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Knocked Over By A Feather

But It Didn't Keep Me Down…

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chronic pain

Pick your Box

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Have you ever heard of people talking about a fibromyalgia toolbox? Well, a fibromyalgia toolbox is a real ‘idea’. There is no definition. It is basically an emergency kit for fibromyalgia flares. (I think I’m going to Snap!). When you are in a fibromyalgia flare, you are in much more pain, you are beyond exhausted and you may be in a fibro fog. (The Fog of Fibromyalgia).

A fibro toolbox can be made up of things of a tactile nature; coloring books, journals, activity books, crocheting, knitting, craft supplies and other things that you can do while you are in a flare. If a fibro fog accompanies your flare, many find watching movies they have seen before (because you won’t remember a new one) or listening to specific pre-planned music helpful.

A fibro toolbox can also be a skill set you have learned for working through your pain. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and/or reframing thought patterns, are examples of a few practices put in place.

Rescue medications should always be part of your toolbox.

So a fibromyalgia toolbox is really just a pre-planned way of handling your fibro flares. Things and/or ideas set aside ahead of time so when you start experiencing a flare, you are ready physically and mentally. Have the items you need in a designated area, room, or tote.

Personally, I use a backpack and have a portable DVD player in my closet. When I have a flare come on, the things that I need are ready. This also signals my husband that it is a flare day when he see’s I have my backpack out and my DVD player running movies that I have deemed as my favorites.

Get your toolbox ready. We cannot control when our flares will happen but we can choose how to respond when they do.

IMG_3064~Kim

(return to Exit Strategy, The Three Day Rule.)

visit me: https://itrippedoverastone.com

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Get a Clue, I’m Not Your Opinion.

Everyone seems to have an opinion, but not all have a clue. Carefully and continuously decide who to surround your self with. Those who can influence your decisions and whose judgments you take to heart must be conscientiously chosen. The more public you become, the more vulnerable you become. Make good choices. You are the company you keep.

I like to think of myself as having a ‘force field’ that no one can cross unless I grant them entrance. Much like Wonder Woman! Yes, like Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, I stop people dead in their tracks with my ‘force field’. I can keep people at a distance, far away from my inner self. My personal life, hopes, fears, and dreams are not for the clueless … I will not share certain details that make me vulnerable with those I do not trust.

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The people I choose to let into my inner Wonder Woman circle must meet criteria I have come up with to deem them as safe, meaning I can be vulnerable with them. After reading a few self-help books, realizing I was being told to change everything about me, I stopped! I put a few things into perspective. I’m not changing. I’m good with me and what I’ve become. Life has taken me down a few paths I normally would not have chosen but I made it through! Those journies have made me who I am. I am strong, competent, unafraid and kind but I come with scars of my own. Furthermore, self-help book pioneers, with no experience of devastation in your perfect little world, I’m not available for you to ‘mold’. You be you and I’ll be me, then we can decide if we want to take this relationship further. Comprendo?

What do I look for? Here are a few things that I rely on before the force field is lowered. A breach in even one of these areas undoubtedly ends with bitterness and pain.

  • Do I respect you?
  • Do you inspire me?
  • Do you assist me in expanding my personal growth?
  • Do your opinions matter to me?
  • Do I want you more involved in my personal life?
  • Do you have it together?

The last point, do you have it together is really very simple. Are you owning what you are in life? Are you admitting you have your own ideas, opinions and personal demons you struggle with? Because I will admit those types of things. I am not perfect, far from it. When a person gets close to me and pounces on my vulnerabilities, I have made a huge mistake in judgment. That person must be removed from my inner circle. That is so very painful! To trust and have it trashed. To be someone’s ‘opinion’ is not my idea of an inner circle confidant. I am more than an opinion, and those close to me in my life are too.

You choose who you surround yourself with, and it must be handled with care and consideration. The backlash of choosing wrongly stings for a very long time.

IMG_3180~Kim

Visit me at https://itrippedoverastone.com

A Shame Filled Entitlement.

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Social Security is a Federal program we pay for every day of our working lives. I started working when I was 15 and paying into Social Security. I looked at those steep payments being taken from my check every week as a savings plans for retirement. I also knew in case of injury, I was paying into Social Security so it would be available for me if the need ever should arise. Just like having insurance on your home, car, and your very own life, this was a safety net. In the end, I needed it, and I am on disability.

Is social security an ‘entitlement’? Hell no! I paid into the program!

Why am I still so embarrassed to tell people I am on disability? Are you on disability? Are you comfortable with that? Tell me if you are because that is one thing I can’t shake, the shame I feel for taking checks from the government for a monthly payment. The disability checks are not near enough to live on, let alone pay for the needed medical attention due to the injuries that put me on this very program! People making minimum wage make twice what I do in a month and that was before the $15.00 per hour minimum wage went into effect. I used to work at Mcdonalds, I’d have no qualms about going back to work there now and claim my $15.00 an hour … but I am not physically able. I am disabled!

It sucks being on disability. Calling it an entitlement only worsens the stigma. I am already filled with shame. I blog, I write about fibro because it makes me feel that I am somehow earning that check, that disability payment. Does that even make sense? To me it does. I was ‘medically released’ from a job I loved. I enjoy helping people and answering their questions so blogging makes sense to me. Giving back and earning that government check …

I finally have an answer for the dreaded question, “What do you do for a living?”

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I am an advocate for fibromyalgia awareness, I published a book, I am a blogger. That is my identity. My reality is that I fight the fibromyalgia pain demons every day, take my medication as prescribed, and research every aspect of my health for answers. I fight the chronic fatigue and try to keep a clean house and a satisfied husband. I fight the sleepless nights and exhaustion every day to check in with my groups and write a blog. I don’t always win, but I fight.

And, I forgot to mention, I receive a check from the Federal government from a program that I paid in to… there should be no shame in that.

IMG_3180~Kim

visit me at https://itrippedoverastone.com

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