My Advocate Adventure – Part II

It is only days before I leave for the Leader’s Against Pain conference.

“Are you getting excited?”

Quite honestly, No.

It is Monday and I have only 2 evenings left to finish my introduction, watch 2 videos, make sure 3 people not 1 have everything packed, have our house/dog sitting finalized, attend parent teacher conferences where I work, complete 3 students assessments…. I could keep listing all of the things I need done …oh wait, I need to do make a TO DO list.

As we all know packing for us is not the same as someone who doesn’t have a chronic pain condition.  We first have to consider the best travel situation and comfort. We have to pack heating pads, ice packs, tens unit, sleeping masks and DON’T FORGET THE MEDS!!!!

Usually, I would take the time of day into consideration for my travelling. I would allow myself the time to sleep in and take my time to get started. I would add an extra hour to my arrival time so I have plenty of time to get out and stretch.

This time because of my new job it just didn’t work to leave on Monday. I have the Leaders meet & greet at 6:00 tonight in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It is Thursday and the alarm woke this very tired body at 2:00 a.m. after 4 1/2 hours of sleep. My journey starts after getting dressed (wearing my Fibro Warriors~ Living Life T-shirt), packing the last minute morning items, taking care of the animals and double checking the list.

At 3:15 a.m. I am in the car heading to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. I have a short lay-over in Denver and will arrive in Salt Lake City at 9:00 a.m.

Am I excited now? A resounding YES!

They formed a Facebook group and all of us attending have been messaging brief Introductions and details on our arrival. It has brought back that initial thrill of being asked to be a part of this training.

Last night, I received a phone call from my Mom and Sister wishing me a great trip and how happy they were for me. My fellow Warriors were posting Good Luck Comments and excitement in my reporting what I learned. My dear Celeste left an amazing post on our Warrior page. She is why I am where I am today, heading to Utah for the Leader Against Pain conference. I am going to meet Jan Chambers, President of the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association in person.

Yes…. My excitement is back.

Now, I promise to do all that I can to not let down your expectations of me. I will go in as a Warrior and come out being on the way to being a trained advocate for all of those living with a Chronic Pain illness.

Wishing everyone sun~filled days and rest filled nights!
I am a Fibro Warrior~Living Life!

dragonfly 2

Are you a man or mouse?

Are you a man or mouse?

We were instructed at my job this week to read the booklet – “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. If you have read the story this blog may make more sense to you.
I promise if you keep reading – it relates to “This is my live ~ Surviving Fibromyalgia”.
The opening states that sometimes we act like the 4 characters in the story.
The four characters show how they each react differently to change.
Change is the one thing that is inevitable. Our daily routine of going through the motions make us forget that life is constantly changing around us.
Our initial reaction to change is to resist it because we are afraid of the unknown. Then when change happens, we stress out and react or hide.
It is trying to teach us the following: “Quoted from Dr. Spencer Johnson”

  • Change Happens. They Keep Moving The Cheese
  • Anticipate Change. Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
  • Monitor Change. Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old.
  • Adapt To Change Quickly. The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese.
  • Change.Move With The Cheese
  • Enjoy Change.Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese

Keep reading – I’ll get there….
Our Employer’s told us to write how this story relates to us and our job.
I had several thoughts:
My smarty pants reply was ”Are they trying to tell me that there is better cheese out there and I should go look for a better and different job with more cheese?”
My written reply was that I have been faced with many work changes over the past few years and that though I am one that does not like change. I have learned to adapt and continue to look for new things that I can do to help my workplace.
I wanted to say that I have always been the Character that stayed put and watched the changes occur around him. I have stayed as I have watched good and bad policies come and go, watched both good and bad employee’s leave, seen friends move on to look for their new cheese. They were like Haw. They too were scared but excited with the new change. I stay because I don’t like change. Fear has been the driving factor most of my life. I like comfort.
I have moved a total of 2 times in my life. I have worked 2 jobs in the last 20 years. I will be at my current job for 19 years this June. It is safe to say that I don’t like change.
If you have not read “Who moved the Cheese”. I encourage you to go online and read it:
After you read the story – Ok… stick with me – Here it is… this really does relate to Fibro.
I could not tell them (my Employers) that while reading the story – I was internally screaming – “This guy is getting paid to write this “Inspirational” story”. While writing and re-writing this – I tried verbally to get my thoughts across. All that I could manage was tears while I was explaining it. I feel so strong about the last paragraph. So upset and frustrated at the hidden illness and struggle that is endured by so many. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the purpose of the story. The past 2 years of my life – I have had to work my way from being a person that resists all change like Hem to strive to being a mouse.
I like my other Fibro Friends have no choice. If we do not react like the mice (searching for something new – willing to adapt) then we will not only become like the Character Hem (not willing to change) but much more worse. We will end up not leaving our homes, we will be swallowed up in our pain and our depression. Fibro and it’s evil sidekicks love to surprise us all the time with new symptoms and new diagnosis. We have to live the story. We have to anticipate not only what could happen in a reaction to what we have done but what we have not done.
We have to be ready to change to not find our cheese but to SAVE OUR SPOONS.