Merry Christmas Everyone!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I was sorrowed to learn that Dr. Vickery's wife Marilyn passed away quite recently. If you are a patient/customer of Super Nutrient please join me in sending a message of comfort and support to Dr. Vickery and his staff during this time.
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Are You Ready to Fight???
It's noticeable that I have come to the blog less and less over the past several months. There is a reason and I wish to share it with you now. (*Warning* - There may be things you won't want to hear or accept at this time, but because I truly care about those fighting Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and Allodynia, I HAVE to share these truths with you)
Several months ago, I hit a wall regarding my illness. I became absolutely fed up. Have you been there? Are you there now? I know... and I understand completely.
When I hit that wall, something inside me rose up and began to fight like never before! I made the choice to approach Fibro and Allodynia as mortal, emotional, and spiritual enemies that I absolutely do NOT want to accept in my body, mind, or spirit any longer. I turned my back on them and refused to embrace them any longer as necessary parts of my life I had to "deal" with. Yes, I still had to take medication, yes I still had to face their effects, BUT my position as "host" to them changed radically.
One of the beginning places of this change began for me when I read this article by Dr. Brice Vickery. (click on the words "this article by Dr. Brice Vickery" to see it.) It changed my mind in a profound way. I learned the most information I had learned to date after several years of searching and searching for something tangible I could do to fight against these illnesses in an effective and lasting way. I learned that there was HOPE, real hope of overcoming Fibromyalgia and Allodynia and I decided then and there that I was going to approach this thing in a whole new way!
As I've written before, I ordered the Fibromyalgia protocol from Dr. Vickery. With the order began my journey toward wellness. However, much more than that began.. I began to take on a war minded position and fight for my life and all that I have lost due to the effects of these illnesses.
What I did, rather than embrace these two "things" was to turn my back on them and all that is associated with them too. I decided "No way... I want NOTHING to do with these any longer!" and I turned away from talking about them, writing about them, and researching anything about them. I took my Protocol supplements, began a new way of eating, and continued with my medication, but each day as I improved, I kept telling myself "One day soon, all of this will be GONE and you won't be a slave to it any more!"
As I last reported, my last doctor visit yielded incredible and tangible PROOF that I was moving ahead and conquering my "enemies". Also, I am so excited to report that I HAVE ONLY HAD 2, YES 2, FIBRO FLAIRS SINCE THE END OF AUGUST!
Here are my results thus far:
1) Only 2 flairs since the end of August
2) Improved sleep
3) Increased energy
4) Increased clarity of mind
5) Increased mobility! ( I am now able to walk around at a casual pace, plus run errands for up to 3 hours WITHOUT help or extra pain medications)
6) Increased stable mood (I am much more content and much more my old self)
7) Increased interest in my old hobbies and pursuits once again
8) Increased quality time with my husband and children
9) I now am able to attend Church regularly again rather than spending the majority of my Sundays in pain, alone, while my family attended without me.
10) Increased ability to have a normal and satisfying private life with my husband
11) Increased ability to focus on others rather than on my pain. I am constantly on the lookout for ways to help other people.
12) Increased confidence and personal trust within myself
13) I am wearing attractive clothing more often again and I take time to do my hair and makeup
14) NO desire to go back and fall into becoming resolved to having illness within me
15) I smile and laugh alot more often now (which has enhanced and strengthened both my marriage and my life with my kids)
Listen to me.....
One of the most important things my P.A. Scott Brown shared with me is this: "The patients I see who resolve within themselves to find the ROOT of personal conflicts, past hurts and who are willing to look deeply at themselves within no matter what they find... are the ones who overcome (Fibromyalgia) and get a portion, if not all, of their lives back again. I've seen it only a handful of times, but it IS there."
I thought about that, knowing what I had learned about bitterness being a poison to one's body and soul. I took a deep breath, prayed, and started looking within. What I found was a host of pain from the past and recent past that I had been "holding onto" and refusing to let go of. It was a wasteland of piled up issues and memories that filled me to overflowing and to be honest, I learned that my body was manifesting all of that by letting it out in physical pain. (*This is part of the "stuff" you may not want to believe or hear right now)
I had to start taking each piece of that garbage pile in my heart, mind, and soul and looking at them one at a time and resolving to fix them or "do" something with them as much and as best as I could. If it meant hard forgiveness, I had to do it, if it meant counseling, I had to do it, if it meant distancing myself from partnerships or relationships that caused more stress, sadness, or pain than fulfillment, I had to do it, if it meant there was nothing I could actively do about a certain "piece" then I had to suck everything I could learn from it out and then move on. You get the idea. Whatever it took (and takes) to deal with each portion and put it away I had to (and have to) do.
Hey, ... I was (and am) in the fight of my life here and so far, nothing else was working. It was just masking or taking the edge off, but it was definitely not helping. I had to take drastic measures if it meant coming back and gaining some semblance of a real and fulfilling life again. I needed to feel like a contributing, functioning, and alive, woman, wife, and mother again.... and you know what? IT'S WORKING FRIENDS! IT'S TRULY WORKING!
I know what it's like to feel no hope, no reason, no ability, no energy, no willpower, no peace. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. But I want to encourage you today and lift you up. Hold out a hand and pull you to your feet and tell you that you don't have to sit one more day in that pit all by yourself and wonder if this is "it" until you die. NO! This is NOT it! Not if you don't want it to be!
There is but less than a handful of medical and holistic professionals out there who will tell you the TRUTH. That Fibromyalgia, Allodynia, and CFS are built not only physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well over years and years of pent up "stuff" that manifests physically eventually. You have to fight a multi-front war on these things if you are going to win! That is the truth. Comfortable or not, .... that IS the truth. Nutrition, supplements, medication, and so forth are not the only lasting solution. There is MORE to be gained if you are willing to fight it out and refuse to take less than the WHOLE answer.
I am living proof that this path that I've shared with you today toward wholeness and wellness works and IS WORKING on a daily, tangible, and provable basis. It is my earnest hope and desire that many of you, if not all of you will give it a chance and see for yourself the RELEASE of physical, emotional, and spiritual pain off of your life.
Yours in the fight,
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I am getting ready to begin the Fibromyalgia Protocol with Dr. Brice Vickery ( http://www.supernutrient.com/ ). I am going to keep a detailed account of the process as I go through it so that there is a record here for you to read.
One of the parts of the program includes Dr. Vickery’s “Two Edged Sword Diet”. This is a program designed to detox the body of chemicals and toxins that are built up in the muscle tissues. It requires discipline to do because in order to starve out the Candida bacteria for instance, the first 30 days means no dairy, no fruits, no sugar, no carbs, or any other food or substance containing anything that contains simple or complex sugars. Candida thrives on sugar, so it must be starved out of the body.
I have included several links here for you today regarding the effects of Candida on the body and its relationship to Fibromyalgia and many other physical conditions. When I began researching this little “bad guy” I WAS SHOCKED. I am urging all of my readers to look into Candida as soon as possible!
I am very excited, but also somewhat apprehensive to start Dr. Vickery’s protocol for overcoming Fibromyalgia. He has had many, many patients come back to complete health after completing the protocol. (Keep in mind that each PWF is different and it takes different amounts of time to overcome the disease) The Two Edged Sword diet must be adhered to in order to overcome the toughest parts of the problems associated with Fibro. There are several people who have used the formulated supplements and done well, but several people who did not adhere to the eating program were NOT able to achieve wellness because the chemicals and toxins in their tissues were not cleansed out and because their gut was not well enough to even absorb any of the nutrients. Celiac, Leaky Gut, etc…these all must be overcome in order for the body to even begin to be able to absorb any nutrients and get on the way to wellness.
I encourage you to go to the links provided in the post today and also to Dr. Vickery’s website in order to read for yourself the wealth of information he has available that MOST doctors will not and do not inform us about regarding our disease. (**I do not receive any money or privileges for suggesting Dr. Vickery’s information and/or products. I simply want to and need to share what I’ve found out through him with you.)
Fibromyalgia is like dominos. There are several key factors that contribute to the disease and WHY it happens. (Finally some answers!!!) Once one system breaks down, it’s like a domino effect and several systems break down resulting in the problems we face as Fibro patients.
Friends, there is hope. There is hope. There IS hope!
I will let you know what is happening to me as I move ahead with the Vickery Fibromyalgia Protocol.
Have a blessed day today! Here’s to your success!
Candida Information Links:
** http://candidapage.com/cccomp.shtml (Gluten Intolerance)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
It's been some time since I last posted. Thank you for your messages. I love every one of them and they mean a great deal to me! Let me reassure you that I'm OK. I needed to take some time to do some spiritual and emotional work for myself. When that happens, I generally go "away" for a time while I'm learning a life lesson. These times are precious to me because even though they may be difficult and/or painful to go through, the result is that I have more to share with you from my experiences. More often than not The Lord uses them to help someone else know that they are not alone in their suffering and that He loves and cares for them very, very much.
Today I want to talk about grief, depression and anxiety. I've posted about it before quite some time ago, but I want to talk with you about them again because they are very real and very important topics. When these situations are piled on top of dealing with Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia or CFS they can become monumental.
I recently have been going through another stage of grief over the death of my younger brother. I have to say that I was surprised because he passed away after a motorcycle accident a year and a half ago, and I thought most of the grief stages had passed for me. However, I was very very wrong and I went through a stage that felt as new and fresh as if I had just got that knock on the door and was standing there being told very gently by a police officer that my brother had been killed.
Something happened to me when Neal died that I didn't expect. I thought that surrendering my life to Christ over 26 years ago and having a deep and meaningful relationship with Him somehow made my outlook on death...different. I have always longed for Heaven and to see Him face to face. Heaven was an exciting prospect for me. When Neal died....all of a sudden Heaven became an "in your face" reality for me and the place my little brother now lived in.
I couldn't get to him, talk to him, touch his hand, or see his brilliant smile. I didn't know what he was seeing, experiencing, feeling, or anything. Could he come back to earth and see us? Did he miss us? How long until I can see him again? What does he look like now? Is he 32 in Heaven? He died 2 days before his 33rd birthday.... All these questions came up for me. I have periods when I break down in utter grief and desperation and B-E-G The Lord for just a glimpse of Neal so that I can say "goodbye for now, and I love you so much". Nothing. No glimpse, no sound.... just a deep knowing in my inner spirit that The Lord has said "No" but that He is keenly aware of how deeply I hurt and that He's right there with me. He has a reason for saying "No" and I yeild over and over again to His wisdom in the matter. (It doesn't stop me from asking from time to time however)
Several things have happened to me since Neal died. I have come face to face with some very real truths about myself, some fears about the future with my parents (taking care of them alone without him), some memories from our childhood that were painful, memories from our childhood that were warm and wonderful, some new experiences with The Lord that came out of it, some new lessons to learn about my trust factor in The Lord, and some physical and emotional burdens and bondages that have catastrophically hindered me.
This last part is what I very carefully want to share with you. It is not easy for me at all. I don't want to talk about it or reveal it, but I know that there are many of you out there silently suffering inside and you NEED to know you are NOT alone. You need to know you are NOT crazy, overemotional, weak, stupid, or any of the other things you've been telling yourself that you are. No.... there are answers and there IS a way OUT.
My way out began last week when I was up late with insomnia yet again. I was thinking to myself that a hair cut or new style might make me feel a little better and that I needed to re-focus and keeping myself up again. (Boy had I let myself go..... whew) So I was looking for information on cutting my own hair. I've done it before and wanted to try something new. This time I was looking for video instructions rather than just written instructions.
Long about midnight (and I know now that it was The Holy Spirit who sent me there) I found a website that I'm going to share with you. The lady who owns the site is Carolyn Dickerson and this gal is one sharp and compassionate little fire cracker let me tell you. She is not a fancy shmancy woman. She is tangible and beautiful in her own way. She is accessible and believable. She gives good, solid, practical, and REAL information with an honest to goodness understanding of the inner person who wants to feel good about them self.
The Lord has given her an amazing ministry, and it’s so awesome how He’s done it. It reaches everyone, in every situation, on every budget. It doesn’t isolate anyone and it’s not preachy. In fact she barely mentions The Lord at all, but if you are a believer, you can see and feel it in her. She is like a treasured long time friend who invites you over for a slumber party and shares all of her tips and secrets for looking great and feeling good about yourself with you. After I watched several of her videos on hairstyling I just fell in love with her personality! (Here’s where I landed on her website first: http://www.lookgreat-loseweight-savemoney.com/hair-tube.html )
After an hour or so, I looked around the rest of her site and found her “About Me” page. I read and read, and was so absolutely blown away by her story. The Lord used her story to help me put a piece of my grief into place. I wrote her a letter and do you know that she wrote me back the very next day?! I couldn’t believe she took the time to write me and not only that; it was a very personal, very encouraging, poignant letter too. Once you read her story you will see that to take time out to do this for me was truly an act of selflessness. I told Carolyn I got “hair tips and a heart fix all in one night”!
Well, The Lord gave me two gifts that night. One was the realization that He looks at each one of us as individual, beautiful, creations of His and that to take care of our looks is not a sin when done with the right attitude. In fact to NOT take of our looks is like spitting in His face actually. When we take care of ourselves it makes us feel good, feel more confident, and it brings glory to our Creator. “Consider the flowers of the field” Jesus said. Flowers are like G-d’s jewelry on the earth to me. They are all different, gloriously colored, and they are demure. They stand there in their glory giving off their aroma and never being ashamed to show off their beauty. Their very presence shouts “Glory to G-d in the highest!” They burst with beauty, glory, undiluted pride, and humility don’t they?
He gently showed me that as His daughter, He takes delight in looking at and gazing upon me no matter what the state of my condition is, but that when I take joy in taking care of myself, His beauty and glory shines through me outward toward others. It’s a “love thing”.
Through Carolyn’s website (of all things hahahaa!) I was inspired to take some practical steps to get back to ME. What makes me feel solid, confident, beautiful, graceful, womanly…?
If you are facing depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, anger, sadness, loneliness, or other bondages in your heart and head, take some time out to let your mind be focused for a while on just watching Carolyn’s videos. See if you don’t feel inspired to try a new look or a new trick with your hair for fun. See if you don’t find a new make-up tip or weight loss or skin care technique that makes a difference in how you feel. You need to and SHOULD take some time to focus on something that makes you feel good about who you are as an individual creation that can never, ever, be duplicated 100%. No other person has ever been, nor ever will be YOU. YOU are a gift to life and you deserve to show off your exquisite and unique beauty and celebrate your pricelessness. That is one of the messages that The Holy Spirit shared with me that very solitary night.
The second message He gave me was one that helped me put a piece of my grief in place. Through Carolyn’s story, He showed me something that was stuck in my head and heart that was causing me confusion. I couldn’t put a finger on it or even label it with a word or phrase. Carolyn’s testimony did that for me. There was a part of her story where she wrote about losing family members and how when you are the one left behind, it sometimes feels as if you never existed. The reason why is because they are the ones who were there going through those times with you, they are memory keepers. Without them there, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen because there is no one left to verify that it DID.
It is a weird thing. It may not be rational, but it feels VERY real. That is EXACTLY how I feel without my brother here. In some ways I feel orphaned and alone. He was my memory keeper, my “go to” buddy, and my validation. The Lord used Carolyn’s experiences to put a phrase on what was stuck in me. I was released to feel the feelings, question the questions, cry, think about, and finally give in to His hands what was something that had been weighing me down for so long. The Lord was and HAS been with me through each and every phase of this. Through this grief process, His strength and His “solidness” have been made more real to me. My ability to trust Him in all things has been strengthened and solidified within my soul. My self validation has steadily been changing over into His hands alone rather than trusting in the people around me to “define” who I am. Because G-d can’t die or cease to “be”, and since He has been with me since before He placed me in my mother’s womb, (Psalm 139: 13-16) HE alone is TRULY is the keeper of my memories, my validation of existence, and the source of my strength and ability to just “be”.
I want to share with you three links that are very helpful in dealing with head and heart bondages. They are three tools in the way OUT of these bondages. I implore you NOT to sit there and suffer in silence any longer. Just reach out a little bit and let the rest happen as it may.
The first link is to videos and tools from Robert S. McGee. I read his book The Search for Significance and I was utterly amazed at how much I needed to learn about G-d’s REAL perception of us as human beings. How does He REALLY feel about me? What does He REALLY think of me? Am I just a number to Him or something more? Why am I even here???? For me, this book became the second most important book I’ve ever read. The first one being The Bible. Later on I searched the website for more information on the author. I was pleased to find that he was the founder of RAPHA. This organization was very instrumental in helping my little brother when he was at a very low point in his life several years ago. At any rate, these videos are free and can be viewed in private so you don’t have to share anything with anyone if you don’t want to: http://mcgeepublishing.com/videosolutions.htm
The second link I’m going to give you is to a program by Lucinda Basset called Attacking Anxiety and Depression. Now, if you sign up for Lucinda’s newsletter, you will also receive a free mini course as well. Her program is pricey….but…I have a friend who has found a great deal of help through her program and also I have received a great deal of help as well just from the FREE things she offers and from just reading on her site. I looked and found out that her program can also be found on eBay and on Amazon for starters if you cannot afford the payment plan she has available for her customers. I’m saving for this myself. She also offers a free evaluation test so that you can see exactly where you are and can put some solid foundations down about what is happening to you and why. http://www.stresscenter.com/mwc/
The last and MOST IMPORTANT link I’m going to give you is a link to BibleGateway.com. (http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/) On this link you can look up any word you want and see what G-d has to say about it. For instance if you search “thoughts” you can see what He has to say about your thought life, and what He has to say about HIS thoughts. Have you ever wondered how G-d thinks??? The link also allows you to look up these keywords using several translations of the Bible as well. You can see what it says in the King James version or the Message version for instance. I learned that G-d is very understanding of us and if we need “plain words” then The Holy Spirit will show us in plain words and then lead us to learn exactly what they mean.
The Word of G-d is the first place I turn when I’m looking for answers on anything. Only after searching out what He has to say do I start branching out and asking Him to show me further information I can also trust and use along with what He has to say about the subject so that I can get the most out of what He is leading me through.
What have I learned so far?
1.) Depression, anxiety, stress, etc. are all head and heart bondages. Very much like having your head, heart, and soul rotting in a literal jail cell in solitary confinement. No person has the key to let you out…in fact there is NO key. The door is open, and we keep ourselves in this prison ourselves through free will.
Only when we learn the truths about why we are in this state, do we begin to take the steps to let ourselves out of bondage. This is not something G-d takes joy in seeing us go through, but He is there every second of every minute of it with us, whether we acknowledge Him or not. We are precious to Him and He dotes on us more than an over protective mother or father….He counts the very hairs on our head for crying out loud! If 2 or 3 fall out, He knows. He knows our thoughts before we think them, He knows our past, our past memories, our “now” and our “now” predicaments. He never sleeps, never quits, never forgets…. The only time He forgets is when a human being confesses a wrong to Him and repents (or turns away from doing it again). Then the Bible says He forgets the sin and remembers it no more.
2.) Depression, anxiety, stress, etc. are ALL spiritual as well as emotional and physical states. If you are going to fight against it, you must address this truth.
3.) I learned that there are some human beings in our life who love us very much and would do anything for us….but they CAN’T do a THING to help us out of these bondages because they don’t understand them, haven’t experienced them, or don’t have the tools necessary to help us out of our prison.
This DOESN’T necessarily mean they don’t love us or that they are rejecting us. It just means that they do not have the same experience to draw on. We must find help where help is available and allow our loved ones and friends to be released from the job of rescuing us. They can’t. WE must be our own rescuer.
There is ONE Creator who has the manual on us. How we work, what makes us tick, how to exist at our optimum potential and so forth. With Him, we can find the way out. He will lead us to the people He puts in place to get us out. Sometimes it will be a family member, a loved one, or a friend, but sometimes it is not. Remain open and receptive to help where help comes from. Don’t blame and get bitter at those who cannot understand or maybe even ….refuse to understand…where you are right now.
You have to decide for yourself that you want to open that jail cell because NO ONE can open it for you. We ourselves are the ONLY ones that can push that door open.
4.) Sometimes there are going to be setbacks, but we have to say “This is a setback, not a trench or pit I can’t get out of. Tomorrow will feel different and I will have made it through this day.”
You’re going to have angry days, sad days, desperate days, silent days, scary days, lonely days. You are going to feel like curling up in a ball and screaming or crying your guts out. THAT’S OK. It’s supposed to happen that way. That’s getting the poison and garbage out of your head, heart, and soul. It’s like sucking out the poison and excrement that has built up inside you. Let it happen and don’t stop it. If you feel unsafe at any time or like you are losing control in a dangerous way… get help immediately! Call someone to help you whether it’s a professional or a close personal friend or family member. Just get help to get through. There is NO SHAME in doing what you have to do to remain safely able to get through your situation.
The MOMENT you tell yourself all hope is lost, you are making the CHOICE to sit in that filthy, putrid, lonely, isolated, jail cell with your chains secured firmly to the wall ALL ON YOUR OWN. You are choosing to do that to yourself. There is no person you can blame at that point, no matter what has been done to you by others. If you don’t reach out in order to get yourself free of all that, then you and you alone are responsible for letting yourself die inside and out. You let them win. (Just in case you are wondering… I speak from personal experience. I have extremely traumatic experiences that were done to me by others several times over a number of years so I know of what I speak)
You can choose to rip those chains out of the wall and stand up (or even crawl if you have to ) and push that door open and NOT GIVE UP. No matter what…. YOU WERE MADE TO LIVE. The Lord G-d of Heaven CHOSE YOU DELIBERATELY. He chose to make you, form you, create you, and find pleasure in you. NO PERSON IS AN ACCIDENT OR A MISTAKE. If someone has told you that’s what you are…they LIED. (Psalm 139)
5.) Getting out of these bondages and getting out of grief, is a process that takes time. “How much time Sherri??????” As much time as it takes. AS MUCH TIME AS IT TAKES. Only you will know when you’ve broken through and NO ONE has the right to tell you that you can only have this amount or that amount of time. Each person is different, each person’s needs and depths of pain are different. **The emergency is when the person refuses to try and open that door and instead they choose to wallow in their state of mind. If that is you…then you have a choice to make today.
6.) Sometimes you need to be silent. Sometimes you need to draw away from emails, phones, faxes, letters, notes, calls, and places so that you can put all of your attention on getting out of that jail cell in your head. It’s OK to take time out. You can tell people what’s up later or explain it later. You can take care of them later. Right now, you need to put your attention on getting out of the bondages of your head and heart. (I’m not saying to give up your responsibilities), but I AM saying that you need to take time out to make this a TOP priority. When you do, then when you’re done, you will be able to be your best self for those around you.
7.) **FIBROMYALGIA IS SEPARATE FROM YOUR HEAD, HEART, AND SOUL. You can’t use it as an excuse or IT wins and that jail cell remains your home for good!
You have to, on purpose, treat Fibromyalgia, Allodynia, CFS, and any other physical illness SEPERATELY from your depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and so forth. There are deeper reasons why you’re feeling this way.
*Fibromyalgia (or other illnesses) may be a catalyst, but it’s not the whole problem. Illness brings to the surface the feelings and fears deeply hidden.
(Finding a way to deal with your feelings and heart bondages will help you feel better and cause less fibro flares actually.)
8.) You have to find ways to feel good about yourself even when you are sick. Hair, teeth, clothing, entertainment, etc… it ALL counts. If you let yourself go, you will feel worse and worse. Ladies, even if you aren’t going anywhere that day, a little mascara and lip gloss goes a long, long way to keeping you feeling like YOU. Who cares what anyone thinks??? You look nice, because you WANT to look nice. If that means some makeup, or dressing nice, or getting a fancier cane, or your nails done… DO IT. You may not have tomorrow. Live one day at a time.
Yesterday I watched Carolyn Dickerson’s videos on hair care and cutting tips again and I gave myself a new hairdo, plus I highlighted my hair. Saved a good chunk of change, took my time to do it slowly, and afterwards, I felt SO GOOD. It was like looking in the mirror and seeing “Me” again. It was WONDERFUL. Last night my hubby was extra affectionate and flirty. THAT ROCKED MY SELF ESTEEM LET ME TELL YOU!!
Today when I got up, I put makeup on, on purpose. I thought, “Why not??”. I felt good doing that and the kids made me feel great too when they saw me. That was a little extra bonus.
The point is…. Who cares????????? You gotta do, what you gotta do. Fighting for your quality of life is what you GOTTA DO. If you don’t…you will die inside and the disease wins. You gotta get “Rocky Balboa” on this thing and take the first step in opening that jail cell door for yourself.
Am I all better now????? No.
I’m taking time, to take time and I don’t know how much time I’ll take. However, I’m determined to live and to keep fighting to be whole because I don’t want to die inside anymore. My brother’s death was just a catalyst and it opened up things in me that had been buried deep for many, many years. At the end of this thing, I expect to find life and a whole “me” when it’s done. I have a lot of healing to do and it’s hard, excruciating work. I think of an athlete training to do the Iron Man. It takes everything you’ve got, but when you accomplish your goal, you are deeply and profoundly changed.
NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FROM YOU, EVER.
I care about each and every one of you. I think about you daily, though I may take spaces in time when I don’t post anything. I keep fighting to get better because I want to show you the path so you can do the same. I HATE Fibromyalgia. I make no bones about it. I HATE IT. However, without it,… I would never have met you and had the unique and valuable treasure of getting to know you and go through an extraordinarily difficult thing beside you. I would have missed out. So even though I hate it, I am deeply thankful for it as well. In that, I have won and Fibro has lost one more hold on me.
May you and your loved ones be blessed today.
Don’t forget…. You are NOT alone.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I received an email this afternoon from my friend Bob Hall over at http://www.menwithfibro.com/ and I'm going to share it with you so that you know about this article and you can decide whether you'd like to speak out about it, or let it go.
Either way, you have a right to know.
Here's what Bob wrote:
"This is an article I found, and it comes off very offensive to the fibro community. Please feel free to respond to the reporter who created this masterpiece. Spread the word to other groups you may belong, and we must take a stand and be heard about such babble.
I realize we will always this type of negative press, but we don't have to take it in silence.
Dothan EagleP.O. Box 1968, Dothan, AL 36302
Mr. Jim Cook, a reporter on staff in charge of writing EDUCATION related articles authored this little jewel. Take a little time, read it, and feel free to comment on the website about what you think of his masterpiece.
I am enclosing email addresses of other members of the Dothan Eagle Staff so you can forward copies to them also.
I realize we will always face this type of negative press, but I also realize we do not have to take it without presenting our opinion of such mindless babble. Again, if you find it offensive, please join us in commenting on the article. At the very least, we can stand up and be counted.
Men With Fibro
Publisher: Jim Whitten firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor: Ken Tuck email@example.com
City Editor: Kendall Clinton firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Page:William Perkins email@example.com
News Editor: Christi Kulavich firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporter - Education: Jim Cook email@example.com "
Clearly Mr. Cook has written comments that are offensive to many people in the fibro community. Personally, I was also shocked at some of the negative and rude comments that were made by others who had read his comments and posted replies to the article saying extremely negative things about PWF's.
The struggle for us to be taken seriously is ongoing, frustrating, exhausting, and uphill. Rather than give this article any more attention than it deserves, (which in my opinion is NONE), I'm going to continue to focus on those in the fibro community and medical community who are interested in legitimizing our situation and who are working on finding answers such as the work being done for the past few decades by Dr. Brice Vickery. (See his link on the right side of my blog)
I'm sorry you guys.... I'm sorry that we have to see this kind of thing (STILL) and that there are those out there who STILL believe we are faking, lazy, mooches and pill poppers. How ignorant. But the reality is... it's out there and we have to deal with it, just like any other people who suffer jokes and being made fun of for a variety of issues and difficulties.
There are people out there without a moral center of integrity or personal conviction and they thrive on cutting others down in order to feed their cynicism and load up on feeling superior and oppositional. They believe it's a "mark of intelligence", or somehow shows that they are "cool" because they're being "politically incorrect".
They are self deceived.
That's a sad state to be in.
So Jim Cook, I will be adding you to my prayers and asking for you to be blessed with a sense of conviction and humility so that you will turn around and recant your comments. I will pray that you learn from your mistake and become a voice FOR us, rather than AGAINST us.
And more than this.... I forgive you Jim Cook for the severe hurt, embarrassment, humiliation, and offense your words caused me for a few moments today. (as I watch another clump of hair fall out of my head from the toxic chemicals in my medication that only takes the edge off of the pain I feel 24 hours a day 7 days a week.)
I honestly forgive you.
Please be more careful with your writing in the future Mr. Cook, because IT MATTERS.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I wept and wept and felt utter JOY. I had no idea Steve Harvey (the famous comedian) had done this. I received a link to it in my email and I HAVE to, HAVE to, share it with you. It's just THAT good...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Show someone you care about them and support them.
Pass the candle on along with a message from your heart.
**(The link for the codes you can use to pass the candle on can be found at the bottom of my post.)
Here is my message to YOU from my heart:
With my sincerest respect and care,
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I had sort of a humorous, but not, post for us today. During this fibro flare I've been back on my cane for walking support and as I was dropping my daughter off at school today I was thinking about my cane. Then I was thinking about all of you, and I thought, "embrace the stick!" "If you have to use one, use one with STYLE!". Why should we let Fibro or CFS or Allodynia steal our style??? We shouldn't!
I went hunting on eBay for walking sticks and canes and OH BOY! I came across some exquisite pieces and I had to run over here to POF and tell you about them. For instance, take a look at this link http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Canes-For-All-Walks-of-Life__W0QQ_armrsZ1 This seller has 100% positive feedback and has so many different styles and prices. There's virtually something for everyone! They have beautiful pieces for men and women, formal and informal, cherry wood, etched, silver handled, pink swirls, purple, flowers, patterns, contemporary modern, mother of pearl, left handed... you name it. I was so impressed!
Listen to me friends; fighting for your quality of life means taking what you have and celebrating YOURSELF. If you have to wear certain clothing to make life easier, if you need walking assistance, if you need to carry a purse, if you need to look super sharp at work, if you are patriotic, crafty, unusual,.... whatever you have to do to make your world easier to manage, whatever makes you special, celebrate YOU.
I put some pics of some beautiful walking sticks and canes here just to show you. If you have to use one, then get one that just oozes your personal style and spunk. Make it part of your wardrobe and walk in style. Celebrate the GIFT of walking. There are so many who can't...
If you are feeling down, get out a piece of paper and start listing anything and everything that you love and are thankful for. I don't care if it's a coffee cup that just perks you up, WRITE IT DOWN. Count your blessings and focus on the good things you have around you. It will help you to fight, help you to focus, help you to fight bitterness and depression, and it will help you remain strong inside.
(*Today is our National Day of Prayer! I will be including all of you in my prayers today. I will be asking The Lord to bless you, guide you, protect you, and make Himself known to you. I will also be lifting our country up in prayer and seeking The Lord's directions for how to maneuver through the vast amount of changes we are experiencing. Pray for our nation today!)
Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You don't have to do this alone.
I wish you a very, very blessed day today!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
First, thank you to everyone who has written to send encouragement and support while I'm in the middle of this flare. I've gotten some really really great messages and I appreciate them all very much. I love you guys!
Over the past couple of days I've been doing some more research and a lot of reading on Dr. Vickery's site. (The man has such GOOD information!)
While I was doing some learning on the various viruses and so forth that are part of the attack of Fibromyalgia, CFS, and Allodynia I ran across some interesting information on hydrogen peroxide therapy of all things! Turns out that this is a well known subject in many homeopathic circles the impact of which is remarkable, so I want to share some information here for you.
** Note: I'm still looking to see if there are side effects to using h.p.t. with medications. I have not found satisfactory information yet. Make sure to do a lot of reading and investigation on the subject and that if you choose to try hydrogen peroxide therapy, you ONLY USE FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide. All other forms (including the 3% form you can get at the drug store) are NOT for internal use. It has to be food grade or nothing! Be safe and do LOTS of reading and asking questions first. This is one of the natural ways of healing that HAS to be taken very seriously and not fooled around with. There are 2 ways to use it; orally and intraveniously. There are pros and cons to both, so reading and investigation must be done before making a final decision. WARNING: DO NOT USE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE THERAPY IF YOU HAVE HAD A TRANSPLANT AS IT MAY CAUSE REJECTION OF THE ORGAN **
There is a very good article by Dr. David Williams on the benefits of hydrogen peroxide therapy. The full article can be found at http://www.whale.to/a/williams1.html The following is an excerpt from the article:
"Chlorination of drinking water removes oxygen. Cooking and over-processing of our foods lowers their oxygen content. Unrestrained antibiotic use destroys beneficial oxygen-creating bacteria in the intestinal tract. Dr. Johanna Budwig of Germany has shown that for proper cellular utilization of oxygen to take place, our diets must contain adequate amounts of unsaturated fatty acids. Unfortunately, the oils rich in these fatty acids have become less and less popular with the food industry. Their very nature makes them more biologically active, which requires more careful processing and gives them a shorter shelf-life. Rather than deal with these challenges, the food industry has turned to the use of synthetic fats and dangerous processes like hydrogenation.
It's obvious that our oxygen needs are not being met. Several of the most common ailments now affecting our population are directly related to oxygen starvation. Asthma, emphysema, and lung disease are on the rise, especially in the polluted metropolitan areas. Cases of constipation, diarrhea, intestinal parasites and bowel cancer are all on the upswing. Periodontal disease is endemic in the adult population of this country. Cancer of all forms continues to increase. Immune system disorders are sweeping the globe. Chronic fatigue, "Yuppie Flu" and hundreds of other strange viral diseases have begun to surface. Ironically, many of the new "miracle" drugs and nutritional supplements used to treat these conditions work by increasing cellular oxygen (oftentimes through H202 formation). For example, the miracle nutrient, Coenzyme Q10, helps regulate intercellular oxidation. Organic germanium, which received considerable publicity not too long ago, also increases oxygen levels at the cellular level. And even substances like niacin and vitamin E promote tissue oxidation through their dilation of blood vessels."
Here is another good article as well: http://www.garynull.com/Documents/Arthritis/Hydrogen_Peroxide_Therapy.htm
I wish you the very best,
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'm still having problems with this current fibro flare, but thankfully I'm on the tale end of it. I have A LOT to write about regarding this current flare, but I'll have to do it later.
In the mean time, with so much going on about Swine Flu, and flu in general, I want to post a link for you here to Dr. Vickery's very detailed information about flu and how to combat it. It's definitely a "Must Read". http://www.supernutrient.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=14
May you be blessed today,
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Vickery as well as his assistant Michelle today. We spent quite a good bit of time talking and going over my symptoms and issues with Fibromyalgia.
Yesterday I posted an ALERT here on the blog and then I went to everyone I could think of who is living with Fibromyalgia, Allodynia, & CFS to tell them (no, URGE them) to please, please, please take a look at the video and links I had posted here. I had a very strong gut feeling that I had stumbled upon something big,...VERY big. Well, I wasn't disappointed, especially after meeting Dr. Vickery for myself over the phone. The man is nothing short of astounding.
Talk about PASSIONATE about what he's doing! He absolutely is driven to help as many of us as he can and believe me he's paid a heavy price to do it. The mainstream medical community absolutely refuses to back him or admit that he has an advanced and corrective handle on Fibromyalgia as well as other illnesses. They won't do it, because he only practices holistic medicine which the majority do not believe is legitimate medicine. (I suspect it's a money issue as well. The pharmasutical companies and medical offices impacted would be huge.)
My question is.... why can't the two work hand in hand? That's Dr. Vickery's question too. The applied science behind his research is all but self evident to even the most untrained of curiosity seekers. Because he uses testing that is not "mainstream", he is somehow categorized as less than trustworthy by the "movers and shakers" within the medical community (and even by some in the Chiropractic community). You know what I say???? WHO CARES! I say, "Let me find out for myself".
I was able to find several patient testimonies from those he has helped and who now have their health and lives back. (http://briceevickeryfoundation.com/ and http://www.life-enthusiast.net/amino/testimonials.htm are a couple of pages of testimonies) Beyond this though, what draws me the most about the research and conclusions he explains in detail, is that line by line, symptom by illness, I can go down the list and compare my own personal history with and SEE it. There is a definite pattern that matches up. The problem has been that I've only ever seen 1 thing at a time instead of looking at Fibromyalgia as a SET of problems that have to be solved. When looked at it in entirety, the whole picture becomes clear and now makes not just sense, but common sense. I find myself continually nodding my head "yep, I've had that and this and that over there, and oh yeah, that happened or is happening...". Even more than that, I finally understood why just one thing alone hasn't been THE answer for me yet. I've tried several things as you know from the information I've put on the blog before (like about Serrapeptase - which I STILL think is a remarkable enzyme. I still recommend it with the caveat that you may need to take it over a period of time to see long term benefits.), but each thing I've tried has only addressed one area or specific target rather than a set of targets.
By the time our conversation was over today I was even more convinced that this man has a key and I have to use it for myself to find out how far I can go to get my life back. He showed me things I was aware of and things I was not aware of but able to verify. (Such as the impact of yeast, the chlamydia pneumoniae germ, formaldehyde poisoning, and Celiac Disease upon Fibromyalgia) I walked away from the conversation feeling full and satisfied as if I had just been treated to an all you can eat buffet of information. He also gave me directions for further research on my own. (Which I did as soon as we hung up)
I found Dr. Vickery to be knowledgeable, passionate, driven, and good humored. He was also able to deftly hand out the good and the bad news in a way that didn't leave me wrecked and hopeless. (We've all been there haven't we?)
The truth is, the road back for me will not be easy, and it will not be fun at first. He talked to me about going on the specialized diet he has developed for his patients that requires me to cut out all gluten and all sugar. (I shudder to think that I have to miss the love affair I have with my coffee each morning for a while...
He also was able to determine that because of the degraded state of my digestive system, there is a good chance that I would not have success using his Fibromyalgia Protocol unless we heal my gut and get it straightened out first. I simply wouldn't even be able to absorb the most basic of amino acids and enzymes. However, he has seen this before and was able to discover what to do to fight against it and bring the absorption rate back so that the rest of the program can actually benefit people like me instead of us throwing money away and walking away unhelped.
Now, he didn't have to tell me that. He could have just said "oh you need this and this" and left it there, not caring whether I regained my health or not. He'd have his money and I'd be left feeling scammed. But he DID tell me, and he even admitted that before he was able to discover why a few of his patients were not helped by the Protocol, it seemed there would be failure for some. Rather than getting discouraged, he set about finding out why. He worked with them until he was able to discover the correlation between the damage in the intestine (basically he said it's like the intestinal wall is burned and the villi that are supposed to be present, are damaged) and the inability to absorb even the most basic of components. Therefore the body could not heal itself like it would be able to do normally. I have a lot of respect for anyone who can admit a fall back, but who takes the experience as a stepping stone to go further until they can solve it.
I could go on and on, but I think it would be best to just recommend talking with him, emailing him, and going to his site to read for yourself what he has to say. Each person has to decide for themselves whether they want to take the next step and try his Protocol and find out if it helps them. I've decided I'm going to go for it because I have nothing to lose other than some money. However, compared to the expense of what Fibromyalgia has cost me and my family personally and professionally, the expense is minimal. I told him that I needed a little extra time before I can purchase the Protocol and he was fine with that. He didn't try and sell me, pressure me, or sway me with incentives. He just respected it. He went ahead and took all of my information, listed out all of the products and prices and said when I was ready it would all be in the order system ready for me. I appreciated that very much.
Dr. Vickery gave me permission to use his logo to post here on the blog for my readers. It is on the right hand side close to the top. Please at least go and read what he has to say. At least you will come away with more information and more to go on than before. I do not get any kickbacks, discounts, or incentives for advertising him. I am only spreading the word.
I care very much about those living with these illnesses, and I wish you the very best,
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I am posting information here for you tonight after doing several hours of reading and re-reading, definition searches, web searches and so forth on some information I found earlier today by accident. (**Actually I have Mary at www.MarysFreebies.com to thank because of a link on her site that led to another link that I'm about to show you, but I'll tell more about that later. Suffice it to say that she is my #1 angel of the day today! Go over and see her though, she has all kinds of info on Free stuff!)
Okay, on with the news. I am currently doing research into the information I found today by Dr. Brice Vickery and I want to share 1 video and 3 links with you to check out as soon as you can. Dr. Vickery has the most comprehensive handle on Fibro and other illnesses that I have ever come across and I don't think it's "coincidence" that I found it. One thing I'm seeing from him that I have not been seeing so much of is that he has a multi-focused point of view about Fibromyalgia. He comes right out and calls it a "disease". He also is not looking at just one cause for it, nor just one cure either. I was astonished to see what he has written. I'm also astonished at testimonials regarding the Fibro (and other illnesses) relief his patients are getting! According to many, they are saying it's gone!
Just as a measuring stick: Personally I have had all of these below and then some. So when I read his information the pieces started to pop into position like a large puzzle. That's why I started reading more and more and also why I'm sharing it with all of you.
1) Diagnosed spine degeneration at C4/C5, hypothesized degeneration elsewhere, but 2 MRI's couldn't find other spine pain reasons.
2) Curved Spine
3) Lower back and sciatic pain along with neck and shoulder pain for years. Can't walk sometimes and need a cane for walking assistance.
4) Herpes Simplex 1 (cold sores/fever blisters) since around age 7
5) Fillings began degenerating/falling out of teeth around 4 years ago.
6) Diagnosed severe adrenal fatigue
7) Several yeast infections over a period of years. One large attack during pregnancy.
8) Referred to kidney specialist after several lab tests came back with troubling results. Still waiting on info.
9) TMJ - corrective splint for 2 years, then specialized braces to correct bite.
10) Period of extremely high stress for about 3 years – consecutive with no break, after which I became the most ill and unable to continue with normal life as of that point. Previous to that several extremely high stress periods lasting a year or longer.
Dr. Vickery has literally decades of study under his belt using all natural and holistic medicine. He is achieving results. The mainstream medical community may be missing the opportunity to have a HUGE breakthrough if they don't at least consider what this man has to say. I will be giving information to my medical team as soon as I can, so they have it to go over and consider.
Background From His Websites:
1) Testimonials in Progress Link
2) Credentials: "Brice E. Vickery, D.C. graduated from Lincoln Chiropractic College in 1951 and took post graduate work at Lincoln College and Spears Chiropractic Hospital. He has appeared on radio and television and has authored The Pocket T.S. line Manual, The Two-Edged Sword Diet as well as numerous magazine articles. He also served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Chiropractic Association. He is a certified Applied Kinesiologist and has accreditation in Electroacupuncture according to Voll ( EAV ). He is listed in the 1999-2000 Who’s who in Medicine and Healthcare. After 50 years of practice most of which was in the CT Holistic Chiropractic Offices , he is now president of SuperNutrient Corporation, is a nutritional consultant, and teaches his methods in seminars (on DVD and VHS). "
(Note: Dr. Vickery's website (but not the medical info) has some terms that are Christian based in nature such as that they are a tithing company, and some biblical themes you may recognize. Please, if you are NOT a believer, READ IT ANYWAY! IF YOU DON'T, YOU WILL MISS OUT ON POTENTIALLY IMPORTANT MEDICAL INFO THAT HAS NO BEARING ON A PARTICULAR SET OF BELIEFS. He is not "pushing G-d" or "Christianity" in any way I assure you. For those of you who ARE believers, you will be most pleasantly blessed at what this Dr. has to tell us about Fibromyalgia!)
Be sure and read and re-read, contact him with questions, and check him out. I have already contacted him and I hope to hear back shortly. (** Update: 4/23/09 - Dr. Vickery wrote me back yesterday and recommended that we talk by phone. I will be calling him later today. I'm very excited about the possibilities!)
Please gain all that you can in seeing if what he has to say makes sense to you personally. I believe that I may have just stumbled onto a huge gold mine for all of us if this proves to be a door of hope for our well being finally! We'll see what happens in the days ahead. I'll keep you posted as I find out more. I am very seriously considering starting his Fibromyalgia Protocol system and if I do end up doing it I will keep you posted on my progress.
As always, my very best to you,
Video and 3 links below:
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis – Video (Dr. Brice Vickery)
Link #1 http://www.supernutrient.com/fibromyalgia/fmP3.php
Link #2 http://www.supernutrient.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3
Link #3 http://www.supernutrient.com/fibromyalgia/index.php
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Have you had a dream that burns within you? A dream you think is over because of years and years of delays and "no"s and no chances to get your voice or idea heard? Do you feel that because you have Fibromyalgia you can never get your dream fulfilled? Do you feel that people don't take you seriously even though you KNOW you have something special to share? Do you wish for just one chance,... just one?
I've felt that way SO many times. My husband shared this with me, and I knew I had to share it with my readers too. It may have nothing to do with Fibro, but it has everything to do with believing in yourself no matter what anyone else thinks or says.
This link is for you. (Watch the whole way through.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRmM1J1sfg
Now because I've had so many people tell me, "I can't do what I dream about. It's over" I want to let you know that my book "How To Use What You Already Have, What You Already Know, and What You Already Love to Create Income" on the right hand side of the blog & at eBay, has a chapter about "peripheral involvement" that shows how to re-work your idea/dream for a career and tailor it around your Fibro symptoms. You don't have to let your dream career die just because you have Fibromyalgia. You can find a way to make it live!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE
My very best to all of you,
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Today I want to talk about Fibromyalgia in the workplace. Specifically I will be referring to those PWF’s (People with Fibromyalgia) who are working a mainstream career and must handle their Fibro symptoms while holding down a traditional career. (This takes nothing away from PWF’s who are working for themselves. I try and approach all angles here on the blog.)
So how does one manage their symptoms while being on a strict time schedule, facing deadlines, having an employer to answer to, driving back and forth, dealing with workplace relationships, and being responsible for their particular work? The task is by no means easy, and takes a great deal of inner and outer strength to accomplish. Let’s look at some things that can help.
There are many PWF’s who experience a certain level of fear or nervousness about telling their employer that they either have Fibro or are struggling with Fibro symptoms. They feel that telling the truth about Fibro may cause them to lose their job, be passed over for promotion, may cause the relationship between themselves and their co-workers to change for the worse, or may mean a reduction in trust by their employer. Why? Because Fibro symptoms can, when they flare up, cause a PWF to become all but incapacitated and unable to do their work; therefore they fear that they will become “less valuable” as employees because they fear being viewed as “unreliable”. They fear that their job security may, or will be threatened and therefore, they remain silent and refuse to show any “weakness”. This may be especially true for men and sole wage earners in the family who have Fibromyalgia. The pressure to keep their job outweighs their personal needs and they basically “grin and bear it”.
I want to assert that if you are facing this pressure and feel that you are forced to hide Fibromyalgia from your employer or co-workers; perhaps a different point of view of your worth and value is due.
Listen, I’m not blind to the problems going on in the economy, the loss of jobs, the fact that just HAVING a job nowadays is something to be very, very grateful for (although I personally feel that this should be the way we feel anyway, no matter what’s going on.) and that the idea of losing or walking away from what you have is an emergency extreme you don’t want to face. I know, and I get it my friends. Believe me.
Hear me out though. For some PWF’s this life of silence in order to keep their employment, may have a higher cost than anything that could happen by changing jobs or choosing to leave a place of employment where you are not FREE to live truthfully before your employer and co-workers.
The toll on your body and mind may be higher and more exacting than you realize. Like a rock tossed into a pond, the rings of consequence could branch out wider and wider until they touch areas of your life you didn’t realize could even connect. It could affect your relationships (due to sheer exhaustion and little quality time together), it could affect your safety and the safety of others (driving under pressure, pain, fatigue or medication), it increases the amount of worry and fear in your friends and family over your welfare, (I know you don’t mean to and don’t want to do that to them), it could actually increase your pain flares and make it even harder for you to work, it could cause you to make mistakes on the job and accomplish what you fear will happen anyway, and the worst thing…it could cost you your inner life. You will know, every day, that you will not protect you or make sure that you are ok and you will not be able to trust yourself any longer. In a sense you will know you that you abandoned yourself for money and a job and you will resent yourself in the deepest regions of your heart. You will foster resentment at having to “hide”, you will foster bitterness, you will foster anger, and you will foster depression. This is a deadly combination to your mind, body, and spirit.
Far better, is to admit that you have Fibromyalgia and that you have symptoms that you can neither control nor predict, and that it is a very real condition. The truth is…any employer that would attempt to undermine your value at work after learning of your condition is NOT WORTH your hard work! You deserve better. You deserve to work for a company and an employer who values you and will support and appreciate you. You need that in order to keep your symptoms under the best control that you can, while earning a living. That is the bare truth.
This may mean taking a leap of faith. This may mean seriously considering changing jobs and preparing now, to make that change. Getting your resume and cover letter in order, talking with your spouse and family, and resolving to make a change that has nothing to do with placing money ahead of you as a person. I know this is a radical idea, and not one to take lightly. It means being able to virtually guarantee that you have one job before leaving the other. In this current economic climate, it may be even harder. I know that what I’m suggesting is something very serious.
I choose to believe that you are valuable and irreplaceable. There is no one else who is you. If the world loses the benefit of your best self, it is not something we can ever get back. That’s how valuable I believe you are. No kidding.
In order to do this there’s a risk you’ll have to be courageous enough to face right now. You have to risk having an honest and heartfelt discussion with your employer regarding the truth about your condition. There is a chance that your employer may be more supportive of you than you thought and your work condition could actually improve by “clearing the air”. Without all that hiding and pressure, your work production and quality may actually improve and help you achieve a much healthier and happy existence. Plus, your employer may be able to help you understand with the help of Human Resources, the laws and regulations regarding workplace discrimination against those who have very real and verifiable health conditions. Don’t neglect doing a little research first! Find out for yourself what the guidelines are, and what you have to have in order to show documentation of your condition. Arm yourself.
Now for those of you who are thinking “Yeah Sherri, they may have rules, but they’ll just find some other excuse for letting me go by using “loopholes” and I just can’t risk that!” or “Sherri, I don’t care what you say, I absolutely can risk that! I can NOT lose this job!” I hear you. I understand completely. I don’t want you thinking that I don’t. I mean, what if you are a single parent and your children are depending on you for their basic necessities, or a an adult taking care of an elderly parent, or a parent or spouse taking care of an invalid, or a man who’s wife doesn’t work and your family is depending on you for income, or any one of a number of people faced with a situation that requires complete and utter dependence on you. I hear you and I’m not leaving you out to hang. What I want to do is help you find ways to “define Fibromyalgia instead of letting Fibromyalgia define you.” (Thanks to my friend at Twitter for that very real and inspiring statement!) In the next post “Fibromyalgia in The Workplace Part 2” I will talk with those of you specifically.
For now, let’s assume that you are going to go ahead with revealing your Fibro to your employer.
Talking With Your Employer
Before you have your meeting with your employer it’s important to have your “ducks in a row”. You need to have documentation if possible. Perhaps being able to show appointment dates with your doctor, a written statement of diagnosis, or perhaps a journal that you keep with your symptoms in it will be what you use to do this. You don’t have to share all of your personal details, just something to substantiate your condition as real and ongoing.
The next thing is to say what you can do and what you cannot do. It’s important to talk about what you are able to do first. You want to assure your employer that you are still a valuable employee and that there are many things you are able to do in order to contribute to the company. Remind them about things you’ve accomplished in the past while they were not aware that you were dealing with your Fibro symptoms. What you’re doing is telling them that it cost you to do those things and that eventually if you don’t deal with those symptoms while at work, your production will fall back, and you need to stay on top of your game.
The next step is to lay out what you have to have or do in order to deal with days when your symptoms are insurmountable and how you need to deal with it. What things can you both come up with in order to deal with those days? Perhaps they will need to know that if you call in sick on a day, there is a substantial and documented reason for you to do so. What proposals can you write down before your meeting with him or her to lay out a plan they can follow with you? The more prepared you are the better. It shows initiative, it shows a position of strength, it shows responsibility and it shows that you are not falling back on excuses but actively taking control of your condition.
Before your meeting, sit down and think all of these thoroughly. Write things down and if possible print them out so you have something they can look at and also keep in your employee file. Tell them what you will be using as tools to help you deal with your condition at work so it doesn’t come as surprise when they see it. Will you need to take more 10 or 15 minute breaks during the day? Will you need to use walking assistance (a cane or walking stick) at work? Will you be using a sign to signal a high flare day (like a sign at your desk or something hung from your chair, if you work outside perhaps some way of signaling this to your co-workers)? Will you be using the assistance of another co-worker to help you manage more detailed or urgent tasks that could suffer quality if you are dealing with a high level of brain fog? Will you be carpooling in order to keep yourself from the possibly having an accident? You get the idea. You need a plan of action in place before you go in for your meeting.
Perhaps your employer may have access to other things that can help you as well. Ergonomic tools and furniture to help you or other things that they know about that perhaps you don’t. Be open to suggestions and work together to come up with a plan.
Most employers are more than willing to work with you to keep you because they don’t want to spend the money to interview, employ, and train a whole new employee for your position.
The relief gained from finally coming out with it and then taking control of a plan of action can benefit you in so many ways. Again, like that rock thrown into the pond, the ripple effects can go on and on both professionally and personally.
I want to encourage you to network with other PWF’s or people living with Chronic pain and fatigue keeping a mainstream career. There are several support groups and online resources where you can band together with them. You have the potential of learning new ways to cope, new ways to increase your value at work, and most of all you gain the knowledge that you are not alone and you have the backing of other PWF’s to help you stay strong. The better armed you are, the more strength you have to keep going.
Links and Information
Fibromyalgia on the Job
Accommodating employees with FMS
Women Living and Working with Fibromyalgia
Men with Fibromyalgia (Check out the forums)
Allnurses – Working Full time with Fibromyalgia
Work and Disability Issues with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Work and Fibromyalgia
Google search – Working Full time With Fibromyalgia
Google search – Support Group for Those Working Full Time With Fibromyalgia
In the next post “Fibromyalgia in The Workplace Part 2” we will talk about those PWF’s who choose not to reveal Fibro to their employer and how to stay strong.
There is much more I could say and point out in this post, but for now I want to put this out there so you have something to consider right away. This is a starting point.
Here’s to your success! I wish you all the very best; and remember… YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE EITHER.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I've had it on my mind to address Allodynia on its own more often. I'm coming across more and more PWF's (People With Fibromyalgia) who are describing symptoms that either sound like or closely resemble those of Allodynia. Many people may not have the information they need to ask questions of their doctors to find out if they indeed have it or not.
What is Allodynia?
Retrieved from http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/allodynia.html on March 2nd 2009:
***“Allodynia is pain that is caused by stimulus that does not usually produce a pain response in the body.
Allodynia is the result of a process called central sensitization, where cells in the central nervous system are unusually excitable. There are several types of Allodynia, including touch Allodynia, location Allodynia and temperature Allodynia.”***
Retrieved from http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/allodynia.html?pageNum=2#2 on March 2nd 2009:
***"Even though the exact cause is not known, Allodynia is considered to be the result of a process called central sensitization, which is an increase in the excitability of neurons within the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves branch out to the rest of the body.
Usually the central sensitization occurs because of peripheral sensitization. In peripheral sensitization, the peripheral nerve endings keep sending the pain signals to the brain even in the absence of a pain stimulus. During central sensitization, a normally harmless stimulus, such as a light touch to the skin, activates neurons in the spinal cord and brain that are usually activated only in response to noxious stimuli (intense stimuli that may cause damage to the tissue), or the neurons may get activated even in the absence of any stimulus.
There are several types of Allodynia.
Touch Allodynia (cutaneous Allodynia). Pain experienced from stimulus that does not normally produce pain. Examples of activities that may produce Allodynia include combing or brushing hair, shaving, showering and wearing glasses.
Location Allodynia (allesthesia or allachesthesia). Pain that occurs in a location of the body other than the one stimulated. One example of location Allodynia is when pain is experienced in the forearm when a hand is rubbed against a beard.
Temperature Allodynia (thermal Allodynia). Abnormal pain resulting from exposure to heat or cold. One example occurs when a cold breeze produces a feeling of burning.
Additional symptoms that may accompany Allodynia include soreness or tenderness, difficulty resting on the side of the body experiencing Allodynia, hot or burning sensation and localized tenderness. Sometimes the person may not be able to tolerate even the touch of cloth to the area affected by Allodynia.
Allodynia is often a response to a change in the nature of a tactile or thermal stimulus. For example, a person who had not been experiencing pain may suddenly feel pain when a fan is turned on.
Allodynia is different from hyperalgesia (extreme sensitivity to pain). This occurs when a stimulus that is normally painful causes an unusually exaggerated and prolonged amount of pain. It is also different from referred pain, paresthesia and psychosomatic pain.
Allodynia is often a component of neuropathic pain. This pain is the result of damage or disease to the peripheral or central nervous system, such as that caused by diabetes. Neuropathic pain is different from other types of pain, such as nociceptive pain, which is usually the response to noxious stimuli."***
My Experience With Allodynia
My personal experience with Allodynia includes “sunburn-like” feelings of pain when my hair brushes against my neck or face or from certain clothing materials especially in my shirts, and burning sensations on various parts of my skin such as my arms, my cheeks, the sides of my nose, and my hips for example. (This falls under the category of 'Tactile Allodynia')
I am also extremely sensitive to multiple noises or certain pitches of noise. If there is more than one conversation going on in a room and the TV is also on, I feel as though my brain is being scrambled in a food processor and my body becomes hypersensitive. If I’m around several children laughing and squealing, or certain females with high pitched voices my body becomes hypersensitive. (This falls under the category of 'Location Allodynia')
I am very sensitive to changes in temperature. My skin can feel extremely cool to the touch and have goose bumps even in temperatures in the upper 70's if there is a breeze blowing and my Allodynia is acting up that day. There are times when I'll be huddled up on my couch with a large warm blanket on me, and the rest of my family is walking around in shorts and light shirts. We live in Arizona and even the Arizona heat can at times be no comfort for me. My husband jokingly quipped one day (and it made me laugh so hard!) "hell isn't hot enough for my wife!" LOL!!!!!!
The strange thing is that just as quickly as I'm shivering and shaking from a slight breeze or wind, I can turn "fever hot" inside without any heat manifesting on my skin to match how hot I feel inside. It can feel like a fever in my tissues and bones without any evidence of it on the outside. (Just to be sure, I was checked to see if I'm in pre-menopause, and the result was negative) These are not hot flashes as such. (This falls under the category of 'Temperature Allodynia')
These symptoms as with my Fibromyalgia symptoms are unpredictable, frustrating to manage, and do not occur all the time. I have to be on top of things and have things handy to help myself manage them.
I keep a rubber band, barrette, or scrunchy handy to put my hair up, I choose mostly soft cotton or soft material for my shirts and avoid anything made of mostly linen or any Angora as they aggravate my skin sensitivity.
I keep a set of soft reusable earplugs handy to minimize noise. It’s become sort of a cute joke within my family because I happen to be the mother of six awesome kids! Because we work together as a family team, they know if Mom has her pink earplugs in, it’s because my Allodynia is acting up and it doesn’t make them feel rejected or condemned. I’ve sat down with them and told them several times that I love them, I want them to act normal and that I have to do what I have to do in order to manage my pain at the same time. (On the silly side: I just decided to “go with it” and find the cutest earplugs I could find for my taste and they are now one of my “fashion accessories”. Hahahaaa!! I’ve found all kinds of different colors like blue, purple, pink, green and yellow and I even found flesh tone ones too!)
I keep a sweater or jacket handy in the vehicle or tied around my waist when I'm out, just in case. I also use disposable heat packs from Therma-Care on my lower back or lower abdomen if I'm wearing an outfit that doesn't look right with a jacket or sweater. I find that when I place them in these areas I am able to achieve a heat wave type of affect all over, or at least enough to keep me pretty comfortable.
I want to encourage those of you who believe you may have the above symptoms or even some of the described symptoms and are suspicious that you may be experiencing the effects of Allodynia, to ask questions at your doctor's appointments. Print out the information or write it down so you can have it there with you. Also, write down and keep a record of your symptoms; where they occur, when they occur, how they feel, and how often they happen. Take it with you to your appointment and have a good and lengthy look together with your medical team at whether you should be examined further to see if there is a diagnosis to be made.
My best to all of you today...