Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The top ten ways parents know they're having Flare.

You know, besides the mind-blowing pain and moderate feelings of deathwishiness. 

Yes, another top-ten list.  I apologize, but I couldn't resist. Also, I'm having a flare! You wouldn't expect me to actually type an entire blog post with my sausage fingers would you? ; ) Hope you enjoy it!  Apologies for the men out there...  Hopefully you can still relate.  We are, after all, still in the same [life] boat!

1) You aren't quite sure if that shower was 2 days ago, or 5.

2) When you open the washing machine, you find a mildewed mess resembling clothing, and you have no idea how long its been in there.  You promptly close the lid.

4) You have been wearing the same sweatpants and Uggs (ok, whom am I kidding.. off brand Uggs) for 3 days, including work, and you don't care in the least.

woohooo! Bedtime!

5) When its finally time for bed, you find yourself singing joyful tunes like "Hallelujia!" or, even make up your own, for example, my go-to flare song is: "Won't you take me to, COMFY town? won't you take me to, COMFY tooown!" (You know, as opposed to "Funky.")

6) 1 hour later, you're still awake, and you have no inclinations toward singing, whatsoever.

7) Your first thought upon waking is simple "NO!!.  Now that I think about it, that meeting with the company president at 9 isn't that important. Screw it. SNORE"

8) Your children are surviving on Spaghettios, ramen, and (if its a good[er]) day, macaroni-and-cheese.  (As if anyone actually had the energy to BOIL. Please.); Your husband is scouring the kitchen like a ravenous dog.

9) You find yourself realistically considering if its really necessary to brush your teeth. or eat.  or actually move for that matter.

10) Your dream evening involves 9 things: a heating pad, a Snuggie, a 200mg Celebrex, and 6 pillows.

One week ago I was wearing heels and make-up to work, sewing, playing piano, keeping my home clean, occasionally forgetting to take my medication, and feeling pretty darn good.  Now I am pretty sure I got hit by a truck while I was sleeping, and they forgot to leave a note.

I was just informed there is no #3.
3) You can't form coherent sentences, and have lost the ability to count to 3. ; )

Want to tweet this?Just copy and paste! Top 10 ways moms know they're having a flare! @potomacfallsmom #spoonie #fibromyalgia #mecfs

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to follow me by entering your email in the upper left-hand corner of the blog, where it says "follow by email"

Got kids? Check out my new childrens book on Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia!

Tags: Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Autoimmune Disease, MCTD, UCTD, Connective tissue, Spoonies, chronic pain, CFS. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Announcement! Follow me @potomacfallsmom on twitter

Hello everyone!

Just an announcement today; I set up a twitter account for the blog, PotomacFallsMom

Follow me for 140 character bits of PFM laughs, news, and info.

Thank you!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Top Ten things only people Autoimmune Disease or Fibromyalgia will understand

1) When you wake up in the morning, you feel more like a dizzy 2x4 than a human being

2) "Jump out of bed" =  lol

3) You are Psychic : You know when it's going to rain or snow before the weather channel

4) At least once, a sick spouse or friend has said to you "well at least you're USED to this! I feel awful!"
We get used to it now?!

5) At least one medical professional has advised you that all you need to do is "get more sleep and excercise'" to feel better. HA!!  Bonus if you have been informed that its "all in your head".

6) Whenever you see a Lyrica commercial, you can't help laughing the ridiculous  "amazing results" they promise.

Lyrica Commercial that is a tad more honest about the horrible side effects.  They still don't mention that the benefits only last about a month for most people.  }:o(


7) When you are able to speak in full, complete sentences with no grammatical or vocabulary errors, and maybe even some wit or humour thrown in, you stop and think "wow, did I just say that?! woohoo!!"

8) You can't drink an alcoholic beverage without falling asleep within 10 minutes

9) The first 3 hours of the day are still technically called 'waking up'

10) You understand what is important in life; the little joys, the small successes... like going to the store without feeling like you're going to pass out, wearing high heels without pain, or having just one pain-free hour in a week.

Thank you SO much for reading; I hope I made you smile at least once =D

Please follow me! You can enter your email in the upper left-hand corner of the blog, where it says "follow by email", Or follow me on Facebook

Got kids? Check out my new childrens book on Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia!

Want to Tweet this? Just copy and paste!: 
Top 10 things only spoonies would understand. #spoonie #mecfs #fibromyalgia #chronicpain @potomacfallsmom

**Check out my new blog especially for parents with chronic illness:, and my childrens book on chronic pain, Fibromyalgia and Autoimmune Disease: "Why Does Mommy Hurt?" 

wishing joyful and pain-free days to all!
~The PFM

Tags: fibro, chronic pain, spoonies, hope, fatigue, lupus, autoimmune, connective tissue disease, funny, top 10, top ten list

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How having a son has oh-so-beautifully blown my mind; and how I got the cool new bling.

Jimmy and Me.
Photo credit: Becky Gardner Photography

Today, at Monkey Joes in Sterling, VA, my son melted my heart for the 8 millionth time.  After slowly accruing 90 tickets by smashing weasles and playing toddler basketball, we walked to the prize counter.  I fully expected him to pick out a car, tattoos, or stickers.  I did not expect him to point to a box, turn to me, and say "Mommy, do you want a wing"?
My Princess Diana ring, from my 3.5 year old son, Jimmy.  I will not be taking this off. 

 I will start at the beginning.

On a particularly awful mothers day, a day in which I was at one of the lowest points of my health, he came into my bedroom where I was lying down, unable to will myself out of bed.  Wearing his pajama top, diaper and little-boy dress up shoes (he must've scrounged around for them in his closet), he said "Mommy, will you marry me? I put on my wedding shoes".  Important Note: He did not know it was Mothers Day.  He was 2 years old.  I began to cry, and he naturally hugged me, not knowing what was the matter.  He took my hand and said "come with me, Princess".  He led me down the stairs, holding my hand the entire way, and saying "come with me, Princess!".  I have never felt more like royalty in my entire life.  Such was the beginning of the special relationship between mother and son, that my own mother revealed to me the day she learned the gender of my then 18-week old fetus.

Raising my son has been the most difficult experience of my life.  He broke all of my joyful assumptions about having a baby.  #1:  My beautiful and spiritual "natural" childbirth lasted 22 hours; after 15 of the most excructiatingly painful hours of my life, a place in which I actually felt the presence of death, I watched in literal horror as each and every item on my meticulously developed birth plan was broken.  He was born in "fetal distress", gray and lifeless.  Though, when I saw the human form emerge from my body,  a joy and love equal to the horror I had just experienced erupted in my soul.  I cried so intensely from the feeling that the doctors and nurses assumed I was crying from pain or fear for my son.  I didn't care to correct them; this was between me; the swollen and bloody wreck of a woman in the bed, and the gray, lifeless child, yards away from me surrounded by medical personnel.  He recovered quickly, though, thank God.  My arms burned for him, and unthinking, I began screaming for him.  My husband, desperate after our shared experience, grabbed him from a nurse (he was fine at that point, "they just needed to weigh him" [please!!]), and finally placed him on my breast.  Our eyes met, and what can only be described in my Italian Grandfathers words, our "simpatico" came to life.

Joyful assumption #2: Aren't newborns supposed to cuddle? My son required, very loud, very fast electronic dance music, as well as very intense, very exhausting dance moves (by mommy, duh.  Infants can't dance), in order to go to sleep.  For the first 3 months of life.  And people wondered how I lost the baby weight.  Well, I'd gladly have kept it!

But I'll stop there with the "crushed" dreams; what parents ideals and daydreams aren't shattered with the realities of having a child?  The truth is that our dreams never come close to the depth of pure joy that DOES come with parenthood.

My son, Jimmy, is now 3.5 years old.  Every day, he does something that brings more joy to my soul than I could've ever dreamed of (kinda like how delivering him brought more pain to my body than I thought remotely possible). It's like this; children take your pea-sized world of emotion and experience, and blow it up to the size of the Moon.

Jimmy brings me flowers... and jewelry!
Jimmy kisses my nose, my hands, and my forehead.
Jimmy tells me I'm pretty
Jimmy tells me that he likes my dress, or my shoes, or my nail polish.
Jimmy calls me his "Princess."
Jimmy folds laundry, and he enjoys it. 
Jimmy blows my mind every. single. day.

Jimmy is my knight in shining, blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked, curly-haired, armor.  His laugh is my opium.  His face is my sunshine.  His hug is my hearth.

Photo credit: Becky Gardner Photography

What's next for us?  Hopefully a baby girl one of these days!... but wouldn't mind another boy ; )

Thanks for reading! 
Follow me by entering your email in the upper left-hand corner of the blog, where it says "follow by email"

Got kids? Check out my new childrens book on Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia!

Becky Gardner Photography