Posts Tagged ‘Best Friend’

Fibro Friends, IRL

November 2, 2021

It’s interesting to note exactly how many friends I have, real, in-person, face-to-face local friends that I have with Fibromyalgia.

When I first started having symptoms in the mid-90s, I’d not heard of Fibromyalgia let alone know someone with this condition.

I only found out about fibromyalgia through, unfortunately, Dr Google. Few doctors had even heard of it then. Many did not believe it existed. Few had any idea how to treat it..

Jump ahead a few years..

  1. First person who was a friend of mine is Billy Jo. Her and I met in a mental health workshop in my local hospital. We met because of mental health & connected over of common physical health. We have been friend for.. 8-9 years now…
  2. My BFF was also diagnosed with fibro about 7 years ago. Due to an abusive relationship I was estranged from her while she went through her diagnosis. However, because she knew of my struggles and issues I’ve had getting diagnosed & treated, she had a good idea of what the process was & how to get it sped up.. my diagnosis took 13 years.. Hers only took 3-4 years.
  3. I had left the aforementioned relationship approximately 5½ years ago. This was just in time for my high school reunion.. One of the people I reconnected with another girl named Jo.. While we were not friends in high school we did know each other and we have to come friends in the here and now. I think part of the reason why we connected so well was because I understood and she did not have many other friends let alone ones who got & understood the issues with Fibromyalgia.
  4. Shortly after that reunion I connected with a lady in Newcastle who is my twin. No, we look nothing alike however there are so many other similarities. We were born within two weeks of each other, we both went to the same high school, we have almost the exact same list of medical conditions including Fibro, we react well to the same medications as well as an overlap in personal interests beyond our health. So we met about 2 years ago, shortly before covid and we’ve connected over these similarities, but also over our differences.
  5. Growing up, the neighborhood kids down at the end of the street were friends.. The oldest had a big gap between herself and her younger siblings so she hung out more with my older brother, his friends and some of my friends as she was a few years older than me but many years older than her siblings. After I moved back to Oshawa we eventually started connecting again a few years back. She also has Fibromyalgia.

Its interesting how many people have fibro that you may not even know about..

Socializing While In Pain

September 3, 2021

Do I socialize when I’m in pain?

Yup, I socialize, otherwise I’d be a hermit!

Yup! Otherwise I’d be a hermit. Plus, very few friends can identify how much I’m in pain. My bff & my sister can tell by looking at me.. I have other friends & family who have learned the signs.

Mom can tell usually just by looking at me.. not always, but usually.. My sister is pretty good.. Her kids & hubby not so much – ironically I think the kid of hers that would recognize the best is her youngest, because he has seen me the most over the last few years.

My guy friend T has, over the last 3½ years learned quite a bit about how to read the non-verbal clues.

My BFF also has fibro & is sometimes a little too focused on her own fibro to catch my issues. Only reason I can gauge her easily is that she has an emotional response to her issues that I don’t even think she’s aware of.

My second BFF also has his own issues, and usually only sees me on better days.. I don’t think he’s even seen me at mediocre or worse in a long time..

Them there’s some of the Scouters I work with.. Raksha 13th & I have become good friends through Scouting & Rainbow I’ve known since grade 8 or 9, but through guiding & scouting as well. They are pretty good a picking things up.

There are other friends who are less prevalent in my life but even they can recognize some signs if I’m having issues

What I Can Do.

So, there is the basics of who I tend to see most, then the next thing is *what I can do*. Mind you the days when I’m seriously f****d up due to symptoms, I don’t talk to anyone unless I haveta Haveta HAVETA.

Now pain & other symptoms varyy from week to week, day to day, even hour to hour.. Fortunately in the last few years the hour to hour option seems to happen less and less frequently, but for a long time that is how I had to play it.

When my pain levels are super high, any communication is digital.. To everyone. If you’re lucky..

Digital Communication Only on my Worst Days, At Best

Next level down:

  • Mild exercise like walking my dog around the court
  • Have company over for low maintenance visits
  • Socialize for dinner with Mom & Dad
Exercise by walking the Dog Around the Court Is All I Can Handle Some Days.

As my pain levels drop, I can be more sociable in activities that require less interaction such as:

  • Hanging out with selects friends in a quiet environment, such as a campfire, living room, patio, poolside, dock.. This would be BFF’s, & T, for the most part
  • Walking around the neighbourhood
  • Watching the kids’ soccer games
  • Visiting the family cottage for a few days
  • Visiting the gym for a hot tub!
Hanging out with Friends, in Front of the Campfire, or Otherwise, Though we use Chairs – LOL

As the pain levels drop a moderate to low level I can usually do the following:

  • Karaoke
  • General.Cub Scout Activities
  • Marksmanship
  • Hangout with friends in a noisier, bigger, busier location like a restaurant or bar
  • Moderate exercise like the walks with my sister & the pups
  • cub Scout meetings!
  • Glamping at my BFF’s cottage
  • Concerts (depending on who, I may go on a worse day & accept the consequences)
  • Professional sporting events like the Leafs, TFC or The Rock.. & to a lesser extent, Argos, Jays or Raptors..
Concerts with Friends Are Always Fun!!

So assuming my pain level is low, there is a lot I can do. I can:

  • More strenuous exercise such as cycling
  • Visit the gym for Aquafit, yoga, weights, or the track. I had gotten in a few slow Zumba classes in before COVID..
  • I can Camp – not the glamping like at the cottage, but camping with friends, and even my Cub Scouts . In fact we were going to Camp Impressa for a year end camp earlier this month with my senior Cubs & the Scouts (See more in this post).. & I just went camping 2 weekends ago with T
  • Sporting activities like soccer with the girls or golfing with T
  • Some of the more physical activities in Cub Scouts.. Such as teaching how to put up tents, waterproofing the bedroll, setting up grey water, basic orienteering, limited kayaking/canoeing, etc..
  • The Pheonix. – Dancing at the club!
  • Hiking (like fairly flat, fairly short, nothing overnight – Second Marsh near me is a good example)
  • Roadtrip!
Easy Hiking with Friends

What I can not do.

There are so many things now that I would like to do that I just not in the cards. These are activities the I’ve either done or were at one point on the bucket list. This includes activities such as:

  • White water rafting. T wants to go – I can do the camping part, but not the rafting part
  • Backpacking/ Hiking. This includes longer hikes, more challenging hikes, or overnight hikes. I can not lug an air mattress through the wilderness 😄
  • Winter outdoor camping
  • Amusements parks – can’t do most of the rides, and way too much walking.
  • Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Zip-lining (not sure I’d do that anyways)
Canada’s Wonderland, the Prominent Amusement Park in the Toronto Ontario Area.

What would you like to do that you know you will never do again?

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!!

Ultimate in Fibro Fog

April 5, 2021

The best example of Fibro Fog:
My best friend’s Birthday is this week.. & as usual, I bought her gift ages ago. I have one problem, well two actually..

  1. I don’t remember where the heck I put it.. I know it was ‘someplace safe’. I should know better – if it’s not in my line of sight it’s not safe! Lol..
  2. Unfortunately I’m not even sure where to even start looking because of problem number two. I don’t remember *what* it was.. I don’t recall what I bought her. ☹️

God help me.


Edit16/04/21: I finally remembered *what*, now I have to figure out where, but I think I’m good. 👍

Upcoming Move – Keeping Safe

November 17, 2020

No, I am not moving, my BFF & her hubby are.

For the last 2½ weeks I have been going over to her place every other day to help her pack.

I know there will be those concerned about the risk of getting exposed to COVID. Yes, they are moving to the city, Toronto, Canada’s biggest hotspot but we are being as careful as possible.

To minimize any risk to my parents, I’ve isolated from them while I’m helping pack & move.

I am only in one circle at a time.

My bff & her hubby are now my bubble. No, I don’t wear a mask at her place, but they are the only people who I do that with. His job had been modified so that he interacts basically with no one while he does his pickups, not at his work & not with the clients. She currently works from home, but that will shift slightly after her move. In the grand scheme of things, they are low risk of being exposed. Because of running errands & my cub scouts, I’m at a higher risk of exposure than she is as she is only leaving her place to transport items to her new home, a house.

Because I’m only me & Lilly in my immediate household, it is recommended, for my mental health, that I extend my bubble. Helping my BFF & getting to spend some quality time is also good for my mental health & wellbeing.

Immediately after the move I will isolate for 2 weeks, no bubble whatsoever before returning to my parents’ bubble. I will not be helping my bff unpack as my Mom is not comfortable with that.

On the day of, masks. Every single person *must* have a mask before entering any premises. Hands must also be either sanitized before entering, or washed properly immediately upon entering. Signs will be up to help the movers go directly to the room they need to go to, making things more efficient & less wandering. I’m sure I’ll have a Lysol or Clorox sanitizing cloth at all times to wipe stuff down as the movers come and go.

This is the best way to keep everyone safe and at a comfortable level and allows me to help her out.

More info on the move & it’s impact on my Fibro coming shortly.

I Am Grateful

August 25, 2020

I know my last post was not a hugely positive one. Unfortunately I just needed to vent about what I was seeing around me. But there are many many good things that I am grateful for and they are bigger and generally more important than the issues I discussed previously. . So today I want to tell you the things I am grateful for.

Family: After several years bouncing in and out of a toxic rekationship that estranged me from everyone, I left permanently after he was finally charged. Despite great trepidation and concersn from my family, they agreed to let me stay temporarily, expecting me to go back yet again. But with their support & others listed me below, I realized that I was hurting myself & them with my behaviour. I have since rebuilt my relationship with my parents, my sister & her family. I even have some semblance of a relationship with my brother.

Geeze.. I’ve only written one & I’m already in tears as I write this!

My Best Friend: I was absolutely horrible to this woman whom I have been friends with since high school . Because of the control my ex had over me, I was a complete and total bitch to her. My ex even contributed, I found out later, to the failure of her lucrative homer business. After she had a significant health scare, I was *allowed* to visit her. We slowly started to rebuild a relationship.. I even crashed on her couch for a few month during one of the times I left him. She was, I don’t think she realizes, had a significant impact on getting my head set forward. If this has not been re-established, I may not have let the police in or let the charges be filed. She was there for me when I needed her. It took about 4 years since we reconnected for her to again call me her best friend. She never realized how important that was for me to hear her say that. I am not sure she even knows now.

Man.. another doozy.. I’m sure that there’s gonna be edits cuz I can’t see through the tears. (& more years in the edit.)

Those who know us will get it.

Durham Family Services: Because of my income level, I was eligible to access the counseling services through the region (kinda like a county in the US) The woman I met, Fran, helped me through alot that first year I was back. I worked on my self esteem, learned some new coping skills and started to love myself again.

YMCA of GTA: This is actually my gym. I am grateful for my gym because I was able to get healthier and loose weight. I also has alot of social interaction there with people & started making friends

My Lilly: Yes, I did do a blog post about how she’s helped me, but I am still forever grateful for her. Whether she knows it or not.

Friends: Old and new. I’ve reconnected with alot of people in my past like in the post about three’s, but others as well.. Add in the new friends I’ve made since I’ve been back, plus the few I managed to keep from during my estrangement. While I may or may not maintain these friendships, or I could get something new from them remains to be seen, but just having a larger social circle is helping me. Which brings me to..

Scouting: I know most people wouldn’t get this, but before my relationship, I was an active Scouter. Now I was dwindling down on what I could do, but I did enjoy it. Flash 8-10 years later.. I’m back. And my eldest nephew wants to become a Junior leader)SIT with the Beavers. We (my sister & I) thought this would be a great way for me to reconnect with people & to build something with my nephew. . So I started as a “One hour a week” Scouter. Bringing my nephew every week… Now, with an awesome team of Scouters & friend (again, both old and new) I’m a major role in the Cub section (age 8-10).. I’m able to work with the youth, yet still be able to pace myself & no over do it.. much.. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to return to troop level and do that. Fortunately, I’m actually enjoying working with this age group.

International Symbol of Scouting.

My Medical Team: To the non-judgemental support from my current medical team, I am grateful. I am now on a positive Health Care Journey. With their help, I’ve managed to improve my health . I’ve lost weight, I’ve become more fit. I’ve come off alot of medications I really did not need, and supported me through addiction, tho no one knew at the time. I know I will never be healthy enough to return to work on much more than a casual part-time basis, but I am able to live a decent life despite fibromyalgia & my 6-bilkion other health issues.

This isn’t even going through the little things I’m grateful for.. The sun on my face, The lake at the cottage. Having a car to drive.. To have a regular income. To smell the flowers.. For being able to hug people (yes, only a special few right now). For privacy. For Fun. For freedom. For Love. For painting rocks. For exercise. For healthy outdoor spaces.. & you, still reading my post!!

I’m grateful for itvall.. & to those I can thank, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

She Saved Me!

July 17, 2020

In November of 2011, a little puppy was born. In February of 2012, she became mine.

Prior to us getting her, I’d had alot of issues. My relationship was severely toxic & abusive. I was no longer was in contact with close friends & family. My health was rapidly deteriorating & my disability made me almost house bound. My depression started going into overdrive & I did not deal well.

As a result, I have lost track of the number of suicide attempts I had over the first 5-6 years of our relationship. It was so bad that I wrote on my meds list “In the event of a Suicide Attempt Do NOT Let me go home”. I was on 5 different antidepressants & they were not mixing well either.

But my life Changed when in February 2012 when I was given a life to take care of. Lilly.

I now had a “reason to live.”

She became my world. She was 100% mine. My partner did close to nothing with her on his own. He didn’t feed her, groomer her, take her out. He did occasionally play with her, but I don’t think he ever loved her. But I did.

So despite the increasing toxicity, I was able to survive because I had her. I had to be around to take care of her. I honestly believe, she would have suffered if I was gone & left with him.

She was my world. She was the reason I got up in the morning – literally. I had to take her out for a walk in the morning to do her business.

My relationship came to a sudden end when his son overheard his Dad threatening Lilly’s life. Now I don’t know if the boy knew his Dad was talking about Lil, or if he thought the treat was towards me. Either way he called 911. My ex was arrested and charged with Uttering Death Threats I believe the charge was.

I took Lilly & moved back home to my parents despite their misgivings. I got counselling, months and months of counselling. I was able to focus on my health. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. I managed to maintain friendships from the time I was with him despite him. I am so lucky to have both of my best friend’s back as two of the closest people to me. I’ve rebuilt my relationships with family, my parents, my sister & her family, my brother & his family.

I am happy, reasonably healthy, and alive. Thanks to her.

COVID19 and Me

July 13, 2020

I’ve spoken to many people in the fibro community about this & it seems I’m not the only one deteriorating.. With over 3 months since many of our non-western medical treatments.. So, for most of us it’s only medications that we have access to, and if we are lucky, pain injections..

We are finding out how much our treatments help us.. Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Chiropractic Care.. For some it’s the ability to exercise when all pools and gyms have closed including even private facilities. I’m sure there are other possible treatments that I haven’t mentioned – remind me of what they are!!

Personally, I’ve lost physiotherapy & osteopathy, massage therapy, aquafit with other exercise at the gym, and the hot tub – God, I miss the hot tub.

But what I am missing most? Socialization..I’m still in contact with friends, and doing my scouting thing, but it’s not the same. I’ve only seen my best friend once through the glass door & subsequently only on Zoom. I haven’t heard from some of my Cub Scouts in months since we went virtual. There are three that despite attempts for contact, that we have not heard hide nor hair of.


Note: the above was originally written in mid-June before we started to re-open in my area. In the last week I have finally had social distance visits with my 2 best friends. I was glad to see them both.

I’ve also seen my RMT, I see my Osteopath next week. And even have my hair appointment with my Mom on Friday.

Now, some pools have opened and the splash pads. Unfortunately, some community & all private gyms like mine are not open.