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.
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?
I did this two years ago when I started blogging and I decided to write it again today, a reflection of my year. There's a lot of negativity about 2020, it being the worst year ever, but it's all perspective. I had some difficult moments and some hard days, but nothing worse than I've experienced in the past five years.
Photo 1, my birthday photoshoot
For my 40th birthday, my daughter, Sarah, did my hair and makeup and we went to my old middle school to take a few photos. I love the dress I wore, I broke my favorite shoes (must replace them in 2021), and I adore the photos Sarah captured, I used them often for profile pictures and my blog's bio.
Photo 2, my camera
I've been dreaming and wishing for this camera for a few years and Kirk got it for me in May. It is a beautiful pink Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Camera Kit with XC 15-45mm Lens.
Photo 3, my desk on May 17
It's a reminder to me that I was overwhelmed and I didn't reach out for help. I felt the world was ending (in my personal world) and I did not handle the situation properly and I suffered because of it. I had support afterwards as I was working with my fibromyalgia coach and taking the Fibromyalgia Advisor program. I put my focus onto myself. Things didn't seem so dark afterwards.
Photo 4, 5, 6, Graduation
My three children graduated from high school, middle school, and elementary school (respectively).
Photo 7, Kirk + CeCe
I fell in love with him, again. I don't know how it's even possible but I loved him even more this year. It was amazing that we were able to take a few days in August for an anniversary road trip around southern Ontario. That's when I fell in love, again.
He's such an awesome, understanding partner. He believes in me even when I can't find the light in my darkest times.
Photo 8, CeCe & Kate
Probably the biggest highlight of the year for me, was that I was able to hug my best friend, Kate, for the first time in over 10 years. I missed her so badly and I am grateful that we were able to reunited for an afternoon. Anxious for vaccines to roll out and COVID restrictions to be lifted so I can travel to see her again.
Photo 9, IFCI Grad
It's now hanging on my office wall, my International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute Fibromyalgia Advisor certificate. Around the time I earned my certification, I started mapping my plan and goals for the next few years to achieve my dream job. It's a longer road but I know it all will be worth the hard work when I am able to display my certifications and diplomas on my wall.
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