Today is beginning to turn into a beautiful day! I would love to enjoy it. To do so, I need to be in the shade (where it is noticeably cooler) and wrapped in a warm blanket. Yeah, I am that person. If I can get warm, I might shed the blanket but who knows?
As I write this, my husband is weed eating the yard he mowed yesterday. It is good to see him out doing things and feeling so much better. I am so happy for him to be as normal as he can be despite his issues.
Today I have two people on my mind. One is a dear lifetime friend of mine who is undergoing a tonsilectomy today at age 53. She had some growths and needs them removed. The doctor doesn’t think they are cancerous but will biopsy them to make sure. I am thinking of you Joanne!
The other is my niece, Alli. She has been having all kinds of issues in her tummy lately. She has been unable to keep anything down for over two weeks now. I hope they find the problem and resolve it. She is undergoing scopes today to find the issues. I am keeping her in my thoughts as well.
As for me, well, I see my rheumy on Thursday. I am discussing with him possibly some prednisone and a few other items. I wanted to get back on the benlysta trial that is similar to the one I did a few years ago but I am not eligible because I was on the other one! So, I need to see about getting on the infusions, which my insurance will not cover. Why is it so hard tog et care for us lupies? I mean, approve the first drug ever for lupus and insurance companies make it cost prohibitive for the patients who need it! I wish we went back to when the doctors actually made these decisions, not some pencil pusher in an office building.
I thought that spring had finally come to our area here in Ohio. I was wrong. We are getting ready for rain tonight and tomorrow, and following that rainy cold front will be temperatures back in the 40′s. Really! I cannot make this stuff up!
I wondered why all day yesterday and today I was swollen in my joints and hurting all over. Now it all makes sense.
I just wish that Ohio’s bipolar weather would settle into one season. Warm, cold or hot. I don’t really care at this point. Just pick one and stick with it. This 80′s in the afternoon and 40′s overnight stuff is hurting me and many of my fellow autoimmune folks. Just stop! Yeah right, like I can change the weather…ha ha.
Hope you are not hurting in your area from crazy weather like we are here in Ohio! Have a good one!!
Well my friends, I think we might actually have lift off for spring! A few times it looked this way only tone buried under snow again. Thankfully, I think the true spring has taken hold so off we go! I love this time of year despite my body’s trials. This time of year brings a sense of renewal to body and soul. The thoughts of beautiful things, such as flowers and babies fills my mind.
I have been in pain, yes, but somehow the beautiful weather dulls it a bit. Psychological, yes, most likely, but it feels great to be alive in spring!
I am planning my garden and getting excited to be growing heirloom plants that are more nutritional than the GMO substitutes available at most stores. I am happy to start my flowers too. I am also planning an herbal garden so I can use fresh herbs in foods. Yes, I love spring!!
Our lupus walk is approaching as well. Still have no team members and I am the only donater so far but I refuse to let it worry me. I have made it to this side of winter and today, nothing will slow me down!! Things will improve, I am sure!
I have also been working on organizing the house. I need to get things in order so that I can relax and enjoy the warmth of spring and summer that is quickly approaching! Funny thing, I never enjoyed spring cleaning before but after this particularly hard winter I find myself enjoying it!!
So off I go to face my day! I hope each of you will slow down and appreciate all Gods Works during this season of warm renewal of life!! I will be!!
When you have an autoimmune disease like lupus and others, you need to be travel savvy when taking trips. How do I know this? Well, I like to travel and find that proper planning and rest can make the world of difference to a lupus body.
I have found that when planning a trip, first consider how you are traveling. If by car, then the rules are different than from airplane. So, in an attempt to help others, I thought I would share some of my “tips” for traveling with an autoimmune disease like lupus.
No matter your mode of travel, the first rule is always the same, get plenty of rest before you go anywhere. Take your time when planning your trip and be sure to include this rule.
Do not “wing it”. Properly planning your trip and itinerary can make the most ambitious trip more manageable. I start by listing what I plan to take with me, as in clothing and accessories, and from that branch out into what I want to do while on my trip and places and/or people I want to see. This helps because by breaking it down to smaller components, you do not get overwhelmed and overdo it. It is important to do this, otherwise, you could be setting yourself up to a disasterous trip and full on flare! Simply taking it in bite size pieces before you leave can make all the difference in the world.
Rest. Plan rest stops for you and your body so you can do all the things you really want to do. For example, when I travel by car, I always plan on taking a day off the next day to let my body rest. If I push myself, then I get into a world of hurt. It is vitally important that we rest often and take our time. If traveling by plane, you can rest on the plane, especially if it is a long flight.
No matter how you travel, make sure you stretch your legs at regular intervals, and as often as you need to. This will prevent not only blood clots from forming in your legs, but also allow for your muscles to not cramp and for proper blood flow and joint movement. When you sit too long in one position, your joints tend to stiffen up and become painful. When by car, I try to stop once every two hours, no longer than that, and get out and walk a bit. It truly does help. In a plane, you can walk up the aisle and back down as you go to the restroom or to the snack area. If you are on a long flight it is important to do this for the reasons mentioned above.
Keep your meds close to you. If traveling by car, keep them in the interior of the car if possible and if by plane, keep them in your carry on luggage. This insures that you will not get separated from your vital medications. I never put my meds in checked baggage, ever! I always try to keep a small bag in the interior of the car to so that if I need something, it is in easy reach and not buried under a mound of luggage in the trunk of the car.
I hope you have found this to be helpful. I have learned these things by trial and error. I love to travel. I love to see new things. These hints have helped me to maintain a semblance of less pain as I see and learn new things in my travels.
Yup, it’s me again. I loved all your responses to the last post about sleeping! It truly does help knowing we are not alone in this battle we are in!
As I am writing this post, I have the overwhelming urge to go back to sleep! Again. Considering all the sleep I have had lately, it still surprises me that I am so fatigued. Yet, I made myself get out today and get a few things. By the time I got back home, I was totally wiped!
Now I am sitting here with my puddy tat in my lap, in the recliner, and will probably fall asleep once I sign off. At some point I truly would like a day with no fatigue or pain. Just one! Yeah, I know, pity party for one here. I just wish I could do the things I want or need to do!!! That being said, I am thankful to have another day of life and I really do appreciate it! Even on these bad days, I am thankful to know that at least I am here! There are others who would trade me the chance if they could.
I hope you are all well and happy today! I am up and down. I will survive this day (hopefully) and think about a better day tomorrow! Keep the comments coming! I love to read your comments. Please do not feel neglected if I do not respond to each of them. Some days it is hard enough just to post and if I missed replying to your comments, please know that I read each of them and when the energy is there, I respond. Just have had a bit of bad flaring so not all that “chatty” online. It really means a lot to me when you share because I know that I am not alone too! Thanks to you all for your comments, encouragement and personal stories! ~Jen
Thought I would share with you my savings this month. Yes, I coupon and yes, I save lots of money which in turn lets me purchase more things. Here is my month so far:
For those who do not know or remember my abbreviations, here is a cheat sheet.
TBC= total before coupons
CS=coupon savings from coupons and store specials
TOOP+total out of pocket I actually paid
S5= savings percentage
Plus at the bottom I break down the totals for all the stores combined!
Main St. Market
S%: 44% saved
This is when I bought two huge family pork packs that had pork roasts, pork chops and pork ribs in them! Several months worth for just me!
S%: 38% savings
I purchased 71 items on this order including a ton of sierra mist, the soda I drink. So roughly a little over one dollar apiece for my items! Score!!
Now for the final tally:
Not too shabby! That is meat, milk, eggs, soda and all that kind of stuff plus stocking up on several items like soda and pork. Not too bad!
See? A few minutes (less than one hour actually) and I saved that much! I tell ya, if you aren’t couponing, you might as well be burning your money! Have a great day!!
I love football. Not professional football, but the games that are played with heart! I am talking about your local hometown football games! It is such fun to attend a local game at my alma mater, Franklin High School in Franklin, OH. I have not attended one in a few years, but it is a hoot!
I highly recommend that everyone should go to at least one local hometown football game. It is fun to watch the youngsters out there on the fields, playing for heart. Check out the young girls int heir cheerleading costumes giving it their all. Watch the band at half time as they play while marching on the field. The drum majors are pretty cool too. One of my favorite things to do is buy a hot chocolate and something to eat. It will depend what your school does have, but I tell ya, somehow it tastes better in the cold air, sitting on a bleacher, cheering for your team!
Seriously, if you get the chance, please go support your local team!
You might be surprised at how much fun you will have! I know I did! Go Wildcats!
I have a common refrain these days when I look around my little house. The question is “Will I ever get this done?”. When I moved in here, in June, I got unpacked, well, mostly unpacked and then set about to settling in to my new digs. In the interim, I have been able to get more of my stuff and now find myself surrounded by bins and boxes of various things that I need to sort out and make decisions about.
It is a sad commentary for me to admit that I am surrounded by these bins and boxes and even though I do get a few things done each day, I find it seems to keep growing instead of diminishing. Is it breeding while I sleep? I feel certain it is something far simpler. Basically it is because, I have had a few set backs health wise and have had little or no energy to do most anything at all. When I do have energy, I am in catch up mode, catching up on dishes and such. That means that the bigger things surrounding me are still waiting for scrutiny, of which I have not had energy to do. It is a classic catch 22.
I am hoping to get over this hump and soon because I need to get this place winterized before the weather gets too cold. In order to do that, I need to find a way to get around these bins and boxes. It really only matters to me but I hate it being so messy. I will leave that for another day though…
Fall and Spring are two of my favorite times of year. The weather is in the optimum range during the day with a nip of chill at night. In Fall, the leaves are changing into brilliant colors that capture images in my mind. In Spring, the new leaves and stirrings of life after winter give me hope. It is a cycle. I am fortunate enough to live in a place that has four seasons (most of the time).
While I love this time of year, it does not love me. You see, with lupus and fibro and on and on, the weather changes actually can create problems int he form of pain and swelling and such. Add to that the pressures of the barometer and well, you can see it is not especially a comfortable time for those of us with lupus.
So I have been under the weather, so to speak, for a bit now. I have had pneumonia and a particularly bad flare. I am still recovering from them. I find I will be wide awake one minute then sound asleep a second later only to wake up and find that I have slept for a few hours. In other words, my body has taken over. If you are a lupie, you may have experienced this phenomenon as well. It is called “toxic fatigue”.
To help you picture how it feels to one who has it, think about how you feel as you wake up. Most feel refreshed, and ready to face the day ahead of them. If you have toxic fatigue, you literally are aware of being semi-awake but find it terribly hard to pull out of the fog that has you surrounded and is calling you back to sleep. You literally fight to wake up and get started on your day. Sounds kinda scary doesn’t it? Yet, that is how I have been for a few weeks now. It is indeed scary. I mean, what if I cannot wake up? I live alone so only my cat would know it. Is that maudlin thinking? Yes it is, but oh so true as well.
Have any of you experienced this toxic fatigue? How would you describe it? Please share your experiences! Thanks for reading!
- Lupus fatigue and catching a cat… nap (lupusadventurebetweenthelines.wordpress.com)
As the title implies, I wanted to discuss how people are getting back to the land. Personally, I have been trying to become as self sufficient as I can. I do this by reading and learning about a great array of things. I try to buy locally. Locally buying means not buying from the big box stores, but finding farmers around you that sell produce that is organic, with little or no pesticides involved. You would be surprised what you can find when you start looking around.
I also want to learn how to can food. I have always been fascinated by the art of growing and preserving the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor. As times have gotten really tight, I have found that more people are feeling these urges too. I think we should get back to the basics and share it with our kids and grandkids so these important skills are not lost.
I am a woman who was raised on the old foods from Appalachia by my grandmother. She lived the kind of life we only read about these days. The family lived off the land. Some of my fondest memories as a child involved picking beans, eating tomatoes right off the vine, and the sweetest corn on the cob I have ever tasted. We would sit on the front porch and break beans we had picked ourselves, then my grandmother would take them in the house and cook them up for us to enjoy!
My sweet grandmother was from the hills of Kentucky. She lived during the depression and was able to build a house from the ground up if she set her mind to it. She knew how to take nothing and make something out of it. I admired her pluckiness and her skills. She did not have a higher education but she knew more than most college graduates.
She sewed all of our clothes as we were growing up. She made our coats too. We had outfits like Doris Day did, dresses with the matching coats. She was a whiz at making clothing. Her other sewing skills included making draperies. She would make the pleats by hand and her drapes were always beautiful. As a matter of fact, her handiwork is still on display at the junior high here in my hometown. She made them all. It still amazes me at her tenacity to not only tackle such a big job, but to complete it on time and have it be so well made that it still is in use to this day.
Now that I have wandered off topic, I guess what I have been thinking about is returning to the simpler things in life. Simplifying, out of necessity, has opened my eyes to the old days when things were simple yet fulfilling. I am exploring a great many topics and I will share them with you as I discover some things others may be interested in. Have a great day!!
- What ‘Back-to-the-Land’ Skills Do You Have, or Wish You Had? (learning.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Where To Find Organic Food Stores (answers.com)
It is that time of the year again, the time when the weather cools at night and the air is filled with the scents of fall. It is a beautiful time of the year! I love this time of the year! Unfortunately, my body doesn’t like it. The cooler weather triggers flares in many lupus patients. I am one of those patients.
As most of you know by now, I am in a major flare. Fully. I have joint pain, fatigue, blisters in mouth and nose, malar rash, and feel like poo. I called my rheumy and he called me in the poison I hate. Prednisone. Yes, it can work miracles, especially for us lupies. I just hate how my body responds to it. For the first two days, I was still miserable. Days three and four led to a flurry of activity as the prednisone kicked in and the adrenaline kicked in too. Of course, with the increase in activity, it also brings setbacks in other ways.
My body reacts to prednisone in a variety of ways. I almost always get the malar rash breakout when I first start it. Next comes the MAJOR hot flashes! I mean MAJOR! No sleep is another one. I get back spasms too, dunno why for those. Now add in intense itching, extreme hunger and insomnia, and well, you get the picture. Sure, it helps me fight lupus! It gives me energy and shows me how I can feel good sometimes. The minuses are many though and I hate this medication!
Alright, I know, it is a miracle drug that keeps many of us lupies alive. I understand that. I just wish science could find some other medication that does not have so many side effects and yet can stop a flare in its tracks! Until then, we have to get the different poisons, aka medications, and pray for the best.
I am thankful for the meds because seriously, they do help stop the major effects of this disease. The drawbacks come in the form of osteoporosis and others. I know this personally.
So, I have been MIA for a bit because I am either tearing into a project with this energy from the prednisone, or I am sleeping for 24 hours catching up. Such is life in the life of a lupus patient.
I am writing this post while I have so many things on my plate. I need to get the house in order for the upcoming winter, and from what I have heard, this house is horrible for drafts and cold. A previous occupant told me she would get up in the morning and open the oven, turn it on, then lay back down until it heated it up enough for her to get dressed for work. Yikes! Now, that being said, I do not truly know what it will be like but hey, gotta place to live so I cannot complain. I will get a couple of those little heaters to help out. I am also thinking of getting hay bales to put around the exterior ground level of the house to help with insulation. You see, the house is kind of rotting around the ground level from mold and rot due to not having the proper spouting leading the water away from the foundation. Yes, as you can tell, this is an old house. Ah well, I will deal with it all in my time frame.
Now, another thing on my plate is getting my finances in order. I have worked out a budget that, while tight, is going to get me what I need. No wants but needs. I can deal with it. The peace is wonderful and worth it. Just going to be living simply for the next bit but in the end I will be debt free and able to live better on my own.
On the negative side of things, my lymph nodes are swollen in my neck and I have blisters in my mouth along with severe pain in the joints. This is otherwise known as a major flare beginning. My rheumy is calling me in steroids to help combat this before it goes any further. I hope it helps. Daggone it though, I just lost all that weight and now will most likely gain some of it back. Well, I guess that is better than the pains of lupus.
I have been getting to see my kinds and grandkids so much more lately and that is a blessing. I admit that it has been so wonderful seeing them more often and getting to be a major part in their lives.
I am still dealing with my grief on losing my doggie Savannah. She is missed so much and yet knowing she is not in pain anymore makes the blow a little easier to accept. It will get easier over time but right now it still is a bit raw.
I will be posting my big shopping adventure tomorrow and show you all my freebies I got!!! Retail therapy does help me out…lol…
Hope you all are pain free and happy and enjoying the change of seasons in your area!
Spring cleaning is a ritual many of us do this time of the year. It is rather like the new year resolutions most do. We know we should do it, but it is hard to put the plans into action. Procrastinating is in our DNA I believe. To that end I am trying to formulate my plans for my spring cleaning.
I have to admit it, I am somewhere in between a hoarder and a would be organized person. Not particularly one way or the other but a mixture of both. For instance, right now I have a bedroom that is nothing more than a storage room, piled high with boxes and clothes that are waiting for me to “sort” and decide their fate. In the interim, I am keeping the door shut so I am not reminded that it is all waiting for me.
I have decided to start small. I have several bins that I can use and I am getting some really nice boxes from a friend of mine. I am sorting into four categories: Keep, Throw away, Give away to kids (their stuff), and Goodwill bound. By doing it this way, I am sorting as I go through it and when I get enough, I can load it up and hit Goodwill and donate it all. I also can give the kids their stuff when they come to visit. The “keep” stuff I will clean and then organize. Hence, the storage bins. I really would like to be organized like that.
It will take major work on my part but I truly want to do this and to be quite honest, it has to be me who sorts it because no one else would know what is meaningful to me or not. I just am so tired of carting all this stuff from place to place and sincerely need to downsize all this stuff, especially since we have not used most of it for years!
I know, I could have a garage sale and then donate it but seriously, I have had a big garage sale every year for the last couple of years and the bottom line is this: not much actually sells and I am stuck sitting here waiting for people to come and go through it all. Times are hard. I do not price my stuff high either, I almost give it away, and yet, still not many sales. This year, I am donating it instead. I am tired of hauling it and want that organization so bad!
Have you ever done this or are you like me? I welcome any tips you may have for me as I attempt to “sort” through this junk. Thanks and I hope you all have a pain free day and many more just like it!
Have you ever felt like just stopping what you are doing and screaming for all your worth? I have. Today. It is one of those days where I woke up and felt like the day was going to be great! Awesome. Outstanding. At least until I got out of bed. I was barraged with a multitude of things before I had my coffee! Ok, note to self, never talk to anyone until you have your coffee. Hmmm, maybe get a small coffee maker for the bedroom… oops, sorry, off topic.
Now after that it went downhill fast. No warning, just poof! Horrible day! Mentally the day was challenging due to the cause of others, and then , big surprise, I got a migraine! No really, I did! Go figure, huh?
Sometimes I wish I could just have one whole day, 24 hours, to just relax and read and do nothing. Of course, it has to be when I am not in any pain too. Pain could spoil the whole quiet time. Ok, now I am on to something!
I also do not know where the time has gone. I am sooo not prepared for our Lupus Walk at the end of this month. April 28th. Wow! I am doing what I can to make it as successful as I can for our team. It is hard at times because I truly have been having a rough time lately. Miserable body keeps hurting me. Someone make it stop!
Anyway, if you hear a blood curdling scream, ignore it. It will just be me, letting off steam! I hope everyone is having pain free days and lots of good times! Oh, and if you want to help out my team, here is the link to donate securely online:
Yes, I think I am overdoing it. I have been taking care of my mom for two weeks now and between that and running all over for other reasons, I am about done in. Knackered. Plumb tuckered out. However you say it the end result is the same. Exhaustion for me.
I know, I need to slow down and pace myself or get into a mess. Um, I wish I could. I am not able to right now because my mom is depending on me to help her until she is able to do things herself again. You see, essentially she broke her left arm in two places and her right hand in three places and is unable to use her arms or hands because she is casted after surgery to place pins in her to hold her bones together so they will heal. She has three more weeks of casts until she is given the ok.
None of my sisters can help out because they work. No, scratch that, two sisters have helped out as well as a niece. My daughter has done what she can too. It falls to me to do the bulk of the work though. I am not upset by this. I consider it a great time to hang out with my mom and help her like she helped me when I was growing up. Full circle. I will have no regrets because I know I did all I could to help her out when she had this happen to her. She hated being down and really is getting antsy to get things going again. You see, she is having issues walking too. No, she didn’t break anything to make her incapable. She has deep tissue bruising in her hips and it is causing her to have pain and that stuck feeling, like it takes her a bit to get moving. Her balance is off too and so she needs help walking, eating, etc.
I know many would not feel happy about this unexpected emergency and weeks afterward. I am just thankful she did not break her hips and it was just her arms. She is 72. It could have been much worse. I am so thankful that mom is usually found exercising, biking, and overall is a totally fit person. That is why she did not get as hurt as someone else who is not as fit.
I do want to say that if I need to, she has me lay down and rest because she knows of my limitations and can tell when my reserves are gone. She will conveniently need a nap and ask me if I want to take one. Sneaky, sneaky. I think she thinks she has one over on me but so far I have played along, not to mention I really did need to rest too.
This week my mother in law is in town as well. I drove down with my son and his girlfriend (ok I rode in the back seat and my son drove) to pick her up in kentucky and bring her back here to Ohio. Turn around and all time in, it took about 7 hours. Not too bad! I just hope I can get to bed early tonight and get some rest. I have an early day tomorrow back at moms. I want to be in tip top shape when I get there.
So, I am not listening to my body and I will pay for it but for now I have to get through the care of my mom and on the other side, I can sleep. The lupus pain will have to wait! Ok, I know the pain will not wait but I can think good thoughts can’t I?
As I write this post, in Ohio we have had 80 degree temps and 29 degree temps all in a few days stretch. Hmmm, wonder if that could explain a few things. I have been having some of the worst joint pain in awhile. Amazingly, it could be from the weather. I know, they say scientific studies show no correlation of joint issues and the weather but I challenge these scientists to walk a week in my shoes. They might have different conclusions if they did.
Many of my fellow lupies feel the same way. The weather changes, we hurt. Fact. So, I have been having another rough patch, or it could just be a continuation of the winters rough patch, I am not sure anymore. I only know that this winter has been far worse than the temperatures we had. The constant yo yo effect has wreaked havoc in my body. Outwardly I look fine, if a bit tired. Inside, my body is at war with itself and the resulting consequence is pain for me. Hey, I am allowed to be a bit negative. I can scream and rage at lupus until I feel better if I want to.
So, in the interest of honesty, I will say that this winter has been a bear and I have felt every change from cold fronts to warm fronts. I am soldiering on though, because I want to see my grands grow up and become the wonderful adults they are capable of being. That is only one reason but for now, this moment, that is my reason.
Hope you all are enjoying pain free days and well rested nights!
- Weather And Joint Pain Closely Linked (annem040359.wordpress.com)
As we get older it is true that we get wiser. Most of the time we can account for that wisdom due to experiences we have had or experiences of those close to us. I heard it said once that if we do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. Those words are so true. There are some people who listen to the wisdom of their parents and family and avoid the things that can bring them harm. There are those who buck the system and go full force into trouble. There are those who are somewhere in between, they are able to do both things at different stages.
Why am I bringing this up you ask? The simple truth is that I have been having a really bad few weeks lately. I have been deeply depressed about things swirling around me. I have learned a few things in my 51 years and I thought I would vent some more if you all do not mind. If you do mind, then stop reading here.
First on the list is friends. I am so thankful and blessed to have friends. I can count many as that. However, lately (and it may just be my interpretation) I have noticed that my phone is not ringing or I am not getting texts and emails and such. The only reason I have noticed is this is because I have been so down, physically and emotionally. I have some friends (and you know who you are) who have called to check on me and see if they can do anything to help. These are my true friends. It is nice not to have to be the one doing all the calling. I do make the effort but I decided lately to see if anyone would actually call me back. The results are not good. I am beginning to think that if they do not want to take a moment out of their time to talk to me, then maybe I need to move on.
I understand how busy life is, it has not been that long ago that I was one of those busy people myself. I understand, really I do. It can be a challenge to keep in touch with others. It is just that when your own family does not call, it hurts that much more. I call them, or text them, or leave them comments and emails. It is almost like I am invisible. Well, I guess I need to prune back there too. Even my children (not my daughter) duck me and make me go to voice mail. I told them if they would just answer, we could be done with what I needed but they do not even afford me that courtesy. Yes, it is true.
So I thought I would spout off here. It really is frustrating but I know that the ones who are the offenders will not be reading this anyway. Why should they? It would take up too much of their time.
Sorry but I am on a roll lately and well, if the shoe fits people, then wear it. I just feel like I am alone and cut off from everyone some days. I warned you that this blog would not always be pretty but would always be honest. Now you know…
No, the title does not necessarily mean I am sad. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically it means that when the days get shorter and the air is cooler, your body can react by getting more moody and depressed. Lack of sunlight is the main cause. They sell light bulbs to give you artificial sunlight but the best course of action is to go outside and soak up a few rays each day.
I looked it up and found some interesting information which I will share here. I go this form the website http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002499/. Check it out and see if you are affected by this too. Here is the information:
Seasonal affective disorder
Last reviewed: March 6, 2011.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The disorder may begin during the teen years or in early adulthood. Like other forms of depression, it occurs more often in women than in men.
People who live in places with long winter nights are at greater risk for SAD. A less common form of the disorder involves depression during the summer months.
Other factors that may make SAD more likely include:
- Amount of light
- Body temperature
Symptoms usually build up slowly in the late autumn and winter months. Symptoms are usually the same as with depression:
- Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more common with other forms of depression)
- Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness (too little sleep is more common with other forms of depression)
- Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon
- Loss of interest in work or other activities
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
- Social withdrawal
- Unhappiness and irritability
Signs and tests
There is no real test for SAD. Your health care provider can make a diagnosis by asking about your history of symptoms.
The health care provider may also perform a physical exam and blood tests to rule out other disorders that are similar to SAD.
See also: Depression
As with other types of depression, antidepressant medications and talk therapy can be effective.
Taking long walks during the daylight hours and getting exercise can make the symptoms better. Keep active socially, even if it involves some effort.
Light therapy using a special lamp with a very bright fluorescent light (10,000 lux) that mimics light from the sun may also be helpful.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions about how to use light therapy. A common practice is to sit a couple of feet away from the light box for about 30 minutes every day. This is usually done in the early morning, to mimic sunrise.
- Keep your eyes open, but do not look straight into the light source.
Symptoms of depression should improve within 3 – 4 weeks if light therapy is going to help.
Side effects of light therapy include:
- Eye strain and headache
- Mania, less often (see: Bipolar disorder)
People who take drugs that make them more sensitive to light, such as certain psoriasis drugs, antibiotics, or antipsychotics, should avoid light therapy.
A check-up with your eye doctor is recommended before starting treatment.
With no treatment, symptoms usually get better on their own with the change of seasons. However, symptoms can improve more quickly with treatment.
The outcome is good with treatment. However, some people have the disorder throughout their lives.
Seasonal affective disorder can sometimes become long-term depression. Bipolar disorder or ideas of suicide are also possible.
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Get help right away if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or anyone else.
People who have had repeated seasonal depression should talk to a mental health care professional about prevention methods. Starting treatment during the fall or early winter, before the symptoms of SAD begin, may be helpful.
- Gelenberg AJ, Freeman MP, Markowitz JC, Rosenbaum JF, Thase ME, Trivedi MH, et al. American Psychiatric Asosciation.Practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. 2nd ed. September 2007.
- Tesar GE. Psychiatry and psychology. In: Carey WD, ed. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:section 11.
- Review Date: 3/6/2011.Reviewed by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.