How Do You Sleep At Night?

In this post I'm going to look again at the disturbance to sleep caused through chronic pain and the treatments sometimes used to address the issue. Often one of the cruellest symptoms of chronic pain is the lack of sleep it causes. It's bad enough that you find yourself in pain when going to bed and on rising in the morning, but to be unable to get any sleep at all compounds the situation and, in turn, leads to a worsening of other symptoms such as depression. Insomnia will often improve by making changes to your bedtime habits. If these don't help, your GP may be able to recommend other treatments. If you've had insomnia for more than four weeks, your GP may recommend cognitive and behavioural treatments or suggest a short course of prescription sleeping tablets as a temporary measure. If we assume that the underlying cause of your sleeping difficulties is your fibromyalgia / chronic pain condition, treating this may be enough to return your sleep to normal. But,…

Love In A Hopeless Place-How Do Fibro-Warriors Find That Special One?

It is difficult enough living with fibromyalgia. The daily battle to just get out of bed and tend to everyday tasks that leaves us exhausted. The constant pain in one area or another or even all over our bodies, not to mention the struggles we have with umpteen other 'associated' symptoms. Why would anybody want to have a fibromyalgia sufferer as a partner?

Some don't have the luxury of choice. When I married in 1993 I was fit and healthy. The first ten years were completely 'normal' for me and my wife. It was when things started to go downhill and my symptoms were finally diagnosed that the hard work began - for both of us. Thankfully, my wife is made of strong stuff - or perhaps she loves me just enough to put up with everything that having fibro throws at me (and her) She has been a rock when the pain got bad, has accompanied me on the whole journey through the health professional assessments and treatments, my periods of depression and all the other highs and lo…

Recovery After Work - Day One.

It's day one of my four days off. At 23:30 last night I got home and began the long process of recovery from three evening shifts at work. By midnight I had seized up and could barely move to get into bed.

My shifts had been particularly quiet on Sunday and Monday nights due to our deliveries being late - there wasn't much to do with no stock to put out. The delivery arrived at around 9pm - so we had two hours to begin making in-roads into thirteen large cages of stock. We got about two done before having to face up (tidy the shelves of) the shop ready for the morning shift at 5:45am.
By the time I got to work last night the day shift had cleared almost all of the previous days delivery, but twelve more cages had been delivered. Needless to say it was a busy six hours of putting out the heaviest items of stock - large soda, tinned goods, water and booze!!
At work I push through the pain - it seems if I stop for longer than ten minutes I begin to seize up - specifically my lower b…

Update on Pain Management

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2003. At the time I underwent a series of tests to rule out more sinister conditions - tests for arthritis, cancer etc. etc.

All tests came back as negative (as they always do for Fibromyalgia!) but one test - an MRI scan of my lumbar spine revealed what the consultant termed as "undeveloped spinabifida" 

This concerned me - but I was reassured by the consultant that undeveloped spinabifida is, and remains, exactly that. Undeveloped. It is, he said, virtually impossible for it to develop after my birth. (Basically I was developing spinabifida whilst in my mothers womb but, for some reason, it never completed its development and I was born 'normal'.)

The consultant did say that it could be one of the causes of my intense lower back pain and he suggested a series of pain management sessions to help me with this. I attended six sessions in all and it did not improve my pain levels one iota!

For the past eighteen months my lower back pain…

The living Years - A Tale of Regret

It is tunes like this that just bring home to you what you've lost.

My Dad died in November of last year. I hadn't seen him for twenty four years - we'd lost touch, mainly because of my own ambivalence towards my family. As far as I was concerned he'd died in 2009 - I was told this in 2012 so I thought I'd missed the chance of a reconciliation (even though we hadn't lost touch on bad terms) To me, my father had died in 2009 and that was it, the end.

But of course it wasn't the end. The information I'd received in 2012 was wrong. My Dad was still alive after 2009 - in fact he was alive in November 2017.

Had it not been for me swallowing my pride and calling my brother - who I'd not spoken to since 2010 (what a family!?) - I might not have had the opportunity to see my dad again.

We met for the first time since 1993 on November 19th 2017. He was amiable and jovial as I always remembered him, but clearly very ill. We chatted as though the missing years did…

Why I Still Work with Fibromyalgia

I have worked all of my life - barring a short spell of unemployment back in the 1980's - I like to work.

Until I was made redundant in 2011 I worked full time in all of my jobs - I've been a policeman, a packer and quality auditor in a plastics factory, a coordinator of a national youth enterprise scheme, a business adviser and social enterprise consultant. I have worked for British Telecom as a buildings inspector and ripped my fingers to shreds splitting moulds at a tyre manufacturers, I've guided wealthy theatre goers as a front of house attendant at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, London. I've chased debts in the accounts department of a national cable TV provider, sold advertising space over the telephone and been a general manager of a small courier firm. Quite an interesting and eclectic mix of roles I'm sure you'll agree, and all of these positions have been full time roles - working a minimum of 37 hours per week - though the plastics factory never le…

Support Groups

I see so many fellow fibro-warriors on Facebook and Twitter extolling the virtues of 'meet-ups' - where they meet other sufferers, local to them, to exchange information and just have a natter!

​Social interaction is of vital importance when you're struggling with this awful condition. Even if you're not alone at home it does you good to get away from those who see you on a daily basis and mix with others who know what you're going through - not necessarily to moan or complain - although that can happen - but just to talk to someone in a similar position about life.

​I see these Facebook groups - I'm even a member of a few of them - and how the members are meeting up for a social event on a regular basis, and I get a pang of jealousy.

​I've long been considering setting up such a group for my area - Tees Valley/North Yorkshire (specifically: Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool and Redcar) but I haven't got a clue how to go about it. I suppose t…

Pain - How Do You Manage Yours?

Our 'brother' site FibroMen is conducting a survey on pain treatment and management and they'd love to hear your views:

​What works for you, what doesn't work and what made you worse?

I've had years and years of different medications and treatments, a lot of them absolutely useless, a lot of them with side effects far worse than the pain they're meant to treat. Have you had a similar journey?

​To go to the survey follow this link FibroMen Pain Survey - and then come back and comment here.

Fibro & I.B.S - (A Quick Survey)

I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2007. It was (apparently) a very small patch of my lower bowel which was affected but it was sufficient for my gastroenterologist to make a positive diagnosis. However, all subsequent endoscopy investigations have revealed no further inflammation.

​My GP considers my recurrent bowel 'problems' to be associated more with I.B.S (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) than with Crohn's and even went so far as to suggest I have 'Severe and chronic IBS' - there are tests to determine levels of inflammation within the body and mine usually come back as low, so what else could it be if not IBS? Irritable isn't inflammation and Crohn's is caused through the latter.

​I take Buscopan for my IBS. It has little effect on the symptoms. What is effective is Loperamide - used to 'thicken things up' (Sorry if that's too much information!) But I worry that using Loperamide (sometimes branded as Immodium) regularly will somehow mean t…

2018 - A Prediction

Three days into the new year and it's 'no change' as far as fibro is concerned.

Christmas, such as it was for me - working until 10pm on Christmas eve, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day - was over in a flash, like it never happened - the joys of working in retail during the holiday period! And, unless I change my shifts or, better still - my job, 2018, 2019 and 2020 will be the same!

​Work entails lots of lifting - heavy lifting and lots of standing. I find myself on auto-pilot at work. I start my shifts at 17:30 and work until 23:15 during which time I get a fifteen minute break. I cannot sit down during my break for fear of not being able to get back up so I stand with a cup of tea, eating my sandwich and then go back to lifting and standing. Depending on how hectic the shift has been I find myself unable to get out of my car when I get home - I seize up that quickly after stopping work - the drive takes four minutes! If I'm lucky I can get out of the car and…