Monday, October 5, 2015

Create Awareness and Show Your Support

For the next two weeks you can order a t-shirt, long sleeved tee, or a hoodie.  Multiple colors to choose from!  Help create awareness everywhere you go when wearing one of these.  Without more education about our illness, and more advocating for further research, a cure will never be found.  How cool would it be if someone stopped you when wearing one of these, and asked you "Exactly what IS Fibromyalgia?".   ORDER YOURS BY CLICKING HERE

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Progression Of Symptoms

The medical community as a whole says that Fibromyalgia is not a progressive illness.  I highly disagree with that.  Even my family doctor told me that I'm getting worse.  This is an area that I'd love to see more research in.

My symptoms progressed from a child to a teen ager.  From a teen ager to a young adult.  From a young adult to middle age.  Now in my mid-40's I can see and feel a difference almost monthly.  I hate to see what kind of shape I'm in when I reach my mid-50's and beyond.  I worry that eventually I'll end up in a wheelchair.

I'm by no means an expert; I only have my personal experience and the countless stories of others that I've met, but there isn't a doctor out there that could convince me that Fibromyalgia isn't progressive.  Everyday pain is worse for me.  Flares come closer together, last longer, and are more intense.  What is your personal experience?

I handle the pain, because I have to. There isn't any other choice.  I must say though, it becomes harder and harder to deal with on a daily basis.  I awoke this morning with my lower back feeling as if someone poked a hole in it while I was sleeping, and poured it full of concrete.  It still feels that way.  The pain and stiffness just won't go away.

Constant, nagging pain wears on a person's mental state.  It's easy to allow yourself to fall into the dark hole of depression.  That's something that's a constant battle.  Everything combined, the pain, the fatigue, the depression, makes living life feel like a war zone.  Always trying to dodge a bullet.  

The medical community has come a long way concerning Fibro over the years, but we still have a long, long way to go.  I'd love to see a case study done, that follows people with fibro over a 20 year span.  If it was done with a big enough sample, I'm sure doctors would come to the conclusion that Fibro is a progressive illness.

There are researchers out there who would love to do more research on Fibromyalgia, but they just don't have the money to do so.  The NIH's categorical spending says that in 2015 $10M was allocated to Fibromyalgia research.  In 2016 it's supposed to be $11M.  In retrospect, screening and brief intervention for substance abuse received $30M in 2015 and will receive $31M in 2016.  Call me what you will, but it makes me sick that $20M MORE is being spent on something that is someone's own fault, than to try and find a cure for something that none of us asked for.  You can see the breakdown chart by clicking HERE.  Someone who's addicted to drugs or alcohol made the personal choice to pick up that needle or that bottle of alcohol the very first time they did it and every time thereafter.  Not one time in my life did I make a choice to be burdened with an illness that is slowly destroying my entire life and ripping away any quality of life.

In my opinion, we all need to shout and cry until we don't have a voice left, for more research of Fibromyalgia.  For more funding for Fibromyalgia research.  The old saying "You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit" does not apply.  I refuse to sit quietly back and just accept this illness as fate.  If those of us who doesn't personally suffer with Fibro won't try to do anything about it, then how can we expect anyone else to?  We can't.  It's up to us, my fellow fibromites.  We need to band together and make things happen.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Just Another Day In Life, With Fibro

I use this hashtag a LOT on my facebook page:  #JustAnotherDayInLifeWithFibro  because it seems no matter what is going on in my life; no matter what symptoms I have, it all can always be chalked up to "just another day in life, with fibro".  It's my feable attempt at being at sarcasm.  If I didn't just shrug and tell myself it's "just another day in life, with fibro" then I'd spend a lot more time crying than throwing my head back and laughing.  

As long as I've been sick; as many stories of others pain with this illness that I've read, you'd think I'd be use to this by now but I'm not.  Tonight, I feel as if a dagger is going through the top of my head.  My forehead and cheek bone feel as if they've been crushed into a thousand pieces.  My knees have a dull, deep ache, I keep getting sharp shooting pains in my shoulders, my middle back feels disconnected from my lower back, and just to the left of my spine in my lower back ...yeah, right where that dimple is just above the butt, is throbbing with a sharp shooting pain.  I am not, nor will I ever be, used to this.

This is one of those nights where I keep mumbling "ouch" outloud, but what I'd really like to do is throw myself down on the ground and have a good 'ole temper tantrum.  Just kick, and scream, and let the tears fly until someone scoops me up, hugs me, and tells me everything is going to be alright.  If only that would work.  

It's a hard night.  I'm in pain.  The pain is making me depressed.  I hate that I'm alone (single) because I think having a significant other in my life would help in times like this.  I DO know though, that I'm not the only one to feel like this.  I know that there's unfortunately others out there feeling the same kind of pain as I am, at this same exact moment in time.  I also know, that it's just something I'm going to have to live with because after all  ....it's "just another day in life, with fibro".  

If any of you ever have a "just another day in life, with fibro" moment please feel free to hashtag it to me.  You can find me on twitter @jaammull or on facebook at: The Fibro Frog.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

7 Tips To Help Stay Mentally Positive When You Live With Fibromyalgia

Those of us who live with Fibromyalgia or another chronic pain condition know that sometimes it's hard to stay positive. The pain and fatigue that our condition creates within us on a daily basis makes it easy to fall into a depressive state of mind.  Here's some tips that I try to follow, to help alleviate that depression.

1.  Remember that you're never alone.  The NIH estimates that 5 million Americans age 18 and older have Fibromyalgia.  Just on The Fibro Frog's Facebook Page alone, there's just over 16,000 of us.  Chances are good that even on your worst day someone else has been or is currently feeling what you're feeling.  

2.  Find an online support group.  If you're having a bad day, post about it.  Not only can others chime in and validate your feelings, but they may have some productive ideas and tips to help you get through your current flare.  You'll be talking to others who truly "get it" and understand how you're feeling and where you're coming from.

3.  Use what I call "The Distraction Technique".  Find a good book to read.  If you're like me, holding a book makes my arms, shoulders, and neck hurt.  If that's the case use an eReader.  An eReader is still sometimes too much for me on a bad day, and at that time, I use an eReader app on my computer so I don't have to hold anything or look down.  If you don't like to read, find a television series to start and have a marathon.  Listen to music.  Play online games.  Just anything to distract your mind from your pain or thoughts.

4.  Soak in a quiet, relaxing bath.  Turn off the lights and burn a couple of candles.  Lay back, close your eyes, and let your cares go.  Getting in and out of a bathtub hurts me, but it's well worth it for the decomposing factors it provides.  Nothing helps my muscle pain and stress levels as much as a hot soak.

5.  Force yourself to get out of the house at least once a week.  I find I do better if I get out at least every 3 days or so.  You don't have to dress up or do your hair and makeup.  You don't have to go inside anywhere.  Just jump in the car in your pj's, and go for a nice, scenic drive.  You'd be amazed at how it can help to stop staring at the same four walls for weeks at a time.

6.  Make friends with someone who shares your condition and truly understands where you're coming from.  Even if this "someone" is an online friend and lives across the world from you.  Instant message or call them a few times a week.  You can help hold each other up in the bad times, and celebrate the good times.

7.  If something around your house needs done but you just don't have the spoons left to complete the task, don't beat yourself up over it.  The sooner you learn that pacing yourself is a necessity with your illness and learn to let go of the guilt, the better off you'll mentally be.  I promise you that if you have dishes to do, they will unfortunately still be there waiting on you tomorrow.  Or the next day.  If your floor needs swept?  It too will still be there waiting on you until you feel better.  It doesn't mean you're a lazy person.  It means that you have an illness in which you only can do so many things in a day.  Or in a week.  Don't let guilt sneak it's way into your head.  You didn't ask for this illness or lifestyle.  It unfortunately found you.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Going On Vacation This Summer?

I have the opportunity to help you save some money this summer if you're planning on visiting Tennessee!  Read on!

Visit our 8 Gatlinburg Attractions! Experience eight unique attractions including Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium, our 85,000 sq ft Aquarium of the Smokies, a 5D Moving Theater, our bone-chilling Haunted Adventure, the mind-bending Marvelous Mirror Maze, and our two fully themed mini-golf courses!

My Readers Save $3 Off Adult and $2 Off Child Admission to all of Ripley's Attractions in Tennessee.
Use Online Promo Code: USFAMILYGUIDE
Must purchase online. Guinness World Records Museum, Ripley's 5D Moving Theater, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium, Ripley's Davy Crockett Mini-Golf, Ripley's Haunted Adventure, and Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=10276&dealid=1704 @usfg #gatlinburg #ripleys

I absolutely love aquariums and I'm excited to visit Ripley's Aquarium along with all of the other attractions!


*For posting this discount offer I'm receiving free admission into all 8 Ripley's attractions*

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Interview About Having Fibro

**** Edited - I'm going to have to leave you with just Part II of the interview, as the file for Part I is too large and I don't know how to break it down into smaller segments.  If anyone would like to listen to Part I as well, contact me via the feedback form and I'll be happy to email it to you. ****

I was contacted by a very nice fellow named Harry Quinn Schone.  He's a PhD student at University College London.  His  thesis concerns philosophical conceptions and classifications of disease.  He's particulary interested in Fibromyalgia.  

Unfortunately it was a bad fibro fog day for me, as is evidenced in the interview.  
At first, I thought I sounded like a very niave person with all of my "umms", but then I decided it is what it is when one has fibro. There's two parts to the interview so when you leave off with the first recording, play the next one.


I feel that the questions and answers contained in this interview is very important to help spread awareness so please feel free to share this post across your social media sites.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

So Much Excitement In The Air

Some of you may notice that a badge on the right hand side of the screen has been swapped out.  Yes, the badge naming this blog a "top fibromyalgia blog for 2014" has now been replaced a new one naming this blog one of the best fibromyalgia blogs of the year for 2015!  I can't begin to tell you how truly humbling it is to have made Healthline.com's top 15 this year.  This is 3 years in a row now.  It's absolutely mind-blowing to me that my little corner of the internet world gets noticed by someone as prestegious as Healthline.  Well, in all honesty, that it gets noticed by anyone for that matter.  

I don't know how in the world I distorted the screenshot when I cropped it down.  I tried playing with the crop to fix it but it just kept getting funkier so I just left it alone lol.  Every blog on Healthline's list, is of top quality so make sure you check them out.  There are some new ones on the list this year!  You can click the link HERE to access the slide show.

In all honesty, I have all of YOU to thank for this honor because without you I never would've had the courage or determination to keep writing this blog for the past 3 years.  

The other exciting news in the air, is that my fundraising event for National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2015 is this Saturday!  I can't believe how quickly the date snuck up on me!  I'm attaching a flyer I'd made up for the event, but since the design, I've had even more artists that have wanted to participate!  I still have a lot of work ahead of me before Saturday and I'm a nervous wreck about everything coming off as it should the day of the event.  -The weather forecast has me nervous all in it's own!  This is an outside event and it started off last Saturday with an 80% chance of storms for May 9th.  Then it dropped to a 50% chance.  Now, it's down to a 40% chance of storms.  I pray, pray, pray that it drops even more.  -Or if not, that we hit the 60% chance of it NOT storming.  I'm choosing to concentrate on the 60% of no storms, than the 40% of possible storms.

Monday, I will post an update to the event with a lot of pictures for you all to see!  Until then, love and butterfly hugs to all!