Tag Archive | Chronic fatigue Syndrome

I Don’t Even Know What To Title This

Stuck on being Stuck?

I am even unable to find the right key with my fingers, each finger feels like two, I am unable to even find words. Me! And now I cannot even find a title for this piece that I am also not even sure I can execute.

Something should be forth coming from this brain of mine to my fingers, whether they are typing or using my favorite pen. I should be able to come up with what it is I want to write about, or what I want to say in my ongoing project. But it’s not happening and I have no clue why. Most of the times this has happened it’s been explained away by myself, to myself. This time I am stumped. And I am stuck. I am so stuck I cannot even find inspiration to create a title for this.

I need to be able to write. I know getting stressed about not being able to find words is not helping. And that just letting it go is what I should be doing. Like walking away from the project that is not going well. Getting a clearer perspective. And it feels like on many cross roads that there is a force working against me. I cannot even keep my font on the same style or color to save my life. I’m sure it is because my laptop and WP have not been shut down for the last 36 hours. Tired laptop or WP, which I am not sure.Tired operator maybe? I don’t know.

But I keep telling myself that being tired is not going to be my excuse. It can’t. If that is the case than being tired is going to get in my way too often. I cannot afford to let getting tired matter. I have too much I am interested in doing. It’s not even about having TOO MUCH TO DO, it really isn’t. The idea that I am passionate about so many things and not being able to do them because I am tired does not thrill me. Though it may be a reality of mine it does not have to be one I settle for. I have the freedom and choice to make my reality change alter my reality from what it tends to want to be. 

My choice?

My choice to use the time that I am given by God, and by medicine to use for the people and the things that I am deliriously passionate about is what I cannot afford TIRED for.  NOT finding TIME; or in my case most often not finding “The Spoons” necessary to succeed this leaves me feeling deeply saddened. By that which I am not able visit my passions wears on me. I’m wondering if that is what is bothering me, why I am finding myself at this block. I need to express myself in some way almost daily. Either through my mind with words, or through my hands in creating something that can be touched. I need these outlets like I need water and sunlight. I am not meaning to be dramatic, just needing to find a path back to where ever my creative wings were dropped.


Finding myself without words is unsettling. I know, you find it unsettling too that you are finding me say that I am wordless.  People that know me are going to be laughing at the mere suggestion of this. I am really good about filling pages with idle chatter and maybe there will be a good topic and some common sense in amongst what I chatted about. This being at a loss for words is not the norm for me. But I could move past that.

While not finding the words was leaving me feel a bit unsettled as I said I thought that since, especially since, my cool husband had shined on the fact that I had art supplies all around my LazyBoy that it would be appropriate to try working on a greeting card. I had elements I’d made sitting aside for one that I had left unfinished before my cervical procedure.  So I thought a piece of cake right? Despite orders from medical headquarters, to not us my arms away from my body for the 6 weeks of healing post the cervical procedure. It’s hard to be creative with your hands while holding your arms next to your body. Holding your arms next to your body is not hard, it’s the natural pose you want to strike while guarding that which hurts. But that which had been hurting wasn’t hurting as much so my thinking was Cool! I can work at my table for a bit.

Making a card is what I wanted to do. I did it. It turned out fine. I did not turn out fine so much the next day. I woke up unable to move not just my left arm and shoulder, but my right shoulder opted to join in the revolt. They were ticked off at me!

I had a great time making the card. It’s one of my passions. It feeds me in ways nothing else can. Much like writing does. I have been stuck for words it feels like for much too long. I am hoping the card making session will unleash creative flow for my writing passion as well.

Ironically I am finding that several people I know are dealing with a very similar problem. Their creative wings have been clipped as mine seemed to have been. But then that is the most wonderful thing about your wings just clipped. They grow back nice and strong with your flight wings firmly intact and stronger than evet before. 

Also writing about losing that feeling is Chris Donner. Her fabilous blog is quite a read, I invite you t read Chris’s post called  “Strong Writing Mojo” at Chris’s blog Chris Donner Mystery Writer which can found at this link: http://chrisdonnermysterywriter.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/strong-writing-mojo/#comment-973

I’m just waiting for t~hose creative wings to grow back so that my creativity may once again soar.





Domain Name For The Baroness

Baroness Ravenna-Nelson-aaron-miller-Barefoot H,

New Domain Name and URL are mine.

The  URL for my new Domain name, which I just purchased is http://wwwbarefootbaroness.org.

After a really intelligent, and I think caring suggestion from my blogging mentor Maxi who you all might know from her blog “Maxi’s Comments.”  I have now purchased a Domain name for myself and my blog.

Maxi is a thoughtful and provocative writer, she’s someone who I, as a woman in her mid 5th decade looks up to. She is far more “hip” to things that I am just learning. Her blog is an eclectic collection of life stories. Hers, and about others she finds worthy of sharing their story. For me I have found a dear friend in Maxi who is in my mind a very classy lady.

Thank you Miss Maxi! Your suggestion again was a viable one for me.

It was Maxi who noticed through a couple private communications that I had a different URL for my blog than that for my blog name. When I registered my blog back in 2008 (and promptly forgot about it) it had never occurred to me that I could and would benefit from having my Blog’s URL be the same as the name as my blog. Or a derivative of my blogs name. In this case I dropped the Lady from my URL that is part of my blogs name.

Feelings that this is one of my best moves I have made for writing online I am beholding to Maxi. I remember when I first finally started publishing posts via WP I was really unsure of myself. I was not sure I wanted anyone I know being able to connect to my blog without my invite. Happening upon or finding it in a search engine. There were very few family and friends who I told about and shared the web site with for many months after first began publishing posts. Strangers reading me really was a unconsious test of sorts. The people I told did not even amount to a handful, and those I told for specific reasons to what I was writing about in most cases. There were two person alone outside my immediate family who I wanted to know about that I was writing on a blog, and how they could find it. One is my twin from different parents, the other my spiritual soul sister. I so wanted and needed these two women to know so much that somehow I thought I had told them at the very start. How really awful and odd I felt when I found out that neither had been told, and I’d been wondering why neither had said a word. With these two ladies I made the silly mistake of each time I would stop and think back, I gave her that URL didn’t I? – I always responded to self with an affirmative. However it was not so, I had assumed wrongly that I had told them, making again a common mistake with people you have a special connection with. Kind of like the mistake we make that our spouse; that they should just know all those things we as their spouse are thinking, need or want without the convenience of us telling them so. I felt really awful when I realized that my best Bud had to find out I went public from mutual acquaintance who I had shared with because I felt that she and her daughter would benefit from my writings about Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain & Fatigue. Thankfully my Best Bud is a forgiving and unconditional loving Bud.

Search engines will now lead anyone who knows my nickname in my non-cyber life to my Barefoot Baroness Blog. This just makes sense now that I am much more comfortable with just anyone I know and don’t know reading my blog. I am more confident in what I am doing.

I began this as part of a journey and when I began I thought it would be a private journey. How wonderfully surprising to find that the blogging relationships that I have been having the experience of enjoying are  nourishing to my soul. And to find that their input has been having a  positive effect on me is an overwhelming understatement. It’s been quite stunning to me actually, and I am not a newbie to online friendships. I have been an advocate for Chronic Pain & Fatigue for over 25 years. Of about 12 to 13 of those years also included online advocacy using the platform of forums. I built up a few friendships on those forums which today still finds two women I met in a forum and with who I created friendships with are still very much part if my life. We mostly communicate via snail mail today which is especially fun for the paper artist in me.

As I have said a time or two prior to this post that there are several bloggers with which there has been a bond of friendship right from the first few times we read one another’s blogs, and communicated with. I will not bore my readers or embarrass those bloggers again by repeating my adorations and fondness for them. I trust they know who they are by now.

This post just proves that if you give a writer a writing instrument they will write. Kind of like if you bring “them” to water they will drink.

I had no intentions when I started this post to write nothing more than a notice of sorts if you will of my new URL address for this blog. My new Domain name.

FYI:  My other blog: FullCircledMR can still be found at www.fullcircledme.com/

My intentions runneth over with my random thoughts, that is what this blog was designed for.

How wonderful when a plan works out~

©tjhelser 2012

Wow! See what happens when you give a writer a weiting instrument

Share Your World Sunday Week # 24


It’s that time of the week I look forward to. (although late this week brought to you by Headache) Share Your world Sunday. I will not be boring and repetitive by sharing why I happen to find it a cool time of the week, but suffice it to say that your postings of your own Share Your World Sunday (SYWS from here on out) is all part of what I look forward to.

 I have recognized that like most things in life I have developed a bit of a routine for myself when it comes to SYWS. I just realized that I have almost a compulsive way of doing my part of SYWS. I wonder if any of you who participate by adding your own SYWS to the mix have structure for how you go about it, or do you ad lib, doing what and how the mood may strike you? And you commenter’s too, how about you?  A certain routine to reading and commenting on the posts for SYWS?

 I’m really curious. I find it fascinating how we are such creatures of habits and how soon we build those habits.

 Sharing with you my routine:

 It took me a couple of weeks to find my own groove when joining the rest of the bloggers who had been participating in SYWS for many weeks ahead of me.  I came into it somewhere in week 14 or 15 I believe. The really nice thing that I think should be pointed out is that never did I feel like the newbie, or the new kid on the block from Cee, or any of the participants in this great weekly challenge. Joining anytime will be met  by a welcoming force.

 Finding that before I dare read any other participants answers, even Cee’s, I need to do the challenge of answering for myself first. I found oddly enough that if I wait to create my own responses to the weekly questions after reading all your answers first I was not feeling my own answers were genuine and authentic. I found myself editing and censoring myself because of how someone else  might respond. Or how I thought my answer might affect someone else. I am certain this would damage the point to all this. Right? At least it does so for me. Knowing your answers ahead of responding with my own somehow feels a bit cheeky. Nah.. I am not saying there is cheating going on, how could there be? There are no right or wrong answers. This is no test. However; words from others can influence anyone, over anything, even unknowingly. And it’s for this reason that I have noticed my own second guessing is causing my responses to be less genuine and less authentically me. I cannot have that.

 For what ever reasons, I am letting myself continue on with this routine I have created for SYWS and myself. It works for me.

 It goes something like this:

 I first receive the questions from Cee’s blog email alert.

In a word program I create my answers and my shared narrative.

Once posted I then post my link to Cee’s SYWS Post on her blog.

Now I read Cee’s answers first – hers comes first always, because I believe we all read Cee’s first.

Now that I have posted my responses and linked them to Cee’s blog, read Cee’s answers I now enjoy each and every one of your answers. Thank you for sharing

 It may sound a bit obsessive for a weekly challenge, but I like very much how I find it work so well for me.~

There is one more benefit I have found in reading all of your & Cee’s responses last. I usually find that almost all of the participants, if not all, have finished their responses by then as well. It helps keep me from leap frogging back and forth to Cee’s blog and then yours all week long. Once you’ve all posted I go directly to Cee’s post, find your links their, visit each persons blog for their response. Then I back track to back to Cee’s blog for the next persons in que. I do this ovet and over until I am done.

Speaking of being just the absolute opposite of feeling like the new kid in school, or that no one was welcoming, this was not how I felt by Cce, or any of  her party of weekly SYWS participants. Because of all of you, & Cee, you helped me feel so very welcome right out of the gate. And I know that you did as well. Just as I know anyone new will also feel welcome. With all the steam and vigor I can muster up today I encourage you to join us in this weekly challenge of Cee’s. It really is about learning something new about one another every week, and nurturing friendships that may have some significance. If you only would put the walls down.

And I happen to think that is pretty special~

 Cee’s blog and details regarding the weekly Share Your World Sunday can be found here:


 Here we go my darling blogging family~ My genuine and authentic sharing with you.

 Are you left or right-handed?

 I am a strictly right-handed Barefoot Baroness. Strictly and only. There is not a possibility that I can be anything else. I have tried. Last time was while in a cast after having Carpel Tunnel surgery on my right wrist. I was in a position of needing to run a 10-Key Machine daily with my left hand. I was trying to count money from the tills, run a 10-Key, type to do the daily books… all this when I could barely brush my own hair with my left hand. I’m not sure there was anyone else having more fun than me I’m still not the least bit adept.

 What is one thing you love about being an adult?

 I enjoy being taken serious. This may sound strange to some, but if you were a very small girl, short, and kind of a quiet person as a child than it’s quite possible that you as well did not feel take very serious. Even as a 21-year-old I was most often not believed when my age came into question. It was not until I reached my mid 30’s with my two children under my belt that I was taken half way serious, and not treated like a kid. This despite that I was still asked for identification when attempting to purchase alcohol.

 What do I need to unlearn?

 This is an easy answer for me this time. I need to unlearn carrying my shoulders shrugged up to my ears. I am serious. Shoulder shrugging has its place. Doing shrugs as art of relaxation exercises, as part of stretching for yoga, even to convey a thought to someone else: ” I don’t know what to think about that.” [shrugs shoulders]

In my case though chronically carrying myself with perpetual shrugged shoulders has its detriment to my body. And no doubt to my mind as well; as the body language of shoulder shrugging speaks volumes about stress.

 What is success for me?

 Thriving. Thriving and walking the talk. These two aspects would spell out success for me.

Thriving: I work daily at Thriving with chronic illnesses that seem in their own ways to want to blast my body on a daily basis with fatigue and pain. It’s on my agenda daily to get through the day with a smile for all I meet. I rarely allow myself the selfish indulgence of pity or feeling sorry for myself. I have no intention of changing that. I have found that if you allow a spec of it in it multiplies into a full-blown pity party for on. So Borrrring,,,

Walking The Talk:  I am woman of deep and strong faith, I do not wear it on my shoulders although it is my way to Praise God and The Universe. I believe that there is a reason for every season in our lives, and that staying true to one’s self and God helps guide through the trials and tribulations this earthly world lies in front our doorsteps. Lessons can be gained through the trials of your life if you look at them as opportunities for gaining the wisdom needed for walking the talk. It’s not enough to just walk, or to just talk. I need to have the gentle guidance of learning how to walk the talk authentically and with genuineness.

That would spell S. U. C. E. S. S. for me.

©tjhelser 2012

TMJ Survey Yields Valuable Insights Into Condition, Sufferers

The TMJ Association, Ltd. has released the results of an extensive survey they conduceted with 1,511 people living with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD).  The goal for this survey was, “…to provide patients, providers, and scientists with a fuller understanding of these condition…

Read the rest of this post >>


By Karen Lee Richards, Health GuideSaturday, March 31, 2012

The TMJ Association, Ltd. has released the results of an extensive survey they conduceted with 1,511 people living with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD). The goal for this survey was, “…to provide patients, providers, and scientists with a fuller understanding of these conditions – who experiences them, and the treatments being recommended to TMJ patients and whether these treatments help them.”

TMJD, as defined by a 1996 National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference on Managing Temporomandibular Disorders, is “a collection of medical and dental conditions affecting the joint and muscles of mastication, as well as contiguous tissue components.” It is thought that as many as 10 to 36 million adult Americans are affected by TMJD.

Survey Results


Demographics: Survey participants were 90 percent women; 96 percent were non-Hispanic white; average age was 40.8; 70 percent were employed; 79 percent had some college or a college degree; 57 percent were married, 29 percent had never been married and 12 percent were divorced.

Onset and Diagnosis: Slightly more than half of the survey respondents said their TMJD-related pain began between the ages of 18 to 39. On average, they reported that it took approximately four years following the onset of pain to receive a diagnosis. When they were finally diagnosed, 73.6 percent of the diagnoses were made by a dentist and 21.8 percent by a medical doctor.

Perceived Cause: Given a list of possible causes of TMJD, survey participants were asked to indicate which they personally believed caused or contributed to their condition. The results were:

Trauma – 65 percent

Stress – 49 percent

Teeth clenching – 47 percent

Arthritis – 17 percent

Orthodontics – 11 percent

Dental problems – 9 percent

Heredity – 9 percent

Pain: Using the 0 – 10 pain scale with 0 equates to no pain and 10 is the worst pain ever, 80 percent of respondents reported an initial pain score of four or more. Within the last four weeks, 53 percent said they had a pain score of 4 or more and 56 percent reported severe pain “off and on all day.” Fifty-three percent indicated that the pain had mildly to moderately interfered with their work, while 23 percent said it had extensively interfered with their work-related activities.

Therapies: Participants were asked to rate the effectiveness of a variety of nonsurgical and nonpharmacological treatments that were recommended by their health care providers. It turned out that the most frequently recommended treatment was also the most effective. Thermal therapy (the application of hot or cold compresses) was used by 65 percent of the respondents and 74 percent of those who tried it said it helped reduce their symptoms. The second most recommended therapy was jaw exercises (60 percent), however, only 49 percent of those using it felt it was effective. Fairing a little better in effectiveness was the flat-plane/stabilizing splint (orthotic) with 52 percent trying it and 56 percent feeling it had helped reduce symptoms.

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Medications: Respondents reported that a number of different medications had been prescribed to treat their TMJD. Following are the medication categories and the percentage of participants for whom they had been prescribed:

Anti-inflammatories – 73.3 percent

Nonprescription pain relievers – 56 percent

Antidepressants – 50.5 percent

Opioids – 48.3 percent

Anti-anxiety medications – 40.8 percent

Muscle relaxants – 40.3 percent

Surgical Procedures: A substantial number of participants (394) reported having undergone one or more major surgeries to address their TMJD symptoms. Of those who had undergone surgical procedures:

54 percent had one to three surgeries

30 percent had four to nine surgeries

15 percent had 10 or more surgeries


The surgical procedures were also rated as to effectiveness.

Less invasive surgeries (arthrocentesis and arthroscopy):

54 percent – Somewhat or significantly better

17 percent – No change

26 percent – Somewhat or significantly worse


More invasive surgeries (condylectomy, condylotomy, coronoidectomy, disc plication, eminectomy, and maxillary or mandibular osteotomy):

6 percent – Significant improvement

32 percent – Some improvement

28 percent – No change

46 percent – Somewhat or significantly worse


Comorbid Conditions: People with TMJD tend to have other comorbid (overlapping) conditions as well. According to this survey, the nine most prevalent comorbid conditions were:


Tension headaches


Degeneragive arthritis

Chronic fatigue



Gastrointestinal issues



In addition to identifying other conditions they had experienced, respondents were asked to indicate whether these conditions occurred before or after the onset of TMJD. All of the comorbid conditions were found to be much more prevalent after the onset of TMJD.

If you would like to see additional survey results, you can download a copy of the full journal article with accompanying tables here: Temporomandibular Disorders and Associated Clinical Comorbidities




Hoffmann RG, et al. Temporomandibular Disorders and Associated Clinical Comorbidities. Clinical Journal of Pain. 27(3): 268-274, March/April 2011.






Okay Chicken Little…Happy Palm Sunday To Us All!

Someday’s the sky may feel like it should be falling on you; yet you are able to raise your arms up-stretched enough to say, “Okay Chicken Little Get outta my way!”

And yet on those rarest of days when it seems like you are unable to stretch your arms to the heavens fast enough there is a special kind of magic that can happen as long as your eyes are cast above.

I wrote in a prior post that my typical attitude is not one where I tend to look only inward. That pity parties for one are not my norm. I’ve too much to be grateful for to have even the most discouraging thoughts or events derail me. I am blessed in ways that many are not even able to dream of.

It upsets and disgusts me to find that I alone let myself succumb to this self-pity. And please, please know I am only saying this out loud now as a way of an affirmation. Today is Palm Sunday and there is a reason for even this lesson on this Holy Day.  My prayer is that if should I see myself heading in this downward spiral I’ll stop, and let myself out of the pity party ride for one before I get so sucked into the force pulling out is harder than anything I’ve had to do.  Seeing myself now, pulling myself out again will not seem like too much effort. That is when I know I am in trouble. When the wallowing starts to feel good.

Blessedly I do not get to the wallowing poin as I headed to this weekend. As I said I do not often find myself struggling emotionally with myself. Never Spiritually. But this weekend as I began the pity party for one I was setting up for was starting to feel kind of good. The old woes me was looking kind of attractive against its alternative.  Attractive because in the state where I was headed it was just so much less effort than raising my arms, so much faster than looking for healthy gratifications (always was a kind of instant loving person when it comes to gratifications)and playing into the devil’s advocate if you will, is just so much less investment.

Yet with all the taking the easy ways out, the lazy way of doing things, and looking for the path of least resistant I found mysel withf my usual smile turned upside down. Isn’t something wrong with this image?

 And because I could so easily lie my finger point against a dozen or more aspects that created small hills in my life I made the clear choice to find myself feeling sorry for myself. It seemed the easiest amount of work and God knows I was certainly overworked this past week, right?

Finding the reasons why I was a but sullen this stormy wet weekend could have been all about finding blame and justifications somewhere else. Or many someone or some where else’s. Yet there is only one truth finder who I have to account to along sids my God….

 That would be moi!

It’s also very easy to fool some of the people… some of the time… and because it is imperative for myself and for my spirituality that I never try to fool myself. ( I’m not sure I can) I’ve actually never tried for very long before because I become quite anxious. And the anxiety always has to do with the lack of honesty from within myself. ‘

Trying to fool myself has never met with a good outcome. Even when it involves circumstances that I am not seeing clearly; whether it be beliefs, actions or events in life where the actual truth is yet hidden because of ignorance of mind or heart. Or because my body is revolting. It’s always another lesson to behold. Even though at times there is not one bit of conscious acknowledgement that the thing(s) amiss are things that can recognized, it’s apparent on every level that something is missing. And is So Wrong.

This was me this first weekend of April. It was my April Fools Day. Maybe because I was the one trying to be the fooled.

Never is it a good way to start a weekend, a month or even a goal, when one’s intent is to be self-centered. And that is where I was at. I’m admitting this because it’s important for lessons to be learned. It’s one thing to find a hurdle to have to jump, it’s quite another to be enjoying the hurdle that you’re unable to jump just for pity’s sake. And I am admitting to myself and out loud that come this Sunday morning I was digging my heels in where I would have been doing better by raising my own ankles off the ground.

Can’t say why but I need not have this answer. Just realizing that I was enjoying the pity party for one was a real shock. I am so not this person. It did not add to my pride in any way.  So why? Do I really need to expend all that energy into trying to analyze why? Or is it enough to Let Go, Let God?

I think it’s quite enough. That I recognized what I was doing, where I was letting myself go to is going to be enough. I am in no need of the “where of’s” or” why’s” as long as my intent is moving forward. To let myself stay in wallowing in the mud sling is not the intent of the Walk I choose to Walk. I could get all hung up in the semantics of the why…. skidding my wheels into other wheels…. I’ve done this, been there. Actually I have spent years spinning wheels into wheels and getting no where real fast.

This late Sunday evening is finding me content. The feelings of all those passing emotions I don’t always understand have found their place once again in God’s very Loving Hand’s. Whatever the reasons for my sense of vulnerability and mis-guided need for a pity party for one are back in the places they belong. On the book sheld where The Our Life Lessons belong, and only come down off the shelf for  moments during discovery of our ultimate destinations.

I’m grateful for this weekend’s lessons. I’m most satisfied tonight that in the end where I was going was never different from where I need to be. It just seemed so for a bit. There were moments this weekend when I just knew Chicken Little was running… running frightened at the prospects of what was falling from the sky.

And then there was the BIG Fantastic Moment of clarity – Of God’s Guiding light of clarity. The moment when I knew no fear. Knew that I was finding all that I needed once I stopped looking only inward. I knew that answers that leave me contented come from looking beyond myself.

I watched as my Sunday night swelled into evening prayer’s, crowned with God’s Goodness, and thrust back into the purity of Spirit & Contentment.

Thanks dear family,framily, friend’s & readers, thanks for bearing with my rambling struggles too.~

 I am reminded gracuiously that I am one Blessed Barefoot Baroness