Saturday, 19 May 2018

4 changes to become Fibromyalgia happy

I really could dedicate my blog to ways to try and make people with Fibromyalgia happier as the list is endless. Today I selected just four that I firmly believe made a difference to my happiness. Hope it helps you in some small way: 

1. Acceptance of fibromyalgia 

I know it is really difficult to accept something that seems so unfair and completely changes your life, but you really have to in order to be happy. I had to create a set of coping mechanisms to ensure my day was filled with happiness so I could smile and get giddly excited about small beautiful moments. 

Read Accepting my life with Fibromyalgia 

Fibromyalgia has no cure so hoping it will just go is a waste of energy. I thought well if I am stuck with you I am going to make friends with you and understand you more.  It becomes a massive part of who you are so you need to befriend it. No amount of anger and denial is going to help and it is not going to make you better if anything it will just create stress which impacts on symptoms.

Acceptance doesn't mean giving up and allowing Fibromyalgia to engulf your life, you only give it the time it needs nothing more. It means being open to and accepting the fact that you have an illness and that illness needs to be treated. It means acknowledging its existence in your life and educating yourself as much as possible so you become aware of the steps involved in your care. Acceptance means getting over your old self, and ready to embrace the changes that make a new you.

Most of all acceptance means being kind to yourself and accepting you as you are.

2. Fall back in love with life.

Life suddenly changes with any diagnosis of a long-term illness and for a while, we lose our grip on happiness within our life. This is understandable so please do not beat yourself up about it but you do have to allow yourself to fall back in love with living, all be it life with Fibromyalgia. 

I will never be the old version of who I was as a woman.
I will never shimmy on the dancefloor in my high heels.
But that is ok, I am beautiful and life is wonderful. 

Read Tips to be your own version of Fibromyalgia beautiful

Life will only ever be as good as your mindset, fibro or not. Mindfulness will help greatly so invest some time in decluttering your mind. 

If you ever doubt your ability to find true happiness again always believe anything is possible. If a cauliflower can be rice and a pizza then you can have fibromyalgia and be happy again...

3. Sleep and scheduled rest

When you are well rested and have had some good quality sleep the day seems a more magical place. It is so difficult to achieve quality rest when you have an illness that can make you feel completely exhausted when you have just woken up. I find that developing a routine with my sleep pattern helps my happiness levels greatly. My body knows when to expect a complete shutdown and even if I am having a good day I still manage my scheduled rests. 

Doing this each day rather than just when you feel sick or tired is one part of a shift from living in response to symptoms to living a planned and balanced life. 

If you live daily with chronic pain, certain days may seem unbearable at times. Being constantly in pain can affect many areas of life, including work, family, loving relationships and happiness. If you are living with chronic pain, finding ways to manage it may be essential to your wellbeing.

Make your bed as comfortable as possible and consider this rest period as important as taking medication. 

4. Aids to independence 

Sorting out your house and life to accept the aids you need to make things easier. For me, this was one of the hardest aspects of Fibromyalgia and I was not prepared for needing any aids in my forties.

With an illness that fluctuates you really do need to prepare for all eventualities. With such rapid changes to your body and independence you have two options:

  1. Sit and wallow at all the things you no longer can do. 
  2. Accept what aids are available to make life easier. 

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Love and gentle hugs

Ness xx

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Fibro Friday Words of Wisdom v1

I adore quotes, words and lyrics so I have decided to add a new weekly addition to my blog 


Life really can make you lose sight of the wonderful things, the small moments. It is so easy to lose your smile especially when you are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia so hopefully, I can show you that life can be magical, you just need to find your balance.

Words of wisdom are a great way to make you gain some clarity with a simple sentence so please feel free to download them, print them off and maybe make a little wall of wisdom in your home. 

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Love and gentle hugs

Ness xx

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Fibromyalgia and sage burning

When you have an illness you can easily become engulfed in negative energy. We often feel stuck, down in the dumps with pain, sluggish and even full-on depressed. As a holistic therapist, I always feel this is due to many contributory factors, one being stagnant energy surrounding you.

The ritual of burning herbs is ancient within many cultures, even Catholic churches burn Frankincense. Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a space or person. 

Clearing out energy in our surrounding space enables wonderful neutral energy which naturally helps with mental clarity and calm. 

If you are new to this practice it can seem very odd, I agree but what have you got to lose? 

A rested calm mind and body is so beneficial long-term to anyone battling Fibromyalgia so why not have a go? 

Many herbal holistic stores will sell pre-made sage bundles or like me, you can simply make your own. Often I will add other plants for their own properties but I won't bog your mind down today with all the individual plants, herbs, petals you can add to your bundle. 

To start I like to open all the windows, this gives the smoke and negative energy a place to exit and it allows crisp fresh air into the room. I like to say a little prayer, positive affirmation and ask the spirits to fill my home with love and clean energy. 

There are special methods such as starting in the East, opening all wardrobes and draws but I find a simple sage burning is just as effective for me, plus I really don't have the energy for all that!

As the smoke rises picture the smoke carrying away any negativity. Use your hands to fan the smoke into areas you feel need it most. 

The house does not need to be engulfed in smoke and you do not need to be at the point of an asthma attack, use your common sense and use the sage burning like an incense stick rather than a burning smoking torch. 

Do you sage smugde already?
Let me know in the comments how you feel it benefits you.

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Love and gentle hugs

Ness xx

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Fibromyalgia and banana bread smiles

Yesterday was a funny little day so I knew today would be flared and painful. I am my own worst enemy on days like this as I try and not take painkillers, why? 

Why do we feel guilty for needing strong medication? 
(Waves a fist at society for doing this to us who really need it to simply function)

I am so guilty of having a good day and then battling to try and cope with the days that follow. Trying to cope without the medication that you need is crazy so I do not know why I do it. I think to myself the pain will subside but often the minutes turn to hours and before I know it a whole day is engulfed to chronic pain. If you have not followed me and my journey with pain medication then, in short, I detoxed from Tramadol over a year ago. Read: How I became Tramadol free with scones

I have nothing at all against Tramadol but I clearly see an improvement in my digestive system and IBS so I am very reluctant to take them long-term again. But getting angry at your own body for something that you know you have no control over is so daft, but 
I can't lie about doing it.

CBD oil is great for everyday pains but when it hits hard it simply is not enough. Every year is different with Fibromyalgia, last year during the summer months I did not have such depth of pain, this year I do, that is ok.

Today was spent in bed, sleeping and just holding my body in the best comfortable position to endure the pains. I woke, told myself off, took some painkillers, remembered the medication for other things I forgot to take through concentrating on the pain management and then like a gift from the Gods my youngest came home from school with banana bread.

A friend asked me this morning in a text how I was?
I replied "Dandy"

Well, I am. in my mind things are all fine and dandy even on the bad days.
I look back to the first year of Fibro and how unbalanced and sad I was, I felt alone with an illness I knew nothing about. Now I have all you, I know what is happening to my body, I accept what is thrown my way and know that even on really painful days like today something good will happen... 

Like Banana bread, delicious and made with love.

Never allow an illness such a Fibromyalgia to steal your happiness. There are so many beautiful reasons to smile and be grateful even on the painful days. Don't compare your day to others, to old you, to you on a good day as it stops you missing the magic of the day ahead. 

This summer, don't let your ice cream melt watching someone else's sprinkles.

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Love and gentle hugs

Ness xx

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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Sunday thoughts from a Fibromyalgia mind #18/5

Sunday thoughts are a tough one this week as my mind has been all over the place so if it comes across in my writing then I am sorry.

Can't really pinpoint one singular reason for the foggy haze of overthinking, I guess it is a combination of feeling flared, giving up sugar withdrawals, losing a beautiful inspirational lady who helped me loads. Then there is the approach of May bringing the anniversary of my ex-husband's death and of a really horrendous birth and postpartum period.

But you know what? Rather than dwell on the things I can not change I will use them for guidance and growth to appreciate life so much more.

Guidance and growth are forefronts in my mind today. I sat reading a beautiful article this morning on The importance of being there for yourself. 

"I realised I cannot take away someone else’s pain or rescue them. I cannot change what they are feeling, patch it up and move along. All I could do was witness, be there and be present"

"A key to holding space for yourself is to see yourself with all your faults and without judgement and criticism. To see yourself with kindness and love, just as you would a friend. It’s making friends with your fear, inviting Cousin Self-Doubt, Mrs Perfectionist, Brother Criticism, and Sister Putdown, in for a cup of tea around the fireplace."

It really was a much-needed read. I often think the universe sends me the exact things when I need them most. I am going to copy down some of the key points I need to work on from this article and focus on healing my thoughts this week. 

Life is about looking at things the way they are and finding your own beauty from it. If you have always been told that Dandelions are weeds then you never see their beauty as a pretty yellow flower that is a symbol of a wish even when it's beauty fades.

I don't fear my more pensive moments anymore I actually embrace them and grow from them. The fear was always once so prevalent that deep thoughtful moments were the signs of depression reoccurring.
Maybe they are.
Maybe I am now just so in tune with my body and mind now that I am alerted to the signs and have all my coping strategies in place. 

One of these coping mechanisms is knowing when I need to be alone and when being alone is not good for my happiness. This happened on Sunday, I felt a bit ropey but still knew I needed to get out as the other option was a day alone and that didn't appeal to me.

I look at this photo and even though I am happy and smiling, my eyes never hide the pain. Regardless of this, it was a great making memories day with my son and his girlfriend. We met up for lunch with one of my elder sons that is in University and I grabbed myself a little vintage bargain, two kitsch ornaments.

My quest this week has been to completely eliminate sugar from my diet as my glucose levels in my blood are too raised. How happy was I to find this delicious, healthy Vegan sugar-free cake? It was thoroughly enjoyed sitting at home drinking tea with my feet up admiring my lilac bush in the garden. 

As you may have gathered, May is always a challenge to me but May gave me my beautiful youngest son. His birth was filled with so much pain so the universe gave me this beautiful soul to fill my life with love. He is truly a magical loving child so I am very blessed.

We will be celebrating his 12th birthday this week so we are looking forward that that very much.

May will be a spiritual growth month as I always gain some clarity once I have survived another May. As a symbol of this growth, I plan on planting some plants, a new tree and roses. I can nurture and love them as I watch them grow, just as I do with self-love.

So this month I am having a pilgrimage home to my own soul. 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Sunday thoughts from a Fibromyalgia mind #18/4

Sunday thoughts are huge today as I have had such an unplanned busy week. THREE times I have done something this week and that is huge for me. Usually, my body throws a hissy fit if I push for two things so this week I have pushed way too far... But it has been lovely!

I managed to get three selfies to remind myself of my busy week. Really can't advocate this enough as it is a visual reminder that there are some wonderful days. I often look at myself in the mirror with sadness on the painful days as pain is visible in my eyes and in all honesty, I look like a bus has hit me. It is hard to visualise ever feeling pretty on days like this. It is hard to visualise dressing nicely when you can not even bring yourself to shower due to pain and lethargy. 

I particularly love this photo best, I felt pale so brushed on some tan shimmer from last year and I feel I look radiant next to my kitchen's yellow wall. The lighting was perfect and the sunshine caught my face well. Hooray for a good photo, especially today as I have been in bed all day.

Do you ever feel guilty when you have good days?
I do, so I started writing a blog about the guilt associated with a good day, look out for it this week.

Last week my extra energy was in sync with the glorious sunshine. So many small beautiful moments looking at budding flowers or watching our little tortoise in the garden. As always with our wonderful British weather the sunshine was soon followed up by a massive downpour and as always my body felt the weather change hard. Fibromyalgia is very like arthritis with changes in weather.

My eldest two sons graduate from University this year so we had a special evening out to watch a performance from my eldest in Liverpool. It is such a beautiful city and I really do love taking photographs with pride. I am a building nerd so I may start a section on my local architecture, it may take time as I am hardly out in our big city but when I am I will grab some images and write about each in turn.

The week ahead is now a painful one so I will be catching up on some crochet and if possible finishing some of the many sewing projects I have on the go. Sewing for me requires more dexterity and brain matter than crochet does so I never get to finish anything. 

But I will try...

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Sunday, 22 April 2018

How to administer CBD oil for Fibromyalgia

If you are new to my blog let me give you a brief introduction. I am a mother of five sons and a VTCT qualified complementary therapist Level 3 (Aromatherapy, advanced massage therapist, and advanced reflexology) I am also a lady that can no longer practice my profession due to chronic illness so I prefer to use my expertise to write about complementary and alternative therapies for chronic illness.

I am not promoting this brand of CBD it is simply the one I use and gain benefits from. Lots of my readers may not know how to take CBD as a medication for Fibromyalgia so this is my experience and how I use it. 

There are many places you can buy CBD here in the UK and I am sure other countries are the same. Not all are the same so don't think cost is a reflection of the best and also check the strength of CBD within the bottle.

The one I use is 25% CBD  £17.95 for a 10 ml bottle. (Link) There is one sold on the high streets by a well-known chain of health stores is 2.75% CBD £19.99 (Link) 

The more expensive one is very weak! So trust me not all CBD gives the same benefits.

CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol, this is a cannabis compound with healing properties. 
Most people have heard of Cannabis and of a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol THC which is the principal psychoactive constituent eg is the ingredient that gets users high. 
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high.
CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways as THC. These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC. Although CBD and THC act on different pathways of the body, they seem to have many of the same medical benefits. 

In most cases, the oil is taken orally. It comes in a tincture, which contains the oil. The dropper allows users to measure out the correct dose and to release with ease.

If you want to read about CBD in depth, this is the best article I have read so HERE is a link

Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high so it is now completely legal in many places. 

I am based in England and CBD is not covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 or the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 but please check your country and/or state law accordingly. 

Each day I take 4 drops under my tongue.  

The oil comes in an ear dropper bottle. It is usually brown glass as this protects the shelf life and the oil from harsh sunlight. Before use, I always shake the bottle within the palms of my hands. This helps to blend any extract that collects at the bottom. It also improves the absorbability of the oil by getting it closer to body temperature.

The bottom of the mouth is a membrane that's filled with capillaries. The medication dissolves in the mouth and enters the bloodstream directly. If you just swallow it, it has to pass through the digestive tract and be absorbed by the intestines before it can enter the bloodstream. The medication will be substantially weakened or even completely destroyed. Allow the oil to absorb into your system by holding the oil in your mouth for 60-90 seconds before swallowing. You may choose to swish it around, but it’s not necessary and I always think of my teeth and stains. 

CBD Oil tastes earthy, it is not the best of flavours but I have to admit I would chew on a sweaty old sock if I thought it would ease symptoms so I look beyond the taste. If you find the flavour to be too strong, take a drink of orange juice as you ingest the oil to mask that earthy flavour.

Hope this helps in some way. It is super easy to use, natural, pure and allergy free product so I am sure it would benefit many people looking for a natural method of controlling symptoms without the side effects of conventional medicine. 

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Love and hugs xxx