It’s easy to forget that some illness and disease can’t be seen by the naked eye.
I’m not even talking about mental illness, which is certainly invisible to the naked eye and is often brushed off by those who don’t understand.
I’m talking about physical issues that don’t show on the surface, and therefore are often forgotten about.
Yes I have Fibromyalgia. No, you can’t see there is something physically wrong with me by looking at me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. And while I am probably more critical of people claiming they have fibromyalgia than anyone else (I still think many people are given the incorrect diagnosis of fibromyalgia), for goodness sake I spent the best part of 10 years trying to prove that, that it is not what I have.
But the more I researched, the more I read, the more I learned, the more it became clear that I do in fact have fibromyalgia. Even now I will occasionally go on a “proving them wrong” adventure, but the only one who gets proven wrong time and time again is me.
Looking at me you don’t know there is anything wrong with me. I teach a lot of fitness classes, something many people with fibromyalgia would never even think to do. And outwardly, especially when teaching, I go out of my way to hide any pain I’m feeling. Why? because these people are coming to see me, to get a workout from me, it’s not their problem that my shoulder is throbbing today, that my leg is numb, or that my fingers don’t want to work properly.
They don’t see me go home and have to soak in a hot tub to get the circulation in my arms and legs to feel right again
And so, largely by my own doing, people forget I have a problem.
And since they forget, I get back handed comments about how much I sleep. That I try to sleep-in when I can and have arranged my teaching schedule so I never have to get up before 9am.
I don’t like to tell people what time I get up because I am usually faced with a “look”. The, “I can’t believe you sleep until 9 or 10 most days of the week while I’ve been at work since whatever time.”
Well I’m not sorry. A big part of the reason I can do what I do (teaching exercise classes) is because I allow myself a bit more time in bed each night/morning.
Without that extra time I can’t focus. My joints and muscles hurt so much more. I feel like I’m weighted down with 50 pound weights on each of my limbs. My fingers get stiff and difficult to use. I get stupid and sloppy and forgetful (that’s the “Fibre Fog” setting in). If I’m only slightly over tired I will get a bad headache. If I’m really sleep deprived I will get physically sick to my stomach (and if I’m really lucky, I’ll get a migraine on top of it).
The person I am today is a completely different person than the one who would have stood before you 10 or 12 years ago. And while I credit my naturopath for getting me started on the journey that turned my life/wellness around, it’s because I left my 9-5 job, started consistently spending more time in bed (though I still only average about 7-8 hours asleep) and exercising that I am better.
And yet I still struggle everyday with some pain or discomfort. My limbs go numb for what seems like no reason. A random shooting pain will attack me for no apparent reason. A joint will decide without warning that it don’ts want to work this week. I never know what each day will bring, but I can be sure it rarely brings the same problems two days in a row.
(thank goodness for compression socks and clothing!)
So you might ask, “How are you better, if you are still suffering?”
Because 10 years ago it was all I could do to survive the day. I was in terrible pain all day everyday. Even walking a couple kilometres was more than I could even think about it. All I wanted to do was sleep.
So while I’m still in pain daily, and still have to be careful not to get over tired I’m a million times better than I ever thought I would be.
And it might be easy to forget that I, or other people in your life are dealing with invisible physical struggles, try not to forget.
Just because I’m 32 (nearly 33) and don’t get up at 6:00am doesn’t mean for a second that I’m lazy or that I don’t work hard.
What it does mean is that I know what my body needs from me and instead of fighting against it, I’ve learned to listen to it.
But I do understand that it can be easy for others to forget.
As a kid/teen I was obsessed with Lip Smackers lip balm. I had an impressive collection (and a collectable tin to keep them all in). Every day I was able to choose a different flavour/scent which went right into my pocket to keep me company for the day.
Fast forward quite a few years and little has changed. While my collection is no full of lip smackers products, I still have an dying love for lip balms. I do try to find lip balms they are more organic based and with fewer chemicals these days, but that’s not to say that a lip smackers doesn’t get thrown into the mix now and again.
A few weeks back I wrote a post on reducing chemicals in your personal care routine , but only really talked about one of the lip balms I’m loving these days. Today I thought I’d invite you into my obsession and share a few more!
It’s important to note that this isn’t my entire collection. I gathered up the lip balms in my purse, by my bed and at my desk and let all the others be. After editing the photos I realize that my Burt’s Bees lip balm didn’t make the (photo) cut, but I’m okay with that. While I like my Burt’s Bees lip balm, I find I use it less than these others (with the exception of the Aronia which I only got on Friday).
I’ve already declared my love for LUSH Lip Service lip balm. My skin can get cranky over nothing, and anytime I feel my lips getting irritated by something I ate, or something I put on them I go back to this balm. It’s simple, I like the smell (and the taste), and it does it’s job really well. What I don’t like is that I have to apply it with my finger so then I have to either wash my hands or wipe my finger on my pants (not that I’d ever do such a thing…). You can see in this photo and the one above, that my own tin is very well loved. When I was having a really bad skin irritation last spring this was the only thing that kept me from losing my mind!
How can I not love EOS? They are largely organic based, come in the coolest little spherical containers and well, are just cool. I have a number of them littered throughout the house and my car. They are easy (and mess free) to apply, they come is great scents/flavours (I never know what to call them. I know you’re not suppose to eat them, but you do get a taste of them…). The only drawback to these is I find if I use them exclusively for a few days I do start to get a lip irritation. I don’t know what is in them that bothers my skin, but it seems like small quantities don’t irritate so I use these a bit more sparingly.
My newest addiction. Bare English & Co is a small Canadian company that makes these freaking amazing tea infused lip balms that are organic, GMO, gluten and cruelty free. They sent me a number of their lip balm to check out and you guys I am honest to goodness obsessed with them. I’ve opened these two (the vanilla almond smells just like almond cookies!) and I love anything citrus scented so I went crazy for the pink grapefruit. I offered to give one to my friend Cathy, and then had the hardest time trying to decide which one to give her (mostly because I wanted them all for myself!). She ended up with cucumber melon, and she too is obsessed. Unlike the EOS these don’t irritate my lips at all (I should know, I’ve applied it about 334987324 times/day since they arrived!) and smell SOOO good! Did I mention how good they smell?
Here in Canada you can purchase them at Rexall, London Drugs and Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as a number of tea shops and natural health stores. I’ve checked our local Shopper’s Drug Mart and they carry the two scents (favours?) I show above, plus the cucumber melon. This November they are launching 5 more flavours including Lemon Meringue, Chai Tea Latte, Juicy Peach, Mango Acai and Sweet Peppermint (and a line of tinted balm, hand cream, body lotion and sugar scrub in the next few months). Needless to say I am 100% sure I need all of them. If you trust nothing else I say trust this – if you live in Canada and like lip balm, you need to go get some of these. I’m sure everyone knows about EOS and LUSH, but you might not know about these and they are amazing! Aside from the times I need the super power of the LUSH balm these have quickly become my go-to product. For real. #totallyobsessed
The Badger lip balm is a newer addition to my collection as well. I’d been wanting to try one for a while so Cathy picked one up for me a few weeks ago (which is what lead me to give her one of my Bare English lip balms). I really like the flavour (I’ve decided it is flavour not scent, but now am too lazy to go back and change anything), and the balm is good but I would put it in the same category as my Burt’s Bees. Good or borderline great, but falling short of amazing. Sorry Badger, I like ya, I just don’t love you.
Aronia is a new product for me, I’ve actually only tried it a couple times but wanted to include it because there is just something about it I quite like. It’s the flavour. When I looked it up it is infused with berry extracts, but for some reason it gives me a cream soda-vibe which I really like. Cream Soda was my favourite kind of pop growing up so I’m really drawn to it. What I have is a sample size, the full size lip butter comes in a different packaging and is available to purchase online or at select Ontario stores. I can’t attest to how hydrating it is long term, but the few times I tried it so far I did enjoy it, especially that flavouring!!
Are you a lip balm addict? I know a few of my friends are, if you are too I’d love to hear what your all time fav lip balm is! Right now I’m going to say it’s a toss up between my LUSH Lip Service and my new BFF Bare English & Co. I just can’t forget how much the Lip Service saved me when my lips were so irritated and swollen, but I really am obsessed with Bare & English Co!
A Sneaky Giveaway!
When I told the people at Bare English & Co just how obsessed, I mean in love, I am with their lip balms they offered to give two of my Canadian readers a set of their 5 new flavours (Juicy Peach, Lemon Meringue, Sweet Peppermint, Chai Tea Latte and Mango Acai)! I can’t lie, I’m desperately envious of whomever wins! To enter please visit their website and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which of their flavours you would most like to try!
Giveaway will end at 11:59pm EST on Monday, November 24, 2014. Winners will be selected using random.org
The giveaway winners have been chosen and they are:
FYI-Some of the comments were mine (and one was a comment someone left by mistake), but I chose to use the full number of comments and then counted down to find the winner ensuring that the winning comment wasn’t my own or the other voided comment.
Disclosure: I did received the Bare English & Co lip balms free of charge, but was not required to write a review for them, I am sharing only because I’m insanely obsessed and I want everyone to join me in my obsession! I also did receive the Aroina lip butter of free but in a sample box, not from Aronia. They have no idea who I am or that I have a blog.