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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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.

 

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Check this out, “Don’t Make it Wierd.”

I recently happened upon a great blog! OK, ‘Grace,’ aka ‘Karen,’ aka ‘Karen Grace,’ at MSGraceful…NOT! reblogged an incredible post by this blogger. I was reading this post, and I felt understood!!! I agreed with his words. I agreed with the sentiment. I was utterly gobsmacked when I finished reading the post! (And I continue to re-read this incredible post!)

Sam at Don’t Make it Wierd is not to be missed!

Check out  Taking Stock of Positives and Possibilities!  Click on that title!!!

Don’t forget to come back here and tell me what you think! Did it speak to you? Hurry, I have to know!!!

img_0456~Kim

 

If You Grow

I can’t remember exactly when it was…

One of my sisters was getting ready for her third or was it the fourth parade that summer as Queen of such and such. (It seemed as one or the other was always crowned ‘something!’) The other was helping her primp. I was just sitting at the table watching all the frenzied crowns, gowns, and sash adjustments. My mother turned to me and said, “Well, you didn’t get the looks, but you got the brains.”

I didn’t realize at the time that those words were a gift. Those words meant I could do anything! Be anything! I just couldn’t be ‘pretty.’ To a teenage girl, I admit those words stung at the time.

I have two sisters and three brothers. I guess they are all brilliant in their own way. I must have some sort of brilliance within me by default? I mean, I came from the same genetic pool they did.

So I grew into adulthood and knew I had to use my brains to get somewhere in this world! Obviously, I couldn’t rely on my looks or lack thereof. My mom burst that bubble while I was still young enough to do something about it. Funny how I now look back at that as a defining moment. I appreciate those words now.

So I learned to hustle! I learned how to learn. I was hungry for success and never stopped until I met my goal. I wrote many posts about my life before I became chronically ill. Most of you might remember reading the “Before I Tripped Over a Stone” series. Life was never dull for me.

When you are raised to be a ‘do’er’ and that gets taken away from you, your identity suffers in crisis. Who are you if you can’t do what you know how to do? What good are you to anyone? Do you have any worth now that you are broken? Devastation sets in…

We can approach this devastation in one of two ways. The first way is to fight back with everything you have inside you. The second way is just giving up. How does that look? How will you feel about yourself if you just give up? Certainly nothing ‘pretty’ about that! Let’s not give up. We will fight!

There is one crucial thing you must do while you are engaged in battle. Many of us have not or could not stop long enough to say goodbye to our previous selves. We are so busy fighting! We simply forgot to say goodbye and grieve for the part of our selves we lost to our illness. We need to say goodbye to the person we were, grieve that person for as long as it takes, then welcome the person that we are now, even in our broken state.

Why?

Anything can change the periphery of our lives in an instant! In one hot second, you can go from life to death, healthiness to illness, rich to poor. In a moment, life can change. In a moment, life usually does change.

Who is this new person staring at you every morning in the mirror? Are they kind? Are they a warrior? Are you caring for this new you? Are you kind to your new self? Do you realize you get to live two lifetimes in this one life…?

Have you grieved?

 

img_0456~Kim

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.

 

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They run about $15 – $18.

Here is mine…

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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

Don’t Mess With Texas

I want to say hello!

I fought my way back! I thought about how I started this blog to simply remember how to write, not much more than that… but did I receive so much more from all of you! Wow. I want to share an account of the road (paved with good intentions) that I have been on since we sold our house in August.

We sold our house in five days and closed in thirty days. Wow! I really didn’t even have time to think! I wasn’t prepared for this massive disruption to my daily life. Even though I knew this change had to happen. I wanted that change, but the reality was that it was much more difficult than I had imagined.

A company called One Eighty Solutions contacted me and informed me they had a corporate buyer interested in the timeshare we own in Mexico… the offer was at $36,000. Was I interested? Heck yeah! I’m in! It was a scam. Of course. I think the hubby and I both somehow knew. In fact, we agreed the money we had to spend to be able to sell our property in Mexico was a complete gamble! No better shot than if we had taken that money to a casino and played the slot machines … but the casino would’ve at least provided some entertainment! We purchased the ‘license’ to be able to sell our property from the Mexican government. The next thing we knew, the ‘real estate’ company was asking us to pay a 20% capital gains tax upfront. We declined, and they told us they’d sue us for breach of contract. We said,

“Bring it!”

We would absolutely love to see all of you in court!”

They ceased contacting us. 

We bought our truck and our 5th wheel toy hauler. (Yay!)

Picking up our RV was delayed by two weeks. Once we were able to pick it up, we had to pack it and get the heck out of the Midwest! We left the very night before it started snowing. We raced south and stopped in Branson, Missouri. I thought we should go to a show! (Not this time around.)

The hubby reminded me that this was not a vacation we were on but a lifestyle we were living. We had just purchased a pickup AND an RV. There would be no attending a show! 

I admit I did agree.

We continued on to the very southern part of Texas to escape winter. We currently remain in the Harlingen area moving from RV park to RV park and will continue to do so until the first part of January.

The RV lifestyle…

I still haven’t figured this out. (I have been in a constant but mild fibro flare since August.) Right now, we are only in our fourth RV park. We had landed in South Texas. The snow was stalking us, pushing us deeper into the south. We had a toilet and a furnace that required maintenance. The MANDATORY demonstration we were required to attend (and pay for…!) was not THAT helpful.

Recommendation for first time RV buyers: Record the demo! I have the entire demo recorded on my cell phone. We have gone back to that video many times!

Today is the best I’ve felt since I left the house on Taylor Street!

It is a good thing, too, because now that we are in Texas, I found out my pain pills will not be refilled in this state. “Texas Law.” I don’t know about you, but I am NOT about to ‘mess with Texas!’

So, tribe, I’m back! I don’t believe I will be able to read all of your blog posts I’ve missed. I DO apologize for that. Look for “What About You?” It will return on its regular day, Sunday, December 1st here on I Tripped Over a Stone.

It is good to be back!

IMG_7612~Kim

 

 

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

Revisiting Trauma?

I believe I am revisiting past physical trauma.

I am struggling with a flare. This makes sense as there are so many significant changes happening in my life (selling my home and moving while flaring!). But. This flare is eerily similar to those flares I had right after the car accident I was in. How am I to handle this? Has my body reverted to experiencing traumatic events by responding to how it used to? Emotionally this is a bit of a train wreck to try to deal with!

Am I revisiting trauma?

I have had my toolbox out and found my ability to Zentangle (a planned pattern that is repeated) is limited. I can set up one, but I cannot make the patterns the right way, my spacial judgment is off. Crossword puzzles are not an option at this point either. I can’t remember names of items I know, let alone come up with words I am not familiar with. I am unable to sleep for more than two consecutive hours due to pain waking me. I am taking rescue medication for pain and sleep, but it is not helping much.

Am I reverting to past behaviors because of trauma?

My husband looked at me yesterday and said, “I’m concerned.” I asked why, and he stated he hadn’t seen me take this amount of pain for this length of time. I responded that it was simply a fibromyalgia flare and that I could deal with this. He looked doubtful, walked out the door, popped his head back in, and said, “Keep fighting.”

Can I continue to fight this flare, at this intensity for much longer?

The short answer is yes. Of course, I can (and will) continue to fight. The worrisome part of this answer is how? I went back to basics. I got out my therapy belt, the Sympathetic Therapy System (STS) machine (the STS machine is no longer being manufactured, sorry) and the Epsom salt. I found my body pillow and my hot packs. I’m back to using popsicles and crushed ice to control my nausea and severe heartburn. I am taking my magnesium and my B12 shots… this will work, it has to.

I am experiencing a trauma-induced flare.

The rush to sell and pack, leaving the home I’ve known for the last fourteen years had an impact on me that I wouldn’t have guessed possible. It was traumatizing being in so much pain and having to continue the activity (packing and moving) that triggered it. But this is just a flare. This means although my pain is more intense, this is only temporary. I will come out of this flare by fighting each and every symptom it throws at me and managing them.

 

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