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…

 

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Rest in Peace.

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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

The Fibromyalgia Cure? OK, Let’s Talk About This…

There is a NEW cure for fibromyalgia plastered on FaceBook! Yep. They have done it! AGAIN! Another cure for us fibro sufferers, for crying out loud! It is about time!!!  (Really?) Well, let’s talk about this…

Here is the hook…

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Ok. There is a blood test called the FM/a to diagnose fibromyalgia. This is real. Your insurance, whatever that may be, will cover the cost of this blood test.

What does the FM/a test for? (Researcher-speak) This is a multi-biomarker-based test that analyzes your immune systems’ white blood cells’ chemokine and cytokine patterns. People with fibro have an irregular pattern regarding these proteins. 

What does the FM/a test for? (Kim-speak) This test measures the proteins in your body that increase when you are ill. These proteins increase your white blood cell count considerably to fight the likes of the flu, mono, infection, etc… These measurements should prove to be erratic if you have fibromyalgia.

Next, here is the theory ‘MOJO’ statement…

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The theory ‘MOJO’ statement is a promise to be admitted to their clinical trial if you test positive on the FM/a blood test.

(Researcher-speak) Take the FM/a test.

(Kim-speak) Do not rule out being tested for the FM/a test, just don’t be first in case its a deciding factor in the treatment you are allowed to receive! (This is not a one-size-fits-all illness!)

The result in this proposed theory will be a cure for the incurable… AND (drumroll!) they have the ONLY cure!

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Just what is this cure? It is the TB vaccine. Period. Will this work? I haven’t researched one case where it has worked. I have not studied one case where it has caused any harm. Go ahead and research the TB vaccine and see if you think it may hold promise for your ‘type’ of fibromyalgia. Go ahead and get the TB vaccine if you think it might work. Just ask your doctor to administer the TB vaccine. The cost is low, the vaccine is available. There is no need for such a cryptic message of a wonderous ‘cure!’ I trust YOU to make the best decision for YOU!

(Researcher-speak: More money…)

(Kim-speak: It’s a stupid $7 TB vaccine, get it if you want to!)

Always live your best life!

~Kim

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What About You? (Sunday Quick Questions #47)

We are back to Sunday Quick Questions! After a 60 day hiatus, I am pleased to once again offer “What About You?”

This will be a special quarantine question edition this week…

Let us see how it goes!

Questions:

  1. During this pandemic, are you binging any new shows you would recommend?
  2. In the last 30 days, I was not able to get any ______ or ______.
  3. What is the meaning of this childhood rhyme?

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed,

One fell off and bumped his head,

Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

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  1. Just finished Boesch and Sense 8! Highly recommend! Working on Lock and Key… promising to be a good run!
  2. RV Toliet paper, hand sanitizer. (The struggle is REAL!)
  3. … I will tell you once I see your answers… have fun!

The Time to Pause

Recently, I returned to blogging after a short hiatus. While I was absent from blogging, the coronavirus enveloped the country… the world, in fact. People are unemployed, losing their homes, having a difficult time even maintaining the essential home grocery and cleaning items. The saddest part, people are dying.

Does anyone know what to do?

Are you busy cleaning closets, working out, and eating better? Isn’t that what you have said you’d do if ever you had the “time?” Did you complete that masterpiece you claimed you would because you are now at home? You may be working from home… and the kids are home with you… how is that working for you?

I believe we must be careful what we wish for!

This is the first time, in many of our lives, that a national quarantine has been made law for the American people. This is a ‘time to pause.’ This is a time to take stock of our world. The impact we have on it. The steps we may consider to make different choices in our lives very soon. Dare I say the time to pause could be a renaissance of sorts?

Dare I say? 

I want to impress the need for normalcy has not escaped us. Soon, there will be a media blitz pressuring us to do just that. Return to normal. What was your normal? What was mine? Do we want to make that normal relevant in our future? Is it even right to do that? Repeat the past?

I don’t have the answers. I just know I am taking this opportunity to pause and contemplate what I want to be present in my future…

I invite you to do the same.

~Kim

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Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

I’m back! My two-month blogging hiatus has expired, so let’s catch up!

Here we go!

Let’s get this out of the way; COVID-19. Hoarding, isolating, and assigning blame in the MOST fascinating ways. (Seriously?) Well, this has certainly been a fine example of how people behave in a crisis. I don’t think I’ve heard “fuck you” as many times as I have in the last 30 days. I don’t think I’ve ever run out of toilet paper in my adult life except in the previous 30 days. I don’t think I’ve ever observed such selfish, public behavior, disregarding the safety and health of others, as much as I’ve seen it in the last 30 days. I believe the squeaky wheel gets the oil. There are a lot of squeaky wheels in this world. Sadly.

What has been happening with me? Really not much! Here’s a little run down.

My time in seclusion… let’s see, practicing social distancing because of the coronavirus. We fight on…

Taxes. Well… the only certainty in this life is death and taxes. Who fights with their tax man and gets dropped? (Just me?) Damn. Taxes… at least we have until July 15th. A welcome reprieve, not to mention ample time to find a new tax dude.

We left Texas and traveled through New Mexico and into Arizona. Stayed in Arizona, locked down. Now I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada! Yes, quarantined, and socially responsible in (of all places), ‘Vegas!’ (Can you feel the agony in those typed words?)

Now, I must report, in my RV travels, I have met some fascinating people! Some nice, others not so much. I find the notion of ‘kindness’ nothing more than a relatively politically correct statement in most of the 55+ RV parks. I fully admit this may be mostly tied to the COVID-19 restrictions and flat out fear! Hoarding, isolating, disruptions in necessary daily rituals seem to lead to coarse attitudes. Hey, I get it!

Then again, I wonder if I really do get it?

I have been in self-imposed isolation for almost 20 years! When you have a chronic illness, this is necessary for your very survival. What has it been, 30 days in quarantine and people wig out. Really? I think I do not get that!

I’ve come back home to my blogging tribe. Here is where I find peace. I find support. I’ve missed you all! I’m so delighted to be back.

Always live your best life!

~Kim

Tribe Bracelets Merch!

Click HERE to place an order if you have PayPal.

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What About You? (Sunday Quick Questions #46)

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. What is going well in your life… right now?
  2. What area in your life could use a little improvement?
  3. What is something you know for sure?

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  1. Homelife is going well. Specifically, the things I have surrounded myself with. RV living has proved to be manageable and less stressful. I can manage my ‘home’ once again.
  2. Eating habits! OMG. I have to quit eating like I’m on vacation. Because I am NOT on vacation!
  3. You do not need a lot of ‘things’ to live a satisfying life.

What About You? (Sunday Quick Questions #45)

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. Name one basic quality you honestly admire in other people and why?
  2. Do you own a treasured stuffed animal or doll or action figure!?!? Where did it come from?
  3. Name one vacation you took that has remained your absolute favorite!

img_1094-1~Kim

  1. Humor. I NEED to find that person who can crack me up! If I’m not laughing, I’m crabby. Humor makes anything better! 
  2. I have a very special stuffed animal that I STILL have. A dog I named, ‘Sad Sam Baby.’ My mom bought him for me from the hospital gift shop when I was having reconstructive surgery on my arm. I was 14. I woke up from the surgery, there was the cutest little brown and white stuffed dog!
  3. Cozumel, Mexico. The hubby and I vacationed here twice. It is STILL my favorite vacation spot. I’d go again in a heartbeat!!!

 

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! 

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What About You? (Sunday Quick Questions #44)

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. What is something you do, just for fun?
  2. Name one song that you can’t help singing along with when it comes on the radio. (Does it annoy you or not?)
  3. Tell me one thing people honestly believe about you; that is absolutely not true.

img_1094-1~Kim

  1. I love sledding! I absolutely love it. My hubby brought home a red plastic sled, and we made a ‘jump’ in the backyard, and we slide until we freeze! (I haven’t run across snow this year yet, though.) Pure fun!
  2. Havana!!! (by Camila Cabello). It doesn’t annoy ME… but since I make up words to the parts I don’t know, it probably annoys everyone else. (My husband just laughs and says he will never need an iPod, he has me!)
  3. Honestly, people think I’m very organized. Truly. I am the farthest thing from organized!!! Gosh, don’t open a closet door! I’m better now that we downsized… no, I’m really still a mess! HA!

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.

 

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Back to Basics

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

That’s a loaded question! Each person experiences fibromyalgia differently… but, going back to basics, I will try my best to explain.

The nervous system of someone with ‘fibro’ looks like this;

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So, a person with fibro has an overactive nervous system.

You can read more about the nervous system: here.

Signals are being constantly sent to the brain that the body is in pain, the brain answers and we end up with this;

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Further reading about the effects on the brain: here.

So, the brain is very busy for a person with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Then we add the cognitive dysfunction, known as fibro fog, that we deal with as fibro warriors.

This is a good description;

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(Image courtesy of Pixie.)

Further reading about fibro fog: here, and here.

So, the very basic explanation of Fibromyalgia Syndrome is this;

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(Image courtesy of Pixie.)

In-depth symptoms of fibro and accompanying conditions: here and here.

To sum up this post, it is OK to not fully understand fibro but NOT OK to think it is easily defined. Fibromyalgia is not a cookie-cutter illness. This is a real ‘syndrome’ (which means made up of many co-existing conditions) that is debilitating and extremely painful.

img_0456~Kim