5 Reasons I Quit Taking My RA & Fibromyalgia Medication

I get this question asked a lot “why don’t you take your meds?” they ask if there is medication for your diagnosis why aren’t you utilizing it? Honestly, I’ve always been someone to take up on a challenge, but this is not the reason I quit taking my meds. Some days my meds helped me and some days it caused me to feel much worse than I already was. I just got tired of taking so many meds a day and being so isolated life just felt numb to me and no reason to live in it. So I got the courage 4 years ago to grab all my meds and toss them for good! Here are 5 reasons why;

 

  1. Steroids- I started taking prednisone at 14 and even though it made me feel better it was still covering up the root cause. It caused me to gain so much weight, I hated it. It was a temporary fix, I was tired of the temporary.
  2. Consistency-  I was prescribed a lot of meds that were both for cancer and autoimmune diseases so my hair will grow to fall out. If I caught a cold or the flu I would have to stop the meds until it passed. For some reason all the side effects of the meds that only show in a few people, I was always that few! So doctors’ were always switching my meds trying new things.
  3. Sleepiness- It’s already tough being a mother, it’s so much harder when you can’t even stay awake. I would be so out of it and by the time I would wake up the sun was down and the day escaped me. So, how did I keep a job? Caffeine! it was my BFF I drunk about 10 cups a day just to get me by, but I would only end up sicker than I was because caffeine is a big trigger when I’m having a flare-up. There was nothing I could do because my body became so immune to the meds so quickly they would have to bump it up to a higher dosage.
  4. Addiction- I became addicted to Xanax, I found myself popping pills when I wasn’t even having anxiety just because they made me feel a little alive. I could smile on days I really didn’t have it in me. I drank a lot because it made me numb and in that moment took me away from that person I hated most (Sick Shawna).
  5. Family- I was missing out on family, I avoided family gatherings because I would be so nervous of questions (Wow, Shawna you gained weight or Wow, you have gotten so skinny) yea…yea.. if only you knew my struggles. I couldn’t stand loud noises and I didn’t want them to see me have an anxiety attack because I was afraid to be around a big crowd. I just go tired of explaining myself.

I got tired of living this way, and I couldn’t stand another day of it. So I prayed to God…well more liked screamed, hollered and sobbed. I said enough is enough, I won’t continue to live my life this way and gave myself away to God so he could use me. That’s when I tried my first Daniel fast, started detoxing and doing so much research. God started to overflow my mind with things that needed to be done and they work for me. Some days get tough but I press on because God is greater than my illness. See my illness had me bound on the verge to committing suicide and ending it all but God said otherwise. I feel so free and full of life, this is my why. I have now found my purpose in life. I wasn’t created to be sick my whole life, but to find God and fulfill the purpose he created me for.  I was just a person that the medication didn’t work out for. I’m just glad to be medication free and living life with a purpose.

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Chronic Illness: The Hardest Thing to Deal with Growing Up

The hardest thing to deal with growing up with chronic pain was doctor’s telling me it was all in my head. Try telling a child to just relax because I was just stressing. Excuse me, doctor what could I be stressing about I’m 14 years old. He started thinking of ways, “Maybe, did someone die in the family?” I just laughed as my mother just shook her head.

He thought I was there to seek attention because I wasn’t getting enough at home. Give me a break, we don’t choose to be sick. I felt like he was putting me in a box because I was young like young people don’t get ill. Sickness has no age. This doctor had so much evidence and he still couldn’t think outside the box. One thing he could do was prescribe me with tons of medicine.

I never once got sent to a specialist because they wanted to experiment on me themselves. What finally got them to wonder about me was that I could barely walk from door to door and couldn’t stand up straight. By the time they wanted to do something my flare was over for that moment after a long 8 months. It wasn’t in my head, our invisible illnesses aren’t real until they become visible to most but to us they are visible on the first day.

I am so glad that young children don’t have to go through this, they have great doctors now who care so much for the child’s well-being. It’s never easy missing out on school and fun activities because your body can’t handle it. One thing for sure it’s always good to know that someone cares.

Have a Bless Day!

Always Shawna

Suicidal Thoughts with a Chronic Illness

I want to start this off by saying this; you never know what is going on in the life of someone from young to old that may cause them to take their life. Please never judge a book by its cover. My heart goes out to any and everyone who has lost someone due to suicide. Let’s take the time to listen and really hear them and understand them because not one single person is perfect. #showlove

Living with a chronic illness is rough it takes a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. All you want to do is get better and live a normal life. It’s hard when people look at you and decide for themselves that your not sick because they can not see it. And once you hit a flare up and lose so much weight they diagnose you as being an addict or if you gain to much weight from steroids. We keep smiles on our faces to mask our pain but in the inside we hurt.

I remember driving along the highway a few times and thinking to myself, I should just drive onto the other side of the highway to just end it all. I was so tired of being in pain and having so many problems, I felt there was no reason to live if I couldn’t enjoy life. When you are in pain you don’t think about the people around you, sometimes you can’t your mind is tired and weary. Depression, anxiety, and pain weighs you down and kills your hope in life.Some days you cry and some days you don’t have any tears to cry. Chronic pain is and will never be easy to deal with, and we will all have our days, hang in there.

Suicidal thoughts come and go during a time when you are deeply unhappy with the situation you are in. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone, do something that makes you smile, most importantly try not to be alone. Even though during this time it may seem like you are all by yourself; remember you are not. God is always with you, to the ends of the earth.

Matthew 28:20

Always, Shawna

Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare

It has been so hard lately to get up and get to the computer and spill my brains out. My body has been taken over by fatigue for a few weeks now. November through January are always mu hardest months to get past. Rheumatoid Arthritis likes to have its way during these months every year for about 6 years now. Since I don’t take anything anymore for my illness I struggle. This too shall pass. Even though I’m not okay I will be okay because my positive out weighs my negative thoughts.

A week ago I noticed I developed another nodule on my right  pinky knuckle, man how annoying it is. I am just glad that I am becoming aware of when my arthritis acts up the most, so that I can prepare for it.

Since I am trying to battle a chronic illness without medicine it is important for me to listen to my body. If my body says sleep, I must sleep and to also up my iron and vitamin C. This is why I set up my Daniel fast starting Dec 1st it helps me get through these flare up months.

My message is to you today, is to make sure you keep a journal and learn your body. Take control of your chronic illness and stay on top of your symptoms so you can face them before they get bigger than you can handle.

Enjoy your day!

Shawna

Rest in Me My Love

You open your eyes after falling asleep maybe 3 hours ago, it’s time for the kids to go to school. You slowly move to get out of bed because your body aches, don’t let the weather be shifting outside or you may wake up stiff too. Your feet hit the floor and you say “Oh God, please help me”.

Most chronic pain sufferers start their day this way, it’s hard to have pain day after day. Having to be a regular on the doctors’ visit list. Having to take pain meds that mostly make you sleep and you miss out on daily living. Having tears drop and you hurry up and wipe them away because you don’t want your family to see the hurt inside.

This morning I, open my eyes and asked God for something encouraging to say to you all today. Something that you can hold on too, He whispered to me”Rest in Me, My Love”. When He said, my love, my heart sank, not just rest in me but, you are His love, the apple of His eye.

God loves us so much, never forget His love is never-failing. May He wrap you in His loving arms.

Blessings and Happy Wednesday 💜

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Devotion through Psalms #1

I was sitting on my bed, and decided to start a devotional journey. I am a young woman speaking from my heart, I will be writing whatever flows out. I will be doing a devotional through psalms,proverbs and job to start my journey and  finish 2016 and the ending of 2017.

Is the Grass Greener or Artificial? 

1. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth, he meditates day and night.

Psalms 1:1-2

Are your eyes focused on the people who have more money, bigger house, driving a fancy car, better marriage or maybe even better health than you? In Psalms 1:1 it says “Blessed is the man”… The man who walks in God’s word not gazing or making a wish list for something you’ve seen someone else have. But the man that is happy and content with where he is in his/her life and what God has currently blessed them with. Sometimes it can be difficult not to glance over at their grass wishing for better, but it would be hurtful to get there and realize everything was artificial.

Artificial because they didn’t use the necessary tools to grow their grass the right way. Instead, they took a different path; went to the store and bought their own grass to make it seem as if they took the time and effort to grow it. I say this because many of us are looking over at artificial grass it looks nice and green but it’s really dead underneath. No, fertilizer was ever planted just dirt covered up by material happiness.

 Our happiness comes from God during any situation we can dig into God’s word water ourselves and grow. Real happiness is deep down within, it can’t be covered with material things. We must take time and effort and patiently wait for our own grass to grow by meditating day and night on God’s word.

What makes you happy?

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Lazy Girl Green Juice

So this morning I was not feeling my best, but I still knew I needed to get my juice fix. I slowly walked into the kitchen dreading to chop up everything I wanted to blend.

So I decided since I, already had the green goodness and carrot juice why not just blend it together with some added spinach. What a great way to blend in less than a minute.

It taste the same but with a little extra jazz that the green goodness had. Great for on the go add spinach for extra dose of iron. 🙂

Lazy Girl Green Juice

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1 cup of Green Goodness

1 cup of Carrot Juice

2 handfuls of spinach ( less spinach if you don’t like pulp)

Makes enough for 2-3 cups

Enjoy!

xoxo Shawna

Faith During the Race of Chronic Illness

Chronic Illness can weigh you down and may be the biggest race you have to run in this life because it is long-lasting. Day after day we suffer from pain that disables us on the outside, but most importantly on the inside. Pain causing you to think differently, react differently and hope differently.

Think back to when you were feeling at your greatest in your body and the way it made you feel. We all want that back, but I wonder if it was meant to be. Not to be in pain forever no one wants that, but to be in a long enough season to reach certain people. People who are hurting just like us, who feel like all hope is lost.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2

We are here to sympathize with others going through similar situations and be of help to them. Even when we are weak ourselves there is still a work to be done. When others become weak and fatigue during this race, we will step in and give them hope and inspire them. Let them know you are not alone, but we are in this together.

Prayer for today:

Dear God, today I stand in the gap for those who are not able to even pray for themselves, the one’s who feel all hope is lost, the one’s who feel like you have turned your back on them. I pray that you give them strength to hold on to life and to press through this trying season. ” By His stripes, we are healed” and God I believe on your word. Being sick is never an easy burden to carry, you said you wouldn’t put more on us than we could bare. God heal the fatigue, confusion, muscle aches, hurting bones, headaches, stomach problems all of the infirmities that are not of you.  I put all of those illnesses on the cross today and leave them in your hands, In Jesus name.

Amen. 

Be helper one to another 🙂

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Things Doctors Say

Things Doctors said to Me!

I was thinking today about how it took a long time to be diagnosed when I, was always at the doctors. I just had a few laughs about what I was told growing up until now. I don’t knock doctors because they are still learning, new illnesses are coming up every day. They are doing their best.

My Timeline

4 years old, complained of pain in my left middle finger. Overnight my finger became deformed, it  would become stiff and ache a lot. My mom took me to the doctor, Doctor’s said ” Oh, we can break it and hope it grows back normal”

10 years old, complained of a large rash on the side of my face. I was fine when I went to sleep woke and I had some sort of burn on my face. Went to the doctor, Doctors said ” It’s just an allergic reaction, put this cream on”

13 years old, complaining of horrible knee pain. The knee pain was so bad I would have to sock it to try to get to the deep tissue. I would just cry it was such a horrible ache. I went to the doctor they took x-rays. Doctor said, ” Oh, wow you have the knees of an elderly woman” . Nothing was done.

14 years old-15 years old, complaining of pain all over body, fatigue, swollen wrist/ankles, stomach pain. I wish I had all the meds he had prescribed me within a matter of 3 months. It was crazy. I know for sure it was Celebrex, Tylenol 3, prednisone, and much more. Doctor said ” I believe you are just stressed out” 

16 years old complaining of anxiety, really bad stomach pain and only able to go to the bathroom once a week. Doctors saidYou just need to eat more prunes and take these suppositories” 

17 years old complaining of a rash that covered by whole entire back. Doctor said ” Yikes, I don’t know what that is.

19 years old caught a fever of 105.0 that lasted for a week. Was given IV antibiotics never helped, the fever went away on its own. Doctor said, ” I don’t know its just a mystery”. 

To make my timeline short from 20-21 years old I got the same old mess. Doctors telling me I needed bi-polar meds, sleeping meds, pain meds, and gave me a prescription to go talk to a psychiatrist. I only wanted them to see my pain was real.

I was finally labeled with Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Anemia.  I was not happy I had a  label on me, I am happy I can research and try to heal this nightmare. It’s been such a long road, I’m glad I am not making a detour toward healthy living.

Never Give up!

Goodnight, Shawna 

 

Goodbye High Heels

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Heels in Retirement

I was going to face this problem at some point in my journey. I just didn’t know when it was going to happen. I love my heels and I try to walk in them every chance an opportunity presents itself. I can’t take the pain anymore.

Rheumatoid Arthritis has taking over my feet and knees. I am now a flats,sandals and sneaker kinda girl. People tell me ” well, you can wear the one inch heels” I always laugh, no thank you I replied.If I can’t wear my three to five-inch heels then I just won’t wear none at all.

As women it is so hard to let are heels go as they are a part of our feminism. They spice up our look on a date night, at special occasions or just hitting the streets on day we are really feeling ourselves. So, I know it really hurts going shopping and you have to pass up those new heels that you have been wanting. But it’s okay, you can still dress fashionably without having to wear the best heels.

I am currently in search of dressy shoes that work for me. Nothing at all seems to help the bone on the side of my foot get relief. If I wear sandals, shoes, flats, put a cushion inside they still hurt. Most of the time when people see me I always have on nice thick socks(sometimes different colors), I carry them in my purse whenever I need to swap my shoes.

I wore these heels for the last time today at a wedding, I found myself searching for a place to sit. My knees felt as if they were rubbing bone against bone, a tear almost fell down. So, today I put them on my shoe shelf for retirement. They were good to me while it lasted.

RIP to my heels 😦

XOXO, Shawna