Showing posts from 2008


Care giving is one of the hardest jobs out there. We have caregivers for many diseases and disorders. Some of these care givers are from the health professional industry and some are friends and family. It can be a thankless job for these people because they feel misunderstood. They can get frustrated because they may not know how to help the person they are caring for. They also tend to try and remain strong and tough, they act like nothing can hurt them-- no matter what you throw their way. And of course this can be so far from the truth.

As a mom, I can relate to care giving when I tend to my children. My youngest is just under a year old and her only form of communication is crying, so it can be hard sometimes to figure out what has gotten her upset since she can't use words to communicate. It's also hard when you try to help, like feed her or change her diaper, only to find out that she's sick with a cold or has gas. You feel helpless because you know that a…

The Holidays And You, Everyday

Let's face it, the holidays are overwhelming at times for us all and saying that they are just stressful can sound like an understatement. When you add a chronic condition to the mix, it can be downright mind blowing for the sufferer.

My family, though lovable, tends to ask me to do things for them at the last possible minute throughout the year, but when it happens to be around this time of year, it just seems worse. For instance, there are many people who like to do cookie exchanges around now, and you usually have to bake at the very least, 5 dozen for those exchanges. There's also the school time fun of Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas gifts for the classroom, cookie treats, school plays and concerts that require outfits, and sometime in between all of this, you are supposed to squeeze in Christmas shopping, preparing a meal for the whole clan, and oh yeah-- there's that tree with ALL of those lights...
I don't know about you, but just typing out all of this is maki…

To Do's

It's funny how you can run into people you knew way back when. I got together with an old friend of mine that I knew in high school and college. We were very good friends back then and did a lot together. She was one friend who knew the me before all of the Fibro madness caught up with me.

We started talking a bit about my issues with Fibromyalgia and the conversation got strange. You see, she started to ask me how different my life is now after diagnoses. And I started to tell her that I have to pace myself with how much I do in a day, and of course, sometimes I don't do that, because on some days I feel really good and I stretch the limit.

She then asked me what I meant by that and I explained that I had this one day where I cleaned my living room and bathroom from top to bottom and then went to my mother-in-laws and raked about three quarters of the leaves in her back yard with her. I of course felt the aches and pains of that day for the next three because of my Fibro.…

We May Not Be Right...But At Least We Aren't Wrong

While I was doing a bit of web surfing for a new book I'm researching, I came across a very interesting article that I must share with all of you. The article, which reads more like a press release, is entitledFibromyalgia Can No Longer Be Called the 'Invisble' Sydrome?

The article was released on November 3, 2008 by SNM, Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy. From what I can gather, SNM is an organization that is both medical and scientific. The facility wants to spread awarenes of what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide good health care for its patients.

The basic premise to the entire article is that through brain scans of 20 Fibromyalgia patients and 10 Healthy women, they have found brain abnormalities in the women who suffer from Fibromyalgia.

So what does this mean for all of us that have suffered with Fibromyalgia? Well, first off, it means that a doctor can't go around telling you that it is all in your head or the classic you're not right…

Soaking Up on Some Knowledge

When my Mother got a teaching job when I was little, she'd have me stay with my Grandmother until she came home from work. My Grandmother and I used to have so much fun cooking, making noodles with her noodle maker, cleaning, and just plain talking.

She has always been a great influence in my life and I discuss her and some of her recipes in my book The Fibro Hand in better detail. But one of the things she taught me was how to use Epsom Salt to my advantage.

If I had a sprain or strained muscle from gym class or exercise, she'd tell me to soak in Epsom Salt. She'd also use it very often for her feet. She suffered from polio when she was two years old and has post-polio as an adult now. Soaking helps her with inflammation.  I remembered this wonderful bit of information while with a gal at a social networking site.

One of the members had a question about Epsom Salt helping Chronic Fatigue sufferers. I'd never heard of it helping, but being the type of person I am,…

You Are What You Eat

One of the first things that I learned when I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia was about what not to eat. I went to the local Borders and found two books on nutrition for Fibro sufferers, got home, and then started soaking up the knowledge.

At first, I couldn't believe what I was reading when I opened up the food additive section. It was shocking to see so many things containing things like MSG. I thought MSG was eliminated from food all together in the 80's since all the Chinese restaurants used to advertise that they got rid of the additive in their foods. Of course, I quickly found out how wrong I was when I started to read food labels.

Food shopping is a whole new adventure for me and the family now because I label read and we tend to go to places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods instead of the old stand by food markets because I can find much healthier alternatives to the classic family food additive favorites.

I tend to make a lot of things from scratch now adays be…

Please Be Kind...Rewind

Something occurred to me the other day about care giving when I was having a discussion with my husband. I call them discussions when something he may be doing is annoying me. And believe me when I tell you that this was a long discussion.

You see, my husband either believes that we have little pixies that clean the bathroom, kitchen, and pick up dirty laundry, or he has a tendency to take me for granted. And since I don't believe that pixies live on Earth, I'm going to go with the later explanation.

Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is a wonderful man, but he's human, and humans tend to forget things. And of course, I can be a pretty good gal and be able to clean house on my good days, but again, I'm only human and my flares prohibit me from doing what I want.

But what occurred to me was that he and I have two very different ways of giving help. You see, if someone asks me to do some wash for them, I'll take it upon myself to separate lights, darks, and …

Plant Some Happiness

When I was young, I remember wanting to have a houseplant in my bedroom. My Mother and Grandmother were happy to oblige my request as long as I was the one watering it. I remember feeling so excited and proud that I was old enough to be able to tend to this little ivy I picked out for my room.

As the weeks went by, I tried to give it everything it needed, but it wasn't fairing very well in my room because of the lack of sun. I had a north facing window and that can be a death sentence to plants that require moderate to full sun. So, my Mother placed the little plant near a better window in the family room and it lasted for a bit of time there until some white flies got a hold of it. I was devastated and swore off gardening for years after that incident.

Many years went by and a friend of mine tried to persuade me into taking up indoor gardening again once I was settled in an apartment with full sun. I told her of my sad ordeal and how I never wanted to go back to gardening aga…

Support System

Today's topic is about having a support system in family, friends, and even co-workers. This subject is very near and dear to me because it was the hardest thing for me to do. I'm very independent to a fault because I was used to being the one to help everyone else out. I was not used to being the one who asked for help.

There were days when I became very discouraged at what I couldn't do anymore. I tried very hard not to express any feelings of discouragement, but at those times, my close friends, co-workers, and family would somehow find a way to pry them out of me. They were all very patient with me and frankly, I'm not sure I'd be the person I am today if they were not so persistent with me.

See, the hard part for me was asking someone, like my husband for instance, to do something like open up a jar of pickles if I had no strength in my hands. I felt that if I was the one who wanted the pickles, I should be the one opening up the jar in the first place. …

The Diet Debate

There are two studies out there stating that Fibro sufferers could gain relief from their symptoms by changing their diet to mostly raw vegetables, or in other words, going vegan. One study is from Finland and the other is from North Carolina and both had their subjects eat a diet rich in raw vegetables and low on salt for about three months.

These two studies are wonderful news because it shows that Fibromyalgia can be relieved naturally. I've always believed this, but I'm not a vegan. Don't get me wrong-- fruits and veggies are very important in the diet, but I also believe that the other food groups are just as important for optimal health. I try to incorporate a balance of every food group in all of my meals and I eat healthy snacks in between. But even though I eat meat, you may wonder if I've added or cut anything out of my diet to help to ease the pain. And I have, I've cut out what my oldest daughter and I call fake food. Fake food is food that has b…

Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy

I touched on the subject of kids in the previous blog as being a great source of de-stressing. They are innocent and give unconditional love. And children are wonderful to have in your life regardless of whether you have a chronic condition or not. I can't tell you how many forum and chat rooms I've been in that cater to people suffering from Fibromyalgia where the subject of children comes up, but there are a lot, and the topic that seems the most interesting to many is pregnancy.

Some of you who have recently had a baby know that there was a baby boom in 2007. I missed that boom by one month and had my littlest one this past January, but I, like all the other mothers to be, was very eager to find out as much information as I possibly could on pregnancy and Fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed in late 2005, which was well after my first pregnancy, and I must admit that I was a bit leery of what might happen to me and a new baby due to my chronic illness, so any information would…

Stress Busters

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't have a chance to post yesterday. I was "busy" tending to my 8 month old who was very clingy yesterday. She's most definitely a Mama's girl and has a very hard time separating from me. It's kind of funny because, in a sense, she seems to know when I'm about to have a flare since she cries for me to pick her up. Now, some of you are probably thinking I'm nuts by saying that because she's just a little baby and how "sensitive" can a baby be-- right? Well the answer to that is simple, babies are pretty sensitive. They can be just as sensitive to their caregivers as a pet would be and when they "react" to you like that, it can actually be beneficial. Sometimes just holding a child or a pet or even tending a to a garden or aquarium can relieve stress. It's a pretty old and known fact and that's going to be the topic of discussion for today.

I've had pets in my home all of my life. Bot…

The Guilt Factor and The Contest

Warning: This blog entry is not a suitable read for children because it contains a mature topic.

Okay, now that the warning is out of the way, I'd like to discuss in today's blog, The Guilt Factor which is a topic I go into great detail about in my book, Fibromyalgia and Sex Can Be A Pain In The Neck... and back and shoulders. I also have an announcement about a special contest that I'm running in honor of National Invisible Illness Awareness Week. I'll discuss that contest in better detail at the end of this blog, but for now, let's talk about our pleasure to please people.

I've always thought that my pleasure to please can get the best of me sometimes. I'm a Mom and I'm sure all you Moms out there know what I mean, but really we all-- whether we are Moms or not-- try to please the people we love by doing things for them. I'm sure everyone will agree (unless you really, really enjoy housework) that cleaning out the cat box, taking out the trash,…

Getting to Fabulous

Getting to Fabulous can seem like a daunting and difficult task for anyone who suffers from Fibromyalgia. The fatigue alone can make everything seem hard. But somehow, everyone of us with this debilitating syndrome manage lives with a job, kids, a partner, hobbies, pets, and anything else you might think of that would be included in a life. And we do it simply because we were people before we got diagnosed and we are most certainly people after that. But finding that happy medium between illness and life can really make a person wrestle with priorities. I discuss in great detail a lot of that turmoil that I went through when first diagnosed in my book The Fibro Hand, and I'll only share a bit of it here so this post won't bore you to tears.

I was always hard-working by nature. And anyone looking at me probably would look at me as a kid that felt she had something to prove. That observation would probably be right because I had always been that kid with a sprain or stra…

Being Intimate On Relationships

Okay, hopefully most of you reading this have read my prior blog and know that some of my posts, though clean in wording, won't be a good read for kids. This will be one of those kinds of posts. Now, having said that, I feel better that you are forewarned and we can get to the subject at hand.

Relationships are hard enough without adding the extra burden of Fibro, but what can one do when Fibromyalgia and Sex Can Be A Pain In The Neck? Well, the first thing to do is to talk about it. I know that sounds too simple and you all may think I'm just plain off my rocker, but think about it for a second. How many of you out there sweep your pain under the rug, shrug it off, and then proceed to go about your day like nothing is wrong? How many people do you "do" that too? Do you do it with your co-workers? Your friends? Do you do it to your partner? I know I've done it with all of the above because I felt that my pain wasn't important at the time. But really…

What is Fibro and Fabulous?

It never really dawned on me to do an actual blog about having Fibromyalgia. I've written two books on the subject since my diagnoses, but I never really thought about taking the subject further than the form of a book. Looking back at the whole thing, I realized that it was just silly not to. And now, the blog Fibro And Fabulous is born. Funny thing about this whole situation is, that that's kind of how my books got published in the first place too-- I wasn't really thinking about it lol!

Having said that, I also got the idea from looking at what is ahead for the month of September, and during the week of September 8-14, is Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Frankly, I can't think of a better illness than Fibromyalgia to talk about since it has been an invisible illness for a little over two centuries. Researchers have found information on the syndrome in books dating back to the 18th century and some have even found references in the Bible at or around 4 BC, b…