Posts

How to Recharge Your Battery Whilst In Chronic Pain

Image
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 for a couple …

The Week That Drained My Battery to Zero Percent

Image
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 from my wi…

Fibro, Chronic Pain and Sleep Issues.

Image
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 in the past about i…

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 - two hours and twen…

Moley - The Rescued Dog that Rescued Me! !

Image
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

Image
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 bloke I was filled …

Triage & Treat Appointment - Relief-Anger-Hope

Image
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?)?"(Gabapentin, Amytriptyline, Oro…

We've Gone Purple for Fibromyalgia Awareness

Don't panic!

Purple seems to have been adopted by the international fibro warrior community to help raise awareness of the condition and, as today is International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day you will notice that the background has morphed to a more colourful display than my normal grey.
The bright colour in no way reflects a brightening of my current mood however!
Something that may brighten my mood in the coming week is my visit to the Back Pain Triage & Treat Clinic on Wednesday afternoon. I can't wait.
I don't know what to expect at the clinic and I'm going with a completely open mind but I'm hoping that the doctors will find something, anything, as a cause for the increasing lower back pain I've been getting. I'm hoping, beyond hope, that it is nothing serious of course, but there HAS to be a cause.
Whether or not it is fibromyalgia related remains to be seen, but the fact that it has been getting steadily worse for the past few months has been making me…

Fibromyalgia Awareness - 12th May 2018

Image
Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and I am proud to be included in the following video by Lee of Fibro Blogger Directory which has been put together to help raise awareness.

Please take a moment to educate yourself about the condition and how it affects those who suffer from it.


Thanks Lee.

Pain + Sleep = More Pain

I've just read an internet advertisement that started with the header 
"Tired all the time? Then you might be suffering from fibromyalgia."
I don't know about other sufferers, but I imagine they will have experienced something similar to me, and tiredness doesn't come close.
Exhaustion would be a more apt description. I've been tired through lack of sleep and I've been tired through physical exercise in the past, but I've only ever been truly exhausted through fibromyalgia. It's when your body no longer has the will to function properly. It's when your brain begins to shut down involuntarily. It's when your only thought is to sleep, wherever you are and for as long as your body needs to recover from the cause of your exhaustion - but, alas, your body won't fully recover. You'll wake almost as tired as you were before you slept.
It's at times when I'm exhausted that I sleep the most. It happens possibly two or three times a yea…