Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Is Carol still around?  Does she still have Fibro?  Where has she been?

Yes, I'm still here.  Just a few months and I'll have my 74th birthday so I've been around a long time.  Do I still have Fibro?  Wish I could say "no" but I'd be fibbing.  Where has she been?  I've been up and down, happy and depressed, in pain and not in pain.  Fibro Fog and a clear mind.  It never ends.  The rust in the golden years hasn't been fun but I'm working hard on a new attitude and to be a messenger of hope once again.

"Hope"... what is it?  With Fibromyalgia, it's hoping to find solutions that work for me and others and sharing them.  I've lived with this foe or friend (depends on the hour) for over 30 some years.  I've tried a lot of things and still trying.

One of the best is stretching.  I fail in that as exercise just doesn't ring my bell when hurting.  But, once again, I'm going to start on a daily basis.  Another good exercise for the mind and the body is walking.  It's spring so I am going to try to walk several days a week, starting small and working up.  By small I mean a few minutes (maybe only 5.. my body will let me know).

I plan to get back into eating healthy foods and let the sugars, starches, etc stay out of my vision.  I know they create more pain and that is something I can control.

"Hope" is praying that there will be gains in the medical fields to help us.  More understanding, more caring and more hope and encouragement.

"Hope" is finding more each day to fill our minds with positive things so we can work on controlling our pain.  Hobbies are great.  Mine is knitting.  What's yours?  With knitting I find I get really stiff if I sit and knit too long, so I'm hoping I can remember to take breaks more often.  

"Hope" is remembering that one of the things that help me the most is deep breathing on and on throughout the day.  4-5 deep breath's in and 4-5 deep breath's out.  What an awesome muscle relaxer and in turn helps the pain.

Have a wonderful spring and summer.  Keep "Hope" as a priority in your day.  I sure will be!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Recently I was contacted by a reader asking if she could do a guest article.  Thank you Jenna

Jenna Walters is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She is especially interested in touching people’s lives through her writing. .Jenna also enjoys kayaking, hiking, and reading.

Fibromyalgia and Exercise

People suffering from fibromyalgia often experience symptoms like muscle pain, fatigue and discomfort at the body's tender points. The disorder can affect nearly every area of the body, causing constant aches and widespread discomfort. These symptoms make it difficult for many patients to even think about exercising, but including physical activity as part of a daily regimen can significantly benefit those diagnosed with fibromyalgia. 

Exercise is important for everyone, but it is vitally important for those with fibromyalgia. Physical activity is essential to keeping muscles healthy, flexible and strong. In the past, many doctors believed that activity would worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but today it is widely recognized that keeping muscles healthy is one of the best ways to combat pain associated with the disease.

Regular exercise can boost endorphines, neurochemicals that are responsible for positive emotions. The increase in endorphines brought about by physical activity can help fibromyalgia patients feel less anxiety, depression and stress regarding both their disorder and their daily lives. Exercise can also help the body control the release of adrenaline, a hormone that can cause anxiety when unregulated.

Increased physical activity has also been linked to higher levels of serotonin. This neurotransmitter plays an important role in the regulation of moods. When serotonin levels are low, the brain responds with feelings of anxiety and aggression. By exercising daily, fibromyalgia patients can increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, resulting in less stress and a more positive attitude. Maintaining an adequate level of endorphines and serotonin is essential to reducing the stress associated with chronic diseases like fibromyalgia.

In addition to boosting one's mood, exercise benefits the whole body. For patient diagnoses ranging from peritoneal mesothelioma to fibromyalgia, maintaing a healthy and strong body are of upmost importance. Regular exercise can cause weight loss, which may help relieve pain associated with movement. Physical activity also improves the quality of sleep, leading to less stress and fatigue during the day. Aerobic workouts can improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system and lessen the risk of developing heart disease or high blood pressure. Exercise can also increase bone and muscle strength, which in turn may lead to a decrease in fibromyalgia symptoms.

Patients with fibromyalgia can reap these benefits by beginning an exercise program that fits their needs, abilities and schedules. Range-of-motion, stretching, endurance, conditioning and strengthening exercises can help reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. By starting off slowly and setting obtainable goals, fibromyalgia patients can take charge of their healing through physical fitness.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I'm looking forward to the beginnings of Fall, not that I wouldn't liked to have summer much longer.  Our Falls in SW Washington State are beautiful with different colors.  Hope you are looking ahead, too.

Speaking of looking ahead....  Have you ever jumped into something not looking ahead as to what can happen?  I did a few months ago and joined Curves.  Oh yes.... pretended I didn't have fibro and arthritis and the 3rd time I went, I did it all (very foolishly) and paid very dearly from it...  I went into one of my worst fibro flares along with major arthritis aches and pains. My body was so mad, it decided to have a war, with fibro and arthritis hoping to be the winners as they fought within my body.

I didn't get back to Curves for about 3 weeks.  I planned ahead and thought about what I could do to not have this happen again.   I am going at my own pace doing 1 round of the machines instead of two.  The next week, I added 1 machine of the second round, then 2 and now I'm at 1 full round plus 3 machines.  No major problems and I'm enjoying what I am doing.  I do some of the stretches afterwards but not all of them.

Why oh why do we go through denial and try to be "normal" when we know we are not.  Accepting our conditions, our pain and planning ahead can make such a difference in our lives.   I have learned a valuable lesson. 

Stand back and look at your own life.  What can you do differently to make it a better one, as you cope with your pain.  Write down what you have been doing that might be attributed to overdoing, and next to it write your solution.  Then do it. 

May you have more pain free days as you plan ahead for them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Those With Fibromyalgia Need a Hobby

Everyone with Fibromyalgia needs to have a hobby (or hobbies) for those rough times.  Whether it be knitting, crocheting, creating cards, reading or whatever. 


One of the things I have found over the years is that if my mind is busy at something it takes my mind away from the pain and allows my body to relax.  Relaxed muscles don't hurt as badly as tense ones.  Whenever we start having pain we scrunch our whole body up trying to get away from it.

I can't crochet anymore due to the arthritis in my hands, the fingers go numb.  But, I love to knit.  I can get lost in knitting especially if there is a pattern I need to keep track of as I'm doing it.  I like to read (Kindle online has free books), I watch movies from Netflix on my computer.  I don't bake anymore but getting into making cookies works,  too.

If I'm not feeling too  bad I go for a leisurely walk,  but no further than my body wants to go and get back.  That remembering to time the walk so you aren't wracked with more pain when you get back is sometimes hard to do.

I'd love to hear what you do to distract yourself from the pain of Fibromyalgia?  I'll be watching for responses.

Have a super day.....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh goodness, I've done another disappearing act for the past six months again.  I'm going to make a real effort to show up several times a month once again.  

Is it because I'm fibro-free and too busy.... Wish it was but the years of having Fibromyalgia keep adding up.  They don't end.

I learned long ago that my attitude is what will make each day worth getting up to....  In spite of pain, I try to be a positive, friendly, useful person.  I thank God each day for waking up and being in His earthly world.  The day will be what I make it....

Choices, that's the key word.  I can choose to feel sorry for myself and make everyone who comes in contact sorry they did or I can do the things I know can help me feel better, whether it be a hot shower or a pain pill to make my day the best it can be.  

I look around each day and see so many others so worse off than I am and they have a smile on their face.  If they can smile, so can I.

Counting my blessings each day instead of dwelling on my infirmities gives me a much better life.

I love living....  and hope you do, too.  If depression has taken over and you can't create good in the days, please see your doctor.  He/She can help you.

In the meantime, I'm celebrating life....thank you, God.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Six Months, how could it be?

It's been over six months since I've posted.  Where does time go?  My wonderful Mom became ill in September and passed away in January.  I was busy with her most days which caused fatigue and stress and didn't leave many creative juices left.  I miss her a lot but life does go on.

That's the way with Fibro, it goes on and on and on.  We can become passive and let it take us over or we can become reactive and research all the things we can do to help lessen the pain and do them. 

The other day I picked up and carried 3 bags of potting soil....  I knew better but I did it.  My back has been hurting ever since.... whose fault was this?  Mine.  We have to listen to our bodies, we have to remember the things that caused us to flare and not do them again. 

We only have one trip on this earth, we need to help ourselves make it a good trip in spite of Fibromyalgia.   What can I do to make my days more productive in a pain free way.  What can you do for your self?   If it is to be, it's up to me.  We all know that phrase....  we need to listen to it and act upon it. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I was just thinking about "To Do Lists" which are tiring and overwhelming for most of us with Fibromyalgia.  

Let's make "My Accomplishments Today" list and list the things you have accomplished during the day. At the end of the day our list will make us feel good....


To Do:
  • Vacumn
  • Clean bathroom 
  • Do Washing 
  • Plan and cook meals 
  • Do Dishes

I Accomplished:
  • made bed
  • Got dressed
  • Straightened Counter Top and cleaned toilet in Bathroom, cleaned sink
  • made breakfast
  • put dishes in dish washer
  • vacuumed one room (do the rest off and on during the week)
  • Fixed Lunch
  • Put Dishes in Dishwasher
  • Washed & dried whites from the dirty clothes basket.
  • Folded and hung clothes
  • Fixed dinner (hubby put dishes into dishwasher, started dishwasher)
  • Played on computer and watched TV

Wow, what a different way of looking at what we can accomplish in a day.. The second list would make me feel really good as any accomplishment we can achieve in a day makes this Fibro World a much nicer one.

Too often we are beating up on ourselves about how little we got done due to the pain and fatigue of Fibro. Let's start turning it around and find ourselves much happier.
Hope you all like this idea, too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Even a weed can be a perfect flower....

Sometimes those of us with Fibromyalgia can feel like a weed and forget that we are a beautiful creation of spite of our symptoms from our disease.  We can either shrivel up like a flowering weed or we can shine in this wonderful world of ours.  Just because we are in pain most of the time, fatigued and foggy brained, we are still like a flower to our friends and family.  Our attitudes are up to us.... we can either be negative or positive.

Let's work together to do things that make us still feel like achievers... new hobbies and goals, new friends.  We might not be able to be that "A" type of person we once were but we can brighten our own world and the world of others in simpler ways.

Do you know a mother who is exhausted with the duties of motherhood?  How about inviting her to come have a cup of tea... or taking a pretty cup filled with a mixture of tea bags and let her know you were thinking of her.  Do you know a shut in, whose life could be brightened with a card or a phone call?   A hand written note sent to someone in a nursing home or retirement home, crocheting and knitting hats for kids, or lap robe's for someone ill can brighten our own spirits as well as theirs.
Baking some cookies and taking them to a neighbor who has had a rough time can be an upper for both of you.

The whole message I'm trying to share is that "if it is to be, it's up to me"...  When we forget self and do things for others, we feel so much better (and so do they).  We are able to get above our pain and enjoy life once again.

Have a wonderful day....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting for the Lilacs to Bloom

Just reflecting how lucky I am to live in a 4 season area.  I love God's colors that show in the Spring.

How have you been talking to yourself lately?  Are you being nice to yourself or saying negative things?  Well, it's time to change your thoughts and words to yourself.  I'm doing a program on this subject at my face to face support meeting next week.  For the past few weeks I've been more aware of what I am saying to myself....

Such as:
*  No body can hurt like this, I must be imagining it
*  I'm  such a pansy, can't even do anything for more than 5 or 10 minutes and then have to sit down.
*  It's probably all in my head.
*  Come on, push a little harder, I can do it  (flare time)
*  Maybe I'm just lazy.
*  She/He is thinking I'm taking advantage of her/his help.  I hate it when I can't do thing myself and she/he helps out so much.  It's not fair to her/him.
And it goes on and on.....

How can I change the way I am thinking?  By turning my negatives into this:

*  I'm hurting today, what can I do to help it?  stretch, take medication, go for a walk, a stretch shower
*  I'm so glad I can still get my housework done, even though it takes me longer and I need to rest here and there.  What I'm doing today will make a difference.
*  Yes it is all in my head... in my central nervous system which is all out of whack.  I will do what I can to make myself better and not be so mean to myself.
*  I would like to push harder but I need to be realistic.  If I break up my household chores into different days and just work on one smaller area, I can feel accomplishments.
*  No, Carol.. you are not lazy. You love things in order but due to Fibromyalgia it is impossible to be like your old self... You were one of those who liked things done and looking good.  You loved your flowers and your home.  But due to this weird disease, syndrome or whatever else they want to call it you just can't do it anymore.  Look at what you do now...  You still have flowers (in pots) and quite a few of them.  You still can pick up in just a few minutes and be ready for company (they will NOT know just what you've done the last few days, nor do they care.  They are coming to see YOU (ME) and that's what counts.  You still love to cook, you just don't spend hours at it.  You've made some pretty darn good dinners in way less than a half hour.
*  I'm so glad she/he helps me.  I know she/he is concerned that I have to live in pain and is more than happy to help out so I have less pain.  They LOVE me... and I LOVE them...

We have to watch our self-talk... it can really bring us down quick.  When we realize what we have been doing we can turn it around and love our selves 100% in spite of Fibromyalgia...

Think about it, my friends.... catch yourself in action.... 

Have a wonderful day... you deserve it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring is showing her colors

A couple weeks ago on a sunny day we had visitors in the back yard.  My little Sparky came scooting in to the house ... Arfing all the way.  Up on the tree limb were 3 smaller raccoons sunning in the sun, napping.  Practically standing on my head I finally got a picture of them.

Our daffodils are out along with heather, forsythia, and flowering trees.  Some of the trees are greening up and the grass is growing.  We are about 6 weeks early for this beginning of Spring but I'll take it with what so many others are going through with weather and earthquakes.

Getting out of the dark days of winter helps most fibromites.  No the pain doesn't disappear but the mood is brighter which makes coping much easier.  Getting out of the house into the fresh air cleanses the spirit. 

On the other hand, Spring is when we really need to remember to pace ourselves.  It is so easy to over do at this time of the year...  we see the dirty windows, the spots on the carpet, what needs painting, the trimming and planting wait for us outside.  PACING is a real key to less pain.  Work 10 minutes, or 20 and then rest for 10.  Then 10-20 minutes more and rest again.  It makes a world of difference.

Thanks for letting me into your world for a few minutes.  How are you and your Fibro doing?  Have you any secrets to share that help you endure the pain?  I'd love to hear from you....