30 Nov 2012

Day 30 – Friday, Nov. 30

Recap NHBPM - Last day , We did it 30 day's and 30 posts!

Doing National Health Blog Post Month has made me realise how passionate I am about becoming a health activist  and raising awareness for Fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. I have really enjoyed stretching my brain to write posts every day, thinking of different way's to show my thoughts and idea's.

I feel like I have really gained a lot from doing 30 posts in 30 day's, it has given me confidence in blogging about more personal and deeper things, but also to keep it balance with some light hearted posts too. I've loved all the comments and messages that I got for posts I had written.

As a new blogger and being new to becoming a health activist NHBPM has been a fantastic way for me to join the world of health blogging and raising awareness on-line. It has been a gateway for me to open my mind and encourage me to do something about my passion for supporting people and raising awareness.

I am really hoping that this blog along with my Tumblr blog and my facebook page that I will be able to create a community who can support each other and together we can work together to raise awareness of these conditions that alter our lives so much.

Thank you for reading
Take care

29 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 29 – Thursday, Nov. 29

“If I could accomplish one thing (anything) in 2013 it would be… to keep on fighting and get my life back. 
I am not going to give up. 2012 has been a truly awful year, it was bad news followed by stress and more bad news. I want to forget this year and take notice to how much stronger it has made me. 

In 2013 I aim to :
  • get back into volunteering 
  • start working again
  • build my confidence back  up
  • get my social life back
  • and prove to everyone that I am strong and that I will not stop fighting.
Fibromyalgia may be my life now, but now in the sense that I am going to raise awareness to others, I am going to work to be a health activist to create an on-line community to support people who are affected by chronic illness and their families.

2012 will soon be behind us and 2013 will be a better year, it will be a happy year! 

Thank you for reading
Take care

28 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 28 – Wednesday, Nov. 28

Interview a community member!

Thank you to Marshel Crittenden-Taylor for taking part in this interview/survey about her life with chronic illnesses.

Q1) What Chronic illness/health issue is it that you suffer from ? Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Uncontrol high blood pressure, IBS, Arthritis, Water on the Knees, Slip Discs (spinal and neck), Degenative Disc, Curved Spine, Spinal Fusion (that fail) host of other complication from internal complication and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Q2) How long have you been dealing with this illness? If it is, how long did it take to get diagnosed?
Since 2000. Diagnosed in 2002.

Q3) What brought on your illness if anything at all? 
I believed the trauma to my body after having a difficult pregnancy and emergency C-Section.

Q4) What are your main symptoms, how do they effect you? 
Pain and nerve damage that is wide spread through out my body!

Q5) Do you go to school or work? if so what are you able to do?
I was let go from my banking job in 2010 due to excessive absences.

Q6)What do you do to stay positive through everything?
Prayer helps me so much because I can image getting heal and not dealing with such a crippling disease.

Q7) Do your friends and family support you? if so how? 
Both support me by letting me tell them what I can and can not do. Most days I can't even enough energy to handle my business so it is done mostly by phone. They try to make sure that I watch what I eat and rest as much as I need it. Which is a lot of rest!

Q8) have you found any alternative treatments / diet changes that help you ? 
My doctor just suggested that I go gluten-free. This is so hard because my diabetes is toxin because of the Fibromyalgia and my large intake of insulin twice a day.

Q9) do you find support from places other than family and friends, for example support groups or an on-line community? 
No. Online community are mostly not updated and I try to find a support group with no success in my area.

Q10) how do you feel that your life has changed since becoming ill? 
I push myself to be a great mom and do those things to let him know that I am strong but when I am having a bad flare up day that I can only do so much. Travelling was what I loved to do and that is too much on my body. I swell up so much with my muscle that sitting for long is hard. I loved my job but do one will hire me because of my spinal fusion and unable to lift items over 5 lbs.

Q11) What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed ? 
Stay strong and rest when you need to rest because being exhausted is something that you will have to deal with until they find the right medicine or cure for us.

Q12) What is your favourite positive quote/saying that you try to live by? 
Don't judge her because you haven't walked in her shoes!

Q13) what is one thing that you are proud of yourself for regrading your illness? 
Keeping a smile on my face no matter what. Even when every trigger point is going off at one time I am a great mom to my son because he was so worth it!!!

As I had a lot of people's requests to take part in this survey/interview I have linked it on my side bar above my photo so that you can use on your blog to help spread awareness to others.
                                                     Chronic illness awareness survey

Thank you for reading
Take care

27 Nov 2012

Day 27 – Tuesday, Nov. 27 -

Today is a 'Get out of post free' Day, But I am going to use this post to link you all to my social network sites and other means of spreading awareness.

Please check them out as I am working hard to get these sites up and running and need some support from people so if you can follow/like my pages please help me out :-) thank you.

My Facebook page :
I only set this up yesterday and I will be updating it daily with any useful articles/links and also inspirational posts to help  raise awareness and support people with chronic illness and health issues.

Tumblr :
I have had this blog going for a while and am close to 100 people, it is a lovely way to share information and fun pictures and inspirational quotes to support people with chronic illnesses.

Thank you for checking out my sites and a bigger thank you if you support them by following and liking them.

Thank you for reading
Take care

26 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 26 – Monday, Nov. 26 - Part 2

 - Bonus Prompt: Raise awareness for another condition!

I will be posting two of these today to Raise awareness for two different conditions that people I talk to suffer from.

Hello, my name is Josephine, I am 15 years old and I have Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is a disorder that affects both children and adults and causes recurring attacks of nausea/extreme vomiting that lasts hours to days and sometimes weeks. CVS episodes can occur several months, or weeks apart. Attacks can be caused by stress, intense excitement from events such as birthdays or holidays certain food triggers, menstruation and infections. The symptoms of a Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome attack are light sensitivity, abdominal pain, severe nausea and retching. The person will be pale and unresponsive, sometimes refusing to talk or swallow in fear of it precipitating vomiting. The sufferer may also have migraines, or headaches during an attack. The cause of CVS is unknown but there seems to be a connection between Mitochondrial DNA and a history of migraines in the family. CVS is difficult to diagnose because there is no test for it and the symptoms are similar to the flu and many other gastrointestinal disorders. It is diagnosed by ruling out other reasons for the severe nausea and vomiting typical to CVS episodes. CVS sometimes disappears during adolescence but is replaced by migraines. During a CVS attack the person might need to be hospitalized with intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Many find relief with resting in a dark quiet room. Medication trials sometimes succeed in finding something to prevent, shorten or abort episodes. It is important to work with a physician who does his/her best to understand CVS and is supportive. For more information on Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome you can visit the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Assosciation at cvsaonline.org

I was diagnosed only 2 years ago but I have had CVS for my whole life. Many people with CVS are discriminated against because of lack of knowledge of medical professionals. They are seen as drug seekers or attention seekers. I have experienced this firsthand. I missed many days of school because of this. I had to quit sports because I was sick all the time. I lost some of my friends too because I never saw them at school and our relationships fell apart. My CVS has not transitioned into migraines but I have attacks less frequently and only require hospitalization at least once a year. If anything having this condition has made me appreciate every day I have that I am not sick. It also made me learn that in life when you have obstacles there is nothing you cannot overcome. I hope this post was informative.

You can Check out Josephine's awareness blog here

Thank you for reading
And Thank you Josephine for sharing your story
Take Care 

NHBPM - Day 26 – Monday, Nov. 26 - Part 1

 - Bonus Prompt: Raise awareness for another condition!

I will be posting two of these today to Raise awareness for two different conditions that people I talk to suffer from.

 Here is Zoe's Story.

"I'm Zoe and when I was 20 years old I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This isn't like the 'arthritis' elderly people get, this is a disease where your body's immune system can no longer recognise what is part of the body and begins attacking itself. It mainly affects joints and their linings, as well as other tissues like the heart, lungs and eyes.

The symptoms I first began getting were painful ankles, wrists and elbows with swelling and overwhelming fatigue. I was sent from doctor to doctor who had no idea why this 20 year old girl was suddenly getting these symptoms and in so much pain she could barely walk! It was terrifying. When I finally reached a rheumatologist, he explained these are the most common symptoms of RA. I began treatment which included many different medications to help control symptoms and slow down the disease process. If the disease process isn't slowed down, potentially disabling joint deformities can form.

The main medication I'm on at the moment is prednisolone (a steroid), naproxen (an anti-inflammatory) and methotrexate (a DMARD), as well as strong painkillers. Steroids are usually great at controlling symptoms, but you just have to google them to see the many horrible side effects. The ones I deal with most are weight gain, always being warm and my bone density is decreased. As a young person with RA, my confidence is already knocked because I can no longer act like I used to, go out and have fun with my friends or perform well at uni. This is just worsened by losing any self esteem I had with the prednisolone weight gain.

However, the medication which impacts my life the most is methotrexate. DMARD means 'disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug'- it's exactly that, it's meant to slow down the disease process because it's a low dose chemotherapy drug which suppresses your immune system. So far I have had little relief with this drug and just experienced many of the side effects- for two days after the dose (you take it once a week) I feel exhausted, nauseous, occasionally vomit and I have little brain power and get easily confused. It also makes me very susceptible to illness- in the summer, a cold I caught quickly turned into bronchitis and nearly pneumonia.

So not only is my entire life being taken over by RA, it is also taken over by the medication and their side effects. The aim is to get into 'remission', although the likelihood of this is unknown. RA will always be a part of my life, I will always be on these tough medications and I will always have the fear of what it is doing to my body.

RA is a scary disease, especially as a young person with it. I can no longer act like a normal 21 year old. If I'm actually well enough to go out for the day, I have to have a day or two afterwards to recover. Despite this, and the fear of the future, I am determined to live my life to the full- as much as my body lets me. Yes I have days where I cry from the pain, but I also have days where it's bearable enough to see family or friends, or go to the movies, or take a walk in the park. I appreciate these days so much more since my diagnosis, I would much rather not have it, but there are always positives to come from every situation."

You can check out Zoe's blog here.
Thank you for reading
And Thank you to Zoe for sharing her Story
Take care

25 Nov 2012

NHBPM : Day 25 – Sunday, Nov. 25

How have your goals as a patient / advocate / person evolved?

When I first got ill and diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I thought that was it, my life was over. I was stuck in bed everyday in agonising pain not able to stay awake long enough to even try and function.

I went through endless trial and error with lots of different medication combinations and different doctors , my goal's for myself were just to survive each day.

I'd like to think now 10 months on my Fibromyalgia diagnosis and with a steady medication routine, that my goals for the days and my life have evolved in many ways. I can now see some time in the future with a job, I have accepted that at the moment I will not be able to go back into the hands-on childcare that I was in before my illness hit, but I have discovered different ways to get into childcare and all the different job roles I could do. I can see myself having friends again and a social life and I accept that I will not be able to do everything other people do, but then I can make the things I can do extra special.

Also as I learnt more and more about my condition, I gained a passion to raise awareness and hence this blog started. I have felt so much more human writing this blog, it creates own personal goals for me every week, and seeing all your comments and messages makes me realise I am doing something good even before I've left my bed.

Don't get me wrong I still have day's where I think my life is over, the pain is going to rule me and keep me from enjoying anything, but them day's pass and I remember that it's going to take small steps to get me back into the goals I originally had for myself a year ago.

On this note I took a baby step today and sent an application to do a voluntary role in my local library, working within a children's activity/craft group. I hope something good comes of it, and it gives me the leg up I need to get back into life as I once knew it.

Thank you for reading
Take Care

NHBPM - Day 24 – Saturday, Nov. 24

Sorry Today's post got delayed to this morning due to exhaustion :-)

“If I had more than 24 hours in a day…” (Or unlimited spoons or funds)

  • go on holiday
  • go out with people I miss due to my fibromyalgia 
  • have a night out and dance and get drunk
  • eat whatever food I wanted
  • and spend the time to cook it from scratch
  • go for long walks and not have to worry about pain and exhaustion
  • do lot's of things for the people who look after me all the time
  • just show them that I am so thankful for them
  • go shopping!
  • go to unlimited number of gigs
  • basically just enjoy being alive, spend it with people I love and show them that I am 100% grateful for the things they do. 
Sorry for a short post, I'm not really one for fantasising how life could be, I  just try to appreciate and love the thing's I do actually have in life.

Thank you fro reading
Take care

23 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 23 – Friday, Nov. 23

What’s something your doctor taught you or you taught your doctor?

I am so lucky to have found my current doctor, first appointment was an emergency one with him and from then on he told me not to see any other doctor. He diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and he was the one who referred me to the hospital. I am very thankful for him. He has taught me quite a lot about life and fibromyalgia to be honest. This is really just an appreciation post for my doctor.

He makes me feel comfortable as a patient and is understanding and listens to what I have to say. He makes jokes and makes the appointment less daunting .He has long conversations with me about fibromyalgia and how it is not recognised in the UK. He's  told me about his time as a doctor in South Africa and used his medical books from South Africa to help try and diagnose me and give me the correct medication. He's told me that I need to push myself when doing things, work through the pain to get my endorphins flowing as a natural painkiller/high.

  He is the perfect example of a good doctor when dealing with fibromyalgia.
He has taught me that there is good doctors out there who are understanding and generally decent people. 

Only a short post today as I wore myself out walking around in the sun early, enjoying the weather :-)

Thank you for reading
Take care 

22 Nov 2012

NHBPM : Day 22 – Thursday, Nov. 22

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

- Thanks Post. Write about what you’re thankful for!

I am thankful for 
  • My family and all the support they have given me throughout my illness and life
  • My dog's, their loyalty towards me and how much they make me smile
  • The health that I do have, I still have all my limbs, I can walk and think for myself.
  • My Boyfriend for making me unbelievably happy and for being constantly by my side on my good and bad days.
  • The on-line community I have found and am part of that keep me going and remind me that I am not alone through all this
  • Finding a good Doctor, and medication that works to keep me functioning to the best of my body's ability 
  • The NHS service 
  • and last but not least I am thankful for the strength I manage to find that gets me through everyday.
What are you Thankful for? Leave your comments below :-) 

Thank you for reading
Take care

21 Nov 2012

NHBPM : Day 21 – Wednesday, Nov. 21

Create a new technology related to health

I love technology and the way's it makes life so much easier, even more so when you have a chronic illness or health issues, apps on iphone and smart phones are getting better by the day!

I try to use the Wii Fit on a weekly basis as it is a great easy way to exercise, it is low level exercise. I tend to do the yoga the most, stretching out my muscles seems to ease my pain a bit and makes me much more flexible.

I think a new technology product I'd like is a game similar to the Wii fit type games, but one specifically designed for people with chronic pain .

One where you could pin point parts of the body that hurt that, and then the game would pick out some light exercises for the other parts of your body. That way you could still work out and it would accommodate for you specific needs that day.

Also it would recognise that you need time to do exercises, and let you choose levels of exercise that you feel up to doing. You could record your level of fatigue and it would also take that into consideration. It would praise you for however much exercise you manage it would encourage too.

I just really wish there was a Wii fit type game for people who have health issues or chronic illnesses. The amount of times I've tried to do an exercise on the Wii and had to stop half way through due to legs giving way/ too fatigued/ or just that the exercise is too long , and then the game tells you to 'try harder' and 'do better next time'. It's those moments that I wish that it would be able to consider the fact that my body is just not capable of doing things to a certain extent because of health issues.

I hope one day that someone thinks of something similar to accommodate to people with health issues who are trying to stay fit too. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Thank you for reading
Take care

NHBPM - Day 20 – Tuesday, Nov. 20

“A health moment I regret…”

This is going to be a short post because I am not completely with it today, coming down with a cold which I know is going to knock me sideways and I am so tired from unsettled sleep.

I think the thing closest to regret is those moments when I pretend I am fine. I hide from my family and friends that I am in pain and that I am scared. When I put off going off to the doctor's for a long time because just for a moment I want to feel like I am okay and my health isn't an issue. I just cast of all new symptoms as part of my fibromyalgia and never look into dealing with them. I cast all the pain and uncomfortable symptoms to the back of my mind and pretend that just for a day or two that I am okay.

I know this is wrong and I still do it sometimes, I put off taking medication, I cancel doctors appointments and I just for a while want to pretend that I am not in pain, that I haven't got fibromyalgia because it is too stressful to have a life with this condition.

Thank you for reading
Take care

19 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 19 – Monday, Nov. 19

Write about: Life and Death

Being only 20 years old and choosing to the 'Write about life and death' prompt may seem a little morbid, but I want to try and give it a go at tackling a tough topic of conversation. This post has taken me a lot of guts to write, but I believe that it is something to share and not to be ashamed of.

I feel that in the last couple of years dealing with never ending health issues and being diagnosed with a Chronic condition, that I have learnt a lot about emotions and have thought a lot about life and also death from time to time. 

When I left college two years ago and got rejected from my chosen University, I fell into a dull year of nothing, I would get up not knowing where my life was going. I couldn't find a career path I wanted to pursue, and nothing that I had a passion about. I was low and definitely depressed, I started thinking that because my life was going nowhere, why should it continue? By this time I was a year clear of self harm and as much as I thought about doing some unthinkable things, I managed to fight the thoughts off knowing that I was doing so well, though I still continued feeling like I had no where to go in life.

Then last summer I got a job as a nursery nurse, I was unsure at first cause I had never been around younger children but I went for it thinking, what's the worse that could happen? I got stuck right into my job and adored how rewarding the work was. It was a job I believe I was made for. I was possibly the happiest I had ever been. I loved life, I felt like my life was going somewhere, I could see a future. I could notice all my bad thoughts slowly disappearing , and I passed over two years without causing myself harm. I was truly happy!

Then September last year I was hit with an extreme throat infection, and from then on I got more ill by the day. I kept having day's off work sick, uncountable number of doctors visits, and they could find nothing wrong with me. Then a week after Christmas my body gave in and I fell down the stairs one morning before work, I was then signed off work sick by a doctor and had suspected Fibromyalgia , that was later officially diagnosed in February 2012. Weeks turned into months, continuously being signed off work, and trying out so many combinations of medication.
    I felt myself slipping down again, I now couldn't do the job I loved so much, the thing I saw myself doing for the rest of my life has been taking away from me. I hit low's like never before, I hated myself and didn't want to continue on any more as I just couldn't see my life going anywhere. After 10 months off sick I had to officially leave my job role. 

Now I am still looking for work, and fighting against the benefit system. I still have my bad days, the day's where I wish I just wouldn't wake up one morning and for it all to be over, but I can have good day's still day's where I have a little bit of motivation, day's where I remind myself that even though my life has pretty much been taken from me, things will get better and I will fight through it all and see many more day's to come.

From this post I just want to say that when you are dealing with a chronic illness and health issues, you may often just wish for it all to end, for the pain to be taken from you, and even to not have to face another day. But even though I am not a religious person I believe that everyone has a reason to be on this planet , and even through those horrible, crippling bad day's, keep fighting for those good day's, remeber them day's that made you happy , the day's that make life worth living

Thank you for reading.
Take Care

18 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 18 – Sunday, Nov. 18

Write about your advice for someone caring for a patient with your condition

For this prompt and day's post I asked Ben my boyfriend to give me a few bullet points, that I am going to expand on, of advice that he would give to a carer or someone just looking after a Chronically ill person or someone with health issues.
  • Be Supportive : This one kind of goes without saying, but when you are looking after a sick person you just need to remember to be supportive, if that means being by their side when they are in pain or even just giving them a phone call every now and then and letting them rant for a bit. From a chronically ill person's view, just knowing that I have someone there for me to fall back on, takes a whole lot off my mind.
  • Listen and try to be understanding : Although you may never know how the person you care about is really going through, listening too them ramble and talk about how they are feeling/ the latest medication change or a doctors appointment will help them so much. Plus you can take that time to try to understand what it is like to be in their shoes, try to learn a little bit what their illness is doing too them, that way you will be able to care about them more effectively and know how and what to do for them to make their lives that little bit better. 
  • Don't expect too much : This point and the next one tie in together I think so sorry if I repeat myself. I think what Ben was aiming for with this point is that you should try to understand that the person you are taking care of can, not in a mean way, but can be unreliable, they don't know if they are going to wake up the next day with high or low pain levels, so plans and event's may have to be given a miss at short notice from time to time.
  • Don't get too upset if plans get cancelled at short notice / allow days in bed : This ties in with the last point. Plans will get cancelled at short notice when you are chronically ill or caring for a chronically ill person. Don't make them feel bad about the fact that the day has been cancelled or cut short because of their pain level's, cause chances are they feel absolutely awful about it being cancelled too. Just remind them and yourself that there will be plenty of other opportunities to do things and have day's out, it's not the end of the world. Allow them to spend day's in bed and recover as much as they can, maybe turn it into a duvet day and get some snacks and watch lots of films and take that cancelled plan's time as time to spend time together. 
  • Learn about the illness yourself : This I think is an important one, it meant the world to be when I found out Ben had done some research himself  With having Fibromyalgia, I didn't even know what it was, so Ben would have had no idea (like most people, unless you know someone who suffers from it). So him going out his way to read up what my body was doing and the way it affected me made life SO much better, it meant he knew what things to do for me and ways to help me out on bad days, because he knew what I was going through, to some extent.
  • Remind them to take medication : This is an ongoing thing with me and Ben, because due to my bad memory and 'Brain fog' from my Fibromyalgia, I always forget to take my medication or forgot if I've taking them. So it's just a little thing but reminding them of these little things can help them so much to do things.
  • Be willing to go to Doctor's and support groups with them : Being there for them to support them at doctors appointments, even ringing up to make appointments for them. Researching up local support groups is a wonderful thing to do, to help them get support from other people, for them moments that you can not be there for them. They will be scared and nervous about going to support groups the first few times, so going along with them to the meetings is a huge help to them, and also a lot of support groups offers support and help for friends/family and people who care for people with Chronic illnesses, so you yourself could get a lot information and support too!
I hope this has given you some help and advice for people who care for and people who have chronic illnesses and health issues. All people who care for a sick person are amazing and patient people, and I am 100% grateful for everything that Ben does for me, He is an amazing boyfriend and looks after me so well.

Thank you for reading
Take care

17 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 17 – Saturday, Nov. 17

Not sure how I am going to do on this post, but I am going to try to be positive about it! :-)

My strengths and weaknesses list post: 

  • I am caring towards anyone and everyone 
  • I try to be there for people, even when I am struggling myself 
  • I can put on a brave face in any situation 
  • I always try to keep going 
  • I'm an animal lover 
  • I like love how I look and take care of my body 
  • I am always grateful for the things I have 
  • and grateful for all the people in my life. 

  • I am very stubborn 
  • I don't follow my own advice (who does though!) 
  • I hide away my feelings and always pretend I am fine 
  • I care too much 
  • I have NO self control when it comes to shopping! :-P 

That's all I am going to list today I think, trying not to be too hard on myself! I am happy that I have more strengths than weaknesses, being positive is going to be the way forward from now on!

Love yourself and treat yourself from time to time :-)

Thank you for reading
Take care,

16 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 16 – Friday, Nov. 16

Use a picture or video to inspire a post:

This is the punk/folk rock singer and song writer Frank Turner.He is by far my favourite musician, and his lyrics and songs have got me through all my rough times (I highly recommend you check him out!!). To be honest I could have picked any video's of his songs but this is one of his new, unreleased songs called 'Recovery'. And from the moment I heard it I fell in love it and the lyrics scream out to me so much.

Although I know I will probably never truly recover from my illness and all it throws at me, this song reminds me that people are there for me to reach out too and to drag me along the road to some kind of content recovery.

It is very hard to write about how this song sticks out to me but it one of the most meaningful songs for me, including 'I am Disappeared'.

But it is just another reminder to myself and whoever reads this that music can be a huge inspiration to you, and can just remind you of all the meaningful and positive things you may have forgotten amongst all the pain and grief caused by Chronic illness and health issues.

Sorry this has been a short post, having a rough day with pain levels.

Thank you for reading

15 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 15 – Thursday, Nov. 15 : Not Prompts but PETS!!

I've decided today again to not use the prompts that were listed for today, a) because I can't really relate to them , B) because I don't have enough experience as a Health blogger to write a good enough post about them and C) because I want to talk about how my pets get me through the days!

- Warning-  exceptionally cute puppy photo's will be included in this post! 

So here are my two babies, both Jack Russell Terrier's (well mixed ha).

First we have my youngest,Shelby . She is 6 years old but acts about 2! She sleeps a lot and is very timid. You will ALWAYS find her curled up asleep somewhere.

Then we have my little Man, Billy. He is 12/13 years old and although he has his mad puppy moment's, these day's he definitely likes a good old sleep and a snuggle!


These two definitely keep me going, since I've been pretty much house bound and out of work for 11 months now, my dogs keep me sane (and drive me insane sometimes). Every morning when my mum gets up for work they both come and snuggle in bed with me, Billy sleeps right next to my pillow and Shelby usually sleeps on my legs. I don't know how, but they definitely sense that I am ill and in pain and cause of that, they are constantly by my side (Shelby is asleep next to me right now). I am so close too these two, they are my friends I don't care how stupid that sounds. If you've never had pets it is hard to understand how much of a role they play in your life (and even more so when you are sick).

He also loves to snuggle up to my hot bottle too and steal the heat!
I get scared and worried these day's because Billy is getting old and has problems with his legs and has random spasms some days, I have got so close to him since being home all the time. I  look after him and in return he looks after me he comes to me for cuddles and I go to him.  He (and Shelby) is the most loyal dog and I am going to be lost without him when he finally goes (hate to think about it).

So that's my darlings, they keep me going, they make me smile, I am cuddle them when I am sad and they show me so much affection.

He's even there when I'm drying my hair to make sure I'm okay!

And a final one of them in the Christmas spirit! 

Thank you for reading.

14 Nov 2012


30 THINGS MEME from here

1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia , vitamin D deficiency and all the symptoms that comes with it.

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: february 2012

3. But I had symptoms since: a few years, but severe symptoms since September 2011

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: leaving my job and the way I live all aspects of my life.

5. Most people assume: that because I don't look sick I am well, and that because I am having a good day, means I am better.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: waking up with migraines and my whole body being stiff and sore.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: House md, only on season 6 but I adore it.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: probably my ipod , phone and laptop to keep me sane and connected to people.

9. The hardest part about nights are: not being able to fall asleep, laying awake in pain and aching joints.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: I take 600g (4) Pregabalin, 1 vitamin D supplement, 20g (2) Amitriptyline 

11. Regarding alternative treatments : I don't know if yoga comes under alternative treatments but it does help to relax me and loosen up all my aches a little.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Visible because people can at least see the issue and pain. 

13. Regarding working and career: I had to leave the job as a nursery assistant (that I adored) as I am not fit enough , nor have the energy to do the job any more

14. People would be surprised to know: I'm not sure there is anything, apart from I am in constant pain even if I look well, I am good at putting on the brave face,.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: losing my job and seeing how much my life has changed because of my Fibro.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: yoga, go on bike rides and read lots!

17. The commercials about my illness: there are no commercials in the UK about Fibromyalgia, it is in no way well known.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: going out when I want too, not having to plan things in advanced to accommodate my broken body.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: my job , it broke my heart. 

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: yoga, and reading, also blogging!

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Just be spontaneous and do things I want too.

22. My illness has taught me: that I am strong

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: 'but you don't look ill' , 'Why don't you just get a job'

24. But I love it when people: listen too me and try to understand what I am going through,

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: strangely from a Rolling stones song: "You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you just might find, you get what you need” 

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: to learn all you can about your illness and listen to your body.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:  how passionate I am about raising awareness

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: My boyfriend took me away for my birthday weekend without telling me, and also kind messages and gifts from family and people I've met online.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I want to raise awareness as much as possible

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: happy that you have listened too me and hopefully you may have learnt a little too. 

Thank you for reading.

13 Nov 2012

NHBPM : Day 13 - Tuesday, Nov. 13

Book report. What’s your favourite book and how can you tie it to your health or life?

I was unsure which book to choose that related to my health so I have gone for the one that sticks out most to my life in some ways.

The perks of being a wallflower:

I have always seen myself to be one of those people who always sits on the edge of life and watch other people experience things and try things out, I didn't know of the term 'Wallflower' until recently reading this book.

 I felt myself relate to Charlie's character greatly in the way that he is such a shy, observant person, noticing all the small things about people and wanting to do special things for them all the while. Also the way in which he seems to look up too and idolise people close to him. The way in which he over thinks things, without acting on them to see what the result would actually be.

  Also the character of Bill, who is Charlie's English tutor sticks out to me a lot, as I had a teacher who helped me get through a lot of things in the time that I knew him and also to this day I still think how he taught me too and still try to see life through the way he taught me. My tutor acted in the way in which Bill does for Charlie guiding him and looking out for him through all the troubles he faces throughout high school.

I'm not going to give away the greatness of this book's story but I am going to include some paragraphs from 'Perks of being a Wallflower', that really stood out too me and I believe they can help me live my life and mean something too me.

"It's just that sometimes people use thought to not participate in life"
"Is that bad?"
"I think I participate, though. Don't you think I am?"
"Well are you dancing at these dances?"

"I would die for you, but I won't live for you"
"Something like that. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life, and then make the choice to share it with other people. Maybe that is what makes people 'participate'. I'm not really certain."

"So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them"

"Maybe it's good to put some things in perspective, but sometimes I think that the only perspective is to really be there"

Those quotes mean a lot to me and they help me to keep going. The book as a whole is truly amazing and I would recommend it anyone and everybody. The film that has recently been released is amazing too and captures the book perfectly but I would still recommend that people take the time to read the book.

This book will always hold a close place to my heart, it reaches out to me in many ways and most of all it reminds me to keep going with life, and try to participate as much as possible

Thank you for reading.
Feel free to leave any book recommendations of your own, I love to read new books!
Take care

12 Nov 2012

NHBPM : Day 12 – Monday, Nov. 12

Call BS on something. What’s something that is just ridiculous?

I'm going to attempt to tackle the good old sayings that anyone with a chronic illness or an invisible illness dread to hear, which I think are summed up well in the image below.

Can I just pin this to my forehead?!
(I am unsure of the original source of this image unfortunately)
Don't get me wrong I understand that it is not easy to know what to say to people who are constantly in a battle against chronic illnesses, which will not rub them up the wrong way. I think to figure out the best way to ask how people are that day, is just to literally ask:

'How are you doing/holding up today?'
'What are you able to do today / what do you feel capable of doing today?'
'Would you like some help with housework/groceries/going out/etc.'

A way of learning to understand, a day in the life of a chronically ill person is to read 'The Spoon Theory' . It is a fantastic way to get in insight into how everyday tasks can affect ill health people differently to most people. If the chronically ill person is aware of The Spoon Theory (if not show it to them!), you will learn to understand why we refer to ourselves as 'Spoonies' and you could then ask them 'how many spoons they have today?', and learn to help them out more using that way of understanding. 

I have gotten a bit off topic in this post today, But I am keen to share the Spoon theory to people who are not aware of it, and I hope that some how I have gotten some kind of message across about things chronically ill people do and don't want to hear or be asked.

Thank you for reading 
Take care

NHBPM : Day 11 – Sunday, Nov. 11

I took Day 10 - Saturday, Nov 10th as my first 'Get Out Of Post Free' Day's, as I spent the whole day Christmas shopping with my mum and due to exhaustion and lack of internet I am only just getting round to writing up yesterday's (day 11) post, But I am back!

Write about your favourite thing that is not health-related but likely improves your life:

I decided to choose one 'material' type thing and then a non-material type 'favourite thing, that is not health related.

So I'm going to start with my material favourite item and that has to me my beauty products , because on the day's that I am able too, I love to pamper myself, even if it is just being able to have a wash and put on a little bit or make up or having a long soak in the bath with all my favourite beauty products.
  I never used to be one to want to even bother looking down the beauty aisle's in shops, but now I spend hours looking at beauty products, researching and reading reviews and also my new favourite thing is to sit and watch beauty Vblogs and YouTube video's. I just feel now that even on the worst day's when I am fighting against my health putting on a bit of make-up can give you the confidence the the mood boost you need in able to function that day, it just makes me feel nice and happy, and for that reason I believe it improves my life, cause who doesn't like a little bit of a pick me up and feel good!

Then I think my less material favourite thing that improves my life on a day to day basis, is music! Music means so much to me, there is not a minute where I am not listening to music or humming a song. Music holds so much for me, it can stir so many emotions inside a person. It has the ability to give people the release and escape they need from everyday life, to express themselves through lyrics. I just feel very strongly about music and the hundreds of  memories that 3 minutes of lyrics and the music itself can bring. I listen to music to make me happy, to remind me of good times, to remind me of all the tough things in life I have been through and survived through, reminds me of all the people I have met and who have made an impact on my life in many ways. I am just very grateful for all the music I ever heard that I can listen to again to help me remember that I'm never really alone.

So they are my two favourite things that I believe improve my life by helping me feel better and happy.
Thank you for reading

9 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 9 – Friday, Nov. 9

Community Care Package. Create the perfect care package for your members or fellow patients:

I've just gone round my room and collected the things that help me get through the days.

 The First thing in the 'care package' is heat pads,hand and knee supports, bandages and ibuprofen gel . This I think are a must! I would not be able to get through the day's without having my heat packs and the gel to soothe my joints and pain. Especially now the weather is getting much colder, I will swear by all these things to help me through the days.

The next is medication, which I think goes without saying. These pills keep my pain at bay, they keep me sane and my supplements help my body get what it needs. Finding the medication combination (finally) that works for my body has been a godsend and I am dreading the day that they stop helping as much as they do and I have to go again on the hunt for another combination that works.

Having a Journal to hand is another good thing, to record any new symptoms, idea's, and any thoughts before fibro fog makes you forget! Making lists is a brilliant way to remember things and to be able to sort out the thoughts in your head on a groggy day when your brain feels like mush!

A nice warm comfortable pretty bed, cause lets be honest I spend a lot of my time sleeping, sitting in or on it during the days. being comfortable and kind to your aching body with lots of cushions. Also a warm puppy helps too :-)

Whilst it is in the photo, my laptop is my way of distracting myself from the pain and also an amazing way to communicate with people, and also meeting new people who are also going through the same things as you. Without my laptop and the internet I think I would go crazy without talking to people on-line!

Whilst I'm talking about my bed, Cuddly toys, cushions and hot water bottles are a must! I snuggle up with all these things every night, putting hot water bottles on my sore points to ease the pain helps you to get comfortable and with falling asleep too. No matter how old you are a cuddle with a teddy always makes you feel better, especially for those moments when there is no one else around to cuddle! They always bring a smile to my face on my bad days.

 Since having Fibromyalgia and having a lot of time on my hands I have started to read a lot more and have gotten through so many books. So that is why I would include Books into my care package. They let you escape the real world for a little while and help you to use your imagination. Keeping focused in a good book helps to distract you from pain and aches.

 Music is a must too, there is not a day or a moment when I am not listening to music. Music to make you happy when you feel at your worst. Music to relax you and help you fall asleep. Music to maybe have a little cry too when life's weight is on your shoulders. Music can affects your emotions and make you happy when you're sad. Music also can carry a lot of memories in the lyrics and remind you of all the good times you've had.

 Having flowers or plants in your room instantly bring colour and cheer to the room and your mood. I adore my peace lily and love having it in my room and also it helps to purify the air around my room. Receiving flowers or even going out and buying yourself some is a fantastic idea to bring colour and cheer to your days.
DVD's and TV is a good idea for those long days in bed or in the house, especially rainy days watching a good film whist snuggled on the sofa. Whether you enjoying a heart wrenching love story or a comedians stand up show, television is a fantastic way to spend your time, giving yourself a break from focusing on the pain and aches.

Last but not least, one of the most important things to keep close or in your care package is memories, and letters of kind words from people in your life. Surround yourself with all the things that make you happy, and , things that make you laugh. Remember that even if you are having a bad day, soon you will have a good one, you will do things that make you happy and you will keep making unforgettable memories to some day look back on.

Thank you for reading, and I hope I have given people some idea's on way's to keep you going through whatever health issue you are fighting against.

8 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 8 – Thursday, Nov. 8

Write a letter to your health:

Dear Fibromyalgia and the body you have consumed,

I wake up everyday to be greeted by you in one way or another, I'm not sure when you first started visiting me, but I know when you decided to use my body as your home. I know I have always been that person who is constantly ill, got a cough a cold, or an ache somewhere, was that you for all them years?
 It was just over a year ago when you decided to set up a home in this small fragile body. You took a young woman, only just turned nineteen, she had found a job she adored working with children, she had friends and life was good for her, you took that from her!
  She is now a fragile 20 year old with no job, and no friends, you have stopped her living her life. She is scared now, she doesn't know how she gets through each day, she is constantly in pain, popping all these pain pills in the hope she will be able to just feel human long enough to try and be happy. This girl is now scared to leave the house, people look at her ,staring at her walking stick and the way she slowly moves around. People don't understand her, people don't understand what you do to her, you consume her body and her mind.
   You have taken so much from this woman, and replaced it with pain, aches, depression, anxiety and now she is left to fend for her life. She has to fight you every single day just to do simple tasks and to be able to function.

I am that scared  young fragile woman, but I am angry at you, I resent having you taking over my life, taking all the happiness from me for reasons I don't understand. I am going to fight you everyday to have what I deserve. You can keep trying to ruin me but you will not win!

A determined scared woman fighting for her body and life back!

7 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 7 – Wednesday, Nov. 7

Redesign a doctor’s office or hospital room

Having spent a lot of time in a doctors surgery and waiting rooms I thought I'd share some ways in which I would improve the services. I apologise if this becomes a bit of a rant, had a few issues with my doctors surgery recently.
  • Bright colours and updated awareness posters! -  My doctors surgery is so dull, all dark mahogany wood and dull coloured walls with old faded posters that are very outdated. I think a drop of colour and a some new awareness posters and notices would help greatly as there is nothing more depressing than sitting in a dark dingy depressing waiting room. 
  • Music playing in waiting rooms - even if it is just the local radio station. Sitting in silence whist being nervous and anxious about your appointment, some music would help to relax you, therefore making you feel more grounded ready for your appointment.
  • Friendly,caring and helpful receptionists - I don't know if this is just me and my surgery or an overall thing people have found. I can not stand how I can get treated and spoken too over the phone or in person by a receptionist who makes me feel like I am wasting their time with their snotty attitude. They couldn't care less about the patients needs and finding ways to help them. A friendly receptionist should be on the end of the phone ready to help and advise. The amount of times I have found my self avoiding making appointments for symptoms because of the way I feel I am treated over the phone or at the receptionist desk.
  • Easy appointment booking service - I want to be able to make an appointment easily in advance for routine check ups, or an emergency one on the day if needed. I don't want to have to worry about speaking to a receptionist, having to tell them why I need an appointment,  who is then going to get the doctor to ring me back over 2 hours later to then decide if I am 'worthy' of an appointment or a check up. I want to be able to know I can make an appointment that is convenient to me and my schedule.
So that is some way's in which I think Doctors Surgeries could be changed to be made a bit more user friendly.
Leave comments letting me know what you would change, I'd love to know? 
Thank you for reading 

6 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 6 – Tuesday, Nov. 6

News-style post
Write about a time you had to take the high road

Today's prompts have been bugging me all day, I just have not been able to put anything into words to cover these prompts, I'm not going to use this as a 'Get out of post day' or use one of the 'bonus' prompts instead I am going to share my two newest purchases that I am finding a fantastic aid to help make lives easier for people with chronic illnesses or any health issues for that matter.

These are 'Heat Holders' Thermal Leggings, and these are a definitely must for people who suffer with fibromyalgia, chronic pain or cold sensitivity, (or anyone who just doesn't like the cold weather). These leggings, though I could only get a low Tog level, are fantastic, I came across them in my local Matalan store, I can't remember exactly how much they were but they were between £5-£10 and I am sure you could find them online. I have seen the 'Heat Holders' sock range before but these leggings are new to stores I believe. I wore them yesterday and they are very comfortable with a soft inside that is lovely against sensitive skin, they  also do not look ugly and there is no way to tell once on that they are Thermal leggings, so you can look fashionable and still be toasty warm!  

The next thing I am raving about is a 'The Tangle Teaser' hair brush. I saw a lot of people online talking about how amazing this brush is, and I just had to try it out for myself. I am finding with difficulty to spend time on brushing my hair and keeping it knot free and in good condition, this brush is a lifesaver. It's shape makes it easy to grip and hold rather than fiddling around with a tube type handle on conventional hair brushes.

Not only it is an easy to grip brush (even for my stiff painful hands!). The Tangle Teaser makes brushing knot's and tangles out your hair effortless and there is no pain or getting the brush stuck in your bed head knots! I recommend this brush a lot for long or short hair to keep it effortlessly knot free and SO smooth! 

Thank you for reading :-)

Disclaimer : I am in no way sponsored by any of the products or companies mentioned in this post. 

NHBPM - Late Addition Day 4 – Sunday, Nov. 4

I apologise that I did not do this post earlier but only gotten round to taking photo's so here is a late day 4. and hopefully I'll be able to do day 6 (today's) post later on.

Write about what’s in your bag / purse / backpack every day

So here we have the contents of my everyday handbag featuring my dogs nose in the top corner. 
This includes :
  • Umbrella and sunglasses because you never know what the weather in England is going to be like, also   I get super sensitive to light so my sun glasses get a lot of use!
  • My phone which is an essential, I only have an old Nokia (the C2-50) because I can be super clumsy and have a tendency to drop my phones and smash the screens, and we all know Nokia's never break. This is an essential as I like to know I can get in contact with people if I need them in an emergency or if I'm having a bad health day.
  • My ipod (usually with headphones of course), Music does really keep me going and helps me to feel more comfortable if I am in an uncomfortable situation, or need music to lift my mood a little  I always have my ipod on me with my selection of over 3000 songs. 
  • I tend to carry a book around with me a lot, useful for all the waiting around in doctor's surgeries and hospital appointments, plus I have the reading bug recently.
  • Lip balm is a gods send these day's,with the season changing into Autumn/winter now, the air dries out my lips a lot and makes them very chapped and painful, so I get through lip balms quicker than anything else (or I tend to lose them and buy new ones)
  • Then inside my purse/wallet I only tend to keep the essential 'store' cards to each trip out, to not confuse myself.
  • Then I have my ID in the form of my provisional driver's licence (one day I do hope to learn to drive and get my licence)
  • My medical exemption card, so I don't have to pay for my numerous amount of prescriptions.
  • My disabled persons bus pass, which allows me to travel on the bus anywhere across the country for free, which is a fantastic thing as I can not drive and I can't always depend on my dad or boyfriend to drive me everywhere.
  • and then my debit card for those little shopping trips to cheer myself up

  • Then we have my disabled persons blue parking badge, to allow me to park in disabled parking spots, saving my energy and legs when going out. A very helpful little thing that might be worth some of you guys applying for (it's free!)
  • And my beautiful handmade pill box, which you can buy from here , which is perfect to carry my med's in.
So that's my late day 4. Hope you liked the post, please feel free to leave me comments and tell me if you enjoyed this post :-)

5 Nov 2012

NHBPM – Day 5 – Monday, Nov. 5

Write a #ListOf3 Things that you’re thankful for / excited about / or inspired by :

  1. I am thankful for my family, my boyfriend and the one or two friends who have stuck by me and supported me all the way through this illness. For coming to numerous doctors and hospital appointments, rushing me to the emergency room, for being there during the night when my my body is causing me so much pain, and most of all for letting me know that I am not alone in this and that I have their support 100% of the time 
  2. I am inspired by my Tumblr blog and the community of which I have joined, the vast amount of people from all ages that are going through the same thing as me, people who I can relate too, advice from people who have experienced it all as well. Then there is also the people on Tumblr I consider dear friends, even if they don't have a chronic illness, they have still been there for me and inspired me during my low periods and also shared my excitement of good days! Thank youQ
  3. I am thankful as well for being able to be strong enough to fight through all this, we all know we have our bad days but I am excited and hopeful for more good days, finding the right treatment and management skills to produce more good day’s to outweigh the bad days.

- Just a note to say that I know I missed out Day 4 but I am working on doing that post, I just need to take some photo’s to go with the post, so stay tuned for that later today! :-)

3 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 3, Saturday, Nov. 3

Today I have chose to take a subsitute prompt from the list as I couldn't think of anything for the two prompts below.

“I don’t know about this, but I’d like to.”
A post about a conversation with your doctor

So I have chose to do 'The best doctor’s appointment'

I think my best doctors appointment was last January when I got a suspected diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I had to go to work in the morning and by this point I was clearly unfit for work but I had not found a doctor to sign me off work. I was in a right state at work and on the car journey to the surgery, I was with my dad so that gave me a tiny bit of confidence. I had been crying and was so tired , I dread to think what I looked like. This appointment was an emergency one and not with my regular doctor but a new one. I was so nervous, I went into his room with my dad and between us we managed to tell the doctor all my symptoms and how ill I had gotten over the past 5 months.
 I could see that the Dr kept looking at me, a weak lifeless 19 year old girl, stuck in a body of pain. He was nice and funny, very witty, Definitely made me smile a little and feel more at ease. He explained to me what Fibromyalgia was and how he believed that I have got that. He sent me to a  rheumatologist at my local Hospital, he also gave me pain killers, he asked how I felt about taking the pills and anti depressants and explained how they helped for my condition and how they are not used to treat depression. This doctor was a god send to me, and still is. He signed me off work, he can see my pain. I have been seeing him from that day, he knows what he is talking about.
 I am very lucky that it only took me 6 months to have a good appointment and find a doctor who believes in my condition and is there to support me.

Take care

2 Nov 2012

NHBPM - Day 2 – Friday, Nov. 2nd

Write about the weirdest thing about your health:

I still think that weirdest thing about my health is how much it has deteriorated over the last year. It’s weird how I got a common throat virus just over a year ago and it has ‘triggered’ or ‘caused’ me to get a disabling illness that causes me to be in constant widespread pain.

I think another weird thing about my health or lack of it is how from the outside I look like any other normal 20 year old woman, but really my body is causing me such problems and pains that people just can not see

- sorry it is a bit of a poor post as I am in a lot of pain today and not thinking completely straight.

NHBPM - Day 1 – Thursday, Nov. 1

"Why I write about my health”

I write about my health for a few reasons, because
I like to use it to meet and communicate more people in the same situation as me (with Fibromyalgia), then that way an online community can be built to support other people
I believe strongly in spreading awareness of chronic illnesses such as Fibromyalgia and in that way more people will hopefully read about my experience and learn about the illness.
I want to be able to share my experiences of symptoms,medication etc with others who are concerned about their health, and hopefully I can help them in that way.
A more personal reason is so that I can get things off my chest and writing things out helps clear my mind of what has/is happening to my body and the way it is affecting my health

CHALLENGE : National Health Blog Post Month!

I’ve decided to attempt to participate in National Health Blog Post Month. I started it on 1st November on my Chronically Crafty Tumblr but I thought I would link it onto here as well. I will post Yesterdays and today's posts on here and then carry on doing it mainly on this blog rather than my Tumblr.

So yeah guy's if you want a challenge and help share awareness about your health, the link is there :-)