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Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Sleeping on a Cloud

September 8th, 2010

So today is my birthday, and I just happened to convince my hubby that a worthwhile birthday present would be a new mattress. My current pillow-top is sagging in the middle and the old springs just aren’t doing my Fibromyalgia flares any favors. My birthday just happens to coincide with the biggest week for mattress sales, Labor Day Weekend. I spent two days going around to several stores that were featuring half-price mattresses just to get the best deal.

Bargain shopping for a mattress is tricky. You want to make sure you are getting the best value, which does not equal the cheapest bed. I argued with my loving hubby about a bed being an investment, and he told me that it isn’t really an investment because beds depreciate in value even faster than cars. The Better Sleep Council has this to say about the matter:

Considering that you’ll probably be using your bed more than any other product you own – including your car, TV, computer or cell phone – the mattress you sleep on is one of the best cost-per-day values on the market today.1

While my husband argued that he needed a new car, I argued that I needed a good night’s sleep and that he would benefit from one too. If I tell you I spent $1,200 dollars on a mattress set, that certainly sounds frivolous. My husband could buy another clunker to drive around town with that. But he probably would only spend about an hour or two a day driving his car, when we both will hopefully be getting 8 hours of blissful sleep each night in our new bed. This works out to cost about $3 per day for the next year, which really seems like a drop in the bucket for something we will most likely be using for the next 10 years. However you choose to justify this expense, it really is a worthwhile investment to healing your body. Quality sleep is essential for Fibromyalgia sufferers.

If you have determined that you are ready to invest in your health by purchasing a quality mattress, I’m sure you are wondering by now which bed I chose. With so many different brands on the market, it was mind boggling to do research and exhausting to walk into stores and lay around in beds for two days straight. First let me discuss my research. Before I even stepped foot into a mattress store I searched Google using the keywords, Fibromyalgia and Mattress. Sure enough there are other people out there recommending specific mattresses for people with Fibro and/or Arthritis. What is hard is to discern between someone that is looking to sell you a mattress, versus another Fibromate that is just sharing information.

The Sleep Doctor has a lot to say about mattress shopping. He cautions that people shouldn’t put off buying a replacement mattress just because it is expensive and it isn’t fun. While Tempur-Pedic and Select Comfort are among the top dogs, Dr. Michael J. Breus says that what you feel most comfortable sleeping on is the most important thing.2 You really should take your own pillow and lay on each bed for a minimum of ten minutes on each side, and on your back. If you are a stomach sleeper, make sure you lay that way too. Pay attention to any pressure points and make sure that your lower back is not sagging in the bed.

The most recommended bed for Fibromyalgia was the Tempur-Pedic, or comparable memory foam bed.3 Also mentioned were air beds like the Select Comfort Sleep Number bed. While one of my coworkers said that her specific Sleep Number was difficult to find, but now that her Sleep Number bed is properly adjusted she loves it. I didn’t see any of these out at the stores to try, and I simply wasn’t going to buy a bed without spending some time laying in it. This was simply too expensive of a purchase to buy sight unseen.

I started by laying in a Sealy Posturepedic, because when I went in for my sleep study I slept great and that was the type of bed that they had in the sleep lab. I thought I wanted a pillowtop posturepedic because it was more affordable and it was something that I slept well in when I was actually being monitored for disruptive sleep patterns. I felt like this was a quality bed, but I kind of felt like the Princess and the Pea. Even though the innersprings were covered in foam or fluff, the bed felt uneven and my lower back would droop like I was laying in a hammock.

After trying out a few different brands of pillowtops, including a $3,000 overpriced Sleep to Live bed by Kingsdown, I started truly considering memory foam. I was nervous about foam because of my chemical sensitivity, but my mom has a Tempur-Pedic and I have taken a couple of great naps on her bed. I was afraid to spend that kind of money, but I believe Tempur-Pedic has some type of comfort guarentee. They have a new line called the TEMPUR-Cloud that is almost $3,000 for a King size and I made the mistake of laying in it. It really is like I imagine sleeping in heaven. For someone with Fibromyalgia, it is truly a dream come true. No pressure points and the new foam is suppose to wick away some of the heat. The foam responds really well to your movement. There is still a sinking feeling, but when you shift positions the foam springs back more quickly. One of the biggest complaints of the older Tempur-Pedic model is that it sleeps hot because the foam retains your body heat. My mom loves this feature because it helps keep her warm.

At less than half the price, I ended up choosing the Simmons Comforpedic Loft which has NxG memory foam that is also pretty responsive to your movement and also helps wick away some of your body heat. Rumor has it that a couple of employees of Tempur-Pedic left to work for Simmons and the Comforpedic was born. I actually preferred the Comforpedic to the original Tempur-Pedic. While I won’t be sleeping on a cloud, I will definitely be floating off to dreamland.

My husband had me lay on my stomach with my face in the foam to see if I had a reaction to the chemicals in the foam. I didn’t in the store, but that bed has been sitting on the floor out-gassing for lord knows how long. Hopefully I won’t have a reaction to the foam in a new bed. I’ll definitely post an update after I have slept in the bed for a week. I’m very excited about my purchase, and I can’t wait for my new bed to arrive this weekend. I only wish it could have been delivered today! Happy Birthday to me.

Further Reading

Better Sleep Guide

Buying a Mattress for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Beds

Going to the Mattresses: How to Cut through the Marketing Gimmicks of Sealy, Serta and the Rest

Knowing What to Shop for while Mattress Shopping Will Bring You Sweet Dreams

Tricks of the Trade: Shopping for a Mattress

UPDATE: See my Review of the Simmons Comforpedic

  1. Better Sleep Council []
  2. Huffington Post []
  3. Fibromyalgia Pain Relief and Memory Foam []

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A Beautiful Day!

March 18th, 2010

Kelly and Corbin at Coolspot

Kelly and Corbin at Coolspot

Last week I had a lot of ups and downs as far as my health goes. Since going gluten-free, not only have I had more energy but my chronic pain has been greatly reduced. I have had a few pain free days which is a major improvement from chronic fatigue and constant pain. Last week I started weening off of Lyrica, but also had a few minor exposures to gluten that led to headaches, constipation, bloating, and muscle stiffness. I am grateful to have had the pain free days I have had.

Today was particularly beautiful outside in northwest Indiana. It was sunny and almost 70 degrees. I enjoyed having the sun kiss my skin as I took the dog for a walk and let the air blow across my face. It felt wonderful to be alive again. I jogged for a little bit with my dog Ginger and felt some pain in my knees. I have all this new-found energy with a desire to run. I use to look at people that were runners and mock them with the thought that you should only run when something is chasing you. I was most likely jealous because I never had the energy, strength or stamina to work my body in such a physical way. Now I can see joy in having the wind on my face.

I’ve been talking to my son a lot lately about how food is fuel for our bodies. It gives us the energy that we need in order to do fun things together. I have always been one to love food, and to overindulge. I could never get my fill and was always planning my next meal instead of enjoying what I was tasting at the time. I am shocked that I now am actually thinking of food as a way to give my body energy, and at this point, nutrients to heal all the cells that have been sadly deficient.

I think what is even more perplexing is that within a day of going gluten-free, I lost all of my food cravings. Before I could eat and eat and eat and never feel full. Now my portions are naturally smaller and I am able to sense when I have had enough to eat. I’ve lost six pound in three weeks and do not feel deprived at all. There is no diet about this. I haven’t been counting calories. I’ve been eating everything I want as long as it has been gluten-free. I’ve had cheesecake, coconut milk ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and lots of fresh vegetables and meat from a local butcher. I’ve had the best hamburger ever, and tried fennel thanks to gluten-free girl!

Although my grocery bill has quadrupled, my rheumatologist is letting me ween off of Lyrica and my family physician has said that I can most likely come off my SSRI and my medication for GERD! I think this is a pretty impressive recovery which will hopefully lead to less medical costs and ease the blow to my pocket book when I am buying organic foods.

I am struggling right now with feeling like I have an enormous amount of energy, but not enough strength to do everything I want to do. Tonight I took the dog for a walk for the first time in a couple of months and then worked in my flower beds for a half an hour. I know that I have overdone it, but maybe my body will recover more quickly than it has before. In the past I would be stiff for well over a week and a half for doing everything that I did tonight.

Yesterday we celebrated my son’s third birthday. Diagnosed with pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy, the chronic pain has persisted until now. Our lucky and charming little boy has been a joy, but I feel I have missed so much in the past three years. I haven’t been able to be the mom that I had envisioned. In that three years, I can remember many times when I couldn’t even stand a hug, let alone have a little matchbox car raced along my arm because of being in intense pain.

Walking into my doctor’s office and telling him that it hurts when my son barely touches me got me a diagnosis of postpartum depression and a recommendation to start Prozac. Thankfully I was wise enough to switch doctors and ended up getting a referral to a wonderful physical therapist that helped get me stretching enough to relieve some of the stiffness I felt. Lyrica did help me become desensitized enough that I could get hugs, but it has left me feeling sleepy, dizzy and nauseous. Hopefully I won’t have to take that medication any longer after a few weeks.

So even though I overexerted myself today, I enjoyed time with my son and I feel lucky to perhaps finally have found what has been causing my ailments. I may have missed out on interacting much with my son the past three years, but hopefully I will have the opportunity to make up for lost time. Thankfully I have had a wonderfully supportive husband through all of this and I know it has been especially hard for him to watch me suffering. I sometimes don’t know where he has found the energy to take care of everything around the house, work full time and take care of our son every night. I’ve barely been able to get out of bed and go to work for the past three years, and up until going gluten-free was beginning to research getting disability benefits for fibromyalgia.

Discovering this gluten sensitivity is truly life changing and I hope that I just continue to get healthy. I worry somewhat the the past three weeks is just a fluke, perhaps due to a change in the weather. For now I am feeling extremely lucky to have finally figured out what is causing my symptoms. I am glad that I did not suffer 20+ years, possibly doing permanent damage to my digestive system. I am finally getting my life back and that is a beautiful thing.

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Two Weeks Gluten Free

March 9th, 2010

I had tears of joy streaming down my face as I drove home from the chiropractor’s office today. I had started going in for adjustments in January after I lost my balance on the stairs and essentially gave myself whiplash. Today I was pleased to hear that I only need to come in once every other week now. More importantly than that, my rheumatologist has given me permission to start stepping down off of my Lyrica. I imagine that I will have some withdrawal symptoms after being on that drug for over two years, but I hope to never have to take it again. It will take a month or more to completely step down off of the drug.

Even though I am very happy to have energy, more energy than I have felt in a long time, I fear that my pain will return, or that maybe this gluten free diet is having some weird placebo effect on my body and the results won’t last. I hope that this diet, this new way of living continues to heal my body. For now I am crying tears of joy!

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Cleaning Out My Pantry

February 28th, 2010


I have been feeling so refreshed that last night I spent time cleaning out all of the wheat products from my pantry. There were tears and mixed emotions. On one hand, I am happy to have finally found something that gives me some relief from the pain and fatigue of Fibromyalgia. On the other hand, I am sad that I will never again eat Coco Wheats, Wheat Thins or Pringles. So I spent some time grieving the loss of some of my favorite foods. I think that these are normal feelings for those of us launching ourselves into the unknown territory of the gluten-free world.

Today we traveled to see some relatives to celebrate a family birthday. Normally the hour drive would have left me stiff, tired and suffering from muscle spasms. Upon arriving at our destination, I felt none of these things. I felt relaxed and had energy to participate in family activities. This is something new.

I shared the food items I pulled from the pantry with the family and mourned the loss of some of my favorite foods. I was also able to share the joy I feel about finally finding something that gives me some relief. I spent time explaining what gluten is and what new foods I am starting to eat. Then the family ordered Pizza Hut and I made my own pizza using Kinnikinnick’s Pizza crust. It was yummy, but I still had to hear my son talking about how yummy his cheese pizza was and hear comments about the quality of the bread sticks. Oh how do I miss bread.

When it came time for the birthday cake I could tell my sister-in-law, Tracey, felt bad that I wouldn’t be able to share. I did bring some gluten-free cookies to eat while everyone else was having cake. Tracey pulled out the ice cream and I exclaimed, “I might be able to eat that!” Then on closer inspection, it contained Maltodextrin, an ingredient that might contain gluten. So I ate my cookies and enjoyed the company anyway. It is always fun to get together with family.

While I am sad about the things I can’t eat, I know that these things are making me sick. They are like a poison and I will never go back and consume. I am finding new foods that have interesting flavors and textures to add to my pantry. Soon I will have new favorites that I hope to share with all my fellow fibromates that are considering going gluten-free.

Since beginning to avoid foods that contain gluten, I have felt better everyday than the day before. I pray that my body continues to heal as I follow this new way of living.

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