Month: April 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

For The Love of a Dog

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I spent my entire life with a dog in the house until 7 years ago. Due to various personal reasons, I ended up living in a rental property where I was not allowed a pet of any kind. As I discussed in my post Walking With Fibromyalgia, I started volunteering as a dog walker to help me get out and about again and improve my fitness, but what I also discovered was how much I missed having a dog in my life and how happy being with Sadie made me.

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Fighting Fibro Fog

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I am constantly frustrated by my foggy brain; the inability to string a sentence together, when I forget the word I need to say when I get confused and forgetful. It’s hard sometimes to accept how I have gone from an organised and effective person all of the time to an often confused and forgetful mumbling mess. It really has knocked my confidence.

Once upon a time, I could remember when someone’s birthday was, I could multitask at work and at home, I was organised, methodical and totally in control. Now I struggle to remember most things; what day my daughter has PE, where I put my keys, friends and family’s birthdays. I even forgot parents evening once!

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Art Therapy: Colouring The Pain Away

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As I have previously discussed in my post Taking Time Out When You’re Super Busy, to get through a busy day I need to take regular rest breaks. One of the activities I like to do while resting is colouring. There is a boom at the moment for adult colouring books and everyone who is anyone is reaching for the colouring pencils and a stress busting colouring book.

Colouring in a beautiful picture really is a therapeutic exercise. It helps me to concentrate on a simple activity, rather than worrying about what I feel I should be doing instead of resting. It gives me an escape from the pain and allows me to focus my thoughts and feelings. Colouring has been proven to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety [Source: Medical Daily] and I can verify this really is a benefit to me.

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3 Ways I Manage My Pain

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Every day there is pain, I can’t remember the last time I had a completely pain free day. I have good days, bad days and terrible days, but every day involves some level of pain. Most of my pain is in my leg, knees, lower back, shoulders, neck and hands. Sometimes it is a headache, other times stomach cramps and every now and then somewhere totally new and unexpected.

I learned very early on that I didn’t have time to wallow and moan about my pain. Fact was, I was going to be in pain all of the time and so I had to make the decision to be in pain and miss out on life or be in pain and get on with it. I chose the latter.

I deal with pain in a number of ways but these are the 3 strategies I use when I am having a really terrible day and I need some relief.

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Why I Started a Facebook Group

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After my diagnosis, I was looking for help, support, advice, and encouragement. I felt alone, un-educated about Fibromyalgia and desperately trying to find a way to live a happy and fulfilling life. All I could find were places that seemed to constantly reinforce how terrible things were and repeat over and over what the symptoms of Fibromyalgia are … like I needed reminding.

In a bid to bring more positivity to things, I launched Sheffield Fibromites; a Facebook page designed to bring together the Sheffield Fibromyalgia community in a more positive and healthy way. It only occurred to me, after I started blogging, that people may prefer a less public forum [Facebook pages are always public] to talk openly about their condition, about local services available and about their strategies for living a positive life, without alerting their Facebook friend list. And so the Sheffield Fibromites Group was born and the Sheffield Fibromites page was changed to A Sheffield Fibromite to promote this blog.

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Recipe: Parsnip Fritters

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Amelia Freer is a nutritional therapist and healthy eating expert and her book Eat. Nourish. Glow. is a brilliant look at 10 easy steps for losing weight, looking younger and feeling healthier. While the book mainly talks through her steps to healthy eating, there are some great recipes also included. One of my favourites is another breakfast option and is especially good if you are looking for something little more savoury than the cottage cheese pancakes.

Parsnip fritters are basically a healthy version of a hash brown. They are incredibly filling and satisfying and go perfectly with soft boiled eggs. The added bonus is that they contain no gluten and are very low in fat which makes them perfect for my Fibromyalgia diet.

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4 Things I Love About My Fitbit

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I bought a Fitbit Charge HR last year and it was one of the best purchases I have ever made. I had been using apps on my phone to track activity and record sleep in a bid to feel better about the amount of exercise I was doing and find out how much sleep I was achieving each night. It wasn’t until I got the Fitbit that I started to recognise the patterns between flares and exercise, the quantity of movement I was doing in relation to how tired I felt, and the number of hours sleep I was actually getting.

I have found the Fitbit incredibly useful for learning more about my body, my capabilities and how exercise and sleep quality affects me and my Fibromyalgia. So much so that I actually am quite obsessed with monitoring what I am doing and hate to leave the house without my Fitbit on my wrist.

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The Emergency Poet

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Today I took delivery of The Emergency Poet, An Anti-Stress Poetry Anthology edited by Deborah Alma. I had been looking for another activity I could do during rest breaks and reading uplifting poetry seemed to be a good fit.

Deborah Alma is the Emergency Poet, who travels in her 1970s ambulance to schools, libraries, and festivals to offer poetic remedies to comfort those in need of a pick-me-up. She is the one responsible for editing this collection.

Reading poetry is a great way to relax and revive yourself both mentally and physically, so this book should fit into my daily resting plans easily. I am really looking forward to diving into it.

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Just My Cup Of Tea

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Yesterday I talked about the things I do during my ‘rest breaks’. One of those things is often frowned upon when you have Fibromyalgia – drinking caffeinated tea!! I have been told that although caffeine gives you a boost in the short-term, it actually burns out your adrenal glands. This means you can’t regulate your blood sugar or your inflammatory system; vital things when you are suffering chronic pain and fatigue.

I am a tea lover and tea is one thing I can’t imagine giving up. I don’t want to give it up quite frankly. There are many things in life I am having to compromise on and tea just isn’t going to be one of them. That said, I must admit, I drink more than 1 or 2 cups a day. It’s more like 8-10 buckets! Something definitely needs to change.

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Taking Time Out When You’re Super Busy

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Even the best of us have off days. Today is one such day. I am exhausted, ache from head to toe and I have a never-ending pile of things that need to get done. I would like nothing more than to crawl into bed and stay there, feeling sorry for myself. It is very much a case of mind over matter on these days. Yes, I need to rest, but no I don’t need to give up everything that I wanted to achieve today.

The best way to get through a day like this without making myself even more tired and without feeling like it has been a total loss is to plan and prioritise. Building a plan for the day that includes as many tasks as I can manage along with regular rest periods is essential. I do get frustrated by my limitations, so taking time out is often low on my radar.

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