Image of a smiling women with shoulder length white hair, blue eyes, wearing a blue green scarf over a green sweater

What’s Wrong With Me? Fibromyalgia Diagnosis-Part 1

As you probably have guessed, I am not a trained medical health professional. What I am is a mom, a mimi, a retired teacher, a lover of nature and of music, as well as, someone living with chronic illnesses. I share my journey to provide some insight and hopefully ideas that may be helpful to others dealing with similar issues. Always, consult with your doctor before trying anything new.

Me, in bed looking ill. The top of my head is covered with a cold, wet teal washcloth. I'm wearing glasses and hoody sweatshirt that says GRANDVILLE.

“This isn’t me,” I told my new general practitioner. I knew something was wrong, but no idea what. #fibromyalgia #newdiagnosis #wellnessjourney #ThisIsFibro

The First Signs of Fibromyalgia

Looking back from where I am now, I can see the signs that things in my body had been changing for quite a while before my final year of teaching and Fibromyalgia diagnosis.  But at my age (53 at the time), I knew that I was in perimenopause.  I knew to expect changes. Thanks to my partner teacher and good friend, I had preemptively read some books on menopause that she had recommended to find out what to expect.

Prior to all of this, I had had a diagnosis (and was being treated for) acid reflux. After a few years of prescription acid reflux medication, I even had the Nissen Procedure to help stop it. Also, I lived with Interstitial Cystitis (chronic pelvic Pain syndrome with urgency and incontenency. For over 20-years I had undergone treatment with prescription and OTC medication, aloe supplement, a few stints of pelvic floor physical therapy, numerous bladder instillations, and even a Botox injection procedure. All of which have brought minimal relief and no real change to my symptoms.

I often felt that If I could delete my midsection, I’d be golden. However, I was pretty used to living with pain. I sure wish my doctors had mentioned that living with chronic pain wasn’t a great thing and actually would develop engrained pain pathways in my central nervous system.

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Fibromyalgia Brought Me Down

In the spring of 2015, extreme fatigue, foggy brain, and high anxiety started. This I couldn’t just push through. So, I went to my doctors to find help.

Figuring it was hormonal, I went to visit my gynecologist who prescribed me a  patch of Estradiol  (.0375mg BIW) along with Progestin(QD). This did seem to work until the fall 2015. So, I went back with the same complaints. My gynecologist bumped up my medication to a .05 patch, adding in a vaginal Estrace cream (BIW). But because I was still experiencing increasing anxiety a month later, she put me on Lexapro (20mg QD). Again, this helped for a time. 

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Stressful School Year

The school year of 2017-18 was a rough one on several levels.  Our team of three teachers was cut to two. The class sizes for the group coming up had been at 19 or so. Being it was a really challenging group since arriving at our school in kindergarten, the size had helped.  However, with two, we were pushed to 30 per homeroom teacher, and each of us had to take on subjects we hadn’t taught previously.  If that had been all, I don’t think things would have gotten so bad.  However, serious life problems for me and my partner teacher kept hitting us one after another.

The final blow for me was when my partner teacher of 16years got reassigned to a middle school position the last day of school, June 2018.  While I was happy for her because this would fit much better with her life, it ended up leaving me deeply sad (a fact I didn’t fully register for quite a while). 

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Roving Pain That Wouldn’t Resolve

My husband retired that June.  For a celebration, we decided to make a trip we had wanted to do for a long time.  We drove out to California the week after school ended. That’s when the pain in my legs began.  It roved from leg to leg, mostly in the calves. I stretched and massaged endlessly, but it never lessened.

A month later, back at home, the pain in my legs was taking up much of my attention.  Nothing I did would relieve the deep, intense aching. The pain would move from my hips to my calves sometimes the right side more intensely and then the left. This shift didn’t seem to correspond to any changes in my daily habits or activities. 

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

The End of My 32-year Teaching Career

By the time school started up again in August 2018, the leg and hip pain was just a way of life. The district had put us back to three sections, meaning I had two new teachers to “train”. It was a really bumpy transition (to say the least) which put a lot of strain on me.

That’s when I noticed a shift in the pain. The deep ache and throbbing started to show up intensely in my shoulders, neck, and chest as well as in the legs as before. My legs still ached all the time, but not as noticeable when compared to what I was experiencing in my upper body.

By the end of September 2018, the intense pain (level 6-7) was roving all over: left to right side of my body and from the upper to lower part of my body. Again, this seemed to have no explainable reason. In addition to the pain, my brain fog was intense. This led me to panic about teaching, something that was basically second-hand nature was now foreign and stymied.

Kneading Need
Katie Clark

Sitting across from him, I watch his question mark gaze
follow my own fingers kneading my arm like bread dough.

Deep within the fibers of my body is an aching-
the famished maw of need.

In the shower, I see purple and brown
finger painted bruises on my calves,
thighs, forearms...chest from
kneading the angry gnawing
with no respite.

From foot to skull, silent shouts seep.
Bone to muscle to flesh-
exposing the desperate deprivation,
demanding to be satisfied.

How funny it is coming to love her-
pain and all.
To understand that she is just asking
for what she has needed all along.

It Became Evident That I Wasn’t Myself

The pain kept me awake at night. During the day, I had a desperate need to massage the areas of pain which was all over my body.

People around me definitely started to notice. At staff meetings, I’d notice someone watching my arm. When I looked down, I realized that I was frenetically massaging it.

I became extremely emotional and anxious 24/7.  When I got home from school at night, I’d crawl into bed too drained to do anything else. By the time Thanksgiving (2018) came around, I was a completely depleted mess.  And so I went to the doctor once again at the insistence of my family. 

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Read the Rest of the Story:  What’s Wrong With Me? Part 2

What has been your experience if you, too, live with chronic illness? Did it slowly take over or did it hit you all at once?

My granddaughter says “Sharing is Caring”;)

teal line drawn waterlily with teal lettering of the title and motto
Police care with blue and red shining lights with night background. White font for title: Am I Strong Enough? Life with Fibromyalgia

Am I Strong Enough? Life With Fibromyalgia

As you probably have guessed, I am not a trained medical health professional. What I am is a mom, a mimi, a retired teacher, a lover of nature and of music, as well as, someone living with chronic illnesses. I share my journey to provide some insight and hopefully ideas that may be helpful to others dealing with similar issues. Always, consult with your doctor before trying anything new.


Police car with blue and red lights shining, black background. Title: Am I Strong Enough? Life With Fibromyalgia

Swerving In My Lane

On my way to meet a friend for coffee at a Panera Bread about an hour from my house, I was pulled over.

I had noticed a black SUV behind me a couple of times as I drove down the four-lane artery that leads from my small town to the big city. I was just approaching the strip mall area anchored by a Best Buy when I saw red and blue lights swirling on the black vehicle behind me.

Immediately, my heart began to race. It was obvious that the lights were for me, but I couldn’t figure out why. At the light, I went into the left lane and turned on cue, pulling into the back lot behind Best Buy. As I turned off the motor, I noticed a lone car that was parked contained a man who was now staring at me. The police car pulled behind me. I sat massaging my left shoulder- waiting, feeling pretty confused and anxious.

The officer strolled to my window, bending down to peer in at me. “Hello, mam. I pulled you over because you were swerving in your lane a bit. It wasn’t bad, but I felt I needed to check that you were okay to drive. You crossed over the yellow line a couple of times.” He went on to explain that he was checking to see if I was “under the influence”, and as I reached into the glove box to find my registration and insurance (Why oh why do I have this thing crammed full of pain relievers, lotion, eye drops, cough drops, ect.?), he concludes that I am not.

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Is This Who I Am Now?

I go on to say, “I have Fibromyalgia.”

WHAT?! That’s the first reason that I come up with because I have no idea why I was swerving in my lane.

He asks if it impairs my driving. I explain that I can be a bit distracted, and that I had been massaging my neck and jaw while I drove. He clarified, as if in apology, that my driving wasn’t too bad, just enough that he felt he should be sure that I was okay. I thanked him by saying, “This will remind me to be more aware and focused as I drive.” He wished me well and asked if I knew how to get to Panera.

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Breathing Deeply

Rolling up the window, watching the officer back up and pull away, I turn to where the car had been parked next to me. It was gone. I hadn’t noticed it leaving. I felt like crying. My heart was still racing. I sat there a breathed, slowly counting in four and out six for several minutes.

Pulling myself together, I drove on to my coffee date, making sure to get a calming cup of tea instead.

I have most of the issues that are in this graphic depicting the main symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Sludge Gumming up the Works

Fibromyalgia has impacted the very core of my life, at least what I knew to be my life.

Nearly, ever area of my body is tight and painful all of the time- deep aching muscles. Generally, it’s not at high levels on the pain scale, a 3-4. But it’s like having a toothache everywhere.

However, the pain isn’t what totally brings me to a stand still. Instead, the deep fatigue and the confounding, mind-paralyzing brain fog makes my body feel like it’s weighted down and the cogs of cognition are rusted.

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Blog Block

I don’t have a set schedule for my blog, but I would like to write one post at least each a week. Actually, I have several rough drafts of posts started. Yet, when I’m gummed up, I just can’t get any words out. In the fall of 2019, I was only able to write three posts.

I spent 10 weeks in this pain management “boot camp” at Mary Free Bed. Each week consisted of 2-3 visits of 3-4 hours each. I worked with a team of health care specialists: a pain medical doctor, a pain psychologist, a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist.

After Cymbalta Cessation

While I’ve gone about my day somewhat normally since getting off from Cymbalta, my mornings and evenings have been more pain filled and stiff with a bit of dizziness and headache. I’m off all prescription drugs (except for Vyvanse for ADD) by choice.  I’m in a constant tug-of-war within on whether I’m just trying to be strong by not take the help that Cymbalta brought or the consequences of prescription drugs are worse than the Fibromyalgia symptoms.

I’m determined to give myself a year’s time to see how I’m functioning and then re-evaluate. But then, there are times, like yesterday, when I bowed out of my yoga class because I don’t feel strong enough to participate or even drive there. These are the times that I know I need to find my way to living more FULLY and have doubts that I will be able to actually get there.

Teal line drawing of a lotus on white

Just the Beginning

I really had thought that if I went through the pain management program at Mary Free Bed, got centered through meditation, Breathwork, and yoga, as well as ate healthily, the Fibro issues would subside or sink into ignored corners of my life. However, this fall, the symptoms seem to be more like that police car’s glaring red and blue light swirling around me all of the time, reminding me that every aspect of me is affected. 

I have Fibromyalgia.

This is the first video they had me watch which educated me about the amped-up, central nervous system in people with Fibromyalgia.

This post was written 3-months after I finished the 10-week pain management program. I had really thought I’d be one of the few to kick Fibromyalgia out of my life in short order. The multi-disciplinary program really did help me a great deal. It set me on a journey of research and focus on retraining my brain because they introduced me to brain plasticity and Dr. Daniel Clauw’s research.

What has been your hope and focus as you strive to FULLY live despite having Fibromyalgia?

Review of SUNBREAKS IN UNENDING STORMS: Understanding Invisible Disabilities, How to Thrive There, and How to Help by Carole & FJ Griffitts
Sunbreaks in Unending Storms: Understanding Invisible Disabilities, How to Thrive There, and …
Interview with Linda Elsegood of LDN Research Trust
Linda Elsegood is one of my chronic illness heroines! She is the …
HRV and Fibromyalgia: What’s Your Heart Rate Variability?
In an attempt to better my pacing and monitor the quality of …
teal line drawn waterlily with teal lettering of the title and motto

Feeling Like #$@&%*!

Believe me, I feel like SHIT!

For those of you who know me, I don’t swear….much. In fact, it’s only been in the last few years that I even swear at all. This has been the base of much teasing for me.

As a teen, as my volleyball teammates would use the full out “S” word or “D” word after missing a serve, I would really strongly say things like “bananas!” My partner teacher for 16 years, feels proud that she has encouraged and trained me to open up to the use of the vulgar vernacular now and then when there are no other words that really capture the sentiment.
So, I am going to just say it; I feel like SHIT! I have not felt this bad since I had viral meningitis (I’m not as bad as that time in the emergency room, but man, it’s reminding me of it). Since the purpose of this blog is for me to record my true journey (for healing through the writing and remembering where I’ve been) and to possibly help others who are dealing with Fibromyalgia, I’ve decided to write this (as I can today because doing anything and nothing are both really difficult right now).

An Overconfident and Rash Decision

Last Monday, I spent the night at my daughter’s house. It’s a treat to have a “girls night” and then hang out at her house the next day. However, I realized Tuesday morning that I had forgotten to bring/take my Cymbalta pill that I’ve been on since December 7th, 2019 for a total of six months. (As explained in my postLeave No Stone Unturned, I had gone from 30mg to 60mg back to 30mg.)

On the 18th of this month, I went for my pain medication checkup. My doctor and I had planned on taking me fully off Cymbalta at that time. At my last, pain psychologist appointment, my doctor said that I’d probably go to zero from 30mg since it’s the lowest dose anyhow. (I’ve since learned that that’s not quite true. 15 mg is the lowest commercial dose available.) Then, she said they’d want me to give it a month or two to see how I’m doing without it. My thinking was that by going off Cymbalta I could then see how I am doing without the brain-altering drugs and from there, see if I would be able to manage the fibro symptoms without it.

So, this past Tuesday, I thought, Why not just stop now? Then, when I go on the 18th, I can let my doctors know-how I’m doing.I was feeling fully confident that I’d be doing pretty well because the 10-week Chronic Pain Program had taught me a lot of ways to manage the pain.

A Reminder That I’m Not Fully In Control

Thursday night, after a wonderful day of hiking and photography with my daughter and 13 teens in the woods, I was beyond worn out. I wasn’t sure I could drive myself home. I felt weak, dizzy, and a bit nauseous. I could feel a headache coming on. I scolded myself for leaving my water bottle in the car rather than have it on the seven-hour trip, figuring that dehydration was the culprit. (I did eat many grapes and had some applesauce, so I wasn’t crazy dehydrated.) By the time I got home, I couldn’t bring myself to drink water or eat anything. I did take some Bayer Back and Body with some water, though and was in bed by 6pm. As the evening wore on, I got worse. I couldn’t even listen to soothing music or my book without being bothered. Finally, I did fall asleep and felt relatively okay the next morning.

These are withdrawal side-effects from Cymbalta.
I have every one of these (except the brain-zaps).

Yesterday, feeling the edge of what I had the night before, I canceled my appointment in the morning and then had to sit out on the kayak trip I had been looking forward to with the Outdoor Adventure group of women called the Wander Women with whom I had just recently begun to connect (see my blog post Sleep, Fog, and Vampires). However, by afternoon, I could go swimming and felt pretty good doing it. I swam and worked on the beach from 1-5pm. Still feeling good, I went up for a shower because Kel and I had tickets to see the Mark Lavengood Band: Bluegrass Bonanza at The Dogwood: Center for Performing Arts because I will be writing an article for our local NewaygoCountyExploring online magazine.

I Want Off This Ride!

The first set, I was totally into the music and even would have liked to dance. During intermission, I went and interviewed Mark (very talented musician from Grand Rapids). But, when I sat down and the first song of the second set started, I felt a wave of ill-ease wash over me. I knew it was the start of what I had the night before.

Last night wasn’t good-fitful sleep and up by 4am. But this morning, man oh man! I feel like I’ve just gotten off the Whirl-A-Twirl ride that also included a Sock-O-Matic machine in the car that I was riding in. And this morning, it’s ramping up rather than going away.

One of my major fears for even starting a med like Cymbalta were all the stories of withdrawal symptoms. One friend had told me about her mom’s experience after taking it for two years. The withdrawal ended up being so bad (horrible brain shocks, etc) that she gave up and went back on it.

Not So Cocky Now, Am I?

So, today, my decision is to push on. I sure do hope these warnings I have read in online articles about the side effects from Cymbalta withdrawal can take weeks or even months to get back to my “normal” self are not correct. I do have Cymbalta pills I could take, but I’m five days without and just don’t want to start over. I’m currently sitting on the deck, in the shade, wet cool rag on my head. The light breeze and lake view are helping me feel some better.

My husband, son, and four-year-old grand-daughter are taking care of me like an invalid. I sure hope I’m up to going swimming this afternoon. Tomorrow, we have family coming over for lake fun. Monday or Tuesday, I’m hanging out with someone I only ever get to see every few years (she’s in Michigan visiting from Arizona). I haven’t been able to go to my yoga class since Wednesday. This is F#$@ed-up! (While I use that word verbally now and then, I still don’t feel comfortable writing it out.)

My VOW: I am going to do every OTHER thing rather than EVER be on meds like this again!

Article on Easing Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms:

Have you ever been on any of the three FDA-approved Fibromyalgia prescription medications? What has been your experience?

Thank you for visiting my blog today.
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimes
I have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through
as planned.
Thank you for your understanding.

Click link Subscribe to Pain FULLY Living Weekly Posts by Email

Sleep, Fog, and Vampires

N.B- I do not own the rights to this image.It’s been circulating in online support groups.

I’m struggling to wake up this morning. Last night at 2:30 am, I wasn’t though. I almost got up to write at that time because, well; I might as well use the time as I have it. However, I did stay in bed and fell back to sleep after a couple of hours. Yes, I scrolled through Facebook, which is on my list of things I should not do at night if I want to sleep.

I have had a pattern of two-three nights where I just can’t sleep. Catch a few hours. Not sure how sound, either. Then I’ll have two or three good nights of sleep. For the past few months, though, I’m still waking up at 7:00ish, coherent and energetic. Today, not so much.

I hate mornings like this. My body is definitely winning over my mind. I’ve been “awake” for 3 hours now. Still barely moving, barely able to think. I explain to others that I feel a thick fog taking over my brain, rusting the works. Then, in this foggy state, an invisible vampire comes and drains the energy out of my limbs, leaving them limp and heavy. I lie there. That’s when I call for Kelley to get me my meds.

Kelley went to our local pharmacy to pick up my prescription for Vyvanse that I should have done yesterday. It does help me- a lot. Last spring break 2018 (before the Fibromyalgia diagnosis), I was whimpering at home because I was so listless and filled with anxiety and not being able to think clearly at work. It was the most challenging group of students my partner teacher and I had ever had. But it was definitely more than that. Teaching, which had rolled out of me naturally, allowing me to improvise easily and be fun in class, was not there anymore.

My own children, who were both diagnosed with ADD in college, after hitting the wall with demands that pushed them to their limits said to me, “Mom, you’re the same as us. You need to go get tested.” So, bringing Kelley for moral support with me to my appointment with our new general practitioner, I expressed my frustration to him. “This is not me!” I remember saying. A caring doctor, I could tell he thought that I was just a ball of nerves needing a higher dose of Lexipro, replied, “Since you have this in your mind, let’s have you go for testing to my friend who’s a psychologist.”

I met the next week with the Ph.D. psychologist, filling out several questionnaires, and having a talk before the computer test for ADHD. Some of the questions, about my childhood and schooling really didn’t fit. I don’t remember much about how I did things back then, but I have never felt disorganized and dreamy. However, after taking the test which consisted of correctly clicking and not clicking when a certain shape came up, I found out that I was moderate to moderately-high ADD. The doctor congratulated me on my coping skills for the past 53 years. The next week, I started 30mg of Vyvanse every morning. I went for a retest a month later and took the same test but on the medicine and past with flying colors.

Then, the pain hit just a few months later. I have wondered about the connection. I’ve found different theories. This one presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Management, April 2018 seems to sit right:Study Finds: People with Fibromyalgia May Also Have ADHD As it states, “The concentration and attention issues….can be a big deal for some patients….sometimes more disabling than the chronic pain…”

The combination of magnesium-malate, SAM-e, and Vyvanse has helped me write this on our deck this morning. My brain is starting to win over my body. My limbs have traces of energy moving back in. Good thing- because it’s a beautiful day and we get to meet up with dear friends we haven’t seen in quite a while.

I find that learning from others really helps. What does it feel, your times of insomnia, Fibro Fog, and loss of energy? Is it your main issue or is pain your main obstacle? What do you do that helps if there is anything? Is there anything that you do that causes you to have worse symptoms? I’d love to hear from you; we can learn from each other or at least find a friend that understands.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimesI have
to listen to my body and am not able to follow through as planned.
Thank you for your understanding.

Click link Subscribe to Pain FULLY Living Weekly Posts by Email

One Step at a Time

Beautiful Manistee River from NCT
near Mesick, MI.

6:15 this morning, Scout, my grumpy-old-man orange tabby, is stepping on my head as I begin to come out of another dream that involves my alter-ego desperately racing through a maze of sorts (need an analysis of this 😄).As soon as he sees some consciousness from me, he begins to pleadingly meow for one of us to get up and feed him-thanks to his hyperthyroidism-getting old is tough even for him.

As the dream seeps out of me, the reality of my body pours in. This is every morning. Every morning when I feel swollen-filled up with wet sand in my arms, hands, legs, and feet. My body talks to my mind and says, “I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get out of this bed.” It’s a pleading that I spend one half to an hour every morning arguing with. Over and over I say to myself, “Get up. You have to get up.” I’m shooting for 7:00 to 7:15 each day, so that I stay on a routine for sleep. Sometimes, I get up and after a pee and brushing my teeth, I head to the kitchen to take the medicine and supplements that have helped me forge on. (I will post a list and reasons why soon.) On really bad mornings, I beg Kelley (who generally is already up having his morning coffee and getting caught up on what’s going on in the world) to bring me my meds. Generally, it takes about 30 more minutes for things to kick in, and I’m ready to move.

Difficulty Committing

Today is a special day. I signed Kelley and me up for a group trip of hiking and kayaking. It’s the first such commitment I’ve made like this since being hit with Fibro and have actually followed through on. Friends, colleagues, and family know that since September 2018, I haven’t been a woman of her word. This has been really devastating for me. That has always been my motto- What I promise is what I do. However, I have canceled on commitments so many times this past year, I am now hesitant to prearrange anything at all.

But my heart, my longing, is to do the things I love: hang out over drinks with friends to talk, laugh, and cry, go for a walk in the woods, go to yoga class at 8am (would love to do the 5:30am, but not sure that will happen), commit to a new job, volunteer regularly, learn to play the ukulele at Thursdays Flybear Bookshop class, get down and play like a kid with my grand-daughter, Copeland, and so much more. The months of September through February found me mostly in my bed. December 7th was my first day of long term leave from my teaching career of 32 years. Those first few months, I barely did anything but try to be comfortable with heating pad, fuzzy blanket, pillow props, pain reliever, and sleep. I’d hear Copeland laughing and talking with her parents and Kelley in the living room. I’d drag myself out of bed determined to play, too, but soon realized that even just sitting in the chair was just too much for me. I’d slump back to my bed, many times crying uncontrollably for the loss I felt. I felt imprisoned in my own body and couldn’t see any way out of it.

The most debilitating part of Fibromyalgia for me has been the “Fibro brain fog” and the draining of ALL energy. (In a later blog entry, I will talk about what I’ve come to understand about why this happened to me.) In bed, I’d often find myself in a hurtful position and would stay there trying to convince myself to move for several minutes. It just seemed too hard to adjust how I was laying. The brain fog made it impossible for me to really attend to reading, writing, talking. I did start listening to audiobooks which helped me weather the worst of things. This time led to a deep sadness; I never wanted to use the word depression, but that’s what it was (and still is at times).

Showing Up, Anyhow

This morning, as the rain poured down outside our bedroom window, I reviewed every possible way of canceling (once again) and just staying home. Knowing we had to be ready to leave the house by 8:15 (with all the packing for the day still to go), I was really close. However, my search of the Weather Channel App showed that Mesick wasn’t going to have rain all day. I also thought about the work Kelley had already put into getting the trailer and kayaks ready to go last night, and the fact that this new like-minded group in our area of Newaygo County would be really good to get to know. If I canceled this time, how would I be able to show my face at another time after all the planning and communication that went into this trip? And so, as Kelley woke up and went to feed Scout and Willow, I did my morning routine (well enough to go get my own meds this time).

As I sit in the car writing this entry on our way to meet up at Manistee River Launch-Hodenpl Dam, my body is again pleading with my mind and heart. “I can’t do this! I’m not up for a four-mile hike and then kayaking down the Manistee. Can’t you feel the sand-filled, noodly arms and legs?” Yes, they both reply. But, I’ll open the door when we get there and step out into the dirt road, smiling at Mike who will be driving us up to the trailhead. One step at a time and soon I know I’ll be feeling strong again. Just hard to convince my body of that.

I will write in an upcoming blog how I’ve gotten to this point; many, many nurturing supports. Certainly, not my willpower. I have come to celebrate my strength and courage, knowing that it’s fed and cultivated one supported step at a time.


What a wonderful day spent with wonderful people:)

After the Trip Update

We’re home at 8:58! Wow, that’s a long day for me. However, I’m feeling happy and energized. The day was perfect and the group of people- wonderful. I felt connected with “my people” right away. Soon after stepping out of the car, I was able to “turn on” and the pain and weakness soon went away during the walk. I had little noticeable pain through the 4-mile hike and most of the 10-mile kayak. Towards the end, I had to do my stretches (I’ll get into that in another post) because my neck and shoulders were seizing up. However, at the end of the trip (at Red Bridge which is really white in color), we were met by a stiff gin and tonic with lime. That made all my stiffness go away😊 Now for some sleep (hopefully).

How do you handle commitment when you’re not feeling so great? I sure would love to find a way to determine when it’s good for me to push myself to show up and when I need to pull back.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.
I am committing to posting once a week on Fridays.
However, as you know, my new normal means that sometimesI have to listen to my body and am not able to follow through as planned.
Thank you for your understanding.