Posted in Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

Christmas and Cards and Coffee and Cookies and Company! Oh My!

Christmas and Cards and Coffee and Cookies and Company – Who Could Ask For Anymore More? Umm, cupcakes?

Holidays got you stressed? Here some ways to relax https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2019/12/15/12-unusual-ways-to-relieve-your-holiday-stress/

And how about stopping for awhile and having some laughs?

How does an afternoon anyway from all the hustle and bustle sound?

No Christmas songs, no busy stores, no gimmicks, no salespeople, no traffic jams, just cards and company.

That’s happening Monday December 23rd, 2019 1pm-3pm.

Are you worried you’re not playing with a full deck from: pain, worry, anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, etc.?

We understand. We get it. Other people say they get it, but they don’t get it. We live it. Just like you. Join us. Be understood.

Whether you’re exhausted, sharp as a tack (ouch!), just want the company, just want to relax or snack, or snack and relax… So whether you’re a card newbie or a card shark

Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) Games Afternoon, hosted by the joyful and kind Leanne, is for you! Looking for laughs, refreshments, friends and could-be friends? All that and card games too.

You just never known what delights you’re going to be dealt.

Don’t get lost in the shuffle, pop by Monday December 23rd, 1pm-3pm and did I mention it’s free (kindness is free to, spread it around and receive it with joy) for FLG members and their caregivers/supporters, family, friends, etc.? Not Even. Kidding. Free.

But treats, healthy or unhealthy or maybe both, homemade or store-bought or homegrown, all are welcome! Always.

Contact Jacqueline at: Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ for address and all the deets (ie. 2 hr free parking on the street (and some in the driveway depending on how early you get there), etc. Also, Leanne’s lovely home is near St. Joe’s so there are plenty of bus routes, #15, #6, #90, #13, and many more! Plan your trip http://www.londontransit.ca/plan-a-trip/routes-schedules/ . Also, London now has an income-related bus pass subsidy http://www.london.ca/residents/social-services/discretionary-benefits/Pages/Subsidized-Transit.aspx which can help people with disabilities).

Keep visiting, following and please please please sharing our Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca – you don’t want to miss a thing.

See you Monday December 23rd 1pm-3pm for cards and relaxation and wishing everyone a safe, happy and healthy (all things considered) holiday season. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020!!!

Posted in Fibromyalgia, Sharing Circle

Sharing Circle – Cause You’re Worth It

Please join us for Fibromyalgia London Group’s “Bye Bye 2019, Hello 2020!” (“Adieu to 2019 – Bonjour 2020!”) South/West Sharing Circle Session (we’ll share again and again in 2020)!!!

It’s our last sharing circle of 2019 – we’ll be back in January!!! But we know how difficult and stressful the holiday season can be. Christmas shopping, Christmas dinner, Christmas baking, Christmas decorating, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day. So much pressure!!!

There are high expectations during the holiday season even if you don’t celebrate, these are especially tough times for those with chronic illnesses. We get it. We live it. We’re here, in person, via phone, email, text, on social media. We understand. http://fibrolondongroup.ca/2019/12/15/12-unusual-ways-to-relieve-your-holiday-stress/

Sharing is voluntary, caring just happens naturally!

Meet us at: Earl Nichols Recreation Centre 799 Homeview Rd (near Southdale) in London, Ontario, Canada – Thursday December 19th, 2019 11am-12:30pm. Free parking! Near bus routes #10, #93, etc. http://www.londontransit.ca/ to plan your trip and remember, City of London now has a income-related monthly bus passes available http://www.london.ca/residents/social-services/discretionary-benefits/Pages/Subsidized-Transit.aspx#Eligibility). Doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you show up! Peer leaders are there by 10:30am to answer questions, do sign-ups, talk about resources, chat, listen, etc.

Contact Jacqueline at: Tel: 519-453-3198 or Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com to register but if you forget or don’t remember (gee, none of us with chronic illness ever do that, wait, what was I talking about?) or feel up to stopping by, even for awhile, just drop in, we’re always happy to see you. Come for the sharing, stay for the caring!

Please keep checking here www.fibrolondongroup.ca for blog posts, quotes, poems, event listings, information, resources, etc. Also, “Follow Us” (here and on social media @fmlondongroup) and share posts on: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, MeWe, Facebook, Mix, Reddit, Tumblr, Yum, etc. Leave a comment, get involved, be here for each other.

Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) is a grassroots, community-based, volunteer-driven, self-help and wellness support group for London, St. Thomas and Middlesex County (and on the internet, the world! Hello world!).

Membership to Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG), also, CFS, ME, and all other chronic pain conditions is only $20/year w/ unlimited access to any or all events, activities, etc. for you and registered caregiver; or a $5 donation per event per person.

Supporting Ourselves By Helping Others.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas! Jie Ri Yu Kuai! Laethanta saoire sona! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Joyeux Noël! Let it snow…somewhere else! Feliz Navidad! Seasons Greetings! Happy New Year Joy! Celebrate! Be merry! Shiawasena kyūjitsu! Boas Festas! Li holide eximnandi! Happy Christmas! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! Hau’oli Lanui! मेरी क्रिसमस ! Forhe Feiertage! Selamat Hari Raya! Joyeuses Fêtes! Prettige Feestdagen! Buone Feste! Trevlig Helg! Jingle All The Way! Happy Holidays from owl of us! Tis the Season! Warmest greetings! Happy Holidays, Mate! It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as it’s said with kindness.

Posted in Blog posts, Fibromyalgia

12 Unusual Ways To Relieve Your Holiday Stress

12 Unusual Ways To Relieve Your Holiday Stressby guest blogger, Fibromyalgia London Group Member and Peer Leader, D. Parker (https://yadadarcyyada.com)

The holiday season stresses out most everyone, but for those who are ill, the holidays can be a nightmare (before and during Christmas); it’s stressful for even those who don’t celebrate Christmas (or try not to celebrate).

The roads are busier.
Malls overrun by zombies (We are The Walking Dead, but with brightly-wrapped gifts).
Christmas songs drone on, but peace on Earth, really, there’s barely a pretense of civility.

So many Santas, ringing and ho-ho-hoing for money to buy toys – I thought there was a workshop and elves for that

Expectations.
Unrealistic expectations.

Too much food (First World Problem).

Frolicking.
Accidents.
Frolicking accidents.
Ugly Christmas sweaters (no longer ironic),
now ironically iconic?

Gifts/gift cards/e-gift cards,
“the perfect gift” for the “perfect” Christmas –
that’s where stress-relievers come in.

First, take a deep breath. Christmas is one day. One. 24 hours. 1440 minutes. Let’s also enjoy the other 364 days in the year. Relax.

Second, the holidays should be about: giving, helping, hoping, kindness, compassion, and dreams; not pushing, whining, complaining, stressing and screams…Relax.

Third, you need to find out what works for you, what makes you happy, what brings you comfort and joy. If you don’t know that, how can you share it with others? Relax.

Here are some usual ways (and unusual, whatever that means) ways to relieve stress during the holidays (and all the year through)? There are more than 12 so you decide which is which.

If I’ve left some out and I’m sure I did, please comment to tell me what I missed and then share the post on social media so others can tell me what I missed as well…

  • Read books/ebooks (This is a safe space, no “books vs ebooks” arguments here; all books are welcome and accepted!).
  • Progressively relax.
  • Dog/Cat/Fish/Pig/ Pony/Ferret/Bird/Horse/Frog therapy.
  • Volunteer (I once knew someone who said more people would volunteer if they were paid, ummm, that’s a job).
  • Write a blog/journal/novels/poems.
  • Manicure/Pedicure (at home works too).
  • Bake (me a cake?).
  • Aromatherpy (Don’t limit yourself to the usual scents, whatever smells good to you, smell away).
  • Look for the Fibonacci symbol in nature or fractals, so fun on snowy days.
  • Design clothes. Wear clothes. Buy New-To-You clothes (Goodwill, Talize, Salvation Army, Value Village, Mission Store, and other Love-Them-Again stores are awesome).
  • Go see a play, be in a play, write a play, direct a play.
  • Bike.
  • Golf/Mini Golf.
  • Look at the stars (the ones in the sky).
  • Plant yourself near a plant to reduce your blood pressure.
  • Sleep/Nap/Rest.
  • Karate (relaxed and ready to defend yourself, probably not against Ninjas or aliens, but maybe zombies or vampires).
  • Visit an art gallery/museum.
  • Hike.
  • Do chores/Clean.
  • Stream (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Acorn TV, Crave, HBO, TMN, SlingTV, BritBox, and many more (with more popping up every day).
  • Bowl.
  • Curl.
  • Url.
  • Unfurl.
  • Play board games.
  • Play video games.
  • Play card games (Fibromyalgia London Group has an afternoon of cards and company once per month, join us).
  • Learn something…anything.
  • Travel/Stay and enjoy.
  • Paint.
  • Garden.
  • Do puzzles – crossword, boxed puzzles, puzzle boxes, find-a-word (Have you heard? The bird is the word), sudoku, logic, trivia and if you can figure out people, wow, you’ve solved the biggest puzzle ever.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the spot between your 2nd and 3rd knuckle, between your fingers, where your finger and hand meet to reduce stress.
  • Weave.
  • Camp.
  • Glamp.
  • Dance.
  • Cheer someone up with a fun surprise (Do not break into their home and draw a happy face on the wall or anything in red lipstick on their mirror, apparently that’s considered “creepy”).
  • Craft.
  • Raft.
  • Wine/Beer tasting tour (Don’t taste and drive).
  • Learn some magic tricks (Be nice to rabbits).
  • Get/give a facial.
  • Sing.
  • Watch the clouds (the ones in the sky).
  • Jump (jump jump jump around) on a trampoline (safety first).
  • Swim (just keep swimming, swimming, swimming).
  • Smile (I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite).
  • Drink water (don’t waste it).
  • Draw.
  • Create the next big fad! i.e. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and easy to house-train. Do not expose to water.
  • Ski.
  • Sauna.
  • Snowboard.
  • Snowshoe.
  • Walk.
  • Run/Jog/Sprint.
  • Quilt.
  • Be mindful.
  • Plant trees.
  • Join a team (fantasy or real).
  • Pet sit (don’t actually sit on a pet).
  • Dream.
  • Tear paper (then recycle then tear again).
  • Visualize (guided or unguided, just remember to leave some breadcrumbs to find your way back).
  • Crochet.
  • Pay it forward.
  • Help.
  • Be kind (random or deliberate).
  • Fix stuff (fix something for someone: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even it wasn’t broken, er, at the time, they’ll probably understand you were trying to give them a gift…probably).
  • Upload/download/unload.
  • Meme.
  • Give your time.
  • Offer your knowledge.
  • Give your full attention.
  • When a child hands you a toy phone or a banana, answer it and have a conversation (best time with a phone/actually smart).
  • Take a shower (not at the Bates Motel).
  • Take a bath (not in a horror movie).
  • Enjoy social media for what it is not what you want it to be (because the internet).
  • Take some photographs (not just of your food and selfies with duck lips).
  • Skate.
  • Mentor someone.
  • Review something.
  • Ski-doo (not on thin ice…it’s all going to be thin ice soon).
  • Watch a sunset.
  • Watch a sunrise.
  • Cook (Combine food and fashion ie. Forget Lululemon, how about lasagna leggings? Pizza pants. Taco ties. Chocolate crop top. Wine wedding dress. Turkey tux. Beer boots. Hamburger hat. Curry coat. Steak scarf. Bacon blouse. This food fashion can be consumed at any time – hopefully not when you’re out in public).
  • Join a club (not a gang).
  • Drink green/white tea.
  • Inspire.
  • Be inspired.
  • Organize.
  • Walk in a park or the woods (not at night on a full moon, just in case).
  • Climb a wall so you don’t climb the walls.
  • Hug.
  • Laugh.
  • Laugh some more.
  • Make someone laugh.
  • Spend time with nature and animals (don’t pet grizzly bears, badgers, or snakes, start slow with cats, dogs, rabbits…then move up).
  • Build a snowman (do you wanna?).
  • Remember.
  • Forget.
  • Remember to forget.
  • Smash stuff (smash plates, bowls, walls, pumpkins,etc., and if you can’t go to one of the places where you pay to smash stuff, I’m sure family and friends will understand you need stress relief, especially during the holidays).
  • Hope.
  • Make soap not dope.
  • Elope.
  • Pop corn.
  • String popcorn.
  • Visit (real or virtual as long as you’re there, in the moment).
  • Yoga.
  • Watch TV (question what you watch).
  • Go see a Movie (question what you watch).
  • Listen to someone.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Be grateful.
  • Chop wood.
  • Woodworking.
  • Carving.
  • Tis the season, cut down a Christmas tree for a busy family member or friend. Cautionary note, unlike in the Hallmark and other Christmas movies, cartoons, etc., apparently it’s “frowned upon”, some might even say “illegal”, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?

One of the best ways to relieve stress, being honest, with yourself and others; we/they/me/whoever may not appreciate it at first, but it could be the best gift ever, someday.

 Chocolate. Enough said.

If you know me and/or you’re a reader of my blog (https://yadadarcyyada.com) you know, I think laughter is the best medicine and it certainly qualifies as a stress reliever. Laughing, even if it hurts sometimes, still makes me feel better. I go to a happy place, including but not limited to: Psych, George Carlin, Seinfeld, Community, Friends, Rick and Morty, The Office, Marx Brothers, Flight of the Conchords, and more.

I love to share the laughter. If I can make someone smile, laugh, giggle, chortle, spew liquid from their nose, then hey, I feel better. Get silly. Adulting is tough, who says we can’t be a kid at heart?

Finding ways to help others is a great stress reliever. It’s hard to think about your problems when you’re helping others with theirs.

There are an endless amount of causes out there, try to support those who really need it. Those who are hungry, scared, without shelter, without hope, being abused, ill, falling through so many cracks.

Donate to a cause in someone’s name instead of handing them another gift they may or may not need or want, or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much. Help yourself by helping others.

What else would be good for relieving your tension? I’ve recently learned (perhaps a slight exaggeration) to knit thanks to the kind and very patient Janice Sumpton, who has been knitting for decades (discovered the therapeutic aspect when diagnosed with Fibromyalga. Here is her wonderful presentation, take the time, it’s worth it 2019TherapeuticKnittingFMgroup Firefox was being tricky, but it opens easily w/ Chrome and Adobe Acrobat Reader).

With the cooperation of Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) and the London Public Library Janice teaches/hosts a bi-weekly knitting class, everyone is welcome, it’s free (that is a real word, look it up) and open to all levels of knitting, I’m clearly a great example of that.

And in 2020 we’re also going to add knitting to help others.

Absolute beginner? Knit for fun? Want to knit more? Want company? Are you a knitting genius and can knit your own spaceship? This may be for you.

New projects? As a newbie my projects were: knit a black cable knit sweater and a Doctor-Who-vintage-Tom-Baker-as-The-Doctor scarf. I’ve been talked down to scarf of one colour for my first project). Or UFOs (Unfinished Objects/Projects)? Bring them in, knit, chat, trade ideas, laugh, enjoy.

Turns out knitting can be a “knotty” stress reliever.

Exercise is suggested for stress relief, but with pain and fatigue, exercise can be challenging. Years ago, someone suggested Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia/relaxation/arthritis/exercise, I thought, how would flailing my arms around, slowly, help with any of those things? I’ll just look weirder than I usually do.

I reluctantly tried it. It saved my life, at least, my quality of life. Tai Chi, a few times per day; in the morning to relax from sleeping – Fibromyalgia patients will understand https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/11/22/99-problems-and-fibromyalgia-is-all-of-them/ https://fibrolondongroup.ca/2019/12/06/chronic-suckage/  

Lifting weights? I’m no Schwarzenegger, but Hasta la Vista, babyweight (my son is in his 20s). I like Yoga (and Baby Yoda), but it can be painful. Walking helps, but my dogs start barking and the rest of my body growls at me.

I love swimming (not so much Aquafit), but getting there and back, dressing, undressing, showering, etc. is exhausting; I sometimes feel worse, certainly less relaxed (and it’s pricey). 

What else? For seniors, VON offers free programs twice a week, (SMART) Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together; there’s Ageless Grace (more like Graceless Aging for me). I’ve tried the gym. Belly-dancing (don’t try to picture it). Dancing (Frankie says Relax).

Yet I stick like glue to Tai Chi because it unsticks me. Relaxes. Soothes. Feeling sore? Tai Chi won’t magically fix everything, but it helps ease some aches and gets you moving.

To learn Tai Chi I borrowed items from the London Public Library (having fun isn’t hard if you’ve got a library card). Later bought VHS tapes (yes, that long ago, I fought off a saber-tooth tiger to get home), then DVDs (now on YouTube and streaming services, soon to be uploaded into our brains). 

Another option, classes, i.e. Phoenix T’AI CHI Centre ( www.phoenixtaichi.ca or Info@phoenixtaichi.ca or 519-872-2408) offers T’AI CHI for Health Challenges, geared to complex health issues including but not limited to: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as other pain and mobility issues with Terry Lynn Clarkin (also a member and Leader of the London Fibromyalgia Group).

Phoenix T’AI CHI also offers an Introduction to Sun-Style T’AI CHI (Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention Program). 9-week program starts January 16, 2020 (I have a feeling 2020 is going to be a year that calls for a lot of stress relief!) with the wonderful Terry Lynn Clarkin.

Now I have fun with it, I pretend I’m carrying an invisible jar containing invisible chocolate, so I must guard it with my life, but seriously, once I opened my mind, body and heart to Tai Chi, it gave me a priceless gift – some pain and stress relief so I could have quality of life.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not an advertisement nor is it in any way meant to provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the internet, or in a book, or heard from family, friends, groups, etc. Any exercise or exercise program is not without risks, even for healthy individuals, please consult your physicians(s) before starting, changing and/or increasing any exercise or exercise regime. You are responsible for your own health and safety at all times. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources, however, Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) is not responsible for self-diagnosis, noncompliance, omissions, self-treatment, or errors.

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and stress-free (ok, low stress/reduced stress) holiday season: Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas! Jie Ri Yu Kuai! Laethanta saoire sona! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Best wishes for 2020! Joyeux Noël! Let it snow…somewhere else! Feliz Navidad! Seasons Greetings! Happy New Year Joy! Celebrate! Be merry! Shiawasena kyūjitsu! Boas Festas! Li holide eximnandi! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! Hau’oli Lanui! मेरी क्रिसमस ! Forhe Feiertage! Selamat Hari Raya! Happy Channukah! oyeuses Fêtes! Prettige Feestdagen! Buone Feste! Trevlig Helg! Jingle All The Way! Happy Holidays from owl of us! Tis the Season! Warmest greetings! Happy Holidays, Mate! It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as it’s said with kindness.

Remember, getting through one day (for example, Christmas Day) isn’t the same as finding and giving joy each day. What about you dear readers? What are some of the usual or unusual ways you know to relieve stress during the holidays and all the year through (remember this is a more or less family-friendly blog).

Opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fibromyalgia London Group.

Copyright D. Parker (Donna Parker/yadadarcyyada) c2019

Posted in Educational, Fibromyalgia, Getting social

To Knit or Not to Knit: Now That’s A Silly Question!!!

Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) invites any member, support person, and/or member of the public to participate in a free (what a beautiful word) activity program, therapeutic knitting for those with pain and who want more purpose.

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Led by Janice Sumpton, Knitter Extraordinaire and Knitwear Designer with more than 50 years knitting experience. Living with chronic pain for more than 20 years, Janice found the rhythm and calming repetition of knitting very therapeutic in helping her cope with pain.

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This program is sponsored by our group, the Fibromyalgia London Group and offered in collaboration with the London Public Library (LPL), to support the needs of the FM/CFS/ME community in London, Ontario, Canada and area, as well as anyone who feel they will benefit from being a part of this new community-led program.

Join us Thursday December 12th, 2019 from 1-2:30pm (doors open until 3pm if you want to finish, rest, relax, chat, etc.) in the Boardroom, 3rd Floor (elevators available right across from the staircase), London Public Library – Central Branch in Citi Plaza (formerly the Galleria), Downtown London, Ontario, Canada. 

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FREE program (yes, free!), OPEN TO ALL AGES, but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – simply email mailto:fmgroup.london@gmail.com or phone 519-453-3198 to reserve your seat. 

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Anyone of any knitting skill level who is:

Interested in learning how to knit or about therapeutic knitting as a coping method for pain management…

Interested in swapping ideas on how to live everyday with pain and manage this pain…

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Looking to enjoy fun time with others who share similar interests, make friends, etc…

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Looking to give back to community by supporting local charities in need of donated knitwear (COMING SOON! Knit/Crochet for Donation to a Local Charity – We Will Provide Supplies!).

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Please join us (and tell your friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, children, siblings, Grandma, Grandpa, mailperson, doctors, Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves, the reindeer (I bet they’d like to learn to knit themselves sweaters with their names so we’d all stop getting them confused, on Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Daryl Dixon? Well, tell everyone!). 

Don’t Know How To Knit? We’ll Teach You! Learn How Therapeutic Knitting Can Help You Cope with Pain. Come Meet for Fun and Crafty Conversations!

Yarn provided for beginners with Instructional Help (bring own 4mm or 4.5mm needles), or please, bring your own project!

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Free knitting program, free conversation, free 2-hour underground parking in Citi Plaza if you bring your parking ticket for validation at the Front Desk on the Main Floor with your Library Card.

Contact Jacqueline
Fibromyalgia London Group
Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com

~ Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca

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Find Us @fmlondongroup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: Fibromyalgia London Group [FLG] was created to be a resource of pertinent information, education, and peer-led wellness support to all who attend our programs and events. While we may invite healthcare professionals, advocates, practitioners or representatives from community organizations to speak at our Group meetings and special public events, FLG does not endorse, support or recommend any specific service provider, treatment, product, theory or person.

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To Knit of Not Knit, that is the question? That’s a silly question. To knit and to teach others how to knit, that’s the answer.

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Please join us for our “Goodbye 2019, We’ll Pick up that Stitch in 2020!” Knitting class on Thursday December 12th, 2019 1pm until 2:30pm 3rd floor Boardroom, Central Branch, London Public Library (in Citi Plaza). Free to all!

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas! Jie Ri Yu Kuai! Laethanta saoire sona! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Joyeux Noël! Let it snow…somewhere else! Feliz Navidad! Seasons Greetings! Happy New Year Joy! Celebrate! Be merry! Shiawasena kyūjitsu! Boas Festas! Li holide eximnandi! Happy Christmas! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! Hau’oli Lanui! मेरी क्रिसमस ! Forhe Feiertage! Selamat Hari Raya! Joyeuses Fêtes! Prettige Feestdagen! Buone Feste! Trevlig Helg! Jingle All The Way! Happy Holidays from owl of us! Tis the Season! Warmest greetings! Happy Holidays, Mate! It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as it’s said with kindness.

Posted in Blog posts, Fibromyalgia

Is #Fibromyalgia Still a Four Letter Word?

5 years ago I wrote, “Fibromyalgia is a Four Letter Word” https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/08/fibromyalgia-is-a-four-letter-word/, and now, 5 years later, I’ve updated it and I think, sadly, it’s still true, tell me what you think.

Guest blog by D. Parker, blogger at https://yadadarcyyada.com/ also a Fibromyalgia London Group member and Peer Leader.

This isn’t meant to be whiny (see how that goes…), or a ‘it can be fixed’, or whatever blog post. Just a few thoughts about why people think Fibromyalgia isn’t a real syndrome, that it’s just lazy, unmotivated people and mostly, why I don’t have answers.

Let’s begin at the end…I don’t have all the answers, maybe because I don’t sleep enough. Also, I’m not a million years old. In addition, I’m certainly not a super genius.

Oh, did I mention I don’t sleep enough?

People prefer to think people with disorders/syndromes such as Fibromyalgia are lazy, I dunno, maybe because they don’t want to accept that they could wake up one morning and have something like: Fibromyalgia/Fibromialgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CRPS, ME, Lyme Disease and/or another chronic illness.

Instead of doing the whole “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I” thing, too many people just decide that people with these illnesses/syndromes could do better if they only: weren’t so lazy, would exercise more, ate differently, got a better attitude, tried harder, did more, pushed themselves, pushed through, pushed harder…

It’s easier to believe that, I suppose, than believe someone who was full of energy, productive, happy, motivated, etc. can too quickly become a person: full of pain, fatigued (relentless insomnia and pain can tire you out a wee bit),

frustrated, sad (so many sadz),

depressed, anxious,

plagued with memory issues,

exhaustion, confusion…

have massive struggles to function, and so on.

Fibro becomes a joke, a stain, a dirty word because otherwise people would have to accept the reality that people get sick. Humans get sick. They get short-term illnesses, they get injuries that sometimes heal and sometimes, don’t, they get chronic illnesses, they get terminal illnesses, and some live with agony and sometimes, they die.

People often tell someone with cancer they should fight The Cancer, as though that will fix everything. Yes, poking a toothpick at a dragon works so well. Ever thought of how that makes people feel, when they’ve lost a loved one to cancer? Oh, so my loved one just didn’t fight hard enough, well, thanks, that makes me feel so much better.

The same goes for those who’ve lost a loved one to suicide. I’m sure they feel horrible enough without others implying their loved ones gave up, chose to leave, didn’t love them enough to stay, weren’t strong enough, or just didn’t fight hard enough. 

I don’t live in someone’s head so I can’t say if they tried, if they fought, or if they chose, but neither does anyone else, so no one is qualified to make these judgmental statements. No one. Live your own life and let other people live theirs.

Instead of mocking someone with an illness, try having empathy for them. Not sympathy or pity. Compassion. Kindness. I’m sure there are some bizarro individuals would prefer to be ill than well (but they have a whole other illness), but come on, does anyone, anyone at all truly, deep in their heart of hearts seriously believe that’s a majority?  Most people would choose to be well.

Most people would choose to have a full life, a life with a normal amount of pain and fatigue and other symptoms. Just like most people would choose to beat cancer. Hell, most people would choose not to get cancer at all. Most people would choose not to have a mental illness. If there was a choice involved.

People are slowly coming around to the belief that people who lead a homosexual lifestyle didn’t choose to be that way, it’s the way they are. Why is everyone is fixated on who loves whom…what the world needs now is more love, more fun, more kindness, more compassion, more empathy, more joy. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/07/03/how-to-be-good-to-one-another/ It has taken a long time and there are still haters (haters gonna hate) out there, but I bet many people are happy to see a light at the end of that rainbow.

I wonder when that day will come for people with chronic illnesses like Fibromyalgia, or people with mental health issues, or people with Autism, etc.  I wonder if or when people will see them, really see them, for who they really are:  your Mom, your child, your sister, your friend, your co-worker, your Dad, your teacher, your brother, your minister, your neighbour – just people.

Don’t judge people.

Have a little empathy.

Those people might be: interesting, fun, brilliant, a hope for the future, a good friend, or something more than a friend, someone to talk with, walk with, someone who inspires you, or but most of all, who gets you, but you’ll never know if you make judgements, make assumptions.

Don’t miss out!

Copyright D. Parker (aka Donna Parker/yadadarcyyada) 2013-2019. All opinions expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG).


All members of Fibromyalgia London Group, please send me blog posts, book reviews (relevant to subject matter at hand), recipes, quotes, memes, gifs, lyrics, real life experiences, etc. so we can publish them in our blog. Be part of helping us help others. You can request first name only, full name, pseudonym, etc. for publishing. Send info and deets to: iwanttobelieve@rogers.com

Posted in Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle!!!

How about an afternoon of cards and company? That’s happening Monday December 9th, 2019.

Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle!

Looking for a bunch of laughs, friends and could-be friends, refreshments? Who wants all that and card games too? You do?

Then deal with your boredom by joining us at the monthly Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) Games Afternoon hosted by the delightful Leanne. Whether you’re a card shark or just like to chat and laugh and snack, there’s something for everyone.

Don’t get lost in the shuffle, pop by Monday December 9th, 1-3pm and did I mention it’s free (that’s a real word) for FLG members and their caregivers/supporters, family, friends, etc.? I kid you not. But treats, snacks, chocolate, cookies, coffee, well, any yummies are always, always welcome!!! Always.

Contact Jacqueline at: Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com ~ for address and all the deets (ie. 2 hr free parking on the street, etc. and it’s near St. Joe’s so there are plenty of bus routes, #15, #6, #90, and more! Plan your trip http://www.londontransit.ca/plan-a-trip/routes-schedules/ . Also, City of London now has a bus pass subsidy http://www.london.ca/residents/social-services/discretionary-benefits/Pages/Subsidized-Transit.aspx which may help people with disabilities).

Keep visiting, following, sharing our Website: www.fibrolondongroup.ca – you don’t want to miss a thing.

Posted in Fibromyalgia, Uncategorized

Chronic Suckage

“Chronic Suckage” by Guest Blogger, D. Parker https://yadadarcyyada.com who is also a member of Fibromyalgia London Group and a Peer Leader.

Lazy. Crazy. Whiner. Hypochondriac. Attention-seeking. All in your head.   “Fibromyalgia is just another word for lazy.” yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/31/fibromylagia-is-just-another-word-for-lazy/ 

And the classic, “But you don’t look sick”. Feel free to add more. I think I’ve heard them all…but you never know.

Yup, I got 99 Problems and Fibromyalgia (Fibromialgia) is all of them…or at least it makes any problem much much much much worse.

I won’t bore you with all the symptoms:

  • Extreme, endless fatigue (I’ve never heard, “everyone gets tired”…sigh).

  • Extreme, endless all-over-body-pain 24/7/365 (“everyone has pain, especially as they get older” – how do you presume to know my pain or anyone else’s pain but yours?).

  • Dry eyes/mouth.

  • Hair loss.

  • IBS (Oh joy, love nothing more than talking about my bowels to: doctors, family, friends, strangers, interns, readers…”What did you want to be when you grow up?” “Constipated.”).

  • Dizziness.

  • Clumsiness.

  • Nausea.

  • Depression (tough not to be depressed by all this).

  • Sleep issues (screw off Alpha waves, no one wants you here).

  • Mood disorders (maybe my many, many moods are just as ordered as they should be).

  • Headaches/migraines.

  • Restless leg syndrome.

  • Anxiety (pick a kind, any kind).

  • Tender points (misnomer, not tender, excruciating, but trigger points make sense).

  • Fibrofog (what was I saying?).

  • Memory and learning problems, like, aah, like, well, there’s Fibrofog (what was I saying?).

  • Scattered thoughts (dust in the wind, all my thoughts are dust in the wind).

  • Numbness.

  • Tingling (not the good kind).

  • Shakiness (not the good kind).

  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome).

  • Painful and frequent urination.

  • You may notice a pattern here, #Pain!

  • Sharp pain, stabbing pain, dull aching pain, burning pain, throbbing pain (Beavis and Butthead laugh for 5 minutes now about “throbbing”).

  • Extreme sensitivity to: light, noise, sounds, smells, temperatures, humidity, dryness, changes in the weather (especially extreme heat or cold, fun in Canada, eh).

  • Also, to tastes, textures (Princess and the Pea was written about someone with Fibromyalia, for sure).

  • Stiffness (not the fun kind).;

  • Especially morning stiffness (not the fun kind).

  • Let’s not forget Allodynia.

  • Itching (like, bugs-under-your-skin-when-jonesing-kind-of-itching, er, for chocolate, my drug of choice).

  • Waking up feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck or attacked by a Terminator or zombie (brains?) – We are The Walking Dead.

  • And don’t even get me started on surviving the Holidaze, er, holidays – Christmas, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Black Friday (it’s counted as a holiday now, right?), actually I can do CyberMonday, and they’re lined up to take me out for Valentine’s Day

I could go on and on (really), but you get the point.

It sucks.

Chronic suckage.

What can anyone do to try to help chronic suckage? 
  • Pills/medications (anti this, anti that, pro this, pro that, SSRIs, SNRIs, NSAIDs, PB&J – checking if you were still paying attention, lotions, notions, rubs, gels – not the fun kind – vitamins, supplements, opioids, snake oil, gargoyle oil, and on and on).

  • Exercise.

  • Natural remedies.

  • Injections.

  • Yoga.

  • Meditation.

  • Deep breathing (keep breathing).

  • Tai Chi (saved my life).

  • Change of diet (I do FODMAP, look it up, you’ll hate it).

  • Massage (no happy endings).

  • Physical therapy.

  • Rest/relaxation/Self-Care.

  • CBT, CBD, CBC, CBA, COD…

  • Trials.

  • Errors.

It’s all just fleeting moments of feeling almost human.

And if all wasn’t bad enough, many people assume this invisible disability is and let’s see if I have this right, a conspiracy wherein the medical profession has effectively implemented a fake syndrome just to cater to lazy people (wasn’t that nice of them?). Perfectly reasonable, it’s not as if doctors have anything better to do. Or have reputations and licenses to protect. Or have ethics. What exactly would their motivation be? Why make up an illness, aren’t there already enough? Cancer alone should keep them hopping.

There are many health issues that can not be found through standardized testing, for example: Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Autism, Lupus, ADD/ADHD, wheat or gluten ‘sensitivity’, acute back pain, as well as many mental health issues. So they don’t suffer, don’t feel – it’s all some magical conspiracy…

People like to mock. I get that. It’s become a past-time, even a job for some people, especially in the internet age. I also get those same people would want/expect doctors and people to believe them if they were ill, even if there was no standardized testing for their illness.

To the best of my knowledge, there’s no standardized testing for ignorance or stupidity yet either, but I’d buy stocks for that booming business.

I didn’t ask to be ill. Given the choice I’d be “normal”. I certainly didn’t ask to be mocked and harassed because I’m ill. Even if it was just ‘in my head’, shouldn’t anyone with a health issue be treated with dignity and respect? Maybe we need a standardized test for intolerance.

So how do I cope with ongoing agonizing pain, debilitating fatigue and all the other heaping piles of steaming sh*t that comes with Fibromyalgia aka chronic suckage? If you’re a reader of my blog you know, I think laughter is the best medicine. Laughing even if it hurts sometimes still makes me feel better. I go to a happy place like Psych or George Carlin, Seinfeld, Friends, The Office and more. Tons of laughter a day doesn’t keep the doctor away, but it gives me some quality of life.

For example, this was one of my Tweets, “When I see a thong in a store all I think is, how would I explain to #EMTs all my multiple injuries were caused by just trying on a thong. Huh. #ThatsHot #thongs“. @yadadarcyyada 

I love to share the laughter. If I can make someone smile, laugh, giggle, chortle, spew liquid from their nose, then hey, I feel better. Treatments, medications, family, friends and finding a community that gets you, that understands when you have to cancel plans (again)…

Or you can’t remember, ummm, can’t remember, er, huh…and the only good thing you can say about your day is you’re “above ground”, well, anyway.

Glad there are people around who understand, including but not limited to: the-words-are-not-enough-to-describe-how-wonderful-they-are-Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) #FibromyalgiaLondonGroup #FLG, also for those with CFS, ME, chronic pain, etc. I’ve even tried to knit (What?!? Please note the word, “tried”).

Reunited with a fantastic friend from college (we’d lost touch when the dinosaurs died), and get this, we started going to the same Fibro group on the same day, from different cities. I don’t know what they call that, fate, destiny, providence, kismet, but I call it cool and lucky.

Finding ways to help myself by helping others.

I am so sure you can see my chocolate-covered fingerprints all over the group’s blog, fibrolondongroup.ca

And hey, we’re also on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @fmlondongroup

The thing is, people are just people – no matter how rich or poor; sick (this is an equal opportunity destroyer) or well; all sizes, shapes and shades; known or unknown – you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t give people a chance. Some will let you down, disappoint, hurt your brain, your heart, your body, but they’re oddly beneficial, they help us appreciate the good ones even more.

Get out there, in person, online, by phone, text, email, do stuff, I don’t know, play cards, smile, knit, donate (give what you can, including your time and talents), bowl, cuddle, talk, sign, sing, walk, dance, embrace your crapathy https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/

swim, skate, scuba (gate?), especially smile at children, jog, blog, snog (probably not at the same time unless you’re uber talented), ignore, don’t keep score it’s a bore, read, write, compose, doodle, paint, play, bike, hike, “Like”, bake (me a cake? https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/09/16/you-had-me-at-cake/),

listen, learn, love, add to the world, be part of the solution, go out with friends, care, share, spend time with family, get to know people, smile some more (and more and more and more)!!!

Be kind, be thoughtful, be compassionate https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/20/compassion-never-goes-out-of-style/

Consider others, let your mind soar. I can’t say you won’t ever be sorry, some folks are baffling, but on a whole, you’ll be better for it (and they will be too).

Not asking anyone to feel sorry for me (although compassion and empathy are always welcome), just a reminder that everyone has problems, 99 or less, 99 or more, just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there…so don’t be one of those problems.

Originally published: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2019/11/22/99-problems-and-fibromyalgia-is-all-of-them/

Copyright D. Parker (aka Donna Parker/yadadarcyyada) 2019.

Posted in Fibromyalgia, Sharing Circle

Go Ahead, Make My Day…

Saturday December 7th, 2019 1pm- 2:30pm it’s our epic “Goodbye 2019” (Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve – we’ll be sharing again in 2020!) North/East London, Ontario, Canada Sharing Circle and separate Caregiver Support Group – Stronach Recreation Centre, 1221 Sandford St. N5V 2J8 (please note change of venue) on Saturday December 7th, 2019 1pm-2:30pm (doors open early and Peer Leaders are there to: chat, answer questions, help with resources, etc.).

You’re not alone, chronic pain and other symptoms make you feel like you’re alone (it lies!!!). Need to share? Want to listen? Want to be heard? By people who understand, then please join our caring Fibromyalgia/Fibromialgia, CFS, CRPS, ME, and all chronic pain Sharing Circle session with a separate sharing circle/support group for caregivers/supporters. etc. of those with Fibromylagia and other chronic pain – (when we say sharing, it’s voluntary, but you never know what you might learn) and you’ll get all this and more!

We’re here for each other!

So please, join us at the monthly Sharing Circle Session and Caregiver Support Group Meetup at the Stronach Recreation Centre, 1221 Sandford St. N5V 2J8 (please note change of venue) in London, Ontario, Canada on Saturday December 7th, 2019 1pm-2:30pm (peer leaders will be there by 12:30pm, come early, talk, connect, share, care, chat, etc.) for the Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain London Group Sharing Circle session and the separate Caregivers Sharing Circle Session for those who love and care for people with chronic pain.

To register contact, call Jacqueline at:
519-453-3198 or email:

fmgroup.london@gmail.com

Or if you and your loved one/caregiver/supporter/spouse/partner/friend/sibling/parent, etc. feel up to it that day or forget (Fibrofog never, ever, ever makes us forget anything…what was I saying?) and want to come anyway, all are welcome. We understand. Really.

What is $20 per year (yes, I said $20 per year which is like $1.66 a month and like a nickel a day, what do you get for a nickel?) and gives you PLUS a listed supporter/caregiver/loved one/spouse/friend/sibling/parent/partner, etc. unlimited access (yes, you read that correctly, unlimited, no restrictions, no caps, no limits ) to any OR ALL Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) activities, Sharing Circles, special events, speakers, resources, get-togethers, websites, social media, etc.??? You may have already guessed, a membership/donation to FLG (Fibromyalgia London Group).

Yes, only $20/year. Still not sure? Come and visit, a $5 donation/person will let you see what we have to offer. Fill out an application and become a part of this volunteer-driven, self-help group today!

You can also find us, @fmlondongroup on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter https://twitter.com/fmlondongroup

And https://www.facebook.com/fmlondongroup/ or look up @fmlondongroup

The holidays can be tough on people with Fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, CRPS, any chronic pain, so if you’re struggling, again, you’re not alone, feel free to contact us via: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, this website, call, email, we’re here!

Thank you. Hope to see you and that someone special who’s smart enough to love and care for someone with Fibromyalgia or other chronic pain condition at the Sharing Circle Session and Caregiver Support Group Meetup at the Stronach Recreation Centre, 1221 Sandford St. N5V 2J8 (please note change of venue) in London, Ontario, Canada – that’s this Saturday December 7th, 2019 1pm-2:30pm (peer leaders will be there by 12:30pm, come early, talk, connect, share, care, chat, etc.). And remember, despite what Fibromyalgia and/or other chronic pain makes you think, you are not alone.

Disclaimer: The Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG) was created to be a resource of pertinent information to those who attend our meetings, sharing circle sessions, and special events. While we invite medical and healthcare professionals, advocates, practitioners or representatives from community organizations to speak at our meetings and special events, FLG does not endorse, support or recommend any specific treatment, product, therapy or person. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by participants and group members do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, views, or official policies of the FLG.