*******************This is a picture of my good friend MizCyn that dates back to 1986. Even though we are the best of friends, I don't have any recent pictures of her because we just aren't the picture-exchanging type. The last time I saw Cyndi was in 2003 but even though I've not seen a picture of her since then, were she to ever step off a plane (or walk out the gate as people are obviously no longer allowed to greet friends and loved ones at the actual gate!), I'd know exactly who she was without a moment's hesitation. She'd have that same smile and that same twinkle in her eye and I'm sure she'd greet me with one of the snarky comments that I have always loved her for. Some things just don't change when it comes to friends and friendship.
Unfortunately, though, some things do change as we grow older and in Cyndi's case it was her health that has changed since this picture was taken some 20+ years ago. In the early 1990's, Cyndi started suffering from some pretty debilitating pain in her shoulders and wrists that was diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome - something that is unfortunately quite common for those of us who dispatch for a living. We do a lot of repetitive tasks and unless you're lucky enough to work in a dispatch center that is put together very well with ergonomics, chances are real good that carpal tunnel is going to catch up to you at some point. It did for me and also for Cyndi.
Mine was a fairly easy fix - surgery to both wrists and I was back to work with no problems in less than two months. For Cyndi - no such luck. Despite the fact that the surgery seemed to go well, she was still in a lot of pain and after what seemed like forever, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia - a chronic syndrome characterized by diffuse or specific muscle, joint, or bone pain, as well as a wide range of other symptoms. The severity of her pain eventually led to Cyndi having to medically retire from her job as one of the best 911 police dispatchers I ever knew and I firmly believe that the City of Stockton Police Department has suffered from her loss ever since. I never knew a woman who was more compassionate on the phone then Cyndi. She ran rings around me when it came to empathy and understanding for our callers and I'm sure she still would if she ever was able to sit behind a dispatch console again. She was that good.
Throughout the years, Cyndi's pain has ebbed and flowed much like the tides of the ocean and relief has been pretty hard to come by most times. Her pain takes on different aspects from sore muscles and joints to back, shoulder, and neck pain as well as painful arthritis-type symptoms which sometimes leave her in bed for the entire day as it's just too painful to even think about getting up - particularly when the weather is bad. However, Cyndi didn't have the luxury of lounging in bed most days as her son Daniel, a low-functioning autistic, required her care and attention and she wasn't the kind of Mom to ignore her child no matter how bad she felt. She soldiered on in spite of the pain and debilitation and for that I admire her greatly. Even though Daniel is now living in a Group Home, Cyndi still has an active life that can't just be put on hold while she waits for "a good day" and it saddens me that so much of her life is spent in constant pain that limits her abilities.
Recently, I've been reading about a new product that I think might give Cyndi some relief to be able to do the things she wants and needs to do without the constant pain of fibromyalgia standing in her way. Freeze It Gel is a topical pain reliever that can be rubbed on the skin all around the affected area and provides quick relief from sore muscles and joints. It can safely be applied up to four times a day and even before bedtime if one has trouble sleeping due to persistent pain and discomfort. No doubt receiving a good night of undisturbed sleep would help Cyndi vastly when it came to facing the day ahead of her as a good night's sleep should never be underrated - especially for those who suffer from chronic pain like she does.
I need to give her a call later today (she left a comment in my last post telling me so!) and when I do, I'm going to tell her to check out this video about Freeze It Gel and see what she thinks.
Right now Freeze It Gel is having a contest to win a year's supply and it sounds to me like it could help and Cyndi more than deserves to feel good. She has earned it by being the exemplary 911 dispatcher that she was and the loving mother that she is. Besides, if she started to feel better then maybe she'd actually get on the plane and come visit me like she keeps threatening to do and that would most certainly be worth all the Freeze It Gel in the world!