Demystifying Yoga and Why You Need to Try it.

I remember the first moment I walked into a class known as “hot yoga”.  Yes, it was hotter than hell or so I imagined.  The class was heated to around 102 degrees with about 40% humidity.  I managed to last, but honestly wondered how many people passed out, threw up or went to the bathroom and never came back.

I pondered all of those things in the space of 5 minutes.  The people were all slim, seriously.  There was a mirror on the wall in front of me and I wondered why, whyyyy, would they do that to people wearing next to nothing.  And to top it off, a man walked in wearing what seriously was the smallest erm covering ever and put his mat in front of me (More on that later if you want to click the link).

Here’s the thing.  I was brand new and it wasn’t about any of these things, but if this was my first experience, I had nothing else to compare it to.  So, for those of you who are either nodding your heads, or wondering what happened next, I will help clear some things up.

This particular studio caters to the college students.  I didn’t realize that when I signed up as it was close to me and I wanted to see what all the “fuss” was about.  The people were very serious in this class and very much unforgiving that particular day.  It is not like this everywhere and just to be clear, it is not like this in every class there.  The phrase that I later discovered “your vibe attracts your tribe” is also true for yoga studios. 

Since I was a beginner, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  I tried it again years later at this studio and found that it still seemed not quite the right fit for me personally.  I wanted to connect with my body and my breath and I personally couldn’t do that while staring at a mirror.  It was way too distracting in this class.

I didn’t want the mirror to be my focus and I found the students body language as well as the instructors seemed to imply that if I didn’t do the pose a certain way, that I was less than somehow and the mirror was just confirmation.

The next place I tried offered Restorative Yoga Well, the few times I went I really enjoyed it…until I took a friend who couldn’t sit still at all, but that’s another story that I linked here.  You have to understand that I was mentally and physically in pain at the time, but I had come to the conclusion that it absolutely couldn’t get any worse (which was actually half right) and that to do nothing was insane (which was 100% correct).  So, the art of restoring my body back to the original factory settings appealed to me highly. 

We got to use bolsters, which are like pillows, blankets, blocks, straps and pretty much anything we had available to us at the time.  I felt very good about the process.  After a while of finding my place in this class, I finally decided to take what would become my greatest passion.

The Vinyasa “flow” Class.  What fresh hell was this my body whispered?  Why are we doing this?  My wrists said to me.  My brain said “Aww F-this.  No.  Noooo.”  But I sat on the mat with no mirror in front of me and listened as the teacher centered us.  I began to move and thought that if I needed a rest surely yoga was the place to find it, right?  Well, again.  Not all classes are created the same and they shouldn’t be.  So, in this flow, it was exactly that.  We literally flowed from pose to pose to pose, and I felt like we never stopped.

Again, my body was in the greatest pain it had ever been in at this time anyway, so I felt as if I had nothing to lose and everything to gain…if I could last.  It was literally like being on Survivor I thought.  I had to pace my thoughts so that I could make it 60 minutes.  Could I do this?

The first few weeks, were hard.  Down Dog was not my favorite.  I actually secretly despised it.  Planking.  WHY was that ever created in the first place when you could plop down on the damn mat.  Why did I want to actually hold myself up?  Why?  Anyway, all this moaning was only in my head.  At least for the most part.  I might have told my husband I wasn’t cut out for it.

Then the day happened when my wrists didn’t hurt quite as much, and in a moment of weakness I said yes to signing up for Yoga Teacher Training.  So, the truth is, I get it.  I really do.

I am not slim…I am curvy, but prefer not to put that label on my style of teaching as that’s just ridiculous.  I want to teach yoga that is truly available to every body.  Every size, shape, color or anything else you think is holding you back.  Are you in pain?  I understand.  Do you think you are too big busted?  I got you covered with modifications and ways to move those girls out-of-the-way.  Don’t want to wear yoga pants?  Fine, then wear what makes you happy…and ermm covered.

After 200 hours, and days I almost cried from the pain, I graduated from my yoga teacher training.  I couldn’t hold myself up at first.  Seriously, and had to modify by coming to my knees in down dog, one of the most used poses there seemed to be ever.  I had such poor wrists that I couldn’t side plank.  And I tried for a year to hold myself up in a pose called crow.  I want you to believe me when I say “trust the process”.  I additionally became certified in teaching yoga for arthritis and pain.  I am now a mindful coach who specializes in getting through this minute to the next, and the next and the next and learning to let go of the things that are holding you back.

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I would love to be able to help you with getting control of your thoughts, practicing visualization techniques, and creating affirmations that can help you move ahead with your life.

Available to you here >> Head|Heart|Health Club <<

You can actually.

You CanAs disturbing as it is to think about, we can actually change our neural pathways.  I know that I have.  I am not a scientist, merely a researcher of all sorts of things.  A former teacher who is now on the path of teaching new things to new students.  Yoga.  As I have continued my inner studies, I have learned a great deal about my mind.  For example, because of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ever-changing potentials, anything is possible.  I cry every time I watch Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight due to the vastness of possibilities she describes.  The energy just plainly overwhelms me…and when I watched it again, I couldn’t contain my tears.

I am capable of great things.  Clearly I was designed to overcome this pain and do more with this life I was given.  Combining that knowledge with my new, and difficult, meditation practice, I focus on the places where I feel no pain.  Each time I practice this, I begin to realize I feel less pain.  The moments where there is no pain do last for seconds longer, and that is improvement.  When the thought of pain arises, I focus back on the breath.  The yoga.  The moment that I am in.  I learned a new practice of counting in my head as I am breathing.  Just simply imagining the numbers as I breathe in and out.  I imagine them forming in my head and it takes my thoughts away from the ramblings.

The more we repeat good habits, the more we can change our brain.  So tonight, I started with my quote, but I want you to try this.  You really can do anything you put your mind to.  Close your eyes, think of something you have been wanting to do.  Now write it down.  On the bathroom mirror in dry erase, on a list beside your bed, or a journal.  You can do it.

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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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

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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Restorative Yoga…finding my place

Coming to yoga from a place of pain…Aimee’s perspective:

I was afraid my body was not ready for this class.  In fact, after taking the beginner yoga class, I waited weeks before coming back in to give it another go.  You see, the ego whispers to me “That was too hard, you must give up now.”  It is coming from a place of pain.  Pain I have lived with for the last 5 years since developing the symptoms and ultimately the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  But last night on my mat, as I held the pose for a little bit longer, my mind tried to scream at me again to register and focus on my pain.  I then shushed it, and focused on my breathing instead.  And guess what happened?  It worked.

What is restorative yoga anyway?  Basically it’s the best thing ever for your body if you are new to yoga and trying to come at it from a place of pain and/or needing healing postures.  Click the above link to find out more.

Three weeks ago as I was getting ready to take the first class, an acquaintance called me, but I said I had to go get ready for yoga.  She asked if she could go; however, she is not known for her patience, so I explained this was not like traditional yoga.  She said she was fine with it…haha.  We arrived and were told to get bolsters, a blanket, a block and a belt.  She kept asking me questions about what we were going to do.  I did mention I had not taken this class before.  Throughout class, she fidgeted.  She whispered.  She twitched.  She complained under her breath.  I was NOT happy.  Yoga is MY place for peace.  If you invite yourself to come with me, you need to respect that this is already hard for me, and I like to relax.

At the end, oh the end, I was mortified.  Tea was served, and I dearly love hot tea.  As it was being passed out, fidgety gal loudly says WHAT IS IT?  I stared at her.  It’s tea.  Well, what kind??  I need to know.  No you don’t.  Be quiet and drink the tea before I lose my calm on you and go off all Scorpio style in this nice place.  She then got out her PHONE.  Yes, her phone, and proceeds to play on it.  NUMBER one rule of yoga is there are NO cell phones in yoga.  Everyone knows this.  Everyone.  Except her.

Unfortunately, I left restorative yoga more tense than I should have.  I allowed another person’s behavior and energy to seep into my space.  I don’t have time for that in my life.  I just don’t.  So I went blessedly alone the next week.  And again last night.  What I learned was that each week, Lauren works on a different part of the body in the poses.  If I had given up because of my mind, body, or embarrassment of the above, I would not have known that.  I am working hard on shifting my focus.  There are things we can’t control, but when you get to your mat, control what you can.  Slow down you mind, focus on the breath, drop the chatter in your head, and let the others melt away.  It is your journey and yours alone.  No one can do this for you.

I truly appreciate this class as it feels like it goes at your own pace.  Some of us use more bolsters, blankets, or props to get in the pose and get the best benefits.  It does not matter.  This is truly a class to teach you to slow down.  Namaste.

 

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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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Motivational Monday…food triggers

So, a year ago, I made a decision that changed my life.  I decided to step down from teaching and focus on my health.  I don’t even think I made the decision, it was more like it was made for me.  I can honestly say I am still learning and moving forward.  I researched all-natural supplements and learned as much as I could.  I talked to friends about doctor choices, but was not satisfied with what doctors had to say.  I just knew in my gut they were wrong.  I can’t explain it, but I knew that they were treating me symptom by symptom and not looking at everything that had happened to me in the last 3 years.

I looked at my diet, and started removing foods.  I looked at my life and started removing other triggers.  Stress.  School.  Being around sick kids.  Being around negative people.  Being around people in general.  I peeled back as many layers as I could to find out what was causing the problems.  I thought I had it figured out, and I did.  But it had to get worse, much worse, before it could get better.  By the time January rolled around I think I had been wrapped in a cocoon of blankets for 3 months.  I was in deep pain, and it hurt to my very bones.  My stomach that had previously been a volcanic mess, was finally starting to settle because I ate very little for a while until I figured out what I could tolerate.

It turned out I had Epstein-Barr virus in my system that had most likely triggered Fibromyalgia.  The sad thing is, you can have every trigger point there is and it still takes 3 years for someone to say this is what you have.  I met a wonderful lady through my new business opportunity, and she began helping me.  Most likely the first step to helping me was believing in me.  I can honestly say when she walked over to me the first time, I thought she was one of “them”.  Someone who thought they could help me, but sadly, didn’t listen to me.  I am extremely thankful this was not the case.

So I sit here tonight, full from my Mother’s Day meal, a tiny bit pinker than I should be because of soccer today and the beach yesterday, and I realize that if you are reading this, on National Fibromyalgia Day, please be aware that the pain is very real.  I have spent the last 3 years cringing whenever someone touched me, went to pat my arm, or worse yet, pat my back.  I have avoided people like the plague because I was too tired to explain yet one more thing to them.  ONE MORE THING.  But tonight, I have hope.  So if you are sitting there in pain, know that I believe you.  And that’s enough to start with.  Knowing you are not alone.  So I dared to go out on a limb and offer advice not only through this blog but to all who ask me on my new business page.  I am not a doctor…I am one person with a story.  Your journey might look different than mine, as it should.  Be don’t stop if you aren’t there yet.  You’ll get there. 

I close with a quote from my other page…the tab explains it up top on this blog.

IntegrityCheck out the work with me tab for more on what I later created to help others through this process.

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Fuzzy…

You know how you are going along and everything seems to be fine in your life until one day it’s just not.  Well that was last year.  I knew I was getting worse off.  I knew that I was sore and in pain almost all of the time…until I realized the difference between almost all of the time and ALL of the time.  It seems like such a small thing, but it’s not.

I want you to understand the difference, if you can, between writing this blog to make anyone in this world feel sorry for people like me and writing it for you to understand people like me.  There is a big difference.  Last week, I met someone amazing and they told me my writing moved them.  To me, that is huge.  I want you to feel what I feel for a moment.  Not to make you feel bad, but to make you think.  When I read, I expect the same.  I want you to put yourself in my shoes while you are reading just as I do when I read.

Right now, there is the possibility that Epstein-Barr Virus has been in my system since I was 15 years old.  It makes sense.  It really does.  I had a horrible case of mononucleosis.  The doctor I saw today said there are any number of factors that could have triggered my Fibromyalgia, and did in fact tell me that is what I have been suffering with.  He did not have any advice on how to treat it naturally; however, he said I was free to treat it as I had been doing or take one of the prescriptions (he did prefer one over the others).  I have been doing some of the things on this site already as they are similar to other research to help autoimmune.

All in all, it’s kind of fuzzy right now.  I find it hard to focus on a point beyond all of this, so instead, I am focusing on one day at a time.

Stand again
Stand again.

Infinite loop…

Infinite LoopAn infinite loop can be described as a computer program which loops endlessly.  Having “no terminating condition” or “one that can never be met” or “one that causes the loop to start over”.  After three years, I think I have finally found the start of my infinite loop.  I have long suspected, as far back as the beginning of this blog, that something wasn’t adding up.  I have a good head for knowledge and research, and I know my own instincts.  They have not failed me yet.

Years ago when the pain started, I thought the doctors were missing all the key signs.  I just found them in this slide show about Fibromyalgia.  I had my suspicions, but looking at the very first slide just now, I wanted to cry.  It shows every spot that was triggered.  For those of you who have been here with me for a while, you’ll remember the post about my shoulder 3 years ago, then my spine.  The back of my neck was next, and this summer was my hip.

In the fall I started waking up not being able to move my fingers well in the morning, and honestly, just didn’t say anything.  What was the point?  Then my eyes started having some issues.  The ophthalmologist said it was severe allergy eyes.  Hmm.  I later learned that almost all of my friends with autoimmune issues have had eye problems as well.  I did not know that.  I already knew I had 16 of the 18 trigger points as this was not the first time I suspected that this could be the underlying cause; however, no doctor has ever looked further into it.  I realized years ago when someone touched my back to pat me and I stared daggers at them like they had just forcefully beat me on the back, that something was wrong.  I just thought “they” would find it.

Slide 5 is very interesting to me as it suggests that patients with fibro “experience pain in response to stimuli that are normally not perceived as painful.”  That would explain many things.  Then there was this piece “Researchers have found elevated levels of a nerve chemical signal, called substance P, and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients.”  When all of this started, I told the doctor, a rheumatologist who was “well-known”, that I could feel every single place in my vertebral column.  I got a blank look.  I believe now that was the start of it.

The next slide that is of interest to me is slide 9.  “Patients with fibromyalgia lack the deep, restorative level of sleep, called ‘non-rapid eye movement’ (non-REM) sleep. Consequently, patients with fibromyalgia often awaken in the morning without feeling fully rested, even though they seem to have had an adequate number of hours of sleep time.”  This would explain why my hematologist looked at me like I had lost my mind when I said I am still fatigued all the time.  I suppose it would be too much for any of my doctors to coordinate on a treatment plan.

So what am I going to do about it now?  Well, after I see the next specialist a friend recommended as she uses this doctor for her own fibromyalgia care, I am going to move forward.  I am going to do some of these exercises as well.  I am going to look into Qigong exercises.  I am going to live again and know that while there is no cure, I am not alone.  Thank you to all who have been supportive of me during this journey.

Prosper

P.S.  I like to believe God is more like a father…one who leaves me notes.  One who is supportive and understanding.  YOU can believe whatever you want.