Sunday, September 26, 2010

Prednisone Gave Me A Mustache!

For all of you that gleaned a bit of inspiration from my blog "I Have Let Myself Go" I am so proud of you! I have been getting loads of feedback that although the effort is exhaustive, just a few bits of attention to yourself is doing your morale wonders! Tiny little attempts to feel more attractive, be it getting some cuter 'jammies to lounge around while in pain or putting on some jewelry and eyeliner and coiffing that 'do make us feel better about ourselves which in turn, over time, can only be a good thing. Ever hear that expression Dress for the job you want, not the job you have? Well lets take that and Dress for the health we want, not the health we have!

There are so many "girlie" things that have fallen out of my life since I got sick. I was a high-maintenance bitty before CFS & Fibromyalgia knocked my socks off. I was working non-stop and although I did not have the extra cash to spend on expensive beauty treatments, spent it anyway! I went to a top salon in San Francisco 4x a year to get Baliage, my hairdresser specially trained in France on the exclusive art of free-handed highlights, at $200 a pop. Let's not even talk about what the haircut cost. I always had my acrylic manicure buffed and polished, each month faithfully made my trip to the wax lady for eyebrow shaping and Brazilian bikini torture. Pedicures were a way of life as I relaxed and allowed my feet to be buffed, massaged and polished to prettiness. I used self-tanners and went to the tanning salon (I know, I know) religiously to keep a healthy glow the overcast and dreary days of San Francisco did not organically provide. Oh I did it all, and I looked good! The first thing to go was the hair color. That last appointment I made and canceled 4x, knowing I did not have the money but having a really hard time going back to the do-it-yourself bottle. Then I started doing the acrylics myself, using up hours of time and destroying my cuticles as I tried to file all the lumps and bumps to smooth. Self-pedicures were torture on my back but I had no choice. I was not going to walk around with Boomerang neglected feet, telling the world I did not pay attention to myself! Shaving and plucking replaced the waxing and the tone of my skin became less important as I wallowed in ill health and woe-is-me.

It has been years now and I have come to terms and accepted that the luxury of salon treatments are not part of the gig. Maybe one day, but I actually like the do-it-yourself approach! I bottle my blonde every 3 weeks, pedicure every 2, shave and pluck regularly and live in Arizona now so sunshine habitually keeps me glowing. I file and polish my natural nails while watching TV and think I am doing a pretty good job at keeping up appearances. It is quick and easy and gets the job done. But over the last few days while I was putting on my makeup I noticed my upper lip looked fuzzy, a little dark. Last night I whipped out my do-it-yourself wax strips and flipped on the magnifying mirror. OH MY GOD I HAD A BONA FIDE MUSTACHE! It was long and dark and, well what more can I say, long and dark! I have been warned of the side-effects of Prednisone, the many others that accompany the racing-manic-panic I have been running around in. Facial hair, acne, a vacuum hose for a mouth (weight gain), chipmunk cheeks (oh we all know I have those!), mood-swings, 'roid rage, candida and a stomping on my immune system. But a mustache! So you betcha' I ripped that hair right off my face and then proceeded to scrutinize every inch of the surface of my skin at scarily-magnified close range. Oh the wrinkles, oh the discolorations! No good can come from looking at yourself that close. So as the Fibromyalgia pain Prednisone was gloriously masking slowly returns and my manic calms ever so slightly I realize how hard this has been on my body. The pain from my Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction has returned with a loud roaring vengeance. I enjoyed, really enjoyed the hiatus from Fibromyalgia Prednisone allowed, but there is something so familiar, so normal about feeling pain again. That I can deal with, but all these other side-effects have been torturous to me and I am actually anticipating switching out one for the other.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Good Morning Leah,
    I wanted to let you know I how much I have enjoyed reading your blog and it inspired me to do the same. What relief it gives me to get things off my chest and out of my muscles. Tee Hee.
    As creator of FibroSense on FaceBook, I needed a way to say more than the daily status comment allowed. Only 425 characters including spaces. When I began reading your blog I got the notion that I too could offer my insights I am so glad you chose my page to share yourself with us.
    I love how your sense of humor shines through and I appreciate the valuable information you provide us.
    Thanks a bunch and Well Wishes, Eileen

  2. Oh I am so glad I am not annoying...sometimes with all my repetitive posting I worry ;) Thank you for what you do, connecting us all together! I am glad you have enjoyed my blog and it inspires you... Blessings, Leah

  3. Oh my you said the Prednisone word. Not only do I have Fibromyalgia, CFS, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoarthritis, and a bad small intestine, but I have Sarcoidosis too! The ONLY thing I can take for my Sarcoid is the Prednisone. Right now I'm on 40 mg a day. I am also Bipolar and suffer from Major Depression and Anxiety. BUT... read on...

    I am 43, have 2 children, divorced, and I quit my job last year because I couldn't handle the pain anymore along with everything else. I have applied for Social Security Disability, and on the 30th I went to see the last of "thier" doctors to evaluate me. I had to see one for physical and one for mental. Hopefully I will get approved and get some relief from being buried under all these bills. My boyfriend has been a BIG help too.

    I a also a part time college student. I take all my classes from home. I am trying to learn how to do web design so I can start a business from home.

    I have not given up on life. I pray that I will keep the strength to keep moving on.

    Love your blog!! Only site I have right now is my Avon site. That is the link I put up. Later when I get my web site up and going about Fibromyalgia, I will post it for you.

  4. Monique- We all have so many other problems too its crazy! I feel for you on 40mg. I started on 60 and am now on 30 and the difference is HUGE, even though I still feel crack-head-ish. It is amazing how we keep going in the face of so many obstacles...the power of the human spirit is beautiful. Glad you have found us! Stay strong ;)