A whole world of reading is waiting for you to explore……

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I mentioned reading a gripping novel in my previous post ‘keep positive and motivated with fibromyalgia ‘. 

I have something different for you this week. 

JC, an avid reader all his life has written a guest post for us. I consider him far more qualified than me to write about reading and books. Having read all the books in the junior library when he was little. So here are his thoughts on reading……

Have you ever sat and thought,

‘How I would like to read a new adventure’

I know I have and very often when I was young, I found an easy way to find that adventure whenever I liked.

I found a book in our library that when I read it, it made me impatient to turn the pages and see if “my hero” could escape this fate that was staring him in the face.

Wow! Would he survive and how did he get out of this and for a moment it wasn’t my hero it was me in this terrible situation. But by his quick thinking (or luck) he managed to escape and live to fight another day. 

I could not wait to find another book in the same series or by the same author and embark on yet another hair raising tale of adventure.

In no time or so it seemed I had read all the books by this author and was looking anxiously for another that was similar or even better. 

I realised that other books, (non fiction) described other activities or places were also very interesting.

We were allowed to borrow up to five books at a time from our library and so I would borrow all my allowance and scuttle home with them and often be back for more before the week was out.

How wonderful it was to sail the high seas and have to be strapped to the mast to stay alive.

Or be flying in a fighter aircraft and be alone and attacked by three or more enemy aircraft. 

Or be in a courtroom and be arguing for my client to be found “not guilty”. 

Or to be in a jungle path with impenetrable jungle one side and a steep fall of a thousand metres the other side and coming charging down the path an angry tiger………

Great stuff JC, thanks for your post.

Has this inspired you to search out that book you have been meaning to read for ages? 

If you want to read a wide range of material from papers, magazines, fiction, non fiction,   biographies/autobiographies, audiobooks, ebooks. Start your search at your library.

Your local library is free!……and able to supply all of these for you.

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Keeping Positive and Motivated with Fibromyalgia

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Or trying to…….. When you have a long term condition like fibromyalgia and you often suffer from constant pain on a daily basis, it’s difficult to keep positive and motivated.

In January it’s probably more likely that you will feel more fed up. Feeling flat and deflated after Christmas is common for some.

My most FAQ as a fibromyalgia sufferer is….

‘Why am I in pain again and what will make me feel better?’

In truth there’s no quick fix. It’s going to vary quite a bit from person to person what can help. 

Putting a positive slant on it. It’s a new year, and it could be time to try out a new hobby or something you have always wanted to but have never taken the time. I like creating things as you all know in decoupage! Being absorbed by a hobby for me really lifts my spirits. Working on a project and seeing it through to completion is really exciting for me. 

Even writing my blog is a great way to help put things into perspective sometimes. 

Personally I have found any form of distraction helps.  When my pain is very bad watching a film or tv program helps. Even though it is only for an hour or so; if I can be pain free just for an hour it’s really helpful. 

Listening to your favourite music, talking to friends or family, looking at photos and reading a gripping novel are all ways to distract the mind.

I am lucky that I am able to work part time. I’ve found it helps me to some extent, as a distraction from pain. My job involves helping others and I find this is rewarding because it gives me a sense of purpose. I think if I did not work I would do some form of voluntary work, which involved helping others. 

Voluntary work is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a new challenge and it can be very rewarding. It benefits both the worker and employer and lots of various roles exist. If you are disabled or housebound don’t rule it out because many roles exist for homeworkers.

A number of organisations can help you to find volunteer roles in the UK.  The organisation Do-it offers lots of opportunities to volunteer, in areas nearby or from home.

What might you want to do?

What’s your inspiration?…….

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New Year resolutions…have you tried walking yet?

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Walking is one you should really consider; it can help you loose weight and get exercise.  It’s possible for most people to take up walking and it’s easy to start…..

Now that Winter is here I’ve got my warmer items ready for the colder months. Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. 

My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.  

I started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I’d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.  I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when I’m mobile to start walking regularly.

At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!  But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.  Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.

I look forward to my walk everyday, sometimes twice a day if I’m not too tired later on. I like walking especially on a fine sunny day; it can really lift your mood.  I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on each walk and vary the terrain. On really cold or wet days when my symptoms are worse, I go for a walk at a local covered shopping centre, which means I still get exercise but I’m not exposed to the elements as much as outside. 

I bought a new pair of waterproof walking boots recently; which are great to wear in rain and snow. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the sale. I’ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,  woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks. I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.

If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to consult your doctor or health professional beforehand.

If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercise at your local heated swimming pool first. Exercising in water supports the body and would free up joints. If you are a wheelchair user some pools have special equipment to access the water easily.

When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.  Start off with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.  You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.

Throughout the UK free regular guided walks are provided by  Walking for health  which is funded by the UK People’s Postcode Lottery and Macmillan.  They offer different short walks for beginners which are for 20-30 minutes long. The route you walk over is easy terrain as they are specifically designed for people who are not very active. Some walks are suitable for wheelchair users and people with buggies. 

If you are a wheelchair user the UK website Walks with wheelchairs is dedicated to routes for wheelchair users.  All walks have been tested by wheelchair users.

The NHS Walking for health  site gives helpful advice for anyone wanting to start walking. 

If you suffer from fibromyalgia and have started exercise recently, it would be really helpful to hear about your experience.

Wishing you all happy holidays

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Holly and berries by Nick

A thank you to all my followers, for supporting me over the past few months.  It’s been an exciting time setting up my site and getting my posts ready.

Also a big thank you to my ‘software engineer’ for sorting my laptop recently. Hopefully next year I will be able to do all sorts of amazing things with my site.

I have many plans for the new year both with decoupage and other art and craft based projects.  One of these will be based on the Tree of Life, possibly in various formats.

I will also be writing more about my life living with fibromyalgia. When I first had the idea to start doing this I didn’t know where it would go. It’s still early days but I hope to carry on as long as I have something useful to pass on to others with fibromyalgia.

Hope you all have a great break and enjoy a happy new year.

A wintry tale from the past….

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Snowflakes gently glide to the ground; white snow covered trees are glinting in the faded sunlight.

I start to walk along a track through the trees listening out for any sounds. It’s really quiet apart from a few birds singing. The occasional thud of snow falling from the branches breaks the eerie silence. 

As I make each step forward, I hear thick snow crunch beneath my feet. My hands feel bitterly cold; the breath in front of my face nearly freezes. 

A spectacular scene of ice unfolds into the distance. A frozen river bed fills the expanse.  On the horizon is a bridge, which stretches across the river. 

Rustic tents and strangely clothed people bustle about a huge outdoor market.  The market’s taking place directly on the ice.  I walk over onto the river bed and join the crowd.

By one tent I see the excited faces of the crowd, waiting at a printers.  People are gathering around and watching a man print a special ticket.

Where can I be? 

Before I went to sleep I had been reading about the frost fairs that took place on the river Thames in London, during the 18th century.

The year is 1716. I realise, I was looking at old London Bridge and the river must be the Thames. It looks so strange without the familiar stone embankment on either side.

Old London Bridge was quite a differently proportioned bridge to the current one. It was built on nineteen arches supported by small piers, these in turn slowed the flow of the river which is why it often froze.

The tickets I saw being printed were actually printed, using a woodcut, on the ice as a souvenir for visitors. They were dated and read ‘Printed on the ice on the River Thames.’ 

I had left a window open, which is why I felt cold and had fallen asleep still holding the book I had been reading.

For more fascinating facts and information about London in the past have a look at the Museum of London website.

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