About the Blog

The symptoms of Fibromyalgia and many other chronic illnesses are debilitating; impacting on our work and play, our relationships and community, and even our sense of self. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 2004 and didn’t think I was going to be able to continue to work at the job I loved and I questioned whether my husband, family, colleagues, or friends could continue to care about me because I felt like damaged goods. It felt like the me that I had always known was lost and I needed to figure out who I was and regain my self-esteem. I felt like the puzzle pieces of my life had fallen apart and I didn’t know how to put them back together because so many of the pieces had been destroyed or changed their shape.

Chronic illnesses are physical in nature and most everything written is about how to managing symptoms either medically or through life-style changes. Developing a chronic illness, however, also does a number on our emotions and our thinking. On this blog I will share how I dealt with the painful emotions and resolved the psychological issues that have, along with physical management, led me to a sense of wellness and a new normal. And of course chronic means forever and life continues to change so I will my share my current struggles and successes.

I am currently leading a very good life and want to share how I got here and my current journey, my struggles and successes. Although FM seemed to have taken over my life in the beginning, now it is only one small part of who I am. Every day is a new day, some good and some not so good, but I am living life fully through my relationships, travel, photography and writing. I am experiencing a lot of joy and what you to be a part of it.

Thanks for visiting and I hope what you find here will touch you in a positive way. If I spark an idea within you, I hope you will share your comments, thoughts and reflections with me. 

Cheers!

Pat

7/8/2013 Update:

I have been blogging for a year and have noticed a delightful shift in the focus of my blogging. I am not as interested in writing about dealing with a chronic illness but instead love sharing how I see the world through my reflections – recorded in photography and writing. I have healed emotionally so that chronic illness is no longer central, instead I find great joy in touching the lives of people through what my mind can produce as I interact with the world around me.

41 Comments »

  1. Dear Pat, I am so glad you have started this blog, and I look forward to following your journey through these posts. I, too, know that there are some life changes that you cannot have any control over, and that it is painful but possible to evolve to a new normal. Blessings to you on this journey; I’m right there with you, my friend. Love to Jim and the rest of your fam. Jill

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  2. Pat, This blog will be a blessing to many who suffer, thank you for sharing your journey. I look forward to reading your posts. Bonnie

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    • Thank you so much, Bonnie. I really like what I am writing – probably because it is very authentic. I worry that others won’t appreciate my journey as much. But then, maybe I just need to write for me and a few others who enjoy it. It is definately making me happy.

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  3. Pat and Bonnie, two of my favorite profs from Spring Arbor University. I am so glad I was able to stumble upon your blog! Pat, you courage and words are an inspiration to many and I continue to look forward to reading more of your story. You’re such a blessing!

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    • Hi Sarah,
      I read your blog on epilepsy and can identify. I am so happy that you are finding that you can have a life and be in control. I am always in awe of runners because it is not one of the gifts I received. I have a wierd bone structure in my feet that makes them vulnerable to damage.
      I thought your give-away idea absolutely brilliant. What a way to build followers – although I would have joined without any incentive at all – just knowing you.
      Pat

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  4. I read your blog and wanted to tear up because I miss me too. I am 33 and have been dealing with FM for over a year now. It took forever to finally be diagnosed with the condition. I cant work or really have the life I had before. I have 2 kids and it hurts because I cant do things with them that a normal mother would be able to such as go for walks and play outside. I enjoyed reading your blog. Feels good to know that there are people out there who really understand what you are going through. 🙂

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    • Thank you for the kind words. I cried for you this morning – maybe my tears will heal you a little. I suggest you read my posts under Year One as I have shared the issues I grappled with. In fact, just last night I was thinking that I haven’t added anything to that in a while. Your comment is my motivation. I’ll be thinking about you.

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    • Awe thanks. I did have my ups and downs but I fought for life during the entire time. The problem was that I didn’t know what life would look like when I found it. 😀 Happy to say that life is really good for me right now. Thank you for the inspiring comment.

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  5. Hello Pat, I came to your blog by way of Gary from SwittersB’s. Really enjoyed what I have read so far and look forward to reading more. Your pictures of St John’s pulled at my heartstrings. Although I live in New England now, I lived for close to 25 years in Canada. (many of them in northern Ontario and one in BC). I was also a social worker for many years and came home to take care of my mom full-time in 2009. She recently passed away peacefully, in my arms and now I too am trying to find a place for myself in a world that feels vastly different from the one I left behind when I became her full time caregiver. I applaud the triumph of your spirit and thank you for the inspiration. Beth

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  6. Thank you for your kind words and especially for sharing a little about yourself. I’m sorry about your mom – losing a mom is really difficult no matter what the circumstances. I think there is an emptiness in the world that can never be filled, no matter how full our life is. It sounds like Canada may be pulling you back. You sound very resilient so it will be exciting to see where you end up – or who you will be when you grow up. That is my favorite line. 🙂 Blessed by you, Beth.

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  7. Hi Pat! I must confess that your amazing story brought a tear to my eye. Your’s is a story of bravery, perseverance, and a deep love of life. It’s wonderful that you have such a loving and support husband (family). Keep fighting, Pat, and keep a sense of humor about it all. Thanks for inspiring me to never take anything for granted, especially our health and the people we love.

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    • What a wonderful message to wake up to this morning. Thank you so much. My wonderful husband and my sense of humor were both very important to my “healing” process. My honey and I love to laugh together – and we have learned that life can be very precarious so we don’t take anything for granted. I have a beautiful life now and it is enriched by the people I have met blogging – like you.

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    • Hi Georgia. I was just going through some messages looking for one that I wanted to respond to and found yours. Thank you so much – I accept with a humble spirit. And it is on my agenda to pass it on.

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  8. Thanks for checking out my blog! I am 27 but have had a debilitating chronic nerve pain condition in my knees for about 5 years now, so I can relate. Thank you for doing this blog ❤

    –Love and Liberation–

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    • Your welcome. Nerve pain can be really uncomfortable and irritating. I hope you have been able to find some things that help. Thanks for joining my blog and I hope that my photos bring some pleasure and that I am able to touch our life with my more serious posts.

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  9. Our conditions aren’t our identies. Bravo! for your attitude and perserverance … and continued success, Pat.

    I have been dealing with a potentially life-threatening issue since 1999 (many ups and downs, but mostly ups in the end), so I appreciate how FM can effect your self-esteem/self-image, as you say. Last year I was declared: chronic and stable. Might not sound like it, but that’s a victory. New normal: exactly. Get it. Get on with it.

    Blogging is wonderful therapy, no? 🙂

    Be as well as you can. Be totally happy and at peace.
    Nice to meet you. (Thank you, Naomi.)
    Warmest regards,
    Jamie

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    • I am really happy for you, and I understand how being stable is really good news. I have learned what to do to keep myself as functional as I can be and am at peace with it. When I have a flare I get a little surly but it doesn’t last long. 🙂 Blogging is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time – especially as a place to post photos and tell stories. Love it!

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  10. It is certainly good to see you have maybe come through an extremely challenging battle with a debilitating condition, Pat. Brava, I say, Brava! Your contributions to the world are all the more meaningful and powerful as a result.

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    • Thank you for the affirming comment. It took me a very long time to be willing to acknowledge that some good has come out of this journey. In fact, this is the first time that I have put these words in print. The words you used are of truth – my contributions are more meaningful and powerful, even though living with the defects in my brain and body can make life stinky sometimes. I am grateful for your articulate use of words that led to this healing moment; I’m happy our paths crossed.

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  11. Pat, I am blown away by your photos. We publish a seasonal magazine called HOMEFRONT and I would love to use a photo or two to accompany a spring story about Hidden lake gardens. I would certainly give you credit and publish your link. I can send you an actual copy of the magazine if you send me your address or you can see it online at homefronttecumseh.com. Beautiful work!!! thank you , Suzanne Hayes

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