Summer Sure BLASTed By

Didn’t Summer Just Start?

I can not believe it’s been three months since my last FibroFog post. Wow! Where does the time go?

In spite of multiple lengthy and sucky flares, I really have had a blast this summer. I sure hope you all did too.

Family Summer Outing First Roller Derby Scrimages These last three months for me, have been about enjoying my hubby, my daughters and my community.  It’s been about going new places, meeting new people and trying new things.  It’s been about self-discovery.

Did I have you going there for a minute? Of course I didn’t try roller derby, silly.

The hubby, kids and I did however get out and enjoy watching our first ever live roller derby event. Thanks for having us Candy Crushers!

Believe me I was tempted, quite a few times this summer to just give in to the pain. It was bad, a lot of time on crutches. More than once I contemplated backing out of our daily adventures (#StayCay with kids & hubby) but I didn’t.

Blouin Family StayCay Summer 2015I’m glad I didn’t. In fact, not once did I regret pushing myself out the door. I am lucky. My family believes me. Even though they can’t see my illness, they accept that it is real.

When I could walk, we walked. When I needed crutches we drove further and walked less. We explored around my fibromyalgia flare ups, and for that I am so very very grateful!

What a fantastic idea my husband had that the four of us staycation together this summer. Perfect for a limited financial budget and a limited supply of physical energy too!

Shelley Lockwood Original Art www.FibroFog.ca

Hey fellow Spoonies got Twitter? Let’s get social…www.twitter.com/fibrofog

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Chronic Pain is a pain in the butt!

I got dem’  Chronic Pain blues

Arggg! Don’t want to jinx it but I think I’m finally putting my latest flare behind me. This was a tough one; I’m talking widespread chronic pain everywhere. Even had to use crutches to get around.

When I was a kid I had to use crutches for a few years. They were like second nature to me…then again so were the painful palms and chaffed under arm areas from using them. I remember thinking…man I hope I never have to use those again.

Here it is thirty something years later. Turns out I did and quite likely will have to again. Silver lining? Seems using crutches is like riding a bike, no matter how long it’s been you don’t forget how to use them. Well, I didn’t anyway.

Enough about my latest go round with chronic pain, how about a little time out for some happy thoughts? Hmmm ok, here are two…my new flamingo ladies that hubby bought me and Buck the guinea pig helping me out with some typing 😉

Being silly sometimes helps me cope with chronic pain
Cheers!
Chronic pain distraction provided by Buck the guinea pig
Buck my typing assistant

So I guess what I’m getting at (or trying to anyway) is that though chronic pain is an everyday part of life at least the flares come and GO. There is always some kind of relief (or reprieve) on the horizon.

In the meantime I find that it’s sometimes the silliest things (like my ladies above) that can take your mind of the chronic pain and make you smile for at least a little while.

Just a few of my nifty thingys
Just a few of my nifty thingys

Hmmm…that makes me wonder, is it possible that my husband and kids realized this before I did?

Lately I’ve been getting some really nifty, silly n’ fun gifts. My desk and shelves are filling up with some interesting goodies that work wonders at distracting me from my constant companion aka “chronic pain”.

My Husband & Daughters make me smile. I really am lucky aren’t I? Right musn’t forget the pets; they make me smile too…

  • Dee Ohh Gee the dog RIP baby boy xox
  • Piggly Wiggly the Queen of skinny pigs
  • Skuttle Bug the bunny rabbit
  • Rowena the red eyed guinea pig
  • Gopher the sweetest guinea pig EVER
  • Gizmo the squeaker guinea pig
  • Herbert the hedgehog RIP sweety xox
  • Buck the typing guinea pig
  • Bippity Boppity Boo Morgeana George Walter (that’s one name) the skinny pig
  • Crispy Bacon the skinnny pig – for the record I protested this name! RIP miss you xox
  • Pippa our rescue skinny pig was with us a short time but we loved her very much RIP xox

Minecraft a Virtual Playground

Playing in Minecraft Digital Dirt

“When I was a kid, I used to spend hours playing in a little dirt patch in our backyard. I’d build cities with roads for my toy cars, rivers for boats, you name it. My kids do the same thing today. They just do it digitally, through Minecraft”. Excerpted from Danny’s Post Minecraft & Learning To Love The Digital Sandbox For Your Kids  

Minecraft PlaygroundMy response..Great way to look at it! My 13 year old is absolutely crazy about Minecraft. I admit that I have had my concerns. Now that I’ve read your post, I’m looking at it from a different perspective. She is creative and determined to succeed with each venture, building or project. She finishes the job, and then sets the bar higher for her next challenge. She has learned to plan ahead and face unforeseen obstacles. I like your “sandbox play” comparison and think that you’re bang on.

Recently the four of us were on a family outing. My husband and I attempting to cajole our two teen daughters into a conversation. One daughter was busy chuckling at something someone (who wasn’t in the car) just said, so we tried the other. The next attempt fell short as the 13 year old popped an earphone out, quite annoyed by the interruption.

I was thinking that teens today build social lives in a virtual world. They’re doing the same as we did, hanging out with a friend or friends. Just not in person. Often I’m cooking supper while talking to three or more kids, only two of which are actually in my kitchen.  Took some getting used to but these days I rarely jump when an invisible kid talks to me from what I thought was an empty room.

This is their life, these are their teens. These will be the stories that start with…”When I was a kid”…

I have decided I want to be a part of this time in their lives. So, I listen and I learn. When she shows me her latest Minecraft creation, I am proud of the effort she put into it. I ask questions, each time learning a little bit more.

When my eldest brings someone “virtually” for supper or to watch a movie I talk to them as if they are in the same room.

I’m ok (as long as they are careful) with them hanging out in a Minecraft or social media digital park just like I did in a grass, sand and dirt park all those years ago.

Take care! Shelley

Warning! Friendship Erosion in Progress

But first…let me tell you a story about friendship

I found myself always wanting to crawl back into bed and turn it into my own little dark comfy n’ cozy cocoon. My only company in the room a huge cup of coffee, my dog and the TV.  I’d nap whenever I need to, which is pretty much always. I’d only get up to…ummm eliminate the last coffee I drank, and of course to make myself a new one.

Friendship was pushed way back into the deepest recess of my mind.

Lucky for me, there’s pretty much always someone wanting something. Be it the guinea pigs whistling for me, the dog woofing at me, the hubby hinting to me or the kids asking outright, someone needs me for something. Even when they’re not here, there’s always something that has to be done. I know it may sound odd, that things like cooking, making lunches, doing the laundry or cleaning the guinea pig cage help me, but they do. They give me purpose.

Our slightly loud, often chaotic household and the lives within it are what I get up for. Day after day they are what make me push myself to stay upright. Completing even a small task (though it usually feels enormous) gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Going to my mother’s for our weekly supper, not only gets me to dress a little nicer there’s conversation and I get cooked for! Thanks Mom! Groceries…wipe me out, but they also get me out. School & Hubby’s schedule get me up early but most importantly they get me up.

It’s been a bad two months; plain and simple! A great deal of energy (which left very little for other things) has gone into staying upright. Every waking moment has taken intense effort to stay just that; awake. I was struggling to find joy of any kind.

Then, a friend helped turn it all around. I’m not sure if she did it intentionally or just that her timing was impeccable, but either way she really helped me.

During my latest downward spiral she popped by my place. Which lead to multiple phone calls, a quick visit or two at her work, she visited bringing coffee, goodies and sewing stuff. We went shopping, nothing huge but it’s all been really enJOYable, every minute of it.

Awhile back we both developed health issues and circumstances changed. We stayed in touch and managed a few outings to our favourite store, yummy lunches and uh let’s call it “camping”. What we didn’t do was spend nearly as much time together as we used to. We knew we could count on the other, the friendship was there but our time together had dwindled.

Pledge of Friendship Poster
Pledge of Friendship

I think “frequency” is the word.  As we began to spend more time together I began to feel better.  The other day, I didn’t get dressed and I just wanted to crawl back into bed. She somehow pulled off gently nudging me to get up and get ready. Before I realized it she had me going out the front door. I enJOYed my day and we have plans for our next outing!

Things are a little brighter right now. I don’t have to waste my limited energy fighting the urge to crawl back into bed. A little each day I’m regaining my optimism. I’m starting to feel JOY again and my smile is growing more and more genuine.

Thank you so much JC for being my friend xox! Our friendship means the world to me.

Arthritis; Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

Arthritis…

(the big A) Fibromyalgia (the big F) and Bursitis (the big B) Oh My!

Mix these conditions together with a few other illnesses thrown in and Taaadaaaa! You’ve got yourself a big old batch of widespread chronic pain. Every minute of every hour of every day of every week is painful.

The only things that change are…

  • What kind of pain (Arthritis, Fibro, Bursitis et al?)
  • Where the pain is (besides your big F trigger points which always hurt)
  • How painful on a scale of 1 to 10

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t like using words like Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Bursitis (especially the F word). Thus, the nicknames. It’s a way of pacifying the Me that is still in denial and of kyboshing the anxiety these words cause me.

They suck; they’re painful and can knock you flat on your back for days or even weeks at a time. For the sake of “keeping it positive” though, I’m going to call them FAB (which they most definitely are not!)

Who am I kidding?  There is nothing positive about having an ever growing list of painful, incurable autoimmune diseases. That being said, apparently (or so I hear on a daily basis)

  • staying positive is important (life’s dandy, how could I not?)
  • exercise is crucial (especially if you want to set off a flare or two or three!)
  • push yourself but don’t exceed your limits (uh and I know my limits how?)

I swear if one more physically fit person tells me the best medicine for Arthritis and Fibromyalgia is going to the gym I will….well, I’ll probably fake a smile while thanking them for their advice. Like I always do.

Anyway, after my latest visit to the Rheumatologist I realized it was time to finally accept that I do have Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.

Acceptance was the first hurdle. Now I’m going to focus on…

  • Staying upright as much as I can
  • Keep moving for as long as you can
  • My quality of life
  • Increasing my durability

I know I’ll never be the Energizer Bunny® again but I will be the best Me that I can be! After all I am FAB! 

Energizer Bunny Arthritis Post to Amazon