Foxy G's Den of i-KNIT-quity

07/23/2009

Art from the ♥

I started FibroFibers because I was not well enough to work outside the home and needed an outlet for the fiber obsession that started while I was in the years-long process of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. If you’re not familiar with fibromyalgia, it is a non-contagious disease that causes widespread pain, fatigue and a number of other “invisible” symptoms.

Merino Wool Sock Yarn in Summer Day

Merino Wool Sock Yarn in Summer Day

People with chronic, “invisible” illnesses or disabilities are sometimes known as spoonies; the term comes from an amazing essay written by Christine Miserandino, an equally amazing woman. It’s called The Spoon Theory, and it is a great way to explain to others what it is like to live with these types of illnesses. There’s actually a whole community of Spoonies that is run by the same woman.

Superwash Merino Bamboo Yarn in Blues, Purples and Fuchsia

Superwash Merino Bamboo Yarn in Blues, Purples and Fuchsia

It took me a lifetime of suffering and several years of seeing doctor after doctor, new specialist after new specialist, as well as going through batteries of tests and doing a lot of my own research to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  That was far from the end of the trip, though.  If anything, I’ve seen even more doctors since I received the diagnosis because all of them have a different idea as to how to treat the condition and, for me at least, most of them have been wrong. 

Yarn of the Month Club

Yarn of the Month Club

It is astounding how many healthcare providers have extremely limited knowledge of this condition, and many also have some woefully mistaken ideas about it.  Many think that it is a form of depression or some other psychological issue; others think it is caused by poor diet or too little exercise. One “quack” went so far as to insist that it is exclusively caused by sexual abuse!   I have been blown away by how much I have had to try to educate my doctors about this illness; therefore, I decided that giving a portion of my profits would be a way to help fund research to educate providers and help to find treatments and perhaps even a cure.  At this time, there is neither a known cause nor a cure.

Merino Wool DK in Roller Rink

Merino Wool DK in Roller Rink

Through FibroFibers, I support the National Fibromyalgia Research Association (NFRA).  For each item sold, I donate $2.00 to NFRA.  I chose them in particular because, unlike many of the larger organizations, they have no ties to the pharmaceutical industry. And all of the money they bring in goes to fund research and education.  Being a small independent operation myself, I can identify with them!

I sell hand-dyed yarns.  I was the child who, instead of drawing pictures, just dumped out my big box of crayons and rearranged them, or scribbled just to see the colors.  Now I “play” with my dyes in a similar fashion, or else I’ll see a random thing and try to replicate the colors.  Recently I had the pleasure of dyeing a skein of yarn to match my cat, at the request of a friend who makes amigurumi!  My next project is learning how to spin yarn.

Matchesmycat

Baby the Yarn Model

Baby the Yarn Model

If you ever have any questions about yarn or fibromyalgia, please feel free to contact me: jen@jenhintz.com

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5 Comments »

  1. Jen – What an awesome article!

    I also have fibromyalgia, and have a friend with Lupus (another “invisible illness). I showed her The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, and she was in awe with it’s accuracy (as was I). She’s since been showing it to friends and family (just as I did) to help them better understand. I had a doctor who tried to convince me I was simply depressed, and to accept it and basically stop coming to see her for my imagined pains. I never wanted to hurt myself. No, I wanted to hurt HER for being so close-minded. Anyway.

    I applaud what you are doing. And you will love spinning yarn. I’ve recently taken it up…all the way from washing to hand carding to spinning to plying. I have about a lb of it sitting here waiting to be carded….

    Comment by Beth — 07/23/2009 @ 1:48 am

  2. Jen, thank you so much for doing this! You are inspiring. I, too, suffer from disabling fibromyalgia and severe daily migraine. I really hope they find a cure soon for all of the wonderful people who suffer. You rock!

    Comment by Vickie of In My Head Studios — 07/23/2009 @ 6:18 pm

  3. You are doing a great thing Jen! It is ridiculous how uninformed doctors can be.

    Comment by Elephunk — 07/24/2009 @ 7:55 pm

  4. Wow!
    Jen, you really are inspiring!
    3-4 years ago I got sick, lost my “job” and since I have no health insurance I haven’t been to the doctors for all the testing I should have. I had an AWESOME primary that I saw when I was really sick and she REALLY wanted me to get a bunch of tests by specialists but knew I had no money to do it. What a few doctors said I might have before I lost my job basically say 50% of those that have whatever I might have no one knows the cause or cure for that matter since they don’t really know what causes it! (that was soo run on and made no sense!) So, I kinda understand your frustration with the very different information from all of those doctors!
    Well, I just wanted to say that I very much admire what you do and that you take the time and energy to help others in need with your donations.
    *feeling the warm fuzzies*

    Comment by Mikiye Creations — 08/03/2009 @ 1:23 am

  5. By the way, LOVE the custom dye job on the yarn to match your kitty!
    😀

    Comment by Mikiye Creations — 08/03/2009 @ 1:24 am


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