Page 1

Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia’s

Fibro Living Issue 2 • April/ May/June 2014

FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE ... FIBROMYALGIA? AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT THE FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE RESPONSE HOW IT AFFECTS FIBROMYALGIA AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!

FROM QUAKE TO AFTERSHOCK

A TRUE STORY OF SURVIVING AND THRIVING WITH FIBRO

POEMS FROM THE HEART OF A FIBROMITE

THE HEALING POTENTIAL OF CROCHET

Plus

6

WAYS TO USE AROMATHERAPY

WEAR PURPLE FOR NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY - MAY 12!


Building a Community of People who Support “Purple” Awareness Causes from A to Z! Eating Disorders, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, And Suicide Prevention Are All Causes Near & Dear To The Founders Heart! Healthy living tips, recent research, and encouragement are shared weekly. Items are available for purchase at affordable prices, and $1 from each item purchased will be donated to one or more “purple” charities on a quarterly basis. Together we’ve raised $18 for the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association! April through June we’ll be raising funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Please “Like” us on Facebook to join our active community and check out our website! 2 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Contents 04 Letter From the Editor 05 Contributors to Volume 1, Issue 2 Want to Contribute? 06 Fight, Flight, Freeze .. . Fibromyalgia? By Emily Brewer 08 Fibromyalgia Turn Off Flight, Fight or Freeze

By Lars Clausen

12 From Quake to Afterschock A True Sotry of Living, Surviving, and Thriving with Fibromyalgia

By Lisa Arrington

16 The Healing Potential of Crochet

By Katy Bradley

20

Taste the Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables

By Emily Brewer

24 6 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia Symptoms

By Emily Brewer

26 Poetry Corner: Poems Born from Living with Fibromyalgia

Featured Poet Micky Cocker

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 3


FROM THE EDITOR When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I felt like the world

Today, I still have ups and downs. The pain has not gone away

was crashing down on me. Everything that I thought I knew about

for me, but the brain fog and other cognitive issues are improv-

myself and my future changed in a blink of an eye, with a single

ing drastically, the pain is far more manageable, and most days I

diagnosis. To me, Fibromyalgia meant no cure, no hope, and no

accomplish something that I’m proud of.

options. I knew people with Fibromyalgia and I knew how horribly difficult their lives were.

One of the things I am most proud of is this magazine. If someone had told me four years ago that I would be publishing a magazine,

My diagnosis occurred over a decade ago and everything in my

I’d have thought they were a more than a little off kilter. How could

life has changed since then and still is changing. Change is truly

I possibly help create a magazine, when back then I couldn’t even

the only constant with Fibromyalgia for me. My symptoms change,

do basic tasks on a regular basis?

my pain levels change, my ability to cope changes, my self-esteem and levels of courage change, my relationships change, and my life

The world changes so quickly. My first steps to changing from a

changes. People I thought I could count on were unable to handle

powerless, angry, and hopeless person to a mostly confident, happy,

how much I changed, but new people have come into my life and

functional person was simply to be grateful for what I did have at

some older friends have come back as well.

that time and everyday thereafter. Over time the abundance and beauty of the world around me have become a part of me and

I went from being a go-getting relatively fearless person to being

more and more priceless moments have helped me continue on

incapable at times of taking a shower without help. After years

the path of recovering as much as possible and living an inspired

of struggling, I finally found some wonderful methods of coping

life with Fibro.

with Fibromyalgia and the myriad of ever-changing and evolving symptoms.

With the second issue of Fibro Living, I am still learning a lot and trying to incorporate some new viewpoints

In the first issue of Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia’s Fibro Living

and treatments and stories. May we all find

magazine, I shared my basic protocol for coping with Fibromyalgia

inspiration and strength in each other!

called “Simple Aids.” One of the important parts of this protocol is meditation, because it helps keep things in perspective and allows

Air Hugs & Love,

each of us to reach a mental state of strength that better prepares

Emily Brewer

us to go beyond coping and begin healing.

Miss Issue 1? Click The Cover Below to Check it Out!

Editor In Chief Emily Brewer, emily@inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com

Advertising Info Click here for Advertising Rates. or Email me: Emily@inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com

4 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Contributors

Lars Clausen

Micky Cocker

Creator of ICE Method & Author of Fibromyalgia Relief: A ScienceBased Approach to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit

Author of Crying to be Free Fibro and M.E, a book of poems about living wtih chronic illness.

Katy Bradley

Lisa Arrington

Advocate of “purple” causes and Owner of Purple Awareness Matters. website and Facebook page.

Fighter of Fibromyalgia & Author of young adult science fiction novels Quake and Aftershock

Want to contribute? Send a Letter to the Editor

Charities & Non-Profits

I always welcome your comments (positive and negative) about the

Due to the amazing work that so many charities do, I don’t charge

publication. Send letters to the editor via e-mail and include your name.

for promotion. If you have a story or article that you would like to

Fibro Living reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the

have featured in Fibro Living, please hit me up. I will work with

editor. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

you to ensure it is included in the Fibro Living Magazine and I will

Guest Authors

do so for FREE.

I am always interested in having guest authors who write on the top-

Format for Article submissions:

ics of living, inspiration, fibromyalgia, or anything else, if it fits with my

Please submit your article in Microsoft Word format or text format

audience. Please send me an e-mail pitching your idea for an article and

that can be opened in Microsoft Word. Photographs are highly

I will be happy to let you know if it fits. If your article is selected to be

encouraged and welcomed, please send them as separate attach-

used, then there will be no charge, UNLESS it is a blatant sponsorship

ments and not as part of a word document. Images should be 300

story in an attempt to obtain free advertising. I do recognize the differ-

dpi and either JPEG or PNG format.

ence and so do my readers. Copyright 2014 Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia’s Fibro Living magazine. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the Editor. The information in Fibro Living magazine is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of medical professionals. Disclosure: Emily Brewer of Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia and Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia have links in this magazine that will take you to their doterra Independent Product Consultant Page (where they will make money if your purchase something which will help keep the magazine and blog running free of charge) and to our Zazzle store (which also will result in funds being paid to help continue the blog and magazine). I try to make it clear when it is an affiliate link for myself or Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia. Some products are provided free of charge for reviewing purposes (which I also try to disclose in the article or page). Advertising pages may also take you to links on other pages. Although we try to check the information on all page links, we are not liable nor do we neccesarily agree with everything in every ad or linked page

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 5


FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE ... FIBROMYALGIA? BY EMILY BREWER

Driving alone down a mountain pass at night through beautiful

you to return to a normal state, but instead most of us are condi-

dense woods miles away from the nearest town, you suddenly hear

tioned to simply move past it or put it aside and keep going, never

a loud pop and your car jerks to the right. You slow down and pull

really dealing with the event or stress on an emotional level. As a

over – only to discover your tire is completely flat and the rubber

result, the survival response is ALWAYS on.

from it is on the road behind you. The big problem with the fight, flight, freeze response being conFortunately, you are familiar with changing a tire and go to get the

stantly turned is that the human body isn’t fully supporting ALL of

spare, only to find it’s not there! You simply call a friend to come

the bodily functions you need to be healthy, because it is too busy

and rescue you. Knowing it is going to be at least half an hour

keeping you in a heightened sense of awareness as much as it can

before anyone can get to you and you haven’t seen any other cars

so you can cope with the perceived “danger.” As a result, people liv-

go by for a long time, you decide to explore the area around you

ing in this heightened survival state are more vulnerable to physi-

and walk into the woods.

cal ailments that are related to or triggered by stress.

Not being familiar with the area, you keep your car in sight and are

An emerging theory about Fibromyalgia is that one of our body’s

enjoying the beauty of the woods around you. As you continue to

reactions to the fight, flight, freeze survival instinct never fully

kill time, you suddenly hear a loud snap right behind you! Instantly,

discharging after a major trauma or stressful event or many

your muscles tighten, your senses go on high alert, your heart

smaller events and/or stressors that piled up may be the cause of

beat increases, and your body surges into action. You quickly whip

Fibromyalgia.

around to discover a mountain lion is standing between you and the car.

If this is the case, then learning how to turn off the fight, flight, freeze response and coping with the negative reminders of the

Within seconds your fight, flight, freeze response is fully engaged

event or stressor may help to alleviate or even eliminate some of

and your body is about to make a decision for you. You might grab a

the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and other conditions.

limb and try to frighten the mountain lion away by fighting. Or you might run deeper into the woods or climb a tree to try to escape.

I recently read a fascinating book entitled, “Fibromyalgia Relief:

Or you might instantly decide the situation is hopeless and simply

A Science-Based Approach to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit” by

freeze in place, unable to DO anything.

Lars Clausen. This book discusses this theory in great detail, citing many scientific studies and medical professionals in support

All of these options are natural and normal responses to a danger-

of this concept. Additionally, his treatment protocol entitled “The

ous situation. This is your fight, flight, freeze instinct intrinsically

ICE Method” specifically deals with treating this potential cause of

built into your body to allow you to survive dangerous and threat-

Fibromyalgia.

ening situations. After implementing his ICE method into my life combined with Once you survive the immediate threat, your body is supposed to

medical care, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic, and more, I

discharge the survival energy created by the situation and allow

have achieved a reduction in overall Fibro symptoms.

6 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 7


FIBROMYALGIA TURN OFF FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE BY LARS CLAUSEN Dr. Ginevra Liptan serves as a medical doctor and fibromyalgia specialist. She has fibromyalgia herself. Her Figuring Out Fibromyalgia provided me more understanding of fibromyalgia than any other single book. She opened my world with these words: “Ultimately, all the symptoms of fibromyalgia stem from abnormal activation of the fightor-flight nervous system.”(Page 16) If you organize yourself around fight/flight/freeze awareness, the fibromyalgia world gets suddenly less complicated. We engage in a search for whatever turns off the fight/flight/freeze stress response that has gotten stuck in the ON position. This provides a simple and radical point of view, and it matches my experience of working with clients who have fibromyalgia and other chronic pain. We can now ask, “does my diet turn my fight/flight/ freeze stress on and off? Does exercise turn my fight/ flight/freeze stress response on and off? Do my medications turn my fight/ flight/freeze stress response on and off? If I had a back or neck surgery for pain, did that turn my fight/flight/freeze stress response off? Am I treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, or am I addressing the cause of my fibromyalgia, my stuck fight/flight/freeze response? Dr. Liptan applied this understanding to her medical pro-

8 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com

fession and concluded, “medical science has not yet figured out how to turn off the switch of the stress response that gets stuck in the ON position in fibromyalgia. When we do that we will have found a cure.” (Page 56) This is why we can take medications for fibromyalgia and sometimes reduce our symptoms, but we rarely get rid of fibromyalgia by taking medication. In fact, medical science says there is no known cure for fibromyalgia. In my practice with clients who have emotional distress or physical pain, I show all of them a simple technique for turning off their fight/ flight/freeze stress response. Over one thousand chemical reactions take place in the body and mind when a person moves from a stress state to a calm state. The calm state provides extraordinary benefits for our health and well-being.

to engage two remaining points.

In the remainder of this article, I want

1. Turning off the stress response is technically easy. I will show you how in this article. 2. Turning off the stress response is counterintuitive to everything in our experience. Why is this so, and how can we overcome this?


An important key to staying in this calm state is to also neutralize the effect of past experiences that may be triggering the stress response.”

If you read Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotion, you will learn an amazing truth from this neuroscience researcher. The body forms peptide molecules in response to whatever we pay conscious attention to. If we react to a world we perceive as dangerous, peptides form and our fight/ flight/freeze response triggers. If we consciously engage calm, other peptides form and our fight/flight/freeze stress response turns off. These peptides, formed as a result of our conscious attention, then instruct the function of our body. Consider this. If we could focus our conscious attention on nothing for a moment, then we would be signaling our mind that nothing in our outside world needs a reaction in this immediate moment. Our fight/flight/freeze response would turn off immediately. Various methods exist for turning off the fight/flight/ freeze stress response. The one I teach works for almost everyone who tries it. Focus your attention on a single point, a door knob, the corner of a picture frame, the top of a tree, whatever. Just observe that point. Whatever you pay attention to, your body chemistry follows your consciousness to support whatever you are doing. The chemistry of your body adapts instantly, depending on whatever you are paying attention to. Body always follows mind. After a moment, observe a second point, not too far from

the first. Again, your body follows your mind and you create a chemistry that instructs your body function. If a tiger were chasing you, you would be creating a very different chemistry, the chemistry of the flight response for your survival. Instead, in this moment, you are observing something simple, a single point, and the body chemistry corresponds to this more relaxed state. Finally, observe the empty space between the two points. There may be a wall in back of the two points, or nature, or whatever. But in front of that, between any two points, you can imagine an empty space with nothing in it. Observe this space with nothing in it. Just observe it. When you do, you are consciously observing with your mind that nothing in your outside world needs a reaction in this instant. In this moment your fight/flight/freeze stress response turns off. Observe and you’ll likely feel a subtle difference when you’re in this state. Usually it feels wonderfully relaxing – sometimes a person’s shoulders will release and drop, or their back will relax, or their breathing gets easier – different people have different sensations. As I already mentioned, over a thousand chemical reactions took place in your transition from a stress state to a calm state. This state of calm provides enormous health benefits. An important key to staying in this calm state is to also neutralize the effect of past experiences that may be trig-

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 9


FIBROMYALGIA - TURN OFF FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE CONT...

gering the stress response. It turns out that the peptide molecules that instruct our emotional state are the same molecules that store our past memories. A recent scientific discovery called Memory Reconsolidation shows how we can bring calm to our past memories, just like you experienced calm in the exercise. In this way, you can experience more and more of your life from the calm state. I developed The ICE Method as a simple way to help people live from the calm state rather than from fight/flight/freeze stress. In 2012, I completed a study with 39 people at a fibromyalgia clinic. Everyone who entered the calm state experienced significant pain reduction. In a single session, eighty percent experienced feeling zero pain. The pain of the people in the study returned after they reentered their stressful environments. First conclusion – turning off the fight/flight/freeze stress response works. Second conclusion - It’s important to keep the stress response turned off. Based on The ICE Method and the study results, I wrote Fibromyalgia Relief and created a video course and online support community to help people turn off their stress response and then keep it turned off. I thought people would line up in droves to turn off their fight/flight/freeze stress response. Instead, I’ve discovered unexpected wariness from people with fibromyalgia against trying this simple technique. Let me share my thoughts on why this is the case, and the road ahead for fibromyalgia relief.

10 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com

If we’re a person with our fight/flight/freeze stress response stuck in the on position, it originally turned on and stayed on for good reason. The stress response originally helped us survive one or more specific dangers, and then it got stuck on and created a pattern for our safety. Our fight/flight/freeze response is stuck ON because experiences in our life led us to perceive that the world is dangerous, or could be dangerous at any moment. Having the fight/flight/freeze stress response turned ON all the time is our best way of being prepared for whenever that danger shows up. We keep it ON all the time, even if the threat happened decades ago. We keep it on whether or not there’s an immediate physical threat. Having our stress response stuck ON is enormously taxing and wearing for the body. Eventually the body wears down and the symptoms of pain can begin, often in our twenties or thirties, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Exceptions exist, but this is a pretty standard story for people with fibromyalgia. For more on the health impacts from our stress response getting stuck, I recommend Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief. So, again, why don’t people line up to turn off their stress response? Because the stress response protects us from perceived danger, even if its danger from a childhood trauma decades ago. Turning off the stress response would turn off our perception of protection. That would feel dangerous. And so, we keep our stress response ON to keep ourselves safe. In the process our bodies wear down, and we suffer health issues.


Let me leave you with one fact, and one question to ask yourself. The fact is that the fight/flight/freeze stress response can only protect us from immediate physical threats to our health. There is nothing the body can do to help us solve anything that ever happened in the past, no trauma, no accidents, no relationships. Name one thing that your body can do in the present moment about anything that happened in the past. Nothing.

from anything they’ve ever considered. However you’re receiving this information, thank you for considering these thoughts. I invite you to give this a try. Start “checking for tigers.” If you’re feeling stressed, and you can confirm that there’s no physical tiger, you can use your conscious attention to come back to a calm state. Start noticing whether this makes a difference for how you feel.

The body can also do nothing to help you about stresses in the present like an overdue bill, or getting in an argument, or getting fired from work, or even having your house foreclosed. When these things happen, most of us understandably go into fight/flight/freeze mode. Yet, the truth is this; unless we’re going to physically hit someone or physically run from someone, there is nothing for the body to do.

SEVEN POINT SUMMARY

In fact, the only issues a body can help with are to run or fight or freeze in the presence of an immediate physical threat to our life. If you can learn to make this distinction, and then learn to turn off your fight/flight/freeze stress response when it’s not needed, you will feel better. Here’s the question I invite you to ask yourself: “Is there a tiger here?” Memories from the past are not real tigers. Situations in the future cannot cause physical harm to our bodies right now. Present moment issues, unless they are a physical danger, cannot harm our bodies. There is nothing our bodies can do to make a difference in these situations, so why has the stress response turned ON for our bodies? Having the stress response turned on wastes valuable energy unless there’s a present physical danger. Keeping the stress response turned ON when there’s nothing for the body to do has terrible long-term impacts on our health. Once you recognize this, you can engage a process to turn off your fight/flight/freeze stress response, return to a healthy physical state, and then get on with the issues of your day. Some people feel a huge relief when they learn about the fight/flight/freeze response and how easy it is to turn off. “I always thought it was something like this,” they say to me. Other’s wonder, “can it really be this simple?” And some find the fight/flight/freeze explanation completely different

• As Dr. Liptan stated, when we “figure out how to turn off the switch of the stress response that gets stuck in the ON position in fibromyalgia…we will have found a cure.” • The chemistry of our body follows our conscious attention. o If we perceive danger, we create the chemistry of flight/flight/freeze.

o If we perceive calm we turn off our fight/flight/freeze stress response.

o The state of physiological calm has enormous benefits for our health.

• If our fight/flight/freeze response is stuck ON, it’s because we perceive the world may be dangerous at any moment, Our body is always prepared for threat. • Not only is our fight/flight/freeze stuck ON, it resists us when we try to turn it OFF. If our fight/flight/freeze response is stuck ON, then it will feel dangerous to turn it off. Calm will feel dangerous. • If there’s no tiger, then there’s no benefit from having our fight/flight/freeze stress response ON. In fact, the fight/ flight/freeze response damages our health when it gets stuck ON. • If there’s no tiger, we can use The ICE Method, or find another technique to bring our body and mind to a state of calm and healing. • With the scientific discovery of Memory Reconsolidation we can also bring calm to our past memories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lars Clausen is the developer of The ICE Method and author of Fibromyalgia Relief: A ScienceBased Approach to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit. His online support community and video course are available at www.MyFibromyalgiaRelief.com. Lars is the father of two grown children and lives with his wife in Chelan. He holds a Guinness World Record for the longest unicycle ride (through all fifty states). He loves vegetables and manages Chelan Community Gardens.

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 11


FROM QUAKE TO AFTERSHOCK A TRUE STORY OF LIVING, SURVIVING, AND THRIVING WITH FIBROMYALGIA BY LISA ARRINGTON

I

t was November 2011, my sister and I were standing

ridiculous, but thankfully one thing kept popping up in all of my

in a steady drizzle waiting for the doors of Target to

searches, Fibromyalgia. The aches and pains, the overwhelming

open for our first (and consequently last) Black Friday

sense of tiredness, the forgetfulness, it was all there. I finally had

hoorah. We went through the madness, debated on

a name for it, now to convince others.

hitting up other stores, but decided that Target had

been enough as I was already feeling achy from being rammed

I would call my husband over to the computer to show him that

into by adults, children and overflowing shopping carts.

I wasn’t crazy, that I had a real condition. At first he was supportive, especially since I had been there for him the year before

The following day I felt absolutely horrible. I told my then

as he was battling a rheumatoid arthritis flare that had left him

husband that I must have been coming down with the flu and

out of work for over a year, but soon after all the testing started

cursed the Blu-ray player that had led me out the previous night.

his attitude began to change.

A few more weeks passed by and I just could not shake it, after the fourth week I felt like I had a standing appointment with my

You see I was the go-to person. I did everything for everyone, I

doctor! She had diagnosed me with the flu, an upper respiratory

made sure the house was clean, laundry was done, meals were

infection, and a sinus infection, but none of the prescriptions she

made and that my boys (from a previous marriage) were in line.

gave me were helping. It just seemed that the aches and fatigue

When my life became nothing more than doctor appointments,

were getting worse.

blood tests and x-rays he was anything but happy about it. Though he put up a good front for our friends and neighbors, he

After six months of no relief, she was completely stumped. So

had a very big problem with alcohol and my illness seemed to

off to the web I went. Let me tell you Dr. Google is no fun; I was

bring out his absolute worse.

finding diseases that could kill me within weeks. Absolutely

12 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Let me tell you, Dr. Google is no fun; I was finding diseases that could kill me within weeks.“ - Lisa Arrington

With every new test, every bad day, anytime I was scared… the

of the earth and if anyone touched it they would turn into these

drinking would become worse, the fighting would become worse

great creatures.

and the verbal abuse would become more profound. The next morning I posted about it on Facebook and suddenly I Things really got bad when I was laid off of my job at the end

was getting notifications from my friends asking what was going

of August 2012. The timing couldn’t have been worse since I

to happen next! Their enthusiasm was contagious and I began

still had many tests to go through and we were living paycheck

to think about it, realizing that this could be the distraction that

to paycheck. Thanks to my former employer giving me a heads

I so desperately needed. And it was.

up and endless hours spent online searching for a new job and sending out resumes/applications, I was employed by October,

Whenever I wasn’t working, I was writing. I was talking about

but the damage to our marriage couldn’t be undone.

my characters as if they were real and asking friends and family Continued on Next Page

I had been given the diagnoses of Fibromyalgia and Sjorgen’s Syndrome although Lupus hadn’t been ruled out, and still comes up even now. His drinking was at an all-time high and I needed to bide my time until I could afford to file for divorce. During that time I would look for different ways to escape not just his company, but my body and its constant changes from roving pain. I would read, watch television, play video games but nothing really kept my attention for long. It wasn’t until around Halloween in 2012 that I found something to totally submerse myself in. One night I had the strangest dream ever. I had gone back to my high school days with all my friends, we were cheering at a basketball game just having a wonderful time when an earthquake happened. This thick, black sludge was coming out

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 13


FROM QUAKE TO AFTERSHOCK CONT... for their advice on how certain situations would go. By December

He kind of complied. He brought my youngest son back to me but

I had several chapters written and was looking forward to

then proceeded to take off for whereabouts unknown for three

Christmas and New Year’s, mainly for my kids but also because I

days with my only mode of transportation. I would spend nights

knew I could file for divorce with the tax refund and the three of

alternating between sobbing, cursing, writing and pacing. All the

us could begin a new life together.

while trying to deal with my body and ensure that my kids were okay and understood what was going on. Fortunately, my family

Then December 21, 2012 happened.

and friends rallied around me and helped me pull off a wonderful Christmas for the kids.

I was in the midst of a horrible flare and I wanted to do was curl up and cry. My husband had invited a friend over and they were

A few days later, he-who-shall-not-be-named came back with the

having a good old fashioned bender. Loud music, plenty of booze

car, he packed up his things and left for good.

and yelling and cursing at each other. I finally got up enough strength to go downstairs and ask them to keep it down. A few

Again I sobbed, cursed, wrote and paced this time trying to come

minutes later I heard the front door open and close. Figuring that

to terms with the fact that my marriage was over and I couldn’t

they were taking the party to the friends place, I took another

help but wonder if the fibro wasn’t to blame. Could we have

dose of pain meds and went to sleep.

worked things out if I hadn’t gotten sick? If I could have kept being the person that I once was? Then I realized that it wasn’t

When I woke up the next morning, I discovered that he had used

because of my illness or anything else on my part. It was because

our rent money to treat his friend to a night at the strip club and

he had much deeper and darker issues and caring for an ailing

as we were already behind in rent from my lay off I was livid.

wife just made it worse.

Suddenly it didn’t matter that I had fibro and that I was going to have to do things on my own, I had had enough. I called him up

A few weeks after he had been gone, my stress levels went down

and asked him to bring my son and car home, to get his things

and my body began to ‘like’ me again. As I had promised myself

and to get out.

once the tax refund came through I drove straight to the door of a paralegal office and filed for divorce.

14 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


I continued to write and finished my first novel, Quake. I read it to family members and my oldest son made me promise that I would find a way to publish it. In June 2013, the divorce was finalized and while I was happy for that chapter of my life to close it brought with new challenges and new stresses. If I were to get into all of that now, that would be another book! In July, after extensive internet research, speaking with a friend who had just self-published and also speaking with an independent (Indie) author that I truly admire, I decided to do it myself. What a whirlwind that has been! I have been able to get Quake on Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble online stores and two stores in my hometown. The sequel, AfterShock, should be out soon. I wish I could say that’s the end and that I learned how to deal with being a single mom with a body that turns on her daily or that I’ve struck it rich with my writing so I don’t have to stress out about money and how I’m going to afford the next ‘let’s try this’ medication. I really wish I could tell you that I’ve learned how to take care of myself without feeling guilty, but nope, these are things I still struggle with daily.

About Lisa Arrington Information Security Associate by day. Writer by night. I currently live in Southern Arizona with my two sons. When not writing, I can be found curled up on my favorite chair with Kindle in hand, chauffeuring one (or both) of the boys to basketball practice/games or playing some mind-numbing game on my phone. After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2012, writing became a therapeutic outlet and gave me a realm to escape to. I love the color blue, can’t get enough of butter pecan ice cream and will forever be in a power-struggle over the big screen TV with my youngest.

OON

GS MIN

CO

Website: www.lisaawrites.com Blog: http://lisaawrites.blogspot.com/

Visit Lisa at

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lisaawrites Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisaawrites

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 15


THE HEALING POTENTIAL OF CROCHET By Katy Bradley

I

love to joke that crochet is cheaper than therapy,

but my hands can create beauty to share with others. That small

more socially acceptable than slapping rude people,

sense of accomplishment has helped me through the grieving

and comes with a cute scarf at the end of the day!

process and led me to acceptance and a new sense of purpose. Let

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in June of 2013

me walk you through some of the benefits of crochet, roughly in

during a months-long flare with symptoms so severe my neurologist ordered MRIs to rule out MS. It was not the 30th birthday

the order in which I discovered them.

present I had in mind and I struggled with my weight and my

Accessibility

emotions as I gave up doing 5Ks and Jillian Michaels workouts for

Knitting is a healing craft like crochet, but its use of both hands to

Netflix marathons.

grip the needles coupled with its lack of accessibility aids makes crochet a more accessible choice for the chronically ill. You don’t

In October of 2013, my coworker talked about how relaxing knit-

have to use the tiny aluminum crochet hooks your grandmother

ting was for her, and that was something I needed back in my life

may have used.

as I struggled with accepting fibromyalgia and all that comes with it. She graciously offered to teach me to knit, and I learned

My personal favorite is actually this egg-shaped crochet handle

the basics, but my wrists just couldn’t handle the motions for very

made to hold many sizes of aluminum hooks by Boye. It only

long at a time and my arms would ache. Around Thanksgiving of

costs around $5 and lets me crochet for hours at a time instead

that year, inspired by my knitter friend, frantic to find something

of 30-45 minutes. There are fantastic videos and articles on the

to do with my hands to stop binge eating, and desperate to find

Web offering strategies for making yourself comfortable while

something soothing to replace the yoga that I loved but could

crocheting, like Mikey from The Crochet Crowd’s video on posture.

rarely physically perform, I turned to YouTube videos on how to crochet. By Christmas, I was properly “hooked,” pun intended.

There are also great videos on YouTube for free to help you learn the craft and fantastic support pages such as Crocheting Thru

Now that I’ve been playing with yarn for about six months, I am

Chronic Diseases with Alex on Facebook so you feel like part of

seeing its therapeutic power firsthand. My body may not be able to

the fabulous community that’s out here ready to support you.

do everything I wish it could, like 5Ks and challenging workouts,

16 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Distraction One of my favorite movie characters, Guru

Repetition, Relaxation, Relief from Depression

Pitka from the Mike Meyers movie The

Crochet, like its counterpart knitting, is

Love Guru, says that the first step in his

a repetitive craft that fans and experts

DRAMA method for overcoming emotional

agree is relaxing. Temma Ehrenfield in

pain is Distraction. Granted, this movie

Psychology Today writes that “The rhyth-

is really just a satire for how Americans

mic repetitive movements seem to put us

grabbed onto ancient traditions, oversim-

in the present moment, distracting us from

plified them, and mass-marketed them

mulling over the past or fear of the future.

during the self-help craze of the past two

The relaxation response is known to bring

decades or so, but distraction has always

down blood pressure, heart rate and help

been a powerful tool in recovery from

to prevent stress related illnesses.”

destructive behavior. Personally, I keep a small basket under The old saying “idle hands are the devil’s

my desk at work with a skein of yarn and

plaything” aside, studies such as the one

a hook so I can take ten minutes to make

conducted in 2009 by Kuehner, Huffziger,

a granny square and relax at work when it

and Liebsch have concluded that “distrac-

hits the fan. Instead of worrying over what

tion showed a clear beneficial effect” on

happened or what’s next, I can take ten

both mood and cortisol levels while rumi-

minutes to bring myself back to the pres-

nation, the compulsively-focused atten-

ent, I can bring my blood pressure down

tion on the symptoms, possible causes,

before I turn into She-Hulk, and I can

and possible consequences of distress,

release some of the tension in my lower

“showed significant increases in dysfunc-

back and neck before the pain takes over

tional attitudes” during the study.

my senses. Some days, I don’t even pick up

The Granny Square is a simple foundation you can learn to combine in exciting new designs.

my hook, while others I’ve made as many I admit to being a ruminator. Even though

as seven granny squares. My husband

I consciously know that rumination is

may get his Mario blanket in no time as

just a rocking chair, sometimes it is very

I’ve completed 18 of the 252 squares in

difficult to pull myself out of that com-

the past two weeks, just at work. I have

pulsive, at times obsessive (oh, how I hate

to admit that just focusing on a project

that word!), rut. Crochet is a purpose-

for someone I love is relaxing in its own

ful distraction that requires just enough

right, and helps put the current stress into

mental focus to keep me distracted from

perspective.

my thought cycles and often, from pain or other aggravating sensations that come

Recently I found Kathryn Vercillo’s book

with fibromyalgia, such as paresthesia,

How Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental

particularly the sensation that something

and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet,

is crawling on my arms or legs. Stitchlinks

and it is an amazing collection of research

cites the work of Irene Tracy who demon-

and anecdotal evidence of the healing

strated on MRI scans that distraction can

powers of crochet. In the chapter on

literally take your mind off of pain by stim-

Depression, Vercillo summarizes Hart’s

ulating other areas of the brain, including

work Secrets of Serotonin and asserts that

the areas responsible for release of sero-

“if it is true that repetitive movements

tonin and other “natural pain killers.”

can enhance serotonin release and that

My body may not be able to do everything I wish it could, like 5Ks and challenging workouts, but my hands can create beauty to share with others.” ~Katy Bradley

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 17


THE HEALING POTENTIAL OF CROCHET CONT... increased serotonin levels can help alleviate depression then it is

Mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to be exactly like the peace-

true that crochet has the potential to assist in alleviating depres-

ful pictures of monks on mountain tops you may picture; mind-

sion symptoms for some people.” Now keep in mind, neither

fulness just means to become more self-aware and feel more in

Vercillo nor I are saying that crochet is a substitute for doctor’s

control of one’s sensations and emotions. For me, crochet helps

care, therapy, or antidepressants, but it does offer a tangible tool

me be more mindful, and for the price of a hook and a skein of

for distraction, relaxation, and relief, which brings us to the role

yarn, I think I’m doing myself a favor. Even if you don’t buy in to

of mindfulness in wellness.

the concept of meditation or mindfulness, isn’t it worth a try to find out if you get the same results proven in numerous studies

Mindfulness

like reduced anxiety, stress, blood pressure, chronic pain, and

Mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions have been studied in a variety of groups and found beneficial for people

insomnia? (See further readings below.)

with varying disorders from PTSD to fibromyalgia. A small 2007

Recommendations

study by Grossman et al found that mindfulness-based interven-

Have I “hooked” your attention? I sincerely hope so! Crochet has

tions had both short and long-term benefits for female fibromy-

many therapeutic benefits to offer fibromyalgia patients, far too

algia patients in terms of coping with pain, anxiety, depression

many to squeeze into this article. At the end of the day, this is

and other dimensions of quality of life.

another self-help tool you can add to your arsenal that costs less than $10 to start and can offer many rewards for you and

That’s all well and good, but you may be asking me “what is mind-

your loved ones who receive one of your many scarves or other

fulness, anyway?” Mindfulness is essentially the practice of stay-

projects. Crochet has helped me find the last strand of my san-

ing in the moment. Vercillo explains that mindfulness is “focusing

ity over the past six months so I can start weaving my life back

non-judgmentally on what is happening in the present moment

together post-fibromyalgia. Why not give crochet a try and see if

both internally and externally” and offers several mindfulness

it hooks you, too?

exercises for crocheters in her book. Crochet has been likened to yoga in its meditative qualities, but one of the perks of crochet

Further Reading

is it requires less of a physical commitment than yoga. Bonus: it’s

Where possible, the sources for this article have been hyperlinked

a lot easier to crochet at my desk in the office than it is to get

above for your convenience. Below you’ll find additional informa-

into child’s pose. When I start getting tense from stress or when I

tion for the source/s not readily available online should you wish

start focusing on the pain too much, I pick up my current project

to find them through your local library:

and immerse myself in it, and my inner monologue switches from “How am I going to meet this deadline” or “Why can’t I have one

Greeson, J. M. (2009). Mindfulness research update: 2008.

night without back spasms” to something like this:

Complementary health practice review, 14(1), 10-18.

One double crochet – two double crochet – three double crochet –

Grossman, P., Tiefenthaler-Gilmer, U., Raysz, A., & Kesper, U.

chain one – one double crochet – two double crochet three double

(2007). Mindfulness training as an intervention for fibromyalgia:

crochet – chain one – take a breath and don’t think about _____

evidence of postintervention and 3-year follow-up benefits in

for the rest of the row – one double crochet – two double crochet

well-being. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 76(4), 226-233.

– three double crochet – chain one – one double crochet – chain four – turn – ok, deep breath, yes _______ is still bothering you, but

Kuehner, C., Huffziger, S., & Liebsch, K. (2009). Rumination, dis-

at least this row is perfect so do one more row – one double crochet

traction and mindful self-focus: Effects on mood, dysfunctional

– two double crochet -

attitudes and cortisol stress response. Psychological Medicine, 39(2), 219.

Katy Bradley was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2013. She works as an instructional designer in higher education and runs a website and Facebook page for fibromyalgia and other “purple” causes called Purple Awareness Matters. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PurpleAwarenessMatters Website: http://www.purpleawarenessmatters.com

18 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Revolution

Join the

Conditions Currently Served Ankylosing Sondylitis Celiac Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Chronic pain Crohn’s Disease Ehler-s Danlos Syndrome Fibromyalgia Hashimoto’s Disease Hyperthyroidism Interstitial Cystitis Irritable Bowel Syndrome Lupus Lyme Disease ME/CFS Migraines Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Multiple Sclerosis Myasthenia Gravis Orthostatic Intolerance/ POTS Osteoarthritis Other Psoriasis Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Rheumatoid Arthritis Sjogerns Syndrome Ulcerative Colitis

“We match patients with similar condition to make sharing treatments easier, then use online data to fuel new medical research” - Joey Tuan

REGISTER TO JOIN TODAY. HealClick has just opened their proverbial online doors to the public, all they need is you. Join HealClick to meet wonderful people like you who are dealing with neuroimmune and/or autoimmune illnesses. By sharing information about symptoms and treatments, you can help find or share better ways of dealing with symptoms while making new friends. The data users submit is anonymized and used to help develop research trials and hopefully eventually to find a cure. Are you ready to find some answers and possibly even help find a cure?

Click Here to Join:

HealClick is completely free to use. There are no ads and no company sponsorships. This site is genuinely for people to people connections for people who HAVE one or more of the conditions currently served. or are caregivers of people with the conditions

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 19


TASTE THE RAINBOW OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES BY EMILY BREWER

Amazing health benefits occur by eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. According to a wide variety of studies, some of the many health benefits include improved memory, weight loss, and lower risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer. Eating more fruits and vegetables has also been linked to living a longer life. Despite the many benefits, less than one in ten adults consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables based on age, sex, and level of physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, almost everyone needs to increase the amount fruits and vegetables consumed on a daily basis. Although, the “eat a rainbow” campaign has primarily been geared towards children, this is also a fun way for adults to remember the importance of eating many fruits and vegetables in many colors. For the sake, of this article the health benefits are confined to one sentence, but it’s important to note that different foods in the category may offer the benefit. Not every fruit and vegetable of a certain color offers ALL of the benefits, but a combination of them will, which is why it is recommended to consume fruits and vegetables from all colors and all types! Enjoy the full spectrum of health benefits available by incorporating these colors in your daily diet:

RED FRUITS & VEGES Red fruits and vegetables help ward off damaging free radicals that can cause premature aging, reduce risk of some cancers, aid in blood pressure, improve circulation, lower inflammation, and boost the immune system.

Fruits: Apples, Cherries, Cranberries, Elderberries, Guava, Mangoes, Nectarines, Persimmons, Pink Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Raspberries, Red Grapes, Strawberries, Watermelon, Tomatoes

Vegetables: Beets, Radishes, Red Cabbages, Red Peppers, Red Potatoes, Rhubarb 20 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


ORANGE & YELLOW FRUITS & VEGES Fruits and vegetables that are orange or yellow help keep skin healthy, bolster immune function and reduce the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

ORANGE

Fruits: Apricots, Cantaloupes, Mango, Oranges, Tangerines Vegetables: Carrots, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Yams

YELLOW

Fruits: Yellow Apples, Lemons, Mangoes, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Yellow Watermelon

Vegetables: Butternut Squash, Corn, Rutabagas, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Summer Squash, Yellow Tomatoes

BLUE &

PURPLE

FRUITS & VEGES

Blue and purple colored fruits and vegetables help reduce risk of some cancers, guard cardiovascular system against plaque and cholesterol damage, protect skin from sun damage, reduce risk of stroke, improve memory, and battle many other age-related diseases.

Fruits: Blackberries/Raspberries, Blueberries, Figs, Plums, Prunes, Purple Grapes, Raisins

Vegetables: Eggplant, Purple Cabbage

GREEN FRUITS & VEGES Green fruits and vegetable help boost immune system, protect eyes, decrease risk of heart disease, decrease depression, increase bone strength, and improve energy.

Fruits: Green Apples, Green Grapes, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Limes

Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados,

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cucumbers, Greens, Green Beans, Green Cabbage, Green Lettuces, Green Onions, Green Peas, Green Pepper, Kale, Spinach, Zucchini

WHITE FRUITS & VEGES White fruits and vegetables help boost immune system, fight bacteria and infections, balance hormone levels, reduce the risks of some cancers, reduce risk of diabetes, improves digestion, and improve function of heart, kidney, brain and muscle,

Fruits: Bananas, Brown Pears, Dates, White Nectarines, White Peaches

Vegetables:

Cauliflower, Garlic, Ginger, Jicama, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Shallots, White Corn

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 21


A RAINBOW-LICIOUS RECIPE SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN AND FRUIT SALSA TORTILLAS SERVES 4

Fruit Salsa

Prep Time: Between 10 – 20 minutes (depends on how fast you chop & dice)

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped peeled mango 1 cup diced pineapple 1 cup peeled and diced kiwis (takes about 2 medium kiwis) 1 cup diced peaches 3 tablespoons fruit preserves (I like orange marmalade but any kind will work) 1 medium ripe red tomato, chopped and seeded 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro Optional: Add 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped or ½ a teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno chile seeds (for heat)

Shredded BBQ Chicken

Prep Time: Between 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds) Salt and pepper 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cups barbecue sauce

Additional Ingredients

4 to 8 Corn tortillas (depending on size) 2 cups shredded lettuce

Directions:

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a pot with just enough water to cover the chicken 2. Bring to a boil, cook chicken for about 15 to 20 more minutes (until cooked through) 3. Remove chicken and shred with two forks 4. Add BBQ sauce to a frying pan and warm about 5 minutes, add shredded chicken make sure chicken is covered in barbeque sauce While chicken is cooking: 1. Chop or dice fruits for fruit salsa. 2. Combine all fruit salsa ingredients in a bowl. Stir ingredients. 3. Chill fruit salsa in refrigerator for20 to 30 minutes, add salt if needed. 3. Shred Lettuce When everything is cooked and prepared, simply add desired amounts to corn tortillas and enjoy! 22 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


Independant Product Consultant Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 23


6 WAYS TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS BY EMILY BREWER Aromatherapy and essential oils are a wonderful holistic

Essential oils are typically produced through distillation,

treatment approach that can help care for the mind, body, and

expression or extraction of the plants or plant parts and then

spirit by effectively treating some Fibromyalgia symptoms in a

are used in a variety of applications including perfumes, cos-

natural way.

metics, incense, oils, flavorings for food and drink, liniments or massage.

The primary symptoms of Fibro that can be treated with essential oils are pain, depression, brain fog, insomnia, digestive issues and others. Some of the most effective essential oils used to treat Fibromyalgia symptoms are the pleasant

The 6 best ways to take advantage of the medicinal properties of essential oils and aromatherapy are as follows:

smelling rose, sandalwood, lemon, lavender, sweet orange, and peppermint. For many centuries many cultures around the world have utilized plants and plant parts in healing, folk medicine, and spiritual practices.

1.

Massage Mix two to ten drops of your preferred essential oil with one ounce of carrier oil and then gently massage the oil into your temples, chest, neck, back, or whatever

The essential oils are typically extracted from plants, flowers,

area you are treating, while being careful to not get the oils

trees, fruits, grasses, bark, peels, roots, resins, rhizomes, and

near sensitive areas like nose, eyes, etc. While this is a lovely

seeds. Each plant and plant part has different therapeutic,

way to treat yourself, it can also be a wonderful means of

psychological and physiological properties that improve and

bonding with a significant other as well.

prevent many illnesses and symptoms.

24 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


2.

Nebulization Add your chosen essential oils to a nebulizer or vaporizer, which converts the essential oils into a near gas-like state, making the oils more readily

absorbed by the body and senses.

Aromatherapy with essential oils is a wonderful way to help treat symptoms that rarely has side effects. However, one should always be careful and test each essential oil for a possible sensitivity or even allergy. Additionally, it’s important to follow the directions carefully and absolutely do not ingest san essential oil if it says not to. Also, topical treatments should be used as directed

3.

Diffusion There are two types of diffusers, warm and cold. A warm diffuser is used by dropping a few drops of essential oils to a candle or electric warm diffuser; the smell will quickly fill the room.

On the other hand, a cold diffuser, stone or tile will also work and many people believe it is less likely to rob the scent of its full profile like a warm one. To use a cold diffuser, simply place two to four drops of oil on it and the scent will slowly fill the room for a fairly subtle result.

for each individual essential oil as well. Some will require carrier oil, but some may not. Before placing it on large sections of your skin, test a small area first to make sure that you do not have a reaction. As a doterra Independent Product Consultant, I prefer to use doterra products because they are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils and represent the safest and most beneficial oils available on the market, in my opinion. Unfortunately, not all essential oils meet this standard, so purchase carefully and do due diligence to ensure that you are getting oil that is a high enough quality to actually be

4.

Bathing Mix 2 to six drops of essential oil with at least one teaspoon of carrier oil and add it to a hot bath. Please be sure to test your sensitivity to each essential oil before doing this and be sure to

pour the oil away from any sensitive areas of your body. I

beneficial. One thing you can look for to sniff out a fake is right on the label. Look for the common name and the botanical name to be listed. If the botanical name listed isn’t the correct one for the common name, chances are you’re paying for something you’re not getting.

often like to add Epsom Salts to baths along with the essential oils as well.

5.

Inhalation The easiest way to use the inhalation method is to simply add one to four drops of your essential oil into a bowl of hot water. Then drape a towel over

your head to capture the steam and breathe in deeply for no more than ten minutes.

6.

Spray Add six drops of your choice of essential oils to 2 cups of water. Shake vigorously and place in a spray bottle. Simply spray throughout your room, on your body, or on your clothes. Prior to

spraying on your body, please check each essential oil for any sensitivity.

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 25


Poetry Corner

Poems Born from Living with Fibromyalgia Featured Poet: Micky Cocker Fibromyalgia Husband ©Micky Cocker

Hello my name is fibromyalgia The bringer of fatigue, depression and neuralgia Yes I’m the one that’s ruining your life Because I have now taken over your wife Do you hear her crying out in vain Begging for someone, anyone to take away the pain Always moaning at you in that whiney tone Ranting and raving at you even on the phone Have you noticed that she doesn’t seem all there That the plughole is full of her lovely long hair That her fingers swell and stiffen when she peels the spuds She’s forgotten what she’s doing although her hands are full of suds Do you enjoy being woken in the middle of the night With her fidgeting, wriggling and putting up a fight Against the pain and insomnia now she’s in a flare Don’t you think how nice she looks with hair stuck everywhere Shambling around in her pj’s all day She has no energy u hear her say Oh dear don’t look now she’s stumbling on the stairs And by tomorrow I will have her falling from chairs When you get in from work and there’s no tea on the table She will give you all the lame excuses of why she wasn’t able Do you feel less than a husband and a man Because there is no way that you can Stop her suffering from fatigue, depression and neuralgia Because she now has me, the demon fibromyalgia

About Micky Cocker Micky writes poems to express her feelings about having and coping with multiple invisible illnesses, including Fibromyalgia, M.E., Fowlers Syndrome and more. Her poetry expressions have touched thousands of Fibromyalgia sufferers through her book entitled, “Crying to be Free Fibro and M.E,” which is available through Amazon by clicking the link or the image of her book.

26 • Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com


WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA LIKE? By Micky Cocker Someone asked “what’s fibromyalgia like” Well with all the different symptoms I could be here all night But let me try to simply explain The symptoms, the fatigue and the pain Your skin may look may look milky and white But the feeling of 3rd degree burns would give you a fright Or maybe a million needles digging in Even a billion ants feeding on your skin The aches in your muscle, joints, bones and limbs Can go from discomfort to really wanting to give in When even the numbness can cause you pain And you’re popping pills without any gain The tips of your fingers, the tops of your toes The hair on your head and the end of your nose All the places that come in between Even those places that are never seen Radiate with tingles, pins and needles and pain Driving you crazy, wild and insane The fatigue, now where could I begin You look fine outside, but you’re not within The exhaustion so bad you can’t open your eyes You need to sleep long and deep but the time just expires You wake up in the morning as though you haven’t slept a wink Your eyes are so heavy it hurts just to blink You may and try to stumble through the long day But you forget what you’re doing, forget what to say The irons in the fridge and the milks left on the side The rubbish is in the washer and the laundry’s in the bin outside And when it gets to bedtime you’ll be glad you made it through But then you have a bad sleep pattern too So now your life is like Groundhog Day No matter what day it is and forget the dates Symptoms oh my there are so many, I don’t even know them all But you can walk kind of silly, stumble or fall There’s weight loss or weight gain Nausea thats made worse with the pain Infections we get them, oh all the time But when people ask we say “yeah I’m fine” There’s the insomnia or those that sleep all day long Our families and loved ones don’t know what’s wrong The sensitivity to light, sound or touch Sometimes a single voice can be too much There’s the depression, the fever and sore throat Tinnitus , painful swollen lymph nodes Your thyroid maybe acting up mine does that too Cardiomyopathy, Tachycardia, fainting these are just a few Hypoglycemia , tinnitus and chills Chest pain , hair loss , do you have enough pills Cognitive impairments, urinary issues Acid reflux, GERD, get the tissues There as so many more than this that you see Now you know what it’s like to be me

This is Just a small list of things Some people don’t suffer a lot others suffer a string For people with Fibro/CFS/M.E These are their lives that you see So when someone says how does it feel I have to answer to that. All this is real And there’s so many other symptoms that would fit in I think about a 160 last time I looked in Please be patient and do not judge We look ok on the outside But we’re stumbling blind in the sludge Of doctor, nurses, specialist,, consultants, family friends and acquaintances who will not budge They believe this is in our head But it’s real and affecting our bodies instead So you ask how fibromyalgia can feel Read up above and believe it is real

We The Disabled By Micky Cocker

There’s a bunch of people just like me I now find them real easy to see But they lay low like lepers and hide In fact they should stand united with pride We may all not be in a wheelchair That’s discrimination and not fair Some of us don’t shout it out loud Well why not? Shout it and be proud!! There are sooo many disabilities Lupus, fibromyalgia,CFS and even M.E What? You never heard of any of these Well it’s because they are an invisible disease So many sufferers are not ever seen If they’re not in a wheelchair then they aren’t going to believe Well wash your mouth out and open your ears These people live life with pain and tears Told we are fakes and doin it for the dough Well trust me there’s more on the dole Just cos you can’t see what goes on inside It doesn’t mean that we have anything to hide We the disabled are not gonna hide We are gonna stand together with pride We the disabled are gonna shout out loud And united together we are gonna stand proud For our illnesses may be invisible that’s true But that doesn’t mean we should be too So all the people all worldwide Watch as we disabled stand united with pride

Fibro Living Magazine • www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com• 27


HOPE COLLECTION SUPPOR T FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS Hope is the key to surviving and thriving with Fibromyalgia. Hope for a cure. Hope for a better day. Hope to live life to the fullest. Hope to finally break free from the curse of Fibromyalgia. HOPE.

VISIT THE MY INSPIRED LIVING

ZAZZLE STORE

Fibro Living Volume 1 Issue 2  

The second edition of Inspired Living with Fibromyalgia's Fibro Living digital magazine.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you