How to Cope with Depression from Disease
Illness Often Comes with Deeply Felt Stress; Fibromyalgia
Sufferer Offers Tips for Emotional Wellness

Sometimes, not knowing the truth about something of immediate importance can create some of the most intense stress, says former chronic pain sufferer Janet Komanchuk.

“The families of victims who’ve been missing for years or decades – identifying the body of their loved one, for example, can bring closure. For me, being diagnosed with fibromyalgia was also a relief – it meant that I had a name for my chronic pain,” says Komanchuk, whose pain was so intense over a period of several years that she had to retire as a schoolteacher.

“My diagnosis meant I wasn’t crazy, that the pain wasn’t ‘all in my head,’ as some had suggested. It meant that my flu-like symptoms, accompanied by intense waves of pain, finally had form and dimension. I understood I was just one of many suffering with chronic pain that at last had a name.”

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a complex, chronic condition of widespread muscular pain and fatigue. It often includes sleep disturbances, impaired memory and concentration, depression and other debilitating symptoms. The syndrome is one of the most common chronic pain disorders, affecting nearly one in every 60 Americans.

“When medical leave, morphine patches, codeine and myriad pharmaceuticals brought no relief, I tried a different approach in combination with medical treatment,” says Komanchuk, (www.jkomanchuk.com), who has since enjoyed more than 13 years of pain-free and prescription-free living after finding an alternative healing therapy that works for her. She now works as an educational writer and public relations assistant with Joy of Healing, the alternative healing modality that she says brought about her remission.

“Through the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about dealing with the psychological trauma of illness.”

Komanchuk shares tips to keep in mind for those suffering from an indeterminate condition.

•  Trust in yourself. “At times, the pain was so intense that I was certain my flesh was tearing away from my bones,” says Komanchuk, who was just like the more than 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, which costs nearly $600 billion annually in medical treatments and lost productivity, according to the Institute of Medicine. Despite her unmistakable pain, the critical doubt from others as to what she was experiencing was disheartening, at times causing her to doubt herself.

“Trust in yourself, for you know what you’re feeling,” she says. “Don’t fall victim to the judgment and criticism of others who doubt your illness and the limitations it places on you or your activities.”

•  Don’t quit! Despite the immense scope of chronic pain, very little is spent on research to find better ways to manage pain. Komanchuk was faced with the prospect of spending the rest of her life in a nursing home.

“Yes, the pain was excruciating, debilitating and fatiguing, yet I still felt as though my life had the potential for vitality,” she says. “The idea of going to a nursing home – reasonable for some – felt like a kind of death to me.”

Convinced that there was hope for her in overcoming fibromyalgia, she persisted in her search for wellness answers.

•  Seriously consider alternatives. She was able to achieve what she thought was impossible – not just temporary relief, but permanent, lasting mind-body-spirit wellness. She had been to orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists, psychologists, underwent MRIs and took all manner of medications for her unbearable pain. In a narrow sense, it would seem as though she exhausted her options – until she looked beyond traditional Western medicine. Alternative treatment guided her to recognize the layers of stress throughout her life that she believes were a primary driver of her chronic pain. 

“Every day, I am filled with gratitude for the fact that I am free of the torment from fibromyalgia that had plagued me throughout my life,” she says. “I just wish I could give others a piece of the relief that I’ve found. All I can say is keep your eyes open, keep the hope alive and don’t give up!”

About Janet Komanchuk

Janet Komanchuk, www.jkomanchuk.com, is a retired schoolteacher who has experienced the miraculous remission of chronic, debilitating fibromyalgia, which was the result of many overlapping stressors and unresolved issues throughout her life. While weathering extreme fatigue and pain, she’d tried everything from traditional Western medicine to alcohol consumption and various holistic treatments. It wasn’t until she experienced the healing work of medium and healer Andrew Overlee, and his wife, Tamara, a dedicated spiritual counselor and author, that she was able to regain her life. She is now pain-free without any use of prescription medication. She is an educational writer and public relations assistant with Joy of Healing, Inc., in Valrico, Fla. 

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Disclaimer:  I was provided a free ticket to take the Tru Bahamian Food Tour.  I did purchase the other 5 tickets for the family members within my party.  All opinions are my own.

Within the past 15 months I have visited Nassau, Bahamas three times.  I knew that this time around I wanted to do something different than the usual snorkeling, boat and beach excursions.  I was reading on the Cruise Critic message boards about a walking food tour called Tru Bahamian.  It sounded exactly like something I’d love to do since I love eating and hearing the history behind foods.  I stopped over at TripAdvisor to read what others had to say over there and was very impressed with the reviews.  I talked to my family, especially my mother-in-law, as she has difficulties walking long distances.  She’s okay with standing for long periods of time and walking short distances, so I contacted the company to find out what the longest stretch of path would be.  They assured me that there wasn’t any long routes and that they would make a note to avoid any stairs or hills.  With that information in hand, I went ahead and booked our tickets.

Our cruise boat docked in Nassau early in the morning and our tour didn’t start until 11:30am so we decided to not rush off the ship and sleep in a little before hitting land.  You’ll see later on that it wasn’t a good decision.  The meeting spot was only a few blocks up the street at a cute little church (which by the way has a geocache hidden in the fence, if you’re a geocacher).  We meet our tour guide and the other members of the tour party.  There were 13 of us.  Our tour guide, Murry, was very friendly and let us all know that he had rain ponchos in his backpack in case it rains.  He shared some history with us of the island, passed out a map of the route we’d be taking and off we went to our first stop.

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Our first stop was at the Bahamian Kitchen (Bahamian Cookin).

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We first started off with some Conch Fritters.  There were three on the plate but my husband ate them faster than I could take a photo.

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My daughter and I don’t like seafood so they prepared us some potato salad instead.  One person in our group has a gluten allergy and they accommodated him also.  Just make sure you let them know when you book your tickets if you have any special dietary concerns.

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After our appetizer, we indulged in some pulled chicken, macaroni and cheese, fried plantains, rice and coleslaw.  It was a great introduction and my favorite stop.

I loved the decor on the walls and the story that our tour guide shared about Junkanoo and the celebrations they have on the island.

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Our next stop was to a chocolatier.  One I’d been dreaming of since I purchased the tickets.

Graycliff Chocolatier

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Along the way, we passed a really nice hotel with a swimming pool that you can purchase a day pass to, a cigar humidor, a pizzeria and some trees that were labeled with the type they were.  One of them was a nutmeg tree – our tour guide handed us a piece of the leaves to rub between our fingers and smell.  It was amazing how much it smelled like nutmeg.  Later on we saw a black peppercorn tree also.

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This stop was very challenging for my mother-in-law.  Although we were told they would avoid stairs, this path included stairs to show us the hotel and cigar company – both places that we didn’t sample any food at.  They could have been avoided.  The tour guide did recommend that my in-laws take a different route than the rest of the group and meet us at the chocolate store, which is what they did.  I felt bad that they had to take a different path and wish our whole group would have just taken the shorter path.

Next we went to a Euro Restaurant called, Van Breugel’s Bistro and Bar.  On the way, we stopped by the “White House” of the Bahamas.  Again, we encountered unnecessary stairs.  The tour was suppose to avoid these and they weren’t part of the actual food places we went to.

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Murray, talking about their government.

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A great view of the Cruise Ships from the top of the hill.

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Van Breugel’s Bistro and Bar’s stop was on the second floor of the restaurant (another flight of stairs to climb).  We enjoyed some spicy tomato soup – it was delicious.

After the last couple of stops and all the stairs, my in-laws decided to skip the next stop so they could rest.

Our next stop was to a retail store that sold Bahamian Products.  We sampled some hot sauces and teas.  I loved the tea and wanted to buy some but we were told at the beginning of our tour that we don’t have time to make any purchases at any of the stops and we’d need to go back.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we had to get back to the ship that I never returned to buy any.  Thankfully, they did have some for sale in one of the booths inside the cruise terminal building.

Pure Caribbean Store

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We then had a very short walk to a greek restaurant, Athena Cafe and Bar.  This stop was also upstairs (jewelry store downstairs) but they were kind enough to set up a table and chairs for my in-laws downstairs so they could enjoy this stop. (sorry I forgot to take a photo at this stop).

Our last stop was at the Rum Cake store where we sampled a piece of plain rum cake.  Again, I really wanted to purchase some cakes but we were running about 1 1/2 hours behind schedule and we needed to get back to the ship.  Originally we were hoping to shop at the Straw Market and maybe even go through the Pirate Museum but with the food tour running late, we had to skip right back to the boat.

Overall I really enjoyed the Food Tour.  I was concerned with the price but felt we had a nice variety of food options.  My husband was excited to try conch and I loved that they catered to my non-seafood diet.  Feedback I’d like to give the owners – if you have someone in your group who has some disabilities, alter your route.  Although I enjoyed hearing some of the history behind the Bahamas, I was on a food tour, not a Bahamas history tour.  I think some general remarks could be made and then if anyone wanted more information they could talk to the tour guide while we walked to the next stop.  I know that having my mother-in-law in the group slowed things down but not 90 minutes worth.  Going longer than anticipated definitely put a damper on our overall stop in Nassau.

I would recommend this tour if you are able to walk and climb stairs without any issues and if you have at least 4 hours.

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


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If you know me personally, you know that I love cooking.  One of the essential tools in the kitchen is a good cutting board.  I had the opportunity to review these beautiful, bamboo cutting boards.  They are thick and are said to be durable.  Made from an eco-friendly bamboo product which is harder than maple.  If you order them through Amazon, they come in a set of three boards.  Perfect for all of your cutting board needs – cutting vegetables, cheese, meat and  my favorite, using them as a serving tray for appetizers.  They are really beautiful and have a nice smooth finish to them.   I’ve been eating a clean diet and making sure my family isn’t putting anything toxic into their body.  These boards are made with no dyes or colors and they are free of any fertilizers or pesticides – perfect!

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They are absolutely beautiful and the bamboo won’t dull your knives.

 

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

As I’m getting old and more mature, my skin has started to become a really big priority to me.  Time to work on reducing those slight wrinkles before they get larger and more defined.  Plus, my skin tone has become uneven and I need something to help even it out.

I received a bottle of Valentia’s Vitamin C Serum in the mail for review and have been very happy with their customer service and the product itself.

face serum

Here are the benefits of the Vitamin C Serum:

  • EVENS SKIN TONE: Vanquish dark spots and skin discoloration, replacing uneven and ill-textured skin with smooth, wrinkle-free skin that leaves you looking flawless and ageless.
  • INCREASES GLOW & RADIANCE: Revitalize your skin with essential fatty acids that leave skin smooth and visibly brighter. Smooth skin capable of reflecting light will give your skin a youthful glow and a brilliant shine for that well-rested and refreshed look.
  • ABSORBS RAPIDLY: Moisturizes skin due to the capacity of the hyaluronic acid to absorb water, thereby increasing fluid between cells, giving your skin a smoother and younger appearance. This intense water absorption means no more dry, peeling or cracked skin, even in extreme weather.
  • BOOSTS COLLAGEN PRODUCTION: The presence of Organic Rosehip Oil and a foundation of 20% Vitamin C increases collagen production so your skin retains the elasticity responsible for a youthful appearance and prevents skin sagging associated with aging. Enjoy smooth and supple skin that takes years off your appearance.
  • REDUCES WRINKLES & FINE LINES: Special ingredients such us Hyaluronic Acid and Organic Sea Buckthorn oil work to plump up the skin, reducing wrinkles leaving skin clearer and younger.

Right now they have lowered their price to $35 – great deal from their regular retail price of $85.00.

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Cassani Fogless Shower Mirror Review

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. I have two men in my family.  Both shave with a razor in the shower and many times I see niks or areas that didn’t get a close shave.  When Tomoson reached out to me about reviewing a mirror that goes in the shower and […]

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