The content in this blog is based on my experiences and the guidance I have received from my Care Team determined by my individual and evolving needs. Before beginning, trying, or experimenting with anything mentioned in this blog, you
MUST CONSULT A PHYSICIAN!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Story Mondays~ brought to us by Ashley

Amazing Ashley over at Searching for Health, an awesome blog, is beginning to tell the personal stories of others experiencing chronic illnesses, one person each Monday.  I was picked for the first story!  I'm so excited!  So please, take a moment, and head over to check out Ashley's blog. :)  


I am so very blessed to be able to share my experiences and journey so far with others.  Thank you so very much Ashley for this honor!  


Each Monday don't forget to check back with Ashley and meet the new person in her story! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cooking with Sheryl Crow!

A big special thank you to Ashley for hosting a wonderful contest to win Sheryl Crow's new cookbook "If It Makes you Healthy".  And I'm so excited to announce that I won! 


This silver lining could not have came at a better time!  This week has been flare-up central and the fogginess and cramps had become overwhelming.  I cannot thank you enough Ashley!


I can't wait to get cookin'!


PS Check out Ashley on twitter

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Story of Amber: Wizard of Oz Style

Once upon a time, there was a nice woman named Amber.  She grew up on a farm, took care of her family, and had a puppy she spoiled rotten.  Amber had a good personality and was very friendly, she also had a killer pair of red ruby slippers.  Amber had an enemy, like everyone else, a mean wicked witch who vowed to get Amber's shoes (and mute her personality) at any cost!  Luckily, the evil witch couldn't come close to removing the spirit/personality of the girl completely so the witch decided to find a way to make Amber want to remove the shoes herself!




The witch was very mean and many people were afraid of her, but other people didn't want to believe in her because of how miserable she could make someone!  The witch begins by casting a vicious fog over Amber's world, causing her to forget things like where she left her keys or what she was doing... This poisonous fog also can cause Amber to forget where she was going, leaving her sitting at a red-light or standing in a hallway feeling a bit confused.


The witch has many tricks up her sleeve, she has several flying monkeys that she can send out to torture poor Amber.  Some of the monkeys are able to torment her body, swelling her joints, cramping her muscles, increasing her sensitivity to touch light and sound.  These monkeys work tirelessly when they are out to serve their Witch.  


The monkeys and the witch would work together, making Amber walk like a Tin Man... as forgetful as the Scarecrow.. and as emotional and anxious as a Cowardly Lion!  There are even monkeys that give her infections, low grade fevers, and works steadily to weaken her organs and immune system.   



Luckily, Amber had a Care Team that guided her along this path, doing their best to support her in any way they could.  Without their direction and empowerment, Amber would have surely fallen victim to the Wicked Witch.  The best part of her Care Team is that they remind her that deep down, she has everything she needs to truly be happy - despite the harassment of the Witch.  


This story is about my journey with chronic illnesses.  Fibromyalgia and Lupus are vicious diseases that seems to be trying to take away every sparkly thing that makes me so fabulous!  With the support of my family, Care Team, and new online twitter/blogger friends, I know I will make this journey utterly wonderful! 


And I will completely ROCK these ruby slippers!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fibro Friendly Gardening: Containing my Creativity!

I grew up on a farm, picking our own vegetables and raising our own meat.  Because of the hours I spent working in the family garden, I didn't have an interest in the floral aspects of gardening until after college.  I reconnected with a good friend who slowly showed me the enjoyment of caring for flowers.  With my conditions, I am not able to do very much on the actual ground so I have found container gardening to be what works best for me. 
  
If you are a flower novice like me, you may be wondering what is container gardening and why is it an option?  Container gardening is just as it sounds, growing plants in flowers instead of in the actual ground.  For me it is a lot easier than having to crawl around on the ground while I clear out rocks, weeds, and trying to dig deep enough so I can get things planted to the right depth.  Using containers, I can find pots and buckets that are the right size and work at the table, as long as I don't fill it so full that I can't lift it.  This saves on valuable spoons that I will need later on when it comes to placing and watering my new garden.  Here are ten other great reasons you should consider giving container gardening a try.  



I really enjoy playing in the dirt, transferring small flowers into creative containers, filling in with fresh rich dirt and then watering them every few days.  It gives me an outlet so I don't feel so lazy as far as outdoor work goes.  Plus they brighten my mood and I love how I can set up the contrasting colors/textures to make my outdoor space prettier.  I tend to pick flowers that will do well with the amount of sunlight that my porch receives and don't need to be treated with kid gloves.  I am definitely not a gardener that needs fragile plants!  I also prefer more smaller containers to larger ones that are difficult for one person to move alone.  The best part about container gardening is that you can pick whatever you desire, from tomatoes to tulips, and plan your containers and plant locations accordingly.  


The first thing I learned about container gardening was that there are 10 mistakes that everyone makes at some point!  Unfortunately, I have made all 10 at some point during my horticultural career.  The one that I make the most is in regards to watering.  I either drown the flowers and end up trying to cure water rot or they cook from lack of hydration.  Luckily I found a great webpage with advice on proper watering techniques so I will be giving them a try this season.  


Here's another watering idea to help your containers receive the proper amount of water.  ChicagoNow posted about using an empty plastic bottle as an irrigation device, and to be honest it sounds fairly user-friendly.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with it also!


From a small patio area to a porch or back yard, container gardening truly can be for everyone!  Just be creative and be yourself!  Select a container that you find interesting or pretty, then pick plants that you enjoy in some way.  I'm looking at focusing my garden this year around flowers that draw in butterflies or humming birds, to attract beautiful creatures that, when I watch them, eases my stress.  Of course those will need to be in the containers I place away from the porch, so that the bees don't think I am wanting to visit with them instead :)


For more information or ideas:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

One Crispy Fibroista, coming right up!

 I had the best time with my brother today at the drag strip!  My sun glasses worked great, I stayed hydrated, the breeze kept me cool, and the cars were smoking hot and mighty mouse fast!  About four hours into it, I realized that maybe my skin wasn't having as much fun as I was... as my sunscreen had already thrown in the towel!  Arriving home that evening, I realized what the intense tingling tightness meant... I was burned to a crisp.  I have burned before, but never like this!




After a few days of taking Tylenol for the heat/feverish feeling/pain, rubbing on cooling aloe gel (that a friend suggested I keep in the fridge that made it heavenly) and napping as much as possible I am feeling better.  However, I am definitely making plans to be better prepared before my next outdoor adventure! 


If you see me out on the drag strip go ahead and wave, I'll be the chick under the umbrella that is using a trowel to apply sunblock! 








Next time, I will use something like this:


              














In hopes of not needing these:





     

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't be a Fool!

Instead of posting about popular April Fool's jokes or pranks I have experienced in the past, I want to talk about something that is NO JOKE at all!  


Fact:  About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.


Can you name eight other women?  One of them will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime... If you are a woman, it could be you.  



Fact:  About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.

Fact:  For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.



Fact:  Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases occur in men.  But it is possible.


There is hope. 


Fact:  In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.  Many believe that this is through preventative actions: early detections and advancing treatments.  


Giving yourself a breast exam only takes a few moments a month.  There are no excuses for not performing them!  If you are in a relationship you can teach your partner how to do them and keep an eye out for lumps together. 


For step by step Instructions for performing a self exam, click HERE.  







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