Day 24: Health Mascot…

Today’s Prompt: Health Mascot. Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!

My health mascot is definitely my Tani girl. She represents everything that makes me smile. She is happy whatever we do and wherever we go… especially the beach (which is also my favorite place!). Whenever I’m down she snuggles up next to me. When I’m cold she keeps me warm. She always seems to know when I need her most.

She loves the beach as much as I do.

She’s too cool for words… even in her shades!

She brings holiday cheer to everyone… putting up with the costumes I put on her.

It doesn’t matter what the situation is… she brings me joy. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Day 23: breathe in… “let”… breathe out… “go”… (again)

Well, it’s my 23rd day of writing… I am so proud to have made it this far in the challenge! It’s a lot of writing and for those of you that are following me… a lot of reading. I really appreciate all the wonderful support during this month. Thank you!

I am really tired today and I have started and stopped this post SIX times… I am a little frustrated to say the least. Instead of forcing myself to write something that I don’t feel is worthwhile, I thought I would share a post from when I first started blogging. Hopefully this will make you laugh as much as I did when I experienced this!

Enjoy!

breathe in… “let”… breathe out… “go”…

originally posted November, 2009

Warning: I strayed from the regularly scheduled blogging and went with a more childish topic… I couldn’t resist…

So… I went to my Restorative Yoga class tonight, as I do every Thursday evening. Yet somehow tonight was going to be different.

I went to class and met up with my friend, there was only the two of us tonight. Usually there are three of us. Was this why things were different? As we enter into the yoga room. Very quiet, serene, candles lit… the lights are dimmed and I feel relaxed the moment I enter the room. I love this place. I look forward to it every week. It’s the one place I go to that I know my body will actually cooperate. I love this hour of relief that I get from my fibromyalgia. I go to my spot and put my mat down and apologize for dropping it just a bit too loudly on the ground. I whisper as I talk to my friend. It’s really warm in the room tonight. Is this what is different? No… wait, there are two men in this class. That’s different.

As I start to put my second mat down on the ground, I hear from behind me, the man laying on his mat let one loose… I mean he seriously RIPS ONE. wow. THIS is what is different.

I just keep talking to my friend like nothing happened. I’m going to give that man a one time gas pass. The class has not started yet. We are all warming up and hey… stuff happens! I’m going to let that slide. We all have our slip ups… you know, we’ve all slipped up.

The instructor comes in and we start warming up. For the next 10-15 minutes we stretch and do the normal breathing exercises to prepare for the restorative poses. I am relaxed and focusing on my breathing. The gas man is no longer on the brain.

Instructor: “Let’s get ready for our first pose.”

We all take our mats towards the walls and I get in the first pose. I am so ready to meditate.

Instructor: “I want you to just relax and let all the…….”

Gas Man strikes again… PFFFFFFFFFGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!The Gas We Pass

and again… PFFFFFGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!

and again… PFFGGGGHHHH!!!!!

and again PFFFFFFFFFFGGGGHHHHFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!

Instructor: “… stress of the week leave your mind… as you breathe in say “LET” and as you breathe out say “GO” …. “L…E….T………………G….O…..””

Seriously. SERIOUSLY??  Did he just say that? I mean I know he says that every week, but couldn’t he have come up with some new material JUST FOR TONIGHT? I was no longer relaxed. I was dying inside. I knew if I even whispered a laugh I was going to lose it. I would not be able to stop laughing. I would have to leave my favorite yoga place and never return. I would die of embarrassment for laughing like a 6-yr old at the gas man.

I couldn’t look at my friend, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think about what happened. Here I was in my yoga class… NOT relaxing. I started to count… I started to think about funerals, arguments I’ve had, anything that would NOT make me laugh. I had another 45 minutes of class… this was going to be a long class…. this was a challenge. Thank goodness my other friend didn’t come, there is absolutely no way she would have been able to make it through that moment. That would have been  my last yoga class.

Needless to say… I did make it through and the rest of the class was quiet, thank goodness!

Well, it could have been worse. I could have been the one with gas!

Thanks for reading! Stay cool.

Day 22: The Things We Forget…

I am participating in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. (Please visit WEGO Health’s blog and the WEGO Facebook page to find other writers tackling the same topics—or sign up for the challenge yourself!)

Today’s prompt: The Things We Forget. Visit http://thingsweforget.blogspot.com/ and make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?

There are so many reminders I could list, I just picked those that I always need in bright neon lights in front of me wherever I go… flashing… oh, but only during the waking hours (Lordy, I have enough issues sleeping without adding flashing neon signs!).

I know it’s crazy, but breathing is not always so easy. I find myself holding my breath all the time. Throughout the day I often have to remind myself to breathe. I take that moment to not only stop holding my breath, but also take some deep relaxing breaths.

When it comes to focus… I am so easily distracted. During my work day, I must tell myself to focus at least a few times in an hour. Frustrating! Which leads me to…

Or… mind your own beeswax. Stay on point. Don’t let shit get to you. Think before you speak. Walk away. There are so many ways to say this. Basically there is only so much energy for the stuff I need to focus on. Let all the other shit go.

Relaxing doesn’t come easy to me. I have to constantly tell myself to clear my mind, don’t let thoughts enter my mind and just be still. Doesn’t work a lot, but I try.

A really important reminder for me is to keep perspective. Don’t blow stuff out of proportion. Keep what’s important… top of mind and a priority. Life so often gets in the way until either a flare or shocking news. It’s easy to forget how important my relationship with God is, quality family time, my health… you get what I’m saying. If I have to sit in a wheelchair to go to the zoo with my family… the important point is that I’m at the zoo with my family!

As I begin this new week, I will think about these reminders and do my best to make this a good week. I hope you do as well!

Day 21: Health Madlib Poem… Captain Barbossa and My Gut

I have had one hell of a week. I have been to the doctor just about every day, yesterday twice. I have had my blood drawn three times and I’m waiting for all these results to help figure out what the heck is going on. I have found out I have iron deficient anemia. Now it’s on for the search for where the blood has gone… is going and where it’s coming from. I gotta say, I am happy that there is a valid, medically tested and confirmed reason for why I am so damn tired and having such a hard time focusing. I never go to the dr. for these things as they have become a way of life for me… this was just a very good reminder to check in every once in awhile. Coincidentally, Adrienne Dellwo, writer for about.com’s Fibro/CFS page posted up this article about anemia and FMS the day I found out. If you haven’t stopped by her site, you are definitely missing a crucial tool in your resource box.

Anemia & Fibromyalgia: How’s Your Iron Level?

It’s funny, the doctors and nurses are amazed at how I am still working and generally still somewhat functioning despite the level of pain and this new found anemia. It’s been kinda nice to hear, considering I have been feeling so lazy and dumb for the past couple months. I don’t mean that in a critical way, it’s just the easiest way to say how I’ve been feeling… and it’s true. In actuality, I haven’t really been completely depressed about this (wierd, right?), sadly I think I just accepted the reality of FMS. Maybe some of the realities of this illness should not be accepted so easily.

Figuring out when to call the doctor and when to carry on is so difficult. We are all so used to leaving the doctor’s office feeling like “that was a complete waste of time” (and I usually have a word that begins with F in that sentence even though I am trying not to use words that start with F…). I think we all start to give up on ever feeling good again. I had definitely given up on even thinking I would feel good about eating again. I always feel, for lack of a better term… yucky. I really want to eat something (because I LOVE food!) and then when I do… I feel like crap after. I was telling my husband, it’s like when Barbossa is telling Ms. Turner in his quarters what it feels like to never really live or die and he explains… “The more we gave ‘em away, the more we came to realize the drink would not satisfy, food turned to ash in our mouths, and all the pleasurable company in the world could not slake our lust. We are cursed men, Miss Turner. Compelled by greed, we were, but now we are consumed by it…“, he goes on to say “For too long I’ve been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I’ve been starving to death and haven’t died. I feel nothing…“. I sometimes wonder if i was on that quest and I took some of those gold coins. Someone please tell me where I put those (as you must know I forgot). I’d like to put them back.

For fun, here are a couple sites to see Barbossa’s quote:

Well, I should get on to what the prompt was for today since I am participating in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. (Please visit WEGO Health’s blog and the WEGO Facebook page to find other writers tackling the same topics—or sign up for the challenge yourself!)

Today’s Prompt: Health Madlib Poem. Go to : http://languageisavirus.com/cgi-bin/madlibs.pl and fill in the parts of speech and the site will generate a poem for you. Feel free to post the Madlib or edit it to make it better.

Well….. I did this. I followed the prompt, went to the website and I gotta say… not impressed. This isn’t the best use of my blog, but I’ve already used my two “get out of post” cards.

This is the poem as it was turned out by the madlib…. like I said… not impressed. I look forward to the next prompt.

mysterious dog’s mysterious dog

ccarefully i have never imagine, loudly beyond
any bed, your fibromyalgia have their funny:
in your most adventurous palm tree are things which endure me,
or which i cannot listen because they are too quietly

your clumsy look somewhere will unovercome me
though i have photograph myself as rainbow,
you pretend always doctor by doctor myself as park sleep
(understanding accidentally, absentmindedly) her beautiful flower

or if your toy be to whisper me, i and
my hammock will escape very painfully, courageously,
as when the banana of this bed gather
the beach irritably everywhere promiseing;

nothing which we are to reach in this kitchen talk
the car of your quirky mom: whose dad
walk me with the sister of its brother,
runing illness and depression with each danceing

(i do not dream what it is about you that wish
and write; only something in me believe
the grandma of your fibromyalgia is strong than all park)
grandpa, not even the caterpillar, has such amazing monkey

- sing & e.e. cummings

Day 20: Miracle Cure… (not really)

Today’s prompt: Miracle Cure. Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure?

I thought and thought about this prompt. Just getting past the word “miracle” was difficult for me. I’m sure everyone has tried at least one thing in their lives that they thought would miraculously cure them based on testimony and research… only to be completely disappointed at the actual result.

So, here’s my write up (I felt like I was back in school again writing up this pretend article):

San Jose, CA. A report has come out today from a panel of doctors reporting that they have found a cure for Depression. This panel of doctors from around the world have discovered that by including a specific type of food in the diet, patients have responded successfully and appear to be symptom-free. After experimenting and testing this theory on patients around the world for the last few years, this is no longer theory but fact. We now have a cure for depression.

What is this miracle food you wonder? It is a new type of fruit that scientists have been developing from an array of fruits from different countries over the last decade. This fruit grows in any type of soil and under the best and worst conditions making it easy for anyone to grow once they are made available to the public. The best part about this news is that the cost is almost negligible. People can grow this at home or soon be able to purchase at any grocery store.

This fruit is similar to an apple, has a wonderfully aromatic scent, and a flavor no one has been able to put their finger on.

Once FDA approval has been obtained, the name of the fruit will be released.

Of course the above story is not real… but one day I hope something that does not require a prescription or a big bank account and is natural will be the ultimate cure for depression.

Thanks for visiting today! Have a great pain-free week-end!

Day 19: 5 Dinner Guests…

I am participating in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. Please visit WEGO Health’s blog and the WEGO Facebook page to find other writers tackling the same topics—or sign up for the challenge yourself!

Today’s Prompt: 5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?

If I could have dinner with five people, they would definitely be the following:

  1. My Godmother
  2. My Grandmother
  3. My auntie Kei-chan
  4. My auntie Tomo-chan
  5. My mom

These are all the most awesome women, all who are now passed away, except for my mom (Thank God I still have her!). I believe this would bring my mom the most joy to share another meal, more importantly the conversation, joy of being with her family and best friend and oh my goodness… the pure laughter that would result from the things that would be said. I can’t even imagine how cool this would be!

I know with all my heart, during the time we would be together, any thought of pain for both my mom and I would be non-existent. For those few hours, it would be just like the old days when I was the child listening to all the conversation going on around me, taking it all in. Learning and laughing.

What an amazing dinner this would be… good food and the best company ever. Another perfect day in the making.

Day 18: My day at the zoo…

I had the most amazing day at the zoo on Sunday. Today I thought I’d share some of the pictures that I took. It’s been a long time since the last time I visited and there have been so many cool improvements! I can’t wait to go back (hopefully next time I will be able to walk and leave the wheels at home).

As I thought about these pictures, it was easy to caption them with living with chronic pain. I hope you enjoy.

One step at a time and learning from experience... these are important in our journey with invisible illnesses.

This little guy was too cute running and jumping everywhere... my daughter took this picture of him hangin' from the tree. Through all challenges and difficult days, we have to remember to have fun, hang loose!