Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rave of the Day for July 31, 2011: 

This is a joke so bad it could rightfully be called a groaner. My seester sent it to me in an e-mail in 2006....

This lady was at the gas station pumping gas and smoking a cigarette when her arm caught on fire.

When the police arrived they shot her for waving a firearm.

Inspiration for the Day, July 31, 2011: 

"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."

- Leonard Bernstein

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rave of the Day for July 30, 2011: 

Words of "wisdom", or at least amusement. From a 2006 e-mail from Joan....

1. Birds of a feather flock together, and then they poop on your car.

2. There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time
 to look for it. For example I am sitting here thinking how 
nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

3. When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle. It makes the
 neighbour's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

4. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

5. Don't assume malice for what stupidity can explain.

6. A penny saved...is a government oversight.

7. The real art of conversation is not only to say the right
 thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong 
thing at a tempting moment.

8. The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight,
 because by then your body and your fat are really good friends.

9. The easiest way to find something lost around the house
 is to buy a replacement.

10. He who hesitates is probably right.

11. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

12. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

13. The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

14. The mind is like a parachute; it works much better when it's open.

15. The only difference between a rut and a grave..is the depth!

Inspiration for the Day, July 30, 2011: 

"A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future."

- Leonard Bernstein

Pretend you're Trump on "Apprentice".... 

Got this via one of the fibromyalgia Facebook pages. There's some good advice here:

9 Signs You Should Fire Your Doctor

It's a shame that sometimes we end up with less than ideal medical situations, like when you and a specialist don't get along but there are no other options that your insurance will cover. I found out this week that my excellent primary care doc is leaving medical practice. I am sooooo not looking forward to find another doctor who can handle the complexity of my ailments, who actually believes the ailments exist, who is okay with my use of alternative medicine, who will respond quickly when I develop a problem that could sideline me for months, AND who will accept Medicare. Those kinds of docs don't grow on trees.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The REAL "job killer".... 

The politicians in Washington bicker back and forth over what policy will bring more jobs to the American people. How about looking into unfair practices, such as companies who refuse to hire anyone who is currently without a job? Please read the following petition, sign if you agree, and spread the word:

Stop Discrimination Against Unemployed Workers

I am in BIG trouble if I ever lose my disability benefits. Even if by some miracle I became well enough to work, no one would hire someone who has been out of the job market since 2005. This sort of discrimination is just as unfair as not hiring someone because of their age, race, gender or sexual identity, and it has got to stop.

What it's like to be the significant other of someone with fibromyalgia..... 

I have at least once in the past put on this blog the "Letter to Normals" originally written by Ricky Buchanan that has become so famous among those with fibromyalgia. But I don't think I've posted the following, written by the spouse of Ken from Fibrohugs.

A Letter To Fibromites

Monday, 26 January 2004

I am a spouse of someone with fibro......... by the (late) Donna Euteneier from Fibrohugs.org

A lot of times we as family members, friends, and loved ones are supposed to understand, accept and be sympathetic to someone who has an illness..... and I agree with this statement, but only when we are given information, understanding and support ourselves.

Fibro does not just affect the person who has it.... fibro affects the whole family..... it steals away all of our lives. I have watched, brokenhearted, as Ken has packed away his dreams and hopes for the future.... but along with those dreams and hopes were mine also. Just as you have come to realize that your life has changed forever so must we....... and we have to be allowed to mourn that loss also.

We become angry and depressed just as you do...... we struggle with KNOWING that you are sick, to being angry that you are sick....... not at you but at the illness. Then we become angry at ourselves for feeling selfish and thinking of ourselves.... thinking of the added stress on our lives... the added responsibility.... the added guilt.

We have gone from a 50% partnership in this marriage, this family, this life, to sometimes feeling like I'm carrying the whole weight of it alone. I have to remember that my spouse is sick..... that the illness has taken that away and sometimes I'm lonely, scared, and extremely sad at the loss of what was....... but I also know in my heart that I love my husband more than life itself and TOGETHER we will find our way.

You have to talk to us.... you have to let us know how you're feeling, what you're feeling, and how it's affecting your day........ your life. If you don't talk to us we will never understand how you are feeling and we will assume that everything is as it should be.... thus expect from you what we have always expected.

I need to be able to say it's "okay" when your angry and hurting........ but it has to be "okay" when I am also. We both have to stop and look at what's going on in our lives at the time....... just as you get angry and lash out sometimes...... so do we.

So will we really ever understand what you're going through? ......No! Will you ever really understand what we are going through? ......No! But if each of us gives each other the time, love, and patience to find our own way in dealing with and accepting what fibro has taken from us, I think our relationships may be a lot better.

I hope with your challenge that you wanted to hear the truth...... and that is what I offer in this.... how we feel as Spouses.

Donna Euteneier

"Streamlining" the disability claim process.... 

Got this via a fibromyalgia Facebook page. This details an attempt to speed up analysis of SSDI applications for those who have one of the specific life-threatening conditions on the list:

Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions

But even a "sped up" claim can take a very long time to process. My mother qualified for the compassionate allowance, and it was still four months before she was approved. The benefit letter arrived the day after she died.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why the name change in the U.S. is wayyyy overdue.... 

Lengthy but important article via a new Facebook page. This explains the importance of a proper consensus as to what M.E. is and not confusing it with generic fatigue or a psychological disorder:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME: What’s in a Name?

I am considering not using the term chronic fatigue syndrome anymore. The only reason I have done so for so long is that most Americans have not heard of M.E. And I get many of my articles from a "chronic fatigue syndrome" newsletter.

Having a life, even on a smaller scale.... 

Got this excellent article from a brand new fibromyalgia Facebook page. This a perfect example of being down but not out:

Things You Can Do From the Bed

I do at least half of these myself. Since there's nothing good on prime time network TV during the summer, I have been watching the myriad of movies that have piled up on my DVR. I delight in viewing other people's vacations via Facebook. And while I don't do audio books because my hearing is so bad, I do listen to music pretty much any time I am not watching a movie.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, July 26, 2011: 

An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, & ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth."

The boy thought about it, and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"

The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."


Rave of the Day for July 26, 2011: 

Whether or not this actually happened, I find it hilarious. Sent to me in an e-mail by Joan in 2006....

THE DILLARD'S THIEF In San Antonio, Texas.
This is too funny! This could only be true, you can't make this stuff up.
Clutching their Dillard's shopping bags, Ellen and Kay woefully gazed down at a dead cat in the mall parking lot. Obviously a recent hit---no flies, no smell.
"What business could that poor kitty have had here?" murmured Ellen.
"Come on, Ellen, let's just go..." But Ellen had already grabbed her shopping bag and was explaining, "I'll just put my things in your bag, and then I'll take the tissue." She dumped her purchases into Kay's bag and then used the tissue paper to cradle and lower the former feline into her own Dillard's bag and cover it.
They continued the short trek to the car in silence, stashing their goods in the trunk. But it occurred to both of them that if they left Ellen's burial bag in the trunk, warmed by the Texas sunshine while they ate, Kay's Lumina would soon lose that new-car smell.
They decided to leave the bag on top of the trunk, and they headed over to Luby's Cafeteria.
After they cleared the serving line and sat down at a window table, they had a view of Kay's Chevy with the Dillard's bag still on the trunk.
BUT not for long. As they ate, they noticed a black-haired woman in a red gingham shirt stroll by their car, look quickly this way and that, and then hook the Dillard's bag without breaking stride.
She quickly walked out of their line of vision. Kay and Ellen shot each other a wide-eyed look of amazement. It all happened so fast that neither of them could think how to respond. "Can you imagine?" finally sputtered Ellen.
"The nerve of that woman!" Kay sympathized with Ellen, but inwardly a laugh was building as she thought about the grand surprise awaiting the red-gingham thief.
Just when she thought she'd have to giggle into her napkin, she noticed Ellen's eyes freeze in the direction of the serving line. Following her gaze, Kay recognized with a shock the black-haired woman with the Dillard's bag, THE Dillard's bag, hanging from her arm, brazenly pushing her tray toward the cashier.
Helplessly they watched the scene unfold: After clearing the register, the woman settled at a table across from theirs, put the bag on an empty chair and began to eat.
After a few bites of baked whitefish and green beans, she casually lifted the bag into her lap to survey her treasure.
Looking from side to side, but not far enough to notice her rapt audience three tables over, she pulled out the tissue paper and peered into the bag. Her eyes widened, and she began to make a sort of gasping noise. The noise grew.
The bag slid from her lap as she sank to the floor, wheezing and clutching her upper chest.
The beverage cart attendant quickly recognized a customer in trouble and sent the busboy to call 911, while she administered the Heimlich maneuver.
A crowd quickly gathered that did not include Ellen and Kay, who remained riveted to their chairs for seven whole minutes until the ambulance arrived.
In a matter of minutes the curly-haired woman emerged from the crowd, still gasping, strapped securely on a gurney.
Two well-trained EMS volunteers steered her to the waiting ambulance, while a third scooped up her belongings.
The last they saw of the distressed cat-burglar, she disappeared behind the ambulance doors,......... the Dillard's bag perched on her stomach.
Sometimes, God does take care of those who do bad things!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rave of the Day for July 23, 2011: 

Time for some funny! Got this in an e-mail from Pete in 2007. This may have been originally said by Robin Williams....

Reverse Life
I want to live my next life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old age home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy; go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You drink alcohol, you party, you're generally promiscuous, and you get ready for High School. You go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a baby, and then...
You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions; central heating, room service on tap, larger quarters every day, and then, you finish off as an orgasm.

I rest my case.

Inspiration for the Day, July 23, 2011: 

Got this link via one of the fibromyalgia Facebook pages. This is nicely done:

The Don't Quit Poem

While there ARE a few things I've had to give up in my life, I generally try to continue as many of my activities and goals as I can. Some projects that I could once zip through with hardly a thought can take me multiple months now. But I still do most of them.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When you don't want to let the sun shine in.... 

Got this from a fibromyalgia Facebook page. Thought it was interesting:

Why Sunlight Affects the Skin of People with Lupus

While I don't have lupus, I do have primary Sjogren's syndrome, which is in the same family and looks very similar to lupus. I get the butterfly rash and the photo-sensitivity. In Colorado, where the elevation makes one much closer to the sun than those at sea level, I sometimes get a raised rash just from riding in the car on a bright day.

Bidding Harry Potter a fond adieu.... 

My most recent article for But You Don't Look Sick has been posted. Guess I'll have to get a life now that the series is over, heh heh:

Movie Review: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"

What will I write next? Well, I have four books that have been read but not yet reviewed. I might review some gluten-free stuff, too, like breads or stuff containing fiber. But I don't have any ideas for any original material right now.

ACTION! Figures! 

This video's even better than "Sabotage". Directed by Spike Jonze. WARNING: Do NOT watch this if you are easily offended!

A woman who beat the odds.... 

This appeared in my local newspaper yesterday. I find it inspiring:

Rare disorder fails to cloud woman's sunny disposition

I know people who had children with this disorder who didn't make it into adulthood. That this woman now helps the disabled is icing on the cake.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What has to change regarding pain management.... 

Got this link via a fibromyalgia Facebook page. The medical community has to come around to the idea of chronic pain as a disease state:

"Chronic Pain Needs More Understanding, Better Treatment"

A great deal of quality of life could be preserved if pain was properly addressed BEFORE it becomes intractable and permanent neurological damage is done. For most people, a single medication isn't going to be a total solution. More aggressive treatment with a combination of Eastern and Western medicine would be a wiser approach.

His horn went "beep beep beep".... 

Valerie posted this on her Facebook page. I love this song and remember when my dad had a couple of these cars:

Sometimes you DO need to make light of your ailments.... 

Another stellar article from But You Don't Look Sick. I think even healthy folks will get some giggles out of this one:

Sick Humor: "Re-Finding" the Funny

I know ill health is usually considered a serious matter, but sometimes diffusing the tension is the only coping device we have. When my mother was undergoing radiation treatment, she lost all her hair. I went to visit her in the hospital, not having been allowed near her for an entire month while I was recovering from bronchitis, and I did not know about the hair loss. I walked right past her room because I did not recognize the person in there! I was so mortified that she noticed, but then she said, "I kinda look like Yoda now, don't I? Yo-da-Mom!" Now, how can you NOT laugh at that?

Monday, July 18, 2011

When fun in the sun makes you faint.... 

Got this about a week and a half ago in the CFIDS newsletter. It is informative and timely considering the current heat wave:

The Outs and Ins of OI - Orthostatic Intolerance

I seem to have a mild version of this. I did not faint during a tilt table test at the Mayo Clinic in 2007, but I certainly didn't feel good afterward. I seem to be getting worse since then: on Father's Day this year, I almost did faint while crossing the street. It was not that hot, only 80 degrees, but the humidity was about 80 percent, which probably had something to do with it. I find this rather upsetting after spending all those months sick from the winter weather begging for warmer temperatures. What a cruel joke.

Rave of the Day for July 18, 2011: 

An oldie but a goody, in honor of the recent visit of my nephews who are ages 20 months and four years. This particular version was sent to me by Joan in 2006....

For those of you who have sons & those of you who are happy that you don't.   



You find out interesting things when you have sons, like... 

1.) A king size water bed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep. 

2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite. 

3.) A 3-year old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a 
crowded restaurant. 

4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room. 

5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way. It can also throw Match Box cars a long way! 

6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan. 

7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it. 

9.) A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old Boy. 

11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence. 

12.) Super glue is forever. 

13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water. 

14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O. 

15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do. This is true even when you have a 4 year old girl! 

16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes. 

17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving. 

18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is. 

19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens. 

20.) The fire department in Tucson, AZ has a 5-minute response time. 

21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy. 

22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy. 

23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy. 

24.) 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their 
friends, with or without kids. 

25.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Inspiration for the Day, July 18, 2011: 

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."

~ Samuel Butler

A goodie for Ellison fans.... 

My friend Robert was good enough to share this link with me. I will add it to the rapidly-growing list of books I desire:

Harlan Ellison's "Brain Movies"

I particularly enjoy learning about the genius behind the genius. It reminds me how refreshing an original mind can be in the midst of the blah, blah, blah.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Those times when you feel less than charitable.... 

This comes from my friend Jen via FibroTV. This would apply to pretty much any type of chronic illness:

Do I have the right to be unkind because I am sick?

I am certainly no angel. In fact, I have an impressively bad temper. Dan could tell many tales of my tantrums and use of very loud profanity. I must admit these incidents are more likely to occur during flares.

But I make every attempt not to take out my illness in innocent bystanders. I am careful not to yell directly at Dan unless he has done something to deserve it. Even then, I try to express myself succinctly and then go back to being nice or at least neutral.

Being unpleasant does not improve one's health, and it certainly doesn't get you anywhere good with people. It may sound silly to smile at others when you feel horrible, but to a small extent, I find I can tolerate them a bit more that way. This is not the same as letting others mistreat you - I will never stand for that. This is about not letting your illness ruin your relationships.

Inspiration for the Day, July 17, 2011: 

"Love never claims, it ever gives; love never suffers, never resents, never revenges itself. Where there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction."

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rave of the Day for July 16, 2011: 

Got this in an e-mail from Pete in 2007. Yes, it's one of those items that has been forwarded a million times, but the message is still worthwhile....

Bank Account

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully 
dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably 
coiffed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved 
to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed 
making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently 
the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his 
was ready. 

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual 
description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had 
been hung on his window. 

"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old 
having just been presented with a new puppy.

"Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait." 

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied. 

"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I 
my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... 
it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a 
decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I 
spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the 
of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful 
the ones that do. 

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the 
new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this 
time in my life. 

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put 

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the 
bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my 
Memory bank. I am still depositing."

Remember the five simple 
to be happy: 

1. Free your heart from hatred. 

2. Free your mind from worries.

3. Live simply. 

4. Give more. 

5. Expect less.

Inspiration for the Day, July 16, 2011: 

"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher."

~Dalai Lama~

Inspiration for the Day, July 15, 2011: 

Blessing recited at my church a few months ago:

May the sun warm your soul
and the moon be gentle above you.
May God the Creator hold your hand
and God in Christ walk in your footsteps.
May the Spirit of God dance in your playing
and grace be found in your way.

Rave of the Day for July 15, 2011: 

Another from the archives. This funny about supposed conspiracies came from Joan in 2007....


We Must Stop This Immediately!

Have you noticed that stairs are getting steeper? Groceries are heavier. And, everything is farther away. Yesterday I walked to the corner and I was dumbfounded to discover how long our street has become! This extension work was apparently done at night!! Very sneaky stuff..

And, you know, people are less considerate now, especially the youngsters. They speak in whispers all the time! If you ask them to speak up they just keep repeating themselves, endlessly mouthing the same silent message until they're red in the face! What do they think I am, a lip reader?

I also think they are much younger than I was at the same age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day, and she has aged so much that she didn't even recognize me.

I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so, I glanced at my own reflection  ........Well, REALLY NOW- even mirrors are not made the way they used to be!

Another thing, everyone drives so fast these days! You're risking life and limb if you happen to pull onto the freeway in front of them.. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out awfully fast, the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.

Clothing manufacturers are less civilized these days. Why else would they suddenly start labeling a size 32 pair of pants a 42, or medium shirt as 'extra large? Do they think no one notices that these things no longer fit around the waist, hips, thighs, and neck?

The people who make bathroom scales are pulling the same prank, but in reverse. Do they think I actually "believe" the number I see on that dial? Heck! I would never let myself weigh that much! Just who do these people think they're fooling?

I'd like to call up someone in authority to report what's going on -- but the telephone company is in on the conspiracy too: they've printed the phone books in such small type that no one could ever find a number in there!

All I can do is pass along this warning: We are under attack! Unless something drastic happens, pretty soon everyone will have to suffer these awful indignities. PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO WE CAN GET THIS CONSPIRACY STOPPED!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, July 14, 2011: 

"Your gifts - whatever you discover them to be - can be used to bless or curse the world.
The mind's power, the strength of hand, the reaches of the heart, the gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing, waiting.
Any of these can serve to feed the hungry, bind up wounds, welcome the stranger, praise what is sacred, do the work of justice or offer love.
Any of these can hoard wealth, abandon the poor, obscure what is holy, comply with injustice or withhold love.
You must answer this question: What will you do with your gifts?
Choose to bless the world.
The choice to bless the world can take you into solitude to search for the sources of power and grace, native wisdom, healing and liberation.
More, the choices will draw you into community, the endeavor shared, the heritage passed on, the companionship of struggle, the importance of keeping faith.
The life of ritual and praise, the comfort of human friendship, the company of earth, its chorus of life welcoming you.
None of us alone can save the world. Together, that is another possibility, waiting."

- Rebecca Parker

Rave of the Day for July 14, 2011: 

Fun from Dr. Karen. She sent this to me in 2006.....

A humor break!

I am invincible...I am A working mother with teenagers!

Do NOT start with me. You will NOT win.

You have the right to remain silent, so please SHUT UP.

All stressed out and no one to choke.

I'm one of those bad things that happen to good people.

How can I miss you if you won't go away?

Sorry if I looked interested. I'm not.

If we are what we eat, I'm fast, cheap and easy.

Tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get along without it.

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

I don't suffer from stress. I'm a carrier.

My reality check bounced.

Don't tick me off! I'm running out of places to hide the bodies.

I don't believe in miracles. I rely on them.

Next mood swing: 6 minutes.

I hate everybody, and you're next.

And your point is...???

I used to be schizophrenic, but we're okay now.

I'm busy. You're ugly. Have a nice day.

Warning: I have an attitude and I know how to use it.

Remember my name -- you'll be screaming it later.

Of course I don't look busy... I did it right the first time.

Why do people with closed minds always open their mouths?

I'm multi-talented: I can talk AND tick you off at the same time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anatomy of (several) trigger points.... 

This site looks rather useful. Got the link from one of the fibromyalgia Facebook pages:

Trigger Point and Referred Pain Guide

Speaking of trigger points, I saw the pain doctor today for a follow-up. We decided my hips have improved enough to move onto something else. I seriously aggravated the trigger points in the teres major/teres minor area at the base of the shoulder blades in the mid-back when I cleaned house prior to my sister's visit, so we are going to focus on that now. I am scheduled to begin the first of three treatments on Friday of next week.

Sign and pass it along! 

Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition:


hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service, at:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Petition

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An example of how to move closer to peace.... 

Got this link through a United Church of Christ newsletter. I believe it is a step in the right direction:

UCC Synod stands against hostility toward Islam and the Muslim community

I agree that we will only achieve peace if we attempt to understand one another. Our lives can be much more fulfilling if we open ourselves up to relationship with ALL of humanity, not just those with whom are already familiar.

Inspiration for the Day, July 13, 2011: 

About a month ago, during "children's moment" at my church, the kids put together their own version of Psalm 152. Here's what they came up with:

O sing to God an 80's lullaby song;
sing to God, New York and Boston and this church throughout the earth.
Bless God's name;
tell of how God made us from day to day.
Declare God's glory among Pastor Jean, baby Eddie, Bridget, Gretchan, baby Soren, Jay, God's marvelous works among Sarah and Gavi.
For Almighty God is our God, and greatly to be praised.
The gods of the people are as pickles and peas, dust and dirt and mud,
but our God made Spiderman, God, everything (except pickles).
All praise and thanks be to God!

Say among the nations, "God reigns"!
The world shall never break, and no one will lose a friend.
Let the heavens be happy, loved and excited and let the earth say "see, see", dance around, and shout yay;
Let the sea roar, and every octopus, coral and fish be glad;
Let the fields exult, and every corn, tomato, beetle and weed praise God.
Then shall all the trees, foxes, bark and thistles sing for joy in honor or our God.
For God comes to judge the world with awesome good and all the peoples will be happy, excited, successful and believe.

Rave of the Day for July 13, 2011: 

Digging back into the archives again for funny stuff. I don't know where I got it originally, but the date is 2006. And while I'm not in Minnesota, I am in South Dakota, where nearly all of these also apply.....

Jeff Foxworthy on Minnesota

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through l8 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Minnesota.

If you're proud that your state makes the national news 96 nights each Year, because International Falls is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Minnesota.

If you have ever refused to buy something because it's "too Spendy", you might live in Minnesota.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Minnesota.

If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Minnesota.

If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Minnesota.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Minnesota.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Minnesota.

If you know how to say Wayzata, Mahtomedi, Edina, Shakopee ,Winton and Ely, you might live in Minnesota.

If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy, you might live in Minnesota.

"Vacation" means going up north past Virginia for the weekend.

You measure distance in hours.

You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.

You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.

You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.

Where men are men and so are the women.

There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Zups Grocery Store at any given time.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

You can identify a southern or eastern accent.

You consider Minneapolis exotic.

Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.

Down South to you means Iowa.

A brat is something you eat.

You go out to fish fry every Friday.

You find 0 degrees a little chilly.

You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your Minnesota friends.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not the slightest bit surprising.... 

I saw this coming a long time ago. Link courtesy of a fibromyalgia Facebook page:

Obama: No guarantee for Social Security checks

Congress is playing a ridiculous game of chicken, and it's gonna be the disabled and the elderly who suffer the consequences when neither side blinks. I may have a working spouse, but if I don't get my SSDI payment, I won't last much more than a month before I'll no longer be able to meet living expenses. Especially right now that I'm in the damned doughnut hole that some "genius" built into the Medicare drug coverage system. I do get a break on some of my more common meds, but the ones for my autoimmune conditions are running in the hundreds of dollars per month. And others have it a LOT worse than I do. Being disabled feels very much like being invisible and disposable.

Whirlwind weekend.... 

I got to experience a first on Saturday - my sister, her husband and their two boys came up to South Dakota to visit! The older boy, who has Down's syndrome, is almost four and the younger is a year and a half. They came by the house around 2pm.

Dan and I gave them the grand tour, trying to keep an eye on the boys as our house is far from childproof (I did have the good sense to put things like medication and cleaning products out of easy reach). We did have one mishap - Nephew L. gave his little brother a kick and sent him tumbling down the stairs headfirst! Luckily, the stairs are carpeted and Nephew A. must have a hard head because he was just fine. I think L. didn't intend to actually hurt his brother.

After showing off the untidy but well-shaded yard (our eight maple trees are really gorgeous), we gave L. an early birthday present - a tub of Duplo (over sized) Lego. It went over well, and we all played with it for awhile. When, A., who is the speediest 18-month-old I have ever seen, got restless, we decided to go to a nearby park that had lots of playground equipment.

To say it was hot that afternoon would be a gross understatement. It was at least 90 degrees with humidity to match. But that didn't slow A. down one little bit.

With their parents watching closely, the boys clambered around the various equipment, mostly to go down the slides. I stayed off the the play sets but took pictures of the kids on them. Nephew L. just got orthotics in his shoes and is still learning how to walk in them, but he managed to get around fairly well when he took it slow. His little brother was practically a blur and never got tired, even when the rest of us were done in.

We took a little break after the park, with Dan and I getting cleaned up at home and my sister and family checking into their hotel. We met up later for dinner at the Outback. We managed to get a corner booth, which was a good thing because that way, Nephew A. couldn't run around the restaurant (his brother was too tired for that).

After a slightly chaotic but delicious supper, we went back to the hotel room so the adults could chat and the kids could possibly wind down. While my sister and I got caught up on family gossip and such, Nephew L. decided Dan was pretty cool and sat in his lap for about half an hour, putting an empty bowl on his uncle's head like a hat and replacing it every time it fell off. Nephew A. played the 18-month-old's version of Hide and Seek in the room.

Two hours later, Dan and I headed back to the house so they could call it a night. We made plans to have them come by in the morning before they headed off to the Black Hills. Because of my digestive issues, I could not lie down right away and had to stay up until around 1:30am despite being incredibly wiped out.

They came around about 10:00 (I think) on Sunday morning. We chatted and played with the Lego some more. By this time, L. was really getting the hang of how to put the pieces together, and he and A. made some impressive stuff.

My sister decided they needed to get on the road about noon, so we said our goodbyes. I was surprised that the boys seemed a little sad to leave. I hope that we can manage to get together again sometime soon.

Dan headed out to run errands, and I zonked out on the couch within minutes, waking up an hour and a half later when he returned home with groceries. I had planned to get some stuff I needed at Walgreens, but by late afternoon it was clear I wasn't up to roaming around a store, so Dan went for me. I dozed off again, awakened by a call from my mother-in-law asking if we were getting together for dinner. In all the hubbub of my sister's arrival, Dan had forgotten to tell me that his cousin was passing through town Sunday evening.

So I managed to prop up my eyelids long enough to go back out again. I had met Dan's cousin once before at some family function, but had never actually had a conversation with him. He was in the process of moving from Calgary to Bloomington for a teaching position and stopped in Sioux Falls just long enough for dinner with us.

We went back home right after we ate, and I was nodding off on the couch again by 8:30. Needless to say, I didn't make it to water therapy today, and Dan had to drag me out of bed at 12:30 in the afternoon during his lunch break. I feel pummeled and drained of blood even now.

But it was worth it.

Inspiration for the Day, July 12, 2011: 

Drinking from My Saucer

I've never made a fortune and it's probably too late now;
But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way I'm reaping better than I sow;
I'm drinking form my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.
Haven't got a lot of riches and sometimes the going's tough.
But I've got loving ones around me and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings and the mercies he's bestowed;
I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.
O, remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin;
But all at once the dark clouds broke, and sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I've hoed;
I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough,
I'll not ask for other blessings - I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads;
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.

- Jimmy Stewart

Rave of the Day for July 12, 2011: 

No, I haven't forgotten about these, I've just been up to my eyeballs in other projects. But here's a funny that Valerie sent me in May.....

Scientific Conversions

1. Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

2. 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton

3. 1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope

4. Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond

5. Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram

6. Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong

7. 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Sterling

8. Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon

9. 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz

10. Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower

11. Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line

12. 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake

13. 1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone

14. 2 million bicycles = 2 megacycles

15. 365.25 days = 1 unicycle

16. 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds

17. 52 cards = 1 decacards

18. 1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 FigNewton

19. 1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen

20. 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche

21. 1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin

22. 10 rations = 1 decoration

23. 100 rations = 1 C-ration

24. 2 monograms = 1 diagram

25. 4 nickels = 2 paradigms

26. 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 IV League

27. 100 Senators = Not 1 decision

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fibro fog for the eyes? 

Interesting article from one of the fibromyalgia Facebook pages. I learned a few things from it:

Blurred or Double Vision and Fibromyalgia Syndrome

I experience trouble focusing when going from close-up vision (like reading) to faraway vision (like checking the time on the clock across the room) and vice versa. I feared my diabetes might be the culprit, but the opthalmologist said everything looked normal. I was surprised to find out fibromyalgia can affect the vision.

Guten free lifestyles of the rich and famous.... 

Got this in today's edition of the Celiac.com newsletter. I am MONTHS behind in perusing and posting their articles, but I will see if I can remedy that in the coming weeks:

Gluten-free Celebrity Update

I was watching Wimbledon when the announcers talked about a tennis player's gluten intolerance. While they were glaring in their lack of knowledge of the condition, the fact that they mentioned it at all was encouraging.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Why ignoring your pain can be hazardous to your health.... 

This came out a year ago, but it is important information. Link courtesy of a fibromyalgia Facebook page:

Chilling Concept: Chronic Pain as a Brain Disease

I know it's trendy these days to label everything as a disease, but there is some real science to back this one up. I know for a fact that before I was sick, I had no brain deficits. But in 2008, an MRI showed damage to the frontal lobe of my brain, damage which was NOT present in scans done in 1998, 1999 and 2004. I honestly believe this is the cumulative result of having had chronic severe pain since 1997.

The "everything but the kitchen sink" approach.... 

Short but useful article courtesy of a fibromyalgia Facebook page. Why one pill won't fix all of most people's pain problems:

Combination Therapy Needed to Fight Chronic Pain

For intractable pain, I believe you're short-changing yourself if you rely on a single remedy for complete relief. A lot of people choose either Western medicine or alternative treatments: why not do both? My current regimen includes a prescription anti-inflammatory, supplements, trigger point release, ultrasound, traction, chiropractic, weight control, mild exercise/stretching, topical over-the-counter products, acupuncture and laughter.

Not a coincidence.... 

Finally, an article addressing something I have suspected for a long time. Link courtesy of a fibromyalgia Facebook page:

Peripheral Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia - Connection, Symptoms and Treatments

I have been told by multiple highly respected doctors that fibromyalgia cannot cause neuropathy. But go on any online message board for either condition, and you will find hundreds of people who have both. Now, I cannot say for certain what is causing MY neuropathy because I have at least four medical conditions that could be the culprit, but it makes sense to me that an ailment like fibromyalgia, which affects the central nervous system, could lead to the parade of sensations associated with neuropathy.

The worst name for an illness EVER.... 

Another item that has been languishing on my browser. This contains some good details on CFS:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Misunderstood

I wish the United States would start using the term M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) for the ailment like other countries do. Calling it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is like referring to a tornado as a gust of wind. Woefully inadequate.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Seeing through the fog.... 

My latest article for But You Don't Look Sick has been posted. These ideas might be useful for healthy people too:

10 Tips for Navigating Your Way Through Brain Fog

I am still trying to decide whether I want to submit the poem I wrote a few weeks ago to the site's poetry section. I like the poem, but don't know if it is something the world would want to see. I definitely intend to watch the last Harry Potter movie when it comes out on the 15th and write a review of it.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Have a great Independence Day! 


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