Tuesday Tip – The Spoon Theory

“The Spoon Theory” was written by Christine Miserandino and is a wonderful tool to help healthy people better understand what it is like to have a chronic illness. Christine suffers from Lupus, but her explanation could very well be used for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I first read the spoon theory years ago and had forgotten about it until recently and went back to re-read it. I just love how she paints a simple, understandable picture of what we go through on a daily basis. It has become a favorite story for people all over the world suffering from chronic illness. If you haven’t read it, PLEASE take the time to read it. It is a little long, but the really great parts are at the end. It is worth your time! You will be nodding your head in agreement!

I am making this my Tuesday Tip because this is a great explanation for those in your life that don’t understand what you are going through. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use this story with your friends and loved ones to help find understanding and support.

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory-written-by-christine-miserandino/

Enjoy the read – then come back and tell me what you think!

 

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More Than I Can Bear

My Inspiration:

… but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

I Corinthians 10:13

My Thoughts:

The Greek word for temptation in this verse can refer to temptation of sin, but it also can mean “time of testing or trial”. If you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome consider yourself in a time of testing or trial!!!  I have had days, as I am sure you have, when I think, what if I feel like this for the rest of my life? Sometimes, I get lost in the pain and fatigue and forget that flares do cycle. That there is an end to the worst times and better days are ahead. In the bad moments though, it is easy to lose sight of that. Continue reading

Tuesday Tip – Vitamins and Natural Supplements

I am very sensitive to most prescription medications, so I prefer to seek out answers that involve vitamins, natural supplements, or lifestyle choices. I often find the meds to have worse side effects than the original ailment. Have you read the warnings that come with those things? 🙂 I am not against prescription meds and I know that there is a need for them – they serve a great purpose, but if I can avoid them, I will. I am fortunate that over the counter pain relievers work for me. I know that is not the case for everyone and stronger pain relief is needed. Like I’ve said before, everyone’s journey is different.

I am not going to write about all the suggested vitamins and natural supplements that have potential to help fibro and/or cfs – that’s what search engines are for! 🙂 There is a ton of info out there! This blog post is simply to encourage you by sharing that I HAVE found success with vitamins and natural supplements and I want to encourage Continue reading

Fearful of Making Plans

I submitted a couple of devotional type writings to a website called Rest Ministries.  It is a website devoted to Christians with all types of chronic illness.  It is a wonderful resource and ministry.  The founder, Lisa Copen, was gracious enough to post one of my submissions and says she will post more of my writings in the future.  So, instead of blogging today, I refer you to something I wrote for Rest Ministries.  I hope it encourages you today!

Click on this link:
Trusting God’s Goodness When Fearful of Making Plans found at RestMinistries.com

Tuesday Tip – How to Choose a Doctor

I am writing this blog post simply because I want to help my readers. I don’t have any real authority on this subject, just some helpful ideas to get you started. I want you to find the best doctor that is available to you and to encourage you not to settle for anything less. I have read hundreds of posts on fibromyalgia social networking sites that express frustration with their doctor.  Dealing with a doctor who questions if your illness is real is emotionally taxing and frustrating. We don’t need that stress on top of being sick.  So, I have put together some ideas to help you change that path. Can it be a lot of work, headache, time, paperwork and insurance hassle? YES! But if you have a doctor who won’t listen and care for your best interest. It’s time to find a new one! Continue reading

Running The Race

My Inspiration:

Hebrews 12:1-2

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

My Thoughts:

I used to be an athlete. I could beat most of my peers in any type of sprint (we didn’t have track) and I played on my high-school basketball team. I wasn’t that great of a player, but I was extremely competitive and tenacious on the court and I still have some skills that can keep up with my hubby in a game of “horse”. 🙂 Since diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I no longer do anything overly aerobic. I can still shoot hoops with the kids in the driveway, but Continue reading

Tuesday Tip – Be Your Own Health Advocate

The more you read about fibromyalgia and interact with those who have it, the more you discover that no two cases are alike. There is a list of symptoms that put us in the box of fibro and/or cfs, but everyone seems to have their own unique experience. Degree of pain, type of pain, location of pain, is all different. Emotional, psychological, and neurological concerns, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue levels, sleep disturbances, are all varying degrees of different. Some people have all the listed symptoms and more, some have just a few, some are bed-ridden, some just have life interrupted.

The medical community has made it very clear that they know little more than we do. Because of this, I am a firm believer that as a patient, it is my responsibility to be my own health advocate. I do a lot of reading and research Continue reading

Tuesday Tip – Stress Busters

We live in a face paced society where “stressed out” seems to be the norm. We all know that STRESS causes big problems for people with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome. I am constantly on the look out for ways to reduce my stress load. Stress makes me feel awful, causes a flare, and I hate the stressed out feeling! Keeping stress at a distance is essential for my well being on this journey. I’ve put together a list of my stress busters. A short post, but here’s what works for me:

A short walk around the block.
Learn to say no.
Ask for help.
Delegate responsibilities. (My kids love this one! LOL)
Venting stresses to a support person – husband, mom, friend.
Deep breathing. (I plan on writing a whole blog about this one. Watch for it!)
Prayer.
Step outside to soak in some fresh air and sunshine. ( I live in FL – lots of sunshine!)
Prioritize with a list. (Writing a “to do” list brings me great joy!)
Let someone else do it.
Focus on the big picture.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Alone time.
Chocolate. 🙂
Do something that makes ME feel happy!

What are some of your stress busters? Share with us!

Seeking God

My Inspiration:

Psalm 63:1-5
1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

My Thoughts:

When I am in a flare, and I am weary, discouraged, hurting, frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, lonely, and feel completely empty, I find a longing in my soul to RUN to the Word of God. One of my first blogs was about the blessings that have come from having chronic illness. I am going to share one of those blessings with you today – having fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome has kept me actively seeking God and His Word. I have been a believer and follower of Christ since I was 4 years old. I feel grounded in my faith and I would like to think that even without illness, I would continue to be a faithful follower of Christ, but when times are good, it is very easy to fall into the trap of complacency. It is the hard times that keep me trusting.

I have been facing the health challenges of CFS/FMS for 16 years. I need to be reminded of what I am to do, think, and feel when life is crashing around me because I am sick. I have days when I feel really BAD (like today) and I know that I will have many more days like this – probably for the rest of my life. It’s tiresome. During the time in my life when I was bedridden for 18+ months, I had little hope that I would have any kind of “normal” life. I felt hopeless. The only hope I knew to cling to was God and His Word. I cried out to Him in prayer for help, for comfort, for answers, for healing, for peace. I would search the Bible for verses about comfort, memorize them, meditate on them and pray them. Although I now live a full and blessed life, when the bad days come, everything in my life seems uncertain. I call upon my Lord to get me through those moments. I need His strength and comfort, so that I don’t fall apart emotionally because I can’t fulfill my obligations. I need His peace because my body hurts and I’m so bone-crushing tired that I feel like I am going to fall over. I remind myself that He is in control. I remind myself that nothing surprises Him. That in this moment He is with me. The ONLY place I know to draw strength from is GOD. How do other people do it? If not for the Lord, how do people with chronic illness survive? “God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”

“Dry and thirsty land” describes me in my darkest hours of illness. In my dry and thirsty land (pain and fatigue) when there is no water (no hint of a cure), my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You. “O God, You are my God.” This is my prayer and this is my heart. I am so grateful for verses of comfort. They give me strength. They give me hope. Your lovingkindness is better than life. I will praise you and bless you with joyful lips. Simply, because you are my God and worthy of my praise.

Do you find it hard to praise God in the tough times? or are the tough times the fuel that have you running to God seeking His comfort?