HEALTH TIP…

roses

Roses are believed to have a mild sedative and anti-depressant properties so infuse rose hip and a few drops of rose extract in hot water for a morning drink which will keep your mood upbeat as the winter closes in.

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BAROMETRIC PRESSURE AND FIBROMYALGIA…

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Fibromyalgia sufferers are affected by the ambient pressure especially if it goes down suddenely. If a storm approaches the pressure drops, causing the air in our joints to expand.

Barometric pressure is a measurement of the weight that is exerted by the air all around us. When its a lovely sunny day then the barometric pressure tends to be quite high.

The change in the weather can effect us all, even air conditioning units can disrupt muscle aches and pains.

CUTTING DOWN ON MEDICATION…

pills

I’d read on a few forums that it can be quite hard to come off opioids but I was still determined to cut my quantity down by at least half.

The first side effect I had was the shakes, which I knew was nothing to worry about and would settle down.

Then came the pains from places I’d not had pain from before, in particular in my right foot which is still giving me a lot of problem.

Then the headaches which seem to always arrive in the middle of the night, but I’ve found doing the acupressure points or using the roller ball works for this.

Lastly (at least I hope so) has come the ‘chronic fatigue’, which is nothing like I normally suffer from, but ten times worse. All I want to do is sleep, from the minute I wake up, I just want to go back to sleep again. By late morning I can’t wait for the afternoon to come so I can go for my rest which has now extended to two hours instead of my usual one.

I can only presume it’s my bodies way of trying to manage the pain on it’s own without the help of the opioids which I have cut down from 450mg to 100mg so that is a massive drop. However, I have had the odd 50mg when I’ve been desperate but I’ve managed on paracetamol most of the time.

It’s only 10 days so it’s early days yet but I’m really pleased with my progress except for the chronic fatigue which I really do hope will lift soon.

If you suffer from chronic fatigue, how do you cope with it?

ACTION FOR HAPPINESS….

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They say that happiness is contagious. Our happiness influences the people we know and the people they know.

Research shows that the happiness of a close contact increases the chance of being happy by 15%. The happiness of a 2nd-degree contact (e.g. friend’s spouse) increases it by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%.

Action for Happiness is a movement for positive social change. Bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone.

They say that ‘For fifty years we’ve aimed relentlessly at higher incomes. But despite being much wealthier, we’re no happier than we were five decades ago. At the same time we’ve seen an increase in wider social issues, including a worrying rise in anxiety and depression in young people. It’s time for a positive change in what we mean by progress’.

We can all do with a ‘lift’ now and then, especially if are having a tough time with our pain or illness. Their website has some free downloadable posters about happiness and other inspirational material. Go to their website ‘Action for Happiness’,

TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS FOR BACK PAIN…

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A trigger point is a specific spot in your muscle that is painful and tender when pressure is applied, they can also cause ‘referred’ pain in other areas of your body. This is something that I suffer from.

It’s common to have trigger points if you have fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome, both of which I have been diagnosed with as they are very similar conditions. The muscles most commonly affected by trigger points are in your neck, shoulder and pelvic area. Mine are worst in my low back causing referred pain down my bottom and leg.

You are given trigger point injections to help reduce pain and stiffness and allow you to move the affected muscle more easily. The effects of a successful trigger point injection can last from a few weeks to several months. My last one was last August which lasted for a good three months.
They inject the point with local anaesthetic and steroids to help to reduce the feeling and the swelling of the effected muscles.

Most trigger point injections are performed in theatre under x ray but some can be done at a doctor’s surgery, mine have always been done in the theatre. You are told to stop taking some type of drugs three days before the procedure but your doctor goes through this with you.

The doctor will find your trigger point by applying pressure with his or her thumb and finger to the affected area which is then cleaned with a sterile wipe ready for the injection. The injection that I have was repeated several times until the doctor feels your muscle is no longer tight or twitching.

You are then taken back to recovery where they check your BP for a short time and give you a drink and a biscuit and when they are happy with your stats they then let you go home. They ask you to get someone to pick you up and walk with you, and you are not allowed to drink alcohol, drive or operate machinery for 24 hrs.

They tell you to expect some discomfort as the local anaesthetic wears off (which I did) and that your pain can sometimes feel worse (which mine didn’t). You can then carry on taking your drugs as normal.

When you sign the consent form they inform you that there are some risks associated with trigger point injections, but that’s the same with any procedure like this. The only complications that can occur are infection, bruising, loss of sensation ( a damaged nerve) or muscle weakness but these don’t often occur.

With pain clinics opening at many hospitals now, a lot more people are having this sort of treatment as an option to pain relief. This has caused waiting lists to lengthen and certainly over the last ten years I have seen my wait change from a matter of weeks to months. I am no where near the top of the list for another injection yet. I first have a telephone consultation with my pain doctor next week. The only trouble with the delay is that the pain becomes chronic again which then makes it more complicated to ease, but at least we are lucky enough to have this facility in the UK.