Republish of June 28, 2012

I am writing this very personal story in hopes that I can help someone to get out of pain. For years I prayed and searched for an answer..and finally found it after much suffering. This is my story.

When I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s I was a health disaster. I had high cholesterol, was 50 pounds overweight, and suffered from chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia and unusually frequent migraine headaches. The fibromyalgia and migraines started back in 1988, coupled with strange symptoms of chronic leg pain, weakness, buzzing, tingling & numbness in my limbs. After visiting many neurologists, specialists of all kinds and even being hospitalized for a week for I.V. steroids,  3 MRI’s and numerous tests, everything from lupus to lime disease was ruled out and I was diagnosed with MS in 1992. I was walking with a cane because of the pain weakness in my legs, and was “prepared” by the medical community to someday look forward to being in a wheelchair.

I used natural remedies, homeopathic, chiropractic, nutritionals as well as numerous prescriptions. I learned through this process how to manage my pain, but never found anything that worked completely. People would bring me juices, and formulas and say “you have to try this I just know it will stop your pain and headaches”. Then……no results, or at least very little.

I have learned to manage pain and live with migraines all these years, and gotten much better through sheer determination. Living with serious migraines and chronic pain takes over your life. I would wake up with headaches, sometimes every day. It got so bad that I was afraid to go to bed at night. I felt like I was being poisoned in some way (a clue that always stayed in the back of my mind), and no doctor was willing to listen to that theory! I felt toxic! I was chronically constipated all these years, sometimes only eliminating twice a week. When I cleansed my body my symptoms somewhat subsided temporarily. Were the contents of my intestines poisoning me? [click to continue…]

When I wrote Part 1, I was very sick, in pain every day and night, and living in a state of toxicity. I truly believe that. How do I know this? Because my body was showing all the signs of toxins coming out. They have to come out somewhere, and for me it was in the form of daily migraines, severe inflammation, depression, inability to think clearly (good old brain fog) and anxiety, on top of Fibromyalgia pain all over my body!

My digestion had sucked for the past couple of years, and my ribs really hurt. Everything I ate gave me heartburn. I only pooped a couple times a week. Now I will say that opiate pain medication has a lot to do with that, but I think something much larger was at play, called Leaky Gut syndrome. I now know, deep in my heart that my “gut” played the biggest role in making me sick all these years.

There are several parts to this story. The first begins when we are born. God equips us with an exit-off-earth (physically speaking) plan by placing a microscopic amount of fungus in our intestinal tract when we are born. It’s chief form is there to decompose our body when we die.

The rub comes in when this fungus begins to take on a life beyond what it was intended for, feasting on antibiotics, sugar, refined carbohydrates etc. Stess, birth control pills, hormonal imbalances, and other factors can cause “fungus overgrowth” in your body. This leads to my second story.

When You first heard the term Leaky Gut what did you see in your mind’s eye? I know, right? Not so appealing. Well, it turns out that it’s not quite that bad thank goodness. All it means is that your body has got inflammation, which is where the Fibromyagia symptoms come in. The inflammation is being caused by a “leak” or weakening of the intestinal lining.

Our gut is supposed to be as strong as a steel trap. Nothing, and I mean nothing is supposed to get into the rest of your body. Your intestines hold all the poisons, toxins, and dead matter. It’s waste. So the fungus, or as the most hungry one is named Candida, is out of control and feasting on the dead matter (poop sorry to be graphic) your gut becomes like a screen, instead of a strong wall. The contents escapes into your bloodstream. Horrible things can happen after that. Depression for one.

Your immune system lives in your gut. Seratonin, Dopamine and other hormones are produced in your gut. If your gut is weakened, the signals to your brain to feel happy thoughts, to experience less pain, to even heal, are all compromised. Migraines are a simple one, because the gut is simply overloaded with toxins polluting your blood, which can affect oxygen to the brain.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut as a possible Cause of Fibromyalgia:

Chronic Constipation (Very Few Bowel Movements)

Hard Dry Stool

Acid Reflux

IBS

Brain Fog

Migaines

Insomnia

Racing heart

Hot flashes

Upset stomach after eating

Poor appetite

No energy

Exhaustion

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s a good possibility, and it could be time to clean up your tummy. There’s some amazing things that can be done. I did a ton of research on this, and found some probiotic-enzymes that work well for very little cost. My digestion has completely changed from total constipation, to pooping like a kid every day. This is a total miracle for me!

You can start with diet, by eliminating sugar, processed refined foods, and drinking your body weight in good water.

There are many articles online to support what I’m talking about. Just Google “gut health” or “Candida overgrowth and Fibromyalgia”. That’s where I started back a few years ago. I tried initially just going off sugar and gluten, but it was not enough. It took finding an anti-fungal probiotic to really address the issue.

If you want more info you can go to http://ohmyleakygut.com

 

 

 

 

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This is a republish of an article I wrote in 2011. I found it VERY interesting to look back on how I was feeling then. I have come so far. My stomach was killing me almost all the time then. I could hardly eat, yet I was carrying significant weight. part 2 of this Digestive Connection to Fibromyalgia is on its way……

If you have CFS or fibromyalgia, chances are pretty good that your diet or digestion has played a role in how you feel.  It may seem obvious, but  managing pain, fatigue, digestive issues, headaches and even depression have a direct corolation to refined carbohydrates, fats, chemicals, protein sources, sufficient vegetables and fruits and more.  Even the timing of when you eat, how much you eat or don’t eat will have a huge affect on how we feel. These are all things we’ve known for some time. What I did not realize was how intertwined the digestive connection is to fibromyalgia management, depression and seratonin levels, stress, and colon motility.

I found this out the good old fashioned way…by experience! The last few weeks I’ve been through “the mill” of testing with both medical doctors, and holistic practitioners, in hopes of figuring out why the terrible pain I’ve been having on the right side of my abdomen and in my ribs for months now, could be connected to this bigger picture called Fibromyalgia, or if I have something else going on. When you have FM, sometimes there are so many issues going on with your body, that it’s difficult to separate what’s connected to your condition, and what’s totally unrelated. I must say I was reluctant to “bug” my doctor, because l wanted to be sure this was real, worth investigating and shining a light on. [click to continue…]

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I’ve always known that sugar and refined processed carbohydrates were my worst enemy yet seemed like a   best friend and comfort so many times. I’ve never felt my best, or even anywhere close when including these foods in my diet, yet they seem to make me happy,  if only fleeting. I have eliminated sugar many times in my life, only to have amazing results. The problem is that sugar and refined processed carbohydrates are part an internal addiction that’s extremely hard to break.. Balancing blood sugar, and eliminating the cravings for sugar and refined processed carbohydrates, has changed my health in a major way.

These carbohydrates include:

  • cookies, cake & pie etc.
  • bagels
  • breads
  • cereals
  • muffins, crackers and my favorite chips
  • ice cream, shakes etc.
  • sodas, juices, candies, etc.

It’s not like this is new information, and it’s all around us which makes eliminating sugar very hard. Refined processed carbohydrates such as the ones listed here will sabotage your weight loss by causing big blood sugar swings and spiking your insulin, which in turn signals your body to store them as fat.Toxins are stored in the fat cells. This is why migraines, arthritis and fibromyalgia is so common in people who are overweight.

In addition, eating these refined processed carbohydrates will actually cause you to want more of these bad carbohydrates and increase the overall amount of food that you eat. It’s like an addiction. I don’t know about you, but eating sugar, usually leads to eating more!

“Whole Grain” products much of the time are suspect. Refined flour is the first ingredient listed in a lot of these whole grain products. This refined flour will still spike your blood sugar and create an insulin surge. A bodily reaction that is counter to weight loss. Wheat is used in most of these products, and a sensitivity for more and more people. Better to just avoid it.

What happens if you keep these refined processed carbohydrates?

A higher incidence of diabetes.

If you were to ask 25.8 million diabetic Americans about their diet,  it’s almost always including a a lot of refined processed carbohydrates.

So how will your body change if you Kick the Sugar Habit?

1. Your weight will begin to go down. Sugar and refined processed carbohydrates, make you crave more, the more you eat them. It becomes like an addiction that you can’t stop. But, once you do cleanse the initial craving and high amounts of sugar, you will begin to lose weight, and see many health benefits through a more balanced, even blood sugar.

2. If your your colon becomes sluggish, and your digestion is not running smooth, eliminating all these refined carbohydrates and sugar will make a huge difference.! Sugar is very bad for the intestinal lining. Think of it this way. What does your body process more efficiently, an apple and some almond butter, or a corn dog, fries and a big coke? Enough said

3. Your cravings for sugar and carbs build on each other, like a real true addiction! The more you eat, the more you want! To complicate that, fungus that lives inside your body, thrives on sugar, so you may feel like eating it, even when your wondering why!! Making the commitment to eliminate sugar will eventually starve the Candida Beast.  Read this if you’d like to learn more about Leaky Gut.

4. You’ll see a big change in autoimmune symptoms, like pain, headaches,  breathing problems and skin issues. Your skin is prone to inflammatory issues, like eczema, psoriasis etc, caused by inflammation going on inside.

If you are struggling to feel better and lose weight, despite working out, and doing things right, then make these dietary changes to see lasting success.

  1. Focus your carbohydrate intake on whole foods, especially vegetables. Combine this with a high protein diet (especially grass-fed meats and range free eggs and dairy), and watch the weight drop of
  2.   If it comes in a PACKAGE, try to leave it alone. If it came from the ground, a plant or animal, it’s probably good
  3.  If you are going to eat grains at all, then focus on spouted grains as a part of your diet. However, the bulk of your carbohydrate intake should include green vegetables, dark-skinned fruits and berries. Avoid large amounts of fruit juices. Natural sugar is concentrated in them.
  4. Healthy fats are a great way to replace processed carbohydrates in your diet. These healthy fats include grass-fed meats and dairy, avocados, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts and almond butter. Peanuts are actually a legume, so moderation is best, although not the worst thing. These healthy fats and proteins will do a better job of satisfying your hunger while keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check.

I have found a simple tool that makes a big difference in taming the sugar monster. Visit my facebook page  and read my story.

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If you have an autoimmune condition, and you’ve been online lately, you’ve undoubtedly seen something, or many references to your gut health, as it relates to things like depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, skin conditions and many more. It has been proven that a weakened immune system can cause many problems for people, and the medical community has offered very little help in my opinion. As a patient with Fibromyalgia and CFS for over 30 years, and added autoimmune issues more recently, I have experienced extreme frustration trying to get better. Prescription medication has kept me sick, and that is a fact. I have never taken a medication that did not bring more side effects and problems to my life than I had before it was prescribed. Once I was committed to healing the CAUSE of my autoimmune problems, then I went in search of answers.

Leaky Gut? What is it?

I know it sounds absolutely gross. The visual I got in my mind the first few times I heard that term, was of those fat free potato chips from about 10 years ago, and dripping from my bowels!! No..that turns out to be something equally awful..”anal leakage”..but I digress. Leaky gut is actually quite simple to explain. It’s a weakening of your large intestines, that causes food particles to actually be able to escape into your bloodstream.  As this happens, inflammation is caused, and by association..autoimmune disease!

Did you know that most of your immune system lives in your gut?

How do you know if you could have leaky gut?

  • Chronic fatigue and Exhaustion
  • Migraines
  • Itchy skin
  • Digestive upset, acid reflux
  • IBS and chronic constipation
  • Chronic pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Seasonal Allergies
  • Food Sensitivities

What causes Leaky Gut?

There are some central contributing factors to leaky gut, which helps in figuring out how to fix it. One of the biggest factors is Candida yeast overgrowth. Candida is a fungus, that we all have a microscopic amount of in the colon when we’re born. It’s pretty amazing how the human body is designed, as this fungus is there to help decompose our bodies when we die. Think of it like mushrooms growing on a dead tree. Eventually that tree will decompose back to the earth.  What happens with a great majority of folks with stressful lives, high sugar/carb diets, large amounts of antibiotics over time, and birth control pills in women, is ..you guessed it: Candida overgrowth!!!

Cutting out sugar and carbohydrates is a simple way to begin slowing down this runaway train. Taking a good quality Probiotic is also a must. But as a sufferer of Fibromyalgia, I did both of these things diligently, and still had a terrible issue. It was not until I found an ANTIFUNGAL Probiotic (the only one that I know of) that got me out of bed and back to life! After being severely ill for 2 years straight with every symptom on the above list and a severe female issue called Lichen Sclerosus, my body was at its worst with leaky gut. I knew that I had a bad case of Candida, and gave Pro Bio5 a try. Within only days I began to see a difference in my digestion. Within a few more days I saw changes in my pain levels, and depression. In only 11 days I was like a brand new person. Yes I was still getting better, but I finally felt hope. My husband said “I have my wife back” after seeing me live in my bedroom constantly.

Leaky Gut is no joke. Autoimmune disease is being treated right now primarily with steroids, anti-inflammitory meds, opiates, anti seizure meds and antideppressants. I went for over 30 years on the pharmacy roller coaster, and all I got was sicker. I never got better, and usually felt worse most of the time. As soon as I empowered myself to manage my own healthcare, everything changed. I urge you to watch the two videos on this page to learn about gut health.

Email me if you’d like more information or just to connect. limitlesslaura@gmail.com or friend me on facebook

To purchase Pro Bio 5 Click Here

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“If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu

The past many months have been a time of great learning for me. At the time of course, I didn’t know I was learning a lick of anything because I felt like something you peel off the bottom of your shoe most of the time!

For months on end, I have been in severe pain and tremendous exhaustion to the point that even taking a shower was a big deal. Even lifting my arms to wash my hair was tiring, and it was truly terrifying because i thought I was slipping away. During this time I was extremely, extremely depressed. I felt like I was in the dark and could not move to find the door to get out.

I lived in the past, and thought about all the things I could have done better and how I was not at special as I thought I was. Meanwhile I saw evidence to the contrary, ways I had contributed to life, bettered myself and others, and had continued to grow.

At the time, I isolated myself, wanted no contact with anyone, because of the guilt and shame I felt over so many things. When you are depressed there is not much others can do except love you and make sure you are not a danger to yourself.

Loved ones can offer support, food, talks, books, walks, fresh air etc, but until you are ready to “come to the surface” or the chemicals in your brain straighten out by many means not discussed in this article, you kinda need to allow it to run its course.  Getting professional help is key, always. Seeing a doctor, medical or holistic is also very important. You cannot manage your health on your own, if you are as sick as I am describing.

The other pastime I seemed to engage in during this long bout of Fibromyalgia and autoimmune hell was WORRY. I was anxious and nervous about all kinds of things, and thinking about what could go wrong.

As Lao Tzu’s quote says above, anxiety is living in the future, which is a pointless exercise. I don’t even need to explain that we have no control over the future, just as much as we can’t go back and change what happened in the past. The majority of stress and pain exaserbation  is caused by one of these two places our mind goes.

This moment is all that matters. Believe me I am the first person that has had to learn this lesson the hard way. I think I am getting closer, by letting little things not bother me nearly as much as they used to.

Breathing is one of the best ways to bring yourself back to the here and now. If you find yourself getting crazy about something you have no control over, take a step back, and count to 10, take some deep breaths. Follow your breathing pattern. Another is to bring awareness to one part of your body, like your heartbeat, or starting a the tips of your fingers, to your knuckles, to your wrist, to your mid arm etc…relaxing and gently being aware. You don’t have to sit and meditate. Just stop and close your eyes for even 3 minutes.

This is called mindfullness.. Buddhists try to live every moment mindfully, being aware of the present moment, and taking in each detail of it. Imagine what it would be like, if you sat over a cup of tea and did nothing but drank it mindfully. Your thoughts would be in the moment on your tea, and nothing else, not your house, not your kids, your pain, your spouse, just sipping your tea and everything about it. Something to think about and try.

Our physical pain is very much connected to how we feel mentally. I truly believe that. I know this from experience because as I have pulled out of the deep depression I was in, the pain levels I experienced are nowhere near as severe as they were. Some of the other issues my body was going through are much better as well. When it rains it pours!!

Live one moment to the next. Be IN the moment…not thinking anxiously about what will happen tomorrow. Leave the past behind, because it has absolutely no bearing on today. You can create anything you want today. Believe it.


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Do you ever get the feeling after visiting your doctor that you could have very little to do with your healthcare future unless you stand up for yourself? Did you know that you CAN make choices and get involved beyond what your doc is telling you to do? It could mean the difference in how you feel, as well as how you heal.

It’s all about empowerment. Here’s a little exercise:

Say these words out loud:

“I want to learn new ways to feel better and manage my fibromyalgia pain”

VS.

“I am empowered to take ownership of my health, well being, and medical care, because I am in charge of my life”

How did that feel? I would venture a guess that you noticed the phrase “my fibromyalgia” was weaker and less empowering than ” my health, well being and medical care”.

When I was first diagnosed, doctors were purely guessing. My body was literally freaking out as I went from one Neurologist to the next. I honestly think they didn’t know what to tell me. This went on for almost 2 years. After numerous tests, spinal taps, MRI’s and more they “clinically” diagnosed MS. Because my symptoms were progressing so rapidly, they told me I’d likely be in a wheelchair before long. It was very upsetting to say the least, but some little voice inside me said “this is not the whole story”.

I went to one MS support group, and on some level I knew I did not belong there. I walked out of there and said to myself “This is MY HEALTH and after 2 years of being bounced from doctor to doctor, it’s time for me to TAKE CONTROL of my body, and do everything I can to get well”

I rarely mentioned MS and tried to leave it out of my consciousness. I sought out healthy alternative treatments and did all I could to manage the pain. 9 years later I went to be reevaluated at a prominent MS research hospital, and got a “probably not” diagnoses. Shortly after Fibromyalgia became more well understood, and I was diagnosed with that . I realize others with Multiple Sclerosis are not so lucky.

Your body is your own, as are your health decisions. Taking your “case” into your own hands can be very empowering.

**Note** I am absolutely NOT saying to ignore your doctors orders.That is not what this is about.

What this is about is finding additional ways to feel better, that can be discussed with your doctor, staying well informed about your condition, eating a healthy diet, and exercising to whatever capacity you’re able to. Many times you will astound yourself with all the empowering ways you can manage your health, and live WELL with fibromyalgia, lupus, CFS, or whatever you have.

Remember it’s your body, and your life. Don’t let your doctor push you around! Stay educated and make choices based on it. Remember as well to watch your words like “my fibromyalgia”. Your body responds to that, at least that’s what I definitely believe!!

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Sleep is one of, if not the most overlooked aspects to having more good days as a chronic pain and illness warrior. I know with myself, interrupted sleep patterns was one of the diagnostic red flags my doctor used to confirm my diagnoses of fibromyalgia.
If you are not getting good, restorative sleep, for a minimum of 8 hours per night, a whole cascade of issues affect your body. The most damaging issue is lowered immune response and ability to fight free radicals, which can lead to other disease. If you have had Lupus, Fibro, CFS just to name a few, for more then 10 years, you might have experienced your body being taken down by something else if you are not getting proper uninterrupted sleep.
Why is uninterrupted sleep so key?
During the night when you think you are simply resting, your organs are hard at work doing their jobs, restoring key systems in your body. Important healing and restorative hormones are released, and cell regeneration is at its peak. The most important hours to be deeply and comfortably asleep are between 10pm and 2am, as that is prime time for your body to get into a significant resting state. After that, you are not resting or sleeping nearly as restoratively.
So now that you know what you “should” be doing… Ha ha
If you’re struggling with chronic pain, chances are that getting a good nights rest that is uninterrupted, is nearly impossible.

Here are some things I learned through much trial and error over the past 25 years…

Exercise of any kind, light walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates or simply keeping track of steps in a day will help you sleep better. Studies show that people who exercise sleep better. Do what you can of course if you’re in pain and challenge yourself to get stronger.

Eat a healthy diet. Fat, sugar and unhealthy food will definitely keep your body working overtime, which prevents good sleep. How? Things like acid reflux, constipation, gas, bloating, and headaches all contribute to a bad night!

Keeping my room cool helps a lot. Getting hot wakes me up
Make your bed as cozy and comfortable to relieve pain as you can.

Pillows, pillows, and more pillows. Sleep with one between your knees if you’re a side sleeper, under your knees or arms or wherever you hurt.

A deluxe pillow that you adore laying your head on is essential. I love the Bamboo and Sobakawa pillows. Memory foam are great because they are soft, yet offer plenty of support.

A body pillow is also one of the greatest gifts I ever have myself. There are tons of body pillows available online, in different shapes, and it’s up to you what feels delicious and soothing.

I have soothing sounds app on my phone to calm me if I can’t get to sleep.

Melatonin worked well for me when I was younger. Melatonin is a supplement you can buy in any store that carries vitamins. Melatonin is not a vitamin, but is rather a 100% native to your body hormone that is made as you’re going to sleep. Valerian root is also very good.

Chamomile tea relaxes and soothes anytime.

Amitryptiline works very well for sleep, as well as pain. It’s not addictive, and you don’t feel groggy in the morning.

For that reason, grogginess, as well as dependence, sleeping medication just never seems like a good option for interrupted sleep. If you keep waking up during the night with pain, those drugs don’t work very well, if only temporary.

Avoid caffeine, drinks late at night and anything that will keep you up.

If you take pain meds, whether RX or OTC, take your evening dose close to bedtime, and go to bed.

Hot baths or showers help relax painful muscles.

When I changed doctors 12 years ago, the first question she asked me was “How much uninterrupted sleep do you get at night” my answer was scary, so she worked with me to make good restorative sleep my #1 priority, over diet, exercise etc. She said none of that concerns me if you are severely sleep deprived.As soon as I started taking sleep seriously, my body responded in gradual ways. My pain was reduced, and energy levels came up significa

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I was on a social site last night and read a comment from a Fibro Friend who asked: (paraphrasing)

“Does anyone else on here put off going to the doctor. Sometimes I wait too long to go, because I think I need to have a really good reason. I have a foot injury and still have not gone”

This really got me thinking about the relationships we have ( or don’t have) with our healthcare providers.
Why in world would a person feel like they should only get in to the doctor unless it was very serious? Has our healthcare system reduced us to such poor self care standards?
It really pisses me off!! To be fair, it might not be her doctor, it could be something else like this…

When I probed a little more I found out that she was reluctant to go because she was tired of being told the same thing at every appointment, and that there was nothing they could do for her. I think we can all relate to that at one point or another. Haven’t you felt that helpless feeling of discouragement, when you were first diagnosed, or  were looking for help?

Listen, if a healthcare provider tells you there’s nothing they can do for you, unless they are sending you home to die and you are terminal, I would consider getting a new provider.

Something can always be done.

There’s always new things to try, both in medications, natural therapies, diet, exercise, meditation and a combination.

Taking Control of Your Body & Chronic Illness Management

Here are some ways to Empower you to take control of your healthcare. After all, who is paying who? Who is CARING for Who? Your doctor is there to take good care of you and it’s important to build a good relationship with her/him.

  • Open communication. Unless you can be honest with your doctor, and feel comfortable telling her/him all your concerns, your doctor may not have adequate information to treat you with. All the blood tests, MRIs and physical exams cannot replace explaining how you feel, what your wishes are, and how you’ve been complying (or perhaps not and WHY not) with their treatment. Sometimes we are reluctant to tell the doc we stopped taking a med because of how it made us feel, or about side effects we are having because we just want to “tough it out”. Ask questions. Thats their job to make you feel better.
  • Believe it or not, this one may sound a little strange but if you can take an interest in your doctor a little at every appointment, they will be more likely to feel a little friendship with you. Yes, they are taught to keep an emotional distance for their protection, but there is nothing wrong with friendly conversation about their kids, vacations, golf etc. Try it, it helps, especially with those colder bedside manner types.
  • See your doctor regularly. I see mine every 3 months. Some chronically I’ll see their doc every 6 mos, and if you are going through a particularly rough time, once a month to what he or she asks. Never feel like you need a “reason” to see them. They manage our care and especially if you are on medication it’s required that you be checked out
  • Get to know the doc’s staff. If you know the receptionist by name,techs, nurses by name, and take time to make them feel like more than just an employee, but a person, they will be more likely to treat you well, squeeze in an appointment etc.
  • Your healthcare and medical records are yours, and depending on your state privacy laws nobody can see them unless you give permission. Your health is a confidential matter, so you can feel safe telling your doctor anything, especially when it comes to matters of depression. For God sake tell your doctor about your depression so it can be helped and monitored. Almost all chronically ill are depressed at some points.
  • Lastly, you and you alone are inside your body right? So would it not make sense to take charge of its care? Let me illustrate with a short story: Back in 1989 it took me two years to find out what was wrong with me. I had been sick for several years, and there was no such thing as Fibromyalgia or CFS back then. My primary care doctor sent me to a Neurologist who put me in the hospital, and pumped me full of IV prednisone for a week. A month later I was diagnosed with MS. Me being a very busy young mother in shock, felt totally at the mercy of the docs and a bad HMO…for about 3 years. Then I began to wake up and take control of my case. I did research, looked for natural alternatives, as well as the best ways to manage my pain and stay on top of it. In 2002 I was “Un-diagnosed” from MS finally, and diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Had I not PUSHED for that to happen, that diagnoses would still be on my medical records.
  • Moral? Empower yourself with education!! Know your illness and your body and get tuned in to listening to it. Don’t let doctors push you around if it does not feel right to you. There are many ways to helps us nowadays, take advantage and be informed! Learn as much as you can about your condition to diffuse uncertainty and put you in the drivers seat.

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People consider me a very positive person, and one who adds inspiration and light to their life. Spiritual, heartfelt pursuits, dried up inside me 6 months ago, upon the convergence of a devastating new diagnoses of Lichen Sclerosus, new symptoms of IBS and IC and some other very difficult life circumstances that just took me down.. I have known for a long time that I was either clinically, chronically suffering with major depression or at the very least, had some serious issues that keep making me very sick beyond my diagnoses of Fibromyalgia. I have been fighting them, running from them, and ignoring all signs hoping it would just go away so that I could just lead a normal life. What a joke!

Now that I think about it, I have gone through some rather traumatic events over the past two years. I lost my mother, a home, and my last child “left the nest”. Another daughter has been going through brain cancer…yet we praise God for all the support and blessings that touch her life.

I crashed and burned..truly I did, and I am not complaining, but rather reporting where I have been for so long. I have been so extremely tired…. Can you relate? After having fibro for 25+ years I learned I have adrenal exhaustion. The last 6 months have been so bad that I have laid down in a fog staring at the TV. I could not concentrate on reading, writing for my blogs, social media, or the family and have had no interest in anything except sleep.

Where the HELL did I go!? My family has missed me for quite some time, and maybe you can relate to this. It’s called Isolating yourself from the world. I actually think I might have had what they used to call a nervous breakdown. For the past 9 months, every time I have gone in to my doctor (every 90 days) I’ve filled out the mandatory depression questionaire, and if there had been a box for “take me to the loony bin” some days… I think I may have been admitted for Suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, and feelings of complete and utter worthlessness  that occupied my mind most of the time. These thoughts felt like aliens, yet they just wouldn’t go away. It was horrible.
I grew up in the 60`s and 70 `s when the terminology “nervous breakdown” was still in use. I don’t think anyone says such a strange thing anymore… However, it makes me smile and giggle, because back then it was also used kind of “tongue in cheek”. My mom used to say “Ok, I’m ready for my nervous breakdown now! After taking all the grandchildren to a restaurant when they were little. Yes, that is crazy making!
I remember one of my friend’s moms disappearing for several months to her bedroom, while everyone in her family kept things going during her mother’s nervous breakdown as they referred to it.I think in her case, it was a real one. We never saw her. I only met my friend’s mother once, and other than that she was in her bedroom. I remember thinking how weird that was, but now can completely understand. While isolating ourselves is not the healthiest thing to do, it’s just what we do sometimes. Of course it’s always better to be around your family, stay active and fight your condition, sometime you have to stop running from the place you know you’re going to end up anyway. When you need peace and a lot of additional rest..you must just do it.

What’s the first moral to this story? While laying down all these months in this thick fog, moments of clarity came to me. One that kept coming was “Surrender… you don’t have to fight so hard, and you can still live well”. What we resist we usually get more of. The mental and emotional stress I have put on myself all my life to be “normal” and not accept my illness, has put a Ten Ton Weight on my chest. Sooner or later you just have to crack.

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