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Category: Family Life

I’M GOING AWAY

I’M GOING AWAY

 

 

Hi Everyone, 

 

It is with deep regret that I must close this down for now.  I have had some things come up in the last few hours and I will no longer be capable of keeping up with this blog.

 

I may return in future but as for now, there will be no new posts on this site.

 

Thank you to all of my followers and to those who regularly checked out my site.  I have enjoyed writing for you.

 

Take care and be strong.

 

Barb Sturrock 

THE CHRONIC ILLNESS WAR – FOGGY, GROGGY, AND PAIN – MY OPPONENTS

THE CHRONIC ILLNESS WAR – FOGGY, GROGGY, AND PAIN – MY OPPONENTS

THE C.I. WAR
THE CHRONIC ILLNESS WAR

 

FOGGY, GROGGY, AND PAIN –

MY OPPONENTS  

 

Today I would like to talk about the war that people who are chronically ill are in.  The fight begins again every morning when we get up (if you slept at all) lasts through the day and starts anew again every morning.  The skirmishes go on all day and only end when you are finally able to close your eyes and sleep if you do.

 

THE THREE MAIN OPPONENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

FOGGY 

FOGGY, MY FIRST OPPONENT
MY FIRST OPPONENT IS FOGGY

This first soldier against me attacks often by not letting me think clearly or making me forget important things like appointments, or in some cases family members’ names.  Not to mention when he prevents me from finding the word I want to say or replaces it with a word that is not even close to what I was going for.

For example:  the other day I was talking to my son and we were talking about something insignificant but what I wanted to say was that there was a better way to do whatever it was we were talking about and I said “flowers do it like this and it is worrier and easier”, of course, what I meant was that some people (sorry can’t get it to come to the surface) do it like this and find it faster and easier.

My son, aware that I have problems at times, burst out laughing and the message I was trying to convey got totally lost because neither one of us could keep a straight face and wound up doubled over in laughter.

Foggy keeps my mind wrapped in fuzz and prevents me from stepping out of it or pushing through it.  Most days, I’m lucky if I remember anything and if I can put an entire sentence together.

Foggy makes me feel like I am brain damaged in some way or even worse just plain stupid.  It is embarrassing to not be able to hold a conversation with someone without stopping to look for the right word or stumbling on and quite often using a very wrong word.

MY SECOND OPPONENT IS:   GROGGY 

MY SECOND OPPONENT - GROGGY
GROGGY – MY SECOND OPPONENT

Groggy attacks at the same time as Foggy. He causes me to be sleepy almost all of the time.  I can be sitting writing and all of a sudden I am struggling to keep my head up and my eyes open.  The worst part is that it can happen at any time, like while I’m preparing dinner, or getting dressed in the morning. It forces me to sit down and rest for a moment and then I start doing the head bob.

Like Foggy, Groggy makes it very hard to concentrate on what I’m doing, but usually in a more physical sense.  Like when I’m standing at the counter with a knife in my hand getting everything prepped for dinner and all of a sudden the knife is so heavy I can’t lift it, the fatigue becomes so intense that my legs start acting like they won’t hold me up, my head feels like it is way too heavy for my neck and my hands and arms become so heavy they are almost useless.

At times like these, I try very hard not to let anyone know just how bad it is because then my husband would step in, make me sit down and he would have to carry on and that’s just not fair.  I usually excuse myself and make a quick trip to the bathroom, sit down and get a cloth and try to keep myself awake and functioning.  After a few minutes I can shake it off a little and finish getting dinner on the table then I collapse into my chair and will be there for most of the rest of the night.

The way I see it is, that Groggy is like an extra layer of fuzz that protects Foggy and helps him make you feel like an imbecile.

 

THE LAST OPPONENT I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT IS:   PAIN

PAIN IS MY 3RD OPPONENT
THE THIRD OPPONENT IS PAIN

Pain may be the hardest to deal with, he tries to keep your mind and body busy so Foggy and Groggy can get around behind you and catch you at a disadvantage.  

For me, pain is something that I deal with all day long every day.  I try very hard to put pain in a box every morning so that I can perhaps have some luck in getting things done, but, I never quite get him all the way in so he leaks out all day long.  

Pain is really good at preventing me from doing as much housework as I would like.  He is good at keeping me right on the brink of screaming and giving up.

Pain has accomplices that help him, they are those who say “Why don’t you just take another pill?”, or why don’t you just stop and take a breather, knowing full well that if I stop it is almost impossible to start going again.

Pain is sneaky, he eases up a little bit so that you think that you can do something and then ‘BAM’ he comes roaring back and laughs at how much he can slow you down.  I think PAIN is what the psychologists call a sadist, always pulling the rug out from under your feet.

SUMMING IT UP

These are my three main opponents, there are others that pop their heads up every once in a while during the day but these three make it their mission to sabotage me in every way possible.

I am sure that there are many of you out there that feel the same.  I cannot be the only one that finds their chronic illness is a war they are engaged in.

Perhaps this is not the way I should look at it, but I find it easier to think of them as individual opponents instead of one entity throwing everything he has at me.  I am a glass half full person, so if I think of them as individual components then it is easier for me to keep fighting.

How about you, do you see your illness as a single entity or do you break them down into manageable pieces like me?

Next week – Ways to Fight Against Them.

FIGHTING BACK
FIGHTING BACK

 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

This week I want to tell you about a little thing that I detest rather than love.  Over the last couple of weeks, I have spent more time on social media, trying to keep up with what is going on in the world.  I have found something that has kind of knocked me sideways, on all the platforms from Facebook to Instagram I have noticed a trend towards real nastiness.  

Now don’t get me wrong we all know about the haters that are out there, those people whose only mission in life is to try to destroy someones’ confidence or who tries to bring you to the brink of tears with their tear down of your personality, your looks,  and your integrity.

The trend I’m talking about is the trend towards just general nastiness, in one case a girl had posted how she’d fallen and broken her leg and some of the comments had me in tears.  Things like “Too bad you didn’t kill yourself”  or “Wish there had been more blood”,  WTF is going on?

Where has this bitterness and callousness come from, I know that there have always been a few incidents like this but all of a sudden there is more and more of it?  

Are we really becoming that hard hearted that we would tear down innocents and injured people for fun?  Are we so sick of what is going on in the world that we have let it infect us with a need to hurt others in order to feel better about ourselves?

Are we going to stand by and let these sick and twisted people become the most prevalent voices on the internet, spreading their message of anger, and hatred, and disrespect for others?  

I do not want to lead a movement or incite others to take a stand, but come on people, whatever happened to the Golden Rule?  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Is that so lost that we can stand by and watch as the thing that we all depend on now is turned into a place of disgusting comments and just plain rude behaviour? 

The other day I commented on a post and my response was meant to be taken as a kind of joke.  I simply said that I wouldn’t be able to do that to save my life, that all the heat and smoke from the fires here was making it almost impossible just to get up in the morning.  (Not an exact quote cause I can’t remember exactly the wording.)  

It was completely taken the wrong way as if the person had expected to get some rough feedback and that’s what she thought mine was.  I got back to her right away and apologized if it had sounded like that,  that I was just poking fun at myself mostly. We worked it out and I believe she understood in the end that I had meant no harm.  

However, when I think back on it now, she had immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was disrespecting her in some way; has it come so far that we actually expect to get dissed?  I can only say that I will be watching the way I say things to keep from being misunderstood from now on.

What do you think?

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

Rising Above his narcissistic smear campaign with this flying monkeys!

 

This one is to tie in with what I said in THINGS,  we all shine in our own way let’s remember that and try to be kinder to each other.

As usual, this one comes from Pinterest and was the reason my THINGS post was on the topic.  My thanks to Heartfeltquotes.blogspot.com for posting this.

 

 

FAMILY LIFE 

 

The past couple of weeks have been kind of odd.  We were supposed to be on holiday but on the Friday before, Hawkeye’s union served 72-hour strike notice.  So on the Monday, it was in effect and holidays had to be postponed so he could take his turn on the picket lines.  He only has to do a couple of days a week so he has been around most of the time.

At the same time, my son is visiting his girlfriend and has been gone a couple of weeks as well.  My daughter has been spending most of her time out of the house with her friends when she isn’t working so we haven’t seen very much of her other than for her to pop home after work change and be gone.

Hawkeye and I and the dogs have had a mostly peaceful (after all the dogs do bark) couple of weeks, it has given us some great insight into what it is going to be like when we are truly empty nesters.  I have to say that I really have enjoyed the quiet time with Hawkeye and while I love my kids and I did miss them sort of, I think I might be OK when they are finally both gone.  

Please don’t get me wrong, I love them beyond reason but in a way when they are both gone and living outside our home, I am going to be proud of myself for having raised two capable, strong, and kind individuals.  I will know that I did my job well, that all the time and effort and heartbreak and fun that has gone into raising them will have been worth every second.

I am extremely proud of both my children, they have grown up to be wonderful people.  I suppose now it is time to let them go and take their gifts and their knowledge into the world.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

I was really bad while I was on holiday and didn’t take any pictures of some of the recipes I made, so this week I am going to give you a link to an old post of mine that shows you 5 recipes to be made from 1 recipe.  I make these at least a couple times a week because they are quick and easy and so darn good, Baking Powder Biscuits and what else you can use the dough for is in the link below.  

 

THIS WAS BEFORE I CHANGED THE NAME TO BARB’S OUTLOOK 

https://wp.me/p8bPwH-1fl

 

 

 

Well, that’s it for this week.  I hope you all have a safe and productive week, and I will see you here next Tuesday.

 

 

HOLIDAYS

HOLIDAYS

I forgot to mention at the end of my last post 25 Things that I would be away for a couple of weeks.  There will be no new posts for the next two weeks, I do have some written but they have not been polished up yet and I don’t want to give you less than my best.  That being said, I will respond to emails and will be keeping my eye on my feed on  FB and Instagram and Twitter but I will be checking these out randomly so if I don’t respond right away you will know why.

               Have a wonderful couple of weeks and please take care of yourselves.

PS. I think that the new printable is ready in my shop so check it out.  I love them and use them everyday.  If you have any trouble with them let me know.

STORMY WEATHER STYLE OF DAILY EVERYTHING SHEETS
STORMY WEATHER STYLE OF DAILY EVERYTHING SHEETS
25 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE BY BEING KICKED IN THE BUTT

25 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE BY BEING KICKED IN THE BUTT

25 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE BY BEING KICKED IN THE BUTT

 

25 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE BY BEING KICKED IN THE BUTT
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED

 

I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but the only way I seem to learn lessons about life is when I get kicked in the butt by them.  I am spitting distance from 59 years old and I thought that I might pass some of them along now so, that you don’t have to wait for them to kick you in the butt.

LESSON 1.  LIFE ISN’T FAIR, BUT IT’S STILL WORTH LIVING.

– A couple of years ago, I was deep down into the darkness that is depression.  For me, it was like this black hole that I couldn’t get out of.  I couldn’t see the point of getting up or doing anything because this was going to go on forever.  I started wondering what kind of future I’d have and if it was worth hanging around to find out.  

THEN, came the kick in the butt.  I had a friend that had just recently been confined to a wheelchair because she couldn’t walk anymore, it sort of rattled around in my head and made me think about what did I really have to be depressed about.  I at least, could still walk, not far and with a gait that looked more like a drunken sailor in port for the first time in 6 months, but I could.  

So, I needed a cane, at least I wasn’t permanently in a wheelchair, I kind of gave myself a slap upside of the head and learned the lesson life was trying to teach me.  There is always someone much worse off than you.  Live your life, that’s what it’s for.  Don’t let darkness rob you of the joy that is out there if you look for it.

OK, OK, I promise the rest of them won’t be that long.   

I do have a tendency to ramble, don’t I?  LOL

LESSON 2.  DON’T LET YOUR PAST INFLUENCE OR DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE

A Lesson we all need to learn at some point. See it for what it is right now, don’t wait and let it kick you in the butt.

LESSON 3.  DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS IN ANY FACET OF YOUR LIFE.  

Their journey has been completely different from yours.  Live your life, not someone else’s.

LESSON 4.  DON’T SAVE ANYTHING FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION

Every day is special, so use your china and the good linens.  Use anything and everything you have, if you only use it once or twice a year why have it?

LESSON 5.  YOU KNOW THE OLD ADAGE “WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER” IT REALLY IS TRUE.

LESSON 6.  KINDNESS IS THE GREATEST GIFT, GIVE IT OFTEN.

 

KINDNESS IS THE GREATEST GIFT, GIVE IT OFTEN
KINDNESS IS THE GREATEST GIFT, GIVE IT OFTEN

 

LESSON 7.  LOVE WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE, YOU MIGHT GET HURT, BUT EVERY DAMN DAY WILL HAVE BEEN WORTH IT.

LESSON 8.  HAPPINESS DOES NOT DERIVE FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES, IT BEGINS IN YOU.

There are people all over the world looking for something to make them happy.  It only happens in you, and you are the only one that can make it happen for you.

LESSON 9.  IF PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE CRAZY, LET THEM, AND ENJOY YOURSELF ANYWAY.

Have you heard the old saying that “Life isn’t about getting caught out in the storm, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”?  So what if they think you’re crazy, do it anyway.

LESSON 10.  THE DEFINITION OF LIFE IS CHANGE, WELCOME IT, DON’T FEAR IT.

LESSON 11.  DO NOT BELIEVE THAT LIFE WILL ALWAYS GO YOU’RE WAY, THE BAD STUFF HAS A WAY OF SNEAKING UP ON YOU.

LESSON 12.  THE BAD STUFF DOESN’T LAST FOREVER, JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD AND SOON IT WILL BE LEFT BEHIND.

LESSON 13.  REMEMBER LIFE IS FULL OF LITTLE MOMENTS, TAKE THE TIME TO NOTICE THEM AND REMEMBER THEM.

If you are too busy to notice the little moments; when you are old and grey and sitting in that rocking chair what will your life have been about?  The amount of work you managed to do?  Think on that one for a while, it’ll come to you.

LESSON 14.  TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN, NOT JUST WHEN YOU’RE IN THE ROOM, BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE NOT.

It will tell you how you are doing as a parent.  Children are little mirrors, they reflect what they see.  What are your’s reflecting?

LESSON 15.  THE SAYING THAT “PEOPLE MIGHT NOT REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL” HOLDS MORE TRUE FOR YOUR CHILDREN THAN ANY ONE ELSE.

The everyday stuff won’t be remembered entirely by your children, but the feeling that they got from you every day will be.  Be there and Love them with all your heart.

LESSON 16.  BEING WRONG IS OK, IF YOU TRIED YOUR BEST, AND IF YOU ADMIT IT.  NOBODY’S PERFECT.

LESSON 17.  EVERY DAY TAKE 10 MINUTES AND SIT OUTSIDE.  RAIN, SUN, SNOW, OR COLD, DOESN’T MATTER.  CLOSE YOUR EYES  AND LISTEN.

There is something magical about doing this every day.  In the City you can hear the hum of the cars on the roadways, you can hear the sounds of people interacting, the screech of breaks and the sirens of the services as they rush to protect or attend you.  

If you are not in the city, but out in the suburbs or countryside, hear the wind in the leaves, the sounds of the birds in the trees, the hum of insects, and the distant sounds around your area.  

If it’s raining, hear the sound of the rain hitting the pavement, or hitting the leaves, hear it dancing along the roadway or the fence, and if you watch at that time, you will see that as the rain hits the water on the road, it looks like fairies dancing.   

If it’s snowing, listen to the quiet, how everything has a sound of being muffled.    

Take a couple of deep breaths and let peace fill your soul.  

If it’s a raging blizzard then what the hell are you doing outside, are you nuts? LOL.

LESSON 18.  DON’T LET DEAD WEIGHT DRAG YOU DOWN, TOXIC PEOPLE ONLY SERVE THEMSELVES.

LESSON 19.  THERE IS ALWAYS SUNSHINE COMING, MAYBE NOT TODAY OR TOMORROW, BUT IT IS ON IT’S WAY.  LOOK TOWARDS THE GOOD.

LESSON 20.  TAKE THAT LEAP, LIFE IS FOR LIVING.  JUST JUMP!

LIFE IS FOR LIVING, JUST JUMP
TAKE THAT LEAP

 

LESSON 21.  PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FINANCES.

LESSON 22.  EAT HEALTHY WHEN YOU CAN, BUT DON’T MISS OUT ON THE GOOD STUFF.

Looking like a 20-year-old in a bikini may be nice, but this too shall pass.  Everybody Ages. So enjoy the good stuff when you can and eat healthy the rest of the time.

LESSON 23.  BE YOURSELF, LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE IMITATING SOMEONE ELSE.

LESSON 24.  YOUR CHILDREN HAVE LESSONS TO TEACH YOU, WATCH AND LEARN.

They can teach you how to just let go and have fun, stop worrying about what the neighbours might think, just go for it.  They can also teach you about taking chances, the child who is drawing doesn’t care if it’s not perfect, they are just enjoying it.  The Lesson is life doesn’t have to be perfect, just enjoy it.

LESSON 25.  I HAVE SEEN THIS A COUPLE OF TIMES ON PINTEREST AND I HAVE ADDED IT TO MY LESSONS LEARNED.

Be the person that when your feet hit the ground in the morning, the Devil says “Oh Sh*t, She’s/He’s up.”  Take charge, be strong, look out for others, and never take crap from anyone. 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE 

My favourite thing at this time of year is to just take a few minutes each day and watch the play of light on the leaves of the trees and bushes around my backyard.  Today, I am not giving you a long post, I am giving you a series of pictures so that you too can enjoy the light and shadow that plays out on the leaves.

 

Light and Shadow on the ground
Light and Shadow on the ground

 

Light and Shadow in the bushes
Light and Shadow in the bushes

 

Light and Shadow in the Trees
Light and Shadow in the Trees

 

This next item that you see, I couldn’t resist.  You will see the light and shadow on the ground, but it’s really just a video of my fur babies Willie & Bailey.

 

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

This week we have another quote from Brene Brown.  Of all the personal development books I have read, Brene Brown’s has had the most lasting impression.  She has multiple books out and all of them are great.  I just got finished the Audible version of  The Gifts of Imperfection, and I am still working on processing everything she said.  If you want a damn good read or a great audio book grab any one of Brene’s Books, you won’t be disappointed.

 

“AUTHENTICITY IS THE DAILY PRACTICE OF LETTING GO OF WHO WE THINK WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE, AND EMBRACING WHO WE ARE.”

 

It kind of works with today’s post, don’t you think?  Be your Authentic Self.

 

 

FAMILY LIFE 

 

This week I just wanted to touch a little bit on how being a chronic illness family impacts on the other members of the household.  I have not talked to my children about how they feel about my illness, not really, it has just been a given for the last four years.  

I suppose that is entirely selfish and thoughtless of me, but they have had my back from day one so I never thought about how they feel about it.  I know that I have told you that all I have to do is ask and my kids jump to help, but I have never thought to ask how inconvenient or how having to watch me struggle some days makes them feel.  

I guess that is a conversation that is going to have to happen, and I am not going to be asking them for their typical pat answer, I really want to know what impact my illness has had on them.  I think I’m scared to find out.

I have had the conversation with my husband of course.   

In fact, we did this online quiz once about how each of us writes down five words on how we feel about or see me ( or the one who is ill).  

My words went like this:  Guilty, Scared, Weak, Failing, and a Disappointment.  

Hawkeye’s words made me cry, he chose:  Brave, Strong, Fighter, Loving, and Beautiful.  

I still have them written down in my journal and I look at them every single day, to remind me to live up to what he believes me to be.  

I hope your support is as strong.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK 

 

I found a new site for recipes that I love.  Well, it’s new to me, some of you may have heard of it already.  It’s called Creme De La Crumb and can be found at https://www.lecremedelacrumb

It has great quick and easy recipes.  The ones I like best are the 30-minute meals, but I like some of the crock pot recipes too.  Actually, I haven’t found anything that I don’t like.  The following were my lineup for this week.   

Sunday:  One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice    

Monday:  Meatless Monday – One Pot Creamy Tuscan Garlic Spaghetti   

Tuesday:  One Pot Enchilada Orzo – I’m going to add ground beef to this one.  My husband puts up with one Meatless night per week because I asked him to.   

Wednesday:  One Pan Brown Sugar Pork & Apples – I’m going to replace the pork tenderloin with sausages.   

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Smoky Mountain Chicken   

Friday:  Hawaiian Hamburger Steaks   

Saturday:  One Sheet Pan Chicken Fried Rice   

As you can see I love one pan or pot meals, the fewer dishes I use the better I like it.  This site has loads of them in different categories.  I am not an affiliate for the site or anything like that, I just love the recipes.  Have a look, I am sure you will like them too.  

Well that’s it for this week, everyone, I would love to hear anything that you have to add to my list of Lessons Learned and if you try the recipes, let me know what you tried and how you liked it.  

There are two ways to let me know what you think, either through the comments or the contact me page. Just drop me a line and let me know what you think.

 

Take care and have a great week.

 

 

 

 

 

I LOST THE FIGHT TODAY, BUT TOMORROW I’LL BE STRONG (I HOPE)

I LOST THE FIGHT TODAY, BUT TOMORROW I’LL BE STRONG (I HOPE)

 

 

Chronic Illness doesn’t give us a choice in how we are going to feel each morning.  All we can hope for is that what the day holds for us, isn’t too bad. Will we have a winning day or will we have lost the fight that day?  

Every day is a surprise for us because we don’t know if we are going to feel well enough to get some things done. Or, if we are going to be dragging ourselves from one ‘blanket-wrapped-for-comfort’ spot to another all day.

 

LOST THE FIGHT

 

Last week, I had a day where I lost the fight.  The Fibro fog was so bad that I forgot my daughter’s name, couldn’t put a sentence together to save my life, and a couple of times forgot what I was doing as I was doing it.  

When I have a day like that I just keep telling myself, that I’ll be strong tomorrow, or I will get that done tomorrow, or the tomorrow after that, or the tomorrow after that.

The never-ending “Insecurity” of not knowing what your day is going to be like is every chronically ill person’s daily question.  If we do this, how much energy is it going to cost us and how long will we be laid up?

Being chronically ill means that every day you wake up with a hopeful heart. You hope that today will be better than yesterday. Everyday has variety, good times or bad times.  And good times don’t mean pain-free, they just mean they’re a little better than bad days.

I HOPE

I LOST THE FIGHT TODAY, BUT TOMORROW I'LL BE STRONG (I HOPE)
HOPE – from I Lost the Fight Today, but I’ll be Strong Tomorrow (I Hope)

The title of this post includes the words I HOPE.  That is because for me anyway, HOPE is the thing that I have to hold on to.  I hope every day that I will not fall down the stairs and break something (it’s worked so far, lol).  

Every day I hope that the Fibro fog will not make me forget everything and everybody that day (it works some days).  Hope is the backbone of the chronic warrior, we have to rely on it to get us through the tough times.  

What keeps us working for as long as we can and as hard as we do, HOPE.  Hope keeps us getting out of bed in the morning even if it takes us two hours.  Hope keeps our fighting spirit alive.  

But, hope is not just the prerogative of the chronically ill; NO, it is required by everyone every day.

Hope is what gives us ambition and drive, Hope keeps us looking for something better and working to get it. Our societies depend on Hope, we have hope that the future will be better for our kids than it is for us.  

Hope is what keeps us growing and challenging ourselves.  It keeps scientists and engineers doing what they do to make things better and faster and stronger.

It keeps teachers teaching and doctors helping the sick because they hope that something better will come from what they do.

In a world without Hope, what would be the point in striving for anything, if there was nothing better that we could achieve, why would we work so hard? Why would we keep pushing the limits of science and medicine and learning and knowledge if there was no hope.

Hope keeps us reaching for the stars, whether we are chronically ill or not.  The one thing I am sure of is that Hope is what keeps the generations moving forward.

 

I’LL BE STRONG

I LOST THE FIGHT TODAY, BUT TOMORROW I'LL BE STRONG (I HOPE) 2
I’LL BE STRONG – from I Lost the Fight Today, but I’ll be Strong Tomorrow (I Hope)

 

The title also includes “I’LL BE STRONG” because people in the Chronic Illness World have no choice in this either.

It takes strength of purpose and strength of mind to keep pushing ourselves to get up, get going, and get on with our days.

As above, Strength is also required by society, it is the companion to Hope.  It takes Strength to keep our hopes alive.  Strength of Mind to not let the craziness of everyday life steal our Hope.  Strength of Purpose to take our hopes and turn them into dreams come true.

I think though that of all of the strengths, the Strength of Heart is perhaps the strongest thing next to Hope.  Strength of heart keeps us on the right track to advancing our society, it keeps us on the straightaway of acceptance for all.  

The most important part of Strength of Heart is to keep us believing and vulnerable.  Without belief, there is no advancement in thought or practice.  If there is no vulnerability, there is no love, because only through being vulnerable can we truly empathize enough to feel love.

 

THE FIGHT

I LOST THE FIGHT TODAY, BUT TOMORROW I'LL BE STRONG (I HOPE) 3
THE FIGHT IS THERE EVERY DAY. – from I Lost the Fight Today, but I’ll be Strong Tomorrow (I Hope)

 

The third part of the title that I wanted to address today is The Fight.  The Fight is what chronically ill people have to do every single day of their lives.  They have to fight to keep going.  Fight to be present. They have to fight to stay part of society.

Most days it would be so easy to give up The Fight, to just let the illness that keeps knocking us down, Win.  But, we are warriors, we are fighters. We are soldiers in a fight to keep us living up to our potential.  To keep us from being so far removed from society that we forget to have hope and strength, or we forget to believe and be vulnerable.

The Fight is the third piece of the puzzle for society, in a perfect world there would be no need for The Fight, how boring would that be?

In this world, The Fight gives purpose and meaning to our lives. It gives us Hope, it gives us Strength, it gives us the reason to keep getting up.  Without The Fight, life would stagnate, everything would stay the same, no new incentives, or products, or anything to look forward to.

The Fight is the life blood of our world, it is the tool needed to have Hope and Strength.  It is bred into all of us, it is what keeps us alive. It is what keeps us trying to be better tomorrow than we were today. The Fight is what gives us vision, it is what gives us art, it is what makes us, us.

 

WHAT ARE WE LEFT WITH?

 

Hope, Strength, and The Fight are really the three pillars of life.   Without one of them, the other two don’t work.  

Chronically ill people see that this is true every time they have to move, think, or speak.  We have no choice but to see how they all work hand in hand.

The rest of the world has to try a little harder to see how they all fit together, or maybe not because we have innovators like Elon Musk and Nobel Prize winners of all disciplines working hard in their fields.

 There are businessmen and women who have visions for the future.  We have politicians that believe in the sanctity of life that strive to make the world a better place.

Everyday men and women that know that every step they take is for the betterment of themselves and others.

There are others out there that will never understand the concepts and ideas of my post today.  Mostly because all they know is Fear, Hopelessness and Weakness, they have lost their ability to believe that the World can be a place for them.  How my heart hurts for them, all I can do is wish them Peace.

For the rest of us, the chronically ill and those that are not, let’s stand up and cheer that we know what Hope, Strength and The Fight are.  

THEY ARE US.

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

 

I love to cook and bake, I love to see new things appear under my hands.  It’s also why I love to DIY and paint and draw and work in the garden.  Making things appear from different things has always fascinated me.

This week I have been concentrating on getting Ground Beef Recipes, not necessarily cooking them but really looking for different and easy ways to cook ground beef or ground turkey, or ground meat period.

I have found some really interesting things, some for summer, some for colder months, and all of them from all over.  I started thinking maybe others would like to see these too, so I have a list of 10 dishes and the links to their websites so you can go check them out.

If I had wanted to provide all the recipes for you I would have had to ask a whole lot of people for permission to use their recipes, this way you can go yourself and print whatever ones you like.

 

  1. Stuffed Pepper Soup                                 www.cookingclassy.com

 

  1. Korean Beef Bowl                                     www.damndelicious.net

 

  1.  Best Italian Wedding Soup                     www.goodinthesimple.com

 

  1.  Salisbury Steak Meatballs                       www.jocooks.com

    With gravy & Mashed potatoes

 

  1.  Italian Ground Beef                                  http://www.tasteandtellblog.com

    Casserole with Biscuit Topping

 

  1.  Porcupines in a Skillet                             http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com

 

  1.  BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger                       http://www.thereciperebel.com

    Nachos

 

  1.  Easy Homemade Hamburger                 http://www.thereciperebel.com

    Helper

 

  1.  Sweet & Sour Meatballs                          http://www.countryliving.com

 

  1. Glazed Bacon and Cheese                        http://www.countryliving.com

     Burgers

 

I hope you try one or two or even them all.  I am going to be adding them to my meal plan over the next few weeks.

BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER NACHOS FROM THE RECIPE REBEL
BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER NACHOS FROM THE RECIPE REBEL – from I Lost the Fight Today, but I’ll be Strong Tomorrow (I Hope)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Positive Quote: Never trust your fears, they don’t know your strength. www.HealthyPlace.com

As usual, this quote comes from Pinterest.  It seemed appropriate to me because it speaks about the strength hidden in all of us.

Just remember FEAR LIES, it takes our willingness to take chances.  It prevents us from taking that next step.

Believe in your hidden strengths, you will be amazed at how very strong they are.

FAMILY LIFE

 

THE GREAT DACHSHUND CHASE

THE TWO WEE DARLINGS (SAID SARCASTICALLY)
THE TWO WEE DARLINGS (Said Sarcastically). Willie is on the right and Bailey is on the left.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an interesting morning.  I had gone out to deadhead my flowers and as I had gone out my Dachie Willie slipped out of the door.  He took off running as the garage door opened ( I had already pushed the button before I realised that he was out.)

I yelled for him but he ignored me as usual, in case you don’t know, Dachie’s are very stubborn dogs, they only listen when it suits them.  They are much like cats in that way.  Independent thinkers and stubborn in the extreme.

I went back in the house to get the leash and his harness, hoping that I would be able to lure him close enough that I could slip it on him. I wasn’t really paying attention and out slipped Bailey; much as her brother had she took to her heels and ran.

Sighing, I realised that there was no way I was going to catch them until they let me.  I grabbed both harnesses and leashes and headed out to see if I could at least keep them close so they wouldn’t run out and onto the street.

Directly across the roadway from our townhouse is a little park that is part of the complex. It has swings and a slide and a picnic table so that parents can bring their kids down to play.  It is mostly unused now as the kids have all grown too big to be interested in it.

PLAYGROUND AREA ACROSS FROM MY HOME
PLAYGROUND AREA ACROSS FROM MY HOME – WHERE WILLIE AND BAILEY WENT FOR THE GREAT DACHSHUND CHASE

Both my dogs had headed into the playground area, because we went there often to let them just run (with leashes attached, but not held in our hands) and sniff their way around the grounds.

When I stepped through the gate Bailey was sitting there waiting for me, as if to say, “What took you so long?”  I reached down to grab her, lost my balance and had to make a grab for the fence to steady myself.  Of course, she took off running to join her brother who was across the other side of the playground area.

LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE LAUGHING AT ME

When I looked over at them after getting my balance back, I could swear they were laughing at me.  Both of them just stood there looking at me with their tongues hanging out of their mouth’s and what looked like a great big smile on both their faces.

I’m guessing at this point that you are probably asking “Why didn’t I go and get someone to help me?”  The reason is that this was the middle of the morning and everyone around was working, except for my son who was off at physiotherapy.

So, there I am, solo, trying to get those wee monsters to come to me.  Luckily the sun was shining or I probably would have killed them both (just kidding) once I caught them.

THE FUN OF CHASING THEM DOWN 

I sat down at the picnic table and Bailey decided she would have some fun with Mum so she jumped up on my knees and looked at me, I grabbed her and managed to get her leash and harness on.

I then tied the end of the leash around the leg of the picnic table so she couldn’t go far.

Willie, though, was having no part in it, he stayed back away from me far enough that neither my arms or my cane could reach him.

I must have looked so silly, trying to catch his speedy little butt by stumbling and swaying my way around the grass area, and he looking like a black streak in the grass.  

So this went on for some time until Willie, getting bored, I suppose, decided to head out onto the roadway from the other side of the open area.

 I had to go back, untie Bailey from the picnic table and then proceed to try to catch up with the (choose any bad word name here).

RUNNING OUT OF STEAM

I came out onto the roadway and he was just standing there waiting for me.  I thought maybe he’s had enough and started towards him.  But no, the rotten little sod decided to take off again.

Willie took off and went around the corner back towards our house.  I dragged my butt around the corner, trying to keep Bailey in check because as soon as he had taken off so did she.     

Bailey, however,  came to a dead stop at the end of the leash and started barking.  

By this point, my legs are shaking so badly, I’m not making very good time towards that little so and so, it’s taking everything I have just to keep my legs moving.  

Just then, my neighbour who works nights came around the other corner and started towards us.

I yelled “grab him when he comes to say hello” because Willie is a very social dog and has to say Hi to anyone he meets.   So she is standing there waiting for him to get to her.  I am trying to hurry so she doesn’t have to try to hold him for too long if she does manage to catch him.  

Bailey is barking at the top of her lungs. My friend’s dog is growling because he doesn’t like Willie. And, my friend is standing there in anticipation of Willie running up and jumping on her as he usually does.

So, she is standing there waiting for him to get to her and I am trying to hurry so she doesn’t have to try to hold him for too long if she does manage to catch him.

 Bailey is barking at the top of her lungs. My friend’s dog is growling because he doesn’t like Willie. And, my friend is standing there in anticipation of Willie running up and jumping on her as he usually does.

CATCHING THE LITTLE BEGGAR

Willie gets to within about three feet of her and then proceeds to dance around her, not jumping up as he usually does, and now I’m thinking that the little monster isn’t going to come within touching distance of anyone.  

Then, I get within leash range of my friend’s dog and he and Bailey (who he likes) jump around and play.

Willie being the jealous sort decides that he doesn’t like it and tries to get in between, at which time, my friend grabs him and hangs on.

I put the harness on and quickly attach the leash.  No more adventures for them that day.

So ends the great Dachshund chase.  I know it may not seem like such a great undertaking to you, but I was on my feet for over an hour trying to catch the little darlings.  By the time we got home, I couldn’t move for the rest of the day.

NOT GOING TO DO A RECIPE TODAY

As I have included recipes in the THINGS I LOVE section, I’m not going to give another recipe here as I would usually do.  Make sure you try out some of those ground beef recipes.  Remember you can switch in whatever ground meat you want, most of them will come out the same.

Let me know what you think of them, I’m dying to know.

 

Before we leave it at that, I have a couple of  questions for you:

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SITE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

IS THERE SOMETHING YOU DON’T SEE HERE, THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO?

Leave me a comment with your answers or use the contact me page to answer.

Bye for now and I hope you have a safe and happy week.

THE JOY OF NOT FALLING DOWN

THE JOY OF NOT FALLING DOWN

 

 

 

Hi Everyone,

OOPS, FALLING AGAIN
FALLING DOWN

 

For FOUR WHOLE DAYS this past week I did not fall.  I had a couple of close calls but I managed to catch myself before falling happened.  

Those four days seemed almost magical to me. There have not been more than two days in a row for the last four years that I haven’t had a fall.  

Upstairs, downstairs, while walking or just while standing, they can happen at anytime and anywhere.  

I have Splatted in the grocery store, wound up on my butt while taking the dogs for a walk, and just sank down onto my butt when getting up from a chair in a restaurant.  I have embarrassed myself times without number.

I know it’s not my fault but it doesn’t matter, being embarrassed has become sort of normal for me.

 

FALLING IS NOT FUN BUT IT CAN BE FUNNY

 

I do not carry things anymore when I am moving, the last time I did was to take my empty wine glass into the kitchen and down I went and shattered the wine glass.  

I wound up with my butt in the air and shattered glass all around me so I couldn’t move until my husband had swept it all up.

Try to imagine that in your mind and you will understand that as I was there with my butt in the air, I was also laughing like a loon at how funny I must have looked.  

My daughter came in because she had heard the crash and when she saw me and that I was laughing she burst into giggles which set my husband off and brought my son in on the fun because he was curious.

So, there the four of us are laughing hysterically till tears were running down our faces.  Then my husband managed to get it together and said loudly to be heard over the laughter “It’s not funny, you could have been badly hurt.” giving me his best growly face.

I tried so hard to sober up, but seeing his face and hearing him growl just set me off again as I was starting to slow down.  Slowly my daughter and son got themselves under control and then I had three growly faces looking at me.  

By this time, I realised how bad it could have been.  If I had fallen on one of the larger pieces of glass I could have been badly injured.   

I sobered up quickly once that thought had passed through my brain (what can I say brain fog sometimes keeps me from thinking clearly.)

From then on I carry a small tote bag with me whenever I have to transport something from one place to the other, it goes in the tote, the tote goes over my shoulder, and whatever I am carrying usually arrives at its destination unharmed.

 

FALLING CAME BACK ON DAY 5, TODAY

I struggled out of bed, as usual, took the three steps to the ensuite and down I went, SPLAT on the bathroom floor.  The dogs immediately came running and started licking my face.

It took a few minutes for everything to start working again; I got myself up and did what I had to, washed my face, brushed my teeth, wet down my hair and turned to leave the bathroom and down I went again and face-planted myself on the carpet just outside the doorway.

I was almost in tears, it had been a wonderful four days, I didn’t have to get up after falling down (which can be a major undertaking itself because of the pain).  

I hadn’t had that “OH, SH*T” moment of fear as you feel yourself fall.  It had been four days of moving along (with my cane, of course) relatively confidently.

The past two days have been filled with going into the doctor, and taking the dogs on a longer walk than usual because I was feeling so good.   

I’m pretty sure that the overwhelm of travelling into the doctor yesterday and the day before’s long walk was responsible for the falls this morning.

I should know better, I should have been trying to rest up a bit more after each of those, but I didn’t I just kept on going.   

It’s so hard sometimes to think about the consequences of doing too much, I had felt so good on the previous four days that I let myself forget that there would be a price to pay for not paying attention to my body.

 

FOUR YEARS OF FALLING & FIFTEEN OF FIBRO

 

I should give myself a slap upside the head like Gibbs does when he’s ticked off at Tony or Magee on NCIS.

I still sometimes forget that I can’t just do what I want when I want, or that pushing myself too hard will have regrettable results.

Falling has become commonplace and I don’t take it as seriously as I should because other than bruises I haven’t had anything injured (Somebody up there likes me).  

But, I know my luck will run out one day and I could get badly injured from falling.

I am embarrassed to tell you this because after all this time I should know better, but sometimes I just don’t want to be careful, sometimes I don’t want to pay attention to what my body is telling me.   

I just want to have fun or continue with what I’m doing even though at the back of my mind I know I will pay for it.

So, the two falls this morning and the one I just had coming down the stairs from the front door to my office will have me being more cautious for a few days.

Then hope (which is ever-present in my mind) will begin to whisper to me and I will do something stupid again, and then pay for it by getting to the bottom of the stairs faster than the proper way.

Oh well, I guess everybody has to have a hobby.  And, it was a wonderful four days.

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

 

Today I would like to tell you all about the place where I live.  British Columbia, Canada.

I love how green and lush everything is here, but the reason is that 7 months of the year you can expect rain almost every day.

QUARRY ROCK IN NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.
QUARRY ROCK IN NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.

Oh, but when the Spring and Summer comes, the views are out of this world.  

You can travel to the top of Grouse Mountain on the cable car, and from there, on a clear day, see west out to Vancouver Island, South to Mount Baker in Washington State, east to the Fraser Valley, and when you look north, all you will see is mountain after mountain after mountain.

 

GROUSE MOUNTAIN GONDOLA. SEE HOW LUSH THE AREA IS AROUND THERE, AND IT'S ONLY 20 MINUTES FROM VANCOUVER.
GROUSE MOUNTAIN GONDOLA. SEE HOW LUSH THE AREA IS AROUND THERE, AND IT’S ONLY 20 MINUTES FROM VANCOUVER.

The Lower Mainland (which is the extreme south coast of BC) is surrounded by water and mountains, which makes for some beautiful scenery.  The Fraser River runs through the heart of The Lower Mainland, from the mountains down through the Fraser Valley and out to the sea.

THE FRASER RIVER
THE FRASER RIVER RUNNING FROM HOPE DOWN TO THE COAST.

The Fraser has two forks, one runs to the north of Vancouver up through Indian Arm, and the other, south of the city, twisting and turning its way out past the Fraser Valley.

 

FURTHER NORTH

 

We have the Coquihalla Highway (pronounced Coke – i – halla) that runs from Hope to the interior of BC, where you can turn east and head to Kelowna and the Okanagan.

OKANAGAN LAKE WITH THE GRAPE VINES GROWING ON THE HILLS
OKANAGAN LAKE WITH THE GRAPE VINES GROWING ON THE HILLS

Stay on and it will carry you north to Kamloops and even further up, the Lake District around Hundred Mile; continue on up to Prince George and Burns Lake and eventually up to Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway.

The scenery is diverse and amazingly beautiful.  We have desert, mountain, rain forest, lakes, and around the Okanagan is the best place for growing fruit and grapes for wine.  

In the summer there are always roadside stands in the Okanagan that sell the fruit too, cherries, peaches, plums, apples, pears, you name it and BC grows it.  You can also take a winery tour and taste samples of the Award Winning BC wines.

 

BACK DOWN TO THE SOUTH

In the Fraser Valley is where most of our vegetables are grown, from the beginning of August to the end of September and even later depending on how the weather holds out is Corn season.   

And again, there are roadside stands where you can get fresh picked or, even the supermarkets have corn that was picked only two to three days ago, it is unbelievably sweet and is one of the great treats of the summer.

Or, there are the farm markets, that open on the weekends, bringing in the produce from both the Interior and the Fraser Valley.  

There are stalls with homemade jams and homemade jars of canned vegetables.  We have a thriving Honey Bee community in BC so there is honey from everywhere at the markets.

FARMERS MARKET AT GRANVILLE ISLAND, DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER
FARMERS MARKET AT GRANVILLE ISLAND, DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER

In the Richmond area of the Lower Mainland is where you find the cranberry bogs, where all you can see is the ponds one after another full of the red berries.

The reason I am talking about BC today is that July 1st  is Canada’s 150th birthday and I am very proud to call myself Canadian.   

The last picture I have for you is 150 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers standing on the Capilano Suspension Bridge (which is also in the Lower Mainland) holding the Canadian flag.  

I don’t believe there is another sight in Canada that can make you feel so proud as the Red Serge of the R.C.M.P.

150 RCMP OFFICERS LINED UP ACROSS THE CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE FOR CANADA'S 150TH BIRTHDAY
150 RCMP OFFICERS LINED UP ACROSS THE CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE FOR CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY

 

I am so honoured to be able to tell you about this wonderful place that we live and I know that there are other bloggers all across Canada that will be writing about where they live at this time and telling you how proud they are to be Canadian.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

IT’S OK IF YOU FALL DOWN AND LOSE YOUR SPARK.  JUST MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU GET BACK UP, YOU RISE AS THE WHOLE DAMN FIRE.”

 

COLETTE WERDEN

This seemed appropriate given this week’s post.  If you fall, rise with even more determination, that seems a warrior- like thing to do, and I always want to be a warrior, even when I am down for the count and unable to leave my bed.

FAMILY LIFE

 

It has been a pretty good week this past week.  I had four days where I didn’t fall, the sun has been shining everyday, but it’s not too hot.  The family is all good and the dogs are as playful and funny as ever.

We have stuck to simple meals and easy ones too, and my son has volunteered to do the dishes every night (You don’t know how weird that is, usually he and his sister fight over whose turn it is).

Not much to tell other than that, so I think I will leave it here for now.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

This week I have two recipes for you, one is done in the crock pot and one is done on the BBQ.  

For me they go together perfectly and if you do these in Corn season, corn is the perfect accompaniment to these, and if it’s not Corn season just use a bag of the frozen corn with butter and black pepper (in the microwave, covered for 4 minutes) and it is almost the same.

 

BBQ BEEF RIBS & MY BEST BAKED BEANS

 

BBQ BEEF RIBS
BBQ BEEF RIBS

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7550&preview=true

 

 

MY BEST BAKED BEANS
MY BEST BAKED BEANS

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7553&preview=true

 

 

Well, that’s it for now, I hope you have a wonderful week and I will talk to you again next Tuesday.  If you try the recipes, let me know how you like them.  If you can think of anything that you would particularly like me to write about, just get in touch through the contact me page and we will see what I can do.

Don’t forget to sign up for the freebies, and jump on that ‘Work With Me’ button to find out more about   THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST 

Bye for now 

THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST

THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST

  

Last week I started my new business, opened the doors on what I’m calling a place where you can find a safe and friendly ear for those with Chronic Illness. Someone to really hear you and someone who understands completely what you go through.

THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST
THE INVISIBLE ILLNESS LISTENING POST

If you have been a reader of mine for a while you know what I have been through.   I guess Hell would be a good word for it. I am now and have been for the last 4 years in full on Fibro flare, I have to make it through every day with unbearable pain and pretend just like you do to put a smile on my face.

People with Invisible illnesses like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Lupus, not to mention all the others, have at one time or another felt alone and unheard and invisible. 

Some days there is nothing on our minds but the pain. Some days we are so tired that just getting out of bed becomes an obstacle. Sometimes we want to rant and rave and shake our fists at the sky and scream WHY ME!   Some days we just want to cry, some days we just want to be angry, some days we don’t want to speak at all.

WHAT I FIND COMMON TO ALL OF US WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS

None of us with Chronic Illness wants to be putting this on our families, the last thing they need after having to take care of us is to hear us whining and complaining.

We are not selfish, we are not there to drag anybody else down, but it would be hard for anyone to live this way and not have those days where you feel like you’re in the blackest pit of Hell.

Anxiety, fear, and depression are all common with people who have a Chronic Illness, and we don’t want to pile that up on others.

So I decided that I would start a business where anyone could come and be heard, now don’t get me wrong I am not a Therapist, I am not a Psychiatrist, I am not a Consultant or a Coach or any of the other things that people with training are, if you need that kind of help, then please go and seek out someone you can talk to in those fields.  

All I have is my compassion, my awareness of the fears that sit in your soul and my willingness to be able to help anyone who might be in the same position.  

I want to be able to help the newly diagnosed, or those who thought they had it down and then something threw a spanner (sorry, my British upbringing is showing, I meant wrench) in the works, to find the positive in every day.

Negative thoughts steal our time, steal our ability to interact with others, but most of all it steals our ability to be ourselves.  

It is my goal to always help people to see the best in life, to see the positive; because we see so much of the darker part of life with Chronic Illness.

 

WHY I THINK I CAN HELP OTHERS 

 My diagnosis with Fibromyalgia came 15 years ago, and 4 years ago I started having more problems and was thrown into a permanent flare, eventually I discovered after talking with a Psychiatrist that I had Conversion Disorder.

Conversion Disorder is a problem with my brain, what happens is, my legs give out without warning, both my arms and my hands also give out without warning, I lose the sight in my left eye and the hearing in my left ear, and my face goes numb.  

My whole body goes numb on the outside if I stand, sit or lie down for too long at a time, but inside it feels like there’s a raging fire burning all along my nerves and every part of me, 24/7/365.

Now like I said if you have been a reader of mine you already know all this and you don’t need me to explain again what I go through and what I know you fellow sufferers go through. 

I just wanted to tell you I am here offering my services to be the kind of person that you can depend on to be there when you need a hand dealing with the feelings of anger and guilt that those of us with a Chronic Illness go through.

I’ve been told many times that my heart is going to get me into trouble and it possibly might; but, how could I live with myself knowing that I could help someone begin their journey with a Chronic Illness.  

Help them through the times that are to come, because regardless of what you are told when they say that it doesn’t get worse, THEY LIE.  Each year from the time I was diagnosed it got progressively worse until that time four years ago when my brain apparently decided to take a left turn and throw me into full on Flare.

 

A LITTLE BIT MORE OF MY LIFE

I have a support system that you wouldn’t believe, every day it becomes a little bit more evident that I will not be able to do everything that I want to do, and some days I am in so much pain and I am so unable to do the things that Moms and Wives and Owners of puppies are supposed to do that my husband has to take over.  

He takes the dogs for a walk and does the cooking for me.  He never complains he just picks up the reins and he keeps on going, and he has his own problems too. He will get a meal on the table, he does almost all of the grocery shopping, he does almost all of the laundry, and he helps out in the house when I need it and I need it a lot.  

I can never say thank you to him enough for being there for me every step of the way from diagnosis to today.  I’m still seeing a psychiatrist and hoping at some point that I don’t have to worry about my legs and my arms and my eyes and my ears anymore.

Even if the Conversion Disorder gets dealt with and is gone; I know I’ll still have Fibro, but I also know that no matter what my kids and my husband they are always there for me.

I deal with all the same things you do, overwhelm, pain, Fibro fog, fear, anxiety, and guilt; I know that there are times when we would all just like to shut down for a while and not feel, not think, and not care about anything else at all.  That is why I started this business, so you would always have somewhere to turn.

 

 WHERE MY BUSINESS IS GOING 

I eventually would like to start a podcast where I could have people on from different types of illnesses to let anyone who is out there know what to expect.  

Have experts in different illnesses come and explain what is happening in our bodies and if there is anything we can do about it.  

Nutritionists who can recommend particular foods that affect our illnesses.  

And various other experts to give us information on how better to set ourselves up for good days, and let us know if breakthroughs are imminent for any of us.

 For now, I think more than anything I just want to be able to let you know that there is still joy in life, that you still can be happy, that you can still have the life that you want, you just have to make it a little slower, a little less time-consuming, and that self-care will become a mandatory past time for you.

Don’t ever think that you have to go this alone because you don’t. There are all sorts of Facebook groups and groups on Instagram, I’m not sure about Twitter but I know about the other two because I am a part of them.

TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME  

You never have to be alone with this Illness or the feelings that come with it, and if you feel that you are alone and that nobody understands then contact me, I want to help with that more than I can tell you; because I don’t believe anybody should be without someone on their side.

To reach me you can come here and hit the ‘Work with Me’ button and it will take you to my HOME page, and if I can help you or you think that I can give you some information you don’t have, then go to the Contact Me page and let me know what you are looking for from me.

If you just want to go straight there, it can be reached at https://barbsturrock.com

THE LAST THING 

I have one more thing to tell you about and that is the Services page that I had up for a little while.  Before I opened the business, I started playing around with a Services page, everyone I had talked to and all the courses that I took told me that I had to price myself high or I would not get any engagement.  

So, I wrote out a page and listed what I hoped I’d be able to do for you and then gave you the prices down below that info.  

I looked at and read it and didn’t like it.  I tried again and again and again, but all three times I didn’t like how it sounded,  I didn’t know what it was that was driving me crazy about it, I reread and reread and then it started to hit me, I didn’t like that I was charging people at all, I really wanted to do this to help those around me.  

 I decided to scrap the Services page until I could decide what I wanted to do, but in the meantime, I would start up and see if there was any interest.  

What I didn’t realise is that the last Services page I had worked on was posted at the same time as I opened up for business. 

It wasn’t until five days later that I realised that the page had posted.  I had gone in every day to have a look and see if there were any comments, but I didn’t go to the actual post itself until the fifth day when I realised to my horror that the awful Services page had posted as well. 

I quickly removed it and then did up a video on Facebook to apologise to any potential clients,  I was trying so hard not to cry.  I felt so bad, I felt like I had let you all down, but it was then as I was so upset that the perfect idea came to me.  I would make it by donation, so then no one would feel like they were left out because they didn’t have the money. 

I really was so upset that I knew that I shouldn’t just jump into the donation thing, so I decided to wait until I had calmed down and then I could really think about the decision.  Well, I thought about it and talked with my husband about it and he said that I should go for it.  

If the people who needed help could find me, they wouldn’t be charged an arm and a leg to get someone to talk to.

So, Sunday I added ‘Payment by Donation’ to the bottom of the HOME page.

I know that I have rambled on as usual, but, I really wanted you to know that I was sorry for letting you down and I will try not to do it again.

 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE 

Today I want to tell you about a Service that helps me to stay on top of things and keeps me organised and on track.  It is a productivity marvel and if you haven’t tried it, you should do it today.

The service is called Trello, and you can use it for free, but for just a small fee you can sign up for the Trello Gold which opens all the features and let me tell you what a difference it has made for me.

I used to and still do use a paper planner, but I am not always good about putting down the things that I need to keep track of.  With Trello, I have it on my phone so when I am away from my planners, I can make sure I don’t miss anything.  You can see a copy of one of my boards below.

Trello Board
My Week – Personal Board

This one is for my personal life, but I have one for my Business week, my Editorial Calendar, my Projects, my Notes, my To-do List, and a bunch of others that help me with my blog and now with my business too.

What you can see is what they call a board, and each of the days that you see there, are called lists.  Then the little white boxes with the information in them are called cards.  The cards can be dated, and they can be tagged, as the one on Thursday is tagged with a red line.

You get to choose what you name the tags for each board, not only that but you can have a calendar that you can click on to get everything coming up for you, as I do here in the right-hand corner.

You also get to pick the background that you want, I chose this one because it reminds me of a place I used to go fishing.

If you want to try Trello, or if you already tried it and you think its too hard, then I suggest that you go to Think Creative Collective and get their course ‘Trello For Business’, it’s only $29.00 US and it teaches you everything you need to know about Trello, plus they give you some of their boards that you can use and adapt to fit yourself.

No, I am not an affiliate for them, I just loved the course and I love using Trello.  It has made such a difference in my life, I have everything in one place and I can access it from anywhere via my phone, and I always keep it open on my laptop so I can access it at any time.

Now, go get yourself a Trello account, like I said before, you can use the free one, and check out the features and how easy it is to stay up to date.  I bet you will love it once you know how to use it.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

“THE SAME BOILING WATER THAT SOFTENS THE POTATO, HARDENS THE EGG.  IT’S ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF, NOT THE CIRCUMSTANCES.”

UNKNOWN

People always underestimate the stamina and strength of the Chronically Ill. They do not understand what strength it takes just to get through every day, and the stamina to keep doing it.  

Be proud of yourselves, Warriors of the CI World, you are amazing and you are strong, and you are perfect just the way you are.

WE ARE THE EGGS, LOOK OUT POTATOES!

 

 

FAMILY LIFE 

The past couple of weeks have been crazy, starting up the business, finding out about my error, reviewing everything to make sure that I was doing this for the right reasons, and still juggling family life.

Willie and Bailey, now that summer seems to have arrived are ready to go at the drop of a hat.  They want to run and fight (playing) and roll around in the grass and just lie down and soak up the sun.

With the exception of this past weekend when it was really hot 31′ C, (I know that might not seem much to other people but here on the West Coast of Canada, that is freaking hot) the dogs are literally raring to go every minute.

I feel bad for our next door neighbour, (remember we are in a townhouse) because the dogs sound like a heard of elephants running up and down the stairs, chasing each other.  Willie always loses because Bailey is like a little missile, speedy in the extreme.

When they are not doing that, they are downstairs with me in the office, barking at every bird they see.  I swear they both want to fly.

As for the family, well Mr. T is still going to physio 3 times a week, Miss Muffet is never home, so Hawkeye and I usually have the peace and quiet that we both crave, until dinner time that is, when the noise level and the hoards (Dogs & Kids) descend upon us.

I know it will get busier as the wedding gets closer, so we are soaking up the quiet as much as we can, enjoying taking the fur babies out for a walk every night, and just loving the sunshine for the rest of the day.

I hope it is sunny and warm where you are.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

The weather has been very warm, so most of our cooking has been on top of the stove or on the BBQ.  This one is done on top of the stove and can be on the table in 15 minutes.  It is simple and quick, so easy to put together, and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen much.

PASTA WITH CLAM SAUCE

LINGUINE WITH CLAM SAUCE
LINGUINE WITH CLAM SAUCE NOT –  MY PHONE DIED RIGHT BEFORE I WAS TO PLATE UP, THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING I COULD FIND ON SNAPPA

 

Click on the link below to get the recipe.

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7525&preview=true

 

 

MY SITE HAS CHANGED AGAIN

MY SITE HAS CHANGED AGAIN

WHY?

Barb's Outlook New Header
New Header

 

I had some user testing done and they informed me that my site was too dark and purple.  Which, is the opposite of what I was told last week, (shaking my head).

I decided that I would lighten things up a bit, and this is the result.   So, I promise this is it, no more changes.

If you like the new look or if you don’t, comment and let me hear you ROAR.

I’ll have a new post for you on Tuesday as always.

 

Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Also, Sign up to get access to my freebies page.

 

20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES

20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES

 

 

 

20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES
20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES

Fibro/Chronic Illness Flares are devastating to those of us who have to go through them.  Complete agony and no way to ease it without doping yourself into oblivion.

For those who don’t know, Fibromyalgia is a disease that hypes up your ability to feel pain and then causes every inch of your body to feel pain at various times or at the same time.  It moves around your body so that you can never be sure where you are going to hurt next.

Fibromyalgia Flares means that every nerve ending in your body all at the same time goes into agony and it can last for days, weeks, months, and even years.  I have been in Fibro flare for over four years now and it is debilitating in the extreme.   There are days where it can take me a couple of hours just to get out of bed.  The part that really gets to me is that the longer you feel the pain and fatigue the worse it seems to get, every single day feels just that little bit worse than the day before, and that’s if it lasts for days or years.  Weather and temperature are a big factor in the way we feel pain, like everyone else we enjoy the sunshine although it can cause the fatigue to increase exponentially.  The rain, cold and snow can increase the pain to levels that you would not believe.

My son asked me to describe the pain one day and I said to him “It feels like I am being burnt alive, beaten with a baseball bat, and stabbed over every inch of my body all at the same time.”  He was shocked, because I still get out of bed every day, make dinner almost every night and can laugh and smile over the dinnertime chat.  Although, by after dinner, I can barely drag myself upstairs to go to bed.

     20 STRATEGIES THAT HELP ME GET THROUGH THE FLARE 

He asked me how I did it and I said that I have developed strategies over time that help me function.  Here are my top 20 go to’s for getting through the days:

  1. Stop Fighting it.  Don’t waste what little energy you have trying to fight through it.
  2. Stop focusing on the things that are not getting done and accept that they will be there when you can get to them.  Worry and guilt do nothing to help so let them go.
  3. If like me you have a journal, go back through it and have a look at the good memories you have made, if you don’t journal,  just cast back in your mind for a time that was a sheer joy and keep it close, it seems to ease things a little.
  4. Remember the movie ‘White Christmas”?  In that movie there is a part where Rosemary Clooney is having a hard time getting to sleep and Bing Crosby sings a song to her, the first couple of lines go like this:  “If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”  Count your blessings, think about all the good things in your life.

    WHEN IN FLARE, JUST FOCUS ON YOU

  5. Your needs will have to come first right now, so stop worrying about everyone else, even though we don’t want to believe it, we are not indispensable.  The family will muddle through even if we cannot be hands on. And the more you focus on your needs, perhaps the flare will ease up faster.
  6. You cannot do any extra anything if you want to recover faster.  Do not allow yourself to have extra pressure put upon you, by yourself or anyone else.  JUST SAY NO.
  7. Sleep and more sleep is the best thing you can do for yourself, it allows your body to recover faster and the flare seems to ease up the more you get.

    20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES 2
    20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES 2

    WHILE IN FLARE, TRY TO KEEP YOUR MIND OCCUPIED

  8. Play mind games, read books, play Sudoku, binge watch a TV show, anything to get your mind off the pain and on to something else.  If you knit, or crochet focus entirely on that, if you colour or paint, anything to get your mind away from being overwhelmed by the pain.
  9. Your body is your best tool, it will tell you if you are able to take action on something, or if you have to rest.  The flare can be eased up by moving at a reduced rate and taking it very slowly when you do move.
  10. Make sure you take your meds as instructed, don’t be overzealous and start taking more than you should.
  11. Try out different types of healing, The medicine we know is all about the drugs they can give you, but there are other forms of medicine out there. Try acupuncture, massage therapy, or any other type of physical help that is offered.  Do not try pain relief in the form of a substance to take until you have talked to your doctor, what you get could conflict with current medications you are on. Be wise.
  12. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, yes, you may have to pee more but water can help with headaches, fatigue, and a host of other things in your body.  It also allows your muscles and joints to receive more fluid which can help ease the pain a little.

    MORE IDEAS TO HELP EASE YOU THROUGH A FLARE

  13.  Talk to someone about the pain, let it out.  If possible get with a support group in your community, if not then find a support group or someone online that you can talk to.  Talking helps stave off depression and anxiety, which are likely outcomes of flares, particularly those that last awhile.
  14. Try going Vegan for a few days (longer if you can), but cut back on the red meat protein and increase your vegetable and fruit intake.  From what I have heard if you can become a Vegan, it reduces not only how bad the flare can be, but how often flares occur.
  15. Simple yoga moves and stretches along with meditation can help reduce the feeling of pain. I’ve been told by a friend that hers is reduced by at least half after she does some simple stretches and meditates, if it can reduce it at all I’d say great, but by half, I’d be over the moon.
  16. Walking very slowly can help, take a turn around the yard or the block if you can manage it.  Any kind of gentle, minimal exercise can help with the pain.  I walk around my complex very slowly and I find that helps with the (what I call) lightning strikes, that’s the pain that shoots down your legs, or arms, or your whole body and feels like an electric current running right through you.

    20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES 3
    20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES 3
  17. THE LAST OF THE THINGS I TRY FOR MY FLARE

  18.  Some people swear by marijuana, but I found that it didn’t do much for me.  But then, I am in flare all the time, maybe it would work for some who has bouts of flare and then times where they are not in flare.  Who knows, about the only thing it did for me is it made me sleepy, which in a way was a good thing as I did sleep for a couple of hours afterwards.  Maybe I might try again but just before bed, see if I could actually get more than an hour at a time.
  19. Warm, hot baths with Epsom salts and Lavender oil, it makes stress melt away and helps the muscles and joints relax a little.
  20.  TENS stimulation has helped some people, but in other cases, it has made the pain feel worse (my case).  I just saw a commercial this morning about a portable tens unit from Aleve.  I have been thinking about it since this morning and I might give it another go to see if the first time was me just expecting the worst.
  21. Try to remove as much STRESS as you can from your life.  I know we all like a bit of drama now and then, but while in flare, try to avoid it.

         MY PERSONAL OPINION ON FLARES AND GETTING WORSE

Doctors do not believe that Fibromyalgia progresses or becomes more severe over time.  I personally, do not subscribe to that theory, as things that I could do last year are becoming harder and harder to do.

I don’t know if the progression is due to the illness itself or to the pain that just becomes more debilitating as time goes on.

Pain levels just seem to increase, my used to be 10s have now become 5s because the 10s now are an order of magnitude higher than they were.  Maybe just my ability to cope with pain has reduced markedly.

I did here somewhere, (can’t remember where), that pain is accumulative, the more you feel, the more intense it gets, or as I heard it the more you feel, the more you feel.

This post is mostly for newbies to chronic illness so that they will have an idea of what to do when they get to the flare stage.  The rest of us, who have had flares for a long time, all find ways to help with handling the pain, it is different for each person.  If some of the above ideas are not in your repertoire then give them a shot, it can only help or stay the same.  Otherwise, RISE WARRIOR RISE and do the best you can.

20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES 4
20 THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH FIBRO FLARES 4

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

Sort of in keeping with the theme of the post above, I found a website a couple of weeks ago, after I had already written the above post, that I love.  It’s called  DO MORE BE MORE – Quality of Life Fitness.  I found it through a Pinterest pin and I have been reading at least one of her posts every day.

They are all about helping with Chronic Illness through nutrition, stress relief, and exercise.

WAIT! Before you run screaming from the room or, in our cases hobbling from the room, at the thought of exercising while you are in so much pain.  I want you to check out the site first, the author (named Gabby) understands us and how restricted we are, her Mum has suffered for over 40 years with Fibromyalgia.

She has exercises that can be done in bed, as well as an exercise routine, that is for those of us with Fibro that you can get for free just by signing up to her site.  I think the plan would work for most people with Chronic Illness, except those that have problems with balance, then I would do the bed routine.

I am what they call obese, I am over 100 lbs heavier than I should be thanks to this disease.  I have tried out just about every chair exercise, low aerobic exercise, and just plain exercise on YouTube, looking for something that I could stick with that would help me lose weight, but of course, I could not keep up with or even understand some of them (because of Fibro fog) to save my life.

So, I have stuck with just doing some yoga stretches to stay as flexible as possible, and doing the stairs in my house as needed (I have three flights between my bedroom and my office) to at least keep me healthy.

Needless to say, neither the yoga or the stairs have done anything to help with my weight.  I eat properly if maybe a bit too much, (and yes, I’m working on that as well, remember last week when I told you that I went back to Weight Watchers) as I cook all our meals from scratch.

Anyway, to get back to the topic, the site is for people like us, who cannot participate in regular exercise classes. The workout that I got by signing up, I tried for the first time yesterday, and while it was hard, even a two-year-old could get through faster than I did, I didn’t feel like I had to push myself beyond my tolerance level.

The plan even has a disclaimer that she is not a medical practitioner, so we should check with our Doctor before we start this, but I know my doctor would be overjoyed to know that I was trying something new.  Gabby is a Fitness Trainer and a Nutrition Coach, she doesn’t claim to be anything else, except someone who understands how we feel.

I love her site and will be following along for sure; if you want to give it a look you can find it at:

https://domorebemore.net

Check it out, I am sure that you will be as happy with it as I was.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK 

“YOU ONLY FAIL WHEN YOU STOP TRYING”

I have no idea who originally said this but I know it has been around for years, so, I am going to keep trying and with the help of the site above that I was just writing about, I hope that this time I will not be failing.

My son is getting married this year in November, it sure would be nice, if I didn’t look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy from Ghostbusters for the wedding.  And in case, you think that my weight is a problem for me, that is because it is.

I have all the confidence in the world in myself as a Mum, Wife, Writer, and even sometimes funny person (yeah, I know, don’t snort)  but my weight bothers me, not just from an aesthetics point of view, but from a health point of view.

I don’t think I know any person that has ever said to me “I’m just right, I am perfect.”  I don’t think I ever will hear that, because none of us is just right, we are all just this side of perfect.

I mean that sincerely, I think we are all just a hair’s breadth away from being perfect and that is because only God is perfect, and the rest of us, though made in his image, just don’t quite measure up, and to be honest, I don’t think I’d want to.

 

I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO WRITE A ‘FAMILY LIFE’ POST THIS WEEK, AS I HAVE BEEN A LITTLE LONG WINDED IN OTHER AREAS.  SO INSTEAD HERE IS YOUR:

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

CHEESY MUSHROOM CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE GINGER RICE AND SALAD

Click the link below to get the recipe

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7456&preview=true

CHEESY MUSHROOM CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE GINGER RICE
CHEESY MUSHROOM CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE GINGER RICE AND SALAD