Sannel Larson

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Is it Really Worth it to Have One Day of Fun?

Is it really Tuesday again? Where has the time gone. . . well, I know where half of my week went.

It was spent in bed in a dark room, too tired and in too much pain, to do anything else but sleep the hours away. When pain woke me up from my sleep, I stared into the wall, wishing I could fall asleep again, just to get a break from the horrible pain.

After three days in this state, I'm starting to wonder, if it's really worth it to have one day of fun, knowing I'll pay the piper for it the rest of the week?

So what was this "fun" you did, you ask.

I celebrated my birthday by spending some hours with my childhood friend, chatting over a cup of coffee and cake, held a newborn baby in my arms, took a short walk in the forest, stopped to pet some horses. In the evening, I enjoyed a lovely meal in a restaurant with my family.
For most of us, it does not sound too exhausting, but for someone who's suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it means way too much!!

Anything that will alter my immobile, everyday routine, will have a negative impact on my mental and physical health. I do know my limits and I try to plan around it. However, it does not take much to have me fall into complete exhaustion and into the black hole of depression.

Every night I dream that tomorrow will be better, and eventually it will. So this morning when I woke up, with my usual excruciating, stabbing, crushing pain all over my body, I was thrilled - so happy, because I felt this morning was different. This morning, I woke up rested which meant, I can manage my pain, so I can once again live my "normal" painful, foggy life.

So today, I have the urge to write on my blog,  read, visit my friends on FB, write a poem, do some illustrations to my book, eat, dream, enjoy the blessings life has to offer. . . .Oh, life is wonderful - and I'm so happy!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Liebster Award - Fun Facts about Sannel

I have been nominated the Liebster Award by Vicky Fida at:  The Greek House Wife 
Thank you so much Vicky for for giving me this prestigious Award. 

The Liebster award is the German word for friend or love The aim of the award is to bring more attention to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers, who deserve to have more recognition and followers than they already have.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to. 
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post. 
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award. 
5. No tag backs.

11 Facts About Me:

1. I am diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
    Before I became ill I:
2. Climbed to the highest peak (Mytikas) of Mount Olympus in Greece 
3. Paraglided
4. Swam with dolphins in the Mediterranean sea.
5. Had very close encounters with whales out on the sea. Twice! 
6. Sat in the cockpit on my flight to South Africa. 
7. Rode on a motorcycle from north of Sweden, through Finland, to the Russian border, all in one night under the midnight sun. 
8. Went ice-skating by the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Plaza.
9. Harvested olives and pistachios in Greece.
10. Ran over the same beautiful, green hills that came alive with Julia Andrews, and the sound of music.
11. Skijoring (a person on skis is pulled by a horse.)


These are the 11 Questions from Vicky that I have to answer to:

1. If you had 3 hours to yourself (no husband, no kids, no chores) what would you do? 
Late afternoon spa w/ gentle massage and steam, then a glass of red wine, or a cup of Greek mountain tea, while watching the sun set.

2. What is the best life advice you can give to your followers? 
Think positive and beautiful thoughts, and your life will have a positive outlook.

3. What is your goal for this year? 
My goal for this year is to finish my illustrations for my nursery book and have it published. As well as try my best to be the very best person I can be.

4. If they made a movie of your life, who would you pick to play you? 
Oh, I have really no idea! Perhaps,Charlize Theron - she has the height for it, but will she be able to capture my Swedish accent? Lol!  

5. What is your favorite quote? 
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

6. Describe your ideal Valentine's day! 
Staying home and cooking together with my loved one. Followed by a romantic and fun dinner in the candlelight, with some wine, talk, laughter, kisses and dessert. . . oh, yes, definitely dessert, lol. 

7. What is the best song to describe your mood today?
Blessings by Laura Story 

8. Apart from blogging how do you spend your free time? 
What free time??? Lol!  Fortunately, I own a dog, so we do take lots of beautiful walks in the Swedish forest.  

9. What is your favorite memory? 
Umm, that's a tough one, there are so many.  But I have this very warm and loving memory, when I picked up a little puppy from the street and held him in my arms for the very first time. Who knew he would become my very best friend, and is still my everyday companion after 12 years.

10. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? (Except for being a mom or dad!) 

I’d want to be a Nature photographer. Travel the world, visiting many different, inspiring locations. 

11. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money, and why?
I live a very simple life, always had. I have never been a materialistic person. I figure, whatever I need here in life, will fit into a suitcase. So I would not spend my money on any stuff. As long as I have my laptop, toothbrush, my camera and pencils for drawing, I'm all set. 

However, I would buy myself a small house - a very small house, knowing I will have something of my own to come home to. That would feel really nice! Then I put some money away for my future. I would also like to treat my good friends and family, who has always been there for me with trips and visits to the Spa and lovely dinners. 

The rest of the money, I would give away to animal shelters around the world. Helping out with food, medicine and education to children in poor countries. Helping out in any way I can to make sure less fortunate will have a decent, cooked meal a day. 

I will also support the research of fibromyalgia,  ALS, often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease ( my mum passed away from this disease) and cancer research.

These are my 11 questions to my nominees :

1. What's the last book you read?
2. If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would it be, and why?
3. Which three things would you save from a fire in the house?
4. If you could compare yourself with an animal. Which would it be and why?
5. How would you title your autobiography?
6. What is your worst fear? 
7. Who do you admire most and why?
8. Do you have any pet peeves? If so, what are they?
9. Who are some of your favorite poets?
10.  If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
11. What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?

I pass this award on to these lovely bloggers:

5. Rick Stephen at:
7. Deborah Brooks Langford at:

Last but not least I would really like to thank Vicky Fida at: The Greek House wife 
Please check out her lovely blog. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome "Today is not a good day"

If you have read my other Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome posts, you know that I'll share with you my own ordeal with these illnesses, and also provide you with important facts about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 
Hopefully, by sharing my everyday struggle, I may help someone in the same situation, not to feel so lonely. I hope, too, that non-sufferers of these debilitating and often "invisible" illnesses, will learn and understand better what it means to live with this, and how it affects our everyday lives. 

Living life one hour at the time
Living with these illnesses makes it difficult to plan ahead. I have no idea how I will feel in a week, day or even one hour from now. I have learned to make the most out of the hour or hours when I feel almost like my old self - like calling my friends on the phone, do the dishes, write, go shopping, draw my illustrations and take a walk.

However, I tend to overdo it because I'm so extremely happy and excited that I'm able to do something other than just lay in bed, so the next day, the pain and exhaustion will get even worse, and forces me to be completely inactive for days with a mental state of complete exhaustion.

Today is one of those day's - Not a very good day! 
Today it takes all my energy and willpower to write these few lines here. The pain in my hands does make it really hard to type, and my mind is exhausted so you'll have to excuse me for making this blog post rather short. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a "good day."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome "But You Don't Look Sick!"

If you read last Tuesday's blog post, you know that I began my very own, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome awareness Day. Every Tuesday, I'll share with you my own ordeal with these illnesses, and also provide you with important facts about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 
Hopefully, by sharing my everyday struggle, I may help someone in the same situation, not to feel so lonely. I hope, too, that non-sufferers of these debilitating and often "invisible" illnesses, will learn and understand better what it means to live with this, and how it affects our everyday lives. 

Tough pill to swallow
Last week, I mentioned that it took many years, before I finally was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As soon as I was diagnosed, it helped me mentally, because I finally knew what was wrong with me, but it also brought me grieve. The thought of never feeling "good" for the rest of my life is a tough pill to swallow. 

I'm a person that hardly ever complains when I'm having a flue, or a headache, or any other aches or pains, so when the symptoms of chronic pain, aches and exhaustion started, I never let anyone knew about them. I figured, I had been working too much, or had been under too much stress, or it was the signs, that I was getting older. 

Even the tears that trickle down my cheek are painful. . .
However, the weeks and months past by, and so did the years. It was exhausting years, filled with frustrations and chronic pain. It did not matter how much I rested, I was constantly exhausted and in pain. Many times as I did a chore, I just fell to the floor and cried, and even the tears that trickled down my cheek was painful. However, I would never let anyone see me in this state of mind, or show in any way that I was suffering. Instead I put on a bright smile, and told everyone, I was fine. 

Surrounded by a thick, gray fog
In addition to the pain and fatigue, I developed symptoms of memory loss, hard time to concentrate, sensitivity to bright light and noise ( watching TV was not enjoyable anymore,) nervousness, anxieties and apathy. My surroundings appeared very diffused and muddled, like I was embedded in a thick, gray fog all the time. I had a hard time focusing when people spoke to me, and I had difficulties to find words when I spoke. 

People closest to me started to lose patience with my loss of time, memory and my disability to focus. My chronic pain woke me up constantly during the night, which left me exhausted in the morning. Any kind of stress and anxiety would make my symptoms even worse. I avoided more and more to socialize, and my ability to work and pursue any quality of life, became radically affected. 

The severity of Fibro-fog varies from day to day and from person to person.

Symptoms of Fibro-fog:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mental confusion and fatigue
  • Impaired thinking
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
  • Inability to comprehend written or spoken words
  • Absentmindedness
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Disorientation
  • Trouble with directions
  • Short attention span (seems like ADHD; sometimes speaking over others)
  • Acquired dyslexia (includes difficulty speaking known words)

Lack of knowledge
Except for the physical torment, there is also the emotional pain of misunderstanding and/or lack of knowledge from family and friends. Perhaps rejection from spouse or your loved one. In many cases there could be financial and social ruin, since the person with fibromyalgia often lose their jobs. The overwhelming feeling of pain and hopelessness, combined with feelings of failure, guilt and broken dreams can lead to social isolation, severe depression, and even suicide. 

The one thing that makes fibromyalgia so hard to live with is the fact that you do not look sick. Fibromyalgia is also called the invisible disease, so even the people closest to you have a hard time to understand your situation. Usually, people who are suffering from fibromyalgia, try their best to give an appearance that nothing is wrong with them. They take extra care to look their best and when they meet people, they sound and look very cheerful, hiding the pain and exhaustion they really feel. 

However, all this takes very much of our energy, so we often try to avoid socializing all together. This behavior usually after some time becomes a quality of life, where you get more and more isolated from family, friends, and finally the world. 

More facts on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as my own story, how it is to live with these illnesses, will appear on this blog next Tuesday. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sensual Cooking for Valentine's Day

What could be more sexy and playful than to cook the Valentine's dinner together with your loved one. The act of cooking together is a pleasurable and intriguing form of foreplay that will transform your kitchen into a daring and sensual sanctuary. So for this special evening, forget the apron for once, and get dressed in your slinky red dress, or if you're a man, your sexiest boxer shorts — Heck, forget the dress and boxers all together, and wear only an apron!

All your energy should be used on each other - Not on the food
When planning the menu, you should not make it complicated. Remember all your energy should be used on each other, and not on the food. Let your Valentine know that you'll be cooking together, and tell him or her not to eat anything before the date, preferable not all day. Make sure you have all the ingredients at home, before your date for the evening stands on your doorstep. Check that the champagne is chilling in the ice bucket, and dim the lights for a sensual and very hot evening.

Flames will ignite
When your date appears the flames will soon ignite -not only on your gas stove - but also between the two of you. The romantic evening in the kitchen will soon turn into a stirring experience, both in your loins and in the pots. As the romantic tunes plays seductively in the background, you'll be sipping on the chilled champagne. The enticing smell from the food will soon stir up hunger in both of you, and I'm not just talking about the hunger for food, if you catch my drift.

Cooking together is so sexy
The purpose with a cooking date is to stay physically together. Brushing up against each other accidentally in the kitchen is very arousing, and the smaller the kitchen, the better. Gentle touches between your fingertips while chopping and stirring. Self-indulging in sexy kisses, with flavors of hot, burning desires on your tongues.
With a lusting eye you're looking at each other over the simmering pots. The moist and wet steam are tenderly caressing your bodies and senses. Touching and stroking each others pots and pans will soon get both of you begging for more.

Voluptuous, red tomatoes
The sight of some of the ingredients will certainly heighten your cravings. The suggestive phallic shape of the asparagus will get your pulses raising. The voluptuous curves from the lush, soft, red tomato will definitely have you reaching out for the bottle of virgin olive oil, and when you feel the sensuous texture of the ripe avocado between your fingers, you yearn to taste its flesh.

Oregano, basil and love in the air
Taste the food by seductively feeding each other. In fact, tasting can be so rapturous. Take your time while gentle licking and nibbling each others fingers.That will definitely whet your appetites for more. The fragrant herbs of oregano and basil will linger daringly in the air, as a reminder of the growling hunger that is felt between the two of you, and in your stomachs. 

A foreplay of starving lust
Whisper sweet nothings in your partners ear while you kiss and gently nibble it. As you stir the tomato sauce and throw the pasta in the boiling water, you slowly sprinkle your love with kisses, as you move down the neck and back up to their lips. Soon your unbridled cravings are out of control. Things are really heating up in the hot kitchen.

A kitchen that's both sultry and torrid
You know you have to slow down before your self-control erupts. With feverish eyes you see a kitchen that's both sultry and torrid after a foreplay of malnourished cravings. This may be enough to dampen some of the arousal and cool things down for a bit, but just enough, before an unstoppable evening of unlocked hunger and starvation slowly will be fulfilled, with x-rated ingredients, so daringly appetizing, to downright intoxicating. Hungry yet?

Interested in some sensual chocolate dessert to serve to your Valentine? Here is the recipe: Sensual Chocolate Dessert for Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Every Tuesday, I will write about  Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Why Tuesday, you may ask?  Well, I could probably talk about these two diseases any other day, except this day is very important to me. It was on a Tuesday, when I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So, what could be more fitting than to make Tuesday's on this blog, into my very own, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome awareness Day?

Years and Years of Not Understanding What Was Going On 
I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was finally given the diagnose in 2011. However, I have lived with it for so much longer. It has been years and years of not understanding what was going on - What was happening to me?  Going from doctor to doctor, getting medication described for all kind of illnesses and diseases. Doctors telling me with irony in their voices and a pat on my back; Oh, just get back out there and work, and you'll be fine!!  
Work!? When just getting a shower and getting myself dressed to go to the doctors appointment had drained me out completely, and was going to leave me bedridden for days. Oh, and I really did not appreciate that sympathetic pat on my back, since that pat had hurt so much that I just had wanted to scream. 

I Pushed Myself to Please Everyone
Even with the pain and exhaustion, I pushed myself to please everyone. I tried to be social, do the work that was expected of me, act like my normal old self, only to cry myself to sleep at night. However, the pain was horrendous and woke me up constantly during the night. With the lack of sleep, I could not handle the pain very well, and it just became worse and worse. 

I lost the excitement to do even the simplest things, since it meant my pain and exhaustion would triple. Soon, I became very depressed. I refused to get up from bed. Finally, I lost the will to live, even thoughI did not want to die, I could not go on. I stopped eating, knowing that my heart would not take this punishment for very long, and my long awaited relief would soon arrive and be a blessing. 
My story will continue next Tuesday. . . 

Facts on Fibromyalgia

When you hear the word Fibromyalgia, you immediately think of pain. When you hear the words, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you think of exhaustion. However, there are so many other symptoms a person with these diseases has to struggle with everyday, which you may not know about.

Living with fibromyalgia, FMS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS- also known as ME, can often take over your life and turn you into a shadow of your former self. Except for pain, you have to struggle with impaired memory and concentration difficulties, apathy, anxieties, listlessness, fatigue, nervousness, panic attacks, irritability, faintness, tremors, painful intercourse, sweating, anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, feelings of guilt and failure and even suicidal thoughts. These are some of the more common symptoms one might meet.

There are Varying Degrees of Fibro
To understand fibromyalgia we must first have in mind that there are varying degrees of fibro. To many the fibro doesn’t limit them very much. They can still keep a job, do activities and socializing like normal people. To some the fibro may flare up once in a while and last just for a few days. Others may have just a mild version of fibromyalgia. And to some of us, the pain is so extreme that our lives had to change forever.

More facts on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will appear on this blog next Tuesday.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Increase Your Libido the Natural Way

Did you know that the secret to fabulous sex starts in your kitchen? Well, eehum. . . and with that I don't mean your kitchen floor! I'm talking about some natural foods that could be found in your fridge and in your kitchen cabinets that may help to boost your libido. The saying; We are what we eat, is so true. What you eat during the day may actually have a huge impact on your accomplishment between the sheets at night. Below, I have put together an A-Z list of libido boosting foods that will jump-start your sex-drive naturally.

Almonds are good source of fatty acids which is crucial to produce male hormones. This healthy nut is rich in amino acid that improves blood circulation and enhances the erectile response. The mere scent of almonds is found to arouse a woman's sex drive. purported to act as an aphrodisiac

Asparagus is high in vitamin E, a great libido-boosting vitamin. Asparagus is also very rich in folate, which is crucial to produce histamine. The correct levels of histamine plays a major role for the sex drive for both men and women.

Avocado plays a major role for energy and stamina.

Avocado is a super-alkaline food, has vitamin B6, a nutrient that increases male hormone production and potassium which helps regulate a woman's thyroid gland, two elements that help increase libido in both men and women. Avocado are also rich in folic acid that plays a major role for energy and stamina.

Bananas are bursting with vitamin B and potassium, which help produce sex hormones. Bananas contain Bromelain, an enzyme which is important for sexual health.

Basil, a wonderful herb that increases circulation and is beneficial in stimulating the sex drive and boosting fertility. In fact, its scent is supposed to drive us wild! Apparently, basil oil was once used by Mediterranean prostitutes as a perfume to attract customers.

Beans are rich in zinc. Zinc helps to produce testosterone. Furthermore, they’re loaded with protein and fiber.

Blueberries, Mother Nature's Viagra! Full of antioxidants and packed with soluble fibers and compounds, which helps lower cholesterol levels and help relax your blood vessels, improving circulation and better blood flow to the penis and stronger erections as you grow older.

Brazil nuts helps the sperm to swim faster
Brazil nuts rich in vitamin E. an antioxidant that protects sperm cells against free-radical damage. These Brazilian nuts are rich in Selenium that helps keep the sperm cell very healthy and helping them swim faster.

Broccoli is a great libido booster in men. However, it can have the opposite effect in women.

Cardamom has powerful aphrodisiacs. It's very helpful in treating impotence.

Celery ( raw) boosts production of androsterone, an odorless male hormone that's released through male perspiration and turns women on.

Ignite with chilies
Chillies are rich in capsaicin, that releases the mood-enhancing endorphins, which creates a temporary high. They’ll ignite much more than your taste buds!

Cinnamon stimulate sexual feelings and heighten sensuality during foreplay.

Cocoa in chocolate has Methylxanthines that increases your body's sensitivity, ensuring that your skin registers even the slightest touch. Chocolate also has Phenylethylamine and serotonin which boost your mood and gives you a slight natural high. In fact, women who enjoys a piece of chocolate every day is found to have a more active sex life than those who don't .
Heighten your sensuality with cinnamon

Eggs are excellent source of cholesterol, an important precursor to testosterone and estrogen. High levels of vitamins B5 and B6 that's very important to keep hormone levels in balance and reducing stress.

Figs are packed with amino acids, which helps to increase the male libido and boost sexual stamina

Fish particularly mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and anchovies are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance the nervous system and increase blood flow. Fish is guaranteed to help increase sexual stamina.

Flaxseed consists of essential fatty acids, which helps he production of sex hormones. By adding flax-seed into the diet it will increase testosterone.

Garlic bad on the breath, but boosts blood flow and helps circulation to sexual organs. However, it's necessary to eat garlic daily or take capsules for about a month to start feeling its remarkable benefits.
The stimulating ginger

Ginger helps and stimulates circulation. This root helps also to increase the blood flow in certain important areas.

Goji berries increase testosterone levels.

Nutmeg stimulates and boost sexual feelings.

Oysters contains dopamine, a hormone that is known to increase libido. Oysters are also very high in zinc,which raises testosterone and sperm and trigger the health of the male prostate gland. Zinc deficiency can make a woman completely lose her sex drive.
Vitamin C boosts the arousal

Oranges are rich in vitamin C that protects the sex organs. C-vitamin helps enhancing sensitivity and arousal, and increase the sperm production.

Peaches helps to produce high-quality sperm and improve sexual potency.

Peanuts are a great source to boost your libido, especially for men. Peanuts have a rich natural source of L-arginine, which is an amino acid that helps improve sexual function in men by relaxing blood vessels.

Pineapples has the enzyme bromelain, that will increase libido in men.

Pomegranate contains antioxidants, which help increase blood flow to all parts of the body, including the sexual organs, which will boost your sex drive.

Pumpkin seeds will rev up your performance both in and out of the bedroom
Pumpkin seeds are extremely rich in zinc. Zinc help to produce testosterone. These seeds are also good sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help the blood flow throughout the body including the vital genitals. They contain healthy fats and protein that will give you much-needed boost in the bedroom.

Saffron has picrocrocin, a chemical that makes the body sensitive to the touch. Saffron a well-known aphrodisiac works as a pain-blocker and antidepressant.

Sauerkraut is yet another libido-booster. It seems that men are getting more “active” after eating sauerkraut.

Tomatoes boost your virility and sex drive.

Watermelon contain a chemical called L- citrulline, that's effective at relaxing blood vessels which helps improve blood flow to the heart, sex organs and the rest of the body. L-citrulline gives an effect similar to drugs like Viagra but without the negative side effects. It is found that the watermelon rind has higher concentrations of L-citrulline than in the flesh.

Follow a healthy diet and exercise

By stacking up on certain foods, your sex life can go from fizzle to sizzle. However, do not forget that a healthy diet, exercise, get adequate rest and maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do to boost your libido. By staying away from junk food, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, it will have a direct effect on your performance, and play a critical role on how amorous you feel.