eader

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Don't Worry



Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, August 29, 2011

Question of the Week: How Do You Handle Procedure Anxiety?

199/365 From carpal tunnel syndrome with loveImage by kurichan* via FlickrSo I am having surgery on Wednesday, this Wednesday, August 31st.  And I'd be lying if I didn't say that the thought of having surgery is freaking me out.

Thankfully, when I first decided to schedule carpal tunnel surgery, a friend of mine helped me get focused on thinking about the benefits of having surgery instead of everything else.  So for the past few weeks, whenever I've felt my mind wandering to those other things, I just reminded myself, "This might just get rid of that that numbness and tingling that constantly plagued your hands."

But as I get closer, I find it's not working as well. What am I most worried about?  The whole sedation thing during the procedure and PAIN afterwards.

Since I have sleep apnea, being rendered unconscious can be a tricky thing.  Thankfully my surgery is taking place in an operating room and I will be under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.  I am hoping that same level of care follows me to recovery; I'm counting on them to have some measures in place to counteract the sleep apnea if it becomes a problem as the sedative wears off.  I don't have to stay overnight in the hospital, so when I get home I can use my CPAP while I sleep things off.

PAIN is a whole other story.  I already have a prescription for a pain killer filled, but the narcotic I have been prescribed can cause my drive to breathe to be suppressed.  Wait, let me rephrase that: narcotics cause everyone's drive to breathe to be suppressed.  I have no idea if I will be given pain meds in recovery, so I am having my husband take and hold onto my prescription during my surgery.  That way, I can take something as soon as I get to see him.

Despite all my planning and positive self-talk, I can still feel anxiety creeping into my consciousness...

So I want to know from you, what things do you do when you have a procedure or surgery coming up to quell your anxiety?

Please share your tips and strategies with me so I can try them out.  I promise to report back on the ones that help me.  Just leave me a comment here or head over the the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page and post a note on the wall.

Oh, and wish me good luck too!


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thoughts on the "Legacy Model" Point-of-View

Old Computer EquipmentImage by One Tree Hill Studios via Flickr
I was reading a TiVo forum recently, because all of a sudden I can't get the Rhapsody music service on my TiVo HD XL working and I wanted to know why.  In this forum I got introduced to a new term--"legacy model"--and it's definition...

When it comes to electronics, apparently anything over a year old is considered a "legacy model."  Even more disturbing is the trend of companies not supporting electronic devices over a year old.  So when a software update for Rhapsody was released about a month ago, TiVo decided that only its most current model, the TiVo Premiere, would continue to be compatible with Rhapsody.

I find this whole concept of "legacy model" to be somewhat disturbing.  I mean, I am a legacy model, a classic from 1965.  Which, by TiVo standards, means I have been long forgotten.  And forget about getting me any update!  I am stuck with what I have, whether it works or not.

All kidding aside, I find myself objecting to this new way of thinking.

For starters, it creates this insatiable appetite for only the newest and most technologically advanced things.  Suddenly, anything over a year old is worthless and obsolete.  Clearly the focus has shifted from trying to make what you have last as long as possible to dumping anything over 365 days old in favor of something brand spanking new.

My biggest fear is that this point-of-view will translate into a new way of looking at everything else in our lives.  

As a society, we already don't do so well with people that are less than perfect.  In fact, we have a pretty tarnished track record taking care of the elderly, sick and marginalized.  Something tells me this new way of looking at the value of something "old" isn't going to help at all.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear, "They are sick, old and broken.  We just need to throw them away and replace them with someone new."

In a society where we focus on things, I can see this happening.

So when I see someone express their disgust with this new way of thinking, I applaud them.  Heck, I even contribute to the conversation.  It is ridiculous to ask people to keep upgrading their products just so they can keep accessing the software related to them.  

The truth is we don't need to replace anything "old" that is working just fine.  What we need is a world where dynamic things like software and attitudes are backwards compatible, so that everything and everyone can participate and be included.  

It's time to take a stand and let the powers that be know that "new" isn't the only thing that has value.


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mission 2011: Happiness is Having a Plan



I've been figuring out my next move when it comes to my pursuit of recapture my good health and I think I have a pretty good plan. That said, this is the fourth big plan I have researched, prepared for and implemented in the past 7 years.  So before I share my new plan, perhaps I should take the time to review the old ones too.

Plan A: Pain Management

When I developed chronic pain and fibromyalgia after a trip-and-fall accident, my first plan of action was getting rid of my pain.  To do this, I saw a lot of people who specialized in different aspects of pain management.  Then I participated in lots of different pain management therapies.  These included:
  • physical therapy
  • trigger point injections
  • deep injections, like epidurals and facet joint injections
  • acupuncture
  • acupressure
  • myofascial release
  • a chronic pain rehab program
  • warm water pool therapy
  • non-narcotic pain medications
  • heat
  • cold
  • topical pain rubs

First, as I look at this list, I am sure I am forgetting things.  Second, I am saddened that all these approaches did not reduce my pain in any way, shape or form.  So after about three years of trying Plan A, I knew it was time for Plan B.

Plan B: Better Sleep

At one point during Plan A, one of my doctors suggested that I needed a sleep study to rule out any sleep disorders that might be associated with having fibromyalgia.  Sure enough, my sleep lab results showed I had sleep apnea, delayed onset sleep and problems falling asleep, staying asleep and getting enough Stage 4 deep sleep.

In 2007, when the pain management approached was failing to bring about a significant change, I decided that maybe I should switch my focus and tackle my sleep issues in the hopes that a good night sleep might help with the pain.  So I tried:

  • seeing a sleep specialist (or three!)
  • religious use of a CPAP machine
  • sleep medications
  • sleeping on a wool mattress pad
  • using a Comfort-U body pillow
  • switching to moisture wicking pajamas
  • focusing on sleep hygiene

Unfortunately, my three year pursuit of a good night's sleep was both frustrating and fruitless.  Treating the sleep apnea didn't help my pain.  I failed to find a good medication fix for my sleep problems that didn't create other problems for me. And for some of my sleep problems there were no good treatment options.  Plan B was a good idea, but it didn't yield the results I was looking for.

Plan C: Treat the Hepatitis C

There was a lot of speculation that maybe my Hepatitis C was contributing to my pain disorders.  My rheumatologist, who didn't seem to be able to help me, was convinced this was the case.  My hepatologist was more skeptical, ultimately saying that the only way to tell was to treat the Hep C.  Hep C treatment is not easy, so I waffled for a while about whether or not to try it.  I finally decided to give it a go in Fall 2007.

I lasted three weeks and gave up after multiple complications that landed me in the hospital.  It cause a major flare-up of my chronic fatigue symptoms and it took me three months to recover.

Recommendations from the Mayo Clinic


Having failed in some of my previous attempts, I was encouraged by the neurologist at Mayo Clinic this past March to consider yet another plan of action.  In addition to making some changes to the medications I take to control my dysautonomia symptoms, I was asked to consider two more things: 
  1. surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome 
  2. trying Hep C treatment again
Based on a second EMG and nerve conduction study, it was discovered that the compression of my median nerve has been getting worse, not better.  (Compression of the median nerve at the wrist is what causes carpal tunnel syndrome.)  My neurologist was very up front with me about his recommendation that this was a problem that needed to be addressed, sooner versus later.

Additionally, he expressed his concern that my ever increasing Hep C viral load was somehow contributing to my dysautonomia.  He wanted me to be seen by the Hepatology Department while at Mayo, but since this was not possible during the week I was there, I promised to follow-up with my hepatologist at UCLA when I returned home.

There have been several advancements in the treatment of Hep C.  These include a blood test to see if a patient will respond to interferon therapy and two new anti-viral medications approved in May 2011.  Since I am a responder to interferon and the new medications would be available to me, I've needed to seriously consider trying Hep C treatment again. 

In addition, some of the complications that landed me in the hospital last time have now been addressed and managed to the point where they may not interfere with successful treatment a second time.

Plan D: Taking Care of Business

Having pondered the advice I got at Mayo, I have decided to move forward with both the carpal tunnel surgery and a second attempt at Hep C treatment.  Surgery is scheduled for August 31 for my right hand and then 6 to 8 weeks later I will have surgery on my left hand.  Which gives me a few months to recover before my follow-up appointment in early January 2011 at which time I will start Hep C treatment.

Although I have high hopes for success, the bottom line is that I'm not sure how these two actions will impact my health.  As I see it, they both involve interventions that have the potential to make things flare-up and worsen in the short term.  But since it is long term relief I am seeking, I have forced myself to focus on the benefits and positive impact less carpal tunnel symptoms and the absence of an active Hep C infection could have on my overall health.

Yes, I have a new plan and I am sticking with it.  Which is great because I always do feel better when I have plan. There is something reassuring about knowing where you are going and what you are doing and just giving in and going with the flow.  And if this plan works, I will definitely be a happy camper.

And if not, there is always Plan E to look forward to, right?




Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: So Many Candles

Flaming Cake by runrunrun
Creative Commons License


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Being Older and Wiser

Wisdom, mural by Robert Lewis Reid. Second Flo...Image via Wikipedia
I think I have always been a bit of an odd duck.

During a religious retreat in high school, when asked what I hoped to gain from my experience of life, I said, "I seek wisdom."

I have no idea how this aspiration got stuck in my head at 17, or why I chose it over love, happiness, family, friends, luck, fame, fortune or good health. I stand here years later seriously wondering why didn't I ask for a boyfriend or a full scholarship to college, a cool car, or an inheritance from a long lost relative.

Laughably, in hindsight, if I was going to make a lofty request, I should have asked for good health.

Today, on my birthday, I've stopped to reconsider this peculiar request made in my youth and assess my progress towards reaching this goal.  According to Wikipedia:
A wise person has self-knowledge.
A wise person seems sincere and direct with others.
Others ask wise people for advice.
A wise person's actions are consistent with his/her ethical beliefs.
So here is where I stand:
  • Living for the past 23 years with a variety of health problems has certainly developed my self-knowledge.
  • I think I have always erred on the side of being sincere and direct, and being a sick chick certainly has encouraged me to further embrace this approach to relationships. 
  • It's interesting that as a blogger, I know readers do come here for my advice.  I truly hope I serve you well in this regard.
  • Finally, I believe my "walk" follows my "talk" and find that writing about my perspectives keeps me honest in this regard.
If I am going to be totally honest. I have to admit that being a sick chick has certainly taught me a lot about myself and the world in general.  Granted, these are lessons I would not wish upon anyone else. And yet I cannot image who I would be if I had not been ill.  I certainly appreciate knowing how strong and resilient I can be in the face of adversity and truly believe there is nothing I cannot face and cope with in this life.

Because of my experiences, I do feel wise beyond my years. I also appreciate the calm and confidence that comes with getting older.  While I am not so keen about the number associated with my age going up, the trade-off is that in many ways I do feel more content now than I did 20 years ago.

Yes, I am that old and I can hardly believe it.  Happy birthday to me!

Creative Commons License
Enhanced by Zemanta


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, August 22, 2011

Question of the Week: What's Worth a Flare-Up?

Outdoor Cafe @Lincoln Road, South Beach, Miami...Image by MASolari via Flickr
Friday I had lunch with a very good friend who is back in town for a few short months.  We got together for a late lunch (breakfast for me) and spent a total three hours catching up.

It was wonderful!  When our time together came to an end I hated to say goodbye, but she promised to get together with me again before she returned to her adventures in Africa helping people living with HIV/AIDS.

Then I got into my car and everything hit me.

I had been sitting for three hours in an uncomfortable chair.  I had been sitting outside on a patio on a warm summer day.  I had been using energy to stay plugged into a riveting conversation, during which I felt a lot of different emotions.  And this was a day when, amidst a change in my medications, my diabetes was causing me more problems in the form of higher than normal blood sugar levels. 

I checked in with myself and I felt horrible.  I was dizzy, exhausted and worried I wasn't going to be able to drive myself home.  But I heard my couch calling me, so I turned the key and started on my way.  Several times I thought to myself  'Pull over and get yourself together.'  But I somehow convinced myself that it was better to keep going and get myself home.

It was the longest 3 miles I have ever driven in my life.

Now don't get me wrong, it was totally worth it.  At least that is what I can say today.  The white-knuckle ride home was a nightmare, but I survived it and promptly plopped myself on the couch and recuperated for several hours afterwards.

I know I spend a lot of time talking about staying within my energy limits and using all kinds of strategies for preventing symptom flare-ups.  But I also know that sometimes, when something really good comes along, it is time to bend my rules and enjoy life, even if that means paying for it with higher symptoms afterwards.

What I have discovered is that, if I am really diligent about taking care of myself most of the time, I can get away with a special event every once in a while.  That diligence pays off afterwards too.  Staying within my energy limits most of the time means I have an energy reserve I can tap into, which means I can make a quicker recovery if I do flare myself up.

My big adventure on Friday got me wondering: what people, events and activities are worth risking a flare-up of your chronic illness symptoms?

Share your answer with me at the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page or as a comment here.


Creative Commons License
Enhanced by Zemanta


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mission 2011: Persistence

Keep moving forward

It's been a while since I have written a Mission 2011 post, so it is definitely time to get back on track with this year-long goal that I have set for myself.  And getting back on track has given me the topic for this post: persistence.

A lot of things in my life do not go as planned.  The reason?  Chronic illnesses have added an extra element of unpredictability to my life.  You see, every day when I wake up, I have no idea how my body is going to feel.  And I dread waking up with more pain, more fatigue, more dizziness...

Despite all my efforts to plan, pace, rest and say "no," I can never exactly know what kind of shape I will be in tomorrow. It sort of makes planning in advance for each and every day difficult.

If you are a healthy person reading this, you probably have no idea what I am saying.  If you live with chronic illness, you know all about this.

With so much uncertainty about my health status, it becomes all too easy to get derailed.  Even the slightest change, like a bit too much activity the day before, a stressful situation, a change in the weather or catching a cold, can suddenly send me off in the wrong direction and turn my day upside down. Then I am faced with scrambling to cancel plans and implement more rest for the next day or two.  At the worse, I am forced to scale way back on my day-to-day activities so I can start rebuilding my energy reserves.

The point I am trying to make is that, in order for me to get anything of significance done, I need to be persistent.  My chronic illnesses knock me off my horse, push me down and send me two steps backward.  In short, they can treat me pretty badly.  But I am determined not to let them pin me down.  I dig deep, real deep, and find the strength to get back on my horse, pick myself up off the ground and take one more step forward.

With each roadblock and setback, my chronic illnesses are teaching me to be persistent.


Nothing in the world
can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not;
nothing is more common than
unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination
alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved and
always will solve
the problems of the human race.
~Calvin Coolidge






Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My 2 Cents On the Practice of Handing Out Happy Pills

Happy PillImage by edmittance via Flickr

This post has been syndicated on BlogHer.
Syndicated on BlogHer.com


There are a few things in life that really get me going.  I guess you would call them my pet peeves.  Today I was reminded of one of them as I spent some time on Twitter connecting with my friends.

One of my friends lost her husband not too long ago.  It was a devastating loss for her.  My heart and support went out to her.

While I have never "met" her in person, I can tell from my interactions with her that she is smart, strong and resilient.  She appears to be doing a solid job of dealing with this significant loss and moving on with her life.  I know that she is still grieving, but honestly, I would be more worried if she wasn't.

So when she mentioned today that her primary care doctor thought she wasn't doing very well and offered her antidepressants, I was pissed.  I know that my anger comes from my training in social work--the career that chronic illness has taken away from me.  Even though I can no longer practice being a clinical social worker, all my social work education and experience hasn't become completely lost to me.

Here are the things about this situation that really bother me:


  1. Grieving is a healthy process.  I think that the bigger the loss, the longer the time a person needs to process their grief and loss.
  2. With the exception of psychiatrists, the majority of medical doctors do not have adequate training to diagnose mental health disorders.
  3. If doctors were really trained to diagnose mental health disorders, they would keep a copy of the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) in their offices.  This is a publication of the American Psychiatric Association that lists all the commonly recognized mental disorders and their diagnostic criteria.
  4. If they kept a copy of the DSM IV in their office, they would know that grief is not a mental disorder.  In addition, I believe the DSM cautions against diagnosing someone who is grieving with a mental disorder until at least 6 months have past since the loss.
The problematic thing here is that any medical doctor can prescribe psychotropic medications despite their lack of training in psychiatry.  In addition, as a by-product of how dysfunctional our medical system is, many medical doctors do not refer their patients for a psychiatric assessment if they suspect a mental health problem.  No, they "diagnose" depression and anxiety themselves, write a prescription and send their patients on their way.

That is not to say there isn't a role for the medical doctor in the diagnosis of a mental health disorder.  In fact, medical problems need to be ruled out first before a mental health diagnosis can be given.  But I know from my own experiences that often the mental health card is played when a medical doctor can't figure out what is physically wrong with a patient.

I guess it is easier to call someone depressed or anxious and gives them some "happy pills."

My friend's situation worries me.  I also makes me wonder how often this is happening in doctors' offices across the country.

 I know that there are fewer and fewer mental health professionals, like social workers, hired to be part of medical teams.  I think this is a huge mistake.  I believe being able to accurately diagnose mental health disorders and provide specific and appropriate treatment is as equally important as medical care.  Rather than being housed in separate offices, building or locations, I think medical and mental health services need to be integrate.  

My opinion is that adequate health care needs to include both the body and the mind.

I also think that if someone is going to be given a prescription for antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, there first needs to be a thorough biopsychosocial assessment completed by a team of medical and mental health professionals.

That's my 2 cents.


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, August 15, 2011

Question of the Week: Got Any Hobbies?

My large container full of Summer vegetables


Chronic illness affects so many aspects of our lives.  Sadly, that includes all the fun ones too.

When I first became disabled, I thought Cool, I'll have more time for arts and crafts projects.  Boy, was I wrong.  With a chronic pain nexus in my neck, traveling down my arms and into my hands, doing anything for more than 15 to 20 minutes with my hands guarantees a flare-up.  Which means I have a lot of time on my hands, but hands won't cooperate to let me do anything with that time.

Boy was I bummed.

Luckily for me, I discovered container gardening a few years into my chronic pain journey thanks to a push from an occupational therapist.  The great thing about container gardening is that it lends itself to doing just a little bit each day.  Plus when I look outside the window into my backyard I experience an enormous sense of accomplishment gazing upon the fruits--and vegetables--of my labor.

Plus this is one hobby that actually helps with my diabetes management.  All those vegetables are an important part of my diet.  Right now I am rising to the challenge of trying to preserve a bummer crop of cucumbers and tomatoes, enjoy some right now and cooking or freezing the rest to eat in the Fall and Winter, however long they will last.

As you know, one of my other hobbies is blogging, made possible by Dragon Naturally Speaking software.  It allows me to dictate my posts and the program types them up for me.  It's a true hand saver!

In an effort to share my container gardening hobby, I launched a new blog devoted to it this past Saturday.  This new endeavor is called The Seated Gardener.  I plan to share my container gardening tips there, as well as pictures and notes about my harvests and the recipes and techniques I use to enjoy what I grow all year long.  Since I take the time to document my garden through photos and videos already, as well as search for recipes using its bounty, it seems like a natural extension to take those things and create blog content with them.

Who knows, maybe I'll inspire some other sick chicks along the way to try container gardening too...

With any new endeavor, I know that something will have to give in my current set of activities, but I am committed to keeping Oh My Aches and Pains! going.  I'm making so many meaningful connections and friendships with other ChronicBabes through this blog.  I cherish this so much.  OMA&P! has become part of my life, a very social and life-affirming part.  I'm not willing to let that go!

Which just goes to show that a good hobby goes a long way to helping one cope with chronic illness.

So let me ask you: how has chronic illness impacted your hobbies?  Have you given something up?  Have you discovered something new?  Are your searching for things you can do despite chronic illness?

Let me know your answer, either here in a comment or over on the OMA&P! Facebook page.


PS  Want to view my blog in a whole new way?  Click here to see something new.




Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Worldless Wednesday: My Cold's Best Friend

Tissue Box by davidlat


Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What I Did While Everyone Else Was at BlogHer 11

cleaning dayImage by jaymiek via Flickr
I hate to say this, but 2011 is not my year.

The latest proof:  instead of having fun at the Blogher 11 conference in San Diego, which took place last Friday and Saturday,  I spent my Friday waiting for the plumber and hoping he could get my shower drain working again so I wouldn't be ankle-deep in water when I bathe.  Then I spent time Saturday cleaning the bathroom, because you know contractors are professionally obligated to leave a mess behind where ever they go.

What a hellish exercise that was.  It only served to remind me that I really, really, really need to find the money so I can hire a maid.  Here money, money, money....

Of course, part of the problem for me is the whole Blogher way of doing things.

I missed out on purchasing tickets early at a significant discount, which pretty much ensured I wasn't going to be able to financially afford to go.  I missed out because I just can't seem to navigate the Blogher website in any kind of logical fashion, so I miss announcements regularly.  And since there isn't a disabled persons discount, like the offered student discount, I need to buy early just to be able to go.

Plus I just don't get how I can participate at the Blogher website.  I feel like the dumpy-looking girl stuck in line at the hot club while all the cute chicks are allowed to cut in front of me, waved inside by the bouncer.  I've been lead to believe that there are some pretty amazing things going on in there, but I don't have the golden ticket, magic key, secret password or whatever it is you need to gain admission.

Oh and yes, I have signed up for an account there.  But then I didn't know what else to do.  I also let them know I was interested in the Blogher advertising network a long time ago but I haven't heard anything from them.

While I was waiting for the plumber, I tried to find the features from the conference that were going to be posted on the Blogher website so I could participate vicariously, but I just couldn't find them either.

You know, maybe this is just a sign that Blogher isn't for me.

I mean, I am a patient blogger, not a mommy blogger or a fashion blogger or a food blogger.  The kind of advertisers Blogher attracts aren't really speaking to the my niche audience, not to mention that my niche isn't exactly a consumer powerhouse.  My readers and I don't have a lot of disposable income for things like expensive blogging conference tickets, travel, hotel and meals out.  Not only do we not have a lot of cash, we patient bloggers aren't making a lot of money blogging either.  For us, it more of a labor of love than a way to supplement our Social Security checks.

Still, it would have been nice to get me some swag like all the ladies did last weekend.  That is, nice until I realized what it would have taken to get it.  See the mystique of the Blogher conference made me temporarily forgot how energy-sucking it is trying to navigate crowds, being in uncomfortable positions all day (what healthy folk refer to as standing, sitting and walking) and dealing with blasting AC or the absence thereof (because we sick chicks are very temperature temperamental even in mild and sunny San Diego.)

The more likely end result?  I would have overdone it completely so that by the end the conference I'd be all flared up and desperate to get home.

Wonder if there were ruby slippers in that swag bag?

Ironically, I got myself all flared up anyway because I had to clean the bathroom.  But at least I got to rest on the couch afterwards, sleep in my own bed and get up whenever I wanted to the next day. Which ultimately made me appreciate that sometimes there really is nothing better than just staying home.
 



Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, August 8, 2011

Question of the Week: What are your three wishes?

Alladin's LampImage by Nutch Bicer via Flickr

Last week I sort of took an impromptu vacation from my blog and social media.  What can I say?  In retrospect, I guess I really needed to take a break.  After all, I can clearly see that I've been struggling to get back into my usual routine after that string of really stressful events this past Spring.

It's frustrating to have such a hard time bouncing back from stresses of all kinds: physical, mental and emotional.

You would think that after almost seven years, I would finally have the hang of managing my chronic illnesses.  I don't.  It's like trying to hit a moving target; just when you get close, the target speeds up, takes a left and moves in an entirely different direction or way.  It's because my chronic illnesses truly are in flux--they change constantly, sometimes in a predictable fashion and sometimes in a random and crazy ways.

I really makes me wish for the days when I was healthy.

Wishing makes me think of the genie from Aladdin and the three wishes he bestows.  My three wishes for my life are to be healthy, wealthy and wise, which I have borrowed from a generous Benjamin Franklin.

I now know with 100% certainty that health is the linchpin that makes the other two possible. Lord also knows that I am doing everything humanly possible with the resources at my disposal to get my health back, which right now feels like some kind of Herculean feat.  Much to my dismay, the only Herculean quality I currently posses is the will to keep trying despite all my setbacks and never give up.

This train of thought has got me wondering about you, my dear readers.  So let me first apologize for my unscheduled absence and set a goal to inform you in advance the next time I need to take some time off.  Then let me ask you: "What are your three wishes for your life?"

I'd love to reconnect with you all this week, so please leave me a comment here or head over to the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page and respond to this week's question there.

PS  I wish you all health, wealth and wisdom too, by the way.  And let me encourage you to take as many vacations as you need to cope with the stresses your chronic illnesses too.





Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, August 1, 2011

Question of the Week: Outside or Online?


I love Summertime.  My garden calls to me every day, inviting me to head out and enjoy the birds singing, the sunshine beaming down and the afternoon breezes flitting through my backyard. I love sitting in my garden chair to watch my dogs frolic in the grass while I enjoy being outside in the warmer weather.

Summer also presents me with a daily scavenger hunt to find the fruits and vegetables that are ready for harvest in my container garden.  Believe me, this can be challenging!  Somehow, the cucumbers and zucchinis magically appear overnight and if I am not careful, I suddenly have huge, overgrown ones on my hands. Then there are the tomatoes: one day they blend with the green foliage and the next they suddenly stand out all red and yellow to grab my attention.

I have to be diligent with the blackberries, strawberries and figs, because if I am not quick to harvest them the birds swoop and squirrels scurry to grab themselves a feast.

Yes, I love being drawn outside.  By the time the sun slips behind the horizon, I often find that I have expended a lot of my precious energy puttering around my garden.  By the time night falls, all I want to do is head inside, make a meal with my harvested treasures and relax on the couch until bedtime.

The only downside to my Summer routine?  I spend more time away from my computer and my friends with chronic illness at social media places like Facebook and Twitter.  While I feel I need to enjoy the good weather and the smidgen of less pain and fatigue it allows, I feel a bit bad about being MIA from my chronic illness communities.

It's a real trade-off: the more energy and time I spend on Summer-themed pursuits, the less time and energy I have for my usual activities.  Or to put it another way, I have to let go of some old things to add new things to my routine. No more multi-tasking and acting like I am Superwoman--chronic illnesses have definitely taken away all my superpowers.

Can you relate?  This time of year, are you more outside or out-and-about and less online like me?  Leave a comment here or head over to the OMAP! Facebook page to join the discussion there.

PS  I hope you're enjoying a nice, sunny, Summer day (or warm Summery thoughts) where ever you are today too...



Creative Commons License

Like this post? Then please...


Submit it to your favorite social sites.

Share it with PrintFriendly alternatives.

Print Friendly and PDF
Related Posts with Thumbnails