Posted in COVID-19, Fibromyalgia, Getting social, Social events

Pajama Party on #Zoom – B2C2 #COVID19 Edition

NEW!!! Join members of the Fibromyalgia London Group (and others with chronic illnesses) on Zoom for the very first Brown Bag Chat Club (aka B2C2) COVID-19 Edition.

Dress Code: Quarantine Fashion (Sissy that Zoom!) – Daytime PJs, Loungers, plaid shirts and sweats are also welcome. Hair? Who even cares? Make-up? What’s up with that? We’re chronically fabulous.

B2C2 was initiated and will be facilitated by Peer Leader and FLG member, Donna Parker (that’s me and also a cheesy Nancy Drew knock-off series of books in the 50s and 60s). This new initiative will provide members, support persons and those suffering from chronic pain with an opportunity to meet over lunch (hence the brown bag) or not, your choice to chat. We were supposed to introduce this new group activity in March but, unfortunately, that did not materialize.  We are thus introducing it as a virtual activity…Covid19 Edition.  

What kind of topics can we chat about?  

  • Books, ebooks, e-audio, movies, TV shows, streaming, TED Talks, YouTube videos.
  • Music, hobbies, crafts, games, exercise.
  • mind, body and spirit matters – self-care is vital with chronic illness.
  • Whatever distracts us from pain, fatigue and other Fibromylagia or CFS/ME or other chronic illness symptoms.

What is ZOOM?  Zoom is a cloud based service which offers organizations and groups of 3 or more people (up to 100 participants) to meet virtually by using its video conferencing capability. It is a FREE application which you download onto your tablet, laptop, smartphone, or desktop computer. You don’t need to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting, as a participant. It’s really easy and user-friendly. You can use video or not, your choice. Same goes for audio, you can mute or unmute (just remember Mute is on when you arrive in the chat, just in case…), or just listen. You can enter or leave the chat at any time. You can also type information or comments. Yes, it’s that simple and that fun!

All three levels of Canadian government continue their efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus and “flatten the curve”/“plank the curve” so all Canadians are required to continue practicing self-isolation, by staying at home.  Peer Leaders agreed that this is an opportune time for our Group to utilize this increasingly popular communication tool, ZOOM, as an alternative way to connect with our membership and be available to those seeking advice, emotional support, education and resource information on living with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

During these unprecedented times, yes, we’re going to self-isolate, we’re going to #StayHome to Save Lives from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), but we’re still going to be here to support each other. We’re pleased to announce that FLG will host ZOOM VIRTUAL meetings in the month of April as follows:

Mon, April 6th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2 COVId-19 Pajama Party Edition) – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline at: if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting. Bring lunch or brunch or slupper or Quarantinis, or cookies, cake, brownies, sandwiches…whatever.

Thu, April 9th, 1pm  – Knit Happens! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting. 

Thu, April 16th, 11am – Sharing Circle.

Mon, April 20th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2)

Thu, April 23rd, 1pm – Knit Happens!

Mon, April 27th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2)

Thu, April 30th, 1pm – Knit Happens!

PLEASE NOTE: All our VIRTUAL activities/meetings are FREE (yes, that’s an actual thing!) and OPEN TO ALL members and their guests, as well as visitors, regardless of where you live in Canada. ADVANCE REGISTRATION is required to participate in all VIRTUAL meetings.  Just send an email to to confirm your interest in participating.  You’ll then receive an email with instructions on how to join the meeting, the link/meeting ID and password.
WATCH FOR EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENTS, from Donna or Jacqueline, on when registration for each virtual meeting is open.

Also, don’t forget about our essential workers! What would we do without doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, pharmacists, radiologists, porters, clerks, truck drivers, farmers, plumbers, restaurant staff, electricians, hydro workers, payroll clerks, government workers, police officers, firefighters, energy workers, maintenance, social services, research, agriculture, food production, manufacturing and Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers (you want to see panic, let the internet go down!) and so many more! We care! We’re Thankful! You have our gratitude! You’re putting your life on the line so we can stay home and “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. Here’s what you can do to say “Thank You” here in London and everywhere!!! #StayHomeSavesLives #WashYourHands

Don’t Forget (so easy with Fibrofog, I know), join us this Mon, April 6th, 1pm – Brown Bag Chat Club (B2C2 COVId-19 Pajama Party Edition) – REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please email Jacqueline at: if you wish to participate so we can send you a link to the meeting.

Can’t wait to chat with you soon! #StaySafe #StayHome

Posted in Blog posts, Fibromyalgia

Is #Fibromyalgia Still a Four Letter Word?

5 years ago I wrote, “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 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. 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:

Posted in Educational, Fibromyalgia, Guest Speaker

CHRONIC PAIN: An Underestimated Healthcare Problem

Fibromyalgia London Group presents:

CHRONIC PAIN: An Underestimated Healthcare Problem

An educational and informative special event for those living with, or supporting a person living with, Chronic Pain, as a disease or symptom of an auto-immune chronic illness.   

·      Do you understand that chronic pain is a disease?

·      How familiar are you with local resources and services for pain?

·      How do you survive daily living with chronic pain?

SPEAKERS, include but are not limited to:

~~~ St. Joseph’s Pain Management Program – Dr. Geoff Bellingham, Director-Pain Management Program, St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre, London

~~~ Migraines and Headaches: Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask – Dr. Paul Cooper, Professor of Neurology and Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Western University, London Health Sciences Centre-University Hospital

One Day Only, Saturday, November 9, 2019

@ North London Optimist Community Centre

1345 Cheapside Street, London (off Highbury Ave)

1:00 – 3:30pm (Doors Open at 12:30pm, come early to meet and greet)


Members: FREE (Fibromyalgia London Group membership is only $20/year and that includes free admission into all special events, sharing circle sessions, knitting group, stone painting, potlucks, all activities for you and a registered supporter, friend, family member, spouse, loved one, sibling, child, caregiver, etc.); Visitors: $5 donation at door

To Register:


Email: Or call: 519-453-3198

Please note: Our Group (FLG) is collecting donations of canned food and dry goods, for donation to the London Food Bank.  Please consider bringing with you some food items for our Donation Bin.  Thank you!

Fibromyalgia London Group (FLG)
Tel: 519-453-3198 ~ Email: ~ Website: And please join us @fmlondongroup on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

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.