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Return of the Viruses

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I discovered part of my struggle is that the viruses resident in my body are flaring. These viruses are part of the constellation of symptoms that make up ME/CFS. I had lab work done last week that showed my immune system is fighting an infection(s). This could explain a lot of why I am feeling so lousy.

The plan: Step 1: 3 UV/Ozone IVs – they remove some of my blood (30 cc’s, I believe) and mix it with ozone. They then pass it over a UV light as they run it back into me. This kills viruses and keeps killing them once the blood has returned to my body. Step 2: Increase my hydrocortisone dose to get me some immediate relief.

And, of course, rest, rest, rest.

Today (Saturday) we are going to watch a movie and not much else. 🙂

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Goats Having Fun

Went looking for joy today. It was a bit sunny outside so I ventured out to the barn. The goats decided to put on a show for me. Joy found!

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Struggling and Feeling Numb

I am struggling and feeling numb. It began when my doctor put me on six weeks of bed rest. I understand the need for the bed rest and don’t disagree that it was the appropriate move. However, somehow in there I lost my joie de vivre.

I usually have a natural love of life. It isn’t that I don’t have my down times, times of doubt, anger, fear, etc., but underneath all of that is usually always joy. A true love of being alive. That is what I have lost.

I have looked for it…in the closet, under the bed, in the nightstand, even in that junk drawer where you throw everything. Seriously, I have looked for it. I have tried to recreate the things I do that bring me joy and I fall flat every time. Then I thought: why not go back to blogging. That always seemed to help me to put my thoughts out into the ethers. Doing so usually brought perspective and answers.

Welcome to my return to blogging. The posts will get more interesting. I promise! 🙂

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ICE Method for Food Aversion

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I have had a problem of gagging on fruits and vegetables ever since I experienced fairly severe abuse around the dinner table as a child. I was even made to eat foods until I vomited them back up. No need to go into greater detail. Just suffice it to say that this is an issue I have been working in therapy for 30 years with no luck at all!

ICE Method Works On Anything

Recently, I have become convinced that the ICE Method works on ANYTHING! So, I spoke to the founder of the method, Lars Clausen (a warm and approachable man) and asked him about using the method to overcome this food aversion.

We decided to do a Google Hangout and see what happened. See the results below where I eat both a celery stick and an orange segment for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE and I HAVE NO GAG RESPONSE to the food.

I continue to be amazed by this simple, yet profound, method of healing the physical and emotional bodies.

Watch me eat a celery stick and orange slice…

This is Part 2 – The Conclusion (Where I actually eat the fruit and veggie)

This is Part One – Where we do most of the work so that I can eat the fruit and veggie. I apologize, but the internet speed was an issue and so we lost each other temporarily a few times.

If you would like to read more about this incredible method, I encourage you to get the book “Fibromyalgia Relief.” I learned to implement the process first from the book before I ever had a session with Lars.

Sessions with Lars will kick your practice up a notch!

Or, join his community and learn from his video archives. 

NOTE: Lars will possibly be in Portland, Oregon on the morning of May 17th and could hold a group session. If you are interested, please email me for more information.

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Amazing ICE Method Cuts Through Pain

I recently read the most amazing book and had a chance to do a private session with the author, founder and practitioner of the ICE method of managing pain and healing emotional trauma.

The book is “Fibromyalgia Relief” by Lars Clausen. I am considering it a companion book to Dr. Liptan’s book, “Figuring Out Fibromyalgia,” because she explains the role of the fight-or-flight response in Fibromyalgia and its pain. In “Fibromyalgia Relief,” Lars also discusses the role of fight-or-flight and his method is all about calming that response.

ICE – Identity, Calm and Exchange

ICE stands for Identify, Calm and Exchange. You Identify your pain or difficult emotion, you Calm that emotion with a very simple process that you will see in the video below and then you Exchange the calm feeling for the unsettling emotion or pain you were experiencing.

It literally is as simple as picking two spots on your wall and the empty space in between and staring at them in turn.

I know that it doesn’t seem like this would work, but you will see my experience in the video. And I wasn’t sugar coating it! You will see that one time we had to go at a painful area with about three rounds to neutralize it. Usually it happened with the very first round.

Lars Speaking in Portland

Lars Clausen will be speaking to the support group I co-lead, The Fibromyalgia-ME/CFS Support Center, Inc. based in Portland, Oregon on November 15th. If you are in the area and would like to join us, the information will be up on our website soon.

His talk will also be videotaped and made available on our website. If you would like to be notified of that once it is posted, you can join our mailing list by clicking here.

Lars website is myfibromyalgiarelief.com. He has a community section that you might want to check out that contains a collection of videos to help you learn the ICE method as well as a place to ask questions and get answers about your own process.

Purchase Lars book here.

If you have not purchased Dr. Liptan’s book, I consider it the bible of Fibromyalgia. It will also lay the groundwork for why our haywire fight-or-flight response is culpable in our fibro pain.

You can get her book, Figuring Out Fibromyalgia here.

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The Wolf: A Poem

These aches and pains will they ever cease?imgres-1
All the drugs should kill the beast.
This wolf inside with his teeth bared…
with this wolf my body I share.

He’s become an unwelcome guest,
and day after day I try my best
to remember that I am not this disease,
but these aches and pains will the ever cease?

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Resolutions Pull You Out of the Present Moment

I have been doing a lot of thinking about New Years and the setting of goals or resolutions.

imagesIt seems to me that while that isn’t a completely bad thing to do, one has to be careful that the goal setting or resolution making doesn’t take them out of the present moment.

This present moment is truly all we have. Yesterday, the past, including the last second are gone. History. No more. Tomorrow, the future, including the next second are not here yet. So they are totally open to how we perceive them and what we make of them.

The past is gone. Living there is a waste of time, upsetting, and keeps you from the beauty of the present moment. The future is unknown. You can’t live in something that doesn’t yet exist. And trying to manipulate the future is just plain a waste of time and energy. However, you can gently direct your future with your thoughts and actions in the present moment. The choices you make right here, right now decide the very fabric of your future. 

So, for me, in this new year of 2014, I am going to skip the resolutions and do my best to live in the present moment making choices that make each of my successive present moments more joyful and alive. That is also my hope for each and every one of you. 

Happy New Year!

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Releasing Pain Mindfully

Pain cells screaming head to toe, mindful
muscle cramps that won’t let go.
Suffering, suffering from this pain,
grant me courage for another way.

A way of life called mindfulness
allows the experience of pain to be less.
Let it go, let it go…detach from the pain.
It’s just a sensation, don’t give it a name.

Look all around at what you see…
a flower, a bird, a sunrise, a tree.
Stay in this moment, in this now,
releasing the pain, this is how.

The magic is in detaching from the suffering…
from the emotion surrounding the pain,
and finding joy in the present moment
by being fully awake each moment of the day.

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Breaking Up With Your Thoughts

We all have thoughts that haunt us, right? Or is that just me?

I have a particularly troubling thought that has been with me my entire life. The reason why doesn’t matter, but the thought is terribly destructive. The thought is that I both created my own illness and that I keep myself sick.

There is a psychological reason that I believe this that is rooted in childhood. However, that should no longer matter now that I am 50 years old. It is time to change that thought patttern. But how?

I was talking to my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. First she asked if I knew that the thought that I created my own illness was true. I responded that I didn’t know it was true. She said, “Then why don’t you change the thought to something that is true, like childhood trauma created the illness?”

I asked, “So you are saying it is as simple as changing my thought? I haven’t had much luck with that through the years.”

Then she said something really profound…

She asked, “Have you ever, in the past, broken up with a boyfriend? Did you ever make the decision that a relationship just wasn’t working and finally you decided to pull the rip cord?” I said of course I had. She said, “How long did it take you to break up once you made that decision?

Uh, Okay! Point taken! I do think it is a little easier to break up with a boyfriend and he goes his way and you go yours. You break up with your own thoughts and they are still in your head. Her response to that was that some boys keep coming around, wanting to get back together. You usually have thoughts such as what if no one asks me out again? Or, what if I am sitting home alone Friday night?

With your thoughts, you just keep reminding them that you have “broken up” and that you don’t want them around any longer. Then you replace them with something you do want…a good thought, a fun activity, or the thought that the abuse created the illness. Whatever works that is not I created the illness.

Do you have any troubling thoughts that you need to break up with? Maybe it is time to kick them to the curb.

We have abused ourselves long enough!

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Rubber Ducks and Healing

I heard a great story recently. It was on the show “Touch” starring Kiefer Sutherland. It goes like this…
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In 1992, a shipping container fell over on its way from China to the U.S. releasing 29,000 rubber ducks into the Pacific ocean. Since then the rubber ducks have been found in Hawaii, Alaska, S. America, Australia and traveling inside the Arctic ice. 2,000 got caught in the North Pacific gyre, a vortex of currents moving between Japan, Alaska, the Pacific NW and the Aleutian Islands. Items caught in the gyre are usually doomed to stay in the gyre, but not always. Their path can be altered by the weather, a storm at sea, a chance encounter with a pod of whales… 20 years after the rubber ducks were lost at sea, they are still arriving at beaches around the world and the number of ducks in the gyre are decreasing, which means it is possible to break free. Even after years of circling the same waters, it is possible to find a way to shore.

This story gives me hope that I can heal some day. That after years of circling the waters of ill health, pain, fatigue, viruses, and all that, that I can break free and make my way to the beach of wellness. That there is a chair waiting in the sand with an umbrella drink and friends to welcome me to the land of health.

It is possible to break free… I have to believe that!

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