Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Polly Vindicated

To continue on from my last post regarding my lovely new stamps, etc from PapertreyInk; I logged onto the forum this morning so that I could announce that at last I can join in the fun. Being naturally nosey, I mooched around and read some more of Claire's recent postings; admired her work and the work of others along the way.

I admit that I was surfing; while I undoubtedly have a great many other things to be doing, including supervising my own two boys find the bedroom floor under the great pile of junk they have amassed. Somehow though, I don't feel quite so bad any more about the time I spend sitting at my lovely computer desk on my lovely deep pink upholstered computer chair that DG gave me for my birthday.

I found this article about the condition of Fibromyalgia, amongst Claire's posts. Reading it made me feel a whole lot better about my life and the life-style which has been inflicted upon me and my family by the condition over recent months and years. It is nice to be validated; especially when feeling a bit low about the whole thing.

Please read it; it will put many things into perspective, as it has for me...

July 16, 2008

Fibromyalgia a frustratingly mysterious illness

Chronic pain syndrome tied to brain imbalance

The Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger

Imagine hurting all over, every day, with no end in sight. Couple that with a physical exhaustion that never completely subsides, not even with adequate sleep and rest. Add in insomnia, brain fog and depression.

The worst part — there's no cure. Sufferers of fibromyalgia don't have to imagine that nightmare. They live it. Daily.

The chronic pain syndrome, which manifests itself by widespread muscle pain, results from a chemical imbalance in the brain, causing sufferers to perceive pain differently than the average person, said Dr. Neal Shparago, a Jackson rheumatologist of 15 years.

"There are many physicians who do not believe fibromyalgia exists," he said. "I believe it exists and try to treat it — sometimes successfully and sometimes not."

Stress, sleep deprivation and traumas are triggers of fibromyalgia. It is a common malady, said Shparago, who has seen an increase in the number of patients diagnosed in recent years. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are basically one and the same, according to Shparago.

An estimated 3 percent to 6 percent of the U.S. population has the debilitating disease, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association.Women are affected most, but men and children also fall victim to the condition that remains a mystery.

Chinika Hughes-Hood was a 25-year-old television journalist in Houston when her life took an abrupt detour. Sitting in a chair at work, she attempted to stand but couldn't.

"I thought I was just tired," said Hughes-Hood, now 31. "I thought, 'Girl, get up from this chair.' I went to the break room to try to regain some kind of energy, and my knees buckled. I made an appointment that day."

A rheumatologist soon diagnosed her with the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Despite medication, her symptoms — constant pain, swollen knees, fatigue, insomnia, burning sensations ("like sitting next to an oven"), memory loss — grew worse over time.

"I couldn't get any relief," said Hughes-Hood, who has since relocated to Hattiesburg, Miss., with husband DeCarlo. "I would hear, 'It must be in your head' because those symptoms were not a part of rheumatoid arthritis."

Hughes-Hood insisted something else must be wrong. Two years and three rheumatologists later, she was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The inquisitive journalist, who had left her job because of the unrelenting symptoms, had mixed feelings.

"The diagnosis was confirmation that it's not all in my head," said Hughes-Hood, who had learned just weeks before that she was pregnant. "But at the same time, I felt a tremendous sense of urgency because there is no cure. I looked at (the doctor) and said, 'So you mean to tell me I'll have to deal with this every single day or moment of my life?' "

Fibromyalgia is a difficult disease to treat because there is no consensus among specialists as to its origin, or cause, said Shparago. Treatment is therefore a matter of trial and error.

The only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug is Lyrica, said Shparago. Tricyclic antidepressants and antidepressants such as Cymbalta are also commonly prescribed. Drugs can only do so much, however. Patients suffering from the chronic illness must go a step further.

"It is very possible the patient may return to normal, but I tell my patients that they will never completely be rid of the illness, and that they need to make lifestyle choices which will ease their discomfort," he explained.

Because stress is a trigger, Shparago said it is paramount that patients get adequate sleep. Exercise, he explained, is also critical because it causes the body to release endorphins, chemicals emitted from the brain that act as natural pain relievers.

Two years after Hughes-Hood's diagnosis, she is a stay-at-home mom to daughter Halei, who is almost 2, and creator of an online, talk show-inspired magazine at, which allows her to be her own boss and work at her own pace.

Because she suffers from the two debilitating diseases, Hughes-Hood takes a nerve-deadening pill, which causes drowsiness; a narcolepsy pill to combat low energy; pain medication; and a sleeping aid at night.

"I'm in pain from sunup to sundown," she explained. "Like I've been run over by an 18-wheeler. I'm always on some level of pain. Sometimes it's a one or two on a scale of one to 10. Other days, it's a 10-plus. Most days, it's a six."

"I want to be pain-free as much as possible to manage the illnesses. To find that balance between illnesses, family and career. And a peace of mind to find that balance."

Thanks for dropping by, I'll be posting again soon! That is when I have recovered from what is probably going to be a stamping frenzy; after all I've got to fill those hundred boxes and have them ready for sale, haven't I?

Love to All!

Polly Pierce
Handmade Card & Wedding Stationary Maker Supreme!


Hole-y Day said...

Piercings Rock! I just wanted to say since we all share a love for piercings don't forget each year National Piercing Day falls on May 16th. It was started in 2007 by a guy named Dave at but it's really neat! But anyways, I thought this blog would be a neat place to help spread the word of NPD! Here is a youtube link that shows some piercings being done and explains a little more about the holiday:

But it rocks! A day just for us!
The Pierced and the Piercers!

Polly Peirce said...

Just for the sake of interest I have allowed this comment to go through; even though the person posting it obviously hasn't read my blog.

Yes, I have got piercings; but only of my ears & only one on the left, two on the right lobe and one at the top of my ear.

I also have my navel pierced, which was probably in response to a mid-life crisis! I don't wear any jewellery here as it is too irritating; ie nickel and everything else allergies!

Still; thankfully we are not all the same and whatever makes you tick...