looking for poochella and her friend...

rowansmom_1029October 10, 2007


I was reading the archived posts and decided to check the "my page" of poochella and lizalily (not sure if I got that name right, sorry!)and was excited to see that one of you mentioned that you had fibromyalgia! Here's why:

I have fibromyalgia (actually, more than that but it is a long story) and am very interested in growing dahlias to sell at farmer's markets. But I can't figure out if I am crazy to even think about it. I am definately sick, but on the other hand I am trying to find a way to make money doing something I love... AND if I do get better (still have some hope, and I am only 42) then I would love to have a full-fledged cut flower business.

Anyway... I was wondering if those on this forum that have long-term illness or disability would want to chime in with any advice. I have been gardening for 8 years, slowly, in my own garden. I love growing flowers!

Anyone here sell at farmer's markets or to florists?



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Noni Morrison

Hi, Carolyn! You caught me in Heerlen in the Netherlands on our working vacation. DH just finished the work part and now comes our 2 weeks of seeing Germany and ancestor hunting.

Yes, I was diagnosed with Fibro about 20 years ago and gardening is one of the few things that I can do that seems to make me feel better...I highly recommend it! I can not walk on City sidewalks or shopping malls for very long at all but on the soft earth in my garden I can work outside for hours, resting when I need to then returning to the job.

WIth a disorder like Fibro that makes us feel so crummy, Gardening, with its wonderful sensory experiences, is a real upper. I do get my guy to dig holes for me (Bad arthritis in my knees) and he runs the rototiller and mows lawns but I do everything else myself.

Part of the secret is to learn to pace yourself...never work to exhaustion just to finish something...slow and steady with breaks when ever you are getting tired will get you thre sooner. I do not listen to my own advice so currently am touring Europe with cortisone shots in both knees and one hip...the hip due to bursitis caused by sitting on the ground and butt scooting along to weed a row of sunflowers. I thought I was saving my back and knees by working this way and was so proud of how much I had done, LOL. The bursitis hit me about 2 days later and I am on my second shot for it.

I think with Fibro one of the things that makes me feel better and cuts down on the pain is any gentle activity that keeps the blood flowing through the tender muscles and bringing fresh oxygen to them. I know that gentle stretching exercises make my pain better, where as sitting in the house guarding my pain makes it worse! The wonderful colors and textures, the armth of the sun, th esound of birds and wind,,,,all help with the depression that accompanies Fibro.

I not only hsve a huge garden, I run a cut flower business. It make sme just enough money to order more plants and bulbs and tubers and seeds and buy an occasional load of compost.
I love my business though and it keeps me out among people in a way I can manage energy wise.

I do take muscle relaxor to sleep at night, and pain pills when that is not enough, as well as arthritis meds. They have all been part of making this work for me, and I have an excellent Dr who understands fibro and works with me to manage it on my terms.

Experiment...find out if this works for you. My buddy with fibro can not work out when it is cold and I can not tolerate the heat.

By the way, I do not dig my dahlias every fall! I divide them about every 3 years in the springtime, and only do as much in any one day as I can without pain. I mulch with straw or co mpost in the fall, what ever I have around. WOrks for me!

work to improve you soil, stay away from chemicals that could react with our poor immune systems, and just plain enjoy the garden.

And last but not least..I am having amazing results from treatment for sleep Apnea...I am really excited about it!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Lizalily, This is off the subject of dahlias but your comment on the amazing results from treatment for Sleep Apnea caught my attention. I work with a young man who is having a terrible time with it. Could you please pass on the information for the treatment that is helping you? Thank you for any help you can offer.

One question for anyone concerning dahlias is does it hurt to dig dahlias before the frost gets them?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:47AM
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Noni Morrison

As you say, off the subject, so just a quick note...using a cpap machine has dropped my blood pressure enough to get off of one of my long time meds in just a month of use. It has almost taken away the asthma that broke up my sleep many nights. I wake ready to start a new day, and have not had any fibro attacks since starting it, but I am still on my meds for sleep...hope to eventually get off them too.

I think the dahlias need the light frost to send the tuber into sleep mode. If you have to move them before that could you put them in pots outside until nature finishes the foliage off?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 4:21PM
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To you fibro patients, for what it might be worth. One of my grandaughters has fibro and she is a vegan, mostly raw veges. She says that has helped her more than anything.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 9:30AM
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darlene87(z7 Wa)

I am another fibro patient that gardens. Helps keep me sane. I try to pace myself and not overdo. When I over do, I pay dearly for it, and in bed for a few days. I have a lot of dahlias, just for my own pleasure. I used to do the church flower arrangements. I leave my tubers in the ground all year, and dig some up in the spring and seperate. I also am on a special diet for the colon, cutting out the red meat and the grains really helped with the fibro pain.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 3:14AM
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