There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong. Or useless pain - the sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.”/ House of Cards
It Was Empowering, If Not a Little Ridiculous…
There are very few causes and perhaps fewer people for which I’d risk the embarrassment of posing in my hospital gown and snapping a pic in the seconds I had to myself at the doctor’s office today.
… And for the record, yes, I was indeed caught by the nurse. Oh what an embarrassment…
My “Hospital Gown and CRPS/RSD Orange Bracelet Chic” was inspired by this original “MRI Ready to Wear S/S 14” look, as seen on my incredible friend Allira Swick. She’s a fearless Aussie fashion icon (shocker!) and also a blogger over at The Fainting Fox.
Allira has Chronic Pain as well following a recent and seriously horrifying bite from one of those nasty Australian spiders people rarely live to tell the tale of. She’s come out of it relatively alright (Chronic Pain means you’re never really alright, are you?) only due to the help of ketamine infusions. Yes, sir! Those would be the very same ketamine infusions that you’ve seen here, here, and here, etc. (I mean, have you seen my Twitter? I feel as though Ketamine actually writes it half the time…). The very same ketamine infusions that have helped me to hugely battle my CRPS/RSD in order to live as normal a life as possible.
But I’m starting to get a little off topic. What I want to say is thank you to Allira! I had a lot of fun taking this picture. And fun is not a word I think I ever thought I’d come to use in relation to a hospital robe! I’ve come to wear this garment in so many horrifically painful situations that to me it had become more of a straitjacket than just a robe - without a back, even!
And I think you ALL should get involved. Send pictures to email@example.com or tweet me @theproject3x5
So excited to see what you send! xx
Things haven’t been easy for the last few days - running into weeks, actually - over here at Casa de Cosgrove. I’ve recently moved from California to Texas, and the constant pressure changes are playing on my last, ferocious and fiery nerve. I’ll admit that I’m not the umm, easiest person to deal with when it comes to times like this, and I think that’s terrible! I mean, everyone has something right? So we should all be kind. We should absolutely all be nice.
How do y’all deal with it? Are there any other Texans on here in chronic pain dealing with this long lasting pressure issue? Any advice?
My body has been desperately thirsting for any sort of relief, and tonight I may have finally found it! Surprisingly, hope wasn’t to be found amongst the countless extra remedies recently added to my bedside table. This newfound optimism didn’t suddenly Jack-in-the-Box-style pop out of a pill case (although how cool would that be?! Positivity on demand!). Nope. I’ve nixed all of that and gone for something time-tested and old-fashioned. It’s called wisdom. Imagine that, eh?
Perhaps you’d already guessed from the picture above, but I’ve decided to start taking a daily dose of Dolly. Yup, Dolly Parton. I absolutely adore what she has to say! Her quote (above) is brilliant and gives the whole wizened “one day at a time” approach a fresh perspective. It is so necessary for those of us with Chronic Pain to indeed think with an “each day is a fresh start” mentality so as not to get cranky, awful, moody, mean, and just unjustifiably (yup! unjustifiable. mean is never justifiable) horrible when the pain has gone on for days or weeks, perhaps months or even years! And may indeed go on for many more.
Break. It. Up.
Maybe one day in your pain flare will be just slightly better than the rest! If you see each day as a fresh start, you’ll take advantage of this! You’ll notice that the pain has decreased - even if just by a tiny, minuscule amount - and you’ll get up and do something lovely! Who knows… this positive kickstart of a day might just roll you over into something else that’s not just lovely, but brilliant!
If you take the same scenario of having a day that’s slightly better than the rest, but you remove Dolly’s philosophy and instead think in terms of the fact that your pain is just a loooooong stretch of “bad weather” or “low pressure” or “shit general pain I hate my life and I’m not getting out of this bed!” you’re clearly not going to take advantage of the day, or week, perhaps even of the month. You’ll get frustrated, and aggravated, amongst other things. It can happen to the best of us.
So, “If you’re feeling low, don’t despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning.” - Dolly Parton
Lots of love to you all! Happy Wednesday! It’s almost the weekend!
Be Well - Danni
Ps - Lots of prayers and positive vibes going out on this end to our dear friend and Project3x5’er, Misty. Unfortunately, as she points out, her past Friday 13th lived up to it’s nasty little stereotype. Poor thing ended last work week with not just a totaled car, but worse yet, extensive injuries from the sheer force and subsequent downpour of shattered glass caused by the collision.
I know it may seem an odd thing to say when Misty is so incredibly banged and stitched up, but knowing that her precious child wasn’t on board and having seen the vehicle ‘after’ pictures - it’s something to be truly thankful for that things aren’t any worse.
So, lots of love to you, Misty! I’m thrilled you’re going to be ok! I hate that something as drastic as this must often act as the reminder, but I know I’ll squeeze my loved ones extra hard tonight. I’ll be counting you all twice in my blessings as well…
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Misty! Along with bunches of spoiling in the meantime! That goes for all of you in recovery or having an extra tough time at the moment.
Be well and be SAFE! - Danni xx
"It’s the moooost wonderful time of the year… " - umm, awareness-wise that is!
Why? Well, between this month being Pain Awareness Month, this week being Invisible Illness Week, and November or NERVEmber just around the corner… there’s so much going on!
I’m currently working on an amazing list of activities for you to join in on the advocacy and fun, but until then, why not start off at www.invisibleillnessweek.com
There, you’ll not only find incredible blogs you might just relate to in a huge way - you can submit your own, too! But, you’ll also find cool downloads, gifts(!), podcasts, webinars, creative campaigns, helpful hints, and best of all scheduled chats where you can meet friends.
Guys, I haven’t even scratched the surface. This website goes into overdrive for 1 week a year, so let’s make the best of it to get the word out!!!
We may, “Look just fine! Great in fact!” but we’re still ill. It’s a double edged sword to look well but not feel it, and it’s TOUGH to live this way. It’s constant limbo, and on the one hand, yes… looking well is a lovely bonus. But on the other, our illnesses are constantly overlooked and often even taken as a joke.
So, this year help get the word out that perhaps we mustn’t only judge books by their covers. We also mustn’t be too quick to judge our fellow human beings. xx
Lots of love to you all!
Be Well - Danni xx
Yay! My feet are tolerating “shoelace shoes” today :) I proudly choose to wear orange in honor of September being Pain Awareness Month! Click here to find out more from the Power of Pain Foundation’s Facebook Page.
I get a lot of questions on the name of my blog seeing as it seemingly has nothing to do with pain or illness. Have you ever wondered where ‘TheProject3x5’ came from or what on Earth it must mean? Let me share! :)
When the doctors first shared with me my diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS - also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD), I was totally clueless as to what I was dealing with. How could it be that something I had never once heard of was suddenly ravaging my helpless little body, causing such immense, unspeakable Chronic Neuropathic Pain?
As we do these days, I turned to the Internet praying that I would find solace through the almighty Google! I became an information warrior, yet quickly found my cyber-self bogged down by mainly negative, often misinformed personal sites, blogs, and forums. Chronic Pain is no easy feat, and as I’ve said before, I can understand and empathize with the despair and desperation that these patients must have been facing. After all, even the best of us have our bad days.
It was there and then however, that I decided to line my path with positivity and hope. If that wouldn’t do it, I decided faith would be my constant companion, walking beside me every step of the way. As a cause of CRPS/RSD, I knew that Chronic Pain and Illness might affect my life, but I would in no way let them be or take over my life.
Blogging my journey from that moment on was a no-brainer! Why? Not only would it keep me accountable, I also thought that perhaps I would find others out there who wanted to live in hope similarly to me. How has that worked out? To that end I’ve come into contact with so many more people than I ever thought I would! In fact, some don’t necessarily suffer Chronic Pain but instead are just looking to live positively - it’s been great fun!
In addition I hoped very much that I might raise the staggeringly low awareness level for CRPS/RSD, and eventually other forms of Chronic Neuropathic Pain. On that note, I’m so proud to say that, I have just become the Texan Ambassador for The Power of Pain Foundation, a national organization with international reach that indeed raises a great amount of awareness and funds for many different illnesses (from CRPS/RSD, HIV, MS to Post-Cancer Pain and many, many more) with Chronic Neuropathic Pain.
Finally, in the back of my mind I perhaps thought that by sharing my life, it might motivate a few others to truly live through their pain, too. Little did I know that this would end up to work the other way! I have been both incredibly motivated and inspired through the constant comments, emails, and love I’ve been given instead! It’s been wonderful.
When it came time to name my new blog, I went back and forth! Should it be something to do with CRPS/RSD? But then what if I wanted it to grow? Ok, then, something to do with Chronic Illness or Chronic Pain. Wait! Should I incorporate my name? What a task!
So, I simplified…
Going back to my original thoughts on how I wanted to walk this new path and on what I wanted out of my blog, the name, ‘TheProject3x5’, came to me in a second. I quickly scratched any previous idea I had had of using illness or pain in the title. Those things were never to define me. Instead, I wanted something positive. Something to keep me motivated and on both my virtual and real-life toes.
I thought of the fact that I would now be sharing my life, to achieve certain goals, through a series of captured moments, or snapshots - the size of which are ‘3x5’.
And so there you have it :) TheProject3x5
I hope you all are well and enjoying your long weekend! It’s so great to be back blogging with you. I’d missed it very much, but please don’t forget you can always find me Tweeting away @Theproject3x5 and on Instagram as theproject3x5.
Ps: Does the frame and picture motif make more sense now?