If there is one person who is extremely passionate about her cause, it is certainly Ms. Amy Mullholand of the incredible Fibromyalgia awareness page, “The Fibro Frog.” What was conceived out of pure frustration, her page has grew to something incredible, a place of support, love and advocacy.
A: “I started The Fibro Frog, out of pure frustration. I had just finally accepted that I had something wrong with me, that didn’t have a cure. I was overcome with the thought of living every day of the rest of my life in pain. -Real, debilitating pain too …not just an “Oh I stood on my feet too long today so my feet and back are killing me” type of pain. Pain that feels as if you have the flu, every single day of your life. All the way down to the sore skin when it’s touched, along with muscle cramps, Charley horses throughout my legs and stomach, and the horrible fatigue. -It really was hard for me. I thought the blog would give me a place to vent. When it started off, it truly was my own venting corner. It quickly started getting followers though. People who were saying “hey, you’re not alone”. It only took me a month or so to figure out the direction I wanted The Fibro Frog to go in. I wanted to not only keep making connections so that no one else would ever have to feel alone dealing with this monster, plus I wanted to be a voice for all of us. There’s just so many myths and misconceptions about not only fibromyalgia, but any chronic pain/invisible illness. It’s no wonder that we’re treated so rudely, and people think we’re just “attention seekers” or “lazy”. There’s been so much research that that proves beyond a doubt that we aren’t faking and that Fibromyalgia is truly a horrible, life-changing illness. My goal is to not only validate the feelings of any one who posts on The Fibro Frog, but to start educating the public. I always say that education is everything. Without education about fibromyalgia, there won’t be change (as in the way people think about the illness) and without change there won’t be more research. Without more research, there won’t be a cure. I’m a huge advocate for all types of chronic pain sufferers. I’ve put together a seminar and webinar both, that not only has a lot of useful information for people who suffer from a chronic pain illness, but also for those who do not suffer. Friends, family, community, healthcare professionals, etc. I’m working hard to try and raise the funds needed for me to start renting hotel conference rooms and advertising, so that I can start traveling across the U.S. helping to educate and advocate.”
A woman with an incredible heart and an unbreakable spirit, Amy decided to create a webinar, all about educating others about living life with chronic pain, called “Living With Chronic Pain – A Patients View”. Amy describes her amazing webinar as “This webinar isn’t geared just for the person that’s suffering with a chronic pain/fatigue illness, but also to their friends and family, and especially to community members and those in the medical field, to try and help them gain a little more insight and understanding into what a day in the life of a chronic pain sufferer is truly like.”
Q: How do you treat your Fibromyalgia?
A: “I treat my fibro symptoms with the following medications: Amitriptyline, Tramadol, Neurontin, Prozac, Flexeril, Vicodin, Lidoderm Patches, and 800 mg Ibuprofen. If I had a way to do aqua-therapy too, I sure would. It’s supposedly one of the best ways to help Fibro pain. I’d give almost anything to be able to put a swimming pool and hot tub in my back yard.
On bad flare days, I force myself to get into the bathtub, and soak in the hottest water I can stand. It does seem to help the pain some. Also, heating pads or heated throw blankets help. Any type of warmth that you can get onto the effected area/areas.”
Q: Do you have any advice for fellow Fibromyalgia/Chronic illness patients?
A: “The best advice I can to anyone is to pace yourself. You hear people say that a lot, but it really is so very crucial. If you don’t pace yourself, you will pay dearly for the next few days at the very least, and worse case scenario is that you’ll throw yourself into a flare. Flares can last from days, to months. The advice I have to follow on the heels of “pace yourself”, is to not be so hard on yourself. If you can’t finish the laundry in one day, then take 2 to do it. If you can’t wash all of the dishes at once, then don’t. I have to clean off and stack the dishes. Then I sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, I wash the glasses, then I sit for 10-15 minutes. On and on until the job is done. If it takes you 2 hours to get them done when it’s normally a 15 minute job, then so be it. Don’t beat yourself up or feel bad about it. Last piece of advice, if you encounter a DHAC (a person who doesn’t have a clue) and they say something stupid to you, instead of getting angry at them, take that opportunity to turn the conversation around and educate them on why what they said is just a silly myth. -Always remember, you’re never alone. There are others out there that feel like you do. Everyone’s pain is equal and deserves the same validation. Everyone’s pain matters.“
In her off time, Amy loves to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She frequently enjoys the company of her two dogs, who even check on her when she is feeling run-down. Amy’s son is an MMA cage fighter, and she enjoys attending his matches. Photography is her passion, although due to the pain it causes, she has had to cut down on it.
Amy has some final inspirational words to share with everyone:
“My final words are to please, whatever you do, educate and advocate every chance you get! If you are part of a church, business, community, or organization that could benefit from my seminar, please let me know. Also, I highly encourage all of you to register for my webinar, and crowd your family and friends around so that YOU can get some stats that will really open your eyes and get some tips, tricks, and resources to help you through your chronic pain/fatigue illness and to help your family/friends to understand what a day in YOUR life is really like. I’ll advocate for a cure, or at the very least a solid, concrete, universal treatment plan that will work for everyone. Gentle butterfly hugs from me, to all of you.”
You can find Amy at her blog: The Fibro Frog