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 

What a year!!

I was just thinking to myself whilst sat on the train to London (only the second time I’ve made this trip in the last year) how far I’ve come.

It’s easy to sit here concentrating on the pain in my spine, my upset (not very sociable) sensitive digestive system or the fatigue but where is that going to get me?  I’d rather sit here looking out the window admiring the beauty of the world, the fact I’ve managed to keep hold of my employment and how I planned a year ago to move out of my very highly demanding role of spending 4 days a week in London (6 hours round trip).  To now successfully obtaining a local job at the same grade leading a team less than 2 miles from home.  I’ve weaned of all regular meds, found 2 fantastic super fibromyalgia supplements that work.  Altered my diet.  Found mindfulness meditation and yoga (I love these).

It’s easy to focus on what we can’t do but that just makes us more sad, the mind does not understand these are only passing thoughts, if we continue to focus on them we get sad, even depressed and guess what our physical symptoms get worse!!

If we focus on positivity, our brain, our mind soaks this up and everything becomes much better.  We feel happier, our pain reduces, some of even all of our symptoms improve.  I could barely work a year ago and this week I am back in work full time.  
I am by no means cured as there is no cure for Fibromyalgia but YOU CAN learn to live a happy healthy life!  It took me a good 6 months to figure out what I needed to do and another 6 months to change ALL aspects of my life, things that you may not be willing to change and I may first I found it hard but whenever temptation sets in I remember how these things make me feel and I say no and if people don’t like it then screw them.

Put yourself first always, you are no good to anyone, partner, kids, work colleagues if you’re ill, but get yourself well and everyone benefits.

I’ll share in more detail how I got myself well in coming weeks…………

I have found my spirit

Something happened to me 2 weeks ago, I was travelling home on my motorbike and I’d been having a hard time with withdrawing off all my fibromyalgia medications, crying every day and generally feeling very disturbed, lonely and depressed. But one day whilst riding home, I felt free, different, like I’d dropped something off on the way home. I got home and after locking up my bike I just sat in the house smiling, knowing I felt different but not really understanding what had happened.


I thought about this most of the night and I thought maybe this was due to the transition of coming off a number of regular medications, which quite frankly didn’t work or did for a short period of time and transitioning to natural supplementation.  I mean what else could it be?  Acceptance, maybe my mind had shifted by undertaking mindfulness practises every day with yoga and meditation?  Maybe it was a combination of everything?

Well whatever it is it’s like it all clicked into place.  I’ll be honest since that day the fibromyalgia really hasn’t bothered me too much as long as I stick to the plan.  What plan is this you might ask?  It’s my plan.  Something I’m working on for me, something I will share with the world once I prove it works and something I dream about doing as a profession.  This is why I’ve been given the gift of fibromyalgia after my spinal fusion. It’s to learn optimum health, the meaning of my life and to help others, thats what I feel happened to me 2 weeks ago.


So what are my tips for starting your plan?  Tackle the number one problem; stress. Work on your diet, you must find the right exercise for you and do it every day and find the right supplementation. Retrain your brain using mindfulness meditation, self hypnosis and other techniques. It takes blood, sweat and tears but one day the weight will come off your shoulders too.

You’ll never cure fibromyalgia but you’ll learn to live with it like I have, even maybe learn to love it ❤️. Sound crazy?  Not at all, do you love yourself?  Learn to love the condition and help your body cope using the power of your mind.  Your body deserves that. 

Tips for managing stress:-

  • Don’t worry about the things that are out of your control (for example developing this condition, just accept it)
  • Take things one step it day at a time (don’t worry about tomorrow or next week, use mindfulness to bring you back to the present time)
  • Prepare for stressful events by taking 5-10 minutes to focus and calm your mind. (Close your eyes and visualise your favourite place, taking in all the sights, sounds, smells and turn up everything including the colours and noises)
  • Try and look as change as positive or as a challenge, instead of assuming it is an hindrance.  (List down the positives of what the change could bring)
  • Ask yourself what you can learn from things, and how you can inspire or motivate people from your experience. (Is there a friend or someone in a focus group who is having a hard time that can benefit from what you have learnt?)
  • Share your worries or concerns with like-minded people.  You are not looking for sympathy, but empathy. (Sharing with a focus group or friends can be empowering)
  • Take a 5 minute walk if you can.  Walking and stretching can renew your energy.  (I walk every day for at least 5 minutes and do mindfulness yoga daily.  It’s relaxing and clears your mind).
  • Remember to eat (fibromyalgia makes your nervous system over sensitive so how often you eat and what you eat makes a massive difference to how you feel both mentally and physically, make it natural, organic and small meals every 3 hours).
  • Try and set realistic goals – but don’t push yourself, you have been through enough already (your goals can be simple enough to be achievable and you need to have them pinned up somewhere where you see them).
  • Journal your thoughts or begin a simple blog.  Reaching out to others who have been through similar experiences can be life changing (I do this both on WordPress and on Facebook, my sites are not to share negativity but to share my experiences with others but also to allow me and others to laugh at the ups and downs on finding my path, you need to write down the purpose of your blogging, this will keep you focused). 

Camping and fibromyalgia 

I have a campervan, it’s a T5 ex courier van my husband and I converted into a camper, a 4 birth complete with pop top, lower double bed, full kitchen, fridge freezer and cupboard space.  Leisure battery and blackout windows and blinds.

I love my van


I did not fancy doing much fancy this weekend so we decided to go camping to Buxton (half hour drive away).  It is tiring with this condition but we cope well.

I still undertake my daily meditation but no mindfulness yoga as I tend to do lots of walking which makes me tired.  It’s important to keep warm so I layer up especially at night and I do try to eat healthy.

I may treat myself to an extra coffee ☕️ in the morning and I found somewhere that made homemade gluten free carrot cake 🎂yummy!  

I did over 12000 steps which did tire me out and I treat myself to a steak meal but it was locally sourced from a farm and not some prewarmed crap.

The only mistake I made was having 2 shandys which I felt the sugar kept me awake a little and I didn’t eat my breakfast within 2 hours of waking, it was close to 4.  By the time I got to eat I was freezing cold, felt like I had flu, could barely talk and had awful lower back pain (I always feel it in my fusion).  Within 15 minutes of eating I was warm, the aching had gone and my mood lifted.  I was actually crying eating my food I felt so ill.

You can go out and have fun with fibromyalgia but you have to learn your boundaries and stick well within them.

I must eat within 2 hours of waking and every 3 hours when awake, even if it’s just a healthy snack. If not I get extremely cold, feel like I’m getting the flu, cannot concentrate, communicate or even think straight.  My lower back, hip and right leg hurt real bad (all my weak pre and post operative areas).  My skin hurts to touch and clothes or wind blowing the hair on my body actually hurt me!

Overactivity brings on exhaustion but by me not giving my body the food and drink it needs for energy makes me very very ill.  This may not be the same for you but once you find out what that golden ticket is it’s like a revelation and for me its natural healthy food and plenty of water, minimum of 3 litres a day.

I have posted this site before but this list works for me here

Core strength and fibromyalgia 

I used to undertake core strength and body weighted interval training 5/6 times a week, I loved it!  I was so strong both mentally and physically.  It is still my goal to get to my core strength back to a level where I feel strong.

Working your core strength is essential, I spoke at length about this with my physio and she said she was shocked at how many body builders couldn’t even hold a 30 second plank!  If we all had core strength we wouldn’t have so many back issues!


I used to be able to hold about 6-7 30 second planks in one session. Core strength is essential in keeping a strong back and a healthy back is essential in keeping your whole body strong and injury free.

In order to embark on this kind of training with fibromyalgia you have to do this slowly as the lactic acid will build up and hurt like hell.  This is why I’ve switched to mindfulness yoga for the next year.  Believe me my lower back feels like I’ve been kicked in the back at the minute, but it will ease once I get used to twisting again. 😂

We cannot afford not to exercise, immobility is not an option for me and I feel like I am becoming something I always hated.  Whenever I do a chore now I’m sore and with this condition the soreness is extreme.  Our bodies were not created to just sit down all day and I damn well am not going to grow old hiding my body under baggy clothes.  I want to grow old feeling as strong as an ox, able to take care of myself.  Not sat down pointing at stuff as I cannot even get up to fetch it.  (My poor husband),  I want to be able to ride my bike, enjoy gigs and festivals without having to take a week of work to recover.  

Read the article here.  My #fibrogoals are to slowly build up to a minimum of 30 minutes of mindfulness yoga every day, then I shall move into body weight exercising then back into weights.

What are your goals?  And if you haven’t got any then why not? 

Fibromyalgia and women

I read a great fact based article today about this condition and why it’s predominantly women who get diagnosed.  I absolutely do agree with the hormone link and why it’s again predominantly around middle age, but there are a few exceptions as there is with most conditions, ones that fall outside the ‘norm’.  Read more here

I know why I developed it, I have spinal disabilities and had major surgery on my spine to correct the twisting and collapsing of my spine.  My dad also has ankylosing spondylitis, another link to why I developed this, it’s in my genes.  I am certain if we all reflect on our family history and health we can work out why us?

This condition does not have a cure, it’s a chronic condition.  It will not kill us but it DOES have a serious detrimental effect on our quality of life.  We CAN however takes steps to improve our quality of life; keep diaries of our condition, what we eat and drink, sleep journals, activities we do, how we feel mentally and physically.  From this we can work out what is toxic and needs to be removed or reduced in our lives in order to improve our symptoms.  This IS going to be a challenge, if it was easy none of us would be suffering!

I will not give up this challenge, why? Because this is my life and I will live a good quality of life.  The best that I can.

Are you with me? Or are you prepared to give up?  Trust me I have been to hell, I’ve suffered so much pain, given up so much of my old life, landed in the gutter so many times.  

I WILL NOT GIVE UP, NOT UNTIL I AM OLD AND DEAD.  BECAUSE IF I HIVE UP I MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD.

#fibrogoals 

Negativity hit me like a cricket bat in the face

I did not sleep well last night.  I got less than 3 hours due to having a sore throat all night.  I went to bed, got up then went back to bed late!


I stocked up on throat supplies and took them to work 😂

I went to work and it was very busy, I hardly had a minutes peace to myself, but I enjoyed it and it kept my mind off the pain.  

I completed a 30 minute mindfulness yoga meditation on Monday and my back, each side of my body were sore after this and in Wednesday my daughter rubbed magnesium spray into these areas and they were swollen?!?  But it felt much better.
After spending 24 hours in London with my backpack my back pain has reached epic levels.  I cried on the train on the way home yesterday so had to pop sunglasses on and take 2 Tramadol, I resisted for an hour but I literally could not keep my legs still and I was sat at a table with 3 other people, I hated that I relented and had 2.  The pain relief took about 20 minutes and 3 mindfulness meditation sessions on my phone using earphones to get me to a point of delirium.  I went from crying to giggling, yes I think my new train mates thought I was mental.

The pain moved into my entire body today and as I was at work I ended up taking a Tramadol this morning and 2 cocodamol in the afternoon and grrrrrrrrrr tonight I took another 2 Tramadol.  I was laid on the sofa crying as my back pain pulsed and my skin hurt to touch, my throat feels like I have 3rd degree burns in the right hand side and hurts all the way into my ear 😓.  I was literally crying and eating food at the same time, I could not even make it to the kitchen table.   My husband came over to give me a cuddle and told me to go to bed for a while if I felt that bad.  

I will not go back on regular meds and I know I will feel rubbish tomorrow after all the pain pills today!! But shit happens and I’ll get over it.


He knows what I was thinking and yes I threw an almighty pity party.  “Why me, I hate this, I can’t stand the pain, I’ve got a busy weekend I can’t afford to have this again right now”.  He always remains positive, “Maz” he says “you’ll be fine in a day or two”and that was all it took as I answered “yeah I know”.  Normally I would be griping, no I won’t, my life is ruined and a load of other negative stuff. But he’s right, I will be okay, it’s just my body’s way of saying hey you are a little sore from travelling and yoga, let’s take it steady tonight, this will not last as pain changes by the minute, it isn’t static.

I know the retraining of my brain is helping, the mindfulness is helping me focus on the now and not the past or trying to sabotage the future with pain I may not feel.  Let’s take it one moment at a time!!

So now I’m in bed, sat upright and cross legged, having had some magnesium spray on my back from my husband, this stuff is awesome, I make it myself.  The aches subside and I’m ready to do some meditation with a smile on my face.