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Lessons Learned in Mother Nature-Overcoming My Fibro Symptoms

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My husband and I agreed to be volunteer chaperons for a week of rustic camping at Pictured Rocks sometime last year.  I really had thought I'd have this Fibromyalgia beat by then-ha! Ha! My daughter runs a program called Parks in Focus that gets 14 teens into the wilderness through the use of photography.  Kelley and I have always been outdoorsy, so a free trip to the UP of Michigan sounded like a great deal.

The weekend before the trip had been a really rough one.  I was still dealing with what seems to be the last throws of Cymbalta withdrawal: a weird headache and nausea, besides the pain being more intense, insomnia, and at times a deep sadness.  My resolve to stay off of Cymbalta for at least two months past withdrawal was waning fast. The night before, Kelley said that he could go and I could stay home, but I just didn't want to be left behind.  So, I got up, really out of it, and plopped my bum in the car ready for the six-hour drive to Pictured Rocks National Shoreline

Fibromyalgia Has Forced Me to Look Inward

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Fibromyalgia has given me a gift.  It has pushed me to reflect, evolve, and break up a solid foundation of untruths I've lived by.  Trauma happens to all of us, at least that is what I'm finding as I share my story.  We all have things we need to work through.  Some do it sooner than others.

Childhood Trauma is being found to be linked to the development of Fibromyalgia. “'I think what we’re starting to appreciate is that when you have traumatic experiences as a young person, it rewires you. And the way in which you interpret physical symptoms is changed forever,' said Steve Passik, PhD, a psychologist and Vice President of Research and Advocacy for  MillenniumHealth." 

One way I have always gone through life is playing the "mother figure".  From a very young age, I remember peers and elders saying things like "Katie is the mom of this group" and "your an old soul".  I remember being 10 years old, my mom cemented to the couch again.  I…

Down The Rabbit Hole: Could Medical Marijuana Help?

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When I was 12 years old, the summer before I started 7th grade at Harrison Park Junior High in Grand Rapids, my mom gave me two books to read: Go Ask Alice by Anonymous andThat Was Then, This is Nowby SE Hinton.  Both were life-impacting books for me.  At that tender age, I vowed to myself that I would never get into drugs.

As an adult, I do not like ever not being in control of myself.  I also hate a foggy, unclear brain.  So, I never really got into drinking or drugs.  I won't say that I don't know what it is to be out of my head; Kelley and I tried mushrooms one time when we were camping. His roommate had sold him some.  Mushrooms are from nature, right?  Well, while that is a very interesting story I have told very few people; it's not one we ever visited again.  I also know what a hangover is like.  I'm definitely a light-weight and after my three maximum drinks in an evening, I will be laid low for the entire next day if I have more, so I don't do that.

As I…

The Complete Blessing That Is My Life

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I live a life of many blessings.  When I'm in pain or brain fog or energy drained state, I need to reflect on this.  I took this photo last night. After spending the evening working out with my daughter in a special program geared for our health needs (Momentum at Tamarac-The Center for Health and Well-Being) and then sharing sushi from our local grocery store (small town in need of a sushi restaurant), I drove home, beginning to get the ill-ease of Cymbalta withdrawal again.  Kelley met me at the car after I pulled into the garage, glass of wine in hand, enticing me to go out onto the dock rather into bed.

We sat there, a soft, fresh breeze lightly massaging out the crud that seems to cause me to feel as if I'm in an unending state of hangover. (I've been off Cymbalta for one week.  I've gotten some advice that I should have either done the 30mg every other day for a while or take out a few "beads" from the capsule to wean off slower. I will talk to my docto…

Whatever Makes You Hopeful and Lightens Your Heart Just a Little...

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My long-time friend, Mindy, sent me this card a while back.  I framed it because I think it's beautiful and fits in with my candle and vase.  The saying in the circle is "Whatever makes you hopeful and lightens your heart just a little..."  After finally feeling well enough to get up, take a shower, and attempt yoga at home, this was a great reminder for this day and every day.

Today, I did a slow Yin yoga (a routine that popped up yesterday in my Facebook feed) from Yoga Journal.  I added in a few other poses and used my yogi blankets, bolster, and Coregeous ball liberally.










I did each of the poses to the station I've made on Pandora: My Yoga With Deva Primal
with Krishna Das

with Eva Cassidy

with Carla Bruni



After an hour of practice, it has made me hopeful and has lightened my heart.  I'm ready to face the day.
*My Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms are lessened this morning. Not FULLy myself, yet, but I feel myself immerging.

Feeling Like #$@&%*!

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For those of you who know me, I don't swear....much.  In fact, it's only been in the last few years that I even swear at all.  This has been the butt of many a teasing for me.

As a teen, as my volleyball teammates would use the full out "S" word or "D" word after missing a serve, I would really strongly say things like "bananas!"  My partner teacher for 16 years, feels proud that she has encouraged and trained me to open up to the use of the vulgar vernacular now and then when there are no other words that really capture the sentiment.

So, I am going to just say it; I feel like SHIT!  I have not felt this bad since I had viral meningitis (I'm not this bad, but man, it's reminding me of it). Since the purpose of this blog is for me to record my true journey (for healing through the writing and remembering where I've been) and to possibly help others who are dealing with fibromyalgia, I've decided to write this (as I can today becau…

Following My Heart...Tentatively

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I haven't written for the past five days (in this blog at least).  However, it's been on my mind.  Mostly because there are times that I am feeling defeated and times when I'm so very optimistic that it feels like I'm not telling a coherent story.

So, this 4th of July, Kelley (my husband) and I went to rustic camp at my cousin's forested land on the Chippewa River in Shepard, MI. We set up what we lovingly call our "luxury tent".  Actually, Kelley did most of the setup.  By the time we got to the river at 1:00pm, I was really tired out. The day before, I was whining about setting up our two-roomed, canvas tent.  "It takes too long and it's too heavy."  This is not my normal camping attitude, but I'm finding I want the light-weight easy setup tents.  I'm game for roughing it but want to make it as easy as possible.
After a couple of great days (however sweltering) hanging out with my cousins, I could tell I was beginning to feel the …