That was Then…This is Now Life with Fibromyalgia

Alarm rings at 5 a.m. I jump out of bed to start making fresh blueberry muffins and the evening’s crock-pot dinner. Out the door by 6 a.m. for a full day (up to 10 hours) of work followed by whatever after school activity my kiddo had for the night.

The night ends making sure our daughter’s homework is done, bath & bed, leaving me a few hours to pick up the house, play on the computer and watch TV before going to sleep (roughly 10:30 p.m.)

Flash forward 8 years…

Alarm rings at 6 a.m. Slowly, I get out of bed to get my morning medicine. I lie back down in bed hitting snooze until 6:30 a.m. The next 30 minutes I get dressed and apply my makeup. Again, I return to bed until the last alarm goes off at 7:15 a.m. I grab my bag and ease my way down the stairs to head off to a 7 hour work day. After a short drive I am home, changed into my pajamas and laying down on the couch for a nap.

I can’t recall the last time I made blueberry muffins so a week ago I decided I would bake for my family. The blueberry mix packages sat on the kitchen counter for 8 days. I finally had enough energy to make them today. It isn’t as if it takes a lot of energy to open 2 packages, add milk, stir and bake. Unfortunately, that is still more than I can do nowadays.

Then … I would religiously decorate the house the first of each month for whatever holiday was that month.

Now … It happens when it happens. It is November 12th and although my Halloween decorations have been put away, my Thanksgiving decorations have been in a tote sitting at the bottom of my stairs for a week. All I need to do is ask to have it carried upstairs. I hate asking. After all these years, I continue to struggle with asking for assistance.

Then …  I planned ahead. At the beginning of each month I would plan out and go shopping for the entire month of meals. We would seldom run out of grocery items and when we did I did the shopping and the majority of the cooking.

Now … There is no plan. I simply do not have the energy to think or create meals. For the past 4 years I have relied on my husband to do the majority of all cooking. We run out of everything often. Thankfully, our daughter is old enough to drive and will stop and pick up groceries whenever we need them.

I have spent a lot of time looking back at what I used to do and what I am not able to do any longer. My comparison list between then and now could go on and on. Socrates wrote, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on the fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Yes, it is important to be realistic about what you can do but it is equally important to not limit yourself to what you have done in the past. Instead of continuing to look at the past I plan on looking toward the future. Push myself, just a little and give myself credit when credit is do.

After all. I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life!

 

This past Sunday I attended the 4th Annual Midwest Pain Treatment Education Expo.

The first I heard about this event was this past May from my fellow advocate & friend Sara Willy. Sara is the MN/WI Ambassador for US Pain Foundation & the Vice President of the GGPAIN Foundation. I honestly did not know anything about Sara’s work with the GG Pain Foundation.

After surfing the web this is what I found ~

Gracie Gean is a chronic pain patient diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Occipital Neuralgia, Spinal Stenosis, Spondylosis, and Degenerative Disc Disease. She also discovered that she has Lyme Disease.

“Gracie Bagosy-Young is an International Chronic Pain Advocate. She is the owner of Gracie Gean Chronic Pain Advocacy & Consulting. Gracie hosts the Midwest Pain Treatment Education Expo, which is the largest in the US. She speaks on chronic pain Nationally.”

“The Expo was born out of Gracie’s frustration with the lack of resources available to patients in the Midwest.” “The goal of this event is to help you become better educated regarding treatments, how to utilize your voice with advocacy efforts and help you find local support.”

The first year the expo was held had 80 attendees. Now 4 years later, the event had 300 attendees and over 9,000 registered to stream live.

This year the Expo was held in Northbrook, Illinois (near Chicago) presented by OSKA Wellness.

I have had an opportunity to try a lot of different pain relief devices and by far have had the greatest success using the Oska Pulse. I was excited to find out that Oska Wellness folks were going to be at the expo. READ my review on Oska Pulse.

This years event included 7 speakers & 30 different vendors/booths. View a list of speakers, sponsors and vendors at GGChronicPainAdvocacy/Events.

The expo was amazing. It is always great to be surrounded by those who understand your struggles. I have been to events where it is very hard to get time to speak with the vendors or the speakers and that was not the case.

I had an opportunity to try Kangen Water® I was totally shocked to see what is in the bottle water that I drink and thought was a healthy choice.

I used the AVACEN 100.

Although I live in a state that has not approved medical cannabis I was happy to receive information offered through Illinois to share with my support group members.

I met an amazing Manual Therapist Azlaan from Advance Sports Therapy located in Naperville, Il. He was offering wet cupping sessions and I signed up. It was great. He took his time to explain what was going to happen and as it was happening. I felt so relaxed after having that partial session and recommend him to anyone.

Mary Biancalana, Owner and Director of Therapy for Chicago Center for Myofascial Pain (Relief) who I had heard give a prensentation at the TAP Chronic Pain Conference in Washington, D.C. was there educating the attendee’s on trigger point therapy.

We need more events like this to educate the pain community and give them a chance to meet qualified people in their community. Please check out the great work that Gracie is doing to help those of us living with chronic pain illnesses. Videos from the event will be posted over the next few weeks.
WWW.GGPAINFOUNDATION.ORG