I thought you might like to know how I’m doing with the whole fibromyalgia thing?
Lots of people have asked how I am, but it’s really difficult to say in 1 sentence, and I feel boring if I describe it in full.
I’ve learnt loads more about it and have created a static page which I’ll use to list the things I discover and all my posts about FMS. Please pass it onto anyone you know with FMS, as it’s a tricky syndrome and it helps for us to connect with each other.
And I’ve definitely made progress, but also taken a few steps back as well.
It kind of depends on the day, I’m pretty much two different people at the moment:
Good Day Me:
I’m up, and once I’ve had a shower I’m pretty perky.
Curly Headed Boy thinks that I look healthier and happier than I did before.
Life is much easier now I’m not trying to work as well as look after two young children, plus sort out my health and I know that I can pick up the paying side of my work again when Little Dimples does to school in 1.5yrs.
I’ve cut down my social media usage, and it’s really not so bad; I realise that there was panic about ‘always being around’, which was daft.
I’m just blogging about once a week, and my stats don’t seem to have gone down (stats are mega important to us bloggers).
I’ve started actually reading books again, which is lovely.
I’m getting time to make sure that the most important things are done (i.e. kids) which has reduced my stress levels loads, and I’m getting a chance to take some time out to think about those long questions like ‘who am I now’ etc.
I’m grateful I was diagnosed so early, so it hasn’t become too entrenched, and I’m sure that with some determination, lots of investigations and some trial and error I’m going to atleast manage it, if not sort it out totally.
My right arm doesn’t hurt any more, so just my left arm, back, neck, shoulders, jaw, chest pain, left/right leg and both hips to solve; it’s a step in the right direction. (I reckon this is down to the Amitriptyline).
The Dr increased the drugs, and am hoping that my left arm and chest pains will follow suit really soon, which would mean I can pick up the kids without pain.
My IBS is managed with greater strength Optibac probiotics and a nearly healthy lifestyle (IBS is a symptom of FMS and mine got worse when I became ill).
I’m really glad the surgeon decided that my TMJ (jaw pain on right hand side) wasn’t worth operating on and that a mouth guard wouldn’t work, plus the drugs have reduced the pain and clicking a lot and I can chew most things now.
The Fibro-fog has improved with a bigger better quality dose of Omega 3, 6 and 9 and I’m finding the alarms work well on the electronic calendar. I have a snazzy small filofax so I can take my To do’s with me everywhere.
I feel stronger with the weekly studio (machine based) pilates classes and better quality vitamins (I wasn’t taking the full recommended dose).
Plus the Pilates guy does something called Osteolates (Mixture between osteopathy, pilates, and acupressure) which is fab for the myofacial pain (basically being in pain in the Fibro trigger points, sets the rest of the muscles off).
I’ve found the meditations using Shamanism (basically meditation to drum music) really helpful to reduce stress and worries and rediscover some of the ‘new age me’ that has taken a bit of a rest.
I think that my sleep is slightly better quality on the Amitriptyline (people with FMS don’t get any level 4 sleep) and I’m less affected by the full moon (I also have loads of ideas for sleep problems here if you suffer too).
The doctor agreed to checking my Vitamin D levels and as I was low (should be 75, was 42), they have given me a 2 month prescription of Vit D3 liquid gell capsules (best type); shame you can’t get a holiday in the Caribean on the NHS!
He also agreed to check my hormone levels as my periods were messing around a bit (very long) and it’s definitely not the perimenopause or PCOS causing the problem, so I don’t have to add anything else to the worry list.
I’ve found out that the FMS is due to the Thalamus gland, so the behavioural kinesiology (Resonance Repatterning) that I’ve been using to tackle the emotional/mental causes has been definitely aiming at the right direction, and I’m less confused by the huge number of symptoms to work through. (The thalamus gland affects the pain signals in the body, so basically we feel more pain and there is more Substance P in our bodies than a normal person).
I’ve also found out that we produce more lactic acid more quickly than most people, so I’ve added Magnesium to my list of supplements in the morning and bottles of deep freeze to my bathroom cabinet for when it’s really bad; this is how come the amount of exercise we do is limited, as we can also injure ourselves more easily and take longer to heal.
I’m really ‘lucky’ that the Big Hairy Northern Ones contract was terminated early, as just by doing the majority of the school runs, I’ve been able to rest a bit more than I would usually have done which is helping me recover.
Ironically having young kids is helpful because the constant picking up of stuff and putting things back in the right place warms up my muscles and makes the rest of the day easier; the problem with Fibro is that you must move even though it hurts, otherwise it hurts more (you just can’t move too much, it’s a tricky balance).
I’m decluttering my house even more than I used to, as everything needs a place and the ‘system’ needs to work so easily that even the family understand it when I’m at my worst. So things are looking pretty good around the house. Give me 6 months and even my photos will be sorted; result!
I reckon I’m lucky that my diet was already pretty healthy, and I wasn’t using many products with chemicals in them due to my rosacea and probably only needs a little revamp and a good detox at some point, otherwise my symptoms would probably be worse (sugar, chemicals and preservatives are not FMS’s friend).
The Dr has referred me for some CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help with pain management, and my first assessment was with a woman who has FMS, so she was great and reckoned that by teaching me some ‘pacing’, I’ll be able to avoid flares more easily.
I’m overwhelmed and enthusiastic about all the support and ideas I’ve been getting off so many people.
I’m sure that this journey will help me reinvent myself, and reach out to even more Mums with my books than before.
I’m at last remembering to take care of myself much more than I used to; I know I tell you lot to take care of yourselves, but I might not have done it enough myself, you know the old saying ‘Healer, heal thyself’.
I’ve got a plan and I’m working through it slowly, step by step, to a more balanced lifestyle and I’m trying to treat the Fibromyalgia as a guide, rather than an enemy.
Bad Day Me:
Christmas was awful for Fibro-flares, even though I tried to take it easy, get everything prepared beforehand and the Big Hairy Northern one always cooks Christmas dinner. One flare was mainly just pain, but the other was a full on depressive yukky downer.
When I have a flare up God it hurts, apparently Fibro pain is worse than Rheumatoid arthritis (how they know I don’t know); it certainly doesn’t even notice ibuprofen.
My head is fuzzy, and I mourn the previously competent woman who could remember things and not rely totally on an electronic calendar with alarms.
I’m exhausted; I just want to hide under my duvet and not get up.
My hips burn and I wan’t to itch them, but then know I will get bruises the size of a dinner plate.
My knees hurt so bad when I’m getting up and down from the floor that I feel like an 80 year old and find it difficult to play with Little Dimples or use the washing machine and tumble dryer.
I’m meant to be eating healthy food, but that is stuff like nuts and whole foods, which hurt my right jaw like hell to chew.
My eyes are really problematic in the mornings and evenings, which is helped by my new glasses, but worrying as it is probably related.
This and the fact that I’m sometimes a little unsure of my balance and spatial awareness and have to take my drugs early to avoid a hangover, makes night driving and going out socially impossible; I was never a big socialite, but it makes me feel left out.
I’m scared that I’ll get crippled with it and bed ridden like the people I read on the forums; in fact I’ve banned myself from reading them now as they terrify me with stories of stronger and stronger drugs that eventually don’t work.
I’m terrified of getting ill, because that will mean a flare up in the pain, plus the likelihood that the rest of the household will get ill and need taking care of, so I’ll get tired and get more pain.
Curly Headed Boy isn’t taking the added responsibility well, or the fact that I just don’t have the energy to ask FIVE times for something any more.
I’ve realised that although I wouldn’t change the fact that I was a ‘young carer’ it’s not the choice I would have made for my children, and I worry about the affect on them.
I was falling asleep with the children at least 50% of the time, but since doubling the drugs I hardly ever get back down again to see the Big Hairy Northern One; that can’t be good.
One of my friends dumped me the week after my diagnosis because I did something a bit flighty and very fibro.
I feel like a wimp when I keep having to explain that I can’t do something.
Then I feel angry because people haven’t taken the time to understand that I’m limited in what I can do because I ‘look OK’.
Plus sometimes I feel that people expect too much of me because I’m normally so sorted and know all this psychology stuff; I’m not allowed to be grouchy or grumpy or make a mistake.
I miss the freedom of running even though I was rubbish at it, because it was so easy to fit into life and helped me keep my weight in check.
The Pilates is boring, but I know it’s helping, so I keep going. I’d prefer a dance class, but know it would kill me at the moment; even aqua aerobics crucified me for a week and I can’t go in a pool unless it’s warm enough. (Hopefully I can add Tai Chi or Yoga soon)
I’ve put on a stone in weight, I’m not yet at an unhealthy weight, but I’m gutted after all that hard work before losing weight and worried whether I’ll be able to keep it in check with all my limitations.
I wish I had a Mum who could sweep down and pop me in a duvet, play with the kids for the day, whilst making a stew and tidying the house (my actual Mum wouldn’t have been able to do this bless her, even if she was still alive).
I’d like to cry most of the day, but have so far only broken down in front of Little Dimples once, who was so kind I was gobsmacked.
I don’t understand why it’s not possible to do a big declutter/tidy of the house AND walk the dog.
I used a pedometer to try and maintain a steady pace each day and find that whereas I used to be able to easily work up to 10,000 steps in a couple of weeks, my body is now crucified by Lactic Acid over 5000 tiny steps after a month of trying.
I’m irritated by people finishing my sentences for me as I desperately search for the words that have disappeared into the recesses of my head; audition and anaesthetic are not difficult words after all.
I don’t tweet, I don’t Facebook, I don’t phone, I just hibernate.
I’m scared of trying things incase it makes things worse, and depressed about a life limited and controlled by an illness.
My second assessment with the CBT people the doctor referred me to was with someone much less qualified, and I could have basically chewed them up and spat them out; God help them if that’s the kind of person they think can help me. I think that my problem is that physical pain is so tangible, that I’m finding it much harder to deal with that emotional/mental pain.
I have no plan, I just hope that when I wake up tomorrow, this flare will be over and I’ll be back to ‘Good day me’.
They are quite contradictory people aren’t they? They aren’t really agreeing with each other on much!
I reckon I’m just about more ‘Good Days’ than ‘Bad Days’, but only just.
Hopefully in my Spring/summer update it will be a different story.
Remember to pass my blog onto anyone you know with Fibromyalgia please (and if they are close to you, maybe read my FMS page and other posts so that you can understand them more too).
23 thoughts on “My Progress: Fibromyalgia a couple of months on after diagnosis”
You are incredibly brave, sharing the effect this condition has on you. I am sure that this post will be a tremendous comfort to those who are also suffering – well done! (apologies if this sounds patronizing – it isn’t meant to!).
Something I have learnt with my condition is patience and acceptance. If you had a broken leg you accept that you will have certain symptoms and that the healing will take a certain amount of time. It should be the same with conditions that are not visible to others. However, I also learnt that logic and reasoning can be quite annoying – especially from others who are trying to help!
Let’s hope that the good days out-balance the bad days! If there’s ever anything I can do, please holler x
Thanks @danny, I’m going to have to work on that patience thing I think! You are right though, I suspect that I’m looking at 1-2yrs before I’m sure of where I am.
Thank you for the update because I definitely care about your well-being. I really understand what you mean about people not taking your physical limitations seriously. I did the same my self to my Mom not taking her seriously, but I learned my lesson when it was my turn to be limited. Just try to forgive them for they know not what they do. At times when you feel up to it, I recommend doing some visualization, seeing your body healing and healed or whatever works for you. You know your body will listen to you so take the time to get it into a healing visualization as often as you can, maybe just after the drum meditation. Also spend time reading books that inspire you because that will relax your body and uplift your spirit. I am glad you are learning and growing. You are definitely demonstrating Strength and vulnerability which is really great. You are in my prayers and I am sending you loving energy. Hugs, Janis
Thank you lovely @Janis! Funnily enough a couple of the drum meditations turned into healing ones instead, so yes that is a good idea to combine the two. Someone else mentioned doing a visualisation where you meet the version of you who recovered totally from the illness and ask for their insights, which is an interesting idea I might try.
You are right, I must concentrate on the books that make me feel light, not heavy … that takes a few off the list ;o)
Big hugs back xx
My god you are doing amazingly well! I wish I’d had this post to read when I was first diagnosed – it would have helped me cut to the chase a lot quicker!
CBT will help you immensely – I would say I am almost cured due to CBT and a low dose of amitriptylline, but exercise, sleep, and managing stress have all been vital in keeping my symptoms at bay. Agree with Danny – acceptance was the starting point. Once I stopped fighting it and struggling for a “cure” and feeling how unfair it all was, it immediately began to improve.
Keep at it and look after yourself x
Thank you so much @ActuallyMummy for your comment, because funnily enough I was thinking about you and thinking that you seemed to have it so much more under control and wondering whether I was being a wimp ;o) That’s great news about the CBT, I’ll look forward to it now.
I have two friends who suffer from this and have forwarded this post. I think you are doing amazingly well – a comprehensive explanation with no apology or woe is me – and I wouldn’t expect anything else from you – is marvellous in itself. One of my friends has made tremendous improvements in the last year. X
Thank you gorgeous @anyaharris, it’s great to hear about other people who have improved to balance out the stories of the ones that get crippled by it. I’m so glad it didn’t come across as a pity party, as that’s not what I was aiming for. I just wanted to be as honest as possible.
This is an awesome post, and I really agree with the bit where you say it will help you reach out to more mums in the future. It most certainly will. You are doing so very well.
Thank you wonderful @liska, love ya too xx
I would highly recommend the book, No Enemies Within. A Creative Process for Discovering What’s Right About What’s Wrong by Dawna Markova. She writes with such insight, kindness, compassion and is inspiring and relaxing. Her work is based on learning styles so you will likely learn about your self from her work. As you have probably heard me say, my favorite book by her is The Open Mind, but the first one would be good for you too. You may be able to get them both from the library. XOXOXOX
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of her @Janis, maybe she isn’t as well known in the UK? I’ll check her out and add her to my ‘to read’ list!
You will be glad you did. 🙂
Hi, I was given your details of a friend who use to go to school with you. Its a nice refreshing change considering posts/websties make you feel like you should let the condition take over and not try to face it and get on with it. I got a final diagnosis on jan 13th ( 3 days before my birthday)2013 and finding it hard to find any info from anyone/anything giving me positive support with this. I found the blog useful as im into alternative treatment as well as the nhs style of things.x
Ooh keep in touch @Kerry – it’s tough early on. I’m a google fanatic, so I should be able to find loads of stuff out for you and save you tonnes of time. You can subscribe to my blog or check out my FB page if you like, to make sure you don’t miss any posts. Any questions or if you are just looking for an empathetic ear, I’m always around on FB or Twitter.
Thank you. It is so nice and refreshing to read something from someone who has exactly the same good and bad days as I do, it’s like you’re in my head. Just what I needed on a bad day to know I’m not alone. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your comment @helen – I was recently judged a bit harshly for those bad days, so it really helps me to know that I’m helping other people.
I’m hoping that with my head start of already knowing a few things about healing and stuff, that I’ll find things to help all my readers. Keep in touch lovely.
Hi. I don’t have fibromyalgia and I feel for those of you that do. I am writing because I found a product that I shared with a couple of my friends who do have fibro and they say it has literally changed their lives. Levare: its a natural pain killer, but its effects are magical..
As your email address is affiliated to Levare I don’t trust your comment at all. I recommend that if you have that much belief in it that you offer it with a 100% money back guarantee if it doesn’t have the effects you promised.
Your blog is the ONLY fibromyalgia blog I enjoy reading. After a year of pelvic hell and medical trauma I finally learned I have fibro. I’m devastated as I was an adventure athlete, mother of 3 active boys, and enjoyed tons of hobbies. Yes, I ran off of stress and overworked myself. Now I’ve lost my entire life and identity. I can’t seem to accept this! I waver between the depression and anxiety cycle. I’m overwhelmed by all the self care maintenance and even finding a real doctor that can help me. How did you stay positive your first month?? You have a wonderful blog. I hope I can get to where you are! You are an inspiration. Love Laura
Oh my goodness Laura I apologise for not replying sooner – I will send this reply in email to you as well.
I’m so sorry, yes, it’s really hard to go from being very active to being so limited and not being able to use running to clear through the stress.
It’s all about small steps – so I discovered things that helped me bit by bit, like the CBD oil, naturopath, Far Infrared, changing my diet, journalling, meditation etc.
In the end it becomes a guidance system and I realised that I’d been living too much in the busy zone of DOING and not BEING more.
I do still get down days – I had a flare up due to stress of lockdown and a difficult relationship plus the peri-menopause, and then even I doubt myself. But in the end we have no choice – we have kids – so I moan and then get back up again.
I do have a specific healing system that I use for myself – I’m really happy to help you and show you how to do it, if you would like some 1to1 assistance.
Thank you so much for your comment and I’m sorry again for being so slow to reply.
You can do this, I promise.