Archive for the ‘Self-Care’ Category

Camping 2023

September 20, 2022

I didnt get to go away and camp much this summer & enjoy it this year. I had my cub camp, I had Canada Day at the former BFF’s, and this recent explosion Didn’t even get a weekend away with the FWB independent on other people..

So next year, I’m saying “Fuck It!” Beyond my cub camp & my scheduled week at the cottage, I’m gonna book my own time away if people want to join, great! It’d not, Lilly & I can bond instead. I think I’m likely gonna be at conversation areas cuz I like the coverage better there & they tend to be cheaper.

My Campfire

Other than my own appointments & commitments (some may still be virtual), I don’t really have to answer to anyone.

I will have to contribute to the car maintenance & stuff more, but I’ll have to figure it out. The car, by mileage is due for an oil change, but not by the time frame, so I’ll have to do that early for them Actually shoulda had them do it yesterday while it was in the shop. **Shrug**

But that’s what I’m gonna do. You wanna join, give me a heads up, but beware there is limited space in my car, given equipment, food, clothing and the pup. ..

i still might be heading to Winnipeg, but if that’s gonna happen it’s soon, or next year. .

Current Mental Health Issues – Updated

August 19, 2022

I’ve been dealing with some personal mental health issues for the last week or so, which is causing an larger difficulty to focus and concentrate on stuff with working on the stuff with my sister it’s been taking my all

Fortunately, I’m up to the cottage for the next week & hopefully can regenerate some and maybe finish off topics I’ve started here & left hanging.

if you’re wondering why…please see my previous mental health post here The issues discussed are still pretty much ongoing..

Crash & Burn

August 12, 2022

The August long weekend was spent at home, the first time in several years, even doing covid. Typically I would be up at bff’s cottage, but she wanted the weekend starting her vacation to just be her & hubby..

Instead, I spent it in the GTA. Thursday night I went walking with my friend Tracy as my sister was at the cottage on vacation. We went 5.18 km according to my fitbit. Pace was 7.8 km/hr which is pretty good. Average speed for someone our age is about 4.5km/hr. So a good clip.

Friday was a quiet day, but Saturday started with my mom having a hissy fit about all my stuff in their space, so I spent the afternoon hauling any of my personal belongings & any cub supplies I had from the garage and into the backyard , either to my indoor space or my father’s shed. Between 2 & 6:30, my fit bit recognized three instance of exercise. 2 were classified as walks, but one was registered as sport. This tells you how hard I was working. That evening I went out to a bar with friends. Some were new to our group, so we had some ice breaker activities & lots of chat, getting to know new people. Then off to the dance floor until I left shortly before 1am.

Sunday registered a walk on my fit bit at 12 and I don’t remember what I was doing.. likely at noon I’m still dragging my ass outta bed,, esp when I wasn’t home until 2.. ( I realized layer it was 12 midnight & I was dancing).. I then took the pup to the dog park and we took the longer path. I did yoga for about a half hour & change. *Then* I went to soccer & I was exhausted by the end.

I woke Monday morning, thinking “Hmm.. I’m not too bad.” Then I moved. Boy was I wrong! 8/10, easy, & pure fibro pain. Not alot anyone can do anything for that.. Plus ongoing muscle cramps in my legs on & off until I got some magnesium on Wednesday, which helped..

So I spent the holiday Monday in bed, same with Tuesday & Wednesday other than a painfully slow walk, barely 1km/hr. I was however feeling a bit better each day..

Thursday was spent at my sister’s hanging out at her pool & started working on a project she wanted to do this month. Got in a couple of short walks, minimally faster than the days before.

Saturday & Sunday we also spent working on the project with multiple pool breaks .. I did go out with friends on Saturday which was nice. Then I again went to soccer on Sunday – am I a glutton for punishment or what?

So now we are one week later, pain levels still jumping at a 4-6/10.. depending on the time of day.. Sunday afternoon I was at a 4.. Probably why I went to soccer.

Monday was about the same, pain-wise & still working on my sister’s project, but finally got a decent amount of work done on with this project.

to be continued…

Tips – Avoid Negativity

August 9, 2022

Always try to avoid as much negativity as possible in your life. Most of all, whatever makes you laugh or feel happy, do that.

So there are people in your life who put you down, disregard you, ignore you, are demeaning to you or don’t believe you These are the people you cut out or limit, if possible, from you life.

Activities that you can’t do, don’t want to do but are pushed o you, are having extreme difficulty doing. These are activities you cut out or limit to the best of your ability Unfortunately, single people can not just stop doing dishes or laundry unfortunately. ­čśů

Hang out with people who truely care and support you. My sister is one of those people. I see her usually twice a week. We go for a walk (yes I enjoy walking) and chat about her, about me, about family, about mutual interests, about friends, Just life.

Do things you enjoy. Sometimes they maybe hard, but if they are worth the effort, do them to the best of your ability. I like to read, so I will grab a book and sit outside (sometimes in the sun, sometime the shade) for an hour or two and loose myself. Something that can be difficult, but worthwhile, is my Cub pack. I admit I do tend to overdo it sometimes, but it brings me & it brings the kids (well 99% of them) joy, fun, exercise, learning and an appreciation or nature & each other.

A Time Out

December 10, 2021

Alot has been going on personally which is severely impacting my health. I have to cut back, temporarily on some things.

Temporarily M I A

In addition to my blog which is already behind anyways, most of my social media will be going darkish, or at least not active. I’m hoping this only will last a few days. If not I will at least be checking in.

Until then, are there any topics you would like me to touch on?

Stress Impacts the Body

November 5, 2021

You all know stress impacts the human body. No one knows this more than people with Fibromyalgia. Part of our issue is that our muscles cannot relax because of the pain signals we are receiving at all times. Add stress to that, with most common physical reaction to stress is muscle tension. So adding tension to an already agitated muscle makes for a disaster.

No one knows yet 100% of the cause of Fibro. If it’s actually a physiological issue or if it’s a neurological reaction? Either way, the addition of the tension to the already agitated muscle, skyrockets the pain, with definite real pain.. Not just a neurological misfire that we could potentially be having.

And before anyone says I’m minimizing pain, I am not. People with fibromyalgia feel pain every single day. – it’s the cause we don’t know. We don’t know if the cause is something physical in the muscles, we don’t know if it’s part of the nerve chain or even something in the brain. We.just don’t know And as many of you know, I’m in a remission with my Fibro. I still feel pain, but I’m better managed and had made alot of changes a few years back. As a result, my pain levels rarely rate over a 5 – right now. I have, in the past, been bed bound. So I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum. I am the last person to downplay anyone’s pain let alone someone with Fibromyalgia.

But back to stress… I’ve been dealing with some pretty intense issues lately.. The big 2: 1. Problems with my Mom & our relationship.. 2. Issues with the guy I’m seeing – relationship may be ending. And I don’t think either one reads this blog. Those are the big ones but there is always in additional normal day to day stresses..

So….. On Monday night I had a breakdown. A complete emotional & mental breakdown (this does not include the meltdown I had earlier that day). I was in such hysterics that at times I could barely breathe.. You also don’t want to see what my kitchen looks like, cuz it all hit me as I was cooking stir-fry, which means three pots on the stove, each carefully times so everything finished hot at the same time. Interestingly enough I could feel myself deteriorating and the rice was pretty much done, the meat was pretty much done and the vegetables were almost done so I took the presence of mind to grab storage containers and just put everything in the fridge because there was no way I was going to be able to eat it and I have no family to feed. But I didn’t give myself enough leeway and ended up destroying the contents of the shelves with the storage containers.. Apparently I have a decent arm because I found, after the fact, empty storage containers or lids in my dining area, my office area, one almost in the living room and also my bedroom.

I ended up calling the local mental health line & spoke with a gentleman named Craig who listened & offered support..Initially, my mind had been racing with a lot of dark negative thoughts.. But I finally got calmed down enough after over an hour of venting. & I was no longer in that dark and twisted headspace.

I woke up Tuesday morning physically & emotionally wiped. Unfortunately this was one of the days that I just can’t say no. I had to drop my mom off at her doctor’s appointments because she no longer drives. I still also had to finish prepping my Cub Scout meeting.. Which meant I also had to run my Cub Scout meeting because this week got dropped in my lap on Sunday. The meeting went well and I was able to get out of my head for almost 2 hours not thinking about those big two issues. By the time I got home in the evening after my meeting, I stripped down, showered, got extra medicated and watched some mindless TV. That’s all my body would let me do – I pretty much hit the wall. Oh & eat some of the stir fry from the night before – lol.

And this excessive physical reaction is 100% due to stress exasperating the Fibromyalgia and some of my ppother chronic pain issues.

Hairdresser Appointment

July 30, 2021

So, I had my first hairdresser appointment in months on Wednesday. I’ve not been to see her because of restrictions here in Ontario due to the pandemic.

No, I didn’t go wild & change anything, just a trim & tidy.

While many fibromite women find this to be a chore, I enjoy these visits.

Monique washes my hair & gives it a good scrub, which I can not do very well for myself. As a result I get a really nice head massage.

She then starts ‘playing ‘ with my hair, combing, brushing, cutting. I actually really enjoy the sensation of someone playing with my hair, even if it’s just to brush it. I find it totally relaxing .. I trust Monique not the screw up my hair, so sometimes I’ll just wait there with my eyes closed.

Afterwards, my hair, while still long is so much more thinner. Between cleaning the layers up & the thinning, I loose quite a bit of hair and the difference in the weight is significant. My hair then looks, feels & just is healthier. It also just plain ole looks better!

After the hairdresser June 2020

How I Got Approved for Disability

June 15, 2021

I first started having Endometriosis symptoms in my early teens. I started having CFSME symptoms in my mid-teen. My Fibromyalgia was triggered by a bout of of mononucleosis at age 19 which got slowly got worse…

Endometriosis was diagnosed when I was 26, Fibromyalgia at age 33, and CFSME at age 37. You’d think all these large diagnoses would qualify me easily for ODSP.

Nope.

My initial submission for ODSP, Ontario provincial disability benefits included documentation for endometriosis, fibromyalgia, edible syndrome, TMJ, asthma, IBS.. All of these diagnoses…No love..

From there I hired a lawyer you turned out to be a real dick and didn’t do squat. To keep my application current, I would request reconsideration based on regular bloodwork until I was able to get the needed documents.

When I requested a change of attorney I had to go into the tribunal, on the day of a huge snowstorm, with a broken foot.. The person who denied me didn’t even bother to show so the tribunal granted me the new legal representation – Durham Legal Clinic.

By this time, I’d seen Dr Alison Bested at the Environmental Health Clinic & had just become one of her patients in her private practice. I had another diagnosis of CFSME by her staff..

The legal clinic requested additional information from Dr Bested. They sent her a very specific document. This document basically outlined what I can and what I cannot do.

It covered the four broad areas of physical limitation. Mobility issues are those such as how far I can walk, do I need assistance devices for movement, how fast I can move – slow shuffle to jogging to an (ROTFL) out & out run. Upper body tasks include how much weight I can carry, how well I can push or pull heavy objects. Stair climbing functions are how many steps I can take, how fast I can climb. Activities of daily living include my abilities to eat, bathe, dress, sleep, administer my medications, preparing food & personal hygiene. She described me on my worst day.

My worst day, my pain is high. I can not walk more than to the bathroom – sometimes not even that far. This can cause issues with elimination. I am, at that point, unable to take any stairs, or carry anything heavier than a small plastic glass of water to take medication. I can not prepare my own food, let alone eat. Showering, brushing hair, cleaning my teeth would be beyond me at my worst..

Issues with Mobility, Stair climbing, , Upper-body tests & Activities of Daily Living like eating, showering and sleeping.

If you then you add my mental health health into the mix, especially as there were suicide attempts by this time, I was finally approved.

This same documentation, several months later, was used to successfully get approved by CPP-D, the disability program for Canadians.

It took several years for this process to complete.

24 Ways to Ease Up

June 11, 2021

With apologies to Paul Simon, there must be… 24 ways to ease your living.

Why 24? Why not? It’s a start! That people have to go online and type the words “How to relax” into a search engine should be indication enough that modern life may be getting too stressful. Why, with all the innovations and timesavers, do we feel more and more rushed?

Time is a constant – it always remains the same. What changes are our expectations of how much we can accomplish in that same old time. It’s scientifically proven that stress can lead to sickness and that relaxation is one of the things that can soothe the savage beast.

Hopefully everyone has at least one favourite way to wind down, because not every stress soother will suit every single person. Next time you feel tense and uptight, try out one of these ways to relax. Perhaps some will work for you, while others might inspire you to write your own list of ease-up ideas.

  1. Dance.
  2. Mono-task, as opposed to multitasking.
  3. Progressively tense each muscle, holding each for 5 seconds then releasing.
  4. Stretch.
  5. Go for a walk.
  6. Play a game. Sudoku, crosswords, hopscotch, whatever.
  7. Soak in a bath.
  8. Laugh.
  9. Turn off your electronics. Enjoy the quiet.
  10. Read.
  11. Take a 5-minute break to clear your mind and breathe.
  12. Cover your eyes with an eye pillow. Allow your anxious eyeballs to feel like they’re floating rather than gripping.
  13. Play with your pet.
  14. Drink a cup of hot tea. Or iced if that makes you feel better!
  15. Take a whiff of a favourite soothing scent, maybe citrus or lavender.
  16. Clean out the drawers of your dresser. De-cluttered can equal destressed.
  17. Soak your feet in Epsom salts.
  18. Listen to your favourite music.
  19. Light a candle and watch the flame flicker.
  20. Write in a diary.
  21. Talk to a friend.
  22. Make everyday activities more meditative. Like walking, for instance. Rather than rush down the hallway, place one foot in front of the other and really feel your feet ground into the earth with each step.
  23. Unplug (or turn off) your phone.
  24. Strive to take deep breaths to reach the tight spaces of your body – try to feel your breathing in your lower back and your shoulders

Source: PC Health by Shoppers Drug Mart

Fibro Sucks! But My Friends Don’t!

May 31, 2021

so we have finally reached the 31st of May, the final day of fibromyalgia Awareness Month. I know I’ve been posting a little extra and almost exclusively about fibromyalgia this month but but else would I do? LOL

what I would like to thank all the people in my life who support me. I made masks for those closest to me as well as myself. I would like to thank each and every one who wore these masks & I hope will continue to wear them until we no longer need them.

This lad is on of my guy friends whom I am fairly close to, but I was surprised when he said he wanted a mask. Apparently he knows others (including 2 mutual friends) with Fibromyalgia.

Tony.

The only one I made a mask for who I do behave an image of is my nephew cuz he couldn’t find his (not surprising, cuz his mom’s wearing it!) But my sister, her 2 daughters, and my Mom & Dad. I thank my family for their support

Cassie & Kyah, Wendy, Dad and Mom

My best friends and their partners.. I’ve known both Catherine & Gerry since high school. I’m lucky to have maintained their friendships after 30 years. I thank them & their partners. Cath’s masks read “I wear purple for my BFF” & “I wear purple for ME”.

Catherine & Brett and Sara & Gerry

As many of you know, I’m involved in Scouting & I had some of my fellows outer request masks as they know how much it impacts my daily life.. I worked with Rainbow 13th directly for 2 years in Beavers & she is our outgoing group chair for one group. Raksha 13th has worked with me at Cub level for 3 years now& is out incoming Ng chair. She has seen how it impacts me and the improvements I have made over the last few years. Rainbow 1sy, well.. I’ve only been working in tandem with her since Covid hit & we initially amalgamated the groups, but like the bffs, I’ve known her since highschool and we did Venture Scouts together as youth.

Rainbow 13th (Charlene), Raksha 13th (Jen) & Rainbow 1st.(Jenn)

& I support me. Some days I have to remember that.

i have 4 masks.. 2 that say Fibromyalgia Awareness, but different patterns.. one that states “I wear purple for my BFF” (cuz my bff has fibro too) & “I wear purple for ME”. Mine, I will have in regular rotation – good thing purple is my favourite colour..

4 different days 4different masks.. & Yes, each has been worn several times over the last few weeks. Very rarely was I not in a fibro mask. & If not, I had purple butterflies!

So everyone who supports someone with Fibromyalgia, on their behalf, I thank you. Whether it’s doing our groceries wearing a mask for Fibromyalgia Awareness or just checking in to make sure we’re ok,, we do appreciate you & your support.

Thank You!!