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Category Archives: Cynthia

Countdown to 50: #7 Trying Something New

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As I explained in my prior post, after moving to California  I had hit some road blocks.  These barriers put not just a wrinkle in my pain management plan, they completely destroyed it.  Until this point, I had not been open to trying anything different.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to improve, I just didn’t believe improvement of any kind was possible.  If it were, wouldn’t my doctors had suggested or given it to me?  Today I am going to share how my road blocks led me to try new things and how doing so made my dreams come true!

The first new thing I tried was to embrace and utilize mobility aids.  As long as I had someone to push my wheelchair, I could go anywhere! True I still needed the energy to sit up and be out of bed for the day, but I was getting out more than had I relied on my body for transportation.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

With mobility covered, I needed to reduce my pain and inflammation levels. I also was in desperate need of sleep.  Painsomnia is no joke and at that time was something I suffered from it not just at night, but 24/7.  This led to trying something that I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to try, but with no other options I decided to take the plunge and got my California medical marijuana recommendation.  It was the best decision of my life……

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California and New York Medical Marijuana Recommendations Online!  Affordable and Easy!

Cannabis, made it possible to sleep, it reduced my pain and inflammation.  But it did something else that I hadn’t expected.  It reduced how often I experienced anxiety attacks and when I would have one they were never as severe as they were before.  I was no longer depressed.  It is amazing how much living with less pain can impact your life!!! Later CBD would help me quit smoking! I have tried and failed numerous times, but now I really am a non-smoker!

Seeing how much marijuana was able to do for me, I wondered what other natural and alternative treatments or therapies would help?  I began tweaking my diet and discovered foods that were triggering inflammation.  Funny thing is the items that I had to remove would have never been discovered by following any particular “diet” as there were items from every single one that were trouble makers.

 

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The next thing I tried was PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse.  To be completely honest, I had absolutely no faith that this electronic device could deliver on its promise to reduce pain and inflammation.  In fact, I really tried it in order to prove them wrong!!!  But it was I who was wrong!!! That beautiful blue glowing device really did work!!!! It worked so well that I was able to begin exercising!!!! Within months of daily use, pain that had plagued me for years, pain that my doctors said would only get worse, pain that made me want to die, was gone!  Click here to read about all the ways PEMF therapy has improved my health and lifeClick here to visit my friends at Oska Wellness to see for yourself what others have to say, there is also a video of me…..  But most importantly, don’t forget that my promo code DIVA will save you $55.  Not sure if Oska Pulse is the PEMF device you want to go with?  Click here to see what other products are available.

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Trying new things can be terrifying.  But it can also be the best thing you ever do!  My dreams of not needing a wheelchair at Disneyland or being able to go for long walks at the beach would have never come true had I not tried something new.

Click here to learn more about my pain management plan.

And when you are ready to be challenged to make changes in your life, not just how you treat chronic pain, but how you live with your chronic illnesses, download my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  My book is only $5 and it will challenge you to examine how you are living, to make changes, and will help you live passionately and purposefully! Isn’t improving your chronic life worth the cost of a venti caramel macchiato from Starbucks?

Read entire Countdown to 50 series

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Road blocks, New groove, and Spinning my wheels

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For 13 years my chronic illnesses destroyed my dreams.  Fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis became road blocks.  Because I knew no other route, I just stood there, waiting for my path to be cleared.  The problem was that no one was going to clear it or create a new one, that was my job!

Road Blocks

For 12 years my doctors never batted an eye at treating my chronic pain with opioids.  You can imagine my shock in year 13 when all of sudden it became nearly impossible to find a doctor who was willing to help me relieve my pain.  This road block could have and in all honesty it almost did, destroy my life.  Chronic pain, when not tended to will drive a person mad.  Truly, if you have never experienced an intense physical pain that never ended, you have no idea much control it has over us.  My first thought was to commit suicide.  What was the point of living if my doctors weren’t going to help me?  My family was the point and why I instead reached out for help.  It was then I realized that I had to remove the road block or make a new path.  No one was going to do it for me.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

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Get your medical marijuana recommendation quick and easy from home!                         Click here for California and click here for New York.

 

New Groove

Part of removing road blocks and creating new paths was finding a new groove.  I had to accept that my life would never be the same.  It was necessary that I let go of the way I had been living, because let’s face it, it hadn’t been working anyways.  I had to figure out what my abilities and disabilities were.  However, recognizing my limitations and boundaries weren’t enough, I had to practice living within them.  It wasn’t much different than living with a budget.  If I spend more money than I earn I will go into debt and my life will become more difficult.  Same goes for living with chronic pain, I can only spend so much energy, before I bankrupt my body.

Spinning my wheels

For most of those first 13 years, I resisted using mobility aids.  Instead of embracing the fact that they allowed me to do more or recognizing that using them would preserve my energy and strength, I pushed them away…  I hated the judgmental glances, rude comments, and the simple fact that my body wouldn’t perform the way I wanted it to.  In that 13th year I had no choice but to accept using mobility aids.  It was be pushed in a wheelchair or never leave the house….. So instead of fighting them, I forged a friendship.

It has been 6 years since I began making radical changes to not just my pain management plan, but how I live my life.  Some might have thought that I had given up when I began embracing mobility aids and adjusting my life to my true abilities, but they would be wrong.  Because here I am six years later and I no longer need my wheelchair.  I only need a rollator when I am going to be on my feet all day. And do you know what the best part is?  I treat all of my chronic pain naturally and alternatively. The amount of medical marijuana needed to relieve my pain has also decreased.  Can you say that about your pain management plan?

For the next seven days, I will take you through each part of my pain management plan, because pain relief is possible.

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Fighting the white coats

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I feel like I have been at war with white coats (doctors) for my entire adult life. Some of the battles were minor in comparison to the ones that put my life at risk, but nonetheless, each and every one of them drained me both physically and emotionally. Oh let’s not forget about how they drained my bank account. Second, third, and twenty first opinions aren’t free! Neither are the repeat testing that the new doc orders just because he doesn’t want to accept or look at the results from the prior tests.

My first battle lasted 8 long years. I had loose cartilage in my knee that would jam into the joint. When this happened, I couldn’t put pressure on it. Yet with each ER and doctor visit I was told to rest until the pain went away, then to exercise and lose 10lbs!!!! Knowing that I would be told to stay off it until the pain subsided each time, I ended buying my own crutches. It was easier and less expensive than having to continue renting them from the pharmacy. Finally after falling down a flight of stairs a doctor took my complaint seriously and it was later fixed with surgery.

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My luck appeared to change soon after my knee surgery. When I went to my OBGYN with complaints of severe pain with every other cycle, he quickly scheduled an exploratory surgery when tests weren’t conclusive. And thank God he did, because I had a massive cyst that had adhered not only to my left ovary, but also to my fallopian tube, uterus, and bladder. To top it off it was also adhered to my sidewall and was pulling all of those organs to it as well. In fact my fallopian tube and uterus also had to be released from the sidewall. A year later a visit to the ER while on vacation resulted in an emergency appendectomy and later when the pain I had prior to the exploratory surgery returned my OBGYN scheduled a hysterectomy.

At this point I fell into a false sense of security. I truly believed that doctors listened and would do whatever possible to help their patients. That was until the pain that triggered the exploratory surgery returned after my hysterectomy. From that point I was told that it was all in my head. One doctor who prior to my hysterectomy told me that he didn’t believe that fibromyalgia was a real disease, later blamed my pain on it. Throughout a two year period I saw 21 doctors before finding one who would take my pain seriously. The others either blamed my chronic illnesses or told me that they would be happy to refer me to a psychologist.

To be honest, I did reach a point where I began believing that maybe I was losing my mind. If it hadn’t been for the mess that was finally revealed in surgery, I probably would have had lost it. Later I would continue to battle adhesions. They became an ongoing problem even after all the endometriosis was removed. Little did I know that this battle would later give me the strength to once again fight for my life.

Surgical scarring continued the spread. They would adhere to my organs and abdominal lining. Then they would rip from them and create more scar tissue. Until 2 years ago I believed and was told by my doctors that the only way to deal with them was thru surgery. But because I had had so many abdominal surgeries (8 by the last time they were strangling my bowels) I couldn’t find a surgeon willing to perform my 9th abdominal surgery.

At the time I felt as though I had been issued my death sentence. They gave no other options other than being offered the equivalent of end of life pain care. Not ready to give up, I continued my quest to find a solution. When I heard that ultrasound therapy had been known to break up adhesions, I quickly asked my physicians if we could give it a try. But my HMO quickly denied it, saying it wasn’t a common practice within their network and they would not pursue or cover it.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice.This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

 

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Thankfully I soon discovered pemf therapy. By running treatments on my abdomen, I was able to relieve the pain that my doctors swore nothing could be done for! Within days my pain went from excruciating to mild. Within weeks it was completely gone!

I wouldn’t be here today had I not fought the white coats. I would be dead or unable to function from severe abdominal pain had I believed them when they said nothing more could be done.

The white coats have failed me. Seeing how many people aren’t able to achieve a decent level of pain relief, I’d say they’re failing them too.

I don’t gush about pemf therapy because I’m an affiliate with Oska Wellness. I can’t stop talking about it because it literally saved my life. I’m an affiliate with them because I’m able pass on a savings of $55 when my promo code DIVA is entered at checkout.

It’s a good thing that I’m stubborn. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here to celebrate my 50th birthday. Learn from my experience! Never give up and don’t be afraid to look outside or in my case inside the box!

Countdown Days 10, 9, 8

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Living in La La Land

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As a child living in Ohio, I dreamt of moving to California, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would become a reality.  To my delight, my family left the mid-west and moved to Arizona before my 12th birthday.  It wasn’t California, but is was close enough, at least for awhile……

My childhood reasons for wanting to live in California were so I could go to Disneyland and the beach whenever I wanted to without having to travel thousands of miles.  Two years after moving to Arizona, my dream of visiting California came true.  My family visited the San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios, and Magic Mountain, but it was my day at Disneyland that sealed my love for California.  I immediately fell in love with it.  Before leaving, I vowed to come back in the future.

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Week long vacations and weekend getaways to Disneyland and other areas of California became an obsession in my twenties.  How often I made the trip decreased drastically soon after my 30th birthday when I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease, psoriasis.  Two years later, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia joined the party.  Less than a year after that, I was diagnosed with endometriosis.  The first four years of my chronic life was spent getting answers and surviving.  There wasn’t time or money left for Disneyland or fun of any kind for that matter.

By the fifth year I was beginning to figure out how to live with my diseases and chronic pain.  Feeling confident in how I was treating my illnesses and able to reduce my pain, we returned to Disneyland for a week long family adventure.  To my surprise, it wasn’t any of my chronic illnesses that created problems, instead it was my appendix! On the second day of our vacation, I was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.  The following three years would be filled with agonizing pain from endometriosis, a hysterectomy, and three more surgeries to fix the mistakes made during my hysterectomy. When I was finally able to return to Disneyland in 2009, my chronic pain and illnesses had progressed to the point of my needing a wheelchair while in the park.  Part of me felt like this would be the last time I would visit, because I didn’t know if I had the energy to return.

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Even though my health was continuing to spiral downward, the opportunity to make my dream of living in California come true presented itself in 2010.  I laughed when my husband asked if I would be willing to relocate to southern California.  There was nothing to think about.  It didn’t matter that neither of us had any friends or family there.  He had a job opportunity and I was not going to let the chance to live where I had dreamt of living all my life slip through my fingers.

I am a planner and I typically take time to analyze every aspect of a decision of this magnitude.  Yet for some reason I couldn’t walk away from this opportunity.  Had I known then what the following two years had in store for me, I probably would have never made the move. And that would have been the biggest mistake of my life……

The moving process was awful. My husband had to begin working a month before we were able to move in to our new house. This left the packing our four bedroom tri-level home during Arizona’s monsoon season to me. It was unbearably hot and humid. Every day of the packing process was spent in tears. Not because I was moving, but because of the pain I was in from the weather and physical activity. Yet, even then I never doubted that moving was the right thing to do.

My life nor health improved after moving.  In fact I would soon enter one of the darkest and most painful periods of my life, but that still  wasn’t even enough to make me regret moving to la la land.  As I will explain throughout this series, had I not made the move, I wouldn’t be where I am at today in regards to my health, career, and personal life.

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Has the opportunity to make one of your dreams come true presented itself?  Did you go for it?  If so, how did it turn out?  If not, do you regret your decision?  Would you make a different decision if the opportunity to make one of your dreams come true presented itself today?

Continue reading Countdown to 50

Don’t Let Arthritis Keep You From Decorating Your Halloween Pumpkin

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Don’t Let Arthritis Keep You From Decorating Your Halloween Pumpkin

Does just thinking of carving a pumpkin send shivers down your spine?  It does mine! Both psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia make holding a knife and cutting into a pumpkin a torturous event.  However, just because you and I may not be able to carve a pumpkin it doesn’t mean that we can’t take part in decorating them for the Halloween.  Below are 5 ways to deck your doorstep with some ghoulish gourds.

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Paint the night

Who says the only way to decorate a pumpkin is by cutting into it?  Not me!!! Use paint and glitter to create beautiful works of art.  Use a florescent paint and a black light on your front porch to liven things up!

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Foamy fun

Pre-cut foam kits are fantastic for a pain-free decorating experience.  Not to mention easier to clean up than paint.

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Click on the picture to check out this kit and more!

Personalized kits

Take kit decorating to another level with specialized kits that fit your personality!

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Click here to see this kit and more!

Electric boogie

Electric carving knives allow you to carve like you used to without the pain!

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Enlist an evil assistant

Last but not least, ask your child, spouse, friend, or family member to team up with you.  Working together you can save your hands from unnecessary pain.

How will you decorate your pumpkin this Halloween?

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Choices That Reflect Acceptance of a Chronic Illness

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Have you accepted your chronic illness? I mean really accepted it??!! Because, if you haven’t, you are most likely making your life harder than it has to be and increasing your pain in the process.

“Accepting a diagnosis is what puts us in charge. Yes, our illnesses are the reasons for having to make changes to how we do things, but we are the ones who decide what we are willing to do in order to decrease or limit our pain. If my spine is throbbing, I can either choose to use a wheelchair or walk. If I choose to walk, I am guaranteed to send my pain level through the roof and sentence myself to days or weeks in bed. I may still increase my pain level if I choose to use a wheelchair or motorized shopping cart; however it will be less than if I hadn’t used them. When we decide to put our need of a lower pain level above our belief that we have to do things like we used to, we WIN.”

~Quote from Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life

The choices you make on a daily basis reflect whether you accept your illness or not.  You can fool yourself, but I can see if you really have accepted your illness.  If you refuse to make modifications to how you do things, schedule your agenda, and care for your body, you haven’t accepted that your chronic illness is incurable.  If you choose to stay home rather than use a wheelchair or rollator, you haven’t accepted your illness.  If you insist on keeping the same type of schedule that you did before becoming ill, you have not accepted your disease.  If you refuse to make dietary changes, you haven’t accepted that you have an illness that could benefit from those changes.

Acceptance is reflected when someone doesn’t throw a fit every time they have to make modifications or eat differently than they did before.  It is evident when they don’t allow the use of a mobility aid to tarnish an outing.  Acceptance is visible when the person isn’t constantly running themselves into the ground.

I know, I know, you think that by doing those things you are changing your life and in turn giving into your disease….. But I’ve got news for you, your illness has already changed your life and no amount of fighting it will undo it! In my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, I explain why making modifications and changes are forms of winning, not losing.  I challenge you to examine your life and behavior so that you can make changes that will help you live passionately and purposefully.  If you enjoy feeling like crap, hanging out in the emergency room, begging for pain medication, or watching your friends and family move on in life while you remain at home, then keep doing what you are doing. However, if you want to start living and are open to living differently than you did before, click here to download my book NOW!

My experience and advice won’t cure you, but if you follow my advice your life will improve! How do I know?  Because I have been there!! I used to think that I was winning by not making changes.  I also spent a lot of time in the emergency room and at home alone……….

My life was nothing like it is today.  It took years of trying different things and making modifications to get where I am at now…… Was it easy? Hell NO!!! But it was and still is worth all the hard work.

What are you waiting for? Start making chronic pain your bitch today!

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This post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links.  The proceeds fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability.

OSKA TRY Save $55 with code DIVA

 

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5 Tips That Will Make Trick or Treating With Chronic Pain Less Painful

5 Tips That Will Make Trick or Treating With Chronic Pain Less Painful

 

Halloween can be a frightful time, especially for the chronically ill.  We may not be afraid of ghosts and goblins, but we do fear the pain and fatigue that we will experience while and after we take our kids trick or treating.  When my daughter was a wee one, I feared not having the strength to walk the neighborhood with her or having my body give out before we arrived home.  I worried about how many days my body would need to recover afterwards.   Done fearing Halloween and the beating my body was in for, I made some changes.  Here are the changes that I made and how they can help you too!

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1. Use a mobility aid or drive

So what if you can’t walk your children around the neighborhood?  Use a mobility aid! Because it is Halloween, you can work a wheelchair or walker into your costume, or better yet use something different like a bike or have your family push you around in a wheelbarrow.  Don’t want to use a mobility aid and are worried about how far you will be able to walk? Take your car and park at the end of the streets you plan to visit.  This way if your body begins to wear out you will only have a short walk to your car and can get home without extra pain.

 

 

2. Choose a different venue

Walking around the neighborhood isn’t always the best option.  There are many reasons for this such as; uneven or lack of pavement or sidewalks, distance between homes, or having to go up and down hills.  By taking your children to a local church or community held event you will have less walking between stations where candy is being dispersed and a better chance of having a smooth or flat surface to move about on. Your vehicle will also be close by and many local events have areas for guests to sit and rest.

 

 

3. Give yourself options

Before my daughter outgrew the need to have her mommy take her trick or treating, I began giving myself options. Not knowing how we feel one day to the next makes it difficult to make plans.  There are some churches and community events that do not take place on Halloween evening.  I marked my calendar with the ones I thought my daughter would enjoy the most and committed to attending at least one.  We attended events on the days that I felt well enough to get my daughter dressed up and both of us out of the house.

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4. Rest

Don’t wait until a few days before Halloween to decorate or go costume shopping.  Part of pacing ourselves requires planning ahead.  Don’t listen to your abled bodied friends, it is okay to decorate for Halloween in September! Give your body and schedule a break by making sure you have time to rest before your outing as well as afterwards.

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5. Have a back-up plan

Prepare for the worst by finding a friend or relative who would be willing to take your children trick or treating.  I know you would rather be there to watch your children smile or hear them squeal when the receive their favorite candy, but sometimes we just have to accept the fact that we can’t be there.  Don’t worry, your children will still have plenty of smiles and squeals to share with you when they return home with stories of their adventure!

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