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

1963

In 1963, Martin Luther King delivered the following speech…

I hope you take the time to really read this iconic peace of literature in its entirety.

We remember you, Martin Luther King Jr.

~Kim

A Shame Filled Entitlement

Social Security is a Federal program we pay for every day of our working lives. I started working when I was 15 and paying into Social Security. I looked at those steep payments being taken from my check every week as a savings plans for retirement. I also knew in case of injury, I was paying into Social Security so it would be available for me if the need ever should arise. Just like having insurance on your home, car, and your very own life, this was a safety net. In the end, I needed it, and I am on disability.

Is social security an ‘entitlement’? Hell no! I paid into the program!

Why am I still so embarrassed to tell people I am on disability? Are you on disability? Are you comfortable with that? Tell me if you are because that is one thing I can’t shake, the shame I feel for taking checks from the government for a monthly payment. The disability checks are not near enough to live on, let alone pay for the needed medical attention due to the injuries that put me on this very program! People making minimum wage make twice what I do in a month and that was before the $15.00 per hour minimum wage went into effect. I used to work at McDonald’s, I’d have no qualms about going back to work there now and claim my $15.00 an hour … but I am not physically able. I am disabled!

It sucks being on disability. Calling it an entitlement only worsens the stigma. I am already filled with shame. I blog, I admin a facebook support page because it makes me feel that I am somehow earning that check; that disability payment. Does that even make sense? To me it does. I was ‘medically released’ from a job I loved. I enjoy helping people and answering their questions so blogging and admining a support group makes sense to me. Giving back and earning that government check …

I finally have an answer to the dreaded question, “What do you do for a living?”

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I am an advocate for fibromyalgia awareness, I published a book, I am a blogger, and I admin a support group. That is my identity. My reality is that I fight the fibromyalgia pain demons every day, take my medication as prescribed, and research every aspect of my health for answers. I fight the chronic fatigue and try to keep a clean house and a satisfied husband. I fight the sleepless nights and exhaustion every day to check in with my group and write a blog. I don’t always win, but I fight.

And, I forgot to mention, I receive a check from the Federal government from a program that I paid in to… there should be no shame in that.

IMG_0250~Kim

Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Deal!

I am battling through ‘something’… a new stage of fibromyalgia? Is this a 50 + club I have inadvertently joined? I have 2 decades of experience with this disease. Does anyone have a third decade under their belt? Did you notice any changes in your third decade? Anything that should be added to the Stages of Fibromyalgia?

So far this is what I am noticing, anyone else please chime in!

  • Just fatigue? Hell no, this fatigue has laid me out for two straight days, close to 48 hours of sleep! An infrequent hour awake here or there.
  • Increased pain. Yep. Maybe because I am not moving around as much? Mr. Pain had definitely laid claim to any waking hours I can grasp.
  • This disease is throwing me a curveball! I never swing at a curve… I may have to adjust my thinking.

This is the cruel part of fibromyalgia. If you are cognizant of the changes your body is going through it is scary, and worrisome. Is this a new symptom that will remain permanent? Am I losing my awake time? My productive time? I am losing days, not hours. Is this a stage I must go through? God help me, I am afraid.

If you are in a full-fledged fibro fog, it is not so scary. (I swear I’ve never wished for fog until this week.) It is scary for those who are observing us. Our poor caretakers. We are mimicking the first stage of fibro, all we do is sleep. For those of us who are in a fog while we flare, we kinda get off easy, we don’t remember much. We simply can’t remember.

I have started a Hemp Salve for pain. I am not going to write too much about it IMG_5021because I need a bit more time with it. So far, works on back pain, arm pain and settles restless legs ‘a bit.’ Definitely more pros than cons. Monday I will call to get my Medical Marijuana Card. I have been eligible for some time but just haven’t wanted to take that step. It Is Time.

 

 

 

Change is scary.

IMG_0390~Kim

Monday, Memorial Day.

For all of you who have a folded flag in your home on this Memorial Day.

Blessings to you.

We will Remember.


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Rest in Peace, SPC Kory Jon Severson, 1965-2003.

IMG_0299~Your sister, Kim

School Shootings, “I” am Responsible.

It is Time to Replace “They” with “I.”

I grew up with guns in the home. My father was the city Mayor. Therefore Chief of Police for our small town. That job came with a gun and a badge. We were told never to touch the gun, and we did not. The adults in my family hunted. We had two shotguns sitting in the corner of our living room. We were told never to touch the shotguns, we didn’t. At our cabin, we kept a high-powered BB gun. There was a big pack of stray dogs that would try to eat our little, family dog. My mom taught us how to use the BB gun. It was not a toy.

I was taught to respect the gun and the life it can take.

These school shootings must be stopped! Instead of waiting for the government to ‘do something’ we MUST take action and start at our individual, county level. Get our police chiefs involved, secure our schools, and get safety protocols put in place. The elected school board members should be researching and implementing safety protocols. Attend these meetings, they are open to the public! Step one in protecting our children is to secure our schools.

What does that look like? What does that sound like? What safety models can we borrow from airports, concert venues, and stadium sporting events? What do our kids say? Kids fly on planes, go to concerts, go to sporting events. Do they feel safe at these venues? Many of us wanted separation of church and state, many of us want to keep government out of our schools …. let’s start now!

What is stopping you from attending school board meetings? Do you know what safety protocols are already in place to protect our children? Do you know what protocols the board wants to implement? I, for one, am no longer holding my breath for the government to save our children, that is over with. We just can not wait any longer. What can WE do NOW? What can “I” do NOW? Go make a difference! Stop marching and pointing fingers, and start attending and doing! For the safety of our children, start with this; “I” am responsible.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.48.43 PM~Kim

 

Facebook Folly

I did it. I commented on a politically charged question on a friend’s Facebook page. Basically, this is a new friend, but I have known his girlfriend for a long time. I do not know this new friend’s friends.

The short story is I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage, should it be raised, should it stay the same? Is it a LIVING wage? Try living on disability! Those who are working minimum wage jobs have the freedom to look for different positions. Those who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) do not have that luxury.

We can’t look for a new service to pay our SSDI. We cannot even supplement our income without worry! If by some divine act we manage to make an extra $600. as added income in one month, we will be penalized! We may even be taken off SSDI.

Back to the Facebook folly, I opened the door by commenting. I engaged in a politically charged comment section and was taken down by person after person. I expected my stance would lead to some negative comments coming back at me. I got way more than I ever thought. I was accused of having no empathy. I was told my comment was bullshit. Told my food should be poisoned. Then an individual went to my Facebook page and took screenshots of memes I had posted from the Tiny Buddha site, posted them, and claimed he was surprised to see these on my timeline. That’s only the highlights, I won’t even get into the rest of the comments.

I was going to stand my ground. Afterall, we hadn’t even got to the point of my comment which was SSDI. So I figured do your worst. Call me names and threaten to poison my food. But let’s address SSDI as well as the minimum wage! All these people were claiming that they “loved” the “human race” and this was unfair to not raise the minimum wage… not one word about SSDI. I shot comments back at their accusations, but not one person commented on the SSDI.

When the screenshots of my personal timeline showed up in the comment section, I realized this was going too far. It feels like a violation when a stranger looks at your Facebook page and takes screenshots of it.  Then this stranger cherry picks posts to share without my permission? No way. So I deleted my comments. I bowed out. I was fighting a losing battle.

I went into the Facebook setting to heighten my security. The screenshot incident really freaked me out. I found out that the options for “who can see your posts” has changed. Now you have three choices; just me, friends or public. If you select friends, any friend of the person you friend will also have access to your Facebook page.

There will be no more Facebook follies in my future. I made the initial comment. I took my hits. But screenshots of my page? That is where ‘all is fair’ ended for me.

IMG_0172~Kim

Rumored Role Reversals

Male and female role reversals? Yep! Nope! Well, maybe. It just depends…

The gender-neutral alibi comes into play here. We are not defined by our gender! Let’s reminisce …  The man is the breadwinner, and the woman is the homemaker, and we are in the early 1950’s. Face it, ladies, feminism happened. The one income family home ceased to exist. But what ‘rights’ we acquired (courtesy of feminism) in the big, dangerous Working World of Man was we had a paying job to go to. But the workload of the woman never changed in the home.

Don’t get me wrong, feminism has its upside. Women can vote, go to college, demand equal rights, and with great enthusiasm Mic Online reports as of 2017 women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man! (I don’t see a reason to celebrate that but, I guess that’s an outstanding statistic to mention?) Women can make their abusers, even if they are married to them, and rapists face criminal charges. (That is a bonus, I am serious.) Women can own land – oops that already happened in New Orleans during the antebellum period before the Civil War.

Let’s get on to the present, the woman now gets to go to work outside the home! Then she comes home and cleans the house, make meals, does the laundry and raises the children. Yes, we are players in the Working World of Man but was it worth it? Was it? I think, maybe yes, to some of it. I’ll leave the rest up to you to decide.

Rumored role reversals are running rampant in the world of chronic illness. And they are true. Gender roles are not only questioned, they downright do not exist! If you are going to maintain a relationship those generic female/male roles we used to live by are out!

I can no longer hold down a salaried job, grocery shop, cook, keep a clean house and get the laundry done. I am not physically able. My husband can do all of those things! He has in the past, he did two weeks ago when I had a flare, and he will do it again in the future because this little thing I have is a chronic pain disease!

My husband is a man’s man. He likes to work on cars and listen to loud music and watch westerns! He is also extremely intelligent. He watches business shows about stock trades and the FOREX market. He day trades and is a driver but has been taking courses to make him an even better trader. He also is setting up a planner for 2018 that will include his hours, what housework he will complete each day and a list of any additional tasks I need him to do…

I feel GUILTY! He says there is no room for guilt in our relationship, no one did anything wrong. I’m allowed to clean a room a day if I feel up to it. I am not allowed to do the laundry. I have a balance problem and falling down basement stairs with a basket of clothes in your hands is, I’ve been told, incredibly freaky to witness. I may cook one meal but no more power cooking like I used to do, and we should make meals together – he says! I order the groceries, pay the bills, and do our taxes. My husband has no desire to do those three things and has made that clear. I can handle this!

So, my husband will work two jobs (because one job is never enough to support two people) and take care of the majority of the household chores. I shall continue to try to be well enough to help him. I will order the groceries, and it should be noted that includes take-out! I will keep the books and do the taxes. Gender roles? Not in this house!

IMG_0221~Kim

 

Six Lousy Days

One of the new changes in my life, well our lives, (the hubs and me) has been getting medical insurance. So we each got individual insurance. I started searching back in October. It was a horrible, expensive and lengthy process. I don’t want to go into the politics of all of it, but Obama Care is not my friend. I lost my independent insurance coverage because of Obama Care and my husband’s insurance through his work tripled! It was a nightmare when it began, and it is still a nightmare now. Jeff has since become self-employed. Obama Care for the self-employed is a joke! Don’t believe me? Make a few calls for individual health insurance coverage then we’ll talk.

Thankfully, due to my chronic illness, I am eligible for Medicare. The paperwork was a lengthy process. Extremely time-consuming and not very user-friendly. It’s not the best coverage, but it is affordable. But. The quotes for my husband started at $580. a month and climbed rapidly from there. This makes no sense! He is healthy! Well, I found a supplemental medical insurance plan for him called life insurance!

I had to make an earnest judgment call. Get myself or my husband covered right away. I chose him, he is out every single day driving Uber, that’s how he makes a living for us. One car accident and we are done without health insurance! Car accidents happen every day, so I was absolutely getting him covered first. After days of searching and calling for medical plan estimates that bordered on absurd I found a life insurance policy that carried supplemental health insurance. Yes! I put life insurance on him. Don’t get me wrong, it is a small policy but it came with health insurance! According to the Obama Care Act, it isn’t the correct ‘kind’ of coverage so we will be fined. BUT if something happens it will pay his medical bills so I don’t really care what the government has to say, we are covered! Fine me!

Now the problem… I received Medicare coverage January first, 2018. My medication began running out January first, and I will be completely out tomorrow, January fifth. The issue with Medicare is the ‘red tape.’ I was contacted by my Medicare plan manager on Tuesday, January third. I was told my medication would be mailed to me in seven to ten days.

Seven to ten days? That won’t work!!! I need my medication refills now! (Too bad.)

It is day three of the seven to ten-day run. Day three. Already without two of my medications, the rest will be gone tomorrow. Tomorrow! Withdrawal, body aches, shooting pain, it’s all coming at me like a freight train. I am a bit frightened, but I know I can get through this. I know I can make it a few more days… I know it! I have, the worst case scenario, six days to go.

I have put together a plan! Every trick in my book will be tested and used! Twenty years of trial and error will be brought to fruition tomorrow. All over the counter medications that could possibly work have been purchased and my fibromyalgia toolbox is out and ready. I am prepared for the days of agony that will come. As long as I keep my wits about me, I can make it six more days. Six lousy days! 

I asked for expedited shipping, here’s to hoping for the best outcome!

cropped-screen-shot-2018-02-25-at-12-48-43-pm~Kim

 

Get Gaga Ready, Put on Your Poker Face.

Yes, the media released Lady Gaga’s announcement that she has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The millionaire pop culture performer has fibromyalgia. If Lady Gaga can be up on that stage, dancing and singing, so can we! Right? Well, get ready to be compared to fibromyalgia’s new face because that is who you are now up against.

What did Magic Johnson do for the HIV population? He ‘normalized’ this horrific, life-ending disease.  He made it seem possible to lead a full life while continuing his professional persona as a guy who was ‘dealing’ and living life with HIV. We dropped our fear of this deadly epidemic because an L.A. Lakers basketball player seemed to be handling his diagnosis with ease. The number of people contracting this virus skyrocketed. As did the number of death related AID’s cases.

These are public figures putting a face to the name of diseases we have been too ashamed at times to admit we have. So, on the one hand, the stigma will lift, on the other hand, we will be compared to these well-known public figures.

Why can’t I deal with my fibromyalgia, like Lady Gaga???

First of all, I am not a millionaire. I’m border-line poor. The medical expenses that come with caring for the symptoms of this disease are insurmountable at times.  I can’t afford to have fibromyalgia. Lady Gaga can afford it.

Second, I do not have ‘staff’ to help me deal with my fibromyalgia. I do not have a manager, an assistant, a personal chef, a maid, a physical therapist, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, a private nurse, and a doctor, all at my beck and call. I can’t afford a team of people to care for me. Lady Gaga can.

Get ready, Fibro Warriors, we thought we were misunderstood before!?!? We now will be compared to a woman, who has no financial issues, paving the road for us … while we search for a detour!

 

In conclusion, I want to apologize to all of those people whose lives have been touched by the HIV/AIDs epidemic. I, too, believed it was possible to live like “Magic” with this deadly disease. I was so wrong. I am so very sorry.

img_1215~Kim