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How much do you know about CBD?

I am sure by now you have heard of CBD.  You may have heard how it has helped someone with their chronic pain, nausea, depression, anxiety, seizures, etc., but nothing from your doctors.  Your doctor may have never mentioned it or dismissed it when you asked about it. I and others who have benefitted from medicating with CBD, could talk until we were blue in the face about CBD and how it helped us and  you would still have unanswered questions.  So where does one turn to get those questions answered?

diva How much do you know about CBD pin*This post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that when you click on them or make a purchase I earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Thankfully my good friends at Green Flower Media have put together a guide to CBD.  Click here to learn more about CBD and its amazing health benefits.  Since not everyone has access to a medical marijuana dispensary where high quality CBD is usually sold, I am sharing my top three favorite CBD products that can be purchased online.

Bio CBD+

Bio CBD+ is one of my favorite CBD companies for several reasons.  The first is that their products work!! The second is that because they are so strong, stronger than other CBD products available online, a little goes a long way. I share more reasons in my product reviews.

Click here to read my reviews of their topical oil, capsules, and vape and find out all of the reasons I love this CBD company!

Click here to visit Bio CBD+

Triniti CBD

Triniti CBD addresses an issue many have with CBD oils; the taste!!! Not everyone likes the taste of CBD oils, to be honest I couldn’t stand the taste when I began using them.  Over time I got used to it, but not everyone does.  For those who really want to utilize CBD for its amazing health benefits, but just can’t put one more awful tasting drop into their mouths, Triniti offers flavors!!

Click here to read my review.

Click here to visit Triniti CBD

NuLeaf

Most CBD manufactures only offer their tinctures in one size.  Not NuLeaf!  They offer theirs in various sizes to fit your budget and needs.  I am in the process of writing a review for this awesome company and will insert it when it is done.  For now I will say this, it works wonderfully for anxiety and depression.  Same goes for their pet version! My anxious Chihuahua was calm and relaxed the last time my neighbors decided to set off fireworks!

Click here to visit NuLeaf

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Click here to get or renew your California medical marijuana recommendation

Click here to get or renew your New York medical marijuana recommendation

Is How You Practice Self Care Constructive or Destructive?

Is How You Practice Self Care Constructive or Destructive?

There was a time when I thought that self-care was just doing something that made me happy or comforted me during a flare.  Turns out I was wrong!  While self-care can be pleasurable, there is a lot more to it and it’s not always pleasant.  Today I share why we need to focus on all forms of self-care and not just the ones that make us happy.

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What is considered self-care?

Self-care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health and the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Self-care may look different from one person to the next, but we should have the same end goal of improving our physical and/or mental health.  Ways to do this are through personal hygiene, exercising, eating healthy, pacing ourselves, resting before we completely exhaust ourselves, napping when needed, following a schedule, adhering to a treatment plan, listening to our bodies,  etc.  Some other ways of practicing self-care are to care for our mental health by allowing ourselves a night or afternoon out with friends/family to laugh and let loose a little.  While not often fun or exciting, dealing with issues that are creating extra stress and anxiety in our lives is a must.  The longer we let things go, the more impact they have our lives and health.

One of my favorite forms of self-care is to spend time at the beach.  Sitting in the sand and listening to the waves crash soothes my soul and body.  Going for walks and eating healthy meals used to feel like a form of punishment, but in the past year and a half they have become my number one form of self-care.

What isn’t self-care?

Self-care is not a punishment! If it feels like one, it may be time to reevaluate why you believe it is.  Instead of thinking of cutting out or reducing how much comfort or junk food you eat as a punishment, consider what that food is doing to your body.  I found that the foods I was finding comfort in were actually contributing to my pain and fueling my chronic illnesses.  Once I was able to accept that I was responsible for some of my downtime and pain, I was able to see choosing healthier options in a different light.  I am not suggesting that I never indulge, but that when I do I call it what it is: an indulgence, NOT self-care.

Self-care isn’t about creating more pain, anguish, stress, or health problems.  Another reason that comforting myself with food isn’t a form of self-care is because it often leads to weight gain.  Gaining weight won’t help my chronic illnesses, in fact it will just add more stress as I attempt to rid my body of it.  To be clear, I am not saying that weight loss will cure me, but that instead my body will be under less stress.  I don’t care if you have one or fifty chronic illnesses, consistantly choosing to eat poorly and adding more health issues is never the answer.

Self-care isn’t about avoiding confrontation just because it is uncomfortable.  Self-care is standing and speaking up for yourself when necessary.  Self-care is caring for, protecting, and improving your mental and physical health.   Don’t stop caring for your heart and lungs just because your ovaries, kidney, muscles, or joints decide to be assholes.  You need all the strength you can muster up to face your chronic illnesses every day!

How to know if your form of self-care is constructive or destructive

The best way to determine whether or not your form of self-care is constructive or destructive is to observe what happens afterwards.  If you spent the night puking in the bathroom and can’t lift your head from your pillow after an evening out drinking with friends, it is safe to say that you weren’t practicing self-care.  There is nothing wrong with going out with friends if you are up to it, but you don’t have to drink alcohol.  Wouldn’t you have rather enjoyed laughing with your friends then going home for a good night’s sleep and be able to get up and do something else the next day?  Did your favorite comfort food force you to spend the afternoon on the toilet?  Unless you were severely constipated, there is no way to call it self-care.

Not everything you do will improve your life at that moment or at all, but a sign that what you are doing is a form of self-care is that it didn’t make your life worse!  Sure maybe standing up to your doctor or removing an abusive person from your life may feel stressful or painful for a moment, but in the long run your life will improve. Eating a healthy meal may not decrease your pain, but over time you will feel better than if you were consistently eating foods that fueled your chronic pain.

Take some time and think about how you are practicing self-care.  Can you identify what needs to change?  If not, try keeping a journal detailing how you practice self-care and your results.  If you see a pattern of destruction following some of your favorite forms, it may be time to make some changes.

Don’t know where to start?  Check out my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  In it I share many of the changes I made in my chronic life and challenge you to acknowledge and make changes that will better your life.  Click here to order and download your copy today!

Join my Facebook Groups!

Alternative Pain Fighting Forum: Where we discuss natural and alternative ways to reduce chronic pain

Fitness Buddies: Support and encouragement on our wellness quest, because having a chronic illness is not a reason to not care for our bodies.

Spoon Rest: Support, laughs, and friendship.

Product Picks: Products that will improve your life, comfort you, or just make you smile.

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Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life

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Has your chronic illness stolen the life you had?  Mine did!

Does having to spend days, weeks, or months recovering from an outing make you feel like a prisoner in your own home/body?  Mine did!

Does your pain management plan address your pain and symptoms, mask your pain, or do nothing at all?  In 2012 I ditched my plan that masked or did nothing for one that addresses my pain sources.

What are you waiting for?  From 2001 to 2012 I waited for my doctors to heal me, to relieve my pain, to help me get back some part, any part of my life back…. But it never happened.  Tired of waiting and desperate for pain relief I took ownership over my health.  I found natural and alternative treatments that not only reduced my pain levels, but actually addressed and improved my symptoms. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t work with your doctors, but their are things you can do that will help whether you choose to treat your pain pharmaceutically or not.

In my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life  I share the natural and alternative treatments that led to my feeling better than I did before my diagnoses.  I also share the areas of my life that I needed to take ownership over.  Many changes had to be made in  regards to my diet, lifestyle, and mindset.

I haven’t been healed. Fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis are NOT curable.  However, my pain management plan has decreased my daily pain, how often I flare, and the severity of my flares.  I have gone from leaving the house once or twice a month in a wheelchair and having to ride lying down in the back seat, because of pain that was so intense I couldn’t sit, stand, or walk for more than 5 minutes without wanting to pass out from it to living the life I live now.  What is that life?  I no longer need a wheelchair! I still use a walker for all day outings, but how often I need to use it continues to decrease.  I can drive myself anywhere I want!! I am no longer a prisoner of pain!!

My book won’t cure you!  Heck my pain management plan may not be the right one for you, but if you follow the steps that I took to make changes to my treatments, pain management plan, and life you may figure out what changes you need to make.  Throughout the book I prompt you to examine your treatment plan, pain relief plan, and life.  Then I challenge you to make changes.

Chronic illnesses are not death sentences.  There is hope and it is possible to live a fulfilling and pleasurable life with less pain.  I began winning my battle with chronic pain six years ago and continue to improve.

Are you ready to make chronic pain your bitch?

Click here to download your copy today for only $3.00

Don’t wait! This sale price will end soon!!!

Swimsuits & Shifting Focus

This post contains affiliate links.  The pennies earned offset the expense of running the blog and website.

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I pay too much attention to wanting to be thinner and feeling sad I can’t drop any weight. I should be thankful I can move it and do some cool activities!!”

This is a quote from a friend who hikes, does triathlons, skis, and has a blast playing actively with her kids. Yet, she was feeling sad that the number on the scale wasn’t going down and that she wasn’t thinner. I think most women share her frustration. I know I do. Our bodies do amazing things, yet we’re unsatisfied with them because they aren’t smaller. Because they jiggle. Because they have stretch marks, lumps, rolls, or loose skin. Because they don’t look like they used to. Because they don’t look like that actress or that other mom who always looks cute. I hear this from women over and over, of all different ages and levels of fitness. I’m sure men have the same struggles.

So, how do we shift our focus? First, strive to appreciate what our bodies can do. By re-training ourselves to focus on body functionality, we can regain a more balanced perspective toward our bodies. Even if you can’t go up the stairs without getting winded or have to use a wheelchair, your body still does amazing things. Your smile lightens the hearts of those around you; your arms give comforting hugs. When we make an intentional effort to appreciate what our body can do, the aesthetics matter less. Also, continue to challenge yourself to see what your body can do, which will grow your self-confidence AND body confidence.

Re-frame your thoughts. When you shimmy into that swimsuit to play with your kids, think, “We’re going to have so much fun today!”, instead of, “Ugh, my huge thighs are so ugly!!”. This is a struggle for me every time I put on my swimsuit, but I’m always glad that I chose to join in the fun, instead of letting my negative thoughts and self-consciousness get in the way. It’s hard to choose to have a positive frame of mind, but it makes a huge difference. When you notice that “mama belly” that just won’t go away, think, “WOW, what a gift that I got to carry in there.” Also, recognize that some things are simply genetic, natural, or unavoidable with age. Saggy skin, stretch marks, cellulite, some lumps… These are just part of life; while they may be somewhat improved by various things, acceptance is key. You don’t have to be perfectly happy with every aspect of your body. However, you can still be respectful and appreciative of your body, grateful for the amazing gift that it is, no matter how it changes as you age and/or deal with health struggles.

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Remember that people you see on TV, in ads, and on social media are generally airbrushed, filtered, photoshopped, covered in make-up, and posed in the best lighting and angles. Many of those folks have teams of people that get them ready, exercise for hours a day, have personal chefs to provide healthy meals, and/or are just genetically blessed with flawless skin and a certain body type. 

Consider taking a break from the scale. If you just can’t stop thinking about that number, stop weighing yourself for a while. Focus on how you feel (physically and mentally), striving to take good care of your mental and physical health, and appreciating what your body does for you every day.

That reminds me… Another thing you can do to help shift your focus is to take good care of your body with regular movement, eat mostly healthy food, tend to medical and mental health issues, get adequate sleep, and don’t forget to use it for FUN. Maybe you can’t burn up the dance floor like you used to, but your dancing days don’t have to be over, even if you have to groove while seated on a chair.

Finally, choose your influences carefully. If the media you consume or the people you hang out with tank your body image, adjust accordingly. Redirect your friend when they start criticizing their body (or someone else’s). Limit your time with them if they are consistently spewing negativity. Stop reading that airbrushed “health” magazine. Surround yourself with people and influences that build others up and put you in a positive frame of mind.

Your body is amazing. How will you thank it? What will you do to shift your focus?

Join our Facebook Groups:

Spoon Rest

Fitness Buddies

Alternative Pain Fighting Forum

Product Picks

Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

*I am not a medical professional.  Statements in this article are my opinions and experiences, not medical advice. This article contains affiliate links,  meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you click thru, sign up, or purchase a product/service through some of my links. 

Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

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If you are anything like I was before I began medicating with marijuana, you don’t have a lot of experience, if any, when it comes to using cannabis for medical purposes.  For the first seven years of my life with fibromyalgia, cannabis wasn’t legal to use in the state that I lived in. Then I moved to California where marijuana had been legal for medicinal purposes since 1996. Even though it was legal, I resisted trying it for two years.  It wasn’t because I was against it or didn’t want to try it, it was my lack of knowledge that held me back.  I was clueless about the various methods of medicating with it, what strains to look for, how much to take, etc.  What held me back the most was the fear of how much it was going to cost.  Today I am going to share how cannabis made life with fibromyalgia livable, different ways to use it, and how to save money while using it.

How does cannabis relieve my chronic pain from fibromyalgia?

I had been failing to reduce the pain and symptoms from fibromyalgia for almost 10 years by the time I chose to medicate with marijuana.  During those ten years my doctors had prescribed muscle relaxers, opioids, anxiety medication, antidepressants, and valium (this was for sleep as every prescription sleep aid had failed to make me sleep) to, in their words, treat my symptoms. Oh and let’s not forget Lyrica which was supposed to reduce nerve pain, but instead increased it.  The problem is that not one of those pills treated a darn thing.  Most did nothing.  Some provided a smidgen of relief and occasionally something would mask the pain, but nothing was being treated.  With cannabis I was finally treating my symptoms, which made it possible to start living again.  Here is how cannabis has helped me with some of my symptoms in the past six years.

Insomnia:  Before cannabis I either couldn’t sleep for more than 20-60 minutes at a time or I fell into a sleep coma (fatigue so severe that it is impossible to stay awake) for days at a time.  From my first dose of medical marijuana I have been sleeping like I should.  I sleep every night and as the years have passed my need for daily naps has decreased drastically.  Yes, I still have an occasional sleepless night, but pain is no longer my reason for not sleeping.  Pain no longer wakes me up in the middle of the night, nor do I wake up feeling like I have been hit by a bus!

Fatigue: Experiencing a proper restorative sleep each night decreased my daytime fatigue.  In addition I was no longer waking up with a prescription pill induced hangover.  Instead of waking up feeling groggy I began waking up with a clear mind, minimal pain, and with excitement about what I might do that day.  Six years later and I no longer need daily naps.  Sure I take a few naps throughout the week, but taking one or two naps daily is no longer my norm.

Pain: Cannabis relieves and decreases muscle, joint, and nerve pain.  It also serves as my muscle relaxer.  It does this by reducing inflammation.  Another way cannabis helps me reduce pain is that it doesn’t mask my pain like opioids did.  With a high enough dose of opioids I felt like I could do anything and I did! The problem with that was that my body was not getting the rest it needed and what I was doing was making the problem worse.  With marijuana I experience a decrease in my overall pain level.  It eliminates my reactionary pain and reduces my pain sources to a tingling sensation.  This sensation has made it possible for me to feel and acknowledge where my pain sources really are.  With this knowledge I am aware of when I am aggravating them or causing another issue.  Before cannabis, my pain was widespread, I had no idea where the sources were.  Now I know exactly what areas I need to pay special attention to or what precautions need to be taken.

Brain fog: Some may find this funny, as they may assume that medicating with cannabis means being high.  However, that is not always the case.  You see, it is possible to medicate with marijuana without getting high by micro dosing or using CBD only products.  Before cannabis I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  Forget watching a movie or reading a book.  Now I not only can watch and read whatever I want, I am also able to comprehend what I absorb.  I can hear what people are saying.  I no longer avoid conversations.

Depression and anxiety: For close to a decade I was told that anxiety and depression were to blame for my pain….. However, I knew that the truth was that pain was to blame for my depression  and anxiety.  And for the most part I was right! Experiencing less pain and becoming more in tune with my body gave me the ability and insight to live a better life.  I was able to focus on areas of my life that were also creating emotionally challenging situations and could finally find joy in my life.  I still battle my demons, but they are no longer controlling my life.

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You don’t have to smoke it unless you want to

The first objection most give me when considering medicating with cannabis is that they don’t want to smoke it.  Well, unless your state’s medical marijuana laws dictate that smoking is the only legal way to medicate with it, your options are plentiful.  You may choose to use edibles, tinctures (an oil that you place under your tongue), or topical oils.  You can use a vaporizer or pipe if you don’t want to smoke a joint. Some people can’t stand the taste of cannabis and prefer to take it capsule form.  Check out the menus on WeedMaps or Leafly to see what your local dispensaries have to offer.

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What strains are best for fibromyalgia?

According to patient reviews on Leafly these are the best strains to combat symptoms and pain from fibromyalgia: Blue Dream, Harlequin, Cannatonic, Critical Mass, Tahoe OG, Granddaddy Purple, GSC (f.k.a Girl Scout Cookies), Blueberry, Bubba Kush, and Headband.  Click here to learn more about these strains and how they help with fibromyalgia.  Finding your perfect strain may take some experimenting.  I also find that I need different strains depending on the season, my activity level, and other factors. No matter which strain you try first, remember this important tip: start slow!! You will be surprised by how little cannabis is really needed to achieve your desired results.

How to get your recommendation and purchase meds without going broke

If medical marijuana is legal in your state you will need to obtain a recommendation or certification.  Your primary doctor or disease specialist will most likely NOT be the one who prescribes cannabis for your chronic illness.  You will need to search online or look on WeedMaps or Leafly to find a marijuana recommending doctor near you.  The cost of seeing this doctor and to receive your recommendation/certification is NOT covered by insurance (nor do we want it to be, but we will discuss that another day).

Another way to save money is to figure out which form and or strain you need the least amount of.  Don’t always assume that the dosage noted on the package is the least amount recommended.  Example, a 100mg pack of candy from FlavX is broken up into ten 10mg doses.  However, because of the strength of their product I only needed half and each bag provided 20 nightly doses.  I would get 6-8 doses out of a quad dose Cheeba Chew.

Where to get or renew your recommendation:

Arizona: Affordable Evaluations of Arizona. The most affordable option in the entire state, offices statewide, and a caring staff that cares about its patients.  Click here to make an appointment.

California: NuggMD. With this online service there is no need to put your body through the pain of leaving the house to get or renew your recommendation.  Both new recs and renewals are only $39.  Schedule your online doctor appointment today and after you are approved you can order meds online and have them delivered to your home!  Click here to get your California MMJ rec right now! BTW, if you were wondering if a medical marijuana recommendation is worth getting since recreational is now legal in the state of California, the answer is YES.  When visiting state licensed dispensaries medical patients are exempt from sales taxes, don’t have to wait until they are 21 (18+ may get their medical recommendation), and have access to more variety and stronger medications than recreational consumers.  Get your CA rec today!

New York: NuggMD. Again this online service will save you from having to go out, find a ride or drive, deal with traffic, and endure pain when you’re already feeling like crap.  The cost of getting or renewing a New York recommendation is $149.   Click here for your new patient or recommendation renewal.

Would you like your recommending service listed here?  Shoot an email to The Disabled Diva at admin@thedisableddiva.net to inquire about options available. 

 

 

Addressing my symptoms one at a time

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. I am NOT issuing medical advice.  I am just sharing how I addressed my symptoms and my experiences.  This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are mine and were in no way influenced by the companies.

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In the fall of 2012 I made the decision to treat my chronic illness naturally and alternatively.  At this point I had been living with excruciating pain from fibromyalgia, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and endometriosis for 12 years.  During those years I treated my conditions and pain pharmaceutically.  I never experienced relief or improvements.  In fact my conditions were rapidly getting worse and opioids would occasionally mask my pain for an hour or two or barely take it down a notch. I was lucky to sleep for 4 hours and most of the time I only slept in 20 minute increments. To add insult to injury, the side effects from my prescriptions, including opioids, were adding more health issues and pain.  In this post I am sharing how I began my alternative journey, what I did, and how I went from being consumed with pain and not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than 5 minutes to walking 4-9 miles a day and no longer needing a wheelchair.

The first step in taking back my life

My first step was to discontinue my pharmaceutical treatments.  I was able to stop some medications immediately, while others required that I taper off instead.  **Remember, I am only sharing what I did and am in NO way suggesting that you do what I did!**  To my surprise I experienced a few improvements.  This was because I was no longer experiencing the side effects that my prescriptions had been producing. One thing had become clear after I ceased taking opioids, they were to blame for my frequent and extremely painful urinary tract infections. I never had them before I had to take them daily for pain, yet was in the ER several times a year because of how painful they were during the 12 years that I did. I have yet to have another since I stopped taking prescription pain killers.

It was this point that made it possible to know what symptoms and pain I was actually dealing with because of my chronic illnesses.  The symptoms and pain I needed to get under control included: fatigue, brain fog, muscle soreness, muscle spasms, joint pain and swelling, nerve pain, psoriasis rashes, pain in my jaw, feet, spine, hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, neck, wrists, and hands, reactionary pain, abdominal pain from adhesions stemming from endometriosis and surgical scarring, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Besides wanting to rid my body from the chemicals that were obviously not helping me, I chose detoxing before beginning any new treatment in order to not confuse my results.  I wouldn’t know if something was really working if I still had prescription drugs in my system.

My first step in addressing pain

After completely detoxing, I was ready to tackle my pain.  Since there were so many various symptoms to address I decided to focus on one at a time.  Although I couldn’t walk, sit, or stand for five minutes, hold a pen, and would drop everything I picked up I chose not to focus on one area of my body, but instead my first goal was to reduce my overall pain level.  Widespread pain was the result of my body reacting to its pain sources.  The pain that consumed me head to toe was so intense that it was impossible to know where those sources were.  I needed to relieve my body of reactionary pain first in order to know where my true pain sources were located.

 

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Deciding to medicate with cannabis would have been less terrifying had I had the information that Green Flower provides today!  Join for FREE and learn everything you need from experts in the industry.  Click here to join!

 

I began by using medical marijuana for pain relief.  In the years prior my response to doctors who wanted to blame some of my pain on depression was “I am not insane, I am in pain”.  Although I truly was depressed and it increased my pain, it wasn’t the source.  I knew that in order to address my depression, I had to first experience a significant level of pain relief.  But it had to be true pain relief, not a Band-Aid that hid it or just having it reduced by a smidgen.  Medical marijuana (MMJ) helped tremendously right from the start.  For two years I was unable to sit in the passenger seat and had to lie in the back seat of our SUV whenever I left the house.  Yet, just a few hours after my first dose of MMJ, I was able to ride upfront without crying.  That evening I enjoyed dinner out with my husband and daughter and for the first time in many years it didn’t bother me to sit at the table.  I could hear what my family was saying and converse with them, because my brain wasn’t consumed with pain.  I was calm, not anxious and I loved every minute of it.  After just a month of using MMJ my overall pain level decreased, nightly insomnia was no longer an issue, I needed less naps, and the joint swelling in one finger and thumb had decreased so significantly that I regained use of those digits. An overall lower pain level also helped improve my anxiety and depression.

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Accepting what was and taking responsibility

Although I experienced a few unexpected improvements in addition to reducing my overall pain level from MMJ, I had no idea how long it would take to see more improvements or if I would improve at all.  It was important that I learned to be okay with the fact that I might never improve or regain the physical abilities that I had before.  I also had to take ownership over my healthcare. In my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, I share how I came to accept my life as it was, acknowledge changes that needed to be made, and how I made them.  I also issue challenges to help you do the same.  No matter which symptom you decide to attack first, you will fail if you refuse to accept the life you have and your responsibility to make it better and livable.

Tackling minor pains

You may wonder why I didn’t go after the major sources of my pain first.  The reason for this is because they were so severe that they were constantly lighting new fires for me to put out.  I also find it is easier to deal with one major pain, rather than 100 minor pains spread throughout my body.  Although the pain in my sacrum and spine was the worst of my pain at that time, I could find ways to keep it stable when it was the only pain that was nagging me.  The minor pains I addressed where muscle and joint pain in my hips, shoulders, and neck.  Now when I say minor, understand that I used to consider a pain level of 8 as minor.  To get these areas under control I had to experiment more with MMJ and began including CBD products.  CBD products do not have the psychoactive properties that MMJ does.  CBD will NOT get you high and is legal in all 50 states.  I used MMJ edibles in small doses for daytime pain and larger doses at night.  CBD topical oils are fantastic at reducing topical pain at home and on the go.  As soon as I would feel that a muscle was tensing up or was already wound tight, I would apply a CBD oil and poof, like magic the muscle began to relax.  BTW my favorite topical CBD oil is from BioCBD+.  You can read my full reviews here: Capsules, topical oil, and vape.

At this point I was ahead of the game.  Instead of waiting for the rest of my body to react to its main pain sources, I was able to nip them in the bud.  This made the areas that needed to be addressed next even more clearer.

Taking on the big guys

At this point I had eliminated many of the symptoms that had plagued me for years.  I was down to several major pain sources and since I had the other issues under control it was easier to address them.  By the fall of 2016, the major issues I was still dealing with and that were keeping in a wheelchair were pain in my lower spine, sacrum, hips, feet, and abdominal pain from adhesions.  Also included were changes in the weather that would cause swelling around my spine and neck which would render me useless until the weather system passed.

I began addressing everything except the abdominal pain by using icepacks, rubbing CBD oil on them, getting weekly massages to loosen the muscles that were squeezing those bones, and figuring out what types of physical movement increased or decreased my pain.  In November of 2016 I began using PEMF therapy from Oska Pulse.  However, not understanding how much more effective this form of treatment could be if I used it regularly I didn’t experience much relief from my worst pain in the beginning.  Yet, just using it for several hours a few days a week, I noticed that my stamina was increasing, my good days began out numbering my bad days, and I was recovering from flares faster.  By January of 2017 I was able to begin exercising by using my Oska Pulse during and after my workouts and by finding forms of exercise that didn’t aggravate my sacrum or spine.  Prior to using Oska Pulse I had experienced a major ripping inside my abdomen which relieved me from that pain for a few months.

Abdominal adhesions did more than pull and tug at my sidewall and internal organs, they would also strangle my bowels.  The only way to relieve that pain was for a surgeon to go in and remove the adhesions or for me to wait for them to rip and loosen their hold.  This created digestive issues that no amount of dietary changes was going to cure.  Yet, because I had already had 8 abdominal surgeries, my healthcare provider refused to perform another.  Instead they offered me end of life pain management!!  In March of 2017, adhesions took ahold of my bowels once again and this time it was worse than it had ever been before.  While my doctors were ready to allow adhesions kill me, I wasn’t!! It was time to refocus my attention from my spine to my abdomen. After hearing how PEMF therapy could help loosen or prevent more adhesions, I began treating my abdomen daily.  Gone were my days of only using my Oska Pulse for a few hours, I used it from the moment I woke up and didn’t stop until I went to bed.  I still run my Oska Pulse all day, most days, however I am often able to take a day off or share it with another family member throughout the day.

PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse saved my life.  Within days, the hold that adhesions had on my bowels had loosened.  Within weeks, I was able to eat normally.  Within months my belly no longer hurt with the pain that had made my life a living hell for the past 14 years.

A funny thing happened while I was treating my life threatening abdominal issue.  Without realizing it, I had been treating my spine and hips at the same time.  You see Oska Pulse works within a 22 inch radius, so when I had it on my belly it was directly treating those other areas as well and when seated with my legs crossed I was also treating my feet! I discovered this after four months of fulltime daily use.  Suddenly, there was an evening when I realized that my lower back didn’t hurt and that I could walk throughout the grocery store without increasing my pain level.  Since then I spend my days moving my device from one major pain source to the next to keep them all lower than I ever thought possible.  I am not cured, I still experience pain, but the pain I do experience is very low and it doesn’t prevent me from functioning the way I did before becoming chronically ill.

 

 

 

To infinity and beyond!

You might think that my work was done, but it wasn’t.  I was still experiencing some digestive issues and knew that if I ever wanted to get my bad knee fixed, I would need to lose weight.  I attacked and have conquered my digestive issues by changing what I put into my body.  With the exception of when I eat out, I follow a raw and organic diet.  I do try to find organic options when out, but it isn’t always available.  What I found is this: I do not have a problem with sugar, as long as it is in moderation.  I do have major problems with artificial sweeteners, especially fructose syrup, increasing inflammation throughout my body.  I don’t have an issue with dairy, that is as long as it is organic.  Gluten is not my enemy, it is non-organic wheat and other crap that manufactures put into their products.

Eating organically has rid me of diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and unnecessary pain from inflammation. In addition I have amped up my exercise routine and am losing weight.  Exercise would have never been possible if I hadn’t been able to get ahead of the pain game.  MMJ, CBD, and PEMF therapy are what have made it possible for me to exercise not just regularly, but daily.  They are why I was also able to retire my wheelchair in January of 2018.  My pain management plan includes diet and exercise, because the healthier my entire body is, the better I feel, and the more I am able to do.

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Where I am today

I am not cured.  I still experience flares, mainly weather related, but they are not as severe and painful as they were in the past.  They also don’t last as long as they used to and I am continuing to recover faster from them.  Click here to read about my current pain management plan.  The aches and pains from my chronic illnesses no longer hold me back with the exception of my knee which has loose cartilage and bone fragments jamming into my joints and occasional intestinal inflammation believed to be damage sustained from all the years of adhesions pulling and twisting them.  I still take and enjoy naps when my body demands them, but they are no longer a daily activity.  Instead of dreading mornings, I am excited to wake up each day! I love starting my morning with a 4 mile walk.  While medical marijuana gifted me with 8-10 hours of sleep, my sleep schedule wasn’t regular until I added physical activity.  I am only up late when I choose to be and only sleep past 7AM when I have chosen to stay up past midnight.  My pain management plan has made it possible for me to do the things I loved to do before I became chronically ill.  Speaking of MMJ, I no longer need to medicate for pain during the day.  I use MMJ every night and use CBD and my Oska Pulse during the day.

In addition to how I combat pain I had to make some other changes in regards to my life and attitude.  Check out my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  In it I explain these changes and why they were necessary.  I also issue challenges to help you recognize the areas of your life that may be holding you back and give you ideas on how to remove those obstacles.

Click here to download your copy today!

My advice to you

  1. Find a way to reduce your overall pain level.
  2. Accept your life as it is and change the behaviors that are making your chronic pain and life worse.
  3. Focus on one major issue at a time.
  4. Stop rewarding yourself with food! You are not a dog! Nourish your body with real food and your body will reward you!
  5. Exercise.  Movement helps tremendously.  My hips stiffen up when I sit, but loosen after I begin walking.
  6. Be patient.  I began my journey 6 years ago and my most significant changes only occurred in the past year.  Giving up is NOT an option!

 

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My Pain Management Plan

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and I am NOT issuing medical advice.  I am just sharing how I treat my chronic pain.  This post contains affiliate links, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the companies.

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If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you have surely noticed the improvements that I have experienced in the past year.  I have been receiving a lot of messages from followers asking about my pain management plan, so today I am sharing it with you.  There is no ONE thing that has taken my pain levels back to what they were before my chronic illnesses took over my body 24/7, it’s a combination of natural and alternative therapies that work together.

For those of you who don’t know me, I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2001, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis in 2003, endometriosis in 2004, reoccurring abdominal adhesions in 2005 due to endo and surgical scarring, and degenerative disc disease in 2011.  I followed pharmaceutical protocols until 2012 when my health deteriorated to the point of not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than 5 minutes without experiencing excruciating pain.  I was also in the emergency room several times a year for extremely painful urinary tract infections.  By 2012 most of my life was spent in bed.  That fall I tried medical marijuana, liked the relief it gave me, decided that I wanted to go that route, but not until I rid my body from all its pharmaceutical toxins.  A funny thing happened after my detox, I experienced a reduction of nerve pain and never again experienced another urinary tract infection.

Once I had detoxed from all my prescriptions I began creating my own pain management program.  To be clear, I am not suggesting you do the same, only you can decide what is best for your body. Click here to find out how I addressed my pain and symptoms one at a time.

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Medical Marijuana (MMJ)

I began by using marijuana infused edibles.  While they took longer to take effect than smoking, vaping, or using tinctures, it stayed in my system longer which provided longer lasting periods of relief.  Finally after years of not being able to sleep for more than 4-6 hours a night, that was if I was lucky, I began sleeping a full 8-10 hours every night.  The only exception was when pressure from an incoming heatwave or storm increased my pain.  After a few weeks of using MMJ, I regained use of my left thumb and pointer finger.  Those joints had been so swollen that I hadn’t been able to bend them for years.  After a few months I was able to make a loose fist and a year later I could finally make a tight fist.  Nerve pain was no longer a daily issue, instead it only occurred when experiencing an extreme heatwave or storm.

MMJ did something else that was pretty amazing.  Unlike opioids, MMJ didn’t mask my pain.  Instead it eliminated the reactionary and widespread pain I had experienced since the beginning and reduced the pain felt from my pain sources to a tingle.  This made it possible for me to recognize the sources of my pain, know what areas needed to be addressed, and what I should avoid doing to not aggravate those areas.

 

I also treat my pets with CBD. Click here for my list of preferred brands.

By the fall of 2015 I was able to drive myself to the grocery store, shop at one store without using a wheelchair, and occasionally walk short distances at Disneyland.  By the end of 2016 I could walk through two stores without needing weeks to recover.  The only condition that I didn’t experience any relief with was with my abdominal adhesions.

I continue to use MMJ to this day. However, unlike the early years I no longer need it during the day and only use it before bed.  While I still like how easy it is to micro dose with edibles, vaping has become my favorite way to medicate.  I do however use various CBD products occasionally during the day to combat anxiety and depression.  I also use topical CBD oils and lotions.

I review various MMJ and CBD products in The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum on Facebook.  My favorite CBD vape, topical oil, and capsules are from BioCBD+.

Review of BioCBD+ Capsules

Review of BioCBD+ Topical Oil

Review of BioCBD+ Vape

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Food Intake

In 2016 I began recognizing how certain foods were increasing my pain and inflammation levels and began making changes.  The changes I made at first were minor, but helpful.  Last year I began tracking everything I consumed and noted how I felt.  This made it possible for me to recognize even more foods that were causing harm.  I started 2018 determined to get serious about what I ate.  My diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, smoothie bowls, and granola.  I still eat out occasionally, but try to make the best choices when I do.  Funny thing is that by recognizing how certain foods were causing more pain and making sicker, I lost my craving for them.  What I ate was never the cause of my chronic illnesses, but my former diet did make them worse.  I no longer comfort myself with the foods that I used to crave, because there is no comfort in knowing that I am creating more pain and inflammation.  Losing weight is another benefit, again while not the cause of my diseases, losing weight has helped reduce pain and gives my doctors one less thing to blame.

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PEMF Therapy

I was introduced to PEMF therapy in November of 2016.  I was skeptical at first, but even though I only used it a few times a week I still experienced pain relief and increased stamina.  It wasn’t until I heard that my device may be able to reduce the pain and symptoms from abdominal adhesions (they were strangling my bowels) that I began using it daily.  Since the end of March 2017 I have used my device daily and when I say daily I mean that I use it from the moment I wake up and until I go to bed.  PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse immediately loosened the hold that adhesions had on my bowels.  Within four months the pain that I experienced in my feet, spine, hips, and sacrum were no longer a daily issue.  In fact, those areas only hurt when I push too far or from high pressure pushing in a heatwave or storm.  After 6 months I was able to walk farther than I had since the fall of 2003.  By January of 2018 I began walking .75 miles a day, then increased to 1.65 miles a day, to now where I am walking 4-6 miles every day!! I haven’t had to use my wheelchair since January and only use my walker when I am at Disneyland and am going to be on my feet for more than several hours.  Click here to follow my journey from the beginning.  Click here to visit Oska Wellness. Promo code DIVA will save you $55 at checkout.  Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of Oska Wellness, but only because the product truly delivers on its promise of pain relief and reduction of inflammation.  This device is what has pushed my pain management to another level.  My daily pain level is between 0-4.  I experience less flares and the ones I do experience are less painful than before, don’t last as long, and I recover from them faster.

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Exercise

Because of the improvements I have experienced from MMJ, dietary changes, and PEMF therapy I have been able to exercise every day.  I begin each morning with a 3-5 mile walk and end each day walking another 2-3 miles.  I am slowly adding other exercises to my routine and have begun to notice significant weight loss. I am down a pants size and am well on my way to reach my goal to become the weight I was before my illnesses took over my life.  My physical abilities didn’t occur overnight.  It has taken a full year to reach this level of physical activity.  I keep myself accountable and offer support, encouragement, and motivation to others in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies.

Other helpful treatments

In addition to the four major aspects of my pain relief plan, I also use heat, ice, and massage.  I am always open to trying new things that are holistic, natural, or out of the norm.  I have learned to listen to my body and to work with it instead of against it.  My pain management plan has made it possible to know which areas need addressing on a daily basis.

I have not been healed.  My conditions are not curable.  However, I rarely spend an entire day in bed anymore and I am doing things that my doctors said I would never be able to do again.

I am happy to address any questions you may have.  No matter how you choose to combat your chronic pain, know that there is hope! Don’t give up! Keep searching and trying new things.

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Tired of your chronic illnesses running your life? Take back control and possibly reduce your pain by making pain your bitch! Click here to download your copy today!

Oska Pulse, giving hope when doctors said there was none to be had

Oska Pulse, giving hope when doctors said there was none to be

Welcome to my newest series “My Oska Pulse Journey”.  If you have been following my blog you know that I have been using my Oska Pulse to alleviate knee and muscle pain.  For those who are new to my blog I invite you to read “How my Oska Pulse has improved my life”.  Click here for more information about my abdominal saga to understand what I am dealing with.  Before I begin I want to disclose that while I originally received my Oska Pulse to review from Chronic Illness Bloggers, my thoughts and opinions are my own and have not and never will be influenced by the product’s company.  All posts that I have written about this product since the original were not solicited and were written because I wanted to share my experience and improvements.  As always my posts are not to be mistaken for medical advice.  I am only sharing my opinions and experience. 

Last year one doctor after another told me that there was nothing they could do about my abdominal pain that is caused from adhesions due to endometriosis and surgical scarring.  Out of all of my conditions this was the hardest to accept as nothing decreased my discomfort.  Medical marijuana has been successful in improving my symptoms from psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, but would only reduce my nausea in regards to my abdominal issues.  After experiencing a brief time of relief from my abdominal pain it returned with a vengeance a couple of weeks ago.  Besides physical discomfort I struggled emotionally over not knowing how long it would be until I would catch another break.  To my surprise, a glimmer of hope presented itself last Friday.

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Click here to learn more about PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse and save $55 with code DIVA

I awoke Friday morning with a bloated belly, an elevated pain level, and a message from Julie Ryan (founder and leader of Chronic Illness Bloggers).  While we were chatting she shared some information about her experience with Oska Pulse and the remarkable results she experienced while healing from her last endo related surgery. Hearing about her successful recovery my heart filled with joy.  Because I have had eight abdominal surgeries, surgeons won’t touch me unless I am presenting life ending symptoms, so surgery will never be an option for me.  If my Oska Pulse could breakdown adhesions without ripping them from my sidewall or internal organs, my physical life would greatly improve. 

 

After our conversation I began treating my belly with my Oska Pulse.  I treated it for six hours on Friday.  The next morning I was no longer bloated or nauseated.  On Saturday I treated my tummy for another six hours.  I wasn’t expecting to see significant results quickly and was astonished when I did.  That evening I noticed that my outer abdominal muscles were tender and sore when touched.  You may be thinking “How is that good news?”  But if you knew how my abdominal pain cycle worked you would know that this was outstanding news.  You see, my adhesions typically form from sidewalls and then attach themselves to my bowels, bladder, and ribcage.  They pull and twist whatever it is that they have a hold of until they rip away.  When they rip from my sidewall the pain is so intense that it literally takes my breath away.  Adhesions make sitting upright or standing straight difficult and painful whether they are ripping or not, but doing anything while they are ripping away from my sidewall is impossible.  After an intense ripping, I experience what I like to call the “healing phase”.  During this phase my abdominal muscles are sore, sort of like after surgery pain, and sometimes the internal organ that was being attacked also hurts.  The upside is that I would be blessed with a reprieve from the unbearable ripping pain.  That evening it was only my external abdominal muscles that hurt!

 I have been living with abdominal pain caused by adhesions since 2004, I know the cycle of formation, chaos, ripping, and healing extremely well.  The pain that I had on Saturday was what I normally experience several days after a ripping.  This signals that something good is happening.  I have no way to tell how many adhesions I have or how many have been broken apart because they don’t show up in medical tests.  What I do have is the experience of thirteen years of living with these dreaded internal webs.  By Sunday I could feel specific areas that were experiencing pulling and began placing my Oska Pulse on them.  I was also able to eat without severe bloating.  In addition I ate a bunch of different foods that I had fully expected to give me diarrhea, since up until Saturday everything I ate went right through me.  I was thrilled to not spend the evening on the toilet and even more ecstatic when I experienced a normal bowel movement the next morning and it has continued for three days!  I can’t tell you how long it has been since this has happened.   Like I said something good is happening inside of my belly.  I can’t wait to see how long I will be blessed with normal bowel movements and zero digestive issues.

In addition to helping with my abdominal pain my Oska Pulse has also proven to be an effective treatment in regards to the permanent nerve damage between my pelvis and left leg caused by a surgeon who severed nerves while removing my cervix in 2008.  Three of the top neurologists in Arizona (where I was living at the time) all said that the set of nerves that were damaged were ones that aren’t typically nicked or severed. They also agreed that there was nothing that could be done.  They tried different medications to reduce my nerve pain, but instead they increased my pain.  In 2013 I began treating all of my conditions including this one with medical marijuana.  For the most part an Indica strain reduces or eliminates most of my nerve pain.  However, sometimes the pain from the source of the damage skyrockets to a level that makes me wish I could saw off my leg.  When this happens I usually use a Sativa strain of medical marijuana.  I avoid using Sativa as much as possible because while it reduces my deep internal nerve pain it also makes my mind race.  Like my issues with adhesions, I felt like there was no hope.  After experiencing a remarkable difference with my abdominal pain, I decided to try treating the area of my nerve damage with my Oska Pulse.  After just an hour on Saturday night the pain subsided. 

The reason I am starting this series is to document how and if Oska Pulse is able to improve my conditions that my doctors have given up on.  My hope is that it will either prevent new adhesions from forming or break them down if they do.  I am also curious to see if it will go beyond temporarily relieving extreme nerve pain and eventually repair the internal site of damage.  In addition I have also begun treating my sacrum and have been impressed by the relief I have been experiencing.  I invite you to join me on this journey. My intent is to share my progress and provide more information about how this product works.  If you are also using Oska Pulse as part of your treatment I would love to hear what symptoms and conditions it has helped with.  For those of you who are interested in trying Oska Pulse be sure to use promo code DIVA to save $55.  You can try it risk free with Oska’s 30 day money back guarantee.  

Next Post: Update #2 Winning the battle of the bowels!

The Disabled Diva

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disclosure

 

CBD for Pets

It is no secret that I treat my pets the same as I do myself, with natural and alternative treatments.  I give my cats and dog CBD for various reasons.  My dog takes it for anxiety, one of our not so nice kitties takes it for anger issues, and our twenty-something and eighteen year old cats take it for chronic pain.

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This post contains affiliate links

If you are looking for a CBD product for your pet I suggest that you try one of the following:

Charlotte’s Web

Canna-Pet

NuLeaf

 

 

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Green Eating Challenge

green food chall wp

Join me and my fitness buddies for our latest health challenge!  Starting Monday, August 6, 2018 our challenge is to eat something green everyday!  The challenge lasts five days and like all of our challenges, it will be a lot of fun.  Join our Facebook group and share how you are making changes to improve your health.  Share and find new recipes too!

Click here to join The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies

 

Attitude Awareness Challenge

Have you been feeling a little more prickly than normal?

Chronic pain or life in general have you feeling down?

Join my fitness buddies and I as we get an attitude adjustment this week in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies group on Facebook.  Click here to join, because our bodies aren’t the only thing that needs to be whipped into shape!

 

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