Review: FibroCane Relief

Disclosure: I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

FibroCane Relief I’ve been trialling FibroCane Relief for a few weeks now. My pain tends to be widespread so I wasn’t sure the homeopathic pain gel would be of help. At first I just used it on pain points such as my neck and shoulders. Then one day about ten minutes post-application I realized my hands didn’t hurt. I hadn’t realized they hurt until the pain was gone.

Last week on a really bad pain day I used it and felt a relaxation of the knots quickly. Within a few hours my pain level had decreased and the knots were gone. Yesterday, after lifting plants closer to the window and overextending my reach a few times, my right shoulder and elbow were pretty sore. I rubbed on some Relief and truly did feel relief. My tender upper arm stopped hurting and the pain in my shoulder and elbow were much improved.

I will definitely keep using this product and am grateful to FibroCane for giving me the chance to try it. I’m glad a little goes a long way; this tube should last me a few months!

Review: FibroCane

Disclosure: “I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”
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My package from Premier Bioceuticals arrived on Feb. 17th but my trial of the FibroCane Daily Dietary Supplement and Serenitea began on Feb. 18th. I started by trying out the supplement on it’s own. I wanted to see if used singly would have effect or if the products would need to be used in conjunction.
I started to take the supplement on February 18, in the morning. It is about the same size tablet as most multivitamins. I added in the tea on February 23, in the evening. The tea has a pleasant flavour I enjoyed. The Serenitea helped me fall asleep but I still slept restlessly. The supplement has helped. I have more energy and less fatigue. I had a few flare ups while taking the supplement and found that my pain levels and fatigue levels were lower than when I was not using FibroCane during flares. I must admit I kept aside some of the Serenitea for future use on nights of insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. I found both products of help in managing my fibromyalgia.
I had an appointment with my family physician during the review period. I brought both products with me. She had no objection to my using them in addition to my normal medications. Her only complaint is also mine: the label font size makes reading the Supplement Facts section difficult as it is such tiny letters. While I understand the small font was to used to fit all ingredients on the label the legibility issue could pose problems for customers on multiple supplements. It made ensuring I was not already taking another supplement containing the same ingredients more difficult.
I would and do recommend both these products. I hope to use them again in the future.

A Healthier Life

For the past few months I’ve been slowly working on improving my health. Living with ten chronic conditions plus a few non-chronic can make for a very unhealthy lifestyle. I’m looking to improve that as much as possible.

First, I worked on my water intake. Second, my sleep habits. Third, doing my neck stretching more frequently. Tuesday I started a new step. A friend started Whole30. I’m not ready for such a drastic change and my health is too fragile to attempt it without speaking to my primary physician who is currently on vacation. But, in solidarity, I started tracking all my food again on My Fitness Pal.

I started with water first because I know it is such an important aspect of our health and I was not drinking as much as I used to. I am now up to at least 1800 ml and most days over 2L [64 oz]. I no longer feel thirsty near as often as before I started working on this.

Sleep is another component of good health. Both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome impact sleep causing fatique, disturbed or restless sleeping and insomnia. I was and still am having all those symptoms. I was also needing to nap daily regardless of the previous night’s sleep amount. My Fitbit tracks my sleep, not well-anytime you lie still with sleep mode on is considered sleep-so I tried figuring out my optimal amount of sleep. I thought it was eight hours but soon realized I was still napping daily with eight hours. It turns out that right now I need ten hours of sleep to not NEED a nap later but dependent on how restless I was in getting that sleep I may still be fatigued enough to nap. Anything over nine hours causes increased pain upon waking unless I was restless enough to have changed sleep positions frequently. This is a very tough component to control.

A few weeks ago I added in restarting to consistently do my neck stretches. Because a few of my health issues affect my neck it is very easy for me to lose neck mobility. But when I’m in a lot of pain this is something I often drop. My aim is to do the stretches daily but at least three times a week. I have to consciously remind myself to do this; it is no longer the habit it once was. But, most weeks I am doing them at least every other day.

And now, I’ve added tracking all food and drinks. I used to do this faithfully just a few years ago but when my life became so complicated and my health decreased tracking was dropped. I have committed to tracking for 30 days. I do not plan on making any food changes the first week but hope to  be back to eating properly for my Diabetes by the end of the 30 days. When I was first diagnosed I saw dietitians who were also Certified Diabetes Educators. Their recommendation was 30 g net carbohydrates for meals and 15 g net carbohydrates for snacks. Skipping meals was not allowed and snacking was only to occur if there was more than four hours between meals. I was also taught the Plate Method. This has you virtually divide your plate into quarters; one for carbohydrates, one for protein and the other two for vegetables [preferably different vegetables]. I slowly stopped following this advice as things became more complicated and because my Diabetes was under great control. I want to see just how much I’ve deviated from the plan and a great bonus would be losing the weight I’ve gained since moving back in with Mum.

Returning to Sunday Previews

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post for this column. I stopped because I was having difficulties finding the right scheduling system and what I was using was not photographing well for the posts. I am fumbling around in a flare and accomplishing very little these days. I hope returning to this column will provide accountability. I hope it will help me to find incentive to do more business-wise. I have returned to using Gneo for my weekly schedule. I am not currently using a daily schedule. I stopped because it was too discouraging when I was completing so little. I’ve also discovered I work better when I choose my task in the moment. I don’t know Sunday afternoon how I will feel at 2 pm Thursday afternoon, how fatigued and fibro foggy I may be, but I do know at 2 pm on Thursday. This allows me to better pick a task I can accomplish.

Here is this week’s schedule:

This week's schedule

I just realized, I missed a few things in my plan. I should have checked my iCal! I also have our usual Starship chat on Wednesday afternoon and an Evernote webinar on Thursday night. I’ll add those to the plan but I’m not retaking the post photo!

This Week’s Design Process

Last weekend I uploaded new versions of my four patterns. Three were just formatting changes.  With each design I fine tune the formatting. I’m pretty happy with the formatting style I used for Drusilla. My template pattern is now that format, so I brought my older patterns in sync. The fourth update was to Drusilla. I didn’t catch before publishing but my find/replace to switch from knit to k changed all text boxes not just the one I was currently in as I used it. So my tagline became “Crochet & k Designs by Kimberley Bridgwater” and my tester’s username became “Janetkwitch”. These are now fixed.

Then I tried signing up for LoveKnitting, so Ravelry can shoot my EU customers over there for pattern purchase. Ravelry and LoveKnitting have partnered up so those of us that don’t live in the EU can sell our patterns and fully comply with the VAT (Value Added Tax) legislation on e-sales of electronic files. But the site must have been bogged down by all of trying to get our patterns over. I couldn’t create a username. I knew I had time. According to my Ravelry stats I have yet to sell a pattern to an EU resident since opening my design store in June 2014. I didn’t expect that to suddenly change.

I finally got my great-nephew’s birthday hat to him. I tried getting photos but he was not understanding taking off boots, coat and hat on the way into the house then putting on another hat so Auntie could take photos. They may be all blurred shots! If I can find a decent enough photo I’ll post it. Otherwise I’ll try for when he was leaving. But here’s what it looks like:

Jayven's 2nd Birthday Hat
Jayven’s 2nd Birthday Hat
Jayven In His Hat
Jayven In His Hat
Another of Jayven in His Hat
Another of Jayven in His Hat

He’s okay! He didn’t understand his dad’s mom was moving the car seat from one vehicle to another to take him for a sleepover. He thought he was left behind! See he was happy earlier:

A Mischievous Jayven
A Mischievous Jayven

Then there was some drama involved with returning to my day job on Monday. I’m not going to get into it here as this is a public blog. I don’t want anything I say to come back and bite me on the a$$! Suffice it to say, I am still off sick and may be for quite some time.

That distraction kept me from making much progress on anything this week. I barely touched my designs. Sample 2 of Damia Cowl has maybe grown a few cm. I just this afternoon managed to get my patterns uploaded to LoveKnitting. They’re all in pending awaiting approval from the LK staff. I haven’t even written on the book-which I was doing daily! My inbox is hovering around 175 constantly. It’s usually in the low double digits except first thing in the morning!

It’s my brother’s birthday this Sunday so I’ve started knitting him a hat from Joeli’s Kitchen Double Time e-book. I don’t think I’ll be done in time. I started too late. I’m still in the ribbing! We will see how much I can knit on it before we all get together for dinner Sunday.

Planning & Designs in Process

I missed Friday’s post due to extreme fatigue. I slept most of Friday and Saturday. So today you’re getting a combination post.

I’m still working away on the Damia Cowl sample two. It’s about 3/4 finished now. Here’s a picture from a few days ago:

Damia Cowl sample two
Damia Cowl sample two

Other than adding a few rows, very few, to Arielle sample one the only project I’ve worked on is my great-nephew’s birthday hat which I crocheted then added knitted ribbing. I tried to get photos but he wouldn’t put it on until his grandmother came to pick him up for a visit with his dad. Then he got mad when she went to transfer the car seat from Mum’s car to her’s. Those photos are on my phone and haven’t synced to my iPad yet. Here’s what it looks like:

Jayden's birthday hat
Jayven’s birthday hat

Now to the planning:

The aforementioned wall of fatigue played havoc with my schedule. I’m a little concerned over how tired I am. I return to work tomorrow but I’m fighting to stay awake all day. Hopefully the change of scenery and noisier atmosphere will keep me awake!

Here’s last week’s plan:

Last Week
Last Week

I managed to get a few things done! And here’s this week’s:

This week
This week

Yes, there is less on it but some are bigger tasks and I’ll be back at work. I don’t know how much I’ll get done after working all day. At least for the first few days.

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Weekly Review & Plan Creation

First up, I apologize for the lack of post on Friday. I was ill and spent most of the last two days in bed. Nonetheless, I had a great Christmas with my family here in town. I’d forgotten how noisy it gets when you put ten people including excited children together for a few hours.

Here’s last week’s plan:

Last Week's Plan
Last Week’s Plan

I accomplished quite a bit. I never get everything off my list. The harder I try the less I seem to accomplish. It’s something I am working on. I need to up my productivity or reduce time sucks or nothing will get done once I return to full time work next week. One of my current time sucks is trying to understand the EU’s Jan 1 VAT changes and how that affects my business and my book plans.

Here is this week’s plan:

Dec 28 to Jan 2
Dec 28 to Jan 2

It’s not as bad as it looks! Four of the Urgent/Important tasks are quick things. Ravelry has teamed up with LoveKnitting. LoveKnitting will sell our patterns and deal with all the VAT collections and remittances for sales to EU residents. But my four patterns all have evolving formats. I prefer my last format and want to re-format my earlier patterns before uploading them to LoveKnitting. I want a consistant format. The re-formatting shouldn’t take long as it’s mainly cutting and pasting.

I am helping Mum babysit my three year old nephew for a few days this week. He received a tablet for Christmas from Mum (it’s a cheap older model). If he brings it with him I should be able to get lots done with him sitting beside me with his own tablet instead of begging to use my iPad.

I can’t remember if I mentioned last week that I started physiotherapy. I did and have two appointments this week. I think I feel a difference already from doing the stretches she gave me. I’m hopeful!

Just a Few Things Changed

This is a photo of my plan from last week:

Week plan ended 14-20
Week plan ended 14-20

As you can see only three things on my to-do list were completed. There’s two reasons for that:

  1. The Book

  2. Fibromyalgia/cervical degeneration

Adding the book into the plan, of course, shifted my time around. The prologue is almost complete. I discovered it’s harder to type about the Cancer aftermath than expected which has slowed the process. But I hope to have the prologue complete tomorrow or Tuesday. I already edited draft one in an effort to get back in the flow and out of the freeze. It didn’t work but does mean I only need to edit the new stuff.

I learned with Fibro when you’re body is done, your body’s done. If you try to push past the pain, the fatigue, too much your body rebels. I don’t know if it’s the fibro rebelling the massive (comparatively) amount of typing or the cervical degeneration but for the last two days it feels like someone’s trying to pull my arm out of its socket. It hurts from my ear to my fingers on my right side. Maybe I’m just sleeping funny. I don’t know. All I know is it hurts more than normal. And my normal hurts enough already, thank you very much.

I start physiotherapy tomorrow morning finally then am helping Mum watch my three year old nephew while my sister works. The Day Care Centres here are all through the municipality and are closed for the next two weeks. So I don’t know how different I’ll be pain wise tomorrow. But I learned before Siri is actually a pretty good transcriptionist. Worst case, I’ll have her type up the end of my prologue and I can just cut and paste it.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27
Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27

I should probably start calling these weekly dreams instead of plans. I never seem to make a dent in them. But that’s life with chronic diseases, especially when one is a pain disorder than the others all cause extra pain! If nothing else I want to get my Christmas knitting done and the prologue before Christmas. Then I can start catching up on the design knitting.

I expect to have lots of knitting time while munchkin plays games on my iPad. He’s only allowed if he sits beside me at the table and if he’s been a good boy. It’s good incentive to be a good boy when you know Auntie’s iPad is the reward.