Jolly

Sometimes it is hard to feel Jolly at this time of year, with so many things cluttering your to-do list and social calendar! The holiday baking, shopping, gift-giving, and socializing can be overwhelming at times for anyone. That sense can be compounded for someone dealing with chronic pain or conditions like fibromyalgia.

So I have to admit I am struggling this year. Work and volunteer commitments are monopolizing my time to the point I can’t find time or energy to shop for presents or wrap the ones I do have. Each year seems harder – I struggle each year with what to buy, who to buy for because the burden to shop for everyone (except me) falls on me. Oh, and Christmas cards? Last year was the first year I have never sent them. This year isn’t looking so good either.

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Ziplining with Santa down Fremont Street, Las Vegas, 2011

So Jolly is a state of mind for me. I try to find joy and humor in even the simplest of things, like this memory of ziplining with Santa. The real Santa. *<|:-{)} Ho, ho, ho!

The holidays should be a time for enjoying family and friends and celebrating, not stressing out. So I make my to do lists, and check them twice. And if I don’t get everything checked off, so be it. Maybe I don’t bake as much or buy as much or send those card. Lately I have given myself permission to let things go, such as writing blog posts. My goal was to write a weekly post, and then that became a monthly post. Now it is whenever the mood strikes. Like today. So today, I can be jolly. 🙂

Cheers!

Cynthia

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4 Tips for Avoiding a Holiday Fibro Flare

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings.”

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, it’s best to plan ahead to try to avoid a flare rather than recover from one. Between visiting family and friends, shopping, and cooking, who has time right now to deal with the pain and exhaustion of fibromyalgia? Not me, that’s for sure! Who’s with me?

Here are my top tips for avoiding a flare during the holidays:

  1. Get your Zzzz’s. Yes, it’s tempting to stay up and visit, or get up early to get that turkey in the oven, but don’t sacrifice your sleep to do so. Your best offense is to get maintain your schedule and get those 7-9 hours of sleep! Your body will thank you.
  2. Take care of yourself. Hosting the family get-together? It’s OK to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Make it a pot luck. Or cater in part of the meal. I like to set the table and prepare desserts and part of the meal the night before so I am not overdoing it on the day of the big event! Consider buying some fancy paper plates instead of using the good china. And when the kitchen is clean and the guests are gone, try a relaxing bath before bed. 🙂
  3. Eat properly. Yes, it’s the holidays. We are all going to indulge a little. But try the three bite rule when it comes to dessert or your major weaknesses: take just 3 bites of that pie or casserole. It allows you to sample and enjoy, but not overdo it. Chew slowly and pause between bites.  Avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, or those foods that you know trigger your flares (Fibromyalgia, migraines, and IBS can all be triggered by food).
  4. Exercise. Taking even 10 minutes for some Pilates, yoga, or a walk after that big meal will help keep everything in check. Here are some yoga moves to try to keep your digestion working properly.

I love the holidays: the food, the parties, visiting family. But I don’t love being curled up in bed because I overdid it. I prefer to enjoy my family time and count my blessings. I can skip that pecan pie if it means I won’t be in bed the next day.

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” 

– Terri Marshall

Avoiding disaster is far better than recovering from it, and just a few simple steps can help you enjoy your holidays, so you’re not missing out on all of the fun!


Do you have other tips for avoiding a holiday flare?

Cheers!

Cynthia

When Everything Hurts

In addition to nutrition and medicine, you need other strategies for coping with the daily pain and major flares that occur.

You have probably experienced something like this before: You go to bed feeling fine….maybe just OK….no worse than usual… And when you wake up in the morning you have some new pain. You roll out of bed. You’re stiff and moving slow. Every step hurts. You think you are never going to straighten up again. And then it hits you that there is some new ache that wasn’t there when you went to bed last night. For some of us, that may just be the aging process. For others, welcome to life with fibromyalgia. 

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ~ J. K. Rowling

Continue reading “When Everything Hurts”

Combating the Loneliness of Chronic Pain

Chronic physical pain often also creates emotional suffering. Seven steps to deal with the loneliness and isolation of chronic pain.

You know the drill. You are in pain and suffering, often silently. Because of your condition you are in pain quite often and talking about it can be construed as “complaining,” and after a while can fall on deaf ears. You might be in deep despair because the pain is too much. Your life as you knew it has come to a halt. Exhaustion, stress, lack of sleep, and pain. That is the life you know now.

Sure, your friends and family know there’s something wrong with you. But do they really know what you’re going through? And even so, do they really want to hear about it? Again. And after you’ve declined a few invitations because you weren’t quite feeling up to going out and being social, the invitations just stop coming. Continue reading “Combating the Loneliness of Chronic Pain”

Magnesium for Pain Relief

I truly believe in using food, exercise, and things from nature to heal the body.

Finally, I have had some pain relief! If you have been following my story the last several months, you know I have been suffering with some acute pain. I am happy to report that I have not had numbness or pain in my arm now for three whole weeks!!  Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s not to say all is well or I have any answers. Really, more questions. But for now I am enjoying the long-overdue break from my neck/shoulder/arm pain. 🙂

“Relief is a wonderful emotion, highly underrated. In fact I prefer it to elation or joy. Relief lets the air out of the Tire of Pain.” ~ Adriana Trigiani

I saw a non-surgical specialist a month ago, and was ready to go in for cervical facet joint steroid injections. One of the things I had to do was quit taking Fish Oil 7 days prior, so on Monday, July 31st I did just that. I was still experiencing pain through that week. On Saturday, August 5th I read an article by Donna of Fed Up with Fatigue about 30 Low Cost Fibromyalgia and Chronic Lyme Treatments. (Major shout out to Fibro Blogger Directory and the Friday article link-ups!) The second item on her list was magnesium malate that she said “helps to reduce my pain levels, soothes my restless legs, improves my sleep, and keeps me regular.” So I read the reviews, bought a bottle, and took a pill that night. Continue reading “Magnesium for Pain Relief”

Reblog: THE SECRET LIFE OF PAIN…

If you have read my last few posts, you know I have spent the last 5 months in and out of doctors spending tons of money on tests to diagnose some chronic and acute pain I thought was associated with a past neck surgery. The tests find little to nothing, so now I am wondering if this is just new manifestations of my fibromyalgia. The last few days I had decided it is time to regroup and try a more holistic approach. Reading this blog post from Back Pain Blog UK and the linked article this morning just confirms that for me. Check her blog and all the other great bloggers on FibroBloggerDirectory.com.

Cheers!
Cynthia

BACK PAIN BLOG UK...

The Secret Life of Pain is an article in New York Times which a friend sent me to read, and I just felt I had to share with my pain pals.

The article starts off by telling you about the double life that David Roberts, a former academic physicist and diplomat who lives and works in New York City.

He goes on to explain how he hid is chronic pain in many ways, one being that he had an orthotic cushion inside his briefcase and would make a joke out of sitting on the briefcase. He also wore a corset and heat wrap which he disguised under his tailored suit. He had become adept at hiding his back pain from everyone except his family.

He would even sneak upstairs when working at conferences to get some pain relief from his wife who would work on his back. Eventually he had…

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