Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

Fibromyalgia

May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! Not a lot of people know about it, and there are a few research studies on it compared to other conditions. I haven’t encountered any NGO or organization that specifically spreads information about it here in the Philippines. As such, in the spirit of  ~celebration~ and advocacy, I will list down some facts facts + my coping practices 🙂

Fibromyalgia Fast-Facts 

  • It is a chronic, non-progressive disorder that manifests through musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, memory, sleep, and mood issues
  • There are a lot of co-morbid disorders that may come along with it including irritable bowel syndrome, depression, TMJ, and migraine
  • Causes are not exactly known although researchers have pointed out these factors :
    • Genetics
    • Physical or emotional trauma
    • Infections
  • Symptoms may vary from patient to patient. These include:
    • Widespread pain
    • Hyperalgesia or extreme sensitivity to pain
    • Allodynia or triggering of pain response to usually/commonly not a painful stimuli
    • Stiffness
    • Fatigue
    • Fibro-fog or memory issues
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Currently, there is no cure for it. What doctors primarily do is to manage the symptoms for patients to live life as less painful as possible.
  • In the Philippines, it is also referred to as soft-tissue rheumatism.

Self-Care Practices

  • Avoid any triggers. I know fibro flares can sometimes spark without reason (hardyharhar, the human body is a mystery) but I notice that when I expose myself to some things, my chances of having flares go higher. And so, if I have the ability to avoid them altogether, I do.
  • Always have to-do lists. My memory has been especially affected by the cognitive issues fibromyalgia causes. To manage this, I learned to write to-do lists everyday so the chances of forgetting/not getting a thing done is slimmer.
  • Rest, rest, rest after a hectic day…or half-day. My family and friends know that I cannot go out and do a lot of activities like normal, healthy people can. So, after a hectic day, they let me retreat to my room and relax my aching body.
  • EXERCISE. My physiatrist prescribed a list of exercises I can do to combat the stiffness and aching of my muscles. I cycle four and do some stretching four to five times a week.
  • Use walking device when needed. I used to feel bad about having a cane and a walker but now, I understand that I need them when my body feels too weak to walk. No more self-pity.

Hope this post helps!


Resources:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017, May 02). Fibromyalgia. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/dxc-20317796

NHS. (n.d.). Fibromyalgia – Symptoms. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

SY, D. G. (n.d.). Fibromyalgia (Soft-tissue rheumatism). Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/news/library-health-news/1366-fibromyalgia-soft-tissue-rheumatism

On Death and Will to Live

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Someone asked me days ago if I am afraid of dying and where my will to live comes from. Here’s my answer:

When I was 11, I told a close friend what I want for my funeral: no black and white clothes, some flowers, cremation, and to be buried under a tree. To my young self, my demise is a celebration.

I still hold the same wishes and belief today.

There is a different kind of peace and acceptance when I finally acknowledged that I am more vulnerable to death than others. After being on the brink for the nth time last January, I have conditioned myself to end everyday in a good way. I never know when my illnesses will strike me hardest.

I guess this is where part of my ‘strength’ comes from , the knowing that everything is finite and every morning I wake up is some kind of miracle itself. I’d like to think it made me see life in a new light that not even my bipolar disorder can affect. Since death is inevitable (for everyone, actually. It is the great equalizer of men.), I decided to live as purposefully as possible without taking it too seriously.

Until the last day of the some kind of miracle happens, I’ll keep on loving and moving. I only have the present. When God decides it is time, I will accept wholeheartedly. It has been a wonderful life.

The Kind of Teacher I Want to be

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It’s a new term at my university. I am currently adjusting to the workload and /mountain/ of requirements. In fact, for one of my subjects, I am required to record all of my reflections on an e-journal. As such, I created a new wordpress dedicated on theories of learning and education.

For my first post, one of the prompts given is the kind of teacher I envision to be after graduating my course. In summary, I wrote how it is not “possible” for me to be a “teacher” in the first place.

Want to know my explanation? Visit my journal at this site: kabibengdagatlearns.wordpress.com 🙂

Prenuptial Shoot: Valenzuela-Singzon

Last week was pretty hectic because I organized, styled, shot, and post-processed my first prenup shoot for my cousin and his bride. As expected, I had to rest for days after the shooting day (Hello, Fibro flare!) but every effort and energy was worth it. Seeing how my family loved the photos made it even more precious.

The chosen theme by my future cousin-in-law was summer garden-inspired. She sent me pegs from Pinterest and let me translate the theme in their own context. Luckily, she liked my ideas. Major thanks for her trust and belief!

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See the whole set on their website here.