Diagnosing Chronic Pain

“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”

Here are some ugly truths: Women and men experience pain differently. Doctors are less likely to treat women’s pain. Health issues that disproportionately affect women are not studied as much as those affecting men. It can take women multiple visits and sometimes years to diagnose their medical issues and chronic illnesses. And when painful conditions like Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia don’t have a simple test for diagnosing, those visits and months and years can prove both emotionally and physically draining when you’re already in pain and still having to fight for a diagnosis. Continue reading “Diagnosing Chronic Pain”

Diagnosing Chronic Shoulder Pain

Practicing medicine is just that, practicing. Sometimes you have to fight for a diagnosis.

This post is long overdue, but I just couldn’t write it until I felt I had a positive update. As someone who lives with chronic pain from neck and back issues, alongside my fatigue and pain from fibromyalgia, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate a new pain from the same old aches and pains.

“Sometimes the curiosity can kill the soul but leave the pain.” ~Alice in Wonderland

Continue reading “Diagnosing Chronic Shoulder Pain”

Five Travel Tips for Fibromyalgia

Airport travel is challenging enough, but the challenges multiply when traveling with a chronic condition.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I love traveling. Or at least the part where you actually get somewhere and you can relax, sightsee, visit with friends or family, or whatever is on the agenda. The actual part where you’re sitting in an airport, on a plane, or in a car isn’t always the most pleasant or comfortable these days.

I can’t remember the last time I had an entire trip that had “smooth sailing” when flying with our airlines. Flight delays due to weather or mechanical issues, crew changes, dumping fuel, refueling, scheduling and logistics issues all wreak havoc on your ability to get somewhere on time. Three times this past year I have been rerouted to another city because one of these things. And now I am preparing to head to Florida just days after Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall with storms expected at home when I leave.

Airport travel is challenging enough between allotting enough time to get through security and arriving before your actual scheduled flight time. Add to that an illness, injury, a chronic condition, or fibromyalgia, and the challenges multiply. Will I be having a flare? Will my back or leg pain act up? So how does one manage travel delays and stressful times when you have a chronic condition? Continue reading “Five Travel Tips for Fibromyalgia”

Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

Health Care is not One-Size-Fits-All.

You know there is a reason they call it “practicing medicine.” Doctors don’t have all the answers. There’s no Magic 8 Ball sitting in their office solving all of the great medical mysteries. Many women, especially, take years to get diagnosed (read more here). Trust me. I know. 

This post isn’t meant to bash the medical community by any means. Having been treated for fibromyalgia and endometriosis, I have seen my share of doctors over the last 30 years. I have had some great medical care over the years…and I have had some not so great medical care. I have had doctors who would prefer to treat a symptom and send me on my way, rather than look for the root cause of my collective symptoms. And I have had some medical mysteries that have perplexed many a health care provider, leading to endless doctor visits, expensive (and quite possibly unnecessary) tests and medical expenses, and no explanations.

As Pain Awareness Month comes to an end, think about the other side of medical care – diagnoses, benefits, and billing. So what do we need to do to take our health into our own hands and advocate for ourselves?

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” 
― Voltaire

Continue reading “Becoming Your Own Health Advocate”

Why I Practice Yoga for Pain

Yoga can help you with many health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.

It is #NationalYogaAwareness month and #PainAwarenessMonth, so what better time to post about why one is good for the other! ❤

Continue reading “Why I Practice Yoga for Pain”

No More Spoons to Give

On those days when your energy, or spoon supply, is limited, it takes incredible strength to persevere.

A few weeks back I found myself with no more spoons to give, and have been working on replenishing my health, energy, and soul. This is the reason I have been taking a step back lately from blogging, and trying to reprioritize some other things in my life. Our vacation was just the break and self-care I needed to break my pain and flare cycle. I am just now starting to feel human and like myself again.

You can read about it in these recent posts:

But what is a Spoon, you ask? Continue reading “No More Spoons to Give”

Love Yourself

Lately I haven’t been loving myself enough. I have been running on empty, with “no spoons” left to give. No energy to blog, no creativity left to give, and dealing with my messy life.

So taking a few days to enjoy a getaway with my family last week was definitely the self-care, self-preservation, and refueling I needed. Being outdoors is my happy place, as I believe it is holistically therapeutic to be outside.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

Continue reading “Love Yourself”