Saturday, July 17, 2021

Just A Girl


You're scrolling your social media, and you run across this picture.  You glance at it. It's just a girl, in an outfit for a night on the town.  That's what it appears to be at first glance. But if you really know this girl, it's SO. MUCH.  MORE.

For those that don't know, the "girl" (yeah, I'm fluffing my own feathers because we all know that I'm actually a 50, yes FIFTY, year old woman. Ugh!) is ME!  Even those that knew the person in the photo was me, may not know what it took for me to put that outfit on and go out in public. Let alone happily pose for all of the photos I had taken last night.  This photo represents my own personal growth, and it's HUGE, folks.

I've been away from this blog for quite awhile now, and I'll get more into why, later in this post. Right now though, I want to talk about the emotional gains I've made over the past year and a half.  Emotionally, I'm a totally different person. Honestly, even I am shocked at myself.

There are posts on here, that let you all know that I had a full RNY Gastric Bypass September 25, 2018.  Wow! I truly can't believe that I'm coming up on my 3 year anniversary of the surgery.  I lost well over 100 pounds. At one point, I was at a 133 pound loss.  I've gained a little of that back, but I'm still over 100 pounds lost, and still wearing size small clothing. Some of which is too big on me lol. 

Most people who are obese think "if I could just lose weight, I'd be so happy"!  I was one of those people.  Guess what? I lost the weight, and I still wasn't happy. I mean, I was happy I lost the weight, but then other insecurities crept in.  I had (have) all of this lose skin. It just hangs. What shows to the world the most, is the lose skin on my upper arms. Those of us on bariatric weight loss boards, call them our "bat wings". Yuck, yuck, YUCK!!  

So I used to be ashamed of my fat rolls. Now, I'm embarrassed of my skin rolls lol. To the public, seeing the skin rolls under clothing, they look just like fat rolls. Plastic surgery would take care of all of this.  Unfortunately, I'm a 50 year old woman who's been single for just over 10 years now, so just have myself to rely on monetarily. Insurance will cover some things, but not all of it.  I've tried finding a plastic surgeon that would be willing to do the work I need done that insurance won't cover, pro-bono in exchange for me allowing them to film my surgeries and for me to list them as a sponsor in my seminars but haven't had any luck. So if anyone knows anyone that may be interested, PLEASE send them my way haha! When you have massive weight loss, you end up trading one insecurity for another. That is the thing no one ever really talks about publicly and for the life of me, I don't understand why not lol.  In my opinion, this is something that people should know ahead of time.

Awhile back, I was so blessed.  I was chosen to be on a television show that aired just over a year ago on TLC, called Dragnificent.  When I say I was blessed, I truly was. I could not have had better or more caring producers and camera men. The four Queens that starred on the show, are the BEST people I've ever known. Just the entire crew was phenomenal!

The head show runner, Mike Kelton from AlkemyX Productions, asked me if I'd mind if we tapped into the repercussions of massive weight loss a little bit.  I was scared to death, but I said yes. I agreed that this is something that isn't talked about enough, and that the public should know about. At the same time, the thought of talking about my insecurities for the entire world to know, intimidated me.  

Telling my story, of how I felt having all this lose, sagging skin hanging off of me, was really an emotional thing. We also talked about me having fibromyalgia and other chronic pain and fatigue conditions.  We talked about the verbal abuse I'd lived with throughout my marriage.  The week of filming was beyond a doubt, the most emotional week I've ever had in my entire life.  I came out of that week telling everyone I knew, that when my episode aired I just KNEW some shitty tabloid would end up running with a headline entitled "America's Biggest Cry Baby Bitch"!! Thank God, they had bigger and better people to contend with that week and my biggest fear did NOT come true LOL.

There came a time during taping, that Mike asked me if I would mind showing some of my extra skin on film.  I immediately welled up with tears, and said "how much of it do you want me to show?" He said "As much as you're comfortable with. You do NOT have to do this if you don't want to, Amy but I think it would really help a lot of people".  In true Tell-It-:Like-It-Is-I'm-Not-Your-Typical-Rah-Rah-Always-Positive-Let's-Share-The-Truth-With-Everyone fashion that I've always had on this blog site, I sucked in my breath and nodded my head yes to him, as tears ran over the brim of my eyes.  When I walked to the mirror for the part where the queens asked me about it, and I was to show the skin, I was choking back tears as hard as I could. I was literally shaking inside. My upper arms I showed first and I was crying.  I then quickly showed a little of my stomach apron. I did it all as quickly as I could, to try and get it over with and couldn't bring myself to really show it all and everywhere on my body.  

When choosing a dress for my Butterfly Party, -the party I was having to reveal the new, skinny me to friends and family that hadn't seen me since my weight loss, I made it clear to them that I wouldn't wear anything that didn't cover my arms.  I just didn't have it in me. Humiliation over my upper arms showing to the public, absolutely consumed me.  

Pounds of extra skin still covers my body.  I AM finally (man-oh-man do I have stories of why it's taken this long to get this surgery for you all but that's a whole 'nother blog post my friends lol) having surgery on my breasts, August 18th. OH-MY-GOSH!  That is only 4 weeks from  Wednesday!  That time is going to fly by lol.  I'm blessed that my insurance is covering a reduction and a lift for me and that I was able to get the money to cover the axillary liposuction on the sides, to tie it all together. I can't tell you how much this surgery means to me. It isn't all for superficial reasons, either.  Red, deep grooves plague my shoulders every night when I take my bra off.  It hurts. My upper back, kills me all of the time from the weight of these hanging, sagging, monsters.  The pulling and tugging on my back, has caused a spot of neuropathy.  Just to the left of my spine will either have a super deep itch that literally drives me MAD, or else the spot will tingle for hours on end. Yep, permanent nerve damage. My GP is convinced that my upper back pain is caused from my breasts, then fibro exacerbates the pain and symptoms.

My insurance will cover to have my stomach apron removed, but will not cover the tummy tuck portion of the surgery. I absolutely cannot cover it myself, so although I'd absolutely DIE to have the whole she-bang done, I'll only be having the apron removed. My plastic surgeon told me that I could have my stomach done, roughly 3 months after my breast surgery.  Insurance may then cover to have the extra skin removed from my inner thighs.  I'm praying that they cover it because I cannot do it myself.  Now, we have the upper arms.  The bat wings.  Chances of insurance covering that, is slim to none.  So I've had to wrap my head around that fact.  I've really been working on myself mentally, that the bat wings are probably just going to be a part of the new me, for the rest of my entire life.  

Coming to terms that I'm going to have bat wings for life, was a super hard thing for me to do.  I decided though, that I couldn't go the rest of my life, not showing my upper arms.  Is never again wearing anything that doesn't cover and hide my upper arms feasible?  Yes, it is. But did I really WANT to go the rest of my life never wearing anything that didn't cover and hide my upper arms, was the question. And the answer to that question, was no. Therefore, I had to get over the idea that my arms were ugly. That they made ME ugly.  That people would laugh at me, and make fun of me, if they saw them. Every time I would even think about the idea that someone may see them, I would automatically burst into tears.  I had to get over that for sure.  Guess what, people?!  I got over it!!  

I'll be totally honest, before I started filming my television episode I didn't have any clue in the world, who the four queens were that were the stars of the show and that I'd be working with.  I didn't have a clue what Ru Paul's Drag Race was.  I didn't know how extremely famous and well-known these girls were.  One day when we broke for lunch, I rode with the finance guy.  -I doubt that's his actual title, but it's what I called him. He kept tabs on the budget as we went along lol.  As we were sitting there eating our Chipotle, he was telling me about a time that Times Square in NYC had been roped off for these girls to make an appearance, and that people were trying to bust through the barriers and police, to get to them screaming and shouting their undying love for them. -Well, I can totally see why everyone would love them, after being with them lol ...but anyway .....THAT is when it hit me.  Talking with them, I saw that they too had insecurities about themselves at some point in their lives.  One of the girls, Alexis Michelle to be exact, teared up during one of my stories that once again I was half blubbering while telling the story, about 2 construction guys cracking fat jokes at my expense while I was in a national chain hardware store.  When I finished my story, she told me while she was crying, that she could relate to every word I had said, and that she herself had experienced stuff like that throughout her life as well.  It hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn't believe it.  This beautiful woman, that was SO FAMOUS struggled with the SAME. EXACT. self esteem issues that little ole me had faced.  If she could feel like I do, and still push forward to be as beautiful and famous as she is, than I could do the exact same thing!!  

I'd never watched the show Keeping Up With The Kardashian's. I never used to watch hardly any TV at all.  I started watching tv in the past year, and recently found the show.  I binged all 20 seasons, people lol.  Just like I was mind blown that Alexis Michelle had insecurities, it again blew my mind to see that Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian both had insecurities about their bodies too.  Two more extremely beautiful and famous women that had to deal with the same thoughts and fears that little ole me faces.  I used to hide. Not any more. I've been shown that I don't have to hide. I can still reach for my dreams, imperfection's and all. People like Alexis Michelle, and the Kardashian girls, really help and touch more people than they even realize, by opening up for the world to see. That is why I have always been truthful on this site. Most of the other chronic pain sites were always all "Oh we'll be fine. We're warriors" and stuff like that. I'd read that shit, and it would make me feel like I was a weak biotch that just needed to suck it up. No. Living with neuro-immune and auto-immune, chronic pain and fatigue illnesses is HARD, people. Let's be realistic. Like I've always said, if people doesn't realize what our TRUE daily life is like, they aren't going to understand the desperate need to find cures, therefore won't be as inclined to donate to, or advocate for, more research. So that's why I started TFF. For those of us that want to encourage each other, to get the REAL word out about what living like this is like, and to let others know that it's OKAY to be pissed off or have a day that you feel discouraged about your illness. I can tell you first hand now, how much MORE I believe this is necessary. Because it's recently been proven in my own life, by Alexis Michelle, the Kardashian's, and others being real about their own struggles. It gave me the push I needed, to become the woman that I am today. I only hope and pray that my blog has, and in the future will again, give someone the inner push they need to help them overcome a feeling in their life, like has been done for me.

I can't tell you why that motivated me, but it sure did. It made me start working harder on myself. It helped me to keep my head up, face forward, and push ahead. It made me realize that everyone has their own insecurities. No matter how big or how little. No matter how rich, or how poor.  No matter how famous. Every single person out there has insecurities about themselves. I never danced. I absolutely cannot dance and never could. Even the thought of dancing, made my body stiffen up and embarrassed me. The thought of people watching me or seeing me.  Bebe Zahara Benet and Thorgy Thor forced me to overcome THAT fear.  They told me they were putting me in drag (yes, females can dress in drag as females too.  We are called AFAB's ...or the term I prefer for myself, is a Diva Queen) and throwing me on stage to do a drag show in front of a live audience.  People, I have to hand it to my youngest daughter Courtney's boyfriend, Damien,  He's the one who picked me up from filming that night, and I literally sobbed and rambled the entire way home!  The poor guy looked like a deer caught in headlights but that guy did his best to calm me down and soothe me haha.  To say I was petrified, is an understatement.  Bebe taught me a little shimmy, and had me put it to the words "shaky shaky paw paw paw", and Thorgy taught me how when I'm in drag I can let all of my inhibitions go and just have fun!  I still was so scared the night of filming the live performance though, that I WAS still really stiff and have found some nasty comments online making fun of how stiff I looked.  -But that's ok.  At least a tabloid didn't run with the headline of "America's Biggest Cry Baby Bitch" like I thought they might haha!!  My sassy, sexy, sweet Jujubee took this lady that couldn't even put on eyeliner, and taught me how to transform my face!  She taught me that I CAN put on makeup.  That I CAN do anything I want to do.  

This my friends, is the smile (a TRUE, HAPPY smile) of a woman that went out on the town for the night, in a new (sleeveless) outfit, proudly showing off her batwings!!  So the very first photo in the blog post. The one that might show up on your social media somewhere that you may glance at and think "it's just a girl", is NOT just a girl, in an outfit for a night out on the town.  This is a girl, who has worked really hard on her inner confidence and is finally happy enough with herself, that she CAN be in that outfit for a night on the town.  This is a girl that with the love and support of many people in her life, has overcome the demons in her head, that used to make her cry her eyes out or at the very least blink back the tears that stung her eyes, at the very thought of anyone seeing her bare, naked, upper arms.  

Do I still have insecurities and do I still want things fixed and changed on my body? I sure the hell do. I'm human. But I'm no longer allowing those insecurities to control my life, what I wear, and my overall happiness.  I really wish I was more tech-savvy because at the end of the night, I was out on that  dance floor dancing with my bebe Colin David (Colin Brandeberry) and I was NOT a stiff robot at all.  My friend Rhonda taped it as an IG live on my account, and I would save that video to my computer to upload here for you all to see.  Yep, I would willingly share a video of myself dancing, for anyone in the world to see. -And I would HOPE that those mean girls that made fun of me saying in public comments that I was as stiff as a robot would see it, and see how far I've come and then eat their own damn words! lol  

I'd just leave the link to it here, but IG notified me they blocked the video because of the music playing in the background.  They still allow ME to watch it, I just don't know how to get it saved to my computer. I tried playing around but can't figure out how or if it's even possible. If it IS possible and anyone knows how to do it, please leave me a comment and I'll edit this post, adding the video! :)

I dressed as Miss Peggy LasFrites last night. Miss Peggy LasFrites is the stage name the Queens gave me, for my drag show performance. On the occasions I've been asked to make an appearance or be in a show, I've always stuck to that. Miss Peggy LasFrites will ALWAYS be my stage name forever now lol. Miss Peggy has way less cares than Amy does ....but Amy and Miss Peggy are almost one these days! :)

Stay tuned for more posts on The Fibro Frog. I had just lost my creative zest for blogging.  I had been getting some hate mail.  I had a creep try to lure me to FL to do a seminar. After googling him, he definitely was trying to lure me there with bad intentions,  He had a really scary wrap sheet involving kidnapping, rape, and torture. -I'm afraid I would have been in a real life Criminal Minds show had I not dove deep into this guy before running to FL lol.  I had some crazy lady messaging me over and over calling me by some name that wasn't mine, saying she knew I was really this other person, hiding behind the name Amy ....just super bizarre stuff.  It all just piled on until I just absolutely couldn't bring myself to sit down and create new content.  I'm back though, and I hope all of you are back with me!  There are still over 17,000 froggies over on The Fibro Frog's fb page, so if you're new to TFF and stumbled upon this post, please feel free to join us over there too!  -And if you haven't seen my episode yet, it's S:01 E:03 of Dragnificent, on TLC. The episode is title "Fly, Butterfly, Fly". You really should watch EVERY episode of it, but make sure you have a box or two of Kleenex near by, because every single episode will touch your heart!

#massiveweightloss #bariatricsurgery #excessiveskin #skinremoval #plasticsurgery #MikeKelton #AlkemyX #TLC #Dragnificent #AlexisMichelle #Jujubee #ThorgyThor #BebeZaharaBenet #KimKardashian #KhloeKardashian #KeepingUpWithTheKardashians #chronicpain #selfesteem #selflove #selfcare #skinapron #batwings #PeggyLasFrites #bodylift "mommymakeover

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Dose Of Cuteness

Meet Max.  Max is my mom's new Shi-poo baby.  Max likes to dig holes.  In the mud.  All the time.  This little guy is a mess, but an oh-so adorable mess!  If you're having a bad day, hopefully his muddy little mug will make you smile.

Monday, March 12, 2018


I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I'll never stop saying it.  NEVER Give Up HOPE.  Without HOPE, we don't have anything!  

Find more support on the blog's facebook page, just click the following link: The Fibro Frog On Facebook

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's All In Our Heads

So what makes my blog a little different from others out there, is that I always keep it real.  I don't hold back and tell it like it is.  That's why I'm telling you all, Fibromyalgia is all in our heads.  Ok, ok, I know that at least a few people reading this immediately jumped to conclusions and probably started getting pissed when they just read that lol.  I don't mean it in the way that one jumping to conclusions would think.  I'm not saying it's made up or fake, I live with it on the daily.  I know how real it is.  Our pain though, is signals that reach different parts of the brain, then the brain tells us that we hurt in a certain area.

There was a new study published in Scientific Reports on January 10, 2018 that addresses the brain activity in patients with Fibromyalgia.  The study looks at explosive synchronization (ES) as the reason.  What is ES?  Well, you've got me.  I completely understand all of the scientific talk in this study don't really understand it at all.  Even googling ES and wanting to rip my hair out while gouging out my eyes reading for about an hour, I still don't really understand it.  The conclusion is that "we suggest that this could serve as a novel theoretical framework and quantitative approach to modulating chronic pain through the conversion of an ES brain network to a non-ES network using brain stimulation methods."   

This was a small, phase II study conducted at the University of Michigan. Although the study had it's limitations, it gives HOPE that maybe some day a cure will be found.  I'm just thankful that no matter how limited, some research was done.  We need so, so much more research.  If you've been a follower of my blog/facebook page for very long, you know that the lack of money and research into this uncurable monster we live with absolutely infuriates me!  

You can read this study in full, by clicking HERE

At the beginning of every year I always say "Maybe this will be the year that our cure is found."  Well folks, maybe 2018 will be the year that our cure is found.  We can only HOPE and pray.  Yes, HOPE is still my favorite word.  Without HOPE, we don't have anything.  

Love & Gentle Butterfly Hugs To You All

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!