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Monday, December 18, 2017

Random Thoughts To End 2017


Well, another year is almost gone.  Us Fibromites still don't have a cure.  There still isn't enough research.  There isn't enough funding for research.  All we can do, is continue to educate and advocate until all of the above changes.  Like I always say, the more people that know the truth about what all we have to suffer with on the daily, the easier it will be to one day have enough funding.  If the wealthy, companies, and corporations don't fully understand how horrific this illness can be, then they won't be as inclined to donate towards the research. 

An apology for my absence most of this year, is needed.  I have to thank a friend of mine for kicking me in the butt, to get me back to blogging again.  I really don't have an excuse for my absence.  I think I was just kind of burned out and depressed.  I had thoughts of "what does it matter", "who really reads this junk anyway", and had received some messages from crazies slamming and blasting me.  In the long run, I've received way, WAY more messages from my fellow Froggies, thanking me and telling me how much I've helped them.  For those messages, I'm grateful and appreciative.

My main message for this entry (besides being a voice for us with fibro and other chronic illnesses, of course!) is to be kind to people.  No matter how we're feeling, we should always be kind to others.  People we just pass on the street, people online  ...on fb, or in a group, twitter, as well as our neighbor or the childhood schoolmate we only see once in awhile.  None of us, no matter how well we think we know someone, doesn't always know everything that person is going through.

I'll give you a couple of examples.  This holiday season has been hard for me.  It's the first time I've lived in this house alone, over the holidays.  I like to be a social person, so for me, this is really hard.  My Christmas tree broke last year and I had to throw it away.  -I can't have a real tree, because I'm allergic to them.  I didn't even bother to get another tree, thinking "Well, I'm here alone anyway so what's the point".  You all were here on the blog with me through my marriage ending almost 6 years ago.  I've remained single all of that time.  None of my "babies" live at home anymore.  No real point in really decorating this year.  I DID borrow a small tabletop tree from my mom though, and decorated my big 6-person dining room table.  Because let's face it, those 6 chairs and that table aren't being used anyway.  Someone giving me a simple smile or nod of the head in the grocery store, a complete stranger, makes my day.  I've posted before about how I try to make a point to smile and say hi to at least one elderly person that's walking alone in a store because you never know how it may help them.  Now, it helps me as well.  It makes me happy and feel good. 


The photo above, is of my oldest son and my youngest daughter.  In a few months, he'll be deploying to Iraq, for the Army.  He won't admit it, but I know that he has a lot of stress on him with knowing he'll be gone for a year.  He'll be gone, yet he'll still have his house payment, truck payment, house & car insurance, etc to be paid back here at home.  Worrying about him being in Iraq, is also a stressor for me, as well.


This is my youngest daughter again, with my dad.  One of my favorite photos!  My daughter, at the mere age of 22, has dealt with way more than she ever should have.  Her fiance (now EX-fiance) had been mentally abusing her for almost 2 years.   This is the same daughter that I've posted about having PCOS since she was 15.  Just as depression is a co-morbidity of fibro, it's also a co-morbidity of PCOS.  The mental abuse took it's toll until she spiraled into a deep depression where she didn't even want to live any more.  Knowing she finally had to remove herself from the toxic situation for her own health, she left him just over a week ago.  It wasn't as simple as that though.  When she tried to leave, he physically abused her.  Choking her, hitting her, stabbing her in the arm with a key, throwing her around the apartment and into things.  I thank God that she was finally able to get away without broken bones or him causing death, even.  

A stranger on the street would look at her as a beautiful, young, fun-loving girl.  They wouldn't have any idea the emotional stress she's under at this point.  There is just no way for us to gauge what's going on in someone else's life.  You say "Oh well Mr So & So is just a grouchy old man" or "Man I can't stand that girl next door" but do you know why they may be grouchy or mean or defensive?  You don't know what has happened in their past or may be happening on a daily basis to them right now.  Instead of being mean about them, or ignoring them, or trash-talking them, try giving them a wave, or a smile, or a nod, or even a simple "hi".  


It kills me to know what all my beautiful girl has endured.  Always, always be kind. You may find yourself needing someone to be kind to you someday.

As you can see, I've been stressed from the day to day happenings in my life.  We all know what stress does to us.  -It's a trigger for a flare.  I've been doing pretty good though despite everything.  I've had a few pain flares, and lately I've been fighting an insomnia flare.  All of this just makes me want to find that cure even more!

My final words for all of you this December are to have a safe, pain-free, Merry Christmas.  To always take every opportunity to educate someone about the real life of having fibromyalgia, to advocate for research and a cure and finally the words you've heard 1,000,000X, my motto for this blog, .....Never give up HOPE!   

Gentle Butterfly Hugs to Each of You!



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sharing Correct Information About Fibromyalgia





I just saw this going around facebook:

"Fibromyalgia (= a muscle disease)
I am asking everyone to post for 1 hour as your status. I'm pretty sure I know which of my friends want to do this.
If you know someone who has fibromyalgia.. my hope is that in 2017 a cure will be found. Do you want this message posts for (at least) 1 hours? For those who have fought or are fighting with fibromyalgia. ðŸ™ðŸŽ—Copy and paste do not share! Xoxo"

While I'm happy that the word about Fibromyalgia is trying to be spread to create awareness, it makes me sad when misinformation is being shared.  Fibromyalgia is not a muscle disease. In fact, it isn't a "disease" of ANY sort.  It's a actually a "syndrome", and it's neuroimmune rather than autoimmune although many people feed into the misconception that it's an autoimmune disease. Click the previous link to read more about neuroimmune syndromes.  

Misconceptions as the one above, are what we need to dispell as a community of sufferers.  Misinformation is why the awareness of fibromyalgia is so important.  We need to share, share, share to make others aware of what we go through, but we need to be diligent in making sure that what we share is the correct information.    ðŸ€"




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Taking My Life Back



I know it's been awhile since I've posted, and I haven't forgotten about you all.  It's just taken every ounce of physical and mental strength I've had, to accomplish what I've been doing.  I had gotten to a point, where I just could not take it anymore.  I was so lonely from not really being out among the living.  I was sad and depressed from living so poor because I couldn't work.  I was sick of not having a way to meet new people and talk face to face with other adults.  Finally, I knew enough was enough and I had to take control of my life back again.  I couldn't live another 30-40 years letting fibro steal all of my joy and happiness.

I thought long and hard about what type of job I thought my body had the best chance of succeeding at.  Then I thought about my likes and passions.  That one was easy for me.  My future job had to be something in the health care field.  Even as a small child, I always wanted to be a doctor or a nurse.  The human body and how it works has always been fascinating to me.  At 45 years of age, I was almost 46 when I decided to take back control of my life, becoming a doctor and the long hours to become one was obviously out lol!  I wasn't sure about becoming a nurse.  Around 12 years ago I was only 4 months away from sitting for state nursing boards when I dropped out to move to another state for my then-husbands job.  



Drawing Blood For The First Time


After researching for a few months, I decided I wanted to become a Certified Medical Assistant.  I would still get to do vitals, injections, draw blood, and read and perform EKG's.  The best part?  I could alternating sitting/standing!  I'd stand to call a patient back to an exam room, then sit while I charted their chief complaint, vitals, history, etc.  It was perfect!  Even more perfect?  I found a program through Ohio Means Jobs, that would pay for my schooling, give me gas cards to get to school, and even pay for my scrubs, nursing shoes, and all equipment I'd need to get started once I finished my schooling!

Knowing that I'm a fast learner, and an attentive student, I enrolled in an extremelly accelerated program.  I really lucked out on the program instructor I got.  She also suffers from chronic pain, and works her butt off at several jobs.  I really look up to her and on the bad days, she motivates me that I can do anything I want to, if I just keep moving!  She also is an extremely intelligent individual, that knows just how to break things down to make it understandable and unforgetable.  I truly don't know if I could have done this without her!  The photo below is the beautiful (inside and out) Keri Materni.  I seriously owe my entire future to this woman!


Each step of the way, my self-confidence grew.  I felt more in control of my life and my future.  I felt that I was worth something to society and to myself again.  Not saying it wasn't hard, but I was beating down fibro like a ninja, each step of the way!

Not only was I proud of myself, but my parents and adult children were also proud of me.  That meant a lot to me, and also helped my self-confidence.  I only missed a few quesitons on my final exam and passed my course with an "A".  My parents wanted to have a celebration dinner for me.  They were so proud!  I wouldn't allow them to though.  Not yet.  I still had to sit for my national certification test, before I was a real, certified medical assistant.  I'd been warned that the test was hard and that a lot of people don't pass it on the first attempt.


Exam day came, and I was a ball of nerves.  I had set up a study session with a few classmates at a restaurant across from the school.  We all met, stuffed our faces, studied, and obsessed on whether or not we were going to pass.  Those nachos I ordered looked (and tasted) divine but I was so nervous that I just picked at them.  -I wish they were infront of me right now, because I'd have no problem devouring them lol!

After the exam, I did the usual of second guessing myself.  I went from thinking I passed, to thinking I failed.  I finally settled on thinking "I probably passed but if I didn't I was real close" haha.  The results could possibly take up to three weeks to be posted online, on the site of the certifying agency.  I handled the not knowing pretty well for the first three days.  After that, each day of not knowing increased my stress and anxiety.  Finally, 10 days after taking the exam, the results were posted.  I logged on expecting it to say "results not finalized" as it had been, but instead was surprised with reading "Passed".  I started shaking and teared up!  I hollered upstairs to my daughter, screaming "I passed!  I passed my exam!"  She came running downstairs and asked what my score was, hugging me.  I told her I didn't even know that I hadn't even clicked to review my detailed results yet lol.  To pass, you had to score at least a 390.  The highest score possible was a 500.  I scored a 477!!  


Then, I called my parents and told my mom she could now plan my celebration dinner lol.  



"She Belived She Could So She Did" -R.S. Grey

I believed I could, and I DID!  I kicked fibro to the curb and took back my life!  It wasn't easy and I'm sure it never will be.  But I'm back in control of my life and my future now.  Fibro isn't controlling me anymore.


If you want something in life, go for it.  With enough will and determination you can achieve anything.  On bad pain and fatigue days, it may be a tough mental battle, but you can do it!  Remember my favorite word?  Hope.  Never give up HOPE!