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A September to Remember

A September to Remember

Before I start rocking October, I want to share why this September is one I will always remember…….

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  1. I walked with purpose

Until earlier this year, I wasn’t able to walk long distances.  However, with my pain management plan doing such a fantastic job of lowering my chronic pain and inflammation, I am able to participate in walks like the one I did on Sept. 22nd.  The first walk I chose to raise money for was one that reminded me that there is always hope.  Six years ago before I implemented the lifestyle and pain management changes that I detail in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, I was ready to end my life….. Thankfully I didn’t, because although I couldn’t see it at the time, there was hope and there was a better life ahead of me…. On this day, I walked for those who feel hopeless, in remembrance of those who lost their lives to depression, and to those who are left behind trying to figure out how to go on without their loved ones. Once again, I would like to thank everyone who donated! Be sure to subscribe to my email list if you would like to be notified about joining or supporting my team next year.

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2. I went on a hike

Until last Saturday, all my walking excursions have taken place on concrete or sand.  In fact, this wasn’t just my first hike since becoming chronically ill 20 years ago, it was my first hike EVER!!!!  I still can’t believe that I trudged through dirt trails and made my way up and down hills without falling and landing in donkey poop.  What made this hike even more special is that I talked Donna into getting up early and joining me.  We had such a fabulous time and love the workout that our bodies received so much that we plan to do it again.  Check out my Facebook and/or Instagram accounts to see pictures of the donkeys and gorgeous views.

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*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission when you make a purchase from my links. The pennies earned offset the expense of running this blog and provides prizes for my fitness and Disneyability groups on Facebook.

3.  I visited Disneyland every week

I was at Disneyland once and sometimes twice a week all throughout the month.  This is something that I my body would never have been able to handle throughout my entire chronic life.  I not only went to the park, but the exception of a couple of visits, I drove myself each time!!!! No need for pain medication in the parks, all I used was PEMF therapy from Oska Pulse.  For full disclosure, I did vape MMJ and CBD before bed, but I do that every night.

Not one of these reasons to remember this September would have been possible if it weren’t for how well Oska Pulse addresses my chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, and abdominal adhesions.  You can read about all the ways that PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse has helped reduce my pain by clicking here. Visit Oska Wellness yourself and find out why and how others are also living in less pain. As an affiliate of Oska Wellness, I am able to offer you a discount of $55 when you enter my promo code DIVA at checkout!  As those of you who have been following me for some time know, I never endorse or promote products that I wouldn’t use myself or recommend to my family.

How was your September?  Was it filled with memories that will make you smile or was it a month you’d rather forget?  Are you tired of having chronic pain dictate what you can or can’t do?  The changes I made six years ago made it possible for me to begin living and enjoying life long before the amazing improvements I have experienced in the past 2 years.  Find out how you can to by purchasing my eBook.  It costs less than a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks!! Click here to download your copy today!

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Is Your Fitness Tracker Recording All of Your Steps?

 

 

IS YOUR FITNESS TRACKER RECORDING ALL OF YOUR STEPS_

After years of having my family push me around in a wheelchair, I am thrilled to be able to walk wherever I want.  Although my chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and degenerative disc disease is well managed (and I mean extremely well, click here to read about my pain management plan) I have not been cured.  I still have to pay close attention to my body’s limits.  Being in less pain than I was when I was diagnosed doesn’t mean that I can do anything I want, I am constantly testing and setting new boundaries.  The most important part of creating, remaining within, and pushing my boundaries is tracking my steps.  However, I have found that even with a Fitbit, not all steps are counted when I am pushing a grocery cart or a rollator along a smooth surface.  By the way, I am not fussing over a few steps here and there, I am talking about being off by hundreds and thousands!

I put this to the test one day at Disneyland.  My daughter walked across a flat surface wearing her fitness tracker on her wrist.  Her step count was 500 steps.  I walked the same distance on the same surface while pushing my rollator. My step count was 75!! I found that it picked up steps on rough or bumpy surfaces, but was useless on ones that were flat and smooth.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from them.  The pennies earned offset the expense of operating this site and for providing prizes for my fitness buddy and Disneyability groups on Facebook.

Not having steps counted is a problem for many reasons. I need to know my boundaries.  I can’t push past them every day without getting knocked down.  Knowing how many steps I can take in one day or within an hour helps me plan my outings.  It helps me plan for periods of rest or to have my wheelchair in the trunk in case what I have planned is too much for my body.  It also helps me see the progress I am making.

To solve this problem, I began wearing my Fitbit around my ankle.  I compared the recorded steps to wearing it on my wrist without pushing anything and there wasn’t a difference.  Now, whether I am pushing my rollator, a wheelchair, stroller, or grocery cart I know that my steps are being recorded.

If you are like me, your ankles are probably larger than your wrist and your fitness tracker won’t fit around them.  Here are some solutions that will help you keep an accurate record of your steps.

 

 

IS YOUR FITNESS TRACKER RECORDING ALL OF YOUR STEPS PINTEREST

 

How CBD Helped Me Quit Smoking

How CBD Helped Me Quit Smoking

How CBD Helped Me Q tw

Click here to learn more about CBD

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. I am not issuing medical advice. I am just sharing my experience. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no cost to you I receive a small commission when you make a purchase from them.

Whether you smoke, vape, or chew it, nicotine is never good for your health. Nicotine can cause dangerous health issues with your lungs, heart, gastrointestinal system, and more. I was a smoker for most of my life. I began smoking when I was a teen and unsuccessfully tried to quit numerous times throughout my adult years. With my 50th birthday nearing I began evaluating everything I was doing for my health because I plan to live for another 54 years! While I have made great strides in cleaning up my diet and incorporating daily exercise into my life, I was still smoking cigarettes. Because of other health improvements, it became easy for me to notice the negative effects that smoking was having on my body. Then finally one morning I had had enough and said “NO MORE!”

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You can’t go wrong with Bio CBD+! Click here to check them out!

I knew that if I really wanted to quit this time I would have to avoid methods I tried in the past. This meant that cutting back or going cold turkey wasn’t the answer. The trouble with cutting back is that as long as I knew I had cigarettes around, I would smoke them. Then I would buy another pack and lie to myself by saying I would only have one or two a day. In the past going cold turkey turned me into a raving lunatic. I would become so irritable and nasty that my family would actually beg me to smoke a cigarette!

Months prior to quitting for good, I had begun vaping medical marijuana and CBD. Until that point, I had been medicating with edibles, tinctures, or smoking it. I found comfort in vaping, it was like smoking but without the smell. It was also less time consuming and more affordable than smoking. A quick toke here and there and I was good to go. Vaping also satisfied another issue, I liked how it felt to hold a cigarette, inhale from it, and exhale smoke. I found vape pens that looked and felt like a cigarette. Recognizing that I would need to wean myself off of nicotine, I also purchased a few nicotine cartridges.

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Click here to check out Soothes’ disposable vaporizer

Within the first few weeks, my craving for nicotine disappeared. However, my desire to smoke whenever I wanted to relax or if I felt anxious or stressed was strong. Not wanting to continue buying nicotine cartridges, I began taking one or two hits of CBD whenever the urge to buy and smoke a pack of smokes overtook me. Within seconds of exhaling a calmness would come over me and I no longer felt the need to smoke.

It has been three months since I quit. While not the first time I have attempted to quit, it will be my last. I only reach for my CBD cartridge when I need it, which believe it or not isn’t every day!! You may be wondering why if I had been using CBD for years wasn’t I able to quit smoking long ago. The reason is that I wasn’t listening to my body or recognizing why I was craving a cigarette. Now I know, I know when I need it to help me focus or to overcome a craving. Another difference is that by using a vape pen it is easy to keep with me and use at all times.

Would you like to learn more about CBD?  Click here for expert information.

Click here for a list of my preferred CBD products.

Click here to check out my Facebook groups

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Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life

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Make Pain Your Bitch

Has your chronic illness stolen the life you had? 

Have you put your dreams on hold?

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

Have you accepted that your chronic illness will be with you for the rest of your life?

Are you afraid to let go of the past?

Do you use your chronic illness as an excuse to not do what you want?

Does your pain management plan address your pain and symptoms, mask your pain, or do nothing at all?  

Who controls your life? You or your illness?

Are you ready to make pain your bitch?

What are you waiting for?

In my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life  I share the areas of my life that I needed to take ownership over and the changes that had to be made in regards to my diet, lifestyle, and mindset.  My book won’t cure you, but if you follow the steps that I took to make changes to my treatments, pain management plan, and life, you will recognize what changes you need to make. Throughout the book I prompt you to examine your life, then I challenge you to make changes.

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!! These improvements were unexpected.  They also weren’t necessary for me to begin living passionately and purposefully as I began thriving long before I regained my physical independence and you can too!

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. With that said, all of my physical improvements could disappear tomorrow and I would still love my life.  Why? Because I have learned to live passionately and purposefully no matter what my body throws at me.  I have learned to work with my diseases, instead of constantly battling them.

Do you want to dominate your chronic life?

You can begin dominating your chronic life for less than a venti Starbucks iced Macchiato!

Click here to download your copy today!

Share this post with your friends and family so we can all live purposefully and passionately despite our chronic pain!

 

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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Changing my pain was great, but it still wouldn’t have given me control of my life until I made it my bitch! Find out how I did it and how you can too! 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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The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddy Step Challenge

 

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Welcome to my step challenge!

Exercise is an important part of my pain management plan.  Inactivity only increases the pain I experience from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and degenerative disc disease.  To keep myself accountable, I created a fitness buddy group on Facebook.  We are a diverse group of people of various ages and physical abilities.  We encourage and motivate each other to reach our goals.

Don’t worry if you missed the cutoff for our current competition, the next challenge will follow shortly.

How to participate

  1. Anyone can take part in the challenge, but to be eligible to win prizes you must be a member of The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies. Click here to join.
  2. You will need a fitness tracker.  Below is a list of fitness trackers to fit every budget, plus free apps you can download to your android or iPhone.
  3. Commit: You must commit to reaching x amount of steps throughout the challenge. The amount of steps for the challenge starting on Oct. 1, 2018 is whatever you choose, but the amount must be decided on and declared in the group by 1:00pm PST Sept. 30, 2018. For example, if you choose to commit to 6,000 steps a day, five days a week, you would declare that your goal is to reach 60,000 steps. Goals are to be realistic and in accordance to your ability.  Do not set a goal that increases your risk of injury or a health setback.  The minimum goal for the challenge is 20,000 steps.
  4. Posting: You must take a screenshot or photograph of your step count at the end of each evening and post it on the daily challenge post which in the group page.  You will NOT be eligible to win if you fail to post your daily results.
  5. Prize: Prizes will vary from one competition to the next.  See announcements in the group to find out what the current prize is.  To be eligible to win you must be a member of the group, reach your goal, and post your results daily in the weekly thread.  Winners will be drawn from those who meet all the requirements of the current competition. The number of prizes available will vary upon the number of participants, how many divisions, and the funds raised from The Disabled Diva’s Product Picks group (earnings from affiliate links fund the prize pool). Prizes will vary from fitness merchandise, gift certificates, and cash (delivered via PayPal). Cash and gift certificates will be issued in U.S. currency, however winners do not have to be residents of the United States. Details of current prizes and requirements to receive them can be found in the group announcements.
This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that at no cost to you, I earn a commission when you make a purchase from my links.

 

Whether you choose to join my group or not, I hope you will find a way to make exercise part of your daily life.

Fitness Trackers

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PINGKO Best Pedometer for Walking Accurately Track Steps Portable Sport Pedometer Step/distance/calories/Counter Fitness Tracker, Calorie Counter

Free Apps for iPhone and Android phones

If you own an iPhone 5s, 6, or 6s, or an iPhone that has been updated since iOS 8 you already have an app! Check out your iPhone Health app, it’s the white one with the little red heart.

Android: All available in the Google Play Store

Fitbit: You don’t need a bit to track your steps use the “MobileTrack” feature and track your steps with your phone.

Google Fit: Use your phone to track steps and set your walking goals.

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Walking with Purpose

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a few pennies when you make a purchase through my links.  The money earned offsets the expense of operating this blog/website and provides giveaway prizes for my Disneyability and Fitness Buddy groups.

Walking with Purpose

I wasn’t walking anywhere six years ago. In fact, I could barely take the few necessary steps from my bed to the bathroom without breaking down in tears from the excruciating pain it caused. I felt useless and hopeless. But just like the picture below says, there was and is HOPE! Thankfully instead of ending my life, I reached out for help. Part of what gave me hope was taking a different approach to how I dealt with my chronic pain. The changes I made six years ago saved my life. The new additions to my pain management plan added in November of 2016 allows me to help others in ways I never imagined possible. But this post is not about my pain management plan, click here to read about that, this post is about how regaining my ability to walk without pain has given me purpose and provides hope for me and others.

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Making Every Step Count

Whether I am using my rollator or walking without a mobility aid, I am walking with purpose. It started with my physical and mental health. As the distance I was able to walk increased, my body and mind felt better. It felt great to do something that my doctors had given no hope of ever doing again. Now that I see that my pain relief isn’t a fluke or short term remission, I feel confident in committing to helping others by putting one foot in front of the other.

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Choosing a Cause

Choosing my first walk to raise money and awareness for was actually easy. The cause I chose was suicide prevention. My reasons for choosing it are many. First, there was my own desire to commit suicide six years ago. Next was my continuing battle with depression. Although I am much better than I was, depression is an ugly beast that lies below the surface waiting to taunt me or persuade me to believe that I am worthless. Several members of my family have lost friends to depression and suicide earlier this year. Choosing suicide prevention and support for those left behind was a no brainer. As someone who walks a thin line when it comes to revisiting my past demons, I cannot provide the support that people who have lost someone to suicide need. But the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention can and does.

A Worthy Cause

The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention‘s mission is to save lives and to bring hope to those affected by suicide by following five core strategies:
1. Fund scientific research
2. Offer educational programs for professionals
3. Educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention
4. Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
5. Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation

 

A Cause I will Always Support

I am glad that I chose to raise money and awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention this year and will do so again next year. Yep, get ready to get blasted with social media posts asking for your support next year!! Besides knowing that the money raised will be used to help saves lives, this event showed me how much they care about those who have been affected by suicide.  The event itself was family friendly.  People, young and old were in attendance.  The location was suitable for people of all physical abilities.  There were strollers, wheelchairs, rollators, and best of all tons of dogs!!! There were free beads for people to wear that represented what they were there for.  Whether it be a personal struggle, loss of a loved one, or for no other reason than supporting this fantastic foundation.  There was a booth to make bracelets in honor of a loved one and another to make a sign stating who they were walking for.  As I sit here writing this blog post this evening, my heart aches thinking about all the people who gathered this morning.  Seeing how many people have been affected by either the loss of a loved one who committed suicide or who have or are currently battling depression or another mental illness was eye opening.  And this was just one event, in one state, in one county, in one city, in one park…..  Imagine if we could see everyone else across the country or even around the world?

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Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  Also don’t forget to subscribe to The Disabled Diva to receive email updates on how you can join and help me support worthy causes like this one.

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All the DIVAS benefit from less pain and inflammation thanks to their drug-free pain relief devices. You can too! Plus save $55 with promo code DIVA

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Use Your Words

Use Your Words

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“You are so much fun.” My friend said that to me in between tear-producing guffaws as we laughed about me trying to park the car (a common struggle for me). I didn’t even acknowledge the comment because I was still attempting to park, and my brain was processing her words slowly. I heard them, but they settled into my brain and didn’t truly get digested until later. Ever since they’ve regularly echoed in my mind and heart and made me smile.

How wonderful would it be if we told people what we like about them? It’d create a ripple effect of joy and positivity. So often, we wait for a special occasion or possibly even someone’s funeral to share what we admire, value, and appreciate about them. Sometimes we’ll say it to someone else but not to that person. For example, let’s say you’re getting together with two of your friends that have never met each other. You tell Friend A that they’re going to love Friend B because of their great sense of humor and kind aura that makes everyone feel at ease. Here’s my question for you. Have you ever told Friend B that you love those things about them? For many people, that’s a “nope”!

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Save 20% at Online-Therapy.com when you register through this link.

My challenge to you is not to wait to tell people what you admire, value, and appreciate about them. Truly, we never know how much time we have to tell them, so why not do it now?

Yes, it feels a little strange. A little vulnerable. Out of your comfort zone. If you’re an introvert like me, it’s even harder. You might find that sharing in writing is more comfortable—a note in the mail, a text, an email. A video or audio clip sent privately on social media is another option. Whether you want to tell someone that you love how they seek out newcomers and make them feel welcome, express your admiration for their always-on-point eyeliner, or share with your spouse that you appreciate how they do that chore you hate (even though they hate it, too), keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or long and flowery. It can be an offhand comment while you’re in the car together or a quick Facebook message. Feel free to make it “bigger”, though! You might want to share in a heartfelt face-to-face chat or long note in a card. Depending on your relationship with that person, what you want to acknowledge, and your personality, you’ll approach it differently. You can even use this post as a segue… “Hey, I saw this blog post about not waiting to tell people what we appreciate about them, so I just wanted to say that I love how you [insert awesome thing about them].”

Need some help getting started? I like this list of loving expressions. I challenge you to share your heart with someone once a week! We show how we feel through actions, but don’t forget to use your wordsWords are so powerful; let’s use them to uplift others and strengthen relationships! Who will you share with first?

Join our Facebook groups!

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Disneyability

The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies

The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Pain Fighting Forum

The Disabled Diva’s Product Picks

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Halloween at Disneyland

It is Halloween time at Disneyland!

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Are you ready for a spooktakular season of haunted rides, attractions, and snacks?  Join my family and I as we dive into the Halloween season at Disneyland.  We will be in the parks at least once a week throughout the Halloween season to give you updates on accessibility, new attractions, and tell you which tasty morsels are worth planning a trip for.

You can follow our adventure by following Disneyability on Instagram and for even more information we invite you to join our Facebook group Disneyability.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, this site earns a few pennies when you make a purchase through our links, which offset the expense of running our blog and website.

Who are we?

I, The Disabled Diva, my daughter Abi, and husband Drew have been annual passholders since 2014.  Drew and I both began visiting Disneyland in the mid-eighties and Abi was 3 years old on her first visit.  Our Facebook group is filled with people who have been visiting the parks all of their lives, are planning their first trip, and somewhere in between.  Some of us have physical disabilities, chronic illnesses, or special needs.  Some use a wheelchair, motorized scooter, rollator, cane, and/or have a service animal.  Not all topics are related to health issues.  We also discuss how to visit the parks on a budget and how to plan the perfect trip.  Most of all we are group of people who call Disneyland HOME.

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Don’t forget to fill your backpack with snacks and any other necessities.

What to look forward to

There is tons to look forward to this Halloween season!  From Sept. 7th thru Oct. 31, 2018 the parks will be filled with spooky fun lights, characters donning their Halloween costumes, delightful treats, and more attractions will have received a holiday makeover.  In addition to Ghost Galaxy (Space Mountain), Haunted Mansion Holiday (Nightmare before Christmas), and Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark TWO more rides are getting Halloween makeovers!!!! You won’t want to miss Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree!

We will be sharing everything you need to know about enjoying all the festivities on Instagram and our FB group! Have a question? Ask in the comments, in our FB group, or on our Instagram page.  We want everyone to have as much fun as we do!

Join our FB group see everything that is going on!

September is Pain Awareness Month

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September is pain awareness month.

Throughout the month I will be sharing different ways to reduce or alleviate chronic pain.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission when you make a purchase thru my links.

One of my favorite pain relief options is PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse from Oska Wellness. Here are a few reasons that I love this wonderful little piece of technology. It is convenient; I am able to administer treatment wherever and whenever I choose. There are no side-effects! How many pain relief treatments have you tried that didn’t create more issues?! Last but not least, it WORKS!! My beautiful blue device reduces and eliminates inflammation and pain like nothing I have ever tried before. Since combining it with the other components of my pain management plan, I have been able to achieve relief I never thought possible and have been living a full and active life. But don’t just take my word for it, check out what others have to say on their testimonial page.
Another reason I love Oska Wellness is that they are committed to helping people feel better! This month and this month only, Oska Wellness will be donating $10 to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association for every Oska Pulse sold! This foundation works to unite patients, policy makers, and healthcare, medical and scientific communities to transform lives through visionary support, advocacy, research and education of fibromyalgia and chronic pain illnesses.

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And it gets better! When you enter promo code DIVA at checkout or purchase through this link, you SAVE $55!!! So, you save money, the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association gets a donation, and you will benefit from the best pain and inflammation reducing product available!!

Still not convinced that Oska Pulse is right for you?

Join my Alternative Pain Fighting Forum where I have tons of third party reports about the device.

Click here to discover how it has helped me. I began documenting my progress on my blog soon after I began using it daily.

And last but not least….. click here to visit Oska Wellness yourself!

Don’t forget DIVA saves you $55!

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