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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One week post op

The last 48 hours have been hell. The pain in the right hand side of my body, neck, shoulders and head have been worse than the first fusion. The reasons for this is that the lower spine I could rest by just laying on the bed. When your neck has been cut open it hurts even to hold my head up, it hurts to swallow, indigestion hurts and I feel bruised inside. This is normal and I am under no illusions that the pain is going to get worse, as I try to undertake my physio exercises.

Ha ha I must have started this post the day before yesterday and then forgot, it was hurting me to text.

I am glad to say today that I feel much better. I think the Oxy is well and truly in my system now. I’m sleeping better than I have done in a long time. I’d never take this stuff for fibro, I can see that you could get in a cycle of constantly increasing your dosage. I can imagine wearing off it is like absolute hell, much worse than tramadol or morphine.

The little dog has been cuddling nonstop, under my sofa blanket and everything lol. He’s so cute and has kept me entertained whilst I am home alone.

Anyway so far so good. The first week has been hell, resting is important, no cleaning, keeping my right arm rested but also not just sitting on my backside all day long. This weekend I want to start walking, build up my strength.

Again I forgot to post this from earlier and now it’s 12.30 at night and I cannot sleep!!

I had pushed fibro to the back of my mind since the operation and today I’ve had a big reminder that it’s still there!! I ate some chocolate cake left over from my daughter which is full of gluten and sugar, the pain in my neck, shoulder, arms and hands is unbearable and I’m struggling to get comfortable. I know it’s my fibro as my lower back is hurting and I have this flu type feeling, a mini flare up. What an absolute tit, I have to stick to my plan, stay healthy. I have a sugar and gluten free cake I’ve been eating fine all week so I should have stuck that that. I’m sure my daughter will be telling me I told you so!! 😂

I know some of you probably have not figured out just how much your diet impacts on fibro, I didn’t believe it myself until I went on the diagnostic diet. I could not believe the difference in how I felt once I’d figured out which food types made me ill🤒. Here are some good groups that CAN affect your condition and increase some symptoms here.

I know some of you will have tried ‘diets’ I fu@@ing hate that word! Diets don’t work, full-stop.

You have to change your eating and drinking habits and make it permanent. Trust me; cutting out a few foods is pointless if you are leaving several other ‘trigger’ foods in your meal planning. Also when you go onto a strict eating/drinking regime the flare ups are more severe but last hours not days/weeks; why? Because you figure out what you ate/drink to make you ill and stop, thus cutting off the intake of that trigger food/drink.

You are what you eat; eat shit and feel shit!! Eat more fresh food, cut out foods full of sugar; yes, even some fruits, mango makes me feel ill as it’s full of sugar.

I need to eat healthy even more right now, I’m trying to recover from one of the worst surgeries I’ve ever had and being silly is not going to help me. Tonight I will hardly sleep which means more pain tomorrow, no energy, negative thinking and more pain! All this for a piece of bloody cake!!

Processed food, poor food choices and fibro

I never expected foods to affect fibro as much as it does for me. We all know that fibro is all about how our nervous systems work. I like to think of it as a very sensitive short circuiting computer system. Our nervous system has its tentacles in everything in our bodies, whether it be physically or psychologically, read here for more in-depth details.

You already know that if you go on an alcohol and takeaway binge that you will feel tired and sluggish for a few days. With fibro it’s the same, only foods and drinks you never thought would affect you, will.

Diets don’t work with fibro either you must remove all potential food groups and stick to a basic diet of certain meats, all fish, green vegetables and seeds and berries plus no caffeine for 3 weeks. This is the purest basic paleo (caveman) diet there is.

You can only eat the pink foods above but as much as you want to for 3 weeks. For the first 3 days you feel absolutely dreadful as your body craves all the other stuff you have been eating and drinking. I had a bad migraine and had to take 2 days off work!! But then I felt fantastic!!

After 3 weeks you can try adding one food in a day for 2 meals; breakfast and lunch; if you feel well continue to eat it, if you gain weight the day after (water retention) don’t eat it again. If you feel ill; increased muscles pain or fatigue don’t eat it. If you only get a mild symptom that goes quickly then it’s an occasional food!!

These foods are what I started introducing first…….

The ones I crossed out I don’t eat anyway. The above foods have a high risk of you having a reaction.

I felt absolutely amazing on the diagnostic diet and lost 29 pounds in weight. But any food that causes a flare up, the reaction is so severe now it’s puts me in bed in agony, but it’s short lived as I don’t eat it again.

Foods I cannot eat without getting ill are:-

  • Anything containing large amounts of sugar
  • White rice or white pasta
  • Alcohol
  • White bread
  • Any processed foods
  • Eggs
  • Chicken unless it’s organic
  • Anything containing ‘E’ numbers
  • Anything containing gum
  • Anything containing MSG
  • High sugar fruit such as mango
  • No processed sauces, tins or jars

Foods I can eat rarely but never more than 2 days in a row:-

  • Anything containing potatoes
  • Indian takeaway
  • Brown bread
  • Brown rice or pasta
  • Nightshade foods
  • Crisps
  • Dark chocolate (above 85%)
  • Any diary
  • Plain vanilla ice cream

I can however eat any meat but not too much red, any fish, any vegetables and fruit that is not high in sugar. I can eat organic snacks such as fruit bars etc….. organic tins, jars and sauces.

I know some of you may think that you don’t have the energy to cook fresh all the time, but you have to get creative and overcook so you can save meals to warm up other nights, use a big slow cooker and let it cook itself. Or failing that get someone else to cook, my husband does all the cooking and when he’s away he over cooks foods and saves them into containers so I can warm them up to save my energy.

Symptoms that have reduced or in some instances disappeared:-

  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Monthly pains
  • Moodiness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia

Etc

If I eat something my body does not like some of the symptoms above get so severe and come on within an hour of eating it, is very severe but lasts a shorter time.

What I did not realise is that due to me eating foods and drinking alcohol constantly this is why I always felt ill, could only sleep 0-3 hours a night and could not stop having bad flare ups, they were increasing and becoming more severe.

This is why diets or just cutting out one or two foods don’t work, you have to give yourself 3 weeks on the bland diet to clear out your system and remove all toxins. Then take another month to add one food in a day, not several at once. It’s not easy but I have had a better result from changing my diet than any pill I’ve tried and believe me I have tried them all.

Why don’t you try it? What’s stopping you? If you don’t do something different you’ll never change your symptoms or the severity of your fibro. You need to find what works for you and stick with it.

Am I a saint? No bloody way I drank gin this weekend, first time in 4 months and ate 2 takeaways but food I know I can eat such as lamb and fish. Yes I feel fatigued and have muscle pain but it will go……..

Why does this work? Because we absorb food into our immune system, glands and nervous system through our intestinal wall it’s that simple. Bad food makes you feel shit! Good food reduces symptoms.. …. read here for more info and try it out.

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!