Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sharing The Chores

There was no way I could keep up with cleaning and management of the household while healing my body.  I enjoy living in a simplistic and clean home.  My ideal living environment would be a totally Zen'd out open floor plan with very little stuff.  The few pieces of furniture and things would be functional and art pieces with meaning.

Since I live in a three bedroom, one bath Ranch with my husband and triplets, I'll settle for clean and organized.  It became quite painful and exhausting, trying to keep up with the accumulating stuff.  There's the dirty dishes, laundry, dust, school bags, shoes, mail, projects (mostly mine), electronics with cords for charging and the ever floating remotes.  Aarrrggggggh!

I've adopted a new phrase, Divide and Conquer.  Now, I don't think the original intention of that phrase has anything to do with creating a livable home, but that's how I'm going to define it.  Everyone pitches in…well almost everyone, but I'll get back to that later.

Everyone knows what they are responsible for when it comes to upkeep of our home.  My son has dishes on Sunday's, my youngest daughter has dishes on Mondays, Ray does them on Tuesdays and so on.  Some of the chores are specifically done for the weekly allowance and some are done because we all must pitch in to keep a nice home.  So that brings me back to the comment about…well almost everyone.  My son is saving up for a laptop for High School and my oldest daughter doesn't like chores, so they both capitalized on their situations.  He does her chores and gets her allowance.  Everyone's happy.

What I didn't expect from all of us contributing our gifts, talents and time to creating a nice space to live in, was the shift in everyone's actions.  We are using less dishes, every day, because no one likes to do them.  The less they use, the fewer dishes we have.  Cups are being reused throughout the day, a sandwich needs no plate and my son has joked about trying to figure out how to not dirty something for soup.  The family members are putting there things away more often than not because they may be the person chosen to clean that room on Saturday.  The leftovers in the fridge are being eaten more often now because no one wants to cook with a pan…it would have to be washed.

We have turned out to be a Reuse, Reduce, Recycle family.  I'm so proud of us!!!  Now, if I could get them all to help me build a tiny home from all recycled materials, that'd be awesome!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

I love finding information about what may help us get better.  I stumbled across this and felt compelled to share.

I sure hope this helps!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

My First Day Tai Chi'ing

My doctor heard me when I explained that exercise has always allowed me to tap into some energy.  Ever since High School, I've been doing some sort of cardio exercise.  It seemed to me that if I didn't sweat, I wasn't getting much out of the task of exercising my body.  I used it as a cleansing of both body and mind; allowing my soul to see clearly.

At my sickest, I pushed myself to get out and run or something between a walk, wobble and jog.  Even in the winter months I'd force myself to get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, bundle up and get out the door.

Exercise seemed to be all I had left in my hopes to overcome the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia.  Other doctors told me to stop because it was too hard on my body, but I couldn't risk handing over the last hope I had.  Dr. Bier heard me.  He told me to continue to jog, if that's what made me feel better.  He also suggested that I use a martial arts to build and strengthen my chi (life energy).

I ran for another two weeks after Dr. Bier's advice and then I noticed the urge to push myself wasn't as strong.  There was definitely a shift going on in my consciousness and my body. Then last week I decided to go on youtube to try a beginner's Tai Chi class.

It was frustrating at first because the pace was much slower than my general day-to-day pace.  I took this as a sign to slow down even more…consciously.  I followed the instructions, allowed a flow of the movements and caught myself wanting to do a Tai Chi version of Americanized Vinyasa Yoga.  I taught this yoga for many years.  It flows from one movement to the next, connecting the breath to the movement and it can move quickly.  I held back from changing the Tai Chi I was learning.  It occurred to me that this ancient martial art has lasted through the generations and studies have shown that it is of great benefit for the flow of energy.

I'll need to work on being in the moment no matter how fast or slow the moments come.  I spent a great deal of time learning the movements and being in my head most of the time.  I'm sure with practice, the movements will be second nature and my brain will have the opportunity to get out of the way.

Surprisingly, I had normal achy muscles the next day.  I give Tai Chi one and a half thumbs up.  The half of thumb is only my hesitation to make it part of my routine.

With time, I'm sure I'll be Tai Chi'ing at least three times a week.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Hair Follicles Hurt

Fibromyalgia is such a strange syndrome.  Pain bounces from one part of the body to another.  It hurts to be hugged at times.  My fillings ache on occasion.  There are even times when my eyesight becomes blurry.  I own a pair of glasses just for these incidences.

I woke up today with a massive cowlick.  I gently crawled out of bed, coercing my feet to cooperate with my legs and when I slowly passed by the mirror, I saw the aftermath of whatever turmoil caused my restless sleep.  First of all, I take five different sleep aids to tame the midnight jogs with my eyes closed.  My guess is that last night, if I wasn't jogging, maybe I was dreaming about being at a head banging concert.  Or maybe just dreaming about my hair being licked by a cow.  Just one area on the top of my head, toward the back, was standing on end.  With long hair, that is quite a task to achieve.  It stood about three inches up then the rest of the strands bent and cascaded downward…and not in the pretty way.

I stopped at the mirror and ran my hands through my hair, trying to look less frightening…or would that be frightened?  As my fingers gently touched my head, I felt the sensation of something yanking on my hair.  Thinking that my ring may have gotten tangled, I went to take off the ring that I removed a day prior.  I tried to just pat down the craziest parts when shooting pain scurried through my scalp.  I was able to touch the ends of my hair with no pain, but anywhere near the scalp was feeling like a full out hair pulling cat fight.

There are many symptoms of my fibromyalgia that I have not experienced in over 6 months.  The extreme body aches, loss of the mobility in my legs, extreme exhaustion, brain fog, etc.  Dr. Bier, through exam, tells me that there is improvement in my health and I have a long way to go to reach a healthy status.  It's one thing to hear him give me the good news of improvement, but just the slightest bit of improvement makes me feel really healthy.

I'm grateful that my body is communicating what Dr. Bier is reporting as well.  I may have improvement, and the reminders for me are these small signs of "not there yet".  My crazy painful follicles are a wonderful sign telling me to continue to take it easy, follow the healing plan and keep listening.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Blip on the Radar

Today, 14 of our friends and relatives helped us move my mother-in-law's belongings from her apartment to our garage.  Over the last 3 weeks, my husband, kids and I have been packing the apartment, organizing and cleaning to prepare for today.  I was impressed that it took only 30 minutes to fill 7 cars with boxes and furniture.  One trip and we finished.

Although, I began to get overwhelmed with the process going so quickly, I experienced no fibro pain.  When I realized this, it occurred to me that we're well into November.  For the last few years, once the fall hit, the pain crept in.  My legs ached, my hips hurt, I got shooting pain in my back and my shoulders burned.  Lately, I've been out of bed more often than I've been in.  This must mean, PROGRESS with my healing!

A week ago, I felt some pain in my hips and my shoulder popped out of the socket while I was sleeping.  This happened last winter also.  While sound asleep, I roll from my back to my side and as I roll onto my shoulder, the joint dislocates…and it hurts; waking me from a deep sleep.  I usually have to focus on breathing calmly and relaxing my shoulder to coax it back into place.  My Rheumatologist told me I have lose joints.  It doesn't sound like a medical diagnosis, but it is a bit strange.  Over the years, once these symptoms flared up in the cooler weather, the avalanche of fibromyalgia symptoms grew.  Summers are easiest for me when it comes to fibro, but it seems as though this year is different.  Other than this little blip on my fibro radar, there's no avalanche.

After a day of packing, I would tell my husband that I'll be paying for all the effort, lifting and moving for the next week, but there was no consequence to my increased activity.

I'm noticing some improvement in my health and I'm grateful.  I'm also glad that I have a doctor who can give me a clearer picture of my overall level of health.  As someone who has learned to acclimate  to moving through life with extremely low energy, when I have a drip of energy, it feels like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Dr. Bier brings me down to reality and helps me see that, yes, there has been improvement, and to continue to hold back on any leaping of buildings.  I have a long way to go to build my energy stores and repair damage to my body's systems.

There really is something to say about learning what works for you and doing it no matter what!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Interview with the Wonderful +Julie Ryan

I was asked to share my story with Julie Ryan.  Learn more about Julie, her blog and the the interview I did with her.

Interview Link

+Julie Ryan thank you for this wonderful experience!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cherish the Good Days, Bless the Challenging Days

Whether the days are labeled good or bad, they are all for our greater good

Challenges motivate us to grow

Allow the first signs of challenge to communicate that a shift will happen.  
Resist, evoking pain and suffering or allow, evoking grace.

Work on wiping away the perception of competition and war, open up to healing and inspiration

Once we are grateful for the bad days, their power evaporates and transforms to good

There has been an air of laughter, friendship and fun in our house.  I find myself listening with a smile and a warm heart.  The triplets have schoolmates over.  What was once an overwhelming and anxiety provoking situation, is now a cherished time.  Five years ago, the thought of having birthday parties or friends at our house was more than I could handle.  The noise and constant flow of energized kids was too much for my fibro-ridden body to process.  Today, my senses are calmed by the joy and playfulness flowing through our home.  Although, not all is peaceful, with life's daily challenges trying to consume us like a cancer, there is a sense of peace.  

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

100 Posts…Thank You World!

This blogging journey began five months ago, with the intention to create an outlet for the thoughts and emotions I experience through fibromyalgia.  I specifically wanted to document the good that can come from chronic illness.  The gifts, though sometimes hidden, I've received from Fibromyalgia.  I figured that if anyone was interested in reading my posts, hopefully they'd be encouraged, inspired and activated to seek the gifts in their lives as well.

Today, I'm celebrating my 100th post and I'm inviting the World to celebrate with me!  Why the World?  Because over 25 countries have logged on and read this blog.  I'm incredibly grateful for the interest and support I've received through my writing.  This medium has given me the opportunity to to connect with wonderful people from all over the globe.

I can see that this journey is already bringing me to new areas of exploration.  It has helped me stay aware of my healing process as well as sharing who I am beyond the illnesses.  I've discovered that a willingness to learn and grow makes life worth living.  I'm not saying that without it, I'd want to die, but without purpose, life is flat.  I live a multi-dimentional life and I'm happy to share the ups, downs and sideways of my experiences.

Together we CAN make a difference!

Thank you, World, for reading, forwarding and following!!!