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Monday, December 28, 2015

Team #SaveAmysHouse

I'm honored to have been nominated again this year, for Healthline's Best Health Blog of 2015 contest.  Not only would winning show people that chronic pain/fatigue illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Lupus, RA, etc are NOT invisible, winning would also help me save my house.  Being single and sick, money is always extremely tight.  I had gotten behind on my property taxes and now I'm on a set payment schedule to catch them up and keep them current.  If I miss a payment, my house goes into foreclosure.  I have to pay around $1750 in February.  I receive $470/month from SSI.  You can see the dilemma here.  If I could win first place, that would give me a big fighting chance to save my home.


Healthline Best Blog Nominee

To vote for me, just click the above photo.  Then, scroll down until you see The Fibro Frog and click the vote button.  It will come up with the options for you to vote using facebook or twitter.  You click one of those.  Then, do it again clicking whichever one you didn't vote with the first time.  It allows you to vote using BOTH social media sites once every 24 hours during the contest period.  I also ask that you share this post on all of your social media sites!  Join Team #SaveAmysHouse and vote every day!!

Thank you so much, friends.  I always tell all of you to never give up HOPE, and I'm not going to either!  If all of of spoonies band together, we can do this!!  

Friday, November 20, 2015

On A Budget This Holiday Season? Win A Giftcard

If you're like me, you're on a pretty tight budget that the holidays play havoc with.  Now through November 25, 2015 Giant Eagle is giving you a way to triple dip the savings!

This is a sponsored post by Tatu Digital Media, but all of the thoughts expressed are purely mine.


 I would suggest purchasing Giant Eagle gift cards now, and using them in place of cash while doing your holiday shopping this year.  Here's 3 ways that you can triple dip the savings doing this:

1.  Special Offer:  You will get a $10 coupon good on your next order, for every $100 you spend on select gift cards at Giant Eagle.

2.  Earn fuelperks! on everyday gift card purchases to save you money at the pump.  $ .10 fuelperks! are earned for every $50 you spend on gift cards.

3.  If you use your favorite rewards credit cards when you buy gift cards, you'll be earning points, miles, or cash back!

The participating gift card partners for this offer include:
Visa Gift
Sears
Best Buy
Google
Fandango
JC Penney

*Your $10 coupon will print at the register when you check out.  Also, some credit cards may have reward limits on their use at a grocery store.  You can see store for more details of this promotion.

If you'd do the math for this promotion, for every $100 you spend on the participating gift cards you could earn a $10 coupon + you could earn $6 back if you earn 6% back on credit card grocery store purchases + if you get 15 gallons of gas and use the $ .20 off fuelperks! you'd earn, that would save you $3.  That's a total of $19 in savings on a $100 gift card purchase!  So if you have a Giant Eagle near you, I'd definitely recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity between now and November 25, 2015!

Now, here's a chance for one of my readers to win a $50 giveaway!  Who could use this, at this time of the year?  I know I sure could! Good luck to all of my Fibro Froggies.  I truly hope one of you win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Save Money With Giant Eagle Gift Cards




With the holiday season quickly approaching, who isn't looking to save money?  Giant Eagle offers gift cards for over 150 major retailers.  They have a reward program for buying gift cards, in the form of fuelperks.  For every $50 you spend in gift cards, you receive fuel perks.  Now through November 18, 2015 you earn $ .20 fuel perks for every $50 you spend on six select retailer gift cards!  You can check them out HERE.  

This is a sponsored post by Tatu Digital Media, but all of the thoughts contained are strictly my own.  I wouldn't recommend something to my froggies if I didn't think it was a good idea.  

If you're like me, you like to have actual presents to wrap and put under the tree.  That isn't a problem either using gift cards from Giant Eagle.  Just purchase your gift cards, then use them to order your presents online.  With all of my illnesses, I love online shopping.  I can sit here and shop in my pj's.  I don't have to go out in the weather, and even if it's a high pain and fatigue day, I can still get my shopping done!  I don't have to spend gas to go to the store, fight the crowds, or spend time standing in long lines which causes me extreme pain and zaps every bit of my energy.

 You can even double dip your savings by using your favorite rewards credit card to purchase, you can earn points, miles or a percentage back on your purchase. Some credit cards even offer increased rewards for purchases made at grocery. For example, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back on groceries, and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card offers a whopping 6% cash back! Capital One QuicksilverOne®, AMEX EveryDay® and Citi® Hilton HHonors credit cards also offer increased rewards for grocery purchases. 
Now, heres the math:
$3 in fuel rewards on a 15 gallon tank ($.20 x 15) +$6 back if you earn 6% cash back on credit card grocery purchases =$9 in savings on a $50 gift card, or 18%!!!!

Let's face it, we all feel the price of gas.  We have to drive no matter what.  If we can get our shopping done and save money while doing it, why not?  You can quickly accumulate fuelperks and cash back to keep more money in your pocket by just shopping Giant Eagle gift cards.  A quick, easy savings account so to speak!   Make sure you check out all of the gift cards that Giant Eagle has to offer!   Living on a fixed income, I'm all about saving money any way that I can!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jewelry In Candles Giveaway

Welcome to the Jewelry In Candles Giveaway, sponsored by Melissa, The Future Mrs. Vines from Keeping Up With The Vines. Candles make great gifts, especially 100% soy candles with cotton wicks. Soy candles are environmentally friendly and you can reuse the glass jars with lids for arts and crafts, food storage, personal hygiene storage, home decor, seasonal decor and more. A few years ago I was a JIC rep, and even though I'm not with the company anymore, I still can't tell you how much I love, love, love these candles and melts! When you support Jewelry In Candles, you're supporting USA jobs. All JIC candles are hand-poured in Louisville, Kentucky. Our candles, tarts and new body butters allow you to choose your choice of jewelry and size. Men's jewelry is available in certain scents.

Check out 54+ Easy Reasons To Give Candles As Gifts.

54+ Easy Reasons To Give Candles As Gifts

To show you how awesome Jewelry in Candles is, we're giving away 2 (regular-priced) 21 oz. candles to two winners. (One candle per winner). This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, ages 18+. It begins on 11/2/2015 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on 11/17/2015.

The winners will get to choose their scent and jewelry size (where applicable) and type from regular-priced $24.95 candles. Good luck! I hope one of The Fibro Frog's followers is the winner!

Enter The Giveaway

Jewelry In Candles Candle Giveaway

Friday, October 30, 2015

$80 Away From Saving My House

I've come a long way in 2 days time.  I started needing $1003.  By keeping $70 of my SSI payment that will hit my bank in the morning of $470,  to pay my electric and gas, I knew I'd have $400 to go towards it.  Tonight, I was able to sell my semi-pro camera for $295.  I had 3 generous froggies paypal me a total of $227.  So, I'm $81 away from having the money to pay the 1/5 of the taxes that has to be paid by tomorrow afternoon.  -I have a dollar in change to cover that other $1 haha.  So I'm very, very close!  I have a laptop for sale on the area garage sale sites and hoping that it will sell in time.  If it does, then it will leave me a tad left over even.  Please think positive thoughts for me.  I need all I can get!!  The stress of this situation has me flaring like no other.  I feel as if it may just be the death of me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Now Fibro Is Stealing My Home

Fibro had taken almost everything from me.  It stole my marriage, my friends, my social life, my dignity ...the list goes on and on.  Now, it's stealing the last thing I have left.  My home.

This is what social security gives me a month:

Therefore, I've gotten behind on my property taxes.  This is what I'm behind:
They informed me this afternoon that I have until the office closes on Friday (yep, 3 days from now) to pay $1,003 or they're starting foreclosure proceedings on my home.  If I only pay my electric and gas bill this coming month, I can come up with $350 of that $1,003.  That still puts me $650 short.

I'm beyond upset and stressed to say the least.  We all know what stress does to us.  Yeah, I'm in a huge flare and can't stop crying.  I don't know what to do.  My friend suggested a GoFundMe account, but they take money out what is donated, plus I wouldn't have time to get the donations then wait on it to be transfered to my bank account.  That takes a few days.  And I only have a few days until they need the money.

The only thing I can think to do, is paypal because I have a paypal debit card so I have immediate access to the funds.  I know this is no one's problem but my own, but on the off chance that anyone wants to help, my paypal email address is:  jaammull@aol.com.

Any shares to any and all of your social media accounts would be greatly appreciated.  I cannot stand what Fibro has done to me both physically and mentally.  Before I was sick, I used to work my ass off.  Now, I have nothing.

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
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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!

DISCLAIMER:

*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.


video



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!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gettin' Muddy To Make Fibro Visible

I'm excited to announce that I just submitted a request for approval to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association to host an awareness and fundraising event for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!  As most reading this post already know, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is world-wide, and is May 12th.  Since that falls on a Tuesday this year, the event will take place on Saturday May 9th with the donation to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association taking place on May 12th.


Since our illness is an invisible illness, Backwoods Boggers has graciously agreed to allow me to host this event at their facility.  We're going to be "Gettin' Muddy To Make Fibro Visible"!  For those that enjoy mudding in their trucks, Jeeps, four-wheelers, etc. they'll enjoy a day playing in the mud with their toys.  For those of us (like me for instance lol) that can't physically tolerate that kind of activity, we'll bring a lawnchair and watch the fun!  There will be a special time for us watchers to all hold hands and walk through a mud pit, so that we too can get muddy to be "seen"!  

I'm hoping there will be a live band performing.  There will be 50/50 drawings, t-shirt sales, concessions, and I'm going to try to put together a silent auction.  I really hope that my local tv stations and newspapers will jump on board and cover the event.  Most importantly, we'll have awareness.

I really hope the event will be approved, because I'm super excited about this!  Anything I can do to raise awareness, and to raise funds for further research, I'm all about!  I'll keep you all updated on the progression of the event.  Let's stop being invisble, and make ourselves seen!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

At Least It's Just Fibromyalgia


This post probably isn't going to gain me any popularity, but that's ok.  Those of you who know me, know that this blog has never been about popularity.  It's about speaking my mind concerning Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain and fatigue illnesses, no matter the outcome.

The friend of a friend said to me recently that she heard I have some health issues.  I replied yes, that among a lot of other things I have Fibromyalgia.  She was silent for a minute and then she said "At least it's just Fibromyalgia.  It isn't like it's something that could kill you like cancer or something."  Without missing a beat I looked her directly in the eye and replied with "I'd rather have cancer."

Eyes wide and mouth gaping open she was stunned into silence for a few minutes.  When she regained her composure she asked if I was serious.  I told her that I was completely serious.  I explained to her that Fibromyalgia is a strange illness, in that it effects people in different ways.  It has varying degrees of implications on different people.  Some people have it enough to notice it and have it be annoying, while others are completely bed-ridden from it.  I've even known of a lady who in a flare couldn't stand up and walk, and had to crawl on her hands and knees to the restroom.

Don't get me wrong, cancer is a horrible monster that causes pain, agony, and destroys lives and families.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone. So does Fibromyalgia though.  With cancer, the pain and agony is going to end.  No if and's or but's about it.  The pain and sickness will come to an end.  Either a person is cured or else they die.  With Fibro, there isn't any end in sight.  It's an entire life stuck in an earthly hell of pain, fatigue, co-morbidities, and sickness. 

In my thought process, I'd rather have the chance of a cure and at least knowing if it doesn't work that my pain will end anyway.  Yes, I'm thankful to be alive but thinking about having to live for 40 or 50 more years trapped in this hell is daunting and to be completly honest, I'd rather not.  No, I'm not suicidal in the least, I just would rather not have to live this way knowing it could be decades upon decades.  

I'm a big quality vs quantity type of person.  If I can't have a good quality of life, than I'd rather not have it span out for decades.  The diminished quality of life that I lead, has much to be desired.  It has tore apart my family.  It's isolated me from friends and family.  It's left me depressed.  The level of pain that I feel with a flare of IBS; a co-morbidity of Fibro, is incomprehensible at times.  My latest episode a few weeks ago left me screaming and my daughter ran into the bathroom just in time to see me pass out from the pain and fall from the toilet to the bathroom floor.  -And I've had four children without any type of pain relief.  I'm not just some whimp!

A couple of nights ago, I sat at my desk with tears running down my face from the pain I was experiencing in my neck and shoulders.  I finally realized that I was sitting with my shoulders pulled up as far and tight as I could.  Although that was my bodies natural reaction to the pain I was experiencing, I knew that it was only making things worse.  It took every ounce of concentration I could muster, to keep relaxing those muscles and allowing my shoulders to go back down to a natural position.

My daughter kept begging for me to make a box of brownies.  Last night as tired and fatigued as I was, I decided to make them for her out of the guilt I was feeling.  I had to stop stirring the batter several times due to the pain and cramp in my hand.  Twice while trying to stir the batter I had to stop and grab the bar on the stove, and slowly bend over stretching my back due to the pain I was experiencing from standing for those few minutes.  

My symptoms are so severe and I have so many co-morbidities that I'm deemed disabled and I'm unable to work.  That further restricts my contact with other adults and the outside world.  It leaves me poor, as I live on less than $750 a month.  That means that not only can I never vacation - oh how I dream of a week long vacation on a beach somewhere lounging around in the sun, splashing in the water, and sitting in a hotel hot tub.  Eating out and not having to cook or do dishes - but I struggle to put clothes on my back and food in my house.  Eating out is a rare luxury.  I've decided to try to see a movie at the $3 afternoon rate once a month, so that I can have something to look forward to and to do.  Of course, it'll all depend on how I'm feeling that day.

Every single day, I have 12 or 13 meds that I have to take.  A couple are once a day, but most are two to three times a day.  I hate taking meds with a passion.  Even as a teenager I'd suffer through pain instead of taking a Tylenol.  

At times, I'm left feeling stupid or embarrassed due to Fibro Fog.  For those that don't know, Fibro Fog is the name given to the cognitive delays one can experience with Fibromyalgia.  I'll be in the middle of speaking (or writing) and forget what I was even talking about, let alone what I was going to say.  I'll walk into a room and forget why I went into the room.  Shortly after starting this post, I went into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee.  I opened a bottle of water to dump into my Keurig, and found myself instead pouring it into my coffee cup.  It made me mad and disgusted with myself.

Insomnia (leading to sleep deprivation), another wonderful co-morbidity of Fibro.  It literally rules my life.  I've been awake for 36-48 hours at a time.  I've been so tired that I've literally cried.  Not getting the proper rest leads to more pain and depression.

Not every person with Fibromyalgia experiences it as severly as I do, so please don't read this and think this is definitely going to be your life.  On the other hand, some people with Fibro experiences symptoms more extreme as I do.  Such as the lady who had to crawl to the bathroom.  There's just no way to guage how it's going to effect a person.

All of this combined plus more that I didn't even delve into, leaves me saying yes, I honestly would rather have cancer than fibro.  Given the choice, I'd choose neither.  I'd choose to be illness-free.  I'd choose to be healthy and happy and a productive member of society.  That isn't the road that God chose for me though, so I'll awake every day.  I'll go through each and every day with as much optimisim as is possible.  I'll make the best of each day as is possible, and do the best I can.  I hope this post doesn't offend anyone and if it does I'm sorry ...but I won't apologize.  These feelings are mine.  They're real, and I own them.





Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stigma?

Most of the time when I share or upload a picture on The Fibro Frog's facebook page, people share it.  Heck, a lot of times when I make a status saying I'm in pain, that even gets a share or two.  As I was scrolling the facebook page last night I found something interesting.  There was a picture I had shared with a ton of "likes", but not a single re share.  This is the photo:


This photo has 293 "likes" on it, but not one single share?  That really saddens me.  Most of us that have Fibro, also suffer with depression.  It's a very common comorbidity of Fibromyalgia.  I mean, who could remain happy and optimistic and NOT get depressed when their lives as they've always known them is ripped away and replaced by extreme fatigue, forgetfulness, all-over body pain, and a general feeling of malaise?  

Are we willing to talk about our Fibromyalgia, but not about our depression that accompanies it?  Why is that?  Mental illness has always carried a stigma, much like Fibromyalgia has.  Thanks to all of those that have been researching, educating, and advocating a lot of stigma surrounding Fibromyalgia has been alleviated.  Oh we still have a battle ahead of us on that front, but it has come a long way from the time that even most doctors thought it was a garbage can diagnosis.  If people aren't willing to spread the word and educate about mental illnesses too, including depression, then the stigma surrounding these issues will never go away.  

Are people afraid that if they share something like this, or talk about a mental health issue that they're going to be regarded as crazy?  Well allow me to share something with you all.  Everyone is just a little bit "crazy" in their own way.  Anyone is capable of a psychotic break under the right circumstances.  Mental illness of some sort, is a very real possibility in the lives of every human being.  Why is society so quick to judge each other?

I'm here to publicly say that I suffer from depression.  Sometimes severe depression even.  I've had days where no matter how hard I try, tears just slowly roll down my cheeks off and on the entire day and night and I feel like just giving up.  I'm lucky though, because I always seem to be able to muster a little bit of HOPE from deep down within to keep me going.  Some people with depression issues aren't that lucky and have a very sad ending.  

According to PsychCentral.com 50% of those that have chronic pain, also suffer from depression. (CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THIS)  The NIH estimates that Fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans aged 18 or older.  Look at all of the other chronic pain conditions out there besides Fibro.  That's a heck of a lot of people, that also suffer from depression.  So why the stigma concerning it?

I'm going to leave you all by saying this: No one should judge another without walking in their shoes.  The less something is talked about, the more it will be judged.  We all have our own problems, but in reality we're all the same.  We're all just trying to make it through life the best we can, and remain as happy and satisfied with our lives as possible.  Please don't be embarrassed if you suffer from depression or any other mental illness.  Talk about it like you would any other health condition you have.  Help end the stigma.  Be a #StigmaFighter!



Saturday, January 17, 2015

I've Been Bad .....



Here it is, the 17th of January 2015 already.  I've been really bad about blogging.  I've kept up with my facebook page daily ...or every other day, but I've been so bad about blogging.  I'd like to blame that on the depression I've been feeling, but if I've kept up with the facebook page than that means I've just been too lazy to blog.

The truth is, I haven't had anything positive to say, but then again this blog isn't about just being positive.  It's about the REAL day to day live of someone suffering from fibromyalgia along with other health conditions.  I've been drowning lately friends.  Literally, drowning.  The pain.  The fatigue.  Feeling like my life isn't worth living anymore.

Every day, I try my hardest to put on a fake smile, and go about my day.  The truth is, that I've been sad.  So sad, that tears well my eyes almost daily.  I feel like I'm facing life alone.  Well, in reality, I am.  My younget daughter lives with me, but she works.  A lot.  She works 12 hour days, and the days she doesn't work she's with her boyfriend.  See. he's getting ready to leave for the Army ...his dad was career Navy, and he's going career Army ...so she's making the most of the time she has left with him before he leaves.  I don't blame her, I'd do the same in her shoes.  But that leaves me 100% alone all the time.

My husband left me a few months after my diagnosis with Fibro.  Said he couldn't deal with me being sick the rest of my life without a cure.  Fibro left my friends wondering why I'd cancel out on them.  They drifted away.  Eventually, I was left with nothing but my internet friends.  Fibro has robbed me of friends.  It's robbed me of a LIFE.  It's left me cold and isolated.  It's left me alone.  It stole my husband.  It stole my LIFE.

No matter how much I hurt, I had supper on the table for my husband when he'd walk in the door from work each day.  I loved him, and I loved my life.  If you go back in my blog, you'll see a post about the divorce rate in marriages of one who had a chronic illness.  You'll read my astonishment to that statistic. Just a few short weeks later, ...without going back and researching, I believe it was almost 2 weeks to the day, my husband left me and I became one of those statstics.  I couldn't believe it.  It was so surreal.

The saying that you went to a buffet to instead be handed a crap sandwich?  Yeah, that's how I feel.  I hurt every single day.  I emotionally hurt every single day.  I'm so mentally & physically tired each & every single day.  I'm not going to lie.  I wonder a lot of the time what my purpose is here on earth.  My kids are all grown.  They each have their own life now.  I sit alone 99% of the time.  No one needs me anymore.  So why am I still here?  WHAT is the purpose?  WHY do I have to hurt all the time?  Why can't I have someone who loves me? Someone who needs me as much as I need them? Why do I have to be in pain all the time? -REAL pain  ...the type of pain that most people couldn't tolerate for a day  .....let alone the rest of their life.

I'm sorry that I've let you all down.  I'm sorry that I haven't kept up with the blog like I should.  I never, ever wanted this blog to be the type that sugar coated anything.  I wanted to show the world how HARD it is to live trapped in a broken body.  So why haven't I blogged even though I feel like shit?  I don't know.  All I can say, is that I'm sorry and I'll try to do better from here on out.

Deep down I know, that even if this blog reaches ONE person that feels the way I do  ....or ONE person that doesn't live with this freaking monster of a disease & I can give them a glimpse of what it's like to be trapped in a broken body  ...that I've done what I've set out to do.  Even so, sometimes when you're feeling so alone & isolated, it's HARD to make yourself sit down and write.  I hope you all know that my lack of blogging doesn't mean that I don't care about you.  I hope you know that doesn't mean that I've given up HOPE of a cure being found.  I will never give up HOPE ...because if I gave up HOPE, then I'd be left with nothing.

If you're having a bad day   .....or week, or month  ...read this, please know you're not alone.  We're all in this together.  I may not have a lot to offer you, but I'm here.  I understand.