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Category: Fibromyalgia and…

My Life with Fibro is Expanding

Good morning, and welcome to 2015.

By now you may have realized a notable deviation from my typical annual routine… no annual trip to Mayo Clinic.

Don’t worry. It’s nothing personal.

In fact, I’ve been on the phone with the Neurology department of the Phoenix Mayo Clinic at least once a week for the last few months. So, rest assured, that relationship remains strong and influential in my life. As much a blessing today as it was five years ago when I first stepped foot on their beautiful campus.

In full disclosure, for the first time since 2007, we didn’t even travel to Arizona to spend the Christmas with my in-laws.

Now, why on Earth would we deviate from two such long-standing, significant traditions?

Well, we’ve been working on a little something around these parts, and he’s due in eight days.


Daniel and I are expecting our first child. A little boy we’ve affectionately nicknamed Groot, whom we could be not be more excited to meet.

Kate does Crossfit: Day 100

I never want to be one of those people… You know, the annoying folks who never shut up about what they’re into?

Having said that, if I feel strongly enough about something, I don’t typically care how I come off.

So, here goes… a rather indelicate attempt to walk a fine line.


Exactly 100 days ago my husband and I completed the fifth and final step of on-ramping at our local CrossFit box.  Although, in truth, that first full WOD was just the beginning.

To clarify: WOD is an acronym for “workout of the day.”

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (1234, and 5), I was a gymnast growing up.  So, if you know much about gymnastics (or CrossFit), you’ll know CrossFit is a pretty logical workout regimen for someone with my background.  It’s challenging, it’s scalable, and it’s straightforward.  And, while the community is remarkabley tight-knit and there are team events in the Games, CrossFit is a very individual sport.  Which, frankly, makes it even more my kind of thing.  Team sports have never been my style.  

The idea of a large group of people counting on me, and the possibility I may let them down?  Pass.

It’s late, and I’m fighting a headache, so I’ll call it a night… but, I’ll keep at the CrossFit and be back over the coming weeks to discuss the following:

  • How did we get into it?
  • How is my health holding up?
  • What is a typical workout like?
  • How frequently do I workout?
  • What does it cost?


I look forward to sharing this new bit of mylifewithfibro with you.  Let me know if you have any specific questions, and I’ll be sure to address them.

Until then, stay well.  Have a wonderful week.  And don’t let a fall flare get the best of you.

1 Way My Life with Fibro Tempers Me: Uncertainty

When I woke up this morning my mind seemed to already be thinking about how living with constant health issues, small or significant or quite painful, has defined / refined / smoothed / taught / humbled / made me.  While the ways seem endless, above all, my health  issues have truly tempered me and my tendencies.  So, since I know you know what I mean, I’ll be sharing some as they come to mind.


Lately I’ve thought a lot about all the time I spend in some state of uncertainty.

You know the drill.

  • “Am I getting sick, or is this a flare?”
  • “Is this IBS or an allergy or food poisoning?”
  • “Am I not getting good sleep, or is this my CFS?”
  • “When will my POTS correct itself?”
  • “Will I always feel like this?”
  • “What made today a good day?”
  • “Did I over do it?”

Although my family faced bouts of uncertainty while I was growing up, I remember vividly the first time I faced it as an adult.  At least the first time I faced an uncertainty of true weight…

Daniel graduated in August of 2006 and continued to work full time at a residential treatment center until I graduated the next April.  As we neared time for my graduation, I began interviewing for positions around the country.  We knew he wanted to attend graduate school, but we also knew we’d have to decide how to respond to my job offers long before we’d know the status of his grad school applications.
I remember many nights heading to bed in our basement apartment with my mind racing through scenarios, everyone ending with me acknowledging it was all a bit bigger than my tired mind could tidy before I fell asleep, or gave up on sleep and headed to classes.

Then, something changed.  I don’t remember who got me there, but I remember one evening, as we closed the day with a prayer, I realized I had to give it to God.   I couldn’t see the big picture, and make sure the events fell into place just so, but I could do my best in school, rock my interviews, support Daniel in his application process, and then put my faith in Heavenly Father to make it enough.  To sort it all out and give us a hint.  Or, in our case, a very strong suggestion from someone dear to us (because it never seems to be just a hint in our marriage).

So, I did.

And then, I got to work making life happen. In the best way possible.

"The willingness to consider possibility requires a tolerance of uncertainty." Rachel Naomi Remen

Source: Hollye Jacobs of The Silver Pen


It wasn’t long before truly amazing things happened (much thanks to inspired friends and family who spoke up) to land us here, in Arkansas, house sitting for a remarkable family for three years, with two challenging and stable jobs, a new car, and the perfect bilingual graduate program for Daniel.

It’s now been over five years since we moved to Arkansas. And in those five years, we’ve seen tremendous blessings come into our life, faced issues we did not expect, met people we will love forever, and had many opportunities to remember that…

uncertrainty is glorious


Uncertainty really can be glorious.  Especially if you let it work for you.

While it tries our heart and stretches our soul, I believe it refines us. It reminds us to be happy with a good day, today. To be and do our best, always. To keep track of, and give thanks for, small wins. To have patience with ourselves… as we wait for a good day, and in all things.

Luckily for me, the most significant bits of my life are certain.  I have security in all the things I truly need, I’m just still really learning that last one. I assume I will always be… But, for now, I am proud to see the patience with which I try to face days in the frustrating middle ground, feeling better than awful and worse than great.  My patience truly is ever-increasing.

Sometimes I Feel Like Barbie or Fibromyalgia and Car Travel

Now, don’t get me wrong.

It’s just after 8am on Saturday, my alarm went off nearly three hours ago, and last I checked I am shaped nothing like the abnormally proportioned toy to which I refer. I am not wearing any makeup, my hair is wet and heading toward unruly, and everything I am wearing is a shade of black or gray (none of these things are uncommon, btw). Needless to say, I will not be winning any awards for style or beauty. I am just here to talk about car travel.

Today Daniel and I are taking a day trip with my folks. Although my parents have a very comfortable car, when we arrive at our destination I will inevitably be feeling like Barbie. Is it just me? Do you know what I mean?

You turn to open the car door, and you crack. You step out of the car, and you pop. You stretch to the sky, and your spine sounds like internal fireworks. Maybe, like me, you do a few squats or pull a foot to your butt, and your knees seem to snap through the motions, just like Barbie legs.

Luckily, I feel comfortable while I am seated. But, once I get a chance to stand, my joints decide they are ticked I compared them to something packaged in pink and settle on causing me pain as a fair way to get even. (Don’t they know revenge never makes anything better?)

Alright, maybe my issue isn’t actually with car travel, but rather doing anything that limits my movement for hours. And maybe my joints pop like crazy no matter what. And maybe I can’t wait to go to Pops.

So, what about you? Does car travel aggregate your symptoms? Does the promise of a fun destination make it worth it? Do tell.

Kate Update: Ten Months since Mayo Clinic

In the ten months since my trip to Mayo Clinic I have done many things, too few of which I have mentioned to y’all.  I will now attempt to right that wrong… Twitter-style… in 140 characters or less.  Stick with me.  I know these do not directly relate to my (or your) health, but I will get to that later… I promise. Here goes:

  1. Visit from Daniel’s sister and our only first nephew.  SIL interview.  SIL offer.  No cross-country move. 🙁
  2. Unexpected move to our “other” house. Sad to leave the Douglas. Glad for big yard and a visit from from my youngest BIL.  Sick Daniel.  New carpet.
  3. After much planning (and hard work on my MIL’s part), our lovely lady-pup Notch (with her notched ear) made her way across the country to our rainy town.
  4. Ten wonderful days @ our special place with Sweats’ side of the family.  Animals. Children. Rainstorms. Restaurants. Rides. Water.
  5. We got lucky when a sweet Zoey Lil pup found her way to our home, where she always belonged, in a very round about way.
  6. Four unexpected days, including Halloween, with Daniel and my folks at the Discovery’s STS-133 launch at KSC  WDW.  *cue typical withdrawals*

There you have it… ten months in a half-dozen tweets.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I am working on corralling, organizing, and editing what amounts to every digital image in our home (more than there are people in my town).  I’m all over it.  I swear.

Speaking of tweets, do you tweet?  I do. sometimes more often than others.  Be my friend.  Please… Thanks… Bye.

Or, not bye.  Not yet.  Or ever.  I still owe you health talk and such.

As I said before, my health is, by no means, perfect… but I am nonetheless astounded by the scope of my improvement.  I still have days when I am dizzy and my heart makes itself known, but even on those days I have more energy than I did this time last year.

How have I achieved such a significant improvement in my heart condition?

As part of my Mayo-prescribed treatment plan I continue to:

  1. maintain a daily water intake of 4-7 liters
  2. add salt to nearly everything I consume
  3. incorporate cardio-centric exercise into my nearly-daily routine  (Except during the stomach-bug laden last two weeks.  I am tempted to feel ill and lazy, but that’s simply no fun.  So, I am trying to feel well and productive.)
  4. take my medicine, as directed, three times daily

Although the positive results of this new treatment plan exceed my highest expectations, an unexpected side-effect has me learning patience in a most unexpected way.

When a work meeting gets stressful, a family member uses a tone of voice that strikes me as unkind, or I feel someone isn’t giving me the benefit of the doubt I strive to give them, I feel my blood pressure increase.  My vision blurs, I can barely hear over the sound of my heart in my ears, it is all I can do to keep myself from sighing, just to calm my heart.  Far too often I say curt things, but sometimes I manage to, as I say, bite my tongue to save my face.

Lucky for me I am surrounded by folks who love me and understand I am trying to be the best me I can be, within these new parameters.  I’m still finding my limits… some less permissive than they once were, and some quite the opposite.  Mostly, I’m just grateful I have the energy to learn this lesson on patience, and spend more time with my family and friends (and coworkers).

At my next appointment I plan to ask Dr. GH about this whole lack of patience thing, just to make sure I haven’t completely lost my mind.

And, speaking of my next appointment… it is either on December 20th in AZ, January 10th in MN, or both dates in both places.

Confused?  So am I.

Thank you for your continued support and advice.  I am grateful for your selflessness.