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Tag Archives: mental-health

Weekend Recap February 11-15, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s blog posts!

Deals: Latest product promotions and discounts to make living with your chronic illness less painful.

Spring Cleaning Doesn’t Have to be Painful: Tips to make sprucing up your home less painful.

Natural and Alternative Sleep Tips: What helps me sleep and how it may help you too.

The Disabled Diva’s Review of Earthley Soothing Skin Balm: My review of a natural and organic balm for eczema and psoriasis.

Give your love the best Valentine’s day gift ever!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is Stupid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t deserve love, anyhow. Things are going too good, so I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. People always leave me. It never works out anyhow. My ideas are stupid. I’m a failure. I can’t trust anyone. It’s not worth it. I’m not worth it. I’ll just fail again. They’ll stop loving me. I can’t live without them. They wouldn’t like me if they really knew me. I’ll just look like a loser if I try that. I’ll get laughed at if I speak up. There must be something wrong with me. Love is stupid.

*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 Disabled Diva

These, along with many others, are the lies we tell ourselves, engraved on the bricks we use to build walls to protect us. Some of us don’t stop at building a wall and build a damn fine castle. It’s a lonely castle, though, and that dragon in the tower—a fiery, roaring beast made of our fears, insecurities, pain—keeps us imprisoned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also build walls with what we do (and don’t do). Skipping that event because you know you’ll just make an idiot of yourself. Brick. Staying silent instead of standing up for yourself or sharing your thoughts. Brick. Not going on that second date, even though the first date was lovely. Brick. Letting yourself drift away from loved ones because you fear rejection if you’re honest and vulnerable. Brick.

Walls have their place. We all need healthy boundaries and self-preservation. This goes beyond that. Barbed wire on that wall, crocodile moats, wearing full armor, and thinking about just jumping off that castle tower….. Those walls protecting us from pain and sadness also keep out love and joy. Our safety measures become our prison. When no one can reach us anymore, and they stop trying because we aren’t opening ourselves up, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Alone, unconnected… Well, I must be unloveable.

I’m an expert. I’ve been building emotional walls my whole life. My castle would impress medieval royalty. Several people that I let into my fortress because I thought I could trust them proved that my walls were needed. Brick, brick, brick! Many times, I start to take my walls down and then hastily rebuild, 2 bricks higher.

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

daring greatly

 

I’m tired. I’m tired of building. I’m tired of hiding. Are you? These bricks I’m carrying on my back, ready to shore up my wall, are breaking me. I want to be courageous. How do we stop building? I’m still trying to figure that out, but maybe we can start small. Share a bit of yourself that you’ve been walling off…. Ideally, with someone who seems to have proven themselves safe or someone you don’t have much of an emotional investment in. A stranger, a therapist, or your dog. You’re probably chuckling, but I’m serious! Sometimes you just need to practice speaking your heart and mind out loud to help you get the courage to be yourself with a person you care about, and a furry pal is a good listener. Sharing parts of yourself in written form at first can also be less scary than out loud. (Don’t try that with your dog, though. Ha!) Some of you might not want to start small and would do better by taking a wrecking ball to your walls. You’ll know what might work best for your personality. It’ll likely be a long, difficult process that’ll look different for everyone. You might need some professional help; trained therapists are excellent at teaching dragon-taming and path-building. They can help you rebuild those walls as healthy boundaries.

So, that epic wall you built around your heart… That towering castle you’re hiding in… It’s going to be really, really hard, but take a brick out. Start using those bricks to pave a path to connect you with someone. Build a door in your wall. Add some windows to let some light in. Chip away at those lies you’ve been telling yourself.

biglove

Sure, we can fend off the what-ifs by not taking any risks, but then we fend off any chance of magic, too. We also possibly invite the worst what-if of all: What if I reach the end of my life wishing I had been less fearful, had taken more chances, and had really lived?”

–Scott Stabile, BIG LOVE: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart

People are never going to be perfect. Getting hurt at least a little is inevitable when you allow yourself to love, be loved, and be connected with people. It’s worth the risk. You deserve love—to give it and receive it. You deserve to share yourself with others and connect. I want to really live. I want the magic. Do you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Recap Jan 27- Feb 1, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly recap for Jan 27 – Feb 1, 2019

Two Simple Ways to Use CBD Isolate

28 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Love Every Move and Stretch You Make

Love Yourself Enough to Schedule a Rest Day

The Disabled Diva’s Review of Earthley Elderberry Elixir

 

*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.

This drug free pain relief device has take my chronic pain management plan to a new level of awesomeness! Click here to see how and click here to learn more about this life changing piece of technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Yourself Enough to Schedule a Rest Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When is the last time that you rested?

I am not talking about spending the day in bed because your chronic illness flared and made leaving it impossible.

What I am talking about is, when did you last choose a day to relax, give your body a break, allow yourself to chill out in front of the television for no reason other than you wanted to?

The problem with having multiple chronic illnesses, is that until I got my pain under control two years ago, all my downtime was dictated by chronic pain.  Between 2001 and 2017, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis, degenerative disc disease, and coccydynia decided when I would be active or when I was able to leave the house or bed.

I felt like I had no control of the time in between.  I felt like all eyes were on me and that unless I was completely unable to leave my bed, I would be judged for not pushing myself to catch up on everything that I fell behind on while stuck in bed.

*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.

Therapy when you need it, where you want it…. Save 20% when you register via this link.

 

 

 

 

 

The bad part about that way of thinking was that I wasn’t showing any love or consideration for myself.  My life became a fulltime punishment.  If I was in bed, I was being punished by my chronic illnesses.  If I was able to get out of bed, I was punished for the time when I couldn’t get out.  Over time I became bitter towards not only my family, but friends, acquaintances, and pretty much anybody who was alive.

My life completely changed in 2013. With my doctors unwilling to help me manage my chronic pain, I had to look elsewhere.  At the time I couldn’t see it, but it was actually a blessing in disguise as the route I chose was a natural and alternative one that really did change my life.  Click here to learn more about my pain management plan.  But the changes in my life were more than medicinal, I also began implementing many changes to how I lived and my attitude towards my body and chronic illnesses.  Discover what those changes were and how you can make them too in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One important change was to allow myself to take a day “off” from life. To do whatever I wanted, even if that meant doing nothing but binge shows on Netflix or Hulu all day.  I had to love myself enough to not feel like everything I did was a punishment.  A day of planned rest may not always rejuvenate me physically, but it sure does wonder for my mental state.  Rest days allow me to clear my head, to breathe, to remember that I will be of no use if I continue to run myself into the ground.

A funny thing happened after I began allowing myself to enjoy life, I fell in love with living again.  I will always be chronically ill.  Yes, my chronic pain has been well managed for the past two years and continues to be, but there are no guarantees that this will always be the case.  I don’t know what the future holds.  What I do know is that no matter what my diseases decide to throw my way, no matter what new illnesses or injuries I accrue, I will never punish myself or my body the way that I did before.

I love myself enough to schedule rest days.

Do you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life can be tough, but so are you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life with one or more chronic illnesses is tough.

Life with chronic pain is tough.

Life, whether you are chronically ill or not, is tough.

But I have news for you! You are tougher!!!!

Yes, that is right.  I know that there are times when you don’t feel tough.  I also know that there are days when you truly lack physical strength, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t tough.

As long as you are fighting for your life, looking for ways to improve it, finding joy in every day, and not giving up, YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN YOUR ILLNESS OR CHRONIC PAIN!

I know that taking a nap may feel like your illness has won, but it isn’t true.  You win when you acknowledge that your body needs to rest.  It takes guts to do what your body demands of you, instead of forcing your body to follow your desires.  It takes immense strength to go to physical therapy, to keep trying new treatments, to change your lifestyle, to make healthier choices, and most importantly accept that all these things must be done in order for you to remain strong enough to survive.

Here are three  examples to help you build and maintain the emotional strength that is necessary for living with a chronic illness or pain.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number One: Spend more time with people who lift you up and less with those who bring you down.

Those who constantly remind you of your limitations or are always bringing up your shortcomings, are only going to weaken you.  People who point out your strengths, help you find alternative ways to do things, or just cheer you on when you try something new will build your confidence.  Who are you spending most of your time talking to?

My life isn’t filled with people who understood how difficult living with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis and its fallout, degenerative disc disease, and coccydynia is.  The difference between my life then and now is that I choose not to spend much time with those whose favorite word is CAN’T.  The more I hear that I can’t do something, the more I believe that I can’t do anything.  I may not be able to do everything the way I used to, but I CAN find new ways to do what I want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Two: Seek counseling

I am not talking about joining a social media support group.  Those are okay to meet other people who “get” it, but not for truly dealing with your fears and life choices.  Nor is it fair to expect your family or spouse to be the ones to counsel you.  There are many options available for counseling depending upon your needs.

 If You Need A Crisis Hotline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – 1-800-662-4357
RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) – 1-800-656-4673

Lifeline Crisis Chat
Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 (Press Option #1)
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
MentalHelp.net (An American Addiction Centers Resource) – 1-866-308-2184
NAMI Helpline (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – 1-800-950-6264

And for those wanting regular therapy with a licensed therapist, but either have crappy healthcare coverage or none, and have either transportation issues or are just in too much pain to travel one or more days a week, Online-Therapy.com offers therapy when and where you want it.

My readers save 20% when they enroll via my affiliate link.  Click here to check them out and enroll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Three: Start envisioning your future WITH your chronic illness.

I know that you are hoping and praying for a cure. I am too…. But the reality is that our chronic illnesses are most likely going to be with us for the rest of our lives, especially for those of us over 50. If your chronic illness isn’t included in all of your future dreams and plans, your future will be filled with disappointment. Not only that you, but you will be unprepared for the hard times that await you. Sorry to sound like a Debbie downer, but living with your head in the clouds waiting for life to magically be transformed will only lead to more heartbreak.

When you envision a future that includes your chronic illness, you aren’t giving up. Instead you will grow stronger because your mind will be focused on figuring out what you will be able to do, making alternative plans, or finding a different way to do what you had originally planned for. Will things go wrong? Of course they will! Do you know anyone who hasn’t had anything go wrong in their life? I don’t! The difference is that you will be better prepared.

I know you are tough, because if you weren’t you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. If you are feeling like you are stuck in your life, take a deep breath, assess your situation, make plans to move forward, and never forget that you are a warrior!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Simple Resolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having trouble committing to a New Year’s resolution?

Here are ten simple resolutions that when kept, will make a big impact on your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. I resolve to forgive myself when I screw up!

You are human! You are going to make mistakes! Make restitution and let yourself move on. Forever punishing yourself for a mistake you make that either wasn’t a big deal or happened ages ago will prevent you from moving forward and making better decisions.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. I resolve to exercise daily

Everyone is able to exercise to some degree.  No, I am not suggesting that someone who is unable to walk for more than five minutes go for a 5 mile run, but instead to find a form of exercise that they can do.  If walking is not your thing you could try yoga, Pilates, stretching, or water aerobics.  The point is to make an effort to move your body every day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. I resolve to unfollow negative people on social media

If the people you follow on social media are the cause of unnecessary stress, anger, or sadness it is time to let them go!! Your mental health is important and if seeing negative posts is affecting your attitude it is time to do something about it.  What? You are worried about offending your friends or a family member?  At least on Facebook, you can unfollow someone without unfriending them.  By doing this you will still remain Facebook buddies, but you won’t see their posts in your feed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. I resolve to accept compliments by saying thank you and nothing more

What is your response when someone tells you that you look beautiful today?  Do you say that it was the result of layers of makeup or that you just got lucky and had a good hair day?  Or do accept the compliment with a simple thank you.  Stop putting yourself down after being complimented and just say thanks!

Combined with my other pain management treatments, this drug-free pain-relief device decreases chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and more like nothing I have ever tried. Click here to learn about how it has helped me AND click here to learn more about how this device works. As always, my discount code DIVA will save you $55.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. I resolve to stop comparing myself to others

Seriously, stop it!! Everyone is different.  Not everyone has the same health issues, money woes, relationship drama, or life challenges.  Even if you have something in common with another person, you still won’t have the same experience or be following the same journey.  Worry about what you can do, not about being able to do what your neighbor is doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. I resolve to make my health a priority

Take care of you! This includes mental and physical health.  Besides following your treatment protocol and pain management plan, be sure you are practicing self-care. Pushing yourself to the point of having to go to the emergency room because your pain level spiraled out of control is not making your health a priority.  Pacing and taking precautions will result in more time spent having fun and less time in the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  I resolve to try new things

Are you bored with your life?  Try a new hobby or look into a career change. If your current treatment or pain management plan isn’t working, try something new.  Talk to your doctor and see what is available or talk to him/her about alternative/natural options.  Don’t give up just because everything you have tried up until now hasn’t helped or worked out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. I resolve to focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t

By focusing on what you can’t do you open the floodgates of all that is negative in your life to flood your mind.  Before you know it negativity takes over your mind and life.  It is okay to look at what you can’t do for research purposes and to find ways to do it differently, just don’t forget to think about what you can do.  Thinking about what you are capable of can also help you when trying to find solutions to what you can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. I resolve to complain less

How often do you complain? Weekly? Daily? Hourly? Every minute?  One trick to help curb how often you complain is to counter every complaint you make with two positive thoughts.  You will either become accustomed to finding something positive to say and think OR you will tire of doing it and just shut up.  Either way you win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. I resolve to find something to be thankful for each and every day

If you are not used to finding something to be thankful on a daily basis, you may find it difficult at first.  I found it helpful to journal my reasons.  By doing this I was able to look back and be reminded of the good things in my life whenever I had a tough day.

Which resolution will you choose?

Want a bonus resolution?

How about I resolve to make chronic pain my bitch???!!!!

Click here if you are ready to begin dominating your chronic life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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