Tag Archives: Health

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today marks the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Show your support in honor of those who lost their lives in the fight and are no longer with us. Honor those who survived in the fight for their lives that are living testimonies who have overcome and are still with us.

Support, embrace, and encourage warriors who have been diagnosed. They will need your love and support the most. Be there for them as they go through. Reassure them you’re in this together and together, you all will make it through.

Celebrate relatives and friends who have lost the fight as well as those who have survived. You are more than conquerors. You won. You are a breast cancer survivor.

Donate your time. Volunteer. Simply wear pink or a pink ribbon today and this month every day. Together we can make a difference in the lives of others today and every day.

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives (National Cancer Institute ). Get tested early with mammogram screenings for early prevention. Regular checkups will aid in early prevention that can save a life.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is not the end. Have faith. Surround yourself with the support of family and friends. You’re not alone. You’ll make it through. God is watching over you. God loves you.

Be blessed! -JD

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In Support of September Pain Awareness Month

In support of a cause I am truly passionate about for those who suffer with ongoing chronic pain, as a pain advocate, I decided to dedicate this post today to lend my voice in honor of September Pain Awareness Month.

Having lived with chronic pain for the past eleven years and being diagnosed with various conditions, I became an  advocate with various chronic pain association organizations to help raise awareness. Although my efforts are limited due to limitations and challenges I face, I do what I can when I can to make a difference.

When I became diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2009, with the help of my family,  the first step in my journey  as a pain advocate began with submission of my story “Joy” to the APF Action Network. The story can also be read at http://action.painfoundation.org/site/PageNavigator/Voices_of_Pain.

To raise awareness about the need for effective pain care in response to the American Pain Foundation’s  (APF) “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” campaign to SECURE A FIRST-EVER PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION OFFICIALLY NAMING EVERY SEPTEMBER NATIONAL PAIN AWARENESS MONTH, my family helped create this video “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” to share my voice as well as spread the word to bring awareness to what I believe is such an important issue in the lives of those who live with pain.

The video represents a poem of my message to PRESIDENT OBAMA of what MY WORLD WITH LESS PAIN would be like. It gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as I work to bring national awareness to the “hidden” epidemic of pain (APF) so that those who suffer with pain will have a right to effective care and treatment; because “pain” is not just an individual or local problem. It is a national healthcare crisis. It does not only affect pain sufferers but it affects families, friends, associates and anyone who is connected to its world. Even though it may not directly affect every individual, the physical, financial and emotional affects can be devastating to the pain sufferer and the families of those who will ultimately suffer. But with your help, we all can make a difference.

APF ceased operation last year and is no longer active, but I am still campaigning and fighting for a presidential proclamation.

Please join me in support of this cause and spread the word DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER or UNTIL A PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION IS SECURED by asking others to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or any other social media. Your support would be greatly appreciated! -JD

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From the desk of Karen Richards: Recap of Dr Oz Show on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Awareness SupportThis past Tuesday (July 23, 2013) the Dr. Oz Show featured a segment on fibromyalgia. If you missed it, you can watch the four-part video series watch the four-part video series on Dr. Oz’s Website. The title of the episode was “The Disease Doctors Miss Most: Fibromyalgia.” On television, the FM segment lasted for 30 minutes, including commercials, which is actually a pretty long segment for that show.

Personally, I had mixed feelings about the program. It accomplished three things very well.

First, they used the word “disease” for fibromyalgia which immediately gives it more credibility. Then Dr. Oz and his guests, Dr. Jennifer Caudle and Dr. Sean Mackey, made it clear that FM is a very real physical illness with serious, life-altering symptoms.

Dr. Oz did a good visual demonstration that explained how something in our brains causes the pain signals to be turned on high, which results in excruciating pain throughout our bodies. Hopefully this helps people who have loved ones with FM to have a better understanding of what they are experiencing.

They urged people who have the symptoms of FM not to allow their doctors to brush them off but to keep looking until they find a doctor who takes them seriously and tries to help them.

Three things in the program surprised me.

Although Dr. Oz mentioned very quickly in passing that there are three FDA-approved drugs for treating FM, he did not discuss or even name any of them; nor did any of the doctors mention using any kind of medication as a treatment option.

The only treatment option that was focused on at all was osteopathic manipulation, which is something we rarely hear about in relation to FM. They had a doctor there demonstrating this technique on an FM patient.

Dr. Oz asked Dr. Caudle whether fibromyalgia is life-threatening. She responded “yes” but then went on to clarify that FM is not deadly but it does severely affect our quality of life. (I wasn’t surprised that FM threatens our quality of life – just that she answered “yes” to the life-threatening question.)

There was one statement in the show that I disagree with. Dr. Oz stated that it takes an average of three doctor visits to get a proper diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In my experience, most of us would have been thrilled to get a diagnosis in just three doctor visits! Thankfully, most people are now getting diagnosed much faster than the seven years it took me, but I still often hear of it taking many months and even a couple of years to get an accurate diagnosis. Perhaps he meant visiting three different doctors, but that’s not what he said; he clearly said “it takes an average of three doctor visits to get a proper diagnosis.”

If you’ve had FM for awhile, you probably didn’t learn anything new from this program. And it certainly didn’t fulfill the promise in the promo that you would “Learn about the latest treatments and discoveries that could heal you.” From that aspect, it was disappointing.

All things considered, though, I think it was good show. The reason I say that is that the Dr. Oz Show is seen by millions of people and his words have great impact. (When he mentions a product, stores sell out overnight.) In that respect, I think we’ll see that the show went a long way to help increase the understanding and acceptance of fibromyalgia, which will ultimately benefit all of us.

Karen Richards via http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/162047/recap-show-fibromyalgia?ic=2602

Please share! Your support is greatly appreciated. -JD

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From the desk of Karen Richards: Dr. Oz Show About Fibromyalgia – Tuesday, July 23

Fibromyalgia Awareness

Fibromyalgia Awareness (Photo credit: Kindreds Page)

The Dr. Oz Show, scheduled to be broadcast this Tuesday, July 23, 2013, is going to feature information about fibromyalgia.

The title of the program is “The Disease Doctors Miss Most: Fibromyalgia” and the description of the episode says, “Are you always exhausted and in constant pain? Learn about the latest treatments and discoveries that could heal you.”

You can watch a brief promotion video of the show here: Dr. Oz promo http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/disease-doctors-miss-most-fibromyalgia

I have my DVR set up to record the show and I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say about fibromyalgia and potential treatments.

Karen Richards via http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/161946/dr-fibromyalgia-tuesday

Please share! -JD

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Listen To The Cry of A Silent Victim

I’m going off subject again today.
My mind’s scattered. Thoughts are all over the place.
I woke to some disturbing news the other day
And have not been able to sleep or shake it all week.
I tried to put it in the back of my mind, but something is not letting me.

It keeps surfacing in my thoughts so I must release it to clear my head.
Things like this cannot be left unsaid.

My heart is heavy laden.
An innocent teenager took his life the other day.
He sent a message on a well-known social media platform
Earlier that morning, that same day
No one paid attention.
All I could do was pray.

He posted a goodbye in the wee hours of the morning.
So it definitely was not a time during heavy traffic where it could not be noticed.
Sadly, there were many clicks on “likes” by his friends.
I’m confused. Why didn’t anyone see the warning signs then?

He seemed uneasy and restless. He blamed himself for the mess.
He apologized before whatever was planned by him to happen
Clearly during his time of distress.
He seemed unhappy, as tears welled in my eyes.
Then he ended the post and said goodbye.

My heart sank. Tears of sorrow filled my face as I cried.
It took all the strength I had to accept what I knew already happened. He died.
I know he either had parents or someone who cared about him
That could have been notified.
This child was clearly crying out for help before he took his life and died.

Social media has a massive process of notification for everything:
Mentions, promotional ads, retweets, even notice of ones who are trending.
Even more disturbing is how easy it is
For officials to track and catch potential culprits in a place like this.

But when it comes to things like this, sadly there’s no app for it.
Why isn’t there an alert to track key words of potential suicide victims?
Who may connect to lines to aid in suicide prevention?

My prayers are with this young man’s family.
My heart aches and is torn in pieces.
It hurts tremendously.
Words cannot express the sadness or pain I feel.
I pray for peace, comfort, strength; that his family may be healed.

While I cannot blame social media for the events that have occurred,
I can only hope that in the same way we use social media to spread the word.
Not only of events that matter most to us,
But place a greater significance on things such as this that should disturb us.

Not that we may find recognition or potential success.
But because it is imperative we find a way to take notice of things such as this.
In the hopes we may help save a life.
Assured it is not remiss but will help because of our sacrifice.

This child’s life may have been saved
Had someone taken responsibly and taken the time to carefully read his words
And took heed to his warning.
Instead of ignoring and acknowledging his effort by clicking “likes,”
When he silently cried out for help before ending his life.

Suicide is a serious issue oftentimes I feel we fail at recognizing; miserably.
We don’t take it seriously.
We ignore the warning signs after it’s too late.
If only someone will only listen to the cry of a silent victim before it is too late.

Let this be an example of what we can do
As a society to rightfully help potential suicide victims make it through,
In a platform that gets the most attention.
Use social media to your advantage, to get the right attention.

If we take heed to the warning signs when it comes to saving a life.
We can be the person that may help save a life.
Know that a cry out for help clearly calls for our attention.
Let social media not be just to gain potential followers,
But alert anyone that will listen.
Listen to the cry of a silent victim.

Thank you for listening. -JD

For more information on how you can help someone who may be suicidal on social media, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/Online.

God, I know you’re listening.
Please hear my prayers as I pray.
For the family and friends of those
that lost a loved one today.

Comfort them in their time of need.
Restore whatever strength they may have lost.
Help the family find peace.
Give them hope for tomorrow.
Assure them all is not lost.

God, I know the pain may be unbearable.
And it may be hard for them to overcome.
But I know you can and will help them get through this.
No matter how hard it may be for them. Let your will be done.

To be absent with the body is to be present with the Father.
Though, they will be sorely missed.
Bring the family to a place where they can receive joy in knowing this.
And understand they are in a better place and is no longer in pain.
They don’t have to cry another tear or feel sorrow ever again.

God may the family find rest in your arms.
Hold them safely in your hands.
Handle them with care.
Comfort them as only I know you can.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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Niagara Falls Lit Up for Fibromyalgia Awareness by Karen Lee Richards

By Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide Saturday, May 25, 2013

This year on the evening of May 12 – Awareness Day for several neuro-immune illnesses – Niagara Falls was lit up for 15 minutes each in the awareness colors of three of those illnesses: fibromyalgia, ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and multiple chemical sensitivities.

If you weren’t able to see that event live on the Niagara Falls Webcam, here are the still shots I was able to capture.

Purple for Fibromyalgia Awareness:

Blue for ME/CFS Awareness:

Green for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness:

It was exciting to see this national landmark, treasured by both the U.S. and Canada, boldly displaying our awareness colors.

Niagara Falls Lit Up for Fibromyalgia Awareness
(www.Healthcentral.com)

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Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is Sunday May 12, 2013!

I couldn’t help but step outside of my comfort zone of what I normally post and share a “Save The Date” post to acknowledge a cause I am very passionate about to bring awareness.

We all know that Sunday May 12th is Mother’s Day but what some may not be aware of is it is also Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

When I saw this photo taken from Fibromyalgia Awareness’s Facebook page, it struck me and its caption totally captured my full attention when I read these words, “Things are not as they seem. I may look great but right now even my hair & clothes hurt. Invisible, but Present.” I couldn’t help but share not only the photo but briefly share information regarding the day and the reason for the cause.

I took the liberty of posting an article we stumbled upon written by Karen Lee Richards, Co-founder of the National Fibromyalgia Assn. that I believe will be extremely helpful for those suffering with this condition. I also believe it will help to solidify my goal to promote awareness, attention, and involvement in light of this cause so that others may have the opportunity to participate in Awareness Day. Please see the excerpt I’ve included below from the following link: (http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/160652/fibromyalgia-awareness ).

“Whether you’re one individual person who wants to make your voice heard, a large group sponsoring a city-wide walk to raise funds for FM research, or anything in between, the NFMCPA can provide you with a FREE Fibromyalgia Awareness Day event kit to help you accomplish your goal. For more information or to order an event kit, visit the NFMCPA’s Awareness Day 2013 Web page.”

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a condition that is greatly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. It is complex and has numerous symptoms associated with the condition. Commonly referred to as an “invisible disability” largely due to a wide range of symptoms that are not easily detected on the surface, there are up to 10 million Americans who suffer with this condition http://www.fmaware.org/PageServerc145.html. I am one of them.

Although it is recognized around the world, it is commonly ignored and in most cases many patients do not receive proper treatment or support from medical professionals, family and/or friends. As such, I believe it is imperative we come together as a nation to take this seriously by increasing efforts to raise awareness in the hopes of finding a solution.

Too often doctors choose to ignore or recognize this as a valid condition and will not support the fact that it even exist. However, FMS affects people of all ages, race, and sex. And sadly, many are in so much pain they feel like getting out of their own skin they don’t want to be in.

There is a tremendous amount of physical and psychological strain where many have lost jobs and have become disabled as a result of it. There are some who will experience depression and social isolation. The impact it has on one’s life can bring hopelessness, despair, and devastation. But there is still hope. We can make a difference.

If you or anyone you know have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, please understand you are not alone. Nor is it all in your head or you are “imagining things” even when your symptoms don’t make sense. It’s real. The symptoms do exist. I know. I am one of those people.

My hope is that one day the medical community comes to recognize and fully understand this terrible, debilitating condition in the hopes a cure may be found.

“Save the date” May 12, 2013. And please, feel free to share. Your support is greatly appreciated. Thanks! -JD

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