Category Archives: chronic illness

Human Barometer and yoga

I think that my new nickname should be Human Barometer. It doesn’t matter how good I’m feeling or moving when the changes in barometric pressure are dramatic.

It always starts in my ankles. They feel a little tight, but not tight enough for a support or anything. I’ve I’d been training, I usually chalk it up to that. Then my knees get sore. That makes me check the weather a little more closely. If I see rain in the forecast, I know what is on the way and get out the turmeric and Aleve.

Once my hip and spine stiffen and go from an ache to throbbing pain, it’s on. So much on. Right now I’m typing this in a recliner with my back, neck, and head firmly against the back of the chair, legs raised in a partial recline. It’s the only comfortable position at the moment. My ribs, elbows, wrists, and shoulders are feeling it now, too. Tropical Storm Cindy is not heading my way (be safe, y’all), but I feel it anyway. Rain is coming ad we’ve had some here in Charleston since Sunday night’s thunderstorm.

Weather-related pain flare aside, I will get in some yoga today. It is International Yoga Day after all. I recognize my current limits and have a mix of workouts in my arsenal. I also know that I will always have a dog on my yoga mat if I step away.  16422838_10154381378520679_8437767875822278167_oFlexibility training helps make these bad days easier and make good days better.

Between yoga and walking, I am getting stronger physically. It just doesn’t feel like it on days like this. I’m trying not to fall into the pit that seems to open up whenever a flare is extended. Spoonies, you get me, right?

Happy Wednesday, Happy Solstice, and Happy International Yoga Day! May it be amazing!

It’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.    Send good thoughts to someone who deals with this.  If you don;t have it, imagine a daily migraine, but all over your body.  Or a horrible case of the flu.  Some days are better than others.  Some of us can work, others can’t.  The pain and fatigue can be debilitating.  And don’t get me started on the brain fog.

What’s your Fibro story?  My personal Fibro story began years before my diagnosis,  You’ve heard it before, so I won’t repeat it.  I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it by now.   Pain is my constant companion and I am incredibly thankful for a family who gets it for the most part.  The kids (adults now) know when I need the sleep and don’t necessarily see it as me taking a lazy day.  Hubs has taken over 95% of laundry duties because the bending and reaching tend to lead to pain spikes.

After my official diagnosis in 2016, I went into research mode; searching on and offline for resources that would help.  The National Fibromyalgia Association has been a weekly stop. The resources have been invaluable to me.   If you know someone with Fibro and don’t know much about it, this is a great place to start.

To my fellow spoonies, let’s raise our glasses to the doctors and researchers who get it and are looking for ways to make our lives better.  Cheers!

One week ago

This time last Saturday,  your friendly neighborhood Sherrie walked her first 5K.

The original plan was to walk/run, but the joints were not having it.

I arrived late and started after everyone was gone.  Adele was singing her heart out in my ears and I was near tears myself.   But I kept going.  Besides, Charleston needed to see me repping for #TeamVegan.  I had someone ask about my shirt and plant-based living, which is what I’d hoped.

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And this band was my mantra.  I was there to compete with the Sherrie from a few months ago.  The Sherrie who wouldn’t have pushed the crowd out of her head and just walked.

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But I did it!  Black Girls Run Charleston,  Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness community, Official Team Green, Vegan N3rd Squad,  and my Facebook fitness families and running clubs, thank you.  To my family,  thanks.   To Sherrie from a few months ago,  see what you did?  We’ve got this!

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On to the next one!

 

 

Healing by any means

No, this is not another ‘no longer vegan,’ posts.  It’s just a commentary on trying work around meds and supplements that aren’t exactly veg-friendly. 

It’s a struggle,  y’all.  Not sticking to my way of eating, but trying to find vegan supplements and meds.  I’ve found many that work, but not all are veg-friendly.   Does it make me less compassionate?   No.  It means I’m one of the many dealing with this.

If you choose to judge me based on this mindset, so be it. Step into  body on a high pain day(well, week)  and talk to me afterward.  I’m doing what needs to be done while I find the optimal balance.

Does it mean veg-friendly instead of certified vegan supplements?   If the veg-friendly products work best, yes.  Does it mean dealing with meds that have no vegan alternative?   Yes, unfortunately.   Does it make me sad?  Yes.

I need to keep it together while on the journey.   On days like today, that means healing by any means necessary.

Handmade beauty with Beauty by Shea

You know how people tell you that many commercial health and beauty products are bad for you and how we should go more natural?  What they don’t tell you is how expensive it is to go more natural.  Sticker shock is a killer!  But once you get over the shock you hit Google and Pinterest.  Once you hit Google and Pinterest, you find recipes for the health and beauty items you need.  And sometimes you realize that you have most of the ingredients on hand.  Then you go into the kitchen and blend, giggling all the while.   Sometimes you share these handmade products with friends and family.

That’s my story.  I drifted away from handmade a little, but learning more about Fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities sent me back into the kitchen.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and skin cream.  The family doesn’t always share my enthusiasm for my handmade concoctions, but the addition of Shea Butter to the skin cream recipes brings them around.

Beauty by Shea photo.
Beauty by Shea photo.

I regularly make my own foot cream and muscle rubs with essential and coconut oils, but the family wasn’t fond of the coconut oil base.  Adding Shea Butter seems to do the trick.  It thickens the base and the products leave no oily or sticky residue when applied.  I had the chance to try Beauty By Shea’s Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter and jumped on it.  This was not my first purchase of raw Shea Butter so I knew what to expect.  My package arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed from the jump. Real, unrefined Shea Butter is firm-textured at room temperature, has a creamy ivory color, and a faint fragrance on its own that blends perfectly with any added fragrance.

I use it straight up on my elbows and knees to help soften the rough skin. Just a touch is all you need. For my hands, I use a 60/40 blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil without added fragrance as a nightly hand cream.  In cold weather when my hands are particularly dry and cracked, nothing beats a 90/10 Shea/Coconut blend, especially when its still warm and has a hint of added fragrance. I reach for essential oils because I’m cutting out as much junk such as artificial fragrance as possible.

This is the start of something wonderful.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
This is the start of something wonderful. Sherrie Thompson photo.

When I need to pick up more Shea Butter, Beauty By Shea is where I’ll shop.  The 1 pound bricks regularly sell for $19, but right now are on sale for $11!  That is an unreal deal!  I may order another bag now so I’ll have it on hand through cooler months and for holiday gifts.

Do you make your own household or beauty products?  What are your favorites?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Painsomnia is real

It’s a little after 2 am and I’m wide awake.   I don’t want to be.  It’s nothing new, really,  because insomnia is my frenemy.  What is fairly new is pain-induced insomnia.   Thanks to fellow spoonies, I now know that painsomnia is real and unfortunately common.

So, what do I do when painsomnia strikes?  It depends.   Tonight I’ve played around on Instagram and Facebook.   Sometimes I work if I have a deadline around the corner.   If I’m still awake in an hour, I’ll go pack lunches for the family.   Or not.  The thought of the 5 am alarm going off while I stare at the ceiling is a downer.

I’m going to meditate for a while in corpse pose and hope I can drift off.  If not, I’ll see you later.

Do you get insomnia?   How do you cope?

 

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.
See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.