Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fibromyalgia...What Do You Know About It??

It is in honor of National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day that I am writing this post.

I was diagnosed with this chronic condition eight years ago. It was not an easy diagnosis, fibromyalgia symptoms resemble many other conditions, including some that are fatal. I did not know whether to be relieved when I got my diagnosis, first because I still felt so miserable and there was no true remedy and secondly because I had NO idea what fibromyalgia was.

Initially I was prescribed seven different medications. It did not take long for me to find that route only a miserable path of possibly covering some symptoms yet causing others. It was bewildering to say the least.

My personal symptoms have varied through the years from vertigo, extreme muscle fatigue, aches and pains that are widespread and could be in any place in my body at any point in time from the tips of my toes, the bottom of my feet, to the aching of my hands to the consistent headaches that become quite debilitating at times. I struggle with much of what you are about to read about in the excerpts I am going to include from an article I read just today.

I have taken many routes on this journey. Some days are much easier than others but there is not one single day that is not fogged over by the awful symptoms to some degree.

Many of you have no idea what I am even talking about...

what is this fibromyalgia you might be asking.

First of all, I am by far no medical expert, I can only speak from my own experience and share that which I know....which is all I ever try to do.

I came across an article here....http://www.faithfamilyfibro.com/

I want to share it here with you because it is the best I have ever read. I love the way these writers have explained it. (I only hope I am not crossing any lines using someone elses writing). That being said....here we go....

"Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that's difficult to understand, especially if you don't have a medical degree. Because it involves the brain and nervous system, fibromyalgia can have an impact on virtually every part of the body. If you're trying to understand this condition in someone you know, it can be incredibly confusing. When a lot of people see a bizarre collection of fluctuating symptoms that don't show up in medical tests, they decide fibromyalgia must be a psychological problem. A host of scientific evidence, however, proves that it's a very real physical condition."
Following is the greatest analogy to help you understand more....(from the same article)

"Imagine you are planning a party and expecting about 20 guests. Three or four friends told you they'd come early to help you out. But they don't show, and instead of 20 guests, you get 100. You re overwhelmed. That's whats happening with pain signals in someone who has fibromyalgia. the cells send too many pain messages (party guests), up to five times as many as in a healthy person. That can turn mild pressure or even an itch into pain. When those pain signals reach the brain, they're processed by something called serotonin. People with fibromyalgia, however, don't have enough serotonin (the friends who didn't show up to help), leaving the brain overwhelmed. This is why people with fibro have pain in tissues that show no sign of damage. Its not imagined pain; it's misinterpreted sensation that the brain turns into actual pain. Other substances in the patients brain amplify a host of other signals - essentially, "turning up the volume" of everything. That can include light, noise, and odor on top of pain. and it can further over load the brain. This can lead to confusion, fear, anxiety and panic attacks. Most people with a chronic illness are always sick. The effects on the body of cancer, a virus, or a degenerative disease are fairly constant. It's understandably confusing to see someone with fibro be unable to do something on Monday, yet perfectly capable of it on Wednesday. Look at it this way: Every ones hormones fluctuate, and even things like weight and blood pressure can rise and fall during the course of a day, week or month. All of the systems and substances in the body work that way, rising and falling in response to different situations. Research shows conclusively that fibro involves abnormal levels of multiple hormones and other substances. Because those things all go up and down, sometimes one or more are in the normal zone and other times they are not. The more things that are out of the zone, the worse they feel."

Understanding Stress & Fibromyalgia
"Some people think fibromyalgia patient are incapable of dealing with stress, because a stressful situation will generally make symptoms worse. The important thing to understand is that we respond to stress both emotionally and physically. A physical response, in everyone, includes a rush of adrenaline and other hormones that help kick your body into overdrive so you can deal with what's happening. People with fibro don't have enough of those hormones, which makes stress very heard on their bodies and can trigger symptoms. Also, when we talk about "stress" we usually mean the emotional kind, which can come from your job, a busy schedule, or personal conflict. A lot of things actually cause physical stress, such as illness, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies and injuries. Physical stress can have the same effect as emotional stress.

Understanding the Fatigue of Fibro
Think of a time when you were not just tired, but really exhausted. Maybe you were up all night studying for a test. Maybe you were up multiple times to feed a baby or take care of a sick child. Maybe it was the flu or strep throat. Imagine being exhausted like that all day while you are trying to work, take care of kids, clean the house, cook dinner, etc. For most people, one or two good night's sleep would take that feeling away. With fibro, though, comes sleep disorders that make a good nights sleep a rarity. A person with fibro can have anywhere from one to all the following sleep disorders: Insomnia, Inability to reach or stay in a deep sleep, Sleep apnea, Restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements.

Fibro in a nutshell.....

A lot of illnesses involve one part of the body, or one system.

Fibromyalgia, however, involves the entire body and throws all kinds of things out of whack.

As bizarre and confusing as the varied symptoms may be, they're tied to very real physical causes. Fibro can take someone who is educated, ambitious, hardworking and tireless, and rob them of their ability to work, clean house, exercise, think clearly and even feel awake or healthy. It's NOT psychological "burn out" or depression. It is NOT laziness. It is NOT whining or malingering. It IS the result of widespread dysfunction in the body and the brain that's hard to understand, difficult to treat ,and, so far, impossible to cure. The hardest thing for patients, however, is having to live with it.

Having the support and understanding of people in their lives can make it a lot easier."

This article helped me understand so much better and I have this condition!! It helps me to realize that a lot of what I feel is "typical and normal" if there is such a thing in this fibro world. This chronic condition has rocked my world and caused me to grieve over the way things once were. The energy, stamina, and ambition that used to be a big part of my life.

I share this with you so you will understand better, not only me, but anyone you know who has this crazy thing called Fibromyalgia.

XO Love and Blessings to you!

Will You Pray For My Boy??

He will be leaving in a few short days back to Afghanistan to serve our country.
This is not his first deployment, but they sure do not get any easier.

This is him in the photo, holding his littlest daughter, one of the lights of his life. He has another precious angel and a wife that he adores as well. This is very tough on a little family!!!
(I might add it is pretty tough on the ole mom & dad too!)

BUT.....most importantly I am certain it is VERY hard for him to be away from everyone who loves and adores him. To be so far from the hugs and smiles that brighten his life.
To be away from every comfort of home and thrust into a foreign country where life is not only not comfortable but the eminent danger weighs heavily on a regular basis.

He knows his family who thinks the world of him will be praying faithfully, but there is a power in prayer and I would love for him to be covered in a blanket of prayer.

I appreciate your faithfulness and I hope that when you think of the war that still wages on in the middle East, you will remember ALL of the families that are so deeply affected on a daily basis. To fully grasp the sacrifices they make is impossible. The least we can do is hold them up in prayer.

Thank you!
Lots of love and blessings to you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's & UN-Mother's Day

To all of you moms out there who lovingly devote your lives to your children I pray you had a very blessed day designated to


Motherhood is a group I have been a proud member of for 32 years now.

It is the role of a lifetime for me.

I do not remember ever wanting to be anything else besides a mom when I was growing up.

While I thank God for the three precious blessings that God entrusted me with here on this earth, I know they are not mine, but they are His.

(I need reminded of this from time to time though, I will admit).

Each one of them are unique and incredible in their own right.

Each one was created wonderfully and beautifully by our awesome God.

Psalm 139 speaks of how God has created us just as He wants us to be,

He has given us specific talents and abilities that are there for His reasons.

I would love to introduce you to each one of my pride and joys and tell you all about Shelly, Sara and James and the fabulous qualities and traits they each possess.


I am feeling something else on my heart at the moment
(and............. I did not get permission to exploit them here! LOL!!!)

While I am thankful and feel beyond blessed to be a mom.

I am mindful of so many women who long to be able to be a part of that group

called "Motherhood".

It breaks my heart to see the pain of these barren women.

I KNOW that God has a plan for their lives, I also know that at times that seems so distant and elusive compared to the longing deep within their precious, loving hearts.

I do not know God's ways, nor can I understand why sometimes we cannot have every desire of our heart, especially when it is something we feel so led to.

I can only say that GOD LOVES YOU and


He knows your heart, because HE created it!!

He DOES have a plan for you!!!

Please be encouraged by God Himself on this day that your heart feels heavier than usual for the longing within you heart.

As I have been writing I have been thinking of the many other types of moms that are struggling with this day.

There are the grieving moms who have lost a child.

The moms who have children but cannot be with them,

for one reason or another.

The mothers whose children have grown up and moved on

leaving them feeling lonely and without a purpose.

There are also those of you whose moms have passed away

and you are missing them desperately today.

There are some of you who feel an emptiness on this day because you have never felt the love of a mother and you long to have that in your life and in your heart.

For all of you I pray healing and wholeness within you, within your heart.

I pray that you know this is but one day in your life,

it is no more valuable than any other day in God's eyes.

He wants you to know and feel His love and JOY,

He wants you to feel His PEACE!!!

Remember...He knows your heart, He created it

and He does have a plan and purpose for your life!

I am praying for ALL of you moms right now......

in the mighty name of Jesus!!!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to the grind....Spring Cleaning Part 8

"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit."


Now that we have done the heavy duty work of spring cleaning we MUST come up with some good habits and routines to KEEP our hearts clean and fresh.


Just like with our houses, things will begin cluttering up again if we let it go.

We need to create practices that will keep us free of the clutter in our hearts.

Just like you notice your house is getting dirty when you see the fingerprints on the walls, or dust on the shelves or cobwebs forming in the corners....

There are warning signs for our soul house as well.

We need to recognize the "warning signs" that our soul houses

are getting messy.

Warnings like:

Negativity, anxiety, worry, depression, irritability, bad attitude, frustration, bitterness, envy, jealousy....

You need to take time on a daily basis to maintain all the work you have achieved.


is one of the very best ways to accomplish this.

Schedule it in like you do other important things in your life.

What works is different for everyone, so you will need to find what works for you.

Also, what has worked for years may not be working anymore if you are finding yourself failing at finding the time, so re-evaluate to see what you can do differently.

When I was raising my children I had a practice of getting up early each morning to go for a quiet walk for a time of prayer and getting myself armed for the day.

Now I don't necessarily have to get up extra early because I no longer have kiddos that are distracting my days, but I have to be sure I do it first thing or I tend to let it slip.

While you are taking the quiet time...commit yourself to the day

and to the works God has for you.

Put on your armor....

Ephesians 6:11- 13

"Finally, my bretheren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armor of God,

that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,

but against principalities,

against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness of this age,

against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God,

that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand."

The word goes on to tell us to "gird our waist with truth

put on the breastplace of righteousness

shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

above all taking the shield of faith with which you are able to

quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one

take the helmet of salvation

and the sword of the Spirit

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,

being watchful to this end with all perseverence and supplication for all the saints.

You are fresh and clean now that you have taken the time and made the effort

to do a little spring cleaning.

You are sure to have a spring in your step and a smile on your face!

It feels good!

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ Jesus, He is a new creation; old things have passed away behold, all things have become new."

2Cor. 5:17

Thanks for going on this Spring Cleaning journey with me.


Love & Blessings!