celebrate one year #topposts

Our Top Posts on Mandy & Michele

We’re Celebrating One Year

celebrating one year top posts
image free from pixabay

Michele and I are amazed at how fast this first year of blogging has flown by. We hope that you have been enjoying the ride with us. Today, we take a look back and share with you some of our top posts. The first category is Keeping the Faith. That is posts that show you how to Read Your Bible, Pray, Share Your Faith. The second category is called Leaving a Legacy where we write about Marriage and Family, mentoring, and remembering others’ legacies.

Which post has been your favorite this year?

Top Keeping the Faith Posts

How to Have an Effective Bible Study

8 Benefits of Regular Bible Study

Never Despise Small Beginnings

The Great Commission ~ Who? Me? Make Disciples?

How to Improve Your Church Attendance Experience

Top Leaving a Legacy Posts

Self- Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

An Heirloom Wedding Gown

Adoption Changed My Legacy

The Greatest Legacy: A Father’s Love

From Generation to Generation

Top Posts from Recipes, A Bit of Fun and The Spice of Life

And now how about a little fun and spice? Michele has really kept me laughing this year. I hope she has for you as well. Here are the top favorites from her repertoire.

spice of life favoirte top posts
Enjoy Michele’s Humor About Life

Amish People in Rural Wisconsin

A Few of My Summer Recipes

Recipes Long Forgotten

A Recipe For Life

The Joy of Scaring My Brother

Mornings: Sunrise, Coffee, Jesus

Friday Night Fish Fry

The Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

Observations and Thoughts

Many of these posts are written by guest writers. That tells me we need to continue having others write so that their followers come and find us. This summer we started a monthly link-up called Legacy Link-ups. This has been a good way to increase our traffic as well. We may continue this as well.

The top posts written by Mandy are those about chronic pain. We will share those in another post this month. Michele provides the humor on this blog. If you haven’t caught her Spice of Life posts be sure to go find them.

Tell us what you would like to see in the coming year.

I have created a quick survey. Please go take the survey and we will give you a small downloadable gift for your time.

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Take a survey & receive a free downloadable

Return all Month for more Celebration. Plus another This and That interview with Mandy and Michele!

Mandy & Michele
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explain the pain

Explaining What Fibro Pain is Like

I’ve never really experienced pain. What is it like?

For me, it’s hard to imagine what NO PAIN is like. I have had pain most of my life. Some of it, I thought was just normal for everyone.. until I was diagnosed. Come to learn it’s fibro pain. I’ll try to explain below.

You've never experienced pain? Well, let me tell you about it. #fibro Click To Tweet
 #fibromyalgia a #pain in the butt and the neck and the...
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Dear Friend;

fibromyalgia is real real pain fibro pain
This post was updated and moved from Mandy previous webpage ggmandy

To really understand what is happening with Fibromyalgia, we need to understand how pain works. We have an amazing body. The whole system of how messages are sent through our body to the brain is remarkable to me. We have thousands, maybe millions of little tiny nerve endings that speak to each other and pass the message along. It’s mind-boggling how it works. But it’s a safety mechanism of sorts.

Each tiny nerve has a receptor on the end which “talks” to the connecting nerve receptor These messages move along the nerves until they reach the brain. Then the brain returns a message to tell your muscles how to handle it. It does this all with lightning-quick speed. Think about if you were to touch a hot stove, your hand quickly pulls away. You don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to do anything, your body just responds. And this is wonderful.

Fibromyalgia nerve receptors send the wrong message. #fibro Click To Tweet


However, with fibromyalgia, the nerve receptors are sending the wrong message.

Reminder:  I am a patient, not a doctor. What I am sharing comes largely from what my doctors taught me and what I have discovered in my own searching.

I am sharing to hopefully help you be informed enough to support friends with this syndrome or possibly acquire informed questions for your doctor. Please talk with your doctor or visit the Mayo Clinic website for official information, diagnosis, and treatment.

Mandy
Explaining fibro pain with the phone game
Telephone Game – photo credit free at Pixabay.com

Remember when you were a kid and you played the telephone game? One would whisper a message to one person, then he whispers to the next one, and she whispers to the next, and so on. What happened by the end? The message was completely different.

Our bodies have nerves all over. Each nerve has a receptor on each end. These receptors pass the information along to the brain. Then the brain sends back a message on how to respond. Such as,

  • “No danger move on”
  • “That hurt a little”
  • “Good grief that hurt” Rub that spot a bit.
  • “severe pain” double over and scream
  • “You are in grave danger” “run, move quickly away”

This is how fibro pain works.

The nerve receptors are passing the message along, but then one receptor changes it up. And what was a small prick is now amplified.  Like the dial on your radio, the more you turn it up, the louder it becomes. By the time the message arrives at the brain, it is telling the brain, “This is a severe situation”. So the brain responds in kind and sends the message back that something must change to stop the pain. But the receptors keep sending that PAIN message back to the brain.

Here’s an example we were given at Mayo Pain Clinic. When you put your socks on in the morning, at first you can feel your sock, but your brain says this is ok, not a problem. And after that, you are hardly aware that you have socks on. However, with fibromyalgia, the brain keeps sending the DANGER message. “There’s a sock on your foot!” “There’s a sock on your foot”

www.mayoclinic.org

Reminds me of this movie clip

Monster’s Inc.

With fibro pain, the message may just keep coming back as “DANGER” or the message is greatly amplified. [The pain can be multiplied by up to 200 times]. The brain receives the amplified message and responds accordingly.

This is why just a touch, a poke, or a hug can be so painful.

Fibro Pain Fact #allodyna #fibropain #chroinpainmonth #fibroawareness
photo credit for all photos: Fibromyalgia and Lupus National Coalition Butterflies
#fibromyalgia pain can be multiplied, or turned up, 200 times the actual pain. Click To Tweet

Amplified Fibro Pain

This amplified sensation can affect not just the sense of feeling but also your sense of hearing, smelling, and taste. For myself, I have become less tolerant of noise, such as a roomful of children, or even a vacuüm cleaner running. And lately, I’ve even noticed that spicy food is spicier than usual. I recently wrote about some of the things I can no longer do in another post. Check out this diagram to see all the areas that can be affected by this amplified pain.

Areas of Fibro pain. Fibro pain photo credit #fibrocolors #fibro #sinsitivity
photo credit for all photos: FibroColors on Facebook

I hope this explains the pain for you. What’s really strange is that you never really know from day to day how the pain will be. Some days are quite normal. Others, not so much. Also, it depends on the person how much pain is involved. Different people respond differently to protocols for maintenance. Some are helped with medications, some with exercise, therapy, diet, etc. It’s all still pretty much a crapshoot.

Watch for more “letters” from me and my friends to learn more about this crazy invisible disease.

Mandy Farmer

Have More Questions About Fibromyalgia?

Letters to Friends ~ How Are You Doing Since Your Diagnosis?

Letters to Friends ~ Why Are You So Tired?

Letters to Friends – Where Does Fibro Pain Hurt?

What is Fibro Fog? Why are you Crashing?

What Were Your First Signs of Fibro?

Is There a Cure for Fibromyalgia?


SOURCES


Fibromyalgia National Coalition  – Background information

Mr Doctor dot Com  – Pain and How You Sense it

opioids forfibromyalgia

Supplements: Good, Bad, Daily Decisions


Question: Are you taking any supplements for fibromyalgia? What about Opioids?

With all the discussion about the opioid crisis, I thought it would be great to get some feedback from other fibro warriors about opioid use. Heather Calvert has written to us on how she chooses her supplements and how she manages opioid use and determines if an opioid is even necessary.

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Dear friends,    

I am so excited to say that today is a good pain day.  I woke up relatively refreshed and a little stiff, but not miserable.  I’m excited to have a good day and actually enjoy living my life!  This is the first day in several weeks facing the day did not involve a sense of dread and anxiety.  You see, the last few weeks I have battled my most severe fibro flare in years. The pain was excruciating, nausea and IBS are disruptive and embarrassing, and the fatigue is overwhelming. I’m 43 going on 103 on those days!  The best news is today I only have to take my maintenance meds for asthma, reflux, and allergies, as well as my usual supplements for energy and focus.

 First, I should explain that I absolutely despise taking medicine of any sort, especially those that affect how clearly I think or that result in grogginess (think about the “My cold made me do it” commercials).

  • Unfortunately, I have adult-onset asthma that started in my 30’s that requires one pill and an inhaler twice a day to prevent attacks. 
  • Second, I have GERD treated with a single pill each day to prevent the belching, nausea, and vomiting that occurs if it gets out of control. 
  • And of course, I live in the south where pollen season is our fourth season so practically everyone I know takes allergy medicine daily! 

Supplements for Fibromyalgia

My supplements are based on years of trial and error, and with the support of a great family doctor who listens and offers alternatives to prescriptions, I have finally discovered a combination that seems to help.  I don’t just willy nilly take random pills to see what happens!  My husband and I do tons of research and discuss ideas with my doctor before we try something new. 

D-Ribose for Energy

  D-Ribose is the difference between my having the energy and stamina to trek through an amusement park with my family and friends and me being stuck at home on the couch while everyone else has a good time.  Research shows D-Ribose was initially used for cardiac patients to help improve cardiac function.  It gives the mitochondria (energy producers) in your cells a form of sugar that is easily converted to energy.  I was skeptical at first, but it definitely works! 

Daily Supplement

My other daily supplement is Focus Factor, a blend of magnesium, B vitamins, and a whole bunch of stuff I can’t pronounce.  Originally marketed as a treatment for ADHD, this supplement fills my body with vitamins and minerals commonly deficient in fibro patients so I only have to take 2 pills twice daily instead of a handful of vitamins multiple times a day. 

So, a good fibro day means 4 pills with breakfast, 3 at supper, and 2 a bedtime.  Woohoo- that leaves room for dessert!

a good fibro day means 4 pills with breakfast, 3 at supper, and 2 a bedtime #fibroawareness #thisisfibro #chronicpain #opioidsforpain @heatherc Click To Tweet

               

I know, I know – why am I excited about only taking 9 pills a day? 

Well … on a bad day, let’s just say there is no room for dessert! On top of my usual 9 pills, there’s a  myriad of what we call my “crisis” meds. 

  • Prescriptions for nausea and IBS,
  • muscle relaxers,
  • migraine treatment,
  • and the ever-controversial opioid for pain. 

Why do I choose to take an opioid in what is identified as an “opioid crisis” by the media? 

To be honest, I hesitate every time.  I choose to be an informed, cautious user.  In fact, I refuse to have personal access to my opioid medication.  It stays locked up in a small, fireproof safe that only my husband has the key for. 

In fact, I don’t even know where he keeps the key! When I think I am to the point where I need the “crisis” med, my husband and I sit down and discuss what other options I have already tried and how severely the pain is affecting my ability to function. 

We are well aware that abuse can lead to addiction and overdose.  We also know that with teenagers in the house, misuse is a high risk.  So, together we make the decision to keep it locked safely away and when to use it. 

 How do we know an opioid is absolutely necessary? 

To be honest, the pain must be completely and totally overwhelming me.  And I’m not talking the can’t get comfortable, no sleep, crying kind of pain.  I’m talking the can’t even make words, just barely groaning kind of pain.  The truth is, I should probably take it sooner, but a family history of addiction often clouds my judgment.  We know it was the right call when the pain eases and I am actually more alert and active, not in a medication-induced fog. 

 Being a fibro warrior tests your ability to think critically and creatively for solutions. 

The good: supplements with low side effects, finding a doctor who listens and is willing to try new things, prescription meds that are available for treating symptoms, a husband who is just as invested in my treatment as I am. 

The bad: fear of addiction that forces me to suffer more than necessary, cautiously treating a myriad of symptoms on flare days, anxiety that I may be viewed as a lazy, addicted, drug seeker. 

The daily decisions: never-ending research, choosing to face my fears even when I’m exhausted, trying alternative treatments, brutal honesty with my family and doctor. 

#Fibro – the life-changing, life-challenging diagnosis.      #Fibromyalgia #supplements #opioids @heatherc Click To Tweet

Heather Calvert, Fibro Warrior


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why Not Eat Better

No Sugar Tonight: Fibromyalgia and Diet

Question: Wouldn’t you have less pain if you just ate better foods and lost weight?

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OK. It’s True! 🙁

… I am a sugarholic. I love sweets and have very little willpower to resist them. If it’s there, I want it. I’m doing some better but it is still a challenge.

But to be honest,

I have yet to have a doctor tell me to eat more healthy or tell me to cut out sweets or fats. I have only received guidance through a holistic nutritionist, a representative to a nutritional product, and through reading on the internet. I’m going to leave most of the advice to the professionals, but I do want to take some time to talk about sugar.

Continue reading

“What Happened to your Faith? I seldom see you at Church.”

It’s easy as a church member to become judgmental when someone begins missing church too often. But many times there is good reason for their absence.

I’d love for you to read Shona Smith’s letter below. I met Shona through a mutual blogger who featured her a few weeks ago. Read Out of Sight, Out of Mind

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Dear friend from church and /or confused family member,

Do you know what I would love to be doing right now?

Dreams

  • I would love to be dancing in God’s presence and singing at the top of my voice as I lead others into His presence.
  • Or be racing out the door with the kid’s work and playing energetic games with them. And then having a deep satisfying discussion about the things of God and praying with them.
  • I would love to have gotten up early this morning. Spent hours in preparation for some delicious food in order to invite some random church people back for fellowship and an afternoon chatting and relaxing in the garden.
  • Oh, to be offering to have a friend’s children for her, even overnight, to give her and her husband some quality downtime.
  •  What would it be like to have a pristine house where food could drop on the floor and not have to be immediately thrown away?
  • I’d love to be baking cakes to invite you round to share with me…and for us to while away a couple of hours chatting about nothing in particular but feeling encouraged and refreshed afterward.
  • I would love to spontaneously drop in on our grandchildren and whisk them away for dinner with us.

BUT THIS IS NOT MY REALITY AND IT WON’T BE UNLESS I RECEIVE A MIRACLE!

What I'd Like to be Doing ... But this is not my reality and it Won't be unless I Receive a Miracle. #thisisfibro #chronicpain Click To Tweet

Reality

I’ve spent the last few years trying to find a new reality in the midst of

Managing fibro pain

Photo credit: National Lupus and Fibro Association

an illness that means some days I cannot find the energy to get dressed, let alone shower. My condition means that the thought of holding a short but deep conversation with one other person in the quiet of my home can fill me with horror because I know it might cost me all of that day’s energy. Every decision I take, every action I make has huge implications for the rest of my day or even my week. (See Mandy’s link on the subject)

On my very bad days, I cannot manage to stay upright, talking or reading or even watching TV and rely on others to bring me a drink and food in bed without talking to me.

On my best of days, I have to make careful decisions all day long about everything which will use my energy: showering, cooking, Facetime with my mum, reading, shopping, housework, conversation with my husband and family: everything costs and if I “overpay” the “interest rates” in payback can leave me bed-bound again for days or sometimes weeks.

 

Church Reality

When I make it to church it has been a really good week. There has been resting for at least one day before it and there will be resting for the remainder of Sunday and most of Monday. I often cannot manage to socialize or stay for a whole service as sitting upright, singing, loud noise, lots of people, chatting are all activities which use a lot of energy. If I have made it to church to join in, I often don’t have the energy to stay and socialize so I have to choose how long I will be there.

This is not the challenging bit…

Sometimes I am feeling quite strong and well so I stay out for a bit longer, chat away with people. I pray out loud in the service. Stand and chat over drinks after.

And all the while I feel fine BUT the next day or two days later I am unable to get out of bed or shower or talk and that may last for up to a week. It’s called PEM – Post Exertional Malaise – and it just comes on after any increase in my limited activity. I can stand for longer than usual, be squat down at some task for a few minutes, spend longer than usual cooking or stirring something and then two days later.

It’s like I’ve been pushing it too hard at the gym …it’s the equivalent lactic acid build up… my body prefers anaerobic production of energy to the muscles… and pain causes a “short circuit” so my batteries won’t recharge at all when I am in a lot of pain. It would take too long to explain it all but you can read some more about the challenges of attending church in my leaflet, “Christians with Chronic Illness“.

How’s my Faith?

So, what’s happened to my faith, the “doing, loving, running things, lots of ideas and activities, dancing, exuberant praising faith”?

My faith is still here. It’s kept me alive; it’s allowed me to hope that one day there will be more to my life again, it’s battled through dark lonely days of pain and crushing fatigue and feeling worthless. My faith has allowed me to find purpose in praying for and encouraging others. My faith has become something I am much more than something I do. (Mandy’s faith with Fibro)

What's Happened to my Faith? It's Still Here. It's keeping me Alive. Click To Tweet

When I Can’t Do What I Want

When I am frustrated by wanting to do something to love others but simply not having the energy to do it, my pastor recently encouraged me to tell them what was on my heart, even when it isn’t possible, because it encouraged him to know I had thought of the act of love or kindness. I was so encouraged by that word…someone seeing my heart and being encouraged by my desires even when I couldn’t carry through!

My faith has allowed me to celebrate the small things. The days when I can stand up long enough to make a meal or join in with a song at church; the days when I can drive to do our grocery shopping; the moments when I can have conversations at church and make friends; the moment when I was able to join in with a game with my grandsons. Despite the fatigue, sleep doesn’t come easily, so I often pray in the night over family and friends and whatever is on my mind… precious still moments with God when I hear His heartbeat and know I am partnering with him in the stillness.

Not all Roses!

My faith has also been battered. Why does God put so many ideas and thoughts in my heart when I don’t have the capacity to do any of them? Why did He give me gifts in teaching and leading and planning when my brain is now so often in a fog and I can be sat watching TV for hours and not even take anything in? I have no idea BUT I am learning to trust Him that He continues to have “good works which He has prepared in advance for (me) to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)  (See Mandy’s letter, If God is my Healer, Why am I still Sick)

What has happened to my faith?

I’ve been on a wilderness journey and been through all the emotions of grief for my old life, the shouting angry hopeless flailing that just “gets it all out there” and I am finally finding a stillness and a glimmer of hope that God knows exactly what He is doing and He has a plan… and I just want to do His will!

Wishing to be with you,

Shona Smith

Free Download

Download Shona’s helpful flyer for more ideas on How the Church Can Help The Chronically Ill.

Tune in for Shona’s interview on Premier Radio Woman to Woman on 22 May, at 11am GMT (http://www.premierchristianradio.com/radioplayer

More information about How to Help the Chronically Ill


Fibro Awareness Jewelry

Click here and scroll down to “Soft Hugs” to purchase. https://kristinafarmer.magnabilities.com/catalog/custom-inserts/

volunteering with fibro

Volunteer with Disabilities like Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain

Question about Disability

Can you volunteer your time while being on disabilities like fibromyalgia and chronic pain?

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Letters to Friends, Volunteering
image credit: free @ canva modified by Mandy

Hello, My Friends,

I wanted to share with you what it’s like to live with Fibromyalgia, yet still, be able to volunteer. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to volunteer with a disability when I first went on disability from work, because I was bedridden for a long time due to pain and fatigue.

Over a period of several years though, my treatments of medication and gentle exercise, etc. began to work and I found myself feeling well enough that I knew I wanted to give back to the community again. I just needed to
find the right way to do it, so that I wasn’t overwhelming myself too much.

Over the years my chronic pain was managed and stable. #volunteering #disability Click To Tweet

Great Volunteer Organizations

I found a great organization in my home province of BC called Patient Voices Network. They give everyday ordinary people the opportunity to have a say in how health care is delivered in the Province by allowing us to be Patient Advocates when Health Care Organizations are looking for the Patient Voice in their engagements.

  • This can be done in many different ways –
  • being part of focus groups,
  • surveys,
  • committees or
  • councils and so much more.


After becoming a member of PVN, I immediately jumped in by becoming involved in a committee that was working to improve surgical outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. I helped to develop a DVD that all patients would receive along with a booklet outlining what to expect as they started treatment, right from the moment of diagnosis all the way to follow up
after surgery. Since then, I’ve been invited to several forums, I’ve participated in some surveys and focus groups and I currently sit on 4 different committees, one virtual reality testing group and one Provincial Survey Measurement Working Group.

Doing Too Much with Chronic Pain

Everyone says “oh, you do so much”, but my actual time commitment is really not that much. One committee meets quarterly, one meets bi-monthly, and for some of them, I don’t even have to travel as I can join them online. I do travel to Vancouver from my home in Langford for 2 of
the groups, but my expenses are all covered, and it’s fun to meet with my teammates in person.


I get such a great sense of satisfaction being able to give back to the community in this way. I know I’m making a difference to others with the work I’m doing, and because I’m able to pick and choose what I want to commit to, I am able to maintain my own health at the same time. I have plenty of time to rest so my Fibromyalgia stays under control, and if I’m not feeling well for some reason, I can always call into the meetings that I normally attend in person.

I highly recommend looking into Volunteer work for anyone with Fibromyalgia as there are many ways you can assist others while still taking care of yourself. Find something you are passionate about, and see if you can make it a part of your life. It helps get you out of the house, keeps you active and involved, and helps others at the same time. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a website that may give you some direction. Sixty and Me

I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.


From my heart,
Pamela

volunteer with disability, fibromyalgia, chronic pain
image credit Canva. Modified by Mandy

Thank you, Pam, for sharing with us about volunteering. This is a wonderful way to get out and do something for others.

What About You, Readers?

How are you get out and doing for others? What volunteer organizations do you recommend? Share in the comments below.

If you are in the USA, I found this website that gives a lengthy list of Volunteer organizations with which you may be able to get involved.

Have More Questions About Fibromyalgia?

Letters to Friends ~ How Are You Doing Since Your Diagnosis?

Letters to Friends ~ Why Are You So Tired?

Letters to Friends – Where Does Fibro Pain Hurt?

What is Fibro Fog? Why are you Crashing?

What Were Your First Signs of Fibro?

Is There a Cure for Fibromyalgia?

restorative rest

Ten Steps to a Restorative Rest

You Seem Tired A Lot. How Well Are You Sleeping?

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Fibromyalgia and Fatigue go hand in hand.

How Well are you sleeping. #restorativerest

I struggle nearly every night just trying to get to sleep. I can sit in a chair all evening yawning and nodding off. But get into the bed, and the eyes pop wide open. This leads to my mind begins to wander and I start to think about all kinds of things that keep me awake. The next day, I can barely function.

As a matter of fact, fatigue is the second most common symptom for fibromyalgia sufferers. Many times those diagnosed with fibromyalgia will also be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Therefore, it is vitally important to get that restorative rest as much as you can.

As a sufferer myself, I respond along with you, “Yeah, right!”

Steps to Restorative Rest

So what can we do?

Fibro Fact2 #fatigue
Continue reading

How to Drink Your Eight Glasses of Water a Day

Q: Are You Getting Enough Water? Are you Staying Hydrated?

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We all know that we’re supposed to drink “8 glasses of water a day”. We’ve been told this forever. But for one reason or another, most of us are guilty of not doing it. We go around dehydrated and don’t even realize it. And our body pays for it, especially the kidneys.

Did you know that some hunger pains are actually signs of thirst?  Studies show that many times people will eat when they are only thirsty. So maybe we should try drinking a glass of water when you get the urge to eat.

Did you know that the main cause of kidney stones is dehydration? Wow! kidney stones are caused by dehydration and poor diet. Check it out on this report.

Furthermore, did you know that dehydration causes a lack of energy, lowers cognitive skills, and may affect your mood? There are ten or more dangers of dehydration. You can read about that right here.

Actually, we may need more than 8 glasses of water.

Your Weight in lbs / 2 Equals number of ounces to drink each day.

There are a lot of factors to figure this, such as where you live and how much exercise you get. My nutritionist said you should take your weight in pounds divide it in half and THAT is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Oh boy! If you weigh 200 pounds or more, you are gonna be floating away. But then again, it could help you lose weight, get your blood pressure under control, and many other things. I have also been told that the running to the restroom issue will go away once your body acclimates itself to receiving the right amount of water. My experience is that this is true.

eight glasses of water
photo credit free at canva.com: modified by Mandy
Ways to get your 8 glasses of water a day. #hydration Click To Tweet

*This page contains affiliate links.

Here are 8 Ways I Get my 8 Glasses

  1. Make Rules. When I first became aware that I was not getting enough fluids, I made rules such as I cannot have anything other than water, each day, until I have had my 8 glasses. Ok. You can have your coffee in the morning. But after that, no tea or coke or whatever, until you have finished off 8 glasses of water. And DON’T try to gulp it all down in the first hour of the day. Not helpful folks.
  2. Drink 16 oz first thing in the morning. This might be a little difficult at first. Start small and build up to it. As a result, your body will wake up, kick-start your metabolism, and get “things” moving. If you know what I mean.
  3. Do drink a full glass of water before each meal and snack.  They say that this will help curb your appetite. As I said before, thirst is often disguised as hunger pangs. It will also, fill you up a bit so that you don’t eat as much.
  4. Keep a glass of ice water on your desk, on your bed stand, and in your car. This way, you can sip on water throughout the day. Before you know it, you will have your goal accomplished. Get yourself a Bubba Cup. The steel ones will keep your water cold for 12 hours or more. Ours, keeps water cool all night long. It even still has ice in it! I fill this cup before I go to bed and sip on it whenever I am aroused. In the morning, I pretty much have 16-20 oz finished off.
  5. Be sure to drink a full glass of water when taking medications. I can take an aspirin at a drinking fountain with one sip but use the opportunity to get in a full glass. If you are taking an RX, you should be doing this anyway.
  6. Get a Water Purifier. We don’t all live out in the country with a nice deep well with cool, freshwater in it. And some tap water can taste pretty nasty. We use a filter from Pur. Awesome little attachment that goes right on the faucet. Actually, we recently found the Culligan Water Filter which works Soooo much better.
  7. Additionally, Improve the Taste with Infused Water. Purchase flavored or seltzer water. However, be sure that you don’t select drinks that have sugar added.  Or, you could make your own flavored water. … Draw a pitcher of water each night before bed. Add a few pieces of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and VOILA! In the morning, tasty water. I have enjoyed one with cucumbers and mint. An added advantage here would be that when the pitcher is empty, you know you’ve met your goal! Michele shared about making Kefir Water here.
  8. Fruit Infuser Water Bottle. My son just introduced us to this amazing water bottle that infuses your water with fruit flavor as you drink.
  9. Finally, Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. They are made up of 20% water, which equals more fluids!

So, there you have it. 8 ways to help get your 8 glasses of water each day. Go do the math and see how much you really need and start doing these things today. Soon, you will find your blood pressure dropping, your bowels moving better, and you will have so much more energy. You might even lose a little weight.

How do you keep hydrated? Let us know in the comments.

Mandy Farmer





fibromyalgia symptoms

Symptoms to Look For When You Suspect Fibromyalgia

Q: What Other Fibromyalgia Symptoms do you have besides the Pain?

Fibromyalgia divider


Reminder :  I am a patient, not a doctor. What I am sharing comes largely from what my doctors taught me and some of what is discovered in my own research.
The purpose of this series is to inform. I pray you will be informed enough to support friends with this syndrome or possibly acquire informed questions for your doctor. Please talk with your doctor or visit the Mayo Clinic website for official information, diagnosis, and treatment.

There are so many fibromyalgia symptoms and they can come and go. Look for these and others, especially when they come in multiples.

According to Patient Education Booklet from Mayo Clinic ” Fibromyalgia: The Road to Wellness”, symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Widespread pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Mood Disorders
  • Difficulty with memory, concentration, or thought organization (sometimes called “Fibro Fog“)
  • Headaches, facial pain
  • Chest wall pain
  • Heightened sensitivity to odors, noises, bright lights and touch.
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs
  • Dizziness

One may or may not experience all these symptoms. And some may come and go, even the pain. This makes it difficult to diagnose, along with the fact that there is no blood test or x-ray that can be done to find the problem. When these tests are done, everything comes back normal which is why many doctors are baffled or believe that it is psychosomatic.

Conditions that may accompany fibromyalgia

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baking cookies with fibro

Baking Cookies with Fibromyalgia .. or Not

Dear Sis,

Can you believe I only baked one batch of Christmas cookies this year? I Cut-out cookiesused to make double batches of 5 or 6 different kinds of cookies. Remember how we used to gather with our cousins and bake cookies all day after Thanksgiving? We must have made a thousand cookies back then. But it is nearly impossible for me anymore. First of all, it’s only me around here now. My husband, bless his heart, is trying to convince me that I should just quit baking cookies but it really breaks my heart to stop. 🙁  He’s probably right ’cause he usually is. Continue reading