Day 16: Pinboard…

The prompt today is to create a pinboard for my health. I created one just before I joined this writing challenge. I have been posting most of my prompts from this challenge there.

My three favorite prompts so far in the challenge are:

Day 5: Ekphrasis Post… WHAT? Ekphrawhatis? #HAWMC #Fibroymyalgia #Depression

Day 7: TUI… Talking Under the Influence of Pain #fibromyalgia #depression #HAWMC

Day 11: THANK YOU! Remembering my very first post: The F word… Fibromyalgia #HAWMC

Short and sweet today… it’s been a rough one for me. Rough or not, I can’t forget to wish my dad the very best birthday in the world!! Without him, I would never have this ability to communicate.

Take care everyone!

Tamiko

Day 15: My Writing Style…

Today’s prompt: Writing with Style. What’s your writing style? Do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? Do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?


In a perfect world, I truly love pen to paper. I am easily obsessed with stationary and pens and journals and all things paper. Put me in a stationary or nice card store and I’m in heaven. I would love to have hand written all my blogs and have them in a nice journal to reflect upon now and again. The reality is, I can no longer write without pain. Add to the pain that my writing looks horrible these days and it only leads to frustration and emotional pain for me. It ends up being just another reminder of what I’m facing on a daily basis.

Not to wallow in despair over this… I’m laughing to myself at that sentence I just wrote… “wallow in despair”? Seriously? I digress for a moment, but bear with me as I have been watching a lot of PBS Masterpiece Classics and Mysteries. I love Inspector Lewis, Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes… etc. I think I may have picked that up somewhere. That is definitely not something you’d just hear me say on a daily basis.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I am not sure what my writing style is. I try to stay positive, I’d love it if people smile or laugh when they read my blogs. I don’t beat myself up if I tend to have a down posting now and again as that’s what life is. Life is not always rosy, but my goal is always to end on a happier, positive vibe. I never want people to visit my blog and leave sadder or more depressed. There’s enough of that in real life, I believe most of us with these invisible diseases want hope, something to make us believe there are solutions out there. We want to know people are living successful, happy lives – or even “living” life at all. I mean getting through each day with some type of success to celebrate, small or large. It keeps us going.

When I am writing (or should I say typing?) My mind generally goes super fast and I have a difficult time typing as fast as the thoughts are coming. Many times I’ll be typing and half way through my mind will just go blank. Maybe it’s a signal to stop and review what I have typed so far, maybe it’s just my brain deciding it’s gone on overload and needs to reboot. Whichever it is, I either review and throw it away, re-focus what I have so far or keep on going after making a few edits here and there.

I don’t have planned days to blog. I am very inconsistent and go through phases where I don’t even look at my blog for months. When I am in a flare or particularly bad time of depression, I don’t really want to write. The words would only depress me and everyone else. I just don’t have the energy mentally to pull it together. This writing challenge has definitely been a true “challenge” for me. I am proud of myself for keeping up with the prompts and I have made it a goal to get through these thirty days. It’s been very pleasant and more relaxing and fun than I thought it would be. I find myself thinking about the prompts throughout the day.

On all of my postings, I will wake up thinking about something I want to write about or during the day I’ll mentally have a topic pop up in my head. I will think about it and mentally write something in my head and in the end if I am really feeling good about it I’ll jump on my laptop and start typing. There are a lot of days where I just think about a topic for hours and end up not writing anything – or I’ll start writing and decide I don’t really want to complete the post. I admire authors and writers tremendously for their ability to focus and get through writing a book or people who keep coming up with fresh ideas for their blogs. It’s not easy to hold people’s attention. Especially these days with anything and everything at your fingertips on the internet. When I hit the publish button on my postings, I always have a feeling of “did I just do the right thing?”, “will anyone read this?”, “did I say anything I shouldn’t have?”, “Am I the only one who feels this way?”. Receiving the positive feedback from people is always reassuring.

This blog, my diary of my journey with Fibromyalgia, Depression and ADD has helped me in so many ways. I hope, if you haven’t started a blog, this inspires you in some way to start one up. It’s not as much about readership as it is about self-realization through the writing process. It’s a great way to express yourself and help those around you… your family and close friends to understand what you are going through without having to articulate it verbally. I am not good at talking about what I experience and this is my way of communicating. I know my dad reads these postings aloud to my mother and it really makes me feel good to know I have my best supporters with me on this journey. My husband reads and comments to me each time I post something new.

Well, I am about to go and have my dream day… a trip to the zoo with the fam. I’m really looking forward to this day! I wish all of you a wonderful Sunday and hopefully this will be your dream day too.

Gentle hugz!

Tamiko

Day 14: My Dream Day…

If you could have the perfect day, what would it look like? My dream day… hmmmmm, well let me start from the beginning.

Imagine waking up after sleeping for 8 hours… 8 straight hours of the most comfortable sleep you could possibly imagine. When I wake up I am refreshed, I grab my book off my nightstand and read for an hour before everyone is up. I get out of bed and realize I am feeling really good and go downstairs. My husband and I make breakfast and the whole family sits at the table to share our first meal of the day.

After the kitchen is all cleaned up, I go upstairs and take a relaxing shower and get ready to go out. I feel energized after taking my shower and I’m ready for the day.

We all pile in the car and we go for a drive to anywhere. I am relaxed and the conversation is fun and the car is full of laughter and happiness. Wherever we end up and whatever we do, this day is full of love, laughter and joy. At the end of the day, I get in bed and smile. I say my prayers and thank God for this perfect day.

I don’t need or want anything extravagant, I just want to be with my family and for us to all have fun and laugh and play, have great food and enjoy being with each other.

What does your perfect day look like? Is it attainable?

I wish that you all your perfect dream day soon!

Tamiko

Day 13: 10 Things I Can’t Live Without

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!

I like this prompt, it makes me realize how blessed I really am. I have all of this in my life today and as long as I have God in my life, anything is possible. What a great way to start the day! Imagine a life without Tivo or my laptop or the internet … it actually seems kinda nice.

God

My family

My friends

Laughter

Freedom

Books

Music

The beach

Blue Skies

70 degree weather

Day 10: Dear 16-year old me…

Hey girl,

You have experienced a lot in your first 16 years. I am writing this letter to you to share with you how I am feeling about where you are in your life and I also want to spread a little knowledge from my life experiences. Knowing you, it will take some time to digest any advice to determine whether or not it’s worth your while to pay attention to it. I understand, all I ask is that you read this letter through to the end and keep an open mind.

First, let me tell you how I see you as a person, and honestly, how I believe the world sees you. It’s important, for me, that you hear this from me as one of my hopes for you is that you never question these things. I get that, at your age, it’s difficult to deal with all the pressures socially, educationally and emotionally. Just know that you are loved, most importantly.

  • You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • You are strong… you are so strong. Don’t let this strength get in the way. Don’t confuse strength with pride. Strength will hold you up (with God’s help) in difficult and challenging times. Pride will pull you down if you let it get in the way. It’s okay to be wrong, and it’s even better if you can admit it (out loud).
  • You are giving and loyal. These are awesome attributes and will bring wonderful people into your life. Save that loyalty for those that treat you with the respect and love that you deserve.
  • You are smart. You are smart. I’ll say it again… You. Are. Smart. Give yourself a break. You do not have to know everything. It’s okay to ask for help, it will make your life easier if you learn how to ask for help now vs. when you are older. People want to help you, you just have to let them in.
  • Spontaneity is a wonderful thing… keep it up!
  • You are intuitive, use that to help yourself and others. Use that when making choices that may change the course of your life… those choices that will make an impact in just one moment.

Below are some of the things, looking back in my life that I’ve learned, that I hope will help you grow as a person…

  • Your life is precious and it’s a gift. It can be taken away at any moment. Push all the negative people, images, stuff away and close the door on it. No need to let that back in your life. If someone or something is not bringing joy or uplifting your spirit or teaching you something that will make you a better person… remove them or it from your life. It may not be easy, but you will feel better without that negativity.
  • Give people a chance. They will make mistakes and there will be times when you will get hurt, but your true friends will always be there for and with you through thick and thin. It’s not the quantity of friends in your life, it’s definitely the quality. I truly believe less is more when it comes to friends. Invest your time in friendships that don’t involve manipulation, lies, judgement, insecurity…
  • Take the time to enjoy life. If you are always worrying or wishing for what you want to happen next, you are not able to enjoy what you have now… and I believe you are blessed. You have a lot to be thankful for.
  • There’s a time and a place for everything in your life. There’s a time to work, a time to learn, a time to play, a time to rest…  keep a balance so at the end of each day, you feel good about yourself.
  • Watch the world around you and take the good from what you see. Leave judgement to God. Everybody is human, makes mistakes, has a bad day… or just maybe needs a friend to uplift them. You can do that, do your best to uplift others, not judge, criticize, embarrass… Treat every person you meet with respect and dignity.
  • Love yourself and others will love you. Treat yourself kind.

The reason why you feel down and you have a difficult time in school is not because you are crazy or because you are stupid or because you can’t hack it… you have Depression and ADD. It’s not the end of the world, you can manage your mental health so that you can be successful. Educate yourself.

You only get one life, make wise choices so you will live a long, healthy, happy and content life. Your friendships and relationships with family will support you through the good and the difficult. I hope and pray you will marry a man who you will be happy with every day. Someone who you can share anything and everything with and build a forever live with.

I have learned many lessons the hard way. The most difficult has been believing my body would always be there, no matter how I treated it. This, I can tell you, is not true. I am a middle-aged woman with the body of a 90-year old. I have Fibromyalgia now and I believe one of the main reasons is because I didn’t keep a balance in my younger years. I worked and worked and worked until my body said “NO MORE!”. What I worked and worked for, at the end of the day, was not worth what I am dealing with now. I could have spent more time with my family, I could have spent more time reading a book and relaxing, I could have traveled more… there’s so many “I could have’s”. I hope you take this to heart and make different choices in your life.

Most important… have faith. With God on your side, you can do no better!

God Bless you.

Day 8: Best conversation I had this week

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!

 

Rinnnnnnggggg (not really what my phone sounds like since it’s a mobile, but I have no idea how to get that translated here)…

Me: Hello?

Man on phone: Hi this is Dr. X calling, we have a phone appointment scheduled today. How are you doing?

Me: I’m doing okay, how are you?

Dr. X: Well I’m doing good. I understand you had an appt with your primary care physician and she has referred you back to us here at the Pain Clinic. So, it doesn’t sound like you are really doing “okay”.

Me: Well, yeah… I never know what to say when people ask that question, it’s kind of a default answer. I have been in a horrible flare for the past few weeks. I don’t really understand what the trigger was, I can normally attribute it to the weather or an event. This time it’s has come and doesn’t appear to be going away… thus the appt with my dr. Normally I don’t go in or call because I know there’s nothing she can do for me.

Dr. X: Yes, I understand. With your situation, it’s a good thing that we are talking again. I know how hard it is to manage day to day and your right, your primary care dr. is probably at a loss. I spoke to Awesome Nurse (I’ll call her that, because she is) about your case before I called you and she mentioned what the two of you discussed the last time you spoke. We both felt it would be good to talk to you about some of the changes going on here.

Me: Okay.

Dr. X: Since you went through our Pain Program, we have made significant changes. We have a new Psychiatrist here and we have revised the program completely. We have introduced a group support structure and incorporated movement strategies into the program. We have very good results and the success rate so far is pretty high.

Me: This sounds interesting… and the conversation continued for another 15 minutes.

When I first saw this prompt for the Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge, I was a little wary. More than a little, I was thinking this is one of the days I’m going to miss. No conversation stood out that I wanted to share… no good conversation I should say. My dr.’s appt was pretty disappointing earlier in the week and I’ve been in so much pain I haven’t really been conversing. This call that happened today gave me hope. Dr. X explained this program and how it works, the intake process and really gave me a great feeling. He said he’s seen people that have been in pain for a very long time, people like me he said, that have tried everything and he felt like they had really seen life changing differences after they completed the program.

He said that people on medication and rely on it, people that want to get off their meds, people that don’t want to take meds… basically whatever choices people have made about meds, it doesn’t effect their participation in the program. He told me that they don’t judge or discriminate, at the end of the day their goal is for people to be able to live better lives. A holistic approach, not just to “fix” something, but to change the way we are able to live. Part of the intake process and the program overall is to help determine what each individual needs, whether it’s medication or emotional support or whatever.

Like I said… I have hope and I can feel that sunshine again. I trust these people. They gave me life before. The Kaiser pain program is amazing. If you have one, and you are a member… I really encourage you to get a referral and jump in with both feet. You will be in a pain friendly environment where you will not be judged and most important… you will be BELIEVED.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity. I’d say wish me luck, but I have faith and that trumps luck every time!

Thanks for reading.

Tamiko

Day 3: Superpower Day… Loving Yourself

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!

If I had a superpower what would it be?

The power to heal. The power to heal would be so amazing. Just thinking about it makes my head spin. That was my initial thought when I started writing. I have written and re-written this a few times. It was sorta like… “This is a no brainer, the power to heal! What more is there to say?” I kept thinking and thinking and at the end of each little writing session, I was a little frustrated and kept wanting to just toss this posting in the garbage. I’m not sure why this question was so difficult for me.

I am sitting here watching Oprah’s Master Class and Reba McIntyre was on… and something about her vibe made me realize… I know what my superpower would be! Yes, the power to heal would be awesome and there are sooooooooo many people I would use that power on. When I was thinking about this super power ability and the power of healing was on my mind… I started making lists of all the people I want to heal. But for some reason, it didn’t give me the answer I was looking for.

As I am sitting here watching the Oprah show, I realize I want the power to give people value and self-love. I would love to be able to give people the ability to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night knowing they matter. No matter what challenges are faced in life, at the end of the day – they always see the glass half full. Anxiety, depression, judgement and insecurity don’t live here. They may not love their job or understand why they have been dealt the cards in life they have, but that doesn’t poison their view of life. Self-love is not selfishness or self-absorbed. Self-love is loving yourself for who you are, understanding there’s room for improvement and building your character in a more awesome way along the journey. I also believe this drives acceptance and understanding of everyone around you. This, to me, would be amazing.

So! There you have it. Day 3 of this month of blogging and I think I’m doing alright so far. :) Thanks for reading! Please leave your thoughts, I love to read them!

Stay cool and here’s hoping for a pain-free day!

Tamiko

P.S. The prompt for today reminded me of a prior post I wrote: Fibromyalgia and Doing “IT ALL”… What Do You Think? I still want that invisible plane!