It’s a life sucking chronic condition that makes you wish you could teleport right out of your body.

noun: fibromyalgia
a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized area.
Those who have it (mostly diagnosed in women) usually push through their days, plaster a smile on their face and figure out how to patiently deal with something that makes you feel like you’re going crazy at times.
According to WebMD, symptoms of this condition include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic headaches
  • Dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat
  • Inability to concentrate (called “fibro fog”)
  • Incontinence
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
  • Stiffness

(I think they forgot to add:  SEVERE pain!)  😦

There are currently drugs out there (albeit pricey co-pays) which can help alleviate some of the nerve pain. Hopefully (soon) these pharmaceutical companies will take pity and drop these outrageous prices so the average American is able to afford some comfort.

In the meantime exercise, healthy diet, and a good working support system are keys to dealing. If you are able……

You can read more about individualized stories here to help you better understand what these people go through (daily) when trying to live out a normal day.

Shop Therapy

Am pretty psyched about developing my new wardrobe.  Am seeking to present a more professional (and at times “fun”) side of myself.


I tend to come off as unapproachable if am not smiling.  This has been a problem since I can remember.


The curse of the introvert!

Shop therapy helps me at least (and probably a few of the ladies out there) deal with current stress.  Yeah, I know it’s not the panacea cure-all but it does help.  KNOWING that I am trying to better myself professionally and slowly changing my habitual ways will get me off my duff and hopefully into a better mindset.


According to the following article: Retail Therapy, 1 in 3 stressed Americans shop when stressed. Guess am included in that number. (Uh-oh):



Forget meditation and yoga: For many stressed-out Americans, the best remedy for a stressful day at work or the sting of a painful breakup is the smell of brand-new clothing, the feel of a silk dress and the sound of a credit card being swiped. If you turn to retail therapy in times of anxiety, you’re not alone — according to a recent survey, nearly one in three recently stressed Americans (which accounts for 91 percent of the general population) shops to deal with stress.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey — an online poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by the Huffington Post — found that women were twice as likely as men to use retail therapy as a way to cope with stress (40 percent vs. 19 percent). And in turn, men were more than twice as likely as women (34 percent vs. 16 percent) to say that they had never shopped out of stress and would never consider doing so in the future.

But gender aside, there is one trait many “stress-shoppers” have in common: They tend to seek distracting, temporary fixes to alleviate their stress. HuffPost’s survey found that those who shop to deal with anxiety (versus those who do not) were also…

  • 46 percent more likely to exercise to cope with stress
  • 86 percent more likely to eat to cope with stress
  • 76 percent more likely to worry about their weight

In other words, the stress-shoppers are also “stress-eaters” and “stress-exercisers.” Those who used retail therapy tend toward the “flight” side of fight vs. flight, distancing themselves from the stress with an unrelated activity rather than facing it head-on. In contrast, the respondents who said they never shop to deal with stress were more likely to cope by finding the root of their anxiety and confronting it.

And yet stress-shopping is still an appealing coping mechanism — and it helps that it’s super convenient. Many of us shop online using our iPads, laptops and even cell phones. “It was so easy to lose track of how much I was spending,” Darleen Meier, a self-described “Gilt addict,” told HuffPost Women in 2011. “At the high point, I was getting boxes delivered to my doorstep every single day of the week. It was time to stage an intervention.”


(read more here)

One of my favorite online shopping outlets is Zulily.

Of course, the best thing is to shop when NOT stressed, and when your pocketbook can handle it.  If you are trying to create a new look, or update your wardrobe, do it a piece at a time and always ensure your most important bills that canNOT wait (mortgage, car note, insurance, utilities etc) are taken care of 1st.                           😉


Shopping Bags Show Retail Store and Buying

Fighting Chronic Fibromyalgia Fatigue

imagesSome people think this is a “woman’s disease however men, in general, will not report such conditions to their doctor whenever they do visit.

This type of malady can be debilitating.

According to WebMD:

If you have fibromyalgia and work outside the home, on the days when fatigue slams down on you like a lead blanket, how do you cope? This kind of fatigue isn’t just about being tired because you didn’t sleep well the night before, says a community member — it’s like being starved of food or oxygen. Another says that the fatigue of fibromyalgia is often more difficult to deal with than the pain.

So what do you do? How do you get out of bed when you don’t really have a choice?

Several people say they have found some relief by taking regular doses of vitamin D, which they feel gives them more energy. “Be sure to ask your doctor to check out your vitamin D level,” urges one. One woman suggests also having your doctor check your iron levels at the same time. “Being low on iron can definitely make your butt drag,” she says. “I felt the same way you are feeling and no amount of vitamins or caffeine or anything helped me. Once I was given meds to fix my low iron I pepped up.” Many people suggest the strategy of building rest into your day. “A one-hour nap is usually helpful,” says one man. A woman notes, “On my days where I am completely exhausted, I give myself permission to go to bed at 8 p.m. and leave the chores for another day.” (Sounds like a wonderful idea. Vitamin D does work and when those of us who’ve reached middle age, finding some kind of therapeutic remedy is a m.u.s.t.!)

Others confess they haven’t really found any reasonable solutions for combating the fatigue, other than “a mind thing.” “It’s either do this, or not have a house and be homeless. Not something I want to do,” says one woman.

Other community members have tried complementary approaches, like acupuncture and chiropractic, to help manage their fatigue and get more sleep. “It saved my life. I could only stay awake for about 3 hours during the day and I’d have to take a 2-hour nap,” says one man. “I’m self-employed, so that was a blessing in one regard, but I don’t make money unless I’m working so it was also very frightening.” He suggests looking for an acupuncturist who also does electromagnetic therapy, which might facilitate some coverage by health insurance.

Nearly as bad as the physical fatigue is the mental fatigue, say many people. (True) One woman reports that she’s resorted to taking down notes of her conversations. Another woman is relieved to learn from other community members that not being able to comprehend what she’s just read doesn’t mean she’s losing her mind — instead, it’s “just another symptom of fibro.”

Those of us who work, fighting this fatigue indeed is a daily battle.  There are times I wish I could simply curl up in a ball and stay in bed however, as was previously stated, even when am completely exhausted, down to the bone, I have to find that motivation…(and sometimes I need to dig waaaay deep) to get out of bed, start the day and get to work so I can pay my bills.  Lying in bed isn’t a luxury I can afford to keep.

I also wonder if all the synthetic foods we eat (it’s everywhere), livestock injections (i.e. hormones and antibiotics), processed foods (the list goes on and on) doesn’t add up and pollute our bodies? And while we’re at it since when did raising plants and animals in a clean “organic” environment get to be so freaking expensive???

If you think you may suffer from Fibro, please see your doctor. Listed below are the signs and symptoms of this chronic illness and should be addressed as soon as possible:

What Is Fatigue With Fibromyalgia?

Fatigue with fibromyalgia is described as crippling, exhausting, and flu-like. You may experience fatigue on arising, even after hours of bed rest. And many people with fibromyalgia have disturbances in deep-level or restful sleep, so the fatigue they feel is not easy to treat.

The fatigue with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) often coincides with mood disturbances, anxiety, or depression. People with fibromyalgia may describe their sleep as unrefreshing or light. Some people with fibromyalgia have pain and achiness around the joints in the neck, shoulder, back, and hips. This makes it even more difficult to sleep and worsens their daytime feelings of sleepiness and fatigue.

Experts theorize that there are similarities between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a condition primarily characterized by ongoing, debilitating fatigue. Often, people with fibromyalgia describe the fatigue they feel as “brain fatigue.” They report a total loss of energy and difficulty concentrating, a condition called “fibro fog.”

What Are the Other Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

In addition to chronic fatigue, symptoms of fibromyalgia may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Chronic headaches
  • Dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat
  • Inability to concentrate (called “fibro fog”)
  • Incontinence
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Painful trigger points
  • Poor circulation in hands and feet (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Stiffness

Fibromyalgia can cause signs and feelings similar to what people experience with osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. But unlike the localized pain with bursitis or tendinitis, the feelings of pain and stiffness with fibromyalgia are widespread.









The precipice

“No matter how you tell yourself
It’s what we all go through
Those lines are pretty hard to take
When they’re staring back at you
Oh, scared you’ll run out of time
When did the choices get so hard
With so much more at stake
Life gets mighty precious
When there’s less of it to waste” 
― Bonnie RaittNick of Time 

Oh how this hits home.  As our life progresses and we leave behind more memories and face less years of living ahead we all face a life changing quandary.   Was our life worth living? Did we accomplish everything we initially set out to do? What’s on your bucket list?
I feel my life has been above average. I’ve traveled, am well-educated, have loved and lost.  Faced heartache and unimaginable joy.  Now facing 45 I think about what lies ahead for me.  What tales will I tell? How will my life further unfold?
I think about what it means to be a woman facing this life-changing status.  The expectations of women in our age group have dramatically changed.  We are seen as being in the prime of our lives.  Well-educated, driven women of the 21st century.  We are in the prime of our lives.  We are (at least I would hope) financially independent and enjoying the well-deserved fruit of our labors.
All of us will at some point experience this inevitable mid life crisis of the heart and soul.  What we must be aware of is that whatever our thought process, we must come to terms over our life decisions and achievements.  Learn to age gracefully.

Losing weight after 40

imagesI have painfully realized  food is my enemy. I know that’s an unhealthy way of looking at it but my lack of willpower has caused me to become 6 pounds overweight for the Army. Yes, 6. I would love to have my daughter’s fast metabolism or be able to eat like my husband and barely gain a pound.  I am not as active I used to be.  While serving on active duty I was never overweight.  We “PT’d” every day in some units and every other day with others.  When I was stationed at Fort Huachuca we had weekly 5 mile runs with the training battalion and same while stationed in South Korea.

Once reaching my 40’s I quickly realized I needed to exercise more even if eating the same amount of calories.  Frustrating.

Pre-menopausal and menopausal women’s metabolisms slow down due to the aging process. Another frustrating factor besides the wrinkles, thinning skin, and irritability.

Prevention.com has a simple formula for women on how to effectively lose weight:

Determine How Many Calories You Need

Knowing your ideal goal aids weight loss

Your weight goal: ________
Multiply by: x 10 if you don’t exercise
at allx 13 if you rarely exercise
or only play the occasional weekend golf or tennis game

x 15 if you regularly exercise
(swim, walk, or jog) for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week

Total daily calories: ________


Healthy eating has to be a number one priority for both men and women.  Heart disease and diabetes runs on both sides of my family so it’s imperative I get off my bum and take a proactive stance on my health.

Everyone should!

Where is her justice?

I read Under the Abaya and Susie’s Big Adventure on a regular basis. One story which I must share is Lama’s. This 5 year old girl’s only “crime” was being female in an patriarchal society.  Half Egyptian and half Saudi this little girl had no real chance of a life in her father’s country.

lama-al-ghamdi(Courtesy of Susie’s Big Adveture)

Instead of enjoying dolls and cartoons she is dead at the hands of her “father”  Sheikh Fayhan Al Ghamdi.  She was beaten, raped, and tortured by the very man who should have protected this innocent soul.  Half of her head was smashed in, her anus torn and then burned to try and shut it, a fingernail pulled out and raped everywhere.

You can read more of her story here nonetheless this worthless piece of crap is literally getting away with murder due to the offer of blood money ($50,000 USD) and favoritism towards the male gender.  WHEN will the women and children of Saudi receive proper justice?  In a country which prides itself as the land of Haj it seems more of a land of lawlessness, hypocrisy and blasphemy.  Women are treated as property, second class citizens, their life worth half of a man’s. Thank GOD I live in the United States where my freedoms are not trampled upon. Though we Americans scoff at the credibility of our justice system, it is far better than what certain segments of Saudi’s population receives.

Lama 640x392_32860_249009
(Courtesy of Susie’s Big Adventure)’

WHY is it so hard to lose weight?

I tried this protein diet with my significant other and low and behold he lost weight and I did not. God bless him though because he was all good intentions.

I however remained the same and it seems the older one gets (as a woman) the harder it is to lose weight.  Gaining is never a problem. Willpower sometimes is but I have really tried to remain on the straight and narrow. Sadly though it seems my body has other plans for me.

I have read that men’s metabolisms run faster than woman’s…now aint that a b!tch…..

(As you can see am a bit frustrated at the moment)….

According to Weight Watchers:

Men Have Faster Metabolisms
Men are biologically programmed to have higher amounts of lean body mass, or muscle, than women. Lean body mass is the key factor that determines the rate of one’s metabolism, the body’s calorie-burning system. Since men have more muscle, their metabolisms are higher, and they burn more calories even when they’re resting, so the final result is a more rapid weight loss.

How much faster are men’s metabolisms than women’s? Research has found that on average the metabolism of a man is 5 to 10 percent higher than that of a woman of the same weight and height.

In the end it’s all about modifying one’s behavior…you know where your weaknesses are and you make the changes accordingly.

But that still doesn’t stop me from wishing I had the same ability to lose weight at the same rate as my partner!  🙂

Shopping for freedom

If I had the connections and the extra time a part of me would love to participate in such an organization as the Emancipation Network, which  rescues women from the sex trade.

Sarah Symons tells her story of how one film changed her life.

The Day My God Died  chronicles the story of several young girls who were rescued from this despicable act against women and humanity.  Sarah was so moved by what she saw she flew to Nepal after joining Friends of Maiti Nepal and experienced first hand the destruction against souls and bodies.  She also saw the tender care given to these unfortunate girls whose choices and control over their destinies were wiped away. They began to come out of their shells and celebrate life.

While there Sarah discovered these women had created colorful and poignant crafts and ultimately these began to quickly sell, profits going back to these women to restructure their lives.

Please visit Made By Survivors to learn more about what you can do to help women like those discussed in Redbook’s following article

Afghan Election

…through the eyes of a woman:

Though right now I think there are more pressing issues than simply getting out to vote in Afghanistan this definitely is a positive stride forward for these women who were severely oppressed by the Taliban but allot still needs to be done for these survivors of such a traumatic regime.

As Country Director Sweeta Noori states:

Sweeta said she has very little hope that Afghan women’s political participation will improve in the next few years. Although there may be changes to election procedures for the September 2010 parliamentary elections, it is likely that women will remain voting “puppets” whose ballots are stolen by male relatives and community members.

Until women are viewed as being equal in voice as a man’s there will still be long strides in giving women a better standard of living there and finding real representation.  It is no surprise that over 40% of Afghan women polled for the 2009 Stronger Women, Stronger Nations Afghanistan report feel that there is political corruption in their country.  If it’s apparent to us imagine how it is for the people who are forced to live in it????

I pray that the women of Afghanistan will have the safety and reassurance to freely go to women’s rights groups, and be heard, as is their God-given right.