Evolution

Evolution

I am back! It’s been a while since I was active on this blog. I decided to take a break because sexyachymoody was evolving into something that I never intended. 

Now, I understand that, it’s just life. Only the lucky ones get a chance to evolve. Life is all about adapting to change. The ones who can’t adapt don’t survive so my sexyachymoody was just doing what I do best, surviving. 

So much has happened in my life since my last contribution. My family has experienced much loss and hardship. The changes that took place in 2016 have changed the world forever. Knowing that people, governments and societies all over the world experienced heartbreak in 2016 is a tragically unifying feeling. 

L.R. Knost

For me, the year started off well. I got married and finally finished my Bachelor’s degree! Unfortunately, I was also attacked by a vicious dog and lost my father. Pain and stress have me in a very different place physically and emotionally compared to the previous year. At first, I saw this as a set back but considering all the tragedy in 2016, I think I am in a healthy place. 


I am depressed. My pain has been off the scale. I’m worried about my future and concerned for my family. 

And that’s okay. I am no dwelling on my circumstances but I can not rush through the processing.  I miss my dad so much. He would tell me it’s okay, reassuring me and motivating me at the same time. 


He was my safety net and guiding light. Learning to life without him has been painful and scary. 

Featured Image quote by Charles Bukowski

Not Your Average Detox

Not Your Average Detox

Part Three

 I just realized I didn’t weigh before I started this process but this is a detox not a weight loss cleanse. It has certainly gotten things moving, if you know what I mean. I’ve been trying to eat at least three apples a day in addition to other fruits and vegetables. More fermented foods too. I love sourkraut! 

So, this detox seems to be great for my IBS-C. Plus, I do feel like be shed a couple of pounds, at least. 

 
I had some fantastic results from the DIY wrap too! I left it on for about two hours and it took off two inches from my waist an an inch from my thighs. I’ll measure again after 72 hours and see if it lasted or improved. 


Recipes-

Spicy Tumeric Ginger Detox Drink

 
The original recipe can be found here.

I loved this tea so much because it really made me feel great and it smelled amazing! I want to make it at least once a month. 

Ingredients:

  • 6-inch piece of fresh Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks- I used 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon because it’s what I had at home but next time I will get cinnamon sticks. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cayenne
  • Raw Honey and Lemon added for personal taste. 

Directions:

Peel ginger and slice thinly. Use the side of the knife to smash the ginger (exposing more surface area).

Add ginger slices to a saucepan with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cinnamon sticks, turmeric, and cayenne. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Strain into a mug and Stir in a spoonful of honey and squeeze of lemon.

I drank one pot a day for three days and I’d just leave it simmering on the stove all day because it smelled so wonderful. I left a lid on it so it wouldn’t evaporate. This is going to be my favorite way to warm up this winter! 

Green Tea Body Wrap

 
The original recipe can be found here

Ingredients:

  • Ace bandage (or some type of fabric that can absorb water and be wrapped around the body. I used towels).
  • Plastic wrap
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 Green tea bags 
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil  
  • 1 cup of drinking water

Directions:

Bring 2 cups water to boil with most of the salt and tea bags.

Drink the cup of water before wrapping

Let the water boil for 2 minutes then allow it to cool. 

 While the water is boiling, combine the remaining salt (about 2 tbsp) with the coconut oil and massage into the area(s) you plan to wrap.

Unroll the ace bandage and soak it in the salt water tea until it soaks up the liquid. 

Tightly wrap oiled areas. Make sure the water is not too hot but still warm! 

Lock in the heat and moisture by wrapping the bandaged areas with plastic wrap.

I doubled the recipe so I could to my waist and thunder thighs. I stayed wrapped for about two hours. 

My measurements after the wrap- 

Waist 2 inches smaller! After 72 hours, I shrank another inch!

Thighs were one inch smaller and there was no change after 72 hours. 


Invigorating Citrus Detox Bath

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • A couple drops of peppermint essential oil and a drop of orange oil
  • 1 cup of drinking water

Directions:

Drink the cup of water. 

Add all ingredients to a hot fresh bath. Swirl the water to help the salt and soda dissolve and enjoy. 

I like to rub the orange slices on my skin. It is very invigorating and really seems to curb the fatigue in my upper body. Sometimes a bath can be exhausting and leave me feeling drained but not with the oranges! I started adding peppermint oil because it smells fantastic and soothes my head. 

Hydration is key! Especially when detoxing. I always bring a cold bottle of water with me and try to finish it before I get out of the bath. 

Yoga or a massage during detox to move toxins through the body to encourage the release of lymphatic fluids. Always drink water before doing any kind of detox. If your body is dehydrated, it won’t be able to move the toxins out of the body. Think of it like an internal rinse. 

Stay sexy Spoonies and happy detoxing!

Featured image courtesy of Pinterest from popwisdom.joaomognon.com

Not Your Average Detox

Not Your Average Detox

Part Two

I don’t know how he does it. I’m not even sure he knows he’s doing it or how much I need it but my fiancé always knows when I need a break. I probably get cranky! 😉 

Anyway, I could have worked but he talked me into going to the beach. I hadn’t been to the island in years. It was the best decision I’ve made all week! It was cool and windy. Parts of the beach were al little crowded but nothing like it would have been in the middle of the summer. We parked and walked out to one of the rock jetties. The salty wind in my face and the crashing waves were like therapy. I felt like I was being rejuvenated as I stood there. I could have stayed there all day. 

After lunch, we decided to take the ferry back to the mainland.  Never before have I ever seen so many dolphins! It was such a neat experience. It was the first time I’d ever seen more dolphins than crabs at the beach. Don’t get me wrong, crabs are cute and interesting to watch but I felt privileged to see so many dolphins! 

By the time the ferry reached land and we had to get back in the car to prepare for departure, I felt so replenished. Even kinda lucky! I really appreciated the day and all of its events. I was especially thankful for my thoughtful fiancé. 

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with my detox but this was exactly what I needed as I was sheading all this unnecessary crap. I felt like the ocean washed away all the baggage, worry and anxiety sitting in front of a screen saddled me with. Social media was making my world too big. I would worry about all of the homeless pets that had been abused or were in danger of euthanasia. I was overwhelmed by all the reposted news stories concerning child abuse and the plethora of children with cancer. I didn’t realize how much it’d all been weighing me down. 

But, when I left social media behind and ventured out into my own backyard, I saw dolphins, pelicans, sailed across the bay and enjoyed a beautiful day with my fiancé. I realized that I could be happier and more productive with less. I could experience life more by sharing less. I can make a difference in my own neighborhood by picking up a little trash or helping a neighbor instead of reposting to raise awareness. Awareness campaigns are great but just because people are aware doesn’t mean anything is actually being done to improve the situation. I know I can’t change the world but I can change someone’s world. Helping one person or animal makes a difference in their life and that’s what matters. Social media, like most other things, is fine in moderation. It always comes down to finding balance. 

Obviously, this is turning into a three parter but I am not teasing you. I will share my recipes in part three. The social media portion of my detox has been more powerful than I realized. I’m not second guessing myself or wondering where I fit in. I am just enjoying life. So many things that seemed to matter so much just don’t anymore. My first thought when I see something spectacular isn’t “Oh, I need to post this!” anymore. It’s more like, “Don’t look away! Enjoy this. Take it all in. Relish in this experience and the people you are sharing it with. Capture this memory in your mind forever instead of interrupting the moment with a flash and a post”. 

I recently upgraded to a new iPhone. I backed up all of my pictures, apps, contacts, everything. No one wants to lose important pictures or contacts. Unfortunately, I did. I used an app to create photo collages. It was like a scrapbook of my life over the last five years. It has always made the transfer but this time it didn’t. It’s all gone. Five years worth of memories, gone! I emailed the app developer and they were just as puzzled. Nothing could be done to recover what I’d lost. 

Sure, I’ll still capture some moments on camera and I love looking at the photos I’ve printed and hung around the apartment. Those memories make me smile but I didn’t get any pictures of the dolphins either and thinking of them makes me smile too. Photos don’t capture the companionship I felt sharing that experience with my fiancé. Photos don’t capture the wind, the salt water or the sunshine. All of those things are captured in my mind. That’s better than a photograph. 

Actually living life seems to be quite a bit more fulfilling than trying to prove to others that I am living and enjoying life. 

Stay sexy and stay tuned for part three and all the recipes, Spoonies! I promise they’re on the way! 

Not Your Average Detox

Not Your Average Detox

Part One 

I’ve been planning a detox for a while now. I’ve never done one before. So, I did some research and found some recipes that I thought would work for me. It started off great. The aroma from the ginger and spices simmering in the stove wafted through my apartment. I chopped fruit for breakfast and enjoyed it with honey and cinnamon. I was so excited to get started, I even talked myself out of coffee. 

“You don’t need the extra sugar”, I thought, “take an Exedrine for the caffeine.” So, that’s what I did. I’d had a couple of glasses of the spicy ginger concoction before the day took an unexpected turn. Instead of relaxing at home, enjoying my detox and working on my history presentation, I’d be going out for the afternoon. Out to lunch! 

So, I screwed up my detox with lo mein. It wasn’t even that great but I hadn’t had Chinese food in so long! I’d been craving it and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Anything in the mall food court would have ruined my detox so I decided to just go for it! It came with a coke and I really felt like all my morning progress was going out the window…oh well. 

I came home and continued sipping my spicy ginger drink. At least it was healthy but today, I am starting over. However, I did start the day with coffee. I figured that there’s no reason to torture myself. The coffee is organic and the creamer is all natural. I will limit my sugar and caffeine intake for the rest of the day and the rest of my meals are already planned so today should be more successful than yesterday. 

I am also detoxing from social media! This portion of my detox has gone perfectly. I deleted several social media accounts that I felt like we’re no longer serving me properly and only kept two. Facebook helps me keep up with what’s going on with family and friends. Twitter is great for news. I deleted some games and other apps from my phone as well. There were just too many things to do in front of the tiny screen. I felt like it was beginning to interfere with my actual life. I don’t want to waste my life with my face in the phone. I want to have adventures with my fiancé, laugh with my friends, make stupid jokes with my sister, you know, make actual memories. Not, play words with strangers or re-post clever tidbits other people came up with. 

So, I stopped. 

I started the process last weekend. There were people I wanted to stay in contact with on Instagram and such. Everyday this week there’s been less and less to do on the phone. I’ve had to look outward for comfort and friendship instead of zombifying my mind with games and pointless social networks. At first, I was bored and kinda lonely. That lasted a day, maybe. After 24 hours of not using these sites and games, I felt happier. I actually watched a movie instead of half-assed listening to it while I stared at the phone. I am content doing one thing at a time and I don’t feel fidgety when I have down time. My mind is calmer and I honestly don’t feel like I am missing out. I don’t know why I ever thought I needed all that crap. I used to feel anxious if I didn’t check Facebook in the morning. Now, I realize that if someone needed me to know something, they’d call. They call even after I’ve liked their super important, life altering post anyway. 

A like still doesn’t replace a call. A post doesn’t replace human contact. People are social creatures but social media doesn’t satisfy every need. Generally, they only complicate things. People post prematurely and forget about etiquette. Jealousy arises because people work so hard to make themselves look good online when they could be falling apart in real life. Unfortunately, social media and smart phones aren’t going anywhere. I don’t think we really need all this technology. Not the way we are using it but it does have its benefits. Social media helps you stay in contact with friends and family, reconnect, raise awareness, raise money and network. 

I’ve just decided to break this down into a two part post. Since the detox isn’t over yet, I’ll share more about my experiences tomorrow. I had more to say about social media than I thought. I will share the recipes tomorrow too. You’ll get the recipe for my ginger tumeric detox drink, the green tea body wraps and my personal recipe for the citrus detox bath! 

Stay sexy spoonies! 

I just adore foxes and these have some great advice! 😉 This featured image is also from boredpanda.com. 

Cayenne Pepper Lemonade

Cayenne Pepper Lemonade

This cayenne pepper lemonade is great for migraines and it’s delicious too! 

It’s the perfect blend of tangy, sweet and spicy.

The active ingredient in cayenne peppers, capsaicin, is believed to bring headache relief by depleting Substance P, a neurotransmitter that helps send pain signals. Although some are still skeptical, a number of studies have tested the claim, and most have found evidence to support it. One prominent study on capsaicin for pain relief was published back in 1998 in the Clinical Journal of Pain. Their review of 33 previous studies found that capsaicin worked better than a placebo for cluster headaches.

Dr. Mercola 

Lemons help balance acidity and detoxify the body. Hydrating can also help reduce head pain. Cayenne is a natural blood thinner. This can reduce the intensity of the headache but consuming too much of the lemonade could have adverse effects if you’re on medications such as blood thinners. 

If you’re concerned about potential reactions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. 

Cayenne Pepper Lemonade

Ingredients 

  • 1/8 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 4 ounces honey
  • 12 ounces hot water
  • 8 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • Ice cubes and lemon slices for serving

Directions

In a heatproof 1-quart pitcher, combine the honey, cayenne pepper and hot water. Start with less pepper and add more depending on your tastes. Don’t stand directly over the pitcher. The cayenne will make your eyes water. Stir until the honey is dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice. I love pulp so I don’t strain the juice but make sure you don’t miss any seeds! Let cool for at least 10 minutes or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lemon slices. All ingredients can be adjusted to personal taste. It’s a versatile recipe. Try experimenting by adding mint or blueberries to the mix! It’s also great frozen! Chill it then blend it with some ice and enjoy. 

Cayenne also boosts metabolism! Stay sexy Spoonies! 

Recovering: A Rant

Recovering: A Rant

I am now recovering from my oral surgery. I want to inform readers that this blog has evolved into something like a diary. I do try to add helpful posts about spoonie dating and natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories as well but not as often as I’d like. 

I am writing tonight to remind people that they can’t just read one post and think they know what’s best for me. There are ups and downs in everyone’s lives, especially those with chronic illness. 

It’s not all in my head. 

It’s not because I’m missing something spiritually. 

My pain doesn’t give you the right to judge me and it doesn’t make me a bad person. 

I can’t pray the pain away. It doesn’t work like that.  

The devil is not causing my pain. 

I am human and I use this blog to vent sometimes because I know others here are going through similar things but maybe I shouldn’t reveal so much here. Perhaps it’s become too personal because people seem to think they know what’s best for me. 

I have improved quite a bit. I am maintaining well but everyone has bad days. When you have to take two steps back, sometimes it can be depressing. Pain can be depressing, isolating and overwhelming. Especially when it isn’t taken seriously. 

If you knew me, you’d see that I have taken a lot more forward steps than backwards steps. I’ve done a shitload of research and clinical trials. If I just listened to my doctors, I’d be bedridden. I took my health into my own hands and I’m glad I did. 

I am positive. I am happy. That doesn’t mean I’m not in pain and it doesn’t get to me sometimes. 

I am a fighter. I always will be so if you feel the need to pass judgment, you can fuck off. You’re not better than me because you’re not in constant pain. 

The pain is not a choice. It’s not in my head. Well, except for the migraines and headaches. 😉

Some helpful posts you can look forward to reading soon-

  • Cayenne pepper lemonade for migraine relief 
  • Apps that help maintain chronic illness and stress
  • Heath benefits of sex

Sorry for the rant. Stay sexy spoonies. 

The Battle

The Battle

It has been about three weeks since my last post so I figured I at least owe you an update. 

It’s after 3am. I just opened my first Heineken. Did some stretching and a little yoga while listening to Dharampal. My head hurts and I should be working on my paper about the Indian uprising but I am tired of being on the computer. So, what do I do? I migrate to the couch with my dog and my Wonder Woman snuggie because I feel like I need to write. So now, I’m just on a tiny computer. 

  
Fibromyalgia turns everything into a battle. The pain, nausea and fatigue turn everything into a chore. When I first got the diagnosis, I was relieved because I thought I would be able to form a successful treatment plan. I haven’t. I’ve improved. I think. I could just be coping better. I really don’t know. I do feel better now that I am treating it naturally and no longer taking Lyrica or Gabapentin but I don’t feel like I’ve made much more progress than that. 

My hormones are more under control and that helps too but even that isn’t resolved. 

I’ll be having oral surgery next week and I am really hoping that it’ll relieve some of this head pain. Otherwise, I’m going to have to break down and go to a neurologist but I know they’re just going to want an MRI. I can’t afford fibromyalgia or whatever else might be plaguing me. 

Sometimes, I feel good about the progress I’ve made and other times I feel completely hopeless about my health. Usually, both in the same day. Living with fibromyalgia really is like being on a roller coaster. One minute I’m up and feeling good, positive and happy. The next minute, I’m crying in pain and feeling useless. 

On top of that, it’s sent me on this path of self discovery and all that (I really wanted to call it bullshit). I’ve been atheist most of my life so this new need for spiritual belonging just makes me feel more lost than ever. I know I’m not Christian. I identify a lot with Pagean and Buddhist beliefs. I meditate and I’m drawn to certain crystals. I love my chakra stones but I still don’t know exactly where I fit in. I’ve always thought Hinduism was fascinating but deciphering between all the deities gets confusing and I eat beef. Something else I feel guilty about. I try to buy eggs from happy chickens and organic grass fed meats but I’m still consuming something that was alive. I feel guilty when I accidentally step on a snail so how can I continue to eat bacon? 

I don’t feel compelled to follow any religion wholeheartedly. 

I spent most of my younger years trying to just block out all the negativity. I ignored all the world’s issues as well as my own. Compassion was painful. It still is but I’ve decided I can’t hide anymore. It doesn’t work anyway. 

 
Sounds easy enough… but what exactly is the divine power?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

-Gandhi

Well, that’s a lot of fucking pressure! Especially, when it doesn’t seem like most other people are trying to do the same. Acknowledging the world’s pain and trying to do my part to change it is challenging to say the least. 

I don’t know what to do or believe and my head hurts. 

  

When you don’t know what else to do, stay sexy Spoonies! 

Oh, these are not my images. I was lazy and they were already on my phone because I liked them. I will credit Google. 😋

UPDATE: I Took a religion test and so I just thought I’d share with you my results (this photo is mine, of course). 

  

My First Blogiversary

My First Blogiversary

celebrate-1164102-638x365

It’s my first blogiversary! I didn’t even know it until I logged into Facebook and it showed me my memories from today.

I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past year. Learning to cope with chronic illness can really change a person. I have ups and downs daily but I am grateful for all the wonderful people in my life that have helped me along the way!

Honestly, it’s like being on a roller coaster constantly. I’m nauseated, disoriented, achy and the emotional highs and lows are often unexpected and always exhausting. But, amusement rides are fun, right?! This journey has certainly been amusing, at the least…

thanks-1306904

Over 200 followers and several blogging awards! Thank you all! I hope this blog will continue to grow and help others as much as it has helped me.

joy-1430953-640x480I don’t hate my chronic illness anymore and I wouldn’t change my life for a millions of dollars. I never thought I could be so happy… Especially after the diagnoses kept piling up but I have found strength. I have found friendship. I have found spirituality. I have found WordPress!

Stay sexy Spoonies and keep blogging!

My Grandpa and Me

My Grandpa and Me

  
My grandpa passed away a few years ago. He was certainly one of a kind! I will cherish the memories I have of him forever. Some of my best memories happened at his house…. swimming in trash cans, playing with baby ducks and monkeys, exploring his office, and the house was always full of happy friends, relatives and delicious homemade dishes and desserts. He and my grannie helped make my childhood seem so magical. 

  

After my fibromyalgia diagnosis, I learned that my grandpa and I had more in common than I realized. He also had fibromyalgia and low blood oxygen. I have digestion issues like he did… Our health issues are so much alike, I feel like learning about what he silently endured is like looking into my future. 

Despite all the pain he was in, he always smiled. He always goofed around. He insisted chocolate syrup was medicine and never said no to entertaining my cousins and I. He took us to Mexico for shopping and even riding in the car was a blast with him. He loved each of us unconditionally and I don’t remember ever being scolded by him. I don’t know how he kept the pain from making him irritable! 

  

This was written for the local paper after his passing. 

It was Dec. 7, 1971, and Woodrow “Woodie” Peables Jr. was running through the snow-covered streets of Abilene. Back at his house, his wife Alicia was about to have their first child.

Woodie was running the 21 blocks to his parent’s house to borrow a car.

Raised in a very conservative family in Brownsville, Alicia knew very little about the process of having a baby. She was surprised when her water broke.

“Such things were just never discussed by my family,” Alicia said.

Her husband came home from work to find Alicia mopping the floor instead of getting ready to go to the hospital.

But Woodie knew what it meant and that’s when he started running.

When he reached his folks’ house, Woodie began pounding on the door.

“What’s the matter, son?” asked his father, Woodrow Peables Sr.

“I need to borrow a car. Alicia’s in labor” Woodie said.

“The car’s in your driveway, son, with the keys in it,” said the elder Peables.

That had been the plan. For the past week, Woodrow Sr. or one of Woodie’s brothers had left a car in his driveway for just such an event.

In later years, Woodie would claim he didn’t see the white car because of all of the snow.

“He just went into full panic mode,” said his daughter, Chyrstal.

Woodie and his father piled into another car and went to pick up Alicia. On the way to the hospital, that car got stuck in the snow and they had to go back and get the white car. But all ended well and their daughter, Tonya, was born in the hospital. She was the first of three daughters and one son born to Alicia and Woodie.

There wasn’t all of that fuss when Woodrow Perry Peables Jr. entered this world on July 24, 1937. He was born on the kitchen table of his parents’ apartment over a garage in Abilene.

Woodie was one of four sons born to Lois and Woodrow Peables Sr. She was a cook and Woodrow Sr. was a baker doing mechanic’s work on the side. Eventually, Woodie’s father opened his own garage.

Woodie joined the military after high school, but soon was discharged to care for his ailing parents and help run the garage.

“He was ‘busting’ tires,” Chrystal said. “Back then, they didn’t have all of the tools they have now for fixing flats or putting on new tires. It all had to be done by hand.”

After a few years, Woodie moved to Houston and a job as a truck driver. There, he married Wanda and they had two daughters, Nona and Joy.

But the marriage only lasted a few years and Woodie was soon single again.

He started dating Alicia’s roommate. One night, Woodie came to their apartment to ask if Alicia would go out with a friend of his. He never got around to asking.

Then 17, Alicia was working at a Houston hospital. “I didn’t date,” she said. “I liked to sit at home and watch TV and listen to records.”

When Woodie got home that night, his friend wanted to know what Alicia had said about the double date.

Woodie announced, “I’m going to marry that girl and live with her forever.”

“From day one he never let me alone,” Alicia said.

Woodie asked her to marry him and kept asking for six days until she said yes.

“He was persistent,” Alicia said. “I told him I didn’t love him, but he said he had enough love for both of us.

“He said, ‘I’ll grow on you.’ And he did,” she said. “We were married 38 years.”

They moved to Abilene in 1970.

“He was always working,” Alicia said. “He built houses, he wrecked houses, carpenter, mechanic … ”

“He salvaged houses for the wood or whatever he could get out of them,” Chrystal said.

Alicia found out the guy down the street paid his workers a penny a nail to remove them from the lumber. She started pulling nails for Woodie — only he never paid her.

When Tonya came along, Alicia’s nail-pulling days ended.

Like any road traveled, Alicia and Woodie’s marriage was not without the occasional bump or rough spot, Alicia recalled. But they always made it through.

Woodie constantly wrote Alicia love letters. “He was very romantic,” she said. “He was always bringing me flowers and candy.”

The family moved to Victoria, where Woodie worked for Brown & Root and Union Carbide. An accident at work left Woodie disabled. They moved to the Valley so Alicia could be closer to her family. It was to have tragic consequences.

In 1987, Chrystal, then 13, revealed that she had been molested for several years and then raped.

When Woodie went looking for help for his family to deal with this, there was none to be had locally. The system seemed to be geared to help perpetrators instead of victims.

Woodie decided to do something about it.

“It was his way of …,” Chrystal said and then paused, her eyes brimmimg with tears. “Since he couldn’t help me, because it went on so long, he wanted to help other people. He felt it would help give me the strength to go on.”

Alicia said the first step was to get help for their family. A crime doesn’t just affect one person. It has an effect on the entire household. Woodie found therapy for everyone and they discovered the process of healing.

“We found out what each of us were going to feel each step of the way,” Alicia said. “And the support we needed to give her.”

It became a blueprint for how they would help other families deal with the aftermath of any crime.

“We met in restaurants or the hallways of the Courthouse — wherever he found people who needed help,” Alicia said. “We would meet in parks. Flying back from meetings in Austin, we would meet people on the plane.”

They helped people apply to state agenies for help covering medical, funeral or any other expenses that victims suffered as a result of crime.

“We would get them the forms and then make sure they were filled out correctly — that they dotted every ‘I’ and crossed every ‘t,’ ” Alicia said.

“He told me to take typing classes,” Chrystal said with a smile. “I didn’t realize I would be turned into a secretary — unpaid, of course.”

Woodie used part of the family’s only income, his disability checks, to pay his expenses.

It first became People Against Violent Crime, and then Cameron County Victims Assistance after the county began funding their work. Their efforts resulted in millions of dollars of aid for Valley crime victims.

“Looking back, he was always a strict and hard man,” Chrystal said. “Especially after he started the crime victims, because he knew what was out there.”

Alicia said their phone would ring at all hours of the day or night with calls for assistance. Some would come from law enforcement officials telling them about a family in need.

Woodie’s health began to fail even more. It was problems with his heart,

“They started telling him he only had six months to live back in 1979,” Chrystal said. “He outlived three or four of his doctors.”

Woodie kept his romantic nature, even when he became very ill. Every evening at 10 p.m., Alicia would stop whatever she was doing and get a goodnight kiss from Woodie. Then he would take his medicine and go to bed.

Woodie knew when he was going to die. He had Chrystal call her sisters and her uncles so he could tell them all goodbye.

“He said he forgave them for anything they might have ever done and said he hoped they would forgive him, too,” Chrystal said. “He asked permission to die, to let him go.”

“Then he went to sleep with a smile on his face,” Alicia said.

But things didn’t go according to Woodie’s plan.

“Boy, was he mad when he woke up the next morning,” Chrystal said. “He looked around and said ‘What the hell am I still doing here?’”

Woodie was so mad he didn’t get out of bed that day. He certainly didn’t want to have to go through saying goodbye again.

“He always wanted to help, to give,” Alicia said.

Chrystal said it wasn’t surprising that his heart finally gave out. “He gave too much of it away,” she said.

 
My sweet grannie has helped me cope with my cluster headaches and fibromyalgia (since he had both also) through stories of my grandpa’s strength and selflessness. He never let his illness run his life. He never gave in even when the pain was excruciating. I think it made him want to help more people. The number of lives he touched is certainly inspiring.

He taught me to surround myself with joy and to love life more than I hate my pain. Most importantly, he taught me to never give up. I miss him dearly… 

Fibro Bullies

Fibro Bullies

Someone brought a community page on Facebook that bullies people with fibromyalgia to my attention. 

I was beyond upset. I was hurt. 

I reported the page for bullying but my sister brought up the question of free speech. She made a very valid point but it didn’t make me feel better. The conversation went something like this: 

Sister- “Everyone has the right to express their opinions regardless of popularity. This issue is very controversial right now. We may be stupid, ignorant, fat, lazy Americans. But we are free to be that or whatever we choose. I would suggest that in the future you hide this from your view. Something I like to tell people that don’t appreciate my humor and/or opinions is, ‘if you find me offensive, then don’t fucking find me.’ I love you sister and will back you no matter what, but that is my point of view on it.”

Me- “I understand what you’re saying and thank you for supporting me. People are entitled to their opinions but this guy is just spreading hate. That’s exactly what it says on the cover photo, ‘We hate you’ To me, that’s going a little far.”

Sister- “In this overly politically correct society, we need to encourage others to express themselves and our best defense against hate and prejudice is education. Let’s use these opportunities to enlighten people to these issues that effect us. I just can’t stand how everyone is offended by everything now days. 

Maybe you can share some documented research to that person’s page. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.'”

Me- “Others have already tried educating and reasoning. Whoever runs that page is just rude about it. I know you’re right about free speech and all that. I do feel a little like a hypocrite but I don’t feel bad for reporting the page. I wasn’t offended when I saw it. I was sad. It hurt my feelings. I know that sounds childish but people with fibromyalgia go through enough without this jerk citing outdated studies and crap. It’s one thing to have an opinion but why purposely try to make people feel bad? Many people have fibro way worse than I do. It can be debilitating and depressing. 

I am trying to be the change I want to see in the world and I know I reacted poorly here. I reported the page without even thinking about it.”

I still feel conflicted. That’s why I’m writing about the experience. 

This page goes beyond having an opinion. Would a page bullying cancer survivors or victims of assault be allowed to stay up? I didn’t scour Facebook to find out. Honestly, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach and I wish it had never been brought to my attention. 

Women with fibromyalgia have a 10-fold increased risk for suicide according to Danish researchers. Read the article, here. Aren’t we going through enough? Can’t we just be left alone? 

I find myself wondering about the creator of the page. Did they have a bad experience with someone with fibromyalgia? Were they misdiagnosed with it? I just don’t understand what could instill such hate. 

What is so wrong with only respecting the opinions of others as long as they aren’t stifling anyone else’s existence? 

I see no reason to tear one another down. We should be lifting each other up. 

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

John Holmes

I will not be sharing the Facebook page. I believe they are already getting more attention than they deserve. I want to know what you think. How would you have reacted? 

Stay strong and stay sexy spoonies!

Cover Image from Tumblr.