A letter to my loved ones

De-Cluttering

I feel I have so much to say, so much to write, so much going on in my brain that I feel the need to de-clutter, by putting it out there and in writing I’m hoping to create some space for more positive thoughts maybe and inviting people to understand me a bit more.

Just lately my pain scale has gone through the roof, which is strange considering a terrible flare is usually caused by freezing cold weather conditions and it’s actually been quite pleasant spring weather, I feel every inch of pain the allodynia from brushing my hair and the feel of the brush on my scalp to brushing my teeth and feeling the bristles on my gums making them bleed, I feel the swelling in my ankles and my legs swelling over my ankle boots to the feel of my watch becoming tighter over the course of the day causing  remove it by 1pm. Each time I bend my leg in the walking motion my knees pain, pain like I’ve not experienced before I think I have arthritis creeping up in my knees hence why the pain is more intense now in that area, but judging by the swelling around my ankles and my knee joints, that’s looking likely, when I sit down, when I stand up my back creeks almost feels as though its broke in one place,  so another trip back to the GP, will I ever feel ok…just one day I would like to remember what it felt like to be me.

Each morning I wake up and apart from looking in the mirror for myself to which I still haven’t found, I feel like I have the worst kind of muscly ache flu 24/7 365, I cannot remember the last time I went to sleep and stayed asleep until a reasonable time, I cant remember the last time my mind felt clear, free from fog, free from glaze, free from migraine. I have to sit on the edge of my bed to prepare myself to stand up and just pray that my legs are going to work whatever pain scale my body decides to be I know I have to just suck it up. Just lately I wake, I drink coffee, I take my pain meds, I shower, I put my hair in a scruffy bun, get dressed, brush my teeth and leave the house half looking like I’ve been dragged through a bush, Where has Nicola gone? Before people make judgements on the appearance of people like me, stop and think what strength it has taken for that person to actually get out of bed today, what strength has it taken them to make the extra steps to still go to work so they can provide for their children while they can. Don’t knock us! It is true what they say Fibromyalgia is a debilitating  invisible illness that people underestimate and it is so frustrating that we sometimes get questioned about the level of pain, we get judged and almost accused of exaggerating, why? because it’s impossible to feel so much chronic pain?  Some people hide it better than others and it very much depends on the scale of allodynia. Fibro makes it almost impossible to be close to anyone, it causes lack of intimacy, insecure feelings, the lack of love you always feel because you know that as much as people say they understand I think its almost impossible to understand the level of pain and everything else that comes with it unless you have experienced it yourself, one of the biggest judgements people make is that “oh she looks ok”. NO I am not ok and it is ok to not be ok! When you support someone, be supportive of them, be patient, because the level of pain is only something you never imagine, its a constant pain throughout your whole body.

I have been doing and lots of research surrounding Fibromyalgia and I’ve found lots of interesting information, there are lots of people out there like me that is suffering and what I have learnt is due to the isolation that this illness causes talking via typing is a very therapeutic method to calming and offloading negatives thoughts in your mind.

Fibromyalgia comes in stages maybe not be in the same order but at some point you may or may not experience all or some of these symptoms.

  • At first you may notice persistent pain – could be pin points or wide spread pain
  • low mood and lack of interest in hobbies, socials, seeing family and friends.
  • Putting things off, isolating yourself
  • not getting out of bed
  • taking time of work
  • stress, anxiety, anger and frustration
  • negative thinking
  • weight loss or gain due to medication
  • insomnia
  • loss of feeling
  • pins and needles
  • migraine
  • loss of fitness
  • Chronic Pain
  • Swelling
  • feeling confused

APOLOGIES

 There are people I feel I owe explanations to because I love you.

Apologies to the closest people around me and my family who I have been distant to, Im going through something that I even cannot describe myself. I am sorry if you feel its because I don’t want to be around you, I promise you its not that, I need to overcome what this is, get through this pain and concentrate on becoming stronger and healing. Im sorry if you need me and I’m not there.

Apologies to my beautiful god daughter and my little cousins and a special little boy in my heart who I vowed to love and protect, but truth is I can’t even protect myself, I am sorry that I cant do play dates as often as I want to, I’m sorry I’m not the fairy god momma I always wanted to be and I promised you I would be, but when I am feeling better I promise I will make it all better and make up for loss time. If not im sure you will have fun pushing me around in a wheelchair. 🙂

Apologies to all my friends who I don’t see very often but I could, I am sorry that I cancel on you guys, I apologise  that I’m not there for you like I should be and just like you are me. I am sorry that I am such a rubbish friend at the moment. I just hope you understand and find it in your hearts to love me either way, which I have no doubt that you will because of the kind loving people you are and that’s why I love you.

To all my work colleagues who occasionally have to pull my weight as much as theirs when I’m not physically able to I thank you and I am so sorry because if It wasn’t for you guys I wouldn’t be able to do my job, if it wasn’t for you lovely ladies I would have failed, cracked up and lost the plot. I apologise for having to put up with my huffs and puffs, my sighing and moaning and general miserable sad face, it must be so deflating having to hear and see it all the time, so thank you guys I love you.

Apologies to all the mums that I quickly rush past with my head down at the school lately that I would normally talk to, apologies to all the people at the school I would normally have general chit chat with, Im sorry if I have looked straight past you and not even said hello, I don’t know half the time what I am looking at, its scary its all a blur. By the school run time my meds are wearing off and I’m feeling the need to strip off because the pressure of the clothes on my skin is making me feel a tad psychotic.

And I apologise to my sweet, kind, caring and understanding babies for not being the mother that I hoped I would be, to say I am proud of them is an understatement, I feel that they understand me, they understand my illness, they know when I am in pain, they know what to do, they know what I need and they give me nothing but love and support, they are there at my beckoned call but it should be me there for them at there beckoned call but that depends on my scale of pain. I am sorry that I shout, I get frustrated, I am sorry you have to witness me cry, I am sorry that you have to see me with my low moods and see me frustrated when I cant do things for myself, I’m sorry that I’m not the same playful mummy I used to be, I always wake up and wish that this is a nightmare because this isn’t how I wanted things to pan out, I’m sorry that were not able to make many memories together, but the time we do spend together I do cherish. I love you babies and know that all the strength and courage I do have is for you.

For those that I do cancel on or I don’t have time for I am trying to use what little energy I do have on being a dance mom and a football mom, so that my babies can make their own little memories in their own little worlds, so they can look back later on in life and remind themselves of their amazing achievements and I am so proud of them for that and all I can ask is that you are proud of me for that too, I have to remind myself sometimes I am not the robot I once was and this is why I am in this position for not listening to my body!

Lots of Love and peace always

Nicola x

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Reflection

WOW what a week that was! I had lots to look forward to this weekend for the likes of picking up Tia’s show costumes, going make up shopping for her show, going for afternoon tea with a friend and chaperoning at the photo shoot for Tia’s show, which is an amazing job because I get to see my baby in the lime light! that isn’t until tomorrow so I just hope and pray that I wake up feeling stronger tomorrow. Please pray for me.

Last night was an absolute myth, its all a blur, I wasn’t able to stand cooking so I drove kids to Mc’Donalds, got home sorted them out and oh my lord I fell on to my bed and 7:30 I fell asleep and I was sooo fatigued and dazed that I couldn’t wake up properly and then the next thing you know I’m waking up to take Tia to dance school, why soo soon? I really need to catch a break. Waiting around for her costume at 8:30am and I just wanted to cry with the pain and all I kept thinking was that what if one day I’m not able to do this for her, what will happen to her? I just wanted to cry at the thought! I would crawl if I had to!

Fully aware that I’m supposed to take Kai to football at 10am and I’m still lay on my bed trying to prepare myself and pluck up the courage and strength to sort myself out to actually take him……..well mission aborted! Legs and back have gone! as-well as my head and sense of direction in life..

lying here thinking I seriously need to think of a plan…. This isn’t acceptable, this isn’t life, why me, I feel useless, cancelled on a friend who has been more than ok with this but hopefully we’ve turned that situation into a positive with a planned visit for later and postponed afternoon tea. I know if I cancel on her for tonight she will turn up anyway. 🙂 Kai’s not had his weekly dose of football, nothing positive I can come up with for that one! I’ve fully let him down which makes me feel sad! he’s gone to his dads now so hopefully he will give him a good weekend.

I have established that when I have a flare or put in this position I need a back up plan and upon reflection I know that I need to ask for help and accept the help that people offer me, I know that some people say it to be nice but some people actually mean it, I should take them up on the offer maybe it will be better for me in the long run. Swallow my pride.

when I have been feeling like this in the past I have battled and battled through to make sure that I get stuff done, like I’ve said before i’ve not listened to my body and its made me worse of, the thought of  the pile of washing hanging out the machine that I attempted to move last night, the washing up thats piling up, the floor that needs hoovering the tv’s that all need polishing, my heads exploding at the thought of everything that needs to be done. I need a nanny!! But fact is I don’t and this is my point I’m now at a point that I physically cant hence why I’m writing this blog… I needed time to reflect while I’m sat here thinking about the pain I’m in and the jobs I’m unable to do..lets turn this into a positive and pray.

Plan of action..

  1. Make the most of the days that I am at my best and smash the life out of it! take the kids swimming, take them the park after school, make nice memories with them when I have my good days, go to see as much family and friends as possible.. but giving myself enough time to recuperate.
  2. Be more accepting of my flare days and use them as days of rest, lap them up, rest, kick back and just know that things will get done, be positive.
  3. Ask for help of people if things need to be done, like uniforms, tasks can be done with the help of people.
  4. look into hiring a cleaner.
  5. Try and exercise my legs when I am resting.
  6. Maybe ask family to help me plan or organise days when they can come and help me so this reduces my stress load.
  7. Arrange for shopping to be delivered by Asda…( this idea is ace)
  8. Turn my negative situations into a positive situation
  9. Come to terms with the fact that this is life for me for now, so to make the most out of it for the sake of my babies.

Great news is my beautiful baby sister, well she’s not a baby but she is to me, she is coming over to save my day with breakfast in tow! I know shell sort me out and this house and put the worlds to rights, thank you baby girl..  I love you xx

Mission accomplished – I did what I set out to do and that was write through my pain and try and think a little more differently!

Thank you Word Press for giving me the platform to express myself through pain.

Love and God Bless Nicola xx

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Trying to be Mom

It has been a while I know, things have been so so busy with different appointments and therapy sessions, but I thought I would write about a couple of my feelings and emotions that I’m currently experiencing due to the pain that’s taken over my life.

It’s been very much up and down, probably more downs than ups but that’s the way the cookie crumbles for me I guess. I have been quite pro active and tried different techniques for self healing and growth since I last blogged, most of which includes easy non complicated meditation. I purchased a book Called 5 Minutes in the Morning a focus journal. I absolutely love this method of just making yourself have that little bit of time to yourself to think and reflect, some of the activities include write ups of certain things, clearing the mind and taking more notice of the self. very much recommended, I brought this book from The Works and its only £4 at the moment. I trialled things like Instead of picking up my phone first thing in the morning I have been just spending that time looking at the light flickering through the curtains, analysing the ballet dancer paintings on my bedroom wall, looking at how well articulated her feet are, admiring the strength in her calves, the broadness of her shoulders and her sleek tidy hair, looking at the flaws in my paint work from 4 years ago! When my illness started to creep up on me. I know I need to re decorate my bedroom but I physically cannot do it anymore by myself. After I’ve taken In the scenery I make myself a coffee and then the madness of the Farrell/Ward household begins! Tia wakes up every single morning crying because she’s tired, Kai wakes up absolutely bouncing of the walls and yes he is like this until he goes to bed unless he’s watching his you tube tv on his tv then you do not know you have him and there is-absolutely no in between, he rushes to get dressed which isn’t a problem, he’s ready by 7:40am most days but then when I’m due to leave at 7:55 he kicks off because I turn the tv off, can’t win either way and this is not good for my temperamental state of mind, by this time Tia’s calmed down and wants to start playing with her LOL dolls at 7:55 she’s not had her hair done and I’m half looking like I’ve been dragged through a bush and that’s on a good day. I often wander how these working mums pull up at breakfast club looking like they are ready to go out out, I can just about pull myself out of bed let alone pull myself together. Then on to work! well that’s a different story..

Working life of a mum with fibromyalgia, I’m not going to lie is hard, hard, like mega hard and some days I don’t want to be mom! Hell I don’t even want to wake up, but that’s how it goes sometimes. My therapist asks me every week, what makes you wake up every morning and of course I say my children! he says what motivates you through your pain and of course I say my children! my life would be completely different by now if my children didn’t exist! I would have nothing to live for. When that alarm goes off at 6:15 every morning, I feel dread, I feel anxiety, I feel depression, I feel pain, I feel migraine, I feel fuzzy feel I don’t want to wake up in this body! I also wander what it would feel like to feel free of these feelings, to feel normal again, I would give anything to be able to wake up and feel free! I feel a prisoner in my own body and there is no way-out.

I  know I have spoke on routines before and how often I feel I have my shit together, so to speak, which isn’t very often unfortunately may I add, but non the less I do try and the thought is there…. most of the time.

SO….I was having a good few days, Sunday had all the uniforms prepared, Mondays chicken marinating in the fridge over night, all the laundry done, lunches sorted for work, my planners updated for the week and menus and shopping lists arranged! you might think that this is a tad extreme but for me to remember things and to be organised and keep myself together I have to have planners, organisers and diaries and for me it works, there may be set backs but I have to accept those set backs and challenge them at a later date. Anyway back to topic I was very well organised. I have to lap these episodes up because I don’t know how long they are going to last before my peculiar mind starts to shut down, I think it must decide, no that’s enough she’s had too much free time, resort to plan A. Abort mission!

Monday morning came 6:15 alarm goes off, did my 5 minutes in the morning, stood at the door step with a coffee, took some deep breathes and took in my surroundings, lasted all of a few minutes because it was absolutely freezing, but it woke me up for sure, then the kids all woke up, Tia was emotional because I’ve been promising her I would make beads and bracelets with her but tbh I have been putting it off, although I didn’t understand why this would be the first thing my emotional daughter thinks about at 6:30 in the morning but I sucked it up and agreed because we haven’t got football or dance this evening and I clearly have nothing better to do. I would put some time side and sit and make bracelets with her, at least it cheered her up for all of 5 minutes! anybody else’s 7 year old daughter an emotional wreck or no just mine! haha. I put the dinner in the slow cooker and we was all out of the house by 7:55 and I got to work for 8:30 and I felt like I had my life together for a bit, work went well, a nice relaxed day at the office, had good pro active chat regarding work plans etc, I’m thinking life feels good right about now, I know its not about to last long though it never does!

Hometime fast approaches and its the dreaded school run time! I always hate the school run, although I love to see Kai’s face when he sees me standing there dying to tell me what he’s learnt and Tias’s moody Margaret face haha. There is only one reason I hate it and that’s the distance I have to walk from the car to the class doors! ahh when I tell you its a nightmare its an absolute nightmare! I have to suck up the pain that’s caused by walking, the pressure I feel on my legs and I just have to rely on the Lord being there for me to get me through, I paint a smile on my face to the other parents so I don’t look distressed or so they cant say that bloody Nicola is always miserable she never smiles, that 10 minutes I’m on that playground I want to seem as normal as possible for the sake of my kids not my own.

Life back at home Im approaching the front door and I can hear it calling me, I’m finding this being out this afternoon after the school run is just far too much, I started to feel some kind of anxiety, cold and clammy, sick feeling at the bottom of my stomach and I cannot wait open that door! I’M IN! and relax!! this time of the day should be my favourite part of the day as its when I would normally spend the most time with the kids, when I can rest when I need to, sit when I need to, take stronger medication if I need to and just by being in my own home provides me so much comfort!I started to feel a bit wobbly after the school run, I started to feel like I was being stabbed in the head with a pin prick all over my forehead. I knew that I had done the right thing to prep the dinner last night as there was no chance I was gonna be cooking all that dinner today, already regretting the fact I promised Tia I would sit and do bead making with her! So sat at the dinner table to peel the potatoes while Tia and Kai read their books to me, did a bit of homework. It was my turn to say Grace which Im god about as I really needed some comfort, and as we haven’t sat at the dinner table as a family in ages I banned all phones and iPads and I said today we are going to interact with one another and we began to ask how each others day went and I sat and observed Kai laughing his head of at something Tia said, Tia said she helped a boy who was crying on the playground, Kai was telling us he learnt that last night’s gospel Jesus face changed and that someone in the clouds spoke and told the disciples that this is God’s Son and that we should listen to him , Kai loves his Religious studies and I am forever proud of his knowledge, Mason telling me he had a lazy day due to having inset day at school so dozed in and out of sleep all day and he was asking Kai if he felt happy at school, Kai then thanked the Lord for putting yummy food In our belly and giving us lots of yummy drinks and I sat there with a huge smile on my face and I have never felt so proud and happy. I will definitely try and do this more often. I think I have found my happy place.

God of light, inspire me to listen to your Son Jesus and to follow his example of love and compassion. Work through me as I try to bring about change in my own life and throughout the world. Amen.

This is where It all goes wrong.. After hours of Tia reminding me that I had pinky promised her that we was going to sit and make beads together I decided, now Mason had washed up, Tia had cleaned dining room table, all chores were done, I was happy to sit and make beads… BLOODY HELL how complicated is bead making, I did my first bracelet I must admit it wasn’t great but I did it and Tia approved, so after about an hour I started to feel like I was being punched in the ribs and the back, it felt like the discs in my back had completely smashed to pieces, screaming out in pain, which I don’t like to do in front of my kids, I felt like I was taking my last breath! can anyone relate to this?With only a 12 year old and 7 year old here to help me I just thought the worst what am I supposed to do now, Tia asked me for the pin to my phone and said she was going to call the Doctors, Mason brought my medication bag to me and some water, they both lifted me up and sat me on the sofa! I really am so blessed to have kind thoughtful caring children, I was more disappointed that our bracelet making session had failed and Tia’s little face was so sad but she was adamant that she was going to make me feel better. I do love my kids! Even if they do send me round the bound! So Ive been sat on the sofa blogging for the last hour and a bit, and the pain has reduced. Mason brought me a hot water bottle and I’m just sitting waiting patiently for my morphine to kick in! I always say that I blog through my pain and I felt I had so much emotion to write down why let it go to waste. I now have my water bottle and I will say my prayers for a decent nights sleep and reduced pain throughout the night.

Fellow Fibro Sufferers Those that have messaged In the past asking for advice or just generally talking to me about your pain I would love to hear from you to see how your doing.

Good night and God Bless xxx

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Keeping Warm in Winter

Hey Guys 👋🏼

I hope all my fellow sufferers and followers are well and not struggling too much in this horrendous English weather.

It’s just a quick one to stress the importance of keeping warm in these icy conditions. This goes to all those that I have spoken to or even haven’t spoken to about you possibly having fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain disease.

The icy weather sets in our bones and muscles over night causing a flare up, this can have such a detrimental effect on our health and mobility. You might think your ok one day and the next you may not be able to get out of bed or do your usual activities, leaving you bed bound and shrivelled up like a mushroom.

For me this morning has been a tough one, I woke up non the wiser and I got out of bed and fell to the floor, but that’s ok because I got back up ready to face the day with my rose gold stick 😆 remember if you let it beat you it will. Yes I huff and I puff and I sigh! Sometimes very loudly but that’s just a sign that being in constant chronic pain all day everyday is tiring! and I hope that this is understandable for the people that look in on my situation and say she’s a miserable cow 😅 sometimes it’s tiring and sometimes we don’t want to cope with it.

No I wasn’t able to do things for myself like I normally would, there is no shame in saying it either, I had to get help to dress my lower half, help to Medicate my back, help to get down the stairs but I couldn’t have done it without my partner and my very very loving and caring children I am honestly more blessed than I think.

Sometimes as unfortunate as it seems I need things like this to happen to put things back in to perspective for me.

Just a few hints and tips that I do to keep me warm to try and avoid a flare up even though you may never avoid it but could reduce the symptoms.

  1. Obviously wear warm clothes, I wear tights under my trousers and I wear fluffy socks with my boots.
  2. I make sure I wear a smart scarf while I’m at work to keep my neck warm.
  3. Make sure your office has adequate heating if this is not an option take a blanket to work and use that to cover your legs.
  4. Keep your legs wrapped up say home with a comfortable warm blanket.
  5. If possible keep the house warm.
  6. Avoid draughty areas.
  7. While sitting or resting use a hot water bottle.
  8. Use a microwaveable wheat bag on the painful areas I also take this to work. You can get really good ones from eBay and Amazon reasonably priced.
  9. I’ve been taking Vitamin B Complex for my chronic fatigue and Vitamin D for my bones to help them strength wise.

Obviously there are other ways to keeping well through the winter, which are the obvious ones, a personal favourite of mine is drinking peppermint tea or honey and lemon in hot water.

I hope this has been of some help, I really do wish you all well during this freezing cold crazy weather!

Love and God Bless you all

Nicola x

Triggers Of a Fibro Flare

Ok Guys so I have been inundated by messages of people either wishing me well, asking for advice, wanting to know more or simply admiring my writing and I honestly cannot thank you all enough for all your support and taking the time to actually read my blogs, I know that blogs aren’t for everyone however I have to applaud those who aren’t really into blogs but still take the time to read my blogs so that have more of an understanding. awareness is awareness no matter the outcome, I also say its better to be pro-active rather than reactive.

So one of the most questions people ask me is “What triggers your episodes of a fibro flare”.

I have touched on this is previous blogs but thought I would make one surrounding that topic, obviously triggers could be different for everyone suffering with the same disabilty. but personally for me one of the main triggers is the weather, I do not cope very well in the winter months, I can feel the cold settle into my bones and muscles and its like a burning sensation. I mainly feel it in my knees, my ankles, my elbows, my neck and lower back. I suffer with restless leg syndrome, and restless arms too, some of you probably have experienced this maybe in pregnancy or at might time, so imagine this 24 hours of a day, not being able to sleep, not being able to think, eat or drink because all you want to do is rip your legs of your body! I know your probably thinking that is a lot how is that possible to cope! well this is the exact reason I write, because it helps me through my pain.. For years I’ve been quite a proud and private person, but I feel that got me into more trouble, I would never accept help of just anyone, but now I am more open to accepting help, its not just me I have to look out for now I have my own little family, my partner and my 3 children need me.

So how do I manage in the winter months? and what do I do different?

Actually there is not much I can do different apart from suffer really, some days are worst than others and unfortunately I have to take a concoction of meds, pray to God and hope for the best. During the winter months I take morphine, this is a slow released capsule and is good for maintaining the pain throughout the day as it slowly releases morphine into my blood stream, however strong morphine is, it cant do the job on its own, so I take a pill called gabapentin, I have to take 3 of these a day, this is what treats my restless leg syndrome, cannot just stop taking this pill can make symptoms worst. This still doesn’t fix me 😦 I take a drug called Zapain and this is what gets me through the day, its a mix of codeine and paracetamol, yes its one hell of a concuction but after years of trialling and erroring this is actually what works well for me, saying that it still doesn’t make me pain free.. I still suffer particularly on ice cold days like TODAY! My lord it was cold!

I have to wrap up super warm, particularly my legs, because if I let the cold settle in my legs and knees thats it, its game over for the next forceable and nobody’s got time for that! As you will have figured if you read my last blog based on my recent flare up! At work I take a hot water bottle and a wheat bag! I already have a blanket I keep there, and obviously my wheat bag is unicorns! unicorns are so pretty the colours cheer me up somehow! When I get to work the first thing I do is make a hot coffee, stick the heating on and wrap the blanket around my legs, this is how I keep warm during the day.. like is said I wake every morning and just hope for the best.

Symptoms in the winter: Chronic back pain, chronic fatigue, neck pain, restless legs and arms, chronic migraine, carpal tunnel syndrome, clicking hips, leg seizures, back seizure and severe depression and anxiety.

If you feel like you are experiencing any of these symptoms and you just pass them off as aches and pains and tiredness, please start some investigations, do some research, visit the GP, request a blood test, ask for a referral to see the rheumatoid clinic. There isn’t a great deal of awareness of Fibromyalgia but it is on the rise and more people are diagnosed. Please look after your health after all you matter most.

Anyway time to dose up and get warm and pray for a decent night sleep.

Goodnight & God Bless

Nicola xx

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My secret to A life on meds

There is a lot of stigma attached to taking medication, a lot of people have the view that medication makes things worse, medication causes more problems, it causes addictions, but the way I see it is, if there is a temporary fix that stops the burning aches and pains in your shoulders, your back, your legs, if it controls your emotions for the next 12 hours so you can actually carry our your everyday chores. If a life on meds meant that you have the willpower to actually get out of bed to face the day then who is anybody to judge somebody for taking medication? Only God can judge us. So if you feel that medication is a way for you to lead a normal life then go ahead after all it is your life.

Medication to fix Depression

There is absolutely no shame in temporarily taking medication to get over a low mood phase but it is all about trying to work towards getting better or head strong as I put it, being on anti depressant for a long period of time may cause addiction, it might seem like it would be hard to live life without them, or you may be worried about withdrawal symptoms but it is important to come of the medication the correct way,  however there are lots of factors that need to be considered before coming completely med free. There are phases in coming off medication and the first  step would be to slowly reduce and ween yourself of your dose, other factors could improve your mood for example a balanced diet, hydration and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

My secret to a low mood pick up

I have been asked many of times by some close friends and family when you feel so low how do you pick yourself up so quickly and effectively…. well its simple, I don’t come off my medication altogether, I lower my dose of meds, then after a few weeks I start to miss a day,  for example take my meds on Monday, miss Tuesday, take them Wednesday, miss Thursday, do this for another few weeks, then I start to miss 2 days do this for another week, then eventually I have weaned myself of them, well at least until I feel I need them again. While I do this I am trying to eat more healthier by snacking on lots of fruit in the day time and drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. I start the day of with a bottle of about 200ml of water with an effervescent vitamin B with some slices of lime, this is a great energy boost and always improves my mood and concentration. obviously this is good practice to do this everyday anyway as like I said it does improve low mood, stops me feeling lethargic and beats fatigue.

How do I know I am ready to be med free

The most unfortunate thing that I have to deal with is knowing that I am 99.9% sure that I will never be off medication for ever and that’s ok, but I do like to give myself a break whether that be for a few weeks or a few months,  it might not sound like it would make much of a difference to my life, but believe me it makes a huge difference. Those few weeks or months that I don’t take medication I can stay awake longer to spend more time with my other half, I can have a few glasses of wine of an evening to wind down after work without making me sick, I can plan a night out with the girls because I won’t be exhausted or worried that I am going to spend the next 2 days in bed sick. when I went on holiday I had to wean myself of them so that I could enjoy my holiday, don’t get me wrong when I am med free I still have my fibro symptoms lets not forget were focusing my mental health pills here, just to put you in the picture.

Soo, how do I know when I am ready for a break? I have to be in a place where I feel at peace with myself, I have to be in my happy and content place, this doesn’t seem to happen a lot because of my disability and I seem to have a very rocky personal life, lets just say God likes to test me and he likes to see how far he pushes me, I believe he is preparing me for something much bigger. Once I feel that I am running at a steady pace I then start to prepare myself to become med free, it may not be for very long but like I said it means a lot to me to live my life this way.

Fibromyalgia Meds

Unfortunately my med life isn’t the same for the fibromyagia 😦 These medications are something that I absolutely have no control over, Living on fibro meds is like a vicious cycle, I have to take my medication every single day 3 times a day, varying on some days, I have to take more or less. If I was to cut out on these meds completely I would feel every inch of burning ache and pain that hits my body from my head top to toe including the follicles in the roots of my hair and the nail beds on my toes. So coming of these meds isn’t an option unfortunately and there is absolutely no shame in this.

Obviously with taking medication there is always going be side effects, particularly within the opiates and opioid family, in my case the regular consumption of morphine and codeine, it is just about finding the right medication for you and the right balance, it has only taken me 4 years to find the right meds for me without giving me too many side effects. There are more side effects when I don’t take the medication now that’s how I know i have found the most suited medication for me.

Surround yourself with a good support network

what I feel I suffer with the most is battling most days to stay in work, people have asked me why do you struggle everyday to work, Its simple for me, to give my kids what I deem a normal life, it is my way of showing my kids that we have to work for what we want in life. how important routine is and I would like them to look back when they are older and be able to say “my mum worked hard in life to give us what we want and need” I have absolutely nothing against those who chose to look after their children full-time, but this is a personal preference to me, giving up on work is not an option for me right now, I will continue to work until I cannot work no more.

So how do I get around this? On an average week I can cope on my medication, I keep my pain at bay as long as I keep on top of my pills, I have a good partner who supports me when I have a flare, he is always there to help with school runs, he allows me time to relax on the sofa when my legs aren’t working, I come home from work to minimal house work and more often than not a nice cup of coffee. I have fantastic kids who I am ever so proud of, they are so understanding of my needs when I am poorly, they have a fab understanding of my disability and what it means for me when I am off my feet. They do tons of running around for me and for this I am forever grateful. I have a fab loving father to my children who does the school runs if I can’t, he takes them to football if I cant, and takes my daughter to dance school if I cant. Just so that I can continue to give my kids the lifestyle and freedom that they need and deserve. I have one particular friend who also helps with last-minute school run problems, or if I’m struggling to get my eldest to football she is always there, Kerry you are amazing selfless person and you may not think you do much but I only have to ask and you have always been there. So for this I Thank you! I have to mention my sons football coach and the rest of the parents on the team, we all club together to ensure that our boys can get to training and match days without a problem, to me this is more than football this is a group of people who acknowledges the needs of others when In need. Then there is my manager at work, I don’t think I would have been able to stay in work if it wasn’t for her, she is the most understanding manager I have ever come across and I feel extremely privileged to work for her. My manager has gone above and beyond her job description to ensure that I maintain a healthy working lifestyle, when I get to work she makes sure that my comfort is of importance and always goes out of her way to make sure that I have everything I need in place. Recently work has been a struggle and my mobility has been effected so my manager has come to my home picked me up and carried me to the car and taken me to work, she has also taken me to pick up my kids from work when I have had nobody else to help at this time, she has taken me to the doctors and picked up prescriptions for me, like I said this is beyond any kind of job description and duty and I could only hope that I could return the favour one day. Due to my previous illness/s I have to be very careful about the amount of time I have off sick, so my manager always finds a way for me to be able to stay in work, my health and well-being is always important to her and this is something very rare when it is so genuine. To the friends that cant help me in any way but reach out to me with kind words are also supporting me without even realising it. All the late nights when I’m lying awake until 3/4 o’clock in the morning and all I want to do is vent and talk about the way I’m feeling and how fed up I am,  talking with you guys listening is helping me, so girls I thank you for allowing me to give you earache and none of you ever moan or tell me you need to go for whatever excuse. You sit and ride the storm with me. My mother in Law has been exceptionally good to me, I always say she is my guardian angel and I would without a doubt be lost without her in my life right now, she has answers to everything, she comes up with ideas that I would never ever think of and when you’re struggling to deal with life itself this is a life saver. I will be forever grateful for her existence in my life.  These people have made a massive impact on my life and nothing that anybody does for me ever goes unnoticed, no matter how big or small, there are people who I don’t speak with anymore I will forever be grateful for the things those people did for me too. So the answer is to surround yourself with good people and a keep a good support network, keep people close as you never know when your going to need them. Keep talking and reminding yourself that there is a purpose for your existence and if you are struggling to find your purpose look deep within and you will find it.

 Thank you

So before I close I just want to say thank you to those who have taken the time to read my blogs, I know that I am touching and reaching out to people who are struggling with either a new diagnosis or struggling in life itself, my blogs are quite generalised to any disability and any kind of mental health illness and like I keep saying if I’m touching one person then I have achieved what I set out to do.

GOODNIGHT & GOD BLESS

Nicola x

good-night-blessings-god-1

 

It’s that time of year 🤮

Good Morning Readers,

It’s been a while since I last blogged due to personal circumstances and to be honest as my last blog stated “trying to be Normal, in this society” blogging could have probably supported me during these difficult times as it normally always has, however when your in such a dark place as much as you advice other people to talk, it’s very difficult to even attempt to see the light again.

The reason why I chose this title I think many of you who subscribe to my blogs will understand. WINTER is the most dangerous season for Fibromyalgia sufferers, it causes horrendous pain and symptoms and leaves you bed ridden could be for months!

Each year gets harder and harder for me and as a 32 year old woman with 3 beautiful children who used to be fit as anything struggles to deal with this, so I’m going to talk through my journey over the last month.

Turkey 🇹🇷 was the calm to my storm

I have had 2 beautiful holidays this year, I recently went to Morroco in August came back feeling refreshed and it was just what I needed, then I went to Turkey during October break, I booked these holidays particularly as part of my healing process when I was hospitalised earlier on in the year.

So leading up to taking off to go to Turkey I became quite poorly, I had lots of personal stuff going on, I had issues within myself that I was battling every day, I had become ultimately extremely stressed which brought on severe body pain particularly in my neck. So Turkey honestly could not have come quick enough even though I decided I actually didn’t want to go anymore because I was at a point where I was showing little or no interest in doing anything apart from things I had no choice but to do like work, dance and football runs.

🇹🇷Turkey gave me the Vitamin D that my body needed🇹🇷

So…. imagine.. I’m in Turkey and the weather is beautiful, beautiful views and I finally feel at peace. The 2nd day in and I decided to have a Turkish hammam and Bath, I thought yes this will do me the world of good, after this I went on to have a medical massage, the practitioner cracked my back 6 times, it was excruciating pain and I held my breath when I felt he was going to do it again, but my lord it was so worth it, after wards I felt like a new woman, so this along with the sun really improved not only my physical health but my mental health, I wander if you can get a holiday in the sun on prescription? 😀

Back to -1degrees

Stepped off the plane to -1degree weather, instantaneously felt depressed knowing exactly what I’m in for. Got back home the ice cold weather soon settled in to my bones and my joints…. Great 👍🏼

Soon got back into the swing of things, work everyday, kids every day, homework everyday, football on Sunday’s, dance on Tuesday, football on Wednesday, dance on Saturday, in between fitting in my hospital appointments, weekly reviews with the GP, physio this soon became all too much in too little time and my condition didn’t allow for me to continue going at 100mph so good ole Fibro stopped me in my tracks and I was bed ridden for the weekend, this happens when I don’t listen to my body, it’s my bodies way of shutting itself down.

Being a tough cookie isn’t what it is cracked up to be!

Having dealt with all of the above and everyday problems that we all have thrown our way, the universe still wasn’t happy that I had my fair share of problems, I mean come on I am a tough cookie after all, Or so they say!

Relationships with family members very quickly broken down due to a disagreement, which affected me really bad, I’m 32 now and I’ve managed to get this far in life without upsetting people really, I like to consider myself as a decent human being, I’ve never been a nasty or vindictive person, but since I have hit my 30s I have become intolerable to people’s S@@t and you start to see people for what they really are, life is full of surprises and people still continue to suprise me and I guess you never really know someone, it doesn’t matter how long you think you’ve known them.

Always speak out!

Not many people know this part because of my pride I guess, because of the way I struggle to be open and honest with myself probably, it takes me a while to realise that there is no shame in what we all go through in life, within a few weeks I was seeing the mental health team hoping they could help me deal with my own emotions and feelings, this is a journey I’m still on, I see a therapist once weekly and I’ve had 2 sessions so far, but I am so glad I made that step as soon as I realised I needed some support I spoke out.

When everything fails and you have a long list of medical problems and personal problems and emotional struggles, you just want someone to be there for you, but when you feel like you have nobody and when you feel the world is against you, who is there to speak to? Who is there that will understand why you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? who will understand why you don’t want dinner tonight? Who will understand why you can’t just snap out of it? Who will understand why your legs don’t want to work today so you are either bed bound or sofa ridden? Who is there to understand anything? I honestly feel like as soon as I hit my 30s everything has gone to pot but I’ve made it my mission to make sure I have the power to turn this around and be the Nicola I used to be.

Life is Testing

Up until I had no choice but to speak out, I was like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, patience worn very very thin and I knew something wasn’t right. I cried every night, everyday in the car, my insecurities are terrible, my self love is non existent which is bad for me I’ve always said you should love yourself, I am very negative towards myself and situations, life has taught me that people will let you down even when you don’t expect it, but you can’t let that have a hold over you, easier said than done. I don’t know where my positive attitude has ran off to but I am in the process of looking for it for a quick recovery, when you feel this low it ruins all kinds of relationships you have with people, so times are proving to be really hard for me at the moment, part of the reason I decided to start blogging again, I did find it useful for my healing recovery after I was hospitalised, so my plan is to blog after each therapy session so I can diary my success story.

1:11

I feel that life has threw me to the lions and left me for dead, I never thought of a way of this, I pray every night, I pray every morning, I pray when I have quiet moments at work, I pray in the car, I find myself having conversations with God regular. I ask God to all of the time to provide me with the will power to change my mindset, I plead with God and tell him I don’t want anymore bad times even though he is testing me, he is doing this for a reason. The more I prayed the more signs I seen that the universe was trying to grasp my attention, I kept seeing the number sequence 1:11 at work and at home, I never really looked into the whole law of attraction thing, but I looked into why I kept seeing the number 1 and it was there, it was my answer. It was then where I realised only I can change my life, it has become apparent that there are numerous things in my life that are causing me more harm than good and only I have the key to my happiness and future. My guidance has been there all along, I chose to ignore it.

Weekend from hell

This weekend I had a weekend from hell, I woke up Saturday morning after a cold evening on Friday and my legs, back and neck had seized, I got out of bed come downstairs sent my daughter of to dance and became quite poorly, I lay on the sofa and I couldn’t get back up again, so decided to make the most of this and have a duvet day. Over the period of the day I felt pain in both my legs and had intermittent seizures in my legs, this is what happens sometimes when I have a Fibromyalgia Flare up, I have no control over the unpredictable movement and jolts in my legs. I had severe back pain and I didn’t know if it was more comfortable to stand for hours or lie down! catch 22! Saturday afternoon soon became Saturday evening and I felt non the better, so I decided maybe sleeping on the sofa would be a better idea, rather than putting my legs through pain I can’t cope with.

Saturday evening soon became Sunday evening and I still wasn’t able to move much further than the toilet downstairs, I have invested now in a very snazzy rose gold walking stick, at least when people look at me with their judgemental minds I have a very rather snazzy walking stick for times like this.

Sunday evening came and I’m still not able to walk the stairs, slightly concerned as I’m aware that i have work in under 24 hours and I cannot have any more time of work! This instantly makes me feel anxious! see the vicious cycle!? It’s a nightmare! All I could do was hope and pray to God that I would be well enough for work the next day, well at least get my legs working again!

Monday Morning Malfunctions

The morning of Monday the 3rd December quickly approached, after a night on the sofa all I could do was hope that my legs were working!

Well I guess 1 leg is better than none! Thank you Lord I was able to use to my stick and get a taxi to work with 1 leg working! Not ideal because the pain when leaning on the goodish foot was too much to bear, but I dosed up on my morphine and just hoped for this best!

Don’t be judgmental

This is another reason why I wanted to blog today to share my experience when I got to work. People who work in my building don’t know about my disability, they all look at me and to them I’m a healthy young lady, but they are about to find out I sometimes feel like a 80 year old woman with a long list of health problems!

Before my taxi came I built up my usual social anxiety’s, worrying about people judging me, wandering why I can’t walk, wandering why I look like I haven’t slept in weeks, wandering why I have a walking stick at the age of 32. So I hobble along the carpark with my rose gold snazzy walking stick and there is a man who rushed to the door to hold it open for me, I couldn’t even look at you I was that embarrassed but thank you Kind Man. I was shaking hobbling across the reception area where the lovely lady normally cheerily says Morning, but instead she looked sad, and couldn’t look at me in my face, which i am grateful for really because I couldn’t look at her either, so I am sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable Lovely Lady.

Now I see you

I walked in the office and Instantly the girls in the office were concerned and asked me what the hell I’d done! To which I replied this is me, this is the other part of me I live with that nobody SEE’S.

I spent most of my shift either having people to collect stuff for me which was humiliating and degrading, or it taking me half hour to walk a 10 second journey, is this what life is for me now? Is this what life has come to!? I lasted until an hour before I was due to finish, my lovely kind caring manager practically carried me to the car and drove me home. What has life come to, why am I being carried out to the car, why me? Why won’t my legs just work, what have I ever done to deserve this. Anyway…..medication wearing off, screaming in pain, crying with frustration and throwing my rose gold snazzy walking stick across the room because frankly I’m too young to have to deal with this, I want to be a normal 32 year old who can go out dancing to music she likes, I want to be a sane 32 year of woman with an attitude of the worlds my oyster, I want to be the 32 year old that can come home to my kids and cook their dinner by myself but I know I’m not going to be able to, it will have to be a meal where I can give simple instructions to my 11 year old son to follow. This is why I am so frustrated, I don’t want this Fibro Life I want a normal life!

The elf is late

Apart from all of that, the Elf was supposed to arrive on the 1st December to play the kids up leading up to Christmas but he is stuck up in the loft until my other half will go up there and fetch him down for me! One of my guilts is that my condition has a knock on effect On things that excite my children, it’s ruined the starting build up to their Christmas, I have told them he must be running late, but I will make it memorable for them.

I will keep you updated on my journey like I always say if I’m helping others through my own pain then that is helping me too!

Goodnight all xx

Pretending to be what society calls “normal”

It’s been a while since I last blogged that’s mainly because I have been trying to concentrate on getting my life back on track and back to normal since my hospital admission as tbh I have struggled more so with my anxiety and fibromyalgia than ever.

I have been on a phased return to work for 2 weeks now, where I have been going in for a few hours each day, managers have been so great and understanding it’s refreshing to see that within the NHS. At first I thought “phased return to work,nahh I don’t need that” but they all proved me right I needed it now more than ever.I started to feel quite well, energised and positive I wasn’t letting my Fibro win! Get to me and make me feel defeated. NO that’s not me at all. Obviously with the help of my medication I had to try and ride the waves. Obviously since getting back on my feet I started to do my usual tasks, taking my son to football, dealing with the football team, taking my daughter to dance, providing for my family and making sure that i try to lead some kind of life at the same time. I made a vow that I was going to start putting myself first.. would this ever happen! But I have been trying to do more socials and doing more with myself to keep motivated. …. it’s proving to be quite draining. The last few weeks I’ve been suffering with my legs, I can only seem to manage to walk short distances without feeling drained, ankles turned cankles and sore feet, I’m unsure what’s causing this apart from the fact it must be my Fibro! as per!! (I honestly get sick of saying that) but it is what it is I guess. But honestly trying to lead a “normal” life with the kids so that I can continue to make memories with them is actually draining the life out of me but I can’t stop, because when I do there are no memories and at the moment that’s what’s keeping me going the fact that I have 3 beautiful children that need me. When you feel like how a 65 year old would normally feel, it is hard to remain “youthful” and stay fun loving character I once was. Some of the struggles I go through to battle Fibro and try to defeat it is painful and at the end of the night I am knocked off my feet for a few days but why should I allow it to make me feel this way! Why me!? Today for bank holiday? Me and the other half took our kids with the in-laws to water world in stoke, while everyone was off on the slides at first I had so much to consider, the pain I would end up being in? wandering would I be able to cope! Would I have a panic attack while I’m in a dark slide? Would I drown while I’m having a panic attack and what if nobody was there to see me and save me! I was worried about the consequences if I was to smile and be brave and act “normal” but I thought what the heck, you only live once and I did it! Had fun in the pool, when on countless slides with the other half, we had such a laugh and I felt like the 32 year old I am for a change! Kids was happy we was having fun and day I needed for such a long time.

Until being back at home

We stopped off for food on the way home and I could feel that my feet started to burn, I had not brought any medication with me because I wanted to forget that, that was the kind of life I lived. We sat down and when it was time to go I felt like I needed a crane to lift my dead weight off the chair! It was such an effort, then to sit there and drive the rest of the way home just fully depressed me! I found comfort in a pillow behind my back while I was driving , I think this will be a good thing for me going forward anyway. Now I’m finally at home, sat on my bed, rubbing cream on my huge ankles and getting my other half to massage my lower back because it feels broken! My hips haven’t stopped clicking and it’s so hot I doubt I’m going to sleep anytime soon! this thought really daunts me! I hate not being able to sleep! The price you pay for making memories.. all worth it! Goodnight all xx

Back to Reality Day 1

The morning before the dreaded day arrives and as soon as I woke up all I am thinking is oh no! I am back to work tomorrow, am I mentally prepared for this? am I physically prepared? am I actually going to be able to go through with it? well see…

Throughout the day on this awful wet Monday all I can think about is how many hours until bedtime and then how many hours sleep am I going to get until my first of many alarms going off, I am conscious about how many things on the to do list I still had to do. Prior to my hospital admittance I used to religiously iron the clothes every Sunday, but Sunday passed I had 3 weeks worth and I still didn’t feel like I had the head to start ironing, I knew I would leave it until the Monday as I wasn’t back to work until the Tuesday and the kids wasn’t back to school until Tuesday either, but I knew that if I didn’t get the ironing done on Monday it was going to be one hell of a morning on Tuesday, oh well we all like to take risks I guess.

I looked at the ironing pile on the Monday and it actually devastated me that I had left it so long, because now its going to take me 3 weeks to iron all the clothes, ok maybe a slight exaggeration but I think you get the point. I came up with an idea that I would separate the clothes into piles starting youngest to eldest (yes I have issues)  everything has to be in piles. I came up with the most clever idea, I decided that I was going to iron 1 pile a day 🙂 yes it means that I will still have to iron 2 lots of uniforms on the Tuesday morning but that was 1 pile done!! check 🙂

Dinner time passed and I am becoming more conscience about going back to work tomorrow and feeling sightly nervy. I didn’t like these feelings however I tried not to dwell on how I was feeling too much. The kids were not happy that they had to be back in bed for their set times, back to routine, I love it but the kids hate it. So I felt like I battled with the kids all day Monday preparing them for the return to work.

Evening passed, I started to feel quite sick and lethargic and my initial thoughts was I cannot phone my manager and tell her i’m not coming in as much as she’s fantastic and had so much time for me, I think she would be spitting bricks, normally I would have had a shower I couldn’t even do that, my head space was not right, I just couldn’t drag myself of the sofa to shower, don’t judge me lol. I took some medication, prayed and soon went off to sleep.

(Today) Tuesday morning 6:30am first alarm went off, automatically snoozed that, 6:45am second alarm went off defo wasn’t ready to get up at that point and all I was thinking was I need to get up now I need to have a shower and iron 2 lots of uniforms, but no I still continued to snooze my alarms until my 7am alarm went off and I really started to consider waking up, I decided to get up at 7:10, foul mood, feeling sick, feeling shaky, clumsy, jelly fingers, foggy brain, couldn’t think straight apart from coffee, yes I needed coffee and lots of it, 2 cups quickly went down, went and ironed the uniforms, then I realised that all my work clothes were also in the ironing pile so I needed to do that too. I realised I didn’t shower last night so now I have a dilemma, do I quickly shower or not, I decided not to, I wasn’t mentally prepared, these are the issues I face daily, what are easy decisions for most people just isn’t for me. I literally have to mentally prepare myself for any task that I do and if at that moment I am not ready then I will not do it, or I will cancel, this is not something that I have spoken on before, I will blog about mentally preparation and what it means for me soon, I think this is particularly important for my family and friends to read as it will explain my past behaviours.

Decide that I’m about to have a break now because I’ve come to put my work trousers on and I can just about do my button up, I didn’t anticipate that I had put weight on! Thinking do I change! But no time doesn’t allow for that, I put my work shoes on well I try and they feel tight to the point they are pinching my skin, so I pulled my trouser leg up looked at what appears to be cankles!! Great more fluid retention around my ankles, Making my shoes feel tight! Great this is all I need. If I didn’t feel completely shit before I do now!

Looking like absolute dog poo, no make up, hair in scruffy bun as per, I washed, brushed my teeth threw my clothes on and that’s me sorted I’m ready. I’m driving to work feeling quite anxious and rough as anything on time by the way which I am chuffed about, took kids to breakfast club, kissed them and wished them a fabulous day, wishing and thinking maybe if someone done that for me and say those words I would actually have a good day at work, like when people wish you a good day, does that change things, I then made my way to work, listening to radio 1 extra, this is my morning ritual, the morning dj has me in bits, listening to the trash bag, if I had the time I would call in and put quite a few things in the trash bag starting with them people who say in passing smile it could be worst! like how do you know I’ve not just had the worst news possible! I know they probably mean well but I just think it’s quite ignorant! so yeah they need to go in the trash bag along with people who put red sauce in their mash potato, I’m sorry you need to go to. lol

Arrive at work 8:30, swiped my badge, walked in the building, nobody in the reception area even reacted like I have just vanished for the past 5 weeks, maybe I wasn’t even missed, oh well never mind I am overly being a drama queen as usual. I walked in to the room and smells came back like they never left, the smell of the photo copier and paper. it always has the same smell and I came in armed with my blanket, because I suffer when the cold gets to my bones I take my blanket to work with me.

I sat at my desk, thinking what to do now, looking around tapping my pen of the table at quite high-speed, until I realised that my right leg was shaking uncontrollably, gathered my thoughts and pulled myself together, I have been drinking water with a slice of orange and lemon with my vitamin B complex everyday and I have it with my mood pills, because the pills make me feel sleepy and the vitamin B gives me energy so the idea was I wouldn’t feel sleepy because I take the vitamin B at the same time, simple maths 🙂 I tried to think pleasant things and stay positive.

Caught up on my emails, tried to do some work but I wasn’t functioning very well, I felt so anxious  so I decided that I was going home and I will try again tomorrow.

I am not disheartened as I made the first big step by coming out of my rut for the last 5 weeks and made the important step by going back to work on the agreed date, I overcame my anxiety and I drove my kids to school and then to work, I recognised that I was struggling and before I would have stayed and carried on struggling, but as promised before one of my aims was to listen to my body.

This evening I feel much more positive, I had a shower, oiled my hair, creamed my skin and wrote my blog.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Goodnight and God bless xx

How do you relax your brain?

With having such a busy brain sometimes its very hard to switch off at night time, I can feel so exhausted from 6pm I could get into bed for 10pm and I will really struggle to switch off. Its now 01:07 I have been in bed a few hours and no sleep is in sight, these are the kind of nights I dread. Yes I do have sleeping tablets but they are for very last resort if Im not asleep by say 2:30. I time everything.

I have tried many of things to try and help me switch off and relax my brain, here are some things that can work for me.

  • Hot/warm bath with Himalayan Salts

I have tried this many of times and it usually ends up with me fainting and passing out, it appears that my body cannot cope with internal body temperature changes, it makes my blood pressure drop, I tend to become hot and sweaty, lightheaded and dizzy and then thats it I don’t remember anything else until one of my poor children or partner finds me on the floor, which really freaks them out, so I try and steer clear from baths. They would be a good option though as it does make me feel relaxed. As for the salts they are a high recommendation if you don’t suffer with sensitive skin, I suffer with sensitive skin and I cannot use anything perfumed, I was a rebel a few times they do the job but I personally suffer the consequences after, good shout for those with non sensitive skin though.

  •  No TV or mobile phone/electronics an hour before bed

Personally this doesn’t work for me, I give it half hour and if there is still no sign of me going to sleep anytime soon then I usually pick up my phone and start scrolling facebook/Instagram my fibro page and my personal page by the way head over and give me a follow its fibro_inspire to follow the journey and hopefully give you some inspiration. A good way around this in the idea world is to delete and come off social media so that I am not tempted to scroll, but ill be honest my instagram page is like a coping mechanism for me, I like to also read other inspiring and motivational blogs on WordPress while I am in bed, it does tire my eyes, but if I am really struggling with insomnia then as soon as I put the phone down I become wide awake again.

  • Reading

Reading a good book is good for my mind stimulation but is also a very good way to close off and tire your eyes, the concentration and relaxation slowly brings your eyes to a close, sometimes this works it just depends if there are any other factors keeping me awake for example restless leg syndrome.

  • Diet & Hydration

In my experience if I have spent the day drinking fizzy drinks particularly on the evening just before bed this triggers my restless legs and insomnia, fizzy drinks are awful for hydration and the amount of sugars in them tend to keep you energised and awake. I also find that if I eat late at night this triggers my insomnia and I am unable to focus on sleeping, so now I try to avoid eating past 7pm and I drink lots of water with slices of fruit for example slices of orange and lemon.

  • Prayer

I know this is not for everyone, but I spend some time alone every evening, where I gather my thoughts, reflect and pray. I thank the lord for my blessings, for the food that I am lucky enough to eat, the fruit that I am lucky enough to eat, the nutrition I am able to feed my body. I thank the lord for allowing me to wake up another morning with my beautiful family, same time I pray and thank the lord for keeping my family, friends and loved one safe. This time alone with my thoughts relaxes my mind.

  • Evening exercise routine

It may sound exhausting looking at that sub title but it is really not, it doesn’t even require me to get out of bed. I lie down and flat on my back with my body stretched out and starting from my toes tense my way up to my head, so slowly tensing my toes my bottom calfs, my thighs, my bum cheeks, my hips, my stomach, my breasts, my shoulders, my arms and finishing with tensing my fingers tips, I do this a few times and I feel tired.

  • Keeping active

I have figured that when I start the day with my daily zoost, (This is a vitamin B complex that I take every morning with water and slice of lemon and orange to help beat fatigue which I also struggle with) this gives me an energy boost throughout the day which results In me being more active than usual, this keeps me busy but by the time bedtime comes around I feel exhausted and I am ready for sleep.

  • Herbal Remedies/medication 

Something that not everyone will agree with and to be honest its down to personal preference, some people frown upon taking any kind of medication but when you are subject to so much pain and lack of sleep, in the end you will settle for any kind of relief that will work for you. I do have medication that is prescribed from my GP that I take for the fibro pain/restless legs and insomnia throughout the night, the medication that is prescribed is called amytriptiline I take 25mg and this usually works for me. It does come  with side effects like most medications, I wake up feeling sleepy, a bit hungover, like I have had a really good sleep. But all medication effects us all differently. There is no shame in taking prescribed medication like I said its what works for us as relief. I have also got night time Kalms in my drawer too, sometimes these also work for me when I am having trouble with my anxiety levels, they can help to relax your mind and prepare you for sleep. There is a lavender pillow mist that I find quite good also, this can be purchased from any chemist.

  • Intimacy

May sound cliche but if your in a monogamous relationship, get intimate with your partner, sex usually takes your mind of stresses or worries that is consuming your mind, it also tires you and releases tensions that are building, for me personally sleep perfectly well after being intimate with my partner.

I am not claiming to be a medical doctor giving medical advice, I am purely letting you guys in on what works for me and also giving you the opportunity to hopefully share with me what works for you? sharing experiences sometimes helps others without even realising it. So feel free to comment your experiences

What works for you?

Goodnight & Godbless xxx

 

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