Fibro: Cold Weather Blues

Yesterday I awoke feeling bad…on a scale of 1-10 it was an 8 as I shuffled to the bathroom, then on to the kitchen to make coffee and poke at the fire in the wood stove.

After drinking that pot of coffee I managed to get enough fake energy to clean the kitchen area with the previous nights mess on the counters and in the sink. image

An hour and a half later I ate a piece of toast with sugar in it and slugged my way to the shower. Washed my hair and my body, got out of the shower and was able to blow dry the hair before I completely collapsed onto the couch into my fibro coma for the rest of the day.

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Looks like today will be similar, minus the shower😁

This deep freeze is putting me in slug mode. Because of the minimal move,net I make my legs, knees and hips stiffen up so that I can hardly move. Really Really Sucks!!!

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Fibro:Customer Service Skills

I have worked in some form of customer service my entire life. Successful at it too. Retired when it became too much for me to handle.🙄

But when I am the customer and I encounter anyone with poor customer service skills I am useless and unable to cope. Is it because I am the customer and expect too much for my money? Possibly.🤔

Yesterday I had to take my senior dog to the groomer. One that he has been to before. I asked her to shave him underneath, the paws, and the bum area. The rest to be a bit longer since it is still winter here and he is as all dog. So, I dropped him off for his 9 AM appointment and she said she would call me when she was done, maybe a couple of hours at most.

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She called me at 10:45 to tell me she was just going to start bathing him, He would not me ready to go for another hour or so. She only takes one dog a day but sounded stressed on phone.🤔

At 11:45 she called me to say she wanted me to come help her finish grooming his paws and stomach.🙄

O.K.

I arrived to a stressed out dog, laying on the table with his paws and tail tucked beneath him. She was trying to entice him to stand with a treat and some cajoling. I can clearly see that not much has been done as far as clipping is concerned and he is still slightly damp from the bath. She was clearly as frazzled as he was.

Humor illustration of a frazzled woman screaming

Then begins the holding of his face (she has no muzzle available in her stuff), then hold up his hind end so she can get at his paws and bum. His back and neck are shaved but not much else. I hold him up so she can shave his belly. Her struggle to groom him is identical to my own when I try to do it myself. She hasn’t even clipped his nails yet.😤

I brought him in to be groomed because I cannot bathe him, bending in my free-standing tub, which is deep and extremely painful for my back. I do not have a grooming table with the arm and harness so he is difficult to restrain when I try to groom him alone. Hence: the groomer visit.

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I spent 20 minutes trying to help her while she worked herself into a wild-eyed frenzy. Clearly she had enough, my dog had more than enough, and I was SO done with this! I paid her and left with my half-groomed dog, who clearly needed to go out and do his business, when was immediate upon exiting. Good thing I always have poo bags with me!💩

We finally got home and both of us slept for a couple of hours from the pain and trauma.😴

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My lower back, pelvis and neck/shoulders were in full-blown flare up mode. Yikes! No more groomer for Boo. Or me😄

Fibro:Brain Fog Turkey Talk

It’s 10 AM, hubby carries a thawed turkey from the cold room to the kitchen and asks “do you want this on the counter or the fridge?”

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Me: In the fridge? (Thinking…What? Is this a quiz?)

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12::00 Noon, hubby comes in the living and says I checked, it’ll take about 4 hours to cook that turkey.”

Me: Okaaaay. Just. Let. Me. Jot. That. Down. (Wondering WTF is this sudden interest in turkey today)

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It is now 2:00 in the afternoon as I wander into the kitchen, in hopes of finding some delicious snack, it finally dawns on me.

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Me to hubby: “Is it Sunday? Am I supposed to cook that turkey for super? I’m right, right? I’m supposed to cook that turkey for tonight’s supper,right?!”

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Gobble Gobble…I never did get that delicious snack I was originally looking for😜

Fibro: Burden of Guilt

I think I can safely assume that chronic pain sufferers carry the additional burden of guilt.

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It is such a heavy load to carry, making us weaker than we already are.

I was raised to believe the worst label to be slapped on a person was lazy.

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Running a close second, if not tied for first place, was being stupid.

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Being lazy AND stupid was certain to condemn you to the fires of hell.

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And not in a future, vague afterlife. Oh no, the hell would be right now, the judge and jury of your laziness and stupidity was Mom and/or Big Sister!

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At first, it was the promise “if you continue to be lazy and stupid, the police will take you away and put you in jail”

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Of course, my big mouth always got me in trouble because I could not prevent myself from saying “jail would be better than living here”. Not muttering, speaking softly under my breath, but yelling for all the people in the house to hear.

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When I think back on my youth now, I realize just how dumbass that really was🙄

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When finally diagnosed as having adult ADD, my amazement at how foolish, dumb, stupid, lazy, crazy and brave I changed to just plain understanding why I did the things I did even though I was terrified of my mother. It was not amazing, it was just beyond my control. Huh.

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Whew! What a relief that was😰

Well, enough of that…I have moved away on a tangent of the original subject of guilt.

Which was what I was feeling all weekend because everyone in my household was busy with strenuous tasks; hubby snow blowing all that snow from the storm (we got over a foot of snow), then the son and daughter in law setting up the hydroponics.

All while I laid around resting. There are ways to work away that awful feeling of guilt. Not easy, not quick, but, hey, it’s not like you have anything better to do, right?😁

First, you must shift your attention away from the feeling of worthlessness when assaulted by the guilt.

Second, re-adjust your expectations of yourself…reality check, people! If you must, make a list of things you can no longer do in one column and the corresponding judgement you are making in the next column.

Third, you will have to change your self-talk by pretending you are talking to someone you love. Would you speak so harshly to them???

Fourth, make a point of educating others (especially yourself), about chronic illness and it’s realities.

Fifth, assert yourself, to yourself, about what you can and cannot do, which eventually will become second-nature when faced with these situations.

Sixth, triage your relationships, if you haven’t already.

Seventh, stop apologizing for your illness. It is appropriate to apologize when you have deliberately done something wrong and it is clearly your fault. Your illness is NOT your fault!

Seriously, isn’t life difficult enough without adding that burden of guilt to the mix? All because of some mistaken childhood beliefs?

 

Fibro:Days to Shut Up + Endure

I have been lucky this year with the weather. We have seen so many unseasonably warm days which melted all the snow, warmed up the earth as well as warmed my bones.

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Today, a snowstorm is coming faster than a locomotive. I can feel it; I sense its progress with my pain.

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First, my face, with aching sinuses, spectacular headache and the back of my head is throbbing. As the snow nears in the atmosphere, my pain descend down the back and sides of my neck, spreading over my shoulders and upper back like a heavy cloak.

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A blizzard brings on full-blown, all-encompassing pain to each upper and lower portions of my fibro “pain points”. The difference between this blizzard and the ones last year is time between storms. Time to recuperate and accumulate tolerance to endure this storm, confident it will end and I will feel better. Last year, there was a whole lot of ‘OMG! Will this ever end so I can get off my ass and do something other than hold myself together!?”

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Last winter we were battered by blizzards, day after day, with barely any time in between to dig ourselves out of the mountains of snow before beginning again.

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This winter, I barely experienced weather prompted symptoms. We had just enough snow to be able to make one small old lady sliding hill. That cute little thing is long gone, having melted within a couple of weeks.image

So, here we are, fields of water, bugs flying around, caterpillars crawling here and there, grass showing, birds singing, squirrels everywhere, and no snow. It was so warm yesterday all I wore was a hoodie to walk the dog.

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Today, at this early hour, it is still warm and dry, but I can feel the atmospheric pressure building and gathering strength, speed and snow clouds. I am practically crippled by the pain. I will hold it together, rest, read and not fret about the lost time. I will enjoy the picture snow makes outside while I remain warm by the fire of the wood stove, read a book while I sip coffee and warm my bones with home-made soup.

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It’ll be spring again next week😄

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Thursday’s Tale: Mi’kmaq 7 Sacred Directions

This is a very condensed version of our creation as told to us by Elder Stephen Augustine, dean of aboriginal studies at Cape Breton University. You may click in the link below to get a more in-depth version on his website www. fourdirectionsteachings.com

 

The first level of creation comes with The Giver of Life. In the Mi’kmaq understanding of the world, the sky or the direction above is symbolic of this first level of creation.

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The second level of creation is our Grandfather Sun. The sun is symbolic of the centre direction and of the self.

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The third level of creation is Mother Earth. She is represented in the direction below us.

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The fourth level of creation is represented by Glooscap lying with his head in the East as he is being formed. And the quality of leadership is associated with this direction, as well as the birds.

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The fifth level of creation is represented by Grandmother in the South – she is symbolic of wisdom and knowledge, and the animal life.

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The sixth level of creation is represented by the Young Man, the Nephew, and the west. He is symbolic of youth and vision and strength, and the fish, the ocean life.

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The seventh level of creation is represented by the Mother in the North – she is symbolic of understanding and love, and the plant life.

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The sweat lodge is made up of all these things to honour all that created the Mi’kmaq people. The sweat dripping off of the people coming out of the sweatlodge is the offering of ourselves (our sweat) dripping down into Mother Earth.

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Fibro/ADD: One Good Night

Sleeping is the best medicine. Anyone in chronic pain of any kind spends an enormous amount of time and energy looking for a way to get a good nights sleep. Not just because they’re tired either.

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Last night I was asleep by 10:30 PM, then I woke up this morning at 5:45 AM! No dreams, no nightmares; just a peaceful, restorative sleep.

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There is nothing that makes me feel better; even a good laugh doesn’t make me feel as good.

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To be able to count on such sleep on a nightly basis instead of my usually tormented nights of dreams and nightmares is my only wish.

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Sleeping has become my all-time favourite activity. My only source of envy. I covet good sleep. I obsess about it. I’m jealous of my animals’ ability to sleep. How silly is that?

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So, I wish for all those in pain a taste of what it feels like to awaken with a buoyancy from rest. The relief from the large amounts of pain is palpable. Nothing compares, no drug can do what a goods nights sleep can do.

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Fibro/ADD: Dream Activity

I’ve written before about my dreams, focusing on the ones that I control, somewhat called Fibro/ADD:Nighttime Dreamer.

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The ones that leave me feeling accomplished as a superhero or even just someone who saves the days, strong and viligent.

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I haven’t talked about the ones that are dark and menacing.

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These dreams leave me feeling heavy, in danger and in a very bad mood.

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When I awaken from these dreams that are not clear, my head feels over-stuffed, eyelids too heavy to force open and a brain filled with foreboding. I feel I’m in danger, danger that I cannot walk away from.

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I cannot remember details per se, just snippets of gory, senseless and monstrous bits, making me feel trapped and afraid. This is the stuff of nightmares…or are they memories of feelings past that I have locked away to protect myself?

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On these days, I shuffle around with an aching head, deep frown lines creasing my brow for hours afterwards. Not in any attempt to recall these dreams, but to forget and banish them. Yet they persist for the day, hovering in the deeper recesses of my mind.

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This is the darkness inside of me.

 

 

Fibro/Chronic Pain: Music Up

Heres just a little example of my music list “to do dishes by”, I figure just 5 songs off the list is enough to give you a taste of one of the playlists I use to get me through that chore.

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I use this type of playlist to boogie my way through the dishes to prevent a neck/shoulder flare up as well as a hip/pelvis flare up. It works well!

Song example (you can watch them on YouTube)

  1. Bring Down The House by Dean Brody
  2. In The Night by The Weeknd
  3. S.O.B. By Nathaniel Ratecliff + the Night Sweats
  4. Crazy For You by Hedley
  5. Earned It by The Weeknd

I have thousands of songs on my iPod, divided into decades rather than genres, because the decades represent more what I was into at the time. Divided into music genres just created way too many playlists with way too many songs on them for it to be efficient.

Have you tried it yet?

Fibro/ADD:Nighttime Dreamer

I have been a lifelong dreamer when sleeping. My dreams have always been very intense, very active and very meaningful to me, always remembered and never forgotten.

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As a child, my recurring dream is my most clear-cut memory of those days. While almost all traumatic events of my childhood are locked away in the deepest recesses of my mind, this recurring dream is predominant when looking back.

In this dream, I was always still a child, with my younger siblings gathered behind me for their protection against my mother. She is represented as an evil witch in this dream and I am the one that manages to put her into her own boiling cauldron while my siblings cry and cheer around me. This dream apparently was just a representation of the most fearsome woman in my life, who, indeed, was my mother.

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Once I had left that situation, at the age of 14, my dreams changed and became variations of me being a karate/Kung fu type of vigilante, always winning fights to protect other women from the bad guys. These dreams apparently meant I was in urgent need to be saved from neglect, danger and the overwhelming situations in my life. Having been raped a few times, the drug abuse and so on would certainly indicate that the dream interpretation was correct.

 

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Without any interpretations of my dreams in those days, all they really gave me was HOPE.

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As I grew older, mid-twenties to my forties, I continued to be the bad-ass fighter, always protecting others from bad guys, saving the day for strangers and loved ones. I was a female version of Jet Li.

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Now that I am older, I am a more refined warrior in my dreams, able to save everyone in any kind of situation. I think that is kick-ass, don’t you agree?

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I’m No shrinking violet in my dreams! Just one look at me and those guys are on the run, but I chase ’em down and they don’t have a hope in hell of winning😄

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All this fighting makes for great dreams for me, and nightmares for my sleeping partner…cause I am told I’m actually acting out all that fighting in my sleep, landing painful, unpleasant surprising direct hits on my partner in bed. My poor husband can certainly claim spousal abuse in the night LOL

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Collateral damage in my war against injustice I say😄. I am a superhero in my sleep, and I love that a lot!

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Interestingly enough, all these superhero, bad-ass fighter dreams really are just symbols of supposedly above-average talents, ideas and other hidden strengths that I am unaware of possessing and am not using in real life. For whatever psychological reasons, I live my life as the alter-ego of a superhero, timid, quiet, appearing normal so as not to stand out in a crowd or not do anything worth mentioning. I am supposed to stop hiding my light, let it shine.

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But to be honest, I’m not sure I want to give up my dream self; would you?

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