Monday, June 14, 2010

Online Shopping

Let me begin with I LOVE to shop! I love to go up and down every aisle and look at everything. Target is one of my favorite stores and I get all excited when their end caps are filled with new products. Well, unfortunately I don't get to go shopping really anymore. Other than going to the doctor's office I maybe get out of my house once or twice a month if I'm lucky.

Just the act of taking a shower and getting ready to leave the house is such a painful agonizing ordeal. The entire time I'm in the shower I can't wait for it to be over. I'm doubled over crying out loud in pain practically the whole time. My husband helps me every time with taking a shower and getting me dressed. I'm thankful he is there to help me or else I don't know how clean I would be.

Before my disease took over my body like this I had a lot of fun going clothes shopping. Trying piece after piece of clothing in the dressing room was fun for me but now it is impossible. Not only has the items of clothing I buy changed but the way I shop has now changed. I can no longer wear cute skinny jeans or pants that are tight in the waist area. The seam on jeans puts a constant rubbing and pressure sensation on my vulvar region and increases my vulvodynia pain. Jeans and other non-loose pants put a lot of pressure in general on my bladder and lower abdominal region which causes me a lot of pain. This has made me so sad because I love to wear skinny jeans.

I've also had to be creative with what I buy. At first I just bought a bunch of the same lounge pants from Target and cotton tank tops, but this made me feel like I was always wearing pajamas. I still wear lounge pants, because they are loose around my waist and bladder but I pair them with more fashionable tops. I have been able to find tops that are cute, loose, and most of all flattering.

I mentioned that the way I shop is different now. I can no longer jump in my car and go shopping for a couple of hours anymore or even try to bear 20 minutes. Now I do my clothes shopping online. It's definitely different. There's no aisles to walk (or wheel) up and down, no racks of clothes to look through, and you can't touch or try on the clothes. I had to get used to this way of shopping. At first I had a very negative attitude towards it, but there are some positives to the online shopping that I'd like to share with you!

#1 24 Hours A Day - That's right stores don't close online. This means you can shop from the comfort of your home anytime of the
day when it's convenient for you! Even if it's when you're in your pj's wearing your pink bunny slippers. This is the biggest positive
for us because we don't have to leave our homes or even our beds for that matter.

#2 Coupons - Many stores have coupons or promotional codes that can only be used online and often times if you spend a certain
dollar amount they will also provide free shipping! If you don't see a coupon on the website do a search for a code in Google or
Yahoo. Also, many online stores/websites have an email sign up that you should always go ahead and sign up for because most of
the time you'll receive coupons, sale notices, and other specials that you wouldn't have known about otherwise.

#3 Online Only - Most websites carry items that you see in stores, but they also carry their own online only items. This is nice
because I've found many items from cute summer tops to comforters and duvets. Sometimes if you're used to shopping at the
same stores it's nice to find these online only items. It gives you more variety and it can be fun looking at the new items they have
in stock.

#4 Clearance - Always check out the clearance section of the website you're on. I usually visit that section first, because you never
know what you're gonna find. I myself have found some pretty amazing deals! Just a few weeks ago I got a couple of tops
from Old Navy for only $6 each. They were regularly $18 each but were on clearance and I also had a coupon code in my email
inbox for an additional 10% off. I got a really great deal and was happy with my purchase.

I hope this let's you know a little bit more about online shopping and maybe you won't be too intimidated to try it out. It's definitely better than the alternative which is either not ever having any new clothes or somehow dragging yourself out to go shopping. Let us know if you have any experience or tips with online shopping and what your favorite websites are to shop from!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CFS and Migraines

How was everyones Holiday weekend? Did anyone do anything special or fun? A BBQ perhaps? Whatever you did I hope you or your loved one was pain-free. On Friday night one of our longtime friends was having a going away party. It was at a restaurant which meant I probably wasn't going to be able to go. Why you ask? I can't sit for even 2 minutes before I get excruciating pain and pressure in my bladder and vulva area. So this limits me to everything basically. That's why I am either lying down in bed or on the couch. Do you have this same problem? Needless to say I was bummed that I couldn't go to dinner. Do you miss out on social events too? It's hard isn't it? You already are suffering from chronic pain and other problems we shouldn't have to deal with this too! I get so angry sometimes because I am so limitled from this disease. To tell the truth I get angry at myself because if I didn't have IC these things wouldn't happen, but my husband is always right there to tell me that I don't have control over IC and I didn't do this to myself! So if you ever feel the same way sometimes remember that. Even if you can't go out and be social are your friends and family still close with you? I feel like this disease is very lonely! You know that's why they call it the invisible disease. They compare what we are going through to cancer but because our hair isn't falling out, people have heard and understood cancer vs IC, etc they are less likely to be there for us.

Even if I didn't get the horrible pain with sitting I wouldn't have felt good enough to go to the dinner on Friday. This weekend I have a huge increase in my CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms. For so many years I had no idea I had CFS or that it goes hand-in-hand with IC. I would complain all the time that my muscles hurt so bad like I'd been run over by a truck you know the way you feel when you have the flu? I thought I was crazy because I literally felt like this all the time even when I appeared fine and healthy. This is one of the key symptoms of CFS. Lately I'm always taking a flashlight and checking my throat in the mirror. My throat doesn't look red and I shouldn't be sick anymore because I had my tonsils taken out 2 years ago. Guess what? Having a sore throat is another key symptom of CFS. Of course the main symptom the one it gets it's name from is fatigue. The other key symptoms are difficulties with memory or concentration, problems with sleep, joint pain without redness or swelling, headaches, and tender lymph nodes. If you have a couple of these symptoms or more and haven't been diagnosed with CFS it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it the next time you see he/she.

Along with the increased pain in my muscles all over my body this weekend last night I got a severe migraine. I almost threw up on multiple occasions either from sound or light. We turned every light off and of course at the onset of the headache I took my migraine medication and eventually took a couple hour nap. When I woke up the migraine was still present. It wasn't as strong but I was still affected by it. I had to wear my sunglasses at night in the house and ask my husband to talk very quietly. Today I still have a very bad headache and the light and sound are still affecting me. I also feel a little nauseated. If you didn't know migraines are also caused by our IC. I hope that none of you have to suffer from these but if you do I'm sorry.

I wish everyone a good week and again let's hope for that IC cure! And I want to hear from you about all my questions above! <3