Book Review

What I Learned from The Pain Companion

I was given this book, The Pain Companion, as a gift. In return, I am writing this review. I am not otherwise being paid and the thoughts on this post our my own.

Some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

What if there was no pain.

For some of us that would be like heaven. But really? Do we want there to truly be no pain? We might want to rethink that. What if you touched something hot but felt no pain. What if you kept pushing yourself to work, run, play without feeling pain? Not exactly a good thing, right? Continue reading

wedding

How I Managed Fibromyalgia and Survived my Daughter’s Wedding

Dear Friend;

You asked me recently how I am doing after my daughter’s wedding. It took me until now (about 6 weeks) to recover but it was worth it! It was the most beautiful day and I was able to be right there and most importantly, not in pain! I shared about the wedding on my personal family page The Farmers Place. [Just in case you are curious. 🙂 ]

My daughter and I before wedding

To be honest, I was really concerned that I would be in a lot of pain by the wedding day. I asked all my chronic pain friends for their suggestions and took as many as I could into consideration.  One thing I know, whether a person has a chronic illness or not, is that a wedding can quickly get out of hand. My strongest advice to anyone planning a wedding is to

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID

So here are a few things that I did:

Continue reading

Fibro Friend ~ How Are Your Finances Holding Out?

Colleen Sullivan

photo credit Pixabay modified by Mandy

Are your Finances holding out?

This is a question that most friends and family never think to ask, “How are your finances?” It’s a little personal and maybe that is why no one asks but the truth is that sickness can take a big toll on anyone’s finances no matter how much insurance you have. Not only does the patient lose work time but also the spouse or caregiver. I am told that sickness is the number one reason people file for bankruptcy. (See this article at CNBC)

My friend, Colleen Sullivan knows about the challenges in finance due to her own journey with fibromyalgia. I met Colleen through the Christian Chronic Illness Network. She has offered to share her struggles with staying afloat and the lessons learned. Follow the link below to read her letter to friends.

Continue reading

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

letters to friends Kate

Photo Credit: Virin at Pixabay Modified by Mandy

 

 

It’s time for another Letter to Friends! Right after diagnosis, is probably the best time to share with your friends about fibromyalgia and how it affects you. Mainly because our world is so fast-paced, people will quickly forget that you have a health issue at all, especially when it comes to fibro and chronic pain. When we are seen in public, most people see a healthy person and never think twice about it. Others may ask how you are doing.

I recently came in contact with Kate Straus through chronic illness communities. She worked in the education field for over ten years before fibr0myalgia changed her life’s path. With a background in special education and early childhood intervention, she has compiled a toolbox of skills to help those with differences navigate life to make them the best that they can be.

www.spoonstoshare.com

Photo provided by Kate Straus

Kate has learned, herself, that while fibromyalgia can be an obstacle, it has also revealed strengths that she did not know she had. She is easy to work with, listens well, and is compassionate. She is now a certified fibromyalgia coach helping those with fibromyalgia adjust to their new life.

Today, she has offered a letter that she wrote previously to friends and family to help them understand the struggles she faces with fibromyalgia. I invite you to continue reading to understand more fully challenges we, as fibro warriors, face.

Continue reading

Fibromyalgia ~ Physical Therapy & Exercise

Sarahs Letter to Friends

This week’s guest is Sarah from the blog, The Last Days of Pompeii. She’ll be sharing about physical therapy and exercise. She just started her own blog to help awareness of Fibromyalgia, MCS, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She has found like many of us with a chronic illness that the chronic illness blogging community is so uplifting and encouraging. That is how we recently met, through Chronic Illness bloggers

She lives in Northern Indiana and works online because of Fibromyalgia and MCS. She has suffered from Fibromyalgia all of her life and with MCS and Rheumatoid Arthritis for the last 10 years or so.

Before becoming ill, she was a university professor teaching several courses online, but can no longer concentrate well enough to continue. She has no regrets – just moving her talents into other channels, like blogging.

Continue on to read her letter to explain how physical therapy and exercise are a part of her fibro life. Continue reading

What is Fibro Fog? Why are you Crashing?

What is Fibro Fog

There’s is nothing more frustrating to me than fibro fog. My mind just won’t think straight and it seems to just come on for no reason at all. I start switching up my homonyms and forgetting the most common words. My friend, Nan Jones wrote a letter about this for me to share with you today.

I met Nan when I was doing a series for those in the ministry. Nan offered to write a guest post about discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour that time, but in getting to know here I found we had more in common than ministry. She also suffers from fibromyalgia and other chronic issues. Nan’s words are always so beautiful and I really love it when she writes a prayer. She wrote a wonderful book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife. And boy, has she had them. If you have ever been hurt by the church, get your hands on this book.

Presently, on her blog, she is featuring women who have been through the fire and survived. Some very inspiring stories. She even interviewed me! Today, on my blog, she writes about the challenges of brain fog, fatigue, and The Crash. Continue reading and learn more.

Continue reading

Why are you so tired?

Letters to Friends ~ Why Are You So Tired?

Just beyond the pain of fibromyalgia, fatigue is probably the biggest deterrent to life for the fibro warrior. This is not a good tired such as, after a hard day of working in the garden or boating at the lake. This tired stays with you. It’s there almost every morning when you rise, whether or not you slept during the night. It really doesn’t seem to matter how much you rest, this fatigue keeps you feeling zapped with no energy. It sticks around for afternoon tea and evening prayers.

This week, Winslow Dixon is writing to you about fatigue. 

Continue reading

Letters to Friends – Where Does it Hurt? What’s the Pain Like?

What’s the Pain Like?

You may be trying to understand what your fibro friend is experiencing. Describing the pain of fibromyalgia is difficult. The asnwer to “What’s the pain like?” is undescribable. It is unlike anything I have known. This isn’t your typical headache or even a broken bone. My pain is like a ghost. You don’t see it and at times I don’t feel it. But if you were to only softly tap my arm or give me a hug, I would have a very sharp pain that would endure long after you stopped touching me. This pain can move around your body and comes and goes without warning.

In today’s Letter to Friends, Selina Huffman writes about her pain. While it’s not the same for everyone, maybe this will give you an idea of what we are feeling. Continue reading

Dear Friends, from Bettie G

1 – The Daily Life of a Fibro Warrior

As promised, here is the first letter written by one of my dear fibro friends, Bettie Gilbert. I am sharing these letters to help you better understand what fibromyalgia is doing to us. I met Bettie through blogging. We were both writing about our chronic pain and we realized that we were on the same journey together, both of us having Rheumatoid Arthritis AND Fibromyalgia. AND we both have roots in Ohio and Wisconsin, too! Isn’t that neat?

Read her words here. Maybe they will help a little as you try to understand what is happening to us and how you can better relate.

God Bless.

Continue reading

Letter from Mandy – First Signs of Fibro

my life with fibro

photo credit: Viri000 @ Pixabay modified by Mandy

Letters to Friends #2 – First Signs of Fibro

Dear Sis,

Thanks for checking on me the other day. You asked about my first signs of Fibro. As you know, I had disembarkment disorder after our cruise to the Bahamas in February 2011 (which has never gone away), follow by neck pain and then I was hit suddenly with extreme, contracting back pain in September.

Earlier Signs

fibro symtpoms

photo credit Jolette Calabrese

But as I have learned more about Fibromyalgia, it seems there have been several signs of it from early in my life. Do you remember all those chest pains I had in middle school and high school? [See this story in my memoirs. “Raised in a Barn”] They could never find anything wrong so they called it growing pains. Ha! If that were so I’d be about 6 foot tall! Anyway, it turns out that many of us fibro warriors have experienced “growing pains” at puberty. So my first signs of fibro were probably chest pains at 11 or 12 years of age.

Always Just so Tired

It has also dawned on me that one major symptom of fibromyalgia is fatigue, tired for no particular reason. I got to thinking that I have always been tired. I would get so tired from a shopping trip or band event. I would fall into a deep sleep immediately after arriving home from any kind of event. Really, I would fall asleep as soon as I got still. Remember the jokes about me not be a good co-pilot when we moved from Ohio to Wisconsin? I would sleep the entire way! When they finally realized I had thyroid issues, I thought that was the answer. And while the medication does keep everything stable, I still feel like there are more issues than what is being addressed.

All My Life

So evidently, I have had fibromyalgia nearly all my life. It’s just that the cruise somehow awakened the monster.

Thanks so much for taking an interest in my life. I know you feel that your hands are tied because you live so far away, but believe me, your frustration would be the same if you lived next door. Your prayers and calls mean so much to me. It would certainly be nice though if we were closer. Then at least you could come visit. But I would miss that even if I weren’t ill.

With Love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prompt : tired

photo credit : Five MInute Friday

 

This is the second in a series of letters written to friends to explain the issues of fibromyalgia. Go to the introductory page for Letters to Friends to read what you have missed by clicking here.

 

This letter was inspired by Kate Motaung’s prompt this week, “TIRED” at Five Minute Fridays.