Category Archives: For Wordpress

…With a little help from my friends

Happy New Year, everyone! I have now been blogging since August, 2014 and I’ve met so many amazing people along this writing road. These individuals have taught me, inspired me so many times and in special ways, and they have become my friends.

Friendship and community were something I least expected from blogging, a venture I assumed would be one of solitude, but it has shown to be incredibly interactive and instructing to me because of all of you. It has been much too long since I have thanked my fellow blogger friends appropriately, so I’m going to finally accept an award that was generously given many months ago. Please check out the blogs below and follow them. [Full disclosure] I don’t spend a great deal of time each day reading blogs, so trust me when I say that they are well worth your valuable time.

Earlier this year, the hot steamy Migraineur blogger at took a day off from giving advice on how to stay freaky and fabulous with chronic pain to award my blog with the Encouraging Thunder Award! Thanks girlfriend!

Encouraging Thunder is a spell that grants the gift of thunder and protection for bloggers so they can master their true purpose. It was created by Raymond, founder of

[Cue foggy mist, no… not brain fog.]

And so, I now bestow the Gift of Thunder onto these wizards of the written word. May they be empowered to express themselves freely and truly, with magic of the pen… and the computer…and spellcheck…as their’s is the only voice like it in the world. 

FindingoutFibro: My best blogging buddy (BBB), Jess, is a young woman sharing her life with multiple debilitating chronic conditions. In this article, Distraction Therapy, also published with Axis Dance Company, Jess shares the free, creative methods she employs to help her cope with her disorders. Jess has a broad range of knowledge on many aspects of health she shares through her blog, and is a passionate advocate for ableism and women’s issues.

IamChronicallyWell: Also known as “Chronic Nicole” discusses Selena Gomez’s recent Lupus diagnosis, and how the media has treated her, in comparison to how most people with chronic illness feel when they are newly diagnosed in Celebrities are Just like us part 2. On a regular basis, Nicole practices tongue-and-cheek writing so well that she should have a disclosure for readers with weak bladder conditions. Just sayin…

TheGadAboutTown: Mark shares his research of culture, literature and history, seen through the lens of his own witty, charming perspective. It was difficult to decide which of his posts to share with you, as they are always excellent. In this post, For Your Eyes, he asks the timely and wise question, “how much of our lives should we expose to the public?”

LifeinSlowMotionBlog: Both a chronic pain patient and professional counselor, this blogger shares what pain is teaching her. She asks the kind of questions that keep us up at night, the ones that no one else around us understand, she asks and explores through a compassionate and spiritual heart. In this post, How to Find Online Support when you have Chronic Pain, she guides readers to the best places on the internet to find caring support groups.

JustPlainOlVic: Vic, is a true family man, a father, and a husband. But beneath the surface of “Plain ‘Ol Vic,” you learn he is carer to a wife with Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Pain. Each day in his journal-style blog, he shares his life balancing work, raising his children, and being the support he has vowed to be for his spouse. In this heartfelt post, he shares a life lesson his grandmother taught him, and how it applies to his life today. [If you are on the flip side of a carer like Vic, I urge you to follow his blog.]

LivingwithObstacles: My best online friend, Julie began blogging this past year just after a heart attack induced by the effects of her 16 year battle with CRPS/RSD changed her life, yet again. On her blog, she writes about family, teen addiction, motherhood, chronic pain, loss of career, and how to rebuild on broken ground. Julie is a true warrior, and she has fought and won more battles than Archie Moore (most career knockouts in boxing).

KathleenBurkinshaw: is a blogger, mother, wife, chronic pain patient, and soon-to-be author of her first book! Her posts are like cracks of her soul shining right through the screen into yours. In this beautiful piece back in March, Unconditionally, she shares the meaning of real unconditional love, after losing 2 close family members. Stay tuned for Kathleen’s writing career to skyrocket, and you can say, you knew her when…

SublimeMercies:  Charlotte Issyvoo makes a wheelchair and cane look downright en vogue! She is not only a chronic pain blogger, she photo-documents her vintage ensembles, is a passionate advocate for child abuse, and she shares her feelings on women’s rights among other topics she is always well-versed in. Here, in one of her latest posts, she shows us how to bring the best of 1970’s fashion to our wardrobe using pieces we already have. Move over Ferra!

TheSickDiva: One of my closest friends, Jenny, an RSD blogger, shares her struggles with chronic pain and the health system. No matter how severe her pain is, she leaves you with a message of hope, love of family, and keeping God first. Her latest post on her experience with the medication, Lyrica, will make you think differently about your own medications: How Vanity Saved Me.

Mary Jane Gonzales is a long time author and advocate in the chronic pain community. Find her on Facebook uplifting people in pain, sharing research, new blogs, poetry and hope for the weary on In the Blink of an Eye. Also, check out her brand new poetry share group, Poetic Hearts for a supportive community of creative writers and those who appreciate original poetry.

Escharae writes about her personal path through Multiple Sclerosis as a woman, student, and young passionate person working through the questions of life and illness all at once. On her page, you’ll find compelling videos of neuroscience advances, infographics of health related issues, and personal accounts of her own life. Find out more about how her journey with MS begins here on her MSanniversary blog post, and where it has brought her thus far.


To every single reader and fellow blogger who drops by, follows along on Bloglovin’, WordPress, Twitter, or by email, spends your very valuable time reading and showing your love, thank you so much! I feel truly humbled. Wishing you a happier, healthier new year ahead.


How Years 16-22 Changed my Life at 28

“What’s with all of the appreciation? Isn’t pain and illness miserable…aren’t you suffering every day and lonely in bed? Don’t you hate that the world is spinning without you?” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of pity party time over the years. Plenty of my own misery that I’ve crawled into. I still do from time to time. But, I have more gratitude now that is helping me along more these days. Why? How?

I was living my life, being an over-achiever, free-spirit, planner, optimist, perfectionist, social butterfly, spontaneous young person (yes all of those things at once). And boom: gimpy girl, doctors are your new BFF’s, your plans are a joke, and spontaneity is only reserved for your malfunctioning body. Adult life had just begun. The pieces had just fallen into place when they shattered apart so suddenly. I had so much fear about the future. Between all of the doctors ensuring me what a dim future I would have added to the horror stories I would read online, plus my own excruciating pain- equaled a young person very ill equipped to emotionally handle the fallout.

In the beginning, when I happened upon my first story of a child going through the same thing I was, I couldn’t help but draw strength from it. Knowing a child was in so much terrible pain every day, and still going to school and trying to walk or play- had me reconsider my own desperation. In all the times I was so ready to give up, there were definitely moments I would look up stories of children with the same pain disorder and remind myself that they don’t even realize they can check out. They just have to be strong- so they are. Because I’m in the same fight, I should also be strong beside them. Maybe you think it’s perverse, but it helped me. It helps me.

[One note: Others’ suffering does not negate one’s own trials and battles in life. Hopefully though, it can help us gain better perspective. We still must face our own pain intimately. A million other people in pain does not lessen my own struggle or yours. I just want to clarify that is not what I’m saying.]

It wasn’t until more recently, a few years ago when a myriad of other conditions floated my way, including a nasty one called POTS that changed my thoughts even more-so…

Even though I personally became chronically ill at 22 and then bedbound at 28, it is very common for young women of 16 to get POTS, unfortunately. There are teen girls at home and in hospitals all over the world hardly able to stand or sit up wondering what kind of future they will have. These young women are my heroes. Not only have they been teaching me how to better manage my condition using food, technology, and lifestyle choices, they also teach me through their attitudes. They keep pushing, keep trying, and they never give up hope.

When my POTS began something clicked for me. Even though my POTS entered my life with so many other conditions and more pain, making me more debilitated than ever, I’ve felt less grief for all I’m missing out on in life. It opened my eyes to how much I had done from 16 to 22 when my first chronic illness set in. In those 6 years, I finished high school, worked several jobs, had been in love, traveled the entire country, I learned how to do so many things with my hands, I used my body to go on many exciting adventures, and made amazing memories with my friends. I found the love of my life, lived independently, got married, bought a house, started college, and got the opportunity to spend quality time with my family.

For a very long time, I looked back at my life and memories and thought it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t even look at a old pictures without the memories crushing my heart- so I didn’t. It was like losing a loved one; losing myself. But if I can appreciate from 16 to 22, then I can appreciate all of it. What about the children whose illness inhibits their freedoms in life from a very young age? It changes the way I look back. Now I can look back at my memories and pictures and say, “Wow, I’m so blessed! God really allowed me to do so much!” Instead of, “I wish life could be as good as it used to be.”

Being thankful changes everything. Focusing on gratitude takes work though. And I have to avoid that which spirals me into my darkness. If you are toward the beginning of your journey, I don’t believe that mourning the loss of your life is negative. It’s an appropriate response and grieving is a valuable part of the illness journey. It has just taken me a long time to get here, and I have required a great deal of grace to find my way. Blessings to you on your own path.


“And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” -Psalm 77:10-12


Thank you to Mitzi Sato-Wiuff at Aurora Wings on Etsy for allowing her very special original Skull Image to be featured here. Please go check out her shops linked below and purchase one of her awesome prints or instant downloads as a gift for the holidays!


WordPress Blog Prompt: Salad Days. Looking Back.

Salad Days

Writing Challenges in November

November is buzzing with creativity among writers, bloggers, and in social media sharing as well; I wanted to take a beat to discuss some of the exciting projects I know to be converging in the writing community this month.

“NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month is currently taking place. Creative individuals have been preparing ahead, and now the task is at hand to write an entire book in one month! Can you imagine the focus?! If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, or have done it in years past, please comment and let us know what it was like for you. I can’t even focus on this sentence right– wait what?

This November, many writers who blog are taking on the challenge to post an entry every single day of the month. To keep up daily interesting content with images, links, and maintain visitor interaction is quite a commitment for most bloggers. But it is a challenge meant to stretch and strengthen. Many bloggers are doing their best work right now, so please support your favorite bloggers this month (but seriously, don’t leave me… I have abandonment issues.)

Gratitude writing challenges are popular with writers as well as on social media to celebrate Thanksgiving. Throughout November, you will likely see more articles and posts from your friends about being thankful. I support anything that increases one’s ability to look more deeply at the good in others. Do you believe gratitude challenges create more overall gratitude year ‘round? Are you participating in a grateful challenge this year?

In my social networking community and blogroll, November is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/RSD Awareness Month. Many of my Chronic Pain friends are taking part in daily photo challenges, sharing daily facts/infografics about CRPS on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, and sharing stories about their journeys.

On this page, for November I’ll be sharing stories of survivors as always. This month there will be a focus on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as I’ve been an advocate for this disease for about 10 years and awareness is important since it isn’t rare, yet there isn’t enough general knowledge or research being done for treatments. All of the CRPS stories shared during this month will be linked under the new category RSD/CRPS in my categories dropdown section. Even though I am raising awareness for one illness in particular this month, I hope you will find the overall messages will be encouraging and inspiring. I know there are other important events in November like: Cancer Awareness Month (MoVember), Epilepsy Awareness, Alzheimer’s Awareness, and National Caregiver’s Awareness Month as well as others that writers will be educating us on this month.

(PS, MoVember is my favorite awareness month because I’m a big fan of facial hair– on men. Not lady facial hair. Not judging or anything…)

Sugar Stache MoVember 2014  Soda Bomb Apparel Cancer Awareness Shirt. "Writing Challenges in November" #blogging #writing #nanowrimo #CRPS #awareness

Sugar Stache MoVember T-Shirt | Proceeds to Cancer Research | Soda Bomb Apparel

Whether you are a writer, a patient advocate, showing your gratitude this month, or trying to educate others on something you care about, I wish you: Passion, Growth, Gratitude, and Perseverance.


If you are participating in a writing challenge or an artistic group project this month that I did not mention, please do share in the comments section! 

Sharing My Secrets with The Gad About Town

One of my favorite bloggers nominated me for a Liebster Award, an honor presented by fellow writers in the blogging community! Mark at The Gad About Town is one of my faves because he dishes an ample serving of humor with informative entries. He just sneaks the good stuff right in while you are smirking about something he said (Oh, that’s so The Gad!). I always feel inspired and challenged to be a better writer after visiting his page. I’ve been blogging for almost 2 months now, so this is exciting; thank you to The Gad About Town!

Liebster Award| Sharing my Secrets with The Gad About Town

Liebster Award

These uplifting and brand new pages are my nominees. They have fresh and unique perspectives, so please check them out! Congratulations to: FindingOutFibro, IamChronicallyWell, DatelessNCarolina, TheOptimisticCynicABipolarJourney. (roll over to learn more)

Now for 11 Secrets about me:

  1. I’ve kept all of my teeny bopper heartthrob magazine clippings from my adolescence.
  2. Incurable or not, I fully believe I’ll be well one day!
  3. Sunsets make me cry.
  4. In the fall, I always imagine a hill of multicolor trees is a quilt for a giant.
  5. I’m convinced that my hair’s curly factor is based on how happy I am.
  6. I still think of myself as a dancer even though my ballet days are LONG gone!
  7. I find a big nose to be handsome on a man.
  8. I’m afraid I might have a Pinterest addiction.
  9. My hair has been every “natural” color. Now it’s curious to try the pastels!!!
  10. I believe people are most beautiful when they are being vulnerable.
  11. Eleven is my lucky number.

Questions I was asked by The Gad About Town:

  1. What’s the best piece of advice on writing you’ve received?

It seems unromantic, however: “Use transitions” is a point one of my first writing professors drove home. Personally, I recommend every writer print out a list of transitions to start swapping out words like “but,” “and,” or “then.” When I acclimated to utilizing transitions, I felt my writing was elevated and smoother.

  1. How often do you write or work on writing (e.g. researching)?

Even if I’m just planning my next entry inside of my brain, I feel as though I am writing. Therefore, every day.

  1. Are you an atheist, agnostic, a believer or something else?

The way the question is worded is a bit exclusive, however, I believe in Christ’s teachings. I’ve always been a very spiritual person, and faith is a deep personal journey that looks very different for everyone.

  1. Do you think this affects your writing?

As far as this blog goes, I didn’t think it would. I don’t have a Christian blog by any means. However, just searching online for supplementary quotes have so often lead me to new spiritual connections I couldn’t ignore. Through this new blogging adventure, I’m learning more about my faith journey even when I haven’t set out to.

  1. What’s your favorite book?

Travels by Michael Crichton. It’s basically his memoir and travel journal from his time in medical school onward through his eclectic travels across the world. Sometimes I wonder if this book is the treasure I think it is, or might it be that I was reading it while road tripping all summer with friends who also loved Travels. Sometimes a book can be so much more than a book.

  1. Who is your favorite author?

Edgar Allan Poe: Since meeting when I was a child, it was love.

  1. What’s your favorite movie?

Oh no! Don’t ask me THAT question…Take This Waltz, Some Like it Hot, Mrs. Doubtfire, Romeo & Juliet, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Little Mermaid, Harold and Maude, Dial ‘M’ for Murder, (stop me or I’ll keep going!) Fight Club, The Notebook, Stepbrothers, American Beauty, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Antiviral, The Virgin Suicides, Metropolis. I’m not finished, but I’m stopping.

  1. How would you define creativity?

The hunger in one’s soul coming into the light.

  1. How long have you been on WordPress?

Since the end of August.

10. Do you write for a living?

No, but writing is helping me live. (See my About pg)

11. Who is the awesomest person you know (or know of), dead or alive?

Well, I definitely think Helen Keller was a rock star. She was basically in her own sensory deprivation chamber being deaf and blind, but went on to make speeches, write books, and had so many progressive opinions about the world far beyond disability issues. She didn’t even have a voice, yet millions of people listened to her message. Now SHE was awesome!

Questions for my nominees:

  1. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
  2. What is your chosen spiritual path/religion?
  3. Does it impact your writing? If yes, how?
  4. Describe the first time you realized your writing could influence/challenge others’ thinking?
  5. Who was a childhood hero of yours?
  6. Do you feel your writing is a form of artistic expression?
  7. What was your favorite childhood game?
  8. What is the most romantic thing you can think of?
  9. What is your favorite quote?
  10. How do you define creativity?
  11. What is the best writing advice you have ever received?


Instructions for presenting a Liebster Nomination:

Thank the blogger who nominated you

Post the Liebster Award image on the acceptance post and/or as a widget

Share any 11 facts/things about yourself

Answer the 11 questions given

Nominate bloggers with fewer than 200 followers

Compile 11 questions for your nominees

My Nomination

Be Honest… Time Travel

Changing the future only costs me one day less? Really…no takers?! Maybe I’m just having a dark day, but I feel I would sacrifice many days to go back and save the lives of friends I have lost if I would have only known in advance. I would stop people I have loved from getting physically hurt in accidents. I would say that last goodbye if I knew I couldn’t stop the inevitable…. Could I have stopped 9/11?? Probably not… But, I could have kept some people I knew at home on that day.

Also, my chronic illness began because of an accident when I was 22 (I could’ve been shopping instead). Would I go back and take the invite to go to the mall instead of doing laundry? Heck yes, I would!

Of all of the 100 bloggers who wrote on the same subject, I was shocked that so many (seemingly the majority) would not take advantage of this super power, if given the opportunity. Apparently, no one is willing to “waste” just one day to make a difference.

Back to reality now. I’m a Christian so I have chosen the path and struggle of faith that life IS in God’s hands. I must trust that all things work together for good for those who trust in Him according to His purpose and will. I’m not God and my intentions are certainly not very pure, so I’d probably just muck it all up anyway… Good thing I don’t have that power to change the future, I suppose.
I’m sorry, I got dark with this one. Now I know why Doctor Who is so melancholy. 


This was a Writing Prompt from WordPress. How about you? Would you accept the superpower of foresight if each time you used it you lost a day of your life?

Leg Warmers + Dyslexia = All Gain

“No Pain, No Gain” -Jane Fonda. My sister and I were Jane’s leg warmer partners in crime and side cramps. My sister’s journey with Dyslexia told a different story about pain and gaining.

As my mother would begin Jane Fonda’s warm up on the VHS, my sister and I would be changing into our bathing suits over tights, scrunching up Dad’s long socks (they came up taller and on us looked like those leg warmers worn on the video- we thought). We would get into mom’s blue eye shadow until it was more like forehead shadow. Our hair in HIGH side pony tails mimicking our favorite backup Fonda “fly girls,” we were finally ready to show these ladies how it’s done!

This was so common in our home that we wore out the Jane Fonda video tape. My mother always laughs at this memory of us, yet my sister and I take our Jane Fonda VERY seriously- so no laughing people! We were little girls then, but Fonda and her hotshot posse’ of long-legged sweat band sporting 80’s workout divas made tiny me and my little sissy feel extra fierce.

"Leg Warmers + Dyslexia = All Gain" A funny fabulous journey through overcoming learning disability. #Sparkle #dyslexia #bully #makeitwork #janefonda #fierce

Jane Fonda

Years later in school, my sweet little sister would not be feeling so fierce any more when she was the target of bullies. They called her: illiterate, moron, idiot, retarded, and more names I know she has buried deep and hopes to forget. She has a learning disability called Dyslexia. She is severely Dyslexic and she didn’t really catch onto reading until around the sixth grade. She thought reading would be her ticket to being “normal” and making friends. The better she could learn to read, the fewer panic attacks she would have when teachers would make her read aloud in front of class “for her own good.” And fewer tears she would cry because of nasty name-calling jerk wads.

She went through a whole lot of emotional pain on the playground, pain when she got any tests back, and pain in her bedroom alone after school- yes, she had pain… But my sister would tell you her GAIN had nothing to do with her pain. Her gain came from her time in drama class. She gained motivation to stay in school through High School performing arts programs. She gained trust back with her peers when she sang in the chorus. She gained confidence in herself when she was the lead in the school play. She gained independence when she put herself through college by winning talent competitions in scholarship pageants. She has represented organizations like Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic along with advocating for school arts programs as both made such an impact for her. And yes, in case you are wondering, the shy little girl who couldn’t read did graduate college. Boom shaka lacka. Hip roll Fonda!

She continues making gains every time she reads a word and each day she goes to work. She makes gains by proving her former teachers wrong, those bullies, those mean snotty classmates, tutors, and everyone who must have been so dumbstruck by her sparkle that they all acted like fools around her, I suppose.

It wasn’t in all the hardship that my lil’ sis found her fabulosity, it was in the moments like dancing in front of the television to Jane Fonda’s Workout video. Fonda fly girls for life xx.


This entry was in response to a Daily Prompt from WordPress’ Blogging site:

Do you agree with Jane Fonda’s favorite exercise motto, “no pain, no gain?” for photo

The Name’s The Thing

Very funny blog post from a woman who names inanimate objects- even body parts, after transplant.

Random Acts of Snark


Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.

First off if anyone says no then they are a liar… A LAIR… People name their cars all the time… by the way her name is Mary.

I’m all about alteration… for example, My first Kindle was named Kellan (after Kellan Lutz), my Lap is named Lydia… my new Kindle Fire has an odd name, “This Kindle is On Fire” (and every time I see it I’m singing Alisha Keys….) But I can go one further. For people who follow this blog know that I have had my fair share of health issues: Multiple Myeloma and two liver transplants… why did I bring that up, because I have even names my…

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10,000 Spoons, If Only! Why the Chronically Ill Love Spoons

Why do the chronically ill call ourselves “Spoonies?” Why do we give one another additional metaphorical spoons? And why had I JUST previous to typing this, posted an image of a boring old spoon to my Twitter feed? Answer: “The Spoon Theory.

In a WordPress blogging assignment, for fun we are asked to post an entry which expresses something ironic. Harkening back to Alanis Morissette’s song “Isn’t it Ironic,” they called the assignment “10,000 Spoons.” As a chronically ill individual, I found some irony in this, and I would be hard pressed if I did not represent here.

The Spoon Theory was an invention of a young Lupus sufferer named Christine Miserandino. When she was in college, she came up with a clever way to explain to her best friend how she managed her energy by shelling out one representative spoon at a time. Getting out of bed=Spoon. Mascara=Spoon. Putting on shoes=Spoon. Once the spoons were gone, her body was 100% DONE. And that’s how we with chronic illness roll. Her easy to swallow (hehehe, spoons…) explanation caught on quickly when it was published on and now it is an easy and popular way to explain chronic illness to friends and family.

“Saving spoons” is the best way to try to juggle things, but spoons go out like confetti when you are having a good time. So, we Spoonies crash and burn A LOT, don’t you know?

It’s like having 10,000 extra knives when all you need are those spoons, Alanis!

Find more Hammered Spoons and awareness jewelry at

A portion of your donation goes to the cause of your choice.

10,000 Spoons

A Complex Life

Living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Get More Resilient

Our resiliency has limits, but we can always become more resilient.

My Life: Beauty Love and Chaos

Blog, Poems and Short Stories by Becky Allen


Tea With Jennifer

Living Grace, one day at a time...reflections on life, love & laughter


Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!

Miss Diagnoses

Life with assorted ailments

Pain Management Specialist in San Diego & La Jolla

Pain Specialist treating Intractable Pain & Treatment Resistant Depression


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Survivors Blog Here

Keep Moving Forward

#OneGoodThing Daily

Surprising silver linings in caregiving, food, art, style, travel, and more!

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Writing, Sewing, Travel, and Thoughts

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Father Figure for Hire

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