Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Completed 14 days of Juice Fast

It's been a couple of weeks now since I completed my juice fast.  I drank only fruit and vegetable juices for 14 days.  When I began, I didn't know how long I would juice for and had a sense that my body would let me know when it was time to eat solids again. I was right, my body was loud and clear when it was time to have regular food.

First, I should say that juicing was a great experience.  I've never done a fast that lasted longer than 24 hours before.  I did very well with only having high concentrated vitamins and nutrients in fluid form.  It's amazing how many carrots it takes to make a 20 oz glass of juice.  Ray and I were going through enormous bags of carrots, apples, ginger, kale and celery.  After about 3 day, we began to make up our own concoctions.  Ray was craving tomatoes, so we came up with a tomato, celery, scallion and sea salt juice.  I tried to make a banana and avocado drink, but realized very quickly that they don't juice very well.  They just squish.  It didn't taste very good either.

I especially enjoyed, and still do, picking kale from my garden to juice in the morning.  So far, my favorite juice is Kale, carrots and granny smith apple juice.  We were spending about 2 hours a day standing at the juicer to produce 6-8 20oz glasses of juice for each of us.  With one glass taking ten carrots, three apples and a handful of kale, we were going shopping every other day.  The time spent was well worth it, for me.  I was happy to be drinking juice because my digestive system didn't have to work very hard.  It gave my tummy a well deserved break.

After about 12 days, I began to get hungry.  Part of it may have been because I had a full schedule of doctor's appointments that week and kept forgetting to drink, until I was famished.  By then, some carrot juice really wasn't satisfying.  It's very important to drink juice every two hours so the body doesn't reach that point of feeling hungry.  At day 14, I had this intense craving for meat.  I didn't care what kind it was, I just wanted to sink my teeth into some protein.  That's was the sign from my body saying, "Ok, we're good now.  Can you please give me something with substance!?"

As I slowly got my body back on solid foods, I realized that I truly don't know what foods work best for my body.  Over the past two years, I've had so many health issues, I just began to cut things out of my diet with hope that I'd feel better.  I stopped eating all dairy, coffee, gluten and finally all meat.  At about the same time period, I was in touch with an old friend who had seen a Naturopath for some health issues and she raved about the treatments she received.  That's when I decided it's time to get some real answers, from a trained professional, about the foods that will work best for me and carry me to a state of optimal health.

The juice fast had its challenges and its great benefits.  I will do it again, as well as continue to have fresh juice once a day.  It seems as though this fast was a catalyst to have me look closer at the nutritional aspects of healing.  I'm looking forward to my first appointment with the Naturopath, tomorrow morning.  I'll be sure to share my experience.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Crow's Nest

Summer time is always a time of transition for my family.  With three children, the daily schedule is laid back and flexible.  The structure of each week is different and the kids seem to be stretching themselves, literally and figuratively.  They grow so much in the three months of sun, water and fun.  One of my children has grown almost 4 inches since being out of school.  Also, they are at the age where independence is becoming more important as well as keeping their own personal sense of structure.  They've asked to plan their own time when it comes to getting things accomplished, including what's expected of them at home and time with their friends, iPods, video games, TV and listening to music.  Having three the same age, it was easiest for me to keep them on the same schedule but also keep in mind that they are individuals.  The last couple of Summers, they were able to choose a camp that they were most interested in.  One went to New York, the other to the Cape area in Massachusetts and the third was 20 minutes away from home.  This year, they didn't go in different directions for camp, but within the family and our household, they have gone in many different directions.  They are now taking on personal responsibility to ensure that they contribute to upkeep of the yard and house, their vacation school assignments, High School applications and social lives.

I'm now in a position to observe and guide from a distance instead of having two hands on the wheel of the ship.  I think they would be happy if I were in the crow's nest, looking ahead, across the seas to warn them, gently, of oncoming storms or obstacles.  My time for leading them is fading into gently guiding and supporting them as leaders.

I'm proud of them for asking for what they needed this Summer.  It's been a transition for me to take on a new role and not have the feelings of them not needing me anymore.  I see the maturity and the lessons being learned and remind them that I'm here if they need me.  I still poke my nose in at times when I don't realize they have it handled.  Then I get tossed that 'look' and I slowly back away with a smirk of "oh, did I say that out loud?  My bad."

As individuals, we have the opportunity to grow and learn constantly and as a family, the same applies. If we are aware and in tune with each other, we can go through transitions together, supporting and loving each other ever step of the way.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Charlie Horse in My Cheeks

These illnesses never ceese to amaze me.  It is still mind boggling to gently brush by something and feel  radiating heat and pain travel through my leg.  The cold metal plate feeling in the back of my head is confusing as well.  They seem to create a question mark with my doctor's too because they don't quite understand fibromyalgia or what these symptoms are, completely.

Last night, I was enjoying conversation with my husband and he was making me laugh.  I so love to laugh and there are times when I don't have a funny bone, so when I do, I cherish the laughter that much more.  I was laughing so hard that my stomach hurt.  That's a pain I can deal with :)  It's also a pain that makes sense to me.  Then my cheeks started to hurt from the large smile that was created while the laughter burst from within.  Again, this is understandable and welcome discomfort.  All of a sudden, the pain in my cheeks increased and my facial muscles froze.  Both cheek bone muscles were tight, super-balls sitting just under my eyes.  As I realized what was happening, I began to laugh harder and the muscle under my eyebrow joined in on the tense fun.  I was laughing and trying to explain to Ray what was happening.  It's not easy to laugh and talk, but try to laugh and talk with a frozen face.  I realized that I wouldn't be able to release the tension in my face until I relaxed every muscle, so I needed to stop laughing to stop the biting charlie horses.

There has been some question about whether or not my body is experiencing type of Parkinson's Disease.  After this last symptom, I think it's time to see my neurologist again.  I'm glad that the sign urging me to make that appointment was through laughter and not something devastating.  This confirms that the Universe is conspiring for my good and sending me signs to redirect me when needed.  When I'm in tune and aware enough to see the signs, even the most enjoyable moments have their hidden messages.  I don't have to wait for the cosmic 2 x 4 up side the head to make an adjustment in my life.

I guess when my mother said to not make that face because it'll stay that way, she wasn't kidding :-D

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Productive Day

Feeling very accomplished today.  Completed three big items on my to-do-whenever-I-can list.  Just got hit with an incredible wave of, 'so...tired...must...sleep...now'.  Brain is slowing down, very quickly.  Is that an oxymoron?

Ending my wonderful day with a feeling of joy, gratitude, bliss and heavy eyelids.  G'nite All.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just Take Smaller Steps

This morning was wobbly for me.  I woke up with anxiety, I felt dizzy, my stomach was in knots and my guess is that I may have had bad dreams.  Some of them I remember and some I don't.  The dreams I don't remember seem to leave me restless like a wound up toy rolling in circles with no destination, just needing to unwind.  So far, my best healing method for this feeling is exercise.  It clears my head, allows me to 'run' in circles and release some of the anxiety and restlessness.

After my morning of centering and affirmations, I set out to take a walk.  I was clear about not wanting any music or book on tape (that totally dated me)...I mean audio book.  It seemed as though the sounds of nature were all my nerves could take while exercising.  About two houses down the street, I began to feel tired and winded and it was downhill.  I didn't want to turn back.  I felt it was important to keep moving forward, so I slowed my pace.  I think a snail may have passed me.  At the slower pace, I was still raising my heart rate (I have an app that checks that) and I was organizing my thoughts.  These were the original intensions of the exercise.  Sometimes, I have to remind myself that it's not about pushing through.  It's about the original intention, no matter how long it takes me or how my body may react.  As I was coming up the hill, returning to my home, I could feel my hips working harder.  My legs felt as though they were just hanging from a pin in my hip.  My feet landed heavy and flat with each step.  I stopped and leaned against my car, for a moment, took a deep breath of fresh air and smiled at the sight of my little garden, next to the door.  The greens, a tomato plant with two little tomatoes finding their way, and one beautiful, yellow flower stowaway from last year's wild flower garden.

The house was cool, with all the windows open and a wonderful breeze coming in.  I sat at the table to write down my thoughts, now organized;  my to-do list for whenever I can complete it.  I usually have a working list that's carefully prioritized in order to ensure that time sensitive tasks are cleared first.  As I sat on the teak bench, left over from my yoga studio, I felt a sensation in my back but didn't put too much attention to it.  I was enjoying conversation with my husband and watching my children emerge from their bedrooms, blurry eyed and hungry.  I got a gentle, what I call, spirit nudge.  So, I took a second to tune into my back and realized that there was numbness at my lower back and my hips were in a great amount of pain.  I moved from the bench to the bedroom, to sit on the tempurpedic mattress.  At first, I thought I would rest for a bit, with my legs up, but I got sidetracked to the laptop while sitting on the edge of the bed.  After about 15 minutes, I was beckoned by a teenager to help in the other room.  Getting up from sitting was slow but once on my feet, I sensed that the numbness had subsided and I consciously took my time moving to the other room.  The intensity of the pain in my hips began to fade.  

One thing on my to-do list was food shopping.  We've been home from vacation for three days and since we emptied the refrigerator before we left and I haven't picked up any food yet, the natives were getting restless.  My growing teens and husband were ready to go out with a cross bow to rustle up their own dinner.  As I was mentally preparing for my trip, to buy food for the troops, I got a wave of exhaustion.  I knew I couldn't put it off another day and I didn't want to.  It feels good to provide nourishment for my family, just like a mamma bird and her young, without the regurgitation.

So, I peeled myself off the couch, headed to the car and realized, later that I had forgotten a couple of things for the trip, including my phone.  It was peaceful to think that no one could reach me and I opted to not return to retrieve it.  I got to the store at the perfect time of day.  There weren't many people there and most of them were slow on their feet, like me.  A couple of 60+ year old's were very patient with my diagonal cart parking confusion and slower than molasses thinking and movements.  Two hours later, I was leaving the food mart.

I was greeted at home with my boy mowing the lawn and my two girls ready to empty the car.  Children really do come in handy sometimes.  I'm grateful for their help and their smiles.

I'm beginning to realize that in order to be productive, I don't have to dart around and try to get as much done before crashing.  I just need to take smaller steps.  It was much more enjoyable and gave me a chance to notice the wonder around me.

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrating 50 Posts

I began this blog as a way for me to personally, process my journey with Chronic Illness.  I chose to post my inner most thoughts, be vulnerable, show my angers, frustrations, hopes and dreams.  I could have just purchased a journal or typed in a private folder, but I thought, "What if someone else is going through something similar and may relate or be inspired?"  Fibromyalgia needs to be visible and I want to be someone who is not afraid to put myself out there.  People should know more about this illness and what we go through on a daily basis.

It's been two full months of writing almost every day.  I've shared 50 posts and, all together, there's been 1,850 views.  Over 15 countries are now viewing my blog.

I'm incredibly honored that you all read and pass on my posts.  I've gotten some wonderful feedback and it does my heart good to know that my writing is helping not only me, but others as well.

Now, this part is for all of you...

Please let me know what you would like a follow-up post on.  It may be the juice cleanse I did,  the ECT decision I was making, or just let me know what you're favorite post has been so far.  Also, if you have any questions about the illnesses my body is challenged with, feel free to ask.

If there is any problem commenting at the bottom of this post, I invite you to join me on Facebook.  

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Terri Naroian
Boston, MA

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time for a New Course of Action

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2002 and have gotten little support from the mainstream medical profession and an increase in the severity of the symptoms.  Even my Rheumatologist told me that if I'm unable to tolerate prescription medications, that there was nothing more she could do for me.  I've been to every specialist that my insurance would agree to cover; pain management, physical therapy, psychiatry, gastrointestinal specialist, neurologist, biofeedback, water therapy and rheumatology.  All of which have not been successful in helping me with this chronic illness.

I feel as though I am shuffling through a deck of cards and not finding the Ace of Hearts.  Each doctor's visit takes time and energy and ends with a prescription pad.  When I'm not in a fibro fog, I am a pretty good advocate for myself, but with the fog, the prescription gets written.  On the days when my head is clear, I remember to let the doctor know or remind the doctor that my body does not tolerate prescriptions well.  At this time in my healing process, I am turning down all prescriptions.  After 12+ prescriptions in the last two years and multiple ER visits due to severe side effects, I'm done looking for answers in the mainstream medical community.

I've decided to seek out a naturopathic community to, at least, get a comprehensive evaluation of how my body is challenged as a whole.  My inner knowing tells me that there are toxins that I may have or still am exposed to that my chemical make-up is seriously effected by.  I also believe that it is possible to treat the many systems, in the body, as one system and not a slew of separate systems working independently of each other.  The internal organs, blood, brain, nervous system, etc. each have important jobs, not one more important than the other, but each specializing in an area that effects all other areas.  The body is a wonderful and intelligent community.

Maybe my body is mirroring my outer state of mind, not knowing the work I'm meant to do in the world. My inner systems may not remember or have a clear sense of their individual jobs and how to connect and create a healthy whole.  Is it possible that the heart has been misled into believing that it's only purpose is to beat and circulate blood to the rest of the body?  Now we are learning, through modern science, that the heart is working similarly to the brain.  It's even been called our second brain.  We've almost, been aware of this for as long as we've been using the phrase, "Listen to your heart." or "Follow your heart."  I think it's very possible that the systems in the body, each have more potential than we give them credit for.  One thing I do know, is they are suppose to be working together, efficiently coordinated and in harmony.  The music my body is playing is not pretty, although, I know it can be.

I have felt like cattle when going to mainstream medical doctors.  They are trained to listen to symptoms and based on a grouping of, sometimes, overlapping symptoms, diagnose and write prescriptions.  Often, one prescription's purpose is only to offset the side effects of another prescription.  The treatment is splintered and not cohesive.  I would hear, "next" by the nurse waiting at the door for the next patient in a line of many, shuffled into a cold, sterile feeling room for another waiting period.  The doctor would come in, check the stats the nurse took, listen to my heart and my breath.  Then would send me into flare by pushing all the tender points on my back, ask a couple of questions and send me on my way.  I understand that efficiency can be achieved by having a set routine for patient visits, but it can turn into a cookie cutter system that doesn't necessarily treat the patient effectively but still gets paid, well.

I am choosing to find an integral approach to healing my body.  This approach will also look at an important part that is often left out of the healing process and that's the soul.  As much as I believe that it is completely possible for a person to live in peace and harmony, I believe the body can as well.

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Glamping and Fibro are a Great Pair

I just returned from my first glamping experience.  My family and a wonderful group of friends just spent four days camping at a camp resort.  I grew up camping in the woods with the tents that had multiple pieces, the smelly outhouses, all meals were cooked over the fire or were PB&F (peanut butter and fluff).

I was also a Girl Scout for as long as they allow you to be one before becoming a Troop Leader.  I enjoyed those years of camping.  My troop leader was a hard core, outdoor enthusiast and taught her troop some serious outdoor survival skills.  To us, it was just whittling a stick for toasting marshmallows, but for her, it was teaching us how to use a jackknife and how to make a weapon, if needed.  Of course she didn't tell her 12 year old troop the hidden skills we were learning, but now that I'm older, I'm putting some pieces together.  She and her husband used most of their basement to stock up on canned goods and other supplies. I never understood why they needed so many soups, vegis and beans but I did enjoy learning about and being outdoors.

It's been almost 30 years since I've been camping, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  When friends invited us to join them camping, it brought back so many wonderful memories of collecting firewood, using our mess kits to eat, setting out the wash bins to clean everything after a meal and even building and cooking with a Dutch Oven.  It was basically a cardboard box covered in aluminum foil, inside and out.  Food cooked using the heat of the sun.  These are the images I had when I was packing and planning for this camping trip.

I took some time beforehand to research the camp ground we were going to and it looked great.  There were many activities for the kids, tent sites, and a place to swim.  We were also close enough to the ocean that we could spend time on the beach if we chose to.

I was a bit concerned with sleeping in a tent and possibly on the ground with my fibromyalgia.  I have an active trigger point in my right hip and when I roll over in my sleep, I am woken by a stabbing pain. Sometimes, my muscles freeze in the half rolled over position where the pain stopped me.  I have to do relaxation techniques, in the middle of the night to coax my muscles to release the tension and allow me to get comfortable again and sleep.  I also know how much work camping can be.  The set up when you get there, the constant prep, cook, fire tending and clean up for each meal.  The only time to sit still, from what I remember, was at night when everyone is sitting around the fire.  I wanted to try to camp again and I really didn't know if I'd be in great pain the whole time or I'd be able to tolerate moderate pain just enough to laugh a little and enjoy.

As soon as we pulled into the camp ground, I knew it wasn't the same camping I was use to.  The first thing I noticed, is that there were were no woods.  I wondered where you get your tinder and kindling and fuel for the fire.  We checked in and followed the map to our site.  We drove past multiple campsites that were just big enough for a tent, or pop-up, a small fire pit and a car.  When we got to our site, we noticed our friends were on one side of our site and another family, whom we didn't know, were on the other side.  Every site was so close, we could hear people breathing in their sleep, at night.  There were only logs to buy for the fire and if you wanted a fire, you needed a fire-starter log or lighter fluid to get it going.  Many campers never even had a fire.  You could go to the restaurant, at the camp ground, to eat or drive to one of the many other eateries down the street.  Everything used was disposable; paper plates, cups, plastic forks.  One of the days, we were there, friends cooked a great meal over the fire and they had to use a plastic fork to flip the steak tips.  No one thought to bring grilling utensils.  My Troop Leader would have flipped out!

Although, I'm a Mother Earth lover and I do what I can to try to conserve, recycle and created the smallest carbon footprint that I can....I must say, this Glamor Camping experience worked out very well for someone with chronic pain.  It was a low energy output kind of place and now that my kids are teens, I could send them off to do the things they enjoyed.  I took slow walks, I puttered around the site, I sat on the beach, did a few laps in the pool and had a great time building one fire.  Even the bathrooms were glamorous.  They were clean with flush toilets and hot showers.  Definitely not the 'ruffing it' camping that my parents brought me up with or my Girl Scout troop did.  

This was the easiest camping I've ever done.  I was able to enjoy and take things at a pace that worked for me.  Our friends even gave us an air mattress to borrow, which was a much better option than the gravel ground.  I had one day of high level pain that I moved through and the rest of vacation was moderate pain that was managed with the swimming and walks I took.

In warm weather, I'm really happy to say that Glamping is a very good fit for someone with chronic illness and pain.  And I feel compelled to apologize to Mrs I. for not going all out and surviving the wilderness.  I know that if I have to use the skills she taught me, my family and I will survive.  For now, I'll keep them in my back pocket and enjoy Glamor Camping.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

UOTR Video Archive :Unity on the River in Amesbury, Massachusetts

UOTR Video Archive :Unity on the River in Amesbury, Massachusetts

Focusing on the Bigger Picture

Sometimes, with chronic illness, we focus on the pain here, the twinge there or the challenge every day brings.  Why wouldn't we?  Each time there is a doctor's appointment, we are asked, "So where do you hurt?  What type of pain is it? Can you rate your pain from 1-10? How has your sleep been in the last month?"  These questions are important so the doctor can assess your condition and treat the symptoms with prescription medications.  That is their job.

I realized that each time I had a doctor's appointment, I'd feel worse afterwards.  One reason was because I know, with a great deal of ER visits, that my body does not tolerate prescription medications and main stream medical doctors are trained to prescribe.  That is the way that they 'fix' people.  They don't have many other tools and are a bit perplexed when I don't fit into what they were trained to do.  I've had doctors tell me that they just don't know what to do with me.

The other reason is I feel worse after an appointment is because the doctor's draw my focus to the pain and discomfort.  It's a laser focus where it's even rated to a specific point.  Once my focus is directed to the pain, it heightens.  One thing I've heard at my spiritual center and had first hand experience with is the phrase, 'what you put your focus on increased'.  There is scientific evidence that if focus on the joy in life, you gain more joy.  If you focus on the things that are frustrating in life, you experience more and more frustration.  Of course this would apply to illness as well.  The more I focused on the pain, the more I felt it.  I've used relaxation techniques, meditation and mantras to practice focusing my attention on the gifts, the beauty in he world and happiness.  I'm not perfect and have more practice to do, but I am able to distract myself enough to shift the energy of the pain to something more beneficial.  It doesn't mean the pain has gone away, it's always there, it just means that I'm learning how to not allow the pain to rob me of a joyful life.

We all deserve to have a high quality of life!  I choose to seek out and focus on those people, things and aspect of life that help me feel as though I'm living life to the fullest.  Just because I have multiple medical issues (many of which doctor's don't know how to fix), I'm unable to work at this time, and I struggle with depression, doesn't mean I should just roll over and let life pass me by.  On the days when  my legs have some energy, I'll celebrate my mobility.  I'm even learning how to laugh at my brain fog
and the silly things I do because of the state of confusion I'm in at times.  We have a choice to either say, "Well, I guess that's just the way it is.  My life is not mine anymore.  It belongs to chronic illness." or we can say, "I'm going to rise above this chronic illness and not let it take over my life!  There are still many things that I can experience in the world.  There are many ways I can even make a difference.  I may not know how right now, but I'm going to keep looking until I find them."  Giving up is not an option for me.  I'm a seeker and I'll always be a seeker, despite what my body may be experiencing.

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Perfectly Imperfect Life

This Chronic Fatigue is kicking my butt!  I seem to rest a good portion of the day and I sleep 8-10 hours a night, but I still feel like someone took a vacuum and sucked out every last bit of energy.  I feel like I was run over by an eighteen wheeler, the driver said, 'what was that bump?' and backed up, running over me again.  I should check for tire marks.

I try to exercise every day because it gives me an extra hour or so of energy to make a phone call or do something with the kids.  It also gives me some relief with my pain.  The hormones that are released are very helpful in lessening my pain by a couple of points, for a couple of hours.  This is significant since my body can't tolerate prescription pain medications.  It's the same with sleep aids.  My body exhibits the side effects saved for the 1%.

An hour extra in my day, where I can tolerate the pain and fatigue can feel like a whole week to me.  When I have this opportunity, I tend to jump into the standing to-do list that's been growing since my last hour of relief.  Some days, I can check off two or three things on the list and some things I delegate out to kids or my husband.  I don't enjoy asking them to do some of it, but for the tasks that are on a time frame, I need to ensure that they get done.  I just don't know if two hours from now, I'm going to crash into a state of confusion and fog or extreme back and neck pain.  Those pockets of relief are God sent and I take advantage of the time to be as productive as possible.

Sometimes I get caught in this terrible cycle of not exercising, which leads to more time with intolerable pain, which leads to being more out of it mentally and physically, being exhausted from the energy I exert dealing with the pain and dealing with the frustrations of mental confusion.

The last couple of days have been interesting.  I've felt clear headed and on my game, but the feedback I'm getting from my family tells me that I've been very much off my mark.  For example; I was very sure that I told the children about the schedule for the next few day, but none of them knew.  I've been having challenges with forming complete sentences and I'm stating phrases backwards, often.  There are times when I don't hear it, but the kids will let me know.  I've also gotten feedback on my grammar and misused words in my blog.  I edit the things I get feedback on right away, but even after reading it over and over again, I didn't catch many mistakes.  That's unusual for me.  I'm pretty meticulous about sending something out that is as comprehensive and readable, as possible.

I figure, I have a choice.  During these times, whether it's brain fog or confusion, terrible exhaustion or severe pain, I could put my head in the sand and wait for it all to pass.  I could also, get back into my exercise routine, knowing that starting up again means more fatigue at first then the body builds energy after time.  I could also keep plugging along, taking note of the bumps in the road with a smile (or chuckle) and live life.  I choose living life and exercise.  Sand is hard to get out of the hair.  It's a perfectly imperfect life and it's my life.  The life I cherish!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Clothing is Such a Pain

One of the aspects of fibromyalgia that hit me hard today, was how painful clothing can be.  This is something that I've found difficult to explain to doctors and others who don't have fibro.  For many of us, some days there's muscle or joint pain, some days there's headaches, some days our clothing hurts and most days it's a random combination of any of these.  It's easier to help people relate to the muscle pain because it can be very similar to a strain or exercising to the point where walking down steps is a stabbing agony.  Similarly, describing joint pain can be related to a sensation that many people have experienced.  When it comes to explaining the pain of seams, elastics, buttons or just a fabric rubbing against the skin as painful, I get blank stares.

Today started with an immediate discomfort from the collar on my t-shirt.  It was just a simple round neck t-shirt that I quickly threw on, to go for a walk.  As soon as it touched the front of my neck, I felt the pressure.  It was loose fitting, but just the fabric, gently sitting at the front of my neck, began to trigger the signals to the brain saying, "too tight!".  I've been at this long enough to know that if I didn't change into a v-neck shirt, I'd land myself into bed with a migraine.  I'm pretty sure my husband has gotten use to me jumping into my jeans in the morning and within seconds tearing them off to grab the leggings in the drawer.  He probably thinks it's a fickle girl thing, but nope, it's a pain thing.  I usually wear the basic round neck t-shirt to exercise, because that's what I have, and it doesn't bother me.  Every day is different and I've learned to pay attention, listen and respond to what my body is trying to tell me.

After exercise, it was the sneakers that were boring into the soles of my feet.  I still haven't figured out how a flat surface can feel as though it's drilling a hole into the bottom of my feet, but I can tell you it's torture.  So, those babies got yanked off and put away.  Then it was the seatbelt in the car.  Every turn or bump we went over, the seatbelt would saw just a little deeper into my skin.

I woke up this morning with a plan.  There was one thing I needed to do, and that was to get to my doctor's appointment, and one thing I wanted to do and that was to clean off the dining room table.   Often when I have a day that starts out the way this one did, I continue to adjust, listen and adjust again as quickly as possible so I can avoid a full blown flare.  It didn't seem as though it was too much to expect for the day and I would pace myself.  It's still hard to release, let go and accept that my body is needing some big, roomy clothes and a tempurpedic mattress.  Today the big roomy clothes and bed is where I landed and the dining room table is still cluttered.  I guess I'll save that for another day.

There's a level of stir crazy that I hit when I've been gentle with my body, staying still and listening for days on end.  I have an active spirit and when the brain fog lightens up, an active mind.  So, I push the boundaries at times, hoping that one day I'll just 'mind over matter' the chronic illness and will myself into health.  As much as I do believe that there is a cure for this chronic pain and illness, I also believe that it starts with awareness, inner healing and treatments that look at the body, mind and soul as a whole.  There needs to be a rebalancing of all the working systems of the body.

Gotta go, the wrinkles in this sheet, on the bed, are killing me.

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Day...

One day everyone will know peace in their hearts
One day we will all live sustainably
One day we will know, without a doubt, our connection to the earth
One day the term McMansion will be an urban myth
One day each of us will naturally and joyfully serve
One day we will understand our individual places in the world
One day we will all work together for the greater good
One day we will see and flow with signs of change having faith in our souls
One day money will be no more
One day exchange will be fair and good
One day our masks and the illusion will be erased
One day love will eradicate pain and fear
One day schools will teach our children how to see and use their individual gifts
One day everyone will live in health, prosperity and balance
One day all living things will thrive


-Terri Naroian 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Triplets, High School, Applications, OH MY!

It's hard to believe, but they're going into 8th grade in September.  On one hand, I can state the old adage, 'time flew by', but on the other hand, it feels as though time has passed at just the rate it was meant to.  Raising them, as a single parent, from infancy until they were 12 was quite a journey and one I wouldn't change for anything!  The four of us have a bond that's indescribable.  I encouraged independence and individuality while weaving in our family motto, "treat others with Loving Kindness" (especially the sibling who may have just run away with your favorite toy).  I allowed them to have opinions and taught each of them to use their strong, inner voice.  These days, I remind them that their negotiation skills are top notch, so they don't need to practice on me any longer.  They are each incredibly different even though they were born only minutes apart.  Then again, they are all courageous leaders, in their individual ways.  One is a quiet, behind the scenes leader who lets others feel as though they are leading.  The second has a strong presence that makes others feel comfortable yet curious, and they follow.  The third is much more obvious with her leadership qualities and aspirations.  We have four mighty personalities.

The year they were 12, I got married to a gentle, strong, easygoing, unconditionally loving man, Ray.  We, the original four, were not looking to add another to our family, but best friends fell in love.  What's a person to do?  I knew the kids liked him when after dating for a month, we were driving in my small Prius, and from the back seat Ray and I heard, "When are you gonna be our Dad?".  He had many opportunities to gently slip away...or maybe turn and bolt, but he didn't.  Ray hung around and is, today, the key to balance in our family.  His personality, lovingly guides the leaders in the house who want to take on the world, yesterday.

Of course, with such large ambition and independent personalities, all three are looking into numerous different High Schools.  I had to put a limit on how many they would apply to and the max per child was three.  That would be nine campus tours, nine interviews, nine sets of applications, nine sets of financial aid forms, many hours of research and, I'm guessing, tons of phone calls.

In the past, when it came to summer camp or other interests, I did all the research and communicated with who ever needed communications, then I'd let them know when I'd drive them there.  The triplets could sit back and I would present the final plan for what they were interested in exploring.

With the awareness that I'm putting more energy into healing and making sure I don't over do it, I told the triplets that, at 13, they can bring me the final plan.  I let them know how I went about the research, and communicated with the appropriate people to get information about what was needed and they've seen me do this for years.  Now, it's their turn.  I handed over the baton(s).  I'm available for them to ask me questions to help guide them on their quest, but I'm stepping down from being their Sherpa.  It's time for them to learn how to lead themselves and explore the routes that work and don't work for them.  And it helps me stick to my commitment to extreme self care, to heal and be available to support them as they prepare for their rites of passage.

They may trip, stumble and there may even be some tears.  I'm fully confident that this venture will teach them how to fly. Mom and Dad will always be available for advice, a hug, a smile of encouragement or some great high fives!

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Borrowing a Great Description of Fibro

Fibromyalgia is a complicated and often misunderstood syndrome, even for the medical community.  For those who don't have fibro, it can be very difficult to understand and sometimes believe that it's a real and debilitating illness.  I found a great description of fibromyalgia in a letter format, by Claudia Marek.  The introduction to the letter gives permission for anyone to use it.  It's published on the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center site. It's titled, Letter to Normals

Fibromyalgia isn't all in my head, and it isn't contagious. It doesn't turn into anything serious and nobody ever died from fibromyalgia (thought they might have wished they could on really awful days!!)  If you want to read articles or books about fibromyalgia I can show you some that I think are good. If you just want to learn as we go along, that's fine too. This is definitely going to be a process. The first step is for you to believe that there is an illness called fibromyalgia and that I have it. This may sound simple, but when you hear about my symptoms I don't want you to think I'm making this all up as I go along.

Fibromyalgia is a high maintenance condition with lots and lots of different kinds of symptoms. There's no way to just take a pill to make it go away, even for a little while. Sometimes a certain medication can make some of my symptoms more bearable. That's about the best I can hope for. Other times I may take a lot of medication and still won't feel any better. That's just the way it goes. I can't control how often I feel good or when I'm going to feel terrible. Lots of people have been cutting new drugs advertisements out of magazines for me and I appreciate the thought, but I've seen them too.  Look at the list of side effects and the few symptoms they help in return.  Even in the best studies those expensive compounds didn't help over half the people who tried them.  No matter how happy the people in the pictures look, there's still no miracle drug available.

There's no cure for fibromyalgia and it won't go away. If I am functioning normally, I am having a good day. This doesn't mean I'm getting better -- I suffer from chronic pain and fatigue for which there is no cure. I can have good days, several good weeks or even months. But a good morning can suddenly turn into a terrible afternoon. I get a feeling like someone has pulled out a plug and all my energy has just run out of my body. I might get more irritable before these flares, and suddenly get more sensitive to noise or just collapse from deadening fatigue. Weather changes can have a big effect on how I feel.  Other times there may be no warning, I may just suddenly feel awful. I can't warn you when this is likely to happen because there isn't any way for me to know. Sometimes this is a real spoiler and I'm sorry. The sadness I feel for what my illness does to those around me is more than I can easily describe.  You may remember me as a light-hearted fun loving person -- and it hurts me that I am no longer what I was.

Fibromyalgics have a different kind of pain that is hard to treat. It is not caused by inflammation like an injury. It is not a constant ache in one place like a broken bone. It moves around my body daily and hourly and changes in severity and type. Sometimes it is dull and sometimes it is cramping or prickly. Sometimes it's jabbing and excruciating. If Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, fibromyalgics should have a hundred words for pain. Sometimes I just hurt all over like I've been beaten up or run over by a truck.  Sometimes I feel too tired to lift up my arm.

Besides pain, I have muscle stiffness which is worse in the morning and evenings. Sometimes when I get up out of a chair I feel like I am ninety years old. I may have to ask you to help me up. I'm creaky and I'm klutzy. I trip over things no one can see, and I bump into the person I am walking with and I drop things and spill things because my fingers are stiff and my coordination is off. I just don't seem to connect the way I should. Hand-eye, foot-eye coordination, it's all off. I walk slowly up and down stairs because I'm stiff and I'm afraid I might fall. When there's no railing to hold on to, it's terrifying.

Because I feel bad most of the time, I am always pushing myself, and sometimes I just push myself too hard. When I do this, I pay the price. Sometimes I can summon the strength to do something special but I will usually have to rest for a few days afterwards because my body can only make so much energy. I pay a big price for overdoing it, but sometimes I have to. I know it's hard for you to understand why I can do one thing and not another. It's important for you to believe me, and trust me about this. My limitations, like my pain and my other symptoms are invisible, but they are real.

Another symptom I have is problems with memory and concentration which is called fibrofog. Short-term memory is the worst! I am constantly looking for things. I have no idea where I put down my purse, and I walk into rooms and have no idea why. Casualties are my keys which are always lost, my list of errands, which I write up and leave on the counter when I go out. Even if I put notes around to remind myself of important things, I'm still liable to forget them. Don't worry, this is normal for fibromyalgics. Most of us are frightened that we are getting Alzheimer's. New kinds of brain scans have actually documented differences in our brains.

I mentioned my sensitivities earlier and I need to talk about them again. It's more like an intolerance to everything. Noise, especially certain noises like the television or shrill noises can make me jittery and anxious. Smells like fish or some chemicals, or fragrances or perfume can give me headaches and nausea. I also have a problem with heat and cold. It sounds like I'm never happy but that isn't it. These things make me physically ill. They stress me out and make my pain worse and I get exhausted. Sometimes I just need to get away from something, I just don't know how else to say it. I know sometimes this means I will have to go outside, or out to the car, or go home to sit alone and that's really all right. I don't want or need you to give up doing what's important to you. That would only make me feel worse.  Sometimes when I feel lousy I just want to be by myself. When I'm like this there's nothing you can do to make me feel better, so it's just better to let me be.

I have problems sleeping. Sometimes I get really restless and wake up and can't get back to sleep. Other times I fall into bed and sleep for fourteen hours and still be tired. Some nights I'll toss and turn and not be able to sleep at all. Every little thing will keep me awake.  I'm sure that's confusing to be around, and I know there are times when my tossing and turning and getting up and down to go to the bathroom disturbs you. We can talk about solutions to this.

All these symptoms and the chemical changes in my brain from pain and fatigue can make me depressed as you'd imagine. I get angry and frustrated and I have mood swings. Sometimes I know I'm being unreasonable but I can't admit it. Sometimes I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. These emotions are all very strong and powerful. I know this is a very hard thing about being with me. Every time you put up with me when I'm in one of my moods, secretly I'm grateful. I can't always admit it at the time, but I'm admitting it now. One thing I can tell you is it won't help to tell me I'm irrational.  I know I am, but I can't help it when it's happening.

Each of us with this diagnosis experience most of what was described in the letter, but it's also a very individual illness.  Some find relief of symptoms with prescription drugs and some of us are unable to even take the drugs used for fibro.  I'm unable to take most prescriptions due to a high sensitivity to the side effects.  If the label says that 1% of people experienced such-n-such, I'd be the 1%.  I must use alternative methods to relieve my symptoms and try to maintain a somewhat normal quality of life.  Also, some Fibromyalgics (as the author refers to us) have mild cases where they can maintain their normal life with the aggravation of chronic body aches. Some of us have severe cases that strip us of the lives we use to lead and the dreams we use to have.

As the title of my blog states, I'm constantly seeking the gifts of fibromyalgia.  Living with a severe case, I know that my illness doesn't define me.  I'm determined to create a new life, reach new goals and preserver in my search for a cure.

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Being on Disability is a Full Time Job

If anyone out there has a life vest, I could sure use it about now.  I spent six hours, today, reading health insurance information, prescription coverage options, trying to understand how disability payments and taxes work, dialing through the automated phone system at MassHealth, being transferred to yet another person who couldn't decipher my case.

My husband makes payments toward a family health plan, through his workplace, and due to my illness, the kids and I also receive MassHealth.  Since I was approved for disability, I now receive Medicare and Health Safety Net.  It took my fibro brain a few hours to understand the basics of it, so far.  My husband is covered by one insurance, I'm covered by four and my children are covered by two.  WHAT?  Oh, and this will all change as of August 8th when our MassHealth is up for review.  The review form is at least ten pages and asks the basic questions, that they already have the answers to, then progresses to a list of what you must provide as proof of everything you just filled out.  I think I have to send a DNA sample, a dental imprint and a pap-smear test, but I'm not sure.

It's been two, long years of trying to prove that fibromyalgia is real and I live with it everyday.  There are days when I'm unable to walk and days when sitting up is too painful, so I have no choice but to lay  down.  During the process of applying for disability, I worked with a great company.  They did most of the paperwork, they kept track of what needed to happen next, they were available to answer any and all of my questions along the way, they were patient over the phone on those days when my communication and comprehension were poor.  I'm so grateful that I didn't have to work my tail off to prove that I couldn't work.

I think there should be a sister company who manages the 'after approval' hoops and red tape.  I'm exhausted from my work/non-work day, today.  The first rule for someone with a chronic illness...don't over do it!

So, enough with my rant.  I'm going to rest and relax and smile about what I accomplished today.  Great things were completed, I'm contributing financially to my family again :) I had my family around, all day, and it was a beautiful, bright and sunny day. So much to celebrate!

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Sadness After a Great Day

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak in front of my spiritual congregation today.  In preparing what I would say and how I would say it, I was excited to get back on stage.  I use to dream about telling stories to groups of people, teaching classes on self care and self awareness.  These are things I use to do on occasion and each time I did them, I'd feel so alive.  I felt as though while I was teaching or speaking, things flowed with ease and grace and time disappeared. Today, I had my usual butterflies before I got on stage and while I was on stage, I was a bit jittery.  When I was finished, I could feel some of the bubbling of, "this is what I'm meant to do", coming up.   Then the tightness in my chest and the welling of tears.  I really wanted to enjoy and embrace the opportunity, but I walked away feeling extremely sad.

My husband and kids came to support me.  I got wonderful, caring feedback after the service.  I was even approached and told that I would be speaking again, many times.  When this wonderful woman said that to me, she was so confident it made me wonder if I had agreed to speak another time.  I hadn't, but it made me happy, sad and scared to hear about the possibility.

The very first time I did a public speech was in High School.  I was terrified and had a very difficult time finding a topic to talk about.  I finally decided that I'd talk about something that I didn't have to memorize.  I'd talk about a personal experience.  I took it as an opportunity to compassionately communicate how hurt I was when I was the new kid in school, 5 years prior, and I was treated very poorly.  With tacks on my chair, girls telling me I was ugly, to my face, and kids turning and walking away when I approached. I talked about how mean everyone was toward me and how lonely it felt in a new town with no friends.

The second time, was when I decided that I'd work as a clown at children's birthday parties.  I did so well with this type of speaking/performing, I built a business out of it and became a professional for ten years.

Then I became a fitness instructor teaching spinning classes and yoga classes.  All of this experience made it very clear to me that being a leader and speaker was something I had to do.  It is part of who I am.

Now, with fibromyalgia, I don't know how I'm going to feel from one day to the next.  I know that during the dry, Summer months I feel my best.  I'm capable of doing more and I feel more confident about committing to things in the future.  The last two Summers, I thought I may have overcome the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and made some big plans that carried into the Fall and Winter.  Unfortunately, I had to cancel once the damp, cold weather rolled in.  I let myself down and others who were relying on me.

My heart feels as though it's torn in two.  I'm called to speak!  I'm called to tell my story and inspire others to tell their stories and share the gifts they've gotten from their stories.  I'm called to lead.  There's a fire in my soul to speak the truth and encourage others to do the same.  This illness.  How can I let that fire burn when this pain and fatigue take over my body?  My soul has a strong and passionate mission and my body is experiencing illness that doesn't allow my soul to soar.

I have great Faith that I will find a way to allow my soul to soar.  I'll keep listening to Spirit and following the breadcrumbs.  The answer is within me....somewhere and in time, I'll hear it loud and clear.

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Big Garage Clean Out

I'm a total organization freak!  I have a very difficult time living in chaos and clutter.  Now, I'm not saying I'm a compete clean nut, because I really don't like to clean.  As long as everything is neat and organized, I'm happy.

I filled in the little calendar square with 'Garage Clean Up Day'.  The other four people, whom I live with, are completely comfortable with a bit of disarray in their home, so this beautiful, perfect Summer beach day, may not have been the best day to plan a major clean up.  I heard some grumbles and observed some slumped shoulders and a slower walking paces.  I even had one participant who kept disappearing.  The good thing, is that my family knows me well enough to know that once it's on the calendar, the only thing that may get in the way is fibromyalgia.

We started early to try to beat the Summer heat and of course I had the Big Clean Out all planned.  There were four sections created with sheets on the ground.  The keep, sell, donate, and to the dump areas.  The five of us started at the front of the garage and pulled everything out, placing it in it's appropriate area.  One part I enjoyed was hearing the kids say, "Oh, my pogo stick! I forgot I had that!".  This is another great reason to do whole family clean-ups.

Once everything, and I mean everything (including nails on the walls), was removed from the garage, my real fun started.  I got my pad of paper and mapped out how we could organize the things we decided to keep.  It always makes sense to me to have things that go together live together.  The gardening stuff, for example, should all live together and the automotive things should have a space of their own.

On a side note, when my children were old enough to walk, I taught them to clean up their toys by telling them that friends and family stay together.  The blocks all lived in the same box and legos lived in another box.  Barbie, of course lived in her house, usually in bed when they were done playing with her.  Even today, the common phrase that comes out of my mouth is, "I don't think that's where that lives. Please put it in it's home."

About three hours into this process, my legs began to feel like they were filled with lead and my sneakers felt as if they were about three sizes too small.  I kept moving.  There was still about an hour or so of things to do to finish the project.  Eventually, I took my sneakers off and dragged my wooden legs around, wearing my socks.

Toward the end of The Big Garage Clean Out, Ray and I took a quick ride to Home Depot and got some storage bins, bike hooks to hang them and a new garbage bin.  Everything we decided to keep went back, in a logical place.  All the bikes get to hang out, the car wash items have a shiny nice new Rubbermaid home and all the 'sell' stuff is ready for the yard sale next weekend.

I stood back to take in the results of our hard work and it looked like heaven...in a garage.  I could feel the energy flowing much easier.  No more stress trying to climb over a snow blower to get to the cooler for the beach.  No more searching for my gardening sheers to find them under the gasoline covered cloth.

Clutter and disorganization can really weigh you down.  Items that are not used, forgotten about or not appreciated anymore need to be released to allow energy to flow.  Try it.  Create some time, pick a closet and get to it!

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Seeking the Gifts of Fibromyalgia: 8 Day Juice Fast, So Far

Seeking the Gifts of Fibromyalgia: 8 Day Juice Fast, So Far: So, as I mentioned in a past post, my husband and I decided to do a juice fast.  We saw a wonderful documentary about juicing and all it&#39...

Friday, July 5, 2013

8 Day Juice Fast, So Far

So, as I mentioned in a past post, my husband and I decided to do a juice fast.  We saw a wonderful documentary about juicing and all it's benefits and Ray was all for it.  As for me, due to my illnesses, I've been wanting to do a juice fast for quite some time.  What held me back was that we didn't own a juicer and we hadn't decided, yet, to invest the money into one.  I'm a big fan of the Gerson Method and knowing that the nutrients in our fruits and vegetables, today, are much less than the nutrients in fruits and vegetables 50 years ago, makes juicing all that more logical.  The amount of vegis we'd need to eat, in one day, to meet our dietary needs, is overwhelming.  When we juice, we can make a 20 oz drink from 12 kale leaves, 8 carrots, two apples, four handfuls of spinach and two thumb size pieces of ginger.  I can't even imagine sitting for a meal and eating that, but the juice is good and good for us.

It's been 8 days, so far.  My husband wanted to do a juice fast to lose some weight and feel healthier.  I wanted to juice to cleanse my cells and create a better flow of energy throughout my body.  Ray has lost 6 lbs, which he's thrilled about and he seems to be feeling good about the process.  He says he's feeling hungry every day, but he's not willing to stop juicing yet.  I'm feeling more energetic, much less brain fog and yesterday, I even offered to drive five teenagers to the beach (on the 4th of July in 98 degree weather).  As you can imagine, everyone was heading to the beach and a 20 minute ride turned into 2 hours.  The teens were thrilled.  They had their iPods, good conversation and we can't forget the favorite radio stations.  I was all set with my bottle of water, juice and ear plugs.

Each day of this fast, or cleanse, I feel there are challenges and benefits.  So far the benefits are totally outweighing the challenges.  I didn't even have a hard time when we brought the beach buddies to get pizza after our sandy, hot day in the sun.

I've never done a fast before, but I've heard a great deal about them.  One of the things I've heard, that intrigued me, was the spiritual connection.  My process, during this fast, has gotten me to thinking more about food and how I relate to it.  When I'm bored, anxious, upset, angry or even celebratory, I want to reach for food.  In the past it's been less about the fuel my body needs to function, at a high level, every day.  Now, I see and feel the connection to fueling the body.  I'm also much more aware of having to find other, healthier ways to manage my emotions.  There is food all around me.  Even unhealthy foods, in the house, that the kids snack on.  I made pancakes for them this morning and not once did I want one.  I could smell bacon later in the day and it smelled good, but I told myself that I can enjoy these things through my other senses.  I enjoy cooking meals for my children, that they'll eat.  I can enjoy comfort foods, without ingesting them.  I use my sense of smell.  The first couple of days, I missed the sensation of chewing or crunching on some type of food, but that seems to have subsided.

This has been a great experience, for me.  Everything from going out to purchase the foods to juice to spending the time washing and cutting and sending them through the juicer.  It's about a 2 hour process every day to prepare for our total of 12 drinks for the next day and it feels good.  I'm doing something positive for my body and I'm getting wonderful results.  I recommend a week long juice fast for everyone (check with your doctor first).

I believe the body has the amazing capabilities of healing itself.  We've just gotten so far away from trusting and listening to our bodies that we've lost the belief that this is true.  The outside of our bodies can heal on their own.  Why not the inside?  Good nutrition, an awareness of what works for the individual, exercise and belief that the body is an amazing bag of bones 'n stuff, that is capable of things we can't even understand.  We just need to allow it to do it's job.

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Just Keep Moving...

My bed just wouldn't release me this morning.  I was so incredibly tired.  I felt stuck.  I'd wake up, groggy and close my eyes to get some more rest.  My body was heavy and weak.  I'd open my eyes and see 7:45, fall back to sleep, wake up and see 8:03, fall back to sleep, etc.

In my half wake, half sleep, I began to have these horrific dreams or thoughts.  I tried to shift my thoughts and think about what I'm grateful for, but the dream had a strong hold.  It was terrifying.  I was able to interrupt the streaming story line of horror to be conscious enough to know that I had to move.  I had to ground myself in the here and now.  I immediately sat up, firmly placed my feet on the floor and opened my eyes wide.  I could see that I was in my safe home and I could hear the sounds of all three of my children, confirming that they were all safe too.

I never know when the post traumatic stress disorder is going to rear it's ugly head.  I often feel I have things under control.  I avoid the news. I purposefully seek out movie reviews from friends to make sure it's something that won't trigger me. I know how to ground myself and be present.  It just doesn't seem like enough because I'm still haunted by memories of my childhood or fears about my children's safety.

Once I knew where I was and what was going on, I sipped some water and wept.  I didn't want to let the terror take over so I distracted myself by checking emails and FB, just trying to connect with the world I've created; a group of people and circumstances that are positive and forward moving.  I was having difficulty figuring out what to do next.  I was still stuck.  I literally felt as though I was unable to move from sitting on the edge of the bed to anyplace.  Then my husband came in and sat next to me.  He must have had some sort of sixth sense because he showed up at the perfect time.  I told him that I wasn't even out of bed yet, but I was already overwhelmed with the day ahead.  I'm not sure why I didn't tell him about the dream.  Maybe it was still too fresh.  Ray sat with me for a while, kissed me on the forehead and headed back to work.

His presence gave me the strength to just get up and move.  I wasn't sure where I was going or what I was doing, I just knew that sitting there, any longer, wasn't going to make things better.  I wondered if I should eat then shower, then get dressed, then go food shopping then make our juices.  Or should I go make breakfast for the kids, drink a juice, take a shower, get dressed, go shopping. I thought, maybe I should go out to exercise (in the rain), shower, drink my juice, make the phone calls that need to be made, go shopping.....AAAARRRRGG!! It was just too much! I chose to stand up and put my robe on.  I made one decision at a time.  I just kept moving.

My day progressed and I finally felt comfortable telling Ray why I was so out of sorts.  He is so compassionate and loving.  He kissed me and said he loves me and that everyone is safe and fine.  Ray drove me to go shopping and we spent the afternoon making the juices together.

I'm grateful for my loving husband.  I'm grateful that I have such wonderful triplets.  I'm grateful to have such supportive friends and family surrounding me.  I'm faithful that the PTSD and depression will subside and I'll experience life with ease and grace.

Thanks for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hey! There's One

I'm glad that I'm watching out for the gifts because...I found one!  Although, I've known for a while I had this ability, my perception of it shifted today.  I've been reading tarot cards and doing intuitive readings for over 20 years.

Each reading is unique and I enjoy helping people find answers and guide them through transitions.  I do readings once or twice a month and sometimes I'm a guest reader at a local monthly psychic fair.  Because of the fibromyalgia, I don't advertise or promote my services.  I just don't know when I'll be well enough to either leave the house or have the focus to do readings on a regular basis.  In the past, I have noticed that I'm energized after readings and my mood is lifted.

Today, I realized that during the reading, I'm not really a part of the process.  Obviously I'm shuffling cards, seeing symbols and using my voice to speak but the rest is flowing through me.  It's not coming from me.  If I begin to think about what information is coming through, I begin to try to analyze or interpret the information and the spirit connection is lost.  I learned a long time ago that I don't need to know the connections my clients are having with the information.  The message is for them, not me.  Many times, I don't even remember what came through after a reading.  I let my regular clients know this, because they ask me to go over what was said in previous readings.  Often during readings, I don't understand much of the message.  I relay what information comes to me through the cards or through spirit and ask if it makes sense to the client.  The majority of the time, the client has a direct connection to the information, which boggles me because I don't get it.  All I know is that as long as I get out of the way, the message the client is meant to receive, is received.

After todays reading, I was aware that during the reading, my body didn't hurt.  I wasn't exhausted and there was no brain fog.  The day, overall, was challenging with mood swings, pain, anger, frustration, boredom, and exhaustion.  I kind of dreaded the phone reading I agreed to do, because I was worried that the discomfort throughout the day would carry over and effect the service I was providing.  I take great pride in offering good customer service.

I went through my usual preparation of shuffling and clearing the cards, saying a prayer of intention and  affirming that I am acting as an open vessel, before the call came in.  The phone rang, I took a deep breath and answered.  The reading was delivered with ease and grace and my client said she was uplifted and motivated and felt much better due to the information I delivered.

The illnesses didn't exist during those 45 minutes.  The woman on the other end of the phone felt much better after the reading and said she very much appreciated everything I did for her.  It would be nice to do readings 24/7, if it were possible, because I naturally got out of the way in order to do what I love doing.

Is it possible that another gift uncovered today is the awareness that I need to get out of my own way?  Hmmm...

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