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Thank You FibroFolks! Chronic Pain and Taking Time to Be

I am preparing to leave on vacation, but I would be remiss if I did not take time out of my evening to stop and give thanks for the outpouring of support I have received over the past few days.  Within minutes of my last post, my inbox, comment queue,  and Twitter mentions list were filling up with words of advice, personal experiences, and encouraging bits of scripture and verse.  Although I have had previous opportunities to see members of the fibrofolks community reach out to lift and encourage, I have never been as moved as I was this week.

Since my first message regarding my last post, from one who has experienced first hand the support of fibrofolks, I’ve been bragging to my sweetie, my parents, and my friends about the sincere, and wise allies I have in the chronic illness community.  My heart is humbled by your experience, your optimism, and your insight.  Although my back is still hurting, I have been made able to better endure the pain.  It feels more muscular, and less skeletal. And I feel less aware of the pain, and more aware of all I am still able to do (and how blessed I truly am).


While I am away on vacation, remember these words of advice from my friend Benia Zouras, of The Table.

Enjoy what you can, whether it’s quiet time outside or getting lost in music or mindless television. Try to have a day where you don’t have to worry about appointments or chores and just BE for a while.

Last night I followed Benia’s advice and took time to just be.  I curled up in a comfy chair family friends recently gave Daniel (it’s rapidly becoming my favorite), made a half-dozen Genius playlists, and sang my big heart out.

While we’re on the subject of being, head over to ChronicBabe to catch up on the Be Here Now Experiment.  And, while we’re on the subject of being here now, head over to (insert preferred music purveyor here) and give Ray LaMontagne’s “Be Here Now” a listen (you will melt).

And while we’re on the subject of Ray LaMontagne, I’m off to give him a listen and get packing.

Thank you again for your prayers, your encouragement, and most importantly… your strength.  I know prayers are answered.  I know encouragement is power.  And I know strength is contagious.

Fibromyalgia and the Flector Patch

Per my chiropractor’s advice, I went to visit a medical doctor Friday morning… except mine was out until today, so I saw the nurse practitioner.  Long story short, she thinks I’ve rapidly developed scoliosis.  And she thinks this rapid change in my lower back is causing my mid-to-upper back to pull to the right.  Or something like that.  She says it’s hereditary (even though none of my family has it).  And she says nothing can be done (even though she recommended two treatments).

The first treatment is one my chiropractor recommended nearly a decade ago, for another ailment with similar symptoms.  It’s herbal, helpful and heavenly in its effectiveness.  But I’ll talk more about it in a later post.

The second treatment is the Flector Patch.  And it seems to be working.  Best I can tell, and based on what she explained, it’s an anti-inflammatory patch for injuries, sprains, gnarly bruises, and the like.  It’s super sticky on one side, fuzzy on the other, and about 4″x6″.  You simply put it over the inflamed (or, in this case super-painful) area and it works its magic.  You wear the patch for 12 hours, then take if off for 12 hours, and so on.

The first day I didn’t notice a significant impact… Jenni Prokopy, the Founder and Editrix of ChronicBabe, had a similar experience.   I did, however, notice it felt kinda warm and a bit tingly.  The second day I felt more flexible and less stiff in my mid back.  Initially I thought this may have happened anyway, that perhaps my back had decided to get better.  But, during the 12 hours between wearing the patch I notice my back grows more stiff and the pain increases.   So I know the patch is providing relief.  Today was the third day, and I am officially a fan of the Flector Patch.  It is convenient and side-effect-free (thus far), but I am worried about the cost.  The nurse practitioner provided me with over a week’s worth of samples, and each came with a $30 off coupon.  Apparently these suckers are pricey.  But I’ve learned, and continue to learn, no price is too high for mobility.  And I continue to be grateful for my HSA.

Stay tuned.  I will let you know what my final verdict is regarding the Flector Patch.  As for Jenni, she said short-term use of the patch solved a tricky pain issue.  I hope my experience is as effective as hers.  And I pray the Flector Patch improves my condition quick enough to prevent a fibromyalgia flare.

Monday Night Dinner 004: Getting to Know K8

I never do this sort of thing, but I realized this would be a fun way for you to get to know me, beyond the fibro and fibro-related bits of my life.  And, it has an 8 in it, like K8.  And my friend Rochelle, of Learning to Trust, recommended I give it a shot.

8 Things I look Forward to

  1. Monday Night Dinners
  2. Weekends with family
  3. Yardwork
  4. Acambaro Fridays
  5. Saturday Morning HGTV
  6. Church
  7. Walt Disney World
  8. Our wonderful mattress, each night… and now

8 Things I Did Yesterday

  1. Church
  2. 3.5 hour nap (Seriously!)
  3. Laundry
  4. birthday call to Grandma J with Daniel, and Mom, and Dad
  5. admired the garden and the deck of the Douglas
  6. watered my herbs
  7. caught up on blogs
  8. updated my iBank

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

  1. live long enough to accomplish my goals
  2. be a patient advocate for fibrofolks, especially fibroyouth
  3. finish my book(s)
  4. sleep, like a “normal” person or operate on <5 hours sleep
  5. spend time with family
  6. attend BlogHer and TedMed
  7. 100 push ups (almost there!)
  8. meet my Twitter friends and fibrfolk friends

8 Shows I Watch (on DVR)

  1. American Idol
  2. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations*
  3. Bones
  4. Glenn Beck*
  5. Lie to Me
  6. Mark & Olly: Living with the Tribes*
  7. MythBusters
  8. in-season dance show (ie: DWTS or SYTYCD)
    *I do not watch these shows regularly.  But sometimes during dinner or on the weekends Daniel and I will indulge.

If you’ve done something like this, comment with a link and I’ll be sure to read it.  I enjoy getting to know you and I will feel much less silly if I’m not alone in admitting I actually watch eight television shows.

I am off to bed.  I look forward to your links.

My Team: To Sweats, Happy Mother’s Day

You are beautiful and generous and I pray you’ve enjoyed your special day.

Thank you for knowing who you are and acting as if.

Graduation 1964

Thank you for believing in, and supporting me, no matter what.

Thank you for standing up for (and to) me and teaching me to think for myself.

Thank you for setting a relentless example of productivity, service, and balance.

Thank you for being tough and pulling off my wedding. You look lovely, even with pneumonia. And your example is truly humbling. I aspire to face challenges with your strength and faith.

December 20, 2005

More than all else, thank you for loving Dad and I (and Daniel) like you do.

I know that with you on our team nothing is impossible.

I love you.

Kate is Back! A Total Deviation…

Daniel and I just got back from our “honeymoon” to Walt Disney World. We’ve been married over three years, but we never really went away for a honeymoon. But, now we have. And it was wonderful. I am sure, when I get the energy, I will write a post all about our trip. In fact, I am sure you will grow sick of hearing about it… but that will be your problem, as I rarely tire of talking about what makes me happy… unless I am, obviously, tired. Then I tire of just about everything. Well, to be honest, I rarely tire of talking. At all. Unless it’s right after work, and I’m too spent to speak a word. Or if I’m surrounded by uninteresting or arrogant folk… for sure I won’t be bothered to speak.

Well, how is that for a rambling entrance? Do I sound as tired as I look? But, that’s me. And I’ve put off this post long enough. I have picked up my compy, with the intention of publishing a post, no less than thirty times over the last two weeks. Each time I’ve wandered off to enjoy our awesome view at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, or fallen asleep, or taken a shower, or gone to bed, or switched laundry loads, or caught up on your blog in my Google Reader, or hit up Etsy, or stalked facebook friends, or brushed up on my relationship with my Rebel, or watched Daniel type, or talked on the phone, or negotiated interest rates for our credit cards, or cooked dinner, or updated my Goodreads, or taken my medicine, or gone to the doctor, or worked, or taken a nap, or gone to a birthday party, or… avoided you all together.

Let me explain.

We left for Florida the afternoon of Friday, March 20. Saturday was our best friend’s wedding… and we arrived to the wedding with a dead camera at the hotel, a dead camera in my purse, my cell phone dead in my purse, Dan’s phone dead at the hotel, and Dan had to borrow a tie from… drum roll… the groom. Yeah. We were a wreck. All this can only be topped by us forgetting to pick up my medicine from the pharmacy before we left town. Thank you to Walmart for transferring my prescription and having it ready for me in Orlando (in a super-nifty recyclable drawer-type thing).

During our first 24 hours in Florida it became apparent that our vacation came at the perfect time. My poor Daniel was nigh unto exhaustion and I was starving to death for time with him. And time to play.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m an only child, or because I’m a sentimental fool, or because I have a vibrant imagination, or because I am Kate, and Kate likes happy things… but I love Disney. Seriously. I’ll admit it. Tonight I looked up the Tarzan and Camp Rock soundtracks. No purchases… but still. I spent 3 minutes iTunes-ing Disney! And yesterday I had the Carousel of Progress song stuck in my head. And two days ago I woke up singing the Haunted Mansion song.

Anyway, we were saved by the trip. And, for the first time, I experienced what I call a “grown up vacation.” The sort that should include a recovery period. And maybe even a recovery patch to assist with the return to real life. My vacation was so useful that, when I tried to remember my drive to work (during Expedition Everest) my mind was blank. Totally blank. Can we say success?!

I now know why people love to travel with their sweeties. I mean, I always enjoy being with Daniel, but never before have I had a whole week of Daniel. No college. No work. No homework. No articles. Just loads (though never enough) time to talk about life, politics, education, religion, peace, joy, work, goals, travel, family, friends, fears, plans, people, and such. We spent two hours one evening on a bench in front of China at Epcot just chatting it up. Those two hours are among my favorite with Daniel. Ever.

On the flip side, I’ve never before experienced returning to work after a dream vacation like this. My last real vacation was nearly two years ago, and I’d only been working at my job for two weeks, so it didn’t feel real until after my vacation (so we won’t count that). I’m surprised how strange it has been to get back to work and our other responsibilities. But Daniel and I have prayed to be able to handle the adjustment and we have been doing very well. In fact, we’ve been a happy and efficient pair. Hooray for successful vacations!

If you haven’t taken one recently, I suggest you do. You’d me amazed how much you can do while being frugal. I find vacations are a super-motivator for saving money and reducing spend. I also find anticipating the trip is half the fun. But it’s dangerous if you’re not careful… no one wants to be so busy looking to the future that they forget to enjoy the present. And it’s dangerous if you overdo it. Be careful with your fibromyalgia or chronic pain condition. A vacation is only as good as its lasting benefits. And pain may be lasting but it sure isn’t a benefit.

I will close this post by saying I am sorry for my absence. I appreciate your support as I struggle with feeling as though I’ve neglected you. I feel a bit guilty. I always dislike the blogs that post rarely and use every post apologizing for writing rarely. And here I am. Doing that. Please accept my apology. I have my upcoming posting schedule planned and I’m taking requests. Although I don’t promise when I’ll get to them, I can promise I will schedule them and start my research. Thank you for your support. I look forward to your ideas.


During the vacation I got after myself about dropping the ball on a goal of mine. But, rest assured, I finally started something big. And one day I’ll tell you more about. But, in the mean time, I’m here for you. What can I do?