The Many Forms of Pain

Pain takes all forms, affects all people, and does not discriminate.

I started writing this post long before Lena Dunham announced she wanted to be the “face of fibromyalgia.” Knowing little about her other than what I read in this article, I don’t really have a connection to her and don’t view her as my advocate. There are many other faces of fibromyalgia and forms of pain that deserve attention as well.

Pain takes all forms, affects all people, and does not discriminate between male or female, young or old, rich or poor, famous or not-so-famous. It can affect anyone. And everyone.

These days I feel people associate pain or chronic pain with the “opioid epidemic” we hear so much about in our daily news. It has reached such a pinnacle that Michael Bloomberg announced a $50 million donation to help fight it. But let’s not stereotype all of those suffering in pain with a drug problem that is gripping the nation. Continue reading “The Many Forms of Pain”

World Hello Day

Asking people how they are just might make the difference in their day.

I wanted to post this earlier today, but as has been the case with me lately, life just got in the way today. But even though today has been designated as “World Hello Day,” it’s a concept that we should embrace daily.

Say hello to friends and strangers. Check on an elderly neighbor that lives alone. Smile at the lady checking you out at the grocery store. Take a minute to see how someone else is doing. Showing compassion and empathy will make our world a better place. Continue reading “World Hello Day”

Fall Round-Up

The crisp fall air is here and we are facing our first frost here in Texas with possible snow flurries. It’s “pumpkin-everything” season still, yet I asked my boys to get the tree and Christmas decorations down from the attic this weekend. I have the house decorated for fall and Thanksgiving, but am thinking ahead and planning my schedule for when the boys are gone hunting Thanksgiving week.img_6206

For something different, I wanted to do a “round-up” of some of my posts these past few months, in case you missed something. Enjoy! Continue reading “Fall Round-Up”

What Really Causes Fibromyalgia?

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

That question is like the proverbial, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” because there is not yet a definitive answer as to the cause of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). And without knowing the root cause, you cannot solve the problem; you are merely treating the symptoms.

What They Know

Doctors can agree on how to diagnose it, what the symptoms are, and a variety of treatments. But not every patient responds the same to treatment. And the cause of fibromyalgia still eludes the medical community. Continue reading “What Really Causes Fibromyalgia?”

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”

Caregiver TLC: 7 Tips for Self-Care

You cannot drink from an empty cup. 

Persons with living fibromyalgia are usually on the receiving end of caregiving. So it becomes a bit of a challenge when they become the caregiver. Sometimes the only energy you have is that which carries you through the day, and have no spoons left for anyone else. So how does one cope with a flare and self-care when presented with the challenging of caring for somebody else? Continue reading “Caregiver TLC: 7 Tips for Self-Care”

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”