Category Archives: activities

Fibromyalgia pain management help on the horizon at last

Any of you that have been following me for a while will know that I have ME and Fibromyalgia, which in lay mans terms means I am permanently exhausted and have constant chronic pain (with lots of other symptoms but the list is too long to mention!).

I was diagnosed in 2009 and after being initially referred for a 12 week management program in London at the start my Borough decided they would not pay for me to go out of borough for treatment even though there was nothing similar in my area. So, after being diagnosed  I was then left with no input apart from pain relief from my GP. I spent years on Tramadol until my body totally adjusted and they were having absolutely no effect. Last year when the pain became to difficult to handle my GP switched me to Morphine (slow release) and Oramorph for breakthrough pain during the day. Again as my body adjusted they had less and less effect and the dosages where increased to a point where my GP could not authorise another increase without referring my to a Rheumatologist.

This was probably the best thing that could have happened. I had an appointment in February and she confirmed 18 tender points of Fibro around my body alongside all over body tenderness ( that means my body feels bruised so wearing clothing/ shoes etc all hurts as though someone is pressing directly on a bruised piece of skin!). From there she referred me to the Fibromyalgia clinic and I had that very long appointment yesterday. It takes all afternoon as you see three separate specialists in different areas who all work together to approach the illness from different angles.

I came out feeling amazingly positive after speaking to three separate specialists who not only believed I was in pain but understood how it affects my daily life and had input in how they could, together as a team, help me manage my pain better and help me restore some normality back to my life.

THIS IS HUGE!! For years I have been left to cope with only inadequate pain relief ( turns out opiates are useless in treating the pain I have-typical!) with people finding it hard to actually believe I am in CONSTANT pain. I know I am my own worst enemy as I do not allow anyone to see how it affects me. If I go out no-one would even think for a moment that my body is screaming out in pain, I will smile and chat and completely mask it ( hence some people think it’s not possible to be in pain ALL of the time). My only visible show that something is wrong is that I use a walking stick, not because I bloody enjoy people looking staring at me but because the pain in my ankles is sharp and knife like and can literally knock you off balance when out walking around.

This denial, or masking my issues seems to be part of the problem. If people think I am OK I will carry on as normal doing things I know will knock me off my feet the next day just so no- one sees I cannot cope! Apparently I need to learn to say ‘No’ and totally understand how to pace activity. This is new to me too as I totally live my life the ‘boom and bust’ way, that means on days where I am more able I will do WAY too much just to catch up etc which then pays me back with several days not able to do anything at all.

So, after an extremely long hospital visit to the clinic yesterday they offered to put me on a 7 week pain management course which looks at all these issues alongside getting a combination of medications that actually work with a routine of pacing.

This is the most help I have had in all the years I have been diagnosed. I feel positive with everything they were telling me and I now have to just wait to hear when the course will be starting. Although it is 7 weeks long it is only 1 day a week at reasonable times with lots of breaks etc. I will meet other people in the same position who actually live in my area too which could end up being a bonus socially.

I have been on support groups online throughout having the illness but I tend to find they become quite depressive with people venting every little aspect, pain, new symptom and bad day they are having. I too have those days where it can bring you right down in mood, but that is not how I want to live my life- it is restricted enough without wallowing in what’s wrong instead of concentrating on what is going well. So, although I remain on these groups I tend only to comment on positive posts because I do feel that sometimes when I am feeling OK they can have a draining affect on your mood as you start to think ‘Oh God is that how I am going to become’. I am not running these groups down they do provide people with daily contact and reassurance and generally are a good thing, however, it can become a bit of a pity party some days and that’s not how I want to look at my illness. I know some people will say they have been on the course I have been offered and it did nothing for them and that’s fine, but because a lot of how you manage pain can be down to mindset as well I do not want to go in with any negative attitude- otherwise what is the point?

So, I will keep you updated when I do start and let you all know what happens. But for now I am very happy I am getting any help at all and we have to be prepared to help ourselves as well as the illness is complex and cannot just be fixed with a particular medication or procedure. So send loads of positive thoughts please, I am feeling that my outlook is going to be rosy.

 

My Slimming World update Week 29-31

Last time I updated you I was very, very close to my target. Well guess what? I only went and bloody done it!

target-certificate

Yes, I reached my new target of 9stone with the fabulous help of Slimming world. I have taken to this plan like a duck to water when I joined back in August last year. As I have mentioned before ( or maybe not!) I do not have the busiest of social life thanks to my ME and Fibromyalgia. It means I am not out surrounded by temptation every weekend, which has obviously been a good thing for me, however, it has also meant my weight loss has been a slow but steady journey due to the fact i cannot conventionally exercise.

But it’s true that slow and steady wins the race in my case.

I have just today got all my summer clothes out ( wishful thinking on my part maybe!) and while sorting out my wardrobe I realise that actually not a lot fits me anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining, it’s a great problem to have.

I have also, since reaching target, stayed in weight loss mode so I can sit comfortably at the bottom range of my target weight. Although I haven’t weighed in this week due to a physio appointment I seem to be slowly creeping down to that level.

I have actually had a treat or two since last week, a few indulgences I promised myself when I got to target. So, after class last week my hunny and I went to the Kaspa’s Ice cream place down the bottom of my road and I thoroughly enjoyed scoffing a caramel shortcake waffle with ice cream…………………… IT WAS LUSH! Literally I could have just face planted it if I’m honest. Instinct then kicked in and I went into low syn mode for a few days to make up for it.

kaspas-waffle

Then came the weekend and I knew I would not be weighing in on the Monday and when my hubby suggested the second treat, a chinese takeaway…………………. well who was I to argue. Again I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful but I did find that I didn’t overfill my plate but had a bit of everything that I wanted. I also did not go back for seconds either. Again afterwards I went into low syn mode again for a few days to do a bit of damage limitation.

chinese

Something I have learned and realised though is that I know if I do not weigh in each week ( even though as a target member I don’t have to every week) I know I will probably find it all to easy to slip into some bad habits again and pile the weight back on. I have no intention of going back to the size I was, and in fact I am thinking about lowering my target just slightly again but at the moment I am happy with where I am at. This week with the weigh in back on the cards I have been sticking to the plan easily, but I know that because I am in target I do have a little leeway to eat or drink what I want on a night or day out, knowing I can go straight back to weight loss and low syn mode to counter act any damage and stay within my range.

For now though, I am happy to attend my group each week so I can stay in target, treat myself occasionally knowing I won’t do too much damage and look forward to treating myself to some nice new size 10 summer clothes.

Let me know how your weigh loss journey is going, I would love to hear from you

 

My Slimming world results week 14 and 15

On week 13 I had to miss my weigh in due to going into hospital for a day procedure. I still stuck to plan though before and after the day ( excluding a treat of my first mince pie of the season- which was well earned as I couldn’t eat from 9am the day before my procedure and having sedation that didn’t sedate making the day kind of traumatic all round!). However, it was onwards and upwards from there and I had nothing planned that was going to throw me off plan completely.

So weigh in for week 14, I was hopeful that I had lost and thankfully I was rewarded with a 2 lb loss, bringing me tantalisingly close to getting my weight down under the 10 stone mark! Having looked back after a chat in group after my previous 1/2lb gain about the amount of fruit that I eat, I decided to take the advice of another member to try adding more speed veg than fruit and maybe cutting the fruit down to about 3 pieces a day. In all honesty I didn’t think this would matter much to me but it really seems to have made a difference with my weight loss. As you know I am unable to exercise in the normal way due to my illness so I knew over all when I joined any weight loss would be slow.  I have also factored in a few EESP days throughout each week now which I also think may be helping and I  have managed to up my fluid intake loads after picking up my £5 bargain bottle, that you can add fruit to, from Matalan.

So onto this week and weigh in this morning. My over all hope was for a maintain as I had gone last Tuesday to review a festive afternoon tea, which obviously I had to scoff  at least try everything ( it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it!).

Well it would be rude not to!

Well it would be rude not to!

The food at the tea was absolutely lush and after just over 3 months on the plan it was a sheer delight to go and properly indulge and be guilt free in doing so. I made sure I only had some fruit for breakfast and after the tea I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day so I only had a piece of fruit with my cuppa in the evening. I then decided to do a few EESP days to help balance out the over indulgence. However, by Saturday this week I started to feel bloated and realised this would be the week I would be due my period and therefore a possible gain ( which has happened pretty much every 4 weeks since starting). So, I went with the full expectation of a gain/ maintain to be totally blown away by getting another 2 lb loss!! I am shocked to say the least but super chuffed at the same time. I was also rewarded with my Club 10 award ( for losing 10% of your weight) which was just the icing on the cake today.

club-10-award

I can now say that I am in single figures ( only by a smidge but even so!) and in truth it feels just bloody marvellous to now be under the 10 stone mark. I am now a little more hopeful for next week and I have nothing booked this week that will knock me off plan. I will continue to factor in a few EESP days, drink lots of fluids and opt for speed veg and continue to limit my fruit to 3 or 4 pieces a day.

Today though I will celebrate with a proper size mince pie ( my absolute favourite at Christmastime) and still stay within today’s syn limit………………………..be warned my will power is strong now!

It's gotta be done!

It’s gotta be done!

So, here’s hoping for another loss next week ( although now I have said it I will probably gain).

Festive Afternoon Tea at the Marriott Hotel Bexleyheath

This week I had the chance to go and review the Festive Afternoon Tea ahead of it’s launch at the Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath, it will be available from Wednesday 23rd November and will cost £23.50 per person.

dsc_0157

 

 

 

Christmas on a plate as far as I am concerned!

Christmas on a plate as far as I am concerned!

 

 

We were treated to a little festive starter of a cup of gorgeous mulled wine and a mini mince pie ( my first this season for both) and instantly I was feeling festive regardless of the fact it is only mid November.  I will say though this is not mentioned on the menu card and makes me think this was for my benefit rather than what is included, but it was delicious non the less…………

As you van see no mention of mulled wine or mince pie, however, there is an option to add a glass of champagne if you feel like celebrating!

As you van see no mention of mulled wine or mince pie, however, there is an option to add a glass of champagne if you feel like celebrating!

When the food arrived we were advised that there was a recommended order to eat both the sandwiches and the cakes! Being good law abiding citizens my friend and I followed the rules and to be fair with regard to the fillings of the sandwiches the order really worked. They were nice thought about flavours with assorted breads and they seemed to work well together as a whole. The festive theme worked here with the inclusion of cranberry bread, turkey, brie and a delicious spiced apple chutney to name a few ( and no not all in the same sandwich!!).

The scones were wrapped in a napkin to keep some heat in and were as expected beautifully fresh and crumbly. The cream and strawberry compote were presented in gorgeous little individual jars which gave a uniqueness to the presentation itself.

A gorgeous individual look

A gorgeous individual look

The cakes also had a recommended order in which to eat them…………..who are we to argue! They consisted of a strawberry tart, a bite sized stollen, a raspberry mousse ( which was my absolute favourite), and a chocolate yule log. Now I don’t know about you but a strawberry tart instantly makes me think of summer so I was a little surprised to see one on there. Do not get me wrong all of the food on the afternoon tea was absolutely delicious, there was nothing I didn’t like ( apart from the stollen, but that’s my individual taste buds- I dislike marzipan), all the flavours worked wonderfully, however, if it is advertised as a ‘festive’ afternoon tea I would generally expect the cakes to be Christmas/ Festive themed. So perhaps if a mince pie is not included, then it should be, there is also scope for maybe something gingerbread or Christmas cake styled instead of the summer flavours of strawberry and raspberry.

dsc_0162

The staff in there are lovely and we were offered refills on our teas and our cream and jam if you needed any. We were not rushed in any way and the bar area we sat in had a wonderful relaxed feel to it with music playing in the backround and we felt we could sit there most of the afternoon.

I did check with the manager there if this afternoon tea was the same throughout all Marriott hotels but we were told that each hotel chef had free reign to interpret the festive flavours in their own way. So you may see pictures of other Marriott hotels serving theirs in a very different way, for now I can only comment on the Bexleyheath branch. This will be what you will get for your money at this particular hotel.

I would say although I thoroughly enjoyed the food and couldn’t fault any of the sandwiches, scones or cakes individually ( they were each delicious in their own right), I would however, feel that the afternoon tea itself would be much more festive if mulled wine was offered as an extra instead of champagne, and that all the cakes were Christmas themed/ flavoured. I would have been slightly disappointed myself to have paid the full price and not had, what I consider to be festive essentials, included.

This afternoon tea will be available from Wednesday 23rd November through to Thursday 12th January and will cost you £23.50, with the option of adding a glass of celebratory champagne for a further £6.50. Afternoon teas are perfect for friends to get together for a good catch up, or for treating yourself to a relaxing afternoon for a special occasion or family to get together. It’s a total indulgence…………………………….so go on……………………..indulge yourself!

Well it would be rude not to!

Well it would be rude not to!

For more information check out their website here

My Slimming World results week 11 and 12

I did it!!! I only bloody did it!!

1-stone-award

I reached my 1 stone mark that has been alluding me for a few weeks now. I cannot tel you how chuffed I was considering I have been doing this for 11 weeks now and going to group every week listening to people losing 3-4 lb a week and having to make do with 1lb here and there in amongst slightly higher and lower loses and even a gain or two along the way.

However, that was a target I was desperate to get to because it’s easy to say you are losing weight but another to stand tall and say you have  lost a stone. I also said I would treat myself to a proper slice of cake when I reached that mark. I have been really on plan most of the time with maybe just a meal or a few drinks out that I have factored into the plan along the way, so I wanted a proper piece of cake when I got to this point.

On the day though I had got a lift there and back to group by my FIL so I didn’t get to go to my favourite cafe on the way home as planned. However, my little bestie came to the rescue when her son ( who is a chef!) made some GBBO style french fancy cakes and that very evening I had text her to say I got my stone award she knocked on my door with these little beauties………

homemade and beautifully sweet!

homemade and beautifully sweet!

Well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it. So I enjoyed one of these with my evening cuppa totally guilt free as I knew for the rest of the week I would be on plan with no real plans to go eating out or socially drinking. So I savoured absolutely every last mouthful as you can imagine!

The next week flew past to be honest and I was unlucky enough to have a few of my rough days sprinkled in there which meant very little activity so in all honesty I expected a non loss week when I went for weigh in. I was totally shocked and gutted to actually put on 1/2 lb! I had totally eaten on plan apart from my french fancy the last weigh in day and surely that couldn’t have had that affect a week on. When it came to my turn at group it took all my resolve not to bloody cry………….now that will sound absolutely ridiculous to you but it had taken me so long to get to my 1 stone, I then stayed 100% on plan and although I had a few days of inactivity on the sofa due to my illness I truly didn’t even contemplate a gain. So just chatting in the group helped as someone asked me if I ate much fruit- well I eat tons of the stuff, literally tons and it was suggested that maybe because of the sugar content in the fruit that I should maybe opt for more veg and salad this week and still have fruit but maybe restrict it to 2-3 pieces a day.

When I got home I googled about the sugar content in different fruits and decided when I went shopping that I would opt for the lower and medium sugar fruits and include much more salad and veg over this weeks dinners, which I have managed to do. I also picked this little bargain up in Matalan for £5 that should help me drink more fluids as I do tend to stick to coffee/ tea/ green or peppermint tea now the weather has turned cold.

my £

I have this sitting around me all day and have drank 2 of these a day so far since buying it so that is a definite improvement on my fluids anyway

I am due to be weighed tomorrow but I am having to miss it due to the fact I will be in hospital for the day having a couple of procedures that I will be sedated for. This in itself will knock me off my feet for a few days due to my illness as it takes my body much longer to recover. So I will look forward to weigh in next week and hopefully the little changes I have made will show on the scales in the right way………..WISH ME LUCK