Mouse is a fibromite

I am a mum, wife, teacher and a fibromite.  I live with a condition called fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by over 60 symptoms of which the most distinguishing is chronic pain and fatigue, depression, anxiety, ezcema, irritable bowel syndrome, SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder), restless leg syndrome, chemical sensitivity, loss if libido, mood swings, sciatica, non refreshing sleep, night sweats, brain fog, tender points, painful joints, lack of concentration, social anxiety, temperature irregulation… The list goes on.

Many doctors do not understand fibromyalgia. There is no definitive test to diagnose the disease. The worst part of fibromyalgia… It destroys your dreams and puts enormous pressure on your family and friends.

Let me explain… In the early stages, before diagnosis, you experience several of these debilitating symptoms. But it is intermittent. You go to the doctor who asks questions to establish your medical history. BUT you have brain fog… so you struggle to recall important relevant details. Due to resource constraints, the doctor does some tests like blood pressure, urine etc and every test comes up normal. He or she prescribes some medication that probably addresses one symptom only, and says that you will be feeling good in no time. You go home and feel awful and GUILTY that you wasted the doctor’s time or ANGRY that the doctor does not understand. 

In the days to come you feel rotten, exhausted, in excruciating pain. The  several symptoms come and go. But you are tired all the time. You go to the doctor again. And again. And again. Eventually the doctor refers you to various consultants and every test comes up normal. You take time off from work. Your line manager is getting impatient and annoyed that you are taking so much time off. Your line manager refers you to Occupational health. You worry about losing your job.

 You cancel plans with friends or family on the day and feel GUILTY. You stop making plans because you are too scared that you will cancel on the day and disappoint your friends or family. You can’t do things with your children, like kicking a ball in the park,  you struggle to explain your condition, you think you are going mad, you worry that social services will take your children, you worry that you will lose the house, you are disgusted at the state of your house, you are tired and in pain, you avoid asking friends around because the house is a mess but you are too tired  and  in too much pain to clean, you struggle to meet your friends for a coffee because you are too tired and in too much pain to leave the house. You lose friends.

Your family and friends offer advice.

” Have you tried a long hot bath?”

” You need to exercise more”

” Your body is just run down”

” Oh, you are such a hypochondriac, ha ha”

” Have you tried yoga?”

” But you don’t look sick”

” Just lose some weight” (The scientific word is mass, people! One of my pet hates.) 

“You must ..”

” Have you tried…?”

This goes on for years. Eventually you get a diagnosis but you find out that it’s is a chronic disease, covered by the Equality Act. But that information does not console you. You have to live with the pain, fatigue and other symptoms for the rest of your life. Your income potential is minimal, You may never afford your own house. You may never travel to the counties you dream about. You may never have the big family you hoped and prayed for. You may never reach your career goals (mine is to become a headteacher). You may never  be treated equally, without discrimination especially when you declare your disease on  a job application.

You may never fulfill your potential.

If you meet someone with chronic symptoms, consider if they might have undiagnosed fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia

Hello, how are you?

I am well thanks, Hold on…not really. As we wind down to the end of the academic year in the UK, everyone around me is getting excited about beach holidays,camping holidays and staycations.

I am not looking forward to it.You see,I live with fibromyalgia. It is a condition characterized by over 60 symptoms of which the most distinguishing is chronic pain and fatigue. Depression, Anxiety, Ezcema, Irritable bowel syndrome (Yes, that’s why I go to your toilet every time I visit) are amongst my other symptoms. 

But I also have  SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) which affects most sufferers in the winter when the days are shorter and there is Christmas family stress to deal with and there is less sunlight. 

BUT… I have Summer SAD….

“Summer SAD?” I hear you ask.

Yes indeed. Summer SAD does exist. My GP says it’s because I am oversensitive to heat and light, the days are longer, barbeque and beach (mixed in with family) stress and there’s too much intense sunlight and you are supposed to be happy because you have long, hot , lazy summer days stretching ahead of you. 

 

On top of all of that, I struggle when I am out of my routine. I  love my teaching job. So I miss it a lot over the break. As I sleep a little bit more each day and get up later and later, the black dog (depression) starts to nip at my heels.

 “Stay as much as possible in a routine.. get up the same time…” I hear you reply.

Above all else, I have Fibromyalgia… chronic pain and fatigue. I am exhausted this time of the year. I sleep 10 hours and wake up tired. My batteries need recharging. But as I recharge, the black dog continues to nip.

Why I use a natural body moisturiser…

I am horrified by the number of chemicals in shop bought skincare products. Since discovering lots of amazing recipes on Pinterest, I have developed my own moisturiser, using a blend of various carrier and essential oils. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils, as essential oils are too concentrated to use directly on the skin.

 My favourite oils for the body moisturiser are Shea butter, Coconut oil, Almond oil, Avacado oil, Frankincense and Lavender (Amazing for the skin!) I do not recommend this moisturiser for your face. Coconut oil has a high comedogenic rating,which refers to the oil’s ability to clog pores.

I also make the following blends to add to the carrier oils:

  •  Patchouli and Grapefruit (Great for achy muscles)
  •  Lavender and Helichrysum ( The benefits are numerous)
  • Peppermint and Eucalyptus ( A must when you have a cold)
  • Custom made blend made to order

Wellbeing ( We don’t say stress anymore)

I am back at work after one month’s leave. Please see my blog”Two things that matter” to understand why.

I returned to teaching, paperwork, meetings and training sessions. Apparently, teachers are stressed because there was a lot of talk of staff wellbeing by management this week. We had emails and a training session on wellbeing. We discussed ways to relieve stress , learnt how to  give a  pizza 🍕 massage in a big group. We were given homework… Think of  something to do to relieve stress, list the pros and cons, etc.. I will let you know how I get on. Just the word homework makes me stressed..oops sorry, affects my wellbeing.

I must say, discovering the benefits of essential oils has changed my life. It definitely relieves stress, by inhaling it or by applying it to the skin after it’s been diluted in carrier oils. I also enjoy getting or giving a massage. There is something amazing about someone’ s hands touching your skin. It’s even more rewarding giving someone else a massage, especially a foot massage. It’s humbling and healing.

Looks like I have started my homework … 

Night night.

Val

Two things that matter…

Hello

How are you? I am well thanks. I have been going through a tough time lately and I am so thankful and grateful for all the support that I have received from my husband, daughter, family, friends and colleagues.

In April I found out that my dad was suffering from lung cancer. I was fortunate to spend a week of quality time with him and had​ hoped to travel back to South Africa in this month to see him again. Sadly, he passed away on the 3rd of May. In the end, I did travel back…. to plan and attend his funeral.

Though it was a sad time, it was God’s grace and mercy that gave me a precious few days with my mum. Sadly, she passed away on the 16th of May. I was fortunate to spend her last few days with her.

As I sat by her bedside, only two things mattered.  I spent time praying with and for my mum, as her speech was impaired. I could read the Bible to her. I could sing hymns to her.  In the end, there are are two things that matter.. God and our loved ones.

 

Valemi

I have been very busy with a hobby this last year..

I have been making homemade skincare products.

All my shopbought body moisturiser, lipbalm,bath bombs and soap have been replaced with 

homemade versions. And I love it. The feel of the products is luxurious , without harmful chemicals.

I started giving the products as gifts and have had good reviews.