Tag Archives: fibromyalgia

Reviewing processes


The past few weeks I’ve been reflecting and dissecting what I would like to do with the rest of my life.  What do I like?  What don’t I like?  What are my dreams?  Are they feasible?  What are my needs?   I’ve also been writing up a business plan for myself, which in itself has been a very interesting journey.  I’ve changed it three times.

I’ve also participated for two days (another four to go) in an art challenge to post pics of my art on my facebook page for six days.  This, too, has been an interesting process.   I’m reviewing photos that I have, which aren’t exactly organized like someone dominantly left brained would do, but I’m only 25% there, so I’m giving myself a break!

4-5 years ago my life came to a crashing halt.  I couldn’t get out of bed, I didn’t want to paint, write, and was incapable of making any decisions for myself.   Fortunately my strong mother jumped in and helped, and after hospitalization for two weeks, I was diagnosed with Major Clinical Depression.  This was not the first time, but the fourth.  I must say to you, it’s been hell trying to come back from it.

Why do I mention such a personal thing?  Because I’m an idiot!   🙂   Most people do not confess such, because of the stigma attached to mental illness.  I want others to know who are suffering with such, it’s okay, you’re not a freak, you aren’t crazy, you are sick, and encourage you to get help.  For me it meant some serious psychological drugs, many therapy sessions, a lot of writing, a lot more of praying.  It is still a monkey on my back, but I am learning, everyday to replace the negative talk in my head.  Some days I’m successful with this, some days not.

Back to the art challenge, as I’m surfing through pages of photos of my artwork, which also have pics of other aspects of my life, love, marriage, breast cancer, family, friends, pets, artwork, gardens, etc… I must say, I feel good about things that I have accomplished in my life.  In spite of the crap that came rolling into it, I’m still standing, and there are days, still, too many, that it’s very hard for me to get out of bed and face the day.   But it was nice to see things I’ve done, the magazines my artwork and needlecraft designs were in, interviews with me as a visual artist, and a fiber artist.  I even had artwork on the cover of magazines I think twice.  How quickly these accomplishments fall by the way side when you’re looking at it through the dark eyes of depression.

So, I’m feeling a bit chipper tonight, painted a little bit today.  Plan to spend a few hours tomorrow doing the same.   We are supposedly having an arctic cold blast this weekend.  I’ve stocked up on the necessities, my mom is here visiting for the weekend.  If I don’t kill her, by the time Monday comes around I should be in good shape! 🙂

The message today is… Hang on.   Hang strong.   Celebrate the good days, and do all you can to survive the bad.   It may be worth your while to dive into some pictures yourself.

Sending you peace and love





It’s okay to ask for help


Today’s Lesson: It is okay to ask others for help when I need it.

Gratitude: Today I am grateful that I am not in a wheelchair, have the need to use a cane, basically that I have mobility

We are having crappy weather here in New England, rain, rain, rain.  A cold spell is forthcoming.  Today my pain levels have been high 7 to 8.    I’ve been near tears, okay so I’m a baby and I did let a few drop.    I managed to get out, go to therapy and get several things done.  Annoyed by some things I’m not going to mention them to give them power over my thoughts.

Last night I watched a program with Oprah and John (?).    He was speaking of resistance.    He said there is a universal natural force that puts resistance in our path when we need to make changes, do things we don’t want to do and most importantly, the things that we know we are supposed to do, to achieve the most out of our lives.    Ask someone their purpose, what their gift is, he believes that the majority of people know what they’re purpose, I’m not phrasing that right…. What their talent, their gift is…  I believe I do.    I think some peoples life purpose is to make our lives miserable!   Kidding.   Anyhow…   The MORE IMPORTANT the change, the action, the MORE RESISTANCE we will feel.

This is freeing in that I beat the crap out of myself for not being motivated, for procrastinating, for dragging feet even though I know whatever it is will be good for me, rear me positive quality of life results.    Also this resistance leads us to “I’m not good enough, I can’t do this… yada yada yada”.   I am going to try to remember this when it comes up tomorrow, because it will.    Interesting way to look at things.

As I said earlier, my pain levels are very high today, they have been for a few days but today beyond norms and what I can live with without being a total bitch.   I knew I didn’t have it in me to shovel the other day, frankly I haven’t yet.  I did my front walkway once, and that wasn’t the smartest thing I could do.   Thinking about it, pondering what to do, because this is the first year that I have been unable to do this myself, what am I going to do???    I asked my very kind neighbors for help.    Joe came down, as soon as they received the message, which was dark, and did my walkways for me.   I was so relieved, and so very grateful.    It is so nice to have neighbors that are willing to give a helping hand.  I am so very grateful.

I shall now slip into my jams and bundle up with a blanket on the couch with my legs elevated.   I hope there is something decent on television but I’m not holding my breath!

Hope you had a great day, Midwest has been slammed with extremely cold weather.  My girlfriend in Omaha said it was awful and we both thought about the animals that would be left outside….

Today’s artwork is called “Tea Box”   It is the perfect size to hold your favorite tea bags.  Instructional packet is available.


Timing challenged


“Donna, have you ever kept track of how long it takes you do to tasks?  I think it may surprise you!”   Yup, she was right!

It seems I am always rushed for time, frantically getting things done on my “Honey do it yourself” list.   Simple prep instructions emailed should only take about 15 minutes top, right?  Wrong, add one hour.  I had to write the prep instructions, scan the line drawings, and there very rarely is not issues with me on how to do things.  I think I’m computer literature, but I realize I know just enough to know I don’t know enough.  I can hold my own, but there are tasks I know can be done quicker, simpler…if only I had the time to learn them!

Always running with my hair on fire, getting to appointments, meetings one minute before, or squeezing in under the late buzzer in my and my doctors heads!   I am learning to leave early, just IN CASE of unexpected delays, like…traffic?  I have been consistently early for a few weeks now.   I’m enjoying the relaxation, not having my body tensed up because I’m going to be late…changing things I can change to make my life better, to improve the quality of my life.

“Why don’t you start earlier so you aren’t rushed?”  The last convention I started one month before, prepping surfaces, getting packets done, and STILL when it came time to go, I still had things I brought with me to do.   I felt so proud of myself that I was tackling things earlier.   Bottom line, I guess it saved some stress but there was not absence of such.

A very small ornament class.   “I need about 4 hours prep”.   Wrong again.   It took half that to basecoat them, Three hours to straighten up and set up my art room into a classroom, 1.5 hours transferring patterns.  Of course there is always something that goes wrong, in this case the ornaments were drilled in the opposite direction needed.  Out comes the wood filler, and it takes several “coats” to fill it in nicely and not have it obvious…. Then ,,,, they need to be drilled the right way!

I horrendously misjudge time.  Funny, I am very good and mostly right on track with my curriculum when I teach, but most other things?  Insanely wrong.  No wonder I am always flying around with my hair on fire.   As a bored kid my mother would often say “There just isn’t enough time in the day!” , I would roll my eyes, sometimes the days seemed too long.  Now, not only do I see glimpses of my mother reflect from the mirror but I hear myself saying the same thing.   I yi yi!

It isn’t only calculating task times, but also budget.  I’ve been working VERY hard to get to a point where I will be able to cover my bills, I don’t want the stressers anymore.   I’m finding that physically I am not able to do the things I did 10 years ago, even 5.   I hate admitting that, I hate accepting it but it is a cold fact.   The days of prepping for 4 classes at a convention, packing up the booth, getting out the new packets, prepping surfaces, copying instructions, pictures, line drawings, transferring design onto surfaces, driving 12 hours straight to get to the convention center, unload the van, set up the booth, organize all for classes, teach classes, run the booth (I learned quickly to split the booth with another, as it not only covers costs but also you have relief!), figure out the taxes, break down booth, load up the van, drive 12 hours home, unpack the van, inventory packets, fill orders, unpack all of the stuff that I just unloaded, and have a class scheduled for the next morning!   INSANITY!    I honestly don’t know how I ever did it, I know I couldn’t do what I have done the past decade and a half without the help of my mom.  She works cheap…for coca cola!    

I remember about 20 years ago when I was in much pain, doctors hadn’t figured out what was wrong with me, finally I saw a neurologist and he did testing, upon meeting him to find out the results he said “There is nothing wrong with you, you just have fibromyalgia!”   Dr. Patak was his name.   This was when fibromyalgia was just starting to be recognized by doctors, and his statement clearly proved he didn’t have a clue as to what it was, or what it took from me, what it takes from others.   I renamed him Dr. Pecker and was fortunate enough to have a good primary care provider who hooked me up with some good resources, specialists.    I don’t talk often (or I don’t think I do) about fibromyalgia.  When I was finally diagnosed, with assistance of a cane at times, I went to a support group at the local hospital.   I was the youngest there and it didn’t help me at all.   I am sure they have changed, and I know the facilitators of the meetings now are very helpful, offer educational facts and self help tips, stretching, exercises.  Back then I felt it was a “pissing and moaning” group.    I vowed then that I wasn’t going to become “Donna Fibromyalgia Scully”, and I haven’t.   Screw that.  But I digress….so I was making my bed one morning, pain shooting up my legs and back, I started to cry and said out loud “I just can’t do this anymore, I can’t do everything anymore”.   Now add to that aging, natural slowing down, I simply am not the woman I once was who could juggle it all, and as I said above, run state to state with my hair on fire.    Only recently have I intellectually accepted this.

I’m growing leaps and bounds, making better decisions for myself, improving the quality of my life.  I have wonderful friends, and a couple in particular who have helped me through so much and still do.  I am quite fortunate there, and grateful as well.  I also am grateful that I work from home, in my pajamas if I want, unless I am travel teaching or at convention.   I have the advantage of throwing in a load of laundry where those who work outside the home have to fit that into their off work time.   I can set my own schedule, if I don’t sleep well, I sleep in and work later, if I have a doctors appointment I can make it without missing work, it’s much easier for me to get there than those with scheduled work hours.    I honestly don’t know how women, single women, do all that they do, not to mention single mothers…. Good god!  I suppose that sounded sexist.  I don’t know how ANYONE does this long term.   

So am I moaning? Eh, I’m really not upset, and many times my words have been misconstrued as anger or griping.  It is not, I am learning, changing, and shocked and sharing how wrong I was with timing of tasks, etc.   Would I do it over again? No question..YES! I don’t even want to think about what else I am wrong about that is negatively affecting the quality of my life…not yet anyway….  It will reveal itself soon enough. 

Change is not easy, at least not for this woman.   It takes self discipline, reprograming, perseverance and more, but I am doing it.  I have heard and read that “pain is the greatest motivator”.   I agree.   When our realities become painful, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, we are more motivated to change it.

Now off I go to do another 3 hours of work before I go to bed.   Think I timed this right???????