What’s Wrong with Nichelle?

Other than Fibromyalgia, that’s something we’re still trying to figure out.

Today we visit with the neurologist, who may choose to have Nichelle undergo an MRI. We had blood work done last week, but still need to discuss the results.

Nichelle has had debilitating exhuastion, strange feelings in her limbs, and stabbing pains in her head that spread throughout her body. Put everything together and you get a lot of time spent on the couch or in bed, but she never seems to get enough rest.

Can you believe it? She actually wants me to help out around the house. Sheesh.

I think she's just lazy.

Related posts: The Twins Are Back: What’s Wrong with Nichelle, Continued, Pain; or view all posts categorized as related to fibromyalgia.

18 Replies to “What’s Wrong with Nichelle?”

  1. I am not usually the type to post the sappy and sentimental stuff (despite the fact that I am sappy and sentimental), but I have found the following to be accurate all-too-often.
    One Flaw in Women
    By the time the Lord made woman, he was into His sixth day of working overtime. An angel appeared and said, “Why are you spending so much time on this one?”
    And the Lord answered, “Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable, and able to run on diet Coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart—and she will do everything with only two hands.”
    The angel was astounded at the requirements. “Only two hands! No way! And that’s just on the standard model? That’s too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish.”
    “But I won’t,” the Lord protested. “I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18-hour days.”
    The angel moved closer and touched the woman. “But you have made her so soft, Lord.” “She is soft,” the Lord agreed, “but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.”
    “Will she be able to think?” asked the angel.
    The Lord replied, “Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate.”
    The angel then noticed something, and, reaching out, touched the woman’s cheek. “Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.”
    “That’s not a leak,” the Lord corrected, “that’s a tear!”
    “What’s the tear for?” the angel asked.
    “The Lord said, ’The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride.”
    “The angel was impressed. “You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing.”
    And she is! Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear hardships, and they carry burdens; but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
    They fight for what they believe in. They stand up to injustice. They don’t take no for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without so that their family can have. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally.
    They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
    Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They’ll drive, fly, walk, run, or e-mail you this to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning. They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have vital things to say and everything to give.
    However, if there is one flaw in women, it is that they forget their worth.

  2. I can attest to the fact that Doug is indeed “sappy and sentimental.” I was over their house on Saturday and hey couldn't stop hugging and kissing each other.
    Gross!!! 😉
    I'm glad Nichelle is feeling better and my whole family is praying that she'll stay that way!

  3. We went to see an amazing neurologist. He was very thorough, taking a detailed medical history, with a near photographic memory of what we discussed over a nearly two-hour appointment. He admitted that there were a mix of symptoms, and that some exacerbated the others. He admitted that they were all very real, particularly mentioning the Fibromyalgia, at which point he earned the ability to live another day.
    One of the things plaguing Nichelle has been “ice pick” headaches, a form of migraine which feel like an ice pick is being stabbed into one’s head (and that can spread into the rest of the body). Some new medication for migraines seems to have helped with these, and is letting Nichelle sleep again, and that is helping immensely.
    Another thing that has actually been under treatment (also a typical Fibro symptom) for quite some time is anxiety. Prozac is helping quite a bit there, but the doctor noticed some subtle indicators of depression (which I feel bad about not noticing), like that Nichelle was looking down and away when describing her symptoms, and showed a hypersensitivity to “danger” in what Naomi was doing (which I’d chalked up to the normal protectionist tendencies of motherhood).
    He also scheduled a nerve conduction test, and an overnight sleep test (I’ve had one of those; they're quite fun).
    The doctor is committed to making Nichelle well, and we’ve already seen improvement. Of course, we keep praying as well, as we know God has all the answers, but we do not believe He does not want us to take advantage of modern medicine.
    Because we suspected it was contributing to Nichelle’s exhaustion, we also took the time (and numerous phone calls) to find out if Nichelle needed to take Lorazepam all the time, or only when experiencing a panic attack. It turned out that she did not need to take it every day (and her panic attacks had stopped occurring).
    After two weeks nearly migraine-free and a week without Lorazepam, Nichelle is doing amazingly better. The migraine medication seems to have eliminated the icepick headaches, and allowed Nichelle to get more sleep at night. That, combined with eliminating the Lorazepam has made her able to feel normal most of the time most days, instead of exhausted and drugged.
    Nichelle had her sleep study done Sunday night. We are awaiting the results from that.
    Not all the symptoms are gone. The icepick headaches still occur several times a day, although they are less painful. Nichelle experiences some dizziness on occasion, and also generally needs to nap when Naomi does. She still has weakness and pain in her arms, and numbness in various parts of her body.
    We know the improved health is subject to change without notice—such is life with Fibromyaligia—but for a week Nichelle has been back at 80% to 90% capacity, for which we are extremely grateful.

  4. Well, Doug has filled you all in on the health problems, but I must add some detail about his care for me, too.
    Not sure what day it was, but about a week or so ago, Doug offered to go and do the ENTIRE grocery shopping for the week. Now you have to know Doug to understand that's pretty impressive and it is. He hates, loathes shopping, unless it's for books or computer stuff or actually for Christmas presents–he/we love to shop for Christmas presents. Any other time, it's a “buying” trip. He likes to brag that when he was single, he could make it in and out of the store in under 15 minutes. Now if that time is wrong, Doug will correct me on that. This time he bought from my shopping list foods, that I'm sure he hadn't had to pick out before. He did great!!! There was the occasional phone call, but he was able to get just about everything on the list. I was very impressed and thankful that he offered and managed to complete the shopping in about an hourÂ’s time THREE GRUELING HOURS, maybe a little longer, but he was buying for a family of six. It generally take me longer to do that and I know where to find the items, but I also love shopping. Actually, I go up each isle and cross off things as I go. But in the super Walmart, the first time buying that much food alone, he did amazingly well. Love you dear. 😉
    Being the spouse of someone w/ a chronic health problem isn't an easy thing. Doug is awesome in more ways than you realize and I thank God for bringing him into my life.
    Honey, if you see any errors/typos in this entry, you can go right ahead and correct them. LYVM 😉

  5. Nichelle
    I keep praying to the Big Guy for your health and that he guides the hands and minds of those healthcare folks.
    Hey Doug,
    What you need is our grocery list (which we don't use as much as we should) which is laid out in AISLE ORDER. That way you can skip aisles that you don't need to visit.
    Nichelle, has he started to clip coupons yet? That's when you know he's really into shopping. *8-)

  6. The funny thing about that, is that you need to remember to hand them to the cashier once you've unloaded the cart…can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to do that. I have good intentions when I do clip them, but other times, I forget to bring them. I do use them eventually, but it takes a couple of tries. 🙂
    Now, Doug clipping coupons…not so sure…but it's possible, I think. lol

  7. “The twins” in our family refer to “pain and agony” (one of our many long-running jokes). At any rate, Nichelle, after a week of wonderful health, was in a lot of pain yesterday, had trouble sleeping last night, and is still having some pain, although so far it isn’t as bad.
    That’s what I get for writing about how well she is doing!

  8. Grocery shopping is not something I relish. It is true, that when I was single, I could do all my grocery shopping, including waiting in the checkout line, in 15 minutes or less. Shopping for a family of 6, especially when Nichelle is actually cooking things, is not quite the same.
    My trip to our 24-hour Wal*Mart began at about 9:10 p.m. Because the deli closed at 10:00, I headed off armed with an only partially-completed grocery list and my cell phone.
    My first obstacle was the deli. They had told Nichelle they closed at 10:00, but what they did not tell her was that they shut down all the slicing equipment at 9:30! So I was limited to what they had on hand. I was supposed to get Genoa Salami (among many other things), but they only had hard salami. I phoned Nichelle to ask if David (our Salami fan) would actually eat it. I kept the orders going by asking for the other things on my list while figuring out the Salami question.
    When the order was completed, I apologized to the people behind me for the length of time it took to fill the order. The woman directly behind me expressed that she was only upset by the fact that I called my wife while I was in line. I explained that I had needed to clarify the order, but what I should have explained was that my phone call did not change the time my order took to be filled. I felt really bad, though, about this perceived offense. Next time I will step out of line (an option that did not occur to me at the time).
    Things went better after the deli. I called Nichelle to get the rest of the list, which she was working on from home. Bear in mind I needed brand names and package colors in most cases, and you’ll have some idea of just how patient she is. I filled up my paper, then the space above where I was writing, then the back of the paper, then the space above that. She also had to tell me what not to get, such as not substituting snap pea pods for snow pea pods. (Thankfully, she thought to mention that one.)
    Then the hunt began. It was about 10:30 by this time, and I was already getting tired. Nichelle and I stayed in touch by cell when I had a question, which was several times throughout the expedition.
    Nichelle had also given me tips about what things were near, which helped. I continued hunting. Meanwhile, the staff was doing shelf restocking, which sometimes obscured my view. Despite wearing my most perplexed expression, none of the staff offered to help me find anything. My one victory in that respect was that I needed to find a particular type of rice. (I have forgotten which.) Wal*Mart sells 4,396 different varieties of rice, everything from Goya enriched white rice to Uncle Ben’s microwavable somethingorother. I walked up and down the long stretch of rice, reading every label and every price tag. Finally, I noticed what Nichelle wanted, in an unopened shipping bag! I never did find the frozen egg patties, and they were out of snow pea pods. Otherwise, I found everything on the list.
    To add to my worries I was being very budget conscious. It was two days until pay day, and we had paid all our bills, so there was not much money left in our primary account. (I did have a backup account to use, but did not want to dig into it.)
    I was helped by the fact that the Super Wal*Mart is not as big as the large supermarkets. Still, I did not finish until after midnight. I don’t know how Nichelle accomplishes this every week, especially often with children in tow.

    “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.“ —Proverbs 31:28

  9. Do they have peapod.com in your area?
    We used to use it all the time when we lived in Massachusetts. Now we're a bit out-of-reach of their delivery area, but perhaps Nashua will work!
    We LOVED peapod! They delivered everything, and the price was the same as in the grocery store. You do have to pay a nominal $4 or so fee for the service, but well worth it. We found it INVALUABLE when Shelby was on bed-rest with her pregnancy.
    Just a thought! 🙂

  10. Peapod does not deliver to Nashua.
    We save 30% to 60% on our grocery bill by shopping at Wal*Mart for the items that they carry. Stop & Shop (which runs Peapod) has great quality food and a huge variety of items, but their demographic is not people who want to save money.

  11. Nichelle has been feeling great for about 90% of the time for the past few weeks. However, the past couple of days have brought an increase in migraine frequency and intensity, and loss of sleep quality.
    She just spoke with her neurologist, and the medication she's been taking helps prevent the migraines, but doesn't help when they occur. She'll be trying a new prescription today for times when the severe migraines occur.
    Such fun. We appreciate all your prayer support.

  12. I tried the hard salami, and it tasted fine to me. At the same time, Nichelle okayed that selection by cell phone. I don't think I know the difference.

  13. On Mother’s Day, Nichelle and I celebrated by being fed up over her continued illness. It was uncharacteristic for both of us, but, frankly, we were just sick and tired of her being sick and tired. I feel remorseful about getting that way, and it was certainly unexpected, because normally I just enjoy the good days (or good hours) with her when they come, and God gives the grace to put up with the bad days. For some reason, my stress got the better of me, and I got angry about it.

    Nichelle has been operating at about 50% capacity, on average, but that is an average. Typically she has been going a few days to a week and a half, feeling “mostly good,” which has been followed by episodes of seriously increased pain and extreme exhaustion (to the point of some very amusing incidents when trying to speak or write coherently, such as the reminder for an upcoming doctor’s appointment she wrote: Naomi, Dr. Sevior, April 19, 9:45 p.m.—let’s just say the date was correct).

    The latest symptom, which started a couple months ago, was significant full-body edema/water retention. Her neurologist tried some medication to counteract that, but it had absolutely no effect. So, the past few weeks have brought more tests. Her fibromyalgia doctor explained that this type of swelling was not associated with fibromyalgia, and hurriedly ordered liver and kidney tests. Thankfully, these were normal. Our primary care physician has since ordered thyroid tests, and Nichelle’s fibromyalgia doctor is testing a reduction in the pain medication prescribed.
    We know that many of the pain symptoms Nichelle was having were caused by the migraines; now that those are under better control, it seems that a reduction in the pain medication will not be very negative. On the other hand, the fact that she is experiencing pain so often may indicate that her exaustion is caused by migraines that are preventing regenerative sleep at night, but that it is not happening every night.

    That is not to say that Nichelle is able to have a day, or even an hour, free of intense stabbing pains in various parts of her body. (We have taken to cataloguing new locations; last night scored between her fingers.)

    And the swelling gives Nichelle the reality of moderate weight gain, as well as the appearance of extreme weight gain. (Just what every woman wants, right?) In the past two weeks, she has gained about 10 pounds due to the fluid retention. This led to suggestions about wagering when an explosion would occur, installing drainage systems, etc., but our usual humor seemed empty.
    And that was the point at which we felt discouraged and perhaps unfairly treated, which may be typical for dealing with a chronic illness, but it isn’t any fun.

    P.S.: Yesterday and today seemed much brighter. God is in control, and will get us through this.

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