Icing at home

Icing while in the pain program was really easy. First there was an ice machine. I didn’t have to burn up the food processor twice a day. Then there’s the massage tables and hospital linen. I used a room that was all set up for icing. When I was done I just dumped the wet linen in a bin and someone else took care of it.

That’s not the case at home. I already mentioned the food processor problem. Then there’s the linens. I was hanging my towel on the deck and reusing it to try to keep the laundry down. And then there’s the massage table. We don’t have one. So I was trying to come up with a place to lay down on the ice without creating a big mess.

FiMy first try at a solution came with the garden variety reusable ice pack. Throw it in the fridge and it’s ready to go. The instructions say not to use them without a towel but I find that they are more like the ice and wet towel technique if I laid directly on them. The only problem is that these type of packs dont stay cold as long as they need to. But they are nice in that I can just flop it down on the couch and lay right on it. No mess. When I was done, I just threw it back in the freezer. Easy.



I found the next solution at Walmart. It’s called CryoMax. The first evening I tried it. I had it in the freezer for only an hour or so. The instructions say not to use it without the supplied cloth but knowing what I’ve experienced with the wet towels and other ice packs I used it with no cloth. And it worked really well. 15 minutes and it was still very cold. I thought I had a winner.

Last night I woke up in pain and decided to ice. I went to the freezer and got out my two different ice packs. The regular one I used on my shoulders and the CryoMax I used on my lower back. As I lay on the couch I could really feel the CryoMax. I thought it felt more like the intensity of the wet towels and ice. It soon numbed and after 15 minutes I got up. Then I noticed that my lower back was frozen. Frostbite type frozen. This morning when I got up it was still bright red and had hardened clumps of skin. So I figured that using the CryoMAX without a cloth is not a good thing.

This morning after doing my stretches I iced. Using the regular ice packs on my shoulders without a cloth and the CryoMAX just below using the supplied cloth and it was almost perfect. So I think I have a good solution to ice without the mess and work of wet towels and chipped ice. Once I get healed up I’ll give it a good try!


Just say “NO” to drugs!

Saturday night I forgot to take my Cymbalta. The last of the 3 primary drugs I was on for Fibromyalgia. Sunday while driving to my parents I felt a little dizzy. But otherwise the day wasn’t too bad. I know… You’re thinking… “Dizzy” “Driving”? I let my wife drive home.

Then Sunday night as I was going to bed, I thought “Today wasn’t too bad, let’s try another”! So I skipped the Cymbalta. Well it has been 4 days and I can honestly say it was no big deal to go off of the Cymbalta. And now I’m clean and sober!

I am still struggling with sleep. I wake up often and I can’t stand the CPAP. I am stepping up the exercise and working on my sleep hygiene. I think I’ll start taking warm baths in the evening before bed rather than my shower in the morning. Denise thinks I have bad hair days when I do that but it’s better than bad sleep nights!

So now that I’m completely off the drugs. I think overall I feel better. I am definately thinking more clearly. But my life is definately different. I don’t try to be a 20 year old any more. I live within my ability as it has been restricted by the Fibro. Which means I pace. I exercise. And I just say no.


Ambien and the CPAP vs me!

Earlier this year the FDA issued a warning that dosages of Ambien needed to be reduced due to the risk of next morning impairment. At that time I was already on the lowest dose for the controlled release so it didn’t really matter. I have also understood though that it was never intended for long term use. So I have considered that it would be next on my drug elimination list.

Recently I have also been having significant issues with wearing my CPAP. My face seems to be highly sensitive to any pressure. So between these two thoughts I decided to go cold turkey off of both of them. I wanted to get back to the normal me and try more moderate treatments for my sleep issues.

The first few nights were horrific. Insomnia was really bad and when I woke up my throat was really sore from snoring. I was determined however to stay at it. Some comments I had read from others who went off Ambien said it took them a month to get over it.

It’s been about 8 days now and I think I’m settling in without the Ambien. But I really miss the CPAP. So last night I went back to a different mask and had better sleep. I have been using a full face mask and it fits well but just hurts everywhere it touches. So I pulled out a nasal mask that I had tried before and with more determination seemed to do well with it last night.

I know I was restless last night. Waking several times to adjust the mask and get the air flowing like it should. I think I went right back to sleep each time. I was probably pretty tired from the previous nights of sleeplessness.

So that’s my new baseline. No Ambien and my nasal mask. I was hoping to get rid of the CPAP too but maybe that was too ambitious. I’m happy to be rid of another drug. I’m down to just one now.