Fatigue and muscle weakness and pain getting worse

Sometimes it takes a while to realise that things are getting worse with your health.   I’ve been attending Download Festival now for 9 years and I noticed last year I was more tired and achy but this year was dreadful.  I only managed to walk into the arena once each day and I had to spend the rest of the time sat in the van.  I missed all the headliners.  The Disability camping was moved further away to a better site but it was a 50 minute round trip to the entrance on a hill.  I could not walk that far so when I went back to the camper I was done in.  Now I’ve always been able to walk around the festival but this year it was different.  I have took the decision next year not to go and I am going to start working on my fitness levels.  

I read an article about a woman that started doing intense interval training and it was by no means easy but she managed to reduce her fibro symptoms so much that she doesn’t feel that she has it anymore. I do believe this is possible and I can only imagine how ill she felt and how much blood, sweat and tears she shed.  Now obviously this is not an easy task but if one person can do it then it is possible and not impossible.  I used to do high intensity interval training even when my back was degenerating and it was only when I stopped training that my fibromyalgia symptoms started to come out.  I even trained after my fusion and it’s only when I started to hurt I slowed down training that I started to get more ill.  The less you move the worse it gets. 

Our bodies are not made to be immobile we were naturally born hunters always moving around, but as time goes on our lifestyles make us more unhealthy.  We have tv to watch, cars to move around, processed and fast food.  Drugs we can take to mask over health problems.

I am a real believer that food and exercise being the only medicines I need.  All medications have side effects and are not good for the mind or body.  I tried to come off anti depresssnts last year and use s more natural alternative and I became so ill after 3 months I went back into them.

Painkillers are not good for the body either and you get used to them so end up either on maximum dosage or on something stronger.

I have never suffered from such debilitating fatigue or muscle aches and weakness until this year and it’s getting worse.  Some days I can barely walk at all and I’m constantly having to rest after everything I do.  I have to plan all my activities to the finest detail so not to overload my nervous system.  I cannot stand loud music or bright lights and have to wear earplugs a lot, which is fine I have no problems with that.  I get sunburnt easier and my skin swells up so I bought some natural sun cream.  My scalp started to itch and I bought some special shampoo which reduced the itching.

The fatigue and muscle weakness is extreme.  I find myself doing less and less and from what I have noticed the fatigue, weakness and pain is getting worse.  It is a battle of the mind as our mind tells us to do less as we hurt, but it is the wrong decision.

The less you do the weaker the muscles get, but it is much more painful to exercise as muscle pain can be very extreme with fibromyalgia.  When I used to regularly work out I used to hurt from the gym but I liked it as I knew I was getting stronger.  But with fibro the pain is sometimes so bad after working out that it can make me cry and my whole body throbs and every attempt to move is excruciating.  In order to get stronger I have to keep pushing so the pain from working out will last weeks or even months.  You have to start slow, I have managed to do 3 ten minute workouts on the power plate this week.  Next week I am going to build up to 4.  I am also trying to walk every day and I have stopped using the lift at work and take the stairs.
Next year I am not doing the Download festival and I am hoping to get back into interval training.  I want to test out the theory of regular exercise reducing fibromyalgia.  Exercise can help reduce anxiety, depression, increase mental alertness, reduce insomnia, reduce muscle weakness and aches and pains.  Over time it can also help with fatigue.  In the short term it will get worse but what have I got to lose, I hurt anyway whether I move or not.  I have felt a dramatic worsening of physical symptoms from doing less exercise so my moving less to ease the symptoms have made it worse.  The only way to change what we have is to do something different so that it what I am going to do.  Here is some good tips of exercising with fibro here 

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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. ­čśé

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? 

Pain pain pain 

I am not going to lie, the pain is at an all time high as it feels like I’ve got the early stages of flu.  I felt rough this morning, had 2 cocodamol felt slightly better, went to the bike shop to get our new bikes and had another coffee, one more than my usual, felt great, Christ I felt high.  Then I crashed big time, I felt dreadful, exhausted and in pain.

I decided to go for a little trundle out on my new bike to learn how to use gears, I’d passed my CBT on an automatic bike.  Now the way Fibro works is every little amount of ‘stress’ which normally I’d just deal with, my head and body go into full on ‘fight’ mode, I either hold my breath or take fast small breaths, the pain starts and I feel exhausted.  I managed to deep breathe and kept it under control.


After an hour I went home exhausted and in great pain, like having the flu, especially in my lower back around where I have had it fused.  I went to bed, listened to 2 mindfulness meditation sessions, ate a chicken snack, used a hot water bottle and after an hour of being in agony I took 2 cocodamol, begrudgingly, as I do not want to rely on pain pills.

I’m sat in bed still, hoping I feel better so I can go round the block on my new bike to get used to it.  Then I have all night and day to relax!!  Wish me luck.

Do you have tips and techniques you use to get you through the early stages of a bad Fibro attack?

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 ­čśé

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 ­čśô.  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.

Patience with our ‘wild minds’

I have been reading chapter 4 of my Mindfulness for Health book by Vidyamala Burch (read the reviews here)  about how our mind wanders whilst we try to meditate and why it does the same when we are in pain.  If we try to force the mind to be still it will kick and resist and we get exhausted by the struggle, if however we let it roam and follow it with our awareness, it will settle down of it’s own accord.  Our minds struggle as we oppose it, if we are patient and focus our awareness in the minds struggle, then it will become calm.  We can then refocus on the breath or body and the mind starts to get curious about the object of you refutation.  It will become gently calm, yet alert and vibrant.


The other reason why our minds refuse to settle, especially if our bodies are in pain or highly stressed while we meditate.  It is natural for the mind to avoid unpleasant sensations in the body.  It will want to distract especially after chronic pain sufferers are told ‘keep yourself busy, and distract yourselves’ only to stop and be in agony!!  We try to avert the pain.  Pay attention to your thoughts, see how it bounces around and drags up past troubling memories and then exploits them in the future, creating stress and anxiety.  Just notice them and give these thoughts and feelings names, but not judging them and then coax your mind back to the breath or your body and continue meditating. 


Think of your thoughts as passing clouds in a beautiful blue sky.  You notice them and let them go and the blue sky is always there. 

Travelling at work. Massive fail

Well I’m sat on the train on my way back from London.  It’s a 2 hour train ride and a 15 minute bus journey to the 2 London offices.  It’s only Tramadol that’s took the pain levels from 8/10 to a 6/10.  My whole lower spine, upper back and shoulders (where I had my rucksack) right hip, groin and leg are hurting real bad.  I also feel like I have flu as I have that achy feeling all over.  I felt my stress levels increase as I sat in the train as I was in so much pain, I also felt the stress increase the pain in my back.

Mindfulness has taught me to concentrate on the ‘now’ I mean this will pass, just let the negative thoughts come and go and scan my body and surroundings and enjoy the moment.

I undertook 2 mindfulness sessions on my headspace app as it doesn’t need Internet access so dodgy train signals won’t disturb me and my stress levels have reduced.  The Tramadol has took the edge off the pain and I’m enjoying writing this blog, looking at the sunshine and the fact my dad is collecting me in an hour with my daughter and hopefully my mum.

Tonight will consist of rest, heat and my daughter will warm up my food my husband has left me already cooked in the fridge as he is working away.

What this experience has taught me is that I am not yet strong enough to travel to London but 4 months ago I did not have the strength to even contemplate it.

So when you have a bad day remember how far you’ve come and let it guide you to where you’ll be in another 4 months. 

Fibromyalgia and supplements

It took a long time for me to get diagnosed with Fibro, over 2 years after my operation.  That’s pretty fast according to research as the average is usually around 5.  Not surprising really as Fibromyalgia is a nervous system disorder and reliable positive tests for this condition has literally only just been tested…….  But even though there are a set of symptoms that we all feel; tender points, more pain in weak spots, extreme insomnia, skin tingling and burning and increased sensitivity to pain and psychological stresses plus exhaustion, there are also things that some get and others don’t, I don’t get IBS, but I eat an 80% natural diet?  Does that make a difference?  I think so? I’ve had migraines so severe I’ve ended up in A&E!  Why I stupidly drank 3 cans of coke at a party (something I never drink) others don’t.  I also get either overheated when it’s warm and get raynaud’s syndrome, others don’t etc etc.

There is one thing I have read over and over, we seem to have certain vitamin deficiencies; I was diagnosed with low vitamin D and an underactive thyroid and I put on 14 pounds (I don’t use KG ­čśé) in a year.  I started using D3 with calcium at a high dosage and a thyroid supplement:-


Within 6 weeks both levels were back to normal, I also started exercising by walking more and ate a high protein diet and I lost the weight in 3 months.  I also take vitamin E, CQ10, B1 and Cumin or Turmeric.

But there are many vitamins that we would benefit from taking, don’t underestimate the power of vitamins just because they are prescribed.  Read more here.  Most vitamins are more powerful than medication and have either no or minimal side effects but you just check with your doctor if taking medication.

I took the decision to ditch all regular meds as I was sick of the side effects plus no painkiller worked and I was now on Oramorph!!  You get used to painkillers and they stop working, they did me anyway.

I signed up for these:-


For those of you that have done you own research the content of these two supplements are the best I have ever seen!  I already take 6 of these vitamins at a high expense.  You can read here for more info. Read what each supplement does.   Now I’m not stupid I don’t look at this through rose coloured spectacles and think it’s a cure, there is no cure,  but I know a damn good supplement when I see one.  I have to come off 2 anti-depressants though as the sleep aid has 5-htp in it (serotonin) but hey I’m game, sign me up.  

I’ve researched this stuff to death and no one  has reported bad side effects apart from the usual ‘it doesn’t work’ but you have to give these things time and slowly increase up to the optimum dosage, if it says 2 X twice a day take 1 a day then 1 X 2 times a day and so on. Plus you have to give it at least 6 months to notice a difference. 

I have to order it from the USA but I don’t care and it may cost me ┬ú65 a month for both supplements together but you can’t put a price on good health!

What have I got to lose?  What with mindfulness, healthy eating and drinking, supplementation, exercise and no regular medication I know deep in my heart I will do this.  Plus I’ve took a less stressful path in my career into a role I did 20 years ago, stuff it, I put my health before my career.

I have to, there are other people out there living life to the full with this condition that lost everything including careers, husbands and homes and after years of struggle by making changes to their lifestyles they have done it.  So why can’t I?

Wish me luck and I hope you give me support through the good and the bad times.