Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Hello Everyone,

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

Fibro Flare

My friends, am under a very intense flare. Hard to write even, so I will update the blog again when it's over. I'm fighting not to give up, don't you give up either.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

UPDATE - Dr. Brice E. Vickery - What I Learned About Fibromyalgia & What You Should Know Too

Hello Everyone,

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

**ALERT Fibromyalgia, CFS, Allodynia Information You MUST Review! ALERT**

***This is a Fibromyalgia, Allodynia, & CFS Alert***

Hello Everyone,
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

Inspiration For People Living With Fibromyalgia

Hello Everyone,

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!


My very best to all of you,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fibromyalgia In The Workplace - Part 1

Hello Everyone,

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.

Admit It

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

Fighting Nausea Without Medications

Hello Everyone,
I found a good article at Science Daily regarding using the P6 acupressure point in the wrist to relieve nausea and vomiting.
The reason I'm sharing it with you is because I've personally used this pressure point several times over the past nine years to relieve nausea (especially after surgeries and also after a cervical epidural ).
For me it has worked and so I wanted to let you know about it so that you could see if it may work for you too. Many of us with Fibro and/or chronic pain experience nausea from pain flare ups, dizziness, and/or medications. Hopefully this can be one more tool to help manage your symptoms.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2009)"Up to 80 percent of patients who have surgery complain of nausea and vomiting afterwards, but stimulating an acupoint in their wrists can help reduce these symptoms, finds a new evidence review..."

All my best to you,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Facing Fibro

This awesome lady wrote a fantastic post about facing Fibro in God's presence. It's like cool clear water on a parched throat! Check it out

Becky I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Is Allodynia?

Hello Everyone,

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.

They include:

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...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blessed Easter Pictures, Images and Photos

May Your Easter Be A Day of

Rememberance, Rejoicing, & Love!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Does Fibromyalgia Feel Like?

An excerpt taken from my new book coming out soon - "It's Happening To You Too - Practical Help and Support For Those Who Care For Loved Ones Living With Fibromyalgia" - Copyright 2009 by Sherri Kohls

"What does Fibromyalgia Feel Like?
I will start by saying that the truth is that every patient with Fibromyalgia is different. No two of us experience the exact same symptoms, levels of pain, levels of fatigue, or physical challenges in the same way. There are some symptoms and challenges that many of us have in common, and in the next few minutes I’m going to share with you a very common set of symptoms and experiences faced by a great number of PWF’s (Person With Fibromyalgia) on a daily basis. It is important to remember that EVERY PWF is different! Therefore if you want to love and support your PWF to the very best of your ability, you have to have the courage to sit down with them and ASK them what it’s like for them personally. Make sure to have a pen or pencil and some paper handy while they’re talking to you because taking notes about what they say will come in handy later.

Here’s why:

There are going to be days and times when your PWF will have to cancel plans, rearrange schedules, or lean on you for support more than usual. There ARE going to be times when the symptoms and challenges of Fibromyalgia will be inconvenient, a pain in the rear, upsetting to both of you, and very frustrating. At those times, I want to encourage you to take out your piece of paper and read it again. Read it slowly and imagine you are the one with the symptoms and challenges written down there. Think about how would you like others to react to you if you were in those very same circumstances. What type of understanding and help would you want to receive if it was you instead of your PWF?

You have to think about it ahead of time, and resolve to yourself that you will take action to do your very best to “go with the flow” and work around it all. If you don’t make that choice, the stress, disappointment, resentment, and frustration will build up inside you and most likely inside your PWF as well.

Keep in mind that the more unresolved conflict and stress your PWF has, the higher the chances there will be for a full blown flare up in pain and fatigue to happen to them. What that means to you is this; more stalled or rearranged plans, more interruptions, and more let downs for both of you. If you both resolve to “go with the flow” then you will have a higher chance for success in being able to manage and overcome the physical symptoms and challenges your PWF has and be able to enjoy more quantity AND quality time together doing the things you both enjoy.

Okay, with that said, here is a very common set of circumstances, symptoms, and challenges that many PWF’s experience every day.

Most of us living with Fibromyalgia experience this:

Imagine having a really bad case of the flu, but the only symptoms you have are extremely bad body aches and pains, hot flashes and cold chills and nausea. Imagine that you have a fever but you can’t feel it on your skin. It’s INSIDE your muscles and bones but your skin feels cool to the touch.

Now imagine that you just had a strenuous work out the day before and your muscles are really sore. Or better yet imagine a bad bruise you’ve had before and how it hurt to even touch it a little bit. Now imagine those types of bruises all over your body.

Imagine that you didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before or that you have been up for 48 hours straight. Imagine you are having a really hard time concentrating and you find yourself daydreaming and being really forgetful. You are soooo tired, you can’t make sense of things sometimes, you can’t keep your eyes open, you feel dizzy and strange, and all you want to do is lie down and sleep for as long as you can. Imagine you get the opportunity to take that nap that you’ve been craving to take all day long and when you lay down all of a sudden you can’t get to sleep to save your life. You can’t figure out why, because your body and brain feel like they’re going to drop at any moment. Why wouldn’t you be able to sleep??? You get frustrated and angry because all you want to do is drift off and rest.

Okay, now imagine that for some reason, you just can’t hold onto objects very well and you seem to be dropping a lot of things for no reason that you can determine. Imagine a time when you were really nervous and your legs and arms felt like spaghetti. You trip over things and can’t seem to feel sure of your footing.

Now…add all of those together and you get what most PWF’s feel 24 hours and day, 7 days a week.

And guess what else? Those are just SOME of the symptoms we live with. Some of us also experience sexual challenges, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine or stress headaches, blurred vision, weight gain, and much more.

Imagine trying to tell someone how you were feeling, trying to describe it, but you look completely normal. They can’t see any “evidence” of your pain, no bruises, no breaks, no virus, no anything. They give you “that look”. The one that says “you’re just making this up to get attention or because you’re lazy”. Now imagine it’s a doctor you’re desperately coming to for help to alleviate your pain and fatigue and it’s THEM giving you that look. Yeah…it’s NO fun.

It’s humiliating, it’s embarrassing and frustrating. Ultimately once we PWF’s get past those emotions of rejection (IF we get past them), then more often than not, we turn to anger, bitterness, and or resentment at not being trusted or believed. We retreat into ourselves and guard ourselves from the emotional pain of not being believed. We begin to endure our situation with this pain and fatigue in silence and personal isolation. We become distrusting and depressed. The only other people who seem to have any understanding or compassion at all are others living with Fibromyalgia and/or Allodynia or any other type of illness that is chronic.

If you don’t become an advocate and a supporter for your PWF, you could very well contribute the above emotions and reactions I just mentioned. If you love your PWF at all, don’t be one of “those people” in their lives. Believe them, believe them, and believe them. Don’t condemn them to a life of isolation and rejection on top of the horrible pain and fatigue they are enduring as well. It is hard enough to fight for their quality of life, but having to go it alone is a cruel and unjust life sentence that you could save them from.

You see how important you really are? VERY important.

Now I want you to imagine having all of those symptoms of pain and severe fatigue piled up on you, and you have to get up to go to work, or you have to take care of your kids or do housework, or repairs in your home. Imagine having an important date or vacation scheduled with your friend or loved one(s). One you’ve been looking forward to for a while and you already have reservations and some money invested in it. You have to be there.

The truth is, you just want to lay there in your agony. You have no energy, no willpower, and no motivation to do ANYTHING. It doesn’t matter if you lay down, sit, or stand, nothing helps. Even getting out of bed to go to the restroom seems like a monumental task. You don’t want to tell anyone because it seems too “lazy” and unbelievable. After all, you were fine just yesterday and you were able to function pretty well. Who is going to believe you? Why all of a sudden is this pain and fatigue piled up on you like this? What proof do you have?

And… if you are a man, a single parent, elderly and living alone, or a teenager whose parents, teachers, or friends don’t understand what’s happening; the pressure to perform is even greater! The truth is, in most cases, many of us who are women have someone in our lives to help us, but these four specific categories of Fibromyalgia patients are susceptible to a great deal more strain and stress to endure their symptoms. Most often they feel the most helpless, isolated, and alone in their pain and fatigue.

We PWF’s miss out on a lot of activities and opportunities because of this “thing” we are living with. There is a true sense of grief and loss connected with Fibromyalgia. Some of us have even resorted to becoming suicidal because of desperation and longing for relief both physically and emotionally.

This is a very real, very serious truth that those of you who love and care for PWF’s MUST come to terms with. You have to ask yourself if you are willing to be a supporter of this person through good and bad, thick and thin. Are you willing to accept the challenge and be a hero in this person’s life?"

For more information and help there are several links on the right hand side of my blog that will at least get you started.

I wish you the very best today,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Renewing The Mind - The First Step To Health

Hello Everyone,

It's good to be back here today and writing again. I took several days to sit back and look at some things that are swirling around the environment of my life and to examine them. I often do this in order to find golden nuggets of learning, better communication, ways to improve, and new information that could be useful to others.

During the last couple of days I've been doing lots of reading and digging around for information. I came upon some interesting topics dealing with Fibromyalgia that are taken from alternative health practices.

First, let me stand firm in saying that when it comes to non-medical healing or health I always, always, always turn to one source first and any others second. The Word of God is my standard, period. Anything else, I compare with His Word and if it doesn't match up or seems to exadurate or twist Scripture, I stay away from it.

*NOTE: Now, not everyone who is a reader of POF is a follower of Yeshua (I love Jesus's Name spelled this way. It sounds beautiful to my ears. ...Just a side note..) and I welcome you non-the-less! ALL are welcome here and I respect and fight fiercely for the love that The Lord God has for ALL humankind no matter what we've done or who we have been before choosing Him. His power to forgive and change us is the same for all people who choose to receive it from Him. I know and react upon the truth that He sacrificed His life for each and every human being and He loves each one of us. His Word clearly says: 2 Peter 3:9 (Contemporary English Version) "9The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost." Whether we choose to respond to His love and forgiveness, is a choice only each individual can make. In the mean time here on the POF blog, I will continue to speak to you from my personal standpoint and it includes the Godly perspective.

With that said, I am not opposed to looking at different strategies for dealing with Fibromyalgia that are unconventional or holistic. In fact I'd rather look in that direction that rely solely on medications that contain chemical after chemical and side affect after side affect only. There is a wealth of information on the human body that is both scientific and sensible from the Godly perspective. I mean after all....He made us, so it make sense to investigate how He made us and how to achieve optimal living the way He designed it right? right! ((HUG))

One of the things I've been looking at more and more is the atomic and cellular levels of the human body. The very smallest components of who we are physically and how that works. It continues to amaze me that we start from one single cell that divides and divides until whole systems are formed. I mean, think about our skin for example. It is stretched over our organs and bones perfectly encasing us. Or think of a skeleton in a lab hanging on display. What's the difference between those bones and our bones? It can't stand on it's own without help, yet we as a collective skeleton walk around or move around freely without help in most cases. Even lifting a finger or an arm is a miracle! How does all of this work? How did He DO it?! Amazing....

I go back to the beginning according to Scripture and I find that God spoke, and then whatever He spoke became physically manifested. "God spoke,....and there was..." So, later on in life, probably about 3 or 4 years ago I was amazed to discover that scientists had discovered SOUND WAVES from atoms!

Ok, where am I going with all of this and how does it relate to Fibromyalgia or chronic pain illnesses?

I was investigating a form of holistic healing that deals with cellular energy. The premise being that life traumas or negative events create negative energy with our cells that stays there permanently if not removed. This negative energy confuses and stifles the body into being unable to naturally heal itself correctly. In order to regain optimal health, the practitioner guides the subject into finding ways to regain positive cellular health so that the body can again function at its optimal level.

Now, let me say that many people (according to testimony) have found help this way and have in fact regained their health as verified through scientific and medical tests. I personally will not choose to use this path for help. In order to participate in this type of therapy, there are several things and actions within the therapy that you have to be willing to either do or at least accept in order for it to be fruitful. One practitioner states that it is NOT necessary to believe everything about the therapy for it to work, but you need to at least accept the therapy procedures and follow the guidelines. One site I found that deals with this type of therapy is here. The site discusses Sacred Cellular Healing as a means to achieving optimal health. Again, I am not endorsing this site or the practices discussed there because of the potential for the procedures to introduce the patient/subject into new age religious practices and beliefs which are contrary to the Word of God. Some may disagree with me or become offended by that statement. I heartily extend my hand in friendliness and agree to disagree with you.

With all of that said, I DO however believe that negative emotions, events, and actions have a lasting and negative impact on our health in a dramatic and devastating capacity.

Scripture says:

Proverbs 3:5-9 (Amplified Bible) "5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. 7Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. 8It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones."

Proverbs 15:30 (New King James Version) "30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy."

Proverbs 16:23-25 (Amplified Bible) 23The mind of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning and persuasiveness to his lips. 24Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body."

With these in mind, (There are many more. You can do a keyword search and find several different translations in order to get the most understanding of each scripture here at Biblegateway) I can see clearly that positives bring health and healing, so it makes sense that negatives do just the opposite to our health and our bones. (It's interesting that the marrow of our bones contains life sustaining blood cells, and that the Word of God states in Leviticus 17:14 (New King James Version)"...for the life of all flesh is its blood" So when our bones lose health it has devastating affects on our body.

For the last several months I've had the same scripture pervading my mind and I think and meditate on it quite a bit. I use it in prayer a lot because I am endeavoring to discover what negatives I've accumulated over time that I haven't dealt with or let go of. The scripture is Psalm 51, and particularly Psalm 51:6-12 the past several months. I like to search out different translations of this same scripture and although they all mean and point the very same direction, doing this exercise helps solidify the meaning deep within.

I have spent several months ... hmmm...maybe the past year since my brother died, going over the things I want to let go of emotionally. Bitternesses, angers, hurts, traumas, unforgiveness.... etc. It's not fun because I'm making myself face each one instead of brushing it aside and sweeping it under the carpet so I don't have to feel it or deal with it.

Definitely going through and thinking about these sometimes results in a fibro flare for me. I've found that for me personally, stress or emotional strain causes fibro flares in me more often than not. I've kept track and found that to be true in my case. This past year I've been more sick with symptoms than I've ever been and most likely this is due to the shock and trauma of my little brother being killed in an accident unexpectedly, plus the fallout and ripple effects of his death in myself and in my family. Whew...it's been one of the most eye opening and shocking, devastating, and bittersweet experiences I've ever lived through. Definitely, it has affected my health in a downward way for the time being.

I've literally pretty much "cocooned" myself over the past year, drawing steadily inward. (Perhaps even longer if I think about it) I rarely go out or see other people than my immediate family or participate in activities except for the bare minimal responsibilities I absolutely have to do like taking care of my children or spending time with my husband or time with God. Honestly I "halted". It's cost me. My very treasured friend who is like a sister to me has been hurt by my lack of communication and time spent with her, and my lack on including her in my life. I have lost joy, I have not participated in church functions like I used to be involved in or intended to be involved in, I spend most of my hours alone.

I am aware that eventually I will need to force myself out of my "cocoon" like the way the butterfly has to get it's way out. Right now I'm still very much the caterpillar being transformed into that butterfly. And like the fact that there can only be one caterpillar per cocoon, I am completely alone in this process until it reaches it's purposed end. I worry who will still be around afterward and if it will have cost me too much. For any of this to have value, I must use the time to assess, address, and confess. (Oh, I like that. I must use it as a key phrase function I think.) In two days I will turn 39 and I still need to answer the questions: "Who am I really?" "What am I becoming?" "Who do I want to be?" "What do I want to do in and with my life?". I am disappointed that I won't have those answers in time to start a new year brand new and ready to go.

The reason I primarily am going through this examination is because when I trace my illness back to the very point of beginning, I can see that Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, and Allodynia all had a beginning point I can clearly point to in my case. I can factually state that at the beginning of feeling their effects, I was experiencing extreme traumas, stress, and negativity in my life. I was also BEING negative toward myself and others both in words and actions on a frequent basis. I had no pleasure in my work or personal life, I fought pain with anger and resentment and bitterness, and yes...unforgiveness.

The Word says: Proverbs 18:20-21 (New King James Version)"20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit."

I have indeed eaten my own words. I frequently did not speak well of myself or others or of situations I was in. I put other's needs and expectations ahead of my conscience, I settled for second best in many ways, I didn't take time to evaluate what I really wanted to do because I let my finances dictate getting any job that paid the bills, I was not good to myself in business, relationships, or spiritually. I put myself in bad situations that resulted in negative consequences, and I literally could feel my body and my mind breaking down little by little until the day I cried out to my husband that if I didn't stop and figure things out I knew I would end up in the hospital within days. Fortunately, he took me seriously and supported me. It cost both of us to do that.

I have learned to literally speak to my body out loud and say things like "Body, be well and function according to God's perfect ways and intentions for you"; or "It's ok Sherri, learn from that and then let it go. Give the emotions and anger and bitterness to God and let Him destroy it"; or "God I want to forgive 'so and so', but I don't' feel like forgiving them. Please help me to forgive them and to look at their point of view too". I speak the word "life" to my body and "cells regenerate"; or "pain I refuse you and send you out of me"

Sound strange? I know. But honestly, it's working for me. Although it is a very hard and time consuming process that has cost me a great deal, and has cost my loved ones a great deal, I know if I don't do it, I will NEVER be the "me" God intended me to be and I will NEVER get the joy of offering my whole self to those I love or come in contact with. I love them enough to decide that they deserve my best self as my gift to them. I love them as people, as His creations, as human beings who I WANT to pour myself into without reservation or walls. Does that make sense? I also want to love myself and cut myself a break instead of loathing my faults and negative qualities the way I do. I SO want to be over that! Again "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" and that includes what I say and think of my own self too.

On that subject I've had to face a new question the past two weeks that I don't want to face and don't like to face, but I must face never the less. The question is: "Have I truly rejected Fibromyalgia and Allodynia in myself, or...have I slowly embraced them as an identity because I ultimately have allowed them to defeat me and I feel powerless to stop them?".... ouch.

When I first started out I was all about fighting against Fibro and Allodynia and I felt certain that healing was just around the bend for me. Then I planned to go out on a crusade to help others find the same. Oooh me, I'd be like Elektra slashing my way through Fibro with my sai weapons like a superhero and ending up a strong and powerful woman. No,...I have not been like Elektra, but have succumbed through the steady onslaught of my enemy beating me down with pain, fatigue, brain fog, medications, dizziness, incapacity, fear, sleep deprivation, ringing in my ears, and on and on. Like Chinese water torture, Fibro and Allodynia have drip, drip, dripped their devastation into my body, my mind, and my spirit.

Will I be able to emerge from my cocoon? Will I become that butterfly? Will I find my way through this illness and indeed be able to help others find their way through? I sincerely and most passionately hope and persevere to do so.

**To Neal:
You were the first person to see me. The first person to see me, and accept me, and fight with me. You were my hiding place and the keeper of my memories. And I saw you.... We saw each other didn't we...

I desperately miss you and long for you and long to experience your unique qualities and how they opened me and caused me to let go and be free while in your presence. I miss being able to return the favor.

My baby brother, who became a man....

I love you Neal with an everlasting love. I long to see you again and count the days until that's possible. While you are in the arms of your King and Lord, experiencing all there is of Him to discover and joy over,... be there Neal. Be there when I come home...

"Where we go one, we go all"


I dedicate this post to one of my truest and longest friends Ken, who has known me since 14. He wrote the piece that follows and gave me permission to post it here on POF. I want to post it here as a celebration of his own journey through brain injury and recovery. (Thank you Ken....for everything)
Copyright 1995 by Kenneth Avery Clabaugh
The tears that roll from the inside come from somewhere; but where? As do the smiles and cries of joy; but why?

Easy to blame, along with the trials and tribulations of life, are other people. It’s the likes, the dislikes, the hate and the love, the disgust and adoration that are the questions we do not seem to be able to find the answers to.
This institution of life is a road to travel of blind corners, yet a clear destination. How long the road is or how far we may advance are the questions each individual assists in answering for him or her self.

With our likes & dislikes constantly changing or being challenged, confusion occurs. When this personal dilemma arises, we risk making problems for others we care about, therefore creating bigger problems for ourselves or even emotional solitude from those that love us unconditionally. This is not a decision, I believe, that can be made consciously. With the utmost sadness I can say, it can happen subconsciously. Although, fortunately, I know that with a strong and willing effort, these holes in the road can be filled. It is just a matter of searching out the proper filling.

Something we learned in childhood that is so very important is that the round peg does not go in the square hole. Trying to force the round peg into the square hole will present problems or dislikes to us, where as inserting the round peg in the round hole allows us to progress more comfortably and speedily to the following hazard or peg around the next, possibly not so blind, corner. All this can be determined by one’s own patience and desire to understand the road he or she is traveling.

When it comes to love and hate, these can be so disastrous or joyous that an uncontrollable spin may arise in either direction or both at once. It is a shame that most fall into the disastrous spin, on the journey to joy, over and over again.

On a good note, some crash, burn and survive to continue and conquer their quest. In these horrible crashes, we might only be able to pray that the hates are dispersed few & far between or destroyed. Praise and glory to those that can level out this undulating stretch of their road.