As a woman who needs medical appointments for maintaining care (and possible) treatments for Fibromyalgia; who has no access to family physicians or nurse practitioner practices in my immediate local (I can't travel outside my city limits because I do not drive). I have to think outside my medical team "box" and pick and choose alternative health care solutions. Your medical team could include your GP/FP, a nurse practitioner, physiotherapist, message therapist, acupuncturists, and/or any specialist(s) that you need for your chronic illness care and maintenance.
Before I was diagnosed, I had an amazing physician who believed in my struggles and worked along side of me to find solutions; trial and error with prescriptions, tests such as ultrasounds, x-rays, CT-scans, MRI, and she referred me to different specialists. It was a long process of the elimination game to zero in on the "real culprit". In November 2018, she diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. The rheumatologist confirmed her diagnosis with additional blood work and a single consultation that I do, in fact, have Fibromyalgia.
My lovely doctor closed her practice in the summer 2019; my family was transferred to another physician within an umbrella of medical services but when he closed his office in April 2020, he did not refer us to another GP within that umbrella and we lost many needed services.
An Alternative solution
In the New Year, I got an email from PC Optimum, I am 100% guilty of overlooking this email that day.
Links on PC Optimum/PC Health artwork, expect in gallery below.
On February 20, I got another email and this time it caught my eye with their message:
I was more likely to click the second over the first one for many reasons, but my #1 why is that I don't even have a waiting room to get to, there is no GP available and online services seem to begun a new health care system in its own.
I must note that this services look like they are coming from the private sector (Loblaws) and most, if not all, have fees associated with them. To speak with a GP, it is $49 (please see gallery of screenshots from their PC health app. I read on the reviews page that PEI will assist or repay the fee to see the GP, if you do not have one to consult. I do not live in PEI, please verify with your health care department from your government agency.
With PC health services, there is an option to book an appointment with a chronic pain physician. I was most impressed with the variety of appointments.
As I have stated before, I am without a family physician; I have been without OHIP covered medical services for a year. Any services I have gotten since May 2020, I have paid out of pocket for physiotherapy, a consultation with a naturopathic doctor, and my adrenal function test. As a person who has no GP/FP (and on a waitlist), I am considering this alternative to find answers and continue to maintain care.
Today is the day, I've been waiting for this test since learning about adrenal function last summer when I was taking the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute's Fibromyalgia Advisor program. I was doing some research and I came across this article about adrenal fatigue and I believe that I have issues with adrenal function, not necessarily fatigue but they are not functioning properly.
Exhausted? 10 ways to know if you have adrenal fatigue, and what to do about it by Margaret Floyd Barry
I got 8/10 in that questionnaire. According to the article: "If two or more of these describe you, you most likely have some degree of adrenal dysregulation."
I spoke to my new naturopathic doctor about my issues and she agreed that we should get the tests done. I had to pay out of payment for this testing, but I believe that it will be worth knowing if I have issues with adrenal functions and steer my treatments and dietary changes to meet any of those needs from the adrenals working overtime. Next up in my testing is a new set of blood work and looking at factors that were overlooked when I was working with GP. I am still without a family physician and I hope that I can see the college clinic doctor for things that can be covered by OHIP and be easy on my pocket book. I am grateful I can put some money towards naturopathic treatments.
If you suspect that you may have issues with adrenal functions, please get in touch with your general practioner for a discussion and possible testing.
For my 40th birthday, I received my first IPSY Glam Bag subscription. I love ISPY because I can be clueless when it comes to makeup and skin care regiments. As a preteen and most of my teenage years, I didn't wear much makeup (or none at most days). I feel that I was a tomboy and felt good to dress casually & add a baseball cap, and sometimes when I did feel girly, I loved wearing crop top but I would get shy and cover up with a cardigan.
I love that I can pick and choose my colors and what type of products can be included in my Glam Bag. I discovered my favorite face creams thanks to my subscription with IPSY. The monthly subscription is $12 USD and you have the option to add more products for a great discounted rate.
My favorite items to receive in my Glam Bag are lipsticks & lip-glosses, eye creams, face cleansers, and nail polishes. Last March, in my first IPSY box, I received my favorite face cream that I use in the morning, Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. The following month, I received my favorite night cream, Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask.
I created a Pinterest board with my favorite glam bags & products I received since March 2020. You can see it here. Happy pinning!
I wanted to share my favorite products I use on a daily bases for my self-care and products that ease my pain during recovery from a flare or daily pains.
Every night before I fall asleep, I use Yves Rocher Anti-Fatigue/Anti-Tiredness Foot Soothing Iced Gel & Yves Rocher Light Legs Fresh Gel. I just discovered these Yves Rocher products this month and I love them very much, I don't hurt as much in the morning.
My favorite pain relief topical cream is by Mind Body Matrix. I was gifted a sample size bottle last summer when I joined the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute. I was so pleased that I felt immediate relief in my back, neck, and shoulders (or wherever else, I had applied it for pain relief). It is a pricey item, but I believe it is worth the cost, for it's an alternative to prescription medication that I don't have access to.
I use an essential oil called Worry Not, I apply it at bedtime on my wrists, breathe in the aroma and peacefully fall asleep.
If I have a headache, I use a frozen eye pillow created by KrumaCreations, either on the back of my neck or over my eyes.
My top apps for tracking my fibromyalgia symptoms, pain, and moods:
For my 38th birthday, my family got me my beautiful Bellabeat leaf, in rose gold; it's a smart jewelry on premium blackwood that gives an earthy/nature look that I adore. The bellabeat tracks activity, sleep, meditation, reproductive health, and smart alarm. I decided that this was the product for me because of the sleep tracking and the beautiful design.
Recently, I saw that Bellabeat has a waitlist for their new edition. It is called Ivy Bellabeat and it tracks heart rate, resting heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep quality and duration, and more. I love that the Ivy has these new tracking options, but I am not sure I am in love with the design/the look of the Ivy.
Daylio is a fun way to track moods. I use it everyday for almost every activity I do each day. I discovered this app two years ago; it compiles your data and the stat reports are great to go over and see what improves mood and what doesn't help improve mood, there's cute badges "achievements" to earn, and weekly mood reports that show you last week vs. this week mood chart.
GeoPain is fantastic for tracking daily medication and has a great pain chart; it has a great design and 3D body chart. It was easier to track my headaches, I could draw on the actual area that hurts, and see the different headaches (sinus or migraine). On GeoPain, under treatments, you can list your medication and supplements, and so much more.
Please comment below, let me know your favorite health & wellness tracking app?
Chantal \shahn~ TAHL\
A devastating beauty with a fiery personality. Part lover, part fighter.
Chantals know how to make it rain. Your life is incomplete if you lack a Chantal. A completely magical girl.
- Urban Dictionary