Well, here we are 18 days before my birthday. The birthday that will mark my 53rd year of life on this earth. 53 years of pain, suffering, learning, joy & happiness. 53 years of figuring out not only what love is, but also what love is NOT. What in the world do I have to show for living 53 years on this earth? I mean, once I'm gone what then? I'll just disappear without a trace?
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Monday, August 14, 2023
|This was my mom on May 16, 2023, holding her 5-day-old, Great Granddaughter. This is my newest Grandbaby, Aria.|
|Selfie I took of Mom and I while waiting for life flight to get there. Please excuse the tears that are blinding my eyes. They weren't running down my cheeks so that was a WIN in my book for me!|
Thursday, August 3, 2023
I'll start off by warning ya, I'm definitely in my feels today. There won't be any photos or inspiring or cutesy or funny memes in this post to break it up. Yes, I'm a Certified Master Life Coach. Yes, I'm a meditation facilitator. Yes, I'm an Emotional Intelligence Coach. Yes, I'm a NLP Practioner. -And YES, I'm still human. I still ride the emotional rollercoaster that all of you also ride. Every human being has feelings, ups, and downs. They experience sadness and regret and remorse. It isn't all happiness, laughter, and sunshine for anyone, me included.
Now, anyone who's followed this blog for a long time, or is a Facebook friend, knows that I am abundantly transparent in my life. The whole premise for starting this blog was the frustration I felt the first few times I sat down and googled for help with Fibromyalgia. Newly diagnosed all I could think about was "There is no cure, I'm going to feel like this or worse, for the rest of my entire life". Every blog I came across was all cheerleader-like with simple posts talking about how strong we are. How we're warriors. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah!!!! Noooo!!!!! Where are the posts talking about the struggles? The posts talking about how it was hard to pull yourself out of bed in the morning, let alone to change from pj's to regular clothes. The posts that talk about "I had a bad pain flare, and I tried this, this, and this but it didn't work. I DID find a little relief though by doing this, this, and this". It made me feel so alone. It made me feel like everyone else who had this disease was navigating it so easily, and here I am fumbling around in tears, in immense pain, and with insomnia flares that last a few weeks at a time. I didn't know a thing about blogging. I'm a true IT dummy. I spent hours upon hours trying to learn what HTML was. How to enter it into a blog, etc. So then, The Fibro Frog was born with the sole intention of putting the real raw truth out there about what it's like to live trapped in a broken, sick body. What research is being done? I've interviewed many scientists and doctors. They've also interviewed ME. I wanted to educate the general public about living with chronic illnesses, and I also wanted anyone newly diagnosed & scared, to know they weren't alone.
Those who've been around and know me, also know that I had a real "gem" of a husband. I never knew from one day to the next, if he'd really come home after work. Or if he really was at work. Or if I'd find another new dating profile for him .....but guys, to this day he swears he never cheated on me lol. So, getting diagnosed with an illness I was going to have for the rest of my life, was his newest excuse to leave me. He told me he was going to scope out some public hunting land a few hours away from us, but then disappeared without a word for 3 days, until he texted our child on day 3 (which happened to be Easter Sunday, by the way) and say that he would be there around 10pm that night to pick up his clothes. To tell me to have them ready for him, that he was leaving me. -I won't even get into how disgusting and cowardly it was for him to text that to our child, and not me. When he showed up, his excuse to me was that he couldn't take being with me, where I was going to be sick for the rest of my life. He said it would cause him to have too much anxiety and that his blood pressure already always runs high. That for his health, he had to leave me. -But he'd met someone online. I guess he had been talking to her for quite a while behind my back. He left me and immediately moved in with her. -But remember you guys, ....he never cheated on me lol.
So that was just over 12 years ago. For just over twelve years, I've been completely single. That means that no matter how $hitty I've felt, I've still had to figure out a way to support myself. My bills sure didn't stop just because I was sick & single. He had promised to pay child support, but that was just a "tell her what she wants to hear so she doesn't go get a support order against me" promise. He paid me nothing. NOTHING. Until I did go get an order for child support for our two teenage children. Then, he started the good ole job hopping to try to get out of it. As soon as child support would catch up to him and take one or two payments, I'd get nothing again. Because he'd quit and went to a different company and it would take child support 2-3 months to catch up to him at the new place of employment. It was absolutely disgusting. -See, I'm sidetracking again. My mind has just been a complete jumble today. -Thank's fibro. The cognitive delays have been real lately. Trust me.
So now, let's go back three years this past spring. I'd really been having a lot of trouble with my hips hurting. Especially the right one. My mom had just had her left hip replaced. I had just moved in with her and my dad, the day before her surgery, to be there to help her. When I took her to a post-surgery appointment, she told her doctor about my pain. He asked me about it and I gave him a quick rundown of fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis, and told him my old pain management doctor had said I have bursitis in my right hip. He ordered MRI's of both of my hips. My appointment for the results was at the same time as my mom's next post-surgery appointment. He cheerfully slapped my images up on a machine and said "Look! Both of your hips almost exactly mirror your moms before her surgery". Ugh! So, you're telling me that I need my hips replaced too. Of course, I didn't do it at that time.
For about the past year, my left hip has hurt waaayyyy worse than my right one ever did. I'm at the point where I sleep sitting up at my desk most nights, until 6-8am, then go lay down in my bed for a few more hours of sleep laying down. See, I cannot lay in my bed, for longer than 4 hrs ....5 if I'm having a super great night, without waking up due to the bone aching pain of my left hip. It's a really deep ache. Down in the bone. Almost like someone has driven a huge spike down into my hip bone. For the past month, it's caused my left knee to ache pretty bad too.
My mom and youngest daughter have both been after me about getting my hips replaced. Can I just say how literally exhausting it is to keep trying to explain to people that you absolutely cannot afford to be off work for 6-8 weeks (per hip which they will be done separately)? I already was having a bad day today and was in some pretty major pain. I was standing there holding my purse and my door dash bag, ready to walk out & leave to drive to Findlay and dash when my youngest daughter and my mom started in on me. They double-teamed me on how I need to go have the surgery. My mom said, "I have Dr. XX's number in my phone. Do you want me to call and make you an appointment?". Once again, I stated that I absolutely cannot afford to not work, during the recovery of the hip replacement. My daughter kept saying "Your health is more important. You have to put your health first". My mom has a husband that makes sure she has what she needs and is well taken care of. My daughter has a fiance that she lives with, that she can fall back on for money if needed. I DO NOT HAVE THAT LUXURY!!
I have dumped every single penny I've had, into certification courses for this new business. Marketing. Business cards. Training courses. Website hosting. Etc, etc, etc. I have gone out on a limb, with just a hope and a prayer! I don't have a plan B. I don't have a safety net to catch me if I fall. I don't have anyone that loves me and wants to help take care of me. I have ME. It's obvious that I can't door dash for life, because of my health. It's what I'm doing right now though, to try to support myself until I can fully launch my new business and start obtaining clients. It's how I get the money to pay for the certification courses, web hosting, shopping carts and marketing, and all of my day-to-day expenses that I have. Like any human has.
They both legit were getting mad at me, when I kept trying to explain this. Once I get my new business going and obtain a few clients, I can go get my hips replaced because, with my new business, I'll be meeting with clients via Zoom or another online meeting platform. It's cool because doing it this way I not only can take on clients anywhere in the entire world, but I don't have to leave my house to do so! I'll be able to work, within 2 days of having the surgery. I can easily use my laptop, while I'm in a recliner with my leg elevated lol. It's so frustrating to me, that people in my life cannot understand why I've been putting off this surgery. Believe me, I hate being in so much pain every day. I hate not being able to lay down in a bed at night, to go to sleep. -I don't get good rest sitting up like that. I wake up with my forehead on my desk and a mark on my face from it lol. Like I have hip & knee pain, but I also still have my fibromyalgia pain too, folks. It's no fun. But when you're living in a broken body and you're single, you don't have a lot of options. You do what you have to do. Right now, what I have to do is to get out there & door dash so I can pay my bills and live until I get this new business officially launched and start obtaining clients. There is no way that I have the physical stamina to go out and door dash 7 days a week, for 10-12 hrs at a time like I used to be able to do a few years ago. If I could then yes, I'd be able to bank back a couple months worth of money for bills and living expenses. But I just can't do that anymore.
They were both yelling at me for going door dashing today because not only was my left hip and knee killing me, but we all had just gotten home from the grocery store, where my mom rolled the electric cart up onto my right big toe and on an angle onto my foot right between the big toe and next toe. She didn't just roll over it though, she rolled up onto it ....I started screaming so she panicked and sat there ON my big toe before finally realizing she probably should get off of my toe and then rolled over it!! Believe me, I cried real tears with that one lol. But hurting or not, being single I still had to work today. My phone bill was due before midnight tomorrow night, so I had no choice but to go to work & make the money to pay my phone bill.
Just everything, left me extremely emotional today. I literally would have tears rolling down my cheeks between restaurant pickups and customer drop-offs. But I did what I needed to do. I made the money to pay my phone bill, plus just a little bit extra. My entire point is though, if I have to dash to pay a phone bill, how in the he!! do you expect me to be able to afford to be off work for 6-8 weeks to go have my hip replaced?! I not only live month-to-month or week-to-week right now, but I'm currently living day-by-day!! -When I say I've sunk every penny I can into this new business, I was not lying lol. I'm just a poor, broke, single girl. Right now, anyway. For my life, I couldn't get them to understand that where I'm single, and where I live every single day in a broken body, I have to get this new business going. I have to you guys. I have to have a job that will allow me to live my life comfortably, without having to leave my house and punch a time card Monday through Friday. My fellow Fibro Froggies understand how with a bad fibro flare, we may not be able to leave our house and we can't stand in one place for very long, nor can we stand period for very long. Just like we can't sit for very long either. Sitting and standing have to be alternated. If we've had an insomnia flare, we may not be able to show up at the job at 8am and punch in. It's hard for us to bend, and to pick up heavy objects or to push or pull them. It just physically is not in us! I have SO many other illnesses along with fibromyalgia, too.
So right now, I have to concentrate on getting Positive Pathways -with Amy Mullholand officially launched. I have to door dash until I do get Positive Pathways -with Amy Mullholand launched and start obtaining clients. Once that happens, I will have my left hip replaced. Until then, I will never be able to get 6-8 weeks' worth of money put back, to be able to have the surgery. I'm broke and have no one to fall back on to help me pay my bills & live. Living in a broken body is hard even if you DO have a significant other in your life. Being single makes it all just a little bit harder. When you're single, even on your worse day you still have to do whatever it is that you have to do. You don't have any help. You grit your teeth and do it, even though tears may fall down your cheeks while you're doing it. You just push through anyway, because you don't have any other options but to push through and do it!
This has been a really long
vent story about how badly I wish people that aren't living in broken bodies and are not single, would understand that there isn't anything that comes "easy" for me. I don't have the luxury of not going out and working even in a flare if I have a bill due. I especially don't have the luxury of being able to have surgery when I need it, if I don't find a better way to support myself. I'd almost kill to be able to buy a new bed and see if that allowed me to sleep in a bed again (mines over a decade old), or to rent a hotel room with a jacuzzi in it, to help ease the aches of my bones and muscles, but if I can't do that even, how in the he!! do you think I can take off 6-8 weeks? I just can't, until I get the business going. It's impossible right now & they just can't understand that! It's frustrating! I think part of what emotionally was hurting me today, was the fact that every time I was refuting a statement my daughter was making, by saying "When I get the new business going, I'll be able to have the surgeries because I'll be able to still work! I can meet with my client in my BED even if I really have to. That's the beauty of online appointments" she would act like that was never going to happen. She absolutely didn't come out & say that my business would never succeed, but it's the impression that she left with me. Even just typing that sentence has once again made my eyes well up with tears. I don't go down easily, and she knows that! I didn't know how to blog and literally jumped up & down when I hit 50 followers. When I hit 500, I literally cried. Let's fast forward to 17,000 followers, and after FB weeded out old, inactive profiles recently, I still have just under 16,000. I won awards for having a top blog from reputable places such as Healthline (from them, 5 or 6 years in a ROW!), I've been interviewed by CNN and Everyday Health's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I was asked to be a contributing author to many online health & wellness magazines. I was asked to be a contributing editor for a book on Fibromyalgia and to write a blurb that's on the back of the book. I've been quoted in Teen Vogue and Allure Magazines, in articles about Lady Gaga having fibro. I was on a TV show, on TLC. She knows that my entire LIFE, I'm the person everyone has come to for advice and help. She knows that MANY people within both the Chronic Illness AND the LGBTQIA+ communities have sought me out online, for help, advice, and just a listening ear. She knows that I'm a HUGE empath and that I've always helped anyone and everyone I could. -Yet she doubts me that I will make this new business succeed? That honestly really hurts me. I don't think my mom really believes I'll make it a success either. I don't go down easily and without a fight though, trust me. This new business WILL succeed. I can look back and the signs have ALWAYS been there. I just was too blind (or stubborn lol) to see it though and kept taking the wrong path. Every single indication that THIS is what I'm supposed to do with my life, is there. A new venture though, takes time and money for anyone. When you're single and your only income is door dashing, it takes even longer. But I WILL eventually get there, folks. And when I do, I'll have a brand new mattress delivered the morning before my surgery to have a nice comfy bed to recuperate in, I'll spend the night before the surgery in a hotel room with a jacuzzi suite in it, I'll get my dang surgery that everyone keeps yelling at me to get. Then when I come home from being in the hospital a couple of days, I will get my laptop, prop myself up in my new comfy bed, and resume meeting with my clients. -Like the old movie quote says: "Built it and they will come". I started this blog with that quote in mind. I started my food trailer business with that quote in mind (btw a big HUGE F-YOU to Covid for sinking that business for me), and I'm starting Positive Pathways -with Amy Mullholand with once again, that quote in mind. I WILL make it successful. Just watch me!
Monday, May 22, 2023
How Can A Life Coach Help With Chronic Pain?
Today, I'm going to talk to you a little bit about why I became a Certified Meditation Facilitator & Coach, NLP Practioner, Emotional Intelligence Coach, Life Purpose Coach, Business Coach, Coming Out Specialist, Goal Setting Coach, etc etc to lead to an overall Master Life Coach Certification. Those who are new here, may not realize that I myself, have struggled with many, many chronic pain conditions. Like a lot of you, I desperately kept searching, and reading, and analyzing searching for answers. Well, after working with a world-renouned Rheumatologist at The Cleveland Clinic ….there are no answers. No answers for a cure. No answers for a concrete universal treatment plan, that works for everyone. But what I DID learn, is that if I found the right mixture of techniques to use, I could retrain my brain, and be able to actually live again. Do I still deal with chronic pain and fatigue daily? YES. I do. But, I now use the techniques I learned becoming a certified master life coach, and I can function again.
Anybody can learn the techniques that I learned. I did it without the help of a life coach. When I saw that it wasn't just some "touted BS" I honestly was in disbelief! I knew, that I had to come up with the money to take as many classes as I could, so that I could help others too. My blog, at it's core, is still what I intended it to be when I first started it. A blog trying to educate the public about what it's really like to live with Fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain and fatigue illnesses, so that hopefully that would lead to more research money, to try to find a cure for fibromyalgia, or at the very least, a solid concrete universal treatment plan that helps everyone, not just some as current medications do. While studying and learning, it would've been so much easier if I had a life coach myself. Someone who truly understands what it's like to live under debilitating pain and fatigue. Someone who could hold me accountable. Someone to help me rewire this brain of mine. Someone who could help me explain to my family and friends how I really feel and what it's really like to live in this broken, sick, body of mine (and yours!). Someone that could teach me techniques to help my anxiety levels. -Because every time I make a promise that I'll go somewhere or do something, I immediately would get anxious. I'd worry non-stop if I'd be able to have the energy to literally force myself to show at the event. Then someone to help me with the depression I would feel, if I just couldn't force myself to do whatever it was that I was supposed to do. I also have taken classes, and researched to put together a seminar that is aimed towards corporations. It's an EQ (Emotional Intelligence) course that will help company leads learn how to deal with their employees, and specifically those that suffer from chronic pain and fatigue illnesses. Research has shown that companies who have their top leads trained in EQ, significantly lower their turn over rate! Plus, it helps those of us who DO live with these conditions. I'm trying, on every avenue possible, to improve our quality of life. We deserve to have a life, just as anyone else does. We just may have to go about it in a different way.
I'm blessed, that over the course of the past 12 years, I've been able to help so many people!! Hundreds upon hundreds of people would seek me out, and DM me thanking me. It truly humbled me, as I started off 12 years ago, just wanting a little corner in the big ole cyberspace world to vent! Every blog I'd find, would just be a "rah-rah we've got this, we're warriors" type of cheerleading blog. I didn't want that! It literally left me sitting at my desk in tears when I first was diagnosed and found all of those other blogs. With tears streaming down my face I said "Why? No, this is all wrong. We don't have this. We don't have a cure. We don't have a universal treatment plan. It's HARD to get out of bed and dressed each day. It's hard to force myself to shower, let alone attend a big event. This is BS! If people think it's so easy they aren't going to be as inclined to donate for research. People need to know the truth about what it's like to live with chronic illnesses". Therefore, The Fibro Frog was born. Even though I wanted to educate and advocate, I honestly didn't think anyone would ever even see or find my blog. When I hit 50 followers I couldn't believe it. I remember the day I woke up and saw I had 100 followers. I literally was calling my parents, my kids, everyone I knew I was so excited lol. Fast forward to today, and the blogs FB page is now just under 16,000 followers since FB went through and deleted inactive profiles. That's ok though, we don't want inactive profiles anyway. We want people who are active and excited to meet others that suffer with what they do. We want people who are just as passionate about educating and advocating for a cure or solid treatment plan, as I am. We want people who are willing to talk to others AND listen to others, to allow them to vent. In other words, we want one big supportive family of chronic illness people!
I'm going to tell you now, some of what a life coach can do for you, if you have a chronic illness.
A life coach can be a valuable support system for individuals dealing with chronic pain. While life coaches are not medical professionals and cannot provide medical advice or treatment, they can offer guidance and assistance in managing the emotional and practical aspects of living with chronic pain. Here are some ways in which a life coach can help:
Emotional support: Chronic pain can take a toll on a person's emotional well-being. A life coach can provide a safe space for individuals to express their feelings, frustrations, and fears related to their pain. They can offer empathy, active listening, and emotional support to help clients navigate the emotional challenges associated with chronic pain.
Goal setting and motivation: Chronic pain can make setting and achieving goals challenging. A life coach can work with individuals to set realistic and achievable goals related to their overall well-being, such as improving daily functioning, managing stress, maintaining relationships, or pursuing hobbies and interests. The coach can provide motivation, accountability, and guidance to help clients take consistent steps toward their goals.
3. Developing coping strategies: Chronic pain often requires individuals to develop effective coping strategies. A life coach can help clients explore and identify coping mechanisms that work for them. They can provide tools and techniques to manage pain, such as relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, mindfulness practices, and stress reduction strategies. In my packages, I also offer the use of guided meditation, NLP techniques such as anchoring, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) techniques, journaling, positive affirmations, vision boards, manifestation, and more.
4. Lifestyle adjustments: Chronic pain may require adjustments to daily routines, habits, and lifestyle choices. A life coach can assist individuals in identifying areas where modifications can be made to accommodate their pain. This may include developing strategies for pacing activities, prioritizing self-care, incorporating stress management techniques, and making necessary adaptations to work or social environments.
5. Communication and advocacy: Communicating about chronic pain can be challenging, especially when it comes to family, friends, employers, or healthcare providers. A life coach can help clients improve their communication skills and provide guidance on how to effectively express their needs, boundaries, and limitations. They can also assist individuals in becoming effective self-advocates within the healthcare system, helping them navigate medical appointments, ask relevant questions, and seek appropriate support and resources.
6. Holistic well-being: A life coach can take a holistic approach to well-being, considering various aspects of a person's life affected by chronic pain. They can explore areas such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, self-care, and social connections, providing guidance on how to optimize these areas to improve overall well-being.
Remember, while a life coach can provide valuable support, they are not a substitute for medical professionals. It's important to work with a multidisciplinary team that may include doctors, pain specialists, therapists, and other healthcare providers to address chronic pain's medical and physical aspects. The old saying "It takes a village" isn't just true when it comes to raising children. When we're trapped in these bodies of ours, I cannot stress enough how important a multidisciplinary team is! In the beginning, it seems like a lot of work. -And it really IS a lot of work. But it is SO worth it in the end when you're able to start truly LIVING again!!
Anyone Can Say They're A Life Coach, How Do You Make Sure They Really Have Had Training?
Unfortunately, there are NOT strict regulations on being a life coach. Anyone, yes anyone, can "say" they're a life coach. No law will stop them! I could've just said …..Hmm, "life coaching" is what I've basically been doing for all of these years anyway, so I'll just say I'm now a life coach and start taking people's money. I didn't want that! If I was going to "say" I was a life coach, I was really going to "BE" a life coach. I've sunk every penny I could get, into certification classes. Since there aren't any laws in the U.S. governing life coaches though, here's some tips on finding one that really IS a life coach.
Validating the training and qualifications of a life coach is essential to ensure you're working with someone who has the necessary skills and expertise.
Research their background: Start by researching the life coach's background and qualifications. Look for their website, online profiles, or any other information available. They may provide details about their training, certifications, education, and professional affiliations.
Ask for credentials: Reach out to the life coach directly and ask about their credentials. Inquire about their specific training programs, certifications, or any relevant qualifications they hold. Legitimate life coaches are typically open to discussing their backgrounds and will provide you with the necessary information.
3. Request references: Ask the life coach for references from previous clients or colleagues who can vouch for their training and expertise. Reach out to these references and ask about their experience working with the coach, the effectiveness of the coaching, and any other relevant details.
4. Review testimonials and reviews: Look for testimonials or reviews from previous clients. These can often be found on the life coach's website, social media profiles, or other online platforms. While testimonials should be taken with a grain of salt, they can provide some insight into the coach's credibility and effectiveness.
5. Conduct an interview: If you're still uncertain about a life coach's training, qualifications, or approach, request an initial consultation or interview. This will allow you to ask questions about their background, training, methodology, and experience directly. Pay attention to their responses and assess whether they instill confidence and trust in their abilities.
Remember that while these steps can help you validate a life coach's training, it's also essential to trust your instincts and evaluate how comfortable you feel working with them. A good fit between you and the life coach is crucial for a successful coaching relationship. The compliment I hear the most is, "Amy, you're just so easy to talk to. I don't know what it is about you, but you just draw people to you". Make sure you feel THAT way, about any coach you choose to work with.
I've also always had a lot of friends from within the LGBTQIA+ community, and even have a man that I consider a son, that's gay. I've had SO MANY people from within the LGBTQIA+ community that has sought me out, just needing someone to hold their hand and give them some techniques to use, when they come out. I've had men aged 30-50 find me on FB, that were struggling with gender identity and/or gender dysphoria. Throughout the life of the blog, I've mentioned how high the suicide rate is within the chronic pain community ….it's just as high, if not higher in the LGBTQIA+ community and this absolutely breaks my heart. After I was on the tv show Dragnificent, on TLC, I had more and more DM's from people within the LGBTQIA+ community. As a life coach, I'm capable and equipped to help anyone. My passion though, will always lie within the chronic illness and LGBTQIA+ communities.
IF anyone feels suicidal though, please don't seek ME out. Please call 911, a suicide hotline, or go to your nearest emergency room for immediate help. I say this, because unfortunately twice now someone has contacted me out of the blue only for them to message me again a few weeks later and tell me "Thank you, you literally saved my life. When I first contacted you I was thinking about just killing myself". That my friends, scared the living crap out of me lol. I'm NOT a psychologist or psychiatrist, or someone trained specifically to help those that are in crisis mode contemplating suicide. But if that IS YOU, PLEASE seek immediate help from someone trained in that specific area.
As always my friends, Never Give Up HOPE! -Without HOPE, you don't have anything! I TRULY live my life by this motto!