Preparing for Closure.

Hello.

It has always concerned me when people leave the blogosphere without a goodbye. I want to say, my process to prepare for the closure of my blog is now underway. I am beginning my goodbye.

My mom died on Father’s Day of this year, 2020. She was 79. The hubby and I are currently in Seattle. I had purchased a plane ticket to fly home, but we are not allowed to have a funeral. COVID-19. We are not allowed to gather… etc.

I watched two televised funerals, men who died during altercations with the police. Both funerals were quite spectacular, attended by so many people! Important people.

My mom was not in an altercation with the police when she died. So we will quietly bury her in our small town cemetery with no official service, very few attendees, no important people.

There is so much information out there about Fibromyalgia Syndrome. New and exciting information. I follow many amazing bloggers! They are knowledgable and up to date! I am not in a place to bring more information to you, I’m just trying to survive and learn all I can. Trying. Not really succeeding with new information. Not willing to try new treatments any longer that could adversely affect what little health I have left.

I don’t want to be a cynical blogger. I am becoming disillusioned by so many things, I am becoming a crabby blogger! This, in turn, affects my health in negative ways…

It’s not you, it’s me. I mean this. I have so enjoyed being a part of this community. I have been so lucky to get to know each and every one of you. My time has come though, and I am preparing to say goodbye.

How can I help you before I go? What resources can I provide you with? Please let me know. I’ll remain present for a couple more weeks but I will be saying a permanent goodbye by the 15th of this month, July 2020.

I will continue with my FaceBook Page. http://fb.me/itrippedoverastone. I will provide fact-checked information to the best of my ability, I just will not be sharing any narrative stories of my own. (Edited 7-4-2020)

I began blogging in 2015. I have enjoyed it and hope I have been a positive person that you could read and discuss the many topics with. I wouldn’t have changed my blogging experience for anything!

(Maybe a million dollars… I’d probably take a hard look at that!)

The Opioid Crisis? A Lie. Suicide Due to a Lack of Pain Management? Very Real.

All of the following information is available on many sites on the internet. The National Health Association, the World Wide Health Organization, the CDC, and etc. You should just google suicide rates. I knew as medication was withheld, my people would choose not to live. It is happening! We are losing our chronically ill brothers and sisters at an alarming rate.



This is what I found…

 

IMG_0316

IMG_0617



Rest in Peace.

IMG_0298IMG_0297IMG_0296IMG_0294

IMG_0292IMG_0290IMG_0289IMG_0285IMG_0283IMG_0281IMG_0313IMG_0311IMG_0307IMG_0306IMG_0305IMG_0303



Enough. My heart is tired. If you are not a chronic pain patient, you should not have any say regarding our medical methods to suppress our pain.

~Kim

No Pain Medication Allowed!

Hello.

It has been almost five months in my journey with no pain medication. How’s that working? Well, I’m still here. Many others are not. Their pain too great. Suicide rates are on the rise…

What is a flare like WITH the availability of a rescue pain medication, often called; The Evil Opioid?

A painful flare can be somewhat controlled and frequently curtailed with pain medication. The worst pain, treating it with an opioid, will last for two, possibly three days. At least for me. (Everyone is different). Pain medication allows you to get out of bed and function, appearing almost normal to friends and family. You will still be bedridden at the onset of a flare, but eventually, after a day or two of rescue medications, you will be able to carefully get up. You can join in life activities again with your pain levels decreased due to the opioid you take that was prescribed for you by your medical doctor. As your flare subsides, you taper off your rescue pain medication and prepare for the next excruciating episode. You are somewhat rested, mentally in a decent place, and the intense pain has subsided. You are ready to fight the next flare.

But.

What is a flare like WithOUT the availability of rescue pain medication (the evil opioid)?

This is a relatively common flare experience from what I’ve been told by others and what I, myself, go through;

The pain begins to go from the normal uncomfortable pain to the terrifying, body crushing pain. The intense pain that takes your breath away. There is no out. You know you’ll be in this amount of pain temporarily, but for how long can you take this extreme amount of pain? You are bed-bound but can’t sleep. If you attempt to get out of bed during this flare, you will more than likely lose your balance and take a tumble. You will probably pass out. (Yes, frequently I pass out from the intense flare pain.) You will be nauseous, you won’t be able to take deep breaths, you will cry. You wish you could just die. You take muscle relaxers, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen. Dumbs you down but doesn’t take away the pain. You take other over the counter medications you pray will help. You may try to use alcohol to self-medicate. The fog rolls in… you are experiencing cognitive difficulties now. Fibro Fog. You can’t put a sentence together, you get lost going from one room to the next. You are entirely unable to help yourself in any capacity. You may be on your way to the emergency room. (I don’t go anymore because I was called a ‘drug seeker.’) Finally, after one week or two… possibly more, the crushing pain ceases and regular pain returns. The fog lifts. You are physically exhausted, mentally spent, and dreading the next painful flare because it will come again. It always does…

But! You are opioid-free!

I haven’t been a medication abusing addict, ever. I’ve used opioids for twenty years, as directed, but what the hell do I know? I’m just an adult, chronic pain, patient. I read medication labels and follow those directions. (Yes, there are directions on every bottle, and they are quite simple to follow.) Now, I have had my access taken from me. Some individuals don’t follow the directions on the label. They take more than directed and/or steal them from those that have this medication prescribed for their pain. These abusers have ruined my right to access readily available pain management medication. I’ve been denied the fundamental right to medicine that provides me comfort, reducing the extreme pain I experience because of my diagnosis.

What’s the big deal?

So, I’m not going to die from severe pain just because I do not have access to pain management medications. This is basically a quality of life issue. Not having access drastically reduces my quality of life! These pain management medications are available! It’s like saying there are antibiotics you need to fight the flu, but you aren’t going to receive any because there are those who misuse this medication. There are too many people taking these antibiotics irresponsibly; therefore, you must suffer through the flu for as long as it takes. Realistically you get the flu once a year. What if you got it every month? Does that seem like a sound decision to deny you access to a medication that would curtail the severity? What would your quality of life be like? It would suck. That, my friends, is the big deal!

Does this make sense to anyone? We do not have an opioid problem in this country! We have an addiction problem!!! (Addicts also need the right kind of help with their disease.) The next time you hear about the ‘opioid epidemic,’ please speak up and set the record straight! 

img_0456~Kim

What Did You Say to Me? (Trigger Warning)



“I wish I had time for DIY stuff. If only I had the time to do what I WANT like you do. It must be nice.”



Really…?

Yep, this came at me again! Sheer stupidity or fundamental lack of understanding? I honestly do not know. I’m trying not to let it piss me off. I’m losing! Here comes a rant…


TRIGGER WARNING; RANT. STOP HERE.


So, yes, person(s). I have time to make shit and write shit. You don’t? Then maybe you need to excel at your job and not worry about what I get to do. That’s right. You do you, I’ll do me.

I was terminated (fired!) from my job for medical reasons. I did not decide to ‘just quit.’ I have a damn college degree! I had a career! I was a passenger in a stupid car accident that created this fibromyalgia, chronic pain, PTSD world I now live in. I didn’t seek it out, I didn’t ask for it. I can’t just think it away, or I would have…

I get disability ‘income.’ You think your taxes pay for my disability income? I paid into this system, too! Since I was fifteen years old, I have paid into the Social Security system. In fact, I’m still drawing FROM the real income I personally have paid into Social Security. I don’t answer to you. So I make shit and write shit.

Just for you, here is some added information you may want to consider. When you are in chronic pain, your brain is very busy with the task of pain management. It begins to act like a one-trick pony, forgetting it needs to manage more things than just pain. I write because it is mind work. I make things because it is mind work. I have to exercise my brain. I have to channel my mind away from pain… there is no cure for chronic pain.

Would you like to see my medical bills?

Would you like to read my diagnosis?

Would you like to pay for my medical expenses for one lousy month?

Be sure to let me know. I have it all! All the documentation your little heart desires. Yet, I still find the time to make shit and write shit! (I too, wish you “had time…”)

I hope you never have to experience what I have had to experience. I hope you never have time to make shit and write shit. Honestly, I do not wish even a moment of pain for you. My only hope is that you would get educated and watch your tongue until you are.

Finally… I want you to know I will never, EVER, even think of you again.

RANT over.

 

img_1633

 

img_1122

 

 

 

 

Hey Lady! Get a New Purse!

A new purse. Such a simple thing. Why does it take us so long to find the perfect one? It takes me months and months of searching, deciding, second-guessing, then making the purchase! I’ll be honest, I’ve had years to shop, and I have a boatload of purses. All sizes, shapes, colors, and fabrics. I told my husband I MUST have choices! I also told him a purse always fits. (No argument there.)

I found the perfect travel bag! I honestly did! It is ergonomically correct, the right size, a bit larger for traveling, and cheap! Yes, you can get all sorts of colors!!!

I’m not an affiliate of Amazon anymore, but I do like a great day of shopping on this site! Here is a link to the best darn purse you’ll ever own for travel. (Your back will thank you, mine did!)

Fair Isle Trade Bags.

 

Screen Shot 2019-12-14 at 11.26.54 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-12-14 at 11.34.54 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-12-14 at 11.35.05 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-12-14 at 11.35.11 AM

They run about $15 – $18.

Here is mine…

3AD571F2-20DA-454D-9144-7E4028132A62

Get yourself a purse. I solemnly swear that this purse prevents backaches! I will never believe one purse is enough… but I am thinking one purse that prevents backaches is worth a second purchase!

Live your best life!

img_7612-2~Kim

Three of My Cheaters to Fight Pain

If you know me, then you know I call things I use to assist me when I have painful flare; cheaters! I don’t know why. Here are three of my cheaters just for you! Consider it an early Christmas Gift…

1. Tommy Copper

Hello, Tommy Copper! Why haven’t I tried this before?!?! Well, I have tried ‘other’ copper products. But. Tommy Copper, the brand name, is a must! I got the back belt first but was so thrilled with the results I added the leg and arm sleeves! This product isn’t about compression, just get the copper cloth as close to your skin as possible. This means under your clothes. Start slow, a few hours a day and build. I felt relief within one minute after I put on the back brace. I had no back pain within seven days! I’m dead serious! (Yes, the pain comes back but to get an hour of relief, not to mention 8 to 10 hours in ONE DAY?!?! I’m sold!)

This product may not work for everyone! But for $20? It is worth a shot. The company states that these items are for those who are in pain but cannot ‘slow down’ to rest. Well, I got to put these on, rest, and run errands! Yahtzee! These come in black and also in (my favorite) camouflage! I put mine on, and I am sure I’m invisible, blending in with my surroundings!

2. Epson Salt

I just cannot stress the importance of soaking in Epson salt. Put a cup of the Epson salt into your bathwater. (At least soak your feet in Epson salt!) As I no longer have a bathtub at my disposal, I soak my feet in Epson Salt about three times a week. You can add essential oils! I did happen across Dr. Teal’s Epson salt, there are many kinds, infused with beautiful smelling essential oils. Get yourself some Epson Salt. It is so cheap and has such wonderful results! Calming, detoxifying, and great to do before trying to sleep.

3. Ibuprofen

I am not supposed to take NSAIDs (ibuprofen), but there are times that I do because recently, I was denied any access to my pain medication. (Yep. It happened, I knew it eventually would.) Hello, ibuprofen. When I was younger, in my early 20s, I suffered from bursitis in my right shoulder. Very painful! The doctor I was seeing told me I could take 800 mg of ibuprofen every six hours, and that was almost the equivalent of taking a pain pill. It works, folks.* Not great, but tamps down the stabbing, take your breath away, pain. Take your regular medication, supplement your pain management protocol with 800 mg of ibuprofen 2-3 times for one day. (Don’t do this for very long, maybe one to three days max.)

*Please check with your doctor before doing this. There are always risks and rewards with every medication you take! The pros and cons, according to your own body chemistry. I am NOT a doctor nor do I play one on TV! Talk to your medical professional.

Live your best life!

If you would like to read about 20 additional cheaters I use click here.

img_7612-2~Kim

A Wedding and a Power Ranger

I completely forgot to finish the second part of my original post! To read the first installment, click here. But it really isn’t necessary, this is pretty self-explanatory.




As we were ready to say our vows, listening to the beautiful singer we had hired for our wedding belt out “I Believe in You and Me.” My husband-to-be said to me,

“I don’t want you to freak out, but I have to tell you something.”

(Oh, God…) “Okay.”

“There is a Power Ranger behind you, he is running, you will see him soon over your left shoulder.”

“Liar.”

“No, there really is… a small-ish child … er, Power Ranger now visible over your left shoulder.”

img_7293 

Yes… there was Power Ranger, a RED one, in action at my wedding. Running to and fro. Making the other children cry as they wanted costumes too. Whose kid was that? Why was everyone just sitting there? Someone should corral the Ranger! Jeff grabbed my hands, this made me look at him. Jeff smiled the ‘everything is OK’ smile.

We discovered later that my mom invited the Power Ranger’s mom to my wedding. The mom of the Ranger was my husband’s first ‘real’ girlfriend. (Yes, I’m not kidding!) My mom still denies this little extended invitation. The result was a Power Ranger at my wedding.

My brother in law was our photographer. He later said, as he was attempting to photoshop out the sneaky little ‘Ranger,’ he and his wife didn’t have ANY superheroes at their wedding. He said he was a bit jealous. I chuckled. He promised me we’d be laughing about this in ten years and we are.

The bachelor and bachelorette parties were very successful. My sisters threw me a beautiful shower. Jeff went golfing with his buddies. My mother was his caddy. That’s right! My mother invited herself along! I guess that is one way to prevent any chance the bachelor might go to a strip club! Let me tell ya’ my mom was (and is) a force to be reckoned with!

In 2004, Jeff and I were living together in Uptown. An eclectic neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were preparing for our wedding and packing for a 10-day trip. We would have our wedding, and a honeymoon at Camp Wilderness, a boy scout camp. We rented the entire camp for our weekend wedding.

img_7114img_7119

It was a beautiful fall weekend when we got married. Every guest was assigned a cabin if they chose to stay for the weekend festivities. (There were various hotels in the area as well.)

ea1867f4-692d-4fb0-a317-93874814d981

This is the Boy Scout camp was where my husband, along with my brothers, attended. Some of our nephews also found their way to this camp. My husband achieved an Eagle Scout level. This camp was also where my husband was a scout leader and an instructor on the firing range.

After the ceremony, we had a prime rib dinner and sang karaoke! As soon as the sky turned to night, we built a bonfire, and the guests enjoyed s’ mores. The following morning there was a hot breakfast served! The day was filled with football, archery, hikes, and opening gifts. I truly enjoyed my wedding. Many of my guests still say they remember my wedding day fondly. That is so nice to hear.

0df2c64f-ace0-4882-b643-d09a15f96dda

Fifteen years ago, I became Mrs. Jeffrey Johnson… and a red Power Ranger attended my wedding!

IMG_0555

 

Fibromyalgia #NoChoice

(Feel free to share!)

The fact is no one has a choice about receiving a chronic illness diagnosis. You just get it.

I will never forget the day a doctor looked at me and said, “You have Fibromyalgia Syndrome.”

img_1633

img_1634

#fibro #nochoice

img_1722

Talking Bluntly about Night Time Chronic Pain

September is National Pain Awareness Month.

I have a chronic pain disease called Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

You can read what fibro is: here.



(This is a typical night for me. I describe it as follows.)

I think the hardest thing for a person with chronic pain is to tell you how they are doing. (Seriously.) You ask me how I’m doing… really? Let me start by asking you, “do you really want to know?” (Probably not, sometimes maybe?)

When you ask me how I am? “I’m fine.” (That’s a flat out lie!)

I’ve read a few posts where bloggers are addressing pain, chronic pain. They are describing what pain we face and what that looks like because September is Pain Awareness Month. My friend, Terri at Reclaiming Hope describes a typical morning for a person with chronic pain. Terri could have been describing my mornings. You can read her story: here.

I will tell you what a typical night feels like for me.

It begins at about 5PM. I get very tired and extremely agitated. My evening will be filled with aches, pains, and irrational episodic thoughts… I will question my worth in this world.

I try to stay out of sight as the early evening turns into the late evening. I know bedtime is coming and without something to keep my mind occupied, it’s going to be a very long and painful night. The clock says it’s bedtime, as I crawl in, it begins. Pain. Unrelenting body pain!

I may be successful in falling asleep on my own, typically not, then I rely on a medication for sleep. My ears feel full of pounding blood. My legs feel so heavy I want to get a knife and stab them until I feel relief! My hip feels like my leg has fallen out of the socket, and my lower back starts to spasm. But these pains are the easier ones to deal with… it gets much worse.

Are you still with me? Have I shared too much? It’s very possible you are bored or feeling somewhat miffed! After All, you are an intelligent person. You certainly can tell if another person is in pain. Well, I don’t look sick! I might look tired, but not sick. I am in real pain every single day.

The night continues, and by this time I have been up at least three times. So here we go again as the next symptoms have their turn with me…

My arms will start jamming up, causing shooting pain throughout my elbows, upper arms, neck, head, and shoulders. As I try to relax, I’m often jolted back into my harsh reality by shooting pain. I try to hold myself tightly as it feels like my body is being pulled apart by some malevolent being. This is very unsettling not to mention extremely (yes) painful!

After diagnosis, a few years into my illness, I became basically bedridden. At the beginning of my relationship with my future hubby, I would be awake about four hours a day. That was it. My normal. I could push through a day once in awhile. I made sure to spend that precious ‘awake time’ with Jeff. Then this disease turned upside down on me. I now get maybe a total of four hours of sleep at night. This lack of sleep causes me to lose days! I am mentally a train wreck and physically spent and in pain.

But. You ask how I’m doing?

“I’m fine.”

September is Pain Awareness Month!

What Flare?

You have probably read that I’ve been in flare mode for almost a month. We sold our home, we close on the fifth of September, very soon. I’m pleased that the house sold at asking price. Of course, a bidding war would have been fun, or not.

The last night in the house on Taylor Street, I sent out an SOS text to my brother-in-law that I needed help. He came, packed MOST of my living room and office. He loaded it all into his truck. Then went and got his other truck and loaded that too, along with various boxes I’d packed. He called his wife, and she arrived shortly after to pack up my entire kitchen. Nice, right? I cannot remember any of it! Not one detail. I was in a full-on flare mode with fibro fog! Needless to say, every box I open is like Christmas morning. I can’t believe all the work they did for me. I have thanked them profusely, but how does one know if that’s ever enough?

The change that comes with living out of boxes in a semi-permanent living environment is unsettling. My husband and I have taken up residency at our family’s lake home. Well, I’m a part-owner with my remaining five siblings, so it is part mine. I mean, it sounds weird to say ‘my’ lake home, but I do pay taxes on this property. So, yes, my lake home.

My brother, Kory, was in the military. When he was 37, he was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. He lived for just seven weeks after that diagnosis. He was able to instruct us on what to do with his life insurance. He was still single, but family meant everything to him. This lake home stands on the land where my father’s boyhood home stood. This property has been turned into an LLC and will remain in our family for generations to come. It truly is a gift. I would’ve chosen my brother over this vast, six-bedroom lake home in a heartbeat, but that wasn’t to be. (Rest in peace Kory.)

I am rambling, aren’t I? Yes, I am.

The point of this post was to tell you that last night I was in some sort of cognitive blackout caused by an extremely stressful and painful day. My fibro fog has been happening very frequently. This also causes, S-T-R-E-S-S! I wrote a post at one point about a theory I had about fibro fog. Our brain allows us to escape from our painful reality by resorting to a dysfunctional cognitive state. It basically shuts us down to ‘reboot.’ It still is only my theory, but, I believe this is what happened last night. My husband said I was very cooperative, I listened to him, and he guided me into bed so I wouldn’t hurt myself. (I swear if he roofied me again… just kidding!)

I feel very different today. Still some intense pain off and on but overall, I am better physically and much more so mentally. I will begin updating you on our new beginning next week… I am officially going to start documenting the process of our continued search and purchase of our 5th Wheel and truck. We are narrowing down the options so I better start telling you about it all.

I have a new tagline. After much thought, a decision has been made!

drumroll…

I Tripped Over a Stone.

“A Fibro Warrior finding freedom as a rolling stone.”

What do you think?

Live your best life!

 

img_0986~Kim

What About You? (Sunday Quick Questions #28)

We answer ‘quick questions’ here on I Tripped Over a Stone on Sundays.

Why? 

Because… I blog. I get sick of me. I want to hear from you!

Don’t think, just answer!

  1. You are taking a trip! Would you go on a cruise or on a plane to a vacation destination?
  2. It is time to purchase/rescue a pet. (It’s your turn, nothing stands in your way!) What would you choose and what would you name your pet?
  3. You are watching a movie in a movie theatre and the man sitting a few chairs down from you starts playing a game on his phone. It’s very annoying. What do you do?

img_1094-1

  1. I think I would choose a cruise. My hubby’s never been on one, and I bet we’d have a blast!
  2. I’m going in for another dog! This time a smaller poodle mix of some kind, I’d love a Shih Tzu-poo again! I’d name her Nelda or Nona…
  3. There are stupid people everywhere. I wouldn’t ignore him, but the most I’d do is get up and move because someone IS going to react and it won’t be pretty!

The House on Taylor Street (My Ugly Kitchen)

Well here’s a little post that you requested from a while back. I talked about my house on Taylor Street’s kitchen. It was an ugly kitchen but it was MY KIND of ugly! So I have rooted around and found a few photos. I do not have access to my entire box of photos right now. Let me explain, the pictures are packed in a moving box, one of many of common size that I forgot to label… (help!)

I usually do not take pictures in my kitchen… but I’ll post what I found.

When my husband and I moved into the house on Taylor Street we came straight from an eclectic Uptown brownstone. No yard! Small, galley kitchen. All our possessions were second hand. (I liked the hunt through thrift stores and estate sales to find my prizes.) When one of my nieces asked me if she could go play in the back yard (little suburban raised child). I said, “We don’t have one, poor people don’t have backyards.” I believe if looks could kill, my sister would have seen to my demise at that very moment. SNAP! (Statement retracted.)

Let’s just get this out of the way, my elephant in the room. I love collecting metal lunch boxes! I try to find meaningful ones. I like TV shows I watched as a kid. Toys I played with, books I read, and the like. It’s a bit of an issue. But! I have never paid more than $7 for any of my lunchboxes. That’s a win! And! I get to share my collection with you! Any of theses lunchboxes mean anything to you? Which would you pick???

Have to put a few backyard shots in as this was my view from the big kitchen window!

It was a good kitchen. Ugly but as I said, my kind of ugly and no one ever said differently. Many impromptu parties occurred as neighbors wandered over. We had back yard parties (we had a bonfire pit!). There were porch parties, and one memorable wine and jazz ladies party. I had a surprise birthday for my hubby’s 45th birthday in that house. The house on Taylor Street… we close on the 5th of September. It remains a place I will go to for many Magic Memories! They will be good memories, all good.

img_1157~Kim