Post Christmas Fibro Flare

I really don’t feel as bad as I expected to feel.  Obviously I’m not feeling like I could cope with a full day of ‘doing stuff’ either!!

Yes I am chronically exhausted and need to rest, my sleep is not great and my head doesn’t feel like it belongs to me.  I can’t control my body temperature and my IBS is terrible.  But I still don’t feel as ill as I thought I would.

I mean let’s be honest Christmas can be a nightmare for those of us with a chronic condition.  Overeating ‘bad’ food, drinking alcohol, having to go out and travel and spend days at a time at social events which all impact negatively on our nervous systems.  I mean the worse people get over Christmas is a hangover and maybe a couple of pounds of extra weight whereas someone with fibromyalgia we can end up with the mother of all flare ups, not being able to get dressed, go out or even cook for ourselves.  The intense nerve pain, digestive issues, depression, skin itching, insomnia, stiffness, headaches etc etc, the list goes on and can be so debilitating it can ensure we housebound for days, sometimes weeks.

It’s important to reflect on this; there is a reason why we feel like this:-

  • We have no paced our activities and just dived in head first, not wanting to let people down.
  • We have drank alcohol which is a very bad idea with this condition
  • We have not ate healthily (a Christmas dinner or 3 is not all healthy!)
  • We stayed up later and get up later which ruins our sleep routine
  • We have watched much more tv and used our phones more which has disrupted our production of the sleep chemical melatonin
  • We have travelled much more than normal which exhausts our bodies
  • Social occasions tire us out too!

It’s important to acknowledge why we are having a flare and then get back on our plan.  By now you should have worked out what that is right?

Ditch the non healthy food and treats, stop drinking booze, rest, go to bed and get up at your planned times, pop on those uv glasses once it gets dark and don’t forget your vitamins, 2-3 litres of water a day, meditate and exercise daily, you will soon recover and feel more like you.

I think the reason I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would and the flare is not as bad as I’ve had in the past is that my head is in a good place and I know this won’t last .  I’m enjoying the opportunity to rest, watch some films and eat healthy nutritious food whilst smiling about the best Christmas I’ve had since getting seriously ill 4 years ago.

Happy new year everyone 

The silly season and Fibromyalgia 

I wanted to share some of my tips for surviving Christmas with this condition.  In the sat I’ll be honest I’ve been a right miserable sod as I focused on what I couldn’t do not on what I could do or asked for help!!

If you choose to drink alcohol then don’t expect to have a healthy Christmas, I am going to be brutally honest, alcohol and fibro go together like chalk and cheese.  It’s seriously bad for you, your mind and your body, your already oversensitive nervous  system will make you pay, here’s what happens to me:-

  • Palpitations
  • Overheat or am freezing
  • Numbness in parts of my body
  • Pins and needles
  • Panic attacks
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Indigestion
  • Pain under arms and on my upper stomach when touched 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

I am sure they are more!!  I used to be able to drink shandy but in the past month I cannot.  It’s your choice but ask yourself why you do it if it makes you feel ill?  Peer pressure, don’t want to look a party pooper?  Personally I’d rather feel healthy.  Do your research on google 

Okay let’s go onto the second thing that affects fibromyalgia; food.  Many of you might not have made that connection but I have my keeping detailed food diarys, food affects our nervous systems in more extreme ways than a person without this condition as we have sensitive nervous systems.  Not only does it affect my nervous system but I now have an inflamed bowel that I am having an exploratory operation for next week, it really is not worth eating shit food or drinks!  Okay here’s some of the food that affects me in a negative way and I’ll give you a few symptoms of what it does to me:-

  • Red meat
  • Cows milk
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Anything containing sugar; cereals, dessert, chocolate etc
  • Cheap takeaways, fast food such as McDonalds, KFC and Chinese takeaways
  • Too much chilli 🌶 
  • Fizzy drinks
  • White rice 
  • Pasta
  • White processed bread
  • Processed, packaged cheap food that contains chemicals
  • MSG (found in many foods; Chinese chemical that enhances the taste buds in humans)
  • Too much cheese

I am sure there is more!!

I am not a saint, I’ve slipped up this Christmas, wanting to join in with my colleagues and friends at work, who have been absolute stars ⭐️ I’ve eaten canteen Xmas dinner, been out for s meal and ate red meat and had 2 shandys on two occasions and boy have I been ill, not just with fibromyalgia but also my inflamed bowel has not reacted well to the ‘crap’ food.

I’ve had to take 2 tramadol each morning and I have gone hit more than 3 days and I’m afraid that my body is now needing it to feel normal.  It just goes to show how dependant our bodies get with these pills, the pain from fibromyalgia is extreme, I know that.  But I need to get my nutrition back on track and wean back off these stupid tablets.  One thing I won’t do no matter how ill I feel I will not take more than 2 a day!!

Do not let your condition get you down, it can be controlled, you have to stick with the plan!

Chemicals and stimulus in Fibromyalgia

I am an avid researcher, when I suffered with spinal deformities I researched it to death knowing I needed a fusion even before it was proven with an X Ray/MRI as I bent in unusual positions and images were took of my lower spine.

I guess if I’m being honest I knew I had Fibromyalgia before I was diagnosed and I knew it was my twisted spine/operation that brought it into my life.

Since researching this and keeping diaries of physical and psychological changes I have absolutely no doubt they we are super sensitive to chemicals and stimulus:-

Heat, cold, weather changes, stressful situations, noise, medicines and drugs like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and all the other crisp our doctors tell us to take ‘it will help you’ paaaah no thanks!!  Exhaust fumes and deodorants!  I hate them, any chemical we put near us or in our bodies!!

But what about food, drinks, products we use every day?  Have you ever ate ‘crap processed food’ for a few days and noticed how it makes you feel?  I have.  It disturbs my sleep, my concentration, my digestive system and my moods 100%.

I don’t drink alcohol, I have 1 coffee before 8am and I try to eat as natural as I can, check out some of the contents of something you put in the oven or worse the microwave, I’ve never heard of these things and would certainly not add them to home cooked food.  I’m not scare mongering but when our grandparents were little food was healthy, natural and home cooked and didn’t contain chemicals or additives read more here.  Is there any wonder more and more people are getting obese or ill and with Fibromyalgia I beg you to check out what you put into your body.  Would put crap into your car?  So why our bodies?

I have followed an 80% 20% rule for about the last 5 years of eating Paleo.  As near to natural as possible, in other words we use fresh veg, meat and fish as often as possible with a few wholewheat additions.  We batch cook and store in the fridge/freezer for when my husband is away and make our own TV dinners but it all goes in the oven.  The microwave has gone in the bin.  I lost a stone in weight from my Underactive thyroid by learning how to cook, not use ‘stuff’ ladened with chemicals.

Here’s another example, I just took a bath and checked out my body scrub and shampoo and conditioners 

What is that all about? Time for some changes I think.  You may think I am being over the top but ask yourself one question would you buy these chemicals off the Internet and eat or rub them on your skin? Of course not.

It’s no secret Fibromyalgia is affected in a negative way by chemicals and stimulus so if we cut them down or ideally eliminate them would we not feel much healthier and well normal?

Quite frankly I would try anything and I am it’s all going in the bin and I’ll see what else I can use.

Read here for scientific studies of chemicals/stimulus affecting Fibro