Auction, Prayers & Gratitude

This week’s auction has less than 19 hours remaining! There are 10 pieces of jewelry and one custom clay creation being auctioned off, with just 5 bids between them — as well as several items donated by other artists and vendors with BIN prices. I am a hardworking chronic pain patient, and every bid/purchase helps to make sure that I don’t have to go without the medicine that helps me to function.

Huge thanks to everyone spreading the word, donating items, getting their bid on and praying for relief and abundance on my behalf.

You can bid on current items here, or join for easy access when new items are listed. ❤ And of course, if you’d rather just make a donation to help me pay for my medicine, you’re welcome to do so via my GoFundMe page. My hubby and I will soon be sending near-daily group distance Reiki to everyone who contributes any amount, unless they choose to opt out.

As always, much love and bright blessings to you, friends! ❤

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New fundraiser link!

I had no idea that it would be against anyone’s rules to raise funds for my legal medicine, but Fundrazr closed my campaign, didn’t respond to my inquiries, and then deleted my entire account when I posted a new campaign raising funds for bills and rent, with the cost of my medication coming out of our earnings. Apparently it’s against some weird arbitrary rule to run a fundraiser when you are a medical marijuana patient… How odd. And their customer service is awful, at least if they have a problem with your campaign and you attempt to discuss the matter with them.

So I went back to GoFundMe, which I’d used previously to help us get settled in the Pacific Northwest. I contacted their customer service and asked whether I could raise funds for my 100% legal medical marijuana. The rep who helped me was super nice and I was reassured that it would be fine, as long as it was clearly stated in the campaign info where I’m located and that it’s legal here. I should have stuck with them in the first place; I was just hoping not to have to wait up to a week for withdrawn funds to hit my bank account now that I can no longer use PayPal on GoFundMe. (My account had previously been grandfathered in using PayPal.)

At least it all worked out in the end! 🙂 You can visit the new fundraiser here. All donations made on Fundrazr have been added to the new tally, along with funds for items that other vendors have donated to sell in my new Facebook group. (If you’d like to add one or more items, please get in touch! So far, everyone has donated 100% of proceeds, but I’d be fine with a 50% split as well.)

Apologies for any confusion, dears! Much love to you. ❤

Please help me keep working, learning & smiling!

Hello, friends! I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I updated here. It’s been quite a tough year for me and AJ, health-wise. When I’m doing poorly, it’s very difficult for me to keep up with this blog and all of my social media accounts. I usually end up defaulting to Facebook, because that is where 90% of my social life takes place as a spoonie.

Fundrazr

As many of you know, I’ve been a chronic pain patient for 15 years now, having finally received diagnoses of fibromyalgia and arthritis in the past year, along with a slew of related health issues. After five years of struggling to get back on our feet after a difficult job loss and increased illness, AJ and I moved to Washington state in November of 2014.

I’d previously been on narcotic pain medication for a number of years. When I stopped taking them, I realized that there were a number of negative side effects I’d been experiencing, which vanished fairly suddenly… So I wouldn’t be interested in being on narcotics on a daily basis now, even if there were doctors willing to prescribe them with the current war on narcotics.

In my new home, I started seeking relief by going to a clinic where medical marijuana recommendations are provided. I got my recommendation easily once I got hold of a copy of my medical records. For the next year, I was able to do a relatively decent job of keeping this pain medicine around, but when my business slowed down significantly this year, I began to struggle. More

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

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

It’s been a while…

I apologize for being so quiet over here. I’ve been sick, dealing with a lot more pain than usual, and I just haven’t had energy to keep up with a bunch of sites. Since Facebook is where most of my customers and fans are, that tends to be where my default attention goes. (You can also join my Facebook group.) I’ll try to be better about updating here in the new year.

In the meantime, all outstanding orders have been shipped aside from two custom orders that I’ll be getting to this week. I’m working on taking care of the remaining grab bags from our GoFundMe fundraiser, which I have temporarily reopened because the usual holiday boost in sales did not happen this year. It’s the middle of December and I’ve had a little over $200 in sales this month. Ouch.

This is tough for us, because we’ve been so sick and weak that we’ve had to take cabs to doctor’s appointments, which have been plentiful as hubby and I are both working with our doctors to finally get to the bottom of our chronic health issues. I recently had positive ANA and Sjögren’s test results, so I’ll be seeing my new rheumatologist in a couple of weeks. I’m really excited to finally be working toward one or more official diagnoses and the potential for feeling better after a decade of getting progressively sicker, but also kind of terrified about what they might be and what treatment options are going to look like on top of the med cocktail I already take for PCOS and other issues.

If you’re not big on the grab bag idea, I also have a sale running at the moment. For the rest of the year, use the code “BYE2015” in my shop to save 20% on all ready to ship jewelry.

2015-12-14-BYE2015-1

Want to show your support but can’t shop at the moment? Interacting with my Facebook posts would be super helpful in extending my reach. Word of mouth is also amazing advertising!

If you love my work but nothing in my shop at the moment is calling to you, please feel free to contact me about a custom order. I’m also happy to make payment arrangements if you’re in love with a piece that’s a bit outside of your current budget.

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

Much love and many blessings,
Bri

80 Free Amazon Kindle eBooks

There are a lot of free eBooks out there, and I wanted to create a list of today’s freebies with the best ratings for my friends, customers and fans. Every eBook on this list is free to download at the time this list is published, but please double-check for any cost before downloading. From classic literature to cookbooks, natural health pointers, romance and craft how-tos, there’s something here for everyone, and every item on these lists is rated 3.5-5 stars.

Free eBooks 12/31/13 {Part 1}
Free eBooks 12/31/13 {Part 2}

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