Appointments up the wazoo!

Poor AJ has been incredibly unwell lately. Though I slept fitfully for twelve hours, I managed to make him an emergency appointment for tomorrow in my half-sleep — and then to call the pharmacy before the cut-off to have meds we just realized we need refilled stat delivered today, since we won’t be here when the delivery guy would be on his rounds tomorrow. Since we can’t ever seem to get all of our meds on the same schedule and we have somewhat major transportation issues most days, I can’t even begin to express how grateful we are for a pharmacy that delivers. I’m also so grateful that our prescriptions have no co-pays with Medicaid, so we don’t have to stress about whether we have funds available when they’re due. Now we just need to make an actual organized list of when they’re all due for refills so we don’t have those “Oh crap!” moments.

I also rescheduled my medical marijuana recommendation appointment for the 7th. I’m really looking forward to being all set again, since my old one expired on Christmas Eve and I really need to keep my CBD tincture around so that I can function more like a normal human being as far as cooking, cleaning and getting my work done, even if I don’t have the spoons to actually make it out of the house most days. Another thing I am beyond grateful for is the fact that I can get the tincture from a dispensary that delivers to my house, though sometimes we’re able to stop by their local shop while we’re out at doctor’s appointments.

Our next appointment after that is to pick up our controlled substance prescriptions on the 15th, and then I’ll be making an appointment to get a cortisone injection in my knee once I’ve gotten the fluid down. The prospect of having the knee surgically drained just sounds like a nightmare, and it wasn’t nearly so swollen when I was religious about icing it several times a day and taking my full arsenal of anti-inflammatories — CBD and mullein tinctures as well as ibuprofen. So that’s one of my main jobs this week, to get that swelling down. I’ve been having trouble with my right knee since Thanksgiving, when I went up and down the stairs at our hosts’ house about 15-20 times in less than 24 hours, to get things from the guest room, tour the house, check on AJ when he wasn’t feeling well, and to use the bathroom. No matter how much I’ve babied it since then, it’s been a mess. I could barely even walk around the apartment until a friend got me a compression sleeve for it.

Whenever we have appointments, barring extenuating circumstances, we go together. We act as advocates for one another because all of this chronic illness stuff is scary enough without having to deal with any part of it — but especially the potential for bad news or not being heard — alone. I also have severe brain fog and his memory is still much better than mine, so he helps me remember things, while I help him stand up for himself. He’s not very good at doing that in general, just with me — which can be frustrating when it’s unwarranted, but I try to remember to take it as a compliment because it means that I’m the one person he trusts enough to always try to be his fully authentic self around, even if it isn’t pleasant for either of us in the moment.

We have all of these appointments to get to, $60 to pay for the MMJ recommendation, and sales have been super slow. I would appreciate it so much if you could take a look at this post and consider whether you might be able to help in any way. Tomorrow is also the last day to use the code “BYE2015” to save 20% on all regularly-priced ready to ship jewelry in the shop — and there are some great already-discounted pieces in the special deals section, too. If you’re in a financial situation like ours, word of mouth costs nothing and definitely helps!

I hope you’re having a good day, lovelies. I’m going to finally have something to eat, and then try to get some beading done. If I’m lucky, I may have some new goodies to post tonight or tomorrow.

Blessings,
❤ Bri

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Zip, zoom! There went my day.

I woke up around noon, feeling like I had a surprising amount of energy considering that my rheumatologist appointment was yesterday and I’d spent two days anxious about it and pushing myself into an intentional flare, so that he’d see what I deal with on such a regular basis. I had high hopes of beading all day. And then it felt like someone just snuck up and stole all of my spoons while I wasn’t looking, before I actually got anything accomplished.

Suddenly, it’s ten hours later. I’ve posted the two new pieces that I made  yesterday to my shop, this blog and Facebook. I responded to a few short messages to the Baubles & Blessings page. I went through a package of charms that came in, caught up on page comments… And somehow that was my entire day. I feel like I’ve been thinking through thick mud — and a headache — all day.

Though I have been nearly completely certain that what I have is fibro for a number of years now and that thought was echoed by my former PCP, I hesitated to speak about it publicly for a long time because I was bullied and accused of faking it. Now that I have an official diagnosis, I plan to post here regularly about what it’s like to try to get through life in this body, mainly for those who care about me but don’t get it. If that doesn’t describe you but you get something positive from me sharing my experiences — commiseration, understanding of someone you love, etc — then these posts are for you, too.

For now, I’m going to crawl into bed, get some ice on my knee (which sounds like a preferable alternative to the rheumy’s suggestion that I get it drained), hydrate and do something that doesn’t take a lot of brainpower. My batteries feel like they’re going to need another day or two to recharge, though I’m hoping to be able to do some beading tomorrow and hubby will hopefully have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, to which I plan on accompanying him.

As always, thanks for being here, being you and being awesome!


Bri

Warrior Mama: OOAK Necklace with Carnelian, Sunstone & FaceARTifacts Pendant

Warrior Mama: OOAK Necklace with Carnelian, Sunstone & FaceARTifacts Pendant

This striking, one of a kind piece features a combination of shimmery clear Czech glass seed beads, faceted round carnelian, shimmery little sunstone nuggets and pewter spiral beads. A stunning pendant handmade by the talented Deveon from FaceARTifacts hangs from a silver metal alloy bail. There is a large sunstone bauble suspended from the sculpted pendant.

Carnelian is associated with the root and sacral chakras. It can help fend off negativity and depression, while fostering courage and clear thinking, aiding in grounding and amplifying energy (including sexual energy). This stone encourages creativity, happiness, and aids in past life recall. It is also useful in warding against psychic attack and said to protect the wearer from the evil eye.

Sunstone is somewhat rare and is most commonly found in Norway. It has profound healing properties and tends to foster feelings of cheerfulness, self confidence, self esteem and general positivity, along with dispelling negative inhibitions. Sunstone is very helpful with enhancing spiritual growth, manifestation, releasing stress and clearing one’s mind. It is also helpful with fertility issues.

For more info or to order this piece, visit the listing in my shop. Thanks so much for checking out my work! ❤

Blue Impression & Calsilica Jasper Statement Necklace with Bright Copper Accents

Blue Impression & Calsilica Jasper Statement Necklace with Bright Copper Accents

This gorgeous piece features large impression jasper stick beads, small calsilica jasper rounds, gorgeous aqua Czech glass beads and bright copper accents.

Jaspers are calming stones. Ancient Egyptians saw jasper as a tool for increasing sexual energy, while the Bible claims it is a gift from the Christian God. It is fairly universally considered to be a healing stone. Various jaspers are helpful in chakra cleansing, used according to color. This stone aids in astral travel. It is a warding, energizing stone.

Copper tends to stimulate and encourage optimism, independence, harmony, luck, sexuality, intuition and general vitality. Copper is a wonderful conductor of healing energy and its properties are useful in many areas of healing.

For more info or to order, please visit the listing in my shop. Thanks so much for taking a look! ❤

Banded Black Agate & Snowflake Obsidian Goddess Prayer Beads with Moonstone

Banded Black Agate & Snowflake Obsidian Goddess Prayer Beads with Moonstone

This gorgeous piece features faceted, banded black agate beads with shimmery clear Czech glass seed beads, silver finished spacers and large faceted snowflake obsidian beads. The pendant features a spiral goddess charm suspended from a tree of life, with a moonstone cabochon in silver-plated setting.

Agates are stones of protection, harmony and strength. It is helpful in summoning creative energy and easing anxiety, and is a wonderful stone to use in children’s jewelry and charms, with how strong a protector agate tends to be. It is also a fantastic stone for neutralizing or dispelling negative energies. Depending on the variety of agate, it is well used in chakra balancing; just match the color of the stone to that of the chakra.

Obsidian is a fantastic protection stone; it repels negativity and helps dissolve confusion and untruth. Obsidian aids in healing traumas and emotional wounds, including those from past lives. It is a stone of strength, compassion, honesty and clear sight. This is also a stone connected to death and rebirth, and its energy can aid in divinatory practice.

Moonstone has been used in love spells and to divine the future by ancient peoples. It is universally recognized as having a connection to the moon and the divine feminine. Use it to enhance intuition and soothe anxiety. Like pearl, moonstone is graceful and strong, while being quite beautiful as well. It can be used to make a talisman for connecting with water. Use moonstone to aid in relief of symptoms related to hormonal issues. Moonstone is used to balance the third eye and solar plexus chakras, and is a June birthstone. Use it to help you find luck in a new beginning, or to enhance creative inspiration.

For more information or to order, please click here to visit the listing. And don’t forget about my last sale of the year! Every purchase supports a hardworking disabled artist couple and is so very much appreciated. ❤

It’s official.

It’s been just over fourteen years since the car accidents that first kicked off my chronic pain. I was barely 21 at the time. For the first, I was a passenger in a car stopped at a red light. We were rear-ended by someone who never even noticed the red light. A week or two later, I was crossing the street and was hit on foot. It happened so quickly that, though I flew up onto her windshield and caused the whole thing to become one giant spiderweb of safety glass, I thought that the car just hit me and I fell down. When I saw a chiropractor shortly after, the X-rays showed that the S curve in my neck was completely backwards.

I’ve had chronic pain ever since. Once the bumps and bruises healed, it was mostly in my lower back and hips. I’ve had so many invasive procedures and taken so many medications to try to help with the pain. Over the years, more and more soft tissue and nerve issues popped up. Some have been transitory, coming and going, while others have tended to take up semi-permanent residency, along with insomnia and terrible fatigue.

I’ve used a cane to help support my back — and sometimes joint injuries — for about seven years now. I don’t always need it and often skip using it around the apartment, but I can’t leave the house without it.

Over the past six months, I’ve been getting more nerve and joint pain in the mix. No one has quite been able to explain this, though the rheumatologist with whom I had my first appointment today is recommending that my PCP have more imaging and a few blood tests done when she returns from maternity leave in the spring. In the meantime, I finally have an official diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Part of the reason that I was referred to the rheumatologist in the first place was testing positive for ANA and Sjogren’s antibodies, but he said that the positives were so low that I shouldn’t worry about it, with so few of the main symptoms.

So I’m relieved. I’ve basically known that I had fibro for about ten years now. My last doctor always referred to me as having fibro but never diagnosed me or referred me to someone who might diagnose me. So I’ve just been in this limbo, treating symptoms but not being positive what’s going on with my body. And a lot of nasty people have called me a faker or tried to make me feel like everything was in my head and I’d be able-bodied if I just tried harder. This diagnosis is validating for me in a huge way, and it’s definitely the least scary option considering all of the symptoms I’ve been dealing with for over a decade, in increasing frequency and severity.

To everyone who’s ever tried to make me feel like I was making it up, I hope that your life has evolved beyond bullying sick people who are down on their luck. To everyone who has believed in me and given me friendship, understanding and love during this journey, you have my undying gratitude.

Much love and the brightest of blessings to you!


Bri

New pretties & special deals!

Earlier this week, I made and listed a whole bunch of simple, pretty pieces with gemstone vials and/or cabochons, all priced just $9-$12. Many of these are still available in the special deals section of my shop, along with some recently marked-down older pieces.

You can also still save 20% on all regularly-priced jewelry using the code “BYE2015” through the 31st, and don’t forget that you can snag a deal on a grab bag or a discounted gift code through our GoFundMe fundraiser. I’m also still looking for donations for our upcoming Facebook fundraiser, if you’d like to make a contribution there.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season, whatever you celebrate (or not). ❤

Blessings,
Bri

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