Tag Archives: autoimmune disease

Natural and Alternative Sleep Tips









Are you tired of being tired?

I was!

Want to fall asleep faster?

I did!

Does sleeping through the night sound like a fairytale?

There was a time when I believed that chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and abdominal adhesions would never allow me to sleep through the night.

I tried every sleeping pill out there…. Unfortunately, I am one of those freaks who either suffers from the worst possible side effects or experiences the complete opposite effect of pharmaceutical medications.  With that said, you may have guessed that instead of inducing sleepiness, sleeping pills, both prescription and over the counter, kept me wide awake.

My only hope of sleeping was to take high dosages of opioids and valium.  This was a dangerous cocktail as I risked overdosing and those pills were also causing more health issues.

In 2012 I made the decision to stop addressing symptoms with pharmaceutical medications and to start experimenting with natural and alternative methods.  I am so glad that I did, because the results have been phenomenal.

I went from someone who often couldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes and felt lucky to get 2-4 hours of sleep per night, to sleeping 7-10 hours every night.

And here is how I achieved it:

*Disclosure: 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 my Facebook groups. I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. 


I began with cannabis, specifically edibles. The reason I chose edibles in the beginning is that the pain relieving effect lasts longer than when I smoke or vape marijuana.  Edibles provided the all-night relief my body desperately needed.

PEMF Therapy

There are reports of how PEMF therapy can help with sleep disorders.  Click here to read some.  Whether it can or not, I don’t know… What I do know is this, PEMF therapy significantly reduces the pain and inflammation I experience from my chronic illnesses.  Less pain makes it easier to fall and stay asleep.  Click here to discover all the ways that PEMF therapy has improved my chronic life and then visit Oska Wellness to find out why it was able to help me.  (Shhh don’t tell anyone, okay, who am I kidding, please shout it from the rooftops, that everyone can save $55 with my discount code DIVA.)


CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.  It provides muscle relaxation, calms anxiety, helps with depression, and provides pain relief.  And for those who don’t like the high that accompanies cannabis, CBD is the perfect alternative.  It provides much of the same relief without the high.

What form I use varies night to night.  Depending on how tightly wound my muscles are I may vape it or when I need a stronger dosage I will place 25-30mgs of a CBD isolate under my tongue.  Sometimes I unwind by putting the isolate into a cup of hot chocolate or tea.









Good Night Lotion

Each night as I am getting ready for bed (10-15 minutes before) I rub my legs, feet, belly, shoulders, and neck with Earthley’s Good Night Lotion.  It is a magnesium body lotion that promotes restful sleep, helps with leg cramps, occasional headaches, and constipation.  With all the storms that southern California has been hit with recently, I began having nightly leg cramps.  Eating a banana a day wasn’t cutting it, so I tried this lotion.

I have been using it nightly for the past two weeks and although the weather has yet to stabilize, I am no longer suffering from leg cramps.  Because of the turmoil that abdominal adhesions are causing within my belly, I have been experiencing horrendous muscle spasms throughout the area.  That is until I began rubbing my belly with this lotion.  Click here to learn more about it.










Follow the leader

If you are like me and do not work outside your home or don’t have to follow a rigid schedule, listen to your body.  When there is a shift in seasons or a major weather upset, my sleep pattern gets thrown for a loop.  This often results in my living like a vampire for a week or two.  In the past I have tried fighting it, but that only induced a higher level of fatigue.  By giving in and allowing my body to sleep when it wants my body and mind get the 7-10 hours they need to function.  Eventually, my body gets back on track and I return to a normal schedule.












Have problems letting go of the day’s events?  Try journaling.  Release your thoughts by putting them down on paper.  Journaling isn’t just therapeutic, it can also shed light to ways you can improve your life when you reflect on your entries.

What helps you fall and stay asleep?
























Tips to make your Valentine’s day special, despite your chronic illness









Valentine’s day is a time for expressing love to your special someone.  It is not a day to go broke.  If your celebration depletes both your bank account and energy supply, you are defeating the purpose of the day.

Living with one or more chronic illnesses is tricky.  We want and need to do things for others, yet many of the things we do increases our chronic pain or forces us to cancel doing something else for someone else.   Sometimes, that someone else is you!! Sound familiar?

Sometimes, it is what our significant other does to express their love that triggers a flare.  Because of this I want to share a few tips to not only help you show your special someone how much you love them, but to also express some love for yourself and vice versa.  Sit down with your partner or send this article to them, because together you can make this Valentine’s celebration less painful.

Watch your spending

What does money have to do with your chronic illness? A lot when stress and anxiety are flare triggers.  When I spend more than I can really afford on my husband, I begin stressing about how I am going to pay for my pain medication, next doctor visit, or groceries…. When he spends more than we can afford, I am faced with the same fear.  Anxiety and stress replace any joy that was received when the gift was given.  Those feelings never go away.  Even years later, those feelings tarnish the memories made on that special day.

You can still express your love without spending extraordinary amounts of money.  One example is to give each other a coupon book.  Coupons from your able bodied spouse could include a massage, helping with housework without complaining, giving you a quiet afternoon without the kids, etc.  Coupon ideas for the chronically ill to give to their loved one could include an intimate evening of sex (let’s face it, we don’t always feel up for it and coupons could ease the pressure to perform when you physically aren’t able to enjoy it), getting out of the house to enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation, an evening of watching their favorite show/movie, etc…

Respect your body’s boundaries

If you have been chronically ill for a few years, you have an idea of how your body will react to an evening out in mid-February.  If the weather during this time of year triggers or increases your chronic pain, then going out will just exasperate it.  Instead, plan an evening in.  You can still dress up if you desire to and have the energy to do so.

If you and your partner insist on going out, make reservations! Don’t risk a flare coming on too early while waiting for a table.  Choose a restaurant that has comfortable seating.  Find one that has a quiet and romantic ambiance versus one that has TVs and music blaring.

If you typically are tired or worn out on a Thursday evening, plan your celebration for the weekend.  Or plan for another night when the rest of the world won’t be celebrating! There is nothing wrong with your romantic dinner taking place next Sunday or Monday evening!

*Disclosure: 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 my Facebook groups.

PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse has taken my pain managment plan to a whole new level! Click here to see how it has improved my chronic life and click here to learn more about the device and how it may help you too! BTW My discount code DIVA will save you $55.00 when entered at checkout!

Accept what you can do

Maybe you are having a rough year.  My heart goes out to you, because I know exactly how you feel.  There were years when I just couldn’t leave the house or get dressed.  I hated that the best I could do was brush my hair.  Sadly, there were a couple of years when that didn’t even happen.  I know how frustrating it is to want to go out, to do something special, to be anywhere but in bed and in too much pain to enjoy being in bed, and wanting to forget your pain even if just for one night, but…… If that is where you are at this year, embrace it.  I am not saying that you should be thrilled about it, but that you should remember that this is just one day of your life.  Who knows how you will feel next year.  You could be worse or you could experience some improvement.  Look at me, I spiraled downhill for 10 years before I found ways to reduce my chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and abdominal adhesions from endometriosis and surgical scarring.

Even with my improvements, I still have to respect my body’s boundaries.  My body is not happy with the cold and wet weather we are currently experiencing in southern California.  Last year it was warm and sunny and I was spending time at the beach, Hollywood, Disneyland, and Palm Springs without accruing pain.  This year’s weather is making getting out as often as I would like more difficult.  But I know better days are on the way and because of that I am not worried that I haven’t been able to go out as much this month.

A little message to the partner that doesn’t have a chronic illness

Please understand that your partner wishes that they could go out to dinner, go dancing, and spend the rest of the evening getting busy with you in the bedroom.  Unfortunately, pain gets in their way.  Whether they are amidst a flare or know that they will pay for all activity with an onslaught of physical pain the next day, pain rules their brain.  If they say no to a night out, they aren’t rejecting you.  If they don’t want to have sex that night, it isn’t because they find you unattractive or don’t love you.  They are in pain…..   A little tip, if you really want to increase the odds of having a romantic evening with your partner, clear their schedule for the next day or two.  Seriously, sex is painful, flaring or not! Some of us need time to recover.  If we have to get up and go to work, get the kids ready for school, go grocery shopping, clean the house, go to church, etc. the next morning, then we are more likely to say no.  However, if you were to schedule it for a time when she/he doesn’t have any reason to get out of bed unless they want to the next day, your odds for receiving a thumbs up increases!  This advice doesn’t guarantee a green light, because an unexpected flare could ruin it all, but putting thought into their after sex recovery shows that you thought about more than having sex, you thought about their needs beyond it.


















Reduce Inflammation Without Compromising Your Immune System

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and nothing I express should be mistaken or confused with medical advice. This post contains affiliate links.  Proceeds from them fund my blog and websites.  All opinions and thoughts are my own and were in no way influenced by the companies.


Is inflammation to blame for your pain?  It is if you suffer from one of 100’s of chronic illnesses that include high levels of inflammation.  Below are a few of the diseases in which inflammation wreaks havoc.

Ankylosing spondylitis
Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis)
Crohn’s disease
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE)
Parkinson’s disease
Ulcerative colitis

Any of those look familiar?

Inflammation rarely effects only one area of our bodies. It is more than swelling of a joint or muscle.  It takes over and consumes our bodies.  Before we know it our entire bodies are inflamed making it next to impossible to know which areas are truly the spots that need to be addressed.  To be able to pinpoint our true pain sources we must reduce our inflammation levels.

Common pharmaceutical medications prescribed to fight inflammation:


All of those medications come with a long list of side effects, including a higher risk for certain cancers and compromise the patients immune system.  Before I proceed I want to be clear that I am not anti-medicine.  What I am is someone who prefers treating my illnesses with as few side effects as possible. I followed my doctor’s pharmaceutical protocols for 12 years.  The result? My inflammation and pain levels sky rocketed and continued to do so until I turned to alternative therapies.  I was always sick.  If the person next to me sneezed, I’d be sick in bed for weeks.  I feared leaving the house and being near people.

triniti full product

Triniti CBD offers flavored tinctures for those who aren’t keen on the taste of hemp or MMJ products.

I began my new and unconventional treatment 5 years ago. After allowing my body to detox from my pharmaceutical medications I began medicating with CBD and THC.  The difference this made in my chronic life was impressive.  I regained use of a finger and thumb that had been so swollen that it had been impossible to bend or move them.  Even better was that for the first time in many years I could finally sit, stand, and walk for more than five minutes without excruciating pain.  How often I experienced any sickness also decreased.  Instead of catching every germ that came my way, I only suffered from a nasty cold or virus every winter and summer.  I began venturing out into the world and living again because I no longer feared being around people. While not thrilled that my improvements stemmed from a treatment that wasn’t approved by my doctors, they all said that it was working and that I should continue.  The doctors who had treated me prior to this couldn’t believe how drastically my inflammation had been reduced.


A year ago I added PEMF therapy to my treatment plan.  Not fully understanding the benefits of using this form of therapy on a daily basis, I began by using it once, twice, and sometimes three times a week.  Even with limited exposure I experienced enough improvement to be able to begin exercising on a regular basis after just two months.  Seven months ago I began using my PEMF device daily.  It was then that I truly began winning my war with inflammation.  The bones in my feet have hurt since 1999.  My lower back and hips have bothered me since 2003 and in 2011 the pain became constant and excruciating.  Approximately three months after using PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse on a daily basis for 6-8 hours a day the pain in my feet, lower back, and hips disappeared.  They still flare up when I push past my limits, but that distance continues to increase.  Another interesting improvement is that I have not been sick in over a year.  Not one cold or virus has invaded my body.  I no longer fear hugging people or being in crowds.

I am not 100% pain free.  I have not been cured.  But my good days far outweigh my bad.  Without side effects my average daily pain level is between 1 and 4.  I still suffer brutal flares from weather changes.  High pressure systems are my enemies.  If the past year has shown me anything it is that CBD, THC, and PEMF therapy are a winning inflammation fighting trio for my body.

More recently I suffered an injury to my abdominal muscles that surround my ribcage.  PEMF therapy has been successful at reducing the inflammation between 50 and 75%.  Without it the muscles swell so badly that they crush my ribs.  The good news is that after a month of treating those muscles with PEMF therapy, they stopped tearing and have begun the healing process.  Could a prescription speed up the healing process? Maybe, I don’t really know.  What I do know is that I would rather the process take longer if need be if it means not risking more severe illnesses or symptoms now or in the future.

green flower learn and watch free

Like I stated in the disclosure above, I am not a medical professional.  I am not issuing medical advice.  Instead I am sharing my experience of using CBD, THC, and PEMF therapy for psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, endometriosis, and degenerative disc disease.  If you are interested in learning more about any of these alternative treatments I invite you to do one or all of the following:

  1. Join Making Pain My Bitch with The Disabled Diva where in the files I have third party PEMF reports and review various CBD and THC products.
  2. Visit my friends at Triniti CBD and BioCBD+ to learn more about CBD.
  3. Visit my pals at Oska Wellness to learn more about PEMF therapy.  If you choose to go this route be sure to use promo code DIVA to save $55.
  4. Follow my journey to living with less pain by clicking here.



Resources for inflammation list & medications


The Disabled Diva’s Four Month Oska Pulse Anniversary

The Disabled Diva’s Four Month

Oska Pulse Anniversary

July 24, 2017 marks my four month anniversary of using Oska Pulse as part of my daily treatment plan.  For those who are new to my blog, I have been combatting chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis for over 17 years.  I followed my doctor’s protocols for the first 12 years.  Not only did I not improve during this time, I never experienced any relief, and my conditions did nothing by get worse.  Five years ago I stopped all pharmaceutical treatments and began treating my conditions with medical marijuana.  I immediately experienced some relief and improvements.  In the past five years I went from not being able to stand, sit, or walk for five minutes to be able to go grocery shopping on foot using the shopping cart for balance. Last year abdominal adhesions from endometriosis and surgical scarring attacked my bowels. They were literally killing me.  Then something amazing happened.  Last fall I was asked to try Oska Pulse.  I did and was impressed with how quickly it addressed inflammation in my knee when I experienced swelling after overuse.  But I didn’t realize how much more I could benefit from this drug-free device if I were to use it on a daily basis.  That is until March 24, 2017.

Disclaimer: While I originally received this product as a gift to review via Chronic Illness Bloggers and am an affiliate for Oska Wellness, my original review and my entire Oska Pulse series were not influenced by the company.  All thoughts, opinions, and experiences are mine and mine alone.

On March 24th I received a message from Julie Ryan, founder of Chronic Illness Bloggers and she mentioned how her Oska Pulse was helping her recover from her latest endo related surgery.  My first thought was, why the heck didn’t I think of treating my abdomen with mine!!???  From that day forward I committed to use my Oska Pulse every day and the results have been amazing.


My improvements


To my surprise I experienced relief from abdominal adhesions immediately.  Within the first 48 hours I stopped feeling the excruciating ripping pain that has plagued me since 2004.  The pain was caused by adhesions ripping from my sidewall and internal organs.  Not only that but I could finally eat without experiencing bloating, nausea, or explosive diarrhea. My bowels had been set free! The only pain I felt was muscle tenderness throughout my abdomen which was a normal sensation that I have always experienced after the adhesions ripped from them. Until now the only way I could rip the adhesions enough to free them from my internal organs was to ride the thrill rides at Disneyland over and over.  I would exit the rides in tears because of the pain.  Now I enjoy the rides and no longer experience abdominal pain while riding them.


Continued improvement with abdominal adhesions.

I began treating my right knee during my workouts to reduce and sometimes eliminate the need to treat it afterwards.  I had surgery on this knee in 2002.  There were loose bone fragments and cartilage floating around my knee that would become lodged in the joint.  I would have to use crutches until the fragments moved. Since that surgery I have experienced extreme swelling whenever I walked for a few minutes or exercised.  With Oska Pulse I experience relief from pain and reduce swelling with 2-4 treatments when I begin treatment after exercising or walking.  Later I discovered that I was able to cut down my after treatment by strapping it above my knee while working out.  Some days my knee doesn’t require after treatments and on others it only needs 1 or 2.  The key I found is to treat it as soon as I notice swelling or pain and to not let it fester.

My stamina increased.  My productivity increased.  While medical marijuana increased the amount of good days I experienced each month, it was Oska Pulse that gave me more good than bad days.  I began sleeping better too!


For the first time in 17 years I went to bed without having to find a way to get comfortable from hip pain.  I hadn’t even been focused on treating my hips, but because I had concentrated my treatment on my abdomen Oska Pulse was also treating my hips!  Oska Pulse works within a 22 inch radius.  Click here to learn more.  The only time I have experienced extreme hip pain since was during our move in June and that was because I was standing and bending more than I had in 7 years.  But because of my Oska Pulse, I was up and ready to go the next day.

diva ocean beach.jpg


For the first time since 2004 I could sleep on my stomach, have my sweet Chihuahua Zeva the Diva curl up on my lap, and poke my belly without pain!

I would have been just as thrilled with my Oska Pulse if my improvements stopped here, but they didn’t and I just want to climb up to the top of the Matterhorn at Disneyland and shout out how much I love my little blue friend.  For the first time since 2011 I experienced complete relief from lower back pain, specifically in my sacrum and tailbone. Again, like my hips I had not concentrated my treatment to that area but it was treating it while I focused on my abdomen.  After 3 days without pain in that region I made a mistake.  I went to Disneyland and rode the new Guardian’s of the Galaxy Mission Breakout ride.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it is the ride formally known as the Tower of Terror.  The ride itself is an elevator shaft that guests sit in while being dropped repeatedly.  While I love the ride, being dropped on my tailbone and jarring my spine was not a good idea and I paid for it.  In the past few years it has taken 3-6 weeks for me to just reduce my pain level.  This time I was only completely down for ONE day and my pain was reduced to a level that didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted afterwards.


Three weeks after injuring my spine at Disneyland, I am once again pain-free.  I only experience pain in that area when I push too hard, do something stupid, or when I am experiencing a weather related flare.

Which brings me to my next improvement.  In the past month the only flares that have knocked me down and sent me to bed were weather related or my own stupidity of riding an attraction that wasn’t spine friendly.

I have been able to decrease how much medical marijuana I use!

I can walk more throughout the week! In fact last week I spent the day at Ocean Beach in San Diego with my family and walked approximately 2 miles throughout the course of the day!! Click here to hear about my day.  Granted it wasn’t all at once and there were many breaks, but I haven’t been able to be that active in one day in I don’t know how long!!  The next day I was tender, but still able to work on projects and future blog posts while sitting in my recliner.  The rest of the week I was able to exercise anywhere from 30-60 minutes per day!

Last week I realized that it had been 4 weeks since I last experienced any bladder leakage.  Last summer one of the surgeons I consulted with said that my pelvic floor was collapsing.  I have had to wear a pad or a diaper for the past 2 years.  Currently I have been wearing one if I am going somewhere that I am not familiar with the restroom locations.  It’s taking me a little while to process the fact that wetting myself is no longer a daily problem.

And last but not least Oska Pulse has decreased the amount of nerve pain that was the result of a surgical error in 2008.  During that surgery my surgeon sliced a set of nerves between my left thigh and vagina while releasing my cervix.  Since then I have experienced daily nerve pain deep inside and it would shoot down my leg and across my pelvis.  I have also lost feeling and use of that leg at least once a day in the past 9 years.  In the past month I have only lost feeling in that leg twice and my nerve pain is no longer maddening.  This too was something that my doctors said would never improve.

Let’s get real

Am I cured? No.  Do I still have bad days? Yes.  But like I stated earlier, in the past 6 weeks all extreme flares have been weather related or from my own stupidity.  My good days not only outnumber my bad, my bad days aren’t as bad as they used to be.  Speaking of weather related flares, by using Oska Pulse throughout them my recovery time has decreased.  The most one of those flares has knocked me down for has been 3 days. My weather related flares begin with swelling around my spine, this leads to nerve pain down my leg and up through my skull.  My pain points are in my lower back and neck.  I alternate treating each area with Oska Pulse and ice.

Oska Pulse has truly given me a new lease on life.  I am doing more and having loads of fun! I cry when I think of how remarkable this is because just five years ago I was ready to commit suicide.  I couldn’t imagine living with the pain that my conditions had caused. I had lost all hope. I prayed for a miracle and while he took his time, God answered.  I no longer have to do what my doctors said, which was to deal with the pain for the rest of my life.  Their only solution was to heavily drug me with morphine, which was not an option for me.

Keep this in mind if you are considering using Oska Pulse, improvement takes time!  To achieve results you must commit to using it!!  I use mine daily from the moment I wake up until I go to bed.  I take it everywhere!  Be patient.  It was totally amazing that I experienced relief from abdominal pain so quickly, but not all of my improvements occurred that fast.  Some took weeks and months.  I can’t wait to see where I am at in four more months and then a year and so on and so on…..

If I could I would buy everyone an Oska Pulse, but I can’t.  What I can do is save you $55 when you use promo code DIVA.

You seriously have nothing to lose except pain!

Click here read my entire Oska Pulse Journey series.

Looking for tips on how to use Oska Pulse on your neck? Click here to see how I use mine.










How Lori-Ann from City Girl Flare Contends with Psoriatic Arthritis

How Lori-Ann from City Girl Flare Contends with Psoriatic Arthritis

Today Lori-Ann from City Girl Flare shares how she treats her psoriatic arthritis.  Please remember that Lori-Ann and I are not medical professionals and cannot give medical advice.  We are just sharing our experiences and opinions.  Check out City Girl Flare and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


My name is Lori-Ann Holbrook.  I am married, live in Dallas and am disabled due to my Psoriatic Arthritis.  That’s right, disabled.  Although I was only diagnosed five years ago, I believe I’ve experienced PsA symptoms as early as 25 years ago. 

It was tough to get to a diagnosis, as my symptoms would usually only present one at a time.  So, my initial diagnosis was obesity.  After we relocated from Atlanta to Manhattan, my immune system flipped out and I started experiencing all my symptoms at once.  I did not know what was going on with me.  I had lesions on my feet, could not straighten my right leg, was in pain all over my body and was exhausted all the time.

 Unfortunately, my doctor was forced to try step therapy with me.  Step therapy involved trying the least expensive treatment that MIGHT work, then allowing approval of a biologic treatment after failure of two to three other drugs.  First, I was on gold therapy.  This did not work and upset my stomach.  Second, I was on a sulfa drug.  This was so dehydrating I thought I was dying while out in the sun.  Finally, I was put on a biologic, coupled with a low dose of chemotherapy.  Over time, this biologic causes weight gain and, as I flared, I sometimes took steroids and opioids.  These caused even more weight gain that my biologic had to be increased to keep up with my BMI.

 In moving to Dallas and meeting with a new rheumatologist, I discovered I had been dosed for RA, instead of PsA.  The PsA dose is much higher.   Now, with the right dose, coupled with a higher dose of my antidepressant, my pain is under control and I’ve been able to wean off my opioids.  After a year and a half, I am finally feeling more like myself.  My biologic helps with pain and stiffness, my antidepressant helps with brain fog, depression and pain.

 I currently have no plan to change my medication, but there are new drugs coming down the pipeline for PsA.  What I really hope for is legalization of medical marijuana in the state of Texas.  I believe this would be more beneficial to me in the long run.  I hope, when the time comes, my rheumatologist agrees.


Don’t forget to check out City Girl Flare and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read this month’s entire series which includes how I treat this condition.

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