Health

Tips for Chronic Pain…

If you have been around here for any length of time, it should be no news to you that I have been suffering with chronic pain for quite a long while. I have Fibromyalgia and EDS (Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome), both conditions where a major symptom is constant pain, that although is always there it can vary.Mental Health

For most people that suffer from chronic pain, and it is mostly just about finding ways to deal and cope with it. These can be treating the physical symptoms as well as dealing with how it effects you emotionally in your day to day life.

Me personally, I have a range of medication, most being pain killing medications, such as tramadol and morphine, but I also have Naproxen to try and deal with the source. In addition I also have medication for depression that is caused partly because of my pain levels and how it effects my life.

Now not everything works for everyone, and when it comes to medication you have to go through your doctor as they are the only ones that will know what is best for your personal situation. But there are things you can do for yourself.

Baths are a great way of relieving muscular pain. This can be caused from chronic pain, or even just sports injuries; siting and relaxing in nice warm water can work wonders for an achy back or legs. Its no miracle cure, but I have a bath before bed every night as I find it can just dull away some of the pain in my legs.

Another method that I use a lot is heat packing. Now some people find that ice packing works better, but they are both basically the same thing just opposite – I know that makes no sense. Essentially all you do is pack the painful area with either a hot water bottle or an ice pack, depending on what you find helps. So for me, each night I will pack my back, hip and sometimes legs and shoulder with hot water bottles; this eases off a lot of my pain just before I go to bed so that I can rest, relax and hope for a good nights sleep.

Although this one may be obvious, a lot of people don’t always think about it, and to be fair I was one of those that didn’t really think about it for the longest time. Change your clothes so they don’t put pressure on your pain spots. So my hips are a major pain spot for me, and I always found that jeans were too painful if they were around my hip. Nowadays I have discovered that I am better off with leggings that go over my hips and grip nearer my waist. I know that this is worse for some people so you really do just have to work out what is best for you; it took me trying several different styles of trousers to find something that wasn’t so painful, and it really it just trial and error.

Then finally, distraction. I know that this sounds super obvious but also many sufferers are probably looking at this being like ‘REALLY?’. I know that this can be a really challenge at the very best of times, but it really can be a real help. Ways to achieve this can be different for each person; for me its best when I read. I can sink into a new world and be absorbed for a little while until Im next due pain relief, or something. I know that others find it best to be drawn into movies, or video games and even some that find that learning new things can really help. It is just a matter of being busy so that you can just sit and get yourself worked up and down about your pain; this will never take away the pain, but it can sometimes just push it to the back of your brain for a little while so you don’t get as annoyed by it.

They are all my tips for dealing with Chronic Pain, I am always happy to talk to people about it, whether it be exchanging techniques or if you just want more information, plus I’m always here if you just need to have a moan and get it off your chest.

 

Health

Lets Chat.. Getting Fed Up Now..

I feel like I have been doing one of these pieces each week lately, but I am just constantly needing to have a little bit of a whinge and moan, that I am being batted back and forth from doctor to hospital to doctor. Sometimes I think its not the being ill that gets me so fed up, but rather that its the people not believing me, telling me that my body will recover, just to wait a few days and be in a worse state. I am rather good at listening to my body, I have lived with my disabilities and my immune system trouble for my entire life, I know when its struggling.Mental Health

Now I am rather good at dealing with not feeling well, I am a master at bed resting and I rarely complain about having to do it; I actually have rather a lot of fun doing my bed rest diaries posts. But this time around, I am with a new GP doctors surgery, and I truly feel that to some degree I am just not being listened to. I began with a chest infection that developed into Pneumonia, and then when that cleared I ended up with a Kidney Infection. Long story short, I was sent to hospital to be admitted as I was starting to feel worse not better, they then discharged me after less than 24hours with Morphine for the pain, and told to wait till I finished the medication.

So here we are, having finished said antibiotics, and honestly, cross my heart, feeling a lot worse. I have truly got to the point where my entire body is completely exhausted. Just sitting writing this is really wearing me out unbelievably so. Anyway, back to the doctors this morning, I have a raging fever, high blood pressure, and super tachycardic.  So I have a kidney infection… STILL. So new antibiotics, and another bottle of morphine. Then back to the doctors on Friday if still feeling horrid.

Don’t you ever just wish a doctor would listen to you, when you know that something is up with your body, and you know that it isn’t coping and that you are in need of help.

Anyway, that’s my little moan for today. Hopefully this will be the last one for the month at least, but I cant promise anything.

What annoys you the most about the doctors and being ill?

Health

Lets Chat… Another A&E trip

Well, another bit of a break from my January planning– interrupted by me spending another day in the hospital. What should of been a simple doctors appointment led to my doctor calling the hospital and asking them to admit me; thankfully they have decided against this for now.schizo

So what’s happened? I was just feeling very, very tired again, and in a lot of pain in my side; tests have shown that the infection is in fact actually clearing itself up, but that does raises the question of what is making me feel so unwell?

From tests today we have found that my inflammation makers are high but otherwise my bloods are normal, Ive got a slightly high temperature, and high heart rate and blood pressure. Im very reactive to any pressure on my right loin, and my normal pain reliefs are not touching it. The current plan is to use the morphine tonight to get through and have a decent nights sleep, and then back at 8am for CT scan to see if they can see the problem.

The likely possibilities are either kidney stones or a cyst somewhere in the kidney area. Here’s to the hope that I am not kept in tomorrow (although today for when you are seeing this), and that this doesn’t stop my full month of blogging.

Funny moment today was taking out a canula, after having morphine and blood spurting everywhere and just laughing. Nurses went into a panic trying to fix it. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you in A&E?

I really am one for focusing on the positives while I’m not well, you’ll never get better if you just feel sorry for yourself. But it certainly helps that the staff were really lovely, went to find me my favourite biscuits after I passed out.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Health

Lets Chat… I have Pneumonia

I set this challenge of doing a full month of blogging throughout January and although I am determined to keep up with it, but as normal life has thrown a curve ball. Todays post is running over 12 hours late, although still going live on the right day (so that’s counts), as I spent most of yesterday in A&E and then most of today asleep.

Since October, I have really been struggling with my breathing, been back and forth to Doctors, tried various treatments and inhalers, then ended up in A&E between Christmas and New Year. Was discharged and told to rest and that it was just a virus, but have been progressively getting worse ever since. Yesterday was the breaking point for me and my partner who could tell I was really not in a good way; so after calling 111, who suggested sending an ambulance, my partner took me to A&E.

For as A&E trips go it was a rather quick one, an ECG, lots of prodding and poking, and we find out I have pneumonia in my left lung. How in the world it has taken this long for them to work it out for it to then be discovered in just an hour I do not know. Even the doctor I saw yesterday said that this likely started off a lot more minor than it has now developed.

So an agreement was made that I would go home and stay in bed for the entirety of the week; I am on incredibly strong antibiotics, and am going back to the Doctors on Tuesday. If I feel any worse or anything changes badly, then I have to go straight back to A&E.

For now I’m just resting with my Nan here to help look after me, and catching up on some TV. Oh and sleeping a lot! I seem incapable of getting enough sleep at the moment, forcing myself awake for a bit just to get some stuff done.

Here’s fingers crossed to a quick recovery.

Health

Bed Rest Diaries #3

Guess what? Yes that’s right, I’m back in bed feeling ill again. Over a week ago now I went to the doctors with difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with a chest infection, given antibiotics, and sent to get on with it. Normally if you just rest up a little, keep warm and take the antibiotics you will recover within a week or so; but after getting worse and talking to the doctor again on Friday I was instructed to go to bed and rest up.

schizo

So Saturday and Sunday were in full on bed rest mood, only difference was that this time around I had my brilliant partner keeping me company. In those two days we binge watched all of Fried on Netflix and all of the first season and half of the second season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. First of all, why is there not a season two of Fried?! Its so funny and original, why in the world was it cancelled after just the first season, its one of those shows that needed to of had several seasons!!

Secondly, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is fabulous. I have never seen a show with the concept of a group of girls that have been trapped in a cult that has kept them underground for the past 15 years, following just one of them trying to now live a normal life in New York City. This is belly hurting hilarious, with about five season on Netflix, it is the perfect binge watch programme, I highly recommend it.

After still no improvement come Monday it was back to the doctors, received new antibiotics, and been told that bed rest will need to continue for the following week. Now Monday, I rested but I did end up going out for lunch, but now its Tuesday, I am making a point of doing NOTHING. WELL except for writing this…

So this has been a bit of a different bed rest situation for me this time around with me mostly spending time catching up on TV or binge watching Netflix rather than reading. I’ve dedicated time to my journal, and to just generally resting up.

Fingers crossed I wont be having to do any further entries to this bed rest diaries as I am hoping to be out and about come tomorrow.

You had any Winter bugs this year? Love to hear what you do to spend the time recovering.

Health

Apps helping me form Healthy Habits..

If you have been keeping up with my posts lately, you will know that I have been making some changes to my daily routines in order to help my health and hopefully try and prevent having a rough Winter. You can see what changes I have been making here, but this post is to let you know about the apps I have been using on my phone to try and help with this.schizo

There are three main apps that I will be talking about, two that are things to help me through some new habits, and the last is one to help me track a change I’ve made. I definitely have my favourite but that’s besides the point.

To track my water intake each day I am using My Water. Its a very simple free app on my phone that allows me to input each glass of water I drink, as well as Tea and Coffee. With tea and coffee, it also calculates the amount of caffeine, and although I have gone decaf, I find it interesting to see how much I would be having if I hadn’t. You can set an amount of water that you want to be consuming each day, and you can look back and see when you have hit the target and when you haven’t. There are also lots of fun little badges to try to earn, which I find just adds to the motivation. Like with most apps there is an option to pay a yearly amount and it will then open up the ability to track many many other drinks, such as fizzy drinks, milkshakes and alcohol. Personally, I have not done this, as I don’t see the need to. I know that I already drink plenty and am just interested in trying to increase my pure water intake.

This next one is one that I am still questioning just how useful it actually is, but never the less, I am giving it a try. That app is 7M Yoga, and if you cant guess from the name it has some premade yoga workouts that guide you through. It is great if you don’t really know what you are doing, as it has a little how to do it video for each move, and nothing is too complex. However there are only 3 workout, and all only about 10mins long. For me this just isn’t seeming to be quite enough, as I am looking for a workout that will be around 20-30 minutes. If you have any suggestions of where I can find something like this then please let me know.

Then finally, and yes this is my favourite, I am using Headspace to take some time each day to meditate. Headspace is full of hundreds of different guided meditations, some set out as ‘packs’, that are a set of meditations to be done on consecutive days, and also ‘singles’ that are for the one of varied emotions. I have been doing a couple of the packs, I started off on the Basics pack, which you can try out for free when you download the app. This just introduces you to some of the various techniques that the app uses, it is definitely a good place to start, and there are further basic packs that you can also dip into. If you subscribe as I have then it opens up a whole bunch more, and I have now started the Mindful Eating pack, hoping that this may help me to keep my focus on healthy eating over this winter. As for the singles, I am slowly just trying to do one a day, sometimes new ones, but just whatever feels relevant or me at the time.

So these are the three new apps that I am using in order to track my new healthy changes. I definitely feel like Headspace and ‘My Water’ are being of great help for me, I think I might need to find something else to help with the yoga, but for now the basic app is helping.

Do you have any health or wellbeing apps that you find helpful?

Health

Healthy Changes I’m making…

If you have read my recent goals posts, you will know that I have been trying to make some pretty simple changes that I am hoping will make all the difference when it comes to the Winter. For many years now I have found Winter to be a tough month for me, with the change in the weather I find comes pain, fatigue and generally poor health.

Now its quite common for the colder months of the year to bring drops in vitamin levels and many other challenges for those who already struggle with their health, and I am no different. Almost every year I end up with very low levels of vitamins C and D, and my immune system as a whole takes a hit. So as you can expect, this means that I end up catching every little cold, bug and flu that goes around.

On top of this, winter and cold wet weather in general plays up my fibromyalgia something crazy. Any one with pain syndromes will probably know what I mean by this, me and my Nan always sympathise with each other as arthritis is also heavily effected by the weather. So this year I am trying to come up with some ways to make this have less effect on me. Last winter I have several days if not weeks where I couldn’t even get myself out of bed due to pain levels, and I refuse to let this happen again.

To overcome the pain, I have started doing a very simple routine of yoga each day. Just 10 minutes of yoga every day I am hoping will keep my muscles well stretched and hopefully put me in a good position that the cold doesn’t leave my muscle super crampy and sore. I know that when I was younger, the more active I stayed the less pain I would feel; although this was before my fibro, I’m thinking that the same effect should happen.img_1005.jpg

Although I know it will have little to no physical effect, I have also started doing 5 minutes of meditation each day. I am finding that this is helping to make me aware of what my body is feeling, and whether I am having a bit of a flare. The difference this has compared to without the meditation, is I am not only aware of whether my body hurts, but also helps me to think of the reasons for this and therefore deal with them. I will definitely be keeping this up.img_1009
All the other changes have purely been through choosing healthier food options. I’ve switched to eating a lot more fruit which will hopefully help to keep my vitamin levels stable, as well as having discovered these Porridge on the Go bars. I adore the golden syrup flavour, they just taste like flapjacks, but they are healthy. For breakfasts I’ve been having smoothies with the porridge and have cut caffeine out of my days. Finally I have increased my water intake by at least an extra litre.img_1010

So that’s my changes so far, I’ll be sharing the apps I’m using to help me with theses in a later blog post. Have you made any changes to your daily habits ready for the winter?