A lifetime free from pain

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I wish……..

Living with a invisible illness like fibromyalgia I can never forget about it. 

I’m naturally a positive person and find every day my body feels different in some way. 

I can wake up with my head full of things I want to do and a body unable to carry them out. Normal everyday tasks are restricted by fibromyalgia. Over time I have adapted tasks to enable me to carry out as much as I can.

The single biggest obstacle I face on a daily basis is based purely on other people’s perceptions of me with fibromyalgia. Just putting it into words is difficult. 

I’m constantly frustrated how difficult it is to give an accurate explanation of what fibromyalgia is and what it’s like to live with.

Saying that, it’s difficult to be accurate because everyone that gets fibromyalgia has different symptoms and severity which can complicate a good definition.

This difficulty is illustrated well by my carer who recently said….

‘Every time I explain what it is, it takes half an hour,’

‘People go quiet,’

People seem to second guess what it is, and not listen to a explanation…

‘I know, Fibro cystic……. yes, I’ve heard of that, that’s not good,’

Oh,……I had something similar when I was young, it made me really ill for months,…..but now I’m fine.

Just to be clear,     IT’S    NONE    OF    THE    ABOVE

I am going to try now, with the following definitive list of symptoms.

My definition will be accurate in my individual case only.  Some of these symptoms may be shared by others with fibromyalgia.

The fibromyalgia I live with varies from day to day in severity. It can include all of these symptoms at sometime, not always together but occasionally I can have several at once.

Aches and pain throughout the body 

Anxiety 

Balance problems 

Bladder problems 

Bloating 

Cognitive problems 

Depression 

Dizziness

Dry mouth and eyes

Fatigue 

Fibro fog

Frequent Headaches 

IBS

Jaw pain

Light sensitivity 

Lower back pain

Muscle spasms 

Noise can impact on my symptoms 

Numbness

Painful periods

Pain in joints and muscles 

Physical activity increases can exacerbate my condition 

Poor quality sleep 

Rashes

Restless leg syndrome

Sensitivity to smell

Stress can affect my symptoms on a daily basis 

Stiffness 

Sinus’s problems

Temperature changes effect pain in the body

Tingling 

Tinnitus 

Types of pain experienced a ache, burning pain and sharp stabbing pain 

Varying degrees of pain 

There’s no cure, but with exercise and diet symptoms can be improved to some degree.

As you can see Fibromyalgia is a difficult illness to describe and live with, because it encompasses so many variables. 

If you are worried about having similar symptoms and have not received a diagnosis for them, you should contact your doctor or health professional for advice.

Have a look at the NHS description of fibromyalgia,  and links to support groups and the online community if your a sufferer.

UK Fibromyalgia is a brilliant site that covers a wide range of information about fibromyalgia. Also Fibromyalgia Association  is a registered charity that provides information and help to sufferers.

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How to unlock the secrets to better sleep with fibromyalgia

pexels-photo-374898A few simple changes can make a difference to your quality of sleep. 

After weeks of not sleeping the body’s functions become impaired making it extremely difficult to function in a normal way. (Whatever normal is for a fibromyalgia sufferer). 

I know this very well from first hand experience, having suffered from poor unrefreshing sleep for years.

Insomnia, fatigue and pain are all part of life if you live with fibromyalgia. The symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as fatigue and pain are all made worse with poor quality sleep.

Over time I’ve found some solutions that have helped me get a better nights sleep. Obviously, there’s no one size fits all with these suggestions. That said, it’s still worth giving them a go. Just being aware what might work is useful. 

On occasions I still find I have some problems sleeping but I can solve these more effectively than previously.

Common problems experienced range from:

  • getting to sleep
  • staying asleep until morning
  • waking during the night
  • getting back to sleep after waking up

Have a look at the following suggestions for improving your sleep

  • Go for regular exercise every morning, for example a walk 
  • Check your bedroom temperature and lighting are beneficial for sleep 
  • Adjust your bed and pillows to make it as comfy as possible 
  • Invest in a electric blanket to warm the bed before you get in and help relax muscles 
  • Avoid smoking, over eating or drinking caffeine directly before bedtime 

My top tips for getting to sleep

  • Help your mind wind down for the day
  • Get into a regular sleep routine for adjusting your Circadian rhythm, try to get up at the same time every day
  • Turn off all devices that emit blue light an hour before bedtime
  • Read a relaxing book or listen to gentle music
  • Try meditation, particularly one for helping you to sleep 
  • Use ear plugs and a eye mask to block unwanted noise and light
  • Get into a comfortable sleep position and then try a relaxation routine 

Whilst you are asleep make sure your room doesn’t have anything that will wake you like a mobile phone.

A pet that sleeps in your bedroom and disturbs you in the night, should be encouraged to sleep elsewhere.

If you wake in the night and cannot get back to sleep get up and find something that makes you tired then return to bed.

If you find by morning you have not had enough sleep go back to bed and sleep for a while longer. If you catch up with a couple of hours sleep every night you will see the difference after a few months.

I recently read several articles which mentioned vitamin D (sunlight) exposure daily in the morning shortly after rising can help and mindfulness meditation both improved the quality of sleep in fibromyalgia sufferers. 

I believe this to be true because I usually get up and do a daily walk every morning and this regulates my circadian rhythm over the next 24 hours. It’s more important to get up at the same time every day than the time I go to sleep. 

I’ve found improvements in my concentration and ability to switch off at night after practicing regular Meditation on a daily basis. Explore meditation apps for sessions covering mindfulness and sleep. Have a look at my Fibromyalgia Self Help pages on  Meditation and  Exercise

If you have insomnia and it’s not necessarily fibromyalgia related, get it checked out by your doctor or health professional. If they prescribe sleeping pills it would be advisable to be referred to see a specialist sleep consultant.

Have a look at the  NHS sleep self assessment  to determine how good your sleep is.  From this link you will find some helpful information about sleep.

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Love Hearts are in the air – Heart Shaped Decoupage Plaque

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Decoupage Heart Photo by Nick

As Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I thought I should come up with something appropriate. I was trying to find a unique take on Valentine’s Day without using lots of pinks and reds. This combination of colours and patterns has produced an understated item.

My latest creation is a one off design and is available for sale by contacting me below.

It’s an attractive heart shaped decoupage plaque/wall decor.
Created with various pink, cream and khaki heart shapes. The background is made up from mock newspaper and white dots on khaki.

Dimensions for the heart plaque are appropriately
13.5 cms height
14.5 cms width
Total height with cord 20.5 cms

I’ve been so busy this week, I will be back with a new blog post based on fibromyalgia next week. In the meantime hope you have a good week.

 

 

Chinese New Year Decoupage Piggy Bank

Happy Chinese New Year 2019.

This year to celebrate the Year of the Pig. I’ve created a useful piggy bank for collecting loose coins that clutter up wallets and purses.

I started by painting it first with deep red acrylic and added some decorative paper shapes. Finishing off with eyes and a metallic pipe cleaner tail.

This one off piece is available for sale, please contact me below for enquires.