Category Archives: changing

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

 

Update on my Slimming World- now week 28!

First of all, yes I am still following Slimming World although I haven’t updated for a while as you can tell.

Just to remind you my weight loss is kinda slow, not because I find it difficult to stick to the plan ( I am one of those sad people that actually ‘enjoy’ being on it!) but because I am unable to help my weight loss with exercise due to my M.E and Fibromyalgia. I do what I can when I can activity wise, this could be a little ironing one day, a short walk another day or even taking things up and down the stairs can be like a marathon for me. The down side is that I do have days where it’s physically impossible for me to do anything other than try and hold myself upright on the sofa!

Anyway, it’s been 1/2lb here and there with the odd 1lb or more thrown in on a very good week. I have never had those big losses that others get along the way but in all fairness it has all gone in the right direction however small the loss and they have all added up to the grand total of 2 stone………………YES………….2 BLOODY LOVELY STONE! Ok putting it in perspective it has taken me since last August to do it but never mind I have gotten there nonetheless and it shows that all those little losses, however disappointing, all add up to a big amount.

2-stone-award

So, that means I only have 1 1/2 lb to get to my target weight of 9 stone and then I would ideally love to sit at the lower end of the target range at 8 st 11lb. This only means a total of 4 1/2lb in total still to lose. Now there are some people that could easily do this in a week however, I am categorically not one of them. This week I have been 100% on plan and still maintained!! So, I realise this will take me a good month to 6 weeks to do but ‘get there, I will’ as Yoda would say. However, this week saw a great non scale victory for me as I had a huge wardrobe clear out after fitting in to size 10 skinny ( albeit stretch) jeans- I was overjoyed and it spurred me on to clear out all those big oversized tops that I have been hiding under for the last few years and welcomed a size 10 Primark haul to give me some things to wear for now that I actually feel good in.

So here’s to the next few week, lets see what they hold in store and don’t worry, I will be shouting from the rooftops when I get to that goal weight. I would love to hear about your Slimming World journey so far.

Life According to MrsShilts

Eating Out- without breaking the diet

Over the years whenever I have started a diet or healthy eating plan I find myself extremely determined and aggressive at the beginning, meal prep and enthusiastic organisation takes over when the determination is strong. Inevitably along the way, like most of us, life catches up and we find ourselves at the office without lunch as the kids were running late for school and there just wasn’t enough time, or getting home late from work with no dinner planned. This is usually the part where we give in to ordering takeaway, allowing the cravings for pizza and carbs to consume us. If we look at eating out in a different light, perhaps those crazy days of no meal planning won’t result in diet ruin.

  1. Know Before You Order

Practically everything is available online these days, and this includes calorie information for your favourite go-to takeaway restaurants. Before placing your order, quickly check out the portions and the calories in order to make an informed decision.

  1. Substitute More Greens

Most restaurants offer a standard side dish that includes carb-driven chips, rice, or potatoes. Although alluring, next time your main entrée includes a side, opt in for a greener vegetable instead. If you are getting Indian cuisine delivered to the office, perhaps a side of curried spinach or a house salad with your lamb Dhansak to complete your delivery order.

  1. Portions Are Everything

It is not rocket science; the portions you receive from most takeaway places are much more than what you would prepare at home. This is particularly tricky when a restaurant posts calorie information “per serving”, which is often half of what is in your container. If you are given a mountain of food, immediately portion it out and put the other half away – out of sight, out of mind.

  1. Eat Slowly

Listen to your mother – don’t wolf down your meal! We get it: you are hungry. The faster you shovel in the food, the slower you have time to digest and “feel” how satisfied you are. In obvious terms, this results in overeating. Another useful tip is to stop for a glass of water here and there – not only does water play a vital role in your diet, it also fills you up!

  1. Modifications Are Your Friend

Most restaurants allow order customisation in order to accommodate diet and allergy requests. This can include ingredient substituting or omission, preparation methods, and sauce selection. If possible, ask your restaurant if they are willing to swap the double cream for a lighter dairy or the sodium-based sauce for a lighter dressing. Simple switches can help more than you know!

Since I started my Slimming World journey in August this year I have learned that it is all about making the right choices. You can have the takeaway or dine out in a nice restaurant but you do need to be aware of what is on offer and what is the best option while still treating yourself at the same time. Do not be afraid of asking for the dressings to be separate, or asking for a salad instead of the normal carb filled sides. Eating out with friends and family, or even a weekend takeaway needn’t be the end to your healthy eating plan. Look at the menus beforehand so you are aware of what is going to be available and know what you are going to order before you get there. With takeaways such as  Indian or Chinese opt for plain boiled rice instead of fried rice, order a side of vegetables and have a smaller portion of anything that is seriously going to knock you off your diet and help you stay on track.

Eating out should not be the death sentence to your diet goals. Following these few simple suggestions will rid you of any takeaway or dining out guilt and keep you on track.

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