How Archery Saved My Life

I’ve been MIA on here lately. A big part of that is my depression, being busy, and being overwhelmed that it’s been so long since I last posted. I think I got it in my head that every post needed to be perfect. That blogs have to be done just so. But then it wouldn’t ​be mine. My life isn’t just so. So I’m back. Hopefully consistently. 

My life isn’t just so. A lot of people with chronic illness and especially those who got it later in life have a very hard time coming to terms with life not turning out even slightly as one thought it would. Archery saved my life.  Not in the terms of keeping me from killing myself or dying, those belong to my dog, husband and children in that order over the years. But growing up I did everything. My parents are active people, we went camping, fishing, hiking, swimming. We did it. Growing up then as a teen even more was added by doing new things and things with friends: backpacking, mountain biking, snowboarding, 4 wheeling, mudding, dirt biking, horseback riding, road trips, volleyball, softball, canoeing, tubing, white water rafting. I’ve done so much. And I won’t regret it. But realizing slowly over the years that those things that I loved, that in a way defined me was hurting me that night, the next day, when I finally stopped…. Then the pain set in. 

I gained weight. I let my migraines, back problems and fibro tell me I couldn’t, can’t, do that anymore. I tried to fill it with other things but I felt empty. I felt defeated. All I could do was walk my kids to the park or drive them and that’s it. I wouldn’t be the mom who got to show them the world. Show them all the amazing things that I got to do. Then my dad showed me his recurve bow. We started talking about Archery. He tried to show me as a kid, but at the time I preferred my dolls and dress up. In trying to find out how to fill my emptiness I had delved into my ancestry and heritage. I found so much strength from my ancestors, the knowledge that they survived far worse because they were strong, because they were Vikings and being strong was their only option. So I had this fascination with the traditional and when he pulled out a traditional self bow (a type of long bow) and said “here, this should be a good weight for you, let’s try” I had to try. And I was okay at it! I felt connected. Connected to my ancestors and heritage. Connected to my past active self. Connected to my father (that’s a story I’m not ready to tell yet). 

Archery uses muscles but doesn’t pound the body. Mild exercise is good for fibromyalgia. Using those shoulder and “angel wing” muscles is good support and strengthening for the neck muscles causing migraines. I feel powerful. I feel beautiful (except when my dad takes pictures, his timing always makes me look terrible). When we do shoots, the hikes are fairly easy. And I never have to tell people I need a rest because we stop at every target! Because my parents have accepted my fibro, they understand if I can’t go up and back to retrieve the arrows. If I’m feeling good them I do, if I’m getting worn out I wait at the shooting stake. If Brent can’t join us, then Papa will pack Findlay around…………. IF Findlay allows it. If not I pack him, or mum will. Or we switch off holding bows and baby between shots!
Then with camping my mum helps with the meals and clean up. Everyone helps with the boys. At the Western States Traditional Rendezvous, Findlay wasn’t feeling well and would not sleep despite everything I tried. I hear mum outside my tent “can we take him for a drive?” My parents drive around for 5 hours so I could stay with the other two and get some sleep because they know my body won’t function if I don’t get some rest when I push it for these weekends. My body still gets mad at me for pushing it, but not to the point where my family tells me I’m done doing that (like mudding, snowboarding, dirt biking, horseback riding etc)
 

I don’t hit everything. But I’m getting better. Mostly though, I’ve found something that makes me feel normal, feel alive, feel like I’ve got a tiny bit of me still.

What makes you feel normal, empowered, beautiful, alive? I’d love to hear in the comments. 

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Dear Insurance Company…

Dear Insurance Company.

All I’m asking for is a real pain management program and treatment.

I’m not asking to be a druggie. I’m not asking for much.

I have tried all those medications for depression that you think will help the pain.

I have tried every supplement that doctors, health coaches, other patients, supplement companies and random people have recommended.

I have tried so many varying diets that are supposed to help pain, migraines and inflammation.

I have tried every over the counter medication that might possibly work….. multiple times. So many times that ibuprofen under 800mg and any acetaminophen don’t work at all, that even Aleve and aspirin now cause GI upset.

I do stretching and yoga.

I do meditation.

I do Acupuncture and Physical Therapy.

I push my body beyond what is practical and beneficial simply so I can lead as normal of a life as possible.

I ask you to tell your children they can’t turn on lights or open the blinds in the house because you have a migraine….again.

Tell your children they can’t go outside because you can’t have the windows open to listen to them or sit out with them because it’s too cold and too bright.

Tell your children you can’t walk 5 blocks to the park because your back hurts too much.

Tell your children you can’t tickle them because it hurts you too much.

Tell your children they can’t talk or make noise because of your migraine.

Tell your 7 yr old child to watch his 1 year old little brother because if you stand up you’ll throw up from pain.

Tell your children they can’t hug you or sit on your lap for story time because it hurts too much.

Tell your children you can’t take them to indoor play places because the noise and fluorescent lighting triggers migraines (if you don’t already have one).

Tell your children they can’t invite friends over because their friends are too noisy because they weren’t raised with a migraine parent.

Do your children under 7 years old know how to completely load and unload the dishwasher, do laundry start to finish or make themselves breakfast and lunch because standing causes your feet to lose feeling and makes you lightheaded from the pain?

On your good day, try not to feel like a terrible parent when your child get exuberantly happy because you are making “real breakfast!”

Stop treating me like I’m a drug seeker. My pain won’t ever go away. Never. It’s called permanent chronic pain because it’s always there. Always. I don’t want to be so medicated I can’t enjoy my children’s moments and childhood. I just need the pain managed to I can be their mom. So I can be the wife who is a partner to my husband. So I can help take care of my failing grandmother instead of her taking care of me because I’m worse off. So I can be me. I’m not asking to climb mountains. To run marathons. Just manage day to day pain without saying no to almost everything. Without crying myself to sleep because my body hurts… if I can sleep.Thanks,

Me 

Fearing the future

Days like today make me fear the future. Haven’t had a bad migraine in about a week, just little ones that meds easy took care of, then today a L9 migraine with all the symptoms except vomiting. If the migraine itself wasn’t bad enough it triggered a fibro flare. Every inch of my body hurts on a level that I can’t even describe. Then because the weather won’t decide what it’s doing my arthritis is flaring. My fear comes from older people telling me it only gets worse. How am I going to be a good wife, mother, friend, family member if the pain gets worse? Today just to survive I took migraine and pain medication 3 times. Just so I could function on a minimum level, not function well, not even hide it, just get out of bed and do what I had to. 
But then a small part of me says you will get used to it. You’ve gotten used to the daily migraines and fibro enough that most people don’t even know. I’ll get used to it. Such is life and then you die.

What doesn’t kill us makes us wish it had

July really just hasn’t been the best month. Mostly it’s been recovery or it’s supposed to be recovery. Yet….. Really it hasn’t been. I started the month out with that fun but non vacation- vacation to California.

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Great grandma, cousins, fair, bow shoot, 13+ hrs car travel with kids, non vacation-vacation

Then birthdays and a sprained back because I’m special like that! Yep. When I overdo it, my body says that’s enough, if I keep overdoing it my body says “I said “bloody fing stop! Or I’ll make you!” and it made me.  Continue reading

Dream Cream?

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“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. ”

Dealing with Chronic Pain, I am ALWAYS looking for whatever pain cream, essential oil blend, supplement or whatever natural alternative I can incorporate into my daily life to mitigate the use of heavy medications. Right now I’m fighting with the insurance company because they don’t want to pay for my Norco prescription because they don’t think I need to be on it (bleepity bleep bleep bleep) and the don’t have record that I’m trying non-opioid pain relief options. Ugh. My doctor knows full well everything I try which is why she’s willing to let me take my low dose of Norco without complaint. Anyways. Off my mini rant. Basically where I was going with that was when I was given the opportunity to try a new pain cream I jumped all over it!!!! YES PLEASE! Especially during these busy summer months.

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With back to back Archery events between when I signed up for the review and when I received the product, I had completely forgotten about it. With fibro, you have to keep moving, sometimes and almost especially when you least want to. Imagine my delighted surprise when I very very slowly and painfully waddled my way down to the mailbox and found a package waiting for me! Continue reading

Combining Events – Saving Spoons

Birthdays and family days like Father’s day are important to our family, but no so much so that they require grandiose dinners, parties and each to their own special date.

Father’s day comes about a week earlier than Kellan’s bday, which comes 4 days before my husband’s. We combine them. This saves a lot of spoons.

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Continue reading