Saturday, December 20, 2008

*Christmas Blessings*

Dear Friends,

I want to wish all of my readers a very blessed and warm Christmas this year. My prayers for you include the sense of God's love showering down all around you as you prepare to celebrate, on the day of Christmas with your family and/or friends, and during the evenings when the hustle and bustle of the season settles down and you are left alone with your personal thoughts and reflections.

"There is no greater love than that a man lay down his life for his friends." Christ said these words and backed them up by willingly surrendering His life in order to bridge the gap between us and God. Through Him each person has the opportunity to come to God and receive the free gift of eternal life, never to be separated from Him again. This Christmas may the truth of Jesus's birth find its way solidly into your heart.

Because of the intercession of God on our behalf, He chose to come to us in bodily form and live among us while willingly giving up His Deity rights and choosing to live life with all of the limitations, trials, temptations, and sorrows of a human. He demonstrated a full life surrendered to the will of God's perfect righteousness and laws in order to show us a picture of true Holiness. He completely forgave each one of us our sins past, present, and future, freely and without reservation only requiring that we acknowledge Him as the One true God and choosing to surrender our free will in order to live a life by His standards.

Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf if only we turn to Him and seek repentance. He understands all of our faults and sinful nature, He gives us a way out of each temptation, He gives us abundant life. Because of His birth we never have to be alone again, nor suffer the torture of eternal hell if we accept His free gift. He NEVER intended humans to be sent to hell. He created hell for Satan and his demons, however because of His perfect holiness He cannot tolerate sin and must allow humans to determine their own destination. If we walk away from Him, turn our backs and refuse to acknowledge Him, choose to live life on our own terms and under our own control never abiding by His standards nor choosing to acknowledge and live for Him as The One true God.... we must suffer the fate of our own destination by our own choosing.

No matter how "good" a person may be, not one of us is good or perfected enough to gain heaven. No, we must enter into God's presence by Christ and Christ alone. He alone can pardon and save us from that terrible fate. Only when we join with Him, can God view us through Christ's righteousness and perfection and allow us into His presence. This is why He came that 1st Christmas night, that is why His birth is the most significant birth in all of history, that is why every year the full meaning of Christmas must permeate our hearts and minds over all else. No sparkle or gift is as bright or lasting as the gift God gave us that night long ago....the gift of Himself.

May God bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you, and may His love shower down all around you this Christmas.

If you haven't accepted Christ's gift of salvation, would you take time to consider Him and what He wants to give you? Would you take the time to consider His everlasting love for you and decide once and for all that you will accept His gift to you this Christmas? His gift can not be corrupted, wasted, broken, or ended. No, His gift is an eternal gift which goes on for infinity and this gift can be yours forever if only you will reach out to Him and accept it.

With my most heartfelt love & friendship,
Sherri

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Depression and Fibromyalgia

Hello Everyone,

I want to talk to you today about dealing with depression while living with Fibromyalgia. As I meet others living with Fibromyalgia, it has become clear that depression is a very real, very important topic that we need to talk about.

It seems to be a universal situation: We deal with our symptoms as privately as we can, not wanting to impose on those around us or seem "weak". We silently deal with our fears, our doubts, our limitations, and our overwhelming questions about our future. In many cases, this can lead to mild or even severe depression.

One of the biggest obstacles that faces those of us living with Fibromyalgia is the fact that no one can see our illness. It's not readily identifiable to those around us. Therefore unfortunately, the problem becomes having to justify our pain, our fatigue, and our limitations. It weighs us down and causes us to feel isolated and defenseless in many cases. Having to constantly "prove" that there really IS something tangibly wrong going on in our bodies not only adds to the burdens we are already carrying, but many times adds unnecessary triggers that make the pain and fatigue worse! If we're not careful, and we don't make sure to have a good support system around us, we can get trapped into feelings of despair and hopelessness. Over a period of time, this can lead to depression.

It's VERY important to keep communication open. If your loved ones are not your best supporters, I want to encourage you to find a group or an online forum of others living with Fibromyalgia that you can talk to and bounce ideas and information off of. If you are experiencing difficulty talking with your doctor or their staff about your symptoms, emotional needs, or medications, don't settle! If there is ANY way at all to find help elsewhere I encourage you to keep looking for a medical team who specializes in Fibromyalgia or at least is willing to LISTEN to you and get you the help you need. Don't under any circumstances settle for "it's all in your head". Although some of the symptoms of Fibro can worsen because of emotional triggers and reactions, it is NOT true that Fibromyalgia is all made up in your mind. That's a myth. You deserve a proper diagnosis and proper treatment to help you regain your quality of life.

There are some fantastic links to groups and resources here on my blog. Look over in the right hand column for information.

If you believe that you are experiencing depression and it seems to be lingering or getting worse, please get help right away. You can choose to consult a counselor, a doctor, or a holistic physician to help you for instance. Don't just do nothing though. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of!

When I faced depression recently, my doctor was wonderful and listened very carefully to what I was saying. My personal choices were extremely important to me and I was nervous that he wouldn't take them seriously. However I should have known better. He and his Physician Assistant have been marvelous since the first visit I had with them after 2 years of searching for a doctor who could help me. (I have a link for my doctor down on the right hand side of my blog as well. See "John Tesser") At any rate, for me it was important that I didn't have a long term medication prescribed that I was going to have problems with. I don't like taking medication to begin with, so I didn't want to add any more to what I'm taking already. My doctor listened carefully and recommended 10mg of Nortriptyline at night. This medication is not one that has to be taken every day, nor do I have to wean off of it. It can be taken on and off as I need it. I was so happy! Not only that but it also helps with pain too. I have virtually no side effects when I take it at night and I sleep much better.

Now you may not need medication, this was a personal choice after my doctor and I talked it over. Perhaps you may just need a short term counselor, or any number of other things that can help you. The point is to take care of yourself and find help in any way that you can. Depression is not a situation to take lightly!

Here's to your success!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

*Why I Support C28 - NOTW* This Co. Rocks!!

Dear C28 Friends,
Last month we were informed by the Make-A-Wish Foundation that Carissa Fluke's last wish was to shop at C28. Since Carissa was too sick to get out of bed, we prayed and brought C28 to her hospital room! Carissa had not walked or smiled for weeks, yet as she saw the room full of free NOTW clothing, her smile was from ear to ear as she walked toward us! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS.

Traci Scarce (C28 events coordinator), Kevin Moore (NOTW designer) and I had the privilege to minister to Carissa, her family and the hospital staff by going through countless scriptures on our NOTW clothing and thanking the Lord in prayer for her improvements. Please pray for her mother who is supporting 4 of her 6 kids. Carissa's dad died in a car accident 2 years ago and it has been difficult for the single mom to support the family emotionally and financially.

CURRENT UPDATE (9/22/08):We are so excited to let you know that Carissa MADE IT TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL! By the grace of God, she has survived to complete her first round of chemo and is receiving her mother’s white blood cells as we speak. The next process is the bone marrow transplant. Our God is so big. While sometimes we don’t understand what the plan is, the plan sometimes is just to watch Him work to increase our faith. We trust that you will continue to pray for precious Carissa, as one day she will be a LIVING testimony to what God can do!

Please access the link below to watch her progress, read her mother Lisa's journal entries and view photos. You can even sign up to get an email every time her journal is updated. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/carissafluke

You can also send cards and donations to the address below and these will go directly to her.

Lisa Hardinge/Carissa Fluke
1811 Poplar Avenue Room 201
Memphis, TN. 38104

In His Grace, Aurelio F. Baretto III
C28/NOTW CEO and Founder

Carissa Loves Her New NOTW shirts


Carissa, Traci, Kevin, Russ, Aurelio


We Prayed And Read God's Word










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LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE FINDS A NEED AND FULFILLS IT!
Whew! Awesome! : )

** For More Information on C28/NOTW Click --> Here

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Write It Down!

I'm excited and happy to report 9 days without any flu-like symptoms and very little pain! I had 1 day in between that was painful and fatigued but bounced back significantly the day after.

I want to encourage you to keep a log of your daily symptoms and feelings so that you can have a record you can show to both your doctor and as a back up for applying for disability. If you are applying for benefits they will require about a year's worth of written testimony as to how Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia has limited and/or affected you. It can be a major benefit in your case file and help your doctor(s) add information to your file for documentation.

It's important to be you own advocate. Don't be hesitant to write down anything that applies to how you're feeling and affected in your daily living tasks. Everything matters.

Another good idea is to have friends, family, and co-workers write statements as to their observations of your symptoms and how they affect you. Added testimony is a plus when applying for benefits. If you want to create your own questionnaire in order to make it easier for them to fill out this is a great idea as well. It may help friends, family, and co-workers be more willing to help you out with a written testimony.

Here's To Your Success!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Can I Do? - Find a Need & Fulfill It


Hello Everyone,

It's Day#2 and I have very little pain but more joyously, I have NO fatigue and flu-like symptoms in my body today! I am rejoicing and I am so grateful and excited for what lies ahead.

Listen, I'm not anyone special in the world's eyes, but in my prayers this week I made a pledge to Christ my Lord that if He would take my pain away, I would get active and serve Him by helping others immediately.

I've had our neighborhood on my mind and heart so heavily lately. I'm watching house after house go down in foreclosures, families hurting, people under pressure and I desperately want to do SOMETHING to reach out and help. What can I do????

Well because I feel great today physically, I made step 1 in keeping my word to The Lord. I made a flyer for our community mailbox and I simply asked "Would You Like Prayer for Anything?" and I gave my prayer request email address at proverbs24.16@gmail.com for people to contact me at. I gave my word that I would not bombard anyone with religious pressure and that any prayer requests I received would be kept confidential. I even said they could remain anonymous if they would like. I said I simply wanted to reach out and do something small but powerful and meaningful to show support for our community and the families in our community.

Step 2 - I had an idea to help out each other in our neighborhood with needs people may have. Because of the extreme economic pressure many of us are facing, I want to do SOMETHING to help bring our community together to help one another instead of each person and family remaining in isolation and dealing with things alone. So I wrote our community manager to ask if I needed permission from our HOA to administer my idea.

The idea is to have a "Trade Day" in our neighborhood. We would gather our things (clothing, toys, electronics, non-perishable foods...) most likely things we would probably sell at a yard sale that we no longer need or use. Then we would make trades with the things we no longer need and use for things we do need. No money will change hands it would simply be fair and even trades. I am so excited to see if this can be done! If the HOA says it's okay then I'll hand out flyers to announce it and ask for any volunteers who want to help set it up and monitor the event. There is a little green belt field by our community mailbox where we can gather and set up tables, boxes, and so forth. I can see how during Trade Day neighbors can have the opportunity to meet one another and begin talking. I can see people beginning to feel that they are not alone and how we can work together to meet each other's needs. I pray that this event can be done and done successfully.

So what can YOU do? I want to encourage you to look around you. Look at your neighborhood, your job site, your co-workers,...anything! Do you plainly see needs that can be fulfilled in some way? Why not step out and take your ideas to the table. See what others think and if you can get people to help you do your task. Do you know someone who is a shut in, or needs help because they are ill? Take them a care box... reach out and let them know they are not alone.

Listen, this nation is a powerful force when we band together to help each other. During 9/11 and afterward we saw the enormous power of people reaching out to touch one another's lives and come together to meet needs. We are being torn apart by politics, race wars, gas prices, job losses, home losses, and health concerns and that's just the tip of the iceburg. We have the ability to do something to help each other if we will become courageous and brave and break out of isolation. It starts with just one person willing to step out and ask "What can I do to help you today?".

There is a law that is true and it states: "what goes around, comes around" or "you reap what you sow". I've seen this law come to pass many times in my own life. I've seen it work. I'm encouraging you to test it for yourself. You may not see immediate results in some cases, or you may see results right away depending on how things work out, but I promise you if you sow kindness, you will see kindness, if you sow help, you'll get help.

I am living proof. I can't tell you the number of times we've had people just drop off food boxes at our home during the summer when we have all six of our children living with us. Because of our financial situation due to my physical limitations, money is very tight during the summer when all 8 of us are living together. We don't ask and we don't say a word, we just pray and say "Lord, You know our needs and we trust You." Then we get busy seeing what we can do to help someone else or give to someone else. No matter how small....it ALL counts. Even if you just offer water to a salesman or woman at your door....it ALL counts.

Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Imagine what you might need if you were them. Focus on someone else for just a while and see how much joy and satisfaction you get from fulfilling the need of someone else. It feels great!!! If you have clothes you don't need, find someone who needs them. If you have shoes you don't need, find someone who needs them. If you have jewelry you no longer use, find a young person starting out in their career who would look great in them for their new position. If you have tools you no longer need or use, find a young man who can use them, if you have books you no longer read, take them to a nursing home. Give anonymously and have fun with it! Find ways to bless others and blessings will come back to you as well! Get creative and you'll soon begin to discover a flow of ideas and creative ways to bless others.

Here's to Your Success!

*IT'S A NEW DAY! PART 2*

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday was a pivotal day for me on this new journey ahead. As I have said, this is not mumbo jumbo name it and claim it for me but rather a journey of faith. Not hoping some thing's going to change, but knowing some thing's going to change even before I see the results.

Yesterday morning I had virtually no pain and no fatigue in my body for the first time in years! I felt so relieved and so peaceful that I just laid there and basked in the wonderful release! I didn't care how long it lasted, I just wanted to soak up every moment of feeling free. I called my mother first thing in the morning and we had a little phone celebration together! My husband and I had some sweet prayer time and we thanked The Lord for how great I felt.

As it turned out, I was free of pain and fatigue all day long and into the late night hours before any twinges started to affect me. I was so excited!

This morning, I have some pain in my legs and lower back and in my neck, but I have less than I've had in a very, very long time, and more joyfully, no flu-like body aches and fatigue. I am rejoicing in the whole process. I am absolutely convinced that one day I will see the results in my body that I already know deep down within my soul. This illness is even now being destroyed at the roots and my job is to keep going and keep focusing on health and wellness as one of my readers EV so wisely stated in the comments section of my last post. Absolutely! EV was right. Keep working on wellness, not just "saying" but "doing". Right on!

In the mean time, I just want to send out encouragement and a cyber (((hug))) to you out there. If you are feeling hopeless, frustrated, afraid, angry, or any of the other myriad of emotions that we who live with chronic pain and fatigue feel, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you MATTER and you are important. I come to this blog daily with the mindset that my goal is to reach out and tell you just that. Don't give up and don't stop fighting for your quality of life!


Here's to Your Success!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

*IT'S A NEW DAY!!*

Hello Everyone,

I woke up the past 2 days in excruciating pain and fatigue. I've spent the last 2 days balling my eyes out and losing the hope I try so hard to promote here on the blog. My body has started a downward spiral that is resisting even the medicines my doctors have prescribed for me. This morning I wasn't able to go to church with my family because I literally could not move more than a few moments at a time to even get myself dressed.

As I've been sitting here watching several pastors and ministers on TV (Thank God we still have Christian television!) there has been the same message over and over this morning. Refusing to be stuck in circumstances.... refusing to lose faith in the power and authority of Jesus's Name.

So, I made a decision today. I'm DONE with Fibromyalgia and Allodynia! I'm done with the pain and the fatigue and the prescription medicines and the things I'm losing out on in life. I'M DONE WITH IT!

I stood up and started speaking out loud, "Fibromyalgia and Allodynia I curse you! Get out of my body! Die, die, die!!!! by the power and authority of Jesus's Name!" I stand on Mark 11:23 & 24 (23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.") and Mark 5: 34 (34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.") I stand on Daniel 5:23 at the end where it says ("...the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.")

I changed the name of the blog to Prospering Over Fibromyalgia and I changed the logo picture and my prayer to reflect the fact that I'm not going to live "with" fibro anymore, I'm going to speak out every day against these syndromes and fight AGAINST them in my body. I'm going to go against everything humans think is "rational" and I'm going to believe and grab hold of the power and authority that The Lord gave His followers in His name. No this isn't "mumbo jumbo" or "name it and claim it" for me. I'm simply setting my jaw and refusing to live with these syndromes any more. I'm sick of them and their control over me and I want my body back. I'm stepping out on faith and faith alone and I'm going to turn to my Creator to bring me back to life by His power.

This is a brand new day and a new turn for this blog. There is no other help out there that makes sense because I've tried all there is to try, I've cried out until I can't cry out any more, I've fought red tape and faced road block upon road block in trying to find a cure and a way out of this pain and fatigue. I don't want it anymore! I don't want it for me and I don't want it for you. No, I'm going to take a stand and turn to the only Source of help that makes sense. The One Who created me in the first place and breathed the breath of life into my body to begin with. I'm going to rely on Him and I'm going to rejoice in the whole process!

Are any of you believers out there feeling the same drive to be done with this thing???? Let's lock arms together and pray like we've never prayed before! Let's lift one another up and let's speak out against these cursed syndromes. Just right where you are say "Fibromyalgia, (insert illness) GET OUT OF ME in Jesus's Name! Go and never return! Die and loose your hold on my body! Body you must bow to the authority of Jesus and you must obey Him. Regenerate now, all my cells and atoms from top to bottom, COME BACK TO LIFE! Lord Jesus I believe in Your power and authority over me and I stand on Your Word in Mark 11: 23 &24, Mark 5: 34, Daniel 5: 23, and Acts 17:28. I want to fight for my wholeness Lord so that my life can have meaning and usefulness and hope again. That's what You fought for and died to give me and I won't accept anything less for my life unless and ONLY unless You ask me to accept illness because You have a reason for it and You're going to use it to help others. That is the ONLY way I will accept illness Lord, if it's for You. If I don't have a Word from You that You are working through my illness Lord then I have to believe that it is a curse You do not want for me and I'm standing up against it. Thank You Lord for Your mercy, Your love, Your compassion, Your hope for me, Your purpose for me, and mostly Lord for saving my soul from damnation. I will walk with You my whole life and follow You Lord, no matter what. Please show me today what direction You want me to follow. Amen."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain in The Workplace"

Hello Everyone,

While searching for information for you today I came across this website (http://www.sbtv.com/) that features some fantastic videos and information regarding working with Fibromyalgia.

A key supporter for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain management in the business arena is Rebecca Rengo.

"Rebecca's mission is to educate the public and medical professionals on chronic pain and pain management issues." (Retreived from http://www.beyondchronicpain.com/content/about_rebecca/ on September 17th, 2008)

Check out these links:

http://www.sbtv.com/Partners/Fibro/

http://www.beyondchronicpain.com/content/about_rebecca/

Here's to Your Success!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fibro Pal or Loved One Caught in Hurricane(s)?

Hello Everyone,

I thought I would write out some ideas for helping those who are living with Fibro and/or Allodynia if they've been effected by the recent hurricanes that have hit in the past few weeks.

Stress can greatly increase the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Allodynia and make a very difficult situation even harder to endure. This is a great time for those of us who may be aware of friends or loved ones who are living with Fibro and/or Allodynia to reach out and help ease their burden through extra support and thoughtful care packages (if and when they are able to receive them).

The effects of air pressure changes, wetness, and humidity will most likely cause a substantial increase in the effects of muscle and joint pain along with flu-like aches in the body. Disposable heat wraps, warm fleece blankets, hot water bottles, and small camping stoves for boiling water are great ways to help keep warm and comforted.

Being in a shelter with several other people can produce the extra stress of noise and non-privacy. During a fibro flair or attack of allodynia, this can be torturous. Noise cancelling headphones, disposable ear plugs, a radio or MP3 player with headphones are great ways to help either soften blaring noises or at least offer comfortable and soothing sounds.

Hard chairs, cots, and floors can cause a great deal of body pain over time. Body pillows, neck pillows, single size mattress toppers made of memory foam, and memory foam pillows are a wonderful guard against painful pressure points.

Feelings of despair and hopelessness, or feeling overwhelmed can increase Fibro and Allodynia symptoms. Encouraging books, letters, tapes, and cards can give an anchor hold on fly away emotions. Phone cards and/or a pay as you go phone can help keep communication open. Let your friend or loved one vent how they feel so that it doesn't build up and come out in a physical flair up. Think of solutions when your friend or loved one admits something they feel they can't handle (no matter how trivial it sounds! trauma can make even small tasks seem huge, so be patient and think of what you would do if you were in the same situation. Help them see their resources instead of obstacles.)

These are just a few ideas. Please feel free to post more ideas in the comments so that we can pass the word around and help our fellow fibro and allodynia heroes face the challenges ahead with strength and dignity.

My thoughts and my prayers are with you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Aspartame & Fibro and/or Alloydynia Pain - Is There a Link?

Hello Everyone,

In July I wrote a post called "Don't Give In, Keep Moving to Keep Fighting". In it I talked about an alternative solution to drinking soda by drinking flavored sparkling water. I mentioned a specific brand of flavored sparkling water that I really like, that is labeled "All Natural". Sadly I had to edit my post today and take out that information after being alerted to something in the ingredients that may not be the most healthy to recommend to my readers (or even myself for that matter).

Ladies and Gentlemen I'm going to post information for you to research for yourself on Aspartame. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take time to look it over and decide for yourself if you find anything about this product that will change your mind or not change your mind about consuming it.

It is important to note that according to the FDA there have been over 10,000 official symptom complaints made to them by consumers. Many of those symptoms mirror the same symptoms we face with Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia.

Please take time to look over the following information today. It's very important to you and to your family.

** Please feel free to add your comments and share any experiences you've had while using Aspartame. Do you think it's made a positive or negative impact on your health?


Aspartame Information Links

Aspartame Definition - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

Aspartame Controversy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy

Wikipedia - External Links
(Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy#Pro-aspartame on September 3, 2008)
Pro-aspartameAspartame Information Service
Aspartame Archives
Sugar Substitutes (U.S. FDA web page)
Aspartame Information Center

Anti-aspartameAspartame—DORway to Discovery
Aspartame Toxicity Information Center
Aspartame—Truth About Stuff
Aspartame: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

“Aspartame Facts and Fictions” - http://dorway.com/dorwblog/?page_id=63

“FDA list of 92 symptoms based on over 10,000 official complaints” - http://www.dorway.com/badnews.html

“Poison For The Masses” - http://dorway.com/dorwblog/?page_id=59

"Take The 60 Day Test" - http://dorway.com/dorwblog/?page_id=14


Here's to your success!
Sherri




Saturday, August 30, 2008

Calling All Fibro Heroes!! Speak Up and Be Heard!!

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I had an interesting situation come across my path and I want to tell you about it in order to encourage all of you to speak up and be heard.

I had a mortgage lender ask the following question of me: "If you are unable to work a "mainstream" job, then how can you walk up and down the stairs in your home?"

WHAT ?????!!!!!

I felt lead to write the lender a letter regarding their question. I expressed my confusion regarding how being able to walk up a stairway qualifies a person to be able to work a "mainstream" career. There are many, many people who can walk a flight of stairs and are definitely disabled in other capacities! Since when does being able to accomplish a flight of stairs become a qualifying factor in disproving a disability????

First of all, asking how I (or you) manage my (or your) physical limitations is a personal question and really a matter of whether or not I (or you) feel comfortable sharing it with any person. It's intrusive and bully"ish "to be frank about it. It has nothing to do with establishing a medical history such as the 3 year documentation I provided to this lender to include my doctor's name and contact information, my insurance claims, all of the documented doctor and hospital visits I've had before being diagnosed correctly, and the medications I currently have prescribed to me. These are documented and show a medical history. How I (or you) choose to process and manage my (or your) symptoms has nothing to do with "proving" an incapacity to maintain a "mainstream" career.

Because of the extremely good customer service that our loan officers have given to our family, I chose to go ahead and describe how I manage my "stair situation". My goal in doing so was to educate the lender so that in the future, should they encounter another person living with Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia, they have a better understanding of the syndrome(s) and its effects.

I'm also choosing to share this with you, my readers, because talking about how we "deal" is very important. We need to talk about it and legitimize one another so that as a united front we can make a difference in how we are treated in society.

The fact of the matter is that there are times I must use a cane to walk up and down my stairs, times when I sleep on our couch because I'm too weak to manage the stairs, times when my husband is on orders (he serves our country in the United States Military) and away from home, that I have our littlest girl sleep downstairs with me so that I can make sure I am able to care for her during the night if she needs me, and there are times when I "cat walk" up our stairs using my hands and feet to get me up there.

This is the truth of Fibromyalgia/Allodynia for me. This is how it impacts me regarding just the stairs. I expressed to the lender that the stairs are only one part of my world that I must take control of and manage. There are so many other situations and factors along with dealing with stairs that frankly are more important and worth much more attention. I also expressed the frustration that people living with Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia face because it can't been "seen" and we often have to jump through hoops in order to "prove" we are ill and need help.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fibro Heroes, WE HAVE TO SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD! It's a very real fact that much of society, and dare I say even the medical community, who are uneducated and have erroneous mindsets about the symptoms and physical limitations of a person living with Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia. WE MUST EDUCATE THE COMMUNITY in order to link arms and promote Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia awareness and education! I cannot emphasize the importance of making sure that you are a voice and a potential hero for the Fibro and/or Allodynia community. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Until we find a cure I want to encourage you to take part in putting Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia "in the face" of society. Wear or display an awareness ribbon, talk about your symptoms and pain management, fight for your quality of life, participate in fundraising events or awareness events, write a book or a blog about your experiences, be a voice regarding the difficulty in qualifying for disability benefits, demand (politely but firmly) the same rights and respect that other disabilities are shown in the mainstream workforce community and offices, read up on current issues regarding the syndromes and don't shy away from those who are sceptical that you are really fighting an illness. The more silent we are, the less chance we have of creating a momentum toward finding help and a cure.

Together we CAN make a difference! As long as we are living with Fibro and/or Allodynia we might as well DO something productive about it and take ownership of it. Why not? There are countless other awareness es that are not shy about raising awareness and asking for help, and neither should we be shy about OUR syndrome and the reality of the devastation it causes.

Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia effects each person differently. One person may be completely bed-ridden for the most part, and one person may be able to function well enough to maintain a mainstream career. It just depends on each person's body. These facts deserve to be legitimized rather than be a reason to promote skepticism that it's "all in our head" or that we are not truely ill. No, we MUST raise awareness and education about what it's REALLY like to live with Fibro and/or Allodynia.

Speaking of what it's REALLY like, .... the commercials for Lyrica come to mind. Now there may be many, many people who are able to function in a much more capable capacity such as what is shown in these commercials and THAT'S GOOD. It's VERY good. That's what we want. However, the commercials only show women with Fibro and they don't give enough attention to the extreme symptoms that many others living with Fibro experience. AND.... what about the MALE population who live with Fibro and/or Allodynia?????? It's NOT good that often times fibro awareness tends to lean toward the female community just because there are reports that more females than males live with the syndrome. No it's NOT good at all. Men deserve to have the same support and the same dedication to awareness and help that females get. I very often find that the male population of Fibro sufferers is silent and don't talk about it very much. We MUST make a comfortable and accepting environment within our groups to accommodate the very real and unique experiences that men go through while living with Fibro.

So today I'm calling on everyone to look for opportunities to educate those around you that you have influence with and create awareness within your community. Let's work together to legitimize one another and become a cohesive force willing to speak out and find ways to fund or contribute to finding a cure.

I'm right there with you...and I care very much about the Fibro/Allodynia communities.

Here's to your success!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Word About "Flow"

Hi Everyone,

I’m delving into the books I wrote about in my last post and I will be posting updates for you as I go along.

In the mean time I wanted to address an issue that came up for me this week with a young woman who I’m coaching at the moment.

What do I mean by “Flow”? I mean a cohesive path toward one direction.

For each person, there comes a time in life when you’re piecing together what your specific passions are and what unique talents, skills, assets, and points of view you want to express and use both personally and professionally.

When I’m coaching a person who is looking for ways to accomplish their career goals, I pay close attention to what they are doing to move themselves forward toward their goals. For instance, if a person’s passion and dreams are to be a nurse then it’s my belief that to move themselves toward that goal, they should frame their life choices around meeting that goal.

Here’s what I mean:

1) Choose a job that relates to the ultimate goal until you are able to reach the goal.

For example: If I’m coaching a young person who has nursing as their ultimate goal, then I often recommend that while attending school, if you have to work a job as well, choose a job that will give you skills you can use later in nursing. Perhaps working in a nursing home, a special needs unit, or even as a receptionist or assistant at a doctor’s office for the time being. All of those positions offer a treasure trove of experiences that can be carried with you into your future position as a nurse. An added bonus is being able to list those occupations on your resume to help you compete for the ultimate position you want later on. It shows a “flow” and a cohesive path toward the future goal. It shows perseverance, innovation, and drive.

2) Search for outside ways to give you information and further skills you can use later on.

For example: Hobbies might include things that have a theme corresponding to what your ultimate goal is. Volunteer work may be something to look into. Read, read, read, read! Keep up to date on your chosen career goal and give yourself a leg up on the competition by being able to converse intelligently about the new things going on for people in your chosen field. What are the “movers and shakers” looking for? What can you add? What original points of view and talents can you bring to the table? You have VALUE! There is NO ONE else like YOU. Celebrate yourself and show what you can do!

3) Take time out….

Make sure you have things in your life that are completely unrelated to your chosen career goal. Have fun, invest yourself in your relationships, and create a space that’s all your own. Each of us needs that in order to gain strength and have peace within so that we can be our best selves.

These are some of the things I mean by “Flow”. Take some time this week to take a look at your life and see if you can find “flow”. If you can’t …that’s OK. It’s never too late to fix it. All it takes is a decision to make changes so that you can achieve your goals.

It doesn’t matter whether you are working for yourself in your own business, or whether you are adding your unique gifts to a corporation. It’s worth it to take a look and see if your life is moving in “flow” toward what you and ONLY you can gift this world with. Each person is a unique and priceless treasure that cannot be duplicated. Celebrate YOU!

Here’s to your success!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

News to Ponder and Investigate

Hello Everyone,

You may need to bear with me for a few moments while I jot down some thoughts that may seem difficult to piece together at first. Something I love about thought is the path along which we travel in order to ask first the question, then discover more questions to be asked. Hopefully at some point an answer will be found and that is the passion of loving thought in the first place for me.

I want to share with you a decision I've made regarding looking further into ways to either manage fibro/allodynia pain, or reverse it all together. It's important to me to keep talking to you so that together we can lock arms and fight for our quality of life. Each of us plays a vital role in determining what our outcome will be. I meet people all over who inspire me to go further, reach higher and question deeper and then come back here to write it all down for my readers. Each person with body pain has something vital to contribute whether through experience, answers, or support.

Please bear with me while I explain how I reached the decision I made and what I'm going to keep you updated on as I go along.

In his book "Saint" Ted Dekker's main character is an assassin who has been trained using highly controversial and secret methods in order to become the best of the best. As part of his training the character learns to control his body and body functions in a much more focused way than most of us have learned to do in normal every day life. This character was able to lower or elevate his heart beat at will, control the need to remove waste, control brain function... and so forth. While I was reading the book, (other than the fact that I LOVE TED DEKKER books! lol!) I was struck with a thought that propelled me toward questions and more questions about what and how much is possible for Fibro/Allodynia sufferers to control using the power of the brain. (As a note: I'm not referring to hypnosis here) Is it possible? Are there any cases where people have done it? Have there been people cured?

The next piece of my thought pattern was brought forward because of Scripture. Being a woman of faith, Scripture is vital to me. The Scripture teaches in several places the relationship between negative emotions, thoughts, and attitudes leading to poor health. It also teaches that negative words can bring disastrous results to a human body. These show a clear relationship between what is received as negative to the mind manifesting through the physical body.

The next piece of my thought pattern developed while searching for information on whether anyone has claimed they've found a cure for Fibromyalgia. Let me just say first of all that I was very surprised that there are several people who HAVE claimed to have found a cure for the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Why aren't we hearing more about them?????????? So of course my next step was to find out what they had to say.

Okay, the first thing I found was lots and lots of herbal remedies and exercise techniques and I firmly believe both of these are helpful and important for ANY person seeking good health. Vitamins and nutrients along with exercise are just plain vital to the human being. Period. In fact one book that I purchased today is "Reversing Fibromyalgia - The Whole-Health Approach to Overcoming Fibromyalgia Through Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, and Other Lifestyle Factors" by Dr. Joe M. Elrod

The next thing I found was purely on accident. I was looking up a program on reversing fibromyalgia, when I came across a link for a book called "Freedom from Fibromyalgia" by Nancy Selfridge and Franklynn Peterson. I casually read over the book contents only to find a surprising revelation that tied all of the other pieces of my thought patterns (that I described above) together! I also learned about another book by John Sarno, M.D. called "Mind Over Back Pain" that lead me down another road altogether.

OK, so where am I going with all of this????

1) I'm curious to know if the brain can be used to manage and/or reverse body pain from Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia (Again, I'm not referring to hypnosis)

2) Has anyone claimed to be cured of their symptoms by using the brain?

3) If monks, martial artists, and military personnel have used the brain to regulate body function why can't we? How do I learn it?

4) Where do I find reliable, trustworthy information so I can begin learning the answers to my questions?

After several hours of reading and researching I found three books that I purchased today. All claim to have information on using the brain (understanding the brain's role) in overcoming pain and illness. I decided that I'm going to find out if what they are teaching works, has merit, and is something I would recommend to you. As I read them and delve into finding out the answers to my questions I will share what I find out so that you can decide if you'd like to find out too. (I'm also going to look into two other books by John E. Sarno called "The Mindbody Prescription" and "The Divided Mind")

Here are the books and their authors:

1) "Reversing Fibromyalgia - The Whole-Health Approach to Overcoming Fibromyalgia Through Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, and Other Lifestyle Factors" by Dr. Joe M. Elrod

2) "Freedom from Fibromyalgia" by Nancy Selfridge and Franklynn Peterson

3) "Mind Over Back Pain" by John E. Sarno, M.D.

(As an interesting side note: ABC News's John Stossel wrote an excerpt in his book "Give Me a Break" regarding John Sarno that was highly positive. You can read it at Amazon.com using the "search inside" feature and look under page 229. Or you can look up "John E. Sarno" in the search field at Amazon and it will eventually show John Stossel's book because of the excerpt in his book on Dr. Sarno.)


Here's to your success!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Sorrow of Fibro

Hello Everyone,

I'm writing to you today possibly more to vent than anything else I must confess. I'm in the middle of a Fibro/Allodynia flair and this is the second strong one in two weeks. I haven't slept well for tossing and turning and the frustration is just unbelievable. I know you know what I mean.

My husband wanted to go out last night and we couldn't because I was in so much pain. You know, it's difficult to watch what Fibro and/or Allodynia (or for that matter any condition that robs one of the quality of life) steals from our friends and loved ones of us. I find myself becoming more and more sorrowful at times when I can't function to do normal things. That's one of the reasons I started this blog. It helps me remain in balance and keep my perspective.

This morning my husband vented about not being able to make plans with me because we always have an "if" hanging over our heads about how I may feel on a given day or time. I know he didn't mean to hurt me with what he said..... but it did hurt. It hurt because it was embarrassing and because at such a young age we should be able to go out and have adventures and experience life together like a normal couple. I get angry sometimes because I have all of my body parts... and they SHOULD be working properly! Augh!!!

sorry.....

Friends, the important thing about any condition that limits us... is to KEEP TALKING. I understand the extra burden of having to explain ourselves all of the time.... believe me. However, educating our friends and loved ones about our condition(s) is a huge step to awareness and helping them to deal with the situation as well. There are going to be times that they become frustrated and feel hopeless and it's completely normal for them to feel that way. They love us and want to spend time with us and have fun doing things together.

When you lose out on a opportunity such as I did this weekend.... make sure to take another opportunity as soon as you can. Don't give up and stop fighting for your quality of life. Fight back by giving yourself the gift of time as soon as possible after facing a loss of activity with those people who are important to you. Make sure to tell them that you aim to make time with them as soon as possible when you feel better. It gives you hope and it gives them hope too.

Here's to your success!

Friday, August 8, 2008

*Work At Home* - Cust. Service Agent

Hello Everyone,

I want to give you the link to a company website that offers the ability for you to work as a Customer Service agent at home. You set your schedule, so it's flexible.

One of our family members has been with West At Home for over a year now. He said it really helps their family have the extra income they need to make ends meet. After he gets home from work, he has dinner and then gets ready for his shift with West At Home. His lovely wife suffered a ruptured aneurysm last year and we almost lost her. Thankfully she pulled through after a very traumatic experience. With the extra hospital bills he chose to work with West At Home part time. This has helped them get back on their feet and they can both spend time together and with their two girls.

I don't refer products, services, or opportunities unless I have used them, tried them and found them worthwhile, or know someone trustworthy who has used them and can give me a good referral. I like to be able to give you good and useful information that helps you whether it's in business or regarding fighting Fibro and/or Allodynia.

Here is the link for you http://apply.westathome.com/overview.asp


Here's to Your Success!
Sherri



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Give In! Keep Moving to Keep Fighting!

Hello Everyone!

I want to talk to you today about something I mention quite often and that's to KEEP MOVING TO KEEP FIGHTING! When we stay still, sit too much, or lie down too often, we actually increase the amount of pain we feel with Fibromyalgia. One of the things my doctor coached me on from the very beginning was the vital importance of making sure I keep moving in order to get the toxins out of the muscles in my body and to help them stay relaxed. He coached my husband to make sure he encouraged me and kept me accountable to stay moving....ESPECIALLY when I have fibro flairs.

I found a GREAT way to keep myself moving and flexible that I can do in the privacy of my home. Leslie Sansone is a fitness expert who has developed several walking routines that are simple yet effective for healthy exercise without all of the "glamor hype". It's as if you pop in the DVD and you're instantly among friends of all shapes and sizes, who really sweat (and yes, from time to time even a little of their makeup runs) while you're having fun walking and getting your muscles moving. You get your muscles toned up and your metabolism rate up while you use her walking routines. Even on the worst days, you can pop in Leslie's DVD and move your body in order to combat fibro pain and fatigue.

I found my choice of her routines at Walmart for under $15.00. I chose "Walk Away Your Waistline" because it offers a toning belt for a little bit of resistance training to help tone the waistline and the arms while I'm walking. This is a little more advanced walking routine and offers 1,2, and 3 mile walks. It also offers a walk meter to tell you when you've reached each mile. On more challenging pain days I can do 1 mile and on better days I can do 2-3 depending on how I feel. You can see many of Leslie's videos by clicking here --->http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_constraint=0&search_query=leslie+sansone&ic=48_0 or by doing a Google search under "Leslie Sansone".

**Note: I do not get paid in any way to endorse Leslie's programs. I simply love her routines and I love her style of encouragement.

Remember, being smart in business means being smart personally as well. Taking care of yourself gives you the power to fight for your quality of life both personally AND professionally. When you keep your muscles in motion, it is much easier to keep up with your pain management. This in turn keeps your mind free to focus on your business.

For those of you living with Allodynia, like me, it is important to pay attention to exercise that doesn't aggravate your symptoms. The walking routine I chose doesn't aggravate my pain the way some other exercise routines do because there is no full body floor contact. The only thing that is ever so slightly uncomfortable for me is the exercise belt because the materials sometimes don't feel good against my skin or when placed around my clothing. However it really IS so slight that it's manageable and I can still use it. I make sure to use comfortable materials in my shirts (like cotton) so that the texture doesn't aggravate my skin with the belt around it. I also have times when my hair brushing across my neck gives me the sensation of a sunburn on the skin, so I always wear my hair in a ponytail, or on more painful days I put it up in a bun with a scrunchy. Again, because there is no full body floor contact with the routine I chose, there is no problem with floor contact causing pressure against my head from a ponytail holder or scrunchy when I get my hair up off of my neck.

Now these may seem like silly things to mention, but if you have Allodynia you know what I mean right? Sometimes the pain sensors on our skin just hurt like crazy and anything touching it is awful. Anything that helps bring relief, no matter how simple or ordinary, is a welcome suggestion! Besides... it's nice to know you're not the only one out there who experiences these symptoms.

I know you can do it! Keep moving to keep fighting!

Here's to your success!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fibromyalgia Pain Management!

Hello Everyone,

I have a quick story to tell with an ALERT attached to it that may help you.

This past week my husband and I took our kids to Six Flags Magic Mountain. It's a 51/2 - 6 hour drive from where we live... so I was pretty apprehensive knowing my pain would most likely flair without a few stops to stretch out and move my muscles. Not only that, but the prospect of all 8 of us in one van, managing 6 excited children, and looking forward to but also dreading the "payback" of enjoying all of the fun at Six Flags was looming on my mind.

4 days of intense fun, walking, climbing, and the bombarding fun of roller coaster thrill after roller coaster thrill took it's toll on my Fibro symptoms to be sure. I had shin splints, blisters, and nagging muscle bruising and soreness ALL OVER. The ride home was NO fun, but I didn't complain out loud.

Note: *(Make a promise to yourself to try and keep from constantly talking about your pain. I found out first hand that it makes our loved ones and friends feel helpless and tense because they can't do anything to help get rid of our pain most times. It's a different kind of "awful" for them. Keep "symptom talk" to a minimum. State it when appropriate and necessary, but be diligent to keep from describing everything all of the time. Let's face it, we Fibrofighters feel pain 24/7 and we could talk for days and days and still not describe or get across exactly how it feels to those who don't have it, amen? I discovered that when I am diligent about keeping my stated pain feelings to a minimum, my caregivers and friends are more alert to hear me when I need them too because they have not become "numb" to hearing it over and over.)

Okay, so back to the story... Last night we arrived home at about midnight and every part of me was physically exhausted and in severe muscular pain. I had fun with my family,...but I was PAYING big time! I absolutely detest the simple things Fibro robs from us, don't you?

At any rate, my son reminded me about a homeopathic remedy he has tried several times for muscle soreness. He had me pick some up the last time we visited Sprouts. He encouraged me to try it out to see if it would help me any.

***HERE'S THE ALERT***

Arnica Montana 6x by Hylands (**I'm not endorsing this particular website, I simply want to be able to show you a picture of what the product looks like. Please shop carefully before making purchases online) The bottle is only about 2 1/2-3 inches tall so when looking for it, check the shelves well.

I took Arnica Montana 6x by Hylands as directed on the bottle (Adults: Dissolve 4 tablets under the tongue 4 times a day. Children: Dissolve 2 tablets under the tongue 4 times a day) and I have to tell you I HAVE NO PAIN. No nothing.... no shin splints, no severe muscle pain, no aches, no swelling, and my blister pain after relieving the fluid pressure is almost at zero.

I highly recommend trying this product as directed for relief from muscle soreness. I haven't felt this much relief without traditional OTC or RX medication. I feel almost "normal" ! I say "almost" because I still have fatigue and dizziness that I experience on a day to day basis, however the pain and "flu-like" symptoms I normally feel every day are not present today after taking Arnica Montana 6x.

For more information I recommend doing Google searches under "Arnica Montana", "Arnica Montana for Fibromyalgia Pain", and "Arnica Montana 6x"

I know I'll be sticking this little bottle in my cupboard and in my purse from now on.

Here's to your success!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Business Strategy Tips

Hello Everyone,

I was considering some of the challenges that we as business professionals face. Whether we are owners of our own businesses or adding our skills and talents to our chosen company, there are certain challenges that having Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia can pose for us.

The challenges I want to talk about today is feeling overly fatigued, stricken by brain fog, or having a high pain day. In order for us to stay at the top of our game, we have to find strategic ways to handle our workloads and responsibilities without sacrificing quality.

I know from personal experience, that on days when Fibro or Allodynia is taking a hard toll on my body, it's hard for me to concentrate or fulfill my work because I'm trying to simply deal with my symptoms. On those days I do the following things:

1) Admit it
I don't hide how I'm feeling or that I'm having trouble that day. It's better to remain open about your symptoms to those you have a responsibility to, then to hide and leave them wondering why you're a little slow or not able to complete tasks fully.

2) Make Arrangements
I make arrangements for someone to assist me in tasks that I can delegate and then I take the most crucial and detailed tasks and see if I can let them wait until I'm feeling better. If there is something that absolutely can't wait, I make sure to ask for help from a person who has the same attention to quality that I do.

It's VITAL to have your support system in place before you experience a day that you need assistance. If you haven't done so yet, take some time today and make a list for yourself of people you would like to be your assistant(s) on days you need one. Ask yourself "Would I hire this person if I were looking for an employee?".

Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia can rob you of your professional edge if you're not careful to create ways around it. Think of your support system like any other strategic business tool you use to stay ahead and show off your talents and skills. Fibro and Allodynia don't have to steal your edge if you don't let them.

Here's to your success!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Find A Need & Fulfill It

Dear Friends,

I want to talk to you today about one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings. The gift of giving. Fibromyalgia steals from us in many ways. It steals from our family and friends, from our employers and from our pockets.

Today I want you to consider fighting Fibro in a whole new way. Each one of us has something special that we can do. It may be small and meaningful, or it may be grand and meaningful. It doesn't matter which. We each have the ability to meet a need someone else has.

Consider today what your talents and skills are and how you can use them to help someone else. The very wise truth "What goes around, comes around" is a truth we should bind tightly to our hearts and minds. If we help others, help comes back to us.

Fibromyalgia steals,....but we can add and give. We can add our talents and skills to help others and watch help come back to us.

If you know how to crochet, knit, craft, paint, sell, invest, teach, write, or ANYTHING else, consider using it to help others who are in need. Find a need and fulfill it.

It brings health to the mind, body, and soul when we reach out and touch our fellow human beings. It reverses negativity, and illness. It promotes kindness and prosperity. It combats the evils of this world and forces a turn toward those things that are good and right.

Today, find something that YOU can do to add and give. Watch changes begin to happen in your life.

Here's to your success!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

*Attn Fibrofighters* Your Support Network

Yesterday my husband was weighed down heavily. I had been experiencing a very painful flair up for the past 4 days and was having trouble walking and keeping up with my daily tasks. Yesterday morning he admitted to feeling helpless and hopeless to help me in any way. After talking for awhile I realized how important it is to remind him frequently of the little ways he helps me keep going.

I reminded him that he offers to massage my muscles, offers to run errands that I can't run, offers to interact and take care of our children when I'm fatigued and hurting, offers to pray over me and for me frequently, brings me flowers that are unusual and exotic from time to time, takes time to ask me how I feel every morning without fail, makes me walk and move when I don't feel like it, keeps up with my medical team and asks me when my appointments are, goes to the pharmacy and picks up my prescriptions when I can't....and on and on....

Do you have support people in your life? It's important to remember that for them Fibromyalgia attacks in a completely different way. It steals their time with us, special occasions with us, makes them worry over us, they feel stressed when there is 'nothing' they feel they can do to take away our pain, and for men especially, this last truth is vital to remember.

Men by nature are "fixers". When they see a problem, they want to fix it, need to fix it, and they'll run themselves crazy until they do. Fibromyalgia cannot be fixed in many cases and the men in our lives suffer from feeling helpless and sometimes like a failure. Of course we know they are NOT failures, yet the plague of self-doubt and condemnation hangs over their heads in silent torment they very often do not express to us because they don't want to add to our predicament. They suffer alone many times.

Here are some links to articles, information, and support groups. Some of them are written from husband's and men and family members supporting their loved one who is living with Fibro.

Take time today to thank your supporters and remind them that even the smallest ways that they help..... REALLY DOES HELP! Don't take them for granted.
1) http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/507405/living_with_fibromyalgia_from_a_husbands.html?cat=41
2) http://www.fibromyalgia-symptoms.org/QA/answers-supporting_my_wife_who_has_fibromyalgia_/
3) http://www.chronicfatiguerelapse.com/how_to_support_your_spouse_with_fibromyalgia.html
4) http://www.co-cure.org/husband.htm
5) http://www.lclark.edu/~sherrons/supportgroups.htm
6) http://www.fibromyalgia-support.net/groups.htm

Monday, May 12, 2008

*** SPREAD THE WORD ***

***Today is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day***

If you or someone you know is living with Fibromyalgia, Spread the Word!
There is no cure for this disease currently. The National Fibromyalgia Association
has ways that you can make a donation toward research for a cure in the name of your friend or loved one today!

http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_donate

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Becoming an ALPHA

What are Alphas? Alphas are leaders who rather than following someone else, set the course of action for themselves. They draw people in, they influence, they have a commanding presence, people want to hear what they have to say, they make decisions, they choose their associations carefully based on their own goals and whether or not those associations will move them toward their target or not.

Are you allowing Fibromyalgia to dictate your life? Is is commanding you or are you commanding IT? Today is the day to make your choice. If you continue in the mindset that you are "disabled", "handicapped", or "incapable" because of Fibro, your body will follow suit. If you determine that "Yes, I have Fibro, but Fibro doesn't have ME!" your body will follow suit.

You can choose to get up and move today. Move your arms, your legs, walk.... get your body in line with your attitude. Determine that no matter how you feel, it will NOT determine how you think!

Because I live with Fibro, I understand first hand how difficult it is to do what I'm saying. The pain is excruciating at times. I know. However, succumbing to that pain over and over and over on a daily basis will only weaken your resolve. You MUST FIGHT for the quality of your life! You must fight to have quality time for yourself, your children, your spouse or loved one, your career, and for fun days. You can't do that from your bed.

If you have to fight your way into standing and there are tears rolling down your face... so be it. Determine to stand anyway! Take a pillow and scream into it if you have to. Get up and move!
If you don't, the pain in your muscles will increase and increase. When you move, you are fighting Fibro.

When you are at work, take frequent breaks to shake out your arms and legs, move your wrists and ankles. If you are fighting brain fog, take a break to close your eyes and think about nothing for 10 minutes. Let your mind rest before taking on a new task.

I've just come off of the longest flair I've endured since being diagnosed. Usually my flairs last at the most 3 days. This one lasted over four weeks. I was back to using my cane and my tens unit and I was FRUSTRATED! However, I knew that if I succumbed in my mind, it was going to be all over.

Friends, Fibro is a cruel disease. It's invisible to others, it's unpredictable, it's confusing, and it steals from us. We must have the mindset that Fibro is "only happening" to us, but it's not US! There are so many men and women I've met who have given up and allowed Fibro to steal everything in their lives. The pain enticed them to believe it was all over for them. Doctors and family, and friends who don't understand or who still believe "it's all in your head" are driving them to believe what they say! Be an ALPHA! You're the one living with Fibro, so don't let others tell you what is and isn't happening to your own body. No, YOU tell THEM. If they don't believe you, move on until you find a support network who does! Even if it's just one other person, find someone who will stand with you and who will offer you the support and encouragement you need. Don't let yourself down. Keep fighting and keep looking for a doctor who will help you, rather than shove pill after pill down your throat. There are several links on my blog to foundations and communities who have VITAL information that can help you.

You CAN still have your goals and still work toward them. If you are no longer working in a mainstream career, and you want to earn money for yourself, take a look at all of the posts in my blog! Let's start working together to determine what fits YOU. What makes YOU feel fulfilled and excited!

My Fibro friends are my passion! Fighting against the "conquered" mindset of Fibro drives me!Even when no one comments or posts on the blog and I think I'm reaching no one... I keep on. I know that at some point, I'm going to touch some one's life and it's going to make a difference for them. It's ALL worth it, if I reach just one person, one employer, one doctor, one friend....

What's inside you? If you didn't have Fibro, what would you be doing? Did you know you can STILL do it?! It may have to be "tweaked" a little, but don't give up. Determine to become an Alpha today!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cash Flow for Your Business

There are many important steps along the way of creating and maintaining your own business. One of those steps is finding creative ways of bringing cash flow in so that you can continue to finance such things as marketing and business expenses.

I've used several different means to create cash flow in a hurry. One of my favorite ways is the Yard Sale. Yep, the good ole fashioned yard sale can (if done correctly and with a little flair) reap a good little amount of seed money for your business. I'm currently writing an Ebook called Maximizing Your Yard Sale. If you'd like to be put on the list for a copy, please email me at info@thesherridongroup.com and add "Yard Sale Book List" to the subject line.

Another GREAT way to finance your business is to choose a business opportunity with high yield commissions while you are putting together your main business ideas, plans, and structure. There are thousands of business opportunities out there, but for our purposes, we need to find one that has 1) A great reputation, 2) A high demand, 3) High commission yields, and 4) Is run virtually on autopilot for the most part.

Be careful to select one that has a product you truly believe in or you won't be passionate about marketing the business opportunity or the product. I chose Carbon Copy Pro as my business of choice for several reasons. I LOVE learning new ways to use investments and other financial tools to save and also increase my money so that I have more to work with. Because CCP has such high commission payouts, I get a huge amount of seed money to put away and grow for my main business later on. CCP offers financial tools that not only educate their people, but also professional contacts that can be called upon for investment and/or financial and lifestyle advise at any time. It's a win/win situation for me. Along with CCP, I'm also a very satisfied customer of Mike Dillard's Magnetic Sponsoring and Building on a Budget community and products. I recommend them to everybody who I know is in business no matter what their field of choice is. These tools are a MUST for anyone who is looking to build their business using smart and calculated techniques that don't waste time and maximize any investment made into marketing. The education on attracting reps and leads to your business is phenomenal to boot!

No matter what you choose as a means to build cash flow for your main business idea, be sure to choose one that you've researched fully and feel completely comfortable with. In this way, marketing becomes an enjoyment, rather than a nail-biting cliff hanger for you.

YOU CAN DO THIS!! Have a great day today!

Here's to your success!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fighting Fibro Flair Ups

Good Morning!

Today I want to discuss fighting flair ups from Fibro. I've had 10 days of non-stop fun with my "fibromonster" so I'm writing from recent experience. LOL!

I preach and preach about doing something you LOVE for a reason. Fibro flairs is just one of those reasons. We all know that during a flair there is nothing, no medicine, no pain relief, no massaging, no sitting, standing, or laying down that can make the pain STOP. Your mind is in a whirlwind just fighting to breathe through the next wave of pain and fatigue during those times. What does doing something you LOVE as a career have to do with anything during something like that?! I'm about to tell you.

When you love something you fight for it, you're committed, you're steadfast through thick and thin. During a flair it is SO EASY to want to give up and give in. Your head plays tricks on you. You hear an endless winding tape playing over and over again. "You can't do this" "You can't do this it's too hard". when you are doing something you love, something that drives you, inspires you, and makes you feel fulfilled, there is a small voice deep down inside of you...a passion that burns ever so slightly that makes you hang on and hang tough. You can tell yourself "It's just a flair and it won't last forever. I can get back to my career when it's over"

It gives you an edge. A FIGHTER'S edge! During my recent flair (and by the way it's not over yet, it's just died down enough for me to type today) I helped myself through it by thinking of my next plan for my business. The next steps I want to take to grow. How I could use my experience with Fibromyalgia pain to relate to my readers and those whom I network with? I thought and thought and thought. The most frustrating thing was not being able to write anything down for the time being. However, I kept my mind occupied with my passion for helping others find a way to turn their talents, strengths, and skills into a viable income for themselves. If I gave up and quit... then what?

I want to encourage you, that you CAN get through your pain and fatigue and keep going. Fibromyalgia may take a day or two or three from you... maybe even more... but you have the choice not to let it take your entire life away. FIGHT for your quality of life! When your flair is over, you get back into the swing of things and keep going friends. Don't give up on yourself. That's what this blog is for and what my business is here for.

Very soon I'm going to be putting out a book and some other training resources for you. I'm VERY excited about the future and what we can accomplish together! My passion is to bring hope to people living with Fibromyalgia and to help them believe in themselves and their abilities once again!

Have a great day today!

Here's to your success!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

**IMPORTANT** If You're Frustrated Read This!

Hello my friends,

I want to give you a heaping spoonful of encouragement today. I got a spoonful myself and I want to pass it along!

OK, now I want you to keep an open mind about what I'm going to share with you because it's VITALLY important to both you AND me. (Why me you ask?... because I learned something from this too and it's helping me get ahead with my goals. I want you to be able to do the same!)

Anytime you see a link on my blog it's to something I either use or have used before that has helped me get ahead in my business. I don't put links out there just to "peddle"... no, this is real information and if you use and apply it, it can help YOU too.

Below on my page you see a link for 7 free videos from Magnetic Sponsoring. What you will see once you sign up for the videos is a page explaining the Magnetic Sponsoring course for about $40.00 or so (give or take depending on how hot the demand is) I want you to LISTEN to me for a second okay? Because I KNOW what it's like to be sitting at your computer absolutely frustrated beyond belief trying to figure out what the heck you're doing or not doing to get yourself in a successful position as a business owner.

Invest in this course! Here's why: You will get (along with a ton of freebies that are just as awesome) a book in the mail that is the nuts and bolts, no BS, tell it like it is, truth about how to build your business CORRECTLY. It's not sports cars and huge houses lingo....it's the real deal. If you are serious about doing it right and making a commitment to yourself and your business just this book alone is worth the small amount of money to get it. BELIEVE ME.

I got mine in the mail and I devoured it in one night, then I went back and devoured it again. I highlighted, scratched notes, dog-eared... you name it. It's that good!

Listen, there are enough "gurus" out there peddling you a dream... aren't you tired of seeing them parade around in front of you while you're struggling to figure out how to get to where they are???? I was!

P.S. I also checked out Mike Dillard online. Okay so there are some controversial links out there saying this and that about the guy. WHO CARES??!! The POINT is, that he wrote something worth listening to and taking for yourself to use. What he does is his business... and after reading his book I can see how some people out there would try to brow beat the guy. HE'S GOOD and he's competition. SO WHAT? Does it make his information any less valuable? No! Take it friends... take it! I did and I'm NOT sorry.

I'm encouraging you today... YOU CAN DO THIS! We can do it together! No matter what business you are in, or want to be in, you can use Magnetic Sponsoring to get your feet planted in the right direction and take you where you want to go. Who cares what anyone else is doing, this is about YOU.

You have nothing to lose and if you're smart you know that more information, makes you more valuable to the people you are building relationships with. EVERY opportunity you have to learn something useful just propels you closer and closer to you goals.

Sign up for the videos and get the program too. (Oh...and you might want to talk to your tax person to see if your investment money is tax deductible as a business expense...hmmmm...(wink) )

Here's to your success!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Goals! Goals! Goals!

Take a few minutes today and revisit your business goals. If you've never written them down, now is the time! You HAVE to know why you're doing what you do. What is the value to you? Is it more than money? Are you doing something you LOVE? hmmm?

Ok, so sit down today and if you've already written out your business goals, take a few minutes to review them. Has anything changed for you? If so, revise your list and make more notes. Keep your goals fresh and foremost in your mind.

If you have not written out your business goals, take some time today and find a quiet place to spend a few minutes or an hour...whatever YOU need to make sure you know what you're doing and why. Think about questions such as "Where is my business going to take me?", "Where do I WANT my business to take me?" "What are all of the benefits of my chosen business?"

Make sure to dig deep and really analyze your chosen business. Does it match who you are as a person? Does it give you the time you need for your family and/or social life? Is it making you enough money? Does it have the potential to make you enough money? Does it pull you away from your loved ones or give you more time with them? Do you dread what you're doing or do you love it and remain enthusiastic even during dry spells and down times?

In short... does it match your goals???

Take time to write down everything. No matter how big or small the thought is, write it down! Nothing is impossible! There are people doing amazing things each and every day that "others" said they would never do!

Here's to your success!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

From One Fibro Fighter to Another

Today I thought I would share some tips on managing Fibro pain and brain fog. While there are alot of good websites out there with fantastic information on the "big" issues regarding fibro pain and brain fog, I think it would be helpful to share some everyday management skills and secrets that pertain to the smaller issues that for us are monumental.

Whether we are working a mainstream career at an office, or working our own business from a home office, it's important to manage our Fibro on a day to day basis so that we can keep up with the business at hand.

Now being a wife, a mother to six children, and a businesswoman, it's very important to me to be able to keep active and "together" as much as possible. I don't want to miss out on life! Here are some of the ways I've found that help me manage my pain:

(I'm not endorsing any one product. These are simply the ones that I've chosen for my personal pain management.)

1) Taking medicines on a regular schedule. Now this may seem silly to post, but the reality is that alot of us get either sick and tired of being medicated, or we forget to take our medicine on a consistent basis. My doctor and I have found that Lyrica and Ultram ER work best for me. There are other medications out there that work better for others. **Always consult your doctor before making changes in what you take**

We chose Ultram ER (extended release) for me because it works to block the pain signals in the body, and it's consistently released over a 24 hour period so there are no breaks in pain relief on that level. I take Lyrica in the morning and again in the evening before going to sleep. This adds another level of pain relief. In this way I consistently have both working together in layers to keep me functional. I've been able to gain between 75 and 85% functionality using these together. Before I was diagnosed, I was at almost 0% functionality and walking with a cane so I'll take 75-85% gladly.

If your current medications are not helping, or not helping enough, don't stop trying to find the one (s) that work best for you. I absolutely know how frustrating it is...believe me. However, it's your life and your QUALITY of life that's at risk if you don't keep trying. Resolve that you are going to be a Fibro Survivor! Fight for every ounce of quality of life that you can find!

2) Be honest about how you feel. If your pain level on a particular day is getting the best of you, don't keep it to yourself. Say "no" or "can we make arrangements to do such and such at another time?"

3) DON'T go to work 1/2 functional! It's better to take a sick day and rest than to expend what little energy you have and hurt even worse the next day. If you can't take a sick day, you have to find ways to help yourself stay at a safe level to work. Increased fatigue and/brain fog can mean costly mistakes to your business and/or business relationships. If you can, have someone else drive you that day. If you have errands or tasks that need to be done, pick the top 1, 2, or 3 and leave the rest for another time.

4) I've found that when I have super painful flu-like aches in my lower back, that a steady stream of heat is very comforting. I use Thermacare heat wraps. I can have one on under my clothes and not be restricted by chords for heating pads, or carrying a hot water bottle. I've tried several heat wraps and these heat up nice and warm and maintain their heat for a long time. I've had them on for as long as 8 hours before. I love them! They are somewhat expensive on a tight budget, but my husband and I agree that it's more important to have me functional and comfortable. When money was a little tighter, he bought me a large heating/cooling pad. It's filled with a gel that you can either freeze or heat up in the microwave depending on the relief you need. I still use that pad when I don't have to be up and active. It's wonderful!

5) Take frequent breaks to stand up and either walk around, or shake out your arms and legs. The more we stay still, the more the pain builds and builds in our muscles. We have to keep them moving in order to manage our pain effectively. Make sure not to sit for too long without at least standing up at your desk and shaking out your limbs for a minute or two.

Believe me, I know there are times when getting out of bed, let alone walking, is impossibility. I’m thankful for my husband because he will physically lift me up and get me on my feet so that I can get my muscles moving. He won’t let me stay motionless because he knows it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire and will just make the pain worse in the long run. As silly as this may sound, when I wake up to a particularly painful Fibro morning, sometimes I will roll over on my stomach and curl my knees underneath me. Then I rock back and forth much like an infant does. It gets my muscles moving until I can get out of bed. How’s that for “real world”? lol…

6) To combat brain fog and forgetfulness, use whatever tools you can find to help you stay on top of tasks. Whiteboards, calendars, planners, sticky notes, your calendar programs, pop up reminders, even use the alarm feature on your cell phone if you have it. There are even some days I forget to check my notes, so I’ll set an alarm on my phone to remind me to check them. If I find myself “zoning out” a lot on a particular day, I find a loose fitting rubber band to wear on my wrist. I give it a light snap against my skin to pull me back to the task at hand.

These are just a few of my personal tools for managing my pain and fatigue. As I think of more, I’ll be sure and share them. Feel free to post some of your own tips and tricks for us to learn. Locking arms and supporting one another is what it’s all about!

Have a great day today!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Benefits of Social Networking

Social networking sites like Faith-Space.com, Facebook, MySpace, etc. are a GREAT way to increase your web presence, your credibility, and drive traffic to your website.

Talk about things you KNOW. If you have a special skill, talk about it! Don't set out to "sell" people on your business, set out to HELP people find a solution to a need they have or exchange ideas on a mutual hobby or interest.

Always add your business link(s) somewhere on your site that's visible, but the main point is to TALK to people, talk WITH people. Let them get to know you so they feel confident listening to you about information or business products you have to offer.

You can do this! Go get 'em!

Have a GREAT day today!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

FREE TRAINING

I believe in taking advantage of everything you can that will teach you to work smarter, save money & attract more customers! This is a great chance to get SOLID information for free. These 7 videos offer some awesome golden nuggets on how to attract customers TO you rather than having to blindly prospect. I absolutely loved this series and I wholeheartedly recommend watching them more than once!

Find out all the details in this Free Boot camp series.

More FREE Training!

**Stretch Your Business Dollars - Marketing Smarts**