Tired of being held prisoner in your own body? Tami Stackelhouse is an author and Fibromyalgia Coach, bringing together top fibromyalgia experts and advocates, creating a virtual dream team to help you take back control of your life and health. From doctors and researchers in the traditional medical setting, to coaches and providers of alternative and natural treatment options, this podcast will empower you to feel your best and live a fibro life you love.
Fibromyalgia Stories of Hope and Healing
Tami interviews four clients on the ways that they have found to improve their fibromyalgia symptoms over the last few months. You’ll hear how a mindset shift helped Joyce take ownership of her treatment plan. Julee shares how her 15-year chronic illness journey of 26 surgeries, bedrest, feeding tubes, sepsis, and more, taught her the importance of having fun and seeking joy. Trial and error, along with guidance from her coach and education on what options were available to her, helped Chantal get better sleep and lower her pain levels. Gisèle found clarity and solutions through putting pen to paper in class assignments.
You’ll also hear from our August 2020 commencement speaker, Sharon Waldrop, President of the Fibromyalgia Association of Michigan, as she shares encouragement and wisdom with our new graduates. She says, “Life sometimes seems impossible, but there’s always a way. You just haven’t thought of it yet.”
For more information, free copies of Tami's books, and full show notes visit: FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/45.
Design Your Fibromyalgia Dream Week
What would it feel like to have to have a schedule that supported your body feeling great? Even better, what would it look like if your calendar could help you get better?
You may think this sounds impossible. When Tami was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, she discovered she could really only leave the house once a week and continue to feel her best. She felt like a slave to her calendar and prisoner in her own body. However, learning to protect her body’s healing time gave Tami more control over her health and symptoms. This helped her to have more stable and predictable good days and energy.
In this episode, Tami shares the Dream Week process she developed over a decade ago to help her body heal. The Dream Week Planner worksheets are included in this episode's show notes for you to download and use along with Tami as she walks you through designing your very own Dream Week.
For more information, the Dream Week Planner worksheets, free copies of Tami's books, and full show notes visit: FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/44.
What Does It Take To Get Better?
11 Things You Need For Your Fibromyalgia Healing Journey
After more than a decade of helping clients improve their fibromyalgia symptoms, Tami has learned what it really takes to get better — and it might not be what you think!
Yes, you do need effective fibromyalgia treatment, a fibromyalgia specialist to guide you, and a good doctor who treats you with respect and compassion. However, these aren't usually the same person!
Tami has also identified nine additional things that are just as critical on your journey. Listen in to learn what Tami has found to be key in all of her client fibromyalgia healing stories — and key to her own fibromyalgia remission.
For more information, free copies of Tami's books, and full show notes visit: FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/43.
Returning to Work Safely During COVID-19 with Julie Hamilton
With many areas beginning to reopen after being shut down due to COVID-19, many people are wondering how they can return to work safely — particularly when they carry a high-risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19.
The good news is that protecting your health while returning to work falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is your right to ask for "reasonable accommodations" to help you stay safe and healthy.
Listen in as Tami talks with Julie Hamilton about new laws that have been passed to help employees dealing with COVID-related absences, how special work accommodations can help you stay safe, how to have these important conversations with your employers and more.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has been put into place to help employees who have to be off work for COVID-19-related reasons. Many of us with fibromyalgia have weakened immune systems, so we need to limit our interactions with others and take precautions. When it comes to job accommodations, we can be creative. We can think outside the box on how to keep you safe. Technology companies are very forward thinking in coming up with some of the job accommodation solutions for us. When you go back to work, there's high stress, fearfulness, and anxiety returning to work during COVID… Brush up on your coping mechanisms so that you can release that stress. With all the changes in life during COVID, you may need to learn some new fibromyalgia coping skills. You may need new tools for your fibro toolbox. Know what your company's policies are… and get a hold of your job description. That will give us an idea whether it’s really mandatory for you to work in the office or not.
About Julie Hamilton
Julie Hamilton is a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach, Life Coach and Youth Life Coach. She has over 20 years experience as a Human Resources Director and Manager, with the last nine years in healthcare. In her role as an HR Director and Manager, she educated her coworkers, particularly nursing professionals, on the treatment and management of living with fibromyalgia.
Julie has worked with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) since its inception in 1993, knows the requirements, and can effectively advise individuals on the necessities when working with their employer when they have a chronic disease. Julie’s specialty is helping young professionals who are frustrated with their health to excel in their career and regain their active social lives.
Links & Resources
FibromyalgiaPodcast.com is the digital companion to this audio magazine, where you can find all of the links and resources mentioned in this episode, along with full show notes, submit your questions for Tami Stackelhouse, and schedule a free consultation with a Fibromyalgia Coach. Get free copies of Tami’s books at FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/books
Post-Traumatic Growth in Fibromyalgia with Dr. Robin Pfaff
Nearly everyone with fibromyalgia has had some sort of trauma in their past. Mental or physical abuse, car accident, illness, the death of someone close to you, chronic stress, and more are all considered trauma.
But some people come through these traumas and become better people as a result. Perhaps they are more compassionate, learn resilience, or have a greater appreciation for life in all its imperfection.
This is Post-Traumatic Growth.
In this episode, Tami interviews Dr. Robin Pfaff about her work with post-traumatic growth, including sharing the story of one of her clients, Laurie. They discuss what trauma is and the impact that it has on fibromyalgia. In addition, Tami and Robin talk about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), what PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is, and the benefits of looking at fibromyalgia through the lens of any past trauma.
Content / Trigger Warning
This episode includes mention of trauma and suicide. If you are experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, or concerned for someone else, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
A very high proportion of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia will meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder at some time in their life. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) assessment score has been highly correlated with the development of chronic illnesses later in life. One of the ways that we can mitigate the impact of trauma on our lives and our physical health is to wrap our minds around the concept of post-traumatic growth. Post-Traumatic Growth means you went through a really stressful experience and came out the other side a better person. In coaching, there’s no failure. We either succeed or we learn something. Coaching in and of itself brings out the growth aspects for people. Fibromyalgia is so tied to our fight or flight that anytime you can calm down your anxiety and stress response, it’s going to have a spillover effect of making your fibromyalgia symptoms lessen. Being coachable, teachable, and willing to try new things really does make a difference.
About Dr. Robin Pfaff
Dr. Robin Pfaff is in the business of helping women transform their lives and reach their full potential. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia herself over 20 years ago. After working 25 years as a psychotherapist, she retooled as a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach and a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach. Robin has a special expertise in helping women reclaim their lives from the grief, loss and trauma that often accompany fibromyalgia and move through post traumatic stress into post-traumatic growth. She loves working with her fibromyalgia clients and considers Fibromyalgia Coaching to be an invaluable and unique treatment option that helps women regain their health and learn to love their lives again.
Links & Resources
FibromyalgiaPodcast.com is the digital companion to this audio magazine, where you can find full show notes, links to the studies referenced in this episode, submit your questions for Tami Stackelhouse, and schedule a free consultation with a Fibromyalgia Coach. Get free copies of Tami’s books here. You will find the Dream Week exercise mentioned in this episode in Take Back Your Life. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Assessment Test Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory The Dream Week worksheets, videos, and other resources can be accessed by signing up here. Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Robin Pfaff The Fibro Manual by Dr. Ginevra Liptan (Affiliate link)
Other Episodes Mentioned
Episode 18, CBD for Fibromyalgia with Dr. Ginevra Liptan Episode 23, Counseling, Coaching and Post-Traumatic Growth with Dr. Robin Pfaff
Google Scholar is a great place to find research studi
Should I Go Outside My Insurance To Get Fibromyalgia Treatment? Ask The Coach
In this episode of our Ask the Coach series, Tami answers a question sent in from a listener: Should I go outside my insurance to get fibromyalgia treatment?
Many fibromyalgia patients who are struggling to feel better focus on what their insurance will provide for them. The reality is that no matter how good your doctor is, or how good your insurance coverage is, there will be things you’ll need to pay for out of pocket if you want to feel your best. This may mean adjusting your expectations and re-prioritizing how you’re spending some of your finances to focus more on your health.
Tami also introduces the Sherri Little Foundation, a non-profit organization created to provide micro-grants of $1,000 or less to chronic pain patients for things that insurance doesn’t cover, such as medical equipment, travel to see specialists, treatments, and more.
The Sherri Little Foundation will begin awarding their first grants in 2020.
You need to do what it takes to get yourself feeling better. If you have a health care savings account or flex spending account, you can use pre-tax money to buy things that would not be covered under insurance. If the ultimate goal is to feel your best, what are you willing to do to get there? No matter how good your doctor is, there are still things you’re going to have to pay for out of pocket if you really want to get better. We need to adjust our expectations and realize that it’s going to take an investment of money, time, energy, and effort to get better.
Links & Resources
FibromyalgiaPodcast.com is the digital companion to this audio magazine, where you can find full show notes, links to the studies referenced in this episode, submit your questions for Tami Stackelhouse, and schedule a free consultation with a Fibromyalgia Coach. Get a free copy of Tami’s book,Take Back Your Life: Find Hope and Freedom From Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Pain at FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/books Pain Warriors documentary on Amazon (Affiliate link) Sherri Little Fibromyalgia Coaching Scholarship Sherri Little Foundation, Inc.
Other Episodes Mentioned
Episode 23, Counseling, Coaching, and Post Traumatic Growth with Dr. Robin Pfaff