Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Retirement, Edge, and Deep Thoughts

Wrestling is not a subject I talk about often on Fibro and Fabulous.  I enjoy the entertainment side of wrestling very much.  My family and I watch RAW and SMACKDOWN faithfully and I've been a fan since childhood.  Something happened this past Monday on RAW that lead me to tears and I don't cry very easily, but this really hit home...

Edge (Adam Copeland) is my age and he had to retire from something he loves.  It hurt to watch his speech because he's too young to have to be dealing with a tired, worn-out body.  It's sad to hear him say that he feels he's let his fans down and that he's mad at his body quitting on him.

This wrestler may not have Fibromyalgia-- and really-- let's not spread any rumor of that sort, but he most definitely is going through all of the same emotions that every Fibromite goes through when they have to come to terms with the fact that they can't do what they once did.  I know I went through it.

You blame yourself first thinking you were weak and couldn't hack certain tasks.  You compare yourself to others thinking they do more than you and you have to keep up with them.  After that, you blame your body and then you feel guilty for letting everyone down.  Sound familiar?

This is tough to go through and it's tough to get through, but you have to because people depend on you to be you.  Yes, you heard me right-- people depend on you to be you.  Your disability does not define you.  You define you.  And the best way to help yourself through this hard road is to remember that your life has many facets and each one of those facets makes you shine as a person.  Not just the one you can't do anymore.

I remember the day I retired from my 18 year career at retail.  Yeah, it wasn't the best job-- I always wanted to write for a living, but retail allowed me to help people and it paid the bills-- something writing didn't do for me.  That day was a sad one because I had to say goodbye to everyone I grew up with.  I had to leave everything I knew.  It was scary, actually.

But then something wonderful happened, day two.  On day two, I took a deep breath and thought about my life.  I realized that things weren't as bad as what they seemed.  I had a roof over my head, the world didn't end, and for the first time in almost 20 years, I was looking forward to the summer.  I realized that I was looking at myself in the wrong way at that point and I needed to reinvent myself.

Madonna and Cher made a mint off of reinventing themselves, but you don't have to make a mint, an idea will do.  Look at all of your good qualities and reinvent how you see yourself.  I guaranty that people see you differently than you see yourself because you are beautiful and fabulous.  Let the fabulous facets shine!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Down by the Willow Tree

I've been in the process of writing some fiction when it comes to Fibromyalgia.  Yep-- you heard me right, fiction.  I'm not talking about the kind of fiction that some doctors have told sufferers for ages (stating that the pain is all in our head).  No, I'm talking about an actual novel about a gal who struggles with the disease.

The novel, which is based on some facts in my life, shows a person's transformation from being newly diagnosed and depressed to finding out how to feel fabulous.  I couldn't make this novel historically factual.  All of the names have been changed to protect the innocent victims of this disease.  There is however, a lot of love, romance, fun, and tragedy all rolled up into one book.

I'm still in the stages of revision with this novel, and, God willing, an agent will be looking at it at the writer's convention I'm attending in May.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, and if you can, send some good thoughts my way. 

Regardless of the publishing process, be it via an agent, or I go free agent again, you, my dear readers, will be the first to know of Down by the Willow Tree's publishing date.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Friday, April 1, 2011

Though the above link only touches on Fibromyalgia in the sense that its symptoms mimic Lyme disease, I wanted to share it all with you.  This link discusses film makers that are trying to put a human face on a search for a cure of many now well known diseases. 

Lyme is discussed because this particular disease, according to the documentary Under Our Skin, has been subjected to insurance companies wanting a profit as opposed to allowing patients' doctors to treat their disease.  This is nothing new.

Illinois just settleed with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to allegations that the large insurance company moved some of their sick child care claims to Medicaid and denied some claims all together.  Blue Cross settled by paying out 25 million.

Surprisingly or not, it's not just the health insurance companies that are denying claims.  An article appearing in The Policy Holder Perspective discusses how certain big name Auto and Home insurances were able to deny coverage to Sexual Abuse claims.

I could go on and on about how insurance companies have been keeping our money from Hurricane Katrina to a 17 year old dying before her liver transplant was approved.  One article even explains how these companies are getting crafty when it comes to denying claims.

It's a sad state that this world is in when we are putting profits before people, a coin phrase used by Richard Blumenthal when he ran for our state Senate seat.  I'm not sure exactly what all of us can do to change the way these companies are treating us, but I truly believe something should be done.  Honestly, I think the only way these companies will change is if we attack their wallet by refusing to pay them if they refuse to service us. 

There are just too many policies out there protecting the big rich companies and us little people are allowing them to do so.  I'm a firm believer that EVERYONE deserves health care.  There is no reason why anyone should be denied care.  I'm not saying that doctors shouldn't be paid, but I am saying that these companies who have had power over our purse strings need to be put in their place. 

It's okay to have a little profit-- after all you need some kind of profit to pay for a roof over your head.  But if an insurance company is making so much money that they legally need to shell out millions of dollars in a settlement, well, they aren't making a small profit, they are just greedy!

There are ways to beat these greedy companies legally and if you believe that you've been a victim of claim denial, than by all means, pursue it legally.  CNN actually put out an article on how to effectively battle your insurance company in 2007.   Many Fibro patients have had a ton of out-of-pocket expense when it comes to battling their disease.  I'm one of those victims because insurance companies will vary drastically when it comes to coverage.  I hope CNN's article will help you as much as it has helped me.

Stay Fabulous!
Love and Friendship,


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