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HOW TO GET THROUGH LOCK-DOWN AND BEYOND…

With us all facing another lock-down it’s easy to become quite low and despondent about the whole situation. But what if you could turn things around and make it advantageous.

I am a very positive person even with all I have gone through and have to deal with I keep a smile on my face and stay as confident as I can as there is always someone else worse off than me. But, this last month has even left me feeling pretty desperate.

My life is my family and with the lockdowns in London just before Christmas and both my children have someone in their family working in London it meant spending Christmas on our own with FaceTime as something to look forward to daily.

On Monday when then PM announced the new lockdown measures due to the new strain of COVID spreading so fast it did make you feel quite unsafe about going out at all. We are lucky enough to live in the country and can go on walks and see only a handful of people but people living in the city do not have this option which makes it even harder for them.

My son and his wife decided last year they were going to move out of London and near us and his sister in West Sussex. Just before Christmas, their contract was exchanged and the secret I had been keeping for a while ( until they had exchanged) could be shared with the rest of the family. We were ecstatic and when we saw they were only 2 miles away from his sister which is only 10 miles from us I was on cloud nine.

My husband and I were also able to celebrate together that we were to become grandparents again this July. What more could anyone ask. I had a fixed grin for some weeks. Of course, the grin isn’t so wide now as we cannot help our daughter with her 18-month-old during her second pregnancy and we cannot help our son and his wife who move into their home next week.

So, donned with my pen and writing pad I started writing a few things down over the Christmas period of what I could make to help out my family without even being with them. I have always love craft things and last year I made my granddaughter a sensory book for her first birthday. All made out of felt with lots of touchy-feely things on each page like you can see on the photo above. It took me months to make but the pictures on the faces of my daughter and her husband were enough for me to feel every hour spent on it was worth the effort. I have a lovely video which lasts quite a while of my granddaughter playing with the book and I quite often pop it on as it always puts a smile on my face. If you want to see any more of some of the craft items I make, I have a regular ‘Day in the Life of a Back Pain sufferer’ on The Bad Back Company’s blog.

Here are a few of my ideas I wrote down to start in January. I had kept my children’s nursery curtains from when they were babies as it was a lovely Sanderson nursery print and thought one of them might like them for their own nurseries but how do you split a pair of curtains? Well, one of my ideas was to make a quilt out of each curtain which is on my list for this month.

I also wrote on my ideas list that maybe we could put a hamper together for when my son and his wife move into their new home which I have immediately started putting together and I am also making a card for them. I love making cards and decided I could sketch a picture of their house onto a card for them to make it even more personal.

I decided that maybe I could help my daughter out by doing a load of batch cooking for her as my granddaughter does love my homemade fish cakes and courgette muffins. I knew it would help and make me feel more involved. I am about to make a batch today for her.

I can sit for hours looking for ideas on Pinterest that might spark another idea or something I see in a magazine. Last year I bought as many of the Christmas magazines as I could find as I love the Christmas editions and decided to put them away until Christmas Day so I had lots to read through over the Christmas period. They were a blessing in disguise and got my mind thinking of other ways to inspire me to maybe try something new that either myself, my family or someone else could benefit from.

The chances are if you are reading this then you have access to either a laptop, iPad or iPhone and the internet and so a brilliant way to find something new for you to get interested in is a magazine all about it.

Pocketmags is an online magazine company which sells subscriptions and single issues of lots of magazines for you to read on your laptop etc. We all like to feel of a magazine but with most of us not getting near a WH Smith or good newsagents for a long time I am sure you will not have seen nor heard of some of the magazines available on Pocket Mags website. The best thing is that you can buy single issues so you could read them through and see if you think it’s something you might be interested in. It might be that you want to learn more about your condition or start a new course but you are not quite sure about it. I am pretty sure you will find whatever you are looking for on the PocketMags website.

As many of you will have seen from previous posts that I have written I am an avid believer that writing helps you cope with chronic pain but that is for me personally. Reading is another of my favourite hobbies. I have always got a fiction book on the go and every afternoon when I go for my rest I read a chapter or two from my book to help me relax and give my body a rest.

I spent a full morning the other day on Pocket Mags website and went from A-Z of their Magazine Back Issues. My list is a page full so I will have to cut that right down but some on my list were Arthritis Digest, Easy Cook, Cross Stitch ( my daughter bought me a pack for Christmas) Knitting, Card Making, Family Tree and lots more. Some of which I will definitely write about on here.

It is only 6th January today and I already have a two page list of ideas on things to make, read, or help others with, to take me away from the difficult situation we are all in at the moment. If I only inspire one person to maybe start a new hobby or make a list like I have to help you over the next few months then I will feel this post was worth writing. I am of course always happy to help anyone who maybe going through a very difficult time.

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TOP SIX BOOKS AS GIFTS FOR FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS…

This is my top six of books as Christmas gifts for people who are suffering from #fibromyalgia and/or chronic pain.

Taking Control of Fibromyalgia : Following Science on a natural path to health by Caroline Williams, available from Amazon and other good bookstores.

This book will help you navigate chronic pain and the condition called fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is characterised by fatigue, muscle aches, wandering chronic pains, depression and anxiety. It often develops slowly, usually over several years. 

Being unwell can feel like being lost. To find your way back to health you will need two things: to know where you are right now, and a map to show you the way.

This book explores the landmark symptoms of fibromyalgia and why they occur. Synthesizing knowledge from fibromyalgia research, biochemistry, current pain research, neuroscience and pain psychology. The author presents a toolbox of practical treatments that you can use at home to change pain, all without using drugs.

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Pain Tracking – Your Personal Guide to Living Well with Chronic Pain by Deborah Barrett Phd, available from Amazon and other good bookstores.

This book offers a hands-on approach to improving life with chronic pain, whatever the underlying cause. As a sociologist, psychotherapist, and someone with firsthand experience with chronic pain, the author understands the challenges that accompany pain and has devised realistic strategies to fare better.

Paintracking provides a systematic method that empowers individuals to navigate the otherwise overwhelming array of treatment options and incorporate the effective ones into their lives for continued, incremental progress. Its cornerstone is a self-study tool that enables readers to improve. Readers are instructed on how to track and interpret their experience, whether using a pen and paper or the online tool offered as a companion to the book. By cultivating awareness of how their body responds in different situations and to different therapies, readers will become capable self-advocates, able to make informed choices.

Written in clear, understandable prose and filled with sociological insights, therapeutic lessons, practical tips, and empathy, this book offers realistic hope to individuals who often feel hopeless in the face of confusing, debilitating pain.

 

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The New Bible Cure for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia by Don Colbert, available from Amazon as a book or audible and from other good bookstores. This book includes

· Steps that take you from feeling burned out to fired up
· Foods that harm and foods and supplements that restore energy and health
· Exercises that help relieve pain
· The emotional and spiritual roots of these debilitating disorders.

 

Living with Fibromyalgia NE by [Christine Craggs-Hinton]

Living with Fibromyalgia New Edition by Christine Craggs-Hinton, her third revised edition of this great book on Living with #fibromyalgia available from Amazon and other good bookstores. In line with the latest thinking of fibromyalgia as a disorder of the CNS (central nervous system), this third edition looks at how an over-sensitised system may amplify pain messages and trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It also looks at research into the link between poor sleep and the disorder. Other topics include: a physical cause? – the evidence for fine nerve damage in fibromyalgia sleep problems and manage the benefits of yoga and music therapy updated recommendations on diet and supplements the importance of posture and exercise pain and stress management complementary therapies.

Take Back Your Life: Find Hope And Freedom From Fibromyalgia Symptoms And Pain by [Tami Stackelhouse, Ginevra Liptan]

Take Back Your Life: Find Hope and Freedom from Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Pain by Tami Stackelhouse and Ginevra Liptan, available from Amazon and other good bookstores. A #fibromyalgia patient herself, author and Fibromyalgia Coach, Tami Stackelhouse, has gone from disabled to thriving. In this book, you will learn how to Take Back Your Life using the techniques and strategies Tami has used to get well. More than just a lifestyle or self-management guide, this is a concise reference book woven with Tami’s own #fibromyalgia story.

This book is a page-by-page survival guide for the action-oriented #fibromyalgia patient who wants to feel better as quickly as possible. It’s written for the patient overwhelmed with a new #fibromyalgia diagnosis and for the fibro-veteran who is stuck and needing new ideas. It is also a great resource for the caring family members and support team of anyone suffering from #fibromyalgia.

The Man I Think I Know: A feel-good, uplifting story of the most unlikely friendship by [Mike Gayle]

To finish my list I have included two books that will just make you feel good when you read it. The Man I Think I Know: A feel-good, uplifting story of the most unlikely friendship by Mike Gayle, available from Amazon and other good bookstores. A powerful and bittersweet story of an unexpected male friendship and an unlikely love story, a thought-provoking storyline told, this uplifting tale reminds us of the simple courage at the heart of every human being.

Ever since The Incident, James DeWitt has stayed on the safe side. He likes to know what happens next. Danny Allen is not on the safe side. He is more past the point of no return.

The past is about to catch up with both of them in a way that which will change their lives forever, unexpectedly. But redemption can come in the most unlikely ways.

The Map of Us: The funny, feel good fiction bestseller of the year! by [Jules Preston]

The Map of Us, The Most Uplifting Feel Good Fiction Book of 2018,by Jules Preston and available at Amazon and other good bookstores. A story of love and lost directions

Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.

Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father’s multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.

When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world. Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd. Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

 

 

 

Fibromyalgia Diary: A Fibromyalgia Journal Book to Log Pain Symptoms, Food Intake, Medications also Level of Interferences of Pain on Your Daily Activities, Perfect as Fibromyalgia Gifts by Fibromyalgia Warrior, available from Amazon and other good bookstores. BETTER CONTROL IN PAIN MANAGEMENT: Through observation of your symptoms and triggers during the day, you can easily highlight trends and track the effectiveness of your current treatments. Sharing these details with your healthcare team can drastically improve your fibromyalgia pain management. Instead of needing to mentally recall how often you have felt pain or how severe it was, you can easily refer to your journal for a detailed record and description.

You’ll be able to track daily:

  • The overall level of pain,
  • Locations of pain,
  • Interference of pain on your sleep,
  • Weather& Temperature,
  • Your fatigue during the day,
  • Your mood,
  • Exercise level,
  • Water/Food Intake
  • Medications and/or supplements.

You’ll also have a section for your notes so that you can add additional triggers, doctor appointments, or pain patterns that you’ve noticed as well as your body’s reactions to certain food groups. Each day consists of 2-pages of trackers. They are not pre-dated so that you can use whenever needed. You’ll have total of 120 tracking pages.

A THOUGHTFUL GIFT: This journal is a life changer for fibromyalgia sufferers, their doctors, caregivers, family and friends. Also would make a thoughtful gift to someone you love who is in need of this health tracker.  

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FIFTEEN TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT A FIBROMYALGIA FLARE-UP OVER CHRISTMAS…

Managing the pain from Fibromyalgia is hard enough but during the busy festive period, it can cause bad flare-ups for sufferers unless they take care. Many chronic pain sufferers will struggle to get out during and after the festive period. Apart from the buying of presents, there are lots of other activities that come about at this time of year. For instance, the nativity play, the Christmas party, the family get together and the list goes on.

The simple act of sitting down on something that is not suitable for say a person with a back problem could actually create more pain for them.

Here are some tips and products on how to manage during Christmas.

1. Don’t be frightened to ask for help, be it with the shopping, cooking or cleaning. As most sufferers tend to ‘look fine’ most people do not realise the pain they are suffering inside, so if you don’t ask you won’t get help.

2. If work is leaving you exhausted and in pain, then design a flexible plan that works for you and your boss. Ask about working from home part-time, or setting your hours for earlier or later in the day so you can be more productive, during this busy time.

3. At the office, rearrange your workspace for comfort and easy accessibility. A telephone headset, keyboard tray, or other products may help put less stress on your body.

4. Don’t try to always put on a happy face. Your loved ones need to know what makes your symptoms worse.

5. Rest, rest and more rest, every little helps to recharge your batteries. When you feel that overwhelming urge to sleep try and get forty winks.

6. When the invitations start coming in, consider if they will keep you from the rest, exercise, or relaxation you need to feel well. It’s OK to simply say “no.” And stick to it.

7. Support groups can play an important part in the lives of people with a chronic illness. Whether in person or online, they offer a safe place to talk with others who may share your frustrations and concerns.

8. Tomorrow is another day and with Fibromyalgia tomorrow can be a more comfortable day, so try to not think negative when you are having a bad day.

9. Keep all your ‘helpful’ pain relievers on hand, be it a hot water bottle, pillow, cushion or whatever you have that helps your pain.

10. Make sure you enjoy Christmas like everyone else does by being prepared.

11. A great product to have handy for you or to pop on your Christmas gift list is Highlander Folding Outdoor Sit Mat Lightweight Padded Portable Stadium Seat which is constructed from High-Density foam and a hard-wearing durable Polyester. It’s LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT AND PORTABLE: Weighing only 380g and measuring 40x40x4cm when folded and will offer comfort and support use after use. This one I found was available on Amazon and is £9.99

12. The Back Booster helps support the lower back, helps relax lower back muscles and is very lightweight and portable, nylon carry bag included. It inflates in a few breaths and deflates to pocket size and is £14.99 available from The Back Booster.

13. A The Sciatica Relief Cushion which performs just like its name and is well worth the investment of £34.00 The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use, safe and specifically designed for sciatica pain relief.

14. This is an Adjustable Tripod Walking Stick and seat as if like me you cannot even stand for long in a queue then this is just perfect. The Height adjustable walking stick seat is designed to provide support and comfort and provides a stable and comfortable seated position when you need a break from standing. This particular one is from Complete Care Shop website. £14.99

Height Adjustable Stick Seat

15. Finally the Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion from Complete Care Shop which is ergonomically designed, and provides excellent levels of comfort to the user and is ideal when travelling. It is suitable for long train, plane or car journeys and is of a lightweight, compact nature making it tremendously portable. Made from high-quality memory foam, it helps to alleviate pressure and tension and will not lose its shape. This black Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion is supplied with a removable velour cover and costs £10.00

Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion