Tag Archives: depression

Spring Clean: Spruce up your view!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does spring cleaning mean to you?

For some it may be a time to put away their winter gear and start pulling out their outdoor stuff.  Others may think of it as a time to go through the house and garage gathering items no longer needed or used and then donating them to charity.  Of course there is the traditional thought of spring cleaning which is to give your home a full no inch, nook, or cranny missed cleaning.

Today I am going to present you with a spring cleaning idea that you may not have thought of…….

Sprucing up your view!

Here are three views that you should consider sprucing up this spring!

*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.

Outdoors

What do you see when you look out the window near where you spend most of your time?  If you see trash, abandoned or inoperable vehicles, or anything that doesn’t make you feel good to look at, it is time for a change.  Moving is one option, but not always the best, easiest, or affordable.

So what can you do to change your view?  Hang curtains with a print that brings you joy, but don’t cover the entire window.  Instead of hanging the rod at the top of the window, hang it halfway.  That way you will still get the natural light your body and mind both need, without having to look out on a scene that makes you cringe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another option is to rearrange your furniture so that it gives you another angle to look out that window.  By moving my bed from one wall to another in a former home, I swapped my view of a traffic light for one of a beautiful tree filled with flowers in the spring.

Indoors

If your chronic pain from chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, or MS is high, you probably spend most of your time in you bedroom or in the living area.  I know that is where my time is spent when my pain is not being managed well or when I am recovering from an injury.

Look around the room/area that you spend the most of your time in.  Does it make you feel anxious, agitated, angry, or annoyed?  It shouldn’t.  The place you spend the majority of your time in should be a place that makes you happy, that calms you, that provides comfort and peace.  If that doesn’t sound like the area that you spend the most of you time in, it is time for a change!

First, clean it up!  Avoid having piles of items that need to be put away.  If you really can’t keep up with putting things away, use pretty baskets to collect and store the items in until you can.

Second, make it comfortable! Do you have somewhere comfortable to sit?  Could you use some new bedding? If the area is dull and dreary looking, brighten it up with vibrant colors and prints.

Last but not least, give yourself something to look at! Whether it be a piece of artwork or real/artificial flowers, find something to have on your walls or shelves that brings you joy.

Mental

Now time for the view we would rather not think about….. our view on living with our chronic illness(es).  How do you view your life?  Do you think it sucks, is miserable, or not worth living?  It is time to get some help.  I am not saying that you have to be positive all the time, I am not.  But, the difference between having a bad moment and life is that with a bad life you can’t find things to be thankful for, to like, or enjoy.  The thing is, life with a painful chronic illness can include joy.

I have said this before and I will say it again, there is no shame in seeing a therapist!!! Too many people think they can handle everything on their own, but they are wrong.  Therapy has been an important part of my dealing with past abuse and my chronic illnesses.  If your insurance provider doesn’t provide adequate mental health coverage, is expensive, or you just don’t have the physical strength to go out to see a therapist, I highly recommend Online-Therapy.com. Their therapist provide the therapy you need when and where you need it most.

Other tips to help clean up how you view your life includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • End each day listing what you WERE able to do
  • Create realistic plans, not plans that require you to be 100%
  • Be gracious to your body for what it can do
  • If you must focus on what you can’t do, do it only to find a new way to perform that task or activity.  Find an alternative solution.
  • Practice showing yourself compassion

Therapy when you need it, where you want it…. ****** Save 20% when you click here to enroll.

 

 

 

 

Which of your views needs sprucing up?

 

Tears: I hold them back, until pain pushes them out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tears: I hold them back, until pain pushes them out

If you see me crying, know that you are witnessing pain that I hope you never have to feel.

Whether it is one single tear rolling down my cheek or many pouring out of my eyes, they still represent the kind of pain you secretly wish upon the most wickedest of people.

Types of tears

Mourning

Living with chronic pain from illnesses such as fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, abdominal adhesions, degenerative disc disease, and coccydynia forced me to change my life. Like most other chronically ill people, I had to say good-bye to my old life. We literally bury our old lives. We don’t move on, instead we start anew, which is terrifying in a body that is riddled with diseases we know nothing about.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear

It doesn’t matter what type of disease a person has, it could be an autoimmune, neurological, or parasitic disease and each person will fear what the future holds for them.  How long until they can’t walk?  How fast will their disease progress?  What if a cure is never found? Will I ever find pain relief?  How can I afford to live?  Who will take care of me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frustration

With every chronic illness comes frustration.  We are frustrated by many things such as but not limited to: not being able to do what we could before becoming sick, having our friends, family, and even doctors doubt our pain and illness, over the cost of care and medications that rarely help, from trying to be stronger than you are……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical pain

Even with the best pain management plan, chronic pain is always there.  Even when I managed to bring my daily pain level down to 0-3, I was devastated by the pain I experienced from my car accident last year and later the fall I took while on my morning walk.  When I fell, the pain pushed the tears out of my eyes.  I had no idea I was even crying until my daughter noticed.  People who have lived in pain as long as I have don’t cry for no reason. Nor do we cry over minor pain.  So if someone who has lived with pain for 20 years starts crying because of a pain, it is serious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I live with multiple chronic illnesses, I was shocked to be able to reduce the pain from all of them for as long as I did.  Unfortunately, the damage that I have sustained in my abdomen (problems with endometriosis and adhesions began in 2003) are continually presenting themselves and the worst part is there is nothing I can do to stop it.  Whenever I think I have calmed the storm that is taking place inside my belly, it comes back and laughs in my face. I am trying to be strong, I am trying to not allow it to disrupt my life, I am trying to hide from my family just how bad it is, but I am failing…… the tears that I keep whisking away give it all away……..

I am not going to tell you to hold back your tears.  Nor am I going to tell you to spend the rest of your life crying.  What I am going to tell you is this:  Trust your instincts! Fight for your body! Don’t give up and try everything.  Thankfully I do have a great pain management plan that is keeping all my other chronic illnesses happy at the moment. I honestly do not believe that I could go on if they were all flaring at the moment.  Find what works for you, even if it means doing what I did which was trying things that aren’t considered the norm in our healthcare system.

Never be ashamed of your tears.  They talk when your mouth can’t bring forth the words you need to say.

 

Therapy when you need it, where you want it…. ****** Save 20% when you click here to enroll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens When I Live My Old Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happens when I live my old life

I received my cluster of diagnoses during the early 2000’s.  During that time not one doctor urged, nudged, or hinted to me that I needed to make changes to how I lived my life.  Not ONE!!!

Instead of issuing warnings or advice to improve the quality of my life, my doctors insisted that they would be able to find the right pill(s) to offset my symptoms and pain.  Of course everything they tried failed.  Click here if you would like to take a peek at the pain management plan that finally helped reduce the pain I experience from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and abdominal adhesions from endometriosis and surgical scarring.

Between the false hope my doctors were issuing and the pressure from friends and family to get better, making changes to how I lived never crossed my mind.  But it should have and here is why:

When I live my old life:

  • I ignore the needs of my body/chronic illnesses
  • I injure myself more often
  • I spend more time in bed than actually living my life
  • My family loses precious time with me
  • I spend more time and money seeing doctors and visiting emergency rooms
  • I took no responsibility towards reducing my pain.  I trusted and followed everything my doctors said.

*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.

Why changes had to be made

  • The longer I ignored the needs of my body/illnesses, the sicker I became and more damage was done to my body
  • Refusing to accept the need to use a mobility aid created more opportunities to fall, which I did often.  Each fall resulted with either a broken bone or blood clot.
  • I was killing myself
  • My family needed me
  • I would rather take my family to Disneyland, then to spend money and time in the emergency room over an injury that could have been prevented had I listened to my body, done things differently, or utilized a mobility aid.
  • I had to take responsibility and to accept that my doctor may never be able to help me.

 

Changes that literally changed my chronic life

  • I made friends with my diseases.  I got to know them and my body so well that I after awhile I could feel the beginning stages of a flare coming on.  In the past, I just pushed until I collapsed.
  • Using mobility aids may have been hard to accept on an emotional level, but when I look back and see how little I have fallen since I began using them, I know I made the right decision.
  • By recognizing and addressing signs of a flare or physical distress I am able to avoid complications like my body mimicking a stroke or muscles freezing to the point of feeling rock hard for months on end.
  • Spending the amount of time that I do in caring for my body, doing things differently, accepting what I can’t do, and letting go of unrealistic expectations has gifted me with less time in bed and more out making memories with my family.
  • I took responsibility and charge over my care.  I researched and tried alternative treatments. While I may spend more money on those treatments than any pill that my insurance would cover, I save by not having to visit my doctor for a refill every month and not visiting the emergency room throughout the year. Click here to read about my pain management plan.

All of these changes, plus others that you can read about in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, has restored my independence.  Going grocery shopping no longer makes me anxious, because I can finally do it without needing a day or two to recuperate.  I can drive and clean my house again.

Now I am not saying that everyone who reads my book and follows my pain management plan will have the same results.  The changes you need to make may differ, but no matter what, any change that involves listening to and respecting your body/disease is going to improve your life.

Don’t make the mistake I did by waiting 12 years before even accepting that there was no way I could go on living like I used to.

Living our old lives doesn’t make us strong, instead it makes us weaker.

Living our old lives does more than increase our physical pain, it hurts us and our loved ones emotionally too.

Are you still living your old life? 

Whether you are or not, I challenge you to examine your day to day life and pick one area/task that could be done differently, in a way that won’t increase your pain level.  Then make that change.  You don’t have to change every aspect of your life immediately, take your time and make your changes one step at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telling me that it could be worse won’t make me feel better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many times have you explained your chronic illness to someone and their response was “It could be worse”?

I would be a millionaire if I had even a penny for every time I was told this.

I don’t believe that the majority of people who say this to us, do it with the intention of hurting.  I truly believe that they think they are offering words of comfort.

However, the reality is that those words, no matter what intention they were said with, cut deep into the heart of someone living with a chronic illness.  And here is why saying “It could be worse” should be avoided:

  • It makes the chronically ill person feel that their illness isn’t as important, painful, or difficult to deal with as a terminal diagnosis.
  • Those words are often misheard and translated into “Stop your whining, you can complain when you have a serious disease”

*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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The truth is that things could always be worse.  Even for someone receiving a terminal diagnosis, things could always be worse.

I am just as guilty as anybody else who has uttered those words. However, after being cut by them for so many years, I have come up with ways to say them without invalidating the severity of what someone is going through. For example: When the words “It could be worse” pass through my lips I follow up with…..

  • , but that doesn’t make what you are going through any less terrifying.  How are you coping?
  • , but that isn’t here nor there…. What do you need from me? How can I help you?

When followed with a validating comment and question, I am less apt to throw up walls or to emotionally shut down.  Instead, I feel safer to open up and have a discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have someone in your life who likes to remind you of how much worse things could be, talk to them.  Share how it makes you feel and offer alternative words for them to communicate with.  It may feel awkward at first, but the more we talk to our friends and family about what they say, the better we all get at communicating with each other.  Just remember, to talk, not yell or attack!  Not everyone will get it.  In that case, just let it go….. because seriously, there is so much more to worry about when you are fighting chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, and abdominal adhesions.

How do you react to hearing “It could be worse”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Recap February 4-8, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a rundown of this week’s articles!

Read what you missed and share what you liked!

 

 

 

 

 

Love is Stupid

In this article, Donna helps us overcome our insecurities and to recognize that we are worthy of being loved. Click here to read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Believe in That Disease

Have you ever had a doctor who didn’t believe in your chronic illness?  I have.  Having doctors who either didn’t believe that fibromyalgia was a real disease or that were totally uneducated in this disease put my life at risk when I was faced with an unrelated life threatening health issue.  Click here to find out what happened.

 

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Charcoal Soap

My daughter and I have recently started washing our faces with charcoal soap.  Her for acne and eczema, and I for psoriasis and smoother, tighter skin.  Click here to find out what benefits there are to washing with charcoal soap and which brand we recommend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Medical Marijuana Recommendations: Convenient or a Waste of Time?

Have you heard of doctors offering online medical marijuana recommendations?  I didn’t until last year!  Click here to learn about my experience and to see if this service is available in your area.

 

 

 

 

 

Why a Diagnosis is a Reason to Celebrate!

No one in their right mind would celebrate receiving a diagnosis of a disease that is incurable, right?! Or should they??!!!  Click here to find out why each of mine were a reason to celebrate.

 

 

 

 

 

28 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Click here for 28 ideas to help you love yourself this month!

*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 management 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protected: Online Medical Marijuana Recommendations: Convenient or a Waste of Time?

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

I Don’t Believe in That Disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to think having to be retested for a disease whenever a new physician didn’t believe that I had it was frustrating.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told by a new doctor that they didn’t believe my diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis from another physician.  Each time they wasted my money and time by reordering all the same tests, that wow, surprise, had the same results.  Thankfully, they would accept their own results and move on.

My diagnosis of fibromyalgia has been more problematic. In fact it almost cost me my life……..

Soon after receiving my diagnosis of fibromyalgia, I began having abdominal pain. I began seeing my gynecologist way more than I ever did while pregnant with my daughter.  During one visit I mentioned my diagnosis of fibromyalgia and he said, and I quote “That’s not a real disease.”

Believe it or not, his thinking that fibromyalgia wasn’t a real illness actually helped me for the first two years.  Because he didn’t believe in it, he pushed my insurance provider to approve an exploratory surgery when all tests came back showing nothing wrong.  That surgery revealed that I had endometriosis and an extremely large ovarian cyst.  The cyst and adhesions had pulled my bladder, uterus, and left ovary towards my sidewall.  In addition, they not only pulled my left fallopian tube towards the sidewall, it had adhered and embedded itself into it!

The pain and symptoms returned within a year. Thankfully he still didn’t believe in my chronic illness and agreed to perform a hysterectomy.  That surgery revealed a belly full of adhesions and a bunch of ovarian cysts.  In addition to what was found in the prior surgery, adhesions were also pulling my rectum towards my sidewall.  So far so good, right?! In fact you may be wondering how this led to me almost losing my life. Less than six months later, the pain on my left side returned and……..

*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 was horrified when the pain returned.  My OBGYN had removed my uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.  I had also had an appendectomy prior to the hysterectomy.  There wasn’t anything left that could be causing the pain that I was experiencing.  I returned to my gynecologist who after hearing about my pain, decided to blame my pain on fibromyalgia! The very disease he adamantly denied existence of became an easy way for him to get rid of a complicated patient.

Over the course of two years I went from one surgeon to another.  Not one would consider that I could still be experiencing problems from endometriosis or that it was possible that something went wrong with my hysterectomy.  One after the other opened my chart, without running any tests or performing any type of examination, and blamed fibromyalgia.

You may be thinking, wait a minute, those doctors believed that you had fibromyalgia!  I will never know whether they really believed that I had it or not, but I do know that they knew very little, if anything, about the disease.  When I would explain that his had never been one of my fibromyalgia symptoms, they would just say that they heard it was a symptom of it.  If they didn’t blame fibromyalgia, they told me that it was all in my head and that they would happily refer me to a psychiatrist.  Then they would close my file and leave the room…….

Two years, twenty surgeons, not one was willing to help me.  Each and everyone blamed an illness they knew little to nothing about and even denied until it became an easy scapegoat.  These men made me doubt my sanity, made everyone except for my husband and children think that I had lost my mind.  Friends and family believed that I was depressed, addicted to opioids (why else would someone go to the emergency room as much as I did), or that I wanted surgery for attention.  Funny thing about the last thing, is that all those who didn’t believe me, never helped out during the prior surgeries.  In the meantime my pain increased, I became weaker, and sicker.

Long story short, surgeon number twenty-one finally believed me and agreed to perform surgery.  What he found shocked me, the attending nurses, and the surgeon himself.  I had adhesions everywhere.  He had to scrape from my cervix up to my diaphragm. He also found that a large portion of my left fallopian tube had been left behind during the hysterectomy.  It was infected, covered in endometriosis, and was embedded into my sidewall.  Not only was it embedded into my sidewall, there was evidence of how it had adhered and embedded to other areas of the sidewall and was pulled out by adhesions.  If that wasn’t enough, my bowels were being strangled by adhesions.  But according to my original surgeon and 20 more, it was either fibromyalgia or in my head……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My saga doesn’t end here. But the point of this post isn’t to share the entire story, but to demonstrate how if any of those surgeons had believed in or had any knowledge about fibromyalgia, I wouldn’t have had to suffer the way I did.  I have always despised my diagnosis of fibromyalgia and will continue to until doctors choose to learn more about it.  The ignorance of 22 surgeons almost cost me my life. As the surgeon who found the mess informed me, having my bowels strangled like they were would have killed me.

It doesn’t matter if a physician believes in fibromyalgia if they are not educated in it.

Have you ever been told that your disease isn’t real by a doctor?

Have serious unrelated symptoms/illnesses been overlooked because of your diagnosis of fibromyalgia or other disease?

The damage I suffered continues to haunt me and put my life at risk.  Don’t let the ignorance of one or twenty-one doctors put your life in danger. Had I given up, I wouldn’t be here to share my story with you today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: