Post holiday pain

It’s very easy to blame everything on fibro, but it’s important to remember that when we age, we will get more aches and pains, we will feel more fatigued. With fibro those aches and pains WILL feel more painful, as that is what the condition does. You can more here about his fibro impacts ageing.

My husband has a good way of keeping me in check; he explains that are we had been on a day out, he sometimes feels achy and tired, which makes me feel better as it’s natural (especially when not exercising) to feel stiff and sore a lot, your muscles aren’t getting used as they should be. He also explains that if I don’t move much I will still hurt, so I might as well go out and at least do something.

The reasons why I hurt post holiday can be attributed to the following:-

  • Poor food choices; eating sugary, rich food.
  • Overeating and gaining weight; I gained 10 pounds in 14 days; most of this will be water retention from the food.
  • Drinking alcohol including cocktails (sugary).
  • Doing more activities.
  • Sitting in uncomfortable chairs for too long a period.
  • The sun and heat.
  • The cabins were cleaned twice a day; so I suspect exposure to chemicals in an enclosed area.
  • Flying – jetlag
  • Dehydration.

I am sure there are others. It takes me about 5-7 days to recover. Plus as I’m in so much pain and my fatigue and sleep is poor, I am not moving around much; this affects my back and neck pain, increases muscle stiffness and fibro type muscle pain. You can read more about the effect on fibro with holidays here.

I will not becoming immobile it stop having holidays, I just need to be sensible.

Bear these things in mind; these are what I have found that flare up my fibro:-

  • Flying over time zones of more than 2 hours time difference.
  • Flying anywhere as cannot queue, painful to sit, food is poor in airport and on planes.
  • Too much heat and sun.
  • Poor food and drink choices
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure to chemicals (cleaning products are the worst).
  • Not pacing activities. Doing too much.
  • Not going to bed and waking up at set times, sleeping less hours.
  • Carrying luggage and bags.

I could go on………

Cruising for me is ideal, you don’t have to fly or you can just fly home. Everything you need is onboard, you don’t have to go out on the stops if you feel ill. I also shaved up for premium seats which were brilliant.

I cannot ever see me doing a package holiday again, it just makes me too ill afterwards. I also cannot stand the heat anymore, sunburn with fibro is excruciating, it’s like scolding your skin with boiling water and makes you feel like you have the flu……….

So what can you do when you return…….

  • Increase water intake
  • Eat fresh as much as possible
  • Reduce or ditch caffeine
  • No drinking alcohol.
  • Rest
  • Increase daily walks or exercise by 5 minutes each day, after 2nd day of total rest.
  • Short term use of painkillers I.e. 3 days!!
  • Re-establish set times for going to bed and waking up.
  • Slowly unpack luggage and ask for help with washing and ironing.

It’s been 5 days since I returned home; I lost a nights sleep on the flight, am in agony from sitting too long on the plane. My fibro is bad due to exhaustion from walkingtoo much, heat and sun, plus poor choices in food and drinks. I am now back on a fresh diet, no alcohol, reduced caffeine intake. Rested for 4 days, now increasing movement. I am very positive as I know this will pass and it has been worth it to get the memories I now have. Fibro will not stop me from having a life, I just have to work with it and not against it. It will always be with me, my body needs a friend right now and I am going to look after it as much as I can.

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Going on holiday with fibromyalgia and spinal challenges

I used to go away twice a year prior to developing fibro, even with my back issues I still went away. Journeys are hell with fibro as this makes my back pain and stiffness worse.

One of the worst things is flying, especially long distance. The last time I did a long haul flight in 2015 it was awful. I was actually crying by the time we landed and spent most of the next 3/4 days in bed………

You might have to change your holiday routine, destinations, activities and duration. Try to cut out driving, you will cause yourself fatigue, muscle stiffness and pain for days to follow. Flying is extremely challenging. Queuing, sitting in uncomfortable seating, waiting, over reliance on processed fast foods and alcohol intake. All this amplified your fibro symptoms, along with night time flights robbing you of much needed rest. I now burn in the sun very easily, within minutes and my skin swells up. My forehead swelled last year…….

It’s important to chose your holiday wisely, stick to fresh healthy food, lots of bottled water. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL IN THE DAY OR SUN AT ALL. In face the more you avoid it altogether the better you will feel. My skin is very very painful to touch on the torso when I’ve drank alcohol. You can read more about why our bodies hurt to touch after drinking here.

Top tips

  • Avoid long haul flights
  • Upgrade if you can afford it
  • Take extra medication
  • Stick to healthy natural foods, not processed.
  • Drink lots of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Take a heat/cold pad
  • Keep out the sun (be sensible)
  • Take a sun hat
  • Get someone else to drive if possible
  • Wear flat shoes
  • Keep walking to a minimum
  • Take time to rest
  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time
  • Use organic sun cream
  • Take anti histamines
  • Use organic beauty products
  • Ask for mobility support at airports
  • Ask for easy access rooms in hotels
  • Allow time to rest before and after the holiday
  • Arrange for help packing, housework and shopping in your return
  • Book a holiday that is suitable for your needs
  • Don’t do activities that will exhaust you or cause you to flare up

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…………

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

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.