28 May 2015

Living With Fibromyalgia

Okay... So this is a pretty personal post, personal because it’s something I live with and cope with on a daily basis and personal because it’s just what I’ve learnt or know and I know so people have many differing experiences, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time.





WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?

“Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have: increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue (extreme tiredness), muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, problems with mental processes (known as "fibro-fog") – such as problems with memory and concentration & headaches”. 
(Taken from the NHS website)





MY EXPERIENCE WITH FMS...

I actually only got diagnosed towards the end of last year, but it’s something I’ve been suffering with as long as I can remember. I’ve been mis-diagnosed countless times and also been told there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve always had achy legs which had me in tears most of the night frequently and as I got older the pain ended up in most of my body. Although I do get all of the symptoms above, I know I’m incredibly lucky that I am still holding down a job with hardly any time off sick. I’m lucky that I can still get myself out of bed to go out and to do things that a lot of sufferers can’t do. That said I do find it incredibly difficult at times, there are days I struggle to wake up and get up and there’s nights (or should I say evenings!) I’m tucked up in bed with my electric blanket on and a good book by 7pm. I find the symptoms I have most trouble with is the fatigue and my energy levels - if I had a pound for every time I thought “oh I wish I could do blah blah blah, I just really don’t have the energy” - I’d be quite rich by now!

I always knew I had something going on health wise, but never really knew what so I have always worked and generally ‘got on with it’ despite struggling as I couldn’t put a name or label to it. So I still work, I do question every morning whether I’ll get through the day, but once I’m up and about and had a cup of tea, I do usually feel a bit brighter. I try not to let Fibromyalgia stop me doing anything I want to do, but I do have limits. A normal day at work or heading to do a food shop at the supermarket is a sometimes a challenge; even doing something fun like a day out shopping or a meal out in the evening can be tiring and a challenge to get through.



HOW I COPE WITH FMS...

(I don’t?! HA) But on a serious note. I do what I can. I’m currently looking into starting some medication as I’ve tried the ‘eat well & exercise’ plan and honestly it’s not really helping. I do walk a lot so gentle exercise, I have been eating a lot better and I’ve cut out caffeine. But generally pacing myself, early nights, long soaks in the bath and staying as positive as possible tend to get me through the day!


Apologies on the more ‘serious’ post. But if there’s anyone who is reading this who is going through the same or even has any tips on coping with FMS please let me know.

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