Tag Archives: chronic pain

Year Long Endeavors

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The past few years have not been that great for me.  With each year I’ve noticed my health getting worse (fibromyalgia).  Every year I have always made up a list of goals for the next year and never get far because I never feel well.  At the end of the year, any goals that I didn’t get to just get added to the next years list with my new goals.  Only, I am getting to the point where I can’t do much at all.  So this year I didn’t make any “new year goals.”   I just decided to do as much as I can, when I can.  Every day is a new day and whatever it brings I will just have to roll with it.  If I can’t get out of bed than that is all I can do.

I did start a few year long endeavors but nothing that will throw me off if I miss a day.

  1. Temperature Scarf.  My oldest son Jared helped me with this a lot.  He went with me to Joann’s and helped me pick out 12 colors (including black).  Then we arranged them into a pleasing rainbow of sorts with the colors we deemed to be “cold colors” on one end and the “hot colors” on the other end.  Jared made my chart for me with a temperature range for each color.   I decided I wanted to show the extremes in temperature we get here so I divided the year into thirds.  The first 4 months I am checking the temperature each day and taking the low for the day I check my chart to find out what color to use.  I work one row a day based on the temperature.  After the first 4 months I’ll switch to the high temperature then back to the low temps for the last four – so it will be warm around my neck (where the middle is hehe)  I am almost finished  with January and I love how it looks already!  After the last day of January I’ll add a few rows of black.  I started with a few rows of black and I’ll end with a few rows of black and when it is all done I’ll add an edge of black.  That way it will look like a thermometer kinda.
  2. I joined a CAL (crochet a long) on ravelry.com that is making a 12″ x 12″ block every month.  They also vote for an extra 12″ square and there is also a 6″ square each month for people wanting to make a baby blanket or whatever.
  3. I joined another CAL (Official CCC Social group) that is doing a 12″ x 12″ block every WEEK!  (until Nov I think which leaves time to piece them together)  The last two pictures show the first two from this group.  They are so awesome!!!
  4. I also joined another crochet group that has several different CAL’s planned throughout the year.  Creative Crochet Crew Group has to be the best crochet group I’ve seen on facebook.   Their first project is starting on Feb 4th I believe and they are making the Magnificent Moss Basket.  They even have the designer in this group in case anyone has any questions.  This group is totally focused on crochet so no random chit chat about other things or negativity of any sort.  No knitting or other off topic things either.  That makes it really nice because it is such a large group.  I find so many wonderful patterns or ideas in this group.  The group I linked in #3 above is the social group where chit chat is allowed but not the negativity.  Both groups are awesome!

This link is to my Ravelry Project page for my 2014 blanket!  I’ll be adding each square as I do them so if you check back you can see all the patterns (which are all free).

When I finished the purple flower with the green part it made me think of a water lily so I made the rest blue.

When I finished the purple flower with the green part it made me think of a water lily so I made the rest blue.

So all of these “endeavors” are crochet related.  That seems to be the one thing that keeps me going.  Last year I was really into knitting but lately I only want to crochet.  I’ve been crocheting for most of my life (my sister started teaching me when I was 5) but I haven’t been knitting all that long.  When I am in pain and have a hard time focusing I go for the thing that I can do on autopilot.  It helps to keep my mind focused on something – something not to hard but hard enough to keep my mind off of hurting.  This may sound silly but if I am in so much pain that I can’t crochet, I actually try to mentally form the stitches in my head as a way to distract myself.  I think everyone with fibromyalgia has their little tricks like that.

Oh, I should add, I am doing all of these things using only yarn that I already have.  I have a lot!  I picked out four colors to make a blanket for my room.  Purple – Green – Blue – Cream   But, I am using different yarns and different shades of those colors in my squares.  I may even make some 6″ squares and group 4 together into a larger square.

Hairy Lavender Flower Square

I got the bright idea to use green fun fur with the white for the center of this square. Then I had to give it a haircut because it looked like an overgrown lawn!

Making a blanket to fit my bed might be overwhelming but making a 12″ square can be done in an hour or so.  When I don’t feel well it takes me all day but I still find myself waiting impatiently for the next one to be posted in each group.  In no time at all I will have enough squares to make my blanket and I really doubt it will take a year.  I’ll probably make a blanket for every bed in the house.

The flower in this one is two shades of blue but the darker shade looks gray in the picture.  There actually isn't any gray in this.

The flower in this one is two shades of blue but the darker shade looks gray in the picture. There actually isn’t any gray in this.

Purple flower circle square

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Cold and Fibro don’t mix

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“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. HamiltonMistral’s Kiss

 

I had to go out today to get more tulle to finish the tutu I was making.  I only had enough to do about half of it.  The girl at the fabric counter at Joann’s was really nice and helped me make sure I got the same tulle as last time.  There are so many next to each other that are close to the same color and I couldn’t find the bar code/tag info on them.  I didn’t think to take a sample of it with me but I had my receipt.  She used that to find what I bought the last time.

It was so cold outside (-43 below zero F) and windy so I was really bundled up and went from my car to inside really fast.  Normally I wouldn’t even leave my house in this cold but I just hate being stuck in the middle of a project.  I left the car running and the heat turned up so it would be nice and warm when it was time to leave.  After looking around for a while I had gotten hot and took off my coat. It’s a good thing I didn’t need much because all that gear takes up most of the cart.  Well when I went to leave I put all my stuff back on except my gloves and I didn’t zip my coat.  Big mistake.  My car was only about 15 feet from the door.  I dropped the keys though and I got so cold in that short amount of time because of the wind.  I hurried and got in the car which was really warm but because I have fibromyalgia getting cold had already started to cause my pain to flair up.  My hands hurt so bad.  After I got home I started feeling really tired and I couldn’t get warm!  I piled blankets on and turned the heat up but nothing seemed to help.  My restless legs also flared up too and that usually doesn’t happen during the day.  After taking all of the different medicines I needed and huddling under the blankets again I finally started to relax and got some rest.

So now I’m awake but still achy and shivering.  I really want to work on the tutu or my crochet project but my hands hurt too bad.  I think I’m going to try running a really hot bath with epsom salt and take a long soak.  Hopefully that will chase away the cold.

I need an Eboost!

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Another thing I found in the Holiday Voxbox I received complimentary from Influenster was Eboost.  I decided to have it hot like tea and it was delicious!  I had been so cold and tired and it was great hot like that.  I especially loved the fact that it makes 12 oz so it isn’t just a small shot.  It is something I can sip on for a while in my huge red cup.  It would also be good in cold water with a little ice!   It isn’t too sweet like a lot of drink mixes like this are. They use Stevia to sweeten it which is what I normally use.  I didn’t feel a huge or sudden surge of energy but I had been feeling really tired and rundown all day so it was great to feel normal for a while so I could get some things done.  I think this product would be a great thing for me especially because of my health problems.  I have fibromyalgia and a weakened immune system which causes me to get sick easily.  This has a lot of vitamins so that is a “boost” I could really use and I don’t have to worry about crashing later.  It is a natural boost which would probably be even more effective with continual use.

Eboost

I’m going to use it to help me with my weight loss.  After being down for so long with chronic pain I have weak muscles where most people don’t even realize they even have muscles.  Exercising hurts and really drains me.  I’m going to use Eboost to help with my energy level and start off slow 10 minutes a day and work up from there.  I made a fitness board on Pinterest featuring Eboost along with some other things I’m going to try this year.  

Of course I couldn’t have gotten a better flavor.  I got Acai/Pomegranate and I love Pomegranate!  All the flavors sound good though.  There’s also Orange, Pink lemonade & Super Berry.  I really want to try the Super Berry since I love berries.  Click here to read supplement facts for the different flavors.  While I was at their website ( www.eboost.com ) I was able to enter my email in a box that popped up to receive a coupon for a future purchase and they said if you follow them on facebook you can get a free sample the next time they have a giveaway.  

I found Eboost on Amazon.com with free supersaver shipping but I’m hoping I’ll see it in the local stores here.  You can also order it from their website and they have free shipping right now in the continental US.  You can read reviews here on influenster’s website.  They sent these boxes out to several people around the US as a complimentary gift for testing purposes.  That is what I did.  After we test a product we go write a review and tell them whether we liked it or not so much.  So check it out and see what other people thought of Eboost.  

Brand new Beginnings

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“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”
― Carl Bard

I have been trying to lose weight and it is hard.  I have fibromyalgia which makes exercise painful.  I have to be really careful about what I eat but so far I have just managed to stay even.  I am not gaining or losing.  I get really frustrated but I know there is no point in looking backwards.  I’m not saying I haven’t done that though.  It is easy to think, “why, did I let this happen in the first place?”  but it is only natural to gain as you get older and dealing with chronic pain makes it even harder to stay fit.  So, I love to reflect back on this quote and know that I can start again, try something new, and make a brand-new ending.

I’ve got some ideas and I’m anxious to try them but for now I have to remember to love myself in the body I have.  After all, it’s all I’ve got.

A great website for support groups is at www.dailystrength.org  No matter what you need help with, you will find other’s that are in the same situation and will stand with you, encourage you when you are down and lift you up.

Ironically, I didn’t use the wordpress daily prompt today but it still fits in!

Daily Prompt: Quote Me

Feel free to join in.  Click the link above and share what your favorite quote is.

Ringing in the New Year: 2013

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This is kinda written in response to the wordpress writing challenge although most of it was already pondered upon and pressed….

Writing Challenge: New Year’s Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

Feel free to join us. click the link above to read about the challenge.
(Imagine there is a space here)

I don’t really do the resolution thing… at least not the way most people do.  I do a couple of different things.  First I have my list of goals to work on throughout the year.  Not a lot of things – just 2 or 3 tops.  I write them in the front of my journal so that I see them every time I open it – which is usually every day or more often.  I keep track of some items in my journal and journal about my progress.  I don’t like to make “resolutions” that are fast forgotten.

I also make a “to do” list for the year.  This list is pretty extensive and more of a wish list sometimes.  Sometimes I just can’t afford to do some of the things on the list or I need help – like with painting a room in the house.  It is okay though.  This is the time of year when I look at what I accomplished,  cross off what I can and add a few more things.  What didn’t get done just stays on the list for the next year.  The idea in this is that when I get to the end of the year I don’t feel like it was all wasted.  When I flip through my journal or look back at my blog I know my time was well spent.  It wasn’t always that way.  Sometimes I would get into this rut of just waking up and going to work, coming home tired and going to bed.  That was because of my health.  I was working so hard I didn’t have any energy to spend time with my family.  Now I enjoy listening to my kids talk about their days or music or whatever.  I can sit at the table and have dinner with them.  Time is precious and needs to be used wisely.

Anyway, my basic goals are always to lose weight and to get organized.  Surprise, surprise huh?  With my health problems I have a hard time exercising.  When I’m in pain I don’t want to move so I gain weight.  My doctor says says that it is important to exercise as much as possible and that it will actually help with pain.  She’s the doctor so I’m doing my best to follow orders.   I cut some things out of my diet and managed to get some health issues under control that way (which is pretty cool I think).  I managed to stop gaining weight but didn’t really sustain any real weight loss.  I’m just grateful that I’m not still gaining.  This year that is my biggest focus because it isn’t just a matter of how I feel about myself anymore.  Being overweight sets me up for all kinds of other health risks, including diabetes which runs in my family.  My mom died of a heart attack and I’m going to do everything I can to avoid that happening to me.  I’m using a website called MyFitnessPal.com  to track what I eat and it really helps a lot.  I’ve made some friends on there that are in the same boat I am.  They are also trying to lose weight while dealing with chronic pain.  It is amazing to have such an amazing support group that will cheer me on but also understands when I’m not feeling well.

I’m about to set a fresh new goal for this year and take new measurements.  I think I’m going to break my “wish”  for my overall weight-loss into smaller attainable goals.  I think if I lost 10 lbs I would feel pretty darn good and that would give me some “FIRE” to keep going.  So I’m going to do that and just keep working on smaller goals.  Of course exercising every day, even a little, is a task on my list.  Sometimes it just isn’t possible but I’ll do what I can.  I got some advice from a friend of mine that I am working on trying too.  He said to eat what I want but only half.  That is a new concept for me since I grew up being told to clean my plate.  I hate to see anything go to waste so I eat it all.  So I’m going to work on that and put half away for another meal.

Last year, one of the things I added to my list was so stop using the “f word” meaning fibromyalgia.  I thought that I should not talk about it and only focus on positive things.  It didn’t take me long to realize that was not the right thing to do.  Sure, I need to focus on positive things but this is part of me and acting like everything is normal is not the answer.  I realized that there are a lot of people out there that don’t understand what fibromyalgia really is.  Many people and sadly even some doctors don’t believe it is a real thing.  Well, what I feel is real and if there was a solution I’d be first in line.  I really think it is more likely that it is a symptom of something they haven’t yet figured out.  They need to do more research to find out and that means more people need to know about it.  That is when I decided to add that blurb about fibromyalgia to the top of my blog.  I also thought maybe if other people with fibromyalgia could see what I accomplish with this than others will be encouraged.

This past year, in working on my to-do list, I was able to get a lot of de-cluttering done.  Now I am going to keep going on that.  I found this website that has a calendar for each month.  Each day there is a task to work on for 15 minutes.  I think I’ll give that a try and see how it fits in with the areas I want to clean.  Mainly I just need to use some of the things I’ve bought for crafts and let some things go. I have a LOT of yarn.  I’m decided to use that yarn to make blankets for Project Linus.  I’m the coordinator for my area and I’ve had a hard time keeping it going.  I have decided to make working on Project Linus my 3rd goal this year.  I’m going to work on getting people to help out and make lots of blankets.

Last year one of my goals was to finish what I started.  I tracked down some unfinished projects and finished them!  That felt really good!  I also concentrated on finishing one thing before starting the next.  Some people call it multitasking but usually I just end up with a bunch of unfinished stuff.  I did get a lot more done this year and knit, crocheted, and tatted several things.  I also read a bunch of books!  And the books I read have been passed on to others or donated.  I’m also not buying new books but getting ebooks instead.  These little things all make a difference.

So I have my new journal – two actually.  One is a journal to write in daily and one is a smash journal.  I like to use smash journals for projects and pictures.  My main goals are already written in the front and I’m ready to get started.

Of course I have my new list of Twenty Wishes that I want to work on too.  It is interesting to me how this list seems to incorporate many of the things on my yearly list but it is much shorter.  I got the idea for that list from a book.

Now to start working on my lists instead of making them!  Here’s to a good 2013!

Nay to doomsayers!