Straight Ahead

Have you ever had one of those moments where you were listening to something like your favorite podcast and something really profound strikes you. Well today that happened as I was listening to one of mine and I wanted to share it with you. The person speaking was sharing a story about whitewater rafting with his wife. As they headed down river the raft they were in flipped and all kinds of chaos ensued. The story carries on talking about how they came within inches of death however they eventually managed to reach shore safely.

After everything that transpired the last thing he wanted to do was get back into that raft and continue down the river, yet it was the only option because there was no other way out. He offered to pay the guide to have a helicopter fly in and pick them up but the canyon walls were too steep! There was no other way of walking out until they got several miles down river, and they had to face some very nasty rapids called the Devil’s Mouth! Facing no other choice they got back into the raft and continued down river.

So often the only option one faces while fighting a chronic illness is to move straight forward and take on the illness in a battle that most of us would rather not fight. We see that difficult path that lies ahead, and it scares us to the extent that we don’t want to get back in the boat. It takes every ounce of strength to tell yourself that your going to be ok, and not to let the fear of the unknown make decisions for you! It takes faith and believing in yourself to continue your journey through whatever you might have to face. Sometimes those roadblocks that stand in our way are there for reasons unknown but you can’t let fear stop you from moving ahead. Sometimes you just have to say  “I’m not going to let fear stop me from taking the next step” or from “accomplishing a goal”!

What I kept thinking through the entire podcast was I’m going through all of this for a reason! The pain, suffering, surgeries, and everything else CRPS throws at me! I know in my heart that I’m having to go through all of this so that something good will come out of all of it in the end. Even the ability to be able to speak into another person’s life is a powerful tool that I have been given. At the start of all of this I felt weak and beaten down. Now I feel as though I can take on anything life throws at me, regardless of what the challenge is. We don’t always see odvious things that are sittings right in front of us because we get too caught up in what’s happening in the now!

The message today is pretty simple sometimes we only have one choice and that’s to keep moving forward and face whatever lays ahead. You don’t know what might come out of your experiences!


Standing Back Up!

Today I wanted to write something to encourage all of you out there who are struggling right now with your diagnosis. It might seem as if your world is spinning out of control and you might be asking yourself what do I do now! I want you to ask yourself a question. Are you happy? When I saw this video I said to myself its a perfect fit for what I want to talk about because it really says it all! Through all the pain, anger, and fear you need to get back up and fight. In some cases it isn’t going to be easy but with Gods guidance anything is possible! As the video says allow your heart to start beating again! Take baby steps one foot in front of the other and you can get there!

A word of advice! I really wanted to figure out where this journey was taking me but understand now I just needed to take the ride. I’ve turned that over to God and it’s brought peace in my life. I’m learning that bit by bit Gods greater plan is unfolding for my life. Sometimes the battle to get your mind and body back in the game, is tougher than facing the illness itself. When we get sick we just want everything to go back to the way it was. We tend to focus on the way things were and it can be really easy to become bitter and angry because we can’t have our old life back! Have you stopped to think for a minute that maybe this journey your on is for a reason. Maybe God has a plan for your life with bigger and better things but first you have to walk through some really tough things!

To often we listen to all those tiny voices that we hear in our head and it stops us from shifting the car from park into drive! I’m often reminded of all those episodes of the Flintstones I used to watch as a kid. If you don’t remember it then it was a cartoon set in the Stone Ages. The cars they drove in the cartoon were foot powered, and Barney and Fred would constantly forget to move their feet to get the car going. The running joke was why isn’t the car going anywhere. So the parallel I’m trying to make is that you have to keep your feet moving, if you want to stop yourself from getting stuck in the mud.

It might take some time to figure things out but don’t believe for a minute that your stuck where your at! You can’t be scared of running up against obstacles, or the times of frustration that you will run up against while on this journey. Look for the lesson from within each of those challenges, and if there is one learn and grow from them if you can. Some of those hard times that you face as you walk this journey might just change how you think about things from the past. Or it might open your eyes to new things that you never thought possible. Never in a million years did I see myself organizing a CRPS Awareness Day in our province and taking a roll in advocacy the way that I am. That being said I couldn’t feel better about what I am doing and the small roll I’m playing in trying to raise awareness. Advocacy has fueled a fire in me that wasn’t there before. Its fire to help people in whatever ways I can.

I’m not trying to tell you what to do in your situation. Absolutely not! I’m just trying to point out that there are things in my own life over the last ten years, that I’ve had to work on that I didn’t see coming. Ones that are taking me down a different road and as this happens I’m seeing happiness return. Do I know your situation? No! Can I relate to your situation? Yes! I do know that if I had stayed the way I was ten years ago then I wouldn’t be happy. I wouldn’t for a minute think of trying to tell another person what to do with there life and I never will. What I will do however is share my story with others and encourage. I really believe that when we support each other in these ways that we gain perspective. What you choose to do with that is your choice!

This is a simple message that I’ve given on more than one occasion but I think its important to keep giving. Its important because if I don’t remind myself personally every once in a while of these things, then I become stuck or my vision can become clouded. So I would hope that you see things in the same way. If your reading this today I hope it helps shed some light on questions you might have in your own journey!





Starting A New Chapter!

imageChanges are in the works! Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at how I can make some changes to this blog for the better! Don’t worry! If you read my blog on a regular basis the guts of the blog will be almost the same but I will be changing the layout and adding some other things to the site. There are a few reasons I want to make some changes but I also want to update its look. I know I’ve been saying that I’d do this for a while now but it just hasn’t been high on the to do list!

If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see on my site then please drop me a line at and maybe I will consider it. I just really feel that change has to happen and that if I’m going to do my job as an advocate for CRPS and chronic pain then I have to change a few things around. In doing so it benefits you the reader. Not only will it keep you informed about this journey I am on but I will try to provide you with resources and other information as well.

Over the last year I have been surrounding myself with others with chronic illness who are firmly entrenched in advocacy and have an abundance of information at their fingertips. I’ve been sitting back wanting to make changes with my site but just didn’t know what those changes were going to look like. When people come to this blog I don’t want it to read like a medical journal. If a person is newly diagnosed I want them to not only relate to my illness and know that they are not alone, but know they can come to this site for information as well!

imageIf you follow my blog because you want to follow my journey then your in luck because that will always be included in this site. Its why I started this site and will always be the building block of this site. I’m just looking at ways that I can freshen things up and widen the range of people that my site reaches. Its hard to believe that its been ten years since diagnosis and six years that I’ve been writing this blog. Over that time there have been over 400 posts put up expressing every emotion under the sun. It’s gone through all the different chapters that I’ve been through on this journey with CRPS!

Its been a long journey to this point and I feel as though a new chapter is starting. When I look back at those first posts I see a person who was scared and unsure of what lay down the road. Today even though I still fight intense pain and battle this disease, I’m filled with confidence and know that God has a plan and purpose in all this for my life. I feel as though that next chapter is starting and even though I’m still not sure about the contents that will make up that chapter I’m starting to move ahead anyway. I’m just standing in belief that God is going to show me what that content is going to be.

What I do know is that there has been this shift within me and I want that to start coming out more in my writing. It doesn’t mean that I won’t be real with what I write and tell you about how I’m struggling or feeling on any given day but it does mean that I want to shift how I write a bit as well. I’m still trying to figure all of this out and so please have a little bit of patience if every so often my posts seem a bit scattered. I guess what I really want to say is that if I want this blog to accurately reflect the journey that I’m on and that again requires some change.

When I started this blog back in 2010 my goal and focus at that time was really to just get my emotions out. It was a way for me to express how I was feeling at the time and was a creative outlet to help me. Today it has become so much more than that! Its become a way to share my story and hopefully help others navigate through their storms. Most of all though I want people to see that in ten years of dealing with this illness one person has been responsible for getting me through it. God!










Who’s Helping You?

It feels good today to sit down in front of this keyboard and write! Too often brain fog makes it really hard to put together a post as many of you know! With two young kids I also have to reserve some of the energy that I have for them. Lately however I’ve felt as if I really need to put some focus back on writing because I have a lot to say! So much has changed in the last few months and I really believe that we are on the verge of seeing some big changes happen in regards to CRPS!

Some exciting news on the front right here at home is that CRPS Awareness Day has been approved here in Saskatchewan and we are in the middle of working out details for the event that will take place here in Regina, SK on Nov.2, 2016! This is big news because for the first time those of us suffering from CRPS will be heard by dignitaries from within the government and medical communities. So keep coming back as I will be posting about things as we confirm plans! The goal in all this is to raise awareness and make people understand that we need resources and research to help those of us in need.

It isn’t often that I can say I feel good because most days are a struggle to get through. Ten years has had its toll on my body but like a Timex watch I keep ticking! Today I have to say that I feel alright and like I can take on most of the challenges put in front of me. For that I thank God! Without his guidance through all of this I wouldn’t have the strength or energy to keep going. When I started planning out today’s post I just kept hearing that it needed to be one that struck a cord with people! So this is the point at which you can either stop reading or carry on reading.

It isn’t often that I preach but today that’s exactly what I’m going to do. In ten years of dealing with CRPS numerous times I have needed Gods help and not often enough do I talk about how important He is in all of this. I get asked almost daily “how do you do it” or “what gets you through every day”. God gets me through every day! Whatever my concern I always rely on God because I don’t have any doubt in my mind that He will provide in whatever way I need Him to.

I don’t need to get into all the specifics that I’ve had to go through as I’ve walked through this journey. What I will say is this! Several times that I have faced adversity I have felt overwhelmed and alone. Sure I have family and friends supporting me but what I mean is that I felt alone in taking on this beast called CRPS. Family and friends can only offer so much support. My mind was being bombarded with questions that I quite simply didn’t have the answers to nor did anyone else! When I started asking God to help me with all the fear and questions, things started to change inside of me. Bottom line is that I got answers because I trusted Him for those answers. You just have to trust and believe that He will be there.

Psalm 46:1  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”

The single most important person in my life before anyone else is God. I stand by that and always will. Am I going to tell you that you need God in your life? Yes but I can’t be the person who makes that decision for you. I can share with you the things that He’s done in my life, that have changed and shaped me into who I am today. I might still be sick with my CRPS and look physically broken on the outside. However on the inside there is this strength and determination that has replaced the fear and uncertainty that used to exist. That is what God can do for you if you have Him in your life! Without question this was a fix from God.

I don’t know why I still have CRPS and why God hasn’t healed my body of it! I know that’s one of the questions going through your head as you read this. I do know however that there is a powerful testimony in all that my family and I have had to go through over the last ten years. God is the one who decides when things happen and what gets done.

Psalm 27:13 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”

I don’t have all the answers because if I did then I’d be God wouldn’t I! Why I have to go through so much I have no idea but I know that God is using it in a really powerful way! Without God in all this my life spins out of control! He gives me the strength to move on and do amazing things within my life.

Psalm 62:2 ” Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken

Like I said to you before I can’t make the decisions for you, at the same time I’m not going to shy away from telling you about the importance of what He can do if you have Him in your life. This is a conversation between you and God so I’d urge you to look at where your at! Are you battling a chronic illness or CRPS and have nobody to turn to? If you are then God is listening all you need to do is take the next step!





Chronic Friendships!

It seems like forever since I’ve put up a post! Probably because it has been forever and I have to say I’m not proud of the fact that I haven’t found a way to make time. This blog is more than just putting words down to express myself along with the experiences that I’ve had to live through. There’s a relationship that’s been established with some of you out there and it means a lot and always will! As I’ve walked through this journey over the last ten years, I’ve realized that I’ve gained some amazing friendships along the way. Its made everything just a bit easier to manage over that period of time.

First let me just say this! The support I get from family and friends is simply amazing! Since day one my family has been there for me in taking on this giant of a disease called CRPS and for that I am extremely blessed. God has placed so many good people around me and for that there are no words. I wish I knew what to say to each and every one of you because the love and support you show me day in day out through this journey means the world to me!

Over the past few weeks things have been really tough physically for me, not to mention just how exhausting its been mentally! My pain hasn’t been easy to control and there have been all sorts of times where I could have just as easily given up.  That’s when my extended family as I like to sometimes call them steps up to the plate to help. These are friendships that have been established in the chronic world with others who are chronically ill. Without fail they support me and I’m right there for them when they need me. We are a support system for each other that doesn’t judge but rather tries to listen to one other and motivate each other through all levels of adversity. When things get tough we push each other to get through what seems to be the impossible!

Sometimes you just need that support around you from people who are going through the same things as you are! When you make friendships within the chronic world there’s this common bond that you share with one another, and so right away you can identify with one another. I don’t think there is any need to explain what that common bond is! There’s no need to validate yourself or everything your going through, unlike when your trying to talk to someone who is healthy. Borders and boundaries that often stand in the way come down and it can be easier to open up to one another. You share in each others victories and support each other through the adversity.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself discouraged and one of those friends shows up in my inbox with a kind word of encouragement. Or a text that inspires me to push through a day where the pain is super intense and I’m getting down on myself. What sets these friendships apart from others is in the ability to understand what each other is going through so very well. There are so many shared experiences in living and dealing with our chronic illnesses. Even when the illnesses are different there is still that common thread in what we’ve experienced, or what we have to walk through on a daily basis.

When I started this journey of mine ten years ago I never knew how important this community of friends was going to be. They motivate and inspire me to see past the roadblocks and barriers within my disability, and instead see that I can make so much more out of my life. So I want to take a moment to say ” Thank You” to any of you who have played a roll in any way. You have lit a fire under me to pursue advocacy for my illness CRPS, and chronic illness in general. 

Today I want to mention four individuals who I think we need to recognize for their leadership that they display within the chronic community. I want you to know that you are true leaders and that the tireless work that you do in raising awareness, breaking down barriers, or even helping others through their journey’s leaves me with no words! You are all very unique individuals that have been given amazing gifts to do great things with in your lives! I want to recognize you not only because of the amazing work that you do within your communities but around your country. You lead by example and when push comes to shove you are in the trenches fighting with all your heart and soul.

So those four individuals are Julie Cerrone (, Britt (, Anna Evangeline ( ), and Charles Mattocks ( ). If you have a chance drop by their sites and get to know them a bit better then please do!

I could speak about each of these people and not run short of things to say about who they are and what they do for chronic illness. I’m also quite sure that there would be many who would back me in making this statement. I could get into each of their stories but that in itself is an entire post on each of them. Their experiences and own personal journey’s are amazing and will inspire you!

In closing I just want to say this! If you are fighting a battle with a chronic illness and have nobody to talk to then look around you and reach out to someone like me or one of the others I’ve listed above and we can connect you! You should not have to go through your illness on your own. Never say that there isn’t support because its right around the corner. You need to fight and be that person who never lets their disability stop them from accomplishing the hopes and dreams that they have in life!