Monday, August 16, 2010

Too Blotto to Blog

Hi friends.

My blog and myself have been absent for a few weeks. Swirling through my head are many thoughts, insights and personal discoveries about fibromyalgia and the pain patch Bu-Trans.

Recently, our family took a week-long vacation to Hawaii. It's as close to Heaven as I've ever been ( not counting a brief, teenaged fling with cannabis). I pigged out, lazed out, tired out, blissed out and made out ... with a dolphin! I'll get back to him in a later blog. Love ya, Kaleeah!

Naturally, my fibromyalgia came along for the ride. I adore the sun, the heat and summer. Unfortunately, it no longer loves me or my age. The heat does drain me of what little energy I have and tires me out very quickly. I've noticed for 3 consectutive summers that the fibro worsens in the heat. Tough break for a sun-lover, like myself.

While in Hawaii, I did experience some minor fibro pain but it was quite manageable until I went into the ocean. After that, I noticed increasing pain and soreness, particularly in the evenings. It was uncomfortable enough that I had to 'top up' with Tramacet. I thought it might be due to the stress of travelling, jet lag and the like. Probably, all these factors played a role in the build-up to a flare, despite the patch.

My pain patch is placed on my ass or thereabouts. In hindsight (pun intended), I can 'ass'certain that it was not the best locale. Every time I bent over, it pulled and stretched. At one point, it started to fold over on itself. In addition, I took a hot bath soon after arriving home. Shame I didn't remember that was verboten until AFTER I had the bath. If you add in the extra sweating (gross, I know), it had all the makings of The Perfect Storm: warm, salty ocean water, hot bath and excess sweat. My patch had been compromised!

When we arrived home on a Saturday, at 8:30 in the morning, I dropped my luggage and dropped into bed. I slept for 11 hours and would have likely slept longer had my husband not awakened me. The next few days were a blur of fatigue, bed-seeking, pain, piles of laundry and did I mention pain? By Thursday I was in full-flare mode. I missed a school-clothes shopping excursion across the U.S. border with my daughter and husband. As it was, I had nothing to declare - only that I was in another effin' flare.

For almost 4 days I slept, mostly, slipping in and out of consciousness. Perhaps that's a good thing when you're feeling the pain. I recall that scratching an itch on my face became a major endeavour because my arm felt like a cinder block.

Having the flare was bad enough and I panicked with the thought that my patch was no longer working. I was terribly afraid and anxious that I'd have to up the dosage [which I am trying to avoid]. At the time, I was unsure if it was a flare brought on by the travelling or the fibro coming back to bite my ass, full-time.

Today is Monday and I am almost back to normal - which is a relative term. I have a few minor aches but it seems the fibro is back under control. I likely won't have to up the dosage on the patch... for now.

I learned some do's and don'ts while wearing Bu-Trans: if you insist on wearing the patch below the belt, keep yer ass outta hot water!


  1. jet lag hits us non-fibro peeps, so i can only imagine how exponentially that would affect you.

    i once tried the birth control patch and it drove my skin crazy all around it. after 3 weeks and 3 patches, there was a square of skin surrounded by redness and hell.

    i tried it on different places and none of them worked well. My upper buttcheek, then slightly higher on my lower hip, and on the front on hip, near the pelvic area.

    i guess no sweaty bikram if the patch is on you! lol

  2. I decided to take the patch off my ass and wear it on my arm. It's a badge of sorts, now. If people ask me what it's for, I can use that as an opportunity to, hopefully, educate them a bit on fibromyalgia.

    For a while there, I had several little adhesive square marks from the remainder of the tape. I was starting to resemble a chess board.