Showing posts from 2007

Chronic Monday: How to say 'thank you' to our service people and how this relates to chronic illness

I thought this would be an appropriate blog post for New Year's Eve, 2007. Here's to a 2008 that is free of conflict that is unnecessary and unsanctioned by the people of these great United States of America.

How does this relate to the topic of ICI, you might ask. Here's a tie-in: Have you ever wondered what might become of you if there were actually a war in THIS country? Or am I the only morbid person with CI who envisions a life (if I lived through the initial attack) where I was suddenly on my own and off my meds? Meds, several of which say plainly that suddenly stopping could cause seizures and other uncomfortable sounding consequences. I'll stop the morbidity there, though I could go on envisioning what my life might become in the event of a war on American soil. I do understand that it's not all about me-me-me.

My New Year's resolution for 2008 is to wipe the clutter out of my home and my life, for good. I'm sure you'll be hearing more a…

EVERgreen Photo by Broken Gargoyle aka Jim Misener

Click the link above the picture for the sideshow of all his work.

The photographer's website has some interesting stuff:
The Gargoyle's Domain

Good "Pain" section

Chronic Monday: A patchwork of items on chronic illness and the holidays

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Have A Kickin' Kwanza and a Happy New Year!

Here are a few items I'm looking at now:

Keep My Mind Focused on Good Health

O Lord, I find it hard to remember what it was like
to be healthy.
Help me keep my mind focused on good health
and strength.
Let me be positive about the course of treatment
I am undergoing.
And let me always have faith, great faith,
in your presence in my life
and your glory in my health.

From "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness" by Maureen Pratt.

Psycmaster: Non-Denominational Spiritual Psychology and Mental Health

A Spiritual Approach to Holiday Blues
by Judy Marshall,

Positive Strategies for Dealing With Holiday Blues

Mental Illness: Coping With the Holidays - Brochure, applies well to any chronic illness.

NAMI Award Winners - books and DVDs recognized by NAMI for their outstanding contribution to public understanding of mental illness. I've never been steered wrong by their recomme…

Chronic Monday Taking Leave ...

of Absence, Sickness, Holiday? Take your pick. More when I'm able, and I apologize for missing last Monday with no explanation.

Thanks for checking in!

1/5/07 Update - Turned out I didn't have to take any more Mondays off. I'm thankful for that.

Chronic Monday: Seven Random Things Meme

My new cyber friend, Aviva Brandt, author of the Sick Momma Blog, honored me this week by tagging me for the "7 Random Things" meme. In her link to my page on the ICIE, where she officially "tags" me, she says "The hardest part of illnesses like mine and so many other people is that we don't look sick so people often don't realize how hard our illnesses hit us. Her (my - Sherril's) blog makes me think about that aspect of my illness. She's also the one who I first saw mention NaBloPoMo, which was a positive experience for me. Mostly." I think Aviva's blog is excellent, and I don't even have any kids.

This is the first time I've been "tagged." For anyone else out there who doesn't know what some of this stuff means, here's how I got my education on the topic of the "meme."

What IS a Meme???
The Daily Meme definition
The more esoteric Wikipedia definition
And the best explanation imho, from How to Cop…

Response to Sick Momma'a Blog Post "Why Is It So Hard To Sleep When I'm So Darn Tired?"

"Fence" by David S. Bell, MD

Maybe this isn't so much an answer to the question as a possible solution. I had already found that Clonazepam greatly helped me to sleep, especially when I was having one of those "mind racing" kind of nights that just wouldn't quit. When I found this article in Dr. David Bell's Lyndonville News, I knew why:

Clinical Notes

The clinical notes for this newsletter is kindly suggested by a reader who sent information to the website. It is extraordinary how much knowledge and information is available, and really needs to be collected and presented. It is because of this that I would like to re-organize the research group (see below).

For years I have said that clonazepam is perhaps the most useful medication in ME/CFS, and because of the notes of a reader, I now understand why. Clonazepam is a medication distantly in the anti-seizure and benzodiazepine class. I say distantly because it is different from Xanax™ or Valium™. Clonazep…

Chronic Monday: Sleep Study Last Night

I got the idea to take pics of my sleep study from this pictorial description of a study at Stanford U. Sleep Disorders Clinic, on the website. Here is the link where they describe what all goes into a sleep study: View A Sleep Study. Please refer there for more nitty gritty details.

So, here's my View of a Sleep Study, taken at the Tift Regional Medical Center Sleep Center in Tifton, GA.

This is the main desk where I guess they watch all the feedback from the gizmos they had me hooked up to.

The bed!

The room.

The bathroom was small but nice. It seemed to be for my own private use. I never saw any trace of anyone else being in there; matter of fact I never once saw either of the other two patients who were also having studies done last night.

Mom by the nice TV. I watched Part I of Tin Man, the new Wizard of Oz movie on the SciFi channel. They even let me watch when I got in bed. LVN Dennis put the TV on a timer; I was asleep before the TV shut off.

Chronic Monday: I Scored 42 on the Practicing Gratitude Self-Test. What's Your Score?

They say 42 is in the top 13 percent of the sample. So am I lying to myself or is this accurate? Maybe I'll find out in the next three weeks...

Coming soon: My Sacred Life 30 Day Project.

P.S. Chronic Monday is running late due to my being out of town for the holiday. More on that in My Sacred Life Project.

Chronic Monday: My Sacred Life

Everyday life is the prayer.
How we conduct it, cherish it,
celebrate it, consecrate it.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Well I have much more planned for this Thanksgiving week post, but I am running behind in preparing to leave for Florida. My family is there and I go every Thanksgiving. So this is but a fraction of what I have planned; in case the laptop doesn't connect when we get to the hotel, or whatever!

I'm finding all kinds of great new sites in my research on the healing power of art. zena musings: Creativity, Wisdom, Guts & Laziness ~ by Carla Blazek is just one of them. And this is where I read about the My Sacred Life 30 Day Project.
"Sacred Life isn't really a challenge -- that sounds too strenuous -- it's really more of a softening ... into a moment, a treasured possession, a companion -- people, parts and places of your everyday life that you cherish. Whatever is sacred to you."
Which is good. I had enough of challenge with my seven days of NaBloPo…

Chronic Monday: The Power of Art to Heal - Intro to Healing Dolls

Traditional Guatemalan Worry Dolls

A healing doll is an alternative form of journal writing that helps to externalize your feelings. It is a doll that can hold your feelings so that you no longer have to, and it can be an active and supportive process for healing that can be used alone or in conjunction with a diary.

Here are some examples of Healing Dolls by Barb Kobe:

This one totally reminds me of when I'm having an IBS episode. When I was first figuring out what was going on with that, my counselor asked me to draw what I was feeling. I couldn't get it on paper and finally got some clay to depict the "wounded feeling in gut (WFIG)" that I had come to know the feelings as.

"Digesting My Life" healing doll by Barb Kobe

This cutie is a Guardian doll by Marla, from Barb Kobe's Medicine Doll Class. Very symbolic. Read about her if you are interested.

Dawning of a New Day, Steve's Healing Doll
Steve is Barb's brother, and she had his permission to m…

NaBloPoMo 2007: I Blogged for Seven Days in a Row


So I won't have that lousy sense of accomplishment from completing the NaBloPoMo challenge. I've gone the way of my predecessor with FM who tried to blog for a month, The Princess of the Business World and Fibromyalgia. I gave it up in favor of my health.

Here are some nuggets from The Princess:

"Blogging more was just that, more. It wasn’t better, it wasn’t really helpful. I pushed myself to the brink."

"This experiment also could’ve been entitled “how to take all of the fun out of blogging & turn it into a very stressful environment”. I burnt out. I started hating blogging."

"I did discover that I’m on the right track with how & why I work. Le sigh."

So she didn't really fail, she discovered she was on the right track before this particular experiment.

I suppose I could say the same. I was on the right track before I discovered that blogging every day won't work for me right now. But I also discovered a few things whil…

The Power of Art to Heal - Series

photo courtesy of unknown flickr photographer

Arts and Healing Network is probably the best place to start learning about the power of art to heal. There are links to all of the movers and shakers in the art therapy field; there's an excellent newletter; the Projects section has links to ongoing projects all over the world; the Inspiration section has MORE great links; and there's a section for artists to find out about grants and to collect resurces.Arts and Healing Network is an on-line resource celebrating the connection between art and healing. Our web site serves as an international resource for anyone interested in the healing potential of art, especially environmentalists, social activists, artists, art professionals, health care practitioners, and those challenged by illness. Our hope is that the information presented here will educate and inspire.
This series will attempt to provide a sampling of some of the different kinds of art therapy available, and to explain why …

Tuesday, November 13, is National Memory Screening Day

National memory Screening Day

Some of us with brain fog (nicely defined and illustrated for us there and here by Laura Bzowy of CFS Squared) wonder if it could actually be early onset Alzheimer's. Set your mind at ease. Just go in for the free screening on 11/13. Lots of locations available.

Sponsored by

Chronic Monday: I Was Having One

This morning when I got up I still agreed with the conclusion I came to last night, that I can't do this NaBloPoMo post every day thing. It's too much. I got on the computer to make a post to that effect and instead I did the "Clear Your Clutter, Clear Your Mind" post. I thought 'I'm so close to getting the hang of doing a quick, short, quality (QSQ) post.' Do you see the length of that Clutter post??? Anyway, I guess I'm still in the running on NaBloPoMo and still trying to get the hang of the QSQ post.

Clear Your Clutter, Clear Your Mind

Photo courtesy of Healing Environments.

I have been working on figuring out how to clear the clutter from my home, including the garage, for quite awhile now. You've probably heard about it. It's all over - not my clutter problem specifically, but that we as Americans have a clutter problem. A big one. Here are some excellent resources, if you're interested in studying up on it:

From zenhabits blog, Zen Mind: How to Declutter. There are more good links at the end of that post.

My other favorite is Organizational guru Peter Walsh, host of TLC's hit show Clean Sweep (ladies, why is it that my favorites are MEN? All the men in my life have just wanted me to clean up after them) who I saw on Oprah:

High Speed, Low Level Clutter Purge

Conquering Clutter One Room at a Time

On top of the general problem, people with chronic illness have an even harder time keeping their clutter clear, simply because we don't feel well enough to do much of anything. Some resources just f…