Tips for living with pain…

Oh great.  Here is yet another blog article trying to tell me how to live with pain.  What does this writer know?  This writer lives with 6 invisible diseases…and all of them have caused pain.  Hereditary Hemochromatosis (iron overload), Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (sensitivity to light, skin blisters), Hashimoto’s Thyroid (autoimmune…caused extreme stomach issues), Epstein-Barr Virus (felt entire vertebral column flare-up), Depression from pain, and Fribromyalgia (when anyone touched my skin, it felt like a slap).

Over the last three years, the pain continued to get worse.  I opted not to be on the pharmaceutical drugs due to the fact that HH is a genetic condition and no doctor could tell me for sure if the drugs would make my liver worse.  So pain it was.  But I wasn’t going to stop there.  I continued my search for things to help me cope that were going to work with my body naturally.  What did I find?

  1. Turmeric milk.  Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory properties…due to the active compound curcumin.
  2. Relief.  Building on that, I take this product because it has ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, but even more than that it also includes turmeric root extract, as well as yucca root, which has long been used for osteoarthritis as well as inflammation of the intestine.  Ah-ha.  Hmm.  Remember my stomach pain before?  Better within weeks of getting on this.
  3. Restorative yoga.  Yoga has been shown to decrease the stress hormone cortisol.  Do you think I might have been stressed when I moved if my whole body felt like it was on fire?  Yes.  Just a little.  The difference in restorative though, is that you get to use comfy bolsters, blocks and blankets.  So we made little nests, and sat in that pose for 5-15 minutes depending on what it was.  I had a hard time at first, but learned to let go of my expectations of what my body used to be able to do.  The poses became second nature.
  4. Vinyasa yoga for back pain.  I graduated to Vinyasa…honestly, only because a friend pulled me in the direction my mind was afraid to go.  When she suggested restorative, I gave it a try.  When she said that I could do Vinyasa and possibly teach one day, my mind shut her down due to the pain.  “She has no idea how much moving hurts.”  Said the mind…but the heart wanted to get better.  Thankfully, it’s pretty strong, and said “Let’s do this thing!!!”  And so I did.  Almost 200 hours later…the girl on fire.  Literally.
  5. Meditation-like thoughts.  When I felt myself go into the dark place of pain, I would literally stop and say things to myself like “I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.”  I didn’t come up with this on my own.  I read part of a Thich Nhat Hanh’s You are Here, except at the time, I didn’t want to be there.  ha.  So I never finished it.  But it did teach me to focus my breathing.
  6. Friends checking in on you.  This part became difficult.  Not many people were in this category.  When you are in pain, people slip away.  They do.  It’s not their fault, but it is in the human nature to be uncomfortable when you don’t know what to do.  Most don’t climb down in the hole with you.  Watch this short video to get the full meaning of “The Power of Empathy”.  Rarely can a response make something better, says Dr. Brown, what makes something better is a connection.

So my friends, I leave you with my connection to you.  I am in the hole with you.  I have climbed down there.  I will hug you.  I will give you that love and connection to your pain, but the next step is on you.  The best advice I have for you is to read more about my 4 Weeks to Wellness course and take that as your next step.  The program was created based off what I did to get my life back, and it truly and honestly saved me.

Read moreNew, “Work with Me” tab has more options to help you from home!

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Motivational Monday…for fibro

One side of my body is wearing a tightly laced corset today.  During my morning yoga, a spasm went from my left shoulder to this spot in my back that is as tight as a rubber band pulled to snapping point.  In my head, I tried desperately to push the thoughts of discomfort away as it was the first part of my yoga practice this morning, but little wisps of thought already went past my carefully laid defenses.  I focused intently on the voice of my instructor and pushed past the spot.  Listening to her speak, and breathing.  Always breathing and focusing on the breath.  I have become so focused on the breath that it does allow me to get through my practice even when pain sets in.

You see, I am trying to prove a ridiculous point…to myself.  I am not on any of the drugs that doctors prescribe for fibromyalgia due to my underlying genetic disease hemochromatosis.  One year ago in February, a rheumatologist told me he would be nervous to put me on medicine that could perhaps harm my liver.  That was enough for me to decide to stay the course of all-natural supplements and work through immense pain using a series of steps I researched.  You are welcome to read the tab on the top of this blog called Vitalize You.  Those are some of the steps I took.  I also enlisted in the help of a full functional medicine approach, and used Applied Kinesiology, which I have touched on here.

This last step is more intense yoga than I thought was possible for me.  You can sit there and come up with one million and one reasons why it won’t work.  But if you can only come up with one reason, and one reason only, of why it will work, then take the chance.  That one reason is this…what have you got to lose?  No seriously.  I’ll be in pain you say.  Ummm, hello.  You already are.  I can’t move much right now.  Of course you can’t…because you don’t.  It will get worse..before it will get better.  Yes, but at least it will get better.  And trust me on this, you have to believe it will.

So today, in the car home from yoga, I thought, well that could have gone better for my body.  But so what…I went.  I showed up.  I was there.  I almost cried in the car and then I said to my head, stop this.  Think of where you were a year ago.  No really.  Stop and think.  You moved like an old woman, you were in immense pain, and you saw no end to that pain…ever.  Today, you were in pain in a few areas, true, but you were working your muscles.  You were doing things and you felt good afterward…just not as good as you hoped.  The knot didn’t go away like you thought, but it is loosening.  Do. Not. Give. Up.

Let go

The yo-yo mood…

So it just takes one thing…just one for me to start my yo-yo mood.  The other day, I was doing whatever random things I do on the computer.  Mostly making quotes for a few pages I run, and a friend sent me this article in a message called It’s Not Fibromyalgia.  I read her message and was surprised that she too suffered…but when I started reading this post, my head went to the place it goes to when people write about their experiences.  It kind of goes like this when people talk about how bad it is living with pain…I hear you sister.  I understand this.  It sucks, but damn this is depressing to read in someone’s voice other than my own.  Do I sound like this?  Crap. This is messed up.  Sigh.  More depressing things I have been through.  I could be her…she could be me.  Wait.  Wait a minute.  She just said something I need to hear.  Someone actually listened to her.  Hold on and back up to that part because the rest is the same as my life.  Except this part.  This part where she finds HOPE. 

So I get to the symptoms, you know the part where invisible diseases can’t be seen except for the fact that I have lots of those symptoms…and doctors don’t really know what to do…so I kind of stopped talking to them about what’s going on.  And I get to the part where she prayed she had this thing because it actually explains something.  Black mold.  Wow.  Who knew?  Well, obviously someone did, but not anyone else most of us have ever come across in our long line of 18 different specialists.  So I messaged my one advocate in this fight…Dr. Marion who I have written about.  And she says yes.  Yes we can do this test.

For those of you who might be new, I gave up on regular doctors after getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a man who was a nervous wreck and a top rheumatologist in the area.  He said he understood why I wouldn’t want to be on pharmaceuticals given the side effects of the “medicines” and the possibility of a liver compromise with hereditary hemochromatosis (see my tab at the top about that genetic disorder).  Not to mention the other possible complications with those “drugs”.  I decided to go all-natural using plant based phytotherapy (see my tab Vitalize You at the top).  So that brings me to where I am.  No doctors listen to my intuition.  None.  I know for a fact that something deep down has made so many things spin off…and it’s only a matter of time before we find the link.  So if this isn’t it…we keep going.  But it’s one more thing to cross off.  I will let you know what happens.

Difficult times

Releasing the outcome…

So I had a post all ready to go yesterday in my head…but here’s the thing.  I feel like the only motivational thing I did yesterday was pry myself up off the couch, take a shower and say to myself, self, get out the door to yoga…ignore that it is cold and rainy and extremely dark.  JUST go.  Then I said to my husband, “If I tell you I don’t feel like going to yoga because I ache/hurt, tell me to go anyway.  No matter what I say.”  I am positively sure this will come back to haunt me.

So I knew I made the right decision when I started to release the pain in my neck, shoulders, lower back and hips.  I absolutely love restorative yoga for my aches and the slow, no pressure, use as many props as you need to hold the pose feeling goes with fibromyalgia.  I am encouraging as many people who need healing to go to this type of class.  By healing I mean any kind of healing.  Seriously.  But you have to go all in.  You can’t try to fool yourself.  You can’t make excuses.  It doesn’t work that way.

So I have my calendar set up with my appointments.  I have my yoga nights on there…and soon my yoga weekends.  I can’t let my mind stop me from doing something I know is good for my body.  I can’t let weather, aches, pains, and any other excuses stop me.  I have made a decision and I have a goal.  I have to release the outcome as I have done my part.  Small steps people.  Small. Steps.

ReleaseAuthor’s note:  This post was the start of my yoga journey, and I have now recovered almost full mobility and have gained much strength and knowledge.  I took all of my resources and created a course just for you, even if this post is where you are right now.  Please note, that for the life of the course, I will be adding extra resources and you only pay the price it is right now when you sign up.  You only have to decide if you want the bonus pack.  Much love to you!  ~Aimee

Help yourself…

I was going to call this Motivational Monday…but I want you to know exactly what I am writing about.  I don’t want to mislead you as I might sound a bit harsh for a minute.  You need this.  I need this.  We need this.  So ahem, put on your big girl or boy pants for a minute and take a seat.

Sometimes people ask me for advice…and likewise, I ask others for advice occasionally.  The problem is, we aren’t really asking them for help.  We are merely wanting to let them know how crappy our lives are at the moment.  How horrible X, Y, and that Z is.  We let whatever their situation is get into our heads sometimes.  We should definitely NOT do that, but as good friends, maybe even best friends, we do.  It sinks into our souls like an anchor and there it lies.  It has extra weight that we carry around for who knows how long.  It might even take up space in our very valuable brain…space we scarce have left for our own issues let alone others.

So this is what I propose we all do before we ask for advice.  We think long and hard about our situation and if the situation can be improved and/or fixed by actually doing something instead of talking about it.  If the answer is yes, then write out a plan.  If you don’t think you can fix it yourself, and you really do require advice or help, then by all means, ask away.  But be prepared to actually use the advice others dispense.  Now before anyone reads into this, this is always purely written for me.  I am giving myself advice today.  Right now.

My good friend Dr. Marion gave me three questions to ponder over when I get asked for health advice from others.  The first is “What do you expect from me?”…maybe to clear up goals the other person wants for themselves.  The next is “What is your ideal lifestyle?”  She used this one on me a while back when working on my mobility at her office.  I thought about that for a while.  It sounds easy, but I really want you to think about it as it relates to your health.  Lastly was “How do you expect to get there?”  Of course I said magic wand…then I added that’s where she comes in.  She gets my humor.  But it’s hard working with her sometimes so I avoid it occasionally as that’s what we all do if we don’t like pain.  Likewise, we avoid listening to or taking the advice of others because it might cause us pain or difficulty.  We want the easy way out.  We do.

The difference is I know this and I still have a block.  I told her that today.  The hard things are just HARD to do.  I’m so damn tired of hard.  I don’t see myself as some of my friends do because I know what’s in my head.  I know how close I have come to not trying anymore.  Not giving up…just not trying.  But my friend told me I was so motivated it’s scary today.  And Marion told me to just stop “leading” and let her help me.  Because that’s what I do.  I look for answers, I don’t stop and rest too long or I’ll stay there, and I keep leading.  I will succeed in my goal of coming back into my body at full capacity.  I will not let these labels, these ridiculous, stupid labels, stop me from living.  If you are tired of living with a label and you are asking for advice, please do yourself a favor and HELP YOURSELF.  You are the lead in your life.  You are.  But when you ask for advice, if you truly need help, then take it.  And that my friends is my lesson for today.

Help yourself

Author’s note:  This was written when I was still in immense pain, 2014.  I clawed my way out of that place, and went to yoga.  Became a certified yoga teacher after 200 hours of Vinyasa training and then was certified in sport nutrition.  I took that knowledge of pain, autoimmune and the body and developed a healthy program for you to start.  It is called 4 Weeks to Wellness because it truly gives you everything you need to continue a healthy lifestyle in just 4 Weeks!

The open gate…

While I have been thinking about this post for a few days, I have not written it.  There are many reasons it needs to be written…I think someone else wants to know that I understand.  The products I use to “close the gate” are listed at the end.

Imagine if you will, that you have to get up and go to the store.  Maybe you don’t like going to the store, but you have your list, you get dressed, and you go.  Imagine a fibro friend has to go to the store.  You haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep so when you wake up you are groggy.  You ache in places you didn’t know could ache, but it’s normal, so you try not to let it interfere as you know you have things to do.  You hold tightly onto the handrail as you slowly creak downstairs.  I say creak, because in your head, you are imagining that you are 85 years old.  But of course, you are barely 40.

When you get to the kitchen, you look at the list, because without it, there is no way you will even know why you are going to the store.  Memory-schmemory.  You read the list 3 times because you know, you just know, you will forget something.  You get the keys, you say to yourself, I can do this.  You don’t even sit down after getting up.  Why?  Because you know you won’t go.  Again.  To the damn store.  You realize you have to go to not one but two stores because of the special items on your list.  You tell yourself you can rest after this.  You look for your keys.  Wait, you have them.  Ok.  You leave the house.  Task one is complete and it just felt like you ran a marathon.

When you get to the store, you see an elderly woman walking slowly in.  You quicken your pace even though you ache all over.  If she can do this, so can I.  You actually make it into the store.  You check your list, again.  As you go down the aisles you begin to get tired.  You tell yourself to push on.  You get what’s needed, after checking the list multiple times.  And then you check out only to realize it wasn’t that bad.  But you have to go to another store.  You realize you are exhausted, but you can do this.  Task two is complete, and the marathon has now turned into an ultra-marathon.

The next store.  You sit in the parking lot telling yourself that this is it.  You only have a few things left.  You go into the store.  You don’t think.  You can’t dwell.  Get in and out.  Do not abort the mission or your dachshunds will have no food.  That would be bad.  You get the items you need, plus some gluten-free things they have here, and on that particular aisle, it’s almost like they know.  They just know, you needed a song.  So “Roar” starts playing.  Sweet.  Now even Katy Perry is cheering for me to finish this trip.  And my damn eyeballs are teary because it’s the part, you know the part, “Get ready cause I’ve had enough…I see it all, I see it now.  I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, cuz I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.”  Sooo, I’m like, let’s go store.  I got this.  So now it’s like a decathlon or something.  I don’t know, because I was a ballet dancer and soccer player…and now I do yoga, but it’s like I ran a freaking marathon.  If one liked that sort of thing.  Which I don’t really.  Task 3, done.

And that my friends, was just the trip to the store.  Not the putting away of groceries.  Not the actual making of things with these groceries that you stare at and hope perform tricks after all of that, and jump into something nice like a soup or a 3 course meal.  That was just the trip.  The TRIP.

To further explain, I want to share this research on a pain analogy:

Old house
Pain is affected by how much we attend to the pain sensation. You can think of pain intensity being like the experience of trying to go to sleep in an old house. If you listen quietly, an old house will often creak and groan at night. If these sounds are familiar because they happen all the time, you assume they are just normal creaks and groans, do not pay much attention to them, and drift off to sleep. But, if someone had broken into the house recently, then you’d be on high alert. You’d pay close attention to every creak or groan, wonder if it meant that someone was trying to break into the house again, and stay awake for hours. Similarly, if you don’t attend to your pain you may find you don’t have too much difficulty doing what you want to do. But, if you think a lot about what all your pain might mean, or attend to how much the pain is bothering you, you will find that the pain interferes more with your life (S. Tupper, personal communication, 2012).
So, I kind of like this except for the fact that I wasn’t trying to “attend to my pain”; however, I have been to my Applied Health Doctor this week and worked on things we don’t usually work on.  So those pain receptors were stuck open.  Like an open gate.  Bingo.  That works.  So read this:
Railroad crossing gate
The gate control theory is a very popular theory, originated in the early 1960’s by Melzack and Wall. This theory posits that there is a virtual gate that controls the magnitude of the pain signal that reaches the brain (Melzack & Wall, 1965). It can be effective to describe the path to families as an actual gate. You can think about pain signals being like trains passing through a railroad crossing gate. When the  gate is all the way open, trains pass right through. Similarly, when the gate to your brain is open, pain signals have free access to your brain. Medication might close the gate partway, but for many people, medications do not close the gate completely. Other interventions such as learning cognitive behavioral therapy skills, distraction, engaging in acupuncture, and increasing activity can all be effective ways to close the gate and help to keep it closed.
 So for the trip to the store I described above, all the while, the pain receptors mess with my concentration, my ability to think about anything but pain at times, and my desire to do things in the cold because the cold magnifies the pain I feel.  However, that being said, when the gate is at least partway closed, I function better.  That being said.  I am not on any other medicine other than what Dr. Marion and I talk about.  Many traditional medicine doctors have tried to put me on other things.  I looked up all the side effects.  It went from bad to worse.  That being said, if it is working for you, that’s great.  No one should have to be in pain.  I hope it is working for you.  I am stubborn, hard-headed and afraid of the horrible side effects since I already have other conditions.
Here is what I do when I am trying to close the gate.  If I have eaten something that causes a Hashi’s flare, which can flare fibro pain, I use a wrap One theory that we have come up with is that my lymph nodes are not exactly taking out the trash so to speak.  When I wrap, I feel better.  The bloating goes down, the flare is shorter, it just works.  Ha.  Get it.  And yes, this is a company that both my doc and myself are in.  I actually met her at one of the meetings.
Okay, so the next thing I do is to take some Relief.  I have done extensive research in the last 3 years on anti-inflammatory foods.  Guess what’s in here?  Well, the cool thing is that we don’t hide any ingredients and they are all-natural.  So turmeric, which is one of my favorite things to use, is there, plus yucca root.  Did you know that An international research team reviewed data from previous studies on the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Yucca schidigera, a type of yucca native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They noted strong evidence that yucca’s active components, including steroidal saponins, resveratrol and yuccaols, all seem to exert anti-inflammatory effects that may explain their historic use by folk medicine practitioners to treat arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Researchers recommended further research to try to pinpoint more accurately the mechanisms through which yucca prevents and/or treats arthritis. They published their findings in a 2006 issue of “Journal of Inflammation.”  So when people tell me they don’t need this because they are already on a glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate formula, like maybe my husband, I say try this.  And after generic versus mine, his pain was improved within one week of taking this.
So, I met a new lady this weekend and after doing an event where we set up our booths, something told me to speak to her about my fibro.  She said she was undiagnosed for years but was always in pain.  She described her pain as continuous, not being able to be touched and having the pressure points.  I immediately told her about my products and since she looked exhausted, I asked her if she was going to have to rest the entire next day after the event.  Her eyes welled with tears and she said “How did you know?”  I lightly touched her arm and said I just know.  I then told her about something that helps me sleep and recover.  New You.  It is again, phytotherapy, meaning plant-based.  Years ago, when I was first doing research on natural therapy remedies, I heard about MSM.  Plant based, and anti-inflammatory.  Did not know how to find it back then.  I had never heard of my company, It Works Global, and if I had, I wouldn’t have known about their leading phytotherapy research because people only associated them with “getting skinny”.  I know, because the book of Face polices the website link.  Anyway, New You helps to stimulate natural production and release of HGH (human growth hormone), while it aids in building lean muscle mass for those of us over ummmm 35.  It enhances exercise endurance, AND helps improve sleep quality and memory.  So for those of you not aware, fibromyalgia causes us not to get fully into REM sleep thus not feeling like we slept.  This one supplement is a life-saver for me.  Gate closed at night!!!!!  Yes.
So why did I put all this in here?  Because I am actually a tiny treasure trove of hopeful knowledge for people who think they can’t get help.  I don’t advertise my other business page a lot, but I should.  The tab on this blog says Vitalize You, and I invite my clients to ask me questions so we can get their body up and running again.  Believe me, I do understand.
Author’s note: Since this post was written, I have done more for my clients than advise them on my all-natural supplements, which yes, to this day I take New You every night to sleep naturally and help me feel great.  However, after completing over 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga and getting additionally certified in yoga for arthritis and pain, I created this program for you called 4 Weeks to Wellness.  I put everything I had in it to create simple daily tasks that someone coming from this place of pain could manage.  I have optional chair yoga pdfs, workbooks, journal therapy and more!!!  It is a wonderful resource.

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Motivational Monday…pain

It’s hard to write a Motivational Monday post when all you can think of is how un-motivated you are when in pain.  But that being said, I got up just as I always do and struggled through my morning routine.  I use Samuel L. Jackson words in my head just to actually get through my “routine”.  My hair was on my nerves this past weekend because who has time to deal with that mess.  So I cut that off.  Now it’s time to get down to business.

I went out Saturday morning to meet a new group of ladies.  I don’t actually feel like I have that many friends.  I felt kind of bad ass with my new short haircut.  Like I could go all Matrix on whoever or whatever pisses me off.  I think it goes with my mood.  Don’t mess with me Pain, I have things to do.  Don’t make me cut you.  Like Pain has become some nemesis.  Maybe I should play Darth Vader music.  Anyway, so after that, Fatigue wanted a piece of me, but I just didn’t have time.  I had things to do.  A college buddy was in town and I said I was going to meet up with him.  It was my college homecoming and I had places to be.

I made it to the tailgating party in my high heel black boots, skinny jeans and black shirt.  Take that.  I enjoyed hanging out with my peeps and then there was the “after party” at a beverage facility nearby.  I was drinking water to better hydrate myself, but there was also free, and very cheap, wine.  UGH.  I can have one glass said an old friend.  Why aren’t you drinking?  Said another.  People.  Chillax.  Here, have this deep fried Oreo, said one more.  Nope.  I can’t.  Not if you don’t want me to be sick.  I really hadn’t planned on explaining that the Aimee they knew, ahem, just you know, a few years ago, is not exactly the same one now.  If it’s not gluten free, and refined sugar free, I am not eating it.

So yesterday, I had one more thing I was doing.  As luck would have it, I was able to make it.  I was dragging, but I made it.  So guess who is paying for it today?  Me.  Yup.  Pain, Fatigue, and maybe even their buddy Depression tried to visit this morning.  Depression was like “Don’t you wish you were normal again?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to dance with your friends without having to pay for it later?  And of course the old, it must be terrible not to be able to eat real food.”  So in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice I told it to SHUT the F up.  I heated up my heating pads.  I made my hot tea.  I took my last Relief…which is my product as I am only on all-natural, and I called my momma.  ha:)  Who by the way, knows I use the F word to relieve my pain, and while I wasn’t raised that way she would want you to know, she also knows that if that is the worst thing I ever do, it’s ok.  Because there is this wonderful thing called grace we can extend to others to let them know we understand that we are ALL human “beans”.  And human beans have emotions.  Even if the “they” who does research claims we only have 4, we all know that’s wrong.  Have you ever met an angry woman?

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The Thief of my Youth.

The Thief…

I remember when it first started. Old age, I thought, was a bitch. Little did I know that it was not, in fact, normal aches and pains. The first sign was when my shoulders started tensing up. They hurt so bad I could not cross my arms in front of me. Each day I would get up, put on my “happy face” and work a full day with 18 tiny people staring at me. I sang songs, songs about being happy. I had to force the pain down each and every day. Doctors couldn’t help me. It was just a flare. Bursitis said one. Arthralgia with a question mark wrote another. Cortisone shot said yet another. So I agreed. I had the shot and was in the worst pain I have almost ever felt in my life. It froze my shoulder up even more and then I cried each time I moved. I had to prop my arm on a pillow that night. I couldn’t even change out of the clothes I was in.

Over time, the pain moved to my spine. It started at the base of my neck and went down until I could feel every single vertebra in my entire spine. I was never aware of my bones before. They were simply there. The pain radiated out to my shoulder blades. I became angry and more distant with people. I was coming home from work and just withdrawing into my own shell. I would put blankets all over me because I could not get warm. I had heating pads on my back and shoulders. I’d try to do things, but simply couldn’t function after working all day long.

Whenever I tried to sleep, I could feel the bones. I would toss and turn and try to get comfortable. By the time I got to sleep, my husband was bringing me coffee. Coffee was the only way to get me up in the morning, and yet it felt like I had just gone to sleep. The cycle was horribly draining on my well-being. Not just physical, but mentally as well. There was not one person I could tell this to. Not one. Do you know what they had called me at work? Mrs. Happy. I was Mrs. Freaking Happy.

I’d alternate between praying and being mad at God. He knew what I was going through. He knew, and yet there were no answers. None. One day a co-worker slapped me on the arm and I almost slapped her across the face for touching me. Yup. I did. It took all the self-control I had to say through gritted teeth “Never, ever touch me again.”   We were not particularly close, and she had a habit of thinking things were funny and slapping my arm like I agreed. The only thing I thought was funny at the moment was watching her face as I explained how much what she did hurt. Yes, it wasn’t nice, I know.  Pain doesn’t care.

Around that time I realized I couldn’t work around people and keep up appearances. That’s when a plan starting forming in my head that I needed to work on getting better if such a thing was possible. The pain, fatigue, and doubt about whether I would be able to hold down a job with my amount of pain wore me down. Every night I would cry. If I wasn’t crying, I was pretending I was fine…until I started getting sick to my stomach almost every single day. At that point, I could no longer pretend I was fine. Food was making me violently ill and I had not been allergic to any food before in my life. A thief came in and stole my youth. I looked like a 20 something year old healthy adult with the body of an 80-year-old woman on the inside.

This was how my story started, but by God it wasn’t how it was going to continue.  If this sounds like you, please read more under the search term Health.  If you want to start tiny baby steps towards your own change, check out 4 Weeks to Wellness.

 

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On my ever changing life…

I was minding my own business.  Okay, I might have already been feeling a tiny bit sorry for myself, but it’s because I am tired out and I only managed to do one errand today…but anyway, still minding my own business.  When someone posted this blog link hereWARNING:  if you have chronic illness, it might depress you even more.  JUST SAYING.  And then I realized…I had hope.  I have a plan.  I help people already.  So take THAT depressing article about that which I can’t change, but can make better.

Anyway, what I have come to realize is that through helping other people I have always felt better.  No matter what.  I think that’s why I became a teacher.  I want others to have hope.  Feel better.  Like themselves.  Have self-esteem.  Do the things they THINK they are incapable of doing.  My business has provided me with that platform.  My Facebook page for my quotes has provided me with over 15,000 fans reading my blurbs…wish you all would come over here every once in a while…just saying.

My friend with cancer right now is in the same boat I am in, but it just looks different.  We are natural helpers.  We want others to succeed, so because she has to take another year off of teaching, she is a bit down as well.  I understand.  It’s a HUGE decision to put your health first when you are a giver.  You are suddenly left with feelings of “Well, now what?  Life was supposed to go this way.  Stay the course life.  STAY. THE. COURSE.  WHY ARE YOU NOT LISTENING TO ME??”  Seriously life.  I need to give you a good ass kicking.

The bottom line is this…the course changes.  You change.  You move forward…not backward.  No matter what it feels like, you are not the same person you were before this lesson arrived.  You have lots of wonderful good things to offer the world, so don’t sell yourself short.  Don’t. 

SurroundNote:  Since the post was published, Aimee has created an online catalog to help others who, like her, are tired of this B.S.  We can make our lives better, the first step is just believing.  If this resonated with you at all and you are ready to try something new, check out my online personal coaching.

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Motivational Monday…natural tips for pain

My plan was to write about something else today, but I can’t stop thinking about my pain, so I guess someone must need me to write this.  So I wake up most mornings with numbness in my hands and my thumb hurts now too (not including my shoulder, etc.).  I pump my hands open and closed for a bit to get the blood moving.  I go to hold my coffee cup, and the joint in my right thumb feels “rusty”.  My guess is arthritis.  So I called my dad because he had arthritis at a young age.

His advice is about 5 different prescription medicines he knows about.  And to each one I respond with, well, you know I don’t take anything that isn’t all-natural because we don’t how that might work on me.  So here is what I do instead:

  1. I make hot tea.  It is calming and gets my mind off the pain.
  2. I make Turmeric Milk.  See my Pinterest boards for more.
  3. I use only all-natural products.  Some from my own business I am now in.  Vitalize You tab or website Vitalize You Wellness.
  4. I am about to go back to yoga and start writing about that process as a way to heal.
  5. I put a microwave heated wrap around my neck and shoulders.  Helps some.
  6. I eat using anti-inflammatory foods.  No gluten or sugar.
  7. I have a tiny piece of dark chocolate.  Clicking the word tells you why.
  8. As a last resort, I take a nap.  I say last resort because I could literally sleep all day.

What do you do when you have pain?  Do you let it get you (I used to) or do you try to ignore/fix/move forward?  I think I’ll make my  latest find…a turmeric smoothie!

HealingAuthor’s note, since this post was written, I have completed yoga teacher training, gotten additional training in yoga for pain and arthritis, and completed sports nutrition therapy.  Work with me tab has more.

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