Less Stuff, More Living.

Add one good thing to your life a day!

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I was pondering the whole “grateful” thing. It is quite in fashion. There are grateful journals, grateful books, grateful Tuesdays… but there is a difference between being grateful and wanting more. That is what I call the ‘human drive’. We are driven to be better, do better, live longer (while looking younger), we are do’ers! But we must find balance. For me learning to balance is a daily battle. I have a hard time stepping back and enjoying this life I’ve worked so hard for. Having a chronic illness takes away you self-worth because many things you worked years for are simply taken from you in a matter of months.

I was raised to be a do’er, now I’m simply a survivor. I need to be grateful for my survival; my life, my mental health, my husband, my best friend, my family, even my warm bed. This I know! I could have quit but I chose to continue and to be grateful for this life of mine… whatever that may entail and so drastically different from what I imaged it would ever be.

 

As a Fibromyalgia Warrior, yes I said warrior. As a Fibromyalgia Warrior, I have learned that my ability to clean and de-clutter daily only lasts for an hour or so. So, ‘stuff’ is not what I am grateful for. Stuff creates a balancing problem. The less stuff I have the more living I can do.

cropped-img_1744-e1496246754821.jpg~Kim

Wellness While Taveling and Idiopathic Pancreatitis.

Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.

Today was supposed to be about wellness traveling and I wanted to let you in on some tips that I use to reduce my chances of having a fibromyalgia flare during family holidays, gatherings and parties.

Fibromyalgia for a day.
A day with fibromyalgia.

But things didn’t go as planned as they rarely do with Fibromyalgia Syndrome. I must mention, today of all days, I woke to a pancreas attack. In addition to my fibromyalgia, I have idiopathic chronic pancreatitis. I started having problems with my pancreas in September of 2012. I do not remember much from that time. I was very ill. I was hospitalized 12 times, and 7 of those times I had surgery. On two separate occasions, the surgeon came into my room and asked to what lengths I wanted him to go to preserve my life. I signed a DNR on both occasions. My pancreas was kinked and a calcium stone had formed creating a blockage. I needed stents put into straighten my pancreas and to create a large enough opening for the blockage to be removed. My triglycerides were high and I experienced rapid weight loss, and a little thing called the Sphincter of Oddi were all contributors to my pancreas issues. My gallbladder was removed and found to be contributing to my pancreas issues as well. I was not innocent in all of this, I know I contributed to my pancreas issues just by the lifestyle I was living. I was eating poorly, drinking alcohol, and smoking. It was the perfect storm and I walked directly into it without an umbrella!

So that happened… now let’s get to wellness travel!

Getting ready for those gatherings when you have fibromyalgia take planning and preparation…

  1. About a week before the gathering make a master list of everything you want to take with you. And I do mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. You cannot trust your memory.
  2. The day before, pack everything on your list and put by the door you will be leaving from.
  3. The day before travel day pick out what you will wear including jewelry and shoes, socks and underwear. (You can change your mind the day of.)
  4. Shower the night before. I use rollers for my hair. I found my hair looks much better one day after putting rollers in. So, I put them in, use a ton of hairspray like it’s the 80’s and take them out before bed. It only takes a few minutes to touch up my hair the next morning with a curling iron. (Maybe it really looks like crap, but go with it anyway.)
  5. Get your makeup routine down to the bare necessities. Wear it or don’t, whatever you are comfortable with. I use Boom Sticks. (Sold on Cindy Joseph’s website only, three sticks and BOOM you are done!)
  6. “Soft for 30.” This is a rule my husband came up with. We plan to attend events but 30 minutes before we need to leave, we assess if everything is in order, my health is stable, and we are both in the presence of mind to be able to go and enjoy ourselves. If we can not answer yes to all three, we call with our regrets. (This rule doesn’t work with airline tickets… don’t even try.)

There you have it. Pretty easy but very necessary! Planning and being prepared will keep your anxiety in check. You will be able to go and actually enjoy the gathering!

IMG_2890~Kim

‘Gratituesday’, a day to be grateful.

fullsizeoutput_21f2Look what greeted me this morning! My cactus is blooming.

They say the key to happiness is simple.

Be grateful, eat more vegetables and love others.

If only everything in life were that simple. I want to be that grateful woman. I want to eat more vegetables and love others! I wish that came with a guarantee that others would at least try to do the same. But in life, there are no guarantees.

I found something I would like to share with you. The holidays are upon us. We will be visiting relatives and attend parties. We will be celebrating for the next month or so. For some, it is the happiest time of the year! Others, well some could do with out all the hoopla. I don’t have any magic potions or hard fast rules to ensure everyone has a grand time. I do have what I call;

Six Suggestions for a Sensible Self.

1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.

2.  What other people think of you is none of your business.

3.  Time heals most everything.

4.  No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

5.  Don’t compare your life to others, you have no idea what their journey is about.

7. Smile, you don’t own all the problems in the world.

Tomorrow I will talk through some preparations I do to lessen the likelihood of having a fibromyalgia flare while attending family gatherings and holiday parties. Some you may find useful. Some you may not. After having fibromyalgia for almost 20 years, there are things that work for me. Nothing is fool-proof. Fibromyalgia is a sneaky little deceptive intruder. At times there is nothing that can be done to keep the monster at bay.

cropped-img_1744-e1496246754821.jpg~Kim

 

 

 

 

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