Friday, January 27, 2012

Early Treatment Of Fibromyalgia More Effective, Research Suggests

This thesis done in Sweden looks very promising. The amount of people used in this particular study is unclear since this is thesis work, however, it's taking the research done on brain activity to a different level. Karin B. Jensen, postgraduate of The Department of Clinical Neuroscience is using terms like disease, genetics, and the phrase, "previously the causes of the disease were unknown."

Can I just say YAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!! We are FINALLY starting to see some great research into a disease (yes disease-- not syndrome) that was once thought to be "all in our head" having bonified PROOF!

Early Treatment Of Fibromyalgia More Effective, Research Suggests

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Thursday, January 26, 2012


This is just down right disgusting. I can't believe that there are so many stupid people out there today.

This is what paves the way for people to think we are not ill. Stupid. Just stupid.

Stay fabulous!
Love and Friendship,


Rod Liddle attacks “pretend disabled” in Sun column | Political Scrapbook

Friday, January 20, 2012

6 Weeks of Bliss Challenge #6

This week's challenge at for 6 Weeks of Bliss has me listing 5 quirky facts about myself to you, the readers.  I know this is something that's completely off topic, but I thought this would be a cool entry since I haven't done something like this in a long time.

I've been thinking about this all week and although I'm pretty quirky (which to me is just a nice way of saying I'm pretty weird), there's really not much I haven't revealed to you all because I'm an open book--pardon the writer's humor LOL!

And speaking of my humor, quirk number one would have to be my dry sense of it.  I've come out with some good stuff every once in a while.  In fact, it's pretty Jeff FoxWorthy hehe.  But sometimes it's so dry that I'm the only one who gets the joke.  Yeah-- it's that bad.

Quirk number two would have to be my precise perfectionism.  If I do something it HAS to be done right and I won't stop until it's Monk worthy.

Quirk number three is my innate ability to quote movies that no one seems to remember.  I tend to quote a lot of Disney movies because me kids are at that age where EVERYTHING TV-wise is Disney.  So when I start saying things like, "Phenominal Cosmic Powers, ity bitty living space", people tend to think I'm nuts.

Number four is that I like to belt out Bon Jovi tunes while driving in my car.  "Livin' On A Prayer" is my favorite.

And last but not least, my number five quirk is the fact that I'm a big wrestling fan brother!  Yup, guilty as charged I like male soap operas LOL!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

6 Weeks of Bliss:Challenge #5

This week's challenge for 6 Weeks of Bliss is all about quick 10-15 minute exercise routines.  We all know that exercise is important.  Recent studies have shown that people who sit for 4 hours or more a day are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, heart conditions, and/or becoming obese.  Given that I have Fibromyalgia, I can add stiff muscles and possible flares to the mix if I miss my routines.

Movement for a writer or any person chained to a desk or vehicle can be tough.  I know the once all-too common 8 hour day is almost non-existent in today's society and our risks of developing fatal disease is dramatically increased with our typical 12-18 hour days.  Finding time for personal care is tough with a tight schedule so exercise can seem out of reach.  But it doesn't have to be.

A 10-15 minute workout can be done right at your desk and no one needs to be the wiser!  Tension usually happens in the neck and shoulder region of desk-bound workers and drivers.  Simple movements involving the neck and shoulders should be done every hour or so to help alleviate stiffness.  Circular head movements, side to side, and up and down movements are best for your neck.  The shoulders can also benefit from clockwise and counter clockwise motion as well as up and down movement.

I also like to stretch my calf muscles and knees while I'm in a sitting position.  This can be achieved by flexing your feet up and down while they are slightly up off the floor.  If I have room underneath my desk I will stretch my legs out to strengthen my knees.  I will also rotate my ankles during this time.

Another great stretch is moving your torso from side to side.  This will release any other stress you have in your back region.  If you are lucky to have an arm chair, use the arms to make your stretch go farther.

Don't forget your wrists and fingers!  They get a lot of use while on a computer or behind the wheel and need some attention.  Simple finger flexing works well for your fingers and circular motion for wrists are also good too.

This ends my 10-15 minute office workout program!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Friday, January 6, 2012

To All the David's Out There

I recently received a comment from someone about my views on hypnosis.  David seems to think I'm being unfair to all the hypnotherapists out there and that I should try it so I don't have to suffer from Fibromyalgia.

To All of the David's Out There:

I have worked very hard at being as pain-free as possible.  If you care to read my blog, you'd know that because it's filled to the gills with a ton of information on daily coping, keeping a pain and food journal, recipes, exercise practices, as well as healing therapies like simple, chakra, and crystal meditations.  All of this is written with the intent of not only helping people cope but to also spread some positivity in an individual's otherwise dark world.

Having said that, I'm sure all the David's out there would say that they are trying to help out society by spreading the word that there is nothing wrong with hypnosis and it can in fact help people.  I'm not going to deny the fact that there are people that proclaim they have been helped by hypnosis.  There are a few studies out there that state subjects were able to alleviate pain better than others who were not under going such therapy.  The studies were small, though and we ALL know how I feel about small studies.  They don't prove a thing.

I'm also not going to argue that hypnosis is spiritually wrong.  Hypnosis is a belief, not a religion.  Some may think that the belief is wrong, but many Christian organizations do not see it that way.  In fact the Roman Catholic Church has no stance on it according to

However, what I can argue about is the fact that hypnotism is nothing more than the power of suggestion.  If I'm considered wrong, the party that is willing to argue with me has looked up one of the definitions.  And if anyone out there is confused by the definitions, it is because there isn't a consistent one. 

Many hypnosis sites claim that all of us can be easily hypnotized because we in fact do it to ourselves often.  They list examples of being extremely engrossed in a television show and not seeing someone enter the room as one example and another as not being able to recall a journey while driving a car.

If this is the case and all of us can be hypnotized then by all means it should be able to help, however not all of us easily fall prey to someone's suggestions.  Some of us happen to want to be observant in life.  By this I mean that we personally seek out the information we need-- that is how we discover our truth.  Some of us are so observant that we can see a person walk in the room while we are engrossed in a program.  And some of us are so observant that certain noises can wake us from sleep.

I don't see hypnotism as something that can cure disease, of course I don't think I could be hypnotized either.  These are my beliefs, just as it is my belief that one can't be possessed by the devil unless they are a willing participant.  Nor do I think that 80's rock musicians were trying to make us head banging teens worship the devil by placing "suggestions" on an album if you played it backwards. 

Am I making hypnotism sound ridiculous?  On the contrary, according to Debbie Hart, a hypnotherapist and life coach , meditation and hypnosis have many similarities.  Both can help with relaxation and both can help with aliments.  I'm a firm believer that meditation can help a person relieve symptoms, as well as lower stress and heart rate. 

The big difference between the two is the fact that meditation doesn't require a lot of expensive tools.  Sure things like candles, crystals, fish, and books about the subject cost money. But the fact of the matter is-- you don't need those to meditate. 

Hypnosis is a lot different in that respect because you need tools or a person to help you do it and the cost is considerably more.  Some hypnosis sites even state that you must pay for your sessions upfront and if you have to miss a scheduled appointment for any reason, you miss it without a refund.  I can't understand why one would have to pay for services rendered upfront and not be able to reschedule an appointment, but I guess that's how some people roll.

Of course, this proves the point that I was trying to make in my previous blog.  It's time we stop allowing people to control us-- be that by the dollar or by hypnosis.  There is no reason for any industry to be charging an astronomical amount of money for a therapy that might work.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

6 Weeks of Bliss Challege Week 4

I'm taking part in a wonderful challenge called Bliss Connect's 6 Weeks of Bliss.  The challenge is all about health this week and what my plans are to make 2012 the healthiest year yet. 

For Fibromyalgia sufferers, being healthy can seem like an impossible feat, but with slight changes to one's lifestyle, a proper diet filled with all the basic food groups, exercise, some inspiration, and a little bit of stubbornness, you can reach your healthy goals.

I've discussed exercise a lot on this blog and I believe that it's important for Fibromites to engage in gentle exercise routines when flares are at their peak.  Gentle yoga, tai chi, or other forms of slow movement exercise are great for the days when your flares are tough. 

The gentle art of stretching your muscles can help them be massaged into relaxation.  I also like gentle yoga because the movements are slow enough for me to realize the flow of my body.  Sometimes aerobics or zumba classes can be tough for me because the movement is so fast that I overstretch an already fatigued muscle.  Cardio is also very important, however so I save my zumba for the days that I'm as pain and fog free as possible.

A proper diet is also very important to maintain one's health.  I'm a firm believer in saying that everything is good for you in moderation.  Part of that has to do with the fact that I'm Italian and I LOVE good food, but there is also another reason why.  I'm a meat eater by choice and I know that some vegans will argue with me that meat can be substituted because protein is found in many different foods.

I have nothing against vegans, in fact, I was one for a brief year of my life when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  Eating greens helped me to cleanse toxins out of my body which in turn gave me a lot of pain free days.  But being vegan-- at least for me-- had a down side.  I got tired, irritable, my hair was falling out, and I was always hungry.  As a side note, I'm pretty thin by nature at 115 pounds.  At the time I was tipping the scales at an even 100 and always being hungry was not an option for this gal!  I was thin by nature-- not choice so hunger made me cranky.

Loss of hair is understandable if you don't incorporate enough protein in your diet.  I know I didn't because tofu, though wonderful in moderation, was making my stomach upset in large doses.  My hormones also took a turn for the worst-- hence another reason for being cranky and irritable.

So to me, meat is an important part of a Fibromite's diet.  The meat, though should be good quality.  Purchase organic, hormone-free, and wild caught varieties of meat and fish.  These meats tend to be on the pricier side, but you can get great deals on certain ones.  Whole chickens and chicken legs are always priced less than boneless breast.  80% lean ground beef is another great bargain as opposed to 90%.  White fishes tend to be priced lower than salmon.  And salmon in the canned variety is just as good as fresh and at a better price.  I also tend to buy my fish frozen because it is usually less per pound that way.

Lastly, I'm going to discuss inspiration, lifestyle changes, and stubbornness.  I added stubbornness to the mix because it takes a little of that sometimes to work through your pain.  We fibromites can sometimes discourage ourselves in trying new things because we are afraid of the pain we might face the next day.  I'm here to tell you that it's okay to be stubborn and try that new thing anyway because you just might surprise yourself.

I wrote a blog entry last year on my daughter's girl scout trip and I was talking about this very same thing.  You see, if I kept to my ideals and saw a night's stay on the floor of the New England Aquarium as a flare waiting to happen, I wouldn't have gone and probably wouldn't have allowed my daughter to go either.  But instead I threw caution to the wind, raised my Taurean stubborn streak to the limit, and went.  And you know what? I had a BLAST and didn't have a flare!  Never be afraid to try anything new.

Lifestyle changes for your flares can be as minimal as giving up heels and wearing flats to work to being as extreme as leaving a stressful profession for a less stressful one.  It depends on you and your circumstances.  I personally left my stressful retail management career to become a full-time author, mom, and caregiver to my mother and grandparents.

My changes weren't easy because I had to find the positives.  This is where inspiration comes in.  My inspirations were Cher and Madonna.  I've seen them reinvent themselves many times over the years and I figured if they could do it for their careers so could I.  I found the key to redefining myself had nothing to do with what I chose to do for money.  In fact, my profession of choice was holding me back from my true greatness in life.  My true greatness was a passion for helping people and that got lost in the shuffle of trying to pay my bills.

Having said all of this, I think my plan for the healthiest year is to make sure I keep finding inspiration because without that I'd feel stuck and I won't want to do any of the things that help me to stay healthy.  Inspiration can be easy to find if you are open to receiving it.  I find inspiration in my tired moments from the faces of my children who are happy to see me coming home from work.  I hear it in the voices of the parents of the children I teach when they tell me about their child getting excited about religion for the first time.  I feel it in emails from people across the world that I may have never talked to without having Fibromyalgia in common.

Here's to finding your inspirations for 2012!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Writing isn't Just for us Writers

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, writing in and maintaining a journal is vital when it comes to your Fibro flares.  You can discover many things about your flares if you list what you eat and do, followed by how you felt afterwards. 

Many people shy away from journals because they don't like to write or they fear it won't help since their doctor(s) already have inches (sometimes feet) of paperwork recorded.  A journal enhances what your doctors know and it may even help you if you decide to get tested for food sensitivities.

Sometimes the information you can give your doctor will guide them in the right direction for your particular case of sensitivities.  Not all clinics or doctors that test for sensitivities are created equal, however.  Some test for the basics like dairy or wheat while others run the gamut.  Some doctors will run a series of blood, breath, elimination diet, or endoscopy tests, others will use biofeedback screening.  One particular place that does just that ran an interesting article about such tests and why they are done.,-New-You

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Monday, January 2, 2012

How stress is really hurting our kids

How stress is really hurting our kids

Sandwich caregivers' dual roles -

This is a problem that unfortunately will only get worse as the boomer generation ages. I thought I'd share this article with all of you because the possibilities of caring for children, parents, and grandparents while having a chronic condition is highly likely.
Sandwich caregivers' dual roles -

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