How to Start a Support Group:
To Advertise For Free:
Where to Hold the Meeting
What to use for material:
Once you have your support group started, try to find someone who will help you with the support group. Someone who will help you run it, a co-director. Make sure everyone knows you are not a Doctor or in the medical profession at all and do not give medical advice.
You need to set rules. Look at the rules for Your Fibromyalgia. Those should be good enough.
If you start a local support group, let us know and we will start listing local support groups on the webpage.
Written by Deb Lundquist
February 24, 2017
As you all know, I often talk about my faith because it is part of how I get through this path we are all walking together. I know that not all of you have the same faith as I, or any faith at all, but just bear with me and see if it helps in anyway.
I often listen to Discovering the Jewish Jesus on the DayStar television channel. Rabbi K. A. Schneider, who is a Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah, has done several series that he has done, and I never know which one I am going to be listening to as I tape his shows. Several times he has talked about how we often walk through wildernesses in our lives and that during those times we need to lean on God all the more to get through them because that God often teaches us things during those times, things about ourselves, about Him, or things about others or situations.
I have been thinking about that a lot since I started to listen to those broadcasts and I have come the conclusion that I have been walking in a wilderness since my accident in 1999. I have had some real moments of insight about my relationship with the Lord, my illnesses and why I have them, which is why I have the support group, the webpage, and now this radio show.
All my life, I have been in the medical field in some way, either as a patient, a medical transcriber, a medical bill/insurance provider, or advocate for the patient to get their bills paid. I was a sickly child and learned early about doctor’s, illnesses, and medications. I was a medical advocate for my first father-in-law at the young age of 17 when his family didn't know, when he developed cancer. Then our daughter starting at the age of 5 when we discovered she had been having bladder infections from the time she was conceived. By the time she had her surgery at 10, I knew as much about urology as a urologist and was even asked if I was one. By the age of 22, I already had raging endometriosis and had my miscarriage of my first child. I could have been a doctor by the end of that episode at the age of 29. I could have been a doctor the way I remember all things medical that I am told and have often been asked by doctors and nurses if I am.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, who knows, I understand all about the muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, nerves, and I can feel what each is doing in my body. It angers me when a doctor tries to explain things to me because I already know. I always say, ‘yes, yes, I already know that, let’s get on with things.’ Or I will say, ‘no, you have that backwards, this is the true way of things.’ They really hate that. Like the doctor who told me if RSD/CRPS moved to more than one limb it was really Fibromyalgia. Yea, that was a funny one. I actually laughed and then educated her.
When I got Fibromyalgia, God told me to be an educator for Fibromyalgia. That is what I have tried to do, once I figured what to do for myself.
So, anyway, back to the subject at hand, I started thinking about what Rabbi Schneider said about walking in wildernesses in our lives. Now if you remember anything about the Bible, the Jews escaped from Egypt and walked in the Wilderness for 40 years before they were allowed to cross into the land of Israel. According to the Rabbi, this was so that God to teach them many lessons and it took 40 years for these lessons to be taught because they were a stubborn people.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I know I am stubborn, lol. I also know that I have asked God to stop hitting me over the head with a 4 x 4 when he wants to teach me something because I’m being dense! I figure my accident in 1999 was a huge 4 x 4! However, I survived it only by the Grace of God! Everyone said I should have died, all the emergency people that is. God wanted me to teach.
Even as healthy people, I think we walk through our wilderness phases, I have given a lot of thought to this over the last few weeks. When I was first married, was a huge wilderness phase for me. And yet, now that I am over all the abuse stuff, I can look back and see sometimes of laughter and happiness, sometimes of fun and joy.
Since 1999, I have been walking through another wilderness, with oases in between each wilderness period. For 4 and a half years, the wilderness was very dark and dank, and I don’t even like to think about that time. That was the time of completely uncontrolled RSD/CRPS with pain levels so off the pain scale chart as to make it obsolete. Still during that time, I did go to Washington, DC to advocate for RSD/CRPS. I think about it now and wonder how I ever managed it. I could only have done that with the help of God. I sure couldn’t had done that on my own! That wilderness time was long, hard, and so frightening. We were completely financially dependent on our daughter who was only 18 at the beginning. Incredible, but that was also the time when God would take me down stairs at night to write the most incredible poems like ‘Living with Strife’, ‘If You Were Me’, and other poems about learning how to live with illness through faith.
Then, I had a 7-year Oasis, no pain. Then, on and off again wilderness’ and oases and that last few years have gone by and I have survived each one. With each wilderness, I come out having learned something new about myself and my faith has always grown stronger, because I never, ever give up on God. I just don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have faith. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be here.
As I have been searching in my mind what the Rabbi has been discussing, I have come to the realization that we each walk through our own wildernesses differently. We all handle them in completely unique manners, just like we are unique in ourselves, but still in the end we learn different things. With Chronic Illness, we will never be cured, but there will be times when the wilderness will have an Oasis here and there. If we don’t take what we have learned during our wilderness walk and use it, we will take that path again until we take that knowledge that we learned and apply it to our lives.
I have just gone through another wilderness. They are rough, but we can get through them, especially if we do not turn our back on our faith. If we share that we are in a wilderness so that we are not walking through them alone, we can get past them a little easier. We all go through them. Just as we aren't alone in our Fibromyalgia, we don't have to be alone as we walk through our wildernesses either. So, let someone know if you are going through one. Let our support group, Your Fibromyalgia, know so that we can help you walk through yours as well.
Wildernesses can be dark, lonely and frightening places. Don't walk yours by yourself. We can get past them, but they can be very hard to get past if you try to do it by yourself. I know, I just tried. Then, my Bob and God stepped in and stopped it.
My wish for you is peace within your pain-wracked bodies, that your stresses be lifted up and off your shoulders and that your wilderness should be turned into a beautiful oasis from this moment on. May God Bless you!
There is a lot of anger in the Chronic Pain world right now. It is showing on the support group in a lot of ways!
Anger at the government for reducing the amount of opioid production. Anger at the Doctors for decreasing the number of opioids you are allowed to take or stopping your opioids completely, some of them cold turkey. Anger at the pharmacy, because they are only filling your prescription a week at a time, even if you have a 30-day script and then treating you like you are an addict in the process. Some Doctors are making you bring in your bottle and are counting your pills before they will renew your prescriptions and some pharmacies are doing the same.
The government is raiding Doctors’ offices and finding stashes of drugs they aren’t supposed to have, making it more difficult for the Doctors who are doing things right. This is causing Doctors to be fearful of prescribing opioids. The government is watching. Some Doctors are not only losing their licenses to prescribing opioids, but their practices as well. They are scared and angry too.
The government is also limiting the opioids that the pharmacies can dole out to patients. They are also being watched. Do you think they want their long-time patients in pain? I doubt it.
Then there is anger at the news, because every time you turn it on there is another story about the opioid epidemic and you think they are talking specifically about you, but you are wrong. And so are they! The government got the cart before the horse on this one. I hope someone is listening.
I live in a small town and every week there is another opioid death in town. 35 miles away is a larger town and there are usually 2-3 opioid deaths a week in it. Then there is the violence. It is increasing, all in the name of drugs. The drugs that we have, have nothing to do with this, but we are being labeled as drug addicts, and it isn’t fair. Still, there isn’t anything we can do about it just the same.
Now, this show is not a political show. This show is about Chronic pain and although opioids do not help Fibromyalgia by itself, very few of us have just Fibromyalgia, right? I would say that 99% of us have another, if not more than 1 chronic pain disease. For myself, I have RSD/CRPS which is the worst pain known to man and I know there are many of you who have that too! If the doctors cannot get that under control, the ONLY way to maintain any kind of life is with opioids. I for one, couldn’t have survived without them and my faith, at that time! Then, there are people with scoliosis, degenerative disc disease (raising my hand), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, failed back surgery, several herniated discs, spurs on their spines, broken backs that didn’t heal properly, broken hips that didn’t heal properly or are still healing after years of having been broken (raising my hand), phantom limb syndrome, the list continues. Personally, I have several chronic pain issues.
Did the government even think about the Chronic Pain patient before they started this campaign on opioids? It doesn’t seem like it. Hopefully, the US Pain Foundation will develop the 2 projects to start addressing how to treat ’substance abuse disorder’ and accelerating the development of non-addictive pain therapies that they met about in October. The plan was to have Common Fund Projects in place by next month, but it was to be set up on a grant basis and the Office of Pain Policy and Pain Consortium has of yet never received a grant. When asked about that, Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH director said, ‘chronic pain is an important topic, especially at this time and it was being given very serious consideration.’ We will see won’t we. We cannot be silent!
The problem isn’t us. The problem is the illegal drugs on the streets and the families going to the streets to get them because they break their legs, or such, don’t get off the drugs, and end up buying drugs off the streets. The problem is the government allowing pharmaceutical companies to legally develop synthetic heroin drugs in the first place and the doctors handing them out like candy while getting kickbacks. What they should have been doing instead was creating non-addicting pain medications in the beginning, years ago, so that the Chronic Pain Patients could actually survive and maybe even do more than that.
So now, we the Chronic Pain Patient are being punished because the government is cracking down on the wrong population. Okay, with that being said out loud for all of us. We have to stand up for ourselves. Write to all of your representatives in the house and senate in your State and at the Federal level and tell them what they have done to you and explain that they have just caused suicide levels to rise and that it all lays in their hands because of their votes. Also, let them know that the problem doesn’t lie with the Chronic Pain Patients who feel like they are being punished by the way they are being treated by their Drs and pharmacies.
There is a lack of education and they need to be addressing the dangerous drugs on the streets.
So, now with all of that said, we have to turn back to ourselves because it has always been dependent upon us to do what we need to get things right. No one believed in our symptoms for, sometimes 4-5 years, sometimes for up to 8 doctors. Sometimes, they give us such dangerous drugs, but they don’t tell us what they can do to us and we don’t find out about it unless we have an adverse reaction, are in a support group where we hear the truth or we die and then authorities blame it on the opioid instead of the real reason.
Most times, for chronic pain patients, if someone dies, it isn’t the opioid, although that is what is blamed, it isn’t even the other nasty medications they prescribe for us. No, sometimes, it is our hearts because it has put up with such unimaginable pain for so long, it just gives out. Autopsies are just now finding these truths.
Still opioids are getting the blame and we are suffering for it.
So, although the anger is warranted. We need to handle ourselves in a mature and adult manner. When dealing with people, either online or in public, there is such a thing called civility in this world. All the rules of kindness to others have NOT been thrown out the window, even if we are in pain and people treat us rudely. We can show the world that we are better than that, bigger than that. We are Fibro Fighters and we will win, even if we have to do it by ourselves!
Yes, the government has failed us, the medical community has failed us again and again. Okay, now with all that said, yes, our anger is warranted, but it is time for it to stop NOW.
However, there is one thing left, and this will never fail because we still have each other! We will always try to help each other to lean on, one way or the other.
The first thing we have to do, is throw our fear aside and be open to try new things. The government moves slowly to change and you are not going to change your Doctor’s mind or the pharmacies way of treating you. Be open to try new things before your Dr cuts your opioids completely to see what you can do to help yourself.
So many of you are already saying, ‘if they take my meds away that will be the end of me.’ You need to STOP thinking that way! Truly! You are setting yourself up for failure! The negativity in that statement is just heading you down a dead-end road! The very first thing you need to do, is get into a Psychologist to help you with the fear, anxiety and anger. Let this person help open you to trying new things. There are free clinics, if you cannot afford a Psychologist. Try one.
There are medications that help with things like muscle spasms and such, there are also exercises you can learn at home to help. Also with that too is superior nutrition that replaces the nutrients that are stolen from our bodies daily from Fibro and our other diseases, plus vitamins like Vitamin D3, Magnesium Glycinate which is especially for Fibromyalgia and Calcium. Vitamin C for your immune system. Have your Dr., yes, they are still necessary, do blood tests to see where your levels are.
Did you know drinking unsweetened cherry juice might help Fibromyalgia pain? Did you know that going on a Gluten Free Diet might help Fibromyalgia pain? Did you know if you go on the Fodmap Diet using the Stanford site for it, that not only might it help your Fibro, but it might help your gut too? Did you know if you stop drinking pop/soda whether it is diet or not, that it will help your Fibromyalgia pain? Did you know if you stop drinking anything with caffeine it will help your Fibromyalgia? Did you know if you stop eating chocolate, lower your sugar intake and lower your carbohydrates you might help your Fibromyalgia and lower your chances of developing Diabetes Type 2. What you eat definitely affects your Fibromyalgia.
Stretching of your muscles, without overdoing it, can help with muscle cramping and exercises at home can help with muscles to stop atrophying. On the support group, Your Fibromyalgia, I have some videos showing the home exercises I was taught to do.
All, these little things I have been taught, I have shared with you along the way. Plus, both on the Support Group and on deblundquist.com there are articles to help you with other ways to take care of yourself.
Sometimes, pain and anxiety are simply mind over matter. Now okay, don’t get mad about me saying that. What I’m talking about are learning coping skills that really work. That takes time to develop. I can pop into a coping skill into 10 seconds, but don’t think I learned how to do that in 6 months! My mother started teaching me how to do that when I was 10 and I couldn’t sleep at night. Oh yea, I started early. I still do these today! A good psychologist can teach you these.
The same with learning relaxation skills. The physical therapists and massage therapist will tell me to relax and I’ll say okay. I’ll say okay. I’ll take a really deep breath and by the time I let it out, I’m completely relaxed, everywhere. They are always shocked and ask how I do that. They always say they have never seen anyone be able to do it like I do. Well, my first psychologist was great! She is the one that taught me that. She taught me in one session. By the end of it, I was sound asleep. She couldn’t believe I learned so fast.
Then, there is biofeedback that a Psychologist can teach you. You have to learn to listen to your body. Listen to it, act accordingly, but you have got to move or you will only deteriorate and your pain will only increase. This is entirely up to you!
When you get angry because your body is doing things that you wish it would stop or all the anger we were just talking about, you need to put your anger in a box and put a lid on it. Your anger only makes your adrenal glands more stressed (we talked about this before) and the more stressed the adrenal glands are, the sicker you will feel.
When I worked at Green Giant Mushroom Farm, part of my history you don't know about, I had a picker help me through my divorce. He always knew what was going to happen just before it did and told me what to do to protect myself and my son. Anyway, right before this happened, I had had a very upsetting meeting with someone I should have been able to trust. I had come back to work, I think more upset then I can ever remember feeling and I had absolutely no one I could talk to. I still had my coat, hat, and mittens on and I was sitting at my desk typing on an ancient typewriter with no paper in it. I was smashing the keys very hard. Tears were flowing down my face. I wouldn't talk to any of my supervisors, I only had 19 (lol), I wouldn't talk to anyone. So, someone went and got one of the pickers, PeeWee, a nickname. He came in, grabbed the biggest and ugliest yellow ashtray you ever saw and put it next to me on my desk. Then, he took a 5-gallon plastic tub and turned it upside down and sat on it right in front of me. He started talking to me. He knew I was getting a divorce and so he figured I was upset about that. That wasn't it, well not completely. He just kept at me and the more he did, the madder and more upset I got. He kept saying 'throw the ashtray, throw the ashtray.' Finally, he got me so upset, I threw the ashtray at his head and missed by an inch. I burst into tears and everything burst out. I told him the whole story.
Well, you take your anger, get a box, get something that you don't care about and you break it in that box and shut that lid. You leave that anger in that box and start thinking about positive things.
Another thing you can do is, get a pillow and bury your face in it. Then scream and scream into that pillow for all you are worth. Scream out all your frustrations and all your anger into that pillow. Then when you are done, put the pillow down and wash your face with a cool face.
You still have a brain and a heart and courage! This might not be the ‘Wizard of Oz’ and I am certainly not a ‘Wizard!’ But you can get past this!!! Anger doesn't do you any good.
You have to get past the anger to be able to move forward with your life. Anger is going to drive everyone in your life away and leave you completely alone. Is that what you really want?
Yes, it is frightening to think about getting off of opioids. I have had to do it 3 times. The first time was when the Dr put my RSD/CRPS to put to sleep after 4.5 years of excruciating pain. We weaned me off of high levels of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. It took me several months. I hated the shaky feeling and later I discovered that if I had felt shaky, I was pushing it too fast and could have had a heart attack. After 4.5 years of being on it, I was afraid I would be addicted, but I was dependent, so that I surely didn’t want any Advil or even Tylenol after that.
Then, I broke my foot. I was back on Hydrocodone for 16 weeks. I didn’t want to be! I really didn’t want to be, but I couldn’t handle the pain. I slowly worked myself off of that, but I didn’t have to worry about it. I wasn’t on it that long.
When I broke my hip, in 2 places, I was on Hydrocodone for a long time, I think 8 months. I was afraid to go off that because I was still in pain, but I went off of it anyway because I was afraid to be on it longer. You see there are ways to handle your pain and I had learned to do it.
My RSD/CRPS has come back now and again and I’ve had to use Hydrocodone for that until I could get another block, until this last time, when I used my oils and of course, the Limu.
So now, when the RSD/CRPS, I don’t have to use pain meds until I get a block. I have my oils, Limu, my coping skills, biofeedback, relaxation, my happy place, my sleeves, and I can handle it. Not only can I handle it, not only can I survive, but I am thriving and so can you. You just have to take that first brave step without fear and anger.
Written and copyrighted by Deb Lundquist, 3/2000
Life is ever changing and yet it always stays the same.
We will evolve with each event and reinvent life's game.
We place ourselves within guidelines in which we live and stay
Working and playing as we expect, our lives, they never stray.
We live within a box with tall sides that we have created.
As long as we stay inside, our potential is ill-fated.
So, should we climb up to the top and see what is outside,
Or safely stay within our box where we can live and hide?
This question we all will answer as we mature and grow
After we are old and the box shuts tight, then we will finally know
If we should have taken a peek when we still had the chance
To see if a new direction would have helped our life perchance
There is still time to be brave, to stretch real high and look
And redefine how we will live, take life's coat off its hook.
Go out and knock down those walls that created our own box.
Destroy the chains, uproot the fence and throw away the locks.
Look past our world where we have become compartmentalized
And reach beyond our hopes and dreams that we have realized.
Spread out our wings and our minds, and reach to the sky and fly.
When time is past and all is done, we'll know the reason why.
For me that means the disability that no one else can see.
I've set my limits, built my box and relegated me
To an existence so defined I do not wander far.
Being scared, I forgot to stretch and reach for my own star.
But now it has been brought to notice, I am misdefined.
My existence as it is now, is quite plainly too refined.
I must experiment and stretch beyond my safety net
And touch the things I fear the most and see where I might get.
Yes, there will be things in life I will not be able to do,
But there are chores that lay dormant I truly need to pursue.
Until I try I will not know what can or cannot be done.
I'm more then a patient. I'm a wife, have a daughter and a son.
I'm a person with a mind, a heart, a purpose to fulfill.
I'll not let my disability destroy and plunder at will
Or make me useless in this world for I am still viable
Working with others and learning how to become more pliable.
Helping those new to this disease, and help their box destroy,
Tears down my walls, my fears and gives hope and true joy.
Even though I have RSD, blessings I'm still receiving.
With these maybe in some small part I can help others grieving.
The world is hard, but it will win only what we allow.
We must stand proud and with our strength we will win somehow.
But only if we escape the box which has become our jail.
We can succeed! There is hope! In this we will prevail!
(This poem was written as I tried to overcome my fear of driving and my fear of large vehicles on the road. This fear reared it's big, ugly head after my accident that brought on the RSD. It took a while to own up to this fear and as my husband and I drove to the doctor I wrote this poem. Amazingly, in counseling that day, the doctor told me I had to destroy my box. I thought it was interesting that this poem was written before our session. I have since learned to drive again without fear and semis don't even frighten me any longer. I can even drive downtown Chicago! So, see, there is hope! Little steps can begin tearing down very large walls indeed.)
May you have pain free days, with smiles and love.
Written by Deb Lundquist
October 8, 2017
This is my theory about Fibromyalgia. Just try to stay with me on this, it’s a little out there. Remember this is only my theory.
Imagine you have a handful of colorful rubber bands. Now, let’s think about before you had Fibromyalgia. Did you have:
Vitiligo? (that is when you have white color patches on your skin) That will be white bands.
Did you have asthma? That will be an orange band.
Did you have allergies? That will be a yellow band.
Did you have hormonal issues? That will be a red band.
Did you have endometriosis? That will be a brown band.
Did you get vaccines? That will be a purple band.
Were you malnourished? That will be a green band.
Did you have a Thyroid problem? That will be a blue band.
Did you have Cancer? That will be a pink band.
Did you have Diabetes 2? That will be a tiger striped band.
Did you have surgery? That will be a light green band.
Did you break a bone? That will be an ivory band.
Did you develop the flu that wouldn’t go away? That band will be camouflage.
Did you have an accident? That will be a mauve band.
Did you have an infection? A virus? That will be a putrid band. Some bacteria would be a dark blue band. A parasite a puce band. Candida a gray band. The shingles a dark red band.
Do you have any combination of these? As your band grows, then you may have developed Fibromyalgia.
This is why the Drs. have such a hard time putting it all together and coming up with a diagnosis. Look at all the different colors in your rubber band ball. If you go into the Dr. with all of these different complaints, would you immediately go to a nerve disorder? If you were a Dr. would you immediately go to Adrenal Fatigue? Probably not.
Again, look at all the colors in your ball. Now, if you haven’t been diagnosed yet, let’s add some other colored bands.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? The band will be gold.
Lupus? The band will be magenta.
Acid Reflux? The band will be clear and bumpy.
Biliary Cirrhosis? The band will be yellow brown.
Adrenal Fatigue? The band will be black.
As you can see, your band just grows and grows until you finally get a diagnosis. Then it will probably continue to grow until you start getting the right treatment for all your different problems.
All of your issues prior to Fibromyalgia can be treated and maintained fairly easily. Well, Cancer, of course, is more serious and you can’t do surgery with holistic treatments. However, there are ways to help your body to help itself. There are ways to stop the malnutrition and heal your gut that malnutrition damages. There are ways to reverse Adrenaline Fatigue.
It is so amazing what your body will do if you give it all the nutrition it needs. What if I said there is a nutritional product that you drink twice a day that can be compared to mother’s milk. That it is like an Immune shot in the arm. I mean what happens when antibiotics stop working as many scientists think they will? We must fortify our innate system with powerful immune boosting compounds and they don’t get any much better than fucoidan and that is what is found in Limu and what would you say if I said Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue can benefit from its tonic therapy as well as chronic pain. Now, I’m not making any guarantees, but the company does. It gives a 30-day guarantee on all of its products. Build up your nutrition, build up your immunity, stop your infections.
Then you need to get as much sleep as you possibly can. With LIMU giving you the nutrition you need, sleep may come easier. If you need additional help, there is help with doTERRA essential oils. You need to get good REM sleep. That is the deep healing sleep that your body needs in order for your body to truly start the healing process.
Hormone deficiencies are another issue that needs to be addressed. Estrogen, progestogen for women and testosterone for men need to be checked to make sure the levels are appropriate for the age of the patient. Then you need to find out if you have orthostatic intolerance.
Then, when you start to feel better, you start light exercises and work up your exercises so you can start strengthening your body. Walking is good for you, even if you start with 5 minutes 3 times a day. What happens when you exercise is your body releases its own pain relievers called endorphins. Start dancing. Have fun with your exercising. Dancing is a great way to exercise and have fun at the same time. It will get your heart pumping, your endorphins, and start to get your body more limber.
Think positive thoughts. Remember, negative thoughts affect your adrenal glands. Start saying nice and positive things to others. This will make you feel nice about yourself. Try to do something nice for someone else. For instance, if I’m away from the house and I see someone in the military, I will say ‘thank you for your service.’ If they are with their family, I will turn to their family and say ‘thank you for your sacrifice.’ If I see a baby or a cute little boy or girl with Mommy and/or Daddy, I’ll make a comment about how well behaved the child is or make a comment to the child about their shirt if it is a special shirt or something or other. If I see an older person, I will say something to them because so many people ignore them. Anyway, I purposely look for someone to say something nice to. It makes me feel good. At first it was awkward. I was depressed and didn’t feel like saying anything nice to anyone, but I forced it and it really started to make a difference.
Written by Deb Lundquist
October 7, 2017
The Adrenal Glands are 2 of the most important glands in our bodies. Without them, we cannot live. Think of them as the ‘Guardians at the Gate of Stress’* They sit at the top of each of our kidneys and are the size of a walnut, weigh less than a grape. They determine how your body will respond to any internal or external environmental change. Thoughts and emotions drain or CHARGE your adrenals and every cell in your body. Adrenal health helps create your core strength and endurance.
These little glands are extremely powerful and produce a lot of our needed hormones. The adrenal glands are actually endocrine glands that produce and store steroid hormones like cortisol, adrenaline (stress hormones), estrogen and testosterone that are essential for life, health and vitality. These hormones are the ones the regulate the function of every gland, organ, and even every tissue in your body. When your body sends a response to an event, the adrenal glands release some hormone that it determines you need. They keep some hormone levels increased while purposely keeping others down. Stress is the most common cause of adrenal fatigue.
The purpose of your adrenal glands is to maintain the homeostasis of your body during any kind of stress, no matter if it is a slight injury like a paper cut, a shot, negative thoughts, depression, stress at work, at home, a major injury like an accident, or surgery. Whatever the stress, the adrenals respond accordingly. This is where the fright and flight signal is directed. The adrenals will give you the energy to get out of any dangerous situation. This is why you hear of super strength when people find themselves in an emergency, like they can lift a car or that kind of thing. In ancient times, this is how man could fight and kill big animals, go for long periods of deprivation, or go for long journeys with dried food, nuts, seeds, and eating roots along the way.
In today’s world, we have the same internal system, however now we fight air pollution, toxins in the food we eat, medications we take, cleaning agents we use, even the new car smell has toxins in it. If you get infections, if you overindulge in food, if you are sensitive to food, have allergies or asthma, or are addicted to drugs or if you smoke, all of these are triggers for the same Adrenal responses. If your adrenal function is low, as it is in adrenal fatigue, your body has trouble responding appropriately to stress. In this case, you are more likely to develop physical and psychological illnesses. These, in turn increase the stress causing the Adrenal Glands to further deteriorate.
Maybe by now you realize that the Adrenal Glands are in charge of keeping your body in balance to stressors so that they do not cause harm. How can they cause harm? Cortisol, one of the hormones they produce, helps to prevent swelling and inflammation when your body reacts to allergies all the way to autoimmune diseases. ‘When cortisol levels are deficient, heightened immune activity cannot be shut off once it’s no longer needed, the off switch is broken. When your immune system is always activated, your adrenals release even more cortisol. This suppresses your immune system and is one of the primary factors resulting in CHRONIC inflammation which leads to chronic disease.
Excessive cortisol damages brain function causing memory problems and much more. Fatigued adrenals may cause high or low blood pressure, hypoglycemia (which comes with light headedness and fainting when very low), vertigo and noise in the ears. Confusion, lethargy, constant fatigue, weakness, brain fog, profound sweating, palpitations, fainting, and varicose veins. Swelling, craving salt and/or sugar, WEIGHT GAIN-belly fat, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction/ED, PMS, problematic menopause, thyroid issues and low stamina. Difficulty sleeping, tired when you wake up, and over reacting to stress, startling easy, and dilated pupils. Adrenal Fatigued individuals can also be susceptible to infections, recurrent allergies, difficulty recovering from flu and colds, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, cystitis, depression, anxiety/panic attacks, behavioral problems, and ADD/ADHD. Inflammation (aches and pains), knee pain, carpal tunnel, extreme sensitivity to cold, hyperpigmentation, osteoporosis, restless leg syndrome, leg length difference, headaches-migraines, LOW BACK PAIN. Not to mention accelerated aging!
Adrenaline: Also called epinephrine. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are two hormones produced by the adrenals. Sympathetic nervous system = fight/flight. Parasympathetic nervous system is activated when body is relaxed. Adrenaline has a direct and immediate effect on your heart and is related to an increase in strokes and other heart problems.
Your recovery is contingent upon what you eat, drink, the thoughts you feed your mind, and the beliefs you base your life on. How you spend your energy, how you conserve your energy, and how you create your energy are all extremely important.
Addicted to Stress?! Psychologists tell us that we can get addicted to the highs and lows of hormone rushes produced by trauma, tragedy, crisis, or chaos. (Adrenaline Junkie). Some people are drama queens or kings or like to stir the pot and find themselves in messes over and over again. Have you seen someone that has to make sure things go wrong even when they are going well? These people are ADDICTED to chaos or crisis. Shots of adrenaline and cortisol pump through our bodies when we are stressed. We can somehow seek to bring familiar emotional and hormonal chaos BACK so we can feel the adrenaline rush again.
Your adrenals may be week from birth: Children born to mothers suffering with adrenal fatigue and children who experience severe stress in the womb typically have lower adrenal function. From birth on, these children may have less capacity to deal with stress in their own lives and are more prone to adrenal fatigue throughout their lives.
Emotions/Actions associated with adrenals: Lost, abandoned (including abandoning yourself), deserted, lost love or not loved in return, vulnerable and heart broken. Can’t figure it out, up and down, emotional instability, paranoid, sluggish thinking or memory, lack of emotion, suppressed, non-thinking, absent mindedness, and insecurity. Rapid mannerisms and overly talkative.
Action Points: Adopt an optimistic attitude to help you respond better to situations and people that contribute to your stress. Expect good things to happen, not bad. What part do you play in creating stress? Avoid people that stress you out. Mend or end toxic relationships.
~Throw a life ring to your adrenals…
~STOP using energy drinks and coffee!
~Do everything in your power to sleep!
~Eat better and take specific supplements.
~Decrease toxic- load.
~Eliminate as much stress as possible.
~Improve relationships and communication.
Coffee sets off a chain reaction: Acid based oil in coffee irritates the lining of the stomach which increases gastric secretions which sparks/ignites adrenaline, which stimulates insulin production, which fuels hypoglycemia. END result = Tension, mild rise in blood pressure, craving sweets 2 or 3 hours later, low energy, depressed mood. Coffee causes nutritional deficiencies: B1 in particular = fatigue, nervousness, aches, pains, headaches. Damaging to small intestine = more problems assimilating nutrients properly. Throws off the bodies Ph balance = depletion of many minerals.
Leading cause of toxins: Pesticides in coffee are one of the most significant sources of toxins in the U.S. Long-term consumption taxes the liver causing congestion in this vital organ which leads to other problems. Lots of yeast, fungus, and mold in coffee as well. Decaf may be even worse. May contain large concentrations of trichloethylene a chemical used as a degreasing agent in the metal industry and a cleaning agent in dry cleaning. Related to chemicals linked to certain types of liver cancer.
Considerations regarding coffee. In the very least, start by limiting yourself to one cup and use organic low acid coffee! Eat something BEFORE you consume coffee. Try to replace it all together with healthy warm teas including sipping essential oils in tea like ginger which is very good for digestion and an immune system tonic.’*
These hormones closely modulate many metabolic processes such as:
the utilization of carbohydrates and fats
the conversion of fats and proteins into energy
the distribution of stored fat – especially around your waist (the spare tire) and at the sides of your face
normal blood sugar regulation
proper cardiovascular function
After mid-life, the Adrenal Gland become the source of the sex hormones for both men and women. These hormones, affect a whole host of issues. These include your sex drive all the way to gaining weight, especially around your waist and your puffy cheeks. Then there are the hormones, steroids, that affect your muscle’s strength and stamina.
Have a chronic illness? Your Adrenal Glands have a direct impact on your chances of getting certain kinds of diseases and how you respond to chronic illnesses. The more chronic the illness or the more autoimmune illnesses you develop, the stronger and longer the Adrenal Gland reaction. This causes the Adrenals to be under even more stress. When it is constantly on stress duty, you develop even more Adrenal fatigue. As you can imagine, how well you live, how well you feel all depends on how well your Adrenal glands function.
Adrenal fatigue and stress together have a direct effect on your healthy blood sugar levels. Cortisol, which we have already talked about, works with insulin to keep your blood sugars at a healthy level. It also regulates the flow of glucose into the cells for energy production. This is why stress or some level of Adrenal Fatigue, often comes before hypoglycemia, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Then, once you develop these diseases, they create greater demand on the already stressed Adrenal Glands. For this reason, some level of Adrenal Fatigue often is found with hypoglycemia, diabetes. If that is true, then add Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Thyroid Disease, Lupus, Arthritis, and Depression stress the Adrenal Glands even more.
Here is an interesting fact. The symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue are the same as Fibromyalgia and all the diseases it mimics.
*Laurie Langfitt’s Adrenal Class Notes doTERRA Convention 2015
* Dr. James L. Wilson’s Article on Adrenal Glands and Function, located at adrenalfatigue.org
Suggestions of What to say to people when they say to us:
If they say: You don’t look sick!
You say: ‘Thank you for the compliment. You don’t have any idea how hard it is for me to appear this way.’
If they say: You are lazy!
You say: ‘Do you have any idea how rude and ignorant you really are at this moment? When you are ready to discuss what is wrong with me, we will.’ And then you walk away.
If they say: You don’t want to get better!
You say: ‘You have no idea what you are talking about! No one would ever want to live the way I am living or survive with what I have to suffer. You will never understand because even I don’t understand. Every day it seems there is something new, but this is a real disease and I am not alone. It is time for you to try to understand.’
If they say: Why aren’t you working?
You say without yelling or crying: Why aren’t you listening? If I ignored what you said like you ignore what I say, you would get very angry with me and wouldn’t understand why I wouldn’t listen to you. So, when you are ready to listen to what I am saying then we can have a discussion. Until then, this discussion is over, because I will not continue to have a discussion with a brick wall that has stuffed ears.’ Then walk away and do not cry until they can’t see you anymore.
If they say: Why don’t you clean the house?
You say: The same reason I’m not working.
If they say: Why don’t you cook anymore?
You say: The same reason I’m not working.
If they say: Why are you crying?
You say: Are you ready to listen?
What do you say to a partner who doesn’t believe that you are sick?
Start reading the support group with me.
If that partner says no?
Do you respect me? Do you love me? Then it is time to start standing up for myself. I need you to do this for me. I need you to be in this with me because this is something I don’t want to do alone. If that partner still says no, then tell that partner there is no option, communication is the key with this disease and that partner is not being part of the communication in the relationship and they need to be.
There are reasons people don’t believe in Fibromyalgia. For one thing, it is invisible and people can really only see it if they look in your eyes. So, ask people to look you in your eyes. As for Doctor’s, they are not taught about Fibromyalgia in medical school. If they hear anything about RSD or Fibromyalgia, it is in the form of Chronic Pain and then is only a mention. Chronic pain is only covered in 4 hours unless they specialize in it in their Residency. Then, their education will depend on where their Residency took place. Another thing about people not wanting to hear about Fibromyalgia is that the combination of symptoms do sound out of this world, if you think about it.
With RSD, I always thought that people didn’t want to hear how you could get it, because it makes it too close to home to realize that they could get it too. How frightening! Right?
Considering that the medical community don’t know what Fibromyalgia is, how exactly you get it, how to truly treat it, that there is no cure, can you blame people for not wanting to sit and listen to the litany of what is going on when you don’t really understand what is going on yourself? However, we are going to change that because that isn’t fair to you or to me for that matter. Right? And I’ve always believed in fairness. After all, I’m a Libra!
So, let’s set up some conversational points for everyone to discuss so that we can try to make people understand exactly what we live with in terms they can feel themselves.
This is why it is so important for the people near and dear to you need to understand what Fibromyalgia is. Once we stop talking about the first 6 symptoms of Fibromyalgia, we start talking about deeper issues that they truly need to understand. You won’t be creating new symptoms, you might be developing new issues.
These are just the facts. I’m not trying to scare you. Does Fibromyalgia get worse as it ages? The truth is, Fibromyalgia is not an auto-immune disease, but it is attracted by them. If you developed Fibromyalgia, chances are that eventually if not before, you will develop auto-immune diseases and once you do, more will develop. Those are what will progress and make it seem like the Fibromyalgia is progressing.
As you age, you are going to develop aches and pains, that is just part of the aging process. Those aches and pains are normal and not necessarily part of Fibromyalgia. Don’t blame everything on Fibromyalgia, don’t blame every headache on Fibromyalgia. For instance, a sinus headache is just a sinus headache and should be dealt with as such.
Don’t let Fibromyalgia freeze you and stop you from living. If you do that, you will have a higher chance of getting worse. No matter what, moving is the best thing you can do for yourself. Loving yourself, keeping a positive attitude, good nutrition, getting regular blood tests and doctor visits, and keeping a watch on yourself and listening to your body should allow you and your partner to lead a wonderful and satisfying life together. God Bless.
Written by Deb Lundquist
September 23, 2017
Now that you have Fibromyalgia and people have turned their backs on you, you feel yourself worth isn’t what it used to be, but that just isn’t so! You feel you don’t have a purpose in this life anymore and that too is a lie that just isn’t true. So how do you turn all this around?
You have to learn to love yourself again.
No, you aren’t quite the same as you used to be, you are better! You have more empathy for others than you had before you got ill. You can feel for others, what they are feeling. You can listen better. You can look in someone’s eyes and tell right away if they are in pain. Could you do that before you had Fibromyalgia? I would be willing to say that you could not! You have more love for others now! You are a better person now!
If you have more love for others, then it is time for you to learn to love yourself. So, what if your friends didn’t believe you. It’s their loss, not yours. Yes, you miss them and the fun you had with them, but can you do all the things you used to do? The answer is probably not. Well then, let it go. Yes, I know you are lonely, but find new friends who will understand and they will not leave you. There are ways, you just have to look for them.
Look in the mirror, say I love you and mean it. Do it when you wake up and every time you go potty and right before you go to bed. It might feel silly, especially right at the beginning, but it works. Think of all the positive things you do during the day and write them down and go over them at night. Did you comfort someone during the day on a support group? Did you speak cheerfully on the telephone to someone not as cheerful and make their day? Did you tell someone God Bless you today? Write down all the cheerful and positive and cheerful things you did today and go over them right before you go to bed. Every day there will be more. How many times did you tell someone that you loved them today? Write that down. The more positive you are, write that down. You will find the more you do these things, the more positive you will be and the happier you will be.
Your purpose in the world is to be happy and to make the world a better place. To love God, spread His word and to Love yourself. To treat others the way you want to be treated and to not downgrade yourself or others. In order to love yourself, you have to love others. To love yourself you have to have empathy with others and you already have that. Tell yourself you love yourself and one of these days you will believe it! You are worthy of love! More than worthy of love! Now all you have to do is believe it yourself!
Written by Deb Lundquist
September 27, 2017
Risk factors for fibromyalgia include:
The pain and lack of sleep associated with fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety.
Fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome, a term that comes from “fibro” that indicates the fibrous tissues, such as tendons and ligaments) and “myalgia” (muscle pain) is a syndrome that affects the muscles, causing an increase in muscle tension: all muscles, from the scalp to the soles of the feet, are in constant tension. We talk about the syndrome since the same patient may have signs (what the doctor found the visit) and symptoms (what the patient reports). In the early 1900s it was considered an inflammatory disease of the muscles (fibrositis), while at the end of the 40s was excluded the presence of inflammation and was considered a psychological basis.
Although Fibromyalgia is mentioned in records 5,000 years ago, the modern concept of fibromyalgia, dates back to 1978, when two Canadian researchers, Hugh Smythe and Moldofky Harvey, who had used the term introduced in 1976 by Hench, spoke of fibromyalgia to indicate the characteristic aspects of the syndrome, which is a multifactorial . CAUSES: The studies aimed to seek the cause of FM has highlighted a number of alterations in neurotransmitters in the central nervous system (substances of fundamental importance in intracellular communication). If we think of our body as a computer, in fibromyalgia devices they are intact and in gathering the information properly, but the data are interpreted incorrectly. One of the effects of the dysfunction of neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin and norepinephrine, is the hyperactivity of the nervous system neurodegenerative, which involves a deficit of blood flow in the muscles, with onset of pain. Two features are widespread and persistent of FM: hyperalgesia (perception of severe pain in response to painful stimuli mild), allodynia (perception of pain in response to stimuli that are not normally painful).
RISK FACTORS: The trend of the symptoms varies according to a number of external factors: climatic factors (pain worse in the seasons passing, that in winter, spring, summer, and autumn and during periods of high humidity), environmental factors (time of life and cultural level can influence the course), hormonal factors (symptoms worsen in the premenstrual period, in case of thyroid dysfunction etc.), stressors (discussions, arguments, tensions at work and family), psychological factors (pessimistic, sometimes catastrophic, events in Newspapers, difficulty in maintaining control in your environment). The Fibromyalgia in Italy isnot recognized as disabling, but in other countries it is the single most frequent cause of requests for disability pensions: in the US, for example, 15% of Fibromyalgia receive disability compensation, and 25% are considered totally disabled). Symptoms are numerous: pain and hypersensitivity in many parts of the body, difficulty sleeping (waking up early in the morning), great fatigue, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety that often compromise the carrying out usual daily activities, occasional presence of palpable knots in the points aching, headache, tinnitus (ringing in the ears or vibration), dry mouth, chills, bruxism (teeth gritted day and night), feel, while walking, to be tilting to one side, as if we wanted to push the person next to us, cervical (difficult to stretch the head, which can cause nausea), difficulty expressing themselves and communicating, to go up or down stairs, to raise or lower the arms, nerves on edge, alternating diarrhea and constipation, inaccuracies (eg. when hitting a ball), hypersensitivity (light, odors, noise, sound environment etc.), all senses are involved.
DIAGNOSIS: The diagnosis is usually delayed and takes place after numerous tests, that is often centered on exclusion. History is a key to the diagnostic approach, asking the patient type, features and duration of pain, if found limitations in daily activities, if the pain is accompanied by a feeling of exhaustion, fatigue, weakness etc. This must be widespread pain that has the following characteristics (although not necessarily simultaneously): should cover both sides of the body, it must localize in at least 11 of the 18 areas algogenic (called tender points). It is symmetrical and precise points that respond to finger pressure. The pain usually has to have been 3 months in duration. Laboratory tests are used to rule out or identify a disease superimposed (blood count, ESR, RA test, ALT, AST, C-reactive protein, hyperuricaemia, several Thyroid tests, Lupus, Lyme's Disease, . Only in case of clinical suspicion, it should be sought for antinuclear antibodies . Completely negative, in fibromyalgia, imaging techniques that can only help rule out the syndrome, suggesting other possibilities (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and so on.) MRI to rule out Parkinson's Disease and MS as well. Once these tests have been done and everything has been ruled out, a physical exam has been done, and a consultation with the patient has been completed can a diagnosis be made.
DRUG TREATMENT AND NOT: There are several drugs used in the treatment of FM: analgesics to reduce the stiffness and pain associated with it, antidepressants, muscle relaxants. There are interdisciplinary programs that include relaxation techniques and information on chronic pain and can therefore effectively improve the symptoms and relieve pain. Patients must also take care of themselves, reducing stress, avoiding any undue stress or emotional stress, getting enough sleep, doing appropriate exercises (swimming, walking, water aerobics, horse riding and cycling); devoted to yoga and meditation, practicing acupuncture or chiropractic treatments that use stretching and massage techniques). Massage therapy is based on the manipulation of the soft tissues and muscles to improve blood circulation and increase the flow of nutrients to the muscles.
Because many of the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to various other disorders, you may see several doctors before receiving a diagnosis. Your family physician may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions (rheumatologist).
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list that includes:
In addition to a physical exam, your doctor will probably ask you if you have problems sleeping and if you’ve been feeling depressed or anxious.
In the past, doctors would check 18 specific points on a person’s body to see how many of them were painful when pressed firmly. Newer guidelines don’t require a tender point exam. Instead, a fibromyalgia diagnosis can be made if a person has had widespread pain for more than three months — with no underlying medical condition that could cause the pain.
While there is no lab test to confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Blood tests may include:
Reference: Mayo Clinic
In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all symptoms. Every person is different and so what works for one might not work the same for another.
Medications can help reduce some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and improve sleep, but all of them have side-effects. Common choices include:
Self-care is critical in the management of fibromyalgia.
Complementary and alternative therapies for pain and stress management aren’t new. Some, such as meditation and yoga, have been practiced for thousands of years. But their use has become more popular in recent years, especially with people who have chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia.
Several of these treatments do appear to safely relieve stress and reduce pain, and some are gaining acceptance in mainstream medicine. But many practices remain unproved because they haven’t been adequately studied.
We Posted the following question to our communities: If you could have one thing to help you cope better with the pain, what would it be? Nearly 190 answers later, it’s clear the gifts that truly matter often don’t come with a price tag. At the end of the day, what many people wish for is comfort, Hot tab, support and understanding — but the occasional spa day doesn’t hurt either.
Here are just some of their answers:
1.A doctor that believes in pain medication or anything that would help my pain because I’m in my 11th year and have not gotten relief yet.
2.A bathtub with a built in seat so I can get in and not worry about not being able to get out. Kinda like the ones advertised on TV.
3.Cool weather, electric blanket. And a pain pill I could tolerate people to understand what I’m living thru each day
4.A hot tub would be one of the worst things in my experience for fibromyalgia you go a weak and can’t even get out.
I have even been stuck in my bathtub are use a shower chair.
5.On of those tubs that they advertise on TV, you it has a door & you can sit up higher, it also has whirlpool, that would be heavenly!
6.Indoor pool that is heated or a big deep bathtub with jets
7.Liquid Percocet, the only pain pill that took the pain away and gave me energy. Was on it for 3 months and felt the best I felt in years. As of Jan 1 it is no longer covered by my insurance and have been bed ridden ever since.
8.Not having to get up so early…I need more sleep in the morning since it takes time for me to get comfortable enough at night to fall asleep!
9.A real friend someone not judgemental,someone compassionate and understanding…
10.I need a dr who will give me what helps and forget the stigma of what is suppisedly bad for you
11.Lifetime supply of legal medical marijuana!!!!!
12.Unlimited $$$ to go back to Hawaii!!! Didn’t hurt for a whole week, and only had one mild headache!
13.Insurance! I suffer daily and have no doctors and no meds since I lost my insurance in 2005. It’s very hard
14.I would love to have a walk in tub, a good massage therapist, and a good friend close by.
15.Right now it would be a trip to the Chiropractor and a neck back massage..
16.Just a nice relaxing night of uninterrupted sleep.
17.A light pain killer and some pot
18.Enough pain meds for a change not having to practically beg for each an every one to actually be able to be comfortable verses just hardly taking the edge off
19.Hawaii and a personal chief to make me healthy food…and do the dishes!lol!
20.A new body.
21.Medical insurance! I lost my job a year and a half ago. Was denied long term disability
22.A doctor who knew what the true symptoms are and not tell me it in my head and that I’m not in pain!!!
23.Electric blanket ad heating pad
24.House on the beach!
25.Stronger pain medication and understanding family
26.Fuzzy slippers and to be 25 again
27.A sunroom with lounge chairs
28.A glass of wine!
29. A real chiropractor that comes to my home everyday.
30. My weight blanket and a heating blanket.
We Posted the following question to our communities: What is your favorite thing to do when your body allows it? Nearly 100 answers later, it’s clear the gifts that truly matter often don’t come with a price tag.
Here is what community Share with us
I don’t know what it is about holidays. I know many people have trouble getting through them. Even with family & friends around sometimes we try to throw a smile on our face (while we wipe away the tears) and at least stay on the outskirts. Other times we stay in the darkness until this part passes.
I woke up this morning in pain. All over body pain – I’m well aware that it could be worse – but Lord this has me twisted today as I work myself around it while I need to.
When someone lose their vision the dr ofc refer them to get a seeing eye dog. When someone gets cancer they find out who their real friends are – the people who take them to appointments and stay with them when they are sick. I am so grateful that these few examples have resources available and that there are people out there that care enough.
I’m not able to get a case worker. The place to go in my town should be rebranded a tanning/nail salon because the 1st & 2nd year young “ladies” that are there to “help” people can’t seem to help themselves from mocking clients before they even leave the room. I’ve attempted multiple times throughout the years and its been a disaster every time. I feel for the people struggling with that outlet as I don’t think it is a good environment for anyone dealing with any illness – invisible or not.
My mother is my rock. They are out-of-town right now visiting family and their grandchildren. It’s where they need to be; I certainly wouldn’t bother or take any joy away from that time. Perhaps I can be a monster but not that kind.
What do you do when your closest friends have so much going on in their own lives and you’ve had fibromyalgia & depression as well as other “invisible illnesses” forever and a day u know that you can’t bother them.
I can’t call the Dr on Easter weekend, I have fibromyalgia. I hurt. Nah, I don’t do that.
When I get out the house to refill my meds Ill have more gabapentin but I’m now realizing that once again – take the meds, feel some improvement, adjust to side effects, tolerance, up dosage, up dosage, big pharma winning.
I’ve got depression. Who doesn’t these days? Had it for so long that even as I was waking up I could tell the difference. There’s a Cymbalta depression. Once you’ve taken it long enough you recognize it. Now that’s another medicine. It doesn’t work, stop taking it – oh my Lord what have I done it must have been working better get back on it and up the dose. The torture of not taking it is worse than all the reasons of not taking it – there are SO many reasons not to start it.
I think I handle my depression pretty well, all things considered. I focus on my blessings, I pray constantly throughout the day and I just work to do what I need to do. I have blessings, I’m so grateful – I don’t understand why this isn’t enough to make the depression go away.
I don’t have a St Bernard, or a dignified Mastiff to take along to appointments and encourage me to talk to the drs. I do have a 120+ lb Alaskan Malamute but he’s spoiled and would make everything about him.
I don’t have them there to turn to when (whatever kind of people it takes) to trigger others and I remind myself that God loves me too and so long as I’m on track w/ my integrity, struggling to find the journey the Lord has set for me. I remind myself. Cymbalta depression makes me not care.
My Godchildren are all safe and with family today. I should clean the house but I don’t think that’s on the schedule. I’ve done some dishes, and laundry is almost caught up for the week.
I’m going to pray, try to sleep & hopefully when I wake it’ll be back to the regular depression and not the cymbalta depression. Happy Easter, please enjoy anyone who cares enough to spend time with you when you need it; as well as those that give you space when warranted.
Written by Jennifer Johansson for Yourfibromyalgiallc.com
@JJsHealthyNutz on twitter
How do you forgive those that you love for not believing you? How do forgive those who turned their back on you when you needed them the most? How do forgive them when they didn’t ask for forgiveness? Aren’t they supposed to ask for it first so you can be the bigger person?
Well, I found out the hard way that isn’t how it works with Fibromyalgia. That isn’t how it works with RSD/CRPS and that isn’t how it works with abuse. You see you aren’t forgiving people to give them peace and healing. No, you are forgiving people for yourself so that you can start your own healing and move forward. The people you are forgiving don’t even know you have forgiven them and what’s more, they probably don’t even care at this point. You just need to decide where to start. For me, I started with the hardest one, with abuse. I needed help with it and so I asked God.
You see I have a very strange Christian upbringing. For those of you who don’t have faith, just listen through this and I will get through it quickly, I promise. It is different than anything you have ever heard before, I would bet. When I was 4, I got the chickenpox, the measles, and the mumps all in one month. I don’t know how my Mother didn’t go crazy. I remember being completely miserable. I have very good memories back to the age of 2.
When I returned to Sunday School, my teacher told me I was going to ‘hell’ because I had missed a whole month of church! I was 4 for heaven’s sake! I ran out of that room like the ‘hounds of hell’ were at my heels and ran for the sanctuary screaming for Mommy and Daddy! All was quiet. It was right in the middle of silent prayers, of course. ‘Mommy, Daddy! I’m going to ‘Hell!’ I’m going to ‘Hell!’ Quite a shock coming from a hysterical little 4-year old during silent prayer, I’m sure. All I remember, is Daddy running to pick me up and throwing his jacket around me and the minister staring at me from his pulpit high above everyone. In my little mind’s eye, he was the very devil himself. My entire family was there, but I don’t remember any of them, my Grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins. My Grandparents must have been horrified, they were so prim and proper. I would never go back into that church and still won’t unless there is funeral or wedding. It just feels like the door to hell is right inside that Sunday Room door.
So, my Mom said, I would throw a fit every Sunday if they would try to get ready for Church so we stayed home and as people would drive by, I would stand on the doorstep and yell ‘anyone want to play poker.’ She said I told her if I was going to ‘hell’ I didn’t want to go alone.
When I was 6 or 7, my brother and I don’t agree, we moved to a different house. My Mom always put out flowers next to the driveway and I was not allowed to play there. My brother had a pretty large car collection and I was not allowed to play with them. So, one day I was home alone with the babysitter. I went and grabbed the cars and, yep, went to the flower garden and played with the cars. I said outload, it’s not like anyone can see me anyway and I smiled.
Next thing I know, there was a tap on my left shoulder. I looked all around and no one was there, but I had the willies. I continued to play. There was another tap and then I heard ‘but you are wrong little Debbie, because I can see you and you know you are being bad.’ Well dang. I knew who that was.
I grabbed up the cars and straightened out the dirt, went inside the house and washed the cars, and put them away, and went into my room. I sat on my bed and just shook and shook. I was scared to death.
‘So, you won’t go to church.’ No, I whispered, it isn’t safe there. The door to hell is there and I don’t want to go to hell. ‘Okay. Well, how are you going to learn about me?’ I don’t know. I was crying now because I was really scared. I mean wouldn’t you be? ‘Well, then, I guess the Holy Spirit who lives inside you already, has a job to do, if you will listen.’ Oh, I will! I figured if this thing was already inside me, I wouldn’t be so scary, right?
So, that is how my education in my faith began. I started seeing Angels at a young age. If I didn’t understand something that happened, I would ask and I would always get answers immediately.
As I grew and continued my lessons, they were usually after I went to bed and usually lasted 2 hours, they got deeper, but I never opened a Bible. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even get a Bible until after my Divorce started when I was in my 20’s. I finally found a church that preached the way I was taught after Bob and I were married. That is what I needed.
So, what does this have to do with forgiveness? Well, everything. God tells us we are to forgive and that we are not to judge. Well, that is a lot harder to do than it sounds, right? So, I had to ask for help from the one place that I knew always gave me help when I needed it. God.
I thought first I better work on forgiving on the abuse because that would be the hardest and then the rest would be the easier. Well I was wrong. There is one I am still having trouble with forgiving.
I was 19 when my first marriage took place. It was too young. I was not grown up and was spoiled and didn’t realize that what I felt was not true love. I didn’t realize that the way I was being treated was not the way a man treated a woman. I didn’t think I would ever have any other man have interest in me because I only had one guy ask me for a date in High School besides my ex and he was … well not worth mentioning. Thanks to my Brother, no one else asked me out, but I didn’t know that until after the marriage was over. It would have been helpful to know that beforehand.
When I sat and really thought about everything that had created the circumstances of that twisted married life, I realized it couldn’t have ended any other way. My ex needed extreme counseling and he wouldn’t do it for me. He finally did it for his 2nd wife. What we went through was bound to happen because of his background and when I understood that, with the help of God, I had no choice but to forgive him. It was not easy. I had a lot of resentment stored away. Then, there was my baby boy…but I don’t want to go there. That was harder to forgive and I took him out of the situation. However, forgive I did and a big weight was lifted from my shoulders and came boiling out of my chest. I am still amazed by the healing strength that has given me and the anger I feel at his parents for allowing him to go through what he did. That however, is also forgiven as it was a long time ago and they never knew. They thought they were doing what was best for him.
You see, though, he didn’t ask me to forgive him. The forgiveness was for me, for me to heal and move forward.
The next forgiveness was for the church. Even though I didn’t cause the accident, people at my church seemed to blame me for it. They would say things like ‘you know Deb, he is such a nice man and he feels really bad about what happened.’ I would say, ‘is he.’ and ‘does he.’ Then, I would say ‘and I ended up with RSD because he wasn’t paying attention to what was happening on the road.’ There was no support there, no matter how much I begged for it from the Pastors.
Then, very long and hurtful story, One of the Pastors tried to ‘steal’ our daughter from us. Our daughter was a Freshman in College. The Jr. Pastor had convinced our daughter that not only was I being lazy but that I was driving her insane and that our daughter needed to run away from home and turn herself into the psych ward at the hospital before she went completely crazy. We discovered the plot the night before our daughter was going to run away. This is the one I am having trouble forgiving. The next day, I reported this to the head pastor, her boss and husband. He agreed that they, the church had not done well by me. I had asked him why I got no help when I was put on suicide watch twice and we called the church and asked for help and he said nothing. We asked him what he was going to do about his Jr. Pastor acting this way and he said he would talk to her and he would come back that night. I warned our daughter that when he came back, it would not go well because he could not stand up to his wife. When he came back, he said our daughter was lying. I threw him out of the house and told him if he ever came back I would have him arrested for trespassing. No chance there. I never got home visits from either of them. I turned them into the Counsel and they asked me not to go to the Bishop. I wish now that I had. This is the one I have a problem with forgiveness and ask for help with. So far, I have not gotten the help and the anger just seethes within me still. I think that God must be having a problem with this one too.
People and other Pastors ask me why we stayed at that church for so long. Well, I kept trying to forgive the people who did not support me and turned their backs. You expect your church to be there for you, especially your best friend who you have been at her beck and call over the last year and a half before your accident. But no, she turned her back on me and started telling lies about me and was part of destroying our relationship with our daughter. Yes, I have forgiven her. I find it sad though that she could not be as strong a friend as I needed her to be for me, as I was for her.
We didn’t go back to that church until that pair left. However, I never felt right there again. Still, Bob would not leave. No matter, how much I begged he would not leave, so I would not go. The new Pastor would come and visit me though and he would come and give me communion. He would ask why we didn’t leave because he said I wasn’t getting the fellowship I needed. I would say, Bob won’t leave. He didn’t know where we would go. So, when we went to our daughter’s, we would go to her church. I got fellowship there and made friends. Of course, that is 2,500 miles away.
Well, we have moved. Finally, I can go to a church where people who don’t really know me, know I have a problem and give me support both in church and outside of church. This has given me a chance to forgive the other church for their lack of support. Then, I got a surprise the other day, an email. Yes, an email from someone who I didn’t even think knew I was sick. In the email, she said that she was happy that I had found something to help me and she was glad that I was doing what I am doing to bring awareness to this awful disease. She made me feel better and that maybe there were more people aware at that church who knew. Well, anyway, forgiving the church has helped me heal the resentment there as well. The hurt over the lost friendships? They were probably temporary anyway, since we moved. People will come and go in your life. They enter your life for a reason and then they leave for some reason too. You may never know the why fors, just know that there is a reason. It is nothing that you have done. It is just that their time is over. One door has closed, but wait patiently because another door will open and someone new will enter your life. It brings to mind my friend Sheila. Her boyfriend left her and his excuse was because she was too needy. Well, phew. She has Fibromyalgia. A few months later, a wonderful man has entered her life and this man truly loves her. So, some come and some go. Never believe it is your fault. It is just their time.
Then there is the family, right? When I had the accident, it was probably 6 years before my eldest cousin found out about it. What? His mother knew! My second eldest, won’t even talk about it or anything? As a matter of fact, it is something no one is interested in talking about and I am pretty much someone who is persona non-grata in the family on my Dad’s side. They see me coming and they walk away. There are only 2 female cousins, me and one other (she is much younger than I am) and the spouses of my other cousins seem like we are positive ends of a magnet and so won’t talk to me, therefore, it is hard for my cousins to talk to me. I had an aunt and uncle who were like parents to me. They believed me and supported me. My aunt is gone now and my uncle has Alzheimer’s. It hurts, but again, like my female cousin said to me, they are very busy. They live very far from me and they just don’t have time and their lives are very different. Now, my eldest cousin’s wife has Fibro and she is a sweetheart. We are close to them. So, you love them, you forgive them, and you heal. You know they love you, they just don’t want to be around you.
The very hardest person to forgive is yourself, but why? What did you do that caused you to get this disease? Absolutely nothing! What did you do to turn your friends away from you? You got a disease they don’t understand. Was that your fault? No! What did you do that caused your family to not understand you, turn their backs on you, or even disown you? You got a disease they don’t believe in and don’t want to talk about it. Is that your fault? Absolutely Not! Did you wish for this disease? No! Then why are you blaming yourself? If you had an accident, did you do it on purpose? No! Even if you got the ticket, accidents happen! Not every accident causes Fibromyalgia! So, again, why are you blaming yourself? Even if you did cause the accident on purpose, like I said, not every accident causes Fibromyalgia! So, again, why are you blaming yourself? It is time to forgive yourself and begin the healing process! Then it will be time to move to the next step.
You choose the people to trust to tell your troubles to and you hold them close. Since my accident, I have discovered that you can’t choose your family. When I talk about my family, I only talk about one side. I never talk about the other side. However, I do have a very sweet and loveable cousin on the other side who I try to see as often as is possible. She has had Fibromyalgia for years. I’d say over 30 years and also TMJ and I don’t know what else. She has had to suffer pretty much in silence because she lives in a small town. She has had little support. When she found out I had RSD, she came to the Twin Cities for a visit when we were there to see if that was what she had, but it wasn’t. So, Susi if you read this, I miss you and I love you. She is absolutely beautiful.
However, since my accident, I have also discovered you create a new family from the friends and family you choose to hold close and trust. You can only create this, however, once you have given over your anger to God and after you have forgiven all of those who hold responsible for hurting you so badly. You can only start healing and move on emotionally once you forgive, especially yourself.
I am not saying it is going to be easy! Believe me! It is not! However, now that I have been released from all that hatred, I am at peace. As far as the Pastor’s, I guess in a way, I must have forgiven them some. I can hear their names now without wanting to throw up or walking out of the room. If they walk into a room now, I don’t walk out, but I will never voluntarily talk to them or listen to them preach again.
Forgiveness has to come from your heart. My daughter-in-law asked me one time how I could forgive her so easily. I told her plain and simple, because I love you. Just please, get yourself under control because I do have a breaking point.
You all have so much love in your hearts. I know because you show it every day. Love is a big part of forgiveness. Love yourselves. You are very worth loving!