really helps, end of story.

    I hope you guys find the perfect house for you and have a smooth transaction.

    I'll be around whenever you have a chance to update. Until then, take care!

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