2018 in to 2019

I've been pretty lazy of late. But not without good reason. My work life has been exceptionally busy, as has my home life, and the two lives combined have made for a falling off of a number of my previously enjoyed activities. Blogging has been a secondary thought and, although I still get prompts and hints to write about, I just haven't had the time, or inclination to sit in front of my desktop and write. This will change in 2019. Another previously enjoyed activity that has taken a back seat this year, or at least since August, is my gym membership. Not attending as regularly as I once did is not only ruining my fitness levels, but it's also financially incompetent - gym membership fees are not cheap! And to get no benefit of membership (actually using the facilities and classes) is really frustrating me. This, too, will change in 2019. Work and family life seem to have overtaken everything - not in a bad way, as trips out with my daughter are one of the highlights

August Update: DNS Errors and High Humidity

Just four days in and already I'm fed up with August. Pain is at an all time high and being made worse by the intense humidity. It wouldn't be so bad if I could get a tan to absorb some vitamin D but two things stop me, 1. I am unable to sit in the sun for any longer than five minutes (I am unable to sit ANYWHERE for more than five minutes) because of the intense lower back pain, and 2. We haven't seen the sun for longer than five minutes for the thick cloud cover! (I'm aware that we still absorb UV rays and therefore vitamin D through the cloud cover, but if the sun isn't shining, it's not sunbathing is it??) Apart from pain and heat and humidity my fibro-fog is making me forget important things. My dog (Moley) was due at the vets today for his second booster vaccine against parvovirus. I forgot. I now have to make up an excuse to be late for work on Monday so that I can take him then (Dog vaccinations do not cut it with my employer!) and if he misses this

Eye Pain and Deteriorating Vision

This is my reason for not posting recently: I had my eyes tested in 2009 aged 43. I'd been experiencing headaches so thought it might have something to do with eye strain - at the time I did  A LOT of computer work. The optician did all of the necessary tests and gave me an 'almost 20/20 vision' score. I did not need glasses. By 2011 - just eighteen months after the first test where I got a near perfect result for vision, I needed spectacles for both distance and reading. In 2014 my prescription was increased yet again. And last September I was prescribed bi-focals with another increased prescription. For the past two months I've begun to notice that my sight is getting progressively worse at a much faster rate. Less than a year since my last prescription was issued I now see much further through the reading section of my bi-focals than I do through the distance section. In fact, if I want to look at anything closer than four feet from me, I now have to use th

How to Recharge Your Battery Whilst In Chronic Pain

I'm back to work tomorrow evening, after a week of high emotional and physical pain that has left me devoid of power, strength, energy, vavavoom!...whatever you want to call it. My get up and go has got up and gone. I've been trying desperately to recharge my batteries prior to going back to work - with little success. The everyday, hum-drum 'normal' daily activities of life have conspired to keep my power levels at a steady zero. No amount of rest - and believe me, I've had plenty of that, - has worked to reduce my exhaustion and I've been going to bed exhausted and waking exhausted. No recovery. Not one jot. I think I need to replace my battery or, better still, replace my whole body with a new model!  I long for the days when I had that model of body that could do everything all day - work full time, drive at 8am for 28 miles to the office, sit in meeting after meeting, drive 28 miles home at 5pm then take the family out for a meal, or go shopping fo

The Week That Drained My Battery to Zero Percent

I've had an odd week, choc full of emotional stresses and extra hard additional hours at work! Despite experiencing extreme fatigue I bravely (stupidly) agreed to do an extra long shift at work - 9am until 6pm on Monday and, despite pacing myself diligently, I have been paying the price ever since. Pain levels have been at a steady eight - specifically my lower back, hips and hands. And, speaking of hands, I uncovered a worsening of my Raynaud's Syndrome this week when my hands turned blue - this caused a niggling doubt, that grew into a fit of anxiety that it wasn't just down to Raynaud's and I convinced myself that I had a clot somewhere making my circulation suffer (I tried my best to steer away from Googling the symptoms - but my wife was also concerned and did it on my behalf! I wish she hadn't!) Needless to say, I now have a 'Well Man' health MOT booked in for next Friday! Wednesday saw me attending my fourth funeral in two years - a colleague fr

Fibro, Chronic Pain and Sleep Issues.

Sleep deprivation is a big thing with me right now. I don't know what it is that keeps me awake at night - random thoughts, pain - it could be either, or both. But one thing I do know is that it is becoming a massive problem. Last night I got just four hours sleep. The night before I managed five and a half and the night before that I got just three hours of slumber! I've tried every trick in the book. From counting sheep, relaxing baths, listening to my music, not listening to my music, not watching any electronic device for two hours prior to going to bed - that just made my mind wonder what I'd missed in the news! -  to drinking way too much (I know alcohol doesn't do that, but I just needed to black out! - Anyway, it just gave me a mahoosive hangover the next day as you would expect and the depressing part is - the headache started BEFORE I got to sleep, so it kept me awake!) Hell, I've even tried smoking a joint! NOTHING WORKS! I've written

Warmer Weather Increases Fatigue

Thank God for Summer! Soaking up the rays on a beautiful sunny day has masses of benefits for chronic pain sufferers. Not least because of the heat on aching limbs and muscles. The sunshine also increases levels of serotonin in the body - the happy hormone! However, there is a downside I have noticed. When the temperature hikes itself up above 25 degrees (Celsius) I've noticed that I get extremely lethargic. Not just slob-like, I mean exhausted to the point of not wanting to move, or falling asleep as soon as I sit down. Every movement is an effort of Herculean magnitude. I feel so heavy. This is distressing because, on warmer days I'd love to get out and about - be it in the garden - pruning, weeding and trimming, or out visiting places with my family, but I just don't have the physical strength to do it unless I really push myself - and we all know what that can lead to. On Wednesday of this week we took a long planned shopping trip by train to Manchester - tw

Moley - The Rescued Dog that Rescued Me! !

Meet Moley. Moley is my four year old Border Collie. He arrived at his new home on Saturday 17th March 2018 and has settled in nicely as the newest member of the family. Moley has had a troubled start in life, been neglected and abandoned in a barn on a Cumbrian sheep farm. Apparently, Moley wasn't the best sheepdog in the world being, as he was, scared of sheep!!!  When he arrived with us he was extremely timid and anxious. He howled for the first two nights. But I'm pleased to report that he's settled now - despite the attention (or lack of it) from our three cats, who he likes to round up, like sheep! Moley is my new exercise provider! He's very energetic and a real live wire around the home. But he's very affectionate too, and I don't know how I've lived without a dog for so long. Instead of focusing all my energy on being ill, I now have Moley to take my mind off things.

Why It's Good To Exercise With Fibromyalgia

A few years ago I joined my local gym. I joined in order to feel 'normal' (whatever that is) and to try and get back to some level of fitness I last had in my early twenties. Being over fifty at the time of joining I thought it wise to visit my GP for a full health check. Surprisingly, I was given a clean bill of health - in spite of the pain for the previous thirteen years, smoking for at least thirty years, and being a lounge lizard for most of the time - and my GP pointed out that gentle exercise might improve my pain. So, off I went and signed up to the gym. My initial thoughts were to focus on swimming and a bit of gentle cardio work to build up my stamina and get back into the swing of regular exercising, but I soon became fixated on strength training - I thought this would help me with my current job role which involves a lot of lifting. After a couple of weeks of swimming I took the giant leap upstairs to the weights room. Being a skinny fifty year old blo

Triage & Treat Appointment - Relief-Anger-Hope

Today I had my long awaited appointment at the Triage & Treat Back Pain Clinic. I've only been waiting for this for the past two years - and it was all over in just forty minutes! I have to say that my main concern before attending was that my GP had been 'blinded' by my fibromyalgia diagnosis, putting every new pain, or change in the severity of my pain, down to the condition rather than investigating other potential causes.  I suppose it's a common concern of many sufferers. Being quite frank, my biggest worry was that there was something sinister going on to cause the massive increase in pain over the past few months. Something sinister like cancer. At the start of the appointment the Neurologist went through my medical history and asked me questions pertaining to my fibro diagnosis: "When did you first have back pain?" (At this level 2003) "What medications are you taking for the pain (are they working to ease it?)?"