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Showing posts from May, 2018

Fibro, Chronic Pain and Sleep Issues.

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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! !

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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

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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

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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

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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…

Why It's Easier to Not Mention The Pain

I've had fifteen years in more or less constant pain - on a scale of 1-10, between 2003 and 2005 it was at 4 or 5, from 2006 to 2014 it increased to 8 and for the past three-something years it's hit 9 on a good day and 10 on a bad one - but the majority are good, I suppose!

The problem with being in constant pain isn't just the pain itself, it's the fact that, if you mention it to a family member or friend, they usually say something like "Oh, we know! You've told us a thousand times!!" The problem with being in constant pain is that YOU BECOME A PAIN!

So, you try not to mention it and hope to God that no one asks "How are you today?" because if you say "Well, I've got horrendous back ache and my tennis elbow's playing up again." you can instantly see the dulling over of the eyes of the person asking how you are. People don't want to know how you really are unless you're tickety boo!

It's even worse at work …

Why Does Nothing Work?

I hear an awful lot of news - usually posted on Facebook - about this treatment and that treatment working wonders for symptoms of fibromyalgia in certain sufferers.

You must have seen some of them at some point:
"New Herbal Remedy - Cures Fibromyalgia In Seconds"
"I Spent Two Weeks Drinking Nothing But The Stale Urine of South American Bats and It Stopped My Fibro In Its Tracks!"
"My Cat Licked My Face to Cure My Fibromyalgia"
"Fibromyalgia Can Be Cured - By Sitting on Cowpats!"
Read on and you'll find many fantastic stories of 'real' cases of fibromyalgia sufferers being miraculously cured of all of their symptoms by adopting these fantastical methods. Read on still further to find how you too can be cured:
"for ONLY £99 + shipping"
I often wonder how much money people make out of the vulnerable and desperate. Not all of us are blessed with the wisdom to spot a scam when we see one. But I also (desperately) want to be pain free, …

Plodding On With Hope

The saga of my intensifying lower back pain continues.
I have finally convinced my GP of the severity of the pain I am in, not just periodically, but every minute of every day. He has, at last, decided to refer me to a back pain clinic - though this will be on the NHS so I may wait a considerable time to get there, but at least the wheel is in motion.
He has increased my dosage of Gabapentin to 900mg three times a day - it has yet to make any inroads into the pain! I am continuing to take eight Cocodamol  (30/500mg) per day, but I refuse to take the Naproxen he prescribed.
Luckily I find that my pain is reduced slightly whilst walking. This meant I was still able to attend work for my three shifts this week. This also resulted in a worsening of the pain when work had finished, but that's always the norm for me!  On the same note, sitting for anything longer than ten minutes results in increased stiffness in my back and hips, so this means I am becoming less able to dress myself - spe…