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

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

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

 

 

The results are in! My review of the “Med Management” Bag.

I unboxed this bag on July 30th. I was mailed this bag at no cost and asked to review it. I have worked with this bag for a little over two weeks. I will tell you this is a very nice management tool and I highly recommend it. I won’t beat around the bush if you can afford the 50 dollars, get this “Med Management” bag right now at http://vivalife.care.com.

Preparation

I started off purchasing pill organizers at Walgreen’s pharmacy for 99 cents apiece. I bought four and color-coded them. I take medications four times a day. I picked up a composition book as well for 50 cents. A composition book is a tool I use to take notes to prepare for medical appointments as well as record any issues I may be having with medication. The bag comes with file holders and tags. Keep your medical information; past and present in these divided files. Organize them as they make sense to you. I always carry a list of medications I am currently taking, a list of past medications and what they did or did not do for me. Medical procedures I have undergone and the doctors names and addresses that I see. I like to keep my pharmacy information and insurance cards with me too.

Design

This “Med Management” bag is not cumbersome! Medications bottles of all sizes fit, and you can carry as much paperwork with you as you need, your iPad will fit in this bag without issue. The design of this bag is smart.

Con, or is it a Pro?

The only downside that I encountered was the color! I like to carry my medications ‘incognito,’ but this bag stands out brightly! Now having said that, this is also a pro! People will notice you are carrying this bag. They will notice if you ‘forget’ your bag. I believe when walking in for an appointment, it seemed that I may have been taken a bit more seriously? Yes. A lot more seriously.

Last Word

Only you know if this bag will fit your lifestyle. The price is steep. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. I think this is worth its price! Two thumbs up for the “Med Management” bag.

 

 

img_1453~Kim

What is ‘Med Management?’

I was contacted by a very nice man last week saying he was, “interested in my blog.” That was the subject line of an email message. OK… so I read what he had to say. There is a medication organizer that was designed by an emergency room doctor. These are the types of medication managers he’d like all patients to carry when they arrive for a medical appointment. “Would I be interested in reviewing this product?” Yes. I would, indeed. “IT” arrived today…

This will take me more than a day to see if this works for me. So I will take 7 days. The review will then follow.

 

It looks like a large file folder the kids carry to school. But under the front flap, there are divided folders for your medical papers, and that slides out so you can carry one or the other! Check out the following pictures!

 

When the Med Manager is zipped open, the left side has stretchy medication bottle holders. Take a look at the following pictures.

 

You can see the pill holders on the left. One the right, there are three additional zip cases. All attach to the velcro and stay in place.

This is like the Cadilac of medication bags! And I’m going to review it, openly and honestly.

This was shipped to me from http://vivalife.care. Check out the products!

Live your best life!

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One of Many

Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Two to four percent of the US population is affected by fibromyalgia, that is six to twelve million people. Females make up 90% of those numbers.

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Hi, I’m Kali, I was diagnosed at age 18 with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in 2015.img_1290

I just recently got engaged. I’m looking forward to having a happy little family with my fiance and our future cat children. I’m a chronic illness blogger and a bookworm, never without a book in my hand. Writing and reading for me serve as a good distraction from the pain. I am one of many that suffer in silence because of the stigma that comes with this disease. There is a point that some people reach, afraid to talk to their doctors thinking suicide is the better option to stop the pain. It is not. It will get better. Actively seeking out friends with fibro makes things better, not perfect but better. I live with daily chronic pain … I am one of many.

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Hi, my name is Jill. I was diagnosed in 2016 with Fibromyalgia Syndrome. img_1298

I live in Tennessee and have two boys and three dogs. I like writing letters. I currently have eight penpals. Now, there are eighteen people with chronic illnesses that I send cards in the mail to. Hopefully cheering them up. It is the little things that I find to do for people that give me a sense of accomplishment. I live with daily chronic pain … I am one of many.  

 

 

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Hello, my name is Margie, I became noticeably ill in 2004 and was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in 2009.img_1462

I am 64 and have been widowed for 20 years. I live in Oregon with my daughter and several dogs and cats. I love quilting, but my clingy bitchy fibro leech does not! Now I have a hard time working on anything. I do read a lot. I find if I don’t move around much, she is content. I live with daily chronic pain … I am one of many.

 

 

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Hello. I am Mary (Mol), and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in 2017.img_1433

I am happily married, and we live in West Clare, Ireland. We have two chocolate labradors, Max and Loki. I’m a blogger newbie. I love to write, read, and watch tv. I live with constant daily pain … I am one of many.

 

 

 

 

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I’m Jody. Hello! I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in 1995.img_1452

I am married to a super supportive husband! We have four dogs and live in the dusty desert of Texas, where the expansive night sky feeds my astrology addiction. I’m a proud mother of two grown sons, a bonus daughter, a beautiful granddaughter and a grandson who will arrive in September! I live with constant daily pain … I am one of many.

 

 

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I am lucky enough to call these women my friends. After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in 2001, I fully understand the fighter mentality it takes to be a Fibro Warrior, and these women are the definition!

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Hello. My name is Kim. I also live with constant daily pain … I am one of many.img_1292

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Fibromyalgia and CBD OIL

I received an email from a very nice lady named Amanda. She explained she suffers from fibromyalgia and wanted to share some information she has found helpful, the benefits of CBD oil. I am struggling to understand this oil myself, so I was thrilled to hear that she would write an informative post for me. I learned a lot, I hope you do too.

Thank you, Amanda!




Effects of CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the various chemicals found in hemp and marijuana. In 2018, the Farm Bill relaxed regulations for hemp, which has caused the current CBD craze across the country. The legal definition of industrial hemp is cannabis with less than .3% delta-9 THC. THC is the chemical in marijuana that causes psychoactive effects. The THC levels in hemp are so low that people who use it recreationally or medically, do not experience the psychoactive effects of marijuana but do get to enjoy the benefits. In fact, CBD is very popular for those with chronic health issues. Recently, a new medication with CBD for seizures, Epidiolex, has become FDA-approved.

 

What are the Results?

Studies show that CBD may help those with seizures, anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and insomnia. In my personal experience, I have noticed improved mood and sleep. I also have less anxiety and chronic pain from using CBD products. Before I began taking CBD, I had regular nausea and decreased appetite as a side effect of medication. On some days, I would walk around the house doubled over and could barely get up to get myself a glass of water. CBD drastically improved my quality of life. My nausea is completely under control, and I’m able to do things I took for granted before, like driving, doing laundry, and taking my dogs for a walk.

Is It Legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill relaxed the laws on industrial hemp as defined above. However, states have the ability to create or remove additional barriers to growing, transporting, and purchasing hemp. It’s important to know your state laws regarding hemp.

 

Where Do I Buy it?

CBD is becoming widely available across the country. News outlets are reporting that Target and Walmart are considering carrying CBD  products. You can already find these products in Bed Bath & Beyond, health stores, specialty stores, and pharmacies. I highly recommend researching companies before making any CBD purchases. Look for companies that provide third-party lab reports and own their own farms or are willing to provide you with information about the farm. Some of my favorite companies for CBD products are Daddy Burt, Cascadia Blooms, and Apical Greens. CBD is not regulated by the FDA, and not all products are created equal, so it’s important to know what you’re putting in your body.

 

What are Some of the Concerns?

Since hemp-derived products do contain THC, you may fail a THC drug test after extended use. There are THC-free products available on the market. However, THC-free products aren’t as effective.

Studies show that CBD can increase liver enzymes, which can be problematic for those with hepatitis or liver damage. Always consult your doctor before adding any new supplement to your treatment plan.

The most common side effects of CBD are nausea, irritability, and fatigue. Considering these are all symptoms we experience directly or indirectly from Fibromyalgia, the side effects were negligible compared to the benefits for me personally.

Wrapping It Up

CBD has been effective for me and many others with chronic illness. It has many properties similar to medical marijuana, which has been effective in providing relief for fibromyalgia. There’s a chance that you are like me when I found CBD, desperate for any relief and improvement in the quality of life you could find. CBD might be exactly what you’re looking for.




 

 

My Top 20 Cheaters!

Do you ever just get fed up? Get tired of being the ‘patient?’ Everyone looks at you as the ‘sick’ one, mentally and/or physically… depending on how cruel they want to be. Do you get tired of seeing one more specialist, reading one more study, purchasing one more book about your disease… Do you ever just stop and scream, “ENOUGH!”

I have not. That is, I haven’t screamed “enough!” I’ve wanted to! I was afraid my family would send the men in white coats to take me away to a ‘nice’ place to rest. I haven’t said it out loud, but I have reached; ‘enough!’ I’ll get over it; I suppose, but for right now, I’m so done with fibromyalgia!

I’m sick of being the ‘patient.’ I just can’t stomach one more doctor or another treatment plan! If I read one more research study about fibromyalgia, I with begin to tear the hair out of my head. If I hear about one more ‘cure’ I will start screaming and will not be able to stop. I am so done with being chronically ill! DONE! … but it isn’t done with me.

So… I put on my combat boots (yes I have combat boots, doesn’t everyone?) and I begin to think of all the things I’ve learned to use in the last 20 years to ‘combat’ my fibromyalgia symptoms. Since I am not an affiliate with any money making company, I decided to share the things I use. I’m straight up going to tell you what works for me, I call these things my cheaters. Maybe my cheaters will work for you, perhaps not.

*Remember, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. I’m asking you to check with your doctor before using any additional over the counter (OTC) medications.

My Top 20 Cheaters:

  1. Vicks Vapor Rub. Cover your feet with the stuff and put socks on. Body discomfort, colds, congestion, allergies, toenail fungus… (10 days for the nail fungus to clear up). Your mother was right about Vicks Vapor Rub. This stuff works for just about anything!
  2. Essential Oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender. Clears up the sinuses and has a calming effect. I use a diffuser. I also use one of those necklaces that holds a small ball of charcoal. You can put essential oils on the ball of charcoal. Some oil brands I like (and have researched) are Plant Guru, Sun Leaf, and there is a roller ball mix called CALM from farm to you. It not only clears my sinuses but helps my mood!
  3. Epsom Salt. I use some in my bath for sore muscles. This stuff is incredible! I also use this to soak my feet when they are painful. There is a fancy one that has lavender in it, and it is nice, but good old everyday Epsom Salt is key!
  4. Dramamine. This works VERY well for dizziness and nausea. If you get the original formula, it will calm you down. If you are already fighting drowsiness, get the less drowsy formula.
  5. Popsicles. Indigestion? Acid Reflux? I just switched from chewing ice after a meal, which works but is hell on your teeth to plain old popsicles. A bit softer on the teeth and work just as well. (If you are low in iron, many times you crave ice, this also helps with that craving.)
  6. Coca-Cola. There are days when eating is out of the question. Don’t reach for the ginger ale, Sprite or 7-up. Slowly sip a REGULAR Coca-Cola. Nausea will go away.
  7. Coca-Cola and a candy bar. Yes, you are reading this correctly. Use these items together if you are experiencing withdrawals from going off medication. I learned this trick from an addiction counselor I used to work with. Now if this is already a part of your daily diet, I’m sorry, this won’t work for you. But if you are not used to this kind of caffeine and sugar rush… it WILL work to ease up the side effects. You will get some much-needed relief.
  8. Magnesium. I take a liquid form. If you have fibromyalgia, you need to be taking extra magnesium. Period. (This is what I take and why.) Our bodies do not make enough. Google ‘magnesium’ and you will understand. Or read all about magnesium from Caz at Invisibly Me!
  9. B12 shots. B12 is another no brainer. (Google away, people!) I take an intramuscular shot. You can take the regular shots or get the vitamins. B12 is like the highway for your body to absorb everything else while it protects this highway too. You will feel less fatigued, less confusion, and overall better if your B12 levels are maintained.
  10. Generic allergy tablets. Calming.
  11. Tylenol PM. (Acetaminophen) Watch your doses! No more than 4,000 mg per day. Calming and takes care of headaches!
  12. Ibuprofen. You can take 800 mg at once, and this is the dose of a pain relieving pill you’d be given with a script. The goal is to not have to do this, but when you are in pain, you do what needs to be done. (Some should not be taking NSAIDs, check your prescriptions for adverse effects!) Always use caution.
  13. Handheld Massager. Restless leg sufferers, this cheater is for you! (Also…#14.)
  14. Weighted Blanket. I use a weighted blanket for Restless Leg Syndrome and anxiety.
  15. Nyquil. We all know Nyquil is our favorite knockout medicine. Use it when you need to. Sleep is healing.
  16. Therapy Belt. I use one for my lower back pain. Get one from Amazon. They are velcro and cost about $15. You should read the directions and always align your hips when putting on one of these belts. (If you have questions, I can help, just ask.)
  17. Clay heating/cooling packs. These are just super nice! Since they are clay, you can squish them and mold them to your body. Walgreens again… they carry these clay packs that can be heated up in the microwave or frozen.
  18. TENs Unit. If this works for you… buy one for yourself! The TENs unit doesn’t work for my fibro, but my husband uses one for his sore back. Not that expensive. Does not require a prescription. Available on Amazon and at Walgreens.
  19. Salonpas. These are little patches you can put on the exact spot you feel pain. (Choose wisely, they are medicated!)
  20. Drugs.com. Put this APP on your phone. It is free and easy to use.

Bonus cheater!!!

#21. A Medication Journal!

You really need to have a journal, especially for your cheaters. Write down what works and what dosages are best for you. Remember to record the medications you take and always the amounts! It doesn’t have to be pretty, just accurate.

Please leave any questions for me in the comment section. Use these cheaters as aids, do not use instead of a medication that is prescribed for you.

And finally, please remember;

 *I am absolutely not a doctor, nurse, or medically trained in any way, except in CPR and first aid! I can breathe the life right back into you while I bandage a head wound… but nothing else!

 

 

img_0992~Kim

The Problem…

This is a problem.

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How do you carry all your medication? What if you are traveling to care for elderly parents like I am? What if you have kids to run to school and after-school activities? What if you can never find what you need because it’s in the bathroom medicine cabinet? Or is that the kitchen cupboard? Bedside table? Who really knows??? It’s like an Easter egg hunt on a daily basis.

You need to take your medication on time! You need to have medical papers with you when you are away from home. Accidents happen. Activities run long. The quick cup of coffee out with your friend… well you have a lot to talk about! We can plan. We do plan. Then life happens.

The solution?

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The diaper bag! I never had kids so this little bag was completely foreign to me. I’ve carried one when I babysat, fully stocked with everything the little one may need… But. I’d never had the need to purchase one. Guys, these bags come in many shapes, sizes, and colors; find one. These sit perfectly behind your front seat. You can leave it in your car if you run into a convenience store for something… who’s gonna steal a diaper bag?

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How many pockets do these bad boys have? Goodness, it’s a dream come true! I found this one on Poshmark for $12. Score. (I’m addicted to Poshmark.) I went into a few stores and just looked at some bags then searched for the one I liked until I found a reasonably priced diaper bag.

Now to get all of this into this bag!

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And I did!

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Ready for travel, no one is the wiser. Plus my therapy belt and some toiletries fit with ease! There is no problem anymore. I never have to explain my bag full of medications… I’m just carrying a messenger bag, that happens to be a diaper bag, that also doubles as a medication bag!

I feel like a lady spy!

 

img_0992~Kim (007)

 

Death Must Be Faced

I planned on doing Fibromyalgia Awareness posts all this month, every Wednesday. It was a sound plan. Then my parent’s neighbor died, she was very ill. This was expected but when it happened it was still sad. About two days later… my uncle died. He, too, was very ill. In fact, he was in hospice care, his kidneys were shutting down and he opted not to receive treatment. He passed very quickly after that.

I had been planning to take a week and spend it at our family lake home. It was all planned. My health had been questionable for some time and I was hoping a change of pace would help me over the last hurdle. However, two funerals in one week were not planned.

How was I going to get through these funerals?

Would I get through these funerals?

How was I going to be of any use to my parents, who are elderly, during this week?

Would I be able to follow through or fail again on my plans?

When you have fibromyalgia you don’t get better. You never get better. Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome. We say illness or disease but it really is neither. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome because it has many contributing coexisting conditions. These coexisting conditions tend to be progressive, worsening over time. But fibromyalgia itself is not a progressive ‘illness.’ (I am not the ‘syndrome’ word police!) This progression of symptoms is very confusing to those of us with fibromyalgia. For the rest of you, it must seem like a damn soap opera!

[Scene: Betty and Jan are talking about their friend Laurie; camera pans to Betty.]

Betty: Then Laurie said she had Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But now she calls the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome some weird word; mya-lgic- encepha-something?

Jan: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Betty: Which is it!?!? And what does THAT word even mean? I swear she made that up! AND Laurie says she has depression, migraines, restless legs syndrome, and [whispering] bathroom problems … how can one person have that much wrong with them?

Jan: I know! Like, go get it fixed already! 

Betty: At least pick one thing. Jeeze!

[Betty and Jan roll their eyes and sigh, end scene.]

The truth is, WE DO have that much wrong with us and many times much more! Take a peek at this sweet little list of possible coexisting conditions!

So, how did I handle my week at our family lake home? I attended everything that was planned. I rested when I could for as long as I could. I wore my therapy belt and snacked on protein-rich foods. I did my fibro exercises. Basically, I went ‘old school.’ I treated my body just as I had right after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was very aware of every ounce of energy I spent and was meticulous with my medication. I called my husband frequently. I continued to check in with my tribe for support and received it with a grateful heart. I made sure I was mindful every day of the beauty around me …

 

I made it!

Live your best life!

img_0749-1~Kim

After I Tripped I Got The Hell Back Up! (Friday Series Finale)

Many of you have read both of my Friday series. Previously; Before I Tripped Over a Stone and currently After I Tripped. Today we are going to conclude the series.


I was told to report to my local social security office to apply for disability. I begrudgingly agreed, for no other reason than to say to them I didn’t want their money! During that time, I remembered being a teenager and having reconstructive arm surgery. I was almost 16 and ready to take on the world! The doctor who was overseeing my case said he would go get the disability paperwork we could fill out because I now qualified.  I shook my head “no,” and my mom said, “But she plays the piano!” (Like that had anything to do with it!?!?) But due to the birth trauma I suffered, I did indeed qualify. I didn’t take the disability then, and wasn’t going to now! I’d get better, one way or another. No mysterious illness called fibro-what-ever would stop this gal!

I walked into the social security office, was greeted, and lead to a seat at a desk with a woman who appeared to be really organized. She advised me that they had received all necessary paperwork from my lawyer so we would only need to sign some release forms. (Efficient, this one.) I asked her if I could decline the disability pay even if they approved my claim? She looked at me surprised and said, “Oh… no honey, you’ve already been approved, are you back to work?” My jaw must have hit the floor! I explained I wasn’t currently working but would be one day very soon. She smiled and said when I returned to work, call the office, and they’d discontinue payments.

Wait… was that it? What the…? What was going on here??? I thought I had to go to assessments, special doctors, maybe even court to qualify for this ‘disability’ pay. Nope. Already approved … not for Fibromyalgia Syndrome but for clinical depression and chronic pain.

So I moved out of the little farmhouse and into a metropolitan area with my younger sister and her family. I enrolled in a community college to become a chemical dependency counselor, It would only take me a year as I already had my bachelor’s degree. I would do daycare for my sister on days I didn’t have class. Long story short, I moved closer to the college, they moved to a new city. Within 7 months after starting my coursework, my fibromyalgia became so unmanageable I had to leave the program. For the first time in my life, I became idle. I had no plan, I did nothing… but sob.

One evening, about three months after I quit my college coursework, I received a call from my mom. My brother, who was in the Army, was being shipped stateside. He had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. My mom wanted to know if I could go to him? I booked a flight that night and the next morning flew to Texas to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. You can read about it here.

After losing my brother, I started dating my high school crush. A man that was my friend. A man I had known my entire life, my current (and only!) husband, Jeff. You have read bits and pieces of our relationship throughout this blog. We continue to laugh a lot, discuss many things, love each other and offer support to one another. We also have a date night at Menards or Home Depot at least bi-monthly! (Keeps the marriage off the rocks!)

Then in 2012, I got very, very ill. This was not because of my fibromyalgia, this was a completely different issue. I was hospitalized many times and went through surgery after surgery. It was my pancreas. It was inflamed and was shutting down. You cannot live without a properly functioning pancreas. My type of pancreatitis was idiopathic (unknown) but thought to be from a likely bile dysfunction. There are so many who believe only alcoholics have pancreas or liver issues, but that is just not true. Never assume. You can read a bit about it here.

Now that I’ve been given the green light to keep on living, we are working towards a nomadic life. We’ve decided to downsize and travel before we retire! Jeff has completed his studies and is a day trader. I finished my book, and the royalties are rolling in! Not really, have you bought my book? It’s a journal with interactive questions!!! Enticing, isn’t it? You can get it here.

Shortly after starting to write this blog, I started writing my book. Never had I experienced a community like this ever in my life! So supportive. I am thankful for each and every one of you. I am so honored to be a part of this blogging tribe of imperfectly perfect people! I never understood how internet friendships formed, until now! Amazing. Grateful.

Now, this series has come to an end. 

Thank you all for sharing my journey thus far, and remember to always live your best life!

img_0749-1~Kim