In Loving Memory of LaShawn Velasquez A.K.A LaLa

Last week I began sharing photos straight out of Hawaii. My daughter and her local best friend Jessica went to Hawaii to be with LaLa. LaLa lives in Hawaii via her Military wife. In the early morning hours of May 21, 2017 I received a horrifying call from my daughter Kharisma. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the screams into the phone. LaLa was being placed into an ambulance. Soon after she was pronounced deceased even though the impact already took her. I haven’t been able to talk about it in the details everyone wants. None of us can.

Bring LaShawn Home

If you can’t give to it, can you share it please?

I wrote this for her, her family, those who love her and for all the LaLa’s out there.  It wasn’t about me.

Twinkle VanFleet

My name is Suicide. People don’t know me they only know of me. I’ve kept my identity secret because of the shame my name reflects onto others. There are many who share my name and like other names there’s more than one of me. I’m not unique. I’m unique in who I had become. I’m beautiful and I ride or die in a world filled with pain and chaos. I sometimes leave behind the ones I love a little too much for hope in something better, to put my own hurts behind me or to help from somewhere else. Other times the decisions and choices I make leave lifetime scars that I didn’t consider when I…

For this I’m sorry.

My name is Suicide and it wasn’t your fault.

~Twinkle VanFleet
Sunday, May 21, 2017. 8:10 a.m. PST

The next day I shared this via YouTube

My Name is Suicide

What should have been nothing but an amazing vacation of a lifetime became something my daughter will never forget seeing. I couldn’t get to my own child in living hell. I can’t imagine another mama not being able to get to hers in death.

When we can teach people that depression, suicidal ideations and attempts shouldn’t be stigmatized as voodoo we might be able to save lives. No one reaches out. Those that do are told they’ll be fine, suck it up. What they really mean is shut up because you embarrass them, shame them, or they are unable to understand fully why you reached out. Some people never will. Other’s may but are not believed. Yet there are others who shout it out as a cry for help or attention. Whatever the reason it becomes another persons fall. Just like stigma in chronic pain, medications, suffering, abuse, misuse, overdose. Judgement! LaLa didn’t overdose.

LaLa fought a chronic pain disease. She wasn’t apart of your community. She was apart of mine.

Hawaii May 16-21. Kharisma came home on the 24th.

You’ll see that my shares on Facebook went from incredible happiness to overwhelming sorrow.

She’s a warrior, too.

LaLa and Twinkle November 18, 2016


Photo: LaLa and I 6 months ago. After I completed the Gohl Program the first time. I can still remember what we said to each other.

I rode with my husband to take Kharisma and Jessica to the Airport in San Jose CA on May 16th. And the memories began.  They would not have arrived until the morning of the 17th.

At precisely 6:59 a.m PST. 3:59 a.m Waikiki Hawaii I heard the phone ring out of my sleep and I missed it. I pulled myself up, something was wrong. As I redialed my daughter I began making coffee. No answer. I sent her a text: May 21, 6:32 a.m PST (3:32 a.m Hawaii) –> You called? Everything OK?

Everything wasn’t.

I still don’t want to talk about it. I understand it because I was almost someone of it. There are variations. Planned action and immediate uncertain action. Sometimes we want to die and we want to live at the same time yet there isn’t any way out of that final choice we make. Sometimes there isn’t any coming back. It’s only a finale.

LaLa was the first person my daughter ever told when she became pregnant with our grandson. Kharisma and Rikki have been close to her since they were young teens. Ozra has known her since he was 7. De’Mantai all his life. Ozra and ‘Tai have no memories of not having her part of their lives.

Sulma and LaLa spent much time with us here at our home. Coming over to be with Kharisma and having me part of those amazing times together.

I have a lot of daughter’s, some I never gave birth to.

LaLa and Sulma

#Suicide #StrongerThanPain #Breakthrough



Review – Gohl Program | Part 4

Review – Gohl Program | Part 4


It’s not yet been 6 months since first attending the Gohl Program healing retreat. Let me begin by saying that your journey is yours in pain; my journey is now mine from pain. Nearly all of us share, raise awareness, learn, teach and offer support to others. Many belong to or own groups, websites, blogs, are a not for profit or are a part of nonprofit organizations or businesses doing the same. My main goal is sharing my progress and healing after receiving Manual Ligament Therapy to proffer hope where hope had no longer existed for me. To share this option for chronic pain relief, testimonials, webinars, case studies, until people believe impossibles are possible. While everything I’m doing now may not be directly related to the Gohl Program it is because of it. An example would be the use of fresh herbs for their medicinal properties instead of the use of Over the Counter medications. The Gohl Program didn’t tell me to go home and do these things. I chose to continue the holistic course I had already begun as part of my overall healing experience.

On February 26, I shared to Facebook:

February 26 •
#MLT #Fact = In what became 4 months (2 days ago) since my first treatment session at the Gohl Program Arik Gohl, I’ve been able to:
1. Move my toes
2. Bend over to touch my toes
3. Raise my legs
4. Walk without assistance, or needing to stop a few steps later.
5. Walk to the store (A couple of blocks, each way)
6. Dance
7. Sleep better
8. Re quit Gabapentin and Cymbalta
9. Squat
10. Adjust my spine to better alignment when sitting, laying down and standing.
11. My Spinal Cord Stimulator has been off since hours before my first session on October 24, 2016.
12. Did I mention dance?
13. Regain strength in my upper right extremities. Raise my arm, move my shoulder.
14. Since my last treatment in January of 2017, I’ve been able to regain better use of my right hand and fingers.
15. Belly flares (Diverticulitis, Gastritis, Kidney, Liver, etc, general inflammation and associated pain) has been reduced in the duration of time and discomfort associated with those diagnosis’ and symptoms prior to treatments.
16. I skated with my Grandson for the first time in his 11 years of life on February 18, 2017.
17. I’m not prescribed opioid pain relievers (nor have I had any since February of 2016)
18. Mr. Arik Gohl, Mr. Warren Gohl, Dr. Edward Glaser, Dr. Veronica Lizarraga, Ms. Monica Depriest, the Gohl Program and MLT literally saved my life.
19. I’m living 16 years later without pain being a constant physical and emotional reminder of what I couldn’t do, shouldn’t do or would never do.
20. I’ll never quit again.
~Twinkle V.

On March 4th:

March 4 at 12:57am •
After a fairly intense moment with the dad Mr. Warren Gohl, Arik Gohl’s father, who I’ve been blessed by, I left my emotional garbage in a rock filled parking lot in Tennessee. I left the beginning, I left iPain, I left my Facebook deactivation and the reasons why, I left advocacy and awareness for which it was, I left the medical mistakes, I left the pain I caused my children, I left thinking I wasn’t a good wife anymore, I left the hurt of believing I would never be anything more than I was and that I wouldn’t go any farther than I had. I left the gossip and the whispers. I left caring too much. I left being a pain person. I left the end of it all and a new beginning was born. Because of that my path was paved in a new direction, and if I worked for it, I could be free of all that it had been and find peace in a forever where pain wasn’t my captor anymore, but instead a reminder that if I hadn’t endured all that I had physically and mentally, I’d never be right here, right now.
There’s no other place I’d rather be.
Can’t never could do anything anyway.

On April 3rd:
April 3 at 7:50pm •
There has only been 4 years scattered among the last 17 that I haven’t had major surgery, procedures, or blocks. There’s been several times over the last few years that I was cut cold turkey off of medications and went through hard withdrawal. No opioid withdrawal, just an increase in pain as a result. I’ve had other major surgeries prior to #CRPS, one of which kept me out of work for 3 months. I never filed for State Disability. I went back to work as soon as I was cleared to. After #CRPS I still fought by butt off to beat it enough to manage and the secondaries began and my entire being was overcome with all of it. Finally dropping out of the healthcare system was the best thing I ever did. No one asked me to, no one told me to. The stress itself of waiting on authorizations, scheduling, how to get to an appointment, who to rely on, all interfered with more than they helped my ability to cope. And I know many of you go through the same thing. We dwell on the unknown and that in turn raises physical pain. Physical pain then instigates stress and emotions and you can’t ever get out of it. Until you understand that you can.
No one wants to believe in anything other than surgeries that rarely heal us. Especially if we can’t do the followup care for ourselves for them to be successful. Few want to believe in anything other than pain medications and I know if it’s all you have, it’s all you have to survive and I understand that more than you may realize. People lose themselves to pain. You all have one way or the other. Few are taught basic techniques for self care, and healing,
I talk about stretching and people freak out. I talk about the decrease in my own pain and people think I couldn’t have ever been as they are. I talk about progress, everyone wants to know how, but then can’t believe in it. Not even as an option to share.
If you can suspend your disbelief long enough you might get at least part of it in the overall meaning of what we’re all capable of doing for ourselves or with the assistance of a caregiver until we can. When you have an open mind, you learn. Closed minds leave us right where we are in any circumstance.
I was heading for reconstructive spinal surgery. I was already scheduled for banding ligation, and I cancelled my last cervical spine injection.
I chose to go off the last 2 medications I had only restarted the month prior to receiving #MLT. The program didn’t ask me to, or imply that I had to. I quit Gabapentin so that I could feel any changes without something overshadowing it.
I quit Cymbalta so that I could just be me.
How could I do all this?
Since the first post containing the 20 points, I’ve also began using a stationary bike, I worked myself up from light stretching to being able to do another exercise/stretch to strengthen my neck, shoulders, back, stomach, legs, arms and hands. These stretches and techniques were directly taught to me by Mr. Arik Gohl and are not what is taught or expected in traditional physical therapy. Traditional PT is often unrealistic with exercise or stretching prescribed that is beyond an expectation to succeed. Rather, most patients are set up to fail and because of this many never recover.

On the query “Do tendons feel pain”
Answer: Most people feel a general achiness, stiffness, and pain. Symptoms can occur throughout the body. Any soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) may be affected.

There are over 900 ligaments in the human body and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot alone.

If you can imagine then that when our feet are properly aligned and supported and when our feet and body is relieved with Manual Ligament Therapy that chronic pain conditions can be eased, cured, or that remission really is possible even in the most complicated cases.

I said cure didn’t I? Cure the word that’s become taboo when it comes to the supposedly incurable. Trust me, if someone threw around the word cure to me, I probably wouldn’t have believed, but I would have looked into it. If I knew someone that went from 0 to living I’d be watching and listening intently on their progress, setbacks, or healing.

I did that with Ketamine. I seen results and so I wanted to for myself. I just never had that opportunity. Now I’m glad that I didn’t. 1. I would have had another chemical in my body. 2. I may have come to rely on it. 3. Its hard having relief of any kind and having it either taken away or become unavailable again. With the Gohl Program there isn’t any taking away because it’s up to you whether you do or don’t after the treatments.

I imagine that I’m in a time where healthcare as we know it now doesn’t exist. I imagine what I would do for myself to live through colds; flu’s, promote healing in injuries, acute or chronic pain and I remember that it wasn’t even so long ago that my own pediatrician who was also my children’s pediatrician always suggested Ginger ale when we were sick. Something I rarely or if at all hear of anymore. Ginger, or ginger ale, relieves colds, flu’s and pain. I use ginger often for its anti inflammatory effects.

I imagine that if I wanted to live through the worse I’d have to find a way by being responsible for myself and my own well being whether it be living off the land, using home remedies, and moving myself even when it hurt that I could survive.

I’ve found that way through the Gohl Program. I hope I can show you the way, too.
Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –



images - masala - image source tritonprinting

Image Source: Tritonprinting

Pity wasn’t her calling,
resilience was.

Certainty wasn’t the future,
overcoming impossibles were.

Hope didn’t always exist,
faith always had.

Giving selflessly was admired,
a gift misunderstood.

Receiving wasn’t an option,
earning it was.

Hardships were just ripples,
meticulousness would wash them away.

Progress had to be for herself,
determination would be solo

A medly of flavorful masala,
unique from the status quo.

©2017 Twinkle VanFleet. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Copyright Laws and Regulations of the United States




Pain is overrated,

Pain is underrated,

Pain is misstated,

Pain is subjugated.


Pain is subjective,

Pain is protective,

Pain is deceiving,

Pain is objective.


Pain is loving,

Pain is restless,

Pain is heartless,

Pain is breathless.


Pain is productive,

Pain is weakness,

Pain is strength,

Pain is forgiveness.


Pain is reminders,

Pain is blinders,

Pain is reckless,

Pain isn’t faithless.


Pain is teaching,

Pain is reaching,

Pain is giving,

Pain is receiving.


Pain is passion,

Pain is purpose,

Pain is humble,

Pain is service.

© 2017 Twinkle VanFleet. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Copyright Laws and Regulations of the United States

Sharing permitted without alteration.


The Rink

It’s been nearly 4 months since I first started the Gohl Program and underwent Manual Ligament Therapy (MLT) developed by Arik Gohl. You can check out my Case Study Documentation or my uncut documented sessions at Gohl Program TV on YouTube.

I had never skated with my 11 year old grandson. My own son who’ll turn 20 next month has no recollection of ever experiencing anything like that with me. I did take him when he was 2 and his sisters were pre teens, but only I have that memory for him. Ozra was 3 when the injury happened that led to my CRPS. Our girls were 11 and 12.

Night before last we went to pick up our grandson and we went skating. Next time it will be both he and Ozra with our girls, and a few others.

We shared on Facebook Live where I did fall in front of everyone, and I did get back up to try again. Here we are, hand in hand, (Pink blouse up against rail).

I never made it around the rink, but I made it onto the rink several times. I watched as people did all the things I once could also. Speed skate, skate backwards, dance skate. I use to love playing red light green light.

I might not be able to do any of those again, but one day, I will make it around the rink at least once.

No inline skating for me, not now, sometimes you have to start with 4 wheels.

Without MLT this would have never been possible.





All She Wanted

by Twinkle VanFleet
All she wanted to do is live
All she wanted to do is dance
All she wanted to do is give
Trust in something and forgive

All she wanted was to care
All she wanted was to be
All she wanted for is hope
All she prayed for was the chi

All she wanted was to love
All she wanted was to rise
All she wanted was for them
And be cherished in his eyes


Twinkle V March 16.16 -2


All she needed was to survive
All she wanted was to keep dancing
If not in body;  soul, heart and mind
All she needed was to be worth having

All she knew was a world ahead
All she gave was it’s pain
All she meant was to take it away
In His name, she did pray

Pain, passion, purpose. Deuces High
Stronger Than Pain to stay alive
Ride, die or fly
Simpli(y) justified.

Twinkle VanFleet: ~TVa Sig

©2016 Twinkle VanFleet/Golden Rainbow Poetry/All rights reserved. Copyright Laws and Regulations of the United States

My Week in Review- July 5, 2015

My week in review- July 5, 2015 – July 11, 2015

4th of July at our son-in-law to be and daughter’s was a nice one despite the fact 2 of us were missing from the evening. Ozra spent it with his girlfriend and our grandson spent it with his dad and family. We didn’t do any firework’s. That’s something we would have only done for De’Mantai. It was always a tradition for the kids. We passed this year. We did though sit out front and watch other’s in the neighborhood do theirs. Not loud at all. Just the little festivities of cone fountains on the ground. The BBQ was amazing. We were home about 4 hours after arriving.

On July 6th, I received a call from my Gastroenterologist that I wasn’t expecting at all. In April I was diagnosed with Diverticulosis in the recto-sigmoid colon and the sigmoid colon by Colonoscopy. At that same time I had a polyp removed. Benign inflammatory hematochezia. So we increased fiber intake. That was my plan. It was in January when the bleeding became a constant. Prior it was often, but not each time. Diarrhea was something I could no longer stop. Several times a day to the point I had to prepare to leave the home unlike before. The call was to start the process for surgery. Endoscopic band ligation.

I had just received the results of an ultrasound that one of the cysts on my right ovary had doubled in size and that I needed to repeat it in 8 weeks. That would be in about 6 weeks from now at this point. I’m not sure though anymore what is causing the most discomfort as so much is overlapping in my belly. I’m not even sure if my July 2013 diagnosis of hepatic hemangioma is still playing a significant role. That pathology was benign hepatic parenchyma with erythematous of the liver. I’ve basically just learned to deal with it. It has bothered me that my daughter was diagnosed with hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) which is rare. Mine is more common. Both can be genetic. The only reason mine were found is because of my second Gallbladder surgery, where a portion of Gallbladder had taken on new growth and had become stuck to my liver. When the rest of the gallbladder was removed so was a portion of my liver and some of the lesions as well. I’ve never had any followup since the post op. What do you do when you have too much going on within your body? Especially when they also know you’re also a chronic pain patient? I had never hit a wall before 2013. I never felt the judgement many spoke of. Not until all those trips to the ER during the 4 month wait on the scheduled surgery. Those trips didn’t do me any favors. I’m sure it made it look like I was seeking. Especially when on the last visit I declined another ultrasound do the severe pain, and I declined pain medication. Yet was prescribed a couple of days of Tramadol, I suppose for good measure. I really needed what was wrong fixed. When my surgeon did get inside me, I had been hemorrhaging. His own words to me at my post op “Thank you for making me believe you”.  I wanted to cry! But I didn’t! Maybe someone could have believed me before that! Thanking me after the fact. After I made myself look like a fool for seeking help, begging really. Honesty really can backfire. Just because my ability to hide pain is just that, hidden, doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. I’m tough when it comes to the pain scale. When I see people online say they are at a 10, I doubt it. Why? Not because I doubt you’re hurting but because 10 is a number reserved for the worse pain of all. When people say their pain is a 20 or 100. Nope, sorry! Again, I believe you’re hurting, I believe it may be hard, I can’t believe it’s the 10 described. When you’re at a 10, you’re out of your mind, you hurt so bad being online, visiting, doing anything even for pain distraction doesn’t work. It can’t work. 10 means medical intervention. I mean seriously, you think you’re dying body and mind. Even when I did go to the ER, I never told them 10. Most likely 8. Even people who don’t believe are praying to God at a real 10.

No one is going to take us seriously if we tell our doctor, a new referral or an ED physician we’re at a 10. No wonder the pain patient is often doubted. This is when assessment is most important.

Pain behaviors- I’m really good at not showing these. Partly due to the Functional Restoration Program I completed in 2009. Prior to that I was fairly decent already. Why is this so important to me? Because while CRPS alone has me in a non stop state of burning, stabbing, throbbing, piercing, bee stinging sensations and living in my head all day long, I want to appear as a productive member of society when I am out and not be noticed as having any illness, disability or limitation. I’ll do what ever I can to be mindful to not grab at an area, or focus on it. The only behavior I might show from time to time is shifting and I can fake it to make it because other people shift and change positions in their seats, too.

However, when in an emergency situation I’m not sure if I’m failing myself or if those medical professionals are failing me. Pain behavior’s are also indicators. High blood pressure (or too low), sweating, vomiting, complexion, the eyes, skin, breathing, temperature. Hyperventilating. These are objective.

If they don’t believe in us, how can we believe in them.

I told the GI that I needed time because my husband was scheduled for surgery on the 10th. Which he has now had to repair a tear in his shoulder. It’s taken 2 and a half years to get his surgery so there was no way I would interfere with it happening. He’s doing well so far, although it has only been 2 days. Due to his quad bypass in December of 2012 and his history of 2 previous heart attacks before that. They did take special precautions by placing an arterial line to monitor his blood pressure in real-time rather than using the cuff. He was under general anesthesia and given a full block. The block lasted the first 24 hours. He didn’t feel any pain during that time. I’m so glad. He was kept in recovery longer that usual, but we were still home the same day from the outpatient procedure. He was really taken care of by his surgeon, anesthesiologist and after care team.

The first thing I did was call my Pain Management Physician to let them know about an upcoming surgery. I have a pain contract. I’ve been with then since 2004. Work Comp/CRPS. Pre planning in case I need to take pause from care to be treated through my primary. One should not be prescribed by separate physicians especially if it may involve a pain reliever.

My ability to breathe is worsening and I’m not sure if it’s due to internal pressure, my Central Apnea, (I have complex/mixed apnea) or Cheyne-Stokes. Air is like a water faucet that’s been turned down or a drowning feeling. Sleep disorders seem to be getting worse, but I can’t tell if fatigue is contributing. I should be feeling better since my Pulmonary Specialist helped me with a medication about 5 months ago to assist wakefulness. I do get the wakefulness for a couple of hours. All I can think is that there’s so much blood and water loss, dehydration could be contributing. Doc said to keep the fiber high and use OTC to help time spent in the bathroom.

Someone replied to one of my posts the other day “boy, you guys have had a year”. It’s been non stop since the start of our sons freshman year. 2011. Ozra (Kurtis) had a severe brain injury, frontal lobe bleeds, and more. He was in PICU for a week. I stayed the entire 9 days in the hospital with him. My husband had his second heart attack, he was 42. He had his first at 37. December of 2012 I stayed the 10 days at the hospital with him when he had his open heart surgery, quadruple bypasses. 3 of those days, I stayed in the van, storming rain. I couldn’t be with him yet. 2012, I also had my first Gallbladder surgery. 2013, ERCP, second gallbladder and partial liver removal surgery. 2014, SCS battery replacement (phew, easy), all of us numerous appointments, our son’s diagnosis from Shriners Hospitals for Children, our daughter’s diagnosis and extended hospital stays. When my husband came home from his open heart surgery, I was his only caregiver. I had to figure out how to lift him, care for those incisions, his chest, the 4, 2 inch horizontal’s where each tube was placed beneath his diagonal chest incision, the one from his wrist to up (near where blood is drawn) approx 8 inches, the 5-6 inch on his leg. I had to take a class in the hospital. They did teach me how to swing him, and his legs in and out of a position. Get him to his feet. I was exhausted. I thought the flare up was from over exerting. During this same time I was already having belly pain, but I thought it was left over pain from the surgery the year before. It couldn’t be from the Gallbladder. I didn’t have one. 2 months after my husbands surgery he was able to get me to the hospital. Way too funny! Not! I had Cholecystitis and there that story begun. So yep, we’ve had a year! Several.

Eventually I’ll share all those other things I haven’t spoken of in the open at all. I hope that by doing so, someone out there finds hope in believing there is always a way to overcome. I might not prefer my journey, but I’m blessed by it. By every situation, every struggle, every brick wall, every pain and emotion and every mountain I climb, each keeps me doing what I do best.

If you wonder why I share these stories it’s so that you know you aren’t alone going through tough times, struggles, living with physical pain or emotional ups and downs. So you know that families have it hard too. Not just the patient. Caregiver’s don’t have an easy job taking care of their partner’s. Children are affected whether minor or adult. Never knowing if someone’s day will be the better one or the worse one, each and every moment can change without notice, never knowing when a snap will come, or how you should handle it. You can’t baby someone with chronic pain. All you can do is educate yourself on their condition so that you can understand it. Be supportive, but also not allow them to limit themselves beyond actual limitations. Encourage actual limitations that can be overcome. Learned helplessness occurs by waiting on those who are not well and the person will think they can’t do something they can do. After awhile it becomes a part of their illness and disability when it never was and was never meant to be. It’s just something created that evolves. This becomes another problem of its own. Then when you don’t do something for the person they think you aren’t supporting or caring when really the opposite is true.

I know because I’m a chronic pain patient and a caregiver.

I’ve been working on my will. In California it really doesn’t need to be complicated. A handwritten will is a legal document. It can be as in-depth or as simple as needed. The most important factor is that it is legible. That is my challenge since many have a hard time reading my handwriting. Being ambidextrous I favor my right hand for writing it, yet I have a deep left-handed slant. Of course my husband gets everything, but there are a few personal items that I’d like to leave to specific people and places. There is one item I’m having a hard time deciding on. Perhaps it belongs in a history museum or the like. It’s nice to know my copyrights are mine 70 years after my death, but I’m looking into that, too. In addition, those pieces written under pseudonyms, 95 and 120 years after is nice too, but again, options.

Mom was supposed to be here from Georgia on the 10th too, then delayed until today. The trip is hard on them. They should be here by tomorrow if all goes well. I just can’t wait. It would be an awesome surprise if they made it in tonight after all.

Our daughter has her appointment on the 29th for her EHE. Hoping we can get better answers this time, a treatment plan.

Had a really great meeting on the 9th. Apart of an amazing team. Looking forward to continuing to learn, grow and evolve with each of them.

Still working on an exciting project, too. The elements continue to evolve. It’s not my project, I’m just one of the elements. The end result is going to be incredible.



My girls and I – 4th of July 2015

Kharisma on the left

Rikki on the right