Helping women with chronic illnesses

Frozen Fibromyalgia

No, I don’t live in Antarctica… like my friend here. It just feels that way at the moment!

When I wrote my last post, Down the Drain, I was hoping to be feeling a bit better by now. Realistically, I know that I won’t get significant relief from my fibromyalgia and Reynaud’s Disease flare-ups until spring. I know this because of how the last 8 winters have gone. As much as I’d like to believe that I will magically feel some significant relief of my fibromyalgia and Reynaud’s symptoms soon, I know the likelihood isn’t great.

On a brighter note, at least my Reynaud’s is not quite as severe this year as last winter… at least not so far. I am on a lower dose of my medication for hypertension than last winter. The cardiologist lowered my dose during my dysautonomia workup (I had a tilt table test last April) because my blood pressure actually got too low and that was triggering syncope (fainting) and near-syncope. (My heat intolerance in the summertime was a big factor with the dysautonomia too). As it turns out, the hypertension medication exacerbates Reynaud’s symptoms.

That makes fibromyalgia my biggest challenge at the moment (plus or minus a multiple chemical sensitivity exposure here or there but who’s counting?) At least, it’s arguably my biggest challenge until my next migraine hits. That could happen any day now. The scary thing is that the weather is not expected to magically warm up in the meantime. So, I am bracing for migraine pain on top of the fibromyalgia pain.

In a moment of irony, I should mention that one of the options that my primary care physician mentioned might help my migraines is to… wait for it… increase my dosage on the hypertension medication to where it was before. I am hoping that will not be necessary.

I was so, so cold and in so, so much pain this morning (plus I was barely keeping my eyes open), that I had to go back to bed. I’m a million times more awake now (11:49 pm). This is not helpful since my insomnia has been going on for months now. The fibromyalgia pain is intense. So, this is why I have been writing less frequently than usual. I’m really struggling lately. When I walked outside this morning into 7 degrees Fahrenheit, I knew that I was in trouble. Even being outside very briefly can result in a process of many hours to “thaw out” once I’m back indoors.

Slowing my pace down lately has not been an optional thing. My body is giving the orders. I’m following and there is no forcing things if I wanted to (which I don’t because I have learned that this results in paybacks later).

I am very much looking forward to acupuncture on Saturday!!!

Thank you for your patience.

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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Reading: Frozen Fibromyalgia


1 DarleneNo Gravatar { 01.14.11 at 1:16 am }


I can so relate. I have found some relief by using space heaters. It helps take the chill off. I haven’t gotten a Raynaud’s diagnosis, but do know a little about it. Try and keep your hands and feet as warm as possible. It’s important not to let them stay pale white.

This would be a good time to sit around the fireplace (if you have one) and read some books. Doing crossword puzzles or Suduko sp? might be fun. Gather friends and family for some fun indoor games. Sip some natural teas or hot chocolate. If you are following an IC diet, try hot white chocolate, YUM!!

Keep warm!

2 Laura HegfieldNo Gravatar { 01.14.11 at 8:46 am }

a good reminder to make an appt. with my acupuncturist!!! Sorry you are feeling so miserable Jeanne…sending reiki and healing thoughts your way ?
.-= Laura Hegfield´s last blog ..Wholeheartedness =-.

3 JeanneNo Gravatar { 01.14.11 at 10:11 pm }


I know you have a really tough time with the cold! I’m glad the space heaters help you. I’ve been inside for over two hours and my hands and feet are still very cold.

Compared to last year, though, they are better. Last year they stayed white or purple for a long time after I came inside. A simple 5 minutes or so of total time outdoors (basically just long enough to walk to/from the car to walk in/out of a doctor’s office… for example) generally took about 3 hours minimum of being back indoors for more normal color to return last year. My hands are normal color now (even the nail beds!) but they are still very cold.

Those are some great ideas, Darlene! I’ve never had hot white chocolate. You’re making me thirsty. 😉

You keep warm too!


So you are an acupuncture fan too? I just love it so much! I cannot wait to go tomorrow. I got a little nervous when I saw the forecast the other day because it’s about a 45 minute drive each way (depending on the roads) and I was concerned it might get canceled with the snow forecast. I think it’ll be OK tomorrow, though. We just need to allow extra driving time.

This time of year is always tough for my fibromyalgia. I just need to take it as it comes. I’ve been through severe flare-ups before and they passed. This one will too when it’s ready to.

I’ll gratefully accept Reiki, healing thoughts, and anything else like it. I’m not trained in Reiki but I will send healing thoughts and positive energy your way too!



4 AmandaNo Gravatar { 01.15.11 at 7:39 am }

I hope your acupuncture goes well and you feel some relief afterwards… thinking of you xx
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Poetry Corner – Memories =-.

5 AnnieNo Gravatar { 01.15.11 at 7:29 pm }

That’s a lot to deal with! I’m having a tough time with the cold, too. I sometimes put my clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before putting them on – it helps so much! WHY must we live in such cold places? Hawaii sounds really great right now.
.-= Annie´s last blog ..The Graduate =-.

6 JennNo Gravatar { 01.17.11 at 12:14 pm }

I’m sorry the cold weather has this effect on your symptoms. It must be so tricky to come up with a comprehensive plan for your treatment options. I’m happy you have acupuncture.

A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of fingerless gloves. The ones that are just open at the top, without any finger holes. They are cozy & I wear them around the house when my hands are cold. I can even type with them on. It’s just a little thing, but I thought I’d share it with you.

Take care.
.-= Jenn´s last blog ..A SUNNIER VIEW =-.

7 JeanneNo Gravatar { 01.18.11 at 10:32 am }


The acupuncture went well. It always does. 😉 Unfortunately, I am going through a very difficult time right now with numerous symptoms. So, I’m in agony but I’d most definitely be in more agony had I not gone to acupuncture this past weekend. Thanks. xo


Yes, warm clothes from the dryer are awesome! 😉 As much as this cold causes me pain, I still prefer it over the summer when I faint from the heat. So, I’m not complaining. Summer is really, really tough with my heat intolerance and dysautonomia. So, I may mention the cold and what it does to my symptoms but I try to do so in a non-complaining fashion. The night before last, it got to -10 Fahrenheit (according to our thermometer that tracks the temps 24/7). So, it’s no wonder my muscles hurt! I just canceled a PT appointment. I don’t feel safe to drive a long distance like that today. I’m dizzy and tired and it’s just not worth risking an accident. My body said “no”. I’m listening. I’ve never been to Hawaii and thought for years I’d want to go but I hear they use a fair amount of pesticides there. So, the idea has lost its luster for me. Not that I could travel that far with my medical conditions anyway.


It is what it is. This is just normal for winter now. I have accepted that this is just what I need to deal with this time of year. I’d take extreme cold over extreme heat any day. I have fainted too many times in the summer. It’s just not fun. Yes, I love acupuncture so, so much!!

I bought some fingerless gloves a couple of years ago. The ones I got are supposed to increase circulation. Thank you for sharing that. 😉

With my Reynaud’s, the fingertips are where it gets the coldest. So, I had bought them to wear under my winter gloves for outside. Two winters ago I was up to 3 pairs of gloves at once: the fingerless ones, then my leather gloves, then my husband’s gloves over that. It was ridiculous. (That was when I was on double my current dose of hypertension medication that worsens Reynaud’s symptoms). I had actually made a video about “winterizing”:

Winterize Your Body

I believe I showed my ski gloves in the video above. One pair of gloves that does as much as three were doing.

I’m glad those gloves help you around the house.



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