What Would You Do? Stand Up For Your Pain!

The cameras are rolling…. All eyes on you…. You have probably seen the TV show, “What Would You Do?” I was going to blog about a situation I was in a couple of weeks ago. A truly, stupid situation that I needed some time to get through, mellow out and say to myself, GET THE HELL OVER IT! I wanted to vent and get that shit out of my system, but it would not have helped and it would not have helped any of you! I have to keep reminding myself every hour, every minute of the day to stay positive these days. It’s a challenge, but sometimes that’s what one has to do. Right now, that’s what it is. Prayer and giving my cares and worries over to God is what I’m doing.

My life has been seriously out of balance. Work has been crazy busy – way too many hours. Family and friends close to me are in need of God’s healing hands. The weather has been crazy, mostly rainy and cold. I’ve been in a constant flare for what seems like forever – it’s only been a few weeks. For the first time in a long time I have increased my dose on one of my meds. It sucks, I don’t know if any of you feel this way, but increasing meds makes me feel like a failure, like I’m not managing my pain like I’m supposed to. I agree to a certain extent that I shouldn’t feel that way, but at the same time, I also feel I should be in control of my body. FMS is a crazy place to live. Depression has stolen a lot of my mind the past few weeks and I really want it back. I have fought and fought and fought, I FINALLY feel like I may be starting to come back, it’s so damn hard. It’s like climbing up hill through quicksand (because I have done that before, right?). Trust me, my family really, REALLY prefer the not deeply depressed mother/ wife over the scary/ ugly mean lady that’s been living in the house lately. She scares me too.

Speaking of my family, well specifically my husband… I am not CO-dependent, I am SOUL-dependent (and yes I meant to spell it that way) on (on? of? to?) my husband. I have been blessed with a husband who takes wonderful care of me. He does everything for my children and me. He literally does all the cooking, cleaning, driving, care-taking… this man does my hair, when my daughter isn’t doing it! He also deals with all that comes with chronic pain and depression, oh yeah and let’s not forget – throw in a little bit of ADD. What an effed-up combination! After almost 25 years together he has to be wondering what the hell he signed up for!! There is no return policy here. He had 30 days, but those days have passed and he’s now stuck with me. Thank God!

So! I started out talking about a TV show that puts folks in really awkward situations. A show that ultimately pushes those same to people make uncomfortable decisions. Now I ask you, when you are in a situation where you need to stand up for your pain, do you? Do you stand up for your pain or do you end up suffering? I made a decision to stand up for my pain and I also ended up suffering because I stood up. I am happy I made that decision because I was able to really see some true colors come out.

At the end of the day, most of us can barely stand up for long periods of a time, so why suffer any more than you have to, right? I mean, c’mon! Please do yourself righteous and STAND UP FOR YOUR PAIN!

Thanks for reading! Please tell me what you think, leave your comments and, as always, stay cool!

Tamiko

This Too Shall Pass… I Am Blessed.

Wow… Where have I been? It’s been over two months since I have written something… and to be totally honest, it’s been over almost that long since I have even visited my blog page. Six months ago, if someone would have said I would let that let that much time pass without viewing my page, I would have just ignored them because I would have thought to myself “NO Flippin WAY!”. Well, it’s true. Now that I’m here, that old familiar feeling is back. It’s the middle of the night, I’m sitting in the dark, on the couch with just the dim light from my laptop…. except this time… same couch – different house.

Where do I start? My life, my life, my life… Lord, I know You do not shoulder more than one can bear… I. Just. Am. So. Very. Tired. I really do try not to complain, I know there are people so downtrodden and their lives really suck, I know I have no right to complain…

Here’s the deal… let me bottom line it for you… I feel like I am starring in a country song where you play it backwards to figure out everything that has been lost (I should win an award for this one!)… I am just not mending… I don’t even know how to mourn anymore. I know hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units up and down the west coast and unfortunately so do my children. What started out as a good learning situation for my children when they were young, has turned out to be a continuous cycle of “Whose Funeral Are We Going to This Month?” … Scarred for life.

Where the hell was I going with this? Oh yeah… I was bottom lining it… let me get back to it…

So! Important in a Chronic Pain Patient’s life… Truth. Honesty. Well in anyone’s life, but more so in a chronic pain person’s life because you spend your entire life explaining your pain to people who do not believe you!

Shortly after the passing of my very close friend Steve’s passing, I lost my Godfather which seemed “suddenly” to me (way too soon as I just really wanted more time!)… Very close after that… we had a traumatic experience with a dog that we were really hoping to adopt (all of my 4-legged blogger friends would totally relate to my experience but Lumpy is in a happy home now!) Well, my son entered college and turned 18 and then my husband and I found out we needed to move out of our house we had lived in for over 10 years. We had less than 2 weeks to vacate. So! I found us a house to rent and we packed up our memories and our furniture and moved to our new “home”. That was the 1st week of November… and did I tell you I was on disability and went back to work the second week of September?

For those of you that were around my blog last year… I was blessed to get out and help pick the tree this year and my husband and I trimmed it this year!

I have this horrible feeling there is a big ass dam inside my body somewhere secret stored up and it’s just going to open up one day… God help the folks that are around on that day. Poor souls… I have a huge smile on my face right now… because Lord knows, all you can do is smile when you think about the poor souls who will have to deal with my ass when I unload on them!

So, now that you are caught up with where I have been and what I have been up to since the last time I blogged….

After all I have been through…

my family still makes me laugh at least once or five or ten times a day.

My parents are still with me and I thank God every single day for this.

I am blessed.

I still have my brothers, sisters and their families and my friends and their families around me.

I am blessed.

I still have my five senses.

I am blessed.

(Ummm I did not say I HAVE sense, don’t get crazy here).

My husband still wakes up every morning and goes to sleep to me.

I am truly truly blessed.

I have fibromyalgia, ADHD and chronic depression and yes…

I am blessed.

For me, it is important to remind myself to remember what I have and to do my best to stay positive. Please be positive with me. There’s enough negativity out there…

Thanks for reading! Stay cool…. and God bless all of you and Happy Holidays!

Who is Your Lighthouse? Every Fibromite Needs At Least One…

sometimes life is not what it seems. these days, every day feels that way to me. i am not working right now due to my medical situation, my blogger friends will know without a doubt why… but i feel guilty. i can’t quite work out my emotions. this is not a vacation, this is not time to work, this is time to heal. wow. time to heal. i say it out loud and i still can’t believe it. if i do things that i believe are healing for me, i still don’t feel right. this is crazy. i am a grown adult. i am lost.

i can remember the moment the words came out of my mouth. “my doctor has taken me off work.” from that moment on, there was no turning back. i was both scared shitless and relieved at the same time. so many questions going through my head, i couldn’t turn the volume down.

  • would i be able to heal?
  • would i have a job to come back to?
  • what does this mean?
  • how is this going to effect my friends at work?
  • what will my children think of me?
  • can i make this change?
  • how will my husband handle yet another burden on his already heavy load?

question after question just kept coming up and before i could answer another question would come up… and then all the forever questions… oh shit what will i do if something happens to my husband? i can’t take care of myself, much less my children… why the hell did this happen to me? why now? why did my friend just pass away without giving me the chance to talk to him just one more time to hear his crazy ass laughter? why can’t i pick and choose when i want to be in pain? why can’t it be obvious that i have a medical condition so people will know i am not okay? (i mean… seriously, i much prefer to look anti-social at parties… that is so much better! [btw, i just told my daughter that sarcasm is bad]  i always end up sitting in one place or better yet even… like today, having to take a nap because the pain was so bad… nice!) i know this is why many of my chronic pain friends do not go out, but that is not the solution. i want to go out and be with friends and family…

warning – i digress here….

i am watching my children, nieces, nephews, and their friends grow up and what a generation we have coming up around us! these. children. amaze. me. their determination, assertiveness, independence… they have it all. they have grown up with so much technology and knowledge compared to what we grew up with. they have access to so much more information at their fingertips… and they access it and use it with ease… we have raised some strong-minded youth. they know what they like, what they want and by the time they can vote … they will not hesitate to make their opinions known. it’s an interesting time. for me personally, sometimes i just want to scream, i get so frustrated trying to raise my children. they know what they want, have so much knowledge, i can’t battle them – don’t have the energy to fight them. most the time i just want to hold them so tight and not let go. i know they will leave me soon and i will only see them when they want to visit. my time with them will be  solely on their terms. their time with me so far has been on my terms. the rest of their life will definitely be on their terms…. how did i get to this topic? hmmmmm…. just typing and this is what came off the top of my head.

and now back to my original post…

as you can see, i am having a very difficult time focusing in one area. i am struggling to wade through this quicksand of emotions. i am trying to journal again. i thought that it would help me “find myself” so to speak. so far not a word on paper in my new pretty journal. zip. nada. nothing. the big zero. “How to Find the Inner You”, “How to Redefine Your Life”, “Where are You?”, “The Map to the Real You”, “The True You”, “This is Your Real Life”, “Your Life Begins Now”, “Life After Chronic Pain”, “Redefining the New You”… etc. all titles of books that would really help me now… if they existed (and they probably do, i just don’t want to pay the price for them, i mean,  after the title, what the hell do I want with them?) i have no patience to read a self-help book… i am just really trying to find a way to get myself to stop! write what i’m feeling down! and listen! and really… is this possible? i have journaled all my life, but for some reason, it really is asking a lot of me. you’ll just have to take my word on this one. (by the way, if you are thinking of writing a book and you were planning on using one of those titles above… ummmmm…. go for it. i’ll just take a one time cut. :) i know God has a path for me already written, i just need to stop! and listen! to Him. i never was very good at listening… my husband can definitely vouch for this. (oh man! did i really just put that in writing?)

so… why the lighthouse image for my blog this week? i’ll tell you why. two beautiful women celebrate their birthdays this week. i look to these women to provide safety in the dark for me and they have no idea how much they save me on a continual basis. one beautiful woman because she is and has been my best friend for the past 20+ years and has been there for me through thick and thin and even though i know i don’t call as much as i should… just knowing if i ever need anything i know she is there.  she gave me the very very best gift of all, my beautiful goddaughter. i would never have made it to this point in my life, if not for her love and strength… i would not be who i am without her in my life. she taught me how to be a professional, how to know and appreciate God, how to be a parent, how to be a girly-girl and without her in my life i would not have been so honored and blessed to know and love her Mother (and yes that is with a capital “M”!)… it would take a lifetime to just say how much she has blessed my life.

the second beautiful woman because through the friendship of our children, i have been blessed with the friendship of this woman. she has given of her heart over and over and over again and always ever so quietly. there is no way i would have survived the last six years without her friendship. she has a calming effect on me the moment i know she is around. her thoughtfulness, sense of humor, no bullshit attitude is so awesome! i look forward to strengthening our friendship with each birthday we celebrate.

they are my lighthouse in the storm that can be my life. dependable, steady… always there. i celebrate them. i hope that all of you have a lighthouse in your life. there are definitely a few other folks who are in this category who i will celebrate in a later blog…

thank you for reading! stay cool… please let me know how you are doing, leave a comment and let me know what’s on your mind.

take care and here’s a gentle hug for all my chronic pain readers.

tamiko

PS. Thank you so much to everyone!! I just passed 3000 hits to my blog this past week… that is too amazing… THANK YOU!!!

I Close My Eyes…

I notice I close my eyes a lot these days…

When I am in physical pain.

I close my eyes.

When I am hurt emotionally.

I close my eyes.

When I am mad.

I close my eyes.

When I am sad.

I close my eyes.

When I am frustrated.

I close my eyes.

When I am tired… exhausted.

I close my eyes.

When I need to think.

I close my eyes.

When my heart is feeling scratched and torn.

I close my eyes.

When I feel disrespected and I am about to lose my mind.

I close my eyes.

When I am talking and I’m not being heard.

I close my eyes.

When I need to take a mental break.

I close my eyes.

I find myself thinking what it must feel like to be blind…. memorizing my surroundings and taking mental note of what I want to remember. Visualizing in my mind the environment I want to keep in my memory if I am not able to see.

What is this about? I have no idea. I have just noticed that more and more in the last six months, it is a physical response that I have started to use. It was not something intentional, but also not something I decided I didn’t like. I like it. I like that it makes me stop and take a moment to close the world out and take a break. It tells me… “don’t lose control…. just take a moment and get it together.” This life or any life is not easy. God did not put us on earth for “easy”, we are all here for different reasons. If we accept that and stop fighting it, then life becomes easi-“er”.

I believe I know why I am here. I am put in situations and I help out where I am needed. In the end I am definitely rewarded. God is good to me. As long as I look at the big picture and don’t just think about “ME”, I do well. This life is not about me.

It’s interesting, I got up this morning, to write about something completely different. God certainly does work in mysterious ways.

I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave your comments.

Stay cool and have a happy Easter!

Fibromyalgia and Doing “IT ALL”… What Do You Think?

Okay… here’s the thing. I’m just going to say it. I don’t get how people with chronic pain manage to do “IT ALL”. I am sitting in the kitchen that I made a mess; because I don’t want to sit at the desk that I left a mess; because I don’t want to sit in my bedroom that I left a mess. Honestly, there are not that many rooms left in the house. My son’s room smells like something or God forbid someone died in. My daughter has friends jumping around, hopefully not breaking the furniture in her room, and it is extremely loud in there so I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. My one sanctuary room, “the living room” in a very deep booming voice), I kind of have not allowed myself to go in so I don’t ruin it… you know the room I’m talking about. When you were growing up, it was the room that had the plastic covered furniture in it. The room no one was allowed to actually enjoy themselves in. Only grown ups were allowed in there, and only on special occasions. Sooooooo, when I grow up, I will let myself go in there! Until then, it’s just for special occasions… and I haven’t yet forced the plastic over the furniture… don’t push me, I might just go there! (if I was reading this out loud to you I would say “

Back to my topic… I can’t even stay on topic, much less do “IT ALL”, which of course IS my topic! whew! This is starting to confuse me (which as you know is not too difficult to do…). So! Since the holidays, I have had one hell of a time finding time to

  • tweet,
  • blog,
  • work my full-time+ job,
  • eat right,
  • spend time with my family,
  • exercise/ do my physical therapy,
  • read,
  • research fibro,
  • spend time with God (which should be #1),
  • spend time with family/ friends
  • paper craft

Obviously the must do’s always get done because they have to. Once prioritized, I thought it looked like this:

  1. work

Then I sat here for a while… and I decided I would rearrange things a bit. One priority just sucks… and it’s selfish and stupid, not to mention it’s not much of a life and I refuse to make that my life (did you say that in one breath?)! At one point in my life, that is actually how I lived… yes, I know, it is very sad, but true. I refuse to let that be the case now!

So, here’s what I will work on… AGAIN (because I keep forgetting and hopefully this time I will pay attention!): IN THIS ORDER…

  1. God
  2. My health
  3. My family
  4. My job
  5. My papercrafting

In between those things, I will tweet and blog. I will do my best and I will accept I can’t do it all. If I’m successful, I will get less and less of those looks from my husband where he’s shaking his head like I’m crazy because I’ve just taken on the world. If I’m successful… I. Will. Be. Content. Because I am content, I will have less flare ups… you see? I do get “IT”, I just have to accept that I am not Wonder Woman and I can’t do “IT ALL”. Those are two totally different things. But seriously, if I was Wonder Woman… I would totally dig that plane she had.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. Stay cool!

whew! i’m still standing. or rather sitting. or am i passed out on the floor?? all i know is… i made it through the holidays and now… i’m getting ready for 2010!!

merry christmas!! i’m still standing. or rather sitting. or am i passed out on the floor? all i know is… i made it through!!

what a whirlwind holiday season this has been! most days i had no idea if i was coming or going. i was foggy brain multi-tasking which, trust me, was the scariest thing ever. i mean it. think of this… my family room had about 15 projects going on, you could not see the floor, the table tops, the chairs, the couches, it was absolute chaos in there… but for me? i was workin’ it. i had three 6-foot tables in that room, i swear when i wasn’t in there, there were little project angels helping me… (a girl can dream, right?) i have to really give it to my husband, he let me do my thang (that’s right THANG). he generally (and by generally i really mean always, can’t stand it, has no patience for it) hates clutter and if that room was not the ultimate, extreme definition of clutter, i don’t know what is… but he just soldiered on each day, for weeks, and let me work. i’m pretty sure he knew i would have lost my mind if he said something, but that, my friends, is support.

i gotta tell you, i had a lot going on before that big guy was comin’ down my chimney… i had:

  • eight 12×12 scrapbook calendars to make (only 3 of which were the same) so i was designing scrapbook pages for hours!,
  • 28 kids to buy for (thank goodness for amazon.com!!) – let me tell you those lightning deals on amazon saved my “you know what”,
  • one 12×12 album to scan and copy to create two smaller 8×8 albums (seriously can santa bring me a 12×12 scanner next year?? scanning a page 4 times is so not fun!! can you say 26 x 4? and honestly my husband did all the scanning, what a guy!),
  • two desk calendars (thankfully there’s snapfish where i went to create online) and
  • two poster collage calendars (again i love snapfish!)
  • christmas cards (last minute decision… snap! fish!) and
  • i helped my daughter make eight custom designed tshirts (what was i thinking…. i was thinking in October… that she needed to start, which is what i told her… told her in November… told her December 1… 2… 3… you get what i’m sayin’… her beautiful brother helped me in the middle of the night to get these and the calendars done)
  • in addition to her one 12×12 scrapbook calendar… (again, why do i encourage the start of all these projects? i love the feeling of frustration and stress all at the same time… it’s such a yummy feeling! and honestly (again) i didn’t really do anything but encourage/motivate/yell/yell/yell at her to get it done) but… her creations were awesome! i have to say it again… totally awesome!!!

and all this in the span of the three weeks before santa arrives… 80% of it the 5 days prior to… oh yeah, totally forgot…i also had:

  • the cookies to bake, which the kids did (thank goodness for auntie cheryl who faithfully comes every year to lead the troops while i quality check the end result)
  • the tree to decorate, which i did in the middle of the night one night after i just couldn’t take it anymore (the tree had been put up and the lights were on it, what was my excuse? don’t get me started… but i had to put my mom’s handmade ornaments on it.)
  • i scrapbooked an album as a birthday gift for a family member (i was really happy to have done this, this one made me feel really good)
  • i worked a little bit up until christmas eve, which i had meant to take off completely… because i was needed to do some things. it took more time than expected, but it was worth it.

moving on… i’m getting ready for 2010!!

now that christmas is over it’s that time of the year where everyone starts to make resolutions for the coming year and reviews the goals they did or did not achieve for the prior year. we do this as a family in my house. we set aside a day and scrapbook a page and each list our “10 most memorable moments” and “10 goals for the year” some of the goals are the same for each year, some are different – it’s not a time to be judged. my son is very good about listing smart achievable goals, he knows how to create achievable goals. i am going to learn from him this time. what a novel idea… an achievable goal! this is such a great skill he has at such a young age… he is very wise for a 17-year old. tomorrow is the day we will work on our lists and scrapbook together as a family. i hope for a drama-free day… i plan to just work at my desk with the family with tani by my side and get into my groove with positivity and God on my side… because that is how i plan to start 2010!

this will be a year of change for my family…

  • my son will graduate from high school. we will find out what his next path in life will be in the spring, i am going to be brave about this, but i already miss him. my best friend’s son is leaving for the air force in february… i miss him already even though i never see him as they live a state away. he was the first baby between the two of us bff’s so i feel as though he is leaving me too.
  • the company i have worked my entire adult life for, the last 24 years will be acquired by another company come the end of January. this will be a change like no other for me…
  • i start my chronic pain program in january, this is supposed to change everything for me as far as my pain. the pain team says they have seen people leave this program, literally, with renewed lives. i’m excited to see how i am doing as i progress through the program.

i am thinking about my goals for the coming year, i know all of you are as well. i am wishing all of you less pain in 2010 than you had in 2009 and continued sharing and support. we hold each other up in the good times and the bad and together we will continue to make each other stronger.

thank you so much for making me a stronger and better person despite having fibromyalgia, this community of fibromites/ chronic pain people seriously ROCK! nothing can hold us down!

thank you for reading and stay cool!