memories

Remembering Nacha

As I write this, Nacha is being laid to rest.........how do you write about someone whose reach has spanned across generations, whose zest for life, whose passion for travel, whose concern for his friends and family and whose vibrance touched everyone? Nacha, a moniker for Natarajan is my mom's uncle (the youngest brother of my… Continue reading Remembering Nacha

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FM Corner · JLT - just like that

(In)Visible Burdens #PainAwareness

Looking at me, you would never realize that I have been caught in a horrible flare-up for more than 30 days. That's why I guess Fibromyalgia is called an invisible illness. Those who live with invisible illnesses carry certain burdens that will not be visibly apparent sometimes even to those closest to them. In the last 10 years that I… Continue reading (In)Visible Burdens #PainAwareness

FM Corner

Flare(y) Tale

People living with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain are always on the lookout for any triggers that can cause a full-blown flare-up. Despite being in pain 24/7/365, I try my best to manage pain in holistic ways -and avoiding mind-numbing (and potentially harmful) meds, lead a full and healthy (as healthy as one can be with FM and… Continue reading Flare(y) Tale

FM Corner · JLT - just like that · LuxKnits

LaksKnits

My Projects What’s Knitting? LaksKnits on Facebook  Read about My Knitting Journey Living without medication when you have a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia is an experience in itself. It was a chance I took and one that could have taken any direction but with the help and support of my family and my dearest… Continue reading LaksKnits

kiddy corner · Music

Blanchard Memorial Elementary/@BlanchardMem did it AGAIN at MICCA 2017

Congratulations to the Blanchard Memorial Elementary Band on earning a Gold Medal award today, April 02, 2017 at #MICCA2017 Concert and Choral Festival! MICCA stands for The Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) and and schools (mostly middle and high and very few elementary schools) from around the region participate in this annual festival. As the… Continue reading Blanchard Memorial Elementary/@BlanchardMem did it AGAIN at MICCA 2017

JLT - just like that · Music

MMEA Eastern District 2017 Junior Music Festival

Vidyuth auditioned for the MMEA Eastern District Junior Music Festival and got selected to play in the Junior Concert Band, comprising of kids mostly in 7th and 8th grades. After just one-and-a-half days of rehearsal on March 3 and March 4, they put up a wonderful show on March 4 at 1.00 PM. Vidyuth had… Continue reading MMEA Eastern District 2017 Junior Music Festival

JLT - just like that · Photography

A Bend in the Road

I encounter several foggy, bends in the roads  I travel, everything seems so unclear, uncertain, obscure, confusing, overwhelming...........I can't see anything past or beyond it. But that's the thing with a bend in the road and foggy views, right when everything seems hopeless and futile, the fog clears......lo, behold, I see the path, the wonderful view before me. All I had do… Continue reading A Bend in the Road

JLT - just like that · kiddy corner

RJ Grey 2017 Winter Concert

Some photos and videos from the RJ Grey Winter Concert on January 10, 2017. RJ Grey 7th Grade Band  Beyond the Seven Hills Achilles' Wrath Sweet Caroline RJ Grey Brass Ensemble  Prelude to Te Deum Work Song Other Songs Hawaii 5-O Besame Mucho (Beginning) Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it… Continue reading RJ Grey 2017 Winter Concert

FM Corner · Life Experiences

Thank you my friend(s) for your kindness and mindfulness

When you live with chronic pain, you learn to fake through it....you put on a smile or take on the Resting Pain Face. Very few know the actual pain you are in as they do not see you beyond your mask. Even during painful flares, the mask doesn't come off cos there is always the reality of being… Continue reading Thank you my friend(s) for your kindness and mindfulness

JLT - just like that · kiddy corner

Priceless #Facepalm!

G & I were discussing tonight's dinner and the convo went something like this: Me: I have a craving for Indo-Chinese, can you make it? G: I wish you had told me around lunch what you felt like for dinner, I would have been mentally prepared. Me: I didn't have that craving at lunch as… Continue reading Priceless #Facepalm!

JLT - just like that

September is Pain Awareness Month

September is Pain Awareness Month in the U.S. and I thought I would post some interesting facts you might not know about chronic pain in our country.

A Nation in Pain ~ The Facts

  • More than 100 million American adults struggle with chronic pain. This is more than those with diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
  • The most common causes of chronic pain are back and neck pain, arthritis, recurrent headaches, neurogenic (visible or explained) and psychogenic (not visible or explained) pain and cancer pain. (*see note below)
  • Chronic pain is the number one cause of disability in the U.S.
  • More than $600 billion dollars annually – the financial burden of chronic pain on our society.
  • People with chronic pain are twice as more likely to commit suicide, which equates to about 20,000 chronic pain sufferers taking their own lives every year. Surprisingly, they don’t do this because of…

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JLT - just like that

Resting Pain Face and Meditation

This blog post by Emily Suess is great, I had to share. I think Resting Pain Face is real and I know I suffer from it, lol!

Like many with fibromyalgia, I have been trying to use meditation to encourage a state of calm in my life. And I should be honest with you, after a full summer of trying…I have not made it a habit yet. I did meditate every day for two weeks, but then I found reasons why I didn’t want to or couldn’t and now I am back to doing it only a few times a week. I am going to try doing it in the afternoon next, because the mornings are my productive time of day and there are so many other things that I would rather being doing.

I also found that chanting meditation works best for me. Guided meditation is to distracting, silence…

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JLT - just like that

Article: 3 Reasons Why An Invisible Illness Is More Dangerous

Invisible illnesses can indeed be more dangerous than visible ones. This recent article posted on the Huff Post, articulates how an increased risk of suicide, judgement and prejudice from others and finally, a lack of research funding, puts those of us with invisible illnesses in danger.

Read the full article here:  3 Reasons Why An Invisible Illness Is More Dangerous

Not to compare illness, because all illness sucks, but sometimes it appears we are at a disadvantage on many levels especially considering how many of us there are.

“And many invisible illnesses thwart our efforts to advocate for better because our energies are sapped by our daily existence. We are struggling just to function, never mind march with megaphones.”

Awareness is the key to solving each of those three issues. Sharing your story with others and fighting back against the preconceived notions with informative facts, will help us move forward…

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FM Corner · kiddy corner

Parenting with Fibromyalgia

Amma, why don't you come to all my baseball games?, Amma, why do you sometimes stay back in the room when we are on vacation? Amma, why did you sit out the hike after our kayaking trip?..............these are some of the many varied but similar themed questions my boys ask me. My answer is always… Continue reading Parenting with Fibromyalgia

FM Corner

FM…..analogized

Christmas lights in July 🙂 I can hear ya thinking.....what is she talkin about? It's not even halloween yet and she is already thinking of Christmas....well I am not thinking of Christmas but the aches and pains that make me feel like someone has turned on the twinkly lights in my body. I have always… Continue reading FM…..analogized

JLT - just like that

You Are Enough

I needed this today…..
“Let whatever you do today be enough. Let go of the judgement you have about what you should be or could be doing, and today, allow yourself to simply be. Comparing yourself and your journey may be habitual, but it gets you nowhere. It makes you feel worse and it keeps you stuck.

enough

“Let whatever you do today be enough. Let go of the judgement you have about what you should be or could be doing, and today, allow yourself to simply be.

Comparing yourself and your journey may be habitual, but it gets you nowhere. It makes you feel worse and it keeps you stuck. So stop fixating on where everyone else is, and start giving yourself permission to be exactly where you are. 

Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at, and what you are doing, is enough. You will get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe.

Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process. You are doing the best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself…

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kiddy corner

Harmonious Performance @ MICCA 2016

Congratulations to the Blanchard Memorial Elementary Band on earning a Gold Medal award today at #MICCA2016. The band has 4th, 5th and 6th graders and they competed against bands from middle school's and junior high's from around the region. They have been working very hard since December 2015 and this was a great experience for them,… Continue reading Harmonious Performance @ MICCA 2016

JLT - just like that

The Stigma of Fibromyalgia

The many symptoms of fibromyalgia are real and we are more likely faking our wellness than our illness, to put you at ease. We are not seeking sympathy, just understanding. When I talk about support, I mean, don’t take it personally when I have to cancel plans, or can’t travel far to visit you. Don’t criticize or compare, I am doing the best I can. But most importantly, don’t buy in to the stigma. If you care about someone with fibromyalgia, educate yourself, it is the single most important thing you can do for them.

The social stigma of fibromyalgia is a hardship that all sufferers have to endure. It can come from doctors, coworkers, well-meaning friends and family. These people base their understanding on outdated medical information, stereotypes and an inability to see our pain. We are told we are lazy, over sensitive, weak, fakers, complainers, attention seekers and emotional. We are told that we should try harder, exercise more and improve our diets; that all of our symptoms are rooted in something we are doing wrong.

To say that fibromyalgia is not real, is completely outdated and ignorant. Historically a woman’s disease, it was originally labeled as an emotional disorder. You can still find this stigma hiding between the lines, implied all over the internet. It is 2016, this thought process is so insulting and demeaning that I want to get on a soap-box, but I won’t.

pain

Instead, I’ll just write about…

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JLT - just like that

What Is A Flare?

A great post from Periwinkle Pursuits on what a FM flare is.

Last week, I mentioned that I was flaring and I thought it might be helpful to explain what a flare is, for the readers who don’t know. A fibromyalgia flare is described as an increase in pain, fatigue and other symptoms, brought on by stress, illness or some other trigger. 

Pain scales are designed to help patient and doctor get on the same page and can also be useful when trying to explain things to your family and friends. This is the scale given to me by my Rheumatologist. It is important to note that each fibromyalgia patient presents differently. My normal and flare pain levels may not be the same as someone else’s.

painscale

On a normal, non-flaring day, I am usually somewhere around a 3. Certain parts of my body hurt, but is not enough pain to stop me from doing things, as long as I have some time in the…

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FM Corner

Celebrating my pain……..free from FM meds for 12 months

What better way to celebrate being FM meds free, side-effect free, somewhat withdrawal free..........by getting ink'd of course 🙂 Those who know me know my struggle with chronic FM pain and also how the cocktail of meds caused so many side effects that I was mostly numb....devoid of feelings. It was exactly a year ago, in… Continue reading Celebrating my pain……..free from FM meds for 12 months

JLT - just like that · kiddy corner · Life Experiences · Life's messages

How I stopped myself from being a World-Class Jerk

Weekends are always crazy and busy......esp. when we all end up sleeping in after a hectic week and a late and fun Friday night, not to mention my pain that keeps me awake. Today was no different, we woke up and it was a typical scene - G & I trying to hustle breakfast and… Continue reading How I stopped myself from being a World-Class Jerk

JLT - just like that · Photography

Change

Hanging by the rooftop, in the bright sun, they seem like swords or magic wands to some, teardrop gemstones to another, a diamond shining in the sky...........but to me, they are just patiently waiting to melt and flow as water, reminding us that change is slow and might seem difficult but it always takes us forward.… Continue reading Change

favorite tunes · JLT - just like that

Singsong…..Soulsong….Hitsong(s)!!!

I would like to think that I have a continuous love-affair with songs...so much so that I actually walk around with an original soundtrack in my mind 🙂 It might have been the music that got you hooked on to it in the first place but as time goes on.....some lyrics, even if they are… Continue reading Singsong…..Soulsong….Hitsong(s)!!!

Seasons Greetings

Season’s Greetings

As we prepare to enter another new year, another phase in our lives, let's take some time to look back at the year gone by.....let's thank for all the good memories, realize that the bad ones are stepping stones to help us emerge as a stronger and better individual. Let's choose love instead of hate.....and… Continue reading Season’s Greetings

JLT - just like that · Photography

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Raindrops on leaves and branches transformed into shimmering crystals, crystals that remind you of twinkling  and glittering christmas lights esp. when the sun hits it. It brightens you up, renews you from inside even if only for a fleeting moment. ‘Cos raindrops are just that, fleeting just like our moments and hence so much dear.

Thinkin Out Loud

Self (Imposed) Identity

What does identity mean to you and how is it defined? Is it defined by your gender, age, sexual preference, educational and professional qualifications/roles, your personal beliefs or causes you might advocate for or the many hats you wear during the course of a day? Is it a combination of all of the above - a multidimensional… Continue reading Self (Imposed) Identity

Drivelogues of a Travel Geek · travel

Kia Ora from Mesmerizing Middle-Earth

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to middle Earth  ~ George R R Martin.  True that! South Island is made up of truly mesmerizing sights, sights that one would have read in their books filled with magical wardrobes and mirrors. Vast plains - in various shades of green and sometimes brown,… Continue reading Kia Ora from Mesmerizing Middle-Earth

Photography

Change

A flash of brown behind all that green....as they wait patiently for their turn, like many others before them and many more after them. After all, change is inevitable and will bring it with something new, something green and something fresh. Every leaf speaks bliss to me.....fluttering from an autumn tree ~Emily Bronte

Photography

Awestruck @ Peter’s Pool, Franz Josef Glacier, NZ

A short and gentle walk from the parking lot (not more than 25 minutes round trip), clicking away pics and WOW, you walk into a quiet and peaceful clearing and presented with what has to be one of the most spectacular views in the world,straight out of a postcard. Peter's pool is a small kettle… Continue reading Awestruck @ Peter’s Pool, Franz Josef Glacier, NZ

JLT - just like that

Behind the Scenes with Asclepias Physocarpa

Nothing to do with one's psychology, Asclepias physocarpa is the botanical name for what is commonly known as the "Swan Plant"in NZ. This 'behind-the-scenes' plant acts as a host to (a) Swantail Caterpillar (b) Monarch Caterpillar (c) Swallowtail Caterpillar (d) Moths (e) None of the above If you got misled by the name and thought Swantail… Continue reading Behind the Scenes with Asclepias Physocarpa

Photography

Driftwood Stories

Across the lonely beach we flit, One little sandpiper and I; And fast I gather, bit by bit, The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry. The wild waves reach their hands for it, The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the beach we flit-- One little sandpiper and I. ~Celia Thaxter

kiddy corner · Life Experiences · Life's messages

10 years (or even more) off….one’s lifetime

1.50 pm: Madam, can you send me a recent picture of your child to circulate? One question that every parent dreads hearing and one that is certain to shave 10 years, if not more, from one's lifetime. [Imagine a time lapse of events until 1.00 PM] Dawn like any other day, sunny and bright, Vidu and Vish… Continue reading 10 years (or even more) off….one’s lifetime

Cause · JLT - just like that

Indian (Wo)men at (Wo)rk……#LeanIn to #MakeItHappen

Hmmmm......this certainly takes the cake on the "most difficult topic" I have written about. There are so many players involved and despite all my efforts, I will end up using some of my own life experiences to highlight something and that might (will) end up hurting people inadvertently. But since it is an issue that is… Continue reading Indian (Wo)men at (Wo)rk……#LeanIn to #MakeItHappen

Life's messages

No one asks for it

Now........ As she was walking with her other classmates towards the bus stop to get the connection to her hostel, she saw the rowdy gang, all drunk with colored powder (Holi like) in their hand. Her college was celebrating something known as "Bus Day," which was a free pass for boys to behave as obnoxious… Continue reading No one asks for it

JLT - just like that

Happiness is…….

Happiness is...... Waking up early only to find out that it is not a school day and you have all that time for yourself 🙂 Enjoying and savoring your morning cuppa Going for a walk on the beach Seeing the most amazing sunset Observing uninhibited joy Eating chilli-mango on the beach even though it is… Continue reading Happiness is…….

Cause · FM Corner

Getting unhooked – From மெர்சலாயிட்டேன் to not Mersalaayitten

Originally published on Feb 21, 2015 Watched Anegan yesterday  and I must say for a non-Dhanush fan, I liked the slick screenplay, songs, the constant back and forth between various time periods, be it past life memories or an over-active imagination in play. The comedy was light and to the point and the almost-climax when Dhanush mimicks… Continue reading Getting unhooked – From மெர்சலாயிட்டேன் to not Mersalaayitten

FM Corner

Blindside(d)!

Never ever in these last couple of years that I been stuck at the beginning of my blogpost, unsure of how and where to begin......okay let me start with the title - I initially thought that "Sucker Punch(ed)" would be an apt title but realized that sucker punch indicates a sudden, typically a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment… Continue reading Blindside(d)!

JLT - just like that

If we were abandoned…

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

A Facebook status update from the Beyond Meds page:

If we were abandoned…if abandonment is an issue for us…the way to start healing is to stop abandoning ourselves. We need to unlearn that. We do that by, in baby steps, learning to trust ourselves. We do it by paying attention to our feelings and never ignoring what we know is right for ourselves. This is a practice since we’ve forgotten or never known how to do it.

find those little abandoned children within and hug them. find those little abandoned children within and be with them

It’s been an active practice for a long while, but this little status update was inspired by listening to Teal Swan who articulated it so that I could see what it was I was doing and then articulate it for myself and the Facebook page.

The thing that strikes me most about this is the idea that we must be true to…

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JLT - just like that

You can’t heal what you don’t feel

via Beyondmeds

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds


feel it
By Nicole S. Urdang M.S., NCC, DHM, Holistic Psychotherapist.

Printed with the permission of the author who retains copyright. (first posted on Beyond Meds last year)

You can’t heal what you don’t feel

Can you imagine a life without one of your five senses? Maybe, but it certainly isn’t something you would joyfully embrace. Even if having all five senses means you sometimes see, smell, hear, touch, or taste things that elicit a negative reaction, you understand the gift of having all five far eclipses those unpleasant moments.

Being human comes with the ability to experience life in many different ways, through a body, a brain, and a spirit. You may not always think so, but your emotional range is also a gift. Though you will face negative feelings on and off throughout your life, you probably would not give up the ability to feel simply because, sometimes, emotions are…

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JLT - just like that

Feel like a kid again (it doesn’t take much….effort, that is)

Snippets from a conversation between a bus driver and a lady: Lady: Sir, my daughter is traveling from Chennai to Bangalore alone. Please drive carefully and make sure she gets down safe. Driver: Seri madam. The daughter in question is not a child or a young woman, mind you but an adult, who is independent… Continue reading Feel like a kid again (it doesn’t take much….effort, that is)

Cause · Not-A-Statistic · public awareness

Documenting (UN)Safe!! Access in Bangalore

A few days back, I happened to watch Bangalore Days, a Malayalam movie that was released sometime last year. I really loved the movie, the characterizations and how one could relate to them, in one relationship plane or another. Of course there was something that bothered me but I couldn't put my finger on it. So… Continue reading Documenting (UN)Safe!! Access in Bangalore

JLT - just like that

Meditating for fish

Dr. Alfred Jones: I wonder if I was genetically programmed to dull 'pedestrian' life. Harriet Chetwode-Talbot: You are very lucky to have a dull pedestrian life Another word for commonplace, dull, routine and something that lacks excitement, a pedestrian life is what most people are scared of, maybe because of the fear of falling into a rut… Continue reading Meditating for fish

kiddy corner

Presenting Supernova!

Vidyuth and his friends in the apartment community got together to form a band. This is their maiden performance....... Ganeev on the Vocals, Vidyuth on the Guitar, Prahalad on the keyboard and Anurag on the drums for Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day You can also hear someone cheering the kids in the background by… Continue reading Presenting Supernova!

b'day wishes

Many happy Returns of your Day Vishruth!

Seems like I just held you in my arms! I call you a lion, probably cos you remind me of one 🙂 So strong and fiercely protective of your brother, daddy's pet, probably the only child in the world that I know of who woke up crying 'Appa,' trouble maker, rule breaker, heart stealer, one who is… Continue reading Many happy Returns of your Day Vishruth!

b'day wishes

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday. She is a very enterprising woman, not surprising considering that she had/has a brilliant career in Sales. Extremely outspoken, friendly and hospitable are some of her shining qualities. I just wanted to take this chance to let you know that I love you a lot. Happy B'day dear Amma!  "My Mother… Continue reading Happy Birthday Mom

JLT - just like that

This too shall pass!

Happened to read an interview from Ajith on Rediff.com....where he is asked about his reaction to the commercial success of his movies. His response (portions of it): There is a very good saying, 'this too shall pass'. Those who are going through bad times can think this too shall pass. And those who are going through good times… Continue reading This too shall pass!