That one question we are asked by healthcare professionals, friends, family and nosy neighbours....

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Aches, pains and itchiness!

As winter sets in I have definitely noticed an increase in my fibro flare ups. The combination of the cold damp weather and my lack of heating facilities is making me feel more like a woman of 81 than 21. I have now gone back to taking the Duloxetine in the evenings but the new GP has doubled the dose; I am not sure if it is this or the Pregabalin that is causing some rather unwelcome symptoms.

My sleep quality has unfortunately deteriorated which is resulting in me feeling much more tired during the day, affecting my ability to carry out day to day tasks. I have lost the oomph that I had first thing in the morning when taking just the single dose of the Duloxetine. Now feeling very unmotivated and quite down the last thing I needed was to be incredibly itchy, everywhere! With no change in washing powder, shower gel etc and no sign of insect bites I can only conclude that it is a side effect of the medication. I will persevere for a little longer with the meds in hope that the above eases.



Following a somewhat disastrous time of things with the mental health team lately I have now been assigned a worker. Not really sure what it is that we will be doing together mind you but will try to remain optimistic and open minded! My first appointment is this Friday morning so I shall be sure to update you with any news. I also have received at long last my hospital appointment to have my jaw looked at in December, it's only been three years since the major dislocation! Good ol' NHS ;-)

Finally, just a quick update on Mr "Yummy"... Turns out he's just a bit of an idiot! Having dealt with a particularly sneaky lying man I know the tricks and tell tale signs all too well and I certainly won't be putting up with that again. It's a shame as he seemed perfectly wonderful, too good to be true in fact. As my nan would say, "Men are like buses, another one will be along in a minute!".

Have you had any bothersome side affects to medication? If so, how long did you put up with them before trying an alternative?

Take care for now

Marie x





Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Meeting someone new

So cutting ties with William also was a sign that I felt able to move on and enter back into the world of dating. I think I speak for many when I say it can be somewhat difficult to meet anyone new that's worth dating; lets face it, a very drunken flirt on a Saturday night out is hardly the basis for a long lasting relationship. Despite previous bad luck I decided once again to sign up for internet dating!



As I wrote my profile I struggled with what to say and wondered at what point it was best to drop in "Oh yeah by the way I have a muscle disease!"? I guess there never really is. I like to go with the honest and upfront approach, nothing worse than developing feelings for someone only to tell them of your condition and they run a mile! In which case they weren't worth knowing anyway. Accepting this can be easier said than done though. I decided I would cross that bridge when I came to it, which would generally be when asked, "So what do you do for work?" and my response would have to be "Well, actually I don't work at the moment...".

After chatting with a few young men there was definitely one that caught my attention, in fact I couldn't believe he had sent me a message...the word yummy instantly came to mind ;-) He's certainly out of my league, even if he does hate me saying it. We swapped numbers and began talking and arranged to meet up! The closer it got to "date night" the more nervous I became. The butterflies in my stomach were out in full force, quite an unfamiliar but very exciting feeling. The date went well, we had a lovely meal and a glass of wine or two. We have spoken every day since and are aiming for a second date next week. *fingers crossed*

And so as I enter back into the world of dating I am trying not to be too naive and to remember Rome wasn't built in a day!

Have you ever partaken in the internet dating scene? How did you find it?

Take care for now

Marie x 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

More meds!

Continuing on the positive and productive theme I have started on another new medication, found myself a new GP, am attending a college course and have finally felt ready to cut all ties with William.

So I shall start with the medication and GP. After no end of problems with my GP I decided it was time for a change after finding out he had not even sent a referral to a specialist that was requested over 2 months ago! I had my first appointment with the new Doctor yesterday, it went really well. She was very understanding and very proactive. Upon her request I shall see her regularly until I am more settled as well as being referred back to the mental health team. Onto the meds...I have now been told to take my Duloxetine in the mornings instead of at night and have been prescribed Pregabalin (Lyrica) to take before I go to bed. Having read the information leaflet, as I always do before taking any medication, I must say there were some strange side effects listed as well as the usual headaches, weight gain etc. I shall give you just a few so you know what I mean: abnormal style of walking, swelling of the body including extremities, change in perception of self and abnormal breast growth! Sound fun don't they?! ;-) All jokes aside for a moment, I was rather nervous taking my first one last night although touch wood, I have been very lucky in the past and have never suffered too badly with side effects. I had the best nights sleep I have had for months. I slept straight through until my alarm went off this morning, I was amazed. I did feel a bit groggy and my eyesight did take a good fifteen minutes to return to normal; everything was spinning a little and was slightly fuzzy! I'm sure this will go in time. The first night was a success as far as I'm concerned and I hope to have another sound nights sleep tonight. *fingers crossed*



I started a college course on Tuesday at a local college called the BEST course which is Basic Employment Skills Training. This is a compulsory course which I must complete before I can move on to a relevant training course under the Jobcentre rules. We have been looking at various aspects of looking for work and the best ways to do so. We also had to complete two assessments, one English and one maths, it was like being back at school! It's surprising how much you forget. My adviser at the Jobcentre told me the course was just half a day when in fact it is three days this week and another three next week. Not only this but it is 9:30am to 4:30pm each day, needless to say my body wasn't quite prepared for this! Early mornings are something I particularly struggle with as I'm sure many other fibro suffers find too, but I have pushed myself to go in each day on time. Allowing myself plenty of time is really important to me not only physically but mentally. I hate being late for anything and always leave the house far earlier than necessary but if I don't do this I get very stressed and as we all know stress can bring on killer fibro pain. Anyway, back to the course, I am finding it really useful, the tutor is fantastic and I am looking forward to whatever course I decide to take next!

Finally just a short bit about William. It's been almost two months since we split and I have been finding it very difficult to cope at times which he is fully aware of. I have tried to keep contact to a minimum due to this but unfortunately he sent me a message this week, early morning, asking if I wanted to go away for the weekend with him. I then spent the whole day remembering all the little adventures we had been on and the wonderful times we've had. By bed time this had inevitably made me very upset and tearful. This was the moment I decided that any contact was too much, I needed time and space to grieve and get over the loss of our relationship and I couldn't do that whilst he was sending me messages like that. I dropped his final few belongings at his parents house, removed him from my Facebook friends and deleted his number. It feels as though a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have ended that chapter of my life and am now ready to start the next one.

Have you any advice or experience of taking meds for Fibromyalgia?

Take care for now,

Marie x

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Onwards and upwards

My two key words since recovering (see last post) have been positive and productive. I have eliminated what I considered to be problems in my life and have strove to be more pro active. I have done this in just three easy steps, as the advert would say ;-)


My first step was to get my medication back on track, I am not always the best at remembering to take them. Having done this, I have for the first time in years woke up naturally at an early-ish hour feeling alive and happy to be so. I have found that along with eating three proper meals a day and resisting napping as much as possible this has enabled me to live a more normal life. I still struggle slightly in the evenings as for many fibro suffers this is the time when we need someone there just to help a little bit. This could be practical help such as making dinner or it could simply be that we just need a cuddle and a blanket.

My second step was to stop burying my head in the sand when it comes to my finances. Now anyone on benefits knows how much of a struggle it can be just to pay the basic household bills and to budget successfully. It can be a common misconception that we simply don't know how to budget when in actual fact the problem is that there is not enough funds to do this. Since not working I have been unable to manage on the benefits that in total are less than half of my previous working wage. Having paid off two of my major credit cards and making cut backs where possible it seems I will now scrape through each month. This is a big weight off my shoulders.

My third step was to get my flat back to feeling like my home. I started by having a really thorough tidy up of everything from Cd's to beauty products, some of which had gathered an amazing amount of dust! I then tackled what was commonly known as my Narnia cupboard, if opened you were at severe risk of something landing on your head! It is now a fully functioning accessible storage cupboard, oh how proud I am of my beautifully organised cupboard! After a couple of bags taken down to the household waste site, a trip to a few local charity shops and just a small box of items to be put on e-bay my home is clutter free. With a lovely new air freshener and a no smoking policy implemented my home now smells lovely too :-)

Part of my plan to be more pro active sees me going to meet with some of the tutors at a local college to discuss courses. This idea was introduced to me by my wonderfully helpful personal adviser at the Jobcentre. The courses are funded by the colleges and are therefore free as I am claiming ESA. I understand there are some eligibility guidelines but if you're interested then talk to your local Jobcentre. I feel this will be a really positive experience as it will allow me to meet new people with similar interests, get me out of the house and allow me to use my brain again. Fibromyalgia can cause isolation from the outside world especially if you're unable to work and spend most of your time at home. My friends, family and of course lovely Twitter family keep me going day to day but I can't help but feel there should be more to my life. I miss working terribly and hope that one day in the not too distant future I will be back in the world of work.

I plan to take each day as it comes with a positive mental attitude!




What do you find helps you stay positive?

Take care for now

Marie x

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Suicide

The action of killing oneself intentionally.

Now as many of you know I have been finding life rather difficult, especially over the last month or so. I have disappeared off the radar somewhat these last few days. What with money worries mounting up, fibro flaring up and my two closest relationships busting up, life simply became unbearable. As I sat and calmly popped the amitriptyline tablets out of their foil packets I longed to fall asleep, fall away from all my troubles. 

I called William to tell him I loved him and that I was going to sleep now. I felt I had to say goodbye to him. 
After swallowing the pills down with a glass of water I had a very strange content feeling wash over me. I thought I done it, this was it now, I wouldn't have to suffer another day.

Reading this back it all seems so selfish. Suicide is often described as a selfish act due to the pain it causes loved ones. However those of you who have suffered suicidal thoughts will know it is far from it. I can only speak of my own experiences and say that at the time of taking the overdoses I truly believed it was the best course of action for not only myself but for those around me. I would no longer cause any stress and worry to my family and friends. I would no longer be a financial burden upon them. I would no longer cause trouble amongst them.

I awoke some 26 hours later to missed calls, voicemails, texts, emails, tweets... I was somewhat baffled. It would appear that I had put myself into a coma during this time. I had altogether no recollection of anything, I even tried to argue with William that I had spoke to him only 2 hours ago! As I slowly pieced together what had happened I couldn't decide if I was disappointed or relieved to be awake.

I am still in a dark place and unsure of my purpose in life. Having suffered for depression for many years this feeling is far from alien to me. To those who have never felt so desperately unhappy I guess it is all very difficult to comprehend. Some people struggle to empathise with my actions and are angry with me, say I'm stupid or just try to carry on as normal pretending nothing has happened. Everyone deals with the aftermath of attempted suicide differently. Personally I have spent lots of time away from my flat, escaping my troubles until I feel strong enough to face them again.

Mental health is far more common than most people realise... 


  • A colossal 450 million people worldwide are estimated to have a mental health problem.
  • It is estimated than 1 million people worldwide will die each year from suicide. 
  • In 2010 more than 5,700 of those deaths took place in the UK. 
  • Suicide remains the most common cause of death in men under the age of 35. 



With these statistics in mind why is mental health still such a taboo subject? 






Take care for now

Marie x

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A change in medication!

As any sufferer of chronic pain will know having the right medication can make a world of difference. At times we can feel like guinea pigs being told to try one pill after another. Each time we are hoping that this one will work and improve our standard of living.

Following my appointment at Guys I have stopped taking both Fluoxetine and Amitriptyline in preparation to start taking Duloxetine and possibly Pregabalin. Now I have been taking the first two for some time and in my opinion should have been weaned off. However my GP had different ideas... "It will be a much quicker process if you just stop taking them". And so this is now day 11 of not having taken anything other than Codeine throughout the day.

There was a slight problem with the letter from Guys to myself and the GP detailing the change in meds in the sense that it was not clear with the dosage of Pregabalin. Now instead of my GP calling, emailing or writing to the hospital in time for my appointment with him, he requests that I should call Guys and find out the information! What a waste of an appointment as when I called you just get a pre-recorded message and they endeavour to call you back within three working days. Now to my mind this is also very unprofessional, how can the GP prescribe me a drug with no written confirmation of dose? 



Week one was definitely harder, I was extremely irritable, emotional and not to mention exhausted. I could not get to sleep at night which in turn meant I was not getting enough sleep. This made me a very difficult person to be around. Although I am still very tired and somewhat tearful the other side affects seem to have died down. On Monday I shall start the Duloxetine and begin the cycle of a whole new set of side affects, oh joy!

Have you tried and tested lots of different medication? Have you found something that really works for you?

Take care for now

Marie x

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

William

I do not know where to start in writing this post...

It has been such an emotional rollercoaster these last few weeks. I have spent the most part in bed, wishing the days away. My life has been turned upside down. 

I really believed William and I had got it right this time, that we were going to live happy-ever-after. I had never been so happy, so in love, so determined to work through whatever was thrown our way. Then a secret was discovered and it changed everything. I had gone from looking at this man and seeing someone I adored to seeing someone who I felt I no longer knew. I made the decision to leave. This was far from easy. He was meant to be my husband. He was my best friend, my soul mate. We had planned our childrens names, what kind of house we wanted to buy... Three and a half years of love, laughter and adventures all ended. All my dreams and hopes for the future gone.

Knowing that I have made the right decision in the long run is all that is keeping me going. There hasn't been a day that has passed when I haven't thought of William and felt sad. I miss him terribly and I don't expect that feeling to go away any time soon. I can't even begin to imagine what my future now holds, its too scary without him. My whole world has collapsed around me.

I am truly devastated, I feel lost, empty and hopeless.

As the tears roll down my cheeks I can no longer even muster up a single thought...

Take care for now

Marie x